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  1. #1 Decided to take advantage of this topic to meet others 
    Forum Sophomore Nanobrain's Avatar
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    Hello all. I am a genetics and evolutionary enthusiast. However, I will be starting college in May, working towards my long-straw of entering the field of Microbiology. Or, somewhere within this field if that is truly just a general term.

    I use to believe that there was a Creator, but was eventually turned away from the idea for lack of proof(I eventually realized that I was forcing myself to believe). Shortly after my departure from the christian faith, I turned my mind towards Darwin's 'The Evolution of Species', a topic which had never seriously crossed my mind before. Being the excellent book that it is, the idea made sense. This was about two years ago.

    Recently, I have been turned toward the elegance and beauty of genetics. First, because Evolution cannot fully be explained by outside characteristics alone. Second, because of what is and what is coming out of the field. Everything from the curing of diseases to secrets of aging, a topic I am big on, due to a desire that grew a year or so ago, to wish to find ways to live forever (though some may be against this, as my wife was). I used to be into technology, and read a book called 'The Spike', in which a topic covered was about transferring the conscious into a machine in order to live forever (a topic I am no longer into).

    Anyhow, I have recently read a book by James Watson(the co-discoveror of the Double-Helix), called 'DNA:The Secret of Life', which talks about the histrory leading up to his and Francis Crick's revolutionary discovery. I am sure some, if not most of you, have heard of or read his book. Great book! This book has been a type of general introduction to the field of genetics for me, and has given me the passion that I need to work my way into the field. So, wish me the best of luck in my journey, all appreciated.

    I am thrilled to have stumbled upon these forums. And, in advance, it is very nice to meet anyone who introduces themselves to me.


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  3. #2  
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    Welcome 'Nanobrain' - what inspired you to use such a name?

    Have a nice stay...

    Many of us once believed [in my case it was pummeled into me at an early age] - one thing you will discover here is a very lively religious section, can't prove whether or not there is a God but we seem happy to keep slugging it out..

    There's a lot of good biology knowledge here so I suspect most of your questions can either be answered directly or links provided to authorative articles. As with every forum anything you might want to take for granted you might want to verify elsewhere, we debate and so there are differeing views, some clearly run counter to science even if they are thought provoking.


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    Forum Sophomore Nanobrain's Avatar
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    My nickname derived from when I read the book 'The Spike', in the chapter(whichever it may have been) which theorized a bit on how one might transfer his concious(it at all possible) into a computer. The author stated how little nanobots may be the key. Send millions of nanobots into the brain, replacing each neuron one by one(or in whatever manner works) with a nanobot which simulates that neuron's processes. Replace, bridge, replace, bridge, until the entire brain has been replaced by nanobots. So, you become a brain made up of nanobots...a nanobrain. It's only theory, and I don't even really get into that anymore. Now, if I think about life extension, it is usually having to do with the possibility through genetics.

    Anyhow, about religion...It does not bother me. Just for the records, to closen the relationship between my aunt and I, I attended last sunday's service at her church with her. Though I did not agree with the sermon, communicating with believers or being friends with them does not bother me one bit. A man cannot bother me because he is religious. But, a man(religious or not) can bother me based on his practical views. Just like I might bother any other person, myself. But, This is not what I focus on.

    About expressing my opinions or theories, I won't do unless I have studied up enough, or have thought something out thoroughly enough. I will probably usually just ask questions. I am not really into expressing my thoughts, unless I stumble upon an enlightenment that consumes me. Also, I am always open to another's views, opinions or thoughts. If I were not, I could not expect anyone to help me or to be open to my views. So, it's all humility here.

    Thank you for introducing yourself to me. I look foward to the time I will be spending with this community. It already seems open. :)
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    Forum Professor Pendragon's Avatar
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    Welcome, I hope you'll like it here :wink:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nanobrain
    About expressing my opinions or theories, I won't do unless I have studied up enough, or have thought something out thoroughly enough. I will probably usually just ask questions. I am not really into expressing my thoughts, unless I stumble upon an enlightenment that consumes me. Also, I am always open to another's views, opinions or thoughts. If I were not, I could not expect anyone to help me or to be open to my views. So, it's all humility here.
    Everyone has his/her own style of learning, some learn by observation and reflection while others learn by testing their ideas against other people's ideas and gradually refine their way of thinking. So if you prefer to ask questions rather than debate then maybe that's your way to learn things. But don't be affraid to make mistakes or say 'supid things', we do it all the time :wink:
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  6. #5  
    Forum Sophomore Nanobrain's Avatar
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    Good insight. Thank you. Nice to meet you.
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  7. #6  
    Cooking Something Good MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pendragon
    But don't be affraid to make mistakes or say 'supid things', we do it all the time :wink:
    He he...I'm the perfect example of this

    Welcome to the forum. Be sure to check out the trash can...there can be some good active threads in there that don't meet the quality standards of the rest of the board.
    Fixin' shit that ain't broke.
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    墨子 DaBOB's Avatar
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    Welcome.

    For starters, at the moment, I am against life extension. Well that's a vague statement isn't it. People can try as hard as they want. Have you read "Fantastic Voyage" (not the old one) by Ray Kurzweil. Personally I believe that we already live forever soo... yeah. That's another topic.

    Have fun. I think I may be posting in many of your topics.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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  9. #8  
    Forum Sophomore Nanobrain's Avatar
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    MacGyver1968,

    I like the honesty. Oh, and thank you for the hint of the trashcan. I will check it out from time to time.

    DaBOB,

    I understand how our beliefs shape our desires and the way we think. And, if I believed in eternity(also a vague statement...hehe, because I don't necessarily not believe in it, due to lack of hard evidence either way, in my opinion) I would probably see it the same way. I don't know this for sure. The thought of life extension never crossed my mind until sometime after my departure from the christian faith.

    I've never read 'Fantastic Voyage'. Is it a novel/fiction or...? I don't ever read fiction, because it does not interest me. Usually, I only read useful science books with tangible information. I guess my imagination does not stretch far enough to enjoy a novel now and then. Anyway, I am carrying on and I don't even know if that book is a novel or not.

    Anyhow, nice to meet the both of you!
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  10. #9  
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    Nanobrain - I do not read fiction ever but I sure as hell am begining to regret that! - don't end up like me - please!
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  11. #10  
    Forum Sophomore Nanobrain's Avatar
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    I see no harm in my diswant to read fiction. It is the things that carry a man that is truly good for him. Fiction is not a desire of mine.
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  12. #11  
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    Well don't say I didn't warn you - look at it this way many inventions we have today were initially inspired by science fiction, geostationary satellites being one of the more famous...
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  13. #12  
    Forum Sophomore Nanobrain's Avatar
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    Point taken. But, I am not sure if I am necessarily an inventive one. However, I'll take note of your advice, which I am pleased to accept, and will maybe find myself opening up the pages of a story one day. :)

    By the way, what book is it that inspired the idea of the sattelites?
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    I think it was by a guy called Klaric or Claric- from an earlier story called 'the sentinel' then put together and proposed by Arthur C clarke.
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  15. #14  
    墨子 DaBOB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanobrain
    I've never read 'Fantastic Voyage'. Is it a novel/fiction or...? I don't ever read fiction, because it does not interest me. Usually, I only read useful science books with tangible information. I guess my imagination does not stretch far enough to enjoy a novel now and then. Anyway, I am carrying on and I don't even know if that book is a novel or not.
    There is a fiction srtory (I know a movie but I'm not sure if there was a book) called Fantastic Voyage that had to do with people shrinking themselves and entering a person destroy a cancer. The book I am talking about is written by Ray Kurzweil who is an inventor (i.e. Kurzweil keyboards). It is not fiction. It is a large book on how many people, probably even ol' Megabrain here, have a possible chance of living "forever". It has all sorts of health tips but the fun stuff are the ideas (mostly nanotechnology) on how we may develop ways to live forever.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantastic_Voyage_(Kurzweil)

    I have used it for references before but have yet to actually read the whole thing.

    P.S.
    I am like you in that I rarely read fiction and often don't enjoy it. I have probably read through 5 whole fiction books in my life and most where in highschool (requirements). A little while back I did a report in an English class at my college on Nanotechnology. Since the report was mostly on ethics I read a fictional book called "Prey" by Michael Crichton. I am a slow reader and I loved this book so much I read it in less than a week. It's like non-fiction meets fiction. He does some great research before he writes.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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  16. #15  
    Forum Junior Bettina's Avatar
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    Hi Nanobrain. Your interesting already and I like your signature.

    Bettina
    Emotionally based life form. The Fword will get you on my ignore list.
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  17. #16  
    墨子 DaBOB's Avatar
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    Yes yes. Thank you Bettina for bringing that to my attention (although I know it wasn't you intention... or was it) :?

    Anyways, Nanobrain, what is proof? I used to say the same thing about faith as you do in your sig. but really proof is almost the same thing. First there is a theory, then experimentation. Evidence is put forth and if it is compelling enough and can be used consistantly it is called proof. Proof is a idea that is agreed on by many. We have faith that our computers will work but there is nothing to say that they won't stop working at any moment. Unless you can see the future. We use mathematics to understand the ways of nature and then we apply the same system to our own inventions so that they may work. Most would agree that we did not create nature so how do we know for sure that it will always be the same. Because we have faith.

    Anyways, just an idea. I don't mean to start challenging your every word right off the bat. I just like to inspire thought in others, it makes me think harder.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaBOB
    Yes yes. Thank you Bettina for bringing that to my attention (although I know it wasn't you intention... or was it) :?

    ......but really proof is almost the same thing. First there is a theory, then experimentation.
    No it wasn't my intention to say any more than just "Hi".... but since you implied it was...... What experimentation were you referring to.

    PROOF:
    The result or effect of evidence.....
    The validation of a proposition ....
    That which confirms.....
    Authentication....
    Demonstratable....
    Confirmation....

    Bee
    Emotionally based life form. The Fword will get you on my ignore list.
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    Forum Sophomore Nanobrain's Avatar
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    DaBOB,

    I appreciate your input on the subject, with no offense taken. However, I happen to be on the other side of this argument, not to create offense. I know it's a touchy subject, and maybe it should not be my signature for this reason. But, for the reason that this whole forum is a sensitive area, I will keep it, at least until agreed upon between myself that it is impractical.

    For now, Dictionary.com defines faith in several ways, most in a much different sense then the argument here. The defenition that relates to our discussion is that faith is 'Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence'. Now, the christian bible states, in Hebrews 11:1 'Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.'(KJV) I translate this as faith is just a hopefulness in something. In the christian perspective, I suppose, this would be the hope of eternal life with Jesus Christ, the riches laid up in heaven.

    Now, some faith may rely on evidence, or at least what one's mind might take as evidence. As to say, a man might have faith because of circumstances he has percieved to be a sign(or evidence) from above. I myself, never really had any evidence, except that the morning after I accepted Jesus as the saviour, the Twin Towers came crashing down. I percieved this to be evidence of an Almighty. Why? I don't really know. You may understand, though.

    Speaking of the scientific method, the second step is not proof, just theoretical, or an educated guess. It is not until the third and fourth steps that it becomes evident, even if the quess is right or not. So, it's faith until proven otherwise.

    I will now ask a sensitive question. What evidence do you have? I mean no offense in my asking.

    Now, in reply to a previous post of yours:

    The book link of 'Fantastic Voyage' you supplied had a very interesting description. Though it reminds me of 'The Spike' which also makes incredible assumptions of what might take place in our future. Nevertheless, it's was a fun book to read and dream about what might come, at least at the time I read it. Now, the difference of 'Fantastic Voyage' is that it seems to go into a more practicle side, when the description stated how it details about certain health issues like a low glycemic index diet, exercise, drinking green tea and alkalinized water. This I like.

    As I was reading your last post it dawned on me that there had been a few times when I picked up a short fiction article(though I can't recall the names of the articles or when I read them approximately) and enjoyed reading it. But, this was due to my apt attention towards the technical details of the writing itself, and not the details of the actual story. It's like watching a movie and enjoying it because of it's good cinematography or character flow, and not because of it's storyline or the events that take place. By the way, I believe I recall the movie of 'Fantastic Voyage', but I am not too sure.
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    Forum Sophomore Nanobrain's Avatar
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    Bettina,

    I am replying to you in a different post, just in case you happen to not read my last post in it's entirety. I am extremely flattered by your last post to me. I thank you for helping me to explain the difference between faith and proof. Though I hope that noone takes offense towards another in the subject matter.

    I look foward to more conversations with you, and I appreciate you introducing yourself. As I said, I'm flattered by it.
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    Megabrain will live on through his children only - I will be like a hair or skinflake falling off humanity. No wish to live forever, give somebody else a chance to be born and take my place, to appreciate the sheer joy of the gift of life.

    BUt that's off topic and I above all should know better!
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    Forum Sophomore Nanobrain's Avatar
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    This is the same argument my exwife had against me. And might I say, it is a good one at that. The only argument against it I ever had in my mind, useful or not, is that there is plenty of universe to inhabit. So, there would be plenty of room for others to be born into, though many might choose eternal physical life.

    But, I suppose that my argument comes from a deep selfishness somewhere within my mind that springs from my doubt in a next life. So, with a desire to live forever, somehow, I find ways to moralize my point of view. But, this is not a subject of deep impression upon my heart anymore. That's not to say that if the chance came up I wouldn't jump on it. I'm sure I would...who knows then. I could have a completely different perspective on life by that point, if it ever arrives.

    We all have the right to choose either way here though, I believe. Neither is right or wrong, I think. One is just selfish, and the other not.
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  23. #22  
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    I guess it's a bit of a dissapointment as you grow up and realise it won't last forever, maybe my own view of living on through my kids etc can be considered selfish - am I claiming their bodies type of thing when I know they are distinctly seperate individuals? - who knows but to me as a non-religious person it is satisfying to know that I am a link in a long chain, I have successfully linked the generations either side of me, I do not need a god or an after life, the atoms of my body will exist for as long as any others. I am a practical person, and as Woody Allen said "I am not afraid of death - only dying". I am already past my 3 score and ten so every day is a bonus I just hope I don't go by being knocked off my trusty old bicycle!

    EDIT: - Should have kept my mouth shut for later this day very nearly was...
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  24. #23  
    Forum Sophomore Nanobrain's Avatar
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    I would suppose that wanting to live on through your children could be considered selfish, in a mild way. However, in a world born and based on survival, I believe we are all entitled to a small amount of selfish desires.
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  25. #24  
    墨子 DaBOB's Avatar
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    I will try to answer both of your questions. If I may rephrase what I said before. I think I can do better.

    Proof: conclusive evidence: evidence or an argument that serves to establish a fact or the truth of something

    Fact: something known to be true.

    Known: generally recognized

    Add them together: evidence or an argument that serves to establish something generally recognized to be true.

    Faith: belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something.

    Belief: acceptance of truth of something.

    Accepted: generally approved: widely used and recognized.

    Add them together: generally approved/widely used and recognized truth in somebody or something.

    Definitions from:
    Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2004. © 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


    Now I used only specific parts of the definitions and added them together in a way I wanted but, not to trick you. Only to try to show my point. Faith is something that is recognized as being true and so is proof. The primary difference is the methods in which one comes to the conclusion. I don't mean to say that there is proof of god or that it is faith that makes my laser pointer work. I just want to point out that we can not know anything to be 100% true. I think that people often mistake the word proof for meaning that.

    Bettina-

    Quote Originally Posted by Bettina
    What experimentation were you referring to.
    I am speaking of any scientific research in general. Although I hope that with my new explanation this question is now irrelevant.

    Nanobrain-

    Nanobrain does this make sense now? I for the most part agree with your signature and I think even Buddha himself would. The point I am making is that both the words have very similar meaning.

    By the way, it would be very difficult to offend me. Trust me when i say that I have made much, much more offensive posts. It is not because I want to be offensive but more because when you make something offensive it causes people to not only bring out rational thought but also emotional thought. Although with me I do my best to always apply both, in a very careful way of course.

    Megabrain-

    Megabrain, you may already know this but, I agree with you on the idea of passing oneself on to children. In my mind all people, and life in general, are one and the same. Individuality is important of course but your children are the same life form as people houndreds of years ago. Hopefully, they are smarter (I have no doubt they are ).
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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  26. #25  
    Forum Sophomore Nanobrain's Avatar
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    DaBOB,

    Yes, I understand that they can mean one in the same thing. But, of course, they can also take on two seperate meanings. In the case of my signature they are contradictory to eachother. Maybe I should rephrase it. Thanks for taking the time to express your perspective on this issue.
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  27. #26  
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    Also, I think it is important to point out that this is just my opinion. Not the definitions are untrue but, more like this is how I see things.

    Think about the way you phrase it. "proof before faith". Does this mean that once there is proof you will have faith in what has been proved. And then the next question is: did you have the faith because of the proof or did the proof come about because of the faith.

    This is one of my favorite quotes (I have many):

    "Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?... Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing? Is the unified theory so compelling that it brings about its own existence? Or does it need a creator, and, if so, does he have any other effect on the universe? And who created him?" --Stephen Hawkings

    You see we put so much faith in proof it makes me wonder if it is the faith itself that brings about the proof.

    Anyways, don't bother changing your signature unless you really want to. I'm just the philosopher type and have fun with this kind of stuff. I can't help it.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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  28. #27  
    Forum Sophomore Nanobrain's Avatar
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    I am not big on philosophy, though I believe sometimes I still might tend to spit out philisophical thoughts or questions.

    The word 'before' in my signature stands in the sense that proof exceeds faith, or if the two were in a race, proof would finnish before faith. Therefore, according to my view, one should observe proof and not follow faith. But, if one has proof, he is then entitled to have faith in that proof. Therefore, it could follow your question about faith, then proof.

    However, as you asked, one might need faith in order to search for proof. Or not. Maybe he only needs direction to seek for proof. That he does not necessarily have to believe that the outcome will be just as he hypothesized, in order to seek an answer. But then again, a hypothesization must come from someone who initially had faith in it. It would not come from doubt.

    Anyway, this philisophical chat could go on and on in endless loops. And, at the moment, I am not up to the immense typing that lies ahead to do so. But, feel free as a bird to continue the subject. I enjoy it to an extent.
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  29. #28  
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    If you ask me I would say it's a fine time to stop (or at least pause :wink. I'm sure we both got something out of it. Enjoy the rest of the forum.
    Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead... only realize the truth. There is no spoon. Then you'll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. -Spoon Boy
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