LA ROMANA, Dominican Republic – The PGA Tour’s Sony Open isn’t the only tournament this week offering an invitation to the Masters. That’s also the ultimate prize here at the second annual Latin America Amateur Championship, which begins Thursday at Pete Dye’s spectacular Teeth of the Dog course at Casa de Campo Resort. Created by Augusta National Golf Club, the R&A and USGA, this 109-man, 72-hole stroke-play tournament follows the blueprint for the Asia-Pacific Amateur, which was designed to provide an avenue for aspiring golfers in parts of the world where the sport isn’t as popular. Since 2009, that tournament has produced such winners as Hideki Matsuyama (twice) and Guan Tianlang, both of whom made the cut at the Masters as amateurs. The world-class resort, corporate backing and first-rate amenities – a players’ game room! – have already elevated the LAAC into a must-play for many of the top amateurs from South and Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. Of course, dangling that Masters carrot – as well as exemptions into the final stage of qualifying for both the U.S. Open and Open Championship – will always help boost participation. “The prize at the end of the road is quite appealing,” said 25-year-old Argentine Matias Simaski, “so for me it became one of the three most important amateur events in the world.” Each country in the region, 29 in all, is represented with at least two participants. The World Amateur Golf Ranking is used to fill out the rest of the field, with Argentina, Chile and Mexico with eight players apiece. Unlike the U.S. Amateur, which in recent years has been overrun with college players, the LAAC field is a mix of players who are either on scholarship in the States or trying to carve out their own path in their home country. At No. 34 in the WAGR, Juan Alvarez of Uruguay is the highest-ranked player in the field. (There are seven top-100 players overall.) The 22-year-old reinstated amateur posted a top-20 at this event last year, after a closing 78, and recently earned a runner-up finish at the PGA Tour Latinoamerica’s Argentina Open. “I believe that I’m more prepared this year,” he said through a translator. The two protagonists from last year’s tournament are back for another run at the title. Defending champion Matias Dominguez, who won by a shot at Pilar Golf Club in Argentina, went on to miss the cut at the Masters (76-76). After completing his degree from Texas Tech last month, he intends to stay amateur for the foreseeable future to focus on other interests. Two years ago, he took a semester-long class in Lubbock called “Building Winning Teams,” which brought together the captains from all 15 sports in the school’s athletic department. The goal was for Dominguez to develop all of the tools to be an effective leader and then empower his teammates to reach their potential. Instead, “that changed my path,” he said. Dominguez, 23, has plans to create a leadership program in Santiago and also assist the Chilean Golf Federation. Those are the projects he is passionate about. The pro game can wait, perhaps forever. But for this week, at least, Dominguez is a star, his face plastered on all of the pre-tournament promotional materials. He’s popular among his peers, too, and for good reason. “How was the Masters? That’s the most common question,” he said, smiling. Memories of that experience remain vivid – the exhilaration of finding the invitation in the mail, the kindness of Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Zach Johnson on the range, the roar from his hole-in-one during the Par-3 Contest. “That was my whole week already,” he said. The past year was more traumatic for LAAC runner-up Alejandro Tosti, now a sophomore at Florida. The 19-year-old Argentine was the only player in the field to break par all four rounds last year, but he missed a 4-footer on the 71st hole and failed to capitalize when Dominguez made bogey on the last. “It was really hard for me,” he said. “After that moment, (I realized) I was trying to make everything perfect, and I found that things happen and they are never going to be perfect. So you have to expect them to not be perfect and just live with that and try your best.” Turns out his freshman year with the Gators was far from perfect, too, as he adjusted to college life with new friends, new responsibilities and a new schedule with his family some 16 hours away. He never felt more alone than last spring, when a tooth infection began to cause headaches, sweating, vomiting, fatigue and light sensitivity during a practice round with two-time major champion Angel Cabrera. Later, doctors found that Tosti was suffering from encephalitis, and he was hospitalized and hooked up to a catheter for nine days. After being released, he administered the IV fluids himself for the next 20 days. Florida’s best player missed the team’s surprising run at NCAA regionals, which culminated in its first championship berth under new coach J.C. Deacon. Now fully healthy, Tosti concedes: “I was lucky.” This week, the goal for Tosti, and the rest of the field, is to earn that invitation to the Masters, a dream that for many never seemed possible until a few years ago. “When I was a little boy, one time I was watching the Masters on TV and I said, ‘One day I want to play at Augusta,’” Alvarez said. “I found out there was going to be a tournament where you could play at Augusta, and here we are. We are going to try our best.”
RIO DE JANEIRO – Henrik Stenson didn’t play handball growing up, instead focusing his youthful attention on the likes of soccer, golf, badminton and bandy, which the Swede described as “like soccer with skates;” but he certainly appreciates the athletic poetry of the sport. “My dad played a lot of handball, so that’s why I’m very familiar with that game,” he said. All of which also made him appreciate when the Swedish men’s handball team showed up for Round 2 at the Olympic Golf Course fresh off their loss to Slovenia on Thursday night in group play. Stenson arrived early in Rio to walk in the Opening Ceremony and watch his beloved Swedish handball team before getting back to the day job of winning a golf tournament. “I’ve been watching them, it’s only fair they repay the favor,” Stenson smiled. In retrospect, the Swedish handball players might have been in the gallery for more than just moral support considering Stenson’s play for two days at the Olympics. The favorite for this week’s gold medal has lived up to that billing in Rio, opening his week with a 66 and enduring the worst of Friday’s weather for a 3-under 68 that left him two strokes off the lead held by Australia’s Marcus Fraser. For a player who had a reputation for being his own worst enemy at times on the golf course, Stenson has emerged over the last few weeks as a bona fide closer. Flawless and fierce last month at Royal Troon, he answered every challenge Phil Mickelson could muster when he closed with a 63 for a three-stroke margin and his first major victory. Olympic golf coverage: Articles, photos and videos But if you’re counting style points, a gold medal this week for Stenson may be even more impressive than what he accomplished at The Open. On Wednesday in Rio the normally personable Stenson had a rare edge to him, snapping at reporters after a barrage of questions about the new Olympic golf course and the collection of high-profile players who didn’t make the trip to Brazil. “Is anyone going to ask about my game?” But if Stenson’s temperament seemed sharper than normal he’d come by it honestly considering he essentially went straight from The Open to the PGA Championship, where he tied for seventh, before making the trip to Rio. On Wednesday he admitted to being worn down by the intensity of the last few weeks and employing an economy of energy to prepare for this week’s event. Although Stenson has a history of making the most of a hot hand like he did in 2013 when he won two playoff events to claim the FedEx Cup and then the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, this time feels different. This time somehow feels more sustainable, more substantial. There is a calm to Stenson this week that belies the importance of winning a gold medal that in no way is a reflection of how the 40-year-old feels about golf’s return to the Olympics. Unlike many of the game’s other top players Stenson never wavered in his support of playing the Olympics, telling anyone who would ask he would value a gold medal just behind a major in importance. Yet he set out this week with a conviction that justified his status as the favorite. “I saw the remarks that some guys were more nervous walking here. I actually felt kind of opposite,” he said following Round 2. “I don’t know if it was because I was pretty clear on my game and what I was going to do. I felt less butterflies walking to the tee box than at some other events.” That calm was tested early on Friday when a cold rain and heavy wind greeted the early starters. Stenson estimated he played the course’s toughest holes in the worst conditions and after birdies at Nos. 1 and 2, he made a mess of the 18th hole and faced a 108-foot putt for par. “You’re just standing there praying for a two-putt bogey,” said Stenson, who converted the par attempt. “Before I know it, I think it found the bottom of the cup. That’s the longest putt I’ve made in my career.” Stenson’s closing stretch was even more eventful when he played his last five holes without a par, a run that included two bogeys and three birdies. However he got there, Stenson’s position near the top of an eclectic leaderboard was an ominous sign. It’s not exactly Michael Phelps at the turn of the 200-meter butterfly, but there is an air of intimidation to the Swede’s play this week that wasn’t there just six weeks ago. “He’s the man to beat, I reckon,” said Justin Rose, who is tied for fourth, two strokes behind Stenson. “He’s obviously ice cold and we all know when he gets into a rhythm as we saw at Royal Troon, he’s a pretty special player.” Stenson’s nickname has never fit him perfectly. The Iceman can certainly look the part at times as he makes his way from shot to shot, but he’s certainly proven that he’s not above the occasional meltdown. Just as it was starting to look like Stenson was poised to force his will on the Rio field, he acknowledged the 600-pound capybara in the room. For Stenson, just as it is for most players in this week’s field, the Olympics have proven to be much more than a curious experiment or exhibition. “I’m sure that there will be butterflies if you’ve got a gold medal on the line on Sunday afternoon,” he smiled. “I’m sure there might be one little one.”
PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Henrik Stenson is happy with his start to the year. It just seems like a false start. Stenson has gone just over a month since his runner-up finish to Sergio Garcia in the Dubai Desert Classic. He made it through only 11 holes last week in the Mexico Championship before he was among the first hit with a stomach virus and withdrew. But with the Masters getting closer, it’s time for the Swede to get moving. ”It’s the beginning of a stretch of tournaments leading into Augusta, so we want to try to get to the Masters in the right direction with where the game is at and what we need to keep working on leading into the first major of the year,” Stenson said. ”The game got off to a good start in the Middle East. I think the game is in decent shape. It’s one of the first weeks here on a big stretch, so I hope to kind of play my way into some form.” The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook is as good of a test as any. Even being squeezed among so many big tournaments in the two months leading up to the Masters, the Valspar Championship has attracted an assortment of the best players over the years because of the test Innisbrook presents. Valspar Championship: Articles, photos and videos Charl Schwartzel won last year in a playoff over Bill Haas after they finished at 7-under 277. The winning score has been no better than 10 under the last four years, and six out of 10 times since it moved to March. ”It looks like an easy course because it’s not very long on distance,” Schwartzel said. ”But man, the way you’ve got to shape the shots, the way you’ve got to think, the variety of clubs you use, it’s just a really good golf course. You very seldom get the guy that plays badly who wins. You’ve got to bring a good game here to compete.” The tournament has been decided by one shot or a playoff the last eight years. Among those not playing this week is Jordan Spieth, who won two years ago ahead of his Masters victory. Also missing is Adam Scott and Sergio Garcia, as players are trying to find the right amount of golf to play ahead of Augusta. Stenson first started playing it three years ago, when he missed a three-man playoff by one shot. ”It’s because of the second shots … a lot of times it’s those mid-irons, the 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-irons into the greens,” Stenson said. ”And when I’m hitting it well, then that’s the strong part of my game.” The 40-year-old Swede was at his best last summer at Royal Troon when he won one of the great duels in major championship history to win the British Open over Phil Mickelson. Stenson joined Johnny Miller as the only players to win a major with a 63 in the final round, and his 264 set a major championship record. Along with his victory in Germany last year, and runner-up finishes in the Olympics, a World Golf Championships event and Dubai, he has been among the top in golf who are battling for No. 1 in the world. What sets Stenson apart is his age. He turns 41 on April 5, the Wednesday of the Masters. Of the five players ahead of him in the world ranking, the oldest is No. 1 Dustin Johnson at 32. Stenson feels he can hold his own with anyone. The question is how much longer. ”Of course, I’m on the back nine of my career,” Stenson said. ”I’m not going to play forever, I know that much. I haven’t really set a time and a date on that. I hope to be around for the next Olympics. That will be kind of around the time where I would potentially have a look in the mirror and see if we want to keep on going or if we want to try and wind down. I don’t know. ”For me, I love the game, I love to practice, I love to compete,” he said. ”And I think I need a combination of all those things to keep going.” It’s getting tougher to win. That has been a popular refrain in golf lately, especially with so many top players in their 20s like Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Hideki Matsuyama andJustin Thomas. Steve Stricker is playing his first PGA Tour event since turning 50 last month – he will venture out to the PGA Tour Champions for the first time next week in Arizona – and the PGA Tour saw fit to group him at the Valspar Championship with Thomas and Daniel Berger, both 23.
AUGUSTA, Mo. – Erica Shepherd won the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship on Saturday, beating Jennifer Chang, 3 and 2, a day after reaching the 36-hole final on her opponent’s rules violation. The 16-year-old Shepherd, from Greenwood, Indiana, ended the title match against close friend Chang with a tap-in par on Boone Valley’s par-3 16th hole. ”Ever since I was little, I’ve always told everyone when making my goals, this is the goal that I have to accomplish,” said Shepherd, the left-hander who has verbally committed to attend Duke in 2019. On Friday, Shepherd beat Elizabeth Moon of Forrest City, Arkansas, on the first extra hole when Moon was penalized for moving her ball before her short par putt was conceded. After missing a short birdie putt that would have ended the semifinal match, the 17-year-old Moon reached across the hole and pulled her ball back with her putter before Shepherd had an opportunity to concede the par putt. The action resulted in the loss of the hole and the match. The 17-year-old Chang, from Cary, North Carolina, pulled Shepherd aside Saturday before they stepped to the first tee. ”I was on the putting green, and she just walked toward me and gave me a hug,” Shepherd said. ”She just asked if I was OK, and I kind of broke down and started crying, then she gave me this whole speech about like how there was nothing I could have done about it, and that just really boosted me back up and got me to regroup.” Said Chang: ”I said, ‘Forget about that. Let’s have some fun. Just you and me, one-on-one. Let’s go for it.”’ Shepherd was inspired by friend and mentor Leigh Anne Hardin Creavy, the winner 19 years earlier. Shepherd’s middle name is ”Leigh” in honor of Creavy. ”I have her as my (screen) background holding the Girls’ Junior trophy to try to motivate me to do that,” Shepherd said. Shepherd heard from Creavy before the championship match. ”She just told me she knew how I felt because she can relate to me caring too much about what other people think,” Shepherd said. ”She told me to just be Erica, and to not let what other people were saying get in my head or distract me.” Shepherd became the second left-handed female champion in USGA history, joining fellow Julia Potter – fellow Indiana player who won the 2013 and 2016 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur titles. Chang has verbally committed to attend Southern California in the fall of 2018. The finalists earned spots in the U.S. Women’s Amateur at San Diego Country Club on Aug. 7-13.
PERTH, Australia – Lee Westwood was tied for the lead with defending champion Brett Rumford after two rounds of the World Super 6 at Lake Karrinyup Country Club on Friday. Rumford, who led by two strokes after the opening round, shot a par 72. Westwood had a 70 to move into the tie, with four other golfers a stroke behind. Westwood and Rumford had 36-hole totals of 8-under 136. Full-field scores from the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth The top 24 after three rounds play six-hole shootouts in the event co-sanctioned by three tours: European, Asian and PGA of Australia. Westwood said his main priority was to finish in the top 24, rather than put pressure on himself to get a top-eight seeding. ”You’re going to need a lot of luck,” he said. ”It’s exciting for the fans and the format of the game. Golf needs something like that.” Andrew (Beef) Johnston shot 73-76 to be 4 over, and missed the cut, which was par. He was a late replacement for fellow Englishman Tyrrell Hatton, who was the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 15 before withdrawing with a wrist injury. Also missing the cut was another Englishman, Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters champion, who shot rounds of 76-75 to be 7 over.
ENDICOTT, N.Y. – Monday qualifier Doug Barron had a one-stroke lead in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open when lightning forced the suspension of play late in the second round Saturday. Making his second PGA Tour Champions start after turning 50 last month, Barron was 10 under for the tournament playing the par-4 15th when play was stopped at En Joie Golf Club. Full-field scores from the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open Barron got into the field Monday with a 66 at The Links at Hiawatha Landing. He’s coming off a fifth-place tie in the Senior British Open in his Champions debut. Scott McCarron was tied for second after a 66. He won the event two years ago. Marco Dawson, playing alongside Barron and Miguel Angel Jimenez in the final group, also was 9 under with Scott Parel and David McKenzie. Playing together in the second-to-last group, Parel and McKenzie also were on 15 when play was suspended.
Phil Mickelson turns 50 years young today. We ought to thank Lefty for the distinction in that phrasing, in the youthful enthusiasm he continues to gift us in a professional life that is more an adventure than a career. You could hear Mickelson’s voice belying his age when he talked about the “hellacious seeds” he was preparing to hit a few weeks ago in “The Match: Champions for Charity.” He sounded like a teenage skateboarder talking about one of his gnarly new tricks. “Tiger likes to hit stingers, and those are cute,” Mickelson said. “A hellacious seed is going by a stinger so fast. … Hellacious seeds are so hot and long.” Yes, Mickelson’s seeds weren’t hellacious enough to win, but the good-natured fun in his commentary elevated the telecast. It was vintage Phil. He may have been denied laying claim as his generation’s greatest player, but he continues to be its greatest showman, its largest personality and its best entertainer, even as he becomes eligible to play for the PGA Tour Champions circuit. Golf Central 50 Phil facts for the legendary Mickelson BY Golf Channel Digital — June 16, 2020 at 7:40 AM As Phil Mickelson turns 50 on June 16, Here’s a look at 50 Phil facts, stats ranging from his days as a junior to his current status as a Hall of Fame legend. Mickelson has rolled out more than a few humorous new ventures in his late-40s. They have helped him remain as relevant as ever. Two years ago, he broke out “The Worm” in that Mizzen+Main performance dress shirt commercial. He didn’t just agree to comically flop through a dance to an electro, rock and funk tune. He offered up the idea for the dance. “It demonstrates how comfortable and versatile the shirt really is,” Mickelson cracked. Actually, his wife, Amy, suggested “The Worm,” and Lefty loved it. “I’ve kind of always laughed at myself and not taken myself too seriously,” he said. Mickelson proved that again when he rolled out his “Phireside Chats” last year. They included a conversation with comedic actor/writer Larry David, who said he watched Mickelson lose the 2006 U.S. Open. David wondered “what could possibly being going through that idiot’s mind” when Lefty hit driver at the 72nd hole. “Well, I could share that with you,” Mickelson said. “But I don’t know, either.” Getty Images Lefty’s calf muscles became stars unto themselves last year, after he posted a photo on Twitter. “They’re gorgeous calves,” Eddie Pepperell tweeted. The photo led to the comical “Phil Kwon Do Calves” video workout. “I’ve listened to you, I’ve heard you,” Mickelson said as he began the workout spoof. “You all want calves like Adonis, too.” Born June 16, 1970, Lefty falls under the third astrological sign, if you are interested in those sorts of things. Of course, he’s a Gemini, the liveliest of the Zodiac’s “Air Element.” Geminis are known for their great company, for being youthful, curious and fun. They’re said to be ruled by the planet Mercury, which makes them fast, witty and skillful communicators. Over the years, Lefty’s words have rivaled his shots on their impact on the game. He did, after all, lead the revolt that overhauled the American Ryder Cup team construct. It’s possible his opposition to the conclusions of the USGA and R&A’s Distance Insights Project could have equally impactful results. He has strong feelings about the project and the governing bodies who oversaw it. Lefty’s bold plays can be grandiose, whether they are inside or outside the ropes. With Mickelson turning 50, it’s time to relish what we’re seeing before he’s gone from PGA Tour leaderboards and field lists. It’s time to more fully appreciate every appearance Mickelson makes and how difficult it will be replacing him when he’s no longer playing. That doesn’t mean he’s washed up. That doesn’t mean he won’t win another PGA Tour event, or be a factor again, because he looks and sounds capable of being the best 50ish player we’ve ever seen. He won in each of the last two years. It’s just time to cherish the moments that will make up this last act. Photos Best of: Phil Mickelson through the years A look back through the career of World Golf Hall of Fame member Phil Mickelson, who won his sixth major at the 2021 PGA Championship. Mickelson’s contribution to the game goes beyond his 44 PGA Tour victories and five major championships. It goes to how uniquely personable he is on every stage he visits, to how much more intimate he makes an event when he is in it, and to how much better that makes the tour experience. It’s in more than the derring-do he still brings. It’s in his edgy charms. Lefty, more than any other player today, has a way of making you feel like you’ve always got a front-row seat. Nobody draws you closer to the competition, and that’s beyond the times he knocked drives into your hospitality suite, then played a shot off the carpeted balcony floor, right in front of you, like he did aside the fifth hole at The Barclays in 2014. He did that, by the way, in back-to-back rounds. It’s beyond all those errant drives he hits into galleries. It’s beyond the way his good humor heals his wounded followers. “If your head was a little softer, I’d be in the fairway,” he good-naturedly told one of his victims at The Memorial in 2016. It’s beyond the way he actually pays for damages his errant driving can do, like the time he broke a man’s watch with a misfire at Doral in ‘06 and then peeled off two $100 bills so the guy could buy a replacement. There are so many memorable interactions in Mickelson’s adventures. Back in ’09 at the Deutsche Bank Championship, with the gallery dwindling late in the first round at TPC Boston, Mickelson stepped to the ropes and asked who was hungry. He then dipped under the ropes, beseeching the gathering of 30 some folks to follow him. Like the Pied Piper, he marched them all to a concession stand, plopped down a batch of $100 bills and told the servers to give the gathering whatever they wanted. The concession stand was being worked by a crew of freshman from Norton High School’s Class of 2012. Mickelson fed his faithful and then left a $160 tip for the few students still working there. There were no photographers out there with the sunk sinking, no TV cameramen, just this writer left among media. It makes you wonder how many moments like this unfold with no cameras around Mickelson. It makes you wonder how much we don’t even know we will miss when Lefty’s gone. Yes, Phil’s 50, but it’s a better game when he isn’t acting his age. It’s a hell of a lot more fun, too.
A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Both statistical significance and functional information are defined in the literature. We also have a method to measure evolutionary change in terms of functional information, so we are ready to move on, avoiding the two mistakes discussed above. Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share TagsScienceViews,Trending Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Intelligent Design Microevolution versus Macroevolution: Two MistakesKirk DurstonJuly 16, 2015, 12:30 PM Microevolution (variation) takes place through genetic drift, natural selection, mutations, insertions/deletions, gene transfer, and chromosomal crossover, all of which produce countless observed variations in plant or animal populations throughout history. Examples include variations of the peppered moth, Galápagos finch beaks, new strains of flu viruses, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and variations in stickleback armour. Each year, thousands of papers are published dealing with examples of microevolution/variation. Cross-posted at SQyBLu/Contemplations. I often observe that in discussions of evolution, both evolution skeptics and those who embrace neo-Darwinian evolution are prone to make one of two significant mistakes. Both stem from a failure to distinguish between microevolution and macroevolution. So in order to clearly distinguish between microevolution and macroevolution in a rigorous scientific way, let me propose the following definitions: Microevolution: genetic variation that requires no statistically significant increase in functional information. Macroevolution: genetic change that requires a statistically significant increase in functional information. The mistake I often hear evolution skeptics make is to the effect that “evolution” is all rubbish, bunk, and false. They are often astonished to learn that variation (which they completely agree with) is defined as “evolution.” The solution is for evolution skeptics to be more precise on exactly what they have problems with. They can endorse microevolution (variation) but point out that a) it is misleading to call variation “evolution” and, b) their problems are with macroevolution. “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour The textbook for a genetics course I took at the University of Waterloo defined evolution as “changes in allele frequencies in a population over time.” An allele can be described as a variation of a particular gene. Defining evolution in this way can be misleading; it would be more accurate to call this variation. No new genes are required, just variation in existing genes or the loss of existing genetic information. This sort of variation is typically referred to as microevolution. Recommended Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Evolution The definition of macroevolution is surprisingly non-precise for a scientific discipline. Macroevolution can be defined as evolution above the species level, or evolution on a “grand scale,” or microevolution + 3.8 billion years. It has never been observed, but a theoretical example is the evolution from a chordate eel-like creature to a human being. Many people who embrace Darwinian evolution confidently state that evolution is a proven fact. They say this on the basis of thousands of papers discussing microevolution. Herein lies the second mistake … the assumption that because variation/microevolution is such an overwhelmingly proven fact that, therefore, macroevolution must be as well. Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Macroevolution is very different from microevolution. The reason there are so many countless observations of variation/microevolution is that it requires no statistically significant levels of novel genetic information; it is trivially easy to achieve. The reason that macroevolution has never been observed is that it requires statistically significant levels of novel genetic information. It is extremely difficult to achieve, but Darwinian theory predicts that genetic information can significantly increase over time. Falsifiable predictions can be made and these are worth examining. Kirk Durston Share
Life Sciences Water — One of the Oldest Design ArgumentsEvolution News @DiscoveryCSCNovember 30, 2017, 1:28 AM Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Today scientists marvel at the many associations among water chemistry, the environment, and life. The multiple anomalous properties of water conspire to make Earth exceptionally fit for life. (See, for example, here, as well as here, here, here, here, and more.)The anomalies of water are not a recent revelation to science. They were already described in detail in 1913 by the Harvard chemist Lawrence J. Henderson in his classic work The Fitness of the Environment: An Inquiry into the Biological Significance of the Properties of Matter. By then, chemists had amassed sufficient data on the chemical elements and their compounds to show that water really does stand out from the crowd.It was about a century prior to Henderson’s work that chemists first measured the thermal properties of water (specific and latent heats). While water’s anomalous expansion on freezing had been known for some time, it was only in 1806 that the Scottish chemist Thomas C. Hope first measured the temperature of its highest density to be 4 degrees C. In that era of rapid discoveries in chemistry, water’s weirdness was quickly being established.It didn’t take long for mathematician and philosopher (and, later, opponent of Darwin’s theory of evolution) William Whewell to develop an argument for design based on these findings. He published his work in 1834 as part of the Bridgewater Treatise series on natural theology; it was titled Astronomy and General Physics Considered with Reference to Natural Theology. He listed multiple “offices” or functions of water, which convinced him of its design. Only three of these could be said to be true anomalies of water; the others are shared by liquids in general. Although this and earlier attempts to build a design argument on the properties of water were clumsy, the argument now had a solid core to build upon.In 1853 Whewell developed an implication of the importance of water to life in his book Of the Plurality of Worlds: An Essay. In it he introduced a concept he termed the “temperate zone,” which is equivalent to the modern concept of the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ). An Earth-like planet within the CHZ can maintain liquid water on its surface for lengthy periods of time. Today, the CHZ concept is central to astrobiology research.Alfred Russel Wallace (of biological evolution fame) also recognized the centrality of liquid water for life. He took Whewell’s concept and refined and expanded it in his 1903 book, Man’s Place in the Universe: A Study of the Results of Scientific Research in Relation to the Unity or Plurality of Worlds. This work is significant both for its early presentation of anthropic arguments in addition to being a treatise on astrobiology. Although some of the science in his book is badly dated, many of his discussions sound remarkably modern. He would agree with NASA’s search-for-life maxim: follow the water.The intervening century has only strengthened Henderson’s, Whewell’s and Wallace’s arguments regarding the remarkable connections between life and water. Evidence of Henderson’s continuing influence is the fact that the John Templeton Foundation sponsored a conference in October 2003 to mark the 90th anniversary of his work. It was titled, “Fitness of the Cosmos for Life: Biochemistry and Fine-Tuning.” Participants included astronomer Owen Gingerich, physicist Paul Davies, and biologist Harold Morowitz. Whether or not they agree with Henderson’s conclusions (and many do), many scientists still feel compelled to comment on them.Not satisfied with the Templeton book, several scholars worked together to publish, in 2010, Water and Life: The Unique Properties of H2O; it is based on a meeting held in 2005. They include such notables in the science and faith dialogs as John Barrow and Simon Conway Morris. Michael Denton adds his name to this list of luminaries to ponder water in his latest book, The Wonder of Water: Water’s Profound Fitness for Life in Earth and Mankind.Portrait: William Whewell, by James Lonsdale [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Recommended Intelligent Design Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos TagsAlfred Russel WallaceBridgewater TreatiseCircumstellar Habitable Zoneintelligent designJohn BarrowLawrence J. HendersonMan’s Place in the UniverseMichael DentonNASAOf the Plurality of WorldsSimon Conway Morristemperate zoneThe Fitness of the EnvironmentThe Wonder of WaterwaterWilliam Whewell,Trending Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Evolution NewsEvolution News & Science Today (EN) provides original reporting and analysis about evolution, neuroscience, bioethics, intelligent design and other science-related issues, including breaking news about scientific research. It also covers the impact of science on culture and conflicts over free speech and academic freedom in science. Finally, it fact-checks and critiques media coverage of scientific issues. Share Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All
Faith & Science So the puppet-builder in the most famous story of a puppet and its maker that you can think of is also a shining, beautiful example of a most loving father and creator. Every father should wish to be as caring and devoted, as every child might wish for such a father. That, from a biologist seeking to dissuade viewers from the intelligent design position, is the carefully selected metaphor for casting ID as emotionally cold and remote? That is not going to fly. Back to the drawing board, I think, Dr. Falk.Photo at top: A screen shot from the end of Pinocchio, via YouTube. I have to add my own brief postscript. Dr. Falk says in “Chromosome 2 Part 1. Evidence for an Evolutionary Creation,” starting at 5:19: It could be that God in his design of human beings chose to put the information into one package for humans rather than two packages that were used for great apes. This is hypothesis number one, the God as an engineer hypothesis. I’m going to suggest an alternative, hypothesis number two, the God as parent hypothesis. According to this hypothesis, God in love establishes and maintains the conditions for human creation. But God does not dictate every step along the way. In hypothesis number two, God works through evolutionary processes, like a parent. In hypothesis number one, God is like [INAUDIBLE], putting all the parts together like a master puppet-builder.At first hearing, a puppet-master or puppet-builder sounds chilly and unappealing, of course. I can’t quite decide what Falk is saying at 5:55. The automatically generated transcript at YouTube says God is like “the pita.” God is like the Middle Eastern bread that goes well with hummus? That can’t be right.To me, it sounds like he’s saying under the “design” idea, God is like “THE-PEE-TOW.” Maybe there’s a glitch in the sound. Could he be referring to the name of the most iconic puppet-builder in our culture, Geppetto, from the story of Pinocchio? Another viewer joins me in thinking that is what he is saying. Whatever the case, this is certainly the association that comes to mind if you consider puppets and puppet-builders for a moment. In the classic 1940 Disney movie, the childless Geppetto wishes that his puppet Pinocchio should come to life. In the end, after self-sacrifice by both father and son, including being swallowed by a monstrous whale, Pinocchio does just that, awaking as a “real boy.” “But father,” he cries, “I’m alive, see?” It’s a wonderful, joyous scene from the movie.Jordan Peterson in typical style gives a moving interpretation of the story in a conversation with Dave Rubin. Peterson has to stop for a moment to pull himself together in the face of his own strong emotional response: Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis We commented yesterday on a video by Darrel Falk, Senior Advisor for Dialogue at BioLogos, who offers a new metaphor contrasting intelligent design with theistic evolution, aka evolutionary creation. In Falk’s vision, ID presents God as a “master puppet-builder,” whereas in evolution, he is a loving parent. Andrew has already noted the irony that evolution, if unguided, is “cruel and arbitrary,” hardly reminiscent of a father or mother’s nurturing relationship with a child. On the other hand, if it’s guided and if the guidance is objectively detectable, that is intelligent design. Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share TagsBioLogosbiologyChromosome 2Darrel FalkDave RubinDisneyfatherGeppettointelligent designJordan PetersonmetaphorMiddle EastPinocchiopitasontheistic evolutionwhale,Trending “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Intelligent Design Pinocchio and Geppetto: A Puppet PostscriptDavid [email protected]_klinghofferMay 11, 2018, 2:20 PM Share A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Recommended