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  • Location
    Brighton, England
  • Interests
    Anything with a "hook" which pulls the mind into investigating it further.
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Astronomy, Linguistics
  • Occupation
    Government Service (retd)

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Dekan's Achievements


Protist (7/13)



  1. It seems to me, that all the mods are here, to obtain self-gratification, They don't need money.
  2. Can the primes really be random? If they were, wouldn't it mean you could pick any number at random, then claim it might be prime? But that obviously isn't true. For example, suppose you picked a number at random, such as 131,477,689,776,554,223,107,885. Then claimed it was prime. Your claim could be instantly dismissed. Without calculating through all the possible divisors of that number. Because there's a rule - any number which ends in 5, is divisible by 5, and therefore is not prime. This rule is plain and straightforward. It does not involve any random element. And it might show, that rules for determining prime numbers, can be devised, without resorting to "randomness".
  3. Melvyn Bragg's weekly UK radio programme "In Our Time", is worth listening to. It sometimes gives valuable insights.
  4. Well, that's the point Mig. I've seen the M31 galaxy with my naked eye. But haven't seen any others, without using artificial optical aid, such as binoculars or a telescope. These optical aids prove, that our natural human eyes are too small, to see the sky properly. Our eyes have a maximum diameter of only 7 or 8 millimeters, in the light- gathering pupil, or lens. With a lens so small, it's surprising we can see so well as we do. The eye is greatly inferior to, for example, a pair of 7 X 50 binoculars. These have lenses which gather 50 times as much light! But they don't show the night sky as anything other than black. Therefore I'm persuaded that Swansont, ACG and you are correct. The Universe does look black. At least as far as our present human eyes are concerned. However, suppose we evolved bigger eyes. With a lens, perhaps 100 miles in diameter. Such a gargantuan eye, could gather even weak streams of photons from the remote regions of the Universe. Then, wouldn't we see space, not as black, but gently glowing, in a true red colour?
  5. Arete,, I know my own rep is very bad. That used to hurt me so much, that I didn't even want to look at the site any more. But I've got accustomed to it, and can bear it better now. To get back to the thread, I thought it was just about Rep points. But actually it's more than that. Unity's OP refers to using information to do a "massive search of anything relating to that user". Doesn't that sound sinister.
  6. Such beautiful mathematical orthography, by both posters, well deserves the admiration it was intended to gain.
  7. Members seem to be fighting each other about "Rep". Was that what it was really about all along? Not Science, but "Rep". I always suspected it.
  8. Suppose the Universe is a Brain, like depicted in donsimon's OP. Then won't it work very slowly. I mean, the Universe is at least 26 billion light-years across. This huge distance must make thought processes within the Brain, take billions of years to complete. Which will make the Brain very slow to respond to events. Could that explain why it doesn't intervene in current human affairs - because they happen too fast for the Brain to keep up with?
  9. I hope Ophiolite will reconsider, and come back again.
  10. Just thinking about patterns in prime numbers - obviously they all have a terminal digit which is 1, 3, 7, or 9. Have any studies been made, as to whether these terminal digits are evenly distributed among the prime numbers. Or do the prime numbers favour certain digits, eg, are there are more primes ending with a "1", than a "9"?
  11. Thanks Swansont and ACG52 for your posts. After studying these, and the links, I realise that my suggestion that the sky should be red, was probably wrong.
  12. Dekan


    These days we've got 3-D Printers, which use sprays of atoms to build up solid objects. Admittedly, the objects made by present-day printers are quite simple. Usually geometrical shapes. And made of plastic, or some metal powder mixed with glue. But in the future, mightn't printers be improved. So they could use carbon atoms, and make more complex objects? Such as human brains, or complete human bodies After all, your brain and body are only made of atoms, arranged in a particular pattern. When this pattern has been programmed into a suitable 3-D printer, it could print you out again.
  13. It seems to me, that Science is - or should be - a constant process of simplification. Scientists look at apparent complexity, then find an underlying simplicity to explain it. For example, consider the complex movements of the planets in the sky. The planets aren't like the "fixed stars". They don't stay in the same position like stars. The planets wander around the sky. How can we explain such wanderings? The explanations went through three stages of development: 1. The Classical Greeks invented the idea of "epicycles". This involved every individual planet going round in its own unique set of complicated circles, 2. Then, in the early 17th century, Kepler greatly simplified things. He reduced the Greeks' complex, arbitrary epicycles - to just three laws of planetary motion - which applied uniformly to all the planets. 3. Finally, in the late 17th century, Newton achieved a kind of ultimate simplification - by reducing Kepler's three laws to just a single law - the law of Universal Gravitation. Thus we see a constant process of simplification. Which is highly satisfying and gratifying to the scientific mind. Of course since then, Einstein has come along, and disturbed our minds with his theories. The Nuclear Physicists have been even worse. With their endless stream of complicated and increasingly implausible "particles". And "Forces" Yet, the Physicists show our human yearning for a basic simplicity. Which we all intuitively feel, must be at the heart of the Universe. That's why they keep trying to "Unify" the Forces. And to reduce the embarrassing prolixity of particles, by classifying them all into combinations of simple "Quarks", or "Strings" or whatever The Physicists might claim, that in doing this, they're only trying to find a "Theory Of Everything" - the TOE. But could they actually, perhaps subconsciously, be looking for GOD? With the aim of finally identifying that powerful Entity. Pinning it down. Getting It by the throat. Finding out Its source of power, learning all Its secrets. Subjugating It. Bending It to our Human will. Forcing It to confess. And finally - smashing It! So we finally get our own back for all the misery It's caused us. Then, when It's been disposed of, we humans will take over the Universe. And run things properly. Is this the ultimate aim of Science? I really hope so!
  14. Perhaps the US Government is planning to attack North Korea, and wants a justification for the attack. And also, wants a partner in the attack. So as to form a "Coalition". That always looks better in the UN. Not unilateral aggression - a "Coalition" The most likely partner for such a Coalition, is Japan. The Japanese traditionally don't like Koreans. Especially when they blatantly insult a famous Japanese company such as Sony, by scheming to ban one of its pictures. That must cause a big loss of face. So, doesn't it seem clear which way things are heading?
  15. It shouldn't suddenly appear from nothing. That's true. But existing light ought to get more red. The redness, being caused by the expansion of the Universe. As the Universe expands, everything in it gets further away, so its light gets redshifted. From our viewpoint. OK, I know there are local exceptions, for example blueshifts in gravitationally-bound neighbouring galaxies like M31. But very remote galaxies, at the edge of the observable Universe, should all look red. I mean, can we see any blue stars in remote galaxies?
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