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The Dallas-Plano Atheists Meetup Group Message Board › Ancient Aliens Series

Ancient Aliens Series

A former member
Post #: 10
This thread is for people who have atleast seen a few episodes of the Ancient Aliens TV series that has had 2 seasons. I watch this show like crazy and download them all the time. Im basically convinced but also the mixing of this show with the course Im taking in school (major world religions"philosophy 1304") is illuminating to me, that this is highly probable rather than the bogus crap that a real almighty galactic super being made us and promises paradise.
They mainly talk about Ancient Astronaut Hypothesis which is summed up in saying that many civilizations have preceded us having far more superior technology and that ETs (very much still hominoids too) have performed genetic alterations on us, breeded with us, and come from other places. I know its "taboo" here in America to acknowledge extraterrestrials but the rest of the world seems to know it--India, South America etc... Anyway, catch this show sometime guys and tell me what you think.
What does anyone think that has already seen a few episodes?
A former member
Post #: 11
What seems to me is that, if what these Ancient Astronaut Theorists suggest is true-- then our goal here as non-

believers is uncomprehensively made stronger in case and reason. Its not enough to get religious followers to

cease faith but to show them (other) more highly probable scenerios based in actual science (not so called

christian scientist undermining progress). Obviously there is no "God" in the sense that billions are familiar with

and you know this too, but why all the fuss? Well, someone made a ruckus back then and I assume other worldly

influence. They are'nt God but they were a hell of a lot closer than us....? You guys need to see this and tell me if

its just bs history channel flabbery or a serious hypothesis. I'd prefer someones opinion that atleast holds some

degree ;)
Cooper
user 6532302
Mesquite, TX
Post #: 66
I have not seen the series but I also have not seen sufficient evidence to posit that aliens "seeded" worlds with life and that we are one of them. The hypothesis becomes an infinite regress as god is: If aliens (god) created life then who created the aliens (god)? Then, who created that creator?

Aliens, some form of biological life or its artifacts like robots, seem more probable and keeping with possible scenarios in physical laws than a god does. But, the universe as we know it started at some point in time and all development proceeded from the same staring line. That is, there is no evidence to suggest that matter existed outside of the singularity that exploded during the big bang. It is also rare that intelligence alone is the major trait for selection in evolution. Most animals have a level of intelligence to augment their size, strength, speed or some combination of physical characteristics. Humans are the only animal I know of where intelligence is the deciding factor for species' survival and selection for evolution. In other animals, even those highly intelligent ones, the intelligence is a mechanism that gives them an edge (such as social bonds, community, tool use, etc. - like, a tiger is probably just as intelligent as a lion but one developed community to augment physical abilities and one did not) but it is ancillary to the physical characteristics. I think that much the same would or could be happening on other worlds. So a lifeform whose major survival characteristic is its intelligence compared to other species it shares its habitat with are the exception not the rule for evolutionary development.

Extrapolating that all life that exists started out at roughly the same time since all matter began at the same moment and that intelligence is not a predominately or primarily selected survival trait then I think that extra-terrestrial life, if extant, is more or less at the same point of development as we are. There may be a few centuries difference here and there in relation to sophistication but I doubt that any alien technology at this point would be light years ahead of ours. So they are likely not capable of interstellar travel. The evolutionary arms race here is primarily dependent on size, speed, strength, and reproductive cycles. There have been no intelligence wars between species on this planet that have been discovered...except maybe modern humans reaching Europe and finding the Neanderthals. Human conflicts have been of culture and scientific/practical achievement differences not differences in intelligence. So, I doubt there is another planet out there where the majority of surviving species were selected from ancestors that were competing to see who could build fire or bows first (or the analog of planet "X") but like our planet, most extra-terrestrial life would be in the same boat as our planet's life...selected for size, speed, strength with intelligence (such as cooperative hunting) augmenting those traits rather than being a dominant selected trait.

I also believe as one scientist put it that along the evolutionary arc of a species selected for its intelligence it will gain a technology sufficient to destroy itself or at least destroy its cultural and collective achievements enough to set the species back centuries if not millenia. We have nuclear weapons, another planet may have gained something similar in destructive power. Any lifeform which gains the ability for interstellar travel will, without doubt, also have learned how to destroy itself and most probably did. It remains to be seen if we can gain interstellar travel without destroying ourselves or at least setting back collective human advancement such that current achievements, much less interstellar travel, are reversed and centuries of gains must be repeated. My guess is that if aliens exist they are like us, about to destroy themselves or living in the burned, bombed-out ruins of the civilization they built and then destroyed.

P.S.

I do hold a degree.
A former member
Post #: 32
Just a few thoughts

==P.S. I do hold a degree.== so? What kind of degree? A degree in mechanical engineering or anything else doesn't qualify your opinion on this in any way, unless you happen to be an astrophysicist or an evolutionary biologist, then that would be a different matter. Simply having a degree is not a guarantee of anything useful.

While it seems likely that any existing life in this universe is subject to the same laws of evolution there is no reason to believe that all possible life began at about the same time. Our Sun is about 1/3 the age of the universe. This means that some areas of the universe have been able to sustain life for more than twice the amount of time our Sun has. The last 200 years has shown that once information acquisition begins, it ramps up to exponential growth quickly without retardants like religion or war or both. The probability that other life suffered the same or worse retardants as humanity is equal to the probability that it has not, and that some life has been both productive and extant for quite probably more than twice as long as humans. That doesn't mean I think they have, just that this is the probability. As you point out, intelligence is not a primary selection role for evolution.

You seem to rule out other intelligent species on probabilities which are wrong. Given the size of the universe and the time since the big bang, The probability that all intelligent life has destroyed itself is on the low side, not the high side. In fact it can be proven that all intelligent life has NOT destroyed itself. To seed this planet, intelligent life is not required. To visit this world requires only one species to do so. To say there is no intelligent species in the universe other than us that have not killed themselves off is unwarranted. There could be millions of space faring species in this universe and we would not know of them yet. To say that a species more intelligent than us must necessarily have faster than light vehicles is also wrong.

All that can be faithfully said is that it is not impossible that another species has visited this planet. That intelligent life would develop once and might be a fluke event is fair, but judging from what evolution has done on this planet, it is also fair to opine that the chances that evolution would create intelligence elsewhere is at least 50/50. Given the size of the universe, that could be a lot of intelligent species. A couple of centuries head start can be a huge difference. In 200 years, look what we've done. We have weapons of massive power yet have not destroyed ourselves. Why then should it be thought that self destruction is more likely than not. Even if the incidence of high order intelligence occurring is 0.5% and half of those kill themselves off, .25% of the universe's habitable life sustaining systems have intelligent life. That is a LOT of intelligent life that has a 50/50 chance of existing.

The theory that our planet has been visited by other species can be proven right, but not proven wrong. There is currently no specific information as to the source of life on this planet, whether it was abiogenesis, pan-spermia, or god-like seeding of the planet or something like Clarke's 2001. That life exists in spite of all that could destroy it tells us that the probability that we are alone is lower than the probability that we are not. The only information we have about evolution shows that it often selects traits which bring about intelligence of some level or another. That is to say that it is common in respect of the fact that it is not a requirement. All things being equal, it should be just as prolific elsewhere in the universe. That allows for a LOT of intelligent species.

Even among lower order intelligences on this planet the law of reciprocity is in force. There is no reason to believe that it does not also affect the rest of the universe. It is unwarranted to think that the chances life similar to humans has not occurred elsewhere, or if it has it destroyed itself. There is good reason to believe that there are many places life could exist and would be 'unseen' by us. We've only been looking for a short time. If the universe is billions of light years wide (it's a measure of distance, not time) then it could take signals from other species a billion or more years to get to us and when it arrived it may be indistinguishable from background noise. With current instrumentation, we will only be able to detect close neighbors, relatively speaking. The signals from our own species have been traveling across the universe for only 50 years or so, so only neighbors within 50 light years would know of us. Space is big. I mean really fucking big! 50 light years barely covers our galaxy. Given that telescopes may one day be able to detect atmospheric conditions of exoplanets, that might extend the distance at which we could detect another species. Still, it's as if we're standing on the pier looking at the beach and making guesses about what is in the depths of the ocean.

As for the series? There are things which deserve a good explanation but do not yet have one. This series mixes a few of those with a lot of wishful thinking. For some it has entertainment value but there's not much science in it.
Cooper
user 6532302
Mesquite, TX
Post #: 67
Just a few thoughts

==P.S. I do hold a degree.== so? What kind of degree? A degree in mechanical engineering or anything else doesn't qualify your opinion on this in any way, unless you happen to be an astrophysicist or an evolutionary biologist, then that would be a different matter. Simply having a degree is not a guarantee of anything useful.

I only included that as Neal preferred a response from someone who holds a degree; he did not specify what type of degree. The postscript was only to make your point...having a degree (any degree) does not necessarily equate to authority and "...not a guarantee of anything useful." The converse is true, someone without benefit of a degree may have something very useful and insightful to say as well. I would not automatically dismiss or accept someone's hypothesis based on the degree they hold and I would suggest the same to anyone else. The postscript was not meant to set my opinions in stone and give them the air of authority but simply to make the point that while a degree helps, it is not the deciding factor for truth. It was meant more as sarcasm than assertion of infallibility. Those who go to the meet-ups know what my degree is in and if reading this...they probably (I hope) had a good chuckle when I mentioned my degree in the post-script.

The probability that other life suffered the same or worse retardants as humanity is equal to the probability that it has not, and that some life has been both productive and extant for quite probably more than twice as long as humans. That doesn't mean I think they have, just that this is the probability. As you point out, intelligence is not a primary selection role for evolution.

Probability does not equal proof. You are also using probability incorrectly. Take theists: they say that the likelihood of there being a God is as likely as there not being a god since it is a yes or no question. So they say the proposition is 50/50 when it is not since the evidence for one is so weak that the 50/50 assertion actually inflates the positive probability. Unicorns either exist or don't but the probability of either answer is not 50/50. The answer to the question: "Does extra-terrestrial life exist?", is a polar answer (yes or no) but the actual probabilities of either answer are not evenly divided.

You seem to rule out other intelligent species on probabilities which are wrong...In fact it can be proven that all intelligent life has NOT destroyed itself. To seed this planet, intelligent life is not required. To visit this world requires only one species to do so. To say there is no intelligent species in the universe other than us that have not killed themselves off is unwarranted. There could be millions of space faring species in this universe and we would not know of them yet. To say that a species more intelligent than us must necessarily have faster than light vehicles is also wrong.

You are using probabilities I am not. I merely use the only experience we have with life, this planet's life, and say that evolution tends to select for things other than intelligence. It is also observed in intelligent life here that the intelligence comes with baggage: religion, warfare, outstripping equilibrium with the environment which leads to climatological consequences. These are similar things an intelligent species on another planet would have to contend with. I also never said faster than light vehicles, I talked about technology being "light years ahead" as in quantum leaps or significantly advanced. It was a figure of speech not a literal description.

All that can be faithfully said is that it is not impossible that another species has visited this planet. That intelligent life would develop once and might be a fluke event is fair, but judging from what evolution has done on this planet, it is also fair to opine that the chances that evolution would create intelligence elsewhere is at least 50/50...We have weapons of massive power yet have not destroyed ourselves. Why then should it be thought that self destruction is more likely than not...That is a LOT of intelligent life that has a 50/50 chance of existing.

Again probability does not equal proof. No, it is not impossible that another species has or could visit this planet but there is no evidence that it occurred and saying that it did or did not happen does not make the probability of either answer 50/50. Also, the 20th century was the most advanced in history, until the 21st, and not coincidentally it was also the bloodiest. The 21st is starting out not much different so it remains to be seen if, as a species, we get over the urge to kill ourselves. Every great technological advance has been used to make warfare bloodier. That is the dark side to development that is often overlooked.

The theory that our planet has been visited by other species can be proven right, but not proven wrong.

The scientific method can only disprove things, it can not prove things. Experimentation is set up to try and invalidate hypotheses.

There is currently no specific information as to the source of life on this planet, whether it was abiogenesis, pan-spermia, or god-like seeding of the planet or something like Clarke's 2001.

This sounds like a god of the gaps argument. "We don't know how it happened so it must have been E.T." There is no evidence that it happened this way. Abiogenesis has been repeated, in its very early primitive stages, in laboratory experiments so an off-world solution to life is not necessary.


...It is unwarranted to think that the chances life similar to humans has not occurred elsewhere, or if it has it destroyed itself. There is good reason to believe that there are many places life could exist and would be 'unseen' by us. We've only been looking for a short time. If the universe is billions of light years wide (it's a measure of distance, not time) then it could take signals from other species a billion or more years to get to us and when it arrived it may be indistinguishable from background noise. With current instrumentation, we will only be able to detect close neighbors, relatively speaking...

I agree there are many places we have not seen but again, you are using probabilities - they are useful analytical tools but not proof. Every new area we glimpse into in the universe, which thus far contains no extraterrestrial life, means the probability of finding life outside Earth goes down. The existence of extraterrestrial life is polar: yes/no, but that does not translate to the probability of either being equal. The timespans you give also work against extraterrestrial life existing. Using your probabilities, the longer a planet is in existence the higher the likelihood that many things happened to it: intelligent species destroyed or set back the planet and its highest order technologies, a planet-killing or extinction level impact occurred, a planetary satellite's orbit decayed and impacted the planet, the closest star/sun went (super)nova, some geological climatological event destroyed life, etc. It is sort of like Keynes said, "In the long run we are all dead." The probabilities you use to posit that the likelihood of life existing also means that the chance of something killing it off go up.

A former member
Post #: 12
Very interesting arguments. I tend to have to agree with Mr. Z more but understand the complexities of the dangerous techs we hold, killing us and other ETs doing the same thing. The degree requirement was only a suggestion bc as we know many people have never had the benefit of even one post high school class. In my mind this greatly suggests but not gurantees short sided opinions that are un-original. I know there are many very intelligent people though that have no education.

Anyway, I wanted to say that there has already been much evidence to prove that there were advanced civilizatons making buildings (nice ones) before 10,000 years ago and much more. They find these pyramids and structures underwater (ice ages/natural occurances). Life just keeps bouncing back from how many near global extinctions? How far back, and how far do we have to dig to find a pyramid dating back 300,000 years thats buried under thousands of gallons of seawater and even more rock. The crust of the earth is a pancake constantly being flipped. Other species (ET's) definatly could be star faring and 1000's of years ahead of us.

To me, the highly fantastical idea of God, that many prescibe to, is just that--complete fantasy and worthy of intense laughter--even hostile intervention. Its so absurd to believe in that bogus Universe weilding being. It sounds like the bs I would feed an inferior race of monkeys to make them do what I want. obviously no one or thing created the universe (s). The question of how or who is so far up the knowledge ladder that its irrevalent to our pea brain lower class civilization-as much as we want to know. This shouldnt even be an issue.

Like Mr. Z said--its more probable we are not alone in the cosmos. I think NASA was already saying-- just in this galaxy alone there are around 100,000 Earth like planets. Thanks for rejecting the moronic idea of God but lets not reject the obvious that we are being watched and are not alone. Proof coming soon I hope--Ill try and prove it my whole life but Im young yet.
A former member
Post #: 33
@Cooper,

I missed the reason for the 'I have a degree' comment. Mea culpa.

I will have to study my previous comments a bit more. I did not intend for them to give the impression that I think it likely there are alien species. Only that the information we have gives a probability (currently) of there being some form of life outside this planet. Further that if we accept that there should be life outside this planet, the probabilities are fairly even for it's survival to evolve to intelligent forms. There are several base assumptions about evolution in the whole bit, but a hypothesis must have at least one.

Yes, abiogenesis processes have partially been shown possible, yet this does not change the probabilities of it being the source of life on this planet if I understood the information correctly, just as NASA's report on Earth based life which uses arsenic is not actually arsenic based life vs carbon based. Extremophiles show that life itself has a great tenacity for survival. As pointed out it also has a tendency to create intelligence.Applying what we know of carbon based life, its possible origins, evolution, and the time scales and size of the physical universe it is a 50/50 probability that there is one or more other intelligent life forms in this universe. Not simply stated on a yes/no answer, but based on what we generally know. That can be summarized as we know carbon based life is tenacious and can evolve to intelligent forms. Its origin here does not preclude life elsewhere and some thoughts on life origin would necessarily require life elsewhere. The only intelligent life we know of has survived despite possible self destruction. None of this indicates there must be life elsewhere, yet neither does it indicate that there would not be life elsewhere. A single organism on Io increases the likelihood of life elsewhere in the universe greatly.

Given what we know, probabilities is 50/50 for an intelligent species somewhere else in this universe. If it's possible but we have no indication that its probable or not probable, it's an even bet. For gods, we know they are improbable because of the evidence against, lack of supporting facts, and the propensities of mankind to make shit up and to believe in delusion despite contradictory facts.



Cooper
user 6532302
Mesquite, TX
Post #: 68
Like Mr. Z said--its more probable we are not alone in the cosmos. I think NASA was already saying-- just in this galaxy alone there are around 100,000 Earth like planets. Thanks for rejecting the moronic idea of God but lets not reject the obvious that we are being watched and are not alone. Proof coming soon I hope--Ill try and prove it my whole life but Im young yet.

I prize curiosity and highly encourage it. I am atheist and do not believe aliens exist for the same reason - sufficient evidence has not been provided. Given the realm of possibilities in the physical universe I think extraterrestrial life could exist but it just has not been demonstrated. I honestly do no think non-falsifiable evidence of a god will ever be forthcoming as such a creature is not necessary for the universe's existence. Whereas, alien life is not inconsistent with the current model of the universe's properties.

But, what strikes me about your quoted statement is that, like theists, you seem to be proceeding from a conclusion to gather supporting evidence rather than scientifically using evidence, observation, and experimentation to draw a conclusion. Your statements seem to presuppose a conclusion that might lead you to discount, ignore, or falsify evidence that is contradictory or falsifies your hypothesis that life exists off-world. I would simply advise you to remain skeptical and not form a pre-conceived conclusion before the evidence is in. My stance is that E.T. lifeforms are possible but I have seen no evidence of such and so wait until given sufficient evidence of their existence to accept the hypothesis.
A former member
Post #: 13
Thanks Cooper-- and you are right. Like a theist, I can discriminate the true scientific process easily and believe what I want, use my desired expectation to draw false conclusions etc... Im highly imaginative and very gullable. :) Still, my desire to believe this and the reasons why I think it is true serve a purpose for me--much like christians, Im creating a world in my head. Its like stimulating my brains G-spot to put it sexually. I want the truth and expect it to be that ET's are real. Thats what gets me off and Ill believe it rain or shine. i know this is ridiculous and still do it. Believe it or not, I really do respect the scientific processs. I just really like amusing myself. i dont want to live in a world where aliens are not real--they have to be or life is very lame indeed. Thanks for the knowledge and constructive opinions. Cheers
A former member
Post #: 34
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a personal belief. If you know there is no supporting evidence and that it's something you choose to believe despite that, and further that you do not insist others believe you and understand that they will probably mock you, there is nothing wrong with that. I like to believe that my dog is quite smart, maybe even smart enough to use a keyboard to communicate with me some day. It's my little quirk. As for alien civilizations? The evidence for life, its origins, its tenacity, and its diversity tells me that it is as likely there is other life as not. I like to think there is, not much different than we insofar as they are alone as far as they know and struggle to survive every year as we do. That doesn't mean it is so, nor will I argue that it is. The probabilities are 50/50 with current understanding of life and the universe. This would make me only half-assed wrong. :) I don't need the existence of alien life to give meaning to my own. To me it truly would be a puzzle if there were no life elsewhere... even a virus counts. Even a virus that kills all life on this planet counts. What we know of life means that if it occurs only once it was a billion-billion-billion to 1 shot... or even worse odds. That would truly be a puzzle.
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