New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: As a reader of NewMars forum, we have opportunities for you to assist with technical discussions in several initiatives underway. NewMars needs volunteers with appropriate education, skills, talent, motivation and generosity of spirit as a highly valued member. Write to newmarsmember * gmail.com to tell us about your ability's to help contribute to NewMars and become a registered member.

#26 2003-01-27 14:08:03

soph
Member
Registered: 2002-11-24
Posts: 1,492

Re: why scientists need to worry about society issues

i get what youre saying...but i dont really agree with it.  my view is that if you cant conclusively say youre right, it usually means that there is another possibility.  When I meet ET, i will let you know!

Offline

#27 2003-01-27 14:15:46

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: why scientists need to worry about society issues

my view is that if you cant conclusively say youre right, it usually means that there is another possibility

You can't "conclusively" prove anything. That's the whole point of the scientific model- it takes all available data to prove what we can currently.

It just seems you are arguing from a personal bais based on a belief that there must be aliens. You're not approaching the issue rationaly.

Based on all currently available data, I can conclusively declare that there are no onther intelligent species other than humans. I'm not guessing here, you are. smile

Offline

#28 2003-01-27 14:16:53

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: why scientists need to worry about society issues

clark, well, I think evolution itself goes to show that there may be more intelligent species out there in the grand universe of ours.

Evolution is a scientific fact. If we were to evolve there is nothing suggesting that other beings couldn't evolve likewise. The question is where life comes from in the first place, if we make the assumption that life is formed on earth-like planets, the mere odds of intelligent life existing out there are... well... dare I say it, good. The universe is huge!

And personally, I don't see the issue with being alone. In all likelihood, species are so far apart from each other they will never meet. Only through archelogical evidence and so on may we only we know of one another. A billion years from now an alien race may come to earth to find that we've destroyed ourselves or moved on and left Earth or something. I think we've been over this before, though. The whole, “if you can't observe something, does it exist” issue... I think it's too philosophical for my taste. Solipsism is annoying, and we'd be on the edge of discussing it.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

Offline

#29 2003-01-27 14:39:36

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: why scientists need to worry about society issues

Does the scientific model use data that does not exsist?

Evolution is a scientific fact. How evoultion works is up to debate. I also might add that a key tenet of evolution is that one species devlops into other species, yet how would life originate to begin with? Life would have had to arise from non-life, which violates the premise of evolution to begin with, but I digress-let us stick to the subject at hand.

I also might add that the only conclusion we can derive from our understanding of evolution on this planet is that it is rare, and that it is unique. I don't see a bunch of different species on this planet capable of the intelligence we are discussing.

I for one belive that there is intelligent life, other than us, in the universe. However, this is a belief not based on any fact. It is simply a belief built from a personal desire.

It is a simple fact that we have no evidence that there is any other intelligent life other than humans.

We have data demonstrating evolution on earth, but no data suggesting that this process is repeated throughout the universe. You infer your conclusions without actual evidence to support your final claims, but your inference implies that life must exsist somehwere, which you try to support with probability (a fancy word for guessing).

A billion years from now, aliens may find our ruined civilizations, but that is meaningless to us. If we find data that demonstrates there are other intelligent species, we can then factually state, according to the rules of the scientific model, that we are not alone in the universe. Otherwise, you are guessing.

All I am trying to do is delinate between belief and fact. Facts are what we know. Belief is what we think we know.

We know we are the only inteligent species. We think we may not be alone.

The only solipsim is from your side of the argument (not anything you have said, but where you will eventually be forced to discuss from)

Offline

#30 2003-01-27 15:28:23

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: why scientists need to worry about society issues

Does the scientific model use data that does not exsist?

Well, sure. If you mean, “does the scientific model use data which it cannot observe directly?” We can't observe atoms, electrons and so on directly, but we can certainly say that they exist.

Of course, you are arguing that there exists no data which would imply the existance of other intelligent life in the universe, which is simply false.

Life would have had to arise from non-life, which violates the premise of evolution to begin with

Hmm, I don't see why life can't develop from non-life. Life is basically a chemical process after all... and evolution is really about chemical processes undergoing change with regard to their survivability.

I don't see a bunch of different species on this planet capable of the intelligence we are discussing.

The question isn't whether or not there are lots of intelligent species on other planets, but whether or not there can be at least one intelligent species on any number of planets. When you roll the dice, you get a good answer...

However, this is a belief not based on any fact. It is simply a belief built from a personal desire.

So... evolution is a fact but it's not a fact?

It is a simple fact that we have no evidence that there is any other intelligent life other than humans.

Yes, we don't have any evidence that there are other planets the size of earth either, and I doubt anyone in the scientific community considers it ‘personal desire’ to believe that there are.

We have data demonstrating evolution on earth, but no data suggesting that this process is repeated throughout the universe.

Right, we have data demonstrating rain on earth, but no data suggesting that this process is repeated throughout the universe. So it goes to follow that earth is the only planet in the universe on which it rains! But since there is no evidence suggesting that there are other planets like our own... well... we don't have to worry about that!

See what I meant about solipsism? smile

The scientific process relies on evidence that we already have. So far, it seems like planets are pretty popular. And that they can be practically anywhere around a sun. So all the theories that planets were very rare, and were created via a process we knew little about (like a passing sun or whatever) are no longer valid.

So, we know that planets are everywhere. And we know that natural processes, like evolution and so on, exist when the conditions are right. So we can say that given a certain probablity that intelligent life does exist else where in the universe. In much the same way we can say that it rains on a planet in the Goldilocks zone, we can say that evolution and life occurs on such planets.


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

Offline

#31 2003-01-27 15:49:00

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: why scientists need to worry about society issues

Of course, you are arguing that there exists no data which would imply the existance of other intelligent life in the universe, which is simply false.

What data exsists that implies there is other intelligent life in the universe? I know of none.

The question isn't whether or not there are lots of intelligent species on other planets, but whether or not there can be at least one intelligent species on any number of planets. When you roll the dice, you get a good answer...

Roll the dice? Probability is not assured. What is the probability of intelligent life arising somewhere other than earth? There are two many unknowns to give an exact figure. Also, if you accept that there is a probability that there is more than one intelligent species in the universe, you must also accept the probability that there is only one.

Evolution is a fact, how it works is open to some speculation. The natural selection theory needs to be refined, that was my only point, and we can simply leave this issue alone.

Yes, we don't have any evidence that there are other planets the size of earth either, and I doubt anyone in the scientific community considers it ‘personal desire’ to believe that there are.

It is personal desire until there is confirmed evidence. That's the scientific model Josh. You can infer facts if it supports your verifiable conclusion (i.e- atoms, we can infer their exsistence becuase their effect can be measured)

Right, we have data demonstrating rain on earth, but no data suggesting that this process is repeated throughout the universe. So it goes to follow that earth is the only planet in the universe on which it rains!

No. The process of "raining" has been measured on other worlds. However, we are the only planet to have H20 rain. Until there is new evidence to suggest otherwise, that is a fact.

The scientific process relies on evidence that we already have. So far, it seems like planets are pretty popular. And that they can be practically anywhere around a sun. So all the theories that planets were very rare, and were created via a process we knew little about (like a passing sun or whatever) are no longer valid.

Which is why we update our "facts" when warranted. That's the scientific process. I know you know this.

So we can say that given a certain probablity that intelligent life does exist else where in the universe.

"given a certain probability" is another term for "guessing".

Probability equals unknown, becuase there is not enough information to verify the expectation.

There is a probability that god exsists. But it is a huge jump to claim that he must therefore exsist.

Offline

#32 2003-01-27 16:07:15

soph
Member
Registered: 2002-11-24
Posts: 1,492

Re: why scientists need to worry about society issues

Actually probability is a hard fact of math.  It may not carry in small experiments (say rolling a dice twice), but on the grand scale, probability is a solid fact of mathematics.

Offline

#33 2003-01-27 16:23:11

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: why scientists need to worry about society issues

Okay, what is the probability of intelligent life, other than human, exsisting?

i believe the drake equation tried to asnwer that- and the probability is determined by the varying factors. The exact number changes depending on what variables you input- many of which are simply a guess.

And probability is only a means to look further, not to answer the question.

Offline

#34 2003-01-27 16:24:40

Josh Cryer
Moderator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: why scientists need to worry about society issues

What data exsists that implies there is other intelligent life in the universe? I know of none.

No, you're ignoring the data because you require direct observation. You're like religious fanatics who can't believe in atoms because they can't see them.

We can observe other planets. We had theories that there would be other planets around other stars. Were those theories ‘personal desire’ or did they use logic? The discovery of planets around other stars was a confirmation of our theories.

We know that evolution exists.

The only question remains is whether or not a planet can exist in the Goldilocks zone (any it can, anyone who doesn't believe this is just very naive). And that question is slowly being answered every time we build a bigger scope. Wait until we build one of those huge half mile wide scopes in deep space. We'll have tweaked our models even more.

Also, if you accept that there is a probability that there is more than one intelligent species in the universe, you must also accept the probability that there is only one.

The probability that there is only one is so utterly high, I cannot comprehend it. For every mono-star system out there, the chance of having a planet just like Earth increases.

Probability equals unknown, becuase there is not enough information to verify the expectation.

The more we know about space, the more accurate our stastical models get. We don't have to directly observe a planet in the Goldilocks zone to know that there have to be some out there...

You're trolling again, clark. tongue


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

Offline

#35 2003-01-27 16:35:55

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: why scientists need to worry about society issues

Oh lord, I am not trolling. I am simply trying to be accurate between a belief and a fact.

I am on the side of the scientific model, which requires evidence for a hypothesis to be proven or disproven. You can go on and on about statitcal models, but science like facts, Measurable data points. not fuzzy stats.

I have pointed out that if new evidence is introduced, we can alter our assumptions of facts.

There is no evidence what so ever that there are any other intelligent species in the universe. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

You have no FACTS, NO EVIDENCE, that your belief in ET is correct. We can end this discussion as soon as you provide proof of your CLAIM.


We could very well not be alone, but you have to PROVE that first. You're "probably" right, but we can't be sure until we have evidence.

Troll? Bah.

Offline

#36 2003-01-27 18:22:44

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: why scientists need to worry about society issues

Okay, what is the probability of intelligent life, other than human, exsisting?

*Define "intelligent."  Capable of abstract thinking?  Capable of simultaneous multiple task completion?  Capable of documenting history and keeping timetables?  ???

Just curious. 

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

Offline

#37 2003-01-27 19:30:19

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: why scientists need to worry about society issues

Good question.

However, I think we should avoid trying to define it. To me, it's like defining the color orange. Either it is, or it isn't "orange".

Something resembling rationale thought that can communicate ideas in a matter we can understand would be the closest definition I can think of.

Offline

#38 2003-01-27 19:34:23

soph
Member
Registered: 2002-11-24
Posts: 1,492

Re: why scientists need to worry about society issues

Chimpanzees would then be intelligent.  So would baboons, and a number of other primates.

if youre looking for something, you better damn well know what youre looking for.  ET can be intelligent to the nth degree, yet me may not be able to understand it due to different languages, communication methods, etc.

Offline

#39 2003-01-27 22:28:51

Scott G. Beach
Banned
Registered: 2002-07-08
Posts: 288

Re: why scientists need to worry about society issues

Define "intelligent."  Capable of abstract thinking?

Behavioral psychologists have discovered that humans and other primates have the innate capacity to understand the proposition that if A equals B and B equals C then A equals C.  I would use the presence or absence of this ability as one of the criteria for determining whether an extraterrestrial species is "intelligent."


"Analysis, whether economic or other, never yields more that a statement about the tendencies present in an observable pattern."  Joseph A. Schumpeter; Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, 1942

Offline

#40 2003-01-28 07:06:29

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: why scientists need to worry about society issues

We'll know an intelligent species when we interact with them.

A chimp can be smart, but I doubt many would contend it is similar as humans to be considered another sentient being.

Besides, how the hell are we contact another planet full of monkies?

Define it anyway you want, but you'll know it when you see it.

Offline

#41 2021-08-28 12:27:52

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 8,112

Re: why scientists need to worry about society issues

For SpaceNut .... I looked through all the topics (7 pages) in Civilization and Culture, before selecting this one from 2003 as a "best fit:

The article at the link below is about a (relatively new) book about potential collapse of the systems currently hobbling along on Earth.

Coming from the Knowledge Forum as I do, the theme is familiar.

Calliban is a member of ** this ** forum would would (I'm pretty sure) find the presentation familiar....


https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/worl … 46406.html

The book offers no solution and paints a dreary future that’s just on the cusp of dystopia. But the title is fascinating, since it posits a conditional rather than an assurance. The world “can collapse” not that it “will collapse.” A reader will be forgiven for thinking the latter is the case the book is making, but ultimately, Servigne and Stevens believe that the only way to avoid collapse is to fully see the world in all its complexity. Collapsology then is really anti-collapsology, or deeply understanding the brittleness of our systems before the limits are reached. That’s a refreshingly intellectual point of view, if not necessary a salve to the fears we read and see and feel every day.

How Everything Can Collapse: A Manual for our Times by Pablo Servigne and Raphaël Stevens. Translated from French by Andrew Brown.

Wiley, 2020, 250 pages

Originally published as “Comment tout peut s’effondrer: Petit Manuel de collapsologie à l’usage des générations présentes”https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/world-really-just-fall-apart-132946406.html

(th)

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB