Author Archives: Katrina Burka

Living with Less

More and more, trends of minimalism are on the rise. In the age of social media, many are with taking in the #minimalistlife or #nomadlife.luminous-house-with-translucent-walls-and-minimalist-design-13 But, for as many people embracing this way of life, just as many are concerned with what they have, what they look like, and how their material goods reflect their status. Is living with less the new more? Japanese culture has lived by the concept of minimalism for centuries, why hasn’t this concept taken root in other cultures? Here, I want to explore the possible scientific reasoning behind happiness and materialism, whether it is correlational or causal, and if we can truly fix our levels of happiness. The null hypothesis being that material goods do not affect happiness while the alternative hypothesis stands that yes, the lack or possession of more material goods affects one’s happiness.

Multiple studies have been conducted in which researchers explore this connection. A study conducted at the University of Chicago found that the relationship between self esteem and materialism was causal. As one goes down the other goes up and vice versa. If you think about it, this is why so many companies advertise heavy the early adolescent/young adult age group. We are the ones most likely to buy material items, coping with psychological problems that are buried in the subconscious.

Using a cross sectional survey study, Michael Norton and others from the Harvard Business School and the University of British Columbia released an article later appearing in Science Magazine. “34749958 Separated into three studies, the study focused not just on the connection of happiness to materialism, but more specifically, what and who that money was used for and its results on happiness. This reminded me of parents wanting to buy/support their kids, because it literally makes them happier. Ranging from national surveys to field studies, the most important finding was that the people randomly assigned to go out and not spend money on themselves rated the most happiness. Just 5$ a day could make a significant difference.

In a similar study, Marsha L. Richins of Louisiana State University published “Media, Materialism, and Human Happiness”. Published by the Association for Consumer Research, the methodology she used was data collection. Using 252 questionnaire data, she took from a sunbelt city using half male and half female participants. Here, she found correlational reasonings behind people’s level of life happiness and their satisfaction with material goods. This relationship was highest for the participants valuing material goods. They believed that the more they bought, the happier they would feel.

Lastly, age old psychological understanding of the world tell a lot about human behavior. The concept of always wanting what you can’t have and always thinking the grass is greener on the other side immediately comes to my mind. Also, after a comprehensive and shocking study, two psychologists almost thirty years ago builds on those motos. Their idea of the hedonic treadmill is the concept that no matter what spark of happiness, event, material buy, etc you receive, you always go back to the same level of baseline happiness. The study being titled “Lottery winners and accident victims: is happiness relative” revealed that two very different categories of people (lottery winners and people who became paraplegic/quadriplegic victims post car crash) were equally as happy, reporting the same levels in the data collection.screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-4-50-52-pm

I think going minimalistic would do good for anyone. I am switching to believing in the alternative hypothesis.  Even though happiness is relative, too many people rely on tangible goods as measurements of fulfillment or joy. Happiness is determined within the mindset. Similar to our in class study of wormy kids and levels of intelligence, third variables could possibly exist. Overall though, materialism causes changes in happiness. So next time you think you need to buy that Kylie Jenner lip kit or 89.99 dollar dress, think, do you really need this?

 

http://pages.ucsd.edu/~nchristenfeld/Happiness_Readings_files/Class%203%20-%20Brickman%201978.pdf

http://www.theminimalists.com/scientific/

http://ggsc-web02.ist.berkeley.edu/images/application_uploads/norton-spendingmoney.pdf

http://www.acrwebsite.org/search/view-conference-proceedings.aspx?Id=6720

https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/hedonic-treadmill/

http://pages.ucsd.edu/~nchristenfeld/Happiness_Readings_files/Class%203%20-%20Brickman%201978.pdf

http://www.thisisinsider.com/inside-japans-extremely-minimalist-homes-2016-6

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/319/5870/1687.figures-only

https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/spending-happiness

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071112133809.htm

photo 1: http://cdn.trendir.com/wp-content/uploads/old/house-design/luminous-house-with-translucent-walls-and-minimalist-design-13.jpg

photo 2: http://thirdworld.nl/images/articles/34749958.png

photo 3: https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The-hedonic-treadmill-graph.jpg

 

Gluten Frenzy

I love pasta. I crave it. No matter what, I don’t think I’ll ever part with it. Yet, carbs have always been at the center of controversial health ideas. With the recent insurgence of gluten free dieting/ways of life, etc., I’m hesitant to jump on the bandwagon. My mother’s side of the family actually has the family history for extreme gluten sensitivity. Almost all of my cousins and all four of my aunts can not consume any gluten for medical reasoning. When diagnosed by a qualified doctor, I fully understand going gluten free. The question I want to explore is if eating gluten causes health consequences. The null hypothesis being that gluten free has no effect. The alternative hypothesis is that gluten free indeed does have an effect that is beneficial.

According to a Huffington Post article by JJ Virgin, who is a health expertise and New York Times best selling author, gluten is the devil’s spawn. In the beginning of her article, she explains how going gluten free can help one lose fat or at least the feeling that comes along with it. Shesymptoms-1 explains that feelings of bloating, inflammation, digestive issues, and constant tiredness stem from a leaking gut. Zonulin, the protein found in gluten enters the gut, causes difficulties. By creating holes, other things slip through the body which then causes the immune system to react. This reaction is what causes those ‘feeling fat’ responses. Another point I found fascinating from her article was that what we are most intolerant to is actually what your body craves and thinks you need. They are titled opioid endorphins and provide pleasure when you eat and crave them, causing foods that could be bad for you to be highly addictive.

A highly controlled study was performed by Peter Gibson at the Monash University in Australia. As the head of The Department of Gastroenterology, he suggests that gluten causes no gastrointestinal distress. Before I explain his experiment, I want to add that this study was noticeably tested on only 37 people who are self subscribed as gluten sensitive.

Sources Citing the Real Clear Science’s Newton Blog , the experiment was a randomized (in the sense the participants were unaware what food diet they were on) controlled experiment. Providing all meals, the study also controlled for other triggers in the body by not having the participants consumer lactose, specific preservatives, etc. Lactose may have caused side affects that would compromise results. They also tested the removal of FODMAPS which is the term used for poor absorbed carbohydrates that are short chained. At the end of the study, the researchers had a collect of all urine and faecal matter produced. Test 1 was high gluten, test 2 low gluten, and test three was the placebo, being no gluten. During the trials, they were unaware what test they were on in order to dismantle bias. Each trial ran for a total of three days.

Results: In each trial, reports of pain surfaced in each environment. No matter what they were given, the subjects describe irritated stomachs and feelings of being sick. How could a range of painful results come about when a placebo was present? Gibson appoints this manly to the psychological. I also think that it could have been the alternating diet that caused distress. A colleague of him, Jessica Biesiekierski, who works at the Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders suggest that reducing FODMAPs actually improved all evaluated reports. In the study, they specifically removed FODMAPs in bread products, causing a slight difference in the way people felt. In conclusion, they claim there is no sound evidence to the benefits of gluten. Although they admit a problem may exist, the scientific method and reputable testing must be completed on a larger and more diverse scale. This is similar to what Andrew brought up in class with scurvy. People at the time new the remedy for it, but it took many years to understand its actual cause. It is possible that gluten free dieting is beneficial  and correlated to health, but we may not know why just yet.

Overall, I do not believe that there is enough evidscreen-shot-2012-07-24-at-12-53-36-amence for me to give up gluten for good. As more research arises, I will reconfigure my diet and may go with the alternative hypothesis. But for now, the null hypothesis remains…

Sources

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Journal of the Academy of Nutrition-Primary source

Gluten free life 

Huffington Post article

New York Times

Gluten Free-PRN

Experiment

Science Alert

Monash University

You’re Addictive (Literally)

Love may be the number one mystery in all of human history. The internet is flooded with advice columns, testimonials, ted talks, etc on love. Even extremely reputable sources like the New York Times came out with a entire weekly series on Modern Love.Clearly, love is on everyone’s mind, it is practically unavoidable. Yet, there is extremely limited scientific data or evidence and it seems to be a topic unapproachable by science. Undeniable that relationships are important, my question now is what makes love so necessary for humans and, is there a love formula?

The most comprehensible study I’ve found was conducted by professors Arthur and Elaine Aron, who have been studying love for over half a century. “The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness: A procedure and some Preliminary Findings” was conducted in 1979. Using a controlled experiment, the couple wanted to study if strangers could “fall in love”. Flash forward 6 months, and one of the couplings wounded up being married.  imgres

The manipulated variables lay in the instructions for each group. The end of the questionnaire between the strangers is to stare into each other’s eyes for four minutes. It is noted that the test more so looks at building closeness and bonds between people.

  1. first study → with complete strangers and they were told their task was to develop closeness
  2. second study → strangers had less time to get to know each other, told task was to develop closeness
  3. third study →  the goal of reaching closeness was only told to half the participants at random. These subjects were also matched on a basic of introverted-ness or extrovert-ness.

Surprisingly overall, the degree to which they knew about the goal of the experiment did not significantly affect the overall scores. Overall, many participants reported higher levels of closeness. This experiment has been repeated over and over again. Below are just two of modern day clips for visual examples.

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Video link 1

Video link 2 

There is no denying that these questions could bring about feelings of intimacy, these are not normal questions one would usually ask on a blind date. Wanting to know more, I found an extremely methodical approach to the science of love.

Helen Fisher, is a anthropologist in multiple disciplines and is world renowned as the top reference for all love related research. With over 4 million views, her Ted Talk titled The Brain In Love explains how, using scientific experiments and observational studies the brain’s performance in different relationship scenarios. Most notably, I found that her work gives scientific evidence to why you may go “crazy” for someone. Paraphrasing, she used a controlled and observational experiment. The study put those claiming to be in love in an MRI machine and there, they saw sparks in the ventral tegmental zone.screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-11-13-42-pm In that zone, the A10 cell was active which is part of from the reward system. This system is deep below your normal brain functions, as it is also connected to activity that becomes stimulated when using cocaine. Love is literally addictive. Fisher goes even farther to explain that this feeling of love is something you do not get over. This is they key issue. When Fischer and her colleagues placed people recently dumped into an MRI machine, the same levels of activity that appeared for those in love surprisingly lit up. Not only was this area active, it was more active than those who were in love. The human brain goes into overdrive, demanding what it can not have. There may not be a formula for love, but, it is explainable by science.

In conclusion, love may never be fully understood. Love, like the study above suggests, has and always will exist, plaguing the hearts of many. Although the first study suggest ways to get closer to people, the modern times has taken that as a surefire way to find love, using it as a possible formula. Similar to the question of “Does Prayer Heal” in class, this also has grey area. Overall, I think my answer is that yes, love is die-hardly necessary and that there may never be a step by step guide to love. Some things are supposed to be left “magical” right? Next time you are sad about a recent breakup, just remember, your love is literally a drug. Thanks Kesha, you knew all along.

Sources

http://psp.sagepub.com/content/23/4/363.full.pdf+html 

http://www.psych2go.net/creating-interpersonal-closeness-in-a-lab/

berkeley study

http://helenfisher.com/ 

http://www.nytimes.com/column/modern-love

Pictures

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friends-Joe

kesha

Language Barrier

Learning different languages has always fascinated me. I think the ability to communicate across cultures is extremely valuable and amazing when successful. When you can speak to someone you don’t know if their own language, they become far more comfortable and are able to express themselves freely. When I was in Spain this past summer, I lived with my cousin and his family for two months, helping to take care of his children and learn Spanish. I kept running into roadblocks where I couldn’t understand people or they could not understand me. My cousin who was born and raised in the United States moved to Spain nine years ago. In college, he got a minor in spanish language, but that was the extent of his knowledge. But, while I was with my family there, everyone thought he was a native speaker because he was almost perfect at the language. When asking his about this, he said he always has had a natural act for languages and that they came easily to him. Other members in my family have claimed this and my grandmother speaks seven languages. Extremely jealous, I wonder why I didn’t get “the language gene” that everyone but me seemed to possess. The left part of your brain controls most of tmentehe communication works, so it is possible that genetic structure determine what part of your brain may “fire” more. Therefore, I hypothesize the possibility of a gene existing that gives people an ability to learn languages better. Here, the null hypothesis is that no gene exists and the alternative hypothesis is that yes, a gene does exist that affects your ability to learn languages.

From National Geographic News, they remark that no gene has yet to be discovered. However, your genetic coding can actually aid you in learning one language category rather than another. Conducting a study from the University of Edinburgh, researchers combined a list of data that compared peoples genes to their language they speak from various locations around the entire world. Genes can be tonal or non tonal and depending on where you are located, these genes can look different. This method was not experimental but rather observational. The differences between tonal and non-tonal languages is huge. In english, we use tones to indicate questions or exclamations or to give feeling to a sentence. On the contrary, in my other languages, words can be spelled the same but the depending on the tone, will mean extremely different things. 

“If your ancestors were from Southeast Asia or sub-Saharan Africa, where the native languages are nearly all tonal, you probably have the older versions of both genes. If your ancestors were all from Europe, where people mostly speak nontonal languages, you probably have the new version of Microcephalin and have a 50-50 chance of carrying the new ASPM gene”

Taking this information from page two of the Genes May Influence Language Learning, Study Suggests from National Geographic, it shows that certain genes are very concentrated in certain areas. It is crazy to think that a new gene, ASPM, evolved over people in Europe. Looking into this gene, I found from the website Genetic Home Reference that the scientists are unsure about the genes actual function, but it is suggested that this gene influences the development of the brain.

Looking for more results, I found a study from Neroscience News that was extremely specific to my frustration with not being able to learn a new language as an adult. In a randomized controlled experiment, researchers first test 204 adults ability to pick up on foreign sounds. After testing them, they took swabs from there cheeks in order to gather their genetic makeup. It was then discovered that those who picked up faster on language sounds because of their FOXP2 coding. Because learning languages involves what the article refers to as “general cognitive strategies”, this is dependent on the FOXP2 gene and the existence or absence of this gene helps to determine language learning ability.  Therefore, it’s not that certain people can’t learn languages, it is that other people ard43264e47ac1b9773610a09894b5955e-1e just really good at learning them in comparison. Overall I do not think we can completely accept the alternative hypothesis because more information needs to be gathered. For now, the null hypothesis may stand even though an observational and experimental test insued. We need repeated experiments and more data.

I See Dead People

I’ve always been interested in the supernatural. Timgreshe infamous line in The Sixth Sense where the little boy says “I see dead people” will be in the books forever as cinematic history. Growing up, my mom used to tell me I had strong intuition. I never really knew what they meant but the concept has always fascinated me. Humans have always and will continue to have a fascination with all things spooky. We all want to believe that something greater could possibly exist. Similar to the classroom question of does prayer actually heal, we have turned to scientific evidence to try to prove this phenomenon. The null hypothesis is that the sixth sense does not exist. What many scientists and researchers are questioning is the alternative hypothesis, being if there is a possibility of the sixth sense.

Looking into various scientific tests, the number one problem facing sound evidence on the matter is that the tests have difficulty being replicated. Because of this, many believe these trials to be insignificant. Joe Kirschvink, who is based out of the California institute of Technology, believes he has discovered a form of sixth sense in the way humans are able to detect the Earth’s magnmagnetic_field_earthetic field. This field is something we can not see with the naked eye, but, many living things can sense. It was believed that humans were unable to detect this, but Kirschvink thinks otherwise. He was testing if humans could receive magnet wavelengths.  Using an extremely controlled experiment, he took participants into a pitch dark black room where he used a Faraday Cage to cancel out the third variable of other electro noise. In the room, the participants are subjected to the x variable of a controlled magnetic field. He then manipulated the form of the wavelength and used advanced technology (EEG monitors and heart rate detectors) to observe the body and brains changes. During the changing of the magnetic field to counterclockwise, Kirschvink observed the participants sinking Alpha waves. What Science Magazine calls “the EEG World”, this action of alpha wave activity shows that the brain is reacting to the changing magnetic field. More importantly, the brain’s response was delayed and this shows brain exertion. Since no other variable was present, this shows that the subjects brain was picking up on the changing electric waves in the room. Because many believe this to be impossible, this phenomenon may be the  ‘sixth sense’ in action. If only a handful of people can sense it, this very normal occurrence for other animals may be the answer to question. Although this discovery was very exciting, it is important to note that Kirschkvink tested under 30 people, and new trails are being replicated in New Zealand and Japan. Therefore, it could be possible that the human reaction or awareness of these wavelengths be the key to our perceived sixth sense.  

In denial of the “sixth sense”, Live Science explores the idea that this sixth sense phenomenon may simply be using underlying vision detection to justify these changes.  At the University of Melbourne, Piers Howe conducted an experiment to test people’s ability to detect or specify changes in substantial differences between photographs. Using just our normal visual processing, Howe tested 48 randomized students in their ability to acknowledge obvious changes. Showing the original photo for 1.5 seconds followed by the altered photo with a 1 second pause in between, the students were asked to verbalize the changes. Even given a list of possible changes, the study showed that people could recognize that a change occurred, but, were unable to give specifics about this. I think Howe really sums up his point by saying this: 

It’s simply a matter of detecting a change we are unable to verbalize.”

It is noted that the scientists changed something as obvious as a large sombrero, and the participants still could not articulate this. So yes you may “sense” a change, but that is because you are taking in visual cues that are physically there, you are unable to actually verbalize them and that is why you think you have a “sense” of knowing. 

Therefore, I believe that we must maintain with the null hypothesis that a “sixth sense” does not actually exist. Until more tests are able to be peer reviewed, repeated, and tested in larger numbers, the alternative hypothesis can not become the new norm. For more of an explanation from Howe himself, here is a video link. Sadly we can’t all be like Karen.

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Science Alert

science magazine

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Milk and the College Diet

In recent years, I’ve noticed a trend from fast food to organic, from carbs to gluten free, and most notoriously, from milk to other dairy products. For some reason, it seems that everyone is against milk. Honestly, I don’t drink milk. The concept of consuming it freaked me out and I hated being forced to drink milk as a child. It turns out, there is a lot of evidence against and for against milk consumption. Specifically, I’ll be focusing on college aged students and if milk is actually affecting their diet or not. 
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A study conducted by the University of Illinois is a showcase of why college students should drink milk. According to the study, if we do not drink three dairy  servings, are chances of having metabolic syndrome raises to three times more likely.

I was so surprised when the study explained that not drinking milk could actually make you more likely to have obesity or health issues.

“It may be the calcium, it may be the proteins. Whatever the mechanism, evidence suggests that dairy products are effective in attaining and maintaining a healthy weight,” she said.

Here are the steps the scientists use to conduct the experiment

  1. Not Randomized experiment because the participants answered a questionnaire
  2. Controls for sex, age, family history of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and physical activity”
  3. Long term, the scientists followed the college students in their college career and watched their habits of eating and exercise

The study focused on Mexican students because recently, Mexico is experiencing a rise in obesity. The study thought that students were “replacing” their milk drinks. In actuality, the students were consuming both highly sugared drinks and milk. The combination of the two is why obesity may be a problem in Mexico at the time. Here, a third factor was at play. Scientists thought that drinking milk lead to health problems or, that not drinking milk lead to other health problems. Really, drinking milk and having the third variable, soda and sugary drinks, is the culprit of health issues.  

From Penn State’s very own, I found an article from Huffington Post in which a student investigated nutritional challenges in college. This article takes into account multiple third variables leading to students lack of health in university years. Some being no mandated physical activity like in high school and with the stress of classes and time management, kids will all too often overeat.

Comparing the pros and cons of milk, I can see that different scientist and medical experts have their own opinion. Sometimes, I think it is the psychology that we all grew up with, that milk is good and therefore we must drink it. Because the data can go both ways, I am not sure I can give a definite answer on the benefits or disadvantages of milk drinking. Therefore, I think college students should focus on everything in moderation. According to phys.org, “Milk drinking started 7,500 years ago”. Therefore, it is possible that humans have evolved to be able to digest milk, or maybe, out bodies have conformed to gain benefits from the nutrients of cows milk. Whatever the answer is, the milk debate will live on and the question of what to pour on your cereal may never die. 

http://nutrsci.illinois.edu/content/college-kids-who-dont-drink-milk-could-face-serious-consequences -Illinois Study

http://www.motherjones.com/files/imagecache/master-image-main/milk_425x320.jpg

http://milk.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=1317

Self(ie) Destruction

Stumbling along Facebook, where millennials get a concerning amount of there information, I came across an article titled “Scientists Link Selfies To Narcissism, Addiction & Mental Illness” Curious, I read the about the findings and although the argument seemed to have little substantial support, (only one specific boy in the U.K having obsession over the “perfect selfie” and almost committing suicide over it) I could see very well how selfies contribute to what seems like a lack of confidence and over obsession of image in today’s youth.847b271a64126766cf8dd432fbb996d0

Streamlining my question, I more so wonder if millennials are more narcissistic or if millennials just now have a means of showcasing this human behavior?

I also wanted to connect this to the “Wormy Kids are Stupid” methodology. In class, we learned that there were three different ways of viewing the kids in relation to school performance scenario.

  1. Kids got worms → making them stupid
  2. The kids that were already uninterested in school → played outside → higher chance of worms  
  3. Outside variables lead to kids getting worms, a “z” factor

Even though the Wormy kid theory has been tested and proven, I still found parallels to compare the two situations. Both deal with the question of nature vs. nurture. Where kids stupid from birth, then situations lead them to have more qualities hindering them? Or was the nurture (worms) causing them to be stupid? Similar, are humans born being narcissistic or does society (nurture) shape that narcissism? Lastly, is an outside force affecting each situation?

  1. Humans are already self centered → now have means of expressing self centeredness via the selfie
  2. The selfie was the cause → of humans being more self centered
  3. An outside variable affected the increase of self awareness in photos

Upon further research, I found a telling article from BBC News, on why we take selfies. James Klinder, a neuroscientist coming from University College London dives into this question. He brings up a good point that in comparison to the amount of time we process other people’s facial expressions, we see ours at a fraction of that. There is a “lack of visual knowledge”. Klinder brings up a study that when people have 3 photos of themselves (one digitally altered to be more attractive, the original, and one digitally altered to be unattractive) the subject will pick the more attractive photo. This study was conducted by Nicholas Epley and this article goes further into explaining his study. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/you-are-less-beautiful-than-you-think/

Looking at the history of being self centered, I found this article from “Brain Picking” gave a lesson the history of the mirror, the idea of what Susan Sontag calls  “aesthetic consumerism”, and the impact of self reflection today. It showed the timeline of when humans started to look at there own reflection (around 1500) and how this catapulted the Renaissance.

Taking a quote from Susan Sontag, she says “Needing to have reality confirmed and experience enhanced by photographs is an aesthetic consumerism to which everyone is now addicted.” We see this addiction on social media, waiting with bated breath for a like, comment, or some hint of social approval. Sontag suggests that the image/photography has developed over time, simply becomes part of the narrative behind human society. She says that “the photographic image is a control mechanism we exert upon the world”.

Reading up, I can not say for certain what caused this wave of seemed self obsession in millennials, but, I put more of the blame on this generation’s access to constantly checking their own appearance and quick ability to gain approval. 

http://expandedconsciousness.com/2014/08/12/scientists-link-selfies-to-narcissism-addiction-mental-illness/

http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-25763704

https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/11/12/steven-johnson-mirror-selfie/

http://www.liveinternet.ru/users/nadezda_art/tags/%E6%E5%ED%F1%EA%E8%E9+%EE%E1%F0%E0%E7/page4.html

 

Big Bang Baloney?

In the beginning week of Science in our World, we discussed topics ranging from worms to stardust. Overall, I’ve come to realize that science has lots, (like millions times millions) of questions but not a lot of certain answers. Although I would like to believe that everything in the universe came magically from two stars colliding together, I always found it interesting how quickly people were able to accept this idea.

Think about it, from elementary to high school, our science teachers explanation as to the birth of the universe came from the allusive term, the “Big Bang”. For the most part, we all accepted it. But no one ever explained it down to the nitty gritty for us. It almost felt as accepted as the idea that “the sky is blue”. But, I’ve always wondered, what is the Big Bang? A main question I had was where did the two forces that collided to form the big bang originate from?  In this blog, I want to dive further into the reasoning and evidence as to why the Big Bang is such a popular theory.

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Reading an extensive article from the “National School’s Observatory” based out of the U.K, I found that there is multiple evidence supporting the theory behind the Big Bang. One involves the redshifts of other galaxies. Unknown at the time to me, redshift refers to the idea that galaxies give off light, and depending on the distance. The further away a galaxy, the more red it may appear on the spectrum. Here is the link showing the difference between un-shifted and redshifted spectrum. http://www.schoolsobservatory.org.uk/astro/cosmos/redshift This relates back to the Big Bang because distance galaxies that show red on the spectrum are continuously appearing to be shifting outwards. In theory, at some point, those far off galaxies were close together and, due to high density, eventually expanded. The high intensity of all that energy combined together must have caused a great eruption.

More evidence that points to the Big Bang is the idea of a “Microwave Background” and the “Mixture of Elements”. The microwave background is explained by the existing glow that surrounds the universe. This glow is seen in microwaves, and also contributes to new elements within our universe. After the alleged Big Bang, everything was in a stage of heating up and cooling down. To visualize this, I imagined trying to heat up a plate of food. Some things turning out just right and some others don’t, thus, the creation of new mixtures. You can’t use a microwave to cook a potato the same amount you need to heat up a cup of coffee. Similar to this, the distant stars in our galaxy hold different elements then in our modern day sun. They had more time to cook, process, and cool down. New stars and stars billions of years old are clearly different as well as the elements that exist upon them, showing that the Big Bang caused massive changes in the universe.

This animation video form “Kurzgesagt-In a Nutshell” is extremely helpful. What I found most troubling with the theory of the Big Bang was were the matter came that created the big bang. This quote from the video helped me understand.

“In this hot, dense environment, energy manifested itself in particles that existed only for the tiniest glimpses of time.From gluons, pairs of quarks were created, which destroyed one another, perhaps after giving off more gluons…Matter and energy were not just theoretically equivalent, it was so hot they were practically the same stuff. Somewhere around this time, matter won over antimatter.”

So, when the particles started to stretch out and out, they eventually had enough room to stabilize, thus the creation of “matter”. This video also addresses the problem that modern science can’t explain the beginning before the Big Bang, and that’s okay, because we are constantly exploring new possibilities.

 I remember from class Andrew saying we “are an alignment of atoms from cosmic dust”.  WE ARE…literally part of the universe and very well could be sub particles of the Big Bang itself. 

No theory is ever going to be perfect as I have come to realize yes the Big Bang may sometimes sound iffy to me, but at the moment, it is the most soundproof evidence we have.

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video-watch it!!!!

National School Observatory

Why should I care about the Mitochondria

Hello, my name is Katrina.  I decided to take this class because I thought I was someone who “hated science”, or at least, my low science grades throughout my education told me that I did. It’s not that I hate science, it’s that I hate the way science has been presented to me. All I remember from my general science education is that “the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell”…and I don’t know how far that will actually get me in life. I decided to take this class because I’ve always been fascinated by things like space, alternate life, and the general workings of our world. Hopefully, this class will be a breakthrough for how science can actually be and how it is important in all our lives.Image result for mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell meme

I am not a science major because I do not think that career path is right for me. Deep down, I think we all are scientists in some time of way, but, the life of lab coats and test tubes never suited me. Here is an attached link I found that sums up my experience with elementary science education. I feel that fact lists and memorizing what part of the cell is the “powerhouse” is completely unimportant.