Author Topic: Science, Bitches!  (Read 6812 times)

random axe

  • Concerned Netizen
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34,733
  • Karma: +92/-20
  • Concern Intensifies
Re: Science, Bitches!
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2013, 12:05:37 PM »
:lol:

the other andrea

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,683
  • Karma: +158/-25
  • laughing in Mongolia
Re: Science, Bitches!
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2013, 12:39:20 PM »
:spittake:

 :lol:
"I'm only going to ask you once more. Sit down or I will kick you in the vagina, and you know I will."

stormneedle

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,746
  • Karma: +118/-42
  • Nonsense Stuffer
    • Your page here!
Re: Science, Bitches!
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2013, 03:17:46 PM »
Oh, Belgium!
I'm generalizing from one example here, but everyone generalizes from one example. At least, I do.

mo

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,757
  • Karma: +136/-55
    • x
Re: Science, Bitches!
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2013, 09:38:13 AM »
That's the only abstract I recall making me  :lol:
It's symbolic of our struggle against reality.

phyre

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 639
  • Karma: +29/-2
  • Brought to you by: Non Impediti Ratione Cogitation
So . . . you're saying I should be looking for a soft old plastic bucket. Man, dating sucks. Raxe
You should have told her about the incontinent stair ghost. Hedaira
If you jerk off into the abyss, it jerks off on you, too. - Raxe
Cats and fish could have kittens if they adopted. - mybabysmomma
However, I do not recommend getting cancer as a strategy in curbing the bitching. - the other andrea
Space is totally weird, man.  If it's not blowing your mind, it's because you stopped thinking about it. - Raxe

random axe

  • Concerned Netizen
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34,733
  • Karma: +92/-20
  • Concern Intensifies
Re: Science, Bitches!
« Reply #20 on: July 27, 2013, 04:33:17 PM »
Big graphic explaining evolution which makes regular tours of the internet.

I know they mean well, but this annoys the shit out of me mostly because it specifically addresses a single question and then -- depending on how you look at it -- either fails to answer it or gets the answer completely wrong.

Regardless of whether or not it's precisely true that we "evolved from monkeys", there are still monkeys today because monkeys haven't gone extinct.  That is the reason.  When a new species appears, it doesn't 'use up' the species it descended from. 

The question (though common) is based on a complete misunderstanding of how evolution works.  It's roughly equivalent to saying "Hey, if I grew up, then why do I still have brothers?"

As an aside . . . there's also a common question that goes "If humans evolved from monkeys, then why aren't monkeys still evolving into humans?"  That one isn't a mystery but has a more complicated answer, most of which boils down to:  Most species of monkeys are either doing fine the way they are OR they're going extinct too quickly to adapt to their new circumstances.

The weird -- but illuminating -- part of the answer to that, though, is that some primates kind of are evolving into humans.  Strictly speaking, they aren't, but they're becoming more human-like in response to conditions that select for traits and behavior that are more human-like. 

If you look at baboons in, say, India, they've obviously adapted extremely well to human environments, and in some cases are doing better than they did in the wild.  There hasn't been time for anything like speciation to occur (human cities, let alone modern human cities, haven't been around long at all in terms of geological time), but there are biologists studying metro apes vs jungle apes and finding morphological differences.  It's not coincidental.

And due to both direct human activity and longterm habitat change, some forest chimps in Africa now live on the forest periphery, in the scrub and hills, and their behavior is hugely different from their more traditional relatives.  They walk around upright a lot more, make more tools (and weapons!), band together cooperatively to hunt or to fight predators, communicate more elaborately, etc, because life is tougher for them in the scrub.  You don't have to squint to see them as pseudo-hominids.

But the idea that monkeys would vanish because some of them produced a new species, no.  I mean, they've made Rocky sequels, which wouldn't exist without the first movie, but you can still watch Rocky.

Dr. Leonard HmofCoy

  • I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,673
  • Karma: +205/-69
  • His BRAIN is gone
Re: Science, Bitches!
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2013, 04:47:17 PM »
I went to a great lunch talk today by a scientist in my department with whom I am completely infatuated. She's just amazing and super bright and completely adorable. Anyway, she's studying microfossil organisms from before during and after the "Snowball Earth" glaciations. Her big idea right now is that the mass extinction that occurred around that time was in fact about 40 million years before the glaciers closed around the equator (ca. 700 Mya), and that people should be looking around that time for evidence of what caused the mass extinction as that also could have been the trigger for the glaciation.

But what got me thinking was her introductory talk. She observed something that I really know but haven't internalized - that we have rocks going back to 3.7 Gya (billion years ago) and there is evidence of life in all of them. Not just geochemical evidence, but microfossils as well. The entire earth's crust has been recycled since then and there are no rocks older that are present. We don't really know when life evolved, some time during the Hadean (i.e. the whole time between the oldest rocks we have and the time the earth condensed from the primordial rubble). But it could have been long enough ago that there were microorganisms all over the earth when the impact that created the Moon occurred. That would have showered the Solar System with Earth bits. I asked her after the talk, if anyone has looked for Hadean rocks in space and she lit up like a freaking christmas tree. She got what I was after immediately, and said right away that yes, one fantastic reason to explore Mars would be to look for bits of Earth and OF COURSE life or its building blocks could have been translated to Mars by that or another impact during a time when Mars was warmer and wetter.

Of course it's a ludicrous idea, but so was the idea that people would be counting scales on essentially modern amoebas in rocks from 750 million years ago, when I was in college. SO.

Let's go to Mars. This planet's about done.
"Parasitic wasps laying eggs in other insects is a better love story than Twilight." - :bitzero:
"Anyhow, it was the best sentient food movie since Killer Tomatoes Eat France." - :flipper:
"lee marvin in drag is no way to spread the gospel, son." - TFJ
"It failed. My enemies have been purged." - Sidious
"It's not like there was ever a time I didn't think Rudy Giuliani was a smug gibbering imbecile." - random axe
"*drags taint* Oh cool, I didn't know you could do that." - mo.d

random axe

  • Concerned Netizen
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34,733
  • Karma: +92/-20
  • Concern Intensifies
Re: Science, Bitches!
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2013, 05:57:43 PM »
Actually, I just saw something the other day where someone had calculated the mass of Earth rocks that probably wound up on the Martian surface every million years, or in some time interval.  I wondered about that after they were talking about that Martian meteorite found way down south, but I thought there must be far less ejecta from Earth because of our atmosphere. 

Which is really a pretty random assumption on my part, since I don't know dick about it.  :lol:  But I forgot all about it again until I read the thing about Earth rocks on Mars.  And now you bringing it up again.  Twice in a week must mean something . . . .  Planets breeding through interplanetary bukkake.  Panspermia, indeed.

I had no idea life was known to have been present on Earth for as long as we can see back, though.  That strikes me as pretty surprising, and it also strikes me as surprising that I never heard it before.  Actually, it sounds to me like a pretty strong argument for panspermia.  Or a hell of an argument for a prevalence of deep-time abiogenesis.

Speaking of ancient microfossils, does anyone / can anyone look for ancient microfossils of deep-rock archaea and the like?  Does stuff down at that level get recycled faster?

random axe

  • Concerned Netizen
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34,733
  • Karma: +92/-20
  • Concern Intensifies
Re: Science, Bitches!
« Reply #23 on: October 09, 2013, 05:59:52 PM »
Did that post sound dickish?  I hope it didn't sound dickish.  You can level with me.  I didn't mean to sound like the idea of the moon-forming impact spraying terrestrial life all over wasn't shocking and phenomenal.  I just got kind of excited.

Dr. Leonard HmofCoy

  • I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,673
  • Karma: +205/-69
  • His BRAIN is gone
Re: Science, Bitches!
« Reply #24 on: October 09, 2013, 06:32:30 PM »
Oh no, not at all.

You're right but for maybe the wrong reasons. It's harder to fling stuff from Earth to Mars because of the Sun's gravity well. We find bits of Mars on the Antarctic ice all the time (metaphorically), I suspect the arrival of stuff from Earth on Mars is a lot more random and dramatic. I suspect when we're talking big enough impacts to do this the atmosphere is not a huge barrier.

I don't find any arguments for interstellar panspermia compelling at all, but within the inner solar system? Yah. I think so. The problem with a lot of proponents of panspermia is that they like to claim that life arrived too quickly on Earth, and I don't really buy that. The timelines expand a lot out there. We're talking hundreds of millions of years. That's enough time. Seeded from Mars or vice versa? Sure, but it evolved in one of those two places (or maybe Venus, probably not) first.

I'm not sure what you mean by deep-rock in your last question. I know that the "Deep Biosphere" is the hottest topic in classical environmental microbiology right now and NASA and NSF are funding a lot of research into this, so yeah, people are looking everywhere they can in subsurface strata for living or fossil bacteria or archaea. Sadly bacteria and archaea do not fossilize as well as eukaryotes so the record is not as good. And the deep biosphere is the cradle-of-life-du-jour in the community. That changes rapidly, so, I dunno.

-non sequitur, or rather re-sequitur-

The thing about the snowball earth episodes, though, is very interesting. It really looks like from the fossil records that the algae crashed and didn't come back until after the snowballing was over. Similar heterotrophic organisms (the aforesaid scaly or shelled amoebas) really took off. This makes sense, if the refuge was in the ocean, under a kilometer of ice (no light). But then how did the same algae come back? Spores that persisted for 100 million years and hatched out when it got light again? Don't think so. So they think there were areas of the Earth that were not covered by ice, and they haven't found any rocks of the right age from those refuges yet.

The way the snowball earth episodes ended is also interesting. They figured that volcanic activity eventually raised the atmospheric CO2 to >100,000 ppm (it is 400 now) which enabled the greenhouse effect to outstrip the high albedo of the ice and snow and the volcanic aerosols. And when the ice melted it rehydrated the atmosphere (water is a better greenhouse gas than CO2) leading to a serious runaway greenhouse effect. -50C average to 50C average in a relatively short time. Scary, no matter what your phylum is. I really think anything surviving that would have been in the ocean but we'll see. Hearing that I think this planet dodged being Venused by only a little bit.
"Parasitic wasps laying eggs in other insects is a better love story than Twilight." - :bitzero:
"Anyhow, it was the best sentient food movie since Killer Tomatoes Eat France." - :flipper:
"lee marvin in drag is no way to spread the gospel, son." - TFJ
"It failed. My enemies have been purged." - Sidious
"It's not like there was ever a time I didn't think Rudy Giuliani was a smug gibbering imbecile." - random axe
"*drags taint* Oh cool, I didn't know you could do that." - mo.d

Sidious

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,876
  • Karma: +63/-23
  • Good, I can feel your anger.
Re: Science, Bitches!
« Reply #25 on: October 09, 2013, 07:41:54 PM »
This is all well and good, but I don't see how you can reconcile any of this with the fact that the Earth is only about 6000 years old.   :whatever:
Rich people won't kill the rest of us off until there are really good robots.

Sidious

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,876
  • Karma: +63/-23
  • Good, I can feel your anger.
Re: Science, Bitches!
« Reply #26 on: October 09, 2013, 07:54:12 PM »
I told my wife that I was trolling you with Young Earth Creationism in response to the microfossils discussion, and she said "You should have posted a link to this:  http://www.creationtoday.org/the-origin-of-life-part-1-s03e09/ "

 :lol:

So instead, I seem to have succeeded in trolling her.  She's getting all worked up browsing around the Creation Today website.   :rollin:
Rich people won't kill the rest of us off until there are really good robots.

Dr. Leonard HmofCoy

  • I'm a doctor, not a bricklayer!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,673
  • Karma: +205/-69
  • His BRAIN is gone
Re: Science, Bitches!
« Reply #27 on: October 09, 2013, 08:40:38 PM »
:galm: :clap:


"Parasitic wasps laying eggs in other insects is a better love story than Twilight." - :bitzero:
"Anyhow, it was the best sentient food movie since Killer Tomatoes Eat France." - :flipper:
"lee marvin in drag is no way to spread the gospel, son." - TFJ
"It failed. My enemies have been purged." - Sidious
"It's not like there was ever a time I didn't think Rudy Giuliani was a smug gibbering imbecile." - random axe
"*drags taint* Oh cool, I didn't know you could do that." - mo.d

stormneedle

  • Trusted
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,746
  • Karma: +118/-42
  • Nonsense Stuffer
    • Your page here!
Re: Science, Bitches!
« Reply #28 on: October 09, 2013, 10:37:20 PM »
I think another reason it would be easier to get material from Mars to Earth is because Earth is more likely to collect something thrown across its orbit as it has a smaller (and thus faster) ellipse.

But, that sounds like it was a fun talk. /jealous

I try not to read the creationist sites. I lack the scientific knowledge to point out where they are wrong, and get frustrated. Maybe I should have taken more Earth Science classes...
I'm generalizing from one example here, but everyone generalizes from one example. At least, I do.

flipper

  • Ultimate Pick Up Line
  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,255
  • Karma: +128/-54
  • Criticism Completes Me
    • Myspace
Re: Science, Bitches!
« Reply #29 on: October 10, 2013, 12:14:25 AM »
Nope, not clicking those links, nope.
"It all trickles down from the hot sex. I'm not saying you don't need cheese, just that if you concentrate on the hot sex, the cheese will follow. Naturally."--PsiDefect 03-19-2002 11:28 AM