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How you rate it ?
Possible... Propability indeterminate... 10
Possible... but very unlikely... 24
Absolutely impossible... 4
Total Votes: 38
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UFO/ET… How sceptic are you ?
Posted: 04 August 2010 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]
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How would you rate the possibility that some of the reported UFO sightings
might be real ET vehicles and or that some of the ET abductions might be
real ET abductions ?

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Posted: 04 August 2010 01:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I suppose it’s possible, but I find it extremely unlikely.

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Posted: 04 August 2010 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Dead Monky - 04 August 2010 01:13 PM

I suppose it’s possible, but I find it extremely unlikely.

Ditto here, why ‘aliens’ would travel thousands of light years to diddle the anus’ of humans out in the middle of nowhere, and leave crop circles is beyond me. You would think that a civilization as advanced as they would have to be, would find better things to do with their expensive time.

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Posted: 04 August 2010 01:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Ditto here, why ‘aliens’ would travel thousands of light years to diddle the anus’ of humans out in the middle of nowhere, and leave crop circles is beyond me. You would think that a civilization as advanced as they would have to be, would find better things to do with their expensive time.

Maybe they’re a race of bored, rich, d-bags that travel the galaxy being dicks to less advanced races.

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Posted: 04 August 2010 02:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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it seems that the sheer number of galaxies and solar systems in the universe would lend itself to the conclusion that there are other places conducive for life - but they certainly aren’t out to play pranks on us with their crop circles.

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Posted: 04 August 2010 04:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I would have preferred that you give a more nuanced list of choices.  On a scale of zero to ten, with the last choice being zero and the middle choice being five I would have chosen one.  However, I was forced to choose the third choice. 

While I feel it’s quite likely that there are a great number other worlds with conditions similar to ours which have developed life, and at least some of that life has developed intelligence.  The main problem is the huge distance between stars.  As such, I think it’s highly unlikely that any of us, the intelligent beings on any planet, will be able to traverse those distances.

Occam

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Posted: 04 August 2010 06:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I too find it extremely unlikely, so I voted for Impossible. The distances are too vast, and there is zero chance of any kind of return on investment traveling between the stars. There are other problems too, starting with building an interstellar ship reliable enough to get the crew to another star system alive. Then there is the problem of finding another likely place to visit. How are you going to choose a destination? Even if you do find a signal from another civilization, building an interstellar ship is an enormous resource investment, and the trip will take thousands of years, which brings us back to the reliability issue. How many spare parts can one ship carry? You’ll also need enough fuel to accelerate and decelerate. Assuming you can refuel at your destination will halve the amount of fuel you’ll need, but the requirement will still be mind boggling.

The possibility of interstellar travel rounds to zero.

[ Edited: 04 August 2010 07:07 PM by DarronS ]
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Posted: 04 August 2010 06:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Question is how we interpret these three options. I assumed that “Impossible” was a zero probability. E.g., like the probability that 1 + 1 = 3. E.g., the sort of thing that we can logically prove not to be the case.

Given that, I chose #2: it’s strictly speaking possible, but very unlikely. (Say, less than 1% chance).

OTOH if you interpret #3 as a real but very small chance, like .000001%, and option #2 as say 5%, then I’d opt for #3.

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Posted: 05 August 2010 01:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Uhm… What I meant with the choises:

1. Its possible but how likely or unlikely it is, is not something that we primitive
  hairless monkeys can really determine… yet…

2. Its possible and we with our more or less inflated sense of self importance
  think we can already say something about the propability and we think its
  extremely low…

3. Absolutely impossible… We are so sure of our selves now after only few of
  decades after the first space flights that we presume to already know what
  is ultimately possible for us and for everything else, anywhere, anytime…
  (Just like we used to know that if you sail too far west you will fall over the
  edge of the earth…)

Its not about whether or not you believe in ET visitations… I presume nobody
here do, its just about how absolute are you in your sceptisism…

[ Edited: 05 August 2010 01:51 AM by AdrX ]
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Posted: 05 August 2010 02:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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You must be British, Americans spell the word ‘skeptic’.

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Posted: 05 August 2010 03:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Nope… I am neither… English isn’t my native tongue…

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Posted: 05 August 2010 04:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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AdrX - 05 August 2010 01:46 AM

Uhm… What I meant with the choises:

1. Its possible but how likely or unlikely it is, is not something that we primitive
  hairless monkeys can really determine… yet…

2. Its possible and we with our more or less inflated sense of self importance
  think we can already say something about the propability and we think its
  extremely low…

3. Absolutely impossible… We are so sure of our selves now after only few of
  decades after the first space flights that we presume to already know what
  is ultimately possible for us and for everything else, anywhere, anytime…
  (Just like we used to know that if you sail too far west you will fall over the
  edge of the earth…)

Its not about whether or not you believe in ET visitations… I presume nobody
here do, its just about how absolute are you in your sceptisism…

Right, OK. I think I’d still opt for #2: probability extremely low.

I should add that while it is against the laws of physics to travel faster than light, and to do many of the things one finds on shows like Star Trek, it is not strictly speaking against any physical laws to build multi-generational ships that could travel between the stars. There would be formidable obstacles to doing so, and they would be prohibitively expensive at this point, but I don’t see anything that would make them literally impossible.

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Posted: 05 August 2010 05:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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dougsmith - 05 August 2010 04:30 AM

I should add that while it is against the laws of physics to travel faster than light…

Obviously there are no way we could do it now, and its possible that it is ultimately
completely impossible… but I have been under impression that even now there are
some theoretical ideas that might allow FTL travel, theories which can’t be proven
or disproven at this time… like Alcubierre drive and traversable wormhole…

So is it unreasonable to believe (at this time) that it might be possible for some ET
civilization that maybe many thousands or even millions of years ahead to have
actually implemented something like that… (not implying they been here even if
they could have…)

...

While this line from MIB isn’t entirely true (people didn’t really think earth was
flat 500 years ago, and… but still…)

“Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the
universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and
fifteen minutes ago, you knew… Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.”

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Posted: 05 August 2010 06:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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AdrX - 05 August 2010 05:06 AM
dougsmith - 05 August 2010 04:30 AM

I should add that while it is against the laws of physics to travel faster than light…

Obviously there are no way we could do it now, and its possible that it is ultimately
completely impossible… but I have been under impression that even now there are
some theoretical ideas that might allow FTL travel, theories which can’t be proven
or disproven at this time… like Alcubierre drive and traversable wormhole…

Strictly speaking neither of these proposed technologies allows you to travel faster than light over local space. They depend on either warping spacetime itself or finding/creating holes in it to travel through. While they aren’t ruled out by the laws of physics, so far as we understand them, the technologies necessary to produce an Alcubierre drive or a wormhole would involve so much matter and energy as to be practically impossible.

Though of course one never knows with a billion-year-old civilization or the like. But then, if we’re hypothesizing about billion-year-old civilizations we might as well just assume we’ve got the physics wrong somehow and be done with it, since we’re so far out in the realm of speculation that it’s hard to know what to say. But then that’s why I chose #2. (Speaking as someone who enjoys SF as much as the next guy).

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Posted: 05 August 2010 06:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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AdrX - 05 August 2010 05:06 AM

...but I have been under impression that even now there are
some theoretical ideas that might allow FTL travel, theories which can’t be proven
or disproven at this time… like Alcubierre drive and traversable wormhole…

If they cannot be proven or disproven they are not theories, they are speculation. Find a copy of The Physics of Star Trek by Lawrence Krauss and you’ll understand why these ideas will not work. Accelerating even a tiny amount of mass to near light speed takes tremendous amounts of energy, which is the reason the Large Hadron Collider is so large, complex and expensive. Accelerating an interstellar ship to near light speed would take more energy than exists in the Universe. Further, the Alcubierre drive requires some way to create a path of warped spacetime before a ship can traverse the path. This means one ship goes first, creates the warped spacetime, then a second ship follows the path. That is a pretty inefficient way of traveling. As for wormholes, they are mathematical curiosities, and as soon as you introduce mass into the equations the wormhole collapses.

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Posted: 05 August 2010 06:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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dougsmith - 05 August 2010 06:22 AM

Though of course one never knows with a billion-year-old civilization or the like.
But then, if we’re hypothesizing about billion-year-old civilizations we might as
well just assume we’ve got the physics wrong somehow and be done with it…

And we should IMO… :D

When thinking about the question could ET be here, we shouldn’t assign
our own limitations to them like that… we should assume that they could
do things that seem impossible to us, rather we should look inwards, at
your our selves and our own limitations and think about how our limits
affect such possibility…

For example this: can’t go faster than light, and because of that distances
are too huge argument do apply, but not in the way most people think IMO

It applies to us, not them…

That is… even if there is some super advanced race out there that could
travel across the galaxy or even between galaxies, it still wouldn’t make
much difference, because we can’t do it… everything we have ever sent
out into the stars, we have sent withing the last 100 years, and none of
it is going faster than light… So if some ET is looking for signs of some
technological civilization, there is nothing to see here…

[ Edited: 05 August 2010 07:09 AM by AdrX ]
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