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How do you feel about the subject of UFO's and Aliens??
Earth is the only planet in the universe that supports life. 3%  3%  [ 2 ]
I believe that there is probably life out in the universe, but UFO's and alien abductions are false. 53%  53%  [ 37 ]
I believe that there is life out in the universe and that UFO's and alien sightings are real. 33%  33%  [ 23 ]
I'm not sure. 11%  11%  [ 8 ]
Total votes : 70

Haliphron
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25 Jul 2008, 12:32 am

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Haliphron wrote:
twoshots:
As far as Relativity is concerned, surely you realize we are NOT talking about philosophy here were are talking about Science which requires Experimental verification on a theory before it can be accepted as fact

Science involves philosophy(scientific foundations began in philosophy, ya know), but his point is valid, you cannot empirically verify a universal within science. What experiment can prove that nothing can ever do something? Only an experiment that tested all things, and well, that is impossible especially given that it is unlikely we will ever know all things.


On the OTHER hand, an experiment in which a particle with mass is accelerated to the speed of light and beyond would disprove such a universal. I cannot help but wonder If such an experiment has tried.......one would thing so. As for this "ya know", Listen Bub:science and philosophy have diverged quite a bit in the last few centuries in case you havent noticed :D . Much of contemporary philosophy is NOT rigorous at all.



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25 Jul 2008, 3:15 pm

Haliphron wrote:
Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Haliphron wrote:
twoshots:
As far as Relativity is concerned, surely you realize we are NOT talking about philosophy here were are talking about Science which requires Experimental verification on a theory before it can be accepted as fact

Science involves philosophy(scientific foundations began in philosophy, ya know), but his point is valid, you cannot empirically verify a universal within science. What experiment can prove that nothing can ever do something? Only an experiment that tested all things, and well, that is impossible especially given that it is unlikely we will ever know all things.


On the OTHER hand, an experiment in which a particle with mass is accelerated to the speed of light and beyond would disprove such a universal.

Yes, that is the essence of falsifiability.
Quote:
I cannot help but wonder If such an experiment has tried.......one would thing so.

SR has been verified in a number of contexts: time dilation (classic example, muon decay) and length contraction have been observed, and non zero mass particles are accelerated to near c in some particle accelerators, so this seems to give ample opportunity to see if the energy predictions of SR hold.

Quote:
As for this "ya know", Listen Bub:science and philosophy have diverged quite a bit in the last few centuries in case you havent noticed :D . Much of contemporary philosophy is NOT rigorous at all.

On the contrary, science has had a closer relationship to philosophy in recent years than you might expect; falsifiability (being probably the most often cited criterion for demarcation of scientific propositions) was not formulated into its current from until Karl Popper's work in the early mid 1900s.


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25 Jul 2008, 3:47 pm

Haliphron wrote:
sartresue wrote:
Believe it or...topic

I suppose a person can believe in anything, evidence notwithstanding. But I am skeptical of irrefutable evidence that aliens have landed or UFOs have entered our world. I will wait for substantiations form SETI before I get all excited about extraterrestrial life. :wink:


Cant comment on the Belgian Triangle incident of 1990? NO ETs were spotted and there was no communication with the Object but its dubious that Aerospace technology of the time was advanced enough to build a vehicle with such manuverability. Nonetheless, if you're waiting for SETI you could be waiting a LOooooooong time my friend :wink: . Space is vast, radiowaves are pretty slow AND dont forget the dispersion factor of radio signals as the travel through outer space.

I think SETI will concentrate on those regions where planets will be found, as scientists are looking for planets similar to earth or at least rocky planets, not sure if they are doing it already, rather than waiting signals from random space.

Technology will have to evolve more in order to be able to see clearer images or detect objects from distant space in any form, if artificial artifacts like satellites or so are detected in orbit around a planet then that could be taken as evidence. But lots of years from that to happen I think.


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25 Jul 2008, 4:57 pm

MSNBC Technology & Science wrote:
Solar systems like ours may be rare
A new study indicates that our setup may be quite unique indeed
<LINK TO STORY>


This article seems to indicate that there is less than a 10% chance of finding Earth-like planets that are merely capable of supporting life. This would lower the possibility of an inhabited Earth-like planet, and put the chance of a civilization as advanced as ours even lower than that.

If we cascade the chances - let's say 10% - then...

10% chance (1/10) of finding Earth-like planets that are merely capable of supporting life.
10% x 10% = 1% chance (1/100) of finding an Earth-like planet that supports life.
10% x 10% x 10% = 0.1% chance (1/1000) of finding an Earth-like civilization on an Earth-like planet.

So, roughly 1 out of the nearest 1000 Class G2-V stars might have an Earth-like planet that supports a civilization similar to ours ... and we're it. We'd have to look even further afield than we are now, since only 140 stars within 20 parsecs (65 light years) are similar to our Sun in color, size and temperature. Project Phoenix is searching a spherical volume of space 200 light-years across, centered on Earth, and focussing on all G dwarfs in the spectral range from G0-V to G9-V.

They will also have to concentrate their efforts on single-star systems, or systems where the stars are so widely separated that the radiation from one star will not appreciably affect conditions on an Earth-like planet orbiting the other star. They must also eliminate any binary systems in which one star is a white dwarf, because they are more likely to be the remnants of supernovas that have blasted any nearby planets out of existance.

The odds are getting longer and longer... :(


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25 Jul 2008, 5:14 pm

Im extremely skeptical of articles claiming that solar systems like our are rare as More and More planets around distant stars are being detected using (optical)interferometry :wink:. What Ive been thinking of lately us the possible use of Radio Astronomy to detect kilometric radiation from distant worlds. Its been estimated that perhaps most stars have planets orbiting them. But Fnord, do you have ANY idea how difficult it is to detect terrestrial planets close in mass to the Earth around distant stars??? It would be pretty much impossible to detect Earth-sized worlds around stars more than 1000 lightyears away by interferometry.

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Haliphron wrote:
twoshots:
As far as Relativity is concerned, surely you realize we are NOT talking about philosophy here were are talking about Science which requires Experimental verification on a theory before it can be accepted as fact

Science involves philosophy(scientific foundations began in philosophy, ya know), but his point is valid, you cannot empirically verify a universal within science. What experiment can prove that nothing can ever do something? Only an experiment that tested all things, and well, that is impossible especially given that it is unlikely we will ever know all things.


Well the, WHY should a theory which predicts a universal negative be accepted as automatically being True??
If there were no exerperimental data to work with than its nothing more than a possibility!



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25 Jul 2008, 5:23 pm

Haliphron wrote:
Im extremely skeptical of articles claiming that solar systems like our are rare as More and More planets around distant stars are being detected using (optical)interferometry :wink:. What Ive been thinking of lately us the possible use of Radio Astronomy to detect kilometric radiation from distant worlds. Its been estimated that perhaps most stars have planets orbiting them. But Fnord, do you have ANY idea how difficult it is to detect terrestrial planets close in mass to the Earth around distant stars??? It would be pretty much impossible to detect Earth-sized worlds around stars more than 1000 lightyears away by interferometry.

The trouble with the planets that are being detected is that they are all much too large, and much too hot to support life.

As for kilometric radiation ... do you mean radio emissions that have kilometer-long wavelengths? That would be about 300KHz, which is below our standard AM broadcast band. A directional antenna for this frequency would be larger than most major cities.

Yes, I know how difficult it is to detect Earth-like planets around stars as close as 10 light-years away. Something like trying to detect a dust-speck on a spotlight from 10 miles away in Los Angeles while using a pair of binoculars.

But it could be done.


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25 Jul 2008, 8:04 pm

Haliphron wrote:
As for this "ya know", Listen Bub:science and philosophy have diverged quite a bit in the last few centuries in case you havent noticed :D . Much of contemporary philosophy is NOT rigorous at all.

What???? Science didn't exist until the last few centuries if you haven't noticed. In fact, Bertrand Russell, a philosopher and huge fan of science, noted that in his book on the History of Western Philosophy. Much of contemporary philosophy is INCREDIBLY rigorous and by FAR more so than past philosophy(unless you really think that past philosophers were really the embodiment of logical proofs). If you think it is not so, then you are looking too much upon Derrida and not upon the work of analytical philosophers, who are the major academics in the west.

Quote:
Well the, WHY should a theory which predicts a universal negative be accepted as automatically being True??
If there were no exerperimental data to work with than its nothing more than a possibility!

The simple answer is that nothing should be automatically accepted as true. The issue is that even though the possibility of Theory X < 1, that does not mean that the possibility of A, a fact that cannot coexist with Theory X, is very significant. The real fact of the matter is that science mostly deals with possibilities, frankly, a scientist cannot make a lot of absolute claims, such as the one you ask for, but that does not mean that scientific theories should be disregarded simply because their expected probability of truth is less than 1. What is needed is an epistemology that accepts most truth claims as tentative, and such is no fallacy to seek.



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25 Jul 2008, 9:44 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Haliphron wrote:
As for this "ya know", Listen Bub:science and philosophy have diverged quite a bit in the last few centuries in case you havent noticed :D . Much of contemporary philosophy is NOT rigorous at all.

What???? Science didn't exist until the last few centuries if you haven't noticed. In fact, Bertrand Russell, a philosopher and huge fan of science, noted that in his book on the History of Western Philosophy. Much of contemporary philosophy is INCREDIBLY rigorous and by FAR more so than past philosophy(unless you really think that past philosophers were really the embodiment of logical proofs). If you think it is not so, then you are looking too much upon Derrida and not upon the work of analytical philosophers, who are the major academics in the west.

Quote:
Well the, WHY should a theory which predicts a universal negative be accepted as automatically being True??
If there were no exerperimental data to work with than its nothing more than a possibility!

The simple answer is that nothing should be automatically accepted as true. The issue is that even though the possibility of Theory X < 1, that does not mean that the possibility of A, a fact that cannot coexist with Theory X, is very significant. The real fact of the matter is that science mostly deals with possibilities, frankly, a scientist cannot make a lot of absolute claims, such as the one you ask for, but that does not mean that scientific theories should be disregarded simply because their expected probability of truth is less than 1. What is needed is an epistemology that accepts most truth claims as tentative, and such is no fallacy to seek.



Im aware that there are rigorous areas of philosophy, such as first-order logic. But there are also is quite a bit of philosophy that is NOT, such as Postmodernism. Now excuse me, but Science certainly DID exist before the last few centuries!
I am aware of the scientific revolution, but the philosophical foundations of Western science and Logic date back to ancient Greece-starting of course with Sokratis. Betrand Russell was a LOGICIAN. I can think of a whole slew of philosophers in the last 200 years who have preached pseudoscience, such as Hegel and Nietzsche. MODERN science can be traced back to Sir Francis Bacon. The modern scientific method has been traced back to the medieval persian polymath Al-Haytham. In fact, Science as we know it goes ALL the way back to Ancient China 8O . Also, what are the sources of what you are talking about in the 2nd paragraphy-I'd like to see you justify it logically. But this whole subject is a birdwalk. twoshots made claims that "FTL is a pipe dream" and that "relativity is right" and I demanded a justification for those claims that uses experimental data rather than pure philosophical logic. The impossiblity of FTL is treated by modern physics as an axiom and I seriously call this into question. Looking at the math behind SR suggests that travelling at lightspeed is impossible for any object with nonzero mass, FTL travel may actually not be impossible after all.



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25 Jul 2008, 10:28 pm

Haliphron wrote:
Im aware that there are rigorous areas of philosophy, such as first-order logic. But there are also is quite a bit of philosophy that is NOT, such as Postmodernism. Now excuse me, but Science certainly DID exist before the last few centuries!

Right, and I already mentioned Postmodernism, as Derrida is one of it's major thinkers. Focusing on postmodernism is a bit of a distraction though as it is not an idea upheld by most major philosophers, and one that has been derided by a number of them assuredly. Alchemy existed before the last few centuries, and there have been early scientific workings, but science had nowhere as much prominence or power as it did in a more liberal modern era. Heck, the empirical data that you point to so forcefully now was not considered very important in the West for centuries before the Empiricists became more popular in Britain, and this was due to the pre-eminence of logic stressed by Greek philosophers.
Quote:
I am aware of the scientific revolution, but the philosophical foundations of Western science and Logic date back to ancient Greece-starting of course with Sokratis. Betrand Russell was a LOGICIAN. I can think of a whole slew of philosophers in the last 200 years who have preached pseudoscience, such as Hegel and Nietzsche. MODERN science can be traced back to Sir Francis Bacon. The modern scientific method has been traced back to the medieval persian polymath Al-Haytham. In fact, Science as we know it goes ALL the way back to Ancient China 8O . Also, what are the sources of what you are talking about in the 2nd paragraphy-I'd like to see you justify it logically. But this whole subject is a birdwalk. twoshots made claims that "FTL is a pipe dream" and that "relativity is right" and I demanded a justification for those claims that uses experimental data rather than pure philosophical logic. The impossiblity of FTL is treated by modern physics as an axiom and I seriously call this into question. Looking at the math behind SR suggests that travelling at lightspeed is impossible for any object with nonzero mass, FTL travel may actually not be impossible after all.

I know that much. Bertrand Russell was a philosopher, and logic is merely a discipline of philosophy.

Umm.... I was not aware that Nietzsche really considered himself a scientist so much as he thought himself right on everything he said. And frankly, to get into the game of pointing to various philosophers and claim that they weren't scientists is rather inane, especially given that the figures are more of an interest in the history of philosophy than they necessarily share in the analytical tradition, which basically excluded the crackpots.

Right, and I would trace modern science to that same source. Ok.... so? Look, science has deep roots, you are taking my rather off-handed claim to the extreme by pointing to figures from a thousand years back and who had ideas that never rose to the prominence necessary to really make science as an entity exist at their periods of time.

The sources? I am using plain and simple logic, no source necessary. The reasoning is put forward pretty plain and simple, and the epistemology I am asking for is simply a falsificationist one, such as what twoshots is promoting.

Ummm.... if all things have mass, and travelling at the speed of light demands a lack of mass, then we certainly have a major problem.



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25 Jul 2008, 11:09 pm

Quote:
The impossiblity of FTL is treated by modern physics as an axiom and I seriously call this into question. Looking at the math behind SR suggests that travelling at lightspeed is impossible for any object with nonzero mass, FTL travel may actually not be impossible after all.

Not quite.

The impossibility of the speed of light is a consequence of 2 things: 1) the first postulate of SR, that c is measured be the same in all reference frames (I'm pretty sure the formula for relativistic kinetic energy follows immediately from that); and 2) the assumption of causality (because, if you work out the lorentz transformations, if you have, say, tachyons carrying a signal at superluminal speeds, then you can have causality paradoxes; see: the tachyonic antitelephone.


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25 Jul 2008, 11:18 pm

Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up
July 24, 2008 12:01am

FORMER NASA astronaut and moon-walker Dr Edgar Mitchell - a veteran of the Apollo 14 mission - has stunningly claimed aliens exist.

And he says extra-terrestrials have visited Earth on several occasions - but the alien contact has been repeatedly covered up by governments for six decades.

Dr Mitchell, 77, said during a radio interview that sources at the space agency who had had contact with aliens described the beings as 'little people who look strange to us.'

He said supposedly real-life ET's were similar to the traditional image of a small frame, large eyes and head.

Chillingly, he claimed our technology is "not nearly as sophisticated" as theirs and "had they been hostile", he warned "we would be been gone by now".

Dr Mitchell, along with with Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard, holds the record for the longest ever moon walk, at nine hours and 17 minutes following their 1971 mission.

"I happen to have been privileged enough to be in on the fact that we've been visited on this planet and the UFO phenomena is real," Dr Mitchell said.

"It's been well covered up by all our governments for the last 60 years or so, but slowly it's leaked out and some of us have been privileged to have been briefed on some of it.

"I've been in military and intelligence circles, who know that beneath the surface of what has been public knowledge, yes - we have been visited. Reading the papers recently, it's been happening quite a bit."


Dr Mitchell, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering and a Doctor of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics claimed Roswell was real and similar alien visits continue to be investigated.

He told the astonished Kerrang! radio host Nick Margerrison: "This is really starting to open up. I think we're headed for real disclosure and some serious organisations are moving in that direction."

Mr Margerrison said: "I thought I'd stumbled on some sort of astronaut humour but he was absolutely serious that aliens are definitely out there and there's no debating it."

Officials from NASA, however, were quick to play the comments down.

In a statement, a spokesman said: "NASA does not track UFOs. NASA is not involved in any sort of cover up about alien life on this planet or anywhere in the universe.

'Dr Mitchell is a great American, but we do not share his opinions on this issue.'


http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,24 ... 62,00.html



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26 Jul 2008, 1:58 am

twoshots wrote:
Quote:
The impossiblity of FTL is treated by modern physics as an axiom and I seriously call this into question. Looking at the math behind SR suggests that travelling at lightspeed is impossible for any object with nonzero mass, FTL travel may actually not be impossible after all.

Not quite.

The impossibility of the speed of light is a consequence of 2 things: 1) the first postulate of SR, that c is measured be the same in all reference frames (I'm pretty sure the formula for relativistic kinetic energy follows immediately from that); and 2) the assumption of causality (because, if you work out the lorentz transformations, if you have, say, tachyons carrying a signal at superluminal speeds, then you can have causality paradoxes; see: the tachyonic antitelephone.


Tis true. The first assumption has been tested experimentally and appears to be accurate. The second assumption though, is increasingly being questioned by modern physics. Especially on the quantum level. But if you are familiar with General Relativity, such a theory does provide a means of travelling to distant parts of the Cosmos in a MUCH shorter amount of time than it would take to travel to them directly which is effectively superluminal but does not violate causality. The way this would be done would be *Warping* spacetime and shortening the physical distance between them. The whole concept of Wormholes is derived from general relativity.



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26 Jul 2008, 12:25 pm

Unfortunately, what appears to operate at the quantum level, and only with discrete energy packets, does not work at the ordinary level. While it may seem that a single photon violated the lightspeed limit, no one has ever succeeded in doing the same thing with even a single piece of matter, much less an entire "landing party."

Kirk will wait forever for Scotty to beam him up.


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26 Jul 2008, 1:54 pm

Fnord wrote:
Unfortunately, what appears to operate at the quantum level, and only with discrete energy packets, does not work at the ordinary level. While it may seem that a single photon violated the lightspeed limit, no one has ever succeeded in doing the same thing with even a single piece of matter, much less an entire "landing party."

Kirk will wait forever for Scotty to beam him up.


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Last edited by Haliphron on 27 Jul 2008, 5:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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27 Jul 2008, 12:48 am

Larree wrote:
Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up
July 24, 2008 12:01am

FORMER NASA astronaut and moon-walker Dr Edgar Mitchell - a veteran of the Apollo 14 mission - has stunningly claimed aliens exist.


It's probably worth noting that there is no reason to take his view more seriously than that of a random person. The fact that he has been in space is irrelevant. When it comes to an area in which we have no real knowledge, an astronaut is as good a source as a carpenter.


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27 Jul 2008, 11:32 am

Doc_Daneeka wrote:
Larree wrote:
Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up
July 24, 2008 12:01am

FORMER NASA astronaut and moon-walker Dr Edgar Mitchell - a veteran of the Apollo 14 mission - has stunningly claimed aliens exist.


It's probably worth noting that there is no reason to take his view more seriously than that of a random person. The fact that he has been in space is irrelevant. When it comes to an area in which we have no real knowledge, an astronaut is as good a source as a carpenter.


Well, even so, what reason would he even have to make these statements? Perhaps he always wanted to shout "fire" in a crowded theater? I get a kick out of it. I personally know that we, I mean "they," do travel through space using concepts and technologies that are way beyond our wildest scifi theories! Yeah, Beam me up!