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443 Beacon of Hope

About Mokele

  • Rank
    Giant Atomic Reptile
  • Birthday 09/16/1980

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  • Location
    Providence, RI
  • College Major/Degree
    Brown University, Biology
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Herpetology / paleobiology / biomechanics
  • Biography
    PhD student studying frog jumping and muscle biomechanics
  • Occupation
    Eternal student

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  1. Cut the passive-aggressive bullshit and own up to your own words. You're the one that trivialized the deaths of minorities, and suggested we should continue to suffer and die in the name of what, politeness? Civil discourse? Bipartisanship? Sorry if our struggles offend your delicate sensibilities. We'll try not to let the funeral dirges disturb your reading time.
  2. Bullshit. Give me a single reason *why* the ability to construct any sort of explanation - rational or otherwise - excuses actual behavior. Do you have more to this bland, useless platitude? Or is it just here so you can sound wise and composed? News flash - just because something worse happens elsewhere does not mean we have to stop caring about issues with a lower bodycount. Are you even listening to yourself? This is some of the shittiest logic outside of "relativity is wrong" threads. Um, because it's people I know and love who are suffering and dying as a
  3. So, by your logic, someone who supported segregation in the 1950's wasn't racist? Sorry, but wrong. If your actions (including voting) cause or perpetuate harm to people solely based on inherent characteristics, you are a bigot, period. Words are utterly irrelevant - only actions matter. And if you willingly partake in actions which harm another because of nothing more than who they are, that makes you racist/sexist/homophobic/whatever. It doesn't matter what petty, bigoted rationalizations they may have - what matters is their EFFECT. And this should stop us from pressi
  4. I don't think it's an either-or. You can use the "debt to society" model for crimes with low recidivism (ordinary crimes, stupid mistakes, crimes of passion, etc.). The problem is that we cannot effectively deal with those who, due to built-in drives and urges, have an extremely high recidivism, and thus pose a danger to others. Basically, can we lock someone up due to future danger, if that danger is extremely high (for instance, a known pedophile, or someone who a panel of 10 shrinks unanimously agree is going to become a serial killer)?
  5. According to a recent poll of random, self-identified Republicans, 77% oppose gay marriage. So yes, a strong majority of Republicans hate gays. And read the rest of the questions - by all indications approximated 1/3rd of the rank-and-file supporters of the Republican party are nothing short of batshit insane.
  6. Natural selection isn't the only part of evolution, but it's the only part that's interesting.
  7. Not to be callous, but to add another wrinkle to this situation: Chronic care for those who, regardless of mental state, are in a prolonged state of physical non-responsiveness, is tremendously expensive (which can place a huge burden on the family). fMRI machines are not exactly free in a box of Wheaties, nor are they exactly portable, nor are there many people who are knowledgeable enough to interpret it correctly. So, where does this leave a family with no medical insurance, a kid in a comatose state due to a car wreck, and at a hospital in Nowheresville that's many, many hours from t
  8. In what sense? I mean, very broadly, zoology studies animals, and animals evolve. Any study of biology involves evolution. If you're after organism-level animal biology in an evolutionary context, try Pough's Vertebrate Life. You can get the older editions for cheap, and they're very good (editions are just a way for textbook companies to scam you out of money).
  9. It's worth noting that the authors themselves, in a letter published alongside this article, cautioned explicitly against using one result to prop up a method that's been shown to fail in so many other situations. I see no reason to suspect it's flawed, and can think of good reasons why it might be accurate (increased religiosity of those in lower income levels, relatively young age of the kids involved). Remember, this study only compared abstinence-only to no sex ed, and showed that there can be an effect in some circumstances. It's very, very likely that comprehensive sex ed classe
  10. Rubber, just pick your thickness and use a small gauge needle.
  11. The problem is treating "adaptive" as if it's some sort of trait of the allele, rather than a description of how evolution acts on an allele. It's like saying that proclaiming a book as best-selling as a tautology, because best-selling books are defined by their sales. The correct statement is that populations contain a wide array of traits, some of which propagate more effectively to the next generation than others, and traits which exhibit this trend are called "adaptive". The trait is only adaptive if it's selected - there is no such thing as an "adaptive" trait, in spite of the la
  12. I need to find a way to link frog jumping to cancer.
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