This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

the4thNeutralNuclide's Profile

the4thNeutralNuclide's Avatar Joined about 6 years ago
Gender: Male

Latest Discussions Started by the4thNeutralNuclide

More Discussions by the4thNeutralNuclide

Latest Comments by the4thNeutralNuclide

Go to: No more victories for Bin Laden

the4thNeutralNuclide's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by the4thNeutralNuclide

@Russell

Which is, of course, exactly what Obama said and is now being pounded into the ground for becuase it's close to election time. There is hope in some of the comments posted at the BBC website under Mark Mardell's blog today.

The link is here: [1]: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/2010/08/mosque_row_exposes_obama_on_tw.html

Tom

Wed, 18 Aug 2010 12:12:30 UTC | #501769

Go to: Solar plasma aurora storm to hit Earth today!

the4thNeutralNuclide's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by the4thNeutralNuclide

@GodFearingAtheist

Oh please! You know perfectly well what I was asking. It was a straight forward scientific question of trying to seperate two variables in a (thought) experiment. The fact that if there was no atmosphere we wouldn't be here is a red herring.

Damn! You didn't fall for it! :O)

Tom

Fri, 06 Aug 2010 09:54:47 UTC | #496608

Go to: Solar plasma aurora storm to hit Earth today!

the4thNeutralNuclide's Avatar Jump to comment 16 by the4thNeutralNuclide

@GodFearingAtheist I see your point - it's difficult being philosophically rigorous in a short paragraph especially when you set out to illustrate some background information. Life on Earth does depend on both definitely but I suppose my point was mainly that the Earth's magnetic field in the direction of the Sun at any one moment interacts with the charged particles in such a way as to create a 'bow wave'. This results in lower energy particles reaching the Earth 'round the back' where the interactions with oxygen and nitrogen are less energetic. I took Steve's question to be about the solar wind (the part that is significantly deflected by the magnetic field) not the solar radiation (which interacts somewhat but not to the same extent). If the ground were struck by a continuous rain of high energy protons it would be somewhat deleterious for life as we know it currently.

As to your hypothetical questions (which are good from the perspective of clearing up what Steve may be asking) I think we end up with a variation on the anthropomorphic principle - if there was no atmosphere we wouldn't be here to discuss it etc etc

Wed, 04 Aug 2010 18:58:41 UTC | #495870

Go to: Solar plasma aurora storm to hit Earth today!

the4thNeutralNuclide's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by the4thNeutralNuclide

Steve,

The atmosphere does little to protect us from the energetic solar particles blasted from the Sun in this manner. The Ozone layer does cut down the levels of Ultraviolet radiation but the charged particles (mainly high-energy protons but some electrons and ionized atoms of Helium also) are channelled by the Earth's magnetic field and follow the least-cost route to Earth by 'sneaking in the back door (ie the side away from the Sun) . The penguins don't suffer as the energy is dissipated in the form of the blue/green colours of excited (ionised) nitrogen and oxygen high above the Earth (100 to 400 km).

Tom

Wed, 04 Aug 2010 17:23:06 UTC | #495831

Go to: How facts backfire

the4thNeutralNuclide's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by the4thNeutralNuclide

We as social animals also tend to believe the words of those closest to us. My wife understands completely that homeopathic medicines must be nonsense if they're that dilute but her Mum and her Mum's best friends swear that the are efficaceous ergo my wife spends the family funds on them - facts and scientific reasoning are no match for her personal trust relationships.

Tom

Thu, 15 Jul 2010 12:52:29 UTC | #488931

More Comments by the4thNeutralNuclide