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Is ufology now a religion?
Posted: 13 October 2011 11:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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The thing that jumps out at me whenever discussions of ancient astronauts occur is the simple fact that while many ancient artifacts exists that could conceivably have been created by or about alien visitors, not one single artifact has ever been found that could only have been made using technology unknown to humans of the time. If the ancient E.T.‘s were careless enough with the “prime directive” to have left behind their runways in Central America and posed for ancient artists, you’d think somewhere one of them would have accidentally left behind a tricorder or phaser, or even a bit of some advanced alloy, wouldn’t you?

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Posted: 13 October 2011 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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DarronS - 13 October 2011 10:40 AM

Aliens from another universe would destroy our theory that nothing exists outside our universe, and that everything we can detect was born during the Big Bang. That includes time. If there is nothing outside our universe there is nowhere for these hypothetical aliens to reside.

Ah, got it! My mind was on galaxies…

Edit to add: Of course, there’s always string theory!  LOL

[ Edited: 13 October 2011 12:37 PM by traveler ]
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Posted: 13 October 2011 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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FreeInKy - 13 October 2011 11:24 AM

The thing that jumps out at me whenever discussions of ancient astronauts occur is the simple fact that while many ancient artifacts exists that could conceivably have been created by or about alien visitors, not one single artifact has ever been found that could only have been made using technology unknown to humans of the time. If the ancient E.T.‘s were careless enough with the “prime directive” to have left behind their runways in Central America and posed for ancient artists, you’d think somewhere one of them would have accidentally left behind a tricorder or phaser, or even a bit of some advanced alloy, wouldn’t you?

Or at least some alien porn!  tongue wink

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Posted: 13 October 2011 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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dougsmith - 13 October 2011 11:19 AM

I think one could call Joe Nickell many things, but “pompous” is not one of them. He comes across much more as avuncular. Von Däniken, OTOH, is quite clearly a knowing fraud and out for his own aggrandizement.

No, he is pompous. von Däniken only asked if Nazca could be some kind of a runway of an ancient airfield but Nickell solved (!) the problem by recreating one of the figures. Of course, the animal figures are really not the mystery here, but that’s how it usually goes among the arrogant know-it-alls.

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Posted: 13 October 2011 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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George - 13 October 2011 11:56 AM

No, he is pompous. von Däniken only asked if Nazca could be some kind of a runway of an ancient airfield but Nickell solved (!) the problem by recreating one of the figures. Of course, the animal figures are really not the mystery here, but that’s how it usually goes among the arrogant know-it-alls.

IIRC that was one of the issues they dealt with smashingly in the NOVA program about von Däniken: he claimed in one of the photos in his book that the toes of one of the animal figures were parking spaces for alien spaceships. (!) Only von Däniken had cropped the photo so you didn’t see the whole animal, and it wasn’t apparent from the photo that the spaceships would have to have been about a meter wide ... but those are the kinds of tricks he plays.

Nickell was trying to show that it didn’t take any special ‘alien-UFO’-type technology to construct these lines. They’re quite simple to produce.

For further info, HERE is Skepdic’s info on von Däniken. As always with Skepdic there are links at the bottom.

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Posted: 13 October 2011 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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Nickell was trying to prove everybody wrong, not only von Däniken, and he believes he succeeded (HERE): “In summary, we do know that it was the Nazcas who produced the drawings.” We obviously don’t know that.

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Posted: 13 October 2011 05:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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George - 13 October 2011 11:16 AM
DarronS - 13 October 2011 10:40 AM

Aliens from another universe would destroy our theory that nothing exists outside our universe, and that everything we can detect was born during the Big Bang. That includes time. If there is nothing outside our universe there is nowhere for these hypothetical aliens to reside.

You know perfectly well that Sandy misspoke and meant “outer space,” and not “outside of our universe.” But I guess you need to show us that you’re still working on your science degree, even though, in the process of it, it may include implicitly making fun of Sandy. But keep going…

At a time when theoretical physicists are seriously thinking about the possibility of multiple Universes intersecting our own in some hidden dimension - mostly, it’s true, in order to preserve the supposition that our “fine-tuned-for-life” Universe arose by sheer chance - it behooves us to take seriously the notion that aliens might reside in one or more of these “other” Universes.

Ah,yes, Joe Nickell. He was the guy who,with his bare face hanging out, tried to “explain” Ogopogo and other “lake monsters” as herds (flocks? gaggles?) of otters, swimming in perfect line-ahead formation with only the leader with his head above water, all the others swimming along with their heads underwater and their backs arched, and the tail-ender (sorry about that) with just his tail sticking up….. this vision gave me a good laugh, I can tell you.

I can also tell you that, though I’ve never seen Ogopogo (I live near Okanagan Lake), I’ve seen plenty of otters, and OTTERS SIMPLY DO NOT BEHAVE IN THAT WAY. I could more easily believe that there exist some largeish, hitherto undiscovered critters in various lakes, than that herds of otters would deliberately (or even accidentally) pretend to be such a one.

Okay, enough about otters, back to UFO’s. If, as has been claimed on this thread, rapid evolution depends on a short lifespan, how come mice don’t rule the planet? Longer lifespans give more time for individual learning and research, surely necessary in order to develop advanced technology.

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Posted: 13 October 2011 05:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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FreeInKy - 13 October 2011 11:24 AM

The thing that jumps out at me whenever discussions of ancient astronauts occur is the simple fact that while many ancient artifacts exists that could conceivably have been created by or about alien visitors, not one single artifact has ever been found that could only have been made using technology unknown to humans of the time.

Ummmm….. aluminum artifacts from ancient China??????

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Posted: 13 October 2011 06:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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Theflyingsorcerer - 13 October 2011 05:35 PM

Okay, enough about otters, back to UFO’s. If, as has been claimed on this thread, rapid evolution depends on a short lifespan, how come mice don’t rule the planet? Longer lifespans give more time for individual learning and research, surely necessary in order to develop advanced technology.

The shorter the life span, the faster the possibility of evolution. But as per my previous post, I disagree with Ocaam that slow pace of evolution (long life span) doesn’t allow for the development of higher intelligence. Of course, the organisms with the shortest life span are the most primitive.

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Posted: 13 October 2011 06:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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Theflyingsorcerer - 13 October 2011 05:35 PM

Okay, enough about otters, back to UFO’s. If, as has been claimed on this thread, rapid evolution depends on a short lifespan, how come mice don’t rule the planet?

How do you know they don’t?

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Posted: 13 October 2011 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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Theflyingsorcerer - 13 October 2011 05:35 PM
George - 13 October 2011 11:16 AM
DarronS - 13 October 2011 10:40 AM

Aliens from another universe would destroy our theory that nothing exists outside our universe, and that everything we can detect was born during the Big Bang. That includes time. If there is nothing outside our universe there is nowhere for these hypothetical aliens to reside.

You know perfectly well that Sandy misspoke and meant “outer space,” and not “outside of our universe.” But I guess you need to show us that you’re still working on your science degree, even though, in the process of it, it may include implicitly making fun of Sandy. But keep going…

At a time when theoretical physicists are seriously thinking about the possibility of multiple Universes intersecting our own in some hidden dimension - mostly, it’s true, in order to preserve the supposition that our “fine-tuned-for-life” Universe arose by sheer chance - it behooves us to take seriously the notion that aliens might reside in one or more of these “other” Universes.

Ah,yes, Joe Nickell. He was the guy who,with his bare face hanging out, tried to “explain” Ogopogo and other “lake monsters” as herds (flocks? gaggles?) of otters, swimming in perfect line-ahead formation with only the leader with his head above water, all the others swimming along with their heads underwater and their backs arched, and the tail-ender (sorry about that) with just his tail sticking up….. this vision gave me a good laugh, I can tell you.

I can also tell you that, though I’ve never seen Ogopogo (I live near Okanagan Lake), I’ve seen plenty of otters, and OTTERS SIMPLY DO NOT BEHAVE IN THAT WAY. I could more easily believe that there exist some largeish, hitherto undiscovered critters in various lakes, than that herds of otters would deliberately (or even accidentally) pretend to be such a one.

Okay, enough about otters, back to UFO’s. If, as has been claimed on this thread, rapid evolution depends on a short lifespan, how come mice don’t rule the planet? Longer lifespans give more time for individual learning and research, surely necessary in order to develop advanced technology.

That’s a big difference between you and someone like Nickell, you easily believe and he tries to find evidence.

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Posted: 13 October 2011 08:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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mid atlantic - 13 October 2011 07:53 PM

That’s a big difference between you and someone like Nickell, you easily believe and he tries to find evidence.

This thread serves as evidence that UFO belief is akin to religion. Never mind the absurdity of the belief, never mind the complete lack of empirical evidence, those who want to believe are going to stick to their beliefs. Showing where they are wrong just makes them believe even more strongly and attack those who point out where their thinking is wrong.

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Posted: 13 October 2011 11:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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DarronS - 13 October 2011 08:10 PM
mid atlantic - 13 October 2011 07:53 PM

That’s a big difference between you and someone like Nickell, you easily believe and he tries to find evidence.

This thread serves as evidence that UFO belief is akin to religion. Never mind the absurdity of the belief, never mind the complete lack of empirical evidence, those who want to believe are going to stick to their beliefs. Showing where they are wrong just makes them believe even more strongly and attack those who point out where their thinking is wrong.

If you guys are referring to me, then both of you are wildly adrift. Not to mention making unwarranted assumptions. Not to mention being bloody insulting.

As far as UFO’s and other anomalies are concerned, I’ve met with both wild-eyed believers who think every odd-shaped cloud is an alien spacecraft, and those who call themselves skeptics but who are really closed-minded True Believers in the “materialist-science-has-explained-everything” paradigm.

I belong to neither group. I’m simply a scientist (B.Sc.Geology, M.Sc.Oceanography) with an inquiring mind and a healthy degree of skepticism - by which I mean, for example, that I regard both the existence of “Ogopogo” and Joe Nickell’s pseudo-explanation of Ogopogo sightings as otters swimming with their heads underwater with equal skepticism. If you call the otter story “evidence” then you have a great deal to learn about science, my friends.

I don’t “believe” that UFO’s are alien spaceships. But neither do I give much credence to “official” pseudo-explanations such as swamp gas, Venus, hot-air balloons and “hallucinations” for many sightings. As far as I’m aware, sightings of Venus rarely cause conjunctivitis, and hallucinations don’t often cause car engines to malfunction.

And, yes, I’ve had my own UFO sighting - a green glowing disc, full-moon sized. No, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t an alien spaceship. Neither was it the moon (it moved), searchlights reflecting off clouds (no clouds), a balloon, any kind of aircraft I’m familiar with, ball lightning, a meteor - and I wasn’t on drugs at the time (well, maybe a drop of caffeine). And, yes, I’m fully familiar with the pseudoskeptic’s mantra, “eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable”, but if anyone tries to hit me with it, all I can say is “I was there; you weren’t”. I can offer no “explanation”; all I know is, on that day in 1974, something strange happened.

One thing I’m certain of; we don’t, yet, know everything. We need to remain open to the possibility that the Universe still has the potential to surprise us, and not facilely dismiss every anomalous occurrence as wild-eyed credulousness.

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Posted: 14 October 2011 05:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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Theflyingsorcerer - 13 October 2011 05:38 PM
FreeInKy - 13 October 2011 11:24 AM

The thing that jumps out at me whenever discussions of ancient astronauts occur is the simple fact that while many ancient artifacts exists that could conceivably have been created by or about alien visitors, not one single artifact has ever been found that could only have been made using technology unknown to humans of the time.

Ummmm….. aluminum artifacts from ancient China??????

I am aware of the existence of “out of place” artifacts. Two important points about these: First, given the huge volume of archaeological artifacts that exist, these make up a very tiny fraction. Isn’t it likely that most of them have explanations other than ancient astronauts? Second, although these artifacts in some cases appear to involve technology unknown to the humans living at the time the artifacts are thought to have been created, why are none of them beyond the capabilities of modern humans? Wouldn’t you assume a star-faring civilization to be centuries—millennia even—ahead of modern humanity?

A chunk of aluminum that might be from iron age China is very interesting and deserves further study, and could very well cause revisions to the history of metallurgy. But it would take something like a part from a transporter pod to make me think of an ancient astronaut.

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Posted: 14 October 2011 06:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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traveler - 13 October 2011 11:54 AM

Edit to add: Of course, there’s always string theory!  LOL

No, there are about 500 string conjectures. wink

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