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Thread: Everything aliens

  1. #61
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    Re: Everything aliens

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    The problem with your assertion that your view is "reality" is that it is an assumption based on the norms of a single species on a single world. A set of one makes for poor statistical analysis.
    No, it's using available evidence. I don't understand why anyone would not want to use available evidence in reaching a conclusion.

    Do you have any evidence for your imagination? No. I have evidence for my position. How can you possibly favor the former over the latter?

    Just because evidence is limited does not mean we dismiss it and substitute pure fantasy.

    Yes, you could be right; aliens could be bad guys. But the available evidence says they will be far more benevolent than us, saints in comparison.
    Last edited by ecofarm; 11-13-17 at 04:43 PM.

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    Re: Everything aliens

    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    No, it's using available evidence. I don't understand why anyone would not want to use available evidence in reaching a conclusion.

    Do you have any evidence for your imagination? No. I have evidence for my position. How can you possibly favor the former over the latter?

    Not necessarily "favor". Just pointing out that betting on assumptions based on a single example is not a sure thing.

    Even using the example of humanity... yes, we are (at least in some ways) more benevolent overall than our distant ancestors, partly because we have more resources than they did due to better science and technology.

    Projecting that concept forward, that in the future we will be more benevolent overall because we will have even more resources and options through technology, is not an unreasonable assumption (and I hope it is true!!).

    But it isn't certain or absolute, unfortunately.

    Regard the present. Though we have more prosperity and more democratic governments on Earth (for loose values of "democratic"), and less true poverty (ie necessities inadequate to the population), yet we still do have war, poverty, exploitation and crime. Possibly less of all these things, than any given past century, but they still exist.

    Projecting into the future suggests "less of" those negatives, but perhaps not "none". And it still relates to our relative benevolence towards our own kind.

    While there are some trends towards benevolence towards other species (animal rights, etc) this is still too new and limited of a trend to say for certain if it will continue and expand, and we have yet to test it in the face of something truly alien, not just to humanity but to the entire paradigm of Earthly life.

    Nor do we have any certain knowledge of when interstellar travel may become possible for us. If our current understanding of physics remains consistent (which is highly uncertain), and the Einsteinian speed limit remains absolute with no work-arounds (ditto Newtonian rockets), then in-person interstellar travel may remain beyond our grasp forever, or be extremely limited (as in only the nearest stars, and that only with great difficulty).

    If that is the case, then intelligent aliens are likely to remain entirely speculative, other than perhaps distant radio signals with question-and-answer turnaround times of centuries or longer.

    But, it is also possible that we are just one major breakthrough away from making stellar travel feasible. There are theories on working around the c limit, as yet very hypothetical, as yet not something we can actually do... but they may lead to more workable solutions. Or not. No way to tell right now if it could be 10 years off, or 1,000 or a million or never.

    Then there is this be-deviling EM drive. Our physics argues that it should not work, but repeated testing seems to show that something is happening. Some explanations using physical theories deemed "esoteric" have been put forward; some studies hint that the effect might be exponentially scalable with a few modifications. It is a long shot and may turn out to be nothing, but there's a small chance it might lead to a drive capable of significant thrust that might put relativistic travel in our grasp within a generation.

    Improbable, yes, but not impossible given the above or some other breakthrough. My main point being we can't say, at this time, WHEN we might achieve stellar travel or exactly how advanced, in technology and perhaps benevolence, we might be at that time.

    So we can't really say for sure as regards any hypothetical alien starfaring civilizations either, imo.


    It's all highly speculative and hypothetical, of course... but that's all we've got, starting with a single example civilization that hasn't yet reached starfaring capability.

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  3. #63
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    Re: Everything aliens

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Not necessarily "favor". Just pointing out that betting on assumptions based on a single example is not a sure thing.
    Fine, as long as you favor the available evidence. Of course anything is possible.

  4. #64
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    Re: Everything aliens

    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    Fine, as long as you favor the available evidence. Of course anything is possible.

    Well, frankly, the available evidence, using a conservative standard based on what we currently know, is that we'll probably never meet or communicate meaningfully with aliens ever, if there even are any in our galaxy for popular values of the term "alien".

    Going by what we now know, stellar travel will probably always be too difficult to be feasible, other than perhaps small probes sent to very near-by stars.

    Nor do we have any hard evidence that there are intelligent aliens out there at all. If there are, communicating with them would be difficult and probably involve waiting decades, centuries or millennia for a reply to a question.

    Based on available evidence, that's what we're left with.


    But sticking to that makes for boring conversations.

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    "I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."

  5. #65
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    Re: Everything aliens

    The way humans consider other kinds of life is very anthropocentric and materialistic.

    We don't really understand life on our own planet. We're just coming out of the age of Christiandom, hierarchical thinking, and Darwinian categorization. We've only just begun to understand the sentience in life systems on Earth. I think that, for starters, what we consider to be "intelligent" life is extremely narrow. Maybe that's because most humans right now are artificially separated from nature and our senses have been blunted. Humans cannot reproduce forest ecology, for example. We haven't even begun to understand it. The way that life systems interact with one another, building complex relationships that cannot be reduced to categories, and that we cannot reproduce in labs, is quite telling of our state of progress. And we want to look for life on other planets??

    The other thing to consider is that if we live in a universe of multi-dimensions then the universe may be teeming with non-material lifeforms who aren't limited by space and time. They could travel anywhere and everywhere. We already have models to show that extra dimensions don't operate according to our limitations. What if material-based life, like us, is the exception rather than the rule?

    Sapiens are the first mammals we know of to develop intelligent egos, but it doesn't mean that all life evolves this way. Consider that evolution is about random convergence and not pre-determined best outcomes. The fact that intelligent egos emerged from random convergence does not mean it will do so elsewhere. There many be intelligent life out there that completely lacks ego, or mind, or has a consciousness that we can't even fathom. All other animals on our planet do not have our form of ego. It doesn't make us better, it makes us different. So while we use our egos to project signals and physical objects into space, other kinds of life that are advanced might not even notice or care because it doesn't even interface with their kind of consciousness. It would be like sending a math equation to a dolphin. They are sentient, but do they even care?

    Meanwhile, all kinds of non-material life could be visiting us and existing parallel to us, but we lack the faculties to interact with it.
    Last edited by Northern Light; 11-13-17 at 05:36 PM.

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    Re: Everything aliens

    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Light View Post
    The way humans consider other kinds of life is very anthropocentric and materialistic.

    We don't really understand life on our own planet. We're just coming out of the age of Christiandom, hierarchical thinking, and Darwinian categorization. We've only just begun to understand the sentience in life systems on Earth. I think that, for starters, what we consider to be "intelligent" life is extremely narrow. Maybe that's because most humans right now are artificially separated from nature and our senses have been blunted. Humans cannot reproduce forest ecology, for example. We haven't even begun to understand it. The way that life systems interact with one another, building complex relationships that cannot be reduced to categories, and that we cannot reproduce in labs, is quite telling of our state of progress. And we want to look for life on other planets??

    The other thing to consider is that if we live in a universe of multi-dimensions then the universe may be teeming with non-material lifeforms who aren't limited by space and time. They could travel anywhere and everywhere. We already have models to show that extra dimensions don't operate according to our limitations. What if material-based life, like us, is the exception rather than the rule?

    Sapiens are the first mammals we know of to develop intelligent egos, but it doesn't mean that all life evolves this way. Consider that evolution is about random convergence and not pre-determined best outcomes. The fact that intelligent egos emerged from random convergence does not mean it will do so elsewhere. There many be intelligent life out there that completely lacks ego, or mind, or has a consciousness that we can't even fathom. All other animals on our planet do not have our form of ego. It doesn't make us better, it makes us different. So while we use our egos to project signals and physical objects into space, other kinds of life that are advanced might not even notice or care because it doesn't even interface with their kind of consciousness. It would be like sending a math equation to a dolphin. They are sentient, but do they even care?

    Meanwhile, all kinds of non-material life could be visiting us and existing parallel to us, but we lack the faculties to interact with it.

    Where do we draw that line we call "sapience"? There's a blurry one, just here on Earth, let alone among alien lifeforms with whom we have less in common that we do a potted fern.

    The possibility of intelligence without individual awareness has been made, though it is hard to imagine. Self-awareness without human-level intelligence is easier to imagine, though a subject of dispute.

    Some animals, like the few apes that do sign language, seem pretty darn smart... though debate still rages in scientific circles as to how much they really understand what they're doing, and how much of it is imitation.

    We don't yet understand how our own consciousness and intellect work to any great degree, either, which complicates things. We're not sure if complex abstract thought is even possible in the absence of language sophisticated enough to think such thoughts in.

    We may find a better dividing line in the future, but at present a rule of thumb might be "if it has language of some kind capable of communicating abstract information, it is probably sapient". By this definition, the sign-language apes may not count, as the language they're using isn't their own, and their own methods of communication seem relatively unsophisticated in comparison.


    All subject to debate of course.

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    Re: Everything aliens

    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Light View Post
    The way humans consider other kinds of life is very anthropocentric and materialistic.

    We don't really understand life on our own planet. We're just coming out of the age of Christiandom, hierarchical thinking, and Darwinian categorization.... snip...

    Meanwhile, all kinds of non-material life could be visiting us and existing parallel to us, but we lack the faculties to interact with it.


    Is there any real difference between "non material life" and "spirit beings without bodies"? While I get there's a different mindset involved, functionally there seems to be little difference between a non-material lifeform that physical sense cannot normally perceive, and a spiritual being other than semantics.

    Fiddling While Rome Burns
    ISIS: Carthago Delenda Est
    "I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."

  8. #68
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    Re: Everything aliens

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Where do we draw that line we call "sapience"? There's a blurry one, just here on Earth, let alone among alien lifeforms with whom we have less in common that we do a potted fern.
    Hard to say... but we're assuming that sapience must look like us, i.e. have language and be on a technological path. What if an advanced race never developed technology, or at least not machine-like devices that we create? What if they're already trying to communicate with us by some other means and our mode of tech is simply incompatible?

    Our human develops were based not just on survival but also on competition with the environment and each other. We are still competing to this day. What if an intelligent species evolved that did not have this competitive spirit? They may have had an entirely other mode of development that is completely unlike ours.

    As humans trying to reach out to the cosmos with technology, we are basically only looking for other species that have tech like us. That severely limits the scope of what we can find, though admittedly we don't have much else to go on right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    The possibility of intelligence without individual awareness has been made, though it is hard to imagine. Self-awareness without human-level intelligence is easier to imagine, though a subject of dispute.
    In a telepathic species, it's easy to imagine. If we lack telepathic ability then we might assume they are non-sapient.

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Some animals, like the few apes that do sign language, seem pretty darn smart... though debate still rages in scientific circles as to how much they really understand what they're doing, and how much of it is imitation.
    This seems like the blind leading the blind, to be honest. We don't even know what consciousness is or where it comes from so how do we go about qualifying it in others?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    We may find a better dividing line in the future, but at present a rule of thumb might be "if it has language of some kind capable of communicating abstract information, it is probably sapient". By this definition, the sign-language apes may not count, as the language they're using isn't their own, and their own methods of communication seem relatively unsophisticated in comparison.
    Apes use a lot of body language, like most animals. Arguably you can't create an advanced society with that, but look at something like dolphins... linguistics and scientists have found that their language has its own syntax and vocabulary, but we lack the understanding to translate it. Does that make dolphins lesser than us?[/QUOTE]

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Is there any real difference between "non material life" and "spirit beings without bodies"? While I get there's a different mindset involved, functionally there seems to be little difference between a non-material lifeform that physical sense cannot normally perceive, and a spiritual being other than semantics.
    "Spirits" is a biased term that I'd prefer not to use here. There are a wealth of anecdotes and personal experiences where people experienced consciousness being separate from the body. We may not even need a body to be aware. If that's true then that opens up a whole host of possibilities for life in the universe.

    It's not spiritual or supernatural. They're just other kinds of life that reside outside of our sensory threshold... kind of like the infrared spectrum. (Theoretically, of course.)

    If consciousness can exist outside of materialism, then it may not have time-space limitations, and may therefore be able to go anywhere in the universe.

  9. #69
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    Re: Everything aliens

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Because it is the least likely explanation.

    I will grant that Roswell was an interesting incident and there are still some question marks about what happened there, but that doesn't automatically mean aliens. And why, in so many alleged incidents, do we have alien ships crashing? It seems to paint them as remarkably inept for beings that are able to cross stellar distances.

    I'm not aware of Carter or Clinton coming out and admitting they had certain knowledge of alien encounters. If they did I missed it somehow.

    There are three books of Enoch, none canonical in the West as their provenance is considered dubious. That's the extent of my knowledge of them.
    Different strokes, and certainly I am biased because I have watched probably every single episode of Ancient Aliens, but it seems to me that visits by aliens is the most likely explanation.

    As to the books of Enoch, and being raised Roman Catholic, I see their removal way back whenever it was as a sign of censorship, for which the church and other authority structures are known. Nihil Obstat
    and Imprimatur were tools of censorship that may still be in use for all I know, and tell the reader that the book and its thoughts and ideas are approved by the church. If they are not present, the book might present things like heresy, ideas the church sees as threatening.

    Enoch and its talk of The Watchers hinted at what we call aliens. Indeed, some measurements offered for certain structures amounted to a sort of blue print for a landing area/structure for something that might be described as a space ship. That the church would eliminate that book from its bible means something IMO.

    I'm also biased because maybe 15 years ago I witnessed for all of 5 or 10 seconds one night what could only be described as a very fast moving and very well lit craft of some sort that was not of this earth IMO.

    The hypothesis put forth by the Human Genome Project back in about 2004 was the clincher for me. After years of work in decoding the human genome, they hypothesized that a portion of the human genome, what in years gone by had been described as "junk DNA" back in the 60s, was extraterrestrial in nature. Clearly a hypothesis likely not provable with our knowledge base today, but interesting considering the source.

  10. #70
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    Re: Everything aliens

    Quote Originally Posted by Thoreau72 View Post
    Different strokes, and certainly I am biased because I have watched probably every single episode of Ancient Aliens, but it seems to me that visits by aliens is the most likely explanation.

    As to the books of Enoch, and being raised Roman Catholic, I see their removal way back whenever it was as a sign of censorship, for which the church and other authority structures are known. Nihil Obstat
    and Imprimatur were tools of censorship that may still be in use for all I know, and tell the reader that the book and its thoughts and ideas are approved by the church. If they are not present, the book might present things like heresy, ideas the church sees as threatening.

    Enoch and its talk of The Watchers hinted at what we call aliens. Indeed, some measurements offered for certain structures amounted to a sort of blue print for a landing area/structure for something that might be described as a space ship. That the church would eliminate that book from its bible means something IMO.

    I'm also biased because maybe 15 years ago I witnessed for all of 5 or 10 seconds one night what could only be described as a very fast moving and very well lit craft of some sort that was not of this earth IMO.

    The hypothesis put forth by the Human Genome Project back in about 2004 was the clincher for me. After years of work in decoding the human genome, they hypothesized that a portion of the human genome, what in years gone by had been described as "junk DNA" back in the 60s, was extraterrestrial in nature. Clearly a hypothesis likely not provable with our knowledge base today, but interesting considering the source.

    I've had a couple of UFO sightings myself, using the term in its original meaning of "unidentified". At the time, I was very excited and at least somewhat speculative that I'd seen something extraterrestrial. Upon much reflection, I am pretty sure one was a stealth fighter and the other an unusual meteor.

    I haven't read Enoch; perhaps I will if time and opportunity permits. The dna thing, I heard about that but I think it was a theory held by very few scientists... I'll need to look back into it.

    There was a time when I was into the whole ancient astronauts theory, and must have seen "chariots of the gods" several times. I'll go so far as to grant that ETI's would be one possible explanation, but again I have to consider that a low-probability theory because many simpler explanations could also fit.

    Maybe they are watching; perhaps they'll make themselves known when we pass some significant milestone like planting a colony on Mars. But for the time being I have to consider it unproven and relatively improbable.

    Fiddling While Rome Burns
    ISIS: Carthago Delenda Est
    "I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."

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