Our universe didn’t need any divine help to burst into being, famed cosmologist Stephen Hawking told a packed house here at the California Institute of Technology Tuesday night (April 16).
He noted that many people still seek a divine solution to counter the theories of curious physicists, and at one point, he quipped, “What was God doing before the divine creation? Was he preparing hell for people who asked such questions?”
After outlining the historical theological debate about how the universe was created, Hawking gave a quick review of more scientific cosmological explanations, including Fred Hoyle and Thomas Gold’s steady-state theory. This idea hypothesizes that there is no beginning and no end and that galaxies continue to form from spontaneously created matter.
After giving a brief historical background on relativistic physics and cosmology, Hawking discussed the idea of a repeating Big Bang. He noted that in the 1980s, he and physicist Roger Penrose proved the universe could not “bounce” when it contracted, as had been theorized.
Therefore, time began at the moment of singularity, and this has likely occurred only once, Hawking said. The age of the universe — now believed to be about 13.8 billion years — fits that model, as the number and maturity of observed galaxies seem to fit in the general scheme.
In another observation of modern religion, Hawking noted that in the 1980s, around the time he released a paper discussing the moment the universe was born, Pope John Paul II admonished the scientific establishment against studying the moment of creation, as it was holy.
“I was glad not to be thrown into an inquisition,” Hawking joked.
Hawking closed the event with a familiar plea for continued exploration of the cosmos: “We must continue to go into space for the future of humanity,” he said, adding, “I don’t think we will survive another thousand years without escaping our fragile planet.”
There are believers who criticize Stephen Hawking for playing the role of Richard Dawkins. They like to hear about science but not the truth that god doesn’t exist. They love the first line and the last line of Hawking’s book. ‘We go about our daily lives understanding almost nothing about the world’, the first line and ‘if we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we would know the mind of God’, the last line. The believers love to believe that ‘god’ of the last line of Hawking’s book is the god that lives in the sky. They love when scientists believe in god. To them, scientists say god exists means god exists. They get more convinced when scientists say god exists than god says god exists.
Stephen Hawking is not giving the believers the delusional pleasure anymore. They are now angry. You can read their angry comments. They would have been angry with Einstein too if he were alive today and explained that his god was not the god that lived in the sky, and more importantly he used god in a purely metaphorical, poetic sense. There are some scientists who say that god exists. I do not think all of them believe in god. They say it for different weird reasons. One of the reasons, Richard Dawkins says that scientists who want to get fund for scientific research do not say that they are atheists because atheists are often prevented from getting fund.
Religionists are using religion all over the world to fight against equality, justice, women’s rights, human rights, freedom of expression and hundreds of nice and necessary things. I think scientists should take responsibilities to save the world by telling the truth about creationism how freakishly false belief it is. Science is the best weapon to fight religion. Every time scientists discover a star or a planet or a galaxy, religionists come to claim that god mentions about it in their holy books. Most reformers fight the bad parts of religion by using the good parts of religion. It ultimately makes people more religious as they get attracted by the good parts of religion. But it is always better to believe in science than religion or parts of religion, because religion with its good and bad parts, is a complete myth, not a fact. It is always better to believe in truth than in lies. And it is always better to believe with things evidence than without evidence. Science does not talk without evidences, religion talks. Would you believe me if I say I grow two horns on my head? You would not. You would sure ask me to show you the proof. But you are not asking your most powerful god to show you the proof of his existence. You are too merciful. Your mercy has been extended to god big time.
Is it fun to live in this flaky world!
”Researchers have developed a process that renders an intact mouse brain transparent. By replacing the opaque fatty components in the brain with a transparent hydrogel, the wiring and molecular structure of the brain become clear to see with visible light and chemicals. The research opens a door to new imaging techniques that could potentially be applied to human organs.”
Brains are now as clear as Jell-O.
Aren’t we curious to learn more about the brain, the most interesting and fascinating complex thing in the universe!
Professor Miguel Nicolelis and his team, from Duke University, North Carolina, have used Infra-red light (which rats can’t see)to trigger brain implants and signal a rat to move in a demonstration of brain interface controls. The infrared sensors gave rats the ability to detect the normally invisible light. The research could help us to one day replace someone’s damaged senses, such as giving sight to blind people.
More details here.
Blind people will be able to see. What else do we need?
If rats can be given sixth sense, humans can be given sixth sense too.
I wish someday people would be able to just stop talking nonsense.
Now we know how bacteria changes ions into solid gold. Is it possible? Yes, it is.
The bacteria is called Delftia acidovorans, and it turns out that its King Midas-like conversion is part of a self-defense mechanism. Gold ions dissolved in water are toxic, so when the bacteria senses them it releases a protein called delftibactin A. The protein acts as a shield for the bacteria and changes the poisonous ions into harmless particles that accumulate outside the cells.
Although the amount of gold that Delftia acidovorans release is tiny (the particles are 25-50 nanometers across) it’s possible that the bacteria or the protein could someday be used to dissolve gold from water or to help people identify streams and rivers carrying the mineral.
The study was about ‘Gold biomineralization by a metallophore from a gold-associated microbe’. Here is the details.
Mythical King Midas was ultimately doomed because everything he touched turned to gold. Now, the reverse has been found in bacteria that owe their survival to a natural Midas touch.
Bacteria protects itself by turning it’s environment to gold or simply say bacteria produces gold. It sounds weird. But it is nice to see some weird things happened in our lifetime. It is like someone has found the real Eldorado.
People in the Indian subcontinent are crazy for gold. They must be very happy now because bacteria-produced-pure-gold will be much cheaper than the gold available in the market. I don’t think their dreams will ever, oops, soon come true.
Garima-II, the cloned buffalo was born on August 22nd, 2010. She survived without any complications and delivered a calf at 1.51am yesterday. The baby buffalo is called Mahima. She weighs 32 kg. Mahima is in very good health. She started sucking milk within 30 minutes of her birth. Thanks Garima-II for giving birth to a healthy baby buffalo. Hello Mahima, the little sweetiepie baby, welcome to Earth! Long live both of you!
The scientists working for National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) produced the world’s first cloned buffalo through ‘advanced hand-guided cloning technique’. First clone died 6 days after birth. The second clone was alive for 2 years. The third clone is Garima-II, the proud mother.
Do you want to know about the Hand-guided cloning technique that was used to produced cloned animals?
Hand-guided cloning technique is an advanced modification of the conventional cloning technique that requires expensive micromanipulator machines. In this technique, immature oocytes are isolated from ovaries and are matured in-vitro. These are then denuded, treated with an enzyme to digest the outer covering called ‘zona pellucida’ and then treated with chemicals to push their genetic material to one side. This side is then cut off with the help of a hand-held fine microblade to remove the genetic material. The enucleated oocyte is then electrofused with a somatic cell taken from any source. The resulting embryos are cultured and grown in the laboratory for about seven days to develop them to the blastocyst stage. The embryos are then transferred to recipient buffaloes for producing cloned offspring.
Ain’t it cool?
George Church’s arguments for the recreation of Neanderthals:
1. Neanderthals were in fact a highly intelligent race and they could be recreated through modern medicine.
2. We can clone all kinds of mammals, so it’s very likely that we could clone a human. Why shouldn’t we be able to do so?
3. Recreating Neanderthals would benefit mankind. Neanderthals might think differently than we do. We know that they had a larger cranial size. They could even be more intelligent than us.
4. When the time comes to deal with an epidemic or getting off the planet or whatever, it’s conceivable that their way of thinking could be beneficial.
5.They could maybe even create a new neo-Neanderthal culture and become a political force. The main goal is to increase diversity. The one thing that is bad for society is low diversity.
6. This is true for culture or evolution, for species and also for whole societies. If you become a monoculture, you are at great risk of perishing.
7. Therefore the recreation of Neanderthals would be mainly a question of societal risk avoidance.’
Popular opinions on bringing Neanderthals back to life:
1. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should…
2. Why would anyone do this, what sort of life would that child have? Unnecessary.
3. This is wrong on so many levels !
4. Another fruitcake out of touch with reality . Surely there are more pressing concerns to be addressed
5. Playing with nature…
6. Did he not get the moral of Jurassic Park – don’t mess with nature. As fascinating as it would be to meet another species of hominid, they went extinct for a reason. Beside, this child would be brought up by H. sapiens, nurture would trump nature in personality traits therefore the main scientific gains would be from physical study which we can get from bones anyway – would be interesting to see speech capabilities and vocal range.
7. Disgusting, what would this child be treated as, human or animal to be owned, observed and experimented on? Genetic scientists have lost sight of a moral compass.
8. Plenty around where I live, professor I invite you to come and observe their behaviours.
9. How cruel. If a baby was born like that, he or she would undergo a lifetime of painful experiments and testing and would be treated like some sort of laboratory experiment. It’s a terrible thing to try to do, and any woman who agreed to take part in such an experiment would be a lowlife.
10. Maybe we should cure cancer first? No doubt the man is brilliant, but his goals seem a bit misguided.
11. Larger skull size, no woman would volunteer to push that out!
12. He’ll have no problem finding a womb for hire, esp if he pays well. But the innocent sounding reasons for doing this ‘they think differently and may help us with our problems’ are weak and lame. Do they really think we’ll fall for that? The real agenda may be much more sinister but will never be revealed.
13. There is a reason they are extinct. I believe this to be unethical, tinkering with nature and evolution in this manner is unlikely to end well. The planet is already overcrowded so it is unwise to introduce an extinct competing species to us. Just because you CAN, it doesn’t mean that you SHOULD. The risks outweigh the benefits at this time.
14. Who is going to raise the child, the mother or the scientist ??
15. But what kind of tragic life would that man lead? He would be an experiment. It’s inhuman to create life just for observation
16. The poor child would have a very lonely existence, spending its entire life as a scientific experiment and being constantly gawked at like an animal in a zoo. That scientist is a very selfish man.
17. Don’t be screwing with nature, Doc. The human species is bad enough as it is, without creating a mutant. Playing God is like playing with fire.
18. How disgusting, to deliberately have a child that will never lead a normal life. Will it live in a cage in a lab ?. Anyway as others have pointed out there are still plenty about if you look round the town. Dolly the sheep didn’t last long.
19. So wrong! I thought it was all about evolution, not going back. It’s not April Fool’s yet, is it, or have I missed something?
20. Sounds awfully like the start of horror movie to me…..
21. I’m all for cloning to be used, for example, to grow single organs, or even to reintroduce a species that we caused to become extinct, and that is needed to maintain an environmental balance. But cloning an intelligent, self-aware being that would be the only one of its species is simply immoral.
22. This is not a good idea, to bring about the birth of a child from an extinct branch of man would be cruel, on its own in our world with no-one of its own race to turn to when its troubled, it would be a prisoner, a lab rat, why not bring back T Rex?, at least it could EAT its tormentors.
23. Primitive man lived in the primitive world, and thats where he should stay.
24. This guy is truly as mad as Frankenstein.
25. Omg, please tell me this is a joke?
Not many people want to bring Neanderthals back to life. My opinion on the return of the Neanderthals is, if a woman agrees to give birth to a Neanderthal baby, then why not? It will be Homo sapien’s one of the best scientific achievements if Neanderthals are successfully recreated. I am curious to see the success of the experiment. 100,000 years ago, we shared this planet with several other species of human, all of them clever, resourceful and excellent hunters, but we Homo sapiens only survive. Scientists say, ‘one of the crucial elements of Homo sapiens’ adaptations is that it combines complex planning, developed in the front of the brain, with language and the ability to spread new ideas from one individual to another’. The Neanderthals died out about 30,000 years ago not only because the Ice Age limited available food supplies, but because Homo sapiens killed them off. Bats, bears, bees, birds, butterflies, buffaloes share their world with many other species of bats, bears, bees, birds, butterflies, buffaloes. Why should humans be afraid to have another species of humans? Just because we can, I think we should. Life without challenges is boring.
Newton said, ‘We build too many walls and not enough bridges.’ Newton probably had asperger’s syndrome. He did not have enough bridges in his brains that worked for physics, alchemy and theology. Different areas of his brains worked independently, but each with intense local power. If his brains were integrated, he wouldn’t have been Newton., he would be just another farmer.
Lonesome George. He was the loneliest animal of the planet. One Day Lonesome George, Giant Tortoise, Last of His Kind, died. He was only 100 years old.