This Week in Comments: November 12th—November 19th, 2017

Wow. Such comments. Much deep pondering. Witty banter and great points abounded this week. Did you make the cut? 

Another week, another sparkling selection of witticisms and bon mots from the Facebook audience. Pour another glass of brandy and sit by the fire and hunker down with this week's selection of comments. 

Why Panpsychism Fails to Solve the Mystery of Consciousness

Beverly HoschI don’t have the brain power to completely understand this. However humans are not the only conscious beings. Dogs, cats etc. display consciousness as well. In fact, I Wonder about ants, bees, and termites, and if they have a group consciousness. Electrons display particle behavior and wave behavior. We also can never know their position at a given time. Perhaps our pursuit of an explanation for consciousness must be done on an energy level as well as particulate. Am I way off base?

Andrew MerrittDepends on how one defines consciousness I suspect. After all one could argue that even a single cell has some level of consciousness as it interacts with it's environment.


North Korea Is Only a Threat if the U.S. Keeps Provoking Kim Jong-un

Arber KukajNorth Korea makes empty threats, on the other hand, the U.S actually enforces a rigid embargo on North Korea that ruins the lives of citizens in North Korea. If you want to talk about aggression, look no further than home.

The Universe’s Missing Atoms Have Finally Been Found, Scientists Announce

Chris Ryan: I was looking all over for them. 

Ronald Harder: They were behind the couch with the remote control, weren't they?

Does Quantum Physics Confirm The Occult?

David R. PhilpotThe question of whether physics confirms the occult is nonsensical in the same way that asking if an art book can confirm the laws of thermodynamics. Science cannot confirm or deny anything about a supernatural realm or how that realm operates because it deals with observable phenomenon in the natural world. If some event cannot be understood through natural processes after being studied by scientists then the only rational conclusion that can be reached is that we cannot identify the mechanism that caused the phenomenon, not that a supernatural agent was the cause. Scientific discovery is always tentative and subject to change when better evidence becomes available.


Could Your Favorite Stories Permanently Change Your Brain?

Eddie Duncan: I'll never understand why the religious always need to find a way to justify their own faith? And why does that justification always come in the form of finding fault in persons outside of their belief system? Have these people not read their own "sacred" text? And I mean in whole (front to back), not in part (a verse here or there).


How to make a black hole

Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.

  • There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
  • CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
  • Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
  • Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
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China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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