History channel: Alien engineering show

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pervect
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History channel: "Alien engineering" show

I'm curious if anyone saw this show, or part of it. (I only watched part, it was rather long).

For a rather ga-ga premise, the show seemed to be fairly serious. A friend of mine commented that it might attract kids to science. I know I don't want to start moderating a flood of questions on the "alien anti-gravity drive", though :-).

So, will shows like this turn out to be good for science in the long run, or will they just fuel pseudoscience?
 

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  • #2
Ivan Seeking
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The problem that I have is the impression given that we really have a captured flying saucer. I know from experience that many viewers will take this all as fact. Then again, I don't know that this is avoidable for any science subject. There are those who will take perfectly valid statements and create complete nonsense from it no matter what you say. So perhaps for those who would benefit from the material covered, the context is understood and not a problem. But I think that it should have been made more clear that the premise was fictional and not based on any specific claims. And when I think about it, really that gets dicey because it WAS based on specific claims that they define to be science fiction.

I wanted to check and see if this was the same show that I was thinking of, and spotted this.

In Mid-February, I was featured as one of the scientists interviewed on television for a show, "Alien Engineering," on the History channel, along with a lot of other scientists such as Lawrence Krauss, Seth Shostak, Frank Drake, Marc Millis, and others. This was a lot of fun. The premise of the show was halfway between "The X Files" and "The Physics of Star Trek." It was: suppose UFOs really were flying saucers from an alien civilization-- if so, what would be the physics behind them? It was an explicitly science-fiction premise, used as a springboard to do illuminate some real-world physics thinking.

My one quibble is that the show didn't give quite enough emphasis to the fact that the premise was science fiction... [continued]
http://www.sff.net/people/Geoffrey.Landis/UFO.html

Alien_Engineering.jpg
 
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Moonbear
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It was a pretty interesting show (the parts I watched anyway), but like Ivan, I'm concerned that those who started watching mid-show and didn't catch the disclaimers periodically dispersed around commercial breaks could have been misled into believing it was true rather than tongue-in-cheek. I was actually laughing over it, because it just seemed to be done in a way that was poking fun at many of the things people claim about "flying saucers" including them being saucers, while actually including interesting factual tidbits about current science and technology.

For example, when they were talking about the sudden turns of the flying saucers, and would say something like, "But of course, all they needed to do was have a device to stop inertia, or else the aliens would be nothing but wet spots on the windshield." :rofl:
 
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Evo
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Did anyone watch the Tv mockumentary "When cars attack?" It was made like a serious expose, but it was a joke. Unfortnately a lot of people thought it was real...

Does anyone have a video of that show?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0406336/#comment
 
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Ivan Seeking
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I once had a guy swear that you can buy hoverboards, just like those in the movie, Back to the Future. And of course this was back when the movies were popular. So here was a movie that was clearly fiction, but it didn't matter.

Coming next, the Harry Potter Generation. Will we soon be debunking magic-wand claims? Should we anticipate an invasion of dragons and three-headed dogs?
 
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pervect
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The problem that I have is the impression given that we really have a captured flying saucer. I know from experience that many viewers will take this all as fact.


That was one of my concerns as well, probably from having run into the same people here on the forums.

I wanted to check and see if this was the same show that I was thinking of, and spotted this.
Yep, that's the show I had in mind.
 
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I had seen that show on history channel. I didn't believe everything they said but on the whole the show was "just" entertaining. :biggrin:
 

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