ID in the News

first_imgPBS aired a segment on the anti-Darwinism controversy in the schools Monday (see PBS transcript).  Ken Ham and Stephen Meyer presented arguments for criticizing Darwin, while Eugenie Scott and others defended exclusive evolutionary teaching.  The Discovery Institute blog Evolution News analyzed the 14:32 minute segment, complaining that 90 minutes of Meyer’s interview received only 30 seconds of air time.  The segment, narrated by Jeffrey Brown, included some clips from the ID film Unlocking the Mystery of Life.The media continue to slant this controversy according to the “alt-ctrl-Scopes” macro, Rob Crowther of EvolutionNews writes.  But no one can deny that the debate is getting more and more attention.  Sooner or later, the Darwinists, instead of just assuming their belief that humans had bacteria ancestors, will have to actually come up with some evidence for it.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


Selling Evolution with Video Games and Stories

first_imgTwo recent articles cast doubt on the claim that evolutionists rely on factual information to teach students their theory.  When computers are programmed to make evolution happen on a screen, does it convey to what really happens in the wild?Cloudy computing:  PhysOrg reported that educators at the University of Buffalo are using “cloud computing” (software that accesses free internet resources) to make evolution more visually stimulating for students.  An application alarmingly called Pop! World is the key to taking the video game culture and selling evolution with it:“Pop! World gives students the visual background they need to understand complex mathematical problems,” Dittmar adds.  “And it works kind of like a video game, which serves the current population of undergrads well.”    That visual appeal is also expected to go far with middle-school and high-school biology students, groups the UB team hopes to excite about evolution; by spring, they expect to have completed a modified version for them as well.    By making evolutionary biology more visually appealing and, thus, more accessible, Poulin hopes that Pop! World will make evolution itself a more appealing subject for secondary schools to teach.    “There’s a huge disconnect,” she says.  “The universities all accept evolution as fact.  It’s not a question.  But many high schools and middle schools don’t want to touch it.  They don’t want to deal with the politics of it.”    Her hope is that the visual and educational appeal of Pop! World and the ease of using it will begin to change that situation.Pop! World uses digital lizards in a flash application to simulate red and green lizards evolving (see demo at popworld15.appspot.com).  The gamey intro heavily emphasizes the visualization of the computer world.Adami still playing games:  Christoph Adami has not quit his addiction with Avida (05/08/2003), an evo-simulator that has been roundly debunked by scientists in the intelligent design community (see example at Evolution News & Views).  New Scientist shows Adami and fellow astrobiologist Chris McKay coming up with “telltale chemistry” that might “betray ET,” and testing amino acid samples input into his software.  McKay calls the search for alien amino acids the “Lego principle” blurring the distinction between scientific empiricism and toy modeling.New Scientist quoted a critic finding a lot of uncertainty in the claim, but gave the tip of the hat to McKay, who made his philosophical assumption clear: “What we see on Earth is not a quirk of Earth biology but a universal principle.”  No earthling knows that by observation.In the Baloney Detector, visualization is one of several categories that can be good or bad depending on how it is used.  Any teacher or student knows the value of positive visualization.  A picture is worth a thousand words; the ability to simplify a concept by analogy and illustration is invaluable as a stepping stone to deeper understanding.  But a picture can also be worth a thousand blurs.  It can obfuscate, oversimplify, omit pertinent details, add half-truths, distract, and deceive as easily as can a big lie.    That is what is being done with Pop! World.  The authors are intentionally appealing to the baser video-game instincts of students rather than their intellect, character, or understanding.  They attempt to slide a controversial world-view into their minds by making it sound fun and easy.  But what they leave out of their visualized evolution screen is far more important than what they put in: e.g., (1) no gains in genetic information can come from random, unguided processes; (2) lizard color changes are mere horizontal variations rather than upward gains in complexity; (3) mutations are more likely to kill off a population than make it more fit (whatever fitness means); and more.    Darwin’s disciples have long survived on the junk food of visualization (see cartoon).  The 10-year anniversary series by Jonathan Wells about his book Icons of Evolution makes that abundantly clear.  Pop! World is appropriately named at least; it is an extension of the Popeye Theory of Evolution (see 03/11/2005 and 10/31/2010 commentaries).  Adami’s “Tell-tale chemistry” would more appropriately be called “Tall-tale chemistry.”    The Darwin Propaganda Machine is a storytelling empire, with evolution its mystery religion, full of magic and mysticism, adoring its own gods and goddesses like the Bearded Buddha (12/31/2009, 02/19/2009, 06/28/2007), the Blunderful Wizard of Flaws (09/05/2008), and Tinker Bell (03/08/2005).  Just today on a TV Nature program, an announcer commented about a population of birds ready for “evolution to work its magic.”  And you thought science was a repudiation of superstition.    If high school biology teachers must satisfy their students’ craving for video games, let them use the more realistic Mendel’s Accountant.  This simulator doesn’t accept Darwinism as a given, but takes actual properties of genetic mutations and follows them faithfully through a population.  Unfortunately for Darwin-lovers, evolution doesn’t fare so well on that screen.  Better teach them some realism before they reach the University, where the witless novitiates become thoroughly brainwashed by the priesthood (“The universities all accept evolution as fact,” as if facts have any meaning by that stage of indoctrination).(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


Biometric grant cards beating fraud

first_img22 August 2013MasterCard and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) announced this week that there are now 10-million active SASSA Debit MasterCard cards in South Africa, following last year’s launch of a new biometric grant payment system.Since March 2012, just under 22-million social grant beneficiaries have re-registered on the new system introduced by SASSA to minimise fraudulent grant applications and collections and reduce administration costs by distributing grant payments electronically.According to the agency, the SASSA card’s biometric functionality identifies grant recipients using unique identifiers such as fingerprints, voice and other personal information, which means that the cards cannot be used by any person other than the approved beneficiary.SASSA CEO Virginia Petersen said on Tuesday that over 150 000 grants had been cancelled between April 2012 and June 2013, amounting to an annual saving of R150-million.“By simply moving all grant payments from largely cash payments, which were costly, cumbersome and riddled with inefficiencies, to electronic payments, the new system has already saved SASSA a considerable amount in grant administration costs,” MasterCard said in a statement.Before March 2012, it cost SASSA on average R33 per grant to pay its beneficiaries. Under the new system, disbursement costs have been capped at R16.44 per payment.As part of the SASSA re-registration process, each recipient has a bank account opened for them, which is offered free of monthly charges by Grindrod Bank.Recipients can deposit funds into their bank account via electronic funds transfer or third party bank transfer, as well as use their cards to make purchases, check their account balances, and withdraw cash at till points without incurring transaction charges at selected South African retailers.Recipients can also withdraw cash at any ATM, which does however attract transaction charges.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more


Delicious Founder, AOL Exec Launch Hacker Angels

first_imgaudrey watters Tags:#Analysis#start The Hacker Angels announced their formation last week, nabbing what is arguably the best name for an angel investor group. The group was formed by Going Inc. founder and current AOL executive Roy Rodenstein, Delicious founder Joshua Schachter, Duck Duck Go’s Gabriel Weinberg, Hotornot’s Jim Young, and Punchfork founder Jeff Miller. Describing themselves as hackers “in the good sense,” the group aims to “provide startups with targeted advice on technical questions, implementation issues, perhaps even do some coding here and there.” The group’s website makes clear that they’re not a fund per se: “This is an informal association and not a fund. If inclined, we may provide feedback, advice, mentorship, hacking, investment and/or serve as advisors or independent board members, on an individual basis.”The group hopes to make up for what Rodenstein described in a peHUB interview as a “lack of connection” between first-time entrepreneurs and the angel investor community. Weinberg echoes this when announcing the group on his blog, saying, “I believe that there are many good hacker entrepreneurs who are not getting the funding or advice they need to get traction for their startups. I also believe hackers relate well with other hackers, which is why I think the concept of hacker angels is so compelling.”In an interview with Mass High Tech’s Galen Moore, Rodenstein described the Hacker Angel strategy: “We do focus on people that are hackers and are really pushing the product forward rather than just pure concepts or people looking for co-founders to execute. The ideal scenario for us is getting in very early because we can provide a lot more support and advice. We’re comfortable with a little more high risk.” A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more


ReadWriteWeb DeathWatch: Best Buy

first_imgTags:#Amazon#business#Deathwatch#e-commerce#gaming#web Related Posts 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout While Apple Store employees are all getting raises, Best Buy workers are getting pink slips. Is it all over for the last of the big box electronics mega-chains, or will a last-minute offer from its billionaire founder help Best Buy reinvent itself?Wobbled by the same market changes that killed off Circuit City, Best Buy has managed to hang keep fighting the good fight. Still, while the company turned a first quarter profit, not even management will pretend that can last. Mike Mikan, Best Buy’s interim CEO, was almost apologetic in the company’s first quarter results release:“We know we have to better adapt to the new realities of the marketplace, and we are creating a long-term plan designed to make Best Buy more relevant with customers and position the company for sustained, profitable returns in the years ahead.”The new world isn’t pretty for big-box electronics chains, but Best Buy made it look worse with years of forward expansion based on backward thinking.The Basics In 1983, Richard Schulze renamed his small Minnesota chain of audio stores “Best Buy” and began an expansion into video. Within two years, it was a public company, and by 1992, the firm hit $1 billion in revenues. Best Buy rode the PC, VHS, DVD and HDTV booms to massive growth, becoming the dominant electronics retailing brand in the United States and a major player overseas. In 2000, it made the leap online, ahead of many competitors. When it acquired Geek Squad, Best Buy became the first electronics retailer to offer national support services. In 2004, Forbes named Best Buy Company of the Year, and in 2008, the company opened store number 1,000 in the Mall of America. When the market crashed in 2008, BestBuy’s massive overhead compounded the pain of consumers scaling back spending and moving purchases online. Despite an increasing amount of “showrooming” (where buyers browse goods in a brick-and-mortar store but purchase them online), though, Best Buy recovered from an all-time low in 2009 and continued its expansion. But weak growth, a massive loss in 2011, and the occasional scandal have pushed the retail giant toward the same fate that swallowed its competition.In response, Richard Schulze has offered to take the company private with $1 billion of his own equity and a little help from the banks. Best Buy’s board is weighing the offer, but so far, the markets seem unimpressed.The ProblemIn a nutshell, Best Buy is special in only one way: it’s big. It sells commodity goods, offers commodity services and isn’t as nimble as its Internet competitors. Think Barnes & Noble, minus the Nook. Still, Best Buy is competing against companies that have managed to distinguish themselves:Fry’s Electronics: With Circuit City gone, Fry’s may be the closest thing to Best Buy left. While it’s had its share of controversies over the years, Fry’s managed to do what Best Buy couldn’t – grow in the face of tough Internet competition (even despite a truly hideous website). Fry’s manages to match Internet prices (which Best Buy does not) on the back of strong cross-sales, warranty sales and impulse buys at the point of purchase. Fry’s also caters to hard-core gamers and PC geeks, offering system components and expertise unavailable at other physical stores.Apple: Apple sells and services a curated ecosystem of premium-priced products to a devoted user base. Best Buy sells everything to everyone. Until Apple starts selling DVD and washing machines, the two companies will remain worlds apart.Amazon: Amazon may be BestBuy’s biggest single competitor, but it’s a one-way fight. Amazon has little physical overhead and leans on revenues from ancillary businesses like Amazon Web Services.Best Buy is left with a generic customer base, an undifferentiated product line and only the equally commoditized Geek Squad to supplement its core revenues. Management’s answer? Make it up in volume.If more didn’t work, maybe more more would be better. Best Buy ignored 2008’s warning shot, building stores and broadening inventory into nonsensical categories like musical instruments. The expansion has flopped, and Best Buy will close 50 stores in 2012.The Players With an interim CEO still at the helm, the only person at Best Buy with a shot to turn things around isn’t even an employee. While he stepped down from the company’s board in June, Richard Schulze has been the company’s soul since he opened his first audio shop in 1966. At 71, with a net worth of $2 billion, Schulze doesn’t need the money. When he says “I care deeply about the company’s customers, employees and shareholders,” he means it, and to be fair, the company didn’t start to fall apart until Schulze stepped down as CEO.The PrognosisEveryone agrees that business-as-usual won’t save Best Buy, but gutting the only thing that distinguishes the company – its stores – can only hasten the fall. Best Buy won’t go out of business this year (it has more than $3 billion in cash), but the long term trends are all bad.Can This Company Be Saved?Probably not. Schulze’s bid, which would give Best Buy time and freedom to make drastic and experimental changes to the companies business model, is the only shot, but it’s still a very long one. Any successful business model would need to be entirely new.The “Toys R Us” turnaround is not a valid model, since consumer electronics are not bought like cheap toys. An “Apple Store” strategy would be just as deadly. If Sony and Microsoft couldn’t recreate Apple’s retail experience with their own products, how can a generic retailer like Best Buy make it work?The peanut gallery has some interesting ideas about how Best Buy could leverage its real estate and attract users, and perhaps some variant of these could be coupled with demographic targeting and smart joint ventures (perhaps with other business service providers like FedEx, for example).The Deathwatch So FarResearch In Motion: Things are hurtling downhill even faster than expected. Massive losses – more than 11 times worse than expected – and new delays in its Hail Mary BlackBerry 10 operating system update have made the company’s dire situation even harder to ignore. And over the weekend, a federal jury found RIM liable for $147 million in patent damages to Mformation Technologies.HP: No change in statusNokia: The mobile phone giant’s quarterly revenue and earnings exceeded expectations and it has reduced its cash burn rate, but the company lost money yet again and saw its debt ratings cut to junk status. And it still hasn’t cracked the U.S. smartphone market as it halves the retail price of its flagship Lumia 900 to $49.99.38 Studios: No change in statusBarnes & Noble: No change in statusSony: No change in statusGroupon: Groupon’s stock price recently hit an all-time low on a downgrade from Evercore Partners, and a perceived weakness in social companies, led by Zynga.T-Mobile USA: The company’s troubles continue to mount, reporting second quarter losses of 557,000 high-value contract customers, and a net loss of 205,000 customers. Netflix: No change in statusElectronic Arts: No change in status Best Buy photo via Wikipedia. Mall of America photo by René Sinn. Apple store photo courtesy of Apple. cormac fostercenter_img 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more


Joe Harris tops Stephen Curry for 3-point title

first_imgThere were 10 players in the event, and seven went out in the first round.Defending champion Devin Booker made his final seven shots but was eliminated in a tie for fourth with Danny Green with 23 points. The other competitors who did not advance: Dirk Nowitzki and Damian Lillard (17), Seth Curry (16), Kemba Walker (15) and Khris Middleton (11)Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Joe Harris goes perfect on his money ball rack and wins the #MtnDew3PT contest with a final round score of 26! #NBAAllStar #WeGoHard #StateFarmSaturday on @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/xw7WABBHeW— NBA (@NBA) February 17, 2019FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges LATEST STORIES ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 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 Krausscenter_img PLDT, Smart launch pro gaming team ‘Omega’ for country’s first franchise-based esports league US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants The Warriors’ star made his first nine shots of the final round, then missed three of five shots from the top of the key.Stephen Curry won the first round with 27 points out of a possible of 34. Hield was second with 26 points, and Harris finished with 25 to grab the last spot in the finals. Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town MOST READ Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – FEBRUARY 16: Joe Harris #12 of the Brooklyn Nets takes a shot during the MTN DEW 3-Point Contest as part of the 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend at Spectrum Center on February 16, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images/AFPBrooklyn’s Joe Harris held off Golden State’s Stephen Curry to win the 3-point contest at All-Star Saturday night.Harris made 12 consecutive shots at one point in the final round on his way to a score of 26 points. Curry was second with 24 in the finals, and Sacramento’s Buddy Hield was third with 19 points.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more


Mike Gundy’s Record Against Every Big 12 Team (Not Named OU) Is Great

first_imgWhen I was working through our three numbers to know post this morning and saw that Mike Gundy is looking to go 10-2 against Texas Tech, I started wondering about his record against all Big 12 teams.Thankfully we have the internet, and you can discover goodies like this one on sites like this one. So let’s roll through them. From best winning percentage to worst.Kansas: 8-1 (89%)Texas Tech: 9-2 (82%)Iowa State: 7-2 (78%)TCU: 3-1 (75%)Missouri: 3-1 (75%)Kansas State: 6-3 (67%)Colorado: 2-1 (67%)Nebraska: 2-1 (67%)West Virginia: 3-2 (60%)Baylor: 7-5 (58%)Texas A&M: 4-3 (57%)Texas: 5-7 (42%)OU: 2-9 (18%)This does not include the bowl game against Missouri from 2014.It’s pretty fascinating to look at, though. Look at how good Gundy has been against the top eight teams on that list. He’s largely owned them. This fits with the narrative I described earlier this week that had him winning almost all the games he was favored in.The Texas record has been flipping in recent years given that he started with five straight losses against them. The Baylor record has been flipping, too, but the other way. Gundy started with wins in six of his first seven years against the Bears.And then there’s OU. It really doesn’t fit with the rest of the list. OU hasn’t been that many standard deviations better than Texas and Texas A&M and Baylor.The reality there is that Oklahoma State’s record against OU under Gundy should be at least a game better (2013) if not two (2012 as well!), and a few other years came down to the last few plays (2010, 2006). But OSU didn’t win those games when it could have, and as a result Gundy has a nasty-looking outlier on an otherwise really outstanding resume.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more