Meyer on Looking for Croissants in an Art Museum

first_imgCongratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Evolution “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Intelligent Design Meyer on Looking for Croissants in an Art MuseumElizabeth WhatelyApril 19, 2021, 6:44 AM Unfortunately, question-begging is the norm in an academic context where science has come to be defined not as the search for the best explanation of everything, but the search for the best naturalistic explanation of everything. Scientists open to intelligent design are relentlessly framed as “science-stoppers,” when in fact they are the ones best able to recognize, appreciate, and study the art in the universal gallery, and in the process take the scientific enterprise to new heights. The God hypothesis is no stop-gap in that enterprise. Rather, it is the culmination of multiple converging lines of positive evidence. Of course, such openness to explanations beyond the material for our own minds and actions will inevitably and uncomfortably open up more questions about the ultimate source of mind, the ultimate source of free will. These are the sorts of questions that some scientists will candidly admit they do not want to pursue. Like Richard Lewontin thundering that “we cannot allow a divine foot in the door,” they will never break out of their self-imposed circle. They will be forever shaking their fist in the direction of the art gallery’s information desk, forever waiting for croissants that will never be delivered.  In their own far more suave, academic way, scientists who label ID theory as a “God of the gaps” argument are not unlike the incensed man in the art gallery. As Meyer points out, the “gaps” in the phrase are only “gaps” within a closed system — a system that allows for no outside influx of information or designing intelligence. The materialist assumes from the beginning that all questions must ultimately be answered by natural means (“This is a bakery, the croissants have to be here somewhere!”). Thus, every place where no such solution has yet been found is a perpetually yawning chasm in his mind. Photo: Stephen Meyer, via Discovery Institute.Stephen Meyer’s new book, Return of the God Hypothesis, contains one of my new favorite analogies for what it’s like to do science under the restrictions of methodological naturalism. (Although, as Steve was quick to inform me when I interviewed him, the analogy is not his own. Proper credit is originally due to Paul Nelson, who is a font of apt analogies at all times!) Here it is: Imagine a man who walks into an art gallery, but instead of expecting a tour of great painters, he is expecting to help himself to some delicious pastries. You see, this man has a problem. He has mistaken the gallery for a bakery. Tags”God of the gaps”art museumbakerycroissantsinformationintelligent designmaterialismmethodological naturalismpastriesReturn of the God HypothesisRichard Lewontinscience stopperscientistsStephen Meyer,Trending Meyer further pointed out in our interview that such limiting assumptions hinder not only the inquiry into universal origins, but the study of human consciousness and behavior. The whole literature of cognitive science is built on the materialistic assumption that who we are and what we do must ultimately be attributed to nature or nurture. “But,” he said, “if there’s something called genuine agency, human free will, and if that plays a role in understanding human action and human behavior, we again may miss it if we impose a rigidly materialistic methodology on our inquiry.” Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Sharecenter_img Closed Chasms Elizabeth WhatelyElizabeth Whately is a math teacher, freelance writer, and lover of old things, especially books. She holds a PhD in the field of mathematics. She especially enjoys writing about human exceptionalism, the arts, and the academic tugs-of-war between naturalism and theism. Share A bit confused, but undeterred, our hero marches up to the desk and demands to know where the croissants are. Upon being patiently informed that “Sir, this is an art gallery,” he becomes upset at this “gap” in the gallery’s service, or perhaps in the staff’s knowledge. “Bring out the croissants already!” he shouts, pounding the desk while the poor flustered woman at the desk calls for backup. “Come on, I know they’re here somewhere. You just don’t know where they are, so find someone who does!” It’s at this point or very shortly thereafter that the man should feel a firm hand on his shoulder, accompanied by a firm voice saying “Exit’s this way.” 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 Billions of Missing Links: Mysteries Evolution Can’t Explain Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Limiting Assumptions But if once the scientist paused to consider that he might have walked into a different establishment entirely, the chasms would close. His model would be turned on its head. Instead of pounding the desk and demanding the staff cough up their secrets, he would stop and enjoy the Starry Night, marveling at its intricate design. As it is, he persists in begging the question.last_img read more

News / Zim rides the rising tide of volumes and rates: Q1 revenue doubles and profits soar

first_imgZim carried 818,000 teu in the period (638,000 teu last year), a better growth rate than OOCL’s 23.8% and way above that of the largest carriers – Maersk reported a 5.7% increase in volumes, while Hapag-Lloyd recorded a 3% decline.Chief financial officer Xavier Destriau told The Loadstar the volume increase was largely the result of organic growth, in the particular trades it operated in, and modal shift, as increasing numbers of e-commerce customers switched from air freight to ocean.“We focus on profit as opposed to gaining market share, but in this quarter, that has translated into above-market growth because we entered trades that were under-resourced, we have been a pioneer in entering the e-commerce market and we have captured a significant amount of cargo that used to travel by air,” he said.In October, Zim signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Alibaba, allowing the Chinese e-commerce platform’s customers to book sea freight shipments directly, although CEO Eli Glickman (pictured below) added that Amazon had also become a significant customer.Last summer, its launched its standalone Zim e-commerce express (ZEX) service between southern China gateways and Los Angeles, which, according to the eeSea Liner database, deploys five 4,200 teu vessels.“An increasing proposition of our e-commerce customer are now signing long-term contracts with us,” Mr Glickman said, adding that annual contract negotiations were completed “months ahead of last year”, and the carrier had effectively been turning contract shippers away since.“We couldn’t meet all the demand and we have stopped signing contracts because we want to maintain a 50:50 mix between spot and contract markets.”A lot of Zim’s recent success has also come from its vessel-sharing agreement with 2M partners Maersk and MSC, both as slot charterer and vessel operator, which will expire in 2025.“We have provided two vessels on the new service between Vietnam and the US east coast and, although we are competitor of Maersk and MSC, and we compete hard, all the partners can see the benefit of jointly operating these services> And from our side we will do our best to extend the agreement,” Mr Glickman told The Loadstar.All this has left Zim with a healthy balance sheet, and capex this year will be directed toward investment in its container fleet.“We are an asset-light company when it comes to vessels, but we want to take the share of owned containers to over 30% of our fleet,” Mr Destriau said.“Crossing that threshold is a first step and I see owning containers as a good use of the cash we generated, because containers are a liquid asset and retain their value over the years, and even at the end of their lives there is a scrap metal value,” he added.Of the $590m it has allocated to buy containers, it has taken delivery of the first $121m tranche, with the majority to come in the second quarter and the remainder in the third and fourth.“Unlike other shipping companies, we have not experienced any shortage of containers – our customers have been fully supplied with all the equipment they need,” said Mr Glickman.It is unlikely, however, to be speaking to shipyards ordering vessels. A recent agreement with non-operating owner Seaspan for ten 15,000 teu LNG-powered box ships on 10-year charters is as far as its fleet expansion is likely to go.“We don’t have the flexibility we require if we own vessels – we want to make sure we can upsize and downsize to fully capture the volumes; we don’t want to own vessels that we then have to inject into trades they are not suitable for,” Mr Destriau said.“That said, we will always need some feeder-sized and mid-sized ships – the 15,000 teu vessels we will take on charter from Seaspan are an optimal size for the Asia-US east coast trade and are comfortable with the longer-term charter,” he added.Meanwhile, Zim’s shareholders were rewarded with a special $238m dividend, representing $2 per share, on top of the 2021 annual dividend.“We are now in a situation, thanks to the terrific quarter and because we have very strong visibility of the rest of 2021, where we have been able to repay debt early and return capital to our shareholders – this is just us doing what we said we would,” Mr Destriau added. By Gavin van Marle 20/05/2021 Israeli container shipping carrier Zim, recently listed on the New York Stock Exchange, rewarded investors yesterday, reporting first-quarter results that were among some of the best in the sector.The carrier saw Q1 revenue more than double year on year, to $1.744bn, on the back of soaring freight rates, and its revenue per teu rose from $1,091 in the Q1 20 to $1,925 this year.And it saw 28% year-on-year growth in volumes – so far the highest recorded by any carrier that publishes its results.Adjusted ebitda was $821m, compared with $97m the year before, with a 47% margin, and net profit was $590m, compared with a $12m loss in the first quarter last year.last_img read more