Class Warfare Blog

April 16, 2013

We Are Part of Nature / No, We Are Not!

Filed under: Philosophy,Religion,Science — Steve Ruis @ 9:11 am
Tags: , , , ,

Who is having such a stupid debate? Well, we all are.

In my last post I quoted a recent TV commercial—“And as the grandpa in the commercial says when his grandson asks ‘Where do we go when we die?’ ‘. . . into the ground.’” as a comment on what is observable about death. Then the love of my life says “Yeah, but, only in a hermetically sealed container. I want my body to go back to nature, to be eaten by worms.” I love that woman.

In many states it is illegal to bury people so that their remains go back to nature. This is probably a testament to bribes paid lawmakers by funeral directors but does reflect some deep seated beliefs of what happens to our bodies when we die.

Interestingly enough, we are not immortal but our atoms are. Right now, your body contains atoms that were once part of dinosaurs. (I won’t tell you what parts of dinosaurs to avoid offending your delicate sensibilities.) All of the atoms of living things are constantly being cycled and recycled. Your body is made from atoms of food you have eaten, and air you have breathed, and beverages you have drunk. Before you were born, your body was built from atoms of food your mother ate, and air she breathed, and beverages she drank. And, if we were honestly part of nature, all of those atoms would be made available to other beings by natural decomposition processes, except that is illegal in my state.

There are costs to being stupid. I wonder when we are going to consider them and wise up. Obviously the task is not easy or simple, otherwise the Republicans would have pulled it off by now.

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10 Comments »

  1. I asked an associate physics professor the other day what were the chances we could ever learn that atoms retain some information of all the things it’d ever been. Unlikely, he said, but he did admit that atoms do have a capacity to store tiny traces of information. Something about quantum numbers. You know what he means by that?

    Comment by john zande — April 16, 2013 @ 10:14 am | Reply

    • Sure, quantum sates may be involved in human memory, believe it or not. But chemistry is based on the fact that chemicals have no memory. So pure Vit C from Rosehips is identical to pure synthesized Vit C. (Often, though, the natural products have beneficial contaminants in them and vitamins are absorbed much better when hitching a ride on other molecules found in food, so there are differences in *sources* of chemicals.)

      Atoms are very unlikely to possess memory or identification information in them which is why I can’t tell whether dickheads have atoms from dinosaur dicks in them (but the odds are quite good).

      Ain’t science fun!

      Comment by stephenpruis — April 16, 2013 @ 12:05 pm | Reply

      • Hehehe. I wasn’t actually thinking “memory’ per say, nothing as complex, just a positive or negative (or neutral) residue

        Comment by john zande — April 16, 2013 @ 12:20 pm | Reply

        • Quantum states are really quite simple. At the scale of atoms, the energy possessed by the atoms component parts is not continuous, there are only certain energies that those objects will have (they are called allowed states). Energy added to the atom may cause one of those particles to change energy but only if the amount supplied corresponds to the difference between its current energy and one of it’s allowed states. Too much or too little and no dice.

          This is the basis for Magnetic Resonance Medical Imaging (which is telling us so much about how the brain works) and a bunch of other technologies.

          Ain’t no residue! No thing involved, just energy (in measureable bundles).

          Stick with me kid, I’ll teach you the ropes!

          Steve

          Comment by stephenpruis — April 16, 2013 @ 12:40 pm | Reply

          • Thanks Steve! 🙂 Me learn well with you.

            Comment by john zande — April 16, 2013 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

            • Just take notes; there is an exam at the end of the term.

              S

              Comment by stephenpruis — April 16, 2013 @ 9:08 pm | Reply

              • Was just looking for another video, hen found this. Not sure if this is the right word, but, enjoy:

                Comment by john zande — April 17, 2013 @ 4:45 am | Reply

              • Whoah… not sure what’s going on with that video… seems to be the whole library of odd christian videos. Just delete it. I was trying to post a biology teacher teaching creationism in a class.

                Comment by john zande — April 17, 2013 @ 4:48 am | Reply

  2. I’m being created and having my ashes thrown into the wind. So be careful when you breathe in. You don’t know who may be passing thru your lungs. 🙂

    Comment by lbwoodgate — April 16, 2013 @ 11:20 am | Reply

    • Cough, cough, was that you Woody? Not, not yet I am sure. I too am being cremated becasue the cost of a funeral is ridiculous as well as it being a morbid ceremony. I want all my remaining friends to come to my place and drink all my booze and eat all my food and tell stories about me–a good Irish wake, without my corpse being in the back room.

      Steve

      Comment by stephenpruis — April 16, 2013 @ 12:07 pm | Reply


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