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Denial's Profile

Denial's Avatar Joined over 5 years ago
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Go to: Why do the religious insist on presenting a united front?

Denial's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by Denial

People tend to be tolerant of what they know. Education correlates with tolerance.

Representatives sent to the interfaith things always know the other religions there at least a little. And they're always quite educated people. Most of them have been to interfaith things before.

Conspiracy theory: unnecessary.

Thu, 01 Mar 2012 23:22:01 UTC | #923617

Go to: Symphony of Science - The Greatest Show on Earth! A music video about Evolution

Denial's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by Denial

Fucking brilliant. Love it.

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 13:23:55 UTC | #909783

Go to: Depression Defies the Rush to Find an Evolutionary Upside

Denial's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Denial

Depression cripples the sense of self-efficacy and creates dependence. In a group of hunter gatherers, depression should quite reliably stop people from leaving, or provoke loners to return.

If that was the function of depression, you'd expect it to be

  1. a chronic condition
  2. impairing a range of skills needed for autonomous survival, but not impairing reproduction,
  3. more prevalent in females than in males (because females are more valuable for group survival) and
  4. triggered by conditions that require group support, like chronic stressors or childbirth.

All of which is the case.

To test this, experimentally let depressed people live in large, fairly tight-knit groups for a while, where they work together and rely on each other. I predict that once their hippocampus notices that they're integrated in a group, it'll cease to sabotage their neocortex.

Nobel prize, please.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 15:40:11 UTC | #909180

Go to: Newest alien planet is just the right temperature for life

Denial's Avatar Jump to comment 46 by Denial

we don't have data to calculate such an estimate yet,

Your information is outdated. The Kepler mission gave us that data. We now know, roughly, the number of planets in the galaxy, the percentage of earthlikes and the percentage of earth analoghs (earthlikes in the habitable zone). It is good enough for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to come up with the ballpark two billion figure.


You're right that earth analogs are rare, then. Two billion would mean only 0,5% of stars in the galaxy have an earth analog.

Even if the estimate was off by 50%, that would not matter to the point I was making.

Thu, 08 Dec 2011 15:00:54 UTC | #896775

Go to: Newest alien planet is just the right temperature for life

Denial's Avatar Jump to comment 43 by Denial

The estimate of 2 billion earth-like planets in the Milky Way implies there's a lot of life out there, although this life need not be very intelligent. I imagine a lot of "animal planets", where life exists but does not do anything too interesting except to a biologist. And I think Earth is one of these animal planets.

But you are still left with Fermi's Paradox. If it is technologically possible why aren't they here?

If anybody who could make contact existed, what would they gain by making themselves known? An ability to contact us implies a level of development far beyond ours. This implies we'd be unable to trade anything or otherwise contribute to whatever goals they may have. Except, perhaps, novelty value. Like we don't attempt to communicate with ants, although we do study them.

Thu, 08 Dec 2011 13:10:10 UTC | #896748

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