Light Path Resources https://www.light-path-resources.org Resources for Spiritual Development Tue, 20 Oct 2020 00:01:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 https://i1.wp.com/www.light-path-resources.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/cropped-LPR-monk-logo-on-galaxies-bg-site-ID.jpg?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Light Path Resources https://www.light-path-resources.org 32 32 140492942 Fossilized Footprints Found in New Mexico Track Traveler With Toddler in Tow https://www.light-path-resources.org/fossilized-footprints-found-in-new-mexico-track-traveler-with-toddler-in-tow/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=fossilized-footprints-found-in-new-mexico-track-traveler-with-toddler-in-tow https://www.light-path-resources.org/fossilized-footprints-found-in-new-mexico-track-traveler-with-toddler-in-tow/#respond Tue, 20 Oct 2020 00:00:32 +0000 https://www.light-path-resources.org/?p=7687 Fossilized Footprints Found in New Mexico Track Traveler With Toddler in Tow Prehistoric tracks detail a moment when mammoths, sloths and humans crossed paths (Interjection – While these tracks aren’t as old as others in different parts of the world, each such finding contributes to modifying paleoarchaeology’s outdated out-of-Africa theories. ~ Don Chapin) The footprints […]

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Fossilized Footprints Found in New Mexico Track Traveler With Toddler in Tow

Prehistoric tracks detail a moment when mammoths, sloths and humans crossed paths

(Interjection – While these tracks aren’t as old as others in different parts of the world, each such finding contributes to modifying paleoarchaeology’s outdated out-of-Africa theories. ~ Don Chapin)

Fossilized Footprints Found in New Mexico Track Traveler With Toddler in Tow

The footprints found at White Sands National Park are more than 10,000 years old. (Courtesy of the National Park Service)

By Livia Gershon , smithsonianmag.com , October 14, 2020 1:02PM 1

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/11000-year-old-new-mexico-footprints-track- adult-and-toddlers-trip-180976057/

A small woman—or perhaps an adolescent boy—walks quickly across a landscape where giant beasts roam.

The person holds a toddler on their hip, and their feet slip in the mud as they hurry along for nearly a mile, perhaps delivering the child to a safe destination before returning home alone.

Despite the fact that this journey took place more than 10,000 years ago, a new paper published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews manages to sketch out what it might have looked and felt like in remarkable detail.

Evidence of the journey comes from fossilized footprints and other evidence discovered in New Mexico’s White Sands National Park in 2018, reports Albuquerque TV station KRQE. Toward the end of the late Pleistocene epoch—between 11,550 and 13,000 years ago—humans and animals left hundreds of thousands of tracks in the mud along the shore of what was once Lake Otero.

The new paper investigates one specific set of tracks, noting details in the footprints’ shapes that reveal how the traveler’s weight shifted as they moved the child from one hip to the other.

“We can see the evidence of the carry in the shape of the tracks,” write study co-authors Matthew Robert Bennett and Sally Christine Reynolds, both of Bournemouth University in England, for the Conversation. “They are broader due to the load, more varied in morphology often with a characteristic ‘banana shape’–something that is caused by outward rotation of the foot.”

At some points along the journey, the toddler’s footprints appear as well, most likely because the walker set the child down to rest or adjust their position. For most of the trip, the older caretaker carried the child at a speed of around 3.8 miles per hour—an impressive pace considering the muddy conditions.

“Each track tells a story: a slip here, a stretch there to avoid a puddle,” explain Bennett and Reynolds. “The ground was wet and slick with mud and they were walking at speed, which would have been exhausting.”

Fossilized Footprints in New Mexico

In this artist’s depiction, a prehistoric woman holding a child leaves footprints in the mud. (Courtesy of Karen Carr via the National Park Service)

On the return trip, the adult or adolescent followed the same course in reverse, this time without the child. The researchers theorize that this reflects a social network in which the person knew that they were carrying the child to a safe destination.

“Was the child sick?” they ask. “Or was it being returned to its mother? Did a rainstorm quickly come in catching a mother and child off guard? We have no way of knowing and it is easy to give way to speculation for which we have little evidence.”

The fossilized footprints show that at least two large animals crossed the human tracks between the outbound and return trips. Prints left by a sloth suggest the animal was aware of the humans who had passed the same way before it. As the sloth approached the trackway, it reared up on its hind legs to sniff for danger before moving forward. A mammoth who also walked across the tracks, meanwhile, shows no sign of having noticed the humans’ presence.

White Sands National Park contains the largest collection of Ice Age human and animal tracks in the world. As Alamogordo Daily News reports, scientists first found fossilized footprints at the park more than 60 years ago. But researchers only started examining the tracks intensively in the past decade, when the threat of erosion became readily apparent.

The international team of scientists behind the new paper has found evidence of numerous kinds of human and animal activity. Tracks testify to children playing in puddles formed by giant sloth tracks and jumping between mammoth tracks, as well as offering signs of human hunting practices. Researchers and National Park Service officials say the newest findings are remarkable partly for the way they allow modern humans to relate to their ancient forebears.

“I am so pleased to highlight this wonderful story that crosses millennia,” says Marie Sauter, superintendent of White Sands National Park, in a statement. “Seeing a child’s footprints thousands of years old reminds us why taking care of these special places is so important.”

About Livia Gershon

Livia Gershon is a freelance journalist based in New Hampshire. She has written for JSTOR Daily, the Daily Beast, the Boston Globe, HuffPost, and Vice, among others.

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September 2020 Global Meditation https://www.light-path-resources.org/september-2020-global-meditation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=september-2020-global-meditation https://www.light-path-resources.org/september-2020-global-meditation/#respond Sat, 05 Sep 2020 14:40:18 +0000 https://www.light-path-resources.org/?p=7642 The Harmonic Convergence of August 16–17, 1987 and the resulting response from Spirit proved the efficacy of united prayer/meditation, so the practice continues.

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September 2020 Global Meditation

Meditate with MOMM live online every day with teachers from around the world.

The Harmonic Convergence of August 16–17, 1987 and the resulting response from Spirit proved the efficacy of united prayer/meditation, so the practice continues.

September 2-20, 2020

co-creating-europe.eu

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The Decision for Birth https://www.light-path-resources.org/the-decision-for-birth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-decision-for-birth https://www.light-path-resources.org/the-decision-for-birth/#respond Thu, 06 Aug 2020 22:13:14 +0000 https://www.light-path-resources.org/?p=7469 The Decision for Birth by Don Chapin “The Prenatal Prescription” and “Life Before Birth,” by Peter Nathanielsz, M.D., Ph.D. Although already convinced of the birthing/incarnating process from a metaphysical / channeling standpoint, I wanted to check current scientific sources to see what they had to say about it. A considerable amount of investigating has occurred […]

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The Decision for Birth

by Don Chapin

“The Prenatal Prescription” and “Life Before Birth,” by Peter Nathanielsz, M.D., Ph.D.

Although already convinced of the birthing/incarnating process from a metaphysical / channeling standpoint, I wanted to check current scientific sources to see what they had to say about it. A considerable amount of investigating has occurred in the last thirty-plus years:

“How Life Begins” by Christopher Vaughan…
p. 78: “Scientists studying the development of humans and other vertebrates whose embryos develop similarly have discovered a complex ballet, a dance of cells that move, mix and multiply in time with a chemical beat.”

All three scientifically-oriented references cite the chemically dictated fetus development up to the time of birth, at which time it appears an intelligence seems to “take over” and dictate the birth process to begin.

Ibid, p. 246: “Scientific evidence indicates that it’s the child who monitors the progress of his own development, and whose brain sends out many of the first signals to begin labor.
The original signal for birth was emitted by a small area of the fetus’s brain in the hypothalamus called the PVN (paraventricular nucleus). This signal prompted the hypothalamus to release its message to the pituitary, which in turn stimulated the release of stress hormones from the fetal adrenal glands.”

In other words, it seems that the incarnating soul begins to “awaken” and “move in,” creating a Human from the biological, chemically-developed fetus.

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Problem With the Core of the Human Genome Project https://www.light-path-resources.org/problem-with-the-core-of-the-human-genome-project/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=problem-with-the-core-of-the-human-genome-project https://www.light-path-resources.org/problem-with-the-core-of-the-human-genome-project/#respond Mon, 27 Jul 2020 22:21:15 +0000 https://www.light-path-resources.org/?p=7413 There’s a Huge Problem With the Core of the Human Genome Project It starts with the fact that “Human” is not plural. Inverse, Emma Betuel https://www.inverse.com/article/51084-reference-genome-human-genetics-testing (Interjection – This article, as far as I’m concerned, goes hand-in-hand with an accompanying article which debunks the “out-of-Africa” evolutionary theory. I “own” a mutt, a cross-breed dog. In […]

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There’s a Huge Problem With the Core of the Human Genome Project

It starts with the fact that “Human” is not plural.

Inverse, Emma Betuel

https://www.inverse.com/article/51084-reference-genome-human-genetics-testing

(Interjection – This article, as far as I’m concerned, goes hand-in-hand with an accompanying article which debunks the “out-of-Africa” evolutionary theory. I “own” a mutt, a cross-breed dog. In a sense, every human on Earth is a mutt, as different channeled references I have come across place the number of off-world [i.e., E.T.] races contributing to the human genome as between 17 and 22. IF this is true, the human genome would truly be unique and potentially could be quite difficult to track down with our current technology. ~ Don Chapin 🙂

The Human Genome Project, which began in the 1990s, was Homo sapiens’ successful attempt to map out the entirety of our species’ DNA. It produced the human reference genome, a finely polished collection of human DNA that’s crucial for genetics research and genetics testing services around the world. Integral as it has been to the science community, two researchers at Johns Hopkins University have discovered that the reference genome is missing a piece or two — well, 296,485,284 base pairs of DNA, to be exact.

The reference genome is an essential map of human genetic material that is used as a basis for comparison. When we sequence our own DNA for insight into health, family history, and future disease risk, we chop up the sequence into lots of little pieces and compare stretches of it to the reference genome, looking for areas where we differ. The fundamental problem with this, the scientists write in a recent paper in Nature Genetics, is that the reference genome is based largely on a single person. Considering the myriad genetic differences among the 7.7 billion people alive today, that’s obviously not ideal.

Professor of computer science and biostatistics Steven Salzberg, Ph.D., and Rachel Sherman, a Ph.D. candidate, make the case that this single reference genome doesn’t capture the diversity of human genetics. Some populations, they add, differ too much from this reference genome. To make their case, they refer to the genomes of 910 individuals from twenty different countries, all of pan-African descent.

There's a Huge Problem With the Core of the Human Genome Project

Locations where the pan-African genome differs greatly from the reference genome Nature Genetics 

In the DNA of these individuals, the team found 300 million pieces of DNA common that don’t exist in our “reference” genome. If we disregard this much material, says Salzberg, we’d inevitably miss key insights into the health and history of specific populations. They too, are human, so shouldn’t they be represented in the “human” reference genome?

“These regions are essentially invisible to the genetics community until we have a reference genome that includes those regions,” Salzberg tells Inverse.

The Problem With The Reference Genome.

Over the years, we’ve continuously workshopped the reference genome. But recent analysis indicates that almost seventy percent of its material was gleaned from a single African-American individual, who is referred to only as RPCI-11, explains Salzburg.

That means that when scientists perform genetic analysis to identify differences between diverse populations from all over the world, most of the time, they compare those genomes to the genetic material from, mostly, one person. This leads us to often ignore material that might be too different from this reference, says Sherman. She calls them “missing pieces.”

There's a Huge Problem With the Core of the Human Genome Project

If you print out the entirety of the human genome, its material will fill a bookcase Wikimedia Commons

“When you line things up, there are going to be pieces that don’t line up at all because they’re too different to match anything from the reference genome.” Sherman says. “Then you ignore all the stuff that doesn’t line up as not really relevant or not really worth looking, at when maybe these are actually the pieces that are of the most interest because they’re the most different from the reference genome.”

In the study, Sherman and Salzberg took big chunks of this “different” material (about 1,000 base-pairs long) and tried to determine whether they merely represented accidental strings of sequencing errors — or really did hold useful information about unexplored human DNA.

The team came to the conclusion that this “new” DNA is of high enough quality to warrant a second pass, even though they don’t know what its significance to the human body might be just yet.

What Are The Consequences?

So far, Sherman says, we don’t really know what we’re missing by ignoring DNA that’s not represented in the reference genome. But who knows what we might find there if we take a look?

Salzberg suggests we imagine a fictional population that has an extra chromosome — 24 instead of the usual 23 in each cell. Nothing in that extra chromosome from this population would line up with the reference genome. Maybe, she says, somewhere on that hidden chromosome, is the reason why the fictional population tends to develop a certain disease — and why the rest of the world doesn’t. But because we don’t have the right reference to compare it to, we would never know it’s there.

“If once in a while there were mutations in that chromosome that did cause problems, you’d never be able to study those,” Salzberg says. “You’d never be able to observe them if you relied exclusively on this reference genome.”

Let’s be clear: this research doesn’t provide evidence for some undiscovered chromosome. But it does suggest that we’re probably missing a lot when we use a single reference genome from some person called RPCI-11 as a basis for all of our analyses on the DNA of our entire species.

How Can We Fix It?

Instead of striving for a single universal reference genome, the team argues, we should have a bunch of reference genomes — perhaps one for each population of interest.

“What we’re kind of advocating here with this finding, is that we really need to be building reference genomes for each population,” says Sherman. “If there’s this much DNA missing from the reference in this population, the model needs to change.”

Some countries have taken it upon themselves to at least attempt to create their own reference genomes. Denmark, for example, is compiling genetic material from 150 Danes in an attempt to make a true “Danish” reference genome. A 2016 paper in Nature describes an attempt to compile a reference for Korean individuals, though that paper too only describes research conducted on a single person. Other projects, like the 1,000 Genomes Project, are also trying to get this process started, but it’s a lot of work to create a reference material as polished as the current version, known as GRCh38.

“You have to do more than just go and sequence another person from another population to create a reference genome,” he adds. “You have to do quite a bit more.”

“If there’s this much DNA missing from the reference in this population, the model needs to change.”

Its not that researchers aren’t aware that we need more reference genomes. Salzberg just hopes that there would be more of them by now, and that they’d at least be widely adopted as standard reference genomes. The paper laments that none of these attempts have achieved the same status and clout as GRCh38 — though that’s the goal of the Danish project.

Going forward, Sherman and Salzberg are taking it upon themselves to get this project started, by building several additional reference genomes, which they hope to release in one to two years. They’re looking to begin creating a library of reference genomes to help people get as much insight out of their genetic material, no matter how “different” it is.

“What we really need to have are hundreds of reference genomes,” he adds. “That’s going to happen one day.”

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The Story of Human Migration Out of Africa Just Got Rewritten https://www.light-path-resources.org/the-story-of-human-migration-out-of-africa-just-got-rewritten/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-story-of-human-migration-out-of-africa-just-got-rewritten https://www.light-path-resources.org/the-story-of-human-migration-out-of-africa-just-got-rewritten/#respond Fri, 24 Jul 2020 17:39:06 +0000 https://www.light-path-resources.org/?p=7388 This short article is the first I have seen that FINALLY asks some very basic questions from a scientific standpoint to begin challenging the prevalent UNPROVEN theories-that-are-taken-for-fact, yet seems to still fall for the basic evolutionary tenet of those “out of Africa” theories. ~ Don Chapin

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The Story of Human Migration Out of Africa Just Got Rewritten

Some of our ancestors jumped the gun.

The Story of Human Migration Out of Africa Just Got Rewritten

Yasmin Tayag, 12.7.2017 11:00 AM

https://www.inverse.com/article/39152-out-of-africa-ancient-human-migration

(Interjection – For those with open minds, there have been channeled materials around for YEARS putting the lie to the standard “out of Africa” theories. The most detailed of these works is – as far as I know – Part III of “The Urantia Book.” Looking closely at the oldest written documents known to mankind In the basic religious texts of India, the Old Testament of Jewish/Christian religions, etc.), there is strong evidence of “other group” interactions. However, such references are glossed over by “scientific” theorists of every discipline. This short article is the first I have seen that FINALLY asks some very basic questions from a scientific standpoint to begin challenging the prevalent UNPROVEN theories-that-are-taken-for-fact, yet seems to still fall for the basic evolutionary tenet of those “out of Africa” theories. ~ Don Chapin)

For anyone trying to trace the roots of the human family tree, it would have been very convenient if our ancestors had left Africa in one great exodus, kicking off humanity’s global takeover with a single inaugural bang. And the first time we looked at fossils left behind by our ancestors, that indeed appeared to be the case. Like a series of Foursquare check-ins, the ages of the bones seemed to depict one long human trip out of Africa, across Asia, and into Australia that started 60,000 years ago.

But in recent years, scientists looking back at old fossils with new techniques have revealed discrepancies in the storyline — evidence of much older humans winding up in regions they weren’t supposed to reach for thousands of years, or DNA that isn’t as human as we first thought. A review published Thursday in Science compiles and analyzes all of these deviations from the “Out of Africa” (OoA) narrative, concluding that it’s time for a rewrite.

Doing so was a big break with the “elegant” old theory, says lead author and anthropologist Christopher Bae, Ph.D., of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, but the evidence he and his team uncovered left them no choice.

“My co-authors and I work in different areas of Asia, and when we sat down and started comparing notes, we kept finding evidence (between 120 ka and 60 ka) of earlier modern human dispersals OoA,” he tells Inverse in an e-mail.

“So what we envision is that although there was likely a major dispersal OoA between 60 ka and 50 ka, which may or may not be due to paleoenvironmental fluctuations, there were waves of earlier dispersals by modern humans as well, though these earlier populations were smaller.”

Bae and his team came to this conclusion after reviewing multiple recent studies showing that humans traveled farther than we would have expected given the OoA time frame. One showed Homo sapiens fossils in China that were somewhere between 70,000 to 120,000 years old. Another found a fossil as far out as Australia dating to 60,000 years ago — which, according to the OoA theory, was when humans were just gearing up to leave for the first time. All of these aberrant finds, taken together, suggested that the original explanation was wrong.

The leading explanation for how these humans got to China and Australia tens of thousands of years before the theory predicted they would is that humans began leaving Africa much earlier than expected, the researchers write. Their new model proposes that there were multiple diasporas from Africa, the first of which might have happened 120,000 years ago.

That’s not to say that the original OoA theory is now entirely moot. New models aside, there’s still a preponderance of fossils dating back to the 60,000-year mark, which suggests that there was a mass dispersal around that time — it just wasn’t the only one.

“The initial dispersals out of Africa prior to 60,000 years ago were likely by small groups of foragers, and at least some of these early dispersals left low-level genetic traces in modern human populations,” said Max Planck Institute anthropologist Michael Petraglia, Ph.D., a co-author on the study, in a statement.

Neanderthal
Neanderthal DNA still runs in our genomes, complicating the story of our origins.Flickr / p_a_h

Further complicating the story of human origins is the fact that some of the Homo sapiens fossils scientists have dug up were, unexpectedly, not entirely human. We had assumed for a long time that Homo sapiens branched off from the hominin tree very early on and forever remained separate from our closest cousins, the Neanderthals and the Denisovans. But now, genomic analysis in many studies has revealed that DNA from Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens ssp. Denisova (it’s not clear yet whether they’re a different species or just a subspecies) runs through the genomes of many modern humans, suggesting that the ancient humans who left Africa all those years ago were either a “hybrid” species or fully modern humans that hooked up with other species along their travels, reintroducing those foreign genes.

For now, the researchers point out, the data we have suggests that all current non-African populations can trace their bloodlines back to a single group of humans that broke off of the family tree about 60,000 years ago, which likely represents the big OoA migration scientists long believed was our only move out of our ancestral home. But as researchers continue to uncover evidence of our ancestors in previously unexplored regions, like Asia, there’s plenty we might still learn about the people who dared to leave Africa before that — and who their descendants are today. Bae notes that, already, scientists have found that some two percent of the Papua New Guinean genome contains evidence of modern human dispersals that predate 60,000 years.

“[With] the increasing evidence of an early modern human presence across Asia, the possibility that these earlier dispersals may be detected in modern human genomes increases,” he says.

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First active leak of sea-bed methane discovered in Antarctica https://www.light-path-resources.org/first-active-leak-of-sea-bed-methane-discovered-in-antarctica/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=first-active-leak-of-sea-bed-methane-discovered-in-antarctica https://www.light-path-resources.org/first-active-leak-of-sea-bed-methane-discovered-in-antarctica/#respond Thu, 23 Jul 2020 17:07:26 +0000 https://www.light-path-resources.org/?p=7382 The first active leak of methane from the sea floor in Antarctica has been revealed by scientists. Microbes that normally consume the potent greenhouse gas before it reaches the atmosphere had only arrived in small numbers after five years, allowing the gas to escape.

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First active leak of sea-bed methane discovered in Antarctica

Researchers say potent climate-heating gas almost certainly escaping into atmosphere

(Interjection – The first I’d heard about sea-floor methane escapes was several years ago when a missing Navy squadron was found off the Florida coast and sea-floor methane seeps were postulated as contributing to false altitude indicators to the squadron (methane being lighter than air and “fooling” the plane’s pitot-static tube system to indicate a higher altitude than in reality). At the time I speculated that thawing Arctic tundra could be a significant global warming contributor from methane release, which has since been borne out…and now we have the Antarctic ready to contribute MORE methane from another source. Could it be that mankind’s contributions to global warming aren’t as globally significant as we are projecting? … Note my question and comments on Page 2 of this article ~ Don Chapin)

First active leak of sea-bed methane discovered in Antarctica

An image of the sea floor at the Cinder Cones dive site in Antarctica’s McMurdo Sound. The white patches indicate the presence of microbes feeding on methane as it seeps to the surface. Photograph: Andrew Thurber/Oregon State University

Damian Carrington Environment editor, @dpcarrington Published on Tue 21 Jul 2020 19.01 EDT

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/22/first-active-leak-of-sea-bed-methane-discovered-in-antarctica

The first active leak of methane from the sea floor in Antarctica has been revealed by scientists.

The researchers also found microbes that normally consume the potent greenhouse gas before it reaches the atmosphere had only arrived in small numbers after five years, allowing the gas to escape.

Vast quantities of methane are thought to be stored under the sea floor around Antarctica. The gas could start to leak as the climate crisis warms the oceans, a prospect the researchers said was “incredibly concerning”.

The reason for the emergence of the new seep remains a mystery, but it is probably not global heating, as the Ross Sea where it was found has yet to warm significantly. The research also has significance for climate models, which currently do not account for a delay in the microbial consumption of escaping methane. (Bold font is my adaptation…Note my “Interjection” remarks! ~ Don Chapin)

The active seep was first spotted by chance by divers in 2011, but it took scientists until 2016 to return to the site and study it in detail, before beginning laboratory work.

“The delay [in methane consumption] is the most important finding,” said Andrew Thurber, from Oregon State University in the US, who led the research. “It is not good news. It took more than five years for the microbes to begin to show up and even then there was still methane rapidly escaping from the sea floor.”

The release of methane from frozen underwater stores or permafrost regions is one of the key tipping points that scientists are concerned about, which occur when a particular impact of global heating becomes unstoppable. (And methane is a SIGNIFICANT solar blocker. ~ Don Chapin)

“The methane cycle is absolutely something that we as a society need to be concerned about,” said Thurber. “I find it incredibly concerning.”

Very little was known about the Antarctic methane cycle but the good news, he said, was that the new seep provided a natural laboratory for further research.

Why the new seep formed is unknown. “That is a mystery that we still do not have an answer to,” Thurber said. “It is on the side of an active volcano but it doesn’t seem like it came from that.”

Prof Jemma Wadham, at the University of Bristol, UK, who was not involved in the study, said: “Antarctica and its ice sheet are huge black holes in our understanding of Earth’s methane cycle – they are difficult places to work.

“We think that there is likely [to be] significant methane beneath the ice sheet,” she said. “The big question is: how large is the lag [in methane-consuming microbes] compared with the speed at which new leaks of methane might potentially form in the wake of retreating ice?”

The research, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, reports the discovery of the methane seep at a 10-metre (30ft) deep site known as Cinder Cones in McMurdo Sound. It is a 70-metre long patch of white microbial mats, and a second seep was found during the 2016 expedition.

“We stumbled upon the methane seep at a site that has been dived at since the 1960s and it had just turned on,” said Thurber. There were no bubbles of methane, he said. “Most of the methane in many seeps actually comes out in what we call diffuse flows. So it’s just dissolved in the water.”

The source of the methane is probably decaying algae deposits buried under sediments and is likely to be thousands of years old. In most parts of the oceans, methane leaking from the sea bed is consumed by microbes in the sediment or the water column above. But the slow growth of microbes at the Cinder Cones site, and its shallow depth, means methane is almost certain to be leaking into the atmosphere.

Thurber said the first microbes to grow at the site were of an unexpected strain. “We’re probably in a successional stage, where it may be five to 10 years before a community becomes fully adapted and starts consuming methane.”

Widespread active methane seepage was reported off the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia in 2014, a first for the Southern Ocean. “But that’s really a different oceanographic area than the Antarctic continent,” Thurber said.

Wadham said the five years for which the Cinder Cones seep has been studied is a short amount of time. “So it would be good to see what happens to this seep into the future. The discovery also makes you wonder if these features are more common than we might think around Antarctica, but are rarely stumbled upon.”

However, the researchers are unlikely to be able to return to Antarctica soon. The continent is currently free of coronavirus but the risk of infection has disrupted expedition plans.

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Congress Members Who Understand What’s Needed https://www.light-path-resources.org/congress-members-who-understand-whats-needed/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=congress-members-who-understand-whats-needed https://www.light-path-resources.org/congress-members-who-understand-whats-needed/#respond Tue, 21 Jul 2020 23:49:07 +0000 https://www.light-path-resources.org/?p=7367 The first DoD cost-cutting proposal I saw was for a 10% reduction in DoD funding, as mentioned below. However, having witnessed first hand, even before the failed DoD audit, the waste within the military-industrial complex, I STRONGLY felt a 50% reduction/reallocation of DoD funding was FAR more appropriate...Along the same lines as this article discusses. This would result in a tremendous “Leap Forward” in redirecting America’s internal and global emphasis toward the ideals promulgated by our country’s founding fathers. Ideals that resulted in refugees flocking to the U.S. during and after WWI and II. ~ Don Chapin

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20 Congress Members Who Understand What’s Needed

(Interjection – The first DoD cost-cutting proposal I saw was for a 10% reduction in DoD funding, as mentioned below. However, having witnessed first hand, even before the failed DoD audit, the waste within the military-industrial complex, I STRONGLY felt a 50% reduction/reallocation of DoD funding was FAR more appropriate…Along the same lines as this article discusses. This would result in a tremendous “Leap Forward” in redirecting America’s internal and global emphasis toward the ideals promulgated by our country’s founding fathers. Ideals that resulted in refugees flocking to the U.S. during and after WWI and II. ~ Don Chapin)

By David Swanson, World BEYOND War, July 9, 2020

https://worldbeyondwar.org/20-congress-members-who-understand-whats-needed/

20 Congress Members Who Understand What’s Needed

The U.S. Congress has 100 Senators and 435 House Members. Out of the full 535, there are 20 thus far who have made themselves sponsor or cosponsor of a resolution to do what is most badly needed, move major amounts of money out of wars and war preparations and into human and environmental needs.

There are members of both houses who have arranged for there to be votes in the coming weeks on moving a mere 10% of the Pentagon budget to useful things. One way in which we can help them grasp how powerfully we demand yes votes on this is to start celebrating the 20 who have put a more serious proposal on the table. These are the 20 to thank and support and further encourage:

Barbara Lee, Mark Pocan, Pramila Jayapal, Raul Grijalva, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Peter DeFazio, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jared Huffman, Andy Levin, Rashida Tlaib, Jan Schakowsky, Ayanna Pressley, Earl Blumenauer, Ilhan Omar, Jim McGovern, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Nydia Velasquez, Adriano Espaillat, Bobby Rush.

Here they are on Twitter: @BLeeForCongress @MarkPocan @PramilaJayapal @RepRaulGrijalva @RepBonnie @RepPeterDeFazio @ChuyForCongress @AOC @RepHuffman @Andy_Levin @RepRashida @RepSchakowsky @RepPressley @repblumenauer @Ilhan @RepMcGovern @EleanorNorton @NydiaVelazquez @RepEspaillat @RepBobbyRush.

You can promote this on Facebook here and Twitter here.

Here’s what else you can do (if you’re not from the U.S., share this with people who are):

1) Email your Representative and Senators.

2) Use the tools on the next page to share that action by email, Facebook, and/or Twitter. Or click these links: Facebook, Twitter.

3) Phone the U.S. Capitol at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak with your Representative and Senators. You just have to know your own address and that you want them to vote to move money out of the military. If you have more time, phone the local offices and ask for a meeting!

Some more information:

The U.S. government is expected to spend, in its discretionary budget in 2021, $740 billion on the military and $660 billion on absolutely everything else: environmental protections, energy, education, transportation, diplomacy, housing, agriculture, science, disease pandemics, parks, foreign (non-weapons) aid, etc., etc.

Moving $74 billion (10% of the Pentagon budget) would result in $666 billion on militarism and $734 billion on everything else.

Moving $350 billion would result in $390 billion on militarism and $1,010 billion on everything else.

Where would the money come from? According to Rep. Lee’s resolution:

(1) eliminating the Overseas Contingency Operations account and saving $68,800,000,000;
(2) closing 60 percent of foreign bases and saving $90,000,000,000;
(3) ending wars and war funding and saving $66,000,000,000;
(4) cutting unnecessary weapons that are obsolete, excessive, and dangerous and saving $57,900,000,000;
(5) cutting military overhead by 15 percent and saving $38,000,000,000;
(6) cutting private service contracting by 15 percent and saving $26,000,000,000;
(7) eliminating the proposal for the Space Force and saving $2,600,000,000;
(8) ending use-it-or-lose-it contract spending and saving $18,000,000,000;
(9) freezing operations and maintenance budget levels and saving $6,000,000,000; and
(10) reducing United States presence in Afghanistan by half and saving $23,150,000,000.

Where would the money go?

The priorities of the U.S. government have been wildly out of touch with both morality and public opinion for decades, and have been moving in the wrong direction even as awareness of the crises facing us has inched upward. It would cost about $30 billion per year, according to UN figures, to end starvation on earth, and about $11 billion to provide the world with clean drinking water. Less than $70 billion per year would wipe out poverty in the United States. Spent wisely, $350 billion could transform the United States and the world, and certainly save even more lives than are spared by taking it away from the military.

Whatever funding is needed to aid anyone in the transition from military to non-military employment will be a small fraction of the whole.

20 Congress Members Who Understand What’s Needed

 

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Call to Action: Trump Administration Considers Resuming Nuclear Weapons Testing https://www.light-path-resources.org/call-to-action-trump-administration-considers-resuming-nuclear-weapons-testing/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=call-to-action-trump-administration-considers-resuming-nuclear-weapons-testing https://www.light-path-resources.org/call-to-action-trump-administration-considers-resuming-nuclear-weapons-testing/#respond Tue, 21 Jul 2020 22:45:17 +0000 https://www.light-path-resources.org/?p=7361 Okay, fellow Light Workers, this troubling revelation calls for everyone to begin using the techniques and skills you've learned to head this ill-conceived idea from coming to pass if at all possible! If he succeeds we could soon have an entire planet in radioactive distress.

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Making America Feared Again… The Trump Administration Considers Resuming (UNNECESSARY) Nuclear Weapons Testing

By Lawrence Wittner, Global Research, July 20, 2020, Common Dreams 18 July 2020

https://www.globalresearch.ca/making-america-feared-again-trump-administration-considers-resuming-nuclear-weapons- testing/5718952

(Interjection – tRump’s child-like mind knows only fear and intimidation as means to control. I’m not a “Jesus-freak” but recognize Jesus’ main message was to change Moses’ fearsome god to a loving, supportive God.

As an ex-nuclear weapons electronics technician/team chief and involved with a weapons mishap that almost got myself and a large chuck of Puerto Rico vaporized – story noted elsewhere on this site – I’m VERY well aware of the role human error can play in the potential of nuclear disaster and self-annihilation. NO MORE TESTING AND DEVELOPMENT!!! The emboldened/italicized font in several sections of this article is my own. Some are also my added comments. ~ Don Chapin, Capt. USAF Ret’d)

(Here’s a rack of descendents of the Mk 28 nuclear weapon I worked on in the ‘50’s to ‘70’s... actually, that bomb rack appears to be exactly the same model I worked on then, too. ~ Don Chapin)

“The nuclear testing now being considered by the Trump administration is designed with the same purpose that weapons have traditionally had in world affairs: to intimidate other nations.”

Pictured above is a rack of descendants of the Mk 28 nuclear weapon I worked on in the ‘50’s to ‘70’s. Actually, that bomb rack appears to be exactly the same model I worked on then, too. ~ Don Chapin

***

Americans who grew up with nightmares of nuclear weapons explosions should get ready for some terrifying flashbacks, for the Trump administration appears to be preparing to resume U.S. nuclear weapons tests.

The U.S. government stopped its atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons in 1962, shortly before signing the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963. And it halted its underground nuclear tests in 1992, signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996. Overall, it conducted 1,030 nuclear weapons test explosions, slightly more than half the global total.

Nuclear tests, of course, enabled the nine nuclear powers to develop bigger and more efficient nuclear weapons for the purpose of waging nuclear war. Along the way, millions of people in the United States and other nations died or developed illnesses caused by the radioactive fallout from these tests.

The CTBT, which banned all nuclear weapons tests, has been signed by 184 nations, including the United States. This century, only North Korea has flouted the treaty, triggering an avalanche of condemnation from other nations.

But the Trump administration now seems to be preparing to ignore treaty constraints and world opinion by reviving nuclear weapons explosions. A Washington Post article reported that, in mid-May 2020, a meeting of senior U.S. officials from top national security agencies engaged in serious discussions about U.S. nuclear test resumption. According to one official, the idea was that test renewal would help pressure Russia and China into making concessions during future negotiations over nuclear weapons.

In an apparent follow-up, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced an amendment to the fiscal 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would give the Trump administration “no less than $10 million” to conduct a nuclear weapons test, “if necessary.” Taken up by the Senate Armed Services Committee on June 10, the amendment passed by a vote along strict party lines. (Which figures!!! ~ Don) Currently, Congress is debating the NDAA.

Meanwhile, during a press briefing in Brussels, the administration’s special envoy for arms control stated that the U.S. government “will maintain the ability to conduct nuclear tests if we see reason to do so.” Although he said he was “not aware of any reason to test at this stage,” he added that he would not “shut the door on it,” either. “Why would we?”

Actually, there are numerous reasons why the resumption of U.S. nuclear weapons explosions is a terrible idea. If the U.S. government began atmospheric nuclear testing, it would violate the Partial Test Ban Treaty (which it ratified), as well as the CTBT (which it signed but, thanks to Republican Senate opposition, has not yet ratified). Even if U.S. nuclear tests were conducted underground and, thus, violated only the CTBT, the result would be a dramatic loss of credibility for the United States and an escalation of the nuclear arms race. As Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, has remarked: “Other nuclear powers would undoubtedly seize the opportunity provided by a U.S. nuclear blast to engage in explosive tests of their own, which could help them perfect new and more dangerous types of warheads.”

In addition, a considerable numbers of non-nuclear nations might decide that, given the U.S. government’s failure to fulfill its treaty obligations, their adherence to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty no longer made sense. Therefore, they would begin nuclear testing to facilitate developing their own nuclear weapons arsenals.

Unreported by the Media: America’s Nuclear Weapons Tests. The Truth is a “Bitter Pill”

Furthermore, U.S. nuclear weapons explosions, whether in the atmosphere or underground, would have serious health and environmental consequences. Even underground U.S. tests have released large quantities of radioactive fallout, and the U.S. government is still dealing with the devastation they caused to communities near the testing sites. Furthermore, no method has been found for cleaning up the plutonium and other radionuclides that the tests have left underground.

Remarkably, there is no military necessity for nuclear test resumption. Not only does the U.S. government possess nearly half the world’s nuclear weapons, which are quite sufficient to eradicate life on earth, but the occasionally-cited justification for testing―that it is necessary to make sure U.S. weapons actually work—is deeply flawed. The U.S. government has spent tens of billions of dollars on the Stockpile Stewardship Program, a wide range of diagnostic, non-explosive tests, to ensure that its nuclear weapons are reliable. And every year the directors of the U.S. nuclear weapons labs report that they are.

In fact, the nuclear testing now being considered by the Trump administration is designed with the same purpose that weapons have traditionally had in world affairs: to intimidate other nations. Within this framework, it makes perfect sense to use U.S. military might to bully the Russian and Chinese governments into compliance with U.S. government demands. The problem with that kind of thinking is that military intimidation is a very dangerous game, especially when it’s played with nuclear weapons.

Naturally, nuclear critics have assailed Trump’s new military gambit. John Tierney, the executive director of the Council for a Livable World, declared that the administration’s reported consideration of nuclear tests “was as reckless as it was stupid. The United States does not need to conduct explosive nuclear tests and we don’t want anyone else to, either.” Congressional Democrats have been particularly outspoken in opposition. In early June, Senator Edward Markey (D-MA), a long-time Congressional leader on nuclear arms control and disarmament issues—joined by 13 other Democratic Senators, including Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer—introduced the Preserving Leadership Against Nuclear Explosives Testing (PLANET) Act, which would prohibit funding for U.S. nuclear tests.

On July 16, Markey joined distinguished scientists and other nuclear experts at a virtual press conference to announce the publication of an Open Letter in Science calling upon the nation’s scientific community to support the PLANET Act and oppose nuclear test resumption.

Who knows? Under fire, Trump might suddenly declare that he never heard of the idea!

From Common Dreams: Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

Dr. Lawrence S. Wittner is Professor of History Emeritus at SUNY/Albany and the author of Confronting the Bomb (Stanford University Press). (https://www.lawrenceswittner.com/)

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Women Can Now Get The Abortion Pill Through The Mail https://www.light-path-resources.org/women-can-now-get-the-abortion-pill-through-the-mail/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=women-can-now-get-the-abortion-pill-through-the-mail https://www.light-path-resources.org/women-can-now-get-the-abortion-pill-through-the-mail/#respond Wed, 15 Jul 2020 20:23:35 +0000 https://www.light-path-resources.org/?p=7282 It should be obvious by now — after reading “When is a Human, Human?” and other such articles — that this website/church is in FULL agreement with a woman’s God-given free-will choice. Her right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy that could, because of governmental “representative” limitations on aid after a forced and often unwanted birth, often keep her poverty-laden for many years. We're grateful that woman can now get the abortion pill through the mail. However, a pandemic simply SHOULDN’T have been needed to help effect such a ruling!!!

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Women Can Now Get The Abortion Pill Through The Mail

(Interjection – It should be obvious by now — after reading “When is a Human, Human?” and other such articles — that this website/church is in FULL agreement with a woman’s God-given free-will choice. Her right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy that could, because of governmental “representative” limitations on aid after a forced and often unwanted birth, often keep her poverty-laden for many years. We’re grateful that woman can now get the abortion pill through the mail. However, a pandemic simply SHOULDN’T have been needed to help effect such a ruling!!! ~ Don Chapin)

In a victory for reproductive rights, many patients seeking medication abortion will no longer have to travel during the pandemic for care.

By Melissa Jeltsen, 07/13/2020 07:01 pm ET
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/women-can-now-get-the-abortion-pill-through-the-mail_n_5f0cdedfc5b6310dc1575be4

For the first time ever, U.S. women seeking to terminate a pregnancy using medication abortion will be able to legally obtain the abortion pill through the mail, avoiding the need for an in-person doctor’s visit.

A federal court ruled on Monday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must suspend a rule that requires patients to visit a hospital, clinic or medical office to obtain mifepristone, a drug used to terminate pregnancies, during the coronavirus pandemic.

Under existing regulations, patients seeking medication abortion ― a protocol that involves taking mifepristone in combination with a second drug, misoprostol ― must pick up the medicines in person from an abortion clinic, even though the pills are usually swallowed at home. For some patients, this can mean traveling hundreds of miles just to obtain a prescription.

About 40% of all abortions in the U.S. are performed at home using medication abortion. The abortion pill can be taken up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.

Get The Abortion Pill Through The Mail

Monday’s decision allows healthcare providers to send the mifepristone abortion pill through the mail to eligible patients so they don’t have to travel during the pandemic. The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of a coalition of reproductive rights advocates and medical experts, including more than 60,000 OB-GYNs.

“The In-Person Requirements, combined with the COVID19 pandemic, place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a medication abortion and that may delay or preclude a medication abortion and thus may necessitate a more invasive procedure.” U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang wrote in the ruling. “Particularly in light of the limited timeframe during which a medication abortion or any abortion must occur, such infringement on the right to an abortion would constitute irreparable harm.”

The in-person dispensing rules will be suspended until at least 30 days after the end of the federal government’s declared public health emergency, Julia Kaye, staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, said in an interview.

She noted that the FDA already allowed doctors to prescribe mifepristone using telemedicine. However, women were required to physically pick the drugs up in person. “Now, if a doctor can determine that a patient is eligible for a medication abortion without an additional in-person visit, that patient can stay home during the pandemic and get the medication safely by mail,” she said.

The new rules should go into effect in the next few days, she added.

History and Conclusion

The FDA has come under increasing pressure to change the dispensing rules around mifepristone since the coronavirus outbreak began. In April, Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Patty Murray (Wash.) and Tammy Baldwin (Wis.) sent a letter urging the agency to allow patients to receive the medications without having to go into a health care facility. A coalition of state attorneys general sent a similar letter to the agency at the end of March.

Since its approval in 2000, about 3 million women in the U.S. have used mifepristone. Leading medical groups such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advised the FDA to ease restrictions on the drug and make it available in retail pharmacies. A study published in 2019 found that people who received medication abortion by mail had similar outcomes as those who received it at a physician’s office.

“Today’s ruling represents a victory for patients. [Women] should not have to face the additional burden of increased COVID-19 exposure as a condition of receiving their prescribed mifepristone.” said Eva Chalas, president of ACOG. “It also represents a victory for the dedicated clinicians who are working to provide needed care without unnecessary exposure of patients, their families and the members of the healthcare team to the novel coronavirus.”

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Why the Flow of Time Is an Illusion https://www.light-path-resources.org/why-the-flow-of-time-is-an-illusion/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=why-the-flow-of-time-is-an-illusion https://www.light-path-resources.org/why-the-flow-of-time-is-an-illusion/#respond Mon, 13 Jul 2020 18:06:19 +0000 https://www.light-path-resources.org/?p=7254 Why the Flow of Time Is an Illusion Getting human feeling to match the math is an ultimate goal in physics. (In my opinion, just the opposite of an enlightened approach ~ Don Chapin) Michael Segal, Nautilus (an interview in 2014) http://nautil.us/issue/61/coordinates/a-new-view-of-time Words of Wisdom: “I love talking with philosophers—they’re so annoying!” Max Tegmark says. […]

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The Flow of time is an illusion

Why the Flow of Time Is an Illusion

Getting human feeling to match the math is an ultimate goal in physics.

(In my opinion, just the opposite of an enlightened approach ~ Don Chapin)

Michael Segal, Nautilus (an interview in 2014)

http://nautil.us/issue/61/coordinates/a-new-view-of-time

Words of Wisdom: “I love talking with philosophers—they’re so annoying!” Max Tegmark says. “That’s what’s so great about them. They force us to confront assumptions we haven’t tested, and often help new physics theories be born.”

(Interjection – My Interpretation…physics and math are Galilean in concept (i.e math equations developed by observing the physical world, or materialist science)…human-inspired and typically developed from physical-world observations, while philosophers are often intuition-inspired…presenting the concepts BEHIND our observable material existence. An example is this article’s title, as not only is the FLOW of time an illusion, but the concept of time in itself is an illusion, a human construct. ~ Don Chapin)

In his book Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality, Max Tegmark writes that “time is not an illusion, but the flow of time is.” In this month’s issue of Nautilus, which looks at the concept of flow through various portals in science, we revisited our 2014 video interview with Tegmark (transcribed below for the first time), in which the professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology explains why the feeling of time is one thing and the math quite another. That Tegmark, also the author of 2017’s Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, takes the keenest pleasure from peering into the world through the kaleidoscope of his physics toolbox is amply clear. During our interview, leaning out of his chair, waving his arms, pouring his water bottle onto the carpeted hotel floor to drive home a point, he was in a constant state of animation, much like the objects (both microscopic and gargantuan) that he studies.

You say time doesn’t flow, but our subjective perception is that it does. Where do we go wrong?

It certainly feels to us like time is flowing. Yet that’s not the only way of looking at this reality. I could say that 10 to the power of 29 particles constitute me, and they are moving around in some very complicated patterns. Einstein pointed out that the most elegant way of describing this mathematically is to say, Let’s look at where each particle is in the three-dimensional space at each time, and draw this in a four-dimensional spacetime, where time is the fourth dimension.

If I have a particle that is part of my knee, which hasn’t moved, that particle corresponds to a line. At all times, it’s at the same place. If I look at a particle that’s part of a red blood cell, which has been constantly orbiting around my circulatory system, it’s making a super fascinating shape in spacetime. If I look at all my red blood cells together, they would make a braid pattern, making this incredible tangle in spacetime. If you look at the electron in my brain while I’m thinking, it’s even more complicated. But it’s still just a four-dimensional pattern. So I can either say that reality is a complicated pattern of four dimensions, or I could say it’s this stuff that feels like it’s changing and moving around. Which is more fundamental? Which is more correct? These are just two different ways of describing the same thing.

It’s funny how physics, like any field, has a small number of hot-button issues that people get very emotional about.

Is it part of the scientist’s job to explain why things feel the way they do?

We’ve seen a lot of examples of how things feel very different from the way they look in the equations. I would argue that almost all of the big breakthroughs in physics have this as their most difficult element. If you rewind to when Einstein came up with special relativity, you would find people like Lorentz and Minkowski had already written down a lot of the math. But Einstein was the guy who managed to figure out what it was going to feel like. He said if these are the equations, the way it’s going to feel is if you go near

the speed of light, you’re going to feel time slowing down. And people said, Whoa, that’s really weird! Then they did the experiment and it’s correct. I had a fun conversation with physicist David Wineland. He told me that he’d built two atomic clocks that are super precise, and put one of them one foot below the other, and was able to measure that it runs slower!

Then quantum mechanics came along. It’s so complicated people still argue about it 100 years later! The math, though, is beautiful and clean. Randomness is fundamentally an illusion because there is no randomness in the math, even though it might feel random. I’m saying the same thing about time. Even though the flow of time is fundamentally an illusion, there is nothing flowing about the math, the equations aren’t changing, there is just a single four- dimensional pattern, albeit a very complicated and beautiful one, in spacetime. If you study it carefully, you’ll realize it’s going to feel like a flow of time. As physicists, that’s ultimately what we need to explain: Why does everything feel the way it does? We shouldn’t be so naive as to think that things will always feel the way they actually are, because the history of physics is a long sequence of examples of where we realize that the ultimate nature of things is very different from how they feel.

If time doesn’t flow, how do we understand the second law of thermodynamics, which says that time flows in the direction of increasing entropy?

It’s funny how physics, just like any field, has a small number of hot-button issues that people get very emotional about. Time and specifically the so-called second law of thermodynamics is one of them. It’s a simple statement that on average things keep getting messier. That lets you define the direction of time. But there has been a lot of controversy about it. On the one hand, there are people like Arthur Eddington, who tend to view this as almost a holy principle. It’s sacred and shouldn’t ever be questioned. He has this famous line where he says, Well, all sorts of things might turn out to be wrong, but if some theorist ever challenges the second law of thermodynamics, then too bad for that theorist, because there’s no hope for him other than the utmost humiliation! On the other hand, a lot of other people say, Look, we shouldn’t have any holy cows in physics, everything must be questioned, including the second law of thermodynamics.

It’s like the ending of Life of Brian, where they say, “You come from nothing, you’re going back to nothing. What have you lost?”

What’s questionable about the second law of thermodynamics?

It’s turned out you can derive the second law of thermodynamics from more fundamental things. Let’s say I did something clumsy like spill water on the carpet. If I played a video of it backward, and you saw the water come off the carpet and go into the bottle, it would look totally wrong. But if you just zoom in and look at the motion of the particles flying through the other particles of the air, it would look perfectly reasonable backward, just like a bunch of bowling balls bouncing the other way. After 100 years of thinking about this, we’ve come to realize the explanation is surprising. It has to do with what happened 13.8 billion years ago. The reason our universe keeps getting messier is because it started in a tidy state yesterday, which was even tidier the day before, and even tidier 13.8 billion years ago.

Why did the universe start in such a tidy state?

What I think that means is there is no holy era of time. It emerged. If, in the distant future, we find ourselves in a universe where all the stars have burned out, and all the black holes have evaporated, and all the radiation has been diluted by the dark energy that expanded our universe, and all we have is some very cold bath of photons here and there—basically thermal equilibrium; de Sitter space, as we call it—there will be no sense of time anymore. There will nothing you can do to determine whether time is going one way or the other. Time will then have un-emerged again. It will be like the poem, This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper.

What if I looked at my wristwatch then? Would it tick forward?

There wouldn’t be a wristwatch because all the atoms, or all the protons in your wristwatch, would’ve decayed. All the particles that had decayed would’ve left the cosmic horizon. If there were a wristwatch, and it’s functioning, there will be a sense of time and change. But just like there hasn’t always been a wristwatch, there will not necessarily always be one.

How is measuring time related to the existence of time?

It sounds crass to say that time is what we measure with a clock. But it is a very deep fact that if there are no clocks—bearing in mind that every atom is a clock, in the sense that something is going around something else, which you can think of as a clock— then it’s not change which has gone but the whole ability to define time, and the whole ability to perceive time will also be gone. So in that way, time could’ve emerged from nothing, and might also go back to nothing. It’s like the ending of one of my favorite movies, Life of Brian, with Monty Python, where they say, “You come from nothing, you’re going back to nothing. What have you lost? Nothing!” Well, we’ll see!

Michael Segal is the editor at large of Nautilus.

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