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"I'll get old later"

... So what's the magic formula for staying young despite biological aging?

 

"Physical activity and the right diet are the most important ways of avoiding diseases typical of old age," says the doctor.

And: "Staying mobile, both physically and mentally, is the key."

... 

Another decisive factor in healthy aging are social contacts that need to be maintained.

"Loneliness is the worst disease of old age with bad consequences for body and soul," says Koch.

“Lonely one is paralyzed.” Living with an animal helps, on the other hand – just as she herself has only shared her home with her dog since the death of her partner three years ago.

And of course going for brisk walks with him every day – which keeps both of them fit.

MORE from Dr. Marianne Koch here: https://newsrnd.com/news/2022-05-17-"i-ll-get-old-later".SJfH2Rlw9.html

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Full moon in October: The wine moon is in the sign of the supply

The October full moon is also known as the wine moon.

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© Svorska/Imago

Full moon in October: The wine moon is in the sign of the supplyhttps://newsrnd.com/news/2022-10-04-full-moon-in-october--the-wine-moon-is-in-the-sign-of-the-supply.ByUR86Ffi.html

Full moon in October 2022: The wine moon is in the sign of supplies Created: 10/04/2022, 2:30 p.m By: Joana Lück During

October 9, 2022 is the next full moon.

 

According to the lunar calendar, on October 9th at 10:54 p.m. the moon will be exactly opposite the sun and we will see a full moon.

The full moon in October is also known as the wine moon because grapes – whether in the garden or on industrial slopes – are usually harvested in the tenth month of the year.

... 

Hunting in October also played a major role in supply.

That is why the October full moon is also known as the hunter's moon.

Like the September full moon, it also has the third nickname harvest moon....

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On 9/26/2022 at 2:21 AM, mina7601 said:

Well, I don't know my opinion about this, but that's a nice story really.

I guess I don't have a formulated opinion about a lot of things either. Back when I was 18, practically all classmates were getting their driver's license. Me? Didn't happen 'till 5 years later. I probably wouldn't own a car if I didn't have to drive to work. If me and brother's time when we're done with work wasn't as variable, we'd likely share one car.

My head feels empty a lot of time. People I see out there somehow seem to have this idea what to do with their life in general. So then put me in the formula, add the car, don't add driving to work. Where am I supposed to go? Just randomly drive around like in GTA? That'd be expensive hobby!

I have to say today was special. Traffic on the road to where I live was normal, just like in the good 'ol days! Seems like people have nothing better to do than move from one place to another all the time. It wasn't like this just few years back, at least where I live.

On 9/26/2022 at 5:05 PM, XPerceniol said:

Wow, 21.4 years was good, but sounds like it was lemon and could nickle and dime you had you kept it, very happy to know you have a safe car now.

Was quite a change, everything feels different. I almost felt like back in the beginning of driving school when I drove off. My thoughts were: "Why am I going so slow? Oh, I have to push the pedal further. The pedals are so soft. Wow, it's so quiet, I can hear myself think! What are all these kilometer numbers?" Few minutes later taking a turn at the gas station: "Is it just me or is the clicking sound the same as in brother's Astra?". Waiting for one of the pumps to get clear: "Huh, the engine just shut down on its own". The driver in front drives off and I push the clutch: "Oh, now it goes.".

Later outside of town: "OK, where's the RPM meter? Has to be somewhere, right? Guess I'll find it when I get home".

There were more thoughts, but I have to end it here to get some sleep now. I'm still recovering from mild cold I caught last Friday. Weather / climate's been really bipolar recently.

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Astronomy, Cosmology

- look too on page 52 of this thread to reread precedent posts about Astronomy, Cosmology theme; send a message to your friends...

 

The Big Bang Bust-Up - from IAI TV

HowTheLightGetsIn debates the origin of the universe

The-end-of-the-Big-Bang.jpeg

4th October 2022

by Alexis Papazoglou | Editor for IAI News, the online magazine of the Institute of Art and Ideas

 

Earlier this summer, an article by Eric Lerner put the dominant theory about the origin of the universe into question. On October 1st, at the HowTheLightGetsIn festival in London, Lerner took part in a live debate on “Cosmology and the Big Bust”, alongside theoretical physicist Julian Barbour and astrophysicist Claudia Maraston. Their exchanges shed light on the cracks of the theory concerning inflation, dark matter, and dark energy, as well as on the nature of scientific revolutions, and ultimately on why the Big Bang theory isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

 

In the beginning, there was chaos. At least that’s according to Hesiod’s Theogony, a poem about the creation of the cosmos thought to be articulated around the 8th century BC. Stories about the origin of the universe probably go further back than even that, but it’s safe to say that for at least three millennia humans have been positing hypotheses about how the world we see around us today came into existence. The Big Bang is the latest of these hypotheses, and while most physicists will be quick to protest that there is a huge difference between ancient myth and scientific theory, not everyone agrees.

 [SUGGESTED READING: The Big Bang didn't happen - by Eric J.Lerner] - look on page 52 of our topic, please...

There are those, like Sabine Hossenfelder, who think that physics will probably never be able to tell us how the universe came about and argue that we should think of the Big Bang theory as little more than another creation myth. And then there is Eric Lerner. The author of a recent article “The Big Bang Didn’t Happen” that went viral, Lerner articulated a challenge to the current scientific consensus in cosmology that caused quite a stir. On October 1st, at the HowTheLightGetsIn festival in London, Lerner took part in a debate with theoretical physicist Julian Barbour and astrophysicist Claudia Maraston, putting some challenges to the Big Bang theory to the test, in front of a live audience. Despite the explosiveness of the topic, the debate was civil, even if heated.

___

In Karl Popper’s terms, Lerner thinks the Big Bang theory has been falsified – it has made predictions, and observation has contradicted them – therefore, the theory needs to be rejected.

___

For Lerner, science is all about predictions, and according to him, the Big Bang theory has systematically failed to make accurate predictions. Instead, it has required constant adjustment and the postulating of auxiliary hypotheses like inflation – the theorised extremely rapid expansion of the universe in its very early moments – and mysterious (and yet unobserved) entities like dark matter and dark energy, in order to help the theory fit the increasingly recalcitrant observations. In Karl Popper’s terms, Lerner thinks the Big Bang theory has been falsified – it has made predictions, and observation has contradicted them – therefore, the theory needs to be rejected. The latest piece of evidence that Lerner believed contradicts the Big Bang Theory comes from the hauntingly beautiful images of the James Webb Telescope. What these images seem to show is that the most distant galaxies that we have now been able to witness are a lot smaller than we would expect to see under the Big Bang framework.

___

Maraston added that as an astrophysicist who studies the light spectrum of distant galaxies, she believes some data from the James Webb Telescope are not robust and were published prematurely.

___

Claudia Maraston, a professor of Astrophysics at the University of Portsmouth, defended the Big Bang theory by laying out the key observations that she sees as supporting it. First, there is the phenomenon of cosmic microwave background radiation, known as CMB. This is the weak electromagnetic radiation which seems to be observed, in whichever direction we look in the sky. Cosmologists have taken this to be a remnant of the actual Big Bang event, a fossil if you like of the creation of the universe. Second, Maraston argued, the Big Bang is very good at predicting the abundance of primordial elements in the universe, in particular Helium, which we find in the oldest stars. Finally, the Big Bang theory seems to be the best explanation for what Hubble first observed   – that the light from distant galaxies is shifted towards the red end of the spectrum. This redshift has been interpreted to be caused by the Doppler effect – what happens to electromagnetic waves when the objects emitting them are moving away from us – and in turn that has been interpreted as evidence that the universe is expanding.

 [SUGGESTED VIEWING: Bang Goes the Big Bang - With David Malone, John Ellis, Laura Mersini-Houghton, Roger Penrose]

Maraston added that as an astrophysicist who studies the light spectrum of distant galaxies, she believes the data from the James Webb Telescope suggesting that the most distant observed galaxies are not the size or age that we would expect them to be, under the Big Bang theory, are not robust and were published prematurely.

___

Barbour famously declared that he thought the idea of an expanding universe “stinks!”

___

Julian Barbour, best known for his idiosyncratic views on time, declared to be more on the side of Maraston than Lerner when it came to the Big Bang, but with one big caveat: Barbour doesn’t buy the idea that the universe is expanding. In fact, in an exchange with the astronomer Royal, Martin Rees, Barbour famously declared that he thought the idea of an expanding universe “stinks!” Martin Rees, by Barbour’s own telling, wasn’t impressed. The main reason for Barbour’s reluctance to accept the idea of an expanding universe is conceptual. Size is always relative: we can only tell whether an object is big or small, or in fact expanding, by reference to the fixed size of another object. But when it comes to the entire universe, there is no fixed object outside it we can compare it to, so the very idea of an expanding universe doesn’t seem to make sense. Instead, Barbour suggested, we should think of the universe as changing shape – that we would be able to detect as observers within the universe. Even if Barbour didn’t want to align himself with Lerner, it sounded like his view of a shape-changing universe is closer to Lerner’s suggestion that the universe is evolving, not expanding. Indeed, Barbour has recently put forward the idea that the universe is acquiring complexity and order with time. That sounds rather close to evolution.

___

“Everyone would be keen to abandon the theory if there’s a better alternative, nobody’s married to the Big Bang theory.”

___

Lerner returned to his original, but powerful point: a scientific theory is supposed to make predictions about observations we haven’t made yet, and if those predictions turn out to be wrong, then so much worse for the theory. Going back to the James Webb Telescope images, Lerner argued that the small size of the most distant galaxies the telescope was able to observe is one of those observations that should be enough to refute a central claim of the Big Bang Theory: that the universe is expanding. If the redshift effect we observe in distant galaxies was indeed due to the fact that those galaxies were rapidly receding from us, then, because of the redshift effect after a certain threshold, those distant galaxies would start to appear larger, rather than smaller, to the ones closer to us.

[]

Maraston didn’t seem to be moved by this – for her, data can always be put into question. Data can be wrong, or as she put it “model-dependent”, meaning they are already interpreted through the lens of a certain model and therefore can be interpreted differently. In particular, when it comes to the James Webb Telescope images, she argued that measuring the size of galaxies is fiendishly difficult, especially for ones that are so far away “what we are seeing might just be the tip of the iceberg” she said. But perhaps most importantly Maraston argued that, sure, there may be some observational anomalies here and there, and inflation is indeed postulated wihout there being independent evidence of it, but until there is a better alternative, scientists are going to stick to the Big Bang theory. “Everyone would be keen to abandon the theory if there’s a better alternative, nobody’s married to the Big Bang theory.”

___

Lerner’s complaint that cosmologists are constantly adjusting their theory to meet recalcitrant data isn’t that impactful, that’s what scientists often have done throughout history.

___

This dispute reminded me of the Karl Popper – Thomas Kuhn disagreement in the philosophy of science. Lerner seems to be playing the role of Popper here, who thought that scientific theories make clear predictions, and once those predictions are shown to be in conflict with observation, the theory needs to be rejected – it has been falsified. Kuhn, however, had an appreciation of the somewhat more complex nature of scientific practice and progress. Kuhn argued that most of the time, when scientists are working within a received paradigm, observations that can seem recalcitrant are explained away in various ways. Sometimes the data itself is questioned, sometimes the auxiliary hypotheses that are needed to make predictions are replaced with others (Popper also acknowledged this), and sometimes new entities or phenomena are postulated to make the theory fit the data. In other words, looking back at the history of science, observation by itself almost never “falsified” a scientific theory, and it certainly didn’t lead scientists to reject it. The process of scientific revolutions, of moving from one scientific theory to the next, is a lot more complicated. So according to this approach, Lerner’s complaint that cosmologists are constantly adjusting their theory to meet recalcitrant data isn’t that impactful, that’s what scientists often have done throughout history.

 

Kuhn however was also keenly aware that these “excuses” that scientists make for their pet theory, the dominant paradigm of each era, can go too far. The best example of this is the attempt of the ancient astronomer Ptolemy to hold on to the Aristotelian model of the solar system that had Earth at its centre and the rest of the planets, as well as the Sun, revolving around it, despite the data. Even as a number of observations were piling up that were in conflict with the Aristotelian model’s predictions, astronomers didn’t reject it. Instead, they started adjusting it, the most egregious of those adjustments being the postulated epicycles,movements the planets were supposed to be undergoing that would explain why sometimes they appeared to be moving backwards, rather than forwards, in the night sky. What eventually led to the shift to the Copernican model was not new observations, but a collective disillusionment with Ptolemy’s model and the promise that the new theory could overcome some of its problems.

 [SUGGESTED READING: Time is the increase of order, not disorder - by Julian Barbour]

When I listen to Lerner’s complaints about cosmologists postulating the existence of dark matter, dark energy, and inflation, with little to no independent empirical evidence, just because they make the Big Bang theory cohere with observation, I hear echoes of Ptolemy postulating epicycles to save the geocentric model. But it’s hard to tell from our current vantage point whether that’s just part of the normal working of science or evidence that the Big Bang paradigm has run its course and that a new paradigm is around the corner.

 

The Big Bang theory was itself the result of a scientific revolution, overthrowing the previous paradigm of the Steady State model, which claimed that the universe had no beginning, will have no end, and that matter was continuously created, forming new stars and galaxies. Perhaps what Lerner is pointing to is the beginning of the end of that Big Bang revolution. Either way, Kuhn was right about the fact that it takes a lot more than pointing to recalcitrant data for scientists to reject a dominant theory: a new, more promising alternative has to be available, and that is yet to be found.

 

Here: https://iai.tv/articles/the-big-bang-bust-up-auid-2253

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VIDEO: Should we care for ants?

Exploring the boundaries of consideration

25th September 2022

We think we should be concerned for the well being of farm animals and those used in experiments. But where should we draw the line? Mosquitoes? Plants? Rivers? Join philosopher and bestselling author Peter Godfrey-Smith as he argues we should draw new limits for our moral consideration.

The Speaker

Peter Godfrey-Smith is professor in the School of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney. His main research interests are in the philosophy of biology and the philosophy of mind.

He is the author of numerous highly-acclaimed, including 'Other Minds: The Octopus, The Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness.'

Here: https://iai.tv/video/should-we-care-for-ants-peter-godfrey-smith

Edited by msfntor
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Should I kill spiders in my home? An entomologist explains why not to

by Matt Bertone

 

I know it may be hard to convince you, but let me try: Don’t kill the next spider you see in your home.

Why? Because spiders are an important part of nature and our indoor ecosystem – as well as being fellow organisms in their own right.

People like to think of their dwellings as safely insulated from the outside world, but many types of spiders can be found inside. Some are accidentally trapped, while others are short-term visitors. Some species even enjoy the great indoors, where they happily live out their lives and make more spiders. These arachnids are usually secretive, and almost all you meet are neither aggressive nor dangerous. And they may be providing services like eating pests – some even eat other spiders.

A cobweb spider dispatches some prey that got snagged in its web. Matt Bertone, CC BY-ND

My colleagues and I conducted a visual survey of 50 North Carolina homes to inventory just which arthropods live under our roofs. Every single house we visited was home to spiders. The most common species we encountered were cobweb spiders and cellar spiders.

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A cellar spider, sometimes called daddy longlegs (not to be confused with a harvestman). Matt Bertone, CC BY-ND

 

Both build webs where they lie in wait for prey to get caught. Cellar spiders sometimes leave their webs to hunt other spiders on their turf, mimicking prey to catch their cousins for dinner.

Although they are generalist predators, apt to eat anything they can catch, spiders regularly capture nuisance pests and even disease-carrying insects – for example, mosquitoes. There’s even a species of jumping spider that prefers to eat blood-filled mosquitoes in African homes. So killing a spider doesn’t just cost the arachnid its life, it may take an important predator out of your home.

It’s natural to fear spiders. They have lots of legs and almost all are venomous – though the majority of species have venom too weak to cause issues in humans, if their fangs can pierce our skin at all. Even entomologists themselves can fall prey to arachnophobia. I know a few spider researchers who overcame their fear by observing and working with these fascinating creatures. If they can do it, so can you!

An arachnologist’s story of growing up terrified of spiders but ultimately becoming fascinated by them.

Spiders are not out to get you and actually prefer to avoid humans; we are much more dangerous to them than vice versa. Bites from spiders are extremely rare. Although there are a few medically important species like widow spiders and recluses, even their bites are uncommon and rarely cause serious issues.

If you truly can’t stand that spider in your house, apartment, garage, or wherever, instead of smashing it, try to capture it and release it outside. It’ll find somewhere else to go, and both parties will be happier with the outcome.

But if you can stomach it, it’s OK to have spiders in your home. In fact, it’s normal. And frankly, even if you don’t see them, they’ll still be there. So consider a live-and-let-live approach to the next spider you encounter.

 

Here: https://theconversation.com/should-i-kill-spiders-in-my-home-an-entomologist-explains-why-not-to-95912

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Termite behaviors, personalities – and souls?

by Scott Turner

 

In Afrikaans, they are called rysmiere, literally “rice ants,” although their name is more commonly rendered into English as “white ants.” They are not ants, though; they’re not even closely related to the ants. In fact, their nearest insect relatives are cockroaches: they are termites.

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Termites drinking. Scott Turner, Author provided

 

For nearly 20 years, I have been studying the termites of southern Africa. I focus on a particular group of them that builds large above-ground mounds, which are a common sight in the savannas of southern Africa. They are grazers, collectively consuming more grass and bark than all the zebra, gazelles, kudus and giraffes that tourists pay thousands of dollars to come to Africa and photograph.

They are also soil builders. Each colony cycles roughly a quarter-ton of soil annually up through its underground nest and mound, enriching it as it passes through the underground colony – and the multitude of termite intestines that live there. The mounds are like slow-motion “nutrient fountains” that spread their bounty over the sandy soil as wind and rain erode them. Indeed, termites are one of the main reasons why arid savannas are lush grasslands, despite the paucity of water.

The mound-building termites are also famous for supposedly “air-conditioning” their nests, which are located underground about a meter below the mound. The thought was that the mound was constructed to harness the nest’s waste heat production (about 100 watts) to power a circulation of air between the nest and mound. In this way, the circulating air supposedly exported excess heat and moisture from the nest, keeping it relatively cool and dry: air-conditioned, in a sense. ...

Read more: https://theconversation.com/scientist-at-work-observing-termite-behaviors-personalities-and-souls-46014

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Suckers for learning: why OCTOPUSES are so intelligent

92a0f4aaf1ddd96397612b2046658b59.jpgPinterest

Our last common ancestor with the octopus existed more than 500 million years ago. So why is it that they seem to show such peculiar similarities with humans, while at the same time appearing so alien? Perhaps because despite their tentacles covered with suckers and their lack of bones, their eyes, brains and even their curiosity remind us our own thirst for knowledge.

In ethology, the study of behaviour, we explore this intelligence, which we classify as individual “cognitive abilities”. These are the mechanisms through which information from the environment is perceived, processed, transformed, remembered and used to take decisions and act.

From a behavioural point of view, the flexibility with which an animal can adapt itself and adjust its behaviour to novel situations is a good indicator of its cognitive abilities. Numerous studies indicate the octopuses possess great flexibility in their behaviours, whether they express them in their natural environment or inside a tank in a laboratory.

Armed and dangerous

So what makes octopuses so smart?

Let’s focus first on their defence mechanisms. Faced with multiple predators – including fish, birds and whales – octopuses are masters of camouflage. They can imitate their environment by modifying the colour and even the texture of their skin.

Without a shell, octopuses are vulnerable, and always try to remain hidden in a shelter such as a cavity or the space beneath a rock. Some species maintain their shelter by removing sand and adding pebbles and shells. Some prefer to wrap themselves in shells and pebbles, while others transport their shelter in their arms. This is the case for the coconut octopus, which, true to its name, has been observed carrying coconut shells around to hide within in case of danger.

Octopuses are also formidable predators themselves, and their attack mechanisms are suited to the wide variety of prey they consume, including seashells, crustaceans, fish and even other cephalopods. They can use their vision and camouflage skills to hunt, and their arms to explore, touch and taste their environment to seize every bit of food within reach.

The octopus is a thoughtful hunter. It can cooperate with other species such as groupers to hunt hidden prey. It can learn to avoid crabs bearing poisonous anemones or find a way to cautiously attack them while avoiding being stung.

Octopuses use different techniques to consume seashells and molluscs, either pulling apart the shell by force and placing a small stone inside to keep it open, or drilling into the shell to inject a paralysing toxin which will make the prey open up. This toxin is injected into a very precise muscle under the shell, and octopuses learn and remember the drilling site of each seashell they consume.

Boneless, not brainless

We can test the cognitive abilities of octopuses in the lab. In our EthoS laboratory, we are currently working on the memory and future planning abilities of the common octopus. They are complex animals to study, because of their astonishing abilities.

Their incredible strength allows them to easily destroy our lab tools: be careful with underwater cameras, they can open the waterproof box to drown them! And because octopuses are boneless, they can easily escape their tanks through the smallest of openings. They are also extremely curious and will spend their time catching hands, nets or any other object introduced to their tank. From there, it is up to them to decide when to release their catch.

The opening of jars, while impressive and often used to illustrate octopus intelligence, is not their most remarkable ability. This is mostly a matter of dexterity and gripping, and octopuses are quite slow when executing this task: even when over-trained, an octopus always takes more than a minute to open a jar. A better example of their impressive intelligence is their ability to manipulate an L-shaped object so it can pass through a small square opening in a wall.

Octopuses also excel in discriminative learning: confronted with two objects, they learn to attack one of them in exchange for a reward, basing their choice on characteristics such as colour, shape, texture or taste, and they can retain this information for several months. They can also generalise, a complex thought process in which they need to spontaneously apply a previously learned rule to new objects. For example, octopuses who have previously learnt to attack a real ball can go on to attack a virtual ball on a screen.

Octopuses can also use conditional discrimination, that is, they can modify their choice depending on the context. For example, they can learn to attack an object only in the presence of bubbles. They can also use spatial learning, and find an hidden shelter by remembering its position, or use visual cues to know how to orient their arm inside an opaque T-shaped apparatus.

Last but not least, octopuses can learn by watching other octopuses carry out tasks, such as choosing one specific object over another. This is surprising, because they are mainly solitary creatures.

Grade: sea minus

Octopuses meet every criteria for the definition of intelligence: they show a great flexibility in obtaining information (using several senses and learning socially), in processing it (through discriminative and conditional learning), in storing it (through long-term memory) and in applying it toward both predators and prey.

Despite their obvious abilities, octopuses are oddly erratic in their responses, especially in visual discrimination tasks, in which they carry out the correct response around 80% of the time, while other animals succeed almost perfectly.

And do not be mistaken: octopuses may be clever, but in the classroom of cephalopods they would be the bright but unruly pupil, and the cuttlefish would be top of the class.

The humble cuttlefish is less familiar, but is the subject of numerous research projects worldwide. Less disruptive than octopuses, they possess exceptional learning abilities, can pick up complex rules in no time and apply them perfectly.

 

Here, with VIDEO: https://theconversation.com/suckers-for-learning-why-octopuses-are-so-intelligent-162122

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Why CUTTLEFISH Are Smarter Than We Thought

by James DOUBEK

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A cuttlefish swims in an aquarium at the Scientific Center of Kuwait in 2016. Cuttlefish showed impressive self-control in an adaptation of the classic "marshmallow test." Yasser Al-Zayyat/AFP via Getty Images

 

By being able to wait for better food, cuttlefish — the squishy sea creatures similar to octopuses and squids — showed self-control that's linked to the higher intelligence of primates.

It was part of an experiment by Alex Schnell from the University of Cambridge and colleagues.

"What surprised me the most was that the level of self-control shown by our cuttlefish was quite advanced," she tells Lulu Garcia-Navarro on Weekend Edition.

The experiment was essentially a take on the classic "marshmallow" experiment from the 1960s. In that experiment, young children were presented with one marshmallow and told that if they can resist eating it, unsupervised, for several minutes, they will get two marshmallows. But if they eat it that's all they get.

The conventional wisdom has been that children who are able to delay gratification do better on tests and are more successful later in life. (There are of course many caveats when talking about the human experiments.)

 

To adapt the experiment for cuttlefish, the researchers first figured out the cuttlefish's favorite food: live grass shrimp; and their second-favorite food: a piece of king prawn. Instead of choosing one or two marshmallows, the cuttlefish had to choose either their favorite food or second-favorite food.

"Each of the food items were placed in clear chambers within their tank," Schnell says. "One chamber would open immediately, whereas the other chamber would only open after a delay."

It "essentially tested whether they could resist the temptation of their second preference food item and wait for their preferred food item."

The cuttlefish learned to wait.

"Animals like rats, chickens and pigeons, they find it difficult to resist temptation and have relatively lower levels of self-control, only waiting for several seconds," Schnell says. "Whereas animals such as chimpanzees, crows and parrots, they show more advanced self-control and they can wait up to several minutes. And the cuttlefish in our study waited up to between 50 to 130 seconds."

Animals that are able to exert self-control in this way have advantages. For example, animals can hide food to eat later, but they have to resist the urge to eat now.

The researchers say the experiment is the first evidence so far of this type of cognitive ability in an invertebrate.

In cuttlefish, Schnell thinks the delayed gratification relates to their lifestyle. They are masters of camouflage; they are able to blend into their environment and can stay perfectly still for long periods of time to avoid predators.

Then they forage for food in brief outings. "Individuals who wait for better-quality prey could forage more efficiently at the same time as limiting their exposure to predators," Schnell writes.

But to take things a step further, the researchers did a second experiment. They put colored markers into the tank and taught the cuttlefish to associate a certain color marker with food, by dropping food when the cuttlefish went to the marker. Then they swapped the colors.

The second experiment was to test the animals' "learning performance." The cuttlefish that were quicker to learn to associate and reassociate the markers with food were considered better learners.

They found the cuttlefish that were able to delay gratification the most also happened to be the ones that were better at learning. It's the "first demonstration of a link between self-control and learning performance outside of the primate lineage," Schnell writes.

Finding these similarities between cuttlefish and primates "is an important piece of the evolutionary puzzle," she adds.

Hence, the squishy cuttlefish is leading scientists a step closer to understanding more about the origins of intelligence.

 

Here: https://www.npr.org/2021/03/07/974465853/why-cuttlefish-are-smarter-than-we-thought

 

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INFINITY: the question cosmology can't answer

The mind-boggling mystery of infinity

22-09-26.infinity2.ata.jpg

23rd September 2022

by Peter Cameron | Award-winning Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at Queen Mary, University of London, Cameron has an Erdös number of 1.

 

Infinity is back. Or rather, it never (ever, ever…) went away. While mathematicians have a good sense of the infinite as a concept, cosmologists and physicists are finding it much more difficult to make sense of the infinite in nature, writes Peter Cameron. 

Each of us has to face a moment, often fairly early in our life, when we realize that a loved one, formerly a fixture in our life, was not infinite, but has left us, and that someday we too will have to leave this place. 

This experience, probably as much as the experience of looking at the stars and wondering how far they go on, shapes our views of infinity. And we urgently want answers to our questions. This has been so since the time, two and a half millennia ago, when Malunkyaputta put his doubts to the Buddha and demanded answers: among them he wanted to know if the world is finite or infinite, and if it is eternal or not. 

Recently we have heard again John Donne's words promising us that eternity consists of       

"no noise nor silence, but one equal music;
no ends or beginnings, but one equal eternity."

Hard to imagine, and surely one equal music would soon become intolerable!

There are many approaches to infinity through the twin pillars of science and religion, but I will just restrict my attention here to the views of mathematicians and physicists.

Aristotle was one of the most influential Greek philosophers. He believed that we could consider "potential infinity" (we can count objects without knowing how many more are coming) but that a "completed infinity" is taboo. For mathematicians, infinity was off-limits for two millennia after Aristotle's ban. Galileo tried to tackle the problem, noting that an infinite set could be matched up with a part of itself, but in the end drew back. It was left to Cantor in the nineteenth century to show us the way to think about infinity, which is accepted by most mathematicians now. There are infinitely many counting numbers; any number you write down is a negligible step along the way to infinity. So Cantor's idea was to imagine we have a package containing all these numbers; put a label on it saying "The natural numbers", and treat the package as a single entity. If you want to study individual numbers, you can break open the package and take them out to look at them.  Now you can take any collection of these packages, and bundle them up to form another single entity. Thus, set theory is born. Cantor investigated ways of measuring these sets, and today set theory is the commonest foundation for mathematics, though other foundations have been proposed. 

___

If you toss a coin 100 times, it is not impossible (just very unlikely) that it will come down tails each time. But, if you could imagine tossing a coin infinitely often, then the chance of not getting heads and tails equally often is zero

___

One of Cantor's discoveries is that there is no largest infinite set: given any set you can always find a larger one. The smallest infinite set is the set of natural numbers. What comes next is a puzzle which can't be resolved at present. It may be the real (decimal) numbers, or maybe not. Our current foundations are not strong enough, and building larger telescopes will not help with this question. Perhaps in the future we will adopt new foundations for mathematics which will resolve the question. But for now, since mathematics is a mental construction, we can decide whether the universe we are playing in satisfies the "continuum hypothesis" or not. 

These questions keep set theorists awake at night; but most mathematicians work near the bottom of this dizzying hierarchy, with small infinities. For example, Euclid proved that the prime numbers "go on for ever". (Aristotle would say, "Whatever prime you find, I can find a larger one"; Cantor would simply say "The set of prime numbers is infinite." Mathematicians (including this year's Fields Medallist James Maynard from Oxford) seem to be closing in on the Twin Primes Conjecture. Twin primes are pairs of prime numbers, such as 3 and 5, or 71 and 73, differing by just 2; the conjecture, unproved as yet, asserts that there are infinitely many of them. But these are the infinities of the natural numbers, the smallest infinity.

[SUGGESTED READING: Physics alone can't answer the big questions - by SabineHossenfelder]

While Kronecker (a fierce opponent of Cantor's ideas) thought in the nineteenth century that "God created the natural numbers; the rest is the work of man", we can now build the natural numbers using the tools of set theory, starting from nothing (more precisely the empty set).

Mathematicians know, however, that there is a huge gap between the finite and the infinite. If you toss a coin 100 times, it is not impossible (just very unlikely) that it will come down tails each time. But, if you could imagine tossing a coin infinitely often, then the chance of not getting heads and tails equally often is zero. Of course, you could never actually perform this experiment; but mathematics is a conceptual science, and we are happy to accept this statement on the basis of a rigorous proof.

Infinity in physics and cosmology has not been resolved so satisfactorily. The two great twentieth-century theories of physics, general relativity (the theory of the very large) and quantum mechanics (the theory of the very small) have resisted attempts to unite them. The one thing most physicists can agree on is that the universe came into being a finite time ago (about 13.7 billion years) -- large, but not infinite. 

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They deny that the infinitely small can exist in the universe, but prescribe a minimum possible scale, essentially the so-called Planck scale

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The James Webb Space Telescope has just begun showing us unprecedented details in the universe. As well as nearby objects, it sees the furthest objects ever observed. Because light travels at a finite speed, these are also the oldest objects observed, having been formed close to the beginning of the Universe. The finite speed of light also puts limits on what we can see; if an object is so far away that its light could not reach us if it travelled for the whole age of the universe, then we are unaware of its existence. So Malunkyaputta's question about whether the universe is finite or infinite is moot. But is it eternal or not? That is a real question, and is so far undecided.

Attempts to reconcile relativity and quantum theory have been made. The ones currently most promising adopt a very radical attitude to infinity. They deny that the infinitely small can exist in the universe, but prescribe a minimum possible scale, essentially the so-called Planck scale. ...

 

Read more: https://iai.tv/articles/how-infinity-threatens-cosmology-peter-cameron-auid-2246

 

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2 hours ago, msfntor said:

Recently we have heard again John Donne's words promising us that eternity consists of       

"no noise nor silence, but one equal music;
no ends or beginnings, but one equal eternity."

I recently experienced a trauma in one of my ears...then this is only a few days old: one equal music is heard in this ear, but in fact it comes directly from the brain. One equal music without beginning or end, infinite as it seems, always the same melody, the same choirs... Some times a day, in the night more rarely. I think it's the sign for me of the eternity approaching... yes every day we all approach one equal eternity.

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John Donne > article on POETRY FOUNDATIONhttps://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/john-donne

 

"One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.”

 John Donne > Quotes

Here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/77318.John_Donne

 

“Be thine own palace, or the world's thy jail.” 

“No man is an island, entire of itself.” 

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main."

 “No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face."

“I am two fools, I know,
For loving, and for saying so.” 

“Come live with me, and be my love,
And we will some new pleasures prove
Of golden sands, and crystal brooks,
With silken lines, and silver hooks.” 

“And to 'scape stormy days, I choose an everlasting night.”

“My face in thine eye, thine in mine appeares, 
And true plaine hearts doe in the faces rest, 
Where can we finde two better hemispheares 
Without sharpe North, without declining West? 
What ever dyes, was not mixt equally; 
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I 
Love so alike, that none doe slacken, none can die.” 

“Death is an ascension to a better library. ” 

“Death Be Not Proud

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee 
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those, whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
...

One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.” 

... ...

Edited by msfntor
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