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Comment: How did they discover this? (Score 1) 71

by kruach aum (#47402011) Attached to: Tractor Beam Created Using Water Waves

If the backwards flow of water is a result of a complex system of causal interactions, they couldn't have come to the conclusion that this would work based on what they already knew. So how did they discover it? Was it an accident? If not, can one of them look into the future? This is a pretty awesome result if it didn't depend on coincidence.

Comment: Re:No one can imagine the size of 40k subway cars (Score 1) 46

by kruach aum (#47398915) Attached to: How the NEPTUNE Project Wired the Ocean

If only! Again, there is a small but important difference between imagining a size and imagining measuring a size. Size is a property, and measuring is an action. If there were no difference between properties and actions, everyone would be immortal, because instead of your heart beating it would have "beating" as a property, which it couldn't lose because "stop beating" would also be a property, and properties cannot causally interact with other properties.

Comment: Re:No they're not (Score 1) 63

by kruach aum (#47398219) Attached to: Study: Whales Are Ecosystem "Engineers"

Your use of the word "selection" should have given it away: that's not evolution, that's natural selection. Natural selection is a part of evolution, but they are not identical, just as you are not identical to your liver, even though your liver is a part of you.

As far as I can determine "being slightly less in equilibrium" does not contain any semantic content. You're either in equilibrium, or you're not in equilibrium. The variation among individual creatures is what allows selection (driven by the environment) to establish an equilibrium, by lowering the chances of reproductive success of creatures that fit less well.

Comment: No they're not (Score 5, Interesting) 63

by kruach aum (#47393945) Attached to: Study: Whales Are Ecosystem "Engineers"

Whales shape their environment, just as their environment has shaped them. That's how evolution works. Evolution is nothing but the establishment of equilibria between niches and the creatures occupying those niches. When either the niche or the creature (or the number of creatures) changes, of course the other will follow suit.

The new information in this article is that scientists have discovered a way in which whales influence their environment. Engineering has nothing to do with it.

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