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Study Linking GM Maize To Rat Tumors Is Retracted

clonan Read the definition of corn... (341 comments)

Gan: Corn is defined as a small hard grain/seed

Wheat is corn
Rice is corn
Rye is Corn
Millet is Corn

Maize is also corn

The term Corn used in supermarkets is actually slang....

If you are going to be a vocab critic then at least get the vocab right!

about 5 months ago
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A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

clonan Re:Keystone Pipline (1030 comments)

As I mentioned in my original post, MOST of the value comes from legal protection and eminent domain land purchases.

For example, Bush's Energy law included a provision that prevents anyone from suing gas station owners from leaks that have contaminated local communities. This one provision is worth hundreds of billions and doesn't show up on the federal budget.

Most of the direct benefit actually comes from tax breaks which don't show in the budget.

Most of the real cost is not directly related to DIRECT subsidies. Most of the benefit comes from repairing the damage these energy sources do to health and environment. Look at how much the EPA spends to clean up oil related environmental damage.

Next, the federal government is not the ONLY source of subsidies. States provide roughly equivalent subsidies.

Finally, you say my number is crazy??? The EU countries also subsidize oil but no where near as much since they also tax the final product... The EU fuel cost is around $9 a gallon...

about 5 months ago
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A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

clonan Re:Why subsidize? (1030 comments)

We should be encouraging:

1. Thorium nuclear - Difficult to weaponize, readily available fuel, reduced waste, economically viable in smaller reactor sizes
2. Other Nuclear - Regional fuel access, proliferation issues
3. Solar - Can use "dead" space (like rooftops) which reduces NIMBY issues
4. Wind - more limited in location and NIMBY issues

about 5 months ago
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A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

clonan Keystone Pipline (1030 comments)

Umm, what about the Keystone XL Pipeline... That single project is receiving between 1 and 1.8 BILLION dollars in subsidies.

For reference ALL renewable received $5.93 billion.. over a 15 year period...

Plus the real benefit that oil, coal and natural gas receive are liability protection from spills, poisoning etc plus eminent domain lad purchases for pipelines etc.

These issues are not represented in the typical accounting of subsidies and easily doubles the value.

I remember reading that is all benefits were removed from oil than the price of gas would be between 12-15 dollars a gallon!

about 5 months ago
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Bradley Manning Sentenced To 35 Years

clonan 20 Counts (491 comments)

He was charged with 20 counts NOT 10,000. Prosecutors don't need to read all 10,000 they only needed to read 20.

Just because you kill someone in self defense doesn't mean that you can kill anyone you want.

Even if 9,880 documents are evidence of war crimes, he is still guilty of releasing sensitive information the SHOULD be kept secret.

about 8 months ago
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Moore's Law and the Origin of Life

clonan Read up on Histones (272 comments)

Not true. Histones, the proteins that keep DNA ordered, are some of the earliest proteins. They provide an extremely accurate clock for when species diverged.

While on a short term, a few million years, you are right when you say the rate of genetic drift is not predictable. However, over a longer period of time the rate SEEMS to be fairly consistent. That is the point of the article.

You seem to be confusing genetic diversity with Phylogenetic diversity. Phylogenetic diversity describes how genes change physical differences while genetic diversity talks about the complexity of the genes themselves.

You can have genetic diversification without the physical structure of the organism changing, especially if there are environmental restrictions.

1 year,7 days
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Alcoholism Vaccine Makes Alcohol Intolerable To Drinkers

clonan Re:Scary idea (350 comments)

Worst case it would be ruined for 6 months.

about a year ago
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IBM Creates 'Breathing' High-Density Lithium-Air Battery

clonan Electric Drive Train? (582 comments)

You are assuming that EV will simply replace the current engine and fuel tank with an electric engine and battery... This is not what has to happen.

Currently engines are big and heavy so you only have one. You then have to transfer the rotational energy of the engine to the wheels. But Electric motors are very light and tiny. So why not have 4?

Put a small electric engine in each wheel and you eliminate the entire drive train... no more drive train losses and EV's are back up to 90%.

Your 72% efficiency only applies to ICE cars that have been converted to EV's.

about 2 years ago
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Kepler Confirms Exoplanet Inside Star's Habitable Zone

clonan Re:Take that... (257 comments)

Direct observation of quasars and other celestial objects.

We can deffinetivly identify the direction of rotation of pulsars as well as a variety of other objects with accretion discs. From these observations we have determined that from our perspective, the orbital plan is esssentially random.

Since we know that angular momentum is conserved, it is safe to assume that the original stars that formed these objects had a random distribution of orbital plans relative to us.

Since we know stars have a random distribution of orbital plans, it is safe to assume that the planets round thoes stars do as well...

All based on direct observation.

more than 2 years ago
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Bill Gates Advocates Tax On Financial Transactions

clonan Re:And now lets word it to screw the little guy. (694 comments)

Actually, the military spending (Not just DOD) is actually ~60% of federal spending when you include everything related to defense including homeland security, CIA etc, military projects at NASA, veterans affairs etc plus the interest on the debts directly related to these projects.

Right now the DOD (only about half of all defense spending) is fully 50% of the world spending on military. The US is only 20% of the world GDP. therefore the CORRECT spending on the military is actually about 25% of what we actually spend...

Social security is not a problem. It is completely funded through payroll taxes.

Medicare IS a problem but the solutions is politically unpalitable... True comprehensive coverage of every single person with a reduction in actual benefits (primarily not offering MRIs when X-rays are sufficient)

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

clonan Re:This is god talking to man (1345 comments)

As far as the levitical laws, for the most part we actually follow them today.

They described crop rotation, bathing, illness identification and structural fumigation. All these things we still do today.

Most people concentrate on the dietary rules but why are they bad? Most of the animals forbidden were generally poor food or even deadly. Pork for instance is still a meat that has a disease risk and still kills people every year.

How about the marriage laws? Remember, people often died young and a surviving wife's only chance of living was to remarry and so she was married to the closest male relative rather than a stranger. In this scenario people need clear rules on who can marry whom without inbreeding too badly.

How about the homosexuality... If you actually read the bible, homosexuality was only mentioned about a half-dozen times. The Israelites were forbidden to use sex, homo or hetero, in the worship of the lord and they were not allowed to use rape, homo or hetero, as a means of interrogation.

There are only a few parts of the old-testament law that I don't really get. The first is to not "Stew a lamb in it's mothers milk." I guess maybe they thought it was cruel or disgusting or something. The next is "Only wear clothes of the same material." I have to assume this was to keep the clothes from wearing out since different fabrics wear at different rates which tends to shorten the life of the garment over either material alone. But both of these are guesses on my part and really minor concerns.

As far as old vs new, there really isn't that much difference. You car comparing writings that are at LEAST 2000 years apart. When you compare the new testament to Malachi, the youngest old testament book, you find far fewer differences even though these are almost 500 years apart. There were other texts that did not make it into the bible that actually show a fairly smooth transition from genesis to Matthew.

As far as Paul vs Mark, there actually aren't many differences. Remember, Mark was reporting history (he even describes himself as a reporter) while Paul was taking the principles and creating an operating organization. There are aspects in real life applications that Jesus did not go into great detail on and Paul filled in those details.

Actually I really respect Paul because he taught that 'Jesus said this, I believe this, but it would be ok to do that.'

Excluding the Unitary Universalists who are not and don't claim to be Christian, what major differences are there between the various mainstream sects of Christianity? Excluding of course who it the earthly head of the church.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

clonan Re:This is god talking to man (1345 comments)

Who said god is afraid?

Why is god an asshole? Since as you pointed out it was this knowledge that turned us from happy and innocent into what we are today.

I actually often say that pre-puberty is the best time of life. As they say, ignorance is bliss.

Did god forbid knowledge for his god or ours? Also if you recall, god cast them out of the garden NOT because of the knowledge but because they had access to the 'tree of eternal life.' Can you imagine the terror of immortal man as we are today...

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

clonan Re:Science is evil too (1345 comments)

Responding in kind my friend. The GP cited atrocities therefore I had to follow suit.

Also, Godwin's law does not preclude refering to Nazi's in history. Rather it means that equating an opponent or their position with Nazi's. I did neither. :)

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

clonan Re:Science is evil too (1345 comments)

I suggest you re-read your Torah, Bible, Koran and you Tipitaka.

The actual morality espoused is far from scary in fact I bet it is what you personally wish for yourself.

Now, like people can abuse science, people can make claims in the name of a religion that goes directly against the principles of that religion and because they are either a person of note or because the general social environment is unstable a portion of the population who are intellectually lazy will follow. This does NOT mean the religion actually supports this view.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

clonan Re:Science is evil too (1345 comments)

umm, look up the definition of philosophy.

what do you think the Ph in PhD stands for...

Doctorate in Philosophy.....

The philosophy of science is that the universe is understandable and testable. That my friend is a philosophy.

Yes, Nazi's misused science, just like Branch Davidians misused religion, just like jihadists misused religion, just like Westboro baptist misuses religion....

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

clonan Re:Science is evil too (1345 comments)

Thank you for proving my point :)

Science is a religion because the fundamental philosophy is un-testable and only followed through faith. If you question this assessment than I suggest you research the philosophy of science. Science like most religion acknowledges this gap.

FYI the Nazi's euthanasia was based directly on Darwin's work.

  The communist manifesto was based directly on economics and psychology.

I would point out that social science, like what China uses, is a recognized branch of science...

Finally, you are confusing volume with quantity. The extreme people tend to be orders of magnitude louder than the typical person regardless of the arena. Just ask a partisan about trickle-down economics. The actual portion of actively religious who espouse the extreme philosophy you are talking about is actually far lower in the US than the rest of the world even though we are one of the most religious countries in the world.

I do agree, a post-industrial society is not likely to stone people. However we have far more effective ways of killing people now. Back several thousand years ago, stoning was actually the most humane way to execute someone commonly available. Hit in the head with a single 15 pound stone and you are out, feeling no pain. With a sword, which were rare, you could take hours to die. Beheading was very difficult because the metal sucked, hanging even today can end up slowly strangling you to death.

BTW, I personally work in pharma developing drugs. I have done HIV research and am working on a Masters in Statistics. I AM a scientist by profession. From everything I have seen, Christianity and science are in perfect agreement. The few slight areas of disagreement are either due to an incomplete understanding of the research or historical drift in the text/translations.

I challenge you to find a case where Christianity and science a materially different...

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

clonan Re:Wrong assessment (1345 comments)

Tell me, what would morality look like to a hunter-gatherer?

Likely very little in property rights and even less in sanctity of life. After all, you own nothing and your lives are very short.

How about pure agrarian societies? How about early industrial age?

If you read the bible beginning to end you see that the morality of god DOES change in style but not kind. It is man that is limited in our ability to respect others. As human society advanced so do gods requirements of us. If you compare the actions of the Israelites to the surrounding people you find that they are actually the most civil group around.

You could assume that it was man that changed god as he matured but if that were the case why would they have had such a hard time keeping up with the new requirements and why would they make themselves look so bad in the bible? Human society changes human nature doesn't.

Women's lib only became possible when Women could control their own reproduction and when physical strength was not an absolute requirement to make a living.

And yes, I do fairly well. My wife, the Aeronautical engineer very much likes me even after a decade together.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

clonan This is god talking to man (1345 comments)

You also need to remember that this is god dealing with man through time.

Look at the bible as a whole. Mankind starts in a very mean state. He was violent, agressive and not very social. In this situation, if God is to respect free will, he is limited in what he can command his people to do. As man develops God moves from Kill everyone to guard the land to Turn the other cheek to charity is all important.

The 'evil' we see in the bible is more due to the limits of human society that the goals of god.

What is interesting is that the Irealites were actually kinder and gentler that any of the surrounding peoples.

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

clonan Science is evil too (1345 comments)

As opposed to the 'religion' of science:

Nazis leap to mind. They used 'science' to justify their policies

Soviet Socialism was 'science' based

China and it's forced abortion policies are also science based.

Science is hardly a pristine philosophy.

The truth is, humans are malliable creatures that fear change and differences in general. They will latch on to ANYTHING that gives them an excuse to act as their Id directs them.

Just because violence is done in the name of religion does not mean that the religion encourages, advises or even accepts it. You are looking at the most extreme people in the most extreme situations.

I could see the same people burying a woman up to her neck and stoning her to death because her genotyping says she and her chosen partner would create bad offspring...

more than 2 years ago
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Science and Religion Can and Do Mix, Mostly

clonan Wrong assessment (1345 comments)

I ecourage you to review Genesis 22:7,8.

Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?" "Yes, my son?" Abraham replied. "The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"

Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.

God WILL provide, not God HAS provided. Abraham knew God was not evil and therefore God would not allow Isacc to be killed. Maybe he would resurect him. Maybe the knife wouldn't hurt Isacc. He had no idea how god would resolve the issue, but he knew he would be returning with Isacc.

Now lets translate this to the Aliens. They down from the sky in a spaceship, performed all sorts of wonders and miracles, and predicted the future with uncanny accuracy, and even helped me and my wife conceive when we thought it was impossible.

Then the aliens then tell you that they need your son, whom they helped to create, to continue to be able to communicate with you and the earth in general. From you experience with these beings you know they are moral beings. You know that even if your son isn't with you he will be well cared for.

What do you do now?

Now your second assessment... I think you are tripping over a few language and cultural issues. From the prior section we know that Soddom and Gramorrah were currently at war with their neighbors. Next, strangers (not aliens as for as you can tell) randomly show up. The people of Soddom decide they might be spies and since then as now rape is about the most humiliating things one human can do to another, it is beleived that homosexual rape was used extensivly during interrogations.

Next you are forgetting the two most dramatic cultural changes in human society since the transition fromhunter-gatherer to agriculture. Specifically slavery and Womens liberation. Up until about 100 years ago women were assumed to be the property of their husband or the male head of the family. With only a few exceptions women have been property.

In ancient Israel, daughters have no choice on who they marry or even relate to. The daughter is property.

So now the story, now translated to the modern day reads:

Similarly, if {a potential spy} was about to {undergo 'enhanced interrogation'} at my doorstep by an angry mob, I might be willing to try to fight the mob off and risk my life, {I might even try to pay them to go away by giving them my most valuable and treasured property.} Heck, I might even be able to understand it if to fend the mob off I had to offer *myself* up for a good raping.

On the far side of the 20th century, we have to be very carefull that we don't let the morality that modern technology allows to interfere with the morality that has served mankind for over 3000 years.

more than 2 years ago

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