Famous astronaut: - Aliens are visiting us?

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But there is no way to circumvent your own experiences in the quest for knowledge. You cannot get any knowledge without experience.

My_wan mentioned the scenario where an alien experience was actually a big psych experiment done by humans. How do you know the human world isnt a big psych experiment done by aliens?

Ultimately you have to trust some of your experiences.
 
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I don't think it's really possible for aliens to do as we think... come to earth, leave come to earth leave, for that to be possible they would have to be relatively close :/ and from probes space shuttles lander's we haven't seen any of this sure there was and is water on mars (frozen) but saying aliens visit us, idk a bit hard to believe as we understand physics today.

however I do think aliens exist, it's highly unlikely that we are the only "gifted" planet in even our own solar system other than the universe, It seems that we can't just say for example *jupiter* it does have a storm on it, and just because it's "too cold for life" doesn't mean one thing. It's too cold for OUR life, but nothing has ever left us unshocked before finding single cell organisms that can withstand mad amounts of heat or cold or anything, why couldn't they "evolve" to let's say a super heating skin. getting a bit off topic...
 

Ivan Seeking

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my_wan is correct. You can't be sure that something is correct just because you experienced it; our brains are extremely unreliable "measurement instruments" and has a tendency to come up with all sorts of nonsense given the right circumstances.
All true, however there comes a point where you have to cross the street. Do you trust your observations or not? We can all be fooled, but this does not explain the most interesting cases - esp cases with corroborating evidence.

The reason most (well, nearly all) scientists dismiss anecdotal evidence for UFOs etc is not because they dismiss the people who claim to have seen the event is question as unreliable (or lunatics), the reason is simply that they don't trust people; and that includes themselves.
Actually, according to Dr. Peter A. Sturrock - Professor of Space Science and Astrophysics and Deputy Director of the Center for Space Sciences and Astrophysics at Stanford University - the problem is that most scientists know little to nothing about the subject.

"Although... the scientific community has tended to minimize the significance of the UFO phenomenon, certain individual scientists have argued that the phenomenon is both real and significant. Such views have been presented in the Hearings of the House Committee on Science and Astronautics [and elsewhere]. It is also notable that one major national scientific society, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, set up a subcommittee in 1967 to 'gain a fresh and objective perspective on the UFO phenomenon.'

In their public statements (but not necessarily in their private statements), scientists express a generally negative attitude towards the UFO problem, and it is interesting to try to understand this attitude. Most scientists have never had the occasion to confront evidence concerning the UFO phenomenon. To a scientist, the main source of hard information (other than his own experiments' observations) is provided by the scientific journals. With rare exceptions, scientific journals do not publish reports of UFO observations. The decision not to publish is made by the editor acting on the advice of reviewers. This process is self-reinforcing: the apparent lack of data confirms the view that there is nothing to the UFO phenomenon, and this view works against the presentation of relevant data." (Sturrock, Peter A., "An Analysis of the Condon Report on the Colorado UFO Project," Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 1, No. 1, 1987.)"
Note also that in their COMETA report, an elite group of scientists and other academics conclude that some UFOs may in fact be ET crafts. One of the contributors to this report was the head of the French space agency - their NASA equivalent.
 
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Ivan Seeking

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Note also:

When Prof. Peter Sturrock, a prominent Stanford University plasma physicist, conducted a survey of the membership of the American Astronomical Society he found that astronomers who spent time reading up on the UFO phenomenon developed more interest in it. If there were nothing to it, you would expect the opposite."
- Bernard Haisch, Ph.D., Director of the California Institute For Physics and Astrophysics
 
One thing is certain: Anyone telling such a story gets labeled a nut. And I'm sure that makes a lot of people sleep better at night. It is a scary prospect to consider the alternatives.
Or maybe it's because a lot of people don't wallow in every single claim being made?
 
Hmmm I've noticed Russ gave a well reasoned response to Ivan, and Ivan chose to ignore it and address someone else. Very interesting.
 
Note also:


- Bernard Haisch, Ph.D., Director of the California Institute For Physics and Astrophysics
So people's interest being peaked now equals validity?
 

paw

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Note also:

When Prof. Peter Sturrock, a prominent Stanford University plasma physicist, conducted a survey of the membership of the American Astronomical Society he found that astronomers who spent time reading up on the UFO phenomenon developed more interest in it. If there were nothing to it, you would expect the opposite."
- Bernard Haisch, Ph.D., Director of the California Institute For Physics and Astrophysics
I've spent time reading, and developed an interest in, Tolkein's LOR. That doesn't mean I believe in Hobbits.
 

Ivan Seeking

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I've spent time reading, and developed an interest in, Tolkein's LOR. That doesn't mean I believe in Hobbits.
First of all, I didn't see anything in the quote about belief.

Your assertion is that scientists find that they enjoy reading UFO reports for their literary value. Have you ever read a NSA UFO report, for example? The quote was they they gain interest in the phenomenon, not the stories. You are taking the quote out of context.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Hmmm I've noticed Russ gave a well reasoned response to Ivan, and Ivan chose to ignore it and address someone else. Very interesting.
Oh my, I will have to take a look.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Ivan Seeking

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Ivan Seeking

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I essentially responded to Russ in my post to kasse. Which point would you like me to address?
 

Ivan Seeking

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So what does that mean? As you often point out, UFO stands for "Unidentified Flying Object", not "flying saucer", so the existence of UFOs is a trivial fact, but at the same time the existence of UFOs tells us nothing whatsoever of value when it comes to the possibility of the existence of aliens.
Since some UFOs, as described, would almost certainly be technology beyond our level of understanding, the suggestion of aliens is inseparable from some UFO reports.

The fact that you trust someone who thinks they saw a flying saucer doesn't alter the problem at all.
That depends entirely on the nature of the claim.

As you appear to understand with your statement above, anecdotal evidence is not scientific evidence. So the existence of anecdotal evidence doesn't alter what you said above: there is no scientific evidence for aliens.
We agree so far.

The only possible thing a scientific minded person could believe is that there is no reason to believe that aliens could be visiting us.
Incorrect. Any scientifically minded person would realize that we don't understand how any mode of travel could allow aliens to traverse such great distances, but any rational person also realizes that science is not complete. Do you have some kind of crystal ball that allows you to see the ultimate limits of science?

Scientifically minded people usually don't claim omniscience.

They happen on a nearly daily basis, Ivan, you're just not paying attention (they don't always make the news anyway). The evidence is in the news and on sale on Ebay all the time. Here's evidence of God so compelling that it sold on Ebay for $28,000: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6511148/
So an apparent image on a piece of toast is an encounter with God? WOW!

And as you said: they don't meet the standard of science. So scientifically minded people such as yourself have no choice but to choose not to believe in aliens or alien spacecraft. Choosing to believe that they do exist is nothing more than a religion of a different kind.
Your position is that scientists far more accomplished than you or almost anyone on this forum are not scientifically minded? I didn't realize that engineers like yourself had such rigorous training. It seems that my training in physics taught me to be a bit more humble in my assumptions.

If you feel the need to believe that which can't be known, that is your choice. Some of us don't assume that we have all of the answers. We don't need to. We are willing to consider that there may still be a few mysteries. Some of us can live with "maybe", when that's as good as it gets for now.
 
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Ivan Seeking

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There is no law anywhere stating that scientific evidence is the only evidence that is logical to consider. Science is a tool, not a religion. What's more, every discovery began with anecdotal evidence.
 
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Sorry I somehow missed this post.

The Galaxy's dimensions are 100,000 ly in diameter and ~2,000 ly thick. How can you go anywhere in 20 years?
The distance across the Galaxy is a function of your speed relative to it. If you are traveling through this Galaxy at 86% the speed of light then the distance across the Galaxy is only 50,00 ly rather than 100,000 ly. The spectators back home say your clocks are running half speed giving you the impression that distances are cut in half. At 1 G constant acceleration it only takes about 6 months to reach 50% the speed of light with a distance traveled of about 0.1 ly.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation#Time_dilation_and_space_flight"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation#Time_dilation_and_space_flight said:
Indeed, a constant 1 g acceleration would permit humans to travel as far as light has been able to travel since the big bang (some 13.7 billion light years) in one human lifetime.
The speed of light is only a limitation of the observers watching the trip and the number of years that must pass back home.

Even if life on Earth was seeded by visiting aliens, this only transfers the problem of abiogenesis to another world. The only alternative hypothesis to abiogenesis is the religious one.
Yes but if abiogenesis is exceedingly rare enough and civilizations advanced enough are likely to want to study the process for real which is more likely to be what started life on any given life bearing planet? Unfortunately the complete lack of data leaves such a question a purely rhetorical one.

Who says that abiogenesis occurred only once? It may have happened several times, but natural selection kept only the most successful one.
Very good point, but I said, "seems to have occurred only once". We can't even be certain that there's not life on this planet that we don't even recognize as life for various reasons. Does self replicating Paxil qualify? One manufacturers patented version began replicating itself by converting another manufactures version. There was even a patent lawsuit because a patent existed on the form that the other version was being converted to.
http://unenumerated.blogspot.com/2005/11/patent-goo-self-replicating-paxil.html" [Broken]
It doesn't qualify as life by my definition on the grounds it doesn't posses a mechanism for evolution but it does point out the issue. We are simply lacking too much data to even discuss meaningful odds at the moment.

This lack of data applies directly to the OP question. The evidence is nil.
 
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There is no law anywhere stating that scientific evidence is the only evidence that is logical to consider. Science is a tool, not a religion. What's more, every discovery began with anecdotal evidence.
You seem to presume "scientific evidence" has this well defined property called X,Y, and Z. This is not the case. A better way to state your first sentence is: Any evidence that is logical to consider is by definition scientific evidence. It doesn't even matter how much it deviates from traditional notions of scientific evidence, so long as it is logical with testable consequences.

When you say every discovery began with anecdotal evidence it appears that you are conflating hypothesis and evidence. Some discoveries began as pure imagination devoid of even anecdotal evidence. Even a hypothesis that is well supported scientifically is not evidence in itself. The evidence is provided by the testability of the consequences.
 

Ivan Seeking

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You seem to presume "scientific evidence" has this well defined property called X,Y, and Z. This is not the case. A better way to state your first sentence is: Any evidence that is logical to consider is by definition scientific evidence. It doesn't even matter how much it deviates from traditional notions of scientific evidence, so long as it is logical with testable consequences.
Absolutely false!!! Scientific evidence requires repeatability, duplication, and peer review. Only after exhaustive verification by many people can evidence be considered scientific evidence.

When you say every discovery began with anecdotal evidence it appears that you are conflating hypothesis and evidence. Some discoveries began as pure imagination devoid of even anecdotal evidence. Even a hypothesis that is well supported scientifically is not evidence in itself. The evidence is provided by the testability of the consequences.
False. Discoveries are made through evidence. Scientific models that account for observations are the ultimate goal of hypotheses.
 
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Absolutely false!!! Scientific evidence requires repeatability, duplication, and peer review. Only after exhaustive verification by many people can evidence be considered scientific evidence.
Do I need peer review to determine that my faucet leaks? The evidence is in fact scientific regardless of peer review. Do we need to repeat a mega-meteor impact for the evidence of an extinction level meteor? The evidence is in fact scientific without the need for a repeat. Only the last point might stand. "Verification" doesn't significantly differ from the notion I used when I said "logical with testable consequences".

False. Discoveries are made through evidence. Scientific models that account for observations are the ultimate goal of hypotheses.
Scientific discoveries are often made by saying: Wouldn't it be neet if X. No evidence whatsoever, anecdotal or otherwise, is needed to posit such a notion. The scientific method only comes into play to determine if either X can be falsified or is falsifiable in principle. Aliens are visiting us is NOT falsifiable on the information we have at present. The only way to falsify such a statement is to determine the affirmative. It therefore is not a scientific statement unless or until aliens are visiting us is answered in the affirmative.

It is in principle possible to use sound scientific methods to search for these aliens. Proclaiming anecdotal evidence as evidence doesn't cut it. The only justification you need for the search is the fact that the possibility is by no means ruled out scientifically. The speed of light limitation places limits and reduces the odds but by no means rules out such a possibility.

Scientific discoveries are made through saying: Duh.. maybe. Then having sense enough not to get bogged down in belief and accusing the Universe of denying you the evidence. Anecdotal evidence is barely a step ahead of conspiracy and on par with the aetherist claim that an absolute frame exist but the Universe is using the Lorentz Transformation to hide it from us.
 
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It turns out there's a wikipedia article about "scientific evidence":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_evidence

I think everyone here knows that eyewitness reports can be mistaken for various reasons, especially if you've seriously looked into ufology for awhile.

But, what do you do with a case like [picks an example] the 2001 illinois ufo with 5 police witnesses? Do you say "eyewitnesses are unreliable, case closed" or do you say "they probably saw something flying around, so what was it?".
 
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'The most basic part of the pursuit of truth is just looking around: seeing what is. Such data collection is the starting point of all science. Explanations can’t exist without facts to explain, nor can experiments be designed in a knowledge vacuum – but data collection can stand on its own. For example, observing animal behaviour in the wild, or finding and analysing fossils, can provide a body of knowledge even without theory or experiment.'

I'm not a scientist, not even a particularly clever person, but I do listen to other peoples experiences. I reserve the right to think of it as total rubbish, or to perhaps think there may be more to it than I can understand.

I cannot tell a good wine from a bad wine; either I like the taste or I don't.
I am unable to see why people would pay many millions of pounds for paintings when I am unable to see anything special about them.
I adore certain pieces of classical music, but others mean nothing to me.

I recognise that there are experts in those fields - but I am unable to understand it.

I didn't believe in the coelacanths until I saw photographs.
 
*sigh* i think the best explanation of UFOs is that it forms a good cover story for public sightings of experimental aircraft. and it probably gets a good laugh from some of the NASA guys convincing a few of their own gullible goofs that aliens are among us. after all, it's obvious the guy can't keep his mouth shut, so why would you entrust him with the knowledge that you were working on some non-traditional propulsion technology?

speaking of which, a lot of the physicists they employ have some way-out-there ideas of their own wrt how the universe works. and maybe that's all fine and good since progress doesn't come out of considering only the classical models. plus, they do fund the occasional odd projects involving things like electrogravitics, and if they really did get one floating up in the air and spotted by a civilian, no one's going to believe them. there was a texas farmer recently that claimed to get harassed by military personnel after spotting a low-flying craft above his property. got a quick blurb on the news and that was it. in fact, i think i saw it on Larry King, which isn't even news.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Do I need peer review to determine that my faucet leaks? The evidence is in fact scientific regardless of peer review.
I will try this one more time. Scientific evidence requires duplication and peer review.

Do we need to repeat a mega-meteor impact for the evidence of an extinction level meteor? The evidence is in fact scientific without the need for a repeat.
No, but you need evidence that can be examined and tested in order to determine that the event took place. This requires repeatability.

Scientific discoveries are often made by saying: Wouldn't it be neet if X. No evidence whatsoever, anecdotal or otherwise, is needed to posit such a notion.
Give an example of a discovery made in this fashion.

The scientific method only comes into play to determine if either X can be falsified or is falsifiable in principle. Aliens are visiting us is NOT falsifiable on the information we have at present. The only way to falsify such a statement is to determine the affirmative. It therefore is not a scientific statement unless or until aliens are visiting us is answered in the affirmative.
What does this have to do with anything?

Proclaiming anecdotal evidence as evidence doesn't cut it.
Look, this is not a point subject to discussion. Not only are you are using the word evidence when you say "anecdotal evidence", which defeats your own assretion, but it is a matter of definition. There are many forms of evidence. Scienctific evidence is just one of them. If you wish to make a scientific assertion, then you need scientific evidence. But the question at hand was whether it is logical to consider weaker forms of evidence as a practical matter in life. The fact is that we do it every day. We have to in order to survive. We can't wait for peer review when we have a leaky pipe or attempt to cross the street.
 
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Do I need peer review to determine that my faucet leaks?
I would say so. If you told me your faucet leaks and you saw it, why should I believe you? Unless your statement has been reviewed by others and confirmed there is no reason to take what you claim for scientific evidence.
 
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There's no scientific evidence for leaking faucets :biggrin:
 

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