Sammy Science here, after a long absence from these pages. No, I haven’t been ill or on any sort of sabbatical, just tired of the lack of scientific acumen of the readers of bobcrespo.com. This is supposed to be a Science Q&A, not a forum for science-bashing, religious preaching or wacky theories. Let’s see what science topics we can discuss today, shall we?
Dear Sammy Science: What’s the story with those Chinese cows that produce human breast milk? Can I get one? -Nadya from California
Dear Nadya from California: So far all we know is that a claim hads been made that through genetic manipulation, cows can produce milk with the same nutrients present in human breast milk. Until scientific papers are published and proof presented, all we have so far is the claim of success. There have been many exciting development in genetic research on animals involving the regeneration of body parts and organs. As far as you being able to get your own cow, doubtful. Chinese food products haven’t had the most stellar record when it comes to not poisoning consumers, and the USDA tends to frown on that sort of thing.
Dear Sammy Science: Is there a scientific definition of love? It is, after all, a very real phenomenon.- Jack Enjill
Dear Jack Enjill: Interesting question. While science has traditionally shied away from the exploration of love, in recent years studies of human emotions have been undertaken, mostly involving the chemical processing of information by the substances and synapses in our brains, using neuro-imaging and other scientific tools. One school of thought is that love is a survival mechanism no different from aggression or territoriality, with nurturing and sexual attraction having developed in the higher species to ensure the survival of generations. Complex animals produce a limited number of offspring as opposed to, say, fish or insects, which produce millions of eggs and offspring who are pretty much on their own from birth, so emotional attachments evolved as a necessary survival tool. No one who has felt love’s overwhelmingly compelling power can argue that love is voluntary. None of this, however, explains why some people love, art, vintage cars, stamp collecting or baseball, which have nothing at all to so with the survival of individuals or species. So far scientists are no closer than poets and philosophers to defining love, and to my mind that’s a good thing. Who would want a dry scientific explanation of something as cool as love?
Dear Sammy Science: How can you subscribe to the Theory of Evolution? The Bible plainly tells us that God created everything in Seven Days, 6,000 years ago just as it is today. Show me proof! I’ll come down to your laboratory with an open mind if you’ve got the goods. Consider your self challenged, science man! – Reverend Jimmy Crackcorn
Dear Reverend Jimmy Crackcorn: Oh geez…. and this was going so well today…. well, Reverend, all the proof you need for evolution is in your mirror. What you see is a dead end, with a mind no more open than a clam in defensive posture. I’m sure there’s nothing I can show you that will convince you of the truth, but you know what? That doesn’t matter, since there are enough people who do embrace the sciences for progress and understanding to continue flourishing without you.
Dear Sammy Science: Not so fast, heathen! All the growing we need to do is the grow our understanding of God’s word. – Reverend Jimmy Crackcorn
Dear Reverend Jimmy Crackcorn: Yeah, anything you say, Rev… Hey quick, look over there! There’s an abortionist and a transvestite union leader on your front lawn! They’ve come for your daughters! (That ought to keep the Reverend busy while we get back to science.)
Dear Sammy Science: What are you science guys gonna get around to inventing transporters and warp drive like they have in Star Trek? Or how about curing cancer? – Jimmy The Geek
Dear Jimmy The Geek: Well, Jimmy, we already have computers and communications devices every bit as sophisticated as Captain Kirk’s, plus a worldwide information network, so it’s not like science is standing still here. As far as beaming people aboard and breaking the speed limit of the light barrier imposed by the laws of physics, don’t hold you breath. We can’t cure a cold, but medical science is curing more and more cancer patients every year. Scientific progress is measured in decades, not months.
Dear Sammy Science: How about at least providing a computer to each child like some charity planned? – Jimmy The Geek
Dear Jimmy The Geek: Don’t forget, Jimmy, that half the population of the world still lives exactly as they did 150 years ago, and a quarter of the planet’s inhabitants have never spoken on a telephone, so let’s not pretend we’re living in a completely modern world. Hard as it is to imagine for an American kid, not every child has access to electricity, TV or communications devices of any sort. Many cannot read or operate even the simpler electronic devices, and their plight is more social, educational and political problems than a purely scientific one, since they as smart as anyone else, just left out of the technology loop. Unfortunately for the world, they all seem to get the hang of an AK-47 pretty quick.
Dear Sammy Science: I have felt a great rift in The Force recently, a painful fissure. Can you explain that? – Eddie Fissure
Dear Eddie Fissure: Either you have me confused with a Trekkie, or a proctologist to examine that painful fissure you sit on. Can we keep the questions scientific here, people?
Dear Sammy Science: Is it true that with the recent nuclear disaster in northern Japan and the subsequent radioactive waste being pumped into the Pacific ocean, that sea life rapidly mutating into monstrous forms? – Kay Lastima
Dear Kay Lastima: If you mean transformed into dead marine life, yes. If you’re referring to highly dangerous levels of radiation in the surviving species that make up a big part of humanity’s food supply, yes. If your talking Godzilla here, well, there’s not a whole lot we have to discuss, is there?
Dear Sammy Science: I know I science question, I know I science question! Pick me pick me pick meeee! – Kenny Bunkport
Dear Kenny Bunkport: I know I may regret this, but go ahead, Kenny. What is your science question?
Dear Sammy Science: Okay then, Sammy Science! In Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, what is the equation for calculating the degree to which gravity bends light? – Kenny Bunkportz
Dear Kenny Bunkport: Thank you, Kenny! Sorry I doubted you. Here is is: g = 1 / Ö [1 – (v/c)2]. Okay, now we’re getting back to my living room. Who’s next?
Dear Sammy Science: In a fight, who would win – Superman or Satan? – Van Erielle
Dear Van Erielle: Why do I do this to myself? I know I should have quit with Kenny Bunkport! This is just sick on too many levels. Okay, Van, I’m going with Superman on this one, if only for his having fewer serious issues than Satan. Well folks, on this low note, Sammy Science is out of here!