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Everything posted by Dak

  1. what about that idea that either cap'n or atheist (don't recall) mentioned a while back of making the search results customisable, so you could choose which forums showed up in recent posts/newSpyThingy?
  2. Is this ron paul showing any signs that he'll try to stop the teaching of evolution, stem cell research, etc? iow, does he (presumably) allow religion to trump science in his private life only, or will he allow it to flow over into his political life aswell?
  3. i think you could argue that lemmings commit suicide, but not consiously. iirc, a lemming's stress levels are proportional the local population-density of lemmings, and stress forces them to migrate. if they don't/cant, i think they generally die of stress, which could be called a natural suicide. also, depressed animals can self-harm and stop eating, to the point where they die iirc.
  4. words, mate. when you threaten someone with imprisonment if they theive or rape, you're trying to 'override their free will' and make then act as you wish them to act, even if they don't want to.
  5. no worries john. the reason i asked is that both torture and punishment seem pretty much the same to me: doing or threatening mean things to people to control them and make them do what you want. the only difference seems to be magnitude. I was just thinking that 'how far should we go' might be a better question than 'should we torture'?
  6. so... if we assume that there's a 50% chance of god existing, we can deduce that there's a 67% chance of god existing? umm...
  7. depends how you define 'damage'. is loss of freedom not 'damage'? elsewize, we're just talking corporeal v non-corporeal punishment.
  8. torture is worse than prison, but why? what's the actual difference between torture and non-tortuous punishment?
  9. how is torture different from prison/the threat of prison? either way, you're doing something nasty to someone or threatening them as a punishment or as coersion.
  10. and then two mods came along, and the invective mysteriously stopped and we started discussing the science
  11. umm... if it's RNA, why would it be called scDNA? RNA = riboneucleic acid, DNA = deoxyribonucleic acid. the deoxigination is significant: it stabalises the chain and (iirc) is the difference that several enzymes capitalise on to only work on either DNA or RNA (not entirely sure on that), so i'd be skepticle of something actually being RNA with thymine in it being called scDNA.
  12. merry christmas everyone!
  13. i'd agree that cloud formation is not accurately simulated. however, from the IPCC report (4, 'phisical basis', FAQ, http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg1.htm): so, in summary: yes a problem, and, yes, the precision and accuracy of the predictions suffer as a result; but no, not a problem of such magnitude that it cannot be worked around, the uncertainty included in the predictions, and meaningful and reliable predictions still made. I'd reword it: """People designing global climate models on their supercomputers are not able to accurately simulate the process of cloud formation. This leads to problems, making long term predictions less accurate than they would otherwize be.""" btw: as i read it, the uncertainty with reguards to cloud-cover contributes hugely to the margins of error that the IPCC predictions have.
  14. This thread went stoopid. All the insanity and replies have been removed. Vampares: please try to be a little clearer, a little less non-sequitarial, and a little less generally confusing in future.
  15. ftp://ftp.itri.bton.ac.uk/bnc/ (study of british national corpus, words + freq data) http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/research/ilash/Moby/ http://wordlist.sourceforge.net/ whatcha doing, btw?
  16. i think part of the problem is that these uncertainties are generally factored into the models. i.e., we may not know the precise effects of factor x, buy we can make an informed estimate at the maximum/minimum likely effects of factor x, and thus still have accurate models. fair one, they're accurate by dint of being less specific (larger margin of error), but they're not useless just because we don't fully understand every single factor.
  17. your repeated claims that the current warming = the average warming over the last 30 years requires a linear fit in order to be true, as has been pointed out to you. as the trend is non-linear and accelerating, the warming at the beginning of that range would have been < the average < warming at the end of that range (i.e., now). this is actually evident in the data that pangloss eventually provided for you. very well, do you have any data/refferences that would suggest that this is the case? the reason i'm skeptical of your suggestion is that humans are prone to a number of biases (conformational bias, for one example) which scientists are generally trained to be aware of and relatively resistant to (blind assays, for example, seem to work quite well at negating conformational bias), and the peer-review system seems quite apt at weeding out any biases that get through. i'm finding it a bit difficult to accept that, in this area, science completely screws up and falls prone to an apparently documented and well-known psycological phenomena, and that no-one has jumped for the fame and glory of demonstrating that this is/may be the case by publishing a paper on it, whilst there are numerous papers on, e.g., conformational bias.
  18. PS to pangloss: you must have seen me arguing in the mods room to let creationists back because i think they stimulate discussion and add a diversity of oppinion to the site, even if their oppinion is stupid. i have nothing against people who don't accept the scientific/standard stance on GW, evolution, or any other matter. all that bugs me is when the refuse to 'argue by the rules', e.g. refuse to offer citations, use logical fallicies, repeat arguments ad nausium, ignore critisizm, cherry-pick, etc etc etc. so yeah, it's not that i'm trying to 'daemonize' SL (or anyone else) for not having a 'politically corect oppinion' , it's just that i wish he'd stop cherry-picking and ignoring the obvious flaws in his arguments once they're pointed out.
  19. 'mass shared dilusion' was a rewording, but that's how rediculous it was. bear in mind that SL doesn't think that GW science has got it right, so that pretty much equates to 'science has gotten a bit carried away with the whole GW thing and gorne silly'. which is daft however you word it. i've no idea where 'political correctness' comes into it. pangloss, this is a science site. for discussing science. at the end of the day, science trumps non-science. no one is obliged to actually have any qualifications in science to post here, but if it can be shown that what you're saying is scientifically unsupported -- and, in fact, science states that the exact opposite is the case -- then do you not think, on a science site, you should actually acknowledge that science may in actual fact be onto something and that you may be wrong. hence all the requests for citations and the annoyance when SL refused and merely repeated his unsupported claims, trying to extrapolate future trends as if current warming were linear dispite the fact that you will not find a single scientific source treating GW as if it were a linear trend, because it's not. the thing is tho that skeptisism is still based on evidence and reason. if, for example, someone points out that you're making a fundamental mistake, you should correct that, not simply repeat it ad nausium. you should consider all POV and try to figure out which is more valid, not accept the fringe oppinions whilst rejecting mainstream oppinions. so? theres a huge industry around medicine, does that mean that medical science is prone to over-exaggeration? sure, it may get misrepresented often by those who stand to profit, and certain things may be more likely to get funding for political reasons, but medical science itself is still reliable. by all means be skeptical of what politicians etc. say about GW, but do you not think that things like the IPCC report are, at least, our best understanding? the data may show that the average warming over the last 30 years is xC per decade, but you get a different number if you look over the last 10, 50, whatever years. the data also clearly shows that the increase in temperature is non-linear. you seem to have ignored the fact that simply averaging out the last 30 years isn't very accurate, ignored the fact that the increase is non-linear, and gone and extrapolated the average over the last 30 years as if it were linear in order to 'refute' accepted scientific projections of future temperature increase. if you wonder why you get treated as a denyer rather than a skeptic, there it is. skeptics don't cherry-pick data and ignore critisism, denyers do.
  20. so, in short, GW science is a mass shared delusion? or, as all science basicaly boils down to 'lots of people discussing something they believe over time', all of science is prone to being overinflated? this is why you're a denyer and not a sceptic, dispite your protestations to the contrary: because you'll grab at any rationalisation of your assumption that GW science is wrong no matter how ludicrous, will completely ignore anyone's critisism of your arguments (i.e., they're demonstratably fundamentally flawed), and your arguments are peppered with inconsistancies, logical fallicies and factual errors. and, panglos, this is why SL gets 'picked on' whilst others dont.
  21. the immune system is quite complicated. just getting a veigue overview was quite a shoker in my BSc... having said that, i think i remember that lectins are present in simpler immune-systems, and act kinda like 'static' antibodies, so it's thought that at least that branch of our immune system is a hang-on from older, simpler immune systems. that might be one place to start? lectins, btw, are sugars that bind to certain common components of bacteria, and can cross-link them to form 'clumps' of bacteria. being clumped inhibits bacterias actions (crossing intestinal walls, infecting cells, etc). also, iirc macrophages have lectin-receptors, and when enough of them are triggered the macrophage will start eating (hence: in higher chordates, once something has been clumped by lectins it gets eaten by macrophages, thus getting rid of it and bringing it to the attention of the adaptive immune system).
  22. your data was not getting in the way of his argument by dint of not existing. Your methodology was flawed, as has been explained to you (the whole linear-extrapolation from non-linear trend thing). It's a simple fact lance: your claim that current and future warming will follow a linear trend is scientifically unsupported. feel free to provide a citation stating otherwize if you can find one.
  23. i'm sorry, but you've lost me on both the special interests/door banging bit, and the weighting questions bit? from their FAQ:
  24. i think because you're not linking to an image per se, but rather to a php script that dynamically creates an image (check the url) you can't imbed it in your post without copying the picture and uploading it somewhere.
  25. yeah, but with a car you can phisically see the fuel-guage drop as you drive, you phisically fill the tank up for your one car yourself and pay for it immediately, which makes it kinda hard to escape how much fuel costs, how much going x miles costs, and how much financial difference their is between a car that does y miles/gallon and a car that does z miles/gallon. with electricity, even tho most appliances state their energy consumption, you dont actually see them use electricity, you don't see how fast they eat electricity, and you pay for all of your aggregated electricity consumption once per month (and to make matters worse, in the UK the power companies try to charge you the same every month -- e.g., you use more in the winter for central heating, but you usually pay for more than your using in the summer and less than your using in the winter so that the bill remains more-or-less constant every month), all of which makes the concept that your TV is burning money a lot less real and understandable than the fact that your car is burning money. eg: in standby mode, some TVs use 2/3rds the power that they use when they're fully on. if you watch, say, 4 hours of TV a day and leave it on standby the rest of the time, your using enough electricity to run the TV for 4 hours whilst watching it, and the equivelent of enough electricity to run it for about 14 hours during the 20 hours it's on standby. when you think of CD players, which can easily only actually be on for an hour every few days, it's absolutely retarded to leave it in standby, and you end up paying for enough electricity to run it for a whole day for every hour it's actually playing music. yet people do this even tho they'd only have to get off their asses and poke the on/off button on the box when they turn it on/off, even tho those same people wouldn't dream of leaving their car running over night just to save them the effort of turning the ignition whenever they start/stop using their car; also, people will pay an extra grand for a car which is more fuel-efficient, whereas they won't pay an extra £100 to buy a more energy-efficien TV, even if the saving is equivelent in both cases that's why i think people need a per-appliance metre. 'omg, we spent 42p running the TV since we put it in standby-mode yesterday, do we actually want to pay about £3/week just to avoid having to get up, go to the TV, and poke the button (bearing in mind that if we're stopping watching TV we'll probably be having to get up out the chair anyway to do whatever we stopped watching TV to do), hmmm y'know i don't think we do'. but, as long as people can't see that they're wasting electricity and money, they will continue to do so, and they'll continue to buy into the false economy of slightly cheaper to buy but more expensive to run electrical appliances.
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