Falling oil prices already helping some industries: Moody’s

first_img While the outlook for various parts of the energy industry have been slashed amid the plunge in oil prices, the prospects for most other industries are stable to positive, says Moody’s Investors Service in a new report. The rating agency notes that while it lowered its outlooks for three segments of the energy business in the fourth quarter, the overwhelming trend among corporate industries is for outlooks to remain stable, despite the turmoil in oil markets. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Canadian DB plans returned 9.2% in 2020: report Thematic funds thrived during pandemic, but watch long-term performance: report “In the fourth quarter of 2014, we lowered our outlooks for three oil and gas-related subsectors,” says Mark Gray, managing director of global corporate finance at Moody’s. “But two thirds of our 54 sector outlooks are stable, reflecting our expectations of modest positive growth for corporate industries worldwide.” Moody’s reports that positive industry outlooks still outnumber the negative ones by two to one, and 10 of the 12 positive sector outlooks are in North America, with eight of those in consumer-focused industries that have benefited from aggressive monetary policy actions by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board; and that will also benefit from the shift in consumer spending from gasoline and heating oil to more discretionary items. “Falling oil prices have already started to benefit non-energy sectors that depend on consumer spending and confidence, cutting fuel costs for heavy industry and leaving more money in consumers’ pockets,” it says, noting that the drop in oil prices has led to lower costs for the global airlines and for shipping and chemical companies. “In addition, consumers’ savings on fuel costs are giving cruise operators, homebuilders and consumer durables producers grounds for optimism this year,” it says. Moody’s has already upgraded its outlooks for the global airlines and for the North American solid waste industry, it notes. At the same time, it has also lowered its outlook for the global base metals industry to negative from stable amid weak commodity prices and soft demand. “The small roster of six negative sector outlooks reflects industry-specific factors, which we consider a positive signal, because there is no wider malaise connecting them,” notes Gray. James Langton center_img Do investors understand their fees, portfolios? Keywords Investment research Related news Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

Education Minister to Attend Launch of Global Monitoring Report

first_imgRelatedEducation Minister to Attend Launch of Global Monitoring Report Education Minister to Attend Launch of Global Monitoring Report UncategorizedOctober 25, 2006 RelatedEducation Minister to Attend Launch of Global Monitoring Report RelatedEducation Minister to Attend Launch of Global Monitoring Reportcenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Education and Youth Minister, Maxine Henry Wilson, will join a high level team of Education Ministers, experts and practitioners of early childhood care and education from around the world, for the launch of the 2007 Education For All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report (GMR), in New York on Thursday, October 26.The launch will take place at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) House, beginning at 9:30 a.m.After the launch, the Ministers will discuss findings in the Report as well as their implications for policy-makers and the donor community.The Report, which is prepared annually by an independent team of experts and published by UNESCO, will focus on early childhood care and education this year. The document also includes its regular assessment of where the world now stand on its commitment to providing basic education to all children, youth and adults by 2015.Latin America and the Caribbean lead the developing world in early childhood education, according to the Report. However, the document notes that despite its well documented benefits on all aspects of child development and well-being, this area remains the forgotten link in the education chain in most other developing nations.The Report further shows a thorough analysis of aid to education, looking at who provides how much and where, as well as an annual education index showing which countries are making the most rapid progress and those still lagging behind.The launching ceremony will be presided over by Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO. Advertisementslast_img read more

Free masks for small businesses in Tweed

first_imgFree masks for small businesses in Tweed Tweed Shire CouncilSmall businesses in the Tweed can pick up free face masks from distribution points in Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah tomorrow, Thursday 1 April.Council will be distributing masks at the request of NSW Health to ensure businesses can continue to operate over Easter.Limits will apply and the distribution points will open at 10am at the following locations:Murwillumbah Administration Office, 10-14 Tumbulgum Road, Murwillumbah Tweed Heads Administration Office, corner Brett Street and Wharf Street, Tweed Heads When attending the distribution points, please maintain physical distancing and if you are unwell, please do not attend for the safety of our staff and wider community.This follows a NSW Government Public Health Alert earlier today which announced that mask wearing would become compulsory on public transport, in retail stores and in all public indoor settings from 5pm today in the Tweed Shire local government area (Wednesday 31 March).These restrictions will remain in place until 11.59pm on Monday 5 April, when the community will be updated. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:community, council, Easter, face masks, Government, health, local council, Murwillumbah, NSW, NSW Health, public health, public transport, Safety, Small Business, Transport, Tumbulgum, Tweed Heads, Tweed Shirelast_img read more

Best hoof forward for animal disease outbreaks

first_imgBest hoof forward for animal disease outbreaks South Australia is better prepared for a possible emergency animal disease outbreak with more than 50 livestock industry representatives now trained under a national Animal Health Australia program.The livestock industry liaison training increases effective communication between the State Government and local industry in the event of an animal disease outbreak.Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said 54 industry representatives are now trained and ready to act as an industry liaison during an outbreak.“Our $4.5 billion livestock industry is vitally important to the state’s economy and should an emergency animal disease outbreak such as foot and mouth disease ever occur it could have devastating impacts,” Minister Basham said.“If we have a new animal disease outbreak, it is really important that affected industries are represented around the decision-making table and able to communicate what is happening to industry quickly.“If an outbreak occurs, the best chance we have of eradicating it is to act swiftly and have clear communication between government and affected industries.“That is why we are making sure our livestock industry associations are as prepared as they can possibly be.“I hope we never have to call on these industry representatives, but we have to be prepared.“This training provides industry an opportunity to understand how the Livestock Industry Liaison role operates within an outbreak and how their input can ensure a successful outcome.”One of the recent South Australian trainees in the program, Biosecurity Extension Officer at Livestock SA, Penelope Keynes said in an outbreak situation it was important to have people on the ground.“Any disease outbreak requires knowledgeable industry members to be a conduit between industry and the response efforts, this role enables this to hopefully increase efficiencies and improve the outcomes of an EAD,” she said.“All aspects of the livestock industry need to be prepared for an outbreak and let hope it never eventuates, but then we never thought COVID would happen so now is a good time to think about what we need to do to be prepared.”For more information about preparing for Emergency Animal Disease visit www.pir.sa.gov.auThe Biosecurity Extension Officer at Livestock SA is funded under the Marshall Liberal Government’s $7.5 million Red Meat and Wool Growth Program. /Public News. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:AusPol, Australia, Australian, biosecurity, communication, disease, Emergency, Government, health, industry, livestock, Minister, Outbreak, outcomes, regional development, SA, SA Government, South Australialast_img read more

CU-Boulder boasts top-ranked graduate programs

first_img Published: March 11, 2014 Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail CU system news releaseGraduate programs across the University of Colorado system again are lauded for excellence in the latest annual rankings from U.S. News & World Report. Research and teaching contributions by the four campuses in health care, engineering, law, education and business hold numerous spots in the 2015 edition of Best Graduate Schools (U.S. News Media Group).A sampling of CU’s 2015 rankings (full lists available via U.S. News on March 11):University of Colorado Boulder No. 1: CU-Boulder’s atomic/molecular/optical physics program holds the top spot nationally. Top 10: Other CU-Boulder programs ranking in the top 10 are ceramics (eighth), quantum physics (eighth), and aerospace engineering, environmental law, geology and physical chemistry (all ranked ninth). Another 29 CU-Boulder schools and programs hold places on the national rankings within their fields: education policy (13), chemical engineering (14), civil engineering (15), physics (18), clinical psychology (18), environmental engineering (21), earth sciences (23), chemistry (24), speech-language pathology (25), audiology (27), School of Education (29), psychology (30), biological sciences (30), College of Engineering and Applied Science (34), electrical engineering (34), mechanical engineering (34), Leeds School of Business (39 for part-time MBA schools), computer engineering (39), computer science (40), Law School (43), political science (45), sociology (46), mathematics (46), online graduate engineering program (49), English (50), history (50), economics (53) fine arts (53) and the Leeds School of Business (80). Not all disciplines are ranked by the publication.University of Colorado Anschutz Medical CampusSchool of Medicine The school ranks 13th nationally for primary care, with the specialties of family medicine (fifth), pediatrics (sixth) and rural medicine (ninth) also ranking high. The School of Medicine ranks 40th overall for research.University of Colorado Denver The School of Public Affairs, with programs at CU Denver and the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, is listed at 29 nationally. The Department of Integrative Biology (Biological Sciences Ph.D. program) is 75. The School of Education and Human Development is ranked at 98. The online program is listed at 29. The Business School’s part-time MBA program is ranked at 101.University of Colorado Colorado Springs UCCS shares the School of Public Affairs (29) honor with CU Denver.The 2015 Best Graduate Schools includes essential, detailed statistical information on more than 1,250 programs nationwide, with rankings in five of the largest professional graduate school disciplines (business, law, education, engineering, and medicine), as well as part-time MBA and part-time law school programs. The “Best Graduate Schools 2015” guidebook will be available at usnews.com/store in late March and on newsstands April 8, 2014.Rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinions about program quality, and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students. These data come from surveys of more than 13,000 academics and professionals. The publication aims to provide a tool to students and parents who are comparing college programs at accredited public and private universities in the United States.Contact: Jay Dedrick, 303-860-5707, [email protected]last_img read more

8 things to do this weekend: Feb. 9 edition

first_img Published: Feb. 9, 2018 • By Ashley Hopko This weekend, check out several events on campus, including: late-night bowling at The Connection, men’s hockey vs. CSU, a hackathon geared toward women, a CU Art Museum social media challenge, Climbing PoeTree performance, a talk on digital preservation with Google’s “internet evangelist,” The Herd ski trips and men’s basketball vs. Stanford.  Find more campus events with the new and improved Events Calendar.Friday, Feb. 9Extreme Bowling at The ConnectionCome to the UMC for some fun after a long week! The Connection will be decorated in black lights; the lanes will be lit up; and prizes will be offered for people who get strikes! A game is only $3 per person. Check it out Friday or Saturday from 7 p.m. to midnight.CU men’s hockey vs. CSUCome support the men’s club hockey team at 7 p.m. at the Rec Center Ice Rink, as they face the rival CSU Rams in their last home game of the season. Free admission with your Buff OneCard! The 12 graduating seniors will be honored before the game, and, following the game, the ice will open up for fans to join the team! $2 ice skate rentals available. Saturday, Feb. 10Women’s hackathonThis is a great opportunity for any woman on campus to get involved with tech and coding. This educational opportunity will teach women problem-solving skills and various ways to navigate around difficulties. The three focuses offered are Creative Technology, Humanitarian Technology and Cybersecurity. Pre-registration is required. This free, 24-hour hackathon starts at 10 a.m. in ATLS 100.Be Our Valentine with Hearts for Art!Now through Feb. 14, the CU Art Museum invites students to show the current art exhibits some love by voting for their favorite works and participating in a social media challenge. The museum is open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.Climbing PoeTree performanceJoin New York-based hip-hop activists Climbing PoeTree as they harness creativity as the antidote to destruction through award-winning spoken word, boundary-breaking music and multimedia theater. The event is held in conjuction with the Front Range Eco-Social Solutions Conference and is free and open to the public. Show starts at 6 p.m. in SEEC Auditorium.Talk by Google’s “internet evangelist”The 52nd George Gamow Memorial Lecture will feature Vinton G. Cerf, vice president and chief internet evangelist for Google, on “digital preservation,” discussing how we might curate and storedata in a way that will remain accessible 100 years from now. Join at 7:30 p.m. in Macky.Sunday, Feb. 11The Herd ski tripsTake a trip to Breckenridge on the CU Ski Bus. Tickets only cost $5 for Herd members and $15 for the rest of the student body. The bus picks up at Will Vill, Kittredge and Farrand Field around 6 a.m. Check the calendar for exact times. (Or, on Saturday, hop on the bus to A-Basin or Keystone.)CU men’s basketball vs. StanfordThe men’s basketball team hosts the Stanford Cardinal at 2 p.m. Stop by the Coors Events Center early and visit with puppies and kittens as part of Humane Society Day! Plus, Athletics is offering a four-pack deal for the game—with a savings of $72—so grab some friends and get your tickets now!Categories:Things to DoGeneralCampus CommunityEvents & Exhibits Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-maillast_img read more

Financial Futures: Realizing gains for CU Boulder

first_imgShare Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Published: Feb. 6, 2020 One year into the solution design phase of the Financial Futures initiative, campus community members have generated over 570 ideas with the goal of aligning strategic resources more closely with CU Boulder’s mission as a public teaching and research university.Join the next Financial Futures listening sessionJoin the Financial Futures Extended/Exec/Next Gen team in an interactive session where attendees will review and generate ideas to build CU Boulder’s financial resiliency through strategic alignment to our mission. Who: CU Boulder students, faculty, and staffWhat: “Extended, Executive, and Next Generation Education: A Financial Futures Listening Session”When: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 3 to 4 p.m.Where: University Memorial Center, Room 425Learn moreAfter passing through a robust testing and refinement process, these ideas have yielded over 160 projects approved for implementation by campus leadership. Collectively, approved projects are projected to generate significant net impact for campus in fiscal year 2021 and beyond. In addition to positive financial implications, CU Boulder’s faculty, students and staff will benefit from projects that are aimed at, for example, better supporting research, expanding academic advising and improving vendor contracts. A mechanism for resourcing projects and themes developed through strategic campus initiatives like Academic Futures and Foundations of Excellence, Financial Futures also “leverages ideas that bolster the most essential elements of the university’s mission, while also investing in new ideas that staff and faculty have long wanted to test,” said Carla Ho-a, chief financial officer for CU Boulder. Visit the Financial Futures webpage to learn more about projects and to submit questions or ideas of your own. Categories:Financial FuturesStrategic InitiativesCampus Communitylast_img read more

West Kingston Enquiry Commissioners Sworn In

first_imgImmediately after the swearing-in, the Commissioners, Secretary to the Commission and Legal Counsel convened their preliminary meeting to chart the way forward for the Enquiry, which is expected to get underway shortly.They have been asked to conclude their enquiry within three (3) months after commencement, and make a full report and recommendations concerning the events surrounding the May 2010 West Kingston incursion and submit same to Governor General His Excellency the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen within two (2) months after concluding the Enquiry. RelatedRoger Clarke Was “One of a Kind” – PM FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail The three Commissioners who will preside over the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry were sworn in on Friday August 29, 2014 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.The Commissioners who took the Oath of Office before former Chief Justice of Jamaica, Hon. Mr. Justice Lensley Wolfe, (ret’d) OJ, JP, are: Chairman, Retired Chief Justice and former Attorney General of Barbados Sir David Simmons; Retired Judge of the Court of Appeal of Jamaica, Mrs. Justice Hazel Harris, CD; and Director of the Institute of Criminal Justice and Security, University of the West Indies, Professor Anthony Harriott.Also present at the swearing in were Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Carol Palmer, Secretary to Commission, Mrs. Maria Jones, its Senior Legal Counsel, Mr. Garth McBean, QC and Junior Legal Counsel Mrs. Simone Mayhew.Based on its Terms of Reference, the Commissioners have been charged with, among other things, enquiring into:whether the rights of any person or persons were violated in any of the affected or related communities by either law enforcement officers or by anyone else and, if so, whose rights were violated, and the manner and extent of such violations, and by whom such violations were perpetrated. the circumstances under which, and by whom, several Police Stations and other state property (including police or military vehicles) were attacked and damaged or destroyed by firebombs, gunfire or other means during or around the period of the State of Emergency declared in May 2010; West Kingston Enquiry Commissioners Sworn In Office of the Prime MinisterAugust 29, 2014Written by: Damian Wilson RelatedThe Honourable Roger Clarke is Dead Story HighlightsThe three Commissioners who will preside over the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry were sworn in on Friday August 29, 2014 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. The Commissioners took the Oath of Office before former Chief Justice of Jamaica, Hon. Mr. Justice Lensley Wolfe, (ret’d) OJ, JP.Immediately after the swearing-in, the Commissioners, Secretary to the Commission and Legal Counsel convened their preliminary meeting to chart the way forward for the Enquiry. the conduct of operations by the security forces of Jamaica in Tivoli Gardens and related areas during the said State of Emergency in the month of May 2010; and Advertisements RelatedMinister McNeill Expresses Regret at Minister Roger Clarke’s Passinglast_img read more

UK regulator tones down proposed licence fee hikes

first_img RCom helped by higher voice margins, but still losing customers AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 01 AUG 2014 Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator, said it reduced its proposed rise in annual licence fees for 900MHz and 1800MHz frequencies after listening to feedback from mobile operators.When Ofcom made its original proposals in October 2013, UK mobile operators were facing a substantial increase in the total amount paid (see table), jumping from £64.4 million a year to £309 million. The mobile industry balked, saying network investment was threatened.The revised proposal, however, still sees the total amount going up nearly fourfold to £246.8 million.“We expected substantial responses to our initial proposals, which are based on complex analysis,” said Philip Marnick, group director of Ofcom’s spectrum group. “We’ve listened carefully to the arguments and evidence put forward during the consultation, which has helped refine our proposals.”O2, controlled by Telefonica, told Mobile World Live that it welcomed Ofcom’s consultation process.“Previous fee proposals would have hampered industry investment and put pressure on retail prices to the detriment of mobile phone customers,” said an O2 spokesperson. “We’ll read through the revised proposals in the coming weeks.”Vodafone said it would review the new consultation document and continue to talk with Ofcom. Three UK said it would do the same.“We are still reviewing Ofcom’s proposals but the new consultation goes some way to bringing proposed fees for 1800MHz spectrum closer to its real value,” a Three UK spokesperson told Mobile World Live. “We will continue to work with Ofcom to develop a licence fee process which reflects the true value of different frequencies of spectrum.”Mobile network operators currently pay an annual combined total of £24.8 million for 900MHz spectrum and £39.7 million for 1800MHz spectrum. Under the new proposals, total fees payable on 900MHz goes up to £109.3 million per year, while the 1800MHz annual bill goes up to £137.5 million.Ofcom hopes to have new licence fees in place next year following a consultation period on its revised proposals.EE had still to reply to Mobile World Live at the time of writing.Current and proposed total annual licence fees for 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum (click image to enlarge)OfcomSource: Ofcom Related Uncategorized Ken Wieland Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight…More Read more Previous ArticleVodafone, Belgacom extend partner market dealNext ArticleAmerica Movil gets green light to combine Brazilian assets center_img Tags AlcaLu CEO claims “control of destiny” after clearing patent-related loan Author Alcatel-Lucent Q2 buoyed by Shift plan, 4G rollouts HomeUncategorized UK regulator tones down proposed licence fee hikes FinancialOfcomRegulatorylast_img read more

More Excuses for Cambrian Non-Evolution

first_imgJane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Evolution Evolution NewsEvolution News & Science Today (EN) provides original reporting and analysis about evolution, neuroscience, bioethics, intelligent design and other science-related issues, including breaking news about scientific research. It also covers the impact of science on culture and conflicts over free speech and academic freedom in science. Finally, it fact-checks and critiques media coverage of scientific issues. Share This collection of news, with more tomorrow, about the Cambrian explosion provides a taste of how evolutionists are dealing with Darwin’s doubt these days. It goes without saying that they are still completely ignoring the critique of Darwinian explanations coming from the intelligent design community. Instead, they keep looking for mindless natural processes that might have enough energy to blow things up and move things around, hoping that biological information might emerge without intelligence. Of course it cannot; mindless processes could never pull off such a feat. But since ID advocates have been screened off by one-way glass and soundproof barriers by the arbitrary rule of methodological naturalism, Darwinians just ignore them. They feel free to play their unscientific game of throwing jello theories against the wall to see if any glob sticks long enough to call it a success. Cross Off One Impactful PossibilitySome have tried to allege that an increase in meteor impacts about 500 million years ago triggered the Cambrian explosion (as if that makes any sense). But now, a new statistical study of impacts on the moon from Apollo samples concludes that the appearance of an increase was an artifact of biased sampling. A corollary of the study is that impact rates never did change dramatically over the history of the solar system. New Scientist is the bearer of bad news:The time period abound 500 million years ago, when it appeared the moon experienced more impacts, was a particularly important time for life on Earth. There was a dramatic increase and diversification of complex life called the Cambrian explosion, and we are not entirely sure what caused it.Some researchers have suggested that the apparent increase in meteorite impacts may have had something to do with it. “If there was this increase in impacts around the same time, it would support the idea that life was stimulated or seeded by organic molecules from elsewhere in the solar system,” says [Paul] Renne. But if this supposed increase turns out to be a mistake, we will have to look for alternative explanations, he says. [Emphasis added.]Too Late to HelpAnother Burgess-Shale-type outcrop of Cambrian fossils with exceptional preservation has come to light in Utah. Announced by seven authors in an open-access paper in the Journal of the Geological Society of London, the Weeks Formation, dated at 499 million years, features a rich collection of trilobites, worms, brachiopods, mollusks, cnidarians, sponges, comb jellies, and more. Arthropods are the most frequent representatives, 42 percent of which are trilobites. Unfortunately for Darwinians, this formation is dated too late for the main pulse of the Cambrian explosion.Although the title speaks of “the evolutionary transition of Cambrian marine life,” the paper defines this as a “significant faunal restructuring” between the Cambrian explosion and the “Great Ordovician Biodiversification” (euphemism for another explosion). Do the authors have any theories about the Cambrian explosion itself? Only in this rather cryptic statement:The Cambrian System is extraordinarily rich in deposits yielding remarkable macroscopic fossil assemblages, the study of which has profoundly modified our understanding of how metazoan-dominated marine ecosystems first evolved.It would have been nice to hear them say exactly how the study of Cambrian fossils “has profoundly modified our understanding.” Whatever happened, the animals “evolved.”Hopeful MonsterA blog entry from the University of Oxford shows another Cambrian predator similar to Anomalocaris, also found in Utah. It has the same round-mouthed teeth, making it a “radiodont,” an “extinct group of stem arthropods and distant relatives of modern crabs, insects and spiders.” It has similar swimming flaps, eyes, limbs and other complex traits already known in its larger relative. The headline promises, “Half-a-billion-year-old fossil offers new clues to how life exploded on sea floor.” But does it? The discoverer’s confidence quickly gives way to blushing, then speculation:‘Our new study describes Pahvantia hastasta, a long-extinct relative of modern arthropods, which fed on microscopic organisms near the ocean’s surface’ says Stephen Pates. ’We discovered that it used a fine mesh to capture much smaller plankton than any other known swimming animal of comparable size from the Cambrian period. This shows that large free-swimming animals helped to kick-start the diversification of life on the sea floor over half a billion years ago.’That was the confidence. Next come sheepish suggestions that maybe this animal helped mix biomass from the surface to the deep sea, as if that has anything to do with the origin of biological information.Causes of the Cambrian Explosion —  the rapid appearance in the fossil record of a diverse animal fauna around 540-500 million years ago — remain hotly debated. Although it probably included a combination of environmental and ecological factors, the establishment of a system to transfer energy from the area of primary production (the surface ocean) to that of highest diversity (the sea floor) played a crucial role.Their ecological theory, though, doesn’t wash. Every day, planktonic crustaceans transfer energy between the surface and the deep sea in one of the largest movements of biomass in the world, according to Current Biology. We don’t see new complex animals emerging today from that process. How could it? Energy transfer has nothing to do with the information needed for the origin of complex body plans. But that’s the issue. You can look in vain for a discussion about that in their paper in Nature Communications. Stephen Meyer has tried to keep the focus on the origin of biological information, but all these jello theories keep ignoring that crucial issue. An Ediacaran Animal Ancestor?In the category of excuses “It wasn’t really an explosion,” paleobiologist Jennifer Hoyal Cuthill trots out an Ediacaran fossil, trying to stretch the explosion back tens of millions of years. At The Conversation, below a huge portrait of Darwin, she says:When did animals originate? Evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin may have speculated about the forms that early animals took, but our research published in the journal Palaeontology answers the animal origin question with Cambrian period fossils of a frond-like sea creature called Stromatoveris psygmoglena….By comparing members of the Ediacaran biota to a range of other groups in a computer analysis of evolutionary relationships, we found that Stromatoveris psygmoglena provides a crucial link between the older period and the animals which appeared in startling number and diversity during the Cambrian period.Fresh with 200 new samples of Stromatoveris, she labels it an “animal.” But the paper she wrote in Paleontology with Jian Han shows that it has no hierarchical body plan, organs or even a body cavity. It most resembles other rangeomorphs of the Ediacaran period: a repetitive, frond-like pattern, with a holdfast to cling to the seafloor — extremely simple compared to the Cambrian animals that had guts, eyes, and articulated limbs. Her link to Cambrian animals is based solely on her impression that Ediacarans were “diversifying well before the Cambrian period,” and her insistence that her pet fossil should be called an animal. Look at this giant leap of faith:Even more intriguing, more than 200 fossils of Stromatoveris psygmoglena have now been found, despite the fact that it lacked hard parts which are usually most easily preserved. This indicates that this species was an important member of its shallow marine ecosystem rather than a rare or marginal survivor. This could mean that the petalonamids adapted more successfully to the changes of the Cambrian period than had been thought, or that the Ediacaran period and its animals were less alien and more advanced than previously realised. We can be confident, however, that the animal kingdom we occupy is much older than we once thought.Strangely, she overlooks the comeback argument that if the environment was able to preserve soft parts, it should have preserved transitional forms, if there were any.Photo: Moltke crater, by NASA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Intelligent Design More Excuses for Cambrian Non-EvolutionEvolution News @DiscoveryCSCSeptember 20, 2018, 4:27 AM “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Mancenter_img Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos TagsAnomalocarisBurgess ShaleCambrian animalsCambrian ExplosionCambrian NewsCharles DarwinCurrent BiologyEdiacaran animalsGreat Ordovician BiodiversificationjelloJennifer Hoyal CuthillJian HanJournal of the Geological Society of LondonPahvantia hastastapaleobiologyradiodontStephen MeyerStephen PatesStromatoveris psygmoglenaThe ConversationUniversity of Oxford,Trending Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Recommended Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to Alllast_img read more