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Comment Re:I'll take the wine instead (Score 0) 480 480

Incorrect. Your chances will be (roughly) N * base line chance if you buy N tickets. Buying all tickets garuantees you success! OTOH: It is well known that playing the lottery is paying an extra tax voluntarily. I encourage everyone to do that, won't do myself.

Comment Re:One man's piss is another man's ... (Score 0) 245 245

Your kidneys filter at the molecular level and thus are VERY good at preventing bacteria from entering your bladder. If bacteria ever entered your bladder, you'd routinely have bladder and/or urinary tract infections, namely because no blood flows to those regions so you have no T cells to combat it. While urine smells foul and probably tastes worse, it wouldn't kill you to drink it. (But still don't do it anyways because it contains waste materials that your kidneys removed from your blood for a very good reason.)

That said, we also have the artificial means of doing the filtering job that kidneys do, so it wouldn't surprise me if this technique also worked on poo.

Kidneys extract part of the blood stream. As blood is (almost) sterile so is the *primary* urine, i.e. what enters the ureter. The urethra OTOH teems with bacteria so that bacteria do enter the bladder although in very small quantities. The bladder cavity is very much hardened due to the chemical agressiveness of urine and is regularely flushed so that this is not a problem (remember that bacteria replicate on the order of hours, only some faster, so that over night bacterial count can only increase by a factor of 256).

Comment Re:The metaphysics of evolution are a different st (Score 0) 669 669

I would argue that this is precisely what the discussion revolves around. It is not (too) difficult to reconcile science with biblical teaching. However, accepting the science allows for an interpretation without god. This makes it harder to believe and this is what causes resistance. It is simpler to believe if you have "proof" (i.e. science is wrong).

Comment Re:Science is not about trust (Score -1) 460 460

Science is about reproducible results. Publish the details of your experiment, so I can perform your experiment (and variations on it) myself. Your claim is strengthened if I get the same results you do.

This statement is very much debatable. Mathematical derivations need to be trusted. If you check them yourself you have to trust yourself not to have made errors. If you do it automatically you have to trust that program. Ultimately this factor kreeps into all of science (if you could reproduce my experiment, how do you know that was not chance? How do you know I correctly described my experiment? and so on).

Comment Re:Wish I could say I was surprised (Score 0) 178 178

Wrong. The issue is that publishing is considered sufficient.

It should be publish or die. How do you know they're doing anything if they don't publish? they could be reading slashdot all day for all you know otherwise.

FTFY

But as is made clear here, simply publishing and getting it through peer review is clearly not good enough. We need to increase what they have to do to avoid this situation.

For example... maybe one scientist pays another scientist to reproduce his work.

Maybe you have big collections of graduate students that as part of their process of getting a degree get assigned some random papers submitted by scientists in their field and they have to reproduce the work.

Obviously this isn't always possible... but whenever it isn't possible that needs to be put as a giant red asterisk on the paper saying "this work has not been reproduced"...

Do that and you're not going to get as much fraud or laziness.

I think that there is a common misunderstanding about the function of a publication. First and foremost it is a progress report of the scientist. This creates a lot of published noise - no doubt - OTOH it creates something that can be measured. This is absolutely critical to keep the scientific circus running (in a positive way). There are different ways to measure quality (which journal, reading an abstract, reading an article, asking by email) and scientific progress/quality is somewhat orthogonal to the publishing process. If you want to be sure of something be sure you have your act together to judge publications. The system can be gamed but it is not a problem in itself.

Comment Re:Turing test not passed. (Score 0) 285 285

It should be pointed out that there is the notion of a significant proportions of jurors being fooled, i.e. there has to be statistical test showing that the proportion is bigger than a pre-specified threshold, given a pre-specified level of significance. Giving a resulting threshold by itself is meaningless. The Turing test is well defined and can be carried out whereas "originating a 'program' that it was not engineered to produce" is utterly undefined and a test could therefore not be carried out.

Comment Re:Yes, Perl is indeed dead and rotting (Score 1) 283 283

I am a Perl developer of 20 years. Yet I feel that the lack of modern OO-syntax and -semantics makes the language akward to use. There is Moose but it comes with a startup performance penalty and syntax-modifiers like MooseX::Declare make such code incredibly difficult to debug. Yet there are some CPAN-modules for which I could not find replacments yet for either Python or Ruby. Parse::RecDescent allows you to write powerful parsers in an (IMO) incredibly sane way using (modified) BNF DBIx::* is a set of modules for ORM that allow you to write OO-database code without *any* glue code I would like to learn about alternatives (I am personally leaning more to Ruby than to Python). If Moose with MooseX::Declare would go into the core language without performance penalty, I would be happy for the next 10 years.

Comment Re:Progenitors? (Score 1) 686 686

We weren't the first complicated life here. It took several mass extinctions, but then humanity as we know it took around 300,000 years to evolve from the ancestor primates, give or take a few million to get from the single-cell stage.

That would be a few million years from the splitting off of primates and a few billion years from the single-cell stage.

Comment Re:Progenitors? (Score 1) 686 686

And through an accident of evolution our atmosphere was flooded with toxic oxygen early on. It's quite possible that any alien astronomers would have glanced at our world and thought "Whoa - an oxygen atmosphere, that's weird. What sort of hellish fire-stormed world do you imagine *that* would make for? Well, we're not going to find any life there, make a note in the logs and lets keep looking for more promising candidates."

I believe that would be a strong indication *for* life being present. Oxygen is a reactive molecule which would vanish by chemical reactions normally. Its presence indicates a steady state equilibrium which is one of the hallmarks of life.

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