UFO Conjecture(s)

Sunday, April 03, 2016

And some of you think Earth is significant!


35 Comments:

  • The Ultra Deep Field image is incredible. Each of those dots is 100,000,000,000 stars or more...

    It makes you wonder how aliens could even find us.

    By Blogger scherben, at Sunday, April 03, 2016  

  • Exactly my point, Scherben...

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, April 03, 2016  

  • Maybe they like the weather?

    I guess an advanced civilisation could wish to do a survey of the 'local' area, or even the galaxy; but that leaves the problem of how they'd overcome relativity.

    What a shame the contactees have never had propulsion methods explained to them...

    By Blogger scherben, at Sunday, April 03, 2016  

  • I think Scherben meant:

    "It makes you wonder how WE could even find THEM." (As in SETI).

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Sunday, April 03, 2016  

  • Scherben said:

    "I guess an advanced civilization could wish to do a survey of the 'local' area, or even the galaxy; but that leaves the problem of how they'd overcome relativity."

    I don't know what Scherben is referring by "overcome relativity". This is a pretty simplistic or open expression.

    Special Relativity, puts an absolute limit on the travel speed of a space craft , but Special Relativity has limitations itself, given that it applies only to inertial systems. Our universe, as as a whole, is not an inertial system, and weird stuff indeed occurs, such as for example stars that get farther from other stars at speeds higher than the speed of light (This indeed happens for our sun versus stars located beyong the limits of the observable universe).

    Another consideration is by noting that for a craft traveling very close to the speed of light, time runs slower for the crew of the craft, giving them the absolutely correct notion that they are traveling faster than light.

    On the other hand, the more global theory, the General Relativity, does not forbid faster than light travel via wormholes/black holes by using space curvature, for example.

    Regarding alien civilizations finding the location of the earth, we simply don't know how much time they have been traveling through the galaxy, or whether they can buy a galaxy map in the galactic store. Moreover, even we, undeveloped humans, are now perfectly able to know the location of stars similar to our sun, which might be associated to inhabited planets, so it is pretty reasonable to think that more advanced civilizations are much more competent in finding inhabited planets.

    Rich Reynolds's "point" that aliens would not be able to find us is based mostly on astronomical ignorance and on the visual perception/emotion of seeing a photo-picture full of stars.

    By Blogger Don Maor, at Sunday, April 03, 2016  

  • It's not "astronomical ignorance" Don, but common sense.

    With the whole panoply of our galaxy alone, not to mention the Universe, in toto, one can't imagine an advanced civilization incurring the droves of UFOs reported to be visiting here.

    I know you need to believe but you're being stupid about it, and I luv you anyway.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, April 03, 2016  

  • Don talks about "stars located beyong the limits of the observable universe". A contradiction: if anything is BEYOND what we can observe (by whatever means of observation) how do we know it exists?

    This is the problem with such topics. Once you start talking about things we can't observe or things going faster than light, you are in deep trouble because there is no way we can measure it or verify its existence.

    By Blogger cda, at Monday, April 04, 2016  

  • cda wrote recently that we'll never meet ET in our lifetime.

    cda; I seriously doubt it will ever happen at all. A dozen or more exceptions to the Fermi paradox describe the extreme implausibility of this event.

    Foremost among them is the necessarily universal radically contingent evolution of sentient organisms comparable to ourselves. Only by a sequence of wholly random mutations--never to be repeated on Earth--did an ape evolve that spends the greatest part of its lifetime in a suspended juvenile stage, perennially youthful, sexually active, playful, intellectually curious, competitive and adventurous. All the attributes necessary to ultimately create a civilization that could imagine the Moon and planets as places, places that we might one day visit.

    Unfortunately, space is filled with deadly radiations; and they and the effects of weightlessness on a creature that evolved on a dense planet at sea level under a blanket of gas miles thick ultimately take their toll however well artificial space environments are designed. Space is filled with interstellar gas, dust and grains, innumerable unseen meteoroids, asteroids, comets, orphaned planets, dark stars, dark matter and energy and other exotic objects that make space travel at any speed such a hazardous proposition that it is unlikely in the extreme.

    In short: they're probably not even out there; if they are, they're probably so different they wouldn't have any of our attributes; they existed far in the past or will in the far future; and the random cosmic violence of space and vast distance makes interstellar travel impossible for all.

    We are all, forever, all alone.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Monday, April 04, 2016  

  • Don writes, "it is pretty reasonable to think that more advanced civilizations are much more competent in finding inhabited planets."

    Typically, believer Don attributes seemingly magical capabilities to hypothetical ET and invokes a lot of sciency sounding--but utterly irrelevant, even nonsensical--talk to maintain his "anything could be true, including visiting ET" belief.

    This is nothing but a worthless appeal to ignorance, and is completely and laughably ridiculous to put it mildly.

    Even the nearest stars are so far away, our region of one galactic arm so vast, our one Galaxy so incredibly immense in distance and time in relation to our scale of existence, that to speak of GR, FTL travel, the observable Universe, and so on as mere trifles for hypothetical ET and their casual interstellar travel, much less impossible intergalactic, or even as relevant considerations, only exposes the simple workings of believer psychology: those hypothetical ET are godlike in their powers, they know no limits! They are omnipotent and omnipresent.

    I imagine Don holding a sign "Welcome Space Brothers." While we--the one example we do know--are completely earthbound. He's been holding that sign, waiting patiently, since 1950. My astronomically informed opinion is that he'll be waiting forever.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Monday, April 04, 2016  

  • While I agree with my friend Zoam in principle...wielding his hammer in a harsh manner, we need to consider the on-going attempts to find any life forms in our own solar system. This effort has been elusive so far. Yes, hypothetically, Mars may have once had distant past life forms (cellular level?), but this has yet to be found...even trace evidence for that matter.

    As of now, the only 100 percent evidence of any galactic life forms are from this planet...Earth. That my friends is not hypothetical or theoretical, but unadulterated fact.

    I'm not discounting the possibilities of simple to advanced life forms anywhere else, but for now that remains elusive though intriguing.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Monday, April 04, 2016  

  • Tim:

    Few rational people would doubt that there might be advanced civilizations throughout the Universe, maybe even close by (in our galaxy).

    My point continues to be that it seems unlikely an advanced civilization would be sending so many forays to Earth as UFO reports indicate.

    Such a reconnoitering would be senseless, and an advanced civilization would hardly be senseless (although that is a possibility).

    There must be other more romantic, spectacular places in the vast cosmos to attract other species.

    Just as we, via NASA, look at diverse places in our Solar System, one would expect an advanced alien culture to do the same, not zeroing in on one place, especially a place as removed and backwatered as Earth.

    (Although NASA's obsession with Mars undercuts my argument.)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, April 04, 2016  

  • Nasa's obsession with Mars doesn't really undercut your argument, as a fascination with planets in your local system is to be expected. Further, any life that may exist elsewhere in the solar system is obviously not advanced technologically, else they'd presumably have landed on this planet millennia ago (even if they hadn't, our endeavours would have spotted them), so zoam's (non)expectation still holds.

    Back to the point of space expanding faster than light the further away from earth: not only is that relative to our point of view, but it's space that's expanding; no information is being exchanged. I fail to see how this could be exploited for space travel; although I'm happy to be enlightened...

    By Blogger scherben, at Monday, April 04, 2016  

  • I find it almost humorous that a certain skeptic who has no qualification as an astrophysicist or astro-biologist or even as a cosmologist would be talking about a field he wasn't trained in as if he were an expert. Alas. It must be that he's been hanging out with "believers" too long and they're rubbing off. If a blatant ETHer would do such a thing he would promptly jump on them and give them what he believes as their "well earned lumps".

    What the skeptic wishes you to believe is that Earth is an "exception" rather than a typical, mediocre planet, orbiting a typical mediocre star, halfway (or so) out the galactic spiral arm of a mediocre galaxy. It should be noted that believers in "Intelligent Design" also believe the same thing -- that "Earth is an exception".

    Carl Sagan [as far as I can tell] did not believe that Earth is an "exception" or special in any way. He seemed to think that if our solar system is a typical, mediocre one. If that is the case then that means that it is *reasonable* to conclude that *life* is not exceptional or special-- since it exists on a mediocre place like this. He also seemed to think that given our "evolutionary age" that it was reasonable to believe that there might be civilizations more advanced than ours.

    Sagan's ideas weren't without flaws. I don't think he grasped how short the "high-powered radio era" was going to be or that digital transmission signals sound a lot like random noise.

    Certainly there are a lot of "ifs" involved as to whether life exists elsewhere but I'd lean toward Sagan's mediocre view of Earth... It is also to be noted that Sagan was not a "believer" [ETHer] and was a staunch "skeptic" of what he perceived as non-scientific...

    I don't believe that ETH is *the* answer... Rich has covered a number of other "answers" that are just as compelling to the answer to "what's with those funny lights thingys?" I think that Rich's recent posts on Artificial Intelligence as a possible ET were interesting... but we haven't proved that real self-aware AI is actually even possible. {we probably won't live to see it if it is]

    OTOH, I won't buy what a non-trained, non-expert "skeptic" [or believer for that matter] has a definitive answer. *Saying* something is impossible is not that same as *showing* that it is falsifiable as much as saying something [like Roswell's LGM and "saucer crash"] is a proven fact.

    As for NASA and the search for life on Mars? If you can find life in your own solar system "back yard" then you can find it anywhere. If even single cell life were found there, Earth and "life" (in its broadest sense) would be proven to be "non-special." NASA has already found organics [the chemical building blocks of life] and organic reactions taking place. So NASA is doing the science that needs to be done to answer the question about possible life on Mars -- because that is what Science does. Looks for factual data and *then* draws conclusions.

    Even if they do not find life there, it does not prove there is no life elsewhere. OTOH, if they do find it then the likelihood that life is a "normal" product of a mediocre universe will be nearly conclusively proven.

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Monday, April 04, 2016  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger hessdalen lights, at Monday, April 04, 2016  

  • Don't be too sure that if life is found on Mars it proves the existence of extraterrestrial life.

    It is a well established fact that various earth bacteria can survive the vacuum of space.

    http://morgana249.blogspot.com/2014/08/6-organisms-that-can-survive-travel-in.html?m=1

    Life here may have spread to our not so distant planetary neighbors where if they survived for at least a while, their presence may be detected and misread as having originated there.

    It's known that volcanic activity can push organic material to our upper atmosphere and even space, and that such material, particularly in the earth's early days, may have travelled there.

    I don't believe panspermia is the basis of our origin, but possibly there is a kind of reverse "Terranpanspermia" of some kind that could account for bacteria on Mars.

    This theory has been floated around decades ago and isn't new.

    By Blogger Brian Bell, at Monday, April 04, 2016  

  • @Brian:

    You are most likely correct -- but if and only if it has DNA "as we know it" is found in said life. If it does not contain DNA that is traceable to Earth then that's a horse of a different color. Then again who knows? NASA hasn't found any, so its too soon to talk about it.

    Even NASA has been careful looking at the gas emissions [methane!] they've found to make certain that what they have found is not something brought from Earth. http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/december/nasa-rover-finds-active-ancient-organic-chemistry-on-mars/

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Monday, April 04, 2016  

  • CDA analized:

    "Don talks about "stars located beyong the limits of the observable universe". A contradiction: if anything is BEYOND what we can observe (by whatever means of observation) how do we know it exists?

    This is the problem with such topics. Once you start talking about things we can't observe or things going faster than light, you are in deep trouble because there is no way we can measure it or verify its existence."


    Bla bla bla, pure nonsense from CDA. Objects that were previously inside the observable universe are now outside the observable universe. Those objects exist, they are not illusions. Faster than light expansion is also known to have occurred during the early stage of the universe, which is called the “inflationary stage”. Stars visible today will be outside the observable universe in the future. That is the way things work CDA, ignore it or not.

    By Blogger Don Maor, at Monday, April 04, 2016  

  • Scherben wrote:

    "Back to the point of space expanding faster than light the further away from earth: not only is that relative to our point of view, but it's space that's expanding; no information is being exchanged. I fail to see how this could be exploited for space travel; although I'm happy to be enlightened..."

    I already told you Scherben. Wormholes might be the answer to faster traveling. Temporal dilation might help crafts traveling near the speed of light to experience travel times much shorter.

    Great spaceships might mimic planetary conditions with millions of people inside, traveling slow, but sooner or later arriving to the final goal, after many generations, no mattering how far away the goal is. There are many possibilities, which apparently cannot be handled by the mind of pessimists.

    Who spoke about information? What is information after all?

    Scherben, the point that you can't keep failing to see is that the conclusions of Special Relativity are not the ultimate truth. Special Relativity is a restricted theory. I would put my best bet in General Relativity. Special Relativity does NOT work always. This universe is far more complex than that, and we human are just performing our first steps in knowing how things work.

    By Blogger Don Maor, at Monday, April 04, 2016  

  • Zoam wrote:

    I imagine Don holding a sign "Welcome Space Brothers." While we--the one example we do know--are completely earthbound. He's been holding that sign, waiting patiently, since 1950. My astronomically informed opinion is that he'll be waiting forever.

    The other day Zoam wrote that I was deluded given that I supposedly was in terror about alien abductors/conquerors. Now zoam claims that I am giving the welcome to those same “space brothers”. Can someone ask zoam to be more a little less self contradictory?

    Moreover, I was not even born in 1950!!! My father was 3 years old in 1950.

    By Blogger Don Maor, at Monday, April 04, 2016  

  • Since he makes it an "ad hominem" issue, remind me what Joel's advanced degree is in? Oh, that's right, he doesn't have one. He doesn't have a degree of any kind--except in Internet blathering.

    As if one had to be an expert in the field to have an astronomically informed opinion on a subject of lifelong interest and voice it on an Internet blog.

    And we know there are other opinions on the subject, but the old science-fiction inspired vision of a Galaxy filled with various star-faring civilizations is now rightly considered quaint wishful thinking.

    After decades, SETI has failed to discover any sign of ET life. And the discovery of predictably ubiquitous exoplanets finds their variety and environments to be nearly as numerous as they are--and not one likely to be hospitable to life as we know it.

    Any similarity between the ideas of Rare Earthers and IDers is completely coincidental and without significance. As is the stupid and worthless comparison of PSH skeptics and ETH believers, it's just more straw-man ad hominem.

    And then Joel launches into his typical phony "philosophy of science" spiel about the incompleteness and ambiguity of knowledge, an irrelevant appeal to ignorance since we're always limited by what we DO KNOW in the moving present.

    The Rare Earth hypothesis--a minor opinion that has existed since the 1970s at least--is becoming the more accepted view, even among those who for decades have wished otherwise.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rare_Earth_hypothesis

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Tuesday, April 05, 2016  

  • Julien;

    That Richard Dawkins clip is from an "Intelligent Design" propaganda film. It was cut and edited to make Dawkins seem to say the very opposite of what he actually said in the interview.

    What he actually said was that even if "Directed Panspermia" were considered remotely "possible," it really doesn't answer any question since intelligent life would still have to have originated independently.

    So saying "God did it," or "ET did it" is no better answer than saying life arose on Earth independently by purely random chemical means.

    Dawkins' same criticism applies to Crick. The skepticism displayed in this thread is becoming the consensus view if it isn't already.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expelled:_No_Intelligence_Allowed#Richard_Dawkins

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Tuesday, April 05, 2016  

  • Don;

    Scherben's original point was that the laws of physics are universal; and ANY ET would be restricted by those universal laws.

    And then you launch into wildly magical mumbo-jumbo about hypothetical--and most probably forever fictional--worm-hole traversing, FTL travel, considerations about GR and the observable Universe that have absolutely nothing to do with the likelihood of ET contact or visitation, or why people make mundane "UFO" reports. And cda and I continued by telling you that cosmological concerns have no relevance to the possibility of nearby stellar contacts.

    Simply, Don, if we can't make radio contact and they're very obviously not here already, then appealing to the magical manipulations of the physical laws of the Universe by godlike ET to explain very earthly "UFO" reports is worthless.

    I think said you were "haunted" by the idea of ET and ET visitation--very much like the "Space Brother" believing Contactees of the 1950s. The cartoonish Space Brothers never arrived, and your similarly credulous belief in the ETH for "UFO" reports is bound to be just as disappointing. Too bad.

    Comprende?

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Tuesday, April 05, 2016  

  • Zoamchomsky made a veredict:

    "Scherben's original point was that the laws of physics are universal; and ANY ET would be restricted by those universal laws."

    And you know that laws of physics are universal just because you say it? Scherben or yourself zoam do not know what you are talking about. Scherben makes very simplistic argumentations an you do about the same.

    We know the Special Relativity is a good one theory, but we know it applies only to some situations and not to others. We know General Relativity is a more general theory, which has been very successful. We don't know whether another theory will replace GR. Probably yes. Yet, we don't know what is dark matter or dark energy, although we know that they make up about 95% percent of the universe matter. Humans know now, in fact, that there is much more things that we don't know. So don't get here saying that you know for sure that laws of physics are universal. Just shut up.

    By Blogger Don Maor, at Tuesday, April 05, 2016  

  • zoam said:

    "Simply, Don, if we can't make radio contact and they're very obviously not here already"

    There might be about a hundred reasons why we have not made radio contact, if they are there. The first one reason would be that they use other means for comunicating, or use another frequency, or use gravitational waves, or use neutrinos, or that they simply do not want to use their radio, etc, etc, etc.

    By Blogger Don Maor, at Tuesday, April 05, 2016  

  • Don, you've to yet even remotely provide evidence that there's any substance to any UFO reports.

    Could you explain exactly where in the universe the laws of physics are different? And why this should be? Perhaps a Nobel Prize will be sitting on a shelf of your house someday very soon? Or perhaps not...

    Of course it's acknowledged that human knowledge is limited. That doesn't add one iota of credibility to your wishful thinking about magical aliens who utilise pockets of 'unreality' in the cosmos where physics has magically bent itself into a new shape.

    By Blogger scherben, at Wednesday, April 06, 2016  

  • Scherben:

    In the believers' world literally ANYTHING is possible. Many years ago one UK writer (Gavin Gibbons) told us that UFOs, and the occupants inside them, had the power to materialise and dematerialise at will. This from an author who had rewritten into book form two of the famous early contactee cases, Daniel Fry and Truman Bethurum, and took them very seriously.

    Obviously something that can dematerialise can easily travel in zero dimensional space. Nothing could be simpler. Things like relativity would become redundant!

    By Blogger cda, at Wednesday, April 06, 2016  

  • @Zoam:

    Ad Hominum attack? Did I mention any names? I made the observation that a *nameless skeptic* was attacking another person for having no qualifications when they themselves have no actual qualification [according to their standard for the other person] to state a counter opinion. I stated I found that incongruity humorous. When one makes use of a measuring stick for another, the measuring stick applies for the user as well.

    Did I assert anything that said "listen to me I'm and expert and the rest of you are fools!" unlike some others, skeptic and believer, regularly tend to make here? Sorry, but no I did not. I summarized what Sagan [who, for his time, was qualified] said.

    Opinions are like bodily orifices. Everybody's got 'em, everybody uses 'em. But the difference is what are they using 'em for? If someone's opinions are just to spout off then they aren't much use to anyone. I'm not here to spout off. Can you say the same?

    Zoam, you need to get out more. You're taking this subject **way** too seriously.

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Wednesday, April 06, 2016  

  • Joel; You need to learn to make rational arguments ON TOPIC rather than being a very good imitation of a whining loser who uses the Woo-Woo Credo as a guide for discourse.

    What NOT to do, Joel.... http://www.insolitology.com/tests/credo.htm

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Wednesday, April 06, 2016  

  • Gee... Look who's *actually* using ad hominem attacks? Alas.

    Zoam. I thought better of you. At least stay on topic-- which last I heard was UFOs or some such silly subject. Attacking people to prove your point does not make you right, but it does make you a bully.

    Never heard of your "Woo Woo Credo" until you mentioned it. Was it something you learned at college as part of your degree? Or is this part of the Skeptic's Religious Training on dealing with heretics or non-believers? [if you can't tell, that's a joke].

    As I said you need to get out a bit more. You're beginning to sound like a crack pot or a broken record.

    regards.

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Wednesday, April 06, 2016  

  • Scherben asked to me:

    "Could you explain exactly where in the universe the laws of physics are different?"

    I can try at least: Scientists know that dark matter and dark energy fills up a surprising 95% of the universe stuff. Yet, they don't know what the hell is dark matter and dark energy. So yes, we can safely say that we don't know what laws of physics apply to dark matter and dark energy (95%, sorry).

    By Blogger Don Maor, at Wednesday, April 06, 2016  

  • A clarification on the number of stars visible in this image: according to Nasa's press release on this image, the image only shows 500,000 visible stars but it is estimated that there are something like 10,000,000 unseen ones. See: http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/hubble-s-journey-to-the-center-of-our-galaxy

    However you look at it, it is one massive amazing sequence of random events.

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Wednesday, April 06, 2016  

  • @Don

    Could you explain then why the physics of the universe have been observed as they are if 95% of it [the universe] seemingly has another reality entirely? Can you show the experimental data that backs up your hypothesis?

    I suggest that the physical laws of the universe are as they are because of dark matter/energy being woven into space-time (ie. they're part of the fabric); not somehow separate from it (and you still haven't given one iota of credence to UFOs or alien visitation).

    By Blogger scherben, at Thursday, April 07, 2016  

  • Joel:

    Further to your post, there's an estimated 100 billion stars (at least) in the Milky Way, and we've only mapped 200 million of 'em. By my appalling maths, that's only 0.2% (someone correct me if I'm wrong, please). Plenty of scope for discovering stellar engineering in the future. I'm not holding my breath, mind.

    By Blogger scherben, at Thursday, April 07, 2016  

  • Scherben asked:

    Could you explain then why the physics of the universe have been observed as they are if 95% of it [the universe] seemingly has another reality entirely? Can you show the experimental data that backs up your hypothesis?
    .

    No Scherben, I can't. So what?


    I suggest that the physical laws of the universe are as they are because of dark matter/energy being woven into space-time (ie. they're part of the fabric); not somehow separate from it (and you still haven't given one iota of credence to UFOs or alien visitation).


    Great idea Scherben! I myself theorized that same idea some years ago. In any case, the problema is still there: We still have not found all the laws of physics, and the law we take for granted now, might be not tomorrow, and vice-versa.

    My point, however, is highly specific regarding Special Relativity: It is not a universal law, given that it only applies to inrtial systems.

    By Blogger Don Maor, at Friday, April 08, 2016  

  • "No I can't so what?"

    It was at this point that the discussion was terminated...

    By Blogger scherben, at Saturday, April 09, 2016  

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