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UFOs, are they real? Do you believe?

2

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  • NokkenbuerNokkenbuer Member Posts: 146
    edited July 2014
    Hasn't happened yet, but we can't be alone.

    <
    Aliens were in our past and they're around now, indiscreetly that is. Just look at the ancient cities and other ancient marvels. Primitive humans didn't move around 50-100 ton rocks to make a wall or a building. Humans didn't have precise instruments to make perfect cuts in granite, diamonds and other hard objects. A lot of our history is lost unfortunately. We're a race with amnesia.

    But I'm a skeptical believer. So I don't believe every story out there.

    I've seen a UFO in the night sky once. It was an unidentified flying object, I couldn't identify it. So it was true to the acronym of UFO. It was a light high up in the sky. It moved fast like a jet but it made movements that would be impossible for a jet to make. It wasn't a light from the ground, it was too far up for that.

    There is more than sufficient evidence to not only show but prove how many ancient wonders and monuments were built. Yes, some are still a mystery to us, but that's because there's no record of their formation, or of the people who built them. That doesn't mean any "ancient aliens" built it, though. This entire idea is absurd on numerous grounds:

    1. What purpose would there be in building these primitive monuments, especially if they were done for the humans? There is no reason why any extraterrestrial civilization would aid us in the slightest and even if they did I seriously doubt their help would come in the form of building rather useless monuments that we only used to worship non-existent deities.

    2. What benefit would these aliens receive from constructing such monuments? Praise from some savages on the surface? The offering of useless resources and perishable gifts that would probably be toxic to them anyway? There is no logical reason why they would do anything for us, and there is no worthwhile benefit for doing so.

    3. Why did the aliens decide to use primitive building materials to construct these monuments, and not the advanced technology of their own civilization? Were we not worthy? The only semilogical reason why an alien civilization would build anything on Earth would be for egotistic purposes, such as making their mark to stand the tests of time. If this was their reasoning, then why would they go out of there way to obscure their involvement by using primitive materials and building techniques which the humans alive during the time of their construction likely already knew to do? I find it difficult to believe aliens would be so benevolent and patronizing as to secretly help humans build massive obelisks for us savages to worship as relating to fictitious gods. And to assume the aliens themselves to be the subjects of human deity worship is also absurd, since it's unlikely that such an advanced alien civilization would still harbor such primitive desires like egotism and a narcissistic urge to be praised. These are human qualities, not alien ones.

    4. Why is it difficult to believe humans built the structures? Humans are a very adaptable, innovative, and creative species. Even before modern technology, humans inventing primitive equivalents of levers and pulleys; hydraulics; weight distribution; mathematics; and geometry, to name a few. As a species, we've had at least a basic grasp of physics for the better half of a million years. Why is it that suddenly, when we come across some great feats of ancient human engineering, we assume that it mustn't be us, but aliens?

    The entire concept of ancient aliens seems to be a self-contradictory, poorly conceived plot to explain ancient structures, personify an alien species with human-like motives and desires, and mock the ingenuity of the human brain. How is it so hard to see that humans aren't the dumb, savage apes banging clubs in caves and eating raw meat like depicted in movies? For hundreds of thousands of years, we have been civilized to some degree and have been building structures ever since. It's not surprising, at least to me, that the Egyptians could build the pyramids, seeing how they had thousands of slaves and no real value for the slaves' livespaid workers skilled in the construction of buildings, along with dozens (if not hundreds or thousands) of mathematicians, physicists, philosophers, and engineers available to conceive of the structures. They are certainly impressive feats of human engineering, but not altogether surprising, given how far humanity has come in only a short time.

    EDIT: At the correction of @ZelgadisGW‌, paid workers helped build the pyramids, not slaves.

    TheElfCrevsDaakMathsorcererTJ_Hooker
  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,763
    That's cool, but the slaves part is the myth. Actual workers were involved in rising pyramids and they were paid for it. Sorry for off-top.

    NokkenbuerAnduinCrevsDaak
  • NokkenbuerNokkenbuer Member Posts: 146
    Hasn't happened yet, but we can't be alone.

    That's cool, but the slaves part is the myth. Actual workers were involved in rising pyramids and they were paid for it. Sorry for off-top.

    Yeah sorry, I forgot about that. I learned this a couple years ago, but all my life and early education, they were thought to be slaves, so I still kind of have a habit of calling them as such.

    To be fair, though, I remember reading that there is some evidence that both slaves and paid workers helped construct the pyramids. The slaves did menial labor, but the jobs of crafting, directing, and placement (among many others) were left to those paid to do the job. Generally, slaves weren't recorded because they weren't deemed as important, or something like that. Slaves just complemented the process. I'm trying to find where I read that from, but I can't find the source. I'm pretty sure the article I read only speculated that slaves helped the workers, so it's entirely possible (and likely, given the current evidence) that yeah, there weren't any slaves used in the construction of the pyramids.

  • MortiannaMortianna Member Posts: 1,355
    Yes, I believe they have been here and the public is being lied to.
    After separating the "wheat from the chaff," I've found the amount of evidence very compelling. Canada's ex-minster of National Defence, Paul Hellyer, has been outspoken about the existence of ETs for nearly a decade now. Full disclosure would confirm that we're not alone and usher in a much-needed paradigm shift in human consciousness. My question is whether it's the ETs or the shadow government (or both) that doesn't want us to know?

    SCARY_WIZARDCaloNord
  • SCARY_WIZARDSCARY_WIZARD Member Posts: 1,431
    edited July 2014
    Yes, I believe they have been here, but no one is sure.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox This is a good "Cliff's Notes" version of the Fermi Paradox, a question about life out there.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_and_Barney_Hill_abduction A classic!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allagash_Abductions I saw about this one on Unsolved Mysteries a while ago.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travis_Walton Uhhh. :/ No.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_UFO_sightings
    #Wickuhpeedeeuhh It was either this or post things I found from people that I feel make me seem well-adjusted. :(

    I believe that there's life out there. Maybe it's not in a form that we recognise, but only that life and other life that knows about it knows! I think that declaring absolutes to the affirmative or contrary is sort of premature, because...well, we've been real wrong about things in the past.
    Also I thiiiink that some recorded encounters might be really weird dreams.

    elminster
  • TheElfTheElf Member Posts: 798
    Hasn't happened yet, but we can't be alone.
    Have never paid any attention to ideas about little green men and abductions and such, but it seems a near certainty there is intelligent life out there somewhere. The universe is like, real big, so big if you keep thinking about it, you'll go mad.

    SCARY_WIZARDAnduin
  • SCARY_WIZARDSCARY_WIZARD Member Posts: 1,431
    Yes, I believe they have been here, but no one is sure.
    TheElf said:

    Have never paid any attention to ideas about little green men and abductions and such, but it seems a near certainty there is intelligent life out there somewhere. The universe is like, real big, so big if you keep thinking about it, you'll go mad.

    And where it came from, where it ends, when it ends...

  • CaloNordCaloNord Member Posts: 1,807
  • AnduinAnduin Member Posts: 5,745
    edited July 2014
    Hasn't happened yet, but we can't be alone.
    Look the size of the universe can be explained easy.

    The size of the universe = The length from it's edge to it's middle x 2

    *Gnomes Gnow Genuis*

    I think life, bacterial, amoebic, single cell stuff will be found in our own solar system.

    Intelligent... Chances are it is somewhere out there, but not here and now.

    mlneveseelementCrevsDaakDungeonnoob
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,820
    Universe this, universe that... why think people here on such a small scale? Me, I find the various hypotheses of an infinite Multiverse so much more appealing.

    Absolutely not influenced by Planescape, I swear!

    Dungeonnoob
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,950
    Anduin said:

    Look the size of the universe can be explained easy.

    The size of the universe = The length from it's edge to it's middle x 2

    *Gnomes Gnow Genuis*

    I think life, bacterial, amoebic, single cell stuff will be found in our own solar system.

    Intelligent... Chances are it is somewhere out there, but not here and now.

    I agree there is no intelligence here and now... Although I've heard a certain species of naked apes may be getting close to it...maybe with a litle more time they can get there ;)

    CrevsDaakAnduin
  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 3,003
    Hasn't happened yet, but we can't be alone.
    It is statistically improbable that we are the only species to develop the ability to reason, to have a written language, make tools, and develop media of artistic expression, all prerequisites to be called "advanced". Have other been here? Although I cannot rule it out completely this, also, is statistically improbable since the distances involved are so vast. If we have been visited then the ones who dropped by to say hello must have:
    1) some means of attaining velocities which exceed c,
    2) are able to shift their vessels into some as-yet-unknown dimension (we have 11 of them, in case you have forgotten) where distance isn't measured in the way we normally have to measure distance,
    3) they are able to instantaneously teleport an entire ship including its crew and their supplies,
    4) they use sleeper ships and put the crew in some sort of extended suspension (there are experiments we are conducting here replacing an entire pig's blood supply with a saline solution, lowering the body down into single-digit temperatures (celsius, of course), letting them stay there, then slowly reintroducing the blood and raising the body temperature to successfully revive the pig. although this research is for making operations safer it could also be used for long-term exploratory missions) but this would require a skeleton crew for routine maintenance and to make sure nothing happened to the sleepers
    5) *this is the most likely scenario* they have built ships which do not require a crew for exploration--the ship's computer system is advanced enough to do things like avoid obstacles, implement course corrections, collect data to send back home, etc--*or* the crew on the ship doing the exploring no longer have organic bodies--they have gone past being cyborgs and are fully mechanical--and thus do not require food, rest, heat, or a breathable atmosphere and they succumb to neither sickness nor age.

    If they visited us in the distant past then they already collected specimens for study and don't need to collect any more now, given that our physiology hasn't changed much in the last 12,000 years. At best, they would only need to check in every decade or so to keep tabs on our technological progress which no doubt follows pretty much the same path they took.

    @CoM_Solaufein‌ is correct, though--we have amnesia. Not only were our distant ancestors more technologically advanced that we realize, our history goes back farther than we think it does. Some researchers have used archaeoastronomy--the science, which some call pseudo-science, of dating antiquities by presuming that they were aligned with certain astronomical objects, whether planets (usually Venus), stars (Sirius, for example), or the galactic equator as defined by the path of the galaxy in the night sky--to date structures such as the Sphinx to over 5000 BC or, more wildly, Tiahuanaco to over 12,000 BC. Tiahuanaco is also still a mystery because not only is it a classic example of megalithic architecture but the structures are up in the mountains *and* some of the blocks measure over 100 tons (the most massive one tops the scale at about 440 tons, according to estimates) *and* the quarry for the stone is about 15 km away.

    We cannot make any solid guesses about non-terrestrial psychology beyond the basics: any alien would value its own life, if it is engaged in scientific inquiry then it will experiment in ways that will satisfy its curiosity, etc. I cannot see any reason why they would want to or need to visit us at this time other than to check up on our progress, which they could do remotely; this explains why we haven't had any verified visits. If they did want to make their presence known, though, there is nothing we could do to stop them.

    On a more serious note, though, our own history proves to us that when two civilizations meet for the first time the one which wins in the long term is the one whose technology is better. If we don't meet them out there, at least on the Moon if not Mars, then they will eventually meet us here and at that point it would be too late to worry about "if only we had done x". At that point, we will have to hope that their intentions are not malign.

    NokkenbuerTroodon80
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,950
    We are currently researching suspended animation, for medical purposes, and warp engines, so maybe there's hope when we finally meet an alien civilization we will not be in too much of a disadvantage.

    http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-07-20/doctors-are-ready-test-temporary-suspended-animation-save-people-severe-injuries

    http://www.technobuffalo.com/2014/06/15/nasa-unveils-incredible-design-for-warp-drive-spacecraft/

    And if we are lucky, and the other civilization extremely unlucky given our history, maybe the first one we meet is actually more primitive than us.

    Mathsorcerer
  • NokkenbuerNokkenbuer Member Posts: 146
    Hasn't happened yet, but we can't be alone.

    It is statistically improbable that we are the only species to develop the ability to reason, to have a written language, make tools, and develop media of artistic expression, all prerequisites to be called "advanced". Have other been here? Although I cannot rule it out completely this, also, is statistically improbable since the distances involved are so vast. If we have been visited then the ones who dropped by to say hello must have:
    1) some means of attaining velocities which exceed c,
    2) are able to shift their vessels into some as-yet-unknown dimension (we have 11 of them, in case you have forgotten) where distance isn't measured in the way we normally have to measure distance,
    3) they are able to instantaneously teleport an entire ship including its crew and their supplies,
    4) they use sleeper ships and put the crew in some sort of extended suspension (there are experiments we are conducting here replacing an entire pig's blood supply with a saline solution, lowering the body down into single-digit temperatures (celsius, of course), letting them stay there, then slowly reintroducing the blood and raising the body temperature to successfully revive the pig. although this research is for making operations safer it could also be used for long-term exploratory missions) but this would require a skeleton crew for routine maintenance and to make sure nothing happened to the sleepers
    5) *this is the most likely scenario* they have built ships which do not require a crew for exploration--the ship's computer system is advanced enough to do things like avoid obstacles, implement course corrections, collect data to send back home, etc--*or* the crew on the ship doing the exploring no longer have organic bodies--they have gone past being cyborgs and are fully mechanical--and thus do not require food, rest, heat, or a breathable atmosphere and they succumb to neither sickness nor age.

    If they visited us in the distant past then they already collected specimens for study and don't need to collect any more now, given that our physiology hasn't changed much in the last 12,000 years. At best, they would only need to check in every decade or so to keep tabs on our technological progress which no doubt follows pretty much the same path they took.

    @CoM_Solaufein‌ is correct, though--we have amnesia. Not only were our distant ancestors more technologically advanced that we realize, our history goes back farther than we think it does. Some researchers have used archaeoastronomy--the science, which some call pseudo-science, of dating antiquities by presuming that they were aligned with certain astronomical objects, whether planets (usually Venus), stars (Sirius, for example), or the galactic equator as defined by the path of the galaxy in the night sky--to date structures such as the Sphinx to over 5000 BC or, more wildly, Tiahuanaco to over 12,000 BC. Tiahuanaco is also still a mystery because not only is it a classic example of megalithic architecture but the structures are up in the mountains *and* some of the blocks measure over 100 tons (the most massive one tops the scale at about 440 tons, according to estimates) *and* the quarry for the stone is about 15 km away.

    We cannot make any solid guesses about non-terrestrial psychology beyond the basics: any alien would value its own life, if it is engaged in scientific inquiry then it will experiment in ways that will satisfy its curiosity, etc. I cannot see any reason why they would want to or need to visit us at this time other than to check up on our progress, which they could do remotely; this explains why we haven't had any verified visits. If they did want to make their presence known, though, there is nothing we could do to stop them.

    On a more serious note, though, our own history proves to us that when two civilizations meet for the first time the one which wins in the long term is the one whose technology is better. If we don't meet them out there, at least on the Moon if not Mars, then they will eventually meet us here and at that point it would be too late to worry about "if only we had done x". At that point, we will have to hope that their intentions are not malign.

    Well firstly, there is no statistical probability or improbability to predict extraterrestrial life because, quite frankly, there is only one data point: us. Any statistical analysis or mathematical predictions regarding alien life that could be conceived are exceedingly weak and presumptuous. At this point in time, there is no mathematical or scientific evidence of intelligent lifeforms even having the possibility of existing elsewhere in the Universe.

    This so-called "archaeoastronomy" is most certainly pseudoscience, at least the one to which you're referring. The entire foundation of what makes a field of study "scientific" is whether it follows the scientific method. How exactly does this "archaeoastronomy" follow the scientific method whatsoever? The actual scientific discipline or archaeoastronomy is scientific to some degree, but the whole method of "dating antiquities by presuming that they were aligned with certain astronomical objects" is just hypothetical guessing. Yes, astrological signs and astronomical phenomena does play a significant role in the construction of ancient monuments, alongside the culture and religions of virtually all ancient civilizations. To suggest that the placement of heavenly bodies necessarily, or always, played a role in the construction of ancient wonders is absurd, however, and leads to a very unscientific and vague guessing game of prehistoric revisionism.

    This whole idea of humanity having some sort of collective "amnesia" just stinks too much of New Age spiritualism for me to comfortably consider it. Of course there are parts of human history (and prehistory) which remains unknown to us, but that's because our ancient ancestors did a really crappy job of recording their histories, cultures, and activities. It's not like we as a collective have "forgotten" parts of our special past; we never "remembered" them in the first place. It's not that we simply "forgot" what happened during the Dark Ages; we just didn't record (or lost the recordings of) what happened during those periods of human history.

    As intriguing and thought-provoking the Jungian theories of collective memories and consciousness may be, there is ultimately no scientific basis or rational explanation for the existence of such phenomena. Those sort of concepts are typically believed by New Age spiritualists for a reason: they're exceedingly absurd, unfounded in any science or reason, seem to explain unknown aspects of our world, and make for good storytelling.

    As for the rest of what you said, I actually agree.

    TJ_HookerErg
  • Troodon80Troodon80 Member, Developer Posts: 4,110
    edited August 2014
    Hasn't happened yet, but we can't be alone.

    Well firstly, there is no statistical probability or improbability to predict extraterrestrial life because, quite frankly, there is only one data point: us. Any statistical analysis or mathematical predictions regarding alien life that could be conceived are exceedingly weak and presumptuous. At this point in time, there is no mathematical or scientific evidence of intelligent lifeforms even having the possibility of existing elsewhere in the Universe.

    While there is currently no evidence, I think 'us' is the best data point we could hope for. Evolution, however, is the all-encompassing point. If the probability of evolution in the universe is zero, then we wouldn't exist as we currently are. That's the key data point. We don't have any actual facts about the origin of life on this planet, so we can only theorise, we know life was created but we don't know how, precisely (thus the ongoing debate about Evolution and Creationism). Therefore, since it is statistically probably for life (e.g. humans) to be created an evolve (given the right conditions or catalyst), it is also probable that life could be created and evolve on a similar class planet. I wouldn't consider that assumption to be weak. To deny the probability of life being created in the universe is to deny the probability that humanity could have existed in the first place. Even scientists haven't been able to prove, irrefutably, how we were created. So the assumption that it is unlikely to happen on another planet is as weak and presumptuous as the assumption that it could.

    There's no way to predict it, but the same theories that we apply to ourselves could easily be applied elsewhere.

    mlnevese
  • karnor00karnor00 Member Posts: 679
    Hasn't happened yet, but we can't be alone.
    Troodon80 said:

    Even scientists haven't been able to prove, irrefutably, how we were created. So the assumption that it is unlikely to happen on another planet is as weak and presumptuous as the assumption that it could.

    I think there's quite a bit of evidence to indicate that once life begins, it has a reasonable probability of eventually developing intelligence. Our understanding of how evolution works is good evidence that species will always continue to evolve with intelligence being one possibility. Looking at the evolution of life on earth, it has been down various different routes - each time a huge natural disaster occurs, it's a different type of life form which becomes dominant.

    What we don't know however are the chances of life developing initially. That's because we only have evidence of it happening once - here on Earth, and we don't understand how it happened. The chance could be 1 in 1, or 1 in a googleplex. We can't draw any sensible conclusions simply based on our existence, because if we didn't exist then we wouldn't be here to draw those conclusions.

    We know the universe is really really big. But we don't know if it's big enough to compensate for the chance of life developing initially.

    elminsterNokkenbuer
  • DungeonnoobDungeonnoob Member Posts: 315
    Hasn't happened yet, but we can't be alone.
    Il have to check this valley out soon.

  • Troodon80Troodon80 Member, Developer Posts: 4,110
    edited August 2014
    Hasn't happened yet, but we can't be alone.
    karnor00 said:

    What we don't know however are the chances of life developing initially. That's because we only have evidence of it happening once - here on Earth, and we don't understand how it happened. The chance could be 1 in 1, or 1 in a googleplex. We can't draw any sensible conclusions simply based on our existence, because if we didn't exist then we wouldn't be here to draw those conclusions.

    We know the universe is really really big. But we don't know if it's big enough to compensate for the chance of life developing initially.

    We were created initially, which goes to prove that it is possible. We know it's possible, that's a fact and not a refutable argument. It happened at least once—even if it is one in a centillion, there's no reason to think that there is no other life out there and that it is not possible for other life to be created. That's the point I was getting at.

    To say it's not possible is to say we don't exist. To say it is possible gives light to a certain statistical possibility. Since we don't know how many iterations we would have to go through (one in a thousand, one in a billion, one in a centillion, etc.), let's just take a binary yes or no. If the probability of it happening is exactly 0.0∞, it's a statistical probability that there is no other intelligent life. If it is any other number then it is a statistical improbability that we are alone. Since we account for a portion of that, the answer is greater than 0. We, ourselves, are a data point. We are proof that it can happen.

    Therefore, being a binary 'yes', it is unlikely that there is no other life out there. Even if that life happens to be in a different galaxy 1.0 × 10200 megaParsecs away. Statistically, the answer is greater than 0. For lack of a better number, we can safely say that it is 100% possible for life to be created and evolve.

    mlnevese
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,950
    edited August 2014
    I agree there's no point in denying the existence of life elsewhere. Even if our path of organic evolution is the only one that will create multicelular life, there is an immense amount of planets out there that match the conditions on Earth. Unles I forgot some news we've found four planets with an oxygen atmosphere within the Goldilocks zone of their star system and that is using tools that are barely suitable for the task of looking for small planets. When we have better tools searching we will find more.

    Another interesting point is even if we found life out there would we be able to recognize intelligence? Let's see a simple example here on Earth: Apes. Some of the apes are known to build tools and use them. They teach their young the skills so it's not intinctive. They are able to recognize themselves in a mirror demonstrating self-awareness. They have clear social structures and a rudimentar form of language.Yet people think they are not rational.

    Now I'm not arguing they are as intelligent as us but their behavior denotes clear intelligent intent and most people will deny it. So if we are unable to recognize intelligence from other animals evolved here and genetically related to us, imagine what would happen if we found life elsewhere that is technologically primitive. Would we even acknowledge they are intelligent?

    Post edited by mlnevese on
    Troodon80CrevsDaakNokkenbuer
  • MathsorcererMathsorcerer Member Posts: 3,003
    Hasn't happened yet, but we can't be alone.


    Well firstly, there is no statistical probability or improbability to predict extraterrestrial life because, quite frankly, there is only one data point: us. Any statistical analysis or mathematical predictions regarding alien life that could be conceived are exceedingly weak and presumptuous. At this point in time, there is no mathematical or scientific evidence of intelligent lifeforms even having the possibility of existing elsewhere in the Universe.

    This so-called "archaeoastronomy" is most certainly pseudoscience, at least the one to which you're referring. The entire foundation of what makes a field of study "scientific" is whether it follows the scientific method. How exactly does this "archaeoastronomy" follow the scientific method whatsoever? The actual scientific discipline or archaeoastronomy is scientific to some degree, but the whole method of "dating antiquities by presuming that they were aligned with certain astronomical objects" is just hypothetical guessing. Yes, astrological signs and astronomical phenomena does play a significant role in the construction of ancient monuments, alongside the culture and religions of virtually all ancient civilizations. To suggest that the placement of heavenly bodies necessarily, or always, played a role in the construction of ancient wonders is absurd, however, and leads to a very unscientific and vague guessing game of prehistoric revisionism.

    This whole idea of humanity having some sort of collective "amnesia" just stinks too much of New Age spiritualism for me to comfortably consider it. Of course there are parts of human history (and prehistory) which remains unknown to us, but that's because our ancient ancestors did a really crappy job of recording their histories, cultures, and activities. It's not like we as a collective have "forgotten" parts of our special past; we never "remembered" them in the first place. It's not that we simply "forgot" what happened during the Dark Ages; we just didn't record (or lost the recordings of) what happened during those periods of human history.

    As intriguing and thought-provoking the Jungian theories of collective memories and consciousness may be, there is ultimately no scientific basis or rational explanation for the existence of such phenomena. Those sort of concepts are typically believed by New Age spiritualists for a reason: they're exceedingly absurd, unfounded in any science or reason, seem to explain unknown aspects of our world, and make for good storytelling.

    As for the rest of what you said, I actually agree.

    @Troodon80‌ addressed the first point--the fact that we exist at all means that the probability is greater than zero that somewhere else some other species has come into existence with the same sorts of traits which we can presume define "advanced" (spoken/written language, can make tools, have artistic expression--I always include that one since, as @mlnevese‌ notes, some apes appear to have a language and make/use tools); it takes only a planet with the correct amount of water, an atmospheric composition with sufficient levels of carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen (these elements are light enough and form complex enough compounds to allow for the chemical equations which we know support life), and for the planet to be in the habitable zone of its star. Hypothetically, it could be possible for these chemical processes to support life using silicon, phosphorous, and sulfur (they have similar chemical properties to their lighter cousins) but that would definitely be a case of "it's life, Jim, but not as we know it".

    I don't ascribe to archaeoastronomy, myself, but I do think its primary principle is valid--ancient civilizations were usually star-gazers (as well as Sun- and Moon-gazers, using them to define their agricultural calendars) and that they built their holy sites to align with equinoxes, certain sunrises, or the positions of stars on certain dates. The likelihood that a temple or burial mound built so that the sunrise on the vernal equinox aligns exactly with a certain feature is too remote to be coincidence, which means they did it on purpose. Just like little children think that events in their world happen (or don't happen) because of them or for them, these ancient civilizations thought the entire universe was constructed by the gods specifically for them. When examining ancient sites we cannot forget that the people who built them thought differently than we do. Alternate explanations of archaeological sites may not necessarily be correct but they aren't necessarily incorrect, either, especially when written records are scarce or nonexistent.

    I suppose "amnesia" is the incorrect word to use. The lack of written language--or having a pictographically-based languge--makes figuring out what happened in the distant past difficult. They didn't mean to, of course, but those ancient civilizations did us a great disservice by not keeping good records. The point, though, is that our distant ancestors had knowledge which surpasses what we think they had. Recall the Peri Reis map which *appears* to show the Antarctic coast as it exists under the ice, a hypothesis which is supported by satellite imagery (it is possible to use wavelengths which allow one to look through the ice) but not yet definitively proven. Still...this means that if the claim is true then someone had visited and mapped Antarctica long before 1820.

    Nokkenbuer
  • BlastbackBlastback Member Posts: 54
    Count me as unsure but open minded. I don't know if aliens have visited earth, but I can't dismiss the possibility. And there is no reason for me to belive that we are alone in the universe.

    Nokkenbuer
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  • NokkenbuerNokkenbuer Member Posts: 146
    Hasn't happened yet, but we can't be alone.
    Troodon80 said:

    Well firstly, there is no statistical probability or improbability to predict extraterrestrial life because, quite frankly, there is only one data point: us. Any statistical analysis or mathematical predictions regarding alien life that could be conceived are exceedingly weak and presumptuous. At this point in time, there is no mathematical or scientific evidence of intelligent lifeforms even having the possibility of existing elsewhere in the Universe.

    While there is currently no evidence, I think 'us' is the best data point we could hope for. Evolution, however, is the all-encompassing point. If the probability of evolution in the universe is zero, then we wouldn't exist as we currently are. That's the key data point. We don't have any actual facts about the origin of life on this planet, so we can only theorise, we know life was created but we don't know how, precisely (thus the ongoing debate about Evolution and Creationism). Therefore, since it is statistically probably for life (e.g. humans) to be created an evolve (given the right conditions or catalyst), it is also probable that life could be created and evolve on a similar class planet. I wouldn't consider that assumption to be weak. To deny the probability of life being created in the universe is to deny the probability that humanity could have existed in the first place. Even scientists haven't been able to prove, irrefutably, how we were created. So the assumption that it is unlikely to happen on another planet is as weak and presumptuous as the assumption that it could.

    There's no way to predict it, but the same theories that we apply to ourselves could easily be applied elsewhere.
    We understand how evolution functions on Earth, but we have no evidence of how evolution functions or would function elsewhere. There is still uncertainty in astrophysics about whether time and the laws of physics functions uniformly throughout the Universe, or if there are different speeds and types of time depending on the locality. We only have a tentative understanding of our own local sector of the Universe, and even then our knowledge only really extends to the edge of our own solar system. Outside of that, the Universe is an infinite mystery and thus far, we have no firm grasp on how it functions outside of our locality. For the sake of simplicity, most scientists and astrophysicists work out their theorems and predictions about other planets and parts of the Universe using the known laws of physics and spacetime present in our solar system. If you ask any of these scientists whether these other sectors of the Universe function physically and temporally like our solar system does, most of the time they'll give (at best) a "probably." In reality, though, we simply don't know and even our measurements of other parts of the Observable Universe is insufficient to prove any physical or temporal regularity and synchrony throughout the entire Universe.

    Relating this to evolution, we only have an understanding of how evolution occurs given the defined physical and temporal elements of our solar system, all within the unique and complex biosphere of the Earth. In a different solar system located in another sector of the entire Universe, it could be that evolution functions entirely differently: it may occur exceedingly fast, or extremely slow in comparison; it may occur through another process that does not involve genetic mutation and natural selection. This is why we cannot even begin to fathom how a distant alien species may evolve, for we don't even have the slightest understanding of the parameters or functions of evolution in that locality, if indeed it occurs at all.

    [The following is Multiverse theory stuff. You can skip it.]

    This is why some theoretical physicists have proposed of a special Multiverse theory, though "Multiverse" takes on a much different perspective. The "Multiverse" is our entire Universe in the traditional sense of the word, while each Observable Universe—defined as the farthest one can observe the Universe at any given point, given the restrictions of spacetime in that specific locality—is its own respective "Universe." Therefore, our Universe is the Observable Universe that is located the Multiverse, which comprise all Universes in varying spacetimes. This is different from the more popular Multiverse theory to which we are more accustomed, where the "Multiverse" is a local cluster of related Universes, all of which are located in Hyperspace (sometimes called the "Omniverse").

    It's logically possible that both theories are correct: that our infinite Universe is divided into sectors and localities which function with separate times and laws of physics, but otherwise may be run by similar mechanics uniform throughout the entire universe; and that our entire Universe and all its infinite sectors and localities is but one of a countless number of other Universes of varying ages and mathematical constants, some of which are clustered together in Multiverses to form phenomena like parallel universes and universes which run on similar (or the same) mathematical constants, all residing in the Omniverse hyperspace. However, this is all speculation in theoretical physics and, ultimately, unverifiable at this time (if it can be verified at all) since any proof of it would require interuniversal travel—which, according to the current state our science, is likely impossible to achieve unless the Universe to which we are traveling is nearly EXACTLY the same on a fundamental, structural, and elemental level as ours.


    You're right that in an infinite universe, it is probable that evolutionary life can occur elsewhere beside Earth. However, this is assuming that the planet or locality is governed by the same evolutionary, physical, and temporal laws as are present on Earth. If not, then whatever we know about evolution on Earth is incompatible with any possible evolution or chances of the existence of life elsewhere in the Universe. At this time, there's no evidence to show that other parts of the Universe is governed by the same laws as is ours, and there's no way of observing it unless we leave our part of the Universe (i.e., make observations once out of the current Observable Universe). So any prediction of life on another planet is ultimately based on a whole lot of guessed and assumed constants in the Universe—assumptions which, at least at this time, hold no scientific grounds.

    Erg
  • NokkenbuerNokkenbuer Member Posts: 146
    Hasn't happened yet, but we can't be alone.
    Troodon80 said:

    karnor00 said:

    What we don't know however are the chances of life developing initially. That's because we only have evidence of it happening once - here on Earth, and we don't understand how it happened. The chance could be 1 in 1, or 1 in a googleplex. We can't draw any sensible conclusions simply based on our existence, because if we didn't exist then we wouldn't be here to draw those conclusions.

    We know the universe is really really big. But we don't know if it's big enough to compensate for the chance of life developing initially.

    We were created initially, which goes to prove that it is possible. We know it's possible, that's a fact and not a refutable argument. It happened at least once—even if it is one in a centillion, there's no reason to think that there is no other life out there and that it is not possible for other life to be created. That's the point I was getting at.

    To say it's not possible is to say we don't exist. To say it is possible gives light to a certain statistical possibility. Since we don't know how many iterations we would have to go through (one in a thousand, one in a billion, one in a centillion, etc.), let's just take a binary yes or no. If the probability of it happening is exactly 0.0∞, it's a statistical probability that there is no other intelligent life. If it is any other number then it is a statistical improbability that we are alone. Since we account for a portion of that, the answer is greater than 0. We, ourselves, are a data point. We are proof that it can happen.

    Therefore, being a binary 'yes', it is unlikely that there is no other life out there. Even if that life happens to be in a different galaxy 1.0 × 10200 megaParsecs away. Statistically, the answer is greater than 0. For lack of a better number, we can safely say that it is 100% possible for life to be created and evolve.
    Well, it's also possible that the chances of life forming whatsoever are 1 in ∞, in which case it's possible that the existence of life on Earth is the only existence of life anywhere in the Universe. It could be that, mathematically, the chances of life are so astronomically low that only one instance of life is logically permitted, us being that singular instance. You need to also consider that if the Universe does not function on a uniform set of physical and temporal laws (like I explained in my previous post), then the chances for life may vary between sectors. This could present itself as certain sectors being abundant with instances of life, while others are void of any possibility of life whatsoever. If this is the case, we must then consider the chances of life evolving or surviving in the sectors where life should be abundant. It could be that we are alone in the Universe solely because all other life has died into extinction. Though I would consider this extremely strange, it's also possible that our sector of the Universe is the only sector with the right conditions to support life, and that it's chances of producing life is 1 in ∞, thereby rendering Earth as the only point at which life ever has or statistically ever will form.

    Not only is it impossible to mathematically predict the chances of life elsewhere in the Universe because we are the only data point, but also because we have no idea whether the Universe functions with any uniformity. Coupled by the vastness of the Universe, I think the chances of humanity ever encountering alien lifeforms (or vice versa) is probably just one infinitesimal above impossible.

    Erg
  • NokkenbuerNokkenbuer Member Posts: 146
    edited August 2014
    Hasn't happened yet, but we can't be alone.


    Well firstly, there is no statistical probability or improbability to predict extraterrestrial life because, quite frankly, there is only one data point: us. Any statistical analysis or mathematical predictions regarding alien life that could be conceived are exceedingly weak and presumptuous. At this point in time, there is no mathematical or scientific evidence of intelligent lifeforms even having the possibility of existing elsewhere in the Universe.

    This so-called "archaeoastronomy" is most certainly pseudoscience, at least the one to which you're referring. The entire foundation of what makes a field of study "scientific" is whether it follows the scientific method. How exactly does this "archaeoastronomy" follow the scientific method whatsoever? The actual scientific discipline or archaeoastronomy is scientific to some degree, but the whole method of "dating antiquities by presuming that they were aligned with certain astronomical objects" is just hypothetical guessing. Yes, astrological signs and astronomical phenomena does play a significant role in the construction of ancient monuments, alongside the culture and religions of virtually all ancient civilizations. To suggest that the placement of heavenly bodies necessarily, or always, played a role in the construction of ancient wonders is absurd, however, and leads to a very unscientific and vague guessing game of prehistoric revisionism.

    This whole idea of humanity having some sort of collective "amnesia" just stinks too much of New Age spiritualism for me to comfortably consider it. Of course there are parts of human history (and prehistory) which remains unknown to us, but that's because our ancient ancestors did a really crappy job of recording their histories, cultures, and activities. It's not like we as a collective have "forgotten" parts of our special past; we never "remembered" them in the first place. It's not that we simply "forgot" what happened during the Dark Ages; we just didn't record (or lost the recordings of) what happened during those periods of human history.

    As intriguing and thought-provoking the Jungian theories of collective memories and consciousness may be, there is ultimately no scientific basis or rational explanation for the existence of such phenomena. Those sort of concepts are typically believed by New Age spiritualists for a reason: they're exceedingly absurd, unfounded in any science or reason, seem to explain unknown aspects of our world, and make for good storytelling.

    As for the rest of what you said, I actually agree.

    @Troodon80‌ addressed the first point--the fact that we exist at all means that the probability is greater than zero that somewhere else some other species has come into existence with the same sorts of traits which we can presume define "advanced" (spoken/written language, can make tools, have artistic expression--I always include that one since, as @mlnevese‌ notes, some apes appear to have a language and make/use tools); it takes only a planet with the correct amount of water, an atmospheric composition with sufficient levels of carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen (these elements are light enough and form complex enough compounds to allow for the chemical equations which we know support life), and for the planet to be in the habitable zone of its star. Hypothetically, it could be possible for these chemical processes to support life using silicon, phosphorous, and sulfur (they have similar chemical properties to their lighter cousins) but that would definitely be a case of "it's life, Jim, but not as we know it".

    I don't ascribe to archaeoastronomy, myself, but I do think its primary principle is valid--ancient civilizations were usually star-gazers (as well as Sun- and Moon-gazers, using them to define their agricultural calendars) and that they built their holy sites to align with equinoxes, certain sunrises, or the positions of stars on certain dates. The likelihood that a temple or burial mound built so that the sunrise on the vernal equinox aligns exactly with a certain feature is too remote to be coincidence, which means they did it on purpose. Just like little children think that events in their world happen (or don't happen) because of them or for them, these ancient civilizations thought the entire universe was constructed by the gods specifically for them. When examining ancient sites we cannot forget that the people who built them thought differently than we do. Alternate explanations of archaeological sites may not necessarily be correct but they aren't necessarily incorrect, either, especially when written records are scarce or nonexistent.

    I suppose "amnesia" is the incorrect word to use. The lack of written language--or having a pictographically-based languge--makes figuring out what happened in the distant past difficult. They didn't mean to, of course, but those ancient civilizations did us a great disservice by not keeping good records. The point, though, is that our distant ancestors had knowledge which surpasses what we think they had. Recall the Peri Reis map which *appears* to show the Antarctic coast as it exists under the ice, a hypothesis which is supported by satellite imagery (it is possible to use wavelengths which allow one to look through the ice) but not yet definitively proven. Still...this means that if the claim is true then someone had visited and mapped Antarctica long before 1820.
    I countered @Troodon80‌ in my post here, and I believe my argument still stands. Our existence is not sufficient proof that life must exist elsewhere, only that we exist, solipsistic and deity dream arguments aside. Similarly, our understood laws of physics and time, along with our understanding of evolution, is insufficient to predict extraterrestrial life. We have no firm grasp on how the Universe functions and we have no solid proof of any uniformity or regularity in so-called "universal laws" as of yet.

    If life does exist elsewhere, there is no reason to believe that they must look, think, or biologically function similar to us. You got that much right. However, there is similarly no reason why they shouldn't. Until we have a better understand of how the Universe works outside of our solar system, it's difficult to logically state one over the other. Since we are the only data point for the process of evolution as well, it could be that evolution functions in a much more rigid and orderly fashion than we previously thought, and that extraterrestrial species would be very similar to their terrestrial counterparts. Since we (as humans) have pretty much no scientifically supported understanding of the Universe outside of our own little niche, I strongly encourage considering all possibilities. Our understanding of science only really applies in our Observable Universe, since that's as far as we can rationally apply it. We can assume scientific and mathematical laws are uniform in the Universe, but assumptions don't really help. We've been wrong in almost all of our scientific assumptions so far. What makes our next guess any better?

    Achaeoastronomy as a scientific discipline is pretty valid, yes, and it's reasonable to assume that many holy monuments were built during significant astronomical events. I don't disagree with that. My point regarding archaeoastronomy, however, involves any usage of this assumption as a starting point when dating archaeological sites. This sort of dating is erroneous and fallacious because it assumes every important building or site is aligned with a corresponding astronomical event. That is where the New Age spiritualism and pseudoscience comes in. So again, yes many ancient monuments and holy sites were built to correspond with astronomical or astrological signs. That is not sufficient reason to start using this correlation as a reference point in predicting the age of certain sites, however. That pattern of human behavior is simply not strong or reliable enough to use as a method of prediction. I would much rather rely on carbon-dating and other dating techniques, and only use that as a way of confirming the results. Using it as a starting point in dating a site is absurd, though.

    Erg
  • Troodon80Troodon80 Member, Developer Posts: 4,110
    Hasn't happened yet, but we can't be alone.
    If there's no way of knowing, then why be so adamantly against the idea that life can be created and evolve based on our own understanding of Earth? All we have is our own knowledge. No matter what belief system you use, humanity was created—seemingly from nothing—and from that we evolved. There is no evidence to prove or disprove that it can happen again, nor is there currently and proof of how it happened here, but consider this: we are just another planet in another solar system in another galaxy in a universe of incalculable proportions. Any assumption humanity comes to regarding the origins, the creation of primitive human life, cannot overrule the possibility of it happening somewhere else. Many of Earth's scientists are fascinated with the possibility of extraterrestrial life, so I would say there is reason enough to believe even if there currently is no proof.

    To be honest, I find it worrisome that we might be the only intelligent life in a vast and seemingly infinite universe.

    mlnevese
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