The title of this entry comes from the data, not from the claims being made about it. The cover story in Cell1 this week has set off a flurry of startling headlines: EurekAlert pronounces, “Evidence that human brain evolution was a special event” and “University of Chicago researchers discovered that humans are a ‘privileged’ evolutionary lineage.” The gist of the research by Dorus et al. from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and University of Chicago is that there is a huge genetic gap between human brains and those of our nearest alleged ancestors. EurekAlert explains:One of the study’s major surprises is the relatively large number of genes that have contributed to human brain evolution. “For a long time, people have debated about the genetic underpinning of human brain evolution,” said [Bruce] Lahn [HHMI}. “Is it a few mutations in a few genes, a lot of mutations in a few genes, or a lot of mutations in a lot of genes? The answer appears to be a lot of mutations in a lot of genes. We’ve done a rough calculation that the evolution of the human brain probably involves hundreds if not thousands of mutations in perhaps hundreds or thousands of genes — and even that is a conservative estimate.” It is nothing short of spectacular that so many mutations in so many genes were acquired during the mere 20-25 million years of time in the evolutionary lineage leading to humans, according to Lahn. This means that selection has worked “extra-hard” during human evolution to create the powerful brain that exists in humans.1Dorus et al., “Accelerated Evolution of Nervous System Genes in the Origin of Homo sapiens,” Cell Volume 119, Issue 7, 29 December 2004, Pages 1027-1040, doi:10.1016/j.cell.2004.11.040.We are glad to be able to announce the downfall of Saddam Darwin to end this eventful year, 2004. Now there are just a few Darwin Party insurgents to mop up, and the public will be free of this deadly totalitarian regime. (Would that it were so easy; it would be like Bush’s premature victory speech.) The science outlets are spinning this story without letting go of Darwinism. They are throwing around phrases like strong selection, intensified selection and other nonsense as if random mutations conspired to sculpt the most complex piece of matter in the known universe. They know better. Orthogenesis (straight-line evolution) is out. Teleology is out. Personifying natural selection is out, so all they have to work with are thousands of random, undirected changes over thousands of different genes that have no ability to conspire with one another. (In fact, they counteract one another; see 11/29/2004 and 10/19/2004 headlines). But if even one beneficial mutation is hard to find (see 03/19/2002 headline), how is any rational person to believe that thousands – “and that is a conservative estimate” – accomplished such a feat? The gig is up, Darwin Party: surrender. It’s over. Throw down your arms. The award for Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week goes to Bruce Lahn for his one-liner that “selection has worked ‘extra-hard’ during human evolution to create the powerful brain that exists in humans.” This can serve as USO entertainment for the liberation troops as they begin their clean-up operations.(Visited 27 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
FIT representative Peter Topp assisted with the delivery of the programs across three locations with the help of Queensland Touch Football (QTF) representatives Scott McAllister in Shanghai, Glen Walker in Guangzhou and TFA (Victoria) staff member, David Diack in Beijing. These programs according to Topp, focused on achieving the broad community development aspects of the program by providing participation clinics, field officer and referee training.â€œThe ASP Program was well received in all schools with many expressing interest in touring Australia as a development and cultural program for their students, which is promising for both regions,â€ Topp said on his return to Australia.The delivery of participation clinics was based around the successful Australian Sports Commission Sporting Schools program format whereby participants experienced the game in a fun, safe, friendly and supportive environment. All activities were game-based which provided opportunities for play and the development of game knowledge of the sport.This provided the perfect environment for young girls to experience a new sport in a safe environment to teach them the longer-term benefits of leading healthy and active lifestyles. Participants were provided information on the importance of nutrition and ensuring that they look after themselves to create a well-rounded individual.A major component of the ASP Program in China is to upskill the development workforce in the three targeted cities. This was addressed by the training and education of field officers in each of the locations. In total, 26 field officers were trained in current practice delivery of Touch Football; specifically, in a large group setting such as schools and universities. This provided a stable base to develop sport knowledge and competence whilst challenging existing skill levels.To assist further the development of Touch Football in China, the program also included referee training to maximise the delivery of the sport. A total of 64 referees participated through courses, coaching, practical and mentoring sessions. Further, a referee leadership program commenced in Beijing in 2016 and was completed within the 2017 education programs.TFAâ€™s Acting CEO, Tim Arnold believes the success of the program can be measured by the increase in female coaches and officials in the region.â€œThe program focused on ensuring that there were opportunities for females to become leaders in their community, not just in Touch Football. The referees and coaches we trained were provided with the skills and guidance needed to grow in confidence, to lead what is often a male dominated industry,â€ Arnold said.â€œWeâ€™ve created female role models for the community. Once the training was completed, the female coaches and referees went on to run the participation clinics and demonstrate to the young girls in the programs that they too can be leaders in sport and in broader society.â€The program has provided a platform for an economic development opportunity for women with the skilled coaches now able to earn an income through delivering programs in schools into the future.Several meeting engagements were also arranged for TFA and FIT personnel. These were opportunities to engage and promote the active support from the Australian Government.Through the ASP program, TFA have successfully assisted China to develop an educated and qualified workforce to assist with the continued development of Touch Football extending beyond the program. Overall, this has been achieved through the identification and training of female leaders to take on key roles within the Touch Football community in China as well as in their life away from the sport. The inclusion of these training programs combined with the participation clinics, has led to increased participation in Touch Football and physical activity opportunities for Chinese participants.TFA would like to thank the DFAT for making this program possible through the ASP program. This support from Government agencies allows the sport of Touch Football to improve the opportunities for female leaders in China. The program has enriched the lives of all participants through the benefits associated with living a healthy lifestyle and fun and social inclusion for participants in a team-based sport. And to the FIT, QTF and TFA crew on the ground, a valuable opportunity to profile and promote the virtues and aspirations of the sport to one of the most populous and prosperous regions of the world. Related LinksTouch in China Touch Football Australia (TFA) and the Federation of International Touch (FIT) have been conducting a series of Touch Football activities in various school visits across China over recent months. The visits are part of the Asian Sports Partnership (ASP) Program; funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in an effort to influence broader social and diplomatic outcomes. The key purpose of making a positive contribution to development and public diplomacy outcomes in Asia through effective sport partnerships.Through this program, TFA sought to use its prominent international status to work closely with FIT to improve the social standing of women in society by providing them with equal opportunities to access sport and lead healthy active lifestyles.The primary focus of the program is increasing the sporting opportunities awarded to females aged 12-20. The gender-parity nature of Touch Football ensured the program accommodated a neat split of both males and females totalling over 2,000 participants to date. The overall reach of the program was not only limited to the players; extended also to spectators, Government, school and sport officials and ultimately increasing opportunities to develop and deliver the sport of Touch Football in the community.