Is Legal Hammerlocking the Way to Win a Scientific Controversy?

first_imgThe cartoon stereotype of a scientist as an unbiased truth-seeking nerd wearing a white lab coat is hard to reconcile with some recent events.  Not that the cartoon stereotype was ever realistic, but the row over Darwinism vs Intelligent Design (ID) shows just how biased and unethical certain people and organizations can behave in support of their side.  One would think a scientific controversy would involve the debating of evidence in the open marketplace of ideas (another cartoon stereotype).  But what if some participants work instead to prevent their opponents from even being heard?  Is making one’s opponent cry uncle a measure of scientific progress?Georgia: Stickers gone “for good”:  The Cobb County School District near Atlanta, Georgia thought they had a strong case for appealing the decision of Judge Cooper, who ordered stickers in high school biology textbooks calling for critical thinking on evolution to be removed (05/24/2005, bullet 6).  The appeals court did not rule on the constitutionality of the stickers.  Instead, it remanded the decision back to the local court on grounds the records of the lower court were incomplete.    In the meantime, though, the burden of legal proceedings and costs on the school board grew too great.  Weary from legal hassles and mounting costs, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the school said last month it was giving up.  It settled with the five parents who sued the school with backing from the ACLU, by agreeing to remove the stickers.  Not only that, they would never again apply any similar stickers, they said, and agreed to pay a third of the plaintiff’s costs: some $160,000.    The school board was not acknowledging fault by this action, as if they felt they had done something wrong or without merit.  Attorney Larry Taylor expressed his feelings to the paper in an editorial Dec. 21 (article reprinted on Uncommon Descent): “Once again, the potent combination of a liberal judge and the deep pockets of the American Civil Liberties Union have proved too much to overcome,” he said.  “…This case was never about questioning evolution.  It was about making sure it was taught honestly, fairly, accurately and completely – all of which the current textbooks fail to do.”  Nature (4 Jan 2007) agreed that the decision was pragmatic: “The school board had a right to appeal but decided to abandon the case, in part because of rising costs.”  CNN quoted the board chairwoman saying, “We faced the distraction and expense of starting all over with more legal actions and another trial.”  They just wanted to get it over with and start the year with a clean slate.  Attorney Brian Fahling of the American Family Association, according to Agape Press, regrets that the school board buckled under pressure.    Needless to say, the pro-Darwin side is rejoicing over this capitulation.  The NCSE justified the decision, and Science Now smirked that the stickers are “gone for good.”California:  Frazier Park a year later:  What happened since the Frazier Mountain High School capitulated to legal pressure in January? (01/25/2006)  In that case, also, it was not that the teacher or the school board felt that they had done anything wrong; they were concerned over the cost of defending themselves in court.  Even though they agreed in the settlement to “never again” offer a class that promotes creationism or intelligent design, the teacher had every intent of offering her “philosophy of design” class again this year, because “promoting” creationism was never the purpose to begin with.    Nevertheless, certain persons saw to it that it wouldn’t happen.  Though the people in the communities around Frazier Park are overwhelmingly conservative and supported the class, the only newspaper in the little mountain town is owned by a liberal pro-Darwinist.  She not only wrote articles strongly biased against intelligent design (example), and tended to print only letters of similar persuasion, but promoted anti-ID candidates in the school board election.  As a result, two anti-ID candidates won seats—one of them the plaintiff who had filed the lawsuit.  Ethics would demand he recuse himself over this issue because of a conflict of interest, but because the community appears weary of the controversy, it appears unlikely it will be discussed again any time soon.    Unfortunately for the pro-ID side, one of their allies, the district superintendent, had to quit his position over charges of ethical violations unrelated to the ID controversy.  The school board is now strongly stacked against the class and it is unlikely a repeat will be attempted again any time soon.    One pastor in the area says that the paper pushed the two anti-ID candidates ad nauseum and reported against ID with false information and bias approaching hysteria.  He said the people of the community tend to get excited over an issue for awhile but quickly tire of it.  Thus the anti-ID minority in this small mountain town gained the momentum against the majority—not by debate over the issues, but over legal pressure, threats and propaganda.Darwin’s arsenals:  Apparently not satisfied with their legal victories, or rather their ability to wear down the opposition, the pro-Darwin forces are ratcheting up their battle tactics.  Science this week (Netwatch, Jan 5) urged readers, “Become an Evo Warrior.”  What, pray tell, is an evo-warrior?  The news item pointed to an arsenal of evolutionary info at FASEB, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, which contains “pointers on meeting with public officials, testifying at school board hearings, and related topics” in case your local school board tries something like Cobb County or Frazier Park did, or even if your hometown newspaper runs an editorial in favor of intelligent design.  The site has sample letters to write, Powerpoint presentations, posters, cards and even buttons that proclaim “Teach Evolution – Learn Science.”Paper victory:  A congressional committee found evidence for harassment and discrimination by the Smithsonian against Dr. Richard Sternberg, who had allowed publication of a pro-ID paper in a Smithsonian journal (see Evolution News).  The report listed numerous examples of spying, plotting, lying, scheming and creating a hostile environment against Dr. Sternberg by Smithsonian staff with the NCSE’s help.  It is unlikely those charged will suffer any consequences of this report, however, or that many citizens will even know it exists.  The NCSE website makes no mention of the accusations against them in the report and shows no signs of changing anything they are doing.  Apparently there are no fines, penalties or legal consequences against those involved—unlike the large legal costs faced by school boards sued by the ACLU or Americans United for Separation of Church and State.  The report, headed by Republican congressman Mark Souder, only makes recommendations to Congress about what should be done to prevent such behavior by the Smithsonian in the future.  With the new Democratically-controlled congress in session, that will most likely not be on the agenda.It would seem that school boards intellectually prepared to debate evolution and ID lack the fortitude or budget to count the cost of protracted, expensive lawsuits.  Is Darwinism winning by pressure, then?  John West of the Discovery Institute, however, is encouraged by the events of 2006.  In his podcast for Dec. 25 on ID the Future, he listed reasons to believe Darwinism is imploding and ID is making headway – not the least of which is the apparent paranoia of Darwinism’s defenders.After the Darwin idol topples, we’re going to remember the litany of shenanigans and intimidation tactics of the Darwiniacs and hold it up for all to see.  Philosophers and historians of science are going to shake their heads over this one.  It’s hard to remember a time when people ostensibly committed to evidence, debate, logic and reason behaved so badly.  Where is the rationality, the intellectual dignity and integrity, behind Darwin buttons and Darwin Days and legal hammerlocks against poor local teachers who just want their student to hear both sides of one of the biggest scientific controversies of our time?  This is crazy.  They don’t have a philosophical or historical leg to stand on for believing Darwin’s fairy tales and insisting that people can’t hear anything else.   Whenever the Darwiniacs have tried to debate the evidence in a fair exchange they have almost always walked away with dodo droppings on their heads.  No wonder they are paranoid.  Notice that nothing in the Darwin Party’s reaction deals with scientific evidence.  It’s all about strategizing to silence anyone who opposes them.  If they can only win by threatening with their ACLU attack dogs and silly propaganda games, how can they look at themselves in the mirror?  The evidence, meanwhile, marches on (example).(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Man City top of English Premier League after beating Fulham

first_imgManchester City’s Bernardo Silva celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Fulham and Manchester City at Craven Cottage stadium in London, Saturday, March 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)LONDON — Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero sent Manchester City back to the top of the English Premier League after being gifted goals by Fulham to seal a 2-0 victory on Saturday.City moved a point ahead of Liverpool, which hosts Tottenham on Sunday but will have played a game more than Pep Guardiola’s defending champions.ADVERTISEMENT Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LeBron James to sit out last 6 games of Lakers’ season Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess LATEST STORIES Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon event It is little wonder Fulham is next-from-last and facing relegation given the sloppiness of the defending before both City goals.A misplaced, casual clearance by Timothy Fosu-Mensah in the fifth minute was seized on by Kevin de Bruyne. Aguero received the ball from the Belgian and he teed up Bernardo Silva to strike low into the net.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsFulham was so ineffective on the ball that, when the hosts finally strung passes together in the 15th minute, there were ironic cheers around Craven Cottage.It was a brief intermission from the City supremacy. Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgivingcenter_img Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Among its remaining seven games, City still has to play a resurgent Manchester United and third-placed Tottenham.“Seven games left for the Premier League, and it’s easy — we have to win every game to be champions,” Guardiola said. “We have a tough, tough opponent (Liverpool). But that’s the challenge.”Fulham is 13 points from safety with 18 points to play for.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants Google Philippines names new country director View comments Fulham defender Joe Bryan even helped City with its second goal in the 27th.Bryan’s slack attempt to pass the ball back to Calum Chambers was intercepted and Bernardo Silva squared to Aguero, who struck past goalkeeper Sergio Rico for his 19th league goal.With a comfortable lead and little threat from Fulham, City could afford its finishing being wayward after the break when Aguero came off injured.“He says he felt something, but hopefully he’s not injured,” Guardiola said. “He decided on not continuing. Hopefully it will not be a big issue.”Next up is another game against relegation-threatened opposition, with Cardiff going to City on Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausslast_img read more

FOOD BANK OF SIOUXLAND DEDICATES EXPANDED FREEZER SPACE

first_imgThe Food Bank of Siouxland celebrated the completion of a major capital improvement project Friday.Executive Director Linda Scheid says thanks to a $230,582 grant from Tyson Foods, the Food Bank has expanded and modernized their freezer space:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/FBANK.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC………..able to go up. :21Scheid says the local demand for food assistance continues to increase:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/FBANK2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC………….people in need. :12She says there are 26,150 food insecure individuals, including 11,210 children living in Siouxland.The Food Bank of Siouxland is the warehouse and distribution center for approximately 100 nonprofit agencies.last_img

58 ads eye women only 35 target both genders

first_imgMumbai: Marketers in India are missing potential opportunities to reach out to men in the categories where both genders are equal decision makers, according to a Kantar report. It revealed the disconnect between consumer and business opinions of gender portrayals in advertising. The AdReaction report noted that 58 percent ads on air target women exclusively, and only 35 percent are targeted towards both genders. While the clear majority of marketers globally (more than 75 percent) think they are avoiding gender stereotypes, 76 percent of female consumers and 71 percent of male consumers believe that the way theyre portrayed in advertising is completely out of touch, it said. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepIt noted that globally, gender-balanced brands drive greater brand value while brands that skew towards men tend to underperform and are valued on average $9 billion less, while only one in three brands achieve this balance in India. In the wake of the ‘MeToo’ movement, the industry globally claims they are actively designing for both genders and representing them in a progressive context. But less female marketers are convinced with the way theyre portraying men in the advertisements, it said. It observed that getting the gender placement right is important, especially from a digital and static perspective because it can be used as a targeting and optimisation variable in these channels. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsIt also noted that new information has the highest receptivity in India, more than 50 percent men and women become more positive towards the ads that have new information. This is closely followed by humour which has a critical role to play in improving the ad receptivity with both genders. “The report highlights that the bulk of ads in India are targeted at women; but marketers appear to be targeting them led more by stereotypes. Gender targeting should not be an either or decision and we need to challenge these outdated assumptions. From a portrayals perspective, more emphases need to be made towards aspirational and authoritative roles. The industry as a whole needs to be more aware than ever that things need to change, said Vishikh Talwar-managing director- Kantar Millward Brown, South Asia.last_img read more

Awarding outstanding Indian poets and novelists

first_imgRabindranath Tagore Literary Prize, existing since 2018, has been founded as a platform for World Peace, Literature, Art, Education and Human Rights. It has two-fold purpose: as honourable legacy to Rabindranath Tagore Literature Prize for the finest in Indian literature, and to recognise positive and lasting impact on society and its change with ‘Social Achievement Prize’.Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2019 winner will be announced at an award ceremony to be held on April 23, at India International Centre. The winner is entitled to $10 000. By their unvarying support for literature and children rights, the organisers have started initial 10,000 book donation to schools of their first winner ‘One Hundred Poems of Kabir’. Tagore Prize is one of the most anticipated literary award presentations, where they will accommodate 300 high profile attendees, authors, intellectuals, diplomats, ambassadors, executive directors and representatives of major publishing houses. Eminent people including Ayushman Jamwal, Master of Ceremony, a Senior Output Editor at CNN-News18, a columnist and a poet; Peter Bundaldo, Founder of Tagore Prize; Bidhan Chandra Singh, Executive Director at Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation; and others will be present at the event. The shortlist for Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize 2019 consist names like Amit Chaudhuri for ‘The Immortals’, Rana Dasgupta for ‘Solo’, K Madavane for ‘To Die in Benares’, Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi for ‘The Lost Flamingoes of Bombay’, Jeet Thayil for ‘The Book of Chocolate Saints’ and others. Tagore Prize 2019 – Social Achievement Prize will be awarded to Yohei Sasakawa, a Japanese philanthropist, for his remarkable work in leprosy elimination.Furthermore, Tagore Prize will announce building and launching of its first Satellite in Space – first literary prize in space.last_img read more

Sri Lankan churches shut a week after bombings

first_imgColombo: Churches in Sri Lanka remained shut on Sunday, a week since the April 21 Easter Sunday bombings that killed 253 people. Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith held a televised mass on Sunday, attended by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the BBC reported. He called the attacks “an insult to humanity” in the service, broadcast from a chapel in his residence. “Today during this mass we are paying attention to last Sunday’s tragedy and we try to understand it,” Cardinal Ranjith said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework “We pray that in this country there will be peace and co-existence and understanding each other without division.” While Sri Lanka’s churches were empty, people gathered for a public service outside St Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo – the site of one of the deadliest bombings. There, Buddhist monks joined Catholic priests for prayers in a show of solidarity with the Christian community. The church’s bells tolled at 8.45 a.m., the exact moment a bomber detonated his device one week ago. The hands of its damaged clock tower are still stuck at that time. Besides St Anthony’s Shrine, bombers struck churches in Negombo and the eastern city of Batticaloa, and hotels in Colombo. The Easter Sunday bombings which also injured over 500 people was the bloodiest attack in the island after the civil was ended in 2009.last_img read more

A Farewell To Adam Dunn Sabermetric Bellwether

One footnote in the wake of the Oakland Athletics’ agonizing wild card loss Tuesday night was the retirement of A’s designated hitter Adam Dunn.Dunn had never participated in the postseason before, and his first (and last) game as a member of a playoff team came without so much as an appearance on the diamond. He finished his 14-year Major League Baseball stint with a résumé that’s undeniably notable — he ranks 35th all-time in career home runs and 40th in career walks — but he will never be considered Hall of Fame-worthy.Dunn’s most prominent place in the fabric of the game, then, is symbolic. Spanning the “Moneyball” era almost perfectly, Dunn’s career served as a bellwether for the growth, acceptance and, ultimately, the maturity of sabermetrics.In some ways, that status was a fait accompli. After all, Dunn graced the cover of Baseball Prospectus back in 2002, following a rookie season that saw him place among the top 30 hitters in baseball by OPS despite a mediocre batting average and plenty of strikeouts.Because he provided value with walks and power instead of contact hitting, Dunn was initially highlighted by statheads as the type of player who would frequently fall through the cracks of traditional analysis. Before sabermetrics became mainstream, strikeout-prone players like Dunn were disparaged — just take a trip through Fire Joe Morgan‘s Adam Dunn-tagged posts for a taste of the aspersions cast in Dunn’s direction over his whiff-happy ways — while statheads kept countering with the mantra that (for batters, at least) strikeouts are essentially no worse than any other out.And over time, MLB seems to have finally agreed: Its leaguewide rate of strikeouts per out hit a new all-time high for eight years running, including 2014. This new normal has, of course, spawned plenty of lamentations about the state of the game, but the explosion of strikeouts apparently hasn’t yet reached levels that would cause the game’s decision-makers to change course and stigmatize them again.You’d think this growing acceptance of strikeouts would result in a newfound appreciation of Dunn’s career, free from the shame his many K‘s once carried. But the great irony is that as sabermetric principles became so mainstream that Dunn’s batting value was properly evaluated, the state of analysis also improved to the point that baserunning and defense could be appraised with far greater accuracy than ever before. This was bad news for Dunn, a very large, very slow man who was of little use when holding a glove instead of a bat.Whether you look at Baseball-Reference.com or FanGraphs, Dunn was worth something in the neighborhood of 20 runs below average on the basepaths, making him one of the 40 or so worst baserunners of his generation. And defensively, Dunn’s value takes a major hit. Despite frequently playing low-difficulty positions at the far left end of the defensive spectrum (leading to a negative positional adjustment), Dunn was comically below-average relative to his positional peers. To wit: In 2009, Dunn somehow posted -43 Defensive Runs Saved while splitting time between first base and the two outfield corners, giving him the worst defensive season relative to positional average in baseball history. And between the twin factors of position and performance relative to positional average, Dunn rates as MLB’s worst defensive player ever in the estimation of Baseball Reference.Sabermetrics giveth and Sabermetrics taketh away.In the end, Dunn’s career represents the maturation of statistical analysis in baseball. Originally, it was thought that a player’s defense was of little consequence as long as he was productive at the plate; in “Moneyball,” there’s a passage quoting former Oakland A’s consultant Eric Walker as saying fielding was “at most 5 percent of the game” — a statement that rings particularly ludicrous in today’s age of BABIP and rampant defensive shifts. If the first stage of sabermetric proselytization was convincing the public that Dunn-esque hitters who rarely put the ball in play had value, the second stage was persuading them to look at the value driven by factors beyond hitting. (Not coincidentally, large segments of the recent MVP wars between Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera were fought on this ground.)Dunn’s profile made him a polarizing contemporary case study at each stage of the sabermetric mainstreaming process, a legacy that should give him a special place in baseball history. read more

Sarri Its time for Hazards future to be decided

first_imgChelsea boss Maurizio Sarri wants a solution on Eden Hazard’s future now, amid the constant speculation linking him with a switch to Real MadridThe Belgian winger is yet to commit his long-term future at Stamford Bridge with his contract set to expire in June 2020.This has prompted reports of a transfer to Real with Hazard doing little to deny the rumours by claiming it would be a dream for him in October.On Wednesday, the 27-year-old announced he intends to just stay focused on his football after scoring both goals in Chelsea’s 2-1 win at Watford.But Sarri believes now is the time for answers on Hazard’s Chelsea future.“I don’t know but it’s time to decide,” said Sarri on the club website, when asked if Hazard will stay at the club.“I am the coach. I am not the president, I am not in charge of the market, I am the coach. I want to speak to him only about the position on the pitch.Sacchi explains Sarri, Conte, and Ancelotti Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Arrigo Sacchi talked about how Sarri has a tougher time at Juventus than Conte at Inter; while Ancelotti’s “blood is boiling” at Napoli.Arrigo Sacchi…“I think we have to solve the problem.”The Blues will take a trip to Selhurst Park this Sunday to take on Crystal Palace in the Premier League.And Sarri is expecting a stern challenge from the Eagles, who defeated Manchester City 3-2 last week.“It’s a very difficult match because in the last three matches at home they were able to not concede a goal to the opponent, then they are very dangerous on the counter-attack,” said the Italian.“We have to play against a very dangerous team, especially with it being away.”Pedro will be unavailable for the league match against Palace on Sunday, which begins at 13:00 (CET).last_img read more

Pena to be patient before next move

first_imgRangers midfielder Carlos Pena has revealed he will take his time before deciding his future after falling out of favour at the Scottish club.The Mexican midfielder still has 18 months left on his contract but Rangers boss Steven Gerrard insisted at the end of last year it would be difficult for Pena to work his way into his plans.“I want to continue playing football, I am only 28 and I want another chance,” Pena said, according to the Scotsman.“Whether that is with Rangers or in Turkey or Poland I don’t know. I have until January 31 to make my mind up.”“There are clubs in Mexico who are interested in me – 
Correcaminos UAT and Dorados de Sinaloa.”Rangers is still behind Celtic: John Hartson Manuel R. Medina – September 3, 2019 According to the former Celtic player, there’s still a massive gap between his ex-club and Rangers in the Scottish Premier League.“I only want the best club for me and I will take my time to decide my next career move.”“What’s important to me are my family and friends.”“People who I really considered to be friends and my family have all stuck by me.”“Others have disappeared, but I knew I had people surrounding me who would not be with me in the difficult times because they were only interested in fame and money.”last_img read more

NOW HIRING 10 New Job Openings In Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Below are some of the newest job openings in Wilmington:Full-Time C.A.R.E.S. Site Coordinator at Boutwell Early Childhood CenterPart-Time C.A.R.E.S. Social/Emotional Mentor at Wilmington Public SchoolsFull-Time Long-Term Substitute Emotional Assistant at Wilmington Public SchoolsFull-Time Supervisor (GEMS Breed) at Charles River LabsFull-Time Maintenance Worker at Janis Research CompanyPart-Time Track Operator at K1 SpeedFull-Time Event Producer at Art Of The EventFull-Time Management-Customer Service at Watson Marlow, Inc.Full-Time Merchandise Handler Customer Service at Crate & BarrelPart-Time Entry Level Package Handler at UPS Warehouse(NOTE: Wilmington businesses — Feel free to send me your job postings at wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedNOW HIRING: 10 New Job Openings In WilmingtonIn “Business”NOW HIRING: 10 New Job Openings In WilmingtonIn “Business”NOW HIRING: 60 New Job Openings In Wilmington (Week of July 14, 2019)In “Business”last_img read more