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).


​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

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Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

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Harvard: Men who can do 40 pushups have a 'significantly' lower risk of heart disease

Turns out pushups are more telling than treadmill tests when it comes to cardiovascular health.

Airman 1st Class Justin Baker completes another push-up during the First Sergeants' push-up a-thon June 28, 2011, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Participants were allowed 10 minutes to do as many push-ups as they could during the fundraiser. Airman Baker, a contract specialist assigned to the 354th Contracting Squadron, completed 278 push-ups. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Janine Thibault)
Surprising Science
  • Men who can perform 40 pushups in one minute are 96 percent less likely to have cardiovascular disease than those who do less than 10.
  • The Harvard study focused on over 1,100 firefighters with a median age of 39.
  • The exact results might not be applicable to men of other age groups or to women, researchers warn.
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U.S. reacts to New Zealand's gun ban

On Thursday, New Zealand moved to ban an array of semi-automatic guns and firearms components following a mass shooting that killed 50 people.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Gun control supporters are pointing to the ban as an example of swift, decisive action that the U.S. desperately needs.
  • Others note the inherent differences between the two nations, arguing that it is a good thing that it is relatively hard to pass such legislation in such a short timeframe.
  • The ban will surely shape future conversations about gun control in the U.S.
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