Topic RSS | Reply to topic
Author Post

aranelthemithra


Member

Posted Wed Jan 2nd, 2013 11:34pm Post subject: A new member's first post

I guess with such posts, you are often obliged to explain your presence and interest.

I an English ex-patriot now located in the USA, but I have – sorry Stephen - 30 years of experience enjoying the work of Stephen Fry. From “A bit of Fry and Laurie,” “Black Adder,” “Jeeves and Wooster” and beyond - all, sorry again Stephen, make up very fond entertainment memories of my childhood.

Hugh Laurie, similarly has a place in my heart as a positive part of growing up with English TV. As a dual citizen, I did get to watch “House” with a extra layer of enjoyment because it was nice to see Hugh do very well, and still bring that wit to this new role.

I, today, am amazingly thankful that Netflix has Stephen’s trip around America, and youtube (albeit likely illegally) gives me a way to keep up to date with QI. And it is with a smile that I put in the game LittleBigPlanet (or any of its successors) to hear the familiar voice.

Not only has Stephen (and Hugh) been a source of laughter and entertainment for many years, at a much more serious level, he has become a personal hero.

I am a scientist – a physicist to be specific – so intelligence is an attractive quality. Intelligence combined with an innate sense of respect is an invaluable combination which allows for disagreement without conflict, education without condescension, and perhaps most importantly for me, conversation without boredom.

I am an atheist. Being a physicist certainly contributes to that, but a specific desire to live life as if there is no one to “bail out” my soul is certainly an underlying drive. As such the respectful, but strong atheism of Mr. Fry has been an inspiration. And interestingly, my process towards becoming an atheist also required that I explore religions and understand religions so that my decision was not formed in a vacuum. I suspect a thirst for knowledge makes many atheists more aware of all religions than the religious might be.

I was married in a renaissance ceremony, and we (myself and my spouse) allowed religion to be a part for those in attendance who wanted such things. So many times these public celebrations are really for family and friends. But, while those concessions were made, I did fulfill a boyhood need to carry a sword, dagger, and a hidden blade in my bracers, and a feather in my hat so – it can’t be all bad.

I guess that will be sufficient for a first post. I am looking forward to reading the thoughts of others who find Stephen Fry a worthy reason to form a community. If Stephen reads such things, perhaps he can take some pleasure in knowing of yet another person he has positively improved the life of.

To sign off, a final, short anecdote -
I went to school many years ago with a gentleman who now gets to perform with Stephen Fry on stage for Twelfth Night -- I haven't had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Fry, but neither of these little tidbits this friend shared were much of a surprise

"I'm glad to say he's as friendly and generous as you'd hope he'd be. It's always interesting to hear what he has to say...the ideal dinner party guest."

-------

Stephen Fry: Who dares me to say "erectile dysfunction" on stage tonight?
Friend: I would, but how would you get it in?

------

*groan*

All the best.


Back to top

joan


Member

Posted Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 1:24pm Post subject: A new member's first post

Hello and welcome from a fellow atheist, also with a good knowledge of religions. Well, it is more fun putting JWs in their place, when you know the bible better than them, isn't it?

I'm also an ex-pat, living in Australia. We are a country full of atheists and non-theists - people who never give religion a thought. Mind you, sport is the de facto religion here, but I have little interest in sport either.

You're a physicist eh - that always makes me feel mildly guilty. I was bad at physics at school; my expertise was in languages and the arts, but I remember with deep embarrassment my grammar school physics teacher, utterly fed up with my incomprehension of basic matters, who held a metal ruler above my head for a few seconds during a lesson on energy, then dropped it on my foot, to illustrate the difference between potential and kinetic energy. (We were given the option later to drop physics and take up German - I said Jawohl! It was easier on my poor feet)

Funnily enough, I am learning a lot of science late in life from Dawkins' 'The Greatest Show on Earth'. He is an excellent educator. Oh, and I love Brian Cox's programs.

Just watched some old QIs on the telly, from 2003. I enjoyed them more than the recent ones.

Once again, welcome.


Back to top

Recoveringchristian


Member

Posted Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 9:32pm Post subject: A new member's first post

I have recently posted my first offering although a fan of many years. My only reason for getting involved is that I have always held a deep respect for Stephen Fry and have rejoiced in his bristling intellect. I think we all have areas where we can hold our own in a debate but from football to science, religion to darts, whiskey to literature, I think we have our man for all seasons, in Stephen Fry.
I have posted of my catholic upbringing and utter rejection of all things religious but I am not going to berate anyone that gets comfort or solice from "otherworldly" beliefs. Its just not for me. Organised religion however, its leaders and fanatics? Oh, it makes me angry! Nothing riles me more than the fundamentalists.
We are all marked by childhood experience, for better or worse. Thankfully we have the likes of Stephen Fry to help us through adulthood.

Welcome


Back to top

aranelthemithra


Member

Posted Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 9:47pm Post subject: A new member's first post

Nothing bothers me more than a teacher who is unwilling to figure out how to educate their students.

Physics is especially one of those subjects which have a dozen different ways to explain the same thing - thought experiments, analogies, real world examples - so that you have a vast number of ways of allowing someone to figure out what you are trying to explain.

Take GPS for example; Just this single aspect of everyday life (these days) has a dozen fascinating elements to it from the standpoint of a physicist. Each of which can be either a confusing or a clarifying concept for someone who is, if you’ll excuse the term, a physics layman.

Brian Cox, a wonderful educator, and a man full of passion and love for his science, demonstrates constantly the correct way to explain physics. He takes a single concept and within a single show (wonders of the Universe for example) presents that same concept multiple ways.
Carl Sagan could do this also. Indeed I believe that Sagan was a primary influence for Brian Cox.

It’s interesting to note that Stephen Fry during the first appearance by the professor on QI, was clearly almost giddy to be able to ask questions and absorb information from Brian.

A dinner party that included Steven Fry, Dara O'Briain, Brian Cox and myself would be a truly wonderful evening. I would be outclassed on every level by each of those men and perhaps offer very little. But such a mixture of science, humour and wit would be quite fascinating.

Dawkin’s “The Greatest Show on Earth” while more biology than physics is particularly important as a work in America since we do, every day, have to deal with the idiots who proffer “Intelligent Design” as a realistic alternative to science, and specifically the theory of evolution.

This only becomes possible when you allow the meanings of words to be lost in the emotion of ridiculousness.

To borrow a quote from the Princess Bride. Theory. They keep using that word, but I do not think it means what they think it means.

Theory has a very specific meaning in the science community. In short: A theory is a suggested explanation or a hypothesis (or collection of hypotheses) for observed events which survive the rigors of repeated TESTING.

“Intelligent Design” falls well short of even this basic, short-hand definition of a theory. How would you go about testing “intelligent design?”

The premise on which it is built cannot be tested.

Creationism, which is what “Intelligent Design” is just code for, should be taught only in theology-based courses and should not see the inside of a science class. That’s not just an affront to atheists and scientists, it’s an offense to anyone who believes children should be given FACTS and allowed to draw their own conclusions.

I am, on many levels, a congenial atheist. I allow people the freedom to believe what they want. I draw the line at any attempt at proselytizing me, I will not accept such attempts. And this insane nonsense that is sweeping the USA regarding “intelligent design,” the fear and disdain of science, or intellectualizing of any kind really, and the supposed attacks on especially the Christian faith, Christmas and the like.

There are many atheists who work hard to give us a bad name in the US, no doubt, and that’s a rant for a different post, but I can assure you. Christmas, pagan holiday that it is, is in no threat from anything perhaps other than rampant consumerism.


Back to top

aranelthemithra


Member

Posted Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 10:32pm Post subject: A new member's first post

“I am not going to berate anyone that gets comfort or solice from "otherworldly" beliefs”

This comment here encapsulates a very specific issue with the world, and perhaps the US specifically.

You would NOT seek to attack someone who is using their faith for comfort and solace.

But there are many, both religious and atheist, who would.

In the US this year, we have seen two random acts of violence which become global news and were horrific acts which should never have been allowed to happen.

I saw many things happen as fallout of these specific attacks.

First, gun rights became a discussion at the forefront of many social media sites. Facebook and twitter were both ablaze with calls for something to be done.

Second, mental health gets a minor nod as a problem in the US – but clearly, solving mental health issues requires something as basic as a national health service and that, unfortunately, is simply buried in massive amounts of dollars. So we will not solve this problem, and those who suffer from easily controlled/monitored/treated mental illnesses will go untreated, and we will continue to make it easy for them to arm themselves.

Third, people reach out for God. America is, reportedly, a country where 90% of the populace believes in God.

I sigh inwardly at such comments. Prayers, and calls for answering the question of “why?” are predictable and, indeed if my own thoughts are correct, they are two of the very underpinning principles which drive humans to believe in a higher power. But these sentiments often deflect people from seeking real world answers, and rather than dealing with either the first or second point, they will attribute the act to the Will of God and leave it at that.

But this is an internal monologue for me. What I will certainly not do is post, as many hateful atheists will, under the guise of anonymity or a misplaced (and entirely inappropriate) “holier than thou” attitude, attack those offering their faith-based comments and well-wishes.

There is some irony to this. For atheists to take a position of “ascendancy” over a religious person on the issue of beliefs really strikes me as odd.

I think the question every atheist must ask before they interact is “what’s the harm?”

Consider the example of a child believing in Santa, or the tooth fairy or Easter Bunny. There is a specific form of mean spiritedness which is required to tell a 5-year old that none of them are real. As an atheist, you are faced with daily situations where you avoid that mean spiritedness.

Religion can cause untold harm. Recent rulings in England I believe by the Church of England to outlaw same-sex marriage is one such instance. Any time religion seeks to hinder or remove rights from individuals, then it becomes a force of harm (most of those religious wars are related to taking away the rights of someone).

As atheists, we should be very aware of when is and isn’t a good time to try to curb the impacts of religion.


Back to top

joan


Member

Posted Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 10:34pm Post subject: A new member's first post

Regarding science education - looking back I realise my problem was trying to look too deeply into what we were being taught - to understand the 'how and why', when they thought we were only ready for the 'what', at age 11 or 12 or 13. I could not make the facts we were given, make sense in my imagination.

Regarding religion in the USA - from mainstream to the Westboro baptists, words fail me. It never used to be this bad - or at least the rest of the world didn't perceive it so. As for politics - wow! The US right wing is frankly terrifying. So is ours in Australia, but as a country we haven't much power in the world.

The anti-science stance of the political Right, is disgusting. Here they are climate change deniers,or at least willfully ignorant, and they utterly oppose the carbon tax imposed by the Labour fed gov. To my mind, cutting emissions is good whatever the reason as it improves the environment.

The world needs clear thinkers, and Stephen Fry is one of the best.


Back to top

aranelthemithra


Member

Posted Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 10:50pm Post subject: A new member's first post

Bah!

Teaching the "what" does nothing for inquisitive young minds. The only thing that matters is the how and why. Sounds like you had the perfect mind to embrace science since you were asking the right questions.

Scientists are claimed to have only a right-brain mentality. But the truth is, the best scientists are the ones with the best imaginations - otherwise we find nothing new.

Westboro is just a group of horrible, nasty, mean spirited, cruel people who seek only to make their controlling patriarch happy by trying to destroy people at their most vulnerable. That is all I have to say about that. The less people acknowledge their existence the better.

Climate change deniers benefit from another of my pet peeves which is the false balance attitude of the media. It's not acceptable to have talking heads from two sides of an issue and then present them as if they have equal weight and credibility.

Journalism is gone from the majority of the media because the 24-hour SKY News, or CNN, or Fox entertainment/propaganda machines need to feed the beast. Journalism requires fact checking, independent research and money and effort that you can avoid by putting pretty girls on with (as Stephen would call them) fulsome funbags and manufacturing balance by simply giving equal air time.

Rarely does an interviewer or moderator stop a lying politician and say "wait up... there is no evidence to support that." or better yet "that was a lie."

Sponsors, ownership, and political pressure controls the news, and that is a bad thing.


Back to top

Recoveringchristian


Member

Posted Thu Jan 3rd, 2013 11:25pm Post subject: A new member's first post

If I could offer the scenario of my mothers death and the comfort she received from her faith in God and Heaven. She was diagnosed in her early 60s with early onset Alzheimers disease and before it could do its worse, she complained of serious pain in her side. It turned out to be cancer and she died from this aged 70.
I don't blame or curse anyone at this very unfair set of events and do not mock my mother for her strongly held beliefs. My grandfather, a dedicated socialist, when told that the clergy had come to vist him (on his deathbed) thundered "Tell them to fuck off!"
I don't know whether my mother lived the way she did because she was a naturally forgiving and warm person or because she fervently believed in the bible and the ten commandments. What I do know, is that I almost envy her conviction that there would be a heaven waiting. She seemed to pass away peacefully.
I belong to no tribe of atheists. I admire the intellect of others and find myself in almost complete agreement with Hitchens et al. I do not have his courage, intelligence or commitment and I am, at this stage, personally unaffected by religion. I see the zealots in the same way that I see politicians, voracious capitalists or Machiavellian
communists. I also know that it is highly unlikely that anything the active atheists achieve, will change anything for the foreseeable future. For me, to free myself from the suffocation of the catholic church has been a great relief. I am surrounded by family and in-laws that still practice catholicsm in an overpoweringly catholic country, despite heinious acts of depravity against children and the weak in general. I'm afraid Aranel, I'm embroiled in my own little war


Back to top

aranelthemithra


Member

Posted Fri Jan 4th, 2013 12:05am Post subject: A new member's first post

I think my only real response there is:

Religion provides comfort, and yes a certainty in belief, that there is something after death. I have written a number of times about what I believe are the foundations of all religions. Dealing with the unknown and death are certainly two situations with which religion and faith can deal with albeit in an intentionally intangible way.

I would say however, that many who have less or no religious faith to rely on for those situations can deal with life and death best by living their lives based on making the world better every day and leaving a permanent mark on those around them by doing everything they can to improve the lives of those who know them.

There are advantages and disadvantages of not having a "do over." There are just as many advantages and disadvantages of believing you do have a do over. I am not sure it's a good thing that you can live your life as the worst of "sinners" only to be completely forgiven at death and getting the perfect promised after life. Surely, not being an asshole in life is best regardless


Back to top

Recoveringchristian


Member

Posted Fri Jan 4th, 2013 12:55am Post subject: A new member's first post

Yes...I expressed the same sentiment in my first post to the forum. Is our moral compass completely our own? Passed on from parents, teachers and "heros"? Does all this seep in over years of syphoning up what suits us and dumping what we see as not suitable? As a scientist, you have proof that creationists are mistaken but where does this conscience come from? "There are no guiding stars" says Rushdie. What says to us it's wrong to steal? The convention of manners and different levels of moral probity, are they each the product of unique inner voices or have we actually learned all this from the relgious and don't realise that it's happened. In short...what is the meaning of life??? Please tell me you know!


Back to top

aranelthemithra


Member

Posted Fri Jan 4th, 2013 2:34am Post subject: A new member's first post

"Is our moral compass completely our own? Passed on from parents, teachers and "heros"?"

Well, its interesting. There was a study recently that focused on children of various ages from very young to 10 or 11. It showed that the very young are highly selfish and willing to harm others for their own benefit.

This nature changes as the child grows older. Toddlers show some willingness to share and older children develop elements of self-sacrifice.

The study didn't really seek to explain the behaviour, but instead just document it.

I think there is some reason to think that education, social and peer pressure and other environmental interactions certainly guide the development, but there could easily be a natural drive also. Parenthood, the ultimate goal of human life from a purely biological perspective, requires that animals develop a sense of self sacrifice in order to propagate their gene and the species as a whole.

So becoming more and more self-sacrificing and generous as you advance towards having children could well be an actual biological imperative.

Certainly, selfishness and self-preservation are highly important tools to a infant of any kind.

"What says to us it's wrong to steal? The convention of manners and different levels of moral probity"

I have a simple answer to this, which like many theories certainly has a decent amount of testing to support.

If you steal, you risk repercussions. Most people won't steal out of fear of that repercussion. It's not a pretty answer, but it's a basic answer. Indeed, many of the basic tenets of religion are built on the core principles of not doing stuff that will get you killed.

Sleeping with another guy's wife. Eating pork in a desert. Coveting items that aren't yours. Common sense self-preservation is not a force to ignore. It's the underlying reason for many of our actions.

"...what is the meaning of life??? Please tell me you know!"

Meaning of life? As a true atheist I get to say "life means whatever you make it mean. Nothing more, nothing less."

Biological imperatives tell us that the meaning of life is to produce offspring. And while that as the very basic foundation is indeed the meaning, we have developed a sophistication which means we gain pleasure from any number of sources - I remember one scientist saying if he had one question he could ask an advanced alien race, he would ask how they provide pleasure to their various senses.

I forget who said it, but it is an interesting perspective from which to define a race and perhaps it is the best way since whatever you say, or think or believe, the true meaning of life is what you get from living it.


Back to top

Recoveringchristian


Member

Posted Fri Jan 4th, 2013 11:10am Post subject: A new member's first post

I appreciate your contention but I would argue that your analysis is what is the purpose in a human life and not the meaning of life itself which I suppose is a lesson to me to not ask a facetious question. When Sagan was asked (by someone who was in contact with aliens)if he had any question to ask "Ask them to give me a short proof of Fermats Last Theorem" A good question can be better than any answer!
I suppose until we are absolutely sure that life exists/existed only on earth, we can never explain the meaning of life and it would be a conceit of knowledge to even attempt doing so.
Would you consider that the only real standpoint a scientist could take would be one of agnosticism? Is it important for scientists not to state an absolute when there is tecnically, no absolute proof? Is it incumbent on scientists to keep a very open mind? There have been many widely accepted beliefs debunked with further knowledge. Static Universe for example.
Getting back to the morality question. When you know that something like smiling is universal and done from a very young age or the behaviour of twins raised by different families in different locations can be identical, is there a possibility that morality has developed as a genetic programme? Or that a fault in this programme results in sociopathies?
As for biology. Is biology as we know it limited in itself because we have no other information beyond our earthly experience? Physics and chemistry can be tested beyond this planet.


Back to top

aranelthemithra


Member

Posted Fri Jan 4th, 2013 10:07pm Post subject: A new member's first post

“I appreciate your contention but I would argue that your analysis is what is the purpose in a human life and not the meaning of life itself”

Only the conceit of humanity supposes that we have a greater meaning to our lives than the life of a fly, or a rat, or a fish or a dog. This same conceit also presumes that such animals are placed on this earth for our usage.

If you are looking for a metaphysical “meaning” to life, then I am afraid you won’t find such an answer from me.

Our brains only allow us to get more variety out of our lives, we certainly don’t appear to have any greater meaning. We are quite possible of destroying all life, if you wish to consider that a positive.

“Would you consider that the only real standpoint a scientist could take would be one of agnosticism? Is it important for scientists not to state an absolute when there is tecnically, no absolute proof? Is it incumbent on scientists to keep a very open mind? There have been many widely accepted beliefs debunked with further knowledge. Static Universe for example.”

Scientists are by definition required to have open minds. A theory is subject to constant testing and must be reimagined and recreated if a test proves the theory wrong. Einstein and Newton have their theories tested constantly – and our presumption than their theories are accurate is based on years and hundreds of tests reconfirming the predictions made based on those theories.

What a scientist does not do is create facts to fit our view of the world. We use the facts to define that view. If a fact arises that contravenes our current view point, then we adjust our viewpoint to correctly account for that fact.

That is the very definition of open-mindedness.

If God walks on the earth and provides sufficient evidence that they are indeed the supreme being, then scientists would have no reason, nor desire, to deny his/hers/its existence. Though we would likely continuously test the assertion that it is the higher power – but that is our nature.

The traditional, and perhaps correct, answer, when questioning the possible existence of life elsewhere in the universe is that it is “Highly improbable that there is life on another planet somewhere in this universe, it is equally improbable that there isn’t.”

Scientists don’t state anything in absolutes, they state things purely based on observations. Those observations lead to theorizing. And testing those theories outline our understanding. Science is an ever evolving entity that constantly adjusts to new observations.

What you are hinting at is that a scientist should be willing and able to support faith and science at the same time. There are scientists that do this – but I am not one, and I would hazard a guess that the underlying basic fears of humanity can impact a scientist just as deeply as any other human.

“Getting back to the morality question. When you know that something like smiling is universal and done from a very young age or the behaviour of twins raised by different families in different locations can be identical, is there a possibility that morality has developed as a genetic programme? Or that a fault in this programme results in sociopathies?”

Smiling is in no way universal. It’s not consistent even across our planet whether it be species to species or even race to race. There are races that consider smiling to be an indicator of dishonesty. Apes smile out of fear.

We anthropomorphise animals to give them human traits such as smiling. We see smiles in the front end designs of cars. I am not convinced that very young babies are smiling at all, but we certainly respond to them when that facial expression appears as if it is a good thing. That would appear to be reminiscent of a very successful training technique.

Dogs have learned that when we bare our teeth it’s a good thing, whereas dog to dog, it would be a significant act of aggression.

The twin thing is dubious at best. I consider it a case of selective sampling. I can think of at least a dozen sets of twins in my own personal experience who share nothing in common other than their appearance and parents. That does not ignore the strange coincidences, but the thing about coincidences is that we sure notice them a lot more when we are looking for them.

Genetic memory, or programming, is somewhat mysterious. We aren’t really in a position to create significant observable situations where the proposed hypothesis you are putting forth can be tested. Cloning certainly seems to be the field where this will end up being tested.

Does a cloned being directly reflect the parent if it is exposed to the same set of conditions? Does it vary when you change the environmental factors?

We do know that clones do NOT become physical duplicates. Recessive genes, and other factors cause them to vary drastically… or they don’t.

“As for biology. Is biology as we know it limited in itself because we have no other information beyond our earthly experience? Physics and chemistry can be tested beyond this planet.”

Biology isn’t nearly as limited as you might think. Our “earthly experience” has introduced us to creatures known as “extremophiles” with the suffix coming from the Greek word for love. So creatures that love extreme conditions.

These creatures are bizarre to a point of being truly alien. And indeed Astrobiology has been able to glean a huge amount from just studying these creatures, and exposing simple organisms to any other number of extreme conditions – discovering that the adaptation to those conditions is startlingly good.

This means that biologists have good reason to believe that our own solar system could be home to other life. The moons of Saturn offering us the most optimism.

Enceladus is a moon of Saturn that appears to be a frozen crust covering a liquid water ocean. And where there is water, there is – per our understanding – the chance of life. We have even seen plumes of water shooting through the surface. Gravity is a big deal, and stretching, distorting and otherwise moving this small moon’s “innards” around could definitely produce the heat necessary to keep the water liquid.

Titan, another moon of Saturn also has a few things going for it. While we are talking about temperatures cold enough to create lakes of methane, we are also talking about the only place we know of outside of earth where there are lakes of anything. And extremophiles might suggest that -180 degree temperatures and non-water lakes may not be enough to prevent life from forming and flourishing.

It’s highly unlikely, but Mars has always been a popular place for us to feel that life may now, or have previously, existed. We believed we saw methane on Mars, which is a byproduct of biological processes – but we aren’t finding it … yet.

Something else to remember about life, wherever it resides…

It is in the forges of the universe, things we call stars, that all building blocks of life are created. The death of massive stars is the reason we can exist. As Carl Sagan said, we truly are made of star stuff.

Never let it be said that science isn’t full of romance and imagination.


Back to top

joan


Member

Posted Fri Jan 4th, 2013 10:30pm Post subject: A new member's first post

This has developed into a very interesting thread. I'm nearly 68, but intend to live to well over 100 (I'm from a long-lived family) because I always want to know what happens next, what will be discovered next...I believe that today's 'supernatural' will be tomorrow's science - after all, things like magnetism and static electricity, among other things, would have seemed supernatural in the distant past. Perhaps quantum physics, which I wish I understood, will lead us in all sorts of new pathways.

One thing I have observed during my life, is that money used to enable progress, but these days is halts so much. If there is no huge profit in it, forget it. This is not universal of course, but I'm seeing more and more instances of money as a disabler not an enabler. I am always heartened when I see the results and benefits of scientific research being made available to all, at no cost.

Of course, I'm politically of the Left, and hate the modern trend towards privatising everything. I've lived through huge social progress - the NHS, the welfare state, free tertiary education for all who qualify, huge improvements in work conditions and pay - and then I've watched in dismay as it all gets slowly chipped away.

Perhaps it will swing back and there will be more state-funded scientific and social progress. I hope so.


Back to top

Recoveringchristian


Member

Posted Fri Jan 4th, 2013 11:35pm Post subject: A new member's first post

It is because of romance and imagination that I ask the questions. I finished schooling in my early teens and am now mid 50s. Anything that I know, I have learned from questioning and re-questioning. As far as I was aware up to now, the study that refuted Darwins theory on facial expressions was conducted on computer generated faces with Western caucasian expressions transposed to East Asian faces and a very small number of people asked to identify the expression. I was unaware as to whether it had progressed from there. As I had no expectation of any animals ability to smile, I used the word universal to describe my knowledge of smiling, which was human and on earth.
I again had assumed that the biological side of science by choice, limited itself and had very definate "specified or abstract" conditions and was unaware that these microbes had been discovered in space. I know that recently, micro-organisms have been found near freshwater springs at the bottom of the Dead Sea, unaffected by the high magnesium content. http://www.mpi-bremen.de/en/Springs_of_Life_in_the_Dead_Sea.html.
I am suspicious of cloning, mainly through ignorance. I don't know enough to comment.


Back to top