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Three Mavericks Who Won

Three Mavericks Who Won

first_imgThe loner, not the consensus, is sometimes the one whose views get traction in science. Here are three historical examples.The following stories have something in common: they are about people who worked alone on ideas that ran counter to their societies’ beliefs.  This is not to say that they were completely right on every idea they promoted.  They were at least visionaries who thought outside the box and opened up others to new avenues of inquiry that proved fruitful.Ada LovelaceThe first is a fascinating woman, Ada Lovelace (1815-1852). This daughter of English poet Lord Byron circulated in fashionable circles and married well, becoming the Countess of Lovelace in 1838.  She had studied under Mary Somerville, becoming proficient in mathematics. She also corresponded with leading scientists, including David Brewster and Michael Faraday. She is best known for her association with Charles Babbage, inventor of the first general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. She is sometimes credited with writing the first “computer program” by writing down, in 1842, a series of steps by which the machine could calculate a series of Bernoulli numbers. Lovelace greatly encouraged Babbage with her ideas about the promise of such a device. It would be nearly a century before her sweeping vision of the capabilities of general-purpose computing—a vision we all take for granted—would take root.  She died of cancer at age 36.The BBC News did a story on Ada Lovelace on the occasion of the first-time reading of some of her letters on BBC radio.  “So is Ada Lovelace our first tech visionary? Or, as some critics now claim, was her contribution to computer science vastly overrated?” There are indications she was “a passionate, ambitious and flawed individual,” an ambitious socialite and flighty woman with some bouts of mania. Some of those flaws may have been ironed out at the end of her life, when reportedly “she had a religious transformation and was coaxed into repenting of her previous conduct” (Wikipedia). The BBC agrees with our focus here, though, that Ada Lovelace belongs among those “who imagine how the next generation of technology might change the world.” She and Babbage did not live to see it come, but one can imagine their delight and astonishment could they witness today’s Information Age.Gregor Mendel, 1822 – 1884Gregor MendelThere has been some controversy about the Father of Genetics, Gregor Mendel (1822-1844), whose pivotal work on garden peas was not widely recognized in his lifetime but was “rediscovered” by geneticists early in the 20th century. The “Mendel-Fisher Controversy” arose in 1936 (70 years after Mendel’s paper on inheritance) when theoretical geneticist Ronald Fisher deduced that Mendel’s data were “too good to be true” statistically. This led some critics to call him the “father of scientific misconduct” on suspicions that he must have faked his data. Gregory Radick (U of Leeds historian of science) says in Science Magazine, “The suspicions have turned out to be groundless.”Radick does question whether Mendel’s peas could have been so neatly pigeonholed into binary categories (wrinkled vs smooth, green vs yellow) and considers it plausible that some underlying bias operated to confirm his theory, with perhaps the “help” of a well-meaning assistant.  For our purposes, the fact remains that Mendel was a maverick in his monastery (an unlikely laboratory), working alone on a concept at odds with his contemporaries, but whose ideas later became mainstream.  Like Ada Lovelace, Mendel did not live to see his ideas widely accepted.  The fact that principles of inheritance are more nuanced these days than deterministic Mendelism would suggest does not change the fact that Mendel thought outside the box and forged a fruitful new path for generations of geneticists.Alfred WegenerLike Lovelace and Mendel, the father of continental drift theory, Alfred Wegener (1880-1930) was a maverick whose ideas only became mainstream after his death. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his magnum opus, The Origin of Continents and Oceans (1915), Ted Nield celebrates a new biography of the man and his theory in Nature.  In a shorter piece in Nature, Romano and Cifelli describe the resistance of the scientific community to his original thinking:His theory of continental drift was initially viewed as heresy by the scientific community, yet his book was later translated into many languages and updated regularly until 1929…. After his death, his ideas were largely forgotten until the 1960s, when geophysicists demonstrated the phenomenon of sea-floor spreading (see N. Oreskes Nature 501, 27–29; 2013). Plate tectonics has since gained acceptance as a synthetic theory with huge explanatory power.Continental drift theory today has run aground with anomalies and epicycles; our purpose here is not to enter that debate. What matters is that Wegener worked largely alone, forging a path that the consensus followed only after decades of scorn and neglect.  Wegener’s body was not recovered from an accident when he was exploring Greenland. “He would have been glad to know,” Romano and Cifelli quip, “that it will have travelled some 20 kilometres in a million years’ time — in accordance with his visionary theory.”Skeptics of that ending joke might wish to consult with creation geologists who deny that continental drift is linear, slow, and gradual.  They have presented new theories about rapid continental drift during the Flood that not only fit the evidence better but make predictions.  Still, all agree these days that continents are not static, as was largely assumed before the 1960s.These accounts illustrate an important thing about the nature of science. Consensus really means little. Picture the consensus in the days of Lovelace, Mendel and Wegener: all confident, all agreeing with one another, all ridiculing those outside. They were wrong. Science is not consensus, and consensus is not science. The loner can be correct, and even when he or she is only partly correct, a maverick can at least open up new fruitful trails of inquiry.What’s our take-home lesson?  The consensus today can be just as wrong.  Whether it’s about junk DNA, global warming or evolution, a consensus carries no necessary validity, even when globally strong.  A consensus might be right, but science’s best theories are only tentative.  Don’t let the powerful Darwin lobby strut its numbers.  What matters is who’s got the best evidence.  One maverick in town can drive out a lot of corruption. (Visited 58 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Ravena wants more after winning record fourth gold medal

Ravena wants more after winning record fourth gold medal

first_imgPH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Ravena added: “I would love to play for a fifth SEA Games. But nobody knows what will happen. There could be another coach. Another program. Other players.”Of all the Philippines’ basketball gold medal runs, he said this edition was the toughest.“All the countries have stepped up. They really want to win over us. They prepared for us,” said Ravena.But for the meantime, Ravena, who would watch girlfriend Alyssa Valdez the following morning for the women’s volleyball bronze medal match, would like to relish the newest addition to his growing collection.“It’s icing on the cake,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. FILE – Gilas’ Kiefer Ravena drives against Singapore during their game in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games at MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOKUALA LUMPUR — With four gold medals around his neck, Kiefer Ravena is still not taking anything for granted.Just when about everybody was trying to score in garbage time in the gold medal match against Indonesia, Ravena dashed for a fast break, but found the lanes suddenly crowded.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Rain or Shine banks on Cruz, deals Star its 1st loss MOST READ LATEST STORIES SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chiefcenter_img LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games View comments Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses The 6-foot playmaker, his hair pulled back by a hairband, then, decided to take a step back before swishing a three.Just another basket in the Philippines’ pile of points that buried an overmatched Indonesia side Saturday night.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutREAD: Philippines defends basketball titles, rips Indonesia for the gold“But for me, that step-back three,” Ravena, would say later, “That was my graceful exit.” Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

10 months agoHuddersfield close to deal for Leyton Orient starlet Joshua Koroma

10 months agoHuddersfield close to deal for Leyton Orient starlet Joshua Koroma

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Huddersfield close to deal for Leyton Orient starlet Joshua Koromaby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeyton Orient starlet Joshua Koroma is attracting Premier League interest.The Mirror says Huddersfield Town are set to win the race for Leyton Orient whiz Koroma.The 20-year-old has come through the youth ranks at Brisbane Road, and is highly-regarded.He was being tracked by Aston Villa, Derby and Middlesbrough.But the Terriers are now in pole position to hand him a dream move to the Premier League. last_img read more

Guardiola challenges City to make 100 points

Guardiola challenges City to make 100 points

first_imgManchester City manager Pep Guardiola has challenged his players to maintain their concentration on the remainder of their campaign by reaching the 100-point landmarkThe Citizens were denied the opportunity to overhaul Chelsea’s Premier League record of 95 points over a single 38-game season on Sunday when they were held to a goalless draw against a resilient Huddersfield side, who are currently fighting for survival.At 94 points with two matches remaining, City lifted the Premier League trophy at the Etihad Stadium after the game with nearest rivals Manchester United 17 points behind in second-place with a maximum of six points remaining.However, despite having sealed the league title and having no more silverware to gain from this season, Guardiola is now embracing the prospect of reaching the 100-point milestone.“We cannot deny it would be nice, but it’s nicer when you win the Premier League,” said the Catalan, as stated on Daily Mirror.“We’ve spoken about that and these targets help you to be focused.“We lost a bit of focus today, but we have another chance on Wednesday and hopefully we can make a good performance.”norwich city, manchester city, premier leagueReport: City are stunned by Norwich George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Manchester City was stunned by Norwich City in todays Premier League clash.Much has been made in recent days of the potential impact of Aymeric…Guardiola warned Cty that things will harder next season: “It looks easy when you win games, but next season will be even tougher,”“They’ll all want to beat us and we have to be focused. We have to understand how difficult it will be next season.”Despite the personal trauma of the premature birth of his son, a delighted David Silva hailed the achievement of his side.“With what happened to my son, I’m very happy,” said the 32-year-old.“He’s getting better, we’ve won the title and I’m happy.“I feel good, even having to travel back to Spain and back to England, but we got it – we are the champions.”City will next face Brighton at home and then an away fixture against Southampton as they bid to reach a historic 100 points.last_img read more

Neville Mourinho looks tired and fed up

Neville Mourinho looks tired and fed up

first_imgSky Sports pundit Gary Neville thinks Jose Mourinho is clearly fed up and tired considering his recent short press conference that lasted three minutes.The Red Devils are on a four-game winless run and currently occupy 10th position in the Premier League table after last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to West Ham.However, the Portuguese manager admitted his team’s levels have not been good enough ahead of what he dubbed a tough clash against Newcastle United at Old Trafford.“I have to say he looked fed up,” Neville said on Friday Night Football, before explaining constant media focus can take its toll on managers. “Obviously it’s not been a pleasant few weeks.Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“But we’ve seen over the last five or six years being on television here, sometimes you see managers who have had that run of bad results and you can see they’re aware of fatigue, of coming into press conferences.“I experienced it at Valencia in that last couple of months. Jose Mourinho has had seven matches in the last 18 to 20 days, he does a press conference pre-match and a press conference post-match, so 14 times he’s got to sit in that room and answer those questions when his team aren’t playing well, when his team aren’t getting the results.“He just looks worn to me. Looking at that footage, he looks tired. It’s sad to see actually, it’s not great to see.”last_img read more

Driver in fatal SR 14 crash accused of vehicular homicide

Driver in fatal SR 14 crash accused of vehicular homicide

first_imgA Vancouver man appeared in Clark County Superior Court Tuesday on suspicion of negligently killing his friend, Daniel D. Alexander, in a single-car crash late Sunday on eastbound state Highway 14.Kenneth L. Jones, 29, allegedly was under the influence of the drug Clonazepam when he drove his 1995 Honda Accord off the highway around 8:40 p.m. between Mileposts 7 and 8, about a mile west of the 164th Avenue exit. The vehicle rolled and landed upside down, killing Alexander, 46, who was a passenger in the vehicle, and pinning Jones in the driver’s seat, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court.Jones faces charges of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence at his Oct. 11 arraignment. Judge Barbara Johnson held him on $50,000 bail.Clonazepam is a habit-forming drug often used, in combination with other medications, to control certain types of seizures, as well as panic attacks, according to the National Institutes of Health.It’s unclear why Jones was using the drug.Jones was convicted in Clark County in 2007 of unlawfully manufacturing and delivering a controlled substance, according to court records.Washington State Patrol troopers said when they found Jones late Sunday inside the totaled Honda, he showed symptoms of impairment: slurred speech, a flushed face and bloodshot, watery eyes, according to the affidavit. Jones admitted to taking Clonazepam, the affidavit says.A blood test was conducted on Jones at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center to confirm the admission, the affidavit says. Jones also was treated for bruised ribs and chest and back pain, according to court records.last_img read more

Kenai Begins Overhaul Of Lease Process For Airport Lands

Kenai Begins Overhaul Of Lease Process For Airport Lands

first_imgBloom: “We’re doing this to develop a leasing program at the airport designed to promote growth, development and a thriving aviation community.” Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai City Council approved an ordinance Wednesday night to overhaul the lease process of airport reserve lands. The ordinance was approved unanimously after numerous amendments. A memo in the ordinance states that a working group made up of City Administrators received input from leaseholders, financial institutions, airport users, City commissions, and the Council to work on some of the main goals, including: City Attorney Scott Bloom detailed some of the reasons the city is working to repeal, rename, and reenact Kenai Municipal code relating to leasing of airport reserve lands.center_img Bloom stated the fee schedule of airport land leases will also need to be updated via a resolution to the City Council. Story as aired: Audio PlayerJennifer-on-airport-lease.mp3VmJennifer-on-airport-lease.mp300:00RPd Making the leasing program more competitive with other airports to attract new leases and retain existing lease holders;Reducing large changes in rental rates from year to year;Developing a process for rent increases that reduced controversy and appeals;Simplifying the application process;Standardizing the leasing process and providing transparency; andProviding an exit process for leaseholders.last_img read more