Questions From Readers (Part 8)

Questions From Readers (Part 8)
Questions From Readers (Part 8)

What does the chemistry of love look like, how Islam came into being, how many ice ages were there on Earth and other questions from our readers.

Rick and Morty

If space is an almost absolute vacuum, why is it characterized by such a concept as temperature (it is very cold there), because temperature is the speed of movement of particles?

Sergey N., Kazan

Indeed, in the thermodynamic sense familiar to us, there is no temperature in the cosmic vacuum. However, this vacuum is far from empty: it is filled by particles rushing to and fro, emitted by various sources. Such a stream of particles, of course, carries a certain energy, and this energy is the measure of the temperature of outer space. However, far from stars and other "hot" bodies, it is quite small and only slightly higher than absolute zero.

How, when and in what state did the concept of "politics" emerge?

Igor Kondrachuk, Kharkov

Like much in our life, politics in the modern sense appeared in Ancient Greece - even the word πολιτική reminds of ancient city-states, policies. Although the term "politics" has been used here since time immemorial, it first appeared in philosophical and scientific discourse in the 4th century BC. in the writings of Aristotle, who called politics "the art of polis management."

Until when, according to scientists, our ancestors developed the practice of cannibalism?

Mikhail Livanov, Biysk

Speaking of cannibalism as a practice, alas, it is impossible to attribute it to the time of distant ancestors. Even if we do not take into account the eating of their own kind during a severe famine or in the form of sexual perversion, which apparently existed at all times, cannibalism as part of a religious and mystical practice is still recorded. There are also examples of "artistic" cannibalism: on January 13, 2007, the Danish artist Marco Evaristti treated his friends to dumplings stuffed with minced meat from his own liposuction fat.

What natural phenomena led to the fact that our ape-like ancestors climbed down from the trees?

Lavrenty M., Nizhny Chelny

According to one of the most widespread hypotheses, the reason that our ancestors "got off the trees" were the events that took place … on the other side of the Earth, in America. It was by that time that the northern and southern continents converged in the area of ​​present-day Panama and formed a narrow isthmus that blocked communication between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This radically changed the movement of sea currents, and with them - the climate around the world. Due to the rise in temperature and drop in humidity, the area of ​​African forests began to rapidly decrease, and while some primates tried to better hide among the branches, others went out into the vastness of the young savanna - quickly straightening up and turning into people.

What does the chemical reaction of a feeling like love look like?

Irina T., Moscow

The chemistry of love is not so simple - there is no one definite reaction that causes such complex behavior and experiences. It would be more correct to call the "chemistry of love" its physiology: a huge number of signaling molecules, hormones and other substances that interact with different cells, tissues and organs are involved in this process. In any case, it all depends on what you call love - we will give just a few examples.

- Falling in love. 2-phenylethylamine appears at the very beginning of the "relationship" and has a stimulating and euphoric effect, increasing the concentration of dopamine in the intersynaptic space.

- Friendship. Dopamine and serotonin are key neurotransmitters in the brain's internal reward system.They participate in euphoric experiences when they meet the object of passion, and in women, serotonin is important for coordinating the process of childbirth.

- Sex. Nitric oxide (II) is released by the endothelium of the corpus cavernosum of the penis in response to sexual stimulus, increasing blood flow and ensuring an erection.

- Marriage. Oxytocin is a peptide hormone of the hypothalamus, a "trust hormone" that stimulates an open attitude and behavior, a high level of trust, benevolence, marital fidelity and affection.

- Maternity. Progesterone is an ovarian hormone that ensures the normal course of pregnancy. However, pregnancy tests usually reveal the presence of another "pregnancy hormone" - chorionic gonadotropin.

How many ice ages were there on Earth?

Maria P., Perm

In fact, the entire history of the mature Earth is the history of long ice ages that lasted hundreds of millions of years. During the glacial eras, both cold snaps occur with the growth of continental ice sheets, and periods of relative warming - interglacials - in one of which we were lucky to live. In total, four glacial eras are distinguished, and ours - the Cenozoic - began 66 million years ago.

But "ice ages", glaciations, are known for dozens, if not hundreds. The most recent of them - The last glacial maximum happened about 26 thousand years ago, when ice captured all of Scandinavia, almost all of North America and Europe, southern parts of Australia and South America. It ended 10-15 thousand years ago. By the way, it is believed that it was the glacial "bridge" between Eurasia and Alaska that allowed the first people to move to America.

How did Islam come about?

Zhanara Rakhimbaeva, Astana

Islam is the youngest of the world's religions. According to the legendary version, it arose in the month of Ramadan in 610, when the archangel appeared to the prophet Muhammad and began to dictate the Koran. Islam is extremely close to other Abrahamic religions and actively uses the vast heritage of earlier Judaism and Christianity. From the point of view of a Muslim, Islam is the development of these beliefs and the only correct way of interpreting them, in which Muhammad himself is the key and main in a series of hundreds of thousands of prophets, "the Lord of the Prophets", who differs from others (including the Judaist Moses - Musa and Christian Jesus - Isa) by the fact that he was sent not to the inhabitants of a certain area or representatives of a certain people, but to the whole world.

The modern Syrian theologian Ramadan al-Buti wrote about it this way: "There are no differences in monotheistic religions, since they are all links in a single Divine chain, in which Muhammad's mission is the culmination of the entire religious development of mankind." One way or another, it is 610 that is considered the birth date of Islam: after three years of secret sermons, Muhammad managed to attract several dozen friends, and in 613 he spoke in Mecca as a prophet. Nine years later, fearing persecution by the local nobility, Muhammad moved to Medina, where Islam spread rapidly. By the end of the prophet's life, the theocratic Arab Caliphate had already covered the entire Arabian Peninsula. The march of Islam has begun.

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