Can Evolution Survive Without Darwin?

first_imgCharles Darwin and the theory of evolution seem synonymous.  Nevertheless, many evolutionary biologists have pointed out that a lot has happened in evolutionary biology since Darwin died.  Some even criticize creationists for using the term “Darwinism” for evolution, though often it is just as much the habit of evolutionists (example: Genome Research: “Genomics and Darwinism”).  These days, however, there is a movement to let old Darwin fade away and remove his name from evolutionary theory altogether.  Some even see his main idea, natural selection, as an impediment to progress in the field.    In a letter to Science August 29, U. Kutschera of the University of Kassel in Germany suggested we replace “Darwinism” with “evolutionary biology” – a term first coined by Julian Huxley.  This is because evolutionary theory has expanded far beyond Darwin’s limited domain into other disciplines such as geology and computer science.  He also pointed out, though, that “we need another update of our concepts about the mechanisms of evolution” – a suggestion that natural selection is inadequate.    A distinct down-with-Darwin attitude was most clearly seen in an interview August 24 by Susan Mazur with Stuart Newman, published in The Scoop, an independent news service in New Zealand.  Mazur was asking Newman about his recent involvement in a closed conference of 16 evolutionary biologists in Altenberg, Austria last July (see “Revolt in the Darwin Camp” from 03/07/2008 and Mazur’s July 6 preview of controversial issues in The Scoop; for list of participants and their public statement on the outcome of the meeting, see the Rationally Speaking blog for July 17).  Some of the participants wanted to formulate an “extended evolutionary synthesis” with less natural selection and more of the new perspectives that have recently taken hold, such as self-organization and epigenetics.  Some of them see natural selection only as a culling filter after other mechanisms generated novelty that caused the origin of species and body plans.  These ideas remain controversial.    Newman described why self-organization might lead to complex structures.  To avoid misunderstanding, he prefers the term “phenotypic plasticity” –Plasticity is not only associated with self-organization.  Molecular self-assembly can also be plastic.  It is now recognized that many proteins have no intrinsic three-dimensional structure – their forms and functions change depending on their microenvironment, including other proteins that may or may not be present.  The structure and function of macromolecular complexes can therefore change dramatically over the course of evolution with minimal genetic change, or as a side-effect of other changes, not driven by adaptation.  This is quite relevant to the evolution of highly complex structures like the bacterial flagellum, a problem constantly harped on by advocates of “Intelligent Design.”Newman is saying that complex structures, composed of many parts that ID scientists would call irreducibly complex, might just happen spontaneously – without any “evolutionary force” of adaptation or natural selection driving the process.  Obviously such ideas are going to raise eyebrows among biologists trained in traditional Darwinism.    Newman and Mazur both complained that the establishment biologists are not welcoming the new ideas of self-organization.  What is most interesting in Mazur’s article is her vitriolic description of the “Darwinian industry” that remains sold out to traditional Darwinian adaptationism.  They abhor the concept of self-organization, she said, because of fear those in the intelligent-design community will exploit it.  She held out particular disdain for the NCSE, which “advises schools in America on what textbooks are suitable”.The National Center for Science Education director Eugenie Scott told me that her organization does not support self-organization because it is confused with intelligent design, i.e., “design-beyond-laws” – as Michael Behe, a biochemist at Lehigh University describes it.  NCSE also pays lucrative fees to conference speakers who keep the lid on self-organization by beating the drum for Darwinian natural selection.  NCSE and its cronies completely demonize the intelligent design community, even those who agree evolution happened.  Religion is not the target since even the National Academy of Sciences embraces religion.  So it seems the real target is those who fail to kneel before the Darwinian theory of natural selection and prevent the further fattening of the Darwinian industry tapeworm.    NAS and NASA/NAI in their respective publications Science, Evolution and Creationism, and Astrobiology Primer have also kept out any discussion of self-organization. What is your response to this? Why do you think such organizations continue to feed unenlightened information to the public at public expense?Somewhat taken aback at the language, Newman agreed, but with the disclaimer that “I may not use all the terms that you used”.  He pointed out that at the Dover trial, for instance, the idea was reinforced in the public mind that “if you believe in evolution, you believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution because it’s supposedly the same thing.  And if you don’t believe in Darwin’s theory, you must believe in something supernatural.”  In bold print, Mazur quoted his next statement:This is not at all valid and I think it’s a big mistake because we know there are non-linear and what I call saltational mechanisms of embryonic development that could have contributed — and I’m virtually certain they did — to evolution.  It was Darwin who said that if any organ is shown to have formed not by small increments but by jumps, his theory would therefore be wrong.  [Emphasis in original].Newman seems to be implying that, by Darwin’s own standard, natural selection theory has been falsified.  He called it a “Darwinian orthodoxy” that “everything has to be incremental,” including “something very complex like the bacterial flagellum or the segmented vertebral column, they say that it had to have arisen in an incremental fashion.”  Self-assembly and self-organization, Newman believes, can account for these things without natural selection.  “I think it’s an unfortunate error that some advocates of evolution are making by adhering so closely to this incrementalist Darwinian dogma,” which he later attributed to “implausible and incorrect mechanisms”.  Mazur reacted by calling this “mediocre science being pushed on the public” and “wasting of public funds at a time of serious economic downturn in America”.    Newman and Mazur discussed how funding can perpetuate a consensus, even when it’s wrong, and how the consensus controls communication with the public.  “It really undermines confidence in science if people are always being subjected to what we call handwaving arguments that all complexity had to have had an incremental origin.”  Nevertheless, Newman himself, when describing how self-organization might produce a flagellum, seemed also to be just waving his hands.Won’t it be fun if Darwinism collapses just in time for Darwin Day?  There was going to be a big celebration in 1992, remember, for Columbus on the 500th anniversary of his voyage to the New World.  The party fizzled, however, when activists got all untied about his supposed links to racism, exploitation, disease, and slavery.  (Whether this was true to history or not is beside the point.)  Maybe that’s the secret.  Hire a bunch of live-at-home dropouts and history professors who have nothing better to do than protest things.  Convince them that Darwin brought racism, sexism, genocide and a host of other evils.  (That this is true to history is the point.)  Turn them loose, get the media focused on them, raise a ruckus and watch Darwin become very politically incorrect on campus.  What a surprised look we will see on Eugenie Scott’s face when the people chanting “Down with Darwin!” are not religious creationists, but a motley mix of radicals, liberals, progressives, diversity departments and evolutionary biologists like Stuart Newman.    This is not the first time the saltationists have attacked the gradualists.  It’s part of a repeated tug-of-war that resurfaces every decade or two, because insiders bred on Darwinism know that gradualism via natural selection is “implausible and incorrect.”  The Darwin Party hangs on for dear life because they know all is lost if gradualism goes.  No matter what you call saltationism, whether punctuated equilibria or phenotypic plasticity or self-assembly, it is tantamount to naturalistic miracles.  Can anyone really believe an outboard motor of 40 essential parts just self-assembled without design?  Such faith conjures up visions of tornados in junkyards and explosions in print shops.  The Darwinians know that intelligent design people and creationists love this stuff.  It makes their job so easy.  A dinosaur lays an egg and a bird hatches out.  Yeee-haw!    Join the resistance!  Don’t kneel before the Darwinian theory of natural selection.  Prevent the further fattening of the Darwinian industry tapeworm!  (Thank you, Susan, for that picturesque metaphor.)  For those of us outside the Church of Darwin, who think with our brains instead of our imaginations, we’ll get our miracles, thank you, from the intelligent Designer who has both the purpose and the power to execute them.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Building Capacity: Identifying and Making the Most of Available Information and Local Networks

first_img This MFLN-Military Caregiving concentration blog post was published on April 28, 2017. Written by Christopher Plein, Ph.D. West Virginia University and MFLN Military Caregiving Team MemberAristotle is credited with the observation that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This ancient piece of wisdom holds true today, especially as we consider working together through networks and in collaborations at the community level.   The concept also applies when we are pulling together various strands of data and information to form a fuller picture of a topic, challenge, or opportunity that is before us.  One of the goals of the Military Families Learning Network is to help all of us recognize how we can make the most of existing resources in our communities and beyond.Just last week, one of our MFLN groups, the Community Capacity Building concentration area, offered a webinar on how to “Learn to Build Community Capacity through My Training Hub Modules.” The training modules are of great assistance to anyone considering how to effect positive change in their communities.   Most importantly, the training modules reveal how each of us has the tools and abilities to work together to make a difference.  The modules are readily accessible and are hosted on the Military One Source website.The training modules embrace an assets and opportunity based approach rather than a deficit and problem orientation.  This echoes much of what we know about the importance of combining strengths and resources to build community resilience, strengthen networks, and improve collaborative effort.As the training modules reveal, community capacity building has many different applications.  As a health policy specialist, I was especially interested in how different individuals and organizations can work together to promote healthy communities, to build and strengthen networks of caregivers, to improve health service delivery, and to better coordinate common interests and efforts among various institutions, groups, and organizations.Caregivers and those that assist caregivers (such as Extension professionals and military family support personnel) know the importance of friends, families, and colleagues who provide advice, assistance, and support.  Through these relationships, we become self-reliant but also mutually supportive.  The Community Capacity Building training modules explain effectively how these arrangements serve as “Informal Networks” and serve as a bedrock for community capacity. When “Formal Systems” are added to the mix in a conscious and collaborative way, such as social service agencies and healthcare providers, the possibilities of “Collective Competency” increase allowing for overall capacity building that benefits all. We can also make more of the sum of the parts when we are accessing information and data that provides insight and context.  To make positive change, we must have an understanding of the underlying context in which we are involved.  Knowing the lay of the land is absolutely essential for planning and action. Tapping into various data and information sources can help us greatly.  Here again the Capacity Building training provides helpful resources for family support professionals and caregivers.  For example, the session on Advanced Community Assessment (Session 4) provides links to helpful government reports and documents that help us understand underlying demographic information, health status, and healthcare assets at the community level.The training modules identify many helpful sources of data and information.   For those wanting to get the big picture of military demographics, the Department of Defense’s annual Profile of the Military Community is essential. Other resources allow you to take a closer look at specific locations at the state and community level.  The US Census Bureau’s American FactFinder website provides detailed information on local communities by city, county, and zip code. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers detailed information at the state level and for many cities (see for example, this page).  In addition to the resources identified in the Community Capacity Building Modules, there are other resources that are useful in knowing more about local communities and states.  Especially helpful is the annual Kids Count Report that is a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation which provides national, state, and local data on child well-being issues.The insights offered in the Community Capacity Building modules are well worth the investment of time and effort to dip into and take the training.  I encourage you to take a look at these by visiting the MFLN Community Capacity Building web-page, I would also invite you to share any resources with us that you might recommend.  You can do this by commenting below!center_img To gain a better understanding of the training mentioned throughout this post and the different modules within it, please look into last week’s Friday Field Notes from Community Capacity Building: Learn to Build Community Capacity through My Training Hub Modules.last_img read more

Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson still going strong

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments LATEST STORIES But it’s not easy.“I’ve worked to give my body the best chance to do my job, but there are days when I just don’t practice and I don’t train. Those are days I’ve just got to rest,” Woods said at Torrey Pines. “That’s probably been one of the lessons I’ve learned through all of this, is there are days I just have to shut it down.”The Genesis Open is their first time competing against each other since the Tour Championship, notwithstanding the overhyped made-for-TV match they played with $9 million going to the winner (Mickelson). They are in elite territory financially, too. With his victory, Mickelson joined Woods as the only players to surpass $90 million in career earnings on the PGA Tour.Mickelson says his goal of 50 victories might be tougher to achieve than he realized. What about $100 million?“I just need one more match with Tiger and I should get there,” he said.His game is sharp is ever. So is the needle.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next No one should be surprised.While too one-sided to be a rivalry, they have been a powerful one-two punch in golf. The same day Woods won his third straight U.S. Amateur right before he turned pro, Mickelson won the World Series of Golf at Firestone. Woods picked up his 80th career victory at the Tour Championship to end last season. Mickelson won his 44th at Pebble Beach on Monday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesIf anything raises eyebrows, it’s that Mickelson believes their trophy collection will keep growing.“I just believe that, even today, if I play my best, if Tiger plays his best, it’s good enough to win on any week,” Mickelson said. “And the challenge is there are so many great young players, and so many great players in the game today, that it takes our best to win. I just think that both myself and Tiger are going to have a really, really good year this year.” ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations NBA says no rules broken in Ben Simmons-Magic Johnson meeting request FILE – In this Sept. 4, 2018, file photo, Phil Mickelson, left, listens to Tiger Woods speak during a news conference where they were announced as captain’s picks for the 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup Team, in West Conshohocken, Pa. Woods and Mickelson have combined for 124 wins on the PGA Tour, and Mickelson believes they’re not done. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)LOS ANGELES — The 144-man field at Riviera has 88 players who have combined to win 496 times on the PGA Tour.Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson account for 25 percent of those victories.ADVERTISEMENT US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Nothing changes the outlook like winning, and Mickelson made it look easy on the weekend at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.He recovered from consecutive bogeys along the ocean, when the wind and rain were at their worst, by playing the final 26 holes without a bogey. Mickelson made an 8-foot par putt on the 17th hole Saturday. Otherwise, his longest putt for par during that stretch was 4 feet.But it’s harder than it looks.Mickelson turns 49 this summer, and one of the most underrated qualities has been his health. He revealed in the summer of 2010 that he was dealing with psoriatic arthritis. Otherwise, his injuries have been either minor (left wrist from Oakmont’s rough in 2007) or temporary (broken leg from skiing in 1994).“The challenge is getting myself to play my best,” Mickelson said.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Go: Search for ‘perfect, honest man’ to lead PNP still on PLAY LIST 01:31Go: Search for ‘perfect, honest man’ to lead PNP still on01:58With new role in drug war, Robredo might ‘baby’ the drug lords – Bong Go01:16Go goads Robredo to take ICAD post: ‘Tignan natin kung makakatulog ka pa’02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Woods is 43 with eight surgeries behind him — four on his left knee, four on his lower back.His comeback last year is why expectations are so high now. Woods played well in Florida last year, took a dip in the late spring and then kept getting better until winning the Tour Championship the way he won so many other tournaments. He built a lead over 54 holes and played the kind of golf that was tough to beat.He was at his best that week, and he had to be.With the meat of the season about to begin, the question is how often they can be at their best against deeper and younger competition.He seems to be doing just fine. Mickelson was poised to win the Desert Classic until he lost on a birdie at the last hole to Adam Long, who was No. 417 in the world ranking. He overcame a three-shot deficit against Paul Casey by closing with a 65 at Pebble Beach. In between was a missed cut at the Phoenix Open, where he changed driver in search of a few extra yards. Mickelson is always chasing distance.His optimism comes from picking up 6 mph of swing speed for his driver, which he says rarely happens to anybody, let alone someone in his late 40s.There was no secret involved.“It’s not really a secret. It was nine months of hard work,” Mickelson said. “And then overnight I was swinging 6 mph fast. It was biometric swing studies, taking weaknesses and making them strengths. It was time in the gym. It was a whole workout process. It’s been a lot of work, but days like this make it worthwhile.”Mickelson last year won the Mexico Championship for his first victory in more than four years, the longest drought of his career. Even when he wasn’t winning, he was a runner-up at majors three straight years.Woods went five years without winning, but that was different. During a four-year stretch when he had four back surgeries, he played only 19 times on the PGA Tour and registered only one top-10 finish. To have won last year, to have risen to just outside the top 10 in the world, is cause for optimism. ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woeslast_img read more

Sophomore helps fuel sevenyear win streak for OSU tennis

The Ohio State men’s tennis team is defending a home winning streak of 93 consecutive matches. The No. 3 Buckeyes added the most recent two victories last weekend after sweeping both New Mexico and Tulsa 7-0 at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association national qualifier. The Buckeyes are one of 16 teams set to compete in the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.Ty Tucker, in his 11th year coaching the Buckeyes, is a five-time Big Ten Coach of the Year as well as the most recent recipient of the Wilson National Coach of the Year in 2009. Tucker’s 2010 team is comprised of 11 passionate players who come from as close as Dayton and as far as Japan. New Albany native Chase Buchanan has just what the Buckeyes need to maintain their competitive edge and keep the streak alive.“I definitely don’t want to be the one to lose it for us. It’s pretty special,” Buchanan said. “I think it says a lot about our coaching and motivation to not lose.”He picked up his racket more than 12 years ago, and he hasn’t put it down since. He got hooked on tennis and he got hooked on winning. Success came quickly for Buchanan. At just 13, he won the Les Petit, the premier world championship for players 14 and under. He is the youngest player in history to win the Vero Beach Futures Event, which he did at the age of 16.After competing in the U.S. Open Doubles Draw in 2008, he knew he was ready for the next level.Buchanan was born a Buckeye and Ohio State was the obvious choice when he joined OSU in spring 2008 as the No. 1 recruit in the nation. Buchanan has committed his life to tennis. He has now competed at all levels and finds more motivation playing on the team. “I’m trying to do everything I can, finding a good balance,” he said.In his first season, Buchanan went 11-4 in singles matches and 6-3 in doubles action. He helped the Buckeyes win the Big Ten Championships for the fourth consecutive year, winning three consecutive matches on the No. 6 singles court.  Following a whirlwind year for Buchanan, he received a wildcard spot in the 2009 U.S. Open singles draw. He fell 6-0, 6-2, 6-1 in the first round to No. 7 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, but gained invaluable competitive experience. “It’s a little more physical [in the pros], but besides that it’s a lot of mental stuff,” Buchanan said. This year Buchanan and counterpart Justin Kronauge feel the added pressure on the No. 1 doubles court.“We’ve got to win our spot every time. If we win our spot we are going to win the doubles point,” Buchanan said. Buchanan is doing his best to step up as a team leader this season and will continue to do so at the ITA National Team Indoor Championship Feb. 12-13 in Charlottesville, Va. read more

Ohio State womens volleyball drops Big Ten opener in 5 sets to

Members of the OSU women’s volleyball team huddle before a game against Minnesota on Sept. 23 at St. John Arena. OSU lost 3-2.Credit: Sarah Mikati / Lantern PhotographerOn Wednesday evening at St. John Arena, the No.12 Ohio State women’s volleyball team opened Big Ten play with a loss at home, falling to No. 21 Minnesota in five sets (22-25, 12-25, 25-23, 25-19, 11-15).Both OSU (11-2, 0-1) and Minnesota (9-2, 1-0) came into the game on extended winning streaks. The Buckeyes had not lost since their opening match against Wyoming and the Golden Gophers came into the game having won eight straight matches.Minnesota won the first two sets of the night as it attempted to win its eighth straight game without dropping a single set. Minnesota gained leads of 4-1 and 15-2 in the first and second sets, respectively, forcing the Buckeyes to play from behind. OSU did not hold a lead at any point until midway through the third set.But OSU battled back, winning the hotly contested third and fourth sets before ultimately falling in the fifth.“We fought back and for as bad as we were the first two sets, we could have rolled over and died, but we didn’t. So, I’m proud of my team for that,” OSU coach Geoff Carlston said, finding a positive in the loss.However, Carlston said he was disappointed that the Buckeyes fell behind by such a wide margin early, a hole they were unable to recover from.“We almost had them. We’re better than they are. And we’re at home and we’ve got to show some more pride in how we go about things,” Carlston said.Senior outside hitter Elizabeth Campbell led OSU with 22 points, including 18 kills. However, she said she sees room for improvement.“I think we made a lot of mistakes. Just little things like being in the net or serving the ball into the net or out of bounds. So, if we can control our aspect of the game, I think that we can play a little bit better,” Campbell said.Carlston noted the errors at crucial points in the game as the reason the Buckeyes could not complete the comeback in the fifth set. The Buckeyes were called for a net violation late in the fifth and final set which gave the Golden Gophers an 11-9 lead that they held onto, ultimately winning 15-11.The Buckeyes are next set to face their fifth ranked team of the season on Sunday when they’re slated to host No.16 Wisconsin. The game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at St. John Arena. read more

Gracia believes that Doucoure should stay at Watford

first_imgJavi Gracia is certain that Abdoulaye Doucoure shouldn’t rush on his move from the club because he can fulfil his European dream even with the Hornets if he will, in the end, decide to stay here.The new Watford coach knows that there are a couple of clubs interested in Doucoure and he would be keen on a potential transfer as well – but he believes that it wouldn’t be the right choice.The Spaniard spoke about his side’s talented player as he said, according to Sky Sports:Players who made it public that they weren’t happy in their club Jozef Fabian – September 12, 2019 Football is about so much more than what happens on the pitch.“Doucoure is playing for a very big team, playing in the Premier League and in the future I would like him to play with Watford in Europe.”“Maybe in the future, he can play with other big clubs who play in the Champions League.”“But what I feel at this moment is that all of our players are proud to belong at this club. They are concentrated on the next match and trying to put the team as high in the table as possible.”last_img read more

Luis Enrique aims to continue the work of Lopetegui Hierro

first_imgIn his first official press conference as the new Spain boss, Luis Enrique outlined his aim to “continue the work” that both his predecessors Julen Lopetegui and Fernando Hierro accomplishedRFF president Luis Rubiales announced the appointment of Enrique over a week ago, in what he had described as a “unanimous” decision by the federation.It will mark the first time Enrique has been in football management since his departure from Barcelona in 2017.Having been previously been linked with the managerial vacancies at Arsenal and Chelsea, the 48-year-old surprisingly took up the challenge of taking charge of the Spanish national team following their disastrous World Cup campaign that had seen head coach Lopetegui fired on the eve of their first game and Hierro only being able to take the side past the group stages.“The aim is to continue the work of Lopetegui and Hierro,” said Enrique, according to Football-Espana.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“We have been analysing everything and we believe the foundations are in place to continue to carry on and re-find success for the team.“Both men worked extremely hard in their roles and we thank them for everything but football is a continuous cycle and winning trophies is not easy.“At Barcelona we had similar ideas of evolution, taking decisions based on ideas of winning more matches and more trophies.“I know what this job entails, and I am fortunate enough to have the trust of the president, whom I thank, and I hope I can impress in the role.“I am very excited for the big challenges that await.”last_img read more