“Not really. Cells are "alive" as much as zygotes, thus the gametic cells fit the definition of "life" as well as the just fertilized embryo. If we are not using the terms "independent", "viable" and "self sustaining" here, your argument would suggest that life be defined as the moment of gametic cells differentiation within the parental. As a researcher (PhD in biology) who has worked in developmental labs I can tell you that chick embryos in ovo, fish or amphibian eggs are not considered "animals" for the purpose of animal care protocols, and in mice it is only a factor due to them being retained inside the mother during gestation. Basically, to the research panel they are not 'alive" as separate animals enough to be treated as anything more than biological material similar to cell cultures or tissue samples. So no, we in the biological community don't define "life" universally as beginning at the zygote stage (also bacteria and other organisms do not have this stage of development and are considered "alive").”
Alan Holyoak on May 15, 2014 at 16:49:45
“Hi Alex --
You are defaulting to a legal definition not a biological one when you refer to definitions of life in terms of animal care protocols and viewing embryos in terms of tissue or cell cultures. Those are important definitions within their respective realms, but they do not represent a clear definition of what it means to be a genetically unique entity and how and when it starts.
Yes, gametes are living cells, but you in your posting you are confusing something that is "alive" with the definition of "new individual" or "new genetic life." Unless gametes fuse and produce viable zygotes they are developmental and evolutionary dead ends, this violating at least one premise of what it means to be alive. On an aside, eggs, actually secondary oocytes, have to be activated during fertilization before they compete meiosis II, kicking out a polar body, and become a true egg. So one could debate whether a secondary oocyte is an active cell until it is fertilized, but that's an entirely different discussion.
That aside, the way we treat something or label something, research panel or no, has no impact on what it actually is. As a researcher myself (PhD Invertebrate zoology) the clear answer is that a new genetic individual does not begin earlier or later than the zygote stage.”
“UH considering many of these scientist work for government who do not support the implications of their findings (see the current Canadian gov., see the Bush admin, see the conservatives in Australia etc) that statement is nonsensical. As a research scientist I can tell you the easiest way to get funding is to do work that helps industry, not to do work that shows the product of industry is causing long term harm. Sorry Gable, you don't actually know how funding works and how hard it is to secure it. BTW I have talked to people fellow scientist across disciplines, across ideological lines who work on various aspects of biology, environmental science and geology who see the influence of AGW in their work. They all agree about the reality of man made global warming and they are not "biased" by any funding requirement to say such as their work is not predicated solely on the hypothesis of AGW.”
“You haven't been paying attention to the hundreds of bills passed by state legislators in the past 3 years to restrict abortion, some of which have been found unconstitutional due to them being massively too restrictive. As for hobby lobby, you do understand that a company is not the same thing as a non-profit right? You do understand that there are laws currently which force companies to violate to deeply held beliefs of their founders to prevent discrimination or protect the public. The fact that you can't tell the difference between a for profit company and a non-profit, and don't understand that health coverage includes contraception products (because said products do have prescribed uses beyond birth control) or its not really proper health coverage at all (think of it this way, if I said you can have health care, but nothing that remotely covers your left hand becasue the owner of this company thinks left hands are evil, would you call that proper health coverage? Would you even think that was a rational argument?) tells me you are not serious about this argument. The abortion debate is going on in almost every state and ever national election, and to claim otherwise means you are either intentionally ignoring reality or don't understand the questions. Ever member of ever party understands that society is a compromise between the public good and personal liberty, I know thats not a good bumper sticker, but its how the world actually works.”
LibertyComesFirst on Mar 26, 2014 at 20:24:57
“So in your mind for-profit corporations are not capable of prayer or other religious behavior, yet non-profit organizations are? Ergo the 'legitimacy' of them being exempted from the contraceptive mandate?
Then what about Roman Catholics which all dioceses in the United States are legally organized in the corporate form?
The beliefs of Hobby Lobby’s owners are no different as the beliefs of thousands of owners of non-profit corporations who Sec. Sebelius exempted from the mandate.
And I will repeat because everyone wants to make it into an issue it is not.
This is not about abortion or women's rights or even contraception. The case before SCOTUS is whether businesses and their owners can be forced by the government to choose between paying substantial fines and violating their religious beliefs.”
Mar 21, 2014 at 17:25:02
“If you read the scientific responses in that same journal you find that the authors even admit much of the perceived effect of acupuncture is due to the placebo effect and through using non standard techniques for analyzing the data. I suggest you read the invited commentary for that journal http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1357516
you will find that the author says there might be some benefit but, to quote the author "but whose effects derive primarily from placebo-based mechanisms". So what we have is a study that is mostly inconclusive but hits the media hype becasue it is picked up in the "ancient versus modern" debate. They authors of the paper even state that it is unlikely that a doctor would prescribe this, since it really is no better than the sham treatment, unless you really believe in it. So is it a bad idea, no, but its not a real cure or treatment either.”
Doug Sandlin on Mar 21, 2014 at 18:12:30
“You can also find many peer-reviewed papers validating acupuncture, as well.
Most health-related techniques that have been in use for thousands of years consistently have been in use for that long because they work, observably, and in the experience of those who receive a given treatment.”
“Given that future employers will search facebook for pictures and not hire people if they could tarnish the reputation of the company, its true. Given that I went to a school that was name a playboy party school and a top 50 university in the world, and all the administration was falling over themselves to denounce Playboy and the label I think, on a professional level he is right. On a personal one, among friends, maybe not, but lets face it. If you are going to Duke you want a nice job, with this on your resume (male or female) you will be penalized. Those are the facts. I have no problem with her doing it and enjoying it, but to expect that it won't hurt her future is naive. I feel for her, she has probably done more harm to her career prospects by defending herself, becasue now all she is labeled with in the media is "porn star". That is even sadder because I bet she is a lot more than that one job. If the "story" could have died quickly, or not picked up at all, she could have done what she liked, now I think she will be hampered by this label. Its a shame.”
ljdachiguy on Mar 19, 2014 at 13:56:21
“Just one quick question; Why would you put porn actress on a resume?”
“Canadian, whose parents (in there 60's) both have been in the hospital in the past few years and I can say neither would have wanted to be in an American style system. Do we want it to be better, of course we would, but given the choice between our system and yours, its no contest. We like our system.”
G-Wizard on Mar 13, 2014 at 16:15:45
“I know a woman physician that was educated in BC and married a Canadian. They lived here for a few years but decided to go back to Canada because she rather practice in Canada than in the USA. She also had some health issues and when she told her physician she was going to the US for a family visit they were very concerned she would not get the right care she needed if anything happened when she was in the US.”
meztiso on Mar 13, 2014 at 16:12:49
“The contest is do you want to live. Further on in the article from FORBES
But aren’t they getting it for free? Shouldn’t they be grateful?
Not really. Despite the massive taxes Canadians remit to finance universal care, they still must pay out of pocket for some services. Nearly a quarter of chronically ill respondents said that they had skipped their medications or neglected to fill a prescription because it was too expensive.
Further, many Canadians travel to the United States and pay out of pocket for treatments and procedures, as they feel the wait in Canada is too long and harmful to their health.”
“No, its called the arc of history. You are on the wrong side of it my friend. Also, given how little you pay in taxes compared to how much you receive, think of cost of infrastructure, education (not in the constitution), police (which btw are not in the original constitution cause the federal Marshals did not form until 1789 and many city police until the 1800's. The 10th amendment gave states right to exercise police power but does not require the creation of a police force. So any city or state police unit you have now is, strictly constitutionally speaking, a non-essential government service), fire, emergency services, utilities (most are highly subsidized), oil and gas (literally billions in subsidies a year, most estimates are 14-52 billion a year) you do not "mostly pay for stuff". You, like everyone else in a society, benefit from the perks of it more than you contribute. The whole is larger than the sum of its parts, thats why the system works and has for hundreds of years. But keep on believing you are a "self made" person, and that people who recognize that society works when it helps others are "sad". If you honestly looked back at your life you will see how much you needed others and the government, but you won't do that will you. Its easier for you to mock others in their time of need.”
“Pterosaurs evolved in the late Triassic about 50 to 60 million years before these deposits. The pterosaurs in these beds are not "transitional" as in representing the transition between non-flying and volant, but some show the transition between the long tailed basal forms and the shorter tailed derived ones that ruled the Cretaceous skies. Basically the person who wrote this article messed up, I personally know and have worked with the authors of the original paper and they would never have used the term transitional to characterize the pterosaurs in this fauna.”
“They have guns, if you read other news sites they report that over 20 officers have been treated for gunshot wounds and there are pictures of protestors wielding shotguns. Not defending the government here, but both sides are armed and so any false arguments about "2nd Amendment solutions" indicates that you are more interested in pushing a political point (and a faulty one as gun control is actually one of the things in most Western countries that has lead to less violence and death) than talking about the real issues here.”
R Wintercroft on Feb 20, 2014 at 13:50:14
“But the 2nd amendment makes it so we will never need to fire on the police or our own government. When the government knows it will be extremely painful to restrict freedom, they are less likely to do so.
PS, The anti constitutional people push gun control with every mass shooting. Not allowed to call them out on it. But when a group of people are protesting with firearms, which is what the 2nd is for, you scream political points!!!! Not only tasteless, but hypercritical.”
“Actually, technically you could not give consent, at least to the standards often applied at many universities.
it clearly states "Drunk means NO".
"When intoxicated, an individual cannot legally consent to sexual activity."
That is the law, and it is a good one since many attackers (mostly men) will use alcohol and/drugs to alter a victims state of mind to gain access (note I did not use the word consent).
So while you and your husband obviously consented in your minds and have no issue with your honeymoon (congrats btw) legally what you did could have lead to one of you being charged with assault if the other had pressed the issue.”
thegrrl on Feb 11, 2014 at 13:35:57
“I understand that. But everyone is assuming that they are talking about rape, when one party says no (as seen with the rape is rape and no means no comments). The article is talking about consensual drunk sex, how it is technically illegal, but ONLY the men are charged or accused of rape, even though by the letter of the law, the woman is guilty as well.
No does mean no. I agree and rape is rape, but two people consenting to an illegal act makes them both guilty, not just the person with the penetrating organ.”
“I did my PhD on the origin of birds, and there are tons of articles on that (Anything by Chiappe, Padian or even me are good places to start, oh and sorry about the shameless self promotion). Currently I am working on the fin-to limb transition and I suggest you look at the pelvic girdle paper on Tiktaalik that just came out as a good place to start.”
Mattit on Feb 3, 2014 at 18:00:06
“OK. Thanks! It looks like I'm going to have to go over this about 3 or 4 times to make sure I understand everything. It looks like it was written by, and for, the scientific community, rather than the layman. -- http://www.pnas.org/content/111/3/893.full”
“No its not. Simply put anyone who is going to listen to this "debate" already has their mind made up one way or the other. Its hosted by a creationist museum (so not a neutral site), and is being billed in a "rumble in the jungle" type way by the media (especially the evangelical ones). Also if you want to learn the fact, they can be found at any real museum, any real biology text book or online quite easily. This "debate" will consists of well worn examples by Nye and falsehoods from Ham that have been disproven time and time again.”
TanzaniaTeacher on Feb 3, 2014 at 16:44:25
“Yes, it is. Nye isn't doing this to be pointless. Nye is doing this in the hopes of convincing people of the truth. Whatever Hamm and his acolytes have in mind probably is quite pointless I agree, but if Nye convinces one person of the truth, then the effort isn't wasted. He is after all an educator.
Looking online, unless you know where to look and haven't been eating the spoon fed nonsense of the creationists that Jerry Coyne, and Dawkins are simply lying, then no actually finding reliable, accessible information online isn't as easy as you might think. There is too much disinformation available.
And, how many people do you know who go out of there way to find and pick up biology textbooks or any textbook on any subject they feel they need more information about?”
“Cause we know a lot. And on this, "simpletons" are not "smarter" that a PhD who have devoted themselves to this topic. In fact the more knowledge you have the more likely you are to admit there is more to know, as well as how complex the problem actually is. Its easy to, from a chair at home with no more than a wiki knowledge level, say things that sound smart to others without the background to understand a problem. Then say "ah ha" when someone honestly says "well that is not yet know" or "thats not the main point". Its another thing to truly understand a topic and be able to seek to maximize your knowledge within the limits of the field (due to things like preservation, resources and simple human limitations). One is science, the other is just fooling yourself.”
Stewart Farr on Feb 3, 2014 at 17:14:00
“Define smart. Note I purposely did not use the word "intelligent/intellect". A simpleton, will go about life confident in the facts he does not know, a PHD may pursue the ones he does not know and never acknowledge he does not know...........same problem different sides of the same coin.
Is it better to know more to know less? I think so. Which is why I would support the PHD who acknowledges what they do not know and pursues knowledge in that space.
The PHD who "knows-it-all" will be of no more benefit to the world, than a book.”
“This debate is pointless. Ham and his acolytes will never accept any evidence that counters his position (see http://www.nbcnews.com/science/babylonian-tale-round-ark-draws-wrath-some-christian-circles-2D12035655 for another case of him simply saying, with no evidence, that everyone is wrong but him). The counter point is that if Nye is honest, he will have to admit area's where we have scant evidence of the exact pathway a transition took (not that it happened, not that the fossils are real, just exactly when and which lineage evolved in a certain way) which will (unjustly) be pounced upon by the creationists. I am a professional paleontologists, I have actually worked on two major evolutionary transitions and seen (and held) some of the most important transitional fossils across many groups, but I will readily admit there are gaps in our knowledge. Its just a fact. We don't fully understand how all the forces (including gravity) work on all scales, but that does not make them not there. The same thing with macroevolutionary patterns in the fossil record. We know a heck of a lot, and I hate the disinformation and lies creationists spread, but "debating" them does nothing. Its like trying to convince a 3 year old that eating nothing but candy is bad (I have experienced this first hand), you can't do it and just get frustrated in the effort becasue logic and facts don't work.”
Polar Shift on Feb 5, 2014 at 13:52:58
“Alex, The evidence for evolution convinced me when I saw pictures of that fossil bird/reptile with feathers. One of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.”
Mike De Fleuriot on Feb 5, 2014 at 05:06:00
“It only takes one to start asking questions, for Bill to win.”
Gorlicka on Feb 4, 2014 at 04:46:53
“You wrote that "we don't fully understand how all the forces...work on all scales, but that does not make them there."
This is actually something that Creationists should be able to understand, they are used to believing in things they have never seen - it is called "faith".”
Razpooten on Feb 4, 2014 at 01:31:53
“I don't fully agree that the debate is pointless. But, I absolutely concur with your conclusion, Alex”
Maezeppa on Feb 3, 2014 at 22:08:46
“I don't think this is about convincing Ham & Co. They have too much invested in their worldview. I think Nye is hoping the discussion will show people who are what I'd call 'science neutral' that this is in fact a clear battle of fact versus fiction.”
Mattit on Feb 3, 2014 at 14:00:20
“Do you have links to images and/or articles about the transitional fossils you worked on? I'd like to know more about them.”
TanzaniaTeacher on Feb 3, 2014 at 12:53:11
“You missed the point. The point is NOT to convince Ham or his acolytes, but to convince those that are sitting on the fence and possibly some of those that think they believe Ham and when they actually hear what the guy has to say admit finally that it's malarkey.”
“Actually the registry was applauded by police groups and linked to a decrease in crime and especially violence against women. It was opposed by the conservatives and they got rid of it when they came to power. Some provinces, notably Quebec, are fighting for the records and thinking of doing their own version of the registry. Please actually read up on the topic before you comment. As a canadian I was saddened, not surprised they did this and look forward to the 2015 election when the conservatives are replaced and work can begin on a new version of the registry.”
Dec 13, 2013 at 17:44:42
“Ok, first off there is a huge problem with gender equality in Hollywood, thats a fact. The problem with this article is that is does not actually correspond to reality. If you look at the top 10 films #1 Iron man 3 where Pepper Pots is a major character (even saves Tony at the end) and has a major female villain. #2 Despicable me 2 has a female as the second lead and the three girls as major characters. # 3 is the Hunger games (no need to comment), 4 is Man of Steel (again Lois has a significant role, as does a female villain), #6 is Gravity (again no comment needed). Beyond that at 11 is Thor 2 (2 major female roles in that, with a 3rd as the major supporting /sidekick role), 12 is the Croods (female is the again a major role arguably the second biggest), 13 is the Heat (2 female leads), 16 is Frozen (2 female leads), 18 Identity Thief (no need to comment). So while I completely agree that we need more women in films, more films where women are major players and more films that treat women as more than either Sex and the City stereotypes or helpless victims I think all in all this year was not that bad for female roles in the highest grossing films.”
Nnvee on Dec 13, 2013 at 20:58:42
“You are only referencing a handful of movies. In a full year I'm not going to watch only 5 or 6 movies. You need to consider the male/female statistics on a full year of movies not just the top 20 box office. 60-70% male-driven sounds about right. It's annoying.”
“OK I know I am going to be flamed, but I want to put some perspective on this "story". First one of the main reason the Toronto zookeepers (professional and highly trained experts in animal care and health) did not want to send them to PAWS is becasue it has had significant TB issues in the past few years leading to the death of at least 3 of its elephants. The zookeepers actually advised sending the 3 elephants to a different preserve once it was decided to close the exhibit, one that was larger, had no history of TB and would require less time in transportation for the elephants. Here the site, you can check it out yourself. http://www.nationalelephantcenter.org/
Why did they go to California, against the advice of professionally trained animal husbandry experts? Because Barker and his group launched a smear campaign against the zoo. So while its great the elephants have more roomI, and many others have significant fears about their health and safety in the long term. So this is not a "feel good story' about good old Bob barker against a mean old zoo, but alot more complex than that.
Also I want people to ask themselves, if a right wing group would be going against trained scientific expertise on the health and well being of animals would you be so quick to applaud?”
“Actually no. The toronto zoo staff was worried cause this facility has had at least 3 elephants die of TB in the last few years. The zookeepers actually wanted to send the elephants to another bigger and TB free site in Florida (which also would have meant less time in transport for the 3 elephants) but Barker and some councillors fought hard to make sure that didn't happen. And Claudia, as a trained biologist who has worked with zoo staff and actually knows staff at a different zoo, if you think they are in it for the money than you don't know what is really going on.”