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Why is ET such a magnet for loonatics?

by fellupahill
Tags: loonatics, magnet
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jreelawg
#37
Mar5-12, 03:29 PM
P: 450
I hope it's not too far off topic, but I have this book, "To The Red Planet" by Eric Burges. On page 19-21, the author talks about the possible Social Effects which discovering life on Mars would have. I think it's kind of interesting.

http://books.google.com/books?id=p2M...page&q&f=false
jreelawg
#38
Mar6-12, 05:28 PM
P: 450
Quote Quote by Dotini View Post
Non-biological entities do not necessarily have to be robotic creations of biological ET's, nor do they have to be "alien", as in extraterrestrial.
No, but non-biological extraterrestrials must be extraterrestrial, otherwise they wouldn't be extraterrestrials.
alt
#39
Mar6-12, 07:36 PM
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I simply don't believe in ET.

Were I to even seriously consider the possibility however, I would find the time distance insurmountable. What I mean is, if an ET civilization existed, as well as the inurmountable space distance, there would be the one of time, ie, their existence would have to be co-incident to our time frame of intelligent life, and given the billions upon billions of years of universe age, that may as well be like searching for a needle in a proverbial billion haystacks
DaveC426913
#40
Mar6-12, 08:17 PM
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Quote Quote by alt View Post
I simply don't believe in ET.
For that to be true, you would have to believe that, in all the half trillion stars in our galaxy, and the half trillion galaxies in our universe, our planet is unique. Even though it is made up of the 100 or so elements that virtually every other of those 1023 star systems is made of.

I think I'd find the existence of a God more plausible than that implausible scenario.
CaptFirePanda
#41
Mar6-12, 08:56 PM
P: 27
I think that when many people say they don't believe in extra-terrestrials, they really mean that they don't believe that there are any extra-terrestrials that could communicate/visit us.

I also think there are vast differences between the likelihood of one over the other.
D H
#42
Mar6-12, 08:56 PM
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Quote Quote by DaveC426913 View Post
Quote Quote by alt View Post
I simply don't believe in ET.
For that to be true, you would have to believe that, in all the half trillion stars in our galaxy, and the half trillion galaxies in our universe, our planet is unique. Even though it is made up of the 100 or so elements that virtually every other of those 1023 star systems is made of.
You are, I think, reading too much into alt's post. alt did not say we are unique. There is a huge, huge gap between "we are alone" and "we are unique". Suppose intelligent life is rare, rare enough that only a few billions of planets in the observable universe harbor intelligent life. Being one out of a few billion means we far from unique. However, a few billions of intelligent species in the universe corresponds to one per 100 galaxies or so. It would put our nearest intelligent neighbor in the next galaxy cluster. That certainly would qualify as "all alone."

We don't know if life is common or rare, let alone whether intelligent life is common or rare. Extrapolating from a sample size of one is always a bad idea. That said, I side with alt. I don't believe in ET in the sense of visitations by ET to our planet, ancient or current. It is to me the easiest answer to the Fermi paradox.
DaveC426913
#43
Mar6-12, 09:08 PM
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Quote Quote by D H View Post
You are, I think, reading too much into alt's post. alt did not say we are unique. There is a huge, huge gap between "we are alone" and "we are unique".
Well I thought carefully about that before answering. He didn't say "I don't believe we've been visited", he said "I simply don't believe there are extra-terrestrials".

He explicitly follows up with the "but if I did ... too far away anyway" scenario, lending credence to the idea that his initial statement was intended to be unqualified.
DaveC426913
#44
Mar6-12, 09:13 PM
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Quote Quote by fellupahill View Post
What would the catholic and muslim churches stance be if we were indeed contacted? I doubt they would let even aliens shatter belief, evolution or BB Theory didn't do the job and they are both direct contradictions.
Let's not go any further down this path but AFAIK aliens do not contradict anything in either religion.
jreelawg
#45
Mar6-12, 11:34 PM
P: 450
Quote Quote by DaveC426913 View Post
Let's not go any further down this path but AFAIK aliens do not contradict anything in either religion.
Just one last post about this.

Quote Quote by Eric Burges "To the Red Planet"

Politically, and religiously, however, there are problems of encountering extraterrestrial life, especially if it should prove to be intelligent. Russian and Chinese communism from the ideological standpoint, and Judeo-Christian theologies from the religious standpoint, claim a missionary primacy, making members the center of the universe. Such egocentric world views may not be able to accept other world intelligences greater than their own.

On this question of religious acceptance, an authority of of world religions at a major university doubted wether the discovery of life on Mars, or the discovery that there is no life on Mars, would have an immediate major impact: "In the short term the reaction will be to fit the discovery into the existing framework, saying that such and such a statement in the religious writing shows that the result was already forecast. But in the long term it must affect the adjustment in perspective that the world's religions are facing today.
http://books.google.com/books?id=p2M...page&q&f=false
alt
#46
Mar7-12, 07:43 AM
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Quote Quote by DaveC426913 View Post
For that to be true, you would have to believe that, in all the half trillion stars in our galaxy, and the half trillion galaxies in our universe, our planet is unique. Even though it is made up of the 100 or so elements that virtually every other of those 1023 star systems is made of.

I think I'd find the existence of a God more plausible than that implausible scenario.
DaveC, I see a rather serendipitous aspect to the point you made which I've underlined above.

It just made me think that if you believe in, or at least allow the possibility of ET, then you must also necessarily, allow the possibility of the existence of a God.

For if intelligent life exists elsewhere, who are we to prescribe that it must be within the ambit of our comprehension and/or of a magnitude familiar to us ?

In a (known) universe of the size you described (1023 star systems) isn't it equally plausible to allow for the possibility that intelligence exists, of a magnitude way beyond ours, so as to be of god like proportions in its science, knowledge, powers and abilities, compared to ours ?

Certainly, such disparities exist all around us on this very planet (man vs. the amoeba for instance) so why not in the opposite direction, in an entire (and probably infinite) universe ?

(Edit - 2nd last paragraph altered)
DaveC426913
#47
Mar7-12, 08:39 AM
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Quote Quote by alt View Post
DaveC, I see a rather serendipitous aspect to the point you made which I've underlined above.

It just made me think that if you believe in, or at least allow the possibility of ET, then you must also necessarily, allow the possibility of the existence of a God.

In a (known) universe of the size you described (1023 star systems) isn't it equally plausible to allow for the possibility that intelligence exists, of a magnitude way beyond ours, so as to be of god like proportions in its science, knowledge, powers and abilities, compared to ours ?
There is a fundamental difference between "god-like" and "God".

god-like is simply a matter of extrapolation from our science, knowledge, powers and abilities. And even at that, it is an asymptotic curve (while we can allow the possibility of it, the actual likelihood of it (due to real-world constraints such as how long it might take as a fraction of the age of universe) is slim).

But God makes some statements about the whole universe - including our corner of it. That is a whole different ball of wax.
Ivan Seeking
#48
Mar7-12, 09:49 AM
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Quote Quote by D H View Post
That said, I side with alt. I don't believe in ET in the sense of visitations by ET to our planet, ancient or current. It is to me the easiest answer to the Fermi paradox.
Isn't this circular logic; I don't accept any of the alleged evidence therefore Fermi's paradox is answered?

Perhaps I should have said that Fermi's paradox assumes there is no evidence in spite of thousands of years of alleged or potential historical accounts to the contrary. To me, this almost qualifies as a strawman. If Fermi was asking why we have no scientific evidence for such encounters, not just evidence, I can think of many possible answers to that question.
alt
#49
Mar8-12, 08:11 AM
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Quote Quote by DaveC426913 View Post
There is a fundamental difference between "god-like" and "God".

god-like is simply a matter of extrapolation from our science, knowledge, powers and abilities. And even at that, it is an asymptotic curve (while we can allow the possibility of it, the actual likelihood of it (due to real-world constraints such as how long it might take as a fraction of the age of universe) is slim).

But God makes some statements about the whole universe - including our corner of it. That is a whole different ball of wax.
This post and my earlier post (46) is not for the purpose of discussing the existence God; it is to discuss further my idea that ..

if you believe in, or at least allow the possibility of ET, then you must also necessarily, allow the possibility of the existence of a God.

DaveC, I feel you are looking at it with a degree of anthropic bias. This fundamental difference that you posit between God and 'god like' .. the question is, if one or the other were the case, how indeed would you know ? It would be so far beyond your ken as to not be able to make such a distinction.

The universe is a large place - you could probably imagine better than I, how large. Indeed, it could well be infinite (many scientists believe it IS infinite). If there is room in it for ET, then I still think it is only logical to say there is equal room for an ET of God, or at least, god like proportions. The difference between God and god like would be moot.
SHISHKABOB
#50
Mar8-12, 12:34 PM
P: 614
In my opinion: I agree with DaveC426913 that the probability that life is 100% unique to this one planet in the entire universe is totally bonkers.

However, when I consider the Fermi Paradox, it seems like that is an explanation to me that says: "Either there is a neigh insurmountable hurdle related to interstellar or intergalactic travel; or nobody wants to talk to us."

But, frankly, I think that I do not have enough data to be comfortable talking about this sort of thing. And I don't mean I haven't been doing readings, I mean that we haven't even gotten to the point where we can see for ourselves if it's even possible to travel from star to star. What if there's some sort of crazy obstacle out there that we just plain can't see?


alt: when you say "an ET of God" do you mean life that got to that point? Or are you saying God? Because the God of Christianity is definitely something that was not originally life.
jreelawg
#51
Mar8-12, 01:12 PM
P: 450
Quote Quote by alt View Post
This post and my earlier post (46) is not for the purpose of discussing the existence God; it is to discuss further my idea that ..

if you believe in, or at least allow the possibility of ET, then you must also necessarily, allow the possibility of the existence of a God.

DaveC, I feel you are looking at it with a degree of anthropic bias. This fundamental difference that you posit between God and 'god like' .. the question is, if one or the other were the case, how indeed would you know ? It would be so far beyond your ken as to not be able to make such a distinction.

The universe is a large place - you could probably imagine better than I, how large. Indeed, it could well be infinite (many scientists believe it IS infinite). If there is room in it for ET, then I still think it is only logical to say there is equal room for an ET of God, or at least, god like proportions. The difference between God and god like would be moot.
And if any sort of god is possible, then literally anything is possible, because a god may be able to defy all of man kinds established laws.

So transitively, if you accept the possibility of extraterrestrial life existing, then you must accept the possibility of the moon being made of cheese as well.

And because the criteria that you've established for being forced to accept the existence of god, is that you accept the existence of something you do not know. Then if I accept the possibility that my car will start next morning, then I must also accept the possibility that the moon is made of cheese.
DaveC426913
#52
Mar8-12, 01:25 PM
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Quote Quote by alt View Post
It would be so far beyond your ken as to not be able to make such a distinction.

The universe is a large place - you could probably imagine better than I, how large. Indeed, it could well be infinite
It may or may not be infinite in extent, but it is not infinite in time. Every one of those 10^23 stars has been around less than 13 billion years. A very large fraction of them (all the pop II and pop I's) have been around much less than that (And pop III's are hypothesized to be nearly extinct).

It took more than 1/3 of the age of the universe just to get to our level of sophistication. And there's no reason to believe that evolution happens at outrageously faster rates elsewhere, even with a sampling of 10^23.

So there are definitely some rate-limiting factors on how god-like any alien can get.
jreelawg
#53
Mar8-12, 01:44 PM
P: 450
Quote Quote by DaveC426913 View Post
It may or may not be infinite in extent, but it is not infinite in time. Every one of those 10^23 stars has been around less than 13 billion years. A very large fraction of them (all the pop II and pop I's) have been around much less than that (And pop III's are hypothesized to be nearly extinct).

It took more than 1/3 of the age of the universe just to get to our level of sophistication. And there's no reason to believe that evolution happens at outrageously faster rates elsewhere, even with a sampling of 10^23.

So there are definitely some rate-limiting factors on how god-like any alien can get.
What does it even mean to be god like. Are you counting technology? If you count technology, then it could be the case that evolution toward god likeness could accelerate once certain breakthroughs take place.

The point we are at now is an example. Will technology soon make forms of immortality possible? It already allows us to fly, clone creatures, harness electricity, travel to the moon etc. Certainly, ancient man might have considered this god like.

How about the possibility that genetic engineering, nano technology, etc, make it possible for us to artificially evolve ourselves?

But I don't think we will ever be able to make ecosystems out of clay in seven days.
DubaUe
#54
Mar8-12, 06:59 PM
P: 10
wouldn't there be alot of compounds of the same as humans if there were? aliens are just living things. If so they exist.


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