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Folts ordained, consecrated 11th bishop of South Dakota In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 Cathedral Dean Boise, ID Featured Jobs & Calls Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Featured Events Rector Albany, NY Rector Washington, DC Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Lauren StanleyPosted Nov 4, 2019 Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Director of Music Morristown, NJ Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Rector Martinsville, VA The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Rector Pittsburgh, PA Submit a Press Release An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ Rector Tampa, FL House of Bishops, Rector Shreveport, LA Curate Diocese of Nebraska Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis South Dakota Bishop Jonathan Folts participates in his consecration Nov. 2 at T.F. Riggs High School Theater in Pierre. Photo: Kimberly Folts[Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota] In a historic service Nov. 2 in Pierre, the Rt. Rev. Jonathan H. Folts was consecrated as the 11th bishop of South Dakota.Folts, elected in May, was the first bishop of South Dakota to be consecrated in Pierre.In a rare occurrence in The Episcopal Church, Folts’ father, the Rt. Rev. James E. Folts, retired bishop of West Texas, served as both a co-consecrator and the preacher.Retired Bishop Folts, who ordained the new bishop as both a deacon and a priest in West Texas, reminded his son that the most important ordination, “the one that changed your life the most, was that first one, the one that made you a deacon. For in that one … you declared your desire, your intention and indeed your willingness, for the rest of your life, to be a servant.”Ordination to priesthood and the episcopacy “are but subsets of that first ordination,” he said, adding, “I have every reason to believe that you know this great truth, and that you believe this deep in the very core of your being.”He continued by describing a bishop’s job as being one of casting a vision for the diocese while remembering to never work alone; finding the resources, both human and financial, to accomplish the vision; and holding the people accountable, or, as he said, “maintaining order.”But, he stressed, the new bishop should “take care never to equate yourself with the office” of bishop, and he reminded his son of the days when they played chess together. “Remember always,” he said, “that when each game of chess is over, the bishops and the pawns all go back into the same box.”The most poignant moment of the sermon came when the retired bishop delivered the new bishop’s charge: “Jonathan, my son and soon to be my brother (bishop),” he said, his voice cracking with emotion, “would you now please stand.”He ended his sermon by telling his son: “I love you. God bless you.”In his first remarks to the diocese, the newly consecrated bishop told the people, “Today is the beginning of a new chapter in diocesan history. … It is not a new story. … The story is still God’s story. Jesus is still the central character of that story. And the Holy Spirit is the editor who walks with us day after day as we live into that story. This is a new chapter, not a new story.”Nov. 2 also was the 23rd wedding anniversary for Folts and his wife, the Rev. Kimberly Folts. The new bishop thanked everyone for coming out to help them celebrate, and he added, “Apparently what you get for a 23rd anniversary is a big hat and stick!”The two-hour service, held at T.F. Riggs High School Theater and attended by more than 300 people and live-streamed to the diocese, began with Lakota and English hymns and included the reading of the Gospel in Lakota, Dinka and English. The responses to Gospel acclamation, the Doxology, and several communion hymns were also sung in Lakota. A special offertory anthem, composed by Stephen Yarbrough of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Vermillion, South Dakota, was sung by the consecration choir, with members drawn from across the diocese.Several bishops joined Presiding Bishop Michael Curry for the consecration of South Dakota Bishop Jonathan Folts on Nov. 2. Photo: Diocese of South DakotaPresiding Bishop Michael B. Curry was the chief consecrator at the service, and he and Folts’ father were joined by the Rt. Rev. John T. Tarrant, retired bishop of South Dakota, Folts’ predecessor; Connecticut Bishop Ian T. Douglas; West Texas Bishop David M. Reed; and the Rt. Rev. Carlos S. Matsinhe, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Lebombo, Mozambique.Curry, in remarks at the offertory, said, “This is a great getting-up morning. South Dakota, we thank God for you, we are proud of you, and we thank God that we are your sisters and brothers and siblings in Jesus Christ. Congratulations! Congratulations! Congratulations!”The offering for the service will be divided between scholarships for Thunderhead Episcopal Center, the diocesan camp and conference center, and the new bishop’s discretionary fund.Tarrant presented his successor with the diocesan crozier with the words: “Jonathan, on behalf of the people and clergy of the Diocese of South Dakota, I give into your hands this pastoral staff. May Christ the good shepherd uphold you and sustain you as you carry it in his name.”Five other bishops participated in the service: the Rt. Rev. Craig B. Anderson, the eighth bishop of South Dakota; Wyoming Bishop John S. Smylie; Nebraska Bishop J. Scott Barker; Iowa Bishop Alan Scarfe; and the Rt. Rev. Joe Burnett, retired bishop of Nebraska.The Diocese of South Dakota is comprised of 75 congregations in South Dakota, two in Nebraska, and one in Minnesota. Its cathedral, Calvary Cathedral, is located in Sioux Falls. The Diocese of South Dakota has a unique multicultural membership and history; approximately 60 percent of the 12,000 baptized Episcopalians are either Dakota, Lakota or Nakota Sioux. The diocese also has one congregation composed of Sudanese immigrants in Sioux Falls.– The Rev. Lauren R. Stanley is superintending presbyter of the Rosebud Episcopal Mission-West in South Dakota. Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector Knoxville, TN Rector Collierville, TN Submit a Job Listing Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA Youth Minister Lorton, VA Rector Smithfield, NC Press Release Service Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York
to go further Help by sharing this information May 28, 2021 Find out more May 27, 2021 Find out more June 2, 2021 Find out more (Photo : Radio Svaboda – RFE/RL) BelarusEurope – Central Asia News Organisation News “We welcome opening of criminal investigation in Lithuania in response to our complaint against Lukashenko” RSF says In a bid to loosen Russia’s grip on Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko is trying to ingratiate himself with the international community but, aside from the release of leading political prisoners, the human rights situation in his country is still as disastrous as ever.The authorities continue to trample on media freedom in particular, and Belarus is still ranked no better than 157th out of 180 countries in the latest Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index.“Now that the Belarusian government is trying to cosy up to Brussels and woo the IMF, its interlocutors must remind it that media freedom is one of the conditions for full reintegration into the international community,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.“Independent journalists must cease at once to be the targets of judicial harassment and police brutality. And major reforms are essential in order to promote pluralism and remove the shackles that restrain independent media.”Journalist beaten by policeIn one of the latest examples of police brutality, Tut.by website reporter Pavel Dabravolski was beaten by police while covering the arrest of two peaceful protesters during a trial in Minsk on 25 January. “They snatched my camera and press card and started beating,” he told Tut.by. “They kicked me dozens of times. As I tried to protect my face (…) they twisted my arms behind my back and one of the policemen planted his boot on my head.”After being forced to lie face down on the ground for 20 minutes, Dabravolski and the two demonstrators were marched into a courtroom and tried on charges of resisting the authorities and contempt of court. Dabravolski was fined 9.45 million rubles (412 euros) on the evidence of one of the policemen who beat him. He later had his injuries examined in a hospital with a view to filing a complaint.New wave of finesAfter a let-up of several months, the authorities resumed harassing journalists who work for foreign-based media. Since the start of 2016, three journalists have been convicted of “illegal production of media content” under article 22.9 of the Code of Administrative Offences.These prosecutions are the result of a classic Belarusian set-up. On the one hand, the leading independent broadcasters are banned, and thereby forced to broadcast from outside the country. On the other, their reporters inside Belarus are systematically denied accreditation, thereby allowing the authorities to charge them with “illegal production of media content.”No fewer then 28 fines were imposed on these grounds in 2015, prior to the 11 October president election. The slew of convictions halted in the last quarter but resumed in January.The latest victims include Kastus Zhukouski, who was given fines on 14 and 20 January totalling 13.65 million rubles (612 euros), and Larysa Shchyrakova, who was fined 4.62 million rubles (221 euros) on 13 January. Based in the southeastern city of Homyel, they both do reporting for Belsat TV, a TV channel that has been broadcasting from a base in Poland since 2007. It has made at least three unsuccessful attempts to open a bureau in Minsk.Zhukouski told the court he did not need accreditation because he had formed his own company, and it was this company that sold his reports to Belsat TV. “Judges just rubberstamp rulings against freelance journalists,” he said, insisting that he has never been fairly convicted.“They target me in particular because I expose social issues,” he told RSF. “We travel to places where media people never go. Our reports are like mosquito bites, but officials still consider them dangerous.” Russian media boss drops the pretence and defends Belarus crackdown January 28, 2016 – Updated on March 8, 2016 Rejoining international community requires end to repression News Follow the news on Belarus Receive email alerts BelarusEurope – Central Asia RSF at the Belarusian border: “The terrorist is the one who jails journalists and intimidates the public” News RSF_en
Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Five Minuets With: Kim Morris on Diversity Practices Who are your role models in business?As a child, my father—Ronnie Morris—was my role model in business and life. He was a kind soul that cared so much about people and his business, and he knew that it took relationships in both to be successful. He worked his way up in the mortgage industry from a clerical position all the way to executive management. I always aspired to be just like him and admired him wholeheartedly. Unfortunately, when I was only 23 years old, I abruptly lost my dad to a heart attack. I took that as my queue to follow in his footsteps and entered into the mortgage industry in a clerical role and, like him, have worked my way up to an executive role. Today, I still find myself asking “What would Dad have done?” in different situations. “How would he have reacted? What steps would he have taken to resolve this issue?” I think back to his life and all that I learned from him and somehow always find the answers. Tagged with: Five Minutes With Kim Morris Brianna Gilpin, Online Editor for MReport and DS News, is a graduate of Texas A&M University where she received her B.A. in Telecommunication Media Studies. Gilpin previously worked at Hearst Media, one of the nation’s leading diversified media and information services companies. To contact Gilpin, email [email protected] Editor’s Note: This article was originally featured in the September issue of DS News, available now.Kim Morris brings a 28-year history of property tax and mortgage servicing knowledge to Accumatch, with specific experience in escalations, reverse mortgage, tax certificates and, most importantly, an unrelenting focus on customer service and product excellence. Having joined Accumatch in September of 2015 in the company’s Tax Operations division, she is now SVP of Operations. Morris’ previous experience includes Director of Operations at Fannie Mae, Senior Operations Manager at First American Commercial Real Estate Tax Service, Operations Manager at First American Residential Real Estate Tax Service, and Senior Operations Manager at Transamerica Real Estate Tax Service.How has the mortgage industry evolved in its approach to diversity and inclusion over the course of your career?I began working in the mortgage industry in 1988, just after graduating from college. At that time, it was not about diversity and inclusion; it was about meeting racial quotas for hiring and promoting people. Hiring managers were forced to hire or promote specific ethnic groups or sexes, and you were not always able to hire the most qualified person for the job. This caused a lot of frustration amongst hiring managers and a lot of animosity in the workplace between the selected staff members.As people truly began to understand the value of diversity, established quotas quickly became a thing of the past. When I hire people today, I do not think about employees based on sex, race, color, national origin, or religion. I think about how well this person will fit into the culture that we are trying to build and what added value they can bring to the organization. It is about empowering people and learning from each other, and it must start from the top down in the organization. The more diverse a workforce is, the better variety of ideas are generated, making way for groundbreaking discoveries that may have otherwise gone undiscovered. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Share Save What do you feel is a common misconception regarding diversity in the mortgage industry?The most common misconception, and perhaps the most dangerous, is that the job is done—that we’ve accomplished our goal and that everything is all right. It’s easy for people who have not been subject to discrimination or have not been accused of treating people differently to believe that it’s not happening anymore. We’ve had nondiscrimination laws on the books for a long time, so many just assume that if they don’t see someone getting sued that there aren’t any problems. That’s just not the case. I don’t subscribe to the theory that anyone who isn’t actively trying to make the world a better, more diverse place is part of the problem. They’re not a problem, but by ignoring the fact that a problem exists, some people make it much harder for the rest of us to create positive change.Another misconception is that anyone who is an advocate for diversity is trying to get special treatment. Being treated differently is exactly what people who are fighting for diversity don’t want. They want a workplace where everyone is welcome and free to contribute value and then be rewarded for it fairly. A perfect example to cite is a smart, young Hispanic woman who was admitted to a university based on the use of race-conscious admission policies. She spent her entire college career trying to prove the legitimacy of her accomplishments. She had to work twice as hard to overcome being judged for her ethnic background. While diversity and inclusion will certainly be a focus for mortgage professionals in the coming year, what other challenges do you feel the industry will face in the near future?We expect interest rates to tick up and competition for limited housing inventory to make it harder for originators to maintain volumes. Meanwhile, servicers are under intense regulatory scrutiny right now. Even with talk of changes to Dodd- Frank, it’s not clear what might change or when. This just adds uncertainty, which is no friend of business. Both lenders and servicers are seeking to reduce overall uncertainty in their operations, which is why they are seeking out qualified partners who can guarantee compliance in their areas. The real challenge for the industry this year will be finding the right partners to help them take their businesses into this new home finance environment. Home / Daily Dose / Five Minuets With: Kim Morris on Diversity Practices Print This Post Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Five Minutes With Kim Morris 2017-09-22 Brianna Gilpin About Author: Brianna Gilpin The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago September 22, 2017 1,651 Views The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Related Articles Subscribe Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Print Features Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Do you feel you have ever been discriminated against in a business setting? If so, how did you overcome this challenge?Unfortunately, I understand discrimination firsthand as it has happened to me more than once in my career. Being a young, ambitious woman in business in the early 1990s, most of the ideas that I had were either disregarded or stolen and presented by a man in a higher-level position than me. It was very frustrating, but it did not stop me from coming up with new ideas and at least getting them in front of someone who could implement them. As time went on and perspectives of women in business started to change, I began getting recognition for my contributions. It took a long time and a lot of frustration, as the only thing that was holding me back in my career was being a strong, smart, outspoken, competitive woman.I once had a manager who had a problem with the way I dressed. I was well within the dress code, but she didn’t think I looked “feminine” enough. I tried to change the way I dressed to suit her, but being a gay woman, I felt like I was being asked to be something I wasn’t. I felt I had no choice but to give up the job. It was devastating because it had absolutely nothing to do with my performance or abilities.To add another anecdote, a male boss of mine in the ’90s told me that I would go a lot further in business if I just did what I was told and did not question why. Since that was not in my nature, it was difficult for me not to voice an opinion. The only way that I could overcome this situation was to move out from under this particular manager. So, I applied for a new position, reporting to a different manager who respected my opinions and promoted me based on merit. This is how I started moving up in my career and began gaining respect for my own ideas and work ethic. Sign up for DS News Daily Previous: Is the CFPB’s Regulatory Power Limited? Next: Fed: Household Worth Climbs with Stock and Housing Market Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago
Three years ago, when Harvard biologist Jonathan Losos settled in at the Geological Lecture Hall for a talk by fellow scientist Richard Lenski, he was toying with the idea of writing a book on evolution. When the lecture was over, he was done toying.Losos, an evolutionary biologist and the Monique and Philip Lehner Professor for the Study of Latin America, said the work described by Michigan State’s Lenski filled in a picture partly painted by experiments Losos already knew about — some of which he had conducted himself, with lizards from the genus Anolis, commonly called anoles, on islands in the Caribbean.Lenski’s research approximated what the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, who wrote extensively about evolution, might have described as “replaying the tape of life,” Losos said. “Gould had suggested that if we could somehow replay the tape — start evolution over again from the same starting point, then we get a very different outcome,” Losos said. But Gould also knew that the project he was describing was impossible, strictly “a thought experiment,” as Losos put it. “But Lenski showed that you can replay the tape, at least in the lab using microorganisms,” he said. “By starting 12 populations of E. coli that were initially identical and subjecting them all to the same natural selection pressures, he was actually replaying the tape, not going back in time, but letting the tape replay side by side in his 12 experimental replicates. “Moreover, I realized that the same approach was being taken not just in the lab by Lenski and the many, many investigators he has inspired, but similar evolution experiments were also taking place in natural settings, trading the hyper-controlled environment of the lab for the natural realism of field studies. In fact, I had done some of those studies myself.”In a Gazette Q&A, Losos discussed the book the Lenski lecture helped set in motion, “Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution.”GAZETTE: The evolution you talk about in “Improbable Destinies” is not the slow evolution described by Charles Darwin. Instead, it’s fast enough that we can observe it in real time. How is this fast evolution possible?LOSOS: Darwin was quite remarkable in his insights. We know him for his studies on evolution by natural selection, but he actually studied all kinds of phenomena and was right almost all the time. It turned out, though, that he didn’t get it right about the pace of evolution. He thought evolution occurred extremely slowly, at a glacial pace, so much so that you couldn’t possibly expect to see it except over many, many thousands of years. We know now that’s not correct. When natural selection is strong, evolution can occur very quickly.GAZETTE: You also talk a great deal about convergent evolution, once thought a rare development. What is convergent evolution and how does it fit into the broader picture of evolution?LOSOS: Convergent evolution is the phenomenon when two species, or even populations of the same species, independently evolve to be similar. Most often it is the result of those species being in similar circumstances and natural selection sculpts the same adaptive solution. This is an idea that was mentioned by Darwin in “On the Origin of Species,” and we’ve known about it since.But we didn’t think it was common. It was routinely trotted out by evolutionary biologists as a great example of the power of natural selection to come up with the same answer to problems posed by the environment. [But] when biologists discovered convergent evolution, they’d use words like “striking,” “exceptional,” “unexpected,” emphasizing that this is not the norm. We now know that convergent evolution occurs quite commonly.One of the reasons is that we’ve been using DNA sequencing to build evolutionary trees. These trees — called phylogenies — indicate that species that we used to think were closely related because they are similar in appearance, or anatomy, or whatever, are not. Their similarity is not the result of recent shared ancestry, as we thought, but of convergent evolution.One example from the book is a sea snake in the seas around Australia, India, and elsewhere in Asia. Scientists thought it was one species, with a remarkably broad geographic distribution. When scientists finally sequenced its DNA they found that populations in different places were not closely related to each other. Instead, each was more closely related to other snake species in their own area and so their incredibly close similarity to other sea snakes was the result of convergence.Losos holds a live blue tongue skink that is kept as a pet. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer.GAZETTE: Talking about evolution that’s fast and convergent leads to your own work. Tell us about the lizards of the Caribbean, and what your studies found.LOSOS: For my Ph.D., many years ago, I studied Anolis lizards. Many people would be familiar with them because they’re very common in Florida, elsewhere in the southeastern United States, and on the islands of the Caribbean. They have a flap of skin underneath their neck that the males stick out when they’re courting females or fighting with other males. There are 400 different species in this group spread throughout the tropics of the New World, so they’re a great evolutionary success story.One aspect on which I’ve focused much of my career is that the lizards on each of the big islands of the Caribbean — Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Jamaica — have for the most part evolved independently. And, from one or a few ancestral species, they’ve diversified into many descendant species. But evolution has taken a very similar course.On Puerto Rico, if you walked into the rain forest and sat quietly, after a few minutes the lizards would forget you were there and you’d see that there are species living in different parts of the forest and that these species have different anatomical features. For example, species near the ground have very long legs to run and jump on the ground. A species high in the canopy is green for camouflage and has big toe pads to hang on. Another species lives on twigs and has very short legs to maneuver carefully on irregular surfaces. So these species have diversified to adapt to the different parts of the habitat that they use.What is remarkable is that when you go to other islands, you see these same habitat specialists. So, for example, each of the islands has a twig anole — an elongated species with short legs, very camouflaged — and the species on the different islands look similar enough that you’d say they’re probably the same species. But they’re not. They have independently evolved these characteristics. And each island has each of the types of habitat specialist.It’s a great example of convergence, but on steroids, if you will. Not just convergence of one type, but of an entire ensemble of species adapted to different parts of their similar environments.GAZETTE: And you used this insight later in your career to actually engineer evolution and to watch it happen?LOSOS: These lizards, I should point out, have evolved over millions of years. But they suggest that using different parts of the habitat — broad tree trunks, leaves up in the canopy, narrow surfaces — has selected for them to evolve different anatomical features. And that suggests that an ideal experiment would be to expose a lizard species to new conditions, a new habitat, and we would have clear predictions about how they would adapt to that habitat.So that’s exactly what we did. Working in the Bahamas, we were able to take a species that lives on broad tree trunks near the ground and move it to tiny little islands where there were no big trees, there were only scraggly little bushes. So they had to use narrow little surfaces to sit on. Our prediction was very clear from our studies on the big island — that they should adapt by evolving shorter legs. And that’s exactly what they did and over a relatively short period of time.GAZETTE: What comes through in the book is a real enthusiasm and excitement for the work. The ability to actually study evolution and conduct experiments on it in real time seems to have energized the field. What’s it like being able to study these fundamental questions?LOSOS: It’s spectacular. Evolutionary biology, for the first century of its existence, was thought of as a non-experimental science, one with more similarity to history than laboratory sciences. The idea was: You can’t go back in time and see what happened, so you just have to try to figure it out.But the ability to do experiments changes all that. We can now not only formulate hypotheses, but also test them using the gold standard of science: manipulative experiments. People have been doing laboratory experiments for decades, but to do experiments out in the field, under natural conditions, is something that is only really taking off right now. It allows us to formulate ideas about how evolution has worked based on our observations of diversity today and in the past, and then to investigate these hypotheses with mechanistic studies, experimentally testing how evolution occurs in response to presumed selective agents.GAZETTE: Your book talks a lot about convergent evolution and the predictability of evolution under certain circumstances, but you also conduct a thought experiment about whether humans — or something humanlike — would have evolved if mammals weren’t around. And in this case, despite ample evidence of convergence, it seems you’re saying that randomness hasn’t gone away, and if you start at very different starting points, you’ll end up at very different end points, even under similar natural selection pressures.LOSOS: One of the great questions transcending evolutionary biology is: How destined was the world to be as it is today? If events had transpired differently in the past, would the world be very different?Historians ask this all the time. What if Churchill had been run over by a car in New York City in 1931, as almost happened? What if Kennedy hadn’t been assassinated? How different would the world be today? And evolutionary biologists ask the very same question. If you look at the plants and animals in the world around us, are they the inevitable result of evolutionary processes of natural selection, or just the result of the particular events in Earth’s history that sent evolution down one road and not another?This debate was catalyzed by Gould, who wrote a book in 1989 titled “Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History.” In it, Gould argued that evolution was not destined to produce particular outcomes. He said if we could somehow go back in time and start again from the same starting point, the outcome would differ every time. Any sort of minor change that might seem inconsequential at the time could lead one individual to survive and not another, cause one mutation to become common and not another, and evolution would go down a very different road. Replay the tape a million times, he said, and something like humans would never evolve again.This was a very influential viewpoint but it was based on no data. There was nobody doing these sorts of experiments. However, the idea really excited a lot of people, so there’s been a lot of attention to the question over the last 30 years. And the reason I wrote the book is that I realized we do have a lot of empirical data now addressing the question of how repeatable, or how predictable, evolution is.One school of research that has arisen has focused on the phenomenon of convergent evolution, of the same evolutionary outcome occurring multiple times. A number of people argue that convergent evolution demonstrates that Gould was wrong. The environment poses similar questions to species living in many different places and there are optimal solutions that natural selection finds. As a result, you can predict, almost, what sort of outcome you’d get in a particular evolutionary circumstance, and that solution evolves time and time again. Contrary to what Gould argued, these other scientists argued that particular outcomes are inevitable. And that is how convergent evolution has been used by some scientists to contest the idea of the haphazardness, or the flukiness, of evolution.GAZETTE: And your own conclusion is somewhere in the middle, right?LOSOS: Yes, and the reason is that these scientists are absolutely correct that convergent evolution is much more common than we used to appreciate. It does show the power of natural selection and there are some outcomes that do occur repeatedly. So there is truth to that.But the argument basically comes down to a long list of examples of convergent evolution and you could make a similar long list of examples of failure to converge, of species exquisitely adapted to their environment but with no parallel anywhere else in the world.My favorite example is the duck-billed platypus. Here’s a species that comes in for all kinds of ridicule as being a comical, ridiculous animal, but that’s really not fair. They’re actually extremely well adapted to the environment in which they occur, the streams in Australia. They have a suite of features — lush fur, webbed feet, powerful tail — that make them very well-adapted.The most important feature they have is their bill, which looks like the bill of a duck, but which is very different from that of a duck. It is covered with sensors that detect both tactile information — the slight ripple of water as a fish swims by — and the electrical discharges that any animal gives off as it moves. Using those two senses, they can find their food underwater even though their eyes are closed and their ears and noses are closed. So, they’re actually remarkably well adapted to the streams in which they live. But those streams are nothing special. We have similar streams all around the world, and yet there’s no duck-billed platypus in any of them. It evolved once in Australia, without a parallel.There are many examples of this — elephants, kiwis, giraffes. These are species very well adapted to where they live, environments that occur all around the world, and yet there’s no convergent evolution.You could make a very long list of examples of nonconvergence. The debate so far has been people arguing that convergence is more common or nonconvergence is more common. And that debate has gotten quite stale, because, in fact, they’re both quite common. It doesn’t really matter whose list is longer. The real question we now have is: What circumstances lead some species to evolve convergently, evolve convergent solutions, and in which cases do they follow different evolutionary courses, finding different adaptations to the same selection pressures? And that’s the sort of work that’s going on in many places around the world, including some labs here at Harvard.
A growing disparity between the turbine megawatt growth and units deployed will impact component suppliers as price pressure percolates down the supply chain, according to a new report by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.The report – Global wind turbine supply chain trends – estimates that global turbine supply chain potential sits at USD 540 billion over the next ten years.In the next decade, global wind annual installations will grow from 53GW in 2018 to over 75GW in 2027, a 40% increase, according to Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables senior analyst, Shashi Barla.However, a total number of turbines deployed in 2027 is expected to be just over 16,000, 20% less compared to over 20,000 turbines deployed in 2018, due to the increase in individual capacity.This, coupled with the expected increase in the global market share among leading turbine manufacturers, will put additional pressure on component suppliers, according to the report.“We expect the global market share among the top five-turbine OEMs to rise to more than 73% by 2027, compared to just 54% in 2016. It is therefore imperative that component suppliers secure strategic relationships with these winning OEM to solidify their own future success,” Barla, said.The research also highlights the logistics challenges on the horizon for blades and towers as component sizes become longer and taller, respectively. Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables expects the industry to circumvent these obstacles with new transportation methods and on-site/closer-to-site manufacturing. As such, the increase in project average MW size across global markets will favour this trend due to economies of scale.Turbine OEMs continue to leverage independent suppliers to out-source component manufacturing, while the component design continues to move inwards, according to the report.“After exploiting the low-cost footprint advantage in China, Western turbine OEMs are now searching for out-sourcing partnerships with Chinese component suppliers as a way to squeeze costs further,” Barla said.“Offshore growth in Asian markets will facilitate expansion opportunities for independent blade suppliers, as western markets are primarily served by turbine OEMs in-house capacity. As blade length increases on next generation turbines, carbon fiber utilization for structural blade support is expected to increase its share of the market, from 25% in 2018 to around 57% by 2027, due to support light-weighting and other advanced properties.”