Banko-Perlas and Pocari Sweat-Air Force took advantage of furious starts on Sunday, besting their seeded rivals blunted by long rests to move a win each from a championship showdown.BanKo-Perlas defeated second seed PayMaya, while Pocari swept top ranked Creamline in the opener of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference bst-of-three semifinal series at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Five-time UAAP MVP Marck Espejo fired 20 points for the HD Spikers.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments The Perlas Spikers doused the High Flyers’ late-set rally to post a 25-19, 26-28, 25-23, 25-23 win.Earlier, the Pocari Lady Warriors displayed the brand of game worthy of the defending champions that they are, crushing the off-form Cool Smashers, 25-23, 25-12, 25-23.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownWhile Creamline and PayMaya reaped the benefits of making the Final Four outright, Perlas and Pocari have chances of setting up a “championship of the underdogs’ if they take the clincher in Wednesday’s Game 2.“If we play the same game we played today where we are relaxed and just enjoyed the match, we will overcome the semifinals,” said Perlas’ Thai import Jutarat Montripila. Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding LATEST STORIES Christopher Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings author, dies aged 95 Bicol riders extend help to Taal evacuees Taal victims get help from Kalayaan town Cloudy skies over Luzon due to amihan In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ MOST READ Montripila exploded with 31 points to negate the 30-point explosion of PayMaya import Tess Rountree.Pocari, having a tough time all conference after losing key players to other teams, pounced on a Creamline squad that came off a three-week lay-off.Pocari coach Jasper Jimenez credited their big opening set which threw off Creamline’s composure.“I think Creamline wasn’t used to trailing, because all conference they are usually leading,” said Jimenez in Filipino. “So our first set proved to be a big factor because we didn’t need to adjust that much.”Earlier, defending men’s champion Cignal clamped down on PLDT Home Fibr’s hitters to pound out a 25-22, 25-20, 26-24 decision in their own playoffs.ADVERTISEMENT 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 Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Harvey Weinstein rape trial Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown ‘KD’ in Manila
Host Ray Stubbs was joined in the studio by Matt Scott and Dean Jones. They discuss what has gone wrong with Chelsea, England’s chances at the Rugby World Cup and Paula Radcliffe and her doping allegations.
Liverpool are preparing for the Europa League final and Manchester United brought the Premier League to its delayed conclusion with victory over West Bromwich. Here’s the latest from Russ Hargreaves and the team.
The Republicans are complaining that Democrats are not supporting the troops in Iraq. When, then, do the Republicans attach a clause in support of drilling for oil in the Arctic Nation Wildlife Refuge to a bill in support of the troops? Is this patriotism? Horrors. Herman Berman Sherman Oaks A spiky idea Since we can’t seem to stop irresponsible drivers from running the red lights at the Orange Line busway crossings, how about installing those wonderful spikes that are often placed at exit-only lanes in parking lots? Can’t they be popped up and down? When the light turns red, the spikes will stick up from the street. Fred Kearns Woodland Hills Not trustworthy So, President George W. Bush does not believe in the U.S. Constitution. He says that the American people should trust him because he has sworn to uphold the law. How can I trust him when this president deliberately kept a United States citizen, Jose Padilla, in jail for three years without charging him with a specific crime? We don’t have an imperial presidency. We are beginning to have a dictatorial one. Jean Strauber Encino God bless us all With the heat on, the Bush administration has opted for an untested strategy: the truth. An admission of “mistakes” leading up to the war, an admission of illegal domestic espionage, and an about-face on the torture amendment constitute not an awakening, but a desperate political response to a growing American unease. These admissions and concessions do not indicate a sudden commitment to a higher consciousness, but the strategic use of the truth (or something like it) at a particular moment in time. Don’t get used to it. God bless the Iraqi people and us as we both struggle for democracy. Larry Zamora West Hills160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Best present Re “L.A. vs. LAUSD: It’s war” (Dec. 21): There is a God. Laura Chick is going to audit the Los Angeles Unified School District. Schools Superintendent Roy Romer is hollering foul. This is the best Christmas president a citizen can get. Joe Pinoy Lozano Mission Hills Go get ’em, Laura I was happy to see that Laura Chick is adamantly pursuing an audit of the LAUSD over the protests of Superintendent Roy Romer. I think he’s protesting because he has a lot to hide. The district exhibits no accountability for spending, just going to the voters and always getting more like the $4 billion bond we approved in November. It really infuriated me when, last week, I obtained permits to do an addition to my home and found that 75 percent ($3,700) of the fees were earmarked for the LAUSD’s “building fund.” I wouldn’t care if I knew it was going to the students but, having taught at LAUSD, I know it doesn’t. We need to stop giving them any more money until they begin accounting for it. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Go get ’em, Laura. Marc Dodell Tujunga Tookie was no king Re “Supporters came out too late to save Tookie” (Their Opinions, Dec. 22): Jasmyne A. Cannick wrote that “Stanley Tookie Williams had a home-going celebration fit for a king, and rightly so.” A king! Oh, please. Was there a home-going celebration for the thousands of innocent children who have been killed or maimed by Tookie’s followers? Marilyn Dalrymple Lancaster Illogical thinking Classes in critical thinking should be mandatory for anyone running for either house of Congress. Mere days after alarming reports that the United States is facing a severe shortage of science, math and physics graduates, the U.S. Senate cut funding for student loans and related matters. Great going, guys! What a bunch of enlightened forward thinkers. Sandy Sand West Hills Is this patriotism? Re “Bush defends orders to spy” (Dec. 18):
ENTERTAINMENT: After a hugely successful opening weekend, the Earagail Arts Festival continues to deliver a full programme of theatre productions, workshops and concerts this week.There’s a jam packed programme of music, poetry, spoken word and workshops lined up for this weekend with something for people of all ages. Shows continue to sell out so early booking is strongly advised. Fronted by singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Travis Ward, Hillfolk Noir is a trio of neo-traditionalists playing traditional music on traditional instruments for non-traditional times.They call it Junkerdash, and it’s a sound brewed from folk, bluegrass, punk, string-band blues and other influences musical and otherwise.One of the hardest-working bands on the US roots music circuit, Hillfolk Noir have built themselves a huge Stateside following playing what has been described as music “filtered through a country-tinged, swampy-swingin’, hillbilly-delta-blues-ragtime word machine”.Working out of Boise, Idaho, they were widely recognised as one of the outstanding highlights at last year’s SXSW in Austin, Texas, and have won a lot of fans in the UK too after four successful tours on this side of the Atlantic. One of those fans, the legendary BBC presenter “Whispering” Bob Harris has described their music as “amazing.” Hillfolk Noir will play at The Nesbitt Arms, Ardara tomorrow, Thursday, 16th July. Show begins at 8pm and some tickets are still available, priced at €10.A first for the Earagail Arts Festival, and presented in association with An Grianán Theatre, Beyond The Pale – Meet The Makers is a unique event which sees international community theatre artists and practitioners gather in Donegal.This weekend symposium offers the opportunity for delegates to discover fresh ways of working, make new connections and look forward to novel creative partnerships. With a series of presentations, workshops and discussions, the weekend will entertain, challenge and empower.A weekend pass for all events is available at a rate of €20. Beyond The Pale – Meet The Makers takes place on Saturday, 18th July and Sunday, 19th July in the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny.Key events include a keynote address by Eugene Van Erven, Artistic Director of the International Community Arts Festival, Rotterdam, ‘Open Spaces, Different Places’ with Stella Duffy and Philip Parr and a masterclass with Declan Gorman entitled, ‘Making Something of Our Own, Taking Something Away.’ Full biographies and details on speakers are available on the Beyond The Pale – Meet The Makers section at www.eaf.ie.Little John Nee & The Caledonia Highly Strung Orchestra perform “Lough Swilly Delta Live” featuring popular songs from their debut album “Songs from the Lough Swilly Delta”. In addition to songs from the album the show will feature their latest new compositions, musical stories, comedy and the drama of being highly strung on the road. The album features songs from theatre shows of Little John Nee recorded with the Caledonia Highly Strung Orchestra.A mixture of comic blues and haunted ballads, featuring songs from “The Derry Boat”, “The Mental”, “Dead Rooster Blues”, “Sparkplug” and others all given the “Highly Strung” treatment; the warm earthy guitars of Fionn Robinson, the Ella-mental voice and kaleidoscopic clarinets of Orlaith Gilcreest, the pulsing piano and hair-blowing Hammond of Jeremy Howard as well and Little John’s trademark ukulele and cigar box guitar.Little John Nee & The Highly Strung Orchestra takes place at 8pm on Saturday, 18th July at An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, Thursday, 23rd July at The Railway Tavern, Fahan and Saturday, 25th July at Colgan Hall, Carndonagh. Admission is €12/€10 and tickets can be purchased online for free on www.eaf.ie. Little John Nee & The Highly Strung Orchestra is suitable for groups aged 12+ and lasts 70 minutes.Imramh na Gealaí takes place at 10pm on Saturday 18th July at the Glebe Gallery and Gardens, Churchill. In a not-to-be-missed spectacle, LUXe use celebratory, processional and mechanical sculpture, fire and shadowplay, sumptuous costume, music, dance and aerial performance all within the landscape on an elemental voyage of imagination and realisation. This event is open to all ages and event organisers encourage car-sharing as parking is limited. Tickets cost €8 or €25 for a family ticket for two adults and two children and parking is open from 9pm. Event goers are advised to come dressed for the weather, to bring torches and leave dogs at home.For this, the twentieth year as part of the Earagail Arts Festival, An Cosán Glas returns with another breathtaking and dramatic night-time outdoor exhibition of large-scale illuminated sculptures set amongst the sand dunes at Magheraroarty near Gortahork. Taking inspiration from the spectacular surrounding landscape of the mountains and seascapes of Magheraroarty, the artist’s pieces, together with music and the work created in the children’s Cois Farraige art workshops makes for a memorable and magical night for all of the family.Loinnir takes place at 10pm on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th July at Magheraroarty beach. This event is suitable for all ages and admission is free but donations are welcome. The trail distance to Magheraroarty is 2 km and access is gained via Magheraroarty Pier road with parking available at pier car parks. There is limited disabled parking available beside the sculpture trail but the festival organisers would like to make people aware that the ground will not always be level. Visitors are advised to wear suitable outdoor clothing and to bring a torch.Produced by Roise Goan, ‘She Knit the Roof’ is a new theatre piece, hand-made in the old Crolly Doll Factory.At one time there were 20,000 knitters making Aran jumpers for the world from their homes in Donegal and ‘She Knit the Roof’ theatrically investigates and interprets the once thriving cottage industry of knitting in the county.The production will take its audience on a spin into the forgotten yarns of our knitted history. ‘She Knit the Roof’ will share stories about the man from Glenties arriving with the yarn, of children sent out of the room for the knitters to catch up on the ‘news’, of patterns, styles and lives changing over the years, and of economic survival earned by the clash of needles late into the night.Running from Wednesday 22nd July – Saturday 25th July, She Knit the Roof takes place in Crolly at the Old Crolly Doll Factory and will bring together a collection of ‘woolly’ memories. Tickets cost €12 / €10 and the show starts at 8.00pm. There will also be a matinee show on Saturday 25th July at 3.00pm.For a full EAF programme of events and to book tickets visit www.eaf.ie or call the Festival Box Office at An Grianán Theatre on 074 91 20777. Earagail Arts Festival is funded by The Arts Council of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Donegal County Council.CHECK OUT ALL THE AMAZING SHOWS LINED-UP – AS THE EARAGAIL ARTS FESTIVAL GETS INTO FULL SWING was last modified: July 16th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:EAFEntertainmentFeaturesnews
A young Glenties woman has embarked on an exciting bid to be crowned Miss Ireland 2019.Naomi Molloy, 23, is representing Kildare in the pageant as she has lived in Celbridge for the past year.Being a ‘Miss Kildare’ from Donegal means Naomi has two counties to champion in the national competition. “So far my Miss Ireland experience has been incredible, the support from both Co Donegal and Co Kildare have been fantastic. Both counties have so much community spirit and support for everything that goes on in their areas!” Naomi said.Miss Donegal Holly Mc Crea and Miss Kildare Naomi MolloyNaomi is a graduate of Food Science and Business who now works in Sales at O’Brien Fine Foods. She is using her newfound platform as a Miss Ireland finalist to share an important message:“I entered Miss Ireland to use it as platform to have my voice heard, to increase awareness of mental health in Ireland, and reduce the stubborn stigma that comes with it. I firstly will be targeting family, friends, the workplace and also the younger generation,” Naomi said.Miss Kildare 2019 Naomi MolloyNaomi is also fundraising for children’s charity Variety Ireland this year, which is the partner cause of Miss Ireland 2019. She will be hosting an afternoon tea and raffle in Naas later this month as part of the ‘Beauty with a Purpose’ campaign. The Miss Ireland final takes place on the 14th September in Dublin’s Helix Theatre. Donegal will be well-represented by Miss Donegal Holly Mc Crea, Miss Letterkenny Anna Gallagher and Miss Kildare Naomi Molloy.Glenties woman flying the flag for two counties in Miss Ireland pageant was last modified: August 11th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:MISS IRELANDmiss kildarenaomi molloy
The government has been criticised for their decision to walk away from talks with trade unions on pensions for Community Employment Supervisors. He was speaking after the campaign of community supervisors in Donegal conveyed their dismay at the decision – branding the government actions as “unacceptable”.Senator MacLochlainn said: “It is now 11 years since the Labour Court made a recommendation that an agreed pension scheme for CE Supervisors should be put in place by the State. “That means 11 years of CE Supervisors retiring from their job without the occupational pension recommended by the labour relations machinery of the State.“I welcomed Minister Doherty coming to the table with Minister Donohue to engage with representatives of CE Supervisors. It was believed that these talks would continue until an agreement was reached, once and for all.“Instead, we now have a situation where both Ministers have walked away from the talks process and reneged on their commitment to bring forward their proposals to resolve the matter.“This is unacceptable and I am calling on Minister Doherty to keep her word and to engage in good faith with representatives of CE Supervisors. The Labour Court recommendation from 2008 must be implemented now.” Govt slammed for “unacceptable” actions towards pension talks was last modified: November 13th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
To a middle school student, science is a clear category; it’s a subject you take, along with history, language, or P.E. You have a science teacher; you read a science textbook. You learn about the scientific method. In the real world, though, categories are not always so clearly delineated. In fact, the leading science journal, Nature, seems to be asking some fundamental questions about the methods and materials of its very reason for being. This week, Nature presented a debate between two cancer researchers on whether scientific research should proceed “hypothesis first” or “data first.” The controversy has arisen, in part, by the technology available. Large-scale genomic surveys are now possible, and funds are being focused away from traditional methods toward obtaining vast databases of genetic information. Robert Weinberg is alarmed at the trend; he argued that mere data collection without understanding is pointless and that the funding shifts are discouraging small research projects from which major insights have been traditionally been made.1 Todd Golub argued that patterns in complex phenomena become apparent only when there is sufficient data available.2 It takes a lot of data to separate signal from noise; therefore data collection is essential before new hypotheses can be generated. The interesting thing about these articles is not who won the debate, but that a question so basic about the scientific method needs to be asked nearly 400 years after Francis Bacon. To what extent is the question a consequence of the sheer volume of data that can be accumulated and stored? The scientific method was devised when data was written with a quill on parchment. Peer review is another focal point of dispute. Last week, Nature applauded a British research council that is cracking down on the practice of flooding review agencies with grant applications.3 Because the odds of winning a grant are low, “low success rates lead researchers to submit more applications in the hope of securing at least some funding, overburdening peer reviewers,” the editors explained. “The system ends up rewarding safe, short-term research proposals that meet everyone’s approval, at the cost of the innovative suggestions it should be supporting.” The council now says that if you don’t secure funding, you are limited to one application the following year. They feel the council’s new “‘blacklisting’ rule is a radical, unpopular but courageous effort to address a crisis in the peer-review system.” But will the cure be worse than the disease?The consequences of the revised policy are uncertain. Thanks to other peer-review changes, applications have already been cut by about a third since last year, and success rates are up. But the new policy’s threat of exclusion may further discourage adventurous funding bids. The EPSRC also runs the risk of alienating its community, making it harder to find peer reviewers – who are in increasingly scarce supply.The rule has already generated inequities and complaints. Nature still thinks it was a good move that requires fine-tuning. No one is sure at this point what will happen. Could luck play a role in who gets in the game? “Other scientists have worried that an application is marked ‘unsuccessful’ if it falls below the halfway point on a list of proposals ranked by panels of peer reviewers � a criterion that not only seems arbitrary, but also risks taking out good researchers who are simply unlucky.” Imagine if the loser in this process had been a young new Isaac Newton. The editors left it open if the council’s “gutsy gamble” will work, and noted that other councils are watching what happens. Letters to the editor are often interesting to read. Three biologists from three widely respected scientific institutions wrote Nature last week in a huff, challenging the editors’ definition of science. As a follow-up to the Human Genome Project, now 10 years old, Nature’s editors had written that it is “Time for the epigenome” project.4 The three scientists were “astonished” at that editorial,5 claiming that it seemed to “disregard principles of gene regulation and of evolutionary and developmental biology that have been established during the past 50 years.” Their complaint was not just about disagreements on traditional practices, but about Nature’s acceptance of the idea that the epigenome has a “scientific basis” at all. Undoubtedly the editors would take umbrage at challenges to their ability to judge what constitutes science. The internet age is shifting the dynamics of scientific practice. However comfortable the world was with the peer-reviewed publishing paradigm, times have changed. Instant internet access is democratizing science in many ways. Nature has read the tea leaves and is adjusting. In a dramatic move, Nature’s editors are opening up their once-impregnable editorial fortress and letting the peasants in. “Nature’s new online commenting facility opens up the entire magazine for discussion,” the Editorial announced this week.6 They have some concerns about signal to noise; comments will be vetted and monitored to weed out libel, obscenity or unjustified accusations – but not trivia. They will review their approach after a few months. Nevertheless, the popularity of internet blogs has not been lost on Nature and they are seeing the value of interesting and lively dialogue. It appears from the comments to this editorial that many think it’s a great idea. Perhaps the best way to evaluate good science is with some form of measurement. Alas, another paper in Nature pointed out serious failings in that regard. In an Opinion piece last week,7 Julia Lane proposed, “Let’s make science metrics more scientific.” She wasn’t discussing better ohmmeters or ammeters – the subtitle explained, “To capture the essence of good science, stakeholders must combine forces to create an open, sound and consistent system for measuring all the activities that make up academic productivity, says Julia Lane” She described the problem in stark reality:Measuring and assessing academic performance is now a fact of scientific life. Decisions ranging from tenure to the ranking and funding of universities depend on metrics. Yet current systems of measurement are inadequate. Widely used metrics, from the newly-fashionable Hirsch index to the 50-year-old citation index, are of limited use. Their well-known flaws include favouring older researchers, capturing few aspects of scientists’ jobs and lumping together verified and discredited science. Many funding agencies use these metrics to evaluate institutional performance, compounding the problems. Existing metrics do not capture the full range of activities that support and transmit scientific ideas, which can be as varied as mentoring, blogging or creating industrial prototypes. The dangers of poor metrics are well known – and science should learn lessons from the experiences of other fields, such as business. The management literature is rich in sad examples of rewards tied to ill-conceived measures, resulting in perverse outcomes. When the Heinz food company rewarded employees for divisional earnings increases, for instance, managers played the system by manipulating the timing of shipments and pre-payments. Similarly, narrow or biased measures of scientific achievement can lead to narrow and biased science.Whether Lane’s suggestions will solve these is another question. The fact that she opened them up for discussion in Nature should be enough to raise eyebrows among those who think of science as an unbiased enterprise. Lane’s paper did more to elaborate on the problems than to solve them. Moreover, her solutions sound like an internet-age Web 3.0 pipe dream:How can we best bring all this theory and practice together? An international data platform supported by funding agencies could include a virtual ‘collaboratory’, in which ideas and potential solutions can be posited and discussed. This would bring social scientists together with working natural scientists to develop metrics and test their validity through wikis, blogs and discussion groups, thus building a community of practice. Such a discussion should be open to all ideas and theories and not restricted to traditional bibliometric approaches.Something “should” be done, she ended: “Some fifty years after the first quantitative attempts at citation indexing, it should be feasible to create more reliable, more transparent and more flexible metrics of scientific performance.” She claimed “The foundations have been laid” but it’s evident that little is being done yet. That means all the problems she listed are today’s risks and realities. Someday, over the rainbow, “Far-sighted action can ensure that metrics goes beyond identifying ‘star’ researchers, nations or ideas, to capturing the essence of what it means to be a good scientist.” It’s clear that science is evolving, as it always has. But what is it evolving from, and what is it evolving toward? If science itself is not stable, has it ever been – or will it ever be – a reliable method of gaining understanding?8 1. Robert Weinberg, “Point: Hypotheses first,” Nature 464, 678 (1 April 2010) | doi:10.1038/464678a; Published online 31 March 2010.2. Todd Golub, “Counterpoint: Data first,” Nature 464, 679 (1 April 2010) | doi:10.1038/464679a; Published online 31 March 2010.3. Editorial, “Tough love,” Nature 464, 465 (25 March 2010) | doi:10.1038/464465a; Published online 24 March 2010.4. Editorial, “Time for the epigenome,” Nature 463, 587 (4 February 2010) | doi:10.1038/463587a; Published online 3 February 2010.5. Ptashne, Hobert and Davidson, “Questions over the scientific basis of epigenome project,” Nature 464, 487 (25 March 2010) | doi:10.1038/464487c.6. Editorial, “Content rules,” Nature 464, 466 (25 March 2010) | doi:10.1038/464466a; Published online 24 March 2010.7. Julia Lane, “Let’s make science metrics more scientific,” Nature 464, 488-489 (25 March 2010) | doi:10.1038/464488a; Published online 24 March 2010.8. “Understanding” is not the same thing as explanation, prediction, and control. Scientific theories can provide those things and still be wrong or lacking in understanding of reality. See the 3/17/2010 commentary.Science is mediated through fallible human beings. It is not “out there” in the world, to be retrieved in some unbiased way. Human beings have to figure out not only what nature is showing us – they have to figure out what nature is, and what science is. At every step there are decisions to be made by creatures who don’t know everything and who weren’t there at the beginning. We must divest our minds of the notion that science is an unbiased method that obtains incontrovertible truth. That is certainly not the case to an evolutionist. If blind processes produced human beings, we have no necessary or certain access to external reality. Some philosophers have tried to defend “evolutionary epistemology” – a notion that if evolution had not put us in touch with reality, we would not have survived. That’s a self-referential fallacy that assumes reality is real and that evolution is capable of addressing philosophical questions. Science is supposed to be a systematic attempt to discern and understand the natural world, but all attempts to define science in ways that keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out have failed. Take any definition of science and you will find examples: is science methodologically rigorous? So is astrology. Is science restricted to repeatable observation? Better not talk about dark energy or black holes. Does it make predictions? Some sportscasters score better than the 5% confidence level considered statistically significant in scientific experiments. Is it the consensus of the learned? Astrology, alchemy and Ptolemaic astronomy had long and established credentials. Is it restricted to explanations based on natural law? So much for chaos theory, probability and any explanation invoking contingency, like evolution. Is it restricted to natural explanations for natural phenomena? Read creationist journals and you will find much of this, yet the scientific establishment routinely excludes their views. Consistent philosophers of science have had to agree that by any normal definition, creation science is scientific – or else you wind up excluding other approaches the establishment doesn’t want to give up. No two philosophers of science agree completely on what science is, let alone what scientists should be doing. Philosophers differ wildly on the nature of scientific discovery, the nature of scientific evidence, and the nature and propriety of scientific explanation. The whole field is riddled with deep and unresolved questions. If you resort to an operational definition, it becomes circular: What is science? Science is what scientists do. What do scientists do? Science. In practice, “science” is often defined as whatever those in power take it to mean. As shown by the letter to Nature above, they sometimes can’t agree among themselves. The practice of science has changed considerably over the centuries. In the early 18th century, interested amateurs like James Joule worked independently and discussed their findings at local scientific societies that were little more than clubs. Today there is rapid, instantaneous conversation via the internet – some good, some bad, some ugly. Science has become a human social phenomenon wielding immense political and economic power. Many individual scientists do their work honestly; they really want to figure out the truth about some phenomenon, find a cure, bring clarity to a question about nature, organize our accumulating data in a useful way. At every level, though, human frailty is an intrinsic factor. Consider these very practical issues that each require decisions based on fallible human opinions:Who gets funding.How one increases the odds of getting funding.How much funding is needed (meat over gravy).How much one has to go along to get along.What school one goes to, and how it affects prestige.How one’s work is perceived by one’s peers.The availability of peer reviewers.Whether the peer reviewers are unbiased or potential rivals.How many peer reviewers are enough.Whether a glass ceiling exists for women researchers.Whether the good-old-boys club keeps out young or female entrants.Whether a consensus represents confidence or inertia.To what extent a consensus muscles out the mavericks.Whether a maverick has a view worth hearing (who decides?)The effect of tenure or the lack of it on objectivity.Whether corporate funding biases the findings.Whether government funding biases the findings.Whether individual hubris biases the findings (think Mesmer).The influence of one or more strong personalities in a field (think Freud).Whether quantity of research activity correlates with significance.Whether number of published papers correlates with understanding.Whether volume of writing on a subject correlates with its value.The extent to which references reinforce dogma (see 03/17/2006).How long it takes for new knowledge, or falsified theories, to become generally known (01/15/2010).Whether public comments provide signal or noise.Whether an expensive project provides value.How a project’s perceived value is to be measured.How the quality of scientific activity or results is to be measured.At what point a project outlives its usefulness.Whether the issue being investigated is a scientific question.These and other issues raise an interesting thought: is a kid doing a science project she loves, or a citizen scientist pursuing a question out of his own interest and curiosity, closer to the pure scientific ideal? But if so, how would they ever afford to build a Large Hadron Collider? The expense of large scientific research programs has created a monstrosity of institutions, political processes and issues about what it is science is trying to do and why. It might be compared to how San Francisco became a boom town to support the gold miners. A lot of ancillary activity emerged (including crime and saloons) whose relevance to the activity of mining was questionable. Nevertheless, we’re stuck with Big Science. Whether more openness to public visibility via the internet will keep it honest (or make it honest) remains to be seen.Exercise: Add to our list of non-epistemic factors that must be considered in evaluating the nature and results of science.(Visited 22 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
27 July 2005South Africa and Malaysia are to establish a joint working committee to expand trade and investment between the two countries.The committee, which will meet in Malaysia at the end of the 2005, will facilitate trade between all strategic sectors of the two economies.Trade and Industry Minister Mandisa Mphahlwa says these sectors will include agriculture, tourism, science and technology as well as the automotive industries – a particularly promising area, with Malaysia aiming to become the automotive hub of the region.“We are talking about a huge demand of about 500 million people, and as a major exporter of automotives, we think establishing that kind of relationship could give us a wider market,” Mphahlwa says.The decision to set up the committee comes as Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his delegation are visiting South Africa.The Prime Minister held political and economic discussions with President Thabo Mbeki in Pretoria on Tuesday.Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry Rafidah Aziz signed an agreement on avoidance of double taxation.Manuel said the deal means that South African companies investing in Malaysia will not be taxed twice. “Malaysian companies that invest in SA will be taxed in Malaysia and South African companies that invest in Malaysia will be taxed here,” Manuel said.“And so, it’s just ensuring that in either case the government will get its fair share of the taxation deal.”While the leaders of the two countries urged increased level of investment between the two countries, Mbeki said South Africa and the whole continent had much to learn from Asia in addressing issues of economic growth and alleviating poverty.“It’s clear that with regards to responding to the many challenges, there’s a great deal that the African continent can learn from the Asian continent,” Mbeki said, citing Malaysia’s success in ensuring the growth of its economy after the crisis that the country experienced in 1997.“I think the Asia-Africa Partnership Forum increases the possibility of us to draw from the successes of Asia with regards to managing the economy, addressing issues of poverty, modernisation, and managing democratic processes.”Source: BuaNews
23 June 2009South Africa’s soccer team (whose nickname means “The Boys”) take on Brazil in a Confederations Cup semifinal at Ellis Park on Thursday. The two teams have only met twice before, both times in Johannesburg, the first time in one of the most memorable matches in Bafana Bafana’s short history.While Brazil, with a record five World Cup titles to their name, have a long history as one of the powerhouses of football, the same cannot be said for Bafana Bafana, whose first international outing as an integrated national team only took place in 1992.However, South Africa’s first outing against the South Americans remains a powerful memory for SA football fans.Africa champs vs world champsIt took place on 24 April 1996. The occasion was the Nelson Mandela Challenge, and the contest was eagerly awaited: it pitted the African champions of 1996 against the World Cup winners of 1994.The Brazilian line-up included some World Cup winners, as well as members of the Brazilian Olympic team, who were using the match as a warm-up ahead of the Olympic Games in Atlanta.Coach Mario Zagallo’s line-up included Rivaldo, who would go on to be crowned Fifa World Player of the Year and European Footballer of the Year (while playing for Barcelona) in 1999. He played 74 times for Brazil in his career, scoring an impressive 34 times.Bebeto, Aldair, DidaUp front, Bebeto was a household name. He had captured the attention of the world in the 1994 World Cup – the second of three in which he played – when he celebrated a goal against The Netherlands in the quarterfinals by rocking an imaginary baby; his wife had given birth to his third child only days earlier. Bebeto played 75 times for Brazil and netted 39 goals.At the back, the Brazilians had central defender Aldair, a man who made such a mark for Italian Serie A club Roma, for whom he played 415 matches, that when he retired in 2006 the team retired his number six jersey. He turned out for his country on 81 occasions.Goalkeeper Dida played even more matches for Brazil, making 91 international appearances.Clearly, it was a quality side.African Nations Cup winning captainFacing the Brazilians was a South African team captained by Neil Tovey, the same man who had led Bafana Bafana to victory in the African Nations Cup final against Tunisia at the same stadium where SA was to face the world champions.The man in charge was Clive “The Dog” Barker, the popular coach who had pulled the strings when South Africa lifted the continental title.At the back, in central defence, was Lucas Radebe, who would go on to succeed Tovey as captain and become one of the most popular players in the history of Bafana Bafana. As a star player for Leeds United, he was recognised as one of the best defenders in the tough English Premier League.The ‘most Brazilian’ South AfricanIn Bafana Bafana’s midfield was Doctor Khumalo, a player whose touch and skill made him the “most Brazilian” of the South African side, in the romantic sense in which Brazilian football is often viewed.The South African attack featured Phil “Chippa” Masinga, who would score the goal against Congo the following year that would earn South Africa a place at the 1998 World Cup in France.Alongside Masinga was Shaun Bartlett, who would go on to become Bafana Bafana’s all-time leading goal scorer – with 28 in 74 matches – before his mark was eventually surpassed by Benni McCarthy.‘For President Mandela’In the lead-up to match, Barker said the game was “for President Mandela. What a night it will be if we beat Brazil”. South Africa didn’t win, but what a contest it turned out to be.In a first half that left many of the home team’s fan incredulous, South Africa took the game to Brazil and were rewarded for their intent. Masinga put South Africa into a 25th-minute lead, and Doctor Khumalo made it 2-0 at the break, to the delight of Bafana’s fans.However, the Brazilians fought back after the break, with winger Flavio netting in the 56th minute. Twelve minutes later, Rivaldo made it 2-2.Then, with only four minutes left, Bebeto snatched the winner for the visitors.A top-class international outfitAlthough South Africa were beaten, the match provided ample proof that South Africa’s African Nations Cup title was no fluke; it validated the recognition the side sought as a top-class international outfit.It also proved to be a wonderful celebration of the game of football, and of the role Nelson Mandela played in bringing democracy to the country.In case you were wondering about Bafana Bafana’s second clash with Brazil, it took place in December 1997. Brazil won 2-1, with goals from Romario and Bebeto. Helman Mkhelele replied for South Africa.What will Thursday night bring? True fans would welcome a similar degree of entertainment, regardless of the result.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material