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Evolution Is Not a Designer

first_imgFrom Richard Dawkins to new prizewinning engineers, scientists get natural selection all wrong.Artificial selection is not natural selection. They are, in fact, opposites. True, Charles Darwin leaped from artificial to natural selection, but the former has purposeful goals, while the latter has none. It is the very mindlessness of natural selection that is its key characteristic. Adaptations, whatever form they take, are accidental; they are unintended. For this reason, the following are oxymorons:Evolutionary designEvolutionary engineeringDirected evolutionThese terms, if they mean anything, are synonyms for artificial selection, not natural selection. In fact, Darwin wrestled with his term natural selection because it seemed to personify what he considered an aimless, blind process. Yet scientists and reporters continue to confuse the two. Here are recent examples.Evolutionary DesignerThe BBC News proudly announced that  “US engineer Frances Arnold has won the Millennium Technology Prize for pioneering ‘directed evolution’.” What she did was randomize stretches of DNA, seeking to identify new functional enzymes. She knows she was doing artificial selection (a form of intelligent design), because she compared it to breeding: it’s “pretty much like we’ve done for cats, dogs, cows, chickens, you name it.” Her “directed evolution” could not be further from natural selection conceptually, but the article completely blurs the two:By driving a sped-up version of natural selection in the lab, the method has created new enzymes for industrial catalysts, household detergents, and even to make rocket fuel from sugar….“Evolution, to me, is the best designer of all time. And I figured out that this should be the algorithm for forward design, for making new biological code that is useful to humans,” Prof Arnold said….With her engineering background, Prof Arnold wanted to make new, useful, problem-solving proteins. So she took her cue from the way nature does the same thing.“I looked at it and said, well, nature didn’t actually design enzymes… How does this happen? You make mutations randomly, you look through a large number of things for the ones that have the properties you’re interested in, then you repeat the process.Natural selection is so misleading a term, Darwin later chose “survival of the fittest” as closer to what he meant. Some evolutionists picture the environment as a selector. Others view survival as a selector. These are both logical fallacies. Neither the environment or survival can select, because neither has foresight, mind, or goals. Whatever happens, nobody cares. Norman Macbeth wrote in 1971, “A process that operates invisibly, with an intensity that cannot be observed and with no ability to explain specific problems, an impersonal process that is continually given personal qualities—this sets my teeth on edge” (Darwin Retried: An Appeal to Reason, p. 46).Selfish GenesRichard Dawkins personified evolution famously with his “selfish gene” concept 40 years ago. Has he grown wiser since then? Apparently not; the BBC News interviewed him, and he’s still clinging to that and his other famous personification, “the blind watchmaker.” Jonathan Webb titles his article, “The gene’s still selfish: Dawkins’ famous idea turns 40.” Does Dawkins clarify these personifications and render them in purely materialistic terms?“If you ask what is this adaptation good for, why does the animal do this – have a red crest, or whatever it is – the answer is always, for the good of the genes that made it. That is the central message of the Selfish Gene and that remains true, and reinforced.”Jonathan Webb never contradicts these misleading statements. He joins in the fun of watching intelligently-designed software tools guiding random changes toward higher goals according to rules chosen by the programmer. Like Darwin long ago, Webb and Dawkins leap from artificial to natural selection, as if the two are one and the same running at different rates (natural selection being slower). But so-called “evolutionary computing” or “evolutionary algorithms” are not evolutionary in the Darwinian sense. The designer pulls good things out of randomness, recognizing what is desirable and what is not.From there, Webb lets Dawkins speak his mind about his pet peeve: religion. Neither of them were of a mind to upset their fun by letting a qualified Darwin skeptic in the room.This is what we’re up against, folks; the leading advocates of a materialistic worldview who don’t even understand their own theory. Read the quotes again at the end of “Time to Ditch Natural Selection?” (10/03/15). A few notable thinkers have realized the illogic of natural selection, blind watchmakers, and selfish genes.We all know what the human mind can achieve with breeding. Even if there is some random variation thrown in, the chief difference is the direction toward a goal supervised by the breeder’s intelligence. Intelligent designers can pull good things out of randomness because they know what they want and how to get it.No such direction is provided by so-called “natural selection”—one of the most misleading phrases ever concocted. The environment doesn’t select; it couldn’t care less what happens. It changes randomly as much as mutations are random. Natural laws don’t select; they produce the same outcomes, not a propensity toward building brains, wings, and eyes. Mutations don’t select, obviously. Everything is blind; everything is chance! Darwin’s theory is a dressed-up version of the Stuff Happens Law: the antithesis of science.So here we have the fulcrum of secular materialistic civilization resting on nothing but the shifting sands of chance. And yet evolutionists position themselves as the champions of logic, spitting on the “people of faith” far beneath them. Did humanity ever get things so backward, calling good evil, and evil good?Yes; twice: in the garden, and at the cross. (Visited 152 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Breast cancer is on the agenda

first_imgThe above infographic disproves some of the myths people believe about breast cancer and the threats it poses. (Image: Brand South Africa)Breast cancer awareness month is under way this month in South Africa and the rest of the world, when organisations, corporations and the public help to spread awareness and information about the disease.Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among South African women and the second most prevalent of all cancers among women of all races around the world. Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common form of cancer.According to the 2009 National Cancer Registry, one in 33 South African women will suffer from breast cancer at some point during their lives.“The designation of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in South Africa reflects a nationwide drive by public and private health care structures to raise awareness of this debilitating disease across all races and class structures,” the Department of Health said in announcing the event.With health care forming an integral part of South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) it is important that South Africans are informed about how to ensure their wellbeing as well as of those for whom they are responsible.Raising awareness of breast cancer and arming people with a working knowledge of the disease ties in with meeting the NDP’s health care pillar.“The only way we are going to address women’s sexual and reproductive health, including cervical and breast cancer, HIV and Aids and TB, is to ensure that policies, programmes and services are integrated,” said Thobeka Madiba-Zuma, South Africa’s first lady.Madiba-Zuma was speaking in New York City on 27 and 28 September, where she used her attendance at the 70th session of the United Nation General Assembly to promote women’s health awareness. “It is my responsibility to the people of South Africa to ensure that women’s sexual and reproductive health is kept high on the national and global agenda.”AT RISKMany people believe that they have no risk of breast cancer for a number of reasons, such as the idea that if there is no known history of the disease in their family, they will not get it. Although having a history of breast cancer in your family does increase your chances of developing the disease, however, the absence of cancer in your family does not mean you are not at risk.Many people are under the impression that breast cancer is only a threat to women; contrary to popular belief, men can contract the disease as well, although they are less likely to do so than women. One in 1 249 men worldwide will get breast cancer during their lifetimes.This is because men have far less breast tissue than women and thus run less of a risk of developing cancerous cells in their breast – but that does not mean it cannot happen.Regular examination, done yourself or by a professional, as well as mammograms can go a long way to avoiding the complications inherent in late discovery of breast cancer. (Image: ICON)EARLY DIAGNOSISThroughout October, organisations such as Cansa and the Pink Drive are raising awareness of the disease. They are encouraging people to care for their health as well as support those who have the illness.Best health practices are promoted during breast cancer awareness month, and people are encouraged to undergo regular routine checks to identify the development of cancerous cells early on and take measures to reduce risk.“Early diagnosis gives the cancer patient a higher chance of complete cure and less extensive surgery,” explains Dr Sheldon Godinho, the president of the Radiological Society of South Africa. “Early detection is a critically important factor in winning the battle against breast cancer.”Regular examination, done yourself or by a professional, as well as mammograms can go a long way to avoiding the complications inherent in late discovery of breast cancer.As International Breast Cancer Month continues through October, people of all ages and genders should take the time to support those suffering from breast cancer and ensure their own health and wellness.last_img read more

Cinematography Tips from The Best In The Business

first_imgWant to improve your cinematography and video production? Learn from industry leaders in these free online interviews.Cover image via Laurie Sparham / Creative Cow.There are a dozen great pay-per-view filmmaking classes on the internet. There’s the Masterclass series with legendary creatives such as Werner Herzog, Aaron Sorkin, and Hans Zimmer. At MZed you can find a six-hour course by Vincent Laforet on directing. Terminator Salvation DP Shane Hurlbut hosts his own cinematography course. The list goes on.However, there are also free online resources you can take advantage of. While these aren’t tutorials like the preceding examples, they do provide valuable insight from the best of the best.Here is a roundup of my favorites.Rob Hardy 2014’s Ex Machina from Alex Garland wasn’t just a stylish sci-fi drama, it was also an excellent study in primal human behavior — and a beautifully shot film. In this thirty-six minute talk, DP Rob Hardy discusses his work on the movie.Robert Richardson Robert Richardson is an esteemed DP who primarily collaborates with Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. With over thirty years’ experience, he has a lot of knowledge to share. In this hour-long interview with The Movie Geeks United, Richardson discusses working on the variety of films that fill his resume.We previously examined Robert Richardson’s work when framing wide shots. Dive into his work here.Sean Bobbitt DP Sean Bobbitt has a fine list of movies and TV shows on his résumé. Over the last ten years, he has collaborated a few times with director Steve McQueen, and in this fifteen-minute interview with Cinefii, he talks about that journey and the process of shooting films for McQueen.Seamus McGarveyWhether it’s the WWII drama Atonement, the family film Charlotte’s Web, or the mega blockbuster The Avengers, Seamus McGarvey has worked on many films you’ve loved. In this discussion with Blind Spot Gear, Seamus discusses the art of cinematography and how he started out.Roger DeakinsI’m sure Roger Deakins needs no introduction. He’s a fan favorite, a critic favorite, and a favorite among PremiumBeat writers — you’ll often see him and his methods referenced in the cinematography articles here. This interview is much more refined than the previous examples, as Deakins solely discusses the cinematography of the 2001 Coen Brothers film The Man Who Wasn’t There.Wally PfisterWally Pfister has worked as DP for some of the greatest action and drama films of the last decade: The Dark Knight, Inception, The Prestige. Obviously, there’s a pattern here; Wally is the long-time collaborator of director Christopher Nolan. In this interview, Wally, discusses his cinematic approach and working with Nolan on Inception.Do you know of any noteworthy interviews from leading cinematographers? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

‘Mrs. CM’ again courts controversy: Amruta Fadnavis calls PM ‘Father of our Country’

first_imgChief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s wife, Amruta, was trolled on social media after addressing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the ‘father of the country’ while wishing him on his 69th birthday on Monday. Ms. Fadnavis’s comparison of the Prime Minister with the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi did not go down well with Twitterati. “Wishing the Father of our Country @narendramodi ji a very Happy Birthday — who inspires us to work relentlessly towards the betterment of society (sic),” she tweeted, and social media was quick to remind her who the Father of the Nation was.Last year, Ms. Fadnavis had courted controversy by climbing on the edge of India’s first domestic cruise Angria to take a selfie. She was filmed being cautioned by security personnel, after she crossed the Mumbai-Goa ship’s safety range.Ms. Fadnavis profiles herself on Twitter as ‘Banker, Playback Singer, Social Worker, Homemaker.’ The Opposition took the opportunity to hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying the tweet was indicative of Mr. Modi’s ultimate intention of replacing Mahatma Gandhi as the Father of the Nation. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the ultimate aim of replacing Gandhiji as Father of the Nation. He even had his picture replace that of Gandhiji on the annual calendar of Khadi institutions. Ms. Fadnavis’s tweet is an indication of this evil ambition, which the people of this country will not accept,” said the Nationalist Congress Party’s Mumbai chief, Nawab Malik.last_img read more