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2000-05-25 00:00:00 - Cyber-stupidty - (dwalker07@snet.net.invalid)


If the Voyager-PTB have less science knowledge than a ten-year old, then their computer science knowledge is worse than a four-year old's. Mini-SPOILERS for "Unimatrix Zero" 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 1 2 3 4 5 Besides Voyager's previous problems in not doing backups, restores, or true compression, this episode has bad computer science concerning the Borg. 1. Why does the Borg Queen need to do speeches, or any personal interaction at all? The Borg could just talk to a problem drone through their Internet. And instead of torturing a drone with cyber-isolation, why not do the reverse and grab subconsious information with a cyber-telepathic rape? 2. Why are there any button pressing or display screens? Controls and sensors should be accessible through their Internet. If the BQ-room is supposed to be secured, then why bring problem drones in there at all, or do research there? -- Daryle Walker Mac, Internet, and Video Game Junkie dwalker07 AT snet DOT net

2000-05-25 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (T P <timpal@directNOSPAM.ca>)


Remember, Star trek technology for the most part is magic (transporters/warp/etc), and things like the queen talking is so the audience can know what is happening. Check out some books with Borg in them, they are able to write what is happening (borg net access etc), without the character telling the audience what is happening. -- Please remove "NOSPAM" from address for any replies. Thanks. -TP Daryle Walker <dwalker07@snet.net.invalid> wrote in article <1eb7462.1hjgsn59aqcezN%dwalker07@snet.net.invalid>... > If the Voyager-PTB have less science knowledge than a ten-year old, then > their computer science knowledge is worse than a four-year old's. > > Mini-SPOILERS for "Unimatrix Zero" > > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 10 > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 20 > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > > Besides Voyager's previous problems in not doing backups, restores, or > true compression, this episode has bad computer science concerning the > Borg. > > 1. Why does the Borg Queen need to do speeches, or any personal > interaction at all? The Borg could just talk to a problem drone through > their Internet. And instead of torturing a drone with cyber-isolation, > why not do the reverse and grab subconsious information with a > cyber-telepathic rape? > > 2. Why are there any button pressing or display screens? Controls and > sensors should be accessible through their Internet. If the BQ-room is > supposed to be secured, then why bring problem drones in there at all, > or do research there? > > -- > Daryle Walker > Mac, Internet, and Video Game Junkie > dwalker07 AT snet DOT net >

2000-05-25 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (uh@no.way)


On Thu, 25 May 2000 17:07:56 -0400, dwalker07@snet.net.invalid (Daryle Walker) wrote: >If the Voyager-PTB have less science knowledge than a ten-year old, then >their computer science knowledge is worse than a four-year old's. > >Mini-SPOILERS for "Unimatrix Zero" > >1 >2 >3 >4 >5 >6 >7 >8 >9 >10 >1 >2 >3 >4 >5 >6 >7 >8 >9 >20 >1 >2 >3 >4 >5 > >Besides Voyager's previous problems in not doing backups, restores, or >true compression, this episode has bad computer science concerning the >Borg. > >1. Why does the Borg Queen need to do speeches, or any personal >interaction at all? The Borg could just talk to a problem drone through >their Internet. And instead of torturing a drone with cyber-isolation, >why not do the reverse and grab subconsious information with a >cyber-telepathic rape? > >2. Why are there any button pressing or display screens? Controls and >sensors should be accessible through their Internet. If the BQ-room is >supposed to be secured, then why bring problem drones in there at all, >or do research there? 1) It's a TV show. It's more important for them to be dramatic than scientifically accurate or interesting. Goodness gracious, how many times in NG did the helm suddenly not respond or the transporter miraculously fail for no apparent reason just when the plot needed it most? Take it from a fiction writer: Drama puts butts on the couch, not science or computers. (Well, Bill Gates may be the exception here). 2) That stated, you're right. There are a lot of holes in the science. Now most you can work around. A "power failure" or "alien dampening field" could knock out your main computer and your backup too. The worst of these errors take place outside of battle. In the episode where Seven of Nine is accusing everybody of being a traitor, when Commander Chuck wants to get Torres (I believe) alone, he takes a pad of information from the bridge all the way down to engineering. My NT 4.0 experience sprang up out of no where and said... PUT IT IN A SHARED FOLDER AND SEND B'LANNA AN E-MAIL! But it's drama, not science. About button pushing, though: While the Borg have a collective conciousness, they're not wired into the ship. They're wired into each other. I think it's reasonable to have it such that they can't control ship functions from their heads. Obviously the basis for Borg Queen is that someone has to be free-thinking in this collective in order to come up with ideas and give orders. Here's the truth though: You don't have a "Borg Queen" because it fits the theory of the borg. You have a borg queen because it makes for DAMN GOOD TV! That's why.

2000-05-26 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Grashtel <grashtel@leicester.spamers.must.die.anglican.org>)


On Fri, 26 May 2000 13:26:32 GMT, scottty@KILL-SPAM.nis.za (Scottty) wrote: >tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi (Timo S Saloniemi) wrote: > >[snip] > >>Asking questions like this is like asking why humans have such >>stupidly designed and inefficient bodies. If they were the creation >>of some sort of an engineer, that engineer should be sacked immediately. > >Not that this is on topic, but what gives you the idea that humans >have "stupidly designed and inefficient" bodies? Ever been punched in the stomach, had appendicites, had problems with your wisdom teeth or (assuming you are male) been kicked in the groin? If the answer is yes to any of those then you already know about the stupid dessign of the human body (ok, the male testicles are debatable, they need to be kept a bot cooler than body temp to work properly, but they could probably be designed better). The wisdom teeth especialy are an example of a very bad design, most people's jaw isn't big enought to accomodate their wisdom teeth. -Grashtel Big brother to Raeya (aka Dawn), and friend to many DC2.Dw Gm L30m15t Pfwl Crb^/rb^\rb^ Bpl A+ M-- $+ R+++ I---# Tc+++! The meek shall inherit the earth; the rest of us, the Universe. ICQ#20405354 AIM, MSN-M And Y! Pager: Grashtel To reply by e-mail change "xwinds.invalid" to "crosswinds.net"

2000-05-26 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (scottty@KILL-SPAM.nis.za)


tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi (Timo S Saloniemi) wrote: [snip] >Asking questions like this is like asking why humans have such >stupidly designed and inefficient bodies. If they were the creation >of some sort of an engineer, that engineer should be sacked immediately. Not that this is on topic, but what gives you the idea that humans have "stupidly designed and inefficient" bodies? In order to critique the design of something, you have to know what it was designed FOR. A screwdriver, for example, is not intended as an eating-utensil, and is poorly suited for that use. But that does not make it "stupidly designed and inefficient ".. except to the mind of someone who insists on trying to use it as a fork. If you wish to seriously maintain that the human body is "badly designed", please explain: Badly designed for what? And how would you design it better? >But if they are the product of rather random self-development, then >their defects are easy to understand. Same with the Collective - >it wasn't built to be the best Collective possible, but probably >evolved gradually and still incorporates the remnants of many >false starts and dead ends and poor choices. Like a lot of modern technology.. take the 640K "real mode" memory limit, which STILL applies to modern PC's. Made sense at the time...

2000-05-26 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi)


In article <1eb7462.1hjgsn59aqcezN%dwalker07@snet.net.invalid> dwalker07@snet.net.invalid (Daryle Walker) writes: >If the Voyager-PTB have less science knowledge than a ten-year old, then >their computer science knowledge is worse than a four-year old's. > >Mini-SPOILERS for "Unimatrix Zero" > >1 >2 >3 >4 >5 >6 >7 >8 >9 >10 >1 >2 >3 >4 >5 >6 >7 >8 >9 >20 >1 >2 >3 >4 >5 > >Besides Voyager's previous problems in not doing backups, restores, or >true compression, this episode has bad computer science concerning the >Borg. > >1. Why does the Borg Queen need to do speeches, or any personal >interaction at all? The Borg could just talk to a problem drone through >their Internet. And instead of torturing a drone with cyber-isolation, >why not do the reverse and grab subconsious information with a >cyber-telepathic rape? If you were faced with a drone that has a subtle and poorly understood cyber-mental defect, would you volunteer to interface with it? I think verbal interaction is simply the Borg version of safe sex, helping them diagnose the "infected" drones without putting the whole local Collective to risk. This is probably the same reason why Spock didn't mind-meld with every opponent to get the upper hand - melding is a risk to the interrogating party as well. Plus, just like Vulcans have taboos about their mental abilities, the Borg might be hesistant to do some things today's computer scientists would do. >2. Why are there any button pressing or display screens? Controls and >sensors should be accessible through their Internet. If the BQ-room is >supposed to be secured, then why bring problem drones in there at all, >or do research there? Dunno about this one. But the very fact that there ARE Borg drones in existence at all seems to suggest that the Borg cannot exist on a mental plane only. They still very much need their physical workers. Why *not* have the push-buttons when you are going to have the fingers for pushing buttons anyway? Asking questions like this is like asking why humans have such stupidly designed and inefficient bodies. If they were the creation of some sort of an engineer, that engineer should be sacked immediately. But if they are the product of rather random self-development, then their defects are easy to understand. Same with the Collective - it wasn't built to be the best Collective possible, but probably evolved gradually and still incorporates the remnants of many false starts and dead ends and poor choices. Timo Saloniemi

2000-05-26 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (jkynes@NOSPAMbasqueingsharklighting.co.uk)


On Fri, 26 May 2000 02:17:12 GMT, "Craig" <craig0629@worldnet.att.net> wrote: > >blah <uh@no.way> wrote in message news:392d9e66.26030476@news.erols.com... >> >Mini-SPOILERS for "Unimatrix Zero" >> > >> >1 >> >2 >> >3 >> >4 >> >5 >> >6 >> >7 >> >8 >> >9 >> >10 >> >1 >> >2 >> >3 >> >4 >> >5 >> >6 >> >7 >> >8 >> >9 >> >20 >> >1 >> >2 >> >3 >> >4 >> >5 >> > > ><snip> > <more snipped> >The Borg are wired into the ship. In TNG when the Enterprise first came in >contact, with them thanks to Q, Data's analysis of the ship showed no >obvious form of propulsion. This lead Picard to deduce that the ship is >willed through space. He surmised that the combined power of all the Borg's >on the ship thinking the same thing was enough to propel, repair and >maintain the ship. Of course they didn't have trans warp drive (as far as >we know) and in Voy there is a device to provide for this. Maybe there is >just a difference between Alpha and Delta Quad Borgs. Although I am not >sure which quad that Q sent them to. It was 7000 lightyears oresumably into the Beta Quadrent. "Give not unto the actor his props before his time for as sure as the sun do rise in the east and set in the west, he shall loose or break them." (Except for Jenny McDonald and any actor from alt.fan.monty-python.silliness of course!)

2000-05-26 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Craig <craig0629@worldnet.att.net>)


blah <uh@no.way> wrote in message news:392d9e66.26030476@news.erols.com... > >Mini-SPOILERS for "Unimatrix Zero" > > > >1 > >2 > >3 > >4 > >5 > >6 > >7 > >8 > >9 > >10 > >1 > >2 > >3 > >4 > >5 > >6 > >7 > >8 > >9 > >20 > >1 > >2 > >3 > >4 > >5 > > <snip> > About button pushing, though: While the Borg have a collective > conciousness, they're not wired into the ship. They're wired into > each other. I think it's reasonable to have it such that they can't > control ship functions from their heads. Obviously the basis for Borg > Queen is that someone has to be free-thinking in this collective in > order to come up with ideas and give orders. > > Here's the truth though: You don't have a "Borg Queen" because it > fits the theory of the borg. You have a borg queen because it makes > for DAMN GOOD TV! That's why. > The Borg are wired into the ship. In TNG when the Enterprise first came in contact, with them thanks to Q, Data's analysis of the ship showed no obvious form of propulsion. This lead Picard to deduce that the ship is willed through space. He surmised that the combined power of all the Borg's on the ship thinking the same thing was enough to propel, repair and maintain the ship. Of course they didn't have trans warp drive (as far as we know) and in Voy there is a device to provide for this. Maybe there is just a difference between Alpha and Delta Quad Borgs. Although I am not sure which quad that Q sent them to.

2000-05-27 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (m5@ncc1701.mil)


Grashtel wrote: >On Fri, 26 May 2000 13:26:32 GMT, scottty@KILL-SPAM.nis.za (Scottty) >wrote: > >>Not that this is on topic, but what gives you the idea that humans >>have "stupidly designed and inefficient" bodies? > >Ever been punched in the stomach, had appendicites, had problems with >your wisdom teeth or (assuming you are male) been kicked in the groin? Fallen arches, lower back pain, sinus problems. (Wasn't it Gallagher who said about the nose: "Who designed that nasty, snot-filled thing... and put it right above your mouth?") I won't mention continuing decrepitude-until-death. That's not a bug, it's a feature. The last method of removing the old to make way for tng. -- -Jack SPAMblock *sigh* can be reached through jackbohn at bright dof net

2000-05-27 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Ryan McReynolds <rlmcrey@hotmail.com>)


My thoughts exactly. For future reference, Masked Man, quotes from the Bible are seldom effective on atheists. Imagine if I tried to quote Homer's Odyssey to get you to understand and believe in the Greek Olympians... =) -- -=Ryan McReynolds=- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." --Phillip K. Dick ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- "EvilBill[AGQx]" <evilbill25REMOVE-THIS@freeuk.com> wrote in message news:KRVX4.1705$DC2.239980@nnrp3.clara.net... > > Masked Man-----> > > > > Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your > > ways my ways," declares the LORD. 9 "As the heavens are higher than > > the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than > > your thoughts. (NIV) > > > > In other words, it's the sick sense of humour. <g>

2000-05-27 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Mike Dicenso <mdicenso@seds.lpl.arizona.edu>)


On Sat, 27 May 2000, Steven Dasheiff wrote: > > > James Allan Kynes wrote: > > > On Fri, 26 May 2000 02:17:12 GMT, "Craig" <craig0629@worldnet.att.net> > > wrote: > > > > Maybe there is > > >just a difference between Alpha and Delta Quad Borgs. Although I am not > > >sure which quad that Q sent them to. > > > > It was 7000 lightyears oresumably into the Beta Quadrent. > > The Borg were first encountered in the Delta Quaderent in Sector J-25. Nope. It was SYSTEM J-25, and it was never stated what quadrent they were in at the time they encountered the Borg. The reason they never stated what quadrent they were in is quite simple, the concept hadn't been developed yet for the series. -Mike

2000-05-27 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - ("EvilBill[AGQx]" <evilbill25REMOVE-THIS@freeuk.com>)


"Masked Man" <kemosabe@skyenet.net> wrote in message > On Sat, 27 May 2000 07:55:31 GMT, "Ryan McReynolds" > <rmcrey@mail.utexas.edu> wrote: > > | Any deity who deliberately made us > |this way is either wildly incompetent or has one sick sense of humor. > > Masked Man-----> > > Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your > ways my ways," declares the LORD. 9 "As the heavens are higher than > the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than > your thoughts. (NIV) > In other words, it's the sick sense of humour. <g> -- Hugh: "Resistance is... NOT futile." EvilBill's home page: http://members.xoom.com/EvilBill/ E-mail: evilbill25@freeuk.com. ICQ number: 37464244 Get paid to surf the web: http://www.alladvantage.com/join.asp?refid=dtd-950

2000-05-27 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (kemosabe@skyenet.net)


On Sat, 27 May 2000 07:55:31 GMT, "Ryan McReynolds" <rmcrey@mail.utexas.edu> wrote: | Any deity who deliberately made us |this way is either wildly incompetent or has one sick sense of humor. Masked Man-----> Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. 9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (NIV) -- Who was that masked man?

2000-05-27 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Steven Dasheiff <dasheiff@brandeis.edu>)


James Allan Kynes wrote: > On Fri, 26 May 2000 02:17:12 GMT, "Craig" <craig0629@worldnet.att.net> > wrote: > > Maybe there is > >just a difference between Alpha and Delta Quad Borgs. Although I am not > >sure which quad that Q sent them to. > > It was 7000 lightyears oresumably into the Beta Quadrent. The Borg were first encountered in the Delta Quaderent in Sector J-25.

2000-05-27 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Ryan McReynolds <rmcrey@mail.utexas.edu>)


"Grashtel" <grashtel@leicester.spamers.must.die.anglican.org> wrote in message news:ndctiskj4g2n2dgti7jj98jrjvj4n5e6rs@4ax.com... > your wisdom teeth or (assuming you are male) been kicked in the groin? > If the answer is yes to any of those then you already know about the > stupid dessign of the human body (ok, the male testicles are > debatable, they need to be kept a bot cooler than body temp to work > properly, but they could probably be designed better). Actually the testicles are the BEST example. Consider, if the human body were designed (I certainly don't think so), then why does sperm need to be a few degrees cooler than the rest of the body to begin with? THAT is the defect, which requires external testicles to circumvent... and then, the testicles are held in a defenseless pouch, rather than being protected by even so much as thicker, calloused skin, much less chitin armor of some kind. Biologically, the purpose of all life seems to be the passing of genes to offspring, making the testicles the most important organs in the body, yet they are placed in a location and in a condition that makes them ridiculously easy to damage. No, if we were designed, then sperm should be best generated at body temperature and the ol' balls should be deep in our bodies, making them very hard to injure. Any deity who deliberately made us this way is either wildly incompetent or has one sick sense of humor. -- -=Ryan McReynolds=- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." --Phillip K. Dick ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2000-05-28 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - ("EvilBill[AGQx]" <evilbill25REMOVE-THIS@freeuk.com>)


"Masked Man" <kemosabe@skyenet.net> wrote in message news:39886633.457261556@news.mindspring.com... > On Sat, 27 May 2000 23:06:09 GMT, "Ryan McReynolds" > <rlmcrey@hotmail.com> wrote: > > |My thoughts exactly. For future reference, Masked Man, quotes from the > |Bible are seldom effective on atheists. Imagine if I tried to quote Homer's > |Odyssey to get you to understand and believe in the Greek Olympians... =) > > Masked Man----->Nothing is effective on atheists. The believer rests > his hope on the truth of the gospel and nothing else. The atheist > looks for truth everywhere but the gospel. Like this: > I'm not an atheist. I'm just not a Christian either ;-) -- This .sig is under construction. Please be patient.

2000-05-28 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (kemosabe@skyenet.net)


On Sat, 27 May 2000 23:06:09 GMT, "Ryan McReynolds" <rlmcrey@hotmail.com> wrote: |My thoughts exactly. For future reference, Masked Man, quotes from the |Bible are seldom effective on atheists. Imagine if I tried to quote Homer's |Odyssey to get you to understand and believe in the Greek Olympians... =) Masked Man----->Nothing is effective on atheists. The believer rests his hope on the truth of the gospel and nothing else. The atheist looks for truth everywhere but the gospel. Like this: 1 Corinthians 1:18-30 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. 26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things -- and the things that are not -- to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God -- that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (NIV) -- Who was that masked man?

2000-05-28 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Lisa <lisa@chakfan.com>)


"Steve Christianson" <stevechristianson@yahoo.com> wrote in message > > > There are many other weaknessess too, like the lack of body hair to keep > warm. There's a theory that the weaknesses are actually the product of > evolution in that they force us to use our brains to survive, which is > ultimately our biggest advantage. Tell that to Fiver.

2000-05-28 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu>)


In rec.arts.startrek.tech Masked Man <kemosabe@skyenet.net> wrote: : Masked Man----->Nothing is effective on atheists. The believer rests : his hope on the truth of the gospel and nothing else. The atheist : looks for truth everywhere but the gospel. Like this: : 1 Corinthians 1:18-30 For the message of the cross is foolishness Ah, the glory of cross-posting! Now we can see why the Voyager group is such a mess... D

2000-05-29 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (tsalonie@ametisti.hut.fi)


In article <392F7AD4.FBE759A9@brandeis.edu> Steven Dasheiff <dasheiff@brandeis.edu> writes: > > >James Allan Kynes wrote: > >> On Fri, 26 May 2000 02:17:12 GMT, "Craig" <craig0629@worldnet.att.net> >> wrote: >> >> Maybe there is >> >just a difference between Alpha and Delta Quad Borgs. Although I am not >> >sure which quad that Q sent them to. >> >> It was 7000 lightyears oresumably into the Beta Quadrent. > >The Borg were first encountered in the Delta Quaderent in Sector J-25. Nope, J-25 can't be in Delta. It was only 7,000 lightyears from the nearest UFP outpost. And Earth is at least 24,000 ly from the closest parts of Delta quadrant (that is, from the galactic core), assuming that the Trek galaxy is not markedly different from the real Milky Way. The only way J-25 could be in Delta would be if the UFP extended 17,000 ly from Earth towards Delta - and no source so far has given THAT big a size for the UFP! J-25 would thus be either in Alpha or Beta. There is no clear indication of the direction - for all we know, Q could have thrown the ship towards the galactic rim, away from Delta quadrant. It's not as if the Borg are somehow confined to Delta. Instead, they seem to roam all the quadrants, more or less. Q could have picked a single, isolated cube far away from the actual Borg strongholds so that he could control his little experiment with the E-D better... Timo Saloniemi

2000-05-29 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Ryan McReynolds <rmcrey@mail.utexas.edu>)


I have no wish to engage in a religious debate on Star Trek newsgroups, and so my participation ends here. Suffice to say that plenty of things are effective on atheists, but they typically rely on objective, observational evidence as opposed to something that we perceive to be a work of fiction. I won't reply again, unless you'd like to continue the discussion through private email. -- -=Ryan McReynolds=- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." --Phillip K. Dick ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Masked Man" <kemosabe@skyenet.net> wrote in message news:39886633.457261556@news.mindspring.com... > On Sat, 27 May 2000 23:06:09 GMT, "Ryan McReynolds" > <rlmcrey@hotmail.com> wrote: > > |My thoughts exactly. For future reference, Masked Man, quotes from the > |Bible are seldom effective on atheists. Imagine if I tried to quote Homer's > |Odyssey to get you to understand and believe in the Greek Olympians... =) > > Masked Man----->Nothing is effective on atheists. The believer rests > his hope on the truth of the gospel and nothing else. The atheist > looks for truth everywhere but the gospel. Like this: > > 1 Corinthians 1:18-30 For the message of the cross is foolishness > to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the > power of God. 19 For it is written: "I will destroy the wisdom of the > wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." > 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the > philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the > world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom > did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was > preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand miraculous signs > and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a > stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those > whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and > the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's > wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. > 26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many > of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not > many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the > world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to > shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the > despised things -- and the things that are not -- to nullify the > things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is > because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us > wisdom from God -- that is, our righteousness, holiness and > redemption. (NIV) > > > > -- > > > > > Who was that masked man?

2000-06-01 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Admiral Korel <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/>)


>Not that this is on topic, but what gives you the idea that humans >have "stupidly designed and inefficient" bodies? >In order to critique the design of something, you have to know what it >was designed FOR. >A screwdriver, for example, is not intended as an eating-utensil, and >is poorly suited for that use. But that does not make it "stupidly >designed and inefficient ".. except to the mind of someone who insists >on trying to use it as a fork. > >If you wish to seriously maintain that the human body is "badly >designed", please explain: Badly designed for what? >And how would you design it better? The human body is badly designed and inefficient because an engineer could design something to do everything the human body does more efficiently, economically and elegantly. I mean for providence's sake, we spend a third of our lives unconscious! We have built-in decay! We're squishy, slow, and vulnerable! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Morgan McEvoy, morgiemac@esatclear.ie "It's like the laws of physics just went out the window." "And why shouldn't they? They're so inconvenient!"

2000-06-01 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Jonah Rapp <j.rapp@usa.net>)


Timo S Saloniemi wrote: > In article <392F7AD4.FBE759A9@brandeis.edu> Steven Dasheiff <dasheiff@brandeis.edu> writes: > > > > > >James Allan Kynes wrote: > > > >> On Fri, 26 May 2000 02:17:12 GMT, "Craig" <craig0629@worldnet.att.net> > >> wrote: > >> > >> Maybe there is > >> >just a difference between Alpha and Delta Quad Borgs. Although I am not > >> >sure which quad that Q sent them to. > >> > >> It was 7000 lightyears oresumably into the Beta Quadrent. > > > >The Borg were first encountered in the Delta Quaderent in Sector J-25. > > Nope, J-25 can't be in Delta. It was only 7,000 lightyears from the > nearest UFP outpost. And Earth is at least 24,000 ly from the > closest parts of Delta quadrant (that is, from the galactic core), > assuming that the Trek galaxy is not markedly different from the real > Milky Way. The only way J-25 could be in Delta would be if the UFP > extended 17,000 ly from Earth towards Delta - and no source so far > has given THAT big a size for the UFP! Maybe not the central UFP, but how about the Antares Core? I refer you to: http://www.stdimension.de/int/Cartography/index.htm --Jonah

2000-06-02 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu>)


In rec.arts.startrek.tech Admiral Korel <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/> wrote: : The human body is badly designed and inefficient because an engineer could : design something to do everything the human body does more efficiently, : economically and elegantly. Yes, after all, look at engineers' success with such things as the following: -pattern recognition -speech recognition -mobility/dexterity -parallel processing -long-lived machines (I'm totally amazed at all those 60+ year old machines still operating today) DDAY

2000-06-02 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (xyz <whomever@nowhere.net>)


> We're squishy, slow, and vulnerable! You ugly bag of water

2000-06-02 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi)


In article <3935BFDD.2A49A2EA@usa.net> Jonah Rapp <j.rapp@usa.net> writes: >Timo S Saloniemi wrote: >> Nope, J-25 can't be in Delta. It was only 7,000 lightyears from the >> nearest UFP outpost. And Earth is at least 24,000 ly from the >> closest parts of Delta quadrant (that is, from the galactic core), >> assuming that the Trek galaxy is not markedly different from the real >> Milky Way. The only way J-25 could be in Delta would be if the UFP >> extended 17,000 ly from Earth towards Delta - and no source so far >> has given THAT big a size for the UFP! > >Maybe not the central UFP, but how about the Antares Core? I refer you to: > > http://www.stdimension.de/int/Cartography/index.htm I'm all for the Rigel core at least, but Deneb and Antares cores still give me hiccups. It's not all that sure that the UFP extends to the very distant stars Antares and Deneb. After all, the only time we really saw a ship near Deneb was in TNG, where the location was referred to as the extreme border before the unknown - not really a "core" in the sense Christian means it, at least not necessarily. And Antares has never been explicitly visited. The references to Fizzbin and the dockyards speak of Beta Antares, which need not have anything to do with Antares/Alpha Scorpii. They may instead refer to a star in constellation Antares, a future constellation with its second brightest star somewhere near Earth. OTOH, if the UFP really is 8,000 ly across at some point, then it stands to reason that Deneb is accessible despite the extreme distances involved. Still, I would like to argue that Antares is not. Why? Mainly because, according to ST5, access from Earth to the galactic core is blocked by a Great Barrier at some location within a couple of days' high-but-not-extremely-high warp travel from Earth and the RNZ. That would rule out access to Alpha Scorpii, which lies almost directly corewards. Of course, this would be before ST5 proved the Barrier to be navigable. By the time of TNG, the Great Barrier may either have been declared navigable, or is being circumnavigated by longer-range ships, or may have evaporated altogether. It would still be sensible in the TNG timeframe to say that Beta Antares is very close to Earth, though, for the dockyards there to be of practical use. "Warp highways" can alter the rules in this respect (and some such explanation is needed for rapid Deneb and Rigel access anyway). But since we heard nothing of a highway in ST5, I'd still say the "Great Barrier must be near Earth => blocks access to Alpha Scorpii" argument stands. Timo Saloniemi

2000-06-03 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu>)


In rec.arts.startrek.tech Admiral Korel <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/> wrote: :>Yes, after all, look at engineers' success with such things as the :>following: :> :>-pattern recognition :>-speech recognition :>-mobility/dexterity :>-parallel processing :>-long-lived machines (I'm totally amazed at all those 60+ year old :>machines still operating today) : I didn't say we could duplicate all the feats of the body today, but : certainly with sufficient advances in the relevant areas, advances that are : well within the bounds of possibility, it should be fairly straightforward. Ah, that's cheating. What you are saying is this: "The human body is an incredibly inefficient and poorly designed machine. Someday, possibly in the far-distant future, we will be able to design a machine that can do all the amazing things the human body can do much better." That's essentially a contradiction and it demonstrates the absurdity of the statement. Other comments along this line also started down a rather slippery slope. Yes, the human body is frail and incapable of withstanding cold temperatures... which is why humans build houses. The most important and efficient part of the human body is the brain, which allows it to adapt its environment to expand its physical capabilities. The simple fact of the matter is that even "stupid" advanced organisms possess capabilities that we have been unable to replicate, either in the laboratory or with machines. A squirrel can do many things that no human-built machine can do, certainly not in so small and efficient a package. DDAY

2000-06-03 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Admiral Korel <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/>)


>Yes, after all, look at engineers' success with such things as the >following: > >-pattern recognition >-speech recognition >-mobility/dexterity >-parallel processing >-long-lived machines (I'm totally amazed at all those 60+ year old >machines still operating today) I didn't say we could duplicate all the feats of the body today, but certainly with sufficient advances in the relevant areas, advances that are well within the bounds of possibility, it should be fairly straightforward. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Morgan McEvoy, morgiemac@esatclear.ie "It's like the laws of physics just went out the window." "And why shouldn't they? They're so inconvenient!"

2000-06-03 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - ("EvilBill[AGQx]" <evilbill25REMOVE-THIS@freeuk.com>)


"xyz" <whomever@nowhere.net> wrote in message news:rqWZ4.36201$Ft1.1836392@typhoon.ne.mediaone.net... > > We're squishy, slow, and vulnerable! > > You ugly bag of water > MOSTLY water. <g> -- EvilBill of the Glorious AGQx Imperium ICQ: 37464244

2000-06-04 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Admiral Korel <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/>)


>Ah, that's cheating. What you are saying is this: "The human body is an >incredibly inefficient and poorly designed machine. Someday, possibly in >the far-distant future, we will be able to design a machine that can do >all the amazing things the human body can do much better." That's >essentially a contradiction and it demonstrates the absurdity of the >statement. > >Other comments along this line also started down a rather slippery slope. >Yes, the human body is frail and incapable of withstanding cold >temperatures... which is why humans build houses. The most important and >efficient part of the human body is the brain, which allows it to adapt >its environment to expand its physical capabilities. > >The simple fact of the matter is that even "stupid" advanced organisms >possess capabilities that we have been unable to replicate, either in the >laboratory or with machines. A squirrel can do many things that no >human-built machine can do, certainly not in so small and efficient a >package. What I am saying is that the human body, the product of blind evolutionary forces, could be far more efficient and better designed if it had been deliberately designed by an engineer with the necessary knowledge (which we do not have). An engineer would not have left in an appendix, for one thing. Let's not get into another bout of wilful misinterpretation; there's quite enough of that on this group. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Morgan McEvoy, morgiemac@esatclear.ie "It's like the laws of physics just went out the window." "And why shouldn't they? They're so inconvenient!"

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu>)


In rec.arts.startrek.tech Admiral Korel <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/> wrote: : What I am saying is that the human body, the product of blind evolutionary : forces, could be far more efficient and better designed if it had been : deliberately designed by an engineer with the necessary knowledge (which we : do not have). And I am arguing that this is a non-sensical argument. "SOMEONE, someday, can design a better organism." "Who?" "Someone." "How?" "Somehow." "When?" "Someday?" "Since you when, how or by who, how can you make such a statement?" [silence] DDAY

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu>)


In rec.arts.startrek.tech Keith Morrison <keithm@polarnet.ca> wrote: : Oh, that's easy. Look at how we walk. Bipedalism has evolved : two, maybe three, times and humans have probably the worst way : of doing it. Show me a machine that can walk as efficiently as a human. : Or look at the reproductive system. It's risky to have the testes : hanging out where they can suffer all sorts of trauma, and other : animals can produce sperm using completely internal organs, so : why can't humans? Show me a machine that can reproduce itself in nine months. The original poster argued that engineers could do better. I say they cannot. DDAY

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Keith Morrison <keithm@polarnet.ca>)


Dwayne Allen Day wrote: > In rec.arts.startrek.tech Keith Morrison <keithm@polarnet.ca> wrote: > : Oh, that's easy. Look at how we walk. Bipedalism has evolved > : two, maybe three, times and humans have probably the worst way > : of doing it. > > Show me a machine that can walk as efficiently as a human. Show me a bird that can fly as fast and as high as a jet. -- Keith

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu>)


In rec.arts.startrek.tech Keith Morrison <keithm@polarnet.ca> wrote: :> : Oh, that's easy. Look at how we walk. Bipedalism has evolved :> : two, maybe three, times and humans have probably the worst way :> : of doing it. :> :> Show me a machine that can walk as efficiently as a human. : Show me a bird that can fly as fast and as high as a jet. Show me a jet that can eat a mouse. DDAY

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Keith Morrison <keithm@polarnet.ca>)


Dwayne Allen Day wrote: > : You're comparing apples and oranges. The human eye is only a visual > : aquisition system. Determining that the the thing over there is a > : grasshopper on a watermelon is decided by the image analysis system, > : a different matter entirely. > > It's part and parcel of the same thing. The overall argument advanced by > some here is that the human body is a clunky, inefficient organism and > that some mythical superbeing (let's call him "God") could develop > something better. To which I would like to see proof in the form of > real-world examples. Oh, that's easy. Look at how we walk. Bipedalism has evolved two, maybe three, times and humans have probably the worst way of doing it. Or look at the reproductive system. It's risky to have the testes hanging out where they can suffer all sorts of trauma, and other animals can produce sperm using completely internal organs, so why can't humans? It's not that the body is inefficient. It's that it could have been done better, if it were designed. -- Keith

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (xyz <whomever@nowhere.net>)


These are probably animals that have a lower internal body temp than humans; the reason they are out there, besides being a target, is that they only work optimally at a temp below 98.6 ���. "Keith Morrison" <keithm@polarnet.ca> wrote in message news:393BF95A.17A0542D@polarnet.ca... > Dwayne Allen Day wrote: > > > : You're comparing apples and oranges. The human eye is only a visual > > : aquisition system. Determining that the the thing over there is a > > : grasshopper on a watermelon is decided by the image analysis system, > > : a different matter entirely. > > > > It's part and parcel of the same thing. The overall argument advanced by > > some here is that the human body is a clunky, inefficient organism and > > that some mythical superbeing (let's call him "God") could develop > > something better. To which I would like to see proof in the form of > > real-world examples. > > Oh, that's easy. Look at how we walk. Bipedalism has evolved > two, maybe three, times and humans have probably the worst way > of doing it. > > Or look at the reproductive system. It's risky to have the testes > hanging out where they can suffer all sorts of trauma, and other > animals can produce sperm using completely internal organs, so > why can't humans? > > It's not that the body is inefficient. It's that it could have > been done better, if it were designed. > > -- > Keith

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (STEPHEN SUCH <budfrog@ukonline.co.uk>)


>To which I would like to see proof in the form of > real-world examples. > > Oh, that's easy. Look at how we walk. Bipedalism has evolved > two, maybe three, times and humans have probably the worst way > of doing it. > > Or look at the reproductive system. It's risky to have the testes > hanging out where they can suffer all sorts of trauma, and other > animals can produce sperm using completely internal organs, so > why can't humans? Oh come on now people, TIME OUT. This descussion is turning into a right load of bollocks! The thing with this, is there are always points to argue either way, and if there aren't people will just sit around all day to think of some. Descussions like this will never be amicably resolved, so let's get back to Trek. P.S. I'm holding out for the evolution into changelings, but then we'd have to live with not being able to make a decent knose for a bit! But hey, nothing's perfect.Which I could say is the end answer to the whole biology debate, but that would be big-headed of me! - (imperfections are everywhere!) Steve. _______________________________________________ "........To them, and their posterity do we commit our future." Captain J.T.Kirk :- Star trek VI - The Undiscovered Country ---------------------------------------------------------------

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu>)


In rec.arts.startrek.tech Timo S Saloniemi <tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi> wrote: : At least one can build designs that are equally good and reliable : but use different principles, ranging from the slightly altered chameleon : eyes to the very different octopus ones. Name a single engineering project that has resulted in an optical system as good as the human eye and capable of recognizing, say, a grasshopper standing on top of a watermelon. The claim that the human body is a sloppy and inefficient system because someday, maybe 200 years from now, someone _might_ be able to design better individual parts is a non-starter. That's like claiming that the airplane is totally obsolete technology because someday we'll have starships. DDAY

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu>)


In rec.arts.startrek.tech Timo S Saloniemi <tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi> wrote: : What the body does is perform *adequately*. The problem is that there is : no incentive for it to strive for anything better than adequate. Once : something works, the selection pressure eases up; and while there's : nothing really forbidding further upgrades, the downgrades now : are statistically overwhelming. This is the result of short-sighted : engineering, where the only real aim is to survive till the end of : the day. Huh? Explain how the selection pressure has let up. I would actually count this as a victory rather than a drawback--people no longer die of polio because human bodies (using that inefficient organ, the brain) have overcome it. I don't see this as an "easing" of selection pressure, but a conquering of it. : even if we lack the means of execution) to rewire the human eye to : have the sensory cells pointing in the right direction, and to Why is this necessary? The human eye is already an amazingly capable organism. DDAY

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (malcolm@geog.leeds.ac.uk)


Dwayne Allen Day wrote: > : even if we lack the means of execution) to rewire the human eye to > : have the sensory cells pointing in the right direction, and to > > Why is this necessary? The human eye is already an amazingly capable > organism. It's a mistake to make excessively uncrittical comparisons between engineering and biology. In engineering (at least as currently practiced) complexity means trouble and expense. The KISS rule it paramount. In biology, though, energy efficiency is much more important and complexity carries no significant overheads. Compared to current engineering systems biological system are far more energy efficient as well as being more robust, more damage tolerant and employ materials with superior strength/weight ratios. They have longer life expectancy. Now I think we can expect to see considerable convergence between engineering and biology over the next few decades. Nanotech promises to approach biological systems in terms of energy efficiency and, like biological systems, give you complexity for free. It will also allow engineering to use inherently strong materials, where at the moment it has to use relatively weak, but ductile and forgiving materials like metals. We may indeed be able to produce more durable systems than nature. Malcolm

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (evilklowwn@aol.comedy)


Craig doth write thus: >> Had there been a master plan aimed at creating an imaging organ out of >> nothing in one step, the incorrectly wired light-level-detecting >> machinery should have been omitted once this new plan was formulated, >> and the now off-the-shelf elements put to better use in the new project. >> But no, the crappy old stuff was simply given a halfhearted upgrade. >> It's commendable that something as good as the current human eye emerged >> from that upgrade, considering the circumstances... But wouldn't it be >> fun to have twice or thrice the processing speed so that one wouldn't >> have to use stop-motion VCRs to analyze Trek episodes frame by frame? :-) >> >> Timo Saloniemi > >Yes, but can you agree that if given enough time this ability will manifest >itself? Time alone isn't enough. There would need to be some *pressure* to drive evolution in that direction. Nanotech would be much faster. And I've already seen a Luddite editorial in a mainstream newspaper *warning* us of the coming biological/social/medical revolution due to nanotech. >The remarkable thing is that when ever a body part is used it gets >stronger and given time will adapt. Who says that survival is the only >catylist for change? Before humans developed the technology to store genetic materials, the survivors were the *only* ones passing their genes along to future generations. >I believe that the continued use of any organ will >eventually transfer to the genetic blueprint of offspring. This can not be >proved without a specific long term (we're talking decades) study, but if >true could signify the advancement of our species to exponential IQ levels. A Russian researcher, Lysenko, already did preliminary studies: By injecting ink into the pads of frogs' feet, he showed that the frogs tended to bear their young in labs where their young would also have ink injected into *their* pads, too. ***************************************** "Insanity is a part of the times, Vir: You must learn to *embrace* the madness!!" Londo Mollari

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Keith Morrison <keithm@polarnet.ca>)


Dwayne Allen Day wrote: > : At least one can build designs that are equally good and reliable > : but use different principles, ranging from the slightly altered chameleon > : eyes to the very different octopus ones. > > Name a single engineering project that has resulted in an optical system > as good as the human eye and capable of recognizing, say, a grasshopper > standing on top of a watermelon. You're comparing apples and oranges. The human eye is only a visual aquisition system. Determining that the the thing over there is a grasshopper on a watermelon is decided by the image analysis system, a different matter entirely. -- Keith

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu>)


In rec.arts.startrek.tech Keith Morrison <keithm@polarnet.ca> wrote: :> Name a single engineering project that has resulted in an optical system :> as good as the human eye and capable of recognizing, say, a grasshopper :> standing on top of a watermelon. : You're comparing apples and oranges. The human eye is only a visual : aquisition system. Determining that the the thing over there is a : grasshopper on a watermelon is decided by the image analysis system, : a different matter entirely. It's part and parcel of the same thing. The overall argument advanced by some here is that the human body is a clunky, inefficient organism and that some mythical superbeing (let's call him "God") could develop something better. To which I would like to see proof in the form of real-world examples. DDAY

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi)


In article <6RH_4.3493$vc5.286560@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net> "Craig" <craig0629@worldnet.att.net> writes: > >Timo S Saloniemi <tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi> wrote in message >news:8hfgn1$9tb$1@nntp.hut.fi... >> Had there been a master plan aimed at creating an imaging organ out of >> nothing in one step, the incorrectly wired light-level-detecting >> machinery should have been omitted once this new plan was formulated, >> and the now off-the-shelf elements put to better use in the new project. >> But no, the crappy old stuff was simply given a halfhearted upgrade. >> It's commendable that something as good as the current human eye emerged >> from that upgrade, considering the circumstances... But wouldn't it be >> fun to have twice or thrice the processing speed so that one wouldn't >> have to use stop-motion VCRs to analyze Trek episodes frame by frame? :-) >Yes, but can you agree that if given enough time this ability will manifest >itself? No. That I certainly cannot agree with. There is no selection pressure towards having an eye that can resolve more frames per second than the current design. It is just as probable that the human eye in the future will have *less* resolution - a slower-processing eye is still perfectly viable even if it is of inferior performance, so it won't be selected against. >The remarkable thing is that when ever a body part is used it gets >stronger and given time will adapt. Or then the body as a whole decides to abandon the whole pursuit and the body part falls into disuse or even athropies away. It's not possible to predict if a body part will become better or worse as time passes. Just think how handy it would have been for us to retain tails for grabbing, or to evolve a counterbalance organ out of them for easier bipedal movement. But no, we shrunk them away so that nowadays they are only a literal pain-in-the-ass. >Who says that survival is the only catylist for change? I think evolution theorists at one point wanted to say that Darwin had once said so, but even that is being contested. It's not survival that prompts or catalyses change. It's the increase of one's "genetic share" in a population that favors a change that made possible the said increase in the first place. Or then an increase results *despite* a debilitating change, and this still leads to this stupid change being favored. For example, a guy might get bigger biceps, kill more animals and feed his gal and kids better, so he has more kids and those have bigger biceps, and get more kids who also have bigger biceps, etc. etc. Or then a guy might get a limp-inducing mutation that forces him to stay at home, so he happens to dedicate more time to efficient management of resources, feeds his gal and kids better, and he gets more kids, and the kids all get the limp but know how to survive despite it, and get more kids with a limp. At least this is the oversimplification taught in schools. Of course, the changes are supposed to generally be really small, and the advantages gained through a beneficial mutation are minimal - probably one doesn't get an extra kid, but something like 0.024 extra kids per generation. >I believe that the continued use of any organ will eventually transfer to >the genetic blueprint of offspring. This is close to the theory generally known as Lamarckism, according to the guy who developed such a theory to compete with Darwin's. Lamarck claimed outright that the use of an organ will make the organ better, and this improvement will transfer to the offspring. You say in a more subtle way that such a change will happen "eventually", apparently across several generations. If this were true, then there certainly could be an "aim for the better" in the evolution of any species smart enough to understand what is better and what is not. >This can not be proved without a specific long term (we're talking decades) >study, but if true could signify the advancement of our species to >exponential IQ levels. I think you underestimate the problem here. To breed a species for studies of "deliberate" Lamarckism, you probably need a relatively advanced species so you can single out specific organs and create complex experiments to make the animals strive for their development. Complex animals tend to have long life cycles, and the experiments might thus last for centuries. Okay, let's do a standard "ranting about the theory of evolution" chapter. I'm pretty sure many here understand this thing already, and far better than I do, but it might still be worth doing. I could do without an actual discussion, though, since there are other newsgroups better suited for it. I'll try to venture back to Trek as soon as I can. Let's say you create a test where mice with longer necks will get the cheese out of a hole. If Lamarck is right, then *all* mice will strive to stretch their necks, and their micelets will have the subtly longer necks from birth. You'll see some of this in the very next generation. But if Darwinists are right, then all you can show is that the mice that had longer necks already will get the cheese, while the ones that had short necks will not - and after a couple of generations, the long-neckers will begin to dominate. I think enough experimentation has already been done to indicate the latter result as the more probable. Anyway, the current knowledge of our genetic mechanism doesn't allow for Lamarckism - the mouse can't give to its offspring a neck it got by doing stretching exercises regularly, since there is no mechanism that would translate those exercises into a genetic code. While many animals probably are smart enough to understand that body modification X would be a nice thing to have, the genetic code itself is too stupid to begin to strive for this goal. All it can do is try to stay unchanged, which is what it does best. When it fails in that duty (through a mutation), then the animal may survive or procreate better, and the mutation will then go on in the family. But the duty of the DNA is to try to *prevent* evolution if it possibly can. If it didn't, we wouldn't have species, just random mutated individuals (and since most mutations are damaging, and only very few are beneficial, all the successful experiments would soon succumb to an unfortunate mutation and life in general would die out). Enough of this rant, though. I'd say that these things can never be intuitively understandable because of the timescales involved. An evolutionary development will last longer than a human life - longer than it takes for a human-written diary or a series of family chronicles to turn into dust, really. We've seen the mechanism that allows for evolution, but we can't see evolution at *work*, so we cannot have an intuitive understanding of it. We're simply slaves to our limited lifespans and senses in this respect. And in many other respects as well... Timo Saloniemi

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi)


In article <393B889D.545B@yahoo.com> stevechristianson@yahoo.com writes: >X-No-Archive: yes >Timo S Saloniemi wrote: >> What the body does is perform *adequately*. The problem is that there is >> no incentive for it to strive for anything better than adequate. Once >> something works, the selection pressure eases up; and while there's >> nothing really forbidding further upgrades, the downgrades now >> are statistically overwhelming. This is the result of short-sighted >> engineering, where the only real aim is to survive till the end of >> the day. >But by this logic, and your later discussion of evolution, those in the >species whose bodies "do" strive for more than just adequacy should come >to dominate. But only if they can transmit their good intentions and gained advantages to their offspring. And this they cannot do. The only thing that is inherited is a mutation in the genetic code, and this mutation doesn't pay attention to the desires of the individual. If you got bigger muscles because of something new in your genetic code, then your kids are likely to get those, too. But if you got the muscles by practicing hard, then it's not that clear - the kids may get them because you set an example to them by your lifestyle, but the musculature will only grow more common in the population if somehow the philosophy of bodybuilding is preserved and spread. Philosophies usually flicker and die, whereas bad genes are forever :-) >> Another problem in addition to the settling for adequacy is that the >> mechanisms of the body often are created out of something that wasn't >> really intended for the job. It would be rather simple (as a design, >> even if we lack the means of execution) to rewire the human eye to >> have the sensory cells pointing in the right direction, and to >> reroute the signal processing to use something elegant like fourier >> analysis. All the hardware for that is already in place, it's just >> wired wrong because it did its original work well enough in that >> configuration. >But would it be as reliable? The eye evolved in a state of nature where >you can't just call Technical Support if something goes wrong. Simple, >primitive...but reliable has its advantages. Heck we see this IRL all >the time: my whiz bang new Compaq sits in the guest room because it >breaks down, while my old 2 gig Microelectronics computer keeps chugging >along. The problem is that the eye is neither simple nor primitive. It's actually needlessly complex. It would work much more simply if it processed data with simple fourier transformations, and it would probably be more robust if the sensory cells were mounted the right way up and the nerves better protected. What is certain is that the eye is *sufficiently* robust to have survived so far. What's not so certain is that one couldn't build better designs. At least one can build designs that are equally good and reliable but use different principles, ranging from the slightly altered chameleon eyes to the very different octopus ones. >> Had there been a master plan aimed at creating an imaging organ out of >> nothing in one step, the incorrectly wired light-level-detecting >> machinery should have been omitted once this new plan was formulated, >> and the now off-the-shelf elements put to better use in the new project. >> But no, the crappy old stuff was simply given a halfhearted upgrade. >> It's commendable that something as good as the current human eye emerged >> from that upgrade, considering the circumstances... But wouldn't it be >> fun to have twice or thrice the processing speed so that one wouldn't >> have to use stop-motion VCRs to analyze Trek episodes frame by frame? :-) >But if our bodies were all so good, what's the incentive to use our >brains and develop technology? We sit around our caves watching the >Mastodons go by with our perfect eyes instead of watching Trek on the >VCR. :-) A good point. Endless reruns of mastodons would probably be less interesting than Voyager, even if there was an increased degree of continuity... Timo Saloniemi

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Craig <craig0629@worldnet.att.net>)


Timo S Saloniemi <tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi> wrote in message news:8hfgn1$9tb$1@nntp.hut.fi... > In article <8hbo8b$nh3$1@fraggle.esatclear.ie> "Admiral Korel" <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/> writes: <snip> > > Had there been a master plan aimed at creating an imaging organ out of > nothing in one step, the incorrectly wired light-level-detecting > machinery should have been omitted once this new plan was formulated, > and the now off-the-shelf elements put to better use in the new project. > But no, the crappy old stuff was simply given a halfhearted upgrade. > It's commendable that something as good as the current human eye emerged > from that upgrade, considering the circumstances... But wouldn't it be > fun to have twice or thrice the processing speed so that one wouldn't > have to use stop-motion VCRs to analyze Trek episodes frame by frame? :-) > > Timo Saloniemi Yes, but can you agree that if given enough time this ability will manifest itself? The remarkable thing is that when ever a body part is used it gets stronger and given time will adapt. Who says that survival is the only catylist for change? I believe that the continued use of any organ will eventually transfer to the genetic blueprint of offspring. This can not be proved without a specific long term (we're talking decades) study, but if true could signify the advancement of our species to exponential IQ levels. Craig

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi)


In article <8hbo8b$nh3$1@fraggle.esatclear.ie> "Admiral Korel" <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/> writes: >>Yes, after all, look at engineers' success with such things as the >>following: >> >>-pattern recognition >>-speech recognition >>-mobility/dexterity >>-parallel processing >>-long-lived machines (I'm totally amazed at all those 60+ year old >>machines still operating today) > >I didn't say we could duplicate all the feats of the body today, but >certainly with sufficient advances in the relevant areas, advances that are >well within the bounds of possibility, it should be fairly straightforward. Especially if the engineers were given billions of years to do it (or even 6,000 years, for that matter)... What the body does is perform *adequately*. The problem is that there is no incentive for it to strive for anything better than adequate. Once something works, the selection pressure eases up; and while there's nothing really forbidding further upgrades, the downgrades now are statistically overwhelming. This is the result of short-sighted engineering, where the only real aim is to survive till the end of the day. Another problem in addition to the settling for adequacy is that the mechanisms of the body often are created out of something that wasn't really intended for the job. It would be rather simple (as a design, even if we lack the means of execution) to rewire the human eye to have the sensory cells pointing in the right direction, and to reroute the signal processing to use something elegant like fourier analysis. All the hardware for that is already in place, it's just wired wrong because it did its original work well enough in that configuration. Had there been a master plan aimed at creating an imaging organ out of nothing in one step, the incorrectly wired light-level-detecting machinery should have been omitted once this new plan was formulated, and the now off-the-shelf elements put to better use in the new project. But no, the crappy old stuff was simply given a halfhearted upgrade. It's commendable that something as good as the current human eye emerged from that upgrade, considering the circumstances... But wouldn't it be fun to have twice or thrice the processing speed so that one wouldn't have to use stop-motion VCRs to analyze Trek episodes frame by frame? :-) Timo Saloniemi

2000-06-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi)


In article <_Oe_4.976$J7.10053@grover.nit.gwu.edu> Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu> writes: >In rec.arts.startrek.tech Admiral Korel <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/> wrote: >:>Yes, after all, look at engineers' success with such things as the >:>following: >:> >:>-pattern recognition >:>-speech recognition >:>-mobility/dexterity >:>-parallel processing >:>-long-lived machines (I'm totally amazed at all those 60+ year old >:>machines still operating today) > >: I didn't say we could duplicate all the feats of the body today, but >: certainly with sufficient advances in the relevant areas, advances that are >: well within the bounds of possibility, it should be fairly straightforward. > >Ah, that's cheating. What you are saying is this: "The human body is an >incredibly inefficient and poorly designed machine. Someday, possibly in >the far-distant future, we will be able to design a machine that can do >all the amazing things the human body can do much better." That's >essentially a contradiction and it demonstrates the absurdity of the >statement. > >Other comments along this line also started down a rather slippery slope. >Yes, the human body is frail and incapable of withstanding cold >temperatures... which is why humans build houses. The most important and >efficient part of the human body is the brain, which allows it to adapt >its environment to expand its physical capabilities. > >The simple fact of the matter is that even "stupid" advanced organisms >possess capabilities that we have been unable to replicate, either in the >laboratory or with machines. A squirrel can do many things that no >human-built machine can do, certainly not in so small and efficient a >package. I believe this discussion originated from my comment that was related to the way the Borg are. And by agreeing with everything you say above, I think I'm also giving a good excuse for the Borg peculiarities we have seen. Human body works adequately despite being designed in a manner that does not utilize optimal solutions. We can see despite the fact that our retinal cells are mounted upside down. We can walk erect despite having crooked backbones and silly feet with fragile and overcomplex bones. Similarly, we could argue that it is okay for the Borg to have a Queen who speaks to her Drones: the Collective is almost invulnerable *despite* such an inefficient organization, an organization we can blame on the inevitable goof-ups made in the Borg evolutionary history. The Borg aim for perfection, and they have taken steps against evolution to achieve their goal - they have modified their bodies, and apparently also their minds. But they have not gone all the way yet. There is still optimizing to be done, streamlining challenges not yet tackled. The Borg may even be afraid of moving too fast. I'm reminded of the old "Kyberias" story by Stanislaw Lem where a society aims for perfection and soon enough ends up as little discs laid down in geometrical patterns on the surface of their homeworld... And would you deliberately bypass puberty if you were offered the chance? :-) Timo Saloniemi

2000-06-06 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (STEPHEN SUCH <budfrog@ukonline.co.uk>)


> Yeah - how safe do *you* feel when you walk? What portion of the brain is > given over to simply maintaining balance, gait, etc.? It seems quite > reasonable that a better-designed foot would reduce the need for > compensatory software (the cerebellum). Not wanting to get drawn into a biology debate in a Star Trek group, but this is a good point. A while ago, I heard someone explaining walking, as basically falling forewards. It is only the toes sticking out the end of our feet, which stop us falling flat on our faces. Steve. _______________________________________________ "........To them, and their posterity do we commit our future." Captain J.T.Kirk :- Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country ---------------------------------------------------------------

2000-06-06 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu>)


In rec.arts.startrek.tech Admiral Korel <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/> wrote: :>: Which is why I make no such claim. I use a different measuring pole. :> :>I was responding to Korel's general argument. : And comprehensively botching it. Now now, there's no reason to be snide. DDAY

2000-06-06 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi)


In article <mcR_4.1048$J7.10578@grover.nit.gwu.edu> Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu> writes: >In rec.arts.startrek.tech Keith Morrison <keithm@polarnet.ca> wrote: >:> Name a single engineering project that has resulted in an optical system >:> as good as the human eye and capable of recognizing, say, a grasshopper >:> standing on top of a watermelon. > >: You're comparing apples and oranges. The human eye is only a visual >: aquisition system. Determining that the the thing over there is a >: grasshopper on a watermelon is decided by the image analysis system, >: a different matter entirely. > >It's part and parcel of the same thing. The overall argument advanced by >some here is that the human body is a clunky, inefficient organism and >that some mythical superbeing (let's call him "God") could develop >something better. To which I would like to see proof in the form of >real-world examples. This seems to be three arguments in one: 1) Human bodies are inefficient 2) Human bodies could actually be better if designed by an engineer of some sort 3) There are examples of things better than human bodies, or there are examples of "design" triumphing over "evolution" For the first argument, it should be said that all biology is very efficient in utilizing the natural resources of its environment. After all, the most efficient organ(ism) is selected for, and the inefficient ones selected against. When you put together hundreds of organs selected thusly, and subject the collection to selection pressures as well, you get something more efficient than any single machine humans have ever built, better even than the bicycle. But that efficiency comes with a price tag of complexity, inflexibility, lack of preplanning and inability to explore alternate and potentially even more efficient solutions. So while an organism may, say, convert solar energy with 30% efficiency by some yardstick that gives the best human-built solar panels 1.3% efficiency, the organism could still be considered inefficient if some blatantly obvious changes would raise the efficiency to 60%. Nature simply hasn't felt a need to improve over 30%, and the solutions that gave 30% have resulted in a cul-de-sac that will never allow for 60%. A human can see that going three steps back and making a different choice in one junction will give the improved design. But nature doesn't go back. So this explains why I support the second argument. Humans here can be seen as music critics - they can't compose or play by themselves, but they sure can tell if somebody else cannot, either! And they can have the weirdest criteria for what is good and what is bad. Efficiency isn't necessarily the main criterium for a good design in the eyes of a human engineer. Such an engineer would consider complexity and inflexibility as signs of a fundamental "inefficiency" of the design - "inefficiency" here being closer to my original claim of "badly designed" than to actual low efficiency in a given task. But there are so many conditionals in the second argument that it is a mere thought experiment, not something that would or could have tangible proof. We simply do not have a "God" engineer available who could tell if he can or cannot, will or will not improve on a given organism. Thus, argument three about tangible proof has to be handled very carefully. Humans can certainly build things that are better than nature if the rules of the game are defined properly - humans can build machines that are more powerful than any leg, see farther with less light than any eye, move faster than any creature. Humans cannot achieve the level of integration and the energy efficiency of an integrated system organisms can, though. And usually, humans don't even want to, because of the aforementioned price tag. It is dooubtful that even centuries of work would allow human engineers to replicate the complexity and sophistication of an integrated organism like, say, a mollusk. But if we forget about using humans as our putative engineers, and assume a creature that really can design organisms, then we can simply go through the body organ by organ and point out the deficiencies, the obvious venues of improvement, the occasional case where another species is in possession of a better-working organ. It's too bad that no warm-blooded animal really has an eye with the sensory cells mounted the right way up - the poor choice was made too early on. A cat's eye on a human might be nice, though. There are no obvious penalties from the structure that allows for low-light observations. It's just one of those "improvements" that has never been selected for since humans have not gained any advantage from going nocturnal. Not quite what I meant by "poor design", since omission of "cat vision" is less of a goof-up than the mounting of the receptor cells the wrong way, but at least it is a case to prove that organs do not develop towards greater capacity unless they have to. Many animals including, say, various Madagaskar half-apes, seem to have developed improved night vision in less time than it has taken humans to develop their big braincases. Humans just haven't opted for this kind of development, even if it would be nice to have. Timo Saloniemi

2000-06-06 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi)


In article <tmU_4.1074$J7.10740@grover.nit.gwu.edu> Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu> writes: >In rec.arts.startrek.tech Admiral Korel <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/> wrote: >: What I am saying is that the human body, the product of blind evolutionary >: forces, could be far more efficient and better designed if it had been >: deliberately designed by an engineer with the necessary knowledge (which we >: do not have). > >And I am arguing that this is a non-sensical argument. > >"SOMEONE, someday, can design a better organism." Nobody AFAIK has used the word "someday" here. Everybody seems to be saying that the mistakes were made in the past, and it is the putative past engineers (or more exactly, the lack thereof) who should be held responsible. Nobody is arguing that in the future, we will be able to design better life. All that is being said (using a little hyperbole here) is that the *current* results are close to abysmal and could have been better if the *past* three billion years had been spent more productively. >"Who?" >"Someone." Actually, shouldn't that be "anyone"? :-) The whole thing stems from the fact that there are obvious design errors. We don't know how to build even erroneous let alone "correct" organisms, but that certainly is no reason to stop us from spotting the errors. And once we see that there was an error a human of proper (read: godlike) training would not have made, it follows that by not making that error, one (no matter which one) would have made a better design. >"How?" >"Somehow." This is unfair. "How?" has been answered concisely many times. "By mounting the retinal cells the right way up". "By having the testicles inside the body". "By omitting the appendix". "By rearranging the backbone and the foot and hand bones". >"When?" >"Someday?" Nope. "Three billion years ago", or "Six million years ago", etc. This is not a boast that "humans could do it better". It's an observation that the lack of design resulted in what by human standards would be sloppy work. You probably can't design a house, but nevertheless you are eminently qualified to tell the engineer that he's an utter idiot for getting the doorway size all wrong and the construction workers that they should be fired for mounting the ceiling beams incorrectly, or the cable guy that he goofed up with the wires *somewhere, you don't care where* since the electricity isn't working properly. It's *their* business to get it right. :-) Timo Saloniemi

2000-06-06 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi)


In article <goU_4.1076$J7.10740@grover.nit.gwu.edu> Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu> writes: >In rec.arts.startrek.tech Keith Morrison <keithm@polarnet.ca> wrote: >: Oh, that's easy. Look at how we walk. Bipedalism has evolved >: two, maybe three, times and humans have probably the worst way >: of doing it. >Show me a machine that can walk as efficiently as a human. The ostrich. Now there is good engineering (or actually a good faximile of engineering) in the legs and hip department. >: Or look at the reproductive system. It's risky to have the testes >: hanging out where they can suffer all sorts of trauma, and other >: animals can produce sperm using completely internal organs, so >: why can't humans? >Show me a machine that can reproduce itself in nine months. A gerbil. In fact, it can do a lot better than that. Or a frog - still better! Not to mention bacteria. Or virii. >The original poster argued that engineers could do better. I say they >cannot. Hey, *I'm* the original poster. What I argued was indeed that engineers could do it better. What I never argued was that HUMAN engineers would be used as the yardstick. "Random" evolution resulted in the lousy hardware we have today. Replace that evolution with deliberate guidance that is *analogous* to what human engineers do, and you are sure to get better results in three billion years. Since quite obviously there has been no such outside influence, it's rather fruitless to argue about the exact nature of this nonexistent influence... Timo Saloniemi

2000-06-06 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu>)


In rec.arts.startrek.tech Timo S Saloniemi <tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi> wrote: : Which is why I make no such claim. I use a different measuring pole. I was responding to Korel's general argument. DDAY

2000-06-06 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Malcolm McMahon <malcolm@pigsty.demon.co.uk>)


On 6 Jun 2000 07:14:46 GMT, tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi (Timo S Saloniemi) wrote: > >But if we forget about using humans as our putative engineers, and >assume a creature that really can design organisms, then we can >simply go through the body organ by organ and point out the >deficiencies, the obvious venues of improvement, the occasional >case where another species is in possession of a better-working >organ. It's too bad that no warm-blooded animal really has an eye >with the sensory cells mounted the right way up - the poor choice >was made too early on. Or there's a reason for this choice we're unaware of, or the actual cost of the choice is zero so the choice was made randomly. >A cat's eye on a human might be nice, though. >There are no obvious penalties from the structure that allows for >low-light observations. Yes, there are clear focusing implications of a slit pupil eye. Resolution along the direction of the long axis of the slit will be poorer than along the narrow axis. Personally I think the thing that needs sorting out is that the human body is such a poor shape for sleeping in. It's the big head, of course, and the feet. Maybe we'd be better with a wider flatter sort of head. It's a bit late now, though, to go back and evolve all over again from something other than apes.

2000-06-06 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Admiral Korel <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/>)


>The Ralph Nader research organization has just released a multi-year >study that proves conclusively that the human foot is unsafe to walk >on! Yeah - how safe do *you* feel when you walk? What portion of the brain is given over to simply maintaining balance, gait, etc.? It seems quite reasonable that a better-designed foot would reduce the need for compensatory software (the cerebellum). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Morgan McEvoy, morgiemac@esatclear.ie "It's like the laws of physics just went out the window." "And why shouldn't they? They're so inconvenient!"

2000-06-06 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Admiral Korel <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/>)


>: Which is why I make no such claim. I use a different measuring pole. > >I was responding to Korel's general argument. And comprehensively botching it. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Morgan McEvoy, morgiemac@esatclear.ie "It's like the laws of physics just went out the window." "And why shouldn't they? They're so inconvenient!"

2000-06-06 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi)


In article <vQN_4.1028$J7.10505@grover.nit.gwu.edu> Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu> writes: >In rec.arts.startrek.tech Timo S Saloniemi <tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi> wrote: >: What the body does is perform *adequately*. The problem is that there is >: no incentive for it to strive for anything better than adequate. Once >: something works, the selection pressure eases up; and while there's >: nothing really forbidding further upgrades, the downgrades now >: are statistically overwhelming. This is the result of short-sighted >: engineering, where the only real aim is to survive till the end of >: the day. >Huh? Explain how the selection pressure has let up. I would actually >count this as a victory rather than a drawback--people no longer die of >polio because human bodies (using that inefficient organ, the brain) have >overcome it. I don't see this as an "easing" of selection pressure, but >a conquering of it. Okay, "easing" or "conquering", whichever word is a better synonym for "diminishing"... "Conquering" polio hasn't improved human genome a bit. Instead, it has made it possible for polio patients to survive to promote the genome that contains the risk factors for polio (although AFAIK, there is no direct genetic connection known for the ailment yet). Due to the disappearing of selection pressure thanks to medical science and improved hygiene, many "defects" of our bodies now have better chances of survival in the genome than ever. Eugenics is an extreme form of selection pressure where the same human intellect that now shields us from the manifestations of diseases is harnessed to kill all those who carry the diseases. In the long term, eugenics is the more efficient way of reducing disease - or would be, if we understood the diseases and their causes well enough, which we certainly don't. But it can hardly be argued that eugenics would be a positive thing. It is quite *adequate* to fight the manifestations of the diseases, without resorting to culling of the diseased and actually "improving" the human race. >: even if we lack the means of execution) to rewire the human eye to >: have the sensory cells pointing in the right direction, and to >Why is this necessary? The human eye is already an amazingly capable >organism. It is not necessary. If it were, if the eye did not perform adequately, then probably some selection would have taken place to replace it with something more adequate. What I want to say is that the eye works adequately despite being very badly designed (which is a nice analogy to my original argument, that the Borg can be badly designed as well without it being a YATI - evolution of complex organisms is full of bad designs that nevertheless work). And since it is not necessary to rewire the eye, it won't get rewired very fast. Rewiring would be a random mutation or series thereof if it took place, and this randomness isn't affected by whether the organ performs inadequately or adequately. But whether this mutation *survives* and *propagates* across the population depends on the performance of the organ. Which is what I meant by the disappearing of selection pressure. By your argument, there exists a new type of selection pressure that strives for excellence - so this pressure would require the eye to be rewired ASAP, to make it work even better. Unfortunately, the eye is just as likely to get *downgraded* by evolution as it is to get upgraded. Just looking around will reveal a certain downgrading in process: there is a great deal of nearsightedness around, and thanks to advances in our society, it isn't selected against. Timo Saloniemi

2000-06-06 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi)


In article <oVN_4.1029$J7.10505@grover.nit.gwu.edu> Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu> writes: >In rec.arts.startrek.tech Timo S Saloniemi <tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi> wrote: >: At least one can build designs that are equally good and reliable >: but use different principles, ranging from the slightly altered chameleon >: eyes to the very different octopus ones. >Name a single engineering project that has resulted in an optical system >as good as the human eye and capable of recognizing, say, a grasshopper >standing on top of a watermelon. The one that created the chameleon eye? >The claim that the human body is a sloppy and inefficient system because >someday, maybe 200 years from now, someone _might_ be able to design >better individual parts is a non-starter. That's like claiming that the >airplane is totally obsolete technology because someday we'll have >starships. Which is why I make no such claim. I use a different measuring pole. The human body is grossly inefficient and badly designed in comparison to what it could be if designed by a committed engineer POSSESSING THE ABILITIES OF THE PUTATIVE ENGINEER OF THE *CURRENT* BODY. Of course humans can't build eyes, or even very good kidneys. But humans can easily see the faults and deficiencies in the current design. It is easy for example to speculate on "moving" a well-designed organ from species X to species Y, with minor modifications, and achieving a far better- working species Y. This speculation does not assume that any human could actually *perform* this "moving" now, or in the future. Humans are not the engineers I'm speaking of here. What I am speaking of is the LACK of any engineers whatsoever, and the successes reached nevertheless. If there were engineers capable of manipulating life, they would probably have designed a far more capable, robust and simple system than the current hodgepodge. But obviously, no such engineering principles were applied during the construction of the current body. And I certainly shouldn't use *human* ingenuity as the yardstick if I'm arguing that *humans* are of faulty construction... :-) Timo Saloniemi

2000-06-06 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Admiral Korel <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/>)


>: What the body does is perform *adequately*. The problem is that there is >: no incentive for it to strive for anything better than adequate. Once >: something works, the selection pressure eases up; and while there's >: nothing really forbidding further upgrades, the downgrades now >: are statistically overwhelming. This is the result of short-sighted >: engineering, where the only real aim is to survive till the end of >: the day. > >Huh? Explain how the selection pressure has let up. I would actually >count this as a victory rather than a drawback--people no longer die of >polio because human bodies (using that inefficient organ, the brain) have >overcome it. I don't see this as an "easing" of selection pressure, but >a conquering of it. If you have the best of a given attribute in the population, then you don't need to evolve a better attribute because you're already at the top. That doesn't mean that your version of the attribute is the best possible. >: even if we lack the means of execution) to rewire the human eye to >: have the sensory cells pointing in the right direction, and to > >Why is this necessary? The human eye is already an amazingly capable >organism. No one said it was necessary. It may be desirable. However capable the eye is at present, it could be better. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Morgan McEvoy, morgiemac@esatclear.ie "It's like the laws of physics just went out the window." "And why shouldn't they? They're so inconvenient!"

2000-06-06 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Admiral Korel <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/>)


>: At least one can build designs that are equally good and reliable >: but use different principles, ranging from the slightly altered chameleon >: eyes to the very different octopus ones. > >Name a single engineering project that has resulted in an optical system >as good as the human eye and capable of recognizing, say, a grasshopper >standing on top of a watermelon. Why? How is it relevant to the discussion? >The claim that the human body is a sloppy and inefficient system because >someday, maybe 200 years from now, someone _might_ be able to design >better individual parts is a non-starter. That's like claiming that the >airplane is totally obsolete technology because someday we'll have >starships. No. The "claim" is that the human body is badly-designed and inefficient because it could have been put together more efficiently and elegantly if deliberately designed rather than resulting from blind evolutionary forces. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Morgan McEvoy, morgiemac@esatclear.ie "It's like the laws of physics just went out the window." "And why shouldn't they? They're so inconvenient!"

2000-06-06 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (kemosabe@skyenet.net)


On Mon, 05 Jun 2000 17:12:50 GMT, Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu> wrote: |It's part and parcel of the same thing. The overall argument advanced by |some here is that the human body is a clunky, inefficient organism and |that some mythical superbeing (let's call him "God") could develop |something better. To which I would like to see proof in the form of |real-world examples. Masked Man---->But, in related news, this just in: The Ralph Nader research organization has just released a multi-year study that proves conclusively that the human foot is unsafe to walk on! [excerpt from Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in circa 1968] -- Who was that masked man?

2000-06-06 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (evilklowwn@aol.comedy)


Dwayne Allen Day doth write thus: >Show me a machine that can reproduce itself in nine months. Viruses, which are arguably biological machines, can be built in the lab by humans, *and* can replicate themselves in somewhat less than nine months. ***************************************** "Insanity is a part of the times, Vir: You must learn to *embrace* the madness!!" Londo Mollari

2000-06-07 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Malcolm McMahon <malcolm@pigsty.demon.co.uk>)


On Tue, 6 Jun 2000 15:27:52 +0100, "Admiral Korel" <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/> wrote: >>The Ralph Nader research organization has just released a multi-year >>study that proves conclusively that the human foot is unsafe to walk >>on! > >Yeah - how safe do *you* feel when you walk? What portion of the brain is >given over to simply maintaining balance, gait, etc.? It seems quite >reasonable that a better-designed foot would reduce the need for >compensatory software (the cerebellum). It would have to be absurdly large. Consider the fumbling efforts of the people who design walker robots. They either need six legs, _huge_ feet or a great deal of active balancing apparatus.

2000-06-09 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (NoOneYouKnow <BogusAddress@SpammersSuckBigTime.Com>)


"BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au> wrote in message news:39409842@grissom... > I won't get into the whole creation/evolution debate except for one > question. Just > what is the MECHANISM of evolution. What force creates new genetic > information? I don't want to start this debate here, so this is the last I will write on the subject here. Replies will not be responded to. The mechanism proposed by evolutionists is "random mutation" which, if proven beneficial to reproduction, is passed on to successive generations. > The genetic blueprint is a programme, I defy anyone to re-programme their > computer > by any other method than an intelligently designed programme. This is at best a highly questionable analogy. Real-world computers are "re-programmed" all of the time without the intervention of intelligent designers. You've obviously never worked on a computer whose files have become corrupted by radiation or electrical surges (such as from a lightning). Before stating stuff like this, you may want to think through your analogies a little better. Also, read up on the evolution vs. creation debate, don't just swallow wholesale what someone else feeds you. Try news:talk.origins . Most creationists, today, do not deny that evolution on a small scale takes place. They distinguish, however, between what is refered to as 'micro-evolution' (within the same species - such as selecting for white fur in the artic regions), and 'macro-evolution' (apes to human type of stuff). ---JRE---

2000-06-09 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - ("BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au>)


Timo S Saloniemi wrote in message <8hfhbs$2t4$1@nntp.hut.fi>... >In article <_Oe_4.976$J7.10053@grover.nit.gwu.edu> Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu> writes: >>In rec.arts.startrek.tech Admiral Korel <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/> wrote: >>:>Yes, after all, look at engineers' success with such things as the >>:>following: >>:> >>:>-pattern recognition >>:>-speech recognition >>:>-mobility/dexterity >>:>-parallel processing >>:>-long-lived machines (I'm totally amazed at all those 60+ year old >>:>machines still operating today) >> >>: I didn't say we could duplicate all the feats of the body today, but >>: certainly with sufficient advances in the relevant areas, advances that are >>: well within the bounds of possibility, it should be fairly straightforward. >> >>Ah, that's cheating. What you are saying is this: "The human body is an >>incredibly inefficient and poorly designed machine. Someday, possibly in >>the far-distant future, we will be able to design a machine that can do >>all the amazing things the human body can do much better." That's >>essentially a contradiction and it demonstrates the absurdity of the >>statement. >> >>Other comments along this line also started down a rather slippery slope. >>Yes, the human body is frail and incapable of withstanding cold >>temperatures... which is why humans build houses. The most important and >>efficient part of the human body is the brain, which allows it to adapt >>its environment to expand its physical capabilities. >> >>The simple fact of the matter is that even "stupid" advanced organisms >>possess capabilities that we have been unable to replicate, either in the >>laboratory or with machines. A squirrel can do many things that no >>human-built machine can do, certainly not in so small and efficient a >>package. > >I believe this discussion originated from my comment that was related to >the way the Borg are. And by agreeing with everything you say above, >I think I'm also giving a good excuse for the Borg peculiarities we >have seen. > >Human body works adequately despite being designed in a manner that >does not utilize optimal solutions. We can see despite the fact that >our retinal cells are mounted upside down. We can walk erect despite >having crooked backbones and silly feet with fragile and overcomplex >bones. Similarly, we could argue that it is okay for the Borg to >have a Queen who speaks to her Drones: the Collective is almost >invulnerable *despite* such an inefficient organization, an organization >we can blame on the inevitable goof-ups made in the Borg evolutionary >history. >SNIP> >Timo Saloniemi Regarding all of this bit; Who says? What makes you think our retinal cells are upside down? Considering their function (ie, to pick images for transmission to the brain), then to mount them any other way makes the whole structure way more complex (& therefore more prone to problems). "Crooked" backbones? Our backbones are not crooked, they are curved in the optimum manner for upright support. Many people with back problems experience the most relief when STANDING UPRIGHT in the correct posture. "Silly" feet, "Fragile and overcomplex" bones? Considering the marvel of proprioception and the ability to negotiate uneven terrain without conscious effort, these three adjectives just don't fit. BRADLEY

2000-06-09 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - ("BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au>)


Admiral Korel wrote in message <8hgtja$hua$1@fraggle.esatclear.ie>... >>Ah, that's cheating. What you are saying is this: "The human body is an >>incredibly inefficient and poorly designed machine. Someday, possibly in >>the far-distant future, we will be able to design a machine that can do >>all the amazing things the human body can do much better." That's >>essentially a contradiction and it demonstrates the absurdity of the >>statement. >> >>Other comments along this line also started down a rather slippery slope. >>Yes, the human body is frail and incapable of withstanding cold >>temperatures... which is why humans build houses. The most important and >>efficient part of the human body is the brain, which allows it to adapt >>its environment to expand its physical capabilities. >> >>The simple fact of the matter is that even "stupid" advanced organisms >>possess capabilities that we have been unable to replicate, either in the >>laboratory or with machines. A squirrel can do many things that no >>human-built machine can do, certainly not in so small and efficient a >>package. > >What I am saying is that the human body, the product of blind evolutionary >forces, could be far more efficient and better designed if it had been >deliberately designed by an engineer with the necessary knowledge (which we >do not have). An engineer would not have left in an appendix, for one thing. >Let's not get into another bout of wilful misinterpretation; there's quite >enough of that on this group. >--------------------------------------------------------------------------- - >Morgan McEvoy, morgiemac@esatclear.ie > >"It's like the laws of physics just went out the window." > "And why shouldn't they? They're so inconvenient!" > OK last bit first. The appendix serves as an antiseptic barrier, and possibly other things we don't know about. It is the arrogance of the scientific community that "if we don't know what it's for, it must be for nothing". As to the other statement, I believe you have it backwards. The human body WAS designed by an engineer with the necessary knowledge, and considering it AMAZING efficiency (look at the impure crud we can convert into fuel!), self repair, adaptability and downright compactness (I think that's a real word). I can't imagine anyone doing any better. I won't get into the whole creation/evolution debate except for one question. Just what is the MECHANISM of evolution. What force creates new genetic information? The genetic blueprint is a programme, I defy anyone to re-programme their computer by any other method than an intelligently designed programme. Nuff Sed for Now (While I get the urge to rant out of my system) BRADLEY

2000-06-09 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (tsalonie@pinja.hut.fi)


In article <3940967f@grissom> "BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au> writes: >Regarding all of this bit; Who says? Uh, *I* say that the human body is a barely functional thing that does not aim at excellence because it does not have any reason to. All I have learned so far about my surroundings, my own body, and the research done on these issues by others, seems to point in that direction. This is of course only because I judge these things by human standards. I'm a victim of those standards as much as the next guy: I like to compare things to how humans would do them. To assume that man is the pinnacle of creation is also a natural human trait, as is the tendency to assume that just because there is a creation, there must also be a creator. But the world at large isn't just a scaled-up or scaled-down version of the typical human family. In fact, despite the currently fashionable idea that everything repeats from the smallest scale to the largest (i.e. the fractal craze), relatively few aspects of the nature actually seem to follow this principle even across a narrow range of scales. We tend to think of things of large or small dimensions or timescales as "being born", "reproducing" and "dying", even though the "life cycle" of, say, a star or a mushroom or a form of government bears very little resemblance to human lifecycles. I think it's very refreshening to compare things to the way humans do them *and spot the differences*, not just blindly go for intuitive, nice parallels and similarities that may not really be there. >What makes you think our retinal cells are upside down? Considering their >function (ie, to pick images for transmission to the brain), then to mount >them any other way makes the whole structure way more complex (& therefore >more prone to problems). Sounds dubious. Currently, the cells are mounted so that light arrives at them only after passing through a layer of nerves. Turning them the other way around would mount the nerves on the "shadow" side, not only increasing sensitivity but also omitting the annoyance of a "blind spot" where the nerves cluster up and go through the retinal layers on their way towards the brain. No obvious added complexity would result from turning the cells. And the body doesn't shy away from complexity anyway. What a human engineer would do to a body if he could would be to *simplify* the damn thing, not to add complexity. Just consider the supercomplex redundant but also contradictory systems of excitatory and inhibiting chemicals that serve as our body's messengers. A chemist would throw away 90% of those, and probably increase instead of reduce reliability in the process. >"Crooked" backbones? Our backbones are not crooked, they are curved in the >optimum manner for upright support. Many people with back problems >experience the most relief when STANDING UPRIGHT in the correct posture. They are curved in the manner that is *least harmful* to upright support, given preexisting limitations. If they were really optimized for that purpose from the beginning, they would not make a curve backwards when joining with the hip (a source of endless pain when the structures begin to show signs of age). They would probably be completely straight, with flexible elements between the joints. At the very least, they would have the decency of omitting the tailbones and providing proper clearance to the nerves. Or then the curve would be constructed so as to truly provide some softening of the impact of footfall. The upper end of the spine is also a bit problematic - our skulls have been so deformed by recent developments that the natural "rest position" that would allow for a straight spine no longer is a rest position at all. Perhaps we once looked mostly down instead of ahead (back when instead of a sidewalk, we walked an uneven terrain), and now suffer the neck pains of letting our heads and spines grow to the demands of that positioning as our braincases expanded? >"Silly" feet, "Fragile and overcomplex" bones? Considering the marvel of >proprioception and the ability to negotiate uneven terrain without conscious >effort, these three adjectives just don't fit. Well, there is nothing to prevent one from building a similarly flexible leg with just three evenly spaced toes (perhaps two forward, one aft) and perhaps a grand total of five to ten bones. It's all in the musculature anyway. In the current configuration, there is almost no suspension to soften the impact of the heel. Many animals have developed proper suspension out of a virtually identical set of bones by walking on their toes. Humans for some reason still rely on a thing that once was best suited for curving around and grabbing a hold of a tree branch. I sort of envy those born with two opposing toes (a surprisingly common birth defect that still allows for walking yet also offers great grabbing ability). A simpler and aesthetically far more appealing structure... Timo Saloniemi

2000-06-09 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu>)


In rec.arts.startrek.tech Timo S Saloniemi <tsalonie@pinja.hut.fi> wrote: : In article <3940967f@grissom> "BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au> writes: :>Regarding all of this bit; Who says? : Uh, *I* say that the human body is a barely functional thing that does not : aim at excellence That's because you spend all your time on the couch in front of the TV. DDAY

2000-06-10 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (tsalonie@alpha.hut.fi)


In article <Eg405.1254$J7.12466@grover.nit.gwu.edu> Dwayne Allen Day <wayneday@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu> writes: >In rec.arts.startrek.tech Timo S Saloniemi <tsalonie@pinja.hut.fi> wrote: >: In article <3940967f@grissom> "BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au> writes: > >:>Regarding all of this bit; Who says? > >: Uh, *I* say that the human body is a barely functional thing that does not >: aim at excellence > >That's because you spend all your time on the couch in front of the TV. But surely a truly excellent body would provide full physical comfort for watching TV (or typing on an internet terminal), instead of the usual discomforts and ailments of your average couch potato? ;-) Timo Saloniemi

2000-06-10 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Malcolm McMahon <malcolm@pigsty.demon.co.uk>)


On Fri, 9 Jun 2000 17:09:07 +1000, "BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au> wrote: > I defy anyone to re-programme their >computer >by any other method than an intelligently designed programme. > Ever hear the term "genetic programming" in a computer context? This technique exactly meets your challenge. Computer algorithms are generated at random within certain limits of reasonablness and tested to see how close they come to modelling the thing being studdied. Those that do well are combined at random. When you're trying to simulate a "black box" where you can measure conditions and responses but no nothing about what mechanism connects them it's a technique whose use is on the increase. Evolution, based on mutation combination and selection has proved to be a very powerful problem solving technique.

2000-06-10 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - ("BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au>)


Nothing to add here, Just a request for "NoOneYouKnow" to give me a real e-mail address so I can slice up these poor arguments good and proper. -- BRADLEY :| Now what? Do we just stand here or should we start running around in circles? -Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever NoOneYouKnow wrote in message <39413028$0$36235$6e49188b@news.goldengate.net>... >"BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au> wrote in message >news:39409842@grissom... >> I won't get into the whole creation/evolution debate except for one >> question. Just >> what is the MECHANISM of evolution. What force creates new genetic >> information? > >I don't want to start this debate here, so this is the last I will write on >the subject here. Replies will not be responded to. > >The mechanism proposed by evolutionists is "random mutation" which, if >proven beneficial to reproduction, is passed on to successive generations. > >> The genetic blueprint is a programme, I defy anyone to re-programme their >> computer >> by any other method than an intelligently designed programme. > >This is at best a highly questionable analogy. Real-world computers are >"re-programmed" all of the time without the intervention of intelligent >designers. You've obviously never worked on a computer whose files have >become corrupted by radiation or electrical surges (such as from a >lightning). Before stating stuff like this, you may want to think through >your analogies a little better. > >Also, read up on the evolution vs. creation debate, don't just swallow >wholesale what someone else feeds you. Try news:talk.origins . Most >creationists, today, do not deny that evolution on a small scale takes >place. They distinguish, however, between what is refered to as >'micro-evolution' (within the same species - such as selecting for white fur >in the artic regions), and 'macro-evolution' (apes to human type of stuff). > >---JRE--- > > > >

2000-06-10 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - ("BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au>)


Timo S Saloniemi wrote in message <8hqgbs$dsn$1@nntp.hut.fi>... >In article <3940967f@grissom> "BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au> writes: > >>Regarding all of this bit; Who says? > >Uh, *I* say that the human body is a barely functional thing that does not >aim at excellence because it does not have any reason to. All I have learned >so far about my surroundings, my own body, and the research done on these >issues by others, seems to point in that direction. > >This is of course only because I judge these things by human standards. >I'm a victim of those standards as much as the next guy: I like to >compare things to how humans would do them. To assume that man is the >pinnacle of creation is also a natural human trait, as is the tendency >to assume that just because there is a creation, there must also be a >creator. Er. Semantically, you can't have a creation without a creator <g> >But the world at large isn't just a scaled-up or scaled-down version >of the typical human family. In fact, despite the currently fashionable >idea that everything repeats from the smallest scale to the largest >(i.e. the fractal craze), relatively few aspects of the nature actually >seem to follow this principle even across a narrow range of scales. We tend >to think of things of large or small dimensions or timescales as "being >born", "reproducing" and "dying", even though the "life cycle" of, say, a >star or a mushroom or a form of government bears very little resemblance >to human lifecycles. I think it's very refreshening to compare things >to the way humans do them *and spot the differences*, not just blindly >go for intuitive, nice parallels and similarities that may not really >be there. > >>What makes you think our retinal cells are upside down? Considering their >>function (ie, to pick images for transmission to the brain), then to mount >>them any other way makes the whole structure way more complex (& therefore >>more prone to problems). > >Sounds dubious. Currently, the cells are mounted so that light arrives >at them only after passing through a layer of nerves. Turning them the >other way around would mount the nerves on the "shadow" side, not only >increasing sensitivity but also omitting the annoyance of a "blind spot" >where the nerves cluster up and go through the retinal layers on their >way towards the brain. No obvious added complexity would result from >turning the cells. But instead of double-hatting the nerves and using them to protect the cells from "burn out", one would have to find something else to do that job. More structures = added complexity. >And the body doesn't shy away from complexity anyway. What a human engineer >would do to a body if he could would be to *simplify* the damn thing, >not to add complexity. Just consider the supercomplex redundant but also >contradictory systems of excitatory and inhibiting chemicals that serve >as our body's messengers. A chemist would throw away 90% of those, and >probably increase instead of reduce reliability in the process. > "Simplify"? I saw a robotic hand once. It played a piano. Damn thing had little servo motors all over it and needed constant re-alignment. Consider instead a biological hand which sites the bulk of the higher powered motors remotely (ie on the arm) and transmits the power via compact cables. This reduces the bulk of the hand and allows for much finer control and manipulation. Pretty nifty, and a simple solution to boot. >>"Crooked" backbones? Our backbones are not crooked, they are curved in the >>optimum manner for upright support. Many people with back problems >>experience the most relief when STANDING UPRIGHT in the correct posture. > >They are curved in the manner that is *least harmful* to upright support, >given preexisting limitations. If they were really optimized for that >purpose from the beginning, they would not make a curve backwards when >joining with the hip (a source of endless pain when the structures begin >to show signs of age). They would probably be completely straight, with >flexible elements between the joints. At the very least, they would have >the decency of omitting the tailbones and providing proper clearance >to the nerves. Or then the curve would be constructed so as to truly >provide some softening of the impact of footfall. A completely straight backbone would only be "stable" when it is perfectly balanced, with the centre of gravity from all its load above the base point. I suppose this could occur occasionally, But not 99.9% of the time. A single straight up support for a vertical mobile structure? No engineer would even attempt it. >The upper end of the spine is also a bit problematic - our skulls have >been so deformed by recent developments that the natural "rest position" >that would allow for a straight spine no longer is a rest position at >all. Perhaps we once looked mostly down instead of ahead (back when >instead of a sidewalk, we walked an uneven terrain), and now suffer >the neck pains of letting our heads and spines grow to the demands of >that positioning as our braincases expanded? > >>"Silly" feet, "Fragile and overcomplex" bones? Considering the marvel of >>proprioception and the ability to negotiate uneven terrain without conscious >>effort, these three adjectives just don't fit. > >Well, there is nothing to prevent one from building a similarly flexible >leg with just three evenly spaced toes (perhaps two forward, one aft) and >perhaps a grand total of five to ten bones. It's all in the musculature >anyway. And to give the same "footprint" (ie base area) you would need much more or much stronger connective tissue. It's all a matter of optimising. >In the current configuration, there is almost no suspension to soften the >impact of the heel. Many animals have developed proper suspension out of >a virtually identical set of bones by walking on their toes. Humans for >some reason still rely on a thing that once was best suited for curving >around and grabbing a hold of a tree branch. I sort of envy those born >with two opposing toes (a surprisingly common birth defect that still >allows for walking yet also offers great grabbing ability). A simpler and >aesthetically far more appealing structure... > The animals that walk on their toes generally use four sets rather than two, so locomotion is a completely different proposition to walking upright above 2 sets. >Timo Saloniemi > > >

2000-06-10 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (evilklowwn@aol.comedy)


Bradley doth write thus: >As to the other statement, I believe you have it backwards. The human body >WAS designed by an engineer with the necessary knowledge, and considering >it AMAZING efficiency (look at the impure crud we can convert into fuel!), >self >repair, adaptability and downright compactness (I think that's a real word). >I can't >imagine anyone doing any better. Too bad whatever entity that *designed* the engineer you alluded to didn't get the contract to design US. Maybe it would have done something about the vestigial muscles around our skulls that nowdays don't give us anything except (literally) headaches..... or the way the foot's arch doesn't have adequate strength..... and congenital wetware problems would be a whole new thread unto themselves!! ***************************************** "Insanity is a part of the times, Vir: You must learn to *embrace* the madness!!" Londo Mollari

2000-06-12 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (NoOneYouKnow <BogusAddress@SpammersSuckBigTime.Com>)


I really don't feel like debating this. Besides, your evolution vs. creation opinion and mine may be closer than you realize. I was simply pointing out errors in you post. If you are going to represent a cause, for lack of a better word, do it right. Don't use statements which make it look as though you don't understand anything you are talking about. For example, saying, "just what is the MECHANISM of evolution. What force creates new genetic information?" [your emphasis] makes it obvious you have never read a sentence on the theory that didn't come from someone you already agree with - someone who was obviously grasping at straws because they didn't understand the theory either. What's the point in that? You have to understand something before you can argue against it - or you look like a fool. When you make statements like this, in an unrelated newsgroup like this, you become, whether you want to or not, a representative of the cause - perhaps the first and/or only representative many folks will ever read. When you make such obviously naive statements, you make the cause as a whole look naive. If you must continue this debate, my real email address is jre at goldengate.net <---spam protected (obviously). The only thing I am willing to debate is the statements you made and how they reflect on the 'cause'. I will not debate evolution vs. creation. It is one of those debates that never goes anywhere, and you and I may actually agree pretty closely. However, my views are both irrelevant to the points I made, and nobody's business but mine. If that is the issue you want to debate, I suggest, again, news:talk.origins. ---JRE--- "BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au> wrote in message news:394184ee@grissom... > Nothing to add here, Just a request for "NoOneYouKnow" to give me a real > e-mail address so I can slice up these poor arguments good and proper. > > -- > BRADLEY :| > > Now what? Do we just stand here or should we > start running around in circles? > -Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever > NoOneYouKnow wrote in message > <39413028$0$36235$6e49188b@news.goldengate.net>... > >"BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au> wrote in message > >news:39409842@grissom... > >> I won't get into the whole creation/evolution debate except for one > >> question. Just > >> what is the MECHANISM of evolution. What force creates new genetic > >> information? > > > >I don't want to start this debate here, so this is the last I will write on > >the subject here. Replies will not be responded to. > > > >The mechanism proposed by evolutionists is "random mutation" which, if > >proven beneficial to reproduction, is passed on to successive generations. > > > >> The genetic blueprint is a programme, I defy anyone to re-programme their > >> computer > >> by any other method than an intelligently designed programme. > > > >This is at best a highly questionable analogy. Real-world computers are > >"re-programmed" all of the time without the intervention of intelligent > >designers. You've obviously never worked on a computer whose files have > >become corrupted by radiation or electrical surges (such as from a > >lightning). Before stating stuff like this, you may want to think through > >your analogies a little better. > > > >Also, read up on the evolution vs. creation debate, don't just swallow > >wholesale what someone else feeds you. Try news:talk.origins . Most > >creationists, today, do not deny that evolution on a small scale takes > >place. They distinguish, however, between what is refered to as > >'micro-evolution' (within the same species - such as selecting for white > fur > >in the artic regions), and 'macro-evolution' (apes to human type of stuff). > > > >---JRE--- > > > > > > > > > >

2000-06-14 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - ("David C. Baker" <tonyr@frontiernet.net>)


CFB1 wrote in message <394857C7.238E7FA9@prodigy.net>... > >Malcolm McMahon wrote: > >> On Tue, 6 Jun 2000 15:27:52 +0100, "Admiral Korel" >> <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/> wrote: >> >> >>The Ralph Nader research organization has just released a multi-year >> >>study that proves conclusively that the human foot is unsafe to walk >> >>on! >> > >> >Yeah - how safe do *you* feel when you walk? What portion of the brain is >> >given over to simply maintaining balance, gait, etc.? It seems quite >> >reasonable that a better-designed foot would reduce the need for >> >compensatory software (the cerebellum). >> >> It would have to be absurdly large. Consider the fumbling efforts of the >> people who design walker robots. They either need six legs, _huge_ feet >> or a great deal of active balancing apparatus. > >Just curious, did you walk perfectly the first time you tried, or did you take >a long time(i.e. years) to walk, run, and function on your feet? The people >who design walker robots are trying to do the same thing overnight that you or >I or anyone else took years to accomplish. > > >-- >Carl cfb1@prodigy.net >ICQ#9262629 > >When any government, or church for that matter, undertakes to say to >its subjects, 'This you may not read, this you must not see, this you >are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no >matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control >a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force >can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, >not fission bombs, not anything -- you can't conquer a free man; > the most you can do is kill him. >R.A.H. 1940. > >And still true today. . . > > It is easy to say that this thing or that is poorly designed on the human body, and while it may be true that some things could be better, you try to build a robot out of raw material such as carbon and calcium, and integrate all the systems which make it go. We have a self-contained power source which can go for days without recharging, we have sterophonic, multichannel audio pick-ups. Stereooptic color visual system. A tactile sensory network which covers and is sensitive in nearly every square millimeter of our bodies. We have three sets of highly sensitive chemical detectors: the nose, the tounge, and the VNO. Every cell in our bodies is a machine on its own, something nanotechnologists would love to have the opportunity to begin to imagine dreaming of possibly accomplishing in the lab. Our temperature is self-regulating, without the need for CPU fans or LN2 loops. We reproduce without needing a trip to RadioShack or Home Depot to pick up parts. Most importantly, we have a processor that can coordinate our locomotor systems (that is, we can chew gum, walk, and fiddle with a palmpilot at the same time), while having enough capacity left over to combine all of the sensory inputs and process them into a subconcious awareness of our surroundings, and still afford a mind that is capable of thinking of ways to make it better. You try that with a robot. David C. Baker tonyr@frontiernet.net

2000-06-14 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (CFB1 <cfb1@prodigy.net>)


BRADLEY :| wrote: > > Regarding all of this bit; Who says? > What makes you think our retinal cells are upside down? Considering their > function (ie, to pick images for transmission to the brain), then to mount > them any other way makes the whole structure way more complex (& therefore > more prone to problems). > Read medical books. > > "Crooked" backbones? Our backbones are not crooked, they are curved in the > optimum manner for upright support. Many people with back problems > experience the most relief when STANDING UPRIGHT in the correct posture. > I have got to jump on this one. The backbone is NOT curved in the optimum manner for upright support. And most people with back pain(light, moderate, or severe) will have more relief lying down on their back with the neck and knees supported. IMHO, the backbone is one of the most poorly designed components in the human body. Six years in a back brace and more pain than you can probably imagine every day will keep reinforcing that opinion. That and the comments from the doctors who have attended to my back problems. > > "Silly" feet, "Fragile and overcomplex" bones? Considering the marvel of > proprioception and the ability to negotiate uneven terrain without conscious > effort, these three adjectives just don't fit. > Try it with fallen arches. > > BRADLEY -- Carl cfb1@prodigy.net ICQ#9262629 When any government, or church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, 'This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything -- you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. R.A.H. 1940. And still true today. . .

2000-06-14 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (CFB1 <cfb1@prodigy.net>)


Malcolm McMahon wrote: > On Tue, 6 Jun 2000 15:27:52 +0100, "Admiral Korel" > <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/> wrote: > > >>The Ralph Nader research organization has just released a multi-year > >>study that proves conclusively that the human foot is unsafe to walk > >>on! > > > >Yeah - how safe do *you* feel when you walk? What portion of the brain is > >given over to simply maintaining balance, gait, etc.? It seems quite > >reasonable that a better-designed foot would reduce the need for > >compensatory software (the cerebellum). > > It would have to be absurdly large. Consider the fumbling efforts of the > people who design walker robots. They either need six legs, _huge_ feet > or a great deal of active balancing apparatus. Just curious, did you walk perfectly the first time you tried, or did you take a long time(i.e. years) to walk, run, and function on your feet? The people who design walker robots are trying to do the same thing overnight that you or I or anyone else took years to accomplish. -- Carl cfb1@prodigy.net ICQ#9262629 When any government, or church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, 'This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything -- you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. R.A.H. 1940. And still true today. . .

2000-06-15 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Merrick Baldelli <mbaldelli@mindspring.com>)


On Wed, 14 Jun 2000 21:12:56 -0700, CFB1 <cfb1@prodigy.net> wrote: >Just curious, did you walk perfectly the first time you tried, or did you take >a long time(i.e. years) to walk, run, and function on your feet? The people >who design walker robots are trying to do the same thing overnight that you or >I or anyone else took years to accomplish. That and several million years of evolution helping along the way.

2000-06-15 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (CFB1 <cfb1@prodigy.net>)


Malcolm McMahon wrote: > On Wed, 14 Jun 2000 21:12:56 -0700, CFB1 <cfb1@prodigy.net> wrote: > > > > >Malcolm McMahon wrote: > > > >> On Tue, 6 Jun 2000 15:27:52 +0100, "Admiral Korel" > >> <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/> wrote: > >> > >> >>The Ralph Nader research organization has just released a multi-year > >> >>study that proves conclusively that the human foot is unsafe to walk > >> >>on! > >> > > >> >Yeah - how safe do *you* feel when you walk? What portion of the brain is > >> >given over to simply maintaining balance, gait, etc.? It seems quite > >> >reasonable that a better-designed foot would reduce the need for > >> >compensatory software (the cerebellum). > >> > >> It would have to be absurdly large. Consider the fumbling efforts of the > >> people who design walker robots. They either need six legs, _huge_ feet > >> or a great deal of active balancing apparatus. > > > >Just curious, did you walk perfectly the first time you tried, or did you take > >a long time(i.e. years) to walk, run, and function on your feet? The people > >who design walker robots are trying to do the same thing overnight that you or > >I or anyone else took years to accomplish. > > My point is that until we can do half as well we're not in a position to > critise the design of the human foot. As we learn more about the > mechanics of walking we may very well find that the form of the foot is > very highly optermised. Larger feet would, I suspect, waste energy > walking, smaller feet waste more energy balancing. > > The same goes for the rest of our physiology. And yet, not all feet are the same size, even in proportion to the body. Sounds like evolution(or a creator if you wish) isn't quite through with the foot. -- Carl cfb1@prodigy.net ICQ#9262629 When any government, or church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, 'This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything -- you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. R.A.H. 1940. And still true today. . .

2000-06-15 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Helen & Bob <chil-out@ix.netcom.com>)


CFB1 wrote: > > > The same goes for the rest of our physiology. > > And yet, not all feet are the same size, even in proportion to the body. Sounds > like evolution(or a creator if you wish) isn't quite through with the foot. > > -- > Carl cfb1@prodigy.net Why would anybody assume that we are the sum total, and the final objective of evolution? We only have around 60 million years or so to go before we catch up to the dinosaurs. R e: You sig. Anybody who quotes Heinlein is OK in my book. > > ICQ#9262629 > > When any government, or church for that matter, undertakes to say to > its subjects, 'This you may not read, this you must not see, this you > are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no > matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control > a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force > can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, > not fission bombs, not anything -- you can't conquer a free man; > the most you can do is kill him. > R.A.H. 1940. > > And still true today. . .

2000-06-15 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Malcolm McMahon <malcolm@pigsty.demon.co.uk>)


On Wed, 14 Jun 2000 21:12:56 -0700, CFB1 <cfb1@prodigy.net> wrote: > >Malcolm McMahon wrote: > >> On Tue, 6 Jun 2000 15:27:52 +0100, "Admiral Korel" >> <morgiemac@esatclear.ie/> wrote: >> >> >>The Ralph Nader research organization has just released a multi-year >> >>study that proves conclusively that the human foot is unsafe to walk >> >>on! >> > >> >Yeah - how safe do *you* feel when you walk? What portion of the brain is >> >given over to simply maintaining balance, gait, etc.? It seems quite >> >reasonable that a better-designed foot would reduce the need for >> >compensatory software (the cerebellum). >> >> It would have to be absurdly large. Consider the fumbling efforts of the >> people who design walker robots. They either need six legs, _huge_ feet >> or a great deal of active balancing apparatus. > >Just curious, did you walk perfectly the first time you tried, or did you take >a long time(i.e. years) to walk, run, and function on your feet? The people >who design walker robots are trying to do the same thing overnight that you or >I or anyone else took years to accomplish. My point is that until we can do half as well we're not in a position to critise the design of the human foot. As we learn more about the mechanics of walking we may very well find that the form of the foot is very highly optermised. Larger feet would, I suspect, waste energy walking, smaller feet waste more energy balancing. The same goes for the rest of our physiology.

2000-06-15 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (evilklowwn@aol.comedy)


>Most importantly, we have a processor that can coordinate our locomotor >systems (that is, we can chew gum, walk, and fiddle with a palmpilot at the >same time), while having enough capacity left over to combine all of the >sensory inputs and process them into a subconcious awareness of our >surroundings, and still afford a mind that is capable of thinking of ways to >make it better. > >You try that with a robot. The robots we'll be able to build after four billion years of tinkering will themselves be inventing robots far more advanced than we are. ***************************************** "Insanity is a part of the times, Vir: You must learn to *embrace* the madness!!" Londo Mollari

2000-06-15 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (UG <ug@breathemail.net>)


Cool then we enter the world of THE MATRIX!

2000-06-16 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (malcolm@geog.leeds.ac.uk)


CFB1 wrote: > Malcolm McMahon wrote: > > > And yet, not all feet are the same size, even in proportion to the body. Sounds > like evolution(or a creator if you wish) isn't quite through with the foot. > I think, myself, that there may be evolutionary advantages to maintaining a spread of various characteristics within the population, against changes in the environment. So there may, given a certain probability of various changes in the ammont of standing, walking and running that people do, be an optimal _distribution_ of foot sizes. Or it may be that a certain mix of different kinds of people is optimal. Some distributed characteristics seem quite stable over time. Malcolm

2000-06-20 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - ("BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au>)


CFB1 wrote in message <394855E2.28D74F50@prodigy.net>... > >BRADLEY :| wrote: > >> >> Regarding all of this bit; Who says? >> What makes you think our retinal cells are upside down? Considering their >> function (ie, to pick images for transmission to the brain), then to mount >> them any other way makes the whole structure way more complex (& therefore >> more prone to problems). >> > >Read medical books. > What kind of response is that? The so-called "upside down" or "backwards" conexion is the arrangement of the nerves over the retina instead of behind it. It has basically been our own limited understanding that resulted in the "backwards" conclusion. More recent research has shown that the resultant reduction in light reaching the retina helps to preserve it, and to clarify images. Like a "screensaver" for the eye :) >> >> "Crooked" backbones? Our backbones are not crooked, they are curved in the >> optimum manner for upright support. Many people with back problems >> experience the most relief when STANDING UPRIGHT in the correct posture. >> > >I have got to jump on this one. The backbone is NOT curved in the optimum manner >for upright support. And most people with back pain(light, moderate, or severe) >will have more relief lying down on their back with the neck and knees >supported. >IMHO, the backbone is one of the most poorly designed components in the human >body. Six years in a back brace and more pain than you can probably imagine >every day will keep reinforcing that opinion. That and the comments from the >doctors who have attended to my back problems. Be careful how you use the word "most". I said many and I still say many; Myself and many relatives included. Liying down on the back is ok for temporary relief depending on the problem. Funny, most of the medical professionals who have dealt with my back problems have said that the back is actually pretty much a marvel. It's usually accumulated damage through poor posture, or some accident, or some disease that result in most problems. And BTW my physio said that it's not unusual for some of her patients to be fine while standing, but in agony sitting. Personally I think the workstation is the bane of the human race. > >> >> "Silly" feet, "Fragile and overcomplex" bones? Considering the marvel of >> proprioception and the ability to negotiate uneven terrain without conscious >> effort, these three adjectives just don't fit. >> > >Try it with fallen arches. And up to certain point, fallen arches can be fixed with proper exercises. I have had (past tense) fallen arches. I could certainly still walk on uneven terrain. In fact I found pavement to be the killer. That and walking up stairs. Like the rest of our bodies, the fitter we keep it, to more it repairs itself. > >> >> BRADLEY > >-- >Carl cfb1@prodigy.net >ICQ#9262629 >

2000-06-20 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - ("BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au>)


David C. Baker wrote in message <8i9gst$75eq$1@node17.cwnet.frontiernet.net>... > > >It is easy to say that this thing or that is poorly designed on the human >body, and while it may be true that some things could be better, you try to >build a robot out of raw material such as carbon and calcium, and integrate >all the systems which make it go. We have a self-contained power source >which can go for days without recharging, we have sterophonic, multichannel >audio pick-ups. Stereooptic color visual system. A tactile sensory network >which covers and is sensitive in nearly every square millimeter of our >bodies. We have three sets of highly sensitive chemical detectors: the nose, >the tounge, and the VNO. Every cell in our bodies is a machine on its own, >something nanotechnologists would love to have the opportunity to begin to >imagine dreaming of possibly accomplishing in the lab. Our temperature is >self-regulating, without the need for CPU fans or LN2 loops. > >We reproduce without needing a trip to RadioShack or Home Depot to pick up >parts. > >Most importantly, we have a processor that can coordinate our locomotor >systems (that is, we can chew gum, walk, and fiddle with a palmpilot at the >same time), while having enough capacity left over to combine all of the >sensory inputs and process them into a subconcious awareness of our >surroundings, and still afford a mind that is capable of thinking of ways to >make it better. > >You try that with a robot. > >David C. Baker >tonyr@frontiernet.net > > Psalm 139:14 " I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Apologies to the non-believers, but read David Baker's paragraphs and THEN tell me it wasn't called for. Also, tack onto the end of that the <simple> ability to run in one direction and catch a ball thrown from another direction. Enough of a problem to give a mathematician calculus indigestion, but we do it without any quantitative knowledge at all, except maybe the fact that we are catching one ball with either one or both hands :) BRADLEY :| Now what? Do we just stand here or should we start running around in circles? -Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever

2000-07-04 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (captjim <captjim@postoffice.pacbell.net>)


> The whole thing stems from the fact that there are obvious design > errors. <snipped> > This is unfair. "How?" has been answered concisely many times. "By > mounting the retinal cells the right way up". "By having the > testicles inside the body". "By omitting the appendix". "By rearranging > the backbone and the foot and hand bones". Who are you to say that these are actually design errors?... I for one am perfectly happy having my testicles outside my body. <g>

2000-07-05 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (jeffron@ns.sympatico.ca)


On Tue, 04 Jul 2000 15:13:07 -0700, captjim <captjim@postoffice.pacbell.net> wrote: >> The whole thing stems from the fact that there are obvious design >> errors. <snipped> > >> This is unfair. "How?" has been answered concisely many times. "By >> mounting the retinal cells the right way up". "By having the >> testicles inside the body". "By omitting the appendix". "By rearranging >> the backbone and the foot and hand bones". > >Who are you to say that these are actually design errors?... >I for one am perfectly happy having my testicles outside my body. <g> > '''KICK!''' Still happy?

2000-07-07 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Straker <nospam@moonbase.al>)


In article <3965af02@grissom>, "BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au> wrote: > Also, define "right way up", and make sure the retinal > cells still last a lifetime in most individuals. Either way, I wish I had a tapetum lucidum like my cat so I could see better in the dark without needing NVG. Sounds like an area for improvement. > And while > you're at come up with a replacement method to keep > the whole intestinal tract from going septic. Guess we should alert all those surgeons that appendectomies are bad. Funny, my friends on staff at the hospital say appendices are totally useless. > Oh, yeah. And find a way to lower the biological operating > temp of the body. (Don't forget that many of us live in tropical > or sub/tropical climate so there's not a lot of margin for error). How about elephants? Internal testicles, tropical climate, body temperature within a couple of degrees of ours. Must be doing something right. ----------------- I'm not a doctor, but I play one on the holodeck.

2000-07-07 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - ("BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au>)


captjim wrote in message <3962616B.BAE95189@postoffice.pacbell.net>... >> The whole thing stems from the fact that there are obvious design >> errors. <snipped> > >> This is unfair. "How?" has been answered concisely many times. "By >> mounting the retinal cells the right way up". "By having the >> testicles inside the body". "By omitting the appendix". "By rearranging >> the backbone and the foot and hand bones". > >Who are you to say that these are actually design errors?... >I for one am perfectly happy having my testicles outside my body. <g> > Also, define "right way up", and make sure the retinal cells still last a lifetime in most individuals. And while you're at come up with a replacement method to keep the whole intestinal tract from going septic. Oh, yeah. And find a way to lower the biological operating temp of the body. (Don't forget that many of us live in tropical or sub/tropical climate so there's not a lot of margin for error).

2000-07-10 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - ("BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au>)


Straker wrote in message ... >In article <3965af02@grissom>, "BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au> >wrote: > >> Also, define "right way up", and make sure the retinal >> cells still last a lifetime in most individuals. > >Either way, I wish I had a tapetum lucidum like my cat so I could see better >in the dark without needing NVG. Sounds like an area for improvement. > <sarcasm on>Being a nocturnal predator, I can see how you would find that useful.<sarcasm off> >> And while >> you're at come up with a replacement method to keep >> the whole intestinal tract from going septic. > >Guess we should alert all those surgeons that appendectomies are bad. Funny, >my friends on staff at the hospital say appendices are totally useless. > Yeah, yeah. and they probably still stay that foetuses have gills. Just because we don't know the specific function of an organ, it is not "totally useless". There have been enough studies linking the environmental "divisions" or separations within the intestinal tract to give us a clue that the appendix may be quite important. And yes, you can survive without it. Appendectomies are often necessary. But spleenectomies (sp.?) are also often necessary, and no-one is claiming that the spleen is useless. <sarcasm on>I also know two people who have had thyroidectomies. There's another useless organ to be rid of.<sarcasm off> >> Oh, yeah. And find a way to lower the biological operating >> temp of the body. (Don't forget that many of us live in tropical >> or sub/tropical climate so there's not a lot of margin for error). > >How about elephants? Internal testicles, tropical climate, body temperature >within a couple of degrees of ours. Must be doing something right. They also have 3 year pregnancies. Considering the gross differences in anatomy, I don't know that I would want to model myself on an elephant. (Which reminds me, did you know that their trunk isn't the only part that's prehensile?) BTW a "couple of degrees" can mean an awful lot to the homeothermic. > >----------------- >I'm not a doctor, but I play one on the holodeck. I play the trumpet a little. Is it much different? BRADLEY :| Now what? Do we just stand here or should we start running around in circles? -Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever

2000-07-11 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Straker <nospam@moonbase.al>)


In article <396ad31a@grissom>, "BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au> wrote: > Since the cat was the example given, it was the cat I was referring to. Seems to be a non sequitur. The reference was to adding the tapetum to human eyes. > >It seems clear that you believe humans to be the pinnacle of creation. That > >statement is as revealing as if you'd said, "considering the gross > >differences in anatomy, I don't know that I'd want to genetically engineer > >bacteria to generate human hormones." > > ?? how did you arrive at that? > > Large quadruped with a prehensile structure attached to the face > for manipulation vs medium-sized biped with hands for manipulation. > Pacyderm vs relativey thin skinned creature. > 3 year pregnancy vs less than 1 > > Things like that. My emphasis was one of appropriate design for > appropriate need/use, not one of superior/inferior. I fail to see how internal testicles would be inappropriate for men, aside from the fondness that most of us have for familiar external ones. You made a statement indicating you felt it was impossible for mammals, which the elephant proves false. IMHO, the various other aspects of elephant anatomy are irrelevant to their internal testicles. Trunk, skin, testicles: no relation.

2000-07-11 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - ("BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au>)


Straker wrote in message ... SNIP >Only nocturnal predators are active at night? I take it you believe wasting >innumerable megawatts of electricity lighting up our nighttime world and >washing out the night sky is a good use of resources. I, for one, happen to >believe other creatures have more efficient means of dealing with the dark, >for instance the infrared sensitivity of some snakes, the tapetum lucidum of >cats, and the echolocation capabilities of bats. > Since the cat was the example given, it was the cat I was referring to. (Although I s'pose even that is a poor example, considering that the domestic cat is the result of myriad generations of selective breeding, and apparently no longer has an "off switch" for its killer-instinct) >> Yeah, yeah. and they probably still stay that foetuses have gills. > >An unfounded assumption. Reputable biologists do acknowledge the presence of >gill-like structures. > It's a statement, not an assumption. Assumptions are the one area that is pretty much taboo about this thread. So I'm attempting (with varying degrees of success) to address factual considerations rather than assumptions. The "gill-like structures" are folds of skin around the neck. Topographically, they have no opening (ie they have no internal component). Unfortunately short lifespan, and therefore career, means that much of our scientific "knowledge" is simply stacked on top of existing "knowledge". When biology students are taught that some biologist proved that foetuses have gill-like structures they are very unlikely to repeat the research themselves (and after all, why would they?). The problem with this is that when research is falsified, that fact can actually take quite a while to be widely accepted, especially when the research falsified is someone's pet theory. How long did it take for the brontosaurus to disappear from text books? >> Just because we don't know the specific function of an organ, it >> is not "totally useless". There have been enough studies linking >> the environmental "divisions" or separations within the intestinal >> tract to give us a clue that the appendix may be quite important. > >Citations, please? > Okey doke, but I'll need a little time to dig it all out again. Get back to you. SNIP >Both splenectomies and thyroidectomies normally require long-term >post-operative treatment to compensate for their absence. The same can't be >said for appendectomies. > ok the sarcasm was over the top. But my argument still stands. To assume that we know everything about the human body is foolhardy. We don't really know what the appendix is for. Fine. But let's not call it useless because of our ignorance. SNIP > >It seems clear that you believe humans to be the pinnacle of creation. That >statement is as revealing as if you'd said, "considering the gross >differences in anatomy, I don't know that I'd want to genetically engineer >bacteria to generate human hormones." > ?? how did you arrive at that? Large quadruped with a prehensile structure attached to the face for manipulation vs medium-sized biped with hands for manipulation. Pacyderm vs relativey thin skinned creature. 3 year pregnancy vs less than 1 Things like that. My emphasis was one of appropriate design for appropriate need/use, not one of superior/inferior. (btw I DO think that humans are the pinnacle of creation, but apparently this discussion about design and purpose has to take place without reference to a designer and his possible purpose <g>) >> BTW a "couple of degrees" can mean an awful lot to the homeothermic. > >Does it? Despite the fact that it can vary as much as 5-8 degrees >(Farenheit) over the course of a day in a healthy person? Oops, sorry. I work in Celsius. 5-8 F is still a "couple of degrees" in C. So I guess that makes us both right. (Which of course NOBODY will be happy with). -- BRADLEY :| Now what? Do we just stand here or should we start running around in circles? -Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever

2000-07-11 00:00:00 - Re: Cyber-stupidty - (Straker <nospam@moonbase.al>)


In article <39697afb@grissom>, "BRADLEY :|" <bradleyf@powerup.com.au> wrote: > <sarcasm on>Being a nocturnal predator, I can see how > you would find that useful.<sarcasm off> Only nocturnal predators are active at night? I take it you believe wasting innumerable megawatts of electricity lighting up our nighttime world and washing out the night sky is a good use of resources. I, for one, happen to believe other creatures have more efficient means of dealing with the dark, for instance the infrared sensitivity of some snakes, the tapetum lucidum of cats, and the echolocation capabilities of bats. > Yeah, yeah. and they probably still stay that foetuses have gills. An unfounded assumption. Reputable biologists do acknowledge the presence of gill-like structures. > Just because we don't know the specific function of an organ, it > is not "totally useless". There have been enough studies linking > the environmental "divisions" or separations within the intestinal > tract to give us a clue that the appendix may be quite important. Citations, please? > And yes, you can survive without it. Appendectomies are often > necessary. But spleenectomies (sp.?) are also often necessary, > and no-one is claiming that the spleen is useless. > > <sarcasm on>I also know two people who have had thyroidectomies. > There's another useless organ to be rid of.<sarcasm off> Both splenectomies and thyroidectomies normally require long-term post-operative treatment to compensate for their absence. The same can't be said for appendectomies. > They also have 3 year pregnancies. > Considering the gross differences in anatomy, I don't know that I would > want to model myself on an elephant. It seems clear that you believe humans to be the pinnacle of creation. That statement is as revealing as if you'd said, "considering the gross differences in anatomy, I don't know that I'd want to genetically engineer bacteria to generate human hormones." > BTW a "couple of degrees" can mean an awful lot to the homeothermic. Does it? Despite the fact that it can vary as much as 5-8 degrees (Farenheit) over the course of a day in a healthy person?