ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 9th March 2018, 07:40 PM   #41
JimOfAllTrades
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 451
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Give a civilization a million more years than ours and perhaps they can figure out a way to get around traveling faster than light. If they can get to Earth in a matter of months, weeks, or days, then there's a good chance they've visited us provided there's a lot of them.

(snip)

I know that there's the whole thing about it seeming improbable, but considering what I've written a few sentences ago, it's probably not that improbable
Do you seriously think your speculation as highlighted above moves the possibility from "extremely remote/impossible" all the way to "probably not that improbable"?
JimOfAllTrades is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th March 2018, 08:08 PM   #42
smartcooky
Philosopher
 
smartcooky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Posts: 9,698
Here's the thing about alien visitation...

In November 2013 astronomers reported that there could be as many as 40 billion Earth-sized planets orbiting in the habitable zones of stars within the Milky Way galaxy, of which 11 billion may be orbiting Sun-like stars. They based this estimate on the astonishing number of planets discovered by the Kepler mission*. Now even if a tiny proportion those planets circling Sun-like stars was home to intelligent, space-faring civilisations, lets make an optimistic guess and say, 0.0001%, that would mean 11,000 space-faring civilisations. We would be just one of the remaining almost 40 billion planets that might be worth investigating.... why would any of them even come here, even if they could?




*NOTE: For those who don't understand, Kepler discovers planets by detecting the transit of a planet across the face of their star. This mean that Kepler is only capable of detecting a tiny fraction of the all the planets orbiting stars... those which have the orbital plane of their planets aligned with us. As of 8 March 2018, there are 3,743 confirmed planets in 2,796 systems, with 625 systems having more than one planet.
__________________
As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
- Henry Louis Mencken - Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920
smartcooky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th March 2018, 09:55 PM   #43
kellyb
Philosopher
 
kellyb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 9,549
Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Here's the thing about alien visitation...

In November 2013 astronomers reported that there could be as many as 40 billion Earth-sized planets orbiting in the habitable zones of stars within the Milky Way galaxy, of which 11 billion may be orbiting Sun-like stars. They based this estimate on the astonishing number of planets discovered by the Kepler mission*. Now even if a tiny proportion those planets circling Sun-like stars was home to intelligent, space-faring civilisations, lets make an optimistic guess and say, 0.0001%, that would mean 11,000 space-faring civilisations. We would be just one of the remaining almost 40 billion planets that might be worth investigating.... why would any of them even come here, even if they could?
I don't think we have enough data to even roll with calling 0.0001% either optimistic or pessimistic, because our sample size for estimating the probability of life is still exactly one, and a lot of the non-Earth-like planets could be home to really bizarre forms of life we can't even imagine.

So, who knows? Maybe there's lots of life and they all have a Star Trek like prime directive that they violate every once in a while for who knows what reason, or maybe we're completely alone in the universe. There's just no good way to even speculate with confidence, I think.


Quote:
We would be just one of the remaining almost 40 billion planets that might be worth investigating.... why would any of them even come here, even if they could?
If they physically arrived here, they'd have to have unfathomable technology to pull that off, it seems, so surely detecting the planets with life would be easy in comparison to traveling that distance?
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts ~ Bertrand Russell
I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend.

Last edited by kellyb; 9th March 2018 at 10:00 PM.
kellyb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th March 2018, 10:47 PM   #44
Hans
Philosopher
 
Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 7,681
Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
If they physically arrived here, they'd have to have unfathomable technology to pull that off, it seems, so surely detecting the planets with life would be easy in comparison to traveling that distance?
If we ever contact aliens 'physically' it will probably be with there/our machines operating with AI's. Even then we presently cannot make a machine (nor are we trying) that will last the centuries needed to travel such distances.
Hans is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th March 2018, 11:43 PM   #45
BStrong
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 11,665
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Would it be fair to say that the argument between skeptics and believers has reached a stalemate with all the tricks being exhausted?
No tricks needed on the skeptic side.

Your threads seem to all be clothed in a JAQ premise while adding up to statements rather than questions.
__________________
"When a man who is honestly mistaken, hears the truth, he will either cease being mistaken or cease being honest." - Anonymous

"Dulce bellum inexpertīs." - Erasmus
BStrong is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 12:45 AM   #46
MikeG
Now. Do it now.
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 24,376
Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
I have an opinion that it's fan fiction, because that's what it looks like to me.

That opinion is formed in part by the evidence we have for alien visitations, which is of course none.
Hey, Wonder234, you need another "whistleblower".

__________________
"The Conservatives want to keep wogs out and march boldly back to the 1950s when Britain still had an Empire and blacks, women, poofs and Irish knew their place." The Don That's what we've sunk to here.
MikeG is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 12:47 AM   #47
MikeG
Now. Do it now.
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 24,376
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
...... If they can get to Earth in a matter of months, weeks, or days, then........
They've traveled faster than the speed of light. Explain how that is possible.
__________________
"The Conservatives want to keep wogs out and march boldly back to the 1950s when Britain still had an Empire and blacks, women, poofs and Irish knew their place." The Don That's what we've sunk to here.
MikeG is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 03:38 AM   #48
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 10,610
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Do you really not believe aliens have not visited us because you only believe what you have evidence for or could it be something else?
Like what, for example?
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 03:39 AM   #49
Jack by the hedge
Safely Ignored
 
Jack by the hedge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 9,221
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
... I think that people don't really choose what to believe but are convinced of something. I lean towards belief that aliens have visited us because I don't think it's that unlikely...
I agree with you that we don't consciously choose what to believe, otherwise we could all choose to believe in the Norse gods right now.

<thinks really hard> Doesn't work.

I believe aliens haven't visited us because there's no non-BS evidence it's happened and I'm persuaded that it's vanishingly unlikely that they could make the journey.

Similarly, I do believe aliens exist in various places because I'm persuaded it's reasonably likely they would. But space is awfully big and mostly very empty.
Jack by the hedge is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 03:52 AM   #50
Porpoise of Life
Illuminator
 
Porpoise of Life's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,550
"You skeptics are all so dishonest, what about all those whistle blowers who claim there's aliens?"
"Where are they?"
"Well, I'm not claiming there's a lot or anything, but still, let me try to trick you into admitting you're dishonest by twisting your words and using terms like 'universal negative'.
"How about you show us just one whistleblower?"
"Fine, here. See, you're denying evidence."
"Not only does this not have anything to back it up, it read as bad fan fiction."
"See, you just don't want to believe, you biased meanie."
"Here's actual evidence that the site you linked to is a fictional story. Have any other evidence?"
*Curious silence*

I'm guessing that OP is going to try and ignore this and then try to start the whole 'you can't prove a negative' schtick again, while that's not the issue.
The issue is the complete lack of credible evidence for alien visitation. We don't need to derive universal truths in order to claim that there's no evidence, and provisionally stating that our null hypothesis still holds isn't arrogant at all.
Porpoise of Life is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 04:10 AM   #51
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 10,610
Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
"See, you just don't want to believe, you biased meanie."
I suspect that will be the answer to the question I posed above, but it just doesn't work because I really would like to believe in visiting aliens. And the paranormal. And God. For me the fact that I would like to believe something is a reason to be extra careful about ensuring that there is objective evidence for it, and I'm not letting my desire to believe it bias me in its favour.
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett

Last edited by Pixel42; 10th March 2018 at 04:18 AM.
Pixel42 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 04:12 AM   #52
MikeG
Now. Do it now.
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 24,376
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Hey, Wonder234, you need another "whistleblower".

Oops, quoted the wrong post above. This is the one I wanted:

Originally Posted by fibbermcgee View Post
According to wikipedia:
"Project Serpo is a science fiction fantasy launched as though true onto several UFO-oriented web forums starting in November 2005. Gullible UFO "researchers" such as Bill Ryan, Kerry Cassidy and Linda Moulton Howe were totally bamboozled by this fiction. Author Len Kasten swallowed the story so ..."
__________________
"The Conservatives want to keep wogs out and march boldly back to the 1950s when Britain still had an Empire and blacks, women, poofs and Irish knew their place." The Don That's what we've sunk to here.
MikeG is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 08:40 AM   #53
JesseCuster
Muse
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 835
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
I lean towards belief that aliens have visited us because I don't think it's that unlikely.
That's an entirely circular argument. You think it's likely that aliens might have visited earth because you don't think it's unlikely? That's not even an argument.

Quote:
Give a civilization a million more years than ours and perhaps they can figure out a way to get around traveling faster than light.
Perhaps they can't. Do you have reason to believe it's possible and has happened other than idle speculation?

Quote:
If they can get to Earth in a matter of months, weeks, or days, then there's a good chance they've visited us provided there's a lot of them.
And if they can't get to Earth in a reasonable time, then there's a good chance they they haven't been here.

Quote:
Do you really not believe aliens have not visited us because you only believe what you have evidence for or could it be something else?
You ask that like it's a bad thing...

Quote:
(I know that there's the whole thing about it seeming improbable, but considering what I've written a few sentences ago, it's probably not that improbable)
What you said does not make anything more or less improbable. Your argument consists of idle speculation strung together by ifs and maybes. It's less than flimsy.
JesseCuster is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 08:45 AM   #54
Craig4
Penultimate Amazing
 
Craig4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Alexandria, VA Home to the Deep State.
Posts: 17,461
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Do you consciously make an effort to believe only when evidence is favorable? I think that people don't really choose what to believe but are convinced of something. I lean towards belief that aliens have visited us because I don't think it's that unlikely. Give a civilization a million more years than ours and perhaps they can figure out a way to get around traveling faster than light. If they can get to Earth in a matter of months, weeks, or days, then there's a good chance they've visited us provided there's a lot of them. Do you really not believe aliens have not visited us because you only believe what you have evidence for or could it be something else? (I know that there's the whole thing about it seeming improbable, but considering what I've written a few sentences ago, it's probably not that improbable)
If an alien civilization found a way around the speed of light issue, why pick us? There are likely billions of worlds that could sustain life. What makes us so special that an alien species would decide to come study us?

Your larger problem is that it's not my burden to prove aliens haven't visited the Earth. That is a positive claim and you need to support it. If you make the claim, you need to offer evidence.
Craig4 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 08:57 AM   #55
P.J. Denyer
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,762
Based on previous threads from this poster attempts to honestly address the issue will be met with goalposts that recede into the distance at the sort of speeds the imaginary aliens would need to reach and lots of jaqing off. I'd suggest a read through the "auras" thread before feeding this troll.
__________________
"I know my brain cannot tell me what to think." - Scorpion

"Nebulous means Nebulous" - Adam Hills
P.J. Denyer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 09:05 AM   #56
Venom
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 1,762
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
This thread seemed to have died immediately. With that in mind, what do you have to say about various whistleblowers who've worked for the government and came out and claimed to have witnessed aliens? I know it's not a very strong argument, but I'm just curious.
I believe they're trying to deport them as we speak.

I do remember "little green men" supposedly being loaded into trucks and taken to a military medical facility after Roswell, claimed years later though without evidence. The real mystery to me is why people would make such claims.
Venom is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 09:07 AM   #57
kellyb
Philosopher
 
kellyb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 9,549
Originally Posted by Hans View Post
If we ever contact aliens 'physically' it will probably be with there/our machines operating with AI's. Even then we presently cannot make a machine (nor are we trying) that will last the centuries needed to travel such distances.
I've had the same thought, but then again, I imagine trying to explain nuclear power generators and modern, electronics-laden life to the person who created the first productive windmill, and it reminds me of how much we still might not know about what's possible.
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts ~ Bertrand Russell
I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend.
kellyb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 09:43 AM   #58
Apathia
Illuminator
 
Apathia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 4,800
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
This is from a whistleblowers website and is supposedly a transcript of a briefing to Ronald Reagan informing him of general information about alien visitors:

http://www.serpo.org/release27a.asp
Reagan: "Nixon had all the good stuff and wanted to share it with his friends."

Turns out the "good stuff" is the Roswell stuff. The Roswell stuff is laced with hoax.

Sorry but phony documents are made up everyday, and this one reads as phony af.
__________________
"At the Supreme Court level where we work, 90 percent of any decision is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for supporting our predilections."
Justice William O. Douglas

"Humans aren't rational creatures but rationalizing creatures."
Author Unknown
Apathia is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 09:44 AM   #59
Apathia
Illuminator
 
Apathia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 4,800
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Well, I don't believe them, it just makes one wonder.
Wondering is OK. Unsubstantiated claims, no.
__________________
"At the Supreme Court level where we work, 90 percent of any decision is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for supporting our predilections."
Justice William O. Douglas

"Humans aren't rational creatures but rationalizing creatures."
Author Unknown
Apathia is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 09:48 AM   #60
Apathia
Illuminator
 
Apathia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 4,800
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Do you consciously make an effort to believe only when evidence is favorable? I think that people don't really choose what to believe but are convinced of something. I lean towards belief that aliens have visited us because I don't think it's that unlikely. Give a civilization a million more years than ours and perhaps they can figure out a way to get around traveling faster than light. If they can get to Earth in a matter of months, weeks, or days, then there's a good chance they've visited us provided there's a lot of them. Do you really not believe aliens have not visited us because you only believe what you have evidence for or could it be something else? (I know that there's the whole thing about it seeming improbable, but considering what I've written a few sentences ago, it's probably not that improbable)
I can't say they haven't.
I can't say they have, without evidence.
__________________
"At the Supreme Court level where we work, 90 percent of any decision is emotional. The rational part of us supplies the reasons for supporting our predilections."
Justice William O. Douglas

"Humans aren't rational creatures but rationalizing creatures."
Author Unknown
Apathia is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 09:52 AM   #61
kellyb
Philosopher
 
kellyb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 9,549
Originally Posted by Apathia View Post

Sorry but phony documents are made up everyday, and this one reads as phony af.
Indeed it does.
That's someone's "declassified documents" fanfic.

eta: this is an example of an actual document:
https://www.nsa.gov/news-features/de...ow_you_see.pdf
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts ~ Bertrand Russell
I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend.

Last edited by kellyb; 10th March 2018 at 09:58 AM.
kellyb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 12:55 PM   #62
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,537
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
A negative universal is a claim to the effect of "X does not exist." If X were impossible, then X would not be able to exist, however if X is possible then the only way to prove that X does not exist (supposedly) is to look in the domain where X is supposed to be but notice it's absence. That would be feasible for small domains: a room if you're looking for a turtle, but for a domain such as the universe it would be hard to check.

I believe negative universals weaken the claim that aliens have not visited us due to the fact that one could not easily check all of human history to notice the absence, nor all places around Earth. What are your thoughts on this?
This is an excellent take on this. Earth has been around billions of years. Any civilization within a large radius that's just a bit more advanced than us would have found our mildly variable sun interesting, and the goldilocks planet orbiting that sun extremely interesting. Sending a probe here would not have been difficult.
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 12:59 PM   #63
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,537
Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Third thread with the same logical mistake.

The claim isn't, "There are no aliens." The claim is, "I see no reason to believe in alien visitation without evidence." If you have no evidence, you have nothing.
If the evidence doesn't go either way, and a claim doesn't contradict established scientific truths, one must be agnostic about that claim. Will the next largest prime number end in 1 or 3? Maybe. Who knows? There's no evidence, and it doesn't contradict any mathematical axioms, so I'm going to be agnostic about it. Is there evidence against alien visitation at some point in Earth's past? No? Does the prospect necessitate any violations of scientific principles? No? Then I can't conclude anything about that either.

Until we get an idea of what kinds of life (if any) exist in other places, and how advanced they are, we really can't say whether it's likely or not anyone's ever taken a close look at us.

Last edited by Fudbucker; 10th March 2018 at 01:03 PM.
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 01:06 PM   #64
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,537
Originally Posted by Kings Full View Post
The Milky Way galaxy is ~ 100K LYs in diameter. Even if you travelled at 10x SoL it would take 10K years to traverse. Our nearest galaxy, Andromeda, is ~ 2.5M LYs away... do the math.

At best humans will travel to Mars, and I have my doubts that will actually happen. Space is an extremely hostile environment for humans and all vertebrates for that matter. There's no reason, whatsoever, to think it would be different for any species advanced enough to attempt it.

Not to mention the psychological implications of spending years, or a lifetime, aboard a relatively small craft.

The whole concept is preposterous. Unless, of course, you have a FM pill....
It would not be a problem for machine intelligences.

Last edited by Fudbucker; 10th March 2018 at 01:10 PM.
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 01:10 PM   #65
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,537
Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
If you can't prove it, you can't make definitive claims of it happening.

Thems the rules.
Let's go back to math and primes for a second. Is there a proof that the next hundred prime numbers discovered won't all end in 3's? Would you care to make a bet that the next hundred prime numbers all end in 3's? I'm pretty sure you would lose that bet, no proof required.
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 01:13 PM   #66
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,537
Originally Posted by JimOfAllTrades View Post
Do you seriously think your speculation as highlighted above moves the possibility from "extremely remote/impossible" all the way to "probably not that improbable"?
What is your evidence that any of that speculation is "extremely remote/impossible"? Alien visitation via probes would not be much of a challenge. We're almost there right now. Give us a hundred more years, and we'll be sending out probes to nearby systems.
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 01:17 PM   #67
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,537
Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Here's the thing about alien visitation...

In November 2013 astronomers reported that there could be as many as 40 billion Earth-sized planets orbiting in the habitable zones of stars within the Milky Way galaxy, of which 11 billion may be orbiting Sun-like stars. They based this estimate on the astonishing number of planets discovered by the Kepler mission*. Now even if a tiny proportion those planets circling Sun-like stars was home to intelligent, space-faring civilisations, lets make an optimistic guess and say, 0.0001%, that would mean 11,000 space-faring civilisations. We would be just one of the remaining almost 40 billion planets that might be worth investigating.... why would any of them even come here, even if they could?




*NOTE: For those who don't understand, Kepler discovers planets by detecting the transit of a planet across the face of their star. This mean that Kepler is only capable of detecting a tiny fraction of the all the planets orbiting stars... those which have the orbital plane of their planets aligned with us. As of 8 March 2018, there are 3,743 confirmed planets in 2,796 systems, with 625 systems having more than one planet.
Several reasons. For purposes of self-preservation, any civ is going to be interested in their local neighborhood. Depending on how advanced they are "local neighborhood" could be a radius of 1 ly, or 10, or 100 or 1000. We could be in that radius, and we are an interesting planet.

And they could just be curious, like us. It would not take much resources to remotely explore interesting systems.
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 03:18 PM   #68
Pacal
Muse
 
Pacal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 983
Originally Posted by Wonder234 View Post
Do you consciously make an effort to believe only when evidence is favorable? I think that people don't really choose what to believe but are convinced of something. I lean towards belief that aliens have visited us because I don't think it's that unlikely. Give a civilization a million more years than ours and perhaps they can figure out a way to get around traveling faster than light. If they can get to Earth in a matter of months, weeks, or days, then there's a good chance they've visited us provided there's a lot of them. Do you really not believe aliens have not visited us because you only believe what you have evidence for or could it be something else? (I know that there's the whole thing about it seeming improbable, but considering what I've written a few sentences ago, it's probably not that improbable)
Of course it is possible that Aliens have visited us and they either left no evidence or we haven't found it yet. But the bottom line is that we have no evidence that is even slightly convincing.

I would in in fact love there to be evidence that Aliens have, or still do visit us, but faced with the lack of evidence I cannot believe in it. If evidence is forthcoming I will change my mind.
Pacal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 09:20 PM   #69
Axxman300
Illuminator
 
Axxman300's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Central California Coast
Posts: 3,410
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Let's go back to math and primes for a second. Is there a proof that the next hundred prime numbers discovered won't all end in 3's? Would you care to make a bet that the next hundred prime numbers all end in 3's? I'm pretty sure you would lose that bet, no proof required.
Here's the thing, I just had college algebra, and my instructor's big thing was proving equations. He'd write it all out in the board too.

Here's something else I understand: Claims of extraterrestrial visitation is not math. Worse, if you want to bring math into the equation you lose instantly.

Alien contact is on the same level as fairies, bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster. All of these alien spaceships that allegedly come to earth over the years, and not one has broken down, or lost a hubcap? We've got evidence of our presence on the Moon and Mars. If you want people to believe you'll need the aliens to hold a press conference, and leave presents.
__________________
Disingenuous Piranha
Axxman300 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 09:27 PM   #70
Axxman300
Illuminator
 
Axxman300's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Central California Coast
Posts: 3,410
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
What is your evidence that any of that speculation is "extremely remote/impossible"? Alien visitation via probes would not be much of a challenge. We're almost there right now. Give us a hundred more years, and we'll be sending out probes to nearby systems.
You need a realistic time frame. Rockets have been around in some form since the year 1232. So in over 700 years we have some powerful rockets with fantastic control systems, but they're not going to take people farther than Mars any time soon.

There will have to be a number of earth-shattering advances in physics and engineering before we can send probes to other solar systems, and have them return while those who sent it are still alive.
__________________
Disingenuous Piranha
Axxman300 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 09:41 PM   #71
Axxman300
Illuminator
 
Axxman300's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Central California Coast
Posts: 3,410
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
If the evidence doesn't go either way, and a claim doesn't contradict established scientific truths, one must be agnostic about that claim. Will the next largest prime number end in 1 or 3? Maybe. Who knows? There's no evidence, and it doesn't contradict any mathematical axioms, so I'm going to be agnostic about it. Is there evidence against alien visitation at some point in Earth's past? No? Does the prospect necessitate any violations of scientific principles? No? Then I can't conclude anything about that either.

Until we get an idea of what kinds of life (if any) exist in other places, and how advanced they are, we really can't say whether it's likely or not anyone's ever taken a close look at us.
Uh huh...

You know what, I used to be a ghost hunter. I've been on this board for a few years without any problem, and do you know why?

I don't make claims about ghosts that I cannot back up with empirical, testable evidence. I have to play by the same rules that marine biologists, geologists, engineers, and any other member of a scientific discipline has to play by. I don't get special dispensation, nor should I or any other person who is working out there in the fringe (tinfoil-hat land). The standard for evidence is universal.

If I were still an active ghost hunter I'd be happy to play your games, just not on this board. This is the deep end, you sink or swim here, and if you are serious about proving the existence of alien visitation you can learn a lot here about how to properly investigate, and document, and report your findings (if any).
__________________
Disingenuous Piranha
Axxman300 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 09:56 PM   #72
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,537
Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
Here's the thing, I just had college algebra, and my instructor's big thing was proving equations. He'd write it all out in the board too.
You made a claim that is demonstrably wrong:

Quote:
If you can't prove it, you can't make definitive claims of it happening.
There are a lot of things I can't prove that I can still make definitive statements about. I can definitively say you aren't going to hell for not accepting Jesus as your lord and savior. Of course, I can't prove such a thing, but I take it you definitively believe that's not going to happen to any of us here.

I can't prove Trump isn't going to win a Fields medal in mathematics, but I can definitively say it's not going to happen. .

Quote:
Here's something else I understand: Claims of extraterrestrial visitation is not math. Worse, if you want to bring math into the equation you lose instantly.
Talk of proofs and claims is cross-curricular.

Quote:
Alien contact is on the same level as fairies, bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster.
Evidence for this assertion?

Quote:
All of these alien spaceships that allegedly come to earth over the years, and not one has broken down, or lost a hubcap? We've got evidence of our presence on the Moon and Mars.
Evidence from, say, 500 million years ago, probably wouldn't exist anymore. And, of course, in order to find evidence, you have to have some idea where to look. There could be a million broken down probes in the Oort cloud. We would never know.

This is not a good argument against alien visitation, especially by aliens that might have visited us long ago, might not have broken down at all (does your car break down every time you take a long trip?), or might have left broken equipment in places we are incapable of searching.

Quote:
If you want people to believe you'll need the aliens to hold a press conference, and leave presents.
That is just silly, but I'm agnostic about alien visitation. Show me life on another planet, and then we can say something about the odds. There are no reasons to believe/disbelieve in aliens at the moment, or that they might have taken a close look at us in the history of the planet. The odds are simply unknown.

Last edited by Fudbucker; 10th March 2018 at 09:58 PM.
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 10:09 PM   #73
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,537
Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
You need a realistic time frame. Rockets have been around in some form since the year 1232. So in over 700 years we have some powerful rockets with fantastic control systems, but they're not going to take people farther than Mars any time soon.

There will have to be a number of earth-shattering advances in physics and engineering before we can send probes to other solar systems, and have them return while those who sent it are still alive.
Earth-shattering advances in science happen regularly, otherwise we would not be having this conversation, minor surgery would still be a nightmare ordeal, and people would think you're crazy because you keep calling that little box in your hand "Siri". And the craziest thing is it answers back, and most of the time correctly.

How long did it take to cross the Atlantic 100 years ago? How much effort went into the journey? How hard is it now? How much time does it take? In a few years, we will be examining the atmospheres of exoplanets. How much longer until we send probes to some of them?
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 10:13 PM   #74
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 8,537
Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
Uh huh...

You know what, I used to be a ghost hunter. I've been on this board for a few years without any problem, and do you know why?

I don't make claims about ghosts that I cannot back up with empirical, testable evidence. I have to play by the same rules that marine biologists, geologists, engineers, and any other member of a scientific discipline has to play by. I don't get special dispensation, nor should I or any other person who is working out there in the fringe (tinfoil-hat land). The standard for evidence is universal.

If I were still an active ghost hunter I'd be happy to play your games, just not on this board. This is the deep end, you sink or swim here, and if you are serious about proving the existence of alien visitation you can learn a lot here about how to properly investigate, and document, and report your findings (if any).
If you are equating alien life to ghosts, you are not in the position to lecture anyone on epistemology. The two are fundamentally different things, and if you think they aren't, our conversation will probably stop at this point.
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th March 2018, 11:43 PM   #75
Axxman300
Illuminator
 
Axxman300's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Central California Coast
Posts: 3,410
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
If you are equating alien life to ghosts, you are not in the position to lecture anyone on epistemology. The two are fundamentally different things, and if you think they aren't, our conversation will probably stop at this point.
Oh I am definitely equating ghosts with UFOs, and that's what we're talking about here. Alien life is a statistical probability, but their travelling to earth is not. You're arguing alien visitation and the fact is that the amount of proof for this idea is equal to the proof that ghosts are real. The gang over in ghost land has as many fuzzy pictures, and as many "reports made by qualified experts" as the folks in UFO land do.

I know the truth hurts, but the reality is we're just driving different clown cars.
__________________
Disingenuous Piranha
Axxman300 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th March 2018, 12:32 AM   #76
Kings Full
Thinker
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Texas
Posts: 129
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
It would not be a problem for machine intelligences.
And there's one of the FM pills I spoke of earlier.

In my post that you quoted I'm sure you noticed that I granted y'all 10x SoL. Well, lets talk about practical realistic speeds. Say .75 SoL. Now, do the math on that and come back and tell me how any civilization, regardless how advanced, is going to build machines that can last and be functional over those time frames.

For that matter, tell me how to build a machine that could last and be functional for the time frames around 10x SoL.

It's a bowl full of wishful thinking sprinkled with 'ifs' and fairy dust.
Kings Full is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th March 2018, 04:26 AM   #77
Jack by the hedge
Safely Ignored
 
Jack by the hedge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 9,221
Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
... the bottom line is that we have no evidence that is even slightly convincing.





I would in in fact love there to be evidence that Aliens have, or still do visit us, but faced with the lack of evidence I cannot believe in it. If evidence is forthcoming I will change my mind.
It would be reassuring to have evidence that aliens have already discovered us and decided not to instantly wipe us out. Though of course it may take a long time for news of our discovery to get back to their home world so celebrations may be premature.
Jack by the hedge is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th March 2018, 04:40 AM   #78
Jack by the hedge
Safely Ignored
 
Jack by the hedge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 9,221
Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
...There will have to be a number of earth-shattering advances in physics and engineering before we can send probes to other solar systems, and have them return while those who sent it are still alive.
I don't think the original project team living to see its results is a necessary condition. Even current space missions can last virtually a whole career.

Making spacecraft survive multiple human lifetimes in deep space is a more practical conundrum.
Jack by the hedge is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th March 2018, 06:45 AM   #79
Foolmewunz
Grammar Resistance Leader
TLA Dictator
 
Foolmewunz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pattaya, Thailand
Posts: 39,353
One can't tell from their horrid site whether everything on there is supposed to be the product of the original Serpo releases, but it appears so. They say that everything on the site is from the I Wanna Be Anonymous (or whatever his name was) guy, or that it's commentary on those submissions. Since this purports to be a document it's almost definitely all made-up.

I believe it's long been established the Richard Doty was the author behind it as well as a couple of other known confabulations. (Weren't portions of Serpo lifted directly from Close Encounters of the Third Kind?)
__________________
Ha! Foolmewunz has just been added to the list of people who aren't complete idiots. Hokulele

It's not that liberals have become less tolerant. It's that conservatives have become more intolerable.
Foolmewunz is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th March 2018, 08:05 AM   #80
JesseCuster
Muse
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 835
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
If the evidence doesn't go either way, and a claim doesn't contradict established scientific truths, one must be agnostic about that claim.
This kind of argument always strikes me as merely arguing for the sake of arguing.

It's like me claiming that I must be agnostic about whether or not my neighbour is a serial killer with a sex dungeon underneath his house. I have no evidence that any of that is true, and it doesn't contradict any scientific truths... therefore I should be agnostic about it?

I find it difficult to believe people who put forth this kind of argument consistently apply it in real life and are genuinely agnostic about every evidence-free crackpot idea that doesn't contradict scientific fact.

They seem to like to portray their attitude as being open minded whereas those skeptics who dismiss the idea because there's no evidence are just a bunch of close minded meanies. Well I say that an attitude of dismissing ideas with evidence until such time as the evidence is provided is much more pragmatic approach to these situations. Arguing that people should remain agnostic to all sorts of ideas just because you can't disprove them strikes me as just pointless mental gymnastics.

Sure it's possible that aliens came here and visited us and left little or no evidence of their visits. Categorising it as possible and therefore something we should be agnostic about has no value above dismissing it until someone ponies up some evidence other than allowing the person who calls themselves agnostic about it to give themselves the warm fuzzies about how open minded they are about everything.
JesseCuster is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:11 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.