Anyone got any Mind Blowing Questions?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by joelozzy, Jul 13, 2010.

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  1. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    If you are what you eat, doesn't that unavoidably make you a cannibal?

    If lighter colours absorb less light than darker colours, why do white people come from colder, darker parts of the Earth than black people?

    Likewise, if the solar maximum is near green, why do plants reflect green light and absorb the rest? Wouldn't they be better off absorbing more energy for photosynthesis?

    When a neutron star is formed by a collapsing star, do any protons survive? If so, does each neutron star become its own isotope/element?
     
  2. Killbot

    Killbot SS.org Regular

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    If a man is spontaneously created with no experience of anything but with fully developed internal reasoning (excuse the deus ex machinae) with a blind fold on, and learns to distinguish between a table and a chair by touch. One day his blindfold is taken off. Before he touches the table or the chair, will he know the difference by sight?
     
  3. Tomo009

    Tomo009 SS.org Regular

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    I really want to know the answer to these 3 actually
     
  4. tacotiklah

    tacotiklah I am Denko (´・ω・`)

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    I doubt it. Watch 'At First Sight' with Val Kilmer to gain an idea of what would happen. We studied this in my high school psychology class. Basically things like visual and depth perception are learned concepts (IIRC you start to learn these when you're 6 months old) as are things like visual memory.
    Essentially that movie is about a man who is born blind, and has learned to view the world around him via sound and touch. Later he has surgery that fixes his eyesight, but he struggles with things like reading, balance and other things.

    I normally try to not get my facts from movies, but it made more sense to me than what the teacher was saying.
     
  5. josh pelican

    josh pelican Banned

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    Why does my penis get hard when I see girls in class?

    Boy, being a kid sure is tough... and confusing
     
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  6. Varjo

    Varjo ss.org frenulum

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    This one I actually know.

    See, the reason plants are green is the small chloroplasts that are doing the actual photosynthesis. You know when autumn comes and all the leaves on trees go yellow or red? That's because the tree stores the chloroplasts within it's branches for next year's leaves.

    Anyhoo,

    the plants reflect green light because the chloroplasts are green. And they're green because the molecules that build that singular chloroplast just so happens to be greenish to the human eye. So, it's not a question of what wavelength of light would be the best, but more of a what color are the particles that form the chloroplast that gives a plant it's green color. Change the particles, make the chloroplast, say, black for maximum absorption, and it wouldn't work anymore.

    That's nature for you!
     
  7. vampiregenocide

    vampiregenocide A Chap Called Ross

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    From wikipedia :

     
  8. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Actually, there is a less common variation of chlorophyll that is pink, which makes more sense to me, but the plants that have this form of chlorophyll are fairly rare and still contain green chlorophyll.

    Also, if animals and plants evolved from the same ancestors, why wouldn't animals have chlorophyll. It seems much easier to get energy from the sun than it does to hunt for food. Euglena have both metabolic pathways, and seem to flourish quite easily, so why aren't there higher-order creatures this way?

    Also, is the fact that organic material is mostly carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen a direct consequence of stellar CNO cylces, or is it just lucky?
     
  9. vampiregenocide

    vampiregenocide A Chap Called Ross

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    Animals can actively search for food, defend themselves, and protect their offspring. This enables them to be more proactive in their own survival. Plants are stationary, they cannot search for food and so are dependant on the quality of the soil, water and the sun. If an area dries up, plants die, but animals search for water. Plant reproduction is pretty much fire and forget, in the sense they release seeds or pollen and hopefully they get fertilised by another plant. Animals search for a mate, and sometimes look after their offspring to ensure they reach sexual maturity. Both ways have their pros and cons, but neither is better than the other.

    Theres a theory called the 'Red Queen' theory, that basically says when an organism evolves a way of getting ahead and overcoming an issue, other organisms evolve to counter this and stay in the game. This can be seen in acacia trees, which evolved poisonous barbs to stop animals eating them. Giraffes figured out it took a while for this poison to start being effective, and only eat so many leaves on a tree before moving on. The acacia trees evolved a pheromone that tells other trees when they are being eaten, and warns them to start producing poison. The giraffes in turn figured out only to eat from trees upwind. Nature is all about balance, and plants and animals constantly fight each other just to surivive.

    Think I might've gone off track...I just like talking about that shit. :lol:
     
  10. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Sure, but euglena can defend themselves. Animals have skin, so why no chlorophyll in their skin? It could mean less food requirements, so better survival chance. Maybe not having chlorophyll helps make animals faster?
     
  11. vampiregenocide

    vampiregenocide A Chap Called Ross

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    Animal skin is completely different to plant 'skin'. Animals have had to evolve all sorts of different cells and functions, such as sweating, different sensory organs etc, meaning theres no 'room' for chloroplasts in animal skin. Nature doesn't tend to commit to multiple ideas, it tends to branch off. Some organisms use one method to survive, anotehr animal uses another. Being kitted out for multiple things isn't as good as being specialised in one. It's like going on a hike and being bogged down with equipment, its better to take what you need. Evolution tends to cut out anything that is no longer needed, and focuses on things that work.
     
  12. Varjo

    Varjo ss.org frenulum

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    Other than "because they don't"?

    The time when animals and plants were the same go waaaaaaay back, way before you could seriously even talk about chlorophylls. Then there was plankton, and then there were plants. Fast forward millions of years and we have the first fish, and some million years later we have the first land walking creature. Chlorophylls came to be in a very different habitat for very different reasons than the ones evolving fish/land-walkers were facing.

    Also, I'm not sure useful chlorophylls really are - do they provide enough energy to power up a complex machine? Can it do it fast enough? After all, reactions take time. A plant is a relatively simple machine, it's stable and mostly static. An animal is not. Would the "power output" of a chlorophyll-filled animal be enough?

    Of course, for the sake of discussion, we could argue that "nevertheless chlorophylls would be useful in all creatures". While true, so would regeneration. And the ability to fly. And a sixth sense. And whatnot. After all, evolution doesn't work on what's handy, it works on placing different evolutionary pressures at different times, making the creatures either evolve or die. It's not always about losing what's useless, think of the human appendix. It's more of a threat than a useless appendage. As long as your species can fit through the hole evolution puts there, you're good to go as you are.

    (If you really want to go HC, you can't say that evolution puts or does anything, it's not some thing doing stuff, it's just a phenomenon happening)
     
  13. GATA4

    GATA4 Banned

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    If animals had chlorophyll, respiration would essentially be rendered useless and a large supply of fixable CO2 would be lost. There would probably be an atmospheric buildup of O2 or something.
     
  14. vampiregenocide

    vampiregenocide A Chap Called Ross

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    Plants do respire just like animals.
     
  15. GATA4

    GATA4 Banned

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    YOU INTELLECTUAL, YOU

    I have literally failed the educational system.

    Yes, that is true. Then I have no idea. Why doesn't Kim Kardashian tuck me in every night?
     
  16. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Okay, well, I'm sure there is a reason why it is the way it is, but that's what I'm asking, I thought. ;)

    Like I said, euglena (still very simple machines) have the parts of both plants and animals. They seem to thrive in microscopic environments like pond scum. Also, some bacteria can photosynthesize and still consume other living matter. Carniferns, such as venus flytrap and pitcher plants are definately plants, but can consume living things as a source of nutrients.

    Life eating other life goes back long before multicellular animals. I'm just curious why there is such a wide rift between contemporary plants and animals- why there are no animals which fix sugars from CO2? Something like a three-toed sloth doesn't really need the same kind of animalistic machinery that a tiger or human being need to hunt for food, so it doesn't seem like a stretch for me to imagine a sloth-like creature that has chlorophyll, even to help it blend in to avoid predation by jaguars or whatever.

    Maybe the reason Kim Kardashian doesn't tuck you in at night is because you haven't asked her. :shrug:
     
  17. Varjo

    Varjo ss.org frenulum

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    Well I have to agree with you on your idea not being such a big stretch. That wide rift you're talking about was born in the days when amoebas/plankton/small thingamabobs started to take over the earth - starting with algae, moving up to moss and other small plant-like forms. They got chlorophyll, the other ones who stayed in the sea didn't.

    The wide gap today is based pretty much only because of that. Protists back then that invaded dry earth as plants for the first time needed some system to create energy, and they tried and died different methods until one group of these plants of the future came up with a good idea - capturing cyanobacteria, which were capable of photosynthesis - creating energy with light. So they captured (read: engulfed) cyanobacteriae, which then gave energy to these baby grass. Being such a good idea, the cyanobacterial dna got added at some point to the first plant dna and boom chloroplasts.

    Getting energy by eating other little single-cell thingies was still a big hit in the sea, and continued it's style. Evolution happened. No need to start doing such silly maneuvers in the sea, there's lots of stuff to be eaten. And one day hey, let's take over the earth, and hey presto we're far too complex to suddenly start NOW engulfing cyanobacteria* or some other lame copycat idea.

    The difference, thinking of simplicity (e.g. plants) vs complex machinery (e.g. animals) comes far before running after food. Just try, for example, circulatory system. Muscle system. Moving in a general sense. Heck, even breathing. Nervous system. All that needs alot, and even if chloroplasts could supply sufficient energy, all those systems had been made without them - so adding them at this point would basically mean starting all over again. And, since we're doing things the evolutionary way, this wasn't going to happen - "eating stuff" worked just fine for now. And continued to work until... oh well, it still works.

    Fast forwardig hundreds of millions of years, we end up with the current day sloth. Despite being far older than the first "animals" walking - or even swimming - on earth, having countless generations and an abundance of forebearers it had descended from, it's lack of chloroplasts is all because of that one oversight that primitive life back in the soup did - dissing cyanobacteria and going on eating other life. Such dramatic changes to the DNA just aren't inserted after a certain point of complexity. And it can't either be added so easily, just as you can't exactly use a wheel from a horse cart in a Lamborghini.

    Now a point of note - this does not mean that some photosynthetic system could not be introduced to animals at some time and point. Why not? All it takes is the proper evolutionary pressure.

    Thinking of euglena, they're protists. Unicellular ones. That means they're made out of one single cell, making them far more simple, almost dumb-like simple in comparison to a animal or a plant. Also, theyre' really old ones. Kinda like exzhibits in a museum. They've done well so far, sure, but they're also single-celled and multiply by going plop and there's two of them. Oh and on a personal note, I find it maybe a bit silly saying that euglenae have parts from animals and plants, seeing that they were there before either ;)

    What comes to the venus fly trap or such, it's not as simple as drawing a line between "plants can become carnivorous" and "animals can become photosynthetic". Plants always fight for light, nutrients and such. The venus fly trap just got it's trick my coming up with another solution to the infinite battle for resources. It still has chloroplasts. It still uses them, too, only to a lesser degree.

    *) There's also some mention of the animal mitochondria being originally an engulfed bacteria, but there seems to be some debate in this case. Maybe that's the point when animals made the bad choice :D
     
  18. vampiregenocide

    vampiregenocide A Chap Called Ross

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    Those few organisms that do get energy by chemosynthesis or photosynthesis are often very simple bacterium or single celled organisms. A larger, more complex, moving organism probably wouldn't get a significant amount of energy from those processes. Eating other organisms enables them to take in a lot more energy at once, enabling them to do more complex things like actually moving.

    If it weren't for the fact they form the basis for all food chains plants and chemosynthesising bacteria wouldn't need to exist. Animals are more efficent organisms. However, they need a basis for where they get their food from. In the deep ocean, bacteria takein chemicals from sulphuric vents and turn that into energy. This in turn, enables other animals to feed off them and start a food chain. The bacteria may be limited in terms of what it can do, but it fills its niche and therefore is necessary. I think thats all its down to at the end of the day, animals don't need to photosynthesise because they don't get enough energy from it, but they do need plants that do it because they form their food. That dependance is the sole reason they both exist, and that one hasn't overtaken the other.

    As for the Venus flytrap, this is what I found.

    They just faced a problem and found a way of solving it.


    Varjo seems to be thinking the same lines.
     
  19. RaceCar

    RaceCar Que te jodas.

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    That's bad ass :hbang:
     
  20. vampiregenocide

    vampiregenocide A Chap Called Ross

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    M. Night Shyamalan makes a film without a twist. The audience exect a twist, and when there isn't one, does the very abscence of a twist and the revelation that it was a straightforward film make it a twist?
     

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