29 Sep

People moves: FRR names supervisory board chair

first_imgFranklin Templeton – Paul Spencer, vice president, portfolio manager and research analyst in the Franklin UK equity team, has decided to retire on 30 September 2020 after 33 years in the financial industry and 14 years at Franklin Templeton. Leeds-based Spencer joined the firm in 2006 as a member of the UK small-mid cap (SMid) team. On 30 June 2020, he will step down from all portfolio management responsibilities, including the Franklin UK Mid Cap Fund, though he will remain engaged with the strategy for the remainder of his tenure at the firm.Richard Bullas, vice president, portfolio manager and research analyst in the Franklin UK equity team, who currently serves as a portfolio manager of the fund, will assume lead portfolio manager responsibilities for the Franklin UK Mid Cap Fund effective 30 June 2020. He has 20 years of financial industry experience and joined the firm in January 2000 as a member of the UK SMid team. Henk Grootveld at Lombard Odier Investment ManagersHenk Grootveld, who will lead the team, brings more than 20 years of experience and expertise in thematic investment. He joins from Robeco, where he was head of the trends investing equity team and most recently managed one of the firm’s flagship megatrends funds. He will be supported by Christian Vondenbusch and Jeroen van Oerle who also join from Robeco.Vondenbusch is a highly experienced senior portfolio manager with a demonstrated track record in thematic investing with a clear specialization in financials and technology. He joined Robeco in 1999, having graduated from the University of Maastricht.Van Oerle was portfolio manager of Robeco’s Global FinTech Equities fund since its inception and also worked as a financial trends analyst within the trends investing team since 2015. He joined Robeco in 2013. In his new role at LOIM, van Oerle will work closely with Vondenbusch and Grootveld to select those listed stocks, which may benefit from the increasing digitization of the financial sector and that will lower the cost of financial services.The team starts on 1 February and will be based in Rotterdam, where LOIM plans to open an office. They report to Didier Rabattu, global head of equities at LOIM.HSBC Global Asset Management – The firm has made three senior appointments to its global leadership team, reporting to Nicolas Moreau, global CEO.Brian Heyworth has been appointed global head of institutional business, responsible for leading the strategic development of the firm’s institutional client business. Currently global head of client strategy at HSBC GAM, he joined in October 2006 as head of global markets sales for EMEA. In May 2011, he was appointed global co-head of the financial institutions group (FIG), global banking and markets, before becoming global head of FIG in April 2016.Christophe de Backer has been appointed global head of wholesale business and partnerships. He will focus on growing and developing the firm’s wholesale client business, including delivering strategic distribution partnerships. He steps into this position with more than 30 years of experience in a wide range of roles within asset management and is currently a director on the boards of HSBC GAM and HSBC Global Private Banking.Edmund Stokes has been appointed global chief operating officer to lead the operations and product manufacturing and servicing for HSBC GAM. He has been global head of product since 2011 and led the strategic and commercial development of HSBC GAM’s product capabilities and platforms. Prior to that, he was chief operating officer of Asia Pacific.Moreau said: “Building on the strong foundations that we already have in place, I’m confident that these newly created roles will prove invaluable in delivering our ambitious growth plans while continuing to deliver an exceptional service to our clients.”Veritas – Niina Bergring left her job as CIO of Finnish pension fund Veritas at the end of December after six years in the role. She has joined Aktia Bank as executive vice president within the asset management department. Veritas said its deputy CIO, portfolio manager Laura Wickström, is now filling Bergring’s role until a new CIO starts. A spokeswoman for the company said Veritas has already chosen a permanent replacement for Bergring and an announcement is expected imminently.AllianceBernstein (AB) – Alexander Hoffmann has taken on a new role as head of the US asset manager’s global financial intermediaries (GFI) business, having most recently been building and expanding AB’s strategic relationships with major financial institutions in Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe. Before joining AB in 2014 as a director, based in Munich, he was head of banks and financial institutions, Switzerland at Pioneer Investments, now part of Amundi. Hoffmann began transitioning to the new role last year and can now fully commit to his position, following the new hire of Markus Rottler as new director for sales in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). Rottler joined from Macquarie Investment Management where he oversaw wholesale distribution in Germany.Arabesque S-Ray – The provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) data has poached State Street Global Advisors’ head of ESG research and development, appointing Todd Arthur Bridges as its global head of sustainable investing and ESG research. The data provider has also hired Manuel Piñuela as chief technology officer, with Piñuela, like Bridges, joining the firm as partner.Arabesque S-Ray, which uses big data and machine learning, said the hires were part of its global expansion. Last year the data provider received $20m (€17.5m) of investment from four leading German financial institutions and the federal state of Hessen.In addition to SSGA, Bridges previously worked as head of ESG research at Ethic, and held the position of research managing director at Cornell University. He is a member of the sustainable finance advisory committee of the Principles for Responsible Investment. According to Arabesque, Piñuela is a technology and science entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of Cultivo, Coyo Partners and Drayson Technologies Group, and serves on multiple boards as an executive and non-executive director.Eumedion – Mariëtte Doornekamp has started as new executive chair of Eumedion, the Netherlands-based corporate governance and sustainability platform for institutional investors. She succeeded Garmt Louw, the chair of the €30bn Dutch Shell Pensioenfonds, who had completed his maximum six-year term. She has been a board member of Eumedion since 2017, becoming vice chair in 2018. Doornekamp is also trustee at the €459bn Dutch civil service scheme ABP.The new vacancy on the Eumedion board has been filled with the appointment of Olaf van den Heuvel, CIO at Aegon Asset Management Netherlands. Lars Dijkstra, CIO at Kempen Capital Management, was appointed as member of Eumedion’s executive board.De Nationale APF – Roel Knol has been appointed as board member of De Nationale APF, the €3bn Dutch consolidation vehicle established by insurer Nationale Nederlanden. He will succeed executive trustee Arnout Korteweg – tasked with commerce, compliance, communication and outsoursing – who is to continue his career elsewhere after more than three years in the job. During the past 18 years, Knol has worked at asset manager Robeco, leaving as managing director of investment solutions. Prior to this, he was head of institutional clients at ING Investment Management and senior portfolio manager US equities at Robeco.ASR – The supervisory board (RvC) of Dutch insurer ASR plans to appoint Annemiek van Melick as chief financial officer and member of the company’s executive board. She is to succeed Chris Figee, who will join telecoms firm KPN as of 1 February. Van Melick has been chief financial officer and executive board member at the Volksbank since 2014 and CFRO at SNS Retail Bank in the two previous years. She has also been director corporate strategy at SNS Reaal, advisor for capital market transactions at Goldman Sachs in London and advisor for mergers and take-overs at Lehman Brothers. At the executive board, Van Melick is to join CEO Jos Baeten and Ingrid de Swart, who started recently at ASR.PGB – Harold Clijsen has been named as CEO of PGB Pensioendiensten, the asset manager and pensions provider for the €30bn Dutch multi-sector pension fund PGB as of 1 January. Clijsen succeeds Daan Heijting, who has started as partner at The Executive Network. He has been CIO and member of the management team at PGB Pensioendiensten and its predecessor Timeos since 2013. Prior to this, Clijsen was director for client portfolio management at the €130bn asset manager and pensions provider MN, senior consultant at Strategeon Investment Consultancy and director of fixed income and treasury at Achmea subsidiary Interpolis Pensioenen.Netspar – Netspar, the Dutch knowledge network for pensions and ageing, has named Wouter Bos and Bianca Tetteroo as new members of its supervisory board (RvT). Bos is to succeed Job Swank, director at pensions supervisor DNB, as chair. He is an economist and a former finance minister. Currently Bos chairs InvestNL, a government-established vehicle tasked with encouraging institutional investment in Dutch society. Tetteroo is a member of the executive board of insurance group Achmea. Netspar’s RvT further comprises Guusje Dolsma, Tuur Elzinga, Lex Meijdam and APG’s CEO Gerard van Olphen.Hermes Investment Management – In the UK’s traditional new year’s honours list, CEO Saker Nusseibeh was awarded the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of his services to responsible business and finance.David Stewart, chair of the Federated Investors company, said: “I would like to congratulate Saker on what is a terrific achievement and due recognition for the energy and enthusiasm with which he has led the argument for a sustainable investment approach that few subscribed to until very recently. The fact that many of these views are now in the mainstream is testament to this.”Hermes IM said that, in addition to financial results, its strategies focus “on delivering outcomes beyond performance: holistic returns that consider impacts to society, the environment and the wider world”.FCLTGlobal – The non-profit organisation working to encourage long-term investing has appointed new board directors and strategic advisors. Adena Friedman, CEO and president, Nasdaq; David Neal, CEO of Australian sovereign wealth fund Future Fund; and Lei Zhang, founder and CEO, Hillhouse Capital Group, are new board directors effective 1 January. Mark Wiseman, who co-founded FCLT and was chair of the board, has resigned as of 31 December 31, concurrent with his resignation from BlackRock, where he had been senior managing director, global head of active equities. He left BlackRock after failing to disclose a relationship with a colleague. Wiseman is a former chief executive of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. FCLT also announced that Carmine Di Sibio, global chair and CEO, EY, joined the board in September and that its team of “strategic advisors” has three new members: Lynn Forester de Rothschild, founder and chief executive, Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism; Martin Lipton, founding partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; and Mark Weinberger, former global chairman and CEO of EY. He has become a strategic advisor after several years of serving on FCLTGlobal’s board.Heimstaden/Sampension — Nordic residential property firm Heimstaden announced it has appointed Søren Vendelbo Jacobsen as its new co-CIO. The firm said he will share the role’s duties with current CIO Christian Fladeland, who described Vendelbo Jacobsen as his “absolute first choice” for the job. Vendelbo Jacobsen currently works for Danish labour-market pension fund Sampension as head of real estate and infrastructure, having worked for the fund for more than nine years in various managerial roles. Vendelbo Jacobsen also sits on the supervisory boards of Sampension Renewables, Danish clean energy firm Nature Energy, and real estate firms DEAS Invest and Falcorner Holding, according to his LinkedIn profile. In a post on the networking site, Heimstaden said it was looking forward to welcoming him to the role on 1 February 2020.UBS Asset Management Real Estate & Private Markets – Gaetano Lepore has been hired as new head of Italy. He takes on the position while retaining his role as portfolio manager at UBS Asset Management (Italia) SGR SpA. He joined UBS Asset Management 12 years ago holding different roles such as head of investment management real estate Italy. This experience allowed him to gain a deep knowledge of the Italian business, clients and portfolio as he assumes his new role. Lepore succeeds Marco Doglio, who has left UBS AM to pursue new opportunities.UBS AM has been active in Italy for more than 15 years and established a dedicated real estate fund management platform in 2015. Since then it has become a leading investment manager on behalf of key institutional clients, with significant mandate wins in recent years.IPSX Group – The International Property Securities Exchange, which operates the world’s first regulated securities exchange dedicated to commercial property, has appointed Huw Stephens as a senior adviser. In his new role, he will support the IPSX management and capital markets team in growing the business, particularly by providing support to building the future pipeline of new issuers.Formerly head of UK transactions at PATRIZIA, which manages more than €42bn of real estate assets across Europe on behalf of a range of global investors, he joined from AXA IM-Real Assets, where he spent 24 years, latterly as head of UK transactions.Rabobank Pensioenfonds – Karin Merkus has started as the new CIO and executive trustee for balance management at the €29bn Dutch Rabobank Pensioenfonds, where she succeeded Thijs Berenst. Merkus will give up her board positions at the pension fund for the furnishing sector (Wonen) and PMT, the industry-wide scheme for metal-working and mechanical engineering. She has worked at consultancies Sprenkels & Verschuren, Watson Wyatt and asset manager PGGM.Aegon AM – Roelie van Wijk will leave Aegon Asset Management as of 1 March, refocusing on non executive board, advisory and supervisory tasks. She has worked for the asset manager for 14 years, 11 of which as CEO of the Groningen-based fiduciary manager TKP Investments. Since 2018, she has been heading Aegon AM’s sustainable investment operations and public affairs. She will cease chairing the Dutch fund and asset management association (Dufas) as of 1 February.Kempen – Remko van der Erf has started a co-head for alternative strategies at asset manager Kempen, returning to the employer he left in April for Anthos, the asset manager for the Dutch Brenninkmeijer family. Together with Michiel Meeuwissen, Van der Erf will head the team for alternative credit. Richard Bullas at Franklin TempletonThe Franklin UK equity team will continue to be led by Colin Morton, vice president and portfolio manager, a seasoned investment professional with 36 years of industry experience and the longest management tenure in the IA UK equity income sector. Under his leadership, the team of eight investment professionals will continue to follow the same long-standing and disciplined investment approach and work very closely together to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities.Mercer –  Malcolm Reynolds has been appointed UK head of pension administration at the consultancy, which is currently the UK’s largest administration provider. Reynolds has over 30 years’ experience in the pension industry, including the past 17 years at JLT where he most recently served as managing director of the pension administration business. Before that he was the chair of the defined contribution and health businesses. Before JLT, Reynolds was a director at PwC, responsible for leading its pension management consultancy business across Europe, Middle East and Africa.Lombard Odier Investment Managers (LOIM) – The asset manager has bolstered its thematic equities franchise with three strategic hires. This new investment team will develop thematic equities strategies, complementing LOIM’s existing range, including Golden Age and Global Prestige. The new strategies will invest in companies selected for their ability to provide solutions and tools addressing some of the most acute problems facing our world. The first new strategy, in global fintech, will be launched in Q1 2020.center_img FRR, Franklin Templeton, Mercer, HSBC Global Asset Management, Veritas, AllianceBernstein, Arabesque S-Ray, Eumedion, De Nationale APF, ASR, PGB, Hermes, Netspar, Sampension, Rabobank, Kempen, UBS, Aegon, LOIMFonds de réserve pour les retraites (FRR) – The €32.6bn French sovereign investor has a new chair of the supervisory board, with Sandrine Lemery having been appointed to the position by government decree. She was the first deputy secretary general of ACPR, the prudential authority for banks and insurers, from 2013 until the beginning of January 2019. She has also been a member of the management board and the board of supervisors of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).Lemery takes over from Jean-Louis Beffa, who had been president of the board on an interim basis since November 2017.last_img read more

26 Aug

MLB hot stove: Bryce Harper not considering short-term deals

first_imgLast week, it was reported that the Giants were very interested in offering Harper a lucrative deal, but it would only be short-term. Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi recently confirmed the team met with Harper and that there was interest on both sides, but if they aren’t offering a Giancarlo Stanton-type deal, Harper likely will turn them down. Harper rejected a 10-year, $300 million contract from the Nationals in September, meaning he wants something bigger. Harper, 26, had a career-low .249 batting average last season, but hit .300 in the second half. The 2018 Home Run Derby winner also had 34 home runs and 100 RBIs.He has spent all seven of his MLB seasons with the Nats. Pitchers and catchers are reporting to spring training this week and the remaining MLB players will report by next week, but Bryce Harper is still a free agent.He’s received a lot of attention from prospective teams, but if any of those teams only have short-term deals to offer, Harper isn’t interested, according to MLB Network. Related News MLB hot stove: Justin Verlander says system is ‘broken’ as 100 free agents remain unsignedlast_img read more

12 Aug

Big win comes at a big price for Steelers

first_imgIke Taylor  is helped off the field by team members during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)PITTSBURGH (AP) – Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor have been playing alongside each other for a dozen years, a union even longer than Polamalu’s marriage.Fate dealt the cornerstones of the Pittsburgh Steelers secondary an unwanted separation.Taylor underwent surgery Monday to repair the right forearm he broke in the third quarter of Sunday night’s 37-19 win over Carolina, the most serious of a handful of injuries that tempered some of the joy of a dominant performance.“I’m deeply affected by it,” Polamalu said. “But he’s tough and I know he’ll be back.”Just not anytime soon.The Steelers (2-1) also lost linebackers Ryan Shazier and Jarvis Jones in the third quarter. Shazier sprained the MCL in his right knee when linebacker Lawrence Timmons accidentally collided with the rookie at the end of a play. Jones went to the locker room with a busted wrist moments after causing a fumble by Carolina quarterback Cam Newton that swung the momentum permanently in Pittsburgh’s favor.Shazier spent Monday walking around with his right leg in a brace, while Jones had his wrist evaluated. Neither injury is expected to be season ending. Taylor’s situation is far more precarious, a stunning development for a player who has missed just seven games since 2003.“It’s a shock because Ike never gets hurt,” cornerback Cortez Allen said. “He’s the most durable guy I know.”One of grittiest too. While some of Taylor’s teammates dropped to a knee upon seeing his arm dangling after a freak collision with Timmons while the two tried to complete a tackle, Taylor turned to the sideline and told nickelback William Gay to get ready.“He gave us that look when he left the field, like, ‘You all better win this game, because I broke my arm for you,’” Gay said.The substitutes more than held their own. The Steelers led 16-3 when Taylor disappeared into the tunnel. An hour later they were walking off the field with their most impressive road win in four years.Gay moved outside to take over for Taylor. Sean Spence completed his remarkable recovery from a gruesome knee injury two years ago to fill in capably for Shazier, while Arthur Moats was a disruptive force with Jones out.“As a competitor, you want to go in there when the game is heated like that and it’s still a meaningful game,” said Moats, signed in the offseason after spending the first four years of his career in Buffalo. “Going in there at blowout time, it’s cool, but it’s great when you’re actually in there when you’re scratching and clawing for every inch.”Not that the game stayed close for long. After going eight quarters without reaching the end zone, the Steelers crossed the goal line four times over the final 26 minutes. Jones’ forced fumble was the first turnover created by Pittsburgh this season. The special teams added the second when Shamarko Thomas blew up Carolina punt returner Corey Brown early in the fourth quarter and Robert Golden fell on the loose ball for a score that made it 30-13.That was more than enough on a night running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount each topped 100 yards rushing – the first time two Steelers have done it in the same game since 1986. The Steelers hardly looked like the team that was overwhelmed in a loss to Baltimore in Week 2.The reality of the injuries, however, set in less than 24 hours later. Instead of cutting up his teammates in a meeting room, Taylor began the day in the hospital. Shazier spent the afternoon getting treatment and a pep talk from Spence, whose career nearly ended in the final game of the 2012 preseason when he tore two ligaments and suffered nerve damage in his left knee when it gruesomely buckled.Shazier will return. So will Jones. Taylor’s outlook is cloudier. The 34-year-old took a significant pay cut to come back for a 12th season. He’d already ceded his role as the team’s shutdown corner to Allen this fall. Replacing Taylor’s onfield leadership, however, is another matter.“It’s a big void that has to be filled,” Allen said.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/AP_NFLlast_img read more

3 Aug

Future hockey stars on display at B.C. Hockey U16 Camp

first_imgBy The Nelson Daily SportsTwo players from the Nelson Leafs Bantam Rep squad were among the selections to the Kootenay squad following the weekend U16 B.C. Hockey High Performance Camp at the Nelson and District Community Complex.Defenceman Colton Dachwitz of Nakusp and South Slocan forward Brandon Sookro join 18 other selections that will head to Kamloops April 28-May 1 to participate in the B.C. Cup.The two Leaf players are joined by former minor hockey teammate Cole Arcuri, who spent the past season playing at a hockey academy in the Okanagan.The four-day jamboree is being held at the Interior Savings Centre and Valleyview Arena and features one practice session, five games, off-ice player and team development and a hockey futures presentation.The Male Under 16 Program was designed by B.C. Hockey to instruct and prepare high caliber players for future opportunities in the High Performance Program.  Open Zone Camps were held for players 15 years or younger.  From each zone, 20 players were selected to compete in the U16 B.C. Cup.  A jamboree style tournament is when the 20 players selected from each zone are mixed together to form the eight teams. Rounding out the selections to the team were Brandon Becker, Daniel Burgess, Matthew Sopkow, Jason Richter, Brayden Revie, Sebastien Barrette and Payton Lee of Cranbrook; Kyle Hope, Mitch Foyle, Nolan Hanley, Riley Brandt, Drake Poirier and Johnny Todd of Trail; Jake Maclachlan of Fernie, Stephen Hawes of Invermere and Chase Butula of Cranbrook.Other players from Nelson attending the camp included Tyler Podgorenko, Dylan Whiffen, Michael Viala and goaltender Brayden [email protected]last_img read more

3 Aug

Mallard’s Team of the Week — LVR Bombers Girls Soccer Team

first_imgStaff at Mallard’s Source for sports would like to tip the hat to the Bombers with Team of the Week honours.The team includes, Allie Zondervan, Maddie Sternloff, Naomi Perkins, Kyra Burkart, Laurel Halleran, Abbie Bouchier-Willans, Jena Wheeldon, Hailee Gerun, Taylor Zimmer, McKenna Bennett, Noa Butterfield, Tara Yowek, Emma Wheeldon, Darian Voisard, Camille Gebhart, Emily Taylor, Sofia Arcuri, Hanna Quinn, Maya Ida and Merissa Dawson.LVR opens against St. Michael’s University before playing Holy Cross of Vancouver Thursday.Friday, the Bombers close out the round robin draw against host Crofton House.The winners of each pool advance into the final four.The championship game is set for noon Saturday. The L.V. Rogers Bombers rode a stellar defence and timely scoring to another Kootenay High School AA Girl’s Soccer Zone Title.The Bombers disposed of local rival J. Lloyd Crowe Hawks of Trail (2-0) before dumping David Thompson Lakers of Invermere in the final (3-0).LVR now advances to the BC High School AA Girl’s Soccer Championships beginning Thursday hosted by Crofton House in Burnaby.last_img read more

3 Aug

Leafs no match for defending KIJHL Champion Kimberley Dynamiters

first_imgSawyer Hunt played most of his minor hockey in Nelson.So it should come to no one’s surprise that the former Nelson Minor Hockey product would have something to say in a game between his new club, the Kimberley Dynamiters, and the Nelson Leafs.Hunt scored twice to lead the Nitros to a 4-0 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory over the Leafs Saturday night at the NDCC Arena.The loss, coupled with a 5-2 setback Friday in Fernie against the Ghostriders, drops the Leafs into fourth spot in Neil Murdoch Division standings. Nelson, tied with Grand Forks at 35 points, has played two more games than the Bruins.Hunt, who opened the game with a power play goal six minutes into the contest, put the visitors up by three goals by jamming home the puck during a goal mouth scramble with time running out in the second frame.The 3-0 lead was more than enough of a cushion for All-World goalie Tyson Brouwer in the Kimberley nets.Brouwer, the third-best backstopper in the KIJHL, stopped all 16 shots to register the shutout.Patrick Ostermann took the loss in goal for Nelson as the hosts were out shot 31-16 in the contest.LEAFS NOTES: Nelson travels to Castlegar Saturday for the first game of a home-and-home series against the Rebels. The rematch is January 29 in Nelson. . . . Nelson will wait until February before testing newly signed netminder Josh Williams returns to the lineup for the Leafs. Williams is currently re-habbing a knee injury that has kep the Alberta based netminder out of the lineup. . . . The Leafs were missing defenceman Kyle Chernenkoff. The Crescent Valley native suffered a concussion Friday in Fernie and was forced to leave the lineup until he’s given the clearance.last_img read more

19 Dec

Darwinizing of Religion Continues

first_imgIn an ongoing series for the Year of Darwin in Science magazine,1 Elizabeth Culotta wrote an article with the Darwinesque title, “On the Origin of Religion.”2  The editor’s summary acknowledges that “No consensus yet exists among scientists,” but sought the only answer in Darwinian terms: “in the past 15 years, a growing number of researchers have followed Darwin’s lead and explored the hypothesis that religion springs naturally from the normal workings of the human mind.  This new field, the cognitive science of religion, draws on psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience to understand the mental building blocks of religious thought.”  Building blocks – there’s a suggestive phrase right out of origin-of-life labs.    Culotta began with a Darwin imprimatur.  “To Charles Darwin, the origin of religious belief was no mystery.  ‘As soon as the important faculties of the imagination, wonder, and curiosity, together with some power of reasoning, had become partially developed, man would naturally crave to understand what was passing around him, and would have vaguely speculated on his own existence,’ he wrote in The Descent of Man.”  Culotta acknowledged that “Darwin’s scientific descendants” are not quite so sure,” but we can trust them, because “potential answers are emerging from both the archaeological record and studies of the mind itself.”    Here’s a quick rundown on those potential answers.  Evolutionary sociologists are studying the propensity of humans to infer agents acting when things happen.  Evolutionary archaeologists are looking for clues of symbolic behavior.  Cognitive neuroscientists are looking for parts of the brain that tend toward “purpose-driven beliefs” that might be “a step on the way to religion.”  Evolutionary psychologists investigate “theory of mind” explanations that see people attributing mental states to others and to things.  Evolutionary anthropologists consider the social aspects of sharing beliefs in gods to develop social cohesion.  It’s Darwin’s game from start to finish.    Each discipline seeks to explain their piece of the religion puzzle in adaptationist, progressive terms.  The psychologists, for instance, reason that if people from childhood onward develop a tendency to see the natural world acting in a purposeful way, “It’s a small step to suppose that the design has a designer.”  Stewart Guthrie sees the invisible hand of Darwin in primitive man’s thinking processes.  “Guthrie suggested that natural selection primed this system for false positives, because if the bump in the night is really a burglar—or a lion—you could be in danger, while if it’s just the wind, no harm done.”  The anthropologists find other ways to see religion as adaptive: “By encouraging helpful behavior, religious groups boost the biological survival and reproduction of their members.”    Here, though, Culotta admitted others see such explanations as little more than just-so storytelling.  She quoted Pascal Boyer cautioning, “It is often said that religion encourages or prescribes solidarity within the group, but we need evidence that people actually follow [their religion’s] recommendations.”  Speaking of evidence, which is supposed to elevate science above other forms of explanation, she admitted to large gaps.  For instance, she said there is “a yawning gap between the material evidence of the archaeological record and the theoretical models of psychologists.”  The archaeologists have a hard time inferring beliefs from artifacts, and the psychologists are crying, “we need more evidence.”  What about the cognitive scientists?  They try to get at the roots of innate tendencies vs. learned beliefs, but they are crying for more evidence, too: “I haven’t seen lots of empirical evidence that you can get from there to religious beliefs,” said social psychologist Ara Norenzayan.  Culotta’s last sentence, quoting Norenzayan again, amounted to a promissory note admitting to gaps in evidence: “In the next 10 to 15 years there’s likely to be quite a transformation, with a lot more evidence, to give us a compelling story about how religion arose.”1.  Intro, “On the Origin of Religion,” Science, 6 November 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5954, pp. 784-787, DOI: 10.1126/science.326_7842.  Elizabeth Culotta, “Origins: On the Origin of Religion,” Science, 6 November 2009: Vol. 326. no. 5954, pp. 784-787, DOI: 10.1126/science.326_784.What’s this?  You were told that science was science, and religion was religion, and never the twain shall meet.  What are the Darwinists doing putting your dear pastor, priest or rabbi in the test tube?  Didn’t Stephen Jay Gould promise that science would stay out of religion if religion stayed out of science?  What is this “evolution of religion” talk?    As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, let us draw some parallels.  East Germany was one of the most tightly controlled ideological regimes in the communist sphere.  The thought police (Stasi) had informers everywhere and kept miles of files on everyone.  It was a crime to think outside the party doctrine.  As with all the communist dictatorships, religion was suppressed, although the regime allowed some puppet churches to operate for propaganda purposes (e.g., when U.S. diplomats visited, so that they could talk about all the religious freedom they witnessed).  What the puppet churches were allowed to say and not say, of course, was monitored and controlled.  Yet history surprised the dictators.  Their regime fell literally overnight, as thousands of freedom-starved East Germans rushed the gates at the first indication of hope, and Gorby refused to send in the tanks, stinging from Reagan’s challenge, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”    To communists, everything in the universe must be interpreted in the light of Marxist ideology.  Darwinians are cut from the same cloth; just substitute Darwin for Marx (who admired Darwin).  In fact, in the same issue of Science, the editors allowed Gretchen Vogel to call the fall of the Berlin wall a “mixed blessing” for East German science directors.  Are they feeling nostalgia for the good old days?  After all, Darwinists are dictators themselves with informers and thought police everywhere, looking for the slightest uprising in a classroom or school board that might challenge Dictator Darwin.  The Darwin Stasi (fronted by the ACLU, Americans United, PAW, NCSE) race into action to cut off any hint of the threat of “creationism.”  They court liberal theologians for propaganda purposes, allowing them to practice their faith as long as it is inside the science lab under the control of the white lab coated thought police.  All the pastors, priests and rabbis have to do to keep peace with the Stasi is pledge allegiance to Darwin.  See how tolerant they are?  Their captives, the renegade appeasers in theological garb, are in for a surprise that was expressed well by Brett Miller in this cartoon.    Don’t fall for the Party line.  It should be crystal clear that Culotta’s own imprimatur-blessed propaganda piece is fluff.  How long are suckers going to wait for their promised “compelling story about how religion arose”?  Sounds like the promised utopia that never arrives.  It’s a story, all right.  Where’s the evidence?  How convenient that every discipline is moaning about the need for more evidence.  Folks, without evidence, they do not have science!  Ignore the fMRI blips; they are trading in ideologically-guided speculation.  And they want to tell YOU how you are supposed to think.  Love freedom!  Tear down this wall!    As the Western democracies won by the human tide pouring through the opened gates, the creationists will win when freedom comes.  Jesus Christ said “You will know them by their fruits.”  Where laws have protected free expression of religion, the arts and sciences have flourished.  Where the Bible has been taken by missionaries, poverty and dictatorship has diminished.  And where informed and evidence-supported creation science is permitted, education will flourish, too.  Check the record; compare achievement of 19th century and early 20th century schools, where McGuffy Readers quoting the Bible were stock in trade and classes opened with prayer and science was done to the glory of God, with the awful record of dropouts and school shootings in today’s DODO schools (Darwin-only, Darwin-only).  Look at how home school students, often from Christian homes, are trouncing their politically-correct peers.  It’s the Christian schools that teach evidences for and against Darwinism.  They don’t fear losing their students.  The Darwin-only public schools rightly fear losing their students if the truth about the scientific evidence were allowed.  Forget creationism – the thought police don’t even allow scientific criticisms of Darwin to be heard.  This artificial selection imposed by Darwin-only breeders is producing monstrosities that could not survive in the wild.  You might even say it shows that the creationists are the fittest.    But all this is unnecessary posturing, because the Darwinists have no case.  We know this, because if we applied their very same reasoning to themselves (i.e., the evolution of Darwinizing speculation), their argument would collapse into a recursive black hole.  So while Culotta and her interviewees are swimming around like little Darwin fish scooping up the detritus on the bottom (animism, cult figurines, fMRI scans, etc.), they have not yet realized their ocean is inside the Christian fish.  They are feeding on gifts the Christian fish is bringing them (see 11/05/2009 and 08/13/2007 commentaries).  Like captives pretending to be autonomous, everything they depend on—logic, reason, evidence—is not of their own making.  The Christian fish is the universe of which nature is a subset.  If the Darwin guppies want to repent and help build up the true fish, they can provide nourishment for the truth.  If not, they can keep swimming in circles a little while longer till they get pooped out.(Visited 127 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

16 Dec

A Custom Builder’s First EarthCraft House

first_imgRELATED CONTENTGBA Encyclopedia: EarthCraft HouseAdvanced Framing Sealed crawl spacesNews:A Green Evolution in Western VirginiaBlog:Green Building Program RoadkillQ&A:A question concerning termite treatments What is a safe termite spray?Sometimes it’s too late to change the specsWe met with our third-party verifier — a great guy who really knew his stuff. While reviewing the Earthcraft checklist, we learned what he would be looking for and how to document what we were doing.Since we had been building custom homes for a number of years, we were already building a pretty good house — for example, we were paying close attention to flashing details. Once again, we were pretty surprised that we had enough points to qualify for a Tier I Earthcraft House without changing our specifications very much beyond the components we had already decided to include: the spray foam, conditioned attic, and sealed crawl space.We were even thinking, “We’re not really learning anything new or improving anything if we don’t end up changing the way we are doing things.” We wanted to try to get to Tier II or III and incorporate some new things in the mix. But by then, construction had already started, and we had used a traditional termite spray on the foundation. Under the Earthcraft program, you can’t achieve Tier II or III certification unless you use an alternative method for controlling termites — so were stuck at a Tier I.Lesson learned: you can’t make it up as you go along! One of the most important aspects of green building is thinking and planning ahead.Tentative steps toward advanced framingI think the biggest thing that we had to change was our framing techniques. Before we started down the green path, we took a great deal of pride in the fact that our homes were overengineered — so incorporating advanced framing techniques was hard for us to handle. Since we had to include three advanced framing techniques to get our certification points, we chose items that didn’t make us uncomfortable. We decided to use ladder “T wall” intersections, two-stud corners, and insulated headers.All of these techniques made sense to us — after all, removing lumber and adding insulation is a good thing. On a large custom home, we did not feel quite as comfortable with single top plates or 24-inch-on-center framing, so we chose not to cross that bridge quite yet.Our first steps towards advanced framing techniques represented a very small bump on our otherwise smooth journey to green.Inviting the public to watchWe intended to use our first EarthCraft house as a tool to educate people about green building. By now we had learned that the green building focuses on the process, the details, and the performance of a home — in other words, things that are hidden behind the walls. We wanted to prove that you could build a traditional-looking house and still build it green.We hosted several groups, walking them through the house during construction. To spread the green news, we also entered the house in the North Carolina Sustainability and Solar Home Tour.A disappointing HERS IndexWe passed all our inspections (including the blower door test and the Duct Blaster test) on the first try. Unfortunately, when our house was only half-built, our third-party rater decided to leave his company. Since his replacement was not nearly as knowledgeable, the verification process wasn’t as smooth as usual during the home stretch.However, these glitches weren’t anything that we couldn’t overcome. It also took a very long time to finally receive our certification — over two months. We never found out whether this was the fault of the verifier or the people at SouthFace who run the Earthcraft program. (I suspect it was our verifier.)Our HERS Index was a 69 — a bit of a disappointment. Since the house incorporated many new expensive techniques, including spray-foam insulation, we were hoping to do a little better than that. The HERS Index of our first certified green home was only slightly better than that of our first Energy Star home.Looking back, instead of installing expensive spray foam in 2×4 walls, we probably should have put the money towards 2×6 exterior walls, increasing the overall R-value of the assembly.Besides the high cost, another drawback of spray foam is the amount of extra foam that is shaved off the wall and ends up in the Dumpster. The scraps end up in a landfill where they remain forever. We were trying to reduce waste and recycle our trash to divert it from the landfill, but we ended up using a product that is inherently wasteful.The extra costs for the closed crawl space, spray foam insulation, certification, and other details added up to about $20,000 more than we typically would have spent.Unfortunately, when it came time to sell the home, nobody seemed all that impressed with our green building certification. That made it hard to charge extra for.We still learned a lot during the process, and overall was a positive experience. But we need to educate the masses.Danny Kelly is a co-owner of Kelly McArdle Construction in Charlotte, North Carolina. Having completed an Energy Star house, we wanted to take the next step in our “walk, jog, run” model. We were ready to jog – we decided to enroll a house in one of the many programs that certifies green homes.By this time, our knowledge had grown, and we felt like we were up to speed on all the new products and techniques of green building. The NAHB had formalized its Green Building Guidelines; we had read them and attended a brief seminar.Trying to decide which program to follow was a tough decision. We thought the LEED for Homes program had the best name recognition, but we were put off by the fact that the program required any fireplace to be equipped with glass doors. We knew none of our customers would want this, and we didn’t want to risk doing something in a spec home that could turn someone off.We decided to build a house that would meet the Earthcraft House certification. We wanted to go the extra mile with this house: we wanted spray foam insulation, a conditioned attic, and closed crawlspace. We were thinking green in a big way! Part 1: The Journey BeginsPart 2: Energy StarPart 3: EarthCraft Part 4: LEED and NGBSPart 5: Comparing the Systemscenter_img OTHERS IN THIS SERIESlast_img read more

7 Nov

Cowboys lasso Titans to claim back-to-back titles

first_img@Eden_RichardsThe Queensland Cowboys have gone back-to-back in the Men’s Elite Eight after defeating the Queensland Titans 6-3 win at the National Touch League in Coffs Harbour.The reigning champions led the match from start to finish on a beautiful night at C.ex Coffs International Stadium, showing their class from the early minutes of play.It was an unfortunate result for the Titans who had performed so well for the whole tournament, but even they will appreciate the class and talent of the Cowboys’ side.A two-touchdown performance from Cormac Hoch helped his side to a 3-1 lead at half-time and they used this momentum to skip away in the second half. Jack Hughes opened the scoring in the early minutes of the second half, giving the Cowboys a commanding 4-1 lead in the process.They went on with it in the 27th minute, scoring the easiest of touchdowns through Damon Moore to lead 5-1.A stalemate emerged for the next seven minutes, before Cowboy Lachlan Hoch grabbed his first of the night to make it 6-1 with a little over five minutes to play.The Titans scored a consolation touchdown in the 36th minute to add some respectability to the scoreboard, but Graeme Clancy’s efforts were not enough, with the scoreboard showing a 6-2 scoreline in the Cowboys’ favour.Clancy grabbed a third touchdown on the hooter but the celebrations had already started for the Cowboys who held on for a 6-3 win.It was a complete 40-minute performance from the Cowboys who opened the scoring very early in the match to grab the upper hand from the get-go.In fact it took just three minutes for the Cowboys to cross the line, with Braydon Hegarty crossing in the left corner.Cormac Hoch sliced through the Titans’ defence in the 10th minute to make it 2-0, putting his side in a great position in the process.But just minutes later, The Titans cut the deficit to one touchdown through the handy work of Clancy who crossed in the right corner.However, the Cowboys continued to pile on the pressure and it paid off in the 16th minute, with Cormac Hoch scoring a spectacular touchdown to put his side up 3-1. That’s the way it stayed at half-time, and the Cowboys used that momentum to go on with the match and claim the title.Queensland Cowboys 6 (C. Hoch 2, L Hoch, Hegarty, Hughes, Moore touchdowns) def. Queensland Titans 3 (Clancy 3 touchdowns)Related LinksMen’s E8 finallast_img read more