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Showing posts from 2012

Curiosity and the Evolution of Space Exploration

Mars. Actual, real, Mars. 
The data that the Curiosity rover (which finds itself on the red planet right now) will provide, is going to be useful in determining the place of life on Mars. Despite our neighbour planet being classified as "alien" in every way, looking at the above image taken on it gives a sense of familiarity. Indeed, the processes by which those rocks formed, as well as the processes by which life arises, are perhaps more universal than we perceive them to be.
The classic image of the Earth in the solar system portrays our mother planet as special and unique. Many people go as far as to suggest there is no life in the universe as there is on Earth. I for one am tempted to believe that there is life in the universe, wide and tall and diverse. 
Does the knowledge about the Earth render itself useless on another planet? On the contrary, all knowledge acquired is as relevant to the rest of the universe as it is to our planet.
Curiosity is a very apt name for th…

The "Purpose" of the Female Orgasm

I read on Wikipedia today that the female orgasm has no reproductive use, whereas the male orgasm does. Who the hell comes up with this bollo**s? Firstly, orgasms by themselves cannot be directly related to reproduction, since the vast, vast, vast majority of living things reproduce just fine without them. Secondly, there is no such thing as purpose in evolution.

Our idea of purpose is something preconceived to serve a function. For example, a chair is made to be sat on. A typewriter is made to be typed with. A blog post is written to be read and shared. Evolution does not work that way. Nothing is ever made to serve any function because nothing is made according to a function, before that function exists. The concept of function itself is tightly dependent on the environment. A function is the relationship between two things which are connected to each other by cause, effect and time.

The only reason most things have a function in living things is because those that didn't, could…

Why don't you want to live forever?

I am currently taking part in a very interesting project relating to the pro-aging trance. The pro-aging trance is basically people's perception that our lives will doubtlessly end as a result of aging, and there is nothing we can do to stop it. You might think, well, is there?

It's a psychological phenomenon that when someone is put in a situation where they are faced with a negative outlook e.g. "I will die, death is a certainty, what could I possibly do to change this? Nothing", they will find ways to cope with it, "I might adhere to some religion or group which promises life after death, or the persistence of "our" kind".

There are two subcategories of this: people with an external locus of control, and people with an internal locus of control. Those with an external locus of control attribute their abilities and life events to outside factors such as luck, god, karma, etc., while those with an internal locus of control attribute them to their…

3 predictions that will change human evolution as we know it

Lately I have been reading a lot about innovations which could change our world and evolution forever. Frankly, most of them are very interesting, especially if you often wonder what the next big corner stone of humanity will be. These are the ones I've found most fascinating:

1. Mind uploading - this is the prediction that soon we'll be able to "upload", much like we do with photos and other information, human brains onto computers which would then be able to think using information from the brain that was uploaded. There are interesting questions surrounding this idea, such as Would uploaded brains have consciousness like humans do? How much control would they have over the computer on which they "exist"?

It would even be possible to store a brain (not the physical brain of course, just the "code" for a certain brain) on a very small storing device, similar in function to a memory card, and send it off into space to travel for a very long period…