Teleonomy and Evolution

first_img Recommended Intelligent Design Teleonomy and EvolutionAnn GaugerDecember 1, 2017, 1:27 AM In a new paper, “Evolutionary Teleonomy as a Unifying Principle for the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis,” in the journal BIO-Complexity, Jonathan Bartlett of the Blyth Institute revisits an old idea first proposed by Ernst Mayr and Colin Pittendrigh. It is a way around biologists’ continued use of teleological (goal-directed, functional) language, despite the supposed lack of teleology in the Modern Synthesis (neo-Darwinsm). Bartlett writes:For more than a century, biology has struggled with the concept of teleology. Teleology is the orientation of objects (often organisms) towards ends. That is, organisms have purposes which are reflected in their behaviors. What makes biology unique as a subject is that while the study of rocks or atoms rarely makes reference to purpose, the study of biology is almost exclusively concerned with purpose….[T]he idea of evolution by natural selection seemed to remove teleology from biology as well. There was nothing in natural selection that referred to purpose — only to reproduction. The whole of evolution was therefore devoid of purpose. If teleology was not needed in physics, and now it is not needed in biology, then it seems like there is no need for it at all.Thus, the whole concept of purpose fell out of favor with biologists. It was thought of as an old-fashioned concept — a leftover relic that would soon go the way of alchemy. By the beginning of the twentieth century, biologists were actively avoiding any sort of purpose-oriented language, sometimes to the point of ridiculousness.As reported by Pittendrigh,“Biologists for a while were prepared to say a turtle came ashore and laid its eggs, but they refused to say it came ashore to lay its eggs [emphasis in original].”Pittendrigh and Mayr sought a way to deal with the problem of apparent function in biologists’ use of language:In order to alleviate the situation, Pittendrigh and later Mayr suggested using the term teleonomy instead of teleology to describe this sort of purposive behavior.Mayr suggested that we can use the term teleonomy to represent something that operates according to a purpose because of a program. Specifically, Mayr says, “It would seem useful to restrict the term teleonomic rigidly to systems operating on the basis of a program, a code of information. Teleonomy in biology designates ‘the apparent purposefulness of organisms and their characteristics,’ as Julian Huxley expressed it.”That is, to the extent that organisms operate according to their genetic programming, “purpose” can simply refer to the actions of the program behind the organism. [Emphasis in the original.]And of course, the program was, to their minds, an inherited program, the result of variation, natural selection, and drift. Mayr was concerned that the idea of teleonomy might be turned back toward the idea of design or purpose, so he made it abundantly clear:Only three processes are known to [change the genetic pool]: mutation, fluctuation in genetic frequencies, and differential reproduction. The first two of those processes are not oriented toward adaptation. They are in that sense essentially random, and are usually inadaptive, although they may rarely and coincidentally be adaptive. By “differential reproduction” is meant the consistent production of more offspring, on an average, by individuals with certain genetic characteristics than by those without those particular characteristics…If an organism is well adapted, if it shows superior fitness, this is not due to any purpose of its ancestors or of an outside agency, such as “Nature” or “God,” who created a superior design or plan.“Note that here, Mayr explicitly decries not only the influence of outside purposes (i.e., divine teleology) in evolution, but also the influence of inside purposes (i.e., biological purposes present within ancestors),” says Bartlett.But ideas sometimes morph into new forms. As our understanding of evolutionary processes has grown, it has become apparent that sometimes change happens too fast, or in a seemingly directed fashion, much more than a purely neo-Darwinian process can account for. Enter the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES), a scientific program that seeks to explain longstanding evolutionary problems that the Modern Synthesis hasn’t been able to successful address.In a paper published in Nature in 2014, “Does evolutionary theory need a rethink? Yes, urgently,” a number of EES proponents came together to list the features that they think make the EES distinct. These include: Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Extended inheritance: organisms inherit more than just genes and more than just by physical inheritance. Organisms not only have genetic and epigenetic inheritance, they have inheritance of behavior based on the nurturing of parents and biological communities.Reciprocal causation: organisms shape their environment, which then acts on themselves.Non-random phenotypic variation: organisms are biased in certain evolutionary directions rather than others, as reflected by available evolutionary phenotypes.Variable rates of change: the effects of mutations are non-linear, and therefore have the potential for saltational effects.Organism-centered perspective: organisms themselves have a larger causal role in the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, as opposed to the gene-centered approach of the Modern Synthesis.Macro-evolutionary processes: the additional modes of inheritance will also lead to additional macro-evolutionary processes. Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide TagsBartlettBIO-ComplexitybiologyBlythe InstituteDan GraureggsendsErnst MayrevolutionExtended Evolutionary Synthesisgoal-directednessintelligent designJonathanjournalModern SynthesismutationsNeo-DarwinismorganismsResearchteleologyteleonomyturtle,Trending Ann GaugerSenior Fellow, Center for Science and CultureDr. Ann Gauger is Director of Science Communication and a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute Center for Science and Culture, and Senior Research Scientist at the Biologic Institute in Seattle, Washington. She received her Bachelor’s degree from MIT and her Ph.D. from the University of Washington Department of Zoology. She held a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, where her work was on the molecular motor kinesin.Follow AnnProfile 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 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 Says Bartlett, “This list maintains the cautious approach typically taken by those favoring the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, making it unclear whether it deserves to be treated as a new synthesis. Is this really new, or are they merely tweaking around the edges? The architects of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis are adamant about the need for a new synthesis but highly cautious about how it is described.”There are differences, though, that open up the EES to teleonomy. One of the primary areas where the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis differs from the Modern Synthesis is in the number of modes of inheritance available for evolutionary action. These modes of inheritance each appear to incorporate some amount of teleonomy in their operation.These modes include niche inheritance, sexual selection, epigenetics, and developmental processes.Another concept common to EES is evolvability. Bartlett writes:Shapiro, Caporale, and Noble [three of the main EES proponents] show that many systems within organisms can direct the evolution of specific genes. These evolvability systems are encoded by the genome, targeted by gene products, and produce effects that benefit the evolution of offspring. In every way they match the concept of Evolutionary Teleonomy.If one considers the idea that there is an internal program governing each of these processes, and directing the organism’s response to its changing environment, then one has arrived at the idea of teleonomy. Bartlett says, “As is evident, Evolutionary Teleonomy plays a central, unifying role in nearly every aspect of Extended Evolutionary Synthesis.”Is the idea of teleonomy actually useful to biology? According to Bartlett, teleonomy works well with the way biology is analyzed and described: “In nearly every other aspect of biology, the presumption of function is used as a heuristic for understanding how biological systems work.” That is, except in evolutionary biology, where up until now any hint of goal-directedness was barred by the Modern Synthesis. However, perhaps it is time for that to change. Bartlett explains: “[F]urther developments in the theory of evolution over the last several decades show that Evolutionary Teleonomy should be returned to a central place in evolutionary thinking.”For example, it might make a difference in Dan Graur’s analysis of the percentage of our genome that is functional. It certainly makes a difference if you think that mutations are teleonomic or not, in how his calculations work out. See Bartlett for an explanation.It would indeed be useful to have an idea that links together the many evidences that organisms respond to challenges in apparently goal-directed means. The difference that matters, though, is where those goal-directed systems actually came from. Did they evolve, pushing the problem back a step or two, or were they designed? Bartlett leaves that question unanswered.Photo: Leatherback turtles hatching, by Elise Peterson (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.last_img read more

Brattleboro celebrates World Breastfeeding Week

first_imgVermont Business Magazine The Brattleboro community and its local businesses will mark World Breastfeeding Week from August 1 to 7, with activities and awareness events around town that celebrate “Breastfeeding: The Foundation of Life.”The Vermont Department of Health encourages and supports breastfeeding because of its important health benefits for both baby and mom. The Local Health Office in Brattleboro works one-on-one with new moms through breastfeeding classes and at its WIC clinics. The department also helps local businesses become Breastfeeding Friendly Employers. Other community supports for breastfeeding include nurses and lactation consultants at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, and home visitors through Early Education Services, Children’s Integrated Services, and the Visiting Nurses Association.Here’s what Brattleboro has planned for World Breastfeeding Week:Lactation Cookies – The Brattleboro Food Co Op will host a kickoff event on August 1 at 5 p.m. Nutritionists from the Vermont Department of Health will discuss dietary needs to support breastfeeding and meal prep for a busy schedule. Participants will also bake cookies as part of a discussion of foods that help boost breast milk production!Gallery Walk Cabana – Located on Main St. in front of Vermont Artisan Designs during Gallery Walk on August 3 from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. Part of Vermont’s Breastfeeding Friendly Employer’s project, the cabana demonstrates the space and materials needed for a workplace breastfeeding/pumping area. The Big Latch On – Sunday, August 5 from 10 – 11 a.m. at 118 Elliot Street in Brattleboro.  Sponsored by the Maternal & Child Health Coalition and The Winston Prouty Center, nursing individuals and their children will gather to join breastfeeding moms worldwide. There will be a count taken at 10:30 a.m. In 2017, there were 17,790 “latched on” children during this event worldwide! More at is external)(link is external)Brown Bag Luncheon – On August 7 from 12 – 1 p.m. at The River Garden on Main Street in Brattleboro, internationally board-certified lactation consultant Dawn Kersula will talk about “Grandparenting the Breastfed Baby.”Social Media – The Brattleboro Local Health Office Facebook(link is external)(link is external) page will be sharing photos in its “Post Where You Pump” campaign. These images are designed to show what we go through to give breast milk to our babies, whether breastfeeding works out or not.  Look for these, like, comment and share! Follow World Breastfeeding Week on Twitter: #WBW2018.For information about breastfeeding and why it’s best for babies and moms, visit is external).last_img read more

Air Products in China LNG supply deal

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

Wangfoong rescue on track

first_imgMeasuring 25 m long and weighing 40 tons (36.3 tonnes) each, the trains had to be repositioned as a matter of urgency after coming off the tracks in the early hours of September 17.Wangfoong coordinated with the Road Management Office (RMO) of Hong Kong Police Force to arrange the necessary escorts to mobilise Liebherr 500-tonne capacity mobile cranes, as well as a number of trucks with crane attachments and rigging tools.The most challenging part of the project, according to Wangfoong, was the coordination with relevant authorities in order to obtain clearance for the work to commence in the short timeframe.Wangfoong provided a lifting method onsite and supervised the lifting operations, which required two 500-tonne capacity cranes working in tandem.Wangfoong is a member of the Worldwide Project Consortium (WWPC) in Hong read more

NUIG Mystics – Champions of Ireland

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE***Hula Hoops Senior Women’s National Cup Final, National Basketball Arena, Tallaght, Dublin 31/1/2016Oblate Dynamos vs NUIG MysticThe NUIG Mystic teamMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne NUIG Mystics – Champions of IrelandTeam& Scorers:Back row L to R. Michelle Fahy(13), Rebecca Hansberry, Hannah Coen(4), Marritta Gillcrease(10), Leah Cunningham(2), Suzanne McDonagh, Lauren Murray(2), Siobhan Kilkenny(14).Front Row. L to R. Ailish O Reilly(15), Emer Smyth, Sarah Grealish, Deirdre O Shea(11), Aoibhin O Neill, Catherine Connaire. Coach Mike Murray. Asst.Coach Terry Kennedy. NUIG Mystics Claimed their first ever National Cup in the National Basketball Arena in Dublin on Sunday against Oblate Dynamos on a scoreline of 71-44. Mystics Started strong with Michelle Fahy, Marritta Gillcrease, Lauren Murray,Ailish O Reilly and Siobhan Kilkenny, and after inflicting a heavy defeat to Dynamos in the league the previous weekend they certainly were not going to consider any form of an upset. NUIG Mystics ran out to a 15-0 lead early in the first quarter with their strong defensive work causing numerous turnovers from Oblate and converted them to scores at the other end.The 1st quarter ended on a scoreline of 25-7 in Mystics favour with Kilkenny Fahy and Gillcrease dominating the scoring.  The second quarter saw more of the same with Deirdre O Shea and Catherine Connaire introduced for NUIG Mystics up front and Hannah Coen and Leah Cunningham maintaining NUIG Mystics dominance on the boards.The second quarter ended with NUIG Mystics having built up a considerable lead and headed to the dressing room at the half with a 42-19 lead. The third quarter started with O Reilly causing a lot of trouble for the Oblate Guards causing numerous turnovers and steals and Gillcrease and Fahy remaining supreme on the boards. At the end of the third the scoreline read 58-31 in NUIG Mystics favour. Into the fourth and with the result not in doubt the Mystics coaching staff started to run the bench with Emer Smyth Suzanne McDonagh and Rebecca Hansberry all seeing the floor and acquitting themselves well with McDonagh getting a Gillcrease like block to finish out the game. At that stage the Mystics fans,players and coaches began  to celebrate a very special win for the team. A special thanks to all the fans who traveled to the Arena to support the team and join in the celebrations.print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email read more

Quinn Roux to Captain Connacht on his 100th appearance for the province

first_imgprint WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email Ireland international Quinn Roux will Captain Connacht as his side face Munster in the Guinness Pro14 in the Sportsground on Saturday (Kick off 5:15pm). With just one point separating the two sides at the top of Conference B, the top of the table clash takes on extra significance for the second row as he is set to make his 100th appearance for the province.Connacht also go into the game boosted by the news that Tiernan O’Halloran has returned from injury and will start at full back. He is part of a back three with John Porch and Kyle Godwin on the wings.In the Connacht midfield, Tom Daly has forced his way into the starting team alongside Bundee Aki. While Conor Fitzgerald continues his half back partnership with Caolin Blade, who has now featured in all 11 of Connacht’s games so far this season.In the forwards, the tight five has a very familiar look; props Denis Buckley and Finlay are included in the starting team as is hooker Dave Heffernan. While Ultan Dillane will line up alongside Roux in the second row.In the back row Eoghan Masterson and Paul Boyle are named at blindside and openside respectively with Eoin McKeon at number 8. Captain Jarrad Butler has been ruled out due to illness.Commenting ahead of the game, Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend said: “Saturday is another big occasion in the Sportsground. All players want to be involved in these interpro games and with Munster in our conference it takes on extra significance. We take pride in our home record and last season Munster were one of the few teams to beat us in the Sportsground so we know the challenge we will face tomorrow”.“It will be a proud day for Quinn Roux and his family. Making 100 appearances for Connacht is a great achievement and it is fitting that with Jarrad out, Quinn will captain the side. He has been a real leader for us this season and has been driving standards among the player group”. Connacht Matchday Squad V Munster (Sat 21 Dec, 5:15pm)(15-9): Tiernan O’Halloran, John Porch, Tom Daly, Bundee Aki, Kyle Godwin, Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade (1-8): Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux (Capt), Eoghan Masterson, Paul Boyle, Eoin McKeon.Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Conor Kenny, Dominic Robertson McCoy, Joe Maksymiw, Robin Copeland, Stephen Kerins, Jack Carty, Stephen Fitzgerald.  last_img read more

What new ideas or projects have come forth from the Granger govt?

first_imgDear Editor,In reading Bishop Edghill’s letter pertaining to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Expansion project I was struck by the sentence “This interconnected group of projects was totally misunderstood and incompetently handled by the APNU/AFC Administration when they came to office in May 2015.” It sums up the 3.6 years of poor governance by the APNU+AFC Administration.While Edghill asks the question of completion dates, I beg to ask of APNU+AFC’s conception dates, that is to say, what new ideas or projects have come forth from the Granger Cabinet that demonstrates vision for our nation? Editor, the bastardised version of the Low Carbon Development Strategy relabeled as the “Green State Development Strategy” lacks the innovation of LCDS and is about as practical as the coats of green paint applied to Government buildings en masse. All of the current projects except the plethora of speed bumps, being undertaken, were conceptualised and started under the PPP/C Administration. The Public Infrastructure Minister likes to point out the “little things” that his Ministry accomplishes; he should be reminded that his little fixes come with a hefty price tag and are works that should be carried out by competent city and village councils. Street lights and potholes are not the purview of a Minister of State, it is the work of a city Councillor.Editor, Guyana was moved from a heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPIC) to Upper Middle Income under successive PPP/C Administrations, this was done without the much hyped “Oil money” that has become the focus of this vacuous APNU+AFC Administration. Neglect of the pillars of our economy – Mining and Agriculture – by APNU+AFC is mind boggling, coupled with a belief that Guyanese can be taxed to pay for their excesses of expenditure on the frivolous, non-productive and mismanaged little things with massive price tags led a most expensive and disastrous period in our nation’s economic history. The APNU+AFC have emptied the coffers of the USD$900 million reserves and are driving us further into debt daily.Editor, the APNU+AFC boasts of the largest budgets in our nation’s history, would that they could boast of a completed project that they conceived and executed successfully. Along with this massive increase in expenditure came the curse of unaccountability. The Auditor General’s reports read like a hatchet job of Government politicians, listing unaccounted billions, lack of concern for procurement safe-guards, basics such as receipts and ledgers are a problem in every item of expenditure in every single Ministry. The level of incompetence caused by “the twin sins of ignorance and arrogance” as described by Edghill in an earlier missive is stunning.2019 elections are upon us and Guyanese must face the questions of vision for our nation and ability to deliver good governance. My advice to all is to disregard those who see “oil money” as a panacea, look to those who understand that Guyana has to now rebuild and strengthen her other pillars of economy, engage in a massive education renaissance and restore governance for the benefit of the people and not the few.RespectfullyRobin Singhlast_img read more

Local teams learn matchups for upcoming WIAA softball playoffs

first_imgDivision 1Sectional 1Regional semifinals, May 27No. 9 Hudson at No. 8 Eau Claire Memorial, 5 p.m.No. 12 Menomonie at No. 5 Wisconsin Rapids, 4:30 p.m.No. 13 River Falls at No. 4 Superior, 4:30 p.m.No. 14 Wausau West at No. 3 Merrill, 4 p.m.No. 11 Wausau East at No. 6 D.C. Everest, 5 p.m.No. 10 Marshfield at No. 7 Eau Claire North, 5 p.m.Regional finals, May 29Hudson-Eau Claire Memorial winner at No. 1 Stevens PointEau Claire North-Marshfield winner at No. 2 Chippewa FallsSectional 5Regional semifinals, May 27No. 9 Stoughton at No. 8 Fort Atkinson, 4:45 p.m.No. 12 Waterford at No. 5 Mukwonago, 4:30 p.m.No. 13 Janesville Parker at No. 4 Wilmot, 4 p.m.No. 14 Lake Geneva Badger at No. 3 Janesville Craig, 4:30 p.m.No. 11 Oregon at No. 6 Burlington, 4:30 p.m.No. 10 Milton at No. 7 Beloit Memorial, 4:30 p.m.Regional finals, May 29Stoughton-Fort Atkinson winner at No. 1 Westosha Central, 4:30 p.m.Beloit Memorial-Milton winner at No. 2 Union Grove, 4:30 p.m.Sectional 2Regional semifinals, May 27No. 9 Neenah at No. 8 Appleton North, 4:30 p.m.No. 12 Menasha at No. 5 Appleton East, 4:30 p.m.No. 13 Appleton West at No. 4 Ashwaubenon, 3:30 p.m.No. 14 Green Bay West at No. 3 Green Bay Preble, 4:30 p.m.No. 11 Green Bay Southwest at No. 6 Green Bay East, 4:30 p.m.No. 10 De Pere at No. 7 Pulaski, 3 p.m.Regional finals, May 29Appleton North-Neenah winner at No. 1 Hortonville, 4:30 p.m.Pulaski-De Pere winner at No. 2 Bay Port, 4:30 p.m.Sectional 8Regional semifinals, May 27No. 9 Racine Horlick at No. 8 FranklinNo. 12 Racine Park at No. 5 South MilwaukeeNo. 13 Milwaukee Reagan at No. 4 Oak CreekNo. 14 Milwaukee Pulaski/Arts/Juneau at No. 3 Kenosha TremperNo. 11 Racine Case at No. 6 MuskegoNo. 10 Kenosha Indian Trail at No. 7 GreendaleRegional finals, May 29Horlick-Franklin winner at No. 1 GreenfieldGreendale-Indian Trail winner at No. 2 Kenosha BradfordSectional 3Regional semifinals, May 27No. 9 Madison Memorial at No. 8 Monona Grove, 4:30 p.m.No. 12 Onalaska at No. 5 Holmen, 4:30 p.m.No. 13 Madison West at No. 4 DeForest, 4:30 p.m.No. 14 Madison La Follette at No. 3 Verona, 5 p.m.No. 11 Baraboo at No. 6 Madison East, 4:30 p.m.No. 10 Waunakee at No. 7 Sun Prairie, 5 p.m.No. 15 Tomah at No. 2 La Crosse Central, 4 p.m.Regional finals, May 29Memorial-Monona Grove winner at No. 1 Middleton, 5 p.m.Sectional 7Regional semifinals, May 27No. 9 Glendale Nicolet at No. 8 Milwaukee King, 4:30 p.m.No. 12 Milwaukee Riverside at No. 5 Whitefish Bay, 4:30 p.m.No. 13 Milwaukee Vincent at No. 4 Brookfield Central, 4:30 p.m.No. 14 Milwaukee Madison/Collegiate/Samuel at No. 3 Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels, 4 p.m.No. 11 Milwaukee Bradley at No. 6 Brookfield East, 4:30 p.m.No. 10 Milwaukee Pius XI at No. 7 Cedarburg, 4:30 p.m.Regional finals, May 29Nicolet-King winner at No. 1 Germantown, 7 p.m.Cedarburg-Pius XI winner at No. 2 Mequon Homestead, 4:30 p.m.Sectional 4Regional semifinals, May 27No. 9 Sheboygan North at No. 8 Hartford, 4:30 p.m.No. 12 West Bend West at No. 5 Slinger, 4:30 p.m.No. 13 Sheboygan South at No. 4 Oshkosh North, 4:30 p.m.No. 14 West Bend East at No. 3 Beaver Dam, 4:30 p.m.No. 11 Fond du Lac at No. 6 Oshkosh West, 4:30 p.m.No. 10 Port Washington at No. 7 Manitowoc, 4:30 p.m.Regional finals, May 29Sheboygan North-Hartford winner at No. 1 Kaukauna, 4:30 p.m.Manitowoc-Port Washington winner at No. 2 Kimberly, 4:30 p.m.Sectional 6Regional semifinals, May 27No. 9 Wauwatosa West at No. 8 Wauwatosa East, 4:30 p.m.No. 12 Waukesha South at No. 5 Oconomowoc, 4:30 p.m.No. 13 West Allis Central at No. 4 Waukesha North, 5 p.m.No. 14 Milwaukee Hamilton at No. 3 Hartland Arrowhead, 4:30 p.m.No. 11 Waukesha West at No. 6 Kettle Moraine, 5 p.m.No. 10 West Allis Hale at No. 7 Sussex Hamilton, 4:30 p.m.Regional finals, May 29Wauwatosa West-Wauwatosa East winner at No. 1 Menomonee Falls, 4:30 p.m.Hamilton-West Allis Hale winner at No. 2 Watertown, 4:30 p.m.Division 2Sectional 1Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Amery at No. 4 Barron, 5 p.m.No. 6 Ashland at No. 3 SpoonerNo. 7 Hayward at No. 2 Northwestern/South ShoreNo. 8 St. Croix Central at No. 1 Baldwin-Woodville, 5 p.m.No. 5 Altoona at No. 4 New Richmond, 5 p.m.No. 6 Osceola at No. 3 Ellsworth, 5 p.m.No. 7 Somerset at No. 2 Prescott, 5 p.m.No. 5 Tomahawk at No. 4 RhinelanderNo. 6 Lakeland at No. 3 MedfordNo. 7 Northland Pines at No. 2 AntigoNo. 5 Sparta at No. 4 Black River Falls, 5 p.m.No. 6 Nekoosa at No. 3 West Salem, 5 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Amery-Barron winner at No. 1 Rice LakeTomahawk-Rhinelander winner at No. 1 MosineeSparta-Black River Falls winner at No. 1 La Crosse LoganWest Salem-Nekoosa winner at No. 2 Gale-Ettrick-TrempealeauSectional 2Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Seymour at No. 4 Oconto Falls, 4:30 p.m.No. 6 Wittenberg-Birnamwood at No. 3 Peshtigo, 4:30 p.m.No. 7 Clintonville at No. 2 Shawano, 4:30 p.m.No. 5 Denmark at No. 4 Southern Door, 4:30 p.m.No. 6 Sturgeon Bay at No. 3 West De PereNo. 7 Two Rivers at No. 2 Green Bay Notre DameNo. 5 Fox Valley Lutheran at No. 4 Appleton Xavier, 4:30 p.m.No. 6 Waupaca at No. 3 Wrightstown, 4:30 p.m.No. 7 Little Chute at No. 2 Freedom, 4:45 p.m.No. 5 Berlin at No. 4 Omro, 5 p.m.No. 6 Ripon at No. 3 Wautoma, 5 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Seymour-Oconto Falls winner at No. 1 Marinette, 4:30 p.m.Denmark-Southern Door winner at No. 1 Luxemburg-CascoFox Valley Lutheran-Xavier winner at No. 1 New LondonBerlin-Omro winner at No. 1 Adams-Friendship, 5 p.m.Wautoma-Ripon winner at No. 2 Winneconne, 4:45 p.m.Sectional 3Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Platteville at No. 4 Reedsburg, 5 p.m.No. 6 Richland Center at No. 3 Dodgeville, 6 p.m.No. 7 Mauston at No. 2 Viroqua, 5 p.m.No. 5 Wisconsin Dells at No. 4 Sauk Prairie, 5 p.m.No. 6 Mount Horeb at No. 3 Portage, 5 p.m.No. 7 Lodi at No. 2 Madison Edgewood, 4:30 p.m.No. 5 Jefferson at No. 4 Watertown Luther Prep, 4:30 p.m.No. 6 East Troy at No. 3 Elkhorn, 4:30 p.m.No. 7 Lake Mills at No. 2 Whitewater, 4:30 p.m.No. 5 Big Foot at No. 4 Evansville, 5 p.m.No. 6 Edgerton at No. 3 Monroe, 5 p.m.No. 7 Clinton at No. 2 Delavan-Darien, 4:45 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Platteville-Reedsburg winner at No. 1 River Valley, 5 p.m.Wisconsin Dells-Sauk Prairie winner at No. 1 McFarlandJefferson-Luther Prep winner at No. 1 Columbus, 4 p.m.Big Foot-Evansville winner at No. 1 Beloit Turner, 5 p.m.Sectional 4Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Sheboygan Falls at No. 4 Plymouth, 4 p.m.No. 6 Kiel at No. 3 North Fond du Lac, 5 p.m.No. 5 Milwaukee Lutheran at No. 4 Kettle Moraine Lutheran, 5 p.m.No. 6 Brown Deer at No. 3 Mayville, 5 p.m.No. 5 Milwaukee Languages at No. 4 St. Francis, 5 p.m.No. 6 Milwaukee Bay View at No. 3 ShorewoodNo. 5 Waukesha Catholic Memorial at No. 4 Wisconsin Lutheran, 4:30 p.m.No. 6 Pewaukee at No. 3 New Berlin West, 4:30 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Sheboygan Falls-Plymouth winner at No. 1 Waupun, 5 p.m.North Fond du Lac-Kiel winner at No. 2 Campbellsport, 4:30 p.m.Milwaukee Lutheran-Kettle Moraine Lutheran at No. 1 Grafton, 4:30 p.m.Mayville-Brown Deer winner at No. 2 Kewaskum, 5 p.m.Languages-St. Francis winner at No. 1 CudahyShorewood-Bay View winner at No. 2 St. Thomas MoreCatholic Memorial-Wisconsin Lutheran winner at No. 1 New Berlin Eisenhower, 4:30 p.m.New Berlin West-Pewaukee winner at No. 2 Whitnall, 4:30 p.m.Division 3Sectional 1Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Chetek-Weyerhaeuser at No. 4 HurleyNo. 6 Ladysmith at No. 3 CameronNo. 7 Washburn/Bayfield at No. 2 PhillipsNo. 5 Frederic/Luck at No. 4 St. Croix Falls, 5 p.m.No. 6 Unity at No. 3 Cumberland, 4:30 p.m.No. 7 Webster/Siren at No. 2 Clayton/Turtle Lake, 4:30 p.m.No. 5 Colfax at No. 4 Durand, 5 p.m.No. 6 Eau Claire Regis at No. 3 BoycevilleNo. 7 Mondovi at No. 2 Elk MoundNo. 5 Cornell/Lake Holcombe at No. 4 Fall CreekNo. 6 Stanley-Boyd at No. 3 CadottRegional semifinals, May 27Hurley-Chetek-Weyerhaeuser winner at No. 1 Chequamegon, 5 p.m.Frederic/Luck-St. Croix Falls winner at No. 1 Grantsburg, 5 p.m.Colfax-Durand winner at No. 1 BloomerCornell/Lake Holcombe-Fall Creek winner at No. 1 NeillsvilleCadott-Stanley-Boyd winner at No. 2 Osseo-FairchildSectional 2Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Auburndale at No. 4 Loyal/Granton, 5 p.m.No. 6 Edgar at No. 3 Marathon, 5 p.m.No. 7 Colby at No. 2 Stratford, 4:45 p.m.No. 5 Gillett/Suring at No. 4 CrivitzNo. 6 Crandon at No. 3 BonduelNo. 5 Necedah at No. 4 Westfield, 5 p.m.No. 6 Princeton/Green Lake at No. 3 Montello, 5 p.m.No. 5 Amherst at No. 4 Oshkosh LourdesNo. 6 Neenah St. Mary Central at No. 3 Shiocton, 4:30 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Auburndale-Loyal/Granton winner at No. 1 Spencer, 5 p.m.Gillett/Suring-Crivitz winner at No. 1 OcontoBonduel-Crandon winner at No. 2 Menominee IndianNecedah-Westfield winner at No. 1 Laconia, 4:30 p.m.Princeton/Green Lake winner at No. 2 MarkesanAmherst-Lourdes winner at No. 1 Weyauwega-Fremont, 4 p.m.Shiocton-St. Mary Central winner at No. 2 Iola-ScandinaviaSectional 3Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Whitehall at No. 4 La Crosse AquinasNo. 5 Prairie du Chien at No. 4 Mineral Point, 5 p.m.No. 6 Lancaster at No. 3 Boscobel, 5 p.m.No. 7 Darlington at No. 2 Iowa-Grant, 5 p.m.No. 9 Lakeside Lutheran at No. 8 Brodhead, 4:30 p.m.No. 12 Parkview at No. 5 CambridgeNo. 13 New Glarus at No. 4 Wisconsin HeightsNo. 11 Palmyra-Eagle at No. 6 Deerfield, 5 p.m.No. 10 Pardeeville at No. 7 Belleville, 5 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Whitehall-Aquinas winner at No. 1 Onalaska LutherNo. 3 Westby at No. 2 ArcadiaPrairie du Chien-Mineral Point winner at No. 1 Cuba City, 5 p.m.Brodhead-Lakeside Lutheran winner at No. 1 PoynettePalmyra-Eagle-Deerfield winner at No. 3 Waterloo, 4:45 p.m.Belleville-Pardeeville winner at No. 2 MarshallSectional 4Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Brillion at No. 4 Manitowoc LutheranNo. 6 Manitowoc Roncalli at No. 3 KewauneeNo. 7 Gibraltar/Washington Island at No. 2 Mishicot, 4:30 p.m.No. 5 Valders at No. 4 Sheboygan Lutheran/Kohler, 4:30 p.m.No. 6 Oostburg at No. 3 New Holstein, 5 p.m.No. 7 Howards Grove at No. 2 Reedsville, 4:30 p.m.No. 5 Dodgeland at No. 4 Fond du Lac St. Mary’s Springs, 5 p.m.No. 6 Winnebago Lutheran at No. 3 Random LakeNo. 7 Cedar Grove-Belgium at No. 2 LomiraNo. 5 Kenosha St. Joseph at No. 4 Shoreland Lutheran, 4:30 p.m.No. 6 Whitefish Bay Dominican at No. 3 Lake Country Lutheran, 4:30 p.m.No. 7 Racine St. Catherine’s at No. 2 Glendale Martin Luther, 4:30 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Brillion-Manitowoc Lutheran winner at No. 1 AlgomaValders-Sheboygan Lutheran/Kohler at No. 1 Chilton, 4 p.m.Dodgeland-St. Mary’s Springs winner at No. 1 HoriconSt. Joseph-Shoreland Lutheran winner at No. 1 Kenosha Christian Life, 4:30 p.m.Division 4Sectional 1Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Solon Springs at No. 4 Birchwood, 5 p.m.No. 6 Mellen at No. 3 Drummond, 5 p.m.No. 7 Winter at No. 2 Northwood, 5 p.m.No. 5 Prairie Farm at No. 4 Bruce, 5 p.m.No. 6 Rib Lake at No. 3 Flambeau, 5 p.m.No. 7 Prentice/Butternut at No. 2 Gilman, 5 p.m.No. 5 Plum City at No. 4 Elmwood, 5 p.m.No. 6 Clear Lake at No. 3 Glenwood City, 5 p.m.No. 7 Spring Valley at No. 2 Pepin/Alma, 5 p.m.No. 5 Independence/Gilmanton at No. 4 Blair-Taylor, 5 p.m.No. 6 Melrose-Mindoro at No. 3 Augusta, 5:30 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Solon Springs-Birchwood winner at No. 1 Shell LakePrairie Farm-Bruce winner at No. 1 Chippewa Falls McDonell, 5 p.m.Plum City-Elmwood winner at No. 1 Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran, 5 p.m.Independence/Gilmanton-Blair-Taylor winner at No. 1 Cochrane-Fountain City, 5 p.m.Augusta-Melrose-Mindoro winner at No. 2 Lincoln, 5 p.m.Sectional 2Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Marshfield Columbus Catholic at No. 4 Greenwood, 5 p.m.No. 6 Owen-Withee at No. 3 Abbotsford, 5 p.m.No. 7 Northland Lutheran/Wisconsin Valley Lutheran at No. 2 Athens, 4:45 p.m.No. 5 Port Edwards at No. 4 Wild RoseNo. 6 Pittsville at No. 3 Almond-BancroftNo. 7 Tri-County at No. 2 Wisconsin Rapids AssumptionNo. 5 Wausaukee at No. 4 Wabeno/LaonaNo. 6 Pembine/Goodman at No. 3 FlorenceNo. 7 Elcho at No. 2 Niagara, 5 p.m.No. 8 White Lake at No. 1 Rosholt, 4:30 p.m.No. 5 Manawa at No. 4 BowlerNo. 6 Gresham at No. 3 Wausau Newman CatholicNo. 7 Marion at No. 2 TigertonRegional semifinals, May 27Columbus Catholic-Greenwood winner at No. 1 Thorp, 5 p.m.Port Edwards-Wild Rose winner at No. 1 Stevens Point PacelliWausaukee-Wabeno/Laona winner at No. 1 Three Lakes/PhelpsSectional 3Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Hillsboro at No. 4 Bangor, 5 p.m.No. 6 New Lisbon at No. 3 Brookwood, 5 p.m.No. 7 Royall at No. 2 Wonewoc-Center, 5 p.m.No. 5 La Farge at No. 4 Kickapoo, 4:30 p.m.No. 6 Weston at No. 3 Ithaca, 5 p.m.No. 7 North Crawford at No. 2 Seneca, 5 p.m.No. 5 Potosi at No. 4 Riverdale, 5 p.m.No. 6 Cassville/River Ridge at No. 3 Wauzeka-Steuben, 5 p.m.No. 7 Fennimore at No. 2 Belmont, 5 p.m.No. 8 Black Hawk at No. 1 Juda/Albany, 5 p.m.No. 5 Barneveld at No. 4 Argyle, 5 p.m.No. 6 Pecatonica at No. 3 Southwestern, 5 p.m.No. 7 Benton/Shullsburg at No. 2 Monticello, 5 p.m.Regional semifinals, May 27Bangor-Hillsboro winner at No. 1 Cashton, 5 p.m.La Farge-Kickapoo winner at No. 1 De Soto, 5 p.m.Potosi-Riverdale winner at No. 1 HighlandSectional 4Regional quarterfinals, May 26No. 5 Living Word Lutheran at No. 4 Hustisford, 5 p.m.No. 5 Heritage Christian at No. 4 Faith ChristianRegional semifinals, May 27No. 4 Sevastopol at No. 1 Coleman, 4:30 p.m.No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas/Lena at No. 2 Green Bay NEW Lutheran, 4:30 p.m.Living Word Lutheran-Hustisford winner at No. 1 OakfieldNo. 3 Stockbridge/Hilbert at No. 2 Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah, 4:30 p.m.No. 4 Fall River at No. 1 Johnson Creek, 5 p.m.No. 3 Cambria-Friesland at No. 2 Randolph, 5 p.m.Heritage Christian-Faith Christian winner at No. 1 Burlington Catholic CentralNo. 3 Williams Bay at No. 2 Racine Lutheran, 4:30 p.m. Regionals start May 26By Paul LeckerSports ReporterThe WIAA announced its pairings Thursday for the upcoming 2015 WIAA softball playoffs.Regional quarterfinals in Divisions 2, 3, and 4 are set for Tuesday with regional semifinals in all four divisions on Wednesday. Regional finals are Friday, May 29, with sectionals on June 2 and June 4. The survivors move on to the 2015 WIAA State Softball Tournament in Madison on June 11-13.Among the local teams, Marshfield is the No. 10 seed in the Division 1 Sectional 1 bracket and will play at No. 7 Eau Claire North in a regional semifinal on Wednesday, May 27, at North beginning at 5 p.m.In Division 3, Auburndale, Spencer, and Stratford are in the same regional in the Sectional 2 bracket.Spencer, the Cloverbelt Conference East Division champion, is the No. 1 seed and received a first-round bye. The Rockets will host the winner of No. 5 Auburndale at No. 4 Loyal/Granton on May 27 at 5 p.m. The Auburndale-L/G matchup will be at 5 p.m. May 26 at Loyal High School.Stratford, the Marawood Conference South Division co-champion, is the No. 2 seed in the bracket and will host No. 7 Colby at Hilgemann Field in a regional quarterfinal on May 26 at 4:45 p.m.Columbus Catholic is the No. 5 seed in the Division 4 Sectional 2 bracket and will play at No. 4 Greenwood in a regional quarterfinal on May 26 at 5 p.m.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of WIAA softball playoffslast_img read more

Springboks end good season with Paris win

first_img25 November 2013The Springboks brought the curtain down on a long and satisfying season with a bruising 19-10 victory over France at Stade de France on Saturday night. It was South Africa’s first win over the French in Paris since 1997, when the Boks famously crushed France 52-10.The victory left South Africa with 10 wins in 12 matches in 2013, including a Rugby Championship record 73-13 victory over Argentina in Soweto, a big 38-12 defeat of Australia for the Boks’ first win in Brisbane, and a 28-0 whitewash of Scotland at Murrayfield.It was by no means a vintage Springbok performance in Paris, but it was controlled, committed and confident, which was enough to defeat a fiery French side that had pushed New Zealand hard in a recent seven-point defeat to the All Blacks.‘Relieved and proud’“I’m very relieved and very proud,” coach Heyneke Meyer said at the post-match press conference, which took place in the early hours of Sunday.“It has been a very long season and there have been a lot of niggles and a lot of injuries, but the guys really wanted to put their bodies on the line and win for their country. They played against a very tough French side, so I’m just very happy and very relieved. I think we have been blessed this year, especially today.”‘They play for each other’Meyer also lauded the contribution of the entire Springbok squad, saying: “I’m very proud of the team. The great thing about them is they play for each other. It’s not just the 23 guys on the pitch, it’s all 32 players that have been here and a few injured guys back home.“What really makes me proud is a guy like Willem Alberts, who was injured, shouldn’t have played probably, but he put his body on the line and suddenly he’s the man of the match. That’s awesome. A guy like Coenie Oosthuizen, we had two injuries to props, and we were really worried about the scrum, especially against the French. He came through brilliantly and Bakkies Botha, at 34-years-old there was a lot of criticism about his inclusion, but when Eben Etzebeth got injured, he came on and delivered a really awesome performance and that it what it is all about.“It’s about team work, playing for each other, putting your body on the line for the guy next to you, and that is what makes them a successful team. I am very, very proud of the guys.”Poor pitchUnfortunately, as it had been in all three of their northern hemisphere tests, the pitch was not up to scratch and negated a consistent showdown at scrum time, although the Springboks on one occasion absolutely blasted France off the ball to earn a penalty and on another occasion claimed a tighthead.Despite the awful surface, tighthead prop Coenie Oosthuizen was one of South Africa’s leading lights on the night, scrumming strongly, putting in plenty of tackles, and working hard to turn over ball. A big man, weighing 127 kilograms, with his industrious work rate he reminds one of his provincial forwards’ coach at the Cheetahs, Bok great Os du Randt.The South African loose trio was again effective and very physical. Man of the match Willem Alberts was singled out by coach Meyer after the game for his commitment to the green and gold after Alberts came through a late fitness test to take the field, while Francois Louw made matters tough for the hosts at the breakdown. He was, however, shown a yellow card late in the game for shoving Pascal Pape’s face into the ground at a ruck, but the referee missed the slap Pape had given Bok captain Jean de Villiers, which led to Louw’s reaction.A superb seasonAt the back of the scrum Duane Vermeulen put an exclamation point on a superb season. His heavy tackling, powerful carrying of the ball, and winning of the ball at the ruck were, as they have been throughout the year, outstanding.It is difficult to imagine 53-test veteran Pierre Spies, who has been sidelined with injury this season, winning the eighthman position back. Not only has Vermeulen played out of his socks at the back of the scrum, he has also combined wonderfully with Alberts and Louw.Behind both packs, the backlines struggled to make ground against one another, although South Africa were twice denied tries by the television match official (TMO) in the second half.DisallowedOn the first occasion, with South Africa on the attack and just outside the French 22, Morne Steyn failed to hold onto a pass, but it flew parallel to the flyhalf on to De Villiers, who scooped it up, broke through the opposition backline and then offloaded to his centre partner Jaque Fourie, who crashed over for what looked like a try. The TMO viewed it numerous times before disallowing the five-pointer because he deemed the ball had gone forwards between Steyn and De Villiers. The decision was somewhat surprising.Later, after one of the few flowing, attacking moves in the game, fullback Willie le Roux stabbed through a beautifully judged grubber. Francois Louw, out on the right touchline, flew through to force the ball down beyond the French try line. The referee, though, asked for the TMO to review the score because French winger Yohann Huget had been close by.The replays revealed the defender’s hand missed the ball as he desperately dived to prevent the try. However, at full stretch and with his eyes closed, Huget made contact with the ball as his body bounced on the ground. His hand appeared to have moved the ball sideways, just before Louw touched it, but the TMO decided that the ball had been touched down and a 22 metre kick out went France’s way. Again, it could have gone the other way.Springbok trySouth Africa’s only try was scored by JP Pietersen, who charged down an attempted clearance kick to go over. The enthusiastic and effective chasing of kicks was a feature of the Boks’ play and they did it better than the French to keep the hosts under pressure.France became the only team to score a try against South Africa on their tour of the north just before half time, but the try was more about an unforced error by the Springboks than about French design.Having caught a kick off comfortably, the Boks formed a ruck, intent on passing the ball back to flyhalf Morne Steyn. Inexplicably it squirted out of the scrum on the blind side and French scrumhalf Morgan Parra, who enjoyed a strong outing, pounced on the ball before feeding it out. South Africa’s defence scrambled to stop the danger, but Sofiane Guitone just made it in the left-hand corner, with the TMO once again being called upon to adjudicate whether or not a try had been scored.Defensive organisationWhile some have been critical of centre Jaque Fourie on his return to the side, it is hard to see why. His influence on the Springboks’ defensive pattern, his reading of the game and his organisation, was nothing short of brilliant. With Fourie to the fore, it was not just France, but also Wales and Scotland who found it extremely difficult to break through South Africa’s defensive lines.At the back, Willie le Roux enhanced his reputation with another strong performance in the number 15 jersey. His kicking was probing and he was also solid under the high ball. On better pitches, he will be an absolute handful, but even on the poor Paris pitch his clever grubber for Francois Louw deserved to be rewarded with a try. With Le Roux at the back, the Springbok backline enjoys a dimension that has been missing for far too long.Pride and hopeOne of the main reasons that 2013 must be viewed as a successful season is the effect that the Springboks’ performances have had on supporters. Pride and hope in the team is on a high and the trajectory of the team continues to be up. Injuries notwithstanding, this side should have matured perfectly by the 2015 Rugby World Cup, and that is a reason to be very excited.SPRINGBOK RESULTS IN 20138 June: SA 44-10 Italy, Durban15 June: SA 30-17 Scotland, Nelspruit22 June: SA 56-23 Samoa, Pretoria17 Aug: SA 73-13 Argentina, Soweto24 Aug: SA 22-17 Argentina, Mendoza7 Sept: SA 38-12 Australia, Brisbane14 Sept: SA 15-29 New Zealand, Auckland28 Sept: SA 28-8 Australia, Cape Town5 Oct: SA 27-38 New Zealand, Johannesburg9 Nov: SA 24-15 Wales, Cardiff17 Nov: SA 28-0 Scotland, Edinburgh23 Nov: SA 19-10 France, Parislast_img read more

Retailers Estimate Holiday Return Fraud Will Cost $2.2 Billion in 2015

first_imgRetail fraud comes in many shapes and sizes and is especially rampant during the holiday season when online and in-store traffic grows significantly. One of the biggest issues throughout the holiday season: return fraud. According to the National Retail Federation’s latest Return Fraud Survey, retailers estimate that 3.5 percent of their holiday returns this year will be fraudulent, up slightly from the estimated 3 percent reported last year. Holiday return fraud is expected to cost retailers $2.2 billion, up from approximately $1.9 billion last year.Retailers surveyed estimate that total annual returns will reach $260.5 billion, or 8 percent of total retail sales, with $9.1 billion of retailers’ annual returns expected to be fraudulent, or 3.5 percent of the industry’s total returns.“Return fraud remains a critical issue for retailers with the impact spanning far and wide, in-store and online,” said NRF Vice President of Loss Prevention Bob Moraca. “While technology has played a significant role in deterring many in-person fraudulent transactions that would have otherwise gone unseen, there is little that can be done to prevent a determined criminal who will find a loophole one way or another. When it comes to retail fraud, retailers can build taller walls, but criminals continue to find taller ladders.”- Sponsor – When it comes to specific instances of return fraud, one problem stands out as the biggest offender: nine in 10 retailers surveyed (91.9%) said they have experienced the return of stolen merchandise, similar to last year’s 92.7 percent. Wardrobing, or the return of used, non-defective merchandise, also presents a unique challenge year after year for retailers: three-quarters (72.6%) of those polled said they have experienced wardrobing in past year, on par with last year’s 72.7 percent.The report does offer a glimmer of optimism though. According to the survey, fewer retailers in 2015 have experienced specific instances of return fraud, including:75.8 percent have experienced the return of merchandise purchased on fraudulent tender, down from 81.8 percent in 2014;71 percent have experienced return fraud made by known organized retail crime groups, down from 78.2 percent last year;77.4 percent of retailers surveyed have experienced employee return fraud or collusion with external forces, down from 81.8 percent in 2014.Given the growing use of e-receipts by retailers, the survey found a likely connection to fraud in this area. The survey found one-third (33.9%) of those polled said they have experienced return fraud with use of e-receipts, up from 18.2 percent last year.“Retailers have the difficult task of providing superior customer service by always giving the benefit of the doubt to their shoppers when it comes to returns, while simultaneously working to make sure they protect their business assets,” continued Moraca. “We expect retailers to continue their tried and true ways of combating fraud through increased usage of identification verification, as well as seeking new and innovative approaches on the back end.”Additional findings:Three in 10 (30%) surveyed said they have seen an increase in fraudulent purchases made with cash, while six in 10 (60.7%) have seen an increase in the use of gift card/merchandise credit return fraud.Eight in 10 retailers surveyed (85.2%) said they require identification when making a return without a receipt, up from 70.9 percent last year.Retailers surveyed said they estimate 10 percent of returns made without a receipt are fraudulent, up from an estimated 5 percent who said so last year. Just 1 percent of purchases made online and returned to stores are suspected to be fraudulent.* NRF has revised its methodology for this report to use median data rather than averages, thus estimates from previous reports are no longer comparable. The data represented in this survey compares the median averages for both 2014 and 2015. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more