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  #1661  
Old 05.08.2017, 21:10
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Coincidences happen mich more often than we think. In the case of deja-vu from a dream, you need to take into account that we all dream dozens of times each night, most of which we're completely aware of when we wake, but which have, nevertheless, imprinted an unconscious memory. Years later when a similar event takes place the brain will automatically access that memory as it records the new current one, and this will lift it to the conscious level, but only those parts of those dreams that fit the reality you're now experiencing.
Except they weren't similar events, they were the exact same ones.
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  #1662  
Old 07.08.2017, 09:27
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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In my view, any belief in precognition can only be based on the idea of a supernatural realm or entity of some sort. Trying to find a scientific theory to support it is therefore as likely to succeed as a scientific proof of the existence of god(s).
I think in slightly different terms. There is a ton of stuff we, humans, don't understand. Outwards, the universe is vast and largely unknown. Inwards, our brains, consciousness, mind/soul/atma (however you call it) is the same...vast and largely not understood.

I believe there is an explanation to everything. And "science" (in its current definition, or broadly as a practice of understanding the universe based on proofs, studies, facts and figures) just needs to be advanced enough to be able to explain it.

After all, one generation's magic/the supernatural is another generation's science.
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  #1663  
Old 07.08.2017, 09:56
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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After all, one generation's magic/the supernatural is another generation's science.
It would be useful if you gave us some recent examples to prove your point.

Here are some counter examples:
- Homeopathy has been around for a long time and has never become science.
- Table tipping and ghost hunting were all the rage amongst Victorians, including scientists. It all turned out to be fraudulent rubbish.
- People have become rich explaining the supposed connections between spirituality and quantum physics, but nothing scientific has come of it.
- I just reread James Gleick's excellent book on Newton. The great man spent more time on both explaining the Bible and alchemy than on his scientific work. All a complete waste of time.

So the idea that everything will be science on day seems very unlikely.
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  #1664  
Old 07.08.2017, 10:18
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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It would be useful if you gave us some recent examples to prove your point.

Here are some counter examples:
- Homeopathy has been around for a long time and has never become science.
- Table tipping and ghost hunting were all the rage amongst Victorians, including scientists. It all turned out to be fraudulent rubbish.
- People have become rich explaining the supposed connections between spirituality and quantum physics, but nothing scientific has come of it.
- I just reread James Gleick's excellent book on Newton. The great man spent more time on both explaining the Bible and alchemy than on his scientific work. All a complete waste of time.

So the idea that everything will be science on day seems very unlikely.
Examples, hmmm...lemme see...remember how we used to watch Star Trek and fantasized over those LCARS Displays they held in their hands? Well, guess what, we have those now.

Remember how Mars was such a mystery? Or how Pluto was considered a planet?

Or how Quantum Physics was considered just some crazy guy's musings ? I mean a cat being both alive and dead? Come on!!! Even fancy sci-fi stuff like teleportation is slowly blending into the realm of possibility.

I did not mean that everything will be proven to be correct. I meant that I believe everything has/will have a scientific explanation. Either proving or disproving it, depending on the case.

EDIT : I do need to read Gleick's "Time Travel: A History". It's been on my to-be-read-list now for a while.
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  #1665  
Old 09.08.2017, 22:37
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Are hornets nocturnal? Because we've just had one come in through the open window buzzing around the room for about 5 minutes until we managed to persuade it to leave again. Wouldn't have thought it would be out of its nest at this time of night.
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  #1666  
Old 09.08.2017, 22:57
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Are hornets nocturnal? Because we've just had one come in through the open window buzzing around the room for about 5 minutes until we managed to persuade it to leave again. Wouldn't have thought it would be out of its nest at this time of night.
Hornets are active during day and night. They only rest in the early morning hours. They are attracted to light and do hit against windows.

Wasps rest at night.
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  #1667  
Old 09.08.2017, 23:27
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Re: Ask a Scientist

With the current tension between North Korea and the USA, and NK threathening to put nuclear warheads on Guam, could a physicist answer the following questions please?

ICBMs (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles) are guided rockets, in the simplest form steered onto a target by using gyroscopes inside the rocket. When the ICBM leaves the earth's surface it is travelling relatively slowly through the atmosphere and the outside casing will not be heating up very much. But the re-entry is a different matter, a speeding ICBM will burn up when entering the atmosphere.

Now the 1st question: when the ICBM re-enters the atmosphere will it overheat and possibly damage the steering mechanisms?

If NK does indeed pocess a small nuclear device, and this is on top of the ICBM, will this device be damaged by the heat created when the ICBM re-enters the atmosphere?

I feel that NK are simply posturing at the USA. They can shoot a piece of junk into the sea, but at present there is almost no possibility of landing a working nuclear device on any foreign country, or indeed hitting a foreign country accurately with a piece of NK junk.
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  #1668  
Old 10.08.2017, 07:30
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Hornets are active during day and night. They only rest in the early morning hours. They are attracted to light and do hit against windows.

Wasps rest at night.
Thanks. Yes, it was definitely attracted to the lights, first hovering around the floor standing one and then when we switched that off going over to the ceiling lamp.
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  #1669  
Old 10.08.2017, 07:58
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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It would be useful if you gave us some recent examples to prove your point.

Here are some counter examples:
- Homeopathy has been around for a long time and has never become science.
- Table tipping and ghost hunting were all the rage amongst Victorians, including scientists. It all turned out to be fraudulent rubbish.
- People have become rich explaining the supposed connections between spirituality and quantum physics, but nothing scientific has come of it.
- I just reread James Gleick's excellent book on Newton. The great man spent more time on both explaining the Bible and alchemy than on his scientific work. All a complete waste of time.

So the idea that everything will be science on day seems very unlikely.
Considering how much our affective self conditions and drives our rational self, your "waste of time" is relative. From an epistemological point of view. Everything can be science should people want to apply that method, but our choice is a product of our irrational selves - that's where the fun starts . But then - irrationality is no less simply biochemical, like anything. Big work of our neurological smallworldness.

Newton had his mission, he was hit by an apple and not a fidget spinner thrown sideways, his social life was most likely church and not a group of stand-up paddlers. His personal choice was a product of his time, so are our questions. As long as we ask. The more outrageous the better. It is quite optimistic. The answers aren't so important (usually and hopefully critical and sceptic) just like Newton's bible and alchemy seems to us. Goals themselves come and go, but the inventory of strategies and methods to construct them instrumentally stick. Science is one of them, even when it bets on reflexes, irrationality, biochemically justified nonexistence of free will or choice, etc etc. We do control how rich and interesting our inventory of methods becomes, even if some of it is a complete bs, it can inspire something substantional.
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  #1670  
Old 24.08.2017, 12:44
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Is life span (longetivity) worth investing into, if humankind is at the end plagued by low quality life?
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  #1671  
Old 24.08.2017, 13:24
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Is life span (longetivity) worth investing into, if humankind is at the end plagued by low quality life?
I think you mean longevity...

It depends on how you view it - for me it makes sense if you treat it as extending healthly, enjoyable life, but not just artificially staying alive despite not being able to enjoy it.

So yes to the first part of your sentence, and no to the second.
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  #1672  
Old 24.08.2017, 13:33
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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I think you mean longevity...

It depends on how you view it - for me it makes sense if you treat it as extending healthly, enjoyable life, but not just artificially staying alive despite not being able to enjoy it.

So yes to the first part of your sentence, and no to the second.
Yeah, sorry, typo.

Longevity has been always a criterion of quality life in developed countries. Yet, what always keeps missing is, how healthy this slice of the generation pie actually is..If you have 20% of a population living well into 80s yet they are all stricken by Alzeimer, what is the point? And is longevity really a marker of quality life? Do people live longer since the demands on their life might be milder, but since light demands translates into cognitive degeneration, what is the point? Life is healthy, we will live long. We might not be aware, when we reach the "long" part.
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  #1673  
Old 24.08.2017, 15:32
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Yeah, sorry, typo.

Longevity has been always a criterion of quality life in developed countries. Yet, what always keeps missing is, how healthy this slice of the generation pie actually is..If you have 20% of a population living well into 80s yet they are all stricken by Alzeimer, what is the point? And is longevity really a marker of quality life? Do people live longer since the demands on their life might be milder, but since light demands translates into cognitive degeneration, what is the point? Life is healthy, we will live long. We might not be aware, when we reach the "long" part.
It's an interesting question, and I think the answer varies for each person. One of my relatives had open heart surgery at age 82. At the time, I asked myself what the point was, going through such a trauma and recovery at his age. He lived until age 87, but was struck with dementia at age 86. On the plus side, he and his wife had 5 more years together. On the downside, that last year was really awful for both. Is it fair to say the 4 extra "good" years outweighed the final "bad"? I think his wife would say yes.

I also had an aunt that lived to 101. She stayed in her own home until she was 99, with minimal assistance from her kids for cleaning and vacuuming. She continued to cook and bathe and do hobbies unassisted. Her only health issues were a slight loss of mobility and hearing loss. Otherwise her mind was sharp even up until the day she died.

I wouldn't mind living to 101 if my life was similar to my aunt's.
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  #1674  
Old 24.08.2017, 16:58
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Re: Ask a Scientist

See WHO stats at http://www.who.int/gho/mortality_bur...ion_trends/en/ and http://www.who.int/gho/mortality_bur...ables/hale/en/

For life expectency and healthy life expectency, the good news in Switzerland is that the trend (ok, only two data points) is that you can expect to be healthy for longer relative to your overall life expectency.

Year Life Health
2010 82.3 69.9
2015 83.4 73.1
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  #1675  
Old 24.08.2017, 22:49
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Is life span (longetivity) worth investing into, if humankind is at the end plagued by low quality life?
No! I've long said that we spend far too much money on prolonging people's lives and not nearly enough on making those final years enriching, fun or anything else good, other than simply not-dead-yet. What's the point of being alive if it's just to sit around wishing you were dead?
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  #1676  
Old 24.08.2017, 23:58
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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No! I've long said that we spend far too much money on prolonging people's lives and not nearly enough on making those final years enriching, fun or anything else good..
This exactly was my thought. I think I just noticed a lot of lonely elderly around, made me think. If human energy/happiness bank are kids, elderly should be valued for wisdom. Feels like there is not enough stimulating social life to keep the gears up, make people realize how usefull or needed they can be.
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  #1677  
Old 25.08.2017, 00:45
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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It's an interesting question, and I think the answer varies for each person. One of my relatives had open heart surgery at age 82. At the time, I asked myself what the point was, going through such a trauma and recovery at his age. He lived until age 87, but was struck with dementia at age 86. On the plus side, he and his wife had 5 more years together. On the downside, that last year was really awful for both. Is it fair to say the 4 extra "good" years outweighed the final "bad"? I think his wife would say yes.

I also had an aunt that lived to 101. She stayed in her own home until she was 99, with minimal assistance from her kids for cleaning and vacuuming. She continued to cook and bathe and do hobbies unassisted. Her only health issues were a slight loss of mobility and hearing loss. Otherwise her mind was sharp even up until the day she died.

I wouldn't mind living to 101 if my life was similar to my aunt's.
Yup, that. So remaining active is part of it.

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See WHO stats at http://www.who.int/gho/mortality_bur...ion_trends/en/ and http://www.who.int/gho/mortality_bur...ables/hale/en/

For life expectency and healthy life expectency, the good news in Switzerland is that the trend (ok, only two data points) is that you can expect to be healthy for longer relative to your overall life expectency.

Year Life Health
2010 82.3 69.9
2015 83.4 73.1
Those are interesting numbers, and we are definitely lucky. I know that when we are old we start being grateful for every good day and little things.

Something I like in the US, many retired folks volunteer for teaching or homework supervision, etc. Or decide to study again. We do have a 3rd age unies (I do not know what they are called in English) back home as well, they are quite tough.
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  #1678  
Old 25.08.2017, 02:28
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Re: Ask a Scientist

Now that we know certain cancers have genetic markers, is it likely that others types will also be found to have markers in the future?
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  #1679  
Old 25.08.2017, 07:12
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Now that we know certain cancers have genetic markers, is it likely that others types will also be found to have markers in the future?
I'ts likely that biomarkers exist for every cancer and possible for every degenerative disease. We are at the dawn of the age of precision medicine, where therapies are tailored to the exact needs (determined by genetic make-up) of patients.
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Old 25.08.2017, 11:39
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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I'ts likely that biomarkers exist for every cancer and possible for every degenerative disease. We are at the dawn of the age of precision medicine, where therapies are tailored to the exact needs (determined by genetic make-up) of patients.
It seems to me that dawn has been dragging on for a long time . As far as I can see, the payback, in terms of improved healthcare, from being able to read organisms' complete genetic code has just not arrived, despite high throughput DNA decoding having been around for years.
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