FDF sees fall in pre-Brexit business confidence

first_imgBusiness confidence among British food and drink manufacturers has plummeted ahead of Brexit, latest research from the Food and Drink Federation has revealed.Economic uncertainty saw net confidence fall by 21 percentage points by Q3 compared with Q1 of this year, according to the survey of 50 companies with a combined turnover of £11.4 billion.Almost two-thirds of the companies polled, cited future tariff implications as a risk to their company.Just under 60% of thought business investment across the overall UK economy would fall in 2019 and 96% expected to see rising input prices.The findings also showed that 38% of food and drink manufacturers were reporting an increase in costs as a result of stockpiling ahead of a possible ‘no-deal’ Brexit.“These results tell us just how seriously the food and drink industry, the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, takes a ‘no-deal’ Brexit,” said Ian Wright, FDF chief executive. “It is a grisly prospect to which we edge closer every passing day. [The Budget] announcement from the Chancellor – with measures to support productivity, exports, enterprise and investment – offers some respite for our SME food and drink manufacturers.”Gordon Polson, director of the Federation of Bakers, said: “Just like everybody else, we are living with uncertainty and lack of clarity and the sooner that we do have some clarity, the better.”Retail market consolidation was also identified as one of the top three barriers expected to impact the success of small businesses, which account for 97% of the UK’s food and drink manufacturing sector.This follows the recent takeovers of Booker by Tesco, Nisa by the Co-op, and the proposed merger of Sainsbury’s and Asda, which present significant concerns for UK manufacturers.The survey also stated that business conditions for food and drink manufacturers had been especially difficult this year, in part due to the fall in the value of sterling, which has contributed to increased costs of ingredients and raw materials.More than three-quarters (79%) of businesses reported increased ingredient costs as the biggest impact on their businesses in Q3, while 71% of those polled cited increased packaging costs.last_img read more

Celebrate The Holidays With This Funky “Santa Baby” By Vulfpeck

first_imgNot everyone likes Christmas music, but everyone should like Vulfpeck. So to pump up the holiday cheer, this year, we’re bringing the Vulf-version of “Santa Baby” to the dinner table for a healthy helping of funk. The quartet shared this song on Christmas Day in 2015 through Majestic Casual, but it will stay in rotation for years to come.A truly Vulfian take on the holiday classic, the band described the tune as: “woody goss playing rhodes by ur fireplace making casual conversation with ur mishpacha.” Woody Goss, being the secret weapon that he is, is the mastermind behind this little jingle and for that we thank him for the revelation that not all Christmas music is bad. In fact, we’d listen to this tune all day, any day.Enjoy:If you haven’t already, check out this interview with Woody about all things birdwatching, burritos, and space.last_img read more

Angels still come up short of .500 after road loss to Rays

first_imgCanning gave up a homer to Brandon Lowe on a 3-and-0 pitch in the first inning. In the second, the Rays scored two more after a single by Yandy Diaz, a triple by Kevin Kiermaier and a run-scoring foul popup.Brian Goodwin helped Canning escape the third. Austin Meadows tripled and tried to score on a Tommy Pham fly ball to right, but Goodwin made the catch with his momentum going toward the plate and then unleashed a perfect throw, easily nailing Meadows.Pham then blasted a solo homer in the fifth on fastball over the inside corner, putting the Rays up 4-3.“I think (Canning) was great,” Lucroy said. “He made a few mistakes but he did well. He gave us a chance to win, that’s all you can do is give us a chance to win. And he did.”The Angels trailed 4-3 when Canning left. Taylor Cole then gave up a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth, which proved to be significant after Mike Trout hit a two-run homer in the ninth.Shohei Ohtani then singled and represented the tying run when the game ended on a called third strike to Kole Calhoun, sending the Angels (35-37) back to two games under .500.The Angels were 8-8 after a loss on April 15. Since then their record has been one-under seven times, and each time they lost the next game. Six of those have come since May 11.Ausmus, Canning and Lucroy all shrugged at the oddity, giving it little significance.“I think (the players) are trying to win the game at hand and they aren’t really concerned about their record at the time they’re playing,” Ausmus said. “I’ve said it before: .500 is not a goal. It’s hopefully a stopover to a much better record.” In the eighth, down by a run with runners at first and second, Lucroy blistered a ball 105 mph up the middle, but it hit the mound and bounced right to shortstop Joey Wendle, who started an inning-ending double play.Lucroy is now in a 4-for-44 slump.“All you can do is what you can control and that’s go up there and hit the ball hard,” Lucroy said. “I feel like I’ve done that. There’s been runners on and it’s been right at somebody whenever I do hit the ball hard. It’s frustrating. It’s not the first time I’ve been in a slump. I hope it’s the last. But it’s just one of those things you’ve gotta swing your way out of and keep hitting the ball hard and eventually they’ll start finding hole.”Lucroy and the rest of the Angels were chasing the Rays for much of the afternoon, because Griffin Canning gave up four runs in six innings.“I thought he threw pretty well,” Manager Brad Ausmus said. “He didn’t seem to have as good of command as in his last outing, but his stuff was still good. He was getting some swing and misses. Obviously the home run ball hurt a little bit.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img PreviousLos Angeles Angels pitcher Griffin Canning gives up a home run to Tampa Bay Rays Tommy Pham, behind left, during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani hits a single against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsTampa Bay Rays’ Austin Meadows, left, is tagged out at home by Los Angeles Angels catcher Mike Zunino during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)Los Angeles Angels pitcher Griffin Canning works from the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)Tampa Bay Rays Tommy Pham celebrates in the dug out after hitting a home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)Los Angeles Angels pitcher Griffin Canning works from the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)Tampa Bay Rays Brandon Lowe, left, celebrates with the Rays Ji-Man Choi after hitting a home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)Los Angeles Angels Tommy La Stella heads to the. Dugout after scoring against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)Tampa Bay Rays Ryne Stanek (55) works from the mound against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)Los Angeles Angels pitcher Griffin Canning waits for the ball after giving up a home run to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)Los Angeles Angels pitcher Griffin Canning gives up a home run to Tampa Bay Rays Tommy Pham, behind left, during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)NextShow Caption1 of 10Los Angeles Angels pitcher Griffin Canning gives up a home run to Tampa Bay Rays Tommy Pham, behind left, during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 16, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)ExpandST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — After another frustrating day, both for him individually and for the team, Jonathan Lucroy chose to look at the big picture.Although the Angels lost 6-5 to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, failing to take the series after they’d won two of the first three and failing again to get to .500 for the season, the Angels catcher looked at the bright side.“They’re a good team,” Lucroy said of the Rays, who are 43-28 and a half-game out of first place. “I thought they battled really well and so did we. We could have easily taken three out of four but we didn’t. We just right the ship. We split with these guys, which I think is pretty good considering how good they are.”The Angels had plenty of chances for this game to look different. They scored only one when loading the bases with no outs in the first and they left two on in the second, third and fifth innings.last_img read more

Did Florida Couple Adopt a Grown Woman?

first_imgA Florida family thought they adopted a child named Natalia Grace but later speculated that she was woman posing as a little girl.Michael and Kristine Barnett adopted Natalia in Florida in 2010 and were told she was from Ukraine and had a rare form of dwarfism that makes it difficult to gauge her age. Michael Barnett said the couple believed the girl was 6.The couple, who are now divorced, claim they were scammed into adopting Natalia, who they claim is really a 30-year-old woman.Now, the Ukrainian woman claiming to be the birth mother of Natalia says her daughter is definitely a child, despite her adoptive parents claiming she is a mentally disturbed adult who terrorized their family.Natalia’s story went viral in September when her adoptive parents, the Barnetts, were charged with with neglect.The Barnetts are accused of legally changing Natalia’s age to from 8 to 22 in 2012, and moving to Canada without her. Prosecutors say she was a child at the time.Kristine Barnett told Daily Mail Online that Natalia terrorized her family. Natalia is now living with another family in Indiana.Daily Mail reporters Will Stewart, Svetlana Skarbo, and Ben Ashford found a woman claiming to be Natalia’s birth mother in Ukraine, who told the site that her daughter is a child, and that she was forced to put her up for adoption because of the girl’s physical disabilities.last_img read more

Joint Statement from the Ladies’ Golf Union and The R&A

first_img Exploratory discussions are underway between the Ladies’ Golf Union (LGU) and The R&A towards establishing a more closely coordinated working relationship and the possibility of a merger between the two organisations. There is a great deal of synergy between the LGU and The R&A, with both based in St Andrews and responsible for staging Major Championships, prestigious amateur events and international matches. Both organisations are committed to supporting the development of golf and encouraging participation in the sport. A further announcement will be made in due course 20 Feb 2015 Joint Statement from the Ladies’ Golf Union and The R&A last_img read more

LaLiga named Honorary Ambassador of the Spain Brand in International Relations

first_imgAdvertisement i9zNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs2mWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Egppu( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) elkWould you ever consider trying this?😱c0wt5Can your students do this? 🌚6i2k9Roller skating! Powered by Firework  LaLiga, Ana Botin, Isabel Coixet, Carolina Marin, ONCE, Paradores, Francisco Mojica and Jose Luis Bonet comprise the eighth group of Honorary Ambassadors of the Spain Brand chosen by the Leading Brands of Spain Forum as part of an initiative to publicly recognise the people, companies and institutions that have made the largest and best contributions, with their exemplary professional backgrounds, to reinforcing a positive image of Spain abroad.Advertisement LaLiga, chosen in the International Relations category, was represented by its president, Javier Tebas, who, along with the rest of the honorary ambassadors, held a meeting with the royal couple before the ceremony to share the ambassadors’ vision of Spain’s international image in various spheres.Advertisement The other ambassadors were recognised in the following biennial categories: Ana Botin (Corporate Management), ONCE (Social Action), Isabel Coixet (Art and Culture), Red de Paradores (Tourism and Gastronomy), Carolina Marin (Sports), Francisco Mojica (Science and Innovation), and Jose Luis Bonet (Extraordinary Credentials).Advertisement In his speech, His Majesty King Felipe VI underscored the work of the ambassadors: “Today I would like to reiterate the fact that our collective present and future are also moulded by the people, by Spaniards: the biography of Spain is the biography of all of its men and women, and we must continue to build it with the participation and efforts of all. And in this endeavour, we can feel proud of these role models of Spanish society who are the Honorary Ambassadors of the Spain Brand, truly an example for everyone.”“Thanks to LaLiga and the agreements with the various broadcasters, hundreds of millions of people around the world can enjoy Spanish football. LaLiga contributes to showing the world our undeniable strength as a country, given that the teams we have here are among the best on the planet. However, that reinforcement of Spain’s image also takes place through the power of football as a spectacle across the globe and through its inherent values as a sporting discipline, such as hard work, personal betterment, teamwork and collaboration,” His Majesty King Felipe VI went on to say with regard to the work of LaLiga as International Relations Ambassador. Advertisementlast_img read more

Bantam Reps sweep rivals from Sunflower City

first_imgBy The  Nelson Daily SportsSecond period goals by Sawyer Hunt, Nolan Percival and Brandon Sookro sparked the Nelson Bantams Reps to a 6-3 victory over rival Castlegar Rebels in West Kootenay Minor Hockey League action Friday at the NDCC Arena.Sunday, Sam Woodward potted the winner with six minutes remaining in the game to give Nelson a 6-5 win over the Rebels.The win was the fourth straight for Nelson over Castlegar.In game one of the series the three-headed monster of Hunt, Percival and Sookro broke open what had started as a close game between the two rivals.Sookro, with his third of the game, and Percival scored in the third to give Nelson some insurance.Chase Butula scored twice and Edward Lindsay added a single for Castlegar.Saturday, Nelson appeared to be in control, building a 5-2 lead after two periods. But the Rebels struck back for three third-period goals, two by Craig Pilla and a single from Gerodan Broeckx, to make the game close.Michael Viala, with a pair, Dylan Whiffen, Sookro and Sam Weber scored for Nelson. Kane Roberts and Broeckx also scored for Castlegar.Brayden Pompu was solid between the pipes for Nelson during both games.Sickness continues to hamper the playing roster of the Reps. However, the Nelson coaching staff had more regulars to choose from than the previous week.The West Kootenay Minor Hockey playoffs begin Friday, Feb. 11 in Nelson as the Leafs play host to Castlegar.The winner of the first-team-to-four-points series represents the zone at the B.C. Minor Hockey Bantam Rep Tier III Championships in Smithers.OVERTIME: Friday’s game featured two referees instead of one for minor hockey games as Erik Laughton and Shawn Peel officiated the game between the two West Kootenay [email protected]last_img read more

Mallard’s Team of the Week — LVR Bombers Basketball

first_imgNow that hoop fans are in the midst of feasting on the NCAA March Madness south of the 49th parallel, the madness got a kick start earlier this month when the L.V. Rogers Bombers represented the Kootenay zone at the B.C. High School AA Boy’s Basketball Championships in Kamloops.After a slow start the Bombers won two straight to close out the season in 13th spot.Staff and management at Mallard’s Source for Sports want to add to the positive conclusion of the season with Team of the Week honours. The team includes, back row, L-R, Matt Zukowski, Cail Spencer, Tobin Eberle, Adam Berg, Erich Schepkowski and Wenging Li.Front, Isaiah Kingdon, Jesse Zak, Jack Sturrup, Tony Chen and Ethan Perkins.last_img read more

Sharks’ winger earns kudos from Pete DeBoer for Game 1 performance

first_imgSAN JOSE — The Sharks do not have a true replacement for captain Joe Pavelski, either on the ice or off. But Gus Nyquist, who filled Pavelski’s spot on a line with Logan Couture and Timo Meier in Game 1, earned kudos from coach Pete DeBoer on Saturday after he had his most impactful game of the postseason.Playing on the Sharks’ second line, Nyquist scored his first goal of the playoffs and finished with 14 minutes and 29 seconds of ice time in the Sharks’ 5-2 win over the Avalanche on Friday.“ …last_img read more

Explosion of the Blob

first_imgSome scientists are looking into the folds of a sponge for clues about the Cambrian Explosion – the sudden emergence of all the major body plans in the geological blink of an eye.  What they are finding is more complexity than a first glance at the simple creatures would expect.    A draft genome of a demosponge named Amphimedon from the Great Barrier Reef has just been published.  Adam Mann wrote about this in Nature News,1 hinting at the divination going on: “Researchers wring evolutionary clues from gene sequence.”  One result so far, he said, is “Telltale molecular fragments teased out of ancient sediment show that sponges existed some 635 million years ago – the oldest evidence for metazoans (multicellular animals) on Earth.”    The sponge has some 18,000 genes.  This “represents a diverse toolkit, coding for many processes that lay the foundations for more complex creatures.”  What kind of tools?  “These include mechanisms for telling cells how to adhere to one another, grow in an organized fashion and recognize interlopers.”  In what may sound very surprising for such a lowly creature, “The genome also includes,” Mann continued, “analogues of genes that, in organisms with a neuromuscular system, code for muscle tissue and neurons.”  Why would a sponge have such genes without having a neuromuscular system or central nervous system?  He didn’t say.    Mann suggested that the discovery of this complexity in a sponge genome forces the evolution of complexity back in time: “such complexity indicates that sponges must have descended from a more advanced ancestor than previously suspected.”  He quoted Douglas Erwin of the Smithsonian responding with alarm that “This flies in the face of what we think of early metazoan evolution.”  Charles Marshall, the master of Cambrian Explosion disaster (see 04/23/2006), added, “It means there was an elaborate machinery in place that already had some function.  What I want to know now is what were all these genes doing prior to the advent of sponge.”    The sponge genome was published by Srivastava et al in the same issue of Nature.2  Mann summarized its conclusions as an invocation of the power of emergence by unknown powers of evolution operating in a critical window of time.  During that time, nefarious processes that would plague humans 635 million years later, like a kind of ruthless communism, were being laid:The analyses of Srivastava and her colleagues suggest that there was a crucial window, some 150 to 200 million years in duration, when the basics of multicellular life emerged.  Nearly one-third of the genetic alterations that distinguish humans from their last common ancestor with single-celled organisms took place during this period.  These changes would have occurred within our sponge-like forebears.    The researchers also identified parts of the genome devoted to suppressing individual cells that multiply at the expense of the collective.  The presence of such genes indicates that the battle to stop rogue cells ? in other words, cancer ? is as old as multicellularity itself.  Such a link was recently hinted at by work showing that certain ‘founder genes’ that are associated with human cancers first arose at about the same time as metazoans appeared.  The demosponge genome shows that genes for cell suicide – those activated within an individual cell when something goes wrong – evolved before pathways that are activated by adjacent cells to dispatch a cancerous neighbour.By saying that nearly one-third of the genetic toolkit “emerged” in a blank period before the fossils of the first actual sponge, and that the changes “occurred” in undescribed “sponge-like forebears,” Mann shielded the fact that there is not only no evidence for such an ancestor, but no known mechanism by which genes with foresight would have emerged in single-celled creatures.    Srivastava et al were no help explaining how this emergence occurred.  A search on evolution in the paper reveals these circumlocutions:Comparative analysis enabled by the sequencing of the sponge genome reveals genomic events linked to the origin and early evolution of animals, including the appearance, expansion and diversification of pan-metazoan transcription factor, signalling pathway and structural genes.  This diverse ‘toolkit’ of genes correlates with critical aspects of all metazoan body plans, and comprises cell cycle control and growth, development, somatic- and germ-cell specification, cell adhesion, innate immunity and allorecognition.The emergence of multicellular animals from single-celled ancestors over 600 million years ago required the evolution of mechanisms for coordinating cell division, growth, specialization, adhesion and death.Sponges are diverse and their phylogeny is poorly resolved, allowing for the possibility that sponges are paraphyletic, which implies that other animals evolved from sponge-like ancestors.Although the diversity of sponges and their uncertain phylogeny make it doubtful that any single species can reveal the intricacies of early animal evolution, comparison of the A. queenslandica draft genome with sequences from other species can provide a conservative estimate of the genome of the common ancestor of all animals and the timing and nature of the genomic events that led to the origin and early evolution of animal lineages.We find 235 animal-specific protein domains and 769 animal-specific domain combinations that evolved along the metazoan stem (Supplementary Note 9).  Additionally, lineage-specific changes to these animal domain architectures occurred in early metazoan evolution.The Myc oncogene illustrates how intramolecular regulation has also evolved.This lack of phylogenetic resolution may reflect a period of rapid evolution and diversification of ligand/receptor molecules in sponge and eumetazoan lineages.…the expression of orthologues of post-synaptic structural and proneural regulatory proteins in Amphimedon larval globular cells suggests an evolutionary connection with an ancestral protoneuron.No such protoneuron is known, of course, but in the Conclusion section, the question of how this complexity originated was asked directly.  The answer was shrouded in passive voice verbs and unstated mechanisms:Whereas the eumetazoan lineage produced a wide diversity of body forms [i.e., the Cambrian Explosion], the sponge body plan has been stable for over 600 million years.  What can explain this disparity in evolved morphological complexity?  Although we have seen that sponges and eumetazoans share many common pathways related to morphogenesis and cell-type specification, there are notable genomic differences, including different microRNA assemblages, lineage-specific domains and domain architectures, and the differential expansions of gene families.  Although there has been minimal characterization of cis-regulatory architectures in non-bilaterians, we note that as most classes of bilaterian transcription factors are also present in sponges, cnidarians and placozoans, it may be that quantitative rather than qualitative differences in cis-regulatory mechanisms were needed to produce more diverse body plans.    The sexually-reproducing, heterotrophic metazoan ancestor had the capacity to sense, respond to, and exploit the surrounding environment while maintaining multicellular homeostasis.  Although sponges lack some of the cell types found in eumetazoans, including neurons and muscles, they share with all other animals genes that are essential for the form and function of integrated multicellular organisms.  With these genomic innovations enabling the regulation of cellular proliferation, death, differentiation and cohesion, metazoans transcended their microbial ancestry.They just said, in brief, that all the genetic toolkit was there in the sponge ancestor.  The Cambrian Explosion was due to “quantitative rather than qualitative differences” in the tools.  But does this explain a trilobite, a segmented worm, shellfish, crabs, the predator Anomalocaris, and all the other amazing creatures found at the point of the Cambrian explosion?  And why would a microbe come up with these tools in the first place, even to produce a sponge?New Scientist put the solution to the Cambrian explosion in terms of hope and change: “Now that their genetic make-up has finally been sequenced, it could explain one of the greatest mysteries of evolution: how single-celled organisms in the primordial oceans evolved into complex multicellular animals with the spectacular diversity of body plans we see today.”    As with the Nature articles, though, the explanation consisted of saying little more than complexity was already there: “This means that all the key genetic prerequisites for modern animals made up of trillions of cells were in place well before sponges split from other animals 600 million years ago.”  Somehow, we are told, sponges moved up from microbes to become inventors: “To this basic set of genes, sponges and other multicellular animals add a small suite of master-control genes which may allow the greater coordination needed when several cells are dividing together.”  Science Daily, likewise, admitted that “how this differential complexity is encoded in the genome is still a major question in biology.”  A coauthor of the study, Bernie Degnan, a professor of biology at the University of Queensland, Australia, engaged in ancestor worship.  “This incredibly old ancestor possessed the same core building blocks for multicellular form and function that still sits at the heart of all living animals, including humans.  It now appears that the evolution of these genes not only allowed the first animals to colonize the ancient oceans, but underpinned the evolution of the full biodiversity of animals we see today.”  They evolved because they evolved.    Moreover, Degnan told Science Daily that “all the genomic innovations that we deem necessary for intricate modern animal life have their origins much further back in time that anyone anticipated, predating the Cambrian explosion by tens if not hundreds of millions of years.”  He was stunned by the revelations coming from the genetic crystal ball: “Remarkably, the sponge genome now reveals that, along the way toward the emergence of animals, genes for an entire network of many specialized cells evolved….”    However they evolved, Degnan admitted that human engineers look to the sponge for inspiration for their own designed innovations.  “Sponges produce an amazing array of chemicals of direct interest to the pharmaceutical industry,” the quote in Science Daily continued.  “They also biofabricate silica fibers directly from sea water in an environmentally benign manner, which is of great interest in communications.  With the genome in hand, we can decipher the methods used by these simple animals to produce materials that far exceed our current engineering and chemistry capabilities.”  (See 11/20/2008 and its embedded links for descriptions of the exquisite fiber-optic structures produced by some sponges.)    Tantalizing glimpses of a primordial sponge blob were revealed by PhysOrg: “Ancient blob-like creature of the deep revealed by scientists.”  Scientists at Imperial College London generated a 3D image of Drakozoon, the only known fossil specimen of a “cone-shaped, blob-like creature with a hood” that “probably had a leathery exterior skin.”  “We think this tiny blob of jelly survived by clinging onto rocks and hard shelled creatures, making a living by plucking microscopic morsels out of seawater,” said Dr. Mark Sutton, another diviner.  “By looking at this primitive creature, we also get one tantalising step closer to understanding what the earliest creatures on Earth looked like.”  But wait – Drakozoon was dated to 425 million years old, making it far too late to be the mysterious 635-million-year-old proto-sponge with all the tools needed to build a human.  The clever innovator remains shrouded in the presumptions of a long-lost evolutionary past.1.  Adam Mann, “Sponge genome goes deep,” Nature News, published online 4 August 2010, Nature 466, 673 (2010), doi:10.1038/466673a.2.  Srivastava et al, “The Amphimedon queenslandica genome and the evolution of animal complexity,” Nature 466, pp 720?726, 05 August 2010, doi:10.1038/nature09201.Are you angry after reading this?  You should be.  Ever since Charlie’s coup, the world has been told that evolution is the one-and-only scientific explanation for the living world.  It’s all smoke and mirrors!  Look at what they said – complexity just emerged in the genes of some hypothetical, unseen, mythical “common ancestor.”  (Note the imbedded evolutionary assumption there and the euphemism for miracle, emergence).  This ancestor was endowed with such incredible foresight, it somehow came up with “innovations” that would prove useful to the scientists 636 million years later who might want to use their neurons to write nonsense.  What?  Getting even one useful gene is astronomically improbable (online book), to say nothing of 18,000 genes matching in a functional “genetic toolkit.”  This is absolutely shameful.  It’s indescribably absurd.  Science is supposed to be about evidence, observations, data, testability, repeatability, proof, not just hollow thinking of ideologues, writing about magic visions reflecting in the vitreous humor of their darkened eyeballs.    All the tricks of the racketeer are here.  Readers are shielded from contrary evidence and critical analysis (card stacking).  The nonsense is wrapped in the prestige of science (association).  Everywhere questions are begged (circular reasoning) in broad-brush statements (glittering generalities), while key issues, like how complexity “emerged,” are dodged in passive verbs and miracle words (sidestepping).  The lingo is loaded with bluffing and subjectivity and equivocation.  non-sequiturs abound, such as the inference that complexity in sponge cells implies that thousands of genes exist in some putative microbe ancestor, based on circumstantial evidence interpreted according to an a priori commitment to naturalism (post hoc fallacy, it exists, therefore it evolved).  This has nothing to do with science; this is dogma in an echo chamber (repetition).  And when the lack of evidence is too overpowering to ignore, there’s always hope that the evidence “may shed light” on evolution (suggestion).    Folks, we are not talking about some little, backwater issue with Charlie’s grand scheme, but the main argument even Darwin admitted could be deadly to his theory – the lack of evidence for transitional forms at the base of the fossil record (Origin, chapter 10).  It was unsolved in his day; it remains unsolved today.  In fact, it is far worse for evolutionists now than it was in 1859, because there are no more excuses that the fossil record is incompletely sampled, or that Precambrian rocks could not preserve soft tissues (see the film Darwin’s Dilemma).  Look at the flim-flam offered up a few years ago by Charles Marshall, the Master of Disaster, when tasked with explaining the Cambrian explosion (04/23/2006): basically, “it evolved because it evolved”.  This is smoke, not science.    The fossil record, a spear-pointed battering ram aimed at the flimsy gate of evolutionary theory, should have toppled King Charlie’s castle long ago.  It’s not for lack of trying.  Critics have used the battering ram to good effect from the beginning, but Charlie’s demons maintain an impenetrable moat of smoke to hide the sacred image of the Bearded Buddha in the castle temple.  Long ago, they co-opted all the institutions – the journals, the media, schools and even some churches – keeping them occupied perpetuating the smoke moat with their fogma machines, sending the sensible soldiers with the battering ram coughing and the Darwincense-addicted Charlie worshippers inhaling deeply, euphoric in their hallucinations of “emergence.”  (For definition of fogma, see the 05/14/2007 commentary.)  The defenders of the castle are also well-trained in hate speech, knowing to close their eyes, cover their ears, and shout on cue “Creationism!  Pseudoscience!” at any sign of the battering ram.    The Bearded Buddha is a false god.  It’s long past time to clear the air and demand scientific integrity.  Don’t get angry; get the power fans.  Once the truth can be seen, a battering ram will not even be necessary.  The Darwin Castle will vanish in its own fogma.  Expect a hard fight getting the power fans in place, though; there’s too much riding on this ideology.  Expect Screwtape to use his whole arsenal in its defense.(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more