Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week:  Design withouta Designer

first_img(Visited 108 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Apparently Francisco Ayala (UC Irvine) thinks that just stating something dogmatically is enough to end all discussion.  The scope of his paper in PNAS is grandiose and sweeping, enough to keep philosophers and theologians from around the world busy for years, but Ayala just put out his opinions without any hint of dispute, and stamped it with the seal of the National Academy of Sciences.  Here is the abstract from his paper, “Darwin’s greatest discovery: Design without a designer” –Darwin’s greatest contribution to science is that he completed the Copernican Revolution by drawing out for biology the notion of nature as a system of matter in motion governed by natural laws.  With Darwin’s discovery of natural selection, the origin and adaptations of organisms were brought into the realm of science.  The adaptive features of organisms could now be explained, like the phenomena of the inanimate world, as the result of natural processes, without recourse to an Intelligent Designer.  The Copernican and the Darwinian Revolutions may be seen as the two stages of the one Scientific Revolution.  They jointly ushered in the beginning of science in the modern sense of the word: explanation through natural laws.  Darwin’s theory of natural selection accounts for the “design” of organisms, and for their wondrous diversity, as the result of natural processes, the gradual accumulation of spontaneously arisen variations (mutations) sorted out by natural selection.  Which characteristics will be selected depends on which variations happen to be present at a given time in a given place.  This in turn depends on the random process of mutation as well as on the previous history of the organisms.  Mutation and selection have jointly driven the marvelous process that, starting from microscopic organisms, has yielded orchids, birds, and humans.  The theory of evolution conveys chance and necessity, randomness and determinism, jointly enmeshed in the stuff of life.  This was Darwin’s fundamental discovery, that there is a process that is creative, although not conscious.There is hardly a line in this paragraph that is not disputed by some of the greatest minds of this and past ages, yet Ayala stated it all as a fact of science and a “discovery” of Charles Darwin.    The paper mostly summarized the history of mechanistic science and construed the Darwinian Revolution as supplanting natural theology.  Ignoring the Cambrian explosion, he judiciously began his tale of gradualism after the sudden appearance of all the animal phyla: “Several hundred million generations separate modern animals from the early animals of the Cambrian geological period (542 million years ago)…. we can readily understand that the accumulation of millions of small, functionally advantageous changes could yield remarkably complex and adaptive organs, such as the eye,” he said.    He also attributed mental and moral qualities – aesthetics, rationality and even free will – to matter in motion: “organisms that populate the Earth, including humans who think and love, endowed with free will and creative powers, and able to analyze the process of evolution itself that brought them into existence,” he said, not blinking a philosophical eye.  ”This is Darwin’s fundamental discovery, that there is a process that is creative although not conscious.”  He did not ask whether a product of unconsciousness could determine the presence or absence of consciousness in another, nor how a product of irrational forces could rationally defend the truth of such a claim.  Apparently this was all intuitively obvious and needed no defense:And this is the conceptual revolution that Darwin completed: the idea that the design of living organisms can be accounted for as the result of natural processes governed by natural laws.  This is nothing if not a fundamental vision that has forever changed how mankind perceives itself and its place in the universe.Ayala’s paper was one of a dozen from a colloquium held by the Academy last December in Irvine, California, on the subject, “In the Light of Evolution I: Adaptation and Complex Design.”  The papers just became available today (May 10) on the PNAS website.  Of course, no one from an Intelligent Design movement was allowed to publish a contrary view or rebuttal.1Francisco J. Ayala, “Darwin’s greatest discovery: Design without designer,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10.1073/pnas.0701072104, published online before print May 9, 2007.They just aren’t learning, are they?  How these people, with Eugenie Scott and Nicholas Matzke and all the other Darwin Party hacks present, can continue to spew out their unchanged rhetoric after years of debates, books, documentaries, conversions and international movements is a measure of their incorrigibility.  It would be honorable if they acknowledged the criticisms and strove to address them in a scholarly way.  Then, at least, we could have a discussion about the evidence.  But they don’t even admit the existence of challenges to their views.  When they stoop briefly to admit the existence of critics, they just sweep them away with the same old talking points devised in the 19th century.  It’s always one-way communication.  They act like wooden dolls with fake ears and prerecorded voices, complete with halitosis.    Where have they been?  This is the Information Age, the age of molecular machines and biomimetics and rational design.  The Science Wars and the collapse of logical positivism have shown one cannot assume a fact/value distinction, a science/religion dichotomy, a demarcation criterion for science, or an objective/subjective posture.  Presuppositions matter.  It’s not the early 19th century any more.  We have paradigms, webs of belief, social and historical influences on science, redefinitions of scientific explanation, deep debates about empiricism vs rationalism, no consensus on what constitutes scientific explanation, and a host of other worries that do not allow one to merely assume science is progressive and true to reality.  Even then, Ayala cannot just assume that Darwinism is better aligned with science (whatever it is) than are other world views.  Darwinian claims go far, far beyond anything that can be subjected to scientific investigation.  Claims this broad need warrant, not assumption.    None of the worn-out Darwinist propaganda could stand up to a minute’s worth of hard questioning by an undergrad in philosophy of science or intellectual history.  His Copernicanism is all wrong, his history of science could be shredded by even secular historians of science, and his terminology begs numerous questions about what is science, what is design, what is natural law, and whether chance and necessity can produce rationality.  No problem, thinks Ayala.  I’ll just speak the talking points and let them come true.  I’ll use my rationality to disprove rationality.  Well, he succeeded on that last point – but only within the boundaries of his own skull.    So.  If they aren’t going to listen, we shouldn’t listen to them (as if we hadn’t heard their reruns long enough to have them memorized).  Tune out of the flat black-and-white Darwin Party propaganda machine, and tune in to the 3-D, stereo, fresh, live broadcasts of the information age.    The only value of this paper is a lesson in hindsight.  Modern students should study this to learn what the Old Guard of the Darwin Party was saying right before their regime collapsed.  It would be like reading Mein Kampf or studying the Sayings of Mao in a 20th century history class – weird, but thank God nobody still believes that. Exercise:  Find all the errors of fact and propaganda techniques Ayala used in the abstract quoted above.  For an advanced exercise, read his entire paper and search for any actual scientific evidence he used to prove that chance and necessity could produce orchids, birds and humans (remember, microevolution cannot be extrapolated recklessly, and he cannot assume what he needs to prove).  Among his historical and scientific references, see if there are observations that are actually relevant to this grandiose claim (e.g., bacterial resistance is limited to bacteria – it does not follow that humans evolved from bacteria).  A successful graduate should also be able to describe some of the havoc these ideas have wrought on civilization.last_img read more

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Apple: Free Cases for All

first_imgRelated Posts Key Quotes from Steve Jobs:“This is life in the smartphone world. Phones aren’t perfect.”“X marks the spot. You know exactly where to hold it.”“The data says the issue has been blown so far out of proportion, it’s incredible.”To the press: ” I wish we could have done this in the first 48 hours, but then you wouldn’t have had so much to write about.”How to Get Your Free CaseApple will send every iPhone 4 owner a free case. Starting next week, users will be able to apply for a free case on Apple’s website. Jobs also acknowledged that Apple can’t make enough bumpers to satisfy demand, so it will source cases from other vendors as well. If you bought a bumper from Apple, the company will issue a refund. Apple will not, however, offer refunds to users who bought third-party cases.Jobs: Every Smartphone has the Same Antenna ProblemJobs noted that only 0.55% percent of Apple’s customers have called the company’s customer service line to complain about issues with the iPhone 4’s reception, and that Apple is seeing lower return rates for the iPhone 4 than during the iPhone 3GS launch. During his presentation, Jobs also argued that the iPhone 4’s antenna issues are not unique and can be found in almost every modern smartphone on the market. Apple has sold over 3 million iPhone 4s over the last three weeks. The white version of the iPhone 4 will ship at the end of July. iPhone 4 Drops Just as Many Calls as the 3GSThe press conference opened with the iPhone Antenna song. After this, Steve Jobs noted that Apple loves “making our users happy.” According to Jobs, Apple has known about this issues since the iPhone 4 launch. Jobs, however, also argues that this problem isn’t unique to the iPhone 4. Other phones, including the Blackberry Bold and HTC Droid Eris, see similar drops when the phones are held in a specific way. According to Jobs, “This is life in the smartphone world. Phones aren’t perfect.” Based on AT&T’s data, iPhone 4 users are seeing roughly about the same number of dropped calls as iPhone 3GS users. The receptions issues with the iPhone 4, according to Jobs, have been “blown so far out of proportion, it’s incredible.” Jobs also noted that only 20% of iPhone 4 are currently using cases, while about 80% of iPhone 3G and 3GS users bought a case for their phones. This, said Jobs, could be the reason why more users are now reporting problems with their receptions.Apple, according to Jobs, has 17 anechoic chambers and invested over $100 million in its antenna-testing facilities over the last five years. The company has 18 PhD scientists and engineers on staff who are working on the design of these antennas. Overall, Apple clearly tried to downplay the issues with the iPhone’s antenna during today’s presentation. During the Q&A session after the presentation, Jobs also lashed out at the press. Specifically, he argued that this story has been blown completely out of proportions and the the New York Times (and others) “are just making this stuff up.”How it All StartedThe antenna issue went undetected during the first round of reviews before the new iPhone’s launch, but users (including this author), quickly noticed these problems after they received their phones. Since then, Apple has launched an update to the iOS operating system that changes how the software calculates the number of signal bars. According to most pundits, the new method gives users a more realistic view of their iPhone’s actual signal strength. This fix, however, did not alleviate any of the antenna issues that iPhone 4 users have reported. Tags:#Apple#news#web frederic lardinois Apple is going to offer every iPhone 4 user a free case until September 30th and won’t charge users a restocking fee if they are unhappy with their iPhone 4 purchase. Apple made this announcement at a small press conference on the company’s Cupertino, California campus today. The press conference started with an admission from Apple CEO Steve Jobs that Apple is “not perfect. Phones are not perfect. But we want to make all our users happy.” center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

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How to Edit a Session With Tons of Camera Angles in Premiere Pro

first_imgWhat do you do when you have so many camera angles that the multi-camera monitor is no longer a viable option? Make sure you’re always choosing the best shot possible with this unconventional workaround in Premiere Pro.When working with projects such as single-camera music videos with performance footage and a narrative element, it’s easy to suddenly be dealing with something like thirty camera angles. At that point using the traditional multi-camera monitor may not be a viable solution, either because your computer can’t handle that many streams without the need of very low-resolution proxies or simply because keeping track of that many thumbnails is very difficult. The process explained in the video below could be the solution you’re looking for. (If you’re following the step-by-step walkthrough below the video, click on the images to enlarge them in a new tab.)1. Synchronize your footage in a new sequence with a separate track for each angle in the video.Whether it’s performance footage or a narrative storyline, the first step is very similar to a common approach to creating a traditional multi-camera workflow. As you can see in the image above, there’s a huge number of angles to deal with in this particular example.2. Color code groups of tracks that relate to each other so it will be easy to identify them later in the process.Right-click on each clip in the timeline and select Label to change its color. See the image above for an example.3. Use the Target Track feature to use this particular approach.Turn off the V1 Target Track by clicking the highlighted V1 to the left of Video Track 1. Create a new track at the top of all of your clips and name it Print Track. To target this track, make sure that you click on the V32 (or whatever number coincides with your number of tracks).This means that anything you paste or insert will go directly to this track. Since your Print Track is at the top of the order in your timeline, anything that appears on that track will be seen in the Program window.4. Use the Toggle Track buttons to the left of each clip to temporarily make a track viewable in the Program Monitor.Remember that whatever track is highest in the stack of tracks in your timeline will be viewable as long as the Track Output is enabled. So to see Video Track 1, for example, you would need to turn off each Track Output above it.5. Now that you’ve targeted the Print Track, anything you paste will appear anywhere the playhead is located. By using the razor blade (Quick Key: C), arrow (Quick Key: V), and the rolling edit tool (Quick Key: N) in conjunction with the copy and paste commands (Quick Keys: Command+C and Command+V), you can now begin selecting segments from any of your tracks.Additionally, you can use the up and down arrows to quickly snap the playhead to the beginning or ending of any clip located on the Print Track. This will be very useful when you can’t see the Print Track when choosing content from the lower tracks in your sequence. Pushing the up-arrow key moves backwards in time while the down-arrow key moves you forward in time.6. Choose your opening shot and let it play until you’re ready to switch to a different angle. Once the shot is complete, make a cut using the razor blade tool, switch to the arrow tool to select the clip, and hit the up arrow to return to the start of the sequence. (If your clip has empty space between it and 00:00:00:00, then position the playhead at the clip start for this first clip.) Next, hit Command +C to copy and Command +V to paste.You should now see a copy of the clip in the same point in time on the targeted Print Track. Continue in this manner until you’ve completed your edit.Results: Everything on the Print Track will now reflect your edits and will play back with ease even on a modest system. This method is time-consuming, but it can be a great solution once you’re able to use the quick-key commands without thinking. I’ve used this method in several scenarios:1.  When there wasn’t disk space or time to make proxies of a very large project.2.  When there were too many camera angles, and flipping between multiple pages in the multi-camera monitor was affecting my edit decisions.3.  When my clients try to edit content for themselves on very modest systems that require so much compression in the proxies that they can no longer tell if the shot is in focus or generally useable.How do you go about editing multi-angle projects? Share your tips in the comments below!last_img read more

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Cabinet shows red card to Sports Bill, Maken asked to redraft it

first_imgPoliticians with sports fiefs to guard have ganged up to oppose a draft Bill that aims to end their cushy reign by putting age and tenure limits for office-bearers of sports federations and the Indian Olympic Association.On Tuesday, they seemed to have drawn first blood. Sports minister Ajay Maken, who presented the draft National Sports Development Bill to the cabinet – it also seeks to bring the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) under the purview of the Right to Information Act (RTI) – has been asked to come again with a fresh draft.The Bill got a second life because despite the opposition, it had the backing of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, home minister P. Chidambaram and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.Few had illusions that it would be plain sailing for Maken at the cabinet meeting.As many as five ministers present at the meeting head sports associations.Besides, it is a known fact that politicians holding these positions are usually united across party lines when it comes to defending their turf.What was, however, surprising was the timing of the opposition from the politicians concerned. It comes a mere two days after Anna Hazare ended his fast to demand accountability in government functioning.While Hazare’s strike raised hopes of increased transparency in public life, the winds of accountability and transparency have yet to reach Indian sports.The major bone of contention seems to be the sports ministry’s long-term development plan (LTDP) which many in the cabinet felt was too “intrusive.” Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar is the International Cricket Council (ICC) president and heavy industries minister Praful Patel heads the All India Football Federation. Minister of road transport and highways C. P. Joshi heads the Rajasthan cricket association and new and renewable energy minister Farooq Abdullah heads the cricket association in Jammu and Kashmir. Minister of science and technology Vilasrao Deshmukh recently defeated former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar to become the president of the Mumbai Cricket Association.advertisementThe PM and Chidambaram are understood to have backed Maken, but the numbers were never on their side. Opposition leaders such as Archery Association of India president V. K. Malhotra, who has been at the helm since 1979 and is the IOA’s acting president, has been vehement in his criticism of the draft.Another senior BJP leader, Arun Jaitley, heads the Delhi and District Cricket Association. Malhotra had described the draft Bill as ” Draconian”. Most of them do not comply with the proposed age and tenure restrictions of 70 years and three terms 12 years) mentioned in the draft, and were never going to let go of their fiefdoms. Back in May 2010, then sports minister M. S. Gill suggested an age and tenure bar for office- bearers of sports federations. The IOA had then lobbied with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the latter had warned that India may be barred from the Olympics if the proposals – that reportedly went against the Olympic charter – became law.Pawar and Patel wanted the removal of the intrusive provisions for all sports from the LTDP. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president even threatened to take up the matter with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi if the cabinet approved the draft. He said if the 70- year age limit was agreed upon, “then whosoever is sitting in the room has no right to stay here”.HRD minister Kapil Sibal, who is facing flak for his handling of the Hazare agitation, argued it is not the political environment in which such a Bill can be tabled. Septuagenarian Farooq Abdullah found the age limit a problem. He is reported to have said during the meeting: “I can do things that young people cannot do.”Urban development minister Kamal Nath also had reservations about the LTDP. It was Chidambaram who saved the day for Maken. It was his intervention that ensured that the draft was not deferred or referred to the group of ministers (GoM) as that could have made it impossible for its reintroduction. Sources said Chidambaram remarked: “Let us not throw the baby along with the bathwater. Let us give the sports minister a chance.”Apparently, the PM said Maken should get a chance to rework the Bill.Pranab Mukherjee said most of the parties would not support the Bill in its current form. “Let’s rework this,” he said.In the past three years, the government has given grants of ` 458 crore to sports associations. It wanted in return was for them to come under the RTI and be accountable.advertisementOn the RTI Act, the BCCI argued that it is financially independent and takes no aid from the government. Therefore it is not liable to abide by the Act. However, the BCCI avails of concessions which have played a role in making it the richest cricket board.”BCCI is autonomous and our accounts are audited regularly,” its vice- president Niranjan Shah said. Sunil Gavaskar disagreed. “If an organisation has nothing to hide, it should be open to any information that is sought from it,” the batting legend argued.What the fuss is all about?Sports minister Ajay Maken, made a suo motu statement in the Lok Sabha on February 22, 2011, proposing a National Sports Development Bill, which aims to instill good governance among National Sports Federations (NSFs), and talks of participation of athletes in the decisionmaking processHighlights of the proposed billImbibes the philosophy of Olympism Aims to bring in more accountability, transparency in functioning of national sports bodies Adopts basic universal principles of good governance proposed by the International Olympic Committee Seeks to set up a National Sports Development Council headed by an eminent athlete Includes the core principles of fair and transparent elections and strictly enforce the age limit and tenure for office bearers of NSFs Proposes retirement, age at 70 years for office bearers of NSFs. Fixes the term of the president a maximum of 12 years, or three terms Forbids a Union sports minister from contesting the election to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) or a federation until the expiry of five years after demitting his office Includes athletes in decision making and ensures 25 per cent of the membership and voting rights for them Proposes to appoint a retired HC judge to the post of sports ombudsman to deal with grievances and disputes relating to sports organisations Prescribes rules for the prevention of sexual harassment, age fraud and anti-dopinglast_img

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