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Old 1st January 2019, 09:22 PM   #161
RecoveringYuppy
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
Cells are complex structures which exist for a time and then die. The process continues for billions of years, a great chain stretching back to the beginning of life on earth.
Can you explain how the process continues after death?
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Old 1st January 2019, 09:26 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Hawaii?
The Aleutian Islands stretch further west than Hawaii.
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Old 1st January 2019, 09:48 PM   #163
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
What has my inability to differentiate between two cells got to do with the fact that they are both more complex than a strand of DNA?
It has to do with the fact that you are denying that when a cell reproduces that after that process the original cell is still alive. Either that, or you can differentiate between the cell which was alive before cell division and the cell which was created through that process.

I really don't understand how you can't see the importance of this fact to what you are arguing.
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Old 1st January 2019, 09:52 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
The opposing claim appears to be not that one of the two daughters is the original and the other is just a copy, but that both are just copies, and thus neither is original.
I'd say that's a reasonable and consistent viewpoint. But so is the view that both copies are the original. It's in this space that Joe's comment about the ship of Theseus applies.
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Old 1st January 2019, 10:28 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
The cells which make up your body right now are made from food that you have consumed during your lifetime. None of them has existed as a living cell for 4.5 billion years.

Take one cell. Now trace its existence backwards in time. At some point you will see its beginning as it divided from its mother cell. Before then it didn't exist, its mother cell did.

I still don't see your argument. All of that is again, completely besides the point. You have a very odd definition of living or being alive.
Life is a complex chemical reaction, it continues as long the reaction continues. The fact that the specific molecules involved in this reaction are not conserved but food is taken in and incorporated and waste products produced and excreted is the very essence of how life works.



Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
You contain copies of their DNA, are you your parents? Are clones the same as the parent? What about identical twins, are they the same individual because they contain the same genetic material?
Really? What has that to do with anything? Why are you so fixated on things being exactly the same?


Just answer this. If you cut a planarian in two, both bits heal, recover, start eating and growing. Now do it again and again and again.
Were the planarians you end up with continuously alive since the first one?
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Last edited by Cheetah; 1st January 2019 at 10:30 PM.
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Old 1st January 2019, 10:33 PM   #166
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Kind of along the same line of thought, nobody knows what causes identical twins. The "what happens" is known, but not the "why" of the early split.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 12:48 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
And one American state contains both the USA's easternmost points and its westernmost points.

OK, I'll bite

West Quoddy Head in Maine is the easternmost point
Cape Wrangell in Alaska is the westernmost point

They are in different states
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Old 2nd January 2019, 01:00 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
OK, I'll bite

West Quoddy Head in Maine is the easternmost point
Cape Wrangell in Alaska is the westernmost point

They are in different states
I reckon it will be something stupid like American Samoa or Puerto Rico. Neither states of course.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 03:38 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by lionking View Post
I reckon it will be something stupid like American Samoa or Puerto Rico. Neither states of course.
I suspect it is some technicality involving the dateline. Or the definitions of "most eastern" and "most western".

Also, all US military ships and boats operate on Zulu time. So could it be whichever state has the main navy headquarters?

ETA: It's the dateline thing! The Aleutians extend across the dateline into "tomorrow".

https://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/infopage/nsewusa.htm
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Last edited by Norman Alexander; 2nd January 2019 at 03:41 AM.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 05:08 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I'll start.

The stars you see in the sky at night are snapshots of the distant past, and the stars themselves could be long dead.
Stars we can see in the sky at night are all pretty close. According to wiki
Quote:
The farthest star we can see with our naked eye is V762 Cas in Cassiopeia at 16,308 light-years away. Its brightness is magnitude 5.8 or just above the 6th magnitude limit.
As a fraction of stellar lifetimes 16,308 years is next to nothing, and I'm sure V762 Cas is still there shining away, as are almost all other stars we see in the sky at night.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 05:29 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
Take one cell. Now trace its existence backwards in time. At some point you will see its beginning as it divided from its mother cell. Before then it didn't exist, its mother cell did. It contains copies of the mother cell's DNA, but it isn't the same as the mother cell, anymore than you are the same as your parents. You contain copies of their DNA, are you your parents? Are clones the same as the parent? What about identical twins, are they the same individual because they contain the same genetic material?

Cells are complex structures which exist for a time and then die. The process continues for billions of years, a great chain stretching back to the beginning of life on earth. Any one link in that chain is connected to all the others, but it also exists as its own thing. The latest link in the chain is ultimately connected to the first link, but it isn't the same as the first link.
You seem here to be arguing that when a cell divides it dies and two newborn daughter cells replace it, rather than that the cell continues living as two new cells. Can you link to any scientific source that says the same?

Furthermore, this is different to what you previously argued, where you talked about a cell that had divided remaining alive and there being a new cell that continued on to divide while the original died:

Originally Posted by Brainache View Post
Maybe I'm just nitpicking here, but when a cell reproduces itself it doesn't simply 'divide'. Chromosomes duplicate themselves using molecules taken from the environment (ie: the food you eat). A new set of chromosomes made of new DNA copied from the previous chromosome's DNA goes off into a new cell. The original cell eventually dies, the new cell continues the process of taking in more food and producing copies of itself and then dying.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 07:58 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I didn't know there were penguins in the northern hemisphere!
I'd guess its an archaic word for puffin or something, though the galapogs penguins are the only modern penguins north of the equator. So, maybe they were named first?
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Old 2nd January 2019, 08:30 AM   #173
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Not a single fact, but an important perspective based on many facts: More Is Different. Truly enlightening, especially when I first read it.

The ideas presented are the reason I normally say, for example, that calculating the probability of your existence, starting from the BB, is pure rubbish. Humans are [undefined] at that time; there is simply no probability to calculate (i.e., constructionism does not work). (Ignoring, of course, that such arguments have other issues, and implying along the way that I am not a determinist.)
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Old 2nd January 2019, 09:08 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
I'd guess its an archaic word for puffin or something, though the galapogs penguins are the only modern penguins north of the equator. So, maybe they were named first?
I thought this was better known than it apparently is:

Great Auk
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Old 2nd January 2019, 09:22 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
You seem here to be arguing that when a cell divides it dies and two newborn daughter cells replace it, rather than that the cell continues living as two new cells. Can you link to any scientific source that says the same?

Furthermore, this is different to what you previously argued, where you talked about a cell that had divided remaining alive and there being a new cell that continued on to divide while the original died:
Dear Brainache,

SB's and other upthread posts are the way to see it: Cell A divides, its guts go into two daughter cells, B and B' and those cells carry on. Cell A continuously becomes cells B and B' even as it is being pinched into two: it doesn't cease to exist just because it is pinched into two and cells B and B' go on doing what A was doing. There is no real halt.

If the cells divide evenly (many or most do): the contents of the original A are pinched evenly into the two new cells B and B', which are each half the size of the original cell right after the division but are fully made of the contents of the original cell A at that time.

Cells B and B' then grow over their life times, acquire and assemble new molecules to add to the contents they got from the original cell A until they are big enough to divide. At that time each of the two new cells B and B' are half made up of old cell A's guts and half made up of the newly synthesized stuff (ignoring wear and tear and repair, which happen equally in both cells) . When B and B' divide they are pinched into two to each form two new cells of their own. The result is four new cells, C, C' and D, D,' each of which starts out half the size of its mom B or B' and each starts out fully made up of the guts of its mom cell B or B' (which means half the guts of cell A). They then grow by synthesizing and assembling new molecules until each is big enough to divide and each is 1/4 the guts of cell A and 3/4's new stuff acquired by the B and B' cells and by themselves. They divide, etc.

BTW: DNA replicates "semi-conservatively." That means at each division the original double stranded DNA divides into two single strands, each of which synthesize a new strand to become double again. So each of the daughter double stranded DNAs is half an original strand and half a new strand. So each daughter cell gets a DNA that is half original and half-new; there is no cell that gets to keep all the original DNA.

Sure the cell's contents are diluted at each generation but it is a continuous process. The biochemical events continue all throughout this time. The chemical processes and materials that make the cell a living cell never cease as this happens: they continue. It is this continuity that is being emphasized in the story that the living reactions that comprised the original cells 3 billion years ago have passed unbroken to comprise the cells of our bodies today.

This occurs even within one's own life time. Each of us began as a single fertilized zygote and as an adult we are composed of about 10 trillion cells. That boarders on homeopathy and, given Avogadro's number, means that the amount of original zygote guts (even assuming no loss) becomes a molecule here and a molecule there among the 10 trillion cells of the adult But I know of no one who would argue that we as adults are not the continuous cellular heirs of what we were as fertilized zygotes. The very same ideas apply between generations, from primordial ooze to us.

There are some twists. Not all cells divide equally. Baker's yeast for example divides unequally leaving a big cell (conventionally called the mother cell) and a budded cell (conventionally called the daughter). Nonetheless the contents of the original cell are pinched off so both the mother and daughter start out completely composed of the contents of the original cell; it is just that the daughter starts off smaller and has to grow more until it can become a mother cell, so the original cell's contents are diluted more with newly synthesized stuff as the bud grows to full size compared to the mother cell.

There is also wear and tear such that some of the guts in all cells get turned over separate from division. And many cells are discarded over this time (in fact all of our 10 trillion cells except few, the lucky sperm or ova that give rise to our children,, are discarded when we die. But the concepts are the same.

Apologies for the length of this reply.

Last edited by Giordano; 2nd January 2019 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 09:23 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
I suspect it is some technicality involving the dateline. Or the definitions of "most eastern" and "most western".

Also, all US military ships and boats operate on Zulu time. So could it be whichever state has the main navy headquarters?

ETA: It's the dateline thing! The Aleutians extend across the dateline into "tomorrow".

https://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/infopage/nsewusa.htm
Not the dateline, the 180th parallel.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 09:24 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
He should have known it would've been impossible for him to reach China without running out of fresh water, even had the Americas not existed.
Maybe he assumed it was going to rain a lot during his voyage?

(just wondering - how much rain would be needed to sustain them?)
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Old 2nd January 2019, 09:25 AM   #178
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You can sail through the panama canal underwater in a full sized submarine.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 09:27 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Polar bears, even if they're starving, don't eat penguin eggs.
For about three whole seconds I though 'Well, that's intriguing, I wonder why not'. Then I came to my senses
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Old 2nd January 2019, 09:51 AM   #180
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Brainache:

Life is a bit the Ship of Theseus concept of identity except it occurs even within the life of a given cell, continuously, and at a very finely detailed level. For example retinal cells do not divide in adults, so one retinal cell must last 70 years. That cell is maintained by continuously adding new molecules to repair those that wear out. At any given moment only a few of these new molecules are added, but over 70 years virtually all the original molecules have been replaced by new. Is it the "same" cell? I think the easy answer is yes: it has the same architecture, position, and does the same things it always has for 70 years and has done so continuously. A Ship of Theseus but with molecules of wood and bronze being replaced instead of entire rudders and keels, and with the replacements being done under sail so that the function of the ship never stops.

Oh - btw - I think our 3 billion year discussion only relates to the time since the rise of cells and is easiest (but not necessarily limited) if restricted to the time since the appearance of DNA as the genetic material although it does still work okay if stretched back to RNA life.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 09:52 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
You can sail through the panama canal underwater in a full sized submarine.
And if you were going from Boston to California you would be passing through the Canal from west to East.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 10:20 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
If I remember correctly.

You started your life in your grandmotherís womb.

Human females are born with all their ova which become the next generation so the ova that went on to form you was formed when your mother was formed in your grandmotherís womb.
Yes, all the ova of the adult female are formed when they are still a fetus. And it is generally believed therefore that females are born with all the oocytes that they ever will have.

Interestingly these primary oocytes are stuck in a division stage called meiosis I and they will remain stuck for decades until it is each their turn in an ovulation cycle, at which time the primary oocyte that is released will complete meiosis I but then get stuck at a different stage called meiosis II. It is only if they are fertilized that they can complete meiosis II to become haploid, just before the sperm's nucleus fuses with their nucleus to make the cell diploid again. In essence the most important part of forming a gamete, making it haploid, stretches out over decades in oocytes with two major pauses that create unfinished works in progress.

Sperm in the adult male go through these processes without any halts. Not clear why the difference.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 10:22 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
Only if you believe that life begins when the egg is formed, which not even the most ardent anti-abortionist claims.

God, imagine if there were "anti-periodists".
There is a direct chemical and causal link with that ova being created in my grandmother's womb and me so I'm quite happy to say I started in my grandmother's womb.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 10:31 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
There is a direct chemical and causal link with that ova being created in my grandmother's womb and me so I'm quite happy to say I started in my grandmother's womb.
As is quite the topic of conversation in this thread, you can say the same going all the way back to the first single-cellular life, billions of years ago. I'm not sure that that really translates into saying that "you started your life" then, though.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 10:31 AM   #185
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Jesus Christ this isn't that hard. Yes, life as a continuous biochemical process is never ending but we need to sometimes refer to individual organisms and other collections of cells/biological matter and those can die.

Organism Death and Cell Death are two different things but the term "Death" is colloquially used to describe both.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 10:53 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by quadraginta View Post
I've always been a little bit fascinated by how fortunate we are that water ice is one of the few common solids that is less dense that it's liquid phase.
Yes, that's always struck me as incredibly convenient.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 10:58 AM   #187
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I love the old submarine movies where the sub is in the Arctic getting depth charged, and ice chunks are crashing down all around it and into the hull.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 11:01 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Also, all US military ships and boats operate on Zulu time.

Oh, now that's interesting. Is there a why to this? Just because it's around about the opposite of the international date line?
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Old 2nd January 2019, 11:08 AM   #189
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39 digits of Pi would suffice to calculate the circumference of the known universe to the width of a hydrogen atom
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Old 2nd January 2019, 11:33 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
39 digits of Pi would suffice to calculate the circumference of the known universe to the width of a hydrogen atom
Only if the known universe was completely flat.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 11:43 AM   #191
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The Eiffel tower is up to six inches taller in the summertime.

Every year, Hawaii moves 3 inches closer to Alaska.

If you took out all the space between the subatomic particles of our bodies, the entire human race combined would be smaller than a sugar cube.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 11:47 AM   #192
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India is moving northwards at about the same speed your fingernails grow.

This one's off the top of my head, I haven't checked it. I find the Himalayas to be convincing evidence though
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Old 2nd January 2019, 12:00 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
India is moving northwards at about the same speed your fingernails grow.

This one's off the top of my head, I haven't checked it. I find the Himalayas to be convincing evidence though
If you could drop mount Everest into the deepest part of the ocean, the summit would have well over a mile of water above it.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 12:11 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by Seismosaurus View Post
If you could drop mount Everest into the deepest part of the ocean, the summit would have well over a mile of water above it.
I vaguely remember that Mount Haleakala on the Hawaiian Island of Maui is the tallest on earth from base to summit except much of it is underwater. So I suppose that if you did the same thing to Haleakala its summit would be even higher above water than Everest.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 12:14 PM   #195
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Originally Posted by Guybrush Threepwood View Post
I thought this was better known than it apparently is:

Great Auk
Its quite well known. See wiki "Penguin Island, a 1908 French satirical novel by the Nobel Prize winning author Anatole France, narrates the fictional history of a great auk population that mistakenly, is baptized by a nearsighted missionary." In this satire God decides to correct the missionary's error by turning the baptised penguins into human beings, and Anatole France then proceeds to write a parody of French history, in the guise of a mythical country Penguinia whose inhabitants are the descendants of these transformed seabirds.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 12:39 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
Its quite well known. See wiki "Penguin Island, a 1908 French satirical novel by the Nobel Prize winning author Anatole France, narrates the fictional history of a great auk population that mistakenly, is baptized by a nearsighted missionary." In this satire God decides to correct the missionary's error by turning the baptised penguins into human beings, and Anatole France then proceeds to write a parody of French history, in the guise of a mythical country Penguinia whose inhabitants are the descendants of these transformed seabirds.
It's been many years since I read that book, but I don't remember that the "aukness" of the birds is mentioned there. It reminds me, though, that it's about time to read it again. I read it first when I was about 17, and named my first car (which had no right to run at all) "St. Mael" in honor of the stone in which the missionary set forth.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 12:43 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by Seismosaurus View Post
The Eiffel tower is up to six inches taller in the summertime.

Every year, Hawaii moves 3 inches closer to Alaska.

If you took out all the space between the subatomic particles of our bodies, the entire human race combined would be smaller than a sugar cube.
Not if you took out all the space between the subatomic particles of the sugar cube.

I admit to being amused by the (true) notion that most of what we think of as "solid" objects is really just interacting force fields.

My favorite scientific fact:

A pound of feathers weighs as much as a pound of lead.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 12:44 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post

Also, all US military ships and boats operate on Zulu time. So could it be whichever state has the main navy headquarters?

I seem to recall operating on Romeo time when I was in the Navy.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 12:45 PM   #199
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Generally in the surface/aviation fleets all tactical systems and mission planning stayed on UTC, all administrative and day to day functions were (usually) adjusted to the local time.

Subs I think stay on UTC.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 12:58 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
You can sail through the panama canal underwater in a full sized submarine.
But then if you are in a submarine and you are underwater, then your sail is not exposed to the wind, thus you are not sailing.
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