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Comment Re:Flu virus with 95% mortality (Score 1) 273

Also, it's possible that such a virus could be released even if none of the researchers involved are insane. The article says that the research involved infecting ferrets with viral strains. There's a known history of PETA type folks breaking into research labs and releasing animals...

I decided a few years ago that a super-virus will almost definitely be released, eventually. The technology and knowledge is (relatively) easily accessible, there are more than enough crazy people out there, and it only takes one person getting infected to knock down the whole house of cards. It's just a matter of time. Honestly, I think the only promising defense we have for this scenario are potent generally effective antivirals. If we have effective antivirals, then we could possibly hold out long enough to develop a vaccine. Without that, society as it stands is probably pretty much screwed.

Submission + - 'MYTHBUSTERS' Experiment Goes Wrong Cannonball RIP (youtube.com)

clinko writes: "Two California families are lucky to be alive — after a "Mythbusters" experiment went horribly awry yesterday ... sending a cannonball careening through their homes, leaving MASSIVE holes in its wake.

Sgt. JD Nelson from the Alameda County Sheriff's Department tells ABC, hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage were trying to figure out how effective a cannon is at firing non-cannonball objects ... but first, they had to test the cannonball itself.

The cannonball was supposed to land harmlessly in a nearby hill — but something went wrong ... and the ball, traveling at about 1000 ft/s, went over the hill bordering Camp Parks Military Firing Reservation, and into the neighboring town of Dublin, crashing through two separate houses before finally coming to rest ... inside someone's minivan.

The Discovery Channel show has been put on hold after the mishap, pending a full investigation. Luckily, no one was injured."

Submission + - Quantum coherence found fueling photosynthesis (arstechnica.com)

Gaygirlie writes: "Ars Technica has posted an interesting article about new findings regarding quantum physics and photosynthesis. Their excerpt for the article: "Physicists have found the strongest evidence yet of quantum effects fueling photosynthesis. Multiple experiments in recent years have suggested as much, but it has been hard to be sure. Quantum effects were clearly present in the light-harvesting antenna proteins of plant cells, but their precise role in processing incoming photons remained unclear."

For those unaware of what coherence and quantum coherence means I suggest reading the appropriate Wikipedia page: Coherence (generic) and Quantum coherence"

Comment Re:One small victory for a man.. (Score 1) 717

I don't see the attack that you did. They simply approached the talk differently.

The the basic argument that I heard from Haught was that the universe must have a purpose (more or less because we can't accept the alternative), and while science is valuable, it is not capable of determining what that purpose is due to it's limited view of reality/the universe. Thus religion is there to answer what science can not, and in that way is complementary to science. He didn't really address the opposing viewpoint.

Coyne basically argues that religion is not based on reality and thus can't give truths about the world. In that it is completely incompatible with science. He goes about it by directly addressing the opposing viewpoint and showing how the views are irrational.

Haught took that last part as being a personal attack, but it's fairly clear Coyne quoted Haughts ideas in his examples because they were pertinent to the argument that we was making (that religion is irrational). It wasn't a personal attack.

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