Reports Differ on Kansas Evolution Debates

first_imgHow is the debate over evolution in Kansas going?  It depends on whom you ask.  MSNBC News focused on personal attacks between board members (see also the Lexington Herald-Leader).  The Discovery Institute, by contrast, focused on the content of the new proposed standards that allows a “common-sense” approach for teaching all the science about evolution, including the problems with Darwin’s theory.MSNBC’s title suggests that both sides are bickering, claiming “School board members hurl insults at each other.”  But if you look into the article, the only ones hurling insults are the evolutionists; the other side is just putting up their shields.  All Connie Morris said was, after being insulted, “Had you attended, you would have been informed.  You would be sitting here as informed individuals and not arrogantly calling us dupes.”  The article claims Morris mentioned the moderates by name in print, but does not say she insulted them like the Darwinists did; she only derided evolution itself, the article says.  The evolutionists, though, called the conservatives “dupes” of intelligent design advocates and their decision based on “absolute and total fraud.”  Judge for yourself which side is acting with civility and responsibility.    The majority conservatives had invited the pro-evolution moderates to come to the hearings, but they wouldn’t.  The Darwin Party could have contributed to the discussion, but chose to sit and pout.  If they had been listening, they would realize that the Board is taking no position on intelligent design.  The new standards are very mild.  They do not call for teaching creation or intelligent design, but only for permitting critical thinking about evolution such that it is treated like any other scientific theory, not like a sacred cow.  No advocates of a scientific theory would worry about that unless their position was weak.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Call for recognition of sign language

first_img19 January 2012The National Institute for the Deaf (NID) has called for sign language to be recognised as one of South Africa’s official languages.According to the NID, sign language is the fifth most used language in the country, with more people using it, for example, than those who speak SiSwati, IsiNdebele and TshiVhenda.The NID said that about four-million South Africans had hearing difficulty, while 1.5-million were “profoundly deaf”, with 93 percent of the deaf being unemployed.This was revealed during public hearings on the South African Language Bill hosted by Parliament’s portfolio committee on arts and culture in Cape Town on Tuesday.Several organisations and individuals were set to add their input into the Bill. These include the Pan South African Language Board, the Law Society of SA, Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuur Vereniging, Vriende van Afrikaans, and FW De Klerk Foundation.Ernest Kleinschmidt, one of the board directors at the NID, was one of those invited to add his voice to the Bill. He made a compelling appeal for the recognition of sign language.“I’m a deaf person. I’m proud of the language I use,” Kleinschmidt told the house, asking if there were people who did not use sign language in their daily life. He said people used sign language to express themselves, adding that “without communication, we are all deaf and dumb”.Avoidable sufferingHe asked that the Bill be crafted to include sign language as one of the official languages in the country.The NID said many deaf children suffered both at school and at home as they were not understood.Committee chairperson Thandile Sunduza said the South African Constitution had to be amended to accommodate the language.Among other things, the South African Language Bill seeks to provide for the “regulation and monitoring of the use of official languages by national government for government purposes”. It calls for the adoption of language policies by national government departments, national public entities and national enterprises.It also proposes the identification of at least two official languages that “a national department, national public entity or public enterprise will use for government purposes”.Indigenous languagesDuring his submissions, Dr Neville Alexander of the Xhosa Africa Network called for government and non-profit organisations to preserve indigenous languages.“If we are serious about democracy, we should take indigenous languages seriously,” Alexander said, indicating that democracy depended on people being able to communicate with each other.He said the government should review the “language dispensation in this country”.“Languages can cause conflict, but they can also reconcile people,” he said, cautioning that the language debate should not be a racial one.He said languages such as Afrikaans, IsiZulu and IsiXhosa were equal, and called for each province to have a Language Act. Currently, only the Western Cape and Limpopo had legislative pieces governing languages.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Yellow perch retriever

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We enjoyed a long weekend of fishing and fireworks over last month’s Independence Day as the Armitage clan visited Geneva on the Lake (GOTL) to gather photos and first-hand experiences for an article on America’s Best Boardwalks for AAA Home & Away magazine. We stayed at The Lodge at Geneva, a former state park property that is one of our new-found favorite accommodations, steps away from a classic “boardwalk” scene that you’ll have to read about for details. We towed the family boat up and spent our days fishing the open waters of Lake Erie within sight of the waterfront Lodge and the GOTL strip. We quickly learned that the walleye bite was off that weekend, and quickly turned to jerking perch from depths as much as 70 feet below the hull of our 20-foot center console boat.Yellow perch don’t grow larger, and any fish over 10 inches qualifies as a “jumbo” on most boats. My wife Maria gave me a serious stink eye when I attempted to swing aboard — rather than net — a huge perch she had hooked and brought to the side of the boat.  The perch threw the hook the moment I lifted it out of the water and with a flip of a deep-green tail it swam back into the depths.Or at least it tried. While my bride berated me for losing her trophy, the fish failed to fin back to the depths due to a serious case of the bends from being cranked up so quickly from such depths. Soon it was bobbing on the surface just off the transom but out of reach of the net I should have use the first time it was boat-side — and now drifting farther away from our firmly anchored craft.Realizing the rare second chance at catching the jumbo perch, before I knew it bikini-clad Maria had grabbed the net and jumped overboard, dog-paddling toward her fish in the 68 degree water. Netting the flopping yellow leviathan, she sculled her way one-handed back to the boat, arriving waterlogged and refreshed on the 80-degree day. Her hard-won perch was a dandy, measuring just over the 13-inch mark that qualified it for Fish Ohio trophy catch honors and a certificate, and accolades from her son and husband for the over-the top effort.last_img read more

Little joys of life for security personnel

first_imgTwo men come on a scooter, hands over a carton to a security personnel. Three others come in a mini-van with a drum full of rice and another full of Rajma. It was Rajma Chawal for lunch on Monday for many security personnel manning Sirsa where the Dera Sacha Sauda has its headquarters. The food, however, is provided by locals and several community organisations as a token of appreciation to the force of nearly 4,000 who have been working relentlessly since Thursday. The town is protected by 40 security companies including the Army, Border Security Forces, local police amid others whose primary job is to maintain law and order and minimise violence anticipated in the wake of circumstances. Mukul, 30-year-old businessman who stays in the next street to Satnam Singh Chowk where the concentration of security personnel is dense, ordered a bakery to produce 1,000 vegetable patties on Thursday as breakfast. In the evening, they were treated with bread pakoda and chai; not to mention, the endless supply of water. “Little joys of life in such tough situations,” smiled Constable Ajay Kumar as he facilitated the entry of a food truck. “They’ve been working day and night just to protect us. This is the least we can do for them,” said Rajnish Sharma, Mukul’s friend who pitched in money for Thursday’s breakfast. Sarabjit Singh, sarpanch of Vaidwala village, a few km away from the Dera where stands a police check point, along with her mother Manjit Kaur (65) has been hosting two meals a day for the force since August 25. “Today, it’s chhole, chawal and roti. My mother and wife cook for nearly 150 people both the times and there’s nothing more rewarding,” he said.Not only are the locals making sure that the jawans are well fed, several organisations like the Roti Bank, Jain Samiti and Kanhaiya Manav Sewa Samiti are voluntarily providing food and water to the security personnel. How are they getting the ration when shops are closed is a question answered by Sushil Kandoi, 54, of the Roti Bank. “We just started doing it. As the word spread, help started pouring in in terms of money, pulses, rice and vegetables. I never asked anyone for it but we’re all humans after all,” he said referring to all the grocery shopowners who’ve been providing the organisation with raw material. The overwhelmed security personnel return the favour with a ‘Thank you’. “We feel very happy when people think about us. Who doesn’t? Accha lagta hai jab hamari mehnat ko pehchana jata hai [It feels great when our effort is recognised],” said Constable Jitender Kumar.last_img read more

Two held for Dalit man’s murder

first_imgThe police have arrested two persons in connection with a Dalit man’s murder in Rajasthan’s Barmer district last week. The 22-year-old victim, Kheta Ram, was beaten to death at Ramsar by the relatives of a married Muslim woman with whom he reportedly had an illicit affair.While two of the accused, Pathai Khan and Anwar Khan, were arrested, seven others were detained on suspicion of involvement in the crime. A hunt was launched for tracing the main suspect. Kheta Ram’s post-mortem report has revealed that he was severely beaten and the attackers had tried to strangulate him.last_img read more