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steljarkos last won the day on July 3

steljarkos had the most liked content!

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  1. What's with my 3 posts being held in moderation since yesterday? And there's no pattern to it, which ones go hidden and which get posted. We give adult donations to be controlled like children. This forum is clearly not one for freedom of expression. It would seem that it's features are a means of controlling content that is inconvenient to Admin. Clever. Let's see if this makes it through....
  2. From the link I posted: "•Twins share a common pre-natal (intrauterine) environment." This is non-trivial, because a lot of stuff is going on in the intrauterine environment. Handedness (right or left) is shown to differ even with identical twins, based on their shifting proximities within the womb. There are sounds, the mother's experiences and whether or not she is stressed out, and so on (references available). A proper study will have to somehow control for the intrauterine environment. Handedness (left/right) in identical twins is particularly interesting, given their shifting proximities and likely dominance issues that might play out in confined spaces. From http://partners.nytimes.com/library/national/science/health/051600hth-genetics-lefthanded.html: In a striking 18 percent of identical twins, products of the same egg with exactly the same genetic makeup, one twin is right-handed and the other left-handed. There also seems to be a higher proportion of fraternal twins with different handedness than is the case with other siblings. Stay skeptical. They'll have to find a way of controlling for the intra-uterine available, and I don't see that happening anytime soon, without artificial wombs.
  3. Here is a clip that might interest you. Can you identify the mechanisms that "determine" how these guys do what they do? If you're following current conversations in quantum physics, you'll realize that there's something going on, something that our smartest people are having trouble wrapping their brains around: https://youtu.be/FzcTgrxMzZk
  4. The twins studies are controversial, and far from settled: https://www.madinamerica.com/2014/12/studies-reared-apart-separated-twins-facts-fallacies/
  5. There is no direct evidence that personality is genetic. Period. And the conjecture that genes "influence" personality is sufficiently vague so as to not really explain anything at all. What is missing is an axiomatic framework to bring it all together, much like what Isaac Newton provided for physics. What is an "axiomatic framework?" It is a set of working assumptions to guide our thinking, which is analogous to a corporate mission statement that informs an organization of its priorities. For example, my assumption that life is pervasive throughout the universe anywhere that the conditions are right, focuses my efforts on the sort of evidence that I look for. The notion that genes/DNA determine anything is contrary to that assumption, because it is an extension of the dumb-luck hypothesis, and acts in violation of the laws of entropy. Another way of restating this... if complexity can arise and persist across time on Earth, it then follows, given the pervasiveness of the same atoms and molecules everywhere, that complexity will arise and persist across time anywhere that the conditions are right. And this then compels me to ask how genes/DNA might play out in such a scenario.
  6. yup, crystal-gazing, tarot cards, astrology, it all works for me!
  7. Whatever reputable sources I can, online, wherever, including of course academic journals. Though less reputable sources can sometimes provide leads to follow up on. And if some ambiguity bugs me in particular that I want to clear up, I even go straight to the source if I have to. The main point, though, is that for me it's about establishing truth, and so it's something that I'm invested in... this is not just a job or a hobby.
  8. Entropy may be confusing. I get that. But it is a most important topic that NeoDarwinism in particular disregards at its peril, especially with regards to genetic mutations. Makes no difference to me. If you regard these conversations as a popularity contest, that's your problem.
  9. With all due respect, I only address questions that I regard as serious. In the climate of armchair-theorizing that this topic seems to draw out of the wood-work, this decision is my call.
  10. I appreciate your serious questions, but we now venture into territory that requires familiarity with other topics that can hardly be covered adequately in a forum such as this. And seeing as my most recent comment is in moderation (hidden), well... I don't know that this forum is conducive to the sort of serious, wide-ranging conversation that the topic deserves and needs. How familiar are you with neural plasticity (Norman Doidge was a pioneer), systems theory, quantum physics, etc? They all flow into this. You are welcome to contact me directly if you are interested, but I don't think that this topic will survive this forum. Just sayin'
  11. It has been my experience in other forums that armchair theorists typically overwhelm these conversations. By armchair theorists, I mean those who obtain everything that they know about science from weekend newspaper magazines and television science docos. That is not intended as an insult, but merely to emphasize the point that the sorts of issues that are typically raised by casual opinionators do not provide traction for serious conversation. Take shirgall's opening post, as a counter-example. He seems to know what he's talking about, and so far, he's been providing me with something to bite into. I welcome comments from those who know what they're talking about, or who have serious questions that they want serious answers to. And responding to armchair trolls, butthurt that their naïve vision of science is being called to task, is definitely not something that I intend to waste time on. Now in having cleared the air, think about what you are asking in this question of yours. What do YOU think genes/DNA do? What models do you have in mind, that make living things happen? In epigenetics, for example, references to switching genes "on" or "off" is an infotech concept that relates to some manner of data processing. What do YOU infer from that?
  12. Epigenetics is an attempt to factor in the environment in determining which genes are expressed (phenotypic plasticity). Phenotypic plasticity means that an organism with a specific genetic inheritance (genotype) can have many possible phenotypes, depending on the environmental pressures and which genes are switched on or off subject to these pressures. As such, epigenetics is as intractably genocentric as any of the other Neo-Darwinian paradigms. And as such, it is based on the same, flawed assumptions: It is unfalsifiable (you can make it up as you go along, but just be sure to rely on evidence and assumptions that cannot be proved nor disproved... eg, natural selection "makes sense", but it is ultimately neither provable nor disprovable, particularly when you factor in important topics like entropy (next point)); It fails to properly account for entropy (this is a serious topic that Neo-Darwinism refuses to take seriously, even though it has respectable audiences in other areas, such as systems theory); It fails to account for the "technology" or the "computer" that "processes" said genetic "information." In broader terms, if someone wants to rely on a particular narrative, then that narrative has to be consistent through and through. Information processing (genes) requires a computer... but there ain't no such thing in any biological system anywhere, never has been, no semblance thereof. If someone can show me how this technology works, I might be more receptive, but I'm not holding my breath. ... and so on. Epigenetics is based on the same fairy-floss foundation that characterizes the rest of the Neo-Darwinian, genocentric narrative. I cover some of the finer detail in my opening post of June 23 in the Science and Technology section, under "Has science become unscientific?" Bottom line, epigenetics, including behavioral epigenetics, is exactly the same, useless, sloshing, deterministic swill, devoid of any kind of compelling axiomatic framework (for a good example of a solid, axiomatic framework... Isaac Newton).
  13. Stefan leaves no doubt about where he stands. Personality is genetic, eh? "BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER" is the perfect title for that assumption. Genes and DNA are important, but not for the reasons most commonly assumed. Most importantly, genes/DNA relate to predispositions, not causes. Genes/DNA do not determine anything. The more skeptical suggestion coming from some quarters is that IQ tests measure one's ability to do IQ tests, not intelligence. I obtained my MBA from one of my country's top MBA schools. During one of our lectures, our highly regarded strategy lecturer described a kind of intelligence that is able to see the big picture, and makes decisions within the context of that big picture. A person with this ability is not typically able to explain how he arrives at his decision, as it is based on the subconscious weaving together of many threads. He just "sees" the answer. IQ tests do not really measure this dimension of intelligence. I obtained a very high score for my IQ test... but this does not mean anything to me. I know someone else who's obtained a very high score, and he's just an autistic nut-job. In fact, I suggest that IQ tests typically tend to the autistic end of the intelligence spectrum, and not the big-picture end where intelligence really most counts. I've read somewhere that Richard Feynman, among the brightest physicists of our time, obtained a very average score in his IQ test. But I can see where high-IQ folk would be predisposed to the "it's-all-in-the-genes" hooey... they can claim their high score as their own, because it's etched into their very genes, and not their environment. Stefan does great work in his videos, with his preparation and articulate presentations. But he is clearly wrong with his belief that "personality is genetic". "Because genes" is the reactive flip-side of the "because God" argument.... both are wrong. The strange death of Europe (an awesome video, btw) can be attributed to this pathological duality. God is dead, but in its place is a sterile secularism that just continues to feed the ignorance. With their implicit genocentric assumptions, Europeans are unable to see the groupthink that informs them. They think that the assumptions informed by their groupthink is "just" the way that "reality" "is". To reframe this in the narrative of Buddhism, Europeans are "seeing the world from their own level" and assuming these illusions to be real.
  14. Ok folks, skeptics and true-believers alike, here's the deal with special relativity (general relativity is a very different matter, so let's not go there for the moment). I won't say it's the final word, but it is compelling. I posted the following question to physicists involved in high-energy physics, such as the Large Hadron Collider, and I received good answers, with evidence, in the affirmative: Several online sources suggest that the Large Hadron Collider has managed to accelerate protons to 0.999999991 of light speed c. Are collisions between particles travelling at near-light speed (0.999999991c), in the Large Hadron Collider, consistent with E=mc^2/sqrt(1-v^2/c^2 ) (the special relativity equation)? Tables available online suggest a Lorentz factor of 7450 for this speed, implying that the kinetic energy of two protons slamming together in the LHC will yield something of the order of 7450 (x 2) times the energy-of-collision than would be expected if SR did not hold true. This is a huge increase that would be easily detected. Is this estimated increase in the energy of collision, in fact, what is observed in actual experiments in the LHC? My background is in engineering, so this emphasis on the energy-balance is the kind of smack-in-the-face evidence that I was looking for. Conclusion: The evidence supporting SR is solid. It meets the beyond all reasonable doubt standard of criminal law. Having established this much, I will be particularly interested in what the following article has to say, when it gets published in September. I mean, how can one argue with the obvious, verifiable energy implications of a large Lorentz factor? http://www.nacgeo.com/nacsite/press/1march2016.asp As for general relativity, stay skeptical.
  15. Funding, incentives and support necessarily has business and politics intrude on science. Your idealization of science methodologies does not reflect the reality. And the fact that science entertains feminist theory, for example, and takes its nonsense seriously (Richard Dawkins has described himself as a feminist on more than one occasion... and Steven Pinker is feminist-friendly) really should be raising eyebrows. Not to mention Big Bang theory, etc. Just as we judge people by the company they keep, so too, we should be judging organizations by the affiliations that they keep... and the nonsense that they entertain. And this is the core of this further dimension that I want to bring into the science debate. Our science culture is far from pure science... there's a lot of politics muddying the water. Fake News Culture infects Fake Science Academia, it's the same animal. And we need look no further than the ongoing climate change controversy as the most recent example of how political agendas impact on how science is conducted. Which camp's science do you trust? Cigarette smoking is another controversy that had me wondering what the scientists/lawyers of their respective sides were smoking. And what about how drugs are regulated? Planned Parenthood controversy? Etc.