Richter Scaling: Is Funding for Astrobiology and SETI Justified?

first_imgShould the government fleece taxpayers again for a project with almost zero chance for success? Consider two “Richter scales” that should inform hopes.NASA has gritted its teeth ever since SETI went on the government-funding chopping block in the 1990s. They keep titillating the public with hopes for finding their invisible friends in space. Microbes are not enough, even though NASA gets loads of money for “astrobiology,” the big-tent search for even one-celled life. They want someone to talk to. Let’s see how they express their motivations:We need to keep looking for aliens, scientists tell senators ( via Fox News; report duplicated by Live Science). When conservative Senator Ted Cruz asked a panel flat-out why we should look for life on other worlds, the scientists (only one from NASA) appealed to “symbolism and inspiration rather than science directly.”“I believe it’s one of the big questions of all of humanity. This is how great nations make a mark — it’s by what they do for their citizens but also how they move history forward,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA, said. “This will be one of those questions, if answered, that will be remembered forever, because it will be a leap in not only understanding more about nature but a leap in understanding ourselves at a level we’ve never had in the past.”Some of the panelists made pragmatic appeals. The search would spin off new technologies, some said. Others argued that it would help the United States keep the lead in space science. One quoted John Adams about his belief in space aliens. Much of the discussion focused on astrobiology (search for microbes), because the panelists seemed sheepish about bringing up SETI:While most of the hearing’s conversation focused on microbial life, the discussion did touch briefly on technologically advanced civilizations beyond our solar system. Senator Gary Peters of Michigan referenced the theoretical possibility of billion-year-old civilizations and asked whether we are even searching for life in the right way. Stofan elegantly directed the conversation back to exoplanet science and surveying our own neighborhood first.But what if the search has high cost and low chance of success? Even microbial life is extremely complicated. The likelihood of finding life depends on which “Richter Scale” one puts confidence in.The Charles Richter ScaleSETI Researchers Want to End the Alien-Detection Hype ( In order to keep their scientific respectability, the serious SETI researchers have to distance themselves from the kooks. To help with that, they concocted a “Rio scale” by which to evaluate how earth-shaking claims of life detection should be judged. Reporter Meghan Bartels calls this a kind of “alien equivalent of the Richter scale,” referring to Caltech geophysicist Charles Richter (1900-1985), who devised the famous scale of earthquake magnitudes.See CMI’s documentary Alien Intrusion for analysis of extraterrestrial claims.The Rio scale, devised in 2000 (Rio 1.0) but updated this year (Rio 2.0), goes from 0 to 10, with zero indicating a claim of no importance to 10 indicating a claim of great importance. But how is importance judged? The paper in the International Journal of Astrobiology  indicates that the “scientific consensus” judges how to rank a detection claim. This gives announcements a more official look, an improvement on “close encounters of the third kind” perhaps. Reporters who trust the experts can all use the same talking points, using an integer value that confers an air of scientific legitimacy on groupthink conclusions:In this paper, we revise the Rio scale, with the aim of (i) achieving consensus across academic disciplines on a scheme for classifying signals potentially indicating the existence of advanced extraterrestrial life, (ii) supplying a pedagogical tool to help inform the public about the process scientists go through to develop an understanding of a signal and (iii) providing a means of calibrating the expectations of the world at large when signals are discussed in the media. We also present (and encourage the SETI community to adopt) a single set of consistent terminology for discussing signals.The Henry Richter ScaleIf intelligent aliens exist, why haven’t we seen them? ( Kaylie Zacharias of Purdue University puzzles over the never-solved Fermi Paradox. After considering only a couple of requirements for habitability, and possible answers to the paradox, she looks to Mars investigator Brioni Horgan for hope, but possible answers for them both only lie within the Darwinian worldview.“How does life evolve? How unique are we? How critical is it that humanity makes it off this planet? Our quest to find life outside Earth brings us back to those very fundamental questions,” Horgan said. “I think life is the most incredible thing the universe has ever produced, so if we are the only life in the universe, that to me is a huge motivating factor for moving beyond our Earth.”9 Strange, Scientific Excuses for Why Humans Haven’t Found Aliens Yet (Live Science). This is a funny slideshow by Brandon Specktor of proposed answers to the Fermi Paradox. It’s a little odd to link the words “strange” and “excuses” to “scientific,” when science is supposed to deal in observable, testable evidence. Perhaps “strange excuses” would suffice. Take your pick: maybe the aliens are hiding in plain sight. Maybe they’ve quarantined Earth. Maybe they live underground and don’t use radios. Maybe aliens always evolve to kill off other aliens. Maybe they died of climate change. Maybe they can’t evolve fast enough. Maybe dark energy is ripping them apart. There’s always one more possibility Specktor didn’t bother to consider: maybe they don’t exist.Life Needs Sunlight — and That Could Change Where We Look for Aliens (Live Science). Assuming they get funding, where should astrobiologists look? This article correctly notes that being in the habitable zone where water can subsist as a liquid is not enough. Habitable planets need to avoid intense flares and excessive UV radiation, for instance. And yet for the RNA World theory to work, there has to be sufficient UV radiation to overcome the energy barriers and get the building blocks to link up. Cambridge astrophysicist Paul Rimmer has done a “thought experiment” to estimate the minimum energy required from a star, and then ran some experiments to see how sulfur-rich compounds behaved under different UV energy levels. He did not get RNA, of course. Another astrobiologist was not particularly impressed.Others may not be so convinced by the new experiments: Frances Westall, an astrobiologist at the National Center for Scientific Research in France who was not involved with the study, called the paper more of an “interesting thought experiment” in an email to She said she’s particularly concerned that one of the two initial sulfur mixes the team used didn’t create RNA under Earth-like conditions — and, after all, we’re positive life started here somehow.“One of my problems with many prebiotic chemistry experiments run by chemists is that they do not consider what the early Earth really was like,” she wrote, mentioning that the team used what she considers an outdated recipe of gases to represent our planet’s early atmosphere. “[Chemists] use spurious concepts simply because they can get good results under certain physicochemical conditions,” Westall wrote.Read Henry Richter’s biography here (click image).Westall’s complaint can be expanded. Not only did Rimmer omit plausible Earth-like conditions, he omitted numerous other factors required for habitability. These were listed by another Caltech geophysicist, Dr Henry Richter, whose recent article here at Creation-Evolution Headlines listed a dozen factors that must be just right for habitability (6 July 2018). Inserting reasonable estimates into his “Richter scale” pretty much rules out life existing anywhere in the universe by chance, considering habitability requirements alone. But he agrees with Westall, “we’re positive life started here,” so there’s at least one success.As a Christian, Henry would argue with Westall’s extra word “somehow,” which presumes the Stuff Happens Law. He would argue instead that the evidence points to intelligent causation: i.e., creation. If evolutionists weren’t so closed-minded and bigoted, they would realize that good, observational science and sound logic actually support creation as the only rational cause for life, especially human life. But with hard hearts, stiff necks and closed minds, the astrobiologists and SETI believers plod on, making even more irrational excuses for the lack of evidence. Arbitrary rules like methodological naturalism that presuppose atheistic causes and hinder understanding should be jettisoned in favor of following the evidence where it leads.Dr Henry Richter lists factors needed for life and calculates the probability it will be found. (Visited 381 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The Power of the Match Cut Sequence in Your Video Edit

first_imgIt’s All about Thinking Ahead!The effectiveness of match cuts depends on the filming process. In the example in my video, I used the crosshairs on my screen to make sure each shot lined up accurately. The key to this method is to line up your subjects as close to each other as possible. For example, when I captured these three portrait shots, I made sure the nose of each person lined up with the center crosshairs on my monitor. That way, when the viewer is watching the match cut sequence, their eyes stay centered and don’t bounce back and forth through the frame. The more aligned your match cuts are, the less disorienting they will be to the viewer.Cutting the Match CutsAfter you’ve captured your shot sequence, it’s time to take it into the editor!For my Tripple Face Match Cut sequence, I layered the second shot on top of the first and third in my timeline. This is to tweak the framing and make the alignment more accurate. I lowered the opacity and aligned the eyes of the first and third portrait shot to the second, using that shot as my guide. Once the eyes matched up, I raised the opacity on the second clip and had a perfectly aligned match cut sequence.You can use this method for all kinds of different cuts, in all types of edits. Try it with faces, buildings, objects, and even sounds!Interested in the track we used to make this video?“Typewriter” by WolvesLooking for more post-production tutorials? Check these out.Stabilizing GoPro Footage with the Unique ReelSteady GO AppEditing Tips: Sorting Footage and Creating Quality TimelinesCreative Uses for Bokeh Overlays + Free Prism Bokeh PackGetting Creative: Five Cool Video Edits that Genuinely WorkLearn to Create Your Own 8-Bit Art in Adobe After Effects Using three different portrait shots in this tutorial, I’ll teach you the basics of using a match cut sequence in your video.In this tutorial, I’ll be using these portrait shots to create a sequence I like to call a “Triple Face Match Cut.”last_img read more

Italy’s men are starting to matter in tennis like its women

first_imgCayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Bucks, Raptors begin deciding Eastern Conference title The women’s golden age that Binaghi was referring to includes the four Fed Cup titles that Italy won between 2006 and 2013 with a team featuring Francesca Schiavone, Flavia Pennetta, Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani. Schiavone (2010 French Open) and Pennetta (2015 U.S. Open) also won Grand Slam titles, while Vinci (2015 U.S. Open) and Errani (2012 French Open) were Grand Slam finalists.Corrado Barazzutti captained those winning Fed Cup teams and remains Italy’s Davis Cup captain. He’s also Fognini’s personal coach and played on the 1976 Italy team that won the Davis Cup — making him the link between generations.“A lot of it is because the skill level of our coaches has improved,” Barazzutti said. “We’re growing together with the players. And the federation is doing its part by assisting these coaches and players.”Berrettini, who recently won the Hungarian Open and reached the BMW Open final in Munich, Germany, in consecutive weeks, upset fifth-ranked Alexander Zverev on Tuesday before a raucous, soccer-like crowd at the Foro Italico.Sonego, who is 23 like Berrettini, came through qualifying to reach the quarterfinals in Monte Carlo.ADVERTISEMENT Marco Cecchinato of Italy celebrates after winning his men’s singles first round match against Alex de Minaur of Australia, at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Italy, Monday, May 13, 2019. (Ettore Ferrari/ANSA via AP)ROME — After four decades of dormancy, male tennis players in Italy are finally showing signs of becoming as good as the women have been.Marco Cecchinato got things rolling by reaching the French Open semifinals last year — the first Italian man to reach the last four of a major since 1978. Fabio Fognini followed by becoming the first to win a Masters event by beating Rafael Nadal en route to the Monte Carlo title last month.ADVERTISEMENT The Next Gen ATP Finals, a year-ending event for the world’s top 21-and-under players, has been held in Milan since 2017. And from 2021-25, Turin will host the ATP Finals for the season’s top eight singles players and doubles teams, taking over from current host London.“I think this will change the whole thing in Italy,” coaching great Nick Bollettieri said in Rome. “When you have three or four young ones that will inspire the other young ones to keep going.”When Turin was recently awarded the ATP Finals, Binaghi announced that he expects an Italian to be competing in the tournament come 2021.“We’ve got players in the right position to make it there,” Barazzutti said. “Why not?”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too View comments Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Musetti won this year’s Australian Open boys’ title at the age of 16 — and he’s not even the country’s most promising young player. That title belongs to Sinner, the only 17-year-old in the top 400 of the rankings at No. 263.In Sinner’s first Masters Series match on Sunday, he rallied past American veteran Steve Johnson in three sets. That made Sinner the youngest player to win a match at the Italian Open since Goran Ivanisevic 30 years ago.“He’s the real deal,” said Riccardo Piatti, Sinner’s coach.“I’ve coached a lot of players and he’s certainly one of the best I’ve seen,” Piatti told The Associated Press, adding that Sinner has “similar potential” to top-ranked Novak Djokovic and Richard Gasquet, who he also coached to the top 10. “But we need to give him some time.”Piatti attributed the success of the home players to the proliferation of Challenger and Futures tournaments — the level just below the pro tour — around Italy.At No. 12, Fognini is within striking distance of becoming the first Italian man in the top 10 since Barazzutti achieved the feat in 1979.“Fabio has always been a talented player and now he’s got another component: He’s got a Grand Slam champion in his family,” Piatti said, referring to Pennetta, Fognini’s wife. “Flavia understands him, assists him and encourages him. It’s definitely a favorable situation.”Fognini and the others are attempting to become the first local man to win the Italian Open since Adriano Panatta in 1976.“I’m coming in here with a bit more confidence, which is what I lacked in past years,” said Fognini, who is also known for his temper. “I’m a bit calmer. Winning a big tournament like Monte Carlo put me a bit more at ease.”The Italians’ rise has also coincided with the addition of two big tournaments. MOST READ LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. And players like Matteo Berrettini and Lorenzo Sonego are in the process of breaking through, while teenagers Lorenzo Musetti and Jannik Sinner represent a bright future.All that success has resulted in record ticket sales at this week’s Italian Open — and some of the Italians could make a run at the French Open, which starts May 26.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“The men haven’t reached this level in 40 years. So people are not coming only to see (Rafael) Nadal or (Serena) Williams, they’re coming to root for the Italians,” Italian Tennis Federation president Angelo Binaghi said. “It’s one thing to have 10,000 spectators. It’s another thing to have 10,000 fans.“This boom in men’s tennis is the next step in a process that began with the golden age of the women followed by the development of SuperTennis,” Binaghi added, referring to the federation’s highly successful TV channel . “A minute after Fognini won Monte Carlo I called the ticket office and they had already noticed a jump in sales.” Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more