Empty Promises from Darwin Storytellers

first_imgMainstream science media cast a false illusion of Darwinism’s success by making promises in the headlines that the articles don’t deliver.If all you read are the headlines at major science sites, you are being tricked when it comes to evolution. They regularly announce that some evolutionary mystery has been solved, but then the details down below don’t show that. The headline promises a scientific explanation, in the form, “How the [whatever] got its [whatzit],” but then all you read is a Kipling-like just-so story. Reporters and journals seem preoccupied with making Darwin look good at all costs. Below are some examples of the Darwin media racket at work.First, however, some clarity: Darwinian evolution is not just about “change.” Ultimately, it’s about design without a designer. Darwin presumed to explain all of life from a common ancestor, presumably a primitive cell. Think of the major innovations that had to take place: eyes, wings, ears – all your body’s systems had to come from natural selection acting on random mutations. Since creationists believe that small degrees of variation and degeneration happen within created kinds, Darwinians must distinguish their theory from those kinds of “change.” Darwin tried to explain a special kind of change: a ratcheting up of increased functional complexity by unguided natural processes that blindly generated whole new cell types, tissues, organs and body plans. That’s what we are looking for in the following articles.Keeping our balance: A tale of two systems (Science Daily). This article promises an explanation for human balance starting with the first tetrapods crawling out of the sea. Perhaps the emphasis in the headline should be on “tale,” because it only describes two signaling systems in the brain, then assumes they are “related to the major evolutionary changes in our pasts” without explaining how either system arose by random mutations and natural selection.DNA clue to how humans evolved big brains (BBC News): Once upon a time, this article says, a point mutation turned apes into humans. How is that possible? Well, Helen Briggs writes, the species of Homo all have a gene that is absent in chimpanzees. Is that it? Ratcheting up her perhapsimaybecouldness index, she continues, “It may have paved the way for the brain’s expansion by dramatically boosting the number of brain cells found in this region.” Surely there’s more to intelligence than the number of brain cells. “Still, many questions remain about how early humans evolved larger brains,” Briggs says, giving herself an escape hatch. “It is likely that the gene is one of many genetic changes that gave humans their unique intelligence and thinking ability.” Those last sentences effectively erase the promise in the headline.Snakes Used to Have Legs and Arms … Until These Mutations Happened (Live Science). Since Laura Geggel only points out loss of function, this article does not score points for Darwinian evolution. Same for National Geographic‘s coverage, “Snakes Evolved Out of Their Legs—but They Still Have the Gene.” Some creationists will have a different explanation. The original paper from Current Biology makes it clear this is not a story of innovation: it only raises “the possibility that re-emergence of hindlimbs during snake evolution did not require de novo re-evolution of lost structures but instead could have resulted from persistence of embryonic legs.”Scottish fossils tell story of first life on land (BBC News). Helen Briggs is at it again, telling a “story” about evolution. Tetrapod hunter Jennifer Clack is the heroine, who found five complete fossils of animals in Scotland that she says are 355 million years old. Nick Fraser, her colleague, started having ecstatic visions.“These are the oldest animals with four legs that were able to move around on land,” he said.“If you want to draw the analogy to Neil Armstrong’s first step on the Moon – it was one small step for man but a giant leap for mankind, well, this in some ways is a small step out of the water for these animals but it’s a giant leap forward for the future evolution of life on land.““Without this step of vertebrates – animals with backbones – coming on to land, we wouldn’t be here, birds wouldn’t be here, crocodiles wouldn’t be here, lizards, frogs, dinosaurs would never have roamed the Earth – all these things would not have evolved,” he told BBC News.Yet the fossils resemble those of newts and even crocodiles. We have those today. There is nothing about random mutations and natural selection producing all the coordinated structures and systems required to move about on land.Biologists discover origin of stomata (Science Daily). This article doesn’t deliver on the headline’s promise. It only shows that mosses had some commonalities with the stomata (gas exchange pores) of higher plants, then presumes they “came into being” from a common ancestor. Came into being? How? There’s no explanation how the first stoma arose by random mutation and natural selection. It doesn’t matter; a true believer can make a Darwin mountain out of the slightest of molehills. That makes Ralf Reski tied for SEQOTW, where he masks a vacuous explanation with phrases like “the development of” and “originated.” How, exactly?“Our results show that the development of stomata originated over 400 million years ago and predated the development of roots, stems, and leaves,” explains Reski. “This evolutionary innovation fundamentally changed the global cycles of carbon, water, and energy and thus was a prerequisite for all life forms on the mainland, including us humans.“‘Bickering’ flies make evolutionary point: Biologist shows how aggression among fruit flies alters social environments (Science Daily). Some male flies stand and bat each other, proving that humans have bacteria ancestors. Next.Flower forms in the primrose: Biologists unlock 51.7-million-year-old genetic secret to landmark Darwin theory (Science Daily). This article promises to vindicate Darwin by solving the secret of a “landmark theory” of his. “Darwin hypothesised that some plant species with two distinct forms of flower, where male and female reproductive organs were of differing lengths, had evolved that way to promote out-crossing by insect pollinators.” But since this involves minor changes in length to existing organs in one genus of flower, it is something creationists would accept as fitting their explanation that organisms reproduce within their own created kind. Yet the researchers from the University of East Anglia gush on Darwin, saying “To identify the genes which control the biology noted by Darwin is an exciting moment.” They call this minor change “a key evolutionary innovation of flowering plants,” a gross exaggeration.New Just-So StoriesHow Humans Lost Their Tail, Twice (Live Science). Apparently Jen Viegas didn’t get the message that the “vestigial tail” idea is caput, and so is the old Haeckel recapitulation theory. She perpetuates these myths in this account of a so-called tail in the human embryo, which actually is not a useless vestige at all, nor is the coccyx, to which important muscles are attached. Sample from the just-so story: “The origins of this mysterious vestigial tail go back to fish.” Viegas weaves a tale about two tails that disappeared. Does this help Darwin? “This discovery overturns at least two centuries of scientific belief that the modern adult fish tail fin was simply added to the end of an ancestral tail shared with land animals,” she says. Misunderstanding evolutionary theory, she describes why tails are good things to have if you walk on all fours, without explaining how blind, random mutations could produce an organ system involving structure, nerves, and muscles.Fish that evolved to become semi-aquatic and then land-dwelling animals lost the flexible back fin, but kept the fleshier one that over time became the familiar appendage we now see on dogs, cats, cows and many other animals. As dogs show, tails are useful for visual communication, slapping away flying insects and other functions.Adult apes, including human ancestors, took the tail loss process a step further, [Lauren] Sallan said, “losing the remaining bony tail for better upright movement. Like fish, the remnants of an embryonic bony tail are buried in our lower backs—the coccyx or tailbone—stunted by a loss of molecular signals that would otherwise cause it to grow out like an arm or leg. Thus, humans and fish embryos share mechanisms for controlling tail form.”Since apes and humans don’t have them, the story goes, tails must have gotten in the way of upright walking. So did the apes choose to get rid of their tails by intelligent design? Neo-Darwinism doesn’t work that way. It’s not teleological. It cannot say, “A tail would be useful, therefore I will evolve it” or “This tail gets in my way, so I will get rid of it.” If a “mechanism” controls something, it’s not happening by accident.Why the flounder is flat (Science Daily), or Why baby flatfish grow into the wonkiest animals in the world (New Scientist). “The puzzle of how these changes could occur in the course of evolution has been intriguing scientists for a long time,” the first article says. “Even Darwin was at a loss to explain the ‘remarkable peculiarity’ of flatfish anatomy.” Coming to rescue Darwin from his embarrassment, an international team compared two genomes and found the key: “a key developmental trigger: retinoic acid.” This magic acid has wondrous powers. It makes the eyes move to the top of the head, while simultaneously altering the fish’s pigment cells, conferring camouflage. To help readers buy the idea, the evolutionists appeal to their culinary instincts: “Understanding how these unique creatures develop not only solves a long-standing evolutionary puzzle, it also serves the fishing industry and helps feed a continuously growing population.” New Scientist, by contrast, tries to keep things Darwinian, using the power of unsupported assertion combined with suggestion and the Stuff Happens Law: “The process probably evolved from a random mutation that was naturally selected due to its advantage at the bottom of the ocean,” reporter Alice Klein writes.How the peacock got its tail, or “Study explains evolution phenomenon that puzzled Darwin” (Science Daily). Why do deer grow unwieldly antlers and horned beetles grow horns so large they handicap the insect? Even the master Darwin couldn’t figure this out, the authors from Northwestern claim, as they set themselves up to prop up Darwin. Playing natural selection and sexual selection off each other, they have a new idea: “Animals with extravagant ornaments are showing just how fit and strong they are — that they can overcome the costs of these ornaments — and this attracts the opposite sex,” according to study author Daniel Abrams. But this idea is “completely independent of the underlying genetic mechanism that causes these ornaments to grow,” another scientist says (and considers “fascinating”). How wearing a ball-and-chain structure shows fitness is not explained, nor why the opposite sex finds them attractive. But if the story has no genetic mechanism, how can it function as a scientific theory? It’s a just-so story, wherein animals seem to decide to grow ornaments the same way some people go shopping for jewelry or clothes to look trendy. Next thing you know, Abrams will have deer and beetles holding fashion shows.Are caesareans really making us evolve to have bigger babies? (New Scientist). Even Clare Wilson can’t stomach this evolutionary tale by Philipp Mitteroecker of the University of Vienna, Austria. It’s not that evolution can’t happen fast, she says, but “even if evolution is having an effect, it would be hard to disentangle from all the other factors driving the rise in C-sections.” Don’t doctors use intelligence to make such decisions? If evolution is as fast and creative as Darwinians believe, perhaps moms and their doctors can look forward to the day when natural selection puts zippers on pregnant mother’s abdomens.Vacuous yet alluring, a worse shell game pretending to explain nature has never been foisted on the mind of man than Darwinian evolution. Yet there is hope. If a discovery can overturn “at least two centuries of scientific belief,” then continued unmasking of Charlie’s Grand Myth, like we do regularly here at CEH, might one day topple the idol of the Bearded Buddha. Keep the pressure on.Not being the type to cast aspersions on well-meaning suckers who’ve only been taught Darwinism from their youth up, we’ll cast a Spurgeon instead—some quotes from Charles H. Spurgeon, the enormously popular preacher of London who was a contemporary of the other Charles:“The worst sort of clever men are those who know better than the Bible and are so learned that they believe that the world had no Maker, and that men are only monkeys with their tails rubbed off.““You cannot convince the simplest boy in the street that somehow or other he was developed from an oyster, or some creature inferior to that, and yet these profound thinkers bow down to such a belief as this.”“Within fifty years children in the school will read of extraordinary popular delusions, and this will be mentioned as one of the most absurd of them.”“The philosophy now in vogue labours to shut God out of his own creation. They inform us that by some means this world and all that is therein were evolved. Even this will not long content the men of progress: they care nothing for evolution in itself, but only so far as it may serve their purpose of escaping from the thought of God.““Notwithstanding all that great men may say about what they evolve from their own consciousness, I think that the only thing a man can evolve from his own consciousness is folly and sin; for there is nothing else there.““They will speak, amid roars of laughter, of evolution; and the day will come, when there will not be a child but will look upon it as being the most foolish notion that ever crossed the human mind.“(Visited 98 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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OSU Extension winter programs

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest We are now into our second year for fertilizer certification for those applying fertilizer to 50 acres or more. Ohio State University Extension will be busy with meetings for Fertilizer Certification again this coming winter months, also known as meeting months. Last December the Ohio Department of Agriculture rolled out the new rules to become certified to apply fertilizer in Ohio. We have in the past two weeks been trained on how to deliver the fertilizer certification program in our counties, and then planned dates and posted those meetings. Some will even occur before the first of the year.To find meeting plans for your area of Ohio, go to: pested.osu.edu/NutrientEducation/. Information is also there to understand who needs the certification, and where to sign up for and attend meetings. If you have a Pesticide Applicators License, then likely you will also need to be certified for fertilizer applications over the next two years. As you re-certify for your pesticide license, you can also choose to be fertilizer applicator certified at a two-hour meeting. If this is your year for pesticide license re-certification then you can find those meeting locations here: http://pested.osu.edu/privaterecert.html. For those new or younger folks who will be applying fertilizer, you will attend a three-hour long program. Check the same website just look for those comprehensive three-hour meetings.And as we get closer to winter meeting season we will post those regional and area agronomy and update meetings. Our Agronomic Crops Team calendar is pretty thin now, but will be full before Christmas. So check our website: http://agcrops.osu.edu/calendar, for the events and their locations.A couple of events already in the works are:The Ohio No-Till Conference is Wednesday, Dec. 9 at the Der Dutchman Restaurant, 445 S. Jefferson, Plain City. The conference runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration is $40 (before Dec. 1) and $60 at the door.Another very popular program is the West Ohio Agronomy Day (and evening, too). Held Jan. 11 in St Michael’s Hall in Fort Loramie to benefit growers in Shelby, Darke and Mercer counties, but attracts growers from Auglaize, Champaign and Miami, too. Speakers this year come from Purdue University, Ohio State University as well as industry. Local county Extension educators will be there too to help deliver the goods on how best to enter the New Year. For more information and to register contact Debbie Brown, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, OSU Extension, Shelby County at phone 937 498-7239 or by email: [email protected] couple of dates for February include two Agronomy Workshops that will be held Feb. 15 and 16, 2016 at Selby Hall on the Ohio State University OARDC Wooster campus. Field Crops Management 201 — a basic to general look at the topics and Field Crops Management 401 — builds on day one to more advanced levels.While the days are planned to build on each other, you may attend one or both days. The program will start with registration at 8:30. Lunch, breaks, handouts and recertification credits for Pesticide Education and CCA-CEUs will be included. Registration cost and details will follow soon, but for now hold the dates. For more information contact Pierce Paul at [email protected] or by phone 330 263-3842.last_img read more

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2019 Collegiate Discussion Meet

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest  Leave a CommentAryn Copeland from Crawford County will represent Ohio at the 2019 American Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet. The competition takes place March 15-18 as part of the Fusion Conference in Milwaukee.The Collegiate Discussion Meet follows the same model as the Young Farmer & Rancher Discussion Meet. The competitive event simulates a committee meeting where discussion and active participation are expected from each participant. The competition is evaluated on an exchange of ideas and information on a pre-determined topic. Participants build basic discussion skills, develop a keen understanding of important agricultural issues and explore how groups can pool knowledge to reach consensus and solve problems.The top four finalists will receive scholarship money from CHS Foundation. Copeland is a junior at Wilmington College where she studies agricultural communication and is involved on campus, serving as the vice president of the Wilmington College Collegiate Farm Bureau chapter, president of the Eta Rho chapter of Kappa Delta Sorority and the Greek Council Executive Board, and is involved in the Honors Program and Agricultural Advocacy trips.The past two summers she represented the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation as a member of the Ohio State Fair Junior Fair Board, serving as president this past summer. She is the daughter of Carl and Lauren Copeland of Bucyrus.  Leave a Commentlast_img read more

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Report: Social Entertainment Making Us Passive

first_img“Professionals are back in the driving seat when it comes to content,” states the report. This, it says, will lead to the Internet eventually becoming the primary mass entertainment and content delivery platform. While that is undoubtedly true, it’s difficult to see how the author comes to this conclusion: “We as consumers are going back to traditional needs and demands and seeking a more passive experience.”The report explains that social entertainment is far more about content sharing, than creation. It goes on to suggest that this “light nature of interaction” is moving the consumer back to the passive state they were in before the Internet came along. Further, that services like Facebook and Twitter turn consumers into “distributors.” richard macmanus I agree that traditional media is now finding a foothold on the Web, thanks to the rise of “packaged platforms” and social media sharing services like Twitter. I’d suggest though that this is still far from being the passive media consumer of old. These days, consumers are interacting with ‘professional’ content through their PCs, smartphones or tablets. They’re talking with peers and other people who are watching the same TV shows, in real-time. Or they’re watching a live music concert and talking with people on Facebook. Or they’re arguing in the comments of a news blog. They are analyzing content too, actively engaging in discussions about it. Even with books, a traditionally one-way consumption experience, readers nowadays can make notes about the book they’re reading and share that – via an eReader like Kindle or a service like Goodreads. While all of this is not as creative as recording a video or writing a blog, it’s not passive. Consumers are actively engaging with content.So who is causing this shift back to so-called passive entertainment? It’s the younger generation! The report states that “almost 17% of 16-24s are updating their social network on a daily basis,” which is driving the “real-rime revolution.” Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Digital Lifestyle#Internet TV#New Media#NYT#web One other contentious finding of the report that is worth mentioning. It states that the browser – and the Open Web in general – will fade away and that eventually “packaged platforms” will rule. This is the same argument that Wired infamously brought forward last year in its The Web is Dead issue.“If we think about the internet in 10 years,” states the report, “it is clear that the browser will seem antiquated.” Elsewhere, the report states that connecting to the Internet in the future “may look more like switching on your TV.”The jury is out on whether the browser-based Web will be usurped by apps and other closed platforms. To me the far more interesting question that the report asks is: are we, as Internet consumers, becoming more passive? I’ve stated my response, that it’s not passivity but active and two-way engagement with content. What do you think? 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A new report from GlobalWebIndex has some thought-provoking data about “social entertainment,” a term for when entertainment is augmented by social media technologies. For example, the real-time discussion happening around TV shows on Twitter. In the GlobalWebindex report, entitled GlobalWebIndex Wave 1-3 2010, author Tom Smith notes three main trends. The first two are well known: the rise of ‘real-time’ in consumer entertainment and the growth of what he terms “packaged platforms.” By the latter, he means services that live outside of the browser – smartphone and tablet apps, gaming consoles, eReaders and Internet-connected TV sets.The third trend is more contentious. The report states that in the new era of social entertainment, traditional media holds the power – a change from the ‘web 2.0’ era, when the user ruled. The report argues that this will lead to a return to passive experiences by consumers.last_img read more

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It Cannot Be All About You

first_imgThe reason sales has a negative connotation is specifically driven by a few historical behaviors. The first is a self orientation. The second follows the first closely, and that is a lack of influence and persuasiveness.It’s all about you.One of the things that made the sales process a negative one for the buyer, prospect, and customer was the salesperson’s self orientation. That self orientation often extended to the company who hired and trained the salespeople. That self orientation can be described as the desire to “sell someone.”It was clear that selling was being done to the person buying, and never for them. It was very tactical, and the outcome was nothing more than the salesperson closing the deal. Tactics and behaviors that followed were built on the idea of winning. Listen, you are still supposed to win deals. But the way that you win is by helping your client, not by winning and allowing their win to be an afterthought.There are still salespeople and sales organizations who are self oriented, and a number of pundits that suggest that a self orientation is necessary. That’s not true. People want to work with people who they believe have their best interests at heart, and who they believe can help them improve their results. Not someone who is trying to sell them.Force is the choice of those who cannot persuade.The bullying, badgering, argumentative approach to what would have at one time been called “objection handling” is the choice that you make if you lack real influence and the ability to persuade your prospective client.Force is the choice of the weakling. Those with real power have the power of mind share and authority. They do not need to rely on force as a method to gain a commitment.last_img read more

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Registration nearing a close for Tour of the Peace Charity Bike Ride

first_imgOrganizers realized that not everyone can bike 150 kilometres, so they added a 75 km bike race, a 10 km run, and a 5 km walk to this year’s program. In 2016 and 2017 the event had 18 riders and collectively raised $38,000 for the Foundation.To register for the Tour of the Peace Charity Bike Ride click here. The deadline for residents to register is July 23rd. TAYLOR, B.C. – The Tour of the Peace Charity Bike Ride is weeks away from closing registration.Tour of the Peace is a charity bike ride that aims to raise funds and awareness for children living with type-1 diabetes. The event teams up with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation every year in hopes of one day finding a cure.The event includes a 150km bike ride as well as a family-friendly barbecue at the end of the race. The bike ride starts at Peace Island Park and follows highway 97 and 29 all the way to Hudson’s Hope. The bike route is shown below:bike route. photo by Joanna Webster.last_img read more

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Capturing the beauty of everyday life

first_imgDilip Banerjee, a noted name in the world of photography, is coming up with a solo exhibition of photographs that seeks to narrate a visual journey of people in India and other geographies. Dilip says that the stories of his pictures are not a black and white tale but are better described in shades of grey which lend itself to many interpretations. Titled ‘The Song of The Road’, the show will be held from May 20 -24, at the Nehru Centre, 8 Audley Street, London. Also Read – The Puja carnivalElaborating about the work that will be exhibited, he says, “My photographs will depict images across four decades capturing fleeting moments of people I have come across – their stories of affection, struggle, despair, sorrow. In war and peace, in politics and sports, in market places and homes. While technology has closed distances, unequal distribution of wealth has widened the gap in humanity. My pictures hold out the stark differences that exist today, in many senses a paradox for the society we live in,” says Dilip. Also Read – Wave City brings special offers this NavratraBanerjee did not have any formal education in photography, and most of his learnings have come from his observations in life. “Filmmakers like Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Mrinal Sen and their ability to hold up the truth in simple frames has often led me in my work.” Recalling one of the best trips that gave him exotic moments to capture, Banerjee says, “While my work across the years has taken me to many places, I consider my travails to Afghanistan as one of the most fascinating ones as I first travelled soon after 9/11. I travelled to Afghanistan almost five times over a decade to chronicle the struggle of the people, its culture and landscape. While terror strikes and bomb blasts still make headlines, it’s the story of the resilience of the people that has struck me most.” Some other notable travel documentation by the photographer include ‘Rediscovering the silk-route’ where he travelled by road and documented the people, culture, and architecture of the central Asian region. He also travelled as a photo-journalist with the first group of Asian caravan to Gaza –Palestine and documented the entire journey. He was invited by UC Berkeley in October 2005 to hold a solo exhibition. The topic for the exhibition was ‘India on the move’ where he tried to capture the India growth story through my pictures over the years. His photographs were highly appreciated and acclaimed.last_img read more

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Road trip for mens volleyball starts in Romeoville

With four regular season games left before the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Tournament, the Ohio State men’s volleyball team sits in third place in the eight-team conference, 1.5 games back of first place Lewis University. The league’s regular season champion will be rewarded a bye during the tournament’s quarterfinal round. In 2012, the Buckeyes received the tournament’s lone bye on a tiebreaker after both OSU and Lewis finished the conference campaign with a record of 9-3. The last time the Buckeyes did not have the No. 1 seed was 2006, when they lost in the semifinals as the No. 4 seed against No. 1 seed Loyola of Chicago. Loyola of Chicago sits in second this season, one game behind the Flyers. Finishing at or near the top of the table will be crucial for OSU’s postseason success since tournament matchups are hosted by the higher seed. The Buckeyes have a 10-1 record at home this season, with the lone loss coming in a sweep at the hands of Lewis on March 2. Two of the Buckeyes’ remaining four league matches are on the road against teams of higher standing. OSU cannot afford to drop both matches if it wants to have a shot at earning the automatic berth into the semifinals. Coach Pete Hanson’s squad begins its road trip against Lewis on Thursday night in Romeoville, Ill. OSU senior setter Kyle Lawrence said he and his teammates have not forgotten about the Flyers victory in Columbus earlier this season, and they have been anticipating the rematch ever since. “We have a countdown going on in our locker room to Romeoville, so it’s definitely something we’ve starred on our schedule for the rest of the season. I think we have a little bit of fire under our butts right now after that loss at home,” Lawrence said. Lewis, meanwhile, is looking to regain its composure, coming off two losses in its last three conference matches. Flyers coach Dan Friend said he believes his players have gotten back to the form they had earlier in the season when they won their first eight out of the gate in conference play. “After last weekend, there were a few things we worked on in practice to get us into a better groove,” Friend said. After Thursday night’s contest, the Buckeyes will make the drive to Chicago to face the Ramblers on Saturday. OSU won its previous match against Shane Davis’ men on March 1 in five sets at home. After arguably its toughest week of the regular season, OSU’s schedule becomes much less threatening when it returns home on April 12 to play Quincy on back-to-back nights. The Hawks have only won four sets in league play and have no victories in 10 attempts against conference foes. Like Lewis, OSU is trying to rebound from subpar play as well. The team’s last road trip netted two losses, as the Buckeyes were only able to take two sets combined against the Mastodons of Indiana University Purdue University-Fort Wayne and the Cardinals of Ball State. OSU (17-5, 7-3 MIVA) is currently ranked No. 11 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. It is the same position the Buckeyes opened the season in before climbing as high as No. 6 in February. The team has not dropped out of the poll’s top 15 all season. OSU senior outside hitter Nick Gibson said this time of year is generally full of exciting games. “We’re looking forward to some good competition, some big matches. It’s going to take a lot. We lost to Lewis here, we’re looking to get a good win there and carry us into the conference tournament,” Gibson said. The Buckeyes’ match against Lewis on Thursday is set to begin at 8 p.m. read more

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Carlos Hyde separates himself at running back defense matures for Ohio State

The Ohio State football team capped off its spring practice session with its annual Spring Game Saturday in Cincinnati, but the coaches and players believe there is still substantial work to be done. OSU’s assistant coaches met with the media Wednesday to discuss the improvements that need to be made, which players have stuck out during the spring and how they hope the leadership of last year’s seniors will be replaced. Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith: separating themselves from the rest Senior running back Carlos Hyde ran for 970 yards in his first season as a full-time starter in Meyer’s spread offense. His 16 rushing touchdowns led the team, and according to running backs coach Stan Drayton, Hyde and junior Rod Smith are going to be the main contributors for the position this fall. “I do believe that Carlos and Rod have separated themselves from both (sophomore Bri’onte Dunn and redshirt freshman Warren Ball),” Drayton said. “I feel like we have depth that can bring productivity to our offense which is something that is an unbelievable luxury to have. Carlos is clearly the starter, and I think Rod has separated himself from those guys right now.” Drayton went on to say Hyde has grown into a “phenomenal leader.” “It was critical that he establish himself with a young group of guys,” Drayton said. “He was like a coach out there. It was really good to see.” For the front seven, leadership is the key With former starters John Simon and Johnathan Hankins gone, linebacker coach and co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell said the biggest thing that the defense has lost is leadership. “I think you’re always concerned about the leadership and the mentality and the way those guys are handling everything,” Fickell said. “You worry about how they gel together, how the leadership guys step up, how they make the other guys around them better.” Fickell said he was happy to see a number of guys “really maturing” this spring though, including junior middle linebacker Curtis Grant, who Fickell sees in the starting lineup with junior Ryan Shazier and sophomore Joshua Perry. Defensive line coach Mike Vrabel said the line made “good progress” during the 14 spring practices. The coaching staff and the players, though, are “not putting a lot of stock” in the 11 sacks the defense had during the Spring Game. Vrabel said the defensive line was more productive during scrimmages earlier in the spring than during the game because “you saw more consistent plays in the run game, runs that we’re going to see. Some of those guys in that first group didn’t see a whole bunch of runs (during the Spring Game).” Vrabel said that juniors Joel Hale and Michael Bennett in particular have made significant progress. “I think Joel Hale improved. I think we saw some things from him that we hadn’t seen from him last year,” Vrabel said. “Michael Bennett had a good spring. He was consistent, he was there every day. He was a leader for us and gave us a physical presence inside.” read more

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Opinion 5 defensive players who will make an impact for Ohio State

OSU sophomore safety Vonn Bell. Credit: Courtesy of OSULast season, the Ohio State football defense left a lot to be desired, and it might have to turn that around in a big way to support an offense that will be playing without senior quarterback Braxton Miller.The Buckeye defense gave up a total of 5,284 yards in 2013, including 3,752 yards through the air. If the team wants to have more success in 2014, some players will have to step up with only seven starters returning from last season.The following five players — not all of whom were starters last season — will have to take their games to the next level to help keep the Buckeyes’ championship hopes alive.1. Senior cornerback Doran GrantLet’s be frank: OSU’s pass defense was awful last season.Former Buckeye Bradley Roby had all the talent in the world, but he never seemed to be able to put it all together after an early-season suspension. Enter Grant, who showed some flashes of athleticism and talent, but still spent a fair amount of time getting beaten in the flats — along with the entire defense.Grant has big-play ability and has received a lot of praise from coach Urban Meyer this offseason, but will need to build on his 58 tackles and three interceptions from 2013 if the Buckeyes want to see a big jump forward in pass defense. Meyer went so far as to say Grant was playing to the caliber of an All-Big Ten cornerback in fall camp.He’s the only returning starter in the defensive backfield, and is by far the most senior player of them all. As a leader and as a player, if Grant turns a corner this season, it will be a completely new OSU defense.2. Sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa Bosa played in all 14 games last season as a true freshman and did more than flash his potential as a dominating lineman. He arrived on campus already looking like an NFL-ready player and his production — especially later in the season — proved he has the potential to be one of the best ever at OSU.After tallying 7.5 sacks last season — second only to junior defensive lineman Noah Spence — Bosa has a chance to make a statement on a Big Ten and national level this year.The defensive line is the Buckeyes’ best position group, and Bosa just might be the best of the bunch.3. (tie) Sophomore safety Vonn Bell and redshirt-sophomore safety Tyvis PowellThe OSU safeties had a pretty rough go throughout 2013. Then-senior Christian Bryant broke his ankle against Wisconsin to end his Buckeye career, and the safeties were left without someone who was arguably their best player. C.J. Barnett was the other starter and he finished second on the team with 84 tackles, but Barnett has since graduated as well.In 2014, Bell and Powell look set to take their spots, hoping to do better than former OSU safety Corey “Pitt” Brown did filling in for Bryant last season.Both are extremely talented players, as Bell is one of the highest-rated recruits Meyer has brought to OSU and Powell played extensively last season. They even each had trademark moments last year: Bell had an incredible one-handed interception in the Orange Bowl while Powell sealed a win against Michigan with an interception on the Wolverines last ditch two-point attempt. Along with Grant, Bell and Powell have a chance to live up to expectations this season and transform the OSU pass defense into one of the best in the Big Ten.4. Senior defensive lineman Michael BennettBennett brings a lot to the table on and off the field. Meyer announced Monday that Bennett, along with Grant and three others, was voted a team captain by his teammates.As a leader, he’ll be the go-to guy on the defensive line, but as a player, he’ll still need to be dominant for the unit to live up to their best-in-the-nation potential.Last season the Centerville, Ohio, native totaled 11.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks while fighting through minor injuries throughout the season. If he’s fully healthy in 2014, Bennett could put together an even better season and be looking toward the first round of the NFL Draft next spring.5. Freshman linebacker Raekwon McMillanJunior Joshua Perry and senior Curtis Grant are the familiar returning names on the OSU linebacker’s depth chart, but McMillan could eventually leave Columbus as the best of the bunch.He was a five-star recruit coming out of high school as one of the best prep linebackers in the nation. That comes with a lot of lofty expectations as a freshman, especially at a school known for producing standout linebackers like A.J. Hawk and Chris Spielman.There’s almost nothing to go off of outside of high school footage and his performance in the Spring Game, but McMillan is going to see the field early and often if OSU coaches are to be believed.Regardless of whether he starts a single game this season, McMillan will be tasked with doing more than your average freshman, and all signs point toward him being up for the challenge.OSU’s season-opener is scheduled for Saturday against Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Kickoff is set for noon. read more

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