Don’t Tell the Creationists

first_imgJohn Horgan, a blogger for Scientific American, wanted to use this headline 20 years ago, but the editor didn’t let him.  Now that editor is gone, so Horgan let the cat out of the bag: “Pssst!  Don’t tell the creationists, but scientists don’t have a clue how life began.”  Well, he just did.    Horgan lamented that the situation is even more lamentable today.  Based on Dennis Overbye’s “romp into theories of the cradle of life” published in the New York Times last month, Horgan concluded, “Geologists, chemists, astronomers and biologists are as stumped as ever by the riddle of life.”  You name it: protein-first, DNA-first, metabolism-first, RNA World (an erstwhile leading contender) – they’re all stumping the scientists with insurmountable problems.    “The RNA world is so dissatisfying that some frustrated scientists are resorting to much more far out�literally�speculation,” Horgan continued.  By that he means panspermia.  He realizes that Crick’s old escape route doesn’t solve anything: “Of course, panspermia theories merely push the problem of life’s origin into outer space.  If life didn’t begin here, how did it begin out there?”    Horgan ended by comforting himself with the argument that creationists have a similar problem, how to explain the origin of God.  “And at least scientists are making an honest effort to solve life’s mystery instead of blaming it all on God.”Creationists don’t blame God; they thank Him and worship Him for the marvel of life.  Do you see the anti-Creator hysteria that leads evolutionists to frantic rants of desperation to keep from admitting the obvious—that life was created?  Thanks to John for being honest enough to admit the problem (something the snooze media almost never do), but then he played dog in the manger: “We might be clueless, frustrated, desperate, empty-handed and broke, but nobody else gets to play the origins game.”  Let’s fix his last sentence: “At least we clueless power-hungry pseudo-scientific demagogues can blame God instead of making an honest effort to follow the evidence where it leads.”    In the new anthology about naturalism, The Nature of Nature (ISI, 2011), Christian de Duve (see 03/01/2011) tried to defend methodological naturalism as the best approach for science, but then had to confront the problem of the origin of life.  Even though he clearly admitted that the problem is unsolved, he appealed to vast periods of time for the improbable (online book) to happen and expressed his faith that naturalism would solve it some day over the rainbow.  He thus issued promissory notes for futureware backed with the collateral of reckless drafts on the bank of time (07/02/2007).  But it’s not God-of-the-gaps when the gaps get wider; it’s naturalism-of-the-gaps (03/02/2011).    Could any other human activity get away with this?  Does the losing team get to play the series?  Does the town drunk get to be Grand Marshall? (maybe in the Doo-Dah Parade).  Does the least qualified get the job? (only with affirmative action).  Does the loss leader get to push out the competition? (Well, sometimes, but that is tactics, not honest business.)  All right, then; if evolutionists are the losers, the Darwine drunks, the least qualified, and the loss leaders, let’s call for reform.  Get the dogs out of the manger.  How about a showing up with a nice kitty: a huge sabertooth cat (02/28/2011).    For a response to Horgan’s old chestnut about who created the Creator, watch sabertooth Sarfati pounce on CMI.(Visited 75 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Mandela Children’s Hospital finally opens

first_imgThe Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, an idea that began with a vision by Nelson Mandela as far back as his presidency in the 1990s, has finally become a reality.CD AndersonThe hospital, overseen by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, along with various local and international partners, is dedicated exclusively to paediatric medicine and care. It will welcome its first patients on 2 December 2016.The world-class hospital has had a difficult road to realisation, struggling to raise the $100-million (R1.4-billion) needed to complete the project in the midst of a tough global economic environment and, more crucially during the last stages of the project, without the guidance and vision of the hospital’s patron, Mandela, who died in December 2013.Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital set to admit first patients https://t.co/A1LMhiFS6i pic.twitter.com/MXYsJIy7HF— The Citizen News (@TheCitizen_News) November 28, 2016“It’s a miracle, or just short of a miracle. The children’s hospital was a dream,” Sibongile Mkhabela, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, told AFP during a media tour of the facilities in November 2016. “It was very difficult to do it without him … extremely difficult, but people were ready to hear us. People could relate to his vision. There is a number of ways that you can remember him; he was a statesman. You could build a statue … but at his core, he loved children.”An aerial shot of the new @NelsonMandela Children’s Hospital near @WitsUniversity #Joburg. Opening set for December pic.twitter.com/1vPZ49BsDn— SurenNaidoo (@SurenNaidoo) July 19, 2016Finally breaking ground at its site in Parktown, Johannesburg in 2014, the hospital received financial support from a host of South African and international philanthropists and organisations, including the Bill Gates Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Islamic Relief Worldwide and industrialist Eric Samson.Additional financing came from donations made by millions of ordinary South Africans via SMS and through various fundraising events held since 2009.Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital! Dream come Reality! @NMCF_SA pic.twitter.com/5KhQ0duUb0— Sam Tsima (@samtsima) August 26, 2016The three-floor facility, which is part of the University of Witwatersrand’s medical faculty, specialises in paediatric cancer care, and kidney and lung treatment, as well as heart, chest and brain surgery, and a range of other children’s medical needs. While Africa does have four other paediatric specialist hospitals – one each in Cape Town and Nairobi, and two in Cairo – the new Johannesburg hospital is the most advanced facility in Africa.The hospital is equipped with the latest medical equipment and technology, including the most advanced operating theatres in the country, offering the best all-inclusive diagnosis and treatment regime on the continent.Equipment was able to identify and analyse the “minutest” details, hospital project leader Joe Seoloane leader told AFP, “(making) diagnoses that general equipment might not pick up”.The hospital also provides real-time video conferencing, enabling doctors and medical students across the continent to access consultations and procedures done onsite.With a staff of 450 expertly trained paediatric nurses and 150 specialist doctors sourced from South Africa and the rest of the world, the hospital offers free services to those from poorer backgrounds and only charges those who can afford it.The brightly painted wards, colourful furnishings and the latest multimedia technology – including in-house radio and television channels tailored to its young patients – all help the hospital present a comforting and fun environment.“It’s a children’s hospital and must specialise in conditions that are unique to children,” Seoloane said. “(The hospital is) proud and excited that … on 2 December, we can officially say (Africa has a children’s hospital on par with the rest of the world).”Soon 2 be open Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital providing state-of the art care 2 children of #SouthernAfrica https://t.co/ECIxSrtqpN pic.twitter.com/iHhZmof2lU— ELMA Philanthropies (@ELMAPhilanthro) October 21, 2016Source: eNCAlast_img read more

Voting begins for 2019 Farm Service Agency county committee elections

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin mailing ballots on November 4 to eligible farmers and ranchers across the country for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee elections.“Our county committee members play a key role in our efforts to provide assistance to producers,” said Richard Fordyce, FSA administrator. “We value the local input of the over 7,000 members nationwide who provide their valuable knowledge and judgment as decisions are made about the services we provide, including disaster and emergency programs.”To be counted, ballots must be returned to the local FSA county office or postmarked by December 2.Each committee has three to 11 elected members who serve three-year terms of office. One-third of county committee seats are up for election each year. Newly elected committee members will take office January 1, 2020. County committee members help FSA make important decisions on its commodity support programs, conservation programs, indemnity and disaster programs, and emergency programs and eligibility.Producers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program to be eligible to vote in the county committee election. Producers who supervise and conduct the farming operations of an entire farm, but are not of legal voting age, also may be eligible to vote.Producers can find out if their local administrative area is up for election and if they are eligible to vote by contacting their local FSA county office. Eligible voters who did not receive a ballot in the mail can pick one up at their local FSA county office. Visit fsa.usda.gov/elections for more information.last_img read more

Students, women join campaign demanding protection of Manipur territory

first_imgMany sections of the people, including students and women, joined the campaign in Manipur demanding the protection of Manipur’s territory, against the backdrop of the understanding the Centre had reached with some Naga bodies, which held peace talks for the last 22 years. Students from most of the districts came out of their classes on Friday, squatted on busy roads and formed human chains, thereby hindering free flow of traffic.They raised slogans that Manipur territory cannot be compromised and diluted. Women activists and student leaders told The Hindu that Manipur is a State with 2,000 years of written history. M. Keinatombi, a woman activist said, “That Manipur had been an independent kingdom is established by the international treaties the State had signed with some foreign countries. Manipur had its Assembly and elected MLAs. King Budhachandra who was a titular head was summoned in Shillong, now capital of Meghalaya, in September 1949 and he signed the merger agreement under duress after keeping him under house arrest”. He had signed the merger agreement on September 21, 1949 though it was officially made public on October 15, 1949 to synchronise with that of Tripura, a princely State in the Northeast which was merged with independent India. However eminent scholars and other intellectuals in a public convention were of the unanimous view that the merger agreement with Manipur is “null and void” since the State Assembly never authorised the titular king to sign the agreement.”Women who take out torchlight procession every day say that they shall not rest till the details of the Naga agreement are put in public domain.After snapping ties on Thursday with the Manipur government, the Coordination Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), formed by five civil society organisations quarter-backing the agitations, exhorted the people to launch various campaigns near the houses of the 60 MLAs and four MPs who are allegedly shirking their accountability to the people on this burning issue.Sunil Karam, coordinator of the COCOMI says, “Though the Chief Minister N. Biren had assured the leaders of the civil organisations to summon an emergency session of the Manipur Assembly it is now clear that there will be no session to take a resolution on the Naga agreement. On the other hand, Biren says he will be first to resign or to sacrifice his life if Manipur’s interest and territory are compromised. However some leaders point out that it will be immaterial if Biren resigns or takes the extreme step once the Naga agreement is inked.”Earlier another BJP Cabinet Minister. T. Shyamkumar said he will commit suicide if Manipur’s territory is compromised.However, women activists said that no purpose will be served by their “sacrifices” after the inordinate delay. Women vigilantes say that if there is nothing objectionable in the Naga agreement it should have been kept in the public domain. They further say that it is fearsome why the government is transporting security personnel in trucks, special aircrafts and helicopters to Manipur ahead of the public announcement of the details of the Naga agreement.Police said though they are outnumbered by students, women vigilantes and other activists in the day-and-night agitations, the additional forces from Tripura and other States have not been deployed in the trouble-prone areas yet.last_img read more

Yuvraj Singh’s surprise comeback to T20 squad

first_imgFlamboyant left-hander Yuvraj Singh, who has recovered from cancer, made a surprise comeback on Wednesday to India’s 30-member preliminary squad for the Twenty20 World Cup beginning in Sri Lanka September 18.The Man of the Series of the ODI World Cup in India was diagnosed with a rare germ cell cancer and underwent chemotherapy treatment at the Cancer Research Institute in Boston.Since then Yuvraj has made giant strides towards regaining full fitness by training at Bangalore’s National Cricket Academy.”I think a guy who has won the World Cup for us deserves to come back,” chief selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth had stated.Out of favour off-spinner Harbhajan Singh too makes a comeback to the side. Another surprise pick was medium-pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji, who last played an international match in 2009 against Sri Lanka.Balaji, who has not played any T20 for the national squad, was rewarded for his consistent performance for the Kolkata Knight Riders in fifth edition of the Indian Premier League.Mandeep Singh, former captain of the India under-19 team too received a call-up for his good showing for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL.Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Naman Ojha and Ambati Rayudu too have been included owing to their good performance this season in the IPL. Regulars like Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli are all in the squad.Squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, R. Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Mandeep Singh, Piyush Chawla, Ravindra Jadeja, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Naman Ojha, Dinesh Karthik, Praveen Kumar, Lakshmipathy Balajiadvertisementlast_img read more

Jaguar XJ Ultimate Luxury Saloon, F-Type Sportscar in India soon

first_imgTata Motors-owned British luxury and sportscar marquee Jaguar will soon launch two high end cars in India, the XJ Ultimate luxury saloon and the F-Type sportscar. According to reports, both the cars will be brought to India through completely built unit(CBU) route as has been the case with most Jaguars. “While the Jaguar XJ Ultimate luxury saloon is a super luxurious car that will take on the long wheelbase versions of the Mercedes Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series saloons, the F-Type is a brand new sportscar,” said the report on indiancarsbikes.in.The report further adds that the Jaguar XJ luxury saloon retains the current engine line up: a 5 Liter V8 and a 3 Liter V6 supercharged petrol engines along with a V6 turbo diesel engine. All these engines will be mated to an eight speed automatic gearbox with a start-stop system as standard. The 2013 Jaguar F-Type sportscar, inspired by the C-X16 concept will be unveiled later this year. The F-Type sportscar is expected to feature a three liter V6 petrol engine in two guises, a naturally aspirated version and a supercharged version, said the report. The naturally aspirated engine is expected to deliver about 275 Bhp while the supercharged version of the engine could put out about 375 Bhp.The 2013 Jaguar F-Type sportscar is likley to be available in both coupe as well as convertible form.last_img read more