Not exactly related to any of the previous posts here, but I think it is very cool and "Future Important"
Looks like we are getting close to creating artificial lifeTwo independent research teams have generated an atomic-scale assembly line where robots fashioned from DNA molecules can ambulate, follow instructions, and cooperate to fabricate rudimentary products. Both research groups focused on mobile DNA walkers with legs composed of a string of genetic enzymes, and each appendage moves forward according to its chemical attraction to sequences of biochemicals deposited before it. In one project, researchers led by Columbia University biochemist Milan Stojanovic built a molecular machine that moved on its own along a track of chemical instructions. Meanwhile, New York University researchers led by chemist Nadrian Seeman integrated a programmable DNA track and a group of mobile robotic walkers with a series of independently controlled molecular forklifts that can transport parts on command, in effect creating a working nano-factory. The robots could be programmed to put together up to eight different shapes through the trigger of different DNA sequences.
"built a molecular machine that moved on its own along a track of chemical instructions."
Reminds me of the early days of computing & programming w/computer cards. Long ways to go but looks kind of like chemical computing... pretty cool...
And when I taught a feminism course here, I used all the classic pro-feminist writers (de Beauvoir, Judith Butler, etc.), but since I would from time to time remind the students of the opposing views, I received the worst evaluations I've ever received in my post-Ph.D. teaching career. Some students and professors alike honestly believe there is only one side to the story.
But I've also met plenty of equally biased conservatives in my life. Dogmatism can be found in every religion, political view, philosophy, and so on and so on.
Last edited by Zefelius; 05-15-2010 at 04:03 AM.
So Both the people arguing that you might get better results by treating boys and girls differently and those arguing that how we treat girls or boys might systematically disadvantage them can be correct. (for a specific definition of disadvantage/better)
* Ie the debate should end almost instantly with, "we are not actually disagreeing..."
Last edited by ScottieX; 05-15-2010 at 12:02 PM.
I would only add that the debate need not entirely disappear, except, of course, the debate between the two extreme sides. The more interesting debate would then revolve around specifics: to what extent and under what circumstances is behavior influenced by x, by y, or by x and y simultaneously.
Perhaps it's similar to the ridiculous debate between communism and capitalism where ideologues on both sides argue endlessly about ideas that no longer realistically matter to most of us. In the same way, then, the more sophisticated and passionate debates would be about the specifics: in what context should banks or companies be regulated, when shouldn't they be, how high or how low should income taxes fluctuate, etc. In today's global economy neither a pure capitalistic nor pure communist society will flourish.
Last edited by Zefelius; 05-15-2010 at 12:36 PM.
No economic nor governmental system will ever work when the people running these systems are corrupt, period. A perfect system isnt perfect when the people within it are not, and politicians (who, btw, also have a say in economic policy making and regulation or lack thereof) have become exponentially discrete and greedy as time has elapsed without due attention that we as citizens should be paying those in charge.
i would like to add my two cents to the genetics vs. social influences discussion. what you guys say is, of course, common rational sense (i.e. we are both shaped by biological and social circumstances). but from a more abstract view (that's my favorite view BTW ) i could argue that nothing but genetics exist. they not only contain our personality fundamentals but also our abilities to adapt to our social surroundings. thus, all what shapes us after birth, all "empiricist" influences, are a product of our genes. at the end of the day, every little "choice" we make at some point in our life is a product of our genes reacting on our adjacencies. i personally think based on the knowledge that we have right now, this view is actually more valid according to the rules of logic (we can prove genes but we can't prove a "free will" that is independent from genes).
yay, i successfully turned a normal debate into a deterministic one. i like to do that. anyway, my point is that you can have different valid views on the matter. it's hard to reject all and leave one as the "right" one. in an extreme way, all views (even those that are completely illogical) can not be rejected by an absolute argument. everything is relative and truth depends on your subjective point of view.
While I doubt the practicality of such a theory on an individual level, it's an interesting assertion to say everything is a function of our genes (our "nature") ultimately. Abstract, but hard to argue with other than the aspects of life which are not man-made. I still say a comet striking your car in the parking lot, or hitting your home & wiping out your family (certainly this event would shape your life/development) isn't covered by this theory but it's an interesting theory.
Last edited by Pedal2Metal; 05-16-2010 at 03:22 AM.
i smirked a little at how polite you are, my dear pedal.Originally Posted by Pedal2Metal
i actually didn't want to say that the environment is man-made even though i understand it may have sounded like it (it's hard to explain abstract points accurately). what i wanted to express is that it is possible to argue that every human action can be traced back to genes. possible in the sense that it is hard or impossible to disprove it.
however, the environment can also be explained within determinism. after all, genes are made of the same material as any other existing thing in the physical universe. it's made of the smallest particles existing. just like we can say that all human actions are caused by his genes--or by the smallest particles existing that constitute his genes--we can say that all particles in the comet, in the comet's surroundings, in the comet's movement and so on cause it to smash your car and family on earth because your car's and family's genes determined car and family to be at that exact point spatially and temporarily. determinism in its most extreme form: the whole universe being essentially nothing more than cause and effect, action and reaction, stimulus--> response. i like this theory because it's so logical (which of course doesn't mean or even prove that it's true) and logic somehow attracts me.
there are so many logical flaws with this theory. as you know, i gave it up and replaced it by relativism at some point in my life and later with absurdism (and this probaby still isn't the end of the story). i just still practice it because i enjoy the logic in it. it still doesn't prove anything absolutely. it still can't explain which was the first cause, first action or first stimulus to begin the endless chain of consequences (even though "endless" may imply that there never was a "first" cause but endlessness doesn't seem very logical to me). and, last, we don't even know if there's something like "the smallest particles existing" because we haven't discovered it yet. as one smart student friend of mine told me, we can't base a theory on something we anticipate to be there without actually knowing it, at least it cannot be called truth then.
but it's fun. and why not do what's fun if existence is meaningless, if meaning is indiscoverable or if meaning is not discovered yet.
Last edited by Pedal2Metal; 05-16-2010 at 06:50 AM.
hm. i said genes constitute that and how we interact with our environment. i'm not sure what you guys' points are. genes + environment = human being.
On the other hand, even within the humanities there is diversity. I'm somebody who likes to provoke people with counter views. I may not do this a lot in the forum here, but I do quite a bit in "real life." Some of the liberal professors don't like this one bit, and are dogmatically defensive. But there is actually quite a high proportion of them who believe in objective methodologies enough that they don't allow their biases to interfere with their research. When I discuss controversial opinions with these professors (say, on the war in Iraq), they're actually quite open-minded about my contrary views and they haven't yet "marginalized" me!
I'm not really disagreeing with you too much, just pointing out that we all have biases but that need not always intrude on thoughtful research or objective studies.
Last edited by Zefelius; 05-17-2010 at 04:04 AM.
I know you guys all moved on and have forgotten about this conversation, but I just came across an interesting blog post relevant to the creation of life...
we won't end this discussion by that. you and i may call this evidence. others won't because of various reasons. if i learnt something from this hateful discussion then it's that there won't ever be a consensus that is accepted by every single one.
We synthesized a genome, not life itself. Im not sure what that was supposed to prove or notion. The life was already there, we just modified its genome. Thats impressive, but irrelevant to any part of the discussion we were having weeks ago.
the history channel says we are mutated with aliens.. !!!
in 2003 they found a unique part of the DNA that no other organism has.. its so unique they think aliens placed it on the summerians.. thats why they were the first civliation.. they were the smart ones etc...
they also explained why some little ancient artifacts look like ppl in spacesuits..!!! and they have similar characteristics, because it is the dna of the alien itself!!! might sound crazy but could be true
its no like the thread title is.. post and argue.. or is it?
just thought how its a thing on the history channel.. "Ancient Aliens" it comes up every now and then.. there different episodes.. like how one of the first tribes in latin america.. before the aztecs, before the mayans.. or incas..
build like this super wall, with little tiny holes... "perfect" holes.. the rock was a stong structure that the only other thing stronger is the diamond.. meaning they cant figure out how they practically "drilled" holes on these resources....
not just a hole.. it entended into the rock.. for a few inches.. spears were to big for it... and human strenght would not be possible, even with hammers...
SWEEETTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM STOKED!!!!!!!!!!
Now you know why my ID is Pedal2Metal. I LOVE racing, of all kinds!
I can't wait to see F1 20 miles from my house.
Last edited by Pedal2Metal; 05-25-2010 at 07:53 PM.
I found the black dot to the left of Queen Elizabeth!
Now, how do I apply this awesome bit of information to my life!?!?