Supreme Court Issues Stay Order on Election, -NEC Has Until Tomorrow to Respond

first_imgIn a spirit of respect and support, the Center’s observation mission identified several areas where steps can be taken to improve the conduct of future elections in Liberia, including promotion of the Political Rights of Participation of Women, Youth, Persons with Disabilities, LGBTI, and Ethnic and Religious MinoritiesOne of the five justices of the Supreme Court of Liberia, on Friday, November 28, issued a “stay order” on the holding of the Special Senatorial Elections, pending a hearing by the full bench into a lawsuit filed against the National Elections Commission (NEC) by some political parties. The stay order includes all campaign activities.The Associate Justice Presiding in Chamber, Cllr. Philip A. Z. Banks’ decision was the result of a petition to halt any other proceedings on the part of NEC, because the ongoing electioneering process is a threat to public health against the spread and transmission of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).The lawsuit against NEC was jointly filed by several institutions and individuals including the Concerned Group of Eminent Citizens, the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC) and Leaders of Political Parties. Others were the Civil Society Organizations by and thru its Spokespersons Blamoh Nelson and J. Emmanuel Z. Bowier, John Ballon, Milton and Nathaniel Barnes.Justice Banks did not say how soon the full bench would hear the matter and make its final determination, but NEC now has four days from the date the stay order was issued, to present its case to the Supreme Court as to why the elections should continue as planned.The Supreme Court will then decide whether or not to endorse Associate Justice Banks’ ruling, which could cause the election date to be further postponed if Banks’ ruling stands.A key concern among many is what becomes of the expenses undertaken by candidates, political parties and the NEC.The Chamber Justice’s decision coincided with the launching of the campaign of Amb. George Manneh Weah, standard bearer and Montserrado County senatorial candidate for the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC).  The CDC campaign launch drew tens of thousands of people in a parade through Monrovia which literally brought the city to a standstill.According to the Justice in Chamber, the senatorial election which is scheduled for December 16, must be suspended pending hearing by the full bench of the Supreme Court, after listening to arguments.Justifying his action, Justice Banks said, he did it in accordance with the law, but clarified that the entire full bench would determine the next step, including whether the election process should be postponed in the midst of Ebola or if the NEC has put into place necessary preventive measure to stop the spread and transmission of the deadly virus.He was quick to point out that there is no Supreme Court justice can single-handedly determine the matter, adding, “Because it involves [a] constitutional issue, which required the full participation of the five justices of the High Court.”“The decision has to be made by the full bench to provide finality to this constitutional dispute and to ensure a lawful election,” Associate Justice Banks wrote in Friday’s decision.He also instructed the NEC to file all necessary legal documents supporting its legibility to hold the special senatorial elections within the period of four days.Election officials met Saturday to determine the next steps and asked attorneys for clarification on the Supreme Court order, including whether the entire special  election which political parties and independent candidates have plunged themselves into making  huge financial expenditure  should be postponed or just campaign activities.In their complaint to the High Court, the lawyers based their argument on the proclamation made by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf regarding the protection of public health against the spread and transmission of the Ebola Virus Disease.“As the sole reason for suspending the voting rights of the Liberian people… the virus continues to threaten public health,” emphasizing that “the ongoing election activities represent a significant act of the complacency and a serious denial by Ministry of Justice (MOJ) that Ebola is invisible, that it is real that it has no cure… that it has killed and continues to kill thousands of Liberians; and could kill even more if such mass-based activities such as an election are allowed.”They further argued that the legal way to address the default of Article 83 (a) and to, at the same time, protect public health against the risk of spreading and transmitting the Ebola Virus Disease, (EVD), and the legitimacy of the tenure of the administration, is to revert to Article -1, “whereby a cross-representative forum of political parties and civil society organizations with legal and national character can be convened by the President, with the approval of the Legislature to set a suitable date for the conduct of the Special Senatorial Election,” concluding  “while, at the same time protecting the Administration from losing its legitimacy over the issue of the Article 83(a). “Article -1 of the 1986 Constitution acknowledges and affirms that “All power is inherent in the People In order to ensure democratic government which responds to the wishes of the governed, the people shall have the right at such period, and in such manner as provided for under this Constitution to cause their public servants to leave office and to fill vacancies by regular elections and appointments.”It can be recalled that on October 1, 2014, the President wrote the legislature requesting approval to restrict, suspend and re-phrase the language of several provisions of the 1986 Constitution relating to the “…fundamental rights of Liberian citizens” as provided for under Articles 1, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, and 24Three days later, on October 4, 2014, the President issued a Proclamation stating that  National Elections Commission (NEC)  had “informed the  government that it (NEC ) had been unable to undertake several of the processes that are prerequisites to conducting the pending 2014 Senatorial elections, including: the deployment of staff in the field to conduct civic/voter education; the recruitment and deployment of the required polling staff at polling centers; the importation of basic, essential and sensitive electoral material.”She added that, “due to the suspension of flights to Liberia, the requisite campaigning of senatorial candidates and the monitoring of the process and activities by the NEC to ensure that there are no violations of the Elections Law and that violations are adequately addressed… the government is convinced that the condition of elections in this period of the Ebola Virus crisis would not only be inimical to the nation and to its people, but would create greater problems for the stability of the nation and a lack of credibility in the result of such elections by the people and the international community under the current crisis situation.” Concluding the Proclamation, the President ordered and declared “the October 14, 2014 Senatorial Elections and all the voting rights associated therewith and connected thereto are hereby declared suspended.”Nine days after promulgation of the Proclamation, the Legislature, on October 13, 2014, passed a Joint Resolution #002/2014 approving the President’s order suspending the October 14, 2014 Senatorial election and, at the same time, directing the NEC  to “immediately commence consultations and discussions with all recognized and accredited political parties, independent candidates, civil society organizations and other stakeholders, as well as national and international health authorities on a new date for the holding of the Senatorial election for 2014; not later than December 20, 2014, pending the approval of the Legislature.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Minister Ngfuan Urges Liberian Students to Adapt Patriotism

first_imgForeign Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan is calling on Liberian students to put Liberia above personal interest as they develop their dreams and ambitions.Minister Ngafuan made the call while serving as a keynote speaker at the Tubman University’s First Career Day Fair in Maryland County on February 21. He said that while it is not bad to have personal ambition and dreams, the fact is Liberia remains the common denominator for all. Minister Ngafuan: “We should never pursue our personal ambition or objectives to the detriment of national ambition. Our dreams and visions should be in sync with the national vision; a vision for national development and prosperity, a vision for unity and reconciliation, a vision for peace and security within our borders, the sub-region and our entire world.”He explained it was important Liberians did not lose sight of the nation where they live; because if the vision of Liberia is not achieved, it would be difficult for anyone to achieve his/her individual ambition.He also urged students of the Tubman University and others across the country to utilize time properly because it is, “the most valuable asset you can have. Do not squander it”.“You have what many old people crave–time. The old crave the opportunity to reverse the hands of the clock and go back in time for the opportunity to correct past mistakes; mistakes that have led to depressing outcomes they cannot easily disentangle themselves from. Whether you end up in the Whitehouse or in the Dog House, whether you end up as a beggar or a giver, whether you end up as a success story or a sob story, time is still largely in your hands,” Minister Ngafuan added.Disclosing his secret of success to the students, Minister Ngafuan— who once served as a student leader of the University of Liberia— noted that hard work and God’s grace are the two things that make a man or woman successful in life. According to the Minister, these factors worked for him during his academic sojourn.“Maintain your focus and keep your eyes steady on your objective”, he said amidst rousing applause from the students.Making a biblical analysis of the reality of life, the Minister recounted the Apostle Peter’s walk on the water by faith. While taking part in this miracle his eyes were fixed on Jesus as he (Peter) proceeded toward him. He used the biblical reference to explain to the students that in spite of whatever difficulties they encounter in life, they must be attentive and hold steadfast to their dreams.“If your dream is to be a medical doctor, or a pilot, or the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or the Governor of the Central Bank, or the future President of Tubman University, keep focused on that dream; regardless of whether you are going to bed today with an empty stomach,” he noted.Corruption and self interest are destructive customs in Liberia that many current students plan to engage in when they find themselves in public office.This brings a popular saying to mind that says, “Just as our predecessors handled Liberia with massive corruption, so will I; because I alone cannot change everything.”Minister Ngafuan’s cautioned students to oppose this belief that many upcoming Liberians hold, and if the advice is to be adhered to, the Minister and others with patriotic spirits and good morals must take the message to other universities including the state run University of Liberia. Tubman University is the only university in the south-eastern region granting degrees from the five colleges contained therein.It was formerly called the William V.S. Tubman College of Technology but became a full university in 2009 during the first term of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.It currently runs under the leadership of Dr. Elizabeth David-Russ, with instructors from Liberia and abroad, and has an enrollment of over 1,000.  Its first graduation is expected in June of this year.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

EPA trains 64 new teachers in environmental education

first_imgThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has trained 64 trainee teachers and lecturers of the Cyril Potter College of Education’s six centres – Anna Regina, Vreed-en-Hoop; New Amsterdam; and Linden, Georgetown (in-service) and Turkeyen (pre-service) – on environmental education.The training was part of its 9th annual Environmental Education Training Workshop hosted during November 28-30, 2018, at Camp Alpha, Soesdyke/Linden Highway.The goal of the workshop was to enable participants to utilise a variety of methodsThe teachers who were trained in environmental educationto successfully infuse environmental education into the main subject areas of the school’s curricula – Science, Social Studies, Mathematics and English Language. The natural setting of the workshop served as a constant reminder and learning tool for the indispensable benefits our environment provides.It also supported a fun and interactive learning process and equipped teachers to effectively engage in Environmental Education in support of the Green State Development Strategy.last_img read more

Juventus hailed as ‘the lions of Wembley’

first_img0Shares0000Gianluigi Buffon led Juventus to a come-from-behind victory against Tottenham at Wembley to secure a last-eight Champions League spot © AFP / Glyn KIRKROME, Italy, Mar 8 – Juventus were hailed as “the lions of Wembley” by the Italian media on Thursday after the Serie A side’s stunning fightback against Tottenham to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.Massimiliano Allegri’s side were on the brink of elimination after Son Heung-Min’s first-half strike put Spurs ahead at their temporary home of Wembley on Wednesday. But, despite being completely outplayed in the opening period, Juventus got back in the game after the break and equalised through Gonzalo Higuain.That was the decisive moment as Tottenham suddenly went to pieces, allowing the Italian champions to score again two minutes and 49 seconds later as Paulo Dybala punished poor defending with a cool finish.All three Italian sports dailies sung from the same hymn book, with the headline in both the Gazzetto dello Sport and Corriere dello Sport acclaiming “the Lions of Wembley”, while for Tuttosport Juve were simply “Lions”.And the abiding image of a gripping game was the sight of their two aged roaring lions, 40-year-old keeper Gianluigi Buffon and 33-year-old Giorgio Chiellini, face to face, after the veteran central defender made a crucial tackle on Spurs striker Harry Kane.On Wednesday Tottenham discovered that Juve were not old but experienced — and never beaten until the final whistle.At home it has been Napoli who since the start of the season have looked most likely to win Serie A title, but if Juve win their game in hand against Atalanta next week it will put them at the top of the table ahead of the sprint to the line.Juve were made to suffer at Wembley, with the first half a trial for the Italians up against the speed and youth of their English hosts.But they never raised the white flag of surrender, despite a dugout deprived of any outright attackers in the absence of Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado, Mario Mandzukic and Federico Bernardeschi, and with stars like Blaise Matuidi, Higuain and Dybala not yet at peak fitness after recent returns from injury.But Argentinian duo Higuain and Dybala were the architects of Juve’s escape act, as was Allegri.“In the first leg I was criticised for my substitutions and today you are congratulating me for them? It’s the players who win matches. Me, I make mistakes and I sometimes try to repair them,” the coach said, tongue firmly in cheek.Seven of Allegri’s team had an even tougher assignment to attend on Thursday, the funeral of Davide Astori, the 31-year-old Fiorentina captain who died of a suspected heart attack last weekend.“We dedicate the win to him. He is on our minds on this day. I cried many times. He was a fantastic player. It was very difficult during the match because we had to think of the game and the outcome and it’s not easy. But he’s always in our heart,” said Chiellini.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Mourinho hails ‘phenomenal’ Chelsea as they take step closer to Premier League glory

first_imgChelsea manager Jose Mourinho was left to praise his ‘phenomenal’ side as a 3-1 victory over Leicester left them just one win away from Premier League glory.The Blues were forced to overcome a first half setback against the dogged Foxes; the league leaders falling behind for the first time since New Year’s Day when Marc Albrighton opened the scoring on the stroke of half time.But Mourinho’s men were back level within three minutes of the restart through Didier Drogba, before two goals in the final 12 minutes from John Terry and Ramires made sure of the points.It means victory over Crystal Palace on Sunday, live and exclusive on talkSPORT, will finally wrap up the top flight title, having extended their lead at the top to 13 points.“It is phenomenal what my team are doing,” Mourinho told Sky Sports following the clash.“Being top of the league since day one is not easy; I think we are what every team would like to be.“It was a difficult victory, but deserved for us.“The first half was 50/50, maybe Leicester were better than us, more aggressive, more intense, but in the second half the reaction was wonderful and we had control over everything. It was amazing, fantastic.”However, Mourinho has pleaded for fans to not travel to Stamford Bridge in a celebratory mood on Sunday, with the Portuguese boss instead expecting supporters to get behind their team one last time against a confident Crystal Palace.“We can seal the title on Sunday, but we need to win and I hope Stamford Bridge will not be celebrating,” the Blues manager added.“The fans must go to the game and be ready to push the team, not to celebrate, because we need them on Sunday. It’s a big day and a big match; we need Stamford Bridge to push us.“Crystal Palace won’t come on holiday, they have nothing to lose, they can hurt us and they will try to win the game. If we can have 40,000 fans behind us, really behind us, it would be fantastic.” 1 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho last_img read more


first_imgKavanagh’s SuperValu in Donegal Town couldn’t be accused of following the flock!The team managed to raised €584 this week in aid of the Donegal Hospice, hosting a “guess the weight of Ben the sheep” competition.With over 200 guesses, Deborah Bonnar was the lucky winner who guessed the correct weight and won €50 worth of lamb. Store Manager Gareth Ferry said the event was a huge success.“We were delighted with the success of this week’s fundraiser and would like to give special thanks to Mary Carr for giving us Ben the sheep for the day, he appeared to enjoy the event as much as we all did!“We would also like to thank all the customers and community who joined in the fun and donated generously to this worthy cause. Each week we draw closer to our €30,000 goal for the Hospice and we are very grateful to all the people of Donegal who are generously helping us to help others”Launching their “Help Us Help Others” campaign on the 6th of May 2011, Kavanagh’s SuperValu committed to raising €30,000 minimum for the Donegal Hospice. With four SuperValu stores throughout Donegal, in Ballybofey, Buncrana, Donegal Town and Dungloe, the Kavanagh Group will give 5c to the Donegal Hospice with every Real Rewards transaction made throughout each store from May 6th 2011 until October 22nd 2011.Ben, originally from Benbulben thus receiving his name is an 8year old pet ram and weighed in at a massive 114kg.He lapped up the attention on the day and generated great excitement and competition with guesses ranging from 52kg-150kg at €3 per guess. Kavanagh’s Supervalu Donegal Town’s Grocery Manager Paul Gallagher will also be selling a sheep at the mart in the upcoming weeks in aid of the hospice.Kavanagh’s SuperValu have been hosting a whole range of fundraising events across their four stores including a fun filled day of car washing, coffee mornings, bonanza draws, table quizzes and bag packs so far raising over €6,000 and well on their way to reaching their €30,000 goal.With many more exciting events in the pipeline including a climb of Mount Errigal on 21st of August, a flagship run/walk on the 25th September and their upcoming match this Friday 8th of July in Finn Park Ballybofey against Highland Radio. Kick off at 7.30pm, with a raffle and refreshments served in Jacksons Hotel after the game for all players and supporters. Don’t miss out, come along and cheer on your favourite team as they go head to head for the title.For more information on “Help Us Help Others” Campaign and upcoming fundraising activities please logon to:!/pages/Kavanaghs-SuperValu-Donegal/137605522975301SUPERVALU NOT ‘SHEEPISH’ ABOUT HITTING €30,000 FOR DONEGAL HOSPICE was last modified: July 6th, 2011 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:Kavanagh’s Supervalu Donegal Townlast_img read more


first_imgA family are heartbroken after two small puppies were stolen from their home in broad daylight.The two Japanese Spitz dogs were taken from the garden in Windmill View, Glencar in Letterkenny on Friday afternoon.The pups were part of a litter of just four dogs which were born just six weeks ago. The owners told Donegaldaily that they were shocked to find the pups gone.“I went to see them around 4pm and they were all fine happily playing about rascals at that age.“And at 5.30 my son came in to play with the pups and said two were missing.“We all searched every were in the shed around the yard in the house around the estate but they were not to be found. There was no way they could have got out,” said the woman. The owners are now concerned the dogs may get the Parvo virus as they were still feeding form their mum.The family also revealed that they had found homes for all four dogs but now had to tell two of the future owners that they will not be getting new dogs.“I gave my sister and a neighbour the two dogs which were stolen. They are so disappointed my sister told my nieces & nephews they were getting a dog and named him Bruno.“What sort of dumb people steal six week old puppies form their mother,” asked the woman. DOG THIEVES STEAL PUPPIES FROM FAMILY GARDEN IN BROAD DAYLIGHT was last modified: May 20th, 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) Tags:appealGardaiJapanese Spitzletterkennypups stolenlast_img read more


first_imgIt looked for a long time like the third meeting between the Politicians and the Media might never have got off the ground at Leckview Park in Letterkenny last night.Afterall most football games tend to need a football – a commodity that was in short supply. Thankfully the members of Letterkenny Community Centre had more balls than most of us waiting at Leckview.And so, with former Finn Harps legend Con McLaughin in charge of the whistle, time was running out for us to embarrass eachother.Charlie McConalogue may be looking for broadband for Inishowen but it was the politicians who had their wires crossed in defence.The game was only couple of minute old when Stephen Maguire of this parish stole in beside Chris Ashmore the Letterkenny Post who was guesting for the politicians to grab the opener. The balding defence of Evan Logan and Robert Love politicians proved too aerodynamic for the fancy footwork of Cllr Frank McBrearty.Player/manager CJ McGinley gallantly put himself on the sideline for the first half but showed some fancy footwork and even grabbed himself the final goal.However it was former Finn Harps player Harry Walsh who spread the ball around the park and proved he still had the touch.Another former Harps man Kenny Harkin might be knocking on the door of 50 but he could still realistically expect a call from Feilx Healy any day now.Others who managed to get themselves on the scoresheet for the media was Sean Feeney and Frank Craig.The media eventually proved a little strong for the politicians but there was only one winner on the night. The idea of the gathering was to remember again the life and times of former Donegal News editor John McCrory.There’s no question that, fag on lip, John would have sat in the stand at Leckview Park and questioned our sanity.Cllr Ciaran Brogan, who recalled being a young man woking in Peader’s BarColumba Gill, editor of the Donegal News presented the cup to the media tea, and also paid tribute to Letterkenny Rovers. Cllr Liam Blaney mumbled something about someone ensuring that a true report of last night’s meeting was carried.Unfotunately nobody had a notebook or pen. So hard to get a reporter when you need one!EndsMEDIA AND POLITICIANS FIND THEIR BALLS AT LECKVIEW……EVENTUALLY! was last modified: October 15th, 2011 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:Leckview ParkMediapoliticianslast_img read more

Scientists Crave Integrity: Can They Evolve It?

first_imgAn important item not found on lab shelves or test tubes has been appearing in science news stories recently: integrity.  That’s a word about character: moral rectitude, honesty, accountability, uprightness, the ability to resist temptation.  It’s the kind of word one might hear in a sermon.  For those who follow Darwin, how did integrity evolve?Obama’s pledge:  After loosening restrictions on embryonic stem cell research (03/10/2009), President Obama issued an edict demanding scientific integrity in the executive branch.  Live Science included the text of Obama’s statement in its report.  Obama’s wide-reaching executive order calls for (1) selection of scientific advisors based on their knowledge, experience, credentials and integrity; (2) well-established rules and procedures to ensure integrity, including peer review; (3) policies and procedures for guarding against compromise; (4) public disclosure of scientific findings used in policy decisions; and (5) whistleblower protections.  The statement was intended to reinforce Obama’s commitment to make decisions based on science instead of ideology when dealing with issues like stem cells and climate change.United for integrity:  The Union of Concerned Scientists website is big on integrity.  Reacting to “Political interference in federal government science” that “is weakening our nation’s ability to respond to the complex challenges we face,” the UCS posted a tutorial called “Integrity 101.”  Other resources include their examples of abuses of science, suggested solutions, and action items for the individual scientist.Anti-plagiarism:  Science magazine posted a Policy Forum article about Scientific Integrity and “Responding to Possible Plagiarism.”1  Plagiarism has become an increasing concern with the rise of internet publishing.  The five authors from the University of Texas concluded, “While there will always be a need for authoritative oversight, the responsibility for research integrity ultimately lies in the hands of the scientific community.”Some other articles and news stories did not specifically mention integrity, but touched on it indirectly by discussing the nature of science:War policy:  Yahoo News bemoaned the fact that the war over Darwin still rages after 200 years since his birth.  The policy of who gets to teach children draws on the nature of science itself.  Robert S. Boyd allowed voices from both sides to get a hearing.  The scientific community stands dead-set against a majority in the public, so whose “knowledge, experience, credentials and integrity” will be brought to bear on this issue?Evolving purpose:  Evolution News commented on a recent address by atheist Richard Dawkins, who tried to explain purpose without purpose.  It goes without saying that a scientist seeking to live with integrity needs to do it purposefully.  Robert Crowther wished luck to Dawkins, who famously has explained away design as an illusion: “you can’t have unintentional intention, or unpurposeful purpose,” Crowther said.  “It seems that purpose is less of an illusion even than design is.”Balanced skepticism:  It goes without saying that science must be defined before its integrity can be measured.  What is science, anyway?  Most people grant science an extra measure of respect over other branches of inquiry.  Some sociologists in recent decades, however, have defrocked science to the point of treating it like a special-interest group.  One of those sociologists has backtracked a bit.  Harry Collins (Cardiff University, UK), in an essay in Nature last week,2 called for a rational balance between scientific triumphalism and postmodern skepticism.  He gave his readers a short history of the Science Wars of the 1990s. It was said that sociologists were trying to undermine science.  But we were not questioning the results of the great experiments, merely examining how the consensus about their interpretation was established.  The conclusions of most of us were moderate: science could not deliver the absolute certainties of religion or morality, and scientists were not priests but rather skilful artisans, reaching towards universal truths but inevitably falling short.  Far from being anti-science, we were trying to safeguard science against the danger of claiming more than it could deliver.  If science presents itself as revealed truth it will inevitably disappoint, inviting a dangerous reaction; even the most talented craftsmen have their off-days, whereas a god must never fail.Collins defended the right of skeptics to ask such questions, but now thinks they went too far.  A science that cannot defend some measure of epistemic priority has no safeguards against abuses: e.g., Lysenko, mavericks who attract politicians against the consensus views, and creationists: “Recently a philosopher acting as an expert witness in a court case in the United States claimed that the scientific method, being so ill-defined, could support creationism.”  One can justify anything with skepticism, he said.    On the other hand, the scientific community is no stranger to abuse: “The founding myth of the individual scientist using evidence to stand against the power of church or state – which has a central role in Western societies – has been replaced with a model in which Machiavellian scientists engage in artful collaboration with the powerful.”    What’s the solution?  Collins called for a new standard: expertise.  Sociologists need to define new classes of expertise, and understand how authoritative consensus is achieved.  They need to develop a “periodic table of expertises,” he quipped.  This is how they can avoid the pitfalls of policy based on maverick or ill-supported science.  “Although in principle the logic of the mavericks’ position cannot be defeated, a policy-maker should accept the position of those who share in the tacit knowledge of the expert community.”    But hasn’t the maverick sometimes been right?  Collins knows that he is dealing in treacherous waters.  He called for understanding by both scientists and their skeptical sociologist critics.  Both have limitations on what can be known.  Here’s where morality came in:It is not only social scientists who would have to change their approach under elective modernism.  If we are to choose the values that underpin scientific thinking to underpin society, scientists must think of themselves as moral leaders.  But they must teach fallibility, not absolute truth.  Whenever a scientist, acting in the name of science, cheats, cynically manipulates, claims to speak with the voice of capitalism, the voice of a god, or even the voice of a doctrinaire atheist, it diminishes not only science but the whole of our society.    In a society informed by elective modernism, free criticism of ideas would be a good thing; the right way to pursue knowledge about the natural world would be through observation, theorization and experiment, not revelation, tradition, the study of books of obscure origin or the building of alliances of the powerful.  Science’s findings are to be preferred over religion’s revealed truths, and are braver than the logic of scepticism, but they are not certain.  They are a better grounding for society precisely, and only, because they are provisional.  It is open debate among those with experience that is the ultimate value of the good society.Collins makes it clear that scholars can no longer assume science’s epistemic authority; “assessing scientific findings is a far more difficult task than was once believed,” he said, “and … those findings do not lead straight to political conclusions.”  Still, he believes that science can provide us with values, if not findings.  Bottom line: “Scientists can guide us only by admitting their weaknesses, and, concomitantly, when we outsiders judge scientists, we must do it not to the standard of truth, but to the much softer standard of expertise.”It’s clear that many of the same voices clamoring for integrity and moral values believe in evolution.  One only has to recall the big celebrations over Darwin last month in all the major science journals to ask a pertinent question: how did integrity evolve by an unguided, purposeless, impersonal process of natural selection?  As a case in point, Live Science printed another article in a long series claiming that belief in God is an artifact of brain evolution.  Reporting on a study by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, the article said, “One question that remains unanswered is whether religion evolved as a central functional preoccupation for human brains in early societies, or whether it simply relied on brain regions which had evolved for other types of thought-processing.”  The option that religion might be true was off the list of options.  With that viewpoint, integrity could certainly not refer to any universal moral standard.  A corollary is that scientific institutions can define and govern their own moral standards.  That’s why the piece in Science stated, “the responsibility for research integrity ultimately lies in the hands of the scientific community.”1.  Long, Errami, George, Sun and Garner, “Scientific Integrity: Responding to Possible Plagiarism,” Science, 6 March 2009: Vol. 323. no. 5919, pp. 1293-1294, DOI: 10.1126/science.1167408.2.  Harry Collins, “We cannot live by scepticism alone,” Nature 458, 30 (5 March 2009) | doi:10.1038/458030a.Collins’ essay is informative and thought-provoking.  Read the whole thing if you can get a copy of the March 5 Nature.  But is his advice fatally flawed?  What about his contrasts between the approach of science and that of revealed religion?  Just as religion did in earlier centuries, science now has the most powerful influence on many vital issues that impact government policy and society: global warming, stem cells, nuclear weapons, the economy, and the story of our origins.  Careful thinking on the nature and limits of science is even more vital.    Collins provided a good summary of the Science Wars of the 1960s to 1990s.  It may surprise many who learned respect for science in school that the scientific institutions were being hammered in many parts of society for 30 years.  The collapse of logical positivism left science vulnerable to criticism from many sectors.  It could no longer be viewed in the white-lab-coat model of the objective, unbiased search for truth.  It got tied up in the military-industrial complex, international corporations, and politics.  Philosophers seriously questioned the ability of science to achieve progressive unfolding of truth about nature, and sociologists turned the tables and put scientists in their test tubes.  Postmodernists looked at science as just one other text among many, with no special epistemic status.    Much of that played out by the turn of the millennium.  “Scientific realism” (the science institutions’ own philosophy of science) now predominates, more by endurance than justification.  It’s a toned-down version of positivism that makes less audacious claims.  Typically, scientists will justify their approach to truth-seeking as “the best tool we have.”  They assume that their measurements correspond to what is “out there” in the world.  They reach beyond strict empiricism and allow themselves to speculate on unobservables (like black holes, the interiors of stars, quarks, and dark energy).    What all the secular players fail to realize is how much they are helping themselves to Judeo-Christian concepts.  They leave key questions begging.  How can we have confidence that what we sense corresponds to reality?  How valid is inductive reasoning?  Why can we assume the laws of logic?  Why do we assume that honesty and cooperation are good things?  Where does integrity come from?  By what standard can we measure things?    The solution Collins offers is no help at all.  He thinks that by analyzing a mystical concept of “expertise,” the sociologists and scientists can learn to get along.  Doing that requires objective measures, else it degenerates into following the latest bandwagon or resting on appeals to authority.  Today’s expert can be tomorrow’s dunce.  A thousand French experts can be wrong.  Surely Collins doesn’t think that it is better to follow a thousand experts off a cliff.  He knows of historical examples when the maverick was right.  It seems he just doesn’t want to start another Science War, so he is content to propose a peace treaty: sociologists study expertise, and scientists avoid claiming they have a godlike truth.  Scientific institutions, though, left to their own devices, are like communists: they will not be content till they have totalitarian rule.  They want the sociologist in their test tube, not the other way around.  Before Collins knows what hit him, they will be publishing papers on the Evolution of Sociology.    Consider this radical solution: Bible-based science.  Before exploding in rage, if you are an evolutionist reading this, think for a moment.  Here’s what you get with Christianity.  You get: an absolute standard for morality, the correspondence theory of truth, the validity of induction, the validity of deduction and the laws of logic, curiosity about the world, motivation to seek out the workings of nature, fellowship over the Imago Dei common to all human beings, and the virtues of honesty, integrity, unselfishness, charity and cooperation.  Could science use those things?  Absolutely.  You get all these for free in the Christian package.  Christianity provides the preconditions for intelligibility for science, and offers justification for all the good things in rationality and morals that science desperately needs.    Maybe you were taught to picture Christians as backward, obscurantist, dogmatic bigots whose religious motivations would bring science to a stop.  Every group has its bad apples, but we would argue that you really cannot have science without these things the Bible provides (see introduction to our online book).  Harry Collins scorns religion as enslaved to sacred texts, but the Bible leaves many, many subjects open to investigation.  It even encourages research (Proverbs 25:3, I Thess. 5:21, Philippians 4:8, Psalm 111).  The Bible is a condensed book.  It touches on nature, but its main thrust is on salvation.  Christians believe that prior to the Fall, part of our job was to do science (ICR).  Christians believe God is glorified when we strive to comprehend His works (Psalm 104).    Further, none of the other world views offers these good things – especially secularism.  There is no way to get integrity out of an unguided, purposeless, selfish process like evolution.  Integrity is not made of particles.  It is strongly to be doubted that human rationality has any connection to the world – or even exists – if we evolved from screeching chimpanzees.  Unable to operate consistent with their presuppositions, evolutionists cheat by filching rationality, integrity and morality from the Christian smorgasbord.  Integrity and rationality make perfect sense from a Christian viewpoint.  They make no sense at all in the shifting, aimless world of the materialist and evolutionist.    How would Bible-based science work out in practice?  It would not end controversies in science.  Why?  Because we’re only human.  We don’t know everything.  We can see through a glass darkly that absolutes exist, and we can strive to perceive them as best we can, but our science and our knowledge will always be incomplete in this life.  The medieval period makes this clear; controversies got very lively, even when the Biblical world view was assumed by the majority.  Nevertheless, medieval scholars and nature philosophers never doubted that searching out matters of natural philosophy was worthwhile.  Their Biblical world view gave them a pole star by which to navigate.  Their doctrine of an all-wise, communicating Creator gave them confidence that real progress could be made.  Even aging Solomon, writing in Ecclesiastes, found satisfaction in learning, though calling it vain in an ultimate sense (vanity could mean inscrutable or beyond full comprehension).  Newton took heart from Daniel 12:4 that in the last days, knowledge would increase.  He was on a personal campaign to be part of that process.    So how would a modern Bible-based scientific community deal with a Lysenko or other pseudoscientific maverick who runs counter to the consensus?  Collins and other secularists have nothing to fall back on but the political power of the majority and their self-styled measures of expertise.  With the Bible, however, all could assume absolute standards of morality and rationality.  The actual existence of integrity and rationality provide confidence for creating standards of evidence and proof.  Furthermore, believing that one’s character counts, the scientific community would take into account the lifestyle and core beliefs of a scientist making an apparently outlandish claim.  Lysenko could no longer rely on political connections and bluffing; his character record would be part of the judgment on his claims.  The humility and deference of scientists would not deny any maverick a fair hearing at the outset, but they would demand rigorous logic and evidence for any unfamiliar view.  Christianity provides the scientific community with confidence that logic is real and evidence is available to the senses.    Another good outcome is that rank speculation and imagination would be scorned.  Speculation is the Pandora’s Box that Darwin opened in science lab (08/22/2005 commentary).  Scientists of Darwin’s day denounced his speculative theory and demanded rigorous evidence (01/14/2009 commentary), but Charlie and his schemers persuaded the intelligentsia of the day that stringing isolated facts into a broad, all-encompassing hypothesis was acceptable in science (01/15/2004 commentary).  Now we have storytellers running amok with tales of the evolution of self-control (01/01/2009), the evolution of hiccups via your inner fish (12/16/2008), the origin of life on asteroids (03/05/2009) and other fables, trying to outdo each other in silliness and getting away with it.  Biblical science would be a return to a more Baconian scientific method: support your ideas with experiment, and abide by the maxim of Jesus, “by their fruits ye shall know them.”  Good science will once again be aimed at improving the lives of people and advancing good stewardship of the Earth.    Is this a pipe dream?  No; it’s how science was actually done before the Charlietans raided the science labs and took over (12/22/2003 commentary).  Just ask Bacon, Kepler, Harvey, Pascal, Boyle and all the other great scientists in our online book.(Visited 37 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Cinema 4D Video Tutorial: Quick Topographies

first_imgLearn how to easily create detailed topographies using this quick Cinema 4D technique.Working with generators can be extremely taxing on your computer, especially when the objects generated are all 3D. Typically when rendering objects with topographic landscapes you can expect the process to be long, but not with the following effect created by Greyscalegorilla. In the following tutorial you’ll learn how to build quick topographies using the hair generator built into Cinema 4D. The whole process is surprisingly easy and the results are absolutely stunning. The tutorial covers:Using the Material EditorWorking with ProjectionsOptimizing Materials in PhotoshopLightingNotice how much more compelling the scene looks when using complex materials. If you want to learn more about manipulating materials using the new material editor in R16 we highly recommend checking out our post on the ‘14 R16 features you should know about‘.This tutorial was first created by Chris Schmidt of Greyscalegorilla. Thanks for sharing guys!Know of any other cool ways to make this effect? Share in the comments below.last_img read more