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Everything posted by MM6

  1. It follows the 2nd law of thermodynamics (and the 1st law). As energy passes from one organism to another energy is transformed into free energy and heat. Free energy can be used by the organism in metabolic processes. Heat escapes the organism/system, and thus the entropy of the universe increases, as it always must. Therefore, the total free energy into a system (organism) is always more than what comes out.
  2. Hey STP, My reply is late, but here's a good summary article: Neuroscience vs Philosophy: Taking Aim at Free Will. http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110831/full/477023a.html It's still our brain/us, so yes we are responsible for our decisions, but what irks people is that we may not be aware of our decision-making at the time it's made, like digesting today's breakfast and then commenting that you decided to make your digestive system do that.
  3. Plus or minus a few million years is monumental when you consider Moore's Law and other models of technological growth. That's like us now vs Australopithecus.
  4. You should google neuroscience and free will. There is a good amount of research supporting the rather new hypothesis that we don't have free will, as we have conventionally thought of it. Our brain makes actions and decisions fractions of second before we are aware of the decision needing to be made. It seems our consciousness is an overlay on these unconscious decisions, which relates to this "cognitive narrative" explaination you cited. Fascinating.
  5. Electrons and protons do have inertia because they have mass.
  6. They already exist and have and will exist regardless of time. Infinite universes to encompass infinite possibilities, thereby deleting the need for the Copenhagen model.
  7. You've answered your own question. There's motion because there is energy, which as you said, causes change (motion). That's it.
  8. It increases attention by stimulating the anterior cingulate cortex. A negative effect is vasoconstriction. It increases heart rate, which can be good or bad, depending on the context. That's just off the top of my head. A simple list of effects should be easy to access with an internet search.
  9. MM6

    Question about cells

    RE your second sentence: I don't know where you read that or what you read, but that's just so wrong, it's nonsensical. I'm just describing basic biology.
  10. MM6

    Question about cells

    Organelles need to be recycled if there are too many of a given type at a given time. Also, the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that compose the organelles become defective through wear and tear: exposure to various chemical reactions (enzymes, free radicals, etc), defects due to changes in pH and temperature, physical trauma. Atoms are in constant flux across the cell membrane due to concentration gradients (and active transport processes). A cell is not a closed system, it's that simple. It leaks.
  11. MM6

    Question about cells

    No. The cell continuously imports and exports matter.
  12. The same genes that give rise to our intelligence and capacity for independent thought by extension allow for hedonism, excessive risk taking, suicidal acts, use of contraceptives, charm, seduction, the suite of human behaviors. But on the whole there's a positive selective pressure for these genes even if it means some members of the population directly or indirectly subvert the propagation of their own genes.
  13. Your scientific analysis is valid. But it's far too soon to write yourself off. You have another 50 years of reproductive fitness.
  14. I recently heard about a species of worm that ingests and incorporates algal chloroplasts. Very cool and unusual. http://conspiracyfactory.blogspot.com/2007/09/horizontal-transfer-makes-worms.html
  15. Relief from cognitive dissonance.
  16. Scientific American is probably the best popular science magazine out there. It's got the most respected history of solid science. For skeptical news (and science) I highly recommend the podcast, "The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe". They frequently have guests like Shermer, Randi, and others affiliated with those skeptic magazines.
  17. No, that makes no sense at all. Life requires resources and all populations experience limited resources.
  18. I agree, if the universe came from a point source (or even something smaller than it is now), then it cannot be infinite in size, ever, unless you remember to consider time as a variable--at some potential infinite point in time the universe could be infinite in size. For the universe to be infinite now that would require the possibility of forward and backward space-time travel in infinite quantities at any point and at any time. But the physical concept of infinity is no more satisfying than a mathematical point, so I'm not sure where that gets us. I think somebody has since addressed this, but the Big Bang didn't occur somewhere in space and expand into it. It created space as it expanded.
  19. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged I'm not suggesting that the mind is necessarily separate from the brain, only that our current level of understanding results in a separation. When we understand how every thought, emotion, perception, etc., is generated biologically then the term mind will be superfluous. That was my whole point in saying that psychiatry (mind) is slowly being subsumed by neurology (brain). Regarding deviations from the norm. You'll take note of the adjective I included, harmful. Sloppy handwriting would not fall into that category (unless you want to stretch the meaning of harmful to meaninglessness). I agree, the DSM has become a sham with all of these fictitious disorders (they may be deviations from the norm, but they are not harmful to the individual or society). Yet, there are still many important and useful classifications and attendant therapies. Deviations and the normal curve are statistical terms. Simple concepts really, look them up. Sixty-eight percent (68%) are statistically the same for any given characteristic (within one SD), i.e. normal. So no, virtually everyone would not qualify for a DSM label. Sixteen percent would be part of the tails on either side; i.e. probably abnormal (4% of total population would be definitely abnormal).
  20. He was terrified and disgusted with the adult human world, so he found solace in surrounding himself with children. Pretty logical to me. Unfortunately people freak out about this kind of thing and labeled him a pedophile. He never acted sexually on his feelings and desires, if his thoughts even extended into sexual desire. He was found not guilty in court. Yes, he was a genius, by any measure. "A genius (plural genii or geniuses,[1] adjective ingenious) is a person, a body of work, or a singular achievement of surpassing excellence. More than just originality, creativity, or intelligence, genius is associated with achievement of insight which has transformational power. A work of genius fundamentally alters the expectations of its audience." Wikipedia.
  21. I agree that psychiatry is the softest and least respected of the medical sciences, mainly because we don't understand the system that is the mind, and we have an unsatisfactory understanding of the system underlying the mind, the brain. As an analogy, 300 years ago people had a working understanding of heat. They could manipulate it. It wasn't until atomic theory was applied as an explanatory theory for heat that we really understood heat. But you can still manipulate something without understanding it. That's obvious. Yes, we are hitting people in the brain to get a more desirable behavior. It works. The point is that right now, psychiatry is the best pragmatic solution we have to mental illness (harmful deviations from the norm). Re: Point 2. A tumor or granuloma pushing on the thalamus would have obvious psychological effects, maybe akin to schizophrenia. You could detect the tumor with a scan and irradiate it. But this is more the realm of a neurologist than a psychiatrist? I think you highlight something important with this point. Psychiatry is gradually being rolled into neurology as we understand more about the biological mechanisms underlying psychiatric disorders. It's already happening with pain disorders and drug dependence. So yes, in effect psychiatry will die. You have made a few valid/interesting points but most of your conclusions are overblown.
  22. That's not the least bit informative or helpful.
  23. I would base your explanation around the second law of thermodynamics. Electrons configure themselves around the nucleus according to the 2nd law of thermodynamics, i.e., the lowest possible energy state. As the a hypothetical electron spirals into the nucleus its kinetic energy would increase dramatically as a consequence of Heisenberg's uncertainty principal. Uncertainty in momentum would be enormous as the space allowed for the electron to move decreases severely [in the relatively tiny space that is the nucleus]. The electrostatic potential between the electron and nucleus could not collapse the electron's kinetic energy. Thus it could not remain in the nucleus as this would be a violation of the second law. Another way of saying this is that the lowest energy state possible (allowed by Schrödinger's wave equation) is one that keeps the electron from being exclusively inside the nucleus. The possible wave functions have only certain exact values of energy and orbital angular momentum that are allowed, E=0 (inside the nucleus) not being one of them. That's my understanding. I'm probably mixing QM with classical/Bohr modeling and whatever else. But that's the best I've got. Someone with more expertise may describe it better. So far the last two posters have nitpicked and posed a one liner and a question to the OP.
  24. The ratio of distance traveled to time elapsed is always the same for light, so it is considered a constant. You may be over thinking it. A constant is a constant until proven otherwise. That's the best we can say in science. Btw, pi is the most famous constant. It's got a button on the calculator and a movie!
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