Crested Cranes eye third straight win in CECAFA

first_imgThe Crested Cranes have won all of their games at this year’s CECAFA championshipCECAFA Women’s Championship 2018Uganda vs TanzaniaStade de Kigali, RwandaMonday, 23-07-2018 @03:00pmKIGALI – The Uganda Crested Cranes have endured a glorious start to their CECAFA Campaign thus far.Faridah Bulega’s charges have won all their opening two matches and will be aiming for a third straight win against Tanzania on Monday.Going into the game, Bulega is claims the team is still focused despite the two victories.” The morale in the camp is high after our first two wins and the girls are still committed, said Bulega ahead of the game.“We are aware of the challenges still ahead of us, so we want to remain focused and finish the job first.In the same manner, skipper Tracy Akiror believes the wins against Kenya and Ethiopia have given them more confidence and the team is now working for the championship.”Our confidence has grown after the two games, said Akiror.“We are fully aware that we now stand a chance to win the Cup, so we shall fight tooth and nail to make the country proud.Uganda defeated Kenya 1-0 in the opening game before coming from a goal down to win 2-1 against Ethiopia.For Tanzania, they come into this clash on the back of a 1-0 loss to hosts Rwanda and will need at least a point to guarantee their chances of defending the championship they won in 2016.The other game on Monday will see hosts Rwanda do battle with Ethiopia.The tournament is played in a round robin format with the leader at the end crowned the champion.Comments Tags: CECAFA Women’s challenge cupcrested craneslast_img read more

Kurtenbach: Chase Center first impressions — tremendous amenities, no soul

first_imgClick here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.SAN FRANCISCO — I won’t lie, it was strange typing that dateline as I looked out on Stephen Curry and Draymond Green playing on a yellow-and-blue Warriors court.But a new era is upon us — officially — and there’s no going back.Saturday night was the debut for the Warriors at Chase Center — the first opportunity to experience the new building in Mission Bay in the manner it was intended to be experienced. Fi …last_img read more

Review:  Lehigh Prof Critiques ID Colleague in Science Wars

first_imgDr. Steven Goldman (Lehigh University) has produced a series of lectures for The Teaching Company entitled Science Wars: What Scientists Know and How They Know It.  CEH highly recommends this series for its wealth of historical background applied to an intriguing question: what is the nature of truth claims in science?  To what extent do scientific hypotheses and theories, built out of the particulars of our experience, apply to reality as it is, beyond our experience?  Goldman explains that many books on this history of science talk about what scientists know, but almost none talk about how they know what they know.    In this second of his lecture series for The Teaching Company, after the equally-informative Science in the 20th Century, Goldman does a superb job of developing this fascinating and important problem.  For 12 hours divided into 24 lectures, he brings in many important philosophers, thinkers and scientists from Socrates to the present to show the diversity of opinions on this controversy within science – a dispute that remains unresolved to this day.  Anyone afflicted with logical positivism, objectivism or naive realism will get a reality check from this series that shows how difficult it is to say with certainty that scientific theories are true to an external reality beyond our experience.  They may work; they may predict things; they may give us some control over nature, but to ask if a scientific theory is true with a capital T; i.e., whether it represents a reality beyond experience that is the cause of our experience, yielding knowledge that is timeless, universal, necessary and certain, is an entirely different question.    A colleague of Michael Behe, Goldman ends by discussing whether intelligent design is a scientific hypothesis.  Though he takes a strong position against it, he refrains from emotional arguments and does try to defend his position with arguments from history and logic.  Our analysis follows.Let’s see if any of the pillars of his argument are left standing after our critique of his critique.Intelligent Design is a second-generation version of creationism that has already lost several court rulings.  Actually, the controversy goes much further back, to the ancient Greeks at least.  Later, Goldman acknowledges that design arguments are ancient and that asking the question is an intelligent hypothesis (though, he says, not a scientific one) worth discussing, but then defends theistic evolution as a compromise: i.e., God as the ultimate designer, but evolution as the process.  These are incompatible positions (see David Klinghoffer op-ed) despite the ability of many schizophrenics to claim they can have it both ways.  We doubt, also, that Goldman seriously believes that politically-appointed judges should be the arbiters of what constitutes science.Who decides if a hypothesis is scientific, if not the community of scientists who deal in science?  Somebody has to decide, he argues, and who else but the very people doing the research in question?  This ignores the possibility that the entire community can become entrenched in a habit that excludes new ways of thinking and discourages asking new questions.  It also downplays the role of the maverick in science who bucks the establishment and turns out to be right.  Further, it fails to distinguish between the science communities of the past, who were often theologians working independently out of their own resources, and the Big Science establishments of today, whose motives are tainted by the need to keep government funds flowing.  (Elsewhere in the series, Goldman shows he is keenly aware of these issues.  He has a good treatment of Kuhn’s argument that science has a paradigmatic character.  He concludes that, with all its flaws, Kuhn’s critique cannot be entirely dismissed.)I.D. fails the minimum criteria of a scientific hypothesis.  Goldman hastens to explain that there are no ironclad formulas, or methodological rules to decide if a hypothesis is scientific, but argues that, at a minimum, it should include the following:Explanatory power:  He claims that a legacy of science from the earliest medieval philosophers is that scientific explanations for natural phenomena can only appeal to natural causes.  He argues that I.D. necessarily invokes a supranatural agent, and that this breaks the rules of the game (and only the scientific community can make the rules).  Further, he argues that without access to the Designer to interview, or without the blueprints of the design, pursuing a design explanation is vacuous.  What instruments do we build to detect the signals? he asks.  Radio telescopes?  he asks in an offhand way (though catching himself to remember that radio waves were discovered accidentally).    In answer, what if intelligent design is true?  What if there really is a Designer, a Creator, or God, that intentionally made the universe, the world and life?  A science committed to natural causes will never find the truth.  We believe that science should at least be a search for the truth about the world.  This cannot exclude a cause from the toolkit of science just because of a philosophical dislike for it.  A science restricted to natural causes when intelligent causes were responsible will degenerate into a false religion or cult, and that is what many in the ID movement believe has happened.    Goldman should recall his own sermon that science is not just a game, but that it has huge sociological implications: nuclear weapons, stem cells, health and safety, matters of life and death.  Science is much more serious in the 21st century than just making up a game as they go along.  In fact, Goldman’s whole series struggles with the truth claims of science and how they should be understood.  Why, he asks, is Darwinian evolution so threatening if it is just about method?  “Because the evolutionary explanation claims to be true.”  If evolutionists deny they are searching for at least a semblance of truth, and believe instead they are just playing a game, let them set up their own game clubs, like bingo or lotto, and not expect the citizens to pay for it and have it force-taught to their children.    The most serious flaw in this argument is that it does not address the capacity for Darwinists to trade in just-so stories in order to keep their pet paradigm going.  Busy-ness with all kinds of ecological, geological and biological storytelling does not justify evolutionary theory’s continuance, with its insatiable demand for public funding, when the facts keep stacking up against it (e.g., the Cambrian explosion, the fine-tuning of the universe, the molecular machinery in the cell).  Goldman also fails to recognize the sciences that already invest huge amounts of money on design-theoretic assumptions, such as SETI, cryptography, forensics, archaeology and information theory.  It’s ironic that he mentioned radio waves.  ID supporters have long pointed out that SETI proceeds on the assumption of intelligent design.  SETI presupposes that intelligence is detectable by the methods of science.Predictive success: while not necessary for a scientific hypothesis, this is at least valuable, Goldman argues; a good hypothesis predicts novel phenomena and makes startling predictions that at least give us confidence in the hypothesis.  Yet throughout the series, Goldman repeatedly pointed out the “fallacy of affirming the consequent” – i.e., just because a prediction comes true, this does not prove a hypothesis.  ID predicts that we will find large amounts of functional information in DNA and proteins, even if we don’t understand the function.  This prediction continues to bear fruit.Control over nature:  Though there are exceptions to this rule, like black hole theory and the big bang, a scientific hypothesis should produce a research program that gives us some degree of control over nature.  Without access to the design blueprints, Goldman claims, ID does not specify the kind of research a scientist would do, so what good is it?  Since the design scientist would end up doing the same kind of research as the evolutionist, ID is operationally vacuous, he claims.    Tell this to SETI, then.  Tell it to the FBI searching for patterns in noise.  They are spending an awful lot of money building elaborate detectors and computers on the assumption that intelligent design leaves footprints.  None of these and the other design sciences have the blueprints either, but they know that intelligently-caused patterns are detectable.  ID does have a criterion.  It is complex specified information (CSI), any effect that, as William Dembski argued exhaustively in The Design Inference and No Free Lunch allows us rule out chance as a cause, and infer intelligence as the cause.  As for control over nature, biomimetics (see below) is the most promising avenue today for such control.Testability and verifiability:  Goldman knows that these are sufficient criteria, but not necessary ones, for scientific hypotheses.  He fails to recognize that Darwinian evolution is so malleable that it bends itself to every anomaly, and therefore fails this test.  ID, by contrast, has an ironclad criterion: CSI.  Dembski granted an extremely generous universal probability bound of 10-150 before excluding chance and natural law and making a design inference.  ID can have false negatives – there may be cases where a designer hid his design from us, as in some modern art – but it does not generate false positives.  When CSI exists, it came from an intelligent cause.  That’s testability.Suggestive of a research program:  What experiments will a scientist do to research intelligent design? Goldman asks.  He repeats the common canard that ID brings explanation to a halt: “God did it–end of story.”  He says this should at least make us deeply suspicious about the ability of ID to satisfy the rules of scientific hypotheses.  Apply this rule to the Darwinists, then.  When they say “evolution did it,” or disguise that simplistic answer in phrases like “This represents a remarkable case of convergent evolution,” the playing field is level.  Darwinists brought the study of interesting biological phenomena to a halt by explaining away unknown biological phenomena as junk DNA or vestigial organs.    Goldman recalled Francis Bacon’s measure of good scientific hypotheses, “By their fruits ye shall know them” (three guesses where Bacon got that idea from).  So here is the fruit: design thinking is actually producing some of the most vibrant and cutting-edge research in the world today: biomimetics.  Whole multidisciplinary labs are springing up to mimic nature’s designs.  To do so, these designs must be understood – and science marches along. Irreducible complexity is an argument from ignorance.  Goldman claims that ID cannot merely argue that Darwinian evolution is inadequate because it cannot explain the spontaneous emergence of complex biochemical systems (e.g., Behe’s mousetrap).  Debunking Theory A does not establish Theory B.  This is the “argument from ignorance,” he says, a logical fallacy.  Granted, but it does not follow that Darwinism must be taught as fact without debate, either: that would be the best-in-field fallacy.  Darwinists have an endless capacity to rationalize and tiptoe around the problems.  Refusing to let serious challenges be heard is not healthy for any scientific explanation.  That being understood, irreducible complexity is not merely an argument against Darwinian evolution, anyway.  It is a marker for CSI that allows one to discriminate intelligent causes from non-intelligent causes.Scientists are not convinced irreducible complexity is a challenge to evolutionary theory.  Maybe evolution cannot explain complex systems yet, he says, but the community of biologists does not seem worried about it.  This is a very weak response.  Maybe they should be worried about it.  Geologists weren’t worried about plate tectonics and catastrophic floods for decades, either, till they were forced to follow the evidence.  How the community of scientists feel about something is no measure of its validity or importance.  They’ve had 146 years to explain complex systems by unguided processes and are in worse shape now than in Darwin’s time.  How much longer do they get to filibuster?Self-organizing systems show promise for explaining irreducible complexity.  The new study of self-organizing systems shows that complex systems can emerge spontaneously, Goldman argues; ID needs to make sure self-organization is incapable of producing complex systems before reaching outside of nature to explain them.  Been there, done that.  Why is this a requirement?  Why is it better to follow blind alleys?  For how long should we take a wrong road before giving up?  We already know that intelligent causes are adequate to explain CSI.  The kind of complexity that self-organizing systems exhibit is very different from information, the hallmark of intelligent design.  Spilled ink might produce wave patterns if shaken or subjected to the wind, but it does not produce meaningful text.By analogy, technological systems do form spontaneously without planning.  Goldman argues that nobody followed a master plan that resulted in all the complex systems built around the automobile: the internal combustion engine, gasoline as fuel, highways, carburetors, filling stations–these were all co-opted after the fact without any top-down design.  The system emerged from the bottom-up emergence for self-interested reasons, so why not consider this as a model for how the biochemical world emerged?  (“I’m not saying it’s true,” he adds).  My dear Dr. Goldman, do you fail to realize that your analogy is irrelevant, because human beings are intelligent agents?Criticizing gaps in evolutionary theory misunderstands the nature of scientific theories.  ID focuses its criticisms on “Darwinian” evolution, but a lot has happened since Darwin.  Theories evolve.  Evolution is now woven into a web of correlated theories, which is a key test of a scientific theory.  Geology, ecology, molecular biology, and genetics have all incorporated Darwinism or some variation of evolution, though there is still a controversy whether natural selection is the only force acting.  These are lively controversies, he argues, but none of the combatants have raised intelligent design as the missing ingredient that stymies their progress.    Again, science is not just a game, and you cannot trust Big Science to set the rules of their game fairly when they have a great deal of self-interest to perpetuate their ideologies and exclude alternatives from consideration.  In the history of science, proponents of one view have failed to see the significance of gaps in their explanations even when face to face with contradictory evidence.  Sometimes they died maintaining their flawed theories.  No historian of science can claim that evolutionary theory is immune from a massive paradigm shift.  Its critics feel it is a monstrous house of cards on a shaky foundation and that the pressures of new discoveries are making it vulnerable to a collapse of historic proportions.    Goldman had argued forcefully in the earlier lectures that scientists cannot entirely dismiss the sociological and historical nature of their theories.  He illustrated this not only by quotes from the most eminent philosophers of science, but also with specific instances.  Our concepts of the universe, the earth, life and atoms have changed dramatically since 1900.  We have no guarantee there will not be similar radical transformations in the future.  That being understood, he cannot rule out that science is evolving again in the current controversy.  Biology of the future will include intelligent causes in its toolkit, while evolutionary theory may be on the way out.ID may be a legitimate support for believing in a Designer behind nature, but design is not a scientific hypothesis.  Goldman recognizes that the design argument has a long and venerable history.  Everyone knows that nature looks designed, he acknowledges.  So are we to throw out the evidence of our senses, and our common sense, and be forced to invoke uncaused, undesigned forces to explain the most elegant machinery we know?  Who decides?  Calling something a scientific hypothesis does not make it so, nor does the converse make it not so.  Since evolutionary theory fails all of Goldman’s own minimum criteria for scientific hypotheses, and ID does not, he cannot simply dismiss ID as a scientific hypothesis by a flat-out statement of his opinion.Attacking a theory because it threatens one’s religious convictions is not a scientific posture.  OK, so ID threatens materialism and atheism.  Let the Darwinists admit that, and let’s talk about the evidence.  Evolutionists continually attack ID and creation as being religiously motivated.  This rule cuts both ways; Dawkins said that evolution allows one to be an intellectually-fulfilled atheist.  Attacking one’s motives instead of his argument is the ad hominem strategy.  So evolutionists, stop attacking the motives of creationists, and focus on the evidence.Goldman noted that he only wished only to critique ID, not malign it.  We leave it to the reader to judge if any of the pillars of Goldman’s critique are left standing.  Though cogently argued, none of his points are new.  William Dembski has answered them all, and many more, in his book The Design Revolution, to which the interested reader is referred for more detail.    At the end of the lecture, Goldman acknowledged that “Imperial Science” misconstrues the debate as much as “Imperial Religion.”  He says that the defensiveness of the scientific community over the attacks by sociology, philosophy and religion “obscures the fundamental fact that we have learned in this course, namely, that no theory – no theory – can have the status of an empirical fact.”  It is a category error to claim that evolutionary theory or any other scientific theory is a fact, “contrary to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times and various op-ed pieces opposing intelligent design,” he remarks.    Sounds like we have a legitimate controversy here.  Good; let’s teach it.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

More Reasons Why DNA Is Perfect for Coding

first_imgScientists at Vanderbilt University may have been trying to explain chemical evolution, but hit on another reason DNA is the ideal molecule for carrying genetic information (see also Science Daily).  They tweaked the sugar molecule on the DNA backbone and got an unwieldy, haphazard, writhing ribbon of a molecule, unsuitable for bonding genetic code or compacting into chromosomes.  It wasn’t even close to DNA.  “Just how nature arrived at this molecule and its sister molecule, RNA, remains one of the greatest – and potentially unsolvable – scientific mysteries,” the article says.     Martin Egli and team coaxed DNA to incorporate six-carbon sugars instead of the less-common five-carbon sugars (deoxyribose in DNA, and ribose in RNA).  What they got is called homo-DNA.  Though first synthesized in 1992, homo-DNA had not been studied in structural detail till now.  Despite being thermodynamically more favorable for spontaneous formation, homo-DNA is too bulky, and too careless in its base pairing, to be useful as a genetic molecule.  Furthermore, it cannot pair with other molecules like RNA – essential for transcription and translation.These researchers did worthwhile work helping us understand why DNA is so good, seemingly “the work of an accomplished sculptor” as well as programmer.  “The new insights provided by this structure lie at the heart of the most fundamental of scientific inquiries – the origin of life on Earth,” they said.  That’s a worthy question to think about, even if an “unsolveable” mystery from a materialist standpoint.  But the press release easily wins Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week for these groaners:DNA’s simple and elegant structure – the “twisted ladder,” with sugar-phosphate chains making up the “rails” and oxygen- and nitrogen-containing chemical “rungs” tenuously uniting the two halves – seems to be the work of an accomplished sculptor.    Yet the graceful, sinuous profile of the DNA double helix is the result of random chemical reactions in a simmering, primordial stew.“These molecules are the result of evolution,” said Egli, professor of Biochemistry.  “Somehow they have been shaped and optimized for a particular purpose.”“Homo-DNA is just one alternative system.  There are hundreds of sugars, as many as you can think of.  It will be almost impossible to look at all of them,” Egli said.    “But the big red herring of this work could be that nature never went through these other sugars.  Maybe it just hit on gold (these five-carbon sugars) very early and took off from there.”This shows that even misguided evolutionary scientists, though hopeless gamblers, are not completely out of touch with reality.  Like the blindfolded, they occasionally bump into it and bang their heads.  Nobody is forcing them to wear the blindfolds.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Lazy Darwinists Abuse Science

first_imgThe Darwin storytelling empire has become fat and lazy, abandoning the hard work of empiricism for tantalizing speculations. Time for a reformation.Sir Francis Bacon in the 16th century, using ideas reminiscent of those of his earlier namesake Roger Bacon, worked to reform science away from authority and toward empiricism. Fed up with scholasticism that interpreted everything through the filter of ancient sages (particularly Aristotle), Francis Bacon argued that scientific pronouncements must pass the test of repeatable observation and experiment. Today’s Darwinians are like medieval scholastics, interpreting the world through their favorite sage—Darwin. Look at the nonsense that results:Could it be that religion is more like sex than school? (Peter Kevern in The Conversation). Here’s another entry in the genre, “the evolution of religion.” Ironically, Kevern acknowledges that many previous entries in this genre incur charges of just-so storytelling. Yet he fails to see that his own account is just as guilty. [Note: his article prompted an interchange with the Editor of Creation-Evolution Headlines; follow the Comments at the end of the article.]New York City mice may be evolving to eat fast food like pizza (New Scientist). Are you evolving every time you develop a taste for a new food? NS storyteller Chris Baraniuk seems to think so. This one gets downright silly:The survey also highlighted genes linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which may result from having to process a lot of fatty acids. This could be due to a diet rich in fast foods. “The first thing that we thought of was the ‘cheeseburger hypothesis’: urban mice subsidising their diet on human food waste,” says Harris. If so, the mice may be like “Pizza Rat”, a New York rodent videoed carrying a whole slice of pizza.Single-nucleotide polymorphisms observed in the rats do not necessarily have anything to do with taste for pizza. They just “could” have, according to the storytellers, even though they know that rats, like people and roaches and goats, will eat just about anything. Hopi Hoekstra, who has achieved the coveted Darwinian title of Miss Information, liked the story, even though the necessary empirical work is, she admits, futureware:The next step will be to examine the function of these genes more closely to assess their impact on fitness and selection, says Hopi Hoekstra at Harvard University.Hoekstra says the work is part of a wave of studies investigating examples of rapid adaptation. “That provides us with a really cool way to study evolutionary change, sort of as it’s happening,” she says.Exploding stars could have kick-started our ancestors’ evolution (New Scientist). Anything “could have” happened in the world of imagination. Colin Barras imagines that an unobserved supernova caused increased lightning, which burned the forests in Africa, forcing our ape-like ancestors out of the trees and into the savannahs, where they learned to walk upright (but see 9/21/17 and 7/08/12). What evidence does he provide? In the tradition of scholasticism, Barras points to authorities in Germany who have put forth a “possible explanation” for the non-empirical just-so story, relying on highly indirect clues and millions of Darwin Years.Ankle fossil suggests our ancient ancestors leapt like acrobats (New Scientist). Unrepentant of his storytelling, Colin Barras tells another whopper here. He uses a single bone like a divination tool to claim that a “primate ancestor” found in France “might actually have been a bizarre monkey-like animal capable of acrobatic leaping.” Anything “might” be possible. So what does this have to do with us? Not much:If primates did begin as leapers, it will be harder to work out what drove their initial evolution, says Boyer. “It’s easy to understand how specialisation for navigating small branches would be beneficial, specifically for harvesting food objects that grow there. It’s hard to think of a simple scenario that would emphasise acrobatic leaping on its own.”The storytelling doesn’t stop there. Barras ends with more maybe-baby language and circular reasoning:While apatemyids are not directly related to primates, says Boyer, their similarities to the earliest primates may provide important clues about how our distant ancestors lived.First research to suggest scratching may have evolved as a communication tool to help social cohesion ( Just because a just-so story is told for the first time does not make it any less than a just-so story. If research can only “suggest” that scratching evolved for communication, it’s not empirical. The evolutionists did not watch it evolve. Instead, they employed imagination, as seen in the high perhapsimaybecouldness index of their statement:Jamie said: “Observable stress behaviours could have evolved as a way of reducing aggression in socially complex species of primates. Showing others you are stressed could benefit both the scratcher and those watching, because both parties can then avoid conflict.”This tale is not only mythical, it’s Lamarckian. The storytellers cannot point to any mutation that was naturally selected. Observing the behavior of living macaques says nothing about how the behavior “evolved” in the first place. They almost make it sound like the monkeys thought this over: if we scratch, we’ll be nicer to each other. Did the storytellers question whether this might make them more exposed to predators? Did they think to ask if scratching “could” also provoke conflict, if the scratching were aggressive or unwelcome? Did they evaluate all the sources of conflict that might override the benefits of scratching? No; they just imagined a scenario and told their little tale to a lazy reporter who failed to ask any of these questions.The Darwin empire has become a corrupt, lazy, fat story-generating machine. You’re either going to be part of the problem or part of the Reformation. (Visited 511 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Reliance Industries Launches First Two VLECs

first_imgIndian private sector company Reliance Industries Limited (Reliance) has inaugurated its first two very large ethane carriers (VLEC) in a ceremony held in Geoje, South Korea.Constructed by Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI), the 80,000 cbm vessels Ethane Crystal and Ethane Emerald are said to be the largest VLECs ever built to date.The ships, which feature membrane technology provided by French marine engineering company Gaztransport et Technigaz (GTT), are the first of a series of six vessels ordered by Reliance in 2014, which will be fitted with GTT’s membrane containment systems.With a market value of USD 97.1 million per ship, according to data provided by VesselsValue, the remaining four carriers are scheduled to join their owner in 2017.The VLECs will be used to transport liquid ethane from the United States to India.Earlier this week Reliance said that it signed term loan deals for a total of USD 573 million to partially finance the construction cost of the six vessels.The loans, which have a tenor of 12 years, comprise of a Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-sure) issued tranche of USD 286.5 million and a commercial tranche of USD 286.5 million.Reliance Industries Limited said that the loans will be secured by collateral of the company’s VLECs, financed at a debt to equity ration of 80:20.last_img read more