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Comment: Re:Get a refill.. (Score 1) 1141

by Nemba (#40192721) Attached to: Soda Ban May Hit the Big Apple
Meat, potatoes, a sweet, and a greatly reduces risk of diabetes, heart disease, etc. etc. etc.

So 2 hours of dedicated workout is more than most people can reasonably do. But I am sure there are things most people could do to achieve at least a comparable level of activity. In my case, I run to work and home, about 40 min each way. Granted, I'm lucky they have showers at my workplace, for someone else it might not be feasible, but even so there is always something you can do.

I do agree with your central point though, cutting out the junk food is the most important thing of all.

Comment: Re:Only 1 core, 2 threads, clocked at 7.03 GHz (Score 1) 144

by Nemba (#40192489) Attached to: Intel Ivy Bridge Processor Hits 7GHz Overclock Record
Well, yes, that would be impressive. Because if it could run and stay stable at that speed with off the shelf components, surely it would just be sold at that speed for a nice $50 premium or whatever? Not that I'm saying I think it's impressive or even worth their time. But I think it's probably the only kind of overclocking which is really possible (except for really small amounts, and then still a bit of loss in stability over time). I'm no insider in the industry but I can only assume these chips are tested pretty extensively...

Comment: Re:When I make Taco breathe hard... (Score 1) 963

by Nemba (#39899855) Attached to: Last Bastion For Climate Dissenters Crumbling
I think it's fair enough to be a bit pragmatic about it in this case, even if it's not super pure science. Kind of like Bertrand Russel's statement that, to a philosophically educated audience, he would of course identify as agnostic, but to the average person he would say he was an atheist. In that same sense, while of course the level of certainty is not as high as they might like it to be, but the risk of ignoring it based on that still relatively small uncertainty is too great to allow.

Comment: Re:There's no science in this study (Score 1) 374

by Nemba (#39862875) Attached to: Is Humanity Still Evolving?
Ridiculous. Why on earth should you be able to measure selection pressure over one generation? Also, there are counterbalancing pressures. Say this is correct, and a lot of taller people died (although probably pretty significant numbers of them got their mates pregnant before they left for war). Regardless, when they went back home, selection pressure would continue to be for taller people (which we know it is) erasing any effect the war might have had. Genes don't have a memory of all the other people who died, saying "oh crap, there might be another war, let's be shorter."

Comment: Re:There's no science in this study (Score 1) 374

by Nemba (#39862823) Attached to: Is Humanity Still Evolving?

Firstly, differences in reproductive success IS natural selection. It's not even "equating", that's just what it is. What is being selected for is whatever traits, at that time, are conducive to reproductive success.

Second, genetic factors are almost certainly much more important in behaviour than you seem to think. What is this capacity that allows little Finnish Johnny to be soured by these experiences? Most people from chaotic, abusive environments still have children and simply perpetuate the chaotic, abusive environment, so this hypothetical, anecdotal example is really not a very good one. Also, dynamics like that will lead to selection: his siblings, who presumably grew up in the same environment but were able to cope better, will have children. Hence the next generation will have more people who still have children despite an abusive upbringing. This is one of the reasons why abuse is such a difficult societal problem to fix.

Third, you seem to think that what was in this news article was all the information in the study? Not only did they show differing reproductive success, but the same level as for many other species. This is evidence supporting the idea that monogamy, agriculture, etc., etc., (modern, social human developments) have no effect on reproductive success, and hence evolution, whatsoever.

Comment: Re:There's no science in this study (Score 1) 374

by Nemba (#39862685) Attached to: Is Humanity Still Evolving?

No they didn't. All this study did was establish that some people have more children than other people, and that some people starve. Hey, no shit. They didn't establish *at all* that there was any impact, or that the genetic selection made future generations more hardy against...anything, including starving.

Go learn about evolution. If some people have more children, and others starve, the next generation has a higher frequency of the alleles present in the people who have more children. This is evolution. Evolution DOES NOT work "towards a goal" or in order to make "future generations more hardy against... anything", but in response to current selection pressures at the time. This is one of the most annoying and pervasive misunderstandings about evolution, even some of my 3rd-year undergrad students continue to make this mistake.

Which would have been an interesting thing to demonstrate, had they actually demonstrated it.

Which they did. All they need to demonstrate is that the distribution of children was not egalitarian and spread evenly through the society. This may seem like it's always obvious, but if they have a measure of the inequality of the distribution of children, that's also a pretty good (rough) estimate of the speed of evolution.

No it's not. It's not *even* correlational. Correlational is when you have two observations, A and B, and you can demonstrate that A changes with B. Here, they have A (reproduction), but *there is no B*.

The correlation is the thoroughly well known one between sex-selection and evolution, which it's not in the scope of a study like this to try and prove. What they proved was there *was* sex selection, and have a quantified figure of it. The original paper is available from: http://sites.google.com/site/alexandrecourtiol/publications . Not just was there opportunity, but "[they] showed that the intensity of Darwinian selection in this population was in line with empirical measurements of the opportunity for selection reported for other species" meaning that this is evidence to support that our "modern", "egalitarian" societal structures like monogamy, agriculture and social support have no significant effect on evolution whatsoever

Again, what did we actually *learn* from this study, other than the fact that living in Finland in the 1850s probably sucked?

People who already understand this thoroughly may simply have had their intuitions confirmed (which is also important), but it remains a widely held belief that since the modern age people have no longer evolved, due to societal constructs which limit evolutionary effects. Anything which helps to dispel this ridiculous belief is great. Also, there are few well-analysed figures of these characteristics of human societies, especially historically. Also, see the above paragraph.

(Sincerely, MSc in genetics)

Comment: Re:It's around everywhere else, too... (Score 5, Informative) 374

by Nemba (#39851369) Attached to: Is Humanity Still Evolving?
No. The article was poorly written, but you missed the point of this research. They were looking at historical records, OF COURSE they didn't expect to actively identify where evolution was taking place. The point is, they can establish that the same conditions which are necessary for evolution everywhere else, were also present in this relatively agricultural/industrialised society, and hence that unless the entire way we think about evolution is wrong, it was also happening here. That's actually more proof than you get in most studies. It's correlational, sure, but the association between sex selection and evolution is so strong that it's stupid to think that this is being "really hopeful that it coulda-shoulda happened".

Comment: I should damn well hope so. (Score 2, Interesting) 374

by Nemba (#39851285) Attached to: Is Humanity Still Evolving?
I don't know who started spreading the idea that we're not still evolving but this needs to stop; evolutionary processes by their nature act on all living things (on earth etc. etc. etc.). If we actually thought it wasn't happening anymore then we would have to look quite seriously at the possibility that it never happened in the first place, which is clearly not true.

Comment: Re:Towns (Score 1) 206

by Nemba (#39610493) Attached to: Minecraft Creator's New Game Called 0x10c
Nope, all intervals in the set of real numbers have the same cardinality. An easy way of making this more intuitive is to consider that for every number in the interval [0,1], it has an equivalent value in [0,2] which is twice as big. And, since you can choose a number with arbitrary precision, it is possible to generate every value in [0,2] by choosing the equivalent number from [0,1] which is half as big. Both of them simply have "uncountably infinite" members in one dimension. It's possible to have spaces with more members, if for example they have multiple dimensions.

Comment: Re:It's not a choice (Score 1) 728

by Nemba (#38959193) Attached to: No Pardon For Turing

That's ridiculous. If those things aren't independent, then "independent" ceases to have any meaning. It's completely impossible for anyone to function outside of whatever religious/cultural/etc. influences they might have, and independence is indeed in going against it, not some nonsense of having something new altogether (which is not possible).

There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly. -- Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)

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