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Everything posted by mistermack

  1. The question is a bit like "how long is a piece of string?", there are so many possible anwers. A lot depends on how mobile the population is. If you had two similar populations of similar animals, and one was more mobile than the other, then you have more chance of mixing the genes. On the other hand, if you have a much bigger population, but of far less mobile individuals, then you are more likely to get inbreeding even with the greater numbers. To illustrate that, imagine a big population, that lived in small numbers on scattered islands. They are more likely to inbreed than a smaller population all living in one herd. And you can get the island effect without islands, with barriers like mountain ranges or rivers or deserts.
  2. Really, your self-induced outrage is quite childish. David Bowie wrote the classic song, "Space Oddity" back in 69 with the words "here am I sitting in a tin can, far from the world, Planet Earth is Blue and there's nothing I can do". It's widely rated as one of his best. In 2013, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, commander of Expedition 35 to the International Space Station, recorded a video of the song on the space station which went viral and generated a great deal of media exposure. It was the first music video ever shot in space. They just changed a few words and gave it a happy ending. A much more adult approach.
  3. There are approximately 8,700,000 species on Earth. For the other 8,699,999 species, the purpose of life is to survive long enough to reproduce their genes. So it's a fair guess that that's our purpose too.
  4. None of it should have happened. But Project West Ford was concieved around 1958. The Chinese blew up the satellite about fifty years after that. The dangers should have been better understood by then. I have a suspicion that China's interest in space might be more military than scientific. But then, that might well apply to the US and Russia etc as well, so nothing new there.
  5. It's in the nature of space junk that it has the capacity to kill astronauts, whether they be Chinese, European or American, so what the Chinese did with that weapons test I thought was outrageous. Phi, I chose my words carefully in that post, and I think the way you twisted them was nasty and unwarranted, and quite cowardly, to phrase it as a question. There was nothing in my post to indicate what you suggested. That came out of your own head. To point to irony in no way suggests a wish for it to happen. Nor to satisfaction if the worst happens. If I bought a gun for self protection, and accidentally shot myself with it, I would call that ironic. It doesn't mean I would be pleased about it.
  6. Quite right. I think I paraphrased the interview fairly well by saying "indicating that", and "probably", but I can't remember the guy's exact words. But he was clear that they were looking very hard for curvature, using the latest techniques, but found none. But it's in the nature of infinity that you can never measure it, you can only report that something tends towards it, so the uncertainty will never go away, if it is flat. This seems to be the most relevant passage, in wikipedia : The latest research shows that even the most powerful future experiments (like the SKA) will not be able to distinguish between flat, open and closed universe if the true value of cosmological curvature parameter is smaller than 10−4. If the true value of the cosmological curvature parameter is larger than 10−3 we will be able to distinguish between these three models even now.[16] Results of the Planck mission released in 2015 show the cosmological curvature parameter, ΩK, to be 0.000±0.005, consistent with a flat universe.[17]
  7. But we actually know a surprising amount about God. For instance, we know that he loves us. And that he like being praised. Especially by groups of people in songs, to organ music in big cold buildings. And we know that he doesn't like us eating pork, or squirrel or kangaroo, or even sirloin beef. And he hates sex. Especially gay sex. Except between animals, where it doesn't matter in the slightest, even gay sex. And luckily he is merciful. Even though he will burn you in hell for eternity if you don't do what he wants. Oh, and he likes us to eat fish on a friday. No, wait, he changed his mind on that !
  8. On the subject of infinities, by coincidence there was a documentary about the cosmos on the tv earlier, in which they were saying that the latest measurements are indicating that the universe is probably perfectly flat, meaning that is probably infinite in extent. So you have an infinite universe, preceded by a singularity, which itself throws up infinities all over the place, such as infinite densities, and infinite curvature. Since BBT describes an increasingly concentrated cosmos preceded by a singularity, the terms vague and incomplete are not so wide of the mark. Quote wikipedia : "Neither general relativity nor quantum mechanics can currently describe the earliest moments of the Big Bang,[7]"
  9. So the BBT is complete? Really ?? Wikipedia writes : " What follows are a list of the mysterious aspects of the Big Bang theory still under intense investigation by cosmologists and astrophysicists. " It then discusses Baryon Asymmetry, Dark Energy, Dark Matter, Horizon Proble, Magnetic Monopoles etc, etc etc. Which all goes to suggest that it might not be quite as complete as you claim.
  10. You really are inconsistent in your argument. At one point you characterise what I suggest as impossible. Then later you quote a whole list of people who are on the ground, working towards exactly the same thing. One of your links even elaborate on what Bill and Melinda Gates are doing, something I mentioned way back in this thread. Thanks Doogles.
  11. Again, you're replying to stuff I didn't write. I wrote " The big bang theory is vague and incomplete, if you expect it to clear up the riddle of infinity." I thought that was pretty clear. The OP is expecting the BBT to explain more than is reasonable, or than is claimed.
  12. Hence my point about infinity. Eternity, an infinity of time. The concept of "nothing" also involves infinity. An infinite lack of anything. And something from nothing is an infinite increase. So if you can't make sense of an actual infinity, then you will never make sense of the existence of what we experience.
  13. Phi, you're kicking a straw man. You seem to be replying to the opposite of what I posted. Maybe you should read it again.
  14. The weakness of these kind of adapters is the nature of the removable electrical connection. When the connectors get old and tired, you can sometimes get a poor connection that involves intermittent arcing, and that generates far more heat than the unit is designed for. So best practice is to keep the plugging in and out to the minimum, and test the unit regularly by feeling it, to see if it ever feels warm or hot.
  15. The big bang theory is vague and incomplete, if you expect it to clear up the riddle of infinity. Because that's what you come up against in the ultimate question of the origin of everything. Every time you explain something, you raise more questions. And there is no apparent way that that process could ever stop. You can always ask, "and why did that happen?" at any stage, ad infinitum. And shoving a god in the gap solves nothing. The question just becomes "and where did he/she/it come from?" and so on. So I don't think that current opinion is pretending that the BBT explains everything. That's an infinitely bigger question.
  16. That's right. But some ifs are more realistic than others. IF you compare ifs, yours of making life comfortable in countries like Haiti, are in the realm of fantasy. Mine, of providing free family planning to all in such countries, might indeed never happen, but only because nobody tried. There's no economic barrier to it.
  17. So your suggestions get filed under "possible" and mine under "impossible". I think your suggestions are more or less hand-waving. The countries that have high birth rates would be the hardest of all to raise the standard of living, owing to political instability, corruption and lack of education. And likewise with giving women political and economic autonomy. It's a laudable aspiration, but it's highly unlikely to happen any time soon. On the other hand, free family planning products and advice could be organised within months, if the will was there. And women who are tied to fewer children are more likely to enjoy the "social and economic autonomy" that you aspire to.
  18. A friend of mine used to bleach his towels every time he washed them. Later, he was complaining that his towels were literally falling to bits. I told him it was his habit of bleaching, and he stopped, and the towels stopped producing the holes and falling to bits. I suspect that UV would have a similar effect over time, probably not so rapidly. So it's not just pigments to worry about, it's fibres. I would say that the best tactic would be just to ensure that the damp towel is promptly hung up in such a way that it dries quickly, and not shared around once used.
  19. Which people talk this way? You do. Over and over. As in your last post. Like I said, it needs a change in attitudes. Things can change. It is possible. In fact, the scientists who study population growth are predicting exactly that. Only they say it will happen by the end of the century. I'm saying it could be speeded up. You seem to think it's impossible, which actually contradicts the expert opinion.
  20. The concertina screws from 130 years ago had much finer threads, but they are like this modern replacement : https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/115022632776?hash=item1ac7e21748:g:Kh8AAOSw~gRVw4ok
  21. A million things that they could be. They look similar but not the same as the brass fiittings which attach the leather straps to a vintage concertina. I have one that is about 130 years old, and the strap fittings look very similar to one half of these. So they could be qute old.
  22. Wouldn't it have been an awful irony, if their craft had been wrecked by some of the space-junk that China created by blowing up a sattelite in a weapons test a few years ago?
  23. Surely the chances of it happening affect the quality of the idea. Which puts your idea at a value close to zero. I put forward various ideas, all of which are better, for that very reason. There's no reason why family planning products and advice couldn't be made available in every country in the world that has a high birth rate. The cost would be tiny, compared to the pay-off. The price of aid could also be linked to measures taken against churches that preach against contraception. Churches could easily be leaned on in any case. Just the threat of changing their tax status would have an instant effect on their behaviour. If population growth was given just ten percent of the publicity that global warming gets, then attitudes could be changed very quickly. The world is obsessed by CO2, and is completely ignoring the real threat to the planet. It's like being led towards the guillotine, and worrying about rust on the blade.
  24. Good luck with that. I prefer to deal with reality. It has more of a chance of happening.
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