Current ICT structure hampering Govt policy-making – IDB

first_img…affecting business-friendly climate, public servicesOne of the key drivers of Government building its institutional capacity and designing effective policies is data collection. Information and communication technology (ICT) plays an integral role in data collection.According to the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB’s) Country Strategy Report on Guyana for the period 2017 to 2021, Guyana has been lagging in the area of data collection. And because of this, everything is affected — from the service Government entities provide to the public, to Government’s ability toMinister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughesimplement effective policies.“The limited use of ICT not only impedes the development of a robust data gathering/dissemination mechanism, (which is) necessary for evidence-based decision making, but also affects the Government’s front-office functions directed at businesses and citizens, including the facilitation of (a) business climate and procedural services for citizens.“This is reflected in Guyana’s low position in the e-Government Survey published by the United Nations, where it ranks 126th out of 193 countries, with a score of 0.37 out of 1, well below the regional and sub-regional averages,” the report notes.According to the report, the ability to design policy is further constrained by Government’s limited collection and use of data. The bank acknowledged that while Guyana’s overall statistical capacity-building has improved over the years, it is still behind its Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) counterparts.One such index is the World Bank’s Statistical Capacity Indicator, on which the IDB noted that Guyana underperforms in its overall score on statistical capacity at 57.8. This is compared to an LAC average of 78.2 in 2016.“This is further substantiated by the results of the application of the Tool for Assessing Statistical Capacity (TASC) that took place in May 2017. This self-assessment tool demonstrated that two of the weakest areas of statistical capacities in Guyana are institutional capacity of the national statistical system and the use of administrative records, adversely affecting effective evidence-based policy-making.”“The last household survey conducted to gauge poverty levels is more than a decade old. A recent assessment conducted by the IDB highlighted the need for staff training to build statistical capacity; the provision of technical assistance in the areas of sampling, data analysis, dissemination, and mapping; modernisation of technology for data collection and monitoring of field operations; and alignment of the statistical products that are available in the country (surveys, censuses, and administrative records) with priority data needs,” the report stated.The budgetIn total, the sum of $4.6 billion was passed in the National Assembly for the Public Telecommunications Ministry. This includes $2.5 billion in capital expenditure and $2.1billion in current expenditure; both increases.In 2017, capital expenditure was $359.2 million, while current expenditure was $1.8 billion. Employment costs dropped, however, with $97.1million being set aside. Of that lot, $67.1million was set aside just to pay contract employees.On examining the estimates, concerns were raised by the parliamentary Opposition about the potential for certain areas in the hinterland to be underserved. Opposition Parliamentarian Irfaan Ali took care to urge Public Telecommunications (PTM) Minister Cathy Hughes to visit a number of areas featuring underlying infrastructure, including Aishalton in Region Nine.Because it dealt with developing human capacity, the parliamentarians spent a substantial time on Programme 334, dubbed ‘industry innovations’. In defending the increased sums, Hughes related that various sums of money are to be used for scholarships, a venture capital fund, and provisions for animation development.While the PTM has seen an overall increase, just the sum of $10 million was provided for training, inclusive of scholarships, under line item 6302. In response to questions from the Opposition regarding the line item, the Minister explained that ICT training would take place on four levels throughout the regions.“The basic training levels are going to be located in regions Two, Three, Four, Six, Eight and Nine. That basic tier includes introduction to computers, internet and the web, and Microsoft Office. That will benefit community youths,” she explained.“The next level is a mid-tier level, and that focus is on Web design. That includes programmes like Photoshop, Web design, Illustrated design, planning and analysis. The (target audience) are community youths.“The next tier is a focus on Web development. We are looking at courses for Java Script, CSS. And the top tier is mobile development. We will target groups looking at developing mobile apps,” the Minister explained.last_img read more

TransCanada to apply for Environmental Certificate on proposed Coastal GasLink Pipeline

first_imgThe proposal includes the installation of permanent facilities such as compressor stations at up to eight locations and and a meter station at up to three locations. As part of construction ancillary sites like access roads, temporary bridges, storage areas for equipment and pipe, and construction camps for workers will need to be built.It would initially have the capacity to flow approximately two to three billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. With further expansion, it could deliver up to approximately 5.0 billion cubic feet per day.Once regulatory approvals have been received construction on the proposed project would begin in 2015 or 2016 and be commissioned by the end of the decade.- Advertisement –last_img

Whittier pioneer dies

first_imgWHITTIER – Carlos Santos Zuniga Hartnell, who traced his family roots back to the founding of the Los Nietos School District and to Pio Pico, the last governor of Mexican California, died Saturday of a heart attack. Rosary Mass will be held for Hartnell, 86, of Whittier, from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday at White-Emerson Mortuary, 13304 Philadelphia St., Whittier. Viewing will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. the same day and location. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 7215 Newlin Ave. “He had this incredible heritage behind him,” said Tim Miguel, his great nephew. “(His mother) was born in the mission district. He’s the one who remembered all the history.” 165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

AND STILL THEY COME ….MORE FABULOUS PICTURES OF DONEGAL!

first_imgWe may only have had a glimpse of sunshine but that hasn’t stopped you getting out and about with your cameras and phones!We have already featured a number of pictures of Co Donegal in all its rugged glory.And again today the pictures are coming in thick and fast. Here’s another selection for our many readers to enjoy. Storm clouds gather over Muckish and walkers on One Man’s Path at Sliabh League as taken by the Donegal Trekker!   A selection of pictures from around the county by Robert McClean.  These breath-taking pictures of Errigal and Dooish from Errigal were taken and kindly sent in by HG Boyle.AND STILL THEY COME ….MORE FABULOUS PICTURES OF DONEGAL! was last modified: March 23rd, 2012 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)last_img read more

ELECTION 2016: HARTE OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES HIS CAMPAIGN IN LETTERKENNY

first_imgPaddy Harte and his wife at last night’s launch.Paddy Harte launched his 2016 election campaign in his hometown of Letterkenny last night.There was a packed house in Gallagher’s Hotel, with friends, family & supporters gathered in the heart of Letterkenny’s Main Street to support Paddy and wish him well on his election campaign.The evening kicked off with the well known Inishowen man Willie McCarter introducing Paddy. “Paddy Harte has been working in the private sector for a long number of years and has delivered so many projects, too many to name, for communities, organisations and people all across Donegal and I am delighted to be standing here and thrilled that he now has the chance to continue his tremendous work at Government level. I wish him and his family every success with the campaign.” said Willie.Paddy was encouraged by the support he received at his launch and welcomed everyone for coming along to support him.Some of the large crowd at last night’s campaign launch.In a heartfelt speech he said “I am proud to be from Donegal. I believe in my home county and if we all believe in each other and take risks with each other, thats what will help our county succeed. My own sense of belief in the people of Donegal, I believe will help get me elected.“Donegal for us all, is not just a great place to live but a great place to do business, go to school, take part in sport and have fun. I am asking you all to let’s have a go at this journey and together we can take Donegal to another level. I am honoured to be standing here and to be asking you to elect me to represent you and I will work as hard as I have been for the past many years to deliver what is needed for our county.” Amongst the supporters were well known local sporting hero Rory Kavanagh & Donegal’s well known singer & song writer, Mickey Joe Harte who took to the stage when the speeches were over to sing a song that was commissioned for the very successful Gathering initiative in Ireland in 2013, “ Come Gather All”, a very apt song for the occasion.Paddy Harte with his singer cousin Mickey Harte.ELECTION 2016: HARTE OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES HIS CAMPAIGN IN LETTERKENNY was last modified: February 6th, 2016 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)last_img read more

GAA NEWS: DECLAN MCGARVEY WINS CLOUGHANEELY GAA CLUB 5K

first_img***Cloughaneely 5k Run/Walk***Buíochas mór do gach duine a bhí páirteach nó a chuidigh sa rás 5K Déardaoin seo chaite. Beidh rás 5K eile ann (an ceann deireanach!) ar an 26ú Lúnasa.Failte roimh gach duine!Many thanks to all the runners/walkers who took part in last week’s 5K and made it the success it was! Many thanks again to all those who marshalled the event and to Mary McClafferty for the refreshments and Joe McGarvey for providing the competitors with water on their route!!Well done to the following winners:Men: Declan McGarvey (21:29 mins)Ladies: Andrea Cox (28:00 mins)Boys: Niall Kelly (20:35 mins)Girls: Ciara Craig (24:08 mins) Our final 5K is due to be held on August 26th (entry fee – €3 per child, €5 per adult – family rates available –all levels of fitness welcome to walk or run!!). Please come along for our last race of the year!***Disco in Óstan Loch Áltan***The date of this event has been changed to Saturday August 15th with DJ Ed! Doors open 11 p.m. and admission is €10. Strictly over 18’s. So for those of you who are looking for a good night out before the end of the summer this is the perfect place to go! A variety of cocktails will be available at the front bar!***Pouletpoo/Chicken Poop Bingo*** The final event in this fundraiser was due to take place last weekend; however due to the forecasted bad weather we decided to postpone it. We will keep you informed via facebook/twitter/club notes once we arrange a new date. In the meantime squares are still available to purchase- if you would like to purchase a square please contact Marie McClafferty on 086-8351996 or Maire McManus on 086-8427295 or contact any club officer!***U-21 Championship***Our U-21’s are due to play at home to Termon in the first round of the U-21 A Championship on Sunday, August 9th at 3 PM! Please come down and support the boys! Please keep an eye out on the club facebook/twitter pages for any fixture changes!***Donegal Senior Team***Best of luck to the Donegal Senior team as they face Mayo in the All-Ireland quarter final on Saturday evening!***Notices for Club Notes***All notices to be included in the club notes must be with the PRO by 7 p.m on Monday evenings to ensure inclusion in the notes. Tel: 086-1567503**Facebook/Twitter***Please find us on facebook and follow us on twitter (@clgcloughaneely) for regular updates on what’s going on in the club as well as live game updates! GAA NEWS: DECLAN MCGARVEY WINS CLOUGHANEELY GAA CLUB 5K was last modified: August 4th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare 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:Sportlast_img read more

Healthy holiday season expected; profits up 3.8%

first_imgLITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., posted a modest 3.8 percent in profit growth on Monday, but officials said the retailer expects electronics and other general merchandise to propel it to a healthy holiday season, though spending may slacken when the bills come due early next year. Income rose to $2.4 billion, or 57 cents per share, for the quarter ended Oct. 31 from $2.3 billion, or 54 cents per share, a year ago. Earnings in the latest quarter included three items, including hurricane-related costs, which reduced results by $80 million, or 2 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had forecast 57 cents per share. Revenues were $76.35 billion with sales of $75.4 billion, an increase of 10.1 percent over $68.5 billion in sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2005. Sales at stores opened at least a year, known as same-store sales, rose a modest 3.8 percent. Same-store sales are considered an important measure of a retailer’s health because they don’t inflate overall growth from new store openings. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Wal-Mart shares rose 30 cents to close at $49.30 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange, where they have traded in a 52-week range of $42.31 to $57.89. In a conference call with investors, Wal-Mart Chief Executive Lee Scott didn’t address criticism the company has come under for labor and other practices except to note Wal-Mart’s critics had some praise for the retailer’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Scott said Wal-Mart sustained sales despite the hurricanes, gasoline prices that skyrocketed in the quarter and higher home heating bills. The hurricanes – Katrina, Rita and Wilma – closed hundreds of Wal-Mart stores, at least temporarily, but Wal-Mart’s third-quarter numbers held up. Scott called the quarter a “pretty good performance in a difficult environment.” “I believe we will have a good holiday season,” Scott said. He noted that the hurricanes would, in the longer term, improve employment and the economy but said January and February could be difficult months when holiday bills come due and higher heating oil and natural gas prices have a greater impact. Analyst Dan Hess, president and chief executive of Merchant Forecast, a New York-based independent research company, agreed that Wal-Mart should do well for the holiday. “With Wal-Mart, it’s not just about the numbers and the forecast,” Hess said. “All types of social issues play a role in the public perception of Wal-Mart.” So far, the public is voting with its feet and is continuing to shop at Wal-Mart stores, he said. For the first nine months of the year, Wal-Mart earned $7.6 billion, or $1.82 a share, versus $7.1 billion, or $1.66 a share, a year ago. Nine-month sales rose to $223.2 billion from $203 billion a year ago. 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

Female anchors a low-cut shirt above the rest

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake And the winners are … Jillian Barberie on KTTV’s (Channel 11) “Good Day L.A.” donned a tight, ultra-low-cut top that allowed her hair to spill betwixt her meaty bosoms. Michaela Pereira on the KTLA (Channel 5) morning news sported a tight, plunging blazer that displayed her hearty cleavage line, too. Lauren Sanchez on KCOP (Channel 13) had a teasing hint of cleavage, complemented by an ample skin-strip of midriff. Mia Lee and Jackie Johnson of KCAL (Channel 9) didn’t show cleavage, but both were dressed in form-fitting casings that showed off their robust curves. Female anchors were scanned on a subsequent day to ensure that the breast sightings weren’t a freak occurrence. The results were similar. Lauren Sanchez’s white top was even a little see-through. Fans can also check out her photo on the sister channel Fox11 Web site, in which roughly 65 percent of her left breast’s profile graces cyberspace. Titillating! These women are gorgeous. How can the male anchors compete? What’s next, Hal Fishman with a belly ring? Paul Moyer in chaps? All these women have a college background in journalism or communications, or have received journalistic awards. Maybe journalism schools should be offering credits for breast augmentation, to help future broadcasters get their points across. Is someone actually telling these women to play the breast card? Apparently, the entire deck isn’t stacked in that way. KABC (Channel 7) anchor Michelle Tuzee explained that her limited experience with image consultants – the stylists hired by a news organization to create a “look” for the on-air talent – was more about finding a professional aura, not a sexed-up one. “My clothes should not detract from what I’m trying to communicate. I believe in the business world, your clothes should mean business,” she said. As for her supple colleagues? “I guess they’re just doing what they think is best for their careers. I’ve never been told to sex it up or glam it up. Thank goodness!” But network reporter Judy Muller has been told to show some skin. “The image consultant said, ‘You’ve got to stop wearing those turtlenecks. I think you’ve got to start showing some cleavage.’ I told her I didn’t think America was ready for that,” Muller said. She has continued to keep her breasts tucked in, and advises budding young journalists to do the same. Another local anchor who chooses blazers over bustiers agreed to talk anonymously. “You can’t use my name or station affiliation. Understand?” She was my Deep Throat, my personal leak in Waterbra-gate. I heard shuffling and the creaks of a door being closed. “There are some people I work with, and it has been told to their agents, because of their bodies, that they shouldn’t wear blazers but rather sweaters,” she whispered. “Sweaters show more.” So, breasts are actively coaxed out to join the headlines. But even in more relaxed formats such as morning shows, must watching the news be reminiscent of something that costs $3.99 a minute? Looking good is not a crime, and we ladies do appreciate a little eye candy with our hard news, too. Los Angeles females are still mourning KCAL and KCBS’ loss of reporter Joel Connable to an NBC station in Miami. But pleasing as Connable is on the eyes, with his shiny hair and cheekbones for days, not once did he report in a clingy muscle shirt. “I remember at a previous job, a producer asking a female colleague to dress sexier,” Connable said. “They wanted to show more cleavage. I think that is wrong.” On all the broadcasts scanned for this piece, all the men – even the “hotties” – wore ties and jackets, none of which were padded. “There’s a different audience for different news products, and that’s terrific. I applaud that,” added the anonymous anchor. Then, with idealistic vim, “I’d like to see a station go very serious.” The vim deflates. “They don’t seem to do that.” On-air newswomen must be presented as intelligent and credible, there to inform, not to arouse. It is time stations stop getting their wires crossed – newswires and underwires, that is – and realize that news should elevate the viewers’ awareness – not the breasts of the anchor. Amy Tenowich is a freelance writer and graduate student of journalism at USC. Write to her by e-mail at amytenow@aol.com.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Breasts are breaking news. In fact, they are breaking out of several local female anchors’ blouses. Tune in yourself for an eyewitness account of the cramming and hoisting. Perhaps this is the industry’s attempt to make news more uplifting, but shouldn’t the news be about coverage, not cleavage? “If revealing female breasts can be used to sell Victoria’s Secret products on TV, then, many stations are thinking, why not use those same breasts to sell the local news?” said USC journalism professor Joe Saltzman. Most local female anchors are dressed professionally, but the breast brigade stands out. On a recent scan of morning, afternoon and evening broadcasts, snug blouses and fuzzy sweaters, overflowing with bulbous cleaving flesh, abounded. last_img read more

24 HOUR PROTEST PLANNED FOR MINISTER McHUGH’S LETTERKENNY OFFICE

first_imgAn Independent county councillor is calling on the people of Donegal to support a 24 hour protest outside the offices of Junior Minister Joe McHugh.Minister Joe McHughCan’t Pat Won’t Pay spokesman Micheal Mac Giolla Easbbuig said the protest will start at noon this Friday and continue until the following day.He said the Minister needs to come out and support a motion to abolish water charges which was supported by his own party at county council level in Donegal. Cllr Mac Giolla Easbuig said “The Minister needs to make his position clear and allow the people of Donegal to see where he stands on this issue.“He needs to come out and support the people who elected him.“By not doing that there will be more pressure on him retaining his seat. And I would go as far to say that by not coming out and supporting the people could cost him his seat,” he said.Minister McHugh meets with members of the Glenties Municipal area today which Cllr MacGiolla Easbuig described as the perfect opportunity for him to come out and state his position on the water issue. 24 HOUR PROTEST PLANNED FOR MINISTER McHUGH’S LETTERKENNY OFFICE was last modified: November 17th, 2014 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)last_img read more

Crazy Convergences Distort Darwinism

first_imgGet a load of this: Darwinians claim that complex features arose independently multiple times by an unknown process called “convergent evolution.”Giving a name to something is not the same as explaining it. Darwinians have learned how to manipulate language to create vacuous terms that masquerade as explanations. For instance, if two organisms that share the same assumed ancestral line have similar traits, they are called “homologous” traits in Darwinese. But if the traits are similar and are not on the same ancestral line, they call them “analogous” traits. When evolution splits traits apart, they call it “divergence.” When evolution brings separate organisms together, they call it “convergence.” Evolutionists confabulate and confibulate to pretend they are doing science, when they’re actually just playing Jargonwocky. Let’s look at some examples that demonstrate how convergence—an essential ingredient in Darwin Flubber—operates according to the Stuff Happens Law.These bizarre creatures defy what we think we know about plants and animals (Jordi Paps on The Conversation). A particular sea anemone has a similar shape and mode of action as the Venus flytrap, a land plant. How did that evolve? Overcome with the spirit of Darwin, Dr. Paps praises convergent evolution:It is a brilliant example of convergent evolution, where unrelated organisms independently evolve similar adaptations (for example, the wings of birds and bats). In this case, it is an animal that looks like a plant that imitates a carnivorous plant that feeds like an animal.Convergent Evolution of Unique Morphological Adaptations to a Subterranean Environment in Cave Millipedes (Diplopoda) (PLoS One). The abstract says, “Our study clearly shows that morphological adaptations have evolved convergently in different, unrelated millipede orders and families, most likely as a direct adaptation to cave life.” It should be clear, though, that a cave cannot force an organism to adapt. It could “shoo” the organism away, or act as a death trap. Caves are under no obligation to bestow adaptive traits on any organism. This paper masquerades as an explanation, because it only describes similarities between unrelated millipede orders and families, without showing what mutations were selected by a Darwinian mechanism.Ontogenetic and life history trait changes associated with convergent ecological specializations in extinct ungulate mammals (PNAS). These scientists looked into the teeth of some ungulates (mammals that chew the cud). Behold, they had similar teeth, even though unrelated. That proves convergence, doesn’t it? “We show that ever-growing teeth combined with faster molar eruption arose several times during the evolution of these mammals, allowing them to obtain a more durable and efficient dentition in constraining environments,” they declare triumphantly.  “These innovations might represent convergent ontogenetic and physiological adjustments that contributed to their ecological specializations.” Wait a second; who combined them? What made the traits arise, allowing them to eat better? What adjusted them? Look how they respond to four unrelated cases of tall teeth: ” Most remarkably, a crown height increase convergently evolved in four distinct notoungulate clades….” Does this explain the observations, or explain them away?Comparative genomics reveals convergent evolution between the bamboo-eating giant and red pandas (PNAS). We mentioned this Darwinian conundrum last week (2/02/17). Suffice it to say this paper appeals to “convergence” no less than 80 times! The authors also try to make a distinction between phenotypic convergence and genetic convergence, which only doubles the trouble for Darwinian evolution. For why would genes converge without a corresponding change in the phenotype, and vice versa? Notice what they say about convergent evolution in general in the concluding paragraph:Convergent evolution has long interested evolutionary biologists. Classic examples include the wings of bats and birds, echolocation in bats and dolphins, and adaptation of marine mammals to extreme marine environments. Although the functional nature of these convergent specializations is often obvious, the genetic basis underpinning particular examples of convergent evolution is far less clear. Charles Darwin suggested that convergent evolution stems from similarity in independent changes that underpin the same features in different organisms [i.e., Stuff Happens]. Although there have been advances in understanding the molecular basis of such parallel and independent phenotype convergence in recent decades, insights at the genomic level are rare.The Flashlight Fish Anomalops katoptron Uses Bioluminescent Light to Detect Prey in the Dark (PLoS One). Anyone who has studied bioluminescence has probably been struck by the elaborate chemistry and physiology of light-producing organs. This paper describes a striking example of a fish that co-opts luminescent bacteria in its eye sockets, and can switch them on and off like flashlights. Speaking of convergence in marine organisms, none of the eight authors seem to have any qualms about inserting this miracle: “A recent study reported 27 independent evolutionary events of bioluminescence in marine ray-finned fish.”A bizarre Early Cretaceous enantiornithine bird with unique crural feathers and an ornithuromorph plough-shaped pygostyle (Nature Communications). This fossil bird found in China appears too early to have some modern traits found in later Cretaceous birds. What to do? Converge it away: “A plough-shaped pygostyle, like that of the Ornithuromorpha, evolved convergently in the Cruralispennia lineage, highlighting the homoplastic nature of early avian evolution.” Note: Homoplasy is Darwin lingo for convergent evolution; they are saying that convergence is everywhere in the early bird fossil record. Indeed, later they say, “The discovery of this morphology in the Enantiornithes contributes to the tally of numerous instances of homoplasy that characterize early avian evolution.” The authors are struck by the modern-looking pygostyle, which they call an “unexpected homoplasy.”The long reach of the monster plant (Nature). This article about carnivorous plants betrays the “convergent evolution” pseudo-explanation without actually using the phrase. “There are many other species of carnivorous plant worldwide. And in a study released this week… researchers describe how these meat-eating plants rely on much the same genetic recipe, even though the different groups evolved the habit of carnivory quite independently.” So how, exactly, did Darwin work this out? “All were after the same thing: nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus that they couldn’t extract from the meagre soil.” Is this really an explanation? The plants could have avoided millions of years of waiting for the right random mutations to show up; they could have just taken the easy route and gone extinct. Maybe evolutionists should add “convergent extinction” to their explanatory toolkit. See also the press release from University of Buffalo, where the authors say, “The findings represent an example of convergent evolution, in which unrelated species evolve independently to acquire similar traits.” According to the headline, this “sheds light on how carnivorous plants acquired a taste for meat.”In his new book Darwin’s House of Cards (Center for Science and Culture, 2017), veteran journalist Tom Bethell devotes a whole chapter to “The Conundrum of Convergence” (ch. 10). He describes several spectacular examples, such as the origin of flight in pterosaurs, mammals, birds and insects. Evolutionists ought to be dumbfloundering at such observations, but pretend not to be fazed by spewing the mythoid that it proves flight “must be easy to evolve.” That is more than Bethell can take. “Flight is easy to evolve?” he asks in exasperation. “By a series of accidental mutations? Someone should tell Boeing engineers how this was achieved.” It’s doubtful real engineers would fall for such a poof spoof. Concerning this teetering card in the house of cards, Bethell says it is a catch-all explanation that lets Darwinians have all their bases covered. “Animals from different lines can either converge, or evolve in parallel, or diverge… What could possibly falsify such a theory?” (p. 124).Darwin is a naked emperor living in a house of cards in a tornado, expecting his 747 to emerge. (Visited 177 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more