Evolution Battle Heats Up in Ohio

first_imgCNN has reported that the Ohio school board voted 13-5 in favor of an optional set of lessons called “Critical Analysis of Evolution.”  The usual opponents are lining up on both sides; some scientific organizations are claiming it is a “religious effort cloaked as science,” but others consider it a victory for students and for academic freedom.What are the Darwinians afraid of?  This is only an optional lesson.  There is no test on it.  A student’s grade does not depend on it.  The Darwinians get 478 pages out of 500 to tell their side of the story.  Come on, Darwin Party loyalists, give us your best shot.  We regularly debate the best Darwinian arguments from the best Darwinian mouthpiece journals right here on Creation-Evolution Headlines.  We’re not afraid to examine the evidence; why are you?  You assume students are smart enough to understand Darwinian doctrines in high school, so why do you assume they are not smart enough to judge evidence?    Check out this analogy by Stephen Weeks (U. of Akron biologist), trying to explain why only Darwinians should teach Darwinism: “If someone’s an expert and they’re telling you they need a brain tumor removed in a certain way, that’s weighted more than your mechanic’s opinion.”  Try one of our analogies instead:Instead of hearing news of the Iraq war only from Al-Jazeera, students should also have the opportunity to watch Fox News.Before submitting to a risky brain tumor operation, one should get opinions from several independent experts and also read the medical literature.Before buying a used car from a used car salesman, check Consumer Reports.Members of the jury, listen carefully to both the prosecutor and the defense attorney before making up your minds.  Don’t be swayed by the personality or prestige of the attorneys; base your decision solely on the law and on the evidence.Analogies are fun.  Make up one of your own depicting this controversy, and send it here.If a drunk really wants to know if he has a drinking problem, should he only solicit his buddy’s opinion down at the ‘yall come back saloon’ -or- should he also seek the professional opinions of licensed counselors, trained to detect alcohol-related disorders?  [from a reader in Texas]If a person wants to know how all the microscopic motors and machines work in a cell maybe they should start with a diagnostic test from the mechanic.  [from a reader in Arizona] (Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

How the Scientist Got His Just-So Story

first_imgA case of scientific racism?  An anthropologist studied living Kalahari Bushmen for clues to the evolution of cognition.Human beings are long, long past any evolutionary stage anthropologists could claim they were going through 400,000 years ago when our ancestors allegedly learned to control fire.  (Michael Balter in Nature asserts that date, even though evidence of cooking goes back millions of years in the evolutionary timeline; 6/17/09.)  So what are anthropologists doing listening to the campfire stories of living tribesmen to draw inferences about our evolutionary past?Laura Geggel at Live Science writes,Telling stories around a campfire may have served as one of the first forms of “social media,” helping humans create and spread culture, reports a new study on the Kalahari Bushmen in Africa.These firelight tales, rarely told during the day, can reinforce social traditions, encourage harmony and equality, and create a sense of community when the stories tell of people living far away or in the spirit world, the researchers added.University of Utah anthropologist Polly Wiessner didn’t need to travel to Africa to find this out.  She could have gone to any campground in America to hear wild and wacky stories around evening campfires.  Africans are not a whit less human than anyone else (as can be demonstrated by our interfertility and the intellectual achievements of many Africans).  Besides, Wiessner used “educated Bushmen” to help translate the stories.  What is it that made her think tribespeople in Botswana and Namibia were somehow closer to our evolutionary ancestors (and thus less evolved) than Europeans or Americans?  Is this a case of scientific racism?Wiessner apparently deduced in her “exploratory study” that since some Kalahari still live by hunting and gathering, they are like human ancestors hundreds of thousands of years ago.   That appears to be a highly dubious inference, unless one believes that these Africans represent an evolutionary throwback or atavism. While she agrees that all humans have the capacity to bond with storytelling, it’s clear from PhysOrg‘s coverage that she intended to do some storytelling of her own about human evolution:Wiessner suggests that firelight stories, conversations, ceremonies and celebrations sparked human imagination and “cognitive capacities to form these imagined communities, whether it’s our social networks, all of our relatives on Earth or communities that link us to the spirit world.” She says they also bolstered the human ability to “read” what others are thinking – not just their thoughts or intentions, but their views toward other people.When did the spark ignite?  When did the bolstering begin?  Clearly, she’s implying it happened way, way back when—long before modern humans evolved.She also concluded that since the tribes’ subject matter changed from economics during the day to the spirit world at night, that somehow the light of campfires lit up the social bonds of early humans.  “What I found was a big difference between day and night conversation, the kinds of information transmitted and the use of imaginary thought,” she said.  Could she not find the same difference at any English pub or Japanese sushi bar?  All people talk about business during the day, and less so at night.  So what?The paper, which PNAS published without rejection, appears to tell more about Weissner’s storytelling ability than those of her fully-modern-human subjects.  Why did PNAS allow her to say, “Control of fire and the capacity for cooking led to major anatomical and residential changes for early humans, starting more than a million years ago,” with not a single peer reviewer objecting?  This points to an insidious racism throughout academia that minorities might consider invidious.Quick!  Call Al Sharpton and the other anti-racism activists.  Sic ’em on the evolutionary anthropologists—some of the most shameless racists on earth (8/10/14), who continue to imply that people in undeveloped countries are inferior to themselves.  They’ve done this to Neanderthals for years—intelligent humans who, in absentia, have been unable to defend their reputations against the N-word (5/06/14).  Now they’re doing it to living third-world human beings!  Outrageous.  Remember how Jared Diamond got in trouble for a similar racist “study” that his highly-intelligent subjects in New Guinea sued him over? (5/17/09).  Yet here is Michael Balter again, who exposed that story, pretending that another anthropologist is doing legit science.  And it’s not just Wiessner; look—she has Nature, PNAS, PhysOrg and Live Science all praising her “study” as if it were science, not racist storytelling.Bible-believing creationists see all human beings as descendants of Adam and Eve.  Racism is excluded; we are all created in the image of God.  We’ve fallen from the original state of innocence, and gone our separate ways in our journeys away from the light (Acts 17:22-31), but Christians preach unequivocally that Christ died for every man, woman and child on earth.  That’s why we go out into all the world (Acts 1:8, Matthew 28:19-20) to bring the good news of the gospel to remote jungles, deserts and caves: we know that, despite the Fall, the Flood and Babel, we are “created equal” in God’s sight.  The final book of Revelation portrays a glorious celebration around the throne of God of people from every tribe, people group, and language (Revelation 7:9-10).Christians are the ones who respect truth (John 18:37-38) and evidence (I Corinthians 15:1-11), deploring those who turn aside to myths (II Timothy 4:1-4), exposing those who make up stories out of their own imagination (II Corinthians 10:5).  How ironic that today, Christians are the ones routinely portrayed as anti-science, while the evolutionary scientists are the primary unscientific purveyors of imagination-based tales in the intellectual world.  What’s the essential difference, we ask, between Wiessner’s tale and the campfire stories of her Kalahari subjects?What’s funny, after the outrage we should feel over Wiessner’s implied racism, is that hers is just another evolutionary just-so story, concocted out of imagination rather than proof.  Only this time, it’s a just-so story about storytelling!  “How the anthropologist got her just-so story” indeed.  Touché. (Visited 59 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Photo library: Business and industry 3

first_img{loadposition tc}Click on a thumbnail for a low-resolution image, or right-click on the link below it to download a high-resolution copy of the image.» Download Business & Industry contact sheet (1.8MB) » Download full image library contact sheet (10.5MB) Johannesburg, Gauteng province: Keneuwe Monakale tests water quality at the pre-brew plant at South African Breweries’ Alrode brewery. Producing 1.9-million litres of beer a day and employing some 900 staff, the brewery is the largest in the country. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gauteng province: Cleaning the filtration plate area at South African Breweries’ Alrode brewery. The largest in South Africa, the brewery produces 1.9-million litres of beer a day and employs 900 staff. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gauteng province: Cleaning the filtration plate area at South African Breweries’ Alrode brewery. The largest in South Africa, the brewery produces 1.9-million litres of beer a day and employs 900 staff. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gauteng province: The brewhouse at South African Breweries’ Alrode brewery. The largest in South Africa, the brewery produces 1.9-million litres of beer a day and employs 900 staff. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gauteng province: The bottling and labelling section at South African Breweries’ Alrode brewery. The largest in South Africa, the brewery produces 1.9-million litres of beer a day and employs 900 staff. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gauteng province: The bottling and labelling section at South African Breweries’ Alrode brewery. The largest in South Africa, the brewery produces 1.9-million litres of beer a day and employs 900 staff. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gauteng province: The bottling and labelling section at South African Breweries’ Alrode brewery. The largest in South Africa, the brewery produces 1.9-million litres of beer a day and employs 900 staff. Photo: Chris Kirchhoff, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gauteng province: The bottling and labelling section at South African Breweries’ Alrode brewery. The largest in South Africa, the brewery produces 1.9-million litres of beer a day and employs 900 staff.Photo: Chris KirchhoffMediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image Johannesburg, Gauteng province: Robertson Hlatshwyo works in the labelling plant at South African Breweries’ Alrode brewery. Producing 1.9-million litres of beer a day and employing some 900 staff, the brewery is the largest in the country. Photo: Chris KirchhoffMediaClubSouthAfrica.com » Download high-res image BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY 3: {loadposition business}Having trouble downloading high-resolution images? Queries about using the image library?Email Mary Alexander at [email protected]last_img read more

list.it: Post-It Notes for the Twitter Generation

first_imgWhile furiously trying to organize my digital life this past weekend, I found myself as I often do – with an obscene number of tabs open at the same time while hopping from thought to thought. It was in the middle of this confusing mess that I came across list.it, the self-described “simple, free, open-source note-keeping tool to help you manage the tons of little information bits you need to keep track of each day.” Put out by the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT, the browser extention is a “tool to help people cope with information overload and to stay organized” that has since helped me keep track of the common threads of an often multi-threaded day.What It IsThe best part of list.it is its simplicity. It doesn’t do much more than keep a list but it does that very well. List.it exists as a sort of frame on your browser that you can hide or show with a hotkey. Even its design is perfectly simple, with a text entry box at the top, a search bar in the middle and the individual list items below. Big Features for a Little AppList.it does all everything I want it to do and nothing more.There are just four hotkeys to remember: One opens and closes the frame, one searches through your notes, one pops up a quick entry bar at the bottom of your browser and one adds the current URL. The list items are kept in little boxes, which can be rearranged simply by clicking and dragging. A click on the main area of a note opens it for editing and directly clicking on a URL will open that website in a new tab. A click on the “x” deletes the item. Information for a Twitter GenerationNow, this isn’t the type of app where you’re going to keep large chunks of text, so the search can serve a slightly different purpose. For techies like us, members of the Twitter generation, the idea of hashtags has become common sense. They work as a great way to keep your information organized, as whenever you do a search, you can click the “+” next to the search box to save that search. Instead of working in a directory structure, you create the structure on the fly.This might be one of our favorite parts of this little app. While we can use the browser’s bookmarks or services like del.icio.us, we don’t have to spend time keeping our list organized in the same way. There’s no complicated and powerful bookmark organizer. List.it is for parceling off your information into little bites, manipulating them and working with them along the way. As long as you tag your notes along the way, these saved searches act as filters. If that hashtag appears anywhere in the note’s text, it will be displayed when you click on that search button, which is kept just below the search bar. List.it also allows for synchronization between different browsers by saving your list on a central server, that way you can take your list with you on your netbook or your iPhone. One caveat – we ran into some difficulty while trying to create a user name and password. After installing list.it, there will be an orange triangle next to the text entry box at the top. Clicking on that will bring you to the proper location. Aside from that, we’ve had no other problems, which is always nice to see with an open-source, always in development type of app.We’d recommend going and taking a look at the extension for yourself. It’s available for Firefox version 3.0 or greater and for iPhone and Android. The video included below gives a quick preview off the extension, but we think using it will really prove its usefulness. Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… mike melanson Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#news#NYT#web last_img read more

Family Development WEBINAR: Novel Communication Tools: Using Text4Baby & Just In Time Parenting to Meet the Needs of Parents

first_imgNovel Communication Tools: Using Text4Baby & Just In Time Parenting to Meet the Needs of ParentsMark your calendars for what’s next in our 2014 MFLN Family Development Webinar Series!Date: Thursday, April 24, 2014Time: 11a-1pm EasternLocation: Novel Communication Tools: Using Text4Baby & Just In Time Parenting to Meet the Needs of ParentsWhat to Expect…Presenters of this 2 hour webinar will highlight how parents today are less likely to attend traditional parenting programs, provide research showing that parents are increasingly seeking information online, through social media and mobile devices and promote the use of two FREE, effective and innovative resources that can meet the needs of parents with young children.Luisa F. Soaterna-Castañeda, MPH, Text4baby Multicultural & Outreach Specialist, will highlight the successes of Text4Baby and how you can easily incorporate it into your work with mothers that have smartphones. Webinar attendees will learn about the Text4Baby service and how the service provides information on key topics that interest pregnant women and new moms via short and succinct text messages. Attendees will also learn about significant creative communication enhancements (including interactivity, mobile pages, quizzes, and videos) to the nation’s largest and only free text messaging service. Research on the effectiveness of text messaging in reaching underserved populations will also be covered as well as how Text4Baby can assist in women feeling more prepared for motherhood due to increased knowledge, awareness and skills that lead to better health for them and their babies.Aaron Ebata, Ph.D., University of Illinois,  and Pat Tanner Nelson, Ed.D., University of Delaware, will show how Just in Time Parenting (JITP) connects with the needs of today’s parents for reliable, research-based information.  Presenters will highlight evaluations of JITP to demonstrate the effectiveness of delivering age-paced information and show how readers across all educational and economic levels demonstrate more confidence and competence in raising their children when using information and strategies outlined by JITP. Presenters will also highlight how JITP can help parents have realistic age-appropriate expectations, provide reassurance about their child’s development, help parents identify problems early and suggests how to find help. Speakers will share how to get parents enrolled for the free electronic version of JITP and how to take advantage of additional online resources that support and strengthen JITP outreach and impact, including: “Frequently Asked Questions” and “Ask the Experts”.FREE CEU’s!We offer 2.0 National Association of Social Worker CE credits for many of our webinars, click here to learn more. For more information on future presentations in the 2014 Family Development webinar series, please visit our professional development website or connect with us via social media for announcements: Facebook & Twitter.last_img read more