Based on an analysis of the origins and characteristics of Intelligent Design (ID), this essay discusses the related issues of probability and irreducible complexity. From the viewpoint of complex systems theory, I suggest that Intelligent Design is not, as certain advocates claim, the only reasonable approach for dealing with the current difficulties of evolutionary biology.
The structural and magnetic properties of Y(Fe1-xMnx)12 compounds and their nitrides (x = 0.2 and 0.4) have been studied by using X-ray diffraction and magnetic measurements. It is found that the lattice parameters increase, while the saturation magnetization and Curie temperature decrease with Mn content increment in Y(Fe1-xMnx12 compounds. Y(Fe0.8Mn0.2)12 compound shows a weak easy-c axis magnetization direction, but Y(Fe0.6Mn0.4)12 compound is in a paramagnetic state at room temperature. Upon nitrogenation, the lattice parameters, Curie temperature are notably increased and the (...) saturation magnetization is greatly increased by about 50%. The easy magnetization direction for both compound nitrides all lies in the basal plane at room temperature. (shrink)
The Region Connection Calculus (RCC theory) is a well-known spatial representation of topological relations between regions. It claims that the connection relation is primitive in the spatial domain. We argue that the connection relation is indeed primitive to the spatial relations, although in RCC theory there is no room for distance relations. We first analyze some aspects of the RCC theory, e.g. the two axioms in the RCC theory are not strong enough to govern the connection relation, regions in the (...) RCC theory cannot be points, the uniqueness of the operation in the theory is not guaranteed, etc. To solve some of the problems, we propose an extension to the RCC theory by introducing the notion of region category and adding a new axiom which governs the characteristic property of the connection relation. The extended theory is named as RCC++. We support the claim that the connection relation is primitive to spatial domain by showing how distance relations, size relations are developed in RCC++. At last we revisit a sub-family of un-intended models in RCC theory, argue that RCC++ is more suitable than RCC with regards to its original intended model, and discuss the representation limitation of the RCC, as well as RCC++. (shrink)
The human brain development is a complicated yet well-organized process. Metrics derived from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), including fractional anisotropy (FA), radial (RD), axial (AxD) and mean diffusivity (MD), have been used to noninvasively access the microstructural development of human brain white matter (WM). At birth, most of the major WM tracts are apparent but in a relatively disorganized pattern. Brain maturation is a process of establishing an organized pattern of these major WM tracts. However, how the linkage pattern of (...) major WM tracts changes during development remains unclear. In this study, DTI data of 26 neonates and 28 children around puberty were acquired. 10 major WM tracts, representing four major tract groups involved in distinctive brain functions, were traced with DTI tractography for all 54 subjects. With the 10 by 10 correlation matrices constructed with Spearman’s pairwise inter-tract correlations and based on tract-level measurements of FA, RD, AxD and MD of both age groups, we assessed if the inter-tract correlations become stronger from birth to puberty. In addition, hierarchical clustering was performed based on the pairwise correlations of WM tracts to reveal the clustering pattern for each age group and pattern shift from birth to puberty. Stronger and enhanced microstructural inter-tract correlations were found during development from birth to puberty. The linkage patterns of two age groups differ due to brain development. These changes of microstructural correlations from birth to puberty suggest inhomogeneous but organized myelination processes which cause the reshuffled inter-tract correlation pattern and make homologous tracts tightly clustered. It opens a new window to study WM tract development and can be potentially used to investigate atypical brain development due to neurological or psychiatric disorders. (shrink)
Bulk metallic glasses are known to have a composition formula [cluster](glue atom)1,3 within the framework of the cluster-plus-glue-atom model. The key issue in applying the cluster formula is the determination of the right clusters and glue atoms. As examples, alloy phases in the glass-forming systems Al?Ni?Zr and B?Co?Si are analysed from the viewpoint of nearest coordination polyhedral clusters. These alloy phases are described by [effective cluster](glue atom) x , where the effective cluster refers to true cluster composition after taking account (...) of cluster-sharing in the phase structure. For each alloy phase, a principal cluster can be identified that features the local short-range order of that phase. It is pointed out that the principal clusters can express compositions with high glass-forming abilities, as verified by our experiments in Al?Ni?Zr and B?Co?Si?Ta. (shrink)
Composition formulae for ideal metallic glasses are explored by combining the cluster-plus-glue-atom model with the global resonance model, termed the cluster-resonance model for short. The former model gives the [cluster]1(glue atom) x cluster formulae, stressing the local cluster order of a glassy structure; the latter model extends the local cluster order to a medium-range one by introducing spherical periodicity that relates the cluster size with Fermi vector, k F. Such a correlation allows the calculation of Fermi energy, E F, and (...) electrochemical potential of electrons of the system from any local clusters. The cluster-resonance model also implies the equilibrium of the electrochemical potentials of electrons between different clusters so that the number of glue atoms matching one cluster (x in the cluster formula) can be determined. Examples in the Cu?Zr?Al and B?Co?Si?Ta systems are given to show the effectiveness of the proposed model and the resulting cluster formulae in interpreting multicomponent metallic-glass compositions as well as their relevant binary eutectic points. (shrink)
Close-packing of hard spheres is a general structural stability criterion for alloy phases. This paper aims at explaining the close-packing geometries of coordination polyhedral clusters composed of non-equivalent spheres. The shell atoms are separately treated according to their site symmetries. Ideal close-packing curves as functions of atomic radius ratios between the central atom and the shell atoms have to be introduced to evaluate the packing efficiencies of the clusters with coordination numbers CN = 9?11, where the shell atoms are located (...) at least at two non-equivalent sites. Close-packing features of clusters involved in amorphous alloys are confirmed. (shrink)
Polycrystalline Ti40Zr40Ni20 bulk quasicrystals are used for microindentation and nanoindentation studies. The microindentation test gives the Meyer's hardness as 6.22?±?0.16?GPa, but it does not exhibit any indentation size effect (ISE) nor any cracking, even at a higher 200g load. From nanoindentation tests, the reduced Young's modulus (E r) was found to vary from 115 to 124?GPa. Assuming suitable elastic constants of the indenter, the average Young's modulus (E) was determined to be 127?±?6?GPa. Nanohardness appears to vary from 8.5 to 11.2?GPa (...) over a wide range of load, indicating an indentation size effect at a nanoscale. The discontinuities in the plot (known as pop-ins or strain bursts) of P?h data, obtained from nanoindentation tests, are observed frequently and these are correlated with shear bands, which are observed under atomic force microscopy (AFM). The first pop-ins, observed in the load range 50?100?µN, led to the estimation of maximum shear stress as ?8?GPa, close to the theoretical shear strength (?E/25), and estimation of the energy as 0.67?eV/atom, which is required for elastic?plastic transition of this type of material. Thus, the pop-ins has been attributed to elastic?plastic transition during nanoindentation tests. (shrink)
The electrical properties of graphite oxide (GO) can be tuned consecutively by treating samples with ammonia and hydrogen plasma. When altering ammonia plasma time from 10 to 4.5 min, large area (greater than 100×100 μm2), n-type, ambipolar and p-type semiconducting reduced graphite oxide (RGO) sheets could be obtained. The highest mobilities of the electron and hole are 5.41 and 2.10 cm2 V−1 s−1 at low operational voltage (3 or −3 V, respectively). When treating a GO film with hydrogen:argon (9:1) plasma, (...) high conductivity RGO was obtained with conductivity around 630 S cm−1. It is anticipated that this study could pave the way towards carbon-based electronics. (shrink)
Dong Zhongshu (Tung Chung-shu) (179-104 B.C.E.) was the first prominent Confucian to integrate yin-yang theory into Confucianism. His constructive effort not only generates a new perspective on yin and yang, it also involves implications beyond its explicit contents. First, Dong changes the natural harmony (he ﾈﾱ) of yin and yang to an imposed unity (he 合). Second, he identifies yang with human nature (xing) and benevolence (ren), and yin with emotion (qing) and greed (tan). Taken together, these novelties (...) grant a philosophical basis for the theory and practice of gender inequality in their specifically Chinese manifestations. An analysis of Dong's work shows that the merce complementarity of yin and yang does not guarantee gender equality; they are not fixed categories, but together form a transformative dynamic harmony. (shrink)
: Dong Zhongshu (Tung Chung-shu) (179–104 B.C.E.) was the first prominent Confucian to integrate yin-yang theory into Confucianism. His constructive effort not only generates a new perspective on yin and yang, it also involves implications beyond its explicit contents. First, Dong changes the natural harmony of yin and yang to an imposed unity Second, he identifies yang with human nature (xing) and benevolence (ren), and yin with emotion (qing) and greed (tan). Taken together, these two novelties grant a (...) philosophical basis for the theory and practice of gender inequality in their specifically Chinese manifestations. An analysis of Dong's work shows that the mere complementarity of yin and yang does not guarantee gender equality; they are not fixed categories, but together form a transformative dynamic harmony. (shrink)
In Dong Zhongshu: A 'Confucian' Heritage and the Chunqiu Fanlu, eminent sinologist Michael Loewe shines a bright light on the traditionally seminal but consistently understudied figure of Dong Zhongshu. Having authored several monographs on the Han dynasty over the last four decades, including a recent two-volume Biographical Dictionary (2000) and a "Companion" to those volumes (2004),1 there is probably no one more suitable to undertake such an inquiry. Loewe's contextualization of Dong and the Chunqiu fanlu is thoroughly (...) detailed and well documented. Kudos to Brill for continuing to include all the attendant Chinese graphs and for publishing books with footnotes rather than endnotes (even if junior faculty .. (shrink)
The assumption that a system described as ‘Confucianism’ formulated by Dong Zhongshu became accepted as the norm during the Western Han dynasty (202 BCE – 9 CE) is challenged and his supposed authorship of the Chunqiu fanlu examined.