Ninety essay on science and its blessings years of Jim Crow

Mario essay on science and its blessings Livio, Nature, 15 February 2017

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To the ancients, soul was , that which animates, the living-, moving-, breathing-ness of a biological being. In this sense, not only animals but plants have souls (of different capacities appropriate to what they are). For many religions, by contrast, the soul is specifically incorporeal, perhaps immortal, and believed to be unique to human beings, who are responsible (to a point) for its condition. To modern science it is, if anything, the hard problem of consciousness, also commonly thought to be the province of just one species.

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If it is a bull, he will stay with his family until the age of ten or twelve, when his increasingly rough and suggestive play will cause him to be sent off. He may loosely join forces with a few other young males, or trail around after older ones he looks up to, but for the most part he will be independent from then on. Within the next few years he will start going into “musth,” a periodic state of excitation characterized by surging levels of testosterone, dribbling urine and copious secretions from his temporal glands, and extreme aggression responsive only to the presence of a bigger bull, who has an immediate dominance that the young male risks injury or death by failing to defer to. Although he reaches sexual maturity at a fairly young age, thanks to the competition he may not sire any children until he is close to thirty. (Ancient Indian poetry lauds bulls in musth for their amorous powers, even as keepers of Asian elephants have respected the phase as one highly dangerous to humans since time immemorial. Until 1976, it was widely believed in the scientific community that African elephants do not enter musth. This changed when researchers at Amboseli National Park in Kenya were dismayed to note an epidemic of “Green Penis Syndrome,” which they feared signaled some horrible venereal disease — until they realized it was nothing more nor less alarming than the very definition of a force of nature.)

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n 1974, Thomas Nagel famously took a stab at one of the great riddles of the universe: To some scientists and philosophers, he noted, this is an unanswerable question; it is not like to be a bat because (they believe) the bat does not have enough awareness to subjectively experience itself. Nagel, taking for granted that bats have some kind of experience, also determined that the question is unanswerable because however well we imagine what it would be like for to live as bats, the bat is so biologically foreign that its experience is beyond our mental grasp.

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To be found blameless is a pipe dream, for the demands on an active conscience are literally as endless as an active imagination’s ability to conjure them.

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Instituteof Paper Science and Technology Atlanta, Georgia IPST Technical Paper Series Number 641 Small-Scale Variations in CD Strips Observed Using Ultrasonic Velocity Measurements M.S. Hall and T.G. Jackson