Board certified in disaster medicine and adviser for FEMA’s NW region, Geoffrey Simmons discussed preparedness as well as his work with Darwin, Creation and the evolution of man. Lamenting that most people are woefully unprepared for disasters, he cited studies which say that "only about 25 percent of people have significant preparedness." The reasons for this stunningly low statistic, Simmons said, include a dismissive attitude about the possibility of a disaster, procrastination, and a lack of funding or proper education about the subject. Hoping to rectify that final reason, Simmons shared a litany of "do's and don'ts" to help people safely survive a disaster.
Among the "do's" were to have a preparedness kit which includes food and water, a flashlight, and gloves. He also suggested that families should have a post-disaster meeting place, an out of town contact to serve as a communication conduit, and that each family member should have designated roles, such as precuring important paperwork and pets. Many of the "don'ts" listed by Simmons were predicated on self-reliance and acceptance that first responders, stores, and credit/debit cards simply will not be fuctioning in the event of a disaster. While water is essential to survival in a disaster, it was also a key aspect in two of Simmons' "don'ts." He explained that it is imperative that you do not open canned goods that were submerged in flood water, since they could be contaminated. Additionally, he advised that people should not attempt to dive down roads that appear to only be mildly flooded, as the waters can obscure the true damage the pathway has sustained.
In discussing his research into evolution, Simmons, who is a proponent for creationism, stressed that his opinion is less a theological one and more based on what he sees as "common sense." As such, he opined that nature's complexity does not support the "trial and error" aspect behind the theory of evolution. For example, he claimed that the structure and function of a cell is "more complicated than the city of New York," which was obviously created by intelligent design. Simmons suggested that the solution to the origin debate may merely be a matter of time. To that end, he pointed out that a contemporary of Darwin once listed 200 human attributes that were believed to be non-essential and, thus, bolstered the argument for evolution. However, Simmons said, "it turns out, of the 200, that's been pared down, through the years, to about six." Taking this concept to its logical conclusion, he surmised that as our understanding of nature reveals further complexities, "it will be science that disproves itself."
In the first hour, author David Brown reacted to the news which allegedly shed new light on the sinking of the Titanic. He was dismissive of the idea that the story was particularly revelatory, since the officer in question admitted that "they had to apply whitewash" in his own autobiography. Brown theorized that the surviving officers of the Titanic were circumspect about the nature of the disaster in order to protect their future careers. "I don't want to even hint at some dark conspiracy," he said, "but, in fact, I think there was somewhat of a cover-up." He said that "there is no question it was an accident, but the evidence I see is that the ship was deliberately turned into the iceberg, but not intentionally turned into the iceberg." Extrapolating on that theory, Brown proposed that the crew was likely trying to avoid ice and accidentally steered the ship into further danger and, ultimately, infamy.
Paleontologists have discovered the fossilized remains of two remarkable rhino-sized dinosaur species in southern Utah. Both creatures are drastically different from all previous dinosaur discoveries found in North America and feature an ornate series of horns strewn along their skull. One of the dinosaurs is believed to have had an astounding 15 horns on its head. More on the story here.