Glowing sand was your cradle, claimed The Telegraph. “The sifting and collection of radioactive material by powerful tides could have generated the complex molecules that led to the evolution of carbon-based life forms –including plants, animals and humans.” The article acknowledged that “radiation may seem an unlikely candidate to kick-start life because it breaks chemical bonds and splits large molecules,” but thought some of the energy could be used productively. Radioactive grains in the sand could provide the chemical energy to build sugars, amino acids and soluble phosphates needed for life as we know it. This scenario is the brainchild of Zachary Adam, an astrobiologist at the University of Washington. His idea can “be added to the existing long and varied list of hypotheses.” Reporter Nick Fleming listed the usual suspects: Oparin, Miller, the clay hypothesis, panspermia, “and the intervention of a divine, intelligent designer.” The article is accompanied by a picture of humans at the beach. No claim was made whether the energy from sunlight was helping them evolve.Somebody else needs a kick-start. At least intelligent design wasn’t excluded from the list of possibilities this time. It’s the only contender that isn’t deaf, dumb, blind and lazy from the starting gate. (Clarification: speaking of the hypotheses, not their proponents).(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Additional comments from the Editor:Dr. Bergman has two books in print on the persecution of creationists and Darwin skeptics, and a third is coming soon. In the Introduction to the second volume, Silencing the Darwin Skeptics: The War Against Theists (Leafcutter Press, 2016), Kevin Wirth points out the arrogance of many Darwin defenders (pp xv-xvii). After quoting Richard Dawkins, who had blasted the eminent physicist Freeman Dyson for being insufficiently intolerant of religious people, Wirth comments:Dawkins parrots a familiar refrain: no one who comes from a different field of science is qualified to offer an opinion worth contemplating. Militant Darwinists have no patience with those who disagree with them. It aggravates them to no end to have to listen to what they consider to be foolish prattle. They want dissidents to be silenced and removed from the conversation – and they want it to happen yesterday. And they are often not content to just distance themselves from dissidents, but instead often go after them with the intent to do harm. Dr. Bergman’s work makes this painfully obvious.We encourage our readers to see the evidence for themselves in Dr Bergman’s alarming books: Slaughter of the Dissidents (Vol. I, 2008), Silencing the Darwin Skeptics (Vol II, 2016), and Censorship of Darwin Skeptics (Vol III, due out this year, which will contain my JPL experience). We see the same insufferable arrogance and intolerance in Laura Geggel’s article (see David Klinghoffer’s response in Evolution News & Science Today). During the Inquisition, authorities dressed heretics in dunce caps before burning them at the stake. The comparison is apt. —David Coppedge(Visited 843 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 by Dr Jerry BergmanIn a recent article at Live Science, Laura Geggel asks, “Why Are Atheists Generally Smarter Than Religious People?” She claims that “For more than a millennium, scholars have noticed a curious correlation: Atheists tend to be more intelligent than religious people.”[i] How they could know this, since IQ tests and other means of measuring intelligence were only developed at the start of the last century, was not answered. Another problem is many kinds of intelligence exist, such as doing well on paper and pencil tests, or on performance tests, for example. Also, there exist intelligence in other areas, such as music IQ, math IQ, abstract conceptualization IQ, verbal IQ, personality IQ, even emotional IQ,[ii] and, according to some authors, 120 different kinds of IQs.Geggel continues, “researchers of a new study have an idea: Religion is an instinct and those who can rise above instincts are more intelligent than those who rely on them.” This conclusion vastly oversimplifies reality. As a professor, I have worked with, and have known, a large number of very intelligent people. In my experience, when it comes to the origins issue, creation vs. evolution, this generalization is certainly not true. Emotions and irrationality commonly surface fairly soon in these conversations, making rational discourse difficult, if not impossible.The article points to a meta-analysis of 63 studies that supposedly found religious people tend to be less intelligent than nonreligious people.[iii] According to this study, “the association was stronger among college students and the general public than for those younger than college age”.This association likely has a lot to do with education indoctrination. More intelligent people are more likely to go to college and, as a result, they are frequently exposed to anti-Christian, or at least anti-theism ideas as well as pro-Darwinism beliefs. The reason has been documented by Stanford Educated Attorney Greg Lukianoff, who is President of an organization fighting censorship in colleges called FIRE. In short, he found that campus intolerance of free speech and censorship is primarily directed at Christians. He adds that a chilling discovery was that Christian groups are disproportionately more likely to be threatened on campus, adding: “If you told me twelve years ago that I, a liberal atheist, would devote a sizeable portion of my career to defending Christian groups, I might have been surprised. But almost from my first day at FIRE, I was shocked to realize how badly Christian groups are often treated.”[iv] He then reviewed some of his experiences, noting in the last few yearsdozens of colleges across the country threatened or derecognized Christian groups because of their refusal to say that they would not “discriminate” on the basis of belief. These colleges included, to name a few, Arizona State University, Brown University, California State University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Princeton University, Purdue University, Rutgers University, Texas A&M University, Tufts University, the University of Arizona, the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, the University of Mary Washington, the University of New Mexico, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Washington University.[v]One major contributing factor to this intolerance—as reported by a 2007 study from the Institute for Jewish and Community Research—is that, of all groups, “faculty hold the most unfavorable feelings toward evangelicals.” The study added that only one group elicited high negative feelings among faculty, namely evangelical Christians:faculty hold the most unfavorable feelings toward evangelicalsOnly 30% ranked their feelings toward evangelical Christians as warm/favorable, with only 11% feeling very warm/favorable, the lowest ranking among every other religious group, and 53% said that they have cool/unfavorable feelings toward evangelical Christians. Faculty feelings about evangelicals are significantly cooler than any other religious group, leading Mormons as the least liked religious group by 20%. These negative feelings are noted across academic disciplines and demographic factors.[vi] Another study found that an amazing 71 percent of all faculty believe that Americawould be better off if Christian Fundamentalists kept their religious beliefs out of politics … [only] Twenty-four percent disagreed and 5% were not sure. The public agreed, but at far lower percentages than faculty—54% agreed, 39% disagreed, and 7% were unsure. … About 92% of liberals agreed that fundamentalist Christians should keep their religious beliefs out of politics, as did 66% of moderates, and 23% of conservatives.[vii]One reason for the censorship is many people feel, as Professor Karl Giberson wrote, that “Young Earth creationism is a threat to American survival.”[viii] This and similar articles amount to hate literature and have produced the perception that the censorship is fully justified. Ironically, Giberson teaches at Stonehill College, a private, non-profit, co-educational, Roman Catholic Liberal Arts college located in Easton, Massachusetts founded in 1948. Lukianoff found from his work defending free speech that on college and university “campuses today, students are punished for everything from mild satire, to writing politically incorrect short stories, to having the “wrong” opinion on virtually every hot button issue, and, increasingly, simply for criticizing the college administration.” Here are some examples. One student waspunished for publicly reading a book; a professor labeled a deadly threat to campus for posting a pop-culture quote on his door; students required to lobby the government for political causes they disagreed with in order to graduate; a student government that passed a “Sedition Act” empowering them to bring legal action against students who criticized them; and students across the country being forced to limit their “free speech activities” to tiny, isolated corners of campus creepily dubbed “free speech zones.”[ix]We should be asking whether America would be better off if atheists kept their own anti-religious beliefs out of politics. The study also found that, whereas amajority of faculty believe ethnic or religious minority students at their institution are reluctant to express their views, seven percent of faculty very often “perceive that ethnic or religious minority students at [their] institution are reluctant to express their views because they might be contrary to those held by faculty,” another 14% said fairly often, and 38% said occasionally—a total of 59%. Only 30% said never or almost never, and 12% did not know.[x]The researchers in the study quoted above assumed that nonreligious people were more rational and thus better able to reason that there was no God, but instead “found evidence that intelligence is positively associated with certain kinds of bias.” This bias blind spot occurs when people cannot detect bias, or flaws, in their own thinking. Ironically, “a larger bias blind spot was associated with higher cognitive ability,”[xi] This conclusion agrees with my review of academia and the intolerance against evangelical Christians, and may be one reason why studies indicate theists score lower on tests compared to those with more advanced education, especially in the sciences.[i] Laura Geggel, Senior Writer | June 5, 2017 study published May 16 in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science under the title “Why is Intelligence Negatively Associated with Religiousness?” Springer International Publishing. http://www.livescience.com/59361-why-are-atheists-generally-more-intelligent.html.[ii] Sally Bennett. 2017. Emotional Intelligence. Geneva Publishing[iii] Miron Zukerman, Jordan Silberman and Judith Hall. 2013.The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity: A Meta-Analysis and Some Proposed Explanations. Personality and Social Psychology Review. 17(4) 325–354[iv] Greg Lukianoff, 2012. Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of the American Debate. New York: Encounter Books, p. 163.[v] Lukianoff, 2012, p.169.[vi] Lukianoff, 2012, p. 12.[vii] Gary A. Tobin, Ph.D. and Aryeh K. Weinberg, 2007. Volume 2: Religious Beliefs Behavior of College Faculty Institute for Jewish & Community Research p. 10.[viii] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karl-giberson-phd/young-earth-creationism-threat-to-american-survival_b_2192491.html.[ix] Lukianoff, 2013 pp. 4-5.[x] Gary A. Tobin, Ph.D. Aryeh K. Weinberg 2007. Volume 2: Religious Beliefs Behavior of College Faculty Institute for Jewish & Community Research, p. 11.[xi] West, Richard F.; Meserve, Russell J.; Stanovich, Keith E. 2012. Cognitive sophistication does not attenuate the bias blind spot. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103(3): 506-519. September.Dr Jerry Bergman is the author of 40 books and monographs, and is also a science professor and public speaker. He is a frequent contributor to Creation-Evolution Headlines. See his Author Profile and previous articles here.
Data from Cassini’s last orbits, even up to its last gasps as it plunged into Saturn on September 15, are not supporting long ages.Astrobiology Magazine reported “fresh findings from Cassini” yesterday, based on a JPL press release. Several findings touch on the issue of age: can phenomena at Saturn survive for billions of years?Young RingsLife for ring experts just got more complicated. The sharp edge of Saturn’s B ring is pretty well explained by resonances with the moon Mimas. The sharp edge of the outer A ring, however, cannot be explained by one moon (Janus). A new theory argues that seven moons—Pan, Atlas, Prometheus, Pandora, Epimetheus, Mimas and Janus—must work in concert to keep the edge confined. The reason, Science Daily explains, is that rings have a tendency to spread out. Astrobiology Magazine sets up the issue:Key among the questions scientists hope to answer using data from Cassini are the age and origins of the rings. Theoretical modeling has shown that, without forces to confine them, the rings would spread out over hundreds of millions of years — much younger than Saturn itself. This spreading happens because faster-moving particles that orbit closer to Saturn occasionally collide with slower particles on slightly farther-out orbits. When this happens, some momentum from the faster particles is transferred to the slower particles, speeding the latter up in their orbit and causing them to move farther outward. The inverse happens to the faster, inner particles.Moon resonance theories allow for moons to absorb some of the angular momentum. The question is whether this delicate arrangement could survive for billions of years. The answer is not helped by personification fallacies, like that of Radwan Tajeddine, who quipped, “All of these moons work as a group to contain the ring. Together they are strong. United they stand.” Moons couldn’t care less what happens. Moons and rings simply follow the forces that impinge on them. The point is that today we see their forces converging to constrain the A ring to a sharp edge, but could that persist for billions of years? Project scientist Linda Spilker goes with the flow of Tajeddine’s proposal of cooperating moons, saying, “If these moons weren’t working together, the A ring would have spread out over hundreds of millions of years” (New Scientist). That sounds like a long time until you realize that a hundred million years represents only 3% of the assumed age of the solar system, including Saturn.Young AtmosphereThis is not Cassini’s only finding that indicates the rings are young. The brightness of the rings also remains unexplained. They should be much darker by now, as contaminants collect to make them ‘dirty’ over time. Other forces such as sputtering (erosion on the atomic scale), sunlight pressure, micrometeoroid bombardment and gas drag take their toll. And as Cassini sampled Saturn’s atmosphere on its final plunge, the ion and neutral mass spectrometer and cosmic dust analyzer confirmed that ring material is falling into the planet. Nature says that mission scientists had expected to find mostly water ice—But instead of water, Cassini found a witch’s brew of chemicals, including methane, a molecule that could be carbon monoxide and more-complex molecules. The concentrations of these chemicals are highest around Saturn’s equator and at high altitudes, which suggests that the material is shedding off the planet’s rings.The article goes on to say that the particles were not predicted. If they are indeed coming from the rings, how long can the rings supply the molecules?By analyzing the types of materials that could be coming off the rings, Perry’s team concluded that they must be fragments of tiny dust particles, which measure just 1 to 10 nanometres across but are relatively heavy. When these particles spiralled off the rings and slammed into Cassini’s mass spectrometer, they shattered into smaller pieces.Exactly how those particles make that journey from the rings to the atmosphere remains to be seen. “We have a lot of work to do to understand how they are getting in there,” Perry said. “None of the models predict this.”So there is “far more than just water around” in the upper atmosphere. The density of infall from the rings must be extremely sparse, as evidenced by the fact that Cassini survived 22 high-dive orbits between Saturn and the rings. Nevertheless, 4.5 billion years is a long time for material to spiral out of the rings into a giant planet with a big, gravitational vacuum cleaner.Young EnceladusScientists are still struggling to keep Enceladus old. The geyser plumes found emanating from the little moon’s south pole were probably among the top 3 surprises Cassini found. At New Scientist, Leah Crane uses a string of double entendres to ask if the plumes resemble ‘astronaut pee’ vented from the international space station into space through nozzles. There’s probably more difference than similarity, one planetary scientist responds. The question of how Enceladus could eject 200 kg per second for billions of years looms over all such sideshows.Analysis of Cassini’s 635 GB of science data, collected over 13 years in orbit, will continue for years – perhaps decades. For instance, scientists are still analyzing molecules in Titan’s atmosphere from measurements taken in 2005 and thereafter (Phys.org). Already nearly 4,000 science papers have been published. Young scientists may get their PhD’s from Cassini’s data. Will any of them be able to keep Saturn, Titan, Enceladus and the rings billions of years old? If the ‘scenarios’ sound more and more contrived, that’s a sign they are desperate. (Visited 420 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
4 November 2009South Africa’s First National Bank has started operating in Zambia, taking advantage of an investor-friendly environment with low political risk to expand in the southern African country.Since receiving its Zambian banking licence in November 2008, First National Bank (FNB) has opened three full-service branches, including a commercial branch, in Lusaka, and a branch in Zambia’s copper belt. A further two branches have already been planned for 2010.“Despite the current global economic climate, Zambia provides an investor-friendly environment and is a low political risk country,” FNB chief executive Michael Jordaan said in a statement last week, coinciding with the official opening of FNB’s first branch by Zambian President Rupiah Banda.“FNB believes that it can add value to the Zambian banking industry by bringing the best of our acquired skills and knowledge on the continent in terms of our innovative products, services and technology,” Jordaan said.“One of our key strategic focus areas is to deliver innovative banking services to all our customers in Africa by further expanding outside of South Africa. In line with this, FNB’s vision is to be the pre-eminent financial services group in South Africa and the rest of Africa.”FNB Zambia CEO Richard Hudson said the bank’s Zambian offerings included branches and ATMs, as well as electronic and cellphone banking. “To ensure efficient execution, our strategy is to roll out products, services and channels in a phased approach.“In addition, FNB has a multi-currency product offering that offers accounts in five different currencies,” Hudson said. “It is also the group’s first subsidiary to utilise full satellite technology.”Hudson said he believed that the Zambian personal and business banking environment was open and receptive to new market players.“FNB has industry leading innovations which have been successfully launched in other African countries, and now Zambia will reap the benefits of FNB’s innovative thinking,” he said.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police 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 Read Next MOST READ “I don’t understand the rule,” said Nikola Vucevic, who had 24 points and 12 rebounds for Orlando. “Pretty much any home team, if you’re up one and still got 1 second (on the clock), as soon as somebody throws it, just run the clock, and if somebody touches it, it’s a jump ball. It doesn’t make any sense. I think they’ve got to look into that. That’s frustrating when things out of your hands hurt you. But at the same time, that’s not why we lost the game.”Aaron Gordon scored 28 points and made a driving, go-ahead layup with 5 seconds to play for the Magic, who trailed 106-97 before scoring 10 straight points. Lopez then drew a foul while backing into the low post with 0.6 seconds left, and he coolly made both free throws.“I knew I was going to hit them,” Lopez said. “It was bizarre. I guess we had the game-winning jump ball.”Lonzo Ball had 16 points, six rebounds and five assists for the Lakers, who broke open a tie game with an 11-0 run midway through the fourth quarter, capped by Lopez’s thunderous dunk with 6:09 to play. But the Magic stormed back and trimmed LA’s lead to 106-105 when Jonathon Simmons made one of two free throws with 33 seconds left.Isaiah Thomas added 13 points and nine assists off the bench for the Lakers, who thrived despite the absence of leading scorer Brandon Ingram for the third straight game due to a strained groin.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ threatens Games View comments “It’s obvious we’ve got a young group, and we didn’t execute down the stretch,” Thomas said. “I still don’t even know how it ended. I don’t even know what the call was. That (stinks) for the Magic. I’m glad we won.”TIP-INSMagic: Before the game, Orlando waived guard Rashad Vaughn. His sore knee would have prevented him from playing out the rest of his second 10-day contract, so the Magic made the move. … Evan Fournier scored 11 points before being sidelined during the second half by a sprained left knee.Lakers: They wore their powder-blue Minneapolis Lakers throwback uniforms. … Ingram won’t return until Sunday against Cleveland at the earliest. … The 7-foot Lopez somehow didn’t get a rebound in 35 minutes of play. “Fun fact,” he said with a sardonic grimace.ROOKIE ROLLKyle Kuzma had 20 points and 10 rebounds in one of his best games of 2018. The University of Utah product had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds for the first time since Dec. 22 at Golden State. He appeared to hit the rookie wall in January.THE BIG PAYBACKWhile recording their 10th win in their last 11 home games, the Lakers avenged an embarrassing loss in Orlando on Jan. 31. The Magic routed the Lakers 127-105 at Amway Center, even without Gordon in the lineup. That embarrassment partly sparked the Lakers on their current run of strong form, with nine wins in 14 games since that defeat.UP NEXTMagic: At Sacramento Kings on Friday night for the third stop on a five-game road trip.Lakers: At Denver Nuggets on Friday night. Lopez scored 27 points and hit two free throws with 0.6 seconds to play, and the Lakers blew a nine-point lead in the final 90 seconds before rallying back to beat Orlando 108-107 on Wednesday night.The game ended with a curious sequence of events. When the Magic inbounded the ball at midcourt after Lopez’s free throws, the clock started before anyone had touched the long pass. But because the mistake was technically a clock malfunction, the officials said the teams must have a jump ball at center court instead of replaying the possession, effectively preventing the Magic from getting a final chance to win.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Just common sense would tell me in that situation, if the clock started early, just redo the possession,” Orlando coach Frank Vogel said. “They felt otherwise.”The weird ending ruined an otherwise thrilling finish between the Magic, who have lost nine of 11, and the surging Lakers, who have won six of seven. LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton and Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel, hidden in a crowd of Magic players, waiting for a ruling on the final play of the game in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles Wednesday, March 7, 2018. The Lakers won, 108-107. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)LOS ANGELES — After the Los Angeles Lakers surged to a big late lead, the Orlando Magic erased it all and even went in front with 5 seconds left. Brook Lopez put the Lakers back ahead in the final second, setting the stage for a momentous finish.Thanks to a mistake with the Staples Center clock, the Magic didn’t even get the chance.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH James delivers in clutch as Cavs shoot down Nuggets Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus