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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

Do you wish your stay on earth will be as long as possible, and that medicine will make tremendous leaps allowing you to live longer whilst  keeping your faculties intact ?

Do you believe that whilst you are on earth, you can change things or ideas in a significant way (it's obvious to me that in smaller ways, you will affect things around and near you) ?

Do you see death as having no importance at all, being kind of almost irrelevant...  when it happens, it will happen ?

Do you fear death, even if it's just a little bit ?

This topic really interests me as to how people view death and their mortality and I would really like to get some kind of feed-back...

For me, death is pretty irrelevant and it will happen when it will;I don't feel I have any influence on that except to maintain my body in the best of shape.  I don't fear death...

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Replies to This Discussion

Machines increase entropy

Life decreases entropy

ergo Life is not machinery.

Machines increase entropy

How so?

Machines use energy to run and dissipate heat.

whereas life in its living creates and stores energy

The Universe should the mass contained in it cannot cause it to stop expanding and  bring it back to a singularity then it will continue expanding and its end will be what has been termed HEAT DEATH. Where all energy has been reduced to temperature similar to the cosmic background radiation, which is just a couple of degrees K.

see also.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/entropy

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Entropy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_death_of_the_universe

What is the sum when life uses machines?

Twain was a humorist Ken - I don't believe he intended you to take him seriously.

On the subject of longevity, there's a fascinating (but then, I'm easily fascinated - oooh, shiny!) video by physicist Dr. Michio Kaku - it's slightly over an hour long, but he doesn't address longevity until his lecture opens for questions near the end, at minutes 53 through 57, to be more exact.

There, you will learn that crocodiles, alligators and flounders have no finite lifespans that we know of - theoretically, they could live forever. The problem is that they're constantly growing, and in time, become so large that they can no longer catch sufficient food to sustain themselves, and die of starvation. Point being, that there is a gene involved in that process that Dr. Kaku suspects will be found to be essential in any life-sustaining process that might, in the future, be developed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=219Yy...

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

Michio Kaku is great but he is a physicist, not a biologist. He often sensationalizes biology, for some reason. The study of aging and senescence is an active area of research, and there are a few interesting projects out there, including one involving rockfish! Also naked mole rats (because they live so much longer than mice), etc. But the idea that crocodiles would live indefinitely if they could catch food is bunk. Crocodiles in zoos have lived 80-100 years but eventually they all have died. And they did not need to catch fish. There are several genes involved with aging, but there is no single gene for aging. One important gene is the telomerase gene. Telomerase maintain the end of chromosomes at cell division; with subsequent cell divisions, the ends get shorter and cells senesce. Telomerase has been shown to reverse aging in a special mouse model. The problem is, cells that do not senesce are basically cancer. Telomerase misbehaves in cancer, which is why those cells become, in fact, "immortal". We have cell lines in the lab (such as HeLa cells) that are considered immortal. But cells are not whole organisms, and the cells grown in the lab are not normal cells. We have a long, long, way to go in this field. 

With all due respect Adriana, while it's true that Dr. Kaku is a physicist and one of global renown, I can't imagine a mind such as his, restricting itself to knowledge of only a single discipline.

Had you actually reviewed the few minutes of his video in question and commented on Dr. Kaku's actual statements, rather than my necessarily brief and admittedly incomplete report of them, I would be more likely to accept the validity of your arguments as not being, off the cuff, as it were.

As it is --

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

It came as off the cuff, but it was based on hearing Michio Kaku shoot his mouth off before, about something he knows nothing above. I stand by my comment. Peace be with you, oh winged feathered transitional form :-)

Why do physicists think they are masters of all sciences?

Category: Communicating scienceStupidity
Posted on: February 16, 2011 2:17 PM, by PZ Myers

If you asked me about cosmology, I'd defer to physicists — I've read Stenger & Hawking & Krauss & Carroll, and I might be willing to say a few generalities about what I've learned about the process, but I'd always say you should look to the original sources for more information.

There seem to be a lot of physicists, however, who believe they know everything there is to know about biology (it's a minor subdivision of physics, don't you know), and will blithely say the most awesomely stupid things about it. Here, for instance, is Michio Kaku simply babblingin reply to a question about evolution, and getting everything wrong. It's painful to watch. This guy isn't really an idiot, is he?

Man, he doesn't have a clue and is just making it up as he goes along.

Fundamental error: he confuses evolution with natural selection, and thinks that if we aren't being hunted down by sabre-toothed cats, evolution has stopped. This is wrong. We currently have reduced mortality compared to our ancestors, which suggests that we are less strongly selected in specific ways, but we are still experiencing selection — some of us have been selected for lactose tolerance in the last 10-15,000 years, for instance, and sexual selection is ongoing, and in case you hadn't noticed, there are still diseases around that kill people.

But most importantly, reducing mortality and selection allows variants to survive, increasing the diversity of forms present in the population. You could even argue that reducing selection increases the rate of evolution. Selection is a conservative force that retains only a subset of the population for propagation into the next generation, you know.

And the rest: "gross" evolution? What the hell is that? Creationists already mangle the distinction between micro- and macro-evolution, now all I need is some half-assed third category getting peddled by the ignorant. And where does he get this idea that Australia is the product of acceleratedevolution? That makes no sense at all; isolation meant the populations there evolved relatively independently of forms elsewhere, not that something goosed their mutation rates.

Oh, look: somebody in the comments asks Kaku about why we only use 20% of our brains. Let's hope the next time he answers a reader question, he'll tell us at length what we can do with the sleeping 80% of our brains. (I use mine for fulminating at morons, how about you?)

Actually, I'd rather he tried to answer the question in the title of this post.

RE: "Peace be with you, oh winged feathered transitional form :-)"

Ah, good, you get it - most just see me as a box of bones --

How could you possibly come up with that many words so quickly and this early on a Sunday Morning - I'm still trying to find my feet.

I'll look forward to viewing the suggested video link a little later, after my first gallon or so of coffee (I find intravenous to be an especially effective delivery method), but I doubt you and I are in serious disagreement. It's possibly our (Humanity's) fault - we tend to expect a wise man/woman to be wise in all areas, and that's not an easy expectation to fulfill.

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

...Dr. Kaku is a physicist and one of global renown, I can't imagine a mind such as his, restricting itself to knowledge of only a single discipline.

If Dr. Kaku accepts the untested and untestable pseudo-science we know as the Big Bang, his mind needs a serious overhaul.

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