Yesterday’s Lone Star: In Search of Change

first_imgIt is an incredible truth that Liberian football is in search of a change, and it must be a huge change at that.For starters, with the ravages of Ebola Virus Disease, it has not become necessary for a re-start of the local league that would subsequently benefit the various national teams. The current effort is the assembling together of former football stars that played well abroad and have now retired to lead effective campaign against the virus’ spread and its stigma.At least some of the players who were recently appointed as coaches to handle the various national teams are part, as the accompanying picture, taken by ace cameraman Mozart Dennis, shows being particular of this selected side of the national team.Since membership of national teams is determined on current form, players are brought in together whenever they are requested their coaches from their various clubs abroad to honor their national assignment.As you can see in the above photo, James Debbah and George Weah are not on this team. The line-up of the team standing, from left to right: Goalkeeper Pewou Bestman, James ‘Bodyworks’ Karrow, Alex Theo, Friday Roberts, Barbie Keith Jinlack, Arthur Farh and Solomon Joe.Players kneeling from left are: Thomas Kojo, Ben Saydee (Roberto), Kervin Sebwe, Mass Saar, James Weah and Waka Herron.Out of the number, Thomas Kojo and Kervin Sebwe have reached a level that they can be counted on as leaders or managers to handle and develop players to better Liberian football.This photo is to remind Kojo and Kervin of the challenge before them, since they were once players who were once managed and developed by local coaches, including the Walter Pelham, Manneh Peters and the Wilfred ‘Kiljani’ Lardner, all of glorious memory.Perhaps wherever they may be, Pelham, Peters and Lardner should be congratulating themselves for, they never worked in vain, and so coaches Kojo and Sebwe should remind themselves of what those coaches mentioned imparted into them to be able to impart same into others.That way, and when Kojo and Sebwe are successful, it would indicate that the spirits of the three coaches still live on, and may be in them.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Steve O’Meara ‘excited’ as he prepares for his title clash

first_imgWest London’s Steve O’Meara speaks after the weigh-in ahead of his fight with Liam Smith for the vacant Commonwealth light-middleweight title at the ExCel London. (Video courtesy of iFilm London) See also:O’Meara ready to seize title chanceDeGale backs O’Meara to win titleDuo weigh in ahead of title showdownsWatch O’Meara and Smith weigh in ahead of their title 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Darwin Was Right, So They Say

first_img(Visited 44 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 In order to keep Darwin looking trendy, some evolutionists use the “Darwin was right” meme.Darwin was right #1: invasive species:   “Evolutionary imbalance hypothesis: On invasive species, Darwin had it right all along, study shows.” That’s the meme in action from a Brown University press release.   The question should be whether Darwinism uniquely helped explain invasive species in ways other biologists did not, because the problem certainly predates Darwin, as any farmer would know.   The article summary says,Based on insights first articulated by Charles Darwin, professors at Brown University and Syracuse University have developed and tested the “evolutionary imbalance hypothesis” to help predict species invasiveness in ecosystems. The results suggest the importance of accounting for the evolutionary histories of the donor and recipient regions in invasions.Here’s how the “evolutionary imbalance hypothesis” (EIH) is defined: “Species from regions with deep and diverse evolutionary histories are more likely to become successful invaders in regions with less deep, less diverse evolutionary histories.”  The basic idea, say the two scientists (Sax & Fridley) featured in the press release, was first articulated by Darwin.  “Darwin’s original insight was that the more challenges a region’s species have faced in their evolution, the more robust they’ll be in new environments.”  This fit into Darwin’s ideas on competition: fighting for survival makes you stronger, or fitter.  Species tested in the crucible of competition “consequently been advanced through natural selection and competition to a higher stage of perfection or dominating power.”While it may sound intuitive, a question comes to mind: how can anyone know what challenges a species has faced in its evolution?  If species robustness is measured by its success at invasion, the scientist would be reasoning in a circle.  Sax & Fridley assume that the more diversity in a region, the more the species have competed and become robust; the more successful, therefore, they will be as invaders.  This is old-school Darwinism, however.  Many biologists now believe that nature can “let a thousand flowers bloom” in the same ecosystem without fierce competition.Although Sax & Fridley found some confirming evidence in their studies, they also found anomalies, which they were able to explain away with auxiliary hypotheses.  This opens their confident claims to criticisms of ad hoc theory rescue.  Late in the article, this qualification appears: “Sax and Fridley acknowledge in the paper that the EIH does not singlehandedly predict the success of individual species in specific invasions.”   If anyone were to use EIH to predict an outcome in a real-world situation, it appears anything could happen, and could still be explained a posteriori within the Darwinian model.  How useful is that?Darwin was right #2: Group selection:  Without going into detail, we can note that “group selection” (natural selection acting on categories above the individual) has long been controversial.  Steven Pinker criticized the notion as “a scientific dust bunny, a hairy blob in which anything having to do with ‘groups’ clings to anything having to do with ‘selection.’”  Nevertheless, Jonathan Pruitt and Charles Goodnight are keeping it alive with new evidence, and giving the credit for their insight to You-Know-Who.  Without saying “Darwin was right” verbatim in a press release from the University of Vermont, they imply as much in their research on spiders (among which they claim to have observed group selection in action).In his 1859 masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin puzzled over how ants could — generation after generation — produce workers that would serve the colony — but were sterile. Evolution by natural selection has often been understood to work at the level of the organism: the traits of an individual determine whether it will survive and reproduce. How could these sterile ants persist in nature, he wondered, if they didn’t reproduce?“This difficulty, though appearing insuperable, is lessened, or, as I believe disappears, when it is remembered that selection may be applied to the family, as well as to the individual.” In other words, evolution by natural selection, Darwin thought, could operate at numerous levels, including groups: “A tribe including many members,” Darwin wrote in Descent of Man, who were able to “sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over most other tribes; and this would be natural selection.“By implication, why can’t biologists today accept the fact that the Father of Evolutionary Theory thought of group selection first?  What’s the problem?  Darwin may have been right.  If history is any guide, though, this decades-long controversy will not be resolved by a new story about spider personalities.Darwin was right #3: Jump Dispersal:  Another instance of the “Darwin was right” meme is found in this story from the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS). It deals with biogeography: how animals got from here to there.  It’s a subject, we are told, that “has long been debated among biologists, especially in cases where organisms that are related live on distant continents separated by vast oceans.”  (This might be a surprise to those who have long been told that biogeography provides strong evidence for evolution.)More than one hundred and fifty years ago, Charles Darwin hypothesized that species could cross oceans and other vast distances on vegetation rafts, icebergs, or in the case of plant seeds, in the plumage of birds.Though many were skeptical of Darwin’s “jump dispersal” idea, a new study suggests that Darwin might have been correct.So does Darwin explain how large flightless birds got from Africa to New Zealand and South America?  The only two explanations tested were (1) land bridges and (2) vegetation rafts, icebergs, or other unusual transport mechanisms (Darwin’s hypothesis).  Jump dispersal was often doubted because it relied on rare, “near miraculous” events.Nicholas Matzke, a staunch Darwin defender, developed a computer program that gives the edge to jump dispersal, allowing him to credit Darwin: in the computer model, “the jump dispersal pattern appears to be much more common,” he says.  “It looks like Darwin was right after all.”   It seems to have escaped his notice, though, that Biblical creationists have appealed to both mechanisms as consequences of the global Flood: (1) land bridges from a lowered sea level, and (2) vegetation rafts.Here’s a puzzle for everyone.  It was reported on PhysOrg: “If hippopotamuses can’t swim, how can some be living on islands?”  That’s right; those big, fat “river horses” trot on the bottom of waterways, but are not known for floating or being distance swimmers.  How come fossils of hippos have been found on distant islands, like Madagascar?  “Experts say that widely accepted models for the methods, patterns, and timing of the colonization and dispersal to several islands (e.g. Cyprus, Crete, and Madagascar) may need to be reconsidered.”  The article doesn’t rule out land bridges, but says that they “are not currently supported by positive geological evidence.”  Matzke should plug “hippos” and “Madagascar” into his computer model and see if they were carried there on icebergs or by some other “near miraculous” event.Sure, Darwin was right on occasion.  He was right by chance sometimes, like the proverbial broken clock.  He was right when he wasn’t left.  He was right whenever he overlooked the implications of his theory and acted like a proper Victorian gentleman.  It’s doubtful that will make much difference in the Great Judgment (see 11/30/05).last_img read more

Richter Scaling: Is Funding for Astrobiology and SETI Justified?

first_imgShould the government fleece taxpayers again for a project with almost zero chance for success? Consider two “Richter scales” that should inform hopes.NASA has gritted its teeth ever since SETI went on the government-funding chopping block in the 1990s. They keep titillating the public with hopes for finding their invisible friends in space. Microbes are not enough, even though NASA gets loads of money for “astrobiology,” the big-tent search for even one-celled life. They want someone to talk to. Let’s see how they express their motivations:We need to keep looking for aliens, scientists tell senators (Space.com via Fox News; report duplicated by Live Science). When conservative Senator Ted Cruz asked a panel flat-out why we should look for life on other worlds, the scientists (only one from NASA) appealed to “symbolism and inspiration rather than science directly.”“I believe it’s one of the big questions of all of humanity. This is how great nations make a mark — it’s by what they do for their citizens but also how they move history forward,” Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA, said. “This will be one of those questions, if answered, that will be remembered forever, because it will be a leap in not only understanding more about nature but a leap in understanding ourselves at a level we’ve never had in the past.”Some of the panelists made pragmatic appeals. The search would spin off new technologies, some said. Others argued that it would help the United States keep the lead in space science. One quoted John Adams about his belief in space aliens. Much of the discussion focused on astrobiology (search for microbes), because the panelists seemed sheepish about bringing up SETI:While most of the hearing’s conversation focused on microbial life, the discussion did touch briefly on technologically advanced civilizations beyond our solar system. Senator Gary Peters of Michigan referenced the theoretical possibility of billion-year-old civilizations and asked whether we are even searching for life in the right way. Stofan elegantly directed the conversation back to exoplanet science and surveying our own neighborhood first.But what if the search has high cost and low chance of success? Even microbial life is extremely complicated. The likelihood of finding life depends on which “Richter Scale” one puts confidence in.The Charles Richter ScaleSETI Researchers Want to End the Alien-Detection Hype (Space.com). In order to keep their scientific respectability, the serious SETI researchers have to distance themselves from the kooks. To help with that, they concocted a “Rio scale” by which to evaluate how earth-shaking claims of life detection should be judged. Reporter Meghan Bartels calls this a kind of “alien equivalent of the Richter scale,” referring to Caltech geophysicist Charles Richter (1900-1985), who devised the famous scale of earthquake magnitudes.See CMI’s documentary Alien Intrusion for analysis of extraterrestrial claims.The Rio scale, devised in 2000 (Rio 1.0) but updated this year (Rio 2.0), goes from 0 to 10, with zero indicating a claim of no importance to 10 indicating a claim of great importance. But how is importance judged? The paper in the International Journal of Astrobiology  indicates that the “scientific consensus” judges how to rank a detection claim. This gives announcements a more official look, an improvement on “close encounters of the third kind” perhaps. Reporters who trust the experts can all use the same talking points, using an integer value that confers an air of scientific legitimacy on groupthink conclusions:In this paper, we revise the Rio scale, with the aim of (i) achieving consensus across academic disciplines on a scheme for classifying signals potentially indicating the existence of advanced extraterrestrial life, (ii) supplying a pedagogical tool to help inform the public about the process scientists go through to develop an understanding of a signal and (iii) providing a means of calibrating the expectations of the world at large when signals are discussed in the media. We also present (and encourage the SETI community to adopt) a single set of consistent terminology for discussing signals.The Henry Richter ScaleIf intelligent aliens exist, why haven’t we seen them? (Phys.org). Kaylie Zacharias of Purdue University puzzles over the never-solved Fermi Paradox. After considering only a couple of requirements for habitability, and possible answers to the paradox, she looks to Mars investigator Brioni Horgan for hope, but possible answers for them both only lie within the Darwinian worldview.“How does life evolve? How unique are we? How critical is it that humanity makes it off this planet? Our quest to find life outside Earth brings us back to those very fundamental questions,” Horgan said. “I think life is the most incredible thing the universe has ever produced, so if we are the only life in the universe, that to me is a huge motivating factor for moving beyond our Earth.”9 Strange, Scientific Excuses for Why Humans Haven’t Found Aliens Yet (Live Science). This is a funny slideshow by Brandon Specktor of proposed answers to the Fermi Paradox. It’s a little odd to link the words “strange” and “excuses” to “scientific,” when science is supposed to deal in observable, testable evidence. Perhaps “strange excuses” would suffice. Take your pick: maybe the aliens are hiding in plain sight. Maybe they’ve quarantined Earth. Maybe they live underground and don’t use radios. Maybe aliens always evolve to kill off other aliens. Maybe they died of climate change. Maybe they can’t evolve fast enough. Maybe dark energy is ripping them apart. There’s always one more possibility Specktor didn’t bother to consider: maybe they don’t exist.Life Needs Sunlight — and That Could Change Where We Look for Aliens (Live Science). Assuming they get funding, where should astrobiologists look? This article correctly notes that being in the habitable zone where water can subsist as a liquid is not enough. Habitable planets need to avoid intense flares and excessive UV radiation, for instance. And yet for the RNA World theory to work, there has to be sufficient UV radiation to overcome the energy barriers and get the building blocks to link up. Cambridge astrophysicist Paul Rimmer has done a “thought experiment” to estimate the minimum energy required from a star, and then ran some experiments to see how sulfur-rich compounds behaved under different UV energy levels. He did not get RNA, of course. Another astrobiologist was not particularly impressed.Others may not be so convinced by the new experiments: Frances Westall, an astrobiologist at the National Center for Scientific Research in France who was not involved with the study, called the paper more of an “interesting thought experiment” in an email to Space.com. She said she’s particularly concerned that one of the two initial sulfur mixes the team used didn’t create RNA under Earth-like conditions — and, after all, we’re positive life started here somehow.“One of my problems with many prebiotic chemistry experiments run by chemists is that they do not consider what the early Earth really was like,” she wrote, mentioning that the team used what she considers an outdated recipe of gases to represent our planet’s early atmosphere. “[Chemists] use spurious concepts simply because they can get good results under certain physicochemical conditions,” Westall wrote.Read Henry Richter’s biography here (click image).Westall’s complaint can be expanded. Not only did Rimmer omit plausible Earth-like conditions, he omitted numerous other factors required for habitability. These were listed by another Caltech geophysicist, Dr Henry Richter, whose recent article here at Creation-Evolution Headlines listed a dozen factors that must be just right for habitability (6 July 2018). Inserting reasonable estimates into his “Richter scale” pretty much rules out life existing anywhere in the universe by chance, considering habitability requirements alone. But he agrees with Westall, “we’re positive life started here,” so there’s at least one success.As a Christian, Henry would argue with Westall’s extra word “somehow,” which presumes the Stuff Happens Law. He would argue instead that the evidence points to intelligent causation: i.e., creation. If evolutionists weren’t so closed-minded and bigoted, they would realize that good, observational science and sound logic actually support creation as the only rational cause for life, especially human life. But with hard hearts, stiff necks and closed minds, the astrobiologists and SETI believers plod on, making even more irrational excuses for the lack of evidence. Arbitrary rules like methodological naturalism that presuppose atheistic causes and hinder understanding should be jettisoned in favor of following the evidence where it leads.Dr Henry Richter lists factors needed for life and calculates the probability it will be found. (Visited 381 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

KAT-7 telescope gets first antenna

first_imgEngineering test-bed The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a planned future-generation international radio telescope that will enable astronomers to probe the early evolution of our galaxy. It will comprise about 3 000 antennas that, put together, would cover a square kilometre. South Africa is currently in a race against Australia to be selected as the preferred site for the SKA, the two countries having beaten bids from Argentina and China to make the SKA shortlist. The network of dishes will be at least 50 times more powerful than any existing telescope, and will cost an estimated €1.5-billion to build. The International SKA steering committee in the Netherlands is expected to make a final decision on the host country in 2012. “KAT-7 will primarily be an engineering test-bed, but will also be capable of scientific observations and will be the first seven antennas of the full MeerKAT array,” the local Square Kilometre Array project team said in a statement. In a major boost for South Africa’s ambitions to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a construction team worked into the night last week to install the first antenna of the KAT-7, a seven-dish prototype of the SKA, near Carnarvon in the Northern Cape province. 21 July 2009 If South Africa were to win the SKA bid, it could generate over R500-million in foreign investment in the country. The construction of the KAT-7 prototype array at the site in a remote area of the Karoo follows the successful building and testing of a single-dish prototype at the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory near Johannesburg.center_img SAinfo reporter The completed MeerKAT will be one of the most powerful telescopes in the world in its own right, consisting of 80 dishes, with a high-speed data network linking the telescope site in the Karoo to a control centre in Cape Town. The construction and commissioning of the full MeerKAT array, an important precursor instrument to the Square Kilometre Array, will follow at the same site. MeerKAT will be the most sensitive centimetre-wavelength radio telescope in the southern hemisphere, and will make significant contributions to both galactic and extragalactic astronomical research. It is thought to be an important phase in the development of the more powerful MeerKAT, which will be commissioned in 2013. It would bring a massive injection of expertise and economic activity to the Northern Cape, with benefits for the local aluminium, computer, communications, electronics and steel industries. MeerKAT Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more