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psiji

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About psiji

  • Rank
    Quark
  • Birthday 12/12/1982

Profile Information

  • Location
    NY
  • Interests
    guitar, piano, working out, learning, growing
  • College Major/Degree
    psychology/premed/B.S.
  • Favorite Area of Science
    neuroscience
  • Occupation
    student - medicine specialist and researcher when I'm done
  1. psiji

    Infinity

    Good stuff - thank you.
  2. psiji

    Infinity

    Thanks for the clarification on this. This definetely straightens out alot of questions I've had about the concept of infinity. So apparently I'm just confusing infinity with other similar concepts.
  3. psiji

    Science City

    This reminds me of that South Park episode where Richard Dawkins and "miss" Garrison eliminate religion; science controls the future, and everyone is killing each other over whose version of science is correct... Anyhow, I love the idea, I just can't imagine how well it would work. I imagine nonstop arguments about what's the most logical way to do things (i.e. what's the most logical way to drink coffee). Everything would be set up for practical value, rather than aesthetic value, which could be quite boring. It would be interesting though. The average IQ would probably be in the 120s, and over time due to select breeding of individuals with higher IQs, I can see the average peaking in the 140-160s.
  4. holy shit that's gotta be one of the coolest animals I've ever seen. Looks like a lemur x mogwai (fictional animal from gremlins) cross breed
  5. Sea or Galapagos Turtle = my favorite animals
  6. psiji

    Infinity

    This is a concept that has bothered the hell out of me for years. How can anything be infinite? It seems that everything should logically have an end, yet so many of the concepts used in math and science involve thinking that there are certain things which will never end. Zeno's paradox is a prime example. I'm sure everyone is familiar with Zeno's paradox and the many forms it has taken, but I'll give a brief summary of it if anyone is unfamiliar with it. You start walking towards a wall, and stop at the halfway point. From that point you walk halfway to the wall again, and stop. From that point you walk halfway to the wall and stop again...I think you can see where I'm going with this. You end up with a division of space that goes on ad infinitum. You can of course reverse this to extend in the opposite direction, since it's generally assumed by the lay-person (I don't currently know physicists point of view on this) that space goes on ad infinitum as well. This creates a new set of logical paradoxes, such as; if space goes on for infinity, will there be an infinite number of earths existing simultaneously? This has always troubled me, because it it was true, it seems every event that can happen, will happen, and will happen an infinite number of times...I'm sure you've all spent time banging your head on a philosophical wall with these kinds of problems as well. So is the concept of infinity actually a real concept? Or do we use infinity to take the place of hidden variables we can't yet calculate?
  7. Where are these two books? I can't find any references to them anywhere on the internet... If no one here understands what you are talking about than the fault probably doesn't lie in readers, but in your writing style. Using irrelevant jargon does not help convey ideas (something we've probably all learned here as we've developed larger than normal vocabularies filled with scientific terminology). This has been a problem for many philosophers and scientists alike (i.e. Try reading Heidegger's Being and Time, or Godel, Escher, and Bach by Douglas Hofstader to see what I'm getting at). You want to be able to convey your ideas to a large general audience (especially if you are both a poet and a writer). By using sentence structures and phrasing that we can barely make sense of we can't really understand what you are getting at. Simple. Concise. To the point.
  8. Wow, great post and thanks for the clarifications. I do have a couple comments and questions now... I remember learning something similiar to this called disruptive evolution, whereby a species becomes partitioned into two groups (i.e. such as the species forming two seperate samples, either by geography or lifestyle). The concepts of speciation by allopatric or sympatric speciation are completely new to me. I found a good primer for myself here. Thanks for bringing these new ideas to my attention! This is a topic that has long bothered me and I have yet to find a suitable explanation for. At what point does speciation occur? If you have a species-population that is partitioned into two groups, and breeds exclusively within those new groups, then at what point do the two species become incapable of reproducing with the original population? It almost seems like a logical paradox, in that I'm assuming that at some point one generation becomes a new species from the previous generation. Am I missing a variable in my understanding of this concept? True, but is it the case that we know of no species have arisen through hybridization? Are there any species you know of that may have arisen through hybridization? Everything I can find in various internet searches speculates it's possible, but extremely unlikely. However, I can't find any cases of species that are thought to have evolved through hybridization. Has non-fertility been shown to be a consistent trait in all animal hybrids known (I imagine in plants, however, you can create fertile hybrids). Studying the traits that would arise in a human-chimp cross breed seems like an interesting concept in itself regardless of if it has weak (or no) implications for our views of evolution. Also, even though it might not advance our knowledge of evolution (assuming we definetely aren't the byproducts of hybridization) it would most certainately have implications the behavioral sciences. Are you aware of any hybridization studies with other primates? Four years ago when I started college I would have told you that what other people think doesn't matter. If I feel it would further science, then despite any backlash of ignoring ethical implications it is a worthwhile endeavor. In my training in psychology and preperation for medical school my views on ethics have drastically changed and I'm leaning much closer to what your getting at here. The problem with society, however, is that what the majority chooses is not always right. Democracy should not generally be applied towards scientific discovery. Allowing society as a whole to decide what is true has historically been a great impediment to science. It leaves room open for society to establish truth in complete disregard for objectivity through science. For example, most people's views on stem cell research are still driven by religious ideologies and a complete lack of regard for truth as established by science. The fact is, stem cell research will create technology that will revolutionize medicine, but as usual, the general populations grasp on this issue is derived from misguided ideas of right and wrong. However, the idea of creating a chimp-human hybrid might not provide much novel scientific knowledge, and therefore I don't have a desire to push my thoughts on this over the public whom will make a big fuss over how wrong, and unethical such an experiment would be. Since we are on the topic, I definetely don't think democracy should block what I feel to be more important science like stem-cell research. If we as scientists went along with the flow of what the public believes is right or wrong we'd probably still be in the stone ages. Nearly all major earth shattering scientific discoveries that have lead to life-promoting paradigm shifts have been met with the resistance of the majority (as we will see when genetic engineering in humans becomes fully realized). With that, I definetely don't agree that democracy should be utlized as a tool to undermine any scientific discovery, but in the human-chimp hybrid case, you have an excellent point: there are certain legal and moral issues that need to discussed before such an experiment takes place. Sorry for all the questions. I'm quite curious and you seem to know your shit quite while (to put it bluntly).
  9. psiji

    MCAT

    I'll be taking mine early next year. I still haven't completed all the premed courses, and won't by the time I take the MCATs, but I've been teaching myself with several practice books and borrowed textbooks in the courses I have yet to take - can't wait to get it over with. Good luck to everyone else taking them as well!
  10. I suppose my reasons for seeing this are similar to anyone's interest in in experimental evolution, that is, to see the effects of the cross breed as the organism matures. Even if the organism is terminated in the blastocyst stage, we still wouldn't know the effects of the cross-breed in maturity (or would we? I'm sure you'd know more about this than I). The concept raises many interesting questions. For instance, perhaps we can use the information (or the mere acknowledgement) to trace our own evolution to a cross-breeding between primitive ape like (or even our prosimian ancestors) species. If anything, we could at least analyze the feasibility of creating hybrids between primate species that are not sterile, and don't carry genetic loads of maladaptive traits that would have made the hybrid animal selected against in the EEA. If a human-chimp crossbreed is feasible, I'd be very interested in seeing it mature. From a strictly ethical standpoint (well, my ethical standpoint), I really don't see anything wrong with this.
  11. Interestingly, psychoanalysis is still taught to many Med students in residency for psychiatry training. Seems a bit counterproductive to teach out dated methods of psychotherapy when much better options exist (i.e. cognitive-behavioral therapies, which I'm sure are taught as well).
  12. I'm not holding anything against you. We are all of inquisitive minds here and naturally we won't agree on everything. If we did we'd have nothing to learn from each other, and it would make everyone's time here a complete waste! On a side (albeit related) note, I was diagnosed as being cyclothymiac (rapid cycling bipolar) at about 14. Being that I tend to consume every last bit of knowledge I can find on anything that interests me, I allowed this stigma to completely **** up my academic record and act as an excuse for my perceived social inadequacies. It was only a couple years ago I learned the root of all my pain: I was doing everything wrong. I was blaming all my problems on some mental illness someone else diagnosed me with according to some DSM definition with physical roots psychologists still can't agree on. Thus I realized one of the greatest pitfalls to the realization of a completely successful field of psychology from the following flaw: How do you know how to define something you don't even understand? Think about the implications of that and the clear impediment it poses for traditional psychology... There is nothing wrong with me - I only used that label as an excuse that held me back from become a fully functioning and thriving individual. I realized I had developed a system of behaviors that was not conducive to becoming the person I wanted to be and the only way I could solve those problems was to stop blaming my "illness" and take on life head on. I became more social despite the awkardness of it all, when I wanted to stay in and do nothing I forced myself to go out or study - in a sense I put all my negative behaviors on extinction and started developing newer, more adaptive behaviors. In a sense, most depressive illnesses really seem to be a sign that something is wrong (I can post data if you want, but check out some more information on evolutionary psychology and you will find allot of data that supports this claim, albeit it correlational, but I'm still thinking of ways to draw a causal connection). I mean, really when you have ever seen someone depressed who didn't feel they were doing something wrong in their life? Have you ever heard of a depressed patient who was 100% happy with their lives? NO! By definition they would, then, not be depressed. As students of the behavioral sciences it is our duty (and to me, the most thrilling part of this journey) to revise the sciences we have been indoctrinated into with the most updated and valid knowledge that exists, and that we will create in our studies. I absolutely agree with you here, cool thoughts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolaas_Tinbergen The following primer is an excellent starting point for learning the premises that evolutionary psychology is based on. Also, note: anything you find on evolutionary psychology will more than likely reference Tinbergen. Chances are, in 100 years he will be considered the William James, or Freud, of evolutionary psychology... http://www.psych.ucsb.edu/research/cep/primer.html
  13. This is a concept I've been having a bit of a hard time with, as it seems there are several examples of traits that should have been selected against a long time ago. There are an abundance of traits that seem to be selectively maladaptive, yet have maintained an existence in species-populations (i.e. microcephaly, achondroplasia, hemophilia, color-blindness would have been devasting in the environment of evolutionary adaptiveness in humans, etc.). I suppose you could argue that many of these traits are neutral, or the onsent of nearly all genetic disorders could occur past the point of conception, meaning the carrier could reproduce before the gene is expressed in the phenotype. However, some diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, should have been immediately selected against; primarily because the majority of individuals with the disease are infertile. Also, some genetic disorders could be adaptive (i.e. bipolar disorders - the manic stages could provide more energy for a hunter-gatherer to hunt and horde, and then rest while in the depressive stages. Also, sickle-cell anemia carries who reproduce with a mate with a healthy version of the gene could produce children more resistant to malaria), and thus even though they are viewed through a maladaptive lens in society today, they could have served an adaptive purpose in our past. Considering the vast body of hereditary diseases, and different causal factors expressing these genes, I must ask: do you know of any explicit genetic diseases (or class of genetic diseases) that don't fit well with our modern conception of evolution?
  14. Dr. Gallup at my university was on a show called Humanzee on Discovery channel, where he claimed that while he was doing his dissertation he met a scientist who told him this had been done. I, of course, don't know the validity of this claim. I'd personally fit in the perveted section of the poll, in that I would absolutely love to see a cross breed between a human and a chimpanzee.
  15. Very interesting...there are so many directions this research will probably go. I'll definetely be keeping an ear out for more in the future.
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