Saturday, March 13, 2021


It's been a week in which the pointy heads have been throwing all sorts of spanners into the works. 

There was Julia Gog at my alma mater who has come up with a model suggesting that vaccinating the elderly exclusively in the early phases may actually stimulate the evolution of the novel coronavirus, potentially in ways we are not going to appreciate. ('Escape Variants'). 

Meanwhile, archaeologists — some of them at least — have turned up a primitive stone tool in India, provisionally dated to 2.6m years ago, which would suggest that our ancestors may have left Africa half a million years earlier than generally thought. Up until now the oldest evidence of the Homolineage we have had is from 2.8 million years ago at Ledi-Geraru in Ethiopia. (Other dirt scrapers have retorted that the stone is so basic it could have ended up that way without hominid intervention.)

And then a new survey of the cosmos has shown that the distribution of matter may not be the same in every direction, a violation of the cosmological principle which posits that, viewed on large enough scales, the distribution of matter ought to be smooth and regular in every direction. The scientists involved looked at 1.3m quasars — supermassive black holes surrounded by bright matter that are found at the centre of some galaxies — and a lack of symmetry was observed, far exceeding that previously seen in other measurements. 

1 comment:

norm said...

As the cosmos go, we humans are still dancing around the fire. There is a million times as much for us to learn as we think we understand now. And the same goes for early human development. They show me 'worked stone' , I find similar stone in my corn field, I pitch it as not the real deal. Don't get me wrong, I've brought stuff back to the house and tossed it in a flower bed as not ready for the cabinet and then saw the same thing, only not as nice, in a state museum. My best artifact sat in a rock pile for ten years...Flint and chert are easy, it is the softer stone that was used as grinders and sanders that will throw one off.