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Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5564850 - 12/10/12 08:32 PM



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EJN
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/01/05

Loc: 53 miles west of Venus
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Pess]
      #5565307 - 12/11/12 01:44 AM

Quote:

We are not interested in..the meaning of life...



The answer is 42

Now that that's settled, can this thread be closed...shut down...locked...put out
of its misery?


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CounterWeight
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 10/05/08

Loc: Palo alto, CA.
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5565432 - 12/11/12 06:10 AM

Just want to point out one titanic misconception - maybe just a language thing - but it is GLARING...

A 'theory' is the final synthesis before becoming an accepted fact.

A theory is something that began with observation, has been studied by numerous hypothesis/experimention based on same, and has 'laws' developed that contain the concepts as verified by experimentation, then finally a theory which is refined by more experimentation... a theory is something that is a culmination of a lot of work based in the scientific methods, it is as close to a fact as we get.

Many places here I see the term used in a confused way.... I think giving the status of 'it's only a theory' is to raise it too far above the fact that it is only an "idea" and there is no observational anything, let alone laws that can somehow back the observation and be useful for experimentation.

So there is NO THEORY here... it's just ideas backed by other ideas, none of which as far as I know have been 'observed'... unless as the subject line states "we have observed nothing". No observations, no experiments, no laws... and certainly no 'theory'...


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Jarad
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/28/03

Loc: Atlanta, GA
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5565507 - 12/11/12 08:12 AM

I like this nomenclature:

Hypothesis: a concept that is capable of explaining a set of observations that were not previously explained, can be used to make new testable predictions, but has not yet been tested.

Theory: A hypothesis that has had at least some of its predictions tested and proven to be correct.

Jarad


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Rick Woods
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/27/05

Loc: Inner Solar System
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: EJN]
      #5565612 - 12/11/12 09:39 AM

Quote:

Quote:

We are not interested in..the meaning of life...



The answer is 42

Now that that's settled, can this thread be closed...shut down...locked...put out
of its misery?




Yes, but what's the question?

Hmmm... tricky.


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Pess
(Title)
*****

Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5565730 - 12/11/12 11:04 AM

Quote:

The Borg are just as plausible as are the Vulcans.




Star Trek ruined the entire concept of the 'Hive Mind' when they introduced a Queen who made decisions for the hive.

After that, it was just another dictatorship with no resembelance to the original 'Hive' concept.

Pesse (Just say'n) Mist


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Pess
(Title)
*****

Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Jarad]
      #5565735 - 12/11/12 11:08 AM

Quote:

I like this nomenclature:

Hypothesis: a concept that is capable of explaining a set of observations that were not previously explained, can be used to make new testable predictions, but has not yet been tested.

Theory: A hypothesis that has had at least some of its predictions tested and proven to be correct.

Jarad




Pesse (The trouble with you people is that you constantly let facts stand in the way of a good arguement.) Mist


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mountain monk
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/06/09

Loc: Grand Teton National Park
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Pess]
      #5565847 - 12/11/12 12:24 PM

Otto,

The issue here is Civics 101, not science, philosophy, or spirituality. The subject is inappropriate on this forum. People have been (more or less) generous, and the moderator has been heroically patient. In the past you have presented similar ideas--"Borderline Mystics" and some comments on Benjamin and aura--on other forms here on CN and they have been greeted by a more congenial audience. Why not return there? Here you simply irritate people and waste their time--and yours.

Enjoy the night sky.

Jack


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Joad]
      #5565908 - 12/11/12 01:08 PM

"And my PhD is from Harvard, so I'm not impressed that you've proofread for someone from Harvard.

And I have no interest whatsoever in discussing Peter Singer. He is a leading figure in the animal rights world, and that's all I'm referring to. Cary Wolfe would do just as well for my purposes. "


Thank you, Joad, for drawing my attention to when it is the case that I could evidence more humility in my speech.

It is one and the same person. Peter Singer who, according to Wikipedia, was both an animal rights activist and who felt it was morally consistent as well as morally acceptable to allow infanticide.

I am interested. What's your Ph.D from Harvard in?

Otto


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JohnMurphyRN
sage
*****

Reged: 09/09/12

Loc: Near St Louis
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5565950 - 12/11/12 01:32 PM

"Least Hypothesis" - Make the projected explanations for observed phenomena as simple as possible, requiring the least stretch of the imagination to include all observed facts, and rarely will you go far wrong. This is what produced the demise of the 'ether' and the cosmological constant IIRC. The least hypothesis explaining why we see no uncontrovertible evidence for alien visitation is that there has been no such visitation.

The question in terms of the existance of alien life is which is the least hypothesis, that there exist other lifeforms (somewhere) or that we are alone in a vast universe...


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5565965 - 12/11/12 01:38 PM

You wrote, Dave, "any statement that begins with "I believe" and then asserts a value judgement is out of place here"

This is a forum dedicated to the use of human reason to investigate (or at least, to talk about) topics which are objectively verifiable through the use of science. That is good.

The assertion is made that, by that definition, issues of belief should not be allowed.

The first problem with this assertion, that issues of belief should not be allowed, is that this attitude is, itself, self-evidently, an assumption based on some belief value.

The second problem is that the word science, from the latin scientia, originally referred to a much broader range of investigation than the rather narrow limits placed on science in modernity. It is for this reason that philosophy was called "the queen of the sciences" and that philosophy and theology were referred to as "the sacred sciences" in classical and medieval thought. The question becomes, which is a more effective path to knowledge acquisition; the narrower path of modernity or the broader path of pre-modernity.

Third, all reason is based on a set of assumptions and beliefs. For example, it has been conceded on this forum that the scientific method is based on the philosophical assumption of objectivism; an attitude which cannot be discovered or proved by the analysis of matter and motion.

Fourth, the word for the study of knowledge is epistemology. It is interesting that phonetically there is a similarity between the Greek word "episteme" and the Greek word for belief "pistes". Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on one's belief system) there seems to be no etymological relationship between these two words. Nevertheless, according to Liddell and Scott (linguistic experts) the historian Herodotus used this word "episteme" to say "to believe."

The sequestration of a dialogical forum to a certain definition of reason and of science is, of course, the right and choice of the participants of the forum. However, should sequestration (i.e. censorship) be chosen and/or enforced, it is the skill and duty of philosophy to point out that such a choice is necessarily a political choice based in turn on philosophical assumptions and beliefs.


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5565986 - 12/11/12 01:49 PM

Back to the core of the discussion:

There is no evidence that sentient extra-terrestrials have made contact with us or have communicated with us.

It is the consensus of most here that the reason for this is based on the geometries of scale in the universe and on the known limitations of transportation and communication.

I first suggested, and still consider it a possibility when examined statistically based on the physical evidence we possess that there may be no (or very little) other sentient life in the universe; i.e. the n=1 issue.

I have also suggested that when time is figured in, that these geometries of scale and physical limitations in the areas of transportation and communication might not account for the absence of contact and communication. By time, I mean the billions of years in which sentient creatures could have attempted contact and communication and left evidence of the same.

I have also suggested that there may be sociological reasons why sentient extra-terrestrials may have had, and are having contact, but attempting to do so anonymously. I have offered examples from everyday life in which ordinary people often practice anonymity of involvement, service, care; and then suggest that vastly more advanced creatures might also hold this value.

To the latter thought I now want to add that due to the vast superiority of technological capability, such creatures, if they wanted to be anonymous, would most certainly be able to be anonymous.


With the exception of the first idea, there have been all sorts of very good objections to these positions, stated here.


Though the thread title "The Silence is Deafening" has served the purpose of being a catchy lightning rod for this conversation, it seems to me now that perhaps, a more correct title would have been "The Silence Speaks Volumes".


Otto


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shawnhar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/25/10

Loc: Knoxville, TN
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5566787 - 12/11/12 11:39 PM

Quote:

I first suggested, and still consider it a possibility when examined statistically based on the physical evidence we possess that there may be no (or very little) other sentient life in the universe; i.e. the n=1 issue.
Otto



One thought - How will this impact this entire discussion if we find evidence of life on Mars? Will that lead to the speculation that life must be throughout the Universe, or simply that our isolated planetary system contains life and we still don't have evidence that it "should" exist elsewhere? Can we predict the odds go up everywhere? I like to speculate that "life" is all over the place, but the energy to destination ratio puts them in the same boat as us, even if we had vastly superior technology, would we be making day trips to stars 10 or 20 light years away? The benefit has to outweigh the cost, or at least be perceived to. I think that would hold true for any form of life.
My take is it's not cost effective for "them" to communicate with, nor travel to - EARTH, even if they could and had the knowledge we are here. - Hence the silence no matter how advanced "they" may be.

And one other thing about "charitable anominity", that's a joke - those ain't the guys in charge of the resources, and the other guys decide how those resources will be used. I don't care how advanced they are, that's a BUNCH of resourses involved to get here or even just send a signal. You can't use our socio model as an example of kindness and just pick out the parts you like.


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5566870 - 12/12/12 12:55 AM

I think the discovery of life on Mars would make a big difference in our discussion here.

I like Jarad's definition of hypothesis and theory.


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JohnMurphyRN
sage
*****

Reged: 09/09/12

Loc: Near St Louis
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: shawnhar]
      #5567210 - 12/12/12 09:28 AM

" One thought - How will this impact this entire discussion if we find evidence of life on Mars? Will that lead to the speculation that life must be throughout the Universe, or simply that our isolated planetary system contains life and we still don't have evidence that it "should" exist elsewhere? Can we predict the odds go up everywhere? "

Once N=2 in a sample size as small as our solar system then it's reasonable to conclude that N will be a very large number when the sample size is very large.


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Pess
(Title)
*****

Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: JohnMurphyRN]
      #5567310 - 12/12/12 10:43 AM

Quote:

" One thought - How will this impact this entire discussion if we find evidence of life on Mars? Will that lead to the speculation that life must be throughout the Universe, or simply that our isolated planetary system contains life and we still don't have evidence that it "should" exist elsewhere? Can we predict the odds go up everywhere? "

Once N=2 in a sample size as small as our solar system then it's reasonable to conclude that N will be a very large number when the sample size is very large.




Agreed.

Pesse (And I got a big bottle of Scotch riding on N=2..) Mist


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ggiles
member


Reged: 09/07/10

Loc: Trenton Ontario Canada
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Pess]
      #5567372 - 12/12/12 11:26 AM

Any discovery of life outside of this planet would shatter the foundations of most "belief" systems on this planet ... but that's just an idea ...at least until those systems are revised in light of new discoveries.

Now can we lock this?


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Pess
(Title)
*****

Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: ggiles]
      #5567384 - 12/12/12 11:34 AM

Quote:

Any discovery of life outside of this planet would shatter the foundations of most "belief" systems on this planet ... but that's just an idea ...at least until those systems are revised in light of new discoveries.

Now can we lock this?





I wouldn't worry too much. These 'belief systems' got over a Round Earth, a Copernican solar system and geologic incontrovertible evidence that this planet has been around longer than 4ooo or so years.

In fact, I remember a conversation with one catholic priest. When I inquired about how discovering another intelligent alien civilization might impact religious doctrine his reply surprised me. He said he wouldn't be surprised at all and the first thing he would do is search the historical archives for the aliens equivalent of 'Jesus' and other biblical equivalents.

Kinda made sense from his perspective after I thought about it.

In any case any civilization of intelligent beings we encounter will be either way ahead of us or way behind us technologically. Be interesting to study other 'belief systems' in such societies...

Pesse (Attention Ferengi Societies: In God we trust: All others pay cash.) Mist


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shawnhar
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/25/10

Loc: Knoxville, TN
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: Pess]
      #5567406 - 12/12/12 11:48 AM

Quote:

Quote:

" One thought - How will this impact this entire discussion if we find evidence of life on Mars? Will that lead to the speculation that life must be throughout the Universe, or simply that our isolated planetary system contains life and we still don't have evidence that it "should" exist elsewhere? Can we predict the odds go up everywhere? "

Once N=2 in a sample size as small as our solar system then it's reasonable to conclude that N will be a very large number when the sample size is very large.




Agreed.

Pesse (And I got a big bottle of Scotch riding on N=2..) Mist



Ok, so let me see if I understand...
If 10 years from now we find a planet just like ours, same size, right kind of star, right distance, water, O2, H and we have NOT found anything on Mars...it is NOT reasonable to think life is there? Would that not be a sample size of 2 in the sense that things grow given the right conditions? But if we found something on Mars that opens the door to reasonable assumption...is that right?


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Otto Piechowski
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 09/20/05

Loc: Lexington, KY
Re: The silence is deafening.... new [Re: ggiles]
      #5567411 - 12/12/12 11:51 AM

You, ggiles, wrote, "Any discovery of life outside of this planet would shatter the foundations of most "belief" systems on this planet ... but that's just an idea ...at least until those systems are revised in light of new discoveries..."

Islam and Catholic Christianity seem to accept the idea that extra-terrestrial life can exist without causing a major problem within their belief systems. In support of this statement I cite the words of Tommaso Campanella who in the A.D. 16th century, in his The Defense of Galileo wrote, "...as Mohammed declared, there are many worlds with lands and seas, and with human inhabitants." And, a few years back I heard Pope John Paul II in his Christmas eve mass homily refer to all creatures on earth and elsewhere.

These two belief systems have self-identified adherents totaling about a third of the living human species. However, these are only two of the world's many belief systems and because this is only two, it in no way contradicts your assertion about the impact of such a discovery on "many" of the earth's belief systems.

I know you suggested the thread be closed; and that might be good, but I would enjoy it and appreciate it if you would say (write) more about your thoughts concerning why such a discovery would threaten the foundations of belief systems.

Otto


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