science

Do we live in a Simulation ? Are we in a Matrix?

 

If you are in your 30s – 50s you must have heard of the matrix trilogy , in which the hero, Neo discovers that the world he’s living in, is nothing else than a computer simulation, allowing machines to harvest the human energy in the most optimal and efficient way possible.

For me, and until recently, i never looked at it in a way other than a metaphor, to the global system of things.

But recent remarks by some individuals i highly admire, made me reflect on the subject, could we be really living in a simulation ?

Elon Musk the founder of Tesla, SpaceX, Paypal … said: “I’ve had so many simulation discussions it’s crazy,” Musk said. Citing the speed with which video games are improving, he suggested that the development of simulations “indistinguishable from reality” was inevitable. The likelihood that we are living in “base reality,” he concluded, was just “one in billions.”

 

Matt Damon the actor and the founder of Water.org said on the Mit commencement speech referred to a debate in which physicians and scientists debated about whether the universe is a computer simulation … and the scientists were unable to rule it out!

 

the debate:

But seriously, should we ignore our senses, i mean everything feels so real, these guys are simply putting out some weird theories, or are they ?

Well, according to Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman we do not experience the world as it really is!

In other words the theory of simulation might be the real deal …

I let you watch the videos and make up your own mind.

Advertisements
creationism evolution

Creationism VS Evolution , Who is right and who is wrong?

In the spirit of the contrarian opinions, i have decided to write today about a subject that have been debated for years. As always, the approach i’ll take is based on facts and what i analyze, based on my knowledge as a scientist.
This is a contrarian blog (the opinions are contrary to what is popular these days), the opinions are based on facts.

The debate is so long and so intense that i could in no way cover the points in a blog post.

But here’s what we know:

Creationists Theories:

This is a touchy subject, i won’t get into details due to the emotional associations many have with this subject, but in general religions have been mostly recycling ancient ideas about deities and gods, the main point of criticism to creationists is, who and why we were created?

And why would a God create humanity and (make us feel guilty,  force everyone to believe , select few as elite , or ….)

Scientists and evolutionists theories, center around:

1- The concept that everything is random,
2- Natural selection that funnels the evolution of species towards the most optimal output.
And by optimal output, it means having the most reproductive power and longest longevity.

If we look at the animal anatomy, we notice that the body systems evolved through species, in case you are not familiar with this concept i would recommend reading a bit about it, especially about the nervous system.

The systems evolution can be observed, but genetics might have brought some more to the table, the genes we share as humans with other animals, trace the road of evolution. In other words, genes were passed from the early animal ancestors to their other descendants , for example we share more than 96% of our genes with chimps, thus it shows that we and the chimps might have a common ancestor. We share less genes with other mammals, but we share nonetheless, meaning our ancestors shared a common ancestor with mammals ….

More recently, evidence for common descent has come from the study of biochemical similarities between organisms. For example, all living cells use the same basic set of nucleotides and amino acids.The development of molecular genetics has revealed the record of evolution left in organisms’ genomes: dating when species diverged through the molecular clock produced by mutations. For example, these DNA sequence comparisons have revealed that humans and chimpanzees share 98% of their genomes and analysing the few areas where they differ helps shed light on when the common ancestor of these species existed    more info..

3- An initial event, Abiogenesis  – life arising from non living matter- or the Big bang theory -birth of planets and the event that led to the creation of space, the universe, earth, the sun …
The planets, space and the stars are governed by the law of physics and general relativity

Here’s what is wrong and what we actually don’t know !!!

Big bang theory : We know nothing! according to this theory the universe expanded in a fraction of a second, and we do not have a unified theory of gravity and the other forces to explain it, in other words, the relativity theory and all other theories do not apply here, in other words we don’t know what led to the this initial event that created the universe!
Origin of life or Abiogenesis : Whether it happened on earth, or even if it happened on another planet, we still know nothing! Yeah, we can explain how the early cells evolved to give breath to a complex human being. But what we can not explain is how did these cells come to existence!!! How non-living matter evolved to give an organic compound, not only that, but how this organic compound became alive!!!

Creationism can have a role :

The 2 points that are basically like magic, are the points mentioned above, so basically creationists can pretend that the Big bang and the Abiogenesis were both initiated by a “Power” that they call GOD.

Mission accomplished : Creationists and Evolutionists Reconciled!

We are all needed !

What is the biggest invention of the 20th century?

Many might say the computer, and they might be right, “the computer” idea have been progressing since the 19th century, especially when Charles Babbage, Considered the “father of the computer”, invented the first mechanical computer in the early 19th century.

But the First modern computer was invented by Alan Turing, he introduced the notion of programming computers,by introducing the notion of a ‘Universal Machine’ , with the idea that such a machine could perform the tasks of any other machine, thus capable of computing anything that is computable by executing a program stored on tape.

This Guy, Alan, was part of a team that broke the Nazi code, and helped the Allies win decisive battles, like in Stalingrad, amongst others. Alan was actually the head of the team, and he almost single handily invented the machine that broke the code (according to his biography movie: the imitation game).

After the war, Alan was robbed, but when he reported the robbery the investigators discovered he was gay, he was convicted, and chemically castrated. At the time he was working on his universal machine, this guy convicted, have seen his lifework ruined, reputation ruined, and access to certain facilities prohibited … he took his life by poison, following the snow white scenario.

Imagine if this guy never existed, the 3rd Reich might have conquered Europe, computers most probably would be still very basic. Now imagine if this guy was never convicted for being gay, the computers and technology we would have now in 2015 would be years more advanced than what we actually have, technology lost a couple decades of potential advancement because our grandparents were less tolerant!

I am a straight guy, married, and do not have any agenda in writing this article, but reality is, we do not know where the next Einstein, Beethoven or Alan Turing will come from. We are all on this earth together, and we need the effort and creativity of every person, to advance and make it a better place for the future generations.

The trailer of the imitation game movie:

women without men

A world without Men!

women without men

emancipation

The other day, i was having a chit chat with a member of the opposite sex, when she said that men are almost of no use these days and a world without men is possible! This idea seams to be common amongst women these days.

Not taking in consideration that most company founders are men, and that they hire women without discrimination, but the other way is not always true.

In this post, i’ll try to analyze this theory “that a world of women without men is possible”, all while being as much objective as i can!

Before starting, i think we should thank the feminists of this decade, for successfully installing in the heads of women that men are useless, this idea is as much repulsive to the early feminists (who fought for real causes) as it is to men, a straight man would never think of the possibility of a world without women!

But to indulge the fantasy of the feminists and those imagining a world without men, i’ll analyze different cases leading to a world without men, based on my knowledge in science (genetics, evolution, etc …)

Obviously, my analysis will be reflecting my imagination of the situation, even if i’ll try to keep it as much objective as i can, there’s a possibility that it would favor an anti-feminist point of view!


 

Scenario 1: Men suddenly disappearing due to an illness that only target the male genome.  Meaning only females can live, every male child and adult will die.

case 1: If this event takes place anytime before 1978 (In vitro fertilization first success case), then Robert G. Edwards, the physiologist who developed the treatment, would have not been able to do so, and in this case the entire human population would have gone extinct withing 100-120 years (when the last girl dies), without men there’s no reproduction.

case 2: If this event takes place now, the female population left surviving will be able to use the IVF to fertilize female eggs with sperm from the sperm banks, but this will mean that the next generation will be 1% or less of the current female population (depending on sperm stored in banks), but the maximum it could be stored is 55 years (let’s say 100 year), so basically within 100 year from the moment men go extinct, women will no longer be able to have daughters and they will go extent few decades later, meaning in this scenario women will outlive men 200 years at most.

case 3: If this event takes place in the near future when cloning have been mastered,  please not at this time in 2015 we have successfully cloned many animals but, it often took a huge number of attempts and resources to do so (for Dolly the sheep: It took 434 attempts before an embryo was successful), and often cloned animals died few minutes to few days after being born, those that survived had a much shorter lifespan than original animal, and last, there were no even 1 successful human cloning till now, but let’s assume in the future we will master the cloning, and be able to clone humans, as well as prevent the fast death of clones. In this case the female population will drop dramatically to less than 0.1% within 1 generation, and the reason is that such a procedure have a very low success rate, it is very stressing, and require high level of trained personnel, making it accessible only to few. The generation after that will be probably less than 20% of the previous one, and afterwards it might be stabilized numbers wise, but not cloning wise, as cloning a clone might be much more difficult and less successful than cloning a human, but the loop will never end leading to more and more problems as we go farther from the original person, as cloning a clone of a clone will probably lead to many genetic mutations and physiological problems.

 


 

Scenario 2: Let’s say somehow, females are able to naturally reproduce without the need of a male, this is more a Science Fiction scenario, more than one based on scientific facts.

case1: If this takes place at the beginning of our species, meaning men never existed, only females existed, in this case some females will have to go hunt for food and some will have to keep the kids (all girls of course), this will lead to having females with a much tougher character, this will be mainly due to the fact that tribes with higher testosterone levels are more aggressive and risk takers and thus will be able to provide more food for their offspring and will eventually chase off any competing tribe. That means in a world without men, the women that have the most characteristics of men will be the ones who survive!!! Women will evolve to be more like men physically than women, and the natural selection will favor the strongest tribes every-time, thus creating a version of women with less social skills but more body power, basically creating Women that look and act like men. Why this never happened in our evolution, the answer is that men which have been subjected to the hormonal natural selection, decided to protect their women and kept them safe to take care of the young ones, the only selection factors women were subjected to are the fertility , sexuality and social skills selection, where men had more kids with women the perceived sexy, and women that were able to live peacefully with other women.

case2: If this takes place early through our history, far from the natural selection era, at the time of start of civilizations, example in 200BC or 1000 BC. Nothing much will happen, because the percentage of reproduction without male will be negligible compared to the standard way, except if for some reason, males suffer from something similar to the illness of scenario 1.
In this case, the history would be entirely different, without the testosterone induced domination behavior, big civilization will never be created, instead there will be a huge network of cities, living mostly peacfully amongst each other, there would be some skirmiches from time to time, but nothing mounting to the brutality of wars, technology science, and advancement wise the cities will advance at a much slower rate, first, because lower concentration of people means slower advancement, and second because men are more creative and much more men have very high intelligence Quotient (often associated with inventions)  than women (even when most IQ tests are constructed so that there are no overall score differences between females and males – allowing women to have as high score as men  – aka removing as much logic from the test as possible :P).
To put all this in perspective living in a 2015 only female world, would be like living in the 5th or 10th century, except there would have not been any minor wars for the last few hundreds years, and communication skills and language would have evolved to a level surpassing by far our current levels, intuition, six sense and borderline telepathy would have been common.

case3: If this takes place now or in the future: Also for a reason Men should no longer be able to exist, a quick and brutal regression will take place, men have been the bearers of technology flag for the last few decades, without men, cars, planes and electronics will fail without having enough people to repair them, how many female mechanic you know? what about female IT technicians, or female programmers or even female engineer ? These are the domains needed for technology and these are precisely the domains that have the least women. Why?, you might ask, that’s because these domains require the type of intelligence that many men excel in and that very few women do, this creates a pressure on girls wanting to work in these domains, and thus they avoid such domains to avoid feeling inferior. The fast drop in tech would later be halted, by making sure to have enough women that know these tech as possible, on the long run, current technology would be restored, tech advancement would be reignited but probably on a much slower rate than it is right now!


To end this article, a world without men is not possible unless it is science fiction, or maybe a model based on the amazonian women warriors, or even the bees and ants societies, where few males are kept for fertilization!

PS: Bees and Ants societies are hormonal slavery, where the queens secrete hormones to control the entire colony!!

Ebola virus can spread through handshake – prevention tips

 

With the recent Ebola outbreak, people are trying to understand how the virus works and how to avoid catching it!
And the incompetent media and politicians are always repeating the same key phrase :

human-to-human transmission requires direct contact with infected bodily fluids, including blood, vomit and feces.

You get the impression that everything is ok, no need to panic, then you see the numbers of people infected … 8000 and increasing daily … And you realize it’s simply not possible that these people are touching blood, vomit and feces!!!!

The media then repeat, it’s not airborn or transmitted by air, giving you a sense of security but failing to mention the most important social behavior that would lead to the spread of the virus …. a simple handshake !!!

There might be a very low risk of catching ebola if an infected person coughs or sneezes around you, but the risk is high if you shake his hand!

Ebola spreads through bodily fluids, that means also sweat, thus any kind of sport that leads to sweat is a high infection factor especially basketball, wrestling …!

Ebola will infect you if it reaches a break in the skin or the mucous membranes found around your eyes, mouth and nose.

Make sure to wash your hands after touching people to avoid transmitting a potential virus to your eyes or nose.

If you live in a society, where customs demand to give a kiss when you meet someone you know, “faire la bise” in french, just stop it.

Symptoms of Ebola infection:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea (may be bloody)
  • Red eyes
  • Raised rash
  • Chest pain and cough
  • Stomach pain
  • Severe weight loss
  • Bleeding, usually from the eyes, and bruising (people near death may bleed from other orifices, such as ears, nose and rectum)
  • Internal bleeding

The best prevention, is strict quarantines on villages,cities, and even countries having high number of infections.

The ruthless nature – burnet moths caterpillar – Cinnabar Moth massacre

The other day i discovered that my garden was invaded by a black and yellow stripes caterpillars, after researching it online, i found out that these were the caterpillar stage of the burnet moths or more scientifically know as “Cinnabar Moth”.

Cinnabar moths a  day-flying insects …  the larvae use members of the genus Senecio as foodplants… for long-term population success, the presence of the larger species such as ragwort is needed… Females lay up to 300 eggs, usually in clusters of 30 to 60 … Newly hatched larvae feed from the underneath of ragwort leaves within the area of their old eggs. The larvae absorb toxic and bitter tasting alkaloid substances from the foodplants, and assimilate them, becoming unpalatable themselves. The bright colours of both the larvae and the moths act as warning signs, so they are seldom eaten by predators… They are voracious eaters; large populations can strip entire patches of ragwort clean, a result of their low predation… Often, very few survive to the pupal stage, mainly due to them completely consuming the food source before reaching maturity;

So you have this moth that have very few predators in pupal stage, and lays a high number of eggs, and yet most die before reaching maturity due to starvation! I mean is this a failure in evolution? why they didn’t evolve to be able to consume other plants as well? But let’s imagine for a minute that these creature did evolve to be able to consume alternative plants once main food is consumed, in this case with such a high reproduction rate & with few predators, this moth will entirely consume the “Senecio” genus, that’s around 1200 plant species!

But why the starvation road? why the moth didn’t evolve to lay less eggs?
less eggs, seams to be a good evolutionary road, less eggs, more caterpillar survive, eventually the variation with less eggs will become dominant … or will it?

photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5 photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5 photo 1 photo 4 photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

why hollywood movies and series suck so bad in genetics and biology?

I watched a Science-fiction series named ‘ the tomorrow people “, the series just ended it’s 1st season and then got cancelled by CW, because it was unable to get enough audience, i guess …

I am a big SiFi fan, but what annoyed me the most in this series is it’s butchering of basic genetics, i mean they were so ignorant genetically wise that it was amazing to imagine how they dared present it, especially when the main plot is all about genetics!

To start : they called “the tomorrow people” another species, simply because this “new species” have 7 additional proteins that give them superpowers, the problem is that they used the word all the time when they should have avoided it, and here’s why:
– different species are different morphologically, in the series all look normal human.
– different species can’t interbreed, but if they can, the offspring are sterile, in the series mix offspring are the vast majority.

How a new species is born: In the series out of a sudden, thousands of individuals have the same mutations giving them powers, let’s assume for a moment they are a ‘new species’ ,  a species doesn’t appear simply by having thousands of people having the exact same mutations at the same time, a new species always starts with 1 individual and takes hundreds of  life-cycles to be established (meaning thousands of years).

 

Another case of Hollywood biology fail is Vampire Academy, the movie sucked! but what annoyed me the most is their use of the term race to describe the different types of vampires!
Here’s how ridiculous it is: Moroi become Strigoi  (another race) when they kill while feeding from a human or other Moroi. You can not change Race due to an action!

And there’s hundreds of similar errors in movies and series….

How can they afford to invest millions without checking the script out, with a biology teacher or a doctor at least!