Understanding Creationists (and Evolutionists)

first_imgA historian tells science teachers that “To Teach Evolution, You Have to Understand Creationists.” Should that advice apply both ways?In The Chronicle of Higher Education last month, Adam Laats seemingly advised a kinder, gentler treatment of creationists than the usual outrage from the secular Darwinian camp. There was no name-calling of them as ignorant, anti-science flat-earthers (or worse) from this historian and author from Binghamton University: instead, he urged that science teachers try to “understand” them. Cool your jets, he advised; attack-dog responses to creationist comments are uncalled for, as are the even milder (but no less virulent) comments from the likes of Bill Nye the Science Guy (see 8/27/2012).Laats’s reasons for moderation seem open-minded. He acknowledges that some creationists are not ignoramuses: U.S. Rep. Paul C. Broun Jr., Republican of Georgia, for instance, who took a “ferocious” beating after criticizing Darwinism and the Big Bang (he called them “lies from the pit of hell”), has a bachelor’s in chemistry and is an M.D. (Secular scientists are up in arms that he sits on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee of the House). A number of leading creationists have scientific credentials, Laats pointed out. He even praised William Jennings Bryan as a well-travelled man of letters with many degrees, who remarked that he had never been called an ignoramus “except by evolutionists.”The “snarky” remarks by some scientists who are “flummoxed by the durability of creationism,” he says, can’t on the one hand claim Broun is unqualified for his position, and on the other “demand that an elected official not fight for the ideas in which his constituents believe”. It’s time for carrot, not stick, Laats advises:As it stands, scientists’ blundering hostility toward creationism actually encourages creationist belief. By offering a stark division between religious faith and scientific belief, evolutionary scientists have pushed creationists away from embracing evolutionary ideas. And, by assuming that only ignorance could explain creationist beliefs, scientists have unwittingly fostered bitter resentment among the creationists, the very people with whom they should be hoping to connect.Laats also rejects the notion that creationists belong to a right-wing fringe. “As Berkman and Plutzer demonstrate, the creationist beliefs of teachers embody the creationist beliefs of Americans in general,” he said. “The teachers are not ignorant of evolution, yet they choose to reject it.” Remarkably, Laats is also willing to concede that some students who turn to embrace evolution might have done so not because of the facts of biology, but for personal moral failings or other motivations. Here, though, Laats reaches the limit of his tolerance for creationists:If we hope to spread the science of evolution, it does not help to charge forward in blissful ignorance about the nature and meanings of creationism. Broun may be wrong about evolution, embryology, and the Big Bang. But his scientific errors do not instantly disqualify him as a representative of the American people. Nor can they be explained away as a product of ignorance.Rather, those of us who care about promoting evolution education must admit the hard truth. It is not simply that creationists such as Broun have not heard the facts about evolution. Broun—along with other informed, educated creationists—simply rejects those facts. Evolution educators do not simply need to spread the word about evolution. We need to convince and convert Americans who sincerely hold differing understandings about the nature and meaning of science.So in the end, Laats continued to hold that evolution is a matter of science, facts, and being right. Even if he allows that creationists are not ignoramuses, he implies that they hold “differing understandings” (by implication, misunderstandings), about the nature and meaning of science. More of the same presentation of the “facts” of evolution, therefore, is not going to convert those who reject “facts”. He didn’t go any further, but others have suggested forms of mind control to influence those with false beliefs (see 9/27/2012). Given the limits of his toleration, others could well propose such measures as more effective than name-calling; for example, see 12/21/2005, “How to Overcome Student Objections to Evolution.”If you are a Darwin doubter, as you read this, you must guard against the tendency to want to leap up and hug Adam Laats for his tolerant attitude. Yes, it is refreshing to see someone in the secular journals actually say that Darwin doubters are not all ignoramuses. After being hit by that rock on the head for so long, it does indeed feel good when it stops. Your response, instead, should be, Why were you hitting me with that rock in the first place? What right do you have to call me an ignoramus when you believe everything in the universe, including your reason, emerged from nothing by an unguided process?This is not just tit-for-tat. You need to reason with the evolutionist that his very use of reason shows that evolution is self-refuting. The evolutionist believes that reason emerged in the human mind by an unguided natural process; it did not exist before that. Therefore, he has no basis for trusting its validity (some very good treatments of this “argument from reason” in the new book The Magician’s Twin discussed in the 11/20/2012 entry). Laats needs to see that evolutionists are the ones who have denied the facts. They are the ones who have misunderstood the nature and meaning of science.That being the situation, there is no reason that an articulate creationist could not write the very same article in inverted form: “To Teach the Science of Creation, You Need to Understand Evolutionists.” That spokesperson could employ the same arguments: admitting that not all evolutionists are ignoramuses, and that some who believe simply reject the facts of creation. Some even believe it for non-rational reasons. The person who should be cowering in shame for promoting a self-refuting worldview (which, by definition, cannot possibly be true), is Adam Laats and his fellow science teachers who promote it.If, and only if, Laats is willing to acknowledge, “you have a valid point there,” and that evolution could be the view that is factually wrong and unscientific, could there be a true meeting of the minds toward progress in mutual understanding. Anything less is a mere feint in a pitched battle. It just means the evolutionists will be kinder when they take creationists prisoner. Demand the evolutionists drop their arms and surrender the castle they have unrighteously usurped. (Visited 61 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Author, 16, is SA’s youngest

first_img“I didn’t really sit down with the intentionto write a novel,” says Andy Petersen,South Africa’s youngest published author.“I thought it might be something but Ididn’t think it would become so big.”Wilma den HartighNot many 16-year-olds can say they have written a book, let alone had it published. But that’s exactly what Andy Petersen has done, but at the time he didn’t know he would become South Africa’s youngest published author.In fact, Andy was only 14 when he first started writing his debut novel, Daniel Fox and the Jester’s Legacy. He was studying for his November school exams and needed a distraction.“I didn’t really sit down with the intention to write a novel,” he says. “I thought it might be something but I didn’t think it would become so big.”The first script of the fantasy novel was completed over eight months, but the book currently on the shelves is very different to the first draft. When the manuscript was first submitted to publisher Penguin Books, it was rejected. But this didn’t discourage Andy: “It didn’t really bother me because I agreed with their decision. It wasn’t good enough.”So he started from scratch with new ideas. The second script maintained the plot, but with far more depth to the story. Existing characters were developed further and new ones added. Halfway through the writing of the second draft, Penguin Books asked to meet Andy with a view to securing a contract.“I was so excited but also very surprised because the email came out of the blue,” he says.The revised manuscript was submitted to Penguin in April 2008, and accepted for publication. Although he wrote the novel with a young adult audience in mind, he thinks it would also appeal to readers of all ages who enjoy the fantasy genre.The novel setting is the afterlife and underworld. The story starts with Daniel Fox waking up on Monday morning in his house in New York. He expects an ordinary day, but it is in fact the day he will die. After witnessing the murder of an old man and being kidnapped from the Museum of Ancient History, Daniel Fox ends up in a waiting room. This leads to the capital of the underworld, the great city of Arison, where more adventure awaits.Andy says his life has become a lot more busy since the book was launched earlier this month. As an author he has a number of new commitments, such as attending book launches. He is also visiting schools across the country to promote not only his book, but also a culture of reading.It has been a fine balancing act to not neglect his schoolwork. He still wants to perform well academically and keep up his involvement with debating and drama at St John’s College.Then there is his busy social life – Andy certainly doesn’t fit the stereotype of the reclusive writer. He’s also a musician and plays keyboard in a band called Little Red House.“It is a fairly new band but we are all pretty serious musicians,” he says. On weekends when he’s not playing in the band or writing, he likes to watch music gigs with his friends.This won’t be Andy’s only novel; he hopes that it will be the first in a trilogy. In fact, he’s already got some ideas for the sequel. Daniel Fox and the Jester’s Legacy has been well received and has been short-listed for the Exclusive Books One Club Prize. It will also be the face of the award this year.He is quick to point out that he isn’t a whizz-kid. “I don’t posses any extraordinary skill that enabled me to complete the book,” he says.He adds that his interest in literature and writing all began with his love of reading. “I’ve always loved reading and when I was a child my parents always read to me.” He particularly likes fantasy literature such as The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.“The book was published because I finished it, and because I kept at it when I started,” he says. Andy encourages other young writers not to give up writing. “You are never too young to start writing. Often young people are deterred because they only see writers who are much older. Maybe wisdom of age does help, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do it.”Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Mary Alexander at [email protected] articlesCommonwealth nod to SA writerNew life for indigenous classics SA remembers Es’kia Mphahlele South African literatureUseful linksPenguin South AfricaExclusive Bookslast_img read more

Miami East recognized by National FFA

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The National FFA Organization recently announced the results of the National FFA Evaluations. Miami East-MVCTC FFA Chapter was selected as a 3-Star National Chapter for the National FFA Chapter Award Program. A 3-star is the highest award a chapter can be recognized for in the National Chapter process. In order to be considered for such an honor, the Miami East-MVCTC FFA Chapter had to place in the top 10% in the state of Ohio. In May, the chapter learned that they were in the Top 10 in the state and would have their application forwarded to national evaluations.Additionally, the Miami East FFA Chapter was named a Models of Innovation Finalist in the area of Student Development for the National Chapter Award Program. The Miami East-MVCTC FFA Chapter is a Top 10 in the nation in Student Development. Two chapter members will now present at the National FFA Convention in Louisville to be named the National Winner in Student Development and will be recognized on stage.Nathan TeetersThis is the 15th straight year that the Miami East-MVCTC FFA Chapter will be recognized at the National FFA Convention in their National Chapter Award program. Two students will receive the plaque on stage during the National FFA Convention, October 29 in Louisville, Kentucky.The National FFA Chapter Award program recognized FFA chapters for developing and conducting a detailed Program of Activities (POA). These activities and projects provide opportunities for members to achieve in the areas of student, chapter, or community development. Every year, chapters are recognized as having earned a one-, two-, or three-star rating on their National Chapter application.Emily Beal, Kelsey Kirchner, and Nathan Teeters will compete and be recognized for a being a National Proficiency Finalists. They have placed in the Top 4 in the nation in their respected areas. Beal is a finalist in the area of Goat Production for her goat herd sales and growth. Kirchner is a finalist in the area of Agricultural Sales – Entrepreneurship for her business, Kelsey’s K-9 Kookies and marketing at multiple farmers markets. Teeters is a finalist in the area of Emerging Agricultural Technology for his job placement at Buckeye Ag Testing, Troy. They each earn a cash prize, plaque and recognition on the main stage at convention. Beal, Kirchner, and Teeters will interview for the title of National Proficiency Winner and a trip to Costa Rica in the summer of 2016.Kelsey KirchnerKolin Bendickson and Daniel Bodenmiller will receive the American FFA Degree on Saturday, October 31. This is an honor that only 3,500 FFA members across the country will accomplish. Their applications were forwarded to the National FFA because they have been a successful leader, been involved in various community service activities, earned at least $10,000 from their Supervised Agricultural Experience program, and been an active member of the FFA.Additionally, the Miami East-MVCTC FFA Chapter is guided by strong leadership provided by the 2015-16 officer team. The team met over the summer in a Summer Officer Retreat to plan for the upcoming school year and FFA activities. The officers are: Emily Beal, President; Kelsey Kirchner, Vice President; Katie Bodenmiller, Secretary; Katie Bendickson, Treasurer; Emma Linn, Reporter; Hunter Sharp, Sentinel; Alyssa Westgerdes, Student Advisor; and Nathan Teeters, Chaplain. Their advisor is Marie Carity. The Miami East Ag Ed Program is a satellite program of the Miami Valley Career Technology Center.The National FFA Organization is a national youth organization of 610,240 student members as part of 7,665 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it isEmily Bealan integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online at FFA.org, on Facebook, Twitter and the official National FFA Organization blog.last_img read more

BPC race far from Castro’s mind with title as his only goal

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netAlex Cabagnot and Chris Ross may be at joint first in the Best Player of the Conference race, but that is the least of Jayson Castro’s concerns.Coming in as underdogs in the title clash, Castro knows that it would take more than just him to topple the San Miguel juggernaut.ADVERTISEMENT Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Cristiano Ronaldo won’t quit Real Madrid — club boss Castro, though, made it clear that he won’t hesitate to take over the game if the opportunity presents itself and if his team badly needs him to.“Whatever the defense gives us and whatever their game plan is, that’s what I’m going to do. Anytime, I can adjust,” he said, exuding the veteran leadership the KaTropa badly need for this best-of-seven series.“This is already my ninth year in the league and the number one goal I have is to win the championship and not my numbers.”ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img What ‘missteps’? “For us to beat San Miguel, we need to play as a team. We know San Miguel is powerhouse team, but we have a combination of veterans and newcomers, so I think it’s our eagerness to win a championship will be the difference-maker for us,” he said.Lauded as the Best Point Guard in Asia for the better half of the last four years, Castro welcomes the challenge of facing the duo of Cabagnot and Ross, both of whom are having stellar showings this conference.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut he also believes that he has able bodies in Roger Pogoy, RR Garcia, and Ryan Reyes to match up against the feisty Beermen backcourt.“I trust everyone of my teammates. Even down to (Anthony) Semerad or whoever it is that’s in the court, I trust them,” he said. 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken View commentslast_img read more

Cherry Rondina gets confidence boost from younger teammates as UST looks to recover

first_img‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP University of Santo Tomas’ captain accepted her trophies for the MVP and 2nd Best Outside Hitter while her family joined her during the quick celebration at Mall of Asia Arena just before the start of Game 2 of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball finals.Rondina, however, ended the day walking out of the venue deafeated after the Golden Tigresses missed a chance to wrap up the series and to Ateneo in four sets, 26-24, 14-25, 25-21, 25-15 to drag the series into a do-or-die.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsREAD: Finals-bound Sisi Rondina, UST far from done “I know that we will recover. Today was just a bad game for us,” said Rondina in Filipino. “I think that we fought today, although we had lots of lapses but I’m thankful because my teammates said ‘Ate, we’ll bounce back’, those little things.” LATEST STORIES Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Rondina added that she told her teammates to reserve the tears after Game 3, which would ultimately signify the end of the season for both UST and Ateneo.“I told them ‘those tears are not worth it because it will get its real worth on our last day when the league is over, when we’re not playing with each other anymore,” said Rondina, who’s on her final year with UST.“We won’t give up, we haven’t achieved our dream yet. We haven’t been defeated yet so come Game 3 we will give it our all.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “Their little actions have a lot of impact, especially when you hear them from your younger teammates.”Rondina had a hard time converting on her spike attempts, only going for 18-of-61 in her attacks. But she still had a respectable performance with three kill blocks to finish with 22 total points.UST also suffered a major blow during Game 2 when Rookie of the Year Eya Laure rolled her left ankle after landing on Kat Tolentino’s right foot at the start of the third set.READ: Ateneo gets back at UST, forces decider for UAAP volleyball crownAlthough Laure was able to get back in the later part of the frame, she eventually left the match near the end of the fourth set due to the pain.ADVERTISEMENT MANILA, Philippines—Cherry Rondina had a whirlwind of a Wednesday that started off with an emotional celebration and ended in a disappointing exit.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Duterte wants probe of SEA Games messcenter_img 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 Krauss Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View comments Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Chito Victolero finds victory in Hotshots’ defeat Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anewlast_img read more

STORYHIVE announces top two femaledirected digital shorts

first_imgThe latest TELUS STORYHIVE digital shorts female directors edition winners have just been announced.Akashi-あかし- from Mayumi Yoshida won the top award in BC and This Is Not a Passport Photo from Stephanie Simpson got the top award in Alberta. Watch them both below. Akashi-あかし- is about a woman who returns to Japan after her grandmother passes only to find her modern ways clash with the traditional values of her homeland.This Is Not a Passport Photo follows Canadian photographer Stephanie Simpson as she takes family photos for resettled refugees.Winners were decided by a combination of community votes alongside an industry jury. Winners get distribution on TELUS Optik™ TV On Demand, customized career training from NSI and a scholarship to the Banff World Media Festival.• • •STORYHIVE is a community-powered funding program that allows members of the community to vote for their favourite projects.The program allows content creators in British Columbia and Alberta to submit their story ideas to an online public platform.NSI delivers training for the selected projects and their creators once they’re chosen through the STORYHIVE process. Advertisement Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Twitterlast_img read more