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2017/09/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/22    

2011/1/13-2/19 [Science/Biology, Science/GlobalWarming] UID:54009 Activity:nil
1/13    34,000-Year-Old Organisms Found Buried Alive!  (Still alive.)
        http://www.csua.org/u/saj (news.yahoo.com)         /
                                       The cake is a lie. /
2009/12/3-26 [Science/Biology] UID:53562 Activity:nil
12/2    Small, fatherless mice live longer than other mice:
        http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2009/1202/1
        \_ little Japanese men live longer than big barbarians.
2009/4/22-28 [Science/Biology] UID:52893 Activity:nil
4/22    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,517466,00.html
        Another nail in the coffin of evolution objectionists who say that
        there are "too many missing links".  Of course, objectionists
        will now just say that there are "two more missing links", i.e.,
        intermediate forms between this newly found one and its
        evolutionary ancestor/descendant.
        \_ If they cared about facts, they wouldn't be evolution
           objectionists.  -tom
2009/2/12-16 [Science/Biology] UID:52561 Activity:low
2/12    Happy Darwin Day!
        \_ To you as well, Cousin Monkey!
           \_ If you really think about it, we're monkey cousins even
              with creationism.  We're all "children of God" so to
              speak, if you accept that we're all living creatures.
                \_ Creationists don't think that way.
                   \_ Creationists don't think much in general.
                      \_ Nobody does, don't fool yourself
2017/09/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/22    

2008/9/9-14 [Science/Biology] UID:51116 Activity:nil
9/9     "Biologists on the Verge of Creating New Form of Life"
        http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/09/biologists-on-t.html
        And this is not synthetic biology.
        \_ Comments are a rats nest of creationists.  Why do these folks have
           more credibility than, say, 911 truthers?
2008/7/23-28 [Science/Biology] UID:50665 Activity:nil
7/23    Dinosaur evolutionary tree:
        http://preview.tinyurl.com/6putsk [new scientist]
        \_ You mean intelligently designed tree.
2008/7/18-23 [Science/Biology] UID:50624 Activity:nil 100%like:50622
7/18    Krauthammer hammers Intelligent Design
        http://preview.tinyurl.com/dvmk3 [wp]
2008/7/18 [Science/Biology] UID:50622 Activity:nil 100%like:50624
7/18    Krauthammer hammers Intelligent Design
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/17/AR2005111701304.html
2008/6/9-12 [Science/Biology] UID:50196 Activity:nil
6/9     Evolution in E. Coli observed in the lab:
        http://preview.tinyurl.com/4kdx4b [new scientist]
        \- The Finger of God! ... or at least the Middle Finger
           to ID nutjobs.
           \_ You mean God can't change His design on the fly?  PMs in my
              company do it all the time ......  -- grouching engineer
              \_ Creationism holds that all things great and small were
                 created in their current forms without provision for
                 change.
                 \_ Some flavors do.  Most creationists accept
                    micro-evolution, while rejecting macro-evolution. Some
                    accept both.  "Young Earth" creationists believe the Earth
                    is no more than 6,000 years old. -emarkp
                    \_ you mean, "some creationists invented the concept of
                       'macro-evolution' as a way of maintaining the absurd
                       position that there is something fundamental to
                       object to in evolutionary theory."   -tom
                       \_ Roughly, yes.  Strictly they refer to
                          "macro-evolution" to mean speciation arising such
                          that the new species can't breed with another branch
                          of the evolutionary tree.  So called
                          "micro-evolution" just means variations being
                          preferred inside the same species (the peppered moths
                          being the perfect example). -emarkp
                          \_ So do they think that lions and tigers have a
                             common ancestor? They can breed, but the
                             offspring generally can't.
                             \_ I'm not a spokesman of the ID community, and I
                                honestly don't know how they'd respond to that
                                question. -emarkp
        \_ This is news why?  There have been many observed examples
           of evolution, and many observed examples of even speciation,
           and ID-ers and creationists are happily ignoring all that
           evidence.  Why is this story special?
           \_ we thought evolution took millions of years.. not days..
              why did it take so long to create man from single celled
              according to the new findings it should take  at most
              6 thousand years..
              \_ I guess it's because as an organism becomes more complex, the
                 generation span becomes longer (around 25.2yrs in 2004 for US
                 humans ignoring age of fathers (http://www.csua.org/u/lqi
                 vs. minutes or hours or days for bacteria).
           \_ The interesting thing to me is not the ID angle but the
              way the researchers were able to figure out around which
              generation the new mutation occured and how the research
              shows that history dictates what abilities emerge.
           \_ There is a group of ID people that can be reached by stories
              like this.  Some will ignore it, just like the global warming
              believers.
2008/5/16-23 [Science/Biology] UID:49966 Activity:nil
5/16    Catholicism has no problem with evolution.  Judaism
        is down.  Most of the mainstream Protestant denominations are
        fine with it too.  Dunno about Mormons.  Why do the Christian
        spinoffs in the USA hate science?
        \_ None of the Dynasty spinoffs were very good.
        \_ Catholicism *had* problem with evolution.  They had to change their
           view when faced with the facts in order to survive.  I think the
           Christian spinoffs will have to to change their views as well in
           order to survive.  It's just a matter of time.  It's similar to the
           Gallelio case.
           Galileo case.
        \_ Official LDS doctrine says precisely nothing about evolution.
           Evolution is taught at the BYU biology department.
           \_ LDS completely ignores the book of Genesis?
2008/4/21-5/2 [Science/Biology] UID:49796 Activity:nil
4/21    If he shot himself in the nuts, can we put him up for a Darwin award?
        http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_9004996?source=rss
        \_ Yes, I believe the Darwin awards count self-sterilizers as
           canidates if they don't already have children.  This guy failed
           though.  On the other hand, he did try to flee from the police
           on foot with a bullet wound in the gut.  Tough!
2008/4/14-19 [Recreation/Activities, Science/Biology] UID:49746 Activity:nil
4/14     'World peace' hitcher is murdered
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7344381.stm
        She had said she wanted to show that she could put her trust in
        the kindness of local people.
        \_ "Think of it as evolution in action."
          \_ is she up for a Darwin award yet?
                \_ It's actually sort of dual evolution.  She's not
                   going to breed now, and the murderer's ability
                   to continue to breed is about to get severely
                   curtailed.  Thus, we can continue to purge the
                   gene pool of both victims and victimizers.
        \_ Speaking of hitch-hiking, I saw a lot of hitch-hiking in old movies.
           Was hitch-hiking in the US really that safe in the old days?
           \_ My dad used to pick up hitchhikers all the time in the 1970s
              and 1980s. I was with him a few times. I don't think it's
              necessarily unsafe as most people are honest and have
              integrity, however I wouldn't do it. I did used to hitch
              rides in college to campus from other students (who I didn't
              know) on their way in to school and I'm alive to tell about it.
              \_ Cf. Casual Carpool these days. I've been using it both as
                 driver and passenger for three years.
2008/4/9-16 [Science/Biology] UID:49707 Activity:nil
4/9     "Australian man fathers a baby with daughter"
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080407/wl_nm/australia_incest_dc_1
        \_ "I've always admired Lot..."
        \_ Forget it, Jake.  It's Chinatown.
        \_ At least that is a much lower inbreeding coefficient than say,
           two siblings of the same parents. Still safer, and actually
           done very frequently in breeding of animals in order to
           preserve certain characteristics (conformation competition
           where duplicates, not diversity, is highly desired). Look up
           COI or coefficient of inbreeding, linebreeding, etc. It's
           done all the time, and when done well, your line of Championed
           studs and bitches can earn you millions of dollars from breeding
           programs, sponsorships, etc.
           \_ Also, read Survival of the Sickest. Genetic disease, or
              genetic "feature"? You decide.
           \_ Purebred dogs and horses have numerous genetic problems.  -tom
              \_ Short version of below: pure bred dogs (I don't know anything
                 about horses) have genetic problems because the breeders will
                 destroy an entire species to win some lame dog show prize.
                 There is no natural reason for pure breed dogs to have so
                 many problems if they were left to choose their own mates from
                 a larger pool in the same way mutts can.  The other problem
                 for pures (as mentioned) is they often keep a lesser animal
                 for breeding because it has the right look.  The runts will
                 normally die off in a batch of mutts.
                 \_ The key then seems to be whether you kill and/or let die
                    the weak specimens. That's normally how nature works. But
                    We don't do that anymore: we save people as far as we are
                    able and develop technological remedies for weaknesses.
                    I don't think you can extrapolate purebred animal breeds
                    to a single case of incest; that case isn't part of some
                    orchestrated program.
                    \_ Hitler's super Ayran race is purebred.
                       \_ Aryan
                       \_ Purebred Aryan race is genetically predisposed
                          to 21st century obesity.
              \_ No doubt, the potential for genetic related problems is
                 much much much greater in purebreds. Breeders need to take
                 in account of alleles and heterozygous individuals in
                 order to breed a stock that they think will give them
                 more advantages than genetic disadvantages. Case in point
                 a breeder breeds a Champion mustang that wins millions of
                 dollars on the horserace, but it may have a lot of skin
                 allergies and requires a lot of expensive vet treatments.
                 Purebreds are purely mankind's creations, and thus the
                 breeder needs to be very careful about genetic diseases.
                 In many cases a good breeder will breed stocks that are
                 much healthier than mutts. There's also a notion that
                 mutts are much healthier, and while that may be true, it
                 is really a result that mutt breeders tend to discard
                 (neuter, spay, destroy) stocks that are unhealthy, whereas
                 purebred breeders really want to preserve certain physical
                 attributes so they can compete in breed Conformations.
                 Unfortunately, 95% of the breeders out there are BACKYARD
                 breeders (you know, those ignorant neighbors in your backyard)
                 that don't know or care anything about genetics, and they
                 really mess up the gene pools of animals.
2008/2/6-7 [Science/Biology] UID:49076 Activity:moderate
2/5     Stop adopting Chinese kids! Their superior genes and our superior
        environment will make them too strong.          -freeper troller
        \_ Is that you, Hoyt Sze?
           \_ Hoyt never wrote about adoption.  He ranted every week about
              white guys dating asian girls but yes he did go off about
              superior asian genes/culture/blood/etc.
              \_ urlP
              \_ Yeah, I knew Hoyt. He and I were RAs at the same time, and
                 he was in some of my English classes. Faulty comparison on
                 my part. --erikred
2007/10/19-24 [Science/Biology] UID:48390 Activity:kinda low
10/19   Watson's brilliant, simply brilliant. Just as Darwin did not want to
        publish his theory of evolution until he was almost dead, old
        Watson comes out of the closet and says something controversial.
        Moral of the story: if you have a controversial theory that
        you're absolutely convinced is a correct one, say it right before
        you die. Afterall, no one says anything bad at your eulogy.
        \- A good line:
           "In lapidary inscriptions a man is not upon oath." --SJOHNSON
        \_ slight difference, in that Darwin spent many years researching and
           providing proof for his theory, while Watson just had verbal
           diharrea.
        \_ What does this have to do with Watson's german shepherd anyway?
2007/9/9-10 [Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Israel, Science/Biology] UID:47959 Activity:nil
9/8     Are Jews really smarter due to selective gene pool,
        environmental pressures, and other factors? Find out here:
        http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/002812.html
        \_ Racist!!! All men are equal!!!
           \_ Agreed.  Damn race-based admission preferences.
        \_ This is all nonsense.  Everyone who really knows whats going on
           in the world knows Jews are superior due to a thousand generations
           of ZOGian breeding techniques.  How else would we run the world,
           control the US Govt, the US media, all the banks, and have the
           finest piece of oil rich and fertile land in the entire middle
           east?  We even set you up the bomb and got you to attack Iraq,
           help us oppress the entirely innocent and peace loving Palestinian
           peoples, we control 4 of the 5 permanent security council seats
           at the UN, constantly issue calls from the UN human rights
           commission against our enemies, and we wrote all your christmas
           songs.  The Truth Is Out There!
           \_ Which 4 of the 5 seats?
2007/8/10-13 [Science/Biology, Science/GlobalWarming] UID:47580 Activity:nil
8/10    Why some people resist science:
        http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/bloom07/bloom07_index.html
2007/5/11-14 [Science/Biology] UID:46592 Activity:nil
5/11    Evolution Stinks:
        http://urltea.com/jb0 (chron.com)
2007/4/17-19 [Science/Biology] UID:46332 Activity:nil
4/17    Chimps might be more evolved than humans:
        http://urltea.com/dux (discovery.com)
        \_ Whatever that means.
           \_ They shouldn't have used our chimp-in-chief as the baseline for
              homo sapiens.
        \_ You don't mess with perfection. I wonder how much sharks have
           changed over the millenia. Same reason.
           \_ We are still evolving though.  We're getting taller, our brains
              are increasing in size and our (well half of us) dicks are
              getting bigger.
              \_ I would guess almost none of that is genetic, most would be
                 environmental.
           \_ I think one drawback of evolution by incremental changes is that
              it's hard to get out of a "local maximum" once something is
              evolving towards it or has evolved to it.  It needs big
              disturbance to jump out of the local maximum to go towards
              another, possibly higher, local maximum.
        \_ "This just shows us that we're ordinary animals," huh?  I think it
           shows the opposite.  Most animals are under some sort of
           evolutionary pressure.
           \_ Generally the top predators face fewer evolutionary pressures,
              e.g. sharks.
        \_ It has yet to be proven that higher thought is a long-term
           beneficial evolutionary adaptation.    -tom
2007/3/22-24 [Recreation/Dating, Science/Biology] UID:46056 Activity:nil 76%like:46053
3/22    Creatures found that have not had sex for 100m years OR
        Divergent selection found in asexual reproducers
        http://www.physorg.com/news93597385.html
        http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article1539281.ece
        Let the obligatory jokes about geeks and sex begin.
        [ merged w/ thread originally posted below ]
        \_ See yesterday's "Divergent selection found in asexual reproducers"
           thread below.
           \_ Ah, apologies for the repost. This title was more prurient.
        \_ What does "species" mean when you're referring to
           creatures which produce asexually?
           \_ Reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species it's probably
              still undefined.
           \_ My HS Bio AP understanding of "species" is that all members of
              the species are genetically similar enough to interbred. It is
              conceivable that random mutations and errors in DNA replication
              in asexual reproducers could produce members that are no longer
              able to reproduce w/ the members of the species from which they
              descended.
              \_ The problem in your understanding is the word "interbreed".
                 Individuals of asexual "species" do not interbreed, so you
                 can't define asexual "species" that way.  -- !PP
                 \_ I see what you mean. What I was getting at is that
                    in order to interbreed a pair of creatures must have
                    similar/compatible DNA. Thus similar/compatible DNA
                    could be a basis to assign a creature to a partiuclar
                    speicies.
                    Random mutations and errors in DNA replication in
                    asexual reproducers could produce creatures that
                    are not genetically similar to creatures from which
                    they descended. Therefore, comparing the DNA of two
                    different asexual reproducers to see if they are
                    similar could be used to determine if they should be
                    classified as one specie or two.
                    I have no idea how to quantify the level of genetic
                    dissimilarity necessary to classify two creatures as
                    members of different species. As a rough estimate,
                    perhaps any two creatures whose DNA differed by more
                    than 1-2% could be considered different species [b/c
                    I remember reading somewhere that human and chimp DNA
                    differs by only 2%].
                    \_ Except that there are species which can interbreed,
                       so that definition does not work anyway.
                       \_ Do you mean like horses and donkeys and humans
                          and vulcans :-)? Even so, similar DNA could be
                          a basis for classifying creatures into different
                          speicies.
2007/3/22 [Recreation/Dating, Science/Biology] UID:46053 Activity:nil 76%like:46056
3/22    Divergent selection found in asexual reproducers OR Creatures
        found that have not had sex for 100m years:
        http://www.physorg.com/news93597385.html
        http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article1539281.ece
        Let the obligatory jokes about geeks and sex begin.
        [ merged w/ thread originally posted below ]
        \_ See yesterday's "Divergent selection found in asexual reproducers"
           thread below.
           \_ Ah, apologies for the repost. This title was more prurient.
        \_ What does "species" mean when you're referring to
           creatures which produce asexually?
           \_ Reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species it's probably
              still undefined.
           \_ My HS Bio AP understanding of "species" is that all members of
              the species are genetically similar enough to interbred. It is
              conceivable that random mutations and errors in DNA replication
              in asexual reproducers could produce members that are no longer
              able to reproduce w/ the members of the species from which they
              descended.
              \_ The problem in your understanding is the word "interbreed".
                 Individuals of asexual "species" do not interbreed, so you
                 can't define asexual "species" that way.  -- !PP
                 \_ I see what you mean. What I was getting at is that
                    in order to interbreed a pair of creatures must have
                    similar/compatible DNA. Thus similar/compatible DNA
                    could be a basis to assign a creature to a partiuclar
                    speicies.
                    Random mutations and errors in DNA replication in
                    asexual reproducers could produce creatures that
                    are not genetically similar to creatures from which
                    they descended. Therefore, comparing the DNA of two
                    different asexual reproducers to see if they are
                    similar could be used to determine if they should be
                    classified as one specie or two.
                    I have no idea how to quantify the level of genetic
                    dissimilarity necessary to classify two creatures as
                    members of different species. As a rough estimate,
                    perhaps any two creatures whose DNA differed by more
                    than 1-2% could be considered different species [b/c
                    I think I remember reading somewhere that the DNA of
                    humans and chimps, which are different species, differ
                    by only 2%].
2007/3/14-15 [Science/Biology, Science] UID:45971 Activity:nil
3/14    Sprint announces new phone tracking
        technology: http://www.phonetrace.org
2006/10/11-12 [Science/Biology] UID:44765 Activity:nil
10/10   http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/10/10/michigan.science.ap
        It's a dark dark day                                    -conservative
        \_ conservative?  uh huh.  because all conservatives are anti-science
           idiots.  if you're going to troll, do it right.
        \_ "Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who is Roman Catholic, said
           Michigan schools need to teach evolution in science classes and not
           include intelligent design."
           \_ This can be rewritten to say "Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm
              is not a total fucking idiot" with the same meaning.
              is not a total fucking idiot" with the same meaning. -!tom
              \_ Why do you feel the need to say !tom?
                 \_ Because it sounds like something tom would put in the motd
2006/9/7-12 [Science/Biology, Science/GlobalWarming] UID:44301 Activity:nil
9/6     One of my profs is debating an ID proponent re the legality of
        allowing ID to be taught in schools (ie whether Katzmiller was
        decided correctly). Does anyone have pointers to good sites
        where I can start looking for info?
        [ I've already read a few law review articles, so I'm looking
          for something a little less scholarly ]
        \_ http://www.venganza.org
           Seriously though, http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org might
           be a good place to look for the kinds of points he's likely to
           encounter.  -John
2006/8/2 [Science/Biology, Science/GlobalWarming, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:43872 Activity:nil
8/2     It's clear that GWB doesn't believe in global warming, but does he
        believe in evolution? Are there indications that he supports the
        Intelligent Design/Creationism theory?
2006/7/19-20 [Science/Biology] UID:43725 Activity:nil
7/19    Surrounded by 18 families who "adopted" frozen embryos not used by
        other couples, and then used those leftover embryos to have children:
        "[The stem cell bill] crosses a moral boundary that our decent society
        needs to respect, so I vetoed it ...
        Each of these children was still adopted while still an embryo ...
        These boys and girls are not spare parts." -dubya! (in first veto)
        http://adopting.adoption.com/child/embryo-adoption.html
        \_ Ugh.  This is so stupid.  Why not adopt _real_ children are _are_
           alive and need homes!  (if you're busy being high and mighty about
           it)
           \_ Remember, Republicans and conservative Christians do not give
              ONE FUCK about you once you're born.  Before you're recognizable
              as a human being, you're sacred.
              \_ Who are these "Republicans and conservatives" you stereotype?
                 Met any?
                 \- until you become persistently vegetative, #ifdef WHITE
                 \- well until you become persistently vegetative and white
              \_ Well yeah in their world view The Creator is the one
                 who owns your body, you're just a temporary tenant.
                 \_ "Their world view"?  Who?
        \_ You're Republican the moment dad came!
2006/6/4-8 [Science/Biology] UID:43271 Activity:nil
6/4     More Darwin Award winners:
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060604/ap_on_re_us/brf_balloon_deaths
2006/5/19-22 [Science/Biology] UID:43116 Activity:nil
5/20    The evolution of dance:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMH0bHeiRNg
        \_ not really.  [long and dull]
2006/3/28-30 [Science/Biology] UID:42499 Activity:nil
3/28    On the 30th anniversary of _The Republican Gene_.
        http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/selfish06/selfish06_index.html
2006/3/24-27 [Science/Biology] UID:42413 Activity:nil
3/24    speaking of people who shouldn't be having
        sex with 50 others:
        http://tinyurl.com/kwds7
        \_ We were?
        \_ Huh?
2006/3/10-13 [Science/Biology, Politics/Foreign/Europe] UID:42183 Activity:low
3/10    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/03/0308_060308_all_fours.html
        Hahaha what the fuck?
        \_ Seriously looks like something out of the Weekly World News.
        \_ "...*the* gene responsible for bipealism..."
        \_ "...*the* gene responsible for bipedalism..."
           singular?  Somehow I rather doubt that.
           \_ it's worded poorly. better: the gene for upright balance.
              Except they do suggest that since they were never encouraged
              to stand upright by parents that it could still be
              behavioral.
        \_ Bet the girls are the life of the party.  -John
2006/2/28-3/2 [Science/Biology] UID:42035 Activity:nil
2/28    Anti-Darwin Bill Fails in Utah.  "[Republican majority whip Stephen
        H. Urquhart] said he thought God did not have an argument with
        science." http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/28/national/28utah.html
        \_ "life is too complicated to have evolved without an architect"
           clearly, this is the Architect mentioned in Matrix Revolutions.
           \_ This architect is clearly Einstein's god (re the universe and
              dice) and predates the Matrix.
        \_ Why oh why must everyone put this crap in terms of Darwin?  Is an
           attempted ban on dynamite "Anti-Nobel"?  Evolution is an actual
           science that has progressed far beyond the admittedly groundbreaking
           work of one man many years ago.  To ignore that and build its
           credibility off of that one man is foolhardy.
           \_ None of this has anything to do with evolution.  It's an attack
              on modernity.
                \_ evolution is a change in the gene pool of a population
                   \- so is genocide
           \_ I'm not talking about the attack itself, I'm talking about the
              idiocy in reporting. -pp
              \_ Reporters fuck up everything about science to a painful degree.
                 It's very annoying, but I wouldn't say that they single out
                 evolutionary biology in particular when they're deciding when
                 to be dumb and lazy.  It may be that they're like this on all
                 subjects, but science is the one I know enough about to notice
                 it the most, and it's the only subject on which I've personally
                 dealt with reporters.
                 \_ It's everything.  A friend of mine's little brother
                    was killed by a criminal, and the paper couldn't even
                    keep the names straight.  I've seem similar stuff in
                    every article I've known something about.
2006/2/6-7 [Science/Biology] UID:41731 Activity:nil
2/6     Utah Mormon Republicans against Creationism (or whatever they're
        calling it this week).  http://tinyurl.com/c3x7h [nyt]
        '"I don't think God has an argument with science," said Mr. Urquhart
        [Republican majority whip]...  Mr. Urquhart says he objects to the
        bill [to require science teachers to offer a disclaimer on evolution]
        in part because it raises questions about the validity of evolution,
        and in part because the measure threatens traditional religious belief
        by blurring the lines between faith and science.'
        \_ Why are you posting articles from that crap paper?
           \_ Your comments make me understand what it must be like listening
              to Scott McClellan in the WH press briefings.
2006/2/1-3 [Science/Biology] UID:41655 Activity:nil
2/1     http://tinyurl.com/89o3f (scienceblogs.com)
        What excatly Bush meant by campaigning against human chimeras.
        \_ What is the law? No spill blood.
2006/1/12-17 [Science/Biology, Politics/Foreign/Asia/Taiwan] UID:41358 Activity:nil
1/12    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060112/sc_nm/taiwan_pig_dc
        I am all in favor of genetic research, but this just seems
        wrong to me.
        \_  Mmmm... How long till I can get some green bacon?
            \_ I will not eat green eggs and ham.
            \_ Looks like sales of glowing condoms will drop in the future.
2005/12/23-28 [Science/Biology] UID:41132 Activity:moderate
12/23   http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051222/ts_nm/science_evolution_dc
        Damnit! The ultra left liberals are fighting back again. We gotta
        fight back and show them how mighty God is.     -ID
        \_ Troll.
           \_ The article is actually somewhat interesting.      -mice
              \- Hello. If I'd only seen the headline "Evolution named 2005's
                 top scientific breakthrough" I'd have assumed it was a
                 ONGION article. BTW, the "don kennedy" in the article is
                 a former chief of the 'Fraud.
                 \_ Well, to be honest, the most interesting part of the
                    article for me consisted of the last two paragraphs.
                    I'll have to spend a little more time with Yahoo search
                    when I have the time to spare.  (Naming evolution as
                    the 'top breakthrough' seems to be aimed more at the
                    religious right proponenting ID than the scientific
                    community)                  -mice
                    \_ Well, if you think that's cool you should check out
                       other stuff like nuclear fission, the expansion of
                       the universe, quantum mechanics, genetics. Heck,
                       I even heard that this Einstein fellah discovered
                       something called "relativity."
                       \_ *shrug*  I have.  I've even studied some of those
                          in college.  What's your point?
                 \_ ONGION? Is that "G" some sort of in-joke humor?
                    \_ Yeah, they call it a "typo" in some circles.
2005/12/20-22 [Science/Biology] UID:41087 Activity:nil
12/20 Dover judge tosses intelligent design.
      http://www.stcynic.com/blog/archives/2005/12/win_in_dover.php
      Text of decision:
      http://www.stcynic.com/kitzmiller_342.pdf
        \_ Science: 1 Pseudo-scientific, religious quackery: 0
2005/11/20-22 [Science/Biology, Politics/Domestic/Crime] UID:40662 Activity:kinda low
11/20   Krauthammer also hates ID
        http://csua.org/u/e16
        \_ What I don't understand is why this is even up for debate.  I mean,
           it's the fuckin' 21st Century.  Get with it, people.  Aren't we
           done having the Scopes Monkey Trial?  BTW, Wikipedia, for all its
           \_ Errr.. You do realize Scopes lost, right?
              \_ Indeed.  And from what I understand of the facts of the _real_
                 trial, if Scopes were trying to teach today what he was trying
                 to teach back then, he'd lose again.
                 \_ What was he teaching?
                    \_ Above poster is being disengenuous.  He's probably
                       referring to the fact that the textbook Scopes was
                       using contained references to eugenics and the
                       "superiority of the white race."  However, the
                       Tennessee law he was accused of violating read:
                       "That it shall be unlawful for any teacher in any of
                       the Universities, Normals and all other public schools
                       of the State which are supported in whole or in part by
                       the public school funds of the State, to teach any
                       theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of
                       man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that
                       man has descended from a lower order of animals"
           faults, has a nice summary of ID and its gaping logical and
           empirical holes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design
        \_ George Will doesn't like it either:
        \_ George Will can't stand it either:
           http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/will111705.asp
2005/11/18-19 [Science/Biology] UID:40642 Activity:kinda low
11/18   British MP: Stop the inbreeding!
        http://csua.org/u/e18
        \_ Charles Darwin, the Evolution guy and a Brit, married his first
           cousin Emma Wedgwood.
           cousin Emma Wedgwood.  Queen Elizabeth II married her third cousin
           Prince Philip.
           \_ and?
        \_ "First cousins face lower risk of having children with genetic
           conditions than is widely perceived"
           http://csua.org/u/e19 (http://www.washington.edu
        \_ Critics calling for legal incest in Germany:
           http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0%2C%2C13509-1867271%2C00.html
           \_ I should move there with my sister.
              \_ Did you see that guy had 4 kids with his sister. Would you
                 risk that, incestguy?
                 \_ The pill these days is very effective.  There are also
                    condoms.
2005/11/15 [Science/Biology] UID:40593 Activity:very high
11/15   "Some well-respected scientists have fostered the spread of
        intelligent design. Henry F. Schaefer, director of the Center
        for Computational Quantum Chemistry at the University of
        Georgia, has written or co-authored 1,082 scientific papers
        and is one of the world's most widely cited chemists by other
        researchers.

        Mr. Schaefer teaches a freshman seminar at Georgia entitled:
        "Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence?" He has
        spoken on religion and science at many American universities,
        and gave the "John M. Templeton Lecture" -- funded by the
        foundation -- at Case Western Reserve in 1992, Montana State
        in 1999, and Princeton and Carnegie Mellon in 2004. "Those
        who favor the standard evolutionary model are in a state of
        panic," he says. "Intelligent design truly terrorizes them."

        This past April, the school of science at Duquesne University,
        a Catholic university in Pittsburgh, abruptly canceled its
        sponsorship of a lecture by Mr. Schaefer in its distinguished
        scientist series. According to David Seybert, dean of the
        Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences,
        Mr. Schaefer was invited at the suggestion of a faculty member
        belonging to a Christian fellowship group on campus. The
        invitation was withdrawn after several biology professors
        complained that Mr. Schaefer planned to speak in favor of
        intelligent design. The school wanted to avoid "legitimizing
        intelligent design from a scientific perspective," Mr. Seybert
        said.  Faculty members were also concerned that top students
        might not apply to Duquesne if they thought it endorsed
        intelligent design. Mr. Schaefer gave his lecture -- entitled
        "The Big Bang, Stephen Hawking, and God" -- to a packed hall at
        Duquesne under the auspices of a Christian group instead."

        From yesterday's WSJ article "Darwinian Struggle At Some
        Colleges, Classes Questioning Evolution Take Hold":
        http://tinyurl.com/aq2qp  (if you have subscription)

        Huh?  How come top scientists can believe in such ridiculous
        theories?
             \_ Please use a link to a file or accessible URL if you
                are going to quote large blocks of text.  That makes
                the motd works better for us all.
                \_ You are welcomed to put the text in a file with
                   a link, and then you can delete it from the motd.
        Huh?  How come top scientists can believe in such ridiculous
        theories?
        \_ How can motd posters post with such horrible formatting?
           \_ Obviously the OP wasn't designed intelligently.
              \_ Actually, I am more of an evolutionary dead end.
        \_ Pause and pull back. ID, as a philosophy or extension of theology,
           has been embraced by a number of gifted scientists (including
           Newton). The trick is where people take this out of the realm of
           theology or philosophy and instead attempt to present it to the
           exclusion of actual science, i.e., evolution. In other words, if
           you believe that G_d created everything through the Big Bang and
           you believe that **God** created everything through the Big Bang and
           created life (and us) through evolution, there's no conflict
           between ID and science. It's when you start to say that the
           Bible must be taken literally instead of allegorically that the
           whole thing becomes ridiculous.
           \_ Newton was pre-Darwin, when there was no Theory of Evolution yet
              to explain things.
              \_ Darwin's theory doesn't really explain very much. That
                 doesn't mean the alternative is that God created
                 everything, but why do people always treat evolution as
                 case closed? There are still many more questions than
                 answers.
                 \_ "why do people always treat evolution as case closed?"
                    Another attempt to tweak facts to discredit TE.
                    \_ Not tweaking any facts, but biologists almost
                       universally believe TE explains all life as we know
                       it while making some really big leaps of faith
                       themselves. Unlike, say, QM, there isn't even
                       really any math to lay a groundwork with. Just some
                       observations and a giant leap.
                                    \- there isnt a complete theory of
                                       turbulence either. do you fly in
                                       planes?
                                       \_ Airflow around my spherical plane is
                                          perfectly laminar. -physicist
                                          \- that's no moon
                                       \_ No.  I ride a mule myself.
                                          \_ No bestiality on motd please.
                       \_ Yes, sometimes it seems to be that the assumptions
                          and reasoning are as follows:
                          (1) we have to come from somewhere.
                          (2) it has to be a natural process.
                          (3) TE fits (1) and (2) so we really like it, and
                              will consider case closed even though it has
                              some holes.
                 \_ "people always treat evolution as case closed?"  Another
                    fact-tweaking by the ID people?
           \_ but I think the ID under discussion is the one that
              espouses "reducible complexity".
        \_ I think the biggest problem with ID is that it is a "scientific
           theory" that says "there's no need for further science because of
           <magic thing X>"  What's advanced science since the dawn of time
           are the people who say "no, that's not magic, how does it work/
           how did it happen?"  If we accept any type of supernatural effect
           as a complete scientific explanation for something, we're greatly
           hurting the cause.  I think even people who believe in a creator
           should see this.
           \_ I don't think this is true, at least according to my
              understanding. If so, then I think different people have
              different ideas about ID.
              \_ You're right.  There are currents among the ID that are
                 young-earth creationists, and some that aren't.  They all,
                 however, are trying to codify their religion into science.
                 Which is never a good idea. -emarkp
                 \_ You're like a communist who champions property rights.
                    It's nice to see anyone supporting property rights, but
                    a communist is still a communist.  Likewise with a
                    religious conservative who does not want to destroy
                    American science.
           \_ I agree with you that ID cannot stand as a scientific theory,
              but is "irrreducible complexity" valid as a critique of
              the evolution theory?
              \_ I think it's something we don't understand, like how black
                 holes are generally accepted, but we don't understand the
                 physics of an actual singularity, IIRC.
                 \_ hmm .. but in the case of "irreducibly complex", TE
                    is directly challenged, while in the case of the
                    blackhole, it's just that the math breaks down, and
                    we can't understand things once that happens.
                    \_ But in the case of evolution, we've encountered
                       "irreducable" complexity before, and then later we figure
                       out how it could have happened.  (e.g. eye lens
                       evolution)  What makes the current "irreducable"
                       wall any more certain?
                       \_ Did you find the explanation on how it could've
                          happened convincing?
                          \_ I did.  Read "The Blind Watchmaker."  --PeterM
                             \_ what do you think of this:
                                http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9203/watchmkr.html
              \_ I don't think so.  It ignores the possibility of an
                 intermediate form which wasn't irreducible, which then
                 simplified into the now-irreducible form.  It also assumes
                 that current biological structures/organisms labelled as
                 irreducible have been labelled correctly. -emarkp
                 \_ that's the whole point right?  you need to chart a
                    path of small evolutionary steps to arrive at the
                    complex structure, with each of the intermediate form
                    making evolutinary sense (i.e. each step a positive
                    improvement).
                    \_ The whole point?  I don't quite understand what you mean
                       by that, but /my/ point is that something that is
                       irriducible now may have evolved from something that
                       wasn't irriducible. -emarkp
                       \_ Am I missing something?  You are not making sense.
                          \_ Evolution means things change over time.  One form
                             that's an advantage but more complex could evolve
                             to something that's an advantage but is simpler
                             (more efficient).  There's nothing about evolution
                             that declares that every step is more complex or
                             has a purpose easy to identify. -emarkp
                          \_ We should have stopped at atoms. Everything
                             on the quantum level is too complex.
2005/11/10-13 [Science/Biology] UID:40538 Activity:low
11/10   The Vatican taking a pro-evolution stance?
        http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,1052-1860310,00.html
        \_ The Vatican has a much more rational attitude toward science
           than they had during the time of Galileo.  --PM
           \_ I think it's actually really cool that the Vatican has an
              astronomical observatory in Arizona:
              http://clavius.as.arizona.edu/vo/R1024/VO.html
        \_ Catholics and evolution:
           http://www.catholic.com/library/Adam_Eve_and_Evolution.asp
        \_ How many more times do we have to prove that the Church is wrong
           before it stops changing its version of eternal truth?
           \_ I wonder if you read the http://catholic.com link above.  I found it
              very interesting.
2005/11/8-9 [Science/Biology] UID:40499 Activity:nil
11/8    What's the matter with Kansas, indeed:
        http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCATION/11/08/evolution.debate.ap/index.html
        \_ Can someone please tell me what the BIG problem is w/ evolution
           that is somehow not present w/ GR or QM? It seems to me that if
           you accept GR/QM, you have to accept evolution.
           \_ GR/QM don't contradict thw WORD OF GOD.
        \_ "Intelligent Design" won the nomenclature war.  For instance, I
           believe life was designed by a Creator.  However, when I looked into
           the details of ID, I was stunned by how it basically says "this
           stuff doesn't make sense, doesn't it make more sense that God^H^H^H
           an intelligent agent designed it?"  Seriously, that's their whole
           argument. -emarkp
           \_ ID works on the "N+1" theory. If our level of technological
              understanding is "N", then anything with a technological
              complexity of "N+1" MUST be divinely inspired. I work in
              Kansas, and live next door in Missouri, and half of the
              people on both sides (smart, educated, earnest) believe in
              some form of N+1ism. Even those people who understand that
              the whole thing is political posturing in the part of the
              Kansas (Republican, grass-roots) political establishment still
              also, somewhere in the back of their minds, believe that,
              yes, Evolution is real, but underlying evolution is some
              divinely-inspired impetus. --coganman
              \_ my foot up their asses is divinely-inspired
              \_ And they haven't tarred & feathered you yet?  -John
           \_ Say we accept for the sake of argument that life on earth
              was designed by an intelligent agent.  I do not see how
              this refutes or disproves natural selection b/c (1) the
              intelligent agent could have used natural selection as
              the mechanism to create life and (2) the intelligent
              agent itself may have arose due to natural selection
              operating in a different environment.
              \_ I agree.  ID proponents however paint evolution as requiring
                 evolution to be a random process--explicitly forbidding a
                 creator.  Thus setting up the straw man. -emarkp
2005/11/8-9 [Science/Biology, Science/GlobalWarming] UID:40498 Activity:moderate
11/8    Kansas school board approves change to definition of science to permit
        teaching of intelligent design alongside theory of evolution
        Old text:  "Science is the human activity of seeking natural
        explanations for what we observe in the world around us ..."
        New text:  "Science is the human activity of seeking logical
        explanations for what we observe in the world around us ..."
        \_ I don't see how that really changes anything.  ID is no more logical
           than it is natural.  -tom
        \_ 2006 State of Kansas Science Textbook:
           Chapter 1: The Flat Earth
           Chapter 2: The Earth-revolving Sun
           Chapter 3: Seven Days of Creation
           Chapter 4: Logical vs Natural: 3 Steps to Bring you Closer to God
           \_ Chapter 5: Atheist Scentists Go to Hell
           \_ Chapter 5: Aetheist Scentists Go to Hell
           \_ Chapter 6: Faith-Based Science and Engineering: Power of Prayer
        \_ 2006 State of Kansas Health Textbook:
           Chapter 1: Don't Worry Your Pretty Little Head About It
           \- so are parents goign to be allowed to have their kids opt out of
              the fruitcake stuff?
        \_ Great phrase by Kansas ID board member: "Darwin Fundamentalist"
        \_ FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER WILL GET THE INFIDELS!  -John
           \_ Flying Spaghetti Monster can't keep flying forever!  Thanks to
              Intelligent Falling.
2005/8/27-29 [Science/Biology, Health/Women] UID:39300 Activity:nil
8/26    Smallest free-living cell SAR11:
        http://www.terradaily.com/news/life-05zzzz.html
2005/8/19-22 [Science/Physics, Science/Biology] UID:39188 Activity:moderate
8/19    Hey Emarkp.  Re: Religion. Please prove that there is God. For
        extra credit prove Joseph Smith was telling the truth.
        \_ Someone deleted this along with a post about ID.  I'll note that I'm
           not presenting God or Joseph Smith as a falsifiable scientific
           theory.  ID proponents /are/ claiming their theory as science.
           -emarkp
           \_ We had a long discussion about this already.  In the narrow
              sense of
        \_ Please prove there is no god.  For extra credit prove Joseph Smith
           was not telling the truth.
           \_ The burden of proof is on someone who claims God exists.  (Just
              like the burden of proof of evolution being on someone who claims
              evolution is real.)
                 \_ Absence of proof is not proof of absence ;-)
                    \_ yup, Rumsfeld can tell you that it worked well with
                        Iraq.
              \_ You are confusing a syntactic distinction with a semantic one.
                 You seem to be saying that existence statements are 'special'
                 and require more proof than their negations.  But almost
                 anything can be phrased as an existence statement (e.g.
                 there exists a sequence of physical events giving rise to
                 a bacterium while starting from raw chemicals).
                 \_ What about "One can't prove a negative."?
                    \_ I don't understand what this means.  In mathematics,
                       as in empirical science, 'a negative' is just a
                       syntactic distinction.  In math what you can prove
                       usually has little relation to its syntactic form.
                       In empirical science you can prove nothing.
                       \_ Apparently you flunked Science. The central tenet
                          of science is that if you can't empirically prove
                          that it does exist, we will assume that it
                          doesn't. Science has traditionally followed
                          such principals as Occam's Razor, in which
                          the simplist explanation (we assume that
                          things do not exist until they are empirically
                          proven to be as such) is usually the most
                          \_ Uh no, science says that if something cannot be
                             empirically proven, it means that it cannot be
                             empirically proven.  Whether that implies "yet" or
                             "at all" is up to the observer.  Last I checked,
                             science made allowance for, say, circumstantial or
                             observational evidence not obtained through proper
                             empirical experimentation, even though you wouldn't
                             necessarily rely on these as proof.  Note that I'm
                             not implying that ID and friends are complete and
                             not implying that ID and friends aren't complete,
                             utter intellectually dishonest bunkum, I would
                             just like to point out the flaw here.  -John
                          likeliest. Also, in science, it's not merely
                          a syntactic distinction, that's why it's referred
                          to as empirical science vs. religious wizardry.
                          And math != science, because yes, math IS
                          pure syntatics.
                          \_ 'Empirically prove'?  'Pure syntatics?'
                             'Simplist'?  'Likeliest'?  You such at science,
                             you suck at English, you suck at trolling, and you
                             suck at life.
                          \_ Since Science can't explain the change from
                             "nothing" to "something" in the universe should
                             we assume that Science doesn't exist or that
                             the universe doesn't exist?  Please explain
                             further.  ;-)
                             \_ Science CAN explain how the universe could
                                have come from nothing:
                      http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=541
                                \_ Nonsense.  Did you even read your own link?
                                   It not only doesn't attempt to explain how
                                   the universe was created.  It makes it
                                   quite clear that we have no idea and
                                   presents a bunch of ideas that don't rise
                                   above the level of hypothesis.  These
                                   non-explanations are no better than "God
                                   did it" or "it fell out of a magic hat with
                                   a rabbit".  By the standards mentioned
                                   earlier in this thread not only does
                                   science not exist, but the universe doesn't
                                   either.  Your link (that you apparently
                                   didn't read or expected others not to) says
                                   something entirely different from what you
                                   claim it says.
                                   \_ Alexander Vilenkin (mentioned in the
                                      link above) has written many papers
                                      about this. You can google for more
                                      detailed info.
                                   \_ Well the universe does exist to
                                      science since we observe it.
        \_ http://www.yfiles.com/y3nf.html
2005/8/15-17 [Science/Biology] UID:39125 Activity:moderate
8/15    One more player in the ID debate.
        "Harvard to Investigate Origins of Life":
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050815/ap_on_sc/harvard_evolution
        \_ It's probably a good idea.  Someone needs to peel away the polemic
           of ID and clearly highlight the evidence for or against evolution.
           I think most people who distrust evolution do so because they don't
           understand it. -emarkp
           \_ The best evidence against evolution is the Second Coming of
              Christ, unaided human levitation, reading of minds, or the
              demonstration of anything else which a credible scientist would
              classify as supernatural.
              \_ Classification of something as 'supernatural' follows the
                 same pattern as classification of something as 'requiring
                 intelligence.'  -- ilyas
                 \_ Someone levitate!  Please!  Use your own psychic energy!
                 \_ ilyas, tell us about the stars.
              \_ Any sufficiently developed theory has evidence against it, but
                 the confirming evidence is greater.  Just because there may be
                 points of evidence contradicting evolution doesn't mean I
                 advocate tossing it out or not teaching it in schools.  And
                 the things you list don't necessarily contradict evolution.
                 I'm mostly interested in any postulated mechanism in which an
                 organism with X genes can evolve to have X+n genes. -emarkp
                 \_ Nah, I was just talking about the most direct path.
                    All it takes is just one levitating person, or one person
                    who can predict card sequences without cheating, and
                    that's the game!
                    To answer your last comment, bacterial resistance to
                    antibiotics via plasmids.  PLEASE don't tell me:  "I
                    meant mammals!"
                    \_ I didn't mean mammals--I'm not trying to trap anyone,
                       I'm genuinely interested in the research.  A quick
                       google search doesn't help me understand how that's a
                       proof of what I'm looking for.  Specifically, I'm not as
                       interested in speciation as I am in how an organism can
                       have more genes (not just different ones) than its
                       parents.  Can you point me to a specific URL? -emarkp
                       \_ Does this help?
                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antibiotic_resistant
                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasmid
                          If you really want to learn, buy Biology by
                          Campbell and Reece, 7th Ed.
                       \_ not how, but existence proof: every down's syndrome
                          child of non-down's syndrome parents.  or have i mixed
                          that up?
                          \_ No, you've go it right.  Every Down's syndrome
                             child's got an extra chromosome.  Incidentally
                             also showing that most mutations are BAD.
                          \_ For a perfectly normal (and more extreme) version,
                             see 'the haploid/diploid life cycle.' -- ilyas
                          \_ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_duplication
                             \- this book is very good:
                                http://csua.org/u/d28
2005/8/12-15 [Science/Biology, Science/GlobalWarming] UID:39106 Activity:high
8/12    I'm not sure I understand the ID argument. Here is the way that I
        see the argument: at the moment of the big bang the fundamental
        constants could have taken on any set of values, however the vast
        majority of these sets would not give rise to life, so the prob.
        that the constants have the values necessary for life is so small
        that it couldn't have occurred w/o intelligent intervention.
        Isn't this the same as saying that the odds that I have the winning
        lotto ticket is so small that if I were to win the lottery it was
        b/c my mom rigged it for me?
        I don't understand why it is more plausible that there was intelligent
        design than the fact that we just got lucky?
        \_ ID is a crock of shit. Why it should be discussed at all is merely
           an indication of how pervasive religion still is in modern U.S.
           society. It's a waste of everyone's time, especially the
           scientific community if they have to address it, and it causes
           the general populace to ignore more important issues like
           health care, social security, stem cell research, and who's
           going to win the World Series. To discuss ID or any other half-baked
           psuedo-science crap is just a waste of everyone's time. It has
           nothing to do with science, and everything to do with pushing
           a political and religious agenda. If this topic were to be
           brought up in any other developed country, the proponents would
           be laughed off the stage. None of what ID says is new, it's merely
           rehash of the same old arguments that religious zealots have
           been proposing ever since the Scopes trial.
           \_ I don't believe in ID, but if it science had all the answers,
              there wouldn't be an ID.  When your religion of science has
              all the answers, you'll be in a better position to call people
              names.  If this topic were to be brought up in any other
              developed country, they'd shoot it down in favor of their
              local version of Creationism.  Give a definition of "developed"
              that doesn't directly include "doesn't believe in ID" and
              we'll go from there.  A real scientist should welcome a debate
              like this.  Real scientists question everything.  Real scientists
              can back up their claims and aren't afraid to drop the false
              ones.  There is no such thing as wasting the time of the
              general population.  That is why we have things like the World
              Series in the first place.  Bread and circuses.
              \_ Science will never have all the answers; science is a
                 continual process of discovering new questions.  Physics,
                 for example, was once believed to be nearing completeness,
                 with only a few minor problems like black-body radiation to
                 work out; those problems led directly to quantum mechanics
                 and the realization that we may never know what's really
                 going on.
                 But ID has no place in a scientific debate.  Essentially,
                 ID is "well, science hasn't answered all the questions
                 about evolution, so it must be magic!"  -tom
                 \_ Maybe science won't have all the answers because there
                    really is some sort of Divinity?  Maybe there really is
                    magic.  Until proven otherwise, magic is just as good
                    an answer as "well there is a scientific explanation,
                    but...."  That's no different than Faith.  And frankly,
                    who cares what the general population thinks anyway?
                    Quantum mechanics *is* magic as far as 99.99% of people
                    are concerned.  An explanation people can't understand
                    is no different than telling them "its magic, read this
                    book about this carpenter and don't worry about it".
                    \_ It depends on what your definition of magic is.  If
                       the population at large thinks that today's curable
                       diseases are cured because God wants them cured, they'll
                       wonder why we need to support the NIH.  If they think
                       that they're cured by magic, but all magic is discovered
                       by magicians who have phd's in subfields of magic like
                       biochemistry, and who need to do magic research that
                       has to be well-funded, that wouldn't be so bad.
                       It is, as you say, roughly the current situation.
                       All this is orthogonal to the ID "debate", however,
                       since ID has nothing to do with either science or
                       philosophy.  It's politics, pure and simple.
                    \_ I think you're a good argument against Intelligent
                       Design.  -tom
                       \_ Thanks for participating.  You added so much to
                          this.  I'm not sure why you bothered posting.  I'm
                          sorry if my offhand thoughts were too deep for you
                          to respond with anything more than a personal
                          attack.  Perhaps we should discuss biking for you
                          instead?
                    \_ The problem for me is that there are some answers
                    \_ The problem for me is that maybe there is an answer
                       out there waiting to be discovered.  Putting every-
                       thing down to a rigged deck and leaving it at that
                       seems lazy to me; if you stop asking questions before
                       even beginning to look at the problem, there's no way
                       you're ever going to find any of the answers.  There
                       may be other things at work in the creation of the
                       universe than an all or nothing "the physical constants
                       allow for life" or they don't.  Perhaps, as someone
                       mentioned a couple days ago, the constants change over
                       time.  Perhaps if one changes, the others change to
                       compensate.  Or perhaps there are processes involved
                       in the big bang that push the constants into certain
                       patterns, and in the creation of any universe they will
                       always wind up creating conditions conducive to life.
                       This science is so young, there's so much more room for
                       new things to discovered.
                       If we automatically assume a guiding hand and stop
                       there, there's no way we'll ever find real evidence of
                       that guiding hand.    -sax
                       \_ I find it a bit odd to have a changing constant.
                          I don't automatically assume a guiding hand.  As I
                          said, I don't believe in ID, but there remains no
                          disproof or proof of Divinity as yet.  Going back
                          further than the origin on life on this planet to
                          the origin of the universe itself (since you mention
                          that), I find the Big Bang no more convincing than
                          "God did it in 7 days", or "it was magic" or "it was
                          always just there".  What preceeded the Big Bang?
                          Where'd all that energy/stuff come from?  How long
                          was it there?  What is "time"?  The Big Bang sounds
                          just like "it was magic" to me.
                          \_ There seems to be some amt of proof that the
                             speed of light and the fine structure constant
                             are changing:
                                http://tinyurl.com/c64o4 (space.com)
                             There is at least 1 theory that says that nothing
                             preceded the big bang. The big bang was a quantum
                             tunneling event where the void tunneled into
                             something.
                             The big bang isn't magic - it is based on
                             observations re the rate of expansion of the
                             universe and on the cosmic background radiation
                             for a start. My understanding is that GR also
                             requires it.
        \_ Why do you want Baby Jesus to cry?
        \_ ID does not address big bang, or the origin of life. ID only
           talks about refuting evolution. So, I can understand why
           you are confused.
        \_ Not it's not the same.  -- ilyas
        \_ No it's not the same.  In order to avoid having to assume God you
           would have to assume an infinite number of completely unobservable
           entities (parallel Universes).  God is a pretty expensive assumption,
           but at some point you have to wonder if the cure is worse than
           the disease. -- ilyas
           \_ This is the dumbest and most specious argument ever proposed.
              The next thing you're going to tell me is that in order to
              avoid believing that Crusty the Clown exists the bumble bee
              must would have to be aerodynamically desgned in order to
              fly. I mean, seriously, if you want to pick a philosophy to
              dick around with, try Liebnitzian monadism before going back
              to a Judeo-Christian monotheistic doctrine which doesn't even
              have a fun and whacky premise that you can chew the fat on
              during lunch breaks.
              \_ I think it's spelled 'Krusty the Klown', williamc. -- ilyas
           \_ (Q1) Is the argument something like:
                   (a) The set of values a given constant can take is an
                       infinite set AND
                   (b) ONLY 1 particular set of values of the constants
                       gives rise to life as we know it THUS
                   (c) The overall probably of this particular set occuring
                       is basically 0 THEREFORE
                   (c) ONLY external intervension could result in this
                   (d) ONLY external intervention could result in this
                       particular set.
                   But this is based on at least 2 unproven (afaik)
                   assumptions:
                   (1) that the set of values that a given constant can
                       take are infinite and unchanging AND
                   (2) ONLY 1 particular set determined at the outset
                       can give rise to life
                   I sucked at math, but I remember that stuff gets really
                   wacky when you are dealing with infinities - couldn't
                   there be an infinite set of values for which life could
                   occur?
                   \_ I don't assume (b).  I merely assume the set which
                      gives rise to life is much smaller than the general set,
                      which is reasonable, I think.  Most constants will not
                      even give rise to chemistry let alone life.  If two
                      sets are infinite, there is a well defined way to talk
                      about their sizes, developed by set theorists.
                        -- ilyas
                      \_ If you don't assume (b), then I don't get it at
                         all. If there might be more than 1 arrangement
                         of the values that the constants could take in
                         order to give rise to life, why is intelligence
                         required to chose our set?
                         It seems more (or at least equally) plausible
                         that the values randomly happened to be ones
                         that gave rise to life.
                         Any books/urls you might recommend re infinite
                         sets comprehensible to a total dumbass?
                         \_ Well, you need to learn about 2 separate issues.
                            The first is how one infinite set can be 'smaller'
                            than another infinite set.  For instance the set
                            of all natural numbers is smaller than the set of
                            all reals.  Mathematicians say that a set A is
                            smaller than set B if there exists a 1-1 function
                            from A to B.  Actually there are 2 generalizations
                            of the conventional notion of 'less than' for
                            infinite sets.  The first I just discussed, the
                            second says A is smaller than B if 'you can add
                            1 a bunch of times to A to get B.' Any basic set
                            theory book will discuss this.  The other issue is
                            how to spread a 'finite amount of butter'
                            (probability mass) over an 'infinite amount of
                            bread' (infinite set).  For this, you need to
                            understand measure theory.  That is a little
                            harder because you also need some real analysis.
                              -- ilyas
              (Q2) Why do we need an infinite number of parallel universes
                   in order to explain the values of the fundamental
                   constants? (Please see below)
                   (Q1.1) Even if you play exactly 1 game of lotto, the game
                          has to have a result right (ie each ball has to
                          take on a value)?
                   (Q1.2) The prob. that a particular arrangement will
                          result is VERY small, BUT non-zero correct (we
                          are here, thus it has to be non-zero)?
                   (Q1.3) If the prob. is non-zero then this particular
                          arrangement could have occurred naturally right
                          (ie the product of pure chance rather than by
                           design)?
                   (Q1.4) So why is it more likely than not that the outcome
                          was b/c of selection rather than pure chance?
                   \_ Well, even if there is only one Universe, and even if
                      there is no 'intention' involved at all, and even if
                      there aren't any parallel Universes at all, then the
                      there is no 'intention' involved at all then the
                      constants we have could certainly have arisen by blind
                      chance.  However, this is even harder to swallow than
                      the similar claim that something like a bacterium can
                      arise from chemistry given a long enough span of time.
                      With the constants, they would have to have assumed their
                      values 'instantaneously' before time even existed per se.
                        -- ilyas
                        \_ There could also be some reason why the constants
                           are the way they are, that has nothing to do with
                           the idea of a creator; there may be meta-forces
                           which tend to cause the constants to be the way
                           they are in our experiential Universe.
                           In any case, positing a creator does not solve
                           the problem of why the universe is the way it is;
                           it only begs the question, why is the creator
                           what he is?  -tom
                           \_ There could be.  There could be 'meta-forces.'
                              At this point though, you are countering one
                              unfalsifiable claim with another.  Didn't you
                              just say science was just a way of discovering
                              more questions?  So now you say positing a
                              creator 'begs more questions,' as if that was
                              a bad thing. -- ilyas
                              \_ The difference between tom's meta-forces
                                 and the old one is that you might actually
                                 figure out whether they exists and why.
                                 With the old one you are left with nothing
                                 useful. You can never figure out what he/it
                                 is made of or why something is the way that
                                 it is or what made him.
                                 \_ A rose by any other name.  Tom's
                                    meta-forces is just another label slapped
                                    onto something we fundamentally do not
                                    understand, and never will.  How do you
                                    know those 'meta forces' lack intention?
                                    Intention obviously exists in the world
                                    (us), why the strong bias against it on
                                    'larger scales.'? -- ilyas
                                    \_ Maybe because every mysterious force
                                       that people once thought was caused
                                       by the intention of some deity turned
                                       out to have a scientific explanation
                                       instead.  The god-worshipers have never
                                       once been right in thousands of years
                                       of human history; why should we assume
                                       they're right now?  -tom
                                       \_ Well, we are now talking not about
                                          'God' per se, but whether some force
                                          has intention or not.  Science has an
                                          extremely poor track record of
                                          showing intention in _anything_ by
                                          experiment
                                       \_ I think scientific explanations by
                                          necessity will not involve
                                          consciousness or intentionality
                                          because those phenomena seem poorly
                                          understood, and difficult, maybe
                                          impossible, to approach empirically.
                                          So of course scientific explanations
                                          will not involve 'minds.'  Whether
                                          'minds' actually exist in the world
                                          is a question I am not sure how to
                                          approach.  Saying things like
                                          'science never came up with a 'minds'
                                          explanation, so 'minds' do not exist!'
                                          is silly.  An emerging theory of
                                          intention and consciousness from
                                          empirical science is something I am
                                          looking forward to.  So far, I have
                                          seen things like 'reductive
                                          materialism' which don't really
                                          address any of the mystery of minds.
                                          There are some 'descriptive' things
                                          being tossed around, like 'the
                                          neural correlates of consciousness.'
                                          Again, cataloguing physical events
                                          that correspond to internal events
                                          is both plagued with difficulties,
                                          and leaves many things unexplained.
                                            -- ilyas
                                          \_ A mind is a processor of sensory
                                             information (and emotions/feelings
                                             that may be generated by non-
                                             conscious coprocessors), that
                                             makes decisions. I don't really
                                             see huge issues with the theory
                                             of conciousness; to me it's a
                                             matter of scale. It does get
                                             confusing trying to pin down the
                                             physical aspects. But I don't
                                             see any fundamental problem that
                                             would require supernatural
                                             explanations. As for intention
                                             applied to the universe at large,
                                             again I don't see the reason to
                                             suppose that is true given how
                                             little we understand about it.
                                             As Tom points out, this kind of
                                             assumption generally turns out
                                             to be wrong. And since it raises
                                             more questions about the nature of
                                             that intention it is a more
                                             "expensive" theory to assume. (I
                                             know you probably disagree there
                                             but I'm not as skeptical about
                                             the "unsolved problems" as you
                                             appear to be.)
                                    \_ I disagree with the "never will."  It's
                                       possible that at some point people will
                                       be able to examine the conditions which
                                       gave rise to the big bang.  Or create
                                       other universes to see how they work.
                                       In the long term this continuing
                                       scientific examination will have a
                                       positive influence on human quality of
                                       life. cf. Pasteur questioning
                                       assumptions about illness and creating
                                       vaccines.  cf. Einstein challenging
                                       Newtonian physics, leading to quantum
                                       mechanics and all sorts of helpful
                                       technological innovations.  Cutting the
                                       funding at "we can't explain it yet, so
                                       there must be a benevolent higher being"
                                       is in the long term hurtful to humanity
                                       at large.
                                    \_ What do you mean by intention?
                                       Do you mean that there is some
                                       intention behind the current
                                       state of affairs OR that each
                                       person acts out of his/her
                                       own intention?
                                       I'm not sure I can buy either
                                       claim. I don't really see any
                                       proof of either.
                                       \_ So you think humans lack intention?
                                          Do you yourself lack intention?
                                            -- ilyas
                                          \_ I can't really convince myself
                                             that there is anything more than
                                             chemical/mechanical stimulus
                                             response involved in what is
                                             generally termed intention.
                                             I also can't convince myself
                                             that something intended for us
                                             to be here - the dinosaurs
                                             would probably still be "ruling"
                                             the earth if not for a big rock
                                             falling out of the sky. If we
                                             were supposed to be here, why
                                             let the dinosaurs have at it
                                             for millions of years? Just so
                                             we could have some nice birds
                                             and gas for our hummers? Surely
                                             there is a more efficient way.
                                             \_ There could very well be
                                                nothing more than chemical
                                                mechanical stimulus response
                                                involved.  This does not mean
                                                intention does not exist, it
                                                obviously exists.  You are
                                                equating a physical
                                                implementation of intention
                                                with the impossibility of
                                                intention.  Or, to put it
                                                another way, you are
                                                concentrating on describing
                                                physical events and making
                                                an intuitive argument that
                                                there can be no 'floating
                                                ghost' associated with these
                                                events somehow.  I am fairly
                                                convinced of the existence of
                                                the 'floating ghost'
                                                corresponding to myself.
                                                 -- ilyas
                                                \_ I don't get it. If it
                                                   is all just some chemicals
                                                   moving around in my head,
                                                   then where the heck is the
                                                   "floating ghost"?
                                                   The sense of "I" seems to
                                                   me an illusion created by
                                                   the chemical rxns in my
                                                   head that makes it easier
                                                   for the body to survive.
                                                   \_ "If the functioning of
                                                      the computer is just
                                                      semi-conductor
                                                      electronics, then where
                                                      the heck is software?"
                                                      See Goedel/Escher/Bach
                                                      for the relevant
                                                      discussion. -- ilyas
                                               \_ There's a nice discussion.
                                                  Why would you think there is
                                                  a "floating ghost" there? The
                                                  idea appears to be absurd.
                                                  Clearly people and animal
                                                  minds are affected by brain
                                                  alterations.
                                                  \_ There clearly _is_ a
                                                     floating ghost.  I don't
                                                     really understand what
                                                     you mean by 'consciousness
                                                     is an illusion.'  It has
                                                     none of the properties of
                                                     an illusion, it's more
                                                     correct to say we don't
                                                     understand what
                                                     relationship exists
                                                     between physical events
                                                     and qualia.  I should
                                                     clarify that when I say
                                                     'floating ghost' I do
                                                     not mean that I am
                                                     a Cartesian dualist,
                                                     merely that the human
                                                     internal world is a real
                                                     thing, just like software
                                                     state is a real thing.
                                                       -- ilyas
                                                     \_ software state isn't
                                                        a magical ghost. I
                                                        don't know what you're
                                                        going on about.
                        \_ I see, this is just an application to science of the
                           general trend to equate improbability with God. Oh
                           thank God, by a miracle I survived this plane crash!
                           \_ People don't have good intuitions about very
                              small probabilities.  I think the way quantum
                              mechanics works, pretty much _anything_ can happen
                              with some positive probability.  However, if you
                              look at our macroscoping world, it's very
                              predictable, and random things don't happen.
                              Improbability always leaves you some wiggle room
                              to say things 'just happen,' but given the way
                              low probability events work in practice, you still
                              have some explaining to do.  Surviving a plane
                              crash is not even in the same ballpark as
                              instantaneous bacterial self-assembly. -- ilyas
                              \_ Who is claiming that a bateria self
                              \_ In the world of living things, random things
                                 seem to happen all the time. Meteors hit,
                                 storms arise, water pools in some cave giving
                                 rise to a unique creature, etc. Your existence
                                 as opposed to some other combination of egg
                                 and sperm is almost impossibly unlikely if
                                 you look at what had to happen from even that
                                 first "magic bacteria". And even though
                                 crash survival isn't all that low probability,
                                 or winning the lotto, there are loads of
                                 examples of people believing it was divine.
                                 I was just pointing out the fallacious mode
                                 of thought. I think it's pretty safe to
                                 assume that bacteria didn't spring into
                                 existence fully-formed. As for the constants,
                                 well they are observed. It would be like
                                 using the improbability of events leading up
                                 to your birth as proof that someone designed
                                 you to happen, to say that someone had to
                                 design the constants to support life. Maybe
                                 there are many universes and life is in the
                                 one that supports it.
                                 \_ Sigh.  You didn't even read this entire
                                    thread, did you?  Anyways, there is so
                                    much circularity and repeated arguments
                                    here that I am stopping, I think. -- ilyas
                              \_ Who is claiming that a bacteria self
                                 assembled? AFAIK, the components of
                                 bacteria came from even simpler forms
                                 of "life" like rna or its precursors
                                 which may self assemble.
                                 Also, my understanding is that given
                                 enough time every improbable event
                                 can occur, so something like rna could
                                 have come into being on its own given
                                 several hundred million years.
                                 \_ No simpler form of of independently
                                    replicating life than a bacterium is either
                                    known or postulated.  The claim about
                                    constants spontaneously taking on 'nice
                                    values' is even less probable than the
                                    bacterium-from-nothing claim, which is why
                                    I brought it up.  If you claim there is
                                    something between bacterium and nothing
                                    I invite you to tell me what that something
                                    is and how it reproduces. -- ilyas
                                    \_ Your claim is false.  Other reproducing
                                       things as simple as molecules have not
                                       only been postulated, but have been
                                       shown to exist.  In your brain, it's
                                       possible for a protein to spontaneously
                                       fold in a certain undesirable way.
                                       This protein can then catalyze other
                                       proteins to fold in the same undesirable
                                       way, in the environment of your brain.
                                       Similarly, molecule chains which self
                                       replicate in the "primordial soup" of
                                       the early Earth have been postulated.
                                       \_ A prion isn't alive, and a prion is
                                          almost certainly not on the
                                          evolutionary path between nothing
                                          and bacteria.  Read what I actually
                                          said. -- ilyas
                                    \_ What about (s/r)RNA?
                                       \_ RNA is a molecule that can reproduce
                                          in the right chemical environment.
                                          So is the claim nothing -> RNA ->
                                          bacterium? -- ilyas
                                          \_ The way I understand it it is:
                                              basic elements -> organic non-
                                              replicating molecules -> RNA ->
                                              DNA -> protocells -> { Bacteria,
                                              Eukaryotes, Archaebacteria }
                                             Something had to come before
                                             bacteria b/c mitochondria (which
                                             is present in all bacteria iirc)
                                                \_ False.  Mitochondria are
                                                   not present in all bacteria.
                                                   Mostly (exclusively?) in
                                                   Eukaryotes.
                                             were originally a separate form
                                             of life.
                                             \_ The problem with this picture
                                                is that:
                                                (a) at the RNA/DNA stage,
                                                things don't 'eat' each other,
                                                so there is no natural
                                                selection.  This means, things
                                                had to get pretty complex in
                                                a random way without the
                                                shielding of a cell wall.
                                                (b) Nobody knows what
                                                protocells look like, even
                                                without any burden of
                                                falsifying evidence. -- ilyas
                                                \_ RNA/DNA don't have to eat
                                                   each other for NS to work.
                                                   If one form of RNA replicates
                                                   faster or is more robust
                                                   to environmental conditions
                                                   than other forms its copies
                                                   will gradually win out over
                                                   other versions.
                                                   I agree re proto-cells, BUT
                                                   clearly a bacterica is not
                                                   the simplest form of life
                                                   b/c it is an amalgam of at
                                                   least two separate more
                                                   primitive life forms:
                                                   some sort of cell and what-
                                                   ever mitochondira was before
                                                   it was incorporated into
                                                   a bacteria. And even mito-
                                                   chondria is pretty complex,
                                                   meaning it came from something
                                                   more basic.
                                                   The problem w/ going back
                                                   that far is that anything
                                                   that primative probably
                                                   (1) didn't get fossilized
                                                   or (2) got killed by newer
                                                   forms of life and isn't
                                                   around anymore.
                                                   My problem w/ saying that
                                                   the big guy just put it
                                                   together, is that it tells
                                                   you nothing. You can't/don't
                                                   know why he did it, or how
                                                   or how he knew how to do it,
                                                   &c. It also leaves open the
                                                   question of where the big
                                                   guy came from and who made
                                                   him.
                                    \_ You're seriously saying that there isn't
                                       even a hypothesis about life simpler
                                       than a bacteria?  Have you read Paul
                                       Davies' "The Fifth Miracle"? -emarkp
                                       \_ I am sorry, I haven't read Davies'
                                          book.  What is his theory, other than
                                          'life came from archaea deep
                                          underground.'  -- ilyas
               \_ and then I want to ask what this has to do with evolution?
                  It's like saying, "I don't know whether my car was made in
                  Detroit or not, therefor I shouldn't eat any sandwiches
                  today."  Regardless of whether there was any higher power
                  at work in the creation of the universe, evolution is a
                  theory whose tenets are demonstrable.
                  \_ If the debate is soley over evolution/natural selection
                     then I don't understand why there is a debate at all b/c
                     natural selection has been demonstrated.
        \_ this debate is kind of like those mysterious circular patterns
           that appear overnight in cornfields.  some people tried to find
           the answer to what created them in some natural phenomenon,
           while others tried to find out if it's some jokers who created
           them.
2005/8/9-13 [Science/Biology, Science/Physics] UID:39076 Activity:moderate
8/9     http://www.creators.com/opinion_show.cfm?columnsName=pub
          \_ this link doesn't work anymore
        I haven't been paying attention to the ID vs. Evolution
        discussion but I read this in the Merc and I was a bit
        surprised by the arguments made in favor of ID.
        Do the ID folks really think that the universe has more
        order now than at some point in the past when all the
        forces were unified (more entropy/disorder now right?)
        Also I'm confused by the assertion that the laws of nature
        imply ID. Isn't is equally plausible that the laws of
        nature are the result of (1) random chance or (2) the
        result of a natural process (such as collisions of branes
        in higher dimensional space) that creates an infinite
        number of universes so all possible laws of physics are
        expressed?
        \_ Well, I don't know about most of the arguments presented, but
           it is a little puzzling that the fundamental constants would arrange
           themselves randomly into an interesting looking universe that
           we have.  If things were a little off, the universe would be
           it is a little puzzling that the fundamental constants would
           arrange themselves randomly into an interesting looking universe
           that we have.  If things were a little off, the universe would be
           very boring indeed. -- ilyas
           \_ But there is a small but finite probability that the came
              about by random chance right?
              And by boring you mean boring to people right? Some other
              arrangement might give rise to a universe that is interesting
              to different form of "life".
              What I don't understand about ID is that there does not
              appear to be a way to show that ID is more likely than
              the theory that branes are/have been colliding in higher
              dimensional space for an infinite amt of time thus making
              possible every arrangement of the fundamental constants.
              How can one accept a theory which is by definition un-
              proveable?
              \_ By 'boring' I mean you can't have life as we understand it
                   -- low entropy entities that use energy to maintain their
                   state, or for that matter planets, stars and galaxies --
                   things needed to support life. -- ilyas
                   \_ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle
                 \_ The only way we can even talk about this is if we
                    happen to have the conditions for life.  So, just
                    out luck that we happen to have these conditions,
                    however small the chance.  It really doesn't prove
                    anything.
                            \_ And this is called the "weak anthropic"
                               principle.  For some strange reason, I can't
                               find anything in ID addressing it (which I'd
                               think would be important). -emarkp
                    \_ You don't understand.  This isn't meant to be a proof
                       of anything, but something requiring an explanation.
                         -- ilyas
                         \_ The point you're missing is that if there are
                            an infinite number of universes, only in the
                            ones where the physical laws are conducive to
                            the rise of intelligent life will there ever
                            be anyone to notice that the physical laws
                            are conducive to the rise of intelligent
                            life.  -tom
                            \_ And what if there isn't an infinite number of
                               universes?  Occam's razor says to assume the
                               least.  Why is it more 'expensive' to assume
                               intelligent design than to assume infinitely
                               many universes? -- ilyas
                               \_ Because intelligent design still presupposes
                                  a creator, which just pushes the question
                                  up a level; who created the creator?
                                  It's a lot easier to assume an infinitude
                                  of universes than to assume that an
                                  intelligent being somehow sprang into
                                  existence before the universe did.  -tom
                                  \_ So you would rather postulate an
                                     infinitude of worlds than suspend for a
                                     moment your intuitions borne of your
                                     linear perception of time?  Seems like
                                     people suspend intuitions a lot when
                                     looking at fundamental things -- consider
                                     quantum mechanics.  I should mention that
                                     'created' is a causal notion, and causality
                                     is an illusion, a way our brain organizes
                                     information.  There is no causality in
                                     physics. -- ilyas
                                     'created' is a causal notion, and
                                     causality is an illusion, a way our
                                     brain organizes information.  There is
                                     no causality in physics. -- ilyas
                                     \_ Wikipedia on "Causality (physics)":
                                        "special relativity has shown that it
                                        is not only impossible to influence the
                                        past"
                                        "Despite these subtleties, causality
                                        remains an important and valid concept
                                        in physical theories."
                                        \_ This is one of those cases where I
                                           know more about the subject matter
                                           than wikipedia.  There is no
                                           causality in physics, only in
                                           physicists.  The standing of
                                           causality in modern physics is so
                                           weak that even my advisor, a fairly
                                           influential causality guy, concedes
                                           that it's all likely an artifact of
                                           the human brain, and not an objective
                                           feature of reality.  On a slightly
                                           unrelated note, I wish people would
                                           stop quoting wikipedia as an
                                           authoritative source.  I read some of
                                           their 'contention' pages, and wasn't
                                           really impressed.  You don't have to
                                           look far to find wikipedia blatantly
                                           being wrong -- in the general
                                           Causality article, Pearl and
                                           Spirtes are listed under
                                           'Probabilistic Causality,' which is
                                           untrue, proponents of that area
                                           include Good, Cartwright, etc.
                                           Pearl/Spirtes are in 'Structural
                                           Causality.'  Wikipedia is trash.
                                             -- ilyas
                                           the human brain, and not an
                                           objective feature of reality.  On
                                           a slightly unrelated note, I wish
                                           people would stop quoting
                                           wikipedia as an authoritative
                                           source.  I read some of their
                                           'contention' pages, and wasn't
                                           really impressed.  You don't have
                                           to look far to find wikipedia
                                           blatantly being wrong -- in the
                                           general Causality article, Pearl
                                           and Spirtes are listed under
                                           'Probabilistic Causality,' which
                                           is untrue, proponents of that
                                           area include Good, Cartwright,
                                           etc. Pearl/Spirtes are in
                                           'Structural Causality.'
                                           Wikipedia is trash. -- ilyas
                                           \_ I support quoting of Wikipedia as
                                              an authoritative source, with
                                              disagreements with Wikipedia well
                                              disagreements with Wikipedia
                                              documented on motd for any sodan
                                              to evaluate. -jctwu
                                              to evaluate.  Wikipedia's
                                              usefulness significantly
                                              outweighs its negatives when
                                              used in this way. -jctwu
                                              \_ What usefulness?  It's an
                                                 encyclopedia and it's WRONG.
                                                 A lot.  Do you really want me
                                                 to look through the causality
                                                 article and list all things it
                                                 got wrong?  Wikipedia's
                                                 'usefulness' is misleading
                                                 people into thinking they
                                                 know something.  -- ilyas
                                                 \_ Then fix it man -- you're
                                                    extremely lucid in your
                                                    writing when you set your
                                                    mind to it.  That's one of
                                                    the nice things about
                                                    Wikipedia -- I assume that
                                                    people with brains and
                                                    enough confidence in their
                                                    knowledge go in and remove
                                                    blatant inaccuracies, so
                                                    as time goes on, the
                                                    overall quality of the
                                                    information gets better.
                                                    Don't get me wrong -- it's
                                                    still a source of info
                                                    which resides in the
                                                    internet and therefore is
                                                    deserving of a little
                                                    skepticism, but it's still
                                                    a damned handy reference.
                                                                   -mice
                                                 \_ It's a Wiki-based
                                                    encyclopedia, not a
                                                    traditional encyclopedia.
                                                    In your opinion, Wikipedia
                                                    is trash; I already stated
                                                    my opinion.
                                                    You could also submit a
                                                    change, but that's your
                                                    prerogative whether you
                                                    do or do not and why you
                                                    wouldn't.
                                                    I don't think we can get
                                                    any farther than this.
                                                    any farther on this.
                                                    One more thing you can do:
                                                    We can avoid the subjective
                                                    question of whether
                                                    Wikipedia is useful or not,
                                                    and you can instead explain
                                                    calmly and succinctly why
                                                    there is no causality in
                                                    physics, and/or post a URL
                                                    which says so.  Pretend
                                                    you're Feynman lecturing to
                                                    a freshman physics class.
                                                    -jctwu
                            \_ This logic appeals to me, but many find
                               it deficient.  Of course, if things weren't
                               conducive to us being here, we wouldn't be
                               here....  Those who have the most trouble
                               with this usually cite the incredible odds
                               against it.  However, with possibly a trillion
                               "trial" locations, over a span of billions of
                               years, it doesn't seem unlikely to me that
                               life would somewhere arise and ponder the
                               unlikelyhood of it all....  But the pondering
                               would 100% take place in those lucky, rare
                               locations that "won".  Like here.
                                         \-there is a good paper that assess
                                           the amount of "tolerance" we can
                                           have in various "free parameters"
                                           [i.e. the fundamental physical
                                           constants] in light of the
                                           anthropomorphic principle [the idea
                                           that we have to be here to to ask
                                           the questions] ... i can dig up
                                           the reference if there is interest.
                                           if you are interested in this
                                           you may want to review first review
                                           the list of free parameters ...
                                           some of them are pretty technical
                                           but you need some knowledge of what
                                           the are to see how things fit
                                           in terms of "dependencies". there
                                           are many good discussions of this.
                               \_ Who says there are "trials" or they take any
                                  "time"?  Why not "every possible existence
                                  that could be, is"?  And maybe that means
                                  there are an infinite number of existences,
                                  and maybe that means there are a finite but
                                  greater than one number and maybe that means
                                  this is it and the only it.  It's all just
                                  freshman lounge chat anyway since we can't
                                  ever know but this is better than a lot of
                                  the other motd/wall posts.
                   \_ Hey ilyas, tell us about the stars.  -aspo
                      \_ Aspolito is a meme's way of making another meme.
                           -- ilyas
        \_ ID is intellectual fraud.  It presents strawman arguments about
           evolution and largely consists of handwaving.  I can't distinguish
           between it and more sophisticated moon-hoaxers. -emarkp
           \_ Do other religious conservatives give you a lot of shit for
              being such a decent, rational person on science issues?
              I think it's fantastic to see someone who self identifies as
              a religious conservative speak out against these people.  You
              can probably get a lot more traction stopping them from destroying
              American science than us liberal jewish athiest scientists.
              can probably get a lot more traction stopping them from
              destroying American science than us liberal jewish athiest
              scientists.
              \_ I've never been criticized for it.  I point it out
                 misrepresentations of science when I see them, and
                 misrepresentations of religion when I see /them/.  I'm
                 particularly annoyed about ID because it is an attempt to
                 misrepresent science to defend the author of physical law, and
                 I just read a 30-page article this weekend from ID that read
                 like an anti-religion tract but was basically anti-Evolution.
                 -emarkp
        \_ ID isn't really about the universe and physical laws, but
           more about:  Goddamn, can you believe a tiny sperm and a tiny
           egg can combine and grow into one new human being, without anything
           else going wrong?  GAWD or ALIENS must have been involved!
           \- a fairly cool book on weird examples and corner cases in
              biology is THE DIVERSITY OF LIFE by EO WILSON. I found this
              quite readable and interesting and I have a fairly limited
              bio background. http://csua.org/u/czi
              \_ Cf. a good deal of Stephen Jay Gould's work on evolution.
                 \- isnt SJG soft on ID?
                    \_ No. Read Bully for Brontosaurus.
                 \- Some comments: the ID vs Evolution debate is somewhat
                    interesting for various reasons but it mainly has to
                    do with politics when hitting a low [like BUSH weighing
                    in about it] or philosophy of science [what is a theory
                    vs a collection of fact, what are standards of proof,
                    causality in an empirical or observational science].
                    if you are interested in actual debates on evolution,
                    those dont really concern the teleological or "invisible
                    hand" aspect of ID but other "legitimate" issues with
                    the various competing evolution theories.
                    dawkins and gould are the populerizers, but
                    you can also look at wilson, mayr [died recently too],
                    this fellow H. Orr, Stevene Pinker, matt ridley,
                    and r lewontin [recently gave a talk at berkeley]
                    and daniel dennet. a lot of these guys have secondary
                    agendas and strong personalities so it makes for
                    an interesting story/debate to follow.
        \_ The problems with ID are twofold: 1) It is not science, it is
           philosophy.  Don't teach philosophy in science classes.  And 2)
           As soon as you use the "The Wizard Did It" type of logic to explain
           the world then it's religion, not knowledge, and you can go to
           church to become indoctrinated in such a fashion.
2005/8/9-11 [Science/Biology] UID:39061 Activity:kinda low
8/9     Some news on evolution:
        "Convergent Evolution in Poison Frogs"
        http://csua.org/u/cyz (Yahoo! News)
        \_ That evolution crap is just a "theory".  In fact, God made
           the world in 7 days, just like it says in Genesis.  And I
           challenge anyone to prove to me different.  (I'll just deny
           all the evidence you present.)
           \_ actually, bible says he laid it to waste and remade it
              in 6 days and 1 day of rest
              \_ My book is holy!  Yours isn't!  And only I am qualified
                 to interpret my Holy Book!
        \_ I read this article, but what it does not make clear is how it is
           known that the frogs are not related. Geography doesn't tell the
           story. Could they have evolved from the same frog ancestor?
           \_ The article did not say the frogs are not related.  In fact the
              article calls the two frog species in the two continents
              "cousins".
              \_ Then, excuse this question from a non-bio guy, how is it
                 known to be a case of convergent evolution?
                 \_ Then there are three possibilities that it is not a case of
                    convergent evolution.  #1: they did not evolve, ie. God
                 \_ Then there are two possibilities that it is not a case of
                    convergent evolution.  #1: they did not not evolve, ie. God
                    is involved; #2: they did not evolve in separate
                    ecosystems, ie. they evolved in the same ecosystem, and
                    ecosystems, ie. they evolved in the same ecosystems, and
                    one species somehow traveled or were transported across the
                    Atlantic Ocean to the other continent and settled down.
                    #3: they did not evolve in separate ecosystems, ie. they
                    evolved in the same ecosystem, and the continents of Africa
                    and America separated only relatively recently instead of
                    millions (or whatever) of years ago as found by geologists.
                    Atlantic ocean to the other continent and settled down.
                    Take your pick.
                    \_ I am asking why they think that it *is*. I can think of
                       reasons why it might not be.
                       \_ Their reasons are that they think none of the
                          possible alternatives are true:  #1 is not true
                          because species do evolve and God did not create them
                          in their present forms.  (This is debatable.)  #2
                          is not true because they think poison frogs and ants
                          can't swim across the Atlantic and nobody
                          transported huge population of poison frogs and ants
                          across the Atlantic recently.  (I think this is
                          accepted.)  #3 is not true because geologists says
                          so.  (I think this is accepted.)   So, what remains
                          on thir table is their original claim that "these are
                          two instances of convergent evolution".  What remains
                          on our table is their claim and alternative #1.
                    millions (or whatever) of years ago as found by geological
                    scientists.  Take your pick.
                          because species do evolve as other evidences suggest,
                          and God did not create them in their present forms.
                          (This is debated.)  #2 is not true because they think
                          poison frogs and ants can't swim across the Atlantic
                          and nobody transported huge population of poison
                          frogs and ants across the Atlantic recently.  (I
                          think this is accepted.)  #3 is not true because
                          geologists says so.  (This is accepted.)   So, what
                          remains on their table is their original claim that
                          "these are two instances of convergent evolution".
                          What remains on our table is their claim and
                          alternative #1.
                          \_ Who said that the continents had to separate
                             recently? How do they know this adaptation is
                             recent? There are also lots of cases of animals
                             (especially frogs) being deposited in other
                             places by storms.
                             \_ There is a very easy method to determine
                                speciation, one only has to examine the
                                DNA, either mDNA or nuclear. One can
                                simply pick certain markers, something as
                                simple as a a RFLP, and determine how closely
                                a species is related. There is no need
                                to conjecture on the macroscopic since
                                we have had modern techniques to explore
                                evolution for well over fifty years now
                                in vitro.
                                \_ If they are related then I say it's not
                                   convergent evolution.
                                   \_ Convergent evolution, as stated in the
                                      article, is "the process in which
                                      organisms not closely related ......".
                                      So the two poison frog species can be
                                      related, and so are the two ant species.
                                      They just need to not be closely related.
                                      \_ Who defines how close? I mean,
                                         they are both frogs so of course
                                         they are related in some way.
                             \_ Hmm, good point that the adaptation might not
                                be recent.  Let's see what proof they have in
                                the full report in the upcoming issue of
                                Proceedings.
        \_ it's stupid, one frog in 22 eats a cigarette some lame
           scientist dropped and now they are evolving some new type
           of nicotine defense mechanism?
           \_ i agree. doesn't explain that ants eat plants..
              ants eat insects, honeydew and fruits.. and leafcutter
              ants cut leaves for storage (heating up their home)
              but not food.. this article blows..
           \_ Where in the article does it say anything about nicotine defense
              mechanism?  The mechanism in the article is about alkaloids.
                \_ nicotine is an alkaloid
                   \_ Yes, but not all alkaloids are nicotine.
                \_ can you read "However, this is some of the most
                   convincing evidence that plant-insect-frog toxin food
                   chains do exist"
                   \_ Yes I saw that, but please read the whole article.  Ths
                      observation on nicotine, and its suggestion of
                      plant-insect-frog toxin food chains, are separate from
                      the obesrvation on alkaloid defense mechanism.
                      \_ but half the article is on this. and the
                         most direct quotes from the scientist are about
                         this and not the alkaloid defense mechanism..
                      \_ yeah, but it shows how stupid these scientists
                         are... "most convincing" evidence but no facts
                         or evidence to be found .. so they claim
                         it as fact.. a lot of this bs is pervasive
                         among evolutionary scientist who forget to use
                         the scientific method and keep making theories
                         into facts..
                         \_ Why did you say they found "most convincing"
                            evidence and then say they found no evidence?  If
                            you meant no conclusive evidence, that's true and
                            the article never claims that there is conclusive
                            evidence.  Also, you said the article claim the
                            toxin food chain as a fact.  The article never
                            claims that either.  It stated that "they are not
                            sure how the chemical enters the frog's system.",
                            and that they only have convincing evidence, not
                            conclusive evidence.
                      \_ i agree, isn't it better that animals would
                         prefer to eat the nicotine laden frogs because
                         they'll get addicted to nicotine? and get
                         a good buzz out of it.. .. ? hehe
                  \_ that's a lot of faith.. a plant that has no
                     nicotine to be found anywhere, yet they
                     use this as the "most convincing" evidence?
                     sounds like bad science and blind faith.
                     \_ This is not bad science, because they are only using it
                        as convincing evidence, not conclusive evidence, and
                        they are not drawing any conclusion out of it.  Also,
                        they are not concluding whether there is or is not any
                        nicotine-producing plants, because "Our team has not
                        yet conducted a survey of possible nicotine containing
                        in the area where the nicotine-frog was found".
2005/8/2-4 [Science/Biology, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:38949 Activity:high
8/2     Bush comes out in support of teaching "intelligent design":
        http://csua.org/u/cwg (yahoo! news)
        \_ "People might cite George Bush as proof that you can be
           totally impervious to the effects of Harvard and Yale
           education."
           \_ It's those damned C students!
        \_ 55% of Americans (including 47% of Kerry voters) believe "God
           created humans in present form".  27% believe "humans evolved, God
           guided the process".  A mere 13% believe "humans evolved, God did
           not guide process".  About 2/3 of Americans want creationism taught
           along with evolution.  "Intelligent design" is solidly in the
           mainstream of American thought.
           \_ It's safe to say that Bay Area is the opposite of mainstream.
              I'm not sure if this is anything to be proud of anymore.
              \_ We shouldn't be proud of teaching our students um, science in
                 science classes?
           \_ 95% of Americans don't know what "Intelligent Design" means.
           \_ Yes, I lent her my assault rifle?  Sorry, did I miss something?
           \_ Creationism IS taught alongside evolution, just not in the same
              school.
              \_ The ironic part is that most Protestant denominations,
                 the Catholic Church, and a fair chunk of Judaism have
                 accepted evolution as part of God's plan.
                 \_ What's amusing is that, when I was at a fairly religious
                    (protestant) jr. high school, the biology teacher, who was
                    an extremely religious man, made it clear that he felt it
                    was his duty that we were taught evolution even if he
                    himself believed otherwise (he never ever said this in the
                    context of a class, and even outside of class only when we
                    pressed him on the matter.)  We had to take religion
                    classes, but even then they made very sure to only present
                    creationism and its ilk as "something some people believe
                    in".  -John
                 \_ Wouldn't that make it "Intelligent Design"?
                    \_ No.  Intelligent Design is a creationist critique of
                       evolutionary theory.  It has nothing to do with
                       science, and everything to do with Biblical literalism.
                       \_ Huh, well, stick me in with the other 95% of
                          Americans I guess.  According to Wikipedia, I
                          was thinking of Theistic evolution.
                       \_ Um, ID is formulated as a scientific hypothesis, from
                          what I understand of it.  There was a long ass motd
                          what I understand of it.  There was a long motd
                          discussion about it a while ago, complete with tom
                          making an ass of himself and everything. -- ilyas
2005/7/18 [Science/Biology] UID:38672 Activity:low
7/16    Darwin Stickers
        http://tinyurl.com/6y62o (swarthmore.edu)
        \_ It's a bit late now. This is the trend of America:
           http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/07/17/mega.church.ap
           \_ Nothing in that article says that the members of that church
              are opposed to evolution, but I generally agree w/ your sentiment
              that we are stuck in a strange society that embraces all the
              benefits of science while refusing to acknowledge the true nature
              of the world as revealed by science.
              \- parenthetically, society has now and then gone too far
                 in the other direction. see e.g. "positivism". but i
                 agree if i would king you would have to take pledge
                 renouncing creationism if you wanted antibiotics.
                 \_ Or using coal or oil.
              \_ Not to mention the fact that the current status of America
                 as a world superpower was fueled by our technical superiority
                 and leadership in the sciences in the 50s and 60s.
           \_ Best quote in that story "It was almost surreal"
        \_ I don't get the joke.  Are these a parody of some gangsta thing
           I've never seen?
           \_ I assume it's a parody of this:
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9_the_Giant_Has_a_Posse
2005/5/28-31 [Science/Biology] UID:37876 Activity:high
5/27    Smithsonian will show an 'Intelligent Design' movie:
        http://tinyurl.com/dx3v9 (nytimes.com)
        \_ http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/050530fa_fact is
           something on 'intelligent design' in this week's New
           Yorker.  I had never heard of the No Free Lunch theorem
           before. - danh
           \_ One thing that's somewhat embarassing for the classical
                                        \_ you go wrong right here
              Darwinian evolution is that scientists have been unable,
              despite being unburdened with ANY pieces of falsifying evidence
              (all such evidence presumably got eaten),
              to construct a compelling story for how bacteria came to be.
              In other words, you can make up any story whatsoever, and as long
              as the steps work, you have a theory!  No such story has been
              forthcoming, despite best efforts to the contrary.
              I am also a little iffy on the way this article talks about
              'good science.'  There's good science in the sense that lets you
              make predictions and get grants and explain the world, and
              there's good science in the sense of its explanation being true.
              Newtonian physics is good in the former sense (on the macro
              scales), Einstein physics is good in the latter sense (again, on
              the macro scales only).  I think the best response Darwinists
              can make is to redouble their efforts to explain the origin
              of life, and sudden complexity shifts in life's past, rather than
              try to discredit the movement from which some intelligent
              criticisms of their theory have emerged. -- ilyas
              \_ Is Darwinism really about the origins of life or about how
                 it evolved throught the time? I thought it was about
                 the later.
                 \_ I think the 'official' Darwinist position on the origin
                    of life precludes a 'designer,' which means Darwinists have
                    the burden of constructing a story of how it happened.
                      -- ilyas
                      \_ You're an idiot. If you can't make comprehensive posts
                         that aren't filled with factual errors and moronic
                         suppositions please refrain from posting about
                         science in general. "Einstein" physics indeed...
                    \_  evolution is a theory about a process by which
                        life changes.  It makes no claims about the existence
                        or  non-existence of a creator.
                        \_ In which case, proponents of evolution should leave
                           ID people alone, since they don't even contest any
                           evolutionary claims.  In practice, of course,
                           the theory of evolution and the theory of a
                           'mechanical' origin of life go hand in hand.
                           Also, some ID people contest certain dramatic
                           shifts being evolutionary, even after life has
                           existed.  -- ilyas
                    \_ I don't think that's really the case--at least I wasn't
                       taught that in school.  The New Yorker article points
                       out disagreements among ID.  One person saying evolution
                       may have produced current life once there was a cell,
                       another disagreeing.  It also points out that ID hasn't
                       produced a single prediction that can be verified by
                       experiment.  As such, it isn't science.  Really it
                       sounds like a bunch of whiners to me. -emarkp
                       \_ I am not defending ID as a scientific movement, I
                          merely point out it's not in good taste for
                          Darwinists to be attacking it on grounds other than
                          'your argument is bollocks.'  Some of ID arguments
                          are NOT.  Also, ID of course does make falsifiable
                          predictions about the world. -- ilyas
                          \_ I haven't seen any.  Can you point to them?
                             -emarkp
                             \_ Um.  The central claim that life cannot arise
                                by a blind process is falsifiable.  If
                                Darwinists succeed in creating a plausible
                                (or better yet, reproducible) story for life's
                                creation that will falsify the claim.  The
                                argument that something that doesn't make
                                experimentally falsifiable claims is not
                                science is extremely weak.  It's certainly
                                true, but many things that aren't science
                                make falsifiable claims.  -- ilyas
              \_ I don't remember much about AP Bio, but I remember being
                 taught that two strands of rna became dna at some point
                 and eventually dna figured out how to make cells (ie
                 bacteria).
              \_ Not that I follow the field, but I find it doubtful that
                 "no such story has been forthcoming". You might not find
                 them plausible but surely various people have offered
                 conjectures.
                 \_ Exactly.  Stanley Miller did a number of experiments in
                    which he filled chambers with the mix of elements generally
                    thought to coincide with early earth composition,
                    discharged an electrical spark and produced simple RNA.
                    There are a lot of assumptions involved, but it implies
                    that the process is possible.
                    \_ Stanley Miller did not produce a bacterium in a tube.
                       There is a huge jump in complexity between simple RNA,
                       which is, after all, just a big molecule, and a working,
                       reproductive cell.
                       I will find a story 'plausible' if it can be recreated
                       in laboratory conditions today, or, if it takes too long,
                       to be simulated by a computer.  -- ilyas
                       \_ Maybe we're all just simulations.
2005/4/29-5/1 [Science/Biology] UID:37423 Activity:low
04/29   New stem-cell procedure restore sight:
        http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1589642,00.html
        \_ sight at the cost of dead babies? it shall be evil sight.
           \_ Did you read the article? The stem cells uses are
              adult stem cells taken from the patients themselves.
              \_ Did you read the article?
                 "Tests on the patients after a year revealed no trace of the
                 DNA of the stem-cell donor"
2005/3/23-24 [Science/Biology] UID:36826 Activity:high
3/26    Wow, religion is getting stronger and stronger every day:
        http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/Movies/03/23/volcano.movie.ap
        \_ Don't you mean "ignorance of science?"
           \_ Is it ignorance or denial?
              \_ Given the state of our educational system, I'm much more
                 inclined to believe it is ignorance.  I think the number
                 of people who are just ignorant of biological science
                 far outweighs the number that actively deny its
                 underpinnings.
                 \_ um, no. People just want to hear what they like to hear.
                    Just look at the 2 Mormons on motd. They are well
                    educated but they choose to believe in something else.
                    It's their right, they can believe whatever they want.
                    \_ Wrong!  People don't even know what they like to hear.
                       They just don't want to think, so they want to be told
                       what to do and think.
                       \_ It's scary thinking on your own. What if you're
                          wrong? More importantly, what if it's different than
                          what your peers think? Then you might be mocked or
                          insulted.
                    \_ I don't think jrleek and emarkp are really a
                       representative slice of the general population.
                       Are you really trying to say that?
                    \_ I think the theaters are stupid for not showing the
                       movies.  I think evolution should be taught (and taught
                       /well/) in schools. -emarkp
                        \_ I am *SHOCKED* to hear this. I guess it's a good
                           and pleasant kind of shock, but still, a shock. I
                           guess when liberal news portray Religious folks
                           as supporters of "Intelligent Design", it's just
                           liberal trash news.
                           \_ That's probably what emarkp means by
                              "taught well"  -tom
                              \_ In as much detail as possible.  I didn't have
                                 much more in high school than survival of the
                                 fittest + handwaving.  I would like to see
                                 what current theory is about how an organism
                                 of more chromosomes can evolve from one of
                                 fewer, examples of complex structures evolving
                                 from simpler ones, etc.  We're homeschooling
                                 our kids and I'm actually looking for a good
                                 primer on modern evolutionary theory. -emarkp
                                 \_ You're better off finding a field biologist
                                    who'll let your kids tag along and learn
                                    by assisting.  I was homeschooled, and
                                    that's what I did.  It was awesome.
                           \_ Intelligent design and "creationist science" are
                              junk science.  They're science with an agenda,
                              which is bad bad bad. -emarkp
                              \_ you know, I'm beginning to feel bad for
                                 making fun of you... it's now more clear
                                 that you're not one of them.
                           \_ I never understood what conservative/religious
                              has to do w/ evolution.  Sure there are some
                              lunatics out there who think that god made the
                              world in 6 days (or whatever) but there are
                              plenty of conservatives who accept evolution
                              as generally true.
                              \_ You misunderestimate the american public.
                         http://gallup.com/poll/content/login.aspx?ci=14107
                                 \_ And God created Weapons of Mass Destruction
                                    in Iraq, and He was pleased with what he
                                    created.
                                 \_ And God said, "Let there be Weapons of
                                    Mass Destruction in Iraq", and He was
                                    pleased with what he created.
                                    \_ I Buh-LEEVE!!1!
2005/3/21-23 [Science/Biology] UID:36799 Activity:nil
3/21    An evolutionary basis for altruism
        http://www.newscientist.com/channel/being-human/mg18524901.600
        \_ see also http://www.ped.fas.harvard.edu/pdf_files/Nature04a.pdf
2005/3/3-4 [Science/Biology, Reference/Religion] UID:36501 Activity:moderate
3/2     To the person defending LDS, where's your Mormon Christain wingman
        like jrleek? Don't you guys always work in a pair? Why isn't he
        helping you out? I'm asking because the motd today reminds me of
        my undergrad experience. Everyday, I'd walk alone to/from Dwinelle,
        Wheeler, and Le Conte and I'm always approached by two well groomed,
        happy and occasionally attractive looking people asking me if I
        would be interested in joining them, and it always turns out to be
        something related to God, Church and Bible Study.
           Secretly I've always had this dream of pairing up with an athiest
        wingman in say, Jesuit School School of Theology. We would walk
        around and ask students if they'd be interested in joining our
        organization, and we would tell them that it's something related to
        Science, University, and Evolutionary Study. I wonder how many
        students would actually join us. Maybe we can even get enough
        people to fund a church where devouts can worship Science and maybe
        even start missionaries abroad.
        \_ If I ever move back to the bay area, I'll be a wingman for that.
        \_ jrleek is changing his own baby's diapers right now, just like
           BY had to do.  long live jrleek.  -vallard
        \_ Oh, I'm pretty lazy.  I'll post a response when some one states
           something untrue about the church, but emarkp started that
           argument and he can keep it. -jrleek
2005/2/22-23 [Recreation/Humor, Reference/Religion, Science/Biology] UID:36366 Activity:very high Cat_by:auto
2/22    Dear motd conservatives, what do you have to say about this:
        http://tinyurl.com/45m4w (Scientific American on evolution).
        We know who you are, please answer.
        \_ Read this and then maybe you can start to reconsider some of
           the assumptions implicit in your question:
           http://www.townhall.com/columnists/georgewill/gw20050106.shtml
           \_ Einstein meant he wasn't an atheist in the crusading sense, but
              he was an atheist in the essential, didn't believe in God sense:
              "From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and
              have always been an atheist ... I have repeatedly said that in
              my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You
              may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading
              spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due
              to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious
              indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of
              humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual
              understanding of nature and of our being."
              "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious
              convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do
              not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but
              have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be
              called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the
              structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."
              \_ Einstein is going to hell!                     -Christian
        \_ People are dumb, they believe all sorts of weird crap. Even on
           the MOTD, Berkeley, etc. I've encountered people who believe
           that evolution isn't a proven theory, or that quantum mechanics
           is wrong, or that classical mechanics is wrong and therefore
           invalid, or that a so-called "red state" is completely republican
           or a so-called "blue state" is completely democratic, or that
           tsunamis shouldn't cause deaths because people should be able
           to swim out of it, etc. etc. Trying to convince them otherwise
           is just a futile exercise in frustration because after a certain
           age people's minds just calcify. I mean, if you think about it
           seriously, doesn't the concept of a guy who can tell what's going
           on 24/7 on a planet with over six billion people seem a bit
           ridiculous? Or the fact that a bunch of migrant Jews would know
           better than anyone else that their version of god is the true
           version vs. all the others? If you think about it, it's somewhat
           ironic that a minor cultish sect of judaism took over the
           Western world. I bet if you were living back then in Roman times
           you'd bet the farm that we'd all still be praying to Jupiter in
           the next couple of milleniums. Of course, if you were talking to
           a Born Again Christian they'd say it proves their faith. What
           it really proves is that you can fool a lot of people a lot of
           the time, and we as a human species like to be fooled a lot.
           \_ See, I am not religious but I have a lot of problems with
              evolution.  For one thing, some evolution 'defenders' (it's very
              odd that a theory would need defenders in the first place) have
              taken on decidedly militant tones lately.  It's very misleading
              to talk about evolution as a 'proven theory,' firstly because
              evolution is an empirical claim and as such isn't something you
              prove, and secondly because there is no single 'theory of
              evolution.'  The theory, like many mature theories, undergone
              evolution.'  The theory, like many mature theories, has undergone
              several revisions because it disagreed with the data, and as
              such had to be fixed.  Evolution as a theory has a lot of problems
              that need fixing.  I wish people would stop wasting time with
              the fundies, and similarly stopped treating evolution itself in a
              fundy way, and started fixing problems with it.  Or finding new
              ways to hunt fossils.  On a related topic, I am very interested
              in the current state of the art on the origins of life question,
              which is the big unsolved gorilla you need to tackle if you
              accept the 'western secular' interpretation of life.  I would
              also like to add my extreme scepticism towards current
              explanations for certain events in the Earth's past, like the
              advent of multicellularity, and the Cambrian explosion. -- ilyas
              \_ I postulate God created the Universe! and left all those
                 fossils to lead the heathens to Satan
        \_ You seem to have confused "conservatives" with "young-earth
           creationists".  I'm the former, but not the latter. (And Scientific
           American proved itself as a rag in its attack on "The Skeptical
           Environmentalist") -emarkp
           \_ I really don't understand why people (on both sides) think
              evolution contradicts God/relligion.  What if God desgined
              the principle of evolution?
              \_ because the Bible is the "word of god", and evolution
                 directly contradicts most of the Bible's creation story.  -tom
                 \_ Some people (why, it's beyond me) interpret the Hebrew word
                    'yom' which was translated to English 'day' to mean a
                    literal 24-hour period in the highly symbolic account in
                    Genesis. -emarkp
                    \_ Even if you accept the idea that Genesis doesn't
                       represent literal days, it is still completely wrong.
                       And things like the Great Flood clearly never happened.
                         -tom
                       \_ There's no historical evidence of the exodus, yet I
                          accept that as history.  Some people argue for a
                          limited geography flood (rather than global) which
                          I'm objecting to less than previously.  I know that
                          the scientific evidence strongly contradicts the
                          flood--but then it also strongly contradicts the
                          resurrection, walking on water, etc.  I don't know
                          where dinosaurs figure in (or early hominids) but I
                          don't reject the scientific evidence, nor do I
                          dismiss the teachings of scripture. -emarkp
                          \_ yes, we're well aware of your ability to believe
                             mutually contradictory things.  My original point
                             was just that people who are not so good at that
                             find science to be threatening, since the
                             implication is that their "Word of God" is just
                             a bunch of made-up stories.  -tom
                             \_ It shouldn't be surprising that people can feel
                                threatened when their beliefs are attacked
                                on a regular basis by fallacious logic.  The
                                hard part is separating the reasonable
                                arguments (no scientific evidence for global
                                flood) vs. the fallacious assertions (Jesus
                                wasn't resurrected) vs. fallacious logic (God
                                can't create a rock too big to lift, so he must
                                not be omnipotent!). -emarkp
                                \_ Well, it's not that hard; you can do what
                                   you just did, which is put two red
                                   herrings out there to deflect from the
                                   fact that you've already lost the
                                   argument.  -tom
                    \_ Hewbrew? Some fundies have problems accepting the idea
                       that the King James version isn't the pure translation.
              \_ There are problematic issues when you accept evolution and try
                 to reconcile it with Adam and Eve.  Like, who were the birth
                 parents of Adam & Eve?  Did they have souls, etc.? -emarkp
                 \_ what if the birth parents of adam&eve had slightly
                    different mitochondrial dna and rna..  the mutation in
                    eve's mitochondrial dna and/or rna resulted in a new
                    species (since mitochondrial dna and rna is only passed
                    down maternally.) (of course, this is assuming that
                    it was not literally adam's rib that resulted in eve.)
                 \_ That's the trouble with religion.  You never know which
                    bits of nonsense are 'highly symbolic' (i.e. 'yom') and
                    which are literal truth (i.e. Adam and Eve).  It's fairly
                    obviously to me Adam and Eve were not literally first
                    obvious to me Adam and Eve were not literally first
                    humans. -- ilyas
                    \_ But they appear to have been real individuals who made
                       an important decision.  But then I believe that prophets
                       today clairfy sticky issues like that. -emarkp
                       \_ Wow.  That's really cool.  In my religion, prophets
                          get like, nailed to crosses, or beheaded or end up
                          wandering aimlessly in deserts for 40 years.  What's
                          your current prophet's name?  I'd like to send him an
                          email and get some clarifications.  thanks.
                       \_ What makes you think they were real? Just because
                          there's a legend about them? Don't you see how
                          fucking retarded that is?
                          \_ I accept the Bible as a record of revelations.  I
                             don't claim it to be perfect/inerrant, etc.
                             Reading that record strongly indicates there were
                             two people named Adam and Eve in Genesis. -emarkp
                             \_ You don't address my question. I ask you why
                                accept that. There's no basis for accepting it.
                                \_ You asked if I believed that Adam and Eve
                                   were real just because there's a legend
                                   about them.  Reparsing that, my answer is:
                                   no. -emarkp
                                   \_ Well my further question is why you
                                      accept the bible as a record when there
                                      are obvious problems with that. Just
                                      taking the Mormon stuff separately, you
                                      are basing a huge set of beliefs on the
                                      mere assertion of one man. I find that
                                      to be ridiculous. And absurd that God
                                      would operate in such a feeble fashion.
                                      (Although I believe the same basically
                                      goes for Christ, at least the claim there
                                      is that various miracles were witnessed
                                      by multitudes.)
                                      \_ Along this thread, i've wondered why
                                         the Stargate series hasn't touched on
                                         christianity.  seems a logical plot
                                         path.
                                      \_ One man?  How's that?  There were 11
                                         witnesses of the golden plates that
                                         the BoM was translated from. -emarkp
                                         \_ Oh 11? I wasn't aware of that. See,
                                            God's not too good at getting His
                                            message across. Since 11 people
                                            saw it I'll believe it now.
                                            \_ Glad I could help.
                                               \_ What would you do if somehow
                                                  something came up that proved
                                                  Mormonism was untrue? Would
                                                  be willing to accept that or
                                                  just have faith that it's
                                                  true anyway? I guess I'm
                                                  thinking like a verifiable
                                                  diary of the dude admitting
                                                  he cooked it all up in order
                                                  to reap the benefits of
                                                  ruling a cult.
         \_"Religion is regarded by the common people as true,
            by the wise as false, and by
            rulers as useful." -- Seneca
            by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful." -- Seneca
                \_ Great quote, thanks.  I also found this quote by the
                   same:  "I don't trust liberals, I trust conservatives".
                   Heh.
        \_ http://www.skinnypanda.com/pastepisodes/2005/05-02-21.gif
           \_ This is hilarious!!! Best jotd, thanks for sharing this.
           \_ how many death threats did the author get from this?
           \_ Crap I laughed my ass off -- One of the more brilliant things
              I've seen on the internet so far -- much better than "tubgirl"
        \_ 1. Conservative != Religious.  I'm sure there are plenty of
           atheist conservatives.  2.  You cannot reason with religious people
           about their religion, especially if it's Christianity/Islam/
           Mormonism, etc., religions that say "This is the way the Universe
           works exactly even if your own eyes say otherwise", as opposed to
           other religions that don't try to tell you exactly how the Universe
           works but just try to give people a moral framework and some
           philosophical insight.  Like Governor Jesse Ventura said, religion
           is mostly for people who cannot deal with the philosophical
           implications of what happens when you die, when did the Universe
           begin/was it always here/how will it end, etc.  If you cannot
           figure it out yourself, life becomes hard because it makes reality
           harder to cope with.  So you turn to religion to give you answers.
           Or, you've been brought up with it or your country/community
           encourages/forces it.
           But trying to "reason" with religious people is hopeless since they
           have already accepted conflicting information in order to gain the
           above answers to the difficult questions of life, even if it does
           seem silly to some to base your understanding of reality on texts
           writting 2000+ years ago.  Would you trust a surgeon from 2000 years
           ago to operate on you?
2005/2/12-14 [Science/Biology] UID:36152 Activity:very high
2/12    Informal poll: who is your favorite philosopher and why (if the
        explanation can be short)? -- ilyas
        \_ Squashed philosophers:
           http://www.btinternet.com/~glynhughes/squashed -John
        \_ I kant pick just one!
           \_ We should locke you out of the motd for that.
              \_ Die both of you.
                 \_ No chance of that, marx my words.
                    \_ Scheler you can't be serious.
                       \_ Are you mach-ing me?
                          \_ That's sarte-nly a possibility, isn't it?
                             \_ And a hume-ongous one at that.
                                \_ I really hobbes so
                                   \_ Jesus, guys.
                                      \_ Foucault of you. -- ilyas
                                         \_ They haven't really abused the
                                            names, just bentham a bit...
                                            \_ Alright, will you guys
                                               stop milling around and get
                                               back to the topic at hand?
                                Seconded.  There must be better things _/
                                to do than russell-ing with these
                                awful puns.
                                \_ Stop it, you're confuciusing me
                                   \_ yes these are weber-low expectations.
                                      \_ Dewey stop, or dewey continue?
                                         \_ Dude, this rawls!
                                            \_ I think this thread reached a
                                               new Plato of pain. -- ilyas
                                               \_ I think this thread has
                                                  pretty thoreau-ly covered the
                                                  subject.
                                                  \_ Occam on.  There's probably
                                                     some life still left.
                                                       -- ilyas
        \_ Hobbes (the tiger)
        \_ Sarte . Life is meaningless
           \_ You misspelled Sartre.
                \_ This is meaningless
        \_ speaking of philosophers, can someone explain which philosophers
           would agree more with different ideologies? For example, Marx
           would agree more with Communism, Darwin would agree with more
           with say, libertarians (every man for himself, survival of the
           fittest), etc etc.
           \_ I don't know much about Darwin's philosophical ideas, so maybe
              he actually did believe in that, but in general the "survival
              of the fittest" stuff is a scientific observation. I don't see
              any reason why he couldn't be a complete communist. Just because
              one observes a certain facet nature doesn't mean one has to
              believe in that as a philosophy. I also admit to being rather
              illiterate on most of this stuff but I doubt Marx would have
              approved of the form that communism has taken... how did the
              classic socialist/communist writers propose leadership to be
              designated? I was under the impression that they simply
              overlooked that aspect.
              \_ Well answered.  Being Darwin wouldn't necessarily make
                 Darwin a Darwinist.
                 \_ "Darwinism" is a scientific term.  "Social Darwinism"
                    is a political term that has little to do with the man.
                    \_ You're right, I mistook "Darwinist" as equivalent to
                       "Social Darwinist".  According to webster, they're not.
                       Thanks for the correction.
        \_ Jesus - GWB
        \_ Berkeley
           \- aka Ride Bike Drive Hybrid Use Linux Go Vegan Homo Loving
              Anti Nuclear Left Wing Nuts
              \_ Hey, don't dis the hybrids man -- they're pretty sweet.  You
                 can pretty keep or toss the rest, though.
                 can pretty much keep or toss the rest, though.
              \_ You left out free pot and mumia
                 \_ Nice zeugma there.
                 \_ Berkeley is the name of a philosopher, dipwads
                    \_ Here he is:
                       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Berkeley
                    \_ Someone can't take a joke.
2004/12/25-27 [Science/Biology] UID:35438 Activity:insanely high
12/25   Why don't religious types who hate the theory of evolution cry about
        gravity being taught in high school physics?
        \_ Because 'theory' or not, gravity does not contradict anything in
           the bible.
        \_ Because they have about an 8th grade level education and it
           never occurred to them.
        \_ natural law was created by god
        \_ Because Newton was a devout Christian?
        \_ I'll vote for an overturn of gravity.  Gravity sucks.
        \_ It's hard to argue with 9.8m/s^2 in the here and now.
           it's verfiable, repeatable, and subject to continual experiments
           that can be completed within ones lifttime.
           \_ Just like evolution, gravity is a *theory* and not a *fact*.
              Schools should be emphasizing this and not teaching gravity
              as a universal truth.
              \_ Actually, Newton's gravitational theory is known to be wrong,
                 thanks to the accurate predictions of general relativity. I
                 don't think any effort is made to hide this fact.  Of course,
         at some level GR has to be wrong because of its inconsistincies
         with quantum mechanics, which in turn could only be an absolute
                 truth if God is a sick bastard.
                 \_ Newton's gravitational theory is NOT wrong. It is merely
                    incomplete. It's a great fallacy of the layperson who
                    has an incomplete understanding of classical mechanics
                    to believe that it is "wrong". If you were to argue
                    that classical mechanics is "wrong" then you'd have to
                    assume that 90% of science is "wrong" in the sense
                    that we utilize approximations for almost everything.
                    In fact, Newton's gravitational theory is what general
                    relativity approximates to in day-to-day observation.
                    Your definition of what "wrong" is is plainly idiotic.
                    -williamc
                    \_ I can't believe I'm being called a layperson by a
                       fucking sysadmin.  Newtwon's laws of gravitation
                       predict, among other things, an incorrect result
                       for the precession of the perihellion of Mercury.
                       GR gets the right answer, Newton's laws don't.
                                   \-GR gets a "better" answer.
                       Period.  The sense in which it is wrong is exactly
                       the sense in which creationists and their ilk are
                       claiming that evolution is not "right" as an absolute
                       truth.  I agree that that is a red herring which would
                       render most science wrong in some sense, but I think
                       that is precisely the point.  It is yet another way
                       for the right to try to not just fight a specific
                       scientific/political battle but to try to undermine
                       the very essence of science.
                 \_ QM has fully deterministic interpretations. -- ilyas
                    \_ Which almost no one believe.
                    \_ Which almost no one believe. I'm not saying they're
                       wrong.  I have no opinion one way or the other, but
                       these fundamental philosophical questions about QM
                       are awfuly hard to resolve experimentally.
                       \_ On the contrary, if no one believed in QM then
                          we wouldn't be sitting here typing to each other
                          on MOSFET driven devices, idiot. -williamc
                          \_ re-read the fucking post, idiot.  I meant the
                     deterministic interpretations of quantum mechanics.
                             The philosophical interpretations of quantum
                             mechanics have no bearing on practical predictions
                             or applications like MOSFET design.
                       \_ Your brain has been classified as: small.
                          \- you must pay me 5cents.
                             \_ ?
              \_ it is far more testable and verifiable via experiment than
                 evolution is (at the moment).
        \_ Biogenesis evolution is equivalent to a religious cult for
           secular extremists.
           \_ I think the appropraite response to this is "fuck you and die."
              \_ this is perfect example of cult behavior.
                 \- the comparison between the "evolution debate" and the
                    physics theories arent really comparable because the
                    anti-evolution crowd is not attacking they evolution
                    theory scientifically but are affimatively pushing a
                    crazy and non-scientific "explanation" [sic]. it's like
                    saying "newton's theory is wrong because it doenst
                    explain clairvoyance or telekinetic motion." something
                    like refining evolution from the crude species theory
                    to something more sophisticated on genes may be more
                    comparable to the "upgrade" to relativisitic theory. --psb
                        \_ from wikipedia: Since the emergence of modern
                         genetics in the 1940s, evolution has been
                         defined more specifically as a change in the
                         frequency of alleles from one generation to the next.
2004/10/12-13 [Politics/Domestic/California, Science/Biology, Health/Disease/General] UID:34070 Activity:very high
10/12   "We will stop juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's,
        Alzheimer's and other debilitating diseases. America just
        lost a great champion for this cause in Christopher Reeve.
        People like Chris Reeve will get out of their wheelchairs
        and walk again with stem cell research."
        -John Edwards.  Hallelujah!
        \_ Let me guess, you have a problem with that. Would you
           be more satisfied if he said he plans to leave everyone
           with those diseases to suffer while we spend our money
           on other things?
           \_ I have a problem with Edwards promising millions of sick
              people something he can't deliver in a cynical attemp to
              get votes from the desperately ill.  You're ok with that.
        \_ We need less Homer Simpsons, and more money for public schools!
        \_ But what does Bud Day think about this???
                \_ Why do you hate Bud Day?
2004/9/8 [Science/Biology, Reference/Religion] UID:33411 Activity:high
9/7     It is time for MOTD's monthly evolution vs creationism debate:
        Serbia strikes blow against evolution,
        Creationism put on equal footing with Darwinism.
        http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5932128
        \_ here's a challenge to you religious people.  which is more
           impressively godly, a god who has to construct everything in
           the universe individually, or a god who can write down a simple
           set of physical laws and then sit back and watch for several
           billion years as intelligent life evolves according to His
           plan?  do you worship brute force?
           \_ False dichotomy.  The really big problem with this whole
              discussion is that many religious people see their beliefs
              threatened by agenda driven research, or anti-religion spin put
              on science (and there is some truth to that--there are some
              atheists who will do anything to spin research).  Atheists cringe
              at any effort to "prove" god, since in their opinion he obviously
              doesn't exist and anyone who disagrees is just deluding himself.
              *Real* scientists shouldn't care one way or another unless claims
              (pro- or anti-religion) are testable and falsifiable.  Then there
              are believers who try to show other believers that science is not
              a threat to *good* religion and wish both sides would stop
              misrepresenting the other.
              \_ false dichotomy! agenda-driven science! consensus science!
                 activist judges! liberal homosexual agenda!  w00t!
        \_ I would support it if only they would also give equal footing
           to the study of witchcraft. No one has disproved witchcraft.
           http://www.malleusmaleficarum.org/part_I/mm01_toc.html
2004/8/29-30 [Politics/Foreign/Europe, Science/Biology] UID:33205 Activity:nil
8/29    The re-animator: http://tinyurl.com/538aa
2004/8/12 [Science/Biology, Academia/Berkeley/CSUA] UID:32870 Activity:high
8/12    On a related note, how to turn lazy, procrastinating soda users
        into productive people:
        http://csua.org/u/8kr (longer LA Times article)
        \_ Great. Tack that onto my speed habit and I might as well be
           surgically grafted into my office chair.
           \_ Speed habit?  Did sky and muchandr suddenly relapse?
        \_ That just makes confirms that laziness is a sign of higher brain
           function.
2004/6/9 [Science/Biology] UID:30699 Activity:high
6/9     To those people who don't believe that "evolution is set in stone,"
        what exactly is it that you don't "believe"? Evolution through natural
        selection is a process, much like how a quicksort would work. What
        arguments would you have against evolution? I find it puzzling that
        people would accept that a quicksort would work without question but
        question naturally selective  [formatd.  learn 80 columns]
        \_ I personally find 'macro-evolution' if not necessarily 'wrong,'
           then extremely counterintuitive.  My main problem is the origin
           of bacterial life, which, as people below noted, is not evolution's
           department per se. -- ilyas
        \_ quicksort-- seeing is believing. You can observe quicksort and
           see that the algorithm works by trial and error, and by induction,
           proof, etc. Evolution-- can't observe it. You can make convincing
           arguments based on solid facts and theory, and you can prove
           it via small examples (British butterfly evolve to match the
           color of the pollution) but you can't prove the entire history
           of evolution, and you certainly can't prove it by via induction
           or any other method.
        \_ I believe you can evolve to using 80 character columns.
           genetic algorithms. -williamc
           \_ Your rationale is terribly flawed. One can say the same thing
              about physics. Just because we have done a lot of experiments
              proving that there is a gravitational constant doesn't mean
              that G is the same everywhere if we were to follow that line
              of thinking. The same can be said for quicksort, you have a
              certain "faith" in your inductive process that it works. If
              you posit that your inductive method for mathematically proving
              quicksort works is valid you have to give the same credence
              to something like a genetic algorithm, which has been also
              mathematically proven. If that's the case then you
              will have to agree that inductively we can apply
              such an algorithm to biology. If biology were to follow
              a quicksort algorithm vs. that of a genetic algorithm
              then you would have to come to the conclusion evolution
              occurs through quicksort. There is ample evidence that
              biology follows a genetic algorithm, and you can actually
              observe evolution at work on a small scale on a daily basis.
              In fact, we use it everyday in recombinant DNA and in dog
              breeding. There is also unequivocal evidence that all
              life forms of significance pass their genes to subsequent
              generation. In other words, the only way you can "doubt" that
              evolution occurs through the process of genetic algorithms is if
              you A) Reject inheritable traits B) reject the concept that things
              change over time (in other words evolution) C) Reject the cellular
              you A) Reject inheritable traits B) reject the concept that things
              change over time (in other words evolution) C) Reject the cellular
              basis for life D) Reject genetic algorithms as a valid algorithm.
              In addition if you follow the conventional wisdom of
              "seeing is believing" then I suppose you believe in magic,
              little green men from mars, and that hobbits really do exist on
              Middle Earth. -williamc
              \_ I think that science and belief are simply independent.
                 Most of the scientists I know (including me, probably) have
                 at least one kooky belief within the realm of the unproven
                 and non-disproven.  How is believing in hobbits going to
                 stop me from advancing science by, say, trying to measure
                 k_B better?
                 \_ It's not, until you start demanding that we teach hobbits
                    to 6th graders, to the exclusion of real science.
              \_ I suppose that someone could decide that evolution happens
                 but reject the idea that a new species can occur, i.e. lose
                 the ability to interbreed... but this is a stupid notion
                 because there is evidence and observation of this too.
              \_ The arguments I've heard is that there are two things:
                 micro-evolution and macro-evolution.  micro-evolution is
                 accepted by all scientists but not macro-evolution.  There
                 is also the question of why we aren't seeing a continuous
                 spectrum of living things as opposed to say lion and leopard,
                 evolution is supposed to happen through these accumulated
                 tiny genetic changes, but why does it often result in these
                 very distinctive species?  I read some answer somewhere
                 but it wasn't very convincing at all.
                 \_ It looks like you're looking for an explanation of
                    "speciation".  I think the accepted argument is that if
                    you start with a homogenous population, and provide 2
                    different ecological niches (either habitats, food sources
                    or lifestyles).  Members of the homogenous population will
                    go into one niche or the other.  Animals in niche 1 will
                    tend to interbreed with others in niche 1 and will have
                    fewer chances to breed with those in niche 2.  If an
                    adaptation favorable to those in niche 1 occurs, it will
                    spread throughout animals in niche 1 due to "survival of
                    the fittest".  That adaptation will not have much chance to
                    spread to niche 2 because of limited interbreeding, and the
                    adaptation might be unfavorable to those living in niche 2.
                    As animals in the different niches accumulate more
                    different changes, they become less likely (or able) to
                    interbreed, and so the rate of differentiation accelerates.
                \_  A similar problem appears in the fossil record.
                    Basically, you don't see slow changes though history,
                    you see large sudden changes.  For example, For
                    millions of years you have fossils of the same kinds
                    of fish.  Then, all of a sudden, all those fish are
                    gone, and it's a completely new set of fish in the
                    record.
                    \_ You can selectively breed a hairless chihuahua from a
                       wolf in under 10,000 years.
                       \_ I heard that's more because of some unique
                          characteristic of dogs than anything else.
                          all cats look more or less the same for example.
                          \_ Do tell...
                             \_ don't remember.  heard from a friend.
                                something to do with the unique way dogs grow
                                such that one can arrest their growth, thus
                                making dogs like chihuahua, which essentially
                                never grew up.
                    \_ The fossil record has a relatively coarse time
                       resolution.  If there was some event to cause a major
                       change in climate/habitat/food sources, it might cause
                       everything to evolve to adapt or die out within only
                       a few hundreds or thousands of generations, but for
                       most animals, that would mean completely new species
                       appear in only 10-100 thousand years.  The fossil record
                       would completele miss that change unless it was fairly
                       recent.  After all, maybe only 1 in a million animals
                       get fossilized.
                       \_ All correct, but in order to adapt, you either

                          need a whole lot of mutation, or the genes have
                          to already exist.  (As in the London moth case.)
                          This evolution seems to be happening on a much
                          larger scale, and faster than predicted.
                          \_ In just a few decades a Soviet scientist trying to
                             breed less viscous minks created a breed that has
                             floppy ears, spotted coats and 'barks'; 3 things
                             never seen in wild minks.  Where did these new
                             genes come from?  It turned out they were all side
                             effects of having the adrenaline system become
                             underactive.  Turning one gene off produced a wide
                             range of seemingly unrelated effects.
        \_ The whole debate about any scientific theory being "set in stone"
           or a matter of belief is a reflection of both sides' lack of
           understanding of science or of what the point of science education
           is.  The loudest people on both sides of this issue are generally
           not scientists...besides, given that only about a week of a
           typical yearlong course on biology is devoted to evolution,
           and that it's not really important to major political issues
           or technology, it's unclear to me why people care so much.
           \_ natural selection has huge consequences for technology as well
              as implications for politics. http://www.nonzero.org evolution
              is a powerful model.
        \_ Why bother to find out? It's already set in stone. Whether you
           understand it or not is predetermined. You either do, or you don't.
        \_ how about asking this question to the undergrads at Texas,
           Tennessee, and South Carolina? Soda is not exactly the right
           place to ask this question. Also, learn to obey 80 columns!!!
           \_ Learn to not be so annally retentive.
        \_ I think that creationists (some anyway) accept natural
           selection. They can understand how one species can acquire
           traits that eventually turn it into another. The issue is
           whether an amoeba can turn into an elephant. That process is
           not clear at all. Worse still, how can a soup of primordial
           chemicals turn into the amoeba to begin with?
           \_ Creationists don't even bother to learn what they're arguing
              against. Is it easier to start from fish? How about fish to
              elephants? Evolution (genetic processes) isn't incompatible
              with an idea of a more limited creation.
              \_ I view it as not more limited, but more elegant.
           \_ Evolution doesn't explain how primordial chemicals turn into
              amoeba nor does it say that it's not possible for God to
              have created the first amoebas from which everything else
              evolved.  Why can't people just accept that the Bible or
              any religion for that matter are all human constructs?
                                                        --jeffwong
              \_ You are both describing "scientific creationism" which
                 sounds reasonable but which is rejected by science simply
                 because science often despises religion. Evolution is a
                 gospel to some.
                 \_ Science seeks to explain phenomena through verifiable
                    facts.  Since a true "act of God" is not a testable
                    hypothesis, it is almost by definition outside of science.
                    For a field of science to include as a premise an act of
                    God is essentially to hang the whole logical construct on
                    an unverifiable assumption.  It would be like a theorem
                    in math saying "1+1=2, except when God changes it."
                    \_ It is more philosophy than science, but rather than
                       allowing for the possibility that evolution did not
                       create all life as we know it it is taken as fact.
                       1+1=2 for given assumptions. Evolution is just a
                       theory.
                    \_ I asked God.  He proved to me scientifically that he
                       created both the amoeba and the elephant.  Adam named
                       them, though.  God wasn't much on naming things after
                       the first few days.
                 \_ Two kinds of scientific creationism:  1) God created all
                    of this through the engine of natural selection; works
                    because the acceptance of God as creator does not impede
                    accepting the most rational explanation, but simply adds
                    a layer of faith the to mix. 2) God created all of this
                    as described in the Bible, subject to a few tricks of
                    physics but without resorting to evolution; doesn't work
                    because it requires the substitiution of faith for good
                    old scientific reasoning.  The latter tends to get scoffed
                    at by scientists; the former tends to be incomprehensible
                    to atheist scientists but doesn't elucidate the same sense
                    of scorn.
2004/6/9 [Science/Biology] UID:30696 Activity:very high
6/9     He gets a little crazy at the end, but he's got a point.
        Religious Zealots in schools:
        http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=38861
        \_ Yeah, and what's the deal with gravity anyway? I have no
           conclusive evidence that it exists. Back in my day, we didn't
           have no fancy "science" to teach us about the world. We had
           the Bible, and dagnabit, it was good enough for us!
        \_ They're only religious zealots if you consider science a religion,
           which some (mostly nonscientists) do.  Schools don't teach any
           science other than the generally-accepted theory.  You have to go
           to college if you want to learn about fringe theories.  Since
           schools have to teach such a broad curriculum, I don't have a
           problem with them teaching only the most popular theories.
           \_ I only consider science a religion when people treat it as
              religion.  This point is made in the editorial, but it's
              somewhat obsured by his retoric. Most people I know treat
              somewhat obscured by his rhetoric. Most people I know treat
              evolution as religion, not science.  In science it's ok to
              know the problems with your theories.  Not so with most
              evolution advocates.  To them it's like the bible, "It's the
              TRUTH, it is the WORD.  Evolution is FACT!"  That makes it a
              religion.  You don't need craky theories to point out
              problems in evolution's case, it's full of them.
              \_ I don't know a single person who treats evolution as a fact
                 or unassailable truth.  The strongest defence of it I've seen
                 is someone saying that it's an accepted theory.
                 \_ Man, you should get out more.
              \_ When your viewpoint IS a religion, it's natural to assume
                 everyone with an opposing view has religious-like faith
                 in their viewpoint.
                 \_ Nah, I think it's just the self-rightousness that
                    reminds me of religion.
                 \_ How about this quote from my High School Bio teacher?
                    "Yeah, it's sceince so we call evolution a theory, but
                    it's really fact."  (Ok, it's paraphrased, it was 7
                    years ago.)
                    \_ Theory doesn't mean what you seem to think it means.
                       Perhaps you should have listened better or asked more
                       questions at the time.
           \_ You're letting the right-wing anti-intellectuals define the
              debate again.  Evolution is the most widely accepted scientific
              explanation of the facts and, as such, deserves its place as the
              theory of choice in educating the youth.  The "growing minority
              of scientists" who challenge evolution are growing because it
              would be impossible for their number to shrink without swiftly
              approaching zero.  Darrow made it impossible for the fundies to
              do away with evolution altogether, so they're trying instead to
              insinuate their fictions into the debate through pseudo-
              reasonable discourse, but before you know it, they're showing off
              pictures of dinosaurs standing with neanderthals and voting to
              standardize pi as 3.
              \_ I also find it amusing that the religious nuts don't feel the
                 need to go after the physics and math curriculum(except for
                 the pi thing.)  To me, e^(i*theta)=cos(theta) + i*sin(theta)
                 is much more indication of a god than anything in biology...
                 And what about all the time spent on Newton's law of
                 gravitation which is *known* to be wrong?
                 \_ Because it's right 99% of the time, and the 1% where it's
                    wrong is too complicated for high-school kids.
                    \_ right, and that sounds really reasonable to me, since
                       i'm a scientist, but that's not the point.  predictions
                       of how biology works based on evolution are also right
                       >99% of the time, but for some reason the religious nuts
                       want people to make a big deal out of that in spite of
                       the fact that all the science taught in school, and even
                       a lot of the math has some problems if you really
                       look deeply at the Truth of the matter.  It shows a
                       basic failure to understand how science works.  The job
                       of a science teacher is not to teach truth in some
                       absolute sense, it's to teach what works, which includes
                       both evolution and newtonian gravitation.
                   \_ You all realize the Pi thing is a myth, right?
                       \_ sounds reasonable except the "predictions of
                          how biology works based on evolution are also
                          right > 99% of the time" part.  evolution nuts
                          want people to believe evolution is like set
                          in stone.  it's not.
                       \_ Could you describe what you mean by 99% of
                          experiments, and maybe a few example links?
                   \_ You all realize the story about religious nuts
                      legislating Pi to 3 is an urban ledgend, right?
                      http://www.snopes.com/religion/pi.htm
                      Snopes doesn't meantion that the value they wanted
                      to legislate was 16/5 or 3.2.  This was in 1897.
                      The bill was not religiously modivated, as I recall,
                      it had something to do with standardizing
                      mesurements.  Not that this makes it ok, but it does
                      make you stupid.
                      \_ I could see some value in a commerce-based standard
                         for Pi.  If some commodity is commonly sold by the
                         barrel, and you want to translate that into some other
                         volume, there might be value in a law saying "You can
                         use Pi=3.2 in your conversion and the other guy can't
                         sue you for cheating him."
                         \_ no way.  the same could be said then for 1/3, 2/3,
                            etc., but it's not relevant.  The uncertanty will
                            always be limited by the rest of the problem, and
                            the number of digits of pi used will depend on
                            the precision to which the diameter is known and
                            the precision to which you need to know the
                            circumference.  This will never be more than, say
                            10 digits or so at the *absolute* maximum, and
                            since we know millions of digits, its just not
                            relevant.
                         \_ Sorry, looks like I was wrong about the reason
                            being standarization, it had something to do
                            with a math crank.  link:
            http://www.daft.com/~rab/liberty/Miscellaneous/Pi-bill-Indiana
            \_ Catch this part?:
        Fortunately, Indiana has, or had, a bicameral legislature.  The bill
        came up for first reading in the Senate on Thursday, February 11.
        Apparently deciding to have some fun, they referred it to the Committee
        on Temperance.  The Committee reported back on Friday, February 12,
        approving the bill, which then had its second reading.
              \_ Pi is 22/7ths, just as Jesus intended.
                 \_ If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for
                    me.
                    \_ If God had meant man to fly, he wouldn't have invented
                       trains.
2004/6/3-4 [Science/Biology, Reference/History/WW2/Germany] UID:30584 Activity:high
6/3     http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2284783.stm
        Hitler would have killed himself after seeing this report.
        \_ On of the princes of Denmark is married to an asian...
           \_ Yes, we Danes have always been advanced in choosing mates for
              personality, looks, and intelligence.  It's what's kept us
              beautiful all these centuries.  Oh, and helped spread our
              seed all over the world.
                \_ Teutonic knight, +4 hitpoint +4 armor +1 range +1 maneuver
                   \_ Those were Germans.
              \_ nah, in this case it's the asians who are spreading their
                 genes to far flung corners of the world.
2004/4/1-2 [Science/Biology] UID:12969 Activity:low
4/1     HAHAHAHAHA OOPS.  Another Darwin award winner:
        http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/04/01/rape.fantasy.reut/index.html
        \_ he didn't kill himself.
           \_ Okay, potential Darwin award nominee then.
           \_ The article says she attacked his testicles.  If he can't
              reproduce, he's a legitimate candiate.
        \_ At least his mind was cool enough to stop and ask, instead of
           overwhalmed by the consensual sex he thought he was about the get
           and went ahead and raped the woman anyway.
           \_ Yeah, he's not that dumb/evil.  He made a simple mistake under
              highly unusual and salacious circumstances.
2004/2/6-7 [Science/Biology, Science/GlobalWarming] UID:12140 Activity:nil
2/6     In biology, how is a species classified as Old World or New World?
        \_ http://csua.org/u/5vp
        \_ yer mom - old world.
2004/1/30-31 [Science/Biology] UID:12040 Activity:insanely high
1/30    Speaking of liberal vs. conservative, what's with conservatives and
        biology education?
        http://csua.org/u/5s0
        \_ It's not even really "conservatives".  It's the fucking
           evangelicals.
           \_ The Republican party is at their beck and call. Change that or
              stop pretending there's a difference.
           \_ Who are a huge power base in the Republican party, and voted for
              Bush in record numbers, so he definitely owes them (84% of
              evangelicals voted for Bush in 2000, as opposed to 75% for
              Reagan).
        \_ I'm a conservative (not the libertarian kind).  Evolution can
           be explained, IMHO, but not as gospel truth as it is told
           today.  Offering other theories as very good alternatives is
           a great idea (it doesn't have to be the strict creationist view).
                \_ I demand equal time for my religious creation theory,
                   namely, that I created everything and therefore, you
                   are all my property and owe me homage and service.
           \_ creationism in any degree of strictness is a faith, not a theory.
              \_ earth created in 7 days is a strict view of creationism
                 (versus earth created over many many years)
                 \_ Any view of creationism is based on faith.
                    A view that doesn't hold God to 7 literal days might
                    at least be compatible with the physical evidence,
                    but that doesn't make it a theory.  -tom
                    \_ Accepting evolution with the kind of defensive
                       vehemence I commonly see among bio types has to
                       be based on faith too.  Where do bacteria
                       come from?  I don't have to be a religious nut
                       to be a creationist, nor do I have to be a
                       creationist to be sceptical about evolution.
                       I can postulate some hitherto unknown
                       mechanism for the creation of 'bacterial
                       nanobots' without invoking the ugly F
                       word.
                         -- ilyas
                       \_ tell us about the stars, ilyas
                       \_ Being skeptical and flat out rejecting are
                          (obviously) two very different behaviors.
                          --scotsman
                          \_ I was addressing Tom's claim that any view
                             of creationism is based on faith, which is
                             a false claim. -- ilyas
                             \_ Then you haven't made the point.  Do you
                                have emperical evidence to base some view
                                of creationism upon?  Or is this one of those
                                "unknown unknowns" discussions?  Also, as
                                the person below pointed out, evolution doesn't
                                even attempt to explain the origin of life.
                                    \_ by the way, "jove /etc/motd.public"
                                       also doesn't provide privacy
                                       protection, gmartin.  -tom
                                --scotsman
                             \_ How is "some hitherto unknown mechanism"
                                different from God?  Unless you're talking
                                about a physical process we don't understand
                                yet.  There are plenty of plausible theories
                                as to how protein structures first started
                                replicating themselves which don't require
                                a deus ex machina.  -tom
                                \_ I am not aware of any theory which presents
                                   an unbroken line which starts with chemicals
                                   and ends with bacteria (the simplest form
                                   of life not counting oddly devolved
                                   borderline cases like viruses).  There is
                                   also no evidence for any such chain to give
                                   us hints.  Currently, I conclude that either
                                   life arose somewhere where such a record
                                   does exist (Mars?) and moved here via
                                   spores, or we got pollinated by ET or God or
                                   something like that.  I don't reject the
                                   existence of God, so having to fall back
                                   on something like that as a possibility
                                   doesn't bother me, except in a sense that
                                   it makes a hypothesis inelegant (but not
                                   unfalsifiable, necessarily). -- ilyas
                                   \_ OK, fair enough--you can believe
                                      absurd things without believing in
                                      creationism.  Is that your point?  -tom
                       \_ It's not "based on faith". Evolution doesn't
                          specifically cover the origin of the first life.
                          It's about *evolution*. We obviously don't have
                          a lot of evidence about the earliest life, or
                          how similar that was to bacteria.
                    \_ possible theories/views:
                        a. earth created in 7 days
                        b. Evolution
                        c. certainly there should be many other theories
                           not covering a) or b)
                        \_ There's also the "aged earth" theory. Similar to
                           how Adam was created with the appearance of a
                           grown man, rather than an infant, so too the earth
                           was created with the appearance of age.
                           \_ That's not a theory--it's completely
                              tautological.  "The physical world was created
                              by God exactly the way it is now."  It's
                              impossible to prove or disprove, because
                              it doesn't do anything at all to attempt
                              to *explain* the physical world, which is what
                              a theory does.  -tom
                              \_ 'Theories which can not be tested are
                                                   critical
                                                   examination. They should be
                                                   taught to examine everything
                                 philosophies.'
                                                   thumpers
                                                      with mentioning its
                                                   are the only ones trying to
                                                   suppress knowledge.
                           \_ And the dinosaur bones were planted by god to
                              tempt the weak of faith....  If we're going to
                              go down this route, let's remember the good
                              Bishop Berkeley who wrote that we are all but
                              thoughts in the mind of god; there's as much
                              evidence for that as there is for creationism.
                        \_ you overwrote my post. use motdedit.
                           \_ sorry.  but motdedit has no privacy protections
                              \_ why does it have any less privacy protection
                                 than "jove /etc/motd.public".  It doesn't
                                 log accesses, and if you don't want to
                                 wait in queue, then use motdedit -n
                                 \_ where is motdedit?
                                    /csua/bin/motdedit
                                    /csua/bin/motdedit -h for help
                              \_ and when you're a complete moron, you need
                                 privacy protections, eh?
                                 "earth created in 7 days" is not a theory.
                                 It's not supported by a single observable
                                 fact.  It might have been a hypothesis at one
                                 point, and now it's been shown to be false
                                 by the vast preponderance of physical
                                 evidence.  -tom
                                 \_ look.  I'm not a supporter of a.
                                    I'm thinking more about the lines of
                                    b) and c) above.  Schools tend to
                                    teach b) as gospel truth.
                                    \_ yes, tom found me out.
                                    \_ They also teach Physics as gospel
                                       truth.  There's about as much
                                       evidence for evolution as for
                                                reason.
                                                \_ I think you don't realize
                                                   how much our understanding
                                       that model, so why do conservatives
                                       suddenly start hedging their bets
                                       when the subject of biology comes up?
                                          we should teach the first tier
                                          theories first.
                                                - yet another poster
                                                   of the laws of physics
                                                   changes all the time. Does
                                                   the discovery of a new type
                                                   of quark invalidate GR?
                                             \_ There is a theory that
                                                birds are descendants of
                                                dinosaurs.  It is a low
                                                tier theory because while
                                                there are evidence supporting
                                                it and evidence countering
                                                it.  Macro evolution is
                                                lower tier than our many
                                                laws of physics for the same
                                       that model, so why do conservatives
                                       suddenly start hedging their bets
                                       when the subject of biology comes up?
                                       \_ not all conservatives believe
                                          in 7 day creationism.
                                    \_ they teach evolution just like they
                                       teach any other scientific theory.
                                       Why should it be singled out?
                                       \_ There are many tiers of

                                          theories based on how strong
                                          the evidence is.  theory of
                                          gravity is first tier.  theory
                                          of evolution is second tier
                                          or third tier depending on
                                          which part of this complex
                                          theory you are talking about.
                                          In particular, macroevolution
                                          is much weaker than micro-
                                          evolution.  I am not against
                                          teaching evolution but we need
                                          to mention the holes in it
                                          when teaching it.  And all
                                          other factors being equal,
                                          we should teach the first tier
                                          theories first.
                                                - yet another poster
                                          \_ I agree.
                                          \_ Why don't they teach the holes in
                                             Christianity? Actually, they're not
                                             "holes" so much as "tenets incon-
                                             sistent with scientific facts".
                                             Evolutionary theory is pretty well
                                             established. There isn't any theory
                                             that is 100% known and hole-free.
                                             \_ Christianity does not claim
                                                that it could be empirically
                                                proven.  Yea, I agree that
                                                a woman giving birth without
                                                having sex is inconsistent
                                                with scientific facts.  Is
                                                that your point?
                                             \_ Are you interested in
                                                teaching our kids to
                                                examine evolutionary theory
                                                critically, or are you more
                                                interested in covering up
                                                its holes so as to use it
                                                to advance your anti-
                                                Christianity agenda?
                                                \_ Science is all about
                                                   critical examination.
                                                   They should be taught
                                                   to examine everything
                                                   critically. The bible-
                                                   thumpers are the only
                                                   ones trying to suppress
                                                   knowledge.
                                                   \_ don't forget the
                                                      anti-Christian fanatics
                                                      who want to teach
                                                      evolution theory
                                                      without mentioning its
                                                      flaws.
                                                      \_ I haven't seen any
                                                         evidence that anyone
                                                         wants to hide "flaws"
                                                         in evolution.  -tom
                                                         \_
                                                Really?  I have.
                                                let's put it this way,
                                                I won't tell my kids birds
                                                are descended from dinosaurs
                                                and I don't feel
                                                that our educational system
                                                should tell my kids that
                                                humans are descended
                                                from amoeba without
                                                presenting it as a theory
                                                with very significant holes.
                                                \_ you haven't specified any
                                                   of the holes.
                                                   \_ well, I haven't
                                                      heard anyone say
                                                      why it is a good
                                                      theory either.  Go
                                                      pick up a book or
                                                      stfw if you want to
                                                      go into the details.
                                                      \_ Sounds like you're
                                                         the one who needs to
                                                         pick up a book.
                                                \_ I see what your issue is,
                                                   now.  The fact that *you*
                                                   don't understand something
                                                   doesn't mean that the
                                                   theory is bad.  -tom
                                                   \_ Do *you* understand
                                                      everything about it?
                                                      If not, how did you
                                                      conclude that the
                                                      theory is good?
                                                \_ All the evidence so far
                                                   indicates that birds are
                                                   descended from dinos. While
                                                   I agree that we need to
                                                   teach children to question
                                                   I think it's pigheadedness
                                                   to deny that the argument
                                                   for birds being descended
                                                   from dinos is strong.
                                          \_ I don't think you can say that
                                             the Theory of Gravity (do you
                                             really mean to say General
                                             Relativity?) is any stronger or
                                             weaker than the Theory of
                                             Evolution. Both are subject
                                             to modification in light of
                                             new information. Both have
                                             a tremendous body of evidence
                                             supporting them. If anything,
                                             The Theory of Evolution is
                                             more important because of its
                                             larger impact on societies
                                             view of itself and probably
                                             it is more important to teach
                                             it. -biophysics grad
                                             \_ There is a theory that
                                                birds are descendants of
                                                dinosaurs.  It is a low
                                                tier theory because while
                                                there are evidence supporting
                                                it and evidence countering
                                                it.  Macro evolution is
                                                lower tier than our many
                                                laws of physics for the same
                                                reason.  As for importance,
                                                sure (that's why I said
                                                "all other factors being
                                                equal" above), but we need
                                                to becareful here because
                                                its very importance makes
                                                its teaching subject to
                                                non-science related pressures
                                                from all sides.
                                                \_ I think you don't realize
                                                   how much our understanding
                                                   of the laws of physics
                                                   changes all the time. Does
                                                   the discovery of a new type
                                                   of quark invalidate GR?
                                                   \_ You miss the point.
                                                      Let me ask you this:
                                                      Do you agree that some
                                                      theories are stronger
                                                      than others?  If you
                                                      do, we have no
                                                      disagreement.  If your
                                                      point is that your
                                                      knowledge of physics
                                                      is better than mine,
                                                      I agree with you.
                              \_ If you're not going to use motdedit, at least
                                 have the courtesy to run an editor that can
                                 tell you when changes have been made to the
                                 file, then copy your work, exit w/o saving,
                                 reopen the file, and paste your work. I don't
                                 use motdedit, but I don't overwrite other
                                 people's posts, either.
        \_ is there such a thing as a Jewish Creationist?
           \_ http://www.orot.com/ec.html#Anchor-19500
        \_ http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/evotmline.html
           there are darwinians, neo-darwinians, and non-darwinians.
2004/1/30-31 [Science/Biology] UID:12035 Activity:nil
1/30    Georgia School Official Wants No 'Evolution'
        http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,109939,00.html
2003/12/3 [Science/Biology, Science/Physics] UID:11286 Activity:nil
12/2    FYI, after the APA Board of Trustees removed homosexuality as a
        disorder from DSM-II in 1973, there was a big uproar from
        psychiatrists.  The issue was brought to a referendum, and out of
        ~ 10,000 votes, 58% voted that it should be removed from DSM-II.
        http://www.worldandi.com/public/1997/april/ar5.cfm
        \_ Wow.  Science by vote.
           \_ of course. it's fundamental principle which democracy
                is build upon.  We can not allow few elites hijack
                the reality and the truth.  Science should belong to the
                oridinary people.
           \_ In a qualitative science, could you do any better?
              \_ Wtf is a qualitatiave science?
                 \_ One that relies on qualitative data.  I.e. "He was
                    diagnosed as crazy" vs. "He is 73.2% crazy"
                 \_ Contrast with quantitative. It's fuzzy science, if it is
                    science at all.
                    \_ That was sort of my point.  There are no fuzzy sciences.
                       There are analytic sciences (mathematics), and
                       empirical sciences (biology, physics, etc.).
                       \_ then, there is Chemistry. you can argue that it's
                          not a science at all.  -- ex Chem Eng major
2003/10/30-31 [Science/Biology, Computer/Theory] UID:10878 Activity:nil
10/30   Yahoo! News - Robots to Gain Eyes in the Back of Their Heads
        htt://csua.org/u/4um
        It reads " But as computer scientists at the University of Maryland
        proved mathematically in 1998, if robots could see in all directions
        they would not need any other sensors."  What kind of mathematical
        proof would that be?  How do you go about proving something like this
        mathematically?
        \_ why doesn't evolution favor eyes at the back of animals heads?
           \_ Prey animals usually have very widely-spaced eyes and can see
              in almost 360-degrees.  Predators (and humans) have forward
              facing eyes which give good depth perception.  Why do no
              vertebrates have more than 2 eyes?
              \_ The fundamental answer guiding all evolutionary processes:
                 efficiency.
                 \_ only able to last 15 seconds in the sack, eh?
                 \_ How is turning the head to look behind more efficient than
                    procesing more signals from more eyes in the brain?
                    \_ You save the energy needed to grow more eyes and the
                       brain structures needed to process the extra input.
                       \_ But you need to grow the muscles to turn the head,
                          and for some mammals, even part of the body.
                          \_ good point.
                 \_ Eyes have a lot of muscles and things, at least our full
                    functioned ones do. Also, head movement is needed anyway
                    for eating (maybe not for humans, but for prey animals).
                    Since prey animal eyes and hearing suffices, more eyes
                    probably cause more problems than they help. They might
                    also be vulnerable to injuries. Head movement is also used
                    for smelling.
                    \_ You might also want to take into account that more
                       eyes also translates to more brain mass/complexity
                       to process the information.
              \_ Flies have many eyes in two groups.
                 \_ I said VERTEBRATES.
                 \_ and mammals (and many verterbrates) have many rods/cones
                    in two groups.
                    \_ But flies have many separate lenses whereas mammals have
                       only two.
        \_ The article explains it pretty well:
           "The ability to navigate was the lowest level of capability
            needed by a robot to work in an unknown environment, she said."
           "Providing a robot with "omni-directional" vision could vastly
            improve its navigational skills, ..."
            Thus, you make the assumption that navigation is needed, then
            you prove that 360-degree eyes are sufficient for navigation,
            thus it doesn't "need any other sensors."
2003/8/4-5 [Science/Biology, Computer/SW/OS/OsX] UID:29231 Activity:very high
8/3     http://objective.jesussave.us/propaganda.html
         \_how many times are you planning to post this?
           \_ How many times have you seen it on the motd?
              \_ this is the second.
                 \_ Is this serious or a parody?
                    \_ parody
                       \_ It's not parody.  It's the truth.
                          \_ You can't handle the truth!
                             \_ Qusay's childrn are humilited by this rights
                                of Americans in Iraq space!
                                \_ Can't we all just get along??
                                \_ Hey look, Mr. Perfect English is back!
2003/7/16-17 [Science/Biology, Science/Space] UID:29062 Activity:kinda low
7/16    Wednesday Funnies
        1. Men hunting nekkid women:
           http://www.klas-tv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1356380&nav=168XGqk0
            \_ " Video for this story is no longer available."
        2. Creationist Science Fair:
           http://objective.jesussave.us/creationsciencefair.html
2003/6/19 [Science/Biology] UID:28773 Activity:very high
6/19    Some places still live in the 10th century not the 21st:
        http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/ap20030619_535.html#
        \_ At least she doesn't have to consummate the marriage.
        \_ now I wish I had a good link to a school board fighting
           the teaching of godless evolution in our schools.
           \_ Why do you call it godless evolution? In what
              ways does evolution invalidate the concept of
              supreme divinity?
                \_ Evolution is in Genesis, unfortuately, after each
                of these verses, the bible contradicts itself and says
                that God created this stuff, but that's to be expected
                from a work that was complied from many different oral
                sources:
                  And he said: Let the earth bring forth the green herb, and
                such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after
                its kind, which may have seed in itself upon the earth. And
                it was so done.
                  And the earth brought forth the green herb, and such as
                yieldeth seed according to its kind, and the tree that
                beareth fruit having seed each one according to its kind.
                And God saw that it was good.
                  God also said: Let the waters bring forth the creeping
                creature having life, and the fowl that may fly over the
                earth under the firmament of heaven.
                  And God created the great whales, and every living and
                moving creature, which the waters brought forth, according
                to their kinds, and every winged fowl according to its
                kind. And God saw that it was good.
                  And God said: Let the earth bring forth the living
                creature in its kind, cattle and creeping things, and
                beasts of the earth, according to their kinds. And it was
                so done.
                \_ All that's saying is that ducks will give birth to more
                   ducks and not to trees or monkeys.  It has not in any way
                   contradicted itself.
                \_ What is needed is a definition of creation (as performed
                   by a supreme divinity) before we can argue whether there
                   are contradictions.
                \_ You forgot about the part where it says God did it all
                   in seven days. This is what gets most of the holy rollers
                   in conflict with science.
                      indeterminate amount of time. so 7 days is not necessarily
                      7 of our days.
                   \_ actually, a jewish science teacher explains his
                      reconciliation like this: apparently, the word "day"
                      used in the original hebrew or whatever is sort of an
                      indeterminate amount of time. so 7 days is not
                      necessarily 7 of our days.
                   to evolution while theology pointed away from it.  Over time
                   I've come to conclude that evolution is really orthogonal to
                   creation, and while I still have my questions about evolution
                   (macro evolution and abiogenesis primarily--though evolution
                   proper doesn't address abiogenesis) I don't really doubt it
                   anymore.  It doesn't affect the core issues of Christianity.
                   -emarkp
                      \_ sure, redefine the terms whenever things don't
                         work out...
                         \_ I'm sure that all historical documents were
                            written in the past with an understanding of how
                            the meaning of words would change in the future so
                            they'd have our modern meaning.  Makes sense.
                            \_ Are there cultures or peoples whose definition
                               of the period of time encompassed by a day is
                               grossly different than ours?
                               \_ I meant linguistically not culturally.
                   \_ in addition to the above post, God allegedly created
                      the sun on what, like the 5th or 6th day or something?
                      So how could you even hope to meassure the notion of a
                      day before this unless you use some rationale like the
                      above.            - ! religious
                        \_ funny how he said "let there be light" several
                           "days" before he created the sun.
                           \_ It is possible to have light without the sun.
                              \_ yep.  the 3K blackbody radiation is
                                 technically light.  in the young days
                                 of the universe, that would have to have
                                 been alot hotter, and hence a much
                                 higher peak frequency.
                                \_ when you have your head up your ass, is
                                   there light up there?
                                   \_ I take it this means you can't dispute
                                      my claim that the sun is not strictly
                                      required for there to be light.
                                      \_ That's unfair!  How dare you point out
                                         his stupidity and ignorance in
                                         response to his meaningless reply to
                                         your post?  Another few empty headed
                                         snide remarks should put you in your
                                         place.
                                         \_ Well, we can be assured that the
                                            sun isn't shining in his ass.
                      \_ Just because a thing was done before a standard
                         was adopted, it does not mean that one is not allowed
                         to go back to measure the thing based on the
                         subsequently adopted standard.
                         \_ In this case how could they have known how many
                            days had passed with no way to measure time?
                            \_ Witness to the creation would know the length
                               of a day after the creation of the sun.  Such
                               person or persons would then approximate the
                               passage of time pre creation of sun based on
                               the later established day standard.  Granted,
                               this estimate would not be precise, but it
                               would not likely be off by (say) more than
                               an order of magnitude either.  This implies
                               reasonably that the period of creation pre-sun
                               might have taken longer than a few days, but
                               it would not likely have taken years let alone
                               millions of years.
                               \_ A good guess but you only get a C because
                                  you make gross assumptions about the nature
                                  of both time and the creator.
                                  \_ One's explanation is likely the simplest
                                     that fits the offered facts.
                \_ The big theological issue even the most liberal Christians
                   have with evolution is the transition from man=animal to
                   man=child of God, with soul, morals, etc.  For the longest
                   time I believed that science (that is, beliefs derived from
                   observation and the scientific method) pointed conclusively
                   to evolution while theology pointed away from it.  Over
                   time I've come to conclude that evolution is really
                   orthogonal to creation, and while I still have my questions
                   about evolution (macro evolution and abiogenesis
                   primarily--though evolution proper doesn't address
                   abiogenesis) I don't really doubt it anymore.  It doesn't
                   affect the core issues of Christianity.  -emarkp
                   \_ cool way to be a rational person with irrational beliefs.
                      glad you resolved that.
2003/6/19 [Science/Biology] UID:28765 Activity:nil
6/18    "The scientists found 78 genes in total on the Y, ..."
        |_http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3000742.stm
2003/5/3 [Recreation/Dating, Science/Biology] UID:28317 Activity:nil
5/2     Bonobos!
        http://songweaver.com/info/bonobos.html
        \_ Don't feed the bonobos! How many times do I have to tell you that!?
2003/4/11-13 [Science/GlobalWarming, Science/Biology] UID:28091 Activity:very high
4/11    This might sound trollish, but I'm curious about the
        explanation. In cold places people evolved to have more body
        hair.  Northern europe for example.  While people in the
        tropics like hawaii or the amazon have little facial or body
        hair.  Make sense?  So what explanation can there be for
        middle eastern people having a lot of body hair? This goes for
        Jews/Arabs/Persian/etc alike.  How does living in the desert
        evolved into growing so much body hair?
                \_ Most of the people living in Europe, the near East
                   and India are descendents of the same group of
                   Indo-Europeans who left central asia less than 10K
                   yrs ago.
        \_Actually, variations in body height, amount of hair, breast size,
        penis size, etc. has nothing to do with natural selection but more
        to do with founder effects. The human race, once they moved out of
        the central African continent, has not evolved on the genetic level.
        The variations you see in the world are because all "races" of humanity
        (with the possible exception of certain african tribes) were founded
        on an exceedingly small population of humans, somewhere on the order
        of no more than 20-30 individuals. What you see is therefore more of
        an effect of in-breeding than environmental factors. The only exception
        to this is skin color, because the amount of sun one receives can
        not be easily controlled by technology (cold can be controlled by
        wearing clothes, height can be overcome by using certain tools, etc.)
        In fact, the widest variation of genetics occurs in Africa. so that
        populations within africa which are not seperated by more than a couple
        km might exhibit more genetic variation than between an east asian and
        a caucasian from Europe.
        \_ We only have more facial hair than the indolent little brown
           brothers so that we may grow cool goatees and make supervillains
           worthy of our superior genetic heritage, to oppress and enslave
           the lesser hairless or pelted peoples of the world.  After all
           what's a real supervillain without a blond Vandyke.  -John
        \_ Actually, variations in body height, amount of hair, breast
           size, penis size, etc. has nothing to do with natural
           selection but more to do with founder effects. The human
           race, once they moved out of the central African continent,
           has not evolved on the genetic level.  The variations you
           see in the world are because all "races" of humanity (with
           the possible exception of certain african tribes) were
           founded on an exceedingly small population of humans,
           somewhere on the order of no more than 20-30
           individuals. What you see is therefore more of an effect of
           in-breeding than environmental factors. The only exception
           to this is skin color, because the amount of sun one
           receives can not be easily controlled by technology (cold
           can be controlled by wearing clothes, height can be
           overcome by using certain tools, etc.)  In fact, the widest
           variation of genetics occurs in Africa. so that populations
           within africa which are not seperated by more than a couple
           km might exhibit more genetic variation than between an
           east asian and a caucasian from Europe.
           \_ Wow, this is so wrong I'm not even sure where to begin.
                \_ He is not completely wrong. In reality there is
                   very little genetic different between humans on
                   any continent.
        \_ We only have more facial hair than the indolent little
           brown brothers so that we may grow cool goatees and make
           supervillains worthy of our superior genetic heritage, to
           oppress and enslave the lesser hairless or pelted peoples
           of the world.  After all what's a real supervillain without
           a blond Vandyke.  -John
           \_ Ooh... Almost forgot!  Progress report:  Everything is fine.
              Nothing is ruined.  Eagle flies at 0640. --qz42
        \_ your premise is incorrect.
        \_ Maybe it is to protect against sunburns.
        \_ http://www.kithrup.com/brin/neotenyarticle1.html
           \_ I liked this article.
             \_ It's pretty plausible, isn't it?  And it explains a lot
                of things that wouldn't make sense otherwise!
        \_ (east) asians are basically hairless. it gets hot in asia.
                \_ tell that to my bunghole
                \_ and it snows in korea, japan, and parts of china.  makes
                   sense to me.  have you published yet?
        \_ I thought hair acts as an insulant -- cooling in hot environments,
           and heating in cold.
        \_ Swedes don't have a lot of hair. --dim
           \_ neither do eskimos.
        \_ The more evolved you are, the less hair. Japanese are the most
           evolved, followed by other Asians, Amerindians, Northern
           Europeans, then Aficans with Slavs and other Middle Eastern
           people at the bottom.
           \_ are you sure that isn't the smaller the penis, the less hair?
              \_ How do you explain me then?  I am very hairy but has very small
                 penis.
        \_ all of you are wrong. Ask yourself, why are women less hairy?
                \_ because they shave their legs off.
                   \_ but they don't shave their chests and backs, do they?
                \_ smaller penises?
                \_ Because they float like a duck!  Burn her!  Burn her!
                   \_ who are you who, are so wise in the ways of science?
                      \_ It shall be greater than two but less than four!
           \_ Because they are more highly evolved?
        \_ hair is no longer strongly correlated to survival (aka, passing
           on your DNA to children).
2003/2/26 [Science/Biology] UID:27536 Activity:kinda low
2/25    Darwin/MacOS X questions: What is the equivalent of ldd on darwin?
        And what is the equivalent of LD_LIBRARY_PATH on darwin?
        I have a pgm that uses shared libraries and I want to make sure that
        the right libs are being picked up.
        \_ man ld and dyld
           \_ thanks dyld(1) had the info I was looking for. In case anyone
              else is interested otool -L ~ ldd and DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH ~
              LD_LIBRARY_PATH.
        \_ "Given enough time a pixie will get you so confused that you'll
            start looking for happiness in all the wrong places."
            \_ Wookin pa nub...
2003/2/17 [Science/Biology] UID:27437 Activity:nil
 2.01 roF .ffuts siht fo emos nekorb/devomer
evah ot smees 2.01 .gninnur ffuts cisab emos
ot esu dluoc uoy taht ffuts SIN emos dedulcni
reilrae dna 1.01 .X SO fo noisrev eht no sdnepeD _\
.si ti mialc yeht tub nevam elppa na ton m'I _\
?X SO ni ffuts ofniten eht htiw elbaitapmoc sin sI _\
sin _\
.erawtfos
 artxe gniyub ro tros fo nimda sys emoh a emoceb ot sgniht gniod
 ro gninrael emit hcum oot dneps ot tnaw od dna resu emoh a tsuj ma I
 tub boj nimda sys cisab yrev a si siht wonk I  ?siht etamotua I od
 woH  .sdneirf dna ylimaf ym fo srebmem rof stnuocca resu dna .gifnoc
 metsys cisab emas eht evah ot meht ekil dluow I  .)srettam siht fi
 xunil + X SO 2( xin* emos gninnur lla ,emoh ta sretupmoc eerht evah I  51/2

)borp eht s'tahT .lles ot ytiliba tsuJ .deriuqer ton eerged ecnaniF(
rosivdA laicnaniF remroF - .erutluc "yletal enil mottob
eht rof enod uoy evah tahw" eht morf noitcafsitas naelg nac uoy fi
I naht nam reggib a er'uoy tub ,elpoep gnipleh tuoba stnemitnes
ruoy derahs I .rotces laicnanif eht ni tuoba serac enoyna
lla s'ti ,dne eht nI .yenom yb derusaem si ecnamrofrep ruoY _\
koocc- .ti tuoba klat ot ekil d'uoy
fi liam em dneS .ysae eb thgim gnihctiws ,rof gnikool er'uoy boj fo
epyt tahw no gnidnepeD .boj laicnanif a dna eerged SC a evah I_\
.otni og ot ediced uoy aera revehcihw
otni hctiws a rof emuser ruoy pu dliub dna tseretni ruoy mrifnoc
ll'tI  .detseretni er'uoy saera eht ni krow reetnulov emos yrT_\
?sreenigne WS gnirih spuorg latnemnorivne yna
 era tub dleif wen eht ni reenigne WS a sa gnikrow fo aedi eht
 ekil I ?taht ekil gnihtemos ot gnihctiws tuoba og dluow I woh no
 sretniop ynA  .)snamuh su spleh nrut ni hcihw( tnemnorivne eht
 gnipleh s'taht gnihtemos gniod ma I taht wonk ot tnaw I  ?puorg
 noitavresnoc/latnemnorivne emos tuoba tahW  .dleif taht ot hcitws
 ot eerged laicnanif a deen ylbaborp I wonk I tub tuo gnipleh
 ma I taht gniwonk sdneirf ym ot ecivda laicnanif tuo gnivig yojne
 I  .puorg noitavresnoc/latnemnorivne fo tros emos dna ecivres
 laicnanif :otni og ot ekil dluow I saera cificeps owt yllautca
 era ereht...woleb detsop I daerht dleif wen a ot gnihctiws no eroM     61/2

noitca evitamriffa setah bwg hcum woh wonk ew ecnis tirem reh
 no yletelpmoc derih saw ehs taht derussa tser nac ew tsael ta _\
?hsuB .W.G dna ,yenehC ,dlefsmuR ta
kool a nekat uoy evah ,rettam taht roF  ?qarI htiw raw ot og ot deen
eht tuoba su llet tsovorp/forp icSiloP drofnatS a gnittel ew era yhW    71/2
2002/11/11-12 [Science/Biology] UID:26513 Activity:high
11/11   Darwin at work.  Gotta love basic science at work....
        http://csua.org/u/52d -from http://heraldtribune.com -urld
        \_ That comment sure sounded stupid.
           \_ Thank you for participating.  Your comments
              will be retained for 6 months on file.
        \_ Huh?  How does a suicide have anything to do with basic science?
           \_ Darwin = basic science.
            \_ Issac Newton would disagree. Issac Newton >> you
        \_ A unauthorized plane flew over the MacDill AFB control tower only
           months after 9/11 and didn't get shot down?  What lax security!
           \_ You believe that's what really happened?
2002/9/29-30 [Science/Biology] UID:26045 Activity:high
09/29   Couple weeks ago, I told you blondes were genetically inferior.
        They are dye-ing out: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2284783.stm
        \_ what a waste of 60 seconds of my life.
        \_ We need more misleading descriptions of URLs on the motd.  This
           article says nothing about genetic inferiority.  It has quotes that
           say blonde hair is not a genetic inferiority.  Please read your
           own articles before posting.  Thanks.
        \_ They are losingout to fake blondes, does this mean fake blondes
           also age faster?
           \_ sure, whatever you want to believe
2002/9/18 [Science/Biology] UID:25929 Activity:nil
9.17    gayness gene discovered: http://csua.org/u/2b8
        \_ It says the gene was introduced into the flies.
            \_ gayness induced!
               \_ So can it be cured through gene therapy?
2002/7/25-26 [Science/Biology, Academia/Berkeley/CSUA] UID:25423 Activity:high
7/25    I didn't know Gene Kan was UCB Alumni:
        link:www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/3729883.htm
        \_ Duh.  He was a CSUA & XCF member, which is why his death
                was discussed to death when it happened.
        \_ Duh.  Most of the articles that discussed his death mentioned
           that he was a Berkeley alumnus.
        \_ He was a sodan, even. Was that last contact they refer to in
           the article here?
        \_ Hell he was even in my cs186 class.
2002/7/8-10 [Health/Disease/AIDS, Science/Biology] UID:25306 Activity:insanely high 50%like:25845
7/8     A moment of silence for Gene Kan.  RIP.
        \_ who?
        \_ how did he die?
        \_ Care to provide more info?
        \_ the one who wrote the open source Gnutella?
        \_ (URL inserted at top so out of chronological order:). DETAILS:
Gene Kan

Summary:

Better human being than most.
           http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=581&e=4&cid=581&u=/nm/20020710/tc_nm/people_kan_dc_5
        \_ http://news.com.com/2100-1023-942180.html?tag=fd_top
        \_ Sun PR says it was an accident:
           http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/020708/us_obit_kan_1.html
        \_ Does anyone know if there will be a public service?
           Gene will be very missed, even by those that haven't seen
           him for a while. -randal
        \_ a new Wired news writeup indicates suicide.
           http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,53704-2,00.html
           \_ anyone archive his resume?
           \_ no duh!!! When a Chinese family shuts up about the method of
              death it's almost always a suicide because there's suppose to
              be a mark of shame for the family. If it's heart attack or
              cancer they'd have nothing to hide.
              \_ is this type of thinking documented somewhere? Url?
                          Because if it ain't on the Internet, _/
                          it can't be true
                 Just culturally curious and trying to keep you honest.
                 The other sources said it was an "accident".
                        \_ one of the Buddists' rules says that you'll
                           go to hell if you commit suicide. Another common
                           saying is "It's better to live like a dog than
                           to die like a king." It's a Chinese thing.
                           \_ When the "quote" gets so specific I suspect
                              you do know what you wrote is incorrect.
                              Suicide's paving the road to hell has been a
                              long held belief of Catholics, and possibly
                              other religions also consider it as self-murder.
                              But buddhism is conspicuously not in that group.
                              Indeed buddHists monks routinely, though not on
                              large scale, commit suicide.  Most families
                              feel uneasy about the suicide of a member, in
                              addition to pain.  It's of course possible that
                              your family doesn't, if you have one, and they
                              will go to Jerry's show over your body.  Asian
                              families, and to some extent every group that
                              in general have more "family values" than trailer
                              tribes tend to prefer to keep such thing private,
                              which I like, and lean toward denial, which
                              than die well."  There is neither dog
                              nor king, and it is an attitude usually ascribed
                              to the lower classes who supposedly have no
                              shame.  There are many more sayings to the
                              contrary for the self-respecting ones, so you
                              I don't.  BTW, the saying you quoted literally
                              translates to "it's better to live marginally
                              than die well."  There is neither dog nor king,
                              and it is an attitude usually ascribed to those
                              who have no shame and will do or say anything to
                              get by.  There are many more sayings to the
                              contrary for the self-respecting ones, but you
                              don't have to know them.
              \_ same with many christian families.  like my folks did
                 when my brother did it.  berkeley gets another...
              \_ Doubt it. If he died of AIDS or Bob Crane-style, they'd
                 shut up about it.
            \_ yeah, Chinese families--"what?  you only sold InfraSearch for
               $10 million!?"  too much pressure.
2002/7/2 [Science/Biology] UID:25258 Activity:kinda low
7/1     This is your brain. This is your brain on pot. Pot is harmless. Use it.
        http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=01072002-113615-3662r
        \_ well the Japs are skitzo to begin with, so the data may be skewed.
                    \________\_ the educated response...
2002/7/1 [Science/Biology, Computer/SW/OS/OsX] UID:25247 Activity:high
6/28    Should I install apple's open-darwin or gnu's gnu-darwin?
        \_ What do you want to do? Why do you want to install darwin
           instead of Mac OS X? --twohey
           \_ to annoy you.
2002/2/9 [Science/Biology] UID:23825 Activity:high 66%like:23824
2/8     OMG, evolution is true! what will the creationists do?
        http://www.dms100.org/worksucks
        \_ So this shows that it is possible for a simple mutation to
           change the numbers of legs in arthropods.  It does NOT show
           how simple mutations can cause:
             multicellularity,
             complex sensory organs like eyes,
             sexual reproduction,
             the cell nucleus of the eucaryotes,
             etc.
           -- sceptical of evolution
           \_ Since we can't travel back in time to see how it really
              happened we can't ever really be certain so it must be God.
           \_ Simple mutations have never accounted for true genetic
              variance. Recombination during meiosis plays a much more
              prevalent role in variations in a population. In other words
              sex is what drives evolution, not simple mutation. If you
              need a refresher course on how evolution actually works,
              take an intro course on genetics. williamc
              \_ Aren't you being a little bit presumptuous, williamc?
                 I don't need a refresher course on how evolution 'works,'
                 I simply don't have a lot of faith in it 'working.'
                 \_No, I'm not, because faith has nothing to do with how
                 biology "works". It doesn't care about your faith, it doesn't
                 even know the concept of faith.
                 \_ My friend, you are making a tacit assumption that biology,
                    and more specifically the development of complex life,
                    in fact does work according to the theory of evolution
                    which it may or may not do.  Assuming that biology 'works'
                    according to what is currently fashionable in academia
                    is silly dogmatism.
              \_ But before sexual reproduction could exist we needed some
                 very complex mutation for asexual organisms to evolve into
                 sexual organisms.  Chicken-and-egg problem.
                 \_Hardly, all sex essentially is is sharing of genetic data.
                 Before sex as we know it existed there were probably already
                                                             \_ probably?
                 things like transposons which juggle genetic data around.
                 Also, you forget that life has had billions of years to
                 develop complex chemistries to handle such things like
                                                \_ handle?
                 reproduction.
                 -williamc
                 \_ You sound a lot less certain than you did a paragraph ago,
                    williamc.  Why not admit that you simply don't know how
                    life and sexual reproduction originated?  No one really
                    knows.
                 \_ But what kind of environmental pressure would in fact
                    produce two genders?
        \_ But the creationists can still ask how was it possible that "life"
           came from random chemical reactions of clouds of atoms and
           molecules.
                \_ ask the abiogenesists.
        \_ Macroevolution still has too many holes.
           \_ So does your head, but we're not complaining.
2002/2/9 [Science/Biology] UID:23824 Activity:very high 66%like:23825
2/8     OMG, evolution is true! what will the creationists do?
        http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/newsrel/science/mchox.htm
        \_ So this shows that it is possible for a simple mutation to
           change the numbers of legs in arthropods.  It does NOT show
           how simple mutations can cause:
             multicellularity,
             complex sensory organs like eyes,
             sexual reproduction,
             the cell nucleus of the eucaryotes,
             etc.
           -- sceptical of evolution
           \_ Simple mutations have never accounted for true genetic
              variance. Recombination during meiosis plays a much more
              prevalent role in variations in a population. In other words
              sex is what drives evolution, not simple mutation. If you
              need a refresher course on how evolution actually works,
              take an intro course on genetics. williamc
              \_ Aren't you being a little bit presumptuous, williamc?
                 I don't need a refresher course on how evolution 'works,'
                 I simply don't have a lot of faith in it 'working.'
              \_ But before sexual reproduction could happen we needed some
                 \_No, I'm not, because faith has nothing to do with how
                 biology "works". It doesn't care about your faith, it doesn't
                 even know the concept of faith.
              \_ But before sexual reproduction could exist we needed some
                 very complex mutation for asexual organisms to evolve into
                 sexual organisms.  Chicken-and-egg problem.
                 \_Hardly, all sex essentially is is sharing of genetic data.
                 Before sex as we know it existed there were probably already
                 things like transposons which juggle genetic data around.
                 Also, you forget that life has had billions of years to
                 develop complex chemistries to handle such things like
                 reproduction.
                 -williamc
        \_ But the creationists can still ask how was it possible that "life"
           came from random chemical reactions of clouds of atoms and
           molecules.
2000/12/12-13 [Science/Biology, Science/Electric] UID:20080 Activity:moderate
12/11   after numerous "Last renewal notice", hopefully, i don't hear from
        newsweek anymore.  anyway, what is a good general science periodic
        for subscription?  your comment is appreciated.
        \_ Science (http://www.aaas.org - tends to be a little bit biology heavy,
           but never content-free. -brg
           \- you were subscribing to newsweek as a "general science periodic"?
           the economist is a far superior substitude for newsweek, with pretty
           good science coverage. --psb
             \_ no, just that i realized i mostly read the articles about
                science and technology most of the time...  anyhow, i am
                looking for science journal that covers a board range of
                topics.
             \_ What's with psb and his Economist?
        \_Scientific American is a good starting point (yes, I know it is a
          monthly mag); if you're ready, you can also subscribe to Nature.
          \_ I agree SA is pretty good. Another decent one is Science News.
             Nature has always been too bio/chem related for me. ----ranga
             \_ I agree, Science News is good.  It's kind of thin,
                but it gives a good overview of current science news.
                \_ Its weekly (or used to be) and I could usually read
                   it in one or two sittings. Another good one was Science
                   Digest, but I think it is defunct now.
             \_ Science and Nature are the only ways to go.  Science
                I think is a little better for news/tech.  SA is way
                too delayed to be a useful news service.
        \_ There's a huge *leap* from reading science articles in newsweek to
           reading Science or Nature.  The former is a pathetic distillation
           for the general public, the latter are peer-reviewed(kinda) scientific
           journals, often reporting experiments, methods, raw data, etc.  Read
           them before you decide to subscribe.  Science, btw, is non-profit,
           Nature, is for profit.  If you want a simple upgrade from Newsweek,
           Discover might be the better way to go, intellectually.
           \_ Yeah. Discover is not bad, its better than say Popular Science
              and Popular Mechanics.
2000/8/6-7 [Science/Biology, Computer/SW/Languages] UID:18895 Activity:nil
8/5     Any recommendations on a good book/website on the topic of genetic
        programming and genetic algorithms?
2000/6/30-7/3 [Science/Biology, Computer/Theory] UID:18573 Activity:very high
6/30    Now that the human genome appears to be all but decoded. Is
        there any method to measure the number of bits that are encoded
        in the genome. IE how does it compare to a modern operating system.
        \_ Well, the encoding system is using a power of two, so there is
           a very easy conversion.  The problem is that it's not always
           easy to see where code ends and garbage begins in DNA.
           \_ ONE HUMAN ~ 4 TERABYTES
                \_ Uh, I don't have my biochem text with me (on vacation),
                   but I seem to recall the human genome being 2,000,000 kbp
                   (kilobase pairs), or 4 Gbits of data (2 bits/bp). -nweaver
                \_ That's just the program text. The Interesting Question(tm)
                   is How much does it take at runtime?
              \_ The number is actually much less than that, since the
                 bitstring is EXTREMELY structured. Which means less bits. If
                 I were to guess, you're off by a factor of 100-1000. Maybe
                 worse. That doesn't mean anything however, since we know next
                 to nothing about the structure, and won't for quite a while
                 \_ ONE HUMAN ~ 4 TERABYTES NO COMPRESSION, PUNY HUMAN
           \_ once the genome is there, the interesting stuff begins.  For the
              next 30-50 years, I think scientists will be working on the grand
                   \_ try 300-500; popular press is just listening to what the
                      funding proposals are babbling; anyone actually writing
                      them makes sure the timespan predicted is long enough
                      "so that i won't be around to be held responsible" but
                      short enough as to not to discourage investment. sad,
                      but true.
              unification theory of DNA.  A physical/biology/mathetical model
              of the interaction of the different genes.  Imagine running a
              simulation of a new lifeform created by artifically pieceing
              different genes!  The complexity of such a simulation is beyond
              anything we've done.  Today's supercomputers used to simulate
              nuclear explosions will look like toys next to computers
              simulating artificial lifeforms.  Who wants to guess on the
              computational power needed to run a simulation of a single cell?
              \_This is the typical clueless CompSci answer to biochemical
              problems.  I remember once one of my advisors said that the
              problem with working with computer scientists on biological
              simulation in actual living cells. Just pick your favority
              problems was that they just didn't get it. I guess he had a
              point.  Why waste your time trying simulate a complete cell at
              such a granular level on a computer? We can simply run the
              simulation in actual living cells.
              \_ Why bother running simulations of rockets, and atomic
                 bombs? Oh yeah, that's right, if you find something
                 *really* interesting, **THOUSANDS/MILLIONS** OF PEOPLE
                 **DIE**.
                 Apparrently, its true that those who can't do, teach.
                 \_ What are you trying to say?  This makes no sense.
              Just pick your favorite
              organism and transform them. DNA is cheap and plentiful to
              reproduce with a little lambda phage, plasmid, and PCR.  Also,
              simulation of a single cell, albeit interesting, isn't exactly
                        \_ >80 column idiocy fixed.  Get a clue.  -tom
              completely useful. Since we are mainly interested in
              multicellular organisms, a simulation of intercellular
              interactions would be much more valuable. i.e. what exactly is
              involved in the complex interaction of cell signalling during
              embryonic growth, and how that interrelates to differentiated
              cells.  A more realistic goal is to use pattern recognition
              techniques to be able to predict tertiary/quarternary structure
              of proteins and enzymes from DNA, and probably one which is much
              more profitable than trying to simulate organisms when the
              actual organisms can be produced cheaply. Go buy yourself a copy
              of Maniatis.  -williamc.
              \_ If you take a pure scientific view, there is lots of value
                 to understanding how cellular processes work, and being able
                 to model them means a huge step toward fully understanding
                 the schemes (algorithms if you will) nature has come up with.
                 From a practical viewpoint, you want to be able to model
                 a cell so you can design your own cellular signalling pathways
                 What you're saying, William, is that there is no value in
                 understanding the inner working of cells, that nuclear
                 transport, mRNA regulation, vessicle trafficking is not impt.
                 Thats a very narrow minded view.
                 \_ What he's saying is that full simulation is infeasible,
                    and suggesting a viable alternative. Get a clue.
                        \_ see below
                \_ More than Moore's law can produce for you even if it lasts
                 through 2500 A.D.. Without a new computational paradigm, or a
                 better abstraction than sheer chemistry, this will not be
                 practical (in all likelihood) until well past the predicted
                 lifespan of the Homo sapiens species, or even genus Homo.
                 \_ Dude.  Do you realize how LARGE the number
                    current_computational_speeds * 2 ^ (500 / 1.5) is?
                    \_ Yes I do. Do you realize that modeling a physical
                       system on quantum level is considered non-polytime on
                       a classical computer? And do you realize how many atoms
                       a cell contains?
                        \_ In something like 8 iterations of Moore's Law
                           (12 years) you'll be able to read 4 terabytes
                           (the DNA sequence) into RAM.  The rest of the
                           cell structure is simple relative to DNA and
                           doesn't need to be fully modeled.  By the time
                           you can read DNA into RAM, processors will be
                           running at 256 Ghz, with who knows how many
                           instructions per cycle.  That's far more
                           processing power than a cell has.  The only
                           computational barrier at that point will be
                           writing the code to model it correctly; that's
                           hard for a cell and much harder for a full
                           organism.  -tom
                           \_ "The rest of the cell structure is simple
                               relative to DNA"? Get a clue, cs boy. You
                               can read the damn bytes into RAM, but you won't
                               know what the fuck to do with them. Predicting
                               "everything" from DNA, or even a small subset
                               of it such as the general protein problem
                               (folding, interaction, binding sites, etc), may
                               easily, to the best of mankind's current
                               knowledge, turn out to be, oh, say,
                               EXPSPACE-hard. All your Moore's law ramblings
                               aren't worth crap until we know SOME fully
                               encapsulated localization structure in the
                               problem (be it DNA, protein, life, etc). Which
                               doesn't seem too plausible.
                       \_ It would be stupid and _unnecessary_ to model the
                          individual atoms to model a cell or dna.  For example,
                          weather modeling gets better everyday and they're
                          certainly not modeling every atom in a storm.
                          \_ See above.
                 \_ And do you honestly think we'll still be computing on
                    silicon then?
                    \_ The above was predicated on "no change of paradigm"
              \_ But can distributed computer help, like what SETI@home does?
                 -- yuen
                \_ Probably not; seti@home relies on the fact that an
                   arbitrarily large amount of computation can be done by
                   any node without needing input from any other ongoing
                   calculations; a cellular model would be much more
                   interactive.  Still, I think the assertion that we'll
                   never have enough computing power to model a cell is
                   silly and unfounded.  -tom
                   \_ 3 words for you -- "think avogadro's number"
                   \_ "No one would ever need more than 640k".
                \_ I have to agree with william. You don't start a
                   computationally intensive calculation at the lowest
                   possible level of understanding. For instance, if you
                   ever want to see a result, you would not start a model
                   of even a modest polypeptide by doing ab intitio
                   calculations on the interactions between individual
                   electrons and nuclei. Modeling an entire cell based on
                   molecular interactions is similarly too complex and
                   really unnecessary.
                   \_I dont understand this fixation with atoms.  You dont
                     need to model atoms, just the kinetics and thermodynamics
                     of interactions.  Duh, anyone thats knows anything knows
                     theyre not going to figure out interactions in the cell
                     from scratch.  We have 100+ years of abstraction to work
                     with.
                \_ Nobody is talking about simulating cells at the atomic
                   level, dumbass.  As for "why not try it on a real cell?"
                   It's a stupid question.  It's always more economical to
                   simulate something first rather than try it first.  You
                   can change your simulation parameters faster than you can
                   change your real-world experiment.
                        \_ this is utterly false.  -tom
                           \_ this is the first intelligent thing you've
                              said in this thread, tom
                   How do you think we
                   build cars and airplains and computers?  We break it down
                   into components, build models in computers, simulate them,
                   and then build small scale models.  Drugs can be synthesized
                   in a computer faster than in real life.  I'd love to see
                   how a particular drug will affect a cell even before
                   the drug exit in real life. Science fiction?  maybe. But
                   then again, who would have thought of the internet 100
                   years ago?
        \_ what is human gnome, and is it better than kde?
        \_ alot of you missed a point made above, DNA isn't enough!  The cell
           itself carries much info that isn't in the DNA (via already synthed
           proteins, sugars, biochemical microenvironents, mitochondria and
           their DNA, imprinting (which the genome project is ignoring), as
           well as other molecules that we probably don't realize are
           necessary in a model).  Yes, much will be able to be done, but the
           necessary in a model).
                \_ the total amount of cell information not contained in DNA
                   is almost certainly less than the amount of information
                   contained in the DNA.  So call it 8 terabytes and 13
                   iterations of Moore's Law.  -tom
           Yes, much will be able to be done, but the
           system will have holes and leave a lot to interpretation.  That's
           not to say that phages, bacterial sims, YACS, . . . are the answer,
           they also have many, many flaws, but we are getting closer.  And
           it is probably the marriage of the techniques that will produce
           the answers we are stiving for, with the great aid of human
           intuition and analytical skills.
           Anyhow, the 4TB, GB, whatever, of DNA isn't enough.  Just
           imprinting alone would add 2 bits to every base pair (methylated or
           glycosylated), now add on everything else you forgot to consider.
           Oh, and don't forget you need the environments of all surrounding
           systems, i.e. in birth you need the mother, her DNA, and so forth
           to get it all right.  Bottom line, an approximation is better than
           nothing, but don't get your hopes up too high!
           \_ The first challenge is simulating an amoeba.  -tom
2000/5/22-24 [Science/Biology] UID:18314 Activity:high
5/23  Please don't pet the tigers:
      http://www.denver-rmn.com/news/0521tigr3.shtml
      Every day in small ways Darwin brings a smile to my face.
                                              \_ This is so tragic!
                                                 How can you find this
                                                 humorous?!?
             You sound young, spawn.  Soon you will _/
             understand our ways and become stronger.
        \_ No. Darwinism would've killed the woman. She can still reproduce
           and propagate her stupidity.
                \_ Regardless, she's less likely to reproduce.
                \_ You don't understand how it works.  It's not black and
                   white like that.  It's about the odds and long term chances.
                   With only one arm, she's _less likely_ to reproduce.  If
                   she does, her children are _less likely_ to survive to do
                   their own reproduction.  Her mate is _less likely_ to have
                   pro-survival genes as well, since only a loser would have
                   a woman like this.  Her children, having been born to two
                   stupid people, may manage to spawn, but then _those_
                   children are less likely to improve the tree, either.  It
                   will work out fine in the long run. Darwin is alive and
                   well.
                   \_ You don't understand how it works.  Stupid genes
                      sometimes result in disaster like above.  However,
                      sometimes is
                   \_ I stand corrected.
                      \_ Why does someone keep deleting this?  This is a
                         simplified but factual statement about how
                         Darwinism works in the real world as applied to
                         human beings.  This is not a troll and this is not
                         the typical mindless motd drivel, nor is it an
                         inappropriate topic for the motd.  If this is some
                         religious fish-on-bumper whacko deleting this, then
                         seek your church's assistance for your weak faith,
                         don't mindlessly censor the ideas of others.
1999/8/11 [Science/Biology] UID:16286 Activity:kinda low
8/10    http://www-psych.nmsu.edu/~vic/faceprints/female_study.html
        \_ Yeah?  So what?  Some idiot is selling a book based on bad
           research with highly questinable conclusions.  Why should we care?
1999/2/20-21 [Science/Biology] UID:15455 Activity:kinda low
2/20    Rest in peace, Gene Siskel.
        \_ Say what?  URL?
        \_ http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/Movies/9902/20/siskel.obit
           -- jsjacob
1999/2/9 [Science/Biology] UID:15378 Activity:nil
2/8     Last night's PBS educational program shows that in order for species
        to survive, they must have a wide range of bio-diversity. The male
        specie usually try to spread their "seed" as far as possible, and as
        diverse as possible. Could this explain Asian Fetishness (creating
        genetic diversity) and high rate of marriage/divorse (genetic volume)?
        \_ Human beings do the same thing that any other species do, but at a
           much longer extended time.
        \_ fool. It has more to do with "obedient asian women" stereotypes,
           and being sick of putting up with white bitch feminazi crap.
1998/8/25 [Science/Biology, Health/Disease/General] UID:14503 Activity:nil
8/23    The Diamond Age is coming:
        http://www.businessweek.com/1998/35/b3593015.htm
        \_ One problem with molecular systems and coopting the biological
           mechanisms for computation and manufacture:  bacteria can
           eat your work!  And I doubt we will ever be sophisticated enough
           to design "from scratch" systems of the complexity of an E Coli
           (Which has 4Mb of storage, can perform 2000 bit copies just in
           replication, essentially serially, all in .07 cubic microns!)
2017/09/22 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/22    
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Science:Biology:
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