IBC (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020: A Pandemic Of Bad Drafting

first_imgColumnsIBC (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020: A Pandemic Of Bad Drafting Sakal Bhushan14 Jun 2020 8:54 PMShare This – xMuch awaited amendment has been made in IBC by an Ordinance promulgated on 5th June, 2020. It is not happily worded, and within a short span of time we have seen many conflicting interpretations. Two Sections, viz. 10A and 66(3) have been incorporated in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. The arrangement of expressions in the newly-inserted Section 10A is very poor, creating…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginMuch awaited amendment has been made in IBC by an Ordinance promulgated on 5th June, 2020. It is not happily worded, and within a short span of time we have seen many conflicting interpretations. Two Sections, viz. 10A and 66(3) have been incorporated in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. The arrangement of expressions in the newly-inserted Section 10A is very poor, creating the unwanted confusion, compelling me to name it “A Pandemic of Bad Drafting”. The main part of Section 10A is reproduced as under: “Notwithstanding anything contained in Sections 7, 9 and 10, no application for initiation of corporate insolvency resolution process of a corporate debtor shall be filed, for any default arising on or after 25th March, 2020 for a period of six months or such further period, not exceeding one year from such date, as may be notified in this behalf:” In fact, the placement of the expression “as may be notified” used at the end of the main Section 10A is the root cause of confusion. Misled by this wrong placement, many commentators have unwittingly linked this expression with the immediately preceding expression “such date” leading to a wrong interpretation. Expression “such date” is already provided as 25th March, 2020 and so it needs no further notification. Contextually and logically, the expression “as may be notified” is truly linked with the expression “such further period” which could be notified by the Central Government in due course after evaluation of the overall situation of COVID-19 pandemic in near future. So read, this main part of Section 10A in fact defines the “default period” and not the “non-filing period”. So what is intended to be conveyed by the drafter is that the “defaults arising on or after 25th March, 2020 for a period of six months or such further period as may be notified by the Central Government in this behalf but not exceeding one year from the said date” have been made “non-actionable”. The main part of Section 10A could have been better cast or rearranged in the following manner for conveying the intended purpose thereof: “Notwithstanding anything contained in Sections 7, 9 and 10, no application for initiation of corporate insolvency resolution process of a corporate debtor shall ever be filed for any “default arising on or after 25th March, 2020 for a period of six months or such further period as may be notified by the Central Government in this behalf but not exceeding one year from the said date.” The defaults committed before 25th March,2020 have been expressly saved in the Explanation attached to this Section. So the bar created by Section 10A on filing of the insolvency applications will not apply to the defaults committed before 25th March, 2020 and impliedly also to the defaults committed after the end of six months or the extended period, if any notified in due course. However, the filing of such applications for defaults committed during this period starting on 25th March and continuing till the end of six months or the extended period, as the case may be, is contextually ever barred from 25th March, 2020 itself, and the Proviso to Section 10A further clarifies this position. As a logical consequence thereof, the pending applications also filed on or after 25th March, 2020 till 5th June, 2020 in relation to such defaults being contrary to this Ordinance shall stand dismissed as barred by law. This Ordinance is basically having retrospective effect in the sense that it also affects the pending applications, if any, filed between 25th March, 2020 and 5th June, 2020 with respect to such defaults, though there may be a very few of them, if at all filed during this pandemic period. It would have been better had it been so stated clearly in some Explanation attached to this Section. It saves the crucial judicial time and efforts which an astute drafter should always keep in mind while drafting a statute. An alternative to the Pandora’s box But a more basic question is “What could have been a better alternative to achieve the objectives cited in the preamble of the Ordinance?’. I think since the intention was to make certain defaults occurring during the pandemic period “non-actionable” for the purpose of triggering insolvency process by applications under Sections 7, 9 and 10 and also for the purpose of Section 66 IBC, the better way would have been to amend the definition of “Default” itself by simply adding a Proviso in Section 3(12) to the following effect: “Provided that the defaults arising on or after 25th March, 2020 for a period of six months or such further period as may be notified by the Central Government in this behalf but not exceeding one year from the said date, shall not be considered for the purpose of calculating the ‘minimum amount of default’ under Section 4 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.” This would have taken care of all the objectives cited in the preamble of the Ordinance and there would have been no confusion at all. The whole of Part II of the IBC, 2016 which includes Sections 7, 9, 10 and 66 as well would have become inapplicable to such defaults for the intended period. Through the medium of this Article, I request the concerned authorities in the central Government to take cognizance of the point raised here for improving their future endeavours in enacting legislations. This will save the crucial time and efforts of the courts and the practitioners, mitigate the burden of the already burdened judiciary, avoid conflicting judgements and serve the cause of justice.Views Are Personal Only.(Author is practicing Lawyer at the Delhi High Court) Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

“READERS FORUM” JULY 24, 2018

first_imgWe hope that today’s “Readers Forum” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?WHATS ON YOUR MIND TODAY?Todays“Readers Poll” question is: Are you pleased with the direction that the State of Indiana is headed?Please take time and read our articles entitled “STATEHOUSE Files, CHANNEL 44 NEWS, LAW ENFORCEMENT, READERS POLL, BIRTHDAYS, HOT JOBS” and “LOCAL SPORTS”.  You now are able to subscribe to get the CCO daily.If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us [email protected]: City-County Observer Comment Policy.  Be kind to people. No personal attacks or harassment will not be tolerated and shall be removed from our site.We understand that sometimes people don’t always agree and discussions may become a little heated.  The use of offensive language, insults against commenters will not be tolerated and will be removed from our site.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs Visiting South America

first_img U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns traveled to Chile on 9 December and will continue on to Argentina and Brazil in order to “expand relations with key regional partners,” according to a statement by the State Department. In Chile, Burns will meet with Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno and Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter to discuss trade issues, nuclear security, and joint projects, the statement explained. In Argentina, the Under Secretary will meet with Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman as well as with leaders of civil society, also in order to discuss nuclear non-proliferation. Finally, in Brazil Burns will meet with high-ranking members of the administration that will take office in January, in order to discuss economic initiatives and joint projects with the United States, the statement concluded. By Dialogo December 10, 2010last_img read more

Mobilegeddon: Would your credit union website survive?

first_imgMobile websites have never been more important than they are now. On April 21, 2015 Google changed its search algorithm again. With the latest change, sites that are mobile friendly (responsive) will be displayed at the top of the search results. On the other hand, websites that are not mobile friendly (not responsive, text that’s too small, graphics are heavy, or hard to navigate) will be penalized and viewership is expected to drop dramatically. Here are 5 things to know about “Mobilegeddon.”Why is this important? In the past two years smartphone in the U.S has grown from 36% to 61%. This leads to consumers using smartphones, tablets, and computers to interact with businesses 24/7 from anywhere. Future customers are waiting to find you, and being mobile friendly can get them in your doors. 94% of smartphone users search for location info, 51% visited a store, 48% called a store, 29% made a purchase. –The Mobile PlaybookWith this recent change, company websites must meet Google’s mobile standards to maintain their ranking. This could lead to a large shuffle in mobile search results if they don’t make changes to a mobile friendly (responsive design) site. Not sure if your site is mobile friendly? Google has created a site where you can enter your financial institution’s URL to determine whether or not your site is mobile friendly.The percentage of shoppers using mobile devices only continues to get larger. Now is the time for your organization to upgrade your website in order to show up in searches the same way you did before Google’s recent change, if not better. Financial institutions can use industry specific companies like Chatter Yak to make the change from a simple website to a digital branch, and keep your organization relevant moving forward. 32SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Don Emmer Don is currently the Director of Sales for Chatter Yak (Marketing/Advertising CUSO) based out of Citizens First Credit Union in Oshkosh, WI. His role there is to help financial … Web: www.chatteryak.com Detailslast_img read more

Premier League, La Liga, Serie A results round up (27/8/19)

first_imgAdvertisement 21crnsNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs3ms59rWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E5j( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) onWould you ever consider trying this?😱k6Can your students do this? 🌚1lxRoller skating! Powered by Firework This gameweek has certainly been one of the most exciting gameweeks of this new season. We have already witnessed few upsets at the beginning of the season. Here is the round up of the results of all the matches in Premier League, La Liga and Serie A.Advertisement English Premier League :Advertisement Aston Villa 2-0 EvertonNorwich City 2-3 ChelseaAdvertisement Brighton and Hove Albion 0-2 SouthamptonManchester United 1-2 Crystal PalaceSheffield United 1-2 Leicester CityWatford 1-3 West Ham UnitedLiverpool 3-1 ArsenalBournemouth 1-3 Manchester CityTottenham 0-1 Newcastle UnitedWolves 1-1 Burnley La  Liga :Granada  0-1 SevillaLevante 2-1 VillarrealOsasuna 0-0 EibarReal Madrid 1-1 Real ValladolidGetafe 1-1 Athletic BilbaoCelta Vigo 1-0 ValenciaDeportivo Alaves 0-0 EspanyolRCD Mallorca 0-1 Real SociedadLeganes 0-1 Atletico MardridBarcelona 5-2 Real Betis Serie A  :Parma 0-1 JuventusFiorentina 3-4 NapoliUdinese 1-0 MilanCagliari 0-1 BresciaHellas Verona 1-1 BolognaSPAL 2-3 AtalantaRoma 3-3 GenoaSampdoria 0-3 LazioTorino 2-1 SassuoloInter 4-0 LeeceSo, we can observe that Serie A matches have a great number of goals in the first gameweek which is very unusual. On the other hand, in the Premier League there was a big upset as Crystal Palace had beaten Manchester United on Saturday with a margin of 2-1. In the Premier League most of teams are stuck at 4 points after 3 matches. We can expect that the top four race is going to be lit in this season also.Liverpool best Crystal Palace in hard fought extra time drama Advertisementlast_img read more

Barzal powers Giants past Kootenay Ice

first_imgMathew Barzal showed Kootenay hockey fans why he was the top selection last spring in the Western Hockey League Bantam Draft.The Coquitlam native rang up 11 points on the weekend as the Vancouver Northeast Giants swept a two-game B.C. Hockey Major Midget League series from the Kootenay Ice 11-2 and 7-1 at the Castlegar Complex.Barzal, the current BCMMHL scoring leader with 66 points in 21 games, opened the two-game set with an eight-point performance — one goal and seven assists — in Saturday’s opener.Barzal, who last season played for the Burnaby Winter Club, was drafted first overall by the Seattle Thunderbirds.Sunday, it was Edmonton Oil Kings draft prospect, Colton Kehler, providing most of the offence for the Giants with four goals. Brandon Sookro of South Slocan, who scored twice for the Nelson Leafs Friday in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action against Creston, notched the lone goal Sunday for the Ice in the second period.Saturday, Tristan Pagura and Coy Prevost, both of Kimberley scored for the Ice.Adam Maida of Nelson and Harrison Whitlock of Fruitvale were the goalies for the Ice.The Giants hold a slim two-point advantage over the Okanagan Rockets in league standings.The Ice, 3-19-2, is tied for 10th in the league with the Thompson Blazers.Kootenay is idle until the New Year when the Ice travels to Kamloops to face the Blazers.Next home action for Kootenay is January 26-27 when the Prince George Cougars visit the NDCC arena in Nelson.last_img read more

Jagdeo to file complaint with ERC over Govt’s threats to divide Guyanese

first_imgOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has taken Government to task over comments made by one of its senior Cabinet and party officials at a recent political rally.Opposition Leader Bharrat JagdeoJagdeo has said he plans to file an official report with the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) and the international community, as the comments seek to divide Guyanese.He was making reference to an online news report wherein Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, remarked that the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) will target Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) supporters and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) that sabotage Government.“The incendiary nature of his speech, that could affect ethnic and political harmony, and we would like the ERC to have a full-fledged investigation of this matter…” Jagdeo said on Monday.Harmon was quoted in the reports as saying, “The foolishness got to stop! No NDC, because it’s controlled by the PPP, will take Government money and just spend it on PPP areas.”The Minister went on to say, “It’s got to stop, and we are going to work and fix that.”He further said APNU/AFC supporters on the ground have complained of suffering because a lot of PPP people are stymieing the work of the Government.“Stymieing the services which are to come to people, and they are still there. Well, no more of that; no more of that, comrade; no more ‘Mr Nice Time’ business. We got to fix these things,” Harmon is quoted as saying.The PPP General Secretary has said the minister’s comments point to a direct threat to a large section of people based on their political affiliation.Jagdeo dubbed a lie Harmon’s comments about the PPP-controlled NDCs disrupting the Government’s ability to deliver services to Guyanese. He questioned how the PPP could prevent the Government from doing its job when in fact Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan has insisted on approving the budgets at the NDC level.Another issue which he said continues to fester is that overseers report directly to the minister and his ministry, rather than coordinate with the elected officials at their respective NDCs.“As far as I am concerned, it is not the PPP-controlled RDCs that are the problem; it is the REOs. They work at variance with the elected officials,” he concluded.Jagdeo did not stop there, but went on to state that Minister Harmon’s excuse is baseless, especially given that the Coalition Government controls Region 10 and Four, and Georgetown.“What is his reason for the failures to deliver in those areas? Who is styming the work there? They control those area…they cannot blame the PPP,” he asserted.He also made reference to media reports about the Auditor General’s Report, and pointed to officials from Linden disregarding Tender Board Laws in 2017 to award 14 contracts allegedly to friends.“We are seeing unbelievable levels of corruption. It is all being done with the complicity of the Government… It is incompetence, bullyism and corruption,” Jagdeo stated.Jagdeo also used the opportunity to blast the coalition for their poor showing at the recently concluded Local Government Elections, which he described as a massive defeat.According to the Party General Secretary, his party almost doubled the margin of votes between PPP, APNU and AFC combined, which moved from about 24,000 at the 2016 polls to over 45,000 in 2018.last_img read more

Scientific Terms Can Obfuscate, Not Enlighten

first_img1.  Jeffrey Parson and Yair Wand, “A question of class,” Nature 455, 1040-1041 (23 October 2008) | doi:10.1038/4551040a.2.  Editorial, “A look within,” Nature 455, 1007-1008 (23 October 2008) | doi:10.1038/4551007b.It was good for Nature to point out these problems with scientific terminology.  Unfortunately, their brains are so completely sold out to Darwin they are incapable of looking in the mirror.  That’s why one moment they can be admitting the evidence is so scanty it gives ease to untested, untestable Just-So Stories about human evolution, then the next moment they give their editorial blessing to a stupid Just-So Story about the evolution of religion (10/26/2008).    Philosophy of science is a vital topic for anyone interested in science or apologetics or both.  In philosophy of science you learn to ask questions that scientists themselves rarely ask.  Consider the important topic of classification, brought up in bullet 2 above.  Scientists too flippantly invoke class terms that are totally subjective when scrutinized.  For instance, what is a predator?  We think we understand the term, but in the class of predators you can find snails, tigers, and even the Venus Flytrap.  The differences between these objects in the class predator seem more significant than the property they share: that they eat animals.  In addition, each object belongs to multiple other classes that either distinguish it or include it: organism, vertebrate or invertebrate, plant or animal.  The class you focus on is the one that is useful at the moment.  If you are playing “Twenty Questions,” for instance, the categories initially useful to you are animal, vegetable or mineral, where animal could be anything from a flatworm to a giraffe, vegetable could be anything from algae to a redwood tree, and mineral could include diamonds and space stations.  A corollary of this idea is that classes are merely human constructs – not necessarily ways of dividing up the world as it really is, or as Plato is said to have worded it, “carving nature at its joints.”    In his excellent lecture series on philosophy of science for The Teaching Company, Jeffrey L. Kasser used a humorous illustration.  He invented a word broccosaxodile, which he defined as “anything that is broccoli, a saxophone, or a crocodile.”  While one might question the usefulness of such a composite classification, he asked if it is any less meaningful than predator which, as we said, includes things just as diverse.  “Predator” is just a shorthand word for a composite category that we could just as well call a “snail-tiger-VenusFlytrap.”  Let’s add another example: what is a fossil?  If you immediately picture bones in rock, you are ignoring the fact that fossils can include whole insects in amber complete with their soft tissue, footprints, petrified wood, and mere impressions of jellyfish or leaves, like shadows, without any bones at all.  Fossils are not permanent, either: the dinosaur trackways in the entry below (10/28/2008) are eroding and will eventually disappear.  In that sense, a corpse in a morgue is a fossil, or the ashes of a cremated person sitting in a bottle in the heartbroken spouse’s bedroom.  (Not to be morbid, but it is almost Halloween.)    A classification is meaningless without a context in which the term is useful to some human being for a subjective purpose.  There is nothing objective about a class if you want to think of it as referring to something that is “out there” in the world which scientists “discover” without bias.  This should be a lesson to evolutionists who think they are talking objectively when they use class terms like missing link, transitional form, ancestors, phylogenetic tree, homologous traits or innovation.  Such terms are employed for their utility – in this case, the utility of making evolutionary theory appear scientific.Application.  Let’s apply what we’ve learned to a Biblical example some find embarrassing.  Many skeptics have ridiculed the Bible for classifying bats with birds in Leviticus 11:13-19 (see EvidentCreation.com).  OK, their point is?  This classification was amply useful to Moses, who was helping the Israelites distinguish what they were allowed to eat.  The property apropos to their circumstances was clean and unclean edible animals.  Moses, or God for that matter, was under no obligation to use modern scientific taxonomy for the purpose.  In fact, it would seem much more helpful to Israelites wandering in the wilderness to point out which of those things flying around in the dark was safe to eat.  Those of you who have camped in the desert know that swifts and bats can look very similar in the way they dart about.  Formally, we can say that the property at issue in the class being defined was “flying things” – call them “volant vertebrates” if it makes you feel better – not whether the things had fur or feathers or laid eggs.  Moreover, it would be an unfair disparagement of the mental capabilities of people who grew up in the advanced Egyptian civilization and their well-educated leader to assume they didn’t know the difference between birds and bats.  We mustn’t be chauvinistic.  They probably possessed more savvy about nature than the typical modern couch potato.Exercise.  Teachers and home-school parents: here is an opportunity to introduce your precocious young thinkers to some philosophy of science.  Have them invent categories similar to broccosaxodile (above) and make lists of objects that fit.  Is the category useful in some way?  Does it allow inferring additional information?  Which members belong to other categories?Silly categories: Make up your own silly category and defend its usefulness: vege-toy-mobiles, dirt-bike-chocolate, sister-TV-cotton (anything that is either a sister, a television, or made of cotton), etc. Trivial categories: Round things, small potatoes, friends, food, containers, pets, creeping things, rhyming words, oxymorons, shapes, etc.  Think of more.  In what circumstances are these useful categories?  What are examples of extremely different things that can fit in the same category?  Can you dream up a story to explain how the category evolved?Scientific categories:  omnivore, migratory species, gene, hybrid, moon, cloud, field, particle, wave, force, reagent, network, factor, family, biome, ecosystem, riparian dweller, marine invertebrate, intelligent life, sentient being.  List some extremely different objects that fit into the same category.  Pick an object in the category and list what other categories it belongs to.  How well does the category reflect distinctions in the external world?  What kinds of observations are required to make the distinction?  Who does the observing?  When is the category useful and not useful?  Are the evolutionary stories told about these classes the only possible ways to understand them?  What does “understanding” mean without the preconditions of immaterial concepts, reason, truth, and mind?(Visited 19 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 When scientists classify things and use scientific terms, are they really shedding light on nature and natural history?  It’s possible they may just be glossing over their own ignorance, suggested three articles in Nature last week.  They underscore cases where subjective human conventions are falsely assumed to correlate with external realities.  They lead us to ask, what do we mean by meaning?Words demean things:  Apparently the editors of Nature have had it with certain clich�s.  One editorial, published also on Nature News, pointed out the ambiguity of popular words and phrases used in scientific papers and by science reporters.  The editorial began,To a great extent, science is about arriving at definitions.  What is a man?  What is a number?  Questions such as these require substantial inquiry.  But where science is supposed to be precise and measured, definitions can be frustratingly vague and variable.As examples, the editorial reviewed the terms paradigm shift, tipping point, race, epigenetic, complexity, stem cell, consciousness and significant.  Those terms may seem intuitively obvious but in fact have multiple definitions. For the word consciousness to have meaning, for instance, there must be a physical basis for it – but none has been found.  And significant is in the eye of the beholder, despite mathematical crutches like p-values that lend a false air of confidence in scientific results.  Scientists often use a 5% confidence level as a measure of significance.  That number, though, is an arbitrary convention – and often a useless one:Even if a result is a genuinely statistically significant one, it can be virtually meaningless in the real world.  A new cancer treatment may ‘significantly’ extend life by a month, but many terminally ill patients would not consider that outcome significant.  A scientific finding may be ‘significant’ without having any major impact on a field; conversely, the significance of a discovery might not become apparent until years after it is made.  “One has to reserve for history the judgement of whether something is significant with a capital S,” says Steven Block, a biophysicist at Stanford University in California.Class warfare:  What do we mean by a class of objects?  Take terms like species and planet: which objects belong in the class, and which are excluded?  It’s not always easy to decide, said Jeffrey Parson and Yair Wand in an essay in last week’s Nature.1  The authors illustrate problems with these two examples.  Look at the conflict over Pluto: is it a planet, a minor planet, or a plutoid?  Depending on which properties of objects in space are considered useful to humans, it could be any one of these things – yet Pluto itself hasn’t changed.  “Plutoid” is a recently made-up word about a class of objects of which Pluto is the best-known example.  Just because the International Astronomical Union declares that from henceforth and forevermore Pluto is a plutoid, that does little more than provide a consensus for human beings and their nomenclature.  Similarly, the term species contains considerable uncertainty, as even Ernst Mayr realized when he tried to define a species as a class of organisms that can produce fertile offspring (the “biological species concept”).  Too bad that doesn’t work for the vast majority of organisms – asexual microbes and fossils.    Some classifications can lead to false and even fatal results.  Consider the word disease, which originally just meant discomfort – or “not at ease.”  The classification of diseases has usually been centered on etiology, or causes of disease.  These fall into 3 subclasses: genetic, environmental or pathogenic.  For nearly 40 years, the authors said, doctors misdiagnosed ulcers because they could not bring themselves to believe that a bacterium, H. pylori was capable of living in the acidic environment of the stomach.  “When considering the reasons why the bacterial hypothesis was missed for such a long time (and then not readily accepted), the main problem was the misattribution of the property ‘cannot grow in the acidity of the stomach’ to the class of bacteria,” they explained.  “Re-evaluating this fundamental property involved a major mind-shift that was difficult to accept.”    Classification is a human enterprise.  The authors gave an evolutionary spin on this skill: “Classification … is recognized as an evolved mechanism that supports survival.”  Supposedly it helps humans get food and shelter.  They did not ask whether lions and lizards needed to evolve the mechanism to sort out their food and shelter, too.  They tried to distinguish between “categories” and “classes” by defining the former as a group of objects with shared properties, and the latter as a category that allows humans to “infer further information” consistently “over a reasonable time period.”  A little reflection, however, shows that they have simply substituted the word class for a meta-category with the same difficulties.  The information that can be inferred from a class is simply a collection of objects with shared properties – things that humans find useful.  Their final paragraph, though, revealed that they are aware of the main pitfall of classification: it happens in the mind, not in the external world.Taking a classification perspective on scientific discourse suggests a sequence of questions to ask when studying a domain of phenomena.  What are the properties of interest of these phenomena?  Are there stable sets of properties common to these phenomena?  Are there stable relationships in some of these sets?  And finally, and most importantly, what is the evidence or rationale that these relationships reflect the true nature of the phenomena?  This perspective has two important implications.  First, scientists should make every effort to ensure that the assumed relationships among properties are indeed correct.  Second, rather than arguing over which of several classification schemes is preferable, researchers should recognize that several correct and useful schemes can coexist.  And overall, scientists should recognize that classification happens in the mind and, as a result, it can be influenced by beliefs and emotions.  This is where science can go astray.The human element:  The lead editorial in Nature last week brought these lessons home to the human species.  What does it mean to be human? the editors asked.2  The Delphic oracle may have advised Know thyself, but that is often hard to follow, they said.  Watch the editors balance their confidence in Darwin’s ability to help us know ourselves with doubts about the evidence:Modern science can help, but using it to uncover truths about ourselves can also be fraught with difficulty.  Consider, for example, that an important first step towards understanding contemporary human behaviour – establishing the evolutionary context in which it emerged – means piecing together odd scraps of evidence left by our hunter-gatherer ancestors tens of thousands of years ago.  The paucity of data makes it all too easy to come up with untested, and even untestable, Darwinian versions of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories.After acknowledging that science’s just-so chickens have come home to roost, the editors resurrected an old conflict that illustrates the impossibility of speaking objectively about ourselves without wandering into politics:Another major challenge for researchers is being objective about a topic as philosophically, politically and ethically charged as human nature.  Take the sociobiology wars of the 1970s and 1980s.  Left-wing scholars rejected biological explanations for phenomena such as gender roles, religion, homosexuality and xenophobia, largely because they feared such explanations would be used to justify a continuation of existing inequalities on genetic grounds.  The resulting debates became hugely political.    The combustibility of the interface between science and society is one major reason for the extraordinary fragmentation of research that tackles human behaviour.  In part because of the sociobiology battle, most social scientists still steer clear of using evolutionary hypotheses.  And even researchers who do work under the unifying framework of evolution tend to fall into distinct camps such as gene-culture co-evolution or human behavioural ecology – their practitioners divided by differences of opinion on, say, the relative importance of culture versus genes.The editors clearly think that evolutionary theory deserves to be a unifying theme, but have just cast doubt on the evidence behind it and the pragmatics of using it.  They attribute the problems to the complexity of our species and the lack of interdisciplinary communication.  In a belief that their magazine can help, they said they are starting a series of essays which, though they might make for “uncomfortable reading,” will try to draw lines between human evolutionary prehistory and the complex societies we live in.  The first was by Pascal Boyer about the evolution of religion.  Did it accomplish its purpose?  See our review in the 10/26/2008 entry.last_img read more

Ohio’s Senate Ag Committee Chair Cliff Hite resigns

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Early this week, State Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, resigned, effective immediately.Cliff HiteHite represented Ohio’s 1st Senate District since early 2011.In his resignation letter, Hite cited “personal health” issues as a reason for his departure.“It has been an honor and privilege to serve my constituents and the people of Ohio. I look forward to focusing on my personal health and spending more time with my family,” Hite wrote.Hite was serving in his third General Assembly as a member of the Ohio Senate, representing the 1st Senate District, which encompasses an 11 county region of Northwest Ohio including all or part of Auglaize, Defiance, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Logan, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, and Williams Counties. Prior to his appointment to the Senate, Hite served two terms in the Ohio House of Representatives.For the fourth time during his tenure in the Senate, Hite presided as the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture.Prior  to entering public service in Columbus, Hite spent decades teaching high school history and coaching football. He served as Chairman of the Finance Subcommittee on Education and built a reputation as a strong advocate for schools and K-12 students.Hite has received numerous accolades for his service to the people of Ohio’s 1st Senate District. He has been named a Defender of Liberty by the American Conservative Union and has been named Watchdog of the Treasury by the United Conservatives of Ohio every year he has been in office. He has also received the Golden Feather Award from the Ohio Poultry Association and been named Legislator of the Year by the Ohio Farmers Union and the Ohio Nursery & Landscaping Association.Senator Hite holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Kentucky, where he played quarterback for the Wildcats. He and his wife, Diane, reside in Findlay. The couple has three grown children and four granddaughters.last_img read more

CWG 2014: Jwala-Ashwini lose in women’s doubles final, take silver

first_imgJwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa with their silver medals at Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Photo: PTI.Indian shuttlers Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa lost to Malaysian duo Vivian Kah Mun Hoo and Khe Wei Woon in the women’s doubles final of the 20th Commonwealth Games on Sunday and had to settle for the silver medal.The Indian third seeds lost to the second seeded Malaysian duo in straight games 17-21, 21-23 in 41 minutes at the Emirates Arena.last_img