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Posts posted by akh

  1. So, then immortal. What exactly are the test methods? I want to try them at home. What exactly are the results? I want to see the results for myself. Why is that over thousands of years of "eastern" religious thought, you have yet to come up with anything that compares to the discoveries of science? Why?


    Why is that the young disciplines of physics have so much more to offer? Why, is it that over the months of this thread you yet can't provide any real evidence for your beliefs?


    Oh, and half a million or so civilians.




    Oh, but those aren't "real" people. Just a bunch of men, women and children trying to get through the day. But they are brown, and over.....there....


    BTW, where is my bible, I need it to overturn Roe V Wade....babies from rape are gifts from god and all that.






  3. This is very scary, I have come to the conclusion that the GOP's base is motivated by more by racism than anything else and the GOP is using hidden racism to denigrate Obama at every turn.


    Has anyone else noticed how savage the anti Obama posts on facebook have become?


    Like this one..



    I wish i had anti Romney crap like this but I can't seem to find it.


    I don't think the core reason for Obama hatred has changed, but it seems that more people feel it is ok to spread the hatred.


    What is for certain, is that if you accuse GOP'ers of racism, they will violently deny its a factor. I have had conversations with people during the last election who said they strongly disliked Obama. Most did not have any real reason as to why. And if you spent enough time talking to them in a casual way they would offer comments about Obama's heritage, about how he is secretely Muslim, about his middle name, about his mother, ect. After more than a few conversations like this, I really was forming a view about many GOP'ers that I wish I didn't have. Many would say things like, "I don't know what it is, I just don't like him" or "I just don't trust him." If you asked why?, they often could not give reasons. Only a few seemed to have concrete, specific issues with policy, foreign or domestic idealogy.

  4. If the planet were at a perfect distance from a nearby star, which it is not, its period of rotation would matter because if it is extremely slow, one side of the planet could be very cold while the other could be very hot. And yes, I do realize that is it far too close "to support life as we know it."




    The issue of slow rotation is more than just temperature related. Rotation (and mantel convection) appear to be needed to produce a magnetosphere. Without a magnetosphere, the solar wind of the system star will strip a planet of its atmosphere and irradiate the planet with high energy particles. Light, volatile compounds and elements are stripped first (hydrogen) making the planet inhospitable to life as we know it. Venus (slow rotation) and Mars (apparent lack of mantel convection) are good examples. But there is still chances for life in the Venusian upper atmosphere and underground on Mars.





    The real differences between Bush and Romney is that Bush was working with a surplus and tax receipts were at record highs. Romney wants to lower taxes for the wealthy with nothing to offset it just like Bush did, and while it was stupid in 2001 it's insane to do it with huge deficits and low tax receipt.


    For a guy who insists (or at one time insisted) that the government cannot create jobs, he seems to have some pretty weird ideas of what will happen if he becomes president. The guy thinks that the second he jumps into office, the economy will boom just because of the presence of his crooked smile. That's how he plans to make up the balance; by waving his magic wand over the economy, thus increasing the tax base. I can't figure out if he is delusional, stupid, or plain lying in this regard (good chance its a mix of all three). This is why he flat out refuses to answer as to how he plans to increase military spending and at the same time lower taxes. He completely ignored a direct question about this in the last debate. The math does not work! Romney is hedging a bet, and it will be the 99 percent that will suffer if (when) it fails. Its a policy that has been tried multiple times and has never, ever worked! Why would it work this time?!

  6. More GOP absurd stupidity. All in the name of God of course! I really hope that the people in Indiana (A given red state for decades) have enough sense to not vote for this guy. These comments are not accidents, or slips of the tongue, or taking out of context; the GOP is overflowing with stupid.



  7. The only thing close to immortal here, is this thread. I say "close" because somebody refuses to accept that it (the thread) died many pages ago when the initial claims were shown to be lacking in evidence, full of mis-understanding, and driven by zealotry.


    Congrats Immortal!, you have finally put forward the only solid piece of evidence to your claims of mystical powers! It's a zombie! The thread is dead, but you keep resurrecting the empty corpse. You chant the same lines over and over...and finally a zombie arises!

  8. From the time of the debate, I have always wondered what Obama's advisors thought was the best strategy. History has shown that the challenger wins the first debate no matter what, which is followed by a post debate bump in the polls. Its pretty easy for a candidate to attack an encumbant by highlighting the failures of the last four years. But it is difficult for the encumbant to do the same especially when the opposition changes (lies) about their position. The debate did force Romney to make statements about his policies (although he still did not offer many details). Therefor, I do think there is a component of strategy to what happened.


    I find the statements regarding altitude a bit pathetic. If there were only windows in that auditorium that could be opened...

  9. I agree. I for one, am tired of being shamed into not speaking against this kind of crap. These people are about as backwards and delusional as one can get. I can't decide if they actually believe this garbage or whether they are just trying to hold onto a voting base. Either way, its a ridiculous to allow them to hold office, let alone serve on the science committee. I think flies have been intentionally placed in the ointment.


    This should bring up some good discussion the next meeting of my local chapter. It can be trying to live in bible thumping red state, but there are some here (mostly northern or western transplants) that have more clarity of mind.




    Edit: Crappy spelling due to haste.

  10. I feel the opposite. I flipped between CNN and PBS while watching the debate. PBS showed each candidate full screen, while CNN had a split screen and a stupid graph on the bottom. Split screen makes for better TV and one could argue that at the live debate, you would also see both candidates. I feel that it is a distraction and I felt the graph was trying to tell me what to think or how to feel. Less is better for me. It is up to the candidates to make their points in a debate. Fact checking and commentary comes afterwards.


    I am not talking about "stupid graphs". I am talking about a live committee of researchers. The reason is so that the debaters will not feel like they can just throw BS numbers around during the debate. So say a candidate said "You lost 10 million jobs in four years" or whatever and the real number was effectively zero. Then the moderator could step in at a later time, and while citing references, ask the candidate why his numbers are so far off from cited sources. Make them answer on the spot for their BS. The problem with day-after-analysis is that people don't often have the time, energy, and/or resources to fact check let alone watch the original debate. This idea may not work at all, it may not be easy to implement, or it may be too disruptive to the flow of the debate. But what is the point of a debate anyway, if the candidates can just say whatever they want? That is pretty much what Romney did, yet he "won" the debate. Obama was not completely accurate in some cases, but there was way more truth to his comments (according to my research so far). I guess you can say that it is all up to the candidates to be prepared, but its hard to prepare against BS and imaginary figures, so it comes down to who can throw the most and make it stick.



    While watching PBS, I felt Obama was doing OK, but was on the defense, which makes sense. The economy sucks, that's reality. Even Romney couldn't etch-a-sketch that one. I think Obama was caught off-guard from the beginning with taxes. He didn't expect Romney to completely back track on that. It would be like Ron Paul getting up there and saying he would not make any spending cuts that would result in someone losing their job.


    I think Obama will do better in the town hall format, plus there is a better chance that Romney will need to defend some of his statements or social positions. But Romney really doesn't have to defend much, because he hasn't been doing anything for so long. He can etch-a-sketch statements to fit the situation. I look for Obama to start hitting him on that, rather than specifics. In the final debate on foreign policy, if Romney looks unprincipled, people will turn away.


    Romney does not have to defend much because he doesn't have any distinct policies or ideas. Even if he did at one point, he would say something completely different at another. I agree, its very difficult for Obama to attack Romney's statements or positions when they change daily. So, the Romney tactic seems to be to go after Obama's last 4 years but remain as amorphous and opaque as possible with his own policies so that Obama does not have a counter point. Thus making Obama appear to be continually on the defensive. Seems to have worked for the first debate.




  11. I really wish there was some sort of instant fact checking during the debates that would allow the moderator to revist the response to a question if the canidate lies or throws ficticious numbers around. Maybe a panel of neutral researchers that could verify claims during the debate. It should be easy enough to do in the modern age of information. That way, both parties would need to be factually accurate during the debate, and not just throw feces at each other to see who can make the biggest stink.

  12. Vote me down all you want for posting facts (as three of you did).


    The director (Joel Gilbert) of that dvd would have you believe that the pictures were taken in 1960, but the fact remains that those pictures first appeared in a magazine in 1958. Gilbert knows this, because he would not have had those pictures without the magazine. So if these pictures are real pictures of Ann Dunham, it would make her 15 years old when the pictures were taken. So its either child porn...or complete and utter, slanderous, fictitious bullshit. It screams of racism. Either way, its disgusting to the core.


    I'm sure I will get voted down again. That's fine. But instead of pressing the red button, maybe back up your disagreement. Or at least post your disagreement instead of hiding behind the red button.



    Edit: Two, but the challenge remains.

  13. The concept of laws in science are an antiquated hangover from the time when the universe was seen as a clockwork-like mechanism, governed by rigid and clear-cut rules. Heisenberg and chaos and catastrophe theory and the like have changed that view forever. Unless we were to completely change the methodology of science, so that it would be unreasonable to call it science anymore, we shall never have anything more definitive and valuable than theory. Laws are, for the most part, nothing more than quantification of simple relationships established via observation. I would argue they have nothin at all to offer biology except as a crude marketing device.




    I don't want to make this about semantics. I think there is some ambiguity in the term "law" (irony I suppose) in that there is a mechanistic definition and a definition that only applies under certain conditions. The former is the meshing of gears (clockwork-like) that is the ubiquitous, flawless, true representation of reality. To my knowledge, this definition of "law" does not truly exist in any field of study. I agree, this definition is antiquated


    The later definition describes things under certain conditions and is of a hierarchical organization. It is this definition that I was addressing. I assumed that this is the definition (idea) that jp255 was using, as he did specify application at the population level and created different algorithms for the two examples. But perhaps the thread title is misleading or there was not an as clear concept in mind when the thread was started.


    Ophiolite, you may be right, the term might not be the best, especially in the study of biology. But I still think there is room for the idea of fundamental organization (law) at certain levels within the study of biology. Do you not agree? And I do think that this can be applied to the study of evolution. Again, we may just be arguing over a nuance in definition. I can see the case for not using the term, and it may be that it is only used today out of convention.




  14. Evolution without question is a process, and due to the enormous amount of variables, it would be difficult to make predictions based on some fundamental laws or laws. A scientific law, by definition, is a simple pervasive concept. Think, as you correctly examplified above, of ohms law or any other. They are simplistic mathematical equations. Theories, are generally more complex than laws, and have some flexibilty. It is interesting that biology is nearly deviod of laws but has numerous theories. That is mostly due to shear complexity. But it could also be that we have yet to approach different aspects of biology in the correct manner.



  15. jp255,


    When I studied astrobiology, one of the things that began to run through my head was the idea that life itself can start to resemble a law of nature. To me, it seems that given a certain set of conditions, life is inevitable. Within that context, it may also be possible that evolution follows as a law of nature. It may be an extremely complicated law, and thus difficult to recognize, but I do agree with the possibility.


    The biggest issue, of course, is that we don't have any other examples of life to compare against. If we discover life on Mars, or the Jovian moons or those of Saturn, and this life is shown to have arose independently, then we might have something to measure against. If other life exists within our own solar system, it would not surprise me if DNA was the genetic material. Some scientists have theorized about the possibility of truly alien life; life that does not resemble anything we know. This life would use different chemistry and could be so alien that we would not recognize it as life at all. But, in my opinion, the chemistry of life and its major elements (oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon, phosphorus, sulfur) may force all possible life down a single path as a law of nature, and likewise genetic material and ultimately evolution.


    This is not to say that there would not be variations, I expect there would be. But this further complicates the question you pose, as we only have examples of life here. As such, our examples may not represent (and most likely do not represent) the full range of what is possible, and therefor, we may not be able to identify the underlying laws if they exist.

  16. You would think he would at least have enough common sense to not specifically talk about things he has no idea about. It doesn't make sense to him? As in the same way that many things about this country and its foreign and domestic policies don't make sense to him? How taxes don't make sense to him? How regulation of the financial sector don't make sense to him? What else doesn't make sense to Mitt? The frightening extention will be his attempts at solutions.


    Keep on talkin Mitt....

  17. yes well...

    1. evolution isn't linear, its more like a bomb explosion

    2. it expands in all directions at once taking advantage of anything it can

    3. one direction it expanded in was size (because it has features that are advantageous

    4. it also expanded into: complexity, efficiency, specialisation, parasitism, symbiosis, photosynthesis, chemotrophics, and any environment you could possibly conceive

    5. the question was interpreted to be about size(by me)

    6. thus i limited my answer to size, i have no intention on writhing a book on this forum


    (i see no reason as to why you insist on nitpicking on fine details and deciding my arguments towards a specific point must apply to everything)

    thus i have amended my assumption that humans are intelligent creatures and will be adding explanations to the limitations of the argument with * as subscripts


    I have know idea how you managed to think this entire thread was about size (retroactive attempt to show how you are right?) The title wasn't "How did evolution get everything bigger?" The point is, your original statement was just plain wrong. Then you tried to float your idea with logical arguments and analogies so full of holes that they only served to illustrate how poorly you understand evolution. You made accusations as to a relationship to size and redundancy, which you have yet to back up with anything. At every post, you are amending the original statement, moving the goal posts in attempt to show what "you really meant" and how your original statement was correct. Now you want to show how we, being unintelligent (yes another insult) are too stupid to understand what you are saying?


    Give me a break! It not about nitpicking, its about being accurate with your statements. That is so the next guy that comes across this thread doesn't repeat the same garbage as fact. Broad sweeping generalizations will get you into a lot of trouble in the field of science, as will not being able to back up your claims, or failing to admit you are wrong. Congrats, you have done all three in a single thread.


    And, you are still making strange wide-sweeping claims and analogies in your posts.



    1. evolution isn't linear, its more like a bomb explosion.


    Huh? Can you not see what is wrong with your verbiage?


    well there goes any hope of a logical discussion...


    *at least me and Ben had humour with its complaints

    **Ben brown has a point though, depending on how you look at it plants, or bacterium are far more evolved then humans




    Ben Brown? Did you mean Ben Bowen?


    Also, you referred to Moontanman as "Moonman" earlier.


    Way to pay attention to details!




  18. So then if I've got this right;


    Bigger is often better because it obviously eliminates some of the predators who are smaller than prey. (e.g. A fox is not a threat to a deer.) On the other hand, a predator prey relationship could just as well drive the animals to smaller size, if say the animals lived in areas where the prey likes to hide in small nooks and crannies. In this case, smaller is better.

    And size is only one aspect of adapting for the environment. For example, it wouldn't matter if you were bigger than any predators if you were in an area of limited resources and couldn't find enough sustenance to support your size.


    Is that about right?


    I think you got the basic idea. I would change "bigger is often better..." to "bigger can be better...". Without question bigger is not always better, as was asserted by dmaiski. Obviously, this is not the case. If it was, all organism would get forever larger.


    Its not just the resources that limit size http://www.pnas.org/.../14518.abstract , there are physical barriers to unlimited size. This is why you do not see land animals the size of blue whales. Tree height is limited, but not by available resources http://www.nature.co...ature02417.html .

  19. Phowa - There is enough scientific literature available on this.



    Enough scientific evidence for zombies?! Where? No, wiki link does not count and it is not evidence. Nor does ancient manuscripts or any other scripture count as evidence.





    Mystics have already laid out the hypothesis and they have already laid out the script, scientists as always are very slow to realize this.



    And theist are always quick to deny facts and evidence when it does not match their ideology.



    -You have this theist tree. Its a big tree, it provides shelter from the sun (facts). Its a pretty tree, it has a lot of pretty flowers and it smells good. But there is a problem, it bares no fruit. It has not bared fruit in 10, 100, or even a thousand years. It is barren.


    -Then there is another tree, the one of sciences, that is shorter, uglier, has dull flowers and it stinks. But it bares fruit, and it bares lots of fruit. You may not like the way it tastes, but that is because it does not agree with your dogma palate.



    So where is your fruit? I have yet to see any, and I have been asking for awhile now. At least you could pick off a low hanging zombie. Remember the zombies you offered? Don't skirt what you offered as proof. Where is my zombie? You can deliver it to my doors step if you like. Once I see it, I can turn to juanrga and Ben and let them know how wrong we are.


    Where is my zombie?!

  20. but larger is better fitting


    if your larger, you can:

    eat the smaller ones,

    are less susceptible to destruction due to damage,

    have space for redundant systems,

    simply put have more of everything

    MEANING you will out compete the smaller organisms


    its like the arms race:

    bigger is better

    smarter is better

    tougher is better


    thus it is inevitable if you think about it in terms of natural selection

    the "fittest" individual will become dominant

    and being bigger is fitter, simply because the little things cant harm you as much




    Just wanted to quote your original statement, in case you have forgotten. Again, you have not shown in any way that your assertions are correct.





    evolution is a random process,

    it evolves creatures in all directions at once

    most of these possible creatures die out, simply because they are not feasible, have disadvantageous traits for the environment, or are out competed


    what is observable:

    3600 million years ago earlies known bacteria

    1200 million years eukaryotes

    600 million years ago multicellular animals

    500 million invertebrates, early vertebrates

    360 million winged insects

    300 million lizards

    200-100 million dinosaurs(you know? frigging big things)

    100-present mammals dominate ---> humans(again humans are realy smart frigging big things)


    Nothing ever got smaller? All this shows is how evolution takes advantage of ecological niches. This may result in being larger or "more complex", but it is not an absolute condition of evolution.

    i would say that if there was no pressure, or advantage, to being bigger, and more complex

    then we would have never evolved from bacteria



    Again, all this shows is evolution taking advantage of ecological niches.

    (if i did you a. wouldn't understand it b. deny it even exists c. it would be a guess at best)


    Moved onto insults? Good stuff. All I ever asked was for you to provide evidence as to your assertions. Where are your examples of the redundancy assertion?

    but it dose exist, as shown by the last 4 billion years of history


    there you go, a firmly supported argument(unless you plan to say the fossil record is all wrong and everything started 5000 ears ago when some extremely powerful, theistic deity farted)


    if you don't call a 1*10^17 times size increase in under 3 billion years statistical significant, im not sure what would count and would be in favour of hitting you with the evolution brick (take a brick, write evolution on its side with a sharpie)


    No, not supported at all sorry.


    I don't even understand your last point. Was it even a point, or just another insult?

  21. An improvement is something which causes a reduction in the number of generations it takes to find the fittest allele after a change to the environment. The it is no longer an improvement point is definitely a possibility, which is why the term learning was used. Anything which causes an increase in the number of generations it takes to find the fittest allele should be selected against and eliminated. The easiest way to show that evolution is capable of self improvement is by using simple mathematical models, it would be extremely difficult to show using real examples.


    Maybe this has been done, but the model needs to make a random fitness landscape for some genes, keep the population number constant, reproduction rates constant, assume random mating and random cross over. Then run the model at differential mutation rates many times.


    I understand what you are saying, and I think there was some degree of caution in your initial post. I think we both agree that this is something that may be very difficult to prove. But accepting this thought would suggest that evolution today is somehow superior to evolution 250 million years ago. I just don't think there is a good case for that assertion.



    This is example is purely trying to convey the potential for an increase in mutation rate increase to be advantageous. In reality it is of course, much more complicated than that. I have no idea if this mechanism has been shown to relate to fitness in any studies, otherwise I would have posted links. I personally think it is advantageous, it makes sense to me to make more attempts at exploring the fitness landscape for fitness gains when stressed as a short term solution(I believe I recall from a paper that the mutation rates rise the more stress the organism is under, need to look for that link). That is just a hunch though, this example assumes that stress is an indicator of death rate or at least a reduction of the individual's probability of surviving (and also progeny's likely reduction in survival probability also).


    Again, I see myself leaning slightly in favor of the other side of the argument. I can see how this might work for an organism with an extreme high fecundity rate and low generation time, but the outcome is statistically poorer for organisms that do not fall under those categories. It seems to me, that it is a tremendous gamble for an organism that is placed under stress to respond by introducing more stress into the system (e.g. increased mutation rates).

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