Science 101

peapod
#1
I have noticed that there is really nothing around here in regards to science, except the occassional post. Most of it is very confusing except for botany :P, and I hate to say many find it boring. Most of all I notice that most people do not want to ask questions because they might feel stupid. So since we do seem to have a few scientific minds around here, why not take advantage of them :P
For instance vanni has mentioned in a few of his posting he is armchair palaeontologist. Well I would like to ask a dumb question vanni that maybe you could explain, and be nice and simple about it. :P What does uniformitarianism mean anyway? and the thing about a about hydrogen-filled sauropods is that a joke or is it true??

I have wondered myself how they sometimes you hear we found this rock and its this old. How do they know that??
 
Vanni Fucci
#2
Well Pea,

Uniformitarianism is a concept that the earth was not created in its present form in one defining or catastrophic process. It asserts that the earth has changed slowly, geomorphically and geologically, over billions of years to get to the point that it is today...

I hadn't heard of hydrogen-filled sauropods, so I googled it and came up with this... (external - login to view)

...and finally, geologists employ a few different methods to determine the age of rocks. One method is known as radiometric dating, and involves measuring the rate of radioactive decay or the particular substance. Each radioactive isotope has a different and constant rate of decay, and the potassium-argon method can be used to accurately determine the age of the rocks through application of the following equation:

 
Vanni Fucci
#3
Interestingly, I just now stumbled across a creationist site that attempts to debunk all of the common dating techniques...it goes so far as to say that radioactive decay is not a constant...hmm...news to me...

Answers in Genesis (external - login to view)

These guys are still trying to prove that the earth is only 6000 years old...
 
kden604
#4
You guys ever hear about Panspermia? It's basically the theory that all life was seeded throughout the universe from one main source... I've read a couple of quick blurps about it, sounds like an interesting alternative to Creationalism or Evolution from apes =] If someone knows about it more indepthly, I'd like to have it explained better to me.
 
Vanni Fucci
#5
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panspermia (external - login to view)

www.azinet.com/originoflife.html (external - login to view)

www.resa.net/nasa/origins_lif...traterrestrial (external - login to view)

Unfortunately, I don't know much about Panspermia, but these links should be helpful...

I tend to think that life began in volcanic fissures in the ocean...but hey, that's just me...
 
Dexter Sinister
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by kden604

You guys ever hear about Panspermia? ... an interesting alternative to Creationalism or Evolution from apes

Panspermia is exactly what you said it was, and there's not much more to be said about it than that. It's not really an alternative to creationism, the stuff still had to come from somewhere, it just takes the origin of life off earth to some unspecified location without really solving anything. There's no good evidence for it either, I think it's just one of Sir Fred Hoyle's provocative suggestions.

Another common misconception there too: we didn't evolve from apes, we and apes evolved from a common ancestor. Our closest living relatives are chimps and bonobos, and we're genetically closer to them than they are to any other apes.

In fact, a case could be made that we *are* apes. Think Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone...
 
kden604
#7
LOL Thanks for clearing that up, I'm dead tired drinking a glass of cold tea and I almost lost it not expecting the Arnold/Stallone comment. lol
 
Reverend Blair
#8
I always put panspermia in the same category as von Danniken's books and TV shows...interesting reading, but about as related to science as the average Harry Potter book.
 

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