Professor explores creation and evolution theories

first_imgNotre Dame theology professor Celia Deane-Drummond concluded the two-day Templeton Colloquium with a discussion of creation ex nihilo and Darwinian evolution Wednesday afternoon.The Notre Dame Institute of Advanced Study (NDIAS) and visiting Templeton fellow Dr. Douglas Hedley of Cambridge University sponsored the colloquium. Featured speakers from multiple disciplines discussed Plato’s notion of participation in the divine, used in a Christian sense to explain the relation between creature and Creator. Deane-Drummond began her talk by posing a question about the current predicament of science and faith.“How, in a secular world dominated by an evolutionary paradigm, is it still reasonable to think about creation, Christ and spirit?” Deane-Drummond said.Within this frame, Deane-Drummond explored possible answers to this question through secular and religious outlets that engage with the biological sciences.“Evolutionary theory has, ever since Darwin, resisted the idea of non-material forces operative in the emergent beings,” she said. “But, more recently, secular writers are beginning to open up alternatives that biologists are prepared to take seriously. ”Deane-Drummond cited New York University philosopher Thomas Nagel as one such writer who is willing to accept the presence of a non-material transcendent force in the universe but does not credit creation to a god.Deane-Drummond made use of Aquinas’ understanding of creation to bring Platonic notions and the theory of evolutiony into agreement.“Aquinas develops a hierarchy in the ordering of being, from rocks through to intelligent lif, and, ultimately, humanity,” Deane-Drummond said. “Aquinas marries this hierarchal view with Platonic concept of an absolute Being that is the ultimate source of all such being.”Deane-Drummond proceeded totdiscuss evolutionary theory as an enduring hypothesis based in speculation through a biological viewpoint..She said a model of analogy would make best sense of possible relations between the philosophical concept of participation and evolutionary theory.She said suggested analogies included the symbiosis of creatures contributing to the life of each other while ultimately dependine on God. The process of cooperation of organisms through niche-construction theory was also posited as an analogy of how creatures participate in God’s immanence.“I suggest the language of analogy edges towards the meaningful in what might seem incomprehensible difference,” she said. “It is only by experimenting and speaking a language that resonates with those we are in dialogue with that a faint glimmering of insight can come to the surface.Tags: creation, evolution, Notre Dame Institute of Advanced Study, participation, Templeton Colloquiumlast_img read more

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De-risking deals to trickle down to smaller schemes – survey

first_imgLiability management deals for mid-sized UK private sector defined benefit (DB) pension schemes are becoming more viable and may very well contribute to what is anticipated to be a strong year for de-risking transactions, according to Barnett Waddingham, an actuarial and consultancy services provider.The company published the findings of its fourth annual survey* of DB schemes in the UK with more than £1bn (€1.3bn) in assets, noting that only 3% remained open to new members.Fewer schemes have a deficit on a company accounting basis, down to 67% from 75%, Barnett Waddingham said, noting that schemes with a lower or no deficit “may be more able to secure their liabilities with an insurance company”.Andrew Vaughan, partner at the consultancy, said activity among the largest private sector schemes, such as the removal of longevity risk and liability-driven investment strategies, “will inevitability work its way down to smaller schemes”. He added: “Only a handful of big defined benefits schemes remain open to new members, and the number closed to future pension accrual is increasing year on year.“Many of these will ultimately be looking to the insurance market to transfer risk through buyouts or buy-ins, medical underwriting and longevity risk transfers.“We have seen a significant amount of activity in these markets in the last year, and we expect this to continue.”Barnett Waddingham expects more than £20bn in longevity risk transfer deals this year.Longevity swaps have in the past been the preserve of the largest pension schemes, but they are becoming more accessible to mid-sized schemes due to “growth in reinsurer appetite, efficiencies and innovative structures”.Aon Hewitt has said this year is likely to bring another record for bulk annuity and longevity swap deals.Releasing its 2016 risk settlement market report, the company noted that risk settlement transactions exceeded £30bn last year compared with £22bn in 2014.Martin Bird, senior partner and head of the risk settlement group, said Aon Hewitt was “confident 2016 will again be a bumper year for the risk settlement market”.He added: “Volatility in stock markets in 2015 and continued low yields posed challenges to funding levels, but once market conditions improve, pension schemes will start de-risking, and there will be a market of £20bn or more required for bulk annuity transactions alone.”*The survey covers 160 schemes and is based on publicly available data up to 31 October 2015last_img read more

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Child abuse referrals to CYF skyrocket

first_imgSunday News 18 Sep 2011Teachers  are making an average 42 referrals every school day to Child Youth and Family about students they suspect have been abused or neglected. Figures released under the Official Information Act show CYF received 8102 “care and protection” notifications from schools – including early childhood and kohanga centres – from 2009 to 2010. Of those notifications, 75% required further action. Concerns raised by teachers included a wide range of issues, from a pupil regularly turning up without lunch or sleeping in class, to suspected physical or sexual abuse.A 48-page CYF booklet produced earlier this year for people working with children and young people outlines what child abuse is and the signs people should look for. They included skin disorders, areas of bruising, very aggressive behaviour towards toys, evidence of self harm and inappropriate sexual play. The number of notifications from all sectors and services to CYF have nearly quadrupled over seven years – from 40,000 to around 150,000.last_img read more

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Drunken man jailed

first_imgIt was however not immediately clear ifwhat triggered the assault. The 21-year-old Ian Shalom Matullano ofBarangay Divinagracia, La Paz district hit Clark Lawrence Pudadera’s head witha bottle of beer, police report showed. Pudadera sustained injuries on the napeand was brought to the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao districtfor treatment. The incident happened in front of astore around 2 a.m. on Thursday, police said.  center_img ILOILO City – Police arrested a drunkenman in Barangay Poblacion, Leganes, Iloilo. The suspect was arrested and now detainedin the lockup cell of the Leganes police station, facing charges./PNlast_img

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To Be Blunt: Finding the harmony between cannabis and music

first_imgSince there is a lack of sound data-based evidence linking weed to better auditory perception, it’s possible that the expectation that music sounds better after smoking — something we’ve been trained to believe through widespread adages in popular culture — produces a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we think music will sound better when we’re high, it most likely will. While cannabis intersects with many facets of U.S. popular culture, none are probably quite so apparent as the innumerable connections between music and weed. Beginning with historical jazz classics dating back to the early 20th century and continuing with the multigenre cannabis anthems of the modern day, people have been both referencing the substance in their songs and blazing up to bangers for generations. A 2008 neurological study also demonstrated that cannabis produced increased activity in the brain similar to the patterns found when gifted mathematicians solved problems, indicating that people who listened to music while high were more relaxed and had less trouble concentrating and listening to the melodies. However, since the study only tested four subjects, the research cannot be extrapolated to far-reaching conclusions about cannabis’ effect on music processing. Hit songs that feature lyrics referencing weed have increased over the past three decades, according to a 2018 study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. Three out of four Top 40 songs in 2016 mentioned cannabis — more than any other drug, such as alcohol, included in the study. Researchers found that the increase in references mimicked national trends in mainstream culture, which were shifting toward cannabis acceptance and destigmatization.  Before I lay out my pot playlist, don’t hate me if your favorite classic stoner jam isn’t on it; I figured I’d keep it short for the stoners who will inevitably feel like they’re listening to a five-hour-long tracklist and for those who will let it replay three times before thinking, “Wait a minute…” While I love Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode” as much as the next gal, and though Afroman’s “Because I Got High” never fails to put a smile on my face (and I can’t — I won’t — forget Nicki Minaj’s iconic “You don’t want smoke with me, this is a laced blunt” in “MotorSport”), I had to settle on the songs I consistently come back to when I’m mellow.  Pot has quickly cemented itself as one of the most used motifs in music today, and it’s not really that surprising to see why. Aside from sweeping legalization efforts across the country and changing attitudes, the substance has long been thought to amplify how we perceive, make and enjoy music. This notion is supported by a 2011 study that showed cannabis produces a mild synesthesia, or the blurring between sensory information. While the different regions of the brain are not remotely distinct, weed, in theory, can cross the boundaries between each processing area, meaning that the way we experience melodies is richer, deeper and more intense. Natalie Oganesyan is a junior writing about weed culture and politics. She is also the Associate Managing Editor. Her column, “To Be Blunt,” runs every other Friday. Another potential explanation for why music sounds better while stoned is that THC binds with receptors in the brain responsible for controlling memory, disrupting the retention of information in the short term. As the high mind attempts to rapidly process the ever-changing auditory input from songs, it inadvertently forces itself to live in the moment, forgetting the note played prior. Simply put, for stoners listening to music, time seems to come to a standstill.  So think about the multidimensional, interwoven layers that make up any song — the beat, instrumentals and vocals — and how that could, and does, captivate the casual stoner and immerse them in a world filled with sensory overload (in my experience, usually in a good way). Plenty of anecdotal evidence supports these claims, but empirical data, as always, is lacking in the cannabis field.  Fachner, who conducted the study, also found early links between cannabis and hearing therapy. According to his research, cannabis could help those with hearing impairments improve their listening capabilities, differentiate between sources for sounds and hear higher frequency sounds more clearly. You’ve often heard from cannabis connoisseurs and activists that weed simply makes everything better. In earlier iterations of my column, I discussed the magnifying qualities of being high: the way cannabis can enhance creativity and pleasure, stimulate the senses and boost focus on certain sensations. At the same time, given weed’s biphasic effect and the complex ways it interacts with cognition and perception, cannabis can produce opposing results — leading to hyperconcentration and overstimulation, whereby the brain is overwhelmed by the sensory input from its surroundings. Anecdotal evidence also seems to suggest the interplay between listening to music and smoking cannabis produces a synergistic effect, where one heightens the effects of the other and vice versa. Since both produce strong emotional responses, they in turn feed off of each other to produce a greater reaction. Cannabis consumption usually results in slower time perception, or a faster inner clock, which can improve musicians’ ability to improvise and experiment with their tracks, according to Jörg Fachner, professor of music, health and the brain and co-director of the Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research. This was particularly useful at the height of the Jazz Age; melodies lit up as musicians did, allowing the genre’s greats, such as Louis Armstrong, to envision the patterns within their rhythms and fine tune them. From Cab Calloway to Snoop Dogg, Sublime to Lana Del Rey, artists who write songs about weed have a long history of producing timeless hits (pun very much intended). Although odes to cannabis have origins in jazz, reggae and hip-hop, songs about weed span across myriad genres, including country, rock and, more increasingly, pop and alternative/indie.  With stay-at-home orders in effect across many U.S. cities, what better time than now to smoke weed and listen to music? In all seriousness, though — because we can’t go (and shouldn’t be going) anywhere right now, this is the perfect time to pull out your bud and your quarantunes playlist. To help get you started, here are some of my favorite odes to weed, whether lyrically or sonically, to kick off your monthlong 420. “Unable to explicitly keep in mind what has just been played, or to think ahead to what might be played, people stoned on pot tend to hear music from note to note,” writes music psychologist Daniel Levitin in his book “The World in Six Songs.” “They live for each note, completely in the moment.” (Mya Davis | Daily Trojan) “Sativa” — Jhené Aiko“Habit” — Still Woozy“Young, Wild & Free,” ft. Bruno Wars — Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa“I Got 5 On It” — Luniz“High By the Beach” — Lana Del Rey“High for This” — The Weeknd“Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” — Arctic Monkeys“Sadderdaze” — The Neighbourhood“Addicted” — Amy Winehouse“Wild Irish Roses” — Smino“SUMMER” — BROCKHAMPTON“Lover Is a Day” — CUCO“Your Hand Holding Mine” — Yellow Days“Habits (Stay High)” — Tove Lo“Wait a Minute!” — WILLOWlast_img read more

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