Forums / Discussion / General

168,568 total conversations in 5,399 threads

+ New Thread


Science General

Last posted May 11, 2012 at 03:03PM EDT. Added Mar 08, 2012 at 06:27PM EST
149 posts from 42 users

The current irony in this thread is that I haven’t posted anything yet worthy of the current discussion, perhaps on blood within the human body, nor have I contributed as many scientific points or ideas.

Oh well, it’s on my to-do list.

Last edited Mar 15, 2012 at 04:06PM EDT
Mar 15, 2012 at 04:05PM EDT
Quote

Here’s a fascinating video by YouTuber vsauce. It’s about black holes, light speed travel and the center of the universe. In the video, he talks about actually going in a black hole, despite how it doesn’t make that sense as it’s impossible, it’s really interesting, I really learnt some stuff from this video. Watch it, you won’t be disappoint.

Hmm, I think this is in Quantum Meme’s field of science.

Mar 16, 2012 at 06:56AM EDT


Bump

Mar 18, 2012 at 07:13AM EDT

This video explains the 3th Doctor’s quote “Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!”
Explained to you by a theoretical physics undergraduate student at Imperial College London who also happens to be a total Whovian! ^^




Mar 18, 2012 at 11:08AM EDT
Quote

Explained by an undergraduate?

Our country must be just too boss.

Mar 18, 2012 at 02:29PM EDT
Quote

量子 Meme wrote:

Explained by an undergraduate?

Our country must be just too boss.

She’s a Whovian.
That adds ∞ intelligence.
End of discussion.

Mar 18, 2012 at 03:36PM EDT
Quote

Greninja wrote:

“This thread is dedicated to Science. This thread has rules that must be followed”
Rule 1:No fake science.
Rule 2:No trolling
Rule 3:Always listen to Quantum ≠ Meme for his words of wisdom
Rule 4:Have Fun

Rule 1: No trolling
Rule 4: Have fun

IMPOSSIBRU

Last edited Mar 18, 2012 at 09:49PM EDT
Mar 18, 2012 at 09:49PM EDT
Quote

opspe wrote:

dravitar wrote:

Hmmm… then might you be able to do it outside the body, and then just act like it’s a regular blood transplant?

No. Iron is vital to oxygen transport within the body. Other metals just wouldn’t work, and if you were injected with them, you’d die from lack of oxygen and/or metals poisoning.

Now that’s not to say that there aren’t other metals in the body. Vitamin B12 contains cobalt, for example. But, the iron in hemoglobin is so critical to oxygen transport that our life would be impossible without it.

So, we could leave some of the iron-enriched red blood in our body, insert selenium ions in some (Selenium, while toxic in large doses, is necessary for life in organisms, so I doubt it would be dangerous in these small amounts), which would color that blood blue when oxygen is added, inject a small amount into your bloodstream to make your blood purple, then cosplay as Eridan Ampora when Comicon rolls around.

Mar 18, 2012 at 10:21PM EDT
Quote

Twins the Serendipitous Serval wrote:

Using my words of wisdom, My gut says maybe.

Mar 20, 2012 at 03:08AM EDT
Quote
This post has been hidden due to low karma.
Click here to show this post.

bunch of virgins pretending they are smart.

Mar 20, 2012 at 03:30AM EDT

warcraftnerd1234 wrote:

bunch of virgins pretending they are smart.

/“bunch of virgins tpretending they’re smart”
/name is warcraftnerd1234

Mar 20, 2012 at 04:12AM EDT
Quote
This post has been hidden due to low karma.
Click here to show this post.

lol look at me i am fudge gruck i think i have a more awesome name than everyone else i talk shit to everyone else lol virgin

Mar 20, 2012 at 05:40AM EDT

warcraftnerd1234 wrote:

lol look at me i am fudge gruck i think i have a more awesome name than everyone else i talk shit to everyone else lol virgin

“Lol, look at me my name is warcraftnerd1234. I call everyone virgin because I’m so awesome lolololol virgins.”

Lol faggot.

Mar 20, 2012 at 06:39AM EDT

Okay, because of that slight mishap with warcraftnerd II, this thread became 1% less scientific.

But now that I’m here, it’s about 99.99% scientific.

Mar 20, 2012 at 11:40AM EDT
Quote

Oh, with you here, Quantum, I’m sure the percentage of science is more like seven nines.

Mar 20, 2012 at 11:43AM EDT
Quote

dravitar wrote:

Oh, with you here, Quantum, I’m sure the percentage of science is more like seven nines.

Please, to be serious, I’m sure my scientific ‘glare’ power would be about π÷10(13+13)*448-1337

Mar 20, 2012 at 04:51PM EDT
Quote

That wasn’t serious, the answer was -1282.8679419689143318911052217035.

Mar 20, 2012 at 05:28PM EDT
Quote

dravitar wrote:

Oh, with you here, Quantum, I’m sure the percentage of science is more like seven nines.

What? Seven…Nine?

Mar 20, 2012 at 11:44PM EDT
Quote

I wish I didn’t grow up in Florida, my science know how stopped at the magic school bus.

Mar 20, 2012 at 11:56PM EDT
Quote

Let’s talk some science up in here. Although I’m sure many of us would like to “discuss” some science with Seven of Nine up there.

What are people’s thoughts on Nuclear Power? I’m not sold myself, since we have no good way of dealing with the waste generated, and because of the risk of disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi.

Mar 21, 2012 at 12:04AM EDT
Quote

I think to each source of energy there is always a risk. I mean I hear talks of clean coal. I don’t think there can be truly clean coal, like a power plant can produce no waste.

Mar 21, 2012 at 12:28AM EDT
Quote

opspe wrote:

Let’s talk some science up in here. Although I’m sure many of us would like to “discuss” some science with Seven of Nine up there.

What are people’s thoughts on Nuclear Power? I’m not sold myself, since we have no good way of dealing with the waste generated, and because of the risk of disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi.

RE: dealing with nuclear waste
This Place is Not a Place of Honor
I’m not sure that there is a solution to this problem. Yet as MoaDakka said, it’s hard to find any source of energy that’s 100% safe and clean.

Mar 21, 2012 at 01:42AM EDT
Quote

opspe wrote:

Let’s talk some science up in here. Although I’m sure many of us would like to “discuss” some science with Seven of Nine up there.

What are people’s thoughts on Nuclear Power? I’m not sold myself, since we have no good way of dealing with the waste generated, and because of the risk of disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi.

Well, one thing for sure is that we shouldn’t put nuclear power stations on coasts, of course.

But alas, there are safer energy sources that don’t require fossil fuels, like solar and hydro energy.

Mar 21, 2012 at 02:02AM EDT

Let me just say this first: “Clean Coal” is a lie. It is only very slightly less dirty coal, but still with all the problems associated with mining and processing.


I agree that there is no one solution to energy security. I have heard of the Yucca Mountain site, and I find the ways in which people dream up durable signs that are intended to indicate the presence of radioactivity to be really interesting. But, I don’t think that this is a good solution. The 10,000 years for which the material would be dangerous is an incomprehensibly long time on the human timescale; human society has developed from nothing over the past 14,000 years, so who knows what will happen over the next 10,000 years? But, of course, that’s what these people are trying to work out. There are many other problems with nuclear power, such as uranium mining, the vast amounts of energy required to enrich it to fertile material, the cost of building and maintaining plants, etc.


So I believe that we’ll have to have a bunch of solutions:


Fossil fuels are running out. Obtaining natural gas (methane) through hydraulic cracking of rocks (fracking) is dangerous and no one really knows what goes into the chemicals that are used in the process (they’re proprietary). Extracting oil from the tar sands in northern Alberta consumes more energy than it produces, not to mention the terrible effects on the environment. So we need alternatives.


Hydroelectric power works well, but is environmentally damaging and only works in certain areas.


Solar power works in arid regions, but the amounts of energy required to produce large, ultrapure silicon crystals for the panels almost makes it not worth it. There is research being done to make organic solar cells using polymers, but so far the most efficient example is only about 1/5 as efficient as the average silicon-based solar cell, so there’s a ton of research to do still.


Wind power works in windy regions, but people don’t like giant turbines everywhere. People also don’t like the idea of how many birds they kill, but it’s worth pointing out that, in the US, cats kill several orders of magnitude more birds per year than wind turbines.


One thing that has been extensively researched over the past 10 years is hydrogen-based fuel cells. It is not feasible that cars be powered with hydrogen. The biggest problem with it is the storage of the hydrogen. Gas is too flammable and takes too much volume, liquid is too cold, and metal-organic frameworks (much the rage in the Organometallics world about 5 years ago) are too heavy and inefficient. Another problem is the production of the hydrogen itself. Currently, most of it comes from reacting methane and water at very high temperatures, producing hydrogen and carbon monoxide. This process requires a lot of energy, and it produces a greenhouse gas, although this can be trapped for lab use or for further reactions. So maybe with further research hydrogen fuel cells will become more feasible, but for stationary applications only, such as buildings.


tl;dr: There is no one solution to our energy problems. I’m confident that a solution will be reached, but probably not until things become more desperate.

Last edited Mar 21, 2012 at 02:14AM EDT
Mar 21, 2012 at 02:14AM EDT
Quote

One of the solutions of world energy would be the reduction in world hyperpopulation. If world population reached levels of 200 years ago, the population would be about 15% of what is today. That means almost a tenth of today’s 7 billion.

More resources per capita. The problem would still be who will operate the whole infrastructure needed to supply/maintain the energy sources going. In other words, maybe decreasing population would net a decrease in useful supply available for mankind. But most probably the balance would go in a favorable way for humanity.

Of course, no sane human should be in favor of genocide in order of billions or even think about eugenics. Maybe if this process is slow but steady, maybe in about 300 years or so a happy world would be attained, if mankind (or aliens or zombies or whatever) doesn’t wipe out this planet.

Mar 21, 2012 at 02:35AM EDT
Quote

Brucker wrote:

RE: dealing with nuclear waste
This Place is Not a Place of Honor
I’m not sure that there is a solution to this problem. Yet as MoaDakka said, it’s hard to find any source of energy that’s 100% safe and clean.

Nuclear Fusion

If it cannot sustain itself, it just slows down instead of having a devastating chain reaction. Ideally, just use hydrogen molecules to form helium. Easier said than done, though. It is like having a mini-sun in a plant (think Spiderman 2 without Doc Ock, stupidly scattered screws in his garage lab, irrational gravitation, or uncontrollable chain reaction).

Too bad it is still too early to be called feasible. The greatest minds and resources in this planet still cannot have a sustainable reaction.

Geothermal power is an interesting solution. Think using lava and earth heat as the energy source instead of coal or fossil fuels. Problem is magma and volcanoes are quite unstable and unreliable.

Last edited Mar 21, 2012 at 02:54AM EDT
Mar 21, 2012 at 02:38AM EDT
Quote

I think we are wondering whats on the 13 floor when we haven’t even transcended the stairwell of fossil fuels. When I see people offer alternative fuel they seem to go for the idea for a bit then drop it. Seem more like trends then solutions. I just fear that economics has science by the ball in this age.

Last edited Mar 21, 2012 at 03:31AM EDT
Mar 21, 2012 at 03:31AM EDT
Quote

Hmm, Brucker was right there. No matter what, production of the devices that allow use of such energy can have large quantities of pollution, especially solar panels.

There’s really no source of energy that would do no pollution at all. If we’re on the topic of energy-saving in terms of environment issue solutions then just plant… trees.

Think about it. Trees, plants and vegetation are known to suck in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen. More of these kind of things, and by that I mean a lot of them, would really reverse the effect excess carbon dioxide has made on the Earth. Of course, this idea has been approached many times, but people are more obsessed with the ‘eco-technology’ we have nowadays.

However, too many trees would eventually the world a colder place, not suitable for life at all. Although, it’s obviously impossible.

Mar 21, 2012 at 04:33AM EDT

Most of these ideas have merits and demerits. (I, for one, can not wait until some random scientist unlocks cold fusion. But that’s highly improbable.) Almost all of them involve using part of the earth, or energy from the sun to power things. How about… Human power?

Now, I’m not talking about sweatshops where people run on hamster wheels for sixteen hours a day so that some fatty can have his satellite TV, I’m talking about portable, lightweight power generators that you can strap to, say, your leg. The mere action of walking around would generate some power, miniscule though it may be. However, if you take a city like NYC, Tokyo, or London, cities with millions of inhabitants, a large percentage of which walk during the day, you could generate a sizeable amount of power. Adding those people who regularly go on fitness runs, and the amount of power might shoot up to a useable level.

Gyms and fitness centers could probably be off the grid entirely, powered by the large numbers of people who exercise, and generate power.

If the government ever decided to go with this, it could set up a system of checking power generated per household, and give large generators a tax cut, or something, as a bonus. And the world, as a happy side effect, doesn’t have to worry so much about the growing trend of obesity!

I know that some engineering-capable Boy Scouts were shown to have created a backpack frame that contained miniature dynamos in its springs. After a few miles of walking, there was enough power to charge cell phones, Ipods, and emergency radios. Multiply that small amount of power by billions, and you might have an easily sustainable energy source, with the side effects of more of the world exercising.

So… what do you think? Would people even latch onto this idea, with the tax cuts that might come with it, or is the world, America in particular, too entranced with their own satisfaction and energy wants that they aren’t willing to get off their asses and make the energy?

Mar 21, 2012 at 07:08AM EDT
Quote

Idea. there is more heat energy in an iceberg than a match head, correct? so what about the air? it gets heated by the sun, a source that will not deplete for ages. if we could somehow use this power, such as inducing lightning or super heating the air by drawing the heat to one single small spot, we would have a clean, almost infinite source of energy.

Mar 21, 2012 at 10:14AM EDT

User Name wrote:

Well, one thing for sure is that we shouldn’t put nuclear power stations on coasts, of course.

But alas, there are safer energy sources that don’t require fossil fuels, like solar and hydro energy.

Ahh, but remember how easy it could be to use/obtain it.

It takes a long while to make a wind farm to power one town anyway.

To be honest, I’m really not in the mood for a discussion on nuclear power as I’m sure we are all familiar with the problems it causes and the pros it gives for us, and I’m just thinking that I don’t believe that us discussing such a kind of power source helps in anyway; Talk about Red Shift, people, It’s damn cooler!!

Seriously though, I’m in the mood for the expansion of space, srsly guise.

Last edited Mar 21, 2012 at 11:58AM EDT
Mar 21, 2012 at 11:48AM EDT
Quote

Da expanshun of SPACE??
Eh’s a cool phenomenon. It stretches time and doesn’t afraid of anything.
(More on this later, but I have to re-research… not talked about it in a while.)

Mar 21, 2012 at 12:41PM EDT
Quote

Redshift is easy. It’s just the Doppler Effect as applied to light. I’m not sure how that has anything to do with the expansion of space…or even what you mean by that.

Mar 21, 2012 at 02:12PM EDT
Quote

opspe wrote:

Hydroelectric power works well, but is environmentally damaging and only works in certain areas.

I think this statement highlights the real problem of energy production. You’d think that if any energy source was good for the environment, it would be hydroelectric, but no. It seems to me that whatever power source we come up with, we have to deal with the laws of thermodynamics, which are going to tell us more or less that for any gain we manage, there has to be a loss. Even in fantastical scenarios involving methods of energy production that we haven’t even dreamed of, there are potential problems. In Asimov’s The Gods Themselves, humans develop a device known as “the electron pump” which exchanges matter between earth and a world in a parallel universe that, due to having slightly different physical laws, can supply humans with a virtually unlimited amount of radioactive material that decays quickly into a stable element. Free energy! The twist turns out to be that bringing in matter from this other universe is slowly making our universe more like theirs, and the difference in physical laws is inevitably going to cause the sun to go supernova.

While that’s of course purely speculative, it highlights the TANSTAAFL principle. For any kind of energy production to work, something has to be lost. I’ve often wondered: if we did have cheap and easy-to-manufacture solar cells, then what happens to the environment when we’re sucking up all the energy that used to go to powering photosynthesis and warming the earth’s surface? There will be an impact, we just don’t yet know what it will be.

Hiroman wrote:

One of the solutions of world energy would be the reduction in world hyperpopulation.

In my opinion, overpopulation is a myth. our real issue is that we don’t know how to handle the resources we currently have in order to give more people a healthy lifestyle. I read somewhere that if everyone in the world were willing to live with the population density of Brooklyn, we could fit the entire world population into a space the size of New Hampshire. While trying to consolidate people to that much of an extreme would be impractical for a plethora of reasons, it highlights to me that really, we’re wasting space. Even without consolidation of population, how much of the world’s land is currently potential farmland going to waste? Cross referring to my rant in the communism thread, I think the greed for money is what stops the human race from reaching our full potential. There’s no money to be made in solving world hunger and curing diseases in third world nations, so it isn’t done.

Hiroman wrote:

Geothermal power is an interesting solution.

It is, but it has quite a number of drawbacks. Generally, geothermal wells have to be placed in areas of high seismic activity, and tapping into that power, they end up creating more seismic activity to some extent. I happen to live in an area that uses a lot of geothermal energy, and it’s rare to have a week go by without at least one 4.0 magnitude quake. Also, despite being more or less all-natural, they pollute heavily, pumping sulfurous gasses into the air, and leaving behind a bunch of toxic sludge that they don’t know what to do with. Here’s a satellite picture of a toxic dump near a friend’s house that’s not supposed to exist (He’s taken pictures from the roof of his truck to see over the fence):
[photo:271832]

Dr. Meme wrote:

There’s really no source of energy that would do no pollution at all. If we’re on the topic of energy-saving in terms of environment issue solutions then just plant… trees.

I think there is a lot of merit to the newly-popular idea of offsetting one’s “carbon footprint”, and I don’t think that it would be likely that you could overdo it. The more trees and other plants we have, the more animals of all sorts will thrive, and the whole ecosystem will tend to balance itself naturally, given the chance.

I think the real solutions to our energy problems need to be less about finding the (nonexistent) perfect energy source, and more about (1) finding ways to give back to the environment, (2) reducing the amount of energy we consume, and (3) reducing the waste we create in both the production and usage of that energy.

Mar 21, 2012 at 03:12PM EDT
Quote

OH SHIT A SCIENCE SOMEONE CALL-

Mar 21, 2012 at 03:44PM EDT

So, with all the talk of power sources that are detrimental to the general state of the world, no one has even mentioned my thoughts on human power, whether to advocate it or to kill it with fire.

Last edited Mar 21, 2012 at 04:49PM EDT
Mar 21, 2012 at 04:48PM EDT
Quote

@dravitar:
I didn’t respond because while it sounded interesting, I really have no idea as to the feasibility of it. Clearly, as we go through our daily routines, we are expending kinetic energy, a large portion of which goes to waste. One of the barriers to making this practical is asking people to carry around devices strapped to their bodies; if they are bulky, they may ask more of an expenditure of energy than a person usually would give, and even if they are relatively small, they’d still be likely to be uncomfortable. While that untapped energy is indeed there, I wonder how many people would feel it worth the effort collecting it.

Now on the other hand, your thought about refitting gym equipment with power generators seems like such a very feasible idea that I don’t understand why it already isn’t in effect. Any piece of equipment that involves pushing or pulling against a force could, in theory, be converted into a pushing or pulling of a generator. People have already done this on a small scale before, so I do wonder why this isn’t seeing more widespread use? Imagine a gym that has all of its equipment set up to generate electricity while its members work out. They could have smaller membership fees, and the added bonus of “Working out at our gym is good for the environment!”

Mar 21, 2012 at 06:11PM EDT
Quote

opspe wrote:

Redshift is easy. It’s just the Doppler Effect as applied to light. I’m not sure how that has anything to do with the expansion of space…or even what you mean by that.

You can’t see that?

Of course, Redshift isn’t directly related to the expansion of the universe but is it not familiar to how one could find out how fast a planet is traveling away from us?

One could also, in theory, pin-point the centre of the universe if we found out the trail direction of the shifting wavelengths, if you get what I’m trying to convey here…

I actually do not know that much on Redshift, although I can tell you it’s like the light version of the Doppler effect.

Still… I hope you can get my ‘Quantum Meme’ Logic…

Mar 21, 2012 at 06:19PM EDT
Quote

Okay, I can sort of see where you’re coming from with that. It can be measured to estimate the distance of stars and the acceleration of the expansion of the universe. But the way you worded it, the expansion of space, indicates a much smaller-scale phenomenon. Space and the universe are not the same thing. The universe is expanding, but space is not. The universe is contained within spacetime, so it’s not changing it, at least not in that sense.

Mar 21, 2012 at 06:31PM EDT
Quote

opspe wrote:

Space and the universe are not the same thing.

You know, this distinction has always intrigued me, not the least reason being that I don’t understand what it really means. Am I to take it that the universe is everything that exists within space?

How exactly are they separable? It occurs to me that current theories concerning the nature of the Big Bang state that matter, energy, space, and time all came into existence simultaneously. They seem to me to be inexorably linked to one another. (The classic equation E=mc² includes all four concepts!)

Mar 22, 2012 at 01:22AM EDT
Quote

When people hear “space,” they always think of outer space, which is a phrase that evokes space exploration in shows like Star Trek. We use the word space in that context to describe the interplanetary and interstellar void, but strictly speaking, space, or more properly termed, spacetime, is a mathematical construct that was developed to describe the universe. Since spacetime exceeds our three-dimensional universe (by adding a time dimension), it can be said that the current universe, and all its historical states, cover the spacetime manifold. Some theories predict that spacetime has far more dimensions than previously thought (11 seems to be the most common number), so in that case it is entirely plausible that the universe is contained within spacetime.

What is more, the universe is expanding. What is it expanding into, if not spacetime? If, in fact, it were spacetime itself that were expanding, then relativistically speaking we wouldn’t be able to observe the expansion of the universe, because from our reference frame, it would appear to be constant. Therefore, the universe and spacetime must be separate entities.

As for the existence of spacetime before the Big Bang, the answer is we just don’t know. The moment of the Big Bang is assuredly a point in spacetime, but we don’t know anything about it, and we never will.

Mar 22, 2012 at 01:54AM EDT
Quote

Resources/energy

Brucker wrote:

In my opinion, overpopulation is a myth. our real issue is that we don’t know how to handle the resources we currently have in order to give more people a healthy lifestyle.

It is interesting considering overpopulation a myth. I consider that reduction in population would lead to reduction in use of natural resources and waste. It is true that there is a lot of space on Earth (one can look at these kinds of maps). Yes, there is land. The problem is the impact humanity is giving on the planet due to the waste and degradation it is generating.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature Living Planet Report, the planet’s biocapacity is already exceeded in terms of carbon emission. One can download the report here and look for ecological overshoot.

Climate change is proof overpopulation is or will be a concern.

Also, according to this source,

In short, we would need an additional two planet Earths to accommodate the increased ecological load of people alive today. If the population were to stabilize at between 10 and 11 billion sometime in the next century, five additional Earths would be needed, all else being equal -- and this just to maintain the present rate of ecological decline (Rees & Wackernagel, 1994).

There are some other sources indicating that to give all the world population a “decent” lifestyle (American), resources are just not sufficient.

Of course, if the world is ok living with limited resources, then there is no overpopulation, but the idea is to give as many as possible a good life.

Space-time-universe

Expansion of the universe is seen by observations from the Hubble telescope, which show that the light spectrum of galaxies have changed, and that would be attributed that they are moving away.

Many refer to the balloon-surface model to account for the expansion. Difficulty arises due to the fact that time, in a sense, is also expanding along space. Added difficulty is that the universe may in fact contain several dimensions, including time, and they are all expanding. ie, Space as we know it is 3D. Add now time. Add x number of dimensions that are speculated to be included in the so-called universe. Add xxxxxxx number of quantum histories in the universe.

@ opspe

According to Hawking’s book The Grand Design, explaning the beginning of time is like going to the South Pole and looking for more South. There simply isn’t anymore, or is trivial, unless you go away from the South Pole. I’ll quote it here:

The realization that time can behave like another direction of space means one can get rid of the problem of time having a beginning, in a similar way in which we got rid of the edge of the world. Suppose the beginning of the universe was like the South Pole of the earth, with degrees of latitude playing the role of time. As one moves north, the circles of constant latitude, representing the size of the universe, would expand. The universe would start as a point at the South Pole, but the South Pole is much like any other point. To as what happened before the beginning of the universe would become a meaningless question, because there is nothing south of the South Pole. In this picture space-time has no boundary…

No, I do not understand it at all either. That is why I am not famous like Dr. Hawkings, Feynman, or Einsten.

Last edited Mar 22, 2012 at 02:41AM EDT
Mar 22, 2012 at 02:33AM EDT
Quote

Semi-related paradox discussion:

> Universe is composed of matter
> humans exist in the Universe
> humans are composed of matter
> humans strive to learn more about the Universe
> a = b = c
> the Universe strives to learn more about itself

Mar 22, 2012 at 02:34AM EDT
Quote

Iced Hot Chocolate wrote:

Semi-related paradox discussion:

> Universe is composed of matter
> humans exist in the Universe
> humans are composed of matter
> humans strive to learn more about the Universe
> a = b = c
> the Universe strives to learn more about itself

Think about that one, just think.

Mar 22, 2012 at 03:48AM EDT
Quote

量子 Meme wrote:

Think about that one, just think.

Actually, yeah my tactic of going with a >greentext explanation came out funny. Lemme try this again…

The Universe is made of up things. Small things. Atoms and dark matter and energy and etc etc.
Humans inhabit the Universe. Thus, they are composed of the very same small things the Universe is composed of.
If the ultimate goal of humankind is to understand everything about the Universe, and given that humans inhabit the Universe and are made of up the very same materials as the Universe…that would imply that those materials (those LIFELESS, INANIMATE materials) would be striving to learn more about themselves.

If for some reason I’m still not making any sense:
Since humans are made up of atoms, atoms try to learn about themselves. This is a paradox because atoms by themselves can’t really do that.

Mar 22, 2012 at 04:09AM EDT
Quote

Which brings us to the topic of conscienceness… What is it?
Just some electrical signals that surge through neurons at specific intervals, giving an output according to the input of the surroundings?
Or is it something more, something given to rational creatures alone?
(Hmmm… I think I am straying close to religious-based arguments…)

Mar 22, 2012 at 06:55AM EDT
Quote

@Iced Hot Chocolate, I don’t think you’ve described a paradox, just an interesting observation about the nature of the universe. You can say the same thing about anything that humans are a part of:

A) The human body strives to learn more about itself.
B) Society strives to learn more about itself.
C) History strives to learn more about itself.
D) The planet earth strives to learn more about itself.
E) etc….

There’s a certain sense philosophically in which you could say that self-awareness of any subset of a system implies a sort of self-awareness of the system as a whole. I realize that this is me going off on a philosophical tangent in a science thread, but I have heard that this sort of thing may actually have implications in quantum physics.

While I don’t know nearly as much as I’d like to about quantum physics, I’ve said it before in the case of KYM’s so-called “Internet science”: Despite the fact that this site is meant for documentation of memes and not launching of memes, the very act of becoming aware of a meme and attempting to describe it changes the nature of the meme. Memes are like viruses, and there’s no protecting yourself from getting infected and spreading the virus to others in the case of memes. So in studying a meme, we become part of the meme, and…

M) The meme strives to learn more about itself.

Mar 22, 2012 at 06:57AM EDT
Quote
Skeletor-sm

This thread is closed to new posts.

Old threads normally auto-close after 30 days of inactivity.

Why don't you start a new thread instead?

Howdy! You must login or signup first!