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Author Topic: from the Science Desk  (Read 39239 times)

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lentower

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Re: from the Science Desk
« Reply #120 on: September 17, 2011, 09:34:39 PM »


ag?




Tiervexx:

i don't have the time to unwind all the assumptions and mis-beliefs you have

i note that Cee provided several example above, where gene mods and the industries legal maneuvers were limiting bio-diversity.

that you didn't understand is one reason, it not worth more of my words
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The Angel Raliel

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Re: from the Science Desk
« Reply #121 on: September 18, 2011, 12:48:29 PM »

actually Homo Neanderthalis  clung to the edges of the glaciation during the ice age and possibly was a case of a specialist hominid that really could not cope with the milder conditions that Sapiens sapiens preferred.... as for the rest of this conversation....... we should not be afraid of genetic modification but embrace the technology, but regulate it properly....our biggest problem is definitely overpopulation, which in most species is self regulating ( as soon as the environment cannot sustain the population, the population dies off.....something we have managed to work around to both our benefit and our detriment) and i DO think we need to seriously start cutting back on childbirth in the west as we are the ones that can keep breeding without direct consequence to our wellbeing....the famines in africa etc are also a direct result of human interference......mainly the introduction of western european farming and culture into societies ill suited to them....
there is no easy answer and from a compassionate level one cannot simply say good we need fewer people.....but the truth is that we DO need to severely curtail our population growth.....and no I cannot think of one person or government morally capable of choosing who gets to breed/live/etc
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Re: from the Science Desk
« Reply #122 on: September 18, 2011, 12:50:50 PM »

in the meantime...this is very cool indeed and it's about time we stopped seeing dinos naked in all our documentaries and films....
http://www.theatlantic.com/life/archive/2011/09/dinosaur-feathers-found-in-amber-reinforce-evolution-theories/245094/#slide1

I personally believe that T-Rex was also a feathered Dino....those little but powerful fore-arms would have been great balance rudders with feathers attatched
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lentower

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Re: from the Science Desk
« Reply #123 on: September 18, 2011, 01:09:25 PM »

...our biggest problem is definitely overpopulation, which in most species is self regulating ( as soon as the environment cannot sustain the population, the population dies off.....something we have managed to work around to both our benefit and our detriment) and i DO think we need to seriously start cutting back on childbirth in the west as we are the ones that can keep breeding without direct consequence to our wellbeing....the famines in africa etc are also a direct result of human interference......mainly the introduction of western european farming and culture into societies ill suited to them....

part of western culture that has contributed to famines elsewhere,
is the introduction of vaccines and western medicine

compassionate in the short to medium run ...

hard questions



i agree that overpopulation is one of the largest problems we have caused and face

technology allows us to over use and deplete food resources,
e.g. fisheries,
without giving us a replacement

ditto, resources needed to grow food,
e.g. top soil, fresh water,

and the implicit bet/gamble is that there will be more technology
to allow us to replace the food gotten from these resources,
that will prevent massive human die-offs - the deaths of billions of humans

that is,
it seems likely there will be a point where human populations will again be "self-regulating"

there is no easy answer and from a compassionate level one cannot simply say good we need fewer people.....but the truth is that we DO need to severely curtail our population growth.....and no I cannot think of one person or government morally capable of choosing who gets to breed/live/etc

the communist china policy,
of one child per family
is at least fair,
and distributes the "pain"/choice across society

the problem that communist china is facing in a few decades
is caring for an elderly under-productive population that
is twice the size of the productive population

that is,
the generation of "1 child/family" children will have to care for
their parent's generation, which is twice as large.
one person's income caring for three people,
plus any grandchildren

economists widely believe that communist china
growth will slow/stagnate/go negative then
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Tiervexx

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Re: from the Science Desk
« Reply #124 on: September 18, 2011, 07:22:15 PM »


Tiervexx:

i don't have the time to unwind all the assumptions and mis-beliefs you have

i note that Cee provided several example above, where gene mods and the industries legal maneuvers were limiting bio-diversity.

that you didn't understand is one reason, it not worth more of my words

That's funny, I had thought about saying the same to you but decided not to be that much of a prick.  You seem to have the understanding of science that comes with being very well read, but has little formal science education.

Cee provided examples of where mistakes were made, but does nothing to attack the technology itself or it's potential.  I agree that in the short run genetic engineering can cause problems but as it becomes easier to make custom strains it will just become more common to use custom crops and live stock for everything.

It is common for new technology to start out with limited options but then get more and more diverse as it is more widely available.  Think of the number of cars you could buy now vs the variety that was available when Ford first made Model-T's cost effective.  That is what I mean when I say genetic engineering will eventually result in much greater varieties.

Your posts have included a number of hints that your understanding is motivated more by ideology than real scientific understanding.  An example is talking about how science stemming from profit driven corporations must be bad.  Yes corporations can do bad things but that's not really what we are talking about.  That's just your biases and not at all scientific.

I think the real reason you are just asserting I'm wrong and saying I'm not worth the effort is because you are making unprovable claims.  I am too but at least I admit it.  Your's and Cee's examples of old and even current mistakes are not hard to understand, they just might not be relevant as the technology advances.

I will freely admit that there are problematic details right now but we still have every reason to believe that your doubt of biotech and trans-humanism will look as laughable to future generations as comments like this do to current ones:

"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." -- The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

Believe it or not, I understand everything you and Cee have told me.  I can see why those sound like reasonable ideas right now.  Early computers looked ridiculous too.  But I am not trying to talk about right now.  That should be obvious.  Biotechnology and trans-humanism will be the future anyway.

Finally, I admit there is some disagreement about exactly how many people we can feed with organic means.  But there is still a lot of evidence behind my position:

http://www.slate.com/id/2287746/
http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/features/online/1601/why-organic-food-cant-feed-world

Counter arguments that we can use organic food to feed everyone often involve major restructuring that will be very expensive.  Anyone with an econ or business background should be suspicious that, that could ever be as cost effective.
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lentower

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Re: from the Science Desk
« Reply #125 on: September 18, 2011, 07:33:21 PM »


Tiervexx:

i don't have the time to unwind all the assumptions and mis-beliefs you have

i note that Cee provided several example above, where gene mods and the industries legal maneuvers were limiting bio-diversity.

that you didn't understand is one reason, it not worth more of my words

That's funny, I had thought about saying the same to you but decided not to be that much of a prick.  You seem to have the understanding of science that comes with being very well read, but has little formal science education.

there are a few others here who could correct your conclusion here,
but i might as well do so

my bachelor's degree is in
Ecology
from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA, USA
(in case you are not up to date on
world class universities of
science, engineering, and technology:
http://mit.edu/)

i have done several years of research in ecology,
and maintained professional ties there,
and read the literature

though most of my life has been spent as an activitst
and software designer



we could easily feed everyone on the planet an organic diet,
if we stop feeding animals plant food that could be feed to humans

meat raised from animals that grazed on land that could not be farmed,
could be available as a luxury



my compassion is based on science and an understanding of
how the world works

your beliefs (ideology?) seem to be a based on a common
fundamentalist
belief that technology will always make the future better,
that hasn't really judge the risks and possibilities based on how
the world works, and has worked in the past
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Tiervexx

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Re: from the Science Desk
« Reply #126 on: September 18, 2011, 07:52:07 PM »

I knew you are educated but I still don't think you are using it to the fullest here.  I think you're smart but more motivated by fear of the unknown here.

I will take your crack at my belief in technology prevailing (in the long run) as a compliment.

If you comepare how we lived 20 years ago to now the comparison is mixed, but if you look 200 years ago it seems to support my blinding optimisum.

Can we at least agree to disagree on the grounds that we will just have to wait and see what happens?
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lentower

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Re: from the Science Desk
« Reply #127 on: September 18, 2011, 07:58:58 PM »

Can't agree.  the fact that you make your argument this way is another reason ...

I've looked at some of the figures, and trust and know scientists who have done fuller studies, and analysis

btw, slate and csomo are not considered decent sources on science.  ; - }
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Re: from the Science Desk
« Reply #128 on: September 19, 2011, 02:57:19 AM »


btw, slate and csomo are not considered decent sources on science.  ; - }


Just on this point:

Slate and Cosmo are on their own not considered good science sources, but both articles linked are sourcing articles from scientific journals.  While ideally if writing a scientific review paper or presenting at a conference, one would stay away from popular news/magazines and go to the original source, I think a format like a forum is a fine place to cite a popular summary of a scientific article.  In fact, it may make the conversation more accessible to a larger diversity of people who read a forum and may not have privileges to reach scientific journals.

Further, since those were the only cited articles in this entire conversation, they provide far more evidence than uncited opinions.

P.S.  Any debate where you have to link how awesome the college you went to decades ago is an automatic failure.

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Tiervexx

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Re: from the Science Desk
« Reply #129 on: September 19, 2011, 01:59:00 PM »


btw, slate and csomo are not considered decent sources on science.  ; - }


Just on this point:

Slate and Cosmo are on their own not considered good science sources, but both articles linked are sourcing articles from scientific journals.  While ideally if writing a scientific review paper or presenting at a conference, one would stay away from popular news/magazines and go to the original source, I think a format like a forum is a fine place to cite a popular summary of a scientific article.  In fact, it may make the conversation more accessible to a larger diversity of people who read a forum and may not have privileges to reach scientific journals.

Further, since those were the only cited articles in this entire conversation, they provide far more evidence than uncited opinions.

P.S.  Any debate where you have to link how awesome the college you went to decades ago is an automatic failure.



Thank you!

I am willing to admit there is uncertainty and that my ideas on where biotech is going can't be proven so i' a little taken aback by len's certainty that he knows the future.
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lentower

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Re: from the Science Desk
« Reply #130 on: September 19, 2011, 02:05:33 PM »

Tiervexx

having tried to widen the point of view of people who are limited the way you are, hundreds, if not thousands of time in the past, i've gotten some idea when i have some chance of success

you are sadly, more of a fossil than I am

best -len
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Re: from the Science Desk
« Reply #131 on: September 19, 2011, 02:23:48 PM »

frankenstein syndrome is well documented....look at the outcry about stem cell research.....people tend to have a gut reaction to anything messing with biological principals...but actually we have built our entire civilisation on genetic modification..we just spent the past 10,000 years having to do it the slow way with selective breeding and domestication....
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lentower

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Re: from the Science Desk
« Reply #132 on: September 19, 2011, 02:33:19 PM »

frankenstein syndrome is well documented....look at the outcry about stem cell research.....people tend to have a gut reaction to anything messing with biological principals...but actually we have built our entire civilisation on genetic modification..we just spent the past 10,000 years having to do it the slow way with selective breeding and domestication....

that slowness was and is a virtue.  
it allows for mistakes to be small.  
and much easier to fix

the current 'speedup' does not have the same degree of safety built into it

when one of these drastic new gene tech improvements get deployed,
for greed,
and goes wrong,
it's much Much MUCH harder to fix.
if possible at all
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Re: from the Science Desk
« Reply #133 on: September 19, 2011, 03:04:05 PM »

Major sperm bank no longer taking deposits from redheads:     http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44579757/ns/health-pregnancy/#.TneRBOzaybw

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Re: from the Science Desk
« Reply #134 on: September 19, 2011, 07:22:54 PM »

during the ice ages, the homo * species survived, mostly,
in the equatorial regions where they wasn't any ice.  
nothing of our complexity survived on top of the ice.  
some survived along the edges.

you have another example?



it matters where and how they survived?  my point is however it happened, it happened.  there was, in fact, survival.

there are plenty of examples of humans adapting and living in conditions humans cant survive naked in.  sorry, i just do not subscribe to the self destructive theories; granted i've never seen a global climate shift, but i still don't believe someone couldn't start immediately tunneling.  just about every civilization existing right now is built on the ashes of the one that sat there before it.  i'd rather try to kill off fleas than human beings; we are a rash of survivors.

incidentally, losing interests in the past and in where humanity and technology have come from is more important than you might think.  knowing that our collective i.q. hasn't raised one point in the span of humanity should tell one that there are some things about human nature that simply cannot be changed.  it might can be bred out of us, but so long as ANY human is alive, at this point in time, there will exist an id.  and, without an id, we as a species will cease to move forward with the passion for it we have now.
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