The Art of Translating Darwinese

first_imgTranslating Darwinese primarily involves taking out the assumptions and assertions and seeing if anything is left.If, like the late Phillip Johnson argued, Darwinian evolution is naturalistic philosophy masquerading as science, then it follows that Darwinian ‘science’ is fake science. It may include some tangible objects, like fossils or genes, but it will be wrapped in rhetoric intended to promote naturalism. Consequently, a perceptive reader needs to learn how to translate Darwinese. The mystical language of Darwinese makes it seem as if observational data supports evolution, when it’s really the other way around; naturalism colors the data. A successful Darwinese translator is always focusing on the actual evidence. One must filter out the assumptions and assertions to see what the data are actually indicating. Here we teach by example.Before starting, one must vaccinate oneself against bluffing, intimidation and irrelevant details. A Darwinese article, for instance, is often dressed up with attractive photos, clean website designs, pictures of smiling Darwinists, and artwork supporting the evolutionary narrative. All of that must be ignored. It has nothing to do with the science. It is irrelevant. The Darwinese translator must keep a laser-sharp focus on the evidence.Stick to the EvidenceWas early stick insect evolution triggered by birds and mammals? (University of Göttingen). Most of the first paragraph of this press release simply states observable evidence. Then the writer inserts the word “phylogeny” — an evolutionary word to watch out for.Stick and leaf insects are a diverse and strikingly bizarre group of insects with a world-wide distribution, which are more common in tropical and subtropical areas. They are famous for their impressively large body size, compared to other insects, and their remarkable ability to camouflage themselves as twigs, leaves or bark in order to hide from potential predators. A team of international researchers led by the University of Göttingen has now generated the first phylogenomic tree of these insects.For animals below the rank of family, Michael Behe shows in his book Darwin Devolves, one can expect variability in genera and species. Many creationists accept this view as well. The stick insects belong to Phasmatodea, an order, the taxon above the level of family. So if the writer is trying to link all the families within Phasmatodea into a tree of common descent, the translator needs to be on guard. Does the evidence support it? The research team at University of Gottingen examined 2,000 genes for 38 species of globally-distributed stick insects. Watch what happened:The most surprising finding is that the relationships between the early emerging groups of stick and leaf insects largely disprove the earlier assumptions. In fact, the genealogy reflects more the geographic distribution than the anatomical similarity of the animals. The authors revealed a New World lineage of purely North and South American species and a group of Old World origin that comprises species from Africa to New Zealand.In short, there was no clear phylogenetic picture. The genes looked similar, but the animals did not. When new evolutionary stories disprove old evolutionary stories, probably both stories are wrong. Next, the team ramps up the perhapsimaybecouldness index to visualize moyboy ages:The age estimation of the phylogenetic tree suggests that most of the old lineages emerged after the dinosaurs became extinct 66 million years ago. Thus, the remarkable camouflage of stick and leaf insects most probably evolved afterwards as adaptation against predatory mammals and birds.We have an emergence-y. The team just leaped into fantasyland, saying these remarkable animals “emerged” somehow long, long ago. Do they have fossil evidence for this? No; stick insect fossils are rare. This is pure Darwinian speculation.To translate the article into science, the translator must filter out the Darwinese. The result should include the first paragraph up to the sentence about predators, and stop. It might mention the 2,000 genes of 38 species examined, and tabulate the similarities and differences, but leave it there. Science has no tolerance for “emergence” and speculations about what “might” have happened over millions of Darwin Years.Spitting for DarwinA secret in saliva: Food and germs helped humans evolve into unique member of great apes (University of Buffalo). The proposition needing translation from Darwinese goes like this:Two million years of eating meat and cooked food may have helped humans shift further from other great apes on the evolutionary tree. The evidence is in our saliva, according to new research from the University at Buffalo.After putting this press release through the Darwinese translator, there won’t be much left but a bucket of warm spit. These Darwinians are trying to buffalo readers into thinking you can use divination on saliva from apes and humans and perceive a story of evolution, visualizing humans losing their hair and learning to cook.Human saliva is unique in that it is waterier and contains a different mix of proteins. The findings came as a big surprise to the researchers, since humans are known to be genetically close relatives of the great apes, chimpanzees and gorillas.The evolutionary story is lubricated with perhapses and maybes, ending with futureware: “The study’s findings provide a necessary basis for future studies to assess whether the differences in human salivary proteins were caused by natural selection.” In other words, they don’t even know that natural selection had anything to do with spit. It’s illogical to think it might have anyway; the Stuff Happens Law doesn’t ’cause’ anything.The only evidence that can be salvaged from this article involves design in our salivary glands and the complex proteins that help us digest our food. After translation from Darwinese into science, therefore, the article will be very short.Darwinizing DarwinismAn evolution in the understanding of evolution (University of Virginia Engineering). The heroine of this article thinks that evolution needs evolution itself, in order to be understood. Kristen Naegle spent a lot of time running divination studies on proteins to praise Darwin, but all for naught. After running her work through the Darwinese translator, there would be precious little left. She and her student Roman Sloutsky try to impress readers with their wizardry. Such divination is not for laymen, she says. In order to justify the exercise, she tries to convince the peasants that it could cure cancer.Reconstructing evolutionary branches is tricky, especially when many species share a similar type of protein that might have evolved to perform somewhat different functions. Mathematically, the problem quickly becomes very big, but discovering the implications of this protein evolution could lead to a better understanding of how our bodies deal with cancer and other diseases.First of all, she incorrectly thinks that proteins, those amazingly sophisticated and sequence-specific molecular machines, are products of evolution. That’s a show stopper right there. Second, it’s a pipe dream to think that Darwinism is going to help understand or cure cancer. A Darwinist believes that cancer is one of those things that just happens. Third, the work leaves nothing accomplished for Darwin worship. It’s all futureware.Naegle made one statement that could be a redeeming feature, and worth saving in the translated article. “Most models of protein evolution in use today are probably wrong,” she said.Including hers.With a little practice, you, too, could become a skilled Darwinese translator. (Visited 302 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

The vortex of complaint

first_imgTim CohenIt’s not often you can generalise about a nation, particularly South Africa, but it’s probably true to say that South Africans in general have at least one common quality. We like to complain.By reputation, the British keep a stiff upper lip. By reputation, the French make light of things, and waft them away in a dazzling display of philosophising. By reputation, the Chinese keep stum, and seek solace in the learned balance of Confucius. By reputation, the Japanese blame themselves.But given half a chance, particularly in private, South Africans let loose in blathering explosion of anger and bile in which every conceivable thing or person is to blame, other than, of course, themselves. It’s evident on seemingly interminable talk shows on the country’s many problems and particularly on the anonymous feedback commentary on the internet. Frequently, it must be said, it has a bit of racial edge.It wasn’t always thus. It may just be a kind of wishful interpretation of history, but it does seem as if the stultification of free speech during the apartheid years has invoked a swing in the opposite direction now that speech is all too free. Now, given half a chance, everybody goes wild, so much so that the point is often lost as the arguments move away from the topic and get sucked down more familiar and emotional by-ways. Friends of mine describe this process as the vortex; the great whirl-wind of noise a wobbly nation makes as it desperately tries to keep its balance.So the country’s recent electricity cuts, termed “load shedding” for reasons best known to politicians and people who throw switches, have provided a truly magnificent opportunity for the vortex to be released. The arguments about the electricity cuts have a truly splendid way of allowing the protagonists to simply justify their pre-existing beliefs. Power utility Eskom is a state-owned, corporate entity. It’s a vertically integrated utility and as such, it not only owns, operates and maintains the national transmission grid but is also responsible for generating almost all the country’s capacity. This allows the left to blame government for corporatising the entity, and the right to blame government for not corporatising the entity enough.Whatever the case, it’s well known that Eskom provides some of the cheapest electricity in the world, and not by small margins either. The average wholesale cost of electricity is a full 60% lower than its nearest rival, which apparently is Canada. One of the reasons for this extraordinary proficiency is that South Africa has huge coal reserves and, consequently, generation is close to supply and, consequently, electricity in South Africa is cheap but also dirty.But cheap electricity in South Africa also has a historical explanation too. When Eskom was established as a self-funding organisation, it expanded its generating capacity in line with the growth expectations the organisation’s management anticipated at the time. The big-boom period was in the 1970s when gold was, well, the same price it is now. The country’s growth rate was impressive, and because the lead time in establishing large coal fired furnaces is so long, Eskom built like crazy.The result was overcapitalisation of the company and, for years, Eskom had a surplus generating capacity. Consequently, nobody bothered much. And so the electricity blackouts have caught everyone a bit by surprise, intensifying the vortex into a veritable cacophony of complaint.But in fact, in a way, electricity shortages are the kind of problem you want to have. Most often they suggest strong underlying and democratic economic growth. It means consumers are stepping up and buying electronic goods in small mountains. It means lives are improving in incremental but significant ways with washing machines and stove cookers.Of course, it would be nice if someone had their eye on the ball and managed to plan correctly. And strangely enough, someone did. A government white paper produced eight years ago suggested that at the current growth rates, South Africa would run out of electricity in – you guessed it – 2008.Personally, I blame it on the vortex. Sometimes complaining takes you further away from the problem rather than closer to it. A culture of complaint is often lauded as the first step in recognising a problem. But when it turns a kind of campaigning negative, it constitutes a retreat into argument rather than a spur to better planning. In short, the vortex sucks.Tim Cohen is a freelance journalist writing for a variety of South African publications. He is currently contracted as a columnist to Business Day and the Weekender, where he worked for most of his career, and financial website Moneyweb where he writes on business and corporate activity for an associate site called Dealweb. He was the 2004 Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year.last_img read more

SA congratulates India’s president-elect

first_img24 July 2012 South African President Jacob Zuma has congratulated India’s Congress heavyweight and former finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, on being elected the 13th President of India on Sunday. India’s President is a ceremonial head of state and is elected by an electoral college comprising Members of Parliament and state legislators. India’s executive head of state is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.‘Engaging India at the highest level’ In a statement on Monday, Zuma said South Africa looked forward to continuing its engagements with India at the highest level. “South Africa will also explore new opportunities in both the bilateral and multilateral environments to engage India in an evolving global environment.” Noting that India is a strategic partner, Zuma said South Africa’s objective will be to build on the strong bilateral relationship and continue to foster goodwill and sound relations across a broad spectrum. The two countries are strategic partners at a multilateral level and have created a platform for cooperating in various forums, namely the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) forum; the India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA); the Brazil, South Africa, India, China – a climate change-specific forum; Group of 20 (G20) and India- Africa Forum, all of which reinforce the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries. Mukherjee defeated his main challenger and former parliament speaker, P.A. Sangma, by more than 50%. He was nominated by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance to contest the presidential poll held on 19 July and has held key portfolios like defence and foreign ministries in his political career spanning over 43 years. The 77-year-old Mukherjee will be sworn in as the country’s President by the Chief Justice of India on Wednesday, succeeding the incumbent Head of State Pratibha Patil whose five-year term ends on the same day. Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

Salesforce.com Buys Google Apps Marketplace Favorite Manymoon

first_imgMassive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Manymoon Standard, our free product, will continue to be available for existing and new customers. In fact, we’ll continue to add features to our free product. And, if you want to upgrade, you are welcome to do that through the Manymoon website whenever you like.Existing premium features, subscriptions and price points will remain unchanged.Manymoon will continue to work with Google Apps, LinkedIn and the Chrome Web Store. And, we will continue to develop new features to enhance support of these platforms.We’ll continue to support our customers in the Manymoon Support Universe.What does Manymoon bring to Salesforce.com that Chatter doesn’t already have? Project management. Dimdim will add conferencing to Chatter, and project management is the next logical step towards making Chatter a fully featured collaboration suite. But that’s assuming that Salesforce.com will actually integrate Manymoon into Chatter – the initial announcement from Manymoon makes that uncertain.Sameer Patel of the Sovo Group told us in response to the announcement:With its strong project facilitation focus, Manymoon brings solid complementary ‘get-it-done’ functionality to a general purpose engagement platform such as Salesforce.com Chatter. As important, the Google Apps Marketplace is quickly becoming a valid choice for more and more enterprises.Manymoon’s strong integration with the Google Apps Marketplace may well offer a needed bridge between Force.com and Google App Marketplace. Thanks to Manymoon’s integration with Google’s productivity applications such as word processing, spreadsheets and contact management, Salesforce.com now gets to tout a more complete collaboration picture that includes engagement, task management and content creation.The top review for Salesforce for Google Apps reads “Best CRM out there but poor integration with Google Apps.” The application has only two stars. Perhaps this acquisition will help Salesforce.com improve its integration with Google Apps.Manymoon competes with Huddle and PBWorks in the project-centric collaboration SaaS market. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair klint finley Related Posts Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Manymoon, makers of a popular online collaboration software-as-a-service, announced today that it has been acquired by Salesforce.com. Manymoon ranks as one of the most popular applications in both the Google Apps Marketplace and the LinkedIn Application Directory. According to the announcement, Manymoon will continue to exist as a separate business within Salesforce.com and will continue to offer both its free and premium services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.Salesforce.com has been on an acquisition spree. In the past few months, it has purchased: Jigsaw, Sitemasher, Activa Live Chat, Heroku, Etacts and Dimdim. Salesforce.com also invested $4 million in Seesmic today.According to the announcement: Tags:#enterprise#saas 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowlast_img read more

Baijayant Panda booked for ‘incorrect’ affidavit

first_imgThe Odisha police on Friday registered a criminal case against suspended BJD MP Baijayant Panda on the charge of filing incorrect affidavit for the 2014 general election, following a direction from a court.Mr. Panda represents Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency and was suspended by the BJD in January for alleged anti-party activities.A case was registered against Mr. Panda under IPC Sections 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating) and Section 125-A of the Representation of People Act following directions by the Kendrapara sub-divisional magistrate court, sub-divisional police officer Rajib Lochan Panda said.Investigation has been launched with the registration of the case, police said adding that it will verify the MP’s poll affidavit documents. Mr. Panda may be quizzed in connection with the case, the SDPO added.The SDJM court acting on a petition by Dillip Das, a resident of Thakurhaat, had issued directions to the police to register a criminal case against the sitting Lok Sabha MP and file a compliance report to the court by July 25. The petition stated that Mr. Panda was officiating as vice-chairman of Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys, the corporate house owned by his family, and was drawing salary in crores of rupees. However, in the election affidavit, he had wilfully covered the facts which went against the spirit of Representation of People Act. Besides, he perpetrated fraud and unfair practice by suppressing facts in his poll affidavit, the petitioner alleged.Mr. Panda was not immediately available for comment but his office in a statement said that the law will take its course.last_img read more

Kia import Johnson goes back to drawing board after subpar debut

first_imgCatriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Fernandez enjoys coaching players from other schools in NCAA All-Star Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC PBA IMAGESANTIPOLO—Kia reinforcement Geron Johnson said he will reevaluate his mistakes after putting up a disappointing performance in their 118-97 loss to Blackwater in the PBA Governors’ Cup Friday.Johnson, who played first game in the PBA, finished with 28 points on 12-of-26 shooting, only had four rebounds and turned the ball over nine times.ADVERTISEMENT WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Read Next “It wasn’t the way I wanted to start, so I’m trying to get the film and I got to go back to the drawing board,” said Johnson at Ynares Sports Center here in Antipolo. “It’s just showing that I got to come more prepared for Philippine basketball.”Compounding Johnson’s worries was the Picanto’s miserable 0-8 record, a statistic he only knew about when he talked to the reporters after the game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutJohnson replaced Markeith Cummings who played for Kia for the first seven games of the conference.“It’s my first game so I’d definitely see what I have to do,” said Johnson. “I will come out harder next game.” UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

Pelicans’ Cousins ejected for swinging elbow at Westbrook

first_imgJapan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ It wasn’t clear from replays whether Cousins caught Westbrook in the head or shoulder, or if the contact was significant.Officials did not eject Cousins from the game until after viewing replays on a TV at the scorers’ table, after which they called a flagrant two.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHard contact is not required for such a foul. Only contact deemed “unnecessary and excessive,” according to the NBA rule book. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:46Duterte has only scratches on elbow, knee after motorcycle accident — Go01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins (0) elbows Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) in the head, drawing an ejection from the game, in the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Monday, Nov. 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Scott Threlkeld)NEW ORLEANS — Pelicans center Demarcus Cousins has been ejected from a game against Oklahoma City after swinging his elbow near the head of Thunder star Russell Westbrook.The play occurred Monday night under the Pelicans’ basket in the third quarter after Cousins had secured a rebound. When Cousins raised his elbows near Westbrook’s face, the Thunder guard dropped to the floor holding his head.ADVERTISEMENT UAAP suspends referees in La Salle-Adamson Final Four clash Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa View commentslast_img read more

Labour Force to Be Trained For Logistics Hub

first_img By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter Efforts are being made to provide adequate training for the local labour force, to ensure that persons can take up a significant number of the over 10,000 jobs expected to be generated by the global transshipment and logistics hub development. In this regard, Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, said the Logistics Task Force has secured broad-scale representation on its Human Resource Working Group, from stakeholders in the Ministry of Education as well as secondary, tertiary and vocational institutions, for consultations. That group is headed by the Caribbean Maritime Institute Executive Director, Dr. Fritz Pinnock.   Speaking at a recent stakeholders’ consultation at the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ), Newport West, Kingston, Mr. Hylton said the Ministry understands the “magnitude of the human resource element,” in the context of the multi-billion dollar logistics hub development, and assured that they will seek to recruit as many locals as possible to fill available positions. Noting that 70 per cent of the employees at the Dubai logistics hub in the United Arab Emirates are foreigners, the Minister asserted that “we want to train our people to fill the jobs and vacancies that are here.” “Having a skilled labour force is critical, if we are to achieve what we need to. Other countries have to rely on importing most of the skilled labour that they need for their logistics hub. We want to ensure that we have as much as 100 per cent employment (for) our people,” Mr. Hylton said. Development of the hub is being spearheaded by the government in an effort to position Jamaica to take advantage of the increased maritime activities, anticipated from the expansion of the Panama Canal, slated for completion in 2015.                                                                                                           Central to the development of the transshipment and global logistics hub are: dredging of the Kingston Harbour; expansion of the Port of Kingston; development of the Caymanas Economic Zone, a transshipment commodity port, and Vernamfield in Clarendon, as an air-cargo and passenger facility; and establishment of a dry dock facility.  On completion, the hub would be the fourth such facility globally, along with those in Singapore; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Rotterdam,  Netherlands. Jamaica is deemed ideally positioned for the facility’s establishment, based on the country’s location, midway between North and South America, and in relatively close proximity to the Panama canal.last_img read more

Latest census numbers showcase Canadas everevolving ethnic diversity

first_imgOTTAWA – A decade ago, the CBC series “Little Mosque on the Prairie” won international acclaim for its depiction of Muslims trying to make their way in a rural Saskatchewan town.At the time, Saskatchewan was home to about 33,900 visible minorities — about 3.6 per cent of its population — and the show broke new cultural ground with its awkwardly hilarious choreography of Canadian multiculturalism’s delicate dance.But the land of the living skies now has a visible minority population of 63,275, driven by rising waves of immigration that have turned the fictional world of “Little Mosque” into a new Canadian reality.Take the tiny town of Frontier, Sask. — home to 280 people in 2006, just 20 of them immigrants.Ten years later, the population sat at 415, including 120 immigrants — dramatic growth driven largely by a local farm equipment manufacturer who found newcomers to Canada to be the only way to address his labour woes.Many of the workers Honey Bee Manufacturing brought in were from the Philippines; that country generated 15.6 per cent of all new immigrants to Canada between 2011 and 2016, followed by India at 12.1 per cent and China at 10.6 per cent.But while populous provinces like Ontario and B.C. were once the destinations of choice for new arrivals, more and more of them have been flocking to the Prairies, lured by more promising work prospects.The percentage of new immigrants living in Alberta reached 17.1 per cent in 2016, compared with 6.9 per cent in 2001; In Manitoba, it went to 5.2 per cent, up from 1.8 per cent; and four per cent in Saskatchewan, up from one per cent 15 years earlier.Where the jobs have been for the last five years is where the immigrants are going, said Lori Wilkinson, a sociology professor at the University of Manitoba who directs a research group focusing on immigration in the West. In Alberta, growth in employment reached 7.8 per cent during the census period, compared with a national average of just five per cent.And while the downturn in the oil and gas economy in the last year has surely slowed some growth since the census, economic immigration remains the dominant motive in attracting newcomers.“We’re looking for people to fill gaps in the labour market,” Wilkinson said.In Saskatchewan, as elsewhere, there’s been a commensurate spike in the number of newcomers who enter under the family reunification class, as well as refugees.During the first four months of last year, refugees accounted for one-quarter of all immigrants admitted to Canada, a spike Statistics Canada attributes to the massive wave of refugees from Syria who arrived in 2015 and 2016.Rhonda Rosenberg, the executive director of the Multicultural Council of Saskatchewan, tells a story of Mennonites reaching out to recently arrived Syrians in the town of Rosthern, Sask.The Mennonites quickly realized their pork-heavy diet wasn’t suitable for Muslims, and the two sides worked together on a more amenable menu. A wider understanding of the two faiths has since evolved, and with it, a better sense of community.“It’s better and it’s worse at the same time,” Rosenberg said of how the province has welcomed newcomers over the last decade.“There are better systems in place, there are more organizations working to be welcoming and inclusive and those are all good things. On the other hand, we’ve got that permissive climate to express hate … we see that here too.”Saskatchewan, like many provinces, has seen anti-refugee and anti-immigrant groups gain visibility in recent months, especially in light of racially charged protests and counter-protests in the U.S. over the summer.A sense from non-visible minorities that they are under threat has led to the explosion of the so-called “alt-right” in the U.S., sentiment that’s also believed to be fuelling the populist political movement there and around the globe.In the U.S., the visible minority population rests at about 37 per cent.The census data released Wednesday showed that in Canada, the visible minority population has reached 7.7 million, 22.3 per cent of the overall population and seven times the number first reported in 1981.In Canada, however, the forces that could drive populist political forces are far broader than the immigration debate, said Frank Graves, president of Ekos Research, which has studied the issue extensively in recent months.“As immigration has unfolded, it is largely seen as softening, not hardening, attitudes to diversity,” Graves said.“The rise in those more negative outlooks … are the people who are feeling more economically vulnerable and who aren’t doing well in the economy.”Another supposed bulwark against a populist sentiment overtaking Canadian politics is the electoral system, where ridings dominated by visible minorities are also proving to be ridings central to any party’s hopes of forming a government.In time, Statistics Canada will use the immigration data it published Wednesday and break it down according to the federal electoral map.The 2011 national household survey found nearly three dozen ridings where visible minorities made up at least 50 per cent of the population, and a further 77 where visible minorities were between 20 and 50 per cent, according to an analysis by Andrew Griffith, a former director of multiculturalism and citizenship for the federal government.That number is sure to go up, and parties will in turn seek to court those votes, not alienate them, Griffith said.“This will continue to influence electoral strategies of all parties.”last_img read more

Three teenagers charged after multiple break and enters in Grande Prairie

first_imgThe suspects fled from the scene on foot but were located with the assistance of Police Dog Services and arrested without incident.Police say that their investigation revealed that all three were involved in the earlier crimes.Three 14-year-old boys from Grande Prairie are facing various charges including multiple counts of break and enter, possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of stolen property under $5,000, along with charges of theft of a motor vehicle, mischief, and failing to comply with conditions.The trio cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Mounties say that the incidents remain under investigation, and further charges may be laid.It’s not known when the three are due to appear in court. GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – Three teens are facing charges in Grande Prairie after police received a number of reports of break and enters in recent weeks.On July 19th and July 20th, the Grande Prairie RCMP received numerous calls from residents in the area of Crystal Lake Estates reporting that their homes had been broken into or vandalized.While investigating the break and enters, police encountered a stolen vehicle with three occupants.last_img read more