Looking to snag best available talent, PBA coaches size up aspirants at Draft Combine

first_imgNo.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Austria, whose team won’t get a single pick in the first two rounds, singled out wingmen Kyles Lao and Clark Derige and guard Dan Alberto among those who can break into his San Miguel roster, with the problem that these new players will be dead last in the Beermen’s pecking order.“The only problem is by the time you get to the third round your team is almost complete and for example, in my team, if you’re a point guard you’ll have to wait behind Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross,” added Austria.Rain or Shine head coach Caloy Garcia, whose team owns the sixth and eighth picks, looked at guards JP Calvo and CJ Isit and forward Matt Salem as quality rookies who can beef up any team.“Almost everyone’s been showing great promise and this will be a hard decision and we really have to study for this,” said Garcia in Filipino. “I think it will just depend on who’s still available when it’s your turn to pick.”ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Of the coaches present in the Combine, probably the one with the most pressure is Meralco head coach Norman Black.Meralco owns the no.5 pick in the Draft and Black said he’s looking at those players who didn’t receive that much fanfare as compared to the potential top three picks.“We have guys in mind but a lot of that will depend on who is the no.4 pick,” said Black. “You normally see guys whom you haven’t probably seen before and you have a chance to see guys who are mostly under the radar. It just gave me a second and third chance to reinforce what I saw in practice.”For NLEX assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga, picking a player doesn’t just rely on what place a team is on the board but it also depends on the needs of a given roster.The Road Warriors own the seventh overall pick in the Draft and they’re looking to get someone who’ll mesh well with the current roster that they have.“We’re really thinking hard for this one because it’s not just the position of the player that we’re looking for,” said Arespacochaga. “We’re also looking at the talent who can help us and fit in our team.”Another coach who has a conundrum in this year’s Combine is TNT’s Bong Ravena whose team’s pick will be dealt to Rain or Shine after the KaTropa traded for Jericho Cruz in February of 2018.Ravena said they’re in a position where they don’t have many players to choose from and that they’re left to select the best quality player that best fits the roster. MOST READ Paul Desiderio grateful for UAAP Finals stint for boosting his PBA draft stock Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum LATEST STORIES Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anewcenter_img After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk “The first priority is to look for bigs because we have a guard heavy lineup,” said Ravena in Filipino. “We can also look for a potential backup for Jayson [Castro] and probably a wingman. So far I like Kent Lao who’s 6-foot-4. I hope we can get him.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold PLAY LIST 06:27SEA Games 2019: No surprises as Gilas Pilipinas cruises to basketball gold01:02Fans fill up Philippine Arena for SEA Games opening01:33Leo Austria, SMB wary of ‘more experienced’ Hotshots ahead of PBA Finals rematch02:14Carpio 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 MANILA, Philippines—The top three picks in the upcoming 2018 PBA Draft are practically secured for CJ Perez, Robert Bolick, and Bobby Ray Parks. Jr. but it doesn’t mean the remaining aspirants are going to be pushovers.ADVERTISEMENT Coaches in attendance during the PBA Draft Combine Thursday at Gatorade Hoops Center had their scouting goggles on to look at potential rookies that could make an impact for their respective teams.Although some tried to hide their tricks up their sleeves, six-time champion Leo Austria named who can be viable options who can even be drafted in the third round.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“There are still a lot of players that can be picked up in the third round the only problem is they lack the exposure,” said Austria in Filipino. “But I can see some who have the potential.” Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia View commentslast_img read more

Ellen withdraws Davis-Russell’s Nomination

first_imgIn the wake of her rejection by the Senate Committee on Education, Dr. Elizabeth Davis-Russell has asked that her nomination for the post of Education Minister be withdrawn and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has agreed.Last Thursday the Senate Committee on Education and Public Administration (EPA) in its confirmation hearing report said that it was recommending to the plenary to reject Dr. Elizabeth Davis-Russell because “she is not a Liberian citizen.”According to an Executive Mansion statement, President Sirleaf has accepted the request of Dr. Davis-Russell to withdraw her nomination. Dr. Davis-Russell has, however, consented to serve as Chair of the Education Advisory Council.Meanwhile the Deputy Education Minister for Planning, Research and Development-designate, Mr. Anthony A. Nimely, was recommended by EPA for confirmation to the Senate Plenary.Dr. Davis-Russell, a veteran educator, who is currently president of William V. S. Tubman University in Maryland County, became the second nominee from President Sirleaf’s recent slate of new appointments to be rejected by the Senate. The first was Health Minister-designate Mr. George Werner.The EPA committee, chaired by Rivercess County Senator, Dallas A. V. Gueh, did not elaborate further in its report or give more reasons as to why Dr. Davis Russell should not be confirmed.Dr. Davis-Russell has to her high credit transformed Tubman Technical College into a full fledge university and revolutionized the academic standard and capacity to the benefit of students from the Southeast and the country.She was expected to replace former Education Minister Etmonia D. Tarpeh, who was transferred to the National Investment Commission (NIC). Minister Tarpeh served the MOE from two years — 2012 to 2014.In a letter to President Sirleaf last week, Dr. Davis-Russell cited her United States of America citizenship as an obstacle to her ability to serve effectively in the position of Education Minister.Moreover, she expressed concern that her abrupt departure from the William V.S. Tubman University without a planned succession has already set off a process that could undermine the quality of instruction and the reputation that she has created for TU over the last two years.During her confirmation hearing, Dr. Davis-Russell warned that in order to build a conscious and educated society, the educational sector needs to get rid of those she described as “bench warmers”.She was appointed president of the William V.S. Tubman College of Technology (now William V.S. Tubman University) in October 2007 and assumed leadership of the institution in July 2008. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Accra to Serve as Transit Point for Flights

first_imgThe President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, has been in consultation with the United Nations secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, to allow Accra to serve as a transit center for international flights that might be bringing in logistics, medicines and other relief items for the affected countries.Accra is the capital of Ghana, but President Mahama said his consultation is in his capacity as chair of the regional body, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). This is a  demonstration of how Ghana is prepared to help affected the countries.He spoke on Monday September 15, when he paid a one-day solidarity visit with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in Monrovia.The ECOWAS boss also expressed disappointment over decisions by countries, especially those in the region, isolating Ebola affected countries by barring land, sea and air travels. He said these are not the best way to jointly fight the disease.As the Ebola virus was wreaking havoc on Liberia, Sierra leone and Guinea, who are the worst hit countries, several countries, including those in the sub-region, closed their borders. Some of these countries that closed their land, Sea and air borders include Ivory Coast, Senegal and Kenya. Though some later reversed their decision, it was noted that their earlier decisions were not in line with African solidarity.The Ghanaian President said isolating countries will further compound the precarious situation, especially trade and commerce, thereby seriously affecting the economies of these countries.The Ghanaian leader informed the media gathering that there have been lots of international commitments to fight the disease but said turning these commitments into actuality was too slow.   He encouraged donor countries to fast-track their commitments, since they are intended to save lives in an emergency situation.The ECOWAS Chair further  noted that his visit to Liberia was also intended to join the advocacy for more international concerted efforts in eradicating the virus out of the sub-region. He praised the courage and determination of the Liberian Government and its people in defeating the Ebola virus disease.  He disclosed that he had  begun consultations with world and continental bodies as well as airlines that have stopped flying to Liberia and other affected countries to begin plans to re-engage the Liberian authorities in overturning their isolation as the affected countries have now put into place World Health Organization (WHO) recommended measures in order to stop the spread of the virus to other countries. Speaking earlier, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf described Ghana as a sisterly country that has always been by Liberia during good and bad times. On behalf of the Liberian Government and people, she expressed appreciation for the role being played by Ghana and President Mahama, in his capacity as chairman of ECOWAS.President Sirleaf hoped Liberians will continue to work together for the total eradication of the Ebola virus.The Ghanaian President also made stopovers in Freetown, Sierra Leone and Conakry, Guinea with similar messages of solidarity in their respective fights against the Ebola virus disease.President Mahama was met upon arrival by Vice President Joseph N. Boakai at the Roberts International Airport. They proceeded to Monrovia and joined President Sirleaf at her Foreign Ministry office for closed-door discussions before addressing the press.The Ghanaian President was accompanied by his Health Minister, Dr. Kweku Agyeman; Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ambassador Kwesi Quartey; Senior Advisor to the President, Alhaji Baba Kamara; and the Director of State Protocol, Ambassador Kwame Tenkorang-Asamoah.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Dream Act pulled from bill in Senate

first_imgIt’s a dream deferred for the Dream Act. Bowing to intense pressure from illegal immigration hardliners, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has pulled the measure legalizing undocumented college and military-bound students who came to the U.S. as children from consideration as part of a defense bill. While Republican opponents successfully blocked the bill, Reid said late Wednesday he remains committed to passing it and vowed a Senate vote by Nov. 15. “Children shouldn’t be penalized for the actions of their parents,” Reid said. “Many of these youths come to America when they are very young. … They think of themselves as American and many of these children are so desperate to be able to go to school.” The fight over the Dream Act marked a major aftershock in the immigration battle. After failing earlier this year to pass legislation putting millions of illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship, several lawmakers opted to push piecemeal bills like the Dream Act. Durbin’s measure, strongly backed by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, is aimed primarily at giving illegal immigrants who were brought here before age 16 a shot at legalization if they enlist in the U.S. military or go to college for at least two years. Feinstein also is separately trying to attach a bill legalizing millions of agricultural workers to upcoming farm legislation. That measure could come up later this month. On Thursday, she said Republicans’ success in blocking Durbin’s bill underscores the need to secure broad support for her Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits and Security Act, known as AgJOBS. If the fight over the Dream Act is any indication, she faces an uphill battle. Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions in particular has vowed to use every tool available to block new legalization measures. Other Republicans said they support the bill for illegal college students but objected to attaching it to a defense bill. Groups that advocate for illegal immigrants said they are confident that if the bill comes up alone, it stands a strong chance of passing. “The Dream Act has never had a vote before. It’s never had the promise of a vote,” said Josh Bernstein, a spokesman for the National Immigration Law Center. “To me what happened is a positive thing.” lisa.friedman@langnews.com (202) 662-8731160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., the bill’s author, said he was disappointed but hopeful. “This narrowly tailored bipartisan legislation will allow a generation of immigrant students with great potential and ambitions to contribute to our nation’s security and future,” he said. Opponents, however, were ecstatic and vowed to kill future attempts to pass it. “Taxpayers are angry. We have our own citizens and resident aliens who followed the rules,” said David Zitch of Northridge, a former payroll tax investigator for the state of California and one of thousands nationwide who contacted Congress to get the bill killed. Of the students – an estimated 35,000 a year – who graduate high school but are blocked from serving in the military or attending a U.S. college because they are undocumented, Zitch said, “Sorry. Sorry that their parents brought them here without going through the hoops. Life’s not fair.” last_img read more

Return to sender, address unseen

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“We’ve never had a problem with the post office delivering our mail before. By law, all our mailings have to go to the post office unsealed. So why didn’t someone there just unfold one of the fliers and see who we were and what we were doing? “All our volunteers work hard to get vets with disabilities out and around the community to events and meetings. This was a big setback.” The fliers sat unnoticed in the vision rehab office for two weeks until it was too late to send them out for the Monday, May 15, meeting. Rich Maher, a U.S. Postal Service spokesman, called the incident “unfortunate.” “We’re sorry it happened, but the rules of the domestic mail manual specifically say an organization or individual has to apply and qualify for free mailing privileges,” he said. An important Veterans Administration meeting on disaster preparedness for more than 600 legally blind local veterans turned into a disaster itself this week. Nobody showed. Not one vet. Turns out they didn’t even know about it. The fliers that were supposed to be mailed to them were instead returned to the Sepulveda VA’s Visual Impairment Service Team by the Santa Clarita postal processing center because the return address on the mail was not recognized as being eligible for “free matter to the blind” mailing privileges. “We were expecting a good turnout from our visually impaired vets on something as important as new disaster preparedness plans, so we were really disappointed,” said Dr. Jane Merrill, director of the Greater Los Angeles VA’s vision rehab program, who is legally blind. Still, a little common sense by postal officials could have avoided this bureaucratic snafu between federal agencies. The fliers were taken to the Canyon Country post office on May 1 by Pam and Jim Hogan, who Merrill calls two of the VA’s hardest-working volunteers on the vision rehab team. Jim was a building inspector for the city of Los Angeles until 1999 when he had to retire because he was losing his eyesight. He is now legally blind. While he sat in the car, Pam, who is sighted, brought the fliers into the Canyon Country post office where employees know the couple and their guide dog from previous free matter mailings. “It was accepted by the postal clerk there, and I left thinking everything was fine,” Pam said. It was only after the fliers arrived at the Santa Clarita processing center later that day that someone noticed the return address on the fliers was for the Vision Impairment Service Team at Sepulveda VA, not Jim Hogan, who was eligible for free mailing. Meanwhile, the Hogans had left on a long-awaited vacation on May 2 thinking the fliers were on the way to the 600 vets. “When we got back last week and saw they were back in our office, we freaked,” she said. Stamped on the box was “returned for postage,” along with a handwritten note saying it was “not eligible” to be sent as matter for the blind. But the reason given was not that the vision rehab team hadn’t sought to qualify for free mailing. The arrow pointed to a section of the postal rules saying letters from sighted individuals, even to the blind, must bear “full applicable postage.” “The Braille Institute has sighted people volunteering in it, and so do we,” Merrill said. “Does that make us ineligible to mail out free matter to the blind? It’s stupid.” Yeah, it is. A little common sense would have taken care of the whole mess. Someone at the Santa Clarita processing center should have checked with the Canyon Country post office, and found out the Hogans and their visual impairment service team were legit. Or, even easier, open one of the fliers and read for themselves how important it was that all legally blind vets attend an important meeting on the city’s new plan for disaster preparedness for persons with disabilities. Any way you cut it, the mail should have gone through. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. dennis.mccarthy@dailynews.com (818) 713-3749160Want 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

Romelu Lukaku’s style suits Manchester United not Chelsea, says former Red Devil

first_imgDanny Higginbotham believes Chelsea would need to change their style of play if they sign Romelu Lukaku whereas the Belgian would suit Manchester United perfectly.For much of the window the Everton striker had been linked with a return to his former club but Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils’ have moved into pole position to sign the 24-year-old.It now seems that a reunion with his former boss is on the cards for Lukaku and a deal of up to £100million could be completed in the near future.However, former Manchester United and Stoke City defender Higginbotham is certain the title-winning Blues would have had to alter their style because of the difference between the Belgian and Diego Costa.“I think that, when you look at the styles and how they like to play, it would have been interesting if Lukaku ended up at Chelsea because they would have had to change their style completely,” Higginbotham told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“If he would have been going in as a replacement for Diego Costa I think he’s a very different player than Diego Costa.“We saw last season, a lot of the time, Diego Costa looked after the two centre backs – was dropping in deep at times – and created space for the two wide players either side of him to get in behind.”While the Blues style may have had to switch, the former Gibraltar international thinks Lukaku could be the perfect solution for Manchester United.Considering the forward’s skills, Higginbotham explained that the Everton man will fit in well at Old Trafford.“The one thing you would say at times last year with Ibrahimovic – I thought he was absolutely magnificent – but the way that Manchester United played Ibrahimovic found himself quite isolated,” added Higginbotham.“Players were dropping deep at times to defend and the gap between the players and Ibrahimovic was quite big because he hasn’t got the pace to get in behind.“Whereas I think now, with Manchester United, there are a couple of things.“If they do sign Lukaku it gives them the strength to be able to play more counter-attacking football – where Lukaku likes to play on the shoulder or can even give defenders a couple of yards head start.“But not just that, if Lukaku is stretching the game, if you are playing against him, the last thing you want to do is leave space in behind so you drop deeper.“What happens then is the opposition defence and midfield becomes more and more separated.”last_img read more

Talk Jon Gruden with Jerry McDonald, Thursday at 1 p.m.

first_imgThe most veteran of Oakland Raiders reporters fields your questions and gives you his honest opinions during a live chat Thursday at 1 p.m.Are you on board with Gruden 2.0 or do you have your doubts? Here’s your chance to express them.To view our Raiders chat on your mobile device click here.Like our Oakland Raiders Facebook page for more Raiders news, commentary and conversation. For more Oakland Raiders coverage follow us on Flipboard.For complete Oakland Raiders coverage go to our …last_img

Is “Intelligent Design” the New Cussword?

first_img1Alan Cutler, “Science and Religion: 200 Years of Accommodation,” Science, Vol 309, Issue 5740, 1493-1494 , 2 September 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1116362].2Donald Kennedy, “Emperors on the Ice,” Science, Vol 309, Issue 5740, 1494 , 2 September 2005, [DOI: 10.1126/science.1118709].OK, we’re going to do the Darwin Party a favor, and list all their talking points as bullets.  Readers are invited to print these out alongside our Baloney Detector and exercise their critical thinking skills:Evolution is a fact.Evolution is science.Creationism is religion.Intelligent design is just creationism in disguise.ID refers to the supernatural, which is disallowed in science.Evolution is comparable to the law of gravity.Intelligent Design is comparable to alchemy and belief in a flat earth.Evolution is supported by massive amounts of evidence.ID has no evidence.Science must be naturalistic by definition.ID only finds fault with evolution and has no answers of its own.Evolution promotes fruitful research.ID brings science to a halt by saying God did it.ID is just another “god-of-the-gaps” non-answer.Evolution employs natural laws, not miracles.Evolution has been highly successful in explaining living things.Evolution helps us understand medicine.Evolutionists will solve their problems given enough time (and funding).Nothing in biology makes sense apart from evolution.ID advocates are religiously motivated.The principle of “separation of church and state” precludes ID being taught.ID is unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court said so.ID can be taught in religion, history and sociology classes, but not in science class.“Teaching the controversy” is just as dangerous as teaching creationism.There is no controversy over evolution among scientists.Evolutionists are motivated only by love of the truth.Teaching ID would require teaching every culture’s creation myth equally.Allowing alternatives to evolution is like allowing Holocaust-deniers to have equal time in history class.Evolution is falsifiable.ID is not falsifiable.Evolution does not need to explain the origin of life.Evolution does not need to explain the origin of the universe.ID needs to answer the question, “who designed the Designer?”ID is a “disingenuous euphemism” (Dawkins) for religious advocacy.Educators and politicians must not give in to the pressure from the ID zealots.Parents and teachers may wish to print this list in one column, and the types of propaganda tactics, logical fallacies and smokescreens from the Baloney Detector in another column, and have students draw lines connecting them (multiple lines per item are permitted).  Or, they can make a game of the exercise, like a Scavenger Hunt – the student who reads Dawkins’ article and finds the most big lies wins.  Suggested prize: [root] beer.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The phrase “intelligent design” is being bandied about everywhere.  Pro-Darwin scientists generally put it in quote marks with palpable derision; it has practically sunk to the level of the older cussword, “creationism.”  Yet a groundswell of support for I.D. continues not only in America but in other countries.  Here are recent events, attacks and counterattacks about evolution, intelligent design and education:Aussie Glossy:  The transcript of an Australian Broadcasting Corporation story aired Aug. 30 featured proponents and opponents of the proposal to permit intelligent design as an alternative to Darwinian evolution in public schools down under.  The report was interspersed with scenes from the ID film Unlocking the Mystery of Life.Rusher Flusher:  William Rusher, writing Aug. 31 in Human Events, thinks the label “evolutionism” is too nice.  He thinks “accidentalism” would be more appropriate.  He finds irony in Darwinists referring to the Scopes Trial, when this time it is they who are forbidding the competition to be taught.The Case Against I.D.:  Karl Lembke in Opinion Editorials defends the position that Darwinism (as he carefully defines it) is scientific, and intelligent design is not.  He insists that methodological naturalism is a rule of science and claims evolution is falsifiable.Albuquerque Quirk:  The school board is trying to come to a consensus on how to teach science now that more and more students and parents are asking questions and complaining about the Darwin-only policy.  Rick Cole, New Mexico Science Teacher of the Year in 2001, who elevated his high school’s science fair from non-existent to award-winning status, taught intelligent design alongside evolution for 11 years.  He used the controversy to help his students learn to think critically about the two positions, until a single phone call from an atheist brought down an order from the department chairmen for him to stop.Big Guns:  Big-time Darwin defenders Richard Dawkins and Jerry Coyne came out swinging in The Guardian, intent on stuffing intelligent design into the science trash can once and for all.  Claiming that there is “no evidence” in favor of intelligent design, but “massive” evidence for evolution, they say, “The weight of the evidence has become so heavy that opposition to the fact of evolution is laughable to all who are acquainted with even a fraction of the published data.  Evolution is a fact: as much a fact as plate tectonics or the heliocentric solar system.”    Amidst this bluster, however, they did admit in some depth that there are deep and serious debates between evolutionists that are “genuinely challenging” – such as neutral vs. adaptive selection, group selection, punctuated equilibrium, cladism, evo-devo, the Cambrian explosion, mass extinctions, interspecies competition, the relative roles of natural and sexual selection, the evolution of sex, evolutionary psychology and Darwinian medicine – yet they argue that I.D. is “not an argument of the same character as these controversies” because it is “religious,” not “scientific.”    David Berlinski, as usual, was quite amused by all this.  He wrote to Evolution News inviting people to read Coyne and Dawkins’ diatribe, “endeavoring not to laugh, chortle, snicker, hoot or whistle,” which he claimed could not be done.  He was gratified to see them finally admitting that “Darwinian theories are simply riddled with problems for which Darwinian theories have no answers,” as critics have been saying for years.  “The list of problems that Coyne and Dawkins have produced could be extended far into the night,” Berlinski says, “but it’s a good beginning.  That they use the deficiencies of Darwinian theory to argue against ID is an added pleasure.”Spectator Sport:  Paul Johnson in The Spectator wrote a correspondingly vicious attack against the evolutionists, especially Richard Dawkins, who he called the “ayatollah of atheism.”  He senses a “groundswell of discontent at this intellectual totalitarianism” and predicts its collapse: “The likelihood that Darwin’s eventual debacle will be sensational and brutal is increased by the arrogance of his acolytes, by their insistence on the unchallengeable truth of the theory of natural selection – which to them is not a hypothesis but a demonstrated fact, and its critics mere flat-earthers – and by their success in occupying the commanding heights in the university science departments and the scientific journals, denying a hearing to anyone who disagrees with them.”  Case in point: Iowa State, where Discovery Institute says the “thought cops” and “inquisitors” are leading a crusade against astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez (08/30/2005).Red Blog:  Homunculus is trying to get a debate going on ID on the RedState.org blog.  Rob Crowther on EvolutionNews was glad he got the definitions right, but suspects he will be “inundated by rabid Darwinists irked by such an insightful post.”Don’t Teach the Controversy:  John Derbyshire on National Review votes against teaching the controversy over Darwinism.  To him, Darwinism is accepted science and ID is not.  Plenty of good scientists are religious people, he agrees, and so are some Darwinists.Ho-Hum, Old Stuff:  Alan Cutler reviewed Before Darwin: Reconciling God and Nature by Keith Thomson (Yale, 2005) in Science1 and treated the design-vs-naturalism debate like it’s as hoary as the hills.  He pointed out that the question in Robert Boyle’s time was not whether science and God could be reconciled; “It was whether science and atheism could be reconciled, and the answer seemed to be a definitive no.”  By popular consent now, though, Darwin settled the question once and for all; “According to Thomson, it was principally Darwin’s theory that, by removing the necessity of a designer, doomed natural theology.”  Interestingly, Cutler cut down natural theology not as much for its scientific arguments as for its theology.  In his opinion, William Paley’s divine watchmaker is little more than a “compassionless technocrat” –Natural theologians had long been criticized for emphasizing God the Creator over God the Redeemer.  Paley’s book nowhere mentions Jesus.  When Darwin grieved over the death of his beloved daughter at the age of ten, Paley’s watchmaker God was cold comfort at best.  It was this, as much as any intellectual argument, that undermined Darwin’s Christian faith.  Natural theology’s theology was ultimately as unsatisfying as its science.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)(See 09/01/2005 commentary.)  When Thomson devoted a mere few pages to the current intelligent design controversy, Cutler dismissively remarked, “This is enough.  The answers to their arguments are basically the same as the answers to Paley’s.”Dumb design:  In a short piece on the evolutionary water-to-land transition, Science Now used the phrase “intelligent design” as a Darwinian counterthrust.  Robert Carroll described the awkward stance of presumed primitive tetrapod Ichthyostega: “It’s not a very intelligent design,” he chuckled.  (For more on Ichthyostega and the evolution of tetrapods, see “Evolution of the Darwin Fish,” 08/09/2003.)Friendship Evo-evangelism:  Science editor2 Don Kennedy liked the movie March of the Penguins (08/19/2005) so much, he thinks it could provide a teachable moment for Darwinist evangelists to use on the ignorant: “By all means see March of the Penguins.  Better still, you can accomplish a good work by inviting an advocate for ‘intelligent design’ to accompany you.  After the show, buy him or her a beer, and ask for an explanation of just what the Designer had in mind here.”  If that advocate were Paul Nelson, undoubtedly he would have a counter-question ready in response, as he hands Kennedy a Diet Coke.last_img read more

Intelligent Design as Entertainment

first_imgIt’s been around a few months now, but OK Go’s music video of their song “This Too Shall Pass” featured an elaborate Rube Goldberg set.  What many viewers may not know about the backstory of the production is that several JPL rocket scientists helped design and operate the contraptions that filled a good-size warehouse.    The NASA Wiki post from June 1 includes interviews with the JPL’ers about their participation, and all the trials and fun of getting the dozens of finely-tuned contraptions to operate in sequence so that the entire number could be shot non-stop by a single hand-held video camera.  “More than 40 engineers, techies, artists, and circus types spent several months designing, building, rebuilding, and re-setting a machine that took up two floors of a Los Angeles warehouse,” the blog said.  More about the elaborate set and the six months of planning and shooting with 60 takes to get it right is explained on Wikipedia.Teachers may want to use this video, lame as it is, to illuminate some aspects of intelligent design.  (Hint: the forgettable music with its shallow lyrics can be dispensed with to focus attention on the action.  Another good choice is the famous Honda Accord Cog Commercial.)    Some evolutionists complain that the cell acts like a clumsy Rube Goldberg device.  Notice what the engineers said, though: the smaller the parts, the more design and care was required.  And the whole set was irreducibly complex, in that a failure of one part would bring the rest of the production to a halt.    Another lesson is that it’s not necessarily the parts, but the way they are arranged, that showcases design.  The video was made almost entirely with used household items.  Similarly, a cell achieves phenomenal intricacy with just a few simple atoms: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulfur, phosphorus, calcium, and a few metals.    The design of a phenomenon should be judged by its effectiveness, not by some subjective human measure of clumsiness.  The workings of cells are far more elegant and effective, and, as orders of magnitude smaller, require far more fine tuning to remain robust to fluctuations.  Compare what magnificent music can be made from a few black and white keys.  There’s a lot more going on under the surface.Exercise:  Ask young physics students this question: How is it that a tiny domino falling can lead to a human being flying through the air?  The domino does not have much energy; where does the energy come from to produce such large effects from a small source?Answer:  The energy is stored in the potential energy of each contraption.  The flags, for instance, are held down by springs storing potential energy that can be released by a small trigger.  No energy is created or destroyed, but according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, it becomes more unusable over time.  Once released, the Rube Goldberg Machine would never reset itself.  It takes intelligently-directed outside energy to reset it each time.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

New law to guard intellectual property

first_imgThe new law is closely linked to the Technology Innovation Agency Act, which provides for the establishment of a public entity to finance individuals and other organisations commercialising their technological innovations and inventions. The specific objective of the legislation, which was first published in the Government Gazette in December, is that intellectual property emanating from publicly financed research and development should be commercialised for the benefit of all South Africans, and be protected from appropriation. SAinfo reporter 16 January 2009 “All these initiatives are part of the department’s larger Ten-Year Innovation Plan, aimed at driving South Africa toward a knowledge-based economy, in which the production and dissemination of knowledge leads to economic benefits,” the department says. President Kgalema Motlanthe has signed into law the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research Bill, which clarifies the ownership of intellectual property rights resulting from publicly funded research and development in South Africa. The department says that the country’s knowledge-generating institutions will now have clear guidance on how best to manage intellectual property, as well as how to ensure that publicly financed intellectual property gets out into the marketplace and is used. Support will be provided by the National Intellectual Property Management Office and the Intellectual Property Fund, as well as offices of technology transfer at the institutions. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material The department hopes to establish the agency this year, in order to integrate the management of disparate technological innovation initiatives that are still at a developmental stage. “For this reason, the law provides for an enabling environment for intellectual property creation, protection, management and commercialisation,” the Department of Science and Technology said in a statement this week. Technology innovation “Key to this, the law is aimed at facilitating the creation of new knowledge that is derived from public funding and to secure this knowledge in the form of intellectual property rights, including, but not limited to patents, for intellectual property that could have economic and social benefits,” the department says.last_img read more