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An Alternative to Darwinian Evolution

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19Merlin69
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« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2007, 10:42:35 am »

Don't take this personally - it just, "Is what it is."

SORRY MERL,

I HAD TO DO THis.   Not diminishing your exceptional rarely equaled brilliance,  ,,,,,,but sometimes you can be so dense.    Smiley


I have thoroughly, critically, and meticulously researched Urantia's accuracy at two other sites, previously.  I realize that ist has many potentials, although I find many of them to be unsupported.  But, because this thread is "An Alternative to Darwinian Evolution", I suppose that I cannot complain about you offering another possibility.  Though I really have no desire to make this a debate between Urantia and anything else - I do not have an issue with using it to discuss the topic in general.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2007, 12:47:36 pm by 19Merlin69 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2007, 06:52:11 pm »

Merl,

It's ok if we have come to different conclusions.

I know we have been down similar roads at AR and if I recall correctly your refutations

really ended up with little real credibility.  Either they were alternative theories or suppositions

and conclusions drawn from irrational assumptions.  There was really nothing of any real substance

that either proved fallability one way or another;  similar to this whole thing about Eukarotes and pro-karyotes.

Anyone with an open mind and a real desire to search for truth can see from my last post that there is

something very wrong with the assumptions of age of bacteria based upon a faulty assumption of age of the surrounding terrain.

I stand firm by my statements that the supposed age of the Eukarotes and pro-karyotes are off by 2-3 billion years. 

I know theoretical physics is your expertise among many,  but you are off on another wild goose chase with your whole

pursuit of WIld 2 and it's assumptions and theory about life.  It is impossible.  I have read the material and the theory.

Likewise the whole string and brane theory is simply an exercise in futility.  You cannot really therefore  genuinely

be concerned about wasting time,  unless going around in circles with pursuits of this nature or your current

foray with Byron is really more palatable.

Quote
It is a complete waste of time to thoughtfully comment on that which you merely cut & paste.  I really have no wish to involve myself in (yet another) discussion of it when I do 99% of the work.

We all don't have photographic memories,  Smiley  but I have limited my cut & paste to very appropriate selections and bare minimums.. 

I do admit that your efforts are indeed meticulous and thorough but 99 %  is a bit exagerrated.

I would say though that you work harder and selflessly give more than any poster I have met online bar none.

You are definitely running a race of your own making.

If it will help,   I would be willing to do more work to flesh out the truth in our encounters.

I certainly don't want to be known as a slacker.   LOL   Smiley  How about 90/10 ?  LOL

Think about this seriously though Merl,  without a solid foundation of truth like the Urantia material,

how would anyone really discover that these clowns were 2-3 billion years off with their theory  and they

even found it in limestone & sandstone which 70 years ago Urantia identified as the prime culprit for this

misunderstanding.  So,  what's the deal.  Do I get a nobel prize or something for identifying this glaring error?

Nah,  instead you just want to dismiss it as more religious nonsense and threaten to ignore me or as you say my " Urantia theory"

Whatever,  Merl,  but you know it's a worthy discovery no matter what the source,  and,   if you don't,   I do.

No hard feelings,  we can still go fishing when you come to Florida.


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19Merlin69
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« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2007, 08:55:27 pm »

It isn't really that I need you to work harder - it's a simple matter of evidence.  You see, Urantia isn't self evident or self supported.  In many cases it is also refuted by science too, it means that there's a gap in credibility.  

I do however agree with a large amount of the supposition in the Urantia Book.  That is a side-effect to the fact that it was written by a smart man who followed the current science of the day.  Though many of the details have been questioned, the overall logic employed in many aspects is spot on. 

My "current foray with Byron" ....   You got me there - I stand corrected.  I wasn't positive that it was you until I started reading your latest reply.  You should have PM'd me to let me know it was you.  Now you've gone and embarrassed me...  Just kidding.

Let's debate away - it doesn't seem like anyone else thinks you are intruding, so I recant my objection.

By the way, thanks for the compliment(s) the respect is mutual.
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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2007, 11:49:15 pm »

Hi Merlin!

Would you be interested in having either a physics section here, or a section simply devoted to your science?  I'm building a couple of new sections here and we are always up to hearing some more science!

Brooke
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19Merlin69
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« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2007, 09:59:36 am »

Hi Merlin!

Would you be interested in having either a physics section here, or a section simply devoted to your science?  I'm building a couple of new sections here and we are always up to hearing some more science!

Brooke

Hi Brooke!  I'm up for whatever works; I'm not greedy.  Thus far no one really seems to be interested in an alternative that isn't creation-based, so this might not be going anywhere, anyway.

As for a science section, well - who wouldn't love a science only section?  I'm all for it.
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« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2007, 10:54:04 am »

In an attempt to get this thing kick-started again, I pick up where we left off.  What I am driving to is a method & a means for how life is transported across vast distances in the sterility of space, and stored here on the planet for future use.  A mechanism to explain why "Darwinian Evolution" appears to be stalled, & why environmental stress at the hands of cataclysmic events seems to always perform an "evolutionary lane-change".  All-in-all, I'm still building my case - don't get bored yet.  There's a Thriller in here somewhere.

This is a great site.  I wouldn't say that it is biased in favor of nanobes - but they are definitely in favor of them.  Spend some time following the links - I think you'll have a twinkling dendryte or two by the end.

Nanobacteria and Nanobes - Are They Alive?
Created by Monica Bruckner, Montana State University

Nanobacteria are the smallest cell-walled organisms on Earth, the existence of which is the center of great controversy. A nanobacterium is by definition one billionth of a meter in diameter (1/10 the size of bacteria), leaving some to question whether or not an organism of this size has enough room to house necessary cell components such as DNA, RNA, and plasmids.

Nanobes are small features found in organisms and rocks. It is debatable if nanobes are living entities. This more general term does not imply that the structures are or have been left behind by nano-sized bacteria.

While nanobes and nanobacteria are sometimes used as distinct terms, they are often used interchangably. These terms will be used interchangably in this web page.


Nanobes are thought to exist everywhere! Nanobe structures have been found within organisms as well as rocks. While their existence is relatively new knowledge, some speculate that nanobes may even outnumber bacteria by an order of magnitude!

Nanobes may also exist on other planets! Martian meteorites such as ALH84001 (http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/marslife.html) have been speculated to contain trace fossils of nanobacteria. The softball-sized igneous meteorite shows microscopic worm-like and "ovid" nanofossils.



Nanobacteria are thought to have been found in human blood and may be related to health issues such as the formation of kidney stones due to their biomineralizaton processes. This has been met with some resistance, as some argue that this biomineralization is caused by the nucleation of non-living biological molecules. (http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/pnas;97/21/11511)

Major Players in the World of Nanobes:


Robert Folk, a sedimentary geologist from Austin, Texas, is known as the "father of nanobacteria" (although he prefers the spelling nannobacteria to conform with geological usage). Folk asserts that nanobacteria are key players in mineral formation and that their activities aid in the formation of geological strata (e.g. soil formation). Using acid etching and gentle gold shadowing techniques, he was the first to demonstrate the presence of 0.05-0.2 µm spherical structures in an assortment of geologic materials.

Dr. Philippa Uwins found nanobe structures in Australian sandstones. Photo courtesy of Philippa Uwins and the Nanoworld Image Gallery.Dr. Philippa Uwins, a sedimentary geologist from the University of Queensland, Australia, discovered nanobes in Jurassic and Triassic sandstones from Australia in 1996. She and her research team are hesitant to term their nanobes "nanobacteria" until they are more certain of their evolutionary history and their general nature. She and her team have recently performed molecular analyses of these nanobes and found evidence for the presence of DNA as indicated by DAPI, Acridine Orange, and Feulgen staining. In addition, they appear to be membrane-bound structures that are possibly surrounded by cytoplasm and nuclear area and are composed of C, N, and O, chemical constituents associated with living biota (Uwins, et al., 1998  http://minsocam.org/MSA/ammin/toc/Articles_Free/1998/Uwins_p1541-1550_98.pdf).

Mars meteorite ALH84001, thought by some to contain nanofossils, suggesting past life on Mars. Photo courtesy of NASA ALH84001 Images page.In 1996, a group of scientists led by David McKay of NASA's Johnson Space Center published a paper speculating the existence of nanobacterial trace fossils on Martian meteorite ALH84001. If these structures were indeed left behind by nanobacteria and if nanobacteria are true organisms, their findings would imply the existence of life on Mars at one point in the planet's history.

In 1998, Finnish scientists Olavi Kajander and Neva Ciftcioglu published a paper in the Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of Science about the isolation, culturing, and partial characterization of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) for nanobacteria in human and cow blood and commercial blood serum. Their cultured nanobacteria were made up of apatite, a mineral composed of calcium and phosphate, which is found in teeth and bones. However, the reliability of their study results is questionable. The sequenced rRNA from their culture is almost identical to that of Phyllobacterium mysinacearum, a common contaminant of the reagents used in sequence analyses. In addition, other studies have shown that the nanobe culturing media has been found to spontaneously generate particles that resemble nanobe cells and "dwelling structures" when inorganic calcium and phosphate salts are combined with organic materials.

Implications for Nanobacterial Life

Mars meteorite ALH84001 was suspected to have nanofossils, evidence for life on Mars in the past. Photo courtesy of NASA. Although the existence of nanobacteria would alter our perception of what qualities are essential for life, the following implications would be probable if nanobes are indeed alive:

Organisms may be smaller than previously thought. Proceedings from a workshop (http://www7.nationalacademies.org/ssb/nanomenu.html) hosted by the National Academy of Sciences in 1998 suggested that the simplest organism would need to be 0.2-0.3µm (200-300 nm) in diameter to hold the molecular pieces necessary for life (e.g. RNAs, ribosome, protein).  

If nanofossils exist in Martian meteorites, this may indicate the existence of water at one point in Mars' history. According to current knowledge, water is thought to be essential for life to exist.  Nanobacteria may mediate processes currently thought to be controlled by inorganic chemical reactions, such as low-temperature precipitation of dolomite, oxidation of iron, and the formation of clay minerals (Folk, 1993). (http://jsedres.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/reprint/63/5/990)

Nanobacteria may build essential parts of larger organisms or play a role in disease in the same organisms. Biomineralization could result in the formation of bones, shells, teeth, and kidney stones, and arterial plaque.

Nanobe studies challenge our perception of life. Microbes have already expanded our understanding of the harsh conditions that can support life (see the Microbial Life Extremophiles collection - http://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/extreme/index.html). So, if nanobes do exist as living biota, they will broaden our perspective on the scale of life.

Here's a link to the website:
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« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2007, 11:57:03 am »

Keep in mind that the Theory of Nannobacterium (Nanobes) holds that there is, to some degree, life literally everywhere.  It permeates practically everything

The existing theory holds that the first life evolved from practically nothing, and did so in the presence of a primordial stew of necessary components and favorable conditions.  Its first development was in the form of a single cell, and this cell could do little (if anything).  Who knows if this is correct, but we'll stipulate to it so as to avoid any arguing.  In logic and Statistical analysis classes I teach, I am often disturbed by just how many GRADUATE LEVEL (& Post-graduate) students who do not understand the theory of evolution that they subscribe to.

We need an analogy here though, in order to follow the development and its logic.  Let's use BUBBLES.  Now, what we have here is a pot located somewhere (and in many places) on the planet making bubbles, and these bubbles can do nothing other than form, survive for a bit, then disappear.  From that point, the most important evolution became its ability to consume resources in order to survive.  So, we now have millions of bubbles forming with and without the new trait - so many of the bubbles are surviving for much longer than others.  At this point, we are seeing a steady growth in bubble population; whereas before - we weren't.  By the time this trait developed, billions & billions of BUBBLES (cells) had been created and consumed (churning bubbles for no purpose).  After that, the bubble's ability to replicate was paramount.  So, we have 4 generations of bubbles being made: those who can survive, those who can't, those who can replicate, and those who can't.  What we do have, that is mostly absent from the prevailing theory, is an enormous (and growing) foundation for life.  All of the bubbles that were born, but died, were returned to the primordial stew with ingredients already intact.  Cannibalization must have been an early predator, and it had to have come from the stew itself.  Something had to be present in order to breakdown the early cells and consume them or otherwise return them to their constituents.  It is at this point that we begin to witness differentiation on a grand scale, as the two major players are complete, and the first signs of competition make an appearance.  "What does all this mean?" - you ask.  It means that, logically and statistically (& observationally) speaking, Predation arose early, not due to population control and evolutionary "mis-fires", but because of proximity and a need to utilize resources.  In other words, the preformed, but deceased, life was already there - life figured out how to quickly assimilate it because it utilized less energy to form new life.

Suddenly, the trait of Survival became paramount.  It equates to a way for the emerging life to survive being cannibalized by the advancing life.  This way, the generation 4 (G4) bubbles don't simply consume all of the G1-G3 bubbles, and then start on each other.  Cell membranes and cell division were the next steps in the process - they had to have been.

To a limited degree, and as a further analogy, consider evolution in terms of a computer program for a moment.  Also ponder the possibility that "Life", as we know it, is not the end of the story.  What if "Life" is only the way we understand it now because of the life (nanobes) that we are unaware of?   Theoretically, if early evolution (here or elsewhere in the universe) created subroutines in order to perform the necessary functions, a whole range of "leaps" in evolution would be explained.   Imagine bubbles of varying types developing all over the planet (or universe) and being held in stasis until they are interacted with.  Maybe a little blue, sexually mature bubble encounters a "multi-bubble bubble" and we wind up with a generation of multi-celled life that can procreate....

This was just a bit of "Food for thought" to help you follow my line of thinking.
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« Reply #22 on: March 04, 2007, 12:29:26 am »

Hi Merlin!

Would you be interested in having either a physics section here, or a section simply devoted to your science?  I'm building a couple of new sections here and we are always up to hearing some more science!

Brooke

Hi Brooke!  I'm up for whatever works; I'm not greedy.  Thus far no one really seems to be interested in an alternative that isn't creation-based, so this might not be going anywhere, anyway.

As for a science section, well - who wouldn't love a science only section?  I'm all for it.

Hi Merlin, nice work!

I will tell you the same thing I just told TSM, responses (or lacktherof) sure don't mean that people aren't interested.  You may have only 21 responses, however this thread has already been read by people 138 times (you can see the number of views at the top of the topic) so it's pretty clear that people ARE interested in what you are talking about here. 

Lots of people here are students, though, and just out to learn something new.

I will happily build a physics section in the science section if you think you'd like to contribute.

Brooke
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« Reply #23 on: March 04, 2007, 01:12:56 pm »

Hi Merlin, nice work!

I will tell you the same thing I just told TSM, responses (or lacktherof) sure don't mean that people aren't interested.  You may have only 21 responses, however this thread has already been read by people 138 times (you can see the number of views at the top of the topic) so it's pretty clear that people ARE interested in what you are talking about here. 

Lots of people here are students, though, and just out to learn something new.

I will happily build a physics section in the science section if you think you'd like to contribute.

Brooke

If you build it - I will come.  Like I said, "Who wouldn't love a science only section?"
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« Reply #24 on: March 05, 2007, 04:47:20 pm »

I love Merlin's analogies.  I usually have to read them a few times, but eventually I get the gist (I think).

I think I am a proponent of where he is going to end up, or close to it - for some time, at least, I've been thinking of the roles and compositions of comets (etc.), and have noted the coincidences of mass extinction / 'evolutionary leaps.'  the coincidences lets one view "punctuated equilibrium" in a whole new light. :-)

I'll let Merlin spell his position out, but my analogy is titled "Life is Cake," and as to evolution, you have to break a few eggs once in a while.
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« Reply #25 on: March 05, 2007, 07:32:28 pm »

I love Merlin's analogies.  I usually have to read them a few times, but eventually I get the gist (I think).

I think I am a proponent of where he is going to end up, or close to it - for some time, at least, I've been thinking of the roles and compositions of comets (etc.), and have noted the coincidences of mass extinction / 'evolutionary leaps.'  the coincidences lets one view "punctuated equilibrium" in a whole new light. :-)

I'll let Merlin spell his position out, but my analogy is titled "Life is Cake," and as to evolution, you have to break a few eggs once in a while.

Alright - I get the point (I think) my analogies don't help much...  In my head, they make even better sense of what (in my head) makes perfect sense [to me].  I wish I was better at communicating that which is in my head - without the use of "interaction" and a whiteboard.  I tell you, I'm a force to be reckoned with when I have those two items.
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« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2007, 05:02:26 pm »

No, I really do like analogies.  The use of relatively simple things to illustrate complex ideas is great.  Now, if I had any real objection to your analogies, I might have said:

"But Merl, bubbles don't EAT each other!" Smiley or some other such nonsense, which would serve to let you know that 1) I didn't attempt to understand, or couldn't grasp, what you had to say, or 2) I had a predisposed oppostion to where you might be going with your train of thought.

Ok, so we have comets with interesting compostions, and we have bubbles - some very hungry bubbles; some very nervous bubbles - with varied subroutines, beginning to interact.

What happens next?

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« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2007, 12:46:46 am »

Awaiting the last repport on nanos and the formation of granite I ran across this hint from the geophyscial realm  Smiley

Comet born of our own Sun

Solar material in comet dust brings confusion about Solar System modelling

When scientists first analysed comet dust collected by the Stardust spacecraft earlier this year, they were surprised that the grains seemed to have all originated in very hot environments - the heart of a star (see 'Comet chasers get mineral shock'). Astronomers were confused at the idea that the star in question could be our own Sun. How was this material transported from the hot interior of our early Solar System to the cold, outer reaches where the comet actually coalesced? Their models of the Solar System, they feared, might have to be rethought.

An isotopic analysis of the grains has made that fear come true. A large chunk of comet Wild 2 does indeed come from the beginnings of our own Sun. But how it got there remains a mystery.

See more:
http://www.nature.com/news/2006/061211/full/061211-14.html
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« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2007, 08:48:29 am »

How was this material transported from the hot interior of our early Solar System to the cold, outer reaches where the comet actually coalesced? Their models of the Solar System, they feared, might have to be rethought.

An isotopic analysis of the grains has made that fear come true.


Smiley   Smiley


see  Urantia papers  Smiley


PAPER 57: Section 5.
Origin Of Monmatia -- The Urantia Solar System
------------------------------------------------------------------------



P655:6, 57:5.1

5,000,000,000 years ago your sun was a comparatively isolated blazing orb, having gathered to itself most of the near-by circulating matter of space, remnants of the recent upheaval which attended its own birth.

Today, your sun has achieved relative stability, but its eleven and one-half year sunspot cycles betray that it was a variable star in its youth. In the early days of your sun the continued contraction and consequent gradual increase of temperature initiated tremendous convulsions on its surface. These titanic heaves required three and one-half days to complete a cycle of varying brightness. This variable state, this periodic pulsation, rendered your sun highly responsive to certain outside influences which were to be shortly encountered.

 
Thus was the stage of local space set for the unique origin of Monmatia, that being the name of your sun's planetary family, the solar system to which your world belongs. Less than one per cent of the planetary systems of Orvonton have had a similar origin.


 
4,500,000,000 years ago the enormous Angona system began its approach to the neighborhood of this solitary sun. The center of this great system was a dark giant of space, solid, highly charged, and possessing tremendous gravity pull.

As Angona more closely approached the sun, at moments of maximum expansion during solar pulsations, streams of gaseous material were shot out into space as gigantic solar tongues. At first these flaming gas tongues would invariably fall back into the sun, but as Angona drew nearer and nearer, the gravity pull of the gigantic visitor became so great that these tongues of gas would break off at certain points, the roots falling back into the sun while the outer sections would become detached to form independent bodies of matter, solar meteorites, which immediately started to revolve about the sun in elliptical orbits of their own.

As the Angona system drew nearer, the solar extrusions grew larger and larger; more and more matter was drawn from the sun to become independent circulating bodies in surrounding space. This situation developed for about five hundred thousand years until Angona made its closest approach to the sun; whereupon the sun, in conjunction with one of its periodic internal convulsions, experienced a partial disruption; from opposite sides and simultaneously, enormous volumes of matter were disgorged. From the Angona side there was drawn out a vast column of solar gases, rather pointed at both ends and markedly bulging at the center, which became permanently detached from the immediate gravity control of the sun.

This great column of solar gases which was thus separated from the sun subsequently evolved into the twelve planets of the solar system. The repercussional ejection of gas from the opposite side of the sun in tidal sympathy with the extrusion of this gigantic solar system ancestor, has since condensed into the meteors and space dust of the solar system, although much, very much, of this matter was subsequently recaptured by solar gravity as the Angona system receded into remote space.

Although Angona succeeded in drawing away the ancestral material of the solar system planets and the enormous volume of matter now circulating about the sun as asteroids and meteors, it did not secure for itself any of this solar matter. The visiting system did not come quite close enough to actually steal any of the sun's substance, but it did swing sufficiently close to draw off into the intervening space all of the material comprising the present-day solar system.

The five inner and five outer planets soon formed in miniature from the cooling and condensing nucleuses in the less massive and tapering ends of the gigantic gravity bulge which Angona had succeeded in detaching from the sun, while Saturn and Jupiter were formed from the more massive and bulging central portions. The powerful gravity pull of Jupiter and Saturn early captured most of the material stolen from Angona as the retrograde motion of certain of their satellites bears witness.

Jupiter and Saturn, being derived from the very center of the enormous column of superheated solar gases, contained so much highly heated sun material that they shone with a brilliant light and emitted enormous volumes of heat; they were in reality secondary suns for a short period after their formation as separate space bodies. These two largest of the solar system planets have remained largely gaseous to this day, not even yet having cooled off to the point of complete condensation or solidification.

The gas-contraction nucleuses of the other ten planets soon reached the stage of solidification and so began to draw to themselves increasing quantities of the meteoric matter circulating in near-by space. The worlds of the solar system thus had a double origin: nucleuses of gas condensation later on augmented by the capture of enormous quantities of meteors. Indeed they still continue to capture meteors, but in greatly lessened numbers.

The planets do not swing around the sun in the equatorial plane of their solar mother, which they would do if they had been thrown off by solar revolution. Rather, they travel in the plane of the Angona solar extrusion, which existed at a considerable angle to the plane of the sun's equator.


 While Angona was unable to capture any of the solar mass, your sun did add to its metamorphosing planetary family some of the circulating space material of the visiting system. Due to the intense gravity field of Angona, its tributary planetary family pursued orbits of considerable distance from the dark giant; and shortly after the extrusion of the solar system ancestral mass and while Angona was yet in the vicinity of the sun, three of the major planets of the Angona system swung so near to the massive solar system ancestor that its gravitational pull, augmented by that of the sun, was sufficient to overbalance the gravity grasp of Angona and to permanently detach these three tributaries of the celestial wanderer.

All of the solar system material derived from the sun was originally endowed with a homogeneous direction of orbital swing, and had it not been for the intrusion of these three foreign space bodies, all solar system material would still maintain the same direction of orbital movement. As it was, the impact of the three Angona tributaries injected new and foreign directional forces into the emerging solar system with the resultant appearance of retrograde motion. Retrograde motion in any astronomic system is always accidental and always appears as a result of the collisional impact of foreign space bodies. Such collisions may not always produce retrograde motion, but no retrograde ever appears except in a system containing masses which have diverse origins.

..........more


http://urantiabook.org/newbook/ub/ppr057_5.html
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« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2007, 11:48:41 am »

Awaiting the last repport on nanos and the formation of granite I ran across this hint from the geophyscial realm  Smiley

See more:
http://www.nature.com/news/2006/061211/full/061211-14.html

I got a couple of PMs asking me how they could read the whole article; it's a paid subscription link Boreas posted I guess.  Here is the whole article:

Comet born of our own Sun


Solar material in comet dust brings confusion about Solar System modelling.

Katharine Sanderson (news@nature.com)

 
When scientists first analysed comet dust collected by the Stardust spacecraft earlier this year, they were surprised that the grains seemed to have all originated in very hot environments - the heart of a star (see ' Comet chasers get mineral shock'). Astronomers were confused at the idea that the star in question could be our own Sun. How was this material transported from the hot interior of our early Solar System to the cold, outer reaches where the comet actually coalesced? Their models of the Solar System, they feared, might have to be rethought.

An isotopic analysis of the grains has made that fear come true. A large chunk of comet Wild 2 does indeed come from the beginnings of our own Sun. But how it got there remains a mystery.

The samples, collected from a comet in 2004 and returned to Earth in January of this year, have revealed a mixed bag of material. "We have seen materials that predate the Solar System and were formed around other stars or in interstellar space," says Don Brownlee of the University of Washington in Seattle, who co-authored a raft of seven papers outlining the main results from Stardust to date in Science this week-. "But the surprising thing is that we also find large components that formed in the inner regions of the solar nebula."

Just the one

Only a single grain of dust found in the sample so far seems to have been sourced from a cold place beyond our Solar System many years before its birth. Prior to the Stardust mission there was a theory that the entire comet would be made of these pre-solar grains, but early analysis found none. "There was a sigh of relief when we found the grain," said Frank Stadermann, at Washington University in St Louis and part of the isotope analysis team. One such grain is better than none, when it comes to trying to understand where the comet came from.

Pre-solar grains are now estimated to make up a small part only 100 parts per million of the comet.

As for the material that came from our own solar nebula, how the material got as far out as Pluto (where the comet Wild 2 originated) remains a puzzle. It shows that the mixing of particles within our Solar System was far more extensive than expected, says Michael A'Hearn, who led the Deep Impact mission to probe a different comet in 2005.

It also means that analysing a comet's material won't necessarily tell much about the bit of space where it was actually born. "This will make it much harder for us, in future, to say that the composition of a comet tells us uniquely about the place in the solar system where... the comet formed," says A'Hearn.

References:

1 Brownlee D., et al. Science, 314 . 1711 - 1716 (2006).
2 Hörz F., et al. Science, 314 . 1716 - 1720 (2006).
3 Sandford S. A. , et al. Science, 314 . 1720 - 1724 (2006).
4 McKeegan K. D., et al. Science, 314 . 1724 - 1728 (2006).
5 Keller L. P., et al. Science, 314 . 1728 - 1731 (2006).
6 Flynn G. J., et al. Science, 314 . 1731 - 1735 (2006).
7 Zolensky M. E. , et al. Science, 314 . 1735 - 1740 (2006).




Well, there are several ways that this material could have arrived in the coma of that comet.  Of course, the Urantia Papers offer one explanation, but there are still more.  The comet may simply be a part of the material that was blown off of the former star that populated the solar nebula our existing system was borne from.  It is also a possibility that the comet is being bombarded in a big way by solar debris as it circles it - and our current theory simply does not account for it.  I think the latter is only a remote possibility however.  My bet's on the idea that it's a "hold-over" from the previous tenant of this region of space.
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