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first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Kawhi Leonard’s return to San Antonio not just another game MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Miami Heat’s Josh Richardson (0) drives past Cleveland Cavaliers’ Alec Burks (10) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in Cleveland. Miami won 117-92. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)CLEVELAND — Dwyane Wade’s absence was no problem for the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.With Wade sitting out because of an illness, Josh Richardson led seven players in double figures with 24 points and Miami rolled past the Cleveland Cavaliers 117-92.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio 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 BIG MARGINMiami ended the game with a 47-22 rebounding advantage with Whiteside grabbing a game-high 12.“We knew we had to be a little more vigilant, and we have been the last few games,” Spoelstra said. “We were able to do that again tonight.”TIP-INSHeat: Richardson has hit multiple 3-pointers in a career-high 12 straight games. He was 4 of 7 against Cleveland. … Waiters hadn’t appeared in a game since Dec. 22, 2017 when he injured his left ankle and had surgery in January of last year. He played for Cleveland from 2012-15.Cavaliers: Thompson missed the last 10 games because of a sore left foot. Hood was out four games because of a sore left Achilles. …. G Patrick McCaw, signed to an offer sheet Dec. 28, scored two points in 18 minutes in his first appearance with Cleveland. He played the last two seasons with Golden State.UP NEXTHeat: Host Washington on Friday night.Cavaliers: Host Utah on Friday night. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Heat coach Erik Spoelstra wasn’t surprised so many players made key contributions without their third-leading scorer.“One of our biggest strengths is our depth and versatility,” he said. “We should be a team with 7-8 guys in double figures every night. It shows we have a lot of guys that can hurt you.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissMiami hit 16 of 31 3-pointers. Tyler Johnson added 16 points, and Derrick Jones Jr. had 13. The Heat have won seven of nine to reach the .500 mark at 18-18.“Everyone was just kind of in a groove,” Richardson said. “I was taking what the defense was giving me, but yeah, I was feeling it.” Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil LATEST STORIES Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Cleveland dropped to 8-30 — the worst record in the NBA — with its season-worst seventh straight loss.Cavaliers coach Larry Drew believes his team must show more toughness physically and mentally.“We’ve got to be grimy as far as our style of play,” he said. “We can’t play cute. We can’t play pretty. We’ve got to get on the floor for loose balls. We’ve got to get our body on people when they go in (the lane). We’ve got to do all the little things, which add up to be big things.”Tristan Thompson and Rodney Hood returned from injuries and started for the Cavaliers, but it mattered little in their ninth loss in 10 games. Thompson had 14 points, and Hood added 13.The Heat grabbed control in the second quarter, turning a one-point deficit into a 17-point lead. Jones scored 11 points in the period while Dion Waiters, playing in his first game in over a year, had seven points in six minutes.ADVERTISEMENT “I was just really excited to get back,” Waiters said. It was nice — all the hard work you put in — to have those shots fall, it felt good. I had fun.”Miami outrebounded Cleveland 25-9 in the first half. Heat center Hassan Whiteside had nine boards, matching the Cavaliers’ total for the first two quarters.Cleveland led 30-29 early in the second when Miami took over. The Heat hit six 3-pointers in the quarter, including three by Jones. Waiters added a 30-footer while Richardson and Tyler Johnson also hit from beyond the arc.Miami led 58-43 at halftime and continued to pad the margin. Whiteside scored on an alley-oop from James Johnson, who added a pair of 3-pointers. Richardson’s 3-pointer at the buzzer pushed the lead to 93-73.The Heat can move over .500 for the first time since they were 3-2 with a win over Washington at home Friday.NIGHT OFFWade is averaging 14.1 points in 27 games in his 16thand final season. He played in 46 games last season with Cleveland, where he was reunited with LeBron James, before being traded to Miami. Wade is one 3-pointer shy of 500 for his career.SHOOTING AROUNDDrew said forward Kevin Love, who had surgery on his left foot in November, has begun shooting drills, but has yet to practice. The team doesn’t have a definitive timeline for when Love will return, but it’s hoped he’s back later in the month.Drew said Love will visit a doctor soon as he continues to rehab his injury. Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plumlast_img read more

first_imgActing Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine disclosed on Saturday that there has been an increase of applications from former members of Guyana Police Force (GPF) who want to rejoin the Force.Speaking on Saturday where he addressed junior ranks on corrupt practices within the GPF, Ramnarine pointed out that most of these applications are from persons who claimed to have been wrongfully dismissed.“Within the recent past, we have seen an increase in applications to rejoin the Force but I’ll tell you what, 99 per cent (of the applications) no way!” he stated.Acting Top Cop David RamnarineAccording to the acting Top Cop, these persons have written to senior government officials claiming that they were “unjustifiably dismissed” among other reasons but a look at their file, a different story is often told.“When the staff officer brings up the file and you see a constable, with small number of years of service, has 40 charge sheets and has over 400 days sick leave, are you telling me that this is someone we should reemploy in the Guyana Police Force? That must be the height of stupidity for me to agree for reinstatement,” declared Ramnarine.He further noted that from six applications from ex-members with questionable characters that he has responded to, there has since been no word from the applicants.“I thank God for that, because there ought to be no reply,” he stated.Ramnarine remarked that persons can write to whomever they want, pointing out that the Force is now a public place with nothing to hide. He outlined too that he has no problems with former members turning to government officials instead of approaching the Force itself for reinstatement; however, the acting Police Commissioner cautioned that there would be repercussions.“There is no problem, that’s the way things are now and it’s been so for a while but it’s the response that will be given, where your dirty conduct will be exposed now. It was remaining quiet in a file but it will go public now because you want it that way, you didn’t give me any choice,” he posited.Moreover, Ramnarine stated that because the applications were sent to the government, he would hand over the files to the Public Security Minister so that it can be seen how they lied about their dismissals from the GPF.“So the Minister would see how lying you are when you wrote about the injustices. The file is there as proof, I didn’t put anything in the file and your officers didn’t put anything in the file… so there it is. That’s the way forward,” he said.According to the acting Commissioner, this same practice obtains within the Police Force, whereby ranks go over their Divisional Commanders and write to the Commissioner of Police about issues that can be dealt with at the divisional level. Ramnarine noted that he will not encourage such practice where ranks undermine their commanders.last_img read more

Jordan is now looking for Moore wins

December 29, 2019 | pelzfibj | No Comments

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita “I’m going to Cal next year and they’ve already retired Jason Kidd’s No. 5 jersey,” Christopher said. “So I had to pick another one. Hopefully one day, they’ll retire that one as well.” Artesia has a full schedule this week. The top-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division III-AA hosts Cerritos on Wednesday, plays at Mayfair on Friday and then comes back the next night on Saturday to host Taft. “This is a big week for us, the biggest we’ve had since the preseason,” Pioneers coach Scott Pera said. “And Friday’s game at Mayfair is huge. “They’re beating teams by a lot of points just like we are and even though they have a young team, they’re playing well. It’s going to be quite a challenge for us and it’s a great rivalry.” Jordan has another big game at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when it hosts Compton. Last year at Mayfair, Patrick Christopher wore No. 5 but after transferring to Dominguez this season, he’s now wearing No. 23, and the reason is simple. Even though the Jordan High boys basketball team defeated Poly, 66-44, last week to take over sole possession of first place in the Moore League, Panthers coach Ron Massey took the win in stride. “It was a big win but not because it was Poly,” Massey said. “After coaching 25 years, you don’t have any arch-rivals anymore. I’ve coached so many times against all these teams, I’ve lost count. But I do know everybody still wants to beat Massey.” center_img Friday’s game at Mayfair begins at 6:30 p.m. Valley Christian doesn’t play until it travels to Village Christian on Friday and with a day off because of Monday’s holiday, the Crusaders should know by now what they’re in store for all week long. “Practice,” Valley Christian coach Dan Leffler said. “We’ll be practicing a lot, three straight days. Anytime we can get on the court is beneficial.” After Gahr lost to Dominguez last week 93-75, it only restored Gladiators coach Bob Becker’s belief in just how tough the San Gabriel Valley League really is. “Every game in the SGVL is big because all of the teams are so good,” Becker said. “In this league, you either come ready or you get hammered. If you don’t play for a full 32 minutes, you will get beat, it’s as simple as that. “But I like the fact we play Dominguez and Lynwood twice a year in league. We aren’t going to play anybody tougher all year, not even in the playoffs, so we’ll be prepared.” — Ben Villa Girls basketball Other than the playoffs, girls basketball doesn’t get any better than this week. In the Moore League, Poly (12-3, 3-0) and Wilson (12-6, 3-0) bump heads on Wednesday to decide the frontrunner for the league crown. Jasmine Dixon, Candice Nichols, Jameia McDuffie and April Cook lead the Jackrabbits against Tenaya Watson, Leandra Sands, Amber Harden and the Bruins. Watson, a 5-foot-9 post player, is really a No. 2 guard who simply outleaps girls who are four or five inches taller than she is and drives the ball up the gut of defenses on the break for acrobatic layups. Sands and Harden can also finish strong at the basket and hit 3-pointers and running floaters in the paint. But this triple threat faces a Jackrabbit team that’s just as athletic, intense and fast. And the talent level hardly drops when Poly coach Carl Buggs goes to his second unit. The scary thing about Poly is that some of its best players won’t see any action. All-American candidate Taja Edwards has been practicing, but she has yet to hit the floor after tearing her ACL in the summer. Brittany Brumfield, an NCAA Division I prospect, is still hampered by a kneecap she broke in practice before the season started. Freshman Kelli Thompson, who can light it up from 3-point range and who is a strong post player, is doubtful because of an eye infection. And Zajve Woods tore an ACL at a holiday tournament in Wyoming. “It’s going to be a real test for our depth,” Buggs said about this week when the team also faces Millikan and Lynwood. Samantha Marez, Marlene Oeurn, Christina Reeder, Trevonna Cannon and the rest of the Millikan Rams (12-6, 2-1) will try to bounce back from a big loss to Wilson last Tuesday. The Rams face Lakewood (12-6, 2-2) on Wednesday before their big showdown with Poly. Lakewood won’t be a pushover for Millikan. Shawne Raiford, Tonisha Phelps, Tammyka Moser and the rest of the Lancers play well as an unit. If the Rams don’t feed the ball into Marez the entire game and can’t get anyone else to provide perimeter shooting other than Oeurn, the Lancers could send their taller and more athletic rivals into fourth place. “We are going to have our work cut out for us. I am going to put some work in (today),” Lakewood coach Douglas Benjamin said. “It would be great if we can go in there and get one. It’s going to be a tough environment. If we can keep the game close, we can win.” Lakewood’s Shaneis Augustus and Ashley Phillips didn’t play against Compton last Friday because of injuries but are expected to return to the lineup against Millikan. Millikan’s schedule gets even tougher on Friday against the Jackrabbits. Rams coach Lorene Morgan has been experimenting with different rotations to see if she can get her bench more experience and to possibly get more production at both ends of the court. If Marez (6-foot-3) isn’t getting the ball in the post or at the top of the key, Millikan struggles offensively. Against Magnolia at last weekend’s Artesia Shootout, Morgan played four guards and a post player to match the speed of quicker teams. Other times, she had three guards and two post players. Her power lineup is two guards and three post players. Oeurn is the best outside shooter, but she also runs the show. Missy Jackson, Reeder, Ashley Mitchell and Kalena Tutt can shoot the ball, but none pulls the trigger often enough to open up the inside game for Marez. Cannon (6-2) is a solid defender and has recently showed signs that she can finish inside. Mayfair (14-5, 5-0) and Artesia (10-4, 3-0) clash on Friday in a game that will likely decide the champion of the Suburban League. Mayfair’s Dijon Franklin is the best point guard in the league and has a go-to player in Tiffany Wilson, who is being recruited by Boise State. Franklin has sacraficed her outside game to feed the ball to 6-1 post player Erica Smith, whose emergence at both ends of the court has given the Monsoons a triple threat. Guards Tierra Hilliard of Mayfair vs. Macey Nortey of Artesia is going to be a good matchup. Hilliard is a thief for the Monsoons and Nortey is managing the court a lot better than she did against Wilson’s trio of guards at the first Artesia Tournament. Nortey’s teammates, Courtney Clements (6-0) and Mollie Williams (6-0) match up well against Wilson and Smith. Against Wilson at the first Artesia Tournament, the Pioneers didn’t have much of a perimeter game. But they do now. Mayfair will have to get its hands in the faces of Artesia’s Arielle McClellan and Sequoia Crandell or it could be a long night for the Monsoons. Gahr (11-4, 2-0) narrowly escaped with a 76-72 win against Downey on Friday. But the Gladiators are going to face their biggest challenge of the season by far on Friday against Lynwood (6-2, 1-0). Gahr’s Raynal Johnson, Amber Finley and Shannan Austin figure to have a challenge against the Knights. Lenita Sanford and Dymond Morgan are All-American candidates. Ivanna Warren, who returned this season from a serious leg injury, and Jazmine Matthews are Division I-caliber players. — Earl Williams 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

first_imgThe controversial film The Interview which was initial banned due to its depiction of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is now screening at Eclipse Cinemas.The InterviewDave Skylark and producer Aaron Rapoport run the celebrity tabloid show “Skylark Tonight.” When they land an interview with a surprise fan, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, they are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip to Pyongyang into an assassination mission. Released 6th Feb: Certificate Strictly 16: Run Time 112minsJupiter AscendingIn a bright and colorful future, a young destitute caretaker gets targeted by a ruthless son of a powerful family that live on a planet in need of a new heir, so she travels with a genetically engineered warrior to the planet in order to stop his tyrant reign. Released 6th Feb: Certificate 12A: Run Time 127minsShaun the SheepWhen Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it’s up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.Released 6th Feb: Certificate G Run Time 85minsAlso ShowingBig Hero 6, American Sniper, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Ex Machina, Trash, Taken 3, Into the Woods, Annie, Tinkerbell: Legend of the Neverbeast, Night At The Museum 3, Paddington, Penguins of Madagascar Get all our times at www.eclipsecinemas.comFifty Shades Of Grey 13th Feb – Tickets on sale now. Strictly 18 (ID will be required)Meal Deals on Friday 13th only, with the Fir Trees Hotel and the Old Courthouse Bistro – (see venues for booking)Pre-booking Advised Autism Friendly FilmSaturday 7th February @ 3.00pm Big Hero 6Eclipse Classics for FebruaryMonday 9th Feb @ 8pm Top Gun (1986)Monday 23rd Feb @ 8pm Mamma Mia (2008)CONTROVERSIAL FILM THE INTERVIEW NOW SCREENING AT ECLIPSE CINEMAS was last modified: February 6th, 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:Eclipse CinemasEntertainmentFeaturesFilmsnew releasesThe Interviewlast_img read more

first_imgFormer Donegal manager Jim McGuinness.Jim McGuinness has insisted he has no regrets about his decision to walk away from the Donegal job after four glorious years in charge.McGuinness took Donegal football from the gutter to the highest peak possible when they captured the All-Ireland title in 2012.He also guided Donegal to three Ulster SFC titles for good measure, and almost delivered a second All-Ireland success before becoming unstuck against Kerry in September. However, McGuinness decided to quit after four-years at that helm, saying he wanted to focus on his Sports Performance Consultant role at Celtic FC.His former assistant Rory Gallagher has replaced McGuinness.However, McGuinness insists he has no regrets about leaving the job and says he’s comfortable with the decision he made.McGuinness told The Irish Daily Star, “I’m very busy with work and it’s a busy schedule in Glasgow. I’m really enjoying it. “There hasn’t really been any time to reflect. It’ll only really be when the (Donegal) games start – but it’s hard to say.“It’s something I’m very comfortable with to be honest with you. It’s a decision that I’d going around in my head for a very long time.“I’m with happy with and I think Donegal football is in a really good place. The future is bright.“You’d like to think we won’t be too far away competing for major honours.MCGUINNESS – “I’M COMFORTABLE WITH THE DECISION I MADE TO LEAVE DONEGAL JOB” was last modified: December 9th, 2014 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:celtic fcdonegalHome-page SportJim McGuinnessnewsRESIGNATIONlast_img read more


December 25, 2019 | pelzfibj | No Comments

first_imgEvery week we will be giving away a FREE family pass (one adult and three children or two adults and two children) to Century Cinemas in Letterkenny.All readers have to do is to email the answer to a simple movie-related question.This week’s question is ‘Which member of the famous Irish Gleeson family has a hit movie on his hands?” The answer could well be on the Century Cinemas website below! Email your answer with your name, address and mobile phone number to before midnight tonight.The winner will be announced tomorrow morning (SAT).And don’t worry if you don’t win this week – we have lots of FREE family passes available in the coming weeks.FILM IT FRIDAY – WIN FREE CINEMA TICKETS was last modified: September 6th, 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:Century Cinemasfree ticketsletterkennylast_img read more

first_imgTop 10 Reasons to Exercise in the Morning – By Michael Black, Optimal Fitness, LetterkennyIf I had to pick a single factor that I thought was most important in a successful exercise or weight loss program, (including proper nutrition) it would be to exercise first thing in the morning – every morning! Some mornings, you may just be able to fit in a 10 minute walk, but it’s important to try to do something every morning. So why mornings?1. Over 90% of people who exercise consistently, Exercise in the morning. Chances of you keeping up your exercise regime will be greatly increased by doing something in the morning. 2. Early morning ‘sweating’ gives your metabolism a kick start for the day and keeps it burning longer throughout the day, sometimes up to 24 hours after your workout. This means you will be burning more calories at a higher rate for longer.3. A higher percentage of people report feeling energised and full of life after a morning session. Who doesn’t want to feel like that in the morning?4. A lot of people say it regulates there appetite for the day and they don’t binge eat or feel as hungry after exercising in the morning.5. If you exercise at about the same time every morning, and ideally wake-up at about the same time on a regular basis, your body’s endocrine system and circadian rhythms adjust to that.You benefit from that in several ways…a) It’s much easier to wake-up. When you wake-up at different times everyday, it confuses your body and thus it’s never really “prepared” to awaken.b) Your metabolism and all the hormones involved in activity and exercise begin to elevate while you’re sleeping. Thus, you feel more alert, energized, and ready to exercise when you do wake-up.c) Hormones prepare your body for exercise by regulating blood pressure, heart rate, blood flow to muscles, etc. 6. For many people, the time in the morning becomes their time and look forward to getting that time by themselves. Mentally it could be a time to reflect, take time out, think about a problem or just clear your head of all the things that have been annoying you.7. Research has demonstrated that exercise increases mental acuity. On average it lasts four to ten hours after exercise! No sense in wasting that brain power while you’re sleeping.8. Finding excuses not to exercise is very easy so by getting out in the morning will ensure that your exercise schedule will not take a back seat.9. If finding time to exercise is difficult, anyone can get up 30 to 60 minutes earlier to exercise (if it’s a priority in your life). If necessary, you can go to sleep a little earlier. Also, recent studies have demonstrated that people who exercise on a regular basis have a higher quality of sleep and thus require less sleep! 10. And the best reason for getting out in the morning is that you will feel great, so get to bed a little earlier and jump out of the bed in the morn. GO ON I DARE YOU!HEALTH: MICHAEL BLACK’S EXERCISE TIPS – WHY YOU SHOULD GET OUT IN THE MORNING! was last modified: May 3rd, 2012 by BrendaShare 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:HEALTH: MICHAEL BLACK’S EXERCISE TIPS – WHY YOU SHOULD GET OUT IN THE MORNING!last_img read more

first_imgThe Donegal U15 team with their coaches and mentors.The Donegal U15 camogie team have made history by winning the county’s first All-Ireland at this level.The Donegal camogie girls and their mentors undertook the long journey to Trim, Co Meath on Saturday to participate in the All Ireland Tier 2 blitz competition.The girls were slow to start in the first match against Roscommon and conceded a late goal to finish in a draw 1-03 each.In the second match against Monaghan, Donegal found their rhythm and dispatched some great scores to win on a scoreline of 7-04 to 1-0. Wicklow were the next opponents and in a closely fought contest the Donegal girls dug deep to got some late scores and won 4-04 to 2-02. Donegal and Roscommon both finished on equal points and met again in the Shield final. This was a strongly contested match with two evenly matched teams. The half time score was 0-1 each.Donegal started the second half quickly and went two points ahead. However Roscommon came back and the defence battled to keep them out.In the last two minutes Donegal pushed on again and a goal from Captain Maria Coyle just before the final whistle ensured the Shield for Donegal.Caroline Murray, Camogie Association presented the Shield and medals to Maria Coyle. The squad of 19 girls from all over the county deserved their win on the day for their determination, work rate and spirit. Credit to all players and mentors Manus O’Donnell, Ann Marie Gibbons, Marie Gill and Aideen Quinn.DONEGAL U15s WIN FIRST ALL-IRELAND CAMOGIE TITLE was last modified: October 4th, 2015 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

Origin of Life Studies: Motion or Emotion?

December 19, 2019 | pelzfibj | No Comments

first_imgHarvard is going to fund origin-of-life research to the tune of a million dollars a year, according to an AP release reported by, MSNBC News and the Washington Post.  The goal is to reduce life’s origin to a “series of logical events that could have taken place with no divine intervention,” according to Harvard chemistry professor David Liu (emphasis added in all quotes).  Part of the motivation for this initiative appears to be a counterattack to recent advances by the intelligent design (ID) movement: MSNBC titled their copy, “Harvard jumps into evolution debate.”Evolution is a fundamental scientific theory that species evolved over millions of years.  It has been standard in most public school science texts for decades but recently re-emerged in the spotlight as communities and some states debated whether school children should also be taught about creationism or intelligent design….    Scientists say that intelligent design, unlike evolution, makes no scientific predictions and is not testable, and so it is not a scientific theory.  Scientists freely admit they don’t know everything, but they cite the history of figuring things out as evidence that mysteries do not imply divine, undecipherable solutions.    Harvard has not been seen as a leader in origins of life research, but the university’s vast resources could change that perception.Pro-evolutionists like Eugenie Scott have usually tried to keep the issue of the origin of life in the background, and treat it as a separate question.  ID isn’t letting the issue get lost in the shadows.  ID publications such as the popular film Unlocking the Mystery of Life are hoisting the issue into the limelight in order to point out the inadequacy of naturalism to account for life at its most fundamental level.  This may be spurring evolutionists to accelerate their efforts to show progress at most, or to look busy at least, so as not to concede an important piece of territory to their opponents.  They know that if ID persuades enough people that life required intelligence at the start for the first cell, then naturalism risks appearing inadequate or even superfluous for explaining the origin of birds, mammals, trees and all the rest by an unguided, mechanistic process of natural selection.  Though ID remains agnostic about identity or nature of the intelligent cause, to permit a Designer, God or undefined intelligence at any point would undermine the credibility of naturalistic science to explain the entire history of the universe without reference to divine intervention.    One strategy is to downplay the difficulty of the problem or portray it in easy-to-visualize metaphorical language.  In a recent press release, for instance, the Geological Society of America suggested that meteor impacts might have “jump-started” life.  The evidence is strictly circumstantial: “It’s interesting to note, says [Gordon] Osinski [Canadian Space Agency], that on Earth the heaviest meteor bombardment of the planet happened at about the same time as life is believed to have started: around 3.8 billion years ago.”    Another strategy is to claim partial success.  Three confident-looking young scientists appeared in a recent press release from University of Bath, with the title announcing, “Scientists crack 40-year-old DNA puzzle and point to ‘hot soup’ at the origin of life.”  Actually, all they did was hypothesize that life began with a two-letter DNA code, and subsequently graduated to a three-letter code when a larger vocabulary of amino acids became necessary.  Yet at the very time their model assumes the genetic code evolved naturally, the article points out that the genetic code possesses qualities generally characteristic of designed systems: translational integrity, robustness, optimization, and high fidelity:The theory also explains how the structure of the genetic code maximises error tolerance.  For instance, ‘slippage’ in the translation process tends to produce another amino acid with the same characteristics, and explains why the DNA code is so good at maintaining its integrity.    “This is important because these kinds of mistakes can be fatal for an organism,” said [Jean] Dr van den Elsen.  “None of the older theories can explain how this error tolerant structure might have arisen.”It’s not likely that the opponents of evolution will be impressed by any of these three salvos, nor will retreat from pressing their case that evolutionary theory is bankrupt when accounting for the origin of life.Not all motion is progress.  It might just be emotion, commotion, or self-promotion (04/22/2005, 04/11/2005).  Evolutionists are generating a lot of commotion these days trying to find life’s potion in the ocean, with unmixed devotion to the notion that natural causes can explain everything, even a Laotian.  Harvard argues that science has a history of solving problems without reference to divine intervention.  They think that by running faster they will get there eventually, but what if they are running in circles?  They think that by investing more money they will win, but what if the investment is a stock fraud?  They think that by digging faster they will find the buried treasure, but what if they have cordoned off from consideration the very spot on the island where the treasure map says it is buried?    The claim that naturalism will figure it out eventually, because science has a long history of figuring out other mysterious phenomena, is a common argument from the naturalists, so let’s think about it a minute.  It sounds reasonable on the surface, but in essence, it is a belief based on extrapolation and analogy.  All experiments in chemical evolution for 75 years have failed; in fact; the situation is more hopeless now (follow the chain links on Origin of Life) than it was when Oparin, and even Charlie himself, first speculated about how the first cell might have come about in a soup of chemicals.  Obviously, a runner will never win if running backwards away from the finish line, nor will a dogsledder reach the north pole when the ice he is on is moving southward at a faster rate.  A look at history would appear to support the criticism that abiogenesis has nearly been falsified already, when Pasteur with his law of biogenesis disproved spontaneous generation.  Chemistry shows that molecules obey the laws of valence and mass action blindly without purpose or direction.  Physics shows that the laws of thermodynamics are inviolable (yes, even in open systems and those far from equilibrium), making systems tend toward disorder.  Information theory shows that communications are more likely corrupted by natural causes, like interference and static, rather than generated or improved.  Clearly, the burden of proof is on the evolutionist to overcome the hurdles erected by these robust laws of observational science.    To persuade philosophers or logicians that the origin of life problem is tractable with reference to natural causes alone, evolutionists need to establish at the outset that it is in the same class of problem as explaining lightning or magnetism.  After all, these were considered occult forces by many in the past.  Magnetism, electricity and other examples of naturally-solved problems, however, exhibit a fundamental difference: they are observable in the present, and subject to testability and repeatability in the lab.  The origin of life, by contrast, was a one-time event that was not observed by humans; evolutionists admit this.  Even if biochemists find a way to coax molecules to self-assemble into some sort of self-replicating entity in the lab, they could never prove that’s the way it did happen on the early earth; they could only assert that something similar might have happened.  Opponents, however, will undoubtedly criticize any successes as due to investigator interference.  Coaxing molecules to self-assemble commits the self-refuting fallacy, because it applies intelligent selection to get results that were supposed to come about without help from intelligent design.  We’re being very magnanimous here.  Anyone who has followed the chemical evolution literature knows that biochemists face extremely daunting challenges, to put it mildly (see 02/20/2004 entry and online book).  Throwing money at the problem is likely to be as futile as gambling on a race horse that is blind, deaf and crippled next to the ID Seabiscuit.    We know a lot more now about the gap between chemicals – RNA, lipids, sugars and minerals – and the most primitive living organism (02/15/2004).  We understand better the minimal requirements for life.  Even at a hypothetical level, evolutionists cannot realistically imagine considering anything alive that did not have, at the very least, a container, a metabolic system, and a genetic code – each of which is extremely problematical to obtain from plausible natural conditions (08/26/2003).  Moreover, the requirement for water (12/30/2003) and carbon is universally acknowledged, setting constraints on the environmental conditions, and few would dally with models that did not include RNA and DNA – both highly improbable to emerge or survive under natural conditions.  Then there’s the problem of homochirality (see online book), getting molecules to be all one-handed – and these are just samples on a long list of difficulties.  That’s why most of the hope stirred up in the heyday of Miller, Sagan, Ponnamperuma and others has been abandoned (except among TV animators) as reality has set in.  One well-known researcher recently admitted that the problems are almost enough to turn one into a creationist (11/05/2004).  Ribose, he said for instance – a basic ingredient of RNA (the evolutionists’ favorite starting molecule) – is hopelessly unstable except in a desert with boron keeping it from falling apart – yet most other researchers require RNA to be abundant in water when life formed.  Another said we need to start over with simpler hypothetical molecules because the ones we know don’t work; her own research showed that amino acids degrade with hours under solar radiation (01/28/2005, 05/18/2005), but the other argued that one cannot keep changing the basic molecules without causing other problems.  If the situation is so hopeless now, and getting worse, despite all the latest lab techniques, at what point will the chemical evolutionists decide that discretion is the better part of valor?  Dean Kenyon did, after all, and now embraces intelligent design as the only plausible explanation.    The quest for the chemical evolution holy grail continues largely on the assumption that science must seek natural explanations for things (see quote by Lewontin).  But excluding intelligent causes by definition makes no sense in archaeology, forensics, cryptography and SETI, so why exclude them from biology?  The very same methods used in these other scientific activities can be used to infer design in a living cell.  Would it be reasonable to study the origin of Mt. Rushmore by first ruling out sculptors, and restricting one’s explanatory toolkit to wind and erosion?  The mountain is a “natural” phenomenon, in the sense of being made of rock, but the essence of the sculpture is not the rock but the design.  Similarly, the essence of a language is not the paper and ink, nor the electrons hitting your terminal screen, but the structure, syntax, and semantics of the message conveyed by an intelligent agent.  What is the difference with DNA?  DNA’s function is not derivable from the sugars, phosphates and nucleotides of which it is composed, but rather from the meaningful sequence of the bases.  The specific sequence cannot be predicted from first principles, yet it is not random, because it produces function.  Moreover, that information is translated by molecular interpreters from one language convention into another, entirely different code: the protein code of amino acids.  More astonishing, to guarantee the message is not garbled, the cell constantly monitors its information database with error-correction and editing machines.  This underscores the realization that DNA is, in fact, a language.  It’s not just a metaphor that scientists speak of DNA as the “language of life”– that’s really what it is.  The comparison to computer programming is even more apt.  The scientific literature is replete with references to molecular machines, functioning harmoniously in robust networks programmed by codes written on informational macromolecules; on top of everything else, it now appears that DNA is a code regulated by another level of information.    The essence of life is information made flesh (06/25/2005).  Information is the calling card of intelligent design.  From our uniform experience, every coded language comes from a mind.  If natural causes did not produce the Morse Code, or ASCII, why should anyone assume they could have produced the DNA code?  It is futile to account only for the chemicals when information is the characteristic ingredient.  The logical approach to understanding a Rosetta Stone is not to examine the minerals in the substrate, or tell stories about how they might have coagulated into the shape of the stone with all its markings.  The logical approach is what Champollion did with the Rosetta Stone: decipher the message with the presupposition that an intelligent messenger, whoever it was, produced it with a purpose.  The only reason evolutionists abandon this approach in biology and reject the clear design inference is their philosophical bias.  The result is a vain trust in inadequate causes.    The quest for a natural explanation of life’s origin is reminiscent of the contest between Elijah and the Baal worshipers on Mt. Carmel (see I Kings 18).  It would be interesting to see the expense report from the priests of Baal.  They certainly had the advantage of numbers, for one thing, and must have thrown a lot of resources and effort into the contest with Elijah.  Their efforts bear some similarity to today’s contest to get the fire of life started naturalistically, by force of hubris and commotion.  There’s the bluffing element: “we can do it without divine intervention.”  There’s the shotgun approach of trying a lot of different methods (02/06/2005).  There are the empty promises that they will figure it out in due time (futureware), or that it’s not that big a problem (sidestepping; see 08/05/2005).  All such tactics resemble the bravado of the priests of Baal.  On the defensive side, they can always fall back on the accusation that intelligent design is not science.  This equivocation is as arbitrary as if the priests of Baal were to disqualify Elijah’s method because it was not polytheistic.    Elijah had a strategy of his own.  He let the priests of Baal do their best.  He gave them all day to shout, dance, pray, weep, cut themselves and collapse.  By sundown, after they were all bleeding and panting from their doomed efforts, Elijah calmly gave a simple invocation to the adequate cause.  The fire not only came instantly, it “consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.”  This overkill demonstrated to everyone the contrast between adequate and inadequate causes.  That’s why the intelligent design movement doesn’t need to throw a million dollars a year, nor a large number of priests making a lot of racket, at the question of the origin of life.  It doesn’t need a consensus, and it doesn’t need compromise.  As an old preacher once said, “you and God make a majority in your community.”(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Instant Islands and Ecology

December 19, 2019 | pelzfibj | No Comments

first_imgA new volcanic island near Japan recalls the rapid colonization of Iceland’s Surtsey island in 1965.If scientists had not seen this island form, how old would they say it is? Like Surtsey, that arose off the coast of Iceland in 1963, the new island of Nishinoshima off the coast of Japan may surprise scientists. PhysOrg says that within 2 years, Surtsey was growing a new ecology:“Since they began studying the island in 1964, scientists have observed the arrival of seeds carried by ocean currents, the appearance of moulds, bacteria and fungi, followed in 1965 by the first vascular plant,” UNESCO says on its website.“By 2004, (vascular plants) numbered 60, together with 75 bryophytes, 71 lichens and 24 fungi. Eighty-nine species of birds have been recorded on Surtsey, 57 of which breed elsewhere in Iceland. The 141 hectare island is also home to 335 species of invertebrates.“Not bad for somewhere that has only existed for half a century.Based on this knowledge, scientists expect that a similar ecology may arise quickly (in geological terms) on Nishinoshima, but perhaps more slowly since the island is farther from the mainland (1000 km) than Surtsey is to Iceland (300 km). Already Nishinoshima is about the size of Surtsey. They expect birds will be the first immigrants. Their droppings, hatchling vomit and skeletons will create a substrate for the first simple plants. “Researchers say bird waste will be the secret ingredient to kickstart Mother Nature’s grand experiment on what is a still active volcano that only poked its head above the waves in November 2013.” The rapidity of Surtsey’s colonization by life was a surprise to scientists at the time.Some biologists have Darwin on their minds. “We biologists are very much focusing on the new island because we’ll be able to observe the starting point of evolutionary processes,” one said. The article also speaks of the “evolution of a habitat,” which is a very different use of the word. But if evolution is slow and gradual, do they really have millions of years to wait? The colonizers of Surtsey are all known organisms.Update 5/27/15: Two more volcanic islands are emerging off the coast of Yemen. An article by Dave McGarvie on The Conversation includes video clips shot by a pilot during the eruptions. Even though most emerging volcanic lands erode quickly, some are expected to remain intact as part of a growing archipelago. “Perhaps the most exciting finding of the new research,” McGarvie says, “is that the birth of these islands suggests that the Zubair archipelago is undergoing active spreading and that further submarine and island-building eruptions are to be expected.”  Live Science posted a beautiful aerial photo of the archipelago, complete with smoking volcanoes, under its prosaic Mosaic headline, “Red Sea parts for 2 new islands.”Renewal at Mt. St. Helens, by David CoppedgeMt. St. HelensThis month marks the 35th anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, another volcanic landscape that is also well on its way to recovering its ecosystem from the devastation that occurred on the fateful morning of May 18, 1980, when the eruption flattened 230 square miles of forest in minutes.  PhysOrg quotes scientists surprised at the rapid recovery:“We’re still in a rapid rate of change,” said Charlie Crisafulli, research ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service. “We’re gaining species. We’re getting to where all the players are out there. The land is getting filled in.”One major noticeable change is the shift in dominant vegetation, from grass and lupine to deciduous shrubs and trees such as willow and alder, he said. A deciduous forest is returning to the landscape, changing the microclimate, light and other conditions and ushering in a turnover in species.The article describes Mt. St. Helens as “a world-class outdoor laboratory for the study of volcanoes, ecosystems and forestry” that has also become a popular tourist attraction.Galápagos BirdsAn older chain of volcanic islands that is still partly active is the Galápagos. Famous for Darwin’s iconic finches, this ecology is suffering from invasive species. One of the species of birds, the mangrove finch, is struggling at the verge of extinction, National Geographic reports sadly. An invasive fly that arrived some time in the 1960s infects chicks in their nests and feeds on their blood and tissue, killing 95% of the nestlings in the first months of the breeding season.  It remains unknown if a currently-underway captive breeding program will be able to rescue the population in time.Update 5/27/15: The Wolf volcano is erupting on Isabella island. Initial worries that the rare “pink iguana” on this part of the Galápagos was threatened (PhysOrg). It appears for now, New Scientist said later, that they are out of the danger zone.Life on the Dry EdgeA location on Earth that is as dry as Mars nevertheless hosts life. NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine reports that even at the “dry limit” some species of bacteria are thriving in the Atacama Desert of Chile. This does not imply that life exists on Mars, however, despite the article’s comparison of the geological conditions. Atacama’s dry locale may be useful for testing life-detection instruments, though, for the next generation of Mars rovers.What’s wrong with this syllogism? “Major premise: Life exists in extreme environments on Earth. Minor premise: Mars has extreme environments. Conclusion: Mars has life.”The syllogism commits the fallacy of the undistributed middle. It does not establish that “all” extreme environments have life in the way that “All men are mortal” is inclusive of all men. It provides neither necessary nor sufficient conditions, furthermore, to expect that life must be found in extreme environments.  Yet this erroneous syllogism is the basis of much of the pseudoscience of astrobiology, as seen in NASA’s article.Surtsey, Nishinoshima and Mt. St. Helens are all examples of rapid geological and ecological change witnessed by humans in real time. Humans were not around to witness the formation and colonization of the Galápagos islands, but it is reasonable to infer that long ages (e.g., millions of years) are not required to explain the observations there. So try this syllogism: “Major premise: Some diverse ecosystems are known to emerge rapidly in volcanic habitats (within a few years or decades, to the surprise of scientists). Minor premise: The Galápagos islands are volcanic habitats with diverse ecosystems. Conclusion: Millions of years are not necessarily required to explain the Galápagos ecosystems.”Bob Enyart’s “List of Not-So-Old Things” quotes surprised scientists looking at the rapid geological and ecological changes on Surtsey:* Surtsey Island, Iceland: Of the volcanic island that formed in 1963, New Scientist reported in 2007 about Surtsey that “geographers… marvel that canyons, gullies and other land features that typically take tens of thousands or millions of years to form were created in less than a decade.” Yes. And Iceland’s official geologist wrote in the months after Surtsey formed, “that the time scale,” he had been trained “to attach to geological developments is misleading.” For what is said to “take thousands of years… the same development may take a few weeks or even days here,” including to form “a landscape… so varied and mature that it was almost beyond belief” with “wide sandy beaches and precipitous crags… gravel banks and lagoons, impressive cliffs… hollows, glens and soft undulating land… fractures and faultscarps, channels and screes… confounded by what met your eye… boulders worn by the surf, some of which were almost round…”(Visited 140 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more