Dr. Steven Goldman (Lehigh University) has produced a series of lectures for The Teaching Company entitled Science Wars: What Scientists Know and How They Know It. CEH highly recommends this series for its wealth of historical background applied to an intriguing question: what is the nature of truth claims in science? To what extent do scientific hypotheses and theories, built out of the particulars of our experience, apply to reality as it is, beyond our experience? Goldman explains that many books on this history of science talk about what scientists know, but almost none talk about how they know what they know. In this second of his lecture series for The Teaching Company, after the equally-informative Science in the 20th Century, Goldman does a superb job of developing this fascinating and important problem. For 12 hours divided into 24 lectures, he brings in many important philosophers, thinkers and scientists from Socrates to the present to show the diversity of opinions on this controversy within science – a dispute that remains unresolved to this day. Anyone afflicted with logical positivism, objectivism or naive realism will get a reality check from this series that shows how difficult it is to say with certainty that scientific theories are true to an external reality beyond our experience. They may work; they may predict things; they may give us some control over nature, but to ask if a scientific theory is true with a capital T; i.e., whether it represents a reality beyond experience that is the cause of our experience, yielding knowledge that is timeless, universal, necessary and certain, is an entirely different question. A colleague of Michael Behe, Goldman ends by discussing whether intelligent design is a scientific hypothesis. Though he takes a strong position against it, he refrains from emotional arguments and does try to defend his position with arguments from history and logic. Our analysis follows.Let’s see if any of the pillars of his argument are left standing after our critique of his critique.Intelligent Design is a second-generation version of creationism that has already lost several court rulings. Actually, the controversy goes much further back, to the ancient Greeks at least. Later, Goldman acknowledges that design arguments are ancient and that asking the question is an intelligent hypothesis (though, he says, not a scientific one) worth discussing, but then defends theistic evolution as a compromise: i.e., God as the ultimate designer, but evolution as the process. These are incompatible positions (see David Klinghoffer op-ed) despite the ability of many schizophrenics to claim they can have it both ways. We doubt, also, that Goldman seriously believes that politically-appointed judges should be the arbiters of what constitutes science.Who decides if a hypothesis is scientific, if not the community of scientists who deal in science? Somebody has to decide, he argues, and who else but the very people doing the research in question? This ignores the possibility that the entire community can become entrenched in a habit that excludes new ways of thinking and discourages asking new questions. It also downplays the role of the maverick in science who bucks the establishment and turns out to be right. Further, it fails to distinguish between the science communities of the past, who were often theologians working independently out of their own resources, and the Big Science establishments of today, whose motives are tainted by the need to keep government funds flowing. (Elsewhere in the series, Goldman shows he is keenly aware of these issues. He has a good treatment of Kuhn’s argument that science has a paradigmatic character. He concludes that, with all its flaws, Kuhn’s critique cannot be entirely dismissed.)I.D. fails the minimum criteria of a scientific hypothesis. Goldman hastens to explain that there are no ironclad formulas, or methodological rules to decide if a hypothesis is scientific, but argues that, at a minimum, it should include the following:Explanatory power: He claims that a legacy of science from the earliest medieval philosophers is that scientific explanations for natural phenomena can only appeal to natural causes. He argues that I.D. necessarily invokes a supranatural agent, and that this breaks the rules of the game (and only the scientific community can make the rules). Further, he argues that without access to the Designer to interview, or without the blueprints of the design, pursuing a design explanation is vacuous. What instruments do we build to detect the signals? he asks. Radio telescopes? he asks in an offhand way (though catching himself to remember that radio waves were discovered accidentally). In answer, what if intelligent design is true? What if there really is a Designer, a Creator, or God, that intentionally made the universe, the world and life? A science committed to natural causes will never find the truth. We believe that science should at least be a search for the truth about the world. This cannot exclude a cause from the toolkit of science just because of a philosophical dislike for it. A science restricted to natural causes when intelligent causes were responsible will degenerate into a false religion or cult, and that is what many in the ID movement believe has happened. Goldman should recall his own sermon that science is not just a game, but that it has huge sociological implications: nuclear weapons, stem cells, health and safety, matters of life and death. Science is much more serious in the 21st century than just making up a game as they go along. In fact, Goldman’s whole series struggles with the truth claims of science and how they should be understood. Why, he asks, is Darwinian evolution so threatening if it is just about method? “Because the evolutionary explanation claims to be true.” If evolutionists deny they are searching for at least a semblance of truth, and believe instead they are just playing a game, let them set up their own game clubs, like bingo or lotto, and not expect the citizens to pay for it and have it force-taught to their children. The most serious flaw in this argument is that it does not address the capacity for Darwinists to trade in just-so stories in order to keep their pet paradigm going. Busy-ness with all kinds of ecological, geological and biological storytelling does not justify evolutionary theory’s continuance, with its insatiable demand for public funding, when the facts keep stacking up against it (e.g., the Cambrian explosion, the fine-tuning of the universe, the molecular machinery in the cell). Goldman also fails to recognize the sciences that already invest huge amounts of money on design-theoretic assumptions, such as SETI, cryptography, forensics, archaeology and information theory. It’s ironic that he mentioned radio waves. ID supporters have long pointed out that SETI proceeds on the assumption of intelligent design. SETI presupposes that intelligence is detectable by the methods of science.Predictive success: while not necessary for a scientific hypothesis, this is at least valuable, Goldman argues; a good hypothesis predicts novel phenomena and makes startling predictions that at least give us confidence in the hypothesis. Yet throughout the series, Goldman repeatedly pointed out the “fallacy of affirming the consequent” – i.e., just because a prediction comes true, this does not prove a hypothesis. ID predicts that we will find large amounts of functional information in DNA and proteins, even if we don’t understand the function. This prediction continues to bear fruit.Control over nature: Though there are exceptions to this rule, like black hole theory and the big bang, a scientific hypothesis should produce a research program that gives us some degree of control over nature. Without access to the design blueprints, Goldman claims, ID does not specify the kind of research a scientist would do, so what good is it? Since the design scientist would end up doing the same kind of research as the evolutionist, ID is operationally vacuous, he claims. Tell this to SETI, then. Tell it to the FBI searching for patterns in noise. They are spending an awful lot of money building elaborate detectors and computers on the assumption that intelligent design leaves footprints. None of these and the other design sciences have the blueprints either, but they know that intelligently-caused patterns are detectable. ID does have a criterion. It is complex specified information (CSI), any effect that, as William Dembski argued exhaustively in The Design Inference and No Free Lunch allows us rule out chance as a cause, and infer intelligence as the cause. As for control over nature, biomimetics (see below) is the most promising avenue today for such control.Testability and verifiability: Goldman knows that these are sufficient criteria, but not necessary ones, for scientific hypotheses. He fails to recognize that Darwinian evolution is so malleable that it bends itself to every anomaly, and therefore fails this test. ID, by contrast, has an ironclad criterion: CSI. Dembski granted an extremely generous universal probability bound of 10-150 before excluding chance and natural law and making a design inference. ID can have false negatives – there may be cases where a designer hid his design from us, as in some modern art – but it does not generate false positives. When CSI exists, it came from an intelligent cause. That’s testability.Suggestive of a research program: What experiments will a scientist do to research intelligent design? Goldman asks. He repeats the common canard that ID brings explanation to a halt: “God did it–end of story.” He says this should at least make us deeply suspicious about the ability of ID to satisfy the rules of scientific hypotheses. Apply this rule to the Darwinists, then. When they say “evolution did it,” or disguise that simplistic answer in phrases like “This represents a remarkable case of convergent evolution,” the playing field is level. Darwinists brought the study of interesting biological phenomena to a halt by explaining away unknown biological phenomena as junk DNA or vestigial organs. Goldman recalled Francis Bacon’s measure of good scientific hypotheses, “By their fruits ye shall know them” (three guesses where Bacon got that idea from). So here is the fruit: design thinking is actually producing some of the most vibrant and cutting-edge research in the world today: biomimetics. Whole multidisciplinary labs are springing up to mimic nature’s designs. To do so, these designs must be understood – and science marches along. Irreducible complexity is an argument from ignorance. Goldman claims that ID cannot merely argue that Darwinian evolution is inadequate because it cannot explain the spontaneous emergence of complex biochemical systems (e.g., Behe’s mousetrap). Debunking Theory A does not establish Theory B. This is the “argument from ignorance,” he says, a logical fallacy. Granted, but it does not follow that Darwinism must be taught as fact without debate, either: that would be the best-in-field fallacy. Darwinists have an endless capacity to rationalize and tiptoe around the problems. Refusing to let serious challenges be heard is not healthy for any scientific explanation. That being understood, irreducible complexity is not merely an argument against Darwinian evolution, anyway. It is a marker for CSI that allows one to discriminate intelligent causes from non-intelligent causes.Scientists are not convinced irreducible complexity is a challenge to evolutionary theory. Maybe evolution cannot explain complex systems yet, he says, but the community of biologists does not seem worried about it. This is a very weak response. Maybe they should be worried about it. Geologists weren’t worried about plate tectonics and catastrophic floods for decades, either, till they were forced to follow the evidence. How the community of scientists feel about something is no measure of its validity or importance. They’ve had 146 years to explain complex systems by unguided processes and are in worse shape now than in Darwin’s time. How much longer do they get to filibuster?Self-organizing systems show promise for explaining irreducible complexity. The new study of self-organizing systems shows that complex systems can emerge spontaneously, Goldman argues; ID needs to make sure self-organization is incapable of producing complex systems before reaching outside of nature to explain them. Been there, done that. Why is this a requirement? Why is it better to follow blind alleys? For how long should we take a wrong road before giving up? We already know that intelligent causes are adequate to explain CSI. The kind of complexity that self-organizing systems exhibit is very different from information, the hallmark of intelligent design. Spilled ink might produce wave patterns if shaken or subjected to the wind, but it does not produce meaningful text.By analogy, technological systems do form spontaneously without planning. Goldman argues that nobody followed a master plan that resulted in all the complex systems built around the automobile: the internal combustion engine, gasoline as fuel, highways, carburetors, filling stations–these were all co-opted after the fact without any top-down design. The system emerged from the bottom-up emergence for self-interested reasons, so why not consider this as a model for how the biochemical world emerged? (“I’m not saying it’s true,” he adds). My dear Dr. Goldman, do you fail to realize that your analogy is irrelevant, because human beings are intelligent agents?Criticizing gaps in evolutionary theory misunderstands the nature of scientific theories. ID focuses its criticisms on “Darwinian” evolution, but a lot has happened since Darwin. Theories evolve. Evolution is now woven into a web of correlated theories, which is a key test of a scientific theory. Geology, ecology, molecular biology, and genetics have all incorporated Darwinism or some variation of evolution, though there is still a controversy whether natural selection is the only force acting. These are lively controversies, he argues, but none of the combatants have raised intelligent design as the missing ingredient that stymies their progress. Again, science is not just a game, and you cannot trust Big Science to set the rules of their game fairly when they have a great deal of self-interest to perpetuate their ideologies and exclude alternatives from consideration. In the history of science, proponents of one view have failed to see the significance of gaps in their explanations even when face to face with contradictory evidence. Sometimes they died maintaining their flawed theories. No historian of science can claim that evolutionary theory is immune from a massive paradigm shift. Its critics feel it is a monstrous house of cards on a shaky foundation and that the pressures of new discoveries are making it vulnerable to a collapse of historic proportions. Goldman had argued forcefully in the earlier lectures that scientists cannot entirely dismiss the sociological and historical nature of their theories. He illustrated this not only by quotes from the most eminent philosophers of science, but also with specific instances. Our concepts of the universe, the earth, life and atoms have changed dramatically since 1900. We have no guarantee there will not be similar radical transformations in the future. That being understood, he cannot rule out that science is evolving again in the current controversy. Biology of the future will include intelligent causes in its toolkit, while evolutionary theory may be on the way out.ID may be a legitimate support for believing in a Designer behind nature, but design is not a scientific hypothesis. Goldman recognizes that the design argument has a long and venerable history. Everyone knows that nature looks designed, he acknowledges. So are we to throw out the evidence of our senses, and our common sense, and be forced to invoke uncaused, undesigned forces to explain the most elegant machinery we know? Who decides? Calling something a scientific hypothesis does not make it so, nor does the converse make it not so. Since evolutionary theory fails all of Goldman’s own minimum criteria for scientific hypotheses, and ID does not, he cannot simply dismiss ID as a scientific hypothesis by a flat-out statement of his opinion.Attacking a theory because it threatens one’s religious convictions is not a scientific posture. OK, so ID threatens materialism and atheism. Let the Darwinists admit that, and let’s talk about the evidence. Evolutionists continually attack ID and creation as being religiously motivated. This rule cuts both ways; Dawkins said that evolution allows one to be an intellectually-fulfilled atheist. Attacking one’s motives instead of his argument is the ad hominem strategy. So evolutionists, stop attacking the motives of creationists, and focus on the evidence.Goldman noted that he only wished only to critique ID, not malign it. We leave it to the reader to judge if any of the pillars of Goldman’s critique are left standing. Though cogently argued, none of his points are new. William Dembski has answered them all, and many more, in his book The Design Revolution, to which the interested reader is referred for more detail. At the end of the lecture, Goldman acknowledged that “Imperial Science” misconstrues the debate as much as “Imperial Religion.” He says that the defensiveness of the scientific community over the attacks by sociology, philosophy and religion “obscures the fundamental fact that we have learned in this course, namely, that no theory – no theory – can have the status of an empirical fact.” It is a category error to claim that evolutionary theory or any other scientific theory is a fact, “contrary to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times and various op-ed pieces opposing intelligent design,” he remarks. Sounds like we have a legitimate controversy here. Good; let’s teach it.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
In fact, I just saw an article on Twitter the other day about a surprisingly large number of skydivers who have been reported as missing because they jumped out of a plane and were never seen again. I think Earth now has, in addition to the ozone layer, a skydiver layer. That’s my “theory.” (Or is it an alternative fact? I get those confused sometimes.)Who gave scientists such an exalted position in the world anyway? We’re talking about people who could have been arrested for indecent exposure (Archimedes), are self-confessed trespassers and safe crackers (Richard Feynman), and who were illegal immigrants (all those Jewish scientists who escaped Nazi Germany). These are people so vain they’ve got at least five different varieties of “Luxuriant Hair Clubs.”Climate change is just a theoryThis conspiracy is so deep it goes all the way back to 1827, when the French scientist and mathematician Joseph Fourier made up the idea of a so-called “greenhouse effect.” Well, I don’t think he called it that, but that’s what he did. He of course tried to confuse everyone by using fancy math and calculating things that ought just to be left alone.But hey, Fourier was a Frenchman. He probably had the Paris Accord in mind when he did that work, knowing that the United States would need to brought to its knees right about now.Now we have all those scientists working on climate change. And I can tell you for a fact (straight-up, not alternative), not all of them would qualify for the The Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientistsâ„¢ (LFHCfS). Just take a look at the pate of that Michael Mann guy. If he spent more time sawing lumber instead of counting tree rings or playing hockey instead of graphing hockey sticks, he might have kept some of that hair he used to have. (He’d probably have fewer fingers and teeth, though.)It’s just a mass piling-on of all the scientists out there now. They’re calculating and compiling and combobulating all the data they can find to corroborate their “theory of climate change.”You know what happens when a lot of scientists work on one thing? Bad things happen! Think about it. Remember the Manhattan Project? A lot of the world’s best scientists (including the trespassers, safe crackers, and illegal immigrants mentioned above, but no flashers as far as I know) got together and invented nuclear weapons. Now we’ve got a crazy guy with a bad haircut who could send them to kill millions of people any time he gets the urge.The reality of scienceOK, clearly what I wrote above is over the top. (Or is it so clear? It’s getting hard to tell these days.) Science has led to a lot of amazing accomplishments over the past couple of millennia, especially since the Industrial Revolution.Here’s how science really works. When you throw out a crazy idea (e.g., “not all skydivers fall to the ground”), that’s a hypothesis. It’s not a theory. Not even close. For something to be called a theory, it’s got to have some significant experimental evidence behind it. And it has to be something that leads to new predictions that can be tested. As scientists continue to find supporting evidence and refine the theory, it eventually becomes a scientific law.That’s how science works. In the case of climate change, we have huge masses of evidence — literally, in the case of the disappearing Arctic sea ice and the collapsing Antarctic ice shelf. When the vast majority of scientists who work in this field agree that climate change is real, when they’ve calculated a 95% probability that we humans are the cause, and when the main opposition is political, I’ll put my money on science.The U.S. is certainly free to leave the Paris Accord and abdicate its leadership role in this important realm. It won’t help us, though. And it certainly won’t help us do what needs to be done to battle the very real problem of climate change.I’ll end by quoting Neil deGrasse Tyson: “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. RELATED ARTICLESGreen Building in the Trump EraThe Paris Agreement on Climate ChangeReport Warns That Climate Change Efforts Are Too Slow Carbon Fees Are Not the Best Solution to Climate Pollution Nine Surprising Signs That Momentum Is Building for Climate ActionHoping for a Climate Change BreakthroughTaking Action on Climate ChangeHalf of All Americans Worry About Climate ChangeGood News Bad News With Climate ChangeSeeking Common Ground on Climate Change PolicyScience, Climate Change, and Policy So the United States has announced it’s withdrawing from the Paris Accord, the international agreement with nonbinding measures to mitigate the effects of climate change. Now everyone’s up in arms, speaking in exasperated tones about the travesty of this decision.“But… but… the science,” they say. Yeah, let’s talk about science.Is science really all it’s cracked up to be?One of the most important facts about science is that you can never absolutely prove anything with it. Let’s take gravity as an example. Isaac Newton is famous for that whole apple-falling-out-of-the-tree thing and his “law of universal gravitation.” The apple falls. He writes an equation. And introductory physics students are punished for centuries.But he could be wrong. What if a skydiver jumps out of a plane and never hits the ground? That’s the end of gravity. All it takes is one case of something not following the scientific idea — whether hypothesis, theory, or law — and that idea is dead. That’s how science works.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Willian urging Chelsea to deal in David Luizby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWillian is urging Chelsea to offer his fellow Brazilian David Luiz a new deal. Luiz is in a stand-off with the club as they refuse to offer contracts longer than 12 months to players over 30 years of age.Willian said: “David has a lot of quality to do these kind of passes. Of course. I want him to stay. We have to see if the club will want him. I think they want him. For me, I want him to stay.”The Brazil forward also has 18 months left on his Stamford but he said: “I’m fine, I’m fine. No rush about that.“We can talk about that in the future, no problem.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal players unhappy with Emery methodsby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal players are unhappy with the methods of manager Unai Emery.The Mirror says a large number of Arsenal players remain unconvinced by Unai Emery’s tactics and struggle to understand his instructions at times.The Gunners lay fourth in the table after six games – the lowest position in which they hope to finish the season.Emery’s task is to bring back Champions League football to Emirates Stadium, which he failed to achieve last term, and the next test comes against Manchester United on Monday night.Arsenal have not won at Old Trafford since 2006 and, despite three wins on the bounce for the north London side, there is a familiar sense of anxiety among supporters.That rings true of the players also.It claims that Arsenal players have been worried about tactics, such as the decision to play a narrow back-four against Liverpool in August despite the European champions’ talent on the wings.
NEW ORLEANS — The company that has failed to end a 14-year-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is suing to challenge a Coast Guard official’s order to design and install a new containment system to capture and remove the crude before it forms slicks that often stretch for miles.A federal lawsuit that Taylor Energy Co. filed Thursday in New Orleans asks the court to throw out Coast Guard Capt. Kristi Luttrell’s Oct. 23 administrative order.The suit claims the Coast Guard’s actions ignored “well-verified scientific conclusions” and were taken in response to “adverse publicity.”Government lawyers recently disclosed a new estimate that approximately 10,500 to 29,400 gallons (39,747 to 111,291 litres) of oil is leaking daily from the site where a Taylor Energy-owned platform toppled during Hurricane Ivan in 2004.The Associated Press
Sjoblom said that the RCMP have been notified about the break-ins, but that they told her there’s not much they can do without surveillance footage or eyewitness reports. She said that the break-ins could be attributed to homeless persons nearby. Sjoblom said that this isn’t the first time the museum has been the victim of a break-in, saying that the last occurrence took place several years ago.Anyone with information about the break-in is asked to call the Fort St. John RCMP or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Officials with the North Peace Museum are shaking their heads after two of the museum’s heritage exhibit buildings were broken in to over the weekend. Museum Curator Heather Sjoblom said that staff became aware of the break-in, which occurred on Saturday or Sunday, early Monday morning. She said that at least one person broke into the Allan House, the museum’s newest building, by pulling off the piece of plywood covering the doorway of the house. Sjoblom said that luckily the house is currently being restored, and that the vandals did no damage to the house’s interior, which has yet to be restored. However, she said that vandals did punch or kick in a panel on the front door of the Paddy Carroll/Peck Cabin to open the door’s deadbolt. Once again, Sjoblom said that the interior of the home wasn’t damaged due to its exhibits being displayed behind a chainlink fence. But, she said that the home’s front door will need to be replaced at an estimated cost of between $200 and $400.
London: The Premier League title race is locked in a battle between Manchester City and Liverpool at the top and if the two sides manage to finish joint on points, there is a possibility of a playoff game. It is advantage City in arguably the greatest title race in history with neither side having dropped points for two months. Defending champions City, after 12 straight wins, are on 92 points, one clear of relentless Liverpool, who have lost just once in the league all season. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuIf City and Liverpool finish the Premier League 2019 season level on points, then the winner will be separated by goal difference. If they are also level on that, then goals scored is the decider. However, if a situation arises wherein the two sides are still level on the above grounds, then the champion is decided on the basis of a play-off. According to the EPL rules, “the clubs concerned shall play off one or more deciding league matches on neutral grounds, the format, timing and venue of which shall be determined by the board.” Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersBoth the sides have two games left in the current season. For a title play-off to happen, the following types of results mentioned below are needed, along with a goal difference swing of four towards Liverpool. The order of the results below do not matter: — Liverpool draw and Manchester City defeat, as well as both sides having the same type of result (win, lose or draw) in their other game. — Liverpool win and defeat and two Manchester City draws. Has it ever happened before? Despite the rules mentioned, a play-off scenario has never happened in the Premier League. Manchester United and Newcastle were close to making it to the playoffs back in 1995-96 season but the Red Devils ended up winning. There is also a possibility of a play-off required to decide top four in order to qualify for the Champions League or a playoff to book Europa League spot this season.
5/11/69Qualifier1455Haiti1453✓64.3 The worst USMNT World Cup losses everMatches for which the U.S. men’s soccer team had the highest probability of winning (according to Elo ratings) but ultimately lost, 1885-2017 Only includes matches that were at the World Cup or World Cup qualifying level (i.e., excludes continental championships, friendlies and minor tournaments). Games played in neutral locations denoted with a dash.Source: eloratings.net 9/1/01Qualifier1791Honduras1734✓71.2 6/22/06World Cup1797Ghana1682—66.0 5/31/85Qualifier1558Costa Rica1505✓70.7 All newsletters 10/15/08Qualifier1813Trinidad & Tobago153373.8 DATESTAGEU.S. ELOOPPONENTOPP. ELOHOME?WIN PROB. 9/1/17Qualifier1789Costa Rica1741✓70.1 3/25/16Qualifier1749Guatemala146074.8 6/14/02World Cup1832Poland1653—73.7 7/23/00Qualifier1799Costa Rica157167.6 Before coach Bruce Arena gets too much of the blame, it’s important to remember that it was the failures of the team under his predecessor, Jurgen Klinsmann, that put the Americans in this position in the first place. The team lost to Mexico and Costa Rica last November in this qualifying cycle, which led to Klinsmann’s ouster. And, ultimately, losing those points made what should have been a meaningless game against Trinidad a must-win. Earlier last year, the same Klinsmann team also inexplicably dropped a game to Guatemala in the group stage of qualifying, the second-worst loss by Elo.The advantages the U.S. squandered are many. America finally has a legitimate men’s soccer superstar in Christian Pulisic, but he alone could not score two goals for the team. (He got one.) And it’s not just a question of talent: The U.S. towers over these CONCACAF opponents when it comes to resources. Trinidad and Tobago, after all, has a population of 1.2 million — or roughly the size of the greater Hartford metro area. Here is how the 12 countries that made the group stage of the 2018 CONCACAF World Cup qualifying compare in gross domestic product and population — it probably won’t be hard to spot the U.S. 10/10/17Qualifier1761Trinidad & Tobago138982.7% A chart of the U.S. team’s Elo rating over the past two decades shows not so much steady growth but a series of peaks and valleys with, at the moment, no overall progress to speak of. No one still believes that we will win.On Tuesday night, it all fell apart for the U.S. men’s national soccer team. A seven tournament, 24-year streak of consecutive World Cup berths was snapped in cartoonishly heartbreaking fashion.Coming into the match, American fans were rightfully confident. All it would take to qualify for the World Cup was a win or a tie against Trinidad and Tobago, a team that had nothing to play for but pride and only one win in nine matches in the final qualifying group. And even if somehow the U.S. lost, Honduras and Panama would both need victories over the top two teams in the group, Mexico and Costa Rica, to complete the elimination. If the USMNT lost and only one of Honduras or Panama won, the US would be headed for a playoff against Australia. By ESPN’s Soccer Power Index, the United States had a 93 percent chance of reaching its eighth consecutive World Cup.Then the U.S. conceded two goals in the first half — first an own goal and then a blistering 35-yard strike — despite giving up little in the way of high-quality chances. And despite a halftime switch to bring on Clint Dempsey and line up two attackers behind strikers Bobby Wood and Jozy Altidore, the U.S. could not create the chances to level the score. USMNT fans could only watch in horror, and Panama and Honduras both clawed back first-half deficits to knock the U.S. out of World Cup qualification.U.S. men’s soccer is obviously no stranger to embarrassment and heartbreak on the international stage. In the 1998 World Cup and the 2006 World Cup — the last two on European soil — it combined for one tie and five losses. In 2015, the team was stunned at home in the Gold Cup semifinal by Jamaica, which at the time was ranked 76th in the world by FIFA. But what happened Tuesday night may stand alone.Looking only at World Cup matches and qualifiers, it was the worst loss in USMNT’s history based on the Elo rating system. Going into the game, Elo gave the U.S. an 83 percent chance of beating Trinidad and Tobago, making the Americans huge favorites even after accounting for the fact that they were playing on the road. Going back to 1885, the American men had never lost a match at that level when they had such a high probability of winning. And it came with all the chips on the table. You cannot blame U.S. soccer fans for being a little woozy this morning. For every step taken, there’s been a step back — no matter who has been the coach. The team made a breakthrough in 1994 when it reached the knockout stage for the first time in the expanded World Cup era.1It was expanded to 24 teams in 1982 and to 32 teams in 1998. It followed that by crashing out in 1998. The Americans stunned Portugal in the group stage in 2002 and made its first modern-era quarterfinals with a win over Mexico in the round of 16. It followed that by being a complete also-ran in 2006. So if the heroics in 2010 and 2014 — when the team fought through tough groups to survive and advance in dramatic fashion — gave the U.S. any confidence, it has just been completely wiped out. This is not to say that money and size are everything in international soccer. The two biggest countries in the world by population — China and India — have made the World Cup just once (China in 2002), whereas Iceland, a country of just 340,000, will play in its first next summer. But the U.S is different. It has spent the last decade talking about long-term plans for soccer development. The U.S. Soccer Federation increased its staffing and pay for national team coaches and introduced new youth initiatives to build a better team from the ground up. It is hard to see the results of these ambitions on the field. We’re launching a sports newsletter. 🏆 Join the squad. Subscribe
Celtic’s Kieran Tierney insists he is in no hurry to leave the club and reaffirmed his commitment to the club after missing out on a move to the Premier League this summer.The defender was a subject of interest from Everton and a host of other clubs but none of the clubs were willing to accept Celtic’s £25million valuation of the player.He admitted he has no regrets over missing out on a life-changing £70,000 a week salary at Goodison and said: “I know, and my family know, that since day one we have been committed to Celtic.” According to Daily Mail.“That’s 100 per cent. In football, you never what might happen next but I have never been anything else than focused at Celtic. It’s always been Celtic for me.”“I’ll never be in a hurry to leave this club. No matter what the situation is. But I can’t predict what will happen in the future.”“There was obviously a lot of talk at the start of the transfer window during pre-season, more than before, but for me it’s just about switching off and focusing on Celtic.”Arsenal suffer huge blow as Lacazette is ruled out until October Andrew Smyth – September 13, 2019 Arsenal announced that striker Alexandre Lacazette has suffered an ankle injury and will be sidelined until October.“When I got away from training, I would focus on day-to-day life and try not to think about anything else and get distracted.”Admitting he came under pressure from Celtic fans who were worried he would leave for huge money, Tierney said: “I wasn’t on Twitter for a couple of days. I was getting a bit of abuse but that happens.”“I’m still here, playing for this great club, giving everything every day at training.”“At the start of pre-season, people were coming up and asking me what was going to happen. It has died down.”‘I’ll tell them the truth. I’m 100-per-cent committed to Celtic. That’s how it stands.’ Tierney earned a hefty pay rise when he put pen to paper on a new six-year Celtic contract last season.”