Evolutionary Science Reporting Battles Creationists

first_imgIf creationism is so discredited as to not warrant any further discussion, some science writers are sure going out of their way to refute it.  Some recent examples:Eye of the Hydra:  Little sea creatures known as hydrae have light-sensitive molecules called opsins, reported Science Daily.  Scientists think the opsin proteins, which exist all over the tiny animals but are concentrated near the gut, help the hydra find its prey.  Todd Oakley, a notable anti-creationist involved in the study, used this as a barb against Darwin doubters:Oakley said that anti-evolutionists often argue that mutations, which are essential for evolution, can only eliminate traits and cannot produce new features.  He goes on to say, “Our paper shows that such claims are simply wrong.  We show very clearly that specific mutational changes in a particular duplicated gene (opsin) allowed the new genes to interact with different proteins in new ways.  Today, these different interactions underlie the genetic machinery of vision, which is different in various animal groups.”Yet the story begs the question that mutational evolution produced the opsins or led to their function.  A team member illustrated the circular thinking when he inferred, “because we don’t find them in earlier evolving animals like sponges, we can put a date on the evolution of light sensitivity in animals.”  Another problem with the idea that evolution produced it is that it pushes the origin of light sensitivity further back in the evolutionary time frame to 600 million years ago.  See also Live Science.Skull of the St. Bernard:  In a surprising display of misunderstanding of the issues, a University of Manchester press release claimed that artificial selection in St. Bernard dogs refutes creationism.  The skull shape in St. Bernards has changed a little in 120 years since the breed standard was defined.  These changes “evolved purely through the selective considerations of breeders.” But this is, of course, artificial selection – not natural selection.  The press release continues,“Creationism is the belief that all living organisms were created according to Genesis in six days by ‘intelligent design’ and rejects the scientific theories of natural selection and evolution.    “But this research once again demonstrates how selection – whether natural or, in this case, artificially influenced by man – is the fundamental driving force behind the evolution of life on the planet.”A quick check of creationist literature would have shown that not even the most literal Biblical creationist believes God created St. Bernards directly.  Creationist books and lectures often include diagrams of all the various dog breeds, from St. Bernards to poodles to Dobermans, as descended from an original dog kind that was probably like a wolf.  Many would include all the wolves, coyotes, dingoes and foxes in the original dog kind.    In addition, most creationists would admit an extensive amount of natural and artificial selection in the sorting out of traits in dog populations since the creation.  Even in this press release, the dogs started and ended as St. Bernards – one variety within one species – so there was no “origin of species” or variation on the scale Darwin envisaged.    EurekAlert, a news service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, reproduced this press release without alteration; so did Science Daily.Brain of the Behe:  Science (Oct. 20) gave Michael Behe 200 words to clarify a point, but then let Sean Carroll have 500 words to trash it.  A complete account is given at Access Research Network by David Tyler.  The lopsided exchange omitted the fact that Behe has written extensive responses to Carroll on his Amazon blog, as noted by Anika Smith at Evolution News, and to many of his other critics, as noted by Robert Crowther on Evolution News.    Science, by picking and choosing a small portion of Behe’s writing, gave the distinct impression that he was conceding a major point of Darwinism, when in fact Behe proceeded beyond the quoted part to explain why it was irrelevant to evolutionary theory.  Carroll, nonetheless, accused Behe of a “complete disregard of a massive literature surrounding protein interactions crucial to Behe’s entirely unfounded conclusion.”  Carroll did not cite any examples of such literature.It is appalling to see the low level of intellectual rigor in the typical science press release these days when they deal with matters of creation vs evolution, and the deliberate anti-creationist bias in the journals.  In the typical popular science report, creationism, when mentioned at all, is made into a caricature, a straw man to ridicule and shoot down.  Don’t they realize that refuting an accurate presentation of an opponent’s view is more likely to succeed in the long run?  Maybe they know they cannot.  They use the only weak munitions they have: the pop-guns and spitballs of propaganda.    We hope our readers appreciate the detail and fairness in these pages.  Links to all the original sources are provided so you can check whether what is represented here is in fact what the evolutionists are claiming.  Much of our reporting comes straight from the original science journals.  While we try to present the news in ways that are thought-provoking and occasionally entertaining, we do not pander to ignorance or bias.  We do not regurgitate the party-line talking points.  We invite the reader to investigate the evidence and evaluate the logic on both sides.  After decades of Darwin-only propaganda in the news media, we hope you find this liberating. (Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Nagaland suspense ends, 22 file papers

first_imgThe suspense surrounding the Nagaland Assembly election ended seven days after its notification, with 22 candidates filing their nomination papers on Tuesday.The remaining aspirants have until 3 pm on Wednesday to submit their papers.A question mark had hung over the polls after a boycott call by the Core committee of the Naga Tribal Hohos and Civil Organisations, a conglomeration of tribal and civil groups, seeking final settlement of the peace process with extremist outfits. The committee was dissolved Tuesday afternoon, opening the floodgates for the candidates. 58 in NPF listKuzholuzo Nienu of the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) was the first to submit his papers for the Phek Assembly seat. Nicky Kire of Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and N. Jacob Zhimomi of the Bharatiya Janata Party followed for Kohima Town and Ghaspani-I seats.“By the end of the stipulated time 22 nominations were filed. We expect all the other candidates to complete the formality tomorrow,” the State’s Deputy Chief Election Commissioner N. Moa Aier told The Hindu from the State capital Kohima.The NPF has announced the largest number of candidates – 58. The NDPP has named 38, while its ally BJP will be fielding 20.The Congress was the last to come out with its list on Tuesday afternoon. The party has decided to contest 23 seats, most of its candidates being first-timers. The Janata Dal-United (11 candidates) and Nationalist Congress Party (6) had announced their lists late on Monday night. Among those in the fray is former bureaucrat Khekiye K. Sema, whose anti-graft organisation, Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation, had opposed the polls. Mr. Sema will be contesting the Ghaspani-II seat.last_img read more

Political myths fog crucial Alberta election debate over carbon taxes economist

first_imgThe commission has just published a report on carbon tax misconceptions.The worst, Ragan said, is that a carbon tax doesn’t work.“If you look at B.C., if you look at California, if you look at the U.K, if you look at Quebec, these policies do work. What they don’t do is work overnight.”At least five different published studies have found British Columbia’s carbon tax, introduced in 2008, has cut overall emissions, reduced per capita gasoline use by seven per cent, improved average vehicle efficiency by four per cent, cut residential natural gas use by seven per cent and diesel use by more than three per cent.Meanwhile, the province enjoyed about three per cent annual economic growth between 2012 and 2017.Other jurisdictions that have successfully used carbon taxes to reduce emissions include Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, several U.S. states, the U.K. and the European Union. EDMONTON, A.B. – Between politicians who fog the truth and the ones just in a fog, Chris Ragan wants to fan fresh air into a carbon tax debate that is clouding Alberta’s provincial election and drifting into an upcoming federal campaign.“It’s pretty clear this issue is warming up politically,” said Ragan, head of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, a non-partisan group of academics and business leaders focused on economic and environmental solutions.“We have been sorry to see that there’s a bunch of stuff out there that is either misunderstanding or poorly explained. There are a bunch of myths out there.” Three separate studies found B.C.’s tax either didn’t affect jobs or added them. A fourth found a small decrease in jobs for less-educated workers. Studies in the U.S. or the U.K. found little or no impact on job numbers.The commission’s report finds that far from hurting families, 70 per cent of Canadian households will receive more in carbon tax rebates than they pay.Energy economists such as Mark Jaccard at B.C.’s Simon Fraser University argue that regulations get faster, bigger results and are politically easier to enact. The big cuts to Canada’s carbon emissions, he said, have come from closing coal-fired power plants and clean fuel rules.“Some people will tell you you have to have carbon pricing,” he said on a recent podcast. “That’s not true. You could do it all through regulations.”center_img You could, concedes Ragan. But that would cost the economy more. Besides, he said, bringing in carbon taxes gives governments an opportunity to cut other levies such as income tax.Albertans who believe the province could escape a carbon tax by rescinding provincial legislation may also be mistaken.Martin Olszynski, a University of Calgary law professor, said all Ottawa would have to do is pass an order in council to bring Alberta under the same federal tax that recently came into effect in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick. None of those provinces had its own tax.“It’s a matter of getting cabinet together and writing the order,” Olszynski said.Looking to the courts to block Ottawa’s tax is an iffy bet, he suggested.In court hearings on Saskatchewan’s anti-tax constitutional challenge, Olszynski said, judges asked if allowing Ottawa to regulate greenhouse gases as a matter of “national concern” would impede provincial efforts to do the same.“If you recognize this matter as a matter of national concern, you would strip away the provincial ability to regulate these things,” he summarized.But Olszynski notes that courts have recognized that many issues _ especially environmental ones _ are best managed jointly between national and provincial governments.Other federal arguments in favour of a national carbon tax are backed by decades of case law, Olszynski added.Ragan said the debate over carbon taxes is as important to Canada’s future as debates over the GST or free trade with the United States.“It’s a big policy issue and it’s appropriate that we’re talking about it now.”Ragan just wishes the debate wasn’t so mythical.“We live in a democratic society where people play partisan politics. Those political debates don’t always stick to the facts.”last_img read more

Low prices LNG uncertainty add to frustration levels for natural gas producers

first_imgFollow @HealingSlowly on Twitter. Painted Pony Energy Ltd. reported recently it was using some of its own natural gas to replace higher-priced diesel fuel in some well-completion operations, a move it says could save $100,000 per well.Meanwhile, Perpetual Energy Inc. reported shutting down wells producing two per cent of its total output because it was more profitable to buy cheap gas on the market to satisfy its supply contracts.In Western Canada, “dry” gas has become an unloved byproduct as producers continue to drill wells seeking the light petroleum liquids produced with the gas, especially in the Montney formation that underlies the northern Alberta-B.C. border, said Ian Archer, associate director of North American natural gas with IHS Markit.One product in particular, condensate, commands prices in line with U.S. benchmark crude oil because it is needed to dilute oilsands bitumen to allow it to flow in a pipeline. Canada produced 417,000 barrels per day of condensate in March, up from just under 150,000 bpd in March 2013. Meanwhile, it still imports condensate from the U.S.“They’re drilling for condensate and sometimes the volume of condensate is only, say, 20 or 30 per cent of the well (volume), but it’s going to be 40 or 50 per cent of the revenue,” said Archer.“Then they have that 70 per cent gas volume they have to deal with.”There have been more than 20 proposals to build LNG projects on Canada’s West Coast but construction has only begun on one, LNG Canada, and it’s not expected to open until 2023 or 2024.It would take in up to 2.1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas but most or all of it is expected to come from northern B.C. wells owned by partners in the project.That’s not good enough for the long-suffering members of the Rockies LNG group, said Kist.“If you look back over the history of LNG projects worldwide and certainly in Canada, they’re pretty much controlled by major international entities. Those entities tend to look after their own opportunities, not necessarily the opportunities for the producer groups.” But that hasn’t happened. In March 2013, Canada produced about 14 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas. Six year later, the National Energy Board reports production had increased by 16 per cent to 16.2 billion cf/d, despite no rise in pricing trends.Meanwhile, Canada’s largest gas customer, the U.S., is experiencing a shale gas boom that led to domestic production reaching 109 billion cf/d in March, up 35 per cent compared with 81 billion in the same month in 2013. Near-term prices in the U.S. have recently dropped to three-year lows on a glut of gas.In mid-July, a group of nine Alberta producers — unrelated to Rockies LNG but with some common membership — released an open letter demanding the province support a plan under which royalty credits would be issued to producers who voluntarily cut production to boost low gas prices when supply overwhelms pipeline capacity.Complaints about poor gas prices and interruptions in gas sales due to pipeline outages are common as Calgary-based natural gas producers roll out second-quarter results. Companies mentioned in this article: (TSX:BIR, TSX:PONY, TSX:PMT)Dan Healing, The Canadian Presscenter_img CALGARY — Greg Kist admits he was burned out when he resigned as president of Pacific NorthWest LNG at the end of 2014, as the Vancouver-based venture led by Malaysian energy giant Petronas advanced its ill-fated mission to build a liquefied natural gas project in B.C.“I needed to decompress,” the 57-year-old gas industry veteran says of his decision to return to his home and family in Alberta.Once hailed as a voracious new consumer of western Canadian natural gas, the nascent LNG industry was staggered by project delays and all but halted by declining global price trends, leading to Petronas cancelling its project in 2017. Meanwhile, Kist went into retirement mode and avoided the natural gas business for the next couple of years.So it’s surprising that Kist now finds himself back in the thick of things as president and CEO of Rockies LNG Partners, a consortium of nine natural gas producers who invited him back with a promise to try again to jumpstart an LNG export project.The hope is that the former college basketball players’ experience in LNG and the natural gas business will help them to move their gas from the oversupplied and underpriced markets of North America to the promised land in Asia.“I think the next six months are critical for us,” Kist said in an interview in the downtown Calgary offices of Birchcliff Energy Ltd., one of the consortium members.The gas producers want to attract partners to build and operate what could be a 12-million-tonne-per-year LNG project to open by 2026, when forecasts suggest LNG demand will exceed supply. That means an investment decision must be made by the end of 2021.Gas industry insiders used to say the solution to low prices is low prices — when prices go down, less is produced and scarcity makes prices go up again.last_img read more

Transferred police personnel assume duty

first_imgKolkata: In a major reshuffle in the IPS rank, the state government awarded posting to four IPS officers including the then Commissioner of Police(CP) of Kolkata and Bidhannagar who were removed by the Election Commission on Friday late night. Jayanta Kumar Basu, who was serving as Director, Directorate of Economic Offences, was appointed as ADG, Establishment. On Friday, the Election Commission had removed CP Kolkata Anuj Sharma and CP, Bidhannagar, Gyanwant Singh from their respective posts along with two IPS officers holding the post of Superintendent of Police (SP) in Bolpur and Diamond Harbour police district respectively. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAccording to the order published on Saturday by the state Home & Hill Affairs department, Anuj Sharma has been posted as the Additional Director General (ADG), Operations, whereas Gyanwant has been posted as the Director of the Directorate of Economic Offences in the rank of ADG. Apart from the two top cops, SP Diamond Harbour S Selvamurugan has been transferred to the post of Commandant (CO) of State Armed Police (SAP), 6th Battalion. Avvaru Rabindranath who was posted in Bidhannagar Police has been made SP Birbhum replacing Shyam Singh who has been transferred to CO, SAP 13th Battalion. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayMeanwhile, as per the EC order, Rajesh Kumar took over charge as Kolkata CP and Natarajan Ramesh Babu assumed charge as CP, Bidhannagar on Saturday afternoon. Kumar, after taking over charge, said he would ensure conductance of free and fair elections in the state. “Kolkata Police is a prestigious unit and its system is unquestionable. Several steps have already taken by the Kolkata Police which are very good and effective,” he added.last_img read more

Poll panel censures Sidhu bars him from campaigning for 72 hours

first_imgNew Delhi: The Election Commission on Monday censured Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu for his remarks in which he allegedly warned the Muslim community that efforts were on to divide their votes in Bihar, and barred him from campaigning for 72 hours. The ban comes into force from 10 am, Tuesday. The Punjab minister joins leaders such as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BSP supremo Mayawati, Union minister Maneka Gandhi and SP leader Azam Khan who faced similar campaign ban recently. “The Commission…strongly condemns the impugned statements made by him during election campaign held at Barsoi and Barari of Katihar District,” the order rapping Sidhu reads. It also “censured” him for the “misconduct” “The Commission, under Article 324 of the Constitution of India and all other powers enabling in this behalf, bars him from holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterances in media (electronic, print. social media) etc. in connection with ongoing elections for 72 hours from 10am on April 23, 2019,” it said. Addressing an election rally in Katihar on April 16, the cricketer-turned-politician had stoked a controversy by urging Muslim voters of a Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar with sizeable population of the minority community to vote en bloc and defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The comments by the former test cricketer came when he was canvassing in support of veteran Congress leader and former Union minister Tariq Anwar.last_img read more

PM Modi greets Widodo on reelection as Indonesian president

first_imgNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted Joko Widodo on Tuesday for his re-election as the Indonesian president, saying he looked forward to working with him to further deepen the bilateral partnership. Widodo was re-elected as the leader of Indonesia, the third-biggest democracy in the world, on Tuesday. “Heartiest congratulations @jokowi on your re-election! As two large democracies, we take collective pride in successful celebration of democracy. We wish you and people of Indonesia all success under your dynamic leadership,” Modi said in a tweet. He added that as the two nations marked seven decades of diplomatic relationship, “I look forward to working closely with you to further deepen our bilateral Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.”last_img read more

Al Jazeera video shows Bouteflika recognized the Sahara was Moroccan in

first_imgFez- Any person acquainted with Algeria’s rhetoric over the past three decades regarding the question of the Sahara would tell you that it has always been supportive of the Polisario and its “right” to establish an independent state in the Sahara. She/ he would also tell you that Algeria supports the Polisario because the principle of self-determination is one of the tenets of its foreign policy, that Morocco annexed the Sahara in 1975 and is illegally occupying the territory and violating the human rights of the Saharawis.Yet a video aired by Al Jazeera channel shows that the reality has not always been quite like that. Al Jazeera’s video shows a letter written in 1975 by Algeria’s current president Abdeliaziz Boutefliak, who was then his country’s foreign minister, where he states: “Algeria reiterates that it has no designs on the Sahara” but ” takes note with full satisfaction of the agreement between the two countries”. In the same document, Bouteflika says that “Both countries are convinced of the need to improve the coordination of their action in order to put an end as soon as possible, to the Spanish occupation” of the Sahara.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

Ohio StateMiami 5 questions

1. Who will win the quarterback battle? The two are similar in a few ways. Both are dual-threat quarterbacks. Both passed for more than 3,000 yards last year. Both were handed the keys to their respective offenses as underclassmen. “I think [Pryor and Harris] have traveled a similar road,” OSU coach Jim Tressel said. “They both got put in there at an early point in their freshman year. But in [Pryor’s] case, it was the third or fourth game and he had to kind of get thrown in with an older group and learn their way.” 2. Will either team be able to run the ball effectively? Both defenses will be geared to stuff the run. Miami has a solid cache of defensive linemen, led by a genuine freak-of-nature in 6-foot-3, 287-pound senior Allen Bailey, who is not only a probable first-round pick in next April’s draft, but reportedly killed an alligator with nothing but a shovel a few years ago. As for OSU, the Silver Bullets are usually stout against the run. The OSU defense has ranked in the top five in the nation in fewest rushing yards allowed in three of the last five years. Miami coach Randy Shannon said starting running back Graig Cooper will likely miss the game, although ACC Rookie of the Week Lamar Miller appears to be a capable backup. 3. Can the OSU offensive line protect Pryor? The OSU offensive line did an admirable job last Thursday against Marshall. However, comparing the Marshall defensive line to the Miami front four would be foolish. Tressel isn’t taking the Hurricane pass rushers lightly. “They’re very good. They’re veterans, they’re quick and they’re strong,” Tressel said. “It will be a great challenge for our guys.” Although the Hurricanes have a star in Bailey and a few other solid players, the OSU hog mollies should be equipped to handle the task. 4. Who will win the field position battle? The combination of the crowd, OSU’s ability to force turnovers and Harris’ propensity to throw the football to the other team all favor the Scarlet and Gray. But nearly every one of those characteristics could have been said for the USC game last year and OSU lost that contest, 18-15. On the other hand, if the Buckeyes have the lead heading into the fourth quarter, the game is usually over. Under Tressel, OSU is 86-6 when taking the lead into the final quarter. Disclaimer: OSU led USC, 15-10, heading into the fourth quarter last year. 5. Will an unknown player, coaching decision or (gasp!) referee steal the show? Obviously, all three are impossible to predict. But in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, the game was defined by curious coaching decisions and questionable calls by officials. From official Terry Porter’s infamous pass interference call in the first overtime, to Tressel’s decision to run a fake field goal early in the game to Miami’s downright dubious goal line offense in the second overtime, the game was full of judgments ripe for barroom discussion. As for an unknown player stealing the show, for Miami, sophomore safety Ray Ray Armstrong and Ohio State sophomore running back Jordan Hall could provide the difference. Armstrong is big (6-foot-4, 220 pounds), fast and saw major playing time as a freshman. If he keeps the OSU passing game in front of him and reads Pryor’s eyes, his performance will be two-fold: tackling receiver Dane Sanzenbacher over the middle of the field and intercepting Pryor. The diminutive Hall could make an impact as a punt returner. Think former LSU star Trindon Holliday, the 5-foot, 6-inch speed sprint champion who also specialized as a returner for the Tigers. Hall is capable of making a similar impact for OSU. This could be his breakout game. read more

Dalic Croatia dont intend to stop here

first_imgCroatia boss Zlatko Dalic insists that they intend to go beyond the quarter-finals of the World Cup after booking their place to the last-eight in a tense penalty shoot-out win over DenmarkAfter some impressive displays in their opening three games of the tournament, Croatia failed to build on their Group D win in a convincing manner in what turned out to a rather disappointing match against Group C runners-up Denmark.Mario Mandzukic cancelled out Martin Jorgensen’s 1st-minute opener for the Danes by taking advantage of a mix-up to grab the equaliser just three minutes later.The scoreline remained the same for the rest of the game with the Vatreni later securing a 3-2 win in a penalty shoot-out.But Dalic insists that his side are far from done.“We have come so far but we don’t intend to stop here,” said the 51-year-old, according to The National.Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic saved three spot-kicks form Nicolai Jorgensen, Lasse Schone and Christian Eriksen.ScotlandScotland needs a hero: Billy Dodds Manuel R. Medina – September 10, 2019 According to former striker, Billy Dodds his country needs a hero to inspire future generations as the team’s hope to qualify to the EURO 2020 is small.“You have to earn your luck and the lads earned theirs,” added Dalic.“Without luck, you cannot do anything in life.”The Croatian coach was full of praise for Luka Modric, who missed a golden chance to hand the side the win when he missed a 116th-minute extra-time penalty.But the captain then later stepped up to score in the penalty shoot-out.“He said it himself, ‘I am going to take a penalty in the shoot-out,’” said Dalic.“Can you imagine what would have happened if he had not scored, but he’s a great player.”Croatia will now meet hosts Russia at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on Saturday for the quarter-finals of the World Cup.last_img read more