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Everything posted by bombus

  1. Been discarded indeed! It's the most plausible explanation to date, and is gaining more supporters as the evidence piles up. It's just been largely ignored because, like all new theories, people cling on to the old ones for as long as they possibly can. Which problems does it cause rather than solve exactly? The savannah theory is the one that really throws up problems and explains nothing very well...
  2. The Plank constant is the size of the pixels in our simulation. That's why the sub-atomic world is so wierd. The pixels don't become something until required to do so! It could also explain some of the really strange things about the nature of consiousness, and could also explain quantum entanglement, Psi and the paranormal. I'm not at all opposed to the idea that we are Sims. It would make more sense if we were! The only thing that that makes me doubt it is that I can't believe humans will survive this current mass extinction event, so we'll never be able to build these supercomputers... I don't think an answer either way would change anything though - what is reality anyway?
  3. Oil production per capita peaked around 1978/79 and has been going down ever since. This is a fact. We have oil enough to last us until 2035 at the most optimistic, but it will become increasingly expensive, so for most of us will probably be gone by 2025. God knows what we'll do then! Also, a generation is only 20 years!
  4. bombus

    Animal Testing

    The thing is, undertaking experiments on living things cannot really be justified in anything other than human terms (obviously). Killing one rabbit to save a million humans is great for the humans, but not so great for that rabbit. Few would think it morally acceptable to kill one human to save a million rabbits! All animal experiments are 'immoral' in my opinion, it's just that sometimes we want to do things that are 'immoral' because we like the results. I don't class humans as intrinsically more important than any other form of life, so bearing that in mind, if I was given the choice of undertaking a potentially dangerous experiment on say, a dog, or on some unpitying selfish bastard who doesn't give a sh*t about anyone then the dog would go free! Simple as that. In reality (whatever that is) doing experiments on convicts would pose many problems, most of which you have pointed out, but in principle I think it is more acceptable than experiments on animals. They could repay their debts to society by offering to undertake tests! Also, when one considers the eye drop test done with rabbits, surely that would be better done on humans who can at least understand the concept of what is happening to them and why it is happening, and can also say Ow that hurts! I can't imagine the suffering those poor rabbits go through - with absolutely no knowledge of why this awful thing is happening to them - its gruesome and evil! However, all this said, it rather depends what the experiment is. Chimps can enjoy psychology tests as much as humans do! I see nothing really that wrong with rats in maze tests, or even the ear on the back of the mouse thing. So long as their is no suffering its OK by me, but it still can't really be 'morally' justified.
  5. Life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies! Nyuk nyuk, The old ones are the best!!
  6. When I was in school protista were a separate group, along with protozoa and (I think) protophyta. When many years later I went to Uni, Protozoa were classed as a form of Protista. So Protista includes all the 'primative' single celled plants, animals and in-betweenies and is still used - I think...
  7. I doubt it very much. I would bet that the strongest human is still weaker than your average fully grown male orangutan or gorilla. Even Geoff Capes types (far stronger than so-called bodybuilders) can't crush coconuts in one hand with ease, and they could never unscrew 'industrial' bolts without tools - unlike the big apes.
  8. bombus

    Animal Testing

    The idea that I should feel some sense of union with another human just because he is another human is just an opinion. I'd rather experiment on some rapist than on an innocent dog, rat, or amoeba. Just because he's a human doesn't make me have to like or care for him. In fact most humans are c**** so being a human makes me less likely I'll care for him! I am my own species - f*** the lot of you!
  9. Yeah, but an adult chimp can rip a mans arm off, like right OFF. Also, adult orangs and gorillas can unscrew bolts with their fingers that no man could unscrew, however strong he was. Orangutans can crush coconuts with one hand - easily. A friend of mine works with gorillas and orangs in a zoo. He assures me that their arm/hand strength is far stronger than the strongest human. I would venture that we probably have lost our strength, and our potential strength simply because it was not needed, and used up resources better spent on other things - like brains. I think the precision argument is a good one though if it's true that apes cannot be so precise. Their hand-eye co-ordination tends to be naturally brilliant though, probably better than a well trained human gymnast, so I'm not sure.
  10. Mmm, yes but a new design of hammer is usually based on older designs of hammers. In fact the development of all tools follows a similar pattern to evolution, with slight refinements taking place over time, and sometimes by pure chance. Obviously it is Intelligent Design that makes tools 'evolve' not natural selection (unless one considers tools to be natural as man makes them and is himself a product of nature!), but for obvious reasons the parallels are there.
  11. Natural Selection is easy to explain. Imagine if you put a population of goats on an island that has only one food source - apples on trees. The apples that are low down get eaten first and all the goats can reach them. Eventually only the higher up apples remain, and only those goats that are slightly taller (by "chance" due to continual variation caused by tiny differences in genetic makeup caused by random mutation - due to background radiation) are able to reach them. In a year when food is scarce (e.g there has been a drought) only the taller goats survive - or at least more of them survive than shorter goats. The survivors breed and their offspring have (obviously) more of the the 'taller' genes. If this carries on, eventually the average height of the goats will increase and eventally the goats could be classed as a different species. That's evolution by natural selection. Obviously in the real world things are far more complex, but the principle remains the same.
  12. Maybe semi aquatic group rather than savannah group, but let's not go there again!
  13. Human evolution has been a process of Neoteny. Basically, this means that youthful features have been selected for over millions of years (why this is so, nobody really knows, but there are a few good theories). The upshot of this is that if an individual human can stay young looking for longer, he/she will have a better chance of producing more offspring than his/her competitors. This is probably more important for females than males, as females have a shorter time limit on reproductive ability. Lack of hair is a neotenic feature. So, humans are now more or less hairless compared to other apes, but we still tend to get hairier as we get older (both males and females) as our ape genes eventually show through despite our evolutionary attempts to suppress them for as long as possible. It's a bit more complicated than this, with other factors playing a part, such as the fact that many females seem to like certain non-neotenic features in their man (e.g. deep voice, tallness, hairy chests) but this is basically the answer.
  14. I am not sure what you mean by asking 'can natural selection keep up'. Natural selection is just a process and runs as fast or slow as the the situations dictate. The more 'virulent' the problem, the quicker an adaptive 'solution' is found. If none is found the species goes extinct. Being able to adapt to human impacts (such as species introduced by humans) is really just another selection test. How 'natural' that selection test is depends on your meaning of the term 'natural' (is man 'natural?') If you are asking 'will lots of species go extinct in the near future as a result of humans moving organisms around the planet?' the answer is YES! One could simply argue that it's nothing to worry about as new species will emerge if given enough time - and that is true. However, I'd rather live in a world with tigers, elephants, rhinos, chimps, etc, rather than just cats, dogs, rats and humans! Conservation is a religion, and I am one of its preachers...
  15. I thought that Quantum Entanglement does suggest instantaneous communication (or 'transfer of information' to be precise) albeit not necessarily across distances greater than the sub-atomic. Can someone please explain (simply!).
  16. Yes, but Genesis was regarded as fact until science came up with a more believable explanation. Look, the truth is that regardless of whether there is a God, and regardless whether he created everything in 7 days, and regardless of whether everything was created 4039 years ago (or whatever Christain nutters say), EVOLUTION IS A FACT! With our understanding of genetics it is actually IMPOSSIBLE for evolution via natural selection to NOT occur. The thing is, once you accept that (and you should) there is no longer a need for the intervention of a God. So if one applies Occams razor, God should not really be included in a theory of evolution as he/she is surplus to requirements.
  17. Just to be pedantic, lightning is plasma - the electric charge heats the air so much it becomes plasma, expands and gives us thunder. If one could 'shoot' lightning (static electricity) it would be a very effective weapon! Although maybe one could just wear rubber boots...
  18. Caramac (brand name) is like a cross between chocolate and caramel. It's actually wierd stuff come to think of it. It is not the chocolate covered stuff someone else mentioned - I think that's a dime bar!
  19. Fellbeast, your reasoned and obviously well informed arguments have totally changed my mind. I now believe the theory of evolution by natural selection to be work of Satan and have put everything down to the behaviour of a superior being I like to call God. You are possibly the world's most intelligent person. Have you ever considered getting published?
  20. Following on from some of the discussions above about how much info the human brain can carry, I think what makes brains extremely powerful is the fact that we can forget (or not commit to memory) stuff that we deem to be irrelevant. Most of our memories stem from a few tiny reference points which we deem to be important, and the rest is then filled in by our imagination. Think for example, about what you did yesterday. Most of the basic points are known, but the rest is filled in by your imagination because, for example, you didn't actually 'bother' remembering the number plate of the car in front of you on the way to work, or what colour tie the newsreader had on, or the exact sequence of songs you heard on the radio etc. Computers would have terrible trouble deciding what was important information and what was irrelevant. They could fill up 90 terrabytes just looking at a white wall!
  21. Yeah I was wondering why I answered like that as well - I must have been drinking too much coffee... Anyway, I recently found this which freaks me out: Quantum computer solves problem without running By John Leyden Published Thursday 23rd February 2006 20:53 GMT A quantum computer at a US University has solved a computational problem without running a program. Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign gleaned the answer to an algorithm by combining quantum computation and quantum interrogation (a technique that makes use of wave-particle duality to search a region of space without actually entering that region) in an optical-based quantum computer through a process called "counterfactual computation". "It seems absolutely bizarre that counterfactual computation – using information that is counter to what must have actually happened – could find an answer without running the entire quantum computer," said Paul Kwiat, a John Bardeen Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at Illinois. "But the nature of quantum interrogation makes this amazing feat possible." The set-up for the experiment is explained in the University's press release (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-02/uoia-qcs022106.php) (those unfamiliar with exotic nature of quantum physics - as exemplified by the Schrodinger's Cat http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,...341236,00.html) thought experiment - should look away now) thus: Utilising two coupled optical interferometers, nested within a third, Kwiat's team succeeded in counterfactually searching a four-element database using Grover's quantum search algorithm. "By placing our photon in a quantum superposition of running and not running the search algorithm, we obtained information about the answer even when the photon did not run the search algorithm," said graduate student Onur Hosten, lead author of the Nature paper. "We also showed theoretically how to obtain the answer without ever running the algorithm, by using a 'chained Zeno' effect." Through clever use of beam splitters and both constructive and destructive interference, the researchers can put each photon in a superposition of taking two paths. Although a photon can occupy multiple places simultaneously, it can only make an actual appearance at one location. Its presence defines its path, and that can, in a very strange way, negate the need for the search algorithm to run. "In a sense, it is the possibility that the algorithm could run which prevents the algorithm from running," Kwiat said. "That is at the heart of quantum interrogation schemes, and to my mind, quantum mechanics doesn't get any more mysterious than this." Obscure at this may sound, quantum computers have the potential to outstrip the capabilities of even the most modern of today's supercomputers. Although the University of Illinois' quantum computer cannot be scaled up, using these kinds of interrogation techniques the researchers are pioneering might make it possible to reduce errors in larger systems. ® Wierd stuff innit!
  22. I think Einstein's theories make it impossible to accelerate an object up to the speed of light (or faster) but do not actually prove that nothing can go faster than light. I think I am right in saying that, theoretically, if something can be made to instantaneously move at the speed of light the mass increase would not occur. Certain things move at the speed of light (light for one!) and there may be some 'things' (particles/waves/whatever) that move faster than light (FTL) but can never travel slower than the speed of light. In SCi Fi, FTL travel is often acheived by warping space-time around the spaceship, rather than having the spaceship 'move' through space. As spacetime has no mass, it does not increase in mass when moved. As everything is relative, it's the same from the point of view of the travellers within the spaceship as moving through space at the speed of light (or faster). I think in Star Trek they use a Warp Drive. Warp 10 is infinite speed and the SS Enterprise never goes that fast.
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