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Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:58 am


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Re: Science

Post  pinhedz on Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:08 am

^
This is so totally apropos, given my current situation.

It so happens that I recently retired from the physics club, and then came back part time to translate Romulan with a bunch of liberal arts types.

Their notions about climate change defy belief. Mad

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Re: Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:23 pm




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Re: Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:18 am

http://www.newstatesman.com/future-proof/2014/07/deepak-chopra-doesnt-understand-quantum-physics-so-brian-cox-wants-1000000-him

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Re: Science

Post  pinhedz on Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:45 am

Yakima Canutt wrote:http://www.newstatesman.com/future-proof/2014/07/deepak-chopra-doesnt-understand-quantum-physics-so-brian-cox-wants-1000000-him
The problem is, you can't convince a person that he's wrong with equations, unless the person understands the equations.

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Re: Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sat May 09, 2015 11:06 am



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Re: Science

Post  Guest on Sat May 09, 2015 11:07 pm

pinhedz wrote:The problem is, you can't convince a person that he's wrong with equations, unless the person understands the equations.
had now misread it as:
The problem is, you can convince a person that he's wrong with equations, unless the person understands the equations

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Re: Science

Post  pinhedz on Sun May 10, 2015 5:21 am

d e wrote:The problem is, you can convince a person that he's wrong with equations, unless the person understands the equations
This also is true, but under different circumstances (see the "faith and science" thread).

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Re: Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Mon May 25, 2015 6:43 pm

Dr. Chopra’s response to my tongue-in-cheek piece restates his claims about “consciousness” and its alleged role in evolution. There are several key problems here:

First, Dr. Chopra flips between presenting himself as an expert and as an interested outsider, wearing whichever coat suits him best in a given sentence. In the space of a single paragraph he talks about a book he’s publishing about genetics (noting that he “work[s] and write[s] with high-level scientists”) then insists he’s merely “an interested amateur.” If he is publishing scientific claims and actively collaborating in scientific research, he cannot claim to be merely an amateur. And if he has chosen to leap into the practice of science, he cannot exempt himself from the scientific process. Scientists disagree vigorously with one another as they attempt to build the case for new advancements; this peer review is the heart of the scientific process, one of the tools and techniques scientists have developed to encourage the flow of good ideas and sift out bad one. Unfortunately, Dr. Chopra chooses to circumvent that path, publishing his claims as self-help books rather than subjecting them to the rigors of scientific review.

Not surprisingly, his claims about the role of “consciousness” in evolution do not hold up to even cursory scrutiny. What Dr. Chopra seems to mean by his usage of “consciousness” is very broad and difficult to pin down. The word is used as if its meaning was plain, its implications undeniable, and its existence unchallengeable. Many scientists, without denying the phenomenon of consciousness, see it as a continuum, a trait which evolves, not as a trait uniquely granted to humans by some mystical force.

Indeed, the idea of a unique human “consciousness” echoes 19th century misunderstandings, both the debunked notion of vitalism and the vision of biology which placed human beings at the apex of a single ladder of progress. The idea of a supernatural “consciousness” directing evolution would find a home among advocates of intelligent design creationism, for whom the “intelligent designer” creates the “information” of biologic systems, with humans occupying a special, privileged status among other animals.

Without some clearer definition, Dr. Chopra’s claims about the science of evolution and how “consciousness” may have influenced it fail the minimal standard for any scientific claim: testability. For scientific ideas to succeed, they must survive rigorous experimental testing and attempts at disproof. If there really is no way to work one’s claim into such tests, then that brings into question whether the claim can say anything meaningful about scientific fields. It’s encouraging that Dr. Chopra acknowledges a certain speculativeness to his claims, but let’s see the tests that prove them.

Worst of all, Dr. Chopra repeats a host of creationist claims, even as he insists that he is not an evolution denier. He asserts as a “bald fact” that human evolution has proceeded “far faster than random mutations can account for.” This claim is a staple in creationist writings, and not a conclusion supported by science. Indeed, there is substantial evidence that evolutionary processes can produce remarkable changes in short periods. The human evolutionary record is quite well understood, and the evolution of the human brain shows a smooth process of growth over millions of years (http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/09/fun_with_homini_1.html).

His claim that humans have “escaped the physical pressures that other species are entirely bound by,” and thus are no longer subject to natural selection and evolution is equally false. As a simple example, consider the strong selective pressure we see on human birth weight, with high infant mortality for both very small and very large babies (http://mumford.albany.edu/mortality/PrenatalCare.htm). Indeed, humanity’s technological advances have themselves resulted in evolutionary change, as evidenced by the pattern of lactose intolerance around the world, with ethnic groups that traditionally kept dairy cattle evolving lactose tolerance as adults, and adult lactose intolerance remaining common in ethnic groups which did not domesticate cattle, or did not use their milk for food. (http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/news/070401_lactose)

Finally, Dr. Chopra’s claim that evolution is at “an enormous disadvantage” because it isn’t possible to conduct experiments, or because such experiments rely on “primitive species” is utterly false. It is true that much research proceeds in laboratories using model organisms such as bacteria, fruit flies, zebrafish, and mustard plants, but evolutionary biologists can also draw on extensive field work with species in the wild, and studies of fossil life, to inform modern research. A recent example of this interplay was research which identified key genetic changes which led to the evolution of legs (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2014/12/31/researchers-find-the-ancient-genetic-link-between-fish-fins-and-animal-hands/). Researchers used fossils to understand the ways that the bones in fins and shoulders of ancient fish changed as they became more leg-like, then used that knowledge to track which genes control the development of those bones in modern fish–genes similar to those found in humans and other animals with legs.

We don’t need to experiment directly on our 350 million-year-old ancestors to inform and advance modern evolutionary biology. Dr. Chopra’s assertion that evolution is somehow deficient because its claims cannot all be tested in the laboratory is a staple of creationist writings, and not one which scientists or philosophers of science who study the matter would endorse.

For better or for worse, Dr. Chopra has a substantial audience and is seen by many as a scientific expert. It is tragic that he uses that credibility to spread the long-debunked claims of creationists. Whether or not he believes he’s marching in their column, he is carrying their banner.

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Re: Science

Post  pinhedz on Tue May 26, 2015 2:39 am

Interesting stuff--the pinhed will both agree and disagree--lemme just gather my thoughts on this one. geek

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Re: Science

Post  pinhedz on Wed May 27, 2015 2:45 pm

Yes, I would have to agree that The Doctor's claim that evolution proceeded too fast is unfounded. When conditions change very fast, the selective pressure becomes very intense, and adaptation has been observed to occur in sudden spasms. The same thing happens when animals fall into the hands of animal breeders, who artificially regulate conditions.

But The Doctor's claim that humans have "escaped the physical pressures that other species are entirely bound by" is true and righteous. And that nonsense about lactose and baby weight is irrelevant. bounce

What is relevant is that family size is no longer determined by the food gathering and survival skills of the parents (at least not in the US) because having children--and having as many or as few as you want--is purely a matter of choice (they're not going to starve--not in the US).

And the statement that "Indeed, humanity's  technological advances have themselves resulted in evolutionary change" just proves The Doctor's point, that we have "escaped the physical pressures that other species are entirely bound by." Now we're subject to a different set of rules.

We might not exactly understand the new game, and certainly we have not learned how to play it, but it's a new game for sure--"survival of the fittest" is over.

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Re: Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:17 pm


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Re: Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:23 pm

Dr. Chopra was getting metaphysical and talking about how humans transcended natural selection or whatnot, and the rebutting dude was citing the lactose thing as an example of evolutionary changes caused by agriculture.

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Re: Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:43 pm

Chumbawamba believes that rather than sheltering us from natural selection, the changes that we've made to the world may actually be driving our evolution.

"We see rapid evolution when there's rapid environmental change and the biggest part of our environment is culture, and culture is exploding," says Chumbawamba.

Technology may have limited the impact of evolutionary forces such as predation and disease, but that does not mean humans have stopped evolving.

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Re: Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:35 am

Professor Xavier says without much threat from starvation or predation, evolution happens more slowly among the namby-pamby humans, but, for sure traits are still going to become more or less common among a population in response to the environment. Professor Xavier says the only way that would stop is if robots from Venus control human breeding.

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Re: Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:39 am

Yeah, for examples, I keep reading about teens killing themselves because they can't handle "social media" ... so already you can see the population is adapting to become more Twitter friendly



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Re: Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:42 am

Or like if you don't have enough Facebook retweets you will be socially shunned, which will lessen the likelihood of passing on your genes to the next gen ... also creating a more Twitter-friendly human of the future


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Re: Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:51 am

hahaha, remember that movie in which the smart people were making rational decisions about not having children or having less children but the all the dumb trash were reproducing willy-nilly till the cows come home, and then in the future everyone was an idiot, hahaha

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Re: Science

Post  pinhedz on Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:47 am

Yakima Canutt wrote:hahaha, remember that movie in which the smart people were making rational decisions about not having children or having less children but the all the dumb trash were reproducing willy-nilly till the cows come home, and then in the future everyone was an idiot, hahaha
I find it hard to believe there is such a movie. bounce

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Re: Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:37 pm

yes, i posted a clip once, about the people who water their crops with Gatorade


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Re: Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sun Sep 06, 2015 10:39 am



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Re: Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:08 pm

Space enthusiasts may find something familiar in the opening scenes of "Star Trek Into The Darkness": a made-up planet named Nibiru.

In "Star Trek Into The Darkness," the 2013 installment in the popular science fiction series, Nibiru is the lush, volcanic jungle planet but before its turn in Hollywood, the extraterrestrial name was attached to one of the most popular recent end-of-world conspiracies.

When rumors that the world would end in 2012 became widely circulated, one popular contender among doomsday theorists was a supposed planet called Nibiru, which some claimed was set to catastrophically collide with Earth.

There was (and still is) no scientific evidence to support the existence of Nibiru, and NASA even released a statement last year refuting the claims, after the agency was accused of a conspiracy to cover up the Nibiru threat to avoid mass panic.

The doomsday theory began in 1976 when Zecharia Sitchin wrote a book called "The Twelfth Planet," which was based on his own unique translation of Sumerian cuneiform, one of the earliest systems of writing. In the book, Sitchin identified a planet, Nibiru, that orbits the sun every 3,600 years. Years later, a self-described psychic named Nancy Lieder announced that aliens had warned her that Nibiru would collide with Earth in 2003.

After 2003 came and went without incident, the Nibiru doomsday projection was moved to 2012, to coincide with the ancient Mayan long-count calendar.

Now, it appears Nibiru is set to make its Hollywood debut.

While the "Star Trek" filmmakers did not say where they found inspiration for the film's volcanic planet Nibiru, they shared their enjoyment in creating the fictional worlds for the movie.

"Nothing could be more incredibly exciting and fun for filmmakers than creating other worlds," production designer Scott Chambliss said in a statement. "You get a rare chance to make the unimaginable real."

For Nibiru, Chambliss let his imagination run wild when it came to designing the jungle planet.

"One thing I love about 'Star Trek' is working with so many contrasting environments," Chambliss said. "Nibiru is the antithesis of the Klingon planet and both are completely different from Earth."

Chambliss used his own real-world experiences to inspire the look and feel of Nibiru.

"Everyone wanted the island planet to have a seductive atmosphere, and one thing that I remembered from my travels in Hawaii is what they call 'lipstick bamboo,' which is dark red and otherworldly, so that made me think, what if this planet was all red?" he explained. "There was something wonderful to that, combined with the deep turquoise blue water and white sand. It was not only a striking color palette, but it had that retro vibe which we embrace in our 'Star Trek' storytelling. And then we developed a whole cultural atmosphere around that."


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Re: Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:02 am

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34198390

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Re: Science

Post  pinhedz on Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:30 am

^
Nobody names a chicken "Mike." Rolling Eyes You thought I was born yesterday, didn't you?

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Re: Science

Post  Yakima Canutt on Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:36 pm



http://www.nbcnews.com/science/weird-science/shades-star-trek-quantum-teleportation-sets-distance-record-n431726

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Re: Science

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