• Current Events, Politics
    & Science

    Welcome Guest
    Please read before posting:
    Forum Guidelines Bluelight Rules
  • CEPS Moderators: cduggles | Deru | mal3volent
  • Bluelight HOT THREADS
  • Let's Welcome Our NEW MEMBERS!

Why are we so Eager to Believe in Extraterrestrial Life?

CFC

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Mar 9, 2013
Messages
14,925
Location
The Shire
Why are we so eager to believe in extraterrestrial life?

Unidentified Flying Objects are big news again as public imagination runs riot with one of its periodic flying saucer ‘flaps’. But is the truth out there, and might it be closer than we think to coming out?






Just a little over 40 years ago in February 1977, a group of children at Broad Haven Primary School in Pembrokeshire, Wales, were excited by a mysterious sighting on their school fields. The teacher in their class didn’t see what got the children so wound up, but they would not be calmed down, so their headteacher ordered the class to be split up and for the children to draw what they thought they’d seen.

With a few expected variations, the 10-year-olds pretty much turned in this unusual assignment of one mind and accord… what they had seen, and what they drew, was a long, cigar-shaped object with a silver or glass dome on top.

It was the start of what would become known as the Dyfed Triangle: a UFO “flap” that lasted several months and saw the media descend on Wales as more and more sightings of mysterious objects in the sky were reported. A local hotelier even claimed a close encounter with humanoid creatures with pointed heads.

There were official investigations, reports, and theories. Some suggested it was the work of pranksters, others thought the children at Broad Haven had confused a distant sewage tank for a visiting spaceship.

Common sense tells us that explanations such as these are the sensible ones. And yet we persist in seeing unexplained lights in the sky, in reporting phenomena we just can’t account for. People with no axe to grind, no profit to be made – but indeed, reputations to lose – talk of coming up close and personal with beings who cannot be of this Earth.

Read the rest here
 

LandsUnknown

Bluelighter
Joined
Oct 3, 2014
Messages
982
Location
United States
Aliens are real. I don't care what anyone says or about the lack of "scientific evidence" for it or any other absurd reason why "aliens aren't real".

I know they are real because I have seen them in my room on one occasion, the I have a mark from where they inserted the needle filled with a glowing green liquid. The entities I saw were bluish gray in color, and they communicated with me telepathically.

Then, as a kid, I just vanished for seven hours. I also found a bizarre mark on my hand after an abduction.
 

swilow

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Mar 9, 2005
Messages
31,886
Location
Your double slit
Aliens are real. I don't care what anyone says or about the lack of "scientific evidence" for it or any other absurd reason why "aliens aren't real".

I know they are real because I have seen them in my room on one occasion, the I have a mark from where they inserted the needle filled with a glowing green liquid. The entities I saw were bluish gray in color, and they communicated with me telepathically.

Then, as a kid, I just vanished for seven hours. I also found a bizarre mark on my hand after an abduction.

There is a teacup orbiting in space between Earth and Mars. I don't care about the lack of scientific evidence for it, I have literally drunk from it.
 

JessFR

Sr. Moderator: AADD, H&R, TDS
Staff member
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
12,754
Aliens are real. I don't care what anyone says or about the lack of "scientific evidence" for it or any other absurd reason why "aliens aren't real".

I know they are real because I have seen them in my room on one occasion, the I have a mark from where they inserted the needle filled with a glowing green liquid. The entities I saw were bluish gray in color, and they communicated with me telepathically.

Then, as a kid, I just vanished for seven hours. I also found a bizarre mark on my hand after an abduction.

Honest question. Hypothetically speaking, if it could be true that this never happened and was all made up in your mind.

Would you prefer that to be the truth? Or would you prefer to have really been abducted?

I'm not interested in the slightest in actually arguing if it really happened or not, just what you'd prefer the truth to be, hypothetically.
 

Xorkoth

🎨 ARTministrator 🎨
Staff member
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Messages
51,746
Location
In the mountains
I really want to believe extraterrestrials have visited us for the reason that it would mean, in all likelihood, that faster than light travel is possible, and that would be amazing. I want that to be true, so that perhaps one day we can actually find some other life, or visit other star systems, or other galaxies. The idea fascinates me more than any other. I don't know if we HAVE been visited, however. Absent any scientific evidence, and any personal experience, it would be silly of me to be convinced they have been visiting us. I do want it to be true though and in younger years where I was more prone to jumping onto ideas that sounded appealing to me, I was into the whole ancient aliens thing and pretty much any other idea that supported what I wanted to believe.

As far as simply believing life exists elsewhere in the universe, to me this is as close to a fact as you can get without knowing for sure. Just statistically speaking, the universe is so incomprehensibly vast that it must have life elsewhere.
 

JessFR

Sr. Moderator: AADD, H&R, TDS
Staff member
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
12,754
I agree. Although I don't take personal experience as evidence of any kind unless it happened to someone who understands science and fallibility of perception and only as an adult. Myself included. And even then only weak evidence. Certainly not proof.

Though that's the thing about science. Proof doesn't exist. Proof implies something has been proven or disproven beyond all further questioning. And that makes a concept unfalsifiable. And that in turn makes it unscientific. So evidence and probability is as far as science goes.
 

thujone

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Messages
10,806
Location
::1
I don't think people who have a rational basis for believing in extraterrestrial beings visiting us are any less sane than so-called rationalists that harbour irrational, dogmatic beliefs that certain scientific theories are set in stone. I've known plenty of educated, intelligent people who absolutely insist that violating the speed of light is utterly impossible, although the whole notion hinges on the fact that we haven't yet observed phenomenon known to subvert the currently-acknowledged limit. If a person is skeptical of aliens but not skeptical of scientific theories, it's logically incongruous.

But that's status quo isn't it? There were intelligent people who claimed man would never land on the moon.
 

JessFR

Sr. Moderator: AADD, H&R, TDS
Staff member
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
12,754
Here's the big difference. OK, so let's forget all the difficulties with aliens visiting us, let's propose that the aliens already solved them all, that's honestly not jumping that far so I'm happy to just assume that for this purpose.

Also, let's talk about rationalist for a moment. I'd prefer the term scientifically inclined myself. Because being rational isn't good enough reason to believe something. There are lots of rational but untrue things. The important part is evidence.

There is just about no good scientific evidence that aliens have visited us. There is just about nothing except good evidence of the speed of light limit.

Therefore, if you are scientifically inclined, you'll believe the latter is extremely likely but the former totally unfounded. And that's both rational and scientific.

Someone else having their own self proclaimed rational reasons for believing it is irrelivent to anyone else because anyone who's scientifically inclined that most people are terrible at reasoning and most people are really terrible at grasping the fallibility of their personal senses and observations.
 

thujone

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Messages
10,806
Location
::1
There is just about no good scientific evidence that aliens have visited us. There is just about nothing except good evidence of the speed of light limit.

Therefore, if you are scientifically inclined, you'll believe the latter is extremely likely but the former totally unfounded. And that's both rational and scientific.

Light, which is all around us, is much easier to observe than a phenomenon that seldom appears. The brilliant mind Enrico Fermi himself was open to the idea that extraterrestrials *should* exist, hence the Fermi Paradox. So at the risk of appealing to authority, if one of the brightest minds of the 20th century did not consider himself certain about aliens not existing, what excuse does any scientifically-inclined person have?
 

JessFR

Sr. Moderator: AADD, H&R, TDS
Staff member
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
12,754
Thank you xorkoth.

Really I thought I had said that at length already, but I think I'm confusing this thread with the similar "why scientists don't believe eyewitness reports" one.

Just to make sure, yeah as I definitely said on one of them already. I totally believe that aliens exist, I just think it's very unlikely they've already visited us.
 

Scrofula

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Messages
5,420
Location
California
Everyone knows about Enceladus, right? Orbiting Saturn, it's a mostly smooth white moon, with geysers of warm water, and math says it's got more warm liquid water under a shell of ice than all the oceans on Earth.

And it's home to intelligent Aliens. For millenia they evolved believing the Creator had formed their perfect bubble of water, surrounded by an icy foundation. Their philosophers discuss if that was all that existed, or if something might lie beneath the ice, possibly God herself.

[snip my three-volume trilogy on the Enceladian Empire, key points, development is slow without things like fire]

Anyway, their scientists know that nothing could ever survive on a "surface" without protective ice. Their astronomers that say water exists on the surface of Earth have been mocked, since you need ice to prevent water from exploding.

They have never visited the barren, ice-free Earth.
 

thujone

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Messages
10,806
Location
::1
Thank you xorkoth.

Really I thought I had said that at length already, but I think I'm confusing this thread with the similar "why scientists don't believe eyewitness reports" one.

Just to make sure, yeah as I definitely said on one of them already. I totally believe that aliens exist, I just think it's very unlikely they've already visited us.

I drifted off-point but what I was trying to say is just that nothing is ever really absolute. Even given the unlikelihood of alien visitors to Earth, dismissing solid eyewitness reports with other specious theories like mass hallucinations seems even weirder than just accepting it at face value.
 

Blue_Phlame

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Feb 24, 2005
Messages
30,409
Location
Vegas
Ha! I been to that little town pictured here called Rachel. Met some Australians from WA at the bar, added my signed bill to their wall/ceiling, and had a nice chat with a local girl and her dog. She was really friendly.
 

JessFR

Sr. Moderator: AADD, H&R, TDS
Staff member
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
12,754
I drifted off-point but what I was trying to say is just that nothing is ever really absolute. Even given the unlikelihood of alien visitors to Earth, dismissing solid eyewitness reports with other specious theories like mass hallucinations seems even weirder than just accepting it at face value.

No, nothing is ever absolute, that's true. The problem is a failure to properly evaluate and process the evidence.

Nobody said anything about mass hallucination.

It's already been explained more than sufficiently in the "why scientists don't trust eyewitnesses" thread near this one why what people say they saw is of no consequence .

And mass hallucination is not needed. Imagining something or misidentifying isn't hallucination, it's part of normal brain function. People knowing about UFO and alien lore in itself will cause them to imagine and misidentifying in the same way. Everything, EVERYTHING about ALL eyewitness accounts is congruent and better explained by what we know about the fallibility of the human mind than it is by something far far less likely.

Peoples accounts or sightings and abductions is not unusual or something that requires a stretch to explain away. Human societies have been doing this since forever. It's NORMAL. Which is why scientists pay no attention to it. It's why there are double blind studies. Humans are completely useless as eyewitnesses.

But, let's talk for a moment about what most of these laughably useless witnesses have seen. Most of them have seen weird lights in the sky.

THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ALIENS. That, even if they ALL saw exactly what they claim, which is an absurd suggestion in itself but let's go with it for a moment. That does not prove anything except the existence of a possible phenomenon involving weird lights in the sky.

I for one kinda doubt the aliens are piloting ball lighting but the point is that it's already an unsubstantiated and unscientific leap to even be talking aliens.

Look, I understand most people know very little both about science, and about how poor human perception is. But there is a lot that has been discovered about it and there are very very good reasons that almost anyone who does know about it doesn't pay much attention to it.

Especially when the phenomenon of people's apparent witnessing of things itself already looks like something people are imagining to start with.

People imagine lots of stupid shit. They talk about their intolerance to glutan then they are put in a study and keep experiencing reactions the placebo. They imagine that smart electricity meters are making them sick and build a fucking Faraday cage around their house and they STILL get sick. And do they take that as evidence they're imagining it and experiencing the nocebo effect? Nope. It's just some other imaginary way it's making their "exactly what nocebo looks like" symptoms appear.

Humans are fucking useless as witnesses. They are worse than a magic 8ball. That's not even a joke, its actually true. Random chance is more reliable in some situations than humans as a way to determine truth. That's how shit we are.

So for the last time, the eyewitnesses don't matter. Certainly not like this anyway.

And, OK I know you didn't actually specify what kind of witnesses you're talking about. But just a quick other comment about the absurdity of UFO sightings.

In this age of ubiquitous cameras, the very fact we still don't have anything better than graining footage of unidentified lights in itself serves as solid proof that there's nothing there to see.

It occurs to me I haven't even mentioned crop circles. They are particularly hilarious when you find out they're statistically correlated with the value of the crop. Crop value drops, the aliens attack and open a nice vandalism check box on the insurance claim for the farmer. Amazing.

Human perception is a joke.
 

Scrofula

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Messages
5,420
Location
California
I think he meant, "Aliens have never visited Earth" is an absolute statement; and using an unlikely scenario to dismiss another unlikely scenario is disingenuous.

Different from, "aliens have almost certainly never visited Earth," or, "there is no reason to think aliens have ever visited."

Or even, "none of the experiences shared so far suggest aliens any more than they do angels."

So that in response to "Dozens of people saw unusual lights in the sky. Experienced military members say the objects moved in ways that aren't possible by modern human machines," you could say, "sure, but what part of that tells you it was intelligent extraterrestrials?" But saying, "Clearly these dozens of isolated witnesses must have been experiencing a shared psychological state including hallucinations, something that science has no explanation for and which has never before been observed" is about as dumb.

Personally, the lights I saw on that ridge, and all the footsteps I heard, plus the missing time, were just the result of the Pacific Coast Chaparral Sasquatch (only about four feet tall, often mistaken for middle-school gingers) fucking with me, not aliens.
 

JessFR

Sr. Moderator: AADD, H&R, TDS
Staff member
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
12,754
Except it's not dismissing an unlikely scenario with another. It'd dismissing a very unlikely scenario, aliens visiting us. With a highly likely scenario, people failing to grasp the limitations of their perception and cognate bias.

The continued mentioning of hallucinations is a strawman. The only people mentioning it are mentioning it to dismiss it. The people actually critical aren't suggesting hallucinations they're suggesting what I've already gone over several times.

Seeing something moving in a way human machines couldn't possibly is irrelivent if your perception of it is u reliable.

So someone sees something inexplicable, there are lots of explanations that are totally mundane. But they expect other people to disprove them rather than expecting other people to require proof of them.

They just assume that their ignorance of science and human fallibility is simply that there is nothing to know and that the informed and educated, all of which are far less likely to believe in such things, isn't because they know more than them, but because they are simply skeptics who haven't seen what they've seen.

When in reality they have no idea how much they don't know that shows both how unlikely what they experienced is but more importantly, shows how much more likely the alternative and more mundane explanation is.

Dozens of isolated witnesses have absolutely no value when all they're jointly witnessing is what pop culture has already primed them all for anyway.
 

Scrofula

Bluelight Crew
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Messages
5,420
Location
California
I believe, but don't know, that odds favor a brand new pathogen that causes identical simultaneous hallucinations in the occasional geographic cluster only at times when no one involved has a tripod, to a machine built by intelligent aliens doing barrel roles over some random countryside.

But that doesn't mean the pathogen possibility is an argument against the possibility of aliens.

And you can flip this around and say that even though human perception is demonstrably terrible, and with psychological interpretations that are worse than reliable, that doesn't prove witnesses did not see aliens.

Like with angels, there's no proof one way or another, and no reason to think either have visited the Earth.

Unlike with angels, statistics almost prove that aliens at least exist.
 

JessFR

Sr. Moderator: AADD, H&R, TDS
Staff member
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
12,754
In science there is no proving, just probability and evidence. There is nowhere near sufficient evidence and more than enough plausible doubt to render serious discussion of the possibility of aliens visiting us a waste of resources at this point in time. That's really all that matters here. Until real evidence shows up, nobody with a decent grasp of the science and the information and the probabilities has much if any justified reason to indulge this argument. That is what's fundamentally important here.

Many things are possible however unlikely but being possible alone isn't sufficient reason in the face of how unlikely it is to waste time or man power giving it serious consideration. If in the future better evidence emerges then that will change. For now it's a dead subject.

It's like belief in psychics, and other such nonsense, there is no justified reason to believe it and plenty of excellent reason to doubt it, despite that science has still put some resources into studying it just to be sure, and it's resulted in exactly what you'd expect if it were in deed nonsense. There's no reason to waste any more resources continuing further.


Once again, nobody is suggesting aliens don't exist. Suggesting that there is no good reason to believe they visit us isn't the same as saying they don't exist nor is it saying that prospect is impossible. It's saying just that, that there's no good reason to believe it and plenty of good reason to find it extremely unlikely.
 
Top