A subtle shift seems to be taking place in media coverage of intelligent-design controversies in school boards across the country. Darwinists used to be the unchallenged kings of the hill. Alternatives, whether creationism or intelligent design, were disqualified before they reached the starting gate. It also used to be “open season” on anti-Darwinists. No vituperative rhetoric or impugning of motives was too strong for reporters in their treatment of the villains of creationism. Several recent articles, however, show some cooling of the jets, and a little more attempt at balanced coverage by spokespersons from both sides:A Newsweek article by Jerry Adler began by asking, “How did life, in its infinite complexity, come to be? A controversial new theory called ‘intelligent design’ asserts a supernatural agent was at work.” In “Doubting Darwin,” Adler gives good coverage to both sides, though ending with the suggestion that theistic evolution would result in fewer conflicts.Diane Carroll in the Kansas City Star was certainly not partial to the intelligent-design side, but gave its spokespersons substantial coverage. The main Darwinist objections she cited were in the “hidden agenda” category.David Klinghoffer, writing an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, decried the branding of Stephen Meyer as a heretic after his ID paper was published in a peer-reviewed journal (see 09/24/2004 entry). He characterized the uproar not as science vs. religion, but “an instance of one religion persecuting a rival, demanding loyalty from anyone who enters one of its churches–like the National Museum of Natural History.”Josh Kelley in The Arizona Republic actually gave most of his coverage to the intelligent design side, including Walt Brown, a young-earth creationist with a PhD involved in rewriting the state science standards. Biochemist Michael Behe, who coined the phrase “irreducible complexity,” actually got the last word for a change.There are, naturally, plenty of the usual rabid anti-creationist articles out there still, like this editorial at the Boston Globe that calls evolution “the bedrock of biology” and warns against those who want to “sneak Genesis into the teaching of science,” and Time Magazine’s hit piece against ID called “Stealth Attack on Evolution.” But that’s not news.Big ships turn slowly. While none of these articles endorses ID or gives Darwinism the interrogation it deserves, it does hint at a slight temperature change that can have big El Niño consequences later. At least more and more reporters are listening to ID arguments and not dismissing them out of hand. Here are some suggestions reporters should consider for their next articles:Design science has an illustrious history. Most of the great scientists of history were religious people, like Newton, Boyle and Maxwell, who believed the universe was created. Their religious beliefs didn’t hinder science, but, on the contrary, advanced it.The pure atheistic, naturalistic brand of science is relatively new. The trend to discount Genesis dates primarily from the 18th century, but the overtly anti-religious, materialistic brand of science was championed by the likes of Huxley and Haeckel in the late 19th century to early 20th century. These Darwin bulldogs knew nothing of modern genetics and biochemistry.Design is already an accepted part of several sciences, including archaeology, cryptography, information theory, criminology and SETI, yet is not dismissed there as being religiously motivated. These examples prove that design detection can legitimately be part of scientific investigation, and that design explanations can be valid, without knowing the designer or his/her/its motives (especially in the case of SETI). They also demonstrate that a design conclusion is not a cop-out, but can be a valid inference based on evidence.The controversies within Darwinism are deep and profound; they cannot merely be characterized as nitpicking about the mechanism while accepting the “fact” of evolution. Is a fact without a mechanism really a fact at all?The evidence from microbiology has been trending steadily toward a design inference and away from a Darwinian inference. We know things about genetics that Darwin and all the early evolutionists could not possibly have known. These and other evidences, like the Cambrian explosion and the anthropic principle, pose new and severe challenges to the belief that life arose without a Designer (see 01/28/2005 entry).The points above are rarely mentioned in secular news reports about the intelligent design vs. Darwinism controversy. It’s time to give them more prominence.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Small animals can hide out in secret places, even in your own home.Under the SnowThere’s a world of animals out of sight, living under the snow. Many have seen videos of coyotes hunting rodents in the snow, but there are many more that live in an amazing world called the subnivium—the habitat under the snow. PhysOrg peers into this habitat with artwork of this secret world, “unseen by most humans” and “barely explored” by scientists. Yet most animals on the planet, directly or indirectly depend on the white wilderness.Snow covers some 40 percent of Earth’s land masses year in and year out. And, as scientists are discovering, snow is critical to animals and plants that live in northern latitudes, as well as those in far southern latitudes like Patagonia at the tip of South America. It ensures their—and our—survival.“Without snow, plant and animal life would be completely different,” says biologist Jonathan Pauli of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.Why is this? Ecological webs are interconnected. “Without fungi, wildflowers’ summer bloom in mountain environments wouldn’t happen,” for instance. “Fungi increase their metabolism as winter progresses, releasing nutrients from their by-products as snow melts in spring.” And without plants, much of the food web would break down.Surprisingly, even some desert animals depend on snow. “Gazelles in the Gobi Desert in northern China and southern Mongolia rely on ‘snow mines,’ oases of water from melting snows buried beneath the sand.” And along with the mice under the snow, many other species of bugs, worms, rodents and even birds find refuge in the constant temperature provided by “nature’s igloo.”In Your HomeThe news media had fun announcing a new survey of arthropods (invertebrates with segmented bodies and jointed appendages) that live in human houses. Scientists at North Carolina State found a much greater diversity than expected:Your home is a jungle inhabited by 100 different species (New Scientist)Hundreds of Tiny Bugs Are Probably Hiding in Your Home (Live Science)500 Kinds of Bugs May be Living in Your House (National Geographic)For some homes it could be well over 500 species. They’re found in every room of the house: ants, flies, spiders, silverfish, crickets, beetles and more. Live Science posted a gallery of 15 common indoor dwellers, including gnats and daddy-longlegs. Homeowners had this reaction when the scientists showed them what they found: “The residents were really surprised and often horrified that we found so much, so we had to calm them down by saying it was normal.”Now you know why those cobwebs keep showing up between dustings. Thankfully, most of our uninvited house guests are harmless, and they generally try to remain out of sight. Some are even beneficial, the scientists said:The carpet beetles and book lice do much of the clearing up, scavenging dead insects, moulds and algae, as well as polishing off food crumbs and detritus from our own bodies, including nail clippings, hair and dead skin. Some carpet beetles live on and consume spiders’ webs. [New Scientist]They won’t hurt you, either, the researchers added. Although many of the species that Bertone and his colleagues found were predatory — like spiders, centipedes, wasps and beetles — they can’t bite people. In fact, some may actually help out around the house by consuming harmful species — the arthropod equivalent of pitching in with household chores. [Live Science]So keep moving; nothing to see here. “Just keep living your life how it is,” Bertone advised. “This has been happening for a long time.”Add this to the fact that most of the cells you carry are not your own, although Nature busted the myth that we carry 10 times more microbes and bugs than our own cells; it’s more like 1:1. That’s a relief. They’re not all germs, of course; we all have tiny mites that live in our eyelashes and hair follicles, but that’s too disturbing to think about, so we won’t tell you about that.We may as well accept the fact that we share our habitats, both indoors and outdoors, with other creatures. Instead of becoming horrified, we can learn to accept this as normal, unavoidable, and actually good—to a point. It’s OK to set out roach traps and wipe up the ant trails, but you don’t have to run around the house spraying everything with Raid. Live and let live. Parents, you can help your kids avoid paranoia by treating bugs matter-of-factly and not screaming at the sight of every spider or bee. Calmly teach them to look at it and learn about its way of life. Instead of stomping on it, show the kid how to take the little friend gently outside where it belongs. Correct the urban myths that come and go, like notions that everyone eats bugs and spiders during their sleep. Obviously, some pests that can cause disease (lice, fleas, bedbugs, houseflies) need to be controlled, but avoid calling arthropods “nasty vermin” and other dark, scary terms. Most are harmless, and all of them were harmless in the original good creation.It can be disconcerting, though, to run into an unexpected arthropod. I remember laying in bed one night reading when [Warning: Do Not Tell This Story to Young Children] a big hairy mygalomorph (a large black spider like a tarantula) strolled into the bedroom. I jumped up, but before I could catch it, it ran under the bed. After several minutes trying to find it with a flashlight, I gave up and got back in bed. As I was reading, I dangled my hand down and then [cue scary music] felt the hairs of this “monster under the bed” brushing my fingers. Jumping up again, I was determined to get it this time, not wanting to risk having it wake me up in the dark or something. Finally, I caught it under a jar, and imprisoned it in a closed terrarium to show it who’s the king of this castle. (And also to observe and learn about it for science, of course.) Speaking of castles, the wise Agur said, “The spider skillfully grasps with its hands, and it is in kings’ palaces” (Proverbs 30:28). Some translations say it’s a lizard you can catch with your hands, but the point is that even lowly creatures can live like royalty. I don’t live like a king, actually. I can’t afford goldfish, so I just keep silverfish.Small black ants in my part of the country are almost impossible to stop in the summer months (fortunately, cockroaches are less common, but we have black widows to watch out for). Ant trails can stretch clear across the house—that would be a long hike for a human! I marvel at how the scouts locate food and call the whole army within minutes. Spray their entrance, and they quickly find another way, even out of light switches and faucets. We also have Mormon crickets that hop faster than you can step on them. One will start chirping in another room, driving you crazy, but when you approach it, it stops, leaving you clueless where the little ventriloquist was hiding. I think we dislike bugs in the house partly because they outsmart us. If you want to see one of those tiny gnats that hover and dart about, Live Science has a magnified photo of one. Think of all the flight hardware packed into that tiny thing.Speaking of crickets, one night working late in the home office I heard a grinding noise a few feet away under some equipment. This time I suspected what it was, and with a flashlight, there was a big ugly potato bug (also called Jerusalem cricket) doing its thing. Not reachable, I sprayed it with spider spray and it quieted down, but I never found the body. Hopefully some other friendly arthropods will work it over, and it will evolve into a dust bunny.Share your story! What animals live with you, besides pets? Lizards have run into my house, and once a Cooper’s hawk flew in the front door with a rabbit in its talons! Some people have to worry about moose and bears wandering in. But we all have a story about arthropods, I’m sure. (Visited 40 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It was recently announced that the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is delaying the effective date of its interim final rule an additional six months to Oct. 19, 2017.This was viewed as a positive step in the right direction according to many livestock groups.“This is another step toward common sense and away from counterproductive government intrusion in the free market,” said Craig Uden, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) president. “That said, while a delay is welcome, ultimately this rule should be killed and American cattle producers should be free to market our beef without the threat of government-sanctioned frivolous lawsuits.”Two proposed rules and one interim final rule came out on Dec. 20, 2016, one month before the end of the Obama Administration. The interim final rule regarding the scope of the Packers and Stockyards Act and the proposed rule regarding undue preference and unjust treatment have a direct negative impact on the cattle industry.Current systems that allow producers to market their cattle as they see fit reward them for producing the higher-quality beef that consumers demand. Under the interim final rule, USDA or a producer no longer needs to prove true economic harm. Instead, one only needs to say that he or she was treated “unfairly” to file a damaging lawsuit that could discourage cattlemen from continuing to invest in improving the quality of beef being produced.“Trial lawyers are salivating at the prospect of this rule becoming the law of the land,” Uden said. “If this rule isn’t killed once and for all, cattle producers will lose nearly all incentive to invest in the production of higher-quality beef. That would mean less revenue for producers and lower quality for consumers. That’s a lose-lose proposition and exactly why the rule needs to not only be delayed — it needs to be killed outright.”The delay will allow for more time to comment on the issue, which is a positive thing, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.“It is clear that a one-size-fits-all approach to the Agriculture Department’s Farmer Fair Practices Rules does not work across the board for all livestock sectors. The announced delay in the rules’ effective date until October will give farmers and ranchers additional time to comment on this important issue,” said Zippy Duvall, American Farm Bureau Federation president. “We support preserving the contract and marketing arrangements that are working for the beef and pork sectors, and we will reinforce that point during the comment period. There is still vast room for improvement, however, in efforts to ensure a level playing field for poultry farmers. We will continue to emphasize the need to seek additional safeguards in the poultry sector to better protect individual farmers from discriminatory treatment, without disrupting the business practices that are working in the beef and pork sectors.”
Campaigning in Karad South Assembly segment in Satara district, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan is fighting a lone battle. All his trusted aides — there were few to begin with — have left the Congress either for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the Shiv Sena. In a triangular fight, he is pitted against Atul Bhosle of the BJP, an education and sugar baron, and independent candidate Udaysinh Patil, son of Mr. Chavan’s arch rival, former MLA Vilaskaka Undalkar-Patil. In a conversation with The Hindu on the campaign trail, Mr. Chavan talks about how the lure of money has overpowered loyalties, why Congress leaders are unable to set a poll agenda and how former prime minister Manmohan Singh advised him not to snatch scientists’ glory after Chandrayaan I.You seem to be concentrating solely on your seat. Are you facing a tough battle on your home turf? What you are seeing today in western Maharashtra is an ugly display of money and muscle power by the BJP. The people who were with us are suddenly going to the other camp. It is turning into a joke now. Even the voters are realising that those who are shifting loyalties are doing it for the sake of money or under some threat. I am facing difficulties as well due to this. But I have not lost touch with my constituency in the last five years and I am confident that despite all the talk, I will win.Why are so many people leaving Congress and NCP? I will limit myself to western Maharashtra. Loyalty to a party or an ideology is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. What the BJP is doing is systematic destruction of democratic and constitutional values with a single aim of eliminating the opposition completely. It aims at one party dictatorship. The amount of money that is being spent is unimaginable. It is extremely difficult to match and naturally, this will lead to politics being limited to a certain few. Will the old guard quitting the party mean that new faces are given opportunities of importance? Yes, new leadership will come. But it will take time. It cannot happen overnight. We have to face the brunt of this systematic destruction of political system by the BJP till then. The BJP is trying to make Article 370 an election issue in Maharashtra. Do you think the State polls will revolve around it?The BJP wants it to happen and I am sure that once [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi and [BJP national president Amit] Shah start addressing rallies, they will rake up this issue. But I do not think that Article 370 is an election issue any more in western Maharashtra. The polls are about ground issues, such as sugar cane price from mills. These are State polls. We are fighting on State issues. There are issues like unemployment, economic slowdown and the agrarian crisis. But the BJP does not seem to be suffering electorally. Is the Opposition unable to provide a credible alternative?The same farmers who are suffering due to the destruction of the rural economy are voting for the BJP. That’s the reality. The urban voter is yet to realise the dangers and future implications of the economic slowdown. At the same time, voters’ attention is being diverted using issues such as Balakot, like it happened in Lok Sabha polls. Scientific achievements like Chandrayaan are painted in different colours and [turned into] PR events. I remember when Dr. Manmohan Singh was the prime minister and I was handling the PM Office, Chandrayaan I was successfully launched. Dr. Singh stopped me from going to the ISRO headquarters. He told me it is the scientists of ISRO who should get all the fame and limelight, not us. Look, where we have come now. The Maharashtra Congress seems to be in a dormant mode. It is neither raking up aggressive issues nor launching an impressive poll campaign. What has gone wrong? All our senior leaders are contesting elections. Be it me, Balasaheb Thorat, Ashok Chavan or Vijay Vadettiwar in Vidarbha — the exodus from our party isn’t a secret to anyone — every leader is being forced to carry out multiple responsibilities. The circumstances are extraordinary. One may feel that leaders are not seen on the front line. But I am sure that the real picture will be different on the day of poll results. The Supreme Court has given the go-ahead to prosecute Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, which is an extremely rare case. How do you see it playing out?The apex court’s order proves that Fadnavis hid criminal cases. The trial is about whether he will face punishment or not. It is up to his conscience to take the next decision.
WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games Fil-Briton Felix John Nobel Tupas finished the card with a dominant debut for the Philippines team in 81kg, banging Cambodian Felix Merlin Martinez via unanimous decision.READ: ‘Solid’ PH boxing team capable of taking home golds But the victories were tinged by the questionable defeat of Carlo Paalam to Malaysian Muhamad Fuad Redzuan in the 49kg.Paalam, one of the most promising boxers in the country at only 19 years old, was clearly on top of everything against the fighter who had earlier in his career lost to Filipinos Rogen Ladon and Elmer Pamisa.But Redzuan kept Paalam busy by dragging him down at least four times throughout the match.ADVERTISEMENT READ: PH in for tough gold hunt in SEA Games; Athletics, boxing bright spotsThe Malaysian also threw haymakers coming from out of nowhere and landing very few.That decision shocked the Philippine team here drawing criticism as the Malaysian Sports Minister Brig. Gen. Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar was in the sidelines. LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Charly Suarez of the Philippines dominates Khir Akyazlan Bin Azmi of Malaysia in the quarterfinals of the light welterweight class men’s boxing competition of the 29th Southeast Asian Games at the MITEC Hall 8 in Kuala Lumpur. Suarez prevailed by unanimous decision. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/SEA GAMES POOLKUALA LUMPUR — Two-time champion Charly Suarez battered Malaysia foe to score a convincing decision win and lead two other Filipino boxers to the Southeast Asian Games semifinals at MITEC Hall 8.Suarez slammed left and right upper cuts to the solar plexus of Khir Akyazlan Azmi in the third to win the 64kg quarterfinal match before a band of uniformed, boisterous crowd trying to distract the Filipino.ADVERTISEMENT Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH PLAY LIST 05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games MOST READ PH men’s volley team drops SEA Games opener to Vietnam “I told myself that I need to win the favor of the crowd,” said Suarez in Filipino who unloaded his power punches that put Azmi on all fours. The Malaysian, though, made the count.READ: PH boxers make rousing 2017 SEA Games debutsFEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutMario Fernandez also advanced after a masterful unanimous decision win over Tran Phu Masuk of Vietnam in the 56kg.Fernandez, the defending champion in bantamweight division, controlled the match with his 1-2 combinations. SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next View comments
Power-watching is the favourite indoor sport for many in the nation’s capital. In our case it’s a professional necessity. Like bird-watching, it too requires patience, with long periods of time spent waiting to sight the first flutter in a bush.When Union Home Minister L.K. Advani was appointed deputy prime minister on June 29, caution was the best response. There is no clear-cut role for a deputy prime minister in the Constitution.It was tempting to club his appointment and the lacklustre cabinet reshuffle that followed as cosmetic rather than real change. In fact, a party member described it as “a de facto situation made de jure”.A week has elapsed and there is a definite sense only now of a shift having taken place in the functioning of the Government. By no means has Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee retired but it would seem that more day-to-day political decisions are being referred to Mr Advani.Advani has always enjoyed a special status within the BJP. Now he has almost acquired the role of a CEO to Vajpayee’s chairman of the board.A power shift of this nature is of tremendous interest especially since Advani evokes extreme responses. There are those who swear by him and there are others for whom he is the face of hardline Hindutva and the Rath Yatra. We decided to find out which of these Advanis will now prevail in Government and in which direction he intends to steer the NDA.We sent Editor Prabhu Chawla, Managing Editor Swapan Dasgupta and Associate Editor Rajeev Deshpande to interact with Advani: they spent a relaxed 90 minutes discussing a range of subjects in order to gauge the change in the new deputy prime minister.Says Dasgupta, “Earlier, asked an embarrassing question, he would look down and wring his hands. Now he looks you straight in the eye and is ready with an answer.”At a time when the NDA struggles to deal with its mid-term blues, Advani’s appointment could be the BJP’s last hope to infuse some dynamism in the functioning of the Government.
Real Madrid star striker Cristiano Ronaldo has said that the decision by Spain’s administrative sports court to uphold his five-game ban for pushing a referee is “incomprehensible”.Ronaldo reacted angrily to being dismissed during the second half of a 3-1 first-leg Supercopa victory for Real against Barcelona last Monday.The 32-year-old, who came off the bench, scored the third goal of the visitors at Camp Nou but earned a second yellow card for going to ground in the penalty area two minutes later, having earlier been booked for taking his shirt off in celebration.Following which, he was handed a five-match ban, a decision that was upheld by Spain’s Administrative Court of Sport (TAS) on Tuesday.”One more incomprehensible decision. From injustice to injustice, they will never overthrow me,” goal.com quoted Ronaldo as saying on Instagram.”And as always I will come back stronger. Thank you to all who have supported me,” he added.
Continue Reading Previous Rohde & Schwarz presents innovative test and measurement equipmentNext Express Logic: X-Ware IoT Platform supports AndesCore N25 and NX25 RISC-V processors Toradex has opened early access for selected customers to its new Apalis iMX8 SoM based on the NXP i.MX 8QuadMax SoC.Companies interested in working with this cutting-edge Hardware and Software are invited to sign up for the Toradex early access program to receive more information about the requirements to join the program.The Apalis iMX8 is the latest member of the Apalis family, a high-performance Arm-based pin-compatible SoM. The NXP i.MX 8QM SoC is the highest performance variation of the i.MX 8 family, featuring 6x Armv8-A 64-bit processor cores – 2x Arm Cortex-A72 & 4x Cortex-A53 – as well as 2x additional Cortex-M4F microcontrollers. The integrated HIFI4 DSP, a high-performance dual GPU, 28 nm FD-SDIO technology, and extra safety features are other differentiators to the lower performance i.MX 8M SoC.The release version of the Apalis iMX8 will come with all the standard Toradex advantages including Toradex Easy Installer, Free Professional Support, Production-quality Yocto Project Based Linux BSP, Active Community, Daily updated Developer Page, Pin-out Designer tools, Fully open Carrier Board Designs, World Wide Network with local support offices and much more.Toradex Partners are already working for solutions on top of Toradex SoM offerings; this includes Graphical User Experience, Deep Learning Inference Optimization, Machine Vision Tools, and additional Operating Systems.Apart from its high performance and rich interfaces, the i.MX 8QuadMax stands out with long availability of over 10 years. The SoC is built with 28 nm FD-SOI technology to reduce soft errors and increase MTBF. High shock and vibration resilience and a temperature range from -40 to 85°C, makes the Apalis iMX8 a great choice for edge computing applications in the most demanding environments.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Boards & Modules
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Rangers boss Gerrard: I don’t bother with Heskey interviewsby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveRangers boss Steven Gerrard is unhappy with former Liverpool teammate Emile Heskey after comments on his managerial credentials.Heskey suggested this week that it was easier for Gerrard and fellow managers to land a top job because of his skin colour.Ahead of his side’s Europa League clash with Feyenoord, Gerrard delivered a withering response to his former teammate.“I don’t have anything to say on that. I don’t really look out for any interviews that Emile Heskey does,” the Rangers boss said.Gerrard and Heskey played together for club and country and were part of the Liverpool side that won the treble in 2001.