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Science – Page 2 – MatterUnderMind

Man and Machine

By | 2015-11-11T07:25:00+00:00 October 28th, 2014|Biology, Philosophy, Science, Technology|

Could it be that mankind is no more than biological machines?   Are we simply products of complex chemistry that produce complex results; hardwired and mechanical? Science answers this question with a resounding "yes" followed by a rebuking, "get over it"  because the truth is that world is made of matter and we are no different.  We are governed by the laws of nature and our behaviors reflect of these laws.  We are simply more complex. (In fact, studying behavioral biology at the University of Oregon.  I was repetitively assured that man follows the same evolutionary and behavior rules as do all organisms. [...]

Humanity Obsolete

By | 2016-03-03T06:06:10+00:00 August 16th, 2014|Biology, Science, Technology|

Mankind is becoming obsolete and it is nothing new. Mechanical innovations have long out-worked mankind but now these machines can also out-think mankind.  And it seems that no profession is safe.  Machines are becoming better at recognizing patterns, analyzing data, conveying information, and even displaying creativity. Although many scary movies have been made to strike fear into humanity over a robot uprising, the truth is that these robots work for us and generally have made the world a better place for humanity. So sit back, kick your feet up and tell your personal robot to grab you a beer.  

Whale Cult Suicide

By | 2015-11-06T07:50:07+00:00 January 30th, 2014|Biology, Featured|

  835 false killer whales swam ashore under their own power in Argentina in 1946 and became the largest mass stranding of any single whale species in recorded history.  What could cause so many whales to voluntarily commit suicide in this way? Harsh weather, disease, geomagnetic field misalignment, and even sonar interference have all been proposed causes of these strandings but none of these are seen in every case and in many cases none of them are observed.  It is almost as if these animals are partaking in some cult-like mass suicide as they are often so adamant about dying [...]

A Something Called Nothing

By | 2016-03-03T06:08:06+00:00 January 27th, 2014|Physics, Science|

  Does "nothing" exist? Here are some DEEPS thoughts about the something we call nothing: 1. The understanding of the zero by ancient cultures such as the Egyptians and Greeks was crucial in the development of trade and economy.  Although, the Greeks still despised the zero integer because of philosophical reasons. 2. Even in an absolute vacuum, theoretical physicists suggest that "virtual particles" are popping in and our of existence and theories argue that there is a positive energy of empty space. 3. Matter in its most simple form, subatomic particles, is best described as only mathematical values in wave [...]

The Problem of Scale

By | 2016-05-16T22:39:09+00:00 January 16th, 2014|Astronomy, Physics, Science|

  This image is referred to as the "Hubble Deep Field" and it is the single most astonishing picture ever taken.  It is the product of Hubble astronomers' dumb luck as they whimsically aimed the Hubble Telescope at what they thought was an empty space in the sky.  But instead of darkness they found galaxies; billions and billions of hidden galaxies, ghosts caught on film. Patiently, the Hubble Telescope steadily aimed at this dark spot and exposed over 300 images for 10 days.  When the images were merged into one, the black spot was revealed to not be black at [...]

LFTR’s: Why the future of nuclear energy might never be realized

By | 2016-03-03T06:10:21+00:00 December 5th, 2013|Featured, Physics, Politics, Technology|

Our nation's nuclear reactors are doubling as weapons grade uranium manufacturers. These remnants of the cold war were once designed to not only give our nation energy, but to also produce enough weapons grade uranium to strike fear across the steel curtain. To make things worse, the very common Light Water Reactor (LWR) is inefficient, dangerous, and expensive.

Death of a Know-it-all

By | 2015-11-06T07:51:56+00:00 November 23rd, 2013|Biology, Technology|

  There are no more know-it-alls today; they've all died off.  There was simply TOO MUCH INFORMATION for them to absorb.  But it was not a violent death or a sudden tragedy.  Instead, it was a slow dilution as they were spread too thin.  Stretching to reach the extending boundaries of human knowledge, they found that knowledge was expanding too fast for their studying to keep up. They were always one step behind.  There was a lag between their knowledge and the world's, and the gap was growing exponentially. These know-it-alls had once prided themselves on having all the answers [...]

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop

By | 2016-03-03T06:27:37+00:00 August 17th, 2013|Physics, Politics, Technology|

With the unveiling of his Hyperloop plans, Elon Musk has once again excited tech nerds everywhere with what he proclaims to be the 5th form of transportation joining cars, planes, boats, and trains.  The grandiose design is reminiscent of pneumatic tubes that were once used to send mail (and in one rare case, a cat) across city blocks. The Hyperloop is essentially a large tube connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco with passenger "pods" that would zip around the circular track at record-breaking speeds.  Mr. Musk compares the Hyperloop to an air hockey table, as the passenger pods will be levitated by air currents while they are propelled by [...]

Citizen Science: Get Involved!

By | 2015-11-11T07:26:44+00:00 August 1st, 2013|Astronomy, Biology, Physics, Politics, Science, Technology|

  Science seeks to harness the brain power of the human population with citizen science projects.  Utilizing the internet, research groups have gamified research for the scientifically curious citizen to help play a role in the advancement of science.  Online programs have been designed to catalog craters on the moon, search for asteroids headed towards earth and identify the creatures of our seas. Clearly, the every day citizen isn't the prefered source for scientific data analysis but there are only so many graduate students to go around.  Because of this, some studies have turned to the average joe to [...]

The Magic of Science: Is science describing something indescribable?

By | 2015-11-11T07:26:55+00:00 July 16th, 2013|Featured, Physics, Science|

  "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C. Clarke What is the difference between science and magic?  UNDERSTANDING.  A lack of this understanding can wrap us in fear and yet full of wonder.   If science is characterized by an understanding of the laws of nature, then magic must be characterized by a deviation from this natural law. Today's scientific frontier of particle physics sits on this border of science and magic.  As scientists peel away the layers of the atom, they are revealing a very strange reality; a reality more magical than mechanical.  With the emergence of quantum mechanics the [...]

The God of The Gaps And The Science of Uncertainty: What are we so sure of?

By | 2015-11-06T07:55:04+00:00 June 26th, 2013|Biology, Politics|

  The "God of the gaps" argument has one distinct advantage; there are a lot of gaps.  The philosophy suggests that God must exist because we cannot explain every gap in scientific understanding.  However, the term is more often referred to as a logical fallacy by the opponents to intelligent design rather than a consciously employed argument by creationists.  In fact, those that begrudgingly invoke the argument would most likely resent its label.  But still the thinking persists. According to this theological perspective, the moments of controversy that science cannot explain are proof of a divine being.  Essentially, our lack of natural understanding is [...]

Patenting People: Should we be able to patent genes?

By | 2015-11-06T07:55:42+00:00 June 18th, 2013|Biology, Featured|

As the human genome has become better understood, we have uncovered pieces of DNA that are incredibly valuable for human health.  That value has in turn been monetized, which is expected from any good capitalist society.  But is human DNA fair game for capitalistic gain?  Perhaps it is because, at this point in time, there are over 10,000 genes of the human genome that have been patented.  That means that nearly half of the human genes that we know to code for proteins are "owned" by a cooperation. Does this give you a sinking feeling?... One specific example of this genetic monopolization is seen in the diagnosis [...]

Evolution Myths: Could Mermaids Have Evolved?

By | 2015-11-13T17:51:27+00:00 June 10th, 2013|Biology|

A recent mockumentary put out by Animal Planet, "Mermaids: The Body Found", sent the social media marketplace buzzing with tweets from ill-informed mermaid enthusiasts who thought that the mythical creature had finally been discovered. The program began with a disclaimer that the events were completely fictional, but as prime time TV viewers surfed the channels and happened upon the mockumentary after the opening disclaimer, they wrongly concluded that the world had at last found our elusive aquatic cousin, the mermaid (and in the words of Ben Stiller, "MERMAN!") . While this assumption seems irrational, the program was filled with convincing interviews and dramatic reenactments  that (while completely fabricated) did spark some genuine [...]

In Search of Europans (On Jupiter’s Moon)

By | 2015-11-11T07:27:20+00:00 April 6th, 2013|Astronomy, Biology, Featured|

No, this article's title is not a typo and this search is not for our friends across the Atlantic.  These potential Europans are not as conveniently located; in fact, they live on the distant moon of Jupiter.  The icy surface of this moon, named Europa, might seem like a barren wasteland, but below its outer shell could lurk a hidden ocean; an ocean of liquid water that, until recently, has remained hidden without our knowledge.  As Europa orbits Jupiter, the gravitational stress causes the moon's core to heat up, which could melt the ice into a possible haven for life.  Pictures of Europa's surface, taken [...]

The Panspermia Hypothesis

By | 2015-12-07T22:44:46+00:00 March 19th, 2013|Astronomy, Biology|

  They tumble through the blackness of space; frozen and isolated.  Their solar systems have abandoned them and the light from the star that gave them birth fades into the void of interstellar space. Perhaps this journey began with tragedy; a distant world in turmoil.  It's inhabitants scrambling to save their oasis of life from an impending collision, but to no avail.  And from the ashes of this scattered world falls a freeze-dried microcosm; a comet carrying with it the remains of its parent planet. Normally an ambiguous occurrence of the universe, but this comet is headed for Earth.  Not an Earth we [...]

What are we teaching these kids?!

By | 2015-11-11T07:27:46+00:00 March 18th, 2013|Astronomy, Biology, Featured, Physics, Politics, Science|

  Sadly, the human mind has a limited knowledge capacity.  So why then do our schools continue to waste student's valuable brainpower on outdated paradigms and extinct scientific rationale?  Without even qualifying these dated lessons as science history or as a step in the progress of science, we are building scientific scaffolding in the minds of our young students that leads them to build a incorrect view of our world.  Even more frightening, it could prevent our future generations from being able to progress our scientific understanding. I will consent with Isaac Newton's sentiment that, " we stand on the shoulders of giants," but even Newton [...]

An Anthropic Universe (Many Worlds Theory)

By | 2016-02-03T22:58:43+00:00 January 29th, 2013|Astronomy, Biology, Featured, Science|

  The problem with proving the theory of multiple universes is that these universes are inherently not apart of our own.  Due to this seemingly obvious fact, designing and tediously carrying out experiments in our universe have failed to detect anything beyond.  But still, our great minds ponder a bubbling foam of multiple universes and our whole universe trapped inside one of those many bubbles.   Perhaps we will one day decipher a method for crossing through the thin skin of our cosmic bubble, but for now the idea of multiverse is entirely theoretical and mathematical. Quantum does theory suggests these hidden worlds with cornerstone principles such [...]

A Time Traveler’s Quandry

By | 2015-11-11T07:28:11+00:00 January 21st, 2013|Physics, Science, Technology|

  Time is such a familiar mystery.  We boast ourselves intimately acquainted but with one question we are at a loss, straining to describe the face of a stranger. What is time? Einstein describes time as, "the reason things don't happen all at once," even though at times it seems that they do.  However, many people are dissatisfied with such a simplified explanation (and frankly so was Einstein) .  Scientifically, time is most often described as a measure of change.   In a closed system this net change is always from ordered to disordered. For a system to go from configuration A to configuration B, it [...]

Struggling with Evolution: 7 Misconceptions

By | 2015-11-06T07:59:16+00:00 January 4th, 2013|Biology|

  "I am not a monkey and my grandfather was not a monkey so how could evolution be real?"  This statement might seem ridiculous to some and yet this sort of misunderstanding of evolution is found throughout society.  Perhaps it is the expansive temporal scale of evolution that is leading to so many misconceptions and false ideas.  Or maybe there are too many cultural barriers that are obstructing its progress.  Either way, I thought I would take this opportunity to address the 7 Misconceptions of Evolution: 1. Humans evolved from monkeys, so why are there still monkeys:    Humans did not evolve from modern day monkeys.  Instead, humans [...]

December 21, 2012: Mayan Apocalypse

By | 2015-11-11T07:28:19+00:00 December 18th, 2012|Astronomy, Featured|

  There is a lot of misinformation out there so let's set the record straight before we all start running for the hills because after a few ridiculous blockbuster movies and some thought-provoking history channel documentaries, we are now a society closely approaching a highly anticipated date. The Mayan calendar known as the long count will end its 13th baktun (a period of 144,000 days) which marks the end of the first "Great Cycle" on December 21, 2012. There are questions on the accuracy of this date due to the calendar not accounting for leap years, however the issue of [...]