Science in America — Neil deGrasse Tyson

April 20, 2017

A very powerful video that speaks for itself.


Robots, not immigrants, are taking American jobs

April 3, 2017

From the article:

On some not-too-distant day, it will become clear that our civilization has become so reliant on highly efficient, wondrously intelligent machinery that we simply do not need that many people to work in traditional jobs. There will be plenty of wealth to go around, but not that much work. Unless we want millions to starve or go homeless or riot in the streets, our society will need to guarantee a minimum income for everyone by letting all citizens share in the vast wealth created by robot labor.

Robots, not immigrants, are taking American jobs


De-Extinction: AMNH 2017 Asimov Debate – NdGT Moderator

April 1, 2017

Watch the 2017 Asimov Debate from the American Museum of Natural History. It was a great one. I did not expect the answer to the question of whether we can do this. No spoiler from me. Settle down for a couple of hours with a good drink for this one.

This debate discusses a wide variety of issues, including genetically modified organisms, agriculture, environmentalism, extinction, quality of DNA from preserved extinct animals, morality, animal welfare, legal issues, etc.

For a sample, just consider the question, if we brought back a mammoth (or mammophant) from extinction, is it automatically an endangered species? What is its “natural range”? What are its natural habitat and food? Is it moral to bring back a species adapted to the arctic in an age of climate change?

P.S. Neil is a bit out of his element on this first Asimov Debate that is NOT related to cosmology, astronomy, or astrophysics in any way. But, as he points out Isaac Asimov wrote about a variety of sciences, some of which did not even really exist at the time he wrote about them, such as robotics. So, de-extinction is perfectly within lines to honor the late Isaac Asimov who spent many hours at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Enjoy.


Why I Know There Are No Gods

March 22, 2017

Background:

Formally, I classify myself as a gnostic atheist, meaning I know there are no gods. Most atheists (from what I read online) appear to be agnostic atheists, people who are without gods but who do not claim to know there are no gods. Some people who fit this description simply call themselves agnostic. But, on formal forums, like reddit’s atheism subreddit, all who are without gods are atheists and agnostic or gnostic is a statement of whether they know or have doubt. Similarly, they allow for agnostic theists, those who believe in god(s) but have some doubt.

Regarding knowledge:

In no other area of discussion do we expect certainty or proof when we speak of knowledge. Nearly all knowledge, outside of mathematics, is empirical knowledge, gained by empirical evidence.

Empirical evidence, also known as sensory experience, is the knowledge received by means of the senses, particularly by observation and experimentation. The term comes from the Greek word for experience, ἐμπειρία (empeiría).

After Immanuel Kant, in philosophy, it is common to call the knowledge gained a posteriori knowledge (in contrast to a priori knowledge).

This is the type of knowledge we use when we say that we know that if we drop a ball on the surface of the earth, it will fall. I don’t hear a whole lot of people telling me, you can’t claim to know that because you can’t prove it. But, indeed we cannot. We know the ball will fall because it has done so the last gazillion times we performed the experiment.

For some reason, most people expect that if you say that you know there are no gods, that this one case of knowledge requires certainty. We do not require certainty from any other type of knowledge. Why do we demand certainty to state knowledge only when we are discussing knowledge of the existence or non-existence of gods?

Why this one?

Nowhere in the definition of knowledge does it ever specify that we must have 100% certainty.

So, when I say I know there are no gods, I mean it the same way that I know the ball will drop or that I know the planet on which we live will continue to rotate through the night causing the appearance of a sunrise in the morning, even if it is blocked by clouds. Night will become day as the earth rotates. I know it. You know it. We cannot prove it to 100% certainty. We only know that it has always done so before.

Classifying gods:

To begin our discussion, we have to classify gods. This way we can address different claims of gods individually.

Read the rest of this entry »


IUCN Misses One Critically Endangered Species … Us

May 12, 2016

Some of my formerly radical views seem to be becoming more mainstream. Click this first link to read the main topic of this post.

ALERT: Critically Endangered Species: Homo sapiens

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You’re five times as likely to die in an extinction event as in a car crash

April 30, 2016

I’ve been talking about the Great Human Die-off for years and have felt like somewhat of a crackpot for doing so. I’ve usually qualified it as just my opinion based on hearing and reading a lot of environmental science.

Now, it seems that the idea of human extinction within the time frame of those alive today is no longer such a crackpot idea.

Human Extinction Isn’t That Unlikely

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Proof of Evolution in our Vestiges

March 20, 2016

I doubt I get many readers who doubt evolution. But, some of these are kind of cool and might help if you end up debating nutjobs who think we were created by God in our present state sometime after the actual human invention of agriculture.


Is Humanity On the Verge Of Extinction?

January 30, 2016


Scientist Claims He Has Found Evidence Of Other Universes

October 30, 2015

Of course, I’m still unconvinced. I’d have found this more convincing if someone had predicted that there might be such areas in the CMB prior to finding them.

Still though, it’s very interesting.

Let’s see if he can form this into a scientific and falsifiable hypothesis. Then we can see if it pans out.

Scientist Claims He Has Found Evidence Of Other Universes


New Alzheimer’s Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function in Mice

September 30, 2015

Since, to my knowledge, the buildup of the amyloids is also an issue in Parkinson’s Disease and Huntington’s Chorea, I would hope that this treatment might also help with those conditions as well.

New Alzheimer’s Treatment Fully Restores Memory Function in Mice

P.S. Do remember that until this treatment exists for humans, and possibly even after, studies have shown that regular consumption of coffee does dramatically reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Prevention may still win, even with a 75% effective treatment.


Republican Polar Bears Stop Climate Research

September 2, 2015

Much like middle class Americans voting Republican, polar bears in Russia are acting against their own self-interest. In this case, they are attempting to stop climate scientists from doing their jobs. </snark>

Polar bears ambush and surround scientists in Russia


Created in His/Her Image … Noodly Apendages and all

August 17, 2015

Is the intelligence and complexity of the members of the cuttlefish family (octopi, squid, cuttlefish) proof of the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

No.

But, it sounded like a good introduction to a highly interesting article about the complexity of the octopus genome, the mapping of it, and the intelligence of this family of creatures.

Enjoy.

Decoded octopus genome reveals secrets to complex intelligence


New England Journal of Medicine Makes a Powerful Statement about Planned Parenthood

August 15, 2015

This article should be the end of this whole discussion.

Fetal Tissue Fallout

Unfortunately, I doubt that a write-up in a medical journal will get as much airplay as the guy with the dead orange tribble on his head or even as much air play as Jeb “my brother didn’t do it” Bush. Would this be called “hot air play”?

Anyway, The New England Journal of Medicine is solidly and squarely on the side of Planned Parenthood.

So am I.

Read the rest of this entry »


Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Brief History of Everything

August 2, 2015

In an astonishingly short 8.5 minutes, Neil explains it all for us lay folks. Enjoy.

P.S. Major kudos to the sketch artist Henry Reich as well. The illustrations are amazing in their accuracy and simplicity.


Large Hadron Collider Could Detect Extra Dimensions

March 20, 2015

If String Hypothesis is correct, it is possible that the LHC at full power might actually detect it by creating mini black holes. This would be incredible.

Note that what this particular article is not discussing is the possibility of Kaluza-Klein particles which would, if detected, be able to tell us not only about the existence of extra dimensions, but about the shapes of the compactified dimensions. But, that will have to wait for another article.

Large Hadron Collider Could Detect Extra Dimensions


Light: Caught in the Act of Wave Particle Duality

March 2, 2015

It’s amazing that someone figured out a way to capture this. And, the image is quite beautiful as well.

http://phys.org/news/2015-03-particle.html


Of Purpose and Penis-Religion vs Science Debate Rages On

January 2, 2015

I love the graphic. Click the link below to read the article.

http://madmikesamerica.com/2015/01/of-purpose-and-penis-religion-vs-science-debate-rages-on/


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Vaginas — from IFLS

December 4, 2014

It’s actually true that I did not know a single one of these before. Interesting. Well, of course, some of the 10 are more interesting than others. For the last, the word is sheath or scabbard. Why sword holder? Are we really no longer expected to know what a sheath or a scabbard is?

It is vaguely appropriate for this to be posted on I Fucking Love Science. Or, would this be I Love Fucking Science? Or, I Love the Science of Fucking?

Anyway, enjoy.

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-vaginas

P.S. A much tastier source of good bacteria, IMHO. And, I like yogurt or even yoghurt.


New Hypothesis Suggests Parallel Universes Interact With And Affect Our Own Universe

November 10, 2014

First, I hate when people call these brand new thoughts theories. Theory in science does not mean what it means in a court of law. It means something that is tried and at least fairly well proven. It makes predictions, can be used to do calculations, and may even have engineering applications.

Anyway, this is an interesting hypothesis. I wonder if it will make testable predictions, and if so, what they will be. Then, I will be very interested to hear whether the tests have been implemented and whether the hypothesis passes the tests.

Until then, this is merely an amusing thing to think about. Let’s see how this pans out.

http://www.iflscience.com/physics/physicist-predicts-parallel-universes-overlap-and-interact


Reversible Male Birth Control Without Condoms by 2017

September 11, 2014

I had to add reversible to my title because I’ve been using condomless male birth control since 2001.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/09/09/we-ll-have-male-birth-control-by-2017.html

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