Aliens and evolution

Jun 19, 2012 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Washington Times

DENTON, Texas, June 19, 2012 - Aliens are ingrained in our cultural psyche. They abound in books, movies, radio, and a thousand theories about the extra-terrestrial, little green men, UFO sightings, abductions, Area 51, and Roswell.

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The Dude

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#871
Aug 6, 2012
 
Hedonist wrote:
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It doesn't matter how big the universe is or how many folds it has in it. I'll even let you assume that it is infinite, which allows for the argument that everything that can possibly exist must exist somewhere.
You still have the burden to define what is is you say is possible such that some kind of determination can be made. Call it "X" or "god" or whatever you want.
To say that you can't define what "X" is, but its existence must be considered possible is, frankly, ridiculous ... absurdly ridiculous.
I disagree. You've just given us an infinite multiverse with infinite possibilities - and bear in mind that physics is at the moment nebulous beyond the borders of our universe. Heck, it's tricky even INSIDE our own universe - think dark matter, dark energy and uncaused quantum events. Move things a little more closer to home though and some postulations CAN be considered absurd (most creationist claims) due to their potential to be verified against reality.

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#872
Aug 6, 2012
 
The Dude wrote:
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Sure it's word games. But Skip's no less guilty than us in that regard. And when we examine those words it turns out that particular words have particular meanings in particular contexts. And they ended up showing that Skip was wrong.
<quoted text>
You came into this conversation part way through, however you were able to recognise that Skip's view of scientific method was flawed.
This thing between me and Skip has gone on for 6 months or more, started out on another thread entirely with hardly anyone else bothering to get involved while we sparred each other. So if it winds you up then I apologize as it's all my fault (oh, and his) for letting it all go on so long. There's also the guilty pleasure I get from yanking his tail and watching him bark.
Point is that ultimately he's using science as a battering ram for atheism and I pointed out that he was guilty of exactly the same kind of dogmatism the creationists are. If he wants to paint theists in general with the same brush as the fundies then I wish him luck in his crusade. Personally though I don't think that such a crusade is great for promoting science to a population of mostly theists.
I have the same kind of angst with a lot of what 'Bob of QF' posts, but he is who he is.

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#873
Aug 6, 2012
 
Hedonist wrote:
<quoted text>
It doesn't matter how big the universe is or how many folds it has in it. I'll even let you assume that it is infinite, which allows for the argument that everything that can possibly exist must exist somewhere.
You still have the burden to define what is is you say is possible such that some kind of determination can be made. Call it "X" or "god" or whatever you want.
To say that you can't define what "X" is, but its existence must be considered possible is, frankly, ridiculous ... absurdly ridiculous.
...snerkitty...

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#874
Aug 6, 2012
 
The Dude wrote:
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I disagree. You've just given us an infinite multiverse with infinite possibilities - and bear in mind that physics is at the moment nebulous beyond the borders of our universe. Heck, it's tricky even INSIDE our own universe - think dark matter, dark energy and uncaused quantum events. Move things a little more closer to home though and some postulations CAN be considered absurd (most creationist claims) due to their potential to be verified against reality.
Yuh huh...what The Dude says rules!

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#875
Aug 6, 2012
 

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The Dude wrote:
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I disagree. You've just given us an infinite multiverse with infinite possibilities - and bear in mind that physics is at the moment nebulous beyond the borders of our universe. Heck, it's tricky even INSIDE our own universe - think dark matter, dark energy and uncaused quantum events. Move things a little more closer to home though and some postulations CAN be considered absurd (most creationist claims) due to their potential to be verified against reality.
I never said it wasn't possible.

I just want a working definitin to consider.

But if I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that once you define what is meant by the word "god", it is easy to show any given definition is impossible?

“ The Lord of delirious minds.”

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#876
Aug 6, 2012
 

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Hedonist wrote:
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I never said it wasn't possible.
I just want a working definitin to consider.
But if I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that once you define what is meant by the word "god", it is easy to show any given definition is impossible?
It is impossible to see the entire universe , let alone know what if anything is outside it. Therefore the only conclusion we can truly make about gods is that there is insufficient evidence to say either way. But also we can say we have found no evidence in support of there being one. But the bottom line is , that it is.. inconclusive.

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#877
Aug 6, 2012
 

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Aura Mytha wrote:
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It is impossible to see the entire universe , let alone know what if anything is outside it. Therefore the only conclusion we can truly make about gods is that there is insufficient evidence to say either way. But also we can say we have found no evidence in support of there being one. But the bottom line is , that it is.. inconclusive.
I get that, but it still misses the point.

My premise is that there is no possible definition for the word "god" which actually describes an entity that could possibly exist.

If (and I underscore the word IF) that premise is true, then "god" as an existent entity is not possible.

“ The Lord of delirious minds.”

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#878
Aug 6, 2012
 
Hedonist wrote:
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I get that, but it still misses the point.
My premise is that there is no possible definition for the word "god" which actually describes an entity that could possibly exist.
If (and I underscore the word IF) that premise is true, then "god" as an existent entity is not possible.

But what if it were that the universe itself was conscious?

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#879
Aug 6, 2012
 
Hedonist wrote:
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You know that within the context of the conversation we were having the ancient Pharaohs were not applicable.
Um, excuse me? There are 4 definitions of "god" in the dictionary. One of them requires capitalization, which we were not using and is therefore not relevant.

Had Skeptic NOT insisted that everyone else use the "dictionary" 20+ times on the thread then MAYBE you would have a point.

Frankly, I don't see how ANY OTHER context is acceptable.

My answer fits 3 for 3 of the definitions.
And since you seem to want to obsess on "aliens on the Moon", it can be argued that since the Moon in question is part of our local system, humans should not be considered "alien", so the entire conversation was disingenuous.
We use the word "alien" to refer to anything that is not directly from the specific place in question.

Otherwise, how could Mexicans which were born in NORTH AMERICA be "illegal aliens" without ever having left North America?
Look, I don't like Skippy's style at all. But you guys are playing words games and being trite. If that's the best you can do, then you obviously don't want any kind of serious discussion.
I don't consider it work games when Skippy is the one INSISTING on the dictionary.

This is like saying that I am "just playing ball" when Skippy only wants to use baseballs.

And, as I have stated MULTIPLE TIMES, had Skippy not come after me in his first post calling me a liar and declaring me delusional - NONE of what follows would have happened.

He was childish and insulting - and best of all WRONG.

So, there can be no adult conversation with him. It would be a waste of everyone's time.

He wants to fling sh1t and he been doing so for more than a month. Either pick it up and fling it back, or get out of the way. Nothing else is going to happen on a thread where he's posting.

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#880
Aug 6, 2012
 
Hedonist wrote:
<quoted text>
It doesn't matter how big the universe is or how many folds it has in it. I'll even let you assume that it is infinite, which allows for the argument that everything that can possibly exist must exist somewhere.
You still have the burden to define what is is you say is possible such that some kind of determination can be made. Call it "X" or "god" or whatever you want.
To say that you can't define what "X" is, but its existence must be considered possible is, frankly, ridiculous ... absurdly ridiculous.
Sigh.

This is getting frustrating because you aren't bothering to retain any information from one sentence to the next.

I HAVE defined "X". In this case, it's "Egyptian Pharaohs". Skippy insists that it is "IMPOSSIBLE" for an Egyptian Pharaoh to have existed. I disagree.

I have FURTHER pointed out that you can replace "Egyptian Pharaoh" with "X" to mean "anything" and still be unable to rule DEFINITIVELY and SCIENTIFICALLY that "X" is "impossible".

There is no burden or proof needed in pointing out that science doesn't rule out things simply because there isn't evidence for them. It just doesn't assume that they exist or don't exist.

For Skippy or you to claim that you have proof that something does not exist is silly and frankly, unscientific.

ESPECIALLY!!! when that this is something as mundane as an Egyptian Pharaoh.

I mean, we've actually got quite a number of them in actual museums. These things are not theoretical or anything. You guys can go touch one.

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#881
Aug 6, 2012
 
Aura Mytha wrote:
<quoted text>
But what if it were that the universe itself was conscious?
Thank you! At least something to consider.

I'm not sure I have enough time this evening to give this the consideration it deserves, but let's see...

I assume by "conscious" you mean "self-aware"? I know this is not necessarily so, but it would seem to me that self awareness should be a foundational property. And without self-awareness, why label it "god".

This also would eliminate the need for omnipotence, omniscience, or omnibenevolence. That's good as these are not viable properties.

Of course, if science is correct about the singularity event, there are some questions.(Note that I try to stay away from the label "big bang" - too much baggage.)

Did this entity create itself? If not, then consciousness would have been a evolved property? An evolved property would make more sense given the singularity event as a starting premise. But I'm not sure as a property this really matters, except to determine the commonly held premise "creator of the universe".

So, now the big question. Why call it "god"? Again, what are the properties of any entity such that the label "god" applies?

Is size the only determinant? Actions maybe?(Careful, actions should be observable and/or measurable.)

Let me consider this further. But again, thank you for the interesting twist.

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#882
Aug 6, 2012
 
Nuggin wrote:
<quoted text>
Sigh.
This is getting frustrating because you aren't bothering to retain any information from one sentence to the next.
I HAVE defined "X". In this case, it's "Egyptian Pharaohs". Skippy insists that it is "IMPOSSIBLE" for an Egyptian Pharaoh to have existed. I disagree.
I have FURTHER pointed out that you can replace "Egyptian Pharaoh" with "X" to mean "anything" and still be unable to rule DEFINITIVELY and SCIENTIFICALLY that "X" is "impossible".
There is no burden or proof needed in pointing out that science doesn't rule out things simply because there isn't evidence for them. It just doesn't assume that they exist or don't exist.
For Skippy or you to claim that you have proof that something does not exist is silly and frankly, unscientific.
ESPECIALLY!!! when that this is something as mundane as an Egyptian Pharaoh.
I mean, we've actually got quite a number of them in actual museums. These things are not theoretical or anything. You guys can go touch one.
And YOU never get tired of acting like you're the smartest man alive.

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#883
Aug 6, 2012
 
nanoanomaly wrote:
<quoted text>And YOU never get tired of acting like you're the smartest man alive.
Not "alive". Just the sheer numbers of people in India and China make that improbable. However, there are very few people on the forum. I like my odds.

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#884
Aug 6, 2012
 

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Nuggin wrote:
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Um, excuse me? There are 4 defini....
<click>

“ecrasez l'infame”

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#885
Aug 6, 2012
 
Nuggin wrote:
<quoted text>
Sigh. This is getting frustrating because you aren't bothering to retain any information from one sentence to the next. I HAVE defined "X". In this case, it's "Egyptian Pharaohs". Skippy insists that it is "IMPOSSIBLE" for an Egyptian Pharaoh to have existed. I disagree. I have FURTHER pointed out that you can replace "Egyptian Pharaoh" with "X" to mean "anything" and still be unable to rule DEFINITIVELY and SCIENTIFICALLY that "X" is "impossible".
ESPECIALLY!!! when that this is something as mundane as an Egyptian Pharaoh. I mean, we've actually got quite a number of them in actual museums. These things are not theoretical or anything. You guys can go touch one.
You're obsessing again. Breath ... relax ... let it go.
Nuggin wrote:
<quoted text>
...There is no burden or proof needed in pointing out that science doesn't rule out things simply because there isn't evidence for them. It just doesn't assume that they exist or don't exist. For Skippy or you to claim that you have proof that something does not exist is silly and frankly, unscientific.
I never claimed that I had proof.

Tell me what the properties are for this "god" you keep talking about so I can make a determination.

“ecrasez l'infame”

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#886
Aug 6, 2012
 
Nuggin wrote:
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...to claim that you have proof that something does not exist is silly and frankly, unscientific.
...
In order to determine whether an object exists or not, the properties of that object have to be clear enough to allow some sort of judgment based on the evidence.

I would point out that it *is* possible to prove a negative. I can reliably and with complete justification determine that there is not an elephant in my room. The *reason* I can do this is that the properties of elephants are such that any elephant in my room would be detectable. The fact that none is detected *is* good enough to prove no elephants exist in my room.

When it comes to the question of 'God', there is little to no agreement about the properties, so no determination of existence can be possible. Until the properties that must be met are agreed to, the issue simply cannot be properly addressed and the question is, strictly speaking, meaningless.

Now some properties that are usually associated with a deity are: omnipotence, omnipresence, a 'cause' for the universe, a 'giver of morals', etc. It is rather straight forward to show that each of these properties are paradoxical and, taken together or separately, could not exist in the natural universe as we find it. The predictable retort to this problem is that "god" exist outside of nature (supernatural) or is beyond mere human understanding. But even considering these apologetics, there must be some measurable impact of "god" or again consideration of existence is meaningless.

The difficulty with the God concept is that it is not well enough defined so that it is possible to say when, exactly, and in what manner, an existent deity would be guaranteed to be observable. So, once again, the lack of definition is part of the problem. But it is not a problem for the atheists. It is a problem for the theists. They are the ones with the responsibility to define their concept well enough to be testable.

The upshot is that the God concept is, at best, meaningless, and at worse demonstrably false. Certainly the 'old man in the sky' version is simply false. Certainly the 'creator of the earth 6000 years ago' is also false.

It is far from clear that the anamorphic term “god” is even a meaningful concept, let alone something that can be said to exist. In short, without a clear definition of what is meant by the term "god" any consideration of existence is meaningless and absurd.

(Thanks to Polymath for this excellent rant from 2009, copied here with permission.)

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#887
Aug 6, 2012
 

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Hedonist wrote:
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You're obsessing again. Breath ... relax ... let it go.
<quoted text>
I never claimed that I had proof.
Tell me what the properties are for this "god" you keep talking about so I can make a determination.
Do people worship him?
Do people believe he has supernatural abilities?
Do people consider him to be in charge?

That, but definition, is a god.

“Nihil curo de ista tua stulta ”

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#888
Aug 6, 2012
 

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Hedonist wrote:
<quoted text>
In order to determine whether an object exists or not, the properties of that object have to be clear enough to allow some sort of judgment based on the evidence.
I would point out that it *is* possible to prove a negative. I can reliably and with complete justification determine that there is not an elephant in my room. The *reason* I can do this is that the properties of elephants are such that any elephant in my room would be detectable. The fact that none is detected *is* good enough to prove no elephants exist in my room.
As an Agnostic,

You cannot prove, or *reason* there is no Supreme Being in the Universe.
Nor OUTSIDE the Universe.

Nor can anyone else.

“Darwin died for your sins”

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#889
Aug 6, 2012
 
Kong_ wrote:
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As an Agnostic,
You cannot prove, or *reason* there is no Supreme Being in the Universe.
Nor OUTSIDE the Universe.
Nor can anyone else.
I think Hedonist is ignostic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignosticism

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#890
Aug 6, 2012
 

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Hedonist wrote:
I would point out that it *is* possible to prove a negative. I can reliably and with complete justification determine that there is not an elephant in my room. The *reason* I can do this is that the properties of elephants are such that any elephant in my room would be detectable. The fact that none is detected *is* good enough to prove no elephants exist in my room.
Actually, this isn't true.

The best you can say is that to the best of your ability there is no elephant in your room that you can detect assuming that elephants have the given set of characteristics that you currently believe they have.

Scientists a few decades ago could tell you with some certainty that they knew the general distribution of most (if not all) the matter in the Universe. That's because they didn't know the actual characteristics of matter.

When dark matter and dark energy were discovered, they learned that they in fact only knew about a tiny fraction of the matter in the Universe and that the rest of it had gone undetected.

So, while I also believe that Elephants are corporeal beings of some significant size, it is not possible to prove that there is some as of yet unknown ability of elephants (or any other living thing) to exist within the confines of your room and remain undetected. Nor, for that matter, are the confines of "your room" so well defined as to disregard the possibility that there are ways in which things could exist within it that would render them undetectable to you.

Stating that you can definitively determine that there is no elephant in your room means that you, ALONE in the UNIVERSE know everything there is to know about matter/space/life/etc.

Is that YOUR definition of a god?
When it comes to the question of 'God', there is little to no agreement about the properties
Actually, there were three very specific properties given. You choose to ignore them.

It's not my fault that you don't like the definition, or that the definition is uncooperative with your line of reasoning.
Now some properties that are usually associated with a deity are: omnipotence, omnipresence, a 'cause' for the universe, a 'giver of morals', etc.
No, those are not usual characteristics of a deity. They MAY be characteristics of what the Jews and their offspring have claimed to be the "one true god", but they are certainly not characteristics of the vast majority of religious figures which share the same label.

No one claims that Coyote is a causal factor in the formation of the Universe. Nor that he is omnipresent. Ditto Thor. etc.
"God" rant
The rest of the rant is frankly useless because you've revered to using the word "God" instead of the correct usage for the discussion which is "god".

Just like no one eats Turkey on Thanksgiving, we are not discussing the fictional hero of Jewish mythology. We are discussing the classification which applies to more than 15,000 figures, some mythological, some real.

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