Daniel Beringer

Teller, Academy Bank
Aurora, CO, United States

About Daniel

Bio

I was for a long time the source of all my troubles. It was only through rigorous and unrelenting examination of myself that I was able to improve myself. I now take the lessons learned and test their application outside of myself. I engage in rigorous and unrelenting examination of the world.

Languages

English

An idea worth spreading

Given the evidence of our global culture such as global recession, global energy crisis, global environmental problems, our only hope for survival is to generate and maintain peaceful relations between nations. The trials of space exploration are quickly surpassing the abilities of any individual nation to overcome. International cooperation has been and will continue to be a vital aspect of this exploration. Space exploration has been one of the strongest forces encouraging peaceful international relations. During the height of the cold war and shortly after the Cuban missile crisis America and Russia adopted a set of principles regarding peaceful space exploration, one of which was that astronauts were "envoys of Mankind". From the space race came the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, which led to the ISS. The ISS is the largest peaceful cooperative endeavor ever undertaken. It is absolutely vital that we continue to explore space in order to overcome the challenges of a global culture.

I'm passionate about

People. Human civilization and all of history. I wish to learn the story of Us. I wish to understand who I am and how our world came to be the way that it is. I do this to help build a better future.

Talk to me about

History, science, philosophy, the philosophy of science, globalization and Human culture. I enjoy music, good movies and working with my hands. Stargate: SG-1 is awesome.

People don't know I'm good at

I like to believe that everyone knows what I am good at because they know that I am good at everything. Unfortunately I know that this is not the case.

My TED story

My story? Late night internet wandering led me to TED.com. Now I'm hooked. The Internet: Gateway Drug To Knowledge

Comments & conversations

102978
Daniel Beringer
Posted about 3 years ago
Black Holes: Does Information Survive?
We should get to have some fun too! To start, here are my thoughts. If by information you mean a recognized state of a particle(s), then no. Once matter or energy enters the black hole, it has effectively been destroyed. Note the effectively. Black holes dissipate, very very slowly. And thus nothing gets destroyed, just held onto for a little while. So if by information you mean the amount of energy that went into the black hole, then yes, that is preserved. But once released, that energy is in a vastly different form then when it entered. Furthermore, as the black holes evaporate quite slowly, something like 1*10^100 years, that energy will not be fully released until long after life ceases to exist. So if by information you mean a useful and controllable state of matter or energy that can be used to indicate an abstract idea or refer to some specific datum through our subjective understanding of that state, then no. Black holes are quite effective information obliterators.
102978
Daniel Beringer
Posted about 3 years ago
e=mc^2
You've kinda got it right. Mass does effect time, in that the more mass there is, the slower time moves relative to someone in a weaker gravitational field. Also, the faster one goes, the slower time moves relative to a stationary point. However, matter does not lose gravity, at least not as a general thing. However, scientists at CERN's LHC and other places are trying to find the Higgs Boson, which will hopefully illuminate some of the mysteries of mass and gravity. But it appears that time is an intrinsic aspect of space itself, and as mass distorts space, so mass distorts time. But, as far as we can tell, time is not a thing to be created or destroyed. Where there is space there is time.
102978
Daniel Beringer
Posted over 3 years ago
The real evolution happened to our awareness not our bodies
I realized that I posted my last reply to you Pekka, but I meant Jonathan Lynch. I don't know what I was thinking! I was about to edit, then I figured it's be easier just add another reply. Also, I would like to reply to your first paragraph. I'll say from the outset that I don't have any concrete ideas about that, though I do have a few hazy ones. I think that in other animals the difference between genotype/phenotype is much less pronounced, and thus natural selection will winnow through the genes more than actions. But Humans, being self aware, and in a much safer environment, do not experience that same pressure. That yes, natural selection in Humans may prove to be geared more towards choosing behavior than genes. Thus, how a person thinks will become much more important than their ability to produce insulin, or decaying bones, much less hair color or being double jointed. But what change in society could produce such a nebulous pressure? Fire, language, agriculture, the written word, all would have their effect. But none of these alone would have been enough, I don't think. Instead, it seems that the period from the renaissance to the industrial revolution would be the culmination of this process. Since then we have made enough change to our average way of life, and are continuing to change and expand (geographically) that change, that we are truly able to say a person thoughts are more important for their success and genetic dispersal than hereditary ailments or advantages.
102978
Daniel Beringer
Posted over 3 years ago
The real evolution happened to our awareness not our bodies
Hi Pekka, I get the concept, I just don't think that there is enough regular mutations in the human populace to say that there is a different group of people. There is variation yes, but there is no select group of people. Our genes have not had enough time, and Humanity was far too splintered, to have made enough changes to noticeably effect an individuals mental capabilities. Plus, our genes are not the only factor effecting the development of a persons brain. We can learn, we can understand, we can evaluate and choose. We can change ourselves, and it is because of our brain that we are able to do that. Yes, our brains are built off our genes and everyone's genetic code is different. But the genetic code is neither different enough, nor are those differences regular enough. Furthermore, the development of our brain and our experiences in life have a much more drastic effect on a person's outlook and abilities than their genes. We are not encoded liberal, or narcissistic, or republican. We are not our genes, we are not even our brain. We are the decisions we make, the actions we take, and the words that we speak. Our genes are a part of shaping us. But we are so much more than that. Our abilities are shaped much more strongly from environmental and internal factors than by our genes. Thinking outside the box is evidence of that. Doing so allows a person to see things from a different perspective. This often brings on insights that one would not normally have. And those insights can change how a person thinks. Sometimes those insights can allow a person to do things they previously thought impossible. The new, "evolved" Human came about because of a conscious decision, not any particular genetic predisposition.
102978
Daniel Beringer
Posted over 3 years ago
What are the limits of science? When does science become useless for answering our questions? When do other fields become necessary?
Hi Antonio, You're right. Science does have limits. But those limits are mostly brought about by our own limits; the scientific method works just as well as people let it work. Or as well as we can observe. That's why Newtons Universal Theory is still correct, within the limits of his ability to observe the world. Newtons Gravity is subsumed into Relativity, being fully in agreement up until that limit. The cutting edge of science is always pushing the limits, asking question about things that haven't been seen, ideas that can't yet be tested. Science questions what is not perceived all the time. Relativity did just that, with many years passing before validating observations and experiments were made. The limits of our mental abilities does limit how much we can know at any given time, but it is not limiting enough to prevent progress. We can consistently increase our knowledge and understanding of the natural world. We do this by understanding that at any time, any theory, any deeply held belief, can be proven wrong. Science accepts that it will never attain perfect knowledge. There is no eternal conclusion. Studies are finite; the question is eternal. Understanding that being wrong is ok, indeed even exciting, allows science to use mistakes and false hypothesis to come closer to the truth. An idea without data is not worth much. An idea that cannot be tested isn't worth much either. So a scientist will form a hypothesis that can be tested, and runs the test, knowing full well that they may be dead wrong about their assumptions. But by analyzing the data, by understanding what did happen during the test, the scientist can formulate a more accurate hypothesis to be tested next. A scientist is excited by good data, a scientist is devoted to uncovering the truth. And the scientist finds great beauty in the truth, in the world as it is. To a scientist, reality is the most wondrous thing possible. http://xkcd.com/877/
102978
Daniel Beringer
Posted over 3 years ago
The real evolution happened to our awareness not our bodies
To Pekka, The title of the paper nowhere says the formation of life. The reults have implications for theories about the formation of life, but was not designed to create life. Only amino acids from simpler elements in an early Earth approximation. Entering in the search term formation of life with the author as sagan, so long as the search is in google scholar, will yield the work done by sagan building on that experiment. The reason this experiment was important was because it showed that the chemicals of life could have been produced naturally. But as you pointed out, chemicals are not life. Unless that chemical, that molecule, can take in energy from it's environment to grow and reproduce. At which point the molecule becomes self sustaining, and life is born. The more efficient ones will eventually come to dominate, bringing on competition for resources, producing some molecules, or probably colonies of molecules, which feed on available resources and others which feed on those colonies. Those better at defending themselves or bypassing another's defenses will eventually come to dominance. Over time those colonies would specialize, with some parts forming an outer layer, some processing nutrients, another housing and copying the genetic code, etc, and that's a one celled organism. What's wrong with maybe? If you bet, maybe you'll win or maybe you'll lose, that doesn't mean Las Vegas doesn't exist. As for your second to last paragraph, it is in direct contradiction with the paragraph above it. I didn't claim that lateral gene transfers indicate all life sprang from one organism. I was saying that lateral genes transfers would have aided the first stages of life, pre-cellular days. It is highly evident that something must be going on, and while we may not know the specifics, that doesn't mean that evolution is false. And the tree looks well brachiated to me, with few transfers outside of one celled organisms.
102978
Daniel Beringer
Posted over 3 years ago
Hi Chee, The current scientific understanding of life does not depend on the chemical foundations of that life. If there is a self regulating group of chemicals that takes in energy and chemicals from it's environment, and process them to grow and reproduce, then those chemicals, whatever they are, are alive. We have reason to believe that carbon will likely be used due to the prevalence of that compound. However, we only know of one (now two) kinds of life in the universe, so when searching for alien life, we go with what we know. We look for the things Earth has, like an atmospheric imbalance of chemicals (Earth has more nitrogen and oxygen then it should. If it weren't for respiration all the oxygen would have bonded with the nitrogen.), running water, sufficient gravity but not too much, a solid surface*, etc. In fact, scientists have long thought that life didn't require O, N, C, H, S, and P. Which is exactly what the scientist Felisa Wolfe-Simon was trying to prove when she did the experiment which created a life form which uses O,N,C,H,S and Ar. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/12/its_not_an_arsenic-based_life.php I liked your comment, those are good points to make. But the article itself bugged me. It said in it's opening paragraph that the creatures substituted arsenic for phosphorous. But the final section says "But now, we have the broadest enemy ever - non carbon based life...". The organism is still carbon based, still uses carbon, and the article writer should have realized that after writing the first paragraph. So I tossed up that one.
102978
Daniel Beringer
Posted over 3 years ago
The real evolution happened to our awareness not our bodies
Thank you. I was totally out to sea with what you meant. So, you're saying that there is more than one variety of Human on the planet, and that some are more evolved than others? But evolution isn't a goal, it's a process. Ancient people were just as smart as us, just as capable as we are. They just didn't know enough to do the same things. It's certainly true that people are different, but we're all the same species, we're all the same people. If we're to think outside the box, does that mean that vegans should turn meatitarian?