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Why is the “humans only use 10% of their brain” concept is untrue?

As Dr Steve Novella memorably put it (paraphrased), you never hear anyone say, “the good news is that he was shot in the 90% of the brain we don’t use.”

The truth is that we use the entire thing, but not necessarily at the same time. Bits become more or less active as you do this and that, but over the course of normal life you use all of it. The brain uses up far too high a portion of your energy budget to be allowed to go unused. Natural selection won’t allow that.

/u/doc_daneeka

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Why is it bad to make a species go extinct?

There’s conservation and then there’s preservation. The preservationists think we should do what it takes to keep everything exactly how it is now.

The conservationists think we should do what it takes to let nature follow its own courses, which would mean saving species that are going extinct due to man but allowing extinction in the case of species that would have died out anyway.

However, given how much of modern medicine and technology comes from the natural world, we would very much like for nothing to go extinct until we have studied it sufficiently to get any natural secrets it may have that we can exploit.

However, we also have to be careful not to upset the balance of nature too much. If whales went extinct, their food source would explode. In some cases, this could wipe out many species that we use for food.

/u/sjhillman

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What are these “Payday Loans” and why are they hated so much?

Payday loans allow you to get an advance on your paycheck through a third party. Generally, you prove to them that you make enough money, then bring a check for the amount plus interest, usually post-dated to your payday.

The problem is that it’s a self-perpetuating cycle. If you need $200 between paychecks now, but you need to pay back $220 on payday, odds are you’re going to need $220 (or more) next pay. So you take out a $250 loan, which will now cost you $275 to pay back. It’s very hard to get out of the cycle.

Additionally, some payday loan companies are known for less-than-honest practices. Several were investigated a few years ago in Canada for charging “administration fees” that worked exactly the same as interest; they ended up getting charged for usury as they were deemed to be charging more interested than is legal.

/u/lacqui

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Why isn’t it possible to time travel?

Actually, it is possible to travel into the future. Of course, we’re all moving into the future at the “regular” speed. But if you want to move into the future at a rate faster than everyone else, you simply need to move (physically) very, very quickly. Because of the time-dilating effects of Relativity, the faster you move, the slower time will flow for you. Moving sufficiently quickly would allow you to travel hundreds or even thousands of years in the future (while you remain young).

However, taking this concept of time dilation to its logical conclusion, if you were to travel at the speed of light, time would stop. And, if you were to travel faster than light, you would travel backwards through time. That’s not possible though because (again, due to the effects of Relativity) as you approached the speed of light, your mass would approach infinity which would require an infinite force. An infinite force cannot exist. So, as far as we can tell, you’re stuck moving forwards through time.

/u/superc142

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