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Comment Re:Who said it was anti-technology? (Score 1) 870

that's what i'm trying to get at. unless the neural link confers an advantage to the survival of the animal in the wild, there's no way it would persist. one of darwin's most beautiful insights was that no trait in nature exists solely for the enjoyment of humans (except of course in humans). my further point was that the level of complexity of such a link would lead one to believe that if the ability to bond with humans is in fact a detriment to the overall fitness of an animal (not just health, but ability to spread one's germ line widely among the wild population), then it should be able to evolve to prevent the connection with humans. the complexity should allow a specialization where the wild animals retain the use of the link for their own intraspecies uses, and block the genetically negative or neutral connection with people.

the neural connection would have to be much much more complicated (and thus less permutable) than what is involved with ducks bonding to people.

Comment Re:Who said it was anti-technology? (Score 1) 870

we're getting pretty deep down the rabbit hole with this one, but I remember during the movie that one a wild animal was 'bonded,' it seemed to leave its native community and become domesticed, ie removed from the wild gene pool. sure, they could have gone back out to the wild from time to time to 'intermingle,' but what's the selective pressure to maintain the ability to get domesticated among all of the wild population?

Comment Re:Who said it was anti-technology? (Score 2, Interesting) 870

i am not trying to suggest that transgenic manipulation of crops or anything else can never lead to problems. new technologies tend to create new problems. they also tend to outstrip the pace of thoughtful regulatory legislation. what i am suggesting is that the fear surrounding transgenics is wildly out of proportion with the actual potential for harm, stemming what I see as an almost complete misunderstanding of the biology behind the tech. transgenic constructs are much more complicated than say a steam engine, and so consequently fewer people are able to fully grasp what is going on. some people might think that is a bad thing in itself, but unfortunately that's how technology progresses in general. this lack of understanding has create a vacuum that has been filled by misinformation and propaganda.

my university is well known for its leftist thinking, and I consider myself to be far to the left of the median in America. but I soundly reject those on the left, especially on the fringe, who say that GMOs need to be stopped. in my mind, without GMO crops, we can never hope to feed the masses. even borlaug said organic farming can only feed ~4 billion, and the fertilizers/pesticides we currently use on non-GMO (and even current 1st gen GMOs)represent an unsustainable form of agriculture. thus, I think future, baller GMOs will save the planet.

Comment Re:Who said it was anti-technology? (Score 3, Interesting) 870

i'm glad you brought up corn. i work in a molecular biology lab at a major university. we study maize in my lab, so I know a thing or two about it. extinction isn't the proper term for loss of a species from a particular area. disappearance is more like it.

you must be referring to Bt corn. i can believe that pollen could do what you describe, but at the same time I know that it could have been prevented with the proper promoter on the Bt gene. there's no need for pollen to express the peptide pesticide. fortunately, corn pollen is absurdly massive compared to most other pollen, and doesn't fly far.

what I was really asking about was the irresponsible use of transgenics. you say you work for a company involved with them. have you seen the amount of paperwork needed to even get transgenic seed? the amount of regulation surrounding transgenics is enormous, and I have never really heard of a biologically-irresponsible use in the field (not that it's impossible).

transgenics will save this planet, mark my words.

Comment Re:Who said it was anti-technology? (Score 1) 870

the problem with the mind link thing from an evolutionary perspective is not whether it could have evolved spontaneously. the question is, if only a subset of the population uses it, how can it persist as a functional trait? eg the turok (big red bird thing) has only connected with a blue guy 5 times in their history, then surely through the course of random mutations etc. the bird would have lost the ability. this of course assumes, 1) a relatively short lifespan, and 2) that the animals don't use these connections within the species.

Comment Re:Who said it was anti-technology? (Score 3, Interesting) 870

did you see the movie? different species are able to link up and communicate through the hair nerve bundle thingy (official term!). unless there was some strong selective pressure to keep those links intact across the species, they would have lost the ability quickly. considering how few of the wild animals connected to the blue guys, i doubt it could have stuck around as a trait (unless of course the links were used extensively within each species, something I don't remember seeing but it's entirely possible.)
/genetics major

Comment Re:Not Facebook - Simon Cowell (Score 1) 362

i agree, but that isn't unique to facebook. facebook certainly didn't innovate in the area of getting a lot of people involved. you could argue that facebook has made being involved with something just a couple of clicks away, but that's just the nature of communication progressing. if it hadn't been facebook, it would have been something else.

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