Folkes memorial: Legend defined Bulldogs culture

first_imgThe service for Folkes, who died suddenly of a heart attack last week aged 59, was more than just a celebration of the life of the former club stalwart – it was a re-enforcement of Bulldogs culture.Folkes, who passed away one day short of the fifth anniversary of the death of his wife Karen, the daughter of Bulldogs patriarch Peter “Bullfrog” Moore, defined that culture from the time he joined the club in 1978 until the end of his 11-year coaching reign in 2008.In between, he won four premierships as a player and guided the Bulldogs to grand final glory in 2004, but those who worked or played alongside and under him said he achieved much more during his 245 games as a secondrower and 288 matches as coach.”I walked through here the other day and once again saw the Bulldogs values on the wall. Tough. Resilient. Family. This is Steven to a tee,” said Alan Thompson, who studied teaching with Folkes in Wollongong and later became the Bulldogs football manager. “His personal values represent the culture of this great club and this was how he lived his life.”Peter Mortimer, another close friend and a former team-mate, said Folkes had set the standards for training and playing in his first season, which coincided with the appointment of renowned fitness guru Dave Cooper.”Steve always finished 1,2 or 3 in any drill Dave set,” Mortimer recounted. “He created a culture which has developed and become club standard, even today. The culture is ‘never give up, never let your mate down and if you are going to do something give it everything you have got’.”Former Bulldogs captain and current director Steve Price, who played under Folkes and his brother-in-law Chris Anderson, another new director, said: “The difference between Chris and Folkesy was that you didn’t have to beat Chris at training”.However, Folkes’ greatest attribute may have been his ability to keep the team together amid the adversity of the 2002 salary cap scandal and the 2004 police investigation into sexual assault allegations during a pre-season camp in Coffs Harbour.”In 2002, we didn’t get to do what we set out to do and we had a number of meetings here about the salary cap,” Price said of the 37 competition points the club was docked for cheating the salary cap.”On the day the NRL CEO at the time, David Gallop, rang to tell us the findings, we were here late and I got a phone call on my way home from Folkesy.”He said ‘I got pulled up by the police on the way home and the policeman said you are going to lose three points’. Folkesy said ‘I just lost 37 so another three is not going to make any difference’.”He set a standard, he was tough, resilient, he certainly got everything out of himself that he could and he did the same with his players.”In 2004, he was the biggest supporter of all the players with what we were going through and the reason that group of boys won the comp that year was because of him.”If you look at how the year started and how it finished, there wouldn’t be too many teams or clubs that would have been able to do that.”Former team-mate Graeme Hughes said Folkes legacy could be to reunite the club after the recent football club board elections in which Bulldogs great Steve Mortimer was the only incumbent to survive.”Naturally they are wanting to go back to what we were, the blue-and-white, and if you wanted an example of that they have got it here in Folkesy,” Hughes said.”What he bought through all of those eras from ‘The Entertainers’ to ‘The Dogs of War’ and then as a coach, he just embodied everything about the club.”Hughes was among hundreds of current and former players who attended the service, including Terry Lamb, Hazem El Masri, Dean Pay, Andrew Ryan, Darren Britt, Tas Baiteri, George Peponis, Royce Simmons, Steve Roach, Michael Hagan, Wayne Pearce, Paul Dunn, Darryl Brohman, Andrew Farrar, Bradley Clyde, Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson, Willie Mason, Mark O’Meley and Braith Anasta.”To send him out here at Belmore Oval is very special,” Anasta said. “There is not many people in our game who can achieve what he has achieved, both as a coach and a player – and as a human being.”He deserves the accolades he has received and the support of the people who have turned out here today, whether it be fans or ex-players, just shows the integrity of the man. “Folkesy embodies the culture of the Canterbury Bulldogs – toughness, standing by your mate, family. That is why he was so successful and that is why the club when he was playing or coaching usually did pretty well.”Jillaroos captain Ruan Sims was among the speakers and told of the impact Folkes also had on the women’s game by introducing a new level of professionalism during his time as coach between 2014 and 2016.After the eulogies, Reverend Ken Clendenning, the club chaplain from 1993 to 2008, called on former team-mates, coaches, colleagues and players Folkes had coached to form a guard of honour for his casket, while Anderson thanked the Bulldogs family and broader rugby league community.”We know that he never wanted anything churchy but he forgot that this really is the church of the Bulldogs,” she said.last_img read more

England bound – Sunshine Girls look to bounce back against old foes

first_img The Jamaicans will be joined by captain Malysha Kelly and Vangelee Williams, from Australia and England respectively, where they play club competition. A full-strength Jamaican team is expected for the traditionally fierce match-ups and national coach Minneth Reynolds said she is expecting a much better performance this time around. “We are going out there to compete at our best, and if our best is good enough, then we can be victorious. Our shortcoming was in attack and with the inclusion of Jhaniele Fowler-Reid and Paula Thompson we should be able to compete much better than we did in New Zealand,” she assessed. Other squad members include; Stacian Facey, Adean Thomas, Shamera Sterling, Khadijah Williams, Shantal Slater. Under-21 players Hasana Williams and Carla-lee Tinglin are also included in the squad. “I am hoping to take my time and play the ball, and play my own game and prove myself on the court,” said Williams, 17-year-old from the Queen’s School. Tinglin, an 18-year-old University of the West Indies student is also looking forward to the experience. “I have always had this dream, didn’t know it would come so early though, but the Lord knows best and I will be giving it my all,” Tinglin said. NEW ADDITIONS Netball Jamaica President Dr Paula Daley-Morris is expecting the Sunshine Girls to put recent disappointments behind them and fight to defeat hosts England in their three-match international test series, slated for November 29 to December 4. Ten members of the national team, their management and coaching staff departed Netball House, located in Barbican, yesterday for the Norman Manley International Airport. According to the president, the team is targeting improvements following their recent 3-0 loss to number two ranked New Zealand. The Jamaicans also had a dismal Fast5 World Netball Series showing in Australia, winning two games against lower-ranked teams and losing four. “Well, we are hoping to improve on our performance from the other tours. We definitely need to improve, so that’s the plan,” she outlined. Daley-Morris, describing her team as a mix of youth and experience, feels they will be equipped to take on third-ranked England at home. The Sunshine girls are ranked fourth, behind Australia, New Zealand and England, respectively. “I am confident that it’s going to be fierce in terms of competition,” said the president. “Higher-ranked England? Listen, that is a matter of which year you are talking about, we are equally ranked, no fears, no. I am sure they are more fearful than we are, they have a lot more to lose,” she reasoned. Jamaica will be bolstered by the return of senior ace shooter, Jhaniele Fowler-Reid and Paula Thompson, while goal shooter Shanice Beckford will be hoping to continue her good run from New Zealand.last_img read more

Mike Conley, Marc Gasol help Grizzlies top Knicks to end road skid

first_imgPhivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Memphis Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol, left, drives against New York Knicks’ DeAndre Jordan during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)NEW YORK — Marc Gasol was conducting his postgame interviews when his cellphone began buzzing with a call from his agent.Gasol declined to answer. If it was trade news, it could wait until after he was done talking basketball.ADVERTISEMENT Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra “He did say Dennis and I looked at him, I looked at the other players. They’re looking at me. I am like, ‘OK, I guess he called my name,’ and then I got up,” Kanter said. “I just walked in there and they said nope, sit down. The crowd was like, ‘Ugh.’”NOAH IN NEW YORKJoakim Noah was booed nearly every time he touched the ball in his first game at Madison Square Garden since his failed run here that ended with him banished from the team after an argument with former coach Jeff Hornacek. Noah, who had been given a $72 million, four-year deal by Phil Jackson to return to his hometown, was eventually waived and signed with the Grizzlies. Noah, who scored four points, felt the Knicks underachieved while he was here.“I take some blame. I didn’t perform to what I was capable of, even though I had a lot of injures, I had a lot going on outside the court,” Noah said. “So it’s disappointing. It’s definitely something I have to live with.”UP NEXTGrizzlies: Host Minnesota on Tuesday.Knicks: Host Detroit on Tuesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college “I’m not in the mood right now,” Gasol said, smiling. “I still want to enjoy this.”Especially because his team had just looked like the Memphis Grizzlies of old.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsMike Conley scored 25 points, Gasol had 24 and Memphis snapped a nine-game road losing streak with a 96-84 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday.Memphis had lost three in a row and 17 of its last 19 overall but didn’t allow more than 22 points in a quarter Sunday in a performance that used to be the norm when the Grizzlies were a perennial playoff team, not one that could be preparing for a rebuild. SEA Games: Centeno tops Amit for gold anew as Filipinas end up 1-2 in 10-ball PLAY LIST 02:35SEA Games: Centeno tops Amit for gold anew as Filipinas end up 1-2 in 10-ball01:04Maguindanao massacre case: Mangudadatu upbeat on conviction of perpetratotrs08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends02:14Carpio 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 Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Justin Holiday added 19 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 16 in the Grizzlies’ first road victory since Dec. 23 at the Lakers.Kevin Knox scored 17 points and DeAndre Jordan had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who lost their 13th straight overall and 14th in a row at Madison Square Garden.The Knicks started Dennis Smith Jr. and Jordan in their first game in uniform since coming to New York from Dallas along with Wesley Matthews on Thursday in the Kristaps Porzingis trade. Smith made the first basket of the game, but the Knicks — with the newcomers not having practiced with the team yet — shot just 38 percent against one of the league’s best defensive teams.“They don’t know anything. They don’t know any of our stuff,” coach David Fizdale said. “I thought the new guys came in and did a solid job.”Smith finished with eight points and six assists.TIP-INSGrizzlies: Jackson had also missed the previous game with a right quadriceps injury. … The Grizzlies signed forward Bruno Caboclo to a second 10-day contract Sunday. He started and was scoreless.Knicks: Smith, Jordan and Matthews played their second straight game at MSG but for two different teams. Dallas won here on Wednesday night, when Smith had his second career triple-double. … Matthews was 2 for 8 for five points. … Fizdale split two meetings this season against the team he formerly coached.THAT’S DENNIS, NOT ENESEnes Kanter thought he was getting a chance to play in the second quarter, walking from the bench toward the scorer’s table as fans cheered. Assistant coach Keith Smart actually wanted Smith, so Kanter returned to his seat as the cheers quickly turned to boos. Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers LATEST STORIEScenter_img “This showed that we still have that, have that core grit-grind kind of mentality regardless of how we’ve been playing,” Conley said.Conley added eight rebounds and seven assists in a strong return to the lineup after missing a game with left knee soreness. Gasol chipped in nine rebounds in what could have been the longtime teammates’ final road game with the Grizzlies.The team has fallen from playoff contention after a strong start and told the players it will listen to offers for both ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. Conley and Gasol both acknowledged it’s been hard not to think about their futures in recent days.“When we play together, we know the things that we can do,” Gasol said.The Grizzlies have one more game before the deadline, at home Tuesday against Minnesota.ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil View comments Rickie Fowler overcomes strange triple bogey to win Phoenix Open MOST READ Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

Rev. Dr. During Was a Friend to Everyone

first_imgIt was a bitter-sweet send-off for the late Apostle Rev. Dr. John Adolphus During over the weekend. It was bitter because many will miss his profound, impactful service to Liberia and to humanity; it was sweet because, as everyone seemed to agree, he “fought the good fight, and finished the race.” So, in spite of the occasional wailing at the funeral service, the ‘joyful noise’ of music filled the atmosphere and made it a true celebration of a life well lived. Giving the funeral discourse, the General Overseer of Love Center Ministries Incorporated, Rev.Eric S. Gbogar, described the late Apostle Rev. Dr. John Adolphus During as a friend to everyone, despite his status and relationship with God.Speaking from the text of Luke 12:16-21, under the theme; “Your Here and There,” Rev. Gbogar said that Liberia is a nation where people don’t celebrate service, referencing Apostle During who served his country for over 40 years and was not appreciated, despite his contribution to humanity. “At the level of Apostle During, some people would distance themselves from others; but he made himself accessible to everyone so that even a common man would feel welcomed,” he said.“His life was to educate others, to empower others in society and to make people’s lives to shine. Apostle During shared his knowledge with others, so that people benefited from his education,” Rev. Gbogar said.The Liberian Official Gazette said, “the country has lost a dedicated public servant” and expressed appreciation for his many contributions to the Republic.“With the death Ambassador During,” said the Gazette, “the family has lost a loving and caring father and his comrades have lost a devout and faithful servant of God.” In her tribute, Apostle Ethel Taylor of the U.S.-based Faith Fellowship Ministries International, of which During’s church, the Soul Cleansing Clinic of Jesus Christ Inc. (SCCJC), is a member, described Apostle Rev. During as ‘Ambassador for Life’.“Here lies a great man,” she said, “a man of great spiritual stature, a man so kind-hearted, tender, humble, and understanding. Yes, a family man who cherished family values, who upheld the sanctity of marriage, and manifested community spirit in all he said and did. He was a plain man who had nothing to hide, a man so open and real.“When Faith Fellowship Ministries International came under the Apostolic anointing, Apostle During, along with Apostle Williams, Overseer for Africa, was elevated and Consecrated Apostle on October 19, 2008, along with his dear wife, who was Consecrated Prophetess,” she said.The Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) also appreciated the good work of the late Apostle During, describing him as a man of spiritual stature and a dedicated public servant.Apostle During wore many hats and entrepreneured many endeavors. Primarily, he was the senior pastor and General Overseer of the Soul Cleansing Clinic of Jesus Christ Incorporated Ministries International. He also founded and served as President of the new Life Bible College; Liberia Overseer, Faith Fellowship Ministries International, Incorporated, Liberia Region; Founder and Director of the Liberia Institute of Protocol and Etiquette; former Chief of Protocol, Republic of Liberia, a position he held that spanned three Liberian presidents. Held on Saturday, January 23 at his church, SCCJC, located in Chocolate City, Monrovia, the celebration of the life of Dr. During was also graced by many officials of government. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were he worked for many years, was well represented, with the presence of Acting Foreign Affairs Minister Elias Shoniyin and Liberia’s current Chief of Protocol. Also in attendance were four former Ministers of Foreign Affairs, namely Monie Captan, George Wallace, Olubanke King Akerele and Augustine Ngafuan.The absence of people who were expected to grace the celebration of Apostle During’s home-going, including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Vice President Boakai and other top officials of government was noted at the occasion. However, Mrs. Kartumu Boakai, 2nd Lady of the Republic of Liberia and a personal friend of the During family, was present. The office of VP Boakai however gave a tribute and deposited a wreath. Among the hundreds in attendance were many family members, friends, representatives of churches, as well as private, non-governmental and business institutions, witnessed and paid tributes in songs and statements of condolence. Apostle During was interred in the church yard, next to the tomb of his late mother-in-law, Henrietta V. Nesby. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Weak month for natural gas bonus bids

first_imgJuly has resulted in another low petroleum and natural gas sale this year of just $5.1 million.That compares to $53 million in bonus bids the same time last year.- Advertisement -This month, there were 24 parcels put up for sale of which 17 were sold, covering 5,239 hectares, leaving 1,916 hectares unsold. The average parcel price was $970 per hectare.Up for grabs were two drilling licences in the Montney Regional Trend area, about 80 kilometres north of Hudson’s Hope. The two licences had per-hectare bids of $6,149, making up approximately $3.5 million of the month’s sales.The July sale brings the calendar year total to just more than $71 million.The next sale in August is expected to offer significantly more parcels of land, covering a greater area.Advertisementlast_img read more

A champion with few cheers

first_imgTherefore, Earnhardt fans – who make up the majority of rooters in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series – are not very fond of Johnson, last year’s points champion. It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances for the 31-year-old Southern California native. On the other hand, no amount of jeers can slow his No.48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, or the respect that he has garnered in the garage. “I have just as much fun as anyone when I am away from the track, but I have had this labeling put on me being too P.C. or too correct … because I take my job seriously when I am at the track. “That is what I am focused on. That is what I do and I am going to say the right thing and do the right thing because that is my job.” When Johnson wins – which he’s done 23 times since he entered the Cup Series in 2002 – he doesn’t do a backflip or snow angels or somersaults. Sometimes, he seems rather surprised at what just transpired. Some reporters were puzzled in the aftermath of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard last August, when Johnson had an amazing comeback to win one of the biggest races of the season but seemed a bit subdued in the postrace news conference. Caught in the moment, Johnson can’t always wrap his arms around what just happened. While winning Daytona, the Brickyard, the All-Star Challenge and the Nextel Cup points champion last year, Johnson put together one of the best seasons ever. And he often showed as much disbelief as joy along the way. “I am just & I can’t believe I am standing there,” he said of his postwin reactions. “That is just the way that I respond to things. “It is weird. You expect it to be all of these overwhelming feelings and emotions and this massive celebration, but I get to that point and I am like `Holy crap, I am in Victory Lane and this is rad.”‘ So far, Johnson has made few missteps since becoming champion – except for one. In December, Johnson was horsing around on the roof of a golf cart when he fell off and broke his right wrist. Fortunately for him, it was during the offseason. “The timing could not have been better and bottom line, I was out screwing around having fun and it got the best of me,” he said. Said Burton: “He has proven to not be a good golf cart passenger.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “Jimmie’s a quality guy,” driver Jeff Burton said. “It doesn’t matter if he’s a champion or finished 50th in points, he’s still a quality guy. “He’s a guy that people can look up to, he’s a guy that people respect, he’s a guy that you expect to do the right thing, and he will do that as our reigning champion. And by the way, he would do it if he wasn’t our reigning champion.” Of course, that’s exactly what some people can’t stand about Johnson: like Gordon, his image is almost too perfect. It’s a direct contradiction for those who love NASCAR for being a family-friendly sport, but root against a family man and positive role model. “It is tough to have my real personality show up on camera, in articles and on the radio because when I go to work, I put on my work shoes and that is what I do,” Johnson said. center_img FONTANA – Here’s some simple logic: If you like Dale Earnhardt Jr., you probably don’t care for Jeff Gordon. If you hate Gordon, you probably can’t stand his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, either. last_img

Academic program honored

first_imgSANTA FE SPRINGS – Santa Fe High School has been named tops among nearly 3,000 schools statewide for its 17-year-old AVID program, which puts underrepresented, at-risk students on the track toward becoming college-bound success stories. The 2,700-student school was among only 59 in the state to be named an AVID National Demonstration Site, which means it will serve as a model for schools that want to improve or begin an AVID program. In recognizing Santa Fe during a Whittier Union High School District board meeting earlier this month, AVID Regional Director Carmen Serret Lopez said the school has seen “tremendous” success in helping motivate students to pursue higher education. “When you are on the Santa Fe campus,” Lopez said, “you know you are in an academic environment.” AVID – which stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination – targets B and C students who show potential for college, but might not get there without extra support. It prepares students for college eligibility by teaching organizational strategies and higher-level thinking skills, as well as offering tutoring and intense parental involvement. “We’re very proud of the accomplishments of our students and the staff,” said Principal Monica Oviedo. “Of particular note is the strength of our AVID Site Team, which is comprised of teachers from nearly every department who work collectively to ensure the success of every AVID student and utilize research-based instructional practices,” Oviedo added. Last year, all 28 AVID seniors who graduated from Santa Fe High were accepted to at least one college, school officials said. All of them also met the so-called “A-G” requirements for acceptance to UC campuses, and 64 percent took at least one Advanced Placement course during their high-school years. “The team at Santa Fe has done a tremendous job putting together an effective program that successfully steers students into the university,” Superintendent Sandra Thorstenson. “Education is not just about providing hope,” Thorstenson added. “Most importantly, it is about providing opportunity through the acquisition of knowledge and skills.” said (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051last_img read more


first_imgAnother busy weekend for Gweedore & Rosses athletes, where our senior athletes put their hard Winters training to the test.We had a big turn out in the Ballyliffin Coastal Challenge where Noel Diver & Edward Harkin both secured a top 10 finish running 60.41 and 62.48 respectively. It was great to see alot of new athletes to the club running in the Club colours and congratulations to you all.In the Omagh Half Marathon, Ciaran McGonigal finish 5th in a great time of 1.14.31h. He was joined on the day by Brendan McBride, Denis Bonner, Packie and Sadie McDevitt. Well done to all. See the Club facebook page for a list of all athletes and times. Fund Raiser:The Annual car wash took place on Saturday at McDevitts garage Annagry. The club would like to thank all those who contributed so generously in passing and especially all those who gave their time to assist the Club with the car washing and collections. A special world of thanks to Paul and Anne McDevitt for the use of their facilities, assistance and generosity on the day.Sympathy:The Club would also like to extend its deepest sympathies to Kevin McGee and his family at the recent loss of his father.Training:Training for seniors continues as usual in the Industrial Estate Gweedore every Tuesdays & Thursdays at 7pm meeting at Euroflex and Sunday at the blue bridge at 11am.Track & Field training for our younger athletes 7+ and teenagers continues Tuesdays and Thursdays 6-7pm at the track in Carrickfinn and Sunday 10am – 11am. Fee €2 bring water.  ATHLETICS: BUSY WEEKEND FOR ROSSES ATHLETES was last modified: March 29th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Can Raiders really all be on the same page regarding rebuild?

first_img(CLICK HERE, if you are unable to view this photo gallery or video on your mobile device.)OAKLAND — Jon Gruden has admitted it matter-of-factly on numerous occasions: These Raiders are nowhere near contenders.Gruden sold all those veterans he signed this offseason on the notion his team could win now while they still had something left in the tank. Jordy Nelson, Rashaan Melvin, Tahir Whitehead, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Doug Martin, Frostee Rucker. Now? If any of those guys had options …last_img read more

Brain Size Myth Won’t Die

first_img(Visited 72 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Evolutionists continue to push the idea that bigger brains offer better fitness, despite repeated empirical problems.“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog,” an old proverb goes. Similarly, it’s not the size of the computer, but the wiring or programming that can make all the difference. Today’s cell phone chips have more ability than the room-sized computers of the early days. This seems so obvious; why, then, do some evolutionists get so focused on brain size? A bigger brain could offer more wiring, but if brain tissue mass were the main determinant of intelligence, elephants or whales would be solving differential equations and keeping us humans in their zoos. Yet crows have more problem-solving ability than chimpanzees, and tiny insects perform remarkable feats with brains smaller than a grain of rice (see Evolution News & Views).In some sense, the larger brain in humans is a function of our mental abilities compared with those of apes, whose brains (on average) are 1/3 the size. But if it were a linear relationship, the biggest humans would be the smartest. We know that isn’t necessarily true. A small Asian female mathematician can out-think many a pro wrestler or NBA player. And there are cases of disabled humans with severely diminished brains—with even half of the brain missing—who, for most intents and purposes, were normal. Since large brains are costly to maintain metabolically, an evolutionist could make a case that miniaturization would provide a fitness advantage.Three recent articles show that evolutionists have a hard time letting go of the notion that bigger brains are more fit—and these aren’t even from the field of paleoanthropology, where the myth is endemic.Zebrafish:  PhysOrg reports on Swedish researchers who measured brains of zebrafish and guppies. A single gene, they said, was responsible for the increase in size. The brief article says that bigger brains correlated with intelligence, but it doesn’t say how that was measured. The gene, Ang-1, seems mostly responsible for blood vessel formation in the brain. “We don’t yet know if Ang-1 is important in human brain development,” they say, making giant leaps from fish to mammals.Guppies:  Science Daily titles one of their articles “An evolutionary heads-up: The brain size advantage.” Viennese scientists bred guppies with 12% larger brains, then let them loose in a “semi-natural environment” where they had to survive predation. After about six months the larger-brained fish were more numerous. “We have provided the first experimental proof that a large brain offers an evolutionary advantage,” the lead author boasted (notice after all these decades of brain-size hype, they claim this is the “first” proof). But what does this really prove? The bigger brain might have only helped motor skills and escape speed, not intelligence. They merely assumed that bigger brains are more intelligent:A larger brain brings better cognitive performance. And so it seems only logical that a larger brain would offer a higher survival potential. In the course of evolution, large brains should therefore win out over smaller ones. Previous tests of this hypothesis had relied on comparison studies looking at the intelligence and survival potential of species with large brains versus species with smaller brains. And species with larger brains do appear to have an advantage. But such studies are unable to show a causal relationship.They did notice that size is not all good; any advantage had “to compensate for the fact that brain mass is very expensive to develop and maintain.” The results, however, were of dubious evolutionary use, because the larger brain hurt the males:Large-brained females, whose brains were about 12 percent larger than that of the small-brained females, evaded their predators more often and so had a higher rate of survival. Larger brains did not provide any survival benefit for males. Ethologist Sarah Zala explains: “Male guppies are more colourful and more conspicuous than females and are therefore more easily caught by a predator. A larger brain does not appear to compensate this disadvantage.“Obviously you’re not helping natural selection if you get eaten. If this were a sex-specific law of nature, we should expect conspicuous male birds, like peacocks, to have smaller brains than drab females. That seems unsupportable. The only conclusion that seems viable is that the larger-brained females of one guppy species in a partly contrived situation either (1) may have been able to dart away from predators faster or (2) had more offspring. That’s only if we can assume the experimental setup was unbiased, was reported honestly, and produced statistically significant results. In terms of neo-Darwinian theory, we don’t even know if the trait was passed on. “Genetic analysis should help provide clarity in this regard,” they say. Indeed; clarity was sorely lacking. Shed a tear, meanwhile, for the large-brained males.Birds:  Corina Logan, a biologist at UC Santa Barbara, got a wake-up call when studying brain size in birds. Everything was rosy one day as she embarked on proving the brain-size paradigm for great-tailed grackles:“People love to study brain size,” said Logan, currently a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge. “It’s a huge topic. And there is growing interest in how brain size varies within a species, which can tell us what factors contribute to the evolution of large brains.“She had this notion that measuring the skull should correlate other measurement technique, measuring the inside volume of the skull. That way, you didn’t have to kill the bird to get data. Problem: they didn’t sync. Measuring the skull with calipers cannot predict the actual internal brain size. PhysOrg (“The challenge of measuring a bird brain”) reveals the implications of her results:According to Logan, it’s impossible to approximate brain size using the external skull measurement because it varies so much within this species. That was surprising to her on a couple of levels. “First, I was surprised that the external skull measurements did not accurately predict the actual endocranial volumes,” she said. “But I was also surprised that there was so much variation, particularly in males.”There’s another more serious implication about the ethical practice of the scientific method that goes far beyond her own work:Scientists don’t generally publish negative results—i.e. not finding what they’re looking for—but in this case, Logan’s unexpected result is quite interesting. She demonstrated that the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, which is commonly used to measure the degree to which two variables relate to each other (such as the two indirect measures of brain size), is not the right test to apply to these data. It overlooks differences in the individual data points, she noted, which was the whole point of the study.Logan draws a wider net around science: “According to Logan, scientists can no longer take for granted what has previously been determined as accurate and correct,” the article says. In fact, “Statistical methods in biology are in flux right now,” she said. What does this imply about decades of previous studies that used p-values, Pearson coefficients or other then-popular methods to draw conclusions? What does it mean for brain size measurements on humans?Junk the MythSocial Darwinism left a dark stain on the history of anthropology. Stephen Jay Gould, in his 1981 book The Mismeasure of Man, recounted in damning detail the practice by racist evolutionists of measuring skulls to prove their belief in the superiority of white Europeans over other “inferior” races. Simplistically thinking “bigger is better,” they rigged their measurements to prove their foregone conclusions, finding ways to toss out measurements that didn’t fit their assumptions.One would hope we know better now, yet Logan happily jumped into the skull-size game with birds because “It’s a huge topic” and “People love to study brain size.” And why is that? Because it “can tell us what factors contribute to the evolution of large brains.” It’s long past time to junk this myth. Brain size is just one factor among many; any increase in one trait will have tradeoffs in other traits; and quantity does not necessarily correlate with quality. Better a modern microchip than a 1951 Univac. All we can say scientifically is that each species has the brain it needs for its place in the system. It strains logic to assume that mistakes in a gene here or there will improve any trait, especially a brain.You have the brain you need for your place in the system. Use it.last_img read more