SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants’ ability to stay in contention for one of the National League’s two wild card spots might hinge on whether they can turn things around at their home park.Yes, that’s a bit unusual for a team that’s averaged over 45 wins per season at China Basin over the last decade.Thursday’s game against the New York Mets was the first of seven straight at home for the Giants, who came into the game with a dismal 20-26 record at Oracle Park. Among NL teams, only the Miami Marlins …
A tinkerer usually implies a human being with a brain. A man in his garage, for instance, might look around for spare parts to arrange into some new contraption. What would he think if he were told that his own brain was made that way? That’s what evolutionists commonly teach: our bodies and our brains were organized not by design or plan, but by nature’s tinkerer: a blind, aimless physical process that somehow cobbled parts together to allow us to think, and tinker, and even design master plans. A good example of this tendency in the popular press was published in Science Daily and PhysOrg. They reported on the “Genes to Cognition Programme” at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, a group attempting to discern connections between genes and brains (see original press release). The team concluded that brain size alone was not the deciding factor in human cognition. More complex synapses – the junctions between neurons – had to evolve first. Surprisingly, some of these complex junctions appear in yeast and other organisms we think don’t think. Some of these junctions humans use in learning and memory. The first arrival was the most impressive: “The number and complexity of proteins in the synapse first exploded when multicellular animals emerged, some billion years ago.” That’s even before the Cambrian explosion, when all life was single-celled. Another explosion occurred at the arrival of vertebrates, they said. This all suggested to the researchers a vision of the human brain as an example of tinkering. The view was best expressed by team member Richard Emes, lecturer in Bioinformatics at Keele University. He said, “It is amazing how a process of Darwinian evolution by tinkering and improvement has generated, from a collection of sensory proteins in yeast, the complex synapse of mammals associated with learning and cognition.” The project head, Seth Grant, used his tinkered brain to think that this is bringing human cognition closer to understanding its origins. “This work leads to a new and simple model for understanding the origins and diversity of brains and behaviour in all species,” he said. “We are one step closer to understanding the logic behind the complexity of human brains.” He did not specify how many steps have been traversed, how many lie ahead, or what direction to go, assuming he himself is tinkering with ideas that emerged from a product of tinkering. Can such a product have any assurance its cobbled neurons are capable of understanding anything? The tinkering metaphor was echoed in another context by Meredith Small at Live Science. She was trying to explain why men have breasts and nipples. Her explanation combined immiscible concepts: that we were produced by an aimless process, yet are somehow capable of thinking rationally about that process:In fact, men’s breasts are a good lesson in the higgledy-piggledy way that evolution works. Natural selection chooses for and against body parts, but there is no master plan that aims for the perfect creature. Men have boobs, women get facial hair, and we all stand in front of the mirror asking, “Why?” Each person is, in fact, a Rube Goldberg sort of organism pieced together by biology and made up of good parts, bad parts and parts that are inconsequential.She also claimed that we all start out as women in the embryo, but males only become male after testosterone kicks in about the sixth week of development. She called femaleness the default or “fallback” position of the human form. How she could know any of this was an unasked – and unanswered – question. Ironically, philosopher and astronomer John Herschel ridiculed Darwinian theory as the “law of higgledy-piggledy” after reading The Origin of Species. He was not speaking of how natural selection works. He was speaking of the concept of natural selection itself. Proposing a “law of nature” that depends on higgledy-piggledy ways is a higgledy-piggledy scientific idea, he meant; a law that acts haphazardly is no law at all.Some day these evolutionary explanations are going to sound so stupid, students will shake their heads in disbelief that smart people could have believed such things. Let’s hasten the day. Did it occur to Ms. Small that Rube Goldberg designed his comical devices by intelligent design, not by chance? As kludgy as they looked, they were quite effective. How much more effective are her eyes, hands and brain? It seems highly inconsiderate for her to employ them with finesse and then call them hodgepodges of bad parts. These scientists have convinced themselves that there is no master plan. Nothing in reality was designed. Everything is the result of happenstance. Parts emerge from the void. New neurons appear in unthinking cells, without any foreknowledge that some day scientists will employ them to think rationally. From the growing garage of various parts that emerged from the void, Tinker Bell, the goddess of evolution, sets to work, cobbling brains and breasts and everything else, and presto – here we are. How on earth can Meredith Small and her friends have any standards of rationality to know this is true? How can she have any standard of ethics to call parts good or bad? How can a cognitive “I” emerge from this mess to ask “Why?” or any other question, and believe itself capable of finding an answer, let alone comprehending it? If this mythology gives some comfort to the evolutionist, well, it’s a free country. We would like to just tug on their garment and say, ahem; by thinking, you are refuting your story. Yes indeed: stand in front of the mirror and ask, “Why?” Why do Meredith Small and Richard Emes and Seth Grant believe they are in touch with reality? Why do they claim an ontology that grounds an epistemology? Think, and think that your thinking matters, and you are now dealing in concepts. Concepts are not physical. Thought is not reducible to neurons, proteins and genes. Thought can employ material objects; it can even tinker with them and be influenced by them. But the moment you employ concepts, you cannot look in the mirror and see the image of Tinker Bell. You see the image of God. Whether you see or understand His Master Plan is debatable. But by thinking, you acknowledge that one exists. (Visited 71 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Thank you Madiba – your magic will forever be among us all. This was a common sentiment as people mourned the passing of a legend.South Africans lost their father and the world lost an icon when Nelson Mandela – Madiba, Tata – died at 8.50pm on 5 December at home in Houghton. It has brought tears, but also a celebration of his life not just to his family and friends, but to the world.Born 18 July 1918 in Mvezo, a small village in the Eastern Cape, Mandela was the country’s first black president. But he was more than that: he was a world statesman and a universal symbol of peace, unity, forgiveness and ubuntu. Tributes continue to pour out for the father of the Rainbow Nation.Bernard Fingwana says: “I am happy the man has finally reached the end of his journey and I thank him for all he has done, for not just us but the whole world.” He leaves a legacy that has changed the lives of many people throughout the world, but above all he has left everyone with the hope of a loving home for all.“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear,” Mandela said. His words inspired many people and changed their ways of thinking.“I feel very hurt knowing that he is gone,” says Phillipa TshabitsoPhillipa Tshibitso says: “I feel very hurt knowing that he is gone. I would like to say to all South Africans that, ‘Please we must all walk in his path.’ I would love to say to his family that we are crying with them.”Mandela’s message is universal: “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite,” he said in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom.“We love you Tata and you will always be a part of everyone’s life. The nation will take all that you have done for us and keep moving towards building a world filled with peace, love and happiness… we are with his family, because Nelson Mandela is our freedom. We will pray with you and not for you,” says Mpilo Masokela.Again, Mandela’s words are inspirational: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”Weeping, Caroline Nkamboyi says: “I did not want to believe that he was gone and as soon as I accepted it I became sad. What I would love to say to his family is that they must accept it because we are here for them too.”And his legacy lives on, urging ordinary people to do the extraordinary: “Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great, you can be that generation,” he said. “We must use time wisely and forever realise that the time is always ripe to do right.”“He brought freedom into every South African’s life,” says Selina Dikeledi (Images: Bhekumuzi Madakane)Bhekumuzi MadakaneSelina Dikeledi Kitsaweng says: “It all came as a sudden shock. He brought freedom into every South African’s life. I am where I am today because of him. Tata wherever you are, thank you for everything. In a way you brought me up too, so thank you.”Forever he will be missed, and the words “we love you Tata” are being heard loud and clear across the world. “What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead,” he said. “I am the master of my fate and the captain of my destiny.”Gone but never forgotten, Madiba will live on in our hearts, his humility and humanity something which we can all strive to emulate. “When the history of our times is written, will we be remembered as the generation that turned our backs in a moment of global crisis or will it be recorded that we did the right thing?” he asked.South Africans – indeed all people – can follow his lead, working for others through his foundation, 46664, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and giving of their time on Nelson Mandela International Day, and every day.But now, to the father of the nation, it is time to say goodbye. Hamba Kahle, Tata.
25 April 2014It is time to pause, take breath and appreciate the miracle of South Africa; twenty years into the life of the nation, it is time to praise a bold, exciting country. This is the message of a new Brand South Africa advertising campaign marking the country’s 20 Years of Freedom.The new campaign, running across digital, print, radio and TV platforms, starts on Saturday, on the eve of Freedom Day and the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections. The campaign celebrates with pride, confidence and amazement what the country has achieved over the last 20 years.“We have overcome so much and come so far, it is time to celebrate the miracle of South Africa,” Wendy Tlou, Brand South Africa’s director of strategic marketing, said at an unveiling of the new TV “spots” in Johannesburg on Friday. “We can be proud to be South Africans. We are confident in the future we are building, and are constantly amazed at what we have achieved.”Where once Brand South Africa created a vision of South Africa to aspire to, the new campaign celebrates the fact that we are living up to our capabilities and in many ways exceeding our potential.“We are allowed to boast now,” Tlou said. “We have the Gautrain – the first high- speed rail link in Africa. We have world-class infrastructure. We scan the skies [with the Southern African Large Telescope, and soon with the Square Kilometre Array and its precursor, the MeerKAT radio telescope], and a South African has even been into space.”Filled with uplifting images of the country’s successes, the new TV spot opens with scenes of rural voters standing in the sun waiting to cast their first ever ballot. Images of Sandton’s growing and changing skyline celebrates South Africa’s growing economy and the country’s role as the economic engine of Africa.There are no big names in the new ad; it is a celebration of everyday South Africa, the people who have built the country from the ground up. The visuals continue, covering infrastructure – construction workers on site showing 20 years of new opportunities – and the Coega industrial development zone in the Eastern Cape.Tlou explained that choosing the visuals, especially showing construction, was the most satisfying. “For me it’s not just about houses built. Instead, each of those houses is a home for a family.”Building to the final image, a classroom of grade 1 kids, the class of 2030, the ad celebrates the “old man” who embodied all the values that South Africans aspire to – Nelson Mandela. By force of character, he brought peace and unity to a country fractured by a brutal past.It was important, Tlou stressed, that the soundtrack to the ad was a local composition. “We are after all a country with its own rhythm and beat.” The music is powerful, driving and ties in with the ad’s theme of looking back in celebration while looking forward to a promising future.So, “thank you South Africa”. “Rea leboga Afrikaborwa”. “Dankie Suid Afrika”. “Siyabonga iningizimu Afrika”.SAinfo reporter
John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding In the third quarter, the Spurs used an 11-1 run to go back in front. Davis Bertans buried a 3-pointer to put San Antonio up 66-61.The Jazz made 11 of 19 shots (57.9 percent) in the second quarter and just 4 of 22 attempts (18.2 percent) in the third.”This is one of those games you’re fortunate to win,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ”You have to catch some breaks. We just continued to compete. That’s really all it comes down to. When you do that, you put yourself in a position to catch a break.”TIP-INSSpurs: F LaMarcus Aldridge (sore right knee) did not play. Aldridge leads San Antonio in scoring and rebounding. … The Spurs outscored the Jazz 54-40 in the paint. … Gasol recorded his 12th double-double of the season.Jazz: G Ricky Rubio (left hip soreness) missed his second consecutive game. … Ingles scored 10 of Utah’s first 15 points. He set a career high in scoring in each of the previous two Jazz victories. … F Jae Crowder finished with 14 points in his first home game since he came over from Cleveland in a trade.FAVORS FINISHESUtah’s Rudy Gobert found himself in an unusual spot in the final minutes. Gobert played just six minutes in the fourth quarter and watched from the bench while Favors finished out the game.Gobert had 10 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and two steals in 31 minutes. But Snyder decided to ride the hot hand down the stretch. Favors totaled eight points, five rebounds and two blocks in six minutes in the fourth. He had back-to-back layups that helped the Jazz keep pace when the Spurs tried to pull away.Snyder asked Gobert if he wanted to go back in the game at one point, but the Jazz center deferred to Favors. He did appreciate being consulted about the crunch-time decision. Mitchell was just 9 for 28 from the field, but he delivered down the stretch. The rookie guard scored eight of Utah’s final nine points over the last 2:54 of the game. He hit a pair of go-ahead baskets and a free throw to give the Jazz the lead in the final minute after they trailed by as many as 13 points during the fourth quarter.”You can’t think about the misses, that’s the biggest thing,” Mitchell said. ”I was continuing to stay locked in and just stay focused and understand the shots eventually were going to fall. Fortunately, they did.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutJoe Ingles added 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Utah. Derrick Favors had 19 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.The Jazz (29-28) moved above .500 for the first time in more than two months. Defense played a big role in their latest victory. NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers ”I don’t know if there’s a lot of coach-player relationships like we have,” Gobert said. ”He trusted me from the beginning, so I trust him too.”OUTSIDE SHOOTING WOESSan Antonio hung tough while playing short-handed because of injuries. But the Spurs were hurt by a rough night on the perimeter, going 6 for 25 from 3-point range.”We just have to figure out a way to win,” guard Tony Parker said. ”We were up 13. We had a good chance, but we didn’t make the shots in the end.”UP NEXTSpurs: Travel to Denver to face the Nuggets on Tuesday.Jazz: Host the Suns on Wednesday. Read Next LATEST STORIES 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) celebrates as he runs off the court following their NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs Monday, Feb. 12, 2018, in Salt Lake City. The Jazz won 101-99. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)SALT LAKE CITY — Donovan Mitchell found his shooting touch at the right time for the Utah Jazz.Mitchell scored 25 points, including a go-ahead jumper with 39.2 seconds left, and Utah extended its NBA-best winning streak to 10 games with a 101-99 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.ADVERTISEMENT AFP official booed out of forum Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH PBA All-Star voting begins on Friday Favors blocked a pair of shots in the final minute. San Antonio was unable to get a shot off after getting the ball back with 16.7 seconds left.Kyle Anderson scored 16 points and Pau Gasol had 15 points and 15 rebounds for the Spurs, who lost to Utah for the third time this season.”We were in the lead for most of the second half,” Gasol said. ”We just couldn’t finish it. We had some bad possessions offensively that led to opportunities for them.”San Antonio went ahead 83-70 on a jumper by Bryn Forbes with 9:29 remaining. The Jazz chipped away before Ingles and Mitchell hit back-to-back 3-pointers to tie it at 87 with 4:53 left. The teams traded baskets from there until Mitchell sealed it in the final minute.Utah used a 20-4 run in the second quarter to take its largest first-half lead at 54-42. San Antonio cut its deficit in half before halftime on layups by Gasol and Anderson.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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