Bet on the Winning Dodo: Darwinism or Intelligent Design

first_imgA new film about the creation-evolution controversy is coming out, titled Flock of Dodos.  Randy Olson, a marine biologist with a PhD in evolutionary ecology and another degree in filmmaking, decided to put this documentary together to help scientists realize that they are behind the curve on marketing their ideas.  According to the Kansas paper Lawrence Journal-World, Olson claims his purpose is not to take sides, but to highlight the importance of public relations.  The film is “slated for upcoming preview screenings at Harvard University and other prestigious venues.”Flock of dodos.  Wonderful.  Such a scholarly, uplifting title.  With an evolutionary ecologist running the show, any doubt who will be labeled as the real dodos?  Do you think the word dodo will stand for “Darwin Only! Darwin Only” to an evolutionary ecologist who will be showing off his work at Harvard?    There is a slight chance he will warn his fellow Darwinists they might go extinct without better marketing, but more likely, the blurb sets the odds: “Filmmaker and evolutionary ecologist Dr. Randy Olson tries to figure out who exactly is the flock of dodos.”  Compare this attitude with the respectful, evidence-focused comportment of films like Unlocking the Mystery of Life and The Privileged Planet.  The Darwinist strategy is, when you can’t block, mock.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Defending America’s Apollo Rocket Scientist

first_imgRevisionist historians who weren’t with this man keep trying to disparage his past. We set the record straight.The 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing takes place this month, and numerous celebrations are taking place around the country. The mission control center at Johnson Space Center in Houston has been refurbished like new, space museums are hosting week-long special events, and a new CNN documentary features long-lost Apollo memorabilia. Unfortunately, in spite of the spirit of happiness for one of the country’s finest moments, certain journalists who feel obsessed to cast America in a bad light are digging for dirt. A particularly heinous rumor has arisen again.PBS is issuing a new documentary called Chasing the Moon. In the series, space historian John Logsdon resurrects the myth that Wernher von Braun was a nasty, hard-to-work with individual, and worse, was a Nazi, or at least was complicit with Hitler’s Nazi war machine. Elizabeth Howell was quick to leap onto that narrative and perpetuate it in a whole article for, headlining her article, “‘Chasing the Moon’ Shows Nazi Past of Engineer Wernher Von Braun in Early Space Program (Video).” The video clip in the article shows various silent historical clips of von Braun, but the voice-over narration by Logsdon trashes von Braun’s reputation with name-calling, saying von Braun was “first of all, a pain in the ass” and was “difficult to deal with, a prima donna.” Worse, he alleges that “the government was well aware of his background under [Nazi leader Adolf] Hitler and his possible engagement with the S.S. [Nazi police] and being a registered Nazi.” Possible? Apparently even Logsdon is unsure about his facts. Then, the video clip seamlessly cuts to a fictional movie made in 1960 that shows an actor pretending to be von Braun cooperating with a Nazi official on the development of rockets to be used as weapons. But is this true?The video clip and Howell’s text balances the negative picture a tiny bit by quoting Freeman Dyson, who ameliorates the innuendos somewhat by pointing to von Braun’s peaceful motivations for his rocket program. “‘He advanced the whole field,’ Dyson said, adding that he shared von Braun’s belief that humanity wouldn’t be confined to Earth.” But then she links to a fictional 2018 play that makes up a fictional von Braun as (1) a man complicit with Nazi goals, and (2) a morally-careless individual, unconcerned with the damage his rockets caused during the war. As an added insult to America, the promoters of this narrative often disparage the whole United States government and its armed forces as secretly hiring a bunch of “German Nazis” in order to beat the Russians to the moon, as if the end justified the means.The disgraced president Richard Nixon is sometimes dragged into the picture by the naysayers, committing the association fallacy. Actually, it was Democrat president John F. Kennedy who launched the moon race and hired von Braun to lead the rocket development. Historical photos show von Braun giving Kennedy tours of the space facilities and sharing the progress of Kennedy’s charge to “land a man on the moon, and return him safely to earth” by the end of the decade of the 1960s. Von Braun is largely responsible for the success of that daring charge, commemorated even today by the phrase “moon shot” as an expensive, all-out commitment to a hard task. Unfortunately, Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 during the Mercury program, well before the Gemini and Apollo missions. He was followed by one-term Democrat president Lyndon Johnson (who named the Johnson Space Center in Houston after himself). As fate would have it, on the Apollo 11 landing date (July 20, 1969), newly-elected Richard Nixon got the photo ops for the first telephone call to the moon, basking in the limelight of a program he had little to do with. The Watergate scandal came years later.Such characterizations of von Braun are not only misleading, but contrary to the facts. Just being in Nazi Germany, and having his rockets conscripted by evil men, does not make von Braun himself an accomplice with them. John Logsdon, who perpetuates the negative stereotype of von Braun, appears to have done most of his research and writing after the Apollo missions, much of it after von Braun’s passing. Logsdon was later president of the Planetary Society, a special interest group saturated with Carl Sagan’s atheistic, evolutionary philosophy. Even so, Elizabeth Howell and committed egregious lapses of journalistic ethics by not giving alternative points of view to Logsdon’s. She could have consulted the writings of Ordway, Stuhlinger and others who had worked directly with von Braun during the entire manned space program. Sadly, because of decades of elapsed time after von Braun’s untimely death from cancer in 1977, he cannot speak in his own defense, and few of his co-workers remain alive to speak up for him.Artwork by J. Beverly Greene commissioned for this biography. All rights reserved.Our biography of von Braun (our Creation Scientist of the Month) is worth reading as a defense against the misleading narrative. Here, let us repeat one section that defends him against the allegations he was a heartless Nazi collaborator:Von Braun was arrested and jailed by the Gestapo.He was charged with resisting the military use of his rockets, and trying to escape.Himmler’s awarding von Braun an honorary rank in the SS no more made him a Nazi than awarding Martin Luther King an honorary membership in the KKK would make him a white supremacist.The evil uses of his rockets occupied only a few months at the end of the war.During his release from jail, when the military used von Braun for his advice, he was escorted under military guard at all times and under strict orders what he could say or do.He used his influence to argue for more time (delaying tactics) and better conditions for the prisoners.When he tried to argue for better treatment of the prisoners, he was threatened that it was none of his business, and that he had better shut up or he would be wearing the same prison stripes.His lifelong dream was the peaceful exploration of space. He was devastated when he heard the news that his rockets had been used against Allied cities.After the war, he sought out the Americans, and willingly surrendered not only himself but his whole team. He knew this meant abandoning his fatherland (and who, in spite of evil leaders, does not have some heart for his own country?). He became a patriotic, energetic American citizen.As soon as he reached America, he was eager to help the American space program.He repeatedly gave a full accounting of all his activities during the war, when interrogated by the government and by suspicious critics.His record since the war speaks for itself. A leopard does not change its spots. If von Braun were anything less than a man of integrity, bad signs would have surfaced in the subsequent 32 years in America.The British Interplanetary Society awarded him an honorary membership right after the war. Surely if anyone had doubts about his motives and allegiances, it would be those who were victimized by V-2 rockets raining down on their city.Von Braun standing by the rocket engines that boosted Apollo astronauts to the moon.As far as von Braun being a “prima donna” who was hard to get along with, the testimony of many who worked with him flatly contradicts that picture. In fact, he was a model of leadership, teamwork, and motivation. His engaging and winsome manner attracted Walt Disney who used him for TV specials to explain space science to a generation of young people. It was clear throughout his life in America that his primary interest was in the peaceful exploration of space, as it had been in Germany. Von Braun should be remembered not just for Apollo, but for the historic Apollo-Soyuz docking with Russian cosmonauts, Skylab, the development of the Space Shuttle, and the entire rocketry program that culminated in the exploration of all the planets in our solar system. America’s first satellite had been launched aboard one of von Braun’s rockets on January 31, 1958.Our biography also quotes sources showing that von Braun became a born-again Christian during the Apollo program, when an engineer gave him a Gideon Bible and led him in the sinner’s prayer. After that, von Braun wrote passionately about the evidence for a Creator, and defended the right of school children to hear evidence that opposes evolution. The biography ends with quotes from his own writings that reveal the heart of this great rocket scientist. See also Bill Federer’s favorable biography of von Braun on WND that includes many of von Braun’s writings and expressions of his Christian faith.(Is it possible Federer used our biography as one of his sources?)A tree is known by its fruits, Jesus said. All of von Braun’s personal efforts (not actions taken by Nazis who conscripted his knowledge for their evil purposes) show good fruit. He ought to be highly esteemed this month as the Apollo program—his crowning achievement—is commemorated. Watch out for the naysayers. Read our biography of Wernher von Braun (1912-1977) and be prepared with the facts in advance to defend him.Read Henry Richter’s biography here (click image).Another biography worth reading this month is the story of Henry Richter, last surviving manager of Explorer 1, America’s first satellite. Explorer 1 was launched aboard one of von Braun’s Jupiter-C rockets, as shown in the video clip. Dr Richter, manager of the instruments aboard the rocket and developer of its space-to-ground communication system that led to the Deep Space Network (which he planned), turned 92 on June 14.Bonus: Listen to a new musical composition, the “Apollo March,” written by CEH editor David Coppedge to commemorate the moon landings. The 3-minute work, written to recapture the spirit of American awe at the crowning moments of the Apollo program, was premiered June 13-15 by the US Air Force Band of the Golden West. Hear it on Vimeo here or click the photo. (Visited 548 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Empowerment paddling in Knysna

first_img17 August 2005The Paddle Cruiser, South Africa’s only paddle-driven ship – and the Western Cape coastal town of Knysna’s newest tourist attraction – is proving a model for black economic empowerment.“We knew from the start that the vessel would have to be managed by a crew of highly skilled and dedicated people,” says William Smith, director of the Featherbed Company, which owns and operates the Paddle Cruiser.“But the problem was that South Africa had never had a vessel like this one – so we had to train new people from scratch.“We recruited and began training the boat’s managers – the men who would become its skippers – while it was still under construction,” says Smith. “Because we’re good corporate citizens, we made sure the successful candidates came from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.”Neither Floyd Herwels nor Stanley van Rooyen had had any maritime experience when they started with the Featherbed Company, but both have taken to life afloat with gusto.“I applied for the job because I wanted a change from the admin work I was doing for an insurance company,” says Van Rooyen. “And I took it on because it was a challenge.“Our training took nearly two years and earned me a Class 6 port operations license – a qualification recognised around the world.”Van Rooyen and Herwels are now equipped to take responsibility for the safety and smooth operation of the vessel and for the comfort of its passengers. This they do at least twice a day, almost every day of the year.The Paddle Cruiser experienceBuilt over a period of 18 months by Two Oceans Marine Manufacturing and launched in Cape Town in October 2003, the Paddle Cruiser was delivered to Knysna by sea.The boat is 22.7 metres long, 7.5 metres wide in the beam and has a draft of 1.4 metres. Her propellers are powered by twin Caterpillar 3056 turbodiesel engines. Electrical energy for the paddles – the boat can make four knots on its paddles alone – is supplied by two 70kVA generators.“The Paddle Cruiser has become a must-do attraction in Knysna,” says Featherbed marketing manager Debbie Stanley, “and a popular fine dining experience.“A team of top chefs prepare Mediterranean style meals: a limited Tapas menu at lunch time and an extensive hot and cold Tapas buffet at dinner. The boat is becoming increasingly popular for functions, product launches and – a trend we didn’t expect – as an unusual conference venue.”In addition to the Paddle Cruiser, the Featherbed Company operates the John Benn and Three Legs cruise boats – as well as catamaran sailing – on the Knysna lagoon, and offers visits to the Featherbed Nature Reserve at the river reporterlast_img read more

San Diego Federal Judge expected to get update on separated migrant children

first_img Posted: July 13, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A federal judge in San Diego will hear an update Friday on the government’s effort to reunite young immigrant children who were taken from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border, with federal officials claiming they’ve completed the process but the ACLU accusing the government of failing to do so.U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw had ordered the federal government to reunite immigrant children under the age of five with their parents by Tuesday, but the government failed to meet that deadline, citing various logistical and procedural issues.On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen issued a statement claiming they had completed the process of reviewing the cases of 103 children under fivethe custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.As of Thursday morning, they claimed to have reunited 57 children under five with their parents, while the other 46 were determined to be ineligible for immediate reunification. Of those 46, 22 children were determined to be ineligible for reunification due to safety concerns posed by the parents in question, while the others could not be returned because their parents had already been deported, some in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for other offenses, two being held in state jails and one whose location hasn’t been known for more than a year.“Throughout the reunification process our goal has been the well- being of the children and returning them to a safe environment,” Sessions and Nielsen said in a joint statement. “Our agencies’ careful vetting procedures helped prevent the reunification of children with an alleged murderer, an adult convicted of child cruelty and adults determined not to be the parent of the child.“Of course, there remains a tremendous amount of hard work and similar obstacles facing our teams in reuniting the remaining families,” they said. “The Trump administration does not approach this mission lightly, and we intend to continue our good faith efforts to reunify families.”RELATED STORY: Dozens of immigrant children to be reunited with parentsThe American Civil Liberties Union, however, accused the Trump administration of failing to meet the deadline and failing to follow through on its vow to notify the ACLU of the time and place of each reunification so the organization could verify them.“Not only did the government fail to give notice, we heard reports of troubling situations, including ICE leaving a parent and kids, one of whom is 6 months old, alone at a bus stop,” according to the ACLU. “The government’s lack of communication caused hardship for families who have been through enough.”According to the organization, its attorneys plan to ask that the government be ordered to provide a complete list of all children aged five and older by Monday; complete all background checks and parental verifications by July 19; provide daily reports with the number of completed reunifications; provide advance notice of the time and location of reunifications; offer immediate access to a lawyer for families reunited in detention facilities; and establish a fund for mental health counseling for children who were separated from their families.It will also ask the government to reimburse families “for reunification travel costs and DNA tests.”Sabraw, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, has given the government a July 26 deadline for reuniting all detained children with their families, regardless of age. Federal officials estimated at one point that as many as 3,000 children were in federal custody.In court Tuesday, Sabraw told government attorneys that the dates he has set are “firm deadlines, not aspirational goals.”On Monday, a federal judge in Los Angeles rejected a request by the U.S. Department of Justice to amend a decades-old court settlement that limits the amount of time immigrant children can be held in federal custody. That thwarted a government plan to detain children with their families while criminal proceedings were pending.Federal officials told reporters Tuesday that immigrant parents being reunited with their children are instead being outfitted with ankle monitors and released from custody.KUSI’s Ed Lenderman was live at the federal court house downtown with the latest information. July 13, 2018 Ed Lenderman Updated: 8:33 AMcenter_img Categories: Local San Diego News, Politics Tags: Immigration FacebookTwitter San Diego Federal Judge expected to get update on separated migrant children Ed Lenderman, last_img read more

Newspaper Publisher Acquires Worcester Magazine

first_img“It’s actually an appropriate title for a traditional newspaper to buy, because it reaches an audience that the traditional papers are losing, namely younger readers, as well as giving them some traction with advertisers they may not otherwise get,” said Kim Mac Leod, president of Regional Media Advisors, an M&A advisory company for the regional market. Looking forward, Charter said the possibility of converting Worcester to a glossy is “undetermined,” indicating that “many ideas are on the table.” One idea is to launch an annual glossy edition, he says. Alternative news weekly Worcester magazine has been acquired by newspaper publisher Holden Landmark Corp. The agreement is set to close before the end of the month.Terms of the deal were not disclosed.“From a market standpoint, connecting with a publication with 30-plus-year track record is a beautiful fit geographically for us,” Holden Landmark publisher Gareth Chater told FOLIO:. The company publishes five weekly newspapers in the greater Worcester, Massachusetts area—including its flagship Holden Landmark—as well as State Parent magazine.A newsprint tabloid distributed free at 500 locations around the city, Worcester magazine has a circulation of 34,000. “We couldn’t offer our advertisers penetration into the city [Worcester], and now we can,” Charter said. “We like the alternative city space. Given the decline of the metro dailies and the emergence of the Web, we think it has great potential.”last_img read more

Wilmington Youth Lacrosse To Hold Fundraiser At Woburns Jake n Joes TODAY

first_imgWOBURN, MA – Looking for an excuse to eat out?Wilmington Youth Lacrosse is holding a fundraiser at Jake n Joes Bar & Grille (230 Mishawum Road) in Woburn on Thursday, May 17, 2018, from 11:30am to close (12:30am Friday).Bring the flyer below and 20% of your bill will be donated to Wilmington Youth Lacrosse. Applies to dine-in and take-out only, not delivery.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWHS Football Team To Hold Fundraiser At Woburn’s Jake ‘n Joes On September 12In “Community”WHS Lacrosse Team To Hold Fundraiser At Woburn’s Jake ‘n Joes On March 5In “Community”WHS Baseball Team To Hold Fundraiser At Woburn’s Jake ‘n Joes On May 31In “Community”last_img read more

Microsoft Surface Headphones are 160 off for Prime Day

first_img Mentioned Above Microsoft Surface Headphones Mobile Accessories Headphones Now playing: Watch this: Best Buy CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Share your voice Preview • Microsoft Surface Headphones: Hands-on with Microsoft’s new Bose-buster noise-canceling headphones Abt Electronics Post a comment $349 $240 $243 See also Review • Surface Headphones review: Microsoft’s first noise-canceling headphones are almost great Enlarge ImageMicrosoft’s Surface Headphones are available in only one color. David Carnoy/CNET When Microsoft released its Surface Headphones last year, I thought it might have trouble selling its first noise-canceling headphones for the same price — $350 — as highly regarded competing products from Bose and Sony. Most stores are now selling them for $250, but for Prime Day, Amazon has them for $190. You can read my full Surface Headphones review here.Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.Read more: Huge savings on Bose, Beats, Apple headphones and Sonos speakers for Prime Day 2019See it at Amazon News • Microsoft Surface Headphones are $100 off See It Tags See it 2:38 Microsoft Surface Headphones from all angles Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. 35 Photos See It See It Microsoft Surface Headphones Microsoft Surface Headphones: The surprise noise-canceling… Amazon The best Prime Day deals still available The best Walmart Summer Sale deals still available AirPods, iPads, Apple Watch and MacBooks still on sale Prime Day is over, but these laptop deals aren’t: Big price cuts on Chromebooks, MacBooks and more $349 Amazon Prime Day 0 CNET Deals Amazon Prime Amazon Microsoftlast_img read more

Ekta Kapoor increases stake in Balaji Telefilms

first_imgEkta Kapoor, joint managing director of entertainment content provider Balaji Telefilms Ltd and producer of the company’s television serials, increased her stake in the family firm. She bought about 72,000 shares on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) over two days earlier this month, according to trade details.Kapoor bought 50,000 shares March 2 and 22,125 shares two days later, but the price of the acquisition is not known.The stock closed at Rs 103.25 March 2 and gained to settle at Rs 106.55 March 4.On Wednesday, the stock was trading at Rs 107.25 at around 12.55 p.m., up 0.56 percent from its previous close.Ekta Kapoor held 1,55,62,704 shares, or 23.87 percent of the paid-up equity share capital of Balaji Telefilms as on Dec.31, 2015, according to the company. Other family members who own stakes in the company include her father Jeetendra Kapoor, brother Tusshar Kapoor and mother Shobha Kapoor. Their combined stake was 47.29 percent.Balaji Telefilms had announced last month that it will be raising about Rs 150 crore by issuing 10,720,000 shares to institutional investors Atyant Capital India Fund – I, Vanderbilt University, GHI LTP Ltd, GHI HSP Ltd and GHI ERP Ltd, at a price of Rs 140 per share.The company’s consolidated net profit for the quarter ended Dec.31, 2015 was Rs 6.62 crore as against a net loss of Rs 6.95 crore in the year-ago period.The consolidated net sales from operations stood at Rs 73.15 crore, up 2.19 percent from Rs 71.53 crore in the corresponding quarter last fiscal, the company had said in a regulatory filing to the BSE Feb.5, 2016.Ekta Kapoor is the producer of television shows such as “Naagin,” “Yeh Hai Mohabbatein,” Kumkum Bhagya” and “Kasam…Pyaar Ki.” ‘Yeh Hai Mohabbatein’ actress Divyanka Tripathi talks about her new glamorous look on the show [PHOTO]TRP ratings: Naagin remains unbeatable; ‘Saath Nibhaana Saathiya’ beats ‘Yeh Hai Mohabbatein’Other directors of the company include former State Bank of India chairman Arun Kumar Purwar, CA D G Rajan and television industry veteran Sameer Nair.last_img read more

Iran denounces US and Saudi sanctions against Hezbollah

first_imgAn image grab taken from al-Manar TV on May 14, 2018, shows the leader the Lebanon`s Shiite Hezbollah movement Hassan Nasrallah giving a televised speech at an unknown location on May 14, 2018. Photo : AFPIran’s foreign minister on Thursday lashed out on Twitter at the US and Saudi Arabia for imposing sanctions on leaders of its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.”Israeli snipers shoot over 2,000 unarmed Palestinian protestors on a single day,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet referring to protests and clashes in the Gaza Strip that killed some 60 people this week.The “Saudi response, on eve of Ramadan? Collaboration with its US patron to sanction the first force to liberate Arab territory and shatter the myth of Israeli invincibility. Shame upon shame,” he said.The United States and six Gulf Arab states announced sanctions Wednesday on the leadership of Hezbollah, as Washington seeks to step up economic pressure on Iran and its allies in the region after president Donald Trump withdrew this month from the 2015 nuclear deal.The US and Saudi-led Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center said the sanctions were aimed at Hezbollah’s Shura Council, the powerful Lebanese group’s decision-making body, led by its secretary general Hassan Nasrallah.Nasrallah, Hezbollah deputy secretary general Naim Qasim, and three other Shura Council members were listed under the joint sanctions, which aim at freezing vulnerable assets of those named and blocking their access to global financial networks.At the same time, the six Gulf members of the TFTC — Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates — declared sanctions on another nine individuals and firms part of or linked to Hezbollah that were already blacklisted by the US Treasury.Hezbollah is a key player in Lebanese politics, and it maintains its own arsenal of weapons and fighting force.The group is fighting in Syria alongside president Bashar al-Assad’s military, and it has trained Iraqi Shiite militias which participated in retaking territory from the Islamic State group.The sanctions by Gulf states follow two US moves this month to put pressure on Iran’s financial networks, including sanctions announced Tuesday aimed at an alleged financial pipeline that moved “hundreds of millions of dollars” from Iran’s central bank through an Iraqi bank to Hezbollah.The European Union has viewed Hezbollah’s armed wing as a “terrorist” organisation since 2013.In 2016, the six Arab Sunni powers of the Gulf Co-operation Council — Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman – designated Hezbollah a “terrorist” organisation.last_img