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fibonaccispiral777
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11 Oct 2013, 4:07 am

Moviefan2k4 wrote:
William Lane Craig did an incredible job of addressing many concerns Dawkins raised about Christianity, but he's pretty long-winded. Here's the speech on YouTube, for anyone who wants to see it.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3HCthi2i_o[/youtube]

I also love how one guy actually stumped Dawkins with a very simple, "straight to the point" science question...

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W4e4MwogLo[/youtube]


That's because what many people consider to be 'straight to the point' questions regarding science such as 'how did SOMETHING get from NOTHING?' are actually extremely complex issues that science does not know yet and is working on.



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11 Oct 2013, 4:11 am

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gHi6jES700[/youtube]

http://www.skeptics.com.au/publications ... challenge/



fibonaccispiral777
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11 Oct 2013, 4:26 am

DentArthurDent wrote:
MCalavera wrote:
What is improbable, as you already said earlier, is the existence of super advanced aliens that have sufficient technology to go past the speed of light and all those fantastical things.


There may be such lifeforms out there, but it seems strange that they would go to all that effort, come here buzz the planet for a decade or two and not make contact, I doubt very much that it is purely coincidental that the main period of UFO activity happened around the height of the cold war, and the space race.


I agree. It is odd that they should come so far and then buzz off instantly. I suppose there could be various explanations. Perhaps if they are inter dimensional beings, they do not have to travel in distance but rather through the fabric of space-time. They might also be here solely to observe our species and our behaviour and not wish to make contact as it were. Perhaps they have witnessed our extraordinary capability for violence and have decided it would be in their favor to solely take the position of passive extra-terrestrial observers. They may feel as if if they did get in contact, they may be exploited to some degree, their super-advanced technology may be abused by human forces. Furthermore, I suppose they might be beings not capable of communication in the way we define it. They may solely exist as ectoplasmic, ethereal balls of light or something that communicate solely through telepathy or something, I do not know. I am not saying I believe such things, these are just hypotheses.

You are most definitely right about the Cold War thing. Carl Jung, the 20th century psychology who had a massive falling out with Freud, wrote an excellent book about ufos, which explains, as you say, that most of the sightings were seen during the cold war but also after the second world war and since it was a time of global conflict, man was in an existential crisis, felt completely alone in the world and thus create ufos as a conceptual aid to this humanitarian crisis. Jung was agnostic about his position on the issue of the phenomenon being real and treated ufos as hallucinations being psychically manifested by the collective consciousness. So, in his view, the whole of humanity was suffering from a mass hallucination.

It is also interesting to note(which is similar to your point about the cold war) that all supernatural sightings are very dependent on the mythologies that are integral to your culture. Although there is odd synchronicity between the various sightings of supernatural beings(although that could be explained perhaps by our similar genetics and biology and thus our psychology), we tend to weave our cultural narratives into how we perceive such paranormal occurrences. In the nineteen fifties, ufo films had become a mass cinematic phenomenon but there popularity was mainly designated to California whose public apparently were compelled by such films. It is then a strange coincidence that at that time there were a mass of ufo sightings apparently reported in California. In Ireland however, films associated with aliens and ufo had yet to become culturally memetic. Ufo sighting at that time in Ireland were also apparently bar to none compared to California. Saying this however, fairies were an integeral part of Irish folk lore and mythology, which meant there were just as many fairy sighting in Ireland as there were in California with ufos. This kind of shows the power of the human psyche and how, when perceiving a phenomenon that cannot be explained, we tend to weave a cultural narrative that can explain so that the event becomes more intellectually palatable. I hope all this makes sense :?



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11 Oct 2013, 4:26 am

With all that said, I actually dislike Dawkins as I find him to be quite snobbish and I am not conditioned to like such people.



fibonaccispiral777
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11 Oct 2013, 4:30 am

MCalavera wrote:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gHi6jES700[/youtube]

http://www.skeptics.com.au/publications ... challenge/


That is a ridiculous question. I do not know much about evolution but I would say that a genome does not decrease or increase in information(depending on your definition of information) in the same way an animal doesn't reach perfection or not reach perfection in evolutionary terms(we are no more perfect than a spider since a spider is perfectly adapted to evolve) but utilizes the possible genetic codes it can generate in order to adapt to its environment alone. Good article.



fibonaccispiral777
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11 Oct 2013, 4:40 am

cyberdad wrote:
Declension wrote:
fibonaccispiral777 wrote:
I suppose so but then I do not know whether there was a context that implied what he was saying was derogatory and even if there was, I am assuming he was replying to those Muslims that are anti-science or against sending their children to schools that promote scientific though, in which case it would seem logical that such a community has not made as much scientific progress. I would not that is a offensive but just an observation of the lack of scientific progress in relation to religious belief, which seems entirely logical to me.


There are definitely some interpretations of his tweet that are not racist. And to his credit, Dawkins did make the effort after his tweet to clarify exactly what he meant (which is that the Muslim education system is bad for Nobel prizes). But really, he should have made the effort to be extremely clear in the first place. It's true that Twitter has a word limit, but there's nothing stopping you from putting out several related tweets in a row.


I think it's a sign of a narrow mind that uses Nobel prizes as a guide for intellectual development. What's he really trying to say? that a Cambridge graduate is more likely to win a Nobel prize than a product of a university from a muslim country? (if you re-read his tweet that's essentially what he is insinuating).

This is no different from certain elitists in the US republican party who have been on the public record that they would not take somebody seriously either in a work capacity or socially if they were not an Ivy league university graduate . Both these republicans and Dawkins are of course simply "aping" the old British aristocracy who define merit with a preparatory education in Eton, Harrow or Westminster followed by a degree from Cambridge or Oxford.


I agree with you in so far that a country or education system should not be entirely merited on the basis of its scientific progress in the same way that an individual should not be judged on the basis of his or her capability to execute the scientific method. As you say that would be highly disrespectful, narrow-minded and would show upper-class bigotry on behalf of Dawkins. Saying that, I do not believe he was saying this nor do I think he was measuring the 'intellectual development' the Muslim education system. He was stating that a muslim education system, if they are anti-science, highly religious and do not promote scientific inquiry, may lesser its chances of making scientific breakthroughs in the context of a nobel prize. Of course, that is not to demean their education system altogether. The children that have come out of them may be far more spiritually aware, religiously curious, emotionally aware and creative but I wouldn't say it is hugely unjustified to say that a school that does not promote science has a lesser chance of winning a noble prize. You could argue whether a noble prize is a valid way of measuring progress but I think that is a separate issue. It is of course part of his argument but only as a means of making a far larger and more profound point about religious education.



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12 Oct 2013, 5:47 am

DentArthurDent wrote:
MCalavera wrote:
What is improbable, as you already said earlier, is the existence of super advanced aliens that have sufficient technology to go past the speed of light and all those fantastical things.


There may be such lifeforms out there, but it seems strange that they would go to all that effort, come here buzz the planet for a decade or two and not make contact, I doubt very much that it is purely coincidental that the main period of UFO activity happened around the height of the cold war, and the space race.


You are projecting a human mind onto the life forms that exist elsewhere. How is it you know what other life forms are capable of??



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12 Oct 2013, 5:52 am

MCalavera wrote:
DentArthurDent wrote:
fibonaccispiral777 wrote:
Sorry I'm probably sounding stupid, you guys are too clever for me :oops:


Hey do not put yourself down, firstly knowledge is often mistaken for intelligence. Occasionally teachers manage to get a point across which stays with you for the rest of your life. Too many years ago I was In Tech Drawing, we had a boy in the class who came from a farming background and did not seem overly bright, this was a common cause of derision for some of the "cooler" kids. On this particular day the teacher decided to deal with it. he stopped the class, announced we were going to have a quiz. The quiz was all about farming and more to the point farming science, the cool group were left to look dumb whilst the farming lad knew all the answers. Now this may not demonstrate intelligence but it certainly demonstrated that we all have different areas of knowledge, and remains the best attempt to deal with bullying I have ever seen.

Secondly you post makes perfect sense, is well thought out and and anyone who thinks its stupid needs to do research to learn why it makes sense.

Your right Dawkins points out that although the probability against life forming on a planet is most likely mind bogglingly improbable, the numbers involved make it probable. I just went looking for an estimate of the numbers of planets in the universe and conservative figures seem to put it at around 10 to the power of 20 or so.


I think the it is improbable that aliens do not exist. Hell, it would be a miracle if we found out we were the only ones existing in this infinitely wide universe. What is improbable, as you already said earlier, is the existence of super advanced aliens that have sufficient technology to go past the speed of light and all those fantastical things.


SO you assume these life forms are going to be at the same level of technology as us humans? It's sheer arrogance to project our own shortcomings on beings that are potentially millions of years more advanced than Homo Sapiens given the universe is estimated to be 13 billion years old and our solar system is relatively new at 4 billion years old.

The people who run the SETI project often ridicule UFO enthusiasts but can't see their own stupidity searching vainly for radio waves in deep space, As if they expect aliens in other systems to be listening to crystal radio sets!! ! it's been 30 or 40 years and there's not one signal they have found....doesn't that tell you something.



Last edited by cyberdad on 12 Oct 2013, 6:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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12 Oct 2013, 6:04 am

fibonaccispiral777 wrote:
I do not believe he was saying this nor do I think he was measuring the 'intellectual development' the Muslim education system. He was stating that a muslim education system, if they are anti-science, highly religious and do not promote scientific inquiry, may lesser its chances of making scientific breakthroughs in the context of a nobel prize..


If you read his tweet he stated **“All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge.***

So while it may be true you have to read the subtext - he's obviously stating that being a muslim means you are not capable as a Cambridge graduate/academic. It's pretty dumb given there are muslims who have won nobel prizes and muslims who work or have studied in Trinity College. Secondly who the f*** cares about a Nobel prize?

He (Dawkins) also tried very hard to recant his own rant later on.



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12 Oct 2013, 11:17 am

cyberdad wrote:
MCalavera wrote:
DentArthurDent wrote:
fibonaccispiral777 wrote:
Sorry I'm probably sounding stupid, you guys are too clever for me :oops:


Hey do not put yourself down, firstly knowledge is often mistaken for intelligence. Occasionally teachers manage to get a point across which stays with you for the rest of your life. Too many years ago I was In Tech Drawing, we had a boy in the class who came from a farming background and did not seem overly bright, this was a common cause of derision for some of the "cooler" kids. On this particular day the teacher decided to deal with it. he stopped the class, announced we were going to have a quiz. The quiz was all about farming and more to the point farming science, the cool group were left to look dumb whilst the farming lad knew all the answers. Now this may not demonstrate intelligence but it certainly demonstrated that we all have different areas of knowledge, and remains the best attempt to deal with bullying I have ever seen.

Secondly you post makes perfect sense, is well thought out and and anyone who thinks its stupid needs to do research to learn why it makes sense.

Your right Dawkins points out that although the probability against life forming on a planet is most likely mind bogglingly improbable, the numbers involved make it probable. I just went looking for an estimate of the numbers of planets in the universe and conservative figures seem to put it at around 10 to the power of 20 or so.


I think the it is improbable that aliens do not exist. Hell, it would be a miracle if we found out we were the only ones existing in this infinitely wide universe. What is improbable, as you already said earlier, is the existence of super advanced aliens that have sufficient technology to go past the speed of light and all those fantastical things.


SO you assume these life forms are going to be at the same level of technology as us humans? It's sheer arrogance to project our own shortcomings on beings that are potentially millions of years more advanced than Homo Sapiens given the universe is estimated to be 13 billion years old and our solar system is relatively new at 4 billion years old.

The people who run the SETI project often ridicule UFO enthusiasts but can't see their own stupidity searching vainly for radio waves in deep space, As if they expect aliens in other systems to be listening to crystal radio sets!! ! it's been 30 or 40 years and there's not one signal they have found....doesn't that tell you something.


Well, the fact that we ourselves are trying to communicate through such crystal radio sets does increase the possibility that somewhere else, a being may be doing the same thing. Also, the radio wave that have sent, they have emitted due to the fact that it can penetrate huge distances of space and will be interpreted in the same way they believe by another species. As for not finding a signal, I was reading a book recently called 13 things that don't make sense in science by a man named Michael Brooks, which stated that they did. The crystal radio picked up a frequency, which they called the 'wow signal', which was sent to them, the origin of which they have yet to determine.



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12 Oct 2013, 11:21 am

cyberdad wrote:
DentArthurDent wrote:
MCalavera wrote:
What is improbable, as you already said earlier, is the existence of super advanced aliens that have sufficient technology to go past the speed of light and all those fantastical things.


There may be such lifeforms out there, but it seems strange that they would go to all that effort, come here buzz the planet for a decade or two and not make contact, I doubt very much that it is purely coincidental that the main period of UFO activity happened around the height of the cold war, and the space race.


You are projecting a human mind onto the life forms that exist elsewhere. How is it you know what other life forms are capable of??


In what way is he doing that? I agree with you, we should open up our minds to the possibilities of aliens not possessing any human traits, I myself believe that aliens may exist as some ethereal ectoplasmic ball of light that perhaps might only communicate telepathy but I suppose it is easier to make guesses of how they may exist on the basis of what we know to be true, which is our own humanistic reality tunnel. The reason you have given is also why I do not believe in many of the alien abductions stories given, mainly because they are most of time depicted in a very human way with two eyes, a nose, two legs and so forth and are able to communicate in English. This makes one think that they are perhaps then projections of the abductees mind and have tried to weave it into the dominant cultural narrative at the time. Surely if such aliens have evolved light years away on such radically different conditions, their biological structure would also be radically different from ours.



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12 Oct 2013, 7:59 pm

fibonaccispiral777 wrote:
[
Well, the fact that we ourselves are trying to communicate through such crystal radio sets does increase the possibility that somewhere else, a being may be doing the same thing. Also, the radio wave that have sent, they have emitted due to the fact that it can penetrate huge distances of space and will be interpreted in the same way they believe by another species. As for not finding a signal, I was reading a book recently called 13 things that don't make sense in science by a man named Michael Brooks, which stated that they did. The crystal radio picked up a frequency, which they called the 'wow signal', which was sent to them, the origin of which they have yet to determine.


The "wow" signal was a one off and has never been found again despite vain attempts to search in the same locations in deep space. One of the things that seems to be missed in this futile exercise (which I predict will yield nothing within our lifetime) is a lack of logistical assumptions.
Fact 1 - Nobody disputes that it's statistically improbable we are the only life forms in the universe
Fact 2 - The Drake equation is accepted (even conservatively) to suggest the universe is teeming with intelligent life forms
At this point our scientific friends throw logic out the window
Fact 3 - Our solar system is relatively new so the number of other civilisations that preceded us must be in the order of many millions more
Fact 4 - if we assume the number of pre-human civilisations that must have existed in the universe then the number who evolved the use of radio signals must be far higher than what is current so in theory deep space should be saturated with signals (yet it's not)
Fact 5 - In addition to number of civilisations there is likely current civiliations that are millions of years older than us given our solar system is only a few billion years old. Our minds are incapable of even speculating what level of technology or even what type of physical manifestation these beings exist in (i.e. if they even exist in our universe or now reside in parallel universes or in a form that is not matter)



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12 Oct 2013, 8:04 pm

fibonaccispiral777 wrote:
In what way is he doing that? I agree with you, we should open up our minds to the possibilities of aliens not possessing any human traits, I myself believe that aliens may exist as some ethereal ectoplasmic ball of light that perhaps might only communicate telepathy but I suppose it is easier to make guesses of how they may exist on the basis of what we know to be true, which is our own humanistic reality tunnel. The reason you have given is also why I do not believe in many of the alien abductions stories given, mainly because they are most of time depicted in a very human way with two eyes, a nose, two legs and so forth and are able to communicate in English. This makes one think that they are perhaps then projections of the abductees mind and have tried to weave it into the dominant cultural narrative at the time. Surely if such aliens have evolved light years away on such radically different conditions, their biological structure would also be radically different from ours.


Our ignorant friend obviously bases his assumption on what an alien is thinking based on hollywood movies like aliens are looking for an excuse to invade Earth. If you read my previous post, an alien life form that is even a few hundred years more advanced would have nothing to gain from interacting with us (honestly we are so primitive we are only a few million years separating us from monkeys and our behavior is still largely driven by the same needs and wants) . Aliens that are millions of years more advanced are probably capable of creating life forms like us for fun.



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12 Oct 2013, 8:09 pm

fibonaccispiral777 wrote:
The reason you have given is also why I do not believe in many of the alien abductions stories given, mainly because they are most of time depicted in a very human way with two eyes, a nose, two legs and so forth and are able to communicate in English. This makes one think that they are perhaps then projections of the abductees mind and have tried to weave it into the dominant cultural narrative at the time. Surely if such aliens have evolved light years away on such radically different conditions, their biological structure would also be radically different from ours.


I think the abduction experiences need to be investigated more seriously. On the flipside a number of biologists believe that or intelligent life to evolve the modus operandi of evolution would end up with a template that is infact humanoid in form.

On the matter of projection, yes it's interesting that European abductees claim that the humanoid aliens are "nordic" despite the shortcomings it's a subject that deserves more attention. For all we know there are alien-human hybrids that resemble norse gods (as ridiculous as that sounds)



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12 Oct 2013, 9:43 pm

This assumes that other beings out there have managed to go near the speed of light and secure wormholes and all that. I am very very suspicious of such extraordinary assumptions without evidence.



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12 Oct 2013, 10:26 pm

In other words, even the aliens you speak of must bow down to the laws of this universe.