Search for ET

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Bill

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May 25, 2022, 1:31:05 PMMay 25
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Even though people have looked for intelligent life elsewhere in the
universe, there is not the slightest trace of it existing anywhere beyond
Earth. It should be there, shouldn't it? If we can believe the Copernican
Principle, there seems no warrant for life not being abundant in the
universe. If life evolved here, it should have happened millions of times
throughout the universe simply because evolution is inevitable, isn't it?
Still, zero evidence.

Why do we even look? If we found ET, what then? We plod along in what
appears to be a barren, biologically inert cosmos with no apparent negative
affects so why does it matter? If there is no practical benefit to us from
the existence of ET then what is the impetus driving the search? Is
scientific curiosity sufficient to justify the effort?

It seems more likely that we are motivated by something else: philosophy,
religion, some social advantage. Something more than just curiosity. If some
tantalizing evidence emerges, we then have something to work with, something
that may point to some program for a search. Until then, there is nothing.


Bill

broger...@gmail.com

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May 25, 2022, 3:01:06 PMMay 25
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On Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 1:31:05 PM UTC-4, Bill wrote:
> Even though people have looked for intelligent life elsewhere in the
> universe, there is not the slightest trace of it existing anywhere beyond
> Earth. It should be there, shouldn't it? If we can believe the Copernican
> Principle, there seems no warrant for life not being abundant in the
> universe. If life evolved here, it should have happened millions of times
> throughout the universe simply because evolution is inevitable, isn't it?
> Still, zero evidence.
>
> Why do we even look? If we found ET, what then? We plod along in what
> appears to be a barren, biologically inert cosmos with no apparent negative
> affects so why does it matter? If there is no practical benefit to us from
> the existence of ET then what is the impetus driving the search? Is
> scientific curiosity sufficient to justify the effort?

Once again you conflate intelligent alien life with alien life. I certainly think scientific curiousity is more than enough to justify looking for alien life. SETI is a long shot; with the technology we are using we could not detect intelligent life on earth from the nearest star. But most of the effort searching for evidence of life elsewhere is just looking for life, not intelligent life. There are reasonable places to look even in our own neighborhood, Mars, Europa, Enceladus. Plenty of people are curious.
...................
> It seems more likely that we are motivated by something else: philosophy,
> religion, some social advantage. Something more than just curiosity. If some
> tantalizing evidence emerges, we then have something to work with, something
> that may point to some program for a search. Until then, there is nothing.
How will tantalizing evidence emerge if we do not look for it?
>
> Bill

Bill

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May 25, 2022, 3:21:06 PMMay 25
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First you need something requiring evidence, then you look for the evidence.
The only evidence that any evidence exists is that we think it should exist.
This is about the same as intuition, a feeling that what we want to believe
might actually exist. There is a feeling that ET, intelligent or otherwise,
should exist and that is the extent of any evidence we have.

Bill

Glenn

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May 25, 2022, 3:31:05 PMMay 25
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On Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 12:01:06 PM UTC-7, broger...@gmail.com wrote:
> On Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 1:31:05 PM UTC-4, Bill wrote:
> > Even though people have looked for intelligent life elsewhere in the
> > universe, there is not the slightest trace of it existing anywhere beyond
> > Earth. It should be there, shouldn't it? If we can believe the Copernican
> > Principle, there seems no warrant for life not being abundant in the
> > universe. If life evolved here, it should have happened millions of times
> > throughout the universe simply because evolution is inevitable, isn't it?
> > Still, zero evidence.
> >
> > Why do we even look? If we found ET, what then? We plod along in what
> > appears to be a barren, biologically inert cosmos with no apparent negative
> > affects so why does it matter? If there is no practical benefit to us from
> > the existence of ET then what is the impetus driving the search? Is
> > scientific curiosity sufficient to justify the effort?
> Once again you conflate intelligent alien life with alien life.

He perhaps includes intelligence with alien life. How would you identify "intelligence"?

>I certainly think scientific curiousity is more than enough to justify looking for alien life. SETI is a long shot; with the technology we are using we could not detect intelligent life on earth from the nearest star.

That's a silly thing to say, depends on the alien and our ability to determine "intelligence", not our technology.

>But most of the effort searching for evidence of life elsewhere is just looking for life, not intelligent life. There are reasonable places to look even in our own neighborhood, Mars, Europa, Enceladus. Plenty of people are curious.

Again you separate "intelligent" life from life, as if that makes any difference to why you think people are curious. Smoke some more pot and wonder whether we are alone, or that we can finally get rid of religion.
> ...................
> > It seems more likely that we are motivated by something else: philosophy,
> > religion, some social advantage. Something more than just curiosity. If some
> > tantalizing evidence emerges, we then have something to work with, something
> > that may point to some program for a search. Until then, there is nothing.
> How will tantalizing evidence emerge if we do not look for it?

That is what IDers say. An example is junkDNA. What motivates you?

Glenn

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May 25, 2022, 3:36:05 PMMay 25
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Evidence is what we make of it. Take the "feeling" of some that life exists on Earth so abiogenesis had to happen on Earth.

jillery

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May 25, 2022, 5:41:06 PMMay 25
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On Wed, 25 May 2022 12:30:48 -0500, Bill <fre...@gmail.com> wrote:

>Even though people have looked for intelligent life elsewhere in the
>universe, there is not the slightest trace of it existing anywhere beyond
>Earth. It should be there, shouldn't it? If we can believe the Copernican
>Principle, there seems no warrant for life not being abundant in the
>universe. If life evolved here, it should have happened millions of times
>throughout the universe simply because evolution is inevitable, isn't it?
>Still, zero evidence.


Your "there" refers to a very big and very old place. We limited
humans have looked for a comparative eyeblink around a mote, relative
to the entire universe.


>Why do we even look? If we found ET, what then? We plod along in what
>appears to be a barren, biologically inert cosmos with no apparent negative
>affects so why does it matter? If there is no practical benefit to us from
>the existence of ET then what is the impetus driving the search? Is
>scientific curiosity sufficient to justify the effort?
>
>It seems more likely that we are motivated by something else: philosophy,
>religion, some social advantage. Something more than just curiosity. If some
>tantalizing evidence emerges, we then have something to work with, something
>that may point to some program for a search. Until then, there is nothing.
>
>
>Bill

--
You're entitled to your own opinions.
You're not entitled to your own facts.

jillery

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May 25, 2022, 5:46:05 PMMay 25
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On Wed, 25 May 2022 12:34:57 -0700 (PDT), Glenn <GlennS...@msn.com>
wrote:


>Evidence is what we make of it. Take the "feeling" of some that life exists on Earth so abiogenesis had to happen on Earth.


You doubt that life exists on Earth? Now that's what I call hard-core
pseudoskepticism!

Glenn

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May 25, 2022, 5:56:05 PMMay 25
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On Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 2:46:05 PM UTC-7, jillery wrote:
> On Wed, 25 May 2022 12:34:57 -0700 (PDT), Glenn <GlennS...@msn.com>
> wrote:
> >Evidence is what we make of it. Take the "feeling" of some that life exists on Earth so abiogenesis had to happen on Earth.
> You doubt that life exists on Earth? Now that's what I call hard-core
> pseudoskepticism!
> --
I'll make a note of that.

Mark Isaak

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May 25, 2022, 11:21:06 PMMay 25
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On 5/25/22 10:30 AM, Bill wrote:
> Even though people have looked for intelligent life elsewhere in the
> universe, there is not the slightest trace of it existing anywhere beyond
> Earth. It should be there, shouldn't it? If we can believe the Copernican
> Principle, there seems no warrant for life not being abundant in the
> universe. If life evolved here, it should have happened millions of times
> throughout the universe simply because evolution is inevitable, isn't it?
> Still, zero evidence.

The only example of intelligent life we have is not able to broadcast
its existence widely to other star systems, so perhaps we should not
expect intelligent life around other stars to have that ability, either.
And as Broger noted, you conflate life with intelligent life.
Non-intelligent life is even less likely to be able to contact us.

Evolution is inevitable (barring extinction) once replication of genetic
information occurs. The origin of such replicating genetic material is
not inevitable, nor is the evolution of intelligence.

--
Mark Isaak eciton (at) curioustaxonomy (dot) net
"The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred
to the presence of those who think they've found it." - Terry Pratchett

Glenn

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May 26, 2022, 12:41:06 AMMay 26
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On Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 8:21:06 PM UTC-7, Mark Isaak wrote:
> On 5/25/22 10:30 AM, Bill wrote:
> > Even though people have looked for intelligent life elsewhere in the
> > universe, there is not the slightest trace of it existing anywhere beyond
> > Earth. It should be there, shouldn't it? If we can believe the Copernican
> > Principle, there seems no warrant for life not being abundant in the
> > universe. If life evolved here, it should have happened millions of times
> > throughout the universe simply because evolution is inevitable, isn't it?
> > Still, zero evidence.
> The only example of intelligent life we have is not able to broadcast
> its existence widely to other star systems, so perhaps we should not
> expect intelligent life around other stars to have that ability, either.
> And as Broger noted, you conflate life with intelligent life.
> Non-intelligent life is even less likely to be able to contact us.

Once again, he isn't conflating life with intelligent life anymore than you are.
And what do you mean by "contact" and why bring it up.
Do you have some inside knowledge that "non-intelligent life" is less likely
to be discovered?

>
> Evolution is inevitable (barring extinction)

So evolution is not inevitable.

>once replication of genetic information occurs.

Nah, it can go haywire and extinct at any time. Your faith in mindless chemicals is amazing.

>The origin of such replicating genetic material is
> not inevitable,

You don't know that. If such genetic material is present, and as some think, environmental
conditions certainly exist in many other places in the galaxy, then it could be seen as inevitable. I bet in your heart you believe it and you're just bullshitting to disagree with most anything Bill says.

>nor is the evolution of intelligence.
>
You don't know that either. Most if not all lifeforms on Earth show some level of intelligence. And it appears that intelligence has increased from the time of your
hypothetical LUCA.

Burkhard

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May 26, 2022, 5:06:07 AMMay 26
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Mark Isaak wrote:
> On 5/25/22 10:30 AM, Bill wrote:
>> Even though people have looked for intelligent life elsewhere in the
>> universe, there is not the slightest trace of it existing anywhere beyond
>> Earth. It should be there, shouldn't it? If we can believe the Copernican
>> Principle, there seems no warrant for life not being abundant in the
>> universe. If life evolved here, it should have happened millions of times
>> throughout the universe simply because evolution is inevitable, isn't it?
>> Still, zero evidence.
>
> The only example of intelligent life we have is not able to broadcast
> its existence widely to other star systems, so perhaps we should not
> expect intelligent life around other stars to have that ability, either.

There was a recent paper that offers a theory why we should not expect
space-traveling civilizations, or signs of highly developed life

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsif.2022.0029

I found quite interesting - highly speculative of course, but open about
it, and also open about the benefits this type of speculation can have,
In this case, it might tell us something about our own civilization, and
where we might be heading:

Burkhard

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May 26, 2022, 5:11:07 AMMay 26
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Bill wrote:
> Even though people have looked for intelligent life elsewhere in the
> universe, there is not the slightest trace of it existing anywhere beyond
> Earth.

There are places on earth that we never explored - and sometimes we find
entirely new life even here (e.g. the recent excitement about a possible
new life for with different DNA form the bottom of a highly polluted
chemical lake)

We have explored even less of our own solar system, and looked at a tiny
tiny fraction of it. And out solar system in trunk is a tiny tiny
fraction of our galaxy, which in turn is a tiny tiny fraction of the
universe.

A medieval farmer who never left his village and as a result concluded
that turnips are the only vegetable that can exist would have a stronger
evidence base than what you describe above.

Burkhard

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May 26, 2022, 5:11:07 AMMay 26
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Yup. When you look "for" something, you need to have some idea what you
are looking for. If you are posh you can call is a testable hypothesis,
if you are less posh you call it "not being insane". I don't look every
5 seconds under the bed if there is a herd of pink elephants living
there (I have no reason to expect them to be), and when I search for
milk I look at the supermarket shelves, not the bottom of our nearby
lake. You of course might live your life differently

Öö Tiib

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May 26, 2022, 6:11:07 AMMay 26
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So as we have no evidence about intelligent life or non-life we have evidence
for that explanation:
<https://www.mit.edu/people/dpolicar/writing/prose/text/thinkingMeat.html>

jillery

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May 26, 2022, 1:21:07 PMMay 26
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On Thu, 26 May 2022 10:03:30 +0100, Burkhard <b.sc...@ed.ac.uk>
wrote:

>Mark Isaak wrote:
>> On 5/25/22 10:30 AM, Bill wrote:
>>> Even though people have looked for intelligent life elsewhere in the
>>> universe, there is not the slightest trace of it existing anywhere beyond
>>> Earth. It should be there, shouldn't it? If we can believe the Copernican
>>> Principle, there seems no warrant for life not being abundant in the
>>> universe. If life evolved here, it should have happened millions of times
>>> throughout the universe simply because evolution is inevitable, isn't it?
>>> Still, zero evidence.
>>
>> The only example of intelligent life we have is not able to broadcast
>> its existence widely to other star systems, so perhaps we should not
>> expect intelligent life around other stars to have that ability, either.
>
>There was a recent paper that offers a theory why we should not expect
>space-traveling civilizations, or signs of highly developed life
>
>https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsif.2022.0029
>
>I found quite interesting - highly speculative of course, but open about
>it, and also open about the benefits this type of speculation can have,
>In this case, it might tell us something about our own civilization, and
>where we might be heading:


Your cited article is interesting. It describes Mathusian forces in
modern terms, and describes one possible Great Filter of interstellar
civilizations. It reminds me of Neil Tyson's conjecture, that
fledging interstellar civilizations would almost certainly destroy
themselves by the very forces which created them.

To the article's list of mini-awakenings, I would add public health
and sanitation, and banning leaded gasoline.

I agree societies like Bhutan are a necessary direction if human
civilizations are to continue on Earth. The challenge is, such
societies risk being overwhelmed by expansionist forces from within
and without, a version of the classic tragedy of the commons, the
most recent example being Putin's attack on Ukraine. It's why
humanity suffers chronic chaos.

Glenn

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May 26, 2022, 2:06:07 PMMay 26
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On Thursday, May 26, 2022 at 2:06:07 AM UTC-7, Burkhard wrote:
> Mark Isaak wrote:
> > On 5/25/22 10:30 AM, Bill wrote:
> >> Even though people have looked for intelligent life elsewhere in the
> >> universe, there is not the slightest trace of it existing anywhere beyond
> >> Earth. It should be there, shouldn't it? If we can believe the Copernican
> >> Principle, there seems no warrant for life not being abundant in the
> >> universe. If life evolved here, it should have happened millions of times
> >> throughout the universe simply because evolution is inevitable, isn't it?
> >> Still, zero evidence.
> >
> > The only example of intelligent life we have is not able to broadcast
> > its existence widely to other star systems, so perhaps we should not
> > expect intelligent life around other stars to have that ability, either.
> There was a recent paper that offers a theory why we should not expect
> space-traveling civilizations, or signs of highly developed life
>
> https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsif.2022.0029
>
> I found quite interesting - highly speculative of course, but open about
> it, and also open about the benefits this type of speculation can have,
> In this case, it might tell us something about our own civilization, and
> where we might be heading:

Here's some more "research":
"Of course ET exists, but likely he is smoking the same shit as you."

Pro Plyd

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May 28, 2022, 10:16:12 PMMay 28
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broger...@gmail.com wrote:
> On Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 1:31:05 PM UTC-4, Bill wrote:
>> Even though people have looked for intelligent life elsewhere in the
>> universe, there is not the slightest trace of it existing anywhere beyond
>> Earth. It should be there, shouldn't it? If we can believe the Copernican
>> Principle, there seems no warrant for life not being abundant in the
>> universe. If life evolved here, it should have happened millions of times
>> throughout the universe simply because evolution is inevitable, isn't it?
>> Still, zero evidence.
>>
>> Why do we even look? If we found ET, what then? We plod along in what
>> appears to be a barren, biologically inert cosmos with no apparent negative
>> affects so why does it matter? If there is no practical benefit to us from
>> the existence of ET then what is the impetus driving the search? Is
>> scientific curiosity sufficient to justify the effort?
>
> Once again you conflate intelligent alien life with alien life. I certainly think scientific curiousity is more than enough to justify looking for alien life. SETI is a long shot; with the technology we are using we could not detect intelligent life on earth from the nearest star. But most of the effort searching for evidence of life elsewhere is just looking for life, not intelligent life. There are reasonable places to look even in our own neighborhood, Mars, Europa, Enceladus. Plenty of people are curious.

Pretty much the basis for doing any kind of research. Consider, for the
longest time
there were prevailing beliefs that the world was flat, that the stars and
planets weren't
separate bodies, galaxies were, you get the idea. And now we know what
they are.

Finding evidence of life on, say, Mars, or anywhere, would shatter
religion's notions
that this world and us are unique...

> ...................
>> It seems more likely that we are motivated by something else: philosophy,
>> religion, some social advantage. Something more than just curiosity. If some
>> tantalizing evidence emerges, we then have something to work with, something
>> that may point to some program for a search. Until then, there is nothing.
> How will tantalizing evidence emerge if we do not look for it?

Ouch.

broger...@gmail.com

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May 29, 2022, 5:46:13 AMMay 29
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Religion's notions? I'm not sure most religions have that much of a stake in life on earth being unique. Some kinds of creationists might, but in general, I think most religions would not have that much trouble adapting to finding life elsewhere.

Burkhard

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May 29, 2022, 11:11:13 AMMay 29
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Didn't we go over this quite recently? I don't think the idea has become
more reasonable since then

to repost:

Meanwhile, in the real world, one of the most accessible books on
astrobiology is "Life in Space: Astrobiology for Everyone" is by Lucas
Mix, who in addition to being a biologist at Harvard is also an
Episcopalian priest, who when writing about theology who explored the
implication of alien life on Christina ethics in “Life‐Value Narratives
and the Impact of Astrobiology on Christian Ethics. Or Douglas Estes,
professor of New Testament and practical theology, who showed how
enriching the concept of alien life can be for the understanding of what
"who's your neighbour" can mean:

"The heavens declare the glory of God. So too do exoplanets and alien
life. God’s creation extends not just to the plants and rocks on Earth
but to the amino acids and methane waves of alien worlds.

When and if we discover alien life, humans will call it “alien.” Though
maybe Christians should call it “our neighbor.” But of course, God will
simply call it “good.”"

Unsurprisingly very similar sentiments from the Catholic Church, which
actively participates in the search for extraterrestrial life:

“Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on Earth, there can be
other beings, even intelligent, created by God,” Funes said in 2008.
“This is not in contrast with our faith because we can’t put limits on
God’s creative freedom.”

“To say it as St. Francis, if we consider some earthly creatures as
‘brother’ and ‘sister,’ why couldn’t we also talk of an
‘extraterrestrial brother’? He would also belong to creation,”

So the Jesuit Father José Gabriel Funes who ran that part of the
Vatican's research

Thomas O'Meara, the sometime president of the Catholic Theological
Society of America and William K. Warren Professor of Theology dedicated
a book on it - Vast Universe: Extraterrestrials and Christian
Revelation.There he writes:

“In a billion solar systems, the forms of love, created and uncreated,
would not be limited. Realisations of divine life would not be in
contradiction with each other or with creation.” - a concept which also
echoed the Talmudic idea that God travels across 18000 worlds every night

and the Dominican Reginaldo Francisco - how proposes a "space theology"
put it like this, in conversation with Pope Paul IV:

"Some prayers, such as the Common Preface, in which the orator is said
to be in relationship with the Celestial Choirs, and some obscure books,
such as the Apocalypse, lead us to think that the Catholic Church is as
vast as the worlds it possesses. But the Catholic Church is the Church
of all the worlds. We must therefore extend the beautiful word
"Catholic" to all the Universes. The revelation of Christ embraces all
humanities."

And that's just mainstream Christianity. Other religions past and
present have incorporated a belief in life on other worlds explicitly in
their theology - it has been argued e.e. that Mahayana Buddhism has
concepts that mirror the Drake equation (Edgar Martin del Campo "A Rare
Opportunity," Theology Journal, vol. 41, no. 7, 1999)

Nor is that a new idea, or just another attempt to accommodate new
scientific insights. Kepler had argued from a theological perspective
that surely, Jupiter must be inhabited: since its satellites cannot be
useful to humans on Earth, there must be other intelligent life on
Jupiter as God would not wastefully create things without purpose to
some sentient entity (this is in a letter by Keppler to Galileo)

Many supporters of extraterrestrial life during early modernity were
clerics, Pope John XXI declared in te 13th century that NOT to believe
in the possibility of a plurality of worlds was heresy

Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle, in "Conversations on the Plurality of
Worlds", wrote in 1686:
When I say that the Moon is inhabited, you immediately think of men like
ourselves, and then, if you are a bit of a theologian, you are instantly
full of problems. [...] The men who live on the Moon are not sons of
Adam. [...] The inhabitants I put on the Moon were not like men in any
respect."

And in 1853, Father Angelo Secchi, director of the Specola Vaticana:
'Life fills the Universe, and intelligence must be associated with life;
and like beings inferior to us are innumerable, so in other conditions
beings immensely more advanced than ourselves can exist.


Outside Christianity, Abd Allah Ibn Abbas, uncle and one of the
Companions of the prophetadvocated for the plurality of the worlds and
that the inhabitants of other planets had a revelation from God - and
similar ideas pop up throughout the golden age of Islamic scholarship

A couple of years ago, there was a study, the "Extraterrestrial Sermon"
that tested how a message from alien life would affect ordinary
believers (as opposed to the theologians cited above) The result was the
same: for Hindus, Muslim and Christians alike, the community's religious
beliefs were almost always strengthened, and in no case undermined, by
such a message

Bill

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May 29, 2022, 11:41:13 AMMay 29
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If we search for evidence, we already have an idea of what the evidence will
be evidence for. We usually have some notion of how things are and that
becomes the basis for what we expect to find. Whatever evidence we find will
have to agree with what we believed in the first place. We have a worldview
before we have evidence and, often, the worldview determines the evidence.
How can we know when we confuse ourselves with our preconceptions?

Does the worldview come first, before the evidence, or is it valid, on its
own regardless of evidence? I think it's mixed. Some things we know,
intuitively, without pre-existing concepts, some things we have to dig for,
a continuing process taking generations and many dead ends, always tentative
and incomplete.

I prefer evidence that springs into view as a kind of surprise and points to
other evidence. This has been the trajectory of science for about 400 years
and what made it interesting. It seems that it has changed, morphing into a
quest for consensus. Granted, orthodoxy is always there, impeding progress,
but it's the heretics who make the most noteworthy contributions.

Bill

broger...@gmail.com

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May 29, 2022, 11:56:13 AMMay 29
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Change "we" to "I" in your posts and you'll do much better. When you talk about what "everyone" believes you are singularly unable to show that they actually believe what you think they do.
>
> Does the worldview come first, before the evidence, or is it valid, on its
> own regardless of evidence? I think it's mixed. Some things we know,
> intuitively, without pre-existing concepts, some things we have to dig for,
> a continuing process taking generations and many dead ends, always tentative
> and incomplete.
>
> I prefer evidence that springs into view as a kind of surprise and points to
> other evidence.

How about an example or two?

Glenn

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May 29, 2022, 1:46:13 PMMay 29
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Making that claim means you are singularly unable to show that is actually true.

Pro Plyd

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Jun 17, 2022, 4:40:12 PMJun 17
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Just the other day I had some evidence jump up and say "boo". It led to more.

Pro Plyd

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Jun 17, 2022, 4:40:12 PMJun 17
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Until perhaps in more recent years, ETs are pretty much not even
mentioned in
various religions. A bit or two here and there I suppose. Some time ago I
read
"Religions and Extraterrestrial Life: How Will We Deal With It?" (2014) by
David
Weintraub. Donated to the local library. Had some interesting bits but
don't recall
much from it.
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