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

Your Transactional Sales Job Is Already Gone – Episode 140

first_imgIf you rely on the product or your pricing to do the selling for you, your sales job is already gone. The forces of disintermediation are going to level all roles where no value can be created, including transactional salespeople.last_img

Delhi hospital hires bouncers to deter attacks from patients and relatives

first_imgPradeep Kumar, a muscular man in shades and tattoos, pulls up on a motorcycle, ready for his job as a bouncer. Not at a nightclub, but at another workplace where violence is common in India: a hospital.He and his burly colleagues keep the emergency and labor rooms from filling up with patients’ often agitated relatives and friends. The bouncers are polite, yet so tough-looking that people think twice about ignoring their orders.”These guys look like they walked right out of an action movie,” said Pawan Desai, who brought his 4-year-old daughter to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital for treatment for a cut on her hand.Working in an Indian hospital can be dangerous. In April, a week before DDU hired the bouncers, friends of an emergency-room patient punched a doctor in the face and broke his nose before going on a rampage with hockey sticks, swinging at windows, lights, furniture and medical staff.The medical staff at DDU, a government hospital, had faced nearly one attack a month and had gone on strike 20 times over six years demanding better security. Since the hospital replaced its middle-aged, pot-bellied guards with bar bouncers, bodyguards, and wrestlers sporting muscles and tattoos, “there hasn’t been a single incident,” said Dr. Nitin Seth, the doctor who was injured in April.”These guys do a good job controlling the crowds,” he said.Thousands of attacks occur in Indian hospitals every year, said Dr. Narendra Saini, spokesman for the Indian Medical Association.In January, a man in Chennai was charged with using a sword to hack to death a surgeon he held responsible for his pregnant wife’s death during surgery. Three months later, a mob at a Delhi hospital beat up six doctors in retaliation for supposed sexual misconduct after the medical staff unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate a female patient using CPR.When someone dies in the hospital, relatives often start blaming – even attacking – doctors. At expensive private hospitals, families feel especially cheated, Saini said. “They expect their patient to live because that’s what they paid for.”The DDU Hospital guards, a team of 21 split across three shifts, cover the busiest areas of the campus, especially the emergency and labor rooms.People who come in with pregnant or trauma patients “are most likely to lose their cool,” Kumar said. “That’s why we try not to let in more than one per patient.”The only way to prevent a bad situation from getting worse is to keep people moving and not let crowds collect at all, said Dr. Promila Gupta, the hospital’s medical superintendent. “I think what works for our new guards is that the (patients’) relatives are afraid of them because of their good physique,” she said.Despite the tough image, Kumar and the other guards are a soft-spoken bunch. “We don’t let anyone in unless they need to be there, and we know how to be polite about it,” he said.”First we talk nice,” said bouncer Amarjeet Singh. “If they don’t listen, troublemakers are taken to the Casualty Medical Officer’s room to sort things out, and if that doesn’t work, police from the nearby post are called in to get them evicted.”In any case, we are not allowed to rough anyone up,” he added.Few Indian hospitals can afford this kind of security. The generally overcrowded and understaffed government facilities often don’t even have the resources they need to save lives, said Dr. Saini of the Indian Medical Association.Dr. Prithvi Madhok, a former surgeon at some of Mumbai’s top hospitals, has studied the rash of doctor assaults in India and said hiring better security will not solve the underlying problem.”As a society, we are just not trained to be patient. We don’t wait for our turn, or let things go through their due process,” he said.Madhok said patients or their attendants turn violent because they think they can get away with it. Attacking a doctor might be a serious crime, “but in my several years of practice, I have never seen anyone get booked for it,” he said.Seth, the DDU doctor, is glad that the new guards are serving as a deterrent.”These guys save lives too,” he said. “Just as doctors here are always ready to save a patient, these bouncers are here to save us doctors.”advertisementlast_img read more