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Thread: Thoughts on the Life Sciences

  1. #46
    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member faintsmile1992's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the Life Sciences

    Do you think I want a mate, Mark? Who do you think I want?

    "Hair on a man's chest is thought to denote strength. The gorilla is the most powerful of bipeds and has hair on every place on his body except for his chest." - Anton Szandor LaVey

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    Registered User 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member HegemonKhan's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the Life Sciences

    I have no idea, I'd have to watch how you'd walk as you go by guys.
    "The internet’s perfect for all manner of things, but productive discussion ain’t one of them. It provides scant room for debate and infinite opportunities for fruitless point-scoring: the heady combination of perceived anonymity, gestated responses, random heckling and a notional “live audience” quickly conspire to create a “perfect storm” of perpetual bickering." - Charlie Brooker

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  3. #48
    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member faintsmile1992's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the Life Sciences

    Would their nose bleeds give you a clue? Or would you be too busy 'standing to attention' yourself?

  4. #49
    MH's Most High Quality Poster 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member earthforge's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the Life Sciences

    Quote Originally Posted by faintsmile1992 View Post
    Governments could have funded something pragmatic with all of that money in the first place!
    So, spaceflight when our planet is going to be suffering from massive climate changes over the next 50 years is not pragmatic? Yeah, I get ya.

    Quote Quote:
    And if the planned population and birth control movement was taken back from those who seek to separate reproduction, sex, and the family unit, then the selective enforcement of contraceptive implants and sterilization are the way that will minimise the negative consequences of sex most effectively. Everyone capable should have as many children as possible, or at least three children per woman, with a special emphasis upon high IQ, successful parents to have more children.
    That's a pretty big if statement. And what's wrong with separating them? Says to me that people can choose whether they want to have sex or have a family. The important thing is to have sufficient education so people will choose the right choice for them more often.

    Breeding even more seems like a bad idea when resources are stretched thin as they are.

    Quote Quote:
    Then all someone would have to do is take a different type of job, and sacrifice your level of personal income for stability? What good is the level of income beyond having enough money? The best kinds of jobs are in sectors such as farm labour.
    Those jobs don't exist anymore. We have sacrificed manufacturing to offshores, and the people hired for farm labor are illegal immigrants in the US because they are the cheapest. It's a race to the bottom for who's the cheapest to pay for because we have removed the restrictions and coddled big business.

    Quote Quote:
    And how on earth can you put 'uneducated' on the same level as 'traumatised'. Thats the thinking of people who have kids for 'social reasons', so they can live off their kids success, then the kind of pressure to live up to parental expectations causes psychological damage to the kids.
    1. The case where people lose their job when the kids are older.
    2. When you have nothing else to live for, and have no hope for getting a job through no fault of your own as you've been denied jobs for over a decade, what would you do? Your kids might be the only kind of joy and success you can live through. Do you think they'll mind? No, but they'll despise the society that made this possible. The problem in this case is the economic environment, not the people.

    Quote Quote:
    Stability or not, if someone in the West gets pregnant then there'd be enough resources around to sustain their child right now. And now is actually the best time to start having kids - will the welfare state be around in the future? People will need to have at least one kid to look after them in old age.
    No. I don't believe that, as my cousin has a kid (our of prom) and she's going through various hells. What happens to your future? Would a company hire someone who has a load already in the form of a family? No. That's the problem in the US at least. My cousin's just lucky that her college is sympathetic.

    Having a kid to look after you in old age is a very selfish reason to have a child. If you want a child, it should be because you love someone and want their babies. If you want sex, get a birth control pill or condom and go at it. It's what is here now, and doesn't require belief in an idealized system cause this is the only one we got.

    Quote Quote:
    parasitism is - its presence is objectively costly to the mother without returning a contribution to her survival. The human foetus is not a parasite at all, but a stage in the human life cycle that passes on the mothers genes and is therefore her means of survival. In fact the mothers body contains an organ that evolved purely to nurture the foetus, does the female body evolve structures to nurture a tapeworm whose presence creates costs but no survival benefits?
    Semantics, semantics. The fetus doesn't contribute to the mother's survival (life survival, as opposed to reproductive survival, which parasitism doesn't refer to), and in fact endangers it by taking a significant amount of materials from the mother - pregnant females are the most at-risk for a variety of factors.

    Actually the placenta isn't evolved to nurture the fetus. It was selected for (note: selected for, probably because it outcompeted other species suffering from infant mortality) to reduce the mother's immune system attacking the fetus as an enemy, controlling the flow of materials. Essentially the human immune system would treat the fetus as a parasite if the placenta hadn't been selected for. This ties also to how only till recently many babies died in childbirth.

    Quote Quote:
    So no, the foetus is definitively not a parasite, and describing it as such is clearly Newspeak by abortionists and feminists to deceive others
    Tell me I eat babies again.

    Quote Quote:
    Or even the concept of treating a healthy pregnancy (which is an example of normal organ function) as a disease to be cured by doctors and nurses, which includes the argument that all pregnancy carries increased risk, even though the risk of a healthy pregnancy is next to nothing to all but the sickliest females, or the species would have died out.
    Not true. The species has kept alive through a high sex rate to combat unsuccessful pregnancies. Just read the history books just from 60 years ago to see how most mothers died in childbirth. It's also all in the literature - how common is it to have children die in childbirth or of disease shortly afterwards? Read the biographies of Charlotte Bronte, or Wolfgang Mozart (he and his sister were the only children that survived infancy) It's only been recently that modern medical procedures have increased the survival rate.

    Quote Quote:
    If pro-choicers hadn't successfully argued for the legality and social acceptability of murder, for the violation of men's and grandparent's rights that are rooted in their own genetic self-interest, and for demographic decline, then the self-deception and hypocrisy involved in pro-choice would be even more hilarious.
    Okay. You have hereby and officially pissed me the fuck off. Because I am the child of a woman who had an abortion because she would have *died* had she not. I would never have been born had she not. You are arguing for her death, and that I will not ever forgive.

    Genetic self-interest be damned - you're saying a child should be born just to appease the self-interest of a parent or grandparent. That's a hell of a reason to have a new life in the world...
    Avatar © Chelsea Gordon, author of Not Quite Normal.

  5. #50
    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member faintsmile1992's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the Life Sciences

    Quote Originally Posted by earthforge View Post
    So, spaceflight when our planet is going to be suffering from massive climate changes over the next 50 years is not pragmatic? Yeah, I get ya.
    What on earth has climate change got to do with space flight, anyways just think of the shit each spacecaft launch blasts into the ozone layer. People who say such things have some ridiculous 'science will solve everything' attitude which is as ludicrous as people thinking every new technology will destroy the world. Space travel in the 20th century provided no pragmatic advantage for the human race so far, it was just Soviets and Americans taking part in some childish race to get one over on one another, and until some new superfuel makes resumed interest in the colonization and economic exploitation of our solar system reasonable.

    I'm sorry but the chief appeal of space travel is only to a few sci-geeks. If anything killed peoples interest in space expolration it was the boring images cameras brought back of some dull lum of grey rock called the moon. As soon as people went to the moon, people got over it like any other news story and if the most interesting thing you people can say about other nearby planets is that there might be a few (to most people) boring bacteria on Mars, then its no wonder the public has no appetite for space travel. As much as I hate populism, the common man is right on this one, of course all the money is better spent upon useful science rather than the pipe dreams of one or two nerds who watch too much sci-fi.

    Quote Quote:
    That's a pretty big if statement. And what's wrong with separating them? Says to me that people can choose whether they want to have sex or have a family. The important thing is to have sufficient education so people will choose the right choice for them more often.
    Some cultures believe in abstractions like 'reproductive choice' meanwhile other races just spew out kids and win the population war. Catholics have higher birthrates than Protestants so they got an independant Ireland, Moslems have a higher birth rate than Christians so they won Kosovo and Lebanon. Yet the very capacity to create silly, idealistic abstractions like 'reproductive choice' must itself have been evolved to suit the ultimate value neutral function of reproduction and unless you apply the same definition of fitness to humans that you would to other animals, then you're using the fallacy of special pleading.

    If someone tried to seperate the pleasure of eating from the function of digestion to the same degree that 'reproductive choice' advocates attempt for sex and reproduction, everyone else would instantly call them an idiot. No one is objecting to all use of contraception, its the cultural damage thats caused by messages in the media and in the school classroom trying to seperate these things altogether.

    And low IQ people, running more upon gut feeling than silly abstract reasoning, tend to use birth control less than high IQ people. People have noticed as far back as the Roman Empire that higher IQ people are more likely to have abortions when they can support the kids, in the early 20th century the eugenics movement noticed that legalised contraception was being used by high IQ females and not working class females. And to this day, women in working class British social backgrounds are seen as sluts if they have abortions, whilst educated, career-focused quasi-men talk about theirs openly. And education won't work because lower IQ people who have more children tend to be less reliable using contraception for hereditarian reasons. Its through people like Planned Parenthood that people will be less able to resume space exploration when it becomes feasible, because there won't be enough intelligent people around to do the science.

    Quote Quote:
    Breeding even more seems like a bad idea when resources are stretched thin as they are.
    For whom? My people have plenty of resources but our indigenous rate of reproduction is below the replacement level of 3 children per family. Its the same with Germany, Japan, Spain, Thailand and other countries facing fertility crisis. You're obviously trying to pull the global overpopulation card when sincere critics of population growth like Garrett Hardin, who weren't manipulating the issue to fit a political agenda, understood that overpopulation issues are merely local, not global.

    Which takes us back to abstract reasoning and why its harmful. You people cite global overpopulation and resource usage to justify current, dysgenic regional population trends, but say nothing about the role of mass immigration by high fertility groups in Western population levels or the fact that those children of immigrants naturally aspire to a wasteful Western standard of living.

    Quote Quote:
    Those jobs don't exist anymore. We have sacrificed manufacturing to offshores, and the people hired for farm labor are illegal immigrants in the US because they are the cheapest. It's a race to the bottom for who's the cheapest to pay for because we have removed the restrictions and coddled big business.
    So? Create new jobs, evict the illegal immigrants and pay a decent wage to native born workers.

    Quote Quote:
    No. I don't believe that, as my cousin has a kid (our of prom) and she's going through various hells. What happens to your future? Would a company hire someone who has a load already in the form of a family? No. That's the problem in the US at least. My cousin's just lucky that her college is sympathetic.
    Of course society should be more sympathetic to the kids, but not to the mothers unless she was abandoned by a man. Why doesn't she find a suitable man to look after her and her kids instead of waiting for Mr Right or leaving her kids fatherless while she persues a career?

    Quote Quote:
    Having a kid to look after you in old age is a very selfish reason to have a child. If you want a child, it should be because you love someone and want their babies. If you want sex, get a birth control pill or condom and go at it. It's what is here now, and doesn't require belief in an idealized system cause this is the only one we got.
    And yet the alternatives to younger family members caring for their elders are the welfare state and letting elderly people either die in the gutter or wither as ecological parasites in old peoples homes. The three generation family gives the elderly a use and a function. Declining birth rates make them a burden. I won't justify killing the elderly, but killing the elderly who dont have a family around to take care of them, would be a more sensible way to control resource usage than foeticide (and some cultures did this!).

    Reproductive choice is an idealised system, it didn't exist as a concept before the modern age. When a population is in decline and its smartest members declining most of all through the current system, then the current system is failing.

    Quote Quote:
    Semantics, semantics. The fetus doesn't contribute to the mother's survival (life survival, as opposed to reproductive survival, which parasitism doesn't refer to), and in fact endangers it by taking a significant amount of materials from the mother - pregnant females are the most at-risk for a variety of factors.
    Lgorrhoea, logorrhoea. Of course the only point of survival is reproductive survival which is the reason certain organs exist in the first place, and if youre separating individual survival and reproductive survival in humans (and no one does when they're discussing other species), then thats special pleading.

    Besides as Murray Rothbard pointed out, children after their birth take from their parents without returning (except by passing on their genes). Some kooks like Rothbard might argue for starving children to death but to the rest of us the human life cycle disproves any rationalisation of the individual as seperate from their genes and their group.

    And no one says born children are parasites even when they feed from their mothers skin glands before they've been weaned. Yu're making a special exception for the unborn.

    Quote Quote:
    Actually the placenta isn't evolved to nurture the fetus. It was selected for (note: selected for, probably because it outcompeted other species suffering from infant mortality) to reduce the mother's immune system attacking the fetus as an enemy, controlling the flow of materials. Essentially the human immune system would treat the fetus as a parasite if the placenta hadn't been selected for. This ties also to how only till recently many babies died in childbirth.
    In other words the placenta does, in fact, provide nourshment from the mother to the foetus and evolved to secure the flow of materials.

    Quote Quote:
    Not true. The species has kept alive through a high sex rate to combat unsuccessful pregnancies. Just read the history books just from 60 years ago to see how most mothers died in childbirth. It's also all in the literature - how common is it to have children die in childbirth or of disease shortly afterwards? Read the biographies of Charlotte Bronte, or Wolfgang Mozart (he and his sister were the only children that survived infancy) It's only been recently that modern medical procedures have increased the survival rate.
    It was all only what nature had accounted for, and humans actually have a very low reproductive rate. If modern medical procedures have increased the survival rate so much, its less reason to abort healthy pregnancies, especially in a fertility crisis.

    Quote Quote:
    Okay. You have hereby and officially pissed me the fuck off. Because I am the child of a woman who had an abortion because she would have *died* had she not. I would never have been born had she not. You are arguing for her death, and that I will not ever forgive.

    Genetic self-interest be damned - you're saying a child should be born just to appease the self-interest of a parent or grandparent. That's a hell of a reason to have a new life in the world...
    Well I don't know the exact circumstances but if she would have literally died otherwise then I can understand it. However anyone who kills their own child for no other reason than a stupid career or to avoid shame after being a slut, can be killed so her organs can give life to others in their group instead of taking it.
    Last edited by faintsmile1992; January 18, 2012 at 07:31 AM.

  6. #51
    MH's Most High Quality Poster 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member earthforge's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the Life Sciences

    I am not going to respond to the abortion stuff since I was testing if you would say my mom had to die. Your hesitance to answer failed the test. Because if the doctor had hesitated, I would not be here. (I think you also undervalue how terrible it is to lose a child, focusing on the minority who don't care.)

    Anyways, as to your "fertility crisis" - the real issue is do we have enough resources to support our population? Here's an article on the patterns of fish populations given our current consumption levels. This is not just due to a growing population, but due to climate change. I guess if you think about it, the growing population is not overpopulation nor underpopulation. It's just growing per normal, and the consequences are exacerbated by diminishing resources.

    Which also means that increasing the population, even if to expand representation of the educated, would thin resources even more (I suggest you look for articles to support you on Pub Med. There is so many politically-biased journals on Scholar. We don't need to rely on those when we are discussing fact.)

    Quote Originally Posted by faintsmile1992 View Post
    What on earth has climate change got to do with space flight, anyways just think of the shit each spacecaft launch blasts into the ozone layer.
    What are the chemicals and amounts that are in the ozone layer? If it exists, this is a problem I'll think about.

    Quote Quote:
    People who say such things have some ridiculous 'science will solve everything' attitude which is as ludicrous as people thinking every new technology will destroy the world.
    Now now! Why this negative thoughts about science? Science is a process to discover the new and old. Science is not partisan. It is revealing of our environment. You do science every day. Say something is wrong with your room light. You replace the bulb. Nothing happens. Okay, so your hypothesis that the issue was the bulb is wrong. Then you check if it's connected to the wall. It is. Then you examine the cable and see that your subservient quadruped broke the cable. You just did a science experiment, starting with the hypothesis "if the light is broken, then the bulb is out" and disproved it. Science solved your problem.

    The science I do is on a larger scale. It weighs on questions like, "what happened to the Martian atmosphere to better understand our own history", etc.

    I know people who are doing science in solar cells, nuclear engineering, virology, etc. Most of them have practical applications, and some are going to change the world if they get adapted. Just check out these kids! They are our future, since they are already attempting to solve massive problems and questions at their age.

    Our lives are here mainly thanks to science. The antibiotics we get for infant ear infections, the vaccines for polio and smallpox, the systems in cars, the computer we are typing on to have this debate, etc. All that science has certainly changed our lives for the better. (You don't have the right to say that it hasn't unless you truly live without it, and given you are posting on this board, you have no way to say that. I can argue with the Tibetan monks who would talk about this, but not someone who relies on societal tech every day.)

    Before you knee-jerk respond with "no, I'm against junk science" - who decides that? I am working on high precision particle precipitation simulations. Aha, that's junk right? It connects to a spaceprobe heading to Mars that is investigating what happened to the Martian magnetic field, which is severely distorted - and that spaceprobe will verify or negate our hypothesis that a catastrophic impact distorted Mars magnetic field, which has serious import for the impacts of asteroids on our own planet.

    Quote Quote:
    Space travel in the 20th century provided no pragmatic advantage for the human race so far, it was just Soviets and Americans taking part in some childish race to get one over on one another,
    Space travel in the 20th century provided us with means to put up several satellites, including GPS satellites. Space travel in the 20th century provided us with ideas in nuclear engineering and radiation protection, which carried over to current cancer treatment and modern reactors (which *do* exist, but certain nations don't want to even though they are safer then say, *cough* Fukushima *cough*). Space travel in the 20th century allowed us to travel to the stars and map the moon, and determine the effect of zero-g on organisms (which helps us understand the evolution of our planet and ourselves.)

    If what you mean by pragmatic is reductionist, then I have no answer for you. But then neither do you have an answer for the pragmatic advantages of increasing a growing population.

    Now, I won't disagree that many approaches were flawed. American space travel in the 20th century was sabotaged at many points (and still is), including by the military. There were many other great designs for spacecraft, but the military rejected them since they didn't evoke the nostalgia that the shuttle did. You won't get any argument from me that the shuttle was designed poorly and too much of a money sink. There were so many flaws and compromises made.

    That's why we have to be aware of space travel and support it, otherwise it's left to politicians and the military. There needs to be an understanding that space is our future, and is as much necessary as ocean ecosystem studies!

    Quote Quote:
    I'm sorry but the chief appeal of space travel is only to a few sci-geeks.
    Hey - NASA has 23,000 employees - that's not counting the contractors and interns. What a mighty few "scifi geeks". I work with many sides of NASA. I know the admin side - my sis, who loathes scifi, works there. I know the top management - the woman I meet up with every month is no scifi fan, but she loves how she is working with people to broaden interest in sciences and more. So that's a totally unfounded assumption that you are making about my workplace. Facts first.

    Quote Quote:
    If anything killed peoples interest in space expolration it was the boring images cameras brought back of some dull lum of grey rock called the moon. As soon as people went to the moon, people got over it like any other news story
    You have no idea what you are talking about. You're 19 years old, so you wouldn't. I'm also young, but I know this through many other families at the time (we are looking at when our parents were young - and space/aeronautics history is a passion of mine). Going to the moon was an event seen by many households. At that time, we had never seen the moon up close or our earth from a distance. It was images like those that enthused the American imagination.

    We can't judge it now. We've seen images of the moon and galaxies so often, we go "so what? Who cares?" But it is vital to remember the history! Here's a great writeup on the Moon programs.. It goes through a lot of the successes and foibles of the Apollo program.

    Quote Quote:
    and if the most interesting thing you people can say about other nearby planets is that there might be a few (to most people) boring bacteria on Mars,
    Tons of organic matter fall on Earth. There may be organics on Mars. We could move to another world. There could be aliens on another world.

    What do you want? Even if they walked and talked, would you still be interested? What do you want out of us?

    If you kick us out, then what do you want out of us? Solve societal problems? Okay, let's try dealing with energy- oh, we can't do that because we don't want to pay for safer nuclear plants or wind power or solar. Okay, let's try dealing with resources- oh, we can't do that because regulating those in charge will be more expensive. Okay, let's try dealing with poverty- oh, we can't do that because we can't spend money on those people because then they become welfare queens.

    And while you are at it, how about you cut funding to marine biology, geology, anthropology, classics, history, chemistry, cognitive science- you could cut all funding to those disciplines that don't enthrall you because you can afford to say no. I have told you but a FRACTION of what we do in the space sciences. Yet you dismiss it and reject it. Whats your major, faint? Care to tell me so I can spit at what you find interesting or want to do? Because what you've done is tantamount to saying we shouldn't do any science that isn't just about humans.

    It's be the same if we were studying deep ocean vents. We are working in extreme environments, both are undiscovered countries. Why do you deny our growth as a civilization?

    Quote Quote:
    Yet the very capacity to create silly, idealistic abstractions like 'reproductive choice'
    But reproductive choice exists. It is here and now. Work with it.

    Quote Quote:
    Of course the only point of survival is reproductive survival
    Now you are mixing terms. The point of personal survival is a personal prerogative. Reproductive survival only matters over very long timescales so speciation can occur.
    Avatar © Chelsea Gordon, author of Not Quite Normal.

  7. #52
    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member faintsmile1992's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the Life Sciences

    Quote Originally Posted by earthforge View Post
    I am not going to respond to the abortion stuff since I was testing if you would say my mom had to die. Your hesitance to answer failed the test. Because if the doctor had hesitated, I would not be here. (I think you also undervalue how terrible it is to lose a child, focusing on the minority who don't care.)
    You are misrepresenting me here because I did not hesitate at all. Why did you do that?

    Quote Quote:
    Anyways, as to your "fertility crisis" - the real issue is do we have enough resources to support our population? Here's an article on the patterns of fish populations given our current consumption levels. This is not just due to a growing population, but due to climate change. I guess if you think about it, the growing population is not overpopulation nor underpopulation. It's just growing per normal, and the consequences are exacerbated by diminishing resources.

    Which also means that increasing the population, even if to expand representation of the educated, would thin resources even more (I suggest you look for articles to support you on Pub Med. There is so many politically-biased journals on Scholar. We don't need to rely on those when we are discussing fact.)
    So? Just use less resources ourselves and prevent other cultures from reaching the Western standard of living. (But of course the people who believe Westerners should cut carbon emissions often make exceptions for 'developing countries' with space programs and nukes, such as China lol.)

    The greatest factor against large family size seems to be affluence anyway. The human brain evolved its set of instincts in the Palaeolithic, and isn't preadapted for the modern environment we find ourselves in. Some economic adversity is probably necessary in order for people to have families above replacement level due to the effect of environment upon family size since the industrial revolution.

    Why do you assume that I use Google Scholar?

    Quote Quote:
    What are the chemicals and amounts that are in the ozone layer? If it exists, this is a problem I'll think about.
    I don't know what they are and I don't need to know what they are but something is being combusted and its a lot more than a road vehicle carrying the same number of people.

    The reason you haven't even thought about this must be your own bias, you like space travel and hate climate change, and its not convenient to think that space travel would harm Earths environment far more than cars if it ever became more cost effective using the space flight fuel we use.

    Quote Quote:
    Now now! Why this negative thoughts about science? Science is a process to discover the new and old.
    What I actually said is "People who say such things have some ridiculous 'science will solve everything' attitude which is as ludicrous as people thinking every new technology will destroy the world." Your thinking that this is a negative thought about scientific method confirms that to you it is like a religion, as it has been to kooks like Carl 'SETI' Sagan all the way to Richard Dawkins today, all of whom talk about science with a silly religious tone rather than as just some useful method.

    Quote Quote:
    Science is not partisan. It is revealing of our environment. You do science every day. Say something is wrong with your room light. You replace the bulb. Nothing happens. Okay, so your hypothesis that the issue was the bulb is wrong. Then you check if it's connected to the wall. It is. Then you examine the cable and see that your subservient quadruped broke the cable. You just did a science experiment, starting with the hypothesis "if the light is broken, then the bulb is out" and disproved it. Science solved your problem.
    We all know what science is.

    Blah blah blah blah blah.

    Quote Quote:
    The science I do is on a larger scale. It weighs on questions like, "what happened to the Martian atmosphere to better understand our own history", etc.

    I know people who are doing science in solar cells, nuclear engineering, virology, etc. Most of them have practical applications, and some are going to change the world if they get adapted. Just check out these kids! They are our future, since they are already attempting to solve massive problems and questions at their age.
    Blah blah blah blah blah.

    Quote Quote:
    Our lives are here mainly thanks to science. The antibiotics we get for infant ear infections, the vaccines for polio and smallpox, the systems in cars, the computer we are typing on to have this debate, etc. All that science has certainly changed our lives for the better. (You don't have the right to say that it hasn't unless you truly live without it, and given you are posting on this board, you have no way to say that. I can argue with the Tibetan monks who would talk about this, but not someone who relies on societal tech every day.)
    But why is it good? I can see both good and bad in computers, for example, and I'm sure most people can. But you're only interested in mentioning the good. Why?

    Quote Quote:
    Before you knee-jerk respond with "no, I'm against junk science" - who decides that?
    Why is it 'knee jerk respond', instead of any other kind of response? Is that your way of misrepresenting anyone else's opinion? And I don't know who gets to decide what junk science is but only you mentioned it so you tell me lol.

    Quote Quote:
    I am working on high precision particle precipitation simulations. Aha, that's junk right?
    Maybe you think it is junk science deep down, because no one else here has used that phrase in this thread except you.

    Quote Quote:
    It connects to a spaceprobe heading to Mars that is investigating what happened to the Martian magnetic field, which is severely distorted - and that spaceprobe will verify or negate our hypothesis that a catastrophic impact distorted Mars magnetic field, which has serious import for the impacts of asteroids on our own planet.
    That really does sound like it might be a massive waste of research funds in a pragmatic sense, then, because there are no major asteroid impacts going to happen to us any time soon. If you're at NASA you should know that.

    While I doubt there's harm in the research, costs still need to be justified against other kinds of competition fr funding. Firstly there's a need to fund more pragmatic scientific research, and there's also a need and a desire for the government to fund things that aren't scientific research. And why should the government fund research into Martian magnetic fields instead of something else when the same level of funding could fund so many other things?

    Quote Quote:
    Space travel in the 20th century provided us with means to put up several satellites, including GPS satellites.
    And also satellites in the Earth's orbit are becoming a source of pollution. no one brings the old ones down you know lol. And how much does launching satellites contribute to climate change?

    Quote Quote:
    Space travel in the 20th century provided us with ideas in nuclear engineering and radiation protection, which carried over to current cancer treatment and modern reactors (which *do* exist, but certain nations don't want to even though they are safer then say, *cough* Fukushima *cough*). Space travel in the 20th century allowed us to travel to the stars and map the moon, and determine the effect of zero-g on organisms (which helps us understand the evolution of our planet and ourselves.)
    Blah blah blah blah blah.

    Quote Quote:
    If what you mean by pragmatic is reductionist, then I have no answer for you. But then neither do you have an answer for the pragmatic advantages of increasing a growing population.
    Of course there is a pragmatic reason for (selective) pronatalism, its because a large population size as far as doesn't overburden the land is optimimal for the fitness of a population. And pragmatic just meant what it always means - sensible and useful. The more costly something is the more the state spending has to be justified by its providing useful results especially in an economic downturn. This is simply common sense.

    Its obvious you're pissed about job cuts at NASA, well, lots of people are affected by a recession *shrugs*. If it sucks for lots of people, you don't deserve any particular sympathy over everyone else.

    Quote Quote:
    Now, I won't disagree that many approaches were flawed. American space travel in the 20th century was sabotaged at many points (and still is), including by the military. There were many other great designs for spacecraft, but the military rejected them since they didn't evoke the nostalgia that the shuttle did. You won't get any argument from me that the shuttle was designed poorly and too much of a money sink. There were so many flaws and compromises made.

    That's why we have to be aware of space travel and support it, otherwise it's left to politicians and the military. There needs to be an understanding that space is our future, and is as much necessary as ocean ecosystem studies!
    Why are politicians and the military automatically bad? Governments fund the space travel research and the military have a legitimate investment in it even if they messed up the space shuttle (according to you). If it wasn't for the military rivalry between America and Russia, there'd have been a lot less interest in space research to begin with.

    And why did you say 'space our future' if history isn't linear? That is justifying a present course of action on its not-yet-present behalf which is the thinking of religion, not science.

    I'm sure there'll be more space travel in the future but most of it will be unmanned and of little consequence to Earth until new fuels become available, until then the Space Age is just some funny obsession which some people in the past had before they grew out of it.

    Quote Quote:
    Hey - NASA has 23,000 employees - that's not counting the contractors and interns. What a mighty few "scifi geeks". I work with many sides of NASA. I know the admin side - my sis, who loathes scifi, works there. I know the top management - the woman I meet up with every month is no scifi fan, but she loves how she is working with people to broaden interest in sciences and more. So that's a totally unfounded assumption that you are making about my workplace. Facts first.
    Blah blah blah blah blah.

    Quote Quote:
    You have no idea what you are talking about. You're 19 years old, so you wouldn't. I'm also young, but I know this through many other families at the time (we are looking at when our parents were young - and space/aeronautics history is a passion of mine). Going to the moon was an event seen by many households. At that time, we had never seen the moon up close or our earth from a distance. It was images like those that enthused the American imagination.

    We can't judge it now. We've seen images of the moon and galaxies so often, we go "so what? Who cares?" But it is vital to remember the history! Here's a great writeup on the Moon programs.. It goes through a lot of the successes and foibles of the Apollo program.
    Blah blah blah blah blah.

    Quote Quote:
    Tons of organic matter fall on Earth. There may be organics on Mars. We could move to another world. There could be aliens on another world.

    What do you want? Even if they walked and talked, would you still be interested? What do you want out of us?
    But we're not talking about what I want because we're talking about what the public want. Anyone with a bit of interest in sci-fi, astronomy or strange phenomena knows how people used to have visions of ecosystems and civilizations on Mars that are all gone now. And you know yourself that any Martian microbes will be just germs to most people, and nothing like as interesting to the public, except to a few science nerds. Whether you might like it or not, NASA itself killed public support for space travel and the search for life on other planets, simply because the reality of the solar system is that its just a boring place to 95% of the population.

    Quote Quote:
    If you kick us out, then what do you want out of us? Solve societal problems? Okay, let's try dealing with energy- oh, we can't do that because we don't want to pay for safer nuclear plants or wind power or solar. Okay, let's try dealing with resources- oh, we can't do that because regulating those in charge will be more expensive. Okay, let's try dealing with poverty- oh, we can't do that because we can't spend money on those people because then they become welfare queens.
    Blah blah blah blah blah.

    Quote Quote:
    And while you are at it, how about you cut funding to marine biology, geology, anthropology, classics, history, chemistry, cognitive science- you could cut all funding to those disciplines that don't enthrall you because you can afford to say no. I have told you but a FRACTION of what we do in the space sciences. Yet you dismiss it and reject it. Whats your major, faint? Care to tell me so I can spit at what you find interesting or want to do? Because what you've done is tantamount to saying we shouldn't do any science that isn't just about humans.
    Really? Who's said that? All I've said is that government spending has limits to it but you're taking this personally. Why?

    Quote Quote:
    It's be the same if we were studying deep ocean vents. We are working in extreme environments, both are undiscovered countries. Why do you deny our growth as a civilization?
    Yep, not only space travel research is costly for governments. But settling the ocean floor to exploit the resources there is way more realistic in the near future than colonising Mars lol.

    Quote Quote:
    But reproductive choice exists. It is here and now. Work with it.
    Why? Just because you agree with it?

    If pre-1960s attitudes to sex and reproduction existed in the past then they can exist again, just stamp out the legacy of the 1960s like the social changes back then changed society.

    Quote Quote:
    Now you are mixing terms. The point of personal survival is a personal prerogative. Reproductive survival only matters over very long timescales so speciation can occur.
    Nonsense. No one says that "the point of personal survival is a personal prerogative" when they're talking about any other species of organism lol. And how can speciation be the goal of reproductive survival when species concepts are only something invented by human observers? You fail biology forever. Learn you biology lol!

    Reproductive survival obviously matters at the short timescale of generations adjacent generations. The first tier of an organism's genetic interests is its immediate offspring, because they carry forward its own distinctive genes and without reproduction is only genetic death.

    ---------- Post added January 28, 2012 at 04:00 AM ---------- Previous post was January 23, 2012 at 11:36 AM ----------

    The first giant titanosaurian sauropod from the Upper Cretaceous of North America
    http://www.app.pan.pl/archive/publis...pp20100105.pdf

    ---------- Post added January 29, 2012 at 11:47 AM ---------- Previous post was January 28, 2012 at 04:00 AM ----------

    A 33,000-Year-Old Incipient Dog from the Altai Mountains of Siberia: Evidence of the Earliest Domestication Disrupted by the Last Glacial Maximum
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0022821

    Phylogenetic Distinctiveness of Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian Village Dog Y Chromosomes Illuminates Dog Origins
    http://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/cdcg/docu...wnetal2011.pdf

    Effects of selection for cooperation and attention in dogs
    http://www.biomedcentral.com/content...-9081-5-31.pdf

    ---------- Post added at 11:48 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:47 AM ----------

    Genomic Ancestry of North Africans Supports Back-to-Africa Migrations
    http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/...l.pgen.1002397

    ---------- Post added January 31, 2012 at 09:02 PM ---------- Previous post was January 29, 2012 at 11:48 AM ----------

    Human-like social skills in dogs?
    http://email.eva.mpg.de/~tomas/pdf/Hare_Tomasello05.pdf

    ---------- Post added at 09:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:02 PM ----------

    Homo rhodesiensis(?) admixture in Africa. If there was genetic contribution from pre-sapiens populations in Africa as well as Europe (Neanderthals) and East Asia (Denisovans), then where is the homeland of Homo sapiens? The common ancestor of the species can't have been very dark skinned because black Africans have the physiology evolved only for blushing, even though it doesn't show externally so they can't use it as a signal.

    The Later Stone Age Calvaria from Iwo Eleru, Nigeria: Morphology and Chronology
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0024024

    Genetic evidence for archaic admixture in Africa (it's highest in Central Africa)
    http://www.pnas.org/content/108/37/15123.full.pdf

    ---------- Post added February 01, 2012 at 09:55 PM ---------- Previous post was January 31, 2012 at 09:15 PM ----------

    Archaeopteryx was robed in black
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/...-in-black.html

    190-million-year-old dinosaur nesting site found
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/st...ting-site.html

    Avian wing proportions and flight styles: first step towards predicting the flight modes of Mesozoic birds
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0028672
    Last edited by faintsmile1992; January 23, 2012 at 07:19 PM.

  8. #53
    Harasho 伝説メンバー / Densetsu / Legendary Member
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    Re: Thoughts on the Life Sciences

    Quote Originally Posted by faintsmile1992 View Post
    You are misrepresenting me here because I did not hesitate at all. Why did you do that?

    So? Just use less resources ourselves and prevent other cultures from reaching the Western standard of living. (But of course the people who believe Westerners should cut carbon emissions often make exceptions for 'developing countries' with space programs and nukes, such as China lol.)
    China has been heavily criticized for excessive carbon emissions and poor environmental policy. That information is a google search away. No one tried making exceptions for China. Back in the real world China is pioneering renewable energy sources, they are quickly becoming the world leaders in the field. With little oil and coal of their own the long term costs of fossil fuels is to high while renewable energy provides much needed energy security. So no, nobody makes excuses for China. It had been a conflict point between China, The US, and Europe in the past but China has since outpaced the west in terms of researching renewable energy. This is publicly available information and not up for debate.

    States that already had nuclear weapons when the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Pact was signed in 1970 were allowed to maintain there arsenal, so long as they agreed not to transfer weapons technology to non-nuclear states. The United States, Russia, France, United Kingdom, and China were already Nuclear powers on signing the treaty therefore they kept their weapons. Pakistan and India detonated nuclear devices in defiance of international, and were sanctioned accordingly. While not entirely erroneous, calling these states "exceptions" is, at best, poor vocabulary. China is not an exception in the sense it has always been within their rights to maintain a nuclear arsenal. India and Pakistan were somehow able to keep there nuclear programs secret until publicly detonating a nuclear device. If you are implying that the rules have been bent for certain states you would be fundamentally wrong.

    Exceptions do not need to be made for space programs. Peaceful exploration of space is open to all nations, all nations are restricted from militarizing space.

    Quote Quote:
    The greatest factor against large family size seems to be affluence anyway. The human brain evolved its set of instincts in the Palaeolithic, and isn't preadapted for the modern environment we find ourselves in. Some economic adversity is probably necessary in order for people to have families above replacement level due to the effect of environment upon family size since the industrial revolution.
    I fail to see your point. Why would we want to increase family size? Rather than Malthusian population reducers such as war and disease, the developed world will return to a sustainable population size by a reduction in family size. The laws of Malthus will still be observed yet without the horrors of the Spanish Flu, AIDS, or World War II ^^

    I highly recommend studying neuroscience before making a statement so bold as claiming the human brain is "pre-adapted". This runs contrary to all experts in the field. The brain is actually extremely adaptable, new stimuli can rewire the neural network in very short order. I would start by reading The Brain That Changes Itself. Oliver Sacks also has some phenomenal books on neuroscience. Do not forget that with MRT scans and other modern technology, the workings of the brain can be observed like any other part of the body. To claim that the human brain is stuck in "neolithic" times is a fallacy, a concept long rejected by the medical and scientific community.

    Quote Quote:
    Why do you assume that I use Google Scholar?
    Because it is obvious that you have taken a predetermined position about subjects you have little to knowledge of and then google supporting evidence after the fact. I have yet to see you quote an actual expert, instead I mostly see the type of revisionist historians and pop philosophers one would find if they google a position statement.

    Quote Quote:
    I don't know what they are and I don't need to know what they are but something is being combusted and its a lot more than a road vehicle carrying the same number of people.
    There are roughly 1 Billion cars in the road. Reducing car emissions would create a huge reduction in carbon emissions. Of course cars are not the only polluters but they are a large producer and a fixable problem.

    Quote Quote:
    The reason you haven't even thought about this must be your own bias, you like space travel and hate climate change, and its not convenient to think that space travel would harm Earths environment far more than cars if it ever became more cost effective using the space flight fuel we use.
    Claiming bias is very poor form in a debate. If you have no constructive counter-point or no credible support for a statement then please do not call bias on another persons position.

    As far as I know the environmental impact of commercial space flights is little studied. This would make sense as there have been relatively few commercial flights into space. There has been a considerable amount of study regarding the environmental impact of cars though. The consensus is that carbon released from cars does have an impact on the environment and reducing them will be beneficial. We also have a clear idea of the cost of energy dependence. Considering the increase in hybrid and electric cars over the last ten years this is not really a debate worth having. The market has spoken, clean burning cars are already here and will just become more popular. I think we can close this debate

    Quote Quote:
    What I actually said is "People who say such things have some ridiculous 'science will solve everything' attitude which is as ludicrous as people thinking every new technology will destroy the world." Your thinking that this is a negative thought about scientific method confirms that to you it is like a religion, as it has been to kooks like Carl 'SETI' Sagan all the way to Richard Dawkins today, all of whom talk about science with a silly religious tone rather than as just some useful method.
    Invoking Richard Dawkins is a low blow. I think I can speak for all of us who believe in science that he does not speak for us. Otherwise that was quite a nonconstructive statement. Excusing someone of treating science as a religion will not move this debate forward. Next time please either do the research needed to take a proper position so that you do not need to resort to name calling

    Quote Quote:
    We all know what science is.
    Yes we do. It is an academic subject with standards and practices that facilitates learning about the unknown. While layman often take the position that science is infallible, most scientist do not share that sentiment. Never forget that most scientist enter the field to discover something. Should a subject ever become gods honest truth that means there is nothing left to discover. A good example would be the recent tests that revealed neutrino's can travel faster than light. This overturns one of the pillars of modern physics: Einstein's assertion that nothing can reach or exceed the speed of light other than light itself. If science were a religion, infallible and dogmatic, why would the scientists at CERN announce so publicly that a corner stone belief, first proposed by a Saint, may be incorrect. No, they were actually delighted to find something new. That is science.

    Quote Quote:
    Blah blah blah blah blah.
    Very mature.

    Quote Quote:
    Blah blah blah blah blah.


    Quote Quote:
    But why is it good? I can see both good and bad in computers, for example, and I'm sure most people can. But you're only interested in mentioning the good. Why?
    Good health and long lives are generally regarded as good things. While they do not ensure happiness they do ensure that one has more opportunities to enjoy their time on earth. Certainly a short, uncertain life is not a better route to happiness. Not all technology is good, there is blowback to everything, but it is hard to understand why someone would want to live without medicine and other benefits of modern science. Certainly other technological breakthroughs have not been for the best, but that is not what was being discussed, it seems.

    Quote Quote:
    Why is it 'knee jerk respond', instead of any other kind of response? Is that your way of misrepresenting anyone else's opinion? And I don't know who gets to decide what junk science is but only you mentioned it so you tell me lol.
    Because you took a negative position to all science and have maintained that position irregardless of the specifics, right down to questioning the merits of medicine. Not all science has been beneficial: food science comes to mind as determintal. But the position that all science is bad is knee-jerk, by definition.

    Quote Quote:
    Maybe you think it is junk science deep down, because no one else here has used that phrase in this thread except you.
    No, I am pretty sure she is reacting to having to argue a knee jerk, negative position. Particularly one with no actual knowledge of science or making an attempt to.

    Quote Quote:
    That really does sound like it might be a massive waste of research funds in a pragmatic sense, then, because there are no major asteroid impacts going to happen to us any time soon. If you're at NASA you should know that.
    That is actually not true. The odds of an asteroid hitting tomorrow are actually equal to the odds of being hit in 1000 years. If the odds of something happening is a million to one but there can be no forewarning of when that one time will be, some diligence is prudent. I can not claim to no the budget for tracking asteroids but I dare say it is rather small. There certainly is not any defense system planned, at least publicly. Your Our tax payers money is safe for now. Thank you for your concern.

    Quote Quote:
    While I doubt there's harm in the research, costs still need to be justified against other kinds of competition fr funding. Firstly there's a need to fund more pragmatic scientific research, and there's also a need and a desire for the government to fund things that aren't scientific research. And why should the government fund research into Martian magnetic fields instead of something else when the same level of funding could fund so many other things?
    NASA always gets the short end of the stick in appropriations, at least when times get tough. It is politically safe to make cuts to NASA when the budget needs reducing. Do keep in mind that the US budget is not a zero sum game: increasing appropriations to one project does not mean that another needs cuts, or goes unfunded. As long as their is public support a project will get funding.

    In answer to why support NASA: space exploration is a field that can result in quite a few scientific breakthroughs. Understanding how the solar system works can help us understand how the Earth works. The process of building probes, rockets, and the such also helps develop terrestrial technologies. GPS is a good example. Along with the military, space exploration has been fertile grounds for technological breakthroughs.

    Mars does not have an appreciable magnetosphere. Mercury and the Earth are the only bodies in the inner solar systems, other than the sun, with functioning magnetospheres.

    Quote Quote:
    And also satellites in the Earth's orbit are becoming a source of pollution. no one brings the old ones down you know lol. And how much does launching satellites contribute to climate change?
    Space junk is definitely a problem. No question there.

    Would be interesting to see how much launching a satellite contributes to climate change. Most likely it would be negligible, as rockets do not use liquid fuels, or launch in the same abundance as people drive cars. Unfortunately I have never seen anything about the subject in any of the news sources I read (reutres, BBC, Washington Post, New York Times), nor have I seen mention in any scientific journals. My hunch is that space debris is a bigger problem than greenhouse gases.

    Quote Quote:
    Blah blah blah blah blah.


    Quote Quote:
    Of course there is a pragmatic reason for (selective) pronatalism, its because a large population size as far as doesn't overburden the land is optimimal for the fitness of a population. And pragmatic just meant what it always means - sensible and useful. The more costly something is the more the state spending has to be justified by its providing useful results especially in an economic downturn. This is simply common sense.
    And what leads you to believe that the land is not overburdened? Most evidence points to the opposite. Food and energy prices are rising, overcrowded, polluted cities, the conversion of marginal land into farms, increased political unrest, the AIDS pandemic in Africa, quickly decreasing water supply. Moreover your argument hinges on a society being agrarian. A shrinking population effects food supplies as more hands are needed for planting and harvesting. Modern developed countries are supported by industrialized farming, with little need for surplus labor. As urban populations are largely parasitic, large populations increase the strain on food, water, and energy resources. As stated earlier this usually triggers a Malthusian crisis, most often disease or war. Due to modern medicine, comfort, and contraception declining birth rates are acting to slowly reduce population burden without the need of widespread death and suffering.

    Quote Quote:
    Its obvious you're pissed about job cuts at NASA, well, lots of people are affected by a recession *shrugs*. If it sucks for lots of people, you don't deserve any particular sympathy over everyone else.
    In what way does that add to the debate?

    Quote Quote:
    Why are politicians and the military automatically bad? Governments fund the space travel research and the military have a legitimate investment in it even if they messed up the space shuttle (according to you). If it wasn't for the military rivalry between America and Russia, there'd have been a lot less interest in space research to begin with.
    Did you not say that the space race was nothing but politics, competition between the Soviets and Americans? She was trying to concede you the point, that the space race is overly enmeshed in politics. Instead of turning her argument inside maybe you could have been gracious?

    Quote Quote:
    And why did you say 'space our future' if history isn't linear? That is justifying a present course of action on its not-yet-present behalf which is the thinking of religion, not science.
    What does perception of history have to do with anything. Whether history is circular, static, linear, or zig zags it is completely valid to believe that space travel is the future. Your just plating bad semantics games now.

    Quote Quote:
    I'm sure there'll be more space travel in the future but most of it will be unmanned and of little consequence to Earth until new fuels become available, until then the Space Age is just some funny obsession which some people in the past had before they grew out of it.
    How is exploring other planets of little consequence? In the past ten years we have discovered three bodies in the solar system that have organic material, the chemistry materials needed for life. The possibility of standing liquid exists on two of these bodies. The third has confirmed standing, permanent liquids on it's surface. These discoveries were made by the unmanned Galileo and Cassini probes.

    Quote Quote:
    Blah blah blah blah blah.


    Quote Quote:
    Blah blah blah blah blah.


    Quote Quote:
    But we're not talking about what I want because we're talking about what the public want. Anyone with a bit of interest in sci-fi, astronomy or strange phenomena knows how people used to have visions of ecosystems and civilizations on Mars that are all gone now. And you know yourself that any Martian microbes will be just germs to most people, and nothing like as interesting to the public, except to a few science nerds. Whether you might like it or not, NASA itself killed public support for space travel and the search for life on other planets, simply because the reality of the solar system is that its just a boring place to 95% of the population.
    I'm not so convinced. If they break into the news to say that living microbes have been found on Mars I think people will care. Maybe not as much as if humans set foot on Mars, but still. And to say that exploration should be abandoned due to lack of public interest is asinine.

    Quote Quote:
    Blah blah blah blah blah.


    Quote Quote:
    Really? Who's said that? All I've said is that government spending has limits to it but you're taking this personally. Why?
    What is the limit? Explain to me what that limit is and how it is reached?

    Quote Quote:
    Yep, not only space travel research is costly for governments. But settling the ocean floor to exploit the resources there is way more realistic in the near future than colonising Mars lol.
    We've already fouled up the surface and shallows, why would we want to foul up the depths too? Anyway, these are not mutually exclusive subjects. China has already bought mining rights in the depth of the Indian Ocean. Not something I am thrilled with but undersea exploitation looks to be the wave of the future. You are wrong to suggest choosing one over the other. Exploiting the ocean will not prevent space exploration. Nor is it any more realistic. The surface of Mars is better mapped than the abyssal plain. And the ocean is as extreme an environment as outer space. Building equipment that can withstand the pressure of the deep ocean is extremely expensive.

    Quote Quote:
    Why? Just because you agree with it?
    No. She made an observation of the world around her.

    Quote Quote:
    If pre-1960s attitudes to sex and reproduction existed in the past then they can exist again, just stamp out the legacy of the 1960s like the social changes back then changed society.
    They can but why would anyone welcome a return to fear, repression, and silence. Some of us like being educated and informed. That is the real change. While some people have taken advantage of changing norms to indulge, society is also more open and honest, more willing to have open dialog about the pleasures and pains of sex. More importantly: we have the choice. You can choose to have pre-60's perceptions of sex. We can choose more modern views. I already know you will say that choice and tolerance are bad, while education and honesty are illusions so please do not waste any time actually saying it.

    Quote Quote:
    Nonsense. No one says that "the point of personal survival is a personal prerogative" when they're talking about any other species of organism lol. And how can speciation be the goal of reproductive survival when species concepts are only something invented by human observers? You fail biology forever. Learn you biology lol!
    Evolutionary drives are instinctual. An animal does not need to intellectualize that they need to live long enough to breed. Nor do they need to understand that adapting to novel habitats is advantageous. Speciation is a name for a natural, observed process. It is not something anyone thinks animals consciously adopted. It is used to describe the process by which animal species split into new species. Lemur's and Monkey's did not decide to diverge. Yet they did diverge, speciation is the name for the observed process that caused this split. lrn2bilogy yourself

    Quote Quote:
    Reproductive survival obviously matters at the short timescale of generations adjacent generations. The first tier of an organism's genetic interests is its immediate offspring, because they carry forward its own distinctive genes and without reproduction is only genetic death.
    By personal prerogative she means that individuals within some species will place a high priority in their own personal survival. This can be observed in the seals of South Africa's false bay. As they cross shark infested waters they jockey for position among themselves, seeking to get as close to their comrades as possible and as close to the middle of the pack as they can. Getting into the crowded middle lowers the odds of being targeted by the shark. The majority of sharks targeted individuals closer to the group margin. By pushing to the middle seals lowered the chances they would die at the expense of their companions. This behavior has not been noted in all species, but is quite widespread.

    Quote Quote:
    ---------- Post added January 28, 2012 at 04:00 AM ---------- Previous post was January 23, 2012 at 11:36 AM ----------

    The first giant titanosaurian sauropod from the Upper Cretaceous of North America
    http://www.app.pan.pl/archive/publis...pp20100105.pdf

    ---------- Post added January 29, 2012 at 11:47 AM ---------- Previous post was January 28, 2012 at 04:00 AM ----------

    A 33,000-Year-Old Incipient Dog from the Altai Mountains of Siberia: Evidence of the Earliest Domestication Disrupted by the Last Glacial Maximum
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0022821

    Phylogenetic Distinctiveness of Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian Village Dog Y Chromosomes Illuminates Dog Origins
    http://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/cdcg/docu...wnetal2011.pdf

    Effects of selection for cooperation and attention in dogs
    http://www.biomedcentral.com/content...-9081-5-31.pdf

    ---------- Post added at 11:48 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:47 AM ----------

    Genomic Ancestry of North Africans Supports Back-to-Africa Migrations
    http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/...l.pgen.1002397

    ---------- Post added January 31, 2012 at 09:02 PM ---------- Previous post was January 29, 2012 at 11:48 AM ----------

    Human-like social skills in dogs?
    http://email.eva.mpg.de/~tomas/pdf/Hare_Tomasello05.pdf

    ---------- Post added at 09:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:02 PM ----------

    Homo rhodesiensis(?) admixture in Africa. If there was genetic contribution from pre-sapiens populations in Africa as well as Europe (Neanderthals) and East Asia (Denisovans), then where is the homeland of Homo sapiens? The common ancestor of the species can't have been very dark skinned because black Africans have the physiology evolved only for blushing, even though it doesn't show externally so they can't use it as a signal.

    The Later Stone Age Calvaria from Iwo Eleru, Nigeria: Morphology and Chronology
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0024024

    Genetic evidence for archaic admixture in Africa (it's highest in Central Africa)
    http://www.pnas.org/content/108/37/15123.full.pdf

    ---------- Post added February 01, 2012 at 09:55 PM ---------- Previous post was January 31, 2012 at 09:15 PM ----------

    Archaeopteryx was robed in black
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/...-in-black.html

    190-million-year-old dinosaur nesting site found
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/st...ting-site.html

    Avian wing proportions and flight styles: first step towards predicting the flight modes of Mesozoic birds
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0028672
    Congratulations on finding so many links! I am not sure what point you are trying to make by posting them, nor am I terribly interested in reading all of them.
    Last edited by Kaiten; February 01, 2012 at 09:54 PM.

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    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member faintsmile1992's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the Life Sciences

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiten View Post
    China has been heavily criticized for excessive carbon emissions and poor environmental policy. That information is a google search away. No one tried making exceptions for China. Back in the real world China is pioneering renewable energy sources, they are quickly becoming the world leaders in the field. With little oil and coal of their own the long term costs of fossil fuels is to high while renewable energy provides much needed energy security. So no, nobody makes excuses for China. It had been a conflict point between China, The US, and Europe in the past but China has since outpaced the west in terms of researching renewable energy. This is publicly available information and not up for debate.
    What about India then?

    Is it at least true that Western nations have in the past agreed to cut back on emissions, whilst making no sanctions against China and India? Which places us at a disadvantage.

    Quote Quote:
    States that already had nuclear weapons when the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Pact was signed in 1970 were allowed to maintain there arsenal, so long as they agreed not to transfer weapons technology to non-nuclear states. The United States, Russia, France, United Kingdom, and China were already Nuclear powers on signing the treaty therefore they kept their weapons. Pakistan and India detonated nuclear devices in defiance of international, and were sanctioned accordingly. While not entirely erroneous, calling these states "exceptions" is, at best, poor vocabulary. China is not an exception in the sense it has always been within their rights to maintain a nuclear arsenal. India and Pakistan were somehow able to keep there nuclear programs secret until publicly detonating a nuclear device. If you are implying that the rules have been bent for certain states you would be fundamentally wrong.

    Exceptions do not need to be made for space programs. Peaceful exploration of space is open to all nations, all nations are restricted from militarizing space.
    So? Whether I was right or wrong about exceptions being made by the international community for India and China, I meant to say the problem with those countries is they're wasting money on space programs and nukes instead of feeding their poor, and I don't see why anyone should treat those countries as poor if they can afford such programs.

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    I fail to see your point. Why would we want to increase family size? Rather than Malthusian population reducers such as war and disease, the developed world will return to a sustainable population size by a reduction in family size.
    I thought I'd already explained this before.

    - Because large family size confers fitness to the ingroup in competition with outsiders.
    - Because large families support one another mutually without relying on intervention from the welfare state (ie traditional Catholic and Confucian cultures).
    - Hereditary factors make it desirable that high IQ people have more children, but to support more of them, there needs to be more producers on the left hand side of the bell curve born as well.

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    I highly recommend studying neuroscience before making a statement so bold as claiming the human brain is "pre-adapted". This runs contrary to all experts in the field. The brain is actually extremely adaptable, new stimuli can rewire the neural network in very short order. I would start by reading The Brain That Changes Itself. Oliver Sacks also has some phenomenal books on neuroscience. Do not forget that with MRT scans and other modern technology, the workings of the brain can be observed like any other part of the body. To claim that the human brain is stuck in "neolithic" times is a fallacy, a concept long rejected by the medical and scientific community.
    No one said there's been no change at all since then, just look at the increased collectivism of East Asian rice farmers relative to Europeans. But the fact is that the human brain hasn't adapted fast enough to cope with the development of modern anthropogenic environments.

    Notice that I said the Palaeolithic and not the Neolithic. Theres a difference, and not only archaeologically, which you'd recognise it if you yourself understood what I was talking about. The idea that the behaviours underlying modern social problems such as obesity are related to evolved instincts from a hunter gatherer past, is entirely rational and mainstream. Examples like obesity demonstrate that the human brain has not evolved fast enough (and widespread obesity in the lower classes is a relatively new phenomenon, but the upper classes have had diet-related health problems for far longer because weight used to be seen as a sign of wealth).

    Actually the basis of mainstream evolutionary psychology as relates to humans has been that humans think alike because they all evolved in the same environment. Although this ignores the role of politically incorrect HBD and race in human psychological differences, no one can question that the human brain evolved in the Paleolithic and hasn't changed since then anything like as much as Homo sapiens brains differ from Neanderthal brains - despite both species having a similar brain size and leading lifestyles back in the Paleolithic that were more similar to one another than to how modern urban humans are living today.

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    Because it is obvious that you have taken a predetermined position about subjects you have little to knowledge of and then google supporting evidence after the fact.
    As opposed to Earthforge I suppose, whose entire last post in this thread was an apologetics for her career, to the point of posting vast blocks of irrelevant text about the history of moon landings and so on (hence the blah blah blah I posted whenever she did so, because she was deliberately trying to detract from the discussion).

    Quote Quote:
    I have yet to see you quote an actual expert, instead I mostly see the type of revisionist historians and pop philosophers one would find if they google a position statement.
    Where did I quote a pop philosopher or even a philosopher in this thread?

    And real revisionism is indeed a normal practice of historians, Jean Gimpel is entirely mainstream, and it doesn't matter who the quote is from anyway, only the content of the argument. The fact you judge things by whether it comes from an 'expert' or not says a lot. (Not wishing to bash Sachs but why did you cite him in particular? Because he's written a book that's on Amazon? Sorry but if your level of knowledge about neuroscience is based upon mere popular books, you're not in a position to lecture about a subject, are you? Reading pop sci doesn't mean you're scientifically literate regarding a particular science, it means that you aren't. And I don't care if you work for NASA, because its not a qualification about the human brain or behaviour.)

    Do you want an expert's opinion on revisionism? Read this lol.

    "The 14,000 members of this Association, however, know that revision is the lifeblood of historical scholarship. History is a continuing dialogue between the present and the past. Interpretations of the past are subject to change in response to new evidence, new questions asked of the evidence, new perspectives gained by the passage of time. There is no single, eternal, and immutable "truth" about past events and their meaning. The unending quest of historians for understanding the past - that is, "revisionism" - is what makes history vital and meaningful." - James McPherson

    If you're Mr Academic why didn't you try to refute Gimpel's statements about Medieval technology yourself lol?

    Quote Quote:
    There are roughly 1 Billion cars in the road. Reducing car emissions would create a huge reduction in carbon emissions. Of course cars are not the only polluters but they are a large producer and a fixable problem.
    Which is irrelevant to what I said about space travel using current fuels being bad for the environment, if it was more common. You and Earthforge both know that, so you're mentioning the number of cars so as to avoid the point - its nonsense to talk about fighting climate change whilst advocating something you both know contributes to climate change. How about banning all launches into space until after it can be done without the emissions lol.

    Quote Quote:
    Claiming bias is very poor form in a debate. If you have no constructive counter-point or no credible support for a statement then please do not call bias on another persons position.
    I wasn't calling bias in place of a counter point or support for a statement, I was pointing out someone elses inconsistency, which is different.

    Quote Quote:
    As far as I know the environmental impact of commercial space flights is little studied. This would make sense as there have been relatively few commercial flights into space. There has been a considerable amount of study regarding the environmental impact of cars though. The consensus is that carbon released from cars does have an impact on the environment and reducing them will be beneficial. We also have a clear idea of the cost of energy dependence. Considering the increase in hybrid and electric cars over the last ten years this is not really a debate worth having. The market has spoken, clean burning cars are already here and will just become more popular. I think we can close this debate
    Of course we can close the debate, because space shuttle emissions aren't relevant to the life sciences. Its because the combustion that needs to be released by a space shuttle is far larger than any number of road vehicles carrying the same number of people, that there should be more concern. And of course car emissions should be reduced, but how many people do you know who own an electric car?

    Quote Quote:
    Invoking Richard Dawkins is a low blow. I think I can speak for all of us who believe in science that he does not speak for us.
    His arrogance might piss people off and he's economical with the facts, but you know that wasn't what I mentioned him for. We're only talking about the view he has on science.

    Quote Quote:
    Otherwise that was quite a nonconstructive statement. Excusing someone of treating science as a religion will not move this debate forward. Next time please either do the research needed to take a proper position so that you do not need to resort to name calling
    I wasn't name calling, I was contrasting our views on science. To one of us its just a useful tool to reach conclusions that may or may not be either interesting or useful. To the other of us its a source of hope lol.

    Quote Quote:
    Yes we do. It is an academic subject with standards and practices that facilitates learning about the unknown.
    No, science is a method which can be applied to many subjects, not a subject in itself.

    Quote Quote:
    While layman often take the position that science is infallible, most scientist do not share that sentiment. Never forget that most scientist enter the field to discover something. Should a subject ever become gods honest truth that means there is nothing left to discover. A good example would be the recent tests that revealed neutrino's can travel faster than light. This overturns one of the pillars of modern physics: Einstein's assertion that nothing can reach or exceed the speed of light other than light itself. If science were a religion, infallible and dogmatic, why would the scientists at CERN announce so publicly that a corner stone belief, first proposed by a Saint, may be incorrect. No, they were actually delighted to find something new. That is science.
    We all know this, but this was not what anyone was discussing. It was Earthforge who first came out of nowhere with a lecture on what science is, assuming that if someone doesn't agree with her opinion about science, then they mustn't know what science actually is, and need to be told like children.

    This kind of attitude reminds me of all those idiots who are saying the US government is anti-science, as though they oppose science on principle, just because they're making reasonable funding cutbacks during an economic downturn. So people with a vested interest invented some straw man to argue against and started to believe in it themselves.

    Quote Quote:
    Good health and long lives are generally regarded as good things. While they do not ensure happiness they do ensure that one has more opportunities to enjoy their time on earth. Certainly a short, uncertain life is not a better route to happiness.
    Longer human lives, when the aging have a Western level of living but produce nothing for society, is one reason why the world's resources are disproportionately consumed by the wealthiest countries with declining populations. And disease has a naturally eugenic effect upon populations. So whilst I don't question the easing of human suffering for the living, I question the morality behind the idea that every human be kept alive as long as possible, and the value of science that allows people with serious hereditary diseases to survive and to pass on their genes to offspring, ultimately increasing the genetic load on the society.

    Is happiness good in itself? People pursue happiness when they indulge in harmful recreational drugs, the idea that happiness should be maximised ignores that sources of happiness may be harmful, and that seeking happiness may have negative consequences. In the 60s scientists wired the pleasure centres of rats brains up to switches, so that the rats could stimulate themselves with pure pleasure. This they did, and they got so carried away with hedonism they forgot to eat, and they starved to death without passing on their genes because rats never evolved in an environment where such electrodes and switches existed, therefore they had no evolved instinct to avoid novel but harmful sources of pleasure. Is this really different from phenomena such as drug addiction, obesity epidemics and hedonistic child-free lifestyles in modern societies? Do you now understand what I meant about the human brain being 'Palaeolithic' because it lacks defences against a novel environment?

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    Because you took a negative position to all science and have maintained that position irregardless of the specifics, right down to questioning the merits of medicine. Not all science has been beneficial: food science comes to mind as determintal. But the position that all science is bad is knee-jerk, by definition.
    No, I didn't, where did I say something like "all science is bad" even once, let alone maintained such a position irregardless of the specifics? And why are you continuing Earthforge's straw man of what I was actually saying, whilst adding qualifiers to what she was saying to make her position seem more reasonable?

    And of course I questioned the merits of medical science, it has a negative side that no one dares mention. Thanks to medical science, the birth rate of healthy, productive individuals is down through methods of contraception and abortion, whilst unproductive and costly lives are extended by decades. This is madness!

    Quote Quote:
    No, I am pretty sure she is reacting to having to argue a knee jerk, negative position.
    Also known as a 'straw man'.

    Quote Quote:
    Particularly one with no actual knowledge of science or making an attempt to.
    Oh I'll admit I have no actual knowledge of the kind of science NASA do, her off-topic science lessons came out of nowhere. Of course I'm not going to attempt debating subjects I know nothing about, and which have nothing to do with the thread lol. Why were subjects like moon landings introduced in the first place? "Blah blah blah" was actually a reasonable response to the attempt to derail the discussion using irrelevant text, the thread wasn't just straying off-topic like discussions tend to do.

    Quote Quote:
    That is actually not true. The odds of an asteroid hitting tomorrow are actually equal to the odds of being hit in 1000 years. If the odds of something happening is a million to one but there can be no forewarning of when that one time will be, some diligence is prudent. I can not claim to no the budget for tracking asteroids but I dare say it is rather small. There certainly is not any defense system planned, at least publicly. Your Our tax payers money is safe for now. Thank you for your concern.
    You're right I'm not concerned. You can try and spin it how you will, but asteroid impacts are not a significant risk like real life natural disasters such as the volcanic eruptions, tsunami and earthquakes that happen every decade. Of course money should be spent on disasters which really do happen frequently, and only where they do happen, and not on disasters that are hypothetical. This is only the same reasoning as saying its worth it for the government of Japan to supply heavy funding to aid the study of seismology, but not the government of Britain.

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    NASA always gets the short end of the stick in appropriations, at least when times get tough. It is politically safe to make cuts to NASA when the budget needs reducing. Do keep in mind that the US budget is not a zero sum game: increasing appropriations to one project does not mean that another needs cuts, or goes unfunded. As long as their is public support a project will get funding.
    You're making this more political than it is, the reason why its natural for NASA to get the short end of the stick is because NASA research is costly. All I've said is that any government can be expected to cut back on funding the costly yet non-essential during a downturn, because its only common sense.

    Quote Quote:
    And what leads you to believe that the land is not overburdened? Most evidence points to the opposite. Food and energy prices are rising, overcrowded, polluted cities, the conversion of marginal land into farms, increased political unrest, the AIDS pandemic in Africa, quickly decreasing water supply. Moreover your argument hinges on a society being agrarian. A shrinking population effects food supplies as more hands are needed for planting and harvesting. Modern developed countries are supported by industrialized farming, with little need for surplus labor. As urban populations are largely parasitic, large populations increase the strain on food, water, and energy resources. As stated earlier this usually triggers a Malthusian crisis, most often disease or war. Due to modern medicine, comfort, and contraception declining birth rates are acting to slowly reduce population burden without the need of widespread death and suffering.
    As far as the West is concerned, the land is overburdened by lifestyles, not by population. As far as developing countries go, population growth is artificially increased by Western aid. If any aid is sent there at all, then it should be only for sustainable economic development so that they become self-sufficient without damaging the environment for us, not handouts of food or medical supplies. Nature otherwise keeps expanding populations in check, think of the Maya.

    Quote Quote:
    In what way does that add to the debate?
    In what way did the lesson about NASA add to the debate, exactly? That's what I was responding to, she's obviously letting off steam about job cuts in this thread. Well its not my fault if job cuts are necessary, or even if they aren't *shrugs*.

    Quote Quote:
    What does perception of history have to do with anything. Whether history is circular, static, linear, or zig zags it is completely valid to believe that space travel is the future. Your just plating bad semantics games now.
    No I'm not, she did say that space travel is the future as a statement of linear history. Well, I actually doubt space travel and exploration will stop altogether in the near future but projects like colonizing the Moon and Mars might never happen, or at least they won't happen until someone just happens to invent a fuel that makes space flight cost effective. Do you really think there'd be cutbacks if the Space Age had paid its way?

    Quote Quote:
    How is exploring other planets of little consequence? In the past ten years we have discovered three bodies in the solar system that have organic material, the chemistry materials needed for life. The possibility of standing liquid exists on two of these bodies. The third has confirmed standing, permanent liquids on it's surface. These discoveries were made by the unmanned Galileo and Cassini probes.
    Sorry, I meant economic consequence.

    Quote Quote:
    I'm not so convinced. If they break into the news to say that living microbes have been found on Mars I think people will care. Maybe not as much as if humans set foot on Mars, but still. And to say that exploration should be abandoned due to lack of public interest is asinine.
    Well the public ultimately pay for it, so that's a factor in deciding where the money goes to (and it isn't my decision, I would actually be interested in it). And I'm sure you're overestimating the public interest in microbes lol.

    Quote Quote:
    What is the limit? Explain to me what that limit is and how it is reached?
    I don't need to explain a precise limit to you, because I'm only pointing out that the reason the cutbacks are now is because costly funding is less reasonable during a downturn. You don't even address this when you talk about NASA being a 'safe target', because you know the reasoning for this kind of cutback at the present time is sensible. The more costly the funding needed for a project is, the more it needs to be justified and an asteroid impact warning system doesn't cut it.

    Quote Quote:
    We've already fouled up the surface and shallows, why would we want to foul up the depths too? Anyway, these are not mutually exclusive subjects. China has already bought mining rights in the depth of the Indian Ocean. Not something I am thrilled with but undersea exploitation looks to be the wave of the future. You are wrong to suggest choosing one over the other. Exploiting the ocean will not prevent space exploration.
    I didn't suggest that they were neccessarily mutually exclusive, but suppose that funds were limited, which they always are, but they're low at present. Where does it make the most sense for the government to fund the most research?

    Quote Quote:
    Nor is it any more realistic. The surface of Mars is better mapped than the abyssal plain. And the ocean is as extreme an environment as outer space. Building equipment that can withstand the pressure of the deep ocean is extremely expensive.
    But the technology at least exists to colonise down there, which is more likely to happen sooner because it will make resources available to people on the surface sooner. The impediment to mining colonies in space is that its too uneconomic to ship the resources, but that doesn't apply to the deep sea.

    Quote Quote:
    No. She made an observation of the world around her.
    No, she told me to accept the status quo that she agrees with. Her actual words were "But reproductive choice exists. It is here and now. Work with it." I'm not denying that its here and now, I'm only disagreeing that I can or should work with it.

    Quote Quote:
    They can but why would anyone welcome a return to fear, repression, and silence. Some of us like being educated and informed. That is the real change. While some people have taken advantage of changing norms to indulge, society is also more open and honest, more willing to have open dialog about the pleasures and pains of sex.
    Which is why some people have taken advantage of changing norms to indulge, if you think about it. And like your negative view of the Middle Ages what you've said about 'fear, repression, and silence' is political talk. People did have sex before the sexual revolution, it was that sex was only acceptable in certain circumstances.

    Quote Quote:
    More importantly: we have the choice. You can choose to have pre-60's perceptions of sex. We can choose more modern views.
    And a look at the consequences such as, for example, the rates of single motherhood will provide us with an extramoral measure of which values were the best.

    Quote Quote:
    I already know you will say that choice and tolerance are bad, while education and honesty are illusions so please do not waste any time actually saying it.
    Kaiten, please show me where I've ever said that education or honesty are illusions. There's nothing wrong with the concept of sex education, its just that in real life its used as a front to promote one set of values in the classroom and in the media. You don't want religious agendas in the classroom? Fine. Why should the likes of Planned Parenthood be allowed in there any more than the religious, abstainance-only sex ed people? In spite of the widespread education about contraception, including barriers against sexually transmitted infections, it hasn't stopped STIs, fatherless children, child neglect or comfort abortions, so there's something very wrong with the assumption that just educating people about contraception will encourage responsible sex. Its not realistic to dismiss centuries old values as 'antiquated', keep the state out of people's bedrooms and expect nothing to go wrong with society.

    Quote Quote:
    Evolutionary drives are instinctual. An animal does not need to intellectualize that they need to live long enough to breed. Nor do they need to understand that adapting to novel habitats is advantageous.
    Right, instinct drives all living things including humans, and provides all we need to survive whilst intelligence allows an organism to adapt to novel situations where instinct might fail. So what if humans can intellectualize? Whats the relevance of that? The evolved instincts still stand and overruling the functions of instinct with reason can be self destructive, unlike using reason to further instincts, which is after all the evolved function of intelligence.

    Quote Quote:
    Speciation is a name for a natural, observed process. It is not something anyone thinks animals consciously adopted.
    Neither of us said they did.

    Quote Quote:
    It is used to describe the process by which animal species split into new species. Lemur's and Monkey's did not decide to diverge. Yet they did diverge, speciation is the name for the observed process that caused this split. lrn2bilogy yourself
    The purpose of proto-primates surviving and reproducing wasn't to diverge into lemurs and monkeys though, the process of natural selection is blind and passing on of genes is an end in itself. Organisms do not exist so their descendants may speciate in the future, so try and cover up for your fellow NASA buddy if you will, she actually said "Reproductive survival only matters over very long timescales so speciation can occur", and she's wrong.

    Quote Quote:
    By personal prerogative she means that individuals within some species will place a high priority in their own personal survival. This can be observed in the seals of South Africa's false bay. As they cross shark infested waters they jockey for position among themselves, seeking to get as close to their comrades as possible and as close to the middle of the pack as they can. Getting into the crowded middle lowers the odds of being targeted by the shark. The majority of sharks targeted individuals closer to the group margin. By pushing to the middle seals lowered the chances they would die at the expense of their companions. This behavior has not been noted in all species, but is quite widespread.
    Really, because Earthforge explicitly attempted to separate 'personal perogative' from reproductive survival, as though individuals aren't surviving as individuals to pass on their genes. How does this text about sealions address my reply to her?

    Quote Quote:
    Congratulations on finding so many links! I am not sure what point you are trying to make by posting them, nor am I terribly interested in reading all of them.
    Well in case you NASA people hadn't noticed, this isn't a thread about space and those links aren't supposed to have anything to do with NASA, space exploration or space flight. The forum merged my posts together and I don't care if your not interested in them, because I didn't expect you to be interested. They're all about subjects relating to the life sciences and they aren't supposed to make a point, they're just interesting.
    Last edited by faintsmile1992; February 02, 2012 at 02:31 AM.

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    Registered User 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member HegemonKhan's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the Life Sciences

    Originally, the Nasa content was about whether colonizing Mars is possible here and now, which is a "Life Science" topic, and, as well, "Life Sciences" is a very broad field. The politics of space program does have innotation with life sciences, as why do some of us feel it's important enough to be sided along with "Earthian" (Terrestrial) ssues, while others feel it's not important enough to be sided along with "Earthian" (Terrestrial) isues. Though the Nasa content has become its own argued subject unto itself, which is a bit off-topic from this thread, of "Life Sciences" contents.

    ---------- Post added at 04:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:41 AM ----------

    Happiness vs Wellness:

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/MoralL

    Sam Harris
    Last edited by HegemonKhan; February 02, 2012 at 09:43 AM.
    "The internet’s perfect for all manner of things, but productive discussion ain’t one of them. It provides scant room for debate and infinite opportunities for fruitless point-scoring: the heady combination of perceived anonymity, gestated responses, random heckling and a notional “live audience” quickly conspire to create a “perfect storm” of perpetual bickering." - Charlie Brooker

    "I hold the wolf by the ears, I am in a dangerous situation and dare not let go" -an old saying in Latin

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  13. #56
    MH Senpai 有名人 / Yuumeijin / Celebrity Zatono's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the Life Sciences

    Argumentum ad Verbosium everywhere

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    Registered User 上級員 / Jyoukuuin / Sr. Member faintsmile1992's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the Life Sciences

    Interesting stuff?

    Steve Sailor posted this question on his blog, and he got some really interesting responses.

    "The standard assumption is that teen mothers are less likely to have healthy children than older mothers. But my late father-in-law, who knew a lot of teen mothers as a public high school teacher in Chicago, questioned that conventional wisdom. Sure, if a malnourished 16-year-old peasant girl who weighed 90 pounds and had just gone through puberty at 15 got pregnant, that didn't bode well for the baby. But in his experience, the girls who got pregnant at 16 tended to be robust 150-pounders who had gone through puberty at about 11. He hypothesized that, say, NBA power forwards or NFL running backs would tend to have younger mothers than the average man.

    Has anybody done a study along these lines?"


    i've picked some of the most interesting comments from the blog.

    "About 15 years ago, a couple I know looked into adopting a child. A statistic that is still sticks in my mind was that the average age of the women giving up their child for adoption was around 25. My guess would have been 16 or 17. The reason it is not 16 or 17 is that they are much more likely to live with their parents (probably parent) and have some sort of support system whereas the 25 year old is probably on her own."

    "There was a study maybe three years ago that black underclass girls did better having babies in their teens. The researchers attributed it to the younger mothers being healthier - primarily because they were less likely to be obese or diabetic - and to their having the help of older relatives in a way that they did not when they were in their twenties and thirties. I looked for it a year ago but couldn't find it. It was done in one city, IIRC New York or Chicago."

    "Go to any Amish or Mennonite community. You will find all the healthy teen mothers with healthy babies you wish on Amish and Mennonite farms."

    "In fact, 1990 infant mortality rates for teenage mothers in Harlem were half those for older mothers, even though the preponderance of these 'older' mothers were only in their twenties."

    "I can't point to a study, but in the 1980s I read a textbook Nutrition in Pregnancy and Lactation that had a chapter on adolescent pregnancy. It said that what problems their were (mostly low birth weight and its related problems) were the result of inadequate nutrition for both a still maturing mother's body and the fetus's needs. That is, from the mother not eating enough."

    "I'm not wholly convinced about older family members being more available to a an adolescent black female as the deciding factor. As long as there is an opportunity to observe and help more experienced females dealing with young children effectively, a 22 yo black female s/b able to implement that knowledge on her own. A greater willingness to share resources like money and the same dwelling with adolescent mothers may be the real reason they seem to fare better. This would also lead to the conclusion that the resource sharing that goes on in marriage would make the difference for the older mothers.

    Being a PT has traditionally been much more stigmatizing in the white community which means a healthier white teen will also be avoiding pregnancy if dating at all. The white teens who do get pregnant will disproportionately have family/drug abuse problems. Adolescent pregnancy being more common and accepted in the black population will mean that many of the mentally and physical healthier teens will be included in the statistics while the reverse will influence the statistics on whites."

    "Yes. I did a peer reviewed study covering 250 young mothers over a 6-year period. Your father in law ws correct."

    "I am reminded that all the eggs that a woman will ever have were fully developed during *her* gestation in the womb - she never develops any more than stock she was born with. It is known that eggs deteriorate with age (eg Down's syndrome with 35+ mothers).So from this view a woman's eggs and thus the viability of the child are positively linked with youth, therefore from a biological standpoint early pregnancy, providing the girl is 'strong' enough is recommended."

    "I would be quite certain that if you compared outcomes for teen mom infants to those for *all* older mothers (including the 40+) the teens would come out ahead. Now, for teens versus the 21-29 bracket, I have no idea. But if someone wants to get on a high horse and start condemning teen pregnancy and any associated infant risks as a big public health issue, I think coming back at them with stats for older women would be a good rebuttal.
    It is in any case a pretty small problem given the low infant mortality rates we have today."

    "All things being equal, it's better to be conceived from a 17 year old egg than a 25 year old egg."

    "I recall reading about a study, pre-web, maybe done in Denmark, that concluded that, all else being equal, teen moms and their infants do better than older moms and their infants. Enraged a lot of people, though it obviously makes a lot of intuitive sense. At what age do females in the ancestral environment tend to give birth? Couldn't Google the study up, though."

    "Does that study include the actual statistics involved? I.e., rate of miscarriage, rate of abortion, rate of healthy births, broken down by age? I looked for numbers like these years ago and it was like looking for hen's teeth. The agenda seemed to include sweeping those numbers under the rug, probably because 14 year olds are perfectly capable of squirting out healthy kids, with negligible increased risk. I saw all the signs of statistical chicanery I'd been taught to recognize arguing about HBD with idiots and charlatans for years. E.g., the lit always had "x is 50% more likely to y than z is" type assertions. Yeah, well, .15% is 50% bigger than .1%..."

    "I once tried to PubMed the original research to support the dangers of teen pregnancies. Those studies were from Bangladesh."

    "Teen fathers also have smarter, less autistic, less schizophrenic babies than older fathers. Google: "paternal age intelligence", and "Paternal age autism", and Paternal age effect"."


    And perhaps most importantly...

    "Never mind the data. Teen parents simply must be bad"

    "I speculate that In the past two things were in operation that would've made teens effective as parents: They had siblings so could learn from watching their own parents raising a family and parenthood at an early age was typical so teens could learn from each other. Sad, but true, what we observe are mostly teen mothers from dysfunctional families and communities. We should be competent to parent by age 18 easily but we've been telling our best and brightest that despite our academic expectations for them, they'd be lousy parents and providers until much later. I suggest we're also lazily and perfunctorily taking a future orientation wrt to education that's costing us way more resources than it's worth. If we were ever getting the best results by staying in school well into our 20s, this approach has devolved into mere procrastination and escapism for many."

    "Maybe "good enoughism" is evolutionarily superior to perfectionism."


    ---------- Post added February 17, 2012 at 03:10 AM ---------- Previous post was February 04, 2012 at 03:00 AM ----------

    This is interesting, it surely has something to do with the size of neanderthal orbits.

    Latitudinal variation in light levels drives human visual system size

    Ambient light levels influence visual system size in birds and primates. Here, we argue that the same is true for humans. Light levels, in terms of both the amount of light hitting the Earth's surface and day length, decrease with increasing latitude. We demonstrate a significant positive relationship between absolute latitude and human orbital volume, an index of eyeball size. Owing to tight scaling between visual system components, this will translate into enlarged visual cortices at higher latitudes. We also show that visual acuity measured under full-daylight conditions is constant across latitudes, indicating that selection for larger visual systems has mitigated the effect of reduced ambient light levels. This provides, to our knowledge, the first support that light levels drive intraspecific variation in visual system size in the human population.

    https://wiki.med.harvard.edu/pub/Neu...earce_2011.pdf
    http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.o...10570supp1.pdf
    Last edited by faintsmile1992; February 03, 2012 at 10:17 PM.

  16. #58
    MH's Most High Quality Poster 英雄メンバー / Eiyuu Menbaa / Hero Member earthforge's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the Life Sciences

    Why do you attack Kaiten? Call her a NASA person? You are being very insulting, striking out at people who might even agree with you.

    Non intellegens nil explicas.
    Videre nolens nil capies.
    Incognita non vides.

    Quote Originally Posted by faintsmile1992 View Post
    The idea that the behaviours underlying modern social problems such as obesity are related to evolved instincts from a hunter gatherer past, is entirely rational and mainstream. Examples like obesity demonstrate that the human brain has not evolved fast enough (and widespread obesity in the lower classes is a relatively new phenomenon, but the upper classes have had diet-related health problems for far longer because weight used to be seen as a sign of wealth).
    1. Evolution is NOT directional. It is an adaptive process. We learn this in university biology.
    2. "Inability to recognize a problem", I assume, is a combo of environmental and genetic factors. You can't decouple it.

    Quote Quote:
    As opposed to Earthforge I suppose, whose entire last post in this thread was an apologetics for her career, to the point of posting vast blocks of irrelevant text about the history of moon landings and so on (hence the blah blah blah I posted whenever she did so, because she was deliberately trying to detract from the discussion).
    Speak for yourself. You spend a lot of your posts in "apologetics" (not a word, I'm afraid) and justify yourself by misapplied out-of-context quotes. I have a career. I try to develop my arguments thoughtfully. I conceded some points to you, and tried to explore them. If you don't wish to read or meet at a middle ground and can't stand up to the academic rigor involved in an argument, then you should consider taking classes at a rigorous university. Don't defend your narrowness. Grow.

    Quote Quote:
    Where did I quote a pop philosopher or even a philosopher in this thread?
    Quote Quote:
    "The 14,000 members of this Association, however, know that revision is the lifeblood of historical scholarship. History is a continuing dialogue between the present and the past. Interpretations of the past are subject to change in response to new evidence, new questions asked of the evidence, new perspectives gained by the passage of time. There is no single, eternal, and immutable "truth" about past events and their meaning. The unending quest of historians for understanding the past - that is, "revisionism" - is what makes history vital and meaningful." - James McPherson
    *strained snickering*

    Quote Quote:
    Which is irrelevant to what I said about space travel using current fuels being bad for the environment, if it was more common.
    And I asked you for those numbers and specific chemical species. Still waiting. You see, I want to academically discuss matters because I wish to understand. What do you want?

    Quote Quote:
    You and Earthforge both know that, so you're mentioning the number of cars so as to avoid the point - its nonsense to talk about fighting climate change whilst advocating something you both know contributes to climate change. How about banning all launches into space until after it can be done without the emissions lol.
    Again, get me the numbers. You say space launches contribute to climate change, but how? Tell me the exact mechanics, the exact chemistry. Let's get into the gory scientific details.

    Quote Quote:
    Of course we can close the debate, because space shuttle emissions aren't relevant to the life sciences. Its because the combustion that needs to be released by a space shuttle is far larger than any number of road vehicles carrying the same number of people, that there should be more concern. And of course car emissions should be reduced, but how many people do you know who own an electric car?
    [Citation needed]

    And it was you who brought up space shuttle "emissions", so you went off topic first.

    Quote Quote:
    We're only talking about the view he has on science.
    As long as you think science is a religion, something to be believed or disbelieved... Don't take your medications. Because they are a product of science. Don't drive a car, hybrid or gas-powered. Those are products of science. Unplug your fridge and laptop. Electronics are a product of science.

    I was willing to partially concede and even inspire, but you continue a relentless drone attack. "You do not wish to learn. You only wish to speak."

    Quote Quote:
    assuming that if someone doesn't agree with her opinion about science, then they mustn't know what science actually is, and need to be told like children.
    That's it! You think I am treating you like a child. I assure you, I am not. I only wish to share my enthusiasm with others. If you don't want to share, that is your loss. I have much in my life and only wish to share my joys with the world, to make the world a better place. There is too much sadness. Growing also means growing beyond contemporary fear and looking for the places where no one has gone before - avenues into archeaology, oceanography, astronomy, biophysics, mathematics, entomology, biochemistry, architecture, music... So much undiscovered! The world is beautiful, we just have to reach out and seize the day! I speak as much for others as myself.

    Quote Quote:
    This kind of attitude reminds me of all those idiots who are saying the US government is anti-science, as though they oppose science on principle, just because they're making reasonable funding cutbacks during an economic downturn. So people with a vested interest invented some straw man to argue against and started to believe in it themselves.
    NASA has been cut every year, long before the Great Recession. I was discussing that in my prior post.

    Quote Quote:
    Longer human lives, when the aging have a Western level of living but produce nothing for society, is one reason why the world's resources are disproportionately consumed by the wealthiest countries with declining populations. And disease has a naturally eugenic effect upon populations. So whilst I don't question the easing of human suffering for the living, I question the morality behind the idea that every human be kept alive as long as possible, and the value of science that allows people with serious hereditary diseases to survive and to pass on their genes to offspring, ultimately increasing the genetic load on the society.
    Sigh. If you ever said your fondness for young boys 30 years ago, you realize you would've been the one locked up? You seem to have a romanticism about the past, yet it was very similar to now except the social mores involved a lot more deception and appearances. Even I don't know much about it. The context was very different.

    Quote Quote:
    Is this really different from phenomena such as drug addiction, obesity epidemics and hedonistic child-free lifestyles in modern societies?
    How is having no children "hedonistic"? You know, there is more to being a woman than being a baby-machine.

    Quote Quote:
    Thanks to medical science, the birth rate of healthy, productive individuals is down through methods of contraception and abortion, whilst unproductive and costly lives are extended by decades. This is madness!
    Let me see if I've got this right: "healthy, productive" individuals pop right out of the birth canal?

    Quote Quote:
    Also known as a 'straw man'.
    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Quote Quote:
    Oh I'll admit I have no actual knowledge of the kind of science NASA do, her off-topic science lessons came out of nowhere.
    Your honesty is much appreciated. I only wish to share my knowledge and joy. If you wish to remain ignorant of what NASA does, it is your prerogative.

    Quote Quote:
    Why were subjects like moon landings introduced in the first place? "Blah blah blah" was actually a reasonable response to the attempt to derail the discussion using irrelevant text, the thread wasn't just straying off-topic like discussions tend to do.
    You said that NASA only got some rocks from the Moon, and that we lost people's hearts and minds long ago. I asserted that the moon missions had a deeper impact on the people of that generation.

    I wasn't derailing the convo. Just approaching your reasonable concern. If you want to forget what you said, that's fine. That is completely your own weakness.

    Quote Quote:
    You're right I'm not concerned. You can try and spin it how you will, but asteroid impacts are not a significant risk like real life natural disasters such as the volcanic eruptions, tsunami and earthquakes that happen every decade. Of course money should be spent on disasters which really do happen frequently, and only where they do happen, and not on disasters that are hypothetical.
    Do you realize how much Japan spent on trying to protect themselves from a "hypothetical" Great Tokyo earthquake? It paid off for them.

    Reality is, we live in a solar system and giant chunks of rock bombard our planet. Most heat up and are destroyed. It is a distinct possibility that we can be hit by an asteroid. I was reflecting on the possibility of taking an asteroid and using it for our purposes. Taking a risk into an advantage. There is so much we can do!

    Quote Quote:
    You're making this more political than it is, the reason why its natural for NASA to get the short end of the stick is because NASA research is costly.
    No. It's political. Case in point: In America, funding is divided between the red states and blue states. The red states are focused on rocket-building, and the blue-states on robotic science programs. With the Republican congress, the red states succeeded in getting funding for a rocket with no payload. But they never built it, because it is just a set of kickbacks for those contractors. However, the blue states interceded and now we got some funding for some Mars probes. Unfortunately, that just got cut back (and we are fighting for the money now.) I think Dr. Zubrin put it best:

    "America’s human spaceflight program is currently completely adrift. Unless it is reorganized as a mission-driven directorate committed to efficiently achieving important objectives within a meaningful timeframe, it may well prove to be indefensible in the face of the oncoming fiscal tsunami. But the Mars program is defensible. It has real and rational objectives, reasonable costs, and a terrific track record of success. It can and must be saved."

    Quote Quote:
    As far as the West is concerned, the land is overburdened by lifestyles, not by population.
    Tell me your way of "fixing" someone's lifestyle. Tell me who would even listen to you. If everyone has your same values, then they might ignore you just as you selectively hear me.

    Quote Quote:
    In what way did the lesson about NASA add to the debate, exactly? That's what I was responding to, she's obviously letting off steam about job cuts in this thread. Well its not my fault if job cuts are necessary, or even if they aren't *shrugs*.
    I was talking about the advances of planetary sciences and life on other planets. It was you who said that it didn't matter. I realize you have a difficulty in remembering your posts. Work with me.

    Quote Quote:
    Well the public ultimately pay for it, so that's a factor in deciding where the money goes to (and it isn't my decision, I would actually be interested in it). And I'm sure you're overestimating the public interest in microbes lol.
    Then don't pay for antibiotics. If you want to live by the sword, realize you must die by the sword.

    Quote Quote:
    But the technology at least exists to colonise down there
    No it doesn't. Citation needed. Kaiten was very much right; technology for investigating our ocean is comparable to investigating space. By investing in both and allowing them to talk to each other, you get even better and safer solutions. That's a productive solution.

    Quote Quote:
    No, she told me to accept the status quo that she agrees with. Her actual words were "But reproductive choice exists. It is here and now. Work with it." I'm not denying that its here and now, I'm only disagreeing that I can or should work with it.
    Everyone else is. Again, if everyone else cares about you as much as you are considering me, who would listen to you?

    Quote Quote:
    People did have sex before the sexual revolution, it was that sex was only acceptable in certain circumstances.
    Kaiten was referring to the societal repression in the 50's and earlier. You're right, people have always been having sex. But now we actually accept that accidents happen instead of covering up the truth and abandoning bastard children.

    Quote Quote:
    And a look at the consequences such as, for example, the rates of single motherhood will provide us with an extramoral measure of which values were the best.
    I can't judge them, neither can you. To everyone there is a story. We sometimes forget.

    Quote Quote:
    There's nothing wrong with the concept of sex education, its just that in real life its used as a front to promote one set of values in the classroom and in the media.
    Sex exists. Accidents happen. Here are some ways to avoid accidents. How exactly is this an agenda? PP provides a wide variety of women's health services, including breast cancer screenings. They provide health services. This is like attributing an agenda to someone providing blood tests.

    Quote Quote:
    In spite of the widespread education about contraception, including barriers against sexually transmitted infections, it hasn't stopped STIs, fatherless children, child neglect or comfort abortions, so there's something very wrong with the assumption that just educating people about contraception will encourage responsible sex.
    1. "Comfort abortions"? It is clear to me you never knew somebody who had an abortion.
    2. It has actually lowered STI rates.
    3. Divorce laws actually allowed many women to get out of abusive marriages. That's why the statistics have changed, so it appears that there are more fatherless children. (Talk to any woman who got a divorce back then.)

    This is why I want you to look at PubMed articles, since those are trustworthy. Argue with me, I enjoy it - as long as you argue rigorously.

    Quote Quote:
    Its not realistic to dismiss centuries old values as 'antiquated', keep the state out of people's bedrooms and expect nothing to go wrong with society.
    You want a nanny state in people's bedrooms? This is highly amusing to me.

    Quote Quote:
    Really, because Earthforge explicitly attempted to separate 'personal perogative' from reproductive survival, as though individuals aren't surviving as individuals to pass on their genes. How does this text about sealions address my reply to her?
    Reasons for existence are a personal decision you make with your omniscient being. Actually, I am right in reproductive survival implying speciation. I don't see why you disagree. You talk about how you like little boys sometimes. Does that have anything to do with reproductive survival? Probably not, because if you were to engage in it in public, you'd be caught and arrested under charges of lewd acts with a minor.

    Quote Quote:
    Well in case you NASA people hadn't noticed, this isn't a thread about space and those links aren't supposed to have anything to do with NASA, space exploration or space flight.
    It is about life. And microbes on other worlds is a step to life on other worlds. Isn't it wonderful? I wish to share my interest in this. It was you who made it about budgets and space flight and how NASA shouldn't exist. When I approach you on that though, you claim I'm going away from the subject. Why do you deny me, and not allow me to talk about something I like to study?
    Avatar © Chelsea Gordon, author of Not Quite Normal.

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  18. #59
    Registered User MH中毒 / MH Chuudoku / MH Addicted k-dom's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the Life Sciences

    I guess you are very happy today earthforge :-))

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