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Hypmotoad
2014-Sep-25, 04:08 AM
I understand that in proving things to other people, it might take more than what it takes for me to believe. Did that make sense?
In the case of UFO's, most if not all, believe the proof should be extraordinary, as in extraordinary claims. That's cool. My question is, what does it take for you, as a reader, personally, to believe?

Me? I've never seen a UFO, came close once as a kid but was just car tail lights going up a hill. But I want to believe. Call me crazy, but after hearing testimony from people who protect me from fire, and people who protect me from crime, and people who fly me from New York to Los Angeles, I end up with an open ish mind.

I don't think I need an ET craft to settle in my backyard and do a light show better than Van Halen's in their hayday, dropping flower petals and colored balloons while an almond eyed MC hands me a 6ft x 4ft check announces me to be 10, 000, 000th visitee to be certain of something ...odd.

Ok, by then, in MY mind, I'd be certain ....but could I prove it? Hmmm...

My question is, ..."What would it take for you, as a reader, to be convinced?"

David Copperfield made many illusions, and I fell for each. My observational powers prolly not the greatest. Important to note, however, David Copperfield rarely performed his greatest stuff for an audience of less than a few thousand.

We can all be fooled, but most of us trust our senses. What would convince YOU?

Marakai
2014-Sep-25, 05:58 AM
If I recall, you can look in the Conspirary sub-forum where this was discussed. You'll find a whole list there.

Personally, a global announcement across all media with A/V footage combined with seeing the craft with my own eyes, either flying over in clear daylight close enough to discern, or at rest.

Hypmotoad
2014-Sep-25, 07:01 AM
I appologise for duplicating a thread, wasn't thinking conspiracy, just wondered what would convince you? I trust my eyes if handed a check from ET but might not trust my eyes if see shifting lights at a distance.

Van Rijn
2014-Sep-25, 08:46 AM
It's not your fault, but I think you might find a certain amount of topic fatigue.

For me, it's somewhat complex, since I can imagine a number of things that would convince me to a reasonable degree (you could always pull out improbable alternatives like ancient civilizations reappearing, or time travellers from the future) but if various types of unduplicable technology - *physical objects* were available and generally agreed not to be from Earth, that would be one convincing point.

Or if there was something moving about the Earth in space that could be tracked by many people with a telescope and it moved in ways we aren't capable of, that would be pretty indicative. But there are conditions to that - the details would matter.

Jens
2014-Sep-25, 09:13 AM
I find it a bit hard to answer because it depends what you mean by UFO. Do you mean to be convinced that there are things in the sky we don't understand, or that there are secret military aircraft, or that there are alien craft visiting us?

Hlafordlaes
2014-Sep-25, 09:28 AM
I certainly believe in Earth-related UFOs; that is, things that are hard to identify in the sky. But ET-related UFOs - alien spacecraft - would take extraordinary evidence. I think I'd need to see an alien being interviewed by Sean Carroll live on the White House lawn. I would not trust purported artifacts generally, as trickery would most likely be at play.

DonM435
2014-Sep-25, 01:49 PM
I found your analogy interesting, because I can't stand magic acts. Good ones, that is. I know it's a trick, but when it's beyond my ability to explain it, I get frustrated.

I know that I wouldn't trust the television reports of anytthing that seemed fantastic, unless there were reputable scientists interviewed, preferably chronic doubters.

Swift
2014-Sep-25, 02:11 PM
I find it a bit hard to answer because it depends what you mean by UFO. Do you mean to be convinced that there are things in the sky we don't understand, or that there are secret military aircraft, or that there are alien craft visiting us?
Yes. I'm not sure what "thing" you are asking about. My personal proof criteria are different for alien visitation to Earth, versus proof of ETIs in the Universe, or even of life in the Universe.

Dave12308
2014-Sep-25, 02:52 PM
Yes. I'm not sure what "thing" you are asking about. My personal proof criteria are different for alien visitation to Earth, versus proof of ETIs in the Universe, or even of life in the Universe.

Here's what I don't understand about posting in this forum and discussing these topics in general. In everyday life, we believe things that the media tells us just because we "know them to be true"

We believe everything the government feeds us. We believe what the police tell us. We believe politicians.

And a lot of times, what we are led to believe is total **. Yet we don't question WHY people believe them, etc.

Now, here we have a topic that would be much harder to "prove". Yet we cannot even discuss things unless they are some sort of absolute.

I don't understand what it is about the possibility of ETI that makes the burden of "proof" so much harder? Is it REALLY that far out there that there would be life other than Earth life?

By its very nature it would be harder to "prove" the existence of ETI. And we do not know what a possible encounter would lead to, perhaps it would be like the movie "Contact" where no proof whatsoever is sent back, and to all involved would appear to be a hoax.

It's almost like the burden of proof is set so high for ETI because it's almost like we don't WANT to know the truth.

grapes
2014-Sep-25, 04:15 PM
By its very nature it would be harder to "prove" the existence of ETI.

Nature of what?


It's almost like the burden of proof is set so high for ETI because it's almost like we don't WANT to know the truth.
How do you know the burden of proof is set so high? What do you mean by that?

Noclevername
2014-Sep-25, 04:39 PM
By its very nature it would be harder to "prove" the existence of ETI. And we do not know what a possible encounter would lead to, perhaps it would be like the movie "Contact" where no proof whatsoever is sent back, and to all involved would appear to be a hoax.


The movie Contact had proof: A coherent, readily interpreted signal from space that was clearly of artificial origin.

PetersCreek
2014-Sep-25, 05:39 PM
We believe everything the government feeds us. We believe what the police tell us. We believe politicians.

Is that the royal "we" or the little-mouse-in-your-pocket "we"? I don't think I've ever known a single individual who completely fit those characterizations, much less an all-encompassing "we."


And a lot of times, what we are led to believe is total **.

Mod comment: If the board software replaces a word of yours with asterisks, you shouldn't be using that word on this board.


I don't understand what it is about the possibility of ETI that makes the burden of "proof" so much harder? Is it REALLY that far out there that there would be life other than Earth life?

But it's not just about the existence of ET life. With a sample size of one, we just don't know how common the evolution of advanced ETI on other planets might be. Even so, their mere existence isn't so difficult for most to contemplate, I think. The real problems that get glossed over in your final sentence are the hurdles that must be cleared before they actually get here. ET life must exist, it must be intelligent, and it must possess the technology, resources, and motivation to get here...and if the UFO proponents are even partially correct after all, they must do so repeatedly and/or there must be multiple interstellar space-faring civilizations doing so.

Considering all those intermediate steps that require substantial evidence, that our perceptions are routinely inaccurate, and that far more mundane explanations can account for sightings, I think it's entirely appropriate for the bar to be set rather high...even though I don't think it actually is.

DonM435
2014-Sep-25, 06:06 PM
If the news reports that a football player beats his wife, that doesn't affect me, so I don't question it. If they say that some dinosaur could sing, same thing. Or that 75% of voters can't identify their congressman, ditto.

However, the consequences of ET inteligence are so massive with regard to nearly everything, that it should demand a higher standard regarding acceptance.

Dave12308
2014-Sep-25, 06:10 PM
I will just say what they said in Contact, then:

"If it's just us out there, that's an awful waste of space".

Obviously I do not think like a scientist, and apparently you have to in order to have discussions here. Why can't we have a stimulating discussion of what MIGHT be without having to PROVE anything?

I would also like to point out that there are a lot of threads discussing things like Dyson Spheres like they are an actual thing that we know exists. We don't know, for all we know there is no such thing. It just seems that a lot of things that are thrown out in here as fact are based on things that as far as we know, don't exist.

Dave12308
2014-Sep-25, 06:18 PM
Is that the royal "we" or the little-mouse-in-your-pocket "we"? I don't think I've ever known a single individual who completely fit those characterizations, much less an all-encompassing "we."


"We" as in the American Public as a whole. Not sure if people in other nations tend to be as gullible as we are so can't comment on that.

Mod comment: If the board software replaces a word of yours with asterisks, you shouldn't be using that word on this board.

Yeah sorry about that. I didn't realize it was going to be replaced with asterisks. Lesson learned.


But it's not just about the existence of ET life. With a sample size of one, we just don't know how common the evolution of advanced ETI on other planets might be. Even so, their mere existence isn't so difficult for most to contemplate, I think. The real problems that get glossed over in your final sentence are the hurdles that must be cleared before they actually get here. ET life must exist, it must be intelligent, and it must possess the technology, resources, and motivation to get here...and if the UFO proponents are even partially correct after all, they must do so repeatedly and/or there must be multiple interstellar space-faring civilizations doing so.

Considering all those intermediate steps that require substantial evidence, that our perceptions are routinely inaccurate, and that far more mundane explanations can account for sightings, I think it's entirely appropriate for the bar to be set rather high...even though I don't think it actually is.

sorry about the language

Swift
2014-Sep-25, 06:30 PM
I think Peterscreek and others have covered much of this, but a few thoughts...


Here's what I don't understand about posting in this forum and discussing these topics in general. In everyday life, we believe things that the media tells us just because we "know them to be true"

We believe everything the government feeds us. We believe what the police tell us. We believe politicians.
Not even close. If anything, there are some sources for whom I assume first that it is a lie. ;)


Now, here we have a topic that would be much harder to "prove". Yet we cannot even discuss things unless they are some sort of absolute.
I don't know if that is aimed at my quoted comment, but I'm not asking for an absolute, I'm just trying to understand the question. And I certainly don't see any such limit put on this discussion. Heck, we've had dozens of threads that have discussed this.


I don't understand what it is about the possibility of ETI that makes the burden of "proof" so much harder? Is it REALLY that far out there that there would be life other than Earth life?
The higher bar for proof relates to the beginning of your second sentence: "In everyday life,..."

In everyday life I know that politicians take money, that police officiers do various things, that certain unlucky baseball teams get in the playoffs. How do I know these things: because I've seen them with my own eyes and I've seen lots and lots of evidence that they have all happened.



It's almost like the burden of proof is set so high for ETI because it's almost like we don't WANT to know the truth.
I can only speak for myself, but that's nonsense. I might be surprised when I learn that my favorite sports star beat his wife, but I know that such things happen all the time, are a normal though unfortunate part of human existence, and is well within the normal events on this planet. And I don't have to depend on some single fuzzy photo and some unreliable eyewitness account as my only evidence that events such as this ever take place. They are "ordinary events".

A supposed visit of an ETI to Earth is not an ordinary event. I never have met personally anyone who has claimed to see one (I have met people who have spoken of their own experiences with domestic violence). I have never seen any evidence that was even strongly convincing, nor could not be explained by less extraordinary explanations. I find the descriptions of such visits to be inconsistent with how I image intelligent beings to act. And such visits to Earth seem to violate what we currently know about physics.

That is why the burden of proof is so high.

Now, as has been stated many times in these kinds of discussion, I strongly suspect that the majority (probably the vast majority) of CQ members believe that it is likely there is life elsewhere in our galaxy. I suspect that almost that many suspect that intelligent life exists elsewhere in our galaxy. What we know about the science of such things would strongly favor such possibilities. I am personally a believer in both of those things.

But my belief in the probability of something is not the same as proof of its existence.

My high bar for such evidence is not because "I don't want to know the truth". It is because I don't want to delude myself into believing something just because I wish it to be true.

And, as I said above, the probability of such ETIs visiting Earth seems very low to me, and seems to violate much of what we know about physics, and much of how I would believe an intelligent being to act, and so I highly doubt that such visitations have happened.

Swift
2014-Sep-25, 06:34 PM
Obviously I do not think like a scientist, and apparently you have to in order to have discussions here. Why can't we have a stimulating discussion of what MIGHT be without having to PROVE anything?

I'll ask again, who is stopping this "stimulating discussion"? I haven't seen anyone in this thread trying to stop the discussion. A couple of people have answered the OP's question, a couple of people have asked for more clarification of the question. I'm happy to list my criteria, but I want to know what the question is (ET life, ETIs, or ETIs visiting Earth).

John Mendenhall
2014-Sep-25, 06:45 PM
Brett is quite correct The problem is as you state it in your first post. You want to believe. Big mistake . We all want to believe in UFOs. There are unidentified flying object but it is too great a leap to claim they are alien spacecraft. There are videos of meteors reaching back as far as 1978; the Russian bolides were the most recent. If we have those then there should be equally good videos of flying objects.

JustAFriend
2014-Sep-25, 06:47 PM
Not like it hasn't been debated for the last 60 years..... Architects of Fear (1963 - Outer Limits) (http://www.hulu.com/watch/63098)

Just because a ship lands at the UN doesn't mean you're talking to an alien.

Spacedude
2014-Sep-25, 08:49 PM
Don't get me started :)

Hypmotoad, I asked the same question last year and tallied up a poll near the end this thread below as to what would amount to "proof " to posters here:

http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?145393-U-F-O-s-What-would-amount-to-Proof

That old adage "Seeing is Believing" can be what pushes one over the proof finish line. I myself have never seen a "ufo" in the classic sense of a solid unconventional craft making seemingly impossible maneuvers, if they occur due to ET visitation I suspect that I'll never see one. That being said I can still draw some radical conclusions that tend to push the limits of connecting the dots. I wish you well in your pursuit of an answer.

KaiYeves
2014-Sep-25, 10:06 PM
The movie Contact had proof: A coherent, readily interpreted signal from space that was clearly of artificial origin.

And later, it had proof of interstellar travel in the form of 18 1/2 hours of static.

Noclevername
2014-Sep-25, 10:16 PM
And later, it had proof of interstellar travel in the form of 18 1/2 hours of static.

I think I had tuned out by that point. The movie itself wasn't a great film.

Jens
2014-Sep-25, 10:43 PM
We believe everything the government feeds us. We believe what the police tell us. We believe politicians.
them, etc.


Your post seems to give me the opposite impression, that you don't believe them. And neither do I very much, and neither do the people I meet, it seems. There's even a joke, maybe you know it: how can you tell when a politician is lying? I think that in general, people in modern democracies tend to be gaily cynical in that sense.

Noclevername
2014-Sep-25, 10:47 PM
Here's what I don't understand about posting in this forum and discussing these topics in general. In everyday life, we believe things that the media tells us just because we "know them to be true"

We believe everything the government feeds us. We believe what the police tell us. We believe politicians.



You must have a very different everyday life than I do, if you really believe everything you hear, especially from those sources.

FarmMarsNow
2014-Sep-25, 10:50 PM
Reality is the first problem. Reality starts with relationships, not with observations. For example people who never interact with others start to lose touch with reality, and babies have very little sense of reality. Our acceptance of reality is based in our friendships and families and is something that we develop not something we just have. From relationships and consistency and only from relationships and consistency can we extend ourselves to test the physical properties that we experience. Only in a nurturing environment can we learn and apply the principles of Science.

Magicians use our need for relationships against us as do propagandists, as to political parties, and many other people use it. Our perception of reality is fragile. It slowly builds in us from the time we are born and reaches a practical maximum, and then we start to lose it. Because of all of this, for me to believe that aliens have arrived here could require various things depending upon my age and state of mind.

For the moment I have a lot of confidence in what Scientists (basically university research people) think about aliens. I've met enough to know they obtain their degrees by doing a lot of work and getting along with a lot of different kinds of people. They also have a lot of time invested in seeking truth, and they have got a lot of credibility in my opinion.

Colin Robinson
2014-Sep-26, 12:06 AM
I understand that in proving things to other people, it might take more than what it takes for me to believe. Did that make sense?
In the case of UFO's, most if not all, believe the proof should be extraordinary, as in extraordinary claims. That's cool. My question is, what does it take for you, as a reader, personally, to believe?

Me? I've never seen a UFO, came close once as a kid but was just car tail lights going up a hill. But I want to believe. Call me crazy, but after hearing testimony from people who protect me from fire, and people who protect me from crime, and people who fly me from New York to Los Angeles, I end up with an open ish mind.

I try to keep an open mind myself. But that's not the same as jumping to conclusions.

An example of a UFO report which I found intriguing, but which did not convince me that Earth is currently being visited by extraterrestrials, is the one given in 1964 by New Mexico police sergeant Lonnie Zamora. What Zamora reported seeing, was a shiny oval object which sometimes had a noisy flame underneath it. He saw the thing flying, then he saw it on the ground, attended by two individuals wearing coveralls, then he saw it take off and fly away again. Other witnesses saw the object flying, although only Zamora saw it on the ground.

The object itself seemed weird to Zamora — he commented that the appearance and sound of its flame were nothing like the flame from a jet. But Zamora didn't notice anything weird or even distinctive about the two persons he saw on the ground with the object, except that they were both a bit shorter than average: he described them as "small adults or large kids".

Were those two characters visitors from another planet? Zamora's description of their physique and their costume is fully consistent with them being ordinary earthlings. Considering the role of random mutation in biology, how likely is it that an extraterrestrial life-form would look exactly like any earth species — human or penguin or kangaroo?

What about their flying object? One possible explanation is that it was a hot-air balloon. That would explain the flame Zamora saw, and also the noise, because the propane burner associated with a hot-air balloon can be seriously noisy.

I have to say this strikes me as far more likely than the idea that this object was a space vehicle from another world.

Jens
2014-Sep-26, 10:36 AM
Magicians use our need for relationships against us as do propagandists, as to political parties, and many other people use it.


That's quite a harsh assessment of magicians. I would have said they use our perception biases (which are natural and useful) against us to trick and delight us. I personally love magic shows because it's kind of this great thing where you know you've been tricked but you don't know how and have this fascinating puzzle to solve.

FarmMarsNow
2014-Sep-26, 11:35 AM
That's quite a harsh assessment of magicians. I would have said they use our perception biases (which are natural and useful) against us to trick and delight us. I personally love magic shows because it's kind of this great thing where you know you've been tricked but you don't know how and have this fascinating puzzle to solve.I don't mean to be harsh about magicians. I grouped magicians in with the politicians, because magicians use relationships although not nefariously. They do use perception biases but also patter, and they do work the relationship angle developing the trust of their audience. Magicians aren't nefarious, but the point I meant to make is they would have a much more difficult job fooling us if we weren't so needy. The same relationship tricks that magicians use are often used for other purposes. It underscores how vulnerable our sense of reality is. Look at the military for another example. It only takes a month or so for a boot camp to break people down and rebuilt them into soldiers. It might take a hypnotist half an hour to put you into a vulnerable state. A slick salesperson can have some people eating out of their hand in ten minutes.

Swift
2014-Sep-26, 12:44 PM
I think we're getting way off track. Let's get back to the OP and the question of what would convince people of ETs.

Dave12308
2014-Sep-26, 03:04 PM
I guess my question is from this standpoint.

Say I went outside at 2AM and a large object appeared in the sky. It lands in front of me and a small blue humanoid with 2 heads appears in front of me. It tells me it comes from Gliese 667Cc. I am not under the influence of any substances, and unfortunately I have no other witnesses as I live in an extremely rural area.

However, this was not my imagination or a hallucination. It really DID happen.

Assuming this set of circumstances, the burden of proof is on ME. However, HOW do I prove it? It happened, no one else saw it. And I didn't have a camera. How would I prove this happened beyond a shadow of a doubt?

(and i'm not saying this DID happen to me, it's simply a question of HOW one would prove it if it did?)

Noclevername
2014-Sep-26, 03:38 PM
(and i'm not saying this DID happen to me, it's simply a question of HOW one would prove it if it did?)

Tell the aliens to stay and do TV interviews? ;)

Swift
2014-Sep-26, 05:02 PM
I guess my question is from this standpoint.

Say I went outside at 2AM and a large object appeared in the sky. It lands in front of me and a small blue humanoid with 2 heads appears in front of me. It tells me it comes from Gliese 667Cc. I am not under the influence of any substances, and unfortunately I have no other witnesses as I live in an extremely rural area.

However, this was not my imagination or a hallucination. It really DID happen.

Assuming this set of circumstances, the burden of proof is on ME. However, HOW do I prove it? It happened, no one else saw it. And I didn't have a camera. How would I prove this happened beyond a shadow of a doubt?

(and i'm not saying this DID happen to me, it's simply a question of HOW one would prove it if it did?)
I also assume there is no physical evidence left by this encounter.

For myself, there is absolutely nothing you could say or do that would prove such an incident happened to you. Sorry, but you are out of luck. Even if you were my brother or my best friend, I'd be nice and understanding, but it would not convince me.

PetersCreek
2014-Sep-26, 05:28 PM
I am not under the influence of any substances...

...this was not my imagination or a hallucination. It really DID happen.

Depending on how much time has passed, a drug screen can give us some (but perhaps not complete) assurance of this. Alcohol, not so much. But even assuming that no mind-altering substances were used, how are we to presume that you did not hallucinate? If it's a thoroughly convincing hallucination, you might be absolutely sure that it's real. As for us, we'll need evidence that discounts hallucination or at least reduces its likelihood compared to other explanations.


Assuming this set of circumstances, the burden of proof is on ME. However, HOW do I prove it? It happened, no one else saw it. And I didn't have a camera. How would I prove this happened beyond a shadow of a doubt?

You yourself have set the bar quite high indeed at "beyond a shadow of a doubt." I would be impressed if only you could present convincing evidence that an ETI encounter was the most plausible explanation. Physical evidence would be a good start. Informational evidence might also help if it can't be attributed to any terrestrial source.

Spacedude
2014-Sep-26, 06:12 PM
An excellent question Dave!
I suspect that half of these "witnesses" keep their mouths shut, and the other half wish that they had.

FarmMarsNow
2014-Sep-26, 09:17 PM
Several things could give credence to the encounter. A. You obtain a technology very developed and refined but different from anything we have. For example if in 1950 someone had obtained an Android Tablet that would have been strong evidence that something very unusual had happened to them. B. Another way to demonstrate that an alien race has visited is to retrieve a DNA or tissue sample and submit it to reputable scientists. C. A third way to demonstrate it is to show the presence of a new contaminant in our environment, something that could have been detected previously but wasn't. D. Take a photograph using a special technique that doesn't lend itself to alterations, if there is such a thing. The closest thing we have to that is taking images in the RAW format, which is used for criminal evidence. It still might not be good enough for evidence of aliens. I'd suggest getting credible institutions to provide some sort of encryption device with two-key encryption methods that prove a photo was taken as-is at a particular moment -- so we are talking about a photographic method in which a digital photo is taken and cannot be tampered with without both encryption keys and multiple, clear photos of the same alien.

Colin Robinson
2014-Sep-26, 09:45 PM
I guess my question is from this standpoint.

Say I went outside at 2AM and a large object appeared in the sky. It lands in front of me and a small blue humanoid with 2 heads appears in front of me. It tells me it comes from Gliese 667Cc. I am not under the influence of any substances, and unfortunately I have no other witnesses as I live in an extremely rural area.

However, this was not my imagination or a hallucination. It really DID happen.

Assuming this set of circumstances, the burden of proof is on ME. However, HOW do I prove it? It happened, no one else saw it. And I didn't have a camera. How would I prove this happened beyond a shadow of a doubt?

(and i'm not saying this DID happen to me, it's simply a question of HOW one would prove it if it did?)


Depending on how much time has passed, a drug screen can give us some (but perhaps not complete) assurance of this. Alcohol, not so much. But even assuming that no mind-altering substances were used, how are we to presume that you did not hallucinate? If it's a thoroughly convincing hallucination, you might be absolutely sure that it's real. As for us, we'll need evidence that discounts hallucination or at least reduces its likelihood compared to other explanations.

I agree with PetersCreek. A hallucinatory experience is not necessarily caused by taking drugs.

How could you yourself be completely certain that you were fully awake at 2AM that morning, and not experiencing a dream?

Even if you remember waking up before going outside, perhaps you had what is called a false awakening (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_awakening), and were in fact still asleep?

Hypmotoad
2014-Sep-27, 05:40 AM
The original question was, what would it take to convince YOU personally, not anyone else.

In other words, what would it take to convert you personally from an adamant denier to a closet believer?

My standards are not set so high as many peoples' as I tend to want to believe anyway, my world is richer for it.

I know that in a thousand years, should we be so lucky as to still exist, all these questions and anxieties will seem quaint.

My only hope is that ALL shall curse those fools who believe in leprechauns, ;p ...unless they are aliens too ...o.O

Edit, spelling and stuff

Colin Robinson
2014-Sep-27, 08:58 PM
The original question was, what would it take to convince YOU personally, not anyone else.

In other words, what would it take to convert you personally from an adamant denier to a closet believer?

One thing I would find convincing:

If someone presented a museum with a specimen of an organism (whether it was something the size of a platypus, or something microscopic), so that biologists could look at it and study it, if the organism had an unfamiliar combination of features, so that it couldn't be slotted into existing biological categories. And if the person who brought in the specimen mentioned that it came from place where an unfamiliar vehicle had been seen landing and taking off...

Buttercup
2014-Sep-27, 09:05 PM
I think this is an on-topic reply.

My mother, before starting to have children (then married 4 years to my father), went to their physician with a female-specific medical complaint.

The ONLY way a human being could have this particular medical complaint is to be born with female reproductive organs.

The doctor (a man) told my dad, "It's all in her mind. Just give her some aspirin and go along with it."

Now...how could my mother EVER prove to that male doctor that she experienced such pain? Especially if he definitely disbelieved such pain did or could exist?

No one human being can possibly personally experience EVERYTHING (= proof).

My two cents' worth.

Colin Robinson
2014-Sep-27, 10:49 PM
I think this is an on-topic reply.

My mother, before starting to have children (then married 4 years to my father), went to their physician with a female-specific medical complaint.

The ONLY way a human being could have this particular medical complaint is to be born with female reproductive organs.

The doctor (a man) told my dad, "It's all in her mind. Just give her some aspirin and go along with it."

Now...how could my mother EVER prove to that male doctor that she experienced such pain? Especially if he definitely disbelieved such pain did or could exist?

No one human being can possibly personally experience EVERYTHING (= proof).

My two cents' worth.

I agree that one should respect another person's experiences.

But does that mean one can never suggest a different interpretation?

For instance, if someone says they saw a snake lying in the shadows, is it wrong to ask: "How do you know it wasn't a rope?"

eburacum45
2014-Sep-28, 12:34 AM
A DNA sample that was definitely not of Earthly origin would be a good start, or a piece of advanced technology that shows characteristics not associated with human technology. There have been samples of this kind presented before, but they turned out to be human DNA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starchild_skull#DNA_testing), or industrial waste material.

The quest for alien life is made much more difficult by the very real possibility of false positives, so much so that we should be very skeptical of any data that suggests that life has been found. I expect some such announcement in the next ten years or so, as the search for Earth-like exoplanets continues, but this could easily be a false positive. There is also the possibility of false negatives, data that does not seem to indicate life or intelligence but actually does. That is why this field is both interesting and difficult.

Hypmotoad
2014-Sep-28, 07:41 AM
Does DNA have analogs so that we could KNOW they were unearthly?

Anyway, to convince me is simple. I just have to see one up close so that I couldn't mistake it for a Shoney's Big Boy tossed up in a tornado somewhere.

Colin Robinson
2014-Sep-28, 09:21 PM
Does DNA have analogs so that we could KNOW they were unearthly?

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "analogs", but comparing the sequences of bases in DNA molecules does provide evidence about how closely or distantly two organisms are related.

This evidence has been much used by biologists in working out the big family tree of living things on Earth, including bacteria, archaea, protists, plants, fungi and animals.

We don't know whether living things on other worlds store genetic information in DNA molecules or some other way. If they did have DNA, the sequences would presumably be quite different to anything from Earth.

TheyDidGoToTheMoon
2014-Sep-29, 04:01 PM
It is normal to take this road of being open minded. But as Carl Sagan said decades ago, extraordinary claims does require extraordinary evidence. I back that to the hilt. People often allow they're imaginations to get the better of themselves.

UFO's are just that. If there was something to them, we'd of known about this a long time ago. Some people make up events to entertain others, self esteem etc

As somebody who uses Orbiter Simulator 2010, a little for short distance and long distance docking, taking short cuts in the simulator due to the hard learning curve it has, and sadly getting bored of it at the same time, I can't help but feel that science fiction kind of blurred my view of reality concerning space flight. Which I find a bit sad, because the truth is better than fiction even though that truth can be a painful one.


I understand that in proving things to other people, it might take more than what it takes for me to believe. Did that make sense?
In the case of UFO's, most if not all, believe the proof should be extraordinary, as in extraordinary claims. That's cool. My question is, what does it take for you, as a reader, personally, to believe?

Me? I've never seen a UFO, came close once as a kid but was just car tail lights going up a hill. But I want to believe. Call me crazy, but after hearing testimony from people who protect me from fire, and people who protect me from crime, and people who fly me from New York to Los Angeles, I end up with an open ish mind.

I don't think I need an ET craft to settle in my backyard and do a light show better than Van Halen's in their hayday, dropping flower petals and colored balloons while an almond eyed MC hands me a 6ft x 4ft check announces me to be 10, 000, 000th visitee to be certain of something ...odd.

Ok, by then, in MY mind, I'd be certain ....but could I prove it? Hmmm...

My question is, ..."What would it take for you, as a reader, to be convinced?"

David Copperfield made many illusions, and I fell for each. My observational powers prolly not the greatest. Important to note, however, David Copperfield rarely performed his greatest stuff for an audience of less than a few thousand.

We can all be fooled, but most of us trust our senses. What would convince YOU?

Dave12308
2014-Oct-06, 05:31 PM
I agree with PetersCreek. A hallucinatory experience is not necessarily caused by taking drugs.

How could you yourself be completely certain that you were fully awake at 2AM that morning, and not experiencing a dream?

Even if you remember waking up before going outside, perhaps you had what is called a false awakening (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_awakening), and were in fact still asleep?

Simplest answer I can come up with; perhaps I work 3rd shift?

Thus, 2AM would be in the middle of my "day" and unless I was sick, there's no reason I should be sleeping.

Dave12308
2014-Oct-06, 05:35 PM
Several things could give credence to the encounter. A. You obtain a technology very developed and refined but different from anything we have. For example if in 1950 someone had obtained an Android Tablet that would have been strong evidence that something very unusual had happened to them. B. Another way to demonstrate that an alien race has visited is to retrieve a DNA or tissue sample and submit it to reputable scientists. C. A third way to demonstrate it is to show the presence of a new contaminant in our environment, something that could have been detected previously but wasn't. D. Take a photograph using a special technique that doesn't lend itself to alterations, if there is such a thing. The closest thing we have to that is taking images in the RAW format, which is used for criminal evidence. It still might not be good enough for evidence of aliens. I'd suggest getting credible institutions to provide some sort of encryption device with two-key encryption methods that prove a photo was taken as-is at a particular moment -- so we are talking about a photographic method in which a digital photo is taken and cannot be tampered with without both encryption keys and multiple, clear photos of the same alien.

Truthfully, if the burden of proof for extraterrestrial life EXCEEDS the burden of proof necessary to lock someone up in prison through the justice system; there is something fundamentally wrong with the way we think.

The burden of proof for ETI is so ridiculously hard to come up with, I fear if I ever did have an encounter i'd keep it to myself. I have a hard time with the notion that ETI is so hard to believe simply because we can't find it.

We're talking about a society that doesn't even know for sure exactly what lives in the depths of the oceans.

Dave12308
2014-Oct-06, 05:39 PM
A DNA sample that was definitely not of Earthly origin would be a good start, or a piece of advanced technology that shows characteristics not associated with human technology. There have been samples of this kind presented before, but they turned out to be human DNA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starchild_skull#DNA_testing), or industrial waste material.

The quest for alien life is made much more difficult by the very real possibility of false positives, so much so that we should be very skeptical of any data that suggests that life has been found. I expect some such announcement in the next ten years or so, as the search for Earth-like exoplanets continues, but this could easily be a false positive. There is also the possibility of false negatives, data that does not seem to indicate life or intelligence but actually does. That is why this field is both interesting and difficult.

I can get a false positive for Lyme disease. Does that mean that since there is a possibility of a false positive, no one with Lyme should be taken seriously or treated?

Colin Robinson
2014-Oct-06, 10:59 PM
Truthfully, if the burden of proof for extraterrestrial life EXCEEDS the burden of proof necessary to lock someone up in prison through the justice system; there is something fundamentally wrong with the way we think.

As in a criminal trial, it is not necessarily just one bit of evidence that will be decisive...

But to get someone locked up through the justice system, you first need to catch the suspect. Likewise, it is difficult to establish the existence of a previously unknown species, if you don't have at least one specimen.


The burden of proof for ETI is so ridiculously hard to come up with, I fear if I ever did have an encounter i'd keep it to myself. I have a hard time with the notion that ETI is so hard to believe simply because we can't find it.

It is not the existence of extraterrestrial life and extraterrestrial intelligence which I find hard to believe. I consider it highly likely that there are other worlds with growing, reproducing, evolving things in short, extraterrestrial life. And that on some of those worlds there are living things at least as complex and adaptable as a human being in short, extraterrestrial intelligence.

What I find hard to believe, is the idea that ETIs are currently visiting Earth and being noticed by earthlings as UFOs. I think if that were true, the available evidence (including photographic evidence) would be more convincing.


We're talking about a society that doesn't even know for sure exactly what lives in the depths of the oceans.

We're gradually learning more about the depths of the ocean by sending robots down there and by going down there ourselves in diving suits. We're gradually learning more about the solar system and exoplanets by means of space probes and orbiting telescopes.

Colin Robinson
2014-Oct-06, 11:38 PM
The burden of proof for ETI is so ridiculously hard to come up with, I fear if I ever did have an encounter i'd keep it to myself.

A page by Robert A. Freitas gives some well-considered advice for how to get as much good evidence as possible out of a close encounter with an alien spacecraft, if that ever happens to you.

http://www.xenology.info/Xeno/AppA.htm

Freitas suggests (for instance) that you should try to get other witnesses, take pictures if you have a camera, and preserve physical evidence such as broken tree branches, or depressions in the ground where the object landed. Also to make a thorough written record of your experiences as soon as possible after it happens. Another suggestion is that if you have a face-to-face encounter with friendly aliens, you could offer them a small earthling artefact such as a wrist-watch in exchange for a small alien artefact.

Hlafordlaes
2014-Oct-07, 05:46 PM
A page by Robert A. Freitas gives some well-considered advice for how to get as much good evidence as possible out of a close encounter with an alien spacecraft, if that ever happens to you.

http://www.xenology.info/Xeno/AppA.htm

Freitas suggests (for instance) that you should try to get other witnesses, take pictures if you have a camera, and preserve physical evidence such as broken tree branches, or depressions in the ground where the object landed. Also to make a thorough written record of your experiences as soon as possible after it happens. Another suggestion is that if you have a face-to-face encounter with friendly aliens, you could offer them a small earthling artefact such as a wrist-watch in exchange for a small alien artefact.

How do I know they don't offer something and say "For all of Manhattan? Good deal!"

Grey
2014-Oct-08, 02:01 AM
How do I know they don't offer something and say "For all of Manhattan? Good deal!"If they can manage interstellar travel, they can probably just take Manhattan if they want it anyway. Why not get a bauble out of it? :)

FarmMarsNow
2014-Oct-11, 05:36 PM
Truthfully, if the burden of proof for extraterrestrial life EXCEEDS the burden of proof necessary to lock someone up in prison through the justice system; there is something fundamentally wrong with the way we think.

The burden of proof for ETI is so ridiculously hard to come up with, I fear if I ever did have an encounter i'd keep it to myself. I have a hard time with the notion that ETI is so hard to believe simply because we can't find it.

We're talking about a society that doesn't even know for sure exactly what lives in the depths of the oceans.
People commit crimes. As people we know this, and there many precedent situations where people have committed crimes. We do not know if aliens visit Earth. We aren't aliens ourselves, and whenever we've looked for aliens or tried to understand aliens the information has not been forthcoming.