Altruism does not exist

Hi,
the title is pretty self-explanatory but I can expand it. What I want to write about today is the theory of selfish gene and how it interacts with selfishness and altruism. (Btw. do not forget to check out my second blog!)


So altruistic act is the act that helps others while giving you to worse position, by this I mean that it costs you some energy for example.

What I want to say that there is apparently altruistic behavior towards those who are similar to you. Who is that? Your family.

Over all you share 1/2 of genes with your siblings and with your parents and also children, nobody can get closer to you if you wont make a copy of yourself or you have twin.

From the point of the selfish gene which is in you, it is important to stay in population and not die out [1]. This means that the gene is trying to safe other genes which may be riding in different bodies.


How does he know that there is his identical gene twin in other individual? Dawkins says for example in his book The Selfish Gene, that when there is gene for altruism in your body you will know that this same gene appears in somebody else who is also behaving altruisticly. While it is always from evolutionary point of view best to safe yourself, it is also good to safe others because they may contain the same stuff as you and that is what is important, not the outer shell which is anyway just a vehicle which will disappear after few years.

To enhance this argument I will just add: if gene is able to recognise himself in other “survival machines” then it will be more often present in future generations which is basicly natural selection.


 

You can not apply this for human behaviour because we are no longer bound only by instincts and this surely is not a way to live a life. At the same time, think over your past days about you and also people around. Do you behave altruisticly or are you hiding your selfishness behind altruism? What I see often is that people do “good” things just because they want to look like doing good things over all being selfish, what do you guys think about this?

Dragallur

[1] It is of course not important for the gene. Genes are not thinking. If the gene would not be good at staying in population it would not be there.

 

 

 

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Altair, Award, Dreams!

Hi,
For last (edit: first ūüėÄ ) I decided to create second blog, do not worry it will never ever step into way of this one which is main and means a lot to¬†me.

What is it about? It is about dreams, more accurately, lucid dreams which are dreams I want to learn to dream. Are you confused? Well then you will have to check out the blog and follow it too ūüėČ !

The posts there will be sometimes frequent sometimes not but I will continue to post every other day here, as I promised.

Make sure to check it out!


Today I was doing some work in school with different Wikipedia pages. I picked Altair which is pretty interesting star so I wanted to share with you what I found out.

Altair is 12th brightest star and it is located in constellation of Aquila.

Aquila

The area of constellation of Aquila in the sky.

It is one of the closest balls of plasma around, 16 light years. Its spectral type is A and it is brighter and bigger than Sun. What is als interesting is that it rotates quickly, one turn in 9 hours compared to 25 days for Sun. This is important for its shape since as it rotates the shape of the star changes to ellipsoid or “stepped on” ball. This has very interesting effect, the poles are brighter because of gravity darkening. The surface gravity at poles is greater making them brighter.


I have got award again, and again Versatile award which I had about week back or so.

I was nominated by¬†mliae, thanks a lot. I¬†would be happy to fill it but I nominated my most favorite blogs in recent awards already and I would not want to spam them again so for now I will just keep it for myself (do not take it as that I do not appreciate it, I do). ūüôā


 

Dragallur

 

 

Blogger Recognition Award

Hi,
so two days back I was nominated by Chape for an award, so thanks man! I appreciate that a lot!

The Rules:

  1. Write a post to show your award.
  2. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  3. Give two advice to new bloggers.
  4. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  5. Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.

So the blog started more than year ago because of one page that suggested to write a blog about what you learned, that is exactly what I am doing here!

Write your posts on particular days and read other blogs too!

So the other blogs are:

Joseph from Rationalising The Universe

BODHI

Through Ivy`s Eyes

Matilda’s Lab

Deanne’s World

Hop on a Comet

mathsbyagirl

The Traveling Space Opera

Fatherhood, Fails, and Football

Eustat

Matthew Wright

Blair (The Shameful Sheep)

Poemsandpoemes

Gabriel Tonello

abhijit


 

Again thanks for the award!

Dragallur

 

How did life arise?

Hi,
I bumped into this question when I was arguing over evolution and creationism. It is very favorite claim that life had to be made by God because humans were not able to create it from dead matter, rocks for example.

This is famous problem. It is true chemists were not able to create life when simulating the early time on Earth 3.6 billion years ago (this is for simplicity, it is kind of difficult to say when exactly life arose).


Now of course there are theories and one of them is the theory of primordial soup. This is theory that in the ancient ocean there were dissolved some basic molecules which we can find even on other planets (so we have proof for them that may have been here (and almost surely were)).

So as they are floating in the dead ocean there is some great radiation coming down and hitting these molecules. Also there is what is called “primordial lighting” which is the lighting that should be able to create more complicated molecules only by hitting ammonia, hydrogen and other stuff. It was proved that there should be monomers too. Those are simple organic compounds, such as lipids or proteins.

Chemists were able to create with some radiation and electricity even amino-acids. The last step was that we were able to create purines and pyrimidines, those are building blocks of DNA and RNA which is kind of important.

RNA and DNA, key components for modern living.

Nothing more, we were not able to create life, yet. What would the next step be? Something that is called replicator.

Replicator is any molecule or lot of molecules that are able to replicate itself. This is key. If we are able to create some kind of replicator from the primordial soup, we will take a giant leap forward, because then onwards evolution takes a place.

When replicator replicates it should make exact copy of itself like in asexual reproduction. But as good secretary makes roughly one mistake per page, even the replicator will eventually make a mistake. This is called mutation and it is either helping the organism or not. This process drives evolution even that only small part of all mutations may be helpful. Those who have good mutation will have more replicas of itself and eventually there will be only those which are better, this process will repeat in what is called evolution when after hudreds of millions of years you are standing here, originating from one simple replicator, as well as me, your class mates all other animals, bacteria and viruses. This was never observed but it should work like this.

In bottom you can see the LUCA, first original organism from which we originate!


 

So will we be able to create replicator? The problem with that is that only several laboratories over world are working on this. They are working on it only for about 100 years which is not much considering geological time.

While I did not see their laboratories I bet that they are working on small areas, maybe area of swiming pool and I found, I cite:

Liquid water covered much of the Earth’s surface by 3.6 (or 3.8?) Ga, but when before that it condensed from a dense atmosphere is undefined.

We can of course speculate on what “much” means though I would guess that we can start on reasonable 50% of Earth’s surface which is¬†255,036,000 square kilometers. When speaking about swimming pool I will take olympic swimming pool though I guess that the chemists work with much much smaller, they would not be able to control such a big area.

Imagine controling experiments on this thing!

It means that the Earth was able to use roughly 204,028,800,000 times bigger area than chemists not talking about the fact the oceans are deeper.[1] At the same time, there were couple of millions of years for this to happen compared to 100 in laboratory.

My point is that we maybe should not expect the life to rise in our laboratories, because if it does, life is much more probable that we thought[2].

Dragallur

PS: Do not ever argument by saying that Pasteur proved that life can not rise spontaneously, because he did not.

Read more: 1) 2) 3)

[1]Of course you could argue that in laboratory you can use lighting all the time and be purposeful with your selection of molecules.

[2]Maybe we should since our techniques improve and we are getting better in simulating and controling the environment of primordial soup.

How does atom looks like?

Hi,
this was a question that friend of mine asked me on one contest I was this weekend. I was sure with the answer but after I said it I was not able to come up with the reason for it, at least I was not sure enough to say something clear.


So what exactly needs to happen for you to see it? There must be a photon which is reflected off the surface. How does this look like anyway on the atomic level? Well the light hits some electron in its way. There is lot of free space so this is why things that are not transparent can be if they are thin enough. The electron absorbs the photon, jumps to higher level (excitation), then it emits photon. Now on what you see depends upon its wavelength. So different materials will like to absorb different wavelengths making the object to have color. You can only change in what orbital you will have the electron so I guess that this is the fundamental difference between various colors of objects (though I did not check it).

So when electron emits the photon you simply do not know what the electron looked like. The only thing that you can get is just photon of some wavelength and there simply is not any way to look on some kind of surface of electron. Another factor is that the light has too big wavelength and you can not observe surface with that because the photon kind of just flows around and when you get to wavelength of the size of atom or smaller, the energy of the photon is so huge that the electron is anyway blown away.

There is nucleus too of course and normally photons do not get there because of this electron cloud around and nucleus is tiny. Otherwise from what I found it seems that again the proton and nucleus as whole is way too small and you can not actually map the surface.


 

But I was talking only about electrons and nucleus. You can actually see atom as whole. Not by microscope because visible light is way to huge. There is what is called Abbé difraction limit so you have to look for atoms in different way, using for example electrons (electron microscopes[1]) and then recreate the image using some cool physics, this is for example picture of silicon carbide:

And the one below is picture made by IBM of individual atoms that are shaped like the letters of IBM.

So while you can not see the atom, you can observe, not electron though or even the nucleus at least in ordinary way. You can for example measure energy or calculate the shape but you can not see them as physical objects.

Dragallur

[1]Electron microscopes observe how electrons bounce of the surface just like photons.

Read more: 1) 2) 3)

pearshaped-2WEB.jpg

The shape of Radium-224 nucleus

 

Book review 4) The Selfish Gene

Hi,
last week I finished the book Selfish Gene, here is the review.

Book: The Selfish Gene

Author: Richard Dawkins

Genre: Science

Pages: 224 (the edition above has more)

Rating: 9.5/10


When I wrote about the Origin of Species, Gaurish wrote that I will surely like Dawkins too, and I did indeed!

The main thought of this book is the importance of gene in evolution rather than the organism. Why? Because organisms die after certain time but genes are passed on if the organisms were succesful. I like how Dawkins calls these organisms like us, plants or insects or anything that carries DNA, “Survival machines”.

We are nothing more than a survival machines that was designed by the genes inside. We are just vehicles to help the genes to be passed on. If the genes are unsuccesful in designing good machine that will reproduce, they will die, but the important difference is that Darwin thought only about organisms whole, but here the main characters are strictly genes.

The book is really phenomenal, I love how there are lot of examples to various organisms and I have not been lost through whole story, and it really is a good story.

The reason why I did not give it full rating is that there could be more pictures while I understand that the edition I had was released in 1989.

In this book Dawkins also explains altruism and selfishness. As he says, altruism does not really exist, genes are always selfish and are trying to spread as much as possible. Your body can “know” that some one else has the same gene as you, then it is important for the gene to protect also the other person and this can look like altruism.[1]

I really recommend this one, right now I am reading The Blind Watchmaker again by Dawkins and as I write this The Extended Phenotype lies on my desk so I will continue with them.

Dragallur

PS: I decided to try to write post every other day so look for another one on Wednesday.

[1]This was quite simplified, read the book if you want to get the detail or wait for some post where I will explain it!

It has been one year

Hi,

(before reading play this song (I did not come up with the name of it, no offense))
today it has been one year since I started blogging. My first post ever was this one, I mentioned how I got here and so on. Now lot of things happened during this year so I just want to write a short recap of the year and thanks to all kinds of people.


Throughout the year I have written 176 posts, this one is 177th.

In March I wrote posts every other day. Already 4th post was in first of all series ever, it was about fundamental forces.

Ten days after I started the blog, I got real neat blog award. I have not been very lucky on awards so far (EDIT: except yesterday) so I am kind of proud of this one.

These times I was covering topics that back then were new to me though, right now I am sure that there are some mistakes and I would be able to expand each of them by few paragraphs. When you actually look at those posts they are not much organized and it is just a big chunk of text that usually got 5-7 views.

As another months approached it could seem that my enthusiasm dropped a lot, and it did. There was actually month (August if I remember correctly) when I had only 3 posts. Something happened in November and since then I started to bring posts almost every day, so most of them come from this time.

Kind of like boom was when I wrote post about Mercury. For a long time it has been a post with most views, right now it has 31 which is a very good for me.

As the wave of posts washed over I started to finish some of my series, maybe some present readers were there already.


Right now as I write daily, my stats are kind of higher. I am standing on 94 followers which is quite enough for me though I know some blogs that are month or two old and have hundreds :D.

For some reason, the post about the biggest known prime has got the most views, it is on 46 now.

Anyway I have got 2,570 views, 1,264 visitors and almost 1,000 likes.


Now for the interesting part.

First I would like to give thanks to people in the community.

Huge thanks belong to Abyssbrain, I think that there have been only few lonely posts that he have not read in whole year and while I saw lot of other bloggers come and go after few months, he is still here. Thank you.

Also thanks belong to Joseph from Rationalising the Universe. Who has helped a lot throughout the times here.

From my other fellow bloggers I thank: Chape, Ivy, Bodhi, Matilda’s Lab, Deanne, Hop on a Comet, mathsbyagirl, Space Opera, Mike M., Fijay, Eustat, Matthew W., Blair, Poemsandpoemese, Gabriel Tonello, mliae, abhijit, StarGuy, mathblogger, Invisiblegirlsdream, Siddharta and also to Grace in the Moment, for their blogs and for reading my posts while some of them do not blog anymore.


Now of course I want to give thanks to people in my life, so of course I will start with my mum, thanks mum, this blog would not exist without you.

Also I would thank to my siblings who indirectly changed this blog surely.

Also to my friends: ҆√©ma for his being here in the first place and chilling stuff out, M√≠Ň°a for her constructive criticism and also for being someone you can really learn from, Kikin for inventing t(T)ripolis and also with some new cool ideas which I would never even think about myself, Linda for learning me some life important stuff before it is too late, also tolerance in which I should¬†get¬†better, Radka for her whole new perspective on world which challenges my thoughts.

Also to whole other kind of people somehow involved in my life: Venca,¬†Honza, Domńća, Eva, ҆imek, KoŇĺich, Mrs. Grap and so many random and nonrandom people, surely I forgot somebody who should be listed here but that just happens so I will update the list.

Dragallur

 

Versatile blogger award

Hi,
It seems that I have been nominated after very long time for an award. This time it was by Abhijit from “informaticcoolstuff“, thanks for nominating me, as I said, it did not happen in long time so I am glad that I have got it now!


 

RULES:

1.  Display Award

2.  Thank the person who nominated you

3.  Share seven facts about yourself

4.  Nominate up to 15 other bloggers-

SEVEN FACTS ABOUT ME:

Seventeen is my favorite number and it is part of tripolis sequence.

My favorite colour is green and I think that everybody should have some gadget to measure colors according to RGB so we would not need to argue about it, especially with girls.

This is what I mean

My most favorite popular astronomer is Phil Plait

I listen to metal and epic music, that means Insomnium and Two Steps From Hell

I live in the town that has the largest pond in central Europe.

I play frisbee, that is the cool sport with flying disc.

Black holes were roughly the first topic in astronomy that I really was interested in.

MY NOMINATIONS:

Abyssbrain, right now it seems that he is having some problems with his page so I will link it later.

Joseph from Rationalising The Universe

BODHI

Through Ivy`s Eyes

Matilda’s Lab

Deanne’s World

Hop on a Comet

mathsbyagirl

The Traveling Space Opera

Fatherhood, Fails, and Football

Eustat

Matthew Wright

Blair (The Shameful Sheep)

Poemsandpoemes

Gabriel Tonello

As Abhijit said in his nomination, I would pick even more though the rules are 15 bloggers.

Thanks again!

Dragallur

 

Go, ultimate strategic game

Hi,
I bet that the name of the game is not read as “go (walk)” since it is from Japanese. Yesterday my brother linked me to article about a computer program that was for the first time able to beat the best Go player in the world.

Not this Go.


The name of the program is AlphaGo created by Google. There were four separate matched and four of them Alpha won. The one won by Mr. Lee lasted 5 hours!

In the game you have got an area 19×19. There are two players, white and black. Your goal is to surround the other player and wipe out his tokens. The player with biggest territory wins.

This game is from Japan and its history goes more than 3,000 years back.

{it is} something unearthly . . . If there are sentient beings on other planets, then they play Go.
– Emanuel Lasker, chess world champion

The game is pretty fun to play, though it may take a longer time to finish when playing on the standard 19×19 board. On this online site you can join for free to the playing community. There is huge rank system so when you are good, you can fight against strong players.

Dragallur

 

There is REAL blood in your hands

Hi,
so yeah, there is hopefully some blood in your hands. Maybe.

Or maybe not?

Today I was out for two hours and it was kinda cold. So when I got back to home my hands hurt a lot. Why?


Well you could say that there is blood in your hands, and well it would be true.

The reason for it is similar to why you need to go to toilet when your legs get cold. Body is trying to save some heat by keeping it close to other heat and also save the important parts of body (your organs). To do it, it must make all your veins and various tubes in limbs thinner. At the same time some of those liquids have to go somewhere, so they go up to your important body parts and eventually you also need to pee.

When you get back from outside, your body feels that there is much more heat so the tubes can be expanded again. This also triggers pain receptors. So rapid heating of your body causes the pain that you can feel in winter.

When you dring alcohol, the body thinks that it is warm around so the tubes are expanded even when it is freezing. Now the blood runs down to your limbs which are feeling pretty good but they lose heat very quickly since when you pull something on bigger area it cools faster. This may even kill you when it is very cold outside.

Dragallur