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A Darwinist Religious Experience Described


first_imgAs millions of Jews celebrate Passover, and as millions of Christians gather to celebrate Easter, a Darwinist reporter was experiencing “existential vertigo” – a sweeping sense of dizziness as her imagination zoomed in and out of the implications of her faith.  It may be the closest thing that a secular materialist can call a religious experience.  And religious experience is an accurate description: it was the outworking of an all-encompassing world view, with ultimate causes, ultimate destinies, moral imperatives, and heavy doses of faith.    Amanda Gefter (see her previous attack on creationism in the 02/26/2009 entry), attended a four-day Origins Symposium at the University of Arizona and wrote up her impressions for New Scientist.  The event offered four days of lectures and debates from “the world’s leading scientists” – Brian Greene, AC Grayling, Steven Pinker, Steven Weinberg, Craig Venter, and (in absentia) Stephen Hawking.  “It’s funny how pondering our origins – the origin of the universe, of life, of mind – leads us to question everything we thought we knew about ourselves in the here and now.”  Apparently, she did not question anything that was said at the conference, because they took her for a ride from ultimate origins and ultimate destinies, as a religion might, and she was transfixed: “throughout the four days, I felt as if I could see myself – a small, strange Earth-bound creature – through the lens of a camera zooming in and out through space and time.”    The wild ride took her from a fictional multiverse, to alternate dimensions, to an evolutionary history no human being has observed, to questioning her own existence.  Somehow, as a religion might, it included a moral dimension.  Quoting Paul Davies, Gefter agreed, “If we are the only life in the universe, we have an enormous responsibility, a cosmic duty, to keep the flame of intelligence burning in the universe.”    Along the way, though, the sermons brought enough starfire and damnation to send her soul into outer darkness and despair.  Consider these lines:What’s that in the distance?  Another copy of myself?  An infinite number of me?Back in this universe, I am nothing but a speck of dust.  “You are cosmically insignificant,” [Lawrence] Krauss says.  “We can get rid of you and all the aliens and all the stars and galaxies and the universe would be pretty much the same” – a sea of dark energy populated by islands of dark matter.I am nothing but a vast colony of my single-celled ancestors operating in near harmony….In some ways, I learn, I am no different than a fruit fly, and by looking at protein-coding genes, one cannot tell the difference in complexity between a human and a hydra.Our unique cognitive abilities are an “emergent acquisition based on the history of brain evolution, but not predicted by that history,” says Ian Tattersall.What a delicate history it is; littered with accidents, defined by contingencies.  The tiniest changes in our evolutionary past would have led to dramatically different life-forms – and certainly not my own.There [in Africa], helped in part by a seafood diet rich in omega-3s, their [early human ancestor] brains developed the ability to think abstractly.  That ability, superimposed on ancient brain structures, has built us into creatures that live largely in our own imagined worlds.Zoom in: Today I am nothing more than a haphazard mosaic patched together by evolution and time.…the only ideology I can grab hold of is uncertainty in the vastness of space and time.If I do exist – as a hive of single-celled organisms and microbes, as a mirror image from another universe, as a lucky accident of the African savannah – I can’t help but think that I am nothing more than an extreme fluke.What a tragedy it would be, he [Paul Davies] says, if we destroy ourselves and our planet, and in doing so “destroy the one small corner of the cosmos where the flame of reason is alight.”Amanda’s head was swimming after four days of this.  “I leave with more questions than answers,” she said, clinging to any self-esteem she might have left.  But then Lawrence Krauss hit that with a final knockout blow.  “The biggest misconception about science,” he said, “is that we are happiest when we understand things.”People need the Lord.  You should be weeping for Amanda Gefter and her friends who floundered in the darkness of their own imagination there in Arizona.  Their religion offers them nothing but loneliness, emptiness, chance, insignificance, questions and despair.  They think they are wise, but they are fools.  Is it uncharitable to say that?  Not if it helps them wake up and face reality.  We know that what they are saying is folly, because nothing in their religion makes logical sense.  They have cut the foundation of reason out from under their feet; they are in sinking sand.  Their cosmology provides no basis for confidence in anything – their own existence, their science, their logic, their self-perception.  Krauss fools himself into thinking he understands things when the whole conference questioned their own existence and relegated themselves to “creatures that live largely in our own imagined worlds.”  On what basis, then, can they say the whole conference was nothing but living in an imagined world?  They need to escape to reality.    This foolish world view leads where only folly can: to despair.  They need to read the book of Ecclesiastes, written for people like this.  It would be a good wake-up call.  Without remembering one’s Creator, without fearing God and keeping His commandments, the only conclusion is “vanity of vanities, all is vanity.”  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  That godly fear causes one to listen to His word.  That word takes the soul lost in darkness and provides a remedy: forgiveness, love, and a relationship with our Maker, paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ, whose death and resurrection is celebrated by millions today on the basis of historical evidence and prophetic fulfillment, not on imagined worlds of one’s own making.  He is risen; He is risen, indeed!  Now there is sense.  There is a cosmology that leads to a real cosmic responsibility (read I Corinthians 15).  Don’t skip that last verse which, having built on on the solid foundation of verifiable history discussed prior, provides the impetus for living a vibrant, active, fulfilling, abundant life that makes sense, has a purpose, and has a joyful outcome.  Instead of lamenting “vanity of vanities,” the Christ-follower can say with confidence that his or her “labor is not in vain in the Lord.”(Visited 29 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


Why Are Indians So Entrepreneurial In The U.S.?


first_imgHow OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture Related Posts tim devaney and tom stein A recent study exposed an alarming trend in the tech industry. Immigrant entrepreneurs, who in recent years have launched half the startups in Silicon Valley, are founding drastically fewer companies. Except for one group: Indians. What makes entrepreneurs from India so different?The startup study was sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation and conducted by Vivek Wadhwa, who’s the director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University. His data showed that the number of immigrant-founded startups in Silicon Valley has fallen from 52.4% to 43.9% since 2005, a drop that Wadhwa calls “shocking.”Indian Startups Buck The TrendBut another statistic surprised Wadhwa as well: the number of startups founded by Indians is actually climbing. Against the decline in immigrant-founded startups – and our ever more xenophobic immigration policy – Indians are still launching startups.“The data showed that Indians are defying gravity and starting more companies,” Wadhwa says. “The number of Indian startups went up from 26% to 33% of all immigrant startups.”The immigrant founders surveyed in Wadhwa’s study hail from 60 different countries – but a full third of them are from India. What gives? Why are entrepreneurs from the subcontinent such overachievers?Wadhwa says one reason is that Indian entrepreneurs have a very strong support network here in the U.S. Thirty years ago, when Indians began building momentum in Silicon Valley, that first generation of successful startup founders worked hard to help those who followed. They built organizations and created a U.S. ecosystem of successful Indian entrepreneurs – and, crucially, angel funders – to accelerate newcomers.“It was a very conscious effort put in place by several dozen successful entrepreneurs,” Wadhwa says.Indian Startups Are CoolAnother factor is the societal value placed on entrepreneurial endeavor. Indian kids think it’s cool to start companies. They don’t grow up aspiring to be the next Justin Bieber. They want to be the next Sabeer Bhatia.Who?The founder of Hotmail. “He’s a rock star in India,” Wadhwa says.How did that happen? Wadhwa gives a brief history lesson. Just a few decades ago India was going nowhere. “The economy was stagnant, India was known as a country of beggars and snake charmers,” Wadhwa says. “Pessimism abounded. India was basically a loser of a country. Suddenly you had these people coming to Silicon Valley making extraordinary amounts of money. This caught the attention of people back home. The media was shocked that Indians could be so successful. Kids started dreaming of coming to Silicon Valley and creating companies like Hotmail.”So OK. That’s how the Indian community pulled itself to success in Silicon Valley. What’s with other immigrant communities? Why haven’t they done the same?Can Other Immigrants Emulate The Indians?Wadhwa thinks Indians benefit from their heritage, which suits them better than many other immigrants to making it in America. They speak English. They come from a democratic society. More than that, they have a serious independent streak.“Just like here, Indians are free to speak out against the government,” Wadhwa says. “There is a history of breaking the rules, just like here. Culturally, Americans and Indians are similar and that gives Indians a big advantage when they come to America because they fit right in.”Compare that to the Chinese experience, he suggests. “In China you’re terrified of authority, you dare not speak out against the government because you’ll be taken away the next day. There is a culture shock from that perspective – people who come from authoritative regimes are afraid of defying authority. But to be an entrepreneur you need to defy authority, you need to break all the rules, you need to take a risk.”The Indians Are Going HomeNow, a lot of Indian entrepreneurs are taking their risks back home. Although his recent study shows Indians are still starting a lot of companies in Silicon Valley, lately Wadhwa has noticed a change. U.S. immigration and employment laws have grown so unfriendly that even the indefatigable Indians are getting discouraged.“The tide has turned,” Wadhwa says. “Many people could not get their visas to stay here after they graduated from U.S. schools so they went back to India to start their companies, taking their values, experience and education with them. Taking their money with them.”Result: the tech startup culture in India is booming. Yes, ours is too. But for how long? Wadhwa wonders.“We’re exporting our prosperity,” he says. “Even though Indian entrepreneurs have had tremendous success here, their numbers could be even stronger. We could have tens of thousands more startups.”Instead, the top Indian graduates from U.S. universities are going back to the sub-continent. “Gladly returning home,” Wadhwa says. “Every year I see this more and more. There is a gradual but noticeable change in attitude. Many don’t even think of staying.”Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Tags:#international#start center_img China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… How to Get Started in China and Have Successlast_img read more


5 Actually Useful Wrap Gifts Your Crew Will Appreciate


first_imgWrap gifts show your crew that they were worth a little extra time and some personal consideration. Here are five ideas for gifts they can actually use.Cover image via Travelchair.The wrap party is the final act of the production — a time for the crew to come together and celebrate the completion of the shoot. This is especially true for producers, directors, and department heads. A good set or department leader knows to take this opportunity to make their crew feel valued beyond their paycheck.What’s a great way to do this? Wrap gifts.Wrap Party GiftsHere are some ideas for gifts that will help your crew out on their next job — or at least make it more comfortable.1. NotebooksNotebooks are one of the most important tools on any set. Two that I absolutely love are Elan’s Indestructible, Weatherproof Field Notebooks and the Rocketbook Everlast.(Image via Elan Publishing.)The Indestructible Field Notebook is just that: pocket-sized and unbreakable. It’ll work just the same regardless of whatever wild location you might be shooting in.(Image via Rocketbook.)The Rocketbook Everlast is something else entirely. It is a washable, re-usable notebook (already awesome) that kicks it up a notch with some amazing “cloud-scalability.” Translated from techno-jargon: you can use their app to save your notes on Google Drive, Dropbox, or a handful of other supported apps. It is a super quick and effective way to organize and archive your notes.It also looks like they offer custom designs. If the budget permits, order custom books with the production logo on the cover.2. Yeti Drinkware(Image via Yeti.)I’m not a big brand purist normally. Yeti makes lots of amazing drink ware, but what separates them from the myriad of other similar products is that they offer custom designs. Like the Everlast, if you can afford it, get them show-branded.All of Yeti’s products are fantastic at insulating beverages in hot or cold environments. Like the Indestructible Notebook, no matter where your crew’s future sets take them, they’ll be a little better off thanks to this gift.One thing to consider: the classic Yeti tumbler is a sensation. Many people already have several. Consider some of their other designs to stand out a little more.3. ExpendablesOn almost every set, there are tons of leftover expendables the production has to purchase. Consider assembling packages of these remaining materials as a gesture to the crew.Place an extra high priority on gaff tape. Every department uses it. Extra points if you have enough left over to give each member a couple rolls apiece.4. Power Banks and USB Hubs(Image via Anker.)Power banks have become awesome over the past few years. Many companies offer branded banks, but most of them are pretty worthless. Do a little research before purchasing these for your crew. Anker makes great, affordable banks.A quick power bank tip: look for banks with 10400 mAh or greater. This will give the user 2-3 full charges on their phone. Also, make sure it can output 2.1 Amps.(Image via Anker.)USB hubs are super useful — especially to anyone who works on their computer while on set. Look for hubs with multiple USB 3.1 ports, and consider that many people on set own Macbooks, so make sure the bank has USB Type-C options on the back end.5. Portable Folding Chairs(Image via AlexSN_Photography.)These are pretty self-explanatory. Small, collapsable camping stools are an easy addition to anyone’s kit. Like the Yeti bottles, these are super useful, and they can bring huge relief to hectic sets or shoots in extreme locations.Coleman makes several options that look great, but there are hundreds of other options available.(Image via Travelchair.)I prefer the small stools over full chairs simply for their smaller footprint when stowed. The best chair is the one you always have with you.All of these ideas are simply to get you thinking. Feel free to take all of them or none of them, but the biggest thing you can do for your crew is to show you appreciate them as individuals. Find a way to meet a need they all share. Showing thoughtfulness in your gifts will earn you so much more credit with your team than anything on this list.Looking for more on filmmaking gear? Check out these articles.Gear Basics: Is Filming with a Pancake Lens a Viable Option?Why You Shouldn’t Sleep On The Latest GH5 2.3 FirmwareThe Robotic Camera Arm That Plugs into an Outlet Is Now Half the PriceBuild Your Own Car Rig for Thirty Dollars + 10 Production TipsOn-Set Essentials: Production Gear You Need to Know Aboutlast_img read more


IOWA SCHOOL DISTRICTS HAVE OPTIONS TO MAKE UP SNOW DAYS


first_imgMany rural school districts in Northwest Iowa have had to cancel school or have late starts because of snow this winter, and it’s been worse across the rest of the state.That’s led to the Iowa Department of Education getting a lot of calls and questions as the number of school days canceled by winter weather continues to mount.Director Ryan Wise says making up the days depends on whether school districts set their yearly calendar based a set number of hours or a set number of days.Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/DAYS.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……….of the year” :17School districts had to tack missed days onto the end of the school year or cut short spring break to make up missed days before the hour option was added with a change in state law 2014.Wise says it’s become the calendar of choice.Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/DAYS2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……….remainder of the year” :18Schools that use the 180-day calendar need to have students in class for a minimum number of hours to qualify as a day.Each district makes its own decision on when the weather is too bad to hold classes.Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/DAYS3.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……….that call”. :09He says in some Iowa districts over 10 days of school have been missed because of the snow.last_img read more


2014 Trans Tasman Series – Live!


first_imgAll nine games of the 2014 Trans Tasman Series will be live streamed to the Touch Football Australia YouTube channel. For the first time, you will be able to view every minute of the series that will be held at the Glen Willow Regional Sports Stadium in Mudgee live!To view the games, please click on the following links: Game One – Friday, 25 April 20143.30pm – Mixed Open Game One – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa2KzHPt92s 4.45pm – Women’s Open Game One – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUNRiow6JV8 6.00pm – Men’s Open Game One – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKRN_MCCT-I Game Two – Saturday, 26 April 20141.00pm – Mixed Open Game Two – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBbEv7F35Ug 2.15pm – Women’s Open Game Two – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEgSGNxhAVw 3.30pm – Men’s Open Game Two – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-QWCrAwVWs Game Three – Sunday, 27 April 201412.00pm – Mixed Open Game Three – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu0GjULvuww 1.15pm – Women’s Open Game Three – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaVU9mGCNds 2.30pm – Men’s Open Game Three – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW7lC3CPFIc Stay tuned to the Touch Football Australia YouTube channel for all of the latest highlights from the series as well – www.youtube.com/touchfootballaus. Keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the 2014 Trans Tasman Series: Website – www.touchfootball.com.au Facebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustralia Twitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (#transtasman2014) Instagram – www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustralia YouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballaus Related LinksTrans Tasman Live!last_img read more


10 months agoMan Utd academy chief Butt reveals loan plans for youngsters


first_imgMan Utd academy chief Butt reveals loan plans for youngstersby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United academy chief Nicky Butt has revealed plans to release several of their youth teamers for loan next month.Butt, expects some members of his Under-19 squad to depart on loan during the January transfer window, despite the promise of playing knockout games in the UEFA Youth League in March. He said of the forthcoming loan market, “It will affect the Under-19s [as a team]. But if you ask any Manchester United fan or Ed [Woodward] or the owners or the manager, they want players in the first team. That’s my job. That’s the job of the Academy coaches – to get players in the first team. If you can win competitions as well, that’s the best thing you can do.”Is it good to have some players just waiting for an Under-19s game to come along? No. So we are looking to get players out on loan to develop them so they come back better players and better people for our club, with a real chance on playing on the biggest stage in the world.”Butt continued: “We see January as a changeover of the guard if you like. “A lot more players will be pushing up to the Reserves and the youth team will be made up more regularly of first-year scholars.“They will be starting more regularly in the youth team and players will be going out on loan. But, yeah, we plan – we don’t just pick it out of the air.””“We make plans for a year, 18 months or two years for players and we believe it’s the right way to do things.” TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more


a month agoDanilo D’Ambrosio pleased to prove Inter Milan matchwinner


first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Danilo D’Ambrosio pleased to prove Inter Milan matchwinnerby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveDanilo D’Ambrosio was pleased to prove Inter Milan’s matchwinner against Lazio last night.His header separated the two teams on the night.D’Ambrosio later remarked: “What counts are the three points, this is always the case. I missed from close range against Milan but luckily my mistake didn’t matter in the end.“In the first half, we didn’t produce what the Coach had asked from us, but then we played in a more relaxed manner and deserved the win. We could have scored a second after the restart to put the result beyond doubt, but in the end we got the three points. This is the most important thing.“I feel comfortable in any kind of role, playing as part of a five or three doesn’t make any difference for me. When you have a coach like Conte, there are memorised playing patterns and you need to give 100% in every match, irrespective of the position you play in. Lazio are an experienced side and have quality in all positions. If we’d lost or drawn today, the Derby result would have meant nothing.” last_img read more


Clemson Football Coach Dabo Swinney Also Believes Notre Dame Should Be In A Conference To Be Playoff Eligible


first_imgDabo Swinney hitting The Whip on a boat.Dabo Swinney WhipAs we make it through college football media days and the various ESPN “car washes” that follow, Notre Dame’s independent status has become a hot topic of conversation once again. Last week, Missouri’s Gary Pinkel argued that the Fighting Irish should be forced into joining a league within a year. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney agrees: either Notre Dame should join a league with a conference championship, or adopt a 13 game schedule.Dabo Swinney agrees w/Gary Pinkel: “Absolutely Notre Dame needs to be in conference or play 13 games to be in @CFBPlayoff“— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 27, 2015Swinney’s not the only high-profile ACC coach to think this.Paul Johnson: “Notre Dame should be in the ACC. It’s another brand program to strengthen the conference.”— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) July 27, 2015The ACC obviously has a lot to gain from Notre Dame, if it ever committed fully to joining a conference. With the current scheduling arrangement between the Fighting Irish and the league, the ACC is currently the most logical landing spot for Notre Dame football. Adding Notre Dame would be a big boost to the ACC football brand, which lags behind the other power conferences when it comes to perceived strength.last_img read more


Stars Attend TWO X TWO For AIDS And Art


first_imgOn Saturday, October 25, the 16th annual TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art benefit dinner and contemporary art auction raised a record $7 million with funds benefiting amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and the Dallas Museum of Art.Close to 465 people attended the sold-out black-tie event, chaired by noted art patrons and longtime TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art supporters, John and Lisa Runyon, and hosted annually by Cindy and Howard Rachofsky at their Richard Meier-designed home, The Rachofsky House.“Our heartfelt thanks go to the artists, gallerists, and TWO x TWO supporters. Their generosity has allowed us to raise $7 million, bringing our 16-year total to $52 million. TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art continues to play a monumental role in fundraising for amfAR and the Dallas Museum of Art,” said Howard Rachofsky.The fundraising total was announced this morning by Howard Rachofsky at a private brunch hosted by Amy and Vernon Faulconer and Cindy and Howard Rachofsky. The brunch event was held at The Warehouse, a private art storage facility, owned by Howard Rachofsky and Vernon Faulconer, which includes an extensive library, and 18,000 square feet of exhibition space.Gavin Delahunty, the Dallas Museum of Art Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, spoke about artist Wade Guyton and his work, followed by Eric Muscatell, Vice President of Development, amfAR, who presented Wade Guyton with amfAR’s 2014 Award of Excellence for Artistic Contributions to the Fight Against AIDS.The Saturday evening gala was designed by Todd Fiscus of TODD Events, who carried out a golden hued theme within the Freedome, a 7,000-square-foot geodesic dome which stood at 48 feet tall in the center and seated the gala guests.The night included cocktails and a silent auction, followed by a seated, multi-course dinner. The evening began with thank yous to the sponsors by Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, TWO x TWO Director Melissa Meeks Ireland, and award-winning actor and longtime TWO x TWO supporter John Benjamin Hickey, who also served as the emcee for the gala.Maxwell Anderson, the Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art, also addressed the guests. Actor Allison Janney, a guest of Presenting Sponsor Audi of America, introduced the featured entertainer CeeLo Green, the multi Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter. Also in attendance were Erykah Badu and Tyson Chandler.There were 125 works of art offered in the live and silent auctions this year. The live auction, conducted by Jamie Niven, Chairman, Sotheby’s, North and South America, featured works by 2014 amfAR honoree Wade Guyton as well as Do Ho Suh, Jeff Koons, Sadamasa Motonaga, Frank Bowling, Roni Horn, and Shinro Ohtake. Guyton’s piece went for a record-breaking $2.6 million.The annual black-tie gala, part of a week-long series of events, is the largest U.S. fundraiser for amfAR and the Dallas Museum of Art. Since its inception, TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art has raised $52 million in support of essential AIDS research at amfAR and for the Contemporary Art Acquisitions Fund at the Dallas Museum of Art.Source:amfARlast_img read more