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Comment Re:More missing elements, to to be discovered. (Score 1) 87

Euhm, if you studied physics, have you somehow missed that the standard model is also essentially a table and a few rules about what positions in the table mean ?

And you may have failed to notice that the physics teacher claimed that chemical elements are made up of standard model particles, and they thus "explain" the chemical elements ... and then proceeded to skip actually showing how you get the composition of any actual element and/or isotope (except maybe H+). Sadly that's not a coincidence. It is thought that the standard model does indeed predict which elements are stable or not, but nobody's ever been able to actually verify that in calculations for anything more complex than Lithium. And something like Oxygen is so far out of reach of the formulas it's not even funny, not to mention Uranium.

Sadly at this point in time, the idea that chemistry can be rigorously poven using physics as a base is just a fantasy. Given that they've failed to actually do that for centuries now, I dare say it's not just because nobody ever thought of doing that.

Comment Re:Postapocoliptic Nightmare (Score 1, Informative) 679

Whereas just randomly eating whatever you find in the wild is more reasonable ? Seriously.

I dare you to read about one 100% natural thing found on wheat. Claviceps purpurea (also called the mother of wheat). This is what will happen to anyone who eats wheat found in nature, and what used to be a rather common "disease" (it's not a disease, it's more accuratly described as poisoning), known as "St. Anthony's fire" (ignis sacer in old medical texts), because the Anthony in question got the "St." part by caring very well for the victims of eating wheat and rye.

Symptoms: Eating natural wheat infected with moederkoorn will induce severe vasoconstriction that doesn't go away. Net effect : blood leaves your extremities and doesn't return until the poison subsides. The effects of that are : every small scratch will experience gangrene, making amputation a necessity. Larger doses (not large at all by the way, a loaf of infected bread can generally be expected to contain more than the LD50 dose) causes hallucinations and attendant irrational behaviour, convulsions, and even death. Other symptoms include strong uterine contractions, nausea, seizures, and eventual unconsciousness. Needless to say, this is a VERY painful way to go.

"Natural" wheat don't you love it ?

Just wait until you hear about what apples can do.

Comment Re: Somebody, quick! (Score 2) 412

Actually the thing that "crushes" the astronaut is the gravity differential over the length of the astronaut. In a "small" (let's say football-sized) black hole that difference is huge, and so the astronaut will get torn apart.

However with a supermassive black hole (and there's never been any other kind detected, they may exist briefly, but that makes the chances of encountering one very small), the differential at the event horizon is tiny.

As for the astronaut, you might think he might have trouble sending nerve impulses from his feet (beyond the event horizon) to his head (outside), however he's guaranteed to fall in faster than any signal can propagate outward, so this is not true. The astronaut will not notice anything (except -maybe- hawking radiation, which will be very weak for large black holes too).

So what do you see when you cross an (realistically sized, ie. huuuuuuuuuuge) event horizon ? Why ... nothing at all. You will see a very, very slight natural luminescence, probably deep in the radio frequence (ie. not visible). Everything will still look normal, exactly like it looked before.

There is also a reason why black holes "look like" the end of time. What does an outside observer see when you fall into a black hole ? Well he sees you slow down, due to time slowing down. An outside observer will never see you actually cross the event horizon, and whatever light you reflect you will reflect "slower" the closer you are to the even horizon. So the light reflecting off of you will fade, but very very slowly. Even hundreds of years after you fell into a black hole, a very sensitive telescope will still be able to construct an image of you and it remains theoretically possible until the end of time (it's going to become damn hard though).

There is also the question of what exactly the edge of the universe is. Objects near the theoretical edge of the universe move away from us at nearly light speed ... which might be what you'd expect to see if these were objects that had just fallen through an event horizon. It makes a kind of sense. The edge of the universe is moving away from us at light speed, but a large black hole would pull in exactly enough space so that any light moving away would travel the distance, and yet still remain just inside the event horizon.

Comment Re:Wacky physics, or... (Score -1) 44

The funny part is that the "stability" of the celestial system is what convinced Western Europe of a great many scientific facts, and was one of the driving forces of the enlightenment. Even recently, one of the tests of relativity theory (determining whether light really does have a finite speed to be exact) was done by looking at the interference patterns generated by Jupiter's moons. The funny thing about that is that if you were to redo that experiment today you would get totally different values. The same is true for earlier theories, like Kepler's laws or Newton's gravity. The measurements that they purported to explain, they could not actually explain. But very short subsets of those measurements followed the discovered laws to near-perfection.

So the solar system, that convinced the Western world that only a "mechanical God" or no God at all ruled the heavens, because everything is perfectly predictable ... turns out not to be predictable, fickle like the weather. They didn't know that at the time, because reliable measurements had just started mere decades earlier, and in the short term they are extremely stable. But the random perturbations of the system (ie. comets just happening to pass by, modifying moon and planetary orbits while they swing by) have an influence that is so big that they destroy whatever signal is in the measurements. Planetary orbits are not stable at all, nor are they even remotely elliptical in practice (they are perturbed too much).

And it's worse yet than merely those comets, the fact is that it was not yet known that the "three body problem" is chaotic, and the relation between starter positions and "end" states is completely unpredictable. So a 11 huge bodies, trillions of smaller bodies system, like the solar system, is completely unstable on all but the shortest time frames. Now, even though we have better scientific models and more accurate theories, we have also found that actually predicting planetary orbits or moon orbits as little as 100 years out is completely impossible to do with any accuracy. This is because of "black swan" events with huge influence, that occur with alarming regularity.

In a way, it's funny, that we were convinced of pretty much the central claim of the enlightenment ... by a measurement error. By a failure to detect omnipresent chaos. The people that convinced the world that physical laws, not God, ruled the heavens ... were wrong. Not about the principle, those laws do apply, but about the actual examples they gave. The laws about gravity do not really predict planetary or moon orbits with any accuracy if there's constantly trillions of disturbances happening everywhere that you cannot measure and thus cannot implement in the calculations. It was just really hard to prove them wrong in the short term. And people believed them, and of course they did not modify their beliefs once it did become clear they were wrong. In this case it was a positive force, of course, but that was mere luck.

The sad part is that this lesson hasn't sunk in. Predicting past events to near-perfect accuracy is easy in a chaotic system. Predicting the future, or even just measuring the present situation, is not impossible, but so absurdly hard that we can safely say that no technology or theory will ever be able to do it.

I'm kind of afraid that's the next lesson we'll have to learn the hard way. Just because we have correct theories does not mean we can accurately predict the future. Chaos is everywhere. Not just in the heavens, but on earth as well, from wall street to the climate.

Comment Why even bother involving this study ? (Score 4, Insightful) 355

Ok, and how do you talk your way out of this one. Since 1990 there have been various studies on the climate. The scientific consensus in 1990 was that the temperatures on earth would rise by 0.2 degrees per decade. The scientific consensus on climate in 2000 was that it would rise by 0.18 degrees per decade. The scientific consensus in 2005 was that it would rise 0.23 degrees per decade.

The reality ?

Now we can go through the motions if you like, but looking at that graph, is it so hard to believe that we're below every 95% certainty interval for temperature prediction made at least 5 years ago (5 years, because there was an IPCC assessment report in 2007).

Can you just remind me, because I seem to have trouble remembering my philosophy of science class. What does one do with theories whose predictions (which means measurements made AFTER publication) provide completely wrong ? And, given that climate theory has failed the only test that matters for science, accurate predictions, can you please explain to me why anyone believes it ? Please note that saying "others know better than you" is wrong, as made obvious by these "95% certain" predictions the "others" you speak of made.

Comment Re:Well that proves it (Score 0, Troll) 355

Would it be wrong to point out that climate studies are nearly universally sponsored by governments, which obviously have a vested interest in "proving" their party's stand ?

If money corrupts climate studies, then all climate studies are corrupted, and there should be no signal.

Hmmmm, maybe that's exactly what's happening here.

Comment Re:Well that proves it (Score 4, Insightful) 355

So let's have more climate treaties, more inconsistent taxation, and move more production to China !

What does China/other developing economies use for energy for that production ?

Almost exclusively coal, which is pretty much the worst method of producing energy, environmentally speaking. Also, transporting those produced goods to the west is not exactly environmentally friendly either.

Comment Re:Of course not (Score 1) 430

This is how the justice system should work. To be exact : the prosecutor doesn't assume the defendant is guilty, they only assume the police is right, and build the legal case to prove it. That does mean that they assume everyone else is wrong.

Because that's really what happening at trial : police ("the state") versus defendants. Obviously IF it gets to court, by that point the prosecutor does indeed think the defendant is guilty. Why ? Because otherwise he'd have dropped the case before embarrassing themselves in public.

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