Aliens

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Dev
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Aliens

Post by Dev » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:07 pm

First of I'll have to justify why this belongs in the religion/atheism section.

A religion is a system of human thought which usually includes a set of narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices that give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life through reference to a higher power, deity or deities, or ultimate truth.[wikipedia]

Well believing in aliens in someways is a lot like believing in God at least in terms of hard evidence. People do believe in aliens and they group together to discuss their experiences. Perhaps this isn't an organized religion but I'm willing to accept that religions like Scientology stemmed from these roots.

The same arguments that are used against divine entities are often used against aliens and I nearly always agree with them.

I believe there could be intelligent life like us; obviously I have no credible evidence just my own observation that since we exist and have come from a strict set of conditions. i.e. existence of a sun, on a planet in the right distance from the sun etc.

Since there are a huge number of planets and solar systems. All different. It could be that there are a set of conditions just like ours which would given evolution could lead to intelligent life.

In order to disclose bias, I think it would be awesome if aliens existed.

Does anyone else think this is plausible or where do you guys stand? My conclusion is that aliens are more likely than a God. Is my reasoning flawed since there is no evidence to suggest either?
nozzferrahhtoo
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Re: Aliens

Post by nozzferrahhtoo » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:40 pm

Dev wrote:Does anyone else think this is plausible or where do you guys stand? My conclusion is that aliens are more likely than a God. Is my reasoning flawed since there is no evidence to suggest either?
No, aliens are more likely than god because you do have ONE piece of evidence for aliens that you do not have for gods. Namely.... us.

If one is suggesting there might be life out there then one can point to us and show that life actually exists.

If one is suggesting there are gods, then we are suggesting the existence of something that we have never come across before. This instantly puts it behind in the evidence stakes.

Actually, I give this same answer to the people who in religious debates ask something like "How can you believe in a historical Julius Ceaser but not a historical Jesus, after all you have only books to go on and you were not there"

The same thing. Julius was a man, we know they exist. He was a leader, we know they exist. This makes his existence many times more plausible than a walking god with magical powers, none of which we have any examples of in this life.

I am currently reading a great book on this subject:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sparrow_(novel)

Which is about life being found relatively near by and a group of priests going to make first contact with disastrous results. Pretty well written book so far and I am about 75% into it. Would recommend it to anyone.
CatHerder
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Re: Aliens

Post by CatHerder » Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:31 pm

Dev wrote:I believe there could be intelligent life like us; obviously I have no credible evidence just my own observation that since we exist and have come from a strict set of conditions. i.e. existence of a sun, on a planet in the right distance from the sun etc.

Since there are a huge number of planets and solar systems. All different. It could be that there are a set of conditions just like ours which would given evolution could lead to intelligent life.
Yes just based on the odds (how many stars there are) I'd say the universe is teaming with life. But not necessarily intelligent life (as we describe it)

The Earth got along quite well for eons with dinosaurs and fish inhabiting it. I'd imagine there are plenty of planets around with that level of intelligence on them. Even more that only have some form of plant life. I cant imagine that the human type intelligence (wondering how it all came about) is that common. Why should it be? Evolution seems to be about successful procreation and intelligence is not necessary for that.

One of the disappointing things is the distances involved. You can look but you cant touch :( You can look up at the night sky and ponder the amount of life in our universe and others. Imagine the different types of life forms (animals that bounce and have a pocket in the front, who would have thought?) But even the nearest star at 4 light years is un-explorable and we may go extinct before we have the capacity explore it.

Hey there may even be an alien looking back at the Sun from a planet orbiting Polaris (400 light years),and wondering the same thing. Yes, I sometimes ponder that while I look at the night sky from bed at night.
Beebub
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Re: Aliens

Post by Beebub » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:10 am

I think there are two entirely different threads here:

One is about these nutbars:
Dev wrote:People do believe in aliens and they group together to discuss their experiences.
I certainly don't beleive them. If it was true we'd have proper evidence. Why do aliens seem to favour toothless American imbeciles (any why are they're victims almost invariably anally probed??)

As to whether life exists on other planets I'm with Cat Herder. It's possible and we'll probably never be able to travel far enough to find out as they already far too far away and the universe continues to expand.
CatHerder
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Re: Aliens

Post by CatHerder » Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:43 pm

Beebub wrote:I certainly don't beleive them. If it was true we'd have proper evidence. Why do aliens seem to favour toothless American imbeciles (any why are they're victims almost invariably anally probed??)
Yeah, conspiracy theorists make a hash of the whole thing
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Re: Aliens

Post by HylandPaddy » Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:34 am

I certainly don't beleive them. If it was true we'd have proper evidence. Why do aliens seem to favour toothless American imbeciles (any why are they're victims almost invariably anally probed??)
Yeah, I don’t think that any aliens visited Earth. But I think it would be extremely arrogant of us to say that we are alone in the Universe (as there is nothing special about earth-like conditions).

The most common form of life in the Universe is probably single-celled life forms. And any intelligent life forms may not be technologically intelligent or motivated by “human” values or curiosity.

But all it takes is for at least one civilisation to reach a point of advancement (for example, colonising many different star systems) to be effectively guaranteed survival for immense timescales. Our technological rate of advancement is accelerating and even the rate of acceleration is accelerating, so hopefully we can survive long enough to have the ability to explore this galaxy.
For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
-Carl Sagan
Dev
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Re: Aliens

Post by Dev » Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:07 am

Beebub wrote:I think there are two entirely different threads here:
One is about these nutbars: [mentions nutbars]
I completely agree, in case there is any ambiguity as to where I stand, I don't want to come across as some nutter. Quite simply as CatHerder says "odds in favour of" is all I have and I all I claim.

In terms of us living long enough to find aliens. I don't know. However I did hear that in 500,000 years other than some scraps of plastic and radiation. Humans will have nothing to show for ourselves. Skycrapers, not even 500 year! Great Wall of China, pfft a few thousand, Climate change, 100,000. (all estimates). There is only one achievement we have that has been estimated to outlive us and that is the American flag on the the moon with those footprints. Apparently unless a meteor hits it (actually apparently unlikely) it will last till our sun explodes or when our moon eventually leaves (and it will).

Our greatest achievement (in terms of longevity) isn't even on Earth!

Out of curiosity is there anyone who thinks aliens (of any kind!) wouldn't be the greatest thing since well ever?
HylandPaddy wrote:as there is nothing special about earth-like conditions
I don't necessarily agree or disagree. Earth on one hand is extremely unique with just the right conditions but on the other there could be millions just like it.
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Re: Aliens

Post by HylandPaddy » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:40 pm

Dev wrote:
HylandPaddy wrote:as there is nothing special about earth-like conditions
I don't necessarily agree or disagree. Earth on one hand is extremely unique with just the right conditions but on the other there could be millions just like it.

I agree that Earth is unique, but I mean that there is nothing stopping any planet, say, forming in a similar orbit as Earth around a similar sun or having the same proportion of elements on its surface etc.

Although this is conjecture, I would say that Earth had a roughly similar probability of forming in one of the orbits of Venus or Mars (or any orbit in-between) . It’s just because life formed here that we think that Earth conditions are special - even though the probability of having Mars-like conditions are the same.
(It’s like rolling a die and getting ten 6’s in a row - this takes on some significance to us even though we have the same probability of rolling any combination of numbers.)

Of course, life may develop on planets that don’t have any resemblance to Earth. But I would say that they would have some similarities. I once had a conversation with a friend about what alien beings might be like and I was trying to explain that aliens would have similarities with humans. For example, if they are technologically advanced, then they must of learned about numbers and addition, subtraction, multiplication etc. That they would know about gold, E=mc^2, fire, gravity, radio-waves and atoms etc. and would know some of the same things as us, but he kept replying, “but they’re aliens” as if they had to be completely exotic to humanity.
For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
-Carl Sagan
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Re: Aliens

Post by munsterdevil » Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:53 pm

Earth is indeed unique for life AS WE KNOW IT

Who is to say that life didn't evolve on another planet or moon in a completely different enviroment. Fair enough scientists are right to prioritise their analysis for planets and moons in the Goldilocks Zone, but other possibilities should not be ruled out, which I don't believe they have.
Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying. Arthur C. Clarke
Hemingway
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Re: Aliens

Post by Hemingway » Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:10 pm

Life on other planets.....? I would say most probably, especially lower forms of life such as bacteria.

Have any of these life forms ever visited Earth........? Well its possible that some form of bacteria may have piggy-backed on an astorid that hit the Earth somtime in the past, which may even have helped start life here on Earth, but I would say its very unlikely that intelligent life has purposely visited this planet in some kind of space ship given the vast distances involved.
Dont try to fix me, I'm not broken
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