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Old 03-04-2014, 12:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: Cool Science Stuff

http://www.smccd.edu/accounts/larson...sciousness.pdf
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:49 PM   #12
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Old 03-04-2014, 03:32 PM   #13
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have you ever wondered what your life would have been like if you became a hired goon right out of school? you would have had a chance to learn the ropes from other goons and rub shoulders with all kinds of seedy characters. oh the stories you would be able to tell.
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: Cool Science Stuff

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Originally Posted by Vis View Post
I'd be wary of any ability to pick our evolutionary path. We wouldn't choose wisely. First of all, those 40 inch dicks would hurt mobility.

Have you read any Steven Pinker like "The Blank Slate"?
No but I know of it.

From what I understand of his writings, he sets about to disprove the "blank slate" of a newly minted human by injecting a fair amount of genetic predisposition into the equation.

Generally, I've always believed that how we develop is based on both genetic "hardwiring" along with social conditioning. I do not believe that people are just one thing, however I DO believe that there are such things as "bad machines" or humans who were built incorrectly just as is possible with any mass produced item and they tend to be the sociopaths and psychopaths.

I believe people can change behaviors but can rarely, if ever, change their innate programming.

I've always thought of it this way:
There are many people are drinking alcohol at a party and once inebriated, you'll have "happy drunks" and "mean drunks" (and of course variations in between) and I believe that such is evidence of hard-wiring or genetic predisposition because the alcohol tends to strip away whatever conformative behaviors we may learn and exposes who we "really" are.

Naturally, being a "mean drunk" doesn't necessarily make someone a sociopath, but it does suggest inherent aspects of their personality which may not be all that great for socialization. And though behavior can be modified (one can work at being calmer), inherent or genetic tendencies towards aggression can't be corrected or changed in any significant way.

I also feel similarly in terms of what various drugs may or may not "make" someone do.

We often hear about drugs that "turn people into everything from armed robbers to rapists and sociopaths. But having "lived the life" so to speak for a number of years and seeing first hand what drugs can and cannot do, I think it's mostly bullshit.
If a drug is strong enough to lift the veil of learned behavior all anyone will see is who that person is by nature. It's similar to the happy/mean drunk - if you're prone to antisocial behavior then that's who you are and the drugs aren't "causing" anything but are more specifically "revealing" what's always been there.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:58 PM   #15
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http://www.latimes.com/science/scien...,1672753.story

Cosmos at 9
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:31 PM   #16
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:36 PM   #17
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How big is the cosmos? This is both a central question of Cosmos, the Seth MacFarlane–produced, Neil deGrasse Tyson-hosted reboot of Carl Sagan’s widely watched and beloved 1980 miniseries investigating and elucidating our knowledge about the universe, and a question of Fox’s, which is premiering the new version on all 10 of its channels this Sunday night, in hopes that an educational program about stars, history, evolution, and the universe can once again become a zeitgeist-capturing, hugely-rated television event. Will Americans still be delighted to eat our science vegetables if they are sprinkled with enough stardust? Fox is hoping yes.

The new Cosmos starts slowly and reverently enough: deGrasse Tyson, a warm, avuncular presence, standing on the same cliffs Sagan did, talking about the universe, our place in it, and preaching the gospel of the scientific method in a glossy episode, which, scientifically speaking, doesn’t advance much beyond middle school. But though Cosmos hews to many of the conceits deployed in the original—the “Ship of the Imagination” is back, as is the calendar compressing the 13.8-billion-year lifespan of the universe into just one year, not to mention the humorless pronunciation of Uranus as YUR-anis—things have changed, and not just because Pluto is no longer a planet.

In 34 years, scientists have made significant advances, as have special effects departments (the Ship of Imagination is newly sleek), but the most notable change is how politicized science and scientific thought have become. The first episode of Cosmos devotes a good chunk of itself to an animated sequence about a Franciscan monk living in 16th-century Italy who was burned at the stake for his scientifically correct beliefs. It is a segment aimed squarely at anti-science advocates, implicitly arguing that science and the scientific method are not necessarily inimical to god.

DeGrasse Tyson, walking the streets of Rome, relays the story of that monk, whose name was Giordano Bruno. (Though he lived between Copernicus and Galileo, these more famous men each barely get name-checked.) Bruno had a dream not just that the Earth wasn’t the center of the universe, per Copernicus, but that neither was the sun: Instead, the universe was limitless. Bruno was not a scientist. He did not test his hypothesis. His insight came to him as a revelation, one he kept preaching even as he was excommunicated and banished from every church—Catholic, Protestant, and Calvinist—in the land (as well as being laughed out of Cambridge). In Cosmos’ version of Bruno’s story, organized religion, and the Catholic Church in particular, are presented as rigid and corrupt—the church is described as the “thought police” and the priest who sentences Bruno to death looks like a very nefarious Disney villain—but faith itself is not. Bruno’s argument is that his god is limitless and unbounded, so why shouldn’t the universe be? “Your god is too small!” he cries to those who brand him a heretic.

Writing in New York magazine, Matt Zoller Seitz interpreted this segment of Cosmos as “painting organized religion as an irrelevant and intellectually discredited means of understanding factual reality” and as part of the show’s larger “pushback against faith’s encroachments on the intellectual terrain of science.” (This is particularly in contrast to the sort of echt-spirituality and new-ageism that hovered around the original Cosmos. Sagan himself was agnostic.) Organized religion certainly comes in for it, but I think this segment is up to something more gentle than declaring war on blinkered anti-science evangelists. Cosmos is offering viewers a way to reconcile science and faith: Don’t let your god be too small.

I doubt very much that the mini-bio of Giordano Bruno will prove effective at convincing creationists that Cosmos is for them. Cosmos is unapologetic about its faith in science: “Science gives us the power to see what vision cannot,” deGrasse Tyson says. In one segment, he points out that if you compress the history of the universe to one year, then Jesus and the religion he inspired have existed for all of five seconds. But just the simple fact that nearly a quarter of Cosmos’ first episode is devoted to an allegory about a relatively marginal Franciscan monk, rather than science itself, shows how extensively anti-science activists have hijacked the conversation, and just how seriously Cosmos takes that hijacking. Cosmos is trying to encourage all remotely reasonable people, god-fearing or otherwise, to look up at the stars.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/t...iniseries.html
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:41 PM   #18
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:46 PM   #19
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Cosmos on in 15 minutes on Fox.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:05 PM   #20
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