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Rory
Post  Post subject: Human Universe  |  Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:20 pm
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Prof. Brian Cox questions the nature of humanity, starting Tuesday on BBC Two.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0276pc3

Watch it! :D

(I know this will make bunbury happy! ;) )

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: Human Universe  |  Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:21 pm
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Well, starting off with a gem from the department of redundancy department, we are already off on the wrong foot:

Quote:
the universe played a key role in our ascent from apeman to spaceman


I would be thrilled to know of something that the universe did not play a key role in.


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Human Universe  |  Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 4:12 pm
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Quote:
bunbury wrote:
Well, starting off with a gem from the department of redundancy department, we are already off on the wrong foot:

the universe played a key role in our ascent from apeman to spaceman

I would be thrilled to know of something that the universe did not play a key role in.


Perhaps he meant to say, that the study of the Universe played a key role in our ascent from apeman to spaceman; while kind of self-evident, that modified statement is at least less redundant, since not everything in the Universe has been affected by the study of the Universe?

I think luminaries are allowed to make the occasional mistake or non-statement.

Plus, he's got a nice presenting voice :)

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: Human Universe  |  Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:46 pm
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Quote:
I think luminaries are allowed to make the occasional mistake or non-statement.


Of course, but it's not a good idea to put one in their opening statement.


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Human Universe  |  Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:03 pm
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Quote:
bunbury wrote:
Of course, but it's not a good idea to put one in their opening statement.


Well, true. Perhaps he was trying to open with the least intellectually challenging sentence he could think of, in order to make it universally accessible?

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Human Universe  |  Posted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 8:28 pm
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This gets into the area of poetic license, and I find that sometimes science popularizers like these tend too often to focus more on the poetry than on the science when having these sorts of discussions and seeking to expand their audience.

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: Human Universe  |  Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:23 am
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I feel that a more appropriate term than poetic license is "sloppy thinking".


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Human Universe  |  Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:33 pm
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Quote:
iNow wrote:
This gets into the area of poetic license, and I find that sometimes science popularizers like these tend too often to focus more on the poetry than on the science when having these sorts of discussions and seeking to expand their audience.


I guess poetry is okay so long as it is preceded by hard fact.

Certainly there is an issue with far-flung analogies; some are useful, and some are just more confusing than the actual entity they represent.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Human Universe  |  Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:49 pm
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I understand bunbury's distaste and am reminded also of Michio Kaku in this regard.

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Human Universe  |  Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:15 pm
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Well, the first episode was nowhere near as good as Cox's 'Wonders' series; there were two physics equations I didn't understand, and the rest seemed quite self-evident, to me at least. The one point that I found interesting and that I was previously unaware of, is that there is an association between periods of extreme climate change and a corresponding evolutionary drive towards higher intelligence in humans.

Still always good to have an opportunity to watch Cox present, though. :)

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: Human Universe  |  Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:32 pm
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It's not available yet here in the USA, afaik. So I'll have to wait until Netflix picks up young Brian's latest effort.


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Human Universe  |  Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:50 pm
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Quote:
bunbury wrote:
So I'll have to wait until Netflix picks up young Brian's latest effort.


Or move to the UK :)

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: Human Universe  |  Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:43 pm
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Been there, done that.


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Human Universe  |  Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:31 pm
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Well, I knew pretty much everything covered in Epidose Two, as well.

It was amusing to see Prof. Cox delegate the task of the 'camel swab', though. :lol:

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bunbury
Post  Post subject: Re: Human Universe  |  Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:28 pm
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Please tell us more about the camel swab.


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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Human Universe  |  Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:58 am
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Just to confirm, the word "swab" is not some sort of synonym for the word "toe" in the UK, is it?

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Human Universe  |  Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:25 am
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He was attempting to demonstrate the shared ancestry of camels and humans (and all organisms) by viewing the cellular morphology of camel versus human cheek cells (and also to touch on mitochondria and the Margulis hypothesis).

It just tickled me that he was so squeamish about the swab - he would never make a Biologist!

iNow :!: No

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