Darwinism as Religion in a Holy War

first_imgIt might be expected that media attention on Darwin would be exceptionally high this month because of his bicentennial, but some of it seems downright religious.  The adulation he has been receiving is almost embarrassing sometimes.  It is only exceeded by the righteous indignation Darwin’s fans frequently express against intelligent design.  In any other context, their fighting words would be described as hate speech.  Here are some recent examples:Shrine to Darwin:  That was Science magazine’s title for a short entry in “Random Samples” this week.1  “Will Charles Darwin’s house and its gardens soon be mentioned in the same breath as Stonehenge and the pyramids?” the article began.  “Following a �1 million refurbishment, Down House in Kent, U.K., has been put forth by the government for designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site.”  Darwin’s desk, his sand path where he took daily strolls, and his chair are to be exhibited.  Sarah Coelho reported on this in more detail on Science’s origins blog, Origins.    The Down House shrine, if declared, will be in addition to Darwin’s crypt in Westminster Abbey and the Darwin Station at the Galapagos.  It might be noted that Stonehenge and the pyramids were both constructed for cultic reasons.Darwin Rap:  English Lit students of the future may be switched from reading Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to a new classic, something like Charlesbury Tales.  Rap artist Baba Brinkman has turned to Darwin for inspiration, reported Science in its Newsmakers segment.2  Microbiologist Mark Pallen (U of Birmingham) approached Brinkman with the idea of recasting the rap artist’s version of Chaucer with an evolutionary twist.  Brinkman latched onto the idea and “immersed himself in Darwin’s words and recent books on evolutionary biology,” the article said, “and has been honing rhymes on sexual selection, altruism, and the battle with intelligent design.”    The result: “He swallowed the idea and turned it into a work of genius,” according to Pallen.  Viewers of the rap videos are treated to icons of Richard Dawkins reading from The Origin of Species, while the rapper chants artistic lines of genius like these from Natural Selection:Okay, it’s time to reveal my identityI’m the manifestation of tens of millionsOf centuries of sexual selection, best believeI’m the best of the best of the best of the bestOf generations of competitive pressure geneticallyBut don’t get upset, ’cause we’ve got the same pedigreeYou and I will find a common ancestor eventuallyIf we rewind geological time regressivelyAnd I could say the same for this hibiscus treeAnd this lizard and the flea and this sesame seed.The comparison with Do the Evolution seems apt (see 08/31/2006) with its similar references to progress, survival of the fittest and selfishness.  This one adds the phrase, “best believe.”    On the Science blog Origins, Brinkman answered some questions about his work.  Asked what the most difficult evolutionary topic to rap about, he said, “Evolutionary topics are not so much of a challenge as anti-evolutionary topics.”  He added, “my biggest challenge was to engage with Darwin’s detractors in a way that was not overly derisive, while at the same time speaking plainly about the misconceptions that are still attached to his work.”  It’s apparently OK to be derisive – just not overly so.  Brinkman’s education included works by staunch Darwinians and ID critics Jared Diamond, E. O. Wilson, Richard Dawkins, and David Sloan Wilson, in addition to Darwin’s own holy writ.    A previous entry about Brinkman on Origins touted his concert tour as one of the hottest gigs in the Darwin-satiated London.  It includes lyrics of more of his songs and some video clips, too.  One of them overtly attacks the Genesis story and intelligent design in its religiously-zealous presentation of Darwin’s theory: “the truth shall set you free” (an non-subtle twist on the words of Jesus).  The clip ends on a note that could have had Malthus, Spencer, Haeckel and Galton tapping their feet:What do you know about Natural Selection? Go aheadAnd ask a question and see where the answer gets youTry bein’ passive aggressive or try smashin’ heads inAnd see which tactic brings your plans to fruitionAnd if you have an explanation in mind, then you’reWastin’ your time, ‘cause the best watchmaker is blindIt takes a certain base kind of impatient mindTo explain away nature with “intelligent design”But the truth shall set you freeFrom those useless superstitious beliefsIn a literal Adam and Eve, and that Edenic myth‘Cause their family tree is showin’ some genetic driftTake it from this bald-headed non-celibate monkWith the lyrical equivalent of an elephant’s trunkIt’s time to elevate your mind-stateAnd celebrate your kinship with the primates.The weak and the strong, who got it goin’ on?We lived in the dark for so longThe weak and the strong, Darwin got it goin’ onCreationism is dead wrong.Science described his lyrics as “sometimes sly, often hilarious, and always smart and thought-provoking.”  Reporter John Travis sounded like a salesman on steroids: “Brinkman gave a mesmerizing performance, one that would probably do more to convince school children of evolution’s validity than any BBC or PBS special could…. Scientists, science teachers, and anyone evolution has provided with an open mind and a hint of musical rhythm should rush out to see this show if they’re fortunate enough for it to make an appearance nearby.”Not in your back yard:  Better not let your governor sign an Academic Freedom bill: the Darwinians are likely to pull up their stakes and move their conference dollars elsewhere.  The Science blog Origins reported that the “Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology announced it would not hold its 2011 annual meeting in New Orleans because of the state’s antievolution policies.”  Governor Bobby Jindal last year had signed the Louisiana Science Education Act, preventing critics of evolution from being censored or harassed for their views.  The bill had passed unanimously in the state senate and 93-4 in the state legislature, indicating overwhelming bipartisan support (see Evolution News).A time for anger:  Robert Pennock has long been an opponent of intelligent design, but in an essay for US News he really let the fur fly when responding to an earlier editorial by Casey Luskin in US News.  Pennock titled his piece “Creation of Christian Soldiers a Chilling Sidelight of Darwin Bashing,” scaring readers at the vision of an army of fundamentalists destroying the whole institution of science.  In the article he challenged statements by Phillip Johnson, Ralph Seelke, Casey Luskin and others associated with the Discovery Institute, calling them propagandists, false martyrs and fomenters of violence by the mentally unstable – all while denying charges he was writing with a poison pen of intimidation.  Portraying the Darwinians as defenders of truth, and abandoning any appeal for negotiations, he ended by calling for a holy war:As I wrote in a recent op-ed about Expelled and the ID culture wars, it is hard to know how to respond in a civil manner to such ignorant extremism.  Let me go further here: Such views (and I do here mean views, not people) do not deserve a civil response.  They deserve more than disapproval and ridicule.  They deserve the moral outrage of all who are friends of reason and truth.    Darwin shares his birthday with Abraham Lincoln, and the famous conclusion of Lincoln’s first Inaugural Address3 is relevant to the culture war that creationists and other extremists would inject into our children’s science classes.  Let us forthrightly reject those false and polarizing views and hope that the better angels of our nature will eventually prevail and bring this war to an end.Pennock’s did not explain how righteousness, truth, morality and conscience (“better angels of our nature”) arose by a Darwinian mechanism of blind selection acting on mutations.Expelled star expelled:  Has it come to this?  A champion of free speech and academic freedom has been expelled from an academic platform.  Sure enough, Ben Stein, the lovable droll professor, usually seen on economic panels, has been shafted from a commencement speech opportunity at the University of Vermont.  President Dan Fogel reversed his invitation because of Stein’s “highly controversial views” about “evolutionary theory, intelligent design, and the role of science in the Holocaust,” as shown in last year’s documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.  Read the whole account of what happened on Evolution News #1, #2 and #3.  Stein’s primary message in the film was to open up discussion on Darwin and break down the barriers that insulated Darwinism from criticism and forced critics of Darwinism to remain silent lest they lose their jobs.  His ending appeal was focused on freedom of speech in academia.  Now that he has been denied his opportunity to speak to the students, the University selected someone they apparently felt was less controversial: Howard Dean (#4).Speaking of Expelled, Casey Luskin has put together a long list of rebuttals to the criticisms of the movie put forward on the NCSE website “Expelled Exposed.”  Called “’Expelled Exposed’ Exposed,” Luskin’s list is available on Evolution News and Views.  Luskin also on Evolution News took on MSNBC’s pro-Darwin reporting, which he called “three puff-pieces about the evidence for evolution.”  He said, “With Darwin’s 200th birthday recently upon us, the media is pushing Darwinism harder than ever.”1.  Random Samples, Science, Volume 323, Number 5917, Issue of 20 February 2009.2.  Newsmakers, Science, Volume 323, Number 5917, Issue of 20 February 2009.3.  “I am loath to close.  We are not enemies, but friends.  We must not be enemies.  Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.  The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” (Bartleby.com.)Is there any doubt that Darwinism is a religion?  Look at this.  We should save the word hysteria for milder situations.  Darwinists are beside themselves with euphoria over their bearded Buddha and with rage over anyone who would shine some reality on their religious experiences.  While claiming to be champions of truth, they tell lies.  While claiming to be victims of harassment, they persecute.  While claiming to be naturalists, they steal Christian armaments like truth, morality and righteousness and wield them against those who do not bow down at their shrines.  We should also save the word hypocrite for milder cases than this (see David Klinghoffer’s piece on Evolution News, “What is hypocrisy, after all?”).    If you are confused over this scuffle and can’t see the light for the heat, notice one thing.  Here at Creation-Evolution Headlines, we constantly read and report the very best the Darwin Party has to offer (excluding P.Z. Myers, because, this being a family site, we don’t wish to expose the young to profanity).  We quote more top evolutionists here than ID or creationist sources.  We analyze and examine as charitably as possible all their very best arguments from their very best thinkers, and provide you with extensive quotes and links to original sources where you can read them and make your own decisions.  Our cartoons and humor may be satirical, but they are not hateful and vindictive – and you can easily see from the context when it was deserved (e.g., we award Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week, not Stupid Evolutionist of the Week).  What do they do?  They prevent you from hearing the other side, and misrepresent it in sound bites intended for instant emotional reaction.  They use intimidation, ridicule, fear-mongering, symbolism over substance, card stacking, sidestepping, and subversion — all geared to make people hate intelligent design before even knowing what it is.  The put “Creationism is dead wrong” to a rap beat.  They tell the media that their opponents are not even worth the expenditure of their contempt (05/12/2008 bullet 5).  They use profanity (see recent despicable example reported on Evolution News).  They show no shame for silencing opposition – indeed, they pride themselves on their bigotry (yes, bigotry: see 12/16/2008).  They apply to themselves silly self-contradictory labels like “anyone evolution has provided with an open mind” while refusing to allow other people to exercise their God-given open minds.  They appeal to the “better angels of our nature” when they believe neither in spirits nor in conscience.  And while worshiping at holy shrines of the bearded Buddha, they say that the “ignorant extremism” of Darwin doubters is “not even worthy of a civil response.”  Let the better angels of your nature enlighten you to what is really going on.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast — June 14, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Ryan Martin, Ohio Ag Net Chief MeteorologistSome tweaks to the forecast this morning, as we trend a little drier. Warm air is starting to build over the state today, and we will see our temps climb steadily each day now through the weekend. By Sunday we should be looking at 90-degree temps possible over a large chunk of Ohio. The flow into the region looks drier overall this morning, but, an offshoot of warm/hot air is instability that allows for some pop-up thunderstorms or even showers. We do not think these will be as big of a deal now as we had concern about earlier in the week, but we are not going to completely remove them either. The best threats of some isolated pop up action will be Saturday night and Sunday, as the heat reaches its zenith. Otherwise, we are basically rain free through the period. The map above shows temps for Sunday. Next Monday looks dry too, but we start to see the heat back off a bit, as high pressure diminishes. Clouds will be on the increase as our next front gets closer. That front impacts us from Tuesday afternoon/ through Wednesday and Thursday at the very least. On Tuesday as things start up, we see the best threat in NE Ohio, as the system comes out of the Thumb of Michigan down across Lake Erie. We are also leaning toward keeping moisture in for Friday as well but will need to watch that. This front will bring milder air back into the state but will be a slow-moving event. Action Tuesday may be limited to far north central and northeast Ohio, then through Wednesday and Thursday showers move south. All told, for the 3-day period combined, we look for rain totals to be from .5”-1.5” across 90% of the state. Rains may not get into south and southeast Ohio until later Wednesday night and Thursday. This slow-moving front will be what allows for the good rain totals and the good coverage. The action will not be in a hurry to get through.  As we said, we are wanting to keep some rain in the forecast for Friday, but it will be diminishing in scope.  In the extended period, we start with some scattered showers for Sunday the 24th, with rain totals up to half an inch. Then after several dry days, we end up with significant rains from a slow-moving system bringing half to 2” totals to the state from the 27th through the 30th. Coverage will be nearly 90% of the state from that late June system.last_img read more

Meeting Military Families’ Need for Flexible Child Care

first_imgThe life of a military family can be very unpredictable. Service demands and plans can change frequently, sometimes at a moment’s notice. Care for an injured military parent may mean hospital, doctor or therapy visits that wreak havoc on a family’s daily routine. The demands on family schedules are especially challenging when there is no non-military family member who can provide a level of consistency and predictability for young children.The bottom line? Military families need flexible child care options. Flexibility for military families means having trustworthy care:on short noticeon an irregular basisat non-traditional hoursfor an extended time, possibly overnighton an hourly basis for brief timesWhere can flexible care be found? It may not be easy but there are a few places to look.Flexible Child Care Programs & CaregiversThe greatest flexibility is offered by in-home child care providers and nannies. Although on the surface it appears to be an expensive option, it’s really not when one considers that a live-in provider offers stability and consistency for both children and parents in the midst of changing schedules, multiple deployments – even relocation! Nannies’ responsibilities also often include other household tasks. It can be an especially beneficial option for large families, families with no nearby relatives, single parents, and dual-military families. Lisa Werth, a nanny for a family whose parents both work at the Pentagon says, “My bosses often email me from the Pentagon to see if I know of a nanny looking for a job.” Being an in-home child care provider can be a rewarding and interesting employment option for child care professionals to consider.Family Child Care homes can also offer greater flexibility. FCC owners may choose to market specifically to military families if they live in a community with a high enough concentration. But even when the majority of a FCC owner’s families are civilian, they may be able to meet the need for emergency or non-traditional care for an individual military family in a way that a center simply couldn’t. FCC owners who are willing to provide flexible child care for military families should communicate that in their marketing and through their currently enrolled families (since word-of-mouth is often how new families are found), their local Resource and Referral agency, and professional associations.Flexibility in child care centers is the most difficult to find because it is the most expensive to provide on a larger scale. The less demand there is in a geographic area, the less likely it is that flexible options are available. The highest demand, of course, is on military installations, so it’s not surprising that each of the branches of the Armed Forces offer a variety of programs to meet these needs through their children, youth and teen programs. For example, programs at Camp LeJeune (Marines) include hourly child care, Family Child Care (24-hr, 7 days a week), and emergency drop-in care. The demand may be so high, however, that there is a waiting list for enrollment, in which case child care programs in the surrounding area may choose to satisfy the needs of families.Both FCC and center-based programs who are interested in serving military families should also consider becoming an approved provider for the military’s child care fee assistance program.  Approved programs are entered into a searchable online database, allowing military families to more easily locate programs that may be able to meet their unique needs. And remember, military families, especially Guard and Reserve, can be found living in communities all over the map. So no matter where you live, if you are willing and able to provide flexible care, even if only on an occasional basis, consider becoming an approved provider.Additional Programs to Fill Child Care GapsChild care programs and providers who can’t themselves meet the child care needs of every military family should be aware of other options to refer families to that may help fill the gaps.NACCRRA-Army Respite Child CareThe Army is working with the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) to provide financial support for community-based child care programs to offer respite care when short–term care needs arise. Approved programs are paid to provide free hourly child care to for families of soldiers who are deployed, serving on temporary duty (90-179 days), under a Wounded, Ill or Injured status or are Survivors of Fallen Warriors. Refer families to the website’s searchable database to find participating programs. Call NACCRRA at 1-800-424-2246 if you are interested in becoming an approved provider or want more information.Air Force Aid SocietyAir Force families who will be relocating because of a Permanent Change of Station (PCS in military lingo) are eligible for 20 hours of child care at a certified Family Child Care home (either on or off base). Call 1-800-769-8951 or e-mail dvosburg@afas.org if you are interested in becoming a certified FCC home or want help in locating homes to refer families to in your area.YMCA Military OutreachOne option that can meet some respite child care needs is the local Y. The Department of Defense pays for up to 16 hours of child care per month for infants through 12 year olds from eligible military families who don’t live on an installation.Family members of deployed National Guard and ReservistsActive Duty Independent Duty personnel (deployment is not a requirement)Relocated spouse/dependent children of deployed Active Duty personnelFamilies of deployed Active Duty personnel residing 30 miles from a military installationAlthough local Ys are not required to offer the program, many are choosing to participate, so check to see whether it’s an option that’s offered in your community. To find more information to share with families and search for participating Ys in your area, visit the Y’s website.SittercitySittercity is an online service that matches families with child care providers who can meet their needs, including last-minute emergency care, overnight care, etc. Sittercity has an extensive database of babysitters and nannies with detailed profiles that can be searched by location and 14 other options, including hourly rate, education/certification, and reviews from families. The Department of Defense has partnered with Sittercity to offer free membership to the matching service for military families. Entering your profile in the Sittercity database as a child care provider is free.New Programs on the HorizonThe Veterans Administration launched a pilot program last year that offers on-site child care at three VA medical facilities. The child care centers provide free, drop-in child care for eligible veterans who come to the facilities for health care services. The centers can care for children from 6 weeks to 12 years old. Time will tell whether the program will expand to others of the 149 medical centers in the VA system.What’s Available in Your Community?If you are one of the many individual child care centers and family child care providers who tailor their programs to the unique needs of military families, we would love to hear your story!Whole communities can also rally on behalf of military families, using local resources and combined creativity to meet a variety of military family needs, including child care. If you’ve been involved with or know of a community-level effort, please share your story, too. It may give others some fresh ideas for their own communities!Even with all these efforts, there is still much to do to meet the child care needs of military families. What suggestions do you have for creating a sturdier network of support?[Note: All branches of the military offer respite care for families of children with special needs through the Department of Defense Exceptional Family Member Respite Care program.]last_img read more

Maharashtra dams are 50% full

first_imgIncessant rains for over a week have filled Maharashtra’s dams to 50% of their capacity, bringing relief to the drought-hit regions. The water levels in Marathwada region, which had dropped to below 1% have now touched double digits. According to information from the Water Resources Department, the water storage in all dams of the State is 51.36% of their total capacity, which is almost equal to the 51.41% of 2018 on the same date. Dams in Marathwada have recorded 11.77% of their total storage capacity as compared to 17.89% last year. Vidarbha’s Amaravati and Nagpur divisions too have recorded an increase in water storage in dams, with 16.82% and 28.22% of their total capacity, respectively. The water levels in Marathwada dams had gone below 1% mark in July due to very less or no rains. An official from the department said continuous rains in western Maharashtra and Konkan region have ensured satisfactory increase in the water levels. “While these parts have benefited with rains, some regions of Marathwada, Vidarbha and central Maharashtra are yet to get rains. But according to Indian Meteorological Department, these parts will get medium to high showers from August 7 to 9,” said the official.He said that the department has predicted flood-like situation in some parts of Marathwada and central Maharashtra for August 9. “Disaster management teams have been asked to be on alert,” he said. Meanwhile, Health Minister Eknath Shinde, said, “As per the initial estimate, a total of 1.14 lakh population is affected due to floods. Diseases spread after the water recedes and medical teams have been kept ready in anticipation.”last_img read more

CAG picks holes in awarding of Games contracts

first_imgThe CAG report on the 2010 Commonwealth Games, which is yet to be tabled in Parliament, indicts the Delhi government for irregularities in the development of infrastructure ahead of the sporting extravaganza. The state had worked on at least 25 roads and bridge-related projects, of which 17 were completed before the Games.The government auditor has focused on seven projects for a detailed review. Of these Rs 2,239-crore projects, six were implemented by the PWD, which is under the Delhi government, and one by the DDA, which is headed by L-G Tejinder Khanna. The CAG points out the bloated contractor’s profit and overhead (CPOH) charges of 37.5 per cent for the projects instead of the CPWD-stipulated 15 per cent.The hiked CPOH led to a higher baseline cost for bidders and indirect loss to the exchequer. In a clear indication that tenders and bids were botched to favour particular contractors, the CAG found that the PWD accepted tender documents which had an extensive use of correction fluids, cuttings and corrections.The report says the PWD not just accepted overwritten, corrected bids but also in at least three instances, the department – which is led by Sheila Dikshit’s close aide Raj Kumar Chauhan – admitted bids on random papers instead of government-approved formats. The Barapullah Nallah flyover project was singled out by the auditors for discrepancies.Bids accepted from the DSC Limited were filed on separate letters instead of formal bidding documents, the report said. The flyover contract was awarded to DSC for packages worth Rs 218.79 crore and Rs 214.92 crore. In another instance, the firm was awarded work for being the lowest bidder for the UP Link Road project. In this case too, the tender was submitted through separate letters instead of the prescribed format.advertisementIt couldn’t be ascertained if these papers had been placed in the file later. The bid for the Ring Road bypass project was also manipulated, as is evident from the corrections in the bid. The exchequer lost Rs 6.23 crore in the process. Causing a loss of another Rs 35 lakh, underweight reinforced steel bars were used on the Ring Road bypass. The government lost an extra Rs 1.1 crore due to post-tender changes in construction of the grade separator at the ISBT Anand Vihar crossing.The auditor also faulted the government with accepting the suspension model for the foot overbridge near the JLN Stadium that collapsed days before the Games. The report pointed out that though the PWD had no experience in such a construction, it went ahead with the design, Even the consultancy offered by the contracted firms and lackadaisical supervision is said to have led to losses.The wrong assessments made by the Delhi government departments are said to have caused losses of at least Rs 3.55 crore.last_img read more

Families take on the task of raising awareness of Canadas Fentanyl crisis

first_imgShaneen Robinson-DesjarlaisAPTN National NewsFamilies in Winnipeg are raising awareness to the dangers of Fentanyl.It’s the opioid painkiller that has caused hundreds of overdoses in British Columbia and Alberta.The problem is making its way east – and families in Winnipeg are now feeling it.srobinson@aptn.caFollow @shaneenonthescenelast_img