Beach Parties: A Timely Interdiction

first_imgThe Liberian Government’s announcement this week banning all beach festivities on November 29 ensuing is very timely.The Information Ministry told the regular Ebola press briefing on Wednesday that GOL had decided to prohibit any gathering whatsoever at beaches on that day to avoid the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.The ban is particularly aimed at President William V.S. Tubman’s birthday celebration on November 29, which has over the past several years morphed into a major holiday in Liberia kicking off the Christmas season.  Tubman would be surprised.As though determined to recapture Tubman’s happy-go-lucky, libertine (unrestrained by morality) character, which most of today’s generation know little about, the nation’s youth in their thousands, converge on the beaches to party until late into the night. In Monrovia, droves of celebrators, scantily dressed, jam up in the back of pick-ups or on the hoods and in the trunks of vehicles to get to the beaches, especially those along the Robertsfield highway.  Quite often traffic on that highway and in the whole of Paynesville is blocked most of the day as people throng the beaches and entertainment spots to have a good time. This year when Tubman’s 119th birthday falls on a Saturday the crowds would have been even bigger.  Many would have forgotten that they had to attend church services on Sunday, as they reveled late into the night, in relentless, rambunctious (rowdy, high-spirited) partying.Alas! Not this year!  The deadly Ebola virus has changed all that.  It is not just the economic crisis that Ebola has brought upon us.  Indeed for this one day, most people would prefer to forget the crisis and spend their last to crowd the beaches and let the good time roll.But the risk of the virus spreading again is too high and the Liberian Government is not taking any chances.  Neither should any of us even for that one day. After surviving the horrendous experience of the past several months in the grip of the deadly Ebola virus from which we are not yet free, who would want to flout (disobey) the precautions that have restrained the virus, pulling defeat out of the jaws of victory, so to speak?The government, its foreign partners and the Liberian people themselves have joined in the unrelenting fight to contain the virus, causing us to make big gains towards its recession and finally zero cases.  The least we can do is sacrifice one day of celebration.But just to make sure, the GOL has for now banned beach gatherings on November 29. We do not know whether we can achieve the status of “Ebola free” by Christmas, but a lot depends on the people themselves—their following all the rules, observing all the measures to prevent infection; and on the government and the international partners ‘in union strong’. We have been striving to let the government see the need to take one other urgent action—to deploy Liberian troops, accompanied by some from the United States, at key border points, especially on the Guinea and Sierra Leone sides.  This, we believe, would   help stop the resurgence of the virus, by keeping it from coming again across the border. We saw what happened last week in Jenewonde Town on the Cape Mount border with Sierra Leone.   We have to be very vigorous in protecting our borders, because while the virus is receding in Liberia, it is spreading in the other countries, especially Sierra Leone.  We don’t know why.  But government must take immediate action, remembering what happened in Foya, Lofa County in March: it took only one person with the virus to cross the Guinea border into Liberia.  After that, the virus spread like wild fire and our country became the worst hit in the entire sub-region.We pray that the government will go one step further in obeying the First Law of Nature: Self-Preservation.      Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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UNDP Installs Autoclave at JFK Hospital

first_imgThe Liberian government, with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), last Thursday began the installation of autoclaves at two major health facilities to aid in the management of medical wastes, especially that of the Ebola Virus Disease at these healthcare centers.The autoclave installation commenced as a pilot project at two government-run medical facilities, the John F. Kennedy Medical Center (JFK) in Monrovia, Montserrado County and the Jackson F. Doe Regional Referral Hospital in Tappita, Nimba County.The first of the two autoclaves was installed at the JFK in Monrovia on last Thursday. The two machines cost US$70,000. UNDP is also supporting the training of different categories of healthcare workers and technicians at the two hospitals to manage the equipment.Mr. Prince Stryker heads the Maintenance Department at the John F. Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia. He said the equipment will reduce the high level of pollution caused by burning medical and other forms of wastes at the hospital.“This equipment, which will grill the dirt instead of burning, will be very helpful not only to the hospital but also the community around here,” Mr. Stryker said.He said patients, employees, and community members frequently complain of serious pollution caused by the burning of garbage and medical wastes.He indicated that the autoclave will help in the effective management of waste at the entity.  Several employees, including Stryker, were trained in managing and maintaining the equipment.Prior to the installation of the autoclaves, medical wastes at the JFK and other medical facilities in the country were burnt through different means, including the use of incinerators. The incinerator burns wastes but pollutes the air while the autoclave grills its wastes into shreads until nothing is left. Victor Kwoh, National Autoclaves Installation and Management Consultant,  said additional autoclaves would be acquired, based on the effectiveness and efficiency of the first two autoclaves at the JFK and Jackson F. Doe Hospitals. Mr. Kwoh said the different levels of staff members that are being trained will ensure that the equipment is  properly handled and maintained for durability.The locations for the installation of the autoclaves were decided based on a strategy developed by the Government involving the Ministry of Health, the Monrovia City Corporation, the Incident Management System (IMS) and UNIDO.Consultants from UNDP’s Global Health Waste Management team are installing the autoclaves, and training staff on their use, led by Dr. Jorge Emmanuel, who is one of the world leaders in this field.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Several Police Stations to be rebuilt, 12 to be rehabilitated

first_imgPolice Commissioner Leslie JamesPolice Commissioner Leslie James have announced plans to rehabilitate some 12 Police Stations and buildings attached to the Guyana Police Force (GPF) while several others will be rebuilt in 2019, as the Force seeks to focus on the working and living condition of Police ranks countrywide.Through coordination with the Public Security Ministry, the Police Force has rehabilitated several Police Stations and living quarters in 2018. However, as much more work is needed, Commissioner James announced further rehabilitation works to be carried in 2019.“As regards infrastructure, the administration continues to focus on the working and living conditions of its ranks; through the Ministry of Public Security, the Force has rehabilitated several Police Stations and buildings in 2018 and has on schedule an additional 12 buildings for 2019,” James revealed.Some of the security facilities to be rehabilitated are located at Mackenzie, Kwakwani, Aurora, Suddie, Annai, Aishalton, Mabaruma, Port Kaituma, Issano, La Grange, Mibicuri and Cane Grove.Further, to strengthen the capacity of the GPF, several new units have been established and operationalised.“Some of those are the cybercrimes unit, the cold case unit, the firearms investigation unit, the missing persons units and the Police Prosecuting Coordinating Unit,” the Police Commissioner stated.According to James, the introduction and establishment of the new units is to bring dedicated focus to the individual tasks of each rank.He noted that while the Force’s management structure has not changed in a significant way, the meetings of the executive leadership team have increased; as such, proper decision making has also increased.As such, the reform process of the Force has since been strengthened.last_img read more

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BC Children’s Hospital wants Fort St. John to “Be a Superhero”

first_imgRepresentatives from the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation were in town on Monday to encourage the City to Be a Superhero. President and CEO Sue Carruthers and others presented an ambitious fundraising initiative, called “Be a Superhero,” to the Fort St. John and District Chamber of Commerce.The foundation hopes to raise 200 million dollars to help fund a new Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. – Advertisement -Carruthers says the term ‘Superhero’ is meant to describe many different people involved with the hospital. [asset|aid=1594|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=30df5a64d7aea1f4cf1dfb1bd244639f-Carruthers 1_1_Pub.mp3]She says the foundation has raised more than 80 million dollars to date. Several larger businesses throughout the Province have also pledged generous donations.Advertisement Carruthers says 50 million of the 200 million raised will be distributed to hospitals throughout the Province, including Fort St. John, to help with local pediatric services. She says the level of funding will be decided based on need.Meanwhile, she says donations are being accepted in any denomination. [asset|aid=1595|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=30df5a64d7aea1f4cf1dfb1bd244639f-Carruthers 2_1_Pub.mp3] To make a donation to the hospital, visit www.bcchildrens.ca or call 1-888-300-3088.Advertisementlast_img read more

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Lakers show star power

first_imgLOS ANGELES – If the Lakers and Clippers are connected this season as borderline playoff teams without serious chances of winning a championship, the Lakers at least have one thing the Clippers don’t: A show-stopping, logic-defying superstar with the ability to take over basketball games and do things that often border on impossible named Kobe Bryant. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson His biggest shot came with 11.4 seconds left, a running jump shot that snapped a 12-1 Clippers run. The Clippers were briefly up 109-108 with 25.0 seconds left when Elton Brand scored over Kwame Brown. The Clippers had a possession down 110-109 with 11.4 seconds, but a turnover from Shaun Livingston gave the Lakers’ Smush Parker an uncontested fast-break dunk to put the Lakers up 112-109. On the Clippers’ next possession, Cuttino Mobley made a three-point shot that came after the final buzzer. Mobley finished with a season-high 36 points, and Brand had 28 points and 10 rebounds. Bryant scored 11 consecutive points with three three-pointers in a 2-minute, 1-second span to start the fourth quarter and give the Lakers an 89-82 lead. But after that, the scrappy Clippers hung around and engineered a 10-1 run to pull to 108-107 with 48.6 left. Midway through the third quarter, it hardly looked as if Bryant and the Lakers could pounce on the Clippers the way they did. The Clippers led by 13 and were up 82-78 heading into Bryant’s quarter, the fourth quarter. The Clippers never had beaten the Lakers three in a row in their history until they won on Nov. 18 with a 97-91 victory. Historically, the Lakers have beaten up on the Clippers more than any other team. So compared with the body of their match-ups, the past few games have been an aberration. The Lakers held a .750 winning percentage (124-42) against the Clippers heading into Saturday’s game, and the Lakers just lost two series to the Clippers in 1992-93 and 1974-75, when the franchise was the Buffalo Braves. Hardly a day goes by in which the topic of Clipper injuries doesn’t come up between Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy and reporters. That subject came up again on Saturday and became most apparent with the team’s defense of Bryant. The Clippers started rookie Daniel Ewing on Bryant, then switched to second-year guards Shaun Livingston and Quinton Ross. Typically, Corey Maggette defends Bryant, but he is out with a separated ligament in his left foot. He missed his 18th game this season, and Dunleavy said he isn’t expected back for a month. “He’s somebody that puts a lot of pressure on Kobe to play defense — that’s the biggest thing,” Dunleavy said. “When you run into someone on the schedule with a really good player, you want to make him expend energy on both ends of the floor. We try to attack the other team’s best player and make them work.” With the relatively inexperienced players of Ewing, Livingston and Ross on Bryant, the Lakers star still had a horrible first-half shooting, going 2 of 12 (16.7 percent) for 10 points. But early on, it didn’t look as if Bryant’s poor shooting would matter. The Lakers led 29-18 after the first quarter and led by as many as 12 points in the first period, in which Bryant went 1 for 6 (16.7 percent) and his teammates shot 9 of 11 (81.8 percent). The Lakers’ shooting, though, went the opposite direction in the second quarter, when they shot 24.1 percent and the Clippers shot 66.7 percent. The Clippers led 55-50 at halftime, despite the Lakers’ early 12-point lead. Another big difference between the teams between the two contrasting quarters in the first half was bench play. A lot of the Clippers’ comeback came with the second unit on the court. Erratic forward Chris Wilcox had seven points in the quarter, and Livingston had six of his seven assists in the quarter. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img In his second game back from a two-game suspension for a flagrant foul, Bryant hit a game-winning 6-foot jump shot with 11.4 seconds left and exploded for 50 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to give the Lakers a 112-109 victory in front of 20,154 Saturday night at Staples Center. Bryant bombarded the Clippers with 40 points in the second half – the second-highest point total in a half in Laker history. He once scored 42 in a half in March 2003. last_img read more

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The three managers who turned down Fulham job before they hired Ranieri

first_img Villas-Boas and Wenger were reportedly approached but did not hold talks for the Fulham job huge blow ‘Fake news’ – Arsene Wenger dismisses AC Milan linksIn their statement on Ranieri, Fulham wrote: “Khan said he and his son Tony Khan, Vice Chairman and Director of Football Operations at FFC, considered and spoke with a number of potential candidates within the past week, with Ranieri becoming their mutual and obvious choice.“Tony Khan and his staff will continue to oversee first team player recruitment and contractual agreements, and he will work closely with Ranieri.”On Ranieri’s appointment, Shahid Khan said: “The objective of Fulham should never be to merely survive in the Premier League. We must at all times be a difficult opponent and should expect to succeed.“This Fulham squad has exceptional talent that is contrary to its position in the table. I know this team is very capable of better performances.” Arsene Wenger, Leonardo Jardim and Andre Villas-Boas all reportedly turned down the Fulham job before Claudio Ranieri was appointed manager.The Cottagers sacked Slavisa Jokanovic on Wednesday morning following their sixth successive defeat. 3 3 ADVICE “Claudio is risk-free and ready-made for the Premier League, and particularly so for what we need at this moment at Fulham. His recent body of work with Leicester City is literally legendary, and then you look at Claudio’s experience with Chelsea and big clubs throughout Europe, and it’s pretty evident we are welcoming an extraordinary football man to Fulham Football Club.”Ranieri is best known for guiding Leicester to a spectacular Premier League title win in the 2015/16 season, however, he was also Chelsea boss earlier in his managerial career.Jokanovic was actually the Italian’s first signing at Stamford Bridge in 2000.Since Ranieri’s appointment at Craven Cottage, Fulham have been linked with out of favour Liverpool defender Joel Matip as they look to tighten up their defence which has conceded 31 goals in 12 league games. MONEY REVEALED RANKED Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Latest Football News no dice Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Fulham spent almost £100million in the transfer market last summer but are currently bottom of the Premier League, causing the club’s hierarchy to take swift action.In their statement confirming Ranieri’s appointment, they admitted to speaking to a number of candidates.And the Daily Telegraph claims these contenders include Wenger and former Monaco boss Jardim as well as ex-Chelsea and Tottenham boss Villas-Boas. It is understood all three politely declined to speak to Fulham.Wenger is determined not to manage another Premier League club due to his strong affiliation with Arsenal and it is understood he has one eye on the Bayern Munich job, should they sack under pressure Niko Kovac. Fulham’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool proved to be Jokanovic’s last game in charge Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move BEST OF Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade REVEALED Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? 3 Can Ranieri perform similar heroics at Fulham like he did at Leicester?last_img read more

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Patent reform bill irks inventors

first_img Critics cite examples of seemingly absurd patents, such as U.S. Patent No. 5,443,036, issued for a method of using a laser pointer “in an irregular way fascinating to cats” so the animal gets aerobic exercise. To try to ensure that patents are issued for truly innovative and novel devices, the bill includes provisions allowing patents to be challenged for nine months after they’re issued, and allowing third parties to present evidence to the patent office related to pending patent applications. Current U.S. law says a patent goes to the person who can show they first invented a device; the pending legislation would give the patent to the person who filed for it first, the method used internationally. But Margolin and his group, the Professional Inventors Alliance, say the changes would allow big companies to endlessly contest legitimate patents and patent applications. They say the bill would protect corporations with the means to rush to file their applications first over small inventors who actually come up with the idea, and make it unreasonably difficult for individual patent-holders to pursue legitimate lawsuits against companies that steal their inventions. “I honestly feel that if we don’t stop what the big companies are trying to do, there won’t be any opportunity for us,” said Ronald J. Riley, the Professional Inventors Alliance’s president. “What they call patent reform is all about making it virtually impossible to enforce the patents.” Backers of some of the changes say the concerns are overblown. “In no way do we want to limit entrepreneurs’ ability to start businesses and innovators’ ability to innovate. If you look at some of our big companies, they started in the garage and we understand that,” said Josh Ackil, the Information Technology Industry Council’s vice president of government relations. “The issue we’re trying to address is the patent trolls who claim they’re entrepreneurs by grubbing up patents.” Riley calls the patent troll label a “clever slur” that high-tech companies uses to tar small-time inventors who get in their way, insisting that most inventors are legitimate businessmen who simply want to be able to protect their intellectual property. The most recent version of the legislation was the result of negotiations among the high-tech industry, pharmaceutical companies and others, though disagreements remain and a final bill has yet to be filed. The House Judiciary Committee’s intellectual property subcommittee, led by Smith and Berman, has held several hearings, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who chairs the Senate’s intellectual property panel, also is working on a bill. The Professional Inventors Alliance has the budget to hire only a single lobbyist at a discounted rate, and members complain that their concerns have been largely neglected. They hope that will change before a bill is voted on. Otherwise, the inventors say, the proposed changes could spell disaster for the kind of people responsible for breakthrough inventions such as the phonograph, the airplane and the computer. “Small inventors are the ones that make big businesses,” Margolin said. “If we don’t invent and create new stuff, what are we going to be?” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Among other things, the bill seeks to cut down on nuisance lawsuits by “patent trolls” – people who take out patents on products, methods or ideas just so they can sue a company for infringement if it eventually produces something similar. Such lawsuits have bedeviled the high-tech industry, in part because computer technology can involve hundreds or thousands of individual patents per product. The Information Technology Industry Council says patent lawsuits in federal court doubled from 1,200 to 2,400 annually from 1998 to 2001. The bill would make it easier for patent-holders to fight such lawsuits in potentially friendly legal venues, such as in the judicial district where they are headquartered. Last year, 380,000 patent applications were filed at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, compared with 200,000 in 1994. The office says it has a growing backlog of 600,000 applications and a shortage of patent examiners. “I do believe that there’s a patent quality problem,” Berman said, citing reports by the National Academy of Sciences and the Federal Trade Commission that reached that conclusion. “A lot of people who don’t have an ax to grind think there needs to be reform.” In the world of small-time inventors, George Margolin, 75, of Newport Beach is a resounding success. He has patented a syringe that prevents unwanted needle-pricks, a folding keyboard that was licensed by Hewlett Packard and 25 other devices from the practical to the arcane. Now Margolin fears that his ability to create is threatened by legislation he says would yank patent protections from little guys like him in favor of big corporations such as Microsoft. “The Wright Brothers – two slobs in Dayton, Ohio, who became the airline industry – Edison with his multitude of inventions, they would have all been stifled and stopped by this kind of legislation,” said Margolin, who now makes a comfortable living from his inventions after years when he had to support himself through bar tending and other jobs. “It would be absolutely destructive.” The Patent Reform Act of 2005, sponsored by Reps. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, and Howard Berman, D-Calif., includes changes supporters say are needed in a system that’s processing more and more patents. last_img read more

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VOODOO VENUE HOPING TO REMAIN ‘COOL’ THIS WEEKEND

first_imgVoodoo Venue have done it again, they’ve produced another action packed weekend, for club goers to enjoy, at the No.1 clubbing nightspot in Donegal. Voodoo Club is the newest and coolest venue in the North West . On Friday it’s Paddy Friel on the decks with all your latest chart & party hits.Admission only €5 with a free cocktail on entry for all females.Saturday it’s Cool FM’s Kathryn Wilson on the main floor with the very best in chart, dance, R&B & Party hits.Admission €10 with special € 7 deals for groups. See our Street Team for special offers .Book your table in Voodoo Club which includes full table service at NO EXTRA COST by emailing philipvoodoovenue@gmail.com or call 0749109815.Voodoo Venue where EVERYONE IS A VIP.Voodoo Vintage open every Saturday night from 9pm.Admission free from 9pm to 11pm through Voodoo Lounge.All tables almost booked for this coming weekend so get your party booked ASAP for the coming weeks as tables are filling up fast. Book your table on Facebook, e-mail philipvoodoovenue@gmail.com or call 0749109815 .Voodoo Venue now available for private parties Sunday to Friday.The ideal venue for that 30th,40th, 50th, Wedding after party etc.No charge on the room . Email philipvoodoovenue@gmail.com for more details . Voodoo Vintage – WHERE GOING OUT IS THE NEW STAYING INFollow us on Facebook for all the latest bands and deals on www.facebook.com/voodoovenueletterkennyVOODOO VENUE HOPING TO REMAIN ‘COOL’ THIS WEEKEND was last modified: May 15th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Club VoodooEntertainment line-uphome-page featuresnewsVintageVoodoo Venuelast_img read more

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OFFICIAL URGES PUBLIC TO COME OUT AND ROAR HARPS INTO FAI CUP SEMI-FINAL

first_imgFinn Harps official Aidan Campbell has urged the Donegal sporting public to make an effort to get to Finn Park tonight for their crucial FAI Cup quarter-final replay with Avondale.Harps were held to a 1-1 draw in Cork on Sunday, but are quietly confident they can overcome the dogged intermediate side and book a place in the last four.Campbell believes Harps chances of progression would be boosted if a big crowd descended on Finn Park, but appreciates the timing of the fixture isn’t great. Campbell told Donegal Daily, “I’d love it if people could make an effort to get to Finn Park tonight and give the lads support for what is an absolutely crucial match.“A place in the cup semi-final is up for grabs, and they don’t come round too often.“I know with Donegal in the All-Ireland final on Sunday, people will be trying to save for that, but I hope soccer supporters all over the county make a genuine effort to come out and support,The last time Harps reached a semi-final was in 1999, they defeated Galway United to set a final meeting with Bray Wanderers. Campbell believes the management and players deserve a big crowd, and praised their efforts throughout the season.“The management and players deserve a big crowd, they’ve all put in a heroic effort all season, the effort and commitment has been top class.“They deserve a big crowd to come out and support them, a place in the semi-final would be fantastic for the club, and hopefully we can get over the line tonight.   OFFICIAL URGES PUBLIC TO COME OUT AND ROAR HARPS INTO FAI CUP SEMI-FINAL was last modified: September 17th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Avondalefai cupfinn harpsnewsReplaySportlast_img read more

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Natural Selection Theory Makes Scientists Lazy

first_imgFolks, if you want to evolve resistance to Darwine, then please learn the art of Baloney Detecting. ‘Natural selection’ is a vacuous concept that provides a convenient way out from doing the hard work of science.In the history of science, certain concepts have seemed intuitively obvious to natural philosophers, beyond the need of questioning. To Ptolemy, the earth was fixed. To Greeks and medieval scholars, sickness was caused by humors or vapors. To early moderns, vermin sprang from filth (spontaneous generation). Victorians believed in the myth of progress (which Darwin’s theory fit perfectly). In the 20th century, Marxists explained everything as manifestations of the “class struggle” (which also fit the ideas of Darwin and Malthus).Rather than question whether these concepts could bear the weight of the evidence, the true believers merely assumed them. It should not be surprising, therefore, that scientists in the 21st century have their own myths. As we shall see, “natural selection” is the current myth in biology. Many lazy scientists feel they have done their work to simply refer to natural selection as the cause of whatever phenomenon they are investigating. If you don’t believe it, here are some recent examples in the news.[Note: Please read the sections “Clarifying the Claim” and “What to Look For” in the January 10 article before proceeding.]Natural selection and spatial memory link shown in mountain chickadee research (Science Daily). Scientists in Reno, Nevada collected data on survival of chickadees in the Sierra Nevada mountains in wintertime. “Chickadees with better learning and memory skills, needed to find numerous food caches, are more likely to survive their first winter, a long-term study of mountain chickadees has found.” Why was that? “Enhanced spatial cognition and brain power evolves via natural selection,” they conclude. But if natural selection (NS) were a directional, progressive law of nature, chickadees would be today’s Einsteins after millions of years. Why would any dumb chicks be born? And yet all through the research, the chickadees were still chickadees! No speciation occurred. Darwin used NS to explain the origin of species—indeed, the entire biosphere—not just variations within species. The students involved worked hard on data collection, but here’s what one said: “Results like these (about natural selection) make the long days of digging out snowmobiles, shoveling snow and programming our chickadee feeders from underneath a tarp in sleeting weather worth the effort twice over.” They were not lazy about data collection, certainly; they were lazy about explanation. Other possibilities than NS should have been considered, such as pre-programmed adaptability. Saying “Stuff Happens” (NS) says nothing at all.Darwin’s finches don’t tell the whole story of avian evolution (Phys.org). This article provides good news and bad news. The good news is that the icon of Darwin’s finches is in trouble (again). The bad news is that the scientists at University College London won’t let go of their lucky charm, natural selection, which perpetuated the icon to begin with. The authors show extreme bird beaks which, they agree, cannot be explained by natural selection due to competition for food. But like a bad habit, in comes the old NS mindset. Measuring beaks and skulls, they tell a new selectionist just-so story:The researchers also discovered that birds who eat grains—such as finches and quail—and those who survive on the nectar of flowers—like hummingbirds—exhibit the highest rate of cranial evolution. By contrast, terrestrial carnivores—hawks, falcons, owls and other birds who hunt and eat using their talons—exhibit a very slow rate of cranial change.“This is where natural selection comes into play,” said Professor Anjali Goswami, a Research Leader at the Natural History Museum and a co-author on the study.“Birds that eat nectar or seeds are going to experience lots of competition for resources and must evolve in order to survive.“In the end, they admit their story is simplistic. “Our study focused on the skull, but we hypothesise that other parts of the body could be shaped by diet and ecology, such as wings, talons, and stomachs,” they say, raising the perhapsimaybecouldness index to justify their lazy explanation.Darwin’s rabbit helps to explain the fightback against myxomatosis (Phys.org). Examples of resistance to pathogens are often cited as examples of NS in action. “Nearly seventy years after myxomatosis decimated the rabbit populations of Australia, Britain and France, a new study reveals how the species has evolved genetic resistance to the disease through natural selection,” the story goes. In this case again, though, the research starts and ends with one species. Nothing evolved. Take away the threat, and the population would probably return to its previous ratio. The flawed reasoning in this article could be applied to Jews in WWII. Did the ones who survived the death camps evolve resistance to Nazism by natural selection? Perish the thought!How genes and evolution shape gender – and transgender – identity (The Conversation). This article represents a new low in selection theory. It demonstrates that having a PhD is no protection from absurdity and social pressure. Dr Jenny Graves claims that our sexual identity is selected (naturally) by the genes of the opposite sex. And then she uses this claim to rationalize the gender fluidity trend, saying:These variants of sexual identity and behaviour may therefore be considered examples of what we call “sexual antagonism”, in which a gene variant has different selective values in men and women. It makes for the amazing variety of human sexual behaviours that we are beginning to recognise.Is she a racist? Does she not realize that we are all Homo sapiens? Is she denying free will? Then, logically, natural selection must have caused her to write comedy, as she follows social fads off the cliff. (Visited 372 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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