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Greg H.

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Posts posted by Greg H.

  1. All the group policy editor really does is make it easy to change certain keys stored in the windows registry. You can hack the registry directly to make the changes you like without the use of group policy editor. Some research on the MS website will probably let you identify which ones you need to change, if you don't already have that information.

  2. But so what if your "survival instinct" "picks" humans?

    Because at the point someone places my life in danger they have relieved me of the burden of having to make an ethical decision to preserve theirs.

    And why does malaria deserve to be killed off?


    I didn't say malaria deserves to be killed off. If I said anything, it's that I am apathetic to it's continued existence. However, diseases that can be prevented, should be, in my opinion, because of the suffering they cause to humans. However, your argument is not about eradicating the disease, it's about eradicating one carrier the mosquito. You could just as easily make the same argument about chimpanzees and gorillas, both of which are known to carry the parasite Plasmodium falciparum which can cause malignant malaria in humans. Even if you wiped out the mosquitoes, you wouldn't kill the disease.


    In fact, a study by Francisco Ayala (as reported by Science Daily) found two previously unknown species of malaria bearing parasites, without even looking at mosquitoes. This would seem to indicate that the disease is not completely dependent on the mosquito to pass to humans, and wiping them out would not even have the supposed positive benefit, which leaves only potentially negative ones. Ethically, a choice which has only negative outcomes is wrong, at least in my view.



  3. This whole thread is the assumption that we could get away with it, there should be no debate here on if we could, there's another thread in the biology section for that. What if we make it a rogue alien species? Let's say they've been attacking Earth and they are all in this sort of nomadic fleet, and we can wipe it all out with one button. No negative ecological consequences.


    That's an orange in your bushel of apples. In this case, we're eradicating something which can be shown to have no direct ecological impact on our planet (expect you know, blowing things up from space with lasers.) I still think promoting the eradication of a species is an abhorrent thing to contemplate, but when it's them or us, my survival instinct picks us.


    Unfortunately for your argument, mosquitoes don't come close to doing that kind of ecological damage, so it's not exactly a level playing field. Additionally, in your case, the aliens are the malaria, not the mosquitoes, so you're actually killing the disease, not the carrier. I don't have a problem if you'd like to kill off malaria.

  4. OK, if we assume no negative consequences then of course killing the species of mosquito responsible for carrying malaria can only be good for the human race. The question of an ethical choice is somewhat moot as I doubt, if proof of no negative consequences were available, anyone could reasonably argue against it. However as so often pointed out in this thread there is no way of ascertaining what the consequences would be and given this basic fact I can only conclude that, ethically, it's wrong.



    So your saying "It cannot happen therefore if we did it, it would be ethically wrong"? It doesn't make a lot of sense to me, I don't see the connection between the two clauses.


    No, I think what he's saying is more or less what I have been saying - proceeding on a course of action this drastic without giving due forethought to the consequences (beyond just assuming everything will be alright) is ethically wrong. Feel free to correct me, dimreepr, if I'm misrepresenting your point of view.



  5. Actually both numbers are irrational.


    The problem is you're trying to compare two numbers with different units of measure and in both science and math, that will confuse you every time.


    Ex 1

    122 + 122 = c2

    144 + 144 = c2

    288 = c 2

    [math]\sqrt{288}[/math] = c

    [math]\sqrt{144}\times\sqrt{2}[/math] = c

    [math]12\sqrt{2}[/math] = c <- This is in inches. Remember this, it will be important later.



    12 + 12 = c2

    1 + 1 = c2

    2 = c2

    [math]\sqrt{2}[/math] = c <- This is in feet.


    To convert them to be the same unit, you either multiply ex 2 by 12 inches/foot or you divide Ex 1 by 12 inches per 1 foot


    In either case, the answers are both the same -> [math]\sqrt{2}[/math] feet (aka [math]12\sqrt{2}[/math] inches) and they are both irrational.


    HTH ZZ


    Edit: I learned to do the math thing so it's easier to read.

  6. The problem with sharks is overly exacerbated by the fact that of the entire body, only the vertebrae, jawbones and teeth remain, so they don't even have the entire animal to look at. It's no wonder they had trouble with them. Even normal variances with a species can look like whole new members of the family when you possess so little data. Lining the teeth up in the jaw wrong, or in the wrong jaw (which was, apparently common with early attempts to reconstruct megalodon), would add even more confusion to the mix.


    As for the assertion that there must be tall and short wolves - I'm sure there are/were - within the norms of variation for the species.


    Keep in mind that your comparison to dogs is not the way we would expect a natural system to behave. Dogs were selectively bred for certain characteristics (size, speed, sense of smell), and breeding of undesirable traits was actively selected against by ensuring the animal in question not only did not breed, but had no opportunity to breed (either by neutering or euthanasia).


    In the wild, this second limiting factor isn't present. "Less than perfect" members of the species still get the opportunity to mate, so while there will be some variation, unless that particular mutation provides some overwhelming advantage or detriment, it's probably not going to selected for or against with Nature running the show. It may hang around in the gene pool for millenia until something changes that makes it either a benefit or a detriment, in which case natural selection will take over.

  7. Perhaps an expert on the examination of bones could correct me on this (i dont know the term dfor such an expert0


    Osteology is the study of bones, but it's often studied by other specialties as well, such as paleontologists, anthropologists, and archaeologists.


    One thing to keep in mind is that it's not as if the people making these conclusions can just whip up a random sample like they can with, for instance, demographics. We only have a limited number of fossils to work from (though according to the Smithsonian, this is around 6000 fossils, so it's not exactly a jawbone and a couple of fingers). Out of necessity, the conclusions drawn will be influenced by that sample, but as new finds are made, they are added to our body of knowledge - if adjustments to the current model are needed, they will be made on the body of the evidence at hand.


    Your argument that the sample size is limited is not an unforeseen problem in this instance. It's simply the nature of the beast, unfortunately.

  8. ? Of course I dont think this, i should have thought that was obvious. Where the evidence for a particular original species is one or two skeletons (or even in some cases partial skeletons), the conclusions reached are based on the dimensions of a particular exemplar and no dna.


    My apologies - I understood your argument inverse to what you were trying to say. Your point, and correct me if I am wrong, is that external factors, such as piano playing, may lead to incorrect conclusions based solely on an examination of the bone structure of the skeleton.


    If that's correct, then I'd have to say that it probably doesn't fall outside the realm of normal variance in the species, but I'm not an expert on that. Then again, there's that subjective term normal.


    Of course, you could make the same argument about any skeletal or fossil remains ever found. Of course they're only a small subset of the possible number of skeletons based on potential numbers of creatures that have ever lived, but you can't (or at least you shouldn't) form scientific conclusions based on information you don't have. That's why scientists try and leave the door open for new information that contradicts the presently accepted model.

  9. Sorry but I find this answer too simplistic


    That doesn't mean it isn't the correct answer. The lack of enforced outside factors (i.e. enforced breeding programs) and the lack of an extinction event in human history have played enormous roles in the overall lack of genetic diversity you assert.


    You are also implying that physical changes created by environment or activity (your piano playing wrist bones) are somehow transferred to your genetic code. Just because I lose a leg doesn't mean my children will be only be born with one.




  10. It's not nessecerily based on a false premise. Let's say we brought dinosaurs back for a day, then killed them all. Any negative consequences? I'm sure it's possible to encounter circumstances where wiping out a species would have little to no impact upon the global environment.


    If we brought dinosaurs back in a controlled environment for a limited time, and then wiped them out, they would have little to no interaction with the natural environment and the consequences would be commensurate with that interaction. The same principles do not apply to mosquitoes or the malaria they carry. It is, in fact, possible that malaria would evolve into a far more virulent strain in order to find a new way to propagate and far more people wold die per year than if we had just left the situation alone.





    I suspect that there is a missing premise here, like an ordering principle that can be applied to values of different entities. If Hank knew he valued hiding pebbles more than all the other entities (individually? collectively? does this matter?) valued knowing where they were, I think he would be justified in hiding them.



    In all honesty, the values of the other entities may not even be considered by Hank unless we are assuming he has some sort of desire to take those values into his line of thought. His train of thought may be as simple as

    I want to do X.

    I will do X.


    or I will do X as long as nothing bad is going to happen to me.


    However, this stage 1 Kohlberg approach may not ever be applicable for the purely rational being. The TV show Bones touched on this concept in the story arc involving the Gorgomon character. A purely rational thinker is led to the conclusion based solely on rational argument that killing and eating people is the right thing to do, even though that character is aware of the possible consequences of that behavior.

  12. Dr Ian Malcolm's character from Jurassic Park seems to have been given all the lines on this topic in that particular movie. Two quotes that jump right out at me are:


    Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.


    All major changes are like death. You can't see what is on the other side until you get there.


    Saying that a particular action has no negative consequences is like saying that amputating someone's leg will have no negative consequences. It may be necessary to save their life, but trying to determine the consequence of an action years or decades later is like trying to peer into the future. None of us have eyes that strong.


    Actions may be necessary, and they are taken on the best information available at the time the decision is made. They can still end up being the wrong thing to do (morally or otherwise).


    Go peruse the movie Mimic for an example of the unintended consequences of someone's actions for the greater good.

  13. It's also a matter of design. If it has to carry it's own boiler and firebox (or some other method of producing steam as it moves) it's going to be heavier (and a lot more dangerous. Boilers that are built wrong have a tendency to explode, with disastrous results). The railroads, however, had several designs of locomotives primary used for yard switching that were, essentially, giant tanks for storing high pressure steam. When the steam pressure got low, they would pull in and top off from a stationary boiler somewhere in the yard. That kind of design wouldn't require more than a high pressure vessel suitable to hold the required pressure of steam, and would make your design lighter, as it would remove the weight of the boiler, firebox and fuel.


    As CP said though, good luck.

  14. Hello all, my name is Greg, and I too suffer from an addiction to science, especially Physics (particularly cosmology), evolution, and astronomy. I'm also something of a math geek, and a student of philosophy and history. I'm a java programmer by trade, I live in the Midwest (US), and I occasionally say Very Stupid ThingsTM. I am looking forward to learning more on these forums, and perhaps contributing a nugget or two of my own knowledge (or ignorance, depending on if what I say turns out to be right or wrong).

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