Area54

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Area54 last won the day on September 10

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About Area54

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  • Favorite Area of Science
    Astrobiology, vulcanology

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  1. Frequency of Severe Hurricanes

    I could have said "Your assertions in this thread have been unsubstantiated and laced with an unwarranted self righteousness." Instead I chose the pithier partial quote of your own words. I shall address your posts with more seriousness, when there is something in them that merits seriousness.
  2. OT from how to turn a believer

    We know there are many alternative methods of producing Easter eggs. For one thing we can visit a factory that manufactures them. Your desire for Easter eggs and the subsequent success in obtaining them is proof that they exist, not how they are produced.
  3. That's a bit of a harsh judgment on a non-native speaker.
  4. Frequency of Severe Hurricanes

    Thank you for throwing me a lifeline, I mean a Heinlein. However, I was with you until the fifth word, because your first four were "I do not think". I thought that was an honest and accurate summation.
  5. Well, if this wasn't the case there would be little need for planetary science. Science is, after all, a process for explaining what currently cannot be explained, so I am not sure what point you are trying to make. So, to dip into some of your examples a little, here are some observations: Earth's Geothermal Energy I found it odd that, in a blog confirming the importance of radioactive decay to the Earth's heat balance, you should single out one short sentence: " The rest is leftover from Earth's formation or other causes yet unknown, according to the scientists involved." It seems clear to me that the "other causes yet unknown" was simply a cautious recognition that we never know everything. Nowhere in the article was there any suggestion that there is any evidence pointing to unknown causes. I am not aware of any serious, recent research suggesting that may be the case. Do you have any? If not, this instance can be dismissed. Ceres The words you quoted " The mystery of the dwarf planet Ceres' lonely ice volcano may have just been solved" kind of gave me the impression that " the mystery of the dwarf planet Ceres' lonely ice volcano may have just been solved" and consequently this was a phenomenon of planetary activity which can be explained by modern science. Mercury Likewise, I do not see how an article expanding our knowledge can be used to support a thesis that " there are many phenomenons of planetary activity which seem can't be explained by modern science". Moreover, I would question the claim that other planets are lacking geological activity. Mars has evidence of recent vulcanicity and I believe some researchers claim the same for Venus. I'll defer comments on your other examples until you have clarified what direction you wish to take this in.
  6. Consciousness and Evolution

    I agree. A lot of clarity is even better. I have been unclear. I do not wish, at this stage, to read your theory of consciousness. (I can see that my phrase "well defined thesis" was poorly chosen.) I simply wish you to clearly agree to, disagree with or edit the following statements: Consciousness has multiple levels. Tthe simplest of these levels is present in prokaryotes and is, in essence, a suite of reactions to their environments. The more advanced levels, that we are aware of, are reached by creatures such as humans, cetaceans etc. There are other "levels", or "phases", or "stages" between these two. Different "levels", or "phases", or "stages" may be present in an organism at different times, under different conditions and at different points in its life cycle. Unfortunately all these levels/phases/stages are considered by one or more authorities to be consciousness. This lack of granularity causes confusion, misunderstanding, derailment of arguments, etc. In view of the foregoing, and in particular the last point, for the love of whatever deity you choose not to believe in would you please be very specific about which consciousness you are talking about in each post, or in each part of a post. Had you done so from the outset we would all have lived happier lives over the past couple of weeks.
  7. Frequency of Severe Hurricanes

    I was with you until you moved on to the fifth word.
  8. Consciousness and Evolution

    Many people in this thread have been frustrated by your unwillingness or inability to define which of the many definitions of consciousness you wish to use. If I have understood you correctly you believe the term may be applied to everything between the biochemical reactions of a unicellular organism, up to the self awareness of a human. In this you are supported by many philosophers and branches of philosophy, although not all would be in agreement with each other. The discussion then comes down to one of semantics. Until you have given and continue to give precise definitions of consciousness as you are using it at that moment you will obfuscate your message rather than expound it. You have been told this multiple times by multiple members, but instead of taking this on board you have retreated into the "I am a knowlegeable philosopher and you are Phillistines" approach. Now that, to use your own terminology, is shit! So, if you wish your discussion to advance I recommend that you come of your high horse, recognise the valid objections of other members and offer clarity of statement and a well defined thesis. That shouldn't be difficult for someone well versed in philosophy.
  9. Value of an Asteroid

    I considered that, but the specific mention of the fuel that is specifically not necessary led me to (specifically) reject that possiblity. I hope Janus will comment either way.
  10. Consciousness and Evolution

    One of us has missed the point. I'm not sure which one, but I have my biases. I have no problem with the word illusion because I understand its intent to be the same intent, in the context of consciousness, as is convyed by the word interpretation. I regret the word was chosen since it seems to confuse one group of people who do not understand the mutiplicity of meanings a word may carry (e.g. tar) and provides another group with ammunition to condemn the theory it is related to (e.g. apparently yourself in some of your posts) and righteously offends another group because they allow themselves to be distracted by the other meanings that could have been intended. (e.g. yourself in this quoted post.) All that said, illusion is the word we have and everyone engaged here, apart from tar, appears to have a broadly similar understanding of its meaning, if not its consequences. So, I for one intend to return to matters of more substance. Also, as far as I am concerned, the broad definition of consciousness you favour is too vague to be of much value for anything other than generating silly arguments, so I'm hopefully done with that one too. I shall return in my next post to addressing your claim regarding the linking of evolution and consciousness. As you have presented it to date it appears to be nonsense. Feel free to respond after I have posted my reasoning.
  11. Value of an Asteroid

    Fuel can be derived from the asteroid, either as volatiles, or simply reaction mass for a railgun "Stone chucker".
  12. Of equal, or greater importance is the fact that falling mortality rates are typically associated with increasing education and affluence. The former tends to encourage greater application of contraception, the latter does the same because parents would rather spend their money on flat screen TVs than on more children.
  13. Consciousness and Evolution

    @tar , if the word used had been "interpretation" rather than "illusion" would you have the same objections?
  14. The heritability of attitudes: a study found

    I've passed the time allowed to edit my previous post. The penultimate sentence should read " Are you seriously disputing that there is not a genetic component to IQ?" The "not" was missing. You are assuming that a high IQ is the only important genetic factor in determining evolutionary fitness. Intelligence is not the product of a single gene. Genes that contribute to low IQ's may contribute to other aspects of fitness, today or tomorrow. Eliminate those genes and the population may have a higher IQ, but be less likely to successfully reproduce. (And since when was a high IQ an assured root to success?)
  15. MM experiment null result is not an accurate claim

    Is this entirely true? I understood that the reason for proposing the aether was that those waves of which we then had knowledge required a medium through which to propagate. It was therefore logical to suspect that there must be some medium through which light propagated. An argument that could be used at the time might have run like, "All the waves we are aware of propagate through a medium. What evidence do you have that light is an exception to this established rule?" None of this in any way supports the continued argument for an aether, but it seems to me it was, for a time, valid and reasonable to suspect one existed. The alternative appears to be an implicit assertion that Michelson and Morely were fools or pseudoscientists for attempting to demonstrate the motion of the Earth through the aether. I may well be mistaken in this perception, but I cannot presently see where.