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Posts posted by jimmydasaint

  1. Recent research seems to indicate information  as follows :


    What was Earth’s atmosphere like a few billion years ago, early in its history? Researchers at Penn State say they’ve found some clues by analyzing iron micrometeorites in ancient soils. These particles from space – a subset of cosmic dust – suggest that carbon dioxide made up 25% to 50% of Earth’s atmosphere 2.7 billion years ago. That’s in contrast to today’s levels of carbon dioxide of around 0.04%. There might also have been less nitrogen then than in our present-day atmosphere; now nitrogen is by far our atmosphere’s primary gas.

    The new peer-reviewed findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on January 21, 2020.


    What puzzles me particularly is the question of how long oxygen has been in the atmosphere and its location.  If the early Earth's atmosphere had carbon dioxide, where did the oxygen come from?

    Also, I assume that the atmosphere later on was also dominated by water vapour.  Where did the oxygen come from that reacted with the water?

    I would appreciate any answer that enables me to learn more about this theoretical topic in an Earth very different to what we have had recently.


  2. 1 hour ago, iNow said:

    Lots of thoughtful feedback above. One additional point we ought to consider when framing the discussion in terms of deaths:

    The social isolation and change in behavior were currently experiencing will lead to far higher drops in the long term death rate, and this is true for a great many things largely unrelated to covid.

    Pollution is down right now. Air and water is cleaner... Manufacturing facilities are quit and their smoke stacks dormant... Traffic accidents are down right now. Crime and murder and shootings are down right now. War zones are quieter and fewer bullets are flying....

    Countless other variables contributing to accelerated human death are all collectively down right now... We’re going to see a dramatic decrease in the deaths caused by these things... on the order of several hundreds of thousands of lives saved and extended... and that will eclipse deaths caused by this virus preoccupying us. 

    Just food for thought. If Covid takes a million lives, but saves 10+ million bc of how we respond to it, then maybe that’s another reason to remind our minds to let go of and release the anxiety these daily infection and death count numbers often create within us.

    That was the main point I tried to posit, suing the Singapore model from the Lancet.  Hope you and yours are OK iNow. 

  3. 1 hour ago, Dagl1 said:

    Some things to note, but it would probably be more fair to take a longer time period for each month (multiple years), to calculate an estimated amount of deaths in March, there is a 7-8k difference between 2018 and 2019. A major risk factor for death is accumulated age (not only for corona virus), and ages are not uniformly distributed over all the years (there are not equally as many 40 as 60 years old etc.. 
    Those things don't really change the focus of your post though, but I thought they would be good to note anyway.

    I do question why you feel that we should drop absolute numbers in favour of percentage of deaths, other than that it represents population and life expectancy (sort of)?
    Point two I don't really understand, should governments report deaths as a percentage of people tested, why? Assuming the minority of people is tested, this will lead to a much higher current morbidity than the actual numbers that we will be able to get after this is 'over' and do antibody testing.

    You are right that I should have taken a larger number of years for the average.  I considered a short term trend in numbers of deaths. Accumulated age is a large risk factor, I agree. 

    IMHO, fear is being created (perhaps rightly so, but I am not a social scientist)  by broadcasting cumulative numbers of COVID-19 attributable deaths but we should have a news item which says something along the lines of:

    "The cumulative total of COVID-19 deaths in the UK has now reached 4313 tragic deaths, in relation to the total number of deaths for March 2020 which was (estimated) at 47, 413 from all causes...."  IMO this would make people fearful, but careful, and not just fearful and ignorant. 

    As far as the point about widespread testing, how can the Government talk about disease spread accurately without numbers?  The Prime Minister's speech with his two medical advisers was almost all guesswork. Educated guesswork but all guesswork because there was not enough testing throughout the population to predict a rate of spread of the viral infection.  Even now the percentages are based, for the most part, on patients who have reported in to hospital and have been then tested for coronavirus. 

    1 hour ago, Danijel Gorupec said:

    Very good, jimmydasaint. I was trying to obtain total death figures for various countries (because covid death reports seems to be heavily affected by different methodologies used in different countries), but I was unsuccessful.

    As I understood, in your estimated calculation you assumed that covid deaths will be just added to the 'usual' number of deaths. Am I right? This does not have to be. Some of the people who die, might die within months even without covid - in this case covid only shifts the death statistics some months earlier. On the other hand, if hospitals become overloaded, mortality form non-covid causes might also increase. So, the total death figure might be either less or more than the 'usual'+covid.

    (Off topic: I am puzzled now, what happens in UK in January?)

    The Government are publishing COVID-19 figures in relation to the total, including the virus (IIRC). You are absolutely correct with the scenario you presented.  I think that hospitals are being overloaded and there is a possibility of increasing mortality from other causes.  Agreed! However, all I am looking for is a month to month comparison (whilst taking in the points you made) to give me a reference point as a citizen.

    In January, we are in the height of winter, and if you look at the number of deaths from respiratory diseases in winter, it is quite high.  However, I did not check the numbers of people who had respiratory diseases in January in previous years.

    26 minutes ago, Robittybob1 said:

    It is not the deaths to COVID 19 that are the problem.  It appears to be the large number of hospital cases requiring ventilation for weeks and then possibly months to recover.

    I thin COVI-19 is a problem for people of a certain age group (60 and above) or for those individuals who have underlying health conditions.  SARS is a nasty virus which can flatten a person with underlying health conditions. However, yes, you are correct, the National Health Service are overwhelmed and so people who have different life-threatening conditions may have less priority, than those with suspected, or actual COVID--19,.

    29 minutes ago, Strange said:

    Note that Italy and Spain (who now appear to be passing the peak) had something like 800 deaths a day; say 24,000 a month. The UK (and US) will soon exceed that.

    People who die of because of Covid-19 are mainly those who end up in hospital and often in intensive care. The vast majority of the other deaths take place at home, in a normal hospital bed, at the scene of the accident, etc. Therefore Covid-19 puts a much greater strain on the health system.

    I cannot disagree with you on most points. However as far as the death statistics, and we must remember that these are human tragedies and not just numbers, The Lancet published a model which was based on flu infection and for Singapore, but had important implications for the UK. The Lancet 23 Mar 2020

    I am quoting the effects of self-isolation and lockdown in their article, assuming R0 (reproductive rate of viral spread, I assume) reducing daily numbers by 93%: (the emphasis in the last sentence of the quote is my own).



    When R0 was 2·0, the proportion of the Singaporean population infected under the baseline scenario increased to 19·3% (IQR 17·8–20·6), with a median cumulative number of infections on day 80 of 727 000 (IQR 670 000–776 000; figure 1table). On day 80, quarantine resulted in a cumulative median of 130 000 cases (38 000–244 000), school closure 97 000 cases (14 000–219 000), workplace distancing 67 000 cases (11 000–145 000), and the combined intervention 50 000 cases (2000–143 000; figure 2table). The maximum number of daily infections was 27 800 (IQR 27 300–28 000) for the baseline scenario, 11 000 (4100–18 600) for the quarantine scenario, 8400 (1900–17 000) for the school-closure scenario, 6100 (1500–12 000) for the workplace-distancing scenario, and 4900 (100–11 700) for the combined intervention (Figure 1Figure 2). The combined approach resulted in the largest reduction in cases from baseline (93·0% reduction [IQR 81·5–99·7]).



    For a more serious scenario, wit R0=2.5, the following conclusions are reached by th emodellers:


    For the baseline scenario, when R0 was 2·5, 32% (IQR 30·9–33·1) of the Singaporean population were infected, with a cumulative median of 1 207 000 cases (IQR 1 164 000–1 249 000) on day 80 (figure 1table). At this level of transmission, quarantine resulted in a median of 520 000 cases (268 000–754 000), school closure 466 000 cases (175 000–728 000), workplace distancing 320 000 cases (116 000–558 000), and the combined intervention 258 000 cases (65 000–508 000; tableappendix p 10). The maximum number of daily infections was 42 800 (IQR 41 400–43 500) for the baseline scenario, 37 900 (25 900–41 800) for the quarantine scenario, 36 400 (18 100–41 400) for the school-closure scenario, 29 800 (12 500–40 500) for the workplace-distancing scenario, and 25 200 (7700–39 200) for the combined intervention (figure 1appendix p 10). Compared with baseline, the combined approach resulted in the greatest reduction in cases (78·2% [IQR 59·0–94·4]).

    The Lancet 23 March 2020


  4. I am putting this topic here as it does not fit anywhere else.

    I have been puzzled over the few weeks, as a concerned citizen, why the number of deaths by COVID were not given as a proportion of total deaths.

    I went to the Official Government website Gov.UK and downloaded figures to compare the number of deaths attributed to coronavirus in relation to normal deaths for this period.

    This is not something, in the UK, that is mentioned by news outlets very often.  Sky News can be renamed  as  Coronavirus Updates now because they have gone into the reporting of this awful viral infection 24/7.

    I wanted to check out relative figures of coronavirus infection in relation to total numbers of deaths from all causes at this time of year. 

    After downloading the Excel files from the Government website, I got the following figures:

    Total number of deaths from all causes in 2018 in England and Wales

        Jan-18    Feb-18    Mar-18    Apr-18    May-18    Jun-18    Jul-18    Aug-18      Sep-18     Oct-18     Nov-18     Dec-18
        64,020    49,087    51,131    46,383    42,685    39,679    40,621    40,071    37,013    44,311    43,834    41,430

    Total number of deaths from all causes in 2019  in England and Wales

         Jan-19      Feb-19      Mar-19      Apr-19      May-19      Jun-19       Jul-19      Aug-19       Sep-19      Oct-19      Nov-19      Dec-19
    53,772 45,696 43,815 44,003 44,290 38,511 42,183 38,719 39,915 46,133 45,111 47,384


    Total number of deaths from all causes in 2020 in England and Wales

     Jan-20               Feb-20          First 3 weeks of Mar-20

     62770                43,587          32559

    Deaths from respiratory diseases in 2020 in England and Wales included in figures for total deaths

    Jan-20                 Feb-20           First 3 weeks of Mar-20

    10446                  6,300              4533

    Deaths from COVID-19 mentioned on death certificates in England and Wales

    Jan-20                 Feb-20           First 3 weeks of Mar-20

    0                           0                      108

    Because the figures are not complete for March 2020, when I accessed the website on 4 April 2020, I will take an average of all deaths from all caused in March 2018 and March 2019 as a representative figure for March 2020.  I calculate this to be 47,413  

    If we take the current figures for COVID-19 deaths to be 4313 (as at 7.36 a.m. 5 April 2020), the percentage of deaths attributed to COVID-20 as an approximate percentage of all deaths is 9.097%

    This is a fairly high estimate. but, in the interests of accurate reporting:

    1.  I would wish our news agencies to drop the absolute numbers and give us the number of COVID-19 deaths as a percentage of deaths by all causes in the UK.

    2. The Government should be duty bound to report the deaths by COVID-19 as a percentage of those (large pool of) people randomly tested and positive for COVID-19 infection.

    3. We should continue social distancing and self-isolation in order to reduce viral transmission rates.

    4. We should acknowledge, as scientists, that our world has changed profoundly, socially and economically, and that we are unlikely to go back to the "normality" of 2018 and 2019. 



    Number of deaths 2018-2020.xls

  5. The article you cited also mentioned that fullerenes had also generated interference patterns in 1999.  

    I do not understand how this experiment will lead to a new era in quantum biology.  Could you please give us your perspective on their findings.  


  6. I don't know.  Of course I see the advantages, but how far do we go?  Do we then get to the point where people can pay extra to have their babies engineered to have superb muscles or desirable features or to have super-learning abilities. How far before economic decisions affect the children we have.  Will Western people then start a savings account for college and another for genetically engineering their children? I am in two minds here.

  7. 3 hours ago, iNow said:

    So, your position is that so long as I claim that invisible dragon sitting right now below your chair offers you an infinite reward (just like god), then the smarter choice here is to accept the truth of the existence of that invisible dragon? That seems odd to me. How is the magnitude of the claim relevant to its internal logic? 

    As long as the dragon has provided scriptural exegesis in the form of three or more books revealed by the messengers of the dragon to three or four unusual individuals and which serves to give peace to one quarter of the world's population and offers a story to why humans are on Earth and provides them with a purpose and moral parameters - yes. If the dragon also states that love of others, mercy and forgiveness are the order of the day and that the dragon's personal qualities of mercy and generosity are to be reflected by its creations-yes.  If the dragon offers a way to true peace on Earth with a promise of the essence of a soul reaching an eternal reward- yes. You cannot just posit an invisible dragon and then assign no personal qualities to it.  The acceptance of the dragon is contingent on its absolute, and not relative qualities.

  8. 24 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

    There's only ever two choices to a gamble, win or lose... Time is irrelevant. 

    Agreed, IMO, he thought that belief had an infinite reward whilst  the opposite had a negative effect.  

    42 minutes ago, iNow said:

    Likewise on the well wishes, Jimmy. It’s been a while and it’s nice seeing you online. 

    Here’s a slightly longer video which digs deeper into the very criticisms you make. It’s only 7 minutes long:

    I have just watched the video iNow and have had a quick scan of Stanford encyclopedia

    The video makes certain criticisms which are generally repeated. For example:

    1. Alternative religions exist.  There are other cultures who have gods and goddesses who have an equal right to be considered in the same way as the Christian god. 2. The theory ignores other heavens and hells;  3. Belief involves a personal cost and sacrifice; it is not easy. 4. God can be fooled by false faith.  

    Most of these are good arguments.  However, IMO the main points that Pascal made were contingent upon a wager where there would be infinite reward contrasted with finite loss, based upon the Christian religion and exegesis. Point 4 above can be easily dismissed by the omniscience of God.  In the end,  hearty atheists, like  the vast majority of people on the Science Forum, would be untouched and undaunted by Pascal's arguments.  Perhaps some arguments are bound to their own times. 


  9. 4 minutes ago, iNow said:

    I’d posit no. It most certainly does not.

    Hi there iNow, hope you and the family are well. 

    The wager suggests this all-loving and all-powerful god is so petty and insecure that it’d rather a person lie and pretend to believe in it than to instead be honest, authentic, and sincere about their stance... that it’s better to be a liar who says what they say only as a gamble than to be an honest person who openly acknowledges the true feelings of their heart and mind even in the face of potential eternal punishment. 

    I think that Pascal thought that an initial appearance of faith would be later replaced by real faith which would be the money ticket. In any case, real faith supersedes fake faith.   I am assuming here that Pascal would have reasoned that an omniscient God would see through the fakes. I am not sure though - I will have to read a bit more on this...

    Further, the wager suggests we are mere slaves or serfs, and that our blind obedience is more important than our willingness to be honest.

    IMO, the point was that people should look to the signs of God in the Earth, e..g the birth of a child from a single fertilised egg, would be enough for people to believe.  Obviously the rise of humanism and the Enlightenment had a different dialectic. 

    A 3rd problem, is that the same wager could equally be applied to anything. Why not believe there’s an invisible dragon below your chair who will char you to a crisp if you don’t believe it’s there? Why not believe that leprechauns control your wealth or that unicorns protect the health of your children... and you’ll lose all health and wealth unless you accept them as true assertions. The logic is the same, after all, and it’s clearly nonsense. 

    Pascal's wager is based on an endpoint, although I agree that the logic is deductive but it is based on achieving Heaven as an end.  Whereas your assertions don't take this as an endpoint.




  10. 1 minute ago, dimreepr said:

    If, the essence of a bet, but why wouldn't we follow a moral/ethical code if it didn't lead to heaven? 

    I agree, you could lead a superb life for the sake of it and it would be rewarding as well.


    However, and I am hoping I do not misquote Pascal here, you would need faith in God, real or not, to get to Heaven. But I suspect that you are going to answer that a version of Heaven and peace can be attained in this existence and I would respect your belief, if this is the case. 

  11. On 7/22/2019 at 1:30 PM, dimreepr said:

    Why should I tolerate their intolerance and hatred when I can get them back, for what they've done...

    On the face of it, such a seductive argument... So why, or, is it wrong?

    There are some real scumbags on my estate. One of these stole my Carrera bike from my back door.  Initially, I wanted to throw a brick through the suspect's window but I rationalised that if I did not take the higher moral and rational ground, I would have become a scumbag as well. And I could not have that on my conscience.

  12. I will have to refer to the OP, before we go off on to a tangent:


     If He doesn’t exist, we have lost nothing. If, on the other hand, we live as though God does not exist and He really does exist, we have gained hell and punishment and have lost heaven and bliss. If one weighs the options, clearly the rational choice to live as if God exists is the better of the possible choices. 

    If God does not exist and we follow a moral code, which, in the West, is based on the old Christian moral code, we then live a moral existence before the end of our existence.  We, as moral characters of action have had a positive effect on society.  

  13. Quote

    The gist of the Wager is that, according to Pascal, one cannot come to the knowledge of God’s existence through reason alone, so the wise thing to do is to live your life as if God does exist because such a life has everything to gain and nothing to lose. If we live as though God exists, and He does indeed exist, we have gained heaven. If He doesn’t exist, we have lost nothing. If, on the other hand, we live as though God does not exist and He really does exist, we have gained hell and punishment and have lost heaven and bliss. If one weighs the options, clearly the rational choice to live as if God exists is the better of the possible choices. Pascal even suggested that some may not, at the time, have the ability to believe in God. In such a case, one should live as if he had faith anyway. Perhaps living as if one had faith may lead one to actually come to faith.

    Now there have been criticisms over the years from various camps. For example, there is the argument from inconsistent revelations. This argument critiques Pascal's Wager on the basis that there is no reason to limit the choices to the Christian God. Since there have been many religions throughout human history, there can be many potential gods. Another critique comes from atheist circles. Richard Dawkins postulated the possibility of a god that might reward honest disbelief and punish blind or feigned faith.


    So you may or may not believe in God. However, rationality or reason cannot take us all the way to pure belief.  Disbelief may not be 100% either.  does Pascal give us a reasonable way to live, with eternity in the afterlife to follow?

  14. I think you read it correctly but these are biopolymer machines. They could be used to make sensory robots but degrade after 2 cycles of growth.  It is a superb and nnovative use of the replicating properties of DNA but very much in its infancy IMO.

  15. Hi all out there,

    I am writing a short summary article on biological molecules etc... for my school and perhaps for the wider community.  I want to make my article exciting by incorporating scientific images. I want to make it more exciting and include images of amino acids etc... but showing each individual atom. Is there animation/image software available for science education purposes? Alternatively, is there low cost software that can help me to bring my article to life?

    for example, something like this:


    Thanks, in advanceImage result for carbon reacting to become carbon dioxide atom images

  16. On 3/1/2019 at 6:58 PM, Vexen said:

    I was wondering when was the soul imparted into humans during the course of evolution?

    This is more appropriate for a religion forum.  If you have a scientific version of this question, please make the enquiry.  However, IMHO most people on this forum do not agree that humans have souls. (I do but I am in the minority).  Also, IMO, most people on this forum believe that chemical reactions in neurons cause our feeling of "self". 

    Some of the replies were hilarious, you have to admit it....

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