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bigvlada
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Postod bigvlada » Čet Mar 12, 2009 9:08 am

Verovatno najbolja osobina ljudi kao vrste je naša radoznalost, želja da shvatimo kako svet oko nas funkcioniše i šta se nalazi iza brega :)
Povod je kratka tema koju sam čitao na parapsihopatologiji (http://www.parapsihopatologija.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2581) a koja tamo nije zaživela. Pričamo o ulozi nauke u društvu (pre svega domaćem).

Ovo je dokumentarac o... nauci, o tom uzbuđenju prilikom otkrivanja nečeg novog. :D

Break the Science Barrier

Slika

SCIENCE is useful but that is not all it is. Science can be uplifting, thrilling, life-enhancing. Originally broadcast on Britain's Channel 4 in 1996, Break the Science Barrier follows the Oxford Biologist Richard Dawkins as he meets with people who have experienced the wonders of science first-hand. We meet the astronomer who first discovered pulsars, the geneticist who invented DNA fingerprinting, a scientist who discovered a protein that causes cancer, and others. Dawkins interviews famous admirers of science such as Douglas Adams and David Attenborough, and asks them why science means so much to them. We also see how dangerous ignorance of science can be in classrooms, courts, and beyond.

With so many expressing paranormal beliefs and ignorance of science, Dawkins encourages viewers to contrast these ancient superstitions with the power and beauty of our scientific achievements and understanding.

Sve zasluge za iskopavanje (legalnih) linkova ka dokumentarcu idu posteru Indy-ju

Part 1:
YouTube Pt 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KR8SigWQuY
YouTube Pt 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5uA1RJsDhw
Quicktime - http://media.richarddawkins.net/video/BTSB/BTSB_pt1_web.mov
Google Video - http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4937420956003824678&hl=en

Part 2:
YouTube Pt 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r053ImV03Ss&feature=user
YouTube Pt 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ioft74nNKpk&feature=user
Quicktime - http://media.richarddawkins.net/video/BTSB/BTSB_pt2_web.mov
Google Video - http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6838448910683988900&hl=en

Part 3:
YouTube Pt 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvR0CjchZc4&feature=user
YouTube Pt 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxjfZG_szRg&feature=user
Quicktime - http://media.richarddawkins.net/video/BTSB/BTSB_pt3_web.mov
Google Video - http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9163502654706193597&hl=en
Poslednja izmena od bigvlada u Čet Mar 12, 2009 9:10 am, izmenjeno 1 put ukupno.
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
bigvlada
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Postod bigvlada » Čet Mar 12, 2009 9:12 am

Ovo je intervju sa Ričardom Dokinsom, jedan od najboljih koje sam čitao poslednjih godina. Pogledajte titulu, neko takav je ono što nam je ovde užasno neophodno.

Breaking the Science Barrier - Part1

Narrator : Richard Dawkins is a familiar name in science.In a string of best selling books,The Selfish Gene,The Blind Watchmaker,and recently Climbing Mount Improbable,he has changed the way we think about evolution,this year he became Oxford's first Professor in the Public Understanding of Science,and now he wants to change the way we think about science.

Richard Dawkins : This is a very heavy ball,it's heavier than a real cannonball because it's made of solid lead,it's ten times as heavy as a human head.Now what I want you to do,stand back against this post,hold it against your nose,let go,and then stand in the same place,and because of Newton's Laws,and the law of the conservation of energy,you can guarantee that that ball will stop short of your nose and not hurt you. Now are there any volunteers to do the experiment?

[The onlookers variously shake their heads and smirk,not wishing to risk their heads being smashed,with murmurs of dissent.]
I'll have to do it myself!

[Richard places the cannonball at his nose and let's go,and the ball swings away smashing a melon in the middle of the room for dramatic effect (and perhaps slightly reducing its energy). Note that the ball would still fail to return to Richard's face,even with no melon in the path of the ball,and Richard knows this will happen time after time,because it is a law of the universe.The public fear the result because they think he has "faith" that the ball will not crush his skull.Not so.This is the difference between science and other human ideas.This is a knowledge that the ball will never come back to the exact point it started from.One is therefore not "trusting" that the ball will fail to crush Richard's skull,but knowing that it won't,because he "understands" those laws -LB] The problem is that science is not a natural part of our lives.We should all know that there's no danger in that experiment.We should know the science that tells us so.But obviously not all of us do.So my purpose in this programme is to explain why science should become an integral part of all our lives. I hope to show you the dangers we face when we turn our back on science,and embrace anti-science,and the risks we run if we don't understand what science can do.But of course the message isn't all gloom and doom,far from it. Science can offer the highest form of joy.You'll meet three colleagues of mine who had that once in a lifetime chance all scientists long for,of shouting "Eureka". A good place for me to start is with the beginning of everything. There is still a lot we don't know about the origins of the universe,and you must keep investigating.But a broad picture of the evolution of life has emerged which is no longer open to reasonable doubt. The world is about four and a half billion years old,pretty soon,well within the first billion years or so,the first living cell arose,and from that we are all descended,all plants - all animals - all humans.That's an established fact,we're all cousins ,scientists accept it just as they accept that the world is round and not flat,and it orbits the Sun and not the other way around. Not to believe it would be absurd,and yet....

[Southern US Banjo music plays] A few months ago I went on a lecture tour of the United States,my subject was "Evolution", one stop was at Auburn,Alabama in the deep south of the country,I was outraged to find how many people there,still believed in something science tells us is ridiculous.

Girl : Well,I'm a Christian,so I believe in God and Jesus, and that He created the Earth.
Man : I believe you can see evolution in the world today,in Nature today,in terms of how different species adapted to their environment,but as far as that being the means of how like one cell became a man I don't believe that happened.

[Then what happens when an egg is fertilised an undergoes mitosis? For a while we are all unicellular.Moreover science is not a matter of belief,it is not up to the person "to have faith in" a theory.Much as Richard "knew" the cannonball would not crush his face,one gains "knowledge" in as far as one can be "convinced beyond a reasonable doubt".As Richard says evolution is past the point of reasonable doubt,and had the argument been in a court of law would have been proved true.It is incumbent then upon those who do not believe to accept the evidence REGARDLESS of what they believe,as they had to do in the OJ Simpson trial. Everyone had reservations about those circumstances and perhaps believed OJ guilty,but that's not how a trial functions. The vagaries of OJ's trial aside,the point is that REGARDLESS of whether one believes he is guilty,or in this case -believes a God exists - the onus is to accept the evidence if it is "beyond a reasonable doubt",which it is. It is farcical,therefore,in a country like the US,that prides itself on the truth and liberty of the individual and it's laws system (as does the UK),for something that is proved beyond a reasonable doubt to be rejected,in favour of a gross lie with no proof whatsoever.If we put God on trial,we would find not one shred of evidence to push that position "beyond a reasonable doubt".One can therefore conclude that belief in God is the irrational position of unreasonable people -LB]

Woman : God created man in his own image from...he created Adam from the dirt,and I believe it happened just as the bible says it.

[And what test has that belief undergone to prove that it is true - none whatsoever,it is therefore the personal idea of the person, and has no wider pertinence to the world outside of that person's personal ideas -LB]

Richard Dawkins : Before I reinforce too many prejudices about the deep south bible belt,I should point out that beliefs on this issue are remarkably constant across the United States [Ref: Unnatural Selection ]. For instance anywhere you go,more than half the people you meet will believe Adam and Eve actually existed.

Fobb James : Why have no new major groups of living things appeared in the fossil record for a long time? What's different here though,is that this nonsense is official.Last November the Alabama board of Education decided that every biology text book should carry a sticker "The Alabama Insert" challenging the theory of evolution.The move was supported by state governor Fobb James.

[Fobb mocks the bent over position of monkeys moving to the upright position of man]

Fobb James : ...and then a thousand years later,come up to here (audience laughs)!

Richard Dawkins : His pantomiming of evolution is now a local legend.

Fobb James : If one wanted to understand something about the origin of human life,that you might ought to look at Genesis and you can get the whole story (audience applause sounds).Period.

[I'm personally amazed that a state governor sanctions such utterly ludicrous stories from the bible as the truth,when no investigation as been done which proves them beyond a reasonable doubt. Perhaps this is only fitting from those states which send innocent people to their deaths through their court system,and break their own laws taken from the bible.The bible says "Do not kill",it does not say "except in the case of murder". If these people are willing to hypocritically break their own laws and not understand the basic precepts of justice,then perhaps it is obvious why they believe fairy stories,over that which has good evidence to back it up. What is shown in this programme is a state governor trying to protect something which he has no proof of,and a vested interest in supporting to stay in office, because he is preaching to the converted,and rather than be unbiased and open-minded,his congregation have already made up their minds before the "trial" has taken place.Much as they found people guilty in a court of law when there was no proof of a crime. There hatred of "black" people came from the idea that races could be made "impure" perhaps through Darwin's "gamule" idea.But as geneticist Steve Jones points out if that idea were correct,traits would be watered down to nothing. It seems to me that the basic ignorance of these believers causes a "sour grapes" attitude that the scientific position can prove its case,and they cannot prove theirs.So rather than find proof,they bay like a lot of schoolchildren and mock what they don't understand, rather than try to understand it.Fear of something is borne through lack of comprehension,and time after time I have seen the latent lack of understanding of genetics and the origins of life both in the UK and the US,through conversations online. The sticking point for those that accept evolution going on now and modern ideas of DNA,is that chemicals could have ever become cells.Biopolymers required for building DNA they say could not have arisen spontaneously,even though we can see that viruses are little more than chemical machines,bacteria more sophisticated still,and crystals showing the capacity of self organisation.There is a clear path from chemicals to life,and just because someone fails to see how it can happen does not mean it can't. DNA itself is a chemical and this in principle necessitates our chemical origins.The capacity of chemicals to self-build is self-evident in crystals,and via "stratified stability" (J.Bronowski "The Ascent of Man") the chemical building blocks can self organise.
Thus anyone mocking evolution is an ignorant clown,and only showing themselves up as an imbecile not informed of the facts. I find it very scary that the US electorate is prepared to vote for the scientifically illiterate.But perhaps that's no surprise,the UK corridors of power are filled with God fearing scientifically illiterate people too,as Rick goes on to show -LB]

Richard Dawkins : Here are just a couple of extracts from the insert that governor James inspired. The first sentence refers to evolution as "A controversial theory some scientists present as a scientific explanation for the origin of living things" and tells us "Any statement about life's origins should be considered theory not fact" Well as you might expect,I couldn't let this pass unchallenged.

[Lecture theatre applause as Richard comes to lectern.]
"Thank you very much indeed...and what I thought I would do,with your permission,is to depart from...." So in my lecture to the beleaguered university at Auburn,I threw away my prepared speech and set about the Alabama insert,line by line. (laughter) "This text book discusses evolution,a controversial theory some scientists present as a scientific explanation for the origin for living things,such as plants,animals and humans.

This is sneaky and dishonest (laughter).'Some scientists', 'controversial', suggests the existence of a substantial number of respectable scientists who do not accept evolution.In fact the proportion of qualified scientists who do not accept evolution,is tiny.

John Franson : And that holds for this one...

Richard Dawkins : It may have been fun for me to get laughs from an enlightened audience,but for Alabama's biology teachers this insert is no laughing matter.

John Franson : A gene is a sequence of nucleotides,in a molecule of....

Richard Dawkins : Dr John Franson is head of biology at nearby Tuskegee University.More than half his students don't believe in evolution.

John Franson : ....chromosomes are made of DNA and protein.

Richard Dawkins : And now he has the insert to contend with as well.

John Franson : For many of these people when it comes to teaching evolution,the well has been poisoned.These are going to be there last...in many cases there last science courses, and then these kids are going to go on,and they're going to become the politicians,they're going to become the leaders of industry,they're going to be the movers and shakers in society.

Man : I don't believe it,that man comes from apes,that he could have evolved from apes,I just don't believe that.

[So there is evidence that suggests that this is so,but you refute the evidence with no counter evidence? We share 99% of DNA with chimps,and yet we didn't have a common ancestor? How does this man account for the apparent contradiction? Did God give us the same DNA as a joke? And of course which God are we talking about? -LB]

Woman : I like that it's much better that I came from Adam and Eve versus coming from an ape,so....and that's the bottom line.

Woman : I agree.

[There is proof for the latter and none for the former,I wonder what you do if sitting on a jury,GUESS? Or do you just go with your instincts? What about REASON? -LB]

Richard Dawkins : But don't let's get too smug about the foibles of our American cousins

[Funny isn't it how they accept that they are our cousins,via sharing DNA with us,and yet can't see that you can do the same with apes? -LB]. We're not so smart ourselves,when it comes to knowing the scientific basics.

Professor John Durant at Imperial College in London has made a study of British attitudes to science,and his last big survey revealed some big gaps.Only about a third of our sample knew that antibiotics,one of the most important classes of drugs,don't kill viruses,they only kill bacteria.Only about a third knew the Earth goes round the Sun once a year,and less than half actually,in 1988 were able to say that DNA is a substance that has to do with living things,and those I think are quite surprising,and perhaps quite eye-opening to scientists.

Richard Dawkins : I find this lack of scientific understanding worrying,and what's worse,as a society,we seem happy to tolerate such ignorance. I've noticed a double standard in our society with respect to science,earlier this year I was on a late night television talk show,and I mentioned the names of Watson and Crick,and the chairman promptly stopped me and said "For the benefit of viewers,who are Watson and Crick?".Now if I'd said I'd just been to the Cezanne exhibition,she wouldn't have dreamed of saying "For the benefit of viewers,who was Cezanne?".

[This typifies the idea that science is not held in esteem as part of our cultural heritage,and that the arts are held in greater esteem.This is perhaps because the public school system steeped in tradition maintains a God myth and Christian values.I note that Irene Riding is trying to get the church synod filled with what she calls "old fogies",the rejected Lords from the House,and via Baroness Young attempting to retrogress to teaching children that there is a God that loves them.In these PC days where all faiths are given credence,it is the height of arrogance to suggest that the Christian god and values have any place in our society beyond any other faith. For me the existence of any of these silly myths is an anathema to our industrial heritage and scientific prowess. Alan Turing's contribution no doubt would have been outlawed by puritanical Mary Whitehouse blue rinse imbeciles,purely because his sexuality didn't fit into there biblical fairy stories.Then he wouldn't have decoded the ENIGMA machine (For US citizens watching the film that re-writes history,it was Alan Turing and the Bletchley peeps that did this not the US.Alan also spawned the notion of a digital computer-it wasn't Steve Jobs and Bill Gates), and possibly we'd have lost the war.We should not be teaching children about Gods which do not exist,in any other way than as historical metaphors.Valuing science is absolutely essential to our society and our survival,for these reasons it is necessary to impede the progress of the likes of ignoramuses like Irene Riding under all conceivable scenarios.Don't forget it was her "old fogies" who failed to comprehend the nature of C-60,it's nature as a Carbon isotope being implicit in it's name,even a chimp could figure it out. Why do they not prove their case as being not like chimps,by understanding scientific ideas? By eschewing those ideas they shoot themselves in the foot and prove how much like chimps they are! -LB]
And that double standard matters,not that we should value Cezanne less,but we seek to value science more.No one knows that better than that great messenger of science,Sir David Attenborough.

[It's perhaps ironic,that his brother Richard,played the owner of Jurassic Park.Even in that story is inherent the idea that if man plays God he comes a cropper.And alongside "Andromeda Strain" another doom-laden anti-science book by Michael Creighton,one might wonder whether in fact Mr Creighton is in the 50% who has silly notions of God. The dystopian visions penned by various writers,theist or not,do no service to science in the public's mind. They maybe entertaining,but it also creates fear of the future.I've not seen X- men yet,but I'm guessing that genetic manipulation will be portrayed as a threat,and upon this one might wonder if there isn't a Hollywood propaganda to cast science as a dark spectre. At risk of being charged with being a conspiracy theorist,or as being anti-semite,I might point out that many of the movie moguls were Jewish immigrants and a good proportion of movie actors are Jewish. Steve Spielberg himself is of Jewish faith,and thus must nominally believe in God.This may or may not affect which stories make it to the screen or how a subject is portrayed if written by a atheist writer,but I can't help thinking that the basic beliefs of the person or the industry as a whole will tend to reflect the biases of the people that populate that sector. Thus it's possible, however unconsciously,that our film materials are propaganda for a pro-God,anti-science perspective,and thus whilst suspending your disbelief at rampaging computer rendered dinosaurs or genetic mutant men,it is as well to be informed of what science is and isn't capable of, just as Richard suggests,in case you get fantastic notions and feel intimidated or threatened that one day you'll be eaten by a T- Rex or have the weather changed by "Storm" ! In general science is trying to do good for society,not destroy it! -LB]

David Attenborough : (In his unique hushed tones) Now I'm getting up into the canopy,into the world of the birds of paradise.

Richard Dawkins : He feels strongly,that a practical knowledge of science and its uses would benefit everybody.

David Attenborough : ...and here's the top.The birds are in another emergent tree,just like this one,and I've got an absolutely clear view of them. I am quite sure that people will get a greater pleasure,not only from knowing how things work,but from being able to take competent decisions about their own life.You ought to be able to know how to repair a fuse,you ought to be able to know roughly what goes wrong with your car,when something goes wrong with it,I confess I'm not very good at that myself.But you ought to have some idea as to the way these things work, and that is science.

Richard Dawkins : The point is that this kind of ignorance means we don't understand what science can tell us and what it cannot, and that is serious,because science is used by journalists and especially politicians,to persuade us that they are right. "The issue is no longer a question of the safety of British Beef,the best available evidence demonstrates that British beef and beef products can be safely eaten by consumers both here and around the world." Do you believe him? You need to know a bit about science to be able to answer that.I don't mean the latest facts about BSE research,but at least enough about scientific method to know that you cannot claim certainty from science. Science can never say "the evidence demonstrates" for instance "that beef is definitely safe to eat".It can only offer probabilities, and explain where current evidence points.It's then up to us as individuals to decide what to do with that information.

Matthew Freeman : What's very important I think is that these decisions aren't left to scientists,or politicians,or committees of scientists,politicians and bishops.Those aren't the people that should be making these decisions.Society as a whole should be,and I don't think society can make those decisions in a sensible way,unless they have a basic understanding about the principles of science,not the details,but the principles.

Richard Dawkins : This shouldn't be anything to worry about,despite the headlines,science isn't only or even usually about dangers and difficulties,on the contrary.The more you find out about science,the more you realise that it can be positively inspiring. There are two sorts of science,non-stick frying pan,and supernovae.People used to justify the space-race because you got non-stick frying pans as a spin-off,which I think is a bit like justifying music,by saying that it's good exercise for the violinist's right arm


[Whilst that's true,I think the essence of the "non-stick frying pan" argument,is an attempt to show the scientifically illiterate the idea of how blue skies research works,that one must invest in one thing,to get useful by-products that in the first instance seem unrelated to what is being invested in.Richard uses the example later of genetic fingerprinting,but a lot of scientific discovery is serendipitous,accidental by products of other lines of investigation.One cannot research only presumably "useful" lines of inquiry,and further - lots of other human activities are done regardless of how useful they are,like playing a violin. Art isn't particularly useful,and here Richard says Cezanne is well known,but Crick and Watson are not,and if useful were the only criterion as to what humans invest in,then no works fiction or works of art would be funded.Humans do not only do "useful" things,they do things which please them and fill them with wonder,and science has those attributes as well as "usefulness".If we were to go by "useful" then Crick and Watson should be known,and Cezanne be an obscure "useless" painter. If one does not know of Cezanne one is accused of philistinism,similarly if one does not know of Watson and Crick,one should be accused of scientific philistinism. If we actually checked,most of the population of the Western world could be accused of being a philistine in the scientific sense.Moreover,as Richard says,we pride ourselves on our ignorance and boast about our inability to understand scientific precepts.This trend seemingly enters the public domain from conservative traditionalists who no doubt value Cezanne,but balk at having to understand the intricacies of DNA.Perhaps like those in Alabama they find it offensive to their beliefs that we sprang from chemical automata,and that no silly god myths need be invoked to explain how life began.The romantic allusions prevalent in art and music from Michaelangelo to Handel's Messiah,draw on notions of God,and perhaps the idea that the basic premise behind these works maybe wrong,is too much for them to bear.Presumably they see it as diminishing to the human "spirit" to see man as so unimportant in the scheme of things,and this then demeans his art and music. But science has it's aesthetic component too,it doesn't just have to be useful, and the usefulness can come from things that initially appear useless.Similarly,one cannot research only ethical or morally good lines of inquiry,since morals are products of value judgements and therefore what is good to one person is bad to another.Thus Brian Appleyard's criticisms are naive and misplaced. Recent accidental and useful discoveries include C-60,the very isotope not understood by most likely the very people who suggest that only "good" science should be pursued.If every there was a need for their scientific education,this is it. C-60 was discovered by Sir Harry Kroto and his US colleagues whilst looking into the physics of star formation.No one expected C-60,it came "out of the blue" or maybe the black in this case.Now C-60 and it's fullerene offshoots,might be used to repair nerves,or to make light and strong fibres,or used in electronic components. Similarly,Material World reported the accidental discovery of a semiconducting polymer at Cambridge by Richard Friend,that may pave the way for lightweight sheets that can be used as displays rather as LED's are.No one was trying to create a display on purpose,it was purely theoretical research to understand how electrons might move in polymers. The pure research led to the application,not vice versa. Channel 4 reported that Albert Hoffman accidentally discovered the hallucinogenic properties of Ergot,presumably he wasn't planning on going on a trip! One cannot force Nature's hand,contrary to the beliefs of mystics,we can test nature and discover things,but we can't make nature do our bidding -LB]

This on the other hand,is a classic example of the kind of science that really excites me.You won't get any non-stick frying pans here,but what you will get,is something which for my money is far more valuable.An approach to the most distant reaches of the universe and to the most profound questions that the human mind can ask. This is Britain's largest radio telescope at Jodrell Bank near Manchester. The surface area of the dish is an acre

[Oh no not imperial measure from Rick!! -LB], and it's capable of receiving radio signals from planets and stars millions of light years away.

[For those who aren't scientifically aware,one common misconception is that a "light year" is a measure of time.It isn't - it's a measure of distance - equivalent to the distance covered by light travelling 300 000 kilometres per second for one year.For those wondering why I am so against imperial measure.Two reasons - First mixing units of measure is bad practice and leads to errors,and I've even noticed scientists doing it. Second,we have ten fingers not 12 or 14,and base 10 is the most intuitive, one only need add a zero to multiply by it,so even the innumerate can follow raising to a power.Imperial measure is often held onto by the same conservative ostriches that hold science in contempt,and metric makes the interchange of the scientific constants and measuring systems much easier,and I hate that xenophobic little Englander mentality that holds onto something with no virtue through sheer bloody mindedness and petty allegiance to outmoded systems. Just because a load of old simpletons got used to one system,is no reason to keep it when it makes no sense,and their inability to accommodate change and what does make sense,is unbecoming of a modern civilised country -LB]

It is a key that unlocks some of the secrets of the universe. What a pleasure! What a privilege to have a chance to unlock one of those secrets.A colleague of mine had.

Jocelyn Bell-Burnell : Hi Chris.

Chris : Hiya.

Richard Dawkins : Professor Jocelyn Bell-Burnell is now a world renowned astronomer.When she was still a graduate student in her 20s,she made the kind of scientific leap most scientists can only dream of.She discovered a completely new kind of star,and it's discovery revolutionised our understanding of the universe.

[Note that the payoff was not material,but something you can't chart in monetary or physical terms - understanding. Richard likes to use the word "impoverished" for those views lacking in such understandings,and I think he's quite right. A society that pays homage only to material goods and "useful" practical things,is an impoverished society. For want of a better word our "spirit" needs feeding too. And in this sense you might see that science is not a base or demeaning pursuit,reducing things to their parts and material substance,but a genuinely creative activity like painting a picture.Similarly mathematics with its emphasis on pattern has the same attributes. These attributes are not apparent at the school level of learning,and it is a shame that many people acquire a distaste via the apparent difficulty of the subject matter.We have created a period now where intellectual ability is seen as untrendy,and this is why,in particular young boys,are perceived to be underachieving. Before now girls didn't take up the sciences,and both genders perceived maths as dull and uninspiring,and similarly science was or is the preserve of the nerd. This culture MUST be changed,and the blue rinse traditional Christians are further impoverishing our society by trying to bring back traditional values and praying to God in an ill-founded attempt to curb crime and instil "good values". If people could truly celebrate their cultural heritage and not succumb to ideas falling upon us by default from rising foreign shores,then perhaps alternative therapies,crystal worship etc would be seen for what they are -impoverished views,ignorant views,that eschew the actual cultural history if the person that holds those ideas. The Western world,for all it's detriments,as on the whole done some fantastic things via science,and we should celebrate global telecomms, computers, antibiotics, DNA, and moreover the immaterial understanding that led to them for the fantastic achievements that they are,all done without requiring any ritual behaviour or prayer to a super being,(even if some science was done by religious people) and not run down our abilities as human beings,because pious zealots feel threatened by their own inadequacy and ignorance -LB]

Richard Dawkins : This was her tool kit in those days,a radio telescope in Cambridge which she'd helped to build herself.It recorded radio signals from objects at the very edges of the universe,as well as signals from local radio stations electric motors and the like.

[I should note that this is a female contribution to science,and I only note the gender so as to redress the balance that might appear as sexism in my comments elsewhere. Jocelyn Bell is also a Quaker,and has spiritual beliefs that engender some sort of entity.From other comments she has made I find her ideas make a lot more sense considering she is a scientist,than those of physicist Russell Stannard who holds that the Christian God exists.His mutually contradictory views are farcical in the extreme,and had he not been a noted scientist,I would have suggested that he be locked in an asylum for his own safety if not for everyone elses! (See "Science and Wonders" and OU "The Argument from Design" and Dawkins RI Lecture) Note also that electric motors produce by default radio waves,as obviously do radio stations.Considering the scares over cell phones,you might very well wonder why no one kicked up a fuss about powerful electric motor's,radio station's or indeed microwave oven's capacity to produce a cancer risk in the same way people think cell phones do. The cell phone scare was typical of how scientific ignorance fuels public decisions that are ill informed. All the above objects variously produce EM waves,but I never noticed a cancer risk associated with using a Hoover published in the papers.No doubt when some "New of the World" editor reads this they'll check for incidences of "ankle cancer" and find a suggestive association with the use of Hoovers,and everyone will stupidly take to using brooms,because they're scientifically illiterate! The precise powers and frequencies and penetrating ability of the emissions from the above objects varies,and one should not be complacent,but one should also be informed in order not to become paranoid about a useful piece of technology because a newspaper innumerate ignoramus talks through the wrong orifice -LB]

Richard Dawkins : Her job was to pick out the star signals from the man-made rubbish.One day she was deep into a three-mile long [Mile? -LB] printout of all this confusing information,when a strange signal a quarter of an inch [Inch? -LB] long caught her eye.

Jocelyn Bell-Burnell : It was pretty close to the limits of detectability,and I didn't quite know what to make of it,because it didn't look totally like one of the distant quasars and it somehow didn't look really like the locally generated interference.

Richard Dawkins : When she amplified the scrappy signal,she found a series of pulses one and a third seconds apart [Even seconds aren't decimal! -LB],it was unlike anything she'd seen before.She,and her supervisor Professor Anthony Hewish were instantly faced with a puzzle.The new signal was full of contradictions.

Jocelyn Bell-Burnell : It's quite fast,it's too fast to be a star,so it's small,but because it's accurate,it's got great reserves of energy,it's not noticing that it's sending radio wave after radio wave after radio wave,it's not drooping or giving up in an exhausted manner,it's not running down in any sense.

[No doubt creationists will seize on it as contravening the entropy law! Ha ha! -LB] So it's got vast reserves of energy so it's big.So it's big and it's small,and we couldn't fathom that out for quite a while.

[It's quite easy-you'd located the TARDIS! -LB] We did for a while wonder if it was Little Green Men signalling to us,and they would have been little green men on a planet which was going round their Sun,and we did tests to try and establish this.

Richard Dawkins : They couldn't solve the problem,then months later she stumbled across another scrappy signal,if she could get this amplified,perhaps she would find the answer.

Jocelyn Bell-Burnell : This was the 21st of December and I was about to go on Christmas holiday,and it was about three o'clock in the morning when this bit of scruffy sky was due to be visible to the telescope.

Richard Dawkins : She got to the telescope just a few minutes before three,but it was cold and the machinery wasn't working,it wasn't even recording man-made interference.

Jocelyn Bell-Burnell : Well,I breathed on it and I uttered unladylike words at it and I flicked switches and I think I maybe even applied a foot to it in fury,
[All not very Quaker-like actions. Jocelyn is in her own movie about black holes soon, called Quaker,mass and the pit! -LB] and I got it to work,at full sensitivity for five minutes,and it was the right five minutes,and it was on the right setting,and in came,blip,blip,blip,blip,not one and a third seconds apart,this time one and a quarter seconds apart,and from a totally different bit of the sky.

[When listening to these accounts,versed in science to some extent that I am,I can't help wondering how man-made small periodic signals are screened out of cosmological reception. Could not the massive amplification be creating a reproduction of a signal in the electronic circuitry of the telescope itself,or the consequence of an induced signal in the telescope from the massive fields generated by its power supply? Another note here,I was once asked how one discriminates dubious scientific published material from the credible stuff,and thus tell when someone is making up scientific sounding "viable" scenarios that would fool the lay person. The answer I gave,supplied by my brother,was of the relationship to other credible scientific papers,in other words by mutual assent.In order to be able to discern this mutual assent one must be scientifically informed oneself,to know both who is considered beyond reproach,and whether in fact what they're saying is credible.In other words being scientifically informed is inescapable unless you wish to be at the behest of those who would pull wool over your eyes.Notably crop circles,can be seen immediately as hoaxes by anyone familiar with fractals and mathematically similar patterns.The likes of Reg Presley or Lionel Fanthorpe will be taken in by it as a phenomenon worthy of investigation.Similarly if Reg Presley or Lionel Fanthorpe published a paper for peer review on crop circles,like as not it would be immediately trashed for the nonsense it undoubtedly would be.Those scientists who have genuinely investigated such circumstances and employed virtually every physical force under the Sun in doing so,are hampered in this by obvious hoaxers.In one Sci Tech article one hoaxer proclaimed with glee that no one wished to have crop circles explained, and that people preferred the mystery.If they do then they are very sad indeed,for man has made his progresses by explaining things not by leaving them as unexplained phenomenon,and if that hoaxer values clean drinking water,food in his belly and any ailment quickly treated,then he'd better think again about what he values. Advocating ignorance is the action of an imbecile,and whilst Reg Presley and Lionel Fanthorpe seem genuinely intrigued by what they witness,their answers lie in doing science,not in chanting over haunted Ford Capris or waiting to catch a space ship landing in a corn field. For those who have difficulty in discerning the bogus from the legitimate. Reg and Lionel fall into the former category.But don't take my word for it,figure it out for yourself,try thinking for a change -LB]

And not only is it very exciting,but it kills the little green men,because you don't have two lots of little green men on opposite sides of the universe both deciding to signal to planet Earth at the same time in a rather silly way.

[Much as I agree with Jocelyn,for the benefit of those who think life starting here is a matter of absurd probability,and thus requiring creation.If we utilise Drake's equation for discerning the probable number of civilisations,and take account that (as Asimov says) that the civilisations need be alive and technological at the same time as we are,then it's not inconceivable that two worlds could signal us from opposite ends of the sky.It stretches credibility if you suppose they do it at the same moment in their history,considering they are light years away,and thus as far as we are concerned the signals started out long ago. (Note that light year is a measure of distance,but it takes time to traverse distance). If technological civilisations are plentiful,and all mature at the roughly the same time,then they'd all be doing what we're doing around the same time,but it would take decades or centuries for the signal to reach us,by which time,possibly that society could have blown itself up.So things aren't particularly rosy for alien contact,presuming of course that they haven't found a simple intergalactic device,like a stargate.Contrary to the accounts of Reg Presley clones,aliens haven't been here,and nor did they start our human race by interbreeding, contrary to the ramblings of Erik Von Daniken and Graham Hancock,the latter being a self confessed non-scientist who presumes to make up theories about subjects of which he has no expert knowledge,and of course makes very basic mistakes,that even I can spot.One would not wish to have brain surgery performed by circus clown (unless he happened to be both clown and doctor!),and likewise Mr Hancock should keep his nose out of things about which he clearly knows nothing,and leave it to those who are trained to do the job.For the record Mr Hancock is another in the "bogus" category -LB] It's a new kind of star -great!

Richard Dawkins : Jocelyn had discovered a pulsar,the remains of an exploded star,it's invisible corpse was a spinning lump of prodigiously dense matter,crushed to a fraction of it's former size.A pulsar the size of Wembley Stadium would weigh as much as the Earth.It was the nearest thing then discovered to a black hole,and it opened a new chapter in our understanding of the universe.Surely it's better to explore stars with telescopes,than horoscopes?! Yet many still look to the paranormal for their answers, as we'll see.
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
bigvlada
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Postod bigvlada » Čet Mar 12, 2009 9:14 am

Breaking the Science Barrier - Part2


Ian Rowland : Say "bend" in your mind,keep helping it to go all the way.
[A spoon bends and breaks,the head falling to the floor,in Uri Geller fashion.]
The reason I can do it that way is because I'm psychic.

Students : Rubbish!

Ian Rowland : Correct.

Richard Dawkins : As a scientist,I can't help feeling we seem to have lost our reason and gone mad [I have the same feeling -LB] ,not only are we turning our backs on science,we're embracing the world of anti-science.Everywhere you turn now there are psychics,astrologers and paranormalists,offering tin-pot comforts for those who need reassurance. The paranormal is taking over newspapers,TV schedules and now apparently the high streets.You might think it's all a bit of a giggle [Not me Rick! -LB] ,well I don't. It not only purveys a view of the world that is false,but it's also impoverished [See I told you-LB] ,poverty stricken.People who believe in it,and I've seen some of them in that shop,credulous,gullible people are missing so much.I think the paranormal needs to be debunked [So do I -LB] ,and I know just the man to do it.

Ian Rowland : Give her a big hand.(applause).

Richard Dawkins : Ian Rowland is a psychic illusionist,he entertains audiences like this one at a London's student's union,with phenomena of the kind regularly passed off as paranormal on TV shows.

Ian Rowland : There's not any sleight of hand or any trickery whatsoever.Watch.Just look at this. Say "bend" in your mind, keep helping it to go all the way.

Richard Dawkins : He trained as a conjuror and won't tell exactly how he does his tricks.

Ian Rowland : That's 90 degrees,can you see this clearly? Okay,now we want it to do....(spoon falls to floor,followed by applause).

Richard Dawkins : But he's absolutely clear about one thing.

Ian Rowland : I don't have any psychic or paranormal abilities whatsoever. I always state this quite clearly at the beginning of a show.Now and again somebody wants to argue the point and make out that I really am psychic and that I'm pretending not to,but the honest truth is that I'm psychic as a teapot!

[It's indicative of the lengths that people will go to,in trying to justify their inane beliefs,that they resort to clutching at straws in a last vain attempt to try and continue believing nonsense,so much so that they presume to tell somebody their own mind! Don't they think Ian knows whether he is psychic or not? Can they not believe that the wool is being pulled over their short sighted eyes? Ian says he is using another method that is not psychic,if people are prepared to believe psychics,why do they not "just believe" Ian? For those that require this sort of simple trickery,and like it in a Medieval setting,I have seen Merlin perform at the Camelot theme park,and he's quite impressive, nevertheless it's all trickery and exploiting what the brain is preprogrammed to expect.Merlin,as far as I am aware,makes no claims to be psychic,but he is far more impressive than Uri Geller, who does -LB]

(Students shout)

Ian Rowland : What I try and do,is say that I can reproduce in my shows any kind of psychic or paranormal effect whatsoever, from mediumship,spoon bending,fire walking,ESP, clairvoyance, predictions,whatever.

[Thus any attempt to justify the bible,by saying predictions have come true is absurd.The bible is vague enough to relate it to most anything,and as with Nostradamus,if one wishes to see some event,one will no doubt see it.That doesn't mean to say that I couldn't relate Hans Christian Anderson's "The Ugly Duckling" to modern events either,this would lend no more credence to it as a predictor of forthcoming events,than the bible. Hans's story is perhaps more useful as a metaphor for how to treat things that appear initially different,and whilst maths and science might appear superficially ugly to those that don't understand it,there is a beautiful swan waiting for those who take the time to wait for the feathers to grow,and not just judge by the superficiality that their lack of depth engenders -LB]

So far,anything that I've seen a so-called "genuine" psychic do, I've been able to do just as well I think,in the shows that I do.

[To be fair,showing something can be done another way doesn't prove the presumed way isn't at work. Just because one can drive a car from A to B doesn't mean a horse is incapable of transporting people. All Ian shows is that the psychic explanation NEEDN'T be the one that is at work,and so those that think it is,have to explain why they are preferring the psychic explanation when there is an alternate one that works just as well.They never do -LB]

Richard Dawkins : Like this - in which the blindfolded Ian has to find a member of the audience and stab a knife through the sign he's holding.For directions,he pretends to read this student's mind. (Audience murmurs)

Ian Rowland : No! If I get a reaction like that I can hear and it's a give away,please try your best not to flinch or move.Tracy,if you'd just carry on -forward - left - back,whatever. Ah um!
[Ian pretends to have received a signal from Tracy,and alters direction]

Can you...just yes or no...can you see where the knife is?

Tracy : Yes.

Ian Rowland : It's now the knife you must guide not me.
[Ian stabs the sign plum in the middle to loud applause]

I'm absolutely and utterly positive there is no such thing as anyone with psychic abilities.You have to understand that this sort of thing has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years,and we still haven't found anyone,who can demonstrate their so-called "psychic powers" under common sense, scientifically controlled conditions.They can do it in a TV studio,in their homes,on a stage,that's easy - I can do that.But nobody ever,has come forward who can demonstrate these so-called "abilities" under conditions where you preclude the chance for trickery. (applause)

Richard Dawkins : Some people think that clairvoyance, horoscopes and the psychic charlatans you see on television,are harmless,because they are just entertainment.The danger is that people will come to take this hocus pocus seriously,will actually believe in it,and then the danger is that it will undermine or weaken their grasp on reality.

[For many,the idea that "a reality" even exists has become a serious question! Their personal truths and subjective notions to them have wider significance for the entire universe,when in fact they have bought into the "The Emperor's New Clothes" - a story which if taken as a prediction of the future, is profoundly significant in the terms that those who believe Nostradamus and other signs and portents accept as viable,since it predicts how they will fall for the magical see-through clothes of superstitious nonsense,like the gullible fools that they are.Only the pragmatic wisdom of the child-like common sense and curiosity of science can see it for what it is - a con trick. Worse still than religious iconography pervading our screens from Hollywood,we now have the Harry Potter movie to contend with,and Dame Maggie Smith has ordained to play a part in it!! The church ironically has allowed filming to take place in Gloucester Cathedral,I would have thought the puritans would have been outraged that such hallowed walls should be infiltrated by the epitome of Satanism himself - Harry Potter. Irene Riding presumably is appalled at such degradation,and is no doubt writing to Baroness Young as I write. Potter is symptomatic of the kind of things to which Richard alludes. Think carefully now,"Bewitched" has been broadcast since 19 nought plonk and perhaps is innocuous enough,but now we have "Buffy","Sabrina the teenage witch","Belfry witches" and "Charmed" all playing on the idea that one can via spells or incantations alter or bring about events,which is blatantly not true.The consistent diet proffered on the CEEFAX service of astrological telephone lines and tarot readings coupled with newspaper editor gullibility in soliciting the services of credulous nincompoops to write column centimetres (not inches) is causing a systematic erosion of the faculty of reason.It's ironic that it seems that the orthodox church thinks it holds reason and freewill in esteem,whilst purveying the grossest anathema to those attributes as a truth - namely God's existence. I'd hate to think that I found myself on the same side as orthodox Christianity,as we'd make the most unlikeliest of bedfellows.Nevertheless,if in this instance their objective coincides with mine,I won't reject their help. On the other hand,neither will I allow a common enemy to mean that they'll get their silly notions in via the back door! Please note orthodox types,witchypooery is not "evil" or "satanic",it is just a threat to reason and truth and the basis of a technologically progressive society,and it is upon this basis that I take issue with it.If your orthodox religion seeks to undermine reason (which invariably it does) I'll take issue with that too -LB]


Richard Dawkins : I wondered what the reality was for most of the people of this paranormal gathering.They've come to be "cured" by a Brazilian "psychic surgeon".He claims to be a medium,using the powers of helpers from the "spirit world".

[That's quite amazing since it doesn't exist! -LB]

The psychologist Richard Wiseman went along uninvited and was shocked by what he saw.

Richard Wiseman : We went along to look at some psychic surgeons that were operating in the middle of London.Now what these people were claiming was that no matter what the illness was,they could make various incisions into the body and release the bad spirits and the person would get well. We saw 16 people,one after the other come into the operating room,lay down,he would...they have their stomachs cut into - not deep cuts,but real cuts,with blood obviously over the surgeon's hands and instruments,then there'd just be some cotton wool placed over the cut,and they'd be sent on their way.
Now there was absolutely no medical procedures there in terms of sort of sterilising the instruments,or even washing the hands in between patients.Most of the people were there because they had some kind of serious illness.In fact a reporter who carried out the investigation with us,later found out that 2 of the people were HIV positive.Now there is enormous risks,obviously,with you know,cutting into those types of people,and then using the same instruments on other patients.

Brazilian : You must believe.

[Where have I heard that before? A Brazilian scientist on Radio 4 acknowledged his countrymen were less educated than more developed countries.Why then are people in the so-called developed countries adopting ideas that hail from underdeveloped and ill-educated countries,and claiming it is more valuable than our own? Can they not see that Brazil has problems with disease and poverty for a good reason? It's superstitious notions do not work,that's why we have the standard of living we do.Similarly in Africa,their ideas are not better because they are tribal peoples with fertility rites.They come to US for help.Not vice versa! These witch doctors are ignorant plebeians hoping to make a quick buck,and gullible Westerners fall for it! Idiots! -LB]


Richard Wiseman : I was horrified that this was going on in central London in 1995.It seems to me,it's an absolutely bizarre and ridiculous ritual that people are opening themselves out to all sorts of illnesses by going there.They are very unlikely to get better.So I think,you know,it's a very good example of exactly how dangerous a belief in the paranormal can be.

Richard Dawkins : Some patients claim they've been cured,but one woman called the police in hysterics,and the psychic team were banned from the premises.I think it's tragic when people fall for the specious charms of the paranormal.

Woman : He told me it would be alright!

Richard Dawkins : We scientists are clearly failing people,if they think they need answers in the psychic world.I believe that science is still the only way of finding answers to life's mysteries - that's why I write my books. The problem is the demand for 100% certainty.Take one of the most exciting discoveries of recent years,DNA fingerprinting,the achievement of Sir Alec Jeffreys.Like so many scientific breakthroughs,it was at once both marvellous and misunderstood.

Alec Jeffreys : DNA fingerprinting arose in this laboratory by complete accident. I mean I had no views back in the early 80s or even thoughts about forensic DNA typing,I mean it was crazy science fiction.

[In order then to stop any miscarriages of justice,by stopping DNA fingerprinting ever being loosed from Pandora's Box,one would have had to have policed Alec's mind to stop the line of inquiry,or stopped the whole area of genetics. This is the retrogressive Orwellian mind crime society that Brian Appleyard creates by default,by suggesting that we can stem progress to only those bits that we like.If we started on that road,we'd systematically have to tear down every fantastic achievement of man, leaving only the innocuous and useless parts,and moreover we'd have to kill off the means to achieve anything beyond the merest survival attributes of eating,defecating,and maybe whistling the odd tune. Clock turners luddites,naysayers,organic brayers,and crystalline ignoramuses have no idea what sort of damage they are doing.They are like a lobotomised bull in a China shop,destroying the intricate creativity of man's efforts.How dare they suggest that they are postulating "alternatives" and "more natural" scenarios. If I don't want GM crops then I will make use of the existing system,trashing them is the action of a mindless uninformed yob. Any human action is fraught with risks,you cannot get rid of them,only minimise them,and if it were left to the anti-science brigade we'd never do anything in case it was detrimental.Mankind progressed because he took risks,and we are now too sensitive to risk,because we are able to measure the most minute proportions and ratios. When Chernobyl or "Wormwood" as some would have it,blew up did the apocalypse happen,did the end of the world come to pass? No,as usual the doom-laden revelation peddling,rapturesque fruitloops were wrong again.The year 2000 passed without Christ's return and without any world catastrophe just as I predicted.Am I a soothsayer? Do I need clairvoyance? No,just common sense,and scientific knowledge,which triumphed again as it does time after time. So why not trust what works,and stop messing with what doesn't? -LB]

Richard Dawkins : At the time,Professor Jeffrey's was trying to study variation in human DNA to provide better markers,to help scientists study inherited illness and cancer.He developed a technique that used radioactivity to highlight variable regions in the DNA.He knew it would show different patterns for different people.But he was unprepared for just how different those patterns would be.

Alec Jeffreys : I think it was one morning...Monday morning in September 1984,and it was a moment of total "Eureka".I was in the darkroom,I pulled this bit of X-ray film out of the developing tank,and I can see all these radioactive bands on the X-ray film,you could see all this variation between people.Suddenly I realised that here was a technology where the application was completely different from what it had been developed for,which is medical genetics [Ie to do some "good" -LB].At that point I started to get really excited.These patterns are so variable that it was obvious you could use it for identity testing,we had a family group on the film,so we could see the family relationship testing,

[Note that paternity testing which exploits this technique can show whether the father is the true father. This is the same technique that shows apes are our cousins.No doubt those in the deep south who think that apes are not our cousins,have to undergo paternity tests at some point and use this technology and accept the results,thus showing what utter clods they are by saying we are not related to apes. Only someone with a brain close to that of a primate could accept paternity testing and reject evolution. One common mistake as far as apes are concerned,is to think we evolved FROM them. Fobb James in mocking the process of development shows his chronic ignorance,and shows himself for the fool that he is. Apes and humans share a common ancestor,that's why they coexist today,which for creationists trying to fathom the profound paradox (!) of apes still being alive,is why it isn't a paradox. Do they think scientists so stupid that they had made such a gross oversight? This is the kind of gross error peculiar to religious dogma,the real dilemmas are those created by assuming a God - -LB]

we had some non-human species on the film,and the system worked with those,so we could immediately see things like animal biology,dog paternity testing which is carried out believe it or not,conservation biology.So it was a wonderful moment,when my life suddenly changed completely in the space of about 5 minutes.Oh just..it was,you know,like a dog with far too many tails [I hate to carry out the paternity test on that dog! -LB] ,you know,running round the laboratory and getting some very juvenile....very excited...it was great fun. I have to say the first DNA fingerprint was truly awful,I mean you wouldn't hang a dog based on that evidence.

[Oddly,inherent in Alec's statement is the subliminal idea that a dog is a lower order of life than man,which contravenes Richard's own anti-speciesist arguments.I would also hope that no one would hang a dog for any reason,even if it was found guilty of a crime via DNA fingerprinting,which in that case presumably would be DNA paw printing! -LB]

But I'm an optimist in science,and I can see the potential,and indeed within a few months we'd refined the technology to produce really quite good and reliable DNA fingerprints.

Richard Dawkins : They were soon in use in the courts,to establish identity,but the way they were used points up how easy it is to misunderstand science.

[Note that it is not science that is at fault,but the misunderstanding and ignorance of it.The solution therefore is not to dispense with science,which has not created a problem,but to become informed about science,and dispel ignorance,which IS the source of the problem - LB]

Some lawyers leapt on the new technology as foolproof,and accepted DNA evidence without question - a dangerous thing to do with any evidence.While others just plain mistrusted it,and sought to undermine it.Untrained in science,the legal profession lurched from one extreme to the other.

Alec Jeffreys : Lawyers are somehow under the impression that scientists can deliver absolute certainty,and say "Yes we are 100% sure that",for example,"this biological evidence came from this defendant".I mean,that is naive,science does not work like that.Science never ever generates absolute proof.

Richard Dawkins : That should ring a bell.Scientific certainty is just what the politicians demanded in the mad cow crisis,and we've seen where that has led to. But does it matter if lawyers are naive about science? Well I'm on my way to see a man who's got an answer to that question.Institutional ignorance of science turned his life upside down.

Kevin Callan : When I realised what a life sentence meant,was when I got to Wakefield,which was about a week and a half after conviction,and I was called into the probation offices."Do you understand what a life sentence is?", she says to me,I says, "No",she said "Well you are now under the sentence of 99 years",and I shit myself.

[Please note that the use of Kevin's referral to excreta as a means of exclamation should not be construed as offensive,merely because it exists here,as it is reproduced in context and is therefore inoffensive.Anyone offended by its use is a sad donkey who cannot see that context changes the meaning and the potential offence of a word.Words are not inherently offensive. And if you go looking in the gutter,no doubt you'll find what you're looking for, as Mary Whitehouse did by watching "filthy" TV programmes. "We are all in the gutter,but some of us are looking at the stars" -Oscar Wilde -LB]


Richard Dawkins : In 1990 Kevin Callan was a lorry driver,living with his girlfriend Lesley,and her 4 year-old daughter Mandy, who had cerebral palsy.In November, Mandy became ill after a series of falls and died,apparently of a brain injury.In the midst of his grief,Kevin became caught up in a nightmare,he was accused of shaking Mandy to death.

Kevin Callan : The knocks come on the door and I now know him to be a DCI [One more letter and you could form DICK, presumably not the private variety,this word is not offensive either -LB] . He says "Can I have a word with you in the kitchen?", and I've gone in the kitchen with him and his partner and he says "I'm arresting you on suspicion of murder",and by this time I was stood with my back against the units in the kitchen and I literally slithered down them.I felt all the blood just go from me.

Richard Dawkins : The prosecution case rested on the diagnosis of Mandy's injuries.Brain injuries are the speciality of Neuropathology. But the prosecution only called on a paediatrician and a pathologist to testify.Their evidence pointed the finger at Kevin.The defence chose to rebut this by relying on two similar experts.

Kevin Callan : And then I asked my junior barrister,where my experts were when it came time for the defence,and he just turned round and told me to shut up,so then....

Richard Dawkins : Your own barrister told you to shut up?

Kevin Callan : Oh yeah,yeah...the end of the prosecution case came,it was our turn,and they've called me to the stand,which meant I was the only one from the defence to give evidence,no experts,nobody else but myself.

Richard Dawkins : Kevin's experts weren't called,because their diagnosis agreed with the prosecution.He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.Kevin set about proving that the law had got it wrong.He was not an educated man,but he began to teach himself neuropathology.

[Needs must as the devil drives so to speak! Kevin was doing an "Augusto Odone",and learning science under duress.When it becomes absolutely necessary people can and will do it. They shouldn't leave it so late.Had the lawyers bothered,then maybe Kevin wouldn't have been charged.This is ignorance of science causing a problem and the solution being demonstrated -knowledge of science -LB]

He spent months making detailed notes from text books.Then he found a book called "Head Injuries : The Facts",written by Philip Wrightson,a New Zealand neuropathologist.

Kevin Callan : From that,when I read it....I read it again and again,upside down back to front [It's best to read books the right way up, left to right,it minimises neck and eye strain -LB] any which way you could have read that book ,I read it,because in there was what happened to Mandy.

Richard Dawkins : Kevin sent Professor Wrightson the details of the case,including the autopsy notes.This good doctor wrote back at once demolishing the prosecution's scientific evidence.

Kevin Callan : He was quite heavy in condemnation of the evidence,"unjustifiable" was one word, "of course this is not so","impossible to justify" was another one,and they go on and on and on.

Richard Dawkins : Wrightson confirmed Kevin's story,for him,the evidence showed that Mandy had died from the fall,not from being shaken. Kevin was released and has since married (Kevin's release footage or "metre-age" plays with Kevin whooping with joy) Mandy's mother Lesley.But an innocent man spent 4 years in jail,because all the lawyers involved in his case did not realise a brain injury needs a brain expert,until a new team took up his appeal.

Mike Mansfield QC : Nobody,absolutely nobody had understood the particular expertise that was required in this case. The original solicitor,the original barristers on both sides,did not appreciate this.The judge at the trial did not appreciate it.

Kevin Callan : They're the ones who as a defendant or should I say ex-defendant,who you place your...well yeah literally,your whole life in,and if they don't know what they're talking about,your case cannot therefore be presented in the proper way.

Mike Mansfield : There must be a very substantial number of people sitting in prison now,who are sitting there,because forensic science has played a major part in their conviction, and, furthermore that that forensic science may have been flawed.

Richard Dawkins : I suspect that if lawyers were more familiar with science,they'd be fewer miscarriages of justice.It's just another powerful argument for society to take science more seriously. There are so many reasons for making science a part of our lives and I don't want to dwell on the negative ones.So let's get out of the courtroom and into something more rewarding.Join me after the break.
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
bigvlada
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Postod bigvlada » Čet Mar 12, 2009 9:17 am

Breaking the Science Barrier - Part3

(Classical sound track plays)

Richard Dawkins : This is the University museum in Oxford.It's full of the most wonderful objects, skeletons, rocks and fossils,which tell us something about how we came to be.That's why I love this place,it's a spiritual home for me.

[This is the sense in which I call myself a "spiritual person" - not believing in spirits any more than Richard does.But like him, having a sense of profound awe and wonder at the universe and man's relationship with it. I suspect most theists know what I'm talking about.What might surprise them however,is that an scientifically orientated atheist,can appreciate this aspect of life -LB]
If you let it,science offers the best answer to the deep questions of existence."Who am I ? Where did I come from? What am I for?".It'll illuminate the world you live in and show you where you stand in the universe.
[Contrary to Appleyard's whining,Steven Hawking has a righteous claim to make comments about God,man and his place in the universe.It is testimony to how insignificant Brian Appleyard's relationship is with science,that he thinks it isn't scientists place to speak of such things. I've not read Brian's book "Misunderstanding the Present" or "Speaking through the wrong orifice" or whatever it's called.I have it on good authority that Brian makes some kind of sense and has been wrongly castigated.But Paul Davies's rebuttal at www.edge.org is enough for me.This won't however stop me from reading his book should I get the opportunity, since everyone's innocent until proven guilty.But I have heard Brian speak,and he made about as much sense as Graham Hancock(-and bull),with the exception of articulating the ethical/moral dilemma component which worries everyone -LB]
We haven't long between the beginning and the end of our personal existence.Science offers us the privilege before we die of understanding why we were ever born in the first place.
[Note that this isn't very useful perhaps,but it certainly is something to be valued.You can't put a price on understanding -LB]
I look for understanding to the study of evolution,to Darwin's astonishingly powerful explanation for all of life.It satisfies my head and my heart.Others find their satisfaction in different areas,but wherever scientists are looking,they are all asking the same kind of question.

David Attenborough : I ,as a boy,lived in Leicestershire,and in that part of Leicestershire you can go into a quarry and you can find a stone,and if you knock that stone open you see a seashell in the middle of it.
[So God hid seashells inside stones for what reason? Or do creationists accept fossilisation? If so then the world is clearly older than 10,000 years and thus the bible is bunk. Or was this another one of "prankster" God's little jests for his puerile amusement? -LB]
And if you're a boy of reasonable curiosity you say "How is there a stone with a sea shell in the middle of it in the middle of a rock?" and you want to know why,and that's how I became interested in the Natural Sciences. Now I may do a programme about birds of paradise,in which you are...your mind is blown because birds of paradise do such extraordinary, wonderful, amazing, beautiful, astonishing, unpredictable things. It becomes science if you then say "Why do they do those things? Why do they do them as a family only in New Guinea? Why is the family only in New Guinea? And why is it that birds of paradise have males,only one out of a population will fertilise all the other females,and what are the consequences of that on the evolution of the species?". Then it becomes science.It is a question which anybody who is...starts off with that excitement about birds of paradise,wants to know the answer,just as I did when I opened a rock and said "Why is there a shell there?".

Richard Dawkins : When we contemplate the colour,variety and complexity of the living world,it's easy to understand the satisfaction a scientist gets from studying it. Equally when we regard space in its lonely majesty,we can appreciate why astronomers devote a lifetime to exploring the stars,and where they came from.

Jocelyn Bell-Burnell : Astronomy certainly has me hooked.I'm talking about the immensities of the universe,not just the distances,but the number of stars,that there are,stars like our Sun,the possibility that there are other stars like our Sun,with planets,some of which might be inhabitable,some of which might be inhabited,so the idea that maybe we're not alone in the universe.The concept that our Sun will not be around forever.That one day it will begin to die and the Earth will become uninhabitable.
[No doubt as that day approaches the apocalyptic nutcases will be trotting out their tired old stories and proclaiming finally that the bible was correct in predicting the downfall of mankind!! Of course scientists know approximately the actual date of the end of the Earth from this scenario and it does not comply at all with bible BS. Jocelyn and Rick set me thinking,if these things are common to all people,then why do so many resent science. One reason might be that of the crop circle hoaxer- that some think ignorance is bliss,whereas as Rick has shown it's actually dangerous and detrimental to both an individual's and society's health. Referring to Whitman's "On hearing the Learn'd Astronomer", the romantic conception fills the world with fantasy notions and poetic comprehension,which is thence destroyed by science.As Rick says,the awe and wonder is not taken away but enlightened. I think the resentment comes from not being able to pursue things to the extent to which scientists do,it's jealousy. I'm sure that most people would like to actually find out about the things that interest them in more depth but are put off by an elitism that pervades the scientific establishment, and it's arcane symbols and complex arguments. As Richard Gregory shows in his "Exploratory" and as I've seen at our own Science and Industry Museum,once lay people are given the chance they do embrace scientific ideas,but perhaps have difficulty in following the thread or seeing how the conclusions are drawn.There may be some truth in the idea that published books for the lay public are shelved as status symbols or as an indication that the person is better read than they are,but at least it indicates that scientists are not remiss in trying to inform the public.I don't buy the idea that scientists are not trying hard enough to overcome scientific illiteracy,I think they've bent over backwards.It's now time for the public to knuckle down and accept responsibility for the society they've created,and become conversant with the language that created it. The only further thing I can see scientists doing is opening up the closed of corridors of academia and allowing the public to get a hands on -first hand account of what scientists are doing and why they are doing it,in order to do that,the public would have to be at least basically informed about fundamental ideas,or as John Durant suggests,basic principles,so that they do not ask inane and stupid or irrelevant questions. Some of the most vexing questions come from theists who have taken the time and trouble to be conversant with science,and make the likes of Fobb James look like a spoilt child having a tantrum because it can't get it's own way.Outright rejection through fear of something you don't understand and have never tried to,is no way to deal with anything,and just because something is difficult doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile doing.Challenges are usually more rewarding. Science sets the human mind the challenge of a lifetime as Rick suggests,to reach into the universe,and witness one's place in it. I don't see how anything else could offer anything greater than that -LB]
So we are transient people here,we are not here permanently,we cannot be here permanently.We will have to climb into space ships and go explore the universe and find another place to live.
( Choir sings)

Richard Dawkins : Science doesn't have to be big to be beautiful,or even beautiful to be rewarding.These tiny apparently unprepossessing insects are a case in point.They are fruit flies,and they are full of secrets. Matthew Freeman has been studying fruit flies day in and day out since he graduated 10 years ago.He'd be the first to admit it can be a slog!

Matthew Freeman : A lot of science is day to day grind and not at all exciting,and sometimes when you get up on a Monday morning,you think "Oh God,I don't want to go into the lab again"
[Don't appeal to him,he won't help you! -LB].But occasionally you get a little spark of insight into something which you know that no-one has done before.You understand some process,however small it is,in a way that you've been trying to battle to understand for a while,and in a way that no-one has done before,and I think that is really the key to the excitement.

Richard Dawkins : But in Dr Freeman's case,the spark of insight was not so little.He's discovered something in fruit flies that may lead to a treatment for human cancer.
[Note here that again there is an inherent idea that fruit flies can be used as "guinea pigs" as it were,for the benefit of human beings.In his "Meet my cousin the chimpanzee" article Rick's speciesism argument suggests we shouldn't automatically think like this.Perhaps the cases represented here come under the heading "one can make a case for human priority". Nevertheless,with the absurd news that dead bodies maybe in future anaesthetised in case brain dead body "feels pain" whilst being an organ donor,it somehow seems incongruous for Matt to glibly decapitate a fruit fly as he does in this programme,in pursuing a potential cure for cancer. No doubt those with cancer would say "I don't care how many flies die in order to cure my cancer",but this is exactly the speciesist argument that Rick presented. If you substitute "human" for "flies" people would think you a Nazi creating a holocaust. Of course their values do not equate human life with that of a fly,but as far as DNA is concerned there is no difference. Our pompous human brain presupposes using our own human values that human life is worth more,says who? We do of course,how arrogant can you get? If an alien being treated us like fruit flies,why should we grumble if we adopt the speciesist view? We wouldn't have a leg to stand on...literally -LB]
And that started with finding a fly on my microscope that didn't have a normal eye.Instead of having a very smooth regular pattern of the facets of the compound eye.It was very disrupted and rough,we called it.
[Question: If an omnipotent super designer made the universe, why did he invent lots of different eyes,some of which are better than others? Surely a perfect designer would make a single design which was the ultimate in seeing power? God isn't very good at this universe making lark is he? Contrary to our eye proving a designer,a fly's eye proves there is no designer.And further the imperfections in the eye that Matt found show that Nature is imperfect and therefore not the product of an omnipotent designer.Evolution and genetics however account for these imperfections,as trials and mutations and variations which may or may not be beneficial. Nature is just trying all the LEGO bricks in combination and seeing which one's work and which don't in a physical universe of laws -LB]
And so immediately I was interested to try and understand why this fly's eye hadn't developed normally.

Richard Dawkins : So Dr Freeman launched himself on the task of solving the problem.First he had to breed a strain of fruit fly which had disrupted eyes.The next challenge was to find out which genes were causing the mutation.
[In order to get a trait to show itself in a population,it may be necessary to back cross populations or individuals rather as one selectively breeds a dog or a plant.Those not carrying the trait then become of no relevance to bringing that trait to the fore. One argument that was put to me about these circumstances,was that scientists were "fudging the results" by selecting only the one's they wanted and throwing the rest away,and that in some way this was "cheating" and being unscrupulous in the way they arrived at the results.Apart from displaying a chronic lack of understanding the genetic process,what this suggests is that somehow the scientist has anything to gain by cheating. Of course if one is after prestige notoriety or fame or money,one can manipulate figures.As is shown in cromsome.html Millikan chose data to fit his preconceptions,and peer pressure can operate to stop people questioning the results of an authoritarian figure.But in this case no one stands to learn anything by cheating,and the unnecessary organisms are discarded. This must seem unusually callous to outside observers,and as above appear as a holocaust and a disrespect for life of Nazi proportions. I sympathise. But plant breeders have been doing this for ages,and one is forced variously to argue the pros and cons of the conscious awareness of various life forms and of their treatment on moral and ethical grounds,and not just squeamishly fall into auto pilot and claim it is just "wrong". Such areas are subject to value judgements and can't easily be seen to be just "right" and "wrong". Of course theists think they know what right and wrong are,and play upon our gut instincts and intuitions to presume that their texts have significance to us all. Not so. Great philosophers have harangued over this and still failed to come to any definitive answers,it is unlikely that some fretting,teary eyed emotional hand clenching wreck is going to outwit them in a single outburst at the loss of life. Don't get me wrong,I value life,perhaps moreso than the next person,and I don't like the casual disregard that people such as Matt have for it,but I.like he,am intrigued by the deformity,and if there was any way to study it without causing death,then I'd prefer that. I don't think Matt is the kind of guy that used to get pleasure out of removing spiders leg's as a boy,but by the same token I don't think the opposition to such uncontrolled curiosity should go unheard either. I am certain we cannot "play God" since there is no God to play.We are under our own recognisance, and this is a heavy responsibility which should not be taken lightly.We cannot and should not stem science's actions,but science should be subject to the scrutiny of an informed public,so that they can decide if something should or should not be done.Having said that would you wish a neurosurgeon to consult a hair stylist as to whether he should perform an operation on you? The experts are best informed,and so should be listened to, and as Rick suggests - questioned, people should not just acquiesce because an "expert" tells them something is so.They should know enough to test the expert,as Kevin Callan did - LB]
Then,when he and his team knew roughly what they were looking for they analysed the actual genetic code,in a process rather like genetic fingerprinting.Three years later they found the answer.The development of eye cells was controlled by a type of protein called a receptor.If this was over active it produced too many eye cells,giving the disrupted eye Dr Freeman had seen under the microscope.

Matthew Freeman : It was a very exciting moment,because as I say for 2-3 years I had built up this idea that that might be what was going on,and so at the moment when I really started to allow myself to believe it was therefore tremendously exciting.
[Contrast this with the "believe it first" mentality of mystics and theists. Matt has "allowed himself" to believe it only after there is reason to do so.This suggests that his tendency to believe is controlled by a higher function,governing what will and won't be believed. This scrutinising of the validity of something before accepting it,appears to be absent in the credulous gullible people that Rick describes.They think they can believe anything they wish with no vetting procedure at all,and that it is up to SOMEONE ELSE to disprove it!! The scientific method maximises truth,by testing against reality,and only accepting after reality and the brain model (theory) comply or are consistent with one another. Contrariwise a theistic or mystic position NEVER tests itself against reality,or bends reality to conform with the brain model. This is a "warped reality" in a very real sense,and in principle cannot be true.Thus Rick is correct in suggesting science is the ONLY way to understand the world -LB]


Richard Dawkins : Of course the health of his fruit flies wasn't what was exciting Dr Freeman. He takes the view that one cell works pretty much the same way as another,in fruit flies chimpanzees or humans.
[In fact Matt maybe guilty of very much the same impoverished view that caused Kevin Callan's problems. Mae Wan Ho in "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" (see trans.html -Miller doc) posits the view that mathematics suggests,that a cell acts differently in a different organism,and that the cell acting the same no matter where it is, is a misguided view. This is one area where perhaps the issues are not clear cut.We know that Thalidomide caused terrible problems in humans whilst tested on rabbits.The problems being due to the "chirality" or handedness of the molecule involved. So there is precedent for supposing that the environment that a cell is in, affects what it does.This is possibly true in growth and development and in the brain,I think it's broadly true to say that (some) cells alter their behaviour depending on what other cells they are near,otherwise differentiation (the formation of brain/spine/organs etc) would never take place (whether under chemical influence or not),and a body would comprise a glob of similar cells. I'm not a cellular biologist,but I have heard Lois Wolpert speak on this which by no means makes me an "expert",but it's suggestive that moving a cell from one place to another and expecting the same result is not necessarily true. Conversely,because cells are made of chemicals whose basic properties are essentially understood,for the most part one cell is much like another,from animal to animal,so that eye tissue in a rabbit presumably is like eye tissue in a human.Note also the potential for rejection of animal organ transplants compared with human ones,as the immune system recognises the difference. I think it rather naive to toy with aeons of evolution and just move cells or organs between species. Either way there are arguments both ways,and this is one of those things where there currently isn't a "right" answer,and thus it is incumbent to actually know some science to take the "experts" to task over it,in case you need a transplant,or have cancer and are put up for fruit fly therapy!! -LB]
And indeed the fruit fly receptor is present in all kinds of human cells too - "Eureka"!
[It's thus necessary to understand the nature of a "receptor" and it's chemical make-up in order to decide whether there is any danger from changing which organism you're inside,or whether in fact there is little or no danger because the receptor has sufficient commonality between organisms. It's too late to wait until your life is in jeopardy or you are threatened with a 99 year sentence to figure out what a receptor is and does,and moreover it is interesting to find out,and that should be reward enough,and nevermind any "uses" that may come from it. The understanding provides the same kind of self satisfaction that one gets from painting a picture or making music.One prides oneself on a job well done,and upon one's own ability to achieve the end product,this has no monetary value -LB]

Matt Freeman : When that receptor is over active in humans that causes cancer.So having started with nothing but looking under my microscope at a fruit fly with a disrupted eye,which doesn't have its normal nice smooth eye pattern,I've come up with this protein,that may in the future be important in understanding and treating human cancer.
[Thus is shown the sense in investing in pure research.It's like an insurance policy,you're not leaving the future to chance,but like a squirrel storing nuts,making provision for when something unexpected happens.This is what renders humans robust in the survival stakes,we plan for the future,perhaps more than most other creatures (Greenfield) -LB]

Richard Dawkins : Most of us couldn't do this,probably wouldn't want to - spend hours and hours in a lab with a lot of flies.But you don't need to be a scientist,in order to appreciate science,any more than you need to be a novelist in order to appreciate novels.I write the books that I do because I want to share my love of the natural world. As Carl Sagan said,"Not explaining science,seems to me perverse,when you're in love,you want to tell the world". And many scientists like me,have tried to tell the world,though even their best selling science books don't grab the headlines like novels.This collection belongs to my friend Douglas Adams,creator of "The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy".
[Amongst those books,was John Allen Paulos's "Innumeracy", and if Doug is humble enough to accept he can learn more about numbers,so can everyone else -LB]
Douglas was an English graduate,but these days it's not great novels he turns to first. Douglas Adams I think I read much more science than novels. I think that,you know, the role of the novel has changed a little bit. You know in the 19th century the novel was where you went to,to get you sort of serious reflections and questionings about life,you get Tolstoy and Dostoievsky.
[And that's perhaps why the likes of Brian Appleyard have a foul taste in their mouths.Their "domain" just like the religious arena has been pushed back to a smaller piece of the playing field,and they resent it. The smart cookies,rather than act like a precocious child are accommodating science and thriving on it.Writers like A.S Byatt,Doug Adams and Terry Pratchett seek to work in science into their novels rather than reject it as an unwarranted intrusion. Science IS our culture and not to write about it would mean that our culture wasn't worth writing about,and IT IS. Such writers have a quaint attitude rather like a child facing some new experience in the world or a non swimmer dipping their toe in the shallow end for the first time,wary of what might be the consequence.But I'd rather see the romantic intellectuals come to terms with science,as opposed to resent it for having stolen some perceived hallowed ground -LB]
Nowadays of course,you know,the scientists actually tell us much much more about such issues than you'd ever get from a novelist.
[Unless the novelist happened to be a scientist,or the novelist became versed in science -LB]
So I think,you know, for the real sort of solid red meat of what I read,I'll go to science books,and read sort of novels as light relief.
[It's ironic that Doug describes the major part of his reading as "red meat" considering the scene of the cow/pig animal in Hitchikers,that gets around vegetarian ethical foibles by being happy to be eaten,the account of which he reads aloud in Rick's RI lecture! -LB]


Richard Dawkins : So let me ask you,what is it about science that really gets your blood running?

Douglas Adams : The world is a thing of utter, inordinate, complexity and richness and strangeness that is absolutely awesome. I mean that the idea that such complexity can arise not only out of such simplicity,but probably absolutely out of nothing,
[Do creationists think that an Oxford Graduaate is so stupid that he accepts this without good reason? Doug like all other smart people has read how it can happen and understands it.It is no more farcical than "God did it",and much less so since there is a line of argument then draws that conclusion -LB]
is the most fabulous, extraordinary idea,and once you get some kind of inkling of how that might have happened, it's just wonderful,and I feel that,you know,the opportunity to spend 70-80 years of your life in such a universe is time well spent,as far as I'm concerned.

Richard Dawkins : I quite agree,which brings me back to my passion - evolution.I never stop being amazed by the immense age of our world and what it means,I've tried to pass this on to others.Today I'm visiting pupils at an Oxford school,I hope they and you share my enthusiasm. Right,does anybody know what evolution is very roughly have you ever heard of it? Yeah? It's why we're all here,it's where we come from,because way,way,way back we all started as bacteria,and then as the generations went by,we got bigger and bigger and cleverer and cleverer,and we went though all sorts of stages gradually until we are like we are now. So first we want somebody to be themselves today,who would like to be themselves today?
[Here Rick is trying to get a student to represent chronologically, modern man,but by the way the question is phrased,one might expect the whole class to answer "Me" by default! It might be worrying if some students would prefer to be somebody else today! -LB]
Okay would you like to stand here? Now I'm going to make one metre
[Note that Rick has switched to metric,perhaps it's all my catcalling!! -LB]
equal one millennium.So one millennium back,that's one metre,do you know who we get back to there? About William the Conqueror.So would you like to be William the Conqueror? Boy : Okay.

Richard Dawkins : Okay.Okay now who wants to be Jesus Christ? I think...let's have a girl for Jesus Christ shall we? What about you?
[Careful Rick,don't upset the bible bashers,they might be the the one's to cast the first stone! -LB]
So you stand another millennium back. And so on until all 5000 years of recorded history back to the earliest Babylonian civilisation were represented by six children a metre apart.
[Those who think the millennium happened on 2000,should try to figure out why 5000 years is represented by 6 children,and not 5 -LB]
But we needed to go back further into evolutionary history.
[Fobb James makes the absurd suggestion that only thousands of years occur between changes from ape to man.He is using his absurd 4,000 - 10,000 year scale.Note that the Babylonians were MEN alive 5000 years ago,and they were not apes.Seemingly Fob fails to comprehend the massive amounts of time that evolution works through,that is why no "new species" has developed recently,and of course what is a "species" exactly is a matter of classification -LB]
First stop Homo Habilis,2 million years ago.Where's he got to stand?
[Homo Habilis then is direct evidence that the Bible's account of the age of the Earth is grossly inaccurate.Carbon 14 radio dating testifies to the age of the fossilised remains.In order for this to be in error,God must have fixed radioactive decay just to fool human beings.He is therefore a prankster and not to be trusted.If he didn't fix it,then the date is accurate and the bible is wrong.Either way,God fails,so he is trashed as an explanation -LB]
....2000 metres away,that'll take you sort of roughly the top of Headington Hill,okay off you go!
[The child proceeds to the door as if the request was not in jest.]
Ramapathecus lived 14 million years ago...... And as we delved further and further back in time,so our scale became more and more ludicrous,
[So much so that I fear it's pertinence became lost on the young schoolchildren.We know that very young minds have difficulties making comparisons with size and confuse the concept with how much room an object takes up.Later though it seems that the scaling factor is not lost on them.Still it is something to aware of when teaching these ideas -LB]
and the children were having to disappear to the four corners of the country. Oligocyphus......Ipswich! To save on the rail fares,I tried another tack to get the message across. So what I want you to do is to hold out you one hand,it doesn't matter which,let's say your right hand,right,and the distance from your middle to the tip of your finger represents all the time since life began,that's 4000 million years.
[Not bad creationists,your only out by a factor of a million! -LB]
Can anybody guess,roughly where say the dinosaurs were on this scale? Yes? Student : On the wrist?

Richard Dawkins : Yeah,that's not bad.It's surprisingly recent,and all of historical time,that's Jesus and King David and the Pyramids and ancient Babylon,the ancient Egyptians,all that time,everything you've ever learned about in history,where do you think that will come? Student : This far away from the tip of your finger?

Richard Dawkins : No,no,no,it's much further than that.Why d'you think I handed out those nail files? You get your nail file and get your middle finger and just do one stroke of the nail file,and look at the dust that falls from your nail,and you might see a few grains of dust that fall from the tip of your nail,and the whole of human history has fallen in the dust from one stroke of the nail file. Girl : I thought it was really interesting.It was sort of not really like some talks I've been to which are just really boring,it was really fun,but it gave us a lot of information as well.
[A straw poll of 2 discovered that our own school talks were considered "boring" as well,and this begs the question of what children find interesting.Rick's talk made used of his stand up models of the various Homo relatives and involved the children in the process of placing them. Richard Gregory at the Exploratory has found that allowing children to experiment for themselves rather than talking engages their interest and allows them to develop their own ideas.This may have the drawback of allowing those false preconceptions to develop that later science has to demolish when it is seen as "counter intuitive". What occurred to me that may help is putting on plays. Children have watched Punch and Judy sideshows with seeming glee and involvement for ages.The factor seem to be social relevance. What inspires an adult maybe unfamiliar to a child,and they may not be turned onto black holes and other abstract ideas.What may engage them however is the reenactment of the story surrounding a scientific discovery utilising stage performances.This would exploit both drama,the arts and science.It seems to work well when the BBC create "Longitude" and the Jeff Goldblum recreation of the Crick/Watson story. Score 2 points to Jeff in the "Jewish conspiracy theory".The other as Chaotician Ian Malcolm. In both cases he did a sterling job of trying to create accurate or trendy representations of scientists.Presumably any faith's theism hopefully doesn't preclude them from all of science ( I do wonder though how they reconcile the two),but the partial accommodation of things like evolution,like the man from Alabama,seems to result from trying to maintain two mutually exclusive scenarios,then you end up with the kind of hybrid that those in the deep south detest.A mishmash,an allotropic chimera,a mixture neither one thing nor the other.Either accept the supernatural or don't,don't try and mix the two together in some kind of hotch potch conglomeration of having to accept science under duress,because it's so obvious and you can't argue with it.If you've accepted some it,it's because the principle works,and so the rest must have credibility also. Thus anyone who is both a theist and a scientist,is either fooling themselves or has some pretty darned clever arguments - God is in a parallel universe isn't one of them -LB]
Boy : I didn't actually realise that my relatives were bacteria.If you just take a nail file and do that
[strokes nail]
,and that's how long the human race has been alive,I was really surprised about that.I thought the human race had been alive for...since the beginning of things had been alive.
[What's notable from this (and Does Science Matter?) is that where no definitive statements are made about a situation,the uninformed brain fills in the gap on the basis of observed evidence.So the boy being given no information about the time humans have been alive, assumes by default that we have always been here.Similarly,those questioned in "Does Science Matter?" say that the Sun goes round the Earth,and that the orbit of Sun/Earth takes 24 hours. In lieu of other information,intuitively it looks like the Sun goes round the Earth.Night and day are seen to be because the Sun goes round us,and everyone knows a day is 24 hrs long.Jane Gregory suggests that a "deficit model" is not true.How else do you explain their brain filling in a deficit? Given the above,the absurd notion that the Earth takes 24 hours to orbit the Sun makes a kind of Willy Wonka kind of sense. Human beings are going of what they observe,rather than what they understand.Similarly the incapacity to understand chance by those believing the paranormal,could be seen as them making up a Willy Wonka topsy turvy observed chance. The idea that the outcome of a tossed coin affects the subsequent one or that it can be influenced perhaps come about through not testing to show the flaw in the initial assumption.This tends to suggest that the initial state is the intuitive or "wrong" state,and that in some way the "unnaturalness" or counter intuitive nature of science is as Rick stated -LB]


Richard Dawkins : Like most scientists I'm a realist,but I'm also a bit of a romantic.It's something I share with my wife Lalla Ward
[Jocelyn could very well have located the TARDIS since Lalla use to be Dr Who -Tom Baker's other half -LB],who now illustrates my books. I appreciate there are people who think they need something more than science can offer,something frankly undefinable.But I think science does offer all we need,not just to understand the "how" of life,with it's great richness and complexity.For me science goes as far as we meaningfully can go towards answering the "why" as well.
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
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Postod bigvlada » Čet Mar 26, 2009 9:48 am

Damjan Krstajić, mladi srpski naučnik čije znanje cene i u svetu
Modeli zamenjuju skupe oglede
Autor: M. Petrović | Foto:Z.Šafar | 26.03.2009. - 05:00

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Od velike braće i grandioznih zvezda, jedna mala vest nikako ne može u Srbiji da dođe na red za objavljivanje: Damjan Krstajić (37) i saradnici osvojili su prvo mesto na svetskom konkursu za izradu matematičkog modela koji će najbolje predviđati ponašanje određenog leka u organizmu pacijenta. A Damjan nije daleko od novinara, živi i radi u Beogradu.

Ukratko: ubrzo posle diplomiranja na beogradskom PMF - završio je studije matematike u 28. godini jer je uporedo i radio - uputio se u Mančester kod rođaka. Odatle je tražio, i brzo našao, posao u jednoj tek osnovanoj maloj firmi koja se bavila biotehnologijom.
„U to vreme, 1999. godine, razvoj računarstva doživljavao je bum, i firma se razvijala. Ja sam radio na matematičkim modelima hemijskih struktura koje se koriste u farmaciji, konkretnije u mogućem leku za tumore.“
Supruga, lekar, u Engleskoj je završila specijalizaciju, zaposlila se, dobili su i ćerku - a onda su se 2005. godine vratili u Srbiju.
„Objektivno, u Engleskoj su uslovi za život bolji: posao, zdravstvena zaštita, obrazovanje... Ali u Beogradu je bolje subjektivno“, smeje se.
Zahvaljujući internetu, nastavio je da radi honorarno za svoju bivšu firmu, a onda je, zahvaljujući stečenom iskustvu, uspostavio saradnju sa Onkološkim institutom Univerziteta u Njukaslu. Naime, timovi koji tragaju za lekom protiv raka sastavljeni su od biologa, hemičara, lekara - i matematičara.
Pre tri godine Damjan Krstajić osnovao je u Beogradu Istraživački centar za hemijsku informatiku. U njemu je dvoje zaposlenih, on i koleginica, a angažuju i spoljne saradnike. Damjan ističe i podršku prof. Branislava Uzelca i dipl. inž. Gorana Miloševića, članova UO, kao i prof. dr Dejvida Lihija iz Njukasla... U Centru se, na računarima, prave matematički modeli koji predviđaju kako će se potencijalni lek ponašati u organizmu: koliko će se dugo zadržati u telu, za koliko vremena se apsorbuje, kako se rastvara...
Farmaceutska industrija na ovaj način postiže ogromne uštede, jer se smanjuje broj eksperimenata, a dobija se i na vremenu - jedan matematički model zamenjuje tromesečne oglede. I još: pod pritiskom javnosti EU je donela odluku da se smanji broj eksperimenata na životinjama, a to je moguće jedino uz pomoć matematike.
U januaru ove godine, zahvaljujući pokazanim rezultatima, beogradski Istraživački centar za hemijsku informatiku uspostavio je saradnju i sa dva instituta u Londonu.
„Mi smo privatna organizacija i ne dobijamo sredstva iz budžeta. A bavimo se izvozom znanja. Svet je mnogo otvoreniji za saradnju nego što mi mislimo, treba samo probati... Globalizacija ima mnogo negativnih strana, ali i neke dobre, između ostalog i slobodno tržište znanja. Poslodavcu su bitne tri stvari: kvalitet, brzina i cena. Prva dva uslova zadovoljavamo znanjem, a treći znači da smo manje plaćeni nego što bismo bili u Engleskoj“, kaže Damjan Krstajić, dodajući da mladi iz Srbije svakako treba da sa više smelosti nastupaju u svetu.
Pobedu na svetskom konkursu na sajtu www. qsarworld.com, koji je trajao od decembra prošle godine do marta, doživljava kao veliko priznanje. Ali naglašava: „Mi nemamo mogućnost da grešimo, ili da radimo loše - naši rad je neprestano na proveri.“

Uspešan i u hobiju
Godinama već Damjan Krstajić bavi se i gljivarstvom. Član je Asocijacije gljivara i saradnik na monografiji „Gljive Srbije i Zapadnog Balkana“, čiji je autor prof. Branislav Uzelac. Reč je o kapitalnom delu za koje je prilog dao i svetski poznati fotograf prirode Rodžer Filips.

Izvor: Blic
http://www.blic.rs/reportaza.php?id=85218
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
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Postod bigvlada » Pon Mar 30, 2009 8:08 am

Veštački mišići napravljeni od gela
Autor: P. Đ. | 29.03.2009. - 00:01


Gel lagan kao vazduh, rastegljiv poput gume i čvršći od čelika, savija se poput ljudskog mišića. Kada se kroz njega propusti električna energija, javljaju se kontrakcije kao kod ljudskog mišića. Veštački mišić napravljen od ovog gela biće višestruko jači od ljudskog, a napravili su ga američki istraživači s Univerziteta Teksas u Dalasu.

Slojevi ovog gela mogu da izdrže skoro 12 puta veće opterećenje od ljudskih mišića. „Aerogel“ je sačinjen od duguljastih traka ugljenikovih nanocevčica, odnosno minijaturnih, šupljih, ugljenikovih cevi. Pod uticajem električne energije, materijal se može rastezati čak 220 odsto više od prvobitne dužine i širine, i sve to u milisekundi.
– Kad se jednom nalije na predmet, gel se „stvrdne“ istog trena. Slojevi ovog gela su poput gume, čija je gustina kao kod gasovitih materija, a izdržljivost je veća i od čeličnih ploča – kaže dr Rej Bauman, šef istraživačkog tima.
Problem koji onemogućava praktičnu primenu ovog gela je što su trake veoma „krute“ kada se gel isteže. On ostane u tom rastegnutom obliku jer su sile koje bi ga vratile u prvobitno stanje skoro milion puta slabije od onih koje ga razvuku. Ovaj problem odlaže primenu u praksi, ali dr Džon Maden, kanadski inženjer, smatra da se problem može rešiti povećavanjem gustine traka, kao i brojem veza između susednih vlakana.

Izvor: Blic
http://www.blic.rs/blic_it.php?id=85699

Dobro, i pored polupismenog članka i slike terminatora koju sam obrisao, mislim da ćete shvatiti šta je pisac hteo da kaže. Premisa je jako interesantna i poklapa se sa pisanjima mnogih pisaca naučne fantastike, tj. da će postojati dve kategorije implanata - organskih i mehaničkih a da ćemo potrebne birati prema ličnom afinitetu.

koga interesuje, članak koji malo bolje objašnjava vrste aerogela, materijala koji smo već pominjali

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerogel
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Postod bigvlada » Pon Mar 30, 2009 8:10 am

Britanci pred prekretnicom u transfuziologiji
Uskoro veštačka krv
Autor: J. S. | 29.03.2009. - 00:01


Ako naučnici uspeju da iz matičnih ćelija embriona preostalih iz veštačke oplodnje naprave univerzalnu „sintetičku“ krv, muke lekara zbog manjka krvi za transfuziju postaće prošlost. Teoretski, jedan embrion mogao bi da zadovolji potrebe cele nacije. Britanci upravo počinju prva testiranja.

Ovo istraživanje, koje upravo počinje u Velikoj Britaniji i trajaće naredne tri godine, moglo bi da označi veliku prekretnicu u transfuziologiji. Projekat predviđa testiranje embriona koji su preostali iz programa veštačke oplodnje kako bi se otkrili oni koji su genetski programirani da se razviju u nultu negativnu krvnu grupu, odnosno univerzalnog davaoca. Ta „sintetička“ krv bi mogla da se proizvodi u neograničenim količinama iz embrionalnih matičnih ćelija zbog njihove sposobnosti da se beskonačno razmnožavaju u laboratoriji, tvrde naučnici. Krv koja bude proizvedena tokom trogodišnjeg istraživanja biće, kako je planirano, iskorišćena u hitnim slučajevima. Ono što je važno imati u vidu, osim da će moći da je primaju pripadnici svih krvnih grupa, jeste da ovako dobijena krv ne može biti zaražena hepatitisom, HIV-om, „kravljim ludilom“ i drugim bolestima koje se mogu preneti putem transfuzije.
Ovaj trogodišnji projekat, vredan više miliona funti, predvodi škotska Nacionalna služba za transfuziju krvi, a u njemu će učestvovati i britanska organizacija koja se bavi transplantacijom organa „NHS Blood and Transplant“, kao i „Wellcome Trust“, najveća svetska dobrotvorna medicinska ustanova koja će obezbediti prvih tri miliona funti. Irska vlada je takođe najavila pomoć.
Na čelu projekta je prof. Mark Tarner s Edinburškog univerziteta, koji je ujedno direktor škotske Nacionalne službe za transfuziju.
– Krećemo s radom čim stignu konačna odobrenja od relevantnih istraživačkih tela. Imaćemo dokaz da je ovako nešto moguće za nekoliko godina, ali realno, ovakav tretman biće moguć tek za pet do 10 godina – kaže prof. Tarner.
Naučnici su već dokazali da je moguće od matične ćelije uzete iz embriona u ranoj fazi razvoja razviti u laboratoriji „odraslu“ ćeliju krvi.
I američka firma „Advanced Cell Technology“ uspela je da proizvede milijarde ćelija crvenih krvnih zrnaca iz krvi embriona na isti način. Sada je izazov preneti i povećati proizvodnju krvi i preneti je iz laboratorije u bolnice, za šta će biti potrebne godine.


Izvor: Blic
http://www.blic.rs/blic_it.php?id=85697

Krv više nije naučni već tehnološki problem. Još jedna primena za buduće ultrazvučne frižidere.
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Postod bigvlada » Sub Apr 04, 2009 8:35 am

BLOOD POWER? Piezoelectric Nanowires Could Turn Your Body Into a Battery
by Mike Chino

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We’ve seen piezoelectric systems that harvest energy from roads, subways, and even umbrellas — now researchers have announced that they are on the brink of unlocking an energy grid composed of capillaries, arteries, and veins. Heralded by advancements in piezoelectric nanowires, the development may one day harness the flow of blood to power ipods, cellphones and other portable electronics. How’s that for an alternative take on plasma power?

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Developed by a research team headed by Zhong Lin Wang, the technique utilizes zinc oxide piezoelectric nanowires that generate an electric current when subjected to mechanical stress. The wires measure 1/5,000th to 1/25th the diameter of a human hair and are capable of harvesting energy from low-frequency vibrations such as the wind or the flow of currents. Although similar kinetic energy generators have been developed in the past, the miniscule size of nanowires may one day lend them to applications in subdermal implants - imagine biosensors and portable electronics that are powered by simple movements such as walking, or the beating of a heart.

Zhong Lin Wang has stated that “This research will have a major impact on defense technology, environmental monitoring, biomedical sciences, and even personal electronics.” Skin crawling yet? Although certainly a novel idea, implementation is still a long way off.

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Izvor: Inhabitat
http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/03/30/blood-power-piezoelectric-nanowires-could-turn-your-body-into-a-battery/#more-22628

Ko je rekao Matrix? :)
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Postod bigvlada » Pon Apr 06, 2009 8:00 am

Napravljen robot-naučnik koji sam misli
Autor: Blic online | Foto:Reuters | 04.04.2009. - 16:07

Dva tima naučnika objavila su rezultate svog rad na robotima, koji ne samo da izvode eksperimente, već ih sami i smišljaju. Robot-naučnik ne liči na one iz "Ratova zvezda" – on je kompjuter veličine kombija sa rukama koje obavljaju posao ljudskih pomoćnika, piše "USA Tudej".

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Adam, prototip robota-naučnika vredan milion dolara, postavlja hipoteze, planira eksperimente, procenjuje rezultate i potom planira sledeće korake.
On je prvi robot koji je sam otkrio novu naučnu informaciju, tvrde naučnici koji su nedavno napravili sebi mehaničkog kolegu, ukazao je magazin "Nešenel Džiografik".
Ros King sa Univerziteta Ejberistvit u Velsu i njegovi tim stvorili su Adama kombinovanjem najmodernijeg robotičkog hardvera i veštačke inteligencije. "Obični roboti samo rade ono što im kažete, ali Adam je drugačiji jer može da postavlja hipoteze i sam pokušava da reši problem", rekao je King.
Tim naučnika testirao je Adam sposobnosti. Oni su dali robotu u zadatak da otkrije nešto više o genima pekarskog kvasca, mikrob koji se često koristi kao model za proučavanje kompleksnijih bioloških sistema.
Prethodno je Adam bio na brzom kursu iz biologije – ubačeni su mu podaci o svemu poznatom o pekarskom kvascu. Robot-naučnik je brzo prionuo na posao i formulisao i testirao 20 različitih hipoteza. King i njegove kolege odmah su potvrdili Adamova otkrića o metabolizmu kvasca u odvojenom eksperimentu.

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"Ljudi rade na pravljenju ovakvih robota od šezdesetih. Kada smo prvi put poslali robote na Mars, naučnici su maštali o robotima koji sami eksperimentišu na toj planeti. Nakon 40-50 godina konačno smo u mogućnosti da to i uradimo. Ima mnogo toga da se radi, čak i sa stvorenjima za koja mislimo da ih dobro razumemo", ocenio je King, dodajući da su hteli da potpišu robota kao ko-autora studije, ali da to nije bilo prihvaćeno.
Adam može da izvrši više od 1.000 bioloških eksperimenata dnevno tokom pet dana. Ipak, King i kolege smatraju da roboti nikad neće moći da zamene ljudske naučnike.
"Dok su roboti bolji u koordinisanju više hiljada eksperimenata, ljudi su bolji kad se treba sagledati velika slika i isplanirati eksperiment generalno, zaključio je King, dodajući da bi naučnici više trebalo da koriste mozgove nego ruke.
Kingov sledeći robot-naučnik Eva, biće napravljen da pomogne u traganju za novim lekova protiv tropskih bolesti, poput malarije. Eva će imati moćniji "mozak", ukazao je Rojters.

Izvor: Blic
http://www.blic.rs/blic_it.php?id=86600
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Postod bigvlada » Pon Apr 06, 2009 8:02 am

Uskoro veštački mozak
Autor: P. Đurović | Foto:Northfoto | 05.04.2009. - 00:02

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Silikonski čip koji su napravili evropski naučnici oponaša proces učenja u ljudskom mozgu, ali radi čak sto hiljada puta brže od njega.
Nadamo se da ćemo njegovom upotrebom bolje razumeti funkcionisanje različitih delova mozga, kao i da ćemo napraviti brže i moćnije računare.

Takođe, iako ovaj čip ima manji broj neurona nego što ih ima u prosečnom ljudskom mozgu, njegov dizajn omogućava nadogradnju – kaže Karlhajnc Mejer, fizičar sa Univerziteta u Hajdelbergu i jedan od saradnika na projektu FACETS.
Ovaj čip, koji ima 200.000 neurona povezanih putem 50 miliona sinaptičkih veza, oponaša proces učenja kod ljudi. Međutim, tim stručnjaka tvrdi da oni ne pokušavaju da simuliraju rad nervnih ćelija, već da naprave veštačke neurone u kojima se dešavaju iste aktivnosti kao i u pravim ljudskim nervnim ćelijama. Neuronski krug se sastoji od sto komponenata dok su sinapse sastavljene od dvadesetak komponenata. Međutim, kako sinapsi ima mnogo više, za njih je potrebno i više mesta.
– Prednost ovakvog pristupa je što se njime mogu verno kopirati strukture nalik mozgu, pa naš prototip radi čak sto hiljada puta brže od ljudskog mozga. Zato možemo da simuliramo celodnevno iskustvo za samo jednu sekundu – objašnjava Mejer.
Naučnici su i ranije pokušavali da simuliraju funkcionisanje nervnog sistema, a jedan od takvih projekata bio je i švajcarski „Blu Brain“ , koji je koristio veliki broj bioloških datoteka kako bi u IBM-ovom superračunaru što realnije oponašao rad mozga.
Prema tvrdnjama Tomasa Sere, istraživača sa čuvenog MIT-a, ljudski neuroni su prilično spori u poređenju sa kompjuterima.
Ipak, naučnici priznaju da projekat ima i svoje mane jer se u ovakvom, veštačkom mozgu ne mogu simulirati pojedini uslovi u kojima ljudski mozak može da deluje. Na primer, naša percepcija se menja kada je mozak pod uticajem droga, što je neizvodljivo ispitati kod veštačkog mozga.
Čip se još uvek testira, tako da neće uskoro postati sastavni deo naših kompjutera. Ipak, istraživači planiraju da u narednim eksperimentima naprave superčip sa čak milijardu neurona.

Izvor: Blic
http://www.blic.rs/slobodnovreme.php?id=86823

Pominjao sam već da smo krajem osamdesetih imali sopstveni projekat neuroračunara.
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
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Postod bigvlada » Sre Apr 08, 2009 7:58 am

Razvijene "superbaterije" zasnovane na virusima
Autor: Tanjug | 06.04.2009. - 23:58

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Grupa američkih naučnika iz Instituta za tehnologiju u Masačusetsu (MIT) razvila je "superbaterije" koje uz pomoć virusa uvećavaju snagu, a u budućnosti bi mogle da se koriste za pokretanje automobila i rad mobilnih tefefona, preneli su danas francuski elektronski mediji.

Naučnici su uz pomoć nanotehnologije uspeli da proizvedu genski modifikovane viruse koji omogućavaju funkcionosanje minijaturnih baterija velikih performansi. U izradi novih baterija su korišćene ugljenične nanocevi umesto fosfata gvožđa koji obično ulazi u sastav anode litijum-jonskih baterija. Tada na "scenu" stupaju virusi koje, kada se promene njihove karakteristike, mogu da privlače molekuli ugljenika. Kada se virusi susretnu, oni formiraju jednu vrstu užarene niti koja povećava jačinu električne energije.
Te baterije, manje od sadašnjih litijum-jonskih, bile bi idealne za hibridne automobile i mobilne telefone, tvrde stručnjaci. Ispitivanja koja su sproveli naučnici pokazala su da su nove baterije tri puta snažnije od klasičnih.

Izvor: Blic
http://www.blic.rs/blic_it.php?id=87026
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
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Postod bigvlada » Sub Apr 11, 2009 7:55 am

još malo o ovome

MIT Develops Virus-Powered Car Battery
by Jorge Chapa

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Battery technology is looking brighter (and more futuristic) than ever as researchers at MIT recently announced they have successfully engineered viruses to build both the positively and negatively charged ends of a lithium-ion battery. These virus-built batteries can be created cheaply using an environmentally benign process, tout the same energy capacity as state-of-the-art rechargeable batteries, and may one day be used to power everything from personal electronic devices to hybrid vehicles.

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Photo by Georg Fantner, MIT

This isn’t the plot of the latest ‘B’ movie, although you would be forgiven for thinking so. The research team led by Angela Belcher, were able to create both a cathode and an anode. These are the key components in a battery that allow the movement of electrons across the electrolyte, thus generating power. Before you get worried about turbocharged super-bugs, rest assured that the viruses used will be common bacteriophages, which are harmless to humans (or so one hopes).

The researchers hope to eventually create a full-sized car battery. It’ll be a while though, as their current prototype is roughly the size of a coin and can only be used around 100 times. On the bright side, it uses no harmful chemicals, and is quite friendly from an environmental point of view.

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Photo by Donna Coveney, MIT
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Izvor: Inhabitat
http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/04/07/mit-develops-virus-powered-car-battery/#more-23268
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Postod bigvlada » Sub Apr 25, 2009 9:48 am

23/04/2009 | DR DŽEJMS KANTON
Ko prihvata inovacije opstaje i napreduje

Autor: DR DŽEJMS KANTON

Privredu čine kolektivna proizvodnja, distribucija i trgovina na određenoj teritoriji, od malog sela do države, nacije i čitave planete. Ona je rezultat produktivnosti radnika i organizacija. Privreda je, takođe, protok ideja, kapital, tržišta, talenti i privredni rast.

DR DŽEJMS KANTON: Ekstremna budućnost (6)

Osnivač Instituta za globalnu budućnost u San Francisku Džejms Kanton, poznat po nadimcima Dr Budućnost i Digitalni guru, u poslednjih dvadesetak godina savetnik je mnogih vlada i vodećih svetskih kompanija, kao što su General Electric, IBM, UPS, Motorola, Fujitsu, Philips, MasterCard i druge. On je futurista u oblasti poslovanja koji se prvenstveno bavi interesima svojih klijenata u oblastima globalne konkurencije, inovacija, ljudskih resursa i profita. Istovremeno, navodi svoje klijente da se pozabave sve aktuelnijim pitanjima kao što su bezbednost, klimatske promene i energetika. Knjigu objavljuje izdavačka kuća CLIO iz Beograda, uz čiju saglasnost donosimo izvode.

Prevod s engleskog: Đorđe Trajković

U ekstremnoj budućnosti ta udžbenička definicija neće više važiti. Nova definicija će odražavati činjenicu da će privrede dvadeset prvog veka opstati i napredovati jedino ako prihvataju inovacije. Ako to čine, ako pojedinci u okviru njih budu shvatali i koristili inovacije, moći će da uživaju plodove koje nudi najveći generator napretka koji je ikada postojao.

Sve privrede - lokalne, regionalne, nacionalne i globalna - većsu izložene jakom uticaju inovacija. U narednih pedeset godina taj uticaj će se uvećati hiljadu puta. Inovacijska privreda, čiji se nastanak u ovoj knjizi predviđa, jeste nov pravac. Ona se više ne zasniva samo na upravljanju, kapitalu, talentima, stanovništvu i prirodnim resursima, veći na jednoj dodatnoj stvari - ličnom pristupu radikalnim inovacijama. Nailazi lavina radikalno novih ideja, koje utiču na nastanak novih tržišta, stvaraju nove industrije i privlače globalne talente i kapital. Bez radikalnih inovacija, tradicionalni činioci koji određuju uspešnost jedne privrede - kao što su produktivnost, napredak i rast - neće biti dovoljni.

Moramo biti spremni da iskoristimo mogućnosti koje pruža inovacijska privreda. Ona će promeniti prirodu rada, poslova, kapitala, konkurencije, tržišta, potrošača i, što je možda najvažnije, nas samih. Ključna mogućnost koju inovacijska privreda pruža pojedincima jeste stvaranje bogatstva u do sada nezabeleženim razmerama. U ovom poglavlju pokušaću da objasnim šta će se dogoditi, kako se za to pripremiti te kada i kako ćemo od toga izvlačiti korist.

Inovacijska privreda ne predstavlja nov spoj tehnologije i ekonomije koji stvara globalno bogatstvo, napredak i moć. Ta nova tendencija uspešno se razvija u demokratskim društvima, u kojima su lične slobode zakonom zagarantovane.

Inovacija je ovde predstavljena kao novonastala ideja, proizvod, usluga ili postupak koji je u stanju da pospešuje konkurentske prednosti jedne nacije, regiona, industrije, poslovne organizacije, pojedinca ili neke kombinacije svih tih kategorija. Inovacija stvara novu vrednost - privredni rast, rešenja, profit, veći udeo u tržištu i povraćaj na investicije. U stvari, njome se može smatrati svako nastojanje u okviru kapitalističkog sistema koje doprinosi stvaranju vrednosti za koje su ljudi spremni da plate.

Inovaciju koja dokaže svoju vrednost prihvataju i primenjuju tržište ili društvo. Ako je dovoljan broj klijenata spreman i u stanju da plati za vašu inovaciju, ona će biti uspešna. To znači da inovacija ne može da postoji u vakuumu. Nije dovoljno da inovativna ideja ostane u laboratoriji ili na ceduljici nekog inovatora. Koliko god da su Leonardovi crteži bili inovativni, oni ovom definicijom nisu obuhvaćeni, jer su bili suviše ispred svog vremena da bi bili uspešno ostvareni i imali merljiv ekonomski uticaj. Strogi kriterijumi kapitalizma - ideje, proizvodi, usluge i proizvodni procesi o kojima tržište donosi sud - odlučuju šta jeste a šta nije inovacija. Jednostavno rečeno, inovacija se ceni po tome da li navodi mnoštvo klijenata da posegnu za svojim novčanicima.

Pošto smo to razjasnili, treba reći da inovacija za koju klijenti danas nisu spremni ili nisu u stanju da odvoje novac može u budućnosti da zadovolji kriterijum vrednosti ove definicije. Na primer, teorijski gledano, da li automobil na vodonični pogon kojim sam se vozio spada u inovacije? Da, zato što nudi izrazito novo rešenje koje nam je danas potrebno da bismo se borili s problemom nedostatka nafte koji nam predstoji, a o čemu je bilo reči u prethodnom poglavlju. Ali, sudeći po njegovoj sadašnjoj ceni, malo koji potrošačbi mogao da ga plati. On je stvar budućnosti. Automobil na vodonični pogon koji danas košta 1.200.000 dolara svakako će u budućnosti biti dostupan masovnom tržištu i tek tada će postati deo inovacijske privrede. Kada se to bude dogodilo, a ja sam uveren da hoće, to će biti inovacija koja će imati gotovo nezamisliv globalni uticaj.

Primeri onoga što ja skromno nazivam uspešnim privrednim inovacijama većse mogu naći svuda oko nas. Isporuka pošiljki tokom cele noći postoji zato što ima dovoljno ljudi koji su voljni da plate za tu inovaciju. Mali muzički aparati sa memorijom, kao što je „iPod“, koji su u stanju da reprodukuju MP3 melodije skinute sa interneta, jesu inovacija za koju su mnogi potrošači spremni da izdvoje novac, uvećavajući tako zaradu kompanija „Apple“ i „Sony“, kao i drugih, od prodaje inovacija te vrste. Lekovi i medicinski aparati omogućuju duže trajanje zdravlja i života i osnova su razvoja kako inovacija, tako i novih industrija, poput biotehnologije. Ma koliko se uspešnim te vrste inovacija mogu činiti, njihov značaj bledi u poređenju sa onim što treba očekivati u domenu proizvoda i usluga, a da ne govorimo o promenama u svakodnevnom životu.

DESET EKSTREMNIH INOVACIJA KOJE ĆE 2025. UZDRMATI SVET

- Teleportacija predmeta širom naše planete

- Prodaja specijalizovanih DNK posredstvom interneta

- Svemirska turistička putovanja na Mesec i na Mars

- Manipulisanje materijom radi stvaranja „pametnih“ proizvoda

- Četiri milijarde ljudi trguje posredstvom interneta

- Motori na vodonični pogon u prevoznim sredstvima

- Kibernetsko poboljšanje zdravlja ljudskih bića

- Preuzimanje pamćenja i lekova sa interneta

- Kućni roboti

Nastavlja se

Prethodni nastavak
http://www.danas.rs/vesti/feljton/dinosauruse_smenila_prilagodljivija_bica.24.html?news_id=159373

Izvor: Danas
http://www.danas.rs/vesti/feljton/ko_prihvata_inovacije_opstaje_i_napreduje.24.html?news_id=159471

Ovaj članak je divno sročena suština većine mojih postova ovde. I zašto graditi zgrade za uzgoj povrća u gradu, i zašto je budućnost prevoza robe u podzemnim tunelima pod vakuumom sa brzinama od 20 maha, i zašto rečni saobraćaj treba da bude sa hydrofoil brodovima.

Za sada su uspeli da prave delove kostiju, bešiku, kožu i crvena krvna zrnca (veštačka krv za par godina). Ljudi će moći da biraju između mehaničkih implantata ili organa i delova tela sa njihovom DNK uzgajanim u tankovima. Pitanje je koliko smo mi kao društvo spremni da prihvatimo takve brze promene koje nemaju premca u dosadašnjoj ljudskoj istoriji?

Hoće li samosvesni roboti imati ista građanska prava kao i svi ostali? Hoćemo li smatrati ljudima pojedince koji odluče da sebi ugrade još jedan par ruku (iz hira ili potrebe - zamislite npr. majstora sa dva para ruku) ili izopštavati iz konfesije kiborge (ljde sa viškom metalnih delova).

Ljubitelji naučne fantastike imaju po ovom pitanju ogromnu prednost u odnosu na ostale. Jednostavno, u zadnjih sto godina su sve ove teme bezbroj puta prežvakane iz svih mogućih uglova i scenarija tako da možemo sa određenim stepenom uverenja da predvidimo šta će se desiti.

Moje mišljenje:

- Teleportacija predmeta širom naše planete
teško u tom vremenskom intervalu, do sada su samo uspeli da prebace par fotona sa jednog kraja laboratorije na drugi, ali spada u domen realnog

- Prodaja specijalizovanih DNK posredstvom interneta
sigurno će biti proglašeno ilegalnim, biće strožijih antidoping kontrola i pravljenja supervojnika. Biće dozvoljeno u cilju tretiranja naslednih bolesti. Dešifrovan je ljudski genom, ali sada samo imamo hmm, sopstveni source kod, ali ne umemo da ga čitamo. Mala analogija: tokom osamdesetih je Wordstar bio jako uspešan tekst procesor. Desilo mu se da tokom par godina nije izašla nova verzija. Jednostavno, čovek koji ga je pisao je otišao iz kompanije i niko nije mogao da se snađe u onome što je ostavio pod stavkom program. Mi smo sada u istoj situaciji, imamo spostveni listing ali smo daleko od toga da umemo lako da ga čitamo i pratimo.


- Svemirska turistička putovanja na Mesec i na Mars
teško, prvi privatni balistički letovi kreću tek 2011, orbitalni se tek planiraju, dok je sve preko toga van dometa privatnika. Sa sadašnjim razvojem tehnologije, 2040 je realnija godina.

- Manipulisanje materijom radi stvaranja „pametnih“ proizvoda
još u početnoj fazi

- Četiri milijarde ljudi trguje posredstvom interneta
da

- Motori na vodonični pogon u prevoznim sredstvima
da, mada dugoročno struja ima veće šanse

- Kibernetsko poboljšanje zdravlja ljudskih bića
da, u Japanu već postoje egzoskeleti za stara lica

- Preuzimanje pamćenja i lekova sa interneta
ovo nisam shvatio, ako misle na upload/download sećanja kao u sedmom danu, teško; još uvek nije dešifrovan mašinski jezik mozga

- Kućni roboti
yap, ima ih, trčkaraju, penju se uz stepenice, učestvuju na modnim revijama, dostavljaju picu
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
bigvlada
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Postod bigvlada » Pon Maj 04, 2009 8:14 am

Tetive i kosti od paukove mreže
Autor: E. B. | Foto:Beta-AP | 03.05.2009. - 00:01

Svila od koje pauk pravi mrežu jača je i lakša od čelika, zbog čega fascinira naučnike. Oni su sada uspeli da je učine čak tri puta jačom, dodajući malu količinu metala u nju. Ova tehnika bi mogla da se iskoristi za proizvodnju superjakih tkanina i haj-tek medicinskih materijala, uključujući i veštačke kosti i tetive.

Slika

Ovaj materijal može biti veoma jako vlakno koje bi se koristilo pri operacijama, kaže istraživač Seung Mo Li, iz „Maks Plank“ instituta u Nemačkoj.
On je sa kolegama otkrio da dodajući cink, titanijum ili aluminijum u paukovu svilu ona postaje otpornija na pucanje i deformacije. Naučnici su iskoristili specijalan proces koji ne samo da oblaže končiće paukove mreže metalom, nego takođe navodi neke atome metala da prodru u vlakna i reaguju s njihovom strukturom proteina.
Li hoće sada da proba da doda još neke materijale, između ostalog i veštačke polimere kao što je teflon.
Istraživači su ideju dobili zahvaljujući studijama koje su pokazale da se tragovi metala nalaze u nekim od najčvršćih delova tela insekata. Čeljusti pojedinih mrava i skakavaca imaju visok nivo cinka, što ih čini veoma jakim.
Paukova mreža već dugo fascinira naučnike, ali njena komercijalna proizvodnja je praktično nemoguća zato što pauci, ako ne žive slobodno, jedu jedan drugog. Zato istraživači traže alternativne načine da proizvode svilu bez pauka, tako što pokušavaju da imitiraju njihovu tehniku pletenja mreže.

Izvor:Blic
http://www.blic.rs/blic_it.php?id=90680
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
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Postod bigvlada » Uto Maj 05, 2009 8:45 am

Otkriveno novo oruđe u borbi protiv sepse
Magnetna zrnca koja izvlače bakterije iz krvi
Autor: P. Đurović | 03.05.2009. - 00:01

Deo krvi zatrovane bakterijama izvadi se iz organizma i u nju ubacuje hiljade sićušnih magnetnih zrnaca. Svako zrnce presvučeno je molekulom koji privlači bakterije. Zrnca sa „zalepljenim“ bakterijama ispumpavaju se zajedno sa krvlju kroz posebnu cevčicu. Magnetni uređaj „izvlači“ zrnca sa bakterijama, a prečišćena krv se upumpava nazad.

Lekari dečje bolnice u Bostonu izvršili su prva testiranja nove metode.
– Ovo je potencijalno oruđe za borbu protiv trovanja krvi, odnosno sepse. Funkcioniše tako što direktno uklanja opasne bakterije koje su uzročnici trovanja – objašnjava dr Don Ingber, jedan od američkih naučnika koji je radio na razvoju ove metode.
Istraživači se uspeli u nameri da iz zatrovane krvi izvuku štetne bakterije sledećim postupkom. Prvo se postepeno izvlače male količine krvi iz organizma, a onda se u nju ubacuju hiljade sićušnih magnetnih zrnaca. Svako zrnce presvučeno je antitelom, odnosno molekulom napravljenim da privuče bakterije. Dok struje kroz krvotok, zrnca prosto „zalepe“ bakterije uz sebe, a onda se krv opet ispumpava, ovog puta kroz malu poroznu cevčicu koja je drugim krajem povezana sa identičnom cevčicom punom slane vode.
– Kad uključimo magnetni uređaj i prislonimo ga uz cevčice, on svojom snagom privlači zrnca sa „zalepljenim“ bakterijama i odvodi ih pravo u slanu vodu. Prečišćena krv se upumpava natrag u organizam i time je proces zaokružen – objašnjava dr Ingber.
Pacijenti sa sepsom imaju pedest odsto šansi da prežive, a komplikacije obično nastupe par sati nakon trovanja. Bakterije se kroz krvotok šire izuzetnom brzinom, a u organizam najčešće prodiru kroz površinske rane na koži ili putem infekcija uva, pluća ili urinarnog sistema. Trovanju krvi najčešće podležu bolesni, mala deca ili stariji čiji oslabljeni imuni sistem nije u stanju da se izbori s bakterijama. Međutim, čak i potpuno zdravi ljudi mogu da obole od sepse, ukoliko su bakterije koje dospeju u njihov krvotok veoma otporne.
Kad prodru u krvotok, bakterije oslobađaju otrovne supstance koje oštećuju ćelije krvi. Pojedine bakterije napadaju zidove malih krvnih sudova, što dovodi do njihovog pucanja, a to otežava snabdevanje vitalnih organa krvlju. To uzrokuje sniženje krvnog pritiska, što predstavlja dodatnu opasnost po organizam. Kada organi ostanu uskraćeni za krv bogatu kiseonikom, oni polako počinju da otkazuju.
Do sada su se doktori sa sepsom borili ubrizgavanjem velikih doza antibiotika u krvotok, kao i osvežavanjem organizma infuzijom kako bi se krvni pritisak održavao stabilnim.
Ipak, jedan od najvećih problema kod sepse je što organizam može da odgovori na bakterije proizvodnjom i lučenjem velikih količina proteina poznatih kao citokini. Iako im je svrha da odbrane organizam od infekcije, često se dešava da iz potpuno nepoznatih razloga upravo ovi proteini još više razaraju ćelije u organizmu.
– Ovo otkriće može pomoći da se spasu mnogi životi. Ali, imuni sistem pacijenata bi verovatno i nakon uklanjanja bakterija iz krvotoka nastavio sa lučenjem citokina – izražava svoje sumnje dr Dejvid Invold, specijalista pedijatrije na Imperijal koledžu u Londonu.

Izvor: Blic
http://www.blic.rs/blic_it.php?id=90682
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
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Postod bigvlada » Pet Maj 08, 2009 6:42 am

Nauka kao kolateralna šteta
PISMA

Autor: Dr Tibor Živković, naučni savetnik

Od početka 2009. godine stanje u srpskoj nauci dramatično se pogoršalo. Plate za januar prispele su početkom marta, februarske početkom aprila, a martovske niko i ne pominje. Materijalni troškovi, sredstva neophodna za sprovođenje istraživanja, takođe još nisu uplaćena.

U međuvremenu Ministarstvo za nauku zatražilo je čitav niz izveštaja od naučnih institucija kako bi se utvrdilo kako se troši novac iz budžeta za nauku. Takođe, umanjena su i redovna sredstva za minuli rad, pa su tako naučne institucije bile prisiljene da ova sredstva nadoknade iz režijskih troškova. Uprkos tome što su aneksi ugovora za 2009. godinu potpisani početkom godine, ono što u tim ugovorima piše država ne poštuje. Ako država ne poštuje ugovore kojima se obavezala na određena materijalna davanja, onda je sasvim izlišno očekivati da srpska nauka može da sprovodi bilo kakav ozbiljan plan realizacije projekata. Ne treba ni napominjati da su dopisi kojim su odavno tražena sredstva za nabavku opreme upućena Ministarstvu za nauku netragom nestali na tegobnom putu zamršene administracije između pošiljaoca i Ministarstva.

Ekonomska kriza nesumnjivo pogađa sve delove društva i nauka u tom smislu nije i ne treba da bude izuzetak. Ali, ako je to većtako, onda premijer ili nadležni ministar (finansija) treba da jasno kaže šta naučnici treba da očekuju u 2009. godini. Nadležni, naprotiv, ćute, a sredstva koja se uplaćuju naučnim institucijama postaju nedovoljna za osnovnu egzistenciju tih institucija. Ćutanje premijera i ministra finansija jeste pouzdan znak da nikakvog plana nema, a ponajmanje plana reformi u nauci kako bi se skromna sredstva iskoristila na što bolji način i kako bi nauka kroz krizu prošla sa što manje štete.

Srpska nauka je krhka, slabačka, u mnogim poljima naučnih istraživanja beznadežno zaostala. Kriza je i prilika da se sprovede reforma, ali da bi reforma bila sprovedena neophodna je priprema, savetovanje sa najistaknutijim učesnicima naučnog i tehnološkog razvoja i iznad svega oslobađanje od političkog balasta koji pritiska srpsku nauku. Nije slučajno što je kašnjenje isplata i umanjenje ukupnih sredstava nauci u trenutku kada je potpredsednik srpske vlade i ministar za nauku Božidar Đelić. Trebalo bi da jedan potpredsednik Vlade ima mogućnosti da utiče na poboljšanje uslova rada naučnika, pogotovo kada su premijer i ministar finansija iz iste, Demokratske stranke. Nažalost, nije tako, pa se postavlja pitanje nije li loše stanje u srpskoj nauci posledica tihog sukoba između potpredsednika Vlade/ministra za nauku Božidara Đelića i nekih drugih uticajnih ljudi iz Vlade Srbije koji na ovaj način vrše tihu političku likvidaciju Božidara Đelića. Želim da verujem da nije tako, ali kako se događaji odvijaju, sve se više čini da će srpska nauka biti kolateralna šteta u odmeravanju snaga unutar najveće vladajuće stranke.

Izvor: Danas
http://www.danas.rs/vesti/dijalog/nauka_kao_kolateralna_steta.46.html?news_id=160422

Nama nauka ne treba, mi izvozimo maline i fudbalere. :rolleyes:
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
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Postod bigvlada » Uto Maj 12, 2009 8:27 am

06/05/2009 | DR DŽEJMS KANTON | Futurističke vizije: Čovekoliki robot

Slika

Autor: DR DŽEJMS KANTON

Od Fausta do Frankeštajna, čovekova mitska opsesija da veštački stvori život stara je koliko i sama ljudska civilizacija. Mislim da iza nastojanja da stvore život ili stvari koje ga oponašaju stoje želje ljudskih bića da razumeju sama sebe. Naučnici su mađioničari budućnosti koji su u stanju da ostvare viziju stvaranja veštačkog ljudskog bića brže nego što mislimo.


DR DŽEJMS KANTON: Ekstremna budućnost (13)

OsnivačInstituta za globalnu budućnost u San Francisku Džejms Kanton, poznat po nadimcima Dr Budućnost i Digitalni guru, u poslednjih dvadesetak godina savetnik je mnogih vlada i vodećih svetskih kompanija, kao što su General Electric, IBM, UPS, Motorola, Fujitsu, Philips, MasterCard i druge. On je futurista u oblasti poslovanja koji se prvenstveno bavi interesima svojih klijenata u oblastima globalne konkurencije, inovacija, ljudskih resursa i profita. Istovremeno, navodi svoje klijente da se pozabave sve aktuelnijim pitanjima kao što su bezbednost, klimatske promene i energetika. Knjigu objavljuje izdavačka kuća CLIO iz Beograda, uz čiju saglasnost donosimo izvode.

Prevod s engleskog: Đorđe Trajković

Taj cilj je jasno izražen u delima pisaca naučne fantastike. Od junaka televizijske serije Čovek od šest miliona dolara, pa do robota C-3PO iz filmova Zvezdani ratovi i Deite iz Zvezdanih staza, industrija zabave nudi brojne futurističke vizije robota. Ti maštoviti oblici veštačkog života nagoveštavaju stvarnu robotsku revoluciju koja će uticati na sve aspekte života u dvadeset prvom veku. Brza evolucija robota biće posledica spajanja drugih moćnih uređaja, pre svega kompjutera, biotehnologije i nanotehnologije.

Roboti će postati prihvaćeni članovi našeg kulturnog miljea. Brinuće se o deci, štititi naše zajednice od zločina, vodiće ratove i vršiti hirurške intervencije. Mnoge od tih aktivnosti oni će obavljati efikasnije, preciznije i pouzdanije od ljudskih bića. Počećemo da očekujemo usluge od tih pridošlica, da ih zahtevamo i da se na njih oslanjamo. Značajan činilac u prihvatanju robota biće i njihov jeftiniji rad od ljudskog. Kao što su kompjuteri zamenili čitave armije službenika, roboti će, na sličan način, zauzeti mesto kvalifikovane radne snage. To je neizbežno i dovešće do drugačijeg shvatanja ljudskog rada i radnih karijera. Ako mislite da se ljudi danas bune zbog poveravanja poslova drugima, zamislite kako će reagovati u budućnosti kada budu videli da roboti zamenjuju ljude.

Iako se svest o sopstvenom postojanju i okruženju oduvek dovodila u vezu sa živim bićima, to u narednom veku neće biti tako očigledno. Nauka ide ka stvaranju svesnih robota, androida sa organskim umom, koji će praviti izbore i donositi odluke - i na kraju početi da se samostalno ponašaju. Inovacije u oblasti veštačkog života dovešće do stvaranja robotskih mozgova koji će biti agilni i sposobni da uče, da se prilagođavaju i da oponašaju ljudska bića. Pravi problemi će nastati kada roboti budu postali biološka bića. Korišćenje genetskog materijala za stvaranje androida i robota moglo bi se nazvati „organskom tehnologijom“, a početak njene upotrebe biće prekretnica u nauci. Doneće se novi zakoni protiv zloupotrebe DNK. Što je jedan uređaj više „organski“, to više može biti „živ“. Paradigma organske tehnologije, koja je obuhvaćena mojim predviđanjima, omogućiće androidima i robotima da imaju organe, mozak i udove biološkog sastava, sačinjene od neke mešavine neorganskih i organskih materijala. Šta ako počnemo sa DNK i dodamo razne druge sastojke kako bismo napravili vrhunskog robota? Tu se spajaju genetski inženjering, nauka o životu i kloniranje. Organska tehnologija je ostvarenje mogućnosti kreiranja čitave generacije organskih robota na osnovu prilagođenih DNK za posebne namene. Očekujem da će se doneti novi zakoni o zabrani korišćenja ljudskih DNK u proizvodnji robota.

Organski umovi u robotskim telima u potpunosti će promeniti predstavu o robotima. Moguće posledice izazivaju strah. Hoćemo li ih smatrati „živim bićima“? Ako jesu živa bića, da li će imati svoja prava i, ako će ih imati, kakva će ona biti? Neki naučnici će reći da smo još daleko od potrebe da brinemo o takvim stvarima. No, brojni naučnici su za čitavih deset godina pogrešili u predviđanjima novih dostignuća u kloniranju, o kojima danas svakodnevno slušamo u vestima. Zamislite kakve su mogućnosti...

Veću bliskoj budućnosti androidi će biti jednako složeni, produktivni, verodostojni, kreativni, emotivni i privlačni kao ljudska bića. Možda će biti i privlačniji i produktivniji. U drugoj polovini dvadeset prvog veka ljudi će možda davati prednost odnosima sa androidima nad intimnim vezama s drugim ljudskim bićima...

U početku će kibernetska tehnologija biti isključivo usmerena na pomoćljudima i na njihovo usavršavanje, ali će na kraju stvoriti osnovu za stvaranje budućih robotskih oblika života. Zbog smanjenja broja stanovnika, neke zemlje će robotima priznati ljudska prava. Naučićemo da spajamo organske i neorganske materijale i da proizvodimo organe i delove tela koji su kvalitetniji od čisto organskog tkiva i kostiju. Oči sa usavršenom mrežnjačom i infracrvenim zracima moći će da vide na daljine nedostupne sadašnjim ljudima, pa i kroz zidove.

Kibernetska pomagala koja većkoristimo, poput kontaktnih sočiva, uređaja ugrađenih u mrežnjaču oka, bioničnih udova, ugrađenih slušnih aparata, pejsmejkera i veštačkih kukova, mnogi od nas smatraju normalnim stvarima. Kozmetička hirurgija koja teži usavršavanju ljudskog tela, makar i zbog lepšeg izgleda, samo je još jedan oblik kibernetskog poboljšanja. To su i zubne proteze i nikotinski flasteri (vidi www.medtronic.com). No, kibernetika će do punog izražaja doći kada se mikroskopski sitni i nanouređaji budu koristili za poboljšanje naših sposobnosti i rezultata rada.

Većsmo počeli da koristimo neuropomagala u vidu implantata za neurološka oboljenja. Neuromedicinski uređaji zamenjivaće farmakologiju i davaće brže, pouzdanije i preciznije rezultate. Što dublje zalazimo u novi milenijum, dolaziće do poboljšavanja ljudskih sposobnosti, laganog pretvaranja ljudskih bića u istinske kiborge. Ekstremna kibernetska poboljšanja mogu da postanu specijalizovano tržište, za čiji nastanak se zalažu ekstropijanci, pokret današnjih mislilaca napredne nauke, ali nema sumnje da će u toj oblasti u budućnosti postojati masovna potražnja. U XXI veku biće ljudi koji će hteti da postanu kiborzi sa posebnim oruđem, tako što će ruku ili nogu zameniti robotskim uređajem. Genetski stvoreni udovi sa posebnim funkcijama takođe mogu postati dostupni. Kiborzi će žrtvovati neke sposobnosti, fizičke i mentalne, da bi uvećali druge. Potražnja za selektivnim poboljšanjima ljudskih sposobnosti biće sve veća i ta oblast će pružati mogućnosti za ostvarivanje karijera.

Izvor: Danas
http://www.danas.rs/vesti/feljton/stvaranje_svesnih_robota.24.html?news_id=160410

Bukvalno teme o kojima sam govorio pre par postova, sledećih tridesetak godina će homo sapiens fizički evoluirati više nego za proteklih 15.000 godina. Pitanje je da li smo mi psihološki pripremljeni za ovako radikalne promene.
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
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Postod bigvlada » Sre Maj 13, 2009 7:25 am

Zanimljiva izložba u Galeriji SANU
Uloga molekula u tajnama života
Autor: M. Marjanović | 12.05.2009. - 05:00

Izložba „Molekuli u tajnama života i svetu oko nas“ koju su priredili Živorad Čeković (autor), Marina Dokmanović (autor postavke) i Nemanja Petrović (realizacija molekulskih modela), sa brojnim saradnicima i piscima eseja u katalogu, u organizaciji Hemijskog fakulteta i Srpskog hemijskog društva, otvara se večeras (19) u galeriji Srpske akademije nauka i umetnosti.

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Izložba kao i katalog namenjeni su širokoj publici, onima koji o hemiji, kao centralnoj prirodnoj nauci znaju malo ili nimalo. njen cilj je, kako kaže akademik Ivan Gutman da „nas oslobodi straha od ove „opasne, štetne, smrdljive i otrovne“ nauke. Posebna pažnja posvećena je predstavljanju molekula koji imaju široku primenu u svakodnevnom životu. Molekuli su predstavljeni slikama njihovih struktura, modelima, kompjuterskim grafikama, a njihove funkcije kompjuterskim animacijama. Za pojedine tematske sadržaje odabrani su posebni autori iz naučnih oblasti kojima se bave. Na primer, na izložbi je predstavljeno nekoliko tipičnih lekovitih molekula(npr. aspirin, penicilin, taksol), njihovo postojanje u prirodnim materijalima, njihova hemijska struktura kao i njihova funkcija i mehanizam suzbijanja bolesti, zatim materijali od svile, celuloze, sintetike, čak i pesticidi, hormoni, kao i molekuli mirisa i ukusa.
Iako je reč o izložbi obrazovno-naučnog karaktera koja košta samo 25.000 evra, finansirana je tek delimično (sa milion dinara) iz državnog budžeta tj. iz Fonda za nauku.

Izvor: Blic
http://www.blic.rs/kultura.php?id=92048
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
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Postod bigvlada » Sub Maj 16, 2009 8:09 am

European spacecraft to put cold eyes on the Universe
BY STEPHEN CLARK
SPACEFLIGHT NOW
Posted: May 13, 2009

The largest space telescope ever launched is set to begin its journey into deep space Thursday, penning the first chapter of a three-year mission that will peer deep into unseen cold and distant parts of the universe.

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An artist's concept of the Herschel spacecraft. Credit: ESA


Europe's Herschel observatory, a massive spacecraft more than two decades in the making, will give scientists their best look yet into how new stars and galaxies form and evolve through billions of years.

It all begins Thursday with a scheduled launch at 1312 GMT (9:12 a.m. EDT) aboard a commercial Ariane 5 rocket based at Kourou, French Guiana, along the northeast coast of South America.

The 7,500-pound spacecraft will ride into space with Planck, another ESA observatory designed to map the primordial universe.

Herschel will be deployed first, separating from the Ariane 5's upper stage 26 minutes after liftoff. Planck will follow about two-and-a-half minutes later.

The observatory is shaped like a tube, standing nearly 25 feet tall and stretching almost 15 feet across. Thales Alenia Space of France led a team of industrial contractors from 17 countries that built the spacecraft.

The spacecraft is named for William Herschel, the German-born British astronomer that discovered Uranus and infrared radiation.

The telescope's three instruments will look into far infrared light wavelengths never before studied, allowing the sensors to see through dust clouds and deep into star-forming regions across the Milky Way and other galaxies.

"I like to say that if you want to understand the life of a star you make a comparison with the lives of people," said Goran Pilbratt, Herschel's project scientist at the European Space Agency.

Observatories like the Hubble Space Telescope that detect visible light can see "adult" stars and most infrared instruments can take pictures of "child" stars, Pilbratt said.

But Herschel will be able to see much more, thanks to a suite of high-tech detectors and a perfectly-crafted primary mirror spanning three-and-a-half meters, or about 11.5 feet, in diameter.

"We're going to see the embryos, the ones that are not born yet. We're going to see right into the wombs where stars are born," Pilbratt said.

Stars form inside relatively cool clouds of dust and gas that hide stellar incubation from normal telescopes designed to magnify what could be seen by the human eye.

"The birth of new stars takes place in these very optically opaque clouds of dust and gas," said Paul Goldsmith, NASA's Herschel project scientist.

Infrared telescopes like Herschel can see through the enshrouding clouds to see condensing gas and dust before stars can flicker to life.

"That's what I think is going to be most exciting, to really be able to get this almost unblocked, highly detailed view of what's going on inside these clouds," Goldsmith said.

Herschel is sensitive enough to even see star formation in other galaxies.

Another objective of the mission is to take a census of forming stars in our galactic neighborhood.

The observatory will look far back in time to study how galaxies formed and evolved up to 10 billion years ago, during the first three billion years after the Big Bang.

"Galaxies evolve by the formation of new stars, especially massive stars that then die and explode as supernovae and enrich galaxies with heavy elements. They put so much energy out that they really dominate the structures of these galaxies," Goldsmith said.

Scientists will also focus Herschel's telescope on debris clouds around other stars to learn more about how planetary systems form.

Closer to home, Herschel will help astronomers create highly-detailed chemical maps of objects in the solar system. The observatory will use spectrometers to probe the composition of comets, which scientists believe harbor the frozen building blocks of the solar system.

NASA contributed critical detecting equipment, electronics and other key technologies to two of Herschel's three instruments, boosting their observing capability.

A NASA Herschel Science Center has also been established at the California Institute of Technology's Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, which also oversees data gathered by the agency's Spitzer Space Telescope.

NASA's contributions are valued at $272 million, including spacecraft hardware and operational costs, according to an agency spokesperson.

The total cost of the Herschel mission is quoted at 1 billion euros, or nearly $1.3 billion in current exchange rates. That number equates to about 1 million euros for each day of Herschel's primary mission, Pilbratt said.

The cost also includes figures for the construction of the spacecraft, science instruments, the launch vehicle and projected operations.

Scientists began studying a mission like Herschel in the early 1980s, but it has taken nearly three decades to go from white papers to the launch pad.

Industrial production of the observatory, then called the Far Infrared Space Telescope, began in 2001.

"I know people who have been dreaming about this since the 1970s and I have myself been working full time on Herschel since 1991, which is much longer than industry has been on the job," Pilbratt said.

NASA later joined the mission to add technical expertise and broaden the base of researchers that will use the telescope.

Herschel's 11.5-foot-wide primary mirror, the largest ever flown in space, is made of silicon carbide, a ceramic material with properties similar to glass.

Engineers at Astrium in Toulouse, France, assembled the mirror from 12 segments after machining, polishing and coating the pieces.

Herschel's mirror has a collecting area of about 100 square feet, around 15 times larger than NASA's Spitzer observatory. Herschel's mirror is nearly four feet wider than the mirror on Hubble.

"Our mirror is much larger, which will enable us to not only collect more energy but to see much sharper at these wavelengths," Pilbratt said.

The primary mirror and a secondary mirror will focus incoming light into a focal plane inside the cryostat, an insulated vacuum flask that provides cooling to ultra-sensitive detectors to a fraction of a degree above the coldest temperature possible.

The telescope design is relatively simple, but it relies on exotic technologies that must withstand a wide range of temperatures and the intense vibrations of launch, according to Pilbratt.

Herschel will launch with 2,300 liters, or about 607 gallons, of cryogenic liquid helium to chill the telescope's coldest detector to a temperature of 0.3 Kelvin, or below -459 degrees Fahrenheit.

The detectors must be subjected to such frigid conditions to see faint emissions of cold objects scattered in the distant universe. Herschel will detect light from material as cold as -441 degrees Fahrenheit.

Herschel's instruments come from scientists in 18 countries, including European states, the United States, Russia, China, Canada, and Taiwan.

The Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer and the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver, respectively called PACS and SPIRE, will capture images in a wide swath of the electromagnetic spectrum ranging from infrared to submillimeter wavelengths.

Both instruments can take pictures and slice infrared light into its spectral components, like the colors of a rainbow. This capability will help scientists remotely determine what chemicals are present in Herschel's celestial targets.

A third instrument, called the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared, will obtain revolutionary new information about the composition and motion of star-forming regions, galactic nuclei and interstellar gas.

Scientists measure infrared light wavelengths in microns, a unit equal to one-millionth of a meter.

Herschel will observe light in wavelengths from about 55 microns to nearly 700 microns, according to Pilbratt.

Spitzer, today's standard-bearer in infrared astronomy, can resolve wavelengths from 3 microns to about 160 microns.

"Where Spitzer leaves off, that's where Herschel is just getting going," Goldsmith said. "We're looking at even longer wavelengths, which means we can see even better into these opaque clouds of dust."

Herschel overlaps Spitzer in longer infrared wavelengths and the joint NASA and ESA James Webb Space Telescope will supplant Spitzer's coverage of shorter wavelengths in even finer detail.

"There are not only orders of magnitude improvements for being able to do the same observations, but there are capabilities on Herschel and Webb that Spitzer never had even on its best day," said Mike Werner, NASA's Spitzer project scientist.

JWST is also billed as a replacement for Hubble because it is sensitive to optical and near infrared light. The next-generation telescope will launch in late 2013 or 2014.

Spitzer was preceded by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite and the Infrared Space Observatory. Japan's Akari telescope joined the effort in 2006.

NASA is also developing an airborne infrared observatory called SOFIA to complement the Spitzer and Herschel telescopes.

The Earth's atmosphere blocks most infrared emissions from reaching the surface, so astronomers seeking to detect these wavelengths must use telescopes in the upper atmosphere or in space.

"When I first started working in infrared, there was a lot of mystic, jargon and stange things that people did in the infrared, limited by either the atmosphere or by the properties of our instruments," Werner said.

Scientists have cleared those hurdles by launching satellites and building more advanced sensors.

Goldsmith said it is difficult to predict what Herschel will find because it is studying an unexplored part of the spectrum.

"We haven't had ready access to the wavelengths between infrared and microwaves before, in part because Earth's atmosphere blocks them from reaching the ground," Goldsmith said. "Because our views were so limited before, we can expect a vast range of serendipitous discoveries, from new molecules in interstellar space to new types of objects."

Herschel will spend at least three years watching the cosmos from a post at the second Lagrange point nearly 1 million miles from the night side of Earth.

The L2 point is the location where the gravitational pull from the sun balances with the tug from Earth.

It is a popular destination for deep space observatories because it is positioned away from natural interference from the Earth, but still close enough to allow high bandwidth communications between spacecraft and ground stations.

The Ariane 5 rocket will boost Herschel into an unusually high trajectory stretching beyond the orbit of the moon.

It will take Herschel about two months to drift away from Earth and be captured by L2, where it will enter a looping halo orbit with an average diameter of about 1 million miles.

Officials plan to start activating Herschel and testing its systems immediately after launch. Early science observations can begin as soon as testing ends and Herschel opens the door covering the telescope's cryostat, allowing the instruments to cool down.

"When we first open the cryostat cover, we still have a lot of things to do before we really start doing science," Pilbratt said. "We will be able to at least start making some nice pictures at that point, so that we have something to show."

Routine observations should begin about six months after launch, after commissioning and performance verifications, according to Pilbratt.

Officials have already allocated observing time for the first 18 months of the mission for scientists to study the solar system, star-forming regions and other galaxies.

Herschel will also take a deep field image of a dark part of the sky to see galaxies in the early universe. These observations, similar to pictures taken by Hubble, will reveal important information about the evolution of galaxies.

NASA scientists have received about one-third of the observing time released so far, officials said.

Officials will grant researchers more access to the telescope throughout its mission. Scientists from Herschel's instrument team are guaranteed about one-third of the total observing time, and the rest will be released to the worldwide scientific community.

Plans call for Herschel to offer about 7,000 hours of science time per year.

Herschel's observations program is managed by officials at the mission's science center in Spain. Mission operations will be conducted from the European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany.

Although Herschel's primary mission is approved for three years, the spacecract carries enough liquid helium to cool its instruments for up to four years.

Scientists envision operating Herschel until the helium runs out to maximize the mission's scientific return.

"We have an observatory whose lifetime is limited by something that is boiling away constantly, so we will endeavor to waste as little time as possible," Pilbratt said.


Izvor: Spaceflight now
http://spaceflightnow.com/ariane/v188/herschel.html

Dakle, od danas, najveći kosmički teleskop je Herchel (3,5 metarsko ogledalo), Habl (2,4m) je drugi. Zajedno sa Heršelom je lansiran i Plank, koji će sa L2 tačke i pomoću instrumenata ohlađenih na 10K posmatrati svetlost iz doba nastanka univerzuma (trenutna procenjena starost je 13.73 milijardi godina +/- 120 miliona). Kada NASA bude lansirala i Webb-a, imaćemo četiri orbitalna teleskopa.
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
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Postod bigvlada » Ned Maj 17, 2009 8:26 am

Olakšana terapija bubrežnim bolesnicima
Dijaliza „za poneti“
Autor: P. Đurović | Foto:G.Srdanov | 17.05.2009. - 00:02

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Veštački prenosivi bubreg je pojas koji ima pumpu koja izvlači krv, filtrira je i vraća u organizam, a lakši je od običnih aparata čak 17 puta. Drugi uređaj, XCR-6 je nalik standardnim aparatima za dijalizu ali je veličinom i težinom prilagođen kućnoj upotrebi, a pacijent ga čak može sa sobom poneti i na put. Veštački portabl bubreg (WAK) je veliki pojas, odnosno kaiš vodootporan, lagan, automatizovan a pokreću ga baterije.

– Opremljen je raznim minijaturnim uređajima neophodnim za dijalizu – kaže dr Viktor Gura, nefrolog s Univerziteta Kalifornija, ujedno i šef medicinskog odeljenja u „Xcorporeal“, koji je radio na razvoju WAK-a.
Srž ovog uređaja je pumpa koja je 17 puta lakša od konvencionalnog aparata za dijalizu. Pumpa izvlači krv iz pacijentovog organizma kroz šupljikave vlaknaste filtere, kao i vodu koja sadrži minerale. Voda se konstantno prečišćava prolaskom kroz hemikalije koje uz to zadržavaju i toksine iz krvi, zaostale u njoj usled nefunkcionisanja bubrega. Potom se krv vraća nazad u pacijentov organizam. Jedino što se mora menjati kod WAK-a jesu filteri, i to jednom nedeljno, a hemikalije svakodnevno.
– Za obične aparate za dijalizu treba vam oko 120 litara prečišćene vode za jedan tretman, a mi za WAK koristimo samo 0,375 litara vode – objašnjava dr Gura. Uređaj je još u fazi kliničkih ispitivanja.
XCR-6 će biti najmanji, najlakši i najjednostavniji aparat za dijalizu, zahvaljujući platformi za samousmerenu hemodijalizu. On će omogućiti pacijentima da dijalizu obavljaju kod kuće, zato što koristi izuzetno malu količinu obične vode, ne zahteva posebne cevi ili uređaje za prečišćavanje, a napaja se strujom koja ima isti napon kao i u domaćinstvima.
Veličina i težina aparata su prilagođeni kućnoj upotrebi, a jednostavan je za korišćenje zato što je ceo sistem tankih cevčica integrisan u kasetu koja je sastavni deo aparata. Sva tečnost, odnosno dijalizat koji je prošao kroz pacijentov organizam i pokupio toksine, na kraju odlazi u deo kasete koji se baca, pa na taj način vlasnik ne mora da brine o čišćenju aparata.
– Zahvaljujući malim dimenzijama uređaja, pacijent ga može poneti sa sobom na put, pa nema više potrebe da leži u bolnici dok prima terapiju – kaže Keli Mekran, izvršni direktor „Xcorporeala“.
Konvencionalni aparati za dijalizu koriste 50 ili više litara dijalizata, tečnosti koja prečišćava pacijentov organizam od toksičnih materija, a koja se dobija iz velikih postrojenja za prečišćavanje vode. Za razliku od njih XCR-6 zahteva samo šest litara dijalizata, dobijenog od prečišćene vode sa česme, koji cirkuliše kroz sistem cevčica i sakuplja sve štetne materije iz organizma. Tako, uz manje dijalizata, ovaj aparat postiže istu stopu prečišćenosti kao i konvencionalni aparati.

Izvor: Blic
http://www.blic.rs/slobodnovreme.php?id=92889
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
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Postod bigvlada » Ned Maj 17, 2009 8:40 am

Nova supstanca stvorena je iz teškog vodonika
Beskrajan izvor energije
Autor: J. S. | Foto:Beta-AP | 17.05.2009. - 00:02

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Zamislite kocku stranica dugih samo 10 cm, a tešku čak 130 tona! Naučnici sa Univerziteta Getenburg u Švedskoj uspeli su da stvore supstancu koja je 100.000 puta teža od vode i gušća od jezgra Sunca i nadaju se da bi u budućnosti mogla da postane čist i održiv izvor energije.

Merenja su pokazala da je udaljenost među atomima te supstance znatno manja nego u običnoj materiji. Ta supstanca, inače ultragusti deuterijum, stvorena je, zasad samo u mikroskopskim količinama, u laboratoriji u Getenburgu. Ali profesor na Odeljenju za hemiju, Leif Holmlid, veruje da je to prvi korak ka komercijalnoj upotrebi gustog deuterijuma.
Nova supstanca stvara se iz teškog vodonika poznatog kao deuterijum zbog čega je nazvana ultragusti deuterijum. Veruje se da on ima važnu ulogu u stvaranju zvezda i da ga ima u gigantskim planetama poput Jupitera.
– On bi se mogao koristiti u laserskoj nuklearnoj fuziji. Moćnim laserima među jezgrima deuterijuma moguće je izazvati nuklearnu fuziju koja oslobađa ogromne količine energije – kaže prof. Holmlid.
Laserska tehnologija ranije je testirana na smrznutom deuterijumu. Međutim, do sada je dala slabe rezultate. Ultragusti deuterijum je milion puta gušći od smrznutog, pa je u njemu znatno lakše izazvati proces fuzije.
– Kad bismo mogli da proizvedemo velike količine ultragustog deuterijuma, proces fuzije mogao bi postati izvor energije budućnosti. Verujemo takođe da možemo tako da uredimo fuziju da proizvodi samo helijum i vodonik, koji su potpuno bezopasni. Na taj način nećemo morati da se bavimo radioaktivnim tricijumom koji bi se koristio u drugim budućim fuzijskim reaktorima. To, opet, znači da će laserska fuzija, kako je mi zamišljamo, biti održivija i manje štetna za okolinu od metoda koje se trenutno razvijaju – tvrdi prof. Holmlid.
Deuterijum je stabilni neradioaktivni izotop vodonika čije se atomsko jezgro sastoji od protona i neutrona, za razliku od najčešće prisutnog izotopa vodonika čije se jezgro sastoji samo od protona. U velikim količinama nalazi se u vodi – na hiljadu atoma vodonika dolazi više od jednog atoma s jezgrom deuterijuma. Izotop se označava kao '2H' ili 'D', a poznat je kao teški vodonik. Koristi se u konvencionalnim nuklearnim reaktorima u obliku teške vode (D2O), a verovatno će se koristiti kao gorivo u budućim fuzijskim reaktorima.

Izvor: Blic
http://www.blic.rs/slobodnovreme.php?id=92887

Dobro, Blic je casual novina, sa bombastičnim naslovima, ali ovo je genijalna vest. Kid i ja smo pre neki dan raspravljali o fuziji. Deuterijum (ili teška voda) nije radioaktivan. Ne moram da objašnjavam značaj fuzionog reaktora bez radijacije, koji kao nuzefekat proizvodi vodonik i helijum, dva industrijska gasa.

Evo originalnog članka:

Ultra-dense Deuterium May Be Nuclear Fuel Of The Future

ScienceDaily (May 12, 2009) — A material that is a hundred thousand times heavier than water and more dense than the core of the Sun is being produced at the University of Gothenburg. The scientists working with this material are aiming for an energy process that is both more sustainable and less damaging to the environment than the nuclear power used today.

Imagine a material so heavy that a cube with sides of length 10 cm weights 130 tonnes, a material whose density is significantly greater than the material in the core of the Sun. Such a material is being produced and studied by scientists in Atmospheric Science at the Department of Chemistry, the University of Gothenburg.

Towards commercial use

So far, only microscopic amounts of the new material have been produced. New measurements that have been published in two scientific journals, however, have shown that the distance between atoms in the material is much smaller than in normal matter. Leif Holmlid, Professor in the Department of Chemistry, believes that this is an important step on the road to commercial use of the material.

The material is produced from heavy hydrogen, also known as deuterium, and is therefore known as “ultra-dense deuterium”. It is believed that ultra-dense deuterium plays a role in the formation of stars, and that it is probably present in giant planets such as Jupiter.

An efficient fuel

So what can this super-heavy material be used for?

“One important justification for our research is that ultra-dense deuterium may be a very efficient fuel in laser driven nuclear fusion. It is possible to achieve nuclear fusion between deuterium nuclei using high-power lasers, releasing vast amounts of energy”, says Leif Holmlid.

The laser technology has long been tested on frozen deuterium, known as “deuterium ice”, but results have been poor. It has proved to be very difficult to compress the deuterium ice sufficiently for it to attain the high temperature required to ignite the fusion.

Energy source of the future

Ultra-dense deuterium is a million times more dense than frozen deuterium, making it relatively easy to create a nuclear fusion reaction using high-power pulses of laser light.

If we can produce large quantities of ultra-dense deuterium, the fusion process may become the energy source of the future. And it may become available much earlier than we have thought possible”, says Leif Holmlid.

“Further, we believe that we can design the deuterium fusion such that it produces only helium and hydrogen as its products, both of which are completely non-hazardous. It will not be necessary to deal with the highly radioactive tritium that is planned for use in other types of future fusion reactors, and this means that laser-driven nuclear fusion as we envisage it will be both more sustainable and less damaging to the environment than other methods that are being developed.”

Deuterium – brief facts

Deuterium is an isotope of hydrogen that is found in large quantities in water, more than one atom per ten thousand hydrogen atoms has a deuterium nucleus. The isotope is denoted “2H” or “D”, and is normally known as “heavy hydrogen”. Deuterium is used in a number of conventional nuclear reactors in the form of heavy water (D2O), and it will probably also be used as fuel in fusion reactors in the future.

Izvor: Science daily
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090511181356.htm

Da vidimo:

-fusion power - check
- ultradense deuterium fuel - check
- hyperdrive - not yet there


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još malo, još malo :D :cool:
Poslednja izmena od bigvlada u Ned Maj 17, 2009 8:41 am, izmenjeno 1 put ukupno.
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
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Postod bigvlada » Uto Maj 26, 2009 7:21 am

Istraživanje britanskih naučnika sa St. Endrjuz univerziteta
Baterije puni kiseonik
Autor: J.S. | Foto:NORTHFOTO | 24.05.2009. - 00:01

Ako litijumskim baterijama zamenite elektrode od litijum kobalt-oksida poroznim ugljeničnim elektrodama, one će moći da „udišu“ kiseonik iz vazduha. Ugljenične elektrode zapravo omogućavaju litijum-jonima i elektronima reakciju s kiseonikom iz vazduha, što ove baterije čini deset puta jačim od standardnih, ali i dosta jeftinijim.

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Do sada se mislilo da su litijumske baterije dostigle svoj vrhunac u primeni u tehnologiji. Ali hemičari sa britanskog Univerziteta St. Endrjuz tvrde da postoji način da se prevaziđe njihovo ograničenje u kapacitetu – da ih pustimo da „udišu“ kiseonik iz vazduha.
– Pozajmili smo ideju od cink-vazdušnih baterija, koje snagu crpe iz reakcije cinka sa kiseonikom i koje služe za napajanje slušnih aparata – kaže Piter Brus, sa St. Endrjuz univerziteta koji sa kolegama radi na kreiranju litijum-vazdušne baterije.
Nova baterija, nazvana STAIR (St. Andrews air) više ne sadrži gust litijum-kobalt. Umesto toga, anoda je napravljena od laganog poroznog ugljenika, a litijum joni, „spakovani“ u elektrolite, prelivaju se kroz sunđerasti materijal. Kad je baterija prazna, kiseonik iz vazduha takođe se preliva kroz membranu u ugljenik, gde reaguje sa litijum-jonima u elektrolitima i elektronima iz spoljnjeg kola formirajući čvrst litijum-oksid. Litijum-oksid, kako se baterija prazni, postepeno puni šupljine unutar ugljenik elektrode, a kada se baterija ponovo napuni, on se opet razlaže, ispuštajući litijum-jone i oslobađajući prostor u ugljeniku.
Prototip vazdušne baterije koji je napravio britanski tim naučnika je osam puta jači od baterija koju trenutno napajaju mobilne telefone, a naučnici smatraju da će lako doći do toga da budu 10 puta jače. Osim povećanog kapaciteta, vazdušne baterije biće i daleko jeftinije za proizvodnju jer je porozni ugljenik puno jeftiniji od litijum kobalt-oksida, a kiseonik uzet iz vazduha oko baterije, umesto nekog reagensa smeštenog u kućište, takođe pozitivno utiče na konačnu cenu.
Brus i kolege trenutno rade na transformisanju osnovne verzije u malecnu bateriju veličine onih koje se koriste u mobilnim telefonima.
– Tehnologija će moći da se koristi i za pravljenje automobila na električni pogon i hibridnih vozila u budućnosti – ističe Brus.
Litijumska baterija
Standardna litijumska baterija ima negativne grafitne anode, litijum-kobalt oksida i polimera pomešanih sa litijumovom soli. Polimer omogućava putovanje jona između elektroda i predstavlja čvrsti elektrolit. Tokom pražnjenja, litijumovi joni spontano napuštaju katodu, prolaze kroz polimer i na ugljenikovoj anodi formiraju leguru. Protok pozitivnih litijumovih jona predstavlja struju koju daje baterija. Dovođenjem spoljnjeg napona, nastala legura se razlaže pri čemu litijumovi joni dolaze nazad na katodu od litijum-kobalta. Ograničenje u njihovoj daljoj primeni predstavlja to što je litijum-kobalt glomazan i težak.

Izvor: Blic
http://www.blic.rs/blic_it.php?id=93919
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
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Postod bigvlada » Pet Maj 29, 2009 7:15 am

27/05/2009 20:23
Džepovi naučnika
DRUŠTVOSLOVLJE

Autor: Aleksej Kišjuhas

Sve do 17. veka, periodi naučne stagnacije bili su mnogo duži od perioda naučnog procvata ili renesanse. Međutim, kako navodi sociolog nauke Džozef Ben-Dejvid, tada nije bilo moguće uspostaviti kontinuitet jer je staro znanje najčešće bilo zaboravljano. Odnosno, trebalo je krenuti iz početka, i to obično sa nižeg nivoa od onog gde se nekad zaustavilo. Naučna tradicija antičke Grčke bila je potpuno zaboravljena u srednjovekovnoj Evropi, i samo je delimično iznova otkrivena tokom evropske renesanse.

Slično je bilo u Kini: drevne kineske knjige su iz političko-verskih razloga uništene u trećem veku pre nove ere. Kao i u Indiji: budizam prekida drevnu i vrednu indijsku astronomsku tradiciju, koja tek delimično oživljava kako je budizam počeo da slabi. Drugim rečima, naučni rad u različitim društvima je započinjao po nekoliko puta. Odsustvo značajnijeg kumulativnog naučnog razvoja u tradicionalnim društvima ne znači da ovi ljudi nisu bili naročito talentovani ili bistri. Već ova instruktivna činjenica znači sledeće: u određenim trenucima, nauka je posta(ja)la podređena nekim drugim interesima, i tada je gubila vitalnost.

Ti drugi, populistički, i kratkoročno važniji interesi uvek vrebaju. Danas je to svetska ekonomska kriza i opšti poziv na bušenje novih rupa po kaiševima. Srbija je u ring sa ekonomskom krizom ušla tako što je po nosu udarila naučnike. Naravno, uz ostale tradicionalno „nevažne“ fenomene poput ekologije i kulture, te iznova „luksuzne“ namirnice kao što su cigarete, alkohol i benzin. Skupština Srbije, u okviru Zakona o budžetu, usvojila je odredbu po kojoj se univerzitetima oduzima 40 odsto sredstava iz sopstvenih prihoda. Za neke fakultete, posledice mogu biti bankroti i katanci na vratima. Ekonomska kriza nije naročito suvisao izgovor, jer ovo nije prvi put da država poseže za džepovima naučnika, umesto da ih puni. U novembru 2007. godine, prvi put u Srbiji, u (jednočasovni) štrajk su stupili naučnici. Ova vest često je prenošena kao nešto bizarno ili u izvesnom „verovali ili ne“ duhu, a ne kao fenomen koji treba da ozbiljno zabrine ovo društvo. Javnost je to još manje shvatila kao nešto što se njih tiče.

Političari i javnost u Srbiji tako retko doživljavaju naučnike kao nekoga ko može da pomogne društvenom razvoju. Odnosno, kao jedini sloj stanovništva koji je to ikada zaista činio. Stvarni motor svetske istorije ne čine vešti državnici i vojskovođe, već privredni procesi i naučno-tehnološka otkrića. Veština političara i vojskovođa značila je samo veštinu da se ova otkrića upotrebe. To jest, finansijski podrže i kasnije poberu lovorike i rezervišu slike po udžbenicima istorije. Britansku imperiju stvorila je britanska flota. Ali ova flota bila bi nemoguća bez prvobitne i snažne britanske podrške nauci: istraživanjima u oblasti navigacije i nautike u 16. veku. Uspon Nemačke kao dominantne evropske države-nacije bio je direktan proizvod formiranja državnih škola i univerzitetske revolucije pokrenute krajem 18. veka upravo u Nemačkoj. Francuzi su bili zapanjeni vojnom nadmoćnošću Nemaca i sopstvenim porazom u Francusko-pruskom ratu. Brže-bolje, sopstveni univerzitetski sistem reformisali su po ugledu na nemački. Ovaj model reforme kasnije je imitiran svuda, a najbolje u Sjedinjenim Državama, današnjoj svetskoj velesili i - zemlji sa najboljim univerzitetima na planeti.

Ministri u Vladi i poslanici u Skupštini Srbije nažalost ne znaju koliko su univerziteti i naučni instituti značajne istitucije jednog društva. Ili ne znaju mnogo više od najopštijih fraza. Naime, potraga za znanjem neodvojiva je od postojanja autonomnih organizacijskih jedinica kao što je univerzitet. Na univerzitetu, intelektualna zajednica dobija sopstvenu „tvrđavu“: jasnu institucionalnu granicu između onih „unutra“ i „spolja“, te pravo na autonomno bavljenje delatnošću kao što je objašnjenje sveta u kojem živimo. Dva su ključna sastojka u tom glavnom jelu društvenog napretka: izolacija od ostatka sveta (pa i političara) i intenzifikovana međusobna komunikacija. Bez pojave institucije poput univerziteta na mapi Evrope, nauka kakvu je danas poznajemo ne bi bila moguća. I verovatno neće biti moguća u budućnosti. Možda osnovna karakteristika politike u Srbiji - još bazičnija od korupcije, dakle - jeste njena kratkoročnost. I zato deluje moguće i gotovo neproblematično krenuti rešavati krizu tako što će se potiskivati naučni radnici - isti i jedini oni koji krizu mogu da objasne i ponude rešenja.

Izvor: Danas
http://www.danas.rs/vesti/dijalog/dzepovi_naucnika.46.html?news_id=162315

Jednostavno, politika i religija su dva najveća protivnika razvoju nauke u društvu - prva je ne razume i neće je podržavati sem ako joj to nije u veoma kratkoročnom interesu, druga je se plaši jer nudi pogled na svet koji je eksperimentalno dokaziv i zasnovan na činjenicama i teorijama, a ne na veri. I politika i religija se trude da narod bude što manje prosvećen, jer je najteže upravljati visoko obrazovanim stanovništvom. Osnovni razlog zašto ne podnosim ni jedne ni druge.
The world is not based on reality but on the perception of reality. The problem is that for most, illusion is the reality...
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Postod KiD » Sub Maj 30, 2009 1:48 am

^^^ Da, slazem se sa tobom u potpunosti. Crkva je za istoriju najveci protivnik progresa bila, i njeno nasledstvo jos dugo nece biti nadmaseno. Medjutim i ovaj politizirani sistem koji sada funkcionise nije mnogo bolji. Da budemo posteni, mislim da je zadnjih 2-3 decenije posebno lose. Nivo politizacije i manipulacije u toj sveri vodi u stagnaciju i dekadenciju. Mozda ce ih kriza naterati da nauka opet bude dobra investicija, jer covecanstvo nikad nije imalo bolju obrazovnu i naucnu infrastrukturu da napravi sledeci skok.
Poslednja izmena od KiD u Sub Maj 30, 2009 1:49 am, izmenjeno 1 put ukupno.
"...svaka generacija mora da zavrsi svoj dnevni mars na putu napretka..."
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Postod bigvlada » Ned Maj 31, 2009 7:44 am

Scientists Discover How to Grow Plastic on Trees
by Jorge Chapa

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We tend not to acknowledge it, but our dependence on oil is not limited to the consumption of fossil fuels for energy and transportation. Finding an alternative to plastic (which is also made from oil), is proving to be one of the most difficult problems we face today. Recently scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have announced a groundbreaking development that provides a simple solution to the problem, transforming plant cellulose into plastic in one single step.

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The vast majority of products these days are either made of - or packaged in - plastic, so finding an alternative substance that may be manufactured from a non-polluting, inexpensive resource is of paramount importance. As mentioned in the June 15th issue of the journal Science, researchers at PNNL have been able to convert glucose found in plant cellulose into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a basic building block for fuel, polyesters, and other petroleum-based chemicals. The main problem in creating this building block is that it is quite expensive to do, and the process yield are quite low. Furthermore, the final HMF product is laced with impurities, making it difficult to use.

Previous attempts at synthesizing HMF started with simple sugars, however researchers at PNNL have now found a way to turn plant cellulose into the building block in one single step. Thanks to clever tinkering, the team was able to extract HMF from plants by using a mixture of copper chloride and chromium chloride to break down the cellulose without creating unwanted byproducts. The chlorides didn’t degrade, which meant that the process could be repeated using the same chemicals, reducing the cost of creating HMF while yielding a product with fewer impurities.

While still a ways off from commercial applications, the process shows promise in creating an alternative to plastics. The next steps involve fine-tuning the process to increase the yields while further reducing the cost of production.

+ Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Via Science Daily

Izvor: Inhabitat
http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/05/27/scientists-discover-how-to-grow-plastic-on-trees/#more-30502
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