Players call Darius Slay’s low PFF grade ‘stupid’ following trade to Eagles

first_imgLions: Receive 3rd-round pick (No. 85 overall), 5th-round pick (No. 166)Eagles: Receive Darius SlayMORE: The 10 worst NFL free agency contracts of the last 10 yearsSlay, 29, has been with the Lions since 2013 and has made a name for himself as one of the best corners in the game. In fact, following his trade to Philly, the Eagles reworked his contract that now makes him the highest-paid corner in the league. Specifcially, he signed three-year extension worth $50 million, giving him an annual average value of $16.67 million (per ESPN).But is Slay actually one of the best cornerbacks in football? Depends on who you ask. Pro Football Focus provides in-depth analysis on all players, and gives them grades based on how well they play. PFF was very low on Slay for his 2019 season, giving him a grade of 56.4.Darius Slay: PFF coverage grade of 77+ in 4 of the past 5 seasons pic.twitter.com/IKv2bjMGiA— PFF (@PFF) March 19, 2020MORE: Slay is the Eagles’ answer to Amari CooperThat grade placed him 83rd among his players in his position.Here’s a more detailed explanation for his grade, via PFF:Slay had an all-around bad year in 2019, one that was somewhat uncharacteristic for the eighth-year cornerback. In every season from 2014 to 2018, Slay produced a PFF coverage grade above 70.0, ranking among the 20 best corners in the NFL in four of those five seasons. In 2019, he managed a coverage grade of just 56.9, which ranked 92nd in the NFL and was barely better than his 2013 rookie season.MORE: NFL free agency winners and losersFor context, here are Slay’s final numbers in 14 games played: 36 total tackles, 13 pass deflections, two interceptions, 0 forced fumbles. PFF’s numbers add Slay allowed 346 yards on 162 press coverage snaps, and 177 yards on 214 off-man coverage snaps.But those numbers don’t really tell the full story. Slay was on a Detroit team that had the worst pass defense in 2019, giving up 284.4 yards per game. The Lions had trouble getting to the quarterback, with the second-lowest sack rate (28) in the league. No pass rush means corners have to stay on their man for longer periods of time.Beyond that, even when Slay allowed receptions, his tight coverage made it so they had to make circus catches.Darius Slay’s match-and-mirror ability is still up there with the best in the NFL.Shadowing every team’s top receiver in and away from the slot is a tall order, but he was always in his opponent’s hip pocket — some of his best reps are on catches allowed. pic.twitter.com/mv3MyJG2AZ— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) March 19, 2020MORE: Redskins interest in Cam Newton makes senseWhile PFF’s 2019 grade on Slay was low, many NFL players had nothing but praise for the cornerback.”[Darius Slay] is a grown man out there on that island,” Hall of Famer Deion Sanders said in a tweet. “He matches up with the opposing teams No. 1 receiver and competes each and every play. The boy makes plays and I approve this corner.”A few current players also directly referenced PFF’s grade.Sorry my guys, he is not the 83rd best CB. That is a lie that some will believe. #WatchTheTape he play man to man every down, even when he shouldn’t, he manned up. Tough duty, only 1% of the works can do. https://t.co/Uk4Uh4CPVb— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) March 19, 2020This is just Stupid! All I do is watch wide receiver and corner back tape!!! In my humble opinion slay is top 5 easily. It’s a different world playing PRESS on a teams #1 wideout each week. BAG MAN!!! 🙌🏽✊🏽🙏🏽 https://t.co/UxHgBNRS11— Joe Haden (@joehaden23) March 19, 2020Other former players chimed in calling the grade “blasphemy” and “a joke.” So despite PFF saying Slay “had an all-around bad year in 2019,” it’s clear fellow players don’t feel the same. The Eagles also apparently disagree because they not only traded for him, but gave him a contract extension. As ESPN’s Mike Clay said, he’s “not entirely sure why” PFF had such a low grade on Slay.While he did allow some “big” games, his coverage for the most part was pretty solid.Darius Slay shadows in 2019 pic.twitter.com/hJpzo0NWvo— Jeff Ratcliffe (@JeffRatcliffe) March 19, 2020At the end of the day, the Eagles got a great cornerback in Slay, who should play a big role in containing Amari Cooper twice a year. After making it clear he wanted out of Detroit, Darius Slay got his wish Thursday morning and was traded to the Eagles, according to multiple reports.The terms of the deal are as follows:last_img read more

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Former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen rips Nick Swisher: ‘I hate him with my heart’

first_imgFans of the South Siders don’t have particularly fond memories of Swisher, who slashed .219/.332/.410 in 153 games with the Sox in 2008, and is often regarded as “not clutch” while with the team. Couple that with the fact that Swisher was the prized piece of a trade that sent Gio Gonzalez, Ryan Sweeney and Fautino de lo Santos to Oakland and Swisher to Chicago, and you’ve got a recipe for dislike there.Though Swisher was benched that September while the Sox were fighting for a playoff spot, he made the postseason roster. The White Sox were upended by the eventual AL champion Rays that year, and Swisher would be traded to the Yankees, becoming a key cog of their 2009 World Series-winning season.In any case, it’s been over 10 years, but this baseball beef is still grilling. Yeah so @OzzieGuillén really didn’t hold back when discussing Nick Swisher pic.twitter.com/KJyvwJTWOM— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) August 6, 2020″Oh my God, nobody can compare that with Nick Swisher,” Guillén said. “I hate Nick Swisher with my heart. I think he hates me back, there’s nothing wrong with that. …”I never talked to him, I was managing him, but I don’t like the way his attitude was all fake. And I don’t like fake people.”But Swisher was only with the White Sox for a year.”It was one year too long,” Guillén said.Considering Guillén was the manager and the White Sox veteran locker room likely didn’t mesh well with Swisher’s free spirit attitude, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise.  Former manager Ozzie Guillén has no love for Nick Swisher.Speaking on the White Sox postgame show following a 1-0 loss to the Brewers, Guillén was asked who he disliked more — Carlos Gomez or Nick Swisher — and the 2005 World Series winning manager didn’t hold back on his disdain:last_img read more

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Lassiter open to Gilas return

first_imgLopez, Lakers top Thunder Undoubtedly one if not the best shooter in the country right now, Lassiter is closing in on a possible return stint with the national team as his potential inclusion is guaranteed to be a huge shot in the arm when it comes to artillery from beyond the arc.For now, Lassiter is just leaving everything to Reyes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“I hope so, but it all depends on coach Chot. We’ll see what happens. When it comes, it comes,” he said.Lassiter last played for Gilas in the 2011 Fiba Asia Championship in Wuhan, where the Philippines finished fourth. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew LATEST STORIES MOST READ Lassiter’s addition to the pool would definitely change that notion as the Beermen marksman expressed glee with the recent development between the PBA and Gilas Pilipinas.“That’s just great,” he said. “It’s a great thing to have more players coming in so at the end of the day, we should be able to find a good team for these upcoming events.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson He begged off from national team duty back in 2016 due to pneumonia, leaving him out of the squad which competed in the Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.Now, however, is a different story as Lassiter is in the best shape of his life and is ready to answer whenever an opportunity knocks.“I just got to keep preparing myself and stay healthy. I’m just trying to stay healthy and that’s the most important thing,” he said as he has his sights set on helping San Miguel win its fourth straight Philippine Cup.Currently, Gilas only has two legitimate knock-down shooters in Matthew Wright and Roger Pogoy with Terrence Romeo still out of commission due to a knee injury. Kevin Ferrer could also be in the conversation, but the sophomore has yet to be called up for the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.This dearth in gunslingers could be considered the lowest in years, dating back to the days when Jimmy Alapag, Jeff Chan, Dondon Hontiveros, Larry Fonacier, and Gary David were donning the national tri-colors.ADVERTISEMENT Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson 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 Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netIn dire need of a shooter, Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes may finally get the snipers he badly craves for after PBA commissioner Willie Marcial lifted the player limit for all teams.And with that development, one name comes to mind: Marcio Lassiter.ADVERTISEMENT Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed View commentslast_img read more

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Fort St. John Flyers take off in Hythe for first game of season

first_imgThis will be the first game for the Flyers, while Hythe has already hit the ice three times this season, posting a record of 1-2-0. It’s a new looking Fort St. John Flyer squad this season, one that hopefully can produce the same dominating performance as previous teams. The Flyers will be on the road for their first two games, opening the season in Hythe tonight, and traveling to Horse Lake on Friday, Nov. 25 for game two against the Chiefs. – Advertisement -The Fort St. John Flyers will hold their home debut Saturday, Nov.26 against the Horse Lake Chiefs, for game two of a home-and-home series.last_img

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DD LOCAL – DUNGLOE COMMUNITY NOTES

first_imgMusician/ Musicians wanted to provide music for one morning a fortnight .If you have 2 hours to give to your community . Petrol expenses paid. Please contact us on 074 95 61686. Siopa Pobal na Rosann: The Autumn wear is now available in the shop. Thanks to all who continue to donate items and to those who purchase items. If you have 3 to 4 hours to spare in the week we would appreciate your time as a volunteer . Phone Norah on 0879615775 if interested.Would you like to embrace change in your life then this is the course for you “Introduction to Living Wheel System” to commence in September. Contact Rosses CDP on 074 95 61686 for more details. This is funded by the DLDC. Lego Appeal: Has your children outgrown their Lego? Autism Support Dungloe are hoping to run a Lego Club for children on the Autism Spectrum in the near future and are appealing for donations of Lego. Any donations would be appreciated, if you could please leave any unused Lego in Siopa Pobal na Rosann (beside McGlynns) for collection, Thank you.Autism Support Dungloe are running a Drama Club for 6 weeks beginning Saturday November 9th at the CDP, Chapel Rd, Dungloe from 11am-12pm. Children on the Autism Spectrum/associated disorders, siblings and friends are welcome to attend. Cost is €2 per child. We ask that a parent/carer accompanies the child to the club. Refreshments will be provided and parents will have a chance to meet up for a chat. For further information and updates of events the group has a facebook page Autism Support Dungloe or contact Dolores Bonner 087-0535442.Fit Kidz – Class will start on Monday 16th September. This class is aimed at 5-11 year olds as an all round activity class, with the emphasis on getting and keeping your child at a good level of fitness through the medium of games, martial arts, and team activities.Playmatters: We’re back. Meeting Monday mornings in the Rosses CDP, Chapel Rd. This session is for parents and carers of young children. 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Cost: €2 per session. Everyone welcome. AGM: The AGM of the Mary From Dungloe Festival will be held on Tuesday 15th October at 8 p.m. in Ionad Teampall Chróine.Active Retirement Group are back again on Tuesday 17th September 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. New members welcome.Irish Classes: If you have basic Irish and would like advance classes to be held on Tuesday evenings, contact 95 61686. This course will only be held if there are enough numbers. Booking is essential. Cost: €5 per night.North West Ladies: A singalong will be held the last Friday of every month. DD LOCAL – DUNGLOE COMMUNITY NOTES was last modified: September 13th, 2013 by StephenShare 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:Dungloe Community noteslast_img read more

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$50,000 reward set in attack

first_imgNORTHRIDGE – A “predator” who abducted and raped a 7-year-old girl on Oct. 4 may have attacked a 6-year-old girl four years ago, police said Monday as they announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction. In both incidents, a man with white or gray hair kidnapped a young girl as she played in front of her house in the west San Fernando Valley, officials said. He forced each girl into a dark-colored pickup truck, covered her head with a towel, drove her to a house or apartment, sexually assaulted her and then released her several hours later. “Unfortunately, we have a predator who is living among us and victimizing our children,” Deputy Chief Michel Moore, the Valley Bureau’s commanding officer, said at a news conference. “This is a type of mentality that doesn’t stop. We believe there is a constant threat.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week In the earlier incident, the girl was abducted about 8:15 p.m. May 21, 2001, near Criswell Street and Kentland Avenue in Canoga Park, then dropped off later at Tony Avenue and Calvert Street in Woodland Hills. In the Oct. 4 abduction, the victim was forced into the pickup truck near Sunnybrae Avenue and Michale Street in Winnetka at 5:30 p.m. She was dropped off at 21604 Roscoe Blvd. at 11:50 p.m. “In both cases, the victim was playing outside the house, being supervised on and off by their parents,” said Detective Jesse Alvarado. “It happened so quickly. You could be outside, and go inside to answer the phone, come back out and she’s gone. That’s what happened in both of these incidents.” Detectives released a composite sketch of the man, who is believed to be a Latino with gray or white hair, green or brown eyes, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7 and a thin build. He speaks English with a Spanish accent, is believed to be between the ages of 40 and 50 and told one victim his name was George. “This is one of the most heinous crimes,” said Councilman Greig Smith, who helped secure the funding for the reward from the City Council. “There’s evidence to believe that this person has lived in this community for a number of years and may be easily identified.” Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call Alvarado at (213) 485-2921. Josh Kleinbaum, (818) 713-3669 josh.kleinbaum@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Eggciting times as Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt to visit Letterkenny!

first_imgIf you’re a fan of chocolate and looking to discover delicious goodies, Letterkenny Town Park will be the place to be this Easter Saturday. Go Visit Letterkenny is working with Cadbury Ireland to host one of eight national Easter Egg Hunts on Saturday 31st March, with all proceeds in aid of Barnardos.Running from 12 – 2pm in the Town Park, this eggcellent Easter Egg Hunt will include family fun with face-painting, arts and crafts, Disney characters, a bouncy castle and much more. Entry is €3 per person or €10 for a family pass and all proceeds will go directly towards Barnardos.Tickets can be purchased on the gate and Go Visit Letterkenny organisers are advising early arrival as chocolate eggs and treats will be limited to the first 250 children.Speaking about bringing events like these to the town, Ciaran Brogan of Go Visit Letterkenny said: “We’re delighted that Letterkenny has been selected as one of eight locations across Ireland to host one of the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts this year. We’re pulling together a family fun event for people of all ages, so we hope to see a great turnout. “Go Visit Letterkenny members have also donated some great prizes which will be raffled on the day and we’re delighted to be doing our bit to raise funds for Barnardos as well.”Go Visit Letterkenny is working with Cadbury Ireland to host one of eight national Easter Egg Hunts on Saturday 31st March from 12 – 2pm, with all proceeds in aid of Barnardos. For more information visit govisitletterkenny.ie.Adding to this, Mary Gamble, Director of Fundraising, Barnardos said: “I’m delighted to see that Go Visit Letterkenny will be supporting Barnardos this year by hosting a Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt. The running of these events support our work with children and families across the country, and we’re very appreciative.“We hope you can attend this wonderful family day out in Letterkenny in aid of Barnardos. You can also show your support by texting ‘BARNARDOS’ to 50300 to donate €4* to a very worthy cause this Easter.”For more information on the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt in Letterkenny, visit www.govisitletterkenny.ie or follow Go Visit Letterkenny on Facebook.*Text costs €4. Barnardos will receive a minimum of €3.60 from your donation. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 076 6805278.  Eggciting times as Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt to visit Letterkenny! was last modified: March 20th, 2018 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:cadbury irelandCiaran BroganEaster egg hunteventsgo visit letterkennyletterkennyThings to dotown parkWhat’s on?last_img read more

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49ers pregame: John Lynch, Al Guido again visit fans’ tailgates

first_imgWhereas … SANTA CLARA — For the second time in as many home finales for 49ers general manager John Lynch, he and team president Al Guido spent time before the game visiting fans at parking-lot tailgates.“The coolest deal was someone pointed out a Niners fan in her 90s who attended games at Kezar,” Lynch said. “She said she got splinters in her butt from Kezar.”Making spirits bright.@JohnLynch49ers @AlGuido pic.twitter.com/4v5SuO0d42— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 23, 2018last_img

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Discovery of Transfer RNA Recounted

first_imgIn the Sept. 16 issue of Nature,1 Mahlon Hoagland recounts how he did the key experiment in 1957 that proved DNA used “soluble RNA” intermediates, later named transfer RNA (tRNA), on the way to protein synthesis in the ribosome, only to find that Francis Crick had predicted the existence of such intermediates.By this time [1953], scientists generally believed that RNA copies of single strands of DNA, acting as templates prescribing the sequences of amino acids in proteins, existed on ribosomes.  Frances Crick turned his attention to how amino acids might be ordered on such presumed templates.  As there is no chemical similarity or complementarity between amino acids and nucleotides, and thus no means by which they could directly interact, Crick suggested that amino acids might be first attached to short single strands of RNA nucleotides, thereby making the amino acids ‘recognizable’ to complementary sequences of nucleotides on the templates.  In its simplest form, 20 specific enzymes would catalyse the attachment of 20 different kinds of amino acids to 20 different RNA ‘adaptor’ molecules.  These would then be ordered by complementary nucleotide pairing on single-stranded RNA templates on ribosomes.  Francis circulated this ‘adaptor hypothesis’ among 20 fellow molecular biologists of the RNA Tie Club in 1955, but it was not formally published until 1958.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Prior to this, biochemists had considered the soluble RNA just “junk” in the mix of ribosomal RNA molecules.  As the picture of transfer RNA emerged (including the discovery of the 20 additional enzymes, named aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, that arm the tRNAs with their cognate amino acids), it looked like a wondrous design.  Hoagland describes his delight at the time, miffed somewhat at having been scooped by Crick:An image arose before me: we explorers, slashing and sweating our way through a dense jungle, rewarded at last by a vision of a beautiful temple – looking up to see Francis, on gossamer wings of theory, gleefully pointing it out to us!    And so it was that tRNAs and their companion activating enzymes (which came to be known as aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases), framed by the adaptor hypothesis, brought the classical biochemists and the molecular biologists together, snug in the same discipline, all speaking the same language.1Mahlon Hoagland, “Turning Points: Enter transfer RNA,” Nature 431, 249 (16 September 2004); doi:10.1038/431249a.This story forms a good example of how the intelligent design approach is good for science.  Notice, first of all, how the wrong approach was to consider the soluble RNA as “junk.”  An ID scientist would think instead that these molecules are there for a purpose and have some role to play.  It took a pursuit based on belief in design to find the truth.  For Hoagland, the pursuit was empirical: observing what actually happened.  For Crick, it was theoretical: investigating how things should happen inside the black box, given the DNA template in the nucleus and the protein chain in the ribosome.  The adaptor hypothesis was a “brilliant imaginative leap,” Hoagland calls it, because it reasoned that an underlying design was required to produce an ordered result.    The personal beliefs of the scientists about evolution or creation did not enter into the picture as long as they used the logic of intelligent design in their approach: effects must have a cause, and design is empirically detectable apart from one’s religious beliefs.  The key to Crick’s insight was the realization that nucleotides and amino acids, having no chemical affinities, must become recognizable to one another during the process of translation.  Notice how that word recognizable implies design, in the same sense a programmer designs a printer driver to enable the computer to recognize it.  Without the driver interface, the computer and the printer would have no natural affinity.  Transfer RNA and its synthetases form a complex suite of adaptors or translators that, like interpreters, understand two languages, the language of nucleotides and the language of proteins (see 06/09/2003 and 04/29/2003 headlines).  Although it is unknown Crick reasoned this way at the time, the logical inference based on uniform experience is that anything that can translate one code into another must have had an intelligent cause.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons Crick later became a proponent of the panspermia hypothesis.  Since life appears too complex to have formed by chance, it must have been put here by intelligent designers.  One would only wish Crick, who died in July, had reasoned further that they, too, must have been designed, and continued his reasoning back to an uncaused First Cause.    The discovery of transfer RNA gives us two lessons in the value of intelligent design in science.  First (despite his personal evolutionary philosophy), Crick’s “adaptor hypothesis” presupposed an inherent design in the process of DNA translation, and Hoagland’s experiments presupposed a function for what others were calling junk.  Second, the tRNA and the aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase families provide prima facie evidence of intelligent design by their ability to translate one coded information storage system into another, resulting in information-rich functional machinery.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  Watch tRNA at work in the film Unlocking the Mystery of Life.  The animation of DNA translation and protein synthesis provides a five-minute, permanent cure for hallucinations caused by tripping out on Charlie’s Angle Dust (see 09/12/2004 commentary).(Visited 60 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Evolution After the Fact

first_imgMany scientific theories are evaluated on their ability to make predictions.  Good theories suggest experiments that lead a researcher to discover new things.  In biology, however, “evolution” is a word often invoked as an after-market explanation for observations that emerged outside of the theory.  Here are some recent examples:Ant farm:  Science Daily reported on Smithsonian scientists who constructed an evolutionary tree after observing ants’ abilities to “farm” fungus for food.  “By studying certain fungus-growing ants, which our study indicates are almost like ‘living fossils,’ we might be able to better understand steps involved in the evolution of ant agriculture,” one researcher said.    Living fossils might have been seen as evidence against evolution (10/13/2004).  According to the evolutionary timetable, they represent organisms that have shown no evolution for tens or hundreds of millions of years.  Somehow, despite that admission, the evidence was being used as support for evolution.  The quotation indicates that if evolution has explanatory power in this case, it is in future tense.Mystery religion:  The phrase “abominable mystery” seems synonymous with Darwin’s frustration at explaining the origin of flowering plants (01/30/2002, 12/21/2007).  National Geographic admitted as much, saying, “The apparently sudden appearance of angiosperms in the fossil record confounded Darwin, who worried that it might pose a problem for his theory of evolution by natural selection.”    That admission, however, was the only expression of doubt about evolution in a story about “the world’s oldest plant-eating lizard.”  Even though this “spectacular” fossil “challenges long-held views about lizard evolution,” the fact of lizard evolution was never in doubt.  Ker Than explained that it was a choice between two evolutionary possibilities: “either the ancestral condition for lizard diet was not as restricted as once thought or that diet has been highly labile [easily changed] throughout lizard evolution.”    How this fossil solved the abominable mystery of flowering plants was not explained.  “Thus the new fossil species, dubbed Kuwajimalla kagaensis, could indicate that angiosperms were already in existence and perhaps widespread millions of years earlier than had been thought, the researchers say.”  Might that not count as evidence that flowering plants were created fully formed?  Such an option was never in the cards: “Scientists have since uncovered fossils tracing the evolution of angiosperms from nonflowering plants, called gymnosperms.”Ancient mother:  “They are separated by a vast ocean and by millions of years, but tiny prehistoric bones found on an Australian farm have been directly linked to a strange and secretive little animal that lives today in the southern rainforests of South America.”  The observation is: a living animal that resembles a fossil animal.  Science Daily wove this into a story about how this “Primitive Mouse-Like Creature May Be Ancestral Mother Of Australia’s Unusual Pouched Mammals.”  PhysOrg echoed the tale, claiming, “The fossil ankle and ear bones of Djarthia make it clear that the Monito del Monte [the living animal] descends from a Djarthia-like ancestor, and so probably returned to South America from Australia before Gondwana broke up.”Hanging around:  Spiders often hang upside down in their webs.  What does this mean?  Science Daily gave Darwin the microphone:The great majority of land animals evolved to use the ground as the main support for their motion.  Accordingly, they evolved legs capable of supporting the weight of their whole bodies, enabling them to move around with their heads above their feet.  However, many spider species found it more convenient to literally turn their world upside down.  They spend most of their lives hanging suspended by their legs, and ‘walk’ by swinging under the influence of gravity.The article tells how researchers were “intrigued by this evolutionary phenomenon,” even though they had not watched any spiders evolve.  “One of their focal questions was the evolutionary importance of ‘bridging’ — the technique many spiders use to move between remote plants by building their own silk bridges,” it said.  Somehow they “discovered” evolution by watching live spiders: “We discovered that spiders that live upside-down have evolved disproportionately longer legs relative to ‘normal’ spiders, which enables them to move faster while bridging than while ‘normally walking’ on the ground.”    Again, both kinds of spiders are alive today, but “Now,” somehow “we have a much better understanding of how an animal shape should evolve when animals spent most of their lifetime hanging upside-down.”  Yet people have observed living spiders for centuries without seeing evolution between them.  Is it even clear which one evolved from the other?  To the hanging spider, the walking spider looks upside-down.    A physicist was brought in to study the energetics of upside-down locomotion.  Nowhere was there any mention, though, of an observable series of intermediates (perhaps spiders walking sideways) that would demonstrate evolution had occurred or was occurring.  Nor was there any mention of how a spider finding it more “convenient” to hang around in an inverted world found a way to gather the random mutations required to allow natural selection to adapt its body for efficient upside-down mobility.Fuzzy logic:  Observation: fuzzy fibers of cellulose (a protein) can sometimes be found in salt deposits.  Conclusion: “Microscopic Fuzz May Be Best Evidence of Martians.”  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, “If Martian life existed a few billion years ago, scientists think any plant-like microbes would have left behind a stringy fuzz of fibers.”  Read all about it on Space.com.    Even though no life has ever been found on Mars, we already know that evolution will be the explanation.  We can already envision Martian life cooking up cellulose like popcorn:If a future Mars-bound robotic explorer seeks out signs of ancient life, [Jack] Griffith [U of North Carolina at Chapel Hill] said looking for cellulose in salt deposits peppered south of the planet’s equator would be the best places to start.     “Cellulose was one of the earliest polymers organisms made during their evolution, so it pops out as the most likely thing you’d find on Mars, if you found anything at all,” Griffith said.  “Looking for it in salt deposits is probably a very good way to go.”    [Phil] Christensen [Arizona State U] said Martian salt deposits likely formed after briny pools of water on the planet’s surface ? a sun-bathed environment for photo-synthesizing organisms that may have made cellulose.    “The sun is an awfully nice source of energy to turn down in your evolution as a microbe,” Christensen said.  “If we do find signs of life on Mars, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it is plant-like in nature.”In living organisms on earth, cellulose is manufactured by a group of complex molecular machines.  They transcribe the recipe from the genetic code written in DNA, translate it into enzymes, and then weave the sugars into intricate chains (try the Wikipedia description for a taste of the complexity of the process).  These scientists did not explain, nor did they even think to ask, how hopeful microbes wanting to green up a red planet could have figured this out.Demon drink:  How did Asians become protected from alcoholism?  Call Darwin: “That these populations turn out to be less prone to the ravages of demon rum,” explained Kenneth Kidd [Yale School of Medicine], ‘is just a serendipitous event’ of evolution.”  So reported Science Daily.  Since Asians are interfertile with American alcoholics, inter-species “evolution” does not demonstrate a Darwin-style Origin of Species.Your inner fish:  Observation: selenium is toxic to humans but is necessary in trace amounts, or else serious diseases result.  Explanation, according to PhysOrg: “Although this trace element is essential in the diet of humans, it seems that we have lost some of the need for selenium, which occurs in proteins and is transported in blood plasma, when our evolutionary ancestors left the oceans and evolved into mammals.”    The article continued without blinking an explanatory eye: “Selenium-containing proteins evolved in prehistoric times,” it said, and “We’ve found that the evolutionary change from fish to mammals was accompanied by a reduced use of proteins containing selenium.”  The reporter seemed intent on inserting Darwinese (03/06/2008 into every sentence.  “Some insects have also lost the need for selenium during the course of evolution.”  The scientists linked humans’ minimum daily requirement to the “the evolved reduced utilization of selenium” that occurred since we ostensibly crawled out of the sea millions of years ago.Each article above invoked evolution after the fact.  But isn’t that an academic detail, now that evolution has been proven?  “Darwin told us so,” announced a story April 1 on EurekAlert.  No fooling: “UBC researcher shows natural selection speeds up speciation.”    You may have thought such a thing had been discovered a long time ago, but these researchers were announcing a first.  “In the first experiment of its kind conducted in nature, a University of British Columbia evolutionary biologist has come up with strong evidence for one of Charles Darwin’s cornerstone ideas – adaptation to the environment accelerates the creation of new species.”  They repeated their claim of priority: “As far as advancing Darwin’s theory that natural selection is a key driver of speciation, this is the first experiment of its kind done outside of a lab setting.  The findings are exciting.”    Surely, this must be big news.  What did Patrik Nosil find in a 200m x 200m parcel of chaparral of southern California?  He gathered “walking stick” insects from one location and put them in another.  He and his co-worker found that coloration patterns, such as a white line along the body, changed as they adapted to a new location.  Then, the ones that could detoxify leaves of unfamiliar plants survived to “seal the deal” of speciation.    The dramatic tone of the claims led us to examine what was said in the original paper published in PLoS One.1  There, by contrast, Patrik Nosil and co-author Cristina Sandoval admitted that their work was extremely limited, and their conclusions much more tentative:The findings suggest that selection on a greater number of niche dimensions promotes evolutionary divergence.  Of course, replication of the data reported here is required before the robustness and generality of our findings can be known.  This is especially the case because only a single species pair was examined.Their collection methods (shaking a bush for 15 minutes, watching what kind of leaves an insect preferred, etc) and measurements of fitness (e.g., minute changes in coloration) also seemed highly subjective.  Creationists might agree that the two species in the study had a common ancestor anyway.  In few other sciences would such a limited study like this permit such far-reaching conclusions about all of life.    The paper also defended a contra-Darwin viewpoint, viz: “We stress that arguments for the existence of stages of divergence do not rely on strict gradualism” – they proposed, instead, a “niche dimensionality” hypothesis.  That’s what was new about their experiment.  It wasn’t natural selection per se they tested, but an ecology-based flavor of evolutionary theory that “has received almost no focused empirical attention, despite its potential for complementing more geographic and genetic hypotheses.”    All they recorded were small trends in coloration and behavioral changes.  No new organs or beneficial structures were reported, nor did they discuss previously-reported problems about the phylogeny of walking sticks, such as the apparent re-evolution of wings three times (see 05/28/2003 and 01/16/2003), to say nothing of the origin of wings in the first place (04/02/2008).  Another thing left unstated was whether the walking-stick descendants were still interfertile with their unexamined cousins, to prove that a new species had emerged (at least, according to the biological species definition of species as members of a population that can produce fertile offspring).    Most significantly, they failed to show whether any new genetic information emerged.  Even Bible-believing creationists do not dispute that coloration differences and other “horizontal” sorting of traits can occur by natural selection within created kinds.  This kind of natural selection can lead to dramatic differences, they say, such as donkeys and zebras, or mammoths and elephants.    As valuable as field experiments are, the procedures these scientists followed omitted some important tests.  They did not repeat the experiment with other species or use controls.  They failed to follow up and observe whether the insect progeny reverted to wild type after the artificial conditions were removed.  The paper acknowledged, though, a number of additional factors that could have blurred the inferences they drew.  (Also of note: father Darwin got no mention in their original paper.)    Nevertheless, the press release article announced this as a great vindication of Darwin’s theory of natural selection.  Darwin, of course, extended his principle far beyond color changes in walking sticks.  He developed it into a universal principle that produces humans from bacteria over time.  Astrobiologists routinely extend natural selection even further, applying it as a universal natural law even alien life must obey.    Wherever life is found, one conclusion is sure to follow: Darwinian evolution will have been vindicated – after the fact.1.  Patrik Nosil and Cristina P. Sandoval, “Ecological Niche Dimensionality and the Evolutionary Diversification of Stick Insects,” Public Library of Science One, 3(4): e1907 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001907.These articles, like building blocks of lie (03/19/2008), are typical of the daily Darwin fare fed to the public by the media.  We’re collecting enough of them to build a monument to dupidity (03/13/2008 commentary).    Each article invoked evolutionary explanations for observations that were already “in the bag,” so to speak.  In philosophy of science, explanatory inference can work for post-dicted observations as well as pre-dicted observations; the logic is the same.  However, there is a built-in logical fallacy in prediction called “affirming the consequent.”  It goes: p predicts q, q happens, therefore p explains q.  The problem of underdetermination of theories by evidence shows that there are always other theories that could explain the evidence just as well.  That is why Karl Popper repudiated prediction as having any value in scientific explanations.  Instead, he proposed falsification as a test of a good theory.  Historical studies of science show, however, that few scientists ever give up on a theory that has been falsified.  W. V. Quine argued in 1951 that scientists are more likely to adjust strands at the periphery of their web of belief than abandon it because of anomalies.    These considerations are among many in 20th century philosophy of science that have undermined the simple faith that science is on a progressive path to the truth.  Thomas Kuhn caused a furor in 1962 when he argued that scientists are blinded by the ruling paradigm in which they work.  The paradigm, or explanatory viewpoint most widely accepted at the time, determines the questions worth asking, the scientific approach to answer them, and what counts as evidence.  It even determines the concepts and language used to do science.  Scientists, he said, do not work to falsify paradigms; they work to confirm them and thus receive affirmation from their peer group.  Pursued to the extreme, his line of thinking decouples scientific practice from truth-seeking altogether, and reduces it to an absurdity: science is what scientists do.  Though Kuhn didn’t go that far, some did.  They doubted that science has any case for epistemic privilege over other avenues of investigation. Some offer the rebuttal that science must be true because it works.  This, however, is a pragmatic argument, not a logical argument.  Even if a theory provides success (or satisfaction) at explanation, prediction, and control, that is no guarantee it is true.  A look at history shows this.  Civilizations throughout history, and modern science in recent Western history, have trusted in ideas that are now considered wrong, even though they provided their adherents at the time with remarkable degrees of success at explanation, prediction and control.  Ptolemaic astronomy satisfied its believers for 1500 years, then Copernican, then Keplerian astronomy – but now we know that the planets do not move in ellipses (because a whole set of additional motions at higher levels precludes a closed loop).  Newtonian mechanics for centuries represented the pinnacle of scientific truth – only to be doubted in the 20th century with the rise of relativity and quantum mechanics.  String theory and dark energy continue to show that a comprehensive understanding of the basic structure of matter is lacking; how much more so for biology, where natural laws are hard to come by?Exercise: Read this astronomy article on Space.com and ask how strong is the connection between the observations and the explanations offered.The dust from Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions has yet to settle, even if he overstated the case.  His little book launched whole new university departments and fields of study.  Researchers started putting science itself under the microscope.  Some portrayed science as a cultural phenomenon, complete with its own sociology, rhetoric and history.  Though the pendulum has swung back a bit toward “scientific realism” (the assumption that science does deal in fairly reliable accounts of external reality), it’s more from weariness of the science wars than any logical or epistemological victory.    Most philosophers and knowledgeable scientists today realize that scientists can no longer blithely assume that what they are doing is objective or has a necessary connection to truth or reality.  Sociological, rhetorical, historical and political factors are non-trivial influences in what passes for science in a given era or culture.  How strong are these influences?  There is a broad spectrum of opinion, with no agreement.    If anything in science today fits the Kuhnian vision of “normal science” being an effort to force-fit observations to a consensus paradigm, it is Darwinism.  Evolutionary biologists deceive themselves into thinking what they do is understand and explain reality by objective standards and methods (a position known as logical positivism or scientism).  Their critics, looking in from the outside, are convinced the evolutionists have blinders on.  From their vantage point outside the paradigm, evolutionists are simply putting a Darwinian shine on the observations, no matter what observations come along (12/17/2007 commentary).  They are asking meaningless questions and giving self-reinforcing answers.  Is this not obvious from the examples above?  If so, any resolution to this impasse will require logical and rhetorical arguments as well as evidential arguments.    At the present, the Darwinians are controlling the rhetorical front from sheer clout over scientific institutions, schools, the courts and the media.  That could change.  A majority of the public is upset that only their side gets told.  Darwinism has become a kind of world religion that, having gained ascendancy, no longer questions its assumptions.  Worse, it imposes its paradigm on the world: both on the world of nature (demanding explanation in terms of the paradigm) and on the world of people (demanding compliance).    We have seen that the only requirement to explain anything these days is to say, “Darwin told us so.”  Moreover, anyone who doubts the paradigm is labeled dangerous – not to the consensus, but to “science” itself!  One has to go along to get along.  Acceptance into the cult requires abandonment of all other explanatory systems, and allegiance to the Darwin Party statement of faith, encapsulated succinctly in their children’s song,Darwin shoves me, this I know,For the Origin tells me so.Little use for right and wrong;Weak ones die, but fit are strong.Yes, fitness shoves me,Yes, fitness shoves me,Yes, fitness shoves me,Survival tells me so.Time for a scientific revolution?  Join the rebellion.(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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