Astronomers using ESO's SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) have revealed that the asteroid Hygiea could be classified as a dwarf planet. The object is the fourth largest in the asteroid belt after Ceres, Vesta and Pallas. For the first time, astronomers have observed Hygiea in sufficiently high resolution to study its surface and determine its shape and size. They found that Hygiea is spherical, potentially taking the crown from Ceres as the smallest dwarf planet in the solar system.
Now since Hygiea is large enough to be spherical, that would mean that Vesta and Pallas are also spherical and therefor dwarf planets. And since I don't believe in dwarf planets, it would mean that Ceres, Vesta, Pallas and Hygiea are planets 5 through 8 after Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. Which means that Jupiter is thus the ninth planet. Making planets 10-13 Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The other planets are Eris, Haumea, and Makemake. Though there may be others.
That makes 16 planets overall, of which half are dainty little things. And 16 is a bitch to memorize, but some folks just have to memorize them. Poor souls.
But keep in mind that you have the rest of the Kuiper belt to deal with as well as the Oort Belt and Cloud. We could have lots more.
The claim has been made that the 9th planet is a black hole. I say it isn't. Neptune is our 9th planet. In order the first nine planets in our Solar System are...
Planets 10 and 11, Pluto and Charon, share an orbit and in effect switch between being #10 and #11 depending on where they are in their orbit around a common center of gravity. Our declaring the small planets to be "dwarf planets" is our attempt to deny that there really are too many planets for us to memorize them all, or devise a mnemonic to handle them.
I pretty much agree with Jonathan Tweet. In the post he admits to taking things as he wants to, giving no thought to just how he could be wrong, or right. It comes down to this, most often we'd much rather things be as they are supposed to be, and ignore the fact that things are most often just what they are. Much of the time it is a matter of how we understand a thing and our understanding is going to be imperfect because our ability to understand is imperfect.
Which means all knowledge is going to be imperfect, indeterminate when you get right down to it. As we learn, as we grow in knowledge, what we know will change, even what is now considered set in stone.
One example of this is our view of the Sasquatch. When I first learned of the animal we really didn't know how it could get here. We knew of how the American Indian migrated over Berengia during the last Ice Age, but it never occurred to us that another species of giant primate could do the same thing at that time, or even an earlier period in time. By and large we assumed that since we knew of no animal that could cross over we assumed none did. Forgetting that by having film of a large bipedal ape we had evidence that such an animal existed, which given that apes are not usually found in the New World meant it had to come from somewhere. The most likely was the Old World and the route taken included Berengia at a time when there was no Bering Strait.
In short the Patterson/Gimlin film and other footage demonstrates that there is a second species of giant ape living in North America besides us, and that means that the Sasquatch most likely has an old world ancestor likely descended from a common ancestor with the Yeti or a like animal. And Yeti and Sasquatch very likely have a common ancestor with Gigantopithecus.
Fortunately given time we can change our mind, given the opportunity to reflect on what we know and what we later learn. But much too often we let ourselves get overwhelmed by the world and the voices of those trying to persuade or dissuade us. In addition, for the most part we'd rather agree with those who agree with us, because they agree with us. We like being assured that we are right and we hate learning that we are long. Just consider politics and religion, where the disagreements can get strident.
Just consider plate tectonics, a school of geology first proposed back in the early 20th century, but which was denied by most geologists because they could not see any mechanism for it. Then we found our first tectonic rift, somewhere in the Caribbean I think. We found more rifts, and then subduction zones, and then faults such as the Andres that demonstrated just where things we moving and providing us with the mechanism for this movement. At the present time we seem to think that the North American plate incorporates the bed of the western North Atlantic, ignoring that fact as I see it that a plate of granite cannot incorporated basalt into it's structure. And that, given that basalt is denser than granite, where the two meet the former will subduct under the latter. Which means that the Western North Atlantic Plate is sliding under the eastern edge of the granite North American Plate making eastern North America a subduction zone. A slow, gentle subduction zone, but still a subduction zone.
In her Sasquatch Genome Project Dr. Ketchum claims that the mitochondria found in her sasquatch hair samples is human. Something tells me that her assumption is erroneous. As far as I can see mitochondria really has no reason to evolve, given a consistency in environment. Something tells me that different animals share mitochondrial species, which they inherited from a common ancestor. This would appear to be true of human and sasquatch/yeti in so far as both animals share a common type of environment.
Is there any work out there regarding the inheritance of mitochondria? Are the different species of mitochondria shared among the different species of eukaryote?
David Brin asked me for evidence supporting Bigfoot, specifically genetic. I suspect that he's looking for the animal's genome, but the best I can do is to be found at the Sasquatch Genome Project, which provides some information, but not a genome as far as I can see.
Which points out a big problem in something like this, sloppy work. The woman behind this site, Dr. Melba S. Ketchum didn't do a very good job. She did find genetics and they do point to a currently unknown primate, but I would not call her work organized or finalized.
Now soon after her results were made available to the general public a skeptic had a look at them. I've forgotten his name, but I have remembered an observation he made in his report. Namely, that most Bigfoot and (also included) Yeti genetics are also gorilla genetics. Apparently Dr. Ketchum concluded that the Bigfoot is a hybrid of gorilla and human. My conclusion is that bigfoots and humans have a common ancestor with gorillas.
Overall what I'm seeing with Ketchum's work is her just being incompetent. My recommendations are:
Keep the sasquatch and yeti samples separate. Since they are supposed to be separate species they do need to be evaluated separately. One may be a sub-species of the other, but for the moment let's keep them segregated.
Remember presentation. Make it easier for the audience to read your work. Organize it and explain.
Don't jump to conclusions. Ketchum assumed that the sasquatch had to be a mix of ape and human when such an assumption wasn't necessary. We and bigfoot have an ancestor dating back to before the gorilla. All three it would appear have genes inherited from that ancestor. We are related, but that relation isn't all that immediate.
I sympathize with Dave, for all too often we get those who insist on being rude and ignoring the need for evidence, and well prepared and presented evidence. Copernicus' revolution was not all that well supported, allowing his critics to conclude that he was wrong overall. Darwin on the other hand did take the time and effort to support his conclusion, and he still had his deniers. Those of us who have accepted the presence of a bipedal ape in North America need to keep Copernicus and Darwin in mind, and to complete the damn job.
My recommendation is to gather up as much in the way of sasquatch hair as you can, remembering to keep it separate and to test it separately, at least as much as you can. Don't mush it all up. And when you have results make those results available to all. Finally, get supplies together and head out to bigfoot territory and camp out for a year or two. Be sure to take a good film camera, something to write on, and a friendly dog. Dogs are great at breaking the ice. Above all, be patient, for meeting wild animals is not something that happens overnight.
Most importantly calm down. They're under enough stress as it is, no sense in you adding to it.
At the link above you will come across a fairly good description of scientism, as the author understands it. You'll find others and not all will agree with him. I for instance don't. Not entirely and not as he does.
Scientism is one of those words who's meaning, who's description depends a lot on our experience in the subject of science. It depends a lot on how we see science and on how we were taught science to be. For my part I was taught to see science in a certain way, and to apply it in a certain way.
As I see it science isn't really a thing, but a way of discovering and learning. Science isn't really about knowledge, but more a way of learning. A way of discovery and how to verify and confirm that what you have learned is true. Science is a matter of faith, faith in our ability to verify and learn, but not faith in science per se, but in how the scientific method can and will lead to learning.
In short science is not a matter of fact, but more a matter in finding out. A matter or learning from observation, trial, and experience what is going on in the world. In a recent photo on the web we saw a raccoon sleeping in a man's living room. When a commenter said that raccoons are dangerous she was right. But at the same time she neglected to point out that sometimes some animals can be so comfortable around humans they really have no problem with them, and may well come to adopt a particular human as part of his family.
This is where science comes in, for by using science we are able to accept that things don't have to be the way we were told they should be. That there are things not dreamt of in our philosophy.
As I see it scientism is the belief that we can take the pronouncements of scientists on faith, that they are matters of faith and not to be discounted just because they are matters of revelation and authority. In scientism science consists of a series of hoary old prophets stomping down off a mountain bearing stone tablets bearing the Word of God upon them. As far as I can see scientism is science as religious belief, and that's not how science works.
And as far as I can see science and the scientific method can be applied to most anything, even things that we assume can't be, for as we learn of them we will learn just how they could work if they indeed were. For we are an animal that needs to understand, or to think we understand even when our understanding is wrong. For that gives us a basis on which we can learn of our errors and correct them. Science gives us the tools we need to discover and correct our mistakes. Scientism denies us those tools and insists that we take what we know as holy writ. Science is a pair of reading glasses making our world clearer. Scientism is gouging out the eyes because what you see, albeit oh so dimly and blurred, offends you.
So that is my understanding, how I see scientism. My understanding is necessarily blurred, incomplete, but at least it's a start and one I can improve upon. What is your understanding, can it be improved, and can you let it be improved?
I've decided I'm going to make this very plain, there is a great ape living in North America, and the link above provides evidence for this.
The problem is not with the evidence provided, but with Ketchum's interpretation of it. She says it's proof that the sasquatch is a hybrid of Man and some unknown ape. She says this because it would appear that they found gorilla DNA in the samples she tested. Ah, doctor, that's not how it works.
Now I'm not what you'd call literate when it comes to reading the results she provides, but somebody much more competent than I came to this conclusion. Namely that what the specimens showed was a lot or gorilla DNA. This leading me to the conclusion that the sasquatch of North America is descended from a common ancestor of gorilla and human.
Unfortunately her mistake regarding what the sasquatch is unfortunately led certain other parties to conclude that the animal does not exist. Indeed cannot. I've forgotten what the logical fallacy is called, but assuming that being wrong in one area means you have to be wrong in everything. That's not how it works. What her work did do is demonstrate the existence of a great ape living in North America, and which may even be native to this continent assuming that it is a separate species instead of a sub-species of yeti.
But there are those bigfoot scares, because to them only humans can be bipedal apes. And that when it comes to the sasquatch you can rely on the authorities.
I say, "Bull shit."
When anybody says anything that is counter to the available evidence they can't be relied on. That's what it comes down to, and what it means is that some self-identified scientists can only be called creationists where this subject is concerned. They talk like creationist, they think like creationists, they act like creationists. And I say it's damn well time they damn well stopped.
There is nothing supernatural about bigfoots, they're just damn apes.
I'm starting with the basics here, namely the shortest possible length there can be. Known as the Planck Length, it a dinky little bit of volume which we'll call a "quantum". A quantum being a sphere of 3 dimensions no greater than one Planck Length in height, width, and depth. Our universe is made up of quanta, and those quanta come in one of two states, the low energy "flat" and the high energy "fold".
Space-Time can neither be created or destroyed, only switched from one state to the other. In addition, ST can only be in a fold state when it is sufficiently compressed. When there is no compression then there can be no folds.
In addition, in as much as the universe is one solid sphere of space-time the quanta within can't move in and of themselves. But the states can. What that means is, a fold state can "hop" from quantum to quantum, with one quantum "unfolding" and the next in the path of "motion" "enfolding". However, quanta resist change, and it is this resistance that disturbs the quanta around the fold in "motion". At this level it is this disturbance which produces the force we call "gravity".
There is more to be said on the forces, but for now we'll leave it at that.
You get right down to it, we hate to be uncertain. The impression I get from the blog post linked to above is that Morris is none too fond of Kuhn telling him that he can't be totally certain. I have bad news for Morris, you can't be totally certain.
You get right down to it, we are limited. Limited in what we can know and limited in what we can understand. How we can see things has a profound effect on how we can know and understand, for we live at one level of perception, and when you go to a higher or lower level how you can perceive does change. There is a reality out there, but how we see it depends a great deal on how we can see it.
It is our flaw that we insist how we see things has to be the way to see it. In addition, how we see a thing depends on how we can see it, for our brains do not handle information as fast as we'd like. Speaking as an autistic, I get overwhelmed by what's going on. At times things are just too much and I need some quiet time to get myself together. You get right down to it, everybody gets a bit overwhelmed and needs some time to get their shit together.
Oh, and Morris did insult Kuhn in that long ago meeting, with Kuhn over reacting to the insult.
So I wouldn't say that Kuhn was evil, just mistaken. And that is was possible for him to learn and accept that. Just as it is possible for anybody to learn and accept that he was wrong, should they be willing to learn and accept.
In the link just above Dr. Ketchum presents her conclusion regarding the Sasquatch. Her conclusion is wrong, and that she is wrong is used by some of her critics to support their claim that she has to be wrong about the existence of Bigfoot. There is a term for this, the Fallacy Fallacy, in which the fact that one party is wrong about one thing means whatever else they say has to be wrong.
Now Ketchum doesn't help her cause any through how she handles the data, in how she frames it. The presentation is crap and she assumes too much. Back when her findings were first released a skeptic had a look at them and found that the DNA found included a lot of gorilla DNA. This tells me that bigfoot has a common ancestor with the gorilla, which is what you'd expect given that both are great apes.
As I recall the skeptic concluded that Ketchum has to be wrong about the existence of the animal, based on her being wrong about the animal.This falls under the Fallacy Fallacy. In short, he came to a wrong conclusion because she made a wrong conclusion. In other words, he let his prejudice lead him astray.
He's not alone, there are others who insist that something just can't be all because another party made a mistake in one part of their conclusions. And very often it's because the overall finding is something the skeptic didn't learn in school. It comes down to this, we make mistakes because of our limitations. Limitations that mean we can't know everything. We can at best know but a little of our world, and the rest will remain a mystery. But some just can't accept that, for they are so insecure as to need absolute assurance.
And it's not just in primatology. Physics is rife with it, with parties insisting on complications in their models, when the best way to understand what's going on is to accept that it's really quite simple, and that what we can see at present has layers beneath it. The foundation of the Quark is the String. Now what is the foundation of the String? For Strings as I've seen them presented are just too busy to be the foundation. Hadrons are badly focused blurs, Quarks are badly focused blurs. I suspect that Strings are badly focused blurs, and what they are made of are yet even more badly focused blurs. It isn't until you get down to the bottom of things that you can an object that is simple and which constitutes the foundation of what all we know of.
And I suspect that this object is more a state spacetime can exist in, a state that in motion "disturbs" the spacetime around it that is in a different state. To add to this, it is my suspicion that there is a minimum size below which there can be nothing smaller. Which is to say, our existence is based on quanta below which we can not go. That is how I understand quanta, a part of spacetime and not in truth separated from it.
But anyway, whether we're talking about zoology or physics, we need to accept that we can be wrong, and that we are wrong. I suspect that Strings are not the bottom of the pile, and I have concluded that the Sasquatch is a great ape living in North America. This last based on what evidence has been provided, and on what I know of the land of Beringia, which is at present partially flooded.