GIRONA, Spain – Thomas Pieters overcame three early bogeys to shoot a second consecutive 3-under 69 Friday and take a one-shot lead after the second round of the Spanish Open. The Belgian rookie, who earned his European Tour card here at the PGA Catalunya Resort in November, had a 6-under 138 total to sit one shot ahead of first-round leader Eddie Pepperell of England (71) and Joost Luiten of the Netherlands (69). Italy’s Francesco Molinari had six birdies to sit two shots back after a 67. The 22-year-old Pieters ”I just hung in there and made some late birdies. The wind died out on the last nine and I took advantage of that.” Sergio Garcia had six bogeys in his 74 to slip five behind Pieters.
ORLANDO, Fla. – Morgan Hoffmann’s day began with news that his 97-year-old grandmother died Thursday morning. It ended with his first lead on the PGA Tour. Hoffman began his round with a 35-foot birdie putt on No. 10 and finished it with a 9-iron that touched the hole before stopping inches away for birdie. He also holed a bunker shot for eagle on the par-5 sixth, leading to a 6-under 66 and a one-shot lead in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It all was a lot to chew on for the 25-year-old Hoffmann, who cooks his own meals to eat on the golf course (bison steak was for lunch Thursday). ”Mentally, I’m in kind of a weird state right now,” he said. ”My grandma passed away this morning, so I’m just pretty chilled out there and loving life right now. Just wish my family the best at home. My whole family texted me and said, ‘Nanny is playing golf with pop up there,’ which was pretty cool.” Hoffmann hopes to attend a memorial service for Dorothy Lionetti in Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday night. It should be a short trip considering Hoffmann pilots his own plane that he recently bought from his buddy David Booth, who plays left wing for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was inspired to be a pilot after meeting with the tournament host during the Palmer Cup in 2009. Hoffman, clearly, is not the garden variety PGA Tour player. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, videos and photos ”I have a lot of stuff you guys didn’t ask,” he said with a perfect smile. Not to be forgotten was his golf. He had a one-shot lead over five players, including Ian Poulter and Kevin Na. The group at 68 included Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson and Brandt Snedeker. Poulter, who made an eagle from just off the 16th green, had his own distraction. His 3-year-old son was taken to the hospital Wednesday night with a low oxygen level and pneumonia. It was a long night, with a bit of a scare, but Joshua was doing better Thursday morning. ”I suppose it was a blessing, last tee time off,” said Poulter, who was in the afternoon group of starters. Rory McIlroy hit 17 greens in regulation in his Bay Hill debut and one-putted only two greens, including a 15-foot birdie on the 18th for a 70. McIlroy two-putted from 18 feet for birdie on No. 6, and his lone bogey came with an approach into the water on the par-5 16th. He twirled the club when he saw the splash, though it stayed in his hands. In his third American event this year, the world’s No. 1 player still hasn’t broken 70. But he’s getting there. ”Seeing signs of my game that I like,” McIlroy said. ”Another three days of hopefully solid golf and try and get into contention, and that will put me in a good place going into Augusta.” Hoffmann also is headed to Augusta National for the first time, courtesy of making the Tour Championship last year on the strength of a pair of top 10s in the FedEx Cup playoffs. He just hasn’t followed up on his finish at the start of this season, with no top 10s in nine tournaments. But after missing the cut at Innisbrook, he spent 12 hours at home in south Florida hitting balls and trying to hit cut shots to stop the aggravating two-way miss. The work appears to be paying off. He missed only two fairways and four greens, none by a great length. Twelve hours on the range can be exhausting, and when asked if he had at least stopped for lunch, Hoffmann shared his culinary preferences. He cooks the night before and packs six small meals to eat during the day. The only thing missing is the cutlery, even for a bison steak. ”Barehanded it,” he said. He limits his carbohydrates to brown rice and sweet potatoes, along with some vegetables. On the road, he picks hotels with a small kitchen. ”I just figure it’s better than eating candy bars or protein bars,” he said. ”I have real food out there.” Hoffman, who went to Oklahoma State, first met Palmer at the 2009 Palmer Cup at Cherry Hills. The King shared the importance of a legible autograph (he worked on that) and his affection for flying. Palmer was among the first golfers to fly his own plane and only gave up the controls four years ago. So it felt only fitting that his first lead after any round on tour would come at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. ”It’s awesome,” he said. ”Arnie has inspired me very heavily since 2009 when I played the Palmer Cup at Cherry Hills, and we talked for about an hour about flying. He’s inspired me to get my pilot’s license and fly myself to tournaments, which I’m now doing. It’s pretty cool, and he’s been a big inspiration in my life.”
Golf, like real estate, is all about location, location, location. The over-50 set, for example, enjoyed a dramatic upgrade this week with news that the Senior Open Championship is bound for the Old Course; while Bubba Watson would rather be, well, anywhere that’s not TPC Scottsdale. Made Cut Seniors to St. Andrews. With apologies to Augusta National, Pinehurst and Pebble Beach, there is no better place to hold a tournament, be it a major or otherwise, than the Home of Golf and news this week that the R&A will bring the Senior Open Championship to the Old Course for the first time qualifies as a major victory. “They have allowed not just me, but many other great champions, an opportunity to return to a venue that means so much to everyone who plays the game,” said Tom Watson, who thought he’d taken his final stroll down the Old Course’s 18th fairway at last year’s Open. From the quirky, ancient links to the Auld Grey Toon, everything about St. Andrews makes championships special and the 2018 Senior Open will be no different. Looping legend. There are no caddies in the World Golf Hall of Fame, but if there were, Dave Renwick would be a first-ballot addition. Renwick died on Feb. 4 after a lengthy battle with cancer. The 62-year-old was on the bag when three different players won major championships, starting with Jose Maria Olazabal at the 1994 Masters. The next year he caddied for Steve Elkington when the Australian won the 1995 PGA Championship, but he enjoyed the most success while working for Vijay Singh, who he teamed with in June 1997. Renwick worked for Singh when the Fijian won the 1998 PGA Championship, ’00 Masters and ’04 PGA Championship, the latter a season that included nine victories on the PGA Tour and Singh ascending to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Players, caddies and officials wore black ribbons on Thursday at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic to honor Renwick; and Golf Digest’s John Huggan deftly described a life fully lived: “Renwick fit a variety of Caledonian stereotypes: Tough and uncompromising, an occasional hard drinker, honest to a fault.” Tweet of the week: @thomaslevetgolf (Thomas Levet) “RIP Dave [Renwick]. You will be missed on tour, one of the top caddies if not the best. #daverenwick” Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF) “Gimmegate” revisited. You know the deal: if the headline is big enough, the news is big enough; and the LPGA’s decision to pair Suzann Pettersen and Alison Lee on Day 1 at the Coates Golf Championship was an example of this axiom. “What happened back five months ago, I can barely remember,” Pettersen said. To refresh Pettersen’s memory, Lee was a little too quick to rake a putt during her fourball match against Pettersen at last September’s Solheim Cup. The American thought the putt had been conceded and the incident led to a furor over sportsmanship. The reunion went off without incident after Lee was able to get a pre-round nosebleed under control and both players dismissed the notion there are any unresolved issues. As for the pairing it seemed a tad forced – that is, of course, unless you subscribe to the notion that the computer “randomly” spit out that pairing – but people are talking, which is never a bad thing. Wheels of justice. Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the lawsuit filed by a group of caddies – which has ballooned to more than 160 plaintiffs – against the PGA Tour for what they claim are unpaid endorsement fees. Little has changed since the original complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, with the majority of work in recent months focused on a request for a venue change (which was denied) and the Tour’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit (which is pending). Both sides are currently in a holding pattern while judge Vince Chhabria considers the motion to dismiss, and the next management conference is scheduled for later this month. In short, the court doesn’t appear to be in any rush to decide this case. As Sun Tzu once famously wrote, “The wheels of justice grind slow, but grind fine.” Missed Cut Being Bubba. By any measure, TPC Scottsdale is a bomber’s golf course. Look no further than the list of champions at the Waste Management Phoenix Open – Brooks Koepka, J.B. Holmes, Phil Mickelson, et al – to prove the point. That, however, didn’t stop Bubba Watson, the poster child for the bombing set, from venting this week that the new and improved TPC Scottsdale isn’t to his liking. “I don’t like it. I’m not going to PC it. I don’t like it at all. I just mentioned why I’m here. I’ve got three beautiful sponsors that love it here,” Watson said. Despite having finished runner-up twice at TPC Scottsdale, which underwent a renovation before last year’s event, it’s Bubba’s Phoenix-area sponsors – Ping, Stance Socks and Oakley – that drew him to the Valley of the Sun, not a wide open golf course that favors the long ball. The media should celebrate honest, unfiltered answers, but in the case of Bubba an “honest take” shouldn’t be an excuse for fundamentally flawed logic. Follow the money. Late last year at the Hero World Challenge Tour commissioner Tim Finchem was asked his thoughts on appearance fees, which are not allowed in the United States but regularly lure top players to overseas events like last month’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. “There isn’t anything happening out there that would say the guidelines are starting to get pushed by players in typically unique situations,” Finchem said. “Certain places have a fair amount of appearance money and it can, in turn, go to the player’s head.” Appearance fees have become a talking point in recent days following world No. 1 Jordan Spieth’s jet-setting schedule to start the year with events in Maui (Hyundai Tournament of Champions), the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi) and the Singapore Open. But it’s the thinly veiled appearance fees that have been largely overlooked by the Tour. Rickie Fowler won the Abu Dhabi stop and flew directly to San Diego to play last week’s Farmers Insurance Open, where he missed the cut. It’s safe to say Fowler wouldn’t have played Torrey Pines if Farmers Insurance weren’t one of his sponsors. To be fair to Fowler, there are dozens of Tour players with similar sponsorship deals that influence schedules. It’s become a common practice driven by a competitive marketplace, the free market at work. What seems out of place, however, is Finchem’s decision to take such a high-minded approach to traditional appearance fees while ignoring the more nuanced version here in the United States.
PALM HARBOR, Fla. – In the scoring trailer, there is a prize-money chart so players can see how much will be deposited into their bank account Monday morning. After signing their cards, Jordan Spieth turned to amateur Lee McCoy and told him not to look at the chart. Solo fourth paid out $292,800. “I looked,” McCoy said, pausing for effect. “I shouldn’t have looked.” The 22-year-old University of Georgia senior can’t collect that six-figure check, of course, until he joins the play-for-pay set. A shame, too, because McCoy says he has about $350 in his bank account, enough for gas and some grub on the 7 1/2-hour drive back to Athens, Ga. McCoy has lived in the same cheap one-bedroom apartment for the past three years. He will turn pro in a few months, most likely after the NCAAs in early June, so his star-making performance here at the Valspar Championship couldn’t have been timed better with the Big Jump upcoming. “You better believe I’m going to be getting into some people’s ears and make sure everybody knows what happened this week,” he said. McCoy is talking about sponsors and equipment representatives, the potential signing bonuses and bidding wars. He hopes his play this week, and on Sunday in particular, will help boost his marketing appeal. How could it not? Playing about a par 5 away from his childhood home, McCoy closed with a 2-under 69, dusted world No. 1 Spieth by four shots and finished fourth in his fourth career PGA Tour start, just three shots out of the playoff eventually won by Charl Schwartzel. It was the best finish by an amateur in a non-opposite-field event since Justin Rose at the 1998 Open Championship (T-4). “I would say that being able to put on my résumé that I contended in a PGA Tour event is my absolute biggest accolade,” McCoy said. “At the end of the day, that’s what companies want is their logo on TV. I don’t know how much coverage I got …” Valspar Championship: Articles, photos and videos Every shot on every hole, he was told. “… Wow, um, well …” he started. Turns out he just gave four hours of free advertising to Under Armour (shirt), FootJoy (shoes), Callaway (glove) and the Porzak Golf Academy (hat). “I hope people were watching and I’ll be able to live a little more comfortably,” he said. “I’m trying to move down to Jupiter (Florida) and rent’s not cheap. If I can get a deal boosted up a little bit and not live in a dump, that would be awesome.” McCoy is the 10th-ranked college golfer in the country, one of the rare seniors who has actually performed well in his final year at school. For a player like McCoy who has already appeared in the big leagues – he made three Tour starts last season, including in the U.S. Open – the pro game can’t arrive soon enough. He is reminded of that promising future on a weekly basis, with the distractions of trying to line up sponsorships and representation and playing opportunities once he turns pro. Though McCoy technically wasn’t playing for money Sunday at Innisbrook, well, in many ways he still was: The better he played, the higher he’d rise on the unofficial priority ranking for new pros, the more money in his pocket. That’s why McCoy was openly rooting for a final-round pairing with Spieth on Sunday. More publicity, more pressure, more opportunity. On Saturday afternoon, after a 66, he watched the leaderboard on his phone “like a hawk” and secured the 1:10 p.m. tee time when one of the contenders made a late bogey. “He was pumped out of his mind,” said McCoy’s father, Terry. Spieth and McCoy hadn’t played together since September 2012, at The Farm in Georgia. Spieth tied for second that week, while McCoy was eighth. Their career paths diverged from there. After helping Texas capture the NCAA title the previous spring, Spieth turned pro a few months later. McCoy’s rise has been more gradual, from a consistent All-American performer to a Walker Cupper and four-time winner a year ago, when he set a school record for low scoring average. “I wanted to play with him so bad,” McCoy said. “He’s the No. 1 player in the world, and not only do I know him and know that he’s an awesome guy to play with, but getting used to a crowd like that was such a great experience for me, to see what that was like. There are people moving everywhere. There’s nothing still about playing with a Jordan Spieth-type of crowd.” Yet it didn’t faze him. He birdied his first two holes. He made bogeys on the sixth and ninth holes, after poor shots around the green, but his favorite moment of the week came on the par-4 12th. There is a lively Hooters hospitality tent to the right of the green, and the whole place erupted when his 30-foot birdie putt dropped. Spieth walked up to McCoy on the next tee and draped an arm around his shoulder. “Isn’t that the coolest sound in the whole world?” Spieth asked. “Yeah,” McCoy replied, “that was as good as it gets.” He two-putted for another birdie on 14 to move within two shots of the lead, then missed reasonable chances on the last four holes – all inside 30 feet – that could have made the final hour really interesting. Perhaps the best part? He impressed Spieth, who began clapping as he approached McCoy on the 18th green. “You would have thought he was out here for years,” Spieth said. “The way he was talking, you couldn’t sense any nerves or anything on his putting stroke, either. He’s certainly really ready to be out here. It was really fun to watch.” And so now it’s back to reality, back to Athens, back to same one-bedroom apartment that he’s lived in for the past three years. After making the media rounds and signing for about 50 autograph seekers, McCoy headed north with his girlfriend and a longtime family friend. It was a long trip ahead and he hoped to sleep for a few hours. He has an 9:42 a.m. tee time Monday, for the Bulldogs’ home tournament, the one-day, 36-hole Southern Intercollegiate, and they need their No. 1 player. “I came back to school for a reason,” he said. “I’m playing good golf so I want to try to help our team defend our title.” For a few more months at least, the pro game – and those big checks – can wait.
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. – Jay Haas birdied the first hole of a playoff with Bart Bryant on Sunday in the Toshiba Classic to become the second-oldest winner in PGA Tour Champions history. At 62 years, 10 months, 7 days, Haas trails only Mike Fetchick, the 1985 Hilton Head Seniors Invitational winner at 63 years to the day. After opening with bogey-free rounds of 64 and 63 to take a five-stroke lead, Haas had to rally to get into the playoff. He made par saves on the par-3 17th and par-5 18th for a 1-under 70 to match Bryant – who earlier bogeyed 18 to give Haas an opening – at 16-under 197. Also the 2007 winner at Newport Beach Country Club, Haas won his 18th title on the 50-and-over tour and first since 2014. He won nine times on the PGA Tour and captained the United States’ winning Presidents Cup team last year in South Korea. The 53-year-old Bryant shot a 64, three-putting the 18th in regulation. He hit into the left greenside bunker in two, and hit something under the ball in the sand that sent that ball right and long. Bryant also struggled on the hole in the playoff, hitting way left off the tee, then into a grandstand to the right of the green. Haas hit the fairway and drew a good lie in light rough, also right of the green. Bryant’s chip raced across the green and off, and Haas hit his to a foot for the winning birdie. Playing two groups ahead of Haas, Bryant pulled even with a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 16th and took the lead with a downhill, breaking 20-footer on the 17. Bryant birdied six of the first 12 holes, hitting inside 5 feet on the last three on Nos. 9, 11 and 12. Haas hit left into the water on the short par-3 fourth en route to a double bogey. He hit a 6-iron to a foot to set up a birdie on No. 8, made a 5-foot birdie putt on 12 and closed with six pars. Bryant won the 2013 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open for his lone senior title. Larry Mize (65) and Billy Andrade (66) tied for third at 14 under. Funk had a 68 to drop into a tie for fifth at 13 under with Mike Goodes (63), Todd Hamilton (64) and Kevin Sutherland(66). John Daly, playing alongside Bryant, had an eventful even-par 71 to tie for 19th at 9 under. His scorecard nearly as colorful as his pants, Daly didn’t make a par until the eighth hole. He drove the 319-yard first to set up a 10-foot eagle putt, made a 40-footer for birdie on No. 2 and two-putted for birdie on the par-5 third. He made double bogeys on the next two holes, also hitting into the water on No. 4, then birdied No. 6 and bogeyed No. 7. After a string of pars, he closed birdie-bogey-bogey-birdie. Duffy Waldorf, the winner last year, also was 9 under after a 69.
PEABODY, Mass. – Kenny Perry claimed his second U.S. Senior Open on Sunday, pulling away from Kirk Triplett at Salem Country Club to finish at 16 under and win by two strokes. The 56-year-old Perry closed with a 2-under 68 for a record score of 264. Perry also won the event in 2013 in Omaha, Nebraska. It is his fourth major victory on the senior tour. Perry started the day a stroke behind Triplett but five ahead of the next-closest contender, Brandt Jobe. Triplett, who tied the tournament record with a 62 in the opening round, had five bogeys Sunday and shot 71. Jobe had a 70 to finish seven strokes back. Tom Lehman and Fred Couples each shot 69 to tie for fourth at 8 under. Perry’s 264 total was three strokes better than the U.S. Senior Open record set by Hale Irwin at Saucon Valley in 2000 and matched by Perry in 2013. Perry was the only player to shoot under par in each of the four rounds at the 6,815-yard Donald Ross-designed course, which also hosted the tournament in 2001. That year, Bruce Fleischer won at even par. But overnight rain before the first three rounds softened the greens, and Triplett and Jobe each took advantage with rounds of 62 – matching the lowest score in a PGA Tour Champions major. ”Today was probably how they wanted the golf course to play all week,” said Jobe, who played his other three rounds at a combined 1 under. ”It was hard out there.” Triplett started the final day with a one-stroke lead but it didn’t last long. Perry birdied the first hole and then took the lead for good when Triplett dropped a stroke on No. 5. By the ninth hole, Perry’s lead was four strokes, and Jobe had closed within two shots of second place. Triplett, who only had two total bogeys in the first three rounds, had five on Sunday. Perry played bogey-free, with a pair of birdies. Perry has nine overall victories on the 50-and-over tour after winning 14 times on PGA Tour. He lost a playoff to Mark Brooks in the 1996 PGA Championship at Valhalla in his home state of Kentucky.
ORLANDO, Fla. – Joie Chitwood gestures toward Bay Hill’s 18th hole and the corporate skyboxes that ring the green. For a moment, the Arnold Palmer Invitational appears to be stuck in time. It was at Arnie’s Place where significant crowds last cheered a Sunday champion. For Tyrrell Hatton that seems like a lifetime ago. “It feels such a long time ago with everything that’s happened in the world since,” Hatton said on Wednesday. “It’s been difficult for a lot of people. I don’t think any of us realized how much our lives would change.” Following his victory last March at Bay Hill, Hatton and the rest of the PGA Tour headed north to the flagship event at TPC Sawgrass with what seemed like a distant COVID-19 cloud looming. It would be more than three months before the circuit would make it to another championship Sunday and based on current projections it will be more than a year before fans return to the galleries in full force. The Tour is getting closer to that goal, however. Golf Central PGA Tour updates players on allowing family and guests at events BY Rex Hoggard — February 10, 2021 at 3:00 PM A PGA Tour e-mail outlined access at events starting at this month’s WGC through the Valero Texas Open in early April. As Chitwood, the API tournament director, sees it, Bay Hill – which will allow 25% capacity at its event – will also act as a benchmark for the Tour as coronavirus restrictions ease and fans begin to return. Last week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, which maxed out at 5,000 fans per day, was a glimpse of what the next step will look like. “The energy that the crowds give to a competition was the biggest difference last week,” said Chitwood. “You saw Jordan Spieth put his 61 on the board [on Saturday] and you saw [Brooks] Koepka win and then you think back to the last few months without fans there, you’ve seen great shots but you’re not seeing the emotional reaction from the athlete. It made us feel good with what we are doing with our plan and gives people something to get excited about.” Chitwood won’t give a specific number of fans he expects each day at next month’s Arnold Palmer Invitational (March 4-7) but it could reach 8,000 fans a day. It’s other numbers, however, that stand out to Chitwood, like the tournament’s 58-page health and safety manual. Although the corporate skyboxes around Bay Hill’s 18th green look familiar, the routine will be vastly different for this year’s event. Chitwood even created a heath-and-safety committee that will be responsible for making sure that fans wear masks, remain socially distanced and use any of the dozens of hand sanitizing stations around the course. Chitwood has also changed how tickets are sold. Instead of standing-room only tickets, officials went with a “one seat, one ticket” policy to assure everyone remains socially distanced and the various skyboxes will accommodate about half as many fans as normal. “For us [the 25% target] was about not putting our customers on busing. The fact that they could come on property in their own cars was a key element of our safety plan,” Chitwood said. Officials this week at the Honda Classic, which is the final Florida swing event, announced plans for a similar fan footprint and if the infrastructure buildout at TPC Sawgrass is any indication, The Players Championship will also include a significant gallery. The first event of the swing, the WGC tournament at The Concession, will have limited fans. Golf Central Bryson wants to drive Bay Hill’s par-5 sixth BY Rex Hoggard — February 10, 2021 at 2:50 PM Tyrrell Hatton said Bryson DeChambeau would be “very brave” if he attempted to drive Bay Hill’s par-5 sixth in competition. A memo sent to players from the Tour on Wednesday also outlined easing restrictions as the circuit transitions east, including full family access and up to four additional guests a day at The Players as well as access for player managers. That is in dramatic contrast to this week’s event at Pebble Beach, which was reduced from a multi-day pro-am event because of the pandemic. Not only will there be no fans at Pebble Beach and next week in Los Angeles, but families are also not allowed on property because of restrictions. Because of Monterey County’s restrictions, officials at Pebble Beach weren’t even allowed to build a dining facility to accommodate the entire field and players were advised “in event of an on-course evacuation, players and caddies will be required to seek shelter in their vehicle.” For many the dichotomy between the events is a reminder of how far the Tour has come and how quickly things can be taken away. “It does point out the fragile nature of sports in this country when we have a pandemic like this hit and how quickly events don’t happen and the things we have to go through to not just bring back sports but to bring back sports with fans,” Chitwood said. So much has changed in the year since Hatton was cheered on Bay Hill’s 18th green, but when the Englishman returns in a few weeks to defend his title things will look vaguely familiar.
Neuroscience & Mind What to Fear? Jay Richards’s The Human Advantage Is Out!David [email protected]_klinghofferJune 19, 2018, 3:01 PM The scary thing about artificial intelligence and related advances in technology is not what it will to do us — like put us all out of work — but what we’ll do with it to ourselves and each other. Our colleague Jay Richards is out today with an important book, The Human Advantage: The Future of American Work in an Age of Smart Machines, that drives home a point that gets lost in hysterical media headlines about AI. Humans are unique, and no matter how quickly they may perform calculations, robots cannot displace us. American Enterprise Institute president Arthur C. Brooks writes about the book:The blistering pace of technological change has left many Americans uncertain about their place in the 21st-century economy. But as Jay Richards wisely reminds us, no machine will ever be able to replicate what makes us truly human: Our creativity, and our virtue. The Human Advantage masterfully demonstrates that we need not fear the future, and that a life of happiness still awaits those with the courage to pursue it.That’s not a Pollyannaish forecast — the proviso that happiness will be a prospect for “those with the courage to pursue it” is significant. I don’t think Richards or Brooks expects the future will be painless.Capitalizing on PanicBut there’s no question that the media and some in science too are capitalizing on panic about AI. Jay writes today at Signature, “I get it. Doomsday predictions gain shares on Facebook and Twitter.” Yes, and many people also derive a sick type of satisfaction from scaring other people.Jay Richards explains that advancing technology had the effect of permanently displacing us from our work, then history would look very different from the way it does.If technology led to permanent unemployment, history would be one long, dismal story of expanding joblessness. In fact, without the technology that led to all the job loss, the global economy could not sustain the billions of jobs and people it now does.So why do we hear so much doom and gloom? Because no one can predict, in detail, what future jobs will look like. We can easily picture, in contrast, a loss of the status quo.Imagine a clever American in 1776 who comes upon a primitive steam engine. He starts to ponder how this device will raise the country’s farm output in the future. Since people need only so much food, he figures, there must be a limit to demand. At some point, perhaps only one percent of the population will be needed to produce enough food for everyone.Yikes! Ninety-four percent of Americans would end up jobless as a result.Of course, that’s not what happened. Two centuries later, the American population is ten times larger, due in part to much better farming methods. Instead of massive poverty and joblessness, most people now do something other than farm, and they have a much higher standard of living. Around 1 percent of the US population now works on farms. Most of the jobs of the other 99 percent didn’t exist in 1776.These fears are unfounded, and worse, perhaps, they distract us from facing the very real if unintended consequences of the “smart” machine age.The July 11 launch of Discovery Institute’s new Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence is intended to address these very timely concerns. Join us at Seattle’s William Allen Theater at the Museum of Flight for a conversation with new fellows and staff of the Center for a lively discussion of the subject: “Will the Machines Take Over? Human Uniqueness in the Age of Smart Machines.”More information is here. The event is FREE but you must register here.Photo credit: kalhh, via Pixabay. Tagsamerican enterprise instituteArthur C. Brooksartificial intelligenceeconomicsemploymentFacebookhuman exceptionalismhysteriaJay RichardsjoblessnessmediaMuseum of FlightpopulationSeattlesignaturesmart machinesstandard of livingsteam engineTechnologyThe Human AdvantageTwitterWalter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligencework,Trending “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Share Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Recommended Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All
But this has got to be one of the dopiest, most simple-minded presentations of the subject that I’ve seen. “It’s a Fact”Professor Chakrabarty informs us:[W]e’re taught to say “the theory of evolution.” There are actually many theories, and just like the process itself, the ones that best fit the data are the ones that survive to this day. The one we know best is Darwinian natural selection. That’s the process by which organisms that best fit an environment survive and get to reproduce, while those that are less fit slowly die off. And that’s it. Evolution is as simple as that, and it’s a fact. Evolution is a fact as much as the “theory of gravity.” You can prove it just as easily. You just need to look at your belly button that you share with other placental mammals, or your backbone that you share with other vertebrates, or your DNA that you share with all other life on earth. Those traits didn’t pop up in humans. They were passed down from different ancestors to all their descendants, not just us.The sufficiency of Darwin’s theory of natural selection for explaining the history of life is “as simple as” the observation that animals that can’t survive in their environment, don’t survive. “It’s a fact” because you have a belly button, in common with other placental mammals. By the same token, my car has four wheels, two axles, and runs on gasoline, like other gas-powered cars stretching back well over a century. Car models that no one wants to buy ultimately cease to be manufactured. It must be that the Ford Model T and the Volvo S70 and everything in between all “evolved” by unguided natural selection from a common ancestor. Remember, it’s a fact. Only the foolish religious fundamentalist would consider that engineering had anything to do with it.A Long HistoryThe comparison of evolution with gravity also has a long history, about as long as the history of automobiles. Maybe it evolved, too. See Granville Sewell, “Why Evolution is More Certain than Gravity.” Also, “I Believe in the Evolution of Life and the Evolution of Automobiles.”Professor Chakrabarty speaks with what I take to be a weary, ill-concealed contempt for those don’t understand these matters. He teaches in the same state where the Louisiana Science Education Act was passed a little over ten years ago, and remains the law. If this is how evolution is taught to college students at LSU, imagine how it’s taught to many high school students.Do you wonder, then, that educators, parents, and other residents of the state sought, under the LSEA, protection from retaliatory action for teachers who wish to add a bit of depth, some critical weighing of the evidence, to their instruction? Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Share If you want a taste of how and by whom evolutionary biology is being taught to college students, check this out. Prosanta Chakrabarty is an ichthyologist at Louisiana State University, and says of himself that he teaches “one of the largest evolutionary biology classes in the U.S.” Good for him, and I don’t doubt that’s true. Tagsacademic freedomautomobilesbelly buttoncarseducationevolutionFord Model TGranville SewellichthyologyLouisianaLouisiana Science Education ActLouisiana State Universitynatural selectionplacental mammalsProsanta ChakrabartyretaliationstudentsteachersVolvo S70,Trending Recommended Education Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Evolution Free Speech Here, Evidently, Is How They Teach Evolution at Louisiana State UniversityDavid [email protected]_klinghofferJuly 10, 2018, 6:46 PM “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All
Tags10 Books That Screwed Up the WorldAdrian DesmondAlfred Russel WallaceAndrew Dickson WhiteBea KristolBenjamin WikerBorneoBridgewater TreatisesCharles DarwinCharles GillispieCharles KingsleyCity University of New YorkCornell UniversityDarwin and the Darwinian RevolutionDarwin’s Sacred CauseDarwinistsDyak headhuntersEdward T. OakesEncounter (journal)Ernst MayrEugenics Record OfficeFrancis GaltonGeorge WillGertrude HimmelfarbHarry BruiniushistoryJacques BarzunJames D. WatsonJames MooreJeffrey ShallitJewish WomenJohn William DraperJulian HuxleyLeo StraussMein KampfP.Z. MyersPanda’s ThumbUaupés River ValleyVictorian England,Trending Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All Michael FlanneryFellow, Center for Science and CultureMichael A. Flannery is professor emeritus of UAB Libraries, University of Alabama at Birmingham. He holds degrees in library science from the University of Kentucky and history from California State University, Dominguez Hills. He has written and taught extensively on the history of medicine and science. His most recent research interest has been on the co-discoverer of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913). He has edited Alfred Russel Wallace’s Theory of Intelligent Evolution: How Wallace’s World of Life Challenged Darwinism (Erasmus Press, 2008) and authored Alfred Russel Wallace: A Rediscovered Life (Discovery Institute Press, 2011). His research and work on Wallace continues. Share Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Recommended “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Editor’s note: Historian and Darwin skeptic Gertrude Himmelfarb died on Monday, December 30, 2019. While mourning the passing of this great scholar, we are pleased to republish Professor Flannery’s 2009 essay, below. See also Flannery’s tribute, ‘Farewell to Gertrude Himmelfarb, Brutally Honest Historian of the “Darwinian Revolution.’”“If you have no enemies, it is a sign fortune has forgot you.” — Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732 Noted physician Thomas Fuller was an expert on “eruptive fevers,” and so it seems fitting to open this essay with his wry but telling observation on enemies in public life, for perhaps no contemporary historian has spawned more “eruptive fever” over an analysis of the reigning secular creation myth demigod, Charles Darwin, than has the present subject of this essay. If Fuller is any judge, fortune has indeed remembered Gertrude Himmelfarb.Such “fortune” appeared a few months ago when Panda’s Thumb used the occasion of Irving Kristol’s death on September 18 to denigrate Gertrude Himmelfarb’s fifty-year-old Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution as a “terrible book . . . demonstrating a lack of understanding of biology and a warped view of Darwin’s influence.” The article, written by Jeffrey Shallit, glibly casts aspersions on the late Kristol’s ethics for reviewing Gertrude Himmelfarb (aka Bea Kristol) in Encounter and failing to disclose that he was the author’s husband (though this writer could find no evidence of that at least with her Darwin), this without once reflecting on the questionable propriety of turning what should have been either a respectful obituary or complete silence into an opportunity to insult both the deceased and his widow. If that isn’t unethical, it is at least indecent. Shallit’s one-sided, high-toned moralizing aside, as the “Darwin year” draws to a close and given the fact that Himmelfarb’s biography of Darwin itself has just marked its golden anniversary, perhaps a careful reflection upon that effort is in order. What can be said of Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution in the dusk of 2009, fifty year after its original publication? Is it a terrible book?Regardless of what one may think of Gertrude Himmelfarb’s work, her preeminent role as an important (albeit controversial) historian cannot be doubted (see Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia). A prolific writer, this professor emeritus of the City University of New York has not shrunk from boldly decrying moral relativism and the so-called “new” history, positions for which she earned widespread praise and condemnation. Never-theless, her serious consideration for the position of Librarian of Congress in 1987 is a measure of her significance as one of America’s leading scholars and intellectuals.Thus, it would seem worthwhile to probe a bit deeper into Dr. Himmelfarb’s study of Charles Darwin. It is worth mentioning that her Darwin biography was (and obviously is) as controversial as its subject. Given the author’s refusal to duck or dodge tough issues, her attention to modern biology’s paterfamilias was bound to form an explosive catalyst easily discerned in the ensuing reviews.Upon its publication Charles Gillispie insisted that “one must deplore the interpretation of Darwin and his work that Miss Himmelfarb offers” for its “hostility to science.”1 Similarly, another reviewer dismissed it as a “misrepresentation” that is “dubious in the extreme.”2 But others saw it differently. J. F. Burnet, for example, praised Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution as “thorough and authoritative,” concluding, “This is an important book for all students of nineteenth-century thought.”3 Another reviewer called it, “a scholarly book, well organized and well written, interesting to the intelligent reader whatever his special field.”4 One would think these reviewers had read entirely different books, and perhaps they did. Himmelfarb’s detractors, as witnessed in Shallit’s mean-spirited post, say little about why her book is terrible, presuming the charge alone is sufficient to indict and convict. Interestingly, Shallit provides “evidence” of the author’s failing in a provocative link tagged