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Creationism vs. Evolution - A Culture Divided

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stahrwe

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Regarding your snal question, please consider the following taken from the sources identified below.

It appears, that once again the Bible has been vindicated, this time by the scientific community.

If you still have questions I suggest you contract:

Janet D. Stemwedel (whose nom de blog is Dr. Free-Ride) is an associate professor of philosophy at San Jose State University. Before becoming a philosopher, she earned a Ph.D. in physical chemistry. Email her at [email protected].


How does salt melt snails?
Category: Basic concepts • Chemistry • Critters • Garden
Posted on: May 11, 2009 5:55 PM, by Janet D. Stemwedel
In light of our recent snail eradication project:
Why does salt "melt" snails and slugs? (And how do people manage to prepare escargot without ending up with a big pot of goo?)
To answer this question, let us consider the snail as seen by the chemist:

The snail is an animal whose sliding-along-the-plants part (the foot) is made up of cells. Animal cells are, roughly, bags of aqueous solution and organelles wrapped in phospholipid bilayers (the cell membranes). For what we're looking at here, the important thing to know is that cell membranes are semipermeable membranes: some stuff travels easily across the membrane, owing to its small size, while other stuff is too big to pass through the membrane.
There's a particular property of semipermeable membranes with aqueous solutions on either side called osmotic pressure. Roughly, this is the pressure on the membrane due to the solutions on either side.
Let's detour for a moment to solutions, and then we'll return to what's going on with the semipermeable membrane.
A solution is a mixture of two or more substances that is homogeneous. The components of this mixture will associate with each other by way of intermolecular forces.
For many solutions, there will be a relatively large amount of one of the substances (the solvent) and a smaller amount of the other substance or substances (the solute(s)). So, for example, in a solution of sodium chloride (NaCl, also known as table salt), the NaCl is the solute and the water is the solvent.
You'll recall that solid NaCl is a lattice of Na+ and Cl- held together by ionic bonds, strong electrostatic attractions between the positively and negatively charged ions. You'll also recall that the H2O molecules in liquid water associate with each other by way of hydrogen bonding (strong dipole-dipole attractions between the partial-positive hydrogen ends and the partial-negative oxygen ends of the neighboring water molecules). When you dissolve NaCl in water, the ionic bonds between Na+ and Cl- are replaced with ion-dipole interactions between these ions and water. Here's the chemist's cartoon:

Notice that water molecules are arranged around Cl- with their partial-positive H-ends pointing in, while the water molecules around Na+ have their partial-negative O-ends point in. And, because water is the solvent, you can assume there are plenty of water molecules in the solution interacting with other water molecules by way of hydrogen bonding. Another thing worth noting: Na+ and Cl- ions are significantly larger than water molecules. (One way to talk about the size of ions, and the magnitude of their positive or negative charge, is to compare the average number of water molecules in their solvation shells.)
What happens when you put aqueous solutions on either side of a semi-permeable membrane? Those solutions will tend to shift whatever stuff can be shifted across the membrane until the concentration (roughly, how much solute is dissolved in the solution relative to the amount of solvent) is the same on both sides of the membrane. We could tell a detailed story about this in terms of energies and entropies and that kind of thing, but we're not going to go into those details today. Here, we do fine noting that the water molecules are small enough to pass through the membrane, and that the solute (here, Na+ and Cl- ions) are too big to pass through the membrane. So the water will flow across the membrane, tending to flow from the side that has less solute to the side that has more solute. The net flow of water across the membrane stops when the solutions on both sides of the membrane have the same concentration. (At this point, water molecules are still passing through the membrane -- they're little enough that the membrane won't restrict their passage. However, once equilibrium has been achieved, the water molecules flow in both directions at the same rate.)
As you might guess, you'll see the biggest osmotic pressures in response to extreme concentration differences. For example, if you put a saline solution on one side of the membrane and pure water on the other side:

what will result is a rush of water from the "pure" side to the "salt solution" side of the membrane. (Here, I haven't drawn the Na+ and Cl- ions separately, since as far as the water is concerned, both are just stuff dissolved in the solution that can't get across the membrane.) In effect, that rush of water is trying to dilute the salt solution so much that it's indistinguishable from pure water. This usually results in a swelling of the membrane, and might even lead to it popping if it cannot contain all the extra water molecules that have rushed in.
Now let's return to the snail.
The snail is made up of a bunch of cells which have aqueous solutions wrapped in semipermeable membranes. The content of the snail cells is not pure water -- there're likely even some Na+ and Cl- ions kicking around in there. So what happens if you place, on the other side of that membrane, a very concentrated solution of NaCl?

Here, the water tends to cross the membrane in the direction that will dilute the NaCl to the same concentration as what's inside the snail cells. If there's enough salt on the salty side, this means pretty much all the water inside the snail cells will have to cross the membrane.
This kind of water-loss is not consistent with the continued biological functioning (or structural integrity) of the snail.
At this point, you might point out that the bucket-of-salt method of dispatching snails doesn't actually put a salt solution on the exterior of the snail cell membranes. However, snails excrete mucus to help them slide by reducing friction; the mucus contains water. Also, the snails I'm picking tend to be out when the plants they're sliding on are wet with dew. Between the mucus and the dew, there's enough water clinging to the outside of the snail to dissolve some salt and put the membrane in contact with a very salty solution. That's enough to get the water flowing out of the snail, which dissolves more of the salt and keeps the concentration high enough to "melt" the snail.
So, how on earth can you cook these critters -- including seasoning to taste with salt -- without ending up with a big puddle of slime?
Cooking involves raising the temperature of the snails and their cells enough to denature the proteins in the snails. This increased temperature also changes the cell membranes -- after the cooking, the membranes are no longer semipermeable, but rather allow diffusion of water and solute in both directions. This (plus the denaturing of the proteins inside the snail cells) helps keep the snail insides in, rather than drawing all the water out and deflating the snail that was holding the water.

1 An excellent explanation. Also, a very good illustration of why a cardinal principle of most cooking (not just gastropods) is to never add salt until the very end of the cooking process.
Posted by: chezjake | May 11, 2009 6:52 PM
2 What chezjake said -- plus, I really like the sketches. Give me a while and I may figure out why, but they're both clear and pleasant to the eye.
Posted by: D. C. Sessions | May 11, 2009 8:19 PM
3 Yuck. My version of the dreaded Room 101 contains little more than slugs and snails.
Posted by: philosoraptor | May 11, 2009 9:57 PM
4 It is a world Scientific Revolution there! Dr Janet
Posted by: humorix | May 12, 2009 7:50 AM
5 Fabulous Post! I wonder how many things you can kill in a timely fashion this way? For example, clearly not people or cats (with thick skins) and perhaps not things with exoskeletons, but what about other organisms? Fungal/bacterial infestations? Algae? Other nematodes?
Posted by: shannon conley | May 15, 2009 5:56 PM


http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index ... 012AAeLGSy
http://www.blurtit.com/q848821.html
Re: Why do snails melt when you dump salt on them?
Area: Zoology
Posted By: Bruce Woodin, Staff Biology. Woods Hole
Date: Wed Jul 30 09:01:16 1997
Area of science: Zoology
ID: 869087865.Zo
________________________________________
Message:

Amber Marie,

Snails "melt" when you pour salt on them because the water in their
cells is leaving to balance the salt. This is an osmotic process which
occurs across semipermeable membranes like those surrounding the cells of
animals and plants. This loss of water and resulting "melting" happens
with cells of many organisms (including plants, which lose their rigidity
in salt water). Most animals which are adapted to living in fresh water
are "Saltophobics" (not truly a fetish).
http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/19 ... .Zo.r.html


Do you still wish to argue this?
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No, I do not know any snake handlers, nor to I approve of that or Holy Laughing, or getting slain in the spirit, or in any other way generally acting like a fool in association with worship.

I promise you that my interpretation of the food issue is correct. Unclean did not necessarily mean diseased. It was also associated with fitness for ceremonies. When Christ called pharisees White Washed Sepplechures he was referring to the practice of "painting" graves so that people would not accidently touch them and be rendered unclear and therefore unworthy of participating in temple ceremonies.

In Acts the Bible records the removal of the restriction on eating unclean things. Nothing about the animals had changed, only man's relationship to God and the law had.

Acts Chapter 10
9About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. 13Then a voice told him, "Get up, Peter. Kill and eat."
14"Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."

15The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean."

16This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

17While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon's house was and stopped at the gate. 18They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.

19While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, "Simon, three[a] men are looking for you. 20So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them."

21Peter went down and said to the men, "I'm the one you're looking for. Why have you come?"

22The men replied, "We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to have you come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say." 23Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.
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I had nothing to say about Ostrich meat. I asked about stars and dinosaurs and mentioned that all this rationalization is suggestive of the fictitious nature of the bible. Every rationalization you give, even if perfectly crafted, proves my point.
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Star
Interbane,

I suggest that you ask God why Ostrich meat was considered unclean. My personal opinion is that it was an obedience issue, a mark of separation between the Jews and others.
I wrote the ostrich question…

I just asked god… but received no answer… so I will continue with you…
Star
12It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air.
An ostrich is a 2 footed bird of the ground and does not appear to be included in this magic list from haven.

What you are telling me is that it appears that there was never a good reason for god to call the ostrich an unclean abomination… why does god hate the ostrich so!?! :furious:

Anyway I must agree with Johnson1010, it appears that it was a stupid arbitrary rule made by people who did not know any better… I must also agree that unclean means unhealthy… dirty meat… but that is just my interpretation… I am not desperate to make the writing say something it doesn’t or twist it to reflect modern knowledge when it really doesn’t.

Besides the only thing that really matters it that the book is WRONG about the unclean nature of ostrich meat in at least one part, so it is not inherent.

Following is the mustard seed question I posted earlier.

The mustard seed is not the smallest seed as is claimed by Jesus In Mark 4:31. the smallest seeds are those of the orchid family. In fact, a mustard seed is many, many times larger than an orchid seed.
Star
Frank,

I thought I read that you were going to be offline, on vacation in Florida.

If true and should you find yourself near the Kennedy Space Center with some time on you hands, give me a call. I'd love to buy you dinner. Afterwards we could go to a service. Could get some of my buddies to bring their snakes in and make a big time of it. You haven't lived until you've danced around mindlessly swinging unhappy rattlesnakes over your head and drooling as you babble incoherently.
I am on vacation, but I do not fly down to Florida until the 16th. That is the week when I will not be online much… so sorry I will not be in the area, only flying over it… but thanks for the invite, I would not care to go to a service (snake handling or any other kind for that matter) but we could enjoy a good zombie flick!

Later
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Star
Snails "melt" when you pour salt on them because the water in their
cells is leaving to balance the salt.


Snails appear to melt when salt is introduced as do slugs… something any person, now or in the ancient past, is free to observe. However the passage in question says nothing about adding salt.

People melt too… when enough acid is introduced.

But is it fair to say people “melt” and just leave it at that?

In my opinion the answer is no.

And neither is it honest or accurate to say that snails “melt” without being specific about the cause.

Later
Last edited by Frank 013 on Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Frank,

Ever see Shawn of the Dead, probably my favorite.
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Yes, Shawn of the Dead was AWESOME! and this new movie Zombie Land looks good too!

Later
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Frank 013,

Funny you should mention people melting, because that is also in the passage in question.

The OT is commonly described as being broken up into sections.

Law
History
Poetry
Major Prophets
Minor Prophets

Psalms is in the poetry section, and as is evident from the full text it is intended to be a symbolic passage. You aren't going to claim that the author of the Bible thinks people are lions (verse 6) are you?


Psalm 58
1Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?

2Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.

3The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.

4Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;

5Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.

6Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD.

7Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.

8As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.

9Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath.

10The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.

11So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.
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Star
Psalms is in the poetry section, and as is evident from the full text it is intended to be a symbolic passage. You aren't going to claim that the author of the Bible thinks people are lions (verse 6) are you?


So what you are saying is that because it is poetry it is allowed to be vague, incomplete or outright wrong?

This seems counter to any infallible claim… but maybe that’s just me?

The passage says
“As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away”
This is not a metaphor for something else… (Similar to the lion’s teeth you mentioned above) this says that snails melt plain and simple and suggests that the wicked should do so as well, but this is at the very least incomplete, giving no cause for the effect of snails melting.

Maybe the ancients did not know why the snails melted, but god surely would have.

I am forced to wonder why it took science to determine the why.

Again is it fair to simply say that snails melt?

I don’t think so, unless you are willing to say that all creatures melt under the right conditions, but of course the passage does not make any such distinction, rendering it imperfect.

Later
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It's a nice technique switching between zombie movies and the Bible. I like it. Here's my contributing non sequitur for the day. Zappa wrote a great song called Dumb All Over which captures the human race's infatuation with the Bible pretty well. He ends the song with this conclusion . . .

Hey, lets get serious...
God knows what hes doin
He wrote this book here
An the book says:
He made us all to be just like him,
So...
If were dumb...
Then God is dumb...
(an maybe even a little ugly on the side)

:mrgreen:
Last edited by geo on Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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