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Poll
Question: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?
Yes   -3 (13.6%)
No   -6 (27.3%)
Probably   -1 (4.5%)
Probably not   -9 (40.9%)
Maybe   -3 (13.6%)
Total Voters: 22

Author Topic: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?  (Read 7408 times)
Draxas
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Re: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?
« Reply #45 on: March 08, 2012, 06:54:27 pm »

...to naturalistic claims of the origin of life...

Why did you want to derail this thread so badly? You should know better than to even mention this unless that was you intention (as you can see above).

Back to the point: Why would aliens be monitoring us? If sentient, starfaring life is common, then we're really wholly unremarkable in the grand scheme of things, and hardly worth observing until we achieve interstellar travel. If sentient, starfaring life is uncommon (or unique, in our case), then the universe is much too big a place to expect the small number of aliens out there to actually find us.
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Lukipela
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Re: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?
« Reply #46 on: March 08, 2012, 07:27:00 pm »

That said, I don't want to get into a huge discussion about this because it makes some of the mods here angry.

Not just the mods IIRC Smiley

Quite the coincidence, I was just browsing through the cool comic thread, the thing in the tree thread and the two headed thingamajig thread last week. Good times. I should visit this place more often.
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Death 999
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Re: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?
« Reply #47 on: March 09, 2012, 04:32:49 am »

Back to the point: Why would aliens be monitoring us? If sentient, starfaring life is common, then we're really wholly unremarkable in the grand scheme of things, and hardly worth observing until we achieve interstellar travel. If sentient, starfaring life is uncommon (or unique, in our case), then the universe is much too big a place to expect the small number of aliens out there to actually find us.

Oh come on. Don't you think there's a rather large medium ground? If there were, say, 10 alien races we could see, we would be monitoring them all closely. If there were 100, we would be monitoring them a bit less closely. We would be monitoring all of them to some extent all of the time. If there were 1000, we would still probably look at each one fairly frequently - not less than once a month, even for the least interesting ones. If there were 10 000, make that once a year. We'd still be monitoring them.
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onpon4
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Re: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?
« Reply #48 on: March 09, 2012, 07:58:24 am »

Oh come on. Don't you think there's a rather large medium ground? If there were, say, 10 alien races we could see, we would be monitoring them all closely. If there were 100, we would be monitoring them a bit less closely. We would be monitoring all of them to some extent all of the time. If there were 1000, we would still probably look at each one fairly frequently - not less than once a month, even for the least interesting ones. If there were 10 000, make that once a year. We'd still be monitoring them.

Space is huge. The Milky Way galaxy alone is around 100,000-120,000 lightyears in diameter. The closest star system to Sol, Alpha Centauri, is a little over 4 lightyears away. I don't see why it's such a silly position to say that it is incredibly unlikely for us to be found by intelligent aliens if intelligent aliens are rare. We certainly haven't.

You're just speculating with those numbers, by the way. They're completely arbitrary. They are also completely insubstantial to the point of "how in holy hell are they going to find us in this giant 100,000 lightyear disk?" or "if intelligent life is so common, what makes us so special?"

(As an aside, I don't get why SC2 uses "sentient" to mean "intelligent". It's bad English. I'm pretty sure ants and dragonflies are sentient just as well as humans.)
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Death 999
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Re: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?
« Reply #49 on: March 09, 2012, 12:37:14 pm »

Look

at

the

quote

I

was

responding

to.

Seriously. Quoting out of context and challenging someone's assumptions that were dragged in by someone else is REALLY annoying 'debate' technique.
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Draxas
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Re: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?
« Reply #50 on: March 09, 2012, 06:56:40 pm »

Honestly, I don't really think there's much of a medium ground at all. Either evolution toward sentience (i'm going to ignore that intelligent vs. sentient remark, since it adds nothing to this discussion. My cats are fairly intelligent, too.) is totally random and we just lucked out, which would make it very rare and us very difficult to find, or it's something that life tends to gravitate towards in its evolution, and we are just one of many untold sentient species and not terribly interesting considering how primitive we are. I can't think of any reasonable scenarios that support a state between those two extremes.
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onpon4
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Re: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?
« Reply #51 on: March 09, 2012, 10:41:33 pm »

Look

at

the

quote

I

was

responding

to.

Seriously. Quoting out of context and challenging someone's assumptions that were dragged in by someone else is REALLY annoying 'debate' technique.

I was quoting out of context because I removed the quote above you since most people don't like quote pyramids? Huh?

I even mentioned Draxas's post...
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 10:47:04 pm by onpon4 » Logged

ubericon
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Re: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?
« Reply #52 on: March 09, 2012, 11:47:50 pm »

I am watching this documentary series called Through the Wormhole ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1513168/ ).  Episode 6 season 1 ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1669753/ ) and episode 10 season 2 ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1931230/ ) are about alien life. Morgan Freeman is the narrator of the series, and I would highly recommend it.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 12:54:18 pm by ubericon » Logged
Death 999
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Re: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?
« Reply #53 on: March 10, 2012, 05:58:51 pm »

Honestly, I don't really think there's much of a medium ground at all. Either evolution toward sentience ... is totally random and we just lucked out, which would make it very rare and us very difficult to find, or it's something that life tends to gravitate towards in its evolution, and we are just one of many untold sentient species and not terribly interesting considering how primitive we are. I can't think of any reasonable scenarios that support a state between those two extremes.

Well... evolution itself gives you a middle ground between 'totally random' and 'tends to gravitate towards', doesn't it? Also, there are plenty of other dials to tweak in terms of number of sapient species running around. Even if the evolution of sapience is near-certain given the development of complex life, the number of sapient species active at any given time will be limited by the number of worlds on which life arises in the first place, the frequency with which life becomes complex, and the ability for civilizations to self-destruct, and the ability for civilizations to destroy each other. And there are a lot of systems out there. You're focusing on one factor of the Drake equation and ignoring all the others.
Even if this one is basically going to be 1 or 10^-6 and nothing in between, we could have anything from 1 to 1000 sapient races in the galaxy...

Also, even if millions of systems in the galaxy will develop sapient life and they never die off, and they are all patently obvious to everyone in the galaxy from the moment they arise... Think of what each one sees in turn as it rises. The first one sees no one. The second one sees one other. The third sees two others. The fourth sees three others, and so on.


I was quoting out of context because I removed the quote above you since most people don't like quote pyramids? Huh?

No, it was out of context because you were blaming me for pulling numbers out of nowhere when my numbers were generated (over a range of four orders of magnitude!!!!) in response to the supposition that life is common. It didn't make sense to say what you were saying in response to me in the light of what was said in advance, and it didn't make sense to say what you were saying TO the statement made in advance.
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Re: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?
« Reply #54 on: March 10, 2012, 09:26:05 pm »

No, it was out of context because you were blaming me for pulling numbers out of nowhere when my numbers were generated (over a range of four orders of magnitude!!!!) in response to the supposition that life is common. It didn't make sense to say what you were saying in response to me in the light of what was said in advance, and it didn't make sense to say what you were saying TO the statement made in advance.

What are you talking about? All I said was that your numbers were meaningless and arbitrary. I never "blamed" you for anything. It wasn't even the core of what I said in that post.
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Re: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?
« Reply #55 on: March 11, 2012, 05:12:47 am »

"You're just speculating with those numbers, by the way. They're completely arbitrary."

You were telling me I was just speculating, which kind of suggests that I didn't know in advance.

Yet those numbers span the plausible range of values for what could be considered applicable to the argument at hand. It isn't speculation - it's covering all the bases!
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onpon4
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Re: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?
« Reply #56 on: March 11, 2012, 04:48:14 pm »

"You're just speculating with those numbers, by the way. They're completely arbitrary."

You were telling me I was just speculating, which kind of suggests that I didn't know in advance.

Yet those numbers span the plausible range of values for what could be considered applicable to the argument at hand. It isn't speculation - it's covering all the bases!

All right, I'll humor you. If they're not arbitrary guesses, please share with me what they are based on.
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Re: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?
« Reply #57 on: March 11, 2012, 06:04:00 pm »

"You're just speculating with those numbers, by the way. They're completely arbitrary."

You were telling me I was just speculating, which kind of suggests that I didn't know in advance.

Yet those numbers span the plausible range of values for what could be considered applicable to the argument at hand. It isn't speculation - it's covering all the bases!

All right, I'll humor you. If they're not arbitrary guesses, please share with me what they are based on.

I think Death 999 knows he's making arbitrary guesses, speculatively, by covering all the bases. I think he just doesn't like when you -- onpon4 -- make it sound like he's doing that in a dishonest/idiotic manner, while your guesses can be just as arbitrary, like every guess ever made about the completely unknown.
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Re: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?
« Reply #58 on: March 11, 2012, 06:04:34 pm »

Yes, what Kwayne said.

I did not say that any of these numbers is true. I was denying an excluded middle. That's the opposite of speculation.

Obviously, <1 is rare, and that possibility had been acknowledged. The opposite possibility of 'too many to even try to keep track of' had just been put forward. I pointed out the possibilities of several, many, very many, and extremely many but still few enough to count. The post I was responding to denied the middle.
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Re: Do you believe that aliens are monitoring earth?
« Reply #59 on: March 11, 2012, 08:21:54 pm »

I think Death 999 knows he's making arbitrary guesses, speculatively, by covering all the bases. I think he just doesn't like when you -- onpon4 -- make it sound like he's doing that in a dishonest/idiotic manner, while your guesses can be just as arbitrary, like every guess ever made about the completely unknown.

Yes, what Kwayne said.

You thought I was trying to make you look dishonest/idiotic? I guess I can kind of see how you would infer that, but that wasn't my intent at all. I apologize for misunderstanding, but you misunderstood me, as well. What I was trying to say is that pulling arbitrary numbers out like that isn't an argument or grounds for argument. I didn't think you were being dishonest, but it's all too easy to just end up believing arbitrary guesses like those, or to use them as a basis for an argument where they don't belong. I was also worried you were already doing this, mostly because I saw no benefit your numbers had to your argument (which, in a nutshell, was "we'll always study all life even if it's common, we'll just study each individual one less if there's more of them", as I understand it).
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