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Everything posted by lucaspa

  1. The book isn't by Masse. Masse just has one chapter in it. Masse W.B. (in press) The archaeology and anthropology of Quaternary period cosmic impact. In: P Bobrowsky and H Rickman (eds.) Comet/Asteroid Impacts and Human Society. Springer. However, you don't have to worry about copyright. The full paper is here: http://tsun.sscc.ru/hiwg/PABL/Masse_2007_ICSU_Paper.pdf Give us a bit of time to read it. The Indian Ocean impact won't account for the Babylonian Flood. Geography is against it. If you look at the geography of the Strait of Hormuz, it curves in such a way that there is no straight shot for a tsunami into the Persian Gulf. The wave would break at the entrance to the Gulf. Nor will an Indian Ocean strike account for the story from the Cook Islands you quote below. Any tsunami from the Burkle impact site would have broken up on the Indonesian islands. Your original claim was that ALL myths in the Pacific Ocean must be unrelated to the Babylonian one. Our response was that you could not make that claim. I see you have now come around to our point of view: That seems to be far more specific in the timing than any data would permit. Let me read the paper. Notice you are talking about "the impact crator". To repeat, this impact area would not account for the Babylonian or Cook Island stories because a tsunami from here could not reach either. Nor is it going to account for the South American stories you mentioned a couple of posts back. Don't think so. And again, we have the problem of the tsunami breaking at the Staight of Hormuz. If you say the wave was big enough to get by the Strait of Hormuz, then it would have been large enough to get into the Red Sea and flood Egypt. But Egypt doesn't have a flood story and aren't there historical records that old from there? There's no storm or flood mentioned in them, is there?
  2. Foodchain, my point was to use the appropriate terms so that communication. VGT (vertical gene transfer) happens in prokaryotes. That's how the chromosomal genes are transferred: the chromosome is copied and a copy goes to the daughter cell when the prokaryote divides. So VGT is not confined to multicellular organisms; unicellular organisms do it too. It's just that unicellular organisms have an additional mechanism to transfer genetic material: lateral gene transfer by plasmids. 1. Lateral gene transfer takes place between ANY unicellular organism -- whether bacteria, Achaea, or eukaryote. So you can have LGT between bacteria and eukaryote. The plasmid can then become incorporated into the chromosome. 2. After endosymbiosis, some of the bacterial genes were moved to the nucleus of the eukaryotic organism. Either or both of these will account for prokayrotic genes in the eukaryotic genome. As I noted in earlier posts, the earliest forms of life are so poorly preserved in the fossil record that we are not sure whether they have a nucleus or not. And it is the nucleus that distinguishes eukaryotes from prokaryotes. Based on the genomes, some biologists have argued that eukaryotes (having a nucleus but no organelles) were first and the prokaryotes and Archaea are simplifications -- doing without a nucleus. Please go back and re-read those posts. And yes, the enzymes for catabolism in the early eukaryotes could either have been 1) glycolytic or 2) aerobic but the individual enzymes diffused thruout the cytoplasm. This would have been inefficient compared to cell membrane based aerobic metabolism in the bacteria that were endosymbiosed to become mitochondria. Which would explain the selective advantage to the first eukaryote that endocytosed. What "other 2 parts"? Chloroplasts are a subset of "plastids" in plants. It is thought that all plastids arose from endosymbiosis. The other organelles mentioned by CharonY are not considered to have arisen by endosymbiosis. There are a few papers showing that endosymbiosed bacteria lose their flagella. http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/msn153
  3. Bettina, I couldn't get the page to open. It went to Astronomy Cast but then sent me to a page that said the page couldn't be found. It may be my anti-virus software telling me the page isnt safe to opein. So I'm going to talk about how it looks like she got the figure. You know that the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang, right? OK. That is going to become important. Two things: 1. Most of the matter in the universe does not shine by its own light. But by observing the motion of galaxies in galaxy clusters, we know there is a LOT of matter out there, because it is affecting the motion of those galaxies. What it means is that only about 10% of the matter in the universe can be seen. In addition to that, there is what is termed "dark energy". We don't know what that is but it is causing the universe's rate of expansion to accelerate. Dark energy is overcoming gravity. It is estimated that 70% of the universe is dark energy. That leaves 30% as stars and gasses and dark matter with only 10% of that as stars and gasses we can see. So that is where she got the 4%. 2. The universe is expanding. That means that space is expanding. It's not as though the galaxies are moving thru space, but rather that the space between the galaxies is expanding and the galaxies are going along for the ride. Think of a wood chip in a stream. The wood chip is not moving thru the water, but being carried along by the water. So, what this means is that objects far away are moving away from us faster than light -- because space is expanding faster than light can move thru it. Thus, we can't observe them because any light emitted by them can never reach us. The universe is 13.4 billion years old and so has been expanding for a long time. The volume of the universe where light can reach us from is much smaller than the total volume of the universe. Take that fraction of universe volume we can "see" and multiply by 4% and that is where she got the final number. So she combined 2 different effects to give a final number but apparently didn't explain how she got it. I think you were trying for humor. I'm afraid you missed. The reason it's not humorous is because humor requires at least some truth about the concept being parodied. Here you made a theological mistake. The religion where deity is everything is pantheism. All of the theisms -- and certainly Judeo-Christianity -- have deity separate from the universe. Yahweh creates the universe, but is not the universe. The analogy is that I created this post, but I am not the post.
  4. Bettina, that is speculation -- both scientific and theological. First, as far as we know, our universe has never disappeared! Did you mean "before it snapped his finger and made our universe appear"? Judeo-Christianity just says that Yahweh is not part of the universe. Now, did Yahweh create many universes or only just one? Both scientifically and theologically we simply don't know. Judeo-Christianity is different from most other religions in that it gives no story for Yahweh. We have no idea what Yahweh is doing when it is not interacting with humans. Is it observing countless other universes? Maybe. Having a beer with the creators of those other universes in some extra-universal bar? Maybe. I suggest you put in qualifiers to your speculative statement, such as "possibly", "maybe", "perhaps". This seems a different speculation than the other one. Why did you connect them? First, there is no "god particle". That was just a whimisical name for the Higg's boson. It's not really a "god particle" but simply a particle that would make the standard model complete. I'm afraid WAY too many people took it seriously. Second, particles cannot "pop in and out" unless there is a spacetime. As it happens, we do have virtual particles popping in and out of existence all the time everywhere -- even within the atoms of your body. One of the attractions of String Theory is that the math would allow spacetime to also pop into existence like virtual particles. Have you ever heard of ekpyrotic theory? This is a theory for the origin of our universe. It has a 5-dimensional universe that is "without end". However, that theory also gets rid of Yahweh or any other version of deity as creator. Imagination is cool. However, remember that, in science, it is even more important to test the ideas your imagination throws up. Until you do that, you shouldn't take them too seriously. I'm afraid Linde and Kaku may have given the impression that their imaginative ideas have more reality than the data indicates. Since there is no data to indicate that they are real ... No, we don't. No one I have ever read EVER said anything about the universe being "solid". You forget spacetime. "Movement" has no meaning unless you have space and time in which to move. So, the universe is more than what you say. Actually, I think traveler would never traverse distance and be stuck at whatever 3 dimensional coordinates the traveler was at.
  5. You need to read the whole page. This isn't saying that animal testing is faulty, but rather that human testing is faulty. Basically, what they are saying is that researchers don't have to adhere to the rules of manufacture needed for distribution to the public: " “The problem is that researchers conducting very early studies were required to follow the same manufacturing procedures as those companies that mass produce products for broad scale distribution," said Janet Woodcock, MD, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Operations. "These requirements are so burdensome for early phase 1 studies that many leading medical research institutions have not been able to conduct these studies of discoveries made in their laboratories. Today, for the first time, medical researchers are getting specific advice from the FDA about how to safely prepare products for exploratory studies." " So, the article doesn't support your claim. Yes, it does. Remember, the prime criteria for a drug is safety. Not efficacy. The rules are skewed toward safety. I, personally, don't like the new rule because they are now being skewed toward the profits of the drug companies. Under the new rules, we are likely to get more situations like Vioxx where there are low level safety threats that are not caught. You're logic here is illogical. You seem to be saying that we would have greater success in humans if we ignored the animal data that says a drug is unsafe in humans. That's silly. If we just take the in silico data and go directly to humans, it means that, instead of 1 in 10 that pass clinical trials, it would be 1 in 100 or 1 in 1,000. This has nothing to do with the value of animal testing. If you skip animal testing it means that the drug companies would have 10 times the number of drugs to try to promote by means that you say are immoral. Why? Is it wrong for a lion to deprive a zebra of health and life? Is it wrong for us to deprive a corn plant of health and life? PC, you keep ignoring that EVERY animal species must deprive another living organism of "health and life". If it is absolutely wrong to do so, then humans must starve themselves to death. You must forgo all future meals because each of them is going to involve depriving some organism of "health and life". Even if you confine yourself to dairy and eggs, how dare you cage animals so you can milk them or gather their eggs? Really? NO way at all to determine whether something is right or wrong? You've never taken an ethics course, have you? Let's go to murder. Is murder ever "right"? I don't mean killing, I mean murder: killing for one's personal gain. The reason the debate about abortion. Some people consider it murder and some don't. But, if it is murder then it is wrong. Then why do you still go on eating? You don't give the benefit to those who suffered and died to provide that food, do you? How do you know? Have you tried? First, what you have pointed to are isolated incidents of corruption. How many drugs are on the market? How many have had to be pulled like Vioxx? Do the math. You need over 50% before you can say "widespread". Second, you contradict yourself with this statement: "I said that I have no evidence for IACUC conflicts of interest." So no evidence for corruption one the point that we are discussing here, namely, whether animal studies are conducted according to the regulations to minimize pain and suffering to the animals. This is science. We can independently check it. Moral standard apply within a species. It is how we treat other members of our own species. I've already demonstrated why we cannot export absolute morals to our relationship with other species. As it happens, I agree with you that "torture" of animals is wrong. By "torture" I mean here giving pain for personal pleasure. As you noted, we as a society have decided that we can lock people up or subject them to stress or pain if it is for the good of others. Are you advocating that we let all people in prison go? Why not? Aren't they locked up as you say animals in animal testing are? Do you want the child molesters and rapist back out on the street? Why not? I submit that it is moral to involuntarily lock up human beings for the good of others. If so, then we can "lock up" animals for the good of human beings. But was Merck required to provide the data? YES! What you have is criminal wrongdoing by people within a drug company. As I asked, do we shut down all nursing homes or orphanages because of criminal wrongdoing by a few? You never answered that. Of course we can't go back retrospectively. Again, what you are talking about is closing the loopholes in a system. That is not an argument that animal testing should not be done. It's only a comment that we weren't policing the industry better. And notice, this problem is only going to increase if you allow drug companies to skip animal testing. I was saying that the data could not be hidden, not that it wasn't published. In science, most studies with negative data are never published. The FDA had ALL the data when they approved the drug. This isn't about data being hidden, it is a complaint that doctors should have all the data at their fingertips " By altering the apparent risk–benefit ratio of drugs, selective publication can lead doctors to make inappropriate prescribing decisions that may not be in the best interest of their patients and, thus, the public health.' " Now that all the FDA data is on the web and can be accessed by physicians, this problem disappears. This may happen in Britain, but I know from personal experience that US medical schools and universities put in clauses in the contracts that specify 1) access to all data and 2) the right to publish. All journals now require a statement that all authors take complete ownership of all the data in the paper. That is a separate issue from whether animal testing is right or wrong, isn't it? I agree. But we disagree on what is "cruel". You haven't demonstrated that for animal studies. In fact, you haven't even demonstrated that safeguards for human studies are ineffective or are ignored. What you have demonstrated, at most, is that false report ing has happened. NONE of your sources ever said that the safeguards for the human subjects were not effective or were ignored. You haven't demonstrated that for animal studies. Again, you haven't demonstrated that the rules for safeguarding human subjects were abused. All your examples are about abuses of the rules for reporting data. You logic is a bit hard to follow here. You are arguing simultaneously that animal testing failed to pick up drugs that were harmful to humans. Therefore, you logic goes, all the drugs that were harmful in animals should be OK in humans and therefore we should go to clinical trials. If 9 in 10 drugs that were not harmful in animals turned out to have insufficient safety for humans, why would you think that the drugs that were not harmful in animals would not have at least the same ratio? Similar is not the same as "identical". You don't place much morality on causing harm to your fellow humans, do you? If you think it immoral to cause pain and suffering on animals, why are you so eager to put humans at risk for pain and suffering? We check to avoid any possibility of pain and suffering to humans. Yes, you did. I quoted you. Ah, so another reason for you not to volunteer! But rememmber, you are using humans for the "exhaustive safety testing"! It's animals that are the first line of exhaustive safety testing and you want to eliminate that. That's a different argument. Your innitial claim was that NO money or effort was being devoted. That's wrong. Now you are claiming it's "not enough". That's a separate discussion on how to allocate priorities within a finite budget. I'm saying it is the correct term. It is the word that corresponds to what is being done. There is the non-sequitor again. You are trying to extrapolate morals that apply within our species to between species. You can't do that. No. What it will do is take away any "boost" and make the drug look less effective. Look, the placebo is an effect x. The drug has an effect y. Because of double blind and everyone thinking they have the drug, what we measure is y in the experimental group and x in the controls. The overall effect we see is y - x. So if x diminishes the apparent effect y. Doesn't matter. The randomized double blind studies have already given us the real effect. The effect you are talking about only matters in those cases where randomized double blind studies have not been done, such as "herbal" medicines and nutritional supplements. There the entire effect could be due to what you describe. Again, doesn't matter: because we already know the real effect from the clinical trials! Your last statement has some assumptions: 1. It presumes that drugs that fail animal testing will pass clinical trials. Why would you think that? 2. You are assuming that all the failures in clinical trials are due to failures in animal testing. But as you noted, "I know that drugs can fail for commercial reasons." This destroys your assumption. When the assumptions are wrong, the conclusions are going to be wrong. You are trying guilt by association. You know that is an invalid argument. You never demonstrated that. Please do so. Were they really incompetent or were they nobbled? If they can be so incompetent, it doesn't say much for their ability to do the job they are supposed to do. That does not follow. Since most time studies are not published because the data is negative -- no efficacy -- it means that publishing data that the drug was ineffective is not going to make the drug "succeed". Again, why the double standard? You care a lot about the safety of animals and not to try drugs on them. But you have no similar care about the safety of your fellow human beings. Is it because you, by your own admission, take no drugs and therefore will not be one of those to test an unknown drug for safety? That seems very selfish on your part. You want drugs for human treatment -- even ones to treat you someday -- but you won't volunteer for safety testing. They had tested rodents as models for toxicity and they were very good models. Chemicals that were known to be teratogenic on humans were also teratogenic on rodents. It turned out that thalidomide was a tragic exception: it was not teratogenic in rodents but was in humans. However, thalidomide was teratogenic in primates (monkeys). But, in deference to animal rights people like you, testing in primates in Britain at the time was not done. Thalidomide actually points to the danger of your position: animal models were skipped and look what happened. Now you want to skip ALL animal models and go directly to humans. If thalidomide was teratogenic at 1/100th the usual does, even pregnant women getting the microdose would have had deformed children. But you don't care about that, do you? As long as the animals are safe.
  6. Black holes are cases where a massive star collapses such that "The star eventually collapses to the point of zero volume and infinite density," http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l2/black_holes.html That is a singularity and I've always read black holes being called singularities. Notice that this "infinite density" is what Bojowald says can't happen. So why don't black holes "rebound" at that point? Categorically he says singularities can't happen. Black holes are singularities. With all respect, you aren't addressing the question. You are proposing instead that black holes are not the singularities they've been accepted as being. But you have no data for that. What we need is how Bojowald addresses the issue. If he doesn't, then that is a problem with his hypothesis. See that site mentioned above for observations. Also see: 1. RP van der Marel, PT de Zeuw, H-W Rix, GD Quinian, A massive black hole at the centre of the quiescent galaxy M32. Nature 385: 610-612, Feb. 13 1997. 2. J Green, Visions of black holes. Science 275: 476-478, Jan 24 1997. 5. R Irion, Black holes begin to lose their mystery. Science 287: 411, Jan 21, 2000. Describes observed black holes That's not the problem as I've read the literature. The mathematical singularity is very well accepted. The problem is rather that GR itself breaks down at the singularity. Having a theory that breaks down in part of the universe is a problem for the theory. But it is the data of singularities that leads to thinking that GR is flawed, not the mathematics. The conclusions were not stated as conjectural. However, a "conjecture" is still a hypothesis and we can always test hypotheses against existing data. When was the last you read? It was always accepted that the visible matter was not enough to cause a collapse but that with the addition of dark matter a collapse was possible. As long as the expansion was slowing. Since it has been observed that the expansion is accelerating, there is no way the universe can collapse: 7. J Glanz, Exploding stars point to a universal repulsive force. Science 279:651-652, 30 Jan. 1998. New data indicates the cosmological constant is back. 7a. J Glanz, No backing off from the accelerating universe. Science 282: 1249-1250, Nov. 13, 1998. As the title says, 2 independent and competing groups continue to get data that agrees. 8. G Tarke and S.P. Swordy, Cosmic Antimatter. Scientific American, 278(4): 36-41, April 1998. 10. CJ Hogan, RP Kirshner, and NB Suntzeff, Surveying space-time with supernovae. Scientific American, 280: 46-51, Jan. 1999. Studies indicate that the rate of expansion of the universe is accelerating. 11. LM Krauss, Cosmological antigravity. Scientific American, 280: 52-61, Jan. 1999. discusses cosmological constant to explain accelerating expansion. 12. MA Buchner and DN Spergel. Scientific American, 280: 62-71, Jan. 1999. Discusses changes in inflationary theory to account for new observations. 13. M Livio, Cosmic explosions in an accelerating universe, Science 286: 1689-1690, Nov. 26, 1999. 13a. Web sites for expanding universe http://www.cnn.com/TECH/space/9802/...ating.universe/ http://www.space.com/scienceastrono...celerating.html http://www.er.doe.gov/Sub/Accomplis...scovery/43.html In terms of this hypothesis, it does. This hypothesis for a never-ending universe requires the previous universe to collapse. What other physicists have conjectured are different hypotheses. We currently aren't concerned about those. Actually, Bojowald says that things are conserved from one universe to another. and that the second law would apply across the bounce. Didn't you read the quotes from the article? "According to traditional thermodynamics, there is no such thing as a truly clean slate; every system always retains a memory of its past in the configuration of its atoms ... But by allowing the number of spacetime atoms to change, loop quantum gravity allows the universe more freedom to tidy up than classical physics suggests." But that "more freedom" doesn't mean "completely clean up". After all, Bojowald thinks that some of the earlier state is preserved! BTW, the first law of thermodynamics is the "conservation law". We are talking about the second law and who the hell is "Noether"? In the previous paragraph Bojowald talks about the second law as applying within our universe. However, that fudges the problem the second law poses for a collapse and bounce. Because of entropy, the collapse can never go back to the initial state exactly. Bojowald is saying that bounce will compensate for that somewhat, allowing a return of some of the lost entropy, but he is careful to say that it won't go back to the original. That leaves us with the problem of the second law and an infinite number of bounces. Thank you. We can get the full article at http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0708/0708.2889v2.pdf I see this under "Conclusions" "The observed energy-dependent delay thus is a likely observation, but does not constitute a statistically firm discovery. ... We cannot exclude, however,the possibility that the delay we find, which is significant beyond the 95% C.L., is due to some energy-dependent effect at the source. 9 However, we can exclude the possibility that the observed time delay may be due to a conventional QED plasma refraction effect induced as photons propagate through the source." But let's say the effect is due to some quantum gravity interaction. The authors emphatically do not associate this data with loop quantum gravity. The article has been available for a year. Does anyone know if Bojowald has tested to see whether this variation is consistent with loop quantum gravity?
  7. Apparently not in the native tribes of Europe. There you have an imported Babylonian story. Agreed. You correctly emphasize the "if". If such data is found, I'll change my mind. Very good. You are getting into the habit of falsification. Also very good. You are maintaining a good emotional detachment from the hypothesis. That allows you to give it up the hypothesis easily if it turns out not to be true. So ... in that spirit of looking for flaws in hypotheses and willing to give them up, let's discuss some specific ideas. I'm thinking a strike that far away would not have given "storm clouds" over Mesopotamia -- unless the strike were very massive. However, if it were that massive, we would have seen other effects that are simply not there. So ... either the account is wrong about the storm clouds but correct about the direction (and that means we have to use Special Pleading), or the strike had to be nearby and relatively small. On the "No" side is also the relative dates of the cultures involved and their own internal dating systems. If you look at the dates the individual cultures ascribe to the event, I think you'll find a several thousand year spread in the date. On the "Yes" side, the internal evidence in Mesopotamia indicates several massive floods. The clay layer found by Woolsley that wiped out a civilization doesn't correspond to a flood from the south as described in the Gilgamesh epic. So those are 2 separate floods. In addition, that clay layer was not the only massive flooding of the Tigris-Euphrates river. So we know that, at least in this one very important area, that there were numerous floods, yet we have a legend of only one flood. Thus, a legend of a single flood does not correlate to a single flood in reality. There goes the argument in your "Yes" column. I know of the meteor strike theory to the Younger Dryas in North America and the extinction of many large mammals there. However, my understanding is that the meteor hit the ice and that it happened about 10,900 years ago. Also, it was a freezing event and not a flooding one. http://hoopermuseum.earthsci.carleton.ca/climate/YD.HTM Since the Gilgamesh epic happened about 5,000 BC at the earliest, that eliminates tying the Babylonian flood into the neat little package. Sorry. Since no one is trying to validate the Biblical account as being exact, this is irrelevant. No one is trying to defend Flood Geology. What JohnB is proposing is one natural event that gave rise to all the flood legends on the planet. His hypothesized event is either one meteor strike or a series of concurrent strikes in different locations that created tsunamis that inundated coastal villages suddenly and thus gave rise to flood legends. Yes, you do.For the hypothesis to be correct, then all the flood legends must -- in their own time scale -- lead to a concurrent date. As you state "If the dates show concurrency, then you can consider a single event. If not, then there must be multiple causes." Actually, Europe is where Andre found a lack of flood myths. The ones there were re-tellings of the Babylonian story. A real test of your theory would be flood legends in Polynesia. There a major tsunami would have devastating effects since most of the islands are low-lying. You didn't give a source for the "paper sent to you". "The importance of flood-myths in Polynesia was apparently not very great. Deluge-episodes, of course, do occur; but so far as the published material goes, the floods referred to are merely incidents--and, as a whole, minor incidents--in other stories. " http://www.sacred-texts.com/pac/om/om06.htm What I find interesting, however, is your assertion that flood legends in areas remote from Europe must be independent. That is not the case: "Although there may be some question whether the end of the Raiatea story shows traces of missionary influence, all these flood-tales are probably aboriginal. As much cannot be said, however, for the versions from New Zealand, 125 the Marquesas, 126 and Hawaii, 127 in all of which the Biblical parallel, extending even to names and details, is far too close to permit us to regard the tales as other than local adaptations of missionary teaching." Just because the legends are geographically far from Europe, you still have to look to see if the legends arose because of missionary teaching in the 1500's. No, it would be evidence for the Noah story in how it relates to geographical distribution of animals. It would not support a world-wide flood. For instance, genetic evidence does support a single geographic location for humans, and thus human migration across the globe. However, that does not support a world-wide flood, does it? Mr. Skeptic, not everyone who talks about flood legends is a creationist. The guys who proposed the flooding of the Black Sea as a source for the Noah story weren't creationists. JohnB isn't doing Flood Geology or arguing for that type of flood. He would like a single hypothesis to explain several pieces of evidence: flood legends all over the world, evidence of large tsunamis, and the Younger Dryas. In general, science proposes hypothesis of single events to explain diverse data. I don't think it will work in this case, but it's something science does.
  8. Martin Bojowald has an article about loop quantum cosmology in the Oct 2008 issue of Scientific American: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=big-bang-or-big-bounce I've got a few questions after reading the article and am hoping someone more familiar with more of Bojowald's work can help answer them. Bojowald states: "loop quantum gravity suggests that the atomic structure of spacetime changes the nature of gravity at very high energy densities, making it a repulsive. ... Because of the the quantum-gravitational change in the balance of forces, no singularity -- no state of infinite density -- can ever arise." [emphasis mine]. Question: Aren't black holes singularities and have infinite density? They are observed. Does Bojowald discuss this contradictory evidence to his statement anyplace else? On pages 50-51 there is a figure entitled "Replacing the Bang". "In one scenario, the universe is eternal. It imploded, reached the maximum allowable density (at the bounce), and blew apart again." However, recent data shows that our universe is expanding and will never collapse. Loop quantum gravity seems to predict and explain inflation, but Bojowald never says in this article that it explains dark energy (the expansion force). Question: If the "eternal" scenario is accurate there would have been a huge number of bounces before our universe. How likely is it that we would happen to be in the last universe in such a series? Or why would it be, under that scenario, that the result of a bounce would be a universe that will die and not implode? Back in the 1970s and 1980s the idea of an infinite series of expansion/collapse cycles was discarded due to problems induced by the second law of thermodynamics. Basically, entropy would increase so that after a few cycles, a universe like ours would be impossible. Bojowald talks a bit about thermodynamics: "According to traditional thermodynamics, there is no such thing as a truly clean slate; every system always retains a memory of its past in the configuration of its atoms ... But by allowing the number of spacetime atoms to change, loop quantum gravity allows the universe more freedom to tidy up than classical physics suggests." This, it seems to me, doesn't get around the problem posed by thermodynamics. "more freedom" doesn't correspond to "completely free slate" and that still leaves the problem of entropy and its effect on the next universe. What I take away from this is that loop quantum cosmology can extend the number of cycles before a universe like ours is impossible, but can't make the cycles "infinite". Question: Does Bojowald discuss the effects of thermodynamics on repeated bounces anywhere else and, if so, what does he say? Bojowald states that one testable effect of loop quantum gravity is: "light of different wavelengths travel at different speeds. Although these differences are tiny, they may add up during a long trip." Don't we have "long trips" in the case of objects at very high redshift? And don't we measure the redshift by looking at spectral lines at different wavelengths that have been redshifted? Wouldn't traveling at different speeds change the relationship of those spectral lines somewhat, giving different redshift numbers for different lines for the same object? Has that been looked at? These are questions that occur to a biochemist/tissue engineer. I'm thinking they must have occurred to Bojowald as well. If so, I wish he would have been a bit more thorough in the SciAm article.
  9. It is sufficient to refute the claim that every culture has a flood story. And tsunami events are local floods, are they not? I never said that the source of floodwaters had to be an overflowing river. After all, the filling of the Black Sea or the rise of sea level at the end of the last ice age are not, are they? Yes. And it also talks about storm clouds. Which leads me to speculate that we might be dealing with a meteor strike in the Persian Gulf. The geology would have concentrated the waves moving north and created some really monstrous tsunamis. However, the Noah story is a plagiarism of the Unt-napushtim story. All the elements are there: a giant flood, deity (Marduk or Yahweh) warning one "righteous" man, the building of a boat or raft, and the saving of his family and animals while everyone else drowns. Don't appear to be. And some of the legends are inland where a tsunami would not reach. First, you don't need to have a planetwide disaster to satisfy each legend talking about the "world". Remember, people did not have the modern conception of the world that we do. There was no "world wide" as we know it. There was no conception of "planet" 3500 BC or before. And cultures were isolated due to limited transportation. Their "world" was basically the extent of their culture. You said this: "It would also be sufficient to cover the "whole world" from the limited, local perspective of those primitive groups." So why hypothesize three concurrent meteor water strikes? I don't think you need 3 water strikes because you don't need to have a single event account for all the flood legends. Separate events each affecting a large area (in terms of the knowledge of the people) but a small area of the planet will do just fine. Second, you don't need a meteor strike to cause a tsunami. As the 2005 tsunami demonstrated, an underwater earthquake will do. So a 3 concurrent meteor strikes are not needed to account for the flood legends. The alternative hypothesis of isolated riverine flooding or tsunamis will also account for the data. If you want to hypothesize 3 concurrent water meteor strikes, you would need: 1. To test the dates for all the flood stories/events. You could do this by carbon dating artifacts in the sediment deposited by the tsunamis. 3. Have some independent evidence of these meteor strikes. Look for crators and then date the crators. Based on the position of the tsunamis you know about, such as Australia, you would be able to triangulate and narrow the search. Now, some of the strikes would be in deep water and might not have left a crator, but there should be other physical evidence remaining.
  10. "1 : appealing to feelings or prejudices rather than intellect 2 : marked by or being an attack on an opponent's character rather than by an answer to the contentions made " You are trying to restrict ad hominem only to me. But it also applies to ideas and people you are talking about. You appealed to prejudices and attacked character. Your opponents are theists and deity, not me. "mentally handicapped people " is ad hominem against theists. "super natural cosmic dictator" is ad hominem against deity. Instead of looking at arguments, you made an attack on the character of your opponents: theists and deity. It wasn't? Let's look again: "In my view, the inclusion of such a "god possibility" only offers solice to the mentally handicapped people who are still struggling to reconcile their belief in god and their Iron Age fairy tales with their empirical knowledge of the natural universe. " You didn't discuss at all the role of science here, which is what I was doing. Instead, your position is that deity is not required. Your claim is that deity is only included because of "mentally handicapped people". That is in direct support of your argument. "This little semantic word game you're playing is not wrong. Science cannot tell us that a "super natural cosmic dictator" is not required." Of course, you then went on to say that science can tell us that deity is not required. But look here: you are appealing to prejudice in that we don't like dictators. You are relying upon the article stating that ad hominem can only be used in regard to the person you are discussing against. Notice that this statement is in the Introduction, and the disclaimer at the beginning of the articles says specifically that this section may need revising! However, scroll down and look at the form of the argument. The ad hominem logic we have is: deity is false (your claim), theists claim deity, there is something objectionable about theists (they are mentally handicapped). Typical ad hominem.
  11. LOL! And how is that different from saying deity is not "required"? All you've done is given the definition of "required". No, we don't agree to the second. Because we can disprove the existence of those 3. Think about it for a minute; we already have the data to do this, you only have to apply it to this problem. Therefore, since unicorns, fairies, and dragons don't exist, they can't be involved in the process. Well, by the data you can't use the same fervor as for fairies, unicorns, and dragons. Now, you can propose some other entities, but then we have to look at the characteristics of those entities. If they have the same characteristics of "deity" then we have a case of "a rose by any other name ..." and you are simply playing semantic games. It depends on why it "cannot be measured, perceived, or detected". If the reason is that our methods of doing the measuring, perception, or detection is incapable, then your statement is in error. You have set a criteria for ignoring or disregarding theories/entities. Let's test that criteria by taking it out of the special case you are using it for. After all, the criteria can't just apply to deity, can it? So, let's start with the rolled up dimensions of String Theory. They "cannot be measured, perceived, or detected", can they? But do we we say they "can be fully ignored and disregarded"? Nope. Instead, we are working at ways to detect them. How about tachyons? Can't be detected by our current instruments. Have we "fully ignored and disregarded" the existence of tachyons? Again, no. What you have done is really, really damaged science in an attempt to rationalize your faith. You have stood science on its head. In science, we never discard an entity unless we can disprove it. To do what you want would mean to prematurely discard entities that exist and have an important effect on the universe and our understanding of it. Your criteria would ruin science and, if followed in the past, have destroyed science. You are going to have to learn to live with the possibilities I've outlined. You can believe those possibilities are wrong and there are some valid arguments you can use; but none of the arguments you've proposed are valid. No, Dennisg, evolution is not a social worldview. Evolution is a theory that describes how the physical universe works. Just like gravity does. Social Darwinism was an attempt to make natural selection into a social worldview. Social Darwinism isn't evolution. It misrepresented evolution and also committed the Naturalistic Fallacy (look that up if you don't know what it is). Let's try another scientific theory: nuclear fission/fusion. That tells us that energy is released when an atom fissions or when 2 or more atoms fuse to form a different one. There have been and are people who advocate using weapons based on this theory to impose ideas on other people. But that worldview is not fission/fusion, it it? Do you think evolution = atheism? What you have done is pick the translations that serves you best: The ESV and RSV. You have also left out part of the verse. Genesis 3:2-3: "And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." This is KJV and Hebrew Names Version. In most translations, it is Eve that says "the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden", not God. 2. Eve is giving a summary of what God said, not a verbatim quote. The quote is back in Genesis 2. All in all, not playing fair with scripture.
  12. That's not true. There are separate populations. They are called "species". You are ducking the point that the individuals don't change. They die with the same alleles they are born with. The proportion of alleles changes only in a population and that over the course of generations. Genesis 2:16-17: "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Scripture does not say what you say it does. Please don't misrepresent scripture that anyone can go read. The location of the trees is given back in Genesis 2:9 and it is not God speaking: "And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil." I notice you didn't even attempt to address the other points I made. The ideas are good. Misrepresenting them and taking them out of biology was bad. For instance, the idea is natural selection. You have misrepresented that as "survival of the fittest" without knowing what natural selection is, only the soundbite version. See the end of the post for what NS really is. You have also misrepresented "chance". What we have is that variations are random. But in this case "random" has a very specific meaning: random with respect to the needs of the individual or the population. In a climate growing warmer, just as many deer will be born with shorter fur as longer fur. But selection is the opposite of chance or random. It is pure determinism. Evolution is not a theory about "chance". Now, a summary of natural selection by the man who discovered it: "If, during the long course of ages and under varying conditions of life, organic beings vary at all in the several parts of their organization, and I think this cannot be disputed; if there be, owing to the high geometric powers of increase of each species, at some age, season, or year, a severe struggle for life, and this certainly cannot be disputed; then, considering the infinite complexity of the relations of all organic beings to each other and to their conditions of existence, causing an infinite diversity in structure, constitution, and habits, to be advantageous to them, I think it would be a most extraordinary fact if no variation ever had occurred useful to each beings welfare, in the same way as so many variations have occured useful to man. But if variations useful to any organic being do occur, assuredly individuals thus characterized will have the best chance of being preserved in the struggle for life; and from the strong principle of inheritance they will will tend to produce offspring similarly characterized. This principle of preservation, I have called, for the sake of brevity, Natural Selection." [Origin, p 127 6th ed.] "survival of the fittest" was coined by Spencer, not Darwin. And it was Spencer who committed the naturalistic fallacy of trying to take this strawman version of natural selection and say humans ought to enforce it.
  13. 1. It's not a semantic word game. It gets to the heart of what science can and cannot tell us. It's a basic reason why science is agnostic. 2. Here you say that science can't tell us that deity is not required. Notice the semantic word game you are playing: ad hominem. But then you contradict this by saying: This is still saying that deity is not required. It's just saying it differently. Again, science can't comment on the inclusion of deity. What we can say, as scientists, is that we have sufficient material cause. Is there a supernatural cause/entity included/required? We don't know. We can't say by the methods of science. But there is a further problem with what you are saying. There are at least 2 ways that deity can influence natural selection and evolution and we would not be able to detect it. Thus deity may be "included". 1. Deity can introduce particular muations that it wants ( R Dawkins, Climbing Mt. Improbable, pp 80- 82.) 2. Deity could engage in a little artificial selection and eliminate some varieties it doesn't want. (D. Dennett, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, pp. 317-318). We are not talking about adding to the theory. Instead, we are talking about using science correctly and acknowledging what science can and cannot tell us. It does add to science by not eliminating possibilities without the data to do so. If you eliminate possibilities without data to do so, then you too "warp truth to fit an idea that you want." That's your belief. Stripped of the invalid ad hominem, you are welcome to it. I don't particularly like the intolerance expressed by the ad hominem and am, therefore, glad you don't have enough political power to enforce that intolerance. The point here is that you can't base your belief in science and use science to convert that belief to anything other than a faith. You may not like it that science can't deny the existence of deity or that your faith is a faith, but that's the reality. Your point didn't include theology. My point is the Dennisg has misrepresented both science Judeo-Christian theology and scripture. You are misrepresenting science.
  14. The historical data is not that Darwin built his theory on a "Christian framework" but rather: 1. He firmly set evolution within the "natural theology" tradition operating in Christianity at the time. He firmly believed that evolution was compatible with Christianity, being the "secondary cause" that God used. 3. At the time he wrote Origin, Darwin was a theist. "Natural theology" is the idea that God uses secondary causes -- material causes discovered by science -- as His means of working. This can clearly be seen in this quote from Origin: "To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual." C. Darwin, On the Origin of Species,pg. 449. It can also clearly be seen in the 3 quotes Darwin chose (and kept in all 6 editions) for the Fontispiece. However, there is no "redeemer" motif. Remember: 1. Evolution happens to populations, not individuals 2. There is no volition in natural selection. That is, no control by the individual. Individuals are lucky or unlucky in the genetic variations they have. They are born with these; they do not choose them. These variations either do well or poorly in the competition for scarce resources (Struggle for Existence). The individual has no choice or control over the process. A "redeemer" gets to choose whether he/she will play the part assigned to them. Remember Jesus' anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane? He could have chosen to leave the path at any time. An individual in natural selection can't. Also, variations don't always lead to "redemption". Many species walk down narrower and narrower paths of adaptation so that they can exist in only very restricted environments. When that environment changes, the population can't adapt fast enough and the species goes extinct. Remember, fully 99.9% of all species that have ever lived on the planet have gone extinct. That's not much "redemption" if only 0.1% are redeemed. It might fit with Jehovah's Witness or some of the more radical Reformed denominations, but it certainly doesn't work for mainstream Christianity, in which everyone can find redemption and Jesus died so that everyone could be saved. I"m sorry, Dennisg, but it needed to be pointed out that your claim was not only bad science, but also bad theology. Not entirely accurate, I'm afraid. In natural selection deity is not required to directly manufacture species or parts of them as is required by Special Creation/ID. It's not clear that no "supernatural force or entity" is required at all. The proposed requirement is deeper than direct manufacture. It goes back to "secondary causes" again. How does deity work? By direct manufacture or by sustaining the material causes that do the direct work? Judeo-Christian theology always has maintained that Yahweh did 2 things: directly interferred in human history and sustained the natural world. This attitude is expressed very well in the second quote Darwin used in the Fontispiece to Origin of Species: "The only distinct meaning of the word 'natural' is stated, fixed, or settled; since what is natural as much requires and presupposes an intelligent agent to render it so, i.e., to effect it continually or at stated times, as what is supernatural or miraculous does to effect it for once." Butler: Analogy of Revealed Religion. Read that carefully. It is proposing that everything that happens "naturally" requires deity to will it to happen. Put hydrogen and oxygen together and add a spark and the oxygen and hydrogen combine to make water. However, according to this proposal deity must will the reation to take place or it doesn't happen. Deity wills it to take place each and every time. And this applies to everything science studies, whether evolution, gravity, electromagnetism, ligand-receptor interactions, etc. Science can't tell us whether Butler is correct or not. It's a limitation of science called Methdological Materialism. We know that evolution is sufficient as a material cause. We don't need an additional material cause of direct manufacture. However, that doesn't allow us to say that deity is not required. Deity could be required for the material cause to work. Yes, Darwin had "wild swings of faith" between theism and agnosticism but eventually settled toward agnosticism. Yes. Notice that both "irreducible complexity" and "complex specified information" are failed attempts by IDers to show natural selection to be wrong. See above. That "not require anything supernatural" is going beyond what science can tell you. In a later letter, Darwin speculated about this. But in Origin of Species Darwin allowed the possibility of direct manufacture by deity: "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved." C. Darwin, On the Origin of Species, pg 450. Your view of natural selection isn't accurate, therefore your conclusions are wrong. First, we are dealing with variations, not "mutations". Mutations are simply one of the methods to get variation. In sexually reproducing species, sexual recombination generates far more variation than mutation. Second, the individual with the advantageous variation doesn't "lead the way". Instead, because that variation confers a better design in coping with the "struggle for existence", that individual will do better than other individuals in getting scarce resources. That means that the lucky individual will have more offspring than other individuals. Those offspring, by inheritance, will likely have the variation. Over the course of generations, what happens is that the descendents with the variation of that one lucky individual continue to do better than individuals without the variation. Eventually, that variation will become "fixed" in the population, meaning every individual will have it. That means, of course, that eventually every individual will be descended from that one lucky individual. There is no "leading" here. It's all unconscious. Procreation is also not conscious. It's just that, by doing better in the struggle for existence, that individual will "naturally" produce more surviving offspring than those who do not have the variation. Actually, that is wrong. Muslims outnumber Christians. Which makes Mohammed the most "imitated" person to have ever lived. What you call "underlying themes" break down on many levels. Now, you certainly can look upon evolution and natural selection has how God created. Christians do. But the attempt to gain credibility for that belief by comparing natural selection to Christian redemption fails as both science and theology. Give that argument up, please. It hurts both science and Christianity. Sorry, but Biblical scholars now all agree that we have 2 separate stories. Also, people can look at see if there are seeds in a fruit. The 2 trees that are forbidden are not forbidden based on seeds! Read Genesis 2! They are in the center of the garden and are forbidden because of the powers eating their fruit bestows! One bestows knowledge of Good and Evil and the other bestows Eternal Life. You are also ignoring all the other contradictions between the 2 creation stories. In Genesis 1 all the animals are created before men and women (both plural in the Hebrew) are created. So we don't have just one man and one woman. We have many men and women spoken into existence. In Genesis 2 the story has one man created "from the dust of the ground", then all the animals to be helpmeets to that man. When all of them fail to be a proper helpmeet, the story says that one woman was created from one of the man's ribs. The command to tend the garden comes before there are any animals and birds created to be "helpmeets". Adam was placed in the garden in 2:15 and the animals and birds are not created until 2:19. If you are going to try to rely upon a literal reading of the Bible as evidence, then you must also accept contrary evidence that also comes from a literal reading of the Bible. If not, then you really aren't out to find truth, but want to warp truth to fit an idea that you want. That's not good in either science or theology.
  15. A lot of us are uncomfortable with animal testing for this use. Fortunately, the cosmetic industry is the one that leaped at using cultured human fibroblasts for their initial testing, so animal testing for this use (particularly the Dray's test) is way down. It's required. The guidelines for the forms we have to fill out require that I (and any researcher using animals) provide the means to minimize the pain and stress to the animals. A veterinarian must be on every IACUC and one of their tasks is to ensure that all protocols will have adequate control of pain. In the last protocol I submitted, I had the rabbits being injected with an opioid pain killer each day for 3 days after the surgery. The vet changed that to a fentanyl (an opioid) patch that would be on for 5 days because that would provide better pain control. So that's what I'll do. Well, there are quite a few animals. But yes, they do get treated well and fed well. Humans still have some rights even when convicted of a crime. Remember, the Jews and other humans experimented on by Dr. Mengele and other Nazi scientists were criminals by their laws. We really don't want to start down that path again, do we?
  16. He saw God as being cruel. Annie's death triggered a crisis of faith in Darwin that many people have shared: why does God allow bad things happen to good people? First, this isn't the garden. Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are two completely different creation stories. Second, Let's do the context: "So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, ... "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-- everything that has the breath of life in it-- I give every green plant for food." This isn't a symbiotic relationship as you claim, but a delineation of food for humans and food for animals. Humans get to eath "seed-bearing plant" and "tree that has fruit with seed in it". Animals and birds get every plant to eat. Humans would not be allowed to eat maple trees or moss, for instance, but birds and animals can. Lamarckism is an alternative to natural selection. It is not a mechanism for generating variation, but rather a entire mechanism to get adaptations. In some cases, Darwin didn't have a mechanism by natural selection to get the adaptation (such as beetles that lost their wings) and so invoked Lamarckism instead. It probably would not have helped unless Mendel spoke English. As it happens, Mendel sent Darwin a copy of his paper (as the most famous scientist in Europe, a lot of people corresponded with Darwin). But the paper was in, of course, German. As accomplished as Darwin was, he was very poor at foreign languages. He never did learn any. When reading German manuscripts, he would have to go thru them word by word with an English-German dictionary in hand. Thus Mendel's paper sat on his desk unread. But had he read it we may have had the Modern Synthesis 60 years earlier. Or not. Darwin would have had to use Mendel's work to develop the whole discipline of population genetics and, as good as Darwin was, that was a lot of work. However, it would have removed the most potent criticism of natural selection at the time: that natural selection does not work with blended characteristics (the predominant theory of inheritance at the time).
  17. Again, I can't think of anything that could be transdermal or even trans-capillary that would work. Glucose, by itself, doesn't have any unique property that can be detected thru such a barrier. There are lots of other chemicals in the blood (such as fructose and OH bonds in amino acids) that will absorb in the near IR. Ultrasound is not sensitive enough The pump can just dump the insulin into the extracellular space and it will diffuse into capillaries and thus, thru the whole body. I've looked at the references to the Wiki article and they seem to be fluff and hype. For instance, the one using near IR detection -- http://www.veralight.com/products.html -- only says that it is trying to detect "the presence of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) biomarkers found in skin". AGEs are glycation of proteins. However, if you keep digging in the website, you find that these AGEs won't give you the current level of glucose in the blood. Instead, all they can do is detect a departure from normal glycemia after the fact. The company thinks skin AGEs will detect this early. But notice the caveat: "Thus, given sufficient assay sensitivity, an AGE measurement offers the promise to detect early departure from normal glycemia." http://www.veralight.com/technology_2.html Not only won't measure blood glucose, but if the sensitivity gets too high, variation between individuals is going to be greater than the levels it measures and make the whole system useless. The other references have similar problems. This is one reason why you must check out the Wiki sources and you can't depend on Wiki as a primary source in a serious discussion. As we can see, actual reading of the sources refutes the statement in the Wiki article: "Some new technologies to monitor blood glucose levels will not require access to blood to read the glucose level." Glucose level in the blood is not being monitored! Epigenetics is something different. Epigenetics deals with changes to proteins after translation. So they are out of the picture. What you need are developmental biologists. They are the ones that work with morphogenetic proteins. These are the proteins that, during embryonic development, are made by one cell but bind to different cells to cause the second cell to differentiate to a phenotype. The most famous morphogenetic proteins are the bone morphogenetic proteins (there are 18 or so of them) and the other members of the TGF-beta superfamily. BMPs 2 and 7, for instance, direct adult stem cells to differentiate to osteoblasts (bone forming cells). Unfortunately, right now the people working in tissue engineering are more focussed on genetic engineering than finding out what the original signals from outside the cells are. They want to turn on the genes that are the eventual target of the morphogenetic proteins, The morphogenetic proteins don't enter the cell, but bind to the cell membrane. This initiates a signal transduction cascade (the SMAD cascade in the case of BMP) that eventually ends up activating dormant transcription factor proteins that, in turn, cause transcription of genes. Genetic engineering tries to shortcut that cascade and just put in new copies of the target genes tied to a promoter that is always "on", causing continued transcription of the gene. And that, in turn, causes the cell to differentiate or continually to produce the protein that is the gene product, i.e. insulin. But, of course, in diabetes you don't want insulin to always be produced. You want a system that responds to high glucose by more insulin and low glucose by less insulin.
  18. It's gotten a lot of study. Darwin's notebooks give a very good history of the development and source of his ideas. I think they are still on display at the American Museum of Natural History. Otherwise, the biography Darwin by Desmond and Moore will walk you thru it. The discovery of natural selection is laid out in Darwin's notebooks very precisely. Basically, Darwin had read Malthus, done his own work on variation, and then made a leap of imagination to put them together to get natural selection. First, Darwin didn't see nature being "cruel". The Struggle for Existence was a metaphorical struggle. See below. Second, the quote you provided from Genesis 1 applies only to humans. This is what humans get to eat. It doesn't apply to the rest of creation. Darwin would have been aware of that. Third, Darwin studied for the ministry because he wanted to be a scientist. At the time there was no way to earn money only being a scientist; you had to have a day job. Most of Darwin's scientist friends were country parsons. With a small country parish, you gave a sermon on Sunday, visited a few sick, and had the rest of the week to be a "naturalist". "The Term, Struggle for Existence, Used in a Large Sense I should premise that I use this term in a large and metaphorical sense including dependence of one being on another, and including (which is more important) not only the life of the individual, but success in leaving progeny. TWo canine animals, in a time of dearth, may be truly said to struggle witheach other which shall get food and live. But a plant on the edge of a desert is said to struggle for life against the drought, though more properly it should be said to be dependent on the moisture. A plant which annually produces a thousand seeds, of which only one of an average comes to maturity, may be more truly said to struggle with the ground. The mistletoe is dependent on the apple and a few other trees, but can only in a fr-fetched sense be said to struggle with these trees, for, if too many of these parasites grow on the same tree, it languishes and dies. But several seedling mistletoes, growing close together on the same branch, may more truly be said to struggle with each other. As the mistletoe is disseminated by birds, its existence depends on them; and it may methodically be said to struggle with other fruit-bearing plants, in tempting the birds to devour and thus disseminate its seeds. In these several senses, which pass into each other, I use for convenience' sake the general term of Struggle for Existence." The reason Darwin was silent is because, if you read that paragraph closely, Erasmus is wrong. Erasmus has the ability to acquire new traits coming directly from the organism itself. Notice that "directed by .. volitions" and "improve by its own inherent activity". There is no volition on the part of the individual in either natural selection or Lamarkism. Erasmus can be said to be an "evolutionist" only in the sense that he was denying Special Creation of each individual species. However, that isn't enough to give him "credit". Otherwise his biology and evolution were so far off the mark as to be useless.
  19. I think you'll find that the lactose tolerant allele came first, which then allowed the milking of animals. A "few thousand years" is not enough for an allele to become fixed in the population of such a long lived animal as us when the population is as large (tens of thousands) as it was. Not enough generations. However, I appreciate the point you are trying to make, even if this particular example doesn't work. A better example would be the first stone tools that allowed humans to hunt other animals and add meat to the diet. That in turn possibly led to the evolution of even larger brains. But the first stone tools are 2 million years + old. The invention of cooking may have led to a reduction in our digestive system. But the reliable use of fire goes back at least 500,000 years. If you are looking for connections of technology to biological evolution, you need to look at 500,000 years + ago. Any technology more recent than that is not going to have had a significant impact on biological evolution. A few years ago some people confessed to fabricating the first prints and photos of Bigfoot. It's a fraud. The continued sightings can be explained as people expecting to see Bigfoot. The fact that the sightings are in every stated mitigates against there being a real animal. Large animals like that do not have extensive ranges co-existent with humans and not been definitively identified. After all, some of those states have been thickly populated for decades. You are going to tell me no one is going to have gotten a real good photograph or actually shot one in all that time? So, in terms of "every state" we can say we have searched the entire possible search space and not found Bigfoot. You would have to narrow Bigfoot down to a very small geographical region (such as the "original" sightings in the NorthWest US) and there you run into the confession of fraud.
  20. A major part of what breaks up the skin so you don't have that shiny look are the hair follicles and sweat glands They give texture to the epidermal layer. There are lots of types of "fibroblasts". "Fibroblast" is a catch-all term for cells in connective tissue. The cells in tendons and ligaments are also "fibroblasts", yet those tissues are very different from dermis. There are fibroblasts in scar, too, but that is different yet from tendon, ligament, or dermis. So the use of one term to describe what are very different cells has probably held up progress. A dermal fibroblast is a specialized cell type, just like a tendon fibroblast is a different specialized cell type. So what sphingosine kinase does on dermal fibroblasts wouldn't necessarily be the same thing it would do to scar fibroblasts. Some people have thought that a normal dermis = normal epidermis. Yet that isn't always true. When you have a narrow cut on your skin -- say from a knife, the dermis still heals with scar but the epidermal layer is normal. At some point, the area of the wound is just too large for the epidermal cells around the edges to proliferate and cover that area. That's why they pay me the big bucks.
  21. Please document all that. Wait a minute. Are you referring to the physicians in double-blind studies? As Jdurg noted, they cannot have access while the trial is underway. They cannot know which patients are getting treatment and which are controls. Such knowledge could bias how they evaluated the patients. AFTER the trial is over, I don't know of a single case where the physicians/researchers don't have access to the data. They are required by both law and custom. PC, you are slipping between 3 different claims: 1. Animal studies themselves are immmoral 2. There are NO safeguards for animals. 3. There are abused of the existing safeguards on animals. You are trying to use examples of #3 to argue for #1. But that doesn't work. Let's take this out of animal testing. As you noted, there are occasional abuses of children in orphanages and the elderly in nursing homes. In both cases there are safeguards in place. However, even tho there is the occasional abuse it does not follow that it is immoral to have children in orphanages or the elderly in nursing homes! Which is why all such funding must be disclosed! ALL funding for papers must now be disclosed so any possible conflict of interest (which is what you are talking about) is done. However, you do realize that a lot of your complaints applies to CLINICAL TRIALS, and you approve of those. You can't be internally consistent and say that these claims mean that we must stop animal trials but it is OK to continue doing human clinical trials! Can't have it both ways. Which shows that you are simply rationalizing a prior belief, not trying to objectively analyze a situation ethically and reach a objective ethical conclusion. So, since all this is rationalizing an a priori belief, I'll ask you again: why should we believe anything you say? Why would you not say anything -- true or not -- to rationalize your belief? But animal models do simulate reliably. All the drugs and treatments on the market, and all the drugs and treatements witheld from clinical trials attest to that. Clinical trials are done because we insist on double-checking the results from animals. The first and second, as Jdurg has pointed out, are illegal. Usually there is room about potential danger for reasonable people to reasonably disagree. That was certainly the case with Viox and, before that, chloramphenicol. Deciding how "bad" the danger is becomes a question of ethics, not science. What level of risk are we willing to accept? That changes, of course, depending on the situation and the consequences. But look at all those "ifs". You didn't have those qualifiers in your original idea! Instead, you thought drugs that were toxic in animals should be tested on humans. But no, you won't volunteer. You won't volunteer, for instance, to test a new NSAID for headaches that previously was toxic in rats, for instance. Would you? Euthanasia is the correct term. Just as you insist that "vivisection" is the correct term. In your case, you want to most emotional impact even if it is incorrect. Are you afraid to use the correct term "animal testing" because it would not make animal research look so bad? Sauce for the goose. No, you were talking about testing. Since the original testing was raondomized double blind, we know ahead of time whatever placebo effect there is. We know the real effect before they get to market. It's "randomized". You really don't know what that experimental design is, do you? Go do some reading. "Randomized means that patients are randomly assigned to a the control group or the group receiving the drug. Double-blind means that neither the patient nor the person evaluating the effect know which patients got the drug and which did not. This eliminates bias and also means, if there is a placebo effect, it will be in both groups. That means that any effect of the drug above and beyond a placebo effect is going to be detected. If instead, the drug is ineffective and there is only a placebo effect, then both groups are going to be the same. You won't get a false positive. You may get a false negative if the real effect of the drug is smaller than a placebo effect. Sigh. PC, you are making lots of Arguments from Ignorance. This is one of them. If ALL the patients think they are getting the drug but only half are, then what the placebo effect is going to do is make it look like the drug has no therapeutic effect because the controls will also do better. This will eliminate the difference between those that take the drug and those that don't. THINK ABOUT IT! The effect of a double-blind trial will be exactly opposite of what you think. that part about computer programs is complete does-not-follow. We are talking about anatomy and physiology, not the ability to write computer programs. WOW, it's difficult to conceive how you thought computer programming was relevant. Jdurg and I have both given lots of reasons why drugs "fail" clinical trials that have nothing to do with the failure of animal testing. You must address those reasons and show they are incorrect. But it's IACUCS that are necessary for the preliminary animal testing! If they don't have conflicts of interest or corrupt members, then your whole first sentence is invalid! IACUCs ensure the rules are followed, and if they are not corrupt, then it doesn't matter what the "powerful backers" want. Look at one example. The ONLY way human embryonic stem cell research was done was by avoiding the law/legislation/rules and going where they don't apply! All you have to do is a superficial PubMed search on ANY disease and drug to refute that "paucity of reliable, accurate results" claim. ALL the currently used treatments, and the ones that never made it to humans, went thru animal testing. All you have to do is go LOOK at the evidenced and not be deafened by the vile din of animal rights propaganda. See?, this name calling works both ways, doesn't it? So how about you just stop that and LOOK AT THE DATA. Scientific data is PUBLISHED. It's available to everyone. On that off chance is why we go thru phased clinical trials! I've said this before PC, please pay attention. No one claims that animal testing is 100% reliable. Nothing in biology is. There are variations -- between individuals and between species. But animal testing is reliable enough as to be essential. Look, if you had done the testing on Viox or thalidomide your way, they still would have caused harm to humans! You would not have tested thalidomide initially on pregnant women and thus would not have known about the teratogenic effects until lots of people used it. Viox is harmful only to a small portion of humans, so again human testing would have missed it (and did, as a matter of fact). Now, because there are going to be some times when the drug is not obviously harmful to a person, do we stop developing new drugs? What we are saying is that animal testing reduces those examples of harm to humans to a very few. If we went directly to human testing, we would have a LOT more dead people around. YOU already indicated that you won't volunteer. So, how can you be so hypocritical to want other people to take the risks you refuse to? More later. For anyone interested, this is a website that will get you access to FDA drug approval data: https://www.pharmapendium.com/index.jsp "PharmaPendium puts drug safety data of US-approved drugs at a researcher's fingertips. It lets researchers understand the full scope of projected risks early in the drug development process. • Search hundreds of FDA Approval Packages to find valuable animal and human studies and approval information • Get a longitudinal view of preclinical, clinical and post-marketing drug safety information • Analyze gold-standard data to compare toxicities and adverse effects in animals and humans " For this disuscussion, notice that you can follow a drug from animal testing (preclinical) to clinical to post-market for both efficacy and safety. This will dispel the animal-rights myth that animal tests have no reliability for humans. Peachy, the data is there. It's public. You and all your animal rights friends can access it. This dispels your claim of conspiracy and cover-up. I think everyone, except Jdurg, is going to be surprised at the amount of data is in an FDA approval package.
  22. John, every culture does NOT have a flood story. Richard Andre did a comprehensive collection of myths about the floods. It was Die Flutsagen: Ehnthographisch Btrachtet, 1891. Andre had nearly 90 deluge traditions. Of these, 26 arose from the Babylonian story and 43 were independent. He noted a lack of deluge traditions in Arabia, Japan, northern and central Asia, Africa, and much of Europe. He concluded that not everyone had descended from survivors of a single deluge, otherwise the traditions would all have been much more identical and there would be deluge traditions in every society instead of a minority. Pete, as several have pointed out, there is evidence in each case for a local flood or several of them. In the MidEast, there is archeological evidence of at least one very severe flood in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley that wiped out a large portion of the current civilization there. That flood may have served as the inspiration for the flood in the Gilgamesh Epic (which later was plagiarized by the Hebrews as Noah's flood). However, there is: 1. No geological evidence of a world-wide flood that cannot be explained by having local floods. 2. Hundreds/thousands of geological features that could not possibly have been laid down by a flood. Flood Geology was the accepted scientific theory up until about 1800. It was thought that a world-wide flood had caused all geological features. By 1820 so many of the geological features had been discovered that it was thought that only the uppermost gravels and morraines had been deposited by a world-wide flood. But evidence found during the 1820s showed that even these could not be due to such an event. A world-wide flood had been shown to be false by 1831. Rev. Adam Sedgwick, head of geology at Cambridge and President of the Royal Geological Society, put the final nail in the coffin of a world-wide flood in that year. What we have now are events -- such as the flooding of the Black Sea -- that are hypothesized to serve as inspirations for the various local legends.
  23. All the literature looking into the underlying cause of Type I are attempts to find ways to cure it. We can't cure Type I untill we find out why and how the original islet cells were destroyed. Honestly, I can't think of a possible way to do that. Glucose simply doesn't have any distinguishing characteristics when measured at a distance: no distant absorption in the IR, UV, or any other wavelength. Not even fluorescent under UV. To include such a measurment system with the pump is going to make a very large device. Also, if you tie that in with a blood vessel, as you would have to do, you would always face the side effect of stenosis of the blood vessel. I think your best hope lies not with pumps but with islet cells in cylinders as I discussed above. Let the cells themselves decide how much insulin to produce. Better than machinery.
  24. Quite a bit. But I think you mean epidermis. The problem is getting the hair follicles and sweat glands back. There are a couple of companies making constructs with fibroblasts covered with epidermal cells -- especially for severe burn cases -- but the epidermis doesn't make hair follicles or sweat glands. One group has discovered a stem cell for hair follicles, but I don't think the research has progressed very far clinically. The articles about inhibiting sphinosine kinase are for glial scars -- which occur in the brain. And this is about stopping sphingosine kinase, not applying it. I did find a patent that talks about inhibiting phosphokinase C as a treatment for scar tissue: http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6306383/description.html This is claimed to treat hypertrophic scars, not get rid of normal scars. Lots of claims, not much data. Which is typical of patents. We'll just have to wait and see as this idea moves thru animal trials to human clinical trials.
  25. That's not what I get in reading the scientific literature. I see most of the work being done for Type I. This is first I've ever seen people seriously proposing a treatment for Type II.
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