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Thread: THE BIG ONE

  1. #1 THE BIG ONE 
    Forum Junior Kolt's Avatar
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    The cataclysm of the dinosaurs - The evolution of man - Evolution itslelf - The hidden marine life of our ocean floors - Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster and other cryptozoological species - The Great Pyramids of Egypt - The realationship between various pyramds throughout the world - The Sphinx - Stonehenge - The Sleeping Buddha of Bamiyan - The lost city of Atlantis - The Ark of the Covenant - The resting place of Christ - Stigmata - God - Faith and miracles - The afterlife - Ghost and hauntings - ESP - The human psyche - Extraterrestrials - The Drake Equation - Black Holes - Time Travel - Alternate dimensions - The connection between quantum physics and astrophysics - Chaos Theory - The origin of the Univers - The meaning of Life - Existence.
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    Some of these subjects are perhaps a little more far fetched than others yet all of them are considered to be profound mysteries of our time. Wether it be physics, mathematics, biology, archaeology, psychology, parapsychology, medicine, religion or just life in general.

    My question is: What do you think is the biggest most profound mystery of them all? What would be your top ten or number one? - or - Which one of these mysteries would you embark upon to fulfill your own personal interest? Feel free to choose one that hasn't been listed if you like. But whatever you pick, please explain why.


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  3. #2  
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    I would list something, but I can't think of anything I haven't already devised some reasoning for. I think you'll find most people will be the same.

    Oh, by the way, mind explaining to us your "Number one"?


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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    The hidden marine life of our ocean floors


    it's not really hidden. If you go down there you can see it. If you bring a light.


    Chaos Theory


    It's well described theory. Not a mystery.

    Evolution


    Not a mystery either. A shitload of research and knowledge on that one.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric

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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    my question's not on your list but i feel it's important to ask from time to time, whether its asked of someone else or of yourself.

    Why do you ask?
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  6. #5  
    Forum Junior Kolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    The hidden marine life of our ocean floors


    it's not really hidden. If you go down there you can see it. If you bring a light.
    Easier said than done

    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey

    Chaos Theory


    It's well described theory. Not a mystery.
    A well described theory but still a theory none-the-less. And one that yields unforseen possibilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by spurousmonkey
    Evolution

    Not a mystery either. A shitload of research and knowledge on that one.
    So in other words you know everything there is to know about evolution? ....I'm impressed.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kolt
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    The hidden marine life of our ocean floors


    it's not really hidden. If you go down there you can see it. If you bring a light.
    Easier said than done

    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey

    Chaos Theory


    It's well described theory. Not a mystery.
    A well described theory but still a theory none-the-less. And one that yields unforseen possibilities.

    Quote Originally Posted by spurousmonkey
    Evolution

    Not a mystery either. A shitload of research and knowledge on that one.
    So in other words you know everything there is to know about evolution? ....I'm impressed.
    I don't know you, but your responses tell me enough.

    I actually held stuff from the deep depths and did some immunostainings on them. The really boring basic mundane everyday lab stuff. Just another tissue. No mystery involved whatsoever. A specific expedition collected the stuff on a certain day at a certain location. You can't really sell me that the deep is a mystery. It is merely mostly unexplored. We know how to get there. It's just that we don't care enough to fund more expeditions.

    Chaos theory is "still" a theory? What else do you want this theory to be? A snickers bar?

    Do I know everything about evolution? hardly. I know plenty though. i know enough not to qualify it is a mystery. The diversity of life used to be a mystery. Evolution explained it.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  8. #7  
    Forum Junior Kolt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey

    I don't know you, but your responses tell me enough.

    I actually held stuff from the deep depths and did some immunostainings on them. The really boring basic mundane everyday lab stuff. Just another tissue. No mystery involved whatsoever. A specific expedition collected the stuff on a certain day at a certain location. You can't really sell me that the deep is a mystery. It is merely mostly unexplored. We know how to get there. It's just that we don't care enough to fund more expeditions.
    Well I'm glad that "We" have settled on that opinion. I also like the idea that something unexplored is not a mystery.

    Chaos theory is "still" a theory? What else do you want this theory to be? A snickers bar?
    I don't necessarily want it to be anything. I'm just recognizing it for what it is: A theory on how things might work. The point is that I would not consider it to be a conclusive matter.

    Do I know everything about evolution? hardly. I know plenty though. i know enough not to qualify it is a mystery. The diversity of life used to be a mystery. Evolution explained it.
    Is the correlation between the evolution of primate intelligence and human intelligence completely and fully understood? No. Would that constitute it as a mystery of evolution? Yes.



    ....This is fun though. Keep it going.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
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    Mystery...unexplored...

    Lets not get anal about semantics here, guys.

    What is unexplored remains unknown. That can be easily described as a mystery. It's actually part of the definition.

    And besides...a lot of the ocean depths are unknown to us. They are, a mystery. :wink:
    Wolf
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  10. #9  
    Forum Junior Kolt's Avatar
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    Questions of physics, math, space, time and the origins of the univers are simply beyond my fathom. I have a great respect for the field of study but it's just not something that my brain can grasp to well. Yet I do like to keep myslelf up to speed with current discoveries and/or end results.

    Questions on philosophy of the mind, spirituality, life after death or the state of ones inner being simply do not interest me all that much. The concepts and the practices as a whole are a little too abstract for my taste.

    Mysteries of biology captivate me to no end. Understanding the "Life" process is always something that has set my brain a fire. From a juvenile impressionistic standpoint it is all to easy to associate dinosaurs with dragons and unicorns and fantasy worlds. Yet everytime my logic and intellect kicks in I am quickly reminded of the stark astonishing truth that these creatures actually once lived. So the questions surronding their nature and demise will always keep me interested. As do all other mystereies of evolution. Including the origins of man and his relationship with Earth.

    Me being a bit of a romantic, history and archaeology are perhaps what I fancy the most. The idea of finding something that has never been seen before by man or something once great that has since been lost is an idea that stirs me to my very core. As do I like the idea of being outside, traveling and getting my hands dirty. And to be perfectly blunt, I aslo like the idea of fortune - getting rich. Call me shallow but I would be lying if I said otherwise.

    And as for extraterrestrials, I think that the concept of encountering or making contact with an alien life form is both fundamentally frightening and potentially hazardous. Yet I still can't say for sure whether or not it is an opportunity I would pass up. Curiosity often makes men stupid and I'm no exception to that rule.
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  11. #10  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Help me out here, Kolt. What is mysterious about the Drake equation? Well, actually, nothing at all. The topic it seeks to provide a perspective on (alien civilisations) is certainly mysterious, but the Drake equation itself is ordinary to the point of mundane.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Junior Kolt's Avatar
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    Yeah I understand what your saying. But I was kind of speaking loosly when I mentioned it. It was merely a general reference to the possiblity of alien life or intelligent alien life on other planets and, given the equation itself, whether or not we still think it is probable.

    Many of those example I listed were just thrown out there to try and get the ball rolling.
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  13. #12  
    Forum Freshman Inevitablelity's Avatar
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    I think its really mysterious why people believe that speed of light is a unbreakable barrier.

    Here the mystery is the unshakable belief of those people.
    - Insuperable Singularity
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    I believe a singularity can decay faster then the speed of light. Humans are merely animals, the way things are now they can hardly contribute to the repair of the universe, even if they new that.
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  15. #14  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Mystery...unexplored...

    Lets not get anal about semantics here, guys.
    That's the same as saying let's not be part of a discussion forum.

    The difference between mysterious and unexplored is quite distinct and meaningful.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  16. #15  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    my favourite mystery is the cambrian explosion - true that we've found some tantalising pointers to what really happened and what caused it, but there's still plenty to be discovered
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    my favourite mystery is the cambrian explosion - true that we've found some tantalising pointers to what really happened and what caused it, but there's still plenty to be discovered
    Agreed though I have seen evidence that it was do to an increase in atmospheric oxygen.
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  18. #17  
    Forum Ph.D. Wolf's Avatar
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    I'm not really sure why I'm getting into this...but it's late so maybe my brain's sleep deprived...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    What is mysterious about the Drake equation?
    I guess you could assume that the mystery in the Drake equation is the uncertainty in the variables, and the possibilities of their outcomes.

    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    That's the same as saying let's not be part of a discussion forum.
    I guess I'm sorta defending Kolt's choice of words. Call me anal, but I dislike it when posts state that a word doesn't mean something that it does. I probably shouldn't let it get to me...

    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Mystery...unexplored...
    The difference between mysterious and unexplored is quite distinct and meaningful.
    Part of the definition of "mystery" is "that which is unknown." Until you've explored it, it is unknown, and therefore also a mystery.

    If you don't agree with that, perhaps you're thinking that we already know what we'll find as we explore? As a science-minded person, I can't in faith hold that same belief.
    Wolf
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  19. #18  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    Mystery...unexplored...
    The difference between mysterious and unexplored is quite distinct and meaningful.
    Part of the definition of "mystery" is "that which is unknown." Until you've explored it, it is unknown, and therefore also a mystery.

    If you don't agree with that, perhaps you're thinking that we already know what we'll find as we explore? As a science-minded person, I can't in faith hold that same belief.
    I believe the English language has more words than any other. This richness allows us to make subtle, yet powerful distinctions with ease, through the choice of appropriate words. (Of course the same is true to a large extent of all languages, but as a native English speaker I am adopting a chauvinistic stance.) However this advantage - the precision of meaning - is diluted, corrupted, or even destroyed if we ignore the differences of meaning and obfuscate the distinctions they imply.

    There is a very real difference between mysterious and unexplored. Indeed, there is more than one.
    Unexplored suggests we have not yet investigated the area, or field, or situation, but it also suggests that we do not expect anything dramatic or unexpected to be found there. I have a red silk bag that contains some small objects. I have seen a similar bag that contains poker chips. This bag is unexplored. I do not know how many poker chips it contains, or what their value is. But I sense nothing mysterious about the contents.
    I empty the contents onto the table. They do not contain poker chips, but five beautiful, large diamonds. I have no idea how they got there.
    The bag is now explored, but the contents are revealed to be mysterious.

    For me, as for SpuriousMonkey, the distinction is clear and important. While this deviation into semantics may seem distracting, I would argue that semantics - meaning - lies at the heart of any effective communication; that this is especially true within science; and so it is incumbent on those who value science to also value the precise use of language.

    [My observations above could be interpreted as a swipe at yourself, Wolf. This is most definitely not the case. I have found each of your posts very well thought out and interesting to read. On this point, however, I think you are mistaken.]
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  20. #19  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    If you don't agree with that, perhaps you're thinking that we already know what we'll find as we explore?
    If we explore the ocean's depths we will find life. I do not know what species exactly and what they exactly look like. I do not expect to find atlantis or the holy grail, or big foot on the ocean's floor.

    Let's not start assuming what I think. That's why we pick certain words to express what we think.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  21. #20 Origin of life 
    Forum Freshman DrosophilaOnTheWall's Avatar
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    The greatest mystery to me is the origin of life on earth. There are strong theories that approach this from both directions, but I don't know of anything backed by experimental evidence that ties them together.

    Backwards: the DNA world of cells may have been preceeded by the RNA world. (We now know that RNA can act as a catalyst.)

    Forwards: Organic compounds could have been synthesized under the conditions of the early Earth (thank Stanley Miller, who recently passed away, for the experiment showing this). They also could have come from meteorites.

    But what tied the two together? How did the first self-replicating molecule form? Did it happen more than once?
    "Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.", Groucho Marx
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