first_imgIt’s hard to say this delicately, but if left-leaning evolutionists really believe these things, they are certifiably wacko.You know something is nutty when it cannot possibly be true. Any statement that is self-refuting, for instance, is forever false by simple logic. No amount of evidence or argument can change that. Another example is believing contradictory things. Paranoid delusions are a third example of insanity. Finally, rabid hate is a clue something is mentally off. In the following news reports, we won’t claim the believers are stupid; they are obviously not, and some have PhDs. But look at the claims and decide for yourself whether they can hold up to logic or sound evidence.Episode 1: The MatrixDo Brexit and Trump show that we’re living in a computer simulation? (The Conversation). Michael Frazer lists himself as a “Lecturer in Political and Social Theory, University of East Anglia.” In this piece on the popular science dialogue website, he is so incredulous over Trump’s victory and the Brexit vote, he appears to have lost his rational coherence. To him, this is evidence the universe is not real, but a simulation being run by space aliens. He even thinks he knows their moral sense:Recent political events have turned the world upside down. The UK voting for Brexit and the US electing Donald Trump as president were unthinkable 18 months ago. In fact, they’re so extraordinary that some have questioned whether they might not be an indication that we’re actually living in some kind of computer simulation or alien experiment.These unexpected events could be experiments to see how our political systems cope under stress. Or they could be cruel jokes made at our expense by our alien zookeepers. Or maybe they’re just glitches in the system that were never meant to happen. Perhaps the recent mix-up at the Oscars or the unlikely victories of Leicester City in the English Premier League or the New England Patriots in the Superbowl are similar glitches.The problem with using these difficult political events as evidence that our world is a simulation is how unethical such a scenario would be. If there really were a robot or alien power that was intelligent enough to control all our lives in this way, there’s a good chance they’d have developed the moral sense not to do so.Could he possibly know any of this? Some might defend Frazer on the grounds that he is only exploring possibilities. But he could save himself a lot of work by recognizing that the whole idea of arguing for a simulation is self-refuting. If we’re in a simulation, everything is determined. The program would be making him write his opinion on The Conversation. Why not save a step and become a solipsist? The aliens might have his brain in a vat, with electrodes controlling everything he thinks is happening. Reality is unreal. The only way Frazer could step outside of the trap would be to takeon the Yoda Complex, a form of mental self-delusion. It appears that his own left-leaning proclivities are driving him mad at the “unthinkable” political outcomes of recent days. Why are they so unthinkable? Why are they stressful? Why are they a cruel joke? These are marks of a disturbed mind, perhaps a mind accustomed to living in an echo chamber and having to step outside for the first time.Episode II: Intelligent Design is Pseudoscience, but Scientifically UsefulBy anyone’s estimation, the Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb, PhD, is a smart guy. He’s also willing to think outside the box— which is good (see Evolution News 11/04/16, for Loeb’s thoughtful musings on the non-exceptionalism of modern science). His latest outside-the-box venture was published with his Harvard colleague Manasvi Lingam in the Astrophysical Journal, where the two speculate that the fast radio bursts that have baffled astronomers recently (see 2/28/17) might have a non-physical explanation: they might be intentional works of space aliens driving solar-sail spacecraft with energy. SETI, of course, is nothing new, but we will see strange contradictions about this in a moment. His thesis on the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics website explains:The search for extraterrestrial intelligence has looked for many different signs of alien life, from radio broadcasts to laser flashes, without success. However, newly published research suggests that mysterious phenomena called fast radio bursts could be evidence of advanced alien technology. Specifically, these bursts might be leakage from planet-sized transmitters powering interstellar probes in distant galaxies.“Fast radio bursts are exceedingly bright given their short duration and origin at great distances, and we haven’t identified a possible natural source with any confidence,” said theorist Avi Loeb of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “An artificial origin is worth contemplating and checking.”What he and his colleague Manasvi Lingam are saying, essentially, is that a design inference might be justified in this case; at least, it’s worth considering. The Discovery Institute, naturally, latched onto this as a welcome development. Like most secular astronomers these days, Loeb probably shuns intelligent design. But here, he is finding a type of design filter useful. That’s the crazy part: holding to opposite viewpoints simultaneously. And he’s not alone: the news media, sharing the same secular worldview, thought his reasoning was perfectly legitimate. None of them found the contradiction in their worldview:Could Mysterious Cosmic Light Flashes Be Powering Alien Spacecraft? (Mike Wall on Space.com)Could fast radio bursts really be powering alien space ships? (New Scientist)Mike Wall writes thoughtfully,Lingam and Loeb acknowledge the speculative nature of the study. They aren’t claiming that FRBs are indeed caused byaliens; rather, they’re saying that this hypothesis is worthy of consideration.“Science isn’t a matter of belief; it’s a matter of evidence,” Loeb said. “Deciding what’s likely ahead of time limits the possibilities. It’s worth putting ideas out there and letting the data be the judge.”Such lines could have been written by Paul Nelson or any other ID advocate. So that’s the rub; to secularists, intelligent design theory is dangerous and pseudoscientific, except when it’s not.Episode III: Nothing Is SomethingStephen Hawking is smart, right? Sure; he holds the chair of mathematics at Cambridge that Isaac Newton held. But in a case of trying to lift oneself up into the air by one’s own bootstraps, Dr. Hawking teaches that the universe created itself from nothing – and since he is smart, many in Big Media repeat it, and think it’s a profound discovery.  A widely-repeated quote from Hawking’s new book The Grand Design (which is about anything but a designer, since Hawking is an atheist), states: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.” On ID the Future, host Jay Richards recalls a quote from the LA Times review of the book where the reporter says, “This is something that must be believed but not understood.” Dr. John Lennox from Oxford replies with a chuckle, “I think I would put it more strongly than that; it can’t be understood because it is self-contradictory.”Lennox points out at least three self-contradictory propositions in Hawking’s ideas. The first and obvious one is that gravity is not nothing; “a law of gravity without gravity would be meaningless.” Next is Hawking’s claim that the universe made itself from nothing (also proposed by Caltech astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss in his book, A Universe from Nothing). The phrase “X created Y” makes sense, Lennox explains, because it implies the pre-existence of X to explain the existence of Y. But to say “X created X” is irrational, because it presupposes the existence X to explain the existence of X. So if you set X equal to “the universe,” Lennox quips, it shows that “nonsense remains nonsense even if  famous scientists talk it.”The third contradiction is Hawking’s page-one claim that “Philosophy is dead.” But then, Hawking proceeds to write a book on philosophy! Lennox jokes that Hawking and his co-author Leonard Mlodinow “prove that as far they’re concerned, philosophy very much is dead.” In a rhetorical coup, Lennox sheds some heavenly light on the hellish insanity of holding to contradictory ideas. Hawking had ridiculed religion in an interview for The Guardian, saying, “Heaven is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” Lennox was asked to respond in The Daily Mail, “Well, if you want a one-liner at that level,” he told the reporter, “atheism is a fairy story for people afraid of the light.”Richards notes that the average person reading Hawking’s statement about the universe creating itself would think, ‘that doesn’t make any sense.’ But there’s something about the stature or the aura around Stephen Hawking, he says, that reasonable people give him a free pass.Brains and reputation cannot rescue nonsense. If something is self-contradictory, there is no hope for it, no matter who says it.We’ll have examples of contradictory evolutionary opinions in a future post – statements that are ridiculously implausible, or that violate evolutionary theory’s own fundamental principles.We should all strive to have coherent belief systems. We should listen to those who disagree with us, and consider their views fairly. We should follow the evidence where it leads. Not doing so is crazy.(Visited 168 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgSuspected pirates keep their hands in the air as directed by the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf as the visit, board, search and seizure team prepares to apprehend them. Vella Gulf is the flagship for Combined Task Force 151, a multi-national task force conducting counterpiracy operations to detect and deter piracy in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Red Sea.(Image: Jason R Zalasky, US Navy) MEDIA CONTACTS • Obinna Anyadike  Editor-in-Chief, Irin  +254 20 7622 1343 RELATED ARTICLES • Co-operating to cut down piracy • Maritime piracy under the spotlight • Eye in the sky benefits society • SA women marine pilots make history • SA Agulhas in historic polar tripSource: Irin NewsRusting hulks of capsized boats decorate the waters around Berbera, a port city in the self-declared republic of Somaliland. Further down Somalia’s coast, pirates raid freighters in the Gulf of Aden. But efforts are under way to help Somalis make better use of their 3 300km coastline – the longest on the African continent – by increasing fishing and seafood exports to lucrative markets in the Middle East and Europe.In 2013, the EU will spend US$6.5-million (R57-million) to help Somaliland pursue its long-term goal of netting 120 000 tons of seafood each year, the sale of which could generate $1.2 billion (R10.5-billion) in foreign currency.“In Somalia, people have lived for a long time with their backs to the sea,” says Isabel Faria de Almedia, the EU development chief for Somalia. “It’s a country of agro-pastoralists with a strong nomadic tradition. We think there is a huge potential for the consumption and export of fish.”Until the second half of the 20th century, few Somalis outside fishing communities consumed fish and the sector was entirely artisanal in nature. This began to change in the 1970s with the development of better cold-storage facilities and the creation, with Soviet help, of an industrial fleet.But for want of spare parts and maintenance, these vessels quickly fell into disuse. See here for a detailed, if slightly dated, overview of the Somali fishing industry. Luring pirates away from piracyIn the middle of the last decade, Somali fishermen complained they were being forced into piracy by foreign trawlers operating illegally in waters claimed by Somalia.Coastal Somalis recount as a “eureka” moment the time self-appointed coastguards impounded a foreign trawler and levied a fine on its owners; they quickly realized seizing vessels was more lucrative than competing with commercial vessels for dwindling fish stocks.Amina Farah Arshe, who employs 40 fishermen aboard 11 vessels from Berbera, the main port of Somaliland, says fishing revenues could provide an alternative to raiding freighters far into the Indian Ocean.“We can stop it by empowering the people. We can stop it by giving jobs to the youth. People would make money, the government would collect tax revenues, and piracy would diminish,” she said. “But we need support. We need training, boats, fishing gear and cold storage.”For years, the UN has said that tackling Somali piracy should involve creating work for the jobless young Somalis who board skiffs, armed with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, to hunt vessels on the high seas.But only now has the security situation made this a realistic possibility. Somalia has recently selected its most viable president and government in years. Somali and AU forces have driven Al-Shabab insurgents from major cities.Out at sea, foreign warships and on-deck private security guards deter piracy. Only 70 raids took place in the first nine months of 2012, compared to 199 in the same period last year, according to the International Maritime Bureau. Logistical challengeSomalia’s new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, says he wants to “increase local food production to end poverty forever”. Some 2.1-million people in the country are faced with hunger, particularly in the turbulent south.The future of large-scale fishing in Somali waters is tied up in a legal dispute over how far these waters extend from the country’s coastline.While the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which Somalia ratified in 1989, establishes 12 nautical miles from shore as an international norm for states’ territorial waters, Somalia has asserted sovereignty over seas up to 200 nautical miles from the coast. Mogadishu has resisted international pressure to declare these outer waters an exclusive economic zone, a designation that confers numerous rights to the country but falls short of full sovereignty.Alan Cole, who runs anti-piracy operations for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, says Somaliland’s Berbera and Puntland’s Bosaso have real potential. But exporting fresh fish from the remote central coast – site of many pirate bases – offers a “logistical challenge”, he said.The UN agency spends $40-million (R351-million) each year tackling piracy, helping prosecute sea-borne raiders, training and equipping coastguards, creating jobs, and providing refrigerated trucks and storerooms to the fishing industry.“We need to get the fishing fleets of Somalia back to sea,” Cole said. “One of the challenges for fisherman is that the pirates will steal your fish. So you come back to the same issue of needing wider maritime security for Somalia so that the fishermen can safely make their living at sea.”last_img read more

first_imgHuman Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, on Thursday, felicitated the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) achievers in the fields of academics, sports and science.According to a press release, meritorious students along with their parents were invited for a three-day event involving a heritage walk, preparation of an e-book and participation in the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Red Fort. The group included 0.1 per cent students from every subject with declared parental income less than Rs 50, 000 per annum (877 students); top students who were part of 24 teams of science exhibition – 2013 (48 students) and students who excelled in CBSE sports competitions-2013 (149 students).A personally signed message by the prime minister was given to the awardees that had arrived from 20 states and belonged to various disciplines such as Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Chess, Carom, Football, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Kho-Kho, Rope Skipping, Skating, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Tennis, Volleyball, Yoga, and Aerobics.A total of 1, 074 students were invited. Due to the candidates’ pre-planned academic schedule, the board received confirmation from 515 students including 404 from academics, 95 from sports and 16 from science exhibition.Recently, the HRD Ministry has also announced an increase of 40 per cent in the stipend for student apprentices.last_img read more