The Creation of Evolutionism

first_imgA press release titled “The Evolution of Creationism” in a geology journal is just asking for a spoof.The Geological Society of America (GSA) posted the following press release on its publication, GSA Today:Throughout history, people have sought to understand how the world came to be and how it has changed over time. This curiosity has produced a rich legacy of science and philosophy and impacted and influenced religion and theology. In the November 2012 issue of GSA Today, David Montgomery of the University of Washington examines both the history of geology and of biblical views regarding Earth’s origins.Montgomery’s main premise is that throughout most of the past several hundred years, scientists and theologians engaged in extensive collaboration regarding issues like Earth’s age and origin. The common bond that sustained this rich exchange of ideas was a respect for reason and a trust in the scientific process.As modern science evolved, so did many shared questions and struggles regarding how to best understand Earth’s age as well as how new scientific findings harmonized with or conflicted with theological understanding as conveyed in works such as the Bible. These questions and struggles persist into the present, most notably in geology, where vast differences in the answers to such fundamental questions as “how old is this planet?” both correlate and contrast with some religious beliefs.In terms of Christian theology, the main problems that Montgomery discusses are Earth’s age and the role of a global flood (“Noah’s flood”) in geological history. While these issues—that the Earth is not over four billion years old, but is actually only a few thousand years old, and that most of the geological history recorded by rocks was formed as a result of Noah’s flood—are commonly raised by modern-day creationists, they have also been vigorously studied by both scientists and theologians over the past several hundred years.Montgomery shows that geologists have provided a vast array of evidence that refutes both a young age for Earth and a worldwide flood. These conclusions provoked significant debate among Christian writers during the early 1800s, but many acknowledged the validity of the scientific evidence. They subsequently adapted their view of creation as spelled out in the Bible, recognizing that it might be figurative instead of literal, and that Noah’s flood was likely a regional event that involved the Caspian or Black Sea.Modern-day creationism, according to Montgomery, developed from several influential efforts, beginning in the 1920s. The movement would revive the global (Noah’s) flood explanation for the geological record, resurrecting the older theory mainly in an effort to question scientific conclusions regarding the biological evolution of life on Earth.The creationists of the twentieth century—and those of today—evolved in order to reject a scientific basis for understanding of the history of our planet. They instead rely on a literal interpretation of Biblical accounts of creation.These arguments are effective. Montgomery points out that more than 40% of Americans believe Earth is less than 10,000 years old, despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary. However, Montgomery hopes that by pointing to our longer-term history and mutual heritage of using scientific observations of the natural world to inform both secular and religious understanding, the relationship between science and religion can undergo further evolution, and faith in science can be restored.The press release was reproduced uncritically by PhysOrg and Science Daily.  The full article by Montgomery on GSA Today is open access.  See also the 8/14/2012 entry, “Rock’s Don’t Lie but Liars Rock.”This is what happens with one-party rule.  Instead of debate and reasoned discussion, you get one-sided rewritings of history.  The following shows how creationists might write the press release if they had influence at GSA:The Creation of Evolutionism [parody]Throughout history, people have offered thanks to God for the beauty of the world He created. This gratefulness has produced a rich legacy of religion and theology and impacted and influenced philosophy and science. In the November 2012 issue of CSA Today, Daniel Monotheist of the University of St. Paul examines both the Christian root of science and of materialistic views regarding Earth’s origins.Monotheist’s main premise is that throughout most of the past two thousand years, Biblical scholars and natural philosophers engaged in extensive collaboration regarding issues like Earth’s origin and age. The common bond that sustained this rich exchange of ideas was a respect for God-given reason and a respect for God’s Word.  This led to the rise of modern science, with stalwarts like Kepler, Newton and Boyle as shining lights.But as historical science degenerated in the last 230 years into atheism and skepticism, so did the rich legacy of scholarship, as skeptics struggled to re-interpret what was clearly evident in the world’s design.  They set out to rewrite Earth’s age in slow-and-gradual terms, and interpreted new scientific findings to harmonize with their unbelief.  Their motivation was to disparage the Bible, particularly the revelations given to Moses, and substitute their own speculations and call it science. These struggles persist into the present, most notably in geology, where vast differences in the speculations about such fundamental questions as “how old is this planet?” are used as weapons against some Biblical teachings.In terms of naturalist philosophy, the main targets of the new skeptics are Earth’s age and the role of a global flood (“Noah’s flood”) in geological history. While these issues—that the Earth is not over four billion years old, but is actually only a few thousand years old, and that most of the geological history recorded by rocks was formed as a result of Noah’s flood—are commonly mocked by modern-day evolutionists, they have also been vigorously defended by natural philosophers and theologians over the past two thousand years, but especially by modern theistic geologists who find overwhelming evidence for catastrophic deposition in the vast extent of flood-deposited strata and the explosive appearance of life in the fossil record.Monotheist shows that these Christian geologists have provided a vast array of evidence that defends both a young age for Earth and a worldwide flood. These conclusions provoked significant debate among Christian writers during the early 1800s, but many acknowledged the validity of the scientific evidence. Skeptics, however, subsequently adapted their view of geology as required by naturalistic philosophy, recognizing that the strata still might be interpreted in slow-and-gradual terms, using copious amounts of imagination and dogmatic adherence to naturalistic assumptions.Modern-day evolutionism, according to Monotheist, developed from several influential skeptics of the Bible, beginning in the 1780s, such as Buffon, Hutton and Lyell. The movement chose to reject the global (Noah’s) flood explanation for the geological record, resurrecting old anti-Biblical skepticism mainly in an effort to reinterpret the observations into a story about the biological evolution of life on Earth.  In this they were unwittingly fulfilling Peter’s prophecy that in the last days mockers would deny creation and the Flood.The hard-core evolutionists of the twentieth century—and those of today—gathered together into societies such as the Geological Society of America in order to reject a Biblical basis for understanding of the history of our planet. They instead rely on a literal interpretation of the words of Charles Darwin.These arguments are effective. Monotheist points out all the public schools teach that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary. However, Monotheist hopes that by pointing to our longer-term history and mutual heritage of using scientific observations of the natural world to illuminate Biblical understanding, and with increasing exposure of the evidence supporting catastrophism that comports with Biblical history, the relationship between science and religion can undergo further mutual reinforcement, and a return to true science can be restored. (Visited 26 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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World Cup spirit lives on in Youth Zones

first_img2 August 2010The energy and spirit of South Africa’s 2010 Fifa World Cup is being harnessed for sustainable social development in Africa through the Youth Zones initiative, which combines football, computer literacy and life-skills training to create an enabling environment for young people in disadvantaged communities.Youth Zones is a joint initiative of the Foundation for a Safe South Africa (FSSA), the 2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC), the Embassy of the Netherlands and the Institute for Democracy in Africa (Idasa).In South Africa, the programme is already running in sites where the LOC built high-level synthetic football pitches, in Mamelodi, Evaton North and Cosmo City in Gauteng province; Upington in the Northern Cape; Somerset West and East in the Western Cape; Siyabuswa in Mpumalanga; Jane Furse in Limpopo province; and Mogwase in Rustenburg, North West province.It is also running in Umzimkhulu and Mutare in neighbouring Zimbabwe, and in Manica in Mozambique.Grass-roots capacity buildingThe programme aims to build the capacity of grass-root football teams by supporting them with football equipment, coaching and organisational growth.At the same time, the computer literacy component teaches youngsters how to use computers and provides them with internet, while the life-skills component teaches communication, conflict resolution, teamwork, responsibility, health and leadership.Overall, the programme aims to create enabling environments in which young people develop self-belief and the confidence they need to take risks and be creative.Each community is encouraged to launch three small “organic” projects of their own initiative. Projects already off the ground revolve around netball, gymnastics, culture, English literacy, entrepreneurship, and combating HIV/Aids.“The challenge is to prevent those who are born into victim circumstances from becoming offenders,” says project leader Roelf Meyer of the Foundation for a Safe South Africa. “Making choice available in these circumstances can transform lives away from crime to real and legitimate opportunity. We promote safety by proactively investing in society, by stopping crime before it happens.”Friendships form the foundationProject coordinator Schalk van Heerden says Youth Zones is “not about just kicking a ball. It’s about the social relations inherent in a team, the family dynamic that provides energy, support and accountability. That’s why we use football and even netball teams to learn and become change agents in their communities.”The approach, says Van Heerden, is built on a relational model, in which friendships form the foundation for sustainable actions and programmes.Once real-life friendships have been established and computer literacy is in place, the focus shifts to a virtual community, where besides Skype, Facebook and e-mail, participants interact on the www.youthzones.co.za website.One of the members of the youth website, Nelson Veremo, says they are encouraged to blog, upload photos, chat and to share stories of hope as well as failure.“Any person can join – boys, girls from any place,” says Veremo. “It’s very interesting knowing we are not alone in our struggles and dreams.”Doctor Mabila, of the Institute for Democracy in Africa (Idasa), says participants learn practical things from one another, and that the youngsters are proud to share their stories.Mabila says they are hoping that by the time the 2014 Fifa World Cup kicks off in Brazil, the Youth Zones network will be able to showcase South Africa’s shared humanity, mutual learning and care.Other organisations and companies backing the Youth Zones initiative include Torque IT, the Kelly Group, Microsoft, Convergence Partners, SAB, ABI, Khulisa, Fevertree and Heartlines.BuaNewslast_img read more

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March meat exports show positive momentum

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Exports of U.S. pork and beef gained momentum in March after starting the year slowly, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).Although pork exports were down from the large totals recorded in March 2014, export volume was the largest in 11 months at 191,041 metric tons (mt). This was 9% lower than a year ago, but a 10% increase from February. Export value of $495.3 million was down 18% year-over-year, but up 5% from February.March beef exports totaled 86,774 mt, down 7% from a year ago but a 5% increase over February. Export value was $527.3 million, up 2% year-over-year but down slightly from February.The March results reflect some degree of relief from the West Coast port congestion that plagued red meat exports in January and February. Port traffic began to improve after a tentative labor contract was reached in late February, though congestion lingered for several weeks at some major ports.“Port congestion remained an issue well into March — and even into April in the Southern California ports – but the announcement of the new labor contract certainly improved the business climate,” said Philip Seng, USMEF President and CEO. “After months of frustration, the U.S. meat industry was finally able to reassure Asian buyers that the worst of the crisis was behind us and that they could once again count on the U.S. to fulfill its role as a reliable supplier. This was especially important for customers purchasing chilled pork and beef, which require very prompt delivery due to product shelf life.”In addition to shipping concerns, U.S. exporters have found their competitive position in some key markets damaged by large volumes of lower-priced products from other supplying countries. In many cases, diminished purchasing power due to the strength of the U.S. dollar has made the price disadvantage even more severe. Market access barriers also remain a concern in some markets, most importantly China and Russia.“Closure of the Russian market to European pork continues to impact all major pork suppliers, as the EU has focused very aggressively on alternative markets in Asia,” Seng said. “In the beef complex, the projected slowdown in Australia’s production may still be coming, but certainly did not materialize in the first quarter.“These are unusual conditions that are made more difficult by the strong U.S. dollar, but now isn’t the time to dwell on the stiff headwinds we are facing. We must aggressively defend the customer base the U.S. industry has worked so hard to build over the years by reaffirming the value and quality delivered by U.S. red meat.” March pork export volume highest since April 2014March pork exports accounted for 25% of total production and 21% for muscle cuts only — the latter being the largest percentage since July of last year. First-quarter ratios were 23% and 19%, respectively. Export value per head slaughtered was $50.10 in March, down nearly $20 from a year ago, but roughly steady with the per-head value recorded in March 2013. For the first quarter, per-head export value was $49.48, down 19% from last year and down 7% from the first quarter of 2013.First-quarter pork exports to Mexico topped last year’s record pace by 7% in volume, reaching 179,507 mt, though value was down 6% to $321.2 million. Year-over-year growth in the first quarter was led by South Korea, where exports increased by 43% in volume (57,376 mt) and 55% in value ($180.4 million). Exports to Canada were up 2% in volume (48,905 mt) while export value was steady with last year’s pace at $192.4 million.Offsetting these results, however, were lower exports to Japan and China/Hong Kong. First-quarter exports to Japan declined 13% in volume (103,921 mt) and 19% in value ($386.6 million) as Japan’s total imports slowed after accumulating large frozen inventories of EU pork. Exports to China/Hong Kong fell 40% in volume (67,754 mt) and 42% in value ($152.1 million) in the first quarter, although March exports were the largest in 12 months. Results in Latin American markets were mixed, with year-over-year growth achieved in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala and Panama, but exports declined to Colombia and Chile. Japan, Mexico still mainstays for U.S. beefMarch beef exports accounted for 10% of total production and 13% for muscle cuts only, slightly exceeding first-quarter ratios but down from 11% and 14%, respectively, from March 2014. Export value per head of fed slaughter was $284.30 in March, up 5% from a year ago. For the first quarter, per-head export value was $290.32, up 9%.So far in 2015, beef exports to Japan have performed extremely well despite significant obstacles – including the West Coast port situation, a weakened Japanese yen and a tariff advantage for Australian beef under the recently implemented Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement. First-quarter exports to Japan increased 4% in volume (48,347 mt) and 11% in value ($322.8 million). Exports to Mexico increased 4% in value ($285 million) despite slipping 1% in volume (56,582 mt).Beef exports to Korea got off to a very slow start in 2015, but continued to gain momentum in March. First-quarter volume was still down 4% from a year ago to 27,624 mt, but export value was up 2% to $204.1 million. Exports to Taiwan trended in the opposite direction, slowing in March after a very solid start. First-quarter volume to Taiwan was down 10% to 6,382 mt, while value was up 11% to $64.1 million. Exports to Hong Kong, which were record-large in 2014 but slowed toward the end of the year, were down 21% in volume (27,841 mt) and 6% in value ($211.9 million) in the first quarter. March lamb exports steady; first-quarter totals lower year-over-yearMarch exports of U.S. lamb were down slightly in volume (728 mt) from a year ago but steady in value at $1.92 million – the largest monthly value total since November. First-quarter exports were down 14% in volume (2,271 mt) and 18% in value ($5.36 million) as growth in the Caribbean and Middle East was offset by lower totals for Mexico and Canada.last_img read more

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