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Serendip's forums sometimes get longer than what can conveniently be accessed and displayed. They are, at the same time, in their entirety an important part of what Serendip has become at any given time (and, of course, particular contributions may well be of lasting significance). To try and balance needs for easy display and those of continuous and permanent record, only this year's forum comments are displayed on this page with earlier comments being preserved elsewhere. To go to the forum for prior years, click on the year below.

Year: - Current postings - 2000/2001 - 1998/1999 - 1997 -


Name: Paul Grobstein
Username: pgrobste@brynmawr.edu
Subject: Evolving
Date: Fri Oct 29 11:50:09 EDT 1999
Comments:

To all visitors:

Serendip was born in 1994, and developed forums in 1996. The forums have been and continue to be a place where everyone is invited to make comments, ask questions, and carry on conversations about anything and everything that comes to mind when exploring Serendip. As such, they have been and continue to be an essential part of Serendip's development. At the same time, any developing organism needs periodically to refresh itself. The past remains but is put in boxes to clear the mind for the next part of the future. So have we done, as of today, with Serendip's forums. All past material is still available, by clicking on highlighted years above to access forum archives. And we have, as of today, a blank slate for the next phase of Serendip's development. If you have been here in the past, you're already a part of what Serendip has become so far. Please leave your thoughts as part of the next phase of Serendip's life. And if you're new, please join in as well.


Name: anonymous
Username:
Subject: Systems of the body
Date: Sun Mar 19 19:39:56 EST 2000
Comments:
What are the names of the body systems that release waste??? Please help! =)
Name: corvidman
Username:
Subject: bio 103 forum discussion on science sc
Date: Thu Sep 7 10:06:51 EDT 2000
Comments:
Ayoung friend of mine currently enrolled in biology 103 suggested that i check out theforum. I did so, was impressed, and decided to post some additonal references and quotes as food for thought. Seems like a famous, provocative and somewhat enigmatic quote from Niels Bohr might stimulate further discussion. i'm uncertain of the exact quote but this is very close: "There are two kinds of truth, deep truth and shallow truth. The goal of science is to eliminate(?) deep truth." While trying (unsuccessfully) to find the exact quote, I stumbled on another by bohr that seems appropriate: "In our description of nature the purpose is not to disclose the real essence of phenomena, but to track down, so far as it is possible, relations between the manifold aspects of our experience." Physicist Dick Feynman also addressed this issue, in his uniquly straightforward, and delightfully entertaining style. Probably the best places to look would be certain essays in "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out", and "The Meaning of It All" (basically a transcript of three invited esays delivered here at the University of Washington in the early sixties.) Both are recent publications and both are vintage Feynman. All I can recall off the top of my head is Feynmans admonition that an essential element in doing science is to maintain "a healthy distrust in the opinion of experts." Lastly, I recall that philip Morrison (yet another physicist) eloquently addressed this issue in "Doubt," one of the episodes in his PBS video series, "The Ring of Truth." I expect that in some sense, Steve Weinstein may be correct--that somewhere out there is an objective reality of the way nature works. Problem is,since we must filter our observations of nature through human sensory and neurological machinery, confounded with thick layers of shifting cultural baggage, we are hopelessly unlikely to ever get it exactly right. So professor Grobstein's goal of getting it progressively less wrong is about the best we can aspire to. Sorry about the long paragraph--I am HTML challenged. Thanks forthe opportunity to contribute--what a terrific website this is!!
Name: anonymous
Username:
Subject:
Date: Sun Oct 1 17:14:24 EDT 2000
Comments:

Name: Trudell Smith
Username:
Subject: Evolution on other planets
Date: Sun Oct 1 17:21:39 EDT 2000
Comments:
Do any one believe that aliens abduct humans? It could be possible if their life forms are different from ours. If Earth had the devices and technology, I would abduct things I found on other planets. If I landed on Europa and saw "life", I will definitely bring it back to earth to show every one this new organism. I will also examine and study the differents of life forms on Earth.
Name: Sujatha Sebastian
Username: ssebasti@brynmawr.edu
Subject: Better than bacteria???
Date: Sun Oct 1 23:41:58 EDT 2000
Comments:
Last Friday's discussion was interesting in that it made us look at our value and importance on a large scale. In the universe's opinion or even in earth's opinion we have to question our worth. The question was posed "Are we better than bacteria?" Now I like everyone else in the class would like to be able to reply "yes, of course", but unfortunately if we want to provide a valid answer we cannot do so. In the earth's system we hold the same value as bacteria. As depressing as that may sound we must realize that it is because both bacteria and humans have managed to survive for as long as we have. Our equality leads us to question what determines "worth" and "value"? What are our criterion for determining importance? When we do we must realize that this cannot be based on a personal scale (what is most important to us), but rather a universal scale. When we succeed in doing so (if we can succeed in doing so) we will be one step closer in bringing order to life and its "clusters".
Name: Sujatha Sebstian
Username:
Subject: The Importance of Spaces
Date: Sun Oct 1 23:48:45 EDT 2000
Comments:
In the last class's discussion the subject of "spaces" was mentioned. It was determined that evolution makes sense of life by grouping organisms into clusters. Spaces between different groups were explained to be either life's experiments which did not work out (translation became extinct) OR spaces could be things that have not happened yet and organisms that have not yet come to be.. My question is how do we know if a space is a failure or something that has not happened yet? AND Is knowing the difference important?
Name: Srabonti Ali
Username: sali@brynmawr.edu
Subject:
Date: Thu Oct 5 21:31:29 EDT 2000
Comments:
this is in response to the person who asked whether anyone believes that aliens abduct humans...if there are ther life forms, which there very well may be, i think that instead of kidnapping us, they observe our ways and probably laugh at us. i know that if i was on another planet i would laugh at human beings.
Name: Navid Helmi
Username: biology@navidhelmi.com
Subject: Biology
Date: Thu Dec 28 07:31:29 EST 2000
Comments:
Send your comments about Biology to biology@navidhelmi.com
Name: Antony
Username: Ant_cool9@hotmail.com
Subject: Biolagy GCSE
Date: Tue Mar 6 10:02:42 EST 2001
Comments:
I have no idea what the hell any of that means but it all looks very impressive so i think i will use it for my Coursework. Cheers m8 Antony
Name: T
Username: onepoop4u@aol.com
Subject: reality
Date: Mon Jul 16 13:33:28 EDT 2001
Comments:
How much of what we believe is real is only real on a base of perception. And how much of science is based on what is percieved. I guess what i'm asking is does anyone else feel like we live on the "surface" of life clinging to pre-ordaned beliefs, Hoping we don't drown in unassemalated knowledge? P.S. I suck at spelling and the like so please don't write me to point this out, I'm quit aware of it :)
Name: anonymous
Username:
Subject: test
Date: Tue Jul 24 15:23:26 EDT 2001
Comments:
test
Name: Navid Helmi
Username: biology@navidhelmi.com
Subject: my principle:Universal Certainty Principle of Helmi
Date: Tue Aug 7 14:57:56 EDT 2001
Comments:
hi i have a universal principle,,do u wanna know about it? also i have 4 hypothises,,,i don`t want to say more here if u wanna learn and know more about it mail me at biology@navidhelmi.com i wanna make a web site ,,do u wanna help me? i need your helps in all aspects thanks
Name: Caitlin O'Keefe
Username: cokeefe@brynmawr.edu
Subject: 9-17-01
Date: Wed Sep 19 13:16:27 EDT 2001
Comments:
I like the idea of living organisms as improbably asseblies. Although we didn't discuss this in class, and maybe I am getting ahead of myself when I say this, I wonder what will happen if/when we start to clone humans. Are we then less improbable assemblies because there are more than one certain "kind" of person? Caitlin O'Keefe
Name: Joelle Webb
Username: jawebb@brynmawr.edu
Subject: Animal Classification
Date: Tue Sep 25 22:56:22 EDT 2001
Comments:
Taxonomy has always been a puzzling and yet intriguing topic for me. The validity and necessity of the process of classification in and of itself has already been questioned. The perplexing part of the Taxonomic system that still remains for me is the almost arbitrary means by which we group animals. Let us think about this logically for a second: we have a targeted set of rules for defining a species, the basis of our taxonomical system, but the other divisions and groupings have no such structure. When we were discussing the various animals on that website and the characteristics that define each group all of the criteria seemed unrelated to me. However, at this point I will refrain from criticizing the system any further for I can offer no alternate.
Name: Caitlin O'Keefe
Username: cokeefe@brynmawr.edu
Subject: class 9-28-01
Date: Mon Oct 1 08:33:21 EDT 2001
Comments:
I like the idea of evolution as a way of trying out new kinds of species. The idea that evolution is a way for living organisms to become less wrong is an interesting one. Since human beings have been in existance for such a short time, it makes me wonder how long we will be around on earth. There's hardly a way (although anything is possible) that people will die out anytime soon, but even a couple million years is so short in the comparison with some of the other organisms that have been around for billions of years. The concept of time relative to the age of the earth is mind-boggling, and i had really never bothered to think of it in this circumstance before. Caitlin O'Keefe
Name: charlotte ford
Username: cford@brynmawr.edu
Subject: genes
Date: Wed Oct 3 11:03:01 EDT 2001
Comments:
In researching for my web paper, I came across a pretty basic genetic theory that I'd never really digested fully--that every human life begins with a single cell. That means that each of us has inside of us itsy bitsy genetic templates that hold the future of the human race--generations and generations. I feel like I should take better care of myself.
Name: Navid Helmi
Username: biology@navidhelmi.com
Subject: universal certainty principle
Date: Sat Oct 13 13:25:42 EDT 2001
Comments:
Hi this is universal certainty principle,,go nad learn about it :http://certaintyprinciple.cjb.net of course if u like to....
Name: Caitlin O'Keefe
Username: cokeefe@brynmawr.edu
Subject: A thought on being wrong
Date: Mon Nov 19 18:26:48 EST 2001
Comments:
So that the human mind, therefore, might be freed from this presumption and come to a humble inquiry after truth, it was necessary that some things should be proposed to man by God that would completely surpass his intellect. ~St. Thomas Aquinas~ Perhaps this is why scientists can never be certain of their discoveries. If we always found out the answers, we would lose our humbleness as imperfect human beings. Caitlin O'Keefe
Name: chantelle
Username:
Subject: biology for a physics problem!
Date: Thu Dec 6 21:23:24 EST 2001
Comments:
When a student is running up the stairs, is all the energy that each student expended used solely to increase the gravitational potential energy of the student? please help this paper is due tomarrow! and please post it on here my e-mail address is down. thanx.


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