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Author Topic: The Science Thread  (Read 3032 times)
Mofo Rising
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« on: April 08, 2011, 03:24:40 AM »

This thread should be about any question you have about science at all. Ask any question and we will try to approach it from the scientific point of view. Also, feel free to ask about ask about science and what actual scientists do. If you want to ask about those deadly skeletal mainframes we somewhat more mad than usual scientists are designing to conquer the world, ask away.

My aim is to demystify science. The aim of science is to figure out how the world actually works. Too often science is presented as obtuse and arcane, when nothing could be further from the truth. Science is the province of everybody, and I would be happy to recruit as many people as possible.

Let me as up front as possible. I do not believe that science is in direct opposition to religion. Myself, I am as atheistic as an agnostic can be. But don't let that dissuade you from asking questions you care about. I'm more than willing to discuss topics such as evolution, and I'm willing to countenance your deeply held beliefs.

Question? Ask away!
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Doggett
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2011, 08:10:53 AM »

Why is the sky blue ?

Is it something to do with the atmosphere, the way light refracts ?


 Question
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2011, 08:32:19 AM »

Why is the sky blue ?

Is it something to do with the atmosphere, the way light refracts ?


 Question

Yes, exactly.

The atmosphere acts as a prism or diffraction grating.  The angle of refraction depends on frequency (or, for purposes of the question, color) of the light.  Blue light is bent more than yellow light, so the yellow part of the sunlight comes at us 'straighter' and the blue light goes off at an angle.  The blue then reflects down, giving the effect of the whole 'sky' being blue.
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2011, 11:00:31 AM »

Where do babies come from?

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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2011, 11:10:27 AM »

Where do babies come from?


Vaginas.

(Too on-the-nose response?)
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dean
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2011, 11:22:08 AM »

Where do babies come from?



If you have to ask, you're doing it wrong...
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The Burgomaster
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2011, 11:24:41 AM »

Where do babies come from?


Vaginas.

(Too on-the-nose response?)

That's a bush-league answer (so to speak).


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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2011, 11:25:06 AM »

Is Thomas Dobly right, can one be rendered seeing impaired by science?
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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2011, 11:29:33 AM »

Is Thomas Dobly right, can one be rendered seeing impaired by science?

They always required us to wear eye protection in chemistry lab, so I would assume so.

So what's the deal with homosexuality?  Biological, psychological, both?
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2011, 11:39:17 AM »

So what's the deal with homosexuality?  Biological, psychological, both?

Surely psychological.

Its just a natural instinct, I guess.
It was never a choice to be straight for me, it's not something I even thought of.
I just slowly thought: girls...yeah, I like 'em...

It must be the same with being gay.
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Flick James
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2011, 11:42:20 AM »

So what's the deal with homosexuality?  Biological, psychological, both?

Surely psychological.

Its just a natural instinct, I guess.
It was never a choice to be straight for me, it's not something I even thought of.
I just slowly thought: girls...yeah, I like 'em...

It must be the same with being gay.

That would actually suggest biological. That's a can-of-worms question to be sure. People will have their opinions on the matter no matter what science proves or fails to prove. Best to move on in my opinion.
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Doggett
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2011, 11:46:01 AM »

So what's the deal with homosexuality?  Biological, psychological, both?

Surely psychological.

Its just a natural instinct, I guess.
It was never a choice to be straight for me, it's not something I even thought of.
I just slowly thought: girls...yeah, I like 'em...

It must be the same with being gay.

That would actually suggest biological. That's a can-of-worms question to be sure. People will have their opinions on the matter no matter what science proves or fails to prove. Best to move on in my opinion.

I suppose EVERY personality trait from sexuality to favourite colour could be to do with whats going on in the brain.
Maybe psychological is biological on some level.

There's no right or wrong. We're all just people with unique minds.
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« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2011, 11:49:17 AM »

So what's the deal with homosexuality?  Biological, psychological, both?

Surely psychological.

Its just a natural instinct, I guess.
It was never a choice to be straight for me, it's not something I even thought of.
I just slowly thought: girls...yeah, I like 'em...

It must be the same with being gay.

I agree, Doggett, but to me that argues sexual disposition is biological, not psychological.  I have a natural biological reaction to the sight of boobies that's out of my control, no choice involved.  

Still, to my knowledge with all the studies that have been done no one has come up with a really good answer.  Part of the problem may be that the issue is politicized, like global warming.

EDIT TO ADD: I notice Flick posted some of the same ideas while I was writing this.

Still I find the question fascinating.  Homosexuality is obviously a pretty huge evolutionary disadvantage, yet it appears (to me) to occur at about the same rate through all cultures and all time periods.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2011, 11:52:28 AM by Rev. Powell » Logged

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Flick James
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« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2011, 11:54:21 AM »

So what's the deal with homosexuality?  Biological, psychological, both?

Surely psychological.

Its just a natural instinct, I guess.
It was never a choice to be straight for me, it's not something I even thought of.
I just slowly thought: girls...yeah, I like 'em...

It must be the same with being gay.

That would actually suggest biological. That's a can-of-worms question to be sure. People will have their opinions on the matter no matter what science proves or fails to prove. Best to move on in my opinion.

I suppose EVERY personality trait from sexuality to favourite colour could be to do with whats going on in the brain.
Maybe psychological is biological on some level.

There's no right or wrong. We're all just people with unique minds.
Ah. Therein lies the rub. Western science, in all it's due glory, has also done a bad thing, separated the mind and body, that is, treated them as separate components. A more holistic approach to science treats them as part of the same organism, which they are. The question posed is: is sexual orientation more of a genetic predisposition than a psychological choice, or the other way around, or is it more balanced. As Rev said, it is so politicized that it doesn't really matter what science proves or fails to prove. The schism persists.
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« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2011, 11:55:51 AM »

So what's the deal with homosexuality?  Biological, psychological, both?

Surely psychological.

Its just a natural instinct, I guess.
It was never a choice to be straight for me, it's not something I even thought of.
I just slowly thought: girls...yeah, I like 'em...

It must be the same with being gay.

I agree, Doggett, but to me that argues sexual disposition is biological, not psychological.  I have a natural biological reaction to the sight of boobies that's out of my control, no choice involved. 


Ah...

But it's something in your mind thats telling you body to react to the sight of firm, pert, ample breasts...
But its not a concious decision.

If I showed you a lawn-mower, I'm sure you'd get no reation at all (unless, there ws something truely unique going on in your mind).

EDIT: Flicks right, we're all one organism so it really is an intresting topic.
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