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Science – MatterUnderMind

The Cyborgs are Here!

By | 2018-02-28T14:26:27+00:00 February 27th, 2018|Biology, Featured, Technology|

NEWS FLASH!  The cyborgs are here and they've been here for a long time. One of these cyborgs is Neil Harbisson, who decided to combat his colorblindness by implanting an antenna into his skull.  Yes, an antenna is sticking out of his skull. On the other end of the antenna is a sensor that detects color and converts the visual data into auditory signals.  From there his neurons pick up the signal inside his brain and convert the input into a useful mental image.  With this antenna he can hear colors even outside the normal visual range (infrared, ultraviolet, ect...) and [...]

The Future of Gene Editing (CRISPR-Cas9)

By | 2018-03-02T14:53:47+00:00 February 26th, 2018|Biology, Featured, Science|

("CRISPR-CAS9" Podcast)   Might it become immoral to not genetically edit our children? Perhaps it would be if there was an easy way to prevent disease, ensure health, and give them an overall better life.  If we knew of a way to improve their lives and we did nothing, does that make us somewhat responsible for their troubles? This future may be closer than we think. A new gene editing technology called CRISPR-Cas9 is revolutionizing the way we edit genes and has applications that we have only written about in science fiction.  This is not the first gene [...]

What Makes a Species?

By | 2018-03-01T15:12:04+00:00 February 25th, 2018|Biology, Featured|

("What Makes a Species?" -podcast)   The term species is both the most common and controversial in all of biology.  A term so troublesome that one definition isn't enough.  It is almost impossible to avoid a contradiction when using just one of these definitions, but, all together, they can begin to describe what a naturalist already understands. Here are four different types of "Species Concepts", but these are far from the only four.  It seems like new definitions of species are being proposed every day.   The most common definition of a species is know as the Biological Species Concept.  [...]

The Science of STAR WARS….SPOILERS!

By | 2017-12-21T14:41:59+00:00 December 21st, 2017|Astronomy, Featured, Physics, Technology|

There are plenty of concepts in Star Wars that just straight up require a suspension of scientific understanding.  Some of the classic are: no sound in space, explosive fireballs in space, and the basic laws of gravity.  However; all of these blights allow for a more entertaining movie so we allow them without much questioning. Also...why does every spaceship in Star Wars always orientate itself to be right-side up?  There is no right side up in space! The first scene of "The Last Jedi" starts out with an iconic space battle.  Poe Dameron and Leia Skywalker are leading a bombing run on a [...]

How to See without Eyes

By | 2017-12-12T12:44:19+00:00 November 28th, 2017|Biology, Featured|

  You don't see with your eyes, you see with your mind. Perhaps this is a trivial distinction but understanding it can open up our perspective.  The hard truth is that the physical world is not full of colors and objects; it is full of, what Richard Feynman referred to as, a chaotic sea of electromagnetic waves bouncing off in every direction. These waves inevitably find their way to our eyes.  From there, light detecting cells within our eye cells are excited sending electrical signals into our visual cortex.  The range of the electromagnetic spectrum that we can see is referred to as the "visible [...]

Why do we dream?: A Sensory Deprivation Chamber Story

By | 2016-08-23T11:28:06+00:00 May 19th, 2016|Biology, Featured, Philosophy, Science, Technology|

It was beyond darkness; it was emptiness. A short time ago, I went with some friends to spend 2 hours in a sensory deprivation chamber.  As strange as that may sound, the idea behind the chamber is simply to eliminate all of your senses so that your mind is free to roam and meditate. In practice, the chamber is really just a shallow hot tub in a closet.  Inside the steel door is 2 feet of water with 800 pounds of dissolved salt, silence, and complete darkness.  But once you begin floating inside this confined abyss; you somehow forget that your [...]

We are the Sims

By | 2016-05-19T10:36:50+00:00 May 2nd, 2016|Featured, Philosophy, Physics, Science|

Think back to the video games of your childhood.  Imagine that one of the characters in your favorite game had such advanced programing that the character itself became "conscious."  What would this character in this video game simulation think?  What would it believe? However strange it may seem, new evidence has the world's leading scientists believing that our universe is simply an incredibly advanced simulation and that we are the sims.     This idea first surfaced in the Greek philosopher Plato's hypothetical scenario: "Plato's Cave."  The story describes 4 prisoners who had been locked up in a cave without ever seeing the [...]

What SpaceX Means to Space Travel

By | 2016-04-29T12:06:26+00:00 April 21st, 2016|Astronomy, Featured, Science, Technology|

Ask any expert and they will tell you that SpaceX will not be the first to take a man to Mars.  This is quite a strange consensus since Elon Musk founded his space technologies company for that exact purpose.  He can even be caught repping the tagline, "Occupy Mars," across his T-shirt as he walks around his state of the art facility. “My proceeds from the PayPal acquisition were $180 million. I put $100 million in SpaceX, $70m in Tesla, and $10m in Solar City. I had to borrow money for rent." -Elon Musk "Stop fighting, WWIII would ruin our [...]

Clues of a Lost Global Civilization

By | 2016-07-24T16:03:34+00:00 April 6th, 2016|Featured, Science|

Heinrich Schliemann was the only archaeologist alive to believe that the legendary city of Troy was real.  Guided only by a copy of Homer's "Iliad," he set out on the dry plains of the Turkish Peninsula to find his lost city.  At the time, Troy was merely a myth; after Schliemann's discovery, it was history. What is left of the great city of Troy, whose destruction was described in Homer's Iliad. What other lost civilizations might be hidden in plain sight?  Could there be clues of a lost global civilization? At first glance this sounds preposterous; a tale for campfires [...]

The Experiment that Changed Everything

By | 2016-03-24T21:01:26+00:00 March 15th, 2016|Featured, Philosophy, Physics, Science|

For 4,000 years we have been fading into the background of existence.  There was a time we thought our local world to be so privileged as we boasted ourselves the center of the universe.  But soon the earth was round, we revolved around the Sun and not the other way around, and the whole planet was just one speck of dust drifting through the cloudy Milky Way.  Our big egos were crushed with every discovery. The final blow came when the Hubble telescope discovered that even our galaxy was not unique; billions more just like it are hiding in every seemingly empty patch [...]

Let’s Build a Warpdrive

By | 2016-03-27T03:37:35+00:00 February 24th, 2016|Astronomy, Featured, Physics, Science|

If you have read our recent article, or any like it, then you already know about the incredible discovery of Einstein's predicted gravitational waves.  And so, it is time for us to "nerd out" imagining what new technologies could arise from the discovery. It is time for us to build a Warp Drive. Yes, that same legendary Warp Drive you remember from Star Trek is actually based in some concrete scientific fact. How it works: The space in front of the spaceship is condensed while simultaneously the space behind the ship is expanded. This takes an insane amount of energy. A bubble of normal, "flat" [...]

What are Gravitational Waves and why do I care?

By | 2016-03-02T06:37:34+00:00 February 12th, 2016|Astronomy, Featured, Physics, Science, Technology|

(Image: one of two LIGO research facilities that detected gravitational waves, Washington State)  By now you most likely have heard the news about the discovery of gravitational waves and that it is being lauded as the biggest discovery of the last century. So what is a gravitational wave? Image depicts warping of space around earth. The discovery of a gravitational wave really solidifies a theory that we had a fairly firm understanding of previously.  And that is that that space can be bent and warped in the presence of matter and energy.  This bending is what we call gravity. However; [...]

The Semmelweis Reflex (famous only in death)

By | 2016-02-11T06:28:43+00:00 February 9th, 2016|Biology, Featured, Philosophy, Science|

Revolutionaries play on a different timeline.  They see further and their ideas live longer.  Pushing past ridicule and ritual they open up new worlds so that when they die, instead of being forgotten, they are immortalized. Names like: Van Gogh, Galileo, Dickinson, Tesla, and Edgar Allen Poe come to mind.  But what all these names also have in common is that they belong to those who found no fame in life, but only in death.  We may remember them as triumphant revolutionaries, but their lives were filled with more defeats than victories and their "great works" were their unhealthy obsessions. With the passing of time, [...]

My Blind Faith

By | 2016-03-11T04:58:25+00:00 November 10th, 2015|Astronomy, Biology, Featured, Philosophy, Physics, Politics|

"Oh I'm a Christian, so I don't believe in that" is no longer a valid excuse for ignoring concrete scientific facts.  And so it is time for all Christians (including myself) to wake up into the modern scientific age and ask some tough questions about our beliefs or be left at the kids table with the guy who is way too old to still believe in Santa Clause. Christianity needs a scientific revolution. A pursuit as noble as seeking the truth found in Christ has somehow made enemies with a pursuit of the same family; Science, the pursuit of truth found [...]

Why Medical Devices are not for Kids but should be

By | 2016-03-03T06:00:16+00:00 November 2nd, 2015|Biology, Featured, Politics, Science, Technology|

There is a scary fact about our medical system.  It is not equipped to serve children; at least not unilaterally and with the latest technology.  Barring specialized childrens' hospitals (like the one seen in the above video) that are few and far between, most hospitals are specifically geared to deal with the ailments of the adult population. The area of weakness that is most troublesome is Medical Devices.  As a medical device specialist myself, I have seen multiple cases where doctors were forced to use a device off-label and left to there own devices to jury-rig a solution for their pediatric [...]

Mysteries: The Voynich Manuscript

By | 2016-03-03T06:01:23+00:00 September 24th, 2015|Biology, Featured, Science|

  Also known as "the book that cant be read," the Voynich Manuscript is by far the creepiest ancient book ever discovered.  Within the manuscript are images of ominous plants, astronomical diagrams and scenes of communal bathing in a dense green liquid. And if that is not mysterious enough, the diagrams are surrounded by text in a indecipherable language even too difficult to decode by the modern worlds best cryptographers.   Theorized to be a manual on alchemy, a medical journal, or even a hoax designed to make money; this book has been obsessed over by many brilliant minds.  Linguists and [...]

The Language that Shapes Us

By | 2016-11-15T10:01:11+00:00 August 28th, 2015|Biology, Featured, Philosophy, Science|

It is so easy to let language shape you, much harder to shape language around yourself. The great communicators never concede to the boundaries of language.  Yes, language can set you free but it can also hold you in because language has rules...a few of which I aim to break; for the human mind should wander and rules are meant to be broken. Language can shape the way we think.  It can box us in or leave us wanting.  Giving stigmas to words that it shouldn't or masking stigmas that are deserved. The world is not made of words but [...]

Time Traveling Crime Fighters

By | 2016-03-22T04:52:26+00:00 August 17th, 2015|Featured, Philosophy, Physics, Science, Technology|

  "So this is how freedom dies...with thunderous applause." - George Lucas Thousand of miles above crime ridden Mexico City flew the fabled "eye in the sky."  A demo by Persistant Survalence Systems is nothing but a dot in the clouds to those below but up above, an aircraft equipped with high tech cameras is watching every citizen's move. These wide angle cameras can see a huge area of land in high enough definition to track the movement of cars and even people.  All the law enforcement had to do was wait for a crime to be reported. Once a call [...]

Dark Energy Epicycles

By | 2015-11-11T07:24:39+00:00 July 23rd, 2015|Astronomy, Featured, Philosophy, Physics, Science|

  There is a world hidden from sight.  A world that we cannot touch, see or hear.  It is hidden behind every point of space and every moment of our lives; a dark world that surrounds us.  Or so most scientists believe. Graphic showing how the measured speeds of stars as they get further from the center of their galaxies does not decrease to match calculations. Why do scientists believe in this hidden world?  Because galaxies should simply not exist based on our understanding of gravity and the laws of physics.  These massive collections of stars spin so [...]

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A Random Life

By | 2015-11-06T07:14:06+00:00 April 2nd, 2015|Biology, Philosophy, Science|

Life may just be an anomaly brought about by random chance.  From the primordial ooze we climbed through natural processes governed by unconscious arithmetic.  And so here we are.  A collection of biological machines staring into the abyss and straining to find some sign of purpose. It makes one wonder.  If we did run into an alien species, would they chuckle at our desire for purpose?  Would they scoff at our need for belief? Perhaps...but perhaps instead this deep seeded desire for meaning is just another biological adaptation that gives species motivation to improve their surroundings and proliferate.  If this is [...]

“You Can’t Patent the Sun” – Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine

By | 2015-12-01T22:59:23+00:00 October 28th, 2014|Biology, Featured, Politics, Science|

Post-WWII, 1950's America was aware of the dangers in the world.  The atom bomb displayed its destructive power and it's design had slipped across the iron curtain.  But the most terrifying, immediate threat to American might have been polio. By 1952, almost 60,000 cases had been reported in the US with over 3,000 dead and another 20,000 suffering from paralysis.  In a time when the United States population was half what it is today these numbers were much more shocking than the mild Ebola outbreak we are currently experiencing. Today google honors Dr. Jonas Salk's 100 year birthday.     Dr. Jonas [...]