Discussions Increase About Science and Religion

first_imgCary McMullen, writing for the Lakeland Ledger (Florida), has listed some recent developments indicating that more and more scientists and theologians are becoming interested in the relationship between science and religion.  His list spans a spectrum from atheistic opinions of Stephen Weinberg to neo-orthodox views of Fuller Seminary, with a variety of voices and views in between: the United Methodist Church, John Polkinghorne, the Templeton Foundation, bioethics, spirituality and health, Consilience, and the Intelligent Design movement, which McMullen calls “one of the more controversial approaches to science and religion.”  He also reviews the history of thought on science and religion, polls of scientists, and whether there is any overlap between the two domains.Few are the representatives on the list who regard the Word of God as authoritative.  Most of the opinions expressed are just that: opinions.  Liberal scholars and scientists have lots of opinions, but are there any, especially among those calling themselves Christians, willing to affirm that the Word of God is the final authority, even over science?  Without that anchor, the fogginess of talk about “spirituality” could leave people in the dark as much as any materialistic religion.    It is simplistic to treat science and religion as separate realms (this was Stephen Jay Gould’s final campaign), because the Bible, and most religions for that matter, deal with natural phenomena, and science frequently makes philosophical and religious assumptions about origins and destiny.  The battle in the 18th century was really not about natural selection or evolution specifically, but about whether philosophical naturalism had sole authority to explicate the creation myths of the culture.    For naturalism to usurp science, it had to invade the unseen past and future with imagination instead of observation.  The strategy that enabled Darwin’s defenders to take over a scientific enterprise that had largely been under theological dominion was to elevate naturalistic storytellers to the ranks of scientists.  This was illustrated in the contest between Richard Owen and Thomas Huxley in the 1860s.  Science used to be about proving things and demonstrating things.  One of Richard Owen’s first criticisms of Charles Darwin’s book was about this very point.  As a leading scientist in Britain in 1859 and a very religious man, Owen was not interested in what Charlie believed or thought had happened in the history of life, but what he could prove.  With the help of agenda-driven insurgents like Huxley, Lyell, Hooker and Asa Gray, (Janet Browne dubs them the “Four Musketeers”*), Charlie’s Just-So Storytelling Club gained the ascendancy, and science has been stuck supporting a welfare state ever since (12/22/2003).  Huxley, out of a personal anger at God for allowing the death of his son, was on a personal crusade to rid all science of consideration of God, and even startled Darwin with his brashness telling everyone, even working men, that they were evolved monkeys.  Huxley worked like a political revolutionary, not an impartial scientist.  He had an agenda.  He wanted empire: unsatisfied with natural phenomena that were testable, observable and repeatable, he worked fervently on a hostile takeover of the origins and destiny business.    Think beyond the collapse of the Darwinian regime, which appears inevitable.  Will it be replaced by something better?  Probably not, as long as humans refuse to acknowledge the authority of their Creator.  That’s been the basic human sin since Eden.  If the scientific just-so storytellers ever get shamed out of science, what we don’t need, any more than another brand of cigarettes, is another group of storytellers from the religious side.  Liberal theologians and spiritual leaders have lots of opinions, but who cares what they believe or think is true, if they cannot prove it?    This leads directly to the question, what is the source of ultimate authority?  We learned it is not Aristotle, but neither is it any other mortal, including a scientist.  If science returns to its empirical roots and gets out of the spheres of origins, destiny and ultimate meaning, that question may well prove to be the intellectual battle of the 21st century.  Unfortunately, Bible believers may find it more difficult to debate liberal theologians than materialistic scientists on this point.  At least materialistic scientists claimed to respect objective truth and logic.  But liberal theologians tend to become hypnotized on spirituality or their own imaginations rather submitting to the authority of the Word of God.  Getting them to prove their opinions, rather than tell religious just-so stories, will be like trying to nail jello to the wall.  Creationists might get nostalgic for the good old days.Suggested reading:  Jer. 9:23-24, Rom. 3:4, and I Cor. 1:18-2:16.*Janet Browne, Charles Darwin: The Power of Place (Princeton, 2002, ch. 4).(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South African brand remains consistent

first_img20 November 2015Brand South Africa, in partnership with Independent Media’s Business Report, released South Africa’s Nation Brand Index results at the Regency Hyatt hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg this week.Brand South Africa general manager for research Dr Petrus de Kock presented the details of the index’s findings. He also joined a panel discussion with media monitoring professional Tonya Khoury, economics expert Dr Iraj Abedian and Sello Mosai, executive manager of Productivity SA, to discuss the intricacies of the results and the way forward for the country and its brand.#SABrandIndex panel @productivitysa Sello Mosai @IrajAbedian @brand_sa Dr Petrus de Kock @ROIAfrica @TonyaROI pic.twitter.com/rn6OyCV2PH— Brand South Africa (@Brand_SA) November 18, 2015Abedian is the founder and chief executive of Pan-African Capital Holdings, as well as a highly respected economic policy adviser, researcher and author. Khoury is a leading expert on South African and African media analysis and the founder of ROI Africa media monitoring company.#SABrandIndex @Brand_SA CEO Kingsley Makhubela welcomes guests, speakers to the event. pic.twitter.com/d8CzAtjwGL— Brand South Africa (@Brand_SA) November 18, 2015The event was opened by Brand South Africa chief executive, ambassador Kingsley Makhubela, who spoke about the changing dynamics of global geopolitics. He cited the Paris attacks and the Syrian crisis to illustrate how perceptions could affect the way the rest of the world saw individual countries. He urged that South Africa, as a nation, use the findings of the index, as well other global economic and social barometers, to look at what other nations were doing right and change the things the country was doing incorrectly.South Africans could be proud of the country’s performance in a range of indices in the past year, Makhubela said. “The Global Competitiveness Index produced by the World Economic Forum ranks us 49 amongst 140 countries and number two in Africa. (together with) the Mo Ibrahim Index on African Governance placing us at number four amongst 54 countries on the continent. now, the Nation Brand Index places us at number 38 of 50 countries.”#SABrandIndex Introduction by Sello Mosai @productivitysa pic.twitter.com/I8b6510rBI— Brand South Africa (@Brand_SA) November 18, 2015The country needed to embrace a culture of continuous improvement and be able to tangibly measure those improvements through surveys such as the Nation Brand Index in order to become a better country, Productivity SA’s Mosai said in his introduction to De KockThe Nation Brand IndexThe Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index is a global survey, started in 2008 by British policy researcher Simon Anholt, the “father” of nation branding.The index measures perceptions and opinions of 50 country-brands, including 20 core countries and 30 economically and regionally representative member countries, based on the six dimensions of national competence, known as the Nation Brand Hexagon. These include governance, exports, tourism, people and culture, as well as investment and immigration. An overall score is determined from the average of the six scores.Anholt called the index a vital barometer for how countries perceived each other and how it affected relationships with one another. In an overview of the survey on its website, he explained that “it is (a country’s) perceived impact on the world that affects reputation more than assets or achievements”.The dimensions of the nation brand hexagonExports: This is what marketers call the country of origin effect – whether knowing where the product is made increases or decreases people’s likelihood of buying it, based on a country’s particular strengths in science and technology, as well as creative energy.Governance: This dimension incorporates the perceived competency and honesty of the government, while also taking into account perceptions on how the government respects citizens’ rights. A country’s global behaviour in international peace and security, its environmental protection policies and efforts to reduce poverty are also factors.Culture: The score is based on perceptions of a country’s heritage and its contemporary culture of music, art and sport. The survey gauges the strongest images and recollections of a country’s cultural product.People: Assessment of the sociability of a country’s citizens and the appeal of the people on both personal and professional levels (tourism and business relationships).Tourism: The appeal of a country is scored based on three major areas: natural beauty, historical significance, urban modernity.Immigration and investment: This assesses the perceptions of a country’s economic prosperity, equal opportunity and quality of life – would it be somewhere you would want to live and/or invest in?The scores of each dimension, as well as the overall score, are based on an online survey of over 20 000 interviewees from 20 countries. Scores are determined from a combination of ratings and word choice surveys completed by the sample. Fieldwork was conducted from 9 to 27 July 2015.This year, the United States gained the top spot on the survey overall, while Germany, which was first in 2014, was second. The United Kingdom, France, Canada, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Australia and Sweden completed the top 10.South Africa’s brand index rating#SABrandIndex 2015 ratings. #NationBrandIndex pic.twitter.com/zrs9NbWlyN— Brand South Africa (@Brand_SA) November 18, 2015South Africa’s brand index rating per dimension is:Exports: 36th out of 50 countries surveyedGovernance: 39thCulture: 30thPeople: 36thTourism: 36thImmigration and investment: 39thSouth Africa’s overall rating this year is 38th, a one place drop over 2014. But it remained consistent in the fields of exports and governance. The country raised its rating by one place in people and tourism, with both moving to 36th place out of the 50 countries surveyed.According to a summary of the results, the Anholt website highlighted South Africa’s slow but steady climb in the survey over the years. “South Africa’s growing international appeal gives it a measure of moral authority,” it said. “Developing South Africa’s reputation should leverage off existing positive profile the country has globally.”As has been consistent throughout South Africa’s participation in the survey, the country’s strengths still lie in its natural beauty, highly influential artistic and sport culture, and its diligent and skilful people in the business field.South African cultural touchstones were getting a lot more exposure overseas, Khoury noted later during the panel discussion. She cited issues such as the discovery of Homo Naledi and the success of Trevor Noah. This, she said, was in most part the result of the continuing rise of social media and the proliferation of news cycles, which also had a negative side, as seen in the case of Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial during 2014 and 2015.“The nature of social media is that people have a voice and an opinion, but sometimes don’t know how strong that voice can be and don’t consider the ramifications of using social media to express that voice,” Khoury explained.This year, the index noted that the South African respondents were generally more favourable towards their home country, ranking it sixth or better for the people, tourism and culture pillars.More work needs to be done in the country’s governance and poverty alleviation, as well as in raising the profile of its exports. The results also noted that improvements in the country’s technological readiness could raise its brand index in the future.Realistic optimism, based on figures and facts such as the ones found in the Nation Brand Index, were key to unlocking a more successful economy, Abedian said in the panel discussion. “Our economy is one of the most favourable economies; we just need to unlock it in the right way.”Mosai agreed, explaining that the potential of the South African economy was there. “We just have to maximise it correctly, using the right tools and information.”@brand_sa ‘s GM: Research Dr Petrus de Kock presents the 2015 #SABrandIndex results pic.twitter.com/FSY5LlSA5T— Brand South Africa (@Brand_SA) November 18, 2015So how can South Africa play to its strengths to improve on the weaknesses of the country as a brand?The panel discussion offered a variety of choice words and some typically South African out-of-the-box thinking to define and solve the conundrum.Khoury said South Africans were celebrated for doing things differently. She spoke of how the grassroots campaign #FeesMustFall used social media to put forward its ideas and build a following. At the same time, it communicated the campaign to the rest of the world, inspiring similar questioning of the issues globally. This, she said, was an organic and fluid process, something that could be applied to any kind of campaign with the right intentions.Abedian spoke about the differences between policy frameworks and the state’s stance, and finding a common ground to make the country’s economy work. He also said that the private sector, while remaining strong in South Africa, needed to play a more proactive role in highlighting its important role in South African society.Mosai said building a quintessential South African identity was something that should have been created from the beginning of the post-democratic era, yet it was not too late to start. “The identity of South Africa is every individual in the country and we have to build a united front out of all those elements,” he explained.De Kock argued that while 21 years may not be enough to form a definitive South African identity, he agreed that more in-depth interrogation of what we wanted as a nation was needed.In closing, all the panellists agreed that the country’s best course of action was to play to its strengths, while also changing perspective and being more creative thinkers. Mosai concluded that the country might have a trust deficient, politically, socially, globally: “If we can’t trust each other then we can’t work together. We need to find a common ground for all in the country.”“Our diversity is still our greatest strength,” concluded Abedian. “Let’s see how we can use that to feed positively into a national narrative in order to build on past failures and improve our successes.”last_img read more

4 Ways AI Is Reshaping the Future of Health Care

first_imgAI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Them A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Ryan Ayers is a researcher and consultant within multiple industries including information technology, blockchain and business development. Always up for a challenge, Ayers enjoys working with startups as well as Fortune 500 companies. When not at work, Ayers loves reading science fiction novels and watching the LA Clippers. Related Posts Ryan Ayers China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … While the number of individuals needing quality healthcare is increasing, the number of healthcare providers is decreasing. Resultingly, more care providers are considering artificial intelligence (AI) as a possible resource for delivering precise, efficient and effective treatments. In time, artificially intelligence could expand the reach and efficiency of care providers and make up for talent shortages around the world.The Current State of Health Care Doctor Richard Biehl, instructor of Healthcare Systems Engineering at the University of Central Florida, discussed the doctor shortage in a recent article published on The Hill, writing that, “As the battle on Capitol Hill to end the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues, Americans are facing more than just a threat to their health care coverage.”Biehl goes on to explain that, “The current administration’s plan to repeal and replace the ACA could end health care coverage for millions of Americans, which would worsen the provider shortage crisis.”To help with this, healthcare providers will need to leverage artificial intelligence through a number of mediums to help bridge the gap between patients and health care providers. There are a wide array of ways AI can assist with the physician shortage, ranging from robotics to improved diagnostics. In this regard, the following passages highlight 4 ways that artificial intelligence is reshaping the future of health care.Transformation 1: Improved Diagnostic ProceduresMany diagnostic procedures still require the collection of tissue samples and present the risks inherent to all invasive procedures. Medical experts forecast that AI technology might replace the need for biological tissue samples. The technology may give physicians the ability to characterize the properties of tumors using image-based diagnostics.Ideally, AI technology will one day provide specialists with the same detailed information gathered from real tissue samples. With malignant tumors, for example, the technology could give specialists the ability to understand how an entire tumor affects a patient, rather than making decisions based on information discovered while evaluating only a small tissue sample.Transformation 2: The Introduction of Brain-Computer InterfacesThe concept of using computers for communication is not new. However, scientists are trying to find ways to create direct interfaces between the human brain and computers, a breakthrough that would greatly benefit some patients. Accidents and neurological diseases can take away a patient’s ability to speak, move and interact with their environment. However, brain-computer interfaces could potentially restore these abilities in a meaningful way.Doctors are also intrigued by the possibility of quickly restoring functionality for patients who are injured or affected by illnesses. Artificial intelligence and brain-computer interfaces might allow researchers to decipher the neural activities associated with physical functions. As a result, afflicted patients would be able to communicate immediately. Furthermore, the technology could allow patients to reclaim the ability to use common devices, such as smartphones, tablets and computers.Transformation 3: Decreasing the Cost of CaregivingThe management consulting firm Accenture forecasts that artificial intelligence could save health care organizations $150 billion annually by the year 2026. The technology can give health care organizations the power to leverage the information generated by progressively connected medical devices and information networks. As organizations search for ways to cut costs and improve treatment outcomes, AI could prove an invaluable asset for lowering operational expenses.The rapid growth of digital information and big data systems makes artificial intelligence a potentially important resource for extracting meaningful insights from increasingly smarter health care data networks. For instance, diagnostic technicians, virtual health aides and wellness and lifestyle consultants could one day leverage AI and wearable devices to optimize services and improve treatment outcomes. As the artificial intelligence field matures, treatment outcomes and the operational efficiency of care organizations will improve, furthering decreasing the cost to improve community health outcomes.Transformation 4: Automation of Repetitive TasksAs health care organizations seek ways to improve community health, such as implementing innovative care models as well as employing nurse practitioners to fulfill a forecast shortage of 100,000 physicians by the year 2026, they’re also investigating the possibilities of AI implementation in exciting ways. Eventually, AI programs will help organizations find new correlations among massive amounts of data. By allowing health care organizations to automate repetitive tasks and streamline operations in previously unforeseen ways, artificial intelligence technology could deliver a significantly positive disruption in the medical field.Artificial intelligence will improve care providers’ ability deliver faster and more precise services. Hospitals and devices designed by medical manufacturers are generating an enormous amount of valuable and useful patient information. With AI, these enterprises will be able to harness the full potential of that data to promote better community health outcomes and improve the effectiveness of America’s health care network. Tags:#Artifical intelligence#Big Data#health care last_img read more

Amber Fort’s Maotha lake to get a new lease of life

first_imgThe charm of the Maotha lake situated outside the historic Amber Fort, near here, will be restored with its replenishment with water supplied from Banas river’s Bisalpur dam. The lake, which collects rain water flowing down from the nearby hills, has at present very little water after it remained dried-up for several months.The picturesque lake, which has the “Kesar Kyari” garden in its middle, was the main source of water for the Amber Palace and common people before the erstwhile royal capital was shifted to the newly-built Jaipur city in 18th century.The Water Resources Department’s plan to fill up the lake artificially will improve the ground water recharge, help in the supply of drinking water to the residents of Amber town and provide water to wild animals in the region. This is the second such exercise being undertaken after 2012 to revive traditional water sources and restore environmental balance.Public Health Engineering Department’s Principal Secretary Sandeep Verma said here on Tuesday that the Bisalpur dam in Tonk district, which was full to the brim after an increase in water inflow from its catchment areas during monsoon, was the “natural choice” as source of water for Maotha lake. The dam is currently supplying water to Jaipur, Tonk and Ajmer towns.Mr. Verma said the Maotha lake’s capacity was 300 million litres, which was equivalent to one day’s water supply from Bisalpur to Jaipur. “The water body’s replenishment will increase the water table of local sources by about 5 metres, which will give a major relief to the town’s residents,” he said.‘No adverse impact’ Mr. Verma said there was no possibility of adverse impact by the supply of water to Maotha lake on the availability of drinking water in Jaipur and other towns, for which the Bisalpur dam had emerged as a lifeline during the last decade.last_img read more

Venezuela players promote football at grassroots

first_imgWhile the spotlight is on Argentina and specifically Lionel Messi, one can’t forget that it takes two teams to play a football match.While everyone is talking about the Argentine team from the moment they landed at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport, the Venezuela outfit has been carrying on with their duties slowly but steadily.The Venezuelan players have decided to go ahead and promote the development of the game at the grassroots in the country.With Real Madrid opening their first football academy in Asia in Kheada – a village in West Bengal – to tap raw talent in rural areas, the Venezuela players have decided to go and spend time with the kids there and share their experiences with them.This sounds like exciting times for the kids as they are set to meet Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho and star players like Iker Casillas in December for an interactive session.For the record, Venezuela had a terrific run in the recent Copa America and made it to the semi- finals before losing to Paraguay in a penalty shootout.With their domestic league turning professional only in 1957 and them getting international exposure only since 1967, it is no mean feat that 17 of the 23 players who have been selected for the match ply their trade in Europe.They might have not made the cut for the 2010 World Cup, but they can surely teach Indian youngsters a thing or two about how to go about chasing one’s dream to become a successful professional footballer.advertisementSujit Brahmachary, director of Institute for Indian Mother and Child (IIMC), said that Venezuela’s initiative to come forward and help was overwhelming.”The Real Foundation has already done a lot for the youngsters and now with Venezuela players keen to spend time with the kids, we are extremely pleased.”The aim has been to ensure that the youngsters in rural areas get to play the global game and if they get to meet international quality players and learn from them, what could be better. We are keenly looking forward to the meeting and interactive sessions,” he told MAIL TODAY.The foundation also plans to set up logistical facilities and has already signed a three-year contract with IIMC. It hopes the project will be as successful as the Tata Football Academy.last_img read more

Methyl salicylate overdose

first_imgDefinitionMethyl salicylate is a wintergreen-scented chemical found in many over-the-counter products, including muscle ache creams. Methyl salicylate overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of a product containing this substance.This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.See also: Sports cream overdoseAlternative NamesDeep heating rubs overdose; Oil of wintergreen overdosePoisonous IngredientMethyl salicylate, a compound similar to aspirinWhere FoundDeep-heating creams (Ben Gay, Icy Hot) used to relieve sore muscles and jointsOil of wintergreenSolutions for vaporizersNote: This list may not include all products that contain methyl salicylate.SymptomsBladder and kidneys:Kidney failureEyes, ears, nose, and throat:Eye irritationLoss of visionRinging in the earsThroat swellingHeart and blood:CollapseLow blood pressureLungs and airways:Difficulty breathingNo breathingRapid breathingNervous system:AgitationComa (decreased level of consciousness and lack of responsiveness)ConfusionConvulsionsDeafnessDizzinessDrowsinessHallucinationsHeadacheFeverSeizuresStomach and intestines:NauseaVomiting, possibly bloodyHome CareSeek immediate medical help. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by Poison Control or a health care professional.Before Calling EmergencyDetermine the following information:Patients age, weight, and conditionName of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)Time it was swallowedAmount swallowedPoison Control, or a Local Emergency NumberThe National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.advertisementThis is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.See: Poison control center – emergency numberWhat to Expect at the Emergency RoomThe health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. You may receive:Activated charcoalBreathing support, including tube through the mouth and breathing machine (ventilator)Chest x-rayEKG (heart tracing)Fluids through a vein (by IV)Kidney dialysis (machine)LaxativeMedicine (sodium bicarbonate) to reverse the effect of the medicationTube from the mouth into the stomach to empty the stomach (gastric lavage)Outlook (Prognosis)How well you do depends on how much salicylate is in the blood and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance is for recovery.Most people can recover if the effect of the salicylate can be stopped (neutralized).Internal bleeding is possible, and blood transfusion may be needed. Endoscopy, or passing a tube through the mouth into the stomach, may be required to stop internal bleedingMethyl salicylate (oil of wintergreen) is the most poisonous (toxic) form of the salicylates.ReferencesTintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS, Ma OJ, Cline DM. Salicylates. In: Tintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS, Ma OJ, Cline DM, eds. Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 6th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2004:chap 170.Kerr F, Krenzelok EP. Salicylates. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchesters Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 48.Seger DL, Murray L. Aspirin and Nonsteroidal Agents. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al., eds. Rosens Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2013:chap 149.Review Date:1/20/2014Reviewed By:Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.last_img read more