I am allergic to the buzzword of Islamic golden age imposed by the western historians when they rediscovered a remote part of the world, so let me reflect upon it:
This is said a lot before, but still. Claims such as Saying Islam brought us a lot of scientific advances:
To paraphrase Monty Python, what has Islam ever done for us? You know, apart from the algebra, the trigonometry, the optics, the astronomy and the many other scientific advances and inventions of the Islamic Golden Age.
is like saying Christianity gave us the Renaissance. They were just co-existing in the same region and were counter-forces most of the time. Many of the scientist of the so-called Islamic golden age were self-claimed atheists or had philosophical agenda or personal life styles quite against the dominant Islamic ideology. One could argue that actually reviving the Islamic faith by scholars like Al-Ghazali and the extermination of reasoning and philosophy eventually put an end to the golden age of the Middle East. An age that owes Islam (as a religion, what it is) nothing, perhaps except its sunset.
Mass will always follow a form of religion. And it’s a good thing when we can’t handle more disorder and chaos. Think of it, our species has already outsourced all it could, even creativity, and soon there will be no more room: We are isolated and it means ever increasing entropy. Isn’t it then safer if mainstream synchronizes with an external force, rather than each leading and pioneering? Imagine if each of these people had their own opinion, their own brand, their own cult. Imagine if each of us were a prophet or an emperor. All the great ideas that could emerge aside, the world would collapse in no time.
This article might introduce a new and interesting concept to some, which is interesting, yet is confusing a conventional and intuitive notion of life with a more general definition.
I think trying to define life so it fits our intuition about the term, RNA-hypothesis can be necessary and sufficient. Darwinian evolution on the other hand is a more general concept that can potentially go beyond the life on our planet. It might be encoded into the physics of the universe. In that case self-organization, growth, reproduction and complexity can take place in many other contexts from computer viruses to ideas and from social memes to a potential/theoretical/extraterrestrial “life”. (As the article agrees)
My point here is that one random appearance of such physics may have given birth to RNA-based life on our planet that we can call Life One. Accepting the RNA hypothesis, that it evolved once, and that all its instances are relatives, there wouldn’t be much debate on what’s Life One. And Life Two or Life Thousand, theoretically predicted or really observed, wouldn’t confuse us.
There’s an evolutionary reason why everyone loves rainbows. Myth says there’s a treasure to be found at the end of it, for the person lucky enough to find. Well-said! That temporary treasure could be the right timing for food and water during tough ages of climate change in Africa. And those who found it were our mutant ancestors, lucky enough to search for it. Those who didn’t like rainbows, didn’t chase it, didn’t find the treasure, and died out.
Now he’s gone crazy and has told everyone: A man arrested at Large Hadron Collider claims he’s from the future!
Believe me I’m not bullshitting! This man who calls himself Eloi is right. He had left the future long before my departure. He arrived later, however, since he couldn’t time-travel directly and had to stop a couple of “time”s.
I actually met him back in 2076. I was a kid when he picked me up and flied to a far old café: “You’ll make this place happen!”, he said. And I thought he’s mental. Eloi claimed he knows me and I don’t know him yet: “Not yet!”, he was repeating. He wished he had brought me to that weird place only two years earlier, to show me an old man who so wanted to visit me but he was told not to, strictly:
You could see your-old-self! Nima died without knowing that he could see you.
It was the first time I heard this name. Let me keep the details but he told me some stories, and that after the old man died, things turned out to be very different: “Nima should have come to tell you what he knew”. And then he gave me a note:
[You will grow and this time, remember you MUST meet that little kid to tell him what you will know…]
For many years I kept that note, but it was lost before I had to escape my homeland. I knew Persian from my biological mom. So it was not hard to make up stories after I arrived here. And the note was right! Many things indeed became clear throughout my life. But I never figured out what is that I will know and how long I should wait…
p.s. By the way, P=NP in case you were wondering!
There is a pseudo-scientific theory going to shape in my mind. This is based on my newly discovered “principle of meme conservation”:
Memes of a closed society will remain constant over time.
The theory is a populist attempt trying to show that the “meme“s stay and remain in a society forever. In this best seller piece of crap, I will bring examples of invasion or immigration between civilizations that carry different memes throughout the history to show why I think that new memes coming into a population, just like genes, will eternally stay untouched in the host society.
Given that the whole “Memetics” is still considered as pseudo-science, this unfalsifiable peace of work will not as well follow a valid scientific methodology. So I can combine it with even more disciplines and branches of science.
Our chemistry of memes will then suggest that the immigrant atomic memes may be combined with the other memes (like the host memes) shaping new cultural “molecules” that can have completely different characteristics than the atomic memes.
The theory will also have applications in sociology, as an example dealing with the problem of integration of migrants: When new atomic memes brought into a society by a group of immigrants are combined by the host memes, the emerged culture which have radically different features than the pure imported memes gives a temporary illusion of integration. Such integration, however, never takes place in the sense that cultural atoms will stay eternally unchanged and once their molecules fall apart, even after ages, play their role again. They will only perish if their carrying population dies, migrates or extincts for example by stopping reproduction.
The “principle of meme conservation”, which is a meme itself will reach millions of readers through my best seller book. It will be welcome by many right-wing politicians across the world and will thus be transferred to millions of minds. Unfortunately, this multiplication would break the “conservation of memes” in a contradiction to its own principal claim. Then I shall change my mind and apologize to the scientific world. So… why not changing my mind now and forget about a principle that did never exist and will then never exist according to my “principle of meme conservation”?! :-/
By nature we are polygamous and herbivorous. As a by-product of civilization we have become monogamous and carnivorous.
Against our nature we feel so bad if we cheat, while it’s so fine eating meat!
I was willing to start my new religion but they closed submissions for create your own religion competition:
My Back-scratching cult highlights one of the best and yet most ignored joys granted to us by the mother nature. Unlike other religions, it is consistent with known scientific facts given a strong revolutionary explanation. And its ideology addresses one of the most essential problems of human being: Why do we itch and why we enjoy being scratched? In this religion, I’m not only a holy prophet but also a living evidence. And all of you can be!
What I have not yet decided is if the act of back-scratching should be a core concept or just one of the rituals. I will prototype my idea sometime soon anyways. Messengers don’t need to meet deadlines. God decides when it’s time for my revelation!
p.s. Guess what’s the latest album by Peter Gabriel called: Scratch My Back. He will dedicate it to me once he gets his hands on me!
Self-Organization is the phenomenon ruling all aspects of the human life as a dynamic system. The less we understand it, the more we tend to believe in the theories of conspiracy.
Read this real story and tell me if you also believe that it could be more than a coincidence:
Shortly, it is about a neuroscientist who had studied the criminal brain for 20 years and had shown that orbital cortex (or whatever) is inactive in those rare people. And after all when he scans his own brain, he happens to be one of them, himself!
But what, other than chance, can be behind this? I bring up this question:
Is it possible for different parts of the brain to directly communicate “inside the skull” and inform each other about their condition? We know that different brain circuits “inform” each other about signals and stuff but I am questioning about a higher level of informing.
Today Mr. Fallon knows that his orbital cortex is abnormally inactive. He knows this by looking at his brain scans, provided through the world outside (scanning devices and the rest, outside of his skull). Now his brain has externally revealed something about itself. Wouldn’t it then be possible that his brain already “knew” it internally, but not consciously?
Let’s map it from the physical brain domain to the mind domain: A part of his mind (call it the researcher part) is now externally aware of a disorder in another part (the criminal part). Now, is it imaginable that the “conscious researcher part” had internally had some clues about the “unconscious criminal part”?
This is a philosopher sending a query to the experimental scientists: Is there such an internal awareness? Back to the hard-wired brain domain, it could be a result of some internal nervous connections between such brain regions. Or I don’t know. Any sort of connection that has in some way inspired, motivated and driven him to perform such study, by the means available in the “outside” world.
Related on brain and mind: Symmetric mind, bilateral brain.