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Comment: Re:Very far from practical application (Score 1) 105

"Interesting, but not revolutionary by any means."

To the contrary, it is fucking brilliant.
1) Instead of having to heat up bulk of water (like what you do if you use a boiler), they only heat up the water that is actually going to be converted into steam. So, the start-up time is greatly improved.
2) The steam generated passes through the foam up, where the foam is even hotter. The steam gets heated to a higher temperature, making it more useful to generate power. Another way of looking at the foam, is recognising that it flows in counter current with the heat source, just exactly what you want if you want to transfer heat in the best way.

And the questions you pose? They're more of the engineering type. The direction is determined by the above principle.

As an aside: Instead of water you can use another liquid, such as hexane or something. Reaching high pressures with that should not be a problem.

Bert

Comment: Re:Basic questions (Score 1) 133

by kanweg (#47375135) Attached to: Tibetans Inherited High-Altitude Gene From Ancient Human

1. Is a sleight that's not worthy of a reply. Just a glance at TFA shows how much research went into it. And you think you can wave it away without any evidence.

2. Solve it by a process called thinking. Try this: Humans are spread all over the planet (Africa etc.). They'd all have to lose that very gene, except the Tibetans. Odds of that? Probably in the same order of magnitude as the likelihood that a person making statements of this caliber is convinced by reason.

Bert

Comment: Astounding answer on Evolution (Score 1) 161

by kanweg (#47196493) Attached to: Interviews: Forrest Mims Answers Your Questions

What cracks? The Piltdown man? It was debunked. Constant review and scrutiny is part of science. You make a name by discovering something new/.show someone else was wrong (with facts, not with assertions). With today's tools (DNA sequencing) etc. it wouldn't have taken 40 years.
Missing fossils? Missing evidence? WTF. Ask him to produce the arc of the covenant, etc. The important thing about evolution is: There is nothing contradicting it. Every newly found fossil matches the pattern. Never do we find a rabbit with a piece of a T-rex tooth in it . No one is claiming it is complete, that every piece of evidence is there, but there is no evidence against it. EVERYTHING independent line of evidence points to the same thing: geology was used to predict where one of the missing links could be found, and was indeed found (read about it here). Every scientist would love to falsify the theory of evolution. I know I would. What a way to make a name for yourself. But the theory of evolution is bolstered every day.
ERVs show that man and apes share a common ancestor. Learn about it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
Tiktaalik, a transitional fossil was found at the predicted location. Read about it here: http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/...

Mims posits a Creator. Not zero creators. Not many creators. A (one) creator. The amount of evidence for that? Zilch. He has no qualms about that. If you want to spot a crack in a line of reasoning, there's one. And why does Mims give himself a free pass on a super powerful creator out of nothing but is stymied by photochemical system?

Every molecule has properties, such as a boiling point, a solubility in water etc. etc. Water vapor can form a variety of ice crystals (snow flakes). None of his electronic components did that (although resistors might self-align a bit).
Complex molecules exhibit more elaborate properties. The molecules he's so amazed about, like molecular motors? They self-assemble upon formation. They arise by transcription from DNA and translation from RNA. Not a single deity involved in that. If these molecules didn't have that property, the molecules wouldn't be there. All those molecular behavior in the end determine what you do. If you think a god is pulling the strings at a molecular level, then he can't hold you responsible for your actions.

Sure, none of Mims' electronic circuits has every self-assembled. But atoms and molecules have different properties than electronic components. They self-solder, i.e. react. And the universe is a gigantically big place (multiply the number of galaxies by the number of stars per galaxy) times a couple of planets. That's a gigantically erlenmeyer flask with a gazilion reactions taking place. Most of them leading to nothing special. I place my bet on a freak chemical event taking place leading to life in that chemical soup than a deity that self-raised himself as a super-von-munchausen.

In his own field/related to his own field of electronics, genetic algorithms have resulted in very strange-looking antennae that are better than human designed ones. Yes, the algorithm was programmed. That is because antennae don't procreate, otherwise they could have evolved to look that strange yet be so efficient.

I liked the Q&A quite a bit. But I don't think he's a man to go to on evolution, as to take him serious there, he either has to present evidence for the creator he posits or provide evidence (like a rabbit bone with a T-rex tooth in it) that falsifies evolution. That's how it works. His work on ozone got accepted not because it was his strong opinion but because it was correct.

Comment: I don't get it (Score 1) 94

by kanweg (#47133173) Attached to: As Crypto Mining Grows, Data Centers Begin Accepting Bitcoin

If it is profitable to pay for computer capacity for mining bitcoins, why aren't the datacenters doing it themselves (especially since they'll have spare capacity anyway)? I mean, the miners want to make a profit. So, if they can make a profit by paying for the data center equipment, the data centers would make (more) profit doing it themselves.

Bert

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 2) 470

by kanweg (#46669113) Attached to: It's Time To Bring Pseudoscience Into the Science Classroom

"Why are scientists increasingly concerned about what some people in our society think and believe?"

Well, if you're an astronomer studying the effects of asteroid impacts and their likelihood, you may come across evidence that it has happened in the past and that their effects are rather devastating. As we may well be able to develop the technology to divert an asteroid on a collision course. People running around that the earth is only 10 kY old are not helpful then.

Climate change same thing.

Bert

Comment: Re: If you don't like it.... (Score 1) 431

by kanweg (#46419611) Attached to: Jewish School Removes Evolution Questions From Exams

Women won't forget the day they delivered a still-born. While they won't forget that they had one or more miscarriages, they won't burn a candle that day (they may well forget which day it was exactly. It won't be on the calendar). And there are certainly no candles in the toilet being burned for a discarded fertilized egg being flushed down the drain.

It is a mental, developing process. So, at some point a line can be drawn. Sure, for some people line will be at a different time than for others, but it is simply not true that there is no difference in how growing life is viewed during pregnancy. You'll have a hard time finding someone pro-abortion that will be in favor of an abortion time limit at 7 months.

Bert

Comment: Re:Predictions were made in the 1970s then? (Score 1) 560

by kanweg (#46296039) Attached to: How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?

If you face a campfire, your front will be hotter than your back.
That holds true if you were a planet facing the sun.
If you rotate it would spread more evenly.
But at the top and bottom areas of the sphere, still very little sunlight would shine. Thus, these two pole areas would colder than the part in the middle.

There you have it: You have made a qualitative model of a climate cold at the pole and warm in the center area. And you didn't predict what the weather would be tomorrow in any of these areas.

Brains, they are fantastic instruments (if used).

Bert

Comment: Cold (Score 1) 69

by kanweg (#46247539) Attached to: The Search for Life On Habitable Exoplanets

With tidal force locking, I'd expect the edges to be rather uninhabitable too, and the center that's facing the sun comparatively hot. There air will rise up, move towards the other side of the planet, cool down and drop. It would cool even further down, get even colder and move towards the lit side. When it enters that region, there is little light there, and the air is very cold. So, even though there is some light, it is uninhabitable. Then the air starts picking up heat when it moves back to the center. It would in particular in that region you could expect life to be.

However, what if that life requires CO2. It might condense on the other side of the planet.
Perhaps if there's a lot of it, you'd get a greenhouse effect, and sufficient CO2 for plants anyway.

And you thought life on earth was tough.

Bert

Comment: Re:Religions (Score 2) 152

by kanweg (#45786711) Attached to: Apollo 8 Astronaut Re-Creates 1968 Christmas Broadcast To Earth

"Religion has nothing whatsoever to do with evolution."

I think it has.
- people have a greater chance of survival if they cooperate. If there is a further possible bond (apart from being family), than that can help.
- it can also help against power. Suppose the chief of your clan is a grumpy strong man. You could lose your life. But if you tell him that you're in contact with higher powers that will punish him if he doesn't alter his behavior, then that can help you survive.
- it made for good stories in a time without internet. What have you been doing today? Herding the goats. Oh. Well, let me tell you a story (in the bible, there's a story about a well that was sealed off with a rock that required three people to move it. Or a bald guy who was yelled at by kids and bears came out of the wood and killed the kids. What do you think: It is something that god really wanted to tell us or was a good story at the campfire?).

So, while only my hypothesis, I think that there may well be a genetic component to religion/the ease with which humans can be deluded.

Bert

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