PDA

View Full Version : Do you Guys Believe in Aliens?



xtacy
2004-Jan-14, 09:58 PM
Why or Why not.... I do because i think its selfish of us to think there are not Because tho there may not be any life forms on Mars... But maybe Venus , Saturn , Jupiter , Or planets in a near by galaxy. Plus Kecksberg. Did you guys hear if rosswell was an alien landing or a airforce test plane?

SciFi Chick
2004-Jan-14, 10:04 PM
While it is certainly possible that intelligent life has developed elsewhere in this rather large universe, it is highly unlikely that said lifeform is visiting this backwater planet.

There definitely is NOT intelligent alien life on Mars, Venus, Saturn or Jupiter, or any other planet in this solar system.

It certainly has nothing whatsoever to do with our selfishness or lack thereof.

Roswell is a blown out of proportion myth as is Kecksburg.

wedgebert
2004-Jan-14, 10:08 PM
It would be hard to believe that we are the only intelligent species in the universe. I do agree with SciFi Chick, there is not intelligent life in our solar system.

But organic compounds seem to be pretty common, so life has had to develop somewhere else. Given enough time, it's likely that at least some of those forms of life have evolved into what we could classify as sentient or intelligent.

SeanF
2004-Jan-14, 10:10 PM
Well, I like to think there's intelligent life on one planet in our solar system . . . :)

SciFi Chick
2004-Jan-14, 10:13 PM
Well, I like to think there's intelligent life on one planet in our solar system . . . :)

ROFLMAO. :oops:

But, let me ask you a question. And this is not to trick you or anything. What do you mean when you say intelligent? :wink:

SeanF
2004-Jan-14, 10:22 PM
What do you mean when you say intelligent?

Well, me, of course! :D

Dancar
2004-Jan-14, 10:41 PM
Why or Why not.... I do because i think its selfish of us to think there are not Because tho there may not be any life forms on Mars... But maybe Venus , Saturn , Jupiter , Or planets in a near by galaxy. Plus Kecksberg. Did you guys hear if rosswell was an alien landing or a airforce test plane?

I don't think there is life elsewhere in the solar system, and I'm a little annoyed that so much of the hype around the Mars probes revolves around that question. While it is possible some form of live may exist on Mars, Europa or Titan, we have absolutely no indication that is the case. It is worth it to have probes looking for life in those places, but there is plenty of interesting planetary geology to look at there and focussing attention on exobiolology just raises expectations that can't be met.

As for life elsewhere in the universe, anyone who says there is or isn't is speculating. I really don't think there's enough data to form an informed opinion.

I will say one thing: If intelligent life were as common in this galaxy as it is in all the Star Trek shows, I think our radio telescopes would have picked up transmissions a long time ago.

BTW, the craft that crashed in Rosewell was a ballon designed to spy on Soviet nuclear tests. That is a perfect example of how when there's a cover-up, the speculation is much more dramatic than the truth.

Dancar

TinFoilHat
2004-Jan-14, 10:42 PM
Plus Kecksberg. Did you guys hear if rosswell was an alien landing or a airforce test plane?

Roswell was the crash of a Project Mogul ballon.

Kecksburg was a russian spy sattelite whose booster failed.

Hope this helps.

George
2004-Jan-14, 10:53 PM
Yes. Many of the illegal ones are here in Texas! :)

Astrobairn
2004-Jan-14, 11:27 PM
I'd like to, but I doubt it. Having grown up about 20 miles from the world's UFO capital (Bonnybridge) I've yet to see them.

As for Texas, we just had a series of documentaries on Texas shown on Brittish TV. I'll just assume there was a selection effect on the programs and your statement is true.

wedgebert
2004-Jan-14, 11:31 PM
I will say one thing: If intelligent life were as common in this galaxy as it is in all the Star Trek shows, I think our radio telescopes would have picked up transmissions a long time ago.


That's no true. Radio is a very horrible way to communicate over long distances. The power of the signal drops too fast to make interstellar communication viable.

Communicaton lasers (or grasers, masers or X-ray lasers) would be about the only viable lightspeed method of talking to other star systems.

It's not that they're not talking, is that we hear them.

Rc2000
2004-Jan-14, 11:50 PM
As much as I like sci-fi and all, personally I doubt there are other civilizations in the universe, with cities, star ships, etc.
But, there may well be simpler life forms out there, or even in the solar system.
I can't prove or disprove either. Like the rest of us, I'm still waiting to see what space missions might find.

Rc

daver
2004-Jan-14, 11:52 PM
As much as I like sci-fi and all, personally I doubt there are other civilizations in the universe, with cities, star ships, etc.
But, there may well be simpler life forms out there, or even in the solar system.
I can't prove or disprove either. Like the rest of us, I'm still waiting to see what space missions might find.

Rc

The universe is an awfully big place. If I had some way of collecting, I'd bet a fair amount of money that there is intelligent life somewhere else in the universe. As it stands, though, I'd say there's a reasonably good chance that we don't unambiguously encounter it before I die.

nebularain
2004-Jan-15, 12:43 AM
Why or Why not.... I do . . . Because tho there may not be any life forms on Mars... But maybe Venus , Saturn , Jupiter , Or planets in a near by galaxy. . . .

Well, if there is life on Venus, it would be a good trick since the temperature is hotter than blue blazes, the high pressure would turn you into a quick pancake, and it rains sulfuric acid!

Saturn and Jupiter? You do realize that these two planets are big balls of gas, don't you?

Well, if any of these planets have life, it ain't life like we know it. :wink:

daver
2004-Jan-15, 01:05 AM
Or planets in a near by galaxy.
Just a nit, but you know the difference between a solar system and a galaxy don't you? (too many bad movies don't)

gethen
2004-Jan-15, 01:07 AM
I have to believe that there are intelligent alien life forms out there somewhere, just based on the sheer numbers of galaxies and possible planets out there. However, I haven't seen any real evidence of that yet.
So I guess that makes my answer yes, and also no.

russ_watters
2004-Jan-15, 01:23 AM
Why or Why not.... I do because i think its selfish of us to think there are not Because tho there may not be any life forms on Mars... But maybe Venus , Saturn , Jupiter , Or planets in a near by galaxy. Plus Kecksberg. Did you guys hear if rosswell was an alien landing or a airforce test plane? Yes, I believe there is life on other planets(or moons) - maybe even in our solar system. There are several good candidates. But any other life in our solar system would be very low level (mold, moss, etc), and any intelligent life outside it is too far away for us to ever come into direct contact with.

But we should keep looking.

Humphrey
2004-Jan-15, 02:19 AM
Life in the universe other than us? Most certainly in my opini9on. Intelegent life? Sure, very likely. Intelegent life visiting us? Nope, sorry, i don;t cross the line there.

I always use this example: Think of sitting on the beach of Florida. You decide one day to jump in a rowboat (with provisions) and row to Africa. Its very hard to do and takes a very long time. There is very good chance you can and probobly will run out of resources before you get there. there are many other dangers in the area (gulf stream, storms, etc.) and finally its very easy to get lost. Both ways your only navigation is by the stars.

If you get there you land on the beach, pick up a few supples and draw a few lines in the sand. Then without ever contacting anyone you turn around and go home.


Why would someone do that?


P.S.: Welcome to the board!!! :-D

beck0311
2004-Jan-15, 03:46 AM
I personally prefer to withhold judgement. At this point a yes or no answer is purely speculation. One of the things that doesn't seem to make it into the alien debate is the issue of time. Even if on some distant planet intelligent life did evolve it seems possible that the timing would be off for us to ever make contact with them. They could be extinct by now, or in the very early stages of their evolution.

On the issue of whether or not we are being visited, I seriously doubt it. There are lots of claims but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. People see something they cannot explain and suddenly it is the work of some advanced civilization that has travelled trillions of miles in an advanced spacecraft. There has to be a simpler explanation.

Espritch
2004-Jan-15, 04:05 AM
Well, I like to think there's intelligent life on one planet in our solar system . . .

Yes. It would appear that SciFi completely forgot about the dolphins. 8-[

Dancar
2004-Jan-15, 04:44 AM
I will say one thing: If intelligent life were as common in this galaxy as it is in all the Star Trek shows, I think our radio telescopes would have picked up transmissions a long time ago.


That's no true. Radio is a very horrible way to communicate over long distances. The power of the signal drops too fast to make interstellar communication viable.

Communicaton lasers (or grasers, masers or X-ray lasers) would be about the only viable lightspeed method of talking to other star systems.

It's not that they're not talking, is that we hear them.

I didn't necessarily mean attempts to communicate among star systems. I just ment that if there's large scale technological activity going allover the place, as there is in the Star Trek universe, somethings bound to make some noise that doesn't sound like natural background noise that the radio telescopes would pick up.

Stylesjl
2004-Jan-15, 05:04 AM
Maybe those background noises are aleins 8-[

semi-sentient
2004-Jan-15, 05:22 AM
Yes. Many of the illegal ones are here in Texas! :)

LOL! So true.

pmcolt
2004-Jan-15, 06:52 AM
Let's see if I can cover all those bases.

I believe:

- that there may be remnants of life elsewhere in the solar system. I don't hold high hopes for anyplace other than Mars, and perhaps Europa or Titan.

- that there's a good possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. I don't see why Earth would be special in that regard.

- that there's a possibility of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. Based on my observations of Earth life, I'm 97.5% confident that intelligent life exists here, so why couldn't it exist elsewhere?

- that we may one day be able to detect the telltale traces of another civilization. We all live in the same universe and obey the same physical laws. Provided that intelligent life exists, why couldn't we one day pick up an early radio broadcast, or the IR signature of a Dyson cloud, or spectrographic evidence of industrial processes on other Earth-like planets?


I don't believe:

- that life currently exists elsewhere in the solar system. It would be a pretty amazing find, and probably make a few careers and elicit a Nobel or two, but until then I don't see any evidence of it.

- that life which evolved in a completely alien location would come to look like us, but shorter, with grey skin and creepy black eyes. Or like any traditional description of an 'alien'. Even if they did, I doubt they'd come here and then limit their contact with us to probing various orifices.

- that some spacecraft traveled a long distance without a hitch, only to fly out of control and crash. Truly advanced lifeforms wouldn't confuse English and metric measureements.

- that the government is keeping secret any contact with alien civilizations, whether it be crashed spacecraft, radio signals, secret invasion or anything. I have yet to be convinced that the government can keep anything secret, let alone something of this magnitude.

eburacum45
2004-Jan-15, 08:50 AM
Well done, pmcolt! You covered everything I would like to say.

I would suggest that the only detectable signs of intelligent life we will be able to detect in the next hundred years or so will be infra red emissions from high energy civilisations, as you sugessted;
and perhaps radar emissions from some kind of asteroid control system... the energy required to actively detect small objects in a civilised system will be quite high, and would probably look different to any natural phenomenon.

AstroSmurf
2004-Jan-15, 09:32 AM
Well, I like to think there's intelligent life on one planet in our solar system . . .
Yes. It would appear that SciFi completely forgot about the dolphins. 8-[
Yeah, I think them 'fins have the right idea - swimming around all day, playing around, eating a sardine every now and then sounds much better than what we're trying. So, that's one intelligent species - any other? :P

Seriously, I'd say I think chances are fairly good that we'll find bacteria-level life - possibly live but probably fossilised - somewhere in the solar system. Europa is a popular candiate, but there are other possibilities as well.

Jobe
2004-Jan-15, 10:17 AM
While it is certainly possible that intelligent life has developed elsewhere in this rather large universe, it is highly unlikely that said lifeform is visiting this backwater planet.

There definitely is NOT intelligent alien life on Mars, Venus, Saturn or Jupiter, or any other planet in this solar system.


Although I feel you're probably right, you can't say there's definitely no intelligent life in these places.

Life does not necessarily have to evolve like we did. There could be some sort of gaseous floating things in Saturn, and if there was, we wouldn't know anything about them to the extent of observation we've done so far.

In the water core of Europa, there is as good a chance of being life as anywhere we've looked so far, infact, much better. Maybe even intelligent life. There could be some sort of flappy swimming things! We haven't even taken a look under there yet.

There's certainly no signs of large scale civilisation though.

SciFi Chick
2004-Jan-15, 01:30 PM
While it is certainly possible that intelligent life has developed elsewhere in this rather large universe, it is highly unlikely that said lifeform is visiting this backwater planet.

There definitely is NOT intelligent alien life on Mars, Venus, Saturn or Jupiter, or any other planet in this solar system.


Although I feel you're probably right, you can't say there's definitely no intelligent life in these places.

Life does not necessarily have to evolve like we did. There could be some sort of gaseous floating things in Saturn, and if there was, we wouldn't know anything about them to the extent of observation we've done so far.

In the water core of Europa, there is as good a chance of being life as anywhere we've looked so far, infact, much better. Maybe even intelligent life. There could be some sort of flappy swimming things! We haven't even taken a look under there yet.

There's certainly no signs of large scale civilisation though.

I'm using this definition of intelligent from www.dictionary.com

1: having the capacity for thought and reason especially to a high degree; "is there intelligent life in the universe?";

I found the example they use to be quite ironic. :lol:

I don't believe we'll find that kind of life in our solar system. However, I find the idea of "gaseous floating things" or "flappy swimming things" to be intriguing, and I really hope you're right and I'm wrong on this. 8)

George
2004-Jan-15, 02:09 PM
Looking over the last 2,500 years, how would you describe the attitude man had in regards to the idea that Earth was the center of the universe? It gives greater meaning to the idea of "self-centeredness". "Humility comes before honor" so we, and me, ought to be mindful of this. I think this also applies to intelligent life elsewhere as mankind shouldn't glorify itself with the uniqueness idea.

The likely no. of planets in the universe is staggering. It's exciting to see this generation getting it's first taste of evidence of this likely fact. (Are we still around 100?) No doubt Earth is one of the great jewels and possibly unique in many design features.

I see no reason why God would want only us. I believe whatever reveals God to be more glorious is usually the best direction. The Milky Way as the universe, nah, add 200 billion more! Why can't there be more intelligent life out there. Even the Bible describes 4 different "aliens" with 6 wings surrounding God's throne. I suspect these beings have planetary homes.

Do I believe in aliens? No, as I do not know any.

Do I think there might be aliens out there? Yep!

A.DIM
2004-Jan-15, 02:28 PM
I think it's highly probable for advanced ET to exist, which appears to be what most people think. Going even further, a high percentage of the masses believe it's likely we've been / are being visited.
Yet the question of interstellar travel,, in the minds of "scientists," remains a definite barrier, for now. But there are Emerging possibilities for space propulsion breakthroughs (http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc1104.htm). I think Bush even alluded to this in his statement the other day, to the effect of "amazing advancements in flight."(?)
Was he referring to Boeing developing anti gravity propulsion (http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc1064.htm)?
And do we even fully understand the Physics of Interstellar Travel (http://www.mkaku.org/articles/physics_of_space_travel.shtml)?

I find it silly that we would impose our human limitations on an advanced ET civ, or even what kind of ET may exist. Would we even recognize an ET (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/mystery_monday_040105.html)?

Most fascinating for me though, is that throughout History people have depicted UFOs and ETs in artwork (http://www.ufoartwork.com/)(be sure to check out both BC and AD), religion and "mythology."
In this, a curious paradox arises: We allow for advanced ET out there, unable to visit us, and yet we have from earliest times in our own history, depicted and told tales of "gods" who came from the "heavens."

Fascinating! :D

rigel
2004-Jan-15, 03:20 PM
I don't think that there are any aliens in any nearby star sytems. The conditions for intelligent life developing this close to earth just don't seem right. Ther may be intelligent life further out. But I don't think we are going to be to go FTL to find out.

R.A.F.
2004-Jan-15, 03:30 PM
Shouldn't this thread be in the "Against the Mainstream" forum? It certainly doesn't belong in the "General Astronomy" forum.

John Kierein
2004-Jan-15, 04:02 PM
We're looking for life on Mars. That's pretty mainstream.
As for where I think we're most likely to find it, it's on free floating planets in the big black dust clouds that are full of organic molecules. They aren't necessarily around stars.
See here: http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Galaxy/7827/

SciFi Chick
2004-Jan-15, 04:04 PM
Shouldn't this thread be in the "Against the Mainstream" forum? It certainly doesn't belong in the "General Astronomy" forum.

I think speculating on the idea of life in the universe completely qualifies as General Astronomy. In fact, you can learn a lot about general astronomy when explaining why it's not rational to expect little green men to be awaiting us on Mars. :)

R.A.F.
2004-Jan-15, 04:55 PM
For the record, I'm in total agreement with SciFi Chick's statement.

Dancar
2004-Jan-15, 05:01 PM
- that life which evolved in a completely alien location would come to look like us, but shorter, with grey skin and creepy black eyes. Or like any traditional description of an 'alien'. Even if they did, I doubt they'd come here and then limit their contact with us to probing various orifices.

- that some spacecraft traveled a long distance without a hitch, only to fly out of control and crash. Truly advanced lifeforms wouldn't confuse English and metric measureements.

- that the government is keeping secret any contact with alien civilizations, whether it be crashed spacecraft, radio signals, secret invasion or anything. I have yet to be convinced that the government can keep anything secret, let alone something of this magnitude.

Would you believe that an indepentently developed alien computer operating system could be completely crippled by a virus program written on and uploaded from a Macintosh laptop?
:roll:

Dan

SciFi Chick
2004-Jan-15, 05:08 PM
Would you believe that an indepentently developed alien computer operating system could be completely crippled by a virus program written on and uploaded from a Macintosh laptop?
:roll:
Dan

About as much as I believe aliens that react to water the way we react to hydrochloric acid would want to eat us, or run around a planet that is 2/3 water with no protective clothing. Not to mention the amount of H2O in the very air we breathe. :o

semi-sentient
2004-Jan-15, 06:53 PM
^^^ Let's not forget the ability to jump up to a 2/3 story roof and not be able to kick open a wooden door!

A.DIM
2004-Jan-16, 12:13 AM
Shouldn't this thread be in the "Against the Mainstream" forum? It certainly doesn't belong in the "General Astronomy" forum.

I think speculating on the idea of life in the universe completely qualifies as General Astronomy. In fact, you can learn a lot about general astronomy when explaining why it's not rational to expect little green men to be awaiting us on Mars. :)

Well said.
But I'm curious, is it rational to consider the possibility of ancient evolved intelligent martians? I mean, considering how we're discovering the planet to be abundant in water ice and to have likely been overflowing with waters in the ancient past, it's not irrational to suppose that ET might've once dwelled there, is it?
I'm not saying this is so, I'm just making sure I understand the rationale. :wink:

Eirik
2004-Jan-16, 12:33 AM
Well said.
But I'm curious, is it rational to consider the possibility of ancient evolved intelligent martians? I mean, considering how we're discovering the planet to be abundant in water ice and to have likely been overflowing with waters in the ancient past, it's not irrational to suppose that ET might've once dwelled there, is it?
I'm not saying this is so, I'm just making sure I understand the rationale. :wink:

I beleive that it's at least mostly irrational to expect it simply because of the timing involved. Mars probebly didn't have sufficent water for long enough to make life a go all the way to large scale intelligence.

Frankly, I hope that we someday find differently. A Martian city buried in the dust would do more to spur on space exploration than anything in history. That's one reason my wish is that when the next rover lands on Mars, the first photos are of something unmistakably built.

The reality is that we're far more likely to find, at best, crustaceans. Maybe the remnents of some plant life. If something is still alive, it's probebly bacteria-like.

That brings to mind an intersting question. For the sake of argument, say that some level of civilization did exist eons ago on Mars. What kind of objects would still be around after upwards of a billion years?

AGN Fuel
2004-Jan-16, 12:46 AM
I think Bush even alluded to this in his statement the other day, to the effect of "amazing advancements in flight."

I think he was actually referring to the fact that he no longer has to queue to use the lavatory on board Air Force One. :lol:

NASA Fan
2004-Jan-16, 04:18 AM
Yes. Many of the illegal ones are here in Texas! :)

LOL! So true.

Hey some of us are legal. :D I have a green card.

Paul Beardsley
2004-Jan-16, 12:58 PM
The thing that really, really gets my goat is when people - usually laid-back blokes with beards - say, "Of course, it's very arrogant to suppose that we're alone in the universe." As if they're saying something intelligent! As if they're showing some insight into mainstream science! As if scientists generally think we're alone in the universe and these laid-back blokes with beards are one step ahead of them! As if making such a statement has any effect whatsoever on the existence or non-existence of alien life!

(Not getting at you, Xtacy - you didn't actually use the a-word. But the word "selfish" puts an emotive spin on something that is wholly intellectual and speculative.)

The fact is, the probability of life arising spontaneously is so vanishingly low that it only happened once.

Or it's so amazingly high that the entire universe is positively teeming with life.

Or it's somewhere in between the two extremes.

At the moment, we have no idea which of the above three statements is true. Personally, I think it's the third one, but it could be either of the other two. There are no credible reports of aliens visiting us, and astronomy has not yet reached the point where we can say there is or is not life in neighbouring solar systems. Until this situation changes, the only non-arrogant statement you can make about extraterrestrial life is something like, "They're probably out there somewhere but they might not be."

Paul

A.DIM
2004-Jan-16, 02:25 PM
I beleive that it's at least mostly irrational to expect it simply because of the timing involved. Mars probebly didn't have sufficent water for long enough to make life a go all the way to large scale intelligence.
Frankly, I hope that we someday find differently. A Martian city buried in the dust would do more to spur on space exploration than anything in history. That's one reason my wish is that when the next rover lands on Mars, the first photos are of something unmistakably built.
The reality is that we're far more likely to find, at best, crustaceans. Maybe the remnents of some plant life. If something is still alive, it's probebly bacteria-like.
That brings to mind an intersting question. For the sake of argument, say that some level of civilization did exist eons ago on Mars. What kind of objects would still be around after upwards of a billion years?

That's a good question. Personally I don't think there would be much left after so long, especially considering that Mars appears as if it were murdered by massive bombardment, almost flayed. I imagine such a cataclysm would virtually wipe away all signs of any ancient civ. Then again, there is "The City" to consider. :D
And I agree that Intelligent Life, as we understand it, needs a long "gestation" period. But I'm hoping Spirit or Opportunity will provide some clues as to how long water might've been present.
Exciting times indeed! :)

A.DIM
2004-Jan-16, 02:30 PM
I think Bush even alluded to this in his statement the other day, to the effect of "amazing advancements in flight."

I think he was actually referring to the fact that he no longer has to queue to use the lavatory on board Air Force One. :lol:

You're probably right! :) He's oaf-enough to have had that in mind while stammering through his speech. :lol:

A.DIM
2004-Jan-16, 02:46 PM
The thing that really, really gets my goat is when people - usually laid-back blokes with beards - say, "Of course, it's very arrogant to suppose that we're alone in the universe." As if they're saying something intelligent! As if they're showing some insight into mainstream science! As if scientists generally think we're alone in the universe and these laid-back blokes with beards are one step ahead of them! As if making such a statement has any effect whatsoever on the existence or non-existence of alien life!
(Not getting at you, Xtacy - you didn't actually use the a-word. But the word "selfish" puts an emotive spin on something that is wholly intellectual and speculative.)
The fact is, the probability of life arising spontaneously is so vanishingly low that it only happened once.
Or it's so amazingly high that the entire universe is positively teeming with life.
Or it's somewhere in between the two extremes.
At the moment, we have no idea which of the above three statements is true. Personally, I think it's the third one, but it could be either of the other two. There are no credible reports of aliens visiting us, and astronomy has not yet reached the point where we can say there is or is not life in neighbouring solar systems. Until this situation changes, the only non-arrogant statement you can make about extraterrestrial life is something like, "They're probably out there somewhere but they might not be."
Paul

Well put, Paul.
But here (above) is where I differ; There are numerous credible reports of UFOs worldwide every year. And while I believe many of them are explanable as natural phenomena, viewer mistakes, hoaxes, etc. there remains a small but significant percentage of them unexplained. Now, I'm not necessarily saying these are alien-driven, although I personally allow for the ETH, I'm only saying that there are credible sightings of UAP that are reported as being intelligently controlled. That's all.
On another note, regarding football: Any relation to Peter? He was a fav of mine some years ago. :)

daver
2004-Jan-16, 05:26 PM
... although I personally allow for the ETH
Extra-Terrestrial Hottie?

A.DIM
2004-Jan-16, 05:32 PM
... although I personally allow for the ETH
Extra-Terrestrial Hottie?

Brings Barbarella to mind! :)

Seriously though, ETH means ET Hypothesis.

semi-sentient
2004-Jan-16, 07:20 PM
Yes. Many of the illegal ones are here in Texas! :)

LOL! So true.

Hey some of us are legal. :D I have a green card.

Me too! My swim was a bit longer though (Germany). :D :wink:

Glom
2004-Jan-16, 07:22 PM
Arnold Rimmer does. Aliens that have the power to give him a new body. They must have looked something like a roast chicken.

Humphrey
2004-Jan-16, 07:47 PM
Yes. Many of the illegal ones are here in Texas! :)

LOL! So true.

Hey some of us are legal. :D I have a green card.

Me too! My swim was a bit longer though (Germany). :D :wink:

See you should try coming over Lake ontario in Febuary on a inner tube and sneaking onshore. Alot of fun. :-)

Paul Beardsley
2004-Jan-17, 09:28 PM
Well put, Paul.

Thank, you, A. DIM.


But here (above) is where I differ; There are numerous credible reports of UFOs worldwide every year. And while I believe many of them are explanable as natural phenomena, viewer mistakes, hoaxes, etc. there remains a small but significant percentage of them unexplained. Now, I'm not necessarily saying these are alien-driven, although I personally allow for the ETH, I'm only saying that there are credible sightings of UAP that are reported as being intelligently controlled. That's all.

I'm not familiar with the terms ETH and UAP, so this might have a bearing on my next bit.

There is a huge, huge difference between a credible report of an actual alien visit (which is where one sits down and has tea with a green man) and a credible report of a thing seen in the sky which does not readily fall into an identified category (which is when one sees a light in the sky and isn't sure if it's a plane or something else). We may have had a fair few of the latter, but we haven't had any of the former.

If you see something in the sky that you don't immediately recognise, it could be that it's an alien spaceship which has travelled across many light years in order to flit about for a bit and then go home. But I'm inclined to put this particular explanation fairly low on my list of "probables".

You say, "And while I believe many of them are explanable as natural phenomena, viewer mistakes, hoaxes, etc. there remains a small but significant percentage of them unexplained." Well, I keep hearing this trotted out. People say things like, "Yeah, a lot of the sightings are misidentifications, and a lot of them are lies, but that doesn't account for all of them." Trouble is, nobody has ever given me actual figures on this - it's more like, "If you take first unknown, add second unknown, and then add third unknown, I'd like to think the answer is less than 100%." So what is this "small but significant percentage"?

Where aliens are concerned, there is one thing I am absolutely sure of. Up till now, every account of an encounter with aliens has been someone's fantasy; if this ever becomes a reality, the impact will affect everyone, and the world will never be the same again.


On another note, regarding football: Any relation to Peter? He was a fav of mine some years ago. :)

If you ever saw me try to play football you would not ask this question! :D

AFAIK I am not related to Peter Beardsley, although I often get called Peter by mistake. My dad does look slightly similar to the fin de siecle decadent artist Aubrey Beardsley... but I can't even draw. (My dad can, though.) OTOH, I doubt that Peter or Aubrey could write science fiction or navigate their way around the sky, so it's six of one, really.

Paul

A.DIM
2004-Jan-17, 10:13 PM
I'm not familiar with the terms ETH and UAP, so this might have a bearing on my next bit.
UAP - Unidientified Arial Phenomena
ETH - ET Hypothesis


There is a huge, huge difference between a credible report of an actual alien visit (which is where one sits down and has tea with a green man) and a credible report of a thing seen in the sky which does not readily fall into an identified category (which is when one sees a light in the sky and isn't sure if it's a plane or something else). We may have had a fair few of the latter, but we haven't had any of the former.
Ah, I see; You're referring to a close encounter of the fourth kind.
I agree. Credible reports of this sort are few & far between, if at all. Unless of course, we take the Sumerians on their word that they knew the Anunnaki (those from Heaven to Earth came) as real flesh and blood beings. :)

If you see something in the sky that you don't immediately recognise, it could be that it's an alien spaceship which has travelled across many light years in order to flit about for a bit and then go home. But I'm inclined to put this particular explanation fairly low on my list of "probables".
While I understand where you're coming from, I disagree with stock- answers like "travel many light years to flit about ... and then go home."
This is employed all too often when debating whether or not visitation is possible. It seems we impose our reasoning and logic, not to mention our scientific limitations, on these hypothetical ETs when asking "Why would they do that?" The truth is, we have no idea what motives or technological limitations they operate under.


You say, "And while I believe many of them are explanable as natural phenomena, viewer mistakes, hoaxes, etc. there remains a small but significant percentage of them unexplained." Well, I keep hearing this trotted out. People say things like, "Yeah, a lot of the sightings are misidentifications, and a lot of them are lies, but that doesn't account for all of them." Trouble is, nobody has ever given me actual figures on this - it's more like, "If you take first unknown, add second unknown, and then add third unknown, I'd like to think the answer is less than 100%." So what is this "small but significant percentage"?

I wish I knew the actual figure.
I've found that this UFO Evidence (http://www.etcontact.net/) site contains much info and case studies on the phenomenon, from proponents and skeptics alike. You can decide for yourself whether or not these cases are credible and what percentage they might comprise.

Cheers.

Archer17
2004-Jan-17, 11:43 PM
I think there's no real way to come up with exact figures of what constitutes an "unexplained" UFO sighting by just reading UFO reports. In defense of the "stock" A.DIM mentions, I think ascribing a different logic to hypothetical aliens is just a way to get around the simple fact that this phenomena has never amounted to anything .. just the SOS year after year. Sure, if ET exists they might have completely different thought- processes, but why come here if you ain't going to do anything? Ever! You are entitled to your beliefs A.DIM and I know there's people here more open-minded than me on the possibilities, but the m/o of this phenomena is one of the stronger arguments against ET-piloted UFOs regardless of any speculations as to why aliens might not "make sense." In fact it's the main reason I don't believe.

For those with any open mind, ask yourself.. if ET is advanced/intelligent enough to come here from a great distance and decided to do so, wouldn't they make it count sooner or later? Is the fact they are alien excuse them from acting like they had a reason for coming here? I don't think unknown "alien logic" is sufficient to certify the vagaries of this phenomenon, this is just a crutch used by believers when the big picture doesn't make any sense.. and like it or not, the concept of ET coming here and just mucking around for decades or centuries (take your pick) doesn't make sense. Believers know that's a big strike against this nonsense so they simply say "how can you know what they think?" (I think you can call this the believer's "stock.") When believers can't prove ET was here or explain the inconsistencies or their erratic behavior vis-à-vis their m/o, it must be because ET dances to a different beat. In other words.. make excuses for 'em. This might be good enough for those who want to believe but it's a lousy substitute for real proof as far as I'm concerned .. and guess what? There isn't any.

R.A.F.
2004-Jan-18, 06:34 PM
I would LOVE to see evidence of extraterrestrial visitations...but I will not accept half-baked "proofs" as that evidence. If/when we discover ET, I want it to be real.

granolaeater
2004-Jan-18, 08:19 PM
Well, if there is life on Venus, it would be a good trick since the temperature is hotter than blue blazes, the high pressure would turn you into a quick pancake, and it rains sulfuric acid!



Life must not neccesserily be on the surface.
Look here http://www.newscientist.com/hottopics/astrobiology/venusmicrobe.jsp

The idea seems highly speculative to me, but interesting and worthy to further investigation.

Paul Beardsley
2004-Jan-19, 01:09 PM
Ah, I see; You're referring to a close encounter of the fourth kind.

I thought having a cup of tea with an alien counted as the third kind, but I’m no expert.


I agree. Credible reports of this sort are few & far between, if at all. Unless of course, we take the Sumerians on their word that they knew the Anunnaki (those from Heaven to Earth came) as real flesh and blood beings.

I tend to favour the “if at all” myself. As for the Sumerians, well maybe, but bear in mind that the inhabitants of the West Indies thought that Columbus and his crew had come from the sky.


While I understand where you're coming from, I disagree with stock- answers like "travel many light years to flit about ... and then go home."
This is employed all too often when debating whether or not visitation is possible. It seems we impose our reasoning and logic, not to mention our scientific limitations, on these hypothetical ETs when asking "Why would they do that?" The truth is, we have no idea what motives or technological limitations they operate under.

I have to agree with Archer17 comment regarding believers’ stock responses. Logic is logic – it’s not a question of being “our” logic. Sure, an alien’s motivation might be totally different from our own, but then, so is the motivation of a spider or an ant colony - or for that matter another human being with a strange hobby. Their behaviour is thus very different to our own but it still makes sense.

The problem is, if aliens choose (for whatever reason) to arrive in our skies, flit about a bit, then disappear again, then from our point of view they are indistinguishable from natural phenomena – birds, fire flies, ice crystals in the upper atmosphere and so on. In which case, they have camoflaged themselves so well that sightings of them do not count as evidence. Otherwise, you might as well count an empty sky as evidence of aliens – they’ve obviously mastered invisibility! I mean yes, maybe aliens have mastered invisibility, but Occam suggests we don't just assume it!

Of course, it they flitted about in the sky in a way that nothing on Earth is known to do, then they might be worth investigating.

(I looked up “camoflage” in the dictionary but I couldn’t find it...)


I wish I knew the actual figure.

Well how about a ballpark figure? Better still, how about a single instance of a well-documented sighting made by a reliable and educated witness (or better still team of witnesses) with readily available and well-scrutinised video footage? Instead of just another piece of footage of an object that is obviously Venus filmed by someone with unsteady hands at Bonnybridge.

But what I really want to know is, why do people assume that the number of actual sightings is greater than the number of sightings that can be explained? Does someone have a table showing total sightings for 2003 followed by a breakdown – something like, “Total=2007, Obvious Hoaxes 843, Misidentification of AIrcraft=290, Misidentification of Natural Phenomena =870, Other=4.”? You say, “I wish I knew the actual figure,” suggesting you haven’t actually seen such a table, and yet you are prepared to believe that “Other” is greater than zero. Why do you believe “Other” is greater than zero? Do you just hear that the total number of sightings is big, and you respond with, “Well they can’t all be hoaxes and misidentifications?”

Sorry if this seems heavy-handed, but I really want to know why people think the way they do.

Paul

SeanF
2004-Jan-19, 02:41 PM
(I looked up “camoflage” in the dictionary but I couldn’t find it...)

Camouflage (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?r=2&q=camouflage). I highly recommend dictionary.com (http://www.dictionary.com). If you type in "camoflage," it'll ask, "Did you mean 'camouflage'?" :)

Excellent post, by the way.

George
2004-Jan-19, 02:43 PM
Yes. Many of the illegal ones are here in Texas! :)

LOL! So true.

Hey some of us are legal. :D I have a green card.

Me too! My swim was a bit longer though (Germany). :D :wink:

See you should try coming over Lake ontario in Febuary on a inner tube and sneaking onshore. Alot of fun. :-)

You might be able to walk across this year. :) Don't bring your ray gun. [-X

A.DIM
2004-Jan-19, 04:13 PM
Ah, I see; You're referring to a close encounter of the fourth kind.
I thought having a cup of tea with an alien counted as the third kind, but I’m no expert.

Nor am I an expert, but the 4th kind are cases where the occupants of a spacecraft initiate personal contact with a human being.



I agree. Credible reports of this sort are few & far between, if at all. Unless of course, we take the Sumerians on their word that they knew the Anunnaki (those from Heaven to Earth came) as real flesh and blood beings.
I tend to favour the “if at all” myself. As for the Sumerians, well maybe, but bear in mind that the inhabitants of the West Indies thought that Columbus and his crew had come from the sky.

Indeed, those natives probably had someone like Queztlcoatl in mind. Cultures around the world relay myths of the "gods," or "Star People," or Anunnaki, that came from the heavens, created Man, and eventually bestowed on him kingship and civilization, and often expected their return, in the flesh.



While I understand where you're coming from, I disagree with stock- answers like "travel many light years to flit about ... and then go home." This is employed all too often when debating whether or not visitation is possible. It seems we impose our reasoning and logic, not to mention our scientific limitations, on these hypothetical ETs when asking "Why would they do that?" The truth is, we have no idea what motives or technological limitations they operate under.
I have to agree with Archer17 comment regarding believers’ stock responses. Logic is logic – it’s not a question of being “our” logic. Sure, an alien’s motivation might be totally different from our own, but then, so is the motivation of a spider or an ant colony - or for that matter another human being with a strange hobby. Their behaviour is thus very different to our own but it still makes sense.
The problem is, if aliens choose (for whatever reason) to arrive in our skies, flit about a bit, then disappear again, then from our point of view they are indistinguishable from natural phenomena – birds, fire flies, ice crystals in the upper atmosphere and so on. In which case, they have camoflaged themselves so well that sightings of them do not count as evidence. Otherwise, you might as well count an empty sky as evidence of aliens – they’ve obviously mastered invisibility! I mean yes, maybe aliens have mastered invisibility, but Occam suggests we don't just assume it!
I agree, and I posted on the previous page (with links) some of the reasons why I think the way I do.


Of course, it they flitted about in the sky in a way that nothing on Earth is known to do, then they might be worth investigating.
Quite right.
But that is exactly what Unexplained Arial Phenomena do. And unfortunately, the phenomena hasn't been taken seriously for too long, which is reflected in the lack of good data.

This is the General Physical Evidence (http://www.ufoevidence.org/topics/PhysicalEvidence.htm) page with several good papers dealing with the "evidence," as it were. There are more detailed papers as well, in subsets under "Physical Evidence."



I wish I knew the actual figure.
Well how about a ballpark figure? Better still, how about a single instance of a well-documented sighting made by a reliable and educated witness (or better still team of witnesses) with readily available and well-scrutinised video footage? Instead of just another piece of footage of an object that is obviously Venus filmed by someone with unsteady hands at Bonnybridge.

Personally, I'd consider astronauts (http://www.ufoevidence.org/topics/Astronauts.htm) "reliable and educated." Now, I certainly don't discount the possibility of any one of them "misidentifying" something, but couple astronauts' statements with numerous pilots' as well, and... well, it begins to look like at least not all of these seemingly "reliable and educated" people could be cranks.


But what I really want to know is, why do people assume that the number of actual sightings is greater than the number of sightings that can be explained? Does someone have a table showing total sightings for 2003 followed by a breakdown – something like, “Total=2007, Obvious Hoaxes 843, Misidentification of AIrcraft=290, Misidentification of Natural Phenomena =870, Other=4.”? You say, “I wish I knew the actual figure,” suggesting you haven’t actually seen such a table, and yet you are prepared to believe that “Other” is greater than zero. Why do you believe “Other” is greater than zero? Do you just hear that the total number of sightings is big, and you respond with, “Well they can’t all be hoaxes and misidentifications?”

I find Playing The Percentages (http://www.bufora.org.uk/archive/playing_percentages.htm) to be relevant; most important is pointing out the shortcomings of research into the phenomena. Which, of course, is why these debates continue to rage. :)

And here's a 1997 Canadian UFO Survey (http://www.scientificexploration.org/jse/articles/ufo_reports/rodeghier/8.html) with percentages and such. I can't find anything similar for the US, or even the reast of the world. Again, I think this comes back to the fact that the phenomena have never really been taken seriously.


Sorry if this seems heavy-handed, but I really want to know why people think the way they do.

No worries, Paul.
I realize how "far out" my opinions may seem and understand that they will inevitably come under attack, especially within a "scientific" arena.

But I've also consulted The UFO Debunker's Guidebook (http://extraterrestrial-life.net/ufo_debunker.htm) in an effort to understand why people think the way they do. :D

How to debunk UFOs and Discredit UFO Proponents:

1. Point out that very large percentages of things reported as UFOs turn out to have conventional explanations (but don't talk about individual observers' varying abilities or how believers screen and investigate cases).

2. Always refer to them as UFO believers or ET believers, implying that their position is faith-based.

3. Argue that any given case could have been something conventional and we will never know because we never have all the facts (but don't acknowledge that well-qualified observers have reported unexplained craft-like objects displaying extraordinary performance totaling in the hundreds or thousands).

4. (Corollary to 3): Avoid any mention of the patterns of appearance and behavior in unexplained cases worldwide for many decades.

5. Focus on the well-known problems and limitations of human perception (but never mention that people are incarcerated on the basis of eye-witness testimony, that our court systems could not function without it, and that if human perception were as inadequate as claimed, nobody would dare to cross a busy street or fly an airplane).

6. Comment regularly on human credulity and wishful thinking, in a desire for saviors from space (just don't mention that it applies only to cultists on the fringes of ufology, nor that close encounter cases typically scare the pants off of the witnesses rather than inspire them).

7. Always act as if no one before you has really conducted a thorough investigation in classic UFO cases so that it's only a matter of time and diligence before the answers will be found (but avoid mentioning that the suggested answers you propose either have already been found wanting or fail to account for the salient features of the case).

8. Demand that UFO believers produce just one spaceship or physical evidence that one has been here. (Never mind that other scientific topics don't require that degree of concrete proof in order to consider something worth studying, such as Agent Orange, SETI signals, or Black Holes.)
:P

A.DIM
2004-Jan-19, 05:11 PM
Well, if there is life on Venus, it would be a good trick since the temperature is hotter than blue blazes, the high pressure would turn you into a quick pancake, and it rains sulfuric acid!



Life must not neccesserily be on the surface.
Look here http://www.newscientist.com/hottopics/astrobiology/venusmicrobe.jsp

The idea seems highly speculative to me, but interesting and worthy to further investigation.

I agree, but I don't find it so speculative.
I linked to this recent Space.com (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/mystery_monday_040105.html) article on extremophile ETs a page ago.
Extremophiles are proven, also suggestive in Mars-like conditions (http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/new_life_030731.html). So why not Venus too? Personally, I'm betting on Europa...

Paul Beardsley
2004-Jan-20, 12:52 PM
Personally, I'd consider astronauts (http://www.ufoevidence.org/topics/Astronauts.htm) "reliable and educated." Now, I certainly don't discount the possibility of any one of them "misidentifying" something, but couple astronauts' statements with numerous pilots' as well, and... well, it begins to look like at least not all of these seemingly "reliable and educated" people could be cranks.

But there’s still that colossal difference between seeing something you don’t recognise and that something being evidence of an alien visit.



Sorry if this seems heavy-handed, but I really want to know why people think the way they do.

No worries, Paul.
I realize how "far out" my opinions may seem and understand that they will inevitably come under attack, especially within a "scientific" arena.

I’m endlessly delighted at how civilised this discussion group is. On some Doctor Who websites, you can be subjected for torrents of abuse just for liking one particular Doctor more than another.


But I've also consulted The UFO Debunker's Guidebook (http://extraterrestrial-life.net/ufo_debunker.htm) in an effort to understand why people think the way they do. :D

How to debunk UFOs and Discredit UFO Proponents:

1. Point out that very large percentages of things reported as UFOs turn out to have conventional explanations (but don't talk about individual observers' varying abilities or how believers screen and investigate cases).

The thing is, if 80% of reports are readily shown to have conventional explanations, and the remaining 20% don’t actually lead to anything tangible, then it’s probably safe to assume that the remaining 20% also have conventional explanations.


2. Always refer to them as UFO believers or ET believers, implying that their position is faith-based.

What word should we use? (If the cap fits...)


3. Argue that any given case could have been something conventional and we will never know because we never have all the facts (but don't acknowledge that well-qualified observers have reported unexplained craft-like objects displaying extraordinary performance totaling in the hundreds or thousands).

What’s a “craft-like” object? An object that resembles a craft? I know they exist! Some of them are actual craft, of course, and some are cloud formations, ball lightning, a plane’s own reflection and so on.


4. (Corollary to 3): Avoid any mention of the patterns of appearance and behavior in unexplained cases worldwide for many decades.

Like the way they all seem to congregate in Bonnybridge to do... nothing at all?


5. Focus on the well-known problems and limitations of human perception (but never mention that people are incarcerated on the basis of eye-witness testimony, that our court systems could not function without it, and that if human perception were as inadequate as claimed, nobody would dare to cross a busy street or fly an airplane).

Worlds of difference. People are rarely incarcerated on the basis of one eye-witness seeing a light they couldn’t account for. Come to that, in court you get the, "It could have been him but it was dark, m'lud, and he was a long way away..."


6. Comment regularly on human credulity and wishful thinking, in a desire for saviors from space (just don't mention that it applies only to cultists on the fringes of ufology, nor that close encounter cases typically scare the pants off of the witnesses rather than inspire them).

Wishful thinking affects most of us. I really really want Mars to have life, for instance, however much I tell myself I’m interested in what Mars is really like rather than what it should be like.


7. Always act as if no one before you has really conducted a thorough investigation in classic UFO cases so that it's only a matter of time and diligence before the answers will be found (but avoid mentioning that the suggested answers you propose either have already been found wanting or fail to account for the salient features of the case).

I’ll have to take your word for it on that one.


8. Demand that UFO believers produce just one spaceship or physical evidence that one has been here. (Never mind that other scientific topics don't require that degree of concrete proof in order to consider something worth studying, such as Agent Orange, SETI signals, or Black Holes.)
:P


Black holes arose from solid scientific theory. The evidence for their existence can be observed independently and repeatably. Even so, they were treated with skepticism for a long time. Much the same can be said of Agent Orange, and SETI is pretty good evidence that “scientists” are genuinely interested in the possibility that aliens might exist.

But the claim that UFOs are actually visiting Earth is a huge claim with huge consequences, and therefore demand very solid proof.

This attempt to turn things around – to suggest that asking that much proof is asking too much - is more or less conclusive evidence that the writer of these eight points knows the proof is not forthcoming for the simple fact that the thing he or she wants to prove is not true.

The question remains, if they are here, why aren’t they here?
[/quote]

Diamond
2004-Jan-20, 01:04 PM
Is there any evidence for alien life? No. Could there be? Sure.

Will SETI find it? Probably not.

Could there be alien intelligence in the Universe? Sure, but the Universe is a big place and so ultimately this depends on how quickly humans can become a spacefaring civilisation and encounter it.

Do I think there is alien intelligent life in our immediate vicinity? Almost certainly not.

It comes down to what is scientific. Can I believe in something with no theory, no evidence and no way to decide between true and false statements? No. Tempting, but no.

A.DIM
2004-Jan-21, 02:56 PM
But there’s still that colossal difference between seeing something you don’t recognise and that something being evidence of an alien visit.

OK, I concur.
It is only "evidence" for me because I allow the ETH. And considering the many Radar-Visual cases (http://www.ufoevidence.org/documents/doc498.htm) that describe a "craft intelligently controlled;" some even playing "chase" with aircraft, I find it difficult to relegate them to natural phenomena.


I’m endlessly delighted at how civilised this discussion group is.

Oh... I don't know... I've seen a number of debates deteriorate into mudslinging and character attacks which resulted in someone being "banned" or the thread locked... :D

But seriously, this place is great. One of only two places to which I care to post; The other being Ikyoto's FWIS Index.

And regarding the UFO Debunker's Guidebook: I posted it mostly tongue-in-cheek but I must admit that I've witnessed any number, if not all, of these arguments used as if a final say on the matter.


The thing is, if 80% of reports are readily shown to have conventional explanations, and the remaining 20% don’t actually lead to anything tangible, then it’s probably safe to assume that the remaining 20% also have conventional explanations.

Personally, I consider Radar-Visual cases as producing something tangible; likewise with Electromagnetic Effects. I certainly don't claim that these constitute "proof" in any way, only that there are anomolies within the UFO phenomena that warrant serious scientific inquiry.


What word should we use? (If the cap fits...)

For me? I'd prefer "proponent" because I allow the ETH. I don't "believe"the ETH to be true, as it is only a hypothesis. I think it is likely based on what I consider evidence, but I understand all too well the rigors of the scientific method. And as is obvious, "science," as it were, hasn't investigated well enough to establish with certainty what is causing the phenomena.


What’s a “craft-like” object? An object that resembles a craft? I know they exist! Some of them are actual craft, of course, and some are cloud formations, ball lightning, a plane’s own reflection and so on.

Indeed, and some are described as saucer or disc-like with revolving lights executing unreal flight maneuvers and speeds; described as playing chase with both airplanes and vehicles, or even just hovering for abit. Why they do this? I don't know. We can only speculate.


Like the way they all seem to congregate in Bonnybridge to do... nothing at all?

Likewise here: we can only speculate. I mean, the event in the 50s over Washington DC where radar-visual occured and fighters were scrambled
leaves us thinking they were there just "hangin out" and executing various formations... until the jets arrived, then they "flitted" off?


Worlds of difference. People are rarely incarcerated on the basis of one eye-witness seeing a light they couldn’t account for. Come to that, in court you get the, "It could have been him but it was dark, m'lud, and he was a long way away..."

Indeed.
But people are frequently incarcerated on the basis of one eyewitness seeing them pull the trigger.


Wishful thinking affects most of us. I really really want Mars to have life, for instance, however much I tell myself I’m interested in what Mars is really like rather than what it should be like.

I find it amusing that I hear this so often from "skeptics"
"I really really want ET to be real, and they probably are - out there - just not that they visit us." But I know what you mean as far as "wishful thinking;" it affects us all some time or other. :wink:


Black holes arose from solid scientific theory. The evidence for their existence can be observed independently and repeatably. Even so, they were treated with skepticism for a long time. Much the same can be said of Agent Orange, and SETI is pretty good evidence that “scientists” are genuinely interested in the possibility that aliens might exist.

I agree, but with SETI we're looking for it "out there," not here on earth where the "evidence" repeats itself yearly with many independent, I daresay reliable, sources. And yet not near the amounts of money invested in SETI or Black Holes research is considered for UAP.


But the claim that UFOs are actually visiting Earth is a huge claim with huge consequences, and therefore demand very solid proof.

I very much agree, which is why you should consider me only a proponent and not a believer; that cap is too small for me anway.


This attempt to turn things around – to suggest that asking that much proof is asking too much - is more or less conclusive evidence that the writer of these eight points knows the proof is not forthcoming for the simple fact that the thing he or she wants to prove is not true.

I disagree. I think this amusing "guide" comes more from turning a skeptical eye on "scientific skepticism" when considering the UFO phenomena. After all, as "scientists," we'd be hypocrites not to do so.


The question remains, if they are here, why aren’t they here?


Are they not? :D

eburacum45
2004-Jan-21, 06:27 PM
No;
they are not.

Radar- visual cases in particular are particularly good reasons to dismiss the ET hypothesis for UFO'S; as that site points out, most such cases occured in the 50's, when radar was relatively unreliable; now that radar can be used to detect small items of orbital debris, they don't occur.

That is because they were never real in the first place.

Heroin
2004-Jan-21, 06:44 PM
I think there might be small life forms undeground on mars like microsopic creatures.

SiriMurthy
2004-Jan-21, 07:26 PM
Do you believe in aliens?

Absolutely. I am one of them. No conspiracy. Even the United States government admits that I am an alien and they have given me an "Alien Registration Card".

At the least, that should be a big blow to the conspiracy believers.

:P :lol:

A.DIM
2004-Jan-21, 10:10 PM
Radar- visual cases in particular are particularly good reasons to dismiss the ET hypothesis for UFO'S; as that site points out, most such cases occured in the 50's, when radar was relatively unreliable; now that radar can be used to detect small items of orbital debris, they don't occur.

I disagree and the site says no such thing. Instead, it states that Radar-Visual cases are more authentic than anything else and certainly aren't limited to the 50s.

From the "Radar Visual" article:

"Although many of these sightings date back to the 1950's this doesn't mean they are not still a frequent occurrence. What is less likely today are the chances of incidents becoming known to the public. Even aside from the obvious aspects of security there is the fact that there is simply no provision for investigating anomalous radar blips if they are thought to pose no threat to other aircraft. After all a busy radar operator is scarcely likely to jeopardise air traffic by turning his attention to some unusual object merely for the entertainment value. At best he may report it to his superiors who themselves may not have the time to adequately investigate.
The fact is that the average radar installation is simply not geared towards carrying out Ufological research, and this is what makes the above mentioned cases so unique."

And I suggest you take a look through the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena (http://www.narcap.org/international%20orgs%20case%20files/intlorgscases.htm) to get truer feel for how recent Radar Visual cases are. As a matter of fact, NARCAP was only founded a few years ago, and has a NASA scientist, richard Haines, as Chief Investigator into the phenomena.
This report (http://www.narcap.org/REPORTS/Emcarm.htm) of some 60 UAP cases brings the phenomena into the 80s. Think it stops there? Ha.
Now, if these UAP, including Radar Visual cases, were a byproduct of 50s tech, why in the 21st Century are scientists only begininng to take it more seriously?

Oh yeah... because "they were never real in the first place." :-?

R.A.F.
2004-Jan-21, 11:07 PM
..."science," as it were, hasn't investigated well enough to establish with certainty what is causing the phenomena.

Well, that's your opinion, and it begs this question...how much more investigation do you consider necessary before the "cause" of this phenomena is answered to your satisfaction?

Archer17
2004-Jan-21, 11:37 PM
Let's not forget that this is the "astronomy" forum and the issue of UFOs has been debated to death in another forum with nothing resolved and a lot of hard feelings generated. Let's just say we all have our take on this issue and there are plenty of internet sites one can link to that will promote whatever argument one wants to make, whether pro or con or somewhere in between. When all is said and done, it boils down to personal convictions anyway and I'd hate to see this thread degenerate into another fruitless debate.

I find speculation about the possibility of life on Mars, Europa or even Venus to more in the spirit of this forum and it's interesting in it's own right. The article about hardy microorganisms possibly existing in the Venusian atmosphere was quite interesting IMO and while I find it speculative as well, it's something that merits investigation. With the Spirit rover on Mars and things like Europa down the road I think we can talk about alien life without it getting bogged down by the UFO question.. at least I would hope so.

sarongsong
2004-Jan-23, 08:33 PM
Let's see what the "big boys" come up with:
"A galactic mystery hovers over the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland: How many of the 2,280 global leaders, including 31 heads of state, gathered in this Alpine resort conduct business with extraterrestrials?
This is no whimsy for Davosians.
It's on the agenda of the annual powwow of the influential and affluent who will ask forum participants such as Vice President Dick Cheney, Coca-Cola Chairman Douglas Daft and De La Rue Chief Executive Ian Much if the aliens have landed and are collaborating with them to concoct government policy, brew soda pop and mint Iraq's new bank notes..."
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/business/2365195

Archer17
2004-Jan-23, 09:10 PM
Must be a slow day in Dopplerville :wink:

sarongsong
2004-Jan-24, 12:45 AM
Must be a slow day in Dopplerville---Archer17
I don't know...Delbert looks like he has a full plate here:
http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=drdoppler

Archer17
2004-Jan-24, 12:56 AM
Considering the "full plate" and all I'm glad to see you still found the time to drop by and pay us a visit =D>

Lomitus
2004-Feb-22, 06:43 PM
Hey Folks,
I realize this is an older thread...I just found it while searching for some UFO conspiracy stuff. Also, I only just found this forum/bbs last week when I bought my first telescope, but regardless it's one of my favorite topics and I just felt compelled to replay :-).

First off, yes...I -definatly- think there is other forms of intelligent life out there somewhere. Just from a mathmatical probability standpoint, its highly unlikely that we're alone out here. I'm currently in the process of reading Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" for the first time (and am also taping the PBS series for later review), and he clearly states that the organic compounds needed to create "life" are readily abundant in the universe. I'm sure most of you have probably read this book at some time, and for those that haven't...do it! It's an outstanding book! Sagan is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors :-). Some in this thread had mentioned that it would be impossible for life to be on a planet such as Jupiter because it is a gas giant...if you read this book, you will see that it is -possible- that life could actually evolve there (or on a similar planet). Yes the life would be significantly different from what we know on this planet, but I think as mankind (and womankind) starts to actually explore the universe, thats gonna be one of the most wonderful things we discover...how different life can be out there! Just based on the diversity of life on our own planet alone, its -highly- unlikely that most lifeforms out there are going to be similar to humans...only man's arrogance would make such an assumption.

Are UFO's real? I would believe yes...I think it's quite possible that someone has taken an interest in us and our developement. Imagine ourselves in a few hundred or a few thousand years when we're out there exploring the stars...it would be quite facinating to "observe" primitive cultures in the same state of evolution that we are in. Would we be abducting them for scientific experiments or trying to "mate" with them? Give me a break...whats the point! I honestly think that UFO's should be taken with a grain of salt. It's quite concievable that any species thats intelligent enough for intergalactice travel is also going to have the technology to be able to -easily- keep themselves hidden from our meager technologies...heck, we do it to each other all the time (read "stealth" technology here)! Now, I will say that I also believe that just because a civilization is advanced does not mean that it's also completely void of any sense of humor...I think its quite possible that some random passer-by may occasionally decide to stop and "screw with the locals" (LOL!). Face it...since the earliest days of flight, we've had folks that engage in the art of "barn storming" just to scare the crap out of other people! Sounds like a lot of innocent fun to me :-). Also, allowing yourselves to be seen occasionally and obsurly could as well be considered as one way to help prepair a relativly backwards culture such as our own to at least the -possibiliy- that other life is out there, without creating world-wide panics. There's some logic in that. But to believe -all- the kook's who report UFO's and alien abductions would simply be absurd in my view...after all, I have an uncle that believes he's Napolean!

Why haven't we seen or heard anything scientific, such as radio signals yet? A few folks in this thread have made it pretty clear that radio is a very inefficient way to communicate across the stars! I'm quite sure that any species capable of intergallactic travell has developed -considerably- more efficient forms of communication...we simply don't know how to listen yet! While I'm sure that most of the universe if quite bound by the same laws of physics and such that we are, I'm also quite sure that we have not yet discovered all of the things that make the universe...or even our world, actually work. Despite such technological wonders that we've developed over this last century...such as the internet that allows me to make these ramped ramblings to anyone across the world willing to take a look at them...we're still quite primative as a culture and still quite technologically backwards. Lets face it...we've had a 2000 year set back in technology known as Christianity. In ancient Greece, let alone other cultures such as Egypt, the ancient Mayan's, etc., human's knew the Earth was round and we were already starting to plot, or at least look at the stars. Then along came "the church" and set us back several hundred years! Think about where we'd be if it hadn't of been for all of that...we may actually already be out there exploring!

It's also not inconcievable that other intelligent cultures may have had their technologies evolve in entirely different fasions. Our technological revolution began with the advent of the vacumme tube (a device -still- in use today!). While a vacumme tube, or "valve", is a wonderful device for creating a greatl guitar sound, their are quite inefficient devices. In fact, the guy that actually invented the "Tube" didn't even truly realize what he created...it took others to actually come up with a use for them! Some other culture out there may have stumbled upon something like "sub-space" communications a long time ago and discovered life on other planets long before us because of their discovery. We simply have not yet learned how to listen or what to listen for yet.

Lastly, I -strongly- believe that any form of life capable of travelling the stars (or at least communicating thru them) is also advanced enough to know...we are not ready. Plain and simply put, we are still a very primative, arogant, manipulative, power hungry society that still has not yet learned how to play nice with each other. Take a look at what has happened in Iraq for example...look at the people on both sides, both those that instigated it and those supporting it and tell me that these people are ready to embrace something as different as life from another planet! We still have this tendancy to polute and destroy aspects of our own world, as well as each other...should we really be taking this to the stars??? Again, we're not ready and I really think that -they- know it...how could they not know if they actually are observing us.

With that said...times -are- changing. Despite politics, ignorance and greed, there are positive signs of change. People are starting to realize that destroying the rain forests is wrong...many people realize the damage that can be done with nuclear weapons...we are beginning to realize the damage that pollution can do, etc.. The change is slow...as change always is. We still have a -very long- way to go...but the hope is there.

Keep looking up...keep listening...keep watching. They'll let us know when they think we're ready :-).


Again, obviously this is a passion of mine and despite the date of the thread, I really just had to add my $.02 worth here!

Bright Blessings & Gentle Breezes to all!
Jim

Sirius
2004-Feb-23, 01:42 AM
No. Defineateley not aliens. I'm the only one.:)

Loonie
2004-Feb-24, 12:01 AM
Hey Folks,
I realize this is an older thread...I just found it while searching for some UFO conspiracy stuff. Also, I only just found this forum/bbs last week when I bought my first telescope, but regardless it's one of my favorite topics and I just felt compelled to replay :-).

First off, yes...I -definatly- think there is other forms of intelligent life out there somewhere. Just from a mathmatical probability standpoint, its highly unlikely that we're alone out here. I'm currently in the process of reading Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" for the first time (and am also taping the PBS series for later review), and he clearly states that the organic compounds needed to create "life" are readily abundant in the universe. I'm sure most of you have probably read this book at some time, and for those that haven't...do it! It's an outstanding book! Sagan is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors :-). Some in this thread had mentioned that it would be impossible for life to be on a planet such as Jupiter because it is a gas giant...if you read this book, you will see that it is -possible- that life could actually evolve there (or on a similar planet). Yes the life would be significantly different from what we know on this planet, but I think as mankind (and womankind) starts to actually explore the universe, thats gonna be one of the most wonderful things we discover...how different life can be out there! Just based on the diversity of life on our own planet alone, its -highly- unlikely that most lifeforms out there are going to be similar to humans...only man's arrogance would make such an assumption.

Are UFO's real? I would believe yes...I think it's quite possible that someone has taken an interest in us and our developement. Imagine ourselves in a few hundred or a few thousand years when we're out there exploring the stars...it would be quite facinating to "observe" primitive cultures in the same state of evolution that we are in. Would we be abducting them for scientific experiments or trying to "mate" with them? Give me a break...whats the point! I honestly think that UFO's should be taken with a grain of salt. It's quite concievable that any species thats intelligent enough for intergalactice travel is also going to have the technology to be able to -easily- keep themselves hidden from our meager technologies...heck, we do it to each other all the time (read "stealth" technology here)! Now, I will say that I also believe that just because a civilization is advanced does not mean that it's also completely void of any sense of humor...I think its quite possible that some random passer-by may occasionally decide to stop and "screw with the locals" (LOL!). Face it...since the earliest days of flight, we've had folks that engage in the art of "barn storming" just to scare the crap out of other people! Sounds like a lot of innocent fun to me :-). Also, allowing yourselves to be seen occasionally and obsurly could as well be considered as one way to help prepair a relativly backwards culture such as our own to at least the -possibiliy- that other life is out there, without creating world-wide panics. There's some logic in that. But to believe -all- the kook's who report UFO's and alien abductions would simply be absurd in my view...after all, I have an uncle that believes he's Napolean!

Why haven't we seen or heard anything scientific, such as radio signals yet? A few folks in this thread have made it pretty clear that radio is a very inefficient way to communicate across the stars! I'm quite sure that any species capable of intergallactic travell has developed -considerably- more efficient forms of communication...we simply don't know how to listen yet! While I'm sure that most of the universe if quite bound by the same laws of physics and such that we are, I'm also quite sure that we have not yet discovered all of the things that make the universe...or even our world, actually work. Despite such technological wonders that we've developed over this last century...such as the internet that allows me to make these ramped ramblings to anyone across the world willing to take a look at them...we're still quite primative as a culture and still quite technologically backwards. Lets face it...we've had a 2000 year set back in technology known as Christianity. In ancient Greece, let alone other cultures such as Egypt, the ancient Mayan's, etc., human's knew the Earth was round and we were already starting to plot, or at least look at the stars. Then along came "the church" and set us back several hundred years! Think about where we'd be if it hadn't of been for all of that...we may actually already be out there exploring!

It's also not inconcievable that other intelligent cultures may have had their technologies evolve in entirely different fasions. Our technological revolution began with the advent of the vacumme tube (a device -still- in use today!). While a vacumme tube, or "valve", is a wonderful device for creating a greatl guitar sound, their are quite inefficient devices. In fact, the guy that actually invented the "Tube" didn't even truly realize what he created...it took others to actually come up with a use for them! Some other culture out there may have stumbled upon something like "sub-space" communications a long time ago and discovered life on other planets long before us because of their discovery. We simply have not yet learned how to listen or what to listen for yet.

Lastly, I -strongly- believe that any form of life capable of travelling the stars (or at least communicating thru them) is also advanced enough to know...we are not ready. Plain and simply put, we are still a very primative, arogant, manipulative, power hungry society that still has not yet learned how to play nice with each other. Take a look at what has happened in Iraq for example...look at the people on both sides, both those that instigated it and those supporting it and tell me that these people are ready to embrace something as different as life from another planet! We still have this tendancy to polute and destroy aspects of our own world, as well as each other...should we really be taking this to the stars??? Again, we're not ready and I really think that -they- know it...how could they not know if they actually are observing us.

With that said...times -are- changing. Despite politics, ignorance and greed, there are positive signs of change. People are starting to realize that destroying the rain forests is wrong...many people realize the damage that can be done with nuclear weapons...we are beginning to realize the damage that pollution can do, etc.. The change is slow...as change always is. We still have a -very long- way to go...but the hope is there.

Keep looking up...keep listening...keep watching. They'll let us know when they think we're ready :-).


Again, obviously this is a passion of mine and despite the date of the thread, I really just had to add my $.02 worth here!

Bright Blessings & Gentle Breezes to all!
Jim

i just thought you would like to know that i agree with you 100% on that entire post =D>

Rc2000
2004-Feb-24, 12:09 AM
I used to think they were real, but now I doubt there are any intelligent BEMs, UFOs, or whatever out there. As far as other, simpler kinds of life, there may well be.
Course if definate proof showed up, then I'd just have to say, "Well, I was wrong on that one." :)

Rc

sarongsong
2004-Feb-27, 01:21 AM
Edgar Mitchell weighs in:
"A few insiders know the truth . . . and are studying the bodies that have been discovered," said Mitchell, who was the sixth man to walk on the moon..."
http://makeashorterlink.com/?K48621787

Archer17
2004-Feb-27, 01:54 AM
So? A lot of people believe we have dead aliens in freezers, citing a moon-walker doesn't make it so.

freddo
2004-Feb-27, 02:11 AM
I think in this particular thread Archer17 it is a valid little aside to mention. We are talking about what people believe - it doesn't have to go into evidence or ramifications.

Although knowing sarongsong - it could be a vehicle to push such an agenda...

Archer17
2004-Feb-27, 02:41 AM
Point taken freddo. I'm so used to debunking this kinda stuff I overlooked the thread title .. sarongsong, my apologies for jumping the gun.

freddo
2004-Feb-27, 02:47 AM
Point taken freddo. I'm so used to debunking this kinda stuff I overlooked the thread title .. sarongsong, my apologies for jumping the gun.
Me too - it's hard when your trigger finger is so hairy!

Incidently though - I wonder if that quote is verbatim Ed Mitchell..? I know he has some interesting ideas, but that particular line seems very inflammatory...

Maksutov
2004-Feb-27, 03:28 AM
Of course I believe in aliens. Here's (http://www.paradigmclock.com/X-Conference/X-Conference.htm) a place that's going to be overrun with them come April. :roll: :wink:

Archer17
2004-Feb-27, 03:38 AM
...Incidently though - I wonder if that quote is verbatim Ed Mitchell..? I know he has some interesting ideas, but that particular line seems very inflammatory...That thought crossed my mind as well. Not only that but .. according to most of the myths revolving around crashed disks/recovered aliens, even most Presidents have been in the dark. I wonder, if Mitchell's comments are to be considered legit, how was he privy to such info? And why would he be allowed to expose it? I guess it's possible that he could believe in such a thing but I would think if he really did see or hear about dead aliens he wouldn't be allowed to talk about it. BTW, I was tempted to post that Phillip Klass doesn't believe in aliens .. seemed kinda tacky though :wink:

sarongsong
2004-Feb-27, 06:00 AM
I wonder if that quote is verbatim Ed Mitchell..? I know he
has some interesting ideas...---freddo
And, from his own website articles, is impressively articulate in expressing them:
"...Certainly there are technological civilizations in our galaxy thousands, perhaps millions, of years older than we. Recognition of this likelihood has been slow in coming..."
http://makeashorterlink.com/?D3C125B87
And as for alien life, I think that's exactly what humans are, and that life exists on all this solar system's planets.

freddo
2004-Feb-27, 06:02 AM
And as for alien life, I think that's exactly what humans are, and that life exists on all this solar system's planets.
Ok then. Well, we are looking. Nothing found so far. We'll see if you're right soon enough.

Archer17
2004-Feb-27, 07:40 AM
I'm looking forward to meeting the blokes on Mercury myself.. probably a bunch of hot-heads. :P Seriously, I think Europa is our best bet and I'm not talking fish-men. I actually think intelligent life is not prevelant in our neck of the woods. Anyone hear of Fermi's Paradox? So far the only aliens that "exist" are found on woowoo sites.

freddo
2004-Feb-29, 10:10 PM
Totally agree. Though I want to believe. Doesn't mean I do, or can.

Dave12308
2015-Jun-01, 05:49 PM
Yes. We have already been on the surface of an alien world (the moon), so in effect we HAVE to believe in aliens. Because we ARE aliens.

Grashtel
2015-Jun-02, 05:41 PM
Yes. We have already been on the surface of an alien world (the moon), so in effect we HAVE to believe in aliens. Because we ARE aliens.
-stage whispers "You might want to check the post dates, you are replying to a thread that hasn't been active in eleven years"-

John Mendenhall
2015-Jun-02, 06:41 PM
-stage whispers "You might want to check the post dates, you are replying to a thread that hasn't been active in eleven years"-

And? Since zombies (c'mon, folks!) are the current woo-woo fad, why not?

ravens_cry
2015-Jun-07, 05:18 PM
That's not thread necromancy, that's thread paleontology!::D

Solfe
2015-Jun-08, 01:58 AM
#tbt-wee! (Throwback Thursday - Weekend Edition!)

swampyankee
2015-Jun-09, 12:12 AM
Why or Why not.... I do because i think its selfish of us to think there are not Because tho there may not be any life forms on Mars... But maybe Venus , Saturn , Jupiter , Or planets in a near by galaxy. Plus Kecksberg. Did you guys hear if rosswell was an alien landing or a airforce test plane?

Roswell is an AF test site; it's probably pretty flat so you could call it a plane. They test highly secret -- "black budget" -- aircraft there, so the AF tends to be a bit leery of permitting visitors, let alone random folks wander around without keepers.

There may be -- probably is -- some ETI out there in the galaxy, but there is absolutely no evidence for any of them visiting Earth. Even the anecdote is highly suspect.

Dave12308
2015-Jun-15, 02:40 PM
-stage whispers "You might want to check the post dates, you are replying to a thread that hasn't been active in eleven years"-

Seems like that would be an interesting thing though, start up some new discussion and see if our thoughts have changed with new knowledge we have gained in those 11 years.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-15, 04:15 PM
Seems like that would be an interesting thing though, start up some new discussion and see if our thoughts have changed with new knowledge we have gained in those 11 years.

We haven't found aliens in those 11 years, if that's what you mean. ;)

Spacedude
2015-Jun-15, 05:36 PM
Thx for bringing up this "old" thread as it's new to me. I appreciate the thoughts of others who posted and especially the polite and intelligent exchanges between A.DIM and Paul Beardsley. As for the idea that the government couldn't keep such knowledge a secret, of all the secrets that they could keep secret this would be the easiest one to keep since there is no way to prove it. It's way too easy to label any leakers as being nutty. And I wouldn't call it a government cover-up, it would be completely normal for the government to keep it secret to maintain a balanced boat. Which do you think is more likely - An alien spaceship crashes on Earth? or that the government would recover it and actually let the public know about it? I almost applaud the government for keeping it under wraps, we couldn't handle it.

Jens
2015-Jun-16, 08:53 AM
I almost applaud the government for keeping it under wraps, we couldn't handle it.

It sounds from that grammar that you actually believe they are keeping something under wraps, but I'll assume it's just a grammatical issue, that you meant to say "I would almost applaud..."

And then, I'm not sure why you say we couldn't handle it. I wouldn't have a problem. The existence of spiders is a much bigger issue for me, and unfortunately the government hasn't made any effort to keep their existence under wraps.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-16, 09:14 AM
Thx for bringing up this "old" thread as it's new to me. I appreciate the thoughts of others who posted and especially the polite and intelligent exchanges between A.DIM and Paul Beardsley. As for the idea that the government couldn't keep such knowledge a secret, of all the secrets that they could keep secret this would be the easiest one to keep since there is no way to prove it. It's way too easy to label any leakers as being nutty. And I wouldn't call it a government cover-up, it would be completely normal for the government to keep it secret to maintain a balanced boat. Which do you think is more likely - An alien spaceship crashes on Earth? or that the government would recover it and actually let the public know about it? I almost applaud the government for keeping it under wraps, we couldn't handle it.

If the US or any other government had alien technology in their possession, they'd be using it by now. We'd see all sorts of advanced de novo "inventions" that would directly benefit the owners of the spacecraft. And that kind of development would be nearly impossible to keep under wraps. Too many people would be involved in the reverse engineering and have access to the physical evidence. And I think too much money would be at stake for some of them not to steal that tech and market it. All the advances in technology and scientific knowledge that we have seen since Roswell have been based on already-existing technologies and rigorous scientific research; There's no sign of any outside source.

Spacedude
2015-Jun-16, 01:43 PM
Jens, yes, I should have added "would" applaud. As far as being able to handle ET contact, that would make for another interesting thread speculating on the resulting ramifications on the human race. Some people may cope with it ok enough but most may not. I used to think that contact would be ok decades ago, perhaps even helpful, but I've drifted away from that idea. If ET visits are real then it's probably been going on for a very long time and the source or sources probably extend way beyond what our imaginations can dream up. The sudden exposure to this info would turn our world upside down having a negative effect much more so than spiders....imho.

NCN, I wouldn't be to sure that we could so easily reverse engineer ET tech any more than a caveman could figure out how to do the same with an internal combustion engine. Assuming we had such a thing in our possession it would surely be buried deep under thick blankets of black opps secrecy limited to a small number of loyal and devoted specialists. 100% of any tech knowledge (if gained) would most likely be confined to beyond top secret defense dept use and the most highly protected knowledge in history.....again, imho. Besides, if someone involved with a profit motive in mind did get away with selling something it's unlikely we'd ever know about it one way or the other via the buyer or the seller.

Swift
2015-Jun-16, 03:35 PM
<snip>
As for the idea that the government couldn't keep such knowledge a secret, of all the secrets that they could keep secret this would be the easiest one to keep since there is no way to prove it.
Of course we can't demonstrate what secrets governments have been able to keep (since they are secrets), but the list of government secrets that have been revealed, some particularly embarrassing and some after particularly short periods of time, makes me strongly doubt that such a thing could be kept secret.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-16, 05:15 PM
Of course we can't demonstrate what secrets governments have been able to keep (since they are secrets), but the list of government secrets that have been revealed, some particularly embarrassing and some after particularly short periods of time, makes me strongly doubt that such a thing could be kept secret.

I have to agree with this. Governments leak secrets, and generally the bigger the secret the faster it gets out. This one would be literally world changing, so the temptation to spill it would be equally huge.

Spacedude
2015-Jun-16, 05:55 PM
Well, many have tried to "leak" this one particular secret over the decades (even astronauts) and they have consistently failed to make any head way . It's way too easy to assume that these "leakers" are all just a bit nutty because it's not the same situation as leaking other more easy to believe secrets such as a new stealth fighter bomber, government spying techniques, war time atrocities, etc., these are much more acceptable and easy to believe. For ETs, talk is cheap, documents can be faked, video and pics are too easily hoaxed, witnesses aren't credible, etc.
All Witnesses seem to fall into 3 narrow categories -
1) Innocently mistaken
2) Out right lying
3) Totally delusional
This is one secret that could go on forever until the ET comes forth to reveal itself to the public. Even then there would be doubters and just a tiny bit of doubt goes a very long way with this extreme topic. Proof would have to exceed 100% and no less.

swampyankee
2015-Jun-16, 06:10 PM
I have to agree with this. Governments leak secrets, and generally the bigger the secret the faster it gets out. This one would be literally world changing, so the temptation to spill it would be equally huge.

When I was in college, I was told by a friend, who got it from his military instructor in NROTC, that the US Government still had papers classified from as far back as the ratification of the Constitution (:whistle: probably the paternity papers for Sally Hemings' children :whistle:); he also said that the classified material generated during the [American] Civil War had all been leaked, so their secret nature was rather pointless.

The evidence for aliens having visited Earth is incredibly poor. There may be aliens out there, but I won't believe that they've visited much before the Vogon Constructor Fleet shows up.

Swift
2015-Jun-16, 06:40 PM
I think I have to put on my Admin hat.

I don't think we should carry this thread over too far into "the government is hiding ETs from us" conspiracy (and yes, I contributed too). First, such a discussion belongs in the CT forum. Second, it is really a side topic as to the question of the thread - "Do you Guys Believe in Aliens".

Noclevername
2015-Jun-16, 06:47 PM
I believe there's other living things in the universe, but none of it has come here; even if other intelligence exists (which I'm not really convinced of), the distances are just too great.

malaidas
2015-Jun-17, 12:00 AM
I see absolutely no reason why there isn't other intelligent life out there in the universe somewhere,of course this depends somewhat on your definition of intelligence, but even so . It would be far more surprising to find that we are completely unique, (not to mention a violation of the Copernican principle). However yes the idea that such have visited earth has very low probability of being true

Noclevername
2015-Jun-17, 09:56 AM
I see absolutely no reason why there isn't other intelligent life out there in the universe somewhere,of course this depends somewhat on your definition of intelligence, but even so . It would be far more surprising to find that we are completely unique, (not to mention a violation of the Copernican principle). However yes the idea that such have visited earth has very low probability of being true

The Copernican principle is not a law of physics. It was IMO violated the moment we realized that our Solar System is not typical of other Planetary Systems. Snowflakes are similar in material but every one is different in specifics; the same seems to hold true for worlds and stars. Why not for life as well?

malaidas
2015-Jun-17, 10:19 AM
OI agree it's not a law of physics. However it is in general a good principle to abide by. Space is big, really big, just won't comprehend just how big it is, I mean you may think it's a long walk down to the butchers but that's just peanuts to space. Or something along those lines, i haven't got my hitchhiker guide to hand.

The point though is it would be utterly amazing to find we were the only intelligent life in the universe, even within the observable universe. Imo It would be the strongest argument for a divine creator that could be made, it would be so unlikely.

The false dilemma here is in the concept of typical. It doesn't have to be typical to have billions upon billions of parallels in other parts of the universe. It does however mean that we are less likely to encounter such.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-17, 10:21 AM
The point though is it would be utterly amazing to find we were the only intelligent life in the universe, even within the observable universe. Imo It would be the strongest argument for a divine creator that could be made, it would be so unlikely.

But it's not practical to test, so how would you determine that we're the only intelligence in the universe? Space is, as you point out, far too big to search comprehensively.

malaidas
2015-Jun-17, 10:28 AM
Oh I agree wholeheartedly, we will probably never know.However unless we are stepping into the realms of logical positivism, we can accept arguments for belief or opinion based upon probability even if we cannot test them so long as we realise it's not factual. So far as our models are currently concerned, such is much more likely than not.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-17, 10:31 AM
OI agree it's not a law of physics. However it is in general a good principle to abide by. Space is big, really big, just won't comprehend just how big it is, I mean you may think it's a long walk down to the butchers but that's just peanuts to space. Or something along those lines, i haven't got my hitchhiker guide to hand.

I don't understand what the CP has to do with the size of the universe. I thought it was about planetary arrangements?

malaidas
2015-Jun-17, 10:35 AM
At it's root it's just a matter of not considering ourselves in some privileged special position in the universe, but it has evolved beyond this from what i see, it's about not seeing us as somehow fundamentally different than anything else. That is not giving us sone special status.

One has to see the context, geocentrism was held as absolute because we were the reason for everything, everything was there for our benefit provided for us personally. By a supreme being.

In saying that we had no privileged position, Copernicus was saying that we should not consider ourselves in any way fundamentally privileged. Not that we weren't in some ways different, to other things, but that were in no fundamentally different.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-17, 10:42 AM
At it's root it's just a matter of not considering ourselves in some privileged special position in the universe, but it has evolved beyond this from what i see, it's about not seeing us as somehow fundamentally different than anything else. That is not giving us sone special status.

One has to see the context, geocentrism was held as absolute because we were the reason for everything, everything was there for our benefit provided for us personally. By a supreme being.

In saying that we had no privileged position, Copernicus was saying that we should not consider ourselves in any way fundamentally privileged.

Yes, but again, what does that have to do with your post about the universe being big?

Colin Robinson
2015-Jun-17, 10:51 AM
The Copernican principle is not a law of physics. It was IMO violated the moment we realized that our Solar System is not typical of other Planetary Systems. Snowflakes are similar in material but every one is different in specifics; the same seems to hold true for worlds and stars. Why not for life as well?

Living species may well be like snowflakes, in the sense that each is different in specifics. But why suppose that all the other living species in the universe differ from us humans in ways which make them less smart that us?

malaidas
2015-Jun-17, 10:56 AM
Yes, but again, what does that have to do with your post about the universe being big?

Because it allows us to consider probabilities as all things are fundamentally equal. In this respect it becomes far more probable that there is intelligent life out their somewhere than not because of the sample size.

CP is the equaliser that states that it is incorrect to in anyway weight the sample except in respects to the probability of another system existing similar enough to our own and the probability of life starting etc and that at each point every part of the universe yields the same figures.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-17, 10:57 AM
Living species may well be like snowflakes, in the sense that each is different in specifics. But why suppose that all the other living species in the universe differ from us humans in ways which make them less smart that us?

Because what we call "smartness" is the outcome of a random evolution. Just because we humans value smartness as a positive trait, does not mean it has to be something special. It's vain of us to think that just because we have this cluster of emergent traits means it must be valuable to life in general. Life finds many solutions, and there's no reason why what we call intelligence is so great for survival that it has to develop again.

malaidas
2015-Jun-17, 11:02 AM
It all depends upon what you define as intelligence.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-17, 11:06 AM
It all depends upon what you define as intelligence.

And that's the problem. Intelligence isn't a single thing, it's a convenient catch-all for certain traits. We humans have many qualities, and we link some together under one label because for us, they fit together. A very anthro-centric view IMO.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-17, 11:10 AM
To assume that others will have the same grouping of humanlike traits, enough like ours to be recognizable as a mind, is to IMO give our type of "intelligence" a special status. Which seems to me to violate the Copernican Principle.

malaidas
2015-Jun-17, 11:14 AM
Here's the thing though I take a lesser viewpoint to what it would mean to be intelligent. Perhaps becuase I have been working with AI, which isn't always looking to replicate human traits, although its certainly a common model to work against.

one of the key parts I would assign to such is the ability to adapt its own behaviour in a planned fashion. We see this to have independently evolved upon Earth, so its not a human centric trait

malaidas
2015-Jun-17, 11:17 AM
Another such trait might be complex communication.

This one is more difficult to assess in nature, but we see what appears to such between such creatures as squid etc, again completely independent of the human mode of communication. Certainly we can see this as an advantageous trait for creatures living in 'communities' etc.

malaidas
2015-Jun-17, 11:20 AM
The key issue though is the independence of such traits within the evolutionary record, because this shows that such are (on earth at least) traits that are positively selected by evolution, increasing the likelyhood that in similar environs such would be similarly selected

ETA: its not like we can even point to specific things in the human scale either that classify us as fundamentally intelligent, rather we find a huge degree of variance. For instance you can have those who are academically extremely gifted, but completely absent of 'common sense' or those that are socially extremely intelligent, but cannot manage more the most rudimentary mathematics. Or those that are very good at prioritising and organising things in their own thoughts being extremely good at practical things therefore, but have neither of the above.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-17, 11:31 AM
Here's the thing though I take a lesser viewpoint to what it would mean to be intelligent. Perhaps becuase I have been working with AI, which isn't always looking to replicate human traits, although its certainly a common model to work against.

one of the key parts I would assign to such is the ability to adapt its own behaviour in a planned fashion. We see this to have independently evolved upon Earth, so its not a human centric trait

Another such trait might be complex communication.

This one is more difficult to assess in nature, but we see what appears to such between such creatures as squid etc, again completely independent of the human mode of communication. Certainly we can see this as an advantageous trait for creatures living in 'communities' etc.

But isn't all multi-celled animal life on Earth derived from common ancestry? I think that having a nervous system is one of the things that lets life have intelligence as you define it. So I would not really call it independently evolved, but rather variations on an already-existing theme we have in common. Alien life would not share that ancestry or those cellular structures.

And, would we really say we'd contacted "intelligent life" if there were a planet of squid-equivalent? They'd be unable to talk to us, and could not build a civilization, or make spacecraft and travel to Earth, which is what I interpreted this thread to be about.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-17, 11:34 AM
And, to your own point, would you take it as "proof of a divine creator of humans" if we found a planet of squid-equivalent?

malaidas
2015-Jun-17, 11:49 AM
Yes, I agree that is what is commonly talked about when considering this hypothetical situation.

However scientifically I find this something less pertinent than to the question of life on other planets in general and will they develop similar functions.

On the other question, its far more hypothetical, although I imagine we could develop some kind of communication such would be extremely difficult beyond basics IMO.

malaidas
2015-Jun-17, 11:50 AM
And, to your own point, would you take it as "proof of a divine creator of humans" if we found a planet of squid-equivalent?

Not at all, it is quite within keeping of evolution that given similar conditions a similar solution would be found. Evolution occurs in accordance with the selective pressures of the environment the species inhabits, however the solution may or may not be the same, and would offer no risky predictions as regards the evolutionary model of life.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-17, 11:55 AM
However scientifically I find this something less pertinent than to the question of life on other planets in general and will they develop similar functions.


Well, I think defining "similar functions" as far as intelligence goes is pretty pertinent to this conversation. Still, this thread is about opinions, and I expressed mine about the possibility. I don't want the thread to be just arguing over that one definition, so I guess we can drop the subject.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-17, 11:56 AM
Not at all, it is quite within keeping of evolution that given similar conditions a similar solution would be found. Evolution occurs in accordance with the selective pressures of the environment the species inhabits, however the solution may or may not be the same, and would offer no risky predictions as regards the evolutionary model of life.

That's the point I was trying to make. Evolution is a series of glitches and kludges.

malaidas
2015-Jun-17, 12:01 PM
regarding the point of common ancestry, yes this is a point, but on the other hand it also illustrates that the way life works (here at least) is a function of the environment in which living beings inhabit, similar requirements leads to comparable solutions, but they are different enough to illustrate that there was no predestination towards them. That is to say there is no blue print for these solutions encoded within the DNA we inherited, rather chance mutation in combination with functional requirement have selected towards certain solutions

Now would similar happen on other worlds, well would generally assume (with reason, as shown in a parallel thread in the last week) that the laws of nature are consistent, which would mean that in similar circumstances that similar physical solutions would be favoured, leading to common function, if provided by different biochemistry etc. So to me the ancestry argument probably isn't going to effect the bigger picture overly

malaidas
2015-Jun-17, 12:04 PM
That's the point I was trying to make. Evolution is a series of glitches and kludges.

Yes it is, but it is one guided by the physical environment is all I was saying, rather than something definitely unique within our DNA.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-17, 12:06 PM
regarding the point of common ancestry, yes this is a point, but on the other hand it also illustrates that the way life works (here at least) is a function of the environment in which living beings inhabit, similar requirements leads to comparable solutions, but they are different enough to illustrate that there was no predestination towards them. That is to say there is no blue print for these solutions encoded within the DNA we inherited, rather chance mutation in combination with functional requirement have selected towards certain solutions

Now would similar happen on other worlds, well would generally assume (with reason, as shown in a parallel thread in the last week) that the laws of nature are consistent, which would mean that in similar circumstances that similar physical solutions would be favoured, leading to common function, if provided by different biochemistry etc. So to me the ancestry argument probably isn't going to effect the bigger picture overly

But the similarities made by parallel evolution are fairly superficial. Even the famous dolphin/shark comparison only leads to roughly similar body shapes, the physiology is different. The bodies and brains work very differently.

Perhaps I'm overthinking this.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-17, 12:10 PM
Yes it is, but it is one guided by the physical environment is all I was saying, rather than something definitely unique within our DNA.

And we cannot assume we're not, either. As I said, snowflakes. Every one is unique. Yet similar.

Look at all the other lifeforms we share our ancestral environment with. Not one of them found the same solution for survival that we did. They got faster, or stronger, or meaner, or something easier than growing big complex brains and tool using hands.

Colin Robinson
2015-Jun-17, 12:31 PM
Because what we call "smartness" is the outcome of a random evolution.

Random evolution? I thought Darwinian evolution had two components: random mutation and natural selection. If selection were simply random, it wouldn't be selection at all.


Just because we humans value smartness as a positive trait, does not mean it has to be something special. It's vain of us to think that just because we have this cluster of emergent traits means it must be valuable to life in general. Life finds many solutions, and there's no reason why what we call intelligence is so great for survival that it has to develop again.

Life finds many solutions, yes. There are different evolutionary strategies. For instance the coastal redwood tree has evolved for tallness, in a way other organisms on Earth have not..


And that's the problem. Intelligence isn't a single thing, it's a convenient catch-all for certain traits. We humans have many qualities, and we link some together under one label because for us, they fit together. A very anthro-centric view IMO.

If it's true that human intelligence is not one quality, but many qualities... two questions remain

* Would any of those qualities would have evolved if didn't have survival value?
* If all these qualities we call "intelligence" do have survival value, why would any of them be unique in the universe?


To assume that others will have the same grouping of humanlike traits, enough like ours to be recognizable as a mind, is to IMO give our type of "intelligence" a special status. Which seems to me to violate the Copernican Principle.

I wouldn't expect the evolutionary path of the human, or the coastal redwood, to be duplicated exactly. I would expect that on other worlds, as on earth, there are photosynthesising organism which have evolved for tallness, and which in that respect are comparable to the redwood...

Noclevername
2015-Jun-17, 12:38 PM
Random evolution? I thought Darwinian evolution had two components: random mutation and natural selection. If selection were simply random, it wouldn't be selection at all.QUOTE]

Point taken. But it's still got a random component to it.

[QUOTE]Life finds many solutions, yes. There are different evolutionary strategies. For instance the coastal redwood tree has evolved for tallness, in a way other organisms on Earth have not..


Like our minds.

If it's true that human intelligence is not one quality, but many qualities... two questions remain

* Would any of those qualities would have evolved if didn't have survival value?
* If all these qualities we call "intelligence" do have survival value, why would any of them be unique in the universe?


You misunderstand. Our intelligence is the combination of all those qualities, in a specific pattern. By themselves they are just bits and pieces, and hardly unique to humans.



I wouldn't expect the evolutionary path of the human, or the coastal redwood, to be duplicated exactly. I would expect that on other worlds, as on earth, there are photosynthesising organism which have evolved for tallness, and which in that respect are comparable to the redwood...

Maybe and maybe not. Life on Earth has been photosynthesizing for billions of years, yet there's only one incidence of coastal redwoods.

swampyankee
2015-Jun-17, 04:17 PM
Maybe and maybe not. Life on Earth has been photosynthesizing for billions of years, yet there's only one incidence of coastal redwoods.

There are other trees which are very tall, but not quite as tall as the coastal redwoods. There are about seven species with tallest specimens exceeding 90 m (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_superlative_trees and, yes, I know it's from wikipedia). The sort of evolutionary pressure that drove these species to great height could occur for extraterrestrial life.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-17, 05:02 PM
There are other trees which are very tall, but not quite as tall as the coastal redwoods. There are about seven species with tallest specimens exceeding 90 m (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_superlative_trees and, yes, I know it's from wikipedia). The sort of evolutionary pressure that drove these species to great height could occur for extraterrestrial life.

Assuming they have anything in common with woody trees, yes. But the path to get to trees on Earth was a rickety one that might not be repeated elsewhere.

Hlafordlaes
2015-Jun-17, 09:43 PM
@OP: 'Believe' is the operant word, indeed. And I do. I also believe it will continue to be a matter of belief for a very long time; maybe forever, for anything outside the system. And in that case, proof-wise we may have microbial life in the form of remnants in interstellar meteroids, at best, if ever. Locally, maybe something nice on a large moon may be found, but not intelligent. (I'm betting all life in our local system shares a common origin, but that's a bet and a belief only. I'd also rather be wrong and lose, actually.)

Measurements of increasing accuracy of distant atmospheres is sure to bring on a strong inference of possible life elsewhere, though.

Jens
2015-Jun-17, 10:41 PM
Well, many have tried to "leak" this one particular secret over the decades (even astronauts) and they have consistently failed to make any head way . .

Of course they failed to make headway, since there isn't anything to leak. They're just leaking made-up stories, so why would they make headway?

swampyankee
2015-Jun-17, 10:52 PM
At it's root it's just a matter of not considering ourselves in some privileged special position in the universe, but it has evolved beyond this from what i see, it's about not seeing us as somehow fundamentally different than anything else. That is not giving us sone special status.

One has to see the context, geocentrism was held as absolute because we were the reason for everything, everything was there for our benefit provided for us personally. By a supreme being.

In saying that we had no privileged position, Copernicus was saying that we should not consider ourselves in any way fundamentally privileged. Not that we weren't in some ways different, to other things, but that were in no fundamentally different.

Geocentrism was entirely logical and fit all observational evidence, at least until Tycho. It is, however, a bit incorrect to say that it was because humans were so important, at least in medieval Christian thought. Humans were corrupt, intrinsically so; Earth wasn't at the center because we were so great, but because we were clogging up the drain. The only place lower than our homeworld, our mortal realm, was Hell.

Selfsim
2015-Jun-17, 11:24 PM
I wouldn't expect the evolutionary path of the human, or the coastal redwood, to be duplicated exactly. I would expect that on other worlds, as on earth, there are photosynthesising organism which have evolved for tallness, and which in that respect are comparable to the redwood...Its intriguing that exceptions are made when talking about how hypothetical aliens (& organisms) might evolve, when compared with our own case, (re: 'no duplications'). And yet, similar exceptions are not made when speaking about whether or not the aliens' (& organisms') chemistries ever evolve beyond say, a photopolymerizing stage.

Seems to me to be a deliberate 'avoidance of the incredible' strategy at play here(?)

Either way, its typically a closely held belief driving the 'expectation' anyway ...

Noclevername
2015-Jun-17, 11:26 PM
Either way, its typically a closely held belief driving the 'expectation' anyway ...

Yes, that's what this thread is asking about. Beliefs, nothing more. It's even in the title.

Selfsim
2015-Jun-18, 12:01 AM
The Copernican principle is not a law of physics. It was IMO violated the moment we realized that our Solar System is not typical of other Planetary Systems. Snowflakes are similar in material but every one is different in specifics; the same seems to hold true for worlds and stars. Why not for life as well?Progression of biochemistry and its product, (ie: life), are both subject to many physical and chemical tolerance limits. The natural environment embedding them, is also randomly unpredictable over certain scales. Such randomness can impact moments of evolutionary criticality in unpredictable ways. None of life's evolution from its precursors, thus necessarily needs to be inevitable.

malaidas
2015-Jun-18, 12:04 AM
Geocentrism was entirely logical and fit all observational evidence, at least until Tycho. It is, however, a bit incorrect to say that it was because humans were so important, at least in medieval Christian thought. Humans were corrupt, intrinsically so; Earth wasn't at the center because we were so great, but because we were clogging up the drain. The only place lower than our homeworld, our mortal realm, was Hell.

Ok fair call to a degree. It's not worth arguing over lol. The key point holds.

Selfsim
2015-Jun-18, 12:07 AM
Yes, that's what this thread is asking about. Beliefs, nothing more. It's even in the title.Sure ... and its also not explicitly stated as such in the studies giving rise to the expectation.

Colin Robinson
2015-Jun-18, 12:42 AM
You misunderstand. Our intelligence is the combination of all those qualities, in a specific pattern. By themselves they are just bits and pieces, and hardly unique to humans.

What specifically are these non-unique bits and pieces which (in your view of things) in combination form the unique quality of intelligence?

Noclevername
2015-Jun-18, 03:14 AM
Sure ... and its also not explicitly stated as such in the studies giving rise to the expectation.

Not really relevant to the OP, is it?

Noclevername
2015-Jun-18, 03:15 AM
What specifically are these non-unique bits and pieces which (in your view of things) in combination form the unique quality of intelligence?
Don't know. Which is kind of the point. How can we talk about intelligence re-occurring when we're not ever sure what it is?

Selfsim
2015-Jun-18, 03:37 AM
Not really relevant to the OP, is it?Ya think?

Colin Robinson
2015-Jun-18, 04:32 AM
Its intriguing that exceptions are made when talking about how hypothetical aliens (& organisms) might evolve, when compared with our own case, (re: 'no duplications').

Darwinian evolution involves a random component (mutation) and also a non-random component (natural selection). Even on a planet very similar to Earth, the probability is extremely low that a particular sequence of random mutations (e.g. the sequence which produced the coastal redwood tree) will be duplicated exactly.

The non-random component will still be there, however. If you're a photosynthesising organism, it's in your evolutionary interest to be taller than your neighbours, because that way you don't get shaded out.

That is why I expect the results of evolution in another place to be comparable, yet not identical, to those here.

Consider the results of less than 100 million years of separate evolution of mammals in Australia and the other continents. Kangaroos are comparable to deer in several respects — the larger species are comparable in size to deer, they eat leaves and are fast runners. But the kangaroo is not a duplicate of the deer.


Either way, its typically a closely held belief driving the 'expectation' anyway ...

What I expect, is based on the premise that evolution has random and non-random components. A premise I am willing to reconsider, if someone can give me a cogent argument against it.

I think that premise would need to be reconsidered, if we ever found another planet where there were exact duplicates of redwood trees, or deer, or kangaroo, or humans.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-18, 05:10 AM
The non-random component will still be there, however. If you're a photosynthesising organism, it's in your evolutionary interest to be taller than your neighbours, because that way you don't get shaded out.


I can see one flaw in that statement; Up until the redwoods came along, no plant was ever as tall as a redwood. For the billions of years that photosynthesizing life existed, most of it was very short compared to redwoods. Only when the life forms had the necessary multicelled wood and capillary structure to reach that height and the ecology was competitive in just the right way, did the redwood come along and tower so high.

There are, even today, short plants. Many of them grow best in the shade of taller plants. So it's not always or even most commonly in a photosynthesizing organism's best interest to be tall.

Colin Robinson
2015-Jun-18, 12:24 PM
I can see one flaw in that statement; Up until the redwoods came along, no plant was ever as tall as a redwood. For the billions of years that photosynthesizing life existed, most of it was very short compared to redwoods. Only when the life forms had the necessary multicelled wood and capillary structure to reach that height and the ecology was competitive in just the right way, did the redwood come along and tower so high.

There are, even today, short plants. Many of them grow best in the shade of taller plants. So it's not always or even most commonly in a photosynthesizing organism's best interest to be tall.

Undoubtedly there are plants adapted to growing in the shade. They get less light energy, on the other hand the ground retains moisture longer when there isn't direct sunlight to dry it out. Evolutionary strategies involve balances of costs and benefits. And because it relies on random mutation, any evolutionary pathway has to be a slow, incremental process. I would still argue that competition for light energy is a major theme of evolution, not only in land plants, but in marine organisms such as the algae which have a symbiotic relationship with coral polyps. And it's not a theme that is likely to be unique to Earth, because it is based on general principles of thermodynamics.

Colin Robinson
2015-Jun-18, 12:39 PM
Don't know. Which is kind of the point. How can we talk about intelligence re-occurring when we're not ever sure what it is?

I'm inclined to agree that "intelligence" is a problematic concept. Perhaps it would be better to talk about the prospects of an organism emerging which is a versatile tool user?

malaidas
2015-Jun-18, 02:23 PM
I can see one flaw in that statement; Up until the redwoods came along, no plant was ever as tall as a redwood. For the billions of years that photosynthesizing life existed, most of it was very short compared to redwoods. Only when the life forms had the necessary multicelled wood and capillary structure to reach that height and the ecology was competitive in just the right way, did the redwood come along and tower so high.

There are, even today, short plants. Many of them grow best in the shade of taller plants. So it's not always or even most commonly in a photosynthesizing organism's best interest to be tall.

yes agreed. but the key issue here is that functionally there are a finite number (at a macro-level) solutions to a given need, thus in similar conditions we would probably expect to see broadly similar solutions in a lot of cases. They wont be identical I agree, but we are not going to see something elsewhere that couldn't have worked equally on earth and this kind of reflects back at all levels which are not independent.

I would expect therefore to see broad similarities. For instance under conditions as found on the earth I would expect all life to be carbon based. Silicon simply cannot form the kind of chains that carbon can under these conditions. secondly I would expect it probably to utilise the same kinds of molecules we do, if not precisely the same, or in precisely the same fashion, because these molecules are not only abundant, but they are suited for forming such chains. We may for instance find that an alien used slightly different amino acids, or use them in a different way, I would be surprised to find they didn;t use them though, because peptide chains are easy to form into chains that form the right spacial relationships for function, that is that they provide the active site for the required chemical reaction that an enzyme etc. performs, although yes longer chains (actually any chain of suitable length), does seem to need help from a chaperone to fold into its proper form in 3D form modern life. Never the less they are right kinds of molecule.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-18, 02:27 PM
Undoubtedly there are plants adapted to growing in the shade. They get less light energy, on the other hand the ground retains moisture longer when there isn't direct sunlight to dry it out. Evolutionary strategies involve balances of costs and benefits. And because it relies on random mutation, any evolutionary pathway has to be a slow, incremental process. I would still argue that competition for light energy is a major theme of evolution, not only in land plants, but in marine organisms such as the algae which have a symbiotic relationship with coral polyps. And it's not a theme that is likely to be unique to Earth, because it is based on general principles of thermodynamics.

But that competition can result in so vastly many different solutions; "tallness" is only one of them, and only under very limited circumstances. As with animals on Earth and "intelligence" open-ended tool use.

Spacedude
2015-Jun-18, 10:10 PM
Originally Posted by Spacedude
[QUOTE]Well, many have tried to "leak" this one particular secret over the decades (even astronauts) and they have consistently failed to make any head way . .


Jens :
Of course they failed to make headway, since there isn't anything to leak. They're just leaking made-up stories, so why would they make headway?


Hi Jens, in view of Swift's wise and moderate advice I won't comment too much other than to say "made up stories" is rather harsh. Google up Gordon Cooper (RIP), one of the Original 7 astronauts, hear his own words and claimed experiences. Maybe he made it up, maybe not? My earlier point being that someone of his level "leaks" what he knows and no one takes him seriously so it's hard to believe that any "leaker" would have any better luck than Cooper.

Selfsim
2015-Jun-18, 11:10 PM
yes agreed. but the key issue here is that functionally there are a finite number (at a macro-level) solutions to a given need, thus in similar conditions we would probably expect to see broadly similar solutions in a lot of cases. They wont be identical I agree, but we are not going to see something elsewhere that couldn't have worked equally on earth and this kind of reflects back at all levels which are not independent. And so too, under the same reasoning, 'we' would also expect to see precisely nothing where life has abandoned (or never existed at) a particular environment/locale, because 'nothing' would also seem to be 'a valid solution'(?) (Even though there is really no 'need' for anything to be there in the first place?) Oh wait on ... there's no such known location on Earth ... so that couldn't be a valid expectation, after all! ...
I would expect therefore to see broad similarities. For instance under conditions as found on the earth I would expect all life to be carbon based. Silicon simply cannot form the kind of chains that carbon can under these conditions. secondly I would expect it probably to utilise the same kinds of molecules we do, if not precisely the same, or in precisely the same fashion, because these molecules are not only abundant, but they are suited for forming such chains. We may for instance find that an alien used slightly different amino acids, or use them in a different way, I would be surprised to find they didn;t use them though, because peptide chains are easy to form into chains that form the right spacial relationships for function, that is that they provide the active site for the required chemical reaction that an enzyme etc. performs, although yes longer chains (actually any chain of suitable length), does seem to need help from a chaperone to fold into its proper form in 3D form modern life. Never the less they are right kinds of molecule.And yet we see no grasses, or green algae immediately below the surface on Mars, .. we see no savannah animals roaming there. We see no buildings on Titan, no intelligent radio communication based messaging from Enceladus or Europa. (These are things 'built' around all those molecules after all, no?). All that, and yet 'we' currently expect there to be life supporting habitats in all those locations, no? We also find those same types of (base) molecules on comet dust, so we should expect them to be be quite widely distributed. So what's going on here?

But wait! ... Yes, we have ever-changing explanations for all these apparent absences, so therefore, our expectations for what these same 'types of places' can produce, wherever else they occur, are set by these ever changing explanations ... Thus looking beyond Earth, overall, we could also say that we 'probably' have even more reasons, for why we should expect there to be no grasses, savannah animals, buildings or communications, in any given sample of 'worlds' having habitable environments, across the universe, no?

Given that our expectations are set by what we know, and all we know about life has come from our Earthly experiences, all we can do is test the explanations. They cannot yet be said to be universal laws. 'Expectations' drawn from hypotheses are therefore pretty meaningless, especially if we have great difficulty in physically applying the necessary tests directly on any 'samples of interest', in the first place, no?

malaidas
2015-Jun-18, 11:21 PM
And i would say this argument doesn't hold because of previso of similar conditions I prefaced it in. The conditions on mars or an asteroid are not similar this I would not expect anything in This respect.

malaidas
2015-Jun-18, 11:35 PM
Let me ask doubters here, is predation likely if there be life elsewhere? Yes or no?

Selfsim
2015-Jun-18, 11:41 PM
And i would say this argument doesn't hold because of previso of similar conditions I prefaced it in. The conditions on mars or an asteroid are not similar this I would not expect anything in This respect.There are tolerances implicit in the broadly used term 'similar conditions'. Those are also currently under test.

malaidas
2015-Jun-18, 11:44 PM
Of course, like anything else. My problem lies in the idea that somehow we are so unique that it's tenable to assert there is no other life in the universe and that measures of intelligence won't occur as a result.

Selfsim
2015-Jun-19, 12:10 AM
Of course, like anything else. My problem lies in the idea that somehow we are so unique that it's tenable to assert there is no other life in the universe and that measures of intelligence won't occur as a result.Speaking for myself, I personally have made no such assertions. My view is the mainstream scientific one, and contains no ambiguity nor beliefs ... The existence of aliens?: "Unknown".
My 'beliefs', as requested by the OP, are irrelevant as far as this perspective is concerned.

malaidas
2015-Jun-19, 12:17 AM
I agree it's an unknown completely. But it seems more likely than not.

Selfsim
2015-Jun-19, 12:25 AM
I agree it's an unknown completely. But it seems more likely than not.And that's a perfectly fine belief to hold. :)

Noclevername
2015-Jun-19, 02:50 AM
Of course, like anything else. My problem lies in the idea that somehow we are so unique that it's tenable to assert there is no other life in the universe and that measures of intelligence won't occur as a result.

In my interpretation the OP question is not about "measures" of intelligence, but about the kind of intelligence that could potentially cross interstellar distances and come here.

Colin Robinson
2015-Jun-19, 06:51 AM
But that competition can result in so vastly many different solutions; "tallness" is only one of them, and only under very limited circumstances.

"very limited circumstances"? Seems to me that many species of tree have evolved in the direction of tallness. The structure of a typical rainforest has a layer of foliage, called the canopy, high above the ground. Between ground and canopy, the foliage is less dense. This is because forest trees in general have evolved to put their leaves where they get maximum light, even though it takes time and energy to get them there.


As with animals on Earth and "intelligence" open-ended tool use.

While we humans aren't the only Earth animals that use tools, we are clearly more versatile than other animals in this respect. I agree that tool-use is far from being the only evolutionary strategy. The point remains that it is a strategy. And the human level of open-ended tool use is an evolutionary niche which was waiting to be filled before we got to it. Has that niche remained empty, on every habitable planet in the universe except this one? Why would it?

Noclevername
2015-Jun-19, 07:26 AM
"very limited circumstances"? Seems to me that many species of tree have evolved in the direction of tallness. The structure of a typical rainforest has a layer of foliage, called the canopy, high above the ground. Between ground and canopy, the foliage is less dense. This is because forest trees in general have evolved to put their leaves where they get maximum light, even though it takes time and energy to get them there.


But only when there were trees. You don't see any non-tree organisms reaching those redwood heights.

While we humans aren't the only Earth animals that use tools, we are clearly more versatile than other animals in this respect. I agree that tool-use is far from being the only evolutionary strategy. The point remains that it is a strategy. And the human level of open-ended tool use is an evolutionary niche which was waiting to be filled before we got to it. Has that niche remained empty, on every habitable planet in the universe except this one? Why would it?

Why wouldn't it? The niche was empty for most of Earth's existence, and would have remained empty had one of proto-humanity's many population bottlenecks killed our ancestors.

Colin Robinson
2015-Jun-19, 08:56 AM
The niche was empty for most of Earth's existence,

... then it got filled. If Earth is typical of Earth-like worlds, both those facts are relevant. If Earth is not typical of Earth-like worlds, then neither of those facts is relevant.


and would have remained empty had one of proto-humanity's many population bottlenecks killed our ancestors.

"would have remained empty" for how long? And why should what would have happened on Earth (but didn't), be typical of what has happened on other Earth-like worlds?

malaidas
2015-Jun-19, 09:44 AM
In my interpretation the OP question is not about "measures" of intelligence, but about the kind of intelligence that could potentially cross interstellar distances and come here.

ahh, when I see the word intelligence I see a scale, rather than a definite enclosed definition. Thus when talking about aliens I apply the same kind of scale.

The thing is, that there is no unique measure of intelligence even between humans, there is a wide range and it really depends on the particular facet of the mind one is talking about. So it really is a kind of catch all, which we typically define in terms of ourselves but such is actually very ill defined, because its completely subjective to the individual's criteria.

We don't even know that it is possible to traverse such distances, as we have no idea how distant such might be and if they were beyond the observable universe then likely it would be completely impossible (at least in accordance with our current knowledge) unless there was some worm hole or something, irrespective of time in space. So for me we can only deal in conjecture of what such might be like, and in this respect I would think it likely that given a similar situation we would at least somewhere find similar solutions.

ETA: precisely because whilst mutation is random, evolution is not, that is the process that leads to it is random, but the process of natural selection removes the indeterminacy to a large extent. Only that which works will survive to carry on the chain of life.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-19, 09:58 AM
... then it got filled. If Earth is typical of Earth-like worlds, both those facts are relevant. If Earth is not typical of Earth-like worlds, then neither of those facts is relevant.



"would have remained empty" for how long? And why should what would have happened on Earth (but didn't), be typical of what has happened on other Earth-like worlds?

If that's how you really think evolution works, then nothing I can say will convince you. There's no predestination or necessity in evolution, just survival of whatever pops up. A niche is a category we use to analyze ecology, not a slot that must be filled.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-19, 10:00 AM
Only that which works will survive to carry on the chain of life.

Only that which actually occurs, builds on pre-existing mutations, and works, will survive. A turnip cannot become a tree even though they share the majority of genes.

malaidas
2015-Jun-19, 10:04 AM
Only that which actually occurs, builds on pre-existing mutations, and works, will survive. A turnip cannot become a tree even though they share the majority of genes.

yes I agree, I am not suggesting by any means that every planet that has life will end up with similar solutions, but I am saying that given the sheer size of the universe there will most likely be ones where it has done. However given we know the universe is almost certainly many many times the size of our observable universe, the likelyhood is equally that we will never know for certain. I don't have an expectation that such exists within our own galaxy for instance. Although I don't rule it out by any means.

Noclevername
2015-Jun-19, 10:15 AM
yes I agree, I am not suggesting by any means that every planet that has life will end up with similar solutions, but I am saying that given the sheer size of the universe there will most likely be ones where it has done. However given we know the universe is almost certainly many many times the size of our observable universe, the likelyhood is equally that we will never know for certain. I don't have an expectation that such exists within our own galaxy for instance. Although I don't rule it out by any means.

OK. I guess we just have different opinions of what kind of intellect might be necessary to build that kind of civilization. As you say, there's really no way to know barring the extreme unlikelihood that we have one as close neighbors and happen to come into contact with them. I'll drop the subject.

Selfsim
2015-Jun-19, 10:28 AM
... ETA: precisely because whilst mutation is random, evolution is not, that is the process that leads to it is random, but the process of natural selection removes the indeterminacy to a large extent.But does it? ... (see below).


Only that which works will survive to carry on the chain of life.And that which escapes natural selection, can still survive to influence the larger population by genetic drift - which is random. Advantageous adaptations can be lost in a population due to genetic drift and extinction would then be entirely possible.

What if this happens in self-replicating pre-biotic chemistry, then eh?

malaidas
2015-Jun-19, 10:35 AM
In the relatively short term I agree completely, over time however, life demonstrates that such do work themselves out. Evolution is of course a continuous process and yes species can when not under selective pressure 'devolve', but life also tends to find repeatedly, similar solutions to a problem, because evolution selects naturally by function vs requirement as a rule.

If such function is no longer required then equally it select positively for those individuals who don't have it, presumably on energy balance

Colin Robinson
2015-Jun-19, 07:34 PM
If that's how you really think evolution works, then nothing I can say will convince you.

Well, you haven't convinced me yet.


There's no predestination or necessity in evolution, just survival of whatever pops up. A niche is a category we use to analyze ecology, not a slot that must be filled.

"Teleology is like a mistress to a biologist: he cannot live without her but he's unwilling to be seen with her in public." J.B.S.Haldane

Colin Robinson
2015-Jun-19, 09:05 PM
Let me ask doubters here, is predation likely if there be life elsewhere? Yes or no?

I'm probably not what you mean by "doubters", but I think you've raised a significant question here...

Spacedude
2015-Jun-19, 09:46 PM
Originally Posted by malaidas
Let me ask doubters here, is predation likely if there be life elsewhere? Yes or no?


I'd say yes. Survival of the fittest is most likely a routine way of life on any new world that begins to support life. Long term evolution into intelligent creatures hopefully leads to thinking of a better way to sustain itself and the environment it grew up with.....and hopefully we will.

Hlafordlaes
2015-Jun-20, 12:42 AM
But does it? ... (see below).

And that which escapes natural selection, can still survive to influence the larger population by genetic drift - which is random. Advantageous adaptations can be lost in a population due to genetic drift and extinction would then be entirely possible.

What if this happens in self-replicating pre-biotic chemistry, then eh?

If I get your drift, you're hinting darkly at there never being any abiogenesis 'event.' Whoa! That's a thought that can only exist when false, come to think of it.

Selfsim
2015-Jun-20, 02:28 AM
In the relatively short term I agree completely, over time however, life demonstrates that such do work themselves out. Evolution is of course a continuous process and yes species can when not under selective pressure 'devolve', but life also tends to find repeatedly, similar solutions to a problem, because evolution selects naturally by function vs requirement as a rule.

If such function is no longer required then equally it select positively for those individuals who don't have it, presumably on energy balance'Twould depend on how far the drift has progressed in the population, no?
Also, if the timing of the process is periodically (randomly) disrupted (by external factors .. not identical to Earth's history), what then? There seems to be many undeclared assumptions, (IMO), included in the generalisation 'similar to Earth'. Where there are assumptions, there's uncertainty (as a rule).

I only raise the drift issue, to point out that there can be instances where the randown/non random balance is upset, and the result is not necessarily set in concrete, (ie: not necessarily predictable). If Earth's example is used to rule out those other possibilities, then it can also be revealed as being the sole evolutionary 'template', (and hence a source of bias).

Selfsim
2015-Jun-20, 02:47 AM
If I get your drift, you're hinting darkly at there never being any abiogenesis 'event.' Whoa! That's a thought that can only exist when false, come to think of it.Hi Hlaf. :)
See, this is the same as there appearing to be only a choice of: "exo-life or not exo-life", when there exists the third 'alternative' which is: "unknown". (The latter of which also happens to be the fact .. not a belief).

In the case of the 'drift' issue (maybe population bottleneck, also?), I'm seeing reasons why say, a second abiogenesis event, (which also somehow manages to find itself embedded in Evolution Theory), may not necessarily proceed 'according to plan'. (Now where did that 'plan' come from, anyway?)
Cheers

Noclevername
2015-Jun-20, 03:28 AM
Selfsim, why are you so against expressing an opinion on the subject? Why can't you just enjoy this thread in the spirit in which it was intended?

Gomar
2015-Jul-13, 04:10 AM
might be life in the universe. heck, until the white man came to australia and America, the natives were alone in the universe too!

Jens
2015-Jul-13, 06:04 AM
might be life in the universe. heck, until the white man came to australia and America, the natives were alone in the universe too!

You mean, not counting all the other things. . .

arakish
2015-Jul-16, 03:48 PM
Here is an excerpt I wrote in a paper a professor requested asking the same question.

================

Of Other Life

...

This author believes we are unique in this universe. However, this author also believes it to be complete arrogance to assume there is no other life out there in the universe. After all, our galaxy is believed to have somewhere around 300 billion stars. As of 2008, it is estimated that there are over 100 billion galaxies in our universe. That means a possible total of 30 sextillion stars (30,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (30 trillion billion)). Surely at least one of them has similar conditions to the ones here on Earth.

Besides, no matter how low the probability that any given galaxy will have intelligent life in it, the universe must have at least one intelligent species by definition; otherwise, the question would never arise.

However, there are some philosophers who would argue whether we are intelligent. To which I say, "You have to be intelligent to be able to wax philosophical."

Then there is the Fermi Paradox. The Fermi paradox (Fermi's paradox or Fermi-paradox) is the apparent contradiction between high estimates of the probability of the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations and the lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations (Wikipedia). Many say that the Fermi Paradox was in response to the Drake Equation which predicted the possibility of 10 intelligent civilizations (comparable to our current civilization) existing at any given time in our galaxy. However, it was actually in response to the rash of UFO sightings during the years up to 1950, when in a discussion, Enrico Fermi was quoted as saying: "Where are they?"

However, think on this. And, please, realize I am using approximations. The Milky Way Galaxy is about 100,000 light years in diameter. We are situated about 60% of the distance from the galactic core. The galactic radius is about 50,000 light years. That puts us about 30,000 light years from the center. Now make a circle with a 30,000 light year radius. The circumference would be about 188,500 light years. Now divide that into ten equal arcs and you have a separation of 18,850 light years. We have been broadcasting signals into space, whether intentional or not, for only about 130 to 140 years (call it 130 for ease's sake). These signals travel at the speed of light, at best. If the next intelligent advanced civilization (IAC) is 18,850 light years away, that means they will not receive our signals for another 18,720 years. Even if they were much closer, say 200 light years, they still will not receive our signals for another 70 years. And that is assuming our signals remain strong enough to still be detected. What if this other IAC was 200 light years away and they sent their first signals only 50 years ago? We will not receive them for another 150 years. Think about it.

And one of my favorite quotes:

"I'm sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It's just been too intelligent to come here." – Arthur C. Clarke

...

================

BTW: The professor hated my quoting of Clarke. I shall never repeat what that professor said about Arthur C. Clarke (the father of satellite communications, and GPS for that matter) and his papers, essays, and novels. It was ugly. Needless to say, I dropped his class with a passing grade...

rmfr

P.S. - Yes. I do believe.

fltazar
2015-Jul-16, 08:08 PM
Replying to Area 51, have you all seen the latest Map of the area. It looks more like a Military base then a research center. There are rows of housing dorms. The have put up high fences all around. Some of what use to be there is gone. So I don't think it is what it used to be...check it out on Google Earth.

Selfsim
2015-Jul-16, 10:12 PM
... Think about it.Well, that's all very interesting but 'thinking about it' won't change the fact that we don't know about it. In fact from what I can see, 'thinking about it' just clouds the issue and leads to more anthropic bias, and inconsistency.

BTW: The professor hated my quoting of Clarke. I shall never repeat what that professor said about Arthur C. Clarke (the father of satellite communications, and GPS for that matter) and his papers, essays, and novels. It was ugly. Needless to say, I dropped his class with a passing grade...Arthur C. Clarke's main contributions to this topic added confusion by deliberately blurring the distinctions between science and fiction, no?

P.S. - Yes. I do believe.All fine with me ... as long as its all declared as a belief. Your declaration of: 'this author believes' at the outset of your argument, was an honest declaration about the content of all that followed.

If I may ask, what was the professor's subject? I take it was Astrophysics-related(?), but the field may well have also been Philosophy(?)

Jens
2015-Jul-16, 10:12 PM
Sorry, a bit off topic: suggesting that satellites could be used for communications doesn't in my mind make him the father of it. I wouldn't consider Leonardo of Vinci to be the father of the helicopter either.

Selfsim
2015-Jul-16, 10:15 PM
.. or Galileo to be 'the father' of the telescope!

Paul Wally
2015-Jul-16, 10:39 PM
This author believes we are unique in this universe. However, this author also believes it to be complete arrogance to assume there is no other life out there in the universe. After all, our galaxy is believed to have somewhere around 300 billion stars. As of 2008, it is estimated that there are over 100 billion galaxies in our universe. That means a possible total of 30 sextillion stars (30,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (30 trillion billion)). Surely at least one of them has similar conditions to the ones here on Earth.


The number of stars is often put as an argument for the existence of extra-terrestrial life, but in my opinion the universe is so
vast that it is really irrelevant how many stars there are. The nearest life could for instance be so far away that we will never be able to find it or contact it in any way.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2015-Jul-16, 11:46 PM
Yes Drake Equation. As to meeting them soon; who knows? I think that when or if we get out there; our chances will increase. Interstellar travel is centuries away for us if ever. Our species needs to mature.

Dave12308
2015-Jul-23, 05:55 PM
While it is certainly possible that intelligent life has developed elsewhere in this rather large universe, it is highly unlikely that said lifeform is visiting this backwater planet.

There definitely is NOT intelligent alien life on Mars, Venus, Saturn or Jupiter, or any other planet in this solar system.

It certainly has nothing whatsoever to do with our selfishness or lack thereof.

Roswell is a blown out of proportion myth as is Kecksburg.

People need to stop speaking in absolute certainty about these things.

SciFi Chick, YOU do not know any more for certain than anyone else on this planet where intelligent life lives. Stop speaking like you have some sort of hidden knowledge. It's okay to believe, but you cannot say "it is highly unlikely" and then immediately after "There definitely is NOT"

Maybe they just don't want to talk to us dumb humans so they don't waste gas coming here.

Dave12308
2015-Jul-23, 05:58 PM
I will just remind everyone that it is mankind that invented the concept of "intelligence"...... For all we know, we could be mental retards compared to everyone else. Just because WE come up with these ideas - well, let's just say WE are coming up with them so they cannot be subjective. Just because we THINK we are smart, doesn't mean that we are not IDIOTS.

thoth II
2015-Jul-23, 06:05 PM
The distance between stars is so great that I can safely say it would be impossible for aliens to visit earth, despite all the hype we hear of from MUFON.

Noclevername
2015-Jul-23, 09:12 PM
I will just remind everyone that it is mankind that invented the concept of "intelligence"...... For all we know, we could be mental retards compared to everyone else. Just because WE come up with these ideas - well, let's just say WE are coming up with them so they cannot be subjective. Just because we THINK we are smart, doesn't mean that we are not IDIOTS.
Or geniuses.

Jens
2015-Jul-23, 11:09 PM
.

SciFi Chick, YOU do not know any more for certain than anyone else on this planet where intelligent life lives. Stop speaking like you have some sort of hidden knowledge. It's okay to believe, but you cannot say "it is highly unlikely" and then immediately after "There definitely is NOT"
.


I take "there definitely isn't" to mean, "in my opinion, there isn't". When I say, "there's no way I am going to pass that test," it's not a statement of certainty, just a strong opinion regarding the outcome.

Jens
2015-Jul-23, 11:22 PM
I will just remind everyone that it is mankind that invented the concept of "intelligence"...... .

I think that should be true for all concepts, but it doesn't mean there isn't a physical basis for it. I would say that intelligence is the ability to make decisions based on complex factors such as sensory data and memory and calculations of outcome probabilities. The ability for a machine or organism to move toward light would be a very primitive intelligence.

Hlafordlaes
2015-Jul-24, 12:29 AM
I think that should be true for all concepts, but it doesn't mean there isn't a physical basis for it. I would say that intelligence is the ability to make decisions based on complex factors such as sensory data and memory and calculations of outcome probabilities. The ability for a machine or organism to move toward light would be a very primitive intelligence.

How about "autonomous and purposeful behavior using feedback from the environment?" Purposeful here would mean goal-oriented, such as feeding and reproducing, avoiding danger, path-seeking.

Jens
2015-Jul-24, 02:18 PM
How about "autonomous and purposeful behavior using feedback from the environment?" Purposeful here would mean goal-oriented, such as feeding and reproducing, avoiding danger, path-seeking.

Yeah, that seems like a good working definition to me. The point being that although it's a human concept, the reality of the concept exists independently of our conceiving it.

Gomar
2015-Jul-24, 03:17 PM
.. or Galileo to be 'the father' of the telescope!

Or Christopher Columbus to be the "father" of the round Earth, or discoverer of America for that matter. In fact, some 15 states don't celebrate Columbus Day.
In 100 years who knows what kids will be taught in school about European conquest of the so-called "New World"; which was ifcourse old for the natives
for thousands of years prior.

BigDon
2015-Jul-24, 03:19 PM
Other life?

A high possibility.

Prior visitation and "help" from extra-terrestrials? e.i. "Ancient Aliens".

I'll boycott your channel.

Frickin' money grubbing *animals* are what produce shows like that.

Ken G
2015-Jul-24, 03:29 PM
Careful big guy, you're starting to sound a bit belligerent. Just thought you should know! We can agree the perspective of people like that has no scientific basis, and is unlikely to produce any useful predictions about objectively testable outcomes. In other words, it's garbage, but hey, they can always pretend it isn't if it floats their boat!

BigDon
2015-Jul-24, 05:23 PM
Okay G,

Though I was referring to the producers. Not the people watching the shows.

Hlafordlaes
2015-Jul-24, 07:20 PM
Okay G,

Though I was referring to the producers. Not the people watching the shows.

Those shows get to me, to. I don't know if it was the Fall of Rome that set the psyche or biblical stories, but the idea that we are the poor distant cousins of an enlightened and better past keeps cropping up. That, or simply the sense that there is a "purest truth" out there beyond human capability to generate. Getting past the notion of there being some great final truth is what some folks use the mind-dependent reality thread for. Ought to be required reading for viewers of the "Story" Channel.

Colin Robinson
2015-Jul-24, 09:28 PM
Those shows get to me, to. I don't know if it was the Fall of Rome that set the psyche or biblical stories, but the idea that we are the poor distant cousins of an enlightened and better past keeps cropping up. That, or simply the sense that there is a "purest truth" out there beyond human capability to generate. Getting past the notion of there being some great final truth is what some folks use the mind-independent reality thread for. Ought to be required reading for viewers of the "Story" Channel.

Do you consider it impossible that another civilisation — such as a past civilisation or an extraterrestrial one — might have knowledge beyond our current "capability to generate"?

Hlafordlaes
2015-Jul-24, 10:56 PM
EDIT: ET Part: It's only guesswork, but let's kick the can anyway. Of course it is both possible that we are the most cognitively gifted species in the MWG, and that we are, relatively speaking, flatworms. But our capacity to generate is changing, so all we have is a moving target vs an unknown. (We are not only information-enabled, but sharing knowledge on vast scales, with some very limited AI around, too. Virtual reality and enhanced reality are also coming online, this time finally outside the cyberpunk novels.) Re-reading my comment to get more a sense of your question, the critique there was of the idea of purest truth, fixed understanding needing no amendment for all time, not so much of our cognitive and human limitations. Those are there too, of course. Our fallibility provides for a wonderfully complex insurance industry.

Wait, just saw the 'past' civilization part. Pay attention, there, old Hlaf. "Beyond our capacity to generate?" Unless you are talking about an extinct species with a decidedly better brain (or, sigh, time travel), sorry, no. Impossible for us to be better than us, and absolutely nothing in the fossil record to suggest supermen might have been here. Knowledge can be lost, certainly, but the obstacles to its rediscovery are circumstantial and not owing to any insurmountable limitations. The "knowledge arrow," if one can call it that, has dipped in the past and had rapid rises (this is sounding bad), but over that time it was from factors exogenous to our genetic makeup.