Biology


Given that I believe in natural selection, I have a theory: I think every sentient species in the universe goes through an awkward phase when the development of medicine causes natural selection to be halted, by allowing the survival of those who would have otherwise died. This changes the governing mechanism of survival from traditional Darwinism into Social Darwinism, where it is survival of the richest (and those in the best society) instead of survival of the fittest. Case in point: Genetically, we’re generally decendents of the richer people who lived in the middle-ages, not the poorer ones; they didn’t survive to reproduce as much.

Said awkward phase goes on, weakning the gene pool, as people who would have died in the old order survive and reproduce in the new order. Birth defects, bad eyesight, and other genetic illnesses propagate at a higher rate due to the people simply not dying.

Finally, all species that develop science must eventually conquer their own DNA or DNA equivalent. At this point, the science of genetics takes over. Once medical services are properly socialized throughout the whole species, defects like imperfect eyesite can be permanently ironed out. And to stop pesky mutations from watering down our DNA again in the future, natural evolution itself could be “almost” permanently halted by introducing error-correction code at a DNA level; first using parity, and later using more sophisticated techniques such as CRC checks. A lot of our DNA code is unused, and we can certainly set it up so that it repairs bad mutations.

Once this happens, natural selection has stopped, and even social darwinism has stopped. Once genetic mastery is achieved, the perfect being can be developed. Caution must be taken to ensure that peopel do not lose genetic diversity; everybody can’t be perfect in the same way or we would become vulnerable as an entire species — one plague could kill us all if we had the same immune system.

But there’s no reason everyone can’t be more or less perfect in his or her own way, and no reason that we can’t make ourselves a much more powerful species than we currently are. This may be the key to space travel and colonizing other planets: Don’t terraform the planets to suit the humans; change the humans to suit the planets. It’s probably far easier. (more…)

WAR ON DRUGS: Federal marijuana decriminalization bill introduced — tell your congressman to support it here. Surveys tend to show that around half of Americans support decriminalization of marijuana. Since this is not a direct democracy, and you don’t get a vote, letting your congressman know what to do is the only way you will be represented. So speak up. Of course this wont make a real difference, as only 1% of marijuana arrests occur at the federal level. But federal penalties are draconian and extreme. (tags: marijuana Democrats BarneyFrank)
  • More stories past the jump —> (more…)
  • This Is Your Brain on God. Very interesting article about research into stimulating your brain to make you perceive God. Other research has already shown that our brain has been hardwired to have religious experiences from the start, so this is the next logical step. By the way, Comcast HDTV sucks. Just look at these screenshots. Comcast is a shitty company. Drop them now. Find alternative ISPs using http://www.broadbandreports.com.

    Starbucks hates Wiccans? We’ll see what the lawsuit eventually says. Smoking while pregnant found to be neglible (but not harmless) during the first 5 months of pregnancy. Sounds like an interesting study whose results are bound to be very unpopular, and thus highly contested due to the irrational emotions children bring out in people. I blame DNA.

    http://www.acm.vt.edu/~clint/download/imagedump/police-brutality-thumbnail.jpgABUSE OF AUTHORITY: Cop’s tactics in arresting a DUI cause a man to go into a permanent coma. He was never charged. 17 years later (3/2008), he is charged with murdering disc jockey Donald Munsey. This is what happens when you ignore a problem. Penalties for police should be GREATER than those for civilians, not less. Those with more power must also have more responsibility for those actions. Christ, even Peter Parker’s uncle knew that. Either way, the growing trend is hurting both the people, and the law itself, because many have little respect for the law when they behave like this. And did Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Office in Maricopa County treat alcoholic inmate worse than a dog? Sheriff had bragged about treating dogs better than humans at their jail. Inmate dead from lack of medical attention. “Jurors won’t much like an alcoholic who steals from his family. But they also might recognize that being arrested is not a death sentence. And that once a person is in Maricopa County jail, he’s our responsibility.” Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s attitude and actions are quite pathetic to me.

    SCIENTOLOGY IS A DANGEROUS CULT: The Profit – The movie Scientology doesn’t want you to see. (download torrent here). Get the banned movie here! Not just 8 minute clip that everyone has seen, but the whole banned movie. Special thanks to ANONYMOUS for fucking Scientology over at every possible juncture.

    DRUGS: Researchers have deteremined which gene to ‘knock out’ to reduce tobacco carcinogenocy. Of course, study is funded by Philip Morris. Either way: Many people smoke, and many people will continue to. This cannot ever be stopped. EVER. Philip Morris must be considering that they would make more money if their customers didn’t die, and that their lawyer fees might be lower if they weren’t sued by states due to the strain on the health care system. (Cost of freedom, folks. Cost of freedom.)

    http://www.acm.vt.edu/~clint/download/imagedump/police-brutality-thumbnail.jpgABUSE OF AUTHORITY: Federal agent sues after being tasered and arrested at a ball game for not immediately removing an american flag he was hanging. Lots of cop-on-fed violence for no charges being filed! In the end, the only way we may gain our civil rights is if more police are abused by other police. “He said she said” becomes a level playing field when both people work for the government. Someone’s going down. The best we can hope for is that our police start shooting, abusing, and brutalizing each other — that would reform the system much faster than lawsuits. OVERLY-HARSH PUNISHMENTS: Don’t call 911! Mom calls on her son for taking her car. Son is now paralyzed, most likely for life. They tasered him, against their own policy (lawsuit!) from the top bunk, where he fell, and broke his back. Don’t call 911 if you value the life of the person you are calling 911 about. This is why I propose a softer “811”, to be staffed by more heroic people than our gestapo police. People willing to risk their lives. Right now, police die less than fisherman, farmers, garbage men, & taxi drivers.

    What a crazy day. The tattoo of a cellphone that works as a blood-powered cellphone is very cool. Interesting links today. Especially the nethack porn, hahaha. Is Ricky Really a Sex Offender? NetHack Porn. Cellphone tattoo. Danish cops too scared of Muslims to do their job. White House Says Phone Wiretaps Will Resume. (more…)


    Wow. So they are all hermaphrodites, and afterwards both partners conceive. The whole experience looks like it might actually be less awkward than human sex. Being able to entwine around each other is pretty cool.

      http://www.acm.vt.edu/~clint/download/imagedump/phone-buttons-by-timsamoff-at-flickr-110569601_cb8a4ece58_m.jpgI hate cell phones.  The real danger is that people who use cellphones while driving are about 3 times more likely to die in a car crash in a given year. Texting is even worse.  But anyway, increasing tumor probability by 50% is pretty significant.  This is just one type of tumor.  How many other specific risks have not yet been studied? How many studies have found harm, but have then been subverted by the corporations? A recent polling of scientists found that 30% of scientists have been asked or pressured by corporations to change their scientific results to fit the corporation’s desires. Cell-phones are a huge growth market, so this is one of the industries most likely to have its results interfered with.

      Do you know why curvaceous women produce smart kids? Interesting study of 16,000 women — turns out those with hourglass figures are actually smarter, and more likely to have smarter children. I guess big boobs don’t automatically mean ditzy :) Latest Anti-Pot Quack Science: ‘Marijuana Makes Your Teeth Fall Out’. A sensible article dispelling many of the “Reefer Madness”-type articles that have come out in the last few months. The War On Drugs creates so much bad science; just a few decades ago they said smoking pot would make men grow breasts!
      https://i0.wp.com/i63.photobucket.com/albums/h125/marcus4199/pot.jpg
      Pot + Curvy = this picture?

      Dear Babyboomers: The National Debt is a Grandchild Tax. Thanks for less than nothing!  Ryan Somma has captured exactly how I feel once again, with his sarcastic congratulatory letter to babyboomers are are about to retire. So long, and thanks for all the fish debt! My dad predictably quipped “Every generation thinks the last screwed up the world for him”. Of course, he grew up during the 1950s — the most prosperous generation in American history. And inherited ~$1M from his parents. So… It’s quite easy for anyone to cynically quip “every generation had it this bad” while sitting atop an ivory tower. As Ian so profoundly said: “Not caring — the privilege of the rich.”

        And: Remember when Iran’s president said they have no gays in Iran? Perhaps this explains why people get free sex changes in Iran. “in traditional societies there is more pressure to conform to standard gender roles”. Odd indeed. And in some ways, more progressive than America. In other ways, it’s ass-backwards, because you can’t be both gay and have a dick. But on the other hand, hey: Free surgery. (I’m thinking of “Deep Thoughts” where Jack Handy says “Hey, free dummy!”) And, they let people be who they want to be without standing in the way with such excuses as, say, money. In many ways, that is superior to how America handles it (only the rich get what they want). Of course, Iran is a sucky shithole of a country, but still.

        Heavy cell phone use tied to poorer sperm quality. Of course, correlation is not causation. However, it’s also good to be cautious. Me? I will now be buying a cellphone just to put it into my pants as birth control.

        Lots of links today. No time to summarize. See below. The Flickr photoset was pretty neat; the cell-phone study is important; becoming a quadriplegic due to police abuse and only getting $100K really fucking sucks. Read on for the links. (more…)

        And an interesting short story, “The Reluctant Transhumanist”, written by my buddy Ryan. I like it because I could see myself in that situation, if I really put my mind to it. (I’m glad I don’t.) Read on for how you can end up in jail for 10 years for refusing a date with the wrong person, and of course, how much data is in a load of cum. This is important stuff! (more…)

        Is the war on drugs won yet? Catnip repels mosquitoes TEN TIMES more effectively than DEET. (more…)

        COMEDY: “I can has aborshin?” (go vote 5 cheezburgers for Lauren’s creation!) HAPPY NEW YEAR!: Man shoots gun to celebrate, cops go after wrong man, shoot bullets blindly into residence, hit 4 people. (In order to protect you from guns, we had to shoot you!) OTHER AUTHORITY BULLSHIT: Texas is the leader of putting innocent people in prison for life. Gee, their culture couldn’t possibly contribute to Guantanamo, could it? Charges against woman tasered while handcuffed dropped. Fresno cops who run over and kill people stay on duty. Cop hits cripple at crosswalk in violation of state law requiring yielding always — they charge the cripple and not the cop. (Police sure as hell don’t care about the letter of the law when it applies to them!) UK forces wrongly-imprisoned man to pay rent for his prison stay. (Only guilty people get free prison??) Baltimore police being sued for $100M for shoving money up a guy’s ass. FREEDOM OF RELIGION? NOT HERE: Parents may be forced to return adopted childbecause they are athiests! (Didn’t our forefathers fight for these rights? Oh yea, I forgot: We are in an era of erasing rights as fast as possible.) ALSO: CFRs=migraines? (more…)

        Women no longer need to have periods. Douchebag officer Randy Cosens repeatedly tasers 13-year-old girl as she lay restrained on a hospital gurney. And check out how the cops torture people using these restraint chairs. (more…)

        Blacklights kick ass. Blacklight cats kick even more ass! (more…)

          They also tend to have low IQs, are 3X more likely to be left-handed, and are often short. Watch out for short, stupid, left-handed people. (more…)

          A non-toxic, non-psychoactive compound in marijuana may block the progress of metastatic breast cancer, according to a new study by researchers in California. Slashdot discussion HERE with many insightful comments, especially THIS ONE.

          Also: Cannabis compound reduces skin allergies in mice [newscientist.com], cannabis compound slows lung cancer in mice [newscientist.com], cannabis extract shrinks brain tumours [newscientist.com], Cannabis can help MS sufferers [newscientist.com], Cannabis can protect the brain from damage from stroke [newscientist.com].  “Have you ever stopped breast cancer from metastasizing…on weed???”

            And, more importantly: Study finds that marijuana MAY work like Prozac, by increasing cell growth in the hippocampus, which is associated with decreased anxiety and depression.  Details below. (more…)

            Amazing news today. More medical marijuana evidence — some of the most compelling ever. Legal drugs kill over 520,000 people a year, while all illegal drugs kill only about 3,000 people a year. Meanwhile, this particular brain cancer kills 7,000 a year, andcan be treated by the THC in marijuana. It’s no wonder our brains evolved neuroreceptors that have no known use other than to receive THC. Obviously, some of us actually need it. Also amazing: Man charged with disorderly conduct for standing on a sidewalk in Times Square. And, of course, the fact that Dumbledore, from Harry Potter, is actually gay. (more…)

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