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

Newswede's Profile

Newswede's Avatar Joined over 4 years ago
Gender: Male

Latest Discussions Started by Newswede

More Discussions by Newswede

Latest Comments by Newswede

Go to: Implications of Rand Paul's victory

Newswede's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Newswede

China is landlocked?

Sat, 22 May 2010 21:53:40 UTC | #472554

Go to: Synthetic life: a breakthrough in genomics

Newswede's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Newswede

This story no sooner appeared than we were flooded with comments from the so-called bio-ethicists.

Based on past history, these folks have turned bio-ethics into an oxymoron.

Always there's some line we are not supposed to cross, for no reason given. The implied reason is that we should not be intruding in God's territory.

My grandparents were warned that chlorinating water was acting like God. Disease was God's to dish out and God's to cure.

In my parents time, parents with a child who needed an organ transplant were told that it was wrong to bear another child who could be the source of a needed organ. By some incomprehensible reasoning, bioethics required one loved child to needlessly die and another to be denied a chance to be born -- because this was a line we were not supposed to cross.

Here's my rule of thumb. If you can't base your idea of ethics on your ability to reason, you have no standing to tell us where the line is that we must not cross.

Appropriate cautions need to be taken when experimenting with living things that can reproduce. We need to use our brains to decide when and how to take precautions. We don't need so-called bio-ethicists to tell us what is ethical. Their track record disqualifies them.

Fri, 21 May 2010 03:08:10 UTC | #471904

Go to: The trouble with homeopathy

Newswede's Avatar Jump to comment 6 by Newswede

It's far too easy for the experimenters to cheat. All they have to do is use a real medicine for the "homeopathic" doses and omit it for the control doses, and then NOT dilute the doses very much.

Wed, 24 Feb 2010 12:37:00 UTC | #443714

Go to: There is grandeur in this view of life

Newswede's Avatar Jump to comment 90 by Newswede

The article about the earth size exoplanet ends with the speculation that if the planet contains a thick insulating hydrogen atmosphere its surface temperature might be high enough to support life. Now let's think about how that might be relevant for a planet in interstellar space, near no star.

Without any source of heat, an insulator will not make something hot. Insulators are substances which affect the transfer of heat, not the creation of heat. A planet in interstellar space does not have an external source of heat. So if its temperature is far above absolute zero, it can only be because it generates heat internally. An insulator, whether atmosphere or rock, only affects how rapidly the internal heat is lost. To take earth as an example, the rocky crust insulates to keep radioactive-generated heat from escaping for thousands of years, then the atmosphere's insulating quality keeps the same heat on earth for a few more minutes. Have you guys noticed that temperatures are generally lower at night than during the day?

Tue, 24 Nov 2009 14:14:00 UTC | #416084

Go to: There is grandeur in this view of life

Newswede's Avatar Jump to comment 85 by Newswede

hey guys, a rocky planet in interstellar space would lose any significant latent heat in matter of months. The only way it could maintain a life sustaining temperature would be if there were an internal energy source.

There are two possibilities - maybe others I haven't imagined. (1) The core has so much uranium that it heats up the inside and heat flows to the surface. In that case an atmosphere is irrelevant because the surface rock is a fine insulator. (2) the rocky planet is accompanied in its trajectory through interstellar space by a gas giant and it heats the planet by tidal stress, much as Jupiter heats Io and Europa. eventually the tidal forces disrupt the orbit, but it could take millions or billions of years.

Tue, 24 Nov 2009 02:48:00 UTC | #415983

More Comments by Newswede