Bolt is a privilege – Grange

first_imgSports Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange says that Jamaicans should feel privileged to have seen sprint legend Usain Bolt compete.Grange was speaking at the launch of the JN Racers Grand Prix, and hailed Bolt for continually achieving excellence on behalf of the country. She described him as someone who is a superstar but also very humble, adding that he should be respected for succeeding every time he competed.”We have said it many times. He’s extraordinary, he’s wonderful, he’s funny, he’s truly amazing,” Grange said. “But I’m not sure that we quite understand yet what a privilege it is for us to live in the time of Usain Bolt. In a way, he has spoilt us – not only Jamaicans, but he has spoilt the entire world! He represents tremendous talent, hard work and he knows how to have fun.”STATUE THIS SUMMERGrange also reminded the audience that Bolt will be honoured at Statue Park at the National Stadium this summer with an eight-foot statue to be made by local sculptor Basil Watson.”We are on schedule to complete this statue by Independence and to have the mounting coincide with Bolt’s final World Championships in London,” Grange said. “It will be spoken about and studied by athletes for generations to come. I’m determined that Jamaica will do its part in memorialising and celebrating this once-in-a-lifetime athlete, and there are more things to come.”The minister said that although this is only the second staging of the meet, she is expecting it to be a “highly anticipated event”.”(This is) particularly because the country’s greatest athletics son – the world’s greatest athlete, Usain Bolt – will compete for us one last time on home soil. Is that so?” Grange said while jokingly suggesting to Bolt that she wants him to reconsider retirement.- R.P.last_img read more

Twitter promotes anonymous attacks on 2022 Qatar World Cup

first_imgOSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Sore knee could sideline Cavs’ Shumpert for another week A second account being promoted on Twitter, KickQatarOut, features similar branding — with the same typeface and header graphic — and also posted its first message on Oct. 20. With an illustration of a hand showing a red card, the account advocates calls for FIFA to strip Qatar of the World Cup and highlights concerns about conditions for migrant workers.A promoted tweet claims there are “projections of 4,000 dead workers,” as Qatar hosts the World Cup.“This is naked and embarrassing corruption,” another KickQatarOut tweet states, “it will destroy international football, for the sake of one country.”The Qatar World Cup organizing committee declined to comment on the promoted tweets from accounts. The natural gas-rich nation has long denied funding extremists.The anti-Qatar Twitter accounts mirror the tone of other material put out by the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee, a Washington-based influence firm run by Saudi citizen Salman al-Ansari. The committee, known as SAPRAC, has a $1.2 million contract with Bahrain to produce videos and material about “adversary countries in the Middle East,” according to filings with the U.S. Justice Department.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ The online assaults on Qatar promote the talking points amplified by the four Arab nations who in June cut ties with the first Middle East host of the World Cup. Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all cut diplomatic ties and began a boycott of Qatar on June 5 over allegations that Doha supports extremists and has overly warm ties to Iran.But the Twitter users who received the posts accusing Qatar of supporting extremism alongside images of World Cup preparations are offered no indication of the authors.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogA promoted post from the QatarExposed account asks: “Why does the richest country in the world support terrorism?”An accompanying video shows images from the soccer game between France and Germany in Paris in November 2015 that was targeted by suicide bombers as the narrator states: “Financing and promoting extremism has become state policy.” The sequence continues with footage of Qatar winning the FIFA vote in 2010. The video concludes saying: “Its sovereign neighbors have taken a stand, they won’t back down.” Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? FILE- In this Friday, July21, 2017, file photo, Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani talks in his first televised speech since the dispute between Qatar and three Gulf countries and Egypt, in Doha, Qatar. Qatar’s emir has warned against any military confrontation over the ongoing diplomatic dispute between his country and four other Arab nations, saying it will only engulf the region in chaos. (Qatar News Agency via AP, File)LONDON — The unsolicited tweets started appearing on timelines over the last week. No website, company or individual is publicly associated with the accounts. But the message Twitter is being paid to promote and spread is clear: Qatar is an unsuitable host of the 2022 World Cup.Twitter is cashing in from anonymous attacks on Qatar just as it faces scrutiny over the limited disclosure of information about political advertising in the 2016 U.S. election. Twitter leaders are testifying this week before congressional investigations looking into how social media networks provided a platform for Russian meddling.ADVERTISEMENT Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny SAPRAC’s television and online ads include those targeting Qatar for hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup. One of the Twitter accounts in question, QatarExposed, also retweeted material by The Qatar Insider, a website run by SAPRAC.SAPRAC told The Associated Press that the QatarExposed and KickQatarOut accounts “are neither run nor arethey associated with SAPRAC in any way.”Twitter declined to discuss the nature of the anti-Qatar promoted tweets and the lack of information about the holders of the accounts. The company only pointed the AP to plans to launch a “transparency center that will offer everyone visibility into who is advertising on Twitter, (and) details behind those ads.”Twitter’s plans only reference requirements that “electioneering advertisers identify their campaigns,” and do not cover political operations not directly linked to an election.Asked if it would be looking into the lack of transparency surrounding the QatarExposed and KickQatarOut accounts, Twitter told the AP: “We don’t comment on individual accounts.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

Javee Mocon showing Caloy Garcia, Rain or Shine why he’s ‘steal of the draft’

first_imgThis lack of size, however, hasn’t deterred Mocon, whom his Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia described as the “steal of the Draft.”“Actually this year I trained by myself because I was going into the Draft and I practiced to play as a guard,” said Mocon after the Elasto Painters’ 102-90 loss to NorthPort in a tune-up game Saturday at Green Meadows Clubhouse.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“I got the groove of it because I’m always practicing and the veterans have been supporting me as well,” added Mocon who’s been under the tutelage of Rain or Shine’s Beau Belga, James Yap, and Raymond Almazan.Garcia said Mocon would be playing as a wingman once he starts his PBA career in the 2019 season. After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk INQUIRER SPORTS Top 7 Stories of the Year: Meggie Ochoa and her Fight to Protect MOST READ ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends PLAY LIST 08:07Athletes treated to a spectacle as SEA Games 2019 officially ends03:30PH’s Rogen Ladon boxing flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)03:34PH’s Carlo Paalam boxing light flyweight final (HIGHLIGHTS)02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title “In the two tune-up games we’ve played probably, Javee is the steal of the Draft at no. 6,” said Garcia of the NCAA Season 94 Finals MVP.Mocon, though, doesn’t mind his Draft position and he’s just as happy landing at that number as anyone else is.“For me it’s not about the number. As a player I’m here to provide what I can for the team,” said Mocon. “I don’t mind if I’m not the first, second, or third pick as long as I help the team improve and they see what I’m capable of.”ADVERTISEMENT View comments No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Instrumental in leading San Beda to its 22nd title, Javee Mocon was considered as the best power forward of the past NCAA season.The smooth-moving Mocon was a reliable force in the interior for the Red Lions averaging 12.7 points and 9.3 rebounds during the eliminations, but at 6-foot-2, he’s not exactly the type of player to force his way in the PBA paint.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazillast_img read more

2 injured in West Demerara accident

first_imgTwo persons are nursing injuries at the West Demerara Regional Hospital (WDRH) while five others escaped unhurt during an early morning accident at Meten-Meer-Zorg, West Coast Demerara.The vehicle involved in the accidentGuyana Times understands that the accident occurred at around 02:30h on Saturday.While information surrounding the accident remains sketchy, residents of the village recall hearing a loud impact and upon investigating noticed the car with its four wheels in the air.Public-spirited persons pulled the occupants from the muddy water and rushed them to the WDRH. Five of them were later discharged.Commander of D Division (West Demerara), Leslie James, confirmed that the car, bearing registration plate PRR 6669, was proceeding in a westerly direction when the driver lost control, resulting in the vehicle ending up in a nearby trench.An investigation has been launched into the accident.last_img read more

Cerritos women off and running

first_img Cerritos has defeated Saddleback (4-3) and tied Orange Coast (1-1), both of whom qualified for last season’s Southern California playoffs. The Falcons’ only loss was to traditional Northern California power Lassen (1-0) at the Victor Valley Tournament. “It’s going great,” said Jensen. “We’ve already won more games than all of last year.” The Falcons host San Diego Mesa at 4 p.m. today. The women’s water polo team, under first-year coach Sergio Macias, took second place at the Cuesta Tournament over the weekend and takes a 3-1 record into today’s SCC opener at home against L.A. Trade Tech. The Falcons opened with an 11-3 victory over Foothill, which made last season’s state Final Four. Cerritos followed that with wins over Modesto (16-6) and Cuesta (13-8). Its only loss was to San Joaquin Delta (9-8). Sophomore driver Berlyn Sanchez leads the team in goals (13), assists (four) and steals (nine). Freshman driver Christina Edwards has 10 goals, and freshman goalie Barbara Diaz has 20 saves. The women’s volleyball team took second place at the Pasadena Tournament over the weekend, advancing undefeated through pool play before a 25-24 loss to SCC foe El Camino in the final. Sophomores Nancy Marin (Gahr High) and Stephanie Crowell (Downey High) were selected to the all-tournament team. Marin had 28 kills and 10 blocks while Crowell, a setter, had 100 assists and 10 kills. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The Falcons finished the meet with 110 points, behind Orange Coast (44) and Riverside (51). Eighteen teams and 157 runners competed. The Falcon men finished fifth out of 22 teams on a four-mile course. Sophomore Brandon Johnson (Cabrillo High) paced Cerritos with a 12th-place finish in 22:20.90. He was followed by sophomore Vincent Rojas (Millikan High), who finished 15th in 22:25.40, freshman Jaime Buenrostro from Downey High (23:11.30, 31st) and freshmen Jorge Cruz (23:30.60, 41st) and Mark Valencia (24:03.50, 70th), both from Paramount High. Cerritos College’s women’s cross country team, which finished fourth at last year’s state championships, is off to a fine start in 2005 with a third-place finish at the Southern California Preview meet last week at the University of San Diego. The Falcons were led by sophomore Meryl Follosco, an all-state and All-South Coast Conference performer a year ago. Follosco placed second on the 5K course in 19 minutes, 52 seconds. She was followed by freshman Maria Vargas (Downey High) in 20:51.60 in eighth place and sophomore Liliana Yera (Bellflower High), who placed 30th in 21:51.70. Rounding out the scoring for Cerritos were freshman Mohani Martinez (21:58.40, 35th place) and freshman Jessika Villalva (22:27.00, 45th). center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Cerritos, which finished 11th in the state last year, had 162 points and placed behind Orange Coast (33), El Camino (73), Glendale (136) and Oxnard (139). The meet featured 194 runners. The Falcons return to competition at the L.A. City Invitational at 9 a.m. Saturday at L.A. Pierce College. from Cerritos Falcons’ women’s soccer team has jumped to a 5-1-1 record this season, led by the efforts of Mexican national team member Lina Valderrama. The freshman forward has scored eight goals and added two assists for a Cerritos team that finished a disappointing 4-10-5 (1-8-3 in the SCC) in 2004. “(Valderrama) has great dribbling skills, has speed and is a leader on the field,” said Cerritos co-coach Debbie Jensen. “Obviously, she has the ability to find the net. She wants to score. She’s very competitive.” last_img read more

Raiders mailbag: Where will the Raiders call home in 2019?

first_imgThe City of Oakland filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Raiders and NFL, which you can read all about right here. The most important thing to know is the lawsuit jeopardizes the Raiders’ 2019 season in Oakland since their current lease with the Oakland Coliseum ends after this season.So where might the Raiders play their final season before heading to Vegas? At this point it’s anybody’s guess, but it’s a topic we’ll discuss in this week’s mailbag, along with Reggie McKenzie’s potential …last_img

SETI Has a Long History

first_imgAstrobiology Magazine provided a historical look at attempts to communicate with aliens.  Like the weather, people talked about life in outer space, but nobody did anything about it – at least till technology made such talk a little less crazy.  Michael Schirber’s survey includes some interesting characters – Kepler, Gauss, Tesla and Einstein – along with quite a few other lesser-known thinkers and experimenters.    Mars and Venus, Earth’s nearest neighbors, were long the focus of attention.  Scientists pondering communication with aliens tended to think in terms of the technology available.  They considered possibilities like lighting fires, building huge patterns out of farms, or putting reflectors on the Eiffel Tower – things that could be seen.  Once the telegraph had been invented, some thought of sending coded messages with some kind of “sky telegraph.”  It wasn’t till the radio age that they began thinking seriously about beaming radio messages – or receiving them.  Around that time it became obvious there was no life on Mars or Venus, and the stars were considered too far away for communication to be practical.    Since 1959 some began thinking that the vast distances between the stars could be bridged by radio, and SETI was born.  “And then in 1974 – a century and half after Gauss – [Frank] Drake transmitted the first actual SETI message using the Arecibo radio telescope,” Schirber ended.  “Scientists are still waiting for a response.”Speculations about life in outer space have not been limited to materialists.  It’s a basic human curiosity.  Two lessons from Schirber’s historical survey are worth noting.  One is the effect of worldview on speculation.  As long as scholars believed the Aristotelian view that the stars circled the earth on crystalline spheres, and abode in celestial realms unlike our planet, it was not a question people would ask.  After the Copernican revolution, it was not uncommon for religious people, deists and skeptics to ponder the question.    Another lesson is that everyone wanted to find intelligent life.  They understood that communication required a mind with intelligence, purpose, and motivation.  The concept of mind arising from particles in motion is a new and bizarre idea.  It took hold among Darwinists and has become in our time a matter of dogma.  Even more bizarre is that the SETI Institute would use intelligent-design assumptions in their efforts, while criticizing intelligent design as unscientific (revisit the 12/03/2005 entry).(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Atheist Denies Atheism Is a Religion

first_imgAtheist asks, “Is atheism just another religion?” and waddles into a mess of definitions. There’s a better question to ask.You have to hand it to New Scientist; for all their slavish submission to Darwinism, their authors do ask some good questions. Recently they’ve tackled questions that get the mind engaged: Is reality just information? Will our knowledge survive us? How can you know yourself? Graham Lawton, a confessed atheist, tackles the latest one: “Faith of the faithless: Is atheism just another religion?” We know where he will land, but the journey is an interesting one nonetheless.“This idea turns up all the time, and it is very loaded,” says Lois Lee, who directs the Nonreligion and Secularity Research Network at the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK. “When people say ‘atheism is just another religion’, they normally mean it in a pejorative way.” The subtext is clear: atheists are hypocrites.But this is more than a personal slight. If atheism really is just another religion, its claim to be a superior way to run the world is fatally weakened. All the criticisms it flings at religion – of being irrational, dogmatic and intolerant – come flying back with interest, and progress towards a more rational and secular society is undermined. So is it true? Is atheism just another religion?Lawton begins by expressing the discrimination he feels for being a member of the atheist circle: put-downs, un-electability, and “one of the lowest approval ratings of any social group.” It’s hard to feel sorry for him (and he is not complaining, he says), any more than feeling sorry for a rich banker making his way past a cluster of poor protestors on his way to the 73rd floor of a Manhattan skyscraper. Atheists pretty much control Big Science (all pro-Darwin), Big Media (strongly anti-Christian), Big Law (‘separation of church and state’), and other centers of power in the modern world, including powerful NGOs like the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the ACLU, the Sierra Club, and others where conservative Christians need not apply. His homeland, England, is even more secular. Poor Mr. Lawton. Can’t get any respect.Atheism is both like a religion and not like one, depending on which aspects you consider.In the meat of his article, Lawton explores history and current trends to answer the question. He claims that the rebuttal ‘atheism is just another religion’ seems to have arisen as a response to the New Atheism about ten years ago. Richard Dawkins with his vitriolic attacks on religion invited push-back.Journalists writing about the movement took to using religious metaphors, calling it “the church of the non-believers” and a “crusade against god”. Religious scholars joined the fray to defend their beliefs. Even some scientists took up the cause. In 2007, evolutionary biologist (and atheist) David Sloan Wilson of Binghamton University in New York controversially described the new atheism as a “stealth religion”. His point was that, like many religions, it portrayed itself as the only source of truth and righteousness and its enemies as “bad, bad, bad”.To atheists, such accusations might seem easily refuted. The defining feature of religion is belief in god(s). Atheism defines itself as the absence of belief in god. How can it be a religion? That is like saying that “off” is a TV channel, or not-playing-tennis is a sport.Most atheists would probably declare victory at that, but Lawton, honorably enough, takes seriously the possibility that “the critics were on to something” and should not be dismissed with a smug, aloof response.The truth is that atheism is not simply an absence of belief in god, but also a set of alternative beliefs about the origin and nature of reality. Even though these belief systems diverge in their content and level of fact from religious beliefs, perhaps they originate from the same underlying psychological processes, and fulfil similar psychological needs.Exploring this line of reasoning, Lawton considers the possibility that atheists find psychological satisfaction in their credo, showing more similarity with religious people than they would like to think. Why would this be? Answer: evolution.Evolution, they [psychologists] point out, has endowed us with a suite of cognitive tendencies that make belief in non-material beings come easily. As highly social and tribal animals, for example, we need to keep track of the thoughts and intentions of other people, even when they are not physically present. From there, it is a short step to conceiving of non-physical entities such as spirits, gods and dead ancestors who have minds and intentions of their own, know what we are thinking and have some influence over our lives. And, sure enough, there is evidence that even hardcore atheists tend to entertain quasi-religious or spiritual ideas such as there being a higher power or that everything happens for a purpose.Lawton is not seeing his circular reasoning here. Does he have a purpose in writing his article? If his own mythology about purpose is really just an evolutionary adaptation, and not an appeal to non-physical reason, then he himself cannot make any truth claims about spiritual ideas having evolved – or even for his belonging to a group of ‘social and tribal animals,’ for that matter.Still, Lawton draws contrasts between his evolutionary adaptations and those of the religious. He does throw one more bone to his critics:So, despite some similarity between religious and non-religious beliefs systems, they are not equivalent. Surely that buries the claim that atheism is just another religion?Maybe not. There is another way in which atheist beliefs make them religion-like, according to Sloan Wilson. It is the way they play fast-and-loose with scientific facts. “Atheists will say that religion is bad for humanity, that it’s not an evolutionary adaptation – which happens not to be true,” he says. “That is how atheism becomes an ideology. It is organised to motivate behaviour. If it uses counterfactual beliefs in order to do it then there’s really very little difference between atheism and a religion.”It’s surprising that David Sloan Wilson, an atheist and staunch evolutionist eager to promote Darwinism in schools (see 9/03/11 and 12/21/05), would make these criticisms. Well, perhaps not. It would fit his scheme to make evolution palatable to the public. Perhaps he feels that the portrayal of atheists as angry, self-righteous bigots isn’t helping his program.By calling atheism an evolutionary adaptation (note the double negative), Sloan Wilson would have to conclude from his Darwinism that religion – and atheism – are both evolutionary adaptations. How could either Sloan Wilson or Lawton extricate themselves from natural selection’s inexorable grip? (see Yoda Complex). Another article on New Scientist wonders whether atheists are caught in the grip of evolutionary forces that produced religion. Can science really study how religion evolved? How can atheists stand outside of it and consider it objectively?The science of religion challenges core elements of the new atheism: for example, the belief that religion leads on the whole to misery and suffering. Belief-ologists say religion was the “social glue” that held early societies together. That doesn’t mean religion is required to play that role today. But simply ignoring or high-handedly dismissing its power will not abolish its sway or further the secularist cause. And given the rise of religiosity in global affairs, there is much more than a rhetorical joust at stake.Getting back to Lawton’s article, we see that his navel-gazing is short-lived. For his final pitch, he refuses to stoop to giving a simple list of ‘false parallels’ that some atheists counter with: e.g., atheists have “no rituals, no membership rules, no sacred texts and the small percentage of atheists who belong to specifically atheist organisations are more like people who belong to interest groups like scuba divers or guitar aficionados.” And they usually don’t feel the need to proselytize (except for the ones who buy billboards and posters on buses saying ‘There probably is no God. Enjoy your life’ and other slogans).Instead, Lawton opts for subjectivity. “Atheism is both like a religion and not like one, depending on which aspects you consider.” That’s the real problem, he says, and the reason why the answers go “around and around in circles.” It’s just a terrible question, like trying to define what a weed is. It depends on your point of view.Without a causal connection, you can’t do science. You cannot produce a description of a social construct that distinguishes it from other things. You can’t discover what causes it, and you can’t make predictions about it. You certainly cannot answer the question “is social construct A just another instance of social construct B”. You might as well ask “are bushes just another sort of weed?”. Er, sometimes. It depends.And so it is with atheism and religion. “We’ve been using inadequate concepts,” says Lee. “To answer the question, you’ve got to have a coherent idea of what “religion” is, as well as what “atheism” is.” And that’s not possible. You can identify beliefs and behaviours that are often part of the social construct we call religion and you can do the same for the social construct we call atheism (see “Elements of atheism“). But you can’t really compare the two, says Lanman. Neither really exists.Lawton ends with a compromise: atheism and religion share some features, but “the content of these features are very different.” Well, if one is going to be subjective and play with definitions, let him ponder WND’s article, “Biblical Christianity is no religion.”Before reading the rest of our commentary, see if you can find the self-refuting aspects of Lawton’s ending paragraphs. Then scroll down and compare your findings with ours.Lawton has just used the following immaterial ideas: causal connection, science, distinction, definition, concepts, coherent ideas, deciding what is possible, and content. Each of these require the following: truth that is timeless, logic that is universal, information that is immaterial, and morality that is trustworthy. And yet he is an atheist. For him, these ideas have to reduce to mere epiphenomena of matter in motion. They must be secretions of the neurons of his brain. They must have evolved by purposeless, amoral, blind processes of natural selection (the Stuff Happens Law). As such, they could not be trustworthy or even comprehensible. Lawton basically reasoned from a position that reason is an illusion! He effectively plagiarized the God of the Bible who says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” using that foundation to deny the existence of God. There’s the self-refutation.Though we appreciate his giving some space to critics, Lawton only wiggled out of the question “Is atheism a religion?” via subjectivity: in short, ‘in some ways atheism is like a religion, in other ways it is not.’ We suggest a better question: ‘Is atheism a worldview?’ A worldview answers the following five questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? What is the nature of reality? What is my purpose in life? Where am I going? Atheism certainly is a worldview, because it offers answers to these questions. Asking the question this way sweeps away the mushy irrelevancies of rituals and traditions, behaviors, god-concepts and social constructs, which will only yield imprecise answers depending on the instances compared. Worldview gets to heart of the distinction: creation, or evolution? Lawton’s atheism will determine all the other questions he considers, including What is science? What are the important scientific questions? What constitutes a scientific answer? Worldview stands at the tipping point of every question, every answer, every decision.Notice how Lawton assumed evolution to claim religion is a social construct. Nothing stops us from assuming theism to claim atheism is a rebellion against God. So there; that’s why it’s important to ask the right questions to have any hope of a rapprochement or basis for continuing the discussion, rather than a standoff.The question ‘Is atheism a worldview’ also avoids Lawton’s complaint about people who describe ‘off as a TV channel’ or ‘not playing tennis as a sport.’ The reason is clear; worldview is a must. It cannot be evaded. Saying “I don’t have a worldview” is a worldview! It answers the five questions above—with evasion, perhaps, but one can never evade the consequences. TV and tennis are options, but life is not. We were all born and will all die, and we all have to make sense of reality every day we live. Our worldview determines our every action, whether we will dine out or find food in the frig, or take Biology rather than English literature, or choose God or atheism. It determines how we vote, how we raise our children, what we value in life. Every minor decision is worldview based, because one could always choose to stop breathing or stop eating based on the values stemming from worldview. And failing to have a good worldview affects everyone around. It’s reminiscent of what Bonhoeffer said, “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Choose wisely. (Visited 638 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

A significant finding by aircrew

first_imgChinese aircrew have spotted “suspicious objects” in the southern Indian Ocean whilst looking for vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the official Xinhua news agency says. They have reported that the crew of the Ilyushin-76 have found “white, square objects” floating in the Southern Indian Ocean at co-ordinates – 95.1113 degrees east and 42.5453 south. The significance of this finding over the satellite images that have been released over the past few days is that this sighting is in “real time” meaning the debris can be tracked and monitored. Satellite images whilst extremely useful can be up to four days old with debris having moved hundreds of kilometers by the time the image is received.As a precaution, the US Navy is sending a black box locator to the area. Commander William Marks, a spokesman for the US Seventh Fleet, said in an email “If a debris field is confirmed, the Navy’s Towed Pinger Locator 25 will add a significant advantage in locating the missing Malaysian aircraft’s black box,” The Chinese icebreker Xuelong is now making its way to the area and should reach there tomorrow.The area where the devris has been spotted is 2174 kilometres from will continue to update this story as it developslast_img read more

Top marks for IEB matrics

first_imgMost private schools in South Africa writethe IEB exams, while public schools writeexams administered by the state.(Image: Emily Visser)MEDIA CONTACTS• Teresa Settas Communications(on behalf of the IEB)+27 11 894 2767+27 82 653• Independent Examinations Board+27 11 483 9700RELATED ARTICLES• Education in South Africa • Rhodes opens R75m library• Youngsters to map out their future• Using theatre to educateSchool-leaving matric candidates who wrote their 2010 final exams under the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) had reason to smile on Tuesday 4 January, with more than 98% passing their exams – 1% more than last year.A 98.38% pass rate was achieved in the 2010 IEB National Senior Certificate (NSC) exams, with a total of 8 285 pupils from 172 schools writing the exams in late 2010.Most of those who passed – 81.5% – qualified for entry to degree study, 14.5% for diploma study and 2.4% qualified to study at the higher certificate level.“These performances reflect the dedication of the teachers to the very important work they do,” IEB chief executive Anne Oberholzer said in a statement. “They reflect too the amount of work that learners have done to ensure that they know and understand the important aspects of the subjects they have studied. Their education, as reflected in their results, ensures them of a successful future in their selected area of study or occupation.”Most private schools in South Africa write the IEB exams, while public schools write exams administered by the state.Oberholzer added that last year’s exams had seen an increase in the number of pupils writing the IEB Mathematics Paper 3 among the IEB pupils.“Since the inception of the NSC in 2008, participation in Mathematics Paper 3 at the IEB has increased by 68.5% from 1 414 candidates in 2008 to 2 383 candidates in 2010.”In 2010 a benchmarking study by UK Naric, a British agency which provides information and advice about vocational, academic and professional skills and qualifications from all over the world, found the NSC to be a school-leaving qualification on a par with the international best.“From that study we have been reassured that the NSC is a qualification with an underlying level that is both robust and fit for the purposes of examining senior secondary school levels,” Oberholzer said. “In terms of the qualification’s comparability, the report concludes that the National Senior Certificate at Grade 12 is broadly comparable to the GCE Advanced Subsidiary (AS-level).”Public school matric results will be released on Thursday 6 January. Students will be able to get their results from their schools, via text message or in national newspapers.The suspension of classes during the 2010 World Cup and the public servants’ strike are both expected to have a bearing on the results.On Thursday, students can get their results via text message from the SABC News Matric Results SMS Service by texting their identity number to 35935 and their examination number in the reply SMS. Alternatively, they can call 082 152, select option 6 and listen to their results after punching in the relevant digits.last_img read more