Posts Tagged ‘human’

The Logical Failure Of Science Fans

January 27, 2019

If it’s science it must be right, coz science is kool, right?

Thus in essence is the basis on which many science fans argue in internet comment threads.
A question posted on Quora involved me in a discussion with a typical member of this group, he’s besotted with science and argues from the perspective of a religious believer rather that somebody who questions things objectively. To the question:

As a scientist, is there any possibility that evolution did not give rise to mankind?

I had answered:

Ian Thorpe
Ian Thorpe, writer, poet, free thinker

Sorry I can’t answer because I’m not a scientist.
But if I was a scientist I wouldn’t be a biologists so I’d probably give the same answer as would occurs to me as a well – read retired management consultant: There are always possibilities. It’s often said that we evolved from monkeys, but more likely we and monkeys shared a common ancestor which might have been so far back it was just a blob of jelly floating in a primeval salt marsh. Nobody truly knows.
Likewise human intelligence. The theory that we developed conscious intelligence spontaneously as our brains reached a certain mass has been debunked. Homo Neanderthalis had bigger brains than Homo Sapiens and yet they became extinct.

At some stage we progressed from Homo Sapiens (man who knows) to Homo Sapiens Sapiens (Man who knows he knows) with far greater cognitive skills and the ability to handle abstract ideas than our predecessors. When and how that change occurred is a mystery and so far no evolutionary evidence has been found to explain it.

Did aliens visit us and get jiggy with girl troglodites? Was intelligence seeded in us by a perhistoric super – race that knew they were dying? Was it some form of supernatural process? Did our ancient ancestors eat magic mushrooms and experience an expansion of consciousness? All these are theories believe by some.

My advice is don’t think about these things too much, it has driven people crazy.

Other studies show that is not true. Baysean inference might have been a factor in either conclusion. That’s the trouble with scientific studies.
However Chimps and Bonobos are reckoned to have evolved from a common species about a million years ago, around the same time as homo erectus separated into neanderthalis and sapiens.
Chimps are pretty much as they were then according to naturalists and anthropoligists, we made the leap from sapiens to sapiens sapiens and now construct tower blocks almost a mile high, fly around the world in jet aircraft, and invent increasingly sophisticated ways of killing each other. Given that they have had the same amount of time to develop, I’d say chimp intelligence cannot reasonably be compared with human intelligence.

So why have chimps not evolved when we have? That’s a part of the mystery.

Other studies? Well here’s one.
Pioneering brain study reveals ‘software’ differences between humans and monkeys

Then there’s Thomas Suddendorf’s work in which he identifies what he calls episodic memory as a big part of what differentiates us from all other species.
Episodic memory versus episodic foresight: Similarities and differences

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/312/5776/1006.full
(you have to have hacking skills to open this one, but it’s not that difficult
)
It’s late now and I don’t want to sit here all night compiling a comprehensive list, so I’ll leave you to continue in your own time.

Ian Thorpe

No, it doesn’t. That’s because the research paper is about the things that make humans unique among species. And the question asked was about whether here is any possibility humans are not a product of evolution. Thus my reply concerned that mystery of how we humans developed our unique intellige…

(more)

Phil Dunlap

MORE ON SCIENCE & EVOLUTION
First humans from Australia?
Human Origins Not In Africa?
Science and technology menu
Science Wins – Trump Administration Proposes Transgender Policy Based On Biology
Plants and Trees Are Conscious (sort of)

Infectious Diseases Will Not Wipe Out Humanity

June 19, 2016

fromThe Atlantic

by Amesh AdaljJun 17, 2016

“You’ll tell us when you’re worried, right?”

That was the question posed to me countless times at the height of the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak. As an infectious disease physician, I was interviewed on outlets such as CNN, NPR, and Fox News about the dangers of the virus, and the answer I gave was always the same: “Ebola is a deadly, scary disease, but it is not that contagious. It will not find the U.S. or other industrialized nations hospitable.”

In other words, no, I wasn’t worried—and not because I have a rosy outlook on infectious diseases. I’m well-aware of the damage these diseases are causing around the world: HIV, malaria, tuberculosis; the influenza pandemic that took the world by surprise in 2009; the anti-vaccine movement bumping cases of measles to an all-time post-vaccine-era high; antibiotic-resistant bacteria threatening to collapse the entire structure of modern medicine—all these, like Ebola, are continuously placing an enormous number of lives at risk.

But when people ask me if I’m worried about infectious diseases, they’re often not asking about the threat to human lives; they’re asking about the threat to human life. With each outbreak of a headline-grabbing emerging infectious disease comes a fear of extinction itself. The fear envisions a large proportion of humans succumbing to infection, leaving no survivors or so few that the species can’t be sustained.

I’m not afraid of this apocalyptic scenario, but I do understand the impulse. Worry about the end is a quintessentially human trait. Thankfully, so is our resilience.

RELATED POSTS:
Vaccines cannot immunise us against death
CDC whistleblower exposes vaccine fraud
Vaccine docors not immune to conflicts of interest
Vaccine data faked
How vaccines harm the immune system
Vaccine news – latest on vaccines
The shoddy science behind vaccine marketing
Big Pharma criminality
Big Pharma profiteers

Elsewhere: [ The Original Boggart Blog] … Daily Stirrer …[Little Nicky Machiavelli]… [ Ian’s Authorsden Pages ]… [Scribd]…[Wikinut] … [ Boggart Abroad] … [ Grenteeth Bites ] … Ian Thorpe at Flickr ] … [ Tumblr ] … [Ian at Minds ] … [ Authorsden blog ] … [Daily Stirrer News Aggregator]
 

 

Infant Kiev? Schoolboy Maryland? Children for lunch!

March 12, 2014

Sometime the fringe websites I tour every day to bring you the most startling and thought provoking news items throw up some unexpected treats.

Like this story:

“Tales of Black-Eyed children have been circling the globe since the late 1990′s and they are not your ordinary loving children, they are downright terrifying.

These demon children are the result of a breading program between the Alien/Nephilim (Satan’s offspring) and human women, resulting in a hybrid which has a human body that cannot be distinguished from a true human being, other than when they choose to flash you their wicked black eyes. They have the ability to network their minds, they can read your mind, and they can read your emotions. They have also been known to shape shift and become invisible or morph their bodies into something else.”

A “breading” program for children? Kinderschitzel? That’s what I want for my lunch. But what will these crazy chefs come up with next. Infant kiev?

Breading children (this link is provided for verification only, the story is insane)

For a better link (to the works of a seriously good poet – ahem) try this: Beautiful Children (with no love in their eyes)

Athlete’s Feet Cheese Eeeuch and double Eeeeuch

November 25, 2013

We have reported some weird food innovations on Boggart Blog in the past but this has to be the one that proves food scientists are stark raving bonkers in the head. I mean what kind of insanity must they be infected with to think of using athletes foot bacteria to make cheese.

It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “that cheese was so ripe it could have walked out of the fridge on its own.”

Move over Stinking Bishop cheese, step asideSurstromming these foul smelling products are no longer contenders. An talking of fowl smelling, even the cheese our daughter brought from France a couple of years ago, that is crusted with chicken crap is sidelined for the title of “world’s stinkiest food.” A pair of scientists from the U.K. recently unveiled a line of cheese products made from bacteria that they gathered from some of the smelliest parts of the human body. The main subjects of an unusual art and science project dubbed “Selfmade,” the cheeses reportedly contained cultured bacteria collected from people’s feet, bellybuttons, armpits. This stuff could be a sexual fetishist gourmet’s delight.

Inspiration for the new cheese came to biologist Christina Agapakis and Sissel Tolaas, a perfume expert, after they spent time contemplating the individual scents and senses of smell of diverse human beings. I suppose they were investigating why we find the stink of our own farts quite pleasant but other people’s repulsive.

To study the disparity between how people react to the microbes normally used to make cheese and the microbes found naturally on the human body (which are in fact very similar), the pair devised a way of combining the two. Would people throw up at the stink of smelly sox but go yum yum on catching a whiff of cheese made from the same person’s athlete’s foot bugs.

“It’s no surprise that sometimes cheese odors and body odors are similar,” Agapakis told Dezeen magazine. “But when we began the project, we were surprised not only by the way cheese and smelly feet share a similar odour but also have similar microbe populations”

She went on to describe how samples were collected from a range of individuals, including artists, scientists, naturalists and even cheese makers (blessed are The Cheesemakers). They then grew cultures from the samples and created a new range of smelly cheeses. These were featured in an exhibition at the Science Gallery in Dublin, Ireland but as yet we have not heard from anybody who has actually eaten them.

“Like the human body, each cheese has a unique set of microbes that metabolically shape a unique odor,” explained the artists about the methodology of their work. “Cheese odors were sampled and characterized using headspace gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis, a technique used to identify and/or quantify volatile organic compounds present in a sample.”

Since cheeses tend to take on the unique odors of the microbes used to make them, Agapakis and Tolaas had hoped to essentially mimic this process using human microbes. And they were successful, having created an entire line of cheeses that now serve as literal manifestations of the humans from which they were derived.

Dog Wasn’t Pulling Owners Leg

November 12, 2013

November 11, 2013

Owning a dog, what with all the vets bills and such can cost an arm and a leg but 93 year old Bill Flowers was not so unfortunate, In fact Bill gained a leg thanks to his pooch Liberty.

Dogs like to bring things home to share with their owners and Liberty brought Bill a human leg. Bill was not too happy as he was afraid the gift might attract the long arm of the law.

Fearing that he might be prosecuted for legging it from a crime scene, or worse that the cops might not believe Liberty’s story (“Well I was just going about me business see, pissing on trees, chasing cats, sniffing things, and it just sort of fell into me pocket”) and accuse the dog’s owner of being a barking mad homicidal maniac, Flowers buried the leg. He told his daughter Cheryl about the dog’s strange find and after four days she managed to convince him he should tell the police because whoever had lost the leg might be hopping mad about the loss but might also be having difficulty getting out to look for their property.

Bill told police that his dog Liberty had brought home a grayish leg and stood over it wagging her tail. Flowers said the leg didn’t appear damaged, and it was severed inches from the buttocks (Liberty is a big dog – see below). Authorities located other body parts on Sunday.

Police placed a GPC device on Liberty in hopes that she would take them to the rest of the remains. Search dogs eventually located a pelvis and ribcage. Authorities have not yet identified the victim or disclosed a cause of death (although we will go out on a limb and say we suspect not many people would survive being chopped up in pieces so cause of death might be dismemberment related.)

Read more about this grisly find at the Komo News website.

leg hound
Liberty,

Is The Brain More Than Just A Thinking Machine?

November 19, 2012

The Weird History of Ideas About the Brain has travelled a long way from the earliest studies of human brain biology in ancient Greece to modern though experiments to implant electronic modules and turn us all into obedient droids. The fact is however we really understand little more about how the processes of the bain work than those early biologists did. Read full post on the brain as a thinking machine

This will be the first in a series of posts that look at some cutting edge ideas about what we humans really are and our relationship with the universe / the oneness / our gods. Follow this blog fort more.

How The "Yooman Rights" Brigade Plan To Boot You Off The Internet

July 7, 2012

For years I have argued that the internet should accept some form of regulation to the extent only that everything posted ought to be identifiable to a source thus imposing the constraints of normal decency on people and curbing the criminal activity the world wide web has spawned.

You should have heard the wailing and gnashing of teeth from lefties and “yooman rights” campaigners about how this would curtail freedom. if you are familiar with how the left operates and how control freakery comes as naturally to them as sucking on a tit comes to a mammilian baby you might have found this commitment to freedom a bit suspect. After all the only freedom the left have ever been concerned with is their own freedom to Impose their ideals and values on the rest of us (by force if necessary).

It should come as no surprise then that the left’s commitment to internet freedom lasted only as long as it took them to come up with a way to get independent websites and blogs off the cybersphere and ensure that we could see ONLY officially approved propaganda. Hat tip to Anna Raccoon for bringing this to my attention.

Last month in a little noticed case in the US, a Federal Judge made a ruling that has implications for us all. We may think that the truly sensitive and the terminally offended have been making inroads into the freedom of the Internet, but they are piffling flea bites compared to the implications of this case.

What the ruling – that the Internet is ‘a place of public accommodation’ – boils down to in plain English is that the Internet has the same status as a Public House, your local council offices, Disneyland, the O2 Arena, and anywhere else you can think of that has to comply with disabled accessibility legislation. It will be your responsibility to ensure that the blind reader has a voice over of your hastily crafted howl of anger at the latest government outrage, that the deaf have suitable sub-titles on your YouTube efforts, and one can only presume, that the terminally stupid have a simplified version in words of one syllable, to ensure that everyone has an ‘enjoyable and enriching experience’ when they land on your blog.

The lawyers are sharpening their quills already, for it matters not that you are penning your anguished prose from a bed sit in Bridlington – your reader may well be a one eyed Albanian asylum seeker in the US, libel law has long since established precedent that if he can access your words in the US, then you are publishing in the US, regardless of where your ‘server’ is.

Could YouTube be obligated to close-caption videos on the site? (This case seems to leave that door open.) Could every website using Flash have to redesign their sites for browsers that read the screen? I’m not creative enough to think of all the implications, but I can assure you that ADA plaintiffs’ lawyers will have a long check list of items worth suing over. Big companies may be able to afford the compliance and litigation costs, but the entry costs for new market participants could easily reach prohibitive levels.

One common argument for imposing accessibility obligations on physical businesses is that it is unrealistic to expect the disabled to simply ‘go somewhere else’ if the nearest business can’t accommodate their needs. The Internet doesn’t have territorial limitations – by extending this ruling to the Internet, the lawyers are in effect saying that everyone must make every part of their ‘public life’ accessible to anyone who wishes, worLd wide, to partake of the opportunity.

Now I don’t expect this to affect Joe Bloggs blogging from his back room in Bridlington overnight – but it doesn’t require too much imagination to realise that if Google get sued for failing to provide a voice over on their political blogs, they will immediately refuse to host any blog that doesn’t comply. Netfix, the company which the American Association for the Deaf successfully sued for failing to provide sub-titles on the videos which they streamed, may be able to afford the costly technology to comply with this ruling, individual bloggers won’t. Netfix may respond by not hosting movies which don’t carry sub-titles, I would expect Google to take the same route.

Read the full post: Wheelchair access to the blogosphere

Now as Anna says this law willl not be enforced right away to make sure we bloggers, contributors and site owners provide access to a braille translator or a text to voice converter so that your partially sighted visitors can have access to our rants, pithy observations, homilies, philosiphizing, self indulgent rambles and scintillating prose. but once the “yooman rights” brigade find a site that challenges their prejudices and does not conform to these requirements there is not much doubt about which way a court verdict will go.

The answer of course is we can all ignore the law and work on the prinbiciple that they can’t put us all in prison. “OK, but what if they decide to put me in prison to make an example of somebody?” you might well ask.

Simples. At the first sign of trouble take your stuff offline. Back it all up and find yourself a host that operates its servers from Andorra, Costa Rica or some such place that does not have any serious libel laws. Pay with your paypal account. Use a proxy server such as Anonymouse and rebuild your website using a pseudonym to disguisE your authorship (something like Aethelred-Naggernunk is good)

Then the “yooman rights” lawyers can spend their time chasing shadows while you concentrte on building links to your site and getting your ideas out to the widest possible audience and promote the cause of free thinking against the dark forces of “progressiveism”.

UPDATE:
And it is not just the politically correct Thought Police who don’t want you on the web …
Latest Google update favours their own products and sites that pay for traffic

RELATED POSTS:
Internet Threat To CIvilisation
WHY THE INTELLECTUAL ELITE DESPISE THE LOWER CLASSES

More Demented Mice Science – With Mobile Phones

January 9, 2010

On of the reasons Boggart Blog loves scientists so much is the way that like religious fanatics they just refuse to give up on totally bonkers ideas. Ideas that the one that convinces them making mice behave in totally unnatural ways can teach us valuable lessons about humanity. Perhaps these people were brought up on the stories of Beatrix Potter and thus have a deep seated belief in anthropomorphism.

When we question mouse science the scientists will say “Ah but mice and humans share quite a lot of DNA. This is true, and amoebae also share a surprising amount of DNA with humans to but we don’t expect to see an amoeba that has read Shakespeare, understands modern financial systems and can tell Chateau Petrus from Sneaky Pete* any time soon.

The extent to which we are programmed by our DNA has been vastly overstated as neuroscientists recently learned. We may by act of will change inherited behaviour traits – which is what Hindu mystics have been saying for thousands of years. This more or less demolished one of the trendy new sciences, evolutionary psychology, much favoured by our very favourite sub species of scientists, the boy-scientists hose wide eyed enthusiasm for all things scientific overrides critical thinking, logical deduction and common sense.

It is with considerable joy then that hot on the heels of yesterday’s posts concerning mice, fry ups and the eternal quest of Daily Mail readers to find the Holy Grail that will guarantee they have prodigiously talented babies, we report another project that has set out to equate mouse physiology with human physiology. Scientists are claiming they are on the verge of achieving a breakthrough in the effort to find a treatment for Alzheimers disease after achieving good results with mice “programmed to get Alzheimer’s” by giving them mobile phones.

Laying aside the issue of how anybody can know a mouse has Alzheimer’s or the outrageous assumption that mice whose DNA has been fiddled with to pre-dispose them to Alzheimer’s are certain to develop it, because we have asked such questions before only to be told “you just don’t understand science,” (Maybe not, but we understand mice.) we must ask what is the point of giving mice mobile phones when they have no thumbs with which to text?

Boy scientists in Florida claim to have found mobile phone radiation helps improve the memory of mice programmed to develop Alzheimers. Al least they are not funded by UK taxpayers money. But if the mice are programmed to get Alzheimers disease they have not actually got it have they. No. Because mice don’t get Alzheimer’s disease because they’re mice not human.

So let’s guess how the process works because a lot of the science is rather vague although the bits about “we need lots of money and some jollies to the Seychelles, Paris and Amsterdam to carry out field studies” are quite specific. OK, you programme a mouse to get Alzheimer’s then clamp a little cellphone to its ear and send digital signals into its brain to override the “Get Alzheimer’s Now” routine in the program.

Sounds almost as likely as finding a cure for the common cold.

*Chateau Petrus – The world’s most expensive wine
Sneaky Pete – American slang for cheap, low quality wine fortified with illegally distilled liquor

Human Women To Bear Intelligent Mouse Babies?

January 8, 2010

Regular readers know how much we love scientists here at Boggart Blog. There is seldom a week goes by in which their weird and whacky research projects and the surreal conclusions they draw from the results do not give us at least one story.

The latest such science story has the added distinction of being the first of a new decade. It concerns science and that eternal obsession of Daily Mail readers, how to guarantee their offspring are child prodigies.

A new scientific study published this week reports in its findings that if women eat plenty of fry – ups during pregnancy they will give birth to brighter children. Now you must remember this stuff is coming from the profession that likes to tell us homeopathy is a load of bollocks. So there you have it, fried foods, for so long demonised by nutritionists are the key to making sure your child is a genius. There’s no guarantee you will live to see them grow up and go on to see great things of course but I’m sure a remedy for clogged arteries is “just around the corner” as they like to say in the world of speculative research.

There are bound to be drawbacks of course, as there are with all medical advances. We foresee the boys down at the local greasy spoon being a tad but out when they cannot get their favourite all day breakfast because the caff is full of pregnant Daily Mail readers stuffing their faces with bacon, two sausages, egg, beans and fried slice in the sure and certain hope they will give birth to a genius while their disappointed looking spouses survey a bowl of museli with trepidation.

Enough of real world stuff though, we must focus on the science. It turns out the fry – up diet for creating little polymaths has only been tested on mice. So will it only work on mice? And how can anyone know if a baby mouse will grow up to be a Mouszart or an Einstein. While the thought of Daily Mail readers giving birth to intelligent, talking mice might explain the paper’s decision to give away free DVDs of Stuart Little last year is amusing, the study once again calls into question of the sanity of science. Like the work on autistic fruit flies and the research project involving mice with Parkinson’s disease one must, must one not, ask how can mouse intelligence be assessed?

They can be trained to poke buttons with their noses to earn a snack, that’s about it. Hardly a qualification for MENSA membership is it. Can you imagine the letter of acceptance:

To Mr Mausus Mus,
Dear Mr. Mus,
We are delighted to tell you that although you failed on mathematics, logic, language and comprehension, spatial relationships tests and critical analysis your score on pushing buttons with your nose to earn a snack was so high you have qualified for MENSA.

We can no more assess mouse intelligence in human terms that we can know it the wee cowering sleekit, tim’rous beasties are suffering from Parkinson’s disease or if a fruit fly is autistic. Just ask yourself how these things can be measured. Go on, ask yourself.

Because if you ask a scientist its odd on they will reply with the usual cop out, “You just don’t understand science.

RELATED POSTS:
What Are You, Man Or Mouse
Homeopathy Mas Overdose Protest
Then they came for the bacon sandwiches