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Showing content with the highest reputation on 04/30/21 in all areas

  1. Another piece of the puzzle of life. Seems to present very primitive form of cell differentiation, with only two types of cells. A billion year old fossil, which provides a new link in the evolution of animals, has been discovered in Torridon, Scotland. https://phys.org/news/2021-04-billion-year-old-fossil-reveals-link-evolution.html The organism was spherical in shape, suggesting also that cellular differentiation, "tissue" formation, and body plan were very primitive. https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(21)00424-3
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  2. A number of interesting facts/data came to mind when I saw this question. [1] Scientific theories are models we use based on known data...[2] The dual nature of light/photons...[3] the fact that light/photons have no rest mass...a photon is a quanta of light or a bundle of the smallest amount of energy we can measure. Considering all that data, I came to the average sensible lay person's conclusion that a photon would have no shape. But like any good sensible lay person, I did some checking...https://physicsworld.com/a/how-to-shape-photons-using-a-trapped-atom/#:~:text=A photon is a quan
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  3. From those lectures on quantum mechanics that I looked at on YouTube, it follows that the photon has no shape or trajectory. A photon has only two points, where it was born and where it was absorbed. Thus, the photon is a "black box", as it is arranged from the inside, we do not know.
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  4. Well spotted. (+1) I note that Martin Brasier is credited as a co-author. Brasier played a significant role in the identification and analysis of Pre-Cambrian micro-fossils and their evolution. He died in a car accident six or seven years ago. The organism's Linnaein name, Bicellum brasieri, presumably commemorates him and his role in this work. His popular book Darwin's Lost World, is an excellent read. I love such work that puts another (unnecessary) nail in the coffin of those Creationists who fail to understand what occurred in the previous billion years to enable the Camrbian Explos
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  5. My limited, chemist's understanding of QM is that you can't really speak of an "objective" EM field configuration for a single photon. If you could, it seems to me it would be a classical object rather than a QM one. But I think we probably now need a real physicist's input.
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  6. I tend to agree with @Prometheus. I find it difficult to see the paradox because there are so many unknowns. Let me give you an example: In recent years it's been discovered that there are microorganisms living underground and in the marine bottoms with life cycles completely disparate from those imposed by the Sun. This suggests that we are barely starting to understand the limits of life in our own planet. I would add the ethological argument. Namely: Why would another civilisation want to be seen by us? Predation, parasitism, territoriality, and other similar patterns in which one orga
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  7. I, too, suspect that it's iron stains. The stains sometimes appear at the spot where I pour the salt into the pools. The salt I use is highly refined pool salt - ultra-fine pure white crystalline salt. However I don't think they remove all the contaminants, too costly. Here's what Fishel Pools says about pool salt: I think you're right about the chelation, here's what I found at PubMed: Amazing stuff, hey?
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  8. Those stains look like iron salts to me. You'll have to explain to me why you associate them with salt, as I'm a Brit and we don't have many outdoor swimming pools here. Do you use salt to treat the water in some way? Could it have iron as a contaminant, like the rock salt we put on the road in winter, which always looks a bit pink or brown? Chemically, I would expect ascorbic acid to form a "chelate" with iron Fe³⁺ ions, which is a sort of cage molecule enclosing it. This could serve to dissolve the iron salts off the sides of the pool, if that it what it is.
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  9. I don't understand why it's considered a paradox. If you take something like the Drake equation, there are lots of parameters we have little idea about, such as fraction of planets suitable for life on which life actually appears or fraction of intelligent life that develops detectable technology. It's quite possible that these parameters are such that a technological civilisation on average only appears, say, 0.7 times in the entire life a galaxy.
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  10. First amendment of the US constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. So the "right of Freedom of speech" pertains to the limits the US government has in this manner. It does not matter if the term "freedom of speech" already existed or who first coined it.
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  11. This does not follow. The population of slaves can outnumber the population of the elites without outnumbering the population of non-slaves (i.e. white people, predominantly). It depends on what fraction of the population of non-slaves is considered elite. It's not as if every single family owned slaves, and, of course, not everyone is an elite.
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