Monday, April 16, 2007

Sagar's New and Hot (Week 3)

A New Religious Editorial, Classic Tactics
As I was searching for this week's new and hot, I came upon a recently written editorial from The Conservative Voice here . Written by Babu Ranganathan, a graduate of Bob Jones University, I thought this editorial arguing for intelligent design used some of the techniques of misdirection and use of convincing but illogical rhetoric that we talked about last week. For instance, Mr. Ranganathan craftily uses the fact that science cannot explain the origin of life to argue for intelligent design - the tactic of poking a hole in scientific theory as a means to bolster support for the existence of a designer.

ALSO - The Galapagos Islands are in trouble!

Following is the first part of the article from The Washington Times found here .

They inspired Charles Darwin, harbor the most stunning menagerie, and delight thousands of tourists each year.

But the Galapagos Islands were put off limits Wednesday because of fears that their fragile ecosystem is close to collapse.

The islands that inspired Darwin's theories on evolution are at grave risk from a population boom, overfishing and, the Ecuadoran government says, the thousands who travel each year to see the remarkable animals that live there.

The Pacific islands about 600 miles west of Ecuador harbor centenarian giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and even vampire finches.

These creatures may no longer be on the itineraries of ecotourists after Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa signed a decree to suspend tourism and preserve the islands' natural treasures.

"We are pushing for a series of actions to overcome the huge institutional, environmental and social crisis in the islands," said Mr. Correa, pre-empting the findings of a United Nations Environmental, Scientific and Cultural Organization report on the archipelago. Mr Correa said the required course of action is clear. "We do not need studies from some international organization," he said. "We are declaring the Galapagos at risk."

The government measures also would include a census of the islands, home to a significant illegal human population.

UNESCO declared the islands a world heritage site in 1971 and has monitored the ecosystem.

Though authorities cap the number of tourists, the islands have about 120,000 visitors each year, 100,000 more than 30 years ago. Mr. Correa said Ecuador will consider suspending some tourism permits and enforce rigorous population restrictions. The indigenous species have long struggled to contend with the arrival of nonnative predators such as black rats, dogs, cockroaches and cats that have been introduced since English pirates brought goats in the 18th century.

Environmental pressures have increased in recent years, including a growing human population, illegal fishing of sharks and sea cucumbers, as well as internal bickering at the islands' national park. UNESCO's World Heritage Center warned last month of the threats to the islands' flora and fauna. A U.N. delegation is visiting the islands to determine whether the world heritage site should be officially declared in danger.

Critics say the Ecuadoran government failed to act as environmental pressures built on its main tourist attraction.

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