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rogerdr's Avatar Joined over 4 years ago
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Go to: Rare Look Inside Bible Belt Classroom

rogerdr's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by rogerdr

He said an African American evolving from white, not the other way around, but still...criminally ignorant.

Sat, 03 Jul 2010 13:18:59 UTC | #485958

Go to: Age of the Genome: Episode 1

rogerdr's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by rogerdr

Jackal,

Eliminating the 'junk' DNA would have unforeseen consequences. For instance, does it actually do nothing, or is it integral in a way we simply have not yet the perspective to understand? More probably, freeing up every cell to use more energy for its 'important' work could have an effect akin to the overall body being given more food than it can use healthily. We are becoming generally obese as a species because our bodies were built to utilize food from calorie-thin environments, and now we're cursed with a wealth of fatty and sugary food. If we take out a large portion of the cell that uses energy, that doesn't mean that the cell will stop making energy enough available for it or that the 'good' DNA will take up the slack. The cell could then become fatally 'obese'.

Fri, 25 Jun 2010 20:32:36 UTC | #483610

Go to: Priest calls for pope's resignation

rogerdr's Avatar Jump to comment 45 by rogerdr

While this priest is showing some guts, he's also showing a naivete I've seen in other priests about the RCC. Sure, the Pope might resign - I doubt it - but it would be a move made to stem the tide rather than an admission that there's something really wrong with the church. The priest says that the church needs to change, well whoop-de-do. We all knew that. Will it? Um...no.

Thu, 15 Apr 2010 18:47:00 UTC | #459927

Go to: Richard Dawkins: The greatest show on earth live

rogerdr's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by rogerdr

Richard,

As an American and having been heavily influenced by Cosmos and NASA astronomy, I'm stuck with making comparisons between you and Carl Sagan. I read The Selfish Gene and The Extended Phenotype and others of your earlier work thinking in those comparative terms, but now I believe I've done you a disservice by it (not that the comparison would be insulting either way).

I now see it as a complementary relationship. Whereas Sagan used sweeping, poetic illustrations of the story of life and the history of science to garner interest, I see you filling in some of the details; explaining the mechanisms of evolution especially, but speaking more of the particular scientific ideas rather than the life stories (fascinating though they be) of the people of science and its odd, hodgepodge, sometimes circuitous or serendipitous route to truth.

I think there's a place for many different approaches to popularizing science, and I'm glad to have seen both Sagan's and yours.

Fri, 09 Apr 2010 11:52:00 UTC | #457438

Go to: The New Atheism

rogerdr's Avatar Jump to comment 34 by rogerdr

All this technical explication of positive/negative energy is accurate, as far as I can tell...but too technical for the layman's understanding and hasn't touched upon its biggest general (perhaps metaphorical) effect. When physicists go on documentaries and interviews to explain these things, they are usually being asked the questions from a layman's perspective. What the little guy wants to know is something like "Will the universe explode or implode?"

Therefore, the physicist uses his techie language in which positive and negative energy have very esoteric definitions. But their effects are profound and don't require the PHD studies to understand. Gravity and Dark Matter tend to make objects attract one another and so make space shrink. Dark Energy and symmetry breaking events tend to make objects repel each other and so cause space to expand. Negative and positive energy in general work together to tug the universe between a big crunch and infinite (or catastrophic) expansion.

This oversimplified idea of 'negative' for shrinking and 'positive' for expansion i a horribly obtuse one from a physics standpoint, but it puts the techie language in a context that the unwashed masses can understand and are more concerned with.

Tue, 06 Apr 2010 01:25:00 UTC | #456294

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