Avi Loeb: the Harvard Physicist Who Thinks Its Always Aliens

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cyberdad
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29 Dec 2023, 12:45 pm

I'll just bump this one more time as what's at stake here is why there are imposed limits to the application of the scientific method? I will pose one question to the OP. Are the general scientific community guilty here of looking at this phenomena through the lens of western cultural bias? some type of dogma/code to silence scientific curiosity to investigate?



naturalplastic
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11 Feb 2024, 12:28 pm

cyberdad wrote:
I'll just bump this one more time as what's at stake here is why there are imposed limits to the application of the scientific method? I will pose one question to the OP. Are the general scientific community guilty here of looking at this phenomena through the lens of western cultural bias? some type of dogma/code to silence scientific curiosity to investigate?


Your accusation is really a confession.

The scientific community is not showing a western bias. YOU are.

You are the one who claims that brown people were too dumb to build structures like the Pyramids, and who said that brown people just "found them", and that said structures were build by...beings from outer space, or from Atlantis or whatever, (beings who resemble us White Westerners). You actually said that to me in a thread here on WP. Let your guard down and showed your true colors that moment. Your projection of your own racism and ethnocentric bias onto others is astounding.

And who exactly is "restricting the application of the scientific method"?

Avi Loed is the one who wants to suppress the use of the scientific method...and for everyone to just drop to their knees and kow tow to him.

This young lady makes a rather good case that Loeb is not only a crackpot, but is a bit of grifter. Though... a grifter of an unusual kind. Most grifters grift their contemporaries in order to get money and fame etc. He seems to out to grift future generations into believing that he is Galileo (an oppressed genius of the present day...when he is neither oppressed nor has particularly original ideas).



cyberdad
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11 Feb 2024, 3:59 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
You are the one who claims that brown people were too dumb to build structures like the Pyramids, and who said that brown people just "found them", and that said structures were build by...beings from outer space, or from Atlantis or whatever, (beings who resemble us White Westerners).


I'll address this first. I've never actually called "brown people dumb" you are putting words in my mouth. Yes I entertain the possibility because these same "brown people" are the ones who say they did not build the oldest ancient structures.

Giza Plateau - The ancient Egyptian pharoahs were narcissists who stuck their name on everything they built. Hieroglyphs coat the walls everywhere. This is their way of saying "I built this". But...the oldest and first structures on the Giza plateau (whether the sphinx, great pyramid and other structures) lack any mark indicating who built the structure (they are devoid of any markings). It is therefore reasonable to posit the same people who built great monuments all over Egypt were not the same folk as those who built the earliest structures which (ironically) show the most advanced engineering.

Meso-America and South America - Both the descendants of the Maya of meo-America and the Inca of Peru actually say (in their own traditions) that the earliest structures such as the pyramid of the sun and moon were built by the gods and they found it when they arrived.

I am in no way saying these were built by aliens, the theory is that there was an earlier megalithic culture which curiously is spread throughout the ancient world (including Europe)



cyberdad
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11 Feb 2024, 4:32 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Avi Loed is the one who wants to suppress the use of the scientific method...and for everyone to just drop to their knees and kow tow to him.


It's curious because if your claim about Avi Loeb was correct then he would be forced to resign due to the issue of academic integrity which is pivotal to holding tenure at Harvard. I am sure you heard about how simple breaches of academic integrity like forgetting to put quotation marks on sources from your dissertation thesis was enough for the presidents of Harvard and UPenn to resign.

For a tenured scientist to make the wrong public public claims about the scientific method is a big faux pas if its not correct. it's like an engineer contracted to build the empire state building saying 1 + 1 = 3.

Loeb has spoken about an obvious facet of the scientific method in how it is applied to unknown phenomena. If a phenomena can't be verified by known explanations then its feasible to propose theories of alternative explanations. Loeb's basis is quite simple. If we humans can evolve on an earth like planet then the statistical probability that other civilisations emerged in other solar systems is quite plausible and they produce space debri like humans that might make its way across space and enter our galaxy (in case you haven't noticed we humans have created a junkyard of rubbish orbiting the earth and one could easily be knocked out of place and sent hurtling outside of our solar system).



naturalplastic
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11 Feb 2024, 6:36 pm

cyberdad wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
Avi Loed is the one who wants to suppress the use of the scientific method...and for everyone to just drop to their knees and kow tow to him.


It's curious because if your claim about Avi Loeb was correct then he would be forced to resign due to the issue of academic integrity which is pivotal to holding tenure at Harvard. I am sure you heard about how simple breaches of academic integrity like forgetting to put quotation marks on sources from your dissertation thesis was enough for the presidents of Harvard and UPenn to resign.

For a tenured scientist to make the wrong public public claims about the scientific method is a big faux pas if its not correct. it's like an engineer contracted to build the empire state building saying 1 + 1 = 3.

Loeb has spoken about an obvious facet of the scientific method in how it is applied to unknown phenomena. If a phenomena can't be verified by known explanations then its feasible to propose theories of alternative explanations. Loeb's basis is quite simple. If we humans can evolve on an earth like planet then the statistical probability that other civilisations emerged in other solar systems is quite plausible and they produce space debri like humans that might make its way across space and enter our galaxy (in case you haven't noticed we humans have created a junkyard of rubbish orbiting the earth and one could easily be knocked out of place and sent hurtling outside of our solar system).

We have all seen him in those podcast of him shouting down panels of other scientist for not kowtowing to him.

Everyone over eight years old has had that same thought...that beings equivalent to us could have evolved on other star systems. But he demands that we pin a medal on him for being original for thinking of it...and demands that we all take him seriously for violating the scientific method ...violating by trying to prove his theory...rather than the using the actual scientific method by proving it by failing to disprove it.

Were not talking published vetted research. Were talking about him "publishing" speculations in letters to the editor where no one is held to the standard you're talking about.



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11 Feb 2024, 8:07 pm

cyberdad wrote:
Loeb's academic reputation has had already been established based on his publication record, positions held and awards given.


Yes, he had established a good reputation and he's burning through it when he spouts nonsense.


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cyberdad
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11 Feb 2024, 8:37 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Everyone over eight years old has had that same thought...that beings equivalent to us could have evolved on other star systems. But he demands that we pin a medal on him for being original for thinking of it...and demands that we all take him seriously for violating the scientific method ...violating by trying to prove his theory...rather than the using the actual scientific method by proving it by failing to disprove it.


Actually he is trying to provide evidence for his theory. So let's start with a simple premise
1. Do we humans exist (Y/N)
2. Do you agree we evolved on this planet (Y/N)
3. Is it statistically likely we are the only sentient beings in the entire universe (Y/N)
4. Do most scientists agree that other advanced life can evolve elsewhere (Y/N)
5. If they exist (like we apparently do) then can they not produce rubbish/waste that flies off into space (like we do)

There have been two incidents of objects verified by NASA entering our solar system from outside. One object inexplicable turned around and left the solar system in 2017 while the other crashed off the coast of PNG in 2014. Loeb has simply chosen to locate samples of the crashed object at the bottom of the seafloor and analyse the samples. I am not exactly sure why that act of curiosity to confirm whether the chemistry of the sample indicates an artificial source breaches the scientific method?

The objects come from outside of the solar system. We have no prior data on such objects. Avi Loeb is attempting to provide data.



Last edited by cyberdad on 11 Feb 2024, 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cyberdad
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11 Feb 2024, 8:44 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Were not talking published vetted research. Were talking about him "publishing" speculations in letters to the editor where no one is held to the standard you're talking about.


Wrong again. Loeb published a scholarly book where he posed this question of alien life.
https://www.amazon.com/Extraterrestrial ... 0358278147

The publisher is Mariner Books who are an imprint of Harper Collins publishing. In order to publish scholarly work the publishing house is required to vet the manuscript with peers in Avi Loeb's field. This form of peer review means the book is classified as published vetted research.



cyberdad
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11 Feb 2024, 9:22 pm

Re: the video

Angela Collier is a recent grad who has just got a postdoc in UColarado Boulder (I will acknowledge she is a very articulate speaker and knows her research field very well). but....Avi Loeb is the most prominent astrophysicist in the USA with a professorial tenure at Harvard
Comparing Angela wth Avi is like comparing performance of a draft pick in college basketball with Lebron James.

She does podcasts to advertise she is engaging with the community because this is one of the criteria that helps postdocs attain tenured research positions in university labs. Her taking aim at what she calls "controversial" figures in astrophysics is in my view low hanging fruit or an easy target, She is riding on the coat-tails of more senior people who have been attacking Loeb since 2017.

Everything you need to know about Angela's podcast happens in the first 3 minutes. Listen carefully. She admitted the object moved in a non-gravitational manner that defies known science. Pretty repeating everything Avi Loab has said. She finished by saying this is all the information we will get...so what was this object?....the rest is (using her logic) based on speculation relying on know paradigms. This doesn't make Loeb a crackpot just because he is open to other explanations - all he said is to keep an open mind. It's a pity because I like Angela's delivery, she will make a great astrophysicist but she needn't have thrown her lot with closed minded colleagues.



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11 Feb 2024, 9:41 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
Yes, he had established a good reputation and he's burning through it when he spouts nonsense.


Academic reputation and legacy is based on publications, awards and grants. A lot of the people attacking Loeb might be having a dose of "tall poppy syndrome"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tall_poppy_syndrome



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11 Feb 2024, 9:42 pm

cyberdad wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
Yes, he had established a good reputation and he's burning through it when he spouts nonsense.


Academic reputation and legacy is based on publications, awards and grants. A lot of the people attacking Loeb might be having a dose of "tall poppy syndrome"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tall_poppy_syndrome


Yes, people criticizing him for jumping to unfounded conclusions are just jealous... rather than unconvinced by the lack of evidence so far. :roll:

You sound like Mr. Mackey.


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11 Feb 2024, 11:02 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
Yes, people criticizing him for jumping to unfounded conclusions are just jealous... rather than unconvinced by the lack of evidence so far. :roll:


You claimed he is burning his reputation. I don't believe his academic freedom (which BTW Harvard endorsed despite attempts to get him removed) impinges his academic reputation.

Think about what you are saying, His merely positing that 2 objects that entered our solar system might be of artificial origin equates to his academic reputation being burned. The people you are agreeing with do not have the body of scholarly work, awards or grants that Avi Loeb has achieved which is what is his legacy and what a granting body looks at if he was to apply for a grant. If they reject his application on the basis of heresay from jealous colleagues they put themselves at risk of personal bias > merit



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11 Feb 2024, 11:04 pm

cyberdad wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
Yes, people criticizing him for jumping to unfounded conclusions are just jealous... rather than unconvinced by the lack of evidence so far. :roll:


You claimed he is burning his reputation. I don't believe his academic freedom (which BTW Harvard endorsed despite attempts to get him removed) impinges his academic reputation.

Think about what you are saying, His merely positing that 2 objects that entered our solar system might be of artificial origin equates to his academic reputation being burned. The people you are agreeing with do not have the body of scholarly work, awards or grants that Avi Loeb has achieved which is what is his legacy and what a granting body looks at if he was to apply for a grant. If they reject his application on the basis of heresay from jealous colleagues they put themselves at risk of personal bias > merit


So, his previously earned laurels are enough to offset the lack of evidence for his claims? That's an example of argumentum ad verecundiam but it doesn't amount to a compelling argument for aliens visiting.

The lack of compelling evidence will continue to harm his legacy until someone can provide compelling evidence. You're not going to be that person so this discussion isn't going anywhere.


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11 Feb 2024, 11:23 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
So, his previously earned laurels are enough to offset the lack of evidence for his claims? That's an example of argumentum ad verecundiam but it doesn't amount to a compelling argument for aliens visiting.


You need to go back one step to the actual phenomena. If you don't like Avi Loeb why not use Angela Collier (the podcaster whom you shared).

Angela's first 3 minutes of her video were valid because she reiterated what Avi Loeb already said that the object entering the solar system is of unknown origin, had a strange unusual shape and was doing things that defy known properties of what we know (current astronomical paradigm). What she proceeded to do was speculate based on known paradigms what it could be. Despite exhaustive exploration we simply don't know anything about this object. Given current explanations don;t work, it is plausible to pose the possibility (however remote) that the object could be (not saying it is) artificial in origin based on its shape and its ability to escape from the solar system without gravity. This is within the bounds of the scientific method because the burden of proof is on Loeb to prove this. What he is frustrated about is he is not even allowed to ask that question.



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11 Feb 2024, 11:27 pm

cyberdad wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
So, his previously earned laurels are enough to offset the lack of evidence for his claims? That's an example of argumentum ad verecundiam but it doesn't amount to a compelling argument for aliens visiting.


You need to go back one step to the actual phenomena. If you don't like Avi Loeb why not use Angela Collier (the podcaster whom you shared).

Angela's first 3 minutes of her video were valid because she reiterated what Avi Loeb already said that the object entering the solar system is of unknown origin, had a strange unusual shape and was doing things that defy known properties of what we know (current astronomical paradigm). What she proceeded to do was speculate based on known paradigms what it could be. Despite exhaustive exploration we simply don't know anything about this object. Given current explanations don;t work, it is plausible to pose the possibility (however remote) that the object could be (not saying it is) artificial in origin based on its shape and its ability to escape from the solar system without gravity. This is within the bounds of the scientific method because the burden of proof is on Loeb to prove this. What he is frustrated about is he is not even allowed to ask that question.


A) You're confusing me with naturalplastic, he posted the video you're referring to.
B) No one is preventing Loeb from asking questions, but that doesn't mean others aren't allowed to think the premise behind the question Loeb asks is too weak to make it a worthwhile avenue of exploration.

It's fair to say we don't have a thorough understanding of the object.
It's not fair to say that's evidence it must be aliens.

When someone crosses into the latter they should expect to be derided by experts in the field, even if they themselves are also an expert in the field.


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cyberdad
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12 Feb 2024, 5:02 am

funeralxempire wrote:
B) No one is preventing Loeb from asking questions, but that doesn't mean others aren't allowed to think the premise behind the question Loeb asks is too weak to make it a worthwhile avenue of exploration.\


Why not? Loeb says hundreds of millions are spent testing a concept called string theory
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_theory

While the existence of a multiverse is plausible - the thing is there is no evidence for it. Yet hundred of millions are spent on researching this theory

It might be more fruitful looking for advanced forms of life > holes in the universe. Although if the latter does exist it's likely aliens have a superhighway to come and go as they please (to earth)