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Political Science 101: Doubt Scientific Claims

first_imgScience goes through a chain of messengers from data to consumer.  In between are fallible scientists, who speak often in incomprehensible jargon and often only partially understand what they observe, but often wish to gain notoriety with a major discovery (or need to publish or perish).  Next, the institutional press offices decide what is significant and try to digest the jargon to layman level.  The predigested stories are then delivered to science reporters, who sometimes sensationalize the filtered stories to make a name for themselves.  Finally, the media outlets, prone to peer biases, dress up the products to grab the eyes of readers of their newspapers, magazines, or web pages.  How much of the real scientific data remains at the end of this game of Telephone?  Sometimes the bias is clearly evident, but often the product is delivered with all the presumptive authority of science.  Once in awhile, a reporter comes clean about the dirty work involved. First, a lesson from history.  “This year is Galton year –a celebration of Francis Galton, a genius – but a flawed genius,” Steve Jones wrote for the BBC News.  Galton’s accomplishments, such as weathermaps and fingerprinting for detective work, have been overshadowed by his darker side as the father of eugenics, popular in its heydey, but viewed today with the perspective of history as a disastrous social quest to purify the race of the unfit.  Galton also created an “ugly map” of Britain to help men avoid bad genes.  He left an enormous sum of money at his death for the Laboratory of National Eugenics at University College London – later abandoned by the University, though it retains a Galton professorship.  Francis Galton had good press in his time; today, his reputation is clouded.  It’s a lesson that the tides of history can change the prestige of a scientist and his ideas. Speaking of prestige, there’s a fringe group of scientists who deserve more, according to William Laurance writing in New Scientist.  These are the cryptobiologists: searchers for extinct or weird animals.  “Yes, they chase bizarre creatures and flit around the fringes of conventional science,” he said, “but we ought to appreciate their adventurous spirit rather than be disdainful.”  The prestige comes if and when they find something.  There have been successes: the “coelacanth, mountain pygmy possum, venomous Cuban solenodon and giant terror skink” among them. One can imagine any given reporter giving a cryptobiologist good or bad press, depending on his or her bias. Among those getting the worst press in science media these days are the creationists.  No attempt at covering bias was shown by an entry on PhysOrg, “Creationism creeps into mainstream geology.” The headline might have pointed out that a leading creationist with a legitimate PhD in paleontology led a successful field trip in Colorado at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America, but instead, used a creepy verb and the ideological suffix -ism, while rarely applying the suffix to evolutionism.  The article was filled with allusions to conspiracy and unscrupulous motives: “crafty” new “strategy” to pretend acceptance among “mainstream” scientists.  As history shows, tides can turn, as well they might, if Darwinians continue to swim upstream against public opinion armed with nothing but leaking waterwings of just-so stories.  In the climate of controversy surrounding intelligent design, presidential candidates need to guard their language carefully, as David Klinghoffer and Jay Richards advised in American Spectator. Controversial subjects are good places to watch for science bias.  New Scientist wrote about “abuse, threats and hysteria” between scientists, politicians and the public in Australia over the issue of “climate science.”  Not being quite as politically lopsided and ideology prone as creation vs. evolution, climate science has provided a bonanza for sociologists, philosophers and lay observers to watch humans behaving badly when it comes to claims of scientific authority. Hannah Nordhaus is one science reporter who has spilled the beans about reporter bias.  Writing for Breakthrough Journal, she described how prepared she was to tar-and-feather big business for the collapse of honeybee colonies.  Ready to take up Rachel Carson’s banner with the environmentalists, she was hindered from publishing by personal circumstances, but watched other colleagues go at it.  Then she researched the story and found that, like most things in science, the subject is far more complex and nuanced than that.  She even found reporters using a fraudulent quote by Einstein, failing to research adequately, and committing other egregious journalistic sins, excused because it was perceived to be a noble cause.  She saw similar excursions into journalistic license with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Ending with a sermon for her colleagues, she wrote, “By engaging in simplistic and sometimes misleading environmental narratives —  by exaggerating the stakes and brushing over the inconvenient facts that stand in the way of foregone conclusions­­ — we do our field, and our subjects, a disservice.” Exercise: Compare and contrast the Breakthrough Journal take on the oil spill with that of National Geographic, which alleged faulty science on the part of the BP oil company and other experts.  What facts were included or ignored to give the desired slant?  What questions were asked or not asked? Creation-Evolution Headlines does not deny having a bias, because everybody does.  What we do is provide a service – even to those who disagree.  As Darwin himself said, “A fair result can only be obtained by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.”  That cannot happen with a press unified on one side of a given controversial issue.  Since the mainstream media are almost without exception Darwin toadies, you owe it to yourself, even if a staunch evolutionist, to hear both sides.  You will find facts here that are ignored by the press, and learn to assess the relevance of facts used in arguments.  You will learn to ask questions the pro-Darwin side never thinks about.  You will watch our Baloney Detector applied to Darwinist arguments, and learn to practice using your own B.D. on ours.  That’s fine; far be it from CEH to push easy-believism on either side.  Facts, history, and philosophy are far more interesting and detailed than simplistic presentations often portray.  Even if you remain an evolutionist, hopefully by reading CEH regularly, you will learn how to avoid winning our award for Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week.(Visited 49 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Lesedi Cultural Village

first_img7 February 2006If you are at a loose end on what to do, why not take the family on a unique cultural experience at Lesedi Cultural Village, less than an hour’s drive from Johannesburg.Developed in 1995 as a tourist attraction, Lesedi – a seSotho word meaning “light” – now features five traditional homesteads, each representing a different culture: Pedi, Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho and Ndebele.You can visit for the day or stay overnight. Overnight visitors who wish to experience the magic and traditions of the people of South Africa can spend a night in one of the villages.On arrival, guests are welcomed by the families, who then take them to their homestead and show them where they will be staying. The head of the home then becomes their personal escort for the rest of their stay.Day visitors are just as welcome, and the village provides a fabulous cultural experience for families looking for something to do. There is an option of just lunch, or the whole Lesedi experience. Day tours start at 11.30am and at 4.30pm.Lesedi has also opened a new restaurant, the Nile Room, complete with hookah pipes, which serves fabulous cuisine from North Africa. It is available to be booked for private parties, and entertainment – such as belly dancing – can be organised.Current culinary facilities at Lesedi are the Nyama Choma, a 200-seater restaurant decorated in true African style and divided into three sections – North Africa seating 40 people, East Africa seating 60 people, and South Africa seating 100 people.There are also two bomas: the traditional Ingoma, a huge indoor hut used for buffet or barbecue style functions, and the outdoor boma used for informal functions. Both bomas accommodate 120 people.Lesedi is situated on the R512 en route to Sun City, just 10km north of Lanseria Airport. Access from Pretoria and Johannesburg is easy.For reservations call (012) 205-1394 or e-mail Lesedi MarketingSource: Lesedi Cultural Villagelast_img read more

West African cable on track for 2010

first_img9 May 2008The South African government has identified the Broadband Infraco-led African West Coast Cable (AWCC) project as a lead initiative to create a sustainable, competitive international bandwidth market in the country.This view emerged during a meeting held between the office of the Presidency, Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin and Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri over the weekend.“The decision is in line with President Thabo Mbeki’s statement in this year’s State of the Nation address to complete the licensing and the operationalisation of Infraco as well as the completion of the process to launch undersea cables in partnership with other governments on the continent and the private sector,” read a statement by the Department of Communications this week.The AWCC is a 3.8 terabit cable that will stretch from Melkbosstrand, outside Cape Town in the Western Cape province, to the United Kingdom with capacity terminating in London.The project, which is expected to be functioning in the middle of 2010, will have branching units to at least 10 countries along the west coast of Africa and have a design length of 13 000 kilometres.Costing about US$600-million (about R4.5-billion), the project has brought together 40 nations and some of the world’s most influential telecommunications players in a joint effort to use state-of-the-art technology in linking more people more efficiently than ever before.The project will also use revenue generated to spur economic development on Africa as a whole. As it lies between 1 000 and 8 000 metres below the ocean’s surface, the system will also be able to withstand bad weather and vandalism.“It is anticipated that the system will enter the service by mid 2010 in time to meet the bandwidth requirements for the 2010 Soccer World Cup,” the department said.The cable will also support South Africa’s science super-projects, such as the Square Kilometer Array Telescope, for which the country is competing against Australia to host it.The South African government created Broadband Infraco as a new state-owned enterprise to deliver affordable broadband to South Africans on an open access basis.The AWCC model will own 26% of the cable while a broad base of private sector participants, including incumbent communications operators, will own the remaining 74%.The project is reported to be well advancing, while a Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed upon with prospective private sector participants.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Malaysia aims to leap forward in smart home technology

first_imgSurveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities Amanda Razani How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Tags:#Huawei#I-City#Internet of Things#IoT#Malaysia#Smart Cities#smart city#Smart homes I-City and Huawei have recently combined forces to speed up the development of more advanced smart homes that can track and manage appliances, lights, air conditioners and various other devices.  This project is possible due to the popularity of Cloud, Communications and IoT in the marketplace, and is scheduled to target Kuala Lumpur in [email protected] project in 2017.See Also: Will autonomous microgrids drive IoT in smart cities?Huawei’s strength in Communications and IT, combined with I-Berhad’s property development experience is a recipe for success.  This alliance creates opportunities to provide innovative business models and sets a new standard in Asia for the way smart homes will be implemented; from intelligent energy delivery, to forming building codes.  More connected homes will offer a safer environment for dwellers.Lim Chee Siong, Chief Marketing Officer, Huawei Southern Pacific Region, explains, “As leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, Huawei aims to enhance and enrich peoples’ lives through technology advancement.”“Technology plays an integral part in our lives, touching almost every aspect, from our homes to our workplaces, and reaching out to the whole communitieS,” he goes on to say. “For the past 15 years, Huawei has been focusing on improving the ICT infrastructure and development of smart cities in Malaysia.”Looking to Malaysia’s futureAccording to Siong, Huawei wants to ensure that the Malaysian intelligent home experience is a comfortable and safe one, where families are entertained and economically protected. It just makes sense that as Malaysia celebrates 15 years of continuous innovation, the next steps are taken for consumer transformation.There is a lengthy process for deploying a smart home, and a critical one is the creation of a large and reliable communications network layer that uses a cloud based IoT platform, referred to as the Foundation. As the intelligent home market develops, this foundation will open the door to other smart city features, such as smart street lighting and traffic management that will help make Malaysian cities smarter and a better place for families living there.center_img Related Posts How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…last_img read more

Letran gets support from San Miguel

first_imgJohn Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting AFP official booed out of forum Arum excited for Ancajas’ Top Rank debut Read Next View comments Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles05:18After the Typhoon Part 202:46Senators rally support for Robredo; laud her for accepting anti-drug post01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Photo from Letran Rector’s OfficeIt’s a new era for Colegio de San Juan de Letran.The Muralla-based school announced on Thursday that San Miguel Corporation will lend a helping hand to the Knights’ sports program.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Letran finished sixth in the tally in NCAA Season 92.center_img — LETRAN MANILA (@LetranOfficial) February 1, 2018The union, as the school announced, won’t just be limited to the basketball program as the scope will be for all sports.Chua is an alumnus of Letran as he was part of the high school batch of 1985 before going to University of Santo Tomas.The Knights last hoisted the overall NCAA seniors championship in 2010 back in Season 85.ADVERTISEMENT Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH LATEST STORIES NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH San Miguel Corporation sports director Alfrancis Chua paid a visit to Letran and sealed the partnership before Letran rector Fr. Clarence Marquez, OP and athletic director Fr. Vic Calvo, OP.Alfrancis Chua, the sports director of San Miguel Corporation and an alumnus of the Colegio (HS Batch 1985), has vowed to help the Letran Sports Program.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutArriba!#WeAreLetran #SiempreArribaPHOTOS | Rector’s Office and Fr. Vic Calvo pic.twitter.com/AcINDu8ojClast_img read more

Claw foot

first_imgClaw toe is a deformity of the foot in which the toes are pointed down and the arch is high, making the foot appear claw-like. Claw toe can be a condition from birth or develop as a consequence from other disorders.Review Date:1/17/2013Reviewed By:C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wanglast_img

Ocean Yield Bolsters Drybulk Fleet with Five Handysizes

first_imgzoom Ocean Yield ASA has decided to buy five Handysize dry bulkers with 10-year bareboat charters to companies owned and guaranteed by Interlink Maritime Corp, owner and provider of dry bulkers to agricultural and industrial commodities companies, and other end-users.The purchase price is approximately USD 75 million net of pre-paid charter hire, the Norwegian shipowner said.One vessel will be delivered from the shipyard in April 2018, while three of the vessels are built in 2015 and one in 2014.The transaction is subject to final agreement on documentation. ” In our opinion the timing for making new investments in shipping is excellent and we remain committed to continuing to increase and further diversify our portfolio of modern vessels on long-term charter in order to support attractive dividends to our shareholders,” Ocean Yield ASA’s Chief Executive Officer Lars Solbakken said.Interlink Maritime will have certain options to acquire the vessels during the charter period, with the first purchase option exercisable after five years in addition to an obligation to repurchase the vessels at the end of year ten.Interlink Maritime owns a fleet of 28 Handysize vessels, including three newbuildings. The company is majority-owned by the Carlyle Group, which is a global alternative asset manager with USD 174 billion of assets under management across 306 investment vehicles.Ocean Yield’s latest purchase comes on the back of an investment in two 2018-built handysize dry bulk vessels with 12-year bareboat charters earlier this month which marked the company’s entrance in the dry bulk sector.The bulkers will be chartered to companies owned and guaranteed by French maritime firm Louis Dreyfus Armateurs Group (LDA).According to Solbakken, the company sees potential for more transactions in the sector especially in the wake of improved earnings in the dry bulk market.last_img read more

Paul McCartney Calls For End To Animal Experiment Secrecy

first_imgThe National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) has welcomed support from Sir Paul McCartney, who has joined the NAVS campaign to end secrecy in animal experiments in the UK.Sir Paul is joined by 24 fellow celebrities who have signed up to a statement urging the repeal of Section 24, the animal experiment ‘secrecy clause’ which is currently under review by the Government. Today is the final day for members of the public to have their say on legislation which currently cloaks animal experiments in secrecy.NAVS President Jan Creamer said: “The repeal of Section 24 is long overdue and a growing number of voices, including the Government themselves, agree that action must be taken. The situation as it stands is untenable. Please join the NAVS campaign to end animal experiment secrecy by responding to the Government’s public consultation before the end of today.”In addition to Sir Paul McCartney, the NAVS campaign to repeal Section 24 is supported by 24 celebrities, including Ricky Gervais, Paul O’Grady, Chris Packham, Joanna Lumley, Twiggy, Brian Blessed, Colin Baker, Annette Crosbie, Gemma Atkinson, Meg Mathews, Alexei Sayle, Sadie Frost, Benjamin Zephaniah, Eddie Izzard, Jenny Seagrove, Lynsey de Paul, Peter Egan, Julia Peasgood, Samantha Womack, Wendy Turner-Webster, Martin Shaw, Prunella Scales, Julian Clary and Ann Widdecombe.Over 4 million animals are experimented on in the UK each year, and the use of animals in research is an issue of considerable public concern. Section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act – the legislation governing the use of animals in research – prevents details of animal experiments being revealed; to do so would be a criminal offence carrying a two year prison term, even with the researcher’s consent. The clause has constrained public debate and inhibited scientific and ethical scrutiny of the use of animals in research.The NAVS is campaigning for the repeal of Section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, which shrouds animal experiments in secrecy and prevents proper public and scientific scrutiny. Repeal of Section 24 would not compromise health or safety, protection of confidential information or intellectual property, because the Freedom Of Information Act already provides for the protection of personal information and confidential information.Find out more here.last_img read more

Manslaughter sentence given soldier over killing of gay Aboriginal man upsets family

first_imgAPTN National NewsA soldier based in Shilo, Manitoba will be sent to prison for five years for the death of a gay, Aboriginal man.Jason Ouimet was originally charged with murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter in April.Ouimet’s lawyer says the soldier acted in defense of a sexual assault.APTN National News reporter reporter Meagan Fiddler has more.last_img