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  #341  
Old 14.12.2007, 17:12
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Or physicists are physical chemists with no understanding of chemistry.
right - physics needs chemistry like a fish needs a bicycle -

bubble bubble toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron .. glows in a pale blueish green indicating that it may contain quantities of potassium but to really find out we are going to have to cut the cauldron up into little pieces and put a piece in water add a few drops of soya sauce and if it glows in the dark ....

applied cooking ...

Hans
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  #342  
Old 14.12.2007, 17:14
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Well, you did just show how little you actually know chemistry.

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right - physics needs chemistry like a fish needs a bicycle -

bubble bubble toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron .. glows in a pale blueish green indicating that it may contain quantities of potassium but to really find out we are going to have to cut the cauldron up into little pieces and put a piece in water add a few drops of soya sauce and if it glows in the dark ....

applied cooking ...

Hans
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  #343  
Old 14.12.2007, 17:16
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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right - physics needs chemistry like a fish needs a bicycle -
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  #344  
Old 14.12.2007, 17:17
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Thats pushing it a bit. You can hardly ask a goddess to go dip her hands in a heap of horse shit can you
Nice way to bend my words there. ;-) I was serious about studying soil, and hadn't meant to cause any mudslinging.
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  #345  
Old 14.12.2007, 17:19
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Re: Ask a Scientist

On that subject I am convinced I saw Dr Greer in Bahnhofstrasse last week...

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  #346  
Old 14.12.2007, 17:20
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Well, you did just show how little you actually know chemistry.
I do know my flame tests ... do you?

... caught you on that one ...

and with that little victory under my belt I shall (seriously) wish you all a nice weekend and return to do battle with you next week.

Hans
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  #347  
Old 14.12.2007, 17:21
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Ah, now we get into the commercial world...

Mushroom Management
  • Keep them in the dark
  • Every now and again, feed them horseshit
  • Reap the profits
  • Rinse
  • Repeat
We must be working on the same project.
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  #348  
Old 14.12.2007, 17:23
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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We must be working on the same project.

Wasting your time dudes. CH is full of mushrooms both culinary and the ones I think you are talking about. You just have to look.
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  #349  
Old 14.12.2007, 17:59
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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I do know my flame tests ... do you?

... caught you on that one ...

and with that little victory under my belt I shall (seriously) wish you all a nice weekend and return to do battle with you next week.

Hans
Physics is what you do if you're too antisocial to be a chemist. Then you grow profuse ear hair, do all your clothes shopping at once from C&A's elder gentlemen section and gradually lose the ability to talk above a mumble to people other than well-respected physicists. Then you declare that physics is the only science, all the rest is stamp-collecting. Then you grow even more profuse ear hair and then you die.

A nice quote from Rutherford on social sciences;
"The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't."
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  #350  
Old 14.12.2007, 18:29
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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What do you add to the soil to make crops grow better? Answer: Horse shit! Anything else isn't biologically friendly.
Actually, there a few reasons why horse manure isn't suitable for agricultural crops including the fact that there just isn't enough of it, believe it or not.

Pig manure is high in nitrogen so makes a very good grass fertiliser and cow manure has a better ph and potassium / phosphorous mix for cereals.

If it was up to me it would be back to the good old Norfolk 4 course rotation with an additional grass/clover year grown simply for ploughing back in.

Oooh arrrr.
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  #351  
Old 14.12.2007, 18:47
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Physics is what you do if you're too antisocial to be a chemist.
First you study physics, then you become antisocial.

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Then you declare that physics is the only science, all the rest is stamp-collecting.
This happens much earlier. When in high school, you look forward to your chemistry course, but then you realize that your chemistry teacher doesn't really know what she's doing, and prefers to make you spend half the course on learning IUPAC nomenclature. Already then you declare (or rather, REALIZE) that physics is the only science.
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  #352  
Old 14.12.2007, 18:49
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Then you grow profuse ear hair...
Or, as my supervisor would put it, you either get bald or grow a belly. Or if you're really good, both...
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  #353  
Old 14.12.2007, 20:47
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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A nice quote from Rutherford on social sciences;
"The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't."
Nice? Not really, and not really true for all social science domains - but very typical from the perspective of a "scientist."

But can't you say the same thing about an experiment? A synthesis? An analysis - some work, some don't - and the thing is to figure out why.

e.
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  #354  
Old 14.12.2007, 20:54
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Caught me on that one? WTF are you on about. As someone who has taught chemistry to students I do remember the minutia. And again, if you're relating chemistry to flame tests you're only showing how little chemistry you know. Cause, you know, chemistry isn't just what you learned when you took an intro course.

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I do know my flame tests ... do you?

... caught you on that one ...

and with that little victory under my belt I shall (seriously) wish you all a nice weekend and return to do battle with you next week.

Hans
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  #355  
Old 14.12.2007, 20:57
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Bah, double posting. In science we pride ourselves on the reproducibility of our work. I've never been convinced the same could be said for the social sciences.

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Nice? Not really, and not really true for all social science domains - but very typical from the perspective of a "scientist."

But can't you say the same thing about an experiment? A synthesis? An analysis - some work, some don't - and the thing is to figure out why.

e.
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  #356  
Old 14.12.2007, 21:30
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Bah, double posting. In science we pride ourselves on the reproducibility of our work. I've never been convinced the same could be said for the social sciences.
Sigh. I would hope that the goal of any research is advancement of knowledge, not just reproducibility. Anyway, isn't the key trying to understand why variants occur and the impact of different environments, the robustness of systems?

And the truth is that when social scientists look at human behavior in areas such as cognitive psychology, decision making, experimental economics, voting behavior, game theory - there is a great deal of reproducibility in the form of consistent behavior and responses.


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Last edited by edot; 15.12.2007 at 17:28. Reason: Didn't say what I wanted to really
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  #357  
Old 15.12.2007, 15:04
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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All sciences are math really. Don't tell the biologists though.
Allow me to disagree with you..... Us Biologists and Biochemists, we are aware that maths exist, but not until very recently have been able to apply them to the study of the Life Sciences. We were not simply in a position that that would allow us to think in terms of mathematical models and equations to explain what is happening in the cell.

Starting with nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory, who has done a great deal to help understand complex, nonlinear mechanisms in Biology. Followed the development of simple mathematical models to explain homeostasis and regulation mechanisms. So, ultimately Life * might * be explained in terms of a mathematic models. Probably we won't see it happening in our time, but there is growing possibility that our grand grandchildren might learn it school.

Also, as experimentation and result handling are becoming more complex, and very often we have to call hard core Mathematicians to help us to develop the methodology. It would have never been possible to navigate through the Human Genome Project without the support of statistics, pattern recognition, and large-scale optimization methods. Same goes for high throughput experiments.

It is not that we don't want to hear about Math.... we are actually quite keen on listening to what Mathematicians have to offer us
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  #358  
Old 15.12.2007, 16:12
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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This is one for the mathemagicians. I am not one.

I see mathemtics as a language, a naturally occurring language through which we understand concepts our spoken language does not accommodate.

Crude example, Big bang vs. genesis. They go on to say the same thing really, the only difference being the language they were written in. One was written in a modern empirical and scientific language and the other one was written in a figurative language.

If whoever wrote Genesis 4-5000 years ago spoke mathematics, he would have written te same story, but somewhat differently.

My question is this.

Has mathematics reached the end of its life? How much more is there to discover using it? How many major break-throughs have there been since say quantum mechanics and how old is that?

I have been told that there is a lot that remains unanswered, or shall we say there are open issues. But my nderstanding of this is that there are revisions that need to me made, not cracking open doors to new territories.

Is another vehicle or language going to come along and take us to levels of understanding that mathematics is not capable of? If mathematics is based on constants and naturally occurring numbers, is there anything else?
and double

I thought i was the only one with the middle life crisis in this room...

how can say Mathematics has reached the end of its life just when we (ie. Life Sciences and Maths) were starting to have so much fun???? Not really fair, mind you what i am saying (see post above)

Am always a bit suspicious when i hear breakthroughs when talking about Science. Science has evolved in specialization, and scientists are working in different silos in their own little world. More and more the knowledge is particulate and presented in a fragmented way. It is only when unexpected concurrences between its different parties happen that * real * progress can be made, and that doesn't happen very often.

For this reason - and this is my very humble opinion - that biggest advances for this century on might come from the application of Mathematics to the Life Sciences. Because of this, their cores will also be enriched and new fields will emerge for both sides. Very much in the same way that happened last century with Physics and Mathematics.
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  #359  
Old 16.12.2007, 19:56
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Bah, double posting. In science we pride ourselves on the reproducibility of our work. I've never been convinced the same could be said for the social sciences.
No we don't. Reproducability is an expression of expectation - the moment something is not reproducable we know that something is wrong. We are trained to progress not do the same thing just for the sake of it.
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  #360  
Old 16.12.2007, 20:19
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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and double

Am always a bit suspicious when i hear breakthroughs when talking about Science. Science has evolved in specialization, and scientists are working in different silos in their own little world. More and more the knowledge is particulate and presented in a fragmented way. It is only when unexpected concurrences between its different parties happen that * real * progress can be made, and that doesn't happen very often.

For this reason - and this is my very humble opinion - that biggest advances for this century on might come from the application of Mathematics to the Life Sciences. Because of this, their cores will also be enriched and new fields will emerge for both sides. Very much in the same way that happened last century with Physics and Mathematics.
I would agree to a point - I am conducting some minor research into - essentially the use/simulation of pheromone communication by robots and I find that my technical-scientific know-how (physical and organic chemistry - for instance) is far less of use than my, rather basic, understanding of empiricist philosophy.

I don't know about the life-sciences bit, not my field, I have noticed though that theoretical physicists make for the best researchers in the field of new Artifical Intelligence (the area of research described above). Mathematicians, whilst possibly being able to abstract as well as TP seem to lack the necessary technical capabilities to make much of a contribution.

On another point. I am currently completing a masters in Asia Pacific studies - a course including elements of politics, economics, sociology and other sciences. The reading list is large and diverse which is interesting as it gives one a chance to read papers from different disciplines pertaining to the same subject matter. The papers from the social-sciences elements of geography were undoubtedly the weakest I have read so far I would (charitably) ascribe this to the lack of multi-disciplinary training on the part of the authors, economics comes a close second no surprise there, politics I have found to be usually fairly rigorous.

Hans
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