The Simpsons Producer Treats Evolution as Fact

first_imgThe TV cartoon The Simpsons was praised for its “greatness” in, of all places, the premiere scientific journal Nature.1  Michael Hopkin interviewed “Executive producer Al Jean, the show’s head writer and a Harvard mathematics graduate.”  One of the questions was, “One episode in which the show does take sides is the one in which Lisa protests against creationism in her school.”  Jean explained the thinking behind the episode:What we say is that there are conservatives, like Pope John Paul II, who believe in the theory of evolution, and that it’s far from a liberal theory: it’s scientific, it’s as close to a fact as can be.  We did say that Flanders, who opposed the teaching of evolution, is sincere in his beliefs.  We tried to take his emotions seriously.    What’s really funny is that they had a debate here between the Republican candidates [for the presidential nomination], and the moderator said “so, which of you believe in evolution?”  And you could see a couple sort of raising their hands and then changing their minds, and I’m going “how can you not be sure whether you think that’s true or not?  It’s not a matter of opinion.”Jean did not explain what he meant by evolution, but since it was put in contradistinction to “creationism” one could safely infer he meant the common ancestry of all organisms by an unguided, undirected process that did not include a designing intelligence.  Because of that, and for assuming the factual objectivity of the most controversial theory in science and philosophy, and for propounding a grade-school-level philosophy of science, he wins Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week.    For the Pope’s most recent statement about evolution, see this translation of his July 25 speech posted by ID Net.21Michael Hopkin, “News Feature: Science in comedy: Mmm… pi,” Nature 448, 404-405 (26 July 2007) | doi:10.1038/448404a.2This is provided for reference only.  CEH makes no claim that the Pope’s opinions on this matter carry any particular credibility or authority.  Since his words were widely reported in sound bites, however, one should view them in their context.We think people need to be reminded that cartoons don’t just drop out of the sky into TV sets from unbiased sources.  They are the work of producers, writers, and publicists who are just as biased as anyone else.  You’ve just seen a portion of the mindset of the executive producer of a popular cartoon that always portrays the father as a bozo, the son as a delinquent, the religious leader as the sincere fool, and the girl who adores science as the savior of society from dangerous myths like creationism.  Why do you think they do this?  No agenda at all, would you say?  There’s nothing like humor to slip propaganda past the family radar.    Al Jean may be a math whiz but he needs to do some homework.  If he thinks evolution is the closest thing to a fact as anything can be, and that one is not allowed to have opinions about it, even if the skeptic is a PhD scientist or world-class philosopher or theologian, then he needs to go back to school himself.  His assignment is to read all seven years of Creation-Evolution Headlines.    Jean’s answer to a subsequent question in the interview provides a great case of dramatic irony.  He was asked, “Do you have a dream scientific guest who you’d love to have on the show?”  Without blinking an eye, he said, “Living or dead, it would be Isaac Newton.”  Ha!  Gotcha.  Now read this article by Jeff Jacoby at the Boston Globe, and the entry on Newton in our online book.  Better send your cartoon heroine to keep this kook out of the public schools, Al.(Visited 35 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Economy warms to new governor

first_imgA new way forward: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, President Jacob Zuma new Reserve Bank governor Gill Marcus and her predecessor governor Tito Mboweni. Marcus has the challenging job of ensuring that South Africa’s currency continues to weather the rough economic storms. (Images: GCIS)Khanyi MagubaneThe appointment of South Africa’s new Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus on 19 July, has gained much approval from South Africa’s business and finance sector.Although Marcus will officially start her duties on 9 November, her recruitment back into the highest financial body in the country has been hailed as a breath of fresh air in the Reserve Bank that has been in the firm clutches of current governor, Tito Mboweni.President Jacob Zuma had re-appointed Mboweni as the Reserve Bank governor but Mboweni asked to step down in November to pursue other interests.This brings an end to his 10-year tenure in office.When Zuma announced the new appointment, he placed his full confidence in her ability to continue protecting the country’s currency. “Ms Marcus has extensive knowledge of the institution she is now called upon to lead, having served as a Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank from 1999 to 2004.”Marcus was also the deputy minister of finance from 1996 to 1999.The president also thanked governor Mboweni for protecting the rand from the rough economic climate. “During Mr Mboweni’s tenure [the Reserve Bank] made a critical contribution to the country’s sustained economic stability and has pursued monetary policies that have fostered economic growth.”Keeping a firm hand on the currencyJournalists attending the press briefing asked Marcus if she would continue implementing the current monetary policies or would invigorate change into the existing ones.Marcus said although it was too early to speak about policy change, hers would be a style of collective leadership,“The style of leadership that I bring to the Reserve Bank is the style of leadership that I have exercised wherever I am and have been, and that is one of engagement.“I am there to listen and to learn and to see what the organisation is at this point in time and also to understand better the global environment.”But African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Gwede Mantashe told the media the next day on 20 July that Marcus would not be changing any policy. “Any change presents an opportunity, but policy is not a function of an individual. Gill Marcus is going to implement the policies that are there. She is appointed a Governor of the Reserve Bank, she will find policy.”Mantashe was speaking after a National Executive Committee meeting at Luthuli House, the ANC’s headquarters.This seemingly cautious and stable approach by the government has held well with the rand, which has enjoyed stability in the wake of the new announcement, by the president.According to online financial publication Fin24, Marcus’s appointment might even have helped the country’s currency.“The rand rallied to a session high of 7.98 against the [US] dollar on Monday, its strongest level since July 7, and was trading 0.4% firmer at 8.0075 by 6.38am compared with Friday’s close at 8.04.”“We had quite positive market reaction (to Marcus) this morning, and the rand is quite strong, though it also must be taken into consideration that the dollar is quite weak,” said Ion de Vleeschauwer, chief dealer at Bidvest Bank, speaking to Fin24.“From an international perspective … it gets the uncertainty out of the way. I expect the rand to remain strong and keep on still watching the international scene,” said de Vleeschauwer.Business Unity South Africa also welcomed Zuma’s appointment, saying that Marcus’s experience of the public and private sector made her a good candidate.Meanwhile, economics professor Stephen Hoskin from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University also echoed the positive sentiments of Marcus’s appointment.“She has a lot of banking experience and seems like a person who will not be a push-over. I do not think the markets will react negatively. She would also be familiar with the benefits of the current monetary policy.”Rand Merchant Bank analyst John Cairns also voiced the financial institutions’ backing for the new appointment, “She comes with all the right credentials, having served as Deputy Finance Minister, Deputy Governor at the South African Reserve Bank and within the private banking system.A rise within the ranksThe new governor leaves her position as the banking group Absa’s chairperson, a position she has held since 2007, to assume leadership of the reserve bank.Having risen within the ranks in the ANC, Marcus has long been a standing figure within the party. In a 2006 interview newspaper Mail and Guardian, she said her fight for social justice has consumed her passion throughout her life. “Growing up, there was nothing else I was interested in. The SA condition was just so intolerable. So it didn’t matter whether I was 15 or 20, that was what my commitment was going to be.”Born in Johannesburg in 1949, Marcus grew up in the then middle class suburb of Berea.While attending school at Barnato Park High School for Girls in Johannesburg, she partook in various sports activities including swimming and horse riding.When her family moved to London, she joined the ANC there in 1970 and in 1975 she was employed full time by the organisation.She was the editor of the ANC’s weekly newsletter, the Weekly News Briefing, which was distributed around the world.She returned to SA in 1990, where she started the party’s information department. After a 30-year ban, Marcus was responsible for information distribution about the ANC to curious journalists who were keen to find out what the party was about.She has 13 years experience in finances, since joining cabinet in 1996.In accepting her appointment from Zuma, Marcus said, “thank you for bestowing on me this enormous honour and confidence in me to pick up on the institution, the South African Reserve Bank, on the excellent work that has been done to date by Governor [Tito Mboweni].”Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at: khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.comRelated stories South Africa’s economyFinancial system remains strongBusiness, govt launch crisis planUseful linksSouth African Reserve BankDepartment of Financelast_img read more

Cronje claims World Champs bronze

first_img19 August 2013Johan Cronje claimed a somewhat unexpected bronze in the 1 500 metres on Sunday to ensure South Africa did not come away from the IAAF World Championships in Moscow without a medal.Cronje has been in the best form of his life this year, and in May broke the South African record over the distance that had belonged to Johan Landsman since 1993, clocking 3:33.46 – an improvement of a tenth-of-a-second on the previous mark.Clear favouriteIn Sunday’s final, there was a clear favourite in the form of Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop, who had run the fourth-fastest time ever in the event at a Diamond League Meeting in Monaco in July, crossing the line in 3:27.72. Backed by fellow Kenyans Nixon Chepseba and Silas Kipligat in the final, he would be almost impossible to beat.Had Kiprop opted to take it out hard from the start with his compatriots, as had been the rumour before the race, Cronje would have found it difficult to finish among the medals. However, when Kiprop opted for a slower pace before putting in a fast final 400 metres – he clocked 53.22 over the last lap – it played into Cronje’s hands.The South African is at his best in a more tactical race, so Kiprop’s tactics gave him a chance of recording the biggest result of his life.WinnerThe Kenyan star was simply untouchable over the last lap, his massive, loping strides taking him comfortably clear of the opposition in a winning time of 3:36.28.Matthew Centrowitz of the USA, a bronze medal winner at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea in 2011 and the winner of silver in the London Olympics, came through for second place in 3:36.78.Cronje hugged the inside of the track and with a determined effort managed to squeeze past Chepseba for third in 3:36.83, four-hundredths-of-a-second ahead of the Kenyan.Some decent performancesOn the whole, South African athletes turned in sub-standard performances, but given the ongoing problems in the administration of the sport that should not have come as a surprise. There were, however, some decent performances from athletes who did not medal.Willem Coertzen set an African record in the decathlon of 8 343 points, which was good for ninth place, while Victor “Hulk” Hogan placed fifth in the men’s discus with a best throw of 64.35 metres.Anaso Jobodwana impressed in the 200 metres, running 20.13 a number of times, including in the final in which he finished sixth. He was also second to Usain Bolt in the 100 metres heats in 10.17 and fourth in the semi-finals in the same time.Khotso Mokoena picked up seventh place with a best leap of 8.10 metres in a high class long jump final, while Sunette Viljoen was sixth in the women’s javelin with a distance of 63.58 metres.last_img read more

Samsung’s TV Rival Vizio Announces Android Phone and Tablet

first_imgVizio, the electronics manufacturer known best for its flat-panel TVs and LCD displays will soon join its rival Samsung in becoming an Android mobile phone and tablet company, too. According to The Wall St. Journal, Vizio has announced its first mobile phone called the “Via Phone” and its first tablet computer the “Via Tablet,” in advance of the annual Consumer Electronics Show’s start in Las Vegas this week.The InterfaceBoth the new phone and tablet will have the same look as the company’s TV sets, which you can see in the photos provided. There are two sections of applications displayed on the screen: “Favorites,” for your most heavily used apps, and “All Apps,” for everything else.It also appears as if Vizio has done away with the typical 4-button setup found on most Android devices – these photos only show a menu and back button as well as a stylized “V” whose function is currently unknown.Looking at the bottom on-screen toolbar, the menu buttons read “Email,” “Home,” “Web,” “Music” and “Movies,” the latter two which hint at some sort of multimedia integration, perhaps. sarah perez What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#Google#mobile#web Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementcenter_img Android Version, Price, Launch Date?The new phone and tablet will run Android, but the company has not yet specified which version of Android it will offer. “Gingerbread” (Android 2.3) is the most current version of the mobile operating system from Google, but the yet-to-launch version code-named “Honeycomb” is the revision that will be fully tablet-ready. Honeycomb isn’t expect to launch until March, but because this is an announcement only from Vizio, not the actual launch, it’s fully possible they will run Honeycomb when they launch.An interesting sidenote to this report: Vizio said that it developed both the phone and tablet over the past year and a half with a team of less than 10 people. Matthew McRae, Vizio’s chief technology officer, said that the team included mobile specialists from Nokia and other device manufacturers.No pricing or carrier information is available yet. Vizio will also be introducing new Via Plus HDTVs and Blu-ray players with Google TV built in at CES 2011. The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology The Apps…Wait, Did You Say Netflix?Speaking of movies, one bit from the WSJ story jumped out at us. The devices will provide access Vizio’s Via Plus Internet Service, the article says, referring to Vizio’s app ecosystem which aims to deliver a consistent interface across Vizio products from TVs to Blu-ray players and now, smartphones and tablets. But it was WSJ’s description of Vizio’s plans for Via Plus on its new mobile offerings that really caught our eye. The Via Plus service on the new devices, said the WSJ, “lets users access apps such as Netflix Inc.’s movie downloading service, the Android Market and the Facebook and Twitter social-networking sites.” Netflix? Netflix! The same Netflix that said it had to delay its instant streaming application for Android devices because of troubles with developing a secure enough Digital Rights Management (DRM) system on Android-based devices? Either the WSJ overlooked a very interesting aspect to this story, intentionally downplayed this reveal, or perhaps they got it wrong – Netflix may surely run on Via Plus on Vizio TVs, for example, but not on these new mobile devices.  Who knows?We’ll hold out for the official unveiling at CES 2011, we suppose, to learn more.The SpecsThe Via Phone will also feature a 4-inch screen, a 1 GHz processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, a microSD slot, a front-facing camera for video calls and a rear-facing five megapixel camera. The Via Tablet will have an 8-inch screen, a 1 GHz processor, 3 speakers, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, a microSD slot, and a front-facing camera for video conferencing. In keeping with Vizio’s TV-focused sensitivities, both devices will also offer HDMI ports. Both will also offer HD video playback.A “Real” Remote Control?One unique feature to both the tablet and phone is the addition of a built-in IR blaster, which allows you to use the mobile device as a TV remote, not just with Vizio products, but with any consumer electronics device you have connected to your home entertainment center.Although there are a lot of different “Remote” apps already in existence, both from independent 3rd-party developers as well as TV providers like Comcast and FiOS, these tend to use the home’s Wi-Fi network to communicate with DVRs and set-top boxes. Samsung’s mobile gadgets will instead function like a real remote control, which uses infrared technology to control functions on electronic devices. Related Posts last_img read more

10 months agoSevilla ready bid for Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Sevilla ready bid for Chelsea striker Alvaro Morataby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSevilla are ready to bid for Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata.The Mirror says Sevilla sporting director Joaquin Caparros has sounded out Morata’s representatives and they are trying to persuade Chelsea to do a deal this month.The Spanish club are offering a loan deal worth £5m until the summer when they will pay £35m plus add-ons for the Spain international.Morata has become disillusioned at Chelsea after falling out of favour with Maurizio Sarri.But Chelsea are still reluctant to let Morata go without strengthening their own squad first. last_img

a month ago​Van Dijk full of praise for Liverpool teammate Matip

first_img​Van Dijk full of praise for Liverpool teammate Matipby Ansser Sadiqa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk singled out his Reds colleague Joel Matip for praise.The Netherlands and Reds centre-back was up for the FIFA Best Player award.Despite losing out to Lionel Messi, Van Dijk was honoured to be among the final three.And he believes that playing next to a player of Matip’s quality certainly helps him show his best qualities.He said to his club’s official website: “We call him Matop because he was that good yesterday!”We need everyone, that’s the message everyone knows in the team. Yesterday he was outstanding, as were all the players. It was a massive win. We do it all together.”In this vote, the country plays a part as well and I’m very proud that things have been going well at Liverpool and in our country things have been going in the right direction too.”We have to all keep it going, that’s the only way forward.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Womens Basketball Strong third quarter pushes No 16 Ohio State to 8869

Ohio State senior guard Kelsey Mitchell (3) dribbles past defenders in the second quarter against Michigan State on Jan. 27 at the Schottenstein Center. The Buckeyes beat the Spartans 78-62. Credit: Alyssia Graves | Assistant Sports DirectorAfter coming off of a brutal loss in which Ohio State let South Florida junior guard Kitija Laksa drop 41 points on it in an 84-65 loss, the team’s main focus was to bounce back — and bounce back it did.No. 16 Ohio State (21-6, 10-3 Big Ten) went on the road and beat Illinois (9-18, 0-13 Big Ten) by a commanding score of 88-69. The Buckeyes received a lot of production from senior guard Kelsey Mitchell and redshirt senior Linnae Harper. Mitchell finished with 28 points, while Harper added a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds.Ohio State’s strong third quarter proved to be the difference maker. After a rough end to the first quarter and strong second quarter, Ohio State finished the third quarter outscoring Illinois 28-15. Heading into the fourth quarter, Mitchell had 21 points with the Buckeyes up 66-48.The Buckeyes came out of the gates strong, quickly jumping out to a 13-4 lead to start the first quarter thanks to a couple of Mitchell 3-pointers. That lead quickly disappeared when Illinois closed out the quarter on a 17-3 run to take a 21-16 lead after one quarter. The Buckeyes again jumped out to a strong start in the second quarter to regain a double-digit lead. However, Illinois clawed its way back into the quarter and made its halftime deficit a manageable seven points, 38-31. Ohio State’s lead at the break would have been larger had Illinois junior forward Alex Wittinger been held in check. Heading into the second half, Wittinger had 18 points on 8-for-13 shooting with eight rebounds. Wittinger finished with a double-double, 30 points and 16 rebounds.After the third quarter, the Buckeyes cruised the rest of the way. Illinois trailed significantly while Mitchell continued to drain basket after basket in the fourth. After going down 21-16, the Buckeyes outscored Illinois 67-53 the rest of the way.With three games remaining in conference play, Ohio State will look to close out the regular season strong heading into the Big Ten Tournament. It returns home to face Purdue for Senior Night at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Schottenstein Center. read more

Womens Lacrosse Late push not enough for Ohio State in 1712 loss

Ohio State then-junior attack Molly Wood races up field against Penn State on April 12, 2016 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsDespite an effort to make a comeback one game after dropping a road contest to Jacksonville, the Ohio State women’s lacrosse team fell to Cincinnati 17-12 Monday night. The Buckeyes (1-3) rallied late to close Cincinnati’s (3-1) lead, but the deficit was too big for Ohio State to overcome. Cincinnati went on a 4-0 run early in the second half to lead Ohio State by seven points. The Bearcats maintained the pace throughout the half to give the team its first home win of the season.Senior midfielder Katie Burgee and sophomore midfielder Liza Hernandez both scored for Ohio State 14 seconds apart with under two minutes left in the second half to make it 17-12. Despite the effort, it was too late for the Buckeyes to come back. Ohio State senior Molly Wood led the team with four goals. Hernandez, one of the team’s leading scorers, only had one goal and two assists. Junior midfielder Bailey Parrott had two goals for Ohio State and forced two turnovers. Cincinnati held an advantage in draw controls, free position shots and saves. The Buckeyes had six saves compared to the Bearcats’ 11. The Bearcats set the tone by going on a 4-0 run five minutes into the first half. Sophomore midfielder McKenna Rushford led Cincinnati with six goals, tying her career high. Four of her goals came within the first 20 minutes of the game. Parrot tied the game four minutes into the first half, but the Buckeyes failed to keep up with the Bearcats and could not remain close enough to take a lead. Ohio State will have 10 days to rally before taking on Binghamton at 4 p.m. March 9. read more

Review England – Belgium

first_imgWith a moment of individual brilliance, Adnan Januzaj gave Belgium a 1-0 victory and the first place in Group G.The final two matches of the group stage are soon upon us…Here are the teams for #ENGBEL!#ENG #BEL pic.twitter.com/rvom0sQ4Ru— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 28, 2018Januzaj tips United to return to the top Obinna Echi – November 14, 2018 Adnan Januzaj has backed his former club Manchester United to start challenging for the Premier League title soon.Januzaj believes United need to make the…Even though first place was up for grabs, both Gareth Southgate and Roberto Martinez decided to make multiple changes to their starting lineups today in Kaliningrad. There was no Harry Kane, no Eden Hazard, no Romelu Lukaku and no Kevin De Bruyne. The lack of star power didn’t mean the fans weren’t still hoping to see an entertaining encounter.A defensive lapse allowed England to have a moment in the opening two minutes that ended with Courtois blocking a cross before it came to Jamie Vardy. Youri Tielemans blasted a long-distance strike in the 7th minute, catching Jordan Pickford a bit asleep. Luckily for England’s goalkeeper, the shot was in the middle of the net, so he made the save. A couple of minutes later, Adnan Januzaj made a few dribbles and then lobbed a cross that came to Mitchy Bashuayi. He headed the ball back towards the central area in front of Pickford and even though there wasn’t a distinct shot, the ball rolled towards the goal line before Gary Cahill cleared it just before it went in.Tielemans received the game’s first yellow card. In this contest, cards were particularly important, as they could determine the final standings in case of a draw. With this card, Belgium had two more than England overall. Another foul on Danny Rose earned Belgium’s second booking. This time the guilty party was Leander Dendoncker. Whistles were coming from all over the stadium. The fans weren’t happy. The Belgian defensive trio was passing the ball among each other, while the English players refused to press. It was more than obvious both teams were satisfied with the current situation.Gareth Southgate decided to save his main defender’s energy and replaced John Stones with Harry Maguire at the half. In the 51st minute, Adnan Januzaj’s individual brilliance gave The Red Devils a 1-0 advantage. He dummied Danny Rose and then curled a beautiful left-footed shot, leaving Pickford with no choice but to take the ball out of his net. Belgium took over first spot in Group G with the goal. Later on, Thomas Vermaelen suffered a cut on his eyebrow after an aerial duel with Jamie Vardy. Marcus Rashford missed from an ideal one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper in the 66th minute. What a miss! Courtois got a touch on the ball, but it doesn’t change the fact that if Rashford wants to be considered as a starter, he must not miss those types of opportunities.Roberto Martinez decided to give the recently recovered Vincent Kompany a run, taking off Vermaelen to make place for the experienced center back. The next swap was Danny Welbeck for Trent Alexander-Arnold, signalling a wish to tie the game. Although, based on the play, that wish was really weak. On the other hand, why would England try to earn a draw? Losing this match meant a meeting with Colombia (possibly without James Rodriguez) in the Round of 16 and then (potentially) either Switzerland or Sweden in the quarter-finals. It also meant avoiding Brazil, as well as the other superpowers in the top part of the draw. Pickford saved Dries Mertens’ effort in the 89th minute. Marouane Fellaini missed in the 92nd minute and that was it. Belgium won for the third time in three matches, finished first with 9 points and will meet Japan next.last_img read more

Arthur to join Barcelona this summer

first_imgBrazilian midfielder Arthur confirms Barcelona transfer ahead of the 2018-19 season.The Gremio star was expected to join the Catalan club in January of 2019 but the two clubs are believed to be working on a deal that could see the midfielder move to Spain this summer.Both clubs agreed on a £35million transfer in March of 2018 that would see the 21-year-old Brazilian join Barcelona in January 2019 but the Catalans want the player in their team this summer.With the departure of Andres Iniesta, the club want the former U-20 Brazilian midfielder to beef up the number of midfielders in the club. Arthur has already announced he’s leaving the Brazilian club this summer.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“I wanted to go out in a press conference for the love I have for the Gremio fans,” Arthur said, as reported by As.“I have a chance to fulfil a dream and I have to thank Barcelona for this opportunity. This isn’t goodbye as I hope I can come back to this club someday.”“Barce asked to arrive this summer and I really couldn’t turn down the chance to move to my dream club in earnest.”A deal is expected to be finalised this weekend, as confirmed by Gremio Sporting Director Andre Zanotta.last_img read more