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healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 9, 2013 - 10:38am PT
It isn't a matter of "making this stuff up" - it's a matter of people's conjecture for events they can't explain and the group / social dynamics when more than one person is involved. Having had to fact check as part of my work in the past and having volunteered on a crisis intervention team I can tell you that journalists, psych counselors and lawyers don't take what folks think they saw, heard, and experienced at face value. It gets down to the concept of 'reliable witness'.

TB: but i still can't make sense of the second thing you seem to be saying: "how would you know we were here to begin with".

Light and radio waves only travel so fast. Even if an 'advanced civilization' had the means of traveling here (really?), how would they know to come here as opposed to anywhere else? Remember, it's a big univers and galaxy and we're nothing, nowhere, and only been around for a blink in that context. We really haven't been here long enough to advertise or broadcast our presence to any real distances let alone attract so much attention from so many of these 'advanced civilizations' that we've turned into a veritable Union Station for alien visitations (if one was to take the rate and kinds of UFO 'sightings' at face value as bonafide alien craft).
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Jan 9, 2013 - 11:01am PT
your explanation might work for a unique episode, healyje, but when a repetitive pattern emerges, you fight the tide.

you have to remember that allen hynek wasn't a scientific nobody. he was a high profile scientist brought aboard to "debunk". within two years, the air force had to try to debunk him, and did a very poor job of it. what hynek recognized was patterns in evidence. when those emerge, a good scientist ought to know that he's on a trail.

you seem to be assuming certain parameters which have fallen by the wayside over the past 20 years in astronomy. we've already picked out a number of prime candidates among our galactic neighbors. you're also far behind on the--admitted--speculations of advanced physics about three- and four-dimensional shortcuts, as well as the recent suggestion that the speed of light itself is a relative thing.

another very dangerous assumption is that an alien culture would be friendly--poor stephen hawking seems to have lost a little sleep worrying that it might not be--and that they don't know about us. i think that archaeological evidence has become overwhelming that "they" have known damn well about us all along.
rectorsquid

climber
Lake Tahoe
Jan 9, 2013 - 11:10am PT
47% of Americans believe in creationism

ig·no·rant
/ˈignərənt/
Adjective
Lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.
Lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular: "ignorant of astronomy".

They are only ignorant if they do not know and understand the theories of evolution. That is, if you are suggesting that is the area of their ignorance. If they know all about something and choose to not accept it then maybe "ignorant" is not the best word for it.

I would agree that large numbers of people that believe in creationism don't know much about science but then there are probably a lot of atheists that are also ignorant in that same regard.

If you want to insult creationists, just use words like dumba$$, which is what you are thinking anyhow. Making the insult sound enlightened doesn't hide the intent.

Dave
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 9, 2013 - 11:25am PT
TB: your explanation might work for a unique episode, healyje, but when a repetitive pattern emerges, you fight the tide.

There is no "tide", just human nature and that covers all tides just fine.

TB: hynek recognized was patterns in evidence.

No, Hynek recognized patterns in the material and testimonies presented him, none of which rose to the level of 'evidence' which was exactly his problem as a scientist.

TB: you seem to be assuming certain parameters which have fallen by the wayside over the past 20 years in astronomy. we've already picked out a number of prime candidates among our galactic neighbors. you're also far behind on the--admitted--speculations of advanced physics about three- and four-dimensional shortcuts, as well as the recent suggestion that the speed of light itself is a relative thing.

Not at all, and we haven't picked out any "prime candidates (drama)" - why would you even use such verbiage? We're just at the 'is it a rock?' stage of the Kepler mission as opposed to the 'is there life?' stage. And as far as "speculations of advanced physics" goes - nothing about it constitutes or suggests practical applications for inter- or intra-galactic [time] travel at the moment.

TB: another very dangerous assumption is that an alien culture would be friendly--poor stephen hawking seems to have lost a little sleep worrying that they may not be--and that they don't know about us. i think that archaeological evidence has become overwhelming that "they" have known damn well about us all along.

"dangerous? Again with the drama. But Stephen's point get's to the heart of the matter as far as common sense motivations and intents for visiting the Earth - if you had the means. Why would you go to all the trouble, find us, and then just whirl about in the shadows? It's ludicrous. It would be like Europeans coming to the Americas and three hundred years later we're still a native society with myths and continual 'sightings' of creepy white folks and strange floating cities. Get real. Good or evil - no one's going to the trouble and expense of getting here to play hide-and-seek for sixty or six thousand years.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 9, 2013 - 11:46am PT
Tony, please answer why, in this day and age where nearly everyone carries a high resolution camera system with geolocation and instant web uploads, that more "UFO" sightings are not reported?

In fact, there seem to be much less these days.

Please refrain from using the "world government conspiracy" to suppress the information, it is a ludicrous concept, even the most repressive governments have a great deal of trouble doing so in their own countries.

"Anyway, I have to argue about flying saucers on the beach with people, you know. And I was interested in this: they keep arguing that it is possible. And that's true. It is possible. They do not appreciate that the problem is not to demonstrate whether it's possible or not but whether it's going on or not."
Richard Feynman, The Meaning of It All : Thoughts of a Citizen Scientist (1998)
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 9, 2013 - 11:52am PT
Healyje, it is absolutely amazing how fast the technology of gene therapy is advancing. A year ago we thought that the zinc finger protein and TALON based techniques were revolutionary. Now we have Cas9, which could be as revolutionary as a transistor was in electronics. I wouldn’t be surprised if within 10 years gene therapy goes mainstream. The technology is already here and several clinical trials are under way including HIV. There is also a significant progress in the stem cells based therapeutics. Those two will transform the medicine as we know it.

At Bayer we created a gene delivery system, which was just a first step in gene therapy. Cutting out a defective gene and inserting another one is something else entirely. Thank you for posting those links!
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Jan 9, 2013 - 12:28pm PT
thing is, ed, they are reported and recorded and are all over the internet on ufo pages, where they are promptly attacked by "debunkers".

personally, i don't brook much with photographic evidence, which for good reason is not admissible in a court of law. photographs are easily hoaxed and doctored, even more so these days than in the past. other evidence far outstrips what's available photographically. if you know the first thing about the "phoenix lights", that's solid evidence. if you know the first thing about the spin-doctoring afterwards, you might start to get savvy about how these things are being handled. please don't put your term--"world government conspiracy"--into my mouth. the pattern which you ought to be seeing is obvious, public experience of unusual phenomena, and then an authoritarian full-court press to downplay it which never deals with the experience realistically.

we have picked out "prime candidates", healyje, and there's no drama involved. it seems every new issue of the astronomy journals tells us about newly discovered planets around nearby stars and how great they'd be for having life forms.
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 9, 2013 - 12:56pm PT
Tony B, to suppress the evidence of extraterrestrials interacting with humans on the scale you implied would involve cooperation of various different organizations and governments of different countries. We can’t even agree on how to deal with the US debt!

When multiple explanations exist, the simplest one is usually the correct one. Consulted by William of Ockham.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 9, 2013 - 01:01pm PT
TB: obvious, public experience of unusual phenomena, and then an authoritarian full-court press to downplay it which never deals with the experience realistically.

Dude, the heavily dramatic verbiage just gives you away over and over. First, there are no "authoritarians", simply people attempting to explain phenomena. The "experience" in the case of the 'Phoenix Lights' is irrelevant and unreliable. The squadron commander saying they ejected their spare flares on the other hand is verifiable both by the squadron pilots and by a flare inventory.

TB: we have picked out "prime candidates", healyje, and there's no drama involved. it seems every new issue of the astronomy journals tells us about newly discovered planets around nearby stars and how great they'd be for having life forms.

Again, the dramatic language is just killing you again and again. Astronomy journals simply point out that a percentage of the Kepler mission planets are in the 'habitable' zone, of a size roughly comparable to Earth, with a year length in the ballpark - all of which suggests, SUGGESTS, such planets are where we might best direct our resources in our search for life on other planets. None of that counts as "picked out prime candidates", but rather just common sense criteria for the kinds of planets worth further investigation.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 9, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
Hell, with all the resources available to modern science, they know that there's some sort of life on SuperTopo, but haven't a clue as to whether it's intelligent or not. And believe me, there's no conspiracy to hide any evidence.

There's no truth to claims that ST has been taken over by aliens based in an ark on a grassy knoll in area 51 on the Moon, and that they're using us as a proving ground for their cover-up tactics. And pay no attention to that chemtrail slackliner.
selfish man

Gym climber
Austin, TX
Jan 9, 2013 - 01:12pm PT
Feynman's Cargo Cult Science provides an accurate description of some of the opinions expressed here



http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm
moosedrool

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jan 9, 2013 - 06:53pm PT
Excellent post, Selfish. You should post it on every “science” thread. Cargo cult science is a classic. Feynman was my role model as a scientist. Curious, inquisitive, and brutally honest. As a scientist working in the fast moving biotech industry, sometimes I had to deliver results even when my work was incomplete. When I presented those results, I always pointed to the unanswered question, even when it could hurt my career. But it never did! People appreciate integrity and honesty. Thank you Mr. Feynman.

It is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that could be wrong.
Tony Bird

climber
Northridge, CA
Jan 9, 2013 - 08:18pm PT
Tony B, to suppress the evidence of extraterrestrials interacting with humans on the scale you implied would involve cooperation of various different organizations and governments of different countries. We can’t even agree on how to deal with the US debt!

When multiple explanations exist, the simplest one is usually the correct one. Consulted by William of Ockham.

applying occam's razor at the time of columbus would have assured everyone that the earth is, as it obviously appears, flat.

"government conspiracy" seems to be your interpretation of what others think about this, moosedrool, and ed's as well. healyje, on the other hand, offers us a way out which is absolutely brilliant: we can't explain it, so we must discount it.

from my point of view, use of the term "conspiracy" is totally inappropriate. to conspire means to "breathe together." it implies an isolated group with criminal intent cooking up some secret agenda on its own. i don't see things happening that way at all. what i see is a hidden hand of control, applied at crucial times, but not often enough to be greatly obvious.

in the phoenix lights case, fife symington, governor of arizona at the time, earned himself the unusual honor of a simultaneous listing in the ufo "hall of fame" and "hall of shame" of the "ufo watchdog" webpage, which attempts to keep some of this honest. fife saw 'em, they were awesome, but then he had to try to joke it all away, perhaps in the medvedev manner, with an aide interrupting the press conference in an alien costume, after which all seriousness fell by the wayside. somehow, however, the ejection of spare flares did not leap to mind. that took a couple days to cook up. i'm sure the inventory sheets were not tampered with, however. that never happens in the military.

symington's flip-flop parallels that of jimmy carter, who, before he was elected president, told of personally witnessing a ufo in georgia. he made quite an issue of it in his anti-watergate, "i'll never lie to you" campaign. he promised that, if elected, he would open all the secret files concerned with ufos, and he added that he could never ridicule someone who said they had seen one because he had seen one himself. after he got into office, his tune changed within a matter of months. but did he come forward with "rational" explanations that would lay it all to rest? not at all. he tried to act embarrassed and slithered off, like any common political snake, changing the subject and hiding behind his keepers.

this is what i mean by patterns.
High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
-A race of corn eaters
Jan 9, 2013 - 09:53pm PT
Thomas Friedman,
I am struck by how many liberals insist on reducing carbon emissions immediately, but, on the deficit, say there is no urgency because no interest rates rises are in sight. And I am struck by how many conservatives insist we must reduce the deficit immediately, but, on climate, say there is no urgency because, so far, temperature rise has been slight.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/opinion/friedman-the-market-and-mother-nature.html?smid=tw-NYTimesFriedman&seid=auto&_r=0

450 ppm carbon dioxide is...
routinely cited as the tipping point where we create the conditions for out-of-control acceleration.

We're on target to surpass 450 ppm in less than 25 years.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 9, 2013 - 10:32pm PT
TB: healyje, on the other hand, offers us a way out which is absolutely brilliant: we can't explain it, so we must discount it.

I do no such thing and no discounting of an incident is involved or required.

When something is 'inexplicable', it's just that: inexplicable. Simply let it remain so without the utterly desperate need for all manner of dramatic divine, alien, or conspiratorial fantasies to fill the void of what we don't know. If ever more hard data becomes available, then maybe there would be an opportunity and possibility of producing something more than wild conjecture about a given incident. To date no such data has ever become available.

The only thing that is 'discounted', is the wild and woolly conjecture folks like you demand fill the voids of what we don't know.
WBraun

climber
Jan 9, 2013 - 11:22pm PT
To date no such data has ever become available.

And none will come in the future either.

Data is for the sterile.

For those that are alive and living it's an ever changing real time dynamic orchestra that can't be captured into the lab coats bottle.

The data that gets into the bottle has already outside of it changed and morphed on.

The lab coat is left behind with the sterile dead data bewildered and lost ......
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 10, 2013 - 12:50am PT
Werner, dude, whatever's in that bottle, you need to consider easing up on it.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:15am PT
...they do not know and understand the theories of evolution...

They don't even understand the concept of a "theory."

You can't debate someone when they don't even have a clue about that which you are debating.

Crazy is a form of self-defense.

There is actually a book out there somewhere that recommends a "crazy" defense in dangerous situations. By crazy they mean that you learn deficate on demand, then reach into your pants, pull our your fresh, steaming pile of dung, and start playing with it (or start tossing it around). They say this tactic is proven to defuse any situation and it gets people to leave you alone.

Anyway.... I agree with you healyje
Malemute

Ice climber
the ghost
Jan 10, 2013 - 01:19am PT
I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.
George Bernard Shaw
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jan 10, 2013 - 02:02am PT
tony bird,
you need an explanation of everything right away, and when you don't get the explanation, you suspect something's amiss...

...lots of atmospheric phenomena we're just learning about, especially optical phenomena, seeing conditions, and the like... you see something up in the sky and you're brain says, "gee, that sure is odd" and it is, but your perception turns it into something you know about, and doesn't stop to think about it as something you don't know about...

...I don't think that photographic or video evidence would be all fake, that fact that much of it has been shown to be "fake" certainly suggests that one has to be careful. But we're not talking about the unusual occurrence that a single person in a single spot at the right time just happened to have a camera. We're talking about this stuff being available by a huge population of people... if this "phenomena" were at all common, you'd see this stuff popping up everywhere.

It is not.

You have reduced this down to "miracle status" which is to say, only a few people have subjective reports which are not reproducible. Who do we believe? or should we believe at all?

Tuck the little phenomena away, let them accumulate and perhaps someday we'll be able to put the puzzle together and get a satisfactory answer. There certainly aren't enough pieces of the puzzle out on the table to get an idea of what the picture is. Until then, it's fun to speculate, but it is probably a waste of time to get too involved in it also.


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