Women’s NCAA Championship scoring

first_img2014 Women’s NCAA Championships scoringlast_img

Donald takes 1-shot lead as Day plummets

first_imgHILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – For Luke Donald, it’s another chance to end his hard-luck history at Harbour Town Golf Links. For Jason Day, it’s a rare round to forget for the world’s No. 1 player. While Donald took the lead Saturday at the RBC Heritage with a 2-under 69, Day – tied atop the leaderboard entering the round – had a season-worst 79 to fall nine shots behind. ”It’s obviously not the way I wanted to play,” said Day, the winner of two of his past three PGA Tour events. It was exactly what Donald wanted at one of his most successful courses. He has mastered the swirling wind, tight fairways and really small greens better than just about anyone since 2009 with five top-three finishes over that span. The only thing he hasn’t accomplished? Victory. He has learned from those close calls that he can’t sit back Sunday and allow others – like winners Brandt Snedeker did in 2011 or Matt Kuchar did in 2014 – to zoom past him as he pars his way home. ”I can’t sit back on my heels,” the Englishman said. Donald was at 7-under 206 through 54 holes, a stroke in front of Jason Kokrak and Charley Hoffman. Kokrak shot 68 while Hoffman had a 71. Patton Kizzire shot a 71 and was another shot behind in fourth. British Open champion Zach Johnson, after a 70, was among three at 4 under. RBC Heritage: Articles, photos and videos Donald was a stroke behind when the round started and quickly moved up with three birdies on his first eight holes to reach 8 under. He bogeyed the 13th and trailed Hoffman by a shot. But Donald steadied his game with five straight pars over the windy back nine to get himself on top once more. Donald has won more than $2.5 million at the RBC Heritage, the third-highest total. But he’s known as much for his disheartening defeats on Pete Dye’s tricky layout. Snedeker rallied from six shots behind Donald to force a playoff and win in 2011. Three years later, Kuchar’s chip in from a bunker in front of the 72nd hole capped a four-shot comeback and left Donald, whose last of five PGA Tour wins came in 2012, in second once more. ”I think it’s a bit dangerous to say a place owes you,” Donald said. ”Certainly, I’ve knocked on the door many times. I’d love to put that tartan jacket on tomorrow.” One who figured to join the battle was Day, but his round went bad right from the start. Tied for the top and playing in the final group, Day came up short of the first green and made bogey. Two holes later he drove into water after hitting some trees way right of the third fairway for a double-bogey 6. The wheels came off for good during an awful stretch around the turn – Day made five bogeys in a six-hole span. His 79 was his highest round of the year and his worst showing in 63 rounds since an 81 last year in the second round of The Players Championship. ”I felt like there was a good score out there today if you hit it in the right spots,” Day said. ”And unfortunately, I just kept missing it in the wrong spots.” Day attempted to take his poor play in stride, signing autographs for fans behind the 18th green. After winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The WCG-Dell Match Play, finishing 10th at the Masters, Day said several times this week he was ready for a break – which the PGA Championship winner will get next week. Hoffman also has a score to settle with Harbour Town. He was the 54-hole leader here in 2013, yet ballooned to a 77 in the final round. He looked like he would hold the lead after moving to 8 under, one up on Donald, with a birdie on the 16th hole. Yes, he missed a 6-footer for par on No. 17 and a 17-foot putt from the back fringe on No. 18. ”Hopefully, I can reach down deep,” Hoffman said. ”I know I’ve done it before.” Divots: Jason Bohn continued his up-and-down play in his first tournament back since a heart attack in February. Bohn ballooned to a 4-over 75 on Saturday, a round that including back-to-back double bogeys. … Boeing, the presenting sponsor, showed off another of its 787 Dreamliners to the RBC Heritage crowd. The sleek aircraft glided along the 18th hole over Calibogue Sound before leaving. It’s the fourth time the company, the presenting sponsor of the tournament, has showcased its aircraft with a flyover. … Past RBC Heritage champion Carl Pettersson was among seven players who missed the cut after the third round. … New pro Bryson DeChambeau briefly got himself into the mix with three birdies on his first four holes. He made four bogeys after that and stands five shots back of Donald.last_img read more

Miserable starts for McIlroy, Spieth, Mickelson

first_imgSOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – Rory McIlroy’s ongoing war against featured groups just got even more ammo. Matched up with Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth Thursday in one of the two early-round supergroups at this 118th U.S. Open, McIlroy imploded with a 10-over 80 that matched his career-worst score in the majors. His company was just as miserable – Mickelson missed one fairway and still shot 77, while Spieth limped home with a 78. McIlroy didn’t stop to chat with either reporters or a USGA media official seeking a perfunctory statement on the day. Neither did Mickelson, who cheerfully signed autographs for 20 minutes before scampering down a sandy path, leaving a small group of reporters, literally, in the dust. So Spieth was left to explain for the group the difficulty of a day in which only two players in the morning wave broke par. “It wasn’t fun,” Spieth said outside the locker room. “It wasn’t not fun. It was just blah.” U.S. Open: Scores | Live blog | Full coverage “Blah” probably wasn’t what the USGA had in mind when it formed this supergroup. The U.S. Open was the first major to lump the top three players in the world together, in 2008 at Torrey Pines. But it’s since become common practice on the PGA Tour for high-profile players to start the week together, and the reasons for the shift to stardom are obvious: It generates buzz pre-tournament, and it helps the event’s broadcast partners if the top players are all in one place at one time (never mind that fans on-site can’t see a thing). In recent weeks McIlroy has expressed his frustration with the weekly trend, telling PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan after The Players that the event’s two featured groups “backfired” – three of the six boldfaced names missed the cut, while the others barely earned a weekend tee time. All of that early-week buzz affects players differently. So when asked about it again this week at Shinnecock, McIlroy doubled down. “Just looking purely from a results point of view, and how some of the players have played in those marquee groups, it hasn’t maybe been what the Tour wanted or what those guys have wanted in terms of performance and results,” he said. Thursday’s opening round offered another data point. McIlroy went out in 42. Spieth was 4 over par through two holes. Mickelson’s slow bleed began with three bogeys in his first four holes. They were never going to light up the leaderboard, not on Thursday, not with knee-high fescue catching foul balls and 30-mph gusts and dicey pins. But the manufactured energy was drained early. “I get what they’re doing, but at a major championship, I don’t think the anticipation level can get any higher anyway,” McIlroy said. “It’s just a little bit contrived for my liking. “The primary objective is to trying to get those guys in contention on a Sunday,” he added, “and whatever is the best way to do that.” Maybe all of the extra attention played a factor in their unsightly openers. Or perhaps, in these conditions, on this treacherous day, these stars were destined to go a combined 25 over par, anyway. Whatever the case, one of the U.S. Open’s two supergroups fell flat on Day 1, and we’re all poorer for it.last_img read more

Wolff highlights JDC field, eyes 2nd straight win

first_imgMatthew Wolff made a name for himself by winning the 3M Open in his fourth PGA Tour start after turning pro. The 20-year-old who starred at Oklahoma State will try to make it two in a row this weekend at the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Illinois. Wolff was the Tour’s youngest winner since Jordan Spieth won at TPC Deere Run at age 19 in 2013. And like Spieth, he’s being hyped as a future star as he arrives in the Quad Cities. Many of the world’s best players are either taking the week off or playing the Scottish Open in preparation for next week’s British Open. That makes Wolff as good a bet as any to make a run at the title at a venue known for low scores. “My caddie kind of told me that this course is a little bit like last week, just the driving aspect and kind of the way it sets up,” Wolff said. “I played it for the Monday pro-am, and I kind of realized that it was more of a course that suited my eye pretty well and I like the look of it.” Wolff’s victory last week at TPC Twin Cities took care of a lot: It earned him instant membership and a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and invitations to next year’s Masters and PGA Championship. But it didn’t get him a spot in the field at the British Open. That, too, is a possibility this week: The top finisher not already exempt who finishes in the top 5 at TPC Deere Run will qualify to play next week at Royal Portrush – and get a seat on the charter flight that the John Deere Classic provides to players making the trip to Northern Ireland. If he doesn’t get there this year, there appear to be plenty of major championship starts in the future for Wolff, who has always shown huge potential. Wolff, who grew up in Southern California, earned freshman All-America honors for the Cowboys in 2017-18 before winning the NCAA individual title in May. After missing the cut at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, Wolff shot 62-65 over the weekend at the 3M Open, securing the win with a 25-foot putt for eagle from the collar of the 18th green. Full-field tee times from the John Deere Classic Full coverage of the John Deere Classic That made him the seventh player in the past 80 years to win a PGA Tour event before turning 21, and the other six – Spieth, Tiger Woods, Seve Ballesteros, Phil Mickelson, Raymond Floyd and Rory McIlroy – went on to win multiple majors. Wolff and his assistant Cole Spradlin rented a van and drove straight from Minnesota to the Quad Cities, arriving around 2:30 a.m. Monday. “It’s a dream come true. I’ll say that over and over again. My life changed as soon as that putt went in,” Wolff said. “But it only lasts so long, and my goal is to become the No. 1 player in the world.” He’s now 135th, but that figures to change soon, too. The John Deere Classic has long made up for its lack of star power by using sponsor exemptions to lure some of the game’s brightest prospects to its event. This year’s newcomers will include Cal’s Collin Morikawa, who finished one shot behind Wolff in Minnesota. Morikawa’s performance earned him special temporary membership on the PGA Tour, meaning he can use unlimited sponsor exemptions in a bid to earn his Tour card for next season. Morikawa, who’ll be making his fifth career start, will be joined by fellow rookies Viktor Hovland and Justin Suh. “Obviously the goal coming into this summer was to earn a full card for next year,” Morikawa said. “We’re almost there.” One player who doesn’t come in with much momentum is defending champion Michael Kim. After winning at TPC Deere Run by eight shots, matching the largest margin of victory on tour in 2018, Kim began working on swing changes with coach John Tillery and has missed 17 cuts in a row.last_img read more

Time to raise red flag as Tiger skips Players

first_imgORLANDO, Fla. – It’s officially time to raise the red flag. Tiger Woods’ absence from last month’s WGC-Mexico Championship, where he played well last year in his course debut, was surprising but not earth-shattering. His decision to skip last week’s Honda Classic, held just minutes from his Florida home, didn’t register on the Richter scale.  Even his choice to pass on this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he has won eight times before, didn’t seem like reason to sound the alarm. Yes, agent Mark Steinberg’s inclusion of back stiffness as a factor in the decision seemed ominous, but Woods missed Bay Hill last year and captured a fifth green jacket a few weeks later. But his latest non-commitment, this time opting out of The Players just hours before the entry deadline because of lingering back concerns, raises an entirely new set of questions.   Since the calendar flipped to 2020, the focus has been on what Woods’ Masters prep might look like. Now there’s reason to wonder whether he’ll be ready for his Augusta National title defense at all. “Back just not ready,” Steinberg said in a statement to ESPN.com. “Not concerning long-term, just not ready.” Steinberg’s bullishness about Woods’ long-term prospects is understandable, but there is no hiding from the fact that something has seemingly gone awry. Woods himself has not spoken publicly about his health since the Genesis Invitational, where he finished last among the 68 players who made the cut. That weekend he seemed a shell of his former self, but he didn’t offer any indication that his health status would remain in jeopardy a month later. “I feel stiff, but I have weeks like that,” Woods said on Feb. 15. “Especially in the cold mornings like it was the other day. Don’t quite move as well, and that’s just kind of how it’s going to go.” When it comes to Woods, health expectations need to be calibrated appropriately. He’s now 44 years old, still essentially on borrowed time after back fusion surgery in 2017. He is not going to be able to play the ambitious schedule of a 25-year-old, nor should anyone expect him to do so. Golf Central Tiger to skip Players: ‘Back just not ready’ BY Randall Mell  — March 6, 2020 at 3:55 PM Tiger Woods is skipping the Players Championship next week. His agent, Mark Steinberg, told ESPN that Woods’ “back [is] just not ready.” But there’s a difference between playing it safe and not playing at all. Woods has spoken time and again about the importance of peaking for the Masters, having done so in such memorable fashion last year. But among the various strategies with which to approach Magnolia Lane, a two-month layoff doesn’t qualify as a recommended option. And at this point, that’s now in play for the reigning Masters champ. Last year, Woods made the quarterfinals of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in his final start before Augusta, and the year before he was a runner-up at the Valspar Championship. While he could technically still enter either upcoming event, or both, as a Masters tune-up, it’s hard to envision that an injury that has kept him out of a series of high-profile tournaments over the last month might clear up overnight. Right now, no scenario is off the table – including the prospect that Woods may have already played his final competitive round before the Masters. “I knew he struggled a little bit in Australia on that Saturday, when he was going to play twice. And then I talked to him in L.A., and he wasn’t feeling all that great there,” said Steve Stricker, who played two rounds alongside Woods at Riviera. “But I thought a couple weeks off, especially not playing here, would get him back into a position where he could play. So yeah, it’s a bit of a shock that he’s not going to be playing next week as well.” Golf Central Begay: Tiger feels ‘ripple effect’ from busy 2019 BY Rex Hoggard  — March 5, 2020 at 11:05 AM Tiger Woods still has time to commit to next week’s Players, but Notah Begay painted a picture of continued uncertainty. Granted, Woods has been through this sort of situation before. He missed more than two months after withdrawing from Torrey Pines because of a back injury in 2015, only to return at Augusta National and finish a more-than-respectable 17th. His first start of 2010 came at the Masters, where he made his comeback from personal scandal under the brightest of spotlights and tied for fourth. But in neither of those instances was Woods returning amid the azaleas as the defending champion. After last year’s watershed victory, this year’s Masters was expected to be a celebration of both what he had accomplished and how far he had ventured to make it all happen. But now, as has so often been the case over the last decade, a cloud of injury hangs over perhaps the greatest golfer of all time. There’s still a chance that cloud could dissipate. There’s a chance that Woods’ injury isn’t serious, that there really is no reason for long-term concern. He could show up in Tampa in two weeks, or in Austin the week after, and show everyone that they had no real reason to worry. But with only scant information publicly available, his decision to skip the PGA Tour’s flagship event speaks volumes about the current state of his health. And with another Friday entry deadline in the rearview mirror, the level of concern is justifiably higher than at any point since he slipped into that green jacket 11 months ago.last_img read more

Armour, Andrade lead Ally; Langer one back

first_imgGRAND BLANC, Mich. — Tommy Armour III had been playing enough golf during the pandemic to know his game was in good shape. All he needed was a spot in the Ally Challenge to show it Friday. Armour and Billy Andrade each opened with a 6-under 66 at Warwick Hills to share the lead by one shot over Bernhard Langer as the PGA Tour Champions returned for the first time since March. Armour wasn’t in the field until he arrived at the course Monday and learned Brandt Jobe had withdrawn. ”I played a lot of golf in this period where we haven’t been playing, and I was looking forward to playing well,” Armour said. ”There’s two more rounds left. But I had a good feeling coming back when I was first hoping to get in the tournament. I mean, a lot of 50-year-olds and plus, and out of 81 p layers, somebody’s going to break down a little bit.” Andrade played bogey-free for his 66 at the course that for years hosted the Buick Open on the PGA Tour. Andrade never had a lot of success at Warwick Hills after a runner-up finish in 1989. It also felt like a long time since he had competed. Unlike Armour, he wasn’t sure what to expect. Full-field scores from The Ally Challenge ”All of us I think are in the same boat,” Andrade said. ”You don’t know coming out, out of the gate, how you’re going to play. I took a lot of time off, and then started playing a little bit at home. A little sloppy in some of the rounds I have played, and today I was not sloppy at all, so it was really good.” Langer leads the Charles Schwab Cup points list, which won’t be decided until the end of 2021 because of how much time the 50-and-old tour lost to the pandemic. He made six birdies in 12 holes before throwing in a pair of bogeys that slowed his momentum. He had his 26th straight round of par or better. Also at 67 were Tom Gillis and Wes Short Jr. Former U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk made his PGA Tour Champions debut with a 68. Furyk, former Masters champion Mike Weir and K.J. Choi each turned 50 during the shutdown. Furyk is among past champions at Warwick Hills. Weir shot a 70, while Choi had a 72. Ernie Els, who won the Hoag Classic the last time the PGA Tour Champions played in March, made a hole-in-one on the eight hole with a 6-iron from 192 yards. He opened with a 69.last_img read more

Strafaci vs. Gupta, an unexpected U.S. Am semi

first_imgBANDON, Ore. – Tyler Strafaci had no plans to play this U.S. Amateur. Aman Gupta had almost no chance. But as fate would have it, they will meet in Saturday’s semifinals at Bandon Dunes. Strafaci, the Georgia Tech senior from Davie, Fla., could’ve already been a professional. Instead, he’s put U.S. Walker Cup team selectors on notice with a spectacular summer that continued with Friday’s quarterfinal victory over decorated mid-amateur Stewart Hagestad. Gupta, a Concord, N.C., native entering his junior year at Oklahoma State, had more than 20 alternates ahead of him last week and didn’t get into the field until the Friday afternoon before the championship. Now, he’s one of four players remaining after a hard-fought quarterfinal win over incoming Stanford freshman Michael Thorbjornsen. “It’s nerve-racking, honestly,” Gupta said. “You just kind of have that heavy feeling in your chest, just waiting to get in.” Gupta arrived in Bandon on Thursday evening after a long travel day that included connections in Atlanta and Seattle, plus a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Eugene. He got word the next day that he would be replacing world No. 2 Ricky Castillo and proceeded to set the Bandon Trails course record with a stress-free 64 on Monday. Friday’s match, though, was more of what Gupta described as a “dogfight,” beginning with a Thorbjornsen chip-in for birdie and only getting more hectic. At the third hole, Gupta yanked a drive into the left hay and needed four hacks just to advance the ball. “That deserves some applause!” quipped Gupta’s caddie, Oklahoma State head coach Alan Bratton, after Gupta finally found the fairway. Added the self-deprecating Gupta, who conceded the hole while laying six: “I’m over there weed whacking for five minutes. … I thought I was going to be there all day.” Then there was the mis-club at the par-3 12th, where Gupta’s tee ball sailed the green, only for Gupta to somehow escape with bogey to remain 1 down. “I let him down there,” Bratton said. “But when he made that putt for bogey, he took the momentum right there.” Gupta birdied his next two holes to tie the match for the third different time. In all, there would be five different lead changes in a match that included three holes halved with birdies and two won with bogeys. When the dust settled, it was Gupta tapping in for par at the last to finish off a 1-up victory. One more win would earn Gupta exemptions into next year’s U.S. Open and Masters, and a final date Sunday with either Ollie Osborne or Matthew Sharpstene. Two would make him the sixth Cowboy to lift the Havemeyer Trophy. How about that potential haul for an alternate? “I’m actually pretty comfortable out here,” said Gupta, who is ranked No. 500 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. “It’s just I didn’t have the year I wanted to, I wasn’t quite ranked well enough, so that’s why I was an alternate. But it’s definitely a surreal feeling, regardless of any of that, just making it this far.” Highlights: Friday’s best from the U.S. Amateur quarterfinals When Strafaci woke up Friday morning, he was still trying to shake the emotion of Thursday’s shocking finish against Segundo Oliva Pinto, who lost after his caddie was penalized for testing sand in a bunker on the final hole. “Yesterday was one of the weirdest days of my golfing life, the way it happened,” Strafaci said. “I knew Stew is one of the best amateurs in the world, and I knew I had to get over that quick, compartmentalize and forget about it and make what I did yesterday worth something. “I told myself I had to play one of the best rounds of golf I’ve ever played, and I thought I did.” Strafaci wasn’t perfect. He quickly fell 1 down after a bogey at the first hole and added four bogeys on the back nine to cough up a 2-up lead with five to play. But the stakes were high, the winds were higher, and as Strafaci contested, “I didn’t really miss a shot.” He hit a beautiful tee ball to 5 feet at the difficult par-3 sixth to take his first lead, and he doubled that advantage after a 12-foot eagle make at the ninth. When he found himself tied with three holes to play, Strafaci made no mistakes, while Hagestad bogeyed the penultimate hole and then sent a driver-off-the-deck second shot into the right penalty area at the par-5 18th, making par when he needed birdie. “He’s a stud,” Hagestad of Strafaci, “but I think what makes him a lot better than maybe other amateurs and collegiate golfers is he has an incredible level of maturity.” Strafaci’s dad, Frank, who is on the bag this week, said his son has “always been the kid who has a vision of what he wants to do.” Entering his senior season last fall, Strafaci planned on staying amateur after graduation. He would finish up his business degree, play a summer full of amateur tournaments and hope for that Walker Cup call next May. But last February, Strafaci had a change of heart. He had played well, posting three top-six finishes, but he was coming off a disastrous tournament in Puerto Rico and his world ranking was barely inside the top 100. “I think I might turn pro,” Strafaci told his dad. “The Walker Cup has been a little too much pressure on me, and I kind of just want to get going with my life.” Looking back on that moment, Strafaci admits, “That was just an excuse because I wasn’t playing good golf.” Then the coronavirus pandemic hit, canceling the Yellow Jackets’ season and affording Strafaci the option to return to school for an extra year. His course altered again, Strafaci remained amateur and reignited that Walker Cup dream. He captured the North and South Amateur, a tournament his late grandfather won twice, and followed with a victory at the Palmetto Amateur. He improved his ranking to No. 56. And as he’s navigated his way through the match-play bracket, he’s done so under the watchful eye of U.S. Walker Cup captain Nathaniel Crosby, who followed Strafaci’s final few holes Friday. Strafaci was invited to the practice session in December 2018 but ultimately did not make last year’s 10-man squad for Royal Liverpool. “To be honest, I wasn’t ready to play in it last year,” Strafaci said. “I wasn’t a good enough player, I didn’t deserve it, I didn’t play good enough golf. And this year, I’m on a track where I’m still probably on the outside looking in, but I’m on a better track than I was last year.” A win Sunday, of course, would leave nothing to fate.last_img read more

Lessons from the Wansink Science Scandal

first_imgWhat pedagogical methods best prepare students to engage with science? Quality science education, especially regarding evolutionary theory, is inquiry-based, not dogmatic. Over at the Washington Post, Alan Levinovitz, associate professor of religious studies at James Madison University, wrote an article reflecting on the recent Brian Wansink science scandal. He comes to the conclusion that science education often errs by omitting instruction about critical thinking. Who is Brian Wansink? From the Associated Press:A prominent Cornell University food researcher resigned after an investigation found he committed academic misconduct, including misreporting data, the school announced Thursday.Brian Wansink has been removed from all teaching and research positions and will retire at the end of the school year next June, Cornell said in a statement.Wansink had previously helped update the U.S. dietary guidelines and is known for his research on consumer behavior, which has been widely cited including in articles by The Associated Press.Cornell says Wansink’s academic misconduct also included “problematic statistical techniques, failure to properly document and preserve research results, and inappropriate authorship.”Thursday’s announcement comes a day after six more of Wansink’s papers were retracted. The most recent retractions included a 2005 paper that said people eat more when served in large bowls and a 2013 article that said grocery shoppers buy food with more calories when they’re hungry.Levinovitz describes Wansink’s fall as “painful to watch.” He had written on the professor’s studies in the past, but notes that he no longer trusts any of Wansink’s research: Most important, I no longer trust myself. I take pride in being a steely-eyed skeptic, wary of too-good-to-be truths. Yet my critical apparatus was hijacked by Wansink’s apparent altruism and his alignment with my own beliefs about the power of branding…The State of ScienceWhat does the Wansink ordeal reveal about the state of science? “In theory, the scientific method is objective. But in reality, science is produced, interpreted and reported by humans — humans who are fallible, biased and self-interested,” Levinovitz states. In the wake of the Wansink scandal, there have been renewed calls for reforming the methods and culture of scientific inquiry: open data to allow for outside verification of results, pretrial registration so researchers can’t sift through results to come up with post hoc conclusions. The intense pressure of academia’s “publish or perish” mantra is no longer seen as an engine of discovery, but rather a possible enemy of honest inquiry.I agree. Science ought to be subject to more scrutiny. I would also add that biases in science lead to some evidence — such as evidence contrary to evolutionary theory — being excluded from mainstream publications. “A Big Book of Important Truths”Professor Levinovitz also wants to reform science education. “When I was a child, scientific knowledge was presented to me as though it came from a big book of Important Truths,” he notes. An approach like that does not prepare citizens to critically evaluate research like Wansink’s. “Reforms to the culture of science need to be accompanied by reforms in science education,” says Levinovitz. Textbooks should include case studies of how industry funding can skew results. The standard suite of experiments should include at least a few meant to illustrate confirmation bias. Statistical tricks such as post hoc generation of conclusions from a large data set are not difficult to understand, and they should be laid out clearly as cautionary tales.It is important not only for critical inquiry to be used in evolutionary biology, but also for students to learn about Darwin’s theory and the modern evolutionary synthesis by practicing what it means to weigh the evidence objectively.  Our Science Education Policy calls for teaching the scientific strengths and weaknesses of evolution, noting: “[E]volution should be taught as a scientific theory that is open to critical scrutiny, not as a sacred dogma that can’t be questioned.” Why? Good science avoids dogmatism. Beyond ScienceThis is also worth pointing out: Levinovitz at the end of his article finds himself looking beyond science to the realm of ethics. “STEM education needs to emphasize moral virtues for what they really are: key features of the scientific method,” he writes. Wow. He concludes this way: [R]eflecting on Wansink’s fall, we should remember that what we want to believe — what’s easiest to believe — isn’t necessarily true. Insisting on believing it anyway? That’s the opposite of good science, and good scientists and science educators should lead the fight against it.Well said. it would be interesting to know whether Professor Levinovitz sees the importance of extending this philosophy to the study of evolution.Photo: Brian Wansink (at left), by U.S. Department of Agriculture, via Flickr (cropped). Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Sarah ChaffeeNow a teacher, Sarah Chaffee served as Program Officer in Education and Public Policy at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. She earned her B.A. in Government. During college she interned at Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler’s office and for Prison Fellowship Ministries. Before coming to Discovery, she worked for a private land trust with holdings in the Southwest. 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 Education Lessons from the Wansink Science ScandalSarah ChaffeeSeptember 30, 2018, 4:28 AM Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis 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 Recommended Tagsacademic misconductAlan LevinovitzaltruismAssociated PressauthorshipBrian WansinkCornell Universityevolutionfoodgrocery shoppersinvestigationJames Madison Universitymisreportingmoral virtuesscientific methodstatistical techniquesSTEM educationU.S. dietary guidelinesWashington Post,Trending Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Sharelast_img read more

How Did Religion “Evolve”?

first_imgNeuroscience & Mind How Did Religion “Evolve”?Michael EgnorApril 23, 2019, 4:19 AM “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Michael EgnorSenior Fellow, Center for Natural & Artificial IntelligenceMichael R. Egnor, MD, is a Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook, has served as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and award-winning brain surgeon. He was named one of New York’s best doctors by the New York Magazine in 2005. He received his medical education at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital. His research on hydrocephalus has been published in journals including Journal of Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, and Cerebrospinal Fluid Research. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Hydrocephalus Association in the United States and has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.Follow MichaelProfile Share Recommended TagsadaptationAfricaapesatheistsBarbara FruthBBCbirth controlbonobosBrandon AmbrosinochimpanzeeschristianschurchcommunionDarwinismEasterEucharistevolutiongenetic fallacygreat apeshumansJane Goodalljesuslast common ancestorLast SupperMassmaterialistsmealsmonkeysneocortexOn the Origin of SpeciespsychologyreligionSapiens (magazine)savannahThis Is My Body,Trending Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share It’s not easy being a contributor to Evolution News. To wit, on Easter morning I had to read this bilge from the BBC:How and why did religion evolve?“This is my body.” These words, recorded in the Gospels as being spoken by Jesus during the Last Supper, are said daily at Church services around the world before the communion meal is eaten. When Christians hear these words spoken in the present, we’re reminded of the past, which is always with us, which never goes away. Just how much past are Christians reminded of? … “Think of uber pro-social hunter-gatherers having a meal,” one of my theology professors told me when I wondered about the deep evolutionary history behind the Eucharist. “The hunters feel proud to have done well and shared with their family; those who prepared the food are recognised and appreciated; everyone’s belly is getting filled and feeling good; and so many positive social interactions are taking place. No wonder so much mythological content is built up around the meal.”Sharing a meal is nice. Ergo, religion. It seems that apes like meals too:But food-sharing even predates our Homo ancestors, and is currently observed in chimpanzees and bonobos. In fact, one recent paper even documented research of bonobos sharing food with bonobos outside of their own social group. Barbara Fruth, one of the study’s authors, told the digital magazine Sapiens that meal-sharing “must have its roots in our last common ancestor”. Based on the molecular clock, the last common ancestor, or LCA, of humans and Great Apes lived about 19 million years ago. When I hear the words “This is my Body,” then, my mind immediately launches into a race to the evolutionary starting line, if you will.I think of other things when I hear “This Is My Body.”An Adaptation or a Spandrel?The author, journalist Brandon Ambrosino, wanders off into a discussion as to whether religion is an adaptation or a spandrel. Does belief in God arise because it helps us in the struggle for reproductive fitness (“Don’t use that birth control, honey!”) or because, while it is adaptatively neutral, it is linked to adaptation (“I met a really cute girl at Mass today!”). Of course, if Darwinism is true, how is one to know? “Natural selection” has no mind and thus no purposes, and adaptation is really just the consequence of internal biological constraints and natural history. So evolutionary “research” is just story time, not much different from fables told to children except that you (the taxpayers) pay for the stories. The meter is always running.  Apes on the SavannahAmbrosino prattles on about apes on the savannah:As our ape ancestors moved from receding forest habitats to more open environments, like the savannahs of eastern and southern Africa, Darwinian pressures acted on them to make them more social…He wanders into neuroscience:Although the neocortex figures prominently in many theories of the evolution of religion… the more important alterations concerned the subcortical parts of the brain, which gave hominins the capacity to experience a broader range of emotions. These enhanced emotions promoted bonding, a crucial achievement for the development of religion…And he meanders into ape psychology:[T]he promotion of solidarity requires positive emotions — so natural selection had to find a way to mute the negative emotions and enhance the positive ones, Turner says. The emotional capacities of great apes (particularly chimpanzees) were already more elaborate than many other mammals, so selection had something to work with.A surprising amount is known about prehistoric ape psychology (Leakey must have found some fossilized psychologists’ notebooks)!Second-order elaborations are even more complex, and occurred in the evolution from Homo erectus (1.8 million years ago) to Homo sapiens (about 200,000 years ago). Guilt and shame, for example, two crucial emotions for the development of religion, are the combination of sadness, fear, and anger.He quotes primatologist Jane Goodall about ape “spirituality” (I kid you not):These observations have led her to conclude that chimpanzees are as spiritual as we are. “They can’t analyse it, they don’t talk about it, they can’t describe what they feel. But you get the feeling that it’s all locked up inside them and the only way they can express it is through this fantastic rhythmic dance.”Apes are certainly reticent to talk about their faith. Primatology research never rests. Religion is an embodied phenomenon because the human religious way of being has evolved for millions of years as the bodies of our ancestors interacted with the other bodies around them. Whether or not one takes communion or even feels religious, we are at all times navigating our social worlds with our evolved capacities to play, to empathise, and to celebrate rituals with each other.After tedious digressions into ape piety and neocortical enhancement, Ambrosino sums it up.Apes have bodies and do stuff. So do people in church. Ergo, religion evolved. *Sigh*.The Genetic Fallacy Of course, the unspoken predicate of evolutionary theories of religion is that explaining religious belief as evolved behavior in some way tells against God’s existence. This silly argument is merely the genetic fallacy — the fallacy that the truth or falsehood of a claim (“God exists”) is determined by the origin of that claim (“religion evolved”). The preponderance of evidence regarding human adaptation and biology would seem to suggest the opposite: we have senses and perceptions that enable us to connect to reality. So religious belief enables us to connect to reality — to God — in an analogous manner. But all of this presupposes that evolutionary arguments about the origin of religion are scientific and logical, which they are not. It’s telling that one kind of evolution always seems to be missing from these “theories” about the evolutionary origins of religion. How did atheism evolve? Surely godlessness had its origins in neocortices of impious apes. Why did some apes evolve to become materialists, Darwinists and atheists? It certainly seems maladaptive — it’s doubtful that contemplating the Origin of Species makes you more fecund. Perhaps it was the autistic apes that became atheists — atheism is blindness to the Mind behind nature. That makes some sense. Evolutionary science marches on. Photo: This ape is shy about discussing spirituality, by Dominik Scythe via Unsplash. Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis 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 Alllast_img read more

Cancel Culture Comes to Poland

first_img“A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Jonathan WellsSenior Fellow, Center for Science and CultureJonathan Wells has received two Ph.D.s, one in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, and one in Religious Studies from Yale University. A Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, he has previously worked as a postdoctoral research biologist at the University of California at Berkeley and the supervisor of a medical laboratory in Fairfield, California. He also taught biology at California State University in Hayward and continues to lecture on the subject.Follow JonathanProfileWebsite Share TagsAmerican Freedom AllianceCalifornia Science Centercancel culturecreationismDarwin on TrialDarwin’s Black BoxDarwinismDiscovery InstituteEn Arche FoundationEvolution: A Theory in CrisisFirst Amendmentfree speechFundacja En ArcheHelsinki University of TechnologyIcons of Evolutionintelligent designlawsuitLeonMarcos EberlinMatti LeisolaMichael BeheMichael DentonNovotel Warsawa CentrumPaul NelsonPhillip JohnsonPolandRichard SternbergSignature in the CellSmithsonian InstitutionSpainStephen MeyerU.S. ConstitutionUniversity of AlgarveUniversity of WarsawWarsawWe Are Born of Stars,Trending The term “cancel culture” has recently come to mean the practice of boycotting, or denying a speaking platform to, people whose ideas are considered offensive. I experienced it recently in Warsaw, Poland.Fundacja En Arche (the En Arche Foundation, or roughly, the Origins Foundation) is a Polish group that focuses on the scientific and philosophical issues of Darwinism and intelligent design. Although often labeled “creationist,” it is not about biblical creationism (whether young Earth or old Earth). In many ways it is a lot like Discovery Institute. A Job Well DoneA major part of the foundation’s work so far has been translating into Polish books such as Phillip Johnson’s Darwin on Trial, Michael Denton’s Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, Michael Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box, and Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell. And they are doing a great job of it.Recently, Fundacja En Arche translated into Polish my book Icons of Evolution. The foundation arranged to have a promotional event on January 31, 2020, announcing the book’s release. A contract was signed to rent a room in the library at the University of Warsaw, and I was invited to speak. The En Arche folks knew that the event could meet with a lot of opposition from Darwinists, so they were careful not to publicize it. Only invited guests would be allowed to attend. Although the foundation did not publicize the event, it did inform a few outside people who were being paid to translate ID-friendly books. One of the translators (without authorization) shared the news on an Internet “science” list, and (predictably) all hell broke loose. Darwinist trolls on the list contacted some professors at the University of Warsaw, who immediately launched the usual campaign to intimidate the school’s administrators. Despite the rental contract, within a day the university cancelled the event. When the En Arche people asked the university for an explanation, the administrators did not reply. Nothing NewThis sort of behavior is not new. In 2004, the University of Helsinki (Finland) cancelled some scheduled talks by Discovery Institute fellows Paul Nelson and Richard Sternberg. (The event was later held at the Helsinki University of Technology.) The incident was described in Finnish scientist Matti Leisola’s book Heretic. In early October 2009, the American Freedom Alliance rented an auditorium at the state-run California Science Center in Los Angeles in order to show two films: We Are Born of Stars, which favors Darwinian evolution, and Darwin’s Dilemma, which is critical of Darwinian evolution. The organizers planned to follow the showings with a panel discussion between representatives of both sides. On October 6, however, the California Science Center canceled the event, claiming violation of the terms of the contract.The American Freedom Alliance filed a lawsuit alleging that the Center improperly bowed to pressure from the Smithsonian Institution and emails from university professors, and that the cancellation violated both the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the terms of its contract. The lawsuit also alleged that the California Science Center was concealing the true reasons for the cancellation.Darwin’s Dilemma is based on Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Stephen Meyer’s book of the same name. So Discovery Institute filed an open records lawsuit demanding the California Science Center turn over all documents relating to its abrupt decision to cancel the privately sponsored event. The Center turned over some — but not all — of the documents. Most importantly, it did not turn over several emails showing that the cancellation followed pressure from the Smithsonian.A few months later the California Science Center settled the lawsuit with the American Freedom Alliance for $110,000.Never SurrenderIn October, 2017, award-wining Brazilian scientist Marcos Eberlin and Discovery fellow Paul Nelson were scheduled to speak at the University of Algarve in Portugal. A month before the conference Darwinists pressured the university to cancel the event, so it was re-scheduled at another Portuguese institution, the University of Porto. That university’s science dean even agreed to participate and was listed on the program. But once again, Darwinists applied pressure on the university administration and the science dean. As a result, the event was cancelled only eight days before it was supposed to occur.Refusing to give up, the organizers rented a conference hall at a hotel in León, Spain. Some students boarded a bus in Faro, stopped to pick up friends in Porto, and made the almost 2,000 km round trip to León to attend the conference.Last month in Poland, the cancel culture did not succeed in thwarting Fundacja En Arche’s plans. The organizers re-located the event to a hotel, the Novotel Warsawa Centrum. So on Friday, January 31, 2020 the event was held, and it was a big success. I’ll report on it a few days from now. Photo credit: A view of Warsaw’s Castle Square, by Tim Adams, via Flickr (cropped). Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Recommended Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Free Speech Cancel Culture Comes to PolandJonathan WellsFebruary 10, 2020, 5:05 AM 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 Alllast_img read more