Follow the Trace: Sports still alive and well

first_imgThe year 2015 will long be remembered as the year when international sports suffered significant damage to its reputation. The massive corruption scandal engulfing the world’s most popular sport has seen several high-ranking officials of the governing body of football, including former president Joseph ‘Sepp’ Blatter and several of his former vice-presidents, already charged and tarnished. A similar fate seems to have befallen the world governing body of track and field, the IAAF, with its immediate past president Lamine Diack and other functionaries currently under investigation after allegations of corruption. Add to that the not unrelated issue of the widespread doping facing the sport generally, and specifically the significant allegations that athletics powerhouse Russia has been practising widespread state-sponsored doping. On the face of it, at least two of the world’s major sports are in critical but stable condition and fighting for dear life. Despite the sensational appeal of these developments, I think the sports of football and athletics are as strong and as relevant as at anytime in their history. The fact of the matter is that these scandals, for what they are worth, are at the administrative level of the sports, and except for the doping component, these issues have had no real negative effects on the integrity and the specific functionality of the sports themselves. Not important to fans The case could even be made that despite the confirmation of prevalent drug use in the sport of athletics, track and field is still very alive and well. Certainly, at the level of the Olympic Games and the World Championships, these events are no lesser spectacles than they were before. Simply seeing the world’s best competing against each other is still an attractive proposition for most sports fans. When, for example, Justin Gatlin faced off with Usain Bolt for the 100-metre World title in Beijing, it still was one of the most, if not the most, anticipated and well-watched sprint races in the modern history of the sport, despite Gatlin’s conspicuous history of drug use. Similarly, the scandals at the boardroom level of world football have in no way affected the attractiveness of the game itself. The UEFA Champions League, the Barclays Premier League, the Spanish La Liga and all the other major leagues of Europe are still appealing to the thousands and thousands of people who fill the stadia in support of their favourite teams, and this is in addition to the millions who religiously tune in across the world to indulge in the passion of the world’s simplest yet most popular sport. When the Olympics come around in the summer of 2016, no one will even remember the name Lamine Diack and what he might or might not have done. When the World Cup Finals come around in 2018, very few people, if any, will remember or care to remember the name ‘Sepp’ Blatter; we will all be submerged in another monthlong orgy of football. Track and field alive While the allegations of corruption and doping scandals and all the intricate details are good for news, and make for great ‘bar talk’ and verandah discussions, I think their importance to the average sports fan is highly overrated. We are more interested in the fortunes of our favourite teams, whether it be Liverpool, or Manchester United or Chelsea or Arsenal, or Barcelona or Real Madrid, and what they do week in week out on the football pitch than if ‘Sepp’ Blatter did or did not make a nefarious payment to Michel Platini. At the end of the day, sports is alive and well. Despite the moral and ethical dilemma at the administrative level of sports, the sports themselves are still very much intact and genuinely mean a lot to millions of passionate fans all around the world.last_img read more

“They Cut It and Put The Leaf There”

first_imgA 10-year-old child, whom we will call Blessing, has just made an upsetting confession about her captivity in the Sande bush, which she feels was a result of her own actions. Little does Blessing know that there is a law that prohibits and protects girls from being exposed to cultural traditions that inflict the mental, physical and emotional abuse she had to go through one sad day four weeks ago.According to the child, who sat timidly and worried at the thought of her experience, her capture had nothing to do with anyone at all; she believes it was all her fault.“My mother sent me with a plastic bag and said I should go and call one man. When I went to call the man and was standing up, that’s how one girl called me to her. That’s when I went to her, and they caught me. Dah one woman, Ma Musu took me in and sat me down and that’s when they said I must join the Sande Bush. Other women were there, baby mothers were there too, I did a lot of washing dishes because we were never allowed to come out so we stayed inside there,” Blessing fearfully recalled.Blessing once played cheerfully as any other 10-year-old child would, and spoke of how she was recently featured in an unreleased non-fiction short film about a child, who was raped in 2012, behind the same house in the Caldwell area where Blessing was held captive.“One woman put me in a show about a little girl who was raped, it didn’t stay long Ma Musu caught me behind where they say it happened ever since,” she narrated.Now aware of everyone around her and unsure of who she can trust, Blessing says in fear that she could be caught again, and doesn’t blame her mother for being put into the Sande Bush but in fact blames the strangers who forced her against her will.“She [my mother] sent me but the people saw me and that’s how they grabbed me. It was not my ma,” she explained.Asked to describe what happened to her during the weeks she was under the charge of the Sande Bush, Blessing recalled a moment that she says she will never forget.“I mainly washed dishes, but when I first got there, they cut down on me. The time they grabbed me, we were three, me and my friends, we were all crying. They closed my eye with a head tie; they cut it and put the leaf there. They mashed the green leaf and did it like this (she demonstrated) and it dried the sore, the thing they cut from me was inside a pan, I couldn’t use the bathroom, and there’s nothing there now. Since they moved it, I feel different but the sore is better now,” Blessing boldly explained.In as much, there was a period in which Blessing’s mother, who has asked to stay anonymous, had to ask for financial assistance from neighbors and a reporter for this paper to free the child after her 4-week ordeal, an ordeal she claims was not her doing.“Blessing just coming but she’s not feeling alright, she’s sick and taking treatment. She has low blood, I’m giving her medicine and tomato, but she was in the Sande bush when it started on her.They didn’t treat her there, it’s now I’m treating her. I’ve used all my money to free her from there and I’m broke now,” Blessing’s mother explained.“Children younger than Blessing were there because that’s culture and our own thing. I didn’t put her there though. It happened by mistake, I didn’t have anything to do with it; you can ask the people there. It’s herself that put herself inside. The people were beating drum and dancing and she went there. I paid everything to get her out, and it’s my money I’m trying to put back by selling doughnuts now,” she added.Many Caldwell dwellers wonder whether or not the drum beating that usually surrounds the community where the Sande Bush is located could be a way to lure smaller girls.According to Madam Tryphena B. Gray the principal of AGOM, an elementary school located right next door to the Sande Bush, she says the drum sounds are persistent and an every day occurrance.“Whole day they are beating those drums,” she stated; adding: “they used to be right here by my yard and school, but they moved right over there just a house away now.”Madam Gray expresssed her frustration not just at the noise of the drum beats but more so the culture of what happens when one goes to spy where those drum sounds are coming from.“I blame the government because they know about it (Sande bush). You can’t go near the Sande when drums are beating or they will catch you; and it’s bad,” stated Madam Gray.Meanwhile, as Blessing reminds herself not to go near any drum sounds, normally a jublilant sound that characterizes most ceremonies, weddings or other festive cultural activities, there’s also significant information coming from the Ministry of Gender and Development that concurs that people have indeed been lured into the Sande Bush through the sound of beating drums. But above all, there is a law that should prevent that from happening.Meima Sirleaf Karneh, Assistant Minister for Research and Technical Services at the Ministry of Gender and Development, has highlighted the reality behind many issues facing children and the Sande Bush.“We also want to look at forced initiation or joining of the Sande Bush; it’s a big issue around the country, and when it comes to the Ministry of Gender, who is working closely with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and through the head Zoe, people should not be forced into joining the Sande. For instance, the beating of a drum and a child going to look, if that child had kept on walking, they wouldn’t have seen anything. That child has a guardian a parent, if such things happen, that child should be reported to the community leader and advised so that next time they will not go to a place because of a drum,” Madam Karneh highlighted.Moreover, reports of recent news clippings show that the practice of female “circumcision,” is altogether difficult and controversial. Though some consider it a human rights violation and have asked the Ministry to step in, others see it as an important part of culture that should remain accepted.“The Ministry of Gender and Development is not dealing with the issue of FGM as you call it, we’re looking at the protection of the girl child, and we’re using education as an entry point. We’re looking at refining and reforming the Sande school system.  After several confrontations and things, we came up with looking at the issue of the Sande School as a traditional school system in Liberia, but we have the formal school system that oversees the Sande school system. It’s through the formal school that we have formal education; we get to work and are able to develop ourselves, expose ourselves and other things. We are saying that when the formal school is open, the Ministry of Gender is working with the Ministry of Education so that the Sande system cannot operate. Because we do not want clashing of systems in one country, so our girls can be educated; so that they can be empowered in our society,” Madam Karneh stated.Also, what Blessing claims happened to her may or may not be considered a crime, but what’s clear from the Ministry’s point of view is that Sande school has a policy that needs to be abided by before it can operate in any community, and there have been violators.“The Sande should be several miles from the city centers. Sande schools are not supposed to be around residential areas, it should be far away at least 25 miles. It should be far away from areas where people can’t hear the drums, especially children who want to see what’s happening there. So that’s why we said it should be far away from residential areas so that you will not just grab somebody’s child, and then say the person was spying,” she emphasized.Madam Karneh also highlighted very essential information that will protect schools such as AGOM elementary, and its students, a policy that is clearly being violated by two Sande Bushes located in the market and upper Caldwell areas.“Sande Bushes should also be far away from the formal school areas. You can’t have a school building around here and somebody says they have a Sande bush right over there. Sande bushes are not supposed to be operated in cities,” Madam Karneh further stated.With the information gathered from several witnesses, all of whom fear being “dealt with” if their names are mentioned, a serious violation is at hand in Caldwell, and Madam Karneh has highlighted how violators can be stopped and exposed.“For internal affairs, it’s a policy; the issue of the distance and where it should be is a policy. If somebody is operating in a residential area, the citizens from there can report to Internal Affairs or the Ministry of Gender. They can also go to the Ministry of Education because we coordinate. Besides the forced initiation, even before you put the Sande school down, Ministry of Internal Affairs says there [are] policies regarding all institutions in Liberia. The location should be inspected. It shouldn’t just be, ‘I’m just going to put a school here’.”Meanwhile, Madam Karneh has also articulated that if there is knowledge of a Sande bush in one’s neighborhood, community leaders, traditional leaders and community dwellers should be engaged and informed.“One of the things we are saying is we have to do a lot of engagement, if we do that with our traditional leaders and our community leaders, I think we’re going to go far. For us to look at the issue of Sande in Liberia is to reform the system. We are all from traditional and cultural backgrounds, so we’re not saying at Gender that we should stop the other culture, what we are saying is these are modern days, lets modernize things to conform to present day reality,” she concluded.For Blessing and many other girls and women who have had to face such terrifying initiations, knowing they have these rights and protections rights could come as a relief, albeit for girls like little Blessing, too little too late.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

This Premier League club probably should have sold wantaway forward by now, talkSPORT told

first_imgPeterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony believes West Brom should sell striker Saido Berahino so ‘everyone can move on’.The wantaway Baggies forward has been subject of intense speculation, linking him with a move to a whole host of top-flight clubs including Tottenham and, most recently, Newcastle.The 22-year-old had his head turned by offers elsewhere and West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace has so far stood firm.As a result, his first-team opportunities have been reduced to mostly substitute appearances this season, scoring four goals in 18 outings. The club are believed to be asking for over £20million for his services and the Posh chairman believes they should finally put an end to the saga.MacAnthony knows the Englishman from his time on loan at London Road in 2012.The League One club’s chief was co-hosting Drive with Adrian Durham and Jason Cundy and he said of Berahino: “I think he’s been wrongly advised to come out with the stuff he did against West Brom’s chairman.“You’ve got to be very careful.“I don’t think he’s done himself any favours but I think he was told to do that probably. I think West Brom could have sold him and probably should have by now.“Every press conference [West Brom manager] Tony Pulis does he talks about him.“I think at the end of the day, I understand everyone has a price, but he’s not really playing so I would get the best deal possible and everyone [can] move on from it.”last_img read more

DDTV VIDEO: BADGER CAUGHT ON CAMERA AS IT LEAVES ITS SETT

first_imgCO DONEGAL’S cleverest nature and wildlife photographer has struck gold again.Inishowen woman Martina Gardiner has already featured on donegaldaily.com with her videos of foxes and squirrels.Now she has come up with ‘the impossible’ – daylight footage of a badger leaving its sett. Said Martina: “I’m a little nearer my dream of photographing these beautiful animals in daylight. With some scrummy treats this one appears at 5.30pm just before the February sunset.”Click to play. DDTV VIDEO: BADGER CAUGHT ON CAMERA AS IT LEAVES ITS SETT was last modified: February 23rd, 2012 by BrendaShare 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) Tags:Co DonegalDDTV VIDEO: BADGER CAUGHT ON CAMERA AS IT LEAVES ITS SETTInishowenlast_img read more

NASA revives 9-year mission to orbit asteroids

first_imgNASA on Monday resurrected an ambitious mission to explore two of the solar system’s largest asteroids, just weeks after the project was killed because of budget woes. The space agency earlier this month scrapped the Dawn mission to orbit the asteroids Ceres and Vesta. The move came nearly a half year after it was put on hold due to cost overruns and technical problems. NASA decided to review the cancellation after the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which managed the mission, made an appeal. NASA Associate Administrator Rex Geveden, who chaired the review panel, said the Dawn team has made significant progress in addressing the technical issues and was confident the mission would succeed. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 “There are always pretty tall challenges, and it looks like Dawn is prepared to take those on and beat them,” Geveden said Monday during a telephone briefing. Dawn was supposed to launch in June on a nine-year voyage, but NASA ordered a stand-down last fall amid budget concerns and problems with the spacecraft’s xenon fuel tanks, which ruptured during testing last year. The about-face decision means that Dawn is now scheduled to launch in July 2007. The mission was cost-capped at $373 million, but NASA will pony up an extra $73 million to launch the spacecraft instead of spending $14 million to terminate it. Powered by a xenon ion engine, Dawn would be the first spacecraft to circle Ceres and Vesta, which reside in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It will spend several months orbiting each asteroid, photographing the surface and studying the interior composition, density and magnetism. Ceres and Vesta are believed to have formed in different parts of the solar system about 4.5 billion years ago. Studying them could provide clues to how the sun and planets formed. The delayed launch would not affect the spacecraft’s arrival time, Geveden said. Dawn was scheduled to reach Vesta, 220 million miles from Earth, in 2011. Then it will fly to Ceres, about 258 million miles from Earth, in 2015. Scientists were outraged when Mary Cleave, a NASA associate administrator in charge of science missions, axed the Dawn mission after a March 2 congressional budget hearing. In scrubbing the project, NASA cited a report by an independent team that found more than two dozen issues that needed to be resolved before blastoff. Dawn’s cancellation came at a precarious time at NASA, which had been forced to cut or delay several science projects to help pay for the development of new manned vehicles to return to the moon next decade. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director Charles Elachi appealed the cancellation, saying the technical problems were either fixed or would be corrected in time for a liftoff next year. Dawn’s reinstatement was part of a new review process established by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin that is intended to put NASA research centers on equal footing with decision-makers at headquarters. Lucy McFadden, a Dawn team member from the University of Maryland, was ecstatic that Dawn will move forward. “I’m terribly excited. We’re all jumping up and down,” she said. “I’m pleased that NASA hasn’t given up on science altogether.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

GAA: SEAN MacCUMHAILLS CLUB NEWS

first_imgOVER €11,00 TO BE WON.You can win up to 11,000 euro with Sean mac Cumhaills. Our Lotto Jackpot is €4,700 and our Bingo Snowball stands at €6,650. SENIOR FOOTBALL/RESERVE FOOTBALLThe lads travelled to Dungloe hoping to make it three wins from three. They lost the toss and had to play into the breeze at a windswept Rosses Park. In an intense first half our defence played well with Rory Dunleavy, John Lynch and Joe Dunnion all putting in great displays. Mac Cumhaills trailed by a point at half time.Dungloe started the second half brightly, getting on top in midfield, stretching their lead to 0-05 to 0-02.Gavin Gallagher was moved to midfield and Mac Cumhaills got a foothold on the game with points from Darren O Leary, Benny Mc Laughlin and Marty O Reilly bringing the game level. Against the run of play, Dungloe took the lead from an Adrian O Hanlon free. However in the 29th min, Marty O Reilly made a darting run and fired over for what turned out to be the game equaliser. this was a hard earned but well deserved point for the lads. This match also saw the return of Brian Lafferty from a long term injury. Brian put in a man of the match performance. welcome back lad. Final score was Dungloe 0-06 Sean Mac Cumhaills 0-06.The reserves were also playing in Dungloe yesterday. The had a very good first half, with Stephen Mulligan very accurate from frees. Mac Cumhaills lead at half time 0-10 to 1-02. The breeze picked up in the second half and Mac Cumhaills struggled with the conditions. Dungloe clawed their way back into the game and eventually ground out a hard fought victory. Hard luck lads.Sean Mac Cumhaills 0-12 Dungloe 1-14.UNDER 14 CAMOGIE FEILE FINALOur Under 14 girls played in the county Feile final on Thursaday. Burt went into the match as red hot favourites. From the start Mac Cumhaills never let Burt into the game, winning battles all over the field. From 1 to 15 the girls played their hearts out. Final score was Sean Mac Cumhaills 3-02 Burt 0-01. They now will represent Donegal in the All Ireland Feile finals in Limerick in July. Well done girls..TRAINING Training for all adult players continues Tue and Thurs at 7.45pm sharp. Training on Sat morning TBCU6 Boys and Girls. Astro pitch. Wed 6.00pm.U8 Boys and Girls. Training pitch. Wed 6.00pm.U10. Boys and Girls. Training pitch. Wed 6.00pm. U12 Girls Football. Training pitch Wed 6.00pm.U14 Football. Tue and Fri 7-8 both nights.U14 Girls Football. Thur 6.00pm.U16 Boys Football. Wed 7.00pmCamogie. Monday 6-7 and Friday 5.30-6.30.New members welcome.IRISH DANCING CLASSESIrish dance classes every wed in Gaa centre 6 to 7 pm and 7 to 8 pm also Saturdays 4 to 5 pm and 5 to 6 pm qualified tutor reg with coimision le rinci gaelacha.Adult keep fit non competitive Irish Dance Lessons will begin shortly. For further information contact Lorraine on 087 12613493G ASTRO TURF PITCHState of the art 3G Astro pitch is available. Please contact Terry O Reilly(0866095347) for times etcBINGOThe Bingo will take place in the Villa Rose his week. The Snowball Jackpot is a massive €6,650. Everybody welcome.MAC CUMHAILLS LOTTOThere were no winners of the lotto this week.Numbers drawn were 1,10,24 and 30.There was 1 match 3 winner.Josie Mc Dermott receives €150€2 weekly or a yearly subscription for the Club Lotto is €100€5 weekly or a yearly subscription for the Club Lotto is €240.Contact any club committee member for detailsSellers this week are Peter Moloneys team.The jackpot will be €4,700 next weekIF YOU’RE NOT IN, YOU CAN’T WIN!!!!!!!FOR SALEWe have club bags for sale. €15. Ideal for school bags. We also stock Mac Cumhaills shorts, socks, hurls and water bottles. Contact Alan Martin 0861723899SIGNS.Anyone wishing to take a sign in a prime location on a gable wall, please contact Alan Or PeterCLUBHOUSE BARThe Clubhouse bar is now taking bookings for parties: Contact Simon at 085 1503092 for more informationGAA: SEAN MacCUMHAILLS CLUB NEWS was last modified: May 6th, 2013 by StephenShare 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)Tags:Sean MacCumhaills GAA Club noteslast_img read more

ALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONS! MOVILLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE GIRLS IN FINAL COMEBACK STUNNER!

first_imgMoville Community College celebrate All-Ireland successWE always knew Moville Community College senior girls football team were good – now here’s the pictures to prove it.The college girls have been crowned All-Ireland schools champions after an incredible victory over holders Christ The King College Cork in Dublin.The Donegal girls actually trailed their Cork opponents at the Oscar Traynor Complex by 3-1. But the Moville girls showed their true grit, stamina and possession football philosophy to come back and win 4-3!The girls were already Ulster champions after an 8-0 win over local rivals Carndonagh.But they proved to be amongst the very top in national football with their victory over Christ The King which had five internationals on their team.Meanwhile Donegal player Amber Barrett from Lagan Harps FC has been named in the Ireland U-17 squad which flew to Austria today to complete their UEFA European Championship Elite Phase qualifying group when they face Norway on Sunday at 1pm in Neulengbach. Dave Connell’s side’s final Group Two game against Norway on March 31 had to be postponed after heavy overnight snow as had the other tie between Poland and Austria.Poland only need a point against the hosts to qualify, while an Austria win would take them through as long as Norway do not beat Ireland. If Norway do win, Austria must beat Poland by three goals to pip them. ALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONS! MOVILLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE GIRLS IN FINAL COMEBACK STUNNER! was last modified: April 13th, 2013 by BrendaShare 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) Tags:ALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONS! MOVILLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE GIRLS IN FINAL COMEBACK STUNNER!last_img read more

Did Walking Evolve in the Trees?

first_imgThe news media are all echoing a report from Science1 that orangutan behavior in trees tells us something about the evolution of human bipedalism (see National Geographic, Fox News, and MSNBC News).  If this new view gains acceptance, it means the old iconic image of man emerging upright from a stooped-over ape posture (05/03/2007) is wrong.  A new icon will have to show a descent from the trees.  Paul O’Higgins and Sarah Elton said in scientese, “This raises the possibility that preadaptations for hominin bipedalism arose in arboreal settings rather than in terrestrial environments.”    The original paper by Thorpe, Holder and Crompton says, “Orangutans react to branch flexibility like humans running on springy tracks, by increasing knee and hip extension, whereas all other primates do the reverse.  Human bipedalism is thus less an innovation than an exploitation of a locomotor behavior retained from the common great ape ancestor.”2  But is it fair to make an inference about humans from observations of living orangutans?  That is the question.    O’Higgins and Elton noted that this “reopens the debate” about the origins of our own “peculiar” habit of walking on two feet.  “To date,” they confessed, “there is no consensus about the adaptive scenario that could have led to the adoption of terrestrial bipedalism.”  They listed four competing theories.  “A similar lack of agreement is also evident in discussions about the locomotor behavior of the hominin ancestor.”  While admitting that Thorpe et al have “invigorated the debate” by presenting a “plausible and elegant argument” for the tree-down theory, they said, it also causes new problems: “We must now question whether morphologies that indicate bipedalism can be used to identify hominins at the base of their radiation.”  Not only that, “This then raises the issue of whether we can unequivocally identify any traits that are truly diagnostic of early hominins.”    The MSNBC report mentioned another cause for doubt.  “Why would chimps lose that bipedal ability while whatever became human retained it, asked Will Harcourt-Smith of the American Museum of Natural History in New York.”  He favors a view that our ancestor was multi-talented: “Another view of this might be that actually, our ancestor was rather good at doing a number of things.”  Orangutans are able to “stand straight-legged, like a person” when manipulating their stance to reach food high overhead.  The Associated Press story includes this quizzical statement: “Evolution requires a reason for such a special skill.”1Paul O’Higgins and Sarah Elton, “Anthropology: Walking on Trees,” Science, 1 June 2007: Vol. 316. no. 5829, pp. 1292-1294, DOI: 10.1126/science.1143571.2Thorpe, Holder and Crompton, “Origin of Human Bipedalism As an Adaptation for Locomotion on Flexible Branches,” Science, 1 June 2007: Vol. 316. no. 5829, pp. 1328-1331, DOI: 10.1126/science.1140799.Who is Evolution?  Why does she require a reason?  We have just unmasked the idolatry of evolutionists again.  They cannot make any tale fit without invoking their goddess, a mythical person who works miracles with a goal in mind.    You never hear them talking about all the anatomical adjustments that would be required to have an ape walk upright like a man, and how these adjustments would have taken place by chance mutations.  Arched feet, reshaped skeleton, a new neck and head, readjusted internal organs, changes to musculature (including buttocks and shoulder girdle), adjustments to skin and hair and thermoregulation, new brain software – how many other major changes would have to occur simultaneously to make human bipedal motion possible?  And people can run!  Recall the impressive list of anatomical specializations required for endurance running (re-read 11/18/2004).    Do you know of any functional activity with requirements that operates by an unguided process?  We must call foul when evolutionists reason from requirements to Darwinian theory.  We must hold them to Darwin’s own requirements that evolution must proceed without guidance or direction.  No long-term goals can be envisioned, and no personalities can direct the process.  To this we add that assuming evolution did it anyway is a bad case of begging the question.    Let’s ask the Darwinists why the orangutans haven’t caught onto our superior means of locomotion if it is so good.  And let’s further ask why the orangutans are not observing humans and publishing papers about how primitive humans evolved into tree climbers like themselves.  Better yet, let’s have these researchers role-play the orangutans in trees, barefoot and wearing minimal clothing, so we can sneak some video of them onto YouTube.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Awe, Shucks: Backwards Causation in Scientific Explanation

first_img(Visited 42 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Is it the emotion of awe that creates belief in the supernatural, or is it the other way around?Intent on giving naturalistic explanations for everything, psychologists cannot bear the thought that a real God exists who is awesome.  Feelings of awe by humans must be mere emotions from our primitive ape-like past before they learned to do science.  In that vein, a study presented in the Association for Psychological Science gets causes and effects arguably backward, claiming “Experiencing Awe Increases Belief in the Supernatural.”  It’s a bit like saying the rooster crow causes the sunrise.It is true that some people might be driven to illogical supernatural explanations by unexpected, intimidating or unknown natural phenomena, like a nearby lightning strike or the first sight of the Grand Canyon.  “Awe-inspiring moments — like the sight of the Grand Canyon or the Aurora Borealis — might increase our tendency to believe in God and the supernatural, according to new research,” the subheading reads.  But to say that such an experience explains the origin of awe itself is another matter entirely.  Perhaps certain people are awe-struck because there really is a God.The psychologists did try to consider both sides of the equation as causal:“Many historical accounts of religious epiphanies and revelations seem to involve the experience of being awe-struck by the beauty, strength or size of a divine being, and these experiences change the way people understand and think about the world”, says psychological scientist Piercarlo Valdesolo of Claremont McKenna College.“We wanted to test the exact opposite prediction: It’s not that the presence of the supernatural elicits awe, it’s that awe elicits the perception of the presence of the supernatural.”It must be a scientific explanation, because he conducted experiments.  Valdesolo showed human lab rats scenes of awe-inspiring phenomena, as well as plain news pictures.  The ones who saw beautiful, grand scenes expressed a sense of awe and tended to explain the scenes as confirming their certainty of belief in God, as opposed to those who saw the news photos.  The awestruck participants were also less tolerant of uncertainty, he said.  But then, his slip was showing:“The irony in this is that gazing upon things that we know to be formed by natural causes, such as the jaw-dropping expanse of the Grand Canyon, pushes us to explain them as the product of supernatural causes,” Valdesolo notes.In other words, the psychologist had already ruled out the supernatural or the existence of God as a causal explanation.  No wonder he got the cause-and-effect backwards from the way most people think, even if they would agree that God used natural causes to produce some of the grandeur of creation (like the Grand Canyon).Leaping ahead in scientific progress, Valdesoro is looking into other natural causes for awe:For example, they are testing whether adopting submissive body postures, which make us feel less powerful, might dispose us to experiences of awe. Such a link could perhaps explain the presence of such postures in religious practice, such as kneeling, bowing, and gazing up.But these are only possibilities.  He admits his own uncertainty with heavy use of hedging words, like “might,” “could,” and “suggests.”  There are always exceptions.  His hypothesis would not appear to explain the practice of the Old Testament Jews standing to hear the Scriptures read, and lifting their eyes and hands to heaven in prayer.  And just perhaps, falling on one’s face, as did Daniel and Isaiah, might be due to them finding themselves really in the presence of the Almighty, in which case awe is the effect, not the cause.Evolutionists (especially evolutionary psychologists) are such killjoys.  They’re like the self-styled academic Andrew MacPhee in C. S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength who tries to explain everything rationally, ending up explaining things away instead of really explaining them.  “Look at that beautiful blue sky!” a friend might say, only for him to respond, “The sky is not really blue; it’s just scattering sunlight with the blue rays scattering the most to impinge on our corneas; but actually, they are not really rays at all but electromagnetic quanta.”  Valdesoro fails to admit he is already a supernaturalist by presuming that explanation (a non-material, conceptual thing that presumes honesty and truth) is real.  He could use a good dose of real, true awe that has no scientific explanation.  It would do good for his unevolved soul.  A hearty conversation with John Lennox or Albert Mohler might be a good start.  Joni Eareckson Tada, also.last_img read more

Team SA wins World Surfing Games

first_img14 May 2013The South African surfing team celebrated a superb double at the 2013 Reef ISA World Surfing Games in Panama on the weekend when they were crowned the ISA World Team Champions and captain Shaun Joubert clinched the ISA men’s world champion title.Team SA fought a see-saw battle for the most prestigious team title in world surfing, leading the standings on days five and six before slumping to fourth place going into the final day. Joubert’s outstanding victory, however, saw them overtake perennial rivals and defending champions Australia, emerging surfing powerhouse Peru and Brazil, who earned silver, bronze and copper medals respectively.In addition to the gold medals, Team SA collected the Fernando Aguerre World Team Champion Trophy, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President’s Trophy, and the once-off 5th Century Cup of the Discovery of the Pacific Ocean for winning the title for the first time outside South Africa and third time overall, after their triumphs in Durban in 2001 and in East London in 1978.DominatingJoubert, who was the oldest member of the SA squad after turning 22 earlier this month, led his team to victory by dominating the men’s division from start to finish. He advanced directly to the Grand Final by never finishing outside the top two in any of his seven heats and also posted four of the top eight single ride scores, including the highest (9.87 out of 10), and three of the top six heat tallies.After demolishing his opponents on the last day, leaving them needing a combination of two rides totalling 17.50 points as he advanced to the last four, Joubert topped that in the final by racking up rides of 9.33 and 8.33 for a 17.66 point total.The current ASP number 104 and multiple SA age-group champion used a canny combination of excellent wave selection, superior heat management and long rides punctuated by explosive manoeuvres, with his variety of carves, cutbacks, vertical re-entries and aerials setting him apart from the rest.‘A special event’“I really enjoyed the waves in Panama. We had amazing waves all event,” he said on the awards podium. “It’s nice to come as a team and actually be at the beach cheering the other guys and you want your team to do well. It’s fun to see all the flags and people from other countries. It’s a special event.”Joubert compared the waves at Santa Catalina to the right hand breaks in his home town of Mossel Bay. He also expressed his appreciation for the support of his teammates and praised manager and coach Etienne Venter, who motivated the team, with an average age of just 20, to beat the world’s best.While Joubert’s crown was the cherry on the top and contributed significantly to the team title, the performances of every team member was vital. Mikey February, fellow Kommetjie surfer Davey Brand, David van Zyl, Tanika Hoffman and Faye Zoetmulder all finished in the top 16 in their respective divisions as Team SA triumphed over the other 23 national teams and 120 surfers at the event.Men’s medalsJean Carlos “Oli” Gonzalez produced a fairytale result for the host nation when he became the first Panamanian surfer to earn a medal at the ISA World Surfing Games after finishing second to Joubert. Former ISA world junior champion, Cristobol de Col of Peru took the bronze medal and Russell Molony of Australia the copper.Australia dominated the women’s event where Dimity Stoyle took gold and teammate Codie Klein the silver, while the bronze went to Brazil’s Suelen Naraisa and the copper.The top seven teams qualified for the ISA China Cup, the ISA’s signature event, that is held annually in January on Hainan Island in the South China Sea, where South Africa will be the top seed in 2014.Overall Team Standings 1. South Africa 11 102 points2. Australia 10 332 points3. Peru 9 636 points4. Brazil 9 146 points5. Panama 7 946 points6. Costa Rica 7 678 points7. Argentina 7 422 points8. Chile 7 286 points9. Venezuela 7 000 points10. Mexico 6 752 points11. Ecuador 6 630 points12. New Zealand 6 620 points13. Puerto Rico 6 520 points14. Japan 6 116 points15. Italy 6 060 points16. El Salvador 5 400 points17. Guatemala 4 866 points18. Switzerland 4 504 points19. Uruguay 3 732 points20. Jamaica 3 096 points21. Turkey 1 152 points22. Canada 720 points23. Sweden 720 points24. Russia 576 points SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more