Media, Journals Alarmed at Rise of Intelligent Design Movement

first_imgThe number of articles in the news about the Intelligent Design (ID) Movement is rising, partly because of the upcoming hearings before the Kansas school board.  National Geographic news asked, “Does ‘Intelligent Design’ Threaten the Definition of Science?” in an April 27 article, but at least author John Roach got the definition of ID correct, said John West on the EvolutionNews blog.  MSNBC News, on the other hand, portrayed ID as a religious movement and quoted pro-evolution attorney Pedro Irigonegaray exclaiming, “I feel like I’m in a time warp here.  To debate evolution is similar to debating whether the Earth is round.  It is an absurd proposition.”  The source of this story appears to be Reuters news service.  In addition, NPR Science Friday also presented another one-sided view of the debate.    Science magazine this week joined Nature (see 04/27 entry) in alerting the research community about the rise of ID.  Yudhijit Bhattacharjee reported1 updated the earlier story posted on ScienceNow (see 04/21 entry) about the pro-evolution strategy in Kansas.  The plan is to argue that ID will hurt the economy:Last week more than 100 people opposed to making ID part of the science curriculum held a meeting in a liberal church here to test a new rallying cry: A high-quality science education means more jobs and a stronger economy.  By attracting business, civic, and religious leaders, supporters hope to erode ID’s traditional base and stave off changes that they believe will make Kansas an undesirable location for high-tech companies, academics, and other knowledge-based workers. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Science also printed a letter to the editor called “A cry for help from Kansas.”2  Eric Reynolds appealed to fellow readers to wake up to the possibility that what is happening in Kansas could soon come to their states.  Claiming that “the very foundation of science in the United States is at risk,” he said, “What a shame it would be if unqualified politicians succeed in undoing centuries of scientific progress in both the public’s perception of science and its continuing advancement.”  There must be heretics among the ranks of Science readers, however; the prior week, there were four letters to the editor about ID: two for, and two against.    Part of the anti-ID strategy appears to distance evolution from atheism.  Bhattacharjee’s article shows Steve Case making his case from a pulpit, with the caption, “Steve Case and other Kansas scientists hope to make religious leaders allies in the debate over intelligent design.”  Twice it is noted that their allies are liberal churches.  The religious image may just be a cloak, however.  The pro-ID website KansasScience2005 found a letter posted by the anti-ID group Kansas Citizens for Science that said:My strategy at this point is the same as it was in 1999: notify the national and local media about what’s going on and portray them in the harshest light possible, as political opportunists, evangelical activists, ignoramuses, breakers of rules, unprincipled bullies, etc.There may no way to head off another science standards debacle, but we can sure make them look like asses as they do what they do.The letter was from Liz Craig, said to be a spokesperson for Kansas Citizens for Science.  John West on EvolutionNews wonders “whether journalists in the national news media will be credulous enough to allow themselves to be manipulated by Ms. Craig and her colleagues.”  Mark Hartwig commented on Access Research Network that her “loose lips” gives occasion for ID supporters to shout, like teens catching someone in the act, “B-u-u-u-sted!”1Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, “Kansas Gears Up for Another Battle Over Teaching Evolution,” Science, Vol 308, Issue 5722, 627, 29 April 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.308.5722.627].2Eric Reynolds, “A Cry for Help from Kansas,” Science, Vol 308, Issue 5722, 631, 29 April 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.308.5722.631b].It is really quite amusing to see the paranoia of the Darwin Party hacks.  You know they are on the wrong side of history when they have to resort to fear mongering, faulty analogies, non-sequiturs and straw man arguments.  We offer them a secret weapon that is sure to demolish ID in one fell swoop like a nuclear bomb, without all the guerrilla warfare.  It is called scientific evidence.  Show the world evidence that undirected natural processes could indeed build the most efficient molecular machines and programmed guidance and control mechanisms known to man.  Build a better irreducibly complex mousetrap without appeal to design, and the worldview will beat a path to your door.(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Cosmos Does Not Look Evolutionary

first_img(Visited 23 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Evidence continues to mount that the universe and its contents appeared mature from the beginning.Surprising abrupt diversity near the start:  Galaxies were diverse, like those seen today, for most of the universe’s history, Space.com reported.  A new Hubble survey “found that the assorted range of galaxy types seen today were also present about 11 billion years ago, meaning that the types of galaxies seen today, which astronomers described as a ‘cosmic zoo,’ have been around for at least 80 percent of the universe’s lifespan.”  The survey pushes back the early maturity of galaxies from 8 billion years to 11.5 billion.“This is the only comprehensive study to date of the visual appearance of the large, massive galaxies that existed so far back in time,” co-author Arjen van der Wel of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany said in a statement. “The galaxies look remarkably mature, which is not predicted by galaxy formation models to be the case that early on in the history of the universe.”Science Daily left this conundrum unanswered.  Indeed, it added another: “Another piece of the puzzle is that we still do not know why today ‘red and dead’ elliptical galaxies are old and unable to form stars, while spirals, like our own Milky Way, keep forming new stars,” another team member said.  “This is not just a classification scheme, it corresponds to a profound difference in the galaxies’ physical properties and how they were formed.”In the 20th century, most astronomers assumed that one type of galaxy evolved into another, in an evolutionary “Hubble Sequence.”  Now, they all appear abruptly near the beginning. “Clearly, the Hubble Sequence formed very quickly in the history of the cosmos, it was not a slow process,” adds Giavalisco. “Now we have to go back to theory and try to figure out how and why.”Cosmic QuestionsOther cosmology news stories show that major questions remain unanswered, established claims are being debated, and fundamental issues remain unresolved.Revising Newton:  A modified form of Newtonian mechanics named MOND is claiming predictive success, Science Daily reported – astonishing for a theory that reigned science for centuries.  At the same time, MOND is dispensing with the need for dark matter.Time bandits:  A big dispute about the nature of time is brewing between cosmologist Lee Smolin and his critics.  One of them, Huw Smith, reviewing Smolin’s book in Science, did not have kind words for the latter, who believes time is real.  The dispute is an echo of the ancient Greek debate between Parmenides and Heraclitus.Expanding detractions:  One German cosmologist, according to PhysOrg, is disputing the hugely popular consensus that the universe is expanding.  “Cosmology has no big bang singularity,” he wrote. “There exist other, equivalent choices of field variables for which the universe shows the usual expansion or is static during the radiation or matter dominated epochs.”  Readers can decide whether his proposal is more or less bizarre than an instant universe from nothing.The measure of man:  A giant “Hubble Bubble” surrounding our galaxy may be affecting our measurements of the expansion of the universe, Science Daily reported.Got time for space, or space for time?  Zeeya Merali, writing in Nature, summarizes an article with basic questions: “Many researchers believe that physics will not be complete until it can explain not just the behaviour of space and time, but where these entities come from.”  In text and in an embedded podcast, Merali wades through deep speculations that are more frustrating than enlightening, giving time to entrants like quantum loop gravity, string theory, holography, thermodynamics, and some even more abstruse.  The problem understanding space-time, according to one cosmologist: “our job is hard because we are fishes swimming in the fluid at the same time as trying to understand it.”Does a fish know that it is swimming in a fluid?  No, because fish are not philosophers.  Humans can speculate about big questions and ultimate answers in ways that no animal can.  Whether they can arrive at truth by their own bootstraps, though, is a different question entirely.  One clue that man might be onto something is the “surprise effect.”  When a scientist is surprised by a finding, it indicates a possible falsification of his or her assumptions.  The surprise of finding early mature galaxies is a good example.  The abrupt appearance of a diverse group of galaxies already in mature states, is like the Cambrian explosion in the fossil record.  It’s surprising to evolutionists, but not to creationists.  Cosmologists should open their minds to the possibility that cosmic evolution has been falsified.last_img read more

Ramaphosa explains the National Development Plan

first_imgSongezo Zibi from Business Day (far left) was the MC for the event and Cyril Ramaphosa (on the right) gave the lecture on how the NDP will improve South Africa. (Image: Ray Maota) MEDIA CONTACTS • Zama Ndlovu+ 27 79 891 1301 RELATED ARTICLES • We look up to you: Ibrahim• Gender equality under the spotlight• SA is getting plenty right• Gauteng celebrates carnival culture Ray MaotaThe broad aim of the National Development Plan (NDP) is to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. The economic advantages of achieving this goal were discussed at an NDP Lecture, given by Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy chair of the National Planning Commission.Unpacking the plan, Ramaphosa, who is also the deputy president of the ANC, spoke to a hall packed to the rafters with students, business people and some members of the commission. The lecture took place at the Great Hall of the University of the Witwatersrand in Braamfontein on 10 September.South Africa can realise these goals, according to the plan, by drawing on the energies of its people, growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society.Ramaphosa said: “When President Jacob Zuma decided to appoint the National Planning Commission in May 2010, he was motivated by an urge to have a plan for South Africa; he kept saying we were one country that didn’t have an overarching plan that united everyone.”He talked about how the Freedom Charter was a plan by the ANC, although it was incorporated into the Constitution. The NDP, he said, would be a blueprint which every South African would buy into and which would unite the country. Coherent programme“The NDP will serve as a vision and a coherent programme to overcome the challenges facing South Africa,” said Ramaphosa. These were inequality, poverty and unemployment. If South Africa was to overcome poverty and unemployment, then solving its economic challenges had to be at the heart of our objectives as a people and as a country.“All of us as South Africans will be able to say we seek an economy that serves all of our interests … an economy that will be able to absorb people seeking work, one that is competitive and [one in which] the incomes of the poor will be rising higher and higher,” he added. “Our vision is of an economy that is diverse in what we produce as South Africans and also in terms of who owns this economy, who manages this economy, and also who works in this economy.”The NDP identified improving the quality of public services as critical to achieving transformation. This would require provinces to focus on identifying and overcoming the obstacles to achieving improved outcomes, including the need to strengthen the ability of local government to fulfil its developmental role. “We seek firms or businesses that are profitable and play a constructive role in supporting development and social cohesion. We seek an effective state that allows business expansion, protects workers’ rights and ensures that the poor get a better life.”Ramaphosa added that despite making inroads since 1994, the South African economy still did not serve the interests of all. Many of the unemployed people in the country lacked the skills they needed to enter certain markets. The challenge of creating meaningful jobs would forever be present, and this was the struggle “we must engage in”.“We all want what is best for our people and what is best for our country. This plan is not perfect. There is no perfect plan in the world, and where there are differences, they must be resolved.”Although Ramaphosa’s lecture was generally well received, there were some interruptions by people protesting the Marikana massacre. Ramaphosa was a former board member at Lonmin. He has been criticised for calling for action against the mineworkers before the shooting.last_img read more

Abhinav Bindra releases video to inspire young athletes

first_img(Eds: Updating after making changes in intro)New Delhi, Aug 11 (PTI) In a bid to inspire the youth to aim for gold in the upcoming Asian Games and 2020 Olympics, India’s only individual Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra has released a video to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his historic gold-winning performance. The video, produced by JetSynthesys, captures the highlights of the ace shooter’s successful journey, becoming an icon in the world of sports. “You made me who I am. Now you inspire a billion others. I am cheering for the sportsmen and women of India to get our next #GoldforIndia #Olympics #TheGoldTurns10 #HappyBirthdayGold #Tokyo2020 #2YearstoGo,” Bindra tweeted. The 35-year-old, who has been appointed to the International Olympic Committee’s prestigious Athletes’ Commission, said support needs to be given to athletes not only when they become stars but when they work towards their goals. “What makes winning truly worth it, is the journey, the hard work, determination, sacrifices and perseverance. We have so much of budding talent in our country, I hope this video inspires many to follow suit and aim for Gold in both the Asian Games as well as the Olympics,” he added.”10 years ago, Abhinav began a revolution for Indian sportspersons to become champions of their sport. This video is more than just a tribute to Abhinavs efforts, it’s an inspiration to emerging young talent in India to focus on their goals and win #GoldForIndia in the years to come!” MD & CEO, JetSynthesys, said Rajan Navani. PTI APA ATKATKATKadvertisementlast_img read more

Unfortunate that politics and cricket are mixing: PCB chief Ehsan Mani

first_imgPakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ehsan Mani has reacted to Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) decision to write to the International Cricket Council and asking the “cricketing community to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates”.The PCB boss said that, “It is unfortunate that politics and cricket are mixing. It is never good for any sport.”Ehsan Mani also quoted South African Nobel peace prize winner Nelson Mandela to Sportstar, when referring to India’s call to serve sporting ties with Pakistan.”Let’s paraphrase what Mr Nelson Mandela had once said, ‘the voice [of sports] is far reaching than any politician’. Sports has its own role to play. Politics has its own issues. The two should not mix,” Mani said.When asked if Pakistan received any letter from BCCI or is expecting any letter, Mani outright dismissed the idea, saying, “Why should we receive a letter? Of course, we haven’t received any letter.”There has been a call from former Indian cricketers and Indian politicians about boycotting Pakistan, with Committee of Administrators looking to get Pakistan ousted from the 2019 edition of the ICC Cricket World.Reacting to the developments in Indian cricket, Mani said: “I will not comment anything on that. Let the BCCI or the ICC decide anything, then only we can discuss about our plan of action.””You have to talk to the ICC about that. I won’t comment on what Mr Rai has said. We will discuss our plan of action if we hear anything from the ICC. As of now, there has been no communication.” the PCB chief added.advertisementThe PCB boss was also asked about the International Olympic Committee’s decision to revoke the two Olympic quotas from the 2019 Shooting World Cup to be held in Delhi. Mani advised that the decision should be kept in mind when trying to mix “sports and politics”.”You have seen how the IOC has reacted to this as far as shooters are concerned. I guess it is important that we learn to keep sports and politics separate,” Mani said.Also Read | India-Pakistan World Cup match should be played as per schedule: Sarfraz AhmedAlso Read | Sachin Tendulkar backs India-Pak World Cup clash: Would hate to give them 2 pointsAlso Read | No decision on India-Pakistan World Cup clash yet: Committee of AdministratorsAlso Read | India will play against Pakistan in the World Cup if BCCI says so: Yuzvendra Chahallast_img read more