Saturday, August 20, 2011

Heretics Deny The Dark Matter of Faith - 2

On weekends this blog tends to focus on tensions between theories in the scientific community.

Usually, but not always, those posts are under the title Weekend Rebel Science Excursion.

For example, in addition to today's title, notice that on this date two years ago we elaborated upon a bit of a rebellion taking place within the vast universe of cosmology.

To show that sometimes there is a semblance of the notion of "faith" in the scientific community, when that community drifts from the strictures of the discipline, we provided a post that pointed out a discourse on a subject within the elite circle, the tight group of cosmological scholarship who tell us what we know.

After first being posted here on Dredd Blog, that post was moved to the Ecocosmology Blog where it points out the controversy:
In the post "Rebel Science: The Dark Matter of Faith" the issue of faith was discussed in the context of the "dark matter" debate.

Evidently the rebellion is now growing, and the dark matter of faith may be losing out to the more tangible universe ...

Rebel science sometimes becomes main stream science. Perhaps our little discussion about faith helped?
...

The controversy is still raging: WIMP Wars.
(Heretics Deny The Dark Matter of Faith). This past week has seen a lot of posts on Dredd Blog System blogs concerning some revolutionary science, even including some juicy science friction vs. science fiction.

Here is a list of some of those posts for your weekend perusal and reading:
The Undiscovered Side of Science & Life - 3

The Appendix of Vestigial Textbooks - 2

The Tiniest Scientists Are Very Old - 2

A Structure RE: The Corruption of Memes - 4

The Little People - 2

Exploded Planet Hypothesis
(Enjoy the rock science and keep on rockin' in the free world). The next post in this series is here.

CIA Stars In A New "Karzai" Movie - 2

A couple of years ago (Oct. 2009) I posted CIA Stars In A New "Karzai" Movie about an activist who, for some reason, does not get the respect he is due.

In that post I had this to say about Mr. Ruppert:
"There is some news about a guy I met at U.C.L.A. where he talked about his life as a drug enforcement officer in the Los Angeles Police Department.

The CIA became a part of his life, since his mother, father, and fiancé were all CIA agents.

Mike Ruppert got his Burn Notice when he discovered that his fiancé was the CIA operative who was in charge of the CIA's smuggling of drugs into the U.S. under cover of various complicit operatives in his own beloved department."
(ibid). I thought it would be instructive to hear his complaint about people being afraid to speak his name:


Beginning at 26:00 then ending at 27:30 (a minute and a half) on the video, Ruppert indicates, as I have, that MOMCOM wants people to take to the streets ... don't do it he says ... it is so they can put troops on the streets and declare martial law.

As to the criticism of Bob Dylan, Mike, read Bob Dylan Sings In China - 2, a Dredd Blog post that shows the right wing in China and in the MOMCOM media is watching and listening to Bob, but Bob can't be censored.

Perhaps Mr. Ruppert could take it a bit more easy if he read yesterday's post here, and realized we are only talking about the demise of civilization itself (your microbes will be fine).

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Undiscovered Side of Science & Life - 3

One of the mysterious, yet exciting jobs people can have is in the vast field of scientific research.

People working in that field function somewhat like weather radar, and other types of radar.

At least in the sense that they are constantly probing to find understanding that is just ahead, understanding that currently is still just outside the boundaries of our human knowledge at that moment in time.

Some of their discoveries quite recently are not anywhere near ho-hum, to say the very least, rather they are Earth shaking.

We will get to those new discoveries, but first remember that according to the Big Bang Theory the essence of elements evolved shortly after the big bang, which was during the nucleosynthesis phase.

Those "elements" that developed can in general be called the first "machines", i.e. the first non-organic entities.

Thereafter according to the theory, microbes, i.e. organic entities, formed from those early machines that had already developed:
"Our cells, and the cells of all organisms, are composed of molecular machines. These machines are built of component parts, each of which contributes a partial function or structural element to the machine. How such sophisticated, multi-component machines could evolve has been somewhat mysterious, and highly controversial." Professor Lithgow said.
...
"François Jacob described evolution as a tinkerer, cobbling together proteins of one function to yield more complex machines capable of new functions." Professor Lithgow said.

"Our work describes a perfect example of Jacob's proposition, and shows that Darwin's theory of evolution beautifully explains how molecular machines came to be."
(Will Humans Evolve Into Machines?, quoting Professor Trevor Lithgow). In the fairly recent past researchers have discovered that microbes which evolved from machines are the oldest and the most abundant life forms on the planet Earth:
Single-celled microorganisms were the first forms of life to develop on Earth, approximately 3–4 billion years ago. Further evolution was slow, and for about 3 billion years in the Precambrian eon, all organisms were microscopic. So, for most of the history of life on Earth the only forms of life were microorganisms.
(A Structure RE: The Corruption of Memes - 4). The nickname for microorganisms is "microbes" (we call them the little people sometimes).

Researchers quite recently have discovered that microbes are everywhere around us, and are even very abundant in the atmosphere we breathe:
Every cubic meter of air holds up to 100 million microorganisms, but the diversity and behavior of these microbes remains masked to microbiologists — until recently, that is ... microbes also help create the intricately beautiful designs in snowflakes and facilitate the formation of clouds ... Recent research published in PNAS suggests that the diversity of microbial life in the air is on par with the soil, at least in urban areas, yet the air remains vastly understudied in comparison.
(Soupy Sales and Evolutionary Tales - 2). These microbes are active in and around us, in the air, in the water, and in the soil, but we we don't know nearly enough about them.

Researchers have also recently discovered the astonishing reality that humans have a symbiont, yes, we are in a symbiotic relationship with microbes, but we don't yet have much of a clue about what that really means:
As they look beyond the genome ... researchers are ... awakening to the fact that some 90 percent of the protein-encoding cells in our body are microbes. We evolved with them in a symbiotic relationship, which raises the question of just who is occupying whom.

Altogether ... 99 percent of the functional genes in the body are microbial.

... genes in this microbiome — exchanging messages with genes inside human cells ...

... shifts in perspective, occurring throughout cellular biology ... seem as dizzying as what happened in cosmology ... issues once thought settled are up in the air.
(The Tiniest Scientists Are Very Old - 2). One of those issues "once thought settled" is the human appendix, which, as it turns out, Darwin was wrong about when he called it the "vestigial appendix", because it too is now known to be associated with microbes:
"Maybe it's time to correct the textbooks," says William Parker, Ph.D., assistant professor of surgical sciences at Duke and the senior author of the study. "Many biology texts today still refer to the appendix as a 'vestigial organ.'"
...
The lowly appendix, long-regarded as a useless evolutionary artifact, won newfound respect two years ago when researchers at Duke University Medical Center proposed that it actually serves a critical function. The appendix, they said, is a safe haven where good bacteria [microbes] could hang out until they were needed to repopulate the gut after a nasty case of diarrhea, for example.
...
"Darwin simply didn't have access to the information we have," explains Parker. "If Darwin had been aware of the species that have an appendix attached to a large cecum, and if he had known about the widespread nature of the appendix, he probably would not have thought of the appendix as a vestige of evolution."
(The Appendix of Vestigial Textbooks - 2). So these most ancient of life forms are under us, around us, over us, and more importantly in us:
The implications for human development are certainly not yet realized, but could be profound. Our anxiety, motor control, and even cognitive pathways are implicated in this paper. Microbes may indeed be subtly changing our brain early on — and for what purposes we cannot yet say. The article would imply that this interaction is beneficial to us, and thus indirectly to our microbiota, but the mere fact that microorganisms can shape our minds brings up many more questions about how humans develop their identity.
(A Structure RE: The Corruption of Memes - 4). Notice the implications these discoveries have for health care:
U.S. spending on mental illness is soaring at a faster pace than spending on any other health care category, new government data released Wednesday shows. The cost of treating mental disorders rose sharply between 1996 and 2006, from $35 billion (in 2006 dollars) to almost $58 billion, according to the report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. At the same time, the report showed, the number of Americans who sought treatment for depression, bipolar disorder and other mental health woes almost doubled, from 19 million to 36 million. The new statistics come on the heels of a study, released Monday, that found antidepressant use among U.S. residents almost doubled between a similar time frame, 1996 and 2005"...

The emotional impact of traumatic events can have devastating effects on the mental well-being of individuals of all ages. For many, it is easy to focus all energies on helping other people or on maintaining daily schedules and routines. Although these efforts deserve attention, it is important to remember to take care of yourself and to monitor your own emotions during difficult times.
(Health Care Includes Mental Health? - 2). Since microbes take part in our genetics, brain function, body functions, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the Earth we walk on, even fifth graders know that we are sane to treat microbes well but insane to treat microbes badly (e.g. with catastrophic pollution).

We must ask and answer the question: "What does pollution do to the microbes we depend on for our consciousness and our existence?"

The previous post in this series is here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Appendix of Vestigial Textbooks - 2

About two years ago Dredd Blog mentioned the textbook industry, specifically that it is difficult for them to keep up with the changes in science that revolutionize our understanding, but also require that the textbooks go into the recycle bin.

Here is the text of that post:
In the words of "my friend", as they say in the Senate when talking about an opponent they hope does not get re-elected, I am a tree hugger because I complain about loose scientific practices which cause textbooks to become extinct.

Which requires reprints, which in turn requires the demise of even more precious trees.

Too bad.

More trees are going down because new textbooks must be printed to keep up with a new discovery about an old subject, the appendix:
"Maybe it's time to correct the textbooks," says William Parker, Ph.D., assistant professor of surgical sciences at Duke and the senior author of the study. "Many biology texts today still refer to the appendix as a 'vestigial organ.'"
(Science Daily). Shiver me tree timbers, I want to know more about this appendix, this vestigial organ they are talking about, so check it out:
The lowly appendix, long-regarded as a useless evolutionary artifact, won newfound respect two years ago when researchers at Duke University Medical Center proposed that it actually serves a critical function. The appendix, they said, is a safe haven where good bacteria could hang out until they were needed to repopulate the gut after a nasty case of diarrhea, for example.
...

"Darwin simply didn't have access to the information we have," explains Parker. "If Darwin had been aware of the species that have an appendix attached to a large cecum, and if he had known about the widespread nature of the appendix, he probably would not have thought of the appendix as a vestige of evolution."
(ibid). Doctors do not have to improve on nature by taking out the appendix any more. Instead culinary artists may find a way to stimulate the immune system so the appendix is used to store good bacteria as it once did.

I suppose this subject could be written in a book "The Evolution of Evolution" to compliment the book "The Evolution of God".

Science and religion could stop fighting and get on with the Ecocosmology movement which works to eventually evolve the vestigial human species into one fitly adapted to this cosmos.

But what about the trees we will lose to reprint the textbooks? Well, there is always vestigial recycling I suppose.
How absolutely clear it is that our best scientists experience scientific surprise so very often.

For example see this post at Toxins of Power Blog and this one at Ecocosmology Blog for examples of issues that will doom many textbooks.

You might also like Soupy Sales and Evolutionary Tales - 2 which also maps out more of the "oops science" realm.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Health Care Includes Mental Health? - 2

About two years ago Dredd Blog asked a question that is yet to be comprehensively answered.

The text of that post follows:
The sound and the fury of the health care debates raging in the land of pundits, journalists, and concerned citizens is sometimes less than clear.

I am not sure people are talking about the same thing sometimes, because they seem discordant and unsure of their facts about what physical illness is relevant.

I have heard no discussion about what mental health issues, if any, are covered in this raging health care debate.

Mental health care should be included in the discussion if the issue of mounting health care costs is to be a factor:
U.S. spending on mental illness is soaring at a faster pace than spending on any other health care category, new government data released Wednesday shows. The cost of treating mental disorders rose sharply between 1996 and 2006, from $35 billion (in 2006 dollars) to almost $58 billion, according to the report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. At the same time, the report showed, the number of Americans who sought treatment for depression, bipolar disorder and other mental health woes almost doubled, from 19 million to 36 million. The new statistics come on the heels of a study, released Monday, that found antidepressant use among U.S. residents almost doubled between a similar time frame, 1996 and 2005"
(Medical News Today, emphasis added). There is some potentially disconcerting language on some government sites in this regard:
The emotional impact of traumatic events can have devastating effects on the mental well-being of individuals of all ages. For many, it is easy to focus all energies on helping other people or on maintaining daily schedules and routines. Although these efforts deserve attention, it is important to remember to take care of yourself and to monitor your own emotions during difficult times.
(U.S. HHS, emphasis added). It is a bit strange but at the same time socially acceptable that we would be left to monitor our own mental condition, but would not even think of doing our own doctoring on physical maladies.
The question asked in the title may prove to be very important, especially in the sense that recent microbiological research has revealed that mental health may depend on the little people.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Tiniest Scientists Are Very Old - 2

This post deals with some scientific discoveries concerning human genes, microbes, and the intense interaction between and/or among them (a.k.a. symbiosis) deep within the super-organism we call a "human".

I had a hard time trying to decide which series of the Dredd Blog System this post should fit into.

I finally realized that, since there is so much subject matter overlap, this post will necessarily touch upon several series of posts located on all three blogs in the Dredd Blog System.

It is the import of these scientific discoveries which mandates that today's post is going to have to be a case where several series are referred to in order to bring the new discoveries into the context of the broader perspective of subjects touched upon across the Dredd Blog System.

I think I can illustrate the compelling nature of the case in point with this one quote:
As they look beyond the genome ... researchers are ... awakening to the fact that some 90 percent of the protein-encoding cells in our body are microbes. We evolved with them in a symbiotic relationship, which raises the question of just who is occupying whom.

Altogether ... 99 percent of the functional genes in the body are microbial.

... genes in this microbiome — exchanging messages with genes inside human cells ...

... shifts in perspective, occurring throughout cellular biology ... seem as dizzying as what happened in cosmology ... issues once thought settled are up in the air.
(George Johnson, NY Times, emphasis added). That "who is occupying whom" statement in the quote can be taken to uncanny heights of wonder, especially if we also pause at this moment to also ponder:
The microbes cohabitating our body outnumber human cells by a factor of 10, making us actually “superorganisms” that use our own genetic repertoire as well as those of our microbial symbionts, says Julie Segre, who works on the Human Microbiome Project at the National Human Genome Research Institute, in Bethesda, Md. We just happen to look human because our human cells are much larger than bacterial cells ... no matter how you look at it, it’s high time we acknowledge that part of being human is being microbial.
(Our Microbial Selves, American Chemical Society, emphasis added). A factor of 10 is a helluva big number however you look at it.

For example it means at least 10 microbe cells for every human cell, i.e., like being outnumbered 10 to 1.

Some of you regular readers may have thought I was stretching it a bit when I merely quoted:
"Our cells, and the cells of all organisms, are composed of molecular machines. These machines are built of component parts, each of which contributes a partial function or structural element to the machine. How such sophisticated, multi-component machines could evolve has been somewhat mysterious, and highly controversial." Professor Lithgow said.
(Putting A Face On Machine Mutation, emphasis added). Yes, according to evolutionary cosmology, microbes evolved from a grouping of tiny machines (the elements) into complex single cells by the addition of a realm we can call the essence of organism.

We have touched upon the ability of these microbes, in a post on Ecocosmology Blog, where another incredibly huge statement was made about these tiniest life forms:
A team of University of Toronto chemists have made a major contribution to the emerging field of quantum biology, observing quantum mechanics at work in photosynthesis in marine algae.

"There's been a lot of excitement and speculation that nature may be using quantum mechanical practices," says chemistry professor Greg Scholes, lead author of a new study published in Nature. "Our latest experiments show that normally functioning biological systems have the capacity to use quantum mechanics in order to optimize a process as essential to their survival as photosynthesis."
(The Tiniest Scientists Are Very Old, emphasis added). The microbial world is billions of years older than humans, and on top of that, the tiny microbial world can "do quantum physics".

New genetic research tells us that "99 percent of the functional genes in the body are microbial", that we are in symbiosis with the vast world of microbes, and that human cells are only a tiny part of the composition of the super-organism called "me".

Which leads once again to the questions "who is occupying whom?", and "how was the decision made to hook up?"

In future posts we will explore how this reality plays out upon the notion of how toxins of power work within human beings, how this reality plays out upon evolution, and how this reality plays out upon the tenets of Ecocosmology.

The first post in this series is here.

Additional reading concerning the subject matter of this post is now available at the Toxins of Power Blog and the Ecocosmology Blog.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Undiscovered Side of Science & Life - 2

In the first post of this series we were "digging it" with a crew in Jerusalem.

Digging it is the realm of miners, archaeologists, and hipsters alike, an endeavor which takes its participants into the realm of useful discovery.

Digging it can be a form of searching to find something new, a job to extract ore for the man, one form of exploring the pleasure of the art world (music, sculpture, painting, etc.), but the main essence of digging it is the understanding of what is going on.

The one thing that is common to all forms of digging it, is that when you come to a fork in the road where they all meld, there is an ability to take the proper one, whether well traveled, or not yet well traveled.

Yes, one of the more revered aspects of digging it is the notion of seeing ahead, having vision, having an understanding of the consequences of actions and words.

Some like to use the word "prescient" to describe digging it, but whatever word is used, the important thing is the value of digging it:


"Washington" (a euphemism for "the federal government", also a front name for MOMCOM) is not digging it.

They are off in their own hell bent bubble world war for oil domination inspired by nothing more than their own lust and/or greed.

They do not really feel what millions of suffering Americans feel, nor do they want to go in the direction most Americans want them to go.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.