Friday, August 24, 2007


"Ten million-year-old fossils discovered in Ethiopia show that humans and apes probably split six or seven million years earlier than widely thought, according to landmark study released Wednesday." (emphasis added)
10 minus 6 or 7 equals 4 or 3. So Lets see here... If my math is right and a 10 million year old fossil changes the earliest humans by 6 or 7 million years, then the original estimate must have been 3 or 4 million years ago. Now... if the "widely thought" view was that humans were here 4 million years ago, and that makes them wrong by only 6 million years, then that demonstrates an error of 150%. That means that they were formerly more than 100% wrong about when the earliest humans were around. I will point out, with the graph below, that an uncertainty this large for when humans and apes split means that they could have split 10 million years ago, or they could split 2 million years in the future. Now, what makes them so sure that they are correct now?

More from the article
' "We know nothing about how the human line actually emerged from apes," the authors of the paper noted.'
At least they're honest.


The scientists leading the team that found the fossils -- Gen Suwa of the University of Tokyo, and Ethiopian paleontologists Berhane Asfaw and Yonas Beyene -- calculated that the human-orangutan split "could easily have been as old as 20 million years."'
That'd make them more wrong.
They determined that the teeth belonged to gorilla ancestors based on unique shared characteristics of the molars, which had evolved for a diet of fibrous foods such as stems and leaves.
The match is not exact, however, and could prompt some scientists to challenge the findings.
The teeth fragments, found in barren scrubland some 170 kilometres (100 miles) east of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, almost went unnoticed.
Asfaw recalled the chance discovery. "It was our last day of field survey in February 2006, and our sharp-eyed field assistant, Kampiro, found the first ape tooth, a canine," he said.
All this from teeth fragments?
"He picked it up and showed it to me, and I knew that this was something new -- Ethiopia's first fossil great ape."
From someone who knew that it was ethiopia's first fossil great ape upon seeing it alone... I'm starting to suspect bias.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

7 years late ain't that bad...

Well, if you're anything like me or my college buddy andrew, then you suspected that if you woke up on Jan 1, 2000 and the world was still that that maybe.... just maybe... when you keyed into your car that it would be a hover car. Sadly, this did not happen for most people. However, a meager 7 years later you can finally buy that hover car you always wanted. For a mere $90,000 you can hop in your hover car, and hover at about 10 ft in the air without needing a pilots license. Hackers will certainly find a way to get this baby higher, but in the mean time lets just enjoy our 10 ft. If there were a catch, it would have to be the gas mileage. At top speed, you would use about 40 gallons/ hour, which is about what it can hold (i think). Well, if i know anything about anything, I would venture that in 40 years, I will own a hover car... probably one that runs on trash or sea water. Here's hoping!

More on hover cars