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Thread: The dumb questions thread

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    Skepticalbib: "You are beyond actual physics when you talk about cosmology..."

    Ok, thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rizdek View Post
    I may word this poorly, but this IS the dumb question thread.

    As I understand current cosmology, the universe we see around us expanded from an infinitely dense point some 13 billions years ago.

    {snip}
    The main problem is that if we go back far enough we'll eventually need a quantum mechanical theory of gravity. We don't currently have physics that can be reliably extrapolated to t=0. It may be easier to talk about t=0, so some scientists do, but if you pressed them on it they would have to admit that the physics breaks down.

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    Veteran Member James Brown's Avatar
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    Dumb question:

    (For US folks re: ACA) What does it mean when X number of states have rejected Medicaid?

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    Shadowyman: "The main problem is "

    Thanks.

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    They have rejected the *expansion* of Medicaid, which makes many more people eligible for state assistance.

    The usual reason given is that said expansion will eventually cause the State to run into budgetary difficulty, although that will be some years off at least, since the Federal government is picking up the great majority of the extra tab in the near term.

  6. Top | #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bilby View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by beero1000 View Post
    ...

    Finally, we get to the question: Is P = NP? ...
    Simple; P=NP if, (and only if) N=0.

    Where do I collect my Fields Medal?


    No, for N = 1.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bomb#20 View Post
    No. Before we ever found any, Darwin said we probably originated in Africa and advised fossil hunters to look there, because our nearest relatives are chimps and gorillas and they live in Africa. (Not a dumb question, by the way. It was highly controversial among anthropologists pretty much all the way until Piltdown Man was proven to be a hoax.)

    Suppose humans evolved elsewhere outside of Africa, but the environment remained well watered and fertile and destroyed any remains before they could become fossilized?
    Depending on the time frame you care about, that's kind of what happened -- the long transition from monkey to ape happened in Asia, and then some apes moved to Africa. That counts as human evolution too, no?
    Aren't there great apes in Indonesia? Orangutans?

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    Veteran Member credoconsolans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiploc View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by credoconsolans View Post
    Dumb question:

    Is the only reason we think humans originated in Africa is because we find remains there that date back millions of years? And the reason we still find those is because they were preserved because the area dried up and became arid?

    Suppose humans evolved elsewhere outside of Africa, but the environment remained well watered and fertile and destroyed any remains before they could become fossilized?
    I recommend the book Guns, Germs, and Steel. It's been too long since I read it, so I can't explain or even remember the answer to your question. But I do remember that it persuaded me that they know what they're talking about.

    Plus its a great read.
    OK, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith&Co. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by credoconsolans View Post
    And the reason we still find those is because they were preserved because the area dried up and became arid?
    You do know we find fossilized fish, right?
    On land. Do we find any in the sea that has remained water?

    Quote Originally Posted by beero1000 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by credoconsolans View Post
    Dumb question:

    Is the only reason we think humans originated in Africa is because we find remains there that date back millions of years? And the reason we still find those is because they were preserved because the area dried up and became arid?

    Suppose humans evolved elsewhere outside of Africa, but the environment remained well watered and fertile and destroyed any remains before they could become fossilized?
    Genetics. If you look at mitochondrial DNA, you see that the older DNA appears in populations in East Africa. There is also much greater genetic diversity in Africa, supporting the fact that humans originated there.

    Of course, it's possible that an earlier group moved to Africa and then died out completely elsewhere without leaving DNA or fossil evidence, but that's unlikely to the extreme.
    But it is likely.

    Perhaps populations genetically bottle-necked elsewhere due to disaster or disease, but not Africa, which would result in Africa remaining more genetically diverse.

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    Veteran Member James Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonatha View Post
    They have rejected the *expansion* of Medicaid, which makes many more people eligible for state assistance.

    The usual reason given is that said expansion will eventually cause the State to run into budgetary difficulty, although that will be some years off at least, since the Federal government is picking up the great majority of the extra tab in the near term.

    So as I understand it, Medicaid is Federal assistance for low-income folks who can't afford Medicare. With the implementation of ACA, why is the Federal Gov't needing to offer even more assistance, and why do the state's have a say?

  10. Top | #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by James Brown View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jonatha View Post
    They have rejected the *expansion* of Medicaid, which makes many more people eligible for state assistance.

    The usual reason given is that said expansion will eventually cause the State to run into budgetary difficulty, although that will be some years off at least, since the Federal government is picking up the great majority of the extra tab in the near term.

    So as I understand it, Medicaid is Federal assistance for low-income folks who can't afford Medicare. With the implementation of ACA, why is the Federal Gov't needing to offer even more assistance, and why do the state's have a say?
    Medicaid = poor people.
    Medicare = old people.

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