Did Haeckel’s Defunct Recapitulation Theory Influence the Supreme Court?

first_imgOne of our readers uncovered an amicus brief from the American Psychological Association (q.v. on American Bar Association website) encouraging the Supreme Court to overturn capital punishment for minors (see 03/04/2005 entry).  One of the key arguments in the brief is that “Neuropsychological research demonstrates that the adolescent brain has not reached adult maturity.”  Zeroing in on scientific evidence, the brief claimed “Of particular interest with regard to decision-making and criminal culpability is the development of the frontal lobes of the brain.”  (Emphasis added in all quotes.)    For support, the brief cited a 2004 paper by Gogtay et al. from PNAS,1 describing results of MRI scans of 13 young individuals undergoing various activities; the team concluded that juvenile frontal lobes were not as well developed as those of adults.  Yet this team’s conclusions leaned heavily on evolutionary assumptions, particularly those of Ernst Haeckel, author of the now-defunct “recapitulation theory” (often stated in its pretentious prose, “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,” meaning, the development of the embryo imitates its evolutionary history).  The paper contains subtle references to recapitulation theory in making the claim that teenagers are too immature for responsible behavior:The superior temporal cortex, which contains association areas that integrate information from several sensory modalities, matured last. Furthermore, the maturation of the cortex also appeared to follow the evolutionary sequence in which these regions were created.In mammals, the inferior temporal cortex, along with parts of the STG, posterior parietal cortex, and prefrontal cortex, are high-order association areas, which are also most recent evolutionarily.  Our observation of these areas appearing to mature later may suggest that the cortical development follows the evolutionary sequence to some degree.Similarly, gender differences in brain maturation could not be explored, because there are only six males and seven females in the sample.  However, our findings uncover key information on the maturational sequence of early brain development and its relation to functional and evolutionary milestones.Phylogenetically, some of the oldest cortical regions lie on the inferior brain surface in the medial aspect of the temporal lobe… The maturation process in the vicinity of these areas appeared to have started early (ontogenetically) already by the age of 4 years…  (Bullets added.)In The Mismeasure of Man (W. W. Norton, 1981), Stephen Jay Gould catalogued the history of the recapitulation theory, which “By 1920… had collapsed.”  He says that it “ranks among the most influential ideas of late nineteenth-century science” and gives examples of its abuse to justify racism and sexism.  Gould claims that the scientific evidence actually supports the opposite conclusion: the young and the embryo are more advanced than the adult, a concept termed neoteny.  If so, this turns the racist and sexist interpretations of the recapitulation theory upside down:Under recapitulation, adults of inferior races are like children of superior races.  But neoteny reverses the argument.  In the context of neoteny, it is “good”—that is, advanced or superior—to retain the traits of childhood, to develop more slowly.  Thus, superior groups retain their childlike characters as adults, while inferior groups pass through the higher phase of childhood and then degenerate toward apishness.  Now consider the conventional prejudice of white scientists: whites are superior, blacks inferior.  Under recapitulation, black adults should be like white children.  But under neoteny, white adults should be like black children.This demonstrates how a misguided scientific claim can have profound cultural effects, sometimes polar opposites from the same data.1Gogtay et al., “Dynamic mapping of human cortical development during childhood through early adulthood,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences PNAS 101: 8174-8179; published online before print as 10.1073/pnas.0402680101.This is scandalous.  If the Supreme Court was snookered by baloney offered up by the pseudoscientific APA in making its decision, then every family member of every victim murdered by juveniles, every suffering witness to Columbine High School’s mass murder spree, should point an angry, accusing finger at Ernst Haeckel, and Pope Charlie who encouraged him, and all the current charlatans who still invoke Haeckel’s phony “biogenetic law” of recapitulation, and accuse them all of co-conspiracy to divert attention from the Constitution and onto pseudoscience.  (Read the 03/04/2005 entry and commentary also.)    No other society has deemed teenagers as incapable of morally responsible behavior; on the contrary, good societies have stressed the importance of moral training early in life, and the need to correct misbehavior from childhood.  MRI scans have nothing to say about the moral character of minors, much less so whether the development of their frontal lobes is recapping some presumed animal ancestry.  Read Gould’s steaming indictment of recapitulation theory and its promoter, the fraud Ernst Haeckel, who practically worshipped the ground Father Charlie walked on.  Folks, you have just seen Darwinian mythology sway the highest court in the land on a matter of life and death.  What are you going to do about it?(Visited 58 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Top award for South African TV drama

first_img5 October 2010South African television drama Hopeville scooped a Rose d’Or award for best drama and miniseries in Lucerne, Switzerland last week, beating 10 shortlisted programmes from a total of 85 international entries in the process.The awards, celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, are among the most prestigious in the international television industry, celebrating the highest standards in TV productions from around the world.First broadcast on SABC2 in 2009, and since made into a full-length feature film, Hopeville tells the story of Amos, a reformed alcoholic on a mission to forge a relationship with his estranged son Themba.When father and son arrive in the dusty town of Hopeville, they discover a community where apathy, fear and suspicion are the order of the day. When Amos decides to restore the public swimming pool – both for the local kids and for his son’s swimming career – he is met with scepticism and resistance.Through patience, determination and courage, Amos’ act ripples through Hopeville, inspiring others to take action and to do what they know is right.A co-production between Heartlines and SABC Education, Hopeville was produced by Curious Pictures and filmed in the picturesque town of Waterval Boven in Mpumalanga province.The six-episode series was directed by John Trengove, with Harriet Gavshon and Mariki van der Walt as executive producers, and features some of South Africa’s top actors, including Jody Abrahams, Desmond Dube, Leleti Khumalo, Fana Mokoena, Themba Ndaba and Terry Pheto.NGO Heartlines, in partnership with SABC Education, commissioned the series as part of its work of using television and film to help South Africans strive towards the values of humility, compassion, responsibility, perseverance, and other positive goals, in their lives.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast, January 15, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Dry today and tomorrow. A large part of the state will see sunshine, but clouds will interact, particularly in the morning, as we saw some fog develop overnight thanks to the snowpack over most of the state. Still, today will be mostly trouble free. We can’t rule out a few flurries and lake effect clouds up near lake Michigan. Clouds will begin to increase tomorrow ahead of our next system. That system shows up Thursday. Temps will be cold enough for snow north of I-70, but we likely see mostly rain south of 70. Rain totals will up to .4” in the southern half of the state, while from I-70 northward, we can see a coating to 2 inches of snow for your Thursday. We catch a break in the action for Friday, with no new precipitation through the day. A strong storm complex remains on track to hit this weekend. We adjusted our snow thoughts on the system yesterday to 4”-10” over 100% of the state, and we are not changing them this morning. Some models are pushing higher totals, but we think those are overdone for Ohio. Others are not aggressive enough with the system. So, we are going to stay the course with our thoughts for the time being. The system is going to hit us…the exact track is what we are looking to hone in on. Also, over the weekend we will see stronger winds, meaning we have to look for some blowing and drifting for the event. We still have a concern about some rain or ice mixing in over southern Ohio, but as we go through the day Saturday into Sunday morning, colder air blasting in will eventually move all precipitation fully to snow. The map at right is an updated look at snow potential from 7 am Saturday to 7 am Sunday – just remember that we currently think that the 12-16 inch totals are likely to high. Our thoughts may change closer to the event, but right now we are not hyping that up, so view the map with that in mind. Significantly colder air comes in behind the system on Sunday, and will trigger additional light snow and flurries for Sunday afternoon. We can see an additional coating to 2 inches of snow near Lake Erie the lake effect snow machine starts to crank up. The rest of the state will see only minor accumulations from any flurry activity in the afternoon. Dry Monday and Tuesday, and very cold. We have heard of some other outlets that are touting minus 30-degree temps early next week for overnight lows. This is way overdone, and is pure sensationalism. We see some -10 to -15-degree lows Monday night, but nothing anywhere near minus 30. In fact, ND has only seen temps like that 1 time so far this year. It will be very cold for the first part of next week, but we are not going to feed you anything dramatic like that to gain headlines. A midweek system next week comes as cold air stays. So, we think we can pick up snow next Wednesday. Overall, it looks to be a 2”-6” event, but we are going to try and divide it north vs. south. From I-70 northward, we can see 2”-3” of snow, while 3-6” totals are likely from there southward. Another leg of cold air shows up for the extended 11-16 day period, and it will allow plenty of additional snow to develop. We will be dry for next Thursday, but on Friday the 25th we can see a coating to 3 inches of snow from a nice organized frontal boundary. Additional snows are likely for the 26th and 27th with minor accumulations, and then a strong storm at the end of the month on the 30th brings potential for 3-6”. The second half of January is going to be very cold and very active…just like we have been talking since the turn of the new year.last_img read more

The Big Picture on Ultra-High-Def TV

first_imgA shift to the next generation of televisions known as Ultra-High-Definition (UHD), and sometimes 4K, could cost U.S. consumers an additional $1 billion annually unless further energy efficiency improvements are made, according to our new report.In fact, that energy waste could add up to an additional 8 terawatt-hours of electricity a year nationally — enough to power all the homes in San Francisco for three years. But the good news is that while UHD televisions use an average 30% more energy to operate than similarly sized high-definition (HD) televisions, that doesn’t have to be the case. Our new report shows that some of the best UHD models on the market today are dramatically more energy-efficient than the typical UHD television, using little to no more energy than the equivalent HD TV it would replace. Smart TVs are usually, but not always, so smartMost new televisions include internet connectivity which allows consumers to stream content from the web from applications like Netflix and YouTube without the need for a computer or supplemental device like Apple TV or a Roku box. While most of the Internet-connected televisions we tested had very low power levels (less than 1/2 watt in standby) and fast reboot times (below 10 seconds), some were much slower.Those TVs generally included a Quick Start feature, which if selected causes the television to transition much faster from standby to full power. Unfortunately, having this Quick Start feature enabled caused some models to use 20 to 30 watts of standby power even though the viewer had “turned off” the television. Unless absolutely necessary, consumers should avoid selecting Quick Start on your new television.It’s increasingly clear that UHD TV will likely be the dominant type of television sold in the next few years, and more bells and whistles are coming. To avoid an upsurge in television energy use and the related higher energy bills and power plant emissions that come from having to generate more electricity, we need TV manufacturers and their suppliers to continue to focus on improving the energy efficiency of their new TVs.And on the policy front we encourage:DOE to update its test method for measuring TV energy use to make sure the latest content and its potentially higher energy use is captured.EPA to reduce the size of the adder it provides for high resolution TVs in its next specification, Version 8.Utilities to offer rebates for the most energy efficient models.Regulators to consider setting minimum state or national energy efficiency standards to remove the least efficient new TVs from the market. RELATED ARTICLES Choosing an Energy-Efficient TelevisionVideo Gamers Could Save Billions in Energy CostsTackling the Plug Load ProblemChoosing an Energy-Efficient RefrigeratorAll About DishwashersAll About Washing MachinesAlternatives to Clothes Dryers Much to our surprise, about one in three televisions sold today has a screen 50 inches and greater. In general, energy use increases with larger screen sizes. One doesn’t have to look too far back to remember when 32 inches was considered a large television.During our analysis of manufacturer-reported energy use, we observed an almost three-fold range in the electricity consumption of similarly sized UHD televisions. This means that while there are some real energy hogs out there, with the worst consuming more electricity annually than a new mid-sized refrigerator, there are some really efficient models, too. The challenge is how to ensure the industry shifts toward the more efficient designs quickly before many of today’s 300 million televisions are replaced by UHD TVs. Settings really matterMost, but not all, of today’s new TVs come with a setting called Automatic Brightness Control (ABC) that automatically adjusts television screen brightness in response to changes in room light levels. From our laboratory testing of 50-inch to 55-inch televisions, we found that when enabled, ABC cuts energy consumption by a huge amount. On average, TVs with ABC off use 50% more electricity than when ABC is turned on.center_img Curiously, some manufacturers include ABC technology in their televisions, but choose not to ship their TVs with this feature enabled. (If they did, more would qualify for the highly coveted Energy Star label, indicating they are among the most energy-efficient models.) We recommend that consumers dig into the menu to look for, and select, the ABC feature to save money.The latest and greatest type of content that will be offered to viewers in the future is called High Dynamic Range (HDR), which promises more colors, brighter scenes, and blacker blacks. Prior to our study there was no published data on HDR’s incremental energy use. We obtained two movies produced in 4K HDR format and measured the power use during viewing on an UHD HDR television capable of playing it. On average, the HDR content on this TV caused the power use to increase on average by 47% compared to the 4K (non-HDR) version of the same movie.As shown in the accompanying graph (see Image #2, below), the power use during playback varied dramatically, spiking during the very bright scenes. We were only able to perform this test on one TV, so we can’t extrapolate the results to all HDR-capable televisions, but these findings should serve as a loud wake-up call and catalyst for additional measurements and updates to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) test method, which currently only uses HD content to determine television energy consumption. Noah Horowitz is a senior scientist in the energy program of the Natural Resources Defense Council, where he works on a wide range of energy efficiency issues. He holds a master’s degree in environmental engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University. This post originally appeared at NRDC Switchboard. What exactly is UHD TV?The TV industry is heavily promoting its latest generation of televisions being marketed under the umbrella term UHD. These televisions provide higher resolution and in some cases a wider range of colors and enhanced contrast. Their higher resolution screens have at least 8 million pixels, which is four times greater than HD televisions, and are sometimes called 4K TVs. In order to fully benefit from the higher screen resolutions, a really big 4K TV is needed.last_img read more

Anita Sarkeesian, I Love You. But Please Show Us The Money

first_imgSo the haters are wrong. But how much could Sarkeesian’s production upgrades have possibly cost?A good midrange light kit should set you back between $400 and $1,800, while a crazy good desktop that can edit video can go for as much as $5,000. A high-end professional video camera would be another five grand. (A Hollywood-style camera, which she was apparently not going for, would go for $20,000 to $50,000.) The most expensive editing program around, Adobe Premiere, is $400, as is a good microphone. Tally all that up, and it’s still less than $15,000.Show Us The MoneyWhat happened to the rest of the $160,000?Answering this question would certainly knock down the only legitimate point made by Sarkeesian’s online stalkers. Much more important, though, a good financial breakdown of Sarkeesian’s Kickstarter project would also help women video bloggers, who struggle with sexism every day on YouTube, better understand the financial costs of creating a successful video series. (Actually, it would be helpful for anybody dreaming of a career on YouTube).Disclosing her finances should, in theory, be easy, especially now that Sarkeesian hired a producer. As a popular media figure, she has the power to bring some transparency to what can otherwise be an awfully murky business.Kickstarter in general is a hard nut to crack. According to Kickstarter’s own data, more than half of all projects — or 56% — fail to get funded at all. Only about one project in nine raises twice its funding goal. YouTube is also difficult to master. Sarkeesian is skilled at both, having raised a sum in the low six figures on Kickstarter and netted more than a million YouTube views for her first video in 11 days.When popular viral video maker Freddie Wong — who also ran a successful Kickstarter campaign last year — released an infographic outlining the cost of his first web series, Video Game High School, he was lauded by the DIY video community. Wong wrote on his company’s blog:We believe that the future for content-creators such as ourselves lies in being able to source project money from an audience and deliver on those projects in a timely and cost-effective manner. However, we realized to do this effectively, we must be completely open and honest about the money we spend and how much things cost. Simply put, we cannot expect our fans to support us financially if they have no idea how much things actually cost.So show us how it was done, Anita Sarkeesian. Not because I don’t believe you did it, but so that others can follow in your footsteps. And if you had to spend that money on flights to give TED Talks, doing research or licensing fees for game footage — or even to pay for therapy  as a result of the harassment you endured — I want to know that, too.Sarkeesian did not respond to a request for comment for this article.Updated on March 19, 11:57 a.m. PT:Revised figures on Kickstarter projects that failed to fund using Kickstarter data and an academic paper (both linked in the text).Lead screencap from Sarkeesian’s YouTube video Damsel in Distress: Part 1 – Tropes vs Women in Video Games Related Posts Feminist media critic and video blogger Anita Sarkeesian raised $160,000 in Kickstarter funds last summer after she publicized the online bullying she endured upon announcing the project. Earlier this month, to much fanfare, Sarkeesian finally delivered the first installment of her controversial Tropes Vs Women in Video Games video series.But Sarkeesian hasn’t yet explained why that video still fell more than six months behind schedule — it presumably wasn’t because of a budget shortfall — nor offered any accounting of how she’s spent the funds she raised. Is it sexist of me to ask about the money?The Story Thus FarFor those unfamiliar with the online drama to date, Sarkeesian’s feminist video essays critiquing pop culture — sometimes scathing, sometimes lighthearted — regularly disturb the darker side of the Internet. Her Kickstarter project, which focused almost exclusively on sexism in video games, so perturbed a large group of male gamers that they organized and harassed her relentlessly online.These charming fellows didn’t stop at social media harassment, death threats or comments about how happy they would be if Sarkeesian died. They took the time to put up their own crowdfunded Indiegogo project devoted to mocking Sarkeesian’s own, even though it later disappeared without a trace. (The group insists the project is still on, despite acknowledging that its page was pulled while Indiegogo reviews it.)Even more damning, they made a video game about punching Sarkeesian in the face. The angrified dudes who thought they were defending their favorite digital pastime openly referred to their online harassment campaign as “a game.” Sarkeesian, in her TED Talk about their hate campaign, dubbed them “a cybermob.” fruzsina eordogh Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Tags:#Kickstarter center_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification It was this cybermob that caught the attention of the press, which shared Sarkeesian’s project beyond the gamer community. Sympathy money poured in, much as it did with that bullied Michigan bus monitor, and Sarkeesian reached her fundraising goal in days. She received more than 25 times her proposed $6,000 goal from people like this self-identified radical feminist who wrote on Tumblr recently:I like and play video games, but they’re not a particular passion of mine, and I never would have donated to that project. However, I donated $20 after the vicious backlash that involved creating a video game where you can beat the shit out of Anita Sarkeesian.Is Transparency Too Much To Ask?Which brings me to Sarkeesian’s finances. I raise this subject with some trepidation, because Sarkeesian’s critics have twisted it into photoshopped tweets about Sarkeesian spending $1000 on new shoes, complaints that she’d donate to charity if she were really a good person and blog entries wondering if Sarkeesian got a nose job. (Her nose looks the same, men. I checked her older videos.)When you get past the vitriol, their main criticism is that the production quality of Sarkeesian’s videos hasn’t increased.In a Kickstarter update issued days into the original campaign, Sarkeesian herself raised this issue, writing that she’d like to use the extra money “to really bump up the quality and the professionalism as much as I can,” possibly by buying a light kit, a better computer, a microphone, editing software and other pricey gear.Sorry, angry male gamers. Sarkeenian has apparently been as good as her word. The quality of her videos has increased, particularly in terms of sound quality and, evidently, via use of a light kit. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

CPI(M) allies against pact with Congress

first_imgThe constituents of the Left Front are going to turn on the heat on the Communist Party of India (Marxist) during a meeting scheduled on Friday to decide on its alliance with the Congress. Senior leaders of three major constituents of the Left Front — All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), Revolutionary Socialist Party ( RSP) and Communist Party of India (CPI) — told The Hindu that they are going to raise strong objections on the ongoing talks on electoral understanding with Congress. “We will not have any alliance with the Congress. The AIFB will contest three Lok Sabha seats and on the remaining seats with support CPI(M) and other allies,” Naren Chatterjee, State secretary of AIFB, said. RSP general secretary Kshiti Goswami said: “The CPI(M) has no right to force the alliance with the Congress on the Left Front. We have all seen the result when the Left and Congress came together in the 2016 Assembly polls.”last_img read more

Misfiring Chelsea need Barkley boost

first_imgChelsea Barkley boost needed after Chelsea produce worst display in months Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea correspondent 03:59 1/7/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Michy Batshuayi Getty Images Chelsea FA Cup Antonio Conte Norwich City The Blues looked toothless in the final third against lesser opposition and may need the spark that their new signing can provide Ross Barkley’s £15 million move from Everton loomed over a group of Chelsea players who needed to impress as they received a rare chance to play in Saturday’s third round FA Cup match versus Norwich City. However, the Blues’ heavily rotated line up didn’t function effectively, not recording a shot on target until the 50th minute, en route to a scoreless draw at Carrow Road.Norwich were the better team in the first half and could have been ahead as Willian, Pedro and Michy Bathshuayi began the game in the forward positions.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player David Luiz came back in the side but looked rusty as Chelsea’s second string made a below-average Championship side look like Premier League opposition. Barkley was only signed yesterday after completing his medical the night before and his creative abilities could be put to good use by Antonio Conte. Ross Barkley ChelseaPedro has lost that relentless energy he showed last season when Chelsea won the title, while midfielders like Timeoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater may also feel the pressure of Barkley’s arrival.Willian was bright but wasn’t able to influence the game, while Batshuayi was the first man subbed off as Norwich fans chanted: “What a waste of money.”Chelsea’s substitutes of Alvaro Morata and Charly Musonda failed to have the desired impact on the game which shows that Barkley has a place in this side to add an extra dose of creativity. Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard were both left out on the matchday squad with the Belgian getting a kick on his calf in the 2-2 thriller with Arsenal on Wednesday. Barkley could become Chelsea’s other creator having created 1.59 chances-per-game in the league at Everton. His 4.45 dribbles-per-game and 2.66 shots-per-game show that he could be a useful asset. However, he will have to turn that production into goals and assists in a Chelsea shirt. PedroThe Barkley signing was needed and Norwich showed that in a game that Chelsea should have dominated but could have resulted in an upset loss rather than just a third-round replay. Chelsea will likely get through in the FA Cup replay at Stamford Bridge but that’s another match the club wouldn’t have wanted as they face a two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final tie against Arsenal and a Champions League last sixteen versus Barcelona.Barkley has been injured for seven months but maybe the FA Cup replay match will be the perfect day to make his debut in front of his own fans.  Chelsea’s replay will be in mid-January so that’s a date for Barkley to target. As his competition fail to show why Conte should stick with them, he could find himself in the starting eleven sooner rather than later.last_img read more