In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 Serena happy to plant seed of doubt for Wimbledon rivals Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Manny Pacquiao conquers highest peak in Maasim, Sarangani province. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Winchell CamposManny Pacquiao showed his head trainer Buboy Fernandez and strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune a preview of what to expect in his ring return against Lucas Matthysse next month.Pacquiao on Tuesday flashed his deadly form when he rocked Gherich Chavez with a solid straight to the jaw during sparring that delighted Fernandez and Fortune.ADVERTISEMENT “It’s a sign that Manny is trying to ask himself questions whether he still has it or not. That talks a lot about his warrior spirit,” said Fortune.‘The Fight of Champions,’ the biggest boxing event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia since the great Muhammad Ali beat Joe Bugner in 1975 is less than three weeks away.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding “I would say he is 85 already percent ready and we don’t want him to peak too soon,” said Fernandez.“He is right there where we want him to be right now,” said Fortune.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownPacquiao’s power and speed may have diminished in time but he remains one of the best-conditioned boxers.On Monday morning, Pacquiao conquered the steepest climb in Maasim, Sarangani province.
According to the Sacramento Bee last week, Roseville teachers who rejected the “Quality Science Education Policy” (see 06/04/2004 headline) did so because “there are no scientifically valid arguments against the theory of evolution.” They must not be reading Nature. In the current June 10 issue,1 three scientists say there has long been “vigorous debate” about basic evolutionary theory. Laland, Odling-Smee and Feldman do not dispute whether evolution occurred, but their “niche construction” approach has touched off “strong and polarized responses” from evolutionists. Though they consider this “fuss” a comparatively mild “spat” compared to earlier rows over lamarckism, punctuated equilibria and group selection, the theory of niche construction was heretical enough for Darwinist champion Richard Dawkins to term it “pernicious.” (For more on niche construction, see 10/23/2003 headline fourth item, 03/17/2003 headline, or see its promoters’ website, www.nicheconstruction.com). The basic idea behind niche construction is that adaptation is a two-way street:At the heart of the controversy lies the nature of causality in evolution. Adaptation is conventionally seen as a process by which natural selection shapes organisms to fit pre-established environmental ‘templates’. The causal arrow points in one direction only: it is environments, the source of selection, that determine the features of living creatures. Yet it is also obvious that organisms bring about changes in environments. Numerous animals manufacture nests, burrows, holes, webs and pupal cases. Plants change the levels of atmospheric gases and modify nutrient cycles. Fungi decompose organic matter, and bacteria engage in decomposition and nutrient fixation. The standard view of evolution does not deny this, but treats niche construction as no more than the product of selection. Conversely, from the niche-construction perspective, evolution is based on networks of causation and feedback. Organisms drive environmental change and organism-modified environments subsequently select organisms. The argument that niche construction does not play a causal role in evolution because it is partly a product of natural selection, makes no more sense than would the counter-proposal that natural selection can be disregarded because it is partly a product of niche construction.It is this robbing of natural selection of some of its power that seems to anger the conventional Darwinists. Yet the niche constructionists provide a couple of examples that show how the modified environment must be taken into account when deciding how natural selection operates:“When a beaver builds a dam it not only affects the propagation of dam-building genes, but it must also transform the selection acting on a host of other beaver traits.”“Contemporary earthworms are adapting to a soil environment largely constructed by their ancestors.”First proposed in the 1980s by Richard Lewontin, niche construction was at first largely ignored. Now, these authors feel it is “a fact of life.” It is not just man that adapts himself, as Theodosius Dobzhansky used to claim. All organisms modify the environment that selects their traits; this is a ubiquitous process, and can no longer be disputed. It seems intuitively obvious. Why the controversy, then? Perhaps because niche construction “changes the evolutionary dynamic” and can actually put the brakes on natural selection:Niche construction can create new equilibria, affect the stability of others, generate unusual phenomena, such as momentum effects (where populations continue to evolve in the same direction after selection has stopped or reversed) and inertia effects (a delayed evolutionary response to selection), as well as opposite and catastrophic responses to selection.Such realizations might raise a host of new questions. Nevertheless, the authors are optimistic, and suggest some fruitful lines of research. A number of evolutionists are jumping on this bandwagon. This “alternative panorama” may prove to be a “fleeting fad”; but if not, David Hull’s ominous prophecy may be fulfilled: “the result should be a massive reorientation of evolutionary theory.”1Kevin N. Laland, John Odling-Smee, and Marcus W. Feldman, “Causing a commotion: Niche construction: do the changes that organisms make to their habitats transform evolution and influence natural selection?” Nature 429, 609 (10 June 2004); doi:10.1038/429609a.To be fair before discussing this “spat” among evolutionists, it must be clarified that the parties on both sides are committed naturalists who affirm that unguided, unplanned, purposeless natural processes created humpback whales and hippo sunscreen out of bacteria. All the combatants would have risen up in holy horror at Roseville to protest the insertion of any doubts about evolution into the biology curriculum. That being understood, think about this controversy. What damage does niche construction do to evolutionary theory? Why would Dawkins call the reasoning “pernicious”? What do the ongoing intramural battles tell us about the “fact” of evolution? Each of these internal controversies – whether lamarckism, punctuated equilibria, group selection or niche construction – has questioned the core belief of Darwinists, that Charlie’s mechanism, a simple process so intuitively obvious it elevated bacteria-to-man evolution to the status of accepted truth, is perfectly capable of explaining everything. Remember, it was the discovery of a plausible mechanism of evolution that made Charlie famous. Apparently, quite a few evolutionists do not consider it all that plausible. The fundamentalist Darwinists insist Charlie’s original dogma must be kept sacrosanct (see 05/31/2004 headline). Yet ever since Darwin, heretical views have threatened the integrity of the myth. Lamarckism is pretty much dead, falsified by experiment (even though Darwin himself became more Lamarckian in his old age—see February 2004 bio of Kelvin). The radical view called punctuated equilibria arose because the fossil record, with its systematic gaps, did not support Darwinian gradualism. Group selection was a sect that cast doubt on Darwin’s orthodoxy of individual selection. We could add to the list the heresies of sympatric speciation and neo-Gaia. Now, the cult of niche construction tends to complicate Dawkins’ life by telling him that the vectors of natural selection and the environment interact in complex ways, often opposing each other (see 03/17/2003 headline). Whichever you think is the best storytelling plot, let’s ask some serious questions about this article and its relevance to the heated arguments occurring at school board meetings all around America, both in big cities and small towns, about the teaching of evolution. Do you feel that any of the Darwin Party storytellers has a real, defensible, comprehensive account of how bacteria evolved into humans? If so, why is it controversial to other evolutionists? Why are the controversies heated enough for them to call each other names and question each others’ motives? Has any of them provided a detailed account, with all the transitions that would be required, to explain the emergence of a single complex organ? (See 08/20/2003 headline.) Have the newly-acquired genomes of dozens of different organisms fulfilled what Darwinists predicted? (See 06/09/2004 and 01/02/2003 headlines.) Has the fossil record filled in the gaps that Darwin himself acknowledged were a major problem for his theory? (See 06/02/2004 headline.) Is there any reason why the eyes and ears of high school students should be shielded from these controversies and failings of Darwin’s theory? Do these controversies have anything to do with Christianity or any other religion? If not, why is the mantra “separation of church and state” invoked to subvert proposals for honest discussion about problems with evolutionary theory? Can you think of any other reason, other than a sincere desire to educate students honestly, that the ACLU, the National Center for Science Education, and other Darwinist front groups are so adamant that no scientific criticisms of Darwinism are permissible in the schools? If you engaged in these mental exercises, you just committed the very crime the Darwin-only side is trying to prevent. You utilized critical thinking skills.(Visited 55 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Scientists and philosophers have questioned for centuries if science is a true reflection of reality. Most just assume it is.Last week, Science Magazine reviewed a book that shook up the science world in 1979: Laboratory Life: The Social Construction of Scientific Facts, by Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar. In his review titled “Arbiters of truth, then and now,” Joseph Swift re-introduced a question that has dogged science for centuries, even as far back as Plato and Aristotle: is science an accurate reflection of external reality?The question seems absurd to many people. Of course it is, they assume, rattling off a list of technological innovations that sprang from science: refrigerators (confirming thermodynamics), space heaters (confirming electrodynamics), lasers (confirming quantum theory), and atom bombs (confirming relativity and atomic theory). Why even doubt that science reflects reality? The question is much more nuanced than initial impressions suppose.Surprisingly, Swift readily acknowledges the problem. In their 1979 book, when “social construction” theory was rising, Latour and Woolgar doubted whether cell biologists were “discovering” reality instead of “manufacturing” it. They observed scientists at the Scripps Institute and how they worked. Basically, Latour and Woolgar turned scientists into their lab rats. Swift says,During his time in Guillemin’s lab, Latour noticed the defining role that language played in bringing well-hidden facts to light. He argued that it was not the experiment per se but the scientist’s interpretation of an experiment’s result that made phenomena real.Latour watched how scientists debated and discussed their “findings.” He concluded that the point where scientists reached a consensus appeared arbitrary. Naturally, “Scientists found this troubling.” The social constructionists began deconstructing not only science, but art and literature, claiming that what these experts said was not truth but interpretation. After the social construction movement was spent, scientists dug in with a return to “scientific realism” that assumed that their work accurately reflects reality, and that is the situation largely today, even though the postmodernism spawned in the 1970s and 1980s survives in cultural contexts.Pragmatism Is Not RealityThe philosophers of science, however, were not convinced. They remind scientists of a long history of doubt about science and the nature of reality by leading scientists and philosophers. Logical positivism, a strong attempt to equate science with reality, failed in the 1930s. One problem is that something may “work” without being “True” with a capital T. You can treat light as a particle in one experiment, and it works. You can treat it as a wave in another experiment, and that works. But what is light? To this day, after decades of quantum theory and nuclear physics, we don’t know. Scientists take “wave/particle duality” as a given, but do not understand it. Many other things in science are useful but not necessarily true. Pragmatism is not the same as realism.Science Is HistoricalIn addition, science has an intrinsic historicity. Did the neutron exist before it was discovered? While the intuitive answer is, “Yes, of course; it was there all the time,” scientific objects do not exist until they are defined, and there was no definition of a neutron, or an electron, or a neutrino, until those particles were defined by the theory that incorporated them to explain certain observations. People oblivious to neutrons in the 19th century and prior were very comfortable with their concept of reality in their day, but was it true? Phlogiston was “real” until it was overturned by oxygen theory. Newton’s concepts of space, mass and time were not just improved on by Einstein, but replaced. The Ptolemaic system was real until it was replaced by the Copernican system, even though Ptolemy’s system worked for most human needs throughout its 1,500-year tenure. Here’s the lesson for us: We don’t know how many theories scientists believe in today are ripe for replacement in the future. The concepts of a “gene” or a “species” are ones to watch.Occult ForcesAnother issue is that science routinely deals with unobservable realities, like black holes, the interiors of stars, the core of the Earth, dark matter and dark energy, and much more. Some of these are placeholders for ignorance, because they work for the consensus paradigm of the day. Einstein famously inserted a fudge factor, the Cosmological Constant, into his equations, in order to maintain the static universe he believed in at the time. He called that the biggest mistake of his life. But later, the Cosmological Constant made another appearance within a different paradigm.Looking back at Latour’s bombshell book about the “social construction” of science, Swift ends with this optimistic opinion:Forty years after its publication, Laboratory Life remains prescient in its ability to encourage scientists to see that descriptions of reality and reality itself are not the same thing. The gap that separates the two can, however, be made smaller by good science. While we may never touch reality, we can certainly get very close.Thus Swift acknowledges that science and reality are not the same. But what is “good science”? How can the scientist reach outside the theory in order to judge that it is good? Swift is just whistling a cheerful tune in the dark here.Realism About RealityJames Zimring is less optimistic in his new book, What Science Is and How It Really Works, which he introduces in The Scientist. Although he is a practicing scientist, he is well aware of the pitfalls of “affirming the consequent,” a logical fallacy that assumes the effect of a cause is the true cause. Examples of scientists misled by this fallacy are legion. Zimring acknowledges, “scientific theories are always underdetermined by the available data.”This is not “ivory-tower semantics,” Zimring asserts, as he gives examples of both good and bad predictions that were assumed to identify real causes. Like Swift, Zimring doesn’t want to give fodder to the “anti-science rhetoric” in social media, but but he insists we have to face the ‘reality’ that science is not necessarily about truth. He concludes,One could argue that we live in a time of sound bites and simplicity that cannot tolerate nuanced thinking. If scientists don’t bang the gong of “truth,” then it may only hasten the dismissal of science as just another opinion. However, I would argue that this position does not give the intended audience enough credit, and that claiming absolute truth ultimately does more harm than good, not only for the interface of science with the public, but for the practice of science. If data are sacrosanct to the sciences, then let us embrace the historical data on science itself.An excerpt of Zimring’s book has been posted separately on The Scientist. In it, Zimring discusses examples of “phantom entities” (what we called “occult forces” and “unobservable reality” above) that “never have existed at all, other than the idea of them.” Zimring accuses today’s science of having its own phlogistons. One cannot use the success of a theory, he says, to judge it is correct in the sense of absolutely true.One of the very worst occult forces in science today is Natural Selection. It explains everything; therefore it must be true, evolutionary biologists insist. We have shown over and over that NS is a vacuous concept, a tautology, equivalent to the Stuff Happens Law (e.g., Nov 14-15, 2019). Think about it as you read Zimring’s articles.If you are interested in exploring more of the science-vs-reality debate, I have found great value in the course “Science Wars: What Scientists Know and How They Know It” by Steven Goldman (Lehigh U), offered by The Teaching Company. In 24 half-hour lectures, Goldman traces the debate from the Greeks to the present day, and exhibits detailed knowledge of theories in astronomy, relativity, quantum theory and much more, from which he draws many examples. You’ll learn a lot about the history of science, and find out at the end why the debate is not resolved, and probably never will be. Note: The course is frequently on sale, and MP3 download is sufficient for most people.One caution: Goldman gives a bad review of Intelligent Design in lecture 23, showing his bias, but in so doing violates some of the very principles he taught in earlier lectures! For instance, he agrees there are no criteria for separating science from pseudoscience, but then claims that scientists are qualified to decide what is science. That is absurd; they are among the least qualified to do so, since many of them are highly invested in their own paradigms, and have never studied philosophy of science. There is an upside to listening to him, though; it can be an exercise in practicing the baloney-detecting skills you have learned here at CEH. (For more rebuttal, you can buy the lecture series on Intelligent Design by Michael Behe, Goldman’s colleague at Lehigh. Behe responds in detail to many of the criticisms against ID.) (Visited 315 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
1 March 2004Charlize Theron has become the first South African to win an Oscar, scooping the coveted Academy Award for best actress for her searing portrayal of Aileen Wuornos – executed in 2002 for murdering six men – in Monster.“I’m going to thank everybody in South Africa, my home country”, Theron said in her acceptance speech at the Academy Awards ceremony at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre on Sunday (3am Monday morning South African time). “They’re all watching tonight. And I’m bringing this home next week.”The 28-year-old, who grew up on a smallholding in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, underwent an astonishing physical transformation in order to play the part of Wournos.She put on over 13 kilograms, wore brown contact lenses and two sets of false teeth – one for long shots, one for close-ups – and had extensive make-up applied to conceal the looks that have seen her on countless glossy magazine covers and won her a mention as one of People magazine’s most beautiful people.The real transformation, however – the one which had already won Theron a Golden Globe and National Society of Film Critics’ award for her performance – was psychological.Monster producer Clark Peterson, relating the first time he saw Theron in character as Wuornos, commented: “The first day of camera tests, a woman walked past everyone who we thought was the stand-in for Charlize. And I remember thinking, ‘She really looks like Aileen’.“And it was only after a while that I realised it was Charlize. The contact lenses, the hair, somehow she assumed this character so thoroughly that it just consumed her body language and speech and bearing. It was truly remarkable to witness.”Roger Ebert, writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, wrote: “What Charlize Theron achieves in Patty Jenkins’ Monster isn’t a performance but an embodiment. With courage, art and charity, she empathises with Aileen Wuornos, a damaged woman who committed seven murders.“She does not excuse the murders. She simply asks that we witness the woman’s final desperate attempt to be a better person than her fate intended.”Speaking to the New York Times before the film’s release, Theron said she had based her performance on the “darkness” in her own life – referring to the incident in 1991 when she witnessed her mother, Gerda, shooting and killing her drunken father in self-defence.“… And my mom”, Theron said in her acceptance speech on Sunday. “You’ve sacrificed so much for me to be able to live here and make my dreams come true. And there are no words to describe how much I love you. And I’m not gonna cry.”In Monster, first-time writer-director Patty Jenkins digs beneath the tabloid headlines about “America’s first female serial killer” – and the media’s designation of Wuornos as an unrepentant monster – and unearths an unlikely love story between two misfits.The Monster website sums up the story: “Nearing suicidal despair, Wuornos wanders into a Florida bar, where she meets Selby Wall (Christina Ricci), a young woman sent by her parents to live with an aunt in order to ‘cure her homosexuality’. Wuornos – victim of a tragic, abusive upbringing – quickly falls in love, and clings to Selby like a life preserver.“Unable to find a legitimate job but desperate to sustain her relationship with Selby, Wuornos continues working as a prostitute. When one of her johns turns violent, Wuornos shoots the man in self-defence; the first in her tragic string of killings …”Since arriving in Hollywood less than 10 years ago as a former model and ballet dancer with no acting experience, Theron has starred in a range of movies, including: Devil’s Advocate with Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves; Tom Hanks’ directorial debut That Thing You Do; Woody Allen’s Celebrity and Curse of the Jade Scorpion; The Astronaut’s Wife opposite Johnny Depp; and Robert Redford’s The Legend of Bagger Vance.In 2002 Theron starred in Waking Up In Reno and Trapped, while most recently she appeared alongside Mark Wahlberg and Edward Norton in The Italian Job.But none of these quite prepared cinema goers for her latest role. As the Monster website predicts, “Theron’s ferocious, fully committed work – astounding physical transformation matched by unerring psychological acuity – is sure to surprise audiences familiar with her work.”Theron herself, asked recently about up-ending audience expectations, said: “I didn’t think about it much. I just saw this role as a tremendous opportunity to grow. Playing Aileen was hands-down the most challenging, rewarding thing I’ve ever done.”Theron can next be seen opposite Geoffrey Rush in The Life and Death Of Peter Sellers, and with Penelope Cruz and Stuart Townsend in Head In The Clouds.And according to reports, she will earn $10-million, her biggest pay cheque yet, to play a female assassion in the futuristic thriller Aeon Flux.She may now live in Los Angeles – but the girl from Benoni has arrived.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) opens BuildingEnergy 14, the largest conference of its kind in the region, for a three-day run on March 4 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.Last year’s conference attracted 3,000 professionals in the sustainable building industry. They represented 32 states and eight countries, according to NESEA, and included architects, builders, developers, building managers, installers and “anyone else who’s working toward a sustainable built environment.”Organizers also expect 150 exhibitors at the BE14 trade show on Wednesday and Thursday, March 5 and 6.Fine Homebuilding magazine and Green Building Advisor will have a booth and demonstration stage at the conference.On Tuesday, March 4, BE14 presents full- and half-day workshops on such topics as multi-family construction, the Living Building Challenge, Passivhaus design and construction, and the science behind high-performance buildings. Speakers include a number of familiar names, among them: Joseph Lstiburek of the Building Science Corp., architect Bruce Coldham, Peter Yost of BuildingGreen, Thomas O’Leary of the Passive House Academy, Marc Rosenbaum and John Abrams of the South Mountain Co. and Andy Shaprio of Energy Balance, Inc.Wednesday and Thursday are devoted to what NSEA calls “tracks,” which are presentations on particular topics related to renewable energy and high-performance buildings. Tracks cover broad topics such as “Homes,” “Multifamily” and “Awesome Mechanical Systems,” and are divided into a number of morning and afternoon sessions with different speakers. Most tracks span two days.The keynote speaker for the opening session on March 5 is Amanda Sturgeon, vice president and Living Building Challenge program director, from Seattle, Washington.On one of the trade show demo stages, Fine Homebuilding associate editor Patrick McCombe and GBA senior edtior Martin Holladay will once again match wits with the audience in a round of “Stump the Energy Nerd.”A full listing of workshops and tracks is available at the BE14 website. Win free tickets to the conferenceBoth Fine Homebuilding and Green Building Advisor are giving away tickets to the conference — two tickets at GBA’s website and two at FHB’s website.To enter, leave a comment at the end of this post (FHB readers will find a similar post at the magazine’s web site). Winners will be chosen at random.In order to be in the running, you’ll have to leave a comment no later than February 20. Student design competition and zero-net energy building awardTwo other highlights of the event are NESEA’s first-ever design competition for university and college students and the annual zero net energy building award.The design competition seeks student proposals for developing four different properties in Holyoke, Mass., an early industrial city on the Connecticut River. The competition covers new construction and renovation for both residential and commercial projects. NESEA said it expected between 10 and 25 submissions in each of the four divisions.The net-zero award winner, which is announced at the conference, takes home a $10,000 cash prize. There were 13 submissions for last year’s competition, won by the Borsarge Family Education Center at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine.Admission fees depend on how much of the conference you plan on attending. NESEA has posted BE14 pricing at its website.
zoom Vitol Netherlands B.V., a majority shareholder in Latvian Shipping Company (LSC), has proposed to delist and sell 200 million bearer shares of the shipping company, listed on Nasdaq Riga.The proposal is set to be discussed at the extraordinary shareholder meeting scheduled for December 20, 2017.Vitol Netherlands acquired 19.62 percent of the total voting capital in LSC in June this year, bringing its total shareholding to 69.56 percent.Latvian Shipping Company returned to the black having posted a net profit of USD 13.08 million for the first nine months of this year.The recovery from last year’s loss of USD 19.33 million booked in the same period was driven mainly from the reversal of the fleet revaluation loss and profit from sale of non-core assets, the company said.The company has a fleet of 16 ships, including 12 MR product tankers and four Handysizes.
Posted: December 20, 2017 December 20, 2017 , Updated: 5:58 PM SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A 30-year-old motorcyclist was killed early Wednesday morning when he lost control and crashed into a parked car in Mira Mesa, police said.The fatal accident happened around 1:10 a.m. in the 8600 block of Westmore Road, a residential street on the north side of the Mira Mesa Community Park, San Diego police Officer John Buttle said. The victim was eastbound on a 1999 Suzuki motorcycle when he crashed.“He went into a left hand turn, over-corrected and slid into a parked car on the south side of the road,” Buttle said.The victim, whose name was not released, was pronounced dead at the scene, Buttle said. Officers from the SDPD Traffic Division were investigating the crash. Police investigating cause of deadly motorcycle crash in Mira Mesa Categories: Local San Diego News Tags: Mira Mesa, San Diego Police Department FacebookTwitter