Nature Prints Anti-ID Letters

first_imgThe May 19 issue of Nature1 printed seven letters responding to its editorial about the intelligent design movement (see 04/27/2005 entry).  They were all critical of ID.  Not one even tolerated Nature’s suggestion that scientists try to help students integrate their faith with science.  Apparently, last month’s editorial was not sufficiently vicious against ID, says Rob Crowther on Evolution News.  Crowther knows that at least one letter favorable to ID was not printed: the one by Stephen Meyer, interviewed in the April 27 article, who wrote in to correct some misconceptions (see it at Discovery Institute).1Correspondence, Nature 435, 275 (19 May 2005) | doi: 10.1038/435275a.OK, since some readers are intimidated when Big Science raises its collective voice against anything, let’s examine this correspondence.  First, we don’t know how many readers wrote responses, and of those, how many were pro vs. con.  Since Nature was born as a pro-Darwin mouthpiece (see 03/04/2004 commentary), it is not surprising the editors would continue the propaganda campaign of associating Charlie with science and anything else with foolishness.  Second, scientists are fallible.  The majority has been wrong before, often strenuously, sometimes for long periods of time.  Third, scientists can be woefully ignorant of issues outside their specialties; in fact, one of the writers (Roy, below) admits it.  This means that a molecular biologist or geneticist may know a lot about a particular molecule or gene but very little about intelligent design theory and the history and philosophy of science except what his liberal Democrat ivory-tower colleagues in academia tell him or her (see 12/02/2004 entry).  They may be oblivious to the fact that their work rests on the shoulders of centuries of creationists and believers in design (see online book).    What onlookers must do is get past the hot air, bluffing and bandwagon tactics of these selectively-printed letters and evaluate the strength of the arguments.  See if you are impressed with what any of these self-styled Darwin champions have to say:Jerry Coyne (U of Chicago) uses the word science or scientist 17 times in 3 paragraphs, but really means materialism.  Substituting in the correct word makes his whole point fall apart, i.e., “scientists” have no duty to help “religious” people come to terms with “science” – recast as: materialists have no duty to help non-materialists come to terms with materialism.  By perpetuating the either-or fallacy of science vs. religion, Coyne contributes nothing to the discussion.  Remember how Coyne flip-flopped in the 07/05/2002 entry?David Leaf (Western Washington U): this letter is all about politics and strategy for fighting ID.  He thinks high schoolers are too dumb to understand the controversy, because they are “just learning the basics of science” (read: materialism).  He recommends waiting to allow students to think until they have been thoroughly indoctrinated by their junior or senior year of college.  (In the film Icons of Evolution, a high school student takes offense at the suggestion they can’t handle the controversy.  He points out that evolution is taught to kindergartners.  “If we can’t handle it, we shouldn’t be in high school,” he quips.)Chris Miller (Brandeis U): no merit in this letter, either; he just perpetuates the dysteleology argument with a presumably witty remark about Tinkerbell in the kitchen, “Evolution is a short-order cook, not a watchmaker.”  Read the 05/18/2005 entry again, and the 03/11/2005 commentary.Douglas Yu (East Anglia U): perpetuates the non-overlapping magisteria science vs. religion stereotype, making the odd claim that “ID actively undermines the basis of Christianity.”  Presumably Darwinistic materialism does not.  He defines all of Christianity in terms of the advice to doubting Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  Talk about a quote out of context (see half truth).  Jesus often urged his disciples to follow the evidence, not engage in blind faith (and especially not human tradition).  Thomas should have followed all the overwhelming prior evidence he had rather than demanding more physical proof.  Jesus meant that future disciples would not have the benefit of his bodily presence.  It does not follow that they had no evidence or should have believed out of ignorance.Rustum Roy (Penn State) equates ID with the ignorance of different cultures or belief systems, and advocates a relax and stay-the-course strategy.  “Ham-fisted efforts will simply alienate much larger numbers of people from the rest of science,” he says, so just treat ID like you would those who are ignorant or illiterate.  Even for scientists, “amazing ignorance” of things outside their specialties does little harm, he argues.  Maybe if they ignore ID it will go away.  What if it doesn’t?  Again, no effort to understand or answer the case for ID was offered.Michael Lynch (Indiana U) pounds the nail about ID being equivalent to intellectual laziness: i.e., just giving up and saying “the Designer made it that way.”  That didn’t seem to be an obstacle for James Joule (see Joule’s own words) and many other great scientists (see also von Braun’s own words); on the contrary, their fascination with God’s design was their motivation to do good science.  Lynch also tries to distance evolution from dependence only on natural selection – interesting admission that Charlie’s famous mechanism is not omnipotent, but then what naturalistic mechanism can produce a wing or an eye? (see 05/15/2005 attempt).  Lastly, he repeats the faulty analogy that evolution is not just a theory, but a fact like respiration or digestion.  Surprisingly, Lynch touts evolution as the most quantitative field in biology, and suggests that teaching evolution will help students gain the mathematical skills necessary to compete in our technical world.  Is this a record for non-sequitur density per paragraph?Dan Graur (U of Houston) embarrassed himself with a senseless rant, equating ID with “flat-Earthers, tea-leaf readers, astrologers, geocentrists and phlogiston theorists” who, like ID (he thinks), “cannot publish their studies in respectable journals.”  This guy is clueless; the egg is on Nature’s face for printing it, unless their intention was to make ID look good by contrast.  Jonathan Wells on Discovery Institute shouldn’t have had to give it the dignity of a response.So thank you, Nature, for giving us a sample of your best and brightest Darwin defenders taking on intelligent design.  If this collection of ridicule, straw man arguments, loaded words, false dichotomies, big lies, equivocation and pure ignorance of the issues is the best the Darwin Party can offer, then all ID must do is stand back and watch evolutionism implode.  Just don’t let them try to delay the inevitable by letting their illogic and ignorance go unchallenged.Suggested reading: The Design Revolution by William Dembski.  This 2-PhD mathematician/philosopher answers typical objections to intelligent design, including all those of the above challengers.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Bloggers to fight hunger in Africa

first_imgA double storey classroom for delightedpreschool children. The proud and happy graduates of the firstCans4Skills development course. A container classroom renovated byBreadline for foreign nationals at theSoetwater refugee camp, set up after theoutbreak of xenophobic-related violencein May 2008.(Images: Breadline Africa)Janine ErasmusThe ingenuity of an African NGO is raising international awareness for the plight of Africa’s millions of starving people, and harnessing the power of the internet to drive its newest project.Cape Town-based Breadline Africa is an NGO that aims to give Southern African communities the means to break out of the trap of poverty. The organisation is involved in many community-based projects in three main categories – skills development, assisting youth and children, and health and nutrition.Breadline Africa launched its latest initiative in October 2008. Using the power of consumer generated media – posts made in all kinds of online media such as blogs, wikis, discussion lists and forums – the World Blogger Bake-Off is a global call to bloggers to join the fight against hunger in Africa by collectively raising R11-million ($1-million).Bake bread or give doughBreadline Africa’s partner in the World Blogger Bake-Off is Quirk eMarketing, responsible for the NGO’s e-marketing strategy. Quirk is known for its involvement in projects such as the recent Google Earth layer for South African Tourism.The World Blogger Bake-Off encourages bloggers from all over the world to get involved in Breadline Africa’s fight against poverty in various ways. These range from promoting the initiative by blogging about it, pledging and challenging fellow bloggers to do the same, hosting bread and cake sales in their areas to raise funds, uploading a bread recipe, and generally spreading the word amongst the online community.Non-bloggers may also become part of the campaign by uploading their favourite bread recipe into one of three categories – most nutritious, most unusual and best traditional recipe.The blogger responsible for the most money donated will receive an Amazon voucher worth R5 600 ($500) and will have a container kitchen named after them or their blog, while the most popular recipes in each of the categories will receive Amazon vouchers to the value of R2 800 ($250).Bread was chosen as the project’s theme because it is the staple food of millions of people in Africa and around the world. Many of these people live below the poverty line and have to endure the associated problems of unemployment, hunger, disease, violence and despair. By supporting charity projects run in the heart of communities, and helping them to reach a level of sustainability, Breadline also helps to reduce the need for welfare.Sustainable community projectsBreadline Africa works by gathering and disbursing funds to convert old shipping containers into functional, sustainable, community-uplifting projects such as soup kitchens, classrooms, and nursery schools. Not only do the containers provide an essential service in disadvantaged areas, but they also offer a platform for skills development in communities.With offices in both South Africa and the United Kingdom, the organisation acts a bridge between the needy in Africa and donors in Europe and the UK. Since its inception in 1993 it has supported over 130 projects in Southern Africa through annual grants. Breadline also participates in the Multi-Agency Grants Initiative, which aims to bring donor partners together to share resources and thus more effectively support community based organisations.Project manager Edna Titus says that the organisation sometimes struggles to find containers, as they are not that easy to come by and shipping companies are strangely unwilling to freely donate old containers, however battered, rusty and unusable they may be. This forces the NGO to use some of its funds for purchasing.“Shipping companies only seem to donate directly to communities,” says Titus. “This ties our hands somewhat because they often retain ownership of the container and that hampers us even from renovating it on the community’s behalf.”Old shipping containers are often found in communities masquerading as anything from telephone booths and hair salons to spaza shops. The Breadline difference is that they are completely renovated and are no longer merely cold, drab, windowless boxes. “We beautify the containers and make them user friendly,” says Titus, “and even their bright colours give the area a boost.”While community projects may use the containers for as long as they remain successful and sustainable, if they should fold the container reverts back to Breadline who will then pass it on to another worthy project. “But this happens very rarely,” says Titus. “We scrutinise our potential projects very carefully and choose the ones which we believe will succeed.”Skills developmentBreadline Africa also runs a very successful poverty alleviation and skills development programme called Cans4Skills, centred on the container renovation and working on the principle that people become independent by learning to help themselves.Skills development in South Africa is a cause espoused by many organisations as well as government, as it is one of the main factors in the country’s unemployment rate.Cans4Skills takes its name from the communities’ name for containers, and Breadline Africa uses containers, or cans, to provide opportunities for people in informal settlements to hone trade skills such as plumbing, bricklaying, woodwork and painting – practical skills which can be passed on for the benefit of the community. The company also teaches basic domestic tasks including cooking, ironing and using a washing machine.The containers are cleaned and spruced up with a floor, windows and doors and a coat of paint, transforming them into classrooms for those who cannot afford to attend a college or don’t have transport to get to one. Bringing the classroom to the people and teaching them in their own environment, says Titus, is an effective way of giving them a kick-start in earning an income.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected] linksBreadline AfricaWorldwide blogger bake-offBlogger bake-off Facebook groupMulti-Agency Grants InitiativeQuirk eMarketinglast_img read more

Brand South African partners with Mandela Trilogy in Dubai

first_imgA musical based on the early life and revolutionary awakening of Nelson Mandela, The Mandela Trilogy, was performed at the Dubai Opera House in November 2017. All three shows were sold out. Brand South Africa partnered with the organisers to reach out to South Africans living and working in the United Arab Emirates.Promotional poster for The Mandela Trilogy, performed at the Dubai Opera House, UAE, on 9-11 November 2017. (Image: Cape Town Opera)CD AndersonThe musical, The Mandela Trilogy, (formerly known as African Songbook: A Tribute to the Life of Nelson Mandela) was first performed by the Cape Opera in 2010, followed by sold-out performances in the UK and Germany.Written and produced by composers Peter Louis van Dijk and Mike Campbell with librettist Michael Williams, the musical uses original South African music, fusing traditional Xhosa songs, classical music, jazz and modern songs, to complement the three-part journey of a young Madiba’s early years maturing from a rural farm life to lawyer and freedom fighter.In an interview in 2014, Williams spoke about the high international standard of musical theatre the show upheld, while remaining uniquely African. He called the show “a bright, bold and brassy show that pulls together all the musical traditions of South Africa”.In 2016, The Guardian newspaper called the musical – which had a run at the Royal Festival Hall in London – a “successful and original retelling of a story told many times before… using compelling storytelling techniques and powerful cast”.The musical has been popular with many South Africans living abroad. The idea behind its debut in Dubai, in particular, as spearheaded by the Dubai Opera CEO, South African-born Jasper Hope, who saw an opportunity to bring the story to the relatively large South African community in the UAE.Hope told the Gulf News website: “I’m delighted Dubai Opera is able to collaborate with the fantastic Cape Town Opera to share the story of Nelson Mandela’s heroic and inspirational life, presented in this brilliantly colourful production with its intoxicating mix of opera, jazz and Xhosa sounds and rhythms.”Following discussions with the Opera House, for Brand South Africa, the three performances – held between 9 and 11 November 2017 – were a perfect occasion to promote the nation brand and engage with the South African diaspora in the Gulf.The Mandela Trilogy performances were used to strengthen brand advocacy for South Africa’s brand identity, image, competitiveness and value proposition.According to reports, the Dubai performances were a hit with South Africans, and they played to full houses of up to 2,000 seats, on all three nights. The evenings inspired many to talk to fellow compatriots and UAE residents to present a positive global image of the country’s history and culture to the region, just as Mandela himself had intended.Source: Gulf News website, Cape Town Opera House, Brand South Africa Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Ohio Farm Bureau marks 100 years

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio Farm Bureau is gearing up for its 100th anniversary in a major way and the yearlong celebration will include lots of ways to join in the fun.The centennial celebration features a member only concert by country artist Chase Bryant, barn paintings throughout the state, releases of centennial beer and wine, collector edition rifles, a commemorative book, limited edition artwork and lots of collectables including vintage T-shirts, pint glasses, hats and metal signs.Ohio Farm Bureau was founded on Jan. 27, 1919. The centennial celebration officially kicks off at the 2018 annual meeting Dec. 6 – 7 in Columbus.“100 years ago, Ohio farmers decided they could do more for themselves, their families and their communities by banding together. That idea is as valid, and as effective today as it was back then,” said Ohio Farm Bureau president and dairy farmer Frank Burkett III. “This is a great opportunity to remember and celebrate a century of great accomplishments by our members.”The Chase Bryant concert will be Dec. 7 at 8:30 p.m. in the Columbus Convention Center. This is a private, members only event held at the conclusion of OFBF’s annual meeting. Bryant is a Texas native and was named one of the “Best Things We Saw” at CMA Music Fest 2014‚ by Rolling Stone. The singer/songwriter/guitarist lists influences ranging from Merle Haggard to Tom Petty. Farm Bureau members can visit ofbf.org/centennial for soon to be released concert ticket information.The concert is free, thanks to exclusive sponsor Nationwide. Nationwide was founded by Ohio Farm Bureau in 1926 as Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and remains Ohio Farm Bureau’s closest and most important partner.The celebration includes a raffle for a Henry Big Boy 44 magnum, a Henry Golden Boy 22 long rifle and a Ruger rifle–American Farmer Edition. Raffle tickets go on sale in September and the drawing will be held at annual meeting. An additional Henry rifle will be sold at auction during the annual meeting.North High Brewing will issue a centennial beer and The Winery at Wolf Creek will offer a limited release centennial wine. A historical marker will be dedicated on the campus of Ohio State University to commemorate Farm Bureau’s founding at the university. Details will soon be released on the location and timing of the barn paintings.Farm Bureau members can get updates on all aspects of the yearlong activity by visiting ofbf.org/centennial.last_img read more

Deathcount: This Week in Online Tyranny

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#TWiOT#web curt hopkins Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting As I’ve stated elsewhere, we are a tech news blog, so humanitarian and political crises are not our bread and butter. That said, so much of the Jasmine Revolution has been augmented with social media that I think a brief (and insufficient) breakdown of what’s happened in the last week would not be inappropriate. There is no new tech news here, only important news. The loss of lives that can’t be undone. The tide of revolution seems to be breaking on a particularly rocky shore. If you have different death-tolls, please post links in the commentsBahrain: 12; one reporter detained, another ejected (source, here and here)Egypt: 13 in Muslim-Christian riots, possibly fomented by disbanded security police, rapes (source and here)Libya: 1,000+; four reporters missing (source and here)Oman: 6 (source)Yemen: 40 (source)Syria sentences imprisoned online writer to prison, frees a blogger. Syria sentenced Ali Al-Abdallah to three more years in prison for an article which came out as he served his sentence for signing the Damascus Declaration. He was due to be released in June but will now serve at least 18 more months for criticizing Iran’s clericism in an article. Kamal Hussein Sheikhou, a Kurdish Syrian blogger, has been released from prison after being arrested trying to flee the country with his brother’s passport. Charges against Malaysian blogger dropped. In another rare bit of good news, satirical blogger Irwan Abdul Raman, who blogs as Hassan Skodeng is now a “free baboon.” He was arrested last September for a satirical story about a make-believe press conference in which he depicted a large power company as standing against an energy conservation campaign. He had faced a year in jail and a fine of 12,500 euros.Thailand sends website editor to jail for 13 years. Thanthawut Taweewarodomkul, who runs the Nor Por Chor USA website, allied to the Red Shirt protest movement, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for three messages he posted critical of the king. Thailand’s affection for its royal family has translated into a lèse majesté law that the government frequently uses to cynically harass and punish opposition activists. Red Shirt photo by Honou Related Posts last_img read more