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  #281  
Old 08-21-2011, 10:25 PM
flyingblind flyingblind is offline
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I've been following this thread with some interest and not a little amusement. This is one of those great circular debates where your point of view depends entirely on your point of view and very little is likely to shift it. Because at the end of the day there is very little hard evidence to definitively prove anything either way. Back in Newton's day scientists thought they pretty much had it licked with just a few loose ends to tie up. Now we are grappeling with relativity, sub atomic particles, quantum mechanics, the big bang and the likelyhood that there is 90 odd percent of the universe that we weren't even aware of not to mention our living on the 'Goldilocks Planet'. Still plenty of room for God or ETs or anything else.

I watched a program by Richard Dawkins where he explained Darwinian evolution and genetics to a class of teenagers and took them to the Jurassic Coast to show them rock formations and fossils and debunk the whole notion of God and religion. Afterwards the producers interviewed them and asked them what they thought and the general view was - Thank you very much, all very interesting but we still believe in God.

Either Extra Terrestrials or, for that matter, God exist or they don't. If they don't then no amount of belief, faith, wishfull thinking or unsubstantiated encounters or miracles will conjour them up. But if they do exist then no amount of scientific reasoning and logic will make them go away.

Personally, I have no problem with people believing there is more to the scheme of things than just hard facts and evidence yet to be nailed down and pidgeonholed. As has already been said, other dimensions, parallel universes, string theories etc. are all mathematical and philosophical devices cooked up to try and make what we can see and measure in the universe hang together and make sense.

I can't help thinking that aliens, UFOs, faeries, angels and the like are all rather related phenomenon whether they are a product of the way human brains work or whether there is something more external behind them.

It is interesting that there are no scientific or archeological discoveries that have disproved anything in the Bible, even that old chestnut of evolution versus creationism is based on a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of what the Bible is actually saying. It is not a scientific account, it is simply saying that the heavens ie. stars etc and the Earth were created and that there were distinct periods of time when only some things existed. There was a time when no humans existed, a time when no animals lived on land etc. Which is exactly what science says. The term 'day' is translated from a Hebrew word that can mean any time period, not just 24 hours. It states Adam would die on the day he ate the fruit and yet it goes on to say a few verses later that he lived over nine hundred years. The original writer and subsequent copyists would not have been so stupid as to make such a glaring mistake if the word day had the literal meaning of 24hrs.

But I digress off the topic of extra terrestrials, but as God and the Bible have already been brought into the topic I thought I might point out a couple of interesting points.

Firstly, when God was going to create Adam he said, "Let US make man in OUR image". The implication being that there were other intelligent beings in the universe before man appeared on the scene.

Secondly it says that the sons of the true God, or the sons of gods, depending on your version came to Earth and married any daughters of Adam they chose. The result of these unions were a race of giants or Nephilim. They were the heros of old, men of renown.

Now you can dismiss this as just myths and legends but it is an almost universal part of civilisations early lor. The gods of ancient Rome, Greece and other Mediteranean people, the Norse Sagas and Celtic legends to name a few. Were they really just an attempt by neolithic and bronze age people to explain away natural phenomenon such as thunder storms? How many thunder storms would intelligent humans need to witness before they realise they are simply passing events. Or is there some reality behind it all?
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  #282  
Old 08-21-2011, 11:18 PM
Oldschool61 Oldschool61 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingblind View Post

It is interesting that there are no scientific or archeological discoveries that have disproved anything in the Bible, even that old chestnut of evolution versus creationism is based on a misunderstanding and misinterpretation of what the Bible is actually saying.


Firstly, when God was going to create Adam he said, "Let US make man in OUR image". The implication being that there were other intelligent beings in the universe before man appeared on the scene.


Now you can dismiss this as just myths and legends but it is an almost universal part of civilisations early lor.
First you cant definativly prove a negative which is what the bible is. THis means that if something never happens you cant prove it because there is NO evidence because it NEVER happened.

And yes the bible stories are a fiction/myth. To believe them is to believe in fairy tales. And NONE of the stories in the bible concerning miracles or anything supernatural have any eyewitness's (its all hearsay generations removed). According to the bible jesus was from the town of nazareth. How do you explain that it isnt mentioned in history until almost the 3rd century? And thats just one of the many flaws in the myth.
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  #283  
Old 08-22-2011, 04:54 AM
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Herbs107 Herbs107 is offline
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http://au.news.yahoo.com/tech-news/a...t-just-a-cloud

I beleive this is the second time that air traffic has been grounded at this airport over UFO sitings.
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  #284  
Old 08-22-2011, 05:01 AM
unreasonable unreasonable is offline
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Mr Flyingblind said "Either Extra Terrestrials or, for that matter, God exist or they don't. If they don't then no amount of belief, faith, wishfull thinking or unsubstantiated encounters or miracles will conjour them up. But if they do exist then no amount of scientific reasoning and logic will make them go away."

Yes but this is just saying, (If A, then A), which is not especially interesting.

He also said "I can't help thinking that aliens, UFOs, faeries, angels and the like are all rather related phenomenon whether they are a product of the way human brains work or whether there is something more external behind them."

Now this is interesting: the thing that they have in common is that they are all manifestations of agents: ie thinking beings that have beliefs, desires and intentions (albeit not necessarily the same as the human variety).

When we look at observed phenomena we try to explain them: the two most common methods of explanation are that of agency and that of physical causation. eg;

"Mummy, mummy, why did A do X?"
1) Because your sister wanted some more pocket money, or
2) Because the VCR is broken.

So odd objects are observed in the sky: 1) Some person (or person-like being) is responsible, or 2) Some combination of inanimate matter or energy has caused the phenomenon.

Note that explanations relying on agency are not necessarily supernatural: the Blue Tit pecks at the birdseed because he is hungry: an entirely natural explanation.

Both types of explanation can be valid, and everyone uses them both at times, but most people seem to prefer a single type of "ultimate" explanation.

Scientists tend to prefer physical explanations (possibly because they are semi-autistic and have trouble making sense of social situations that require agency explanations). By contrast, nearly everyone else tends to prefer an agency explanation, (possibly because they need the reassurance that a "big daddy" or a "big mummy" will make everything allright, and they find the science too difficult).

Both sides feel the need to reduce the alternate explanation into terms that can be used by their preferred explanation. So scientists believe that, if only we had enough data and modelling power we could explain all agency interactions in terms of the physical laws at atomic level, while the others believe that ultimately there must be some sort of mind that stands behind all these little particles and waves and somehow makes them do it according to her grand plan.

Seen in this light religious belief is just as much a form of reductionism as is science.
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  #285  
Old 08-22-2011, 06:07 AM
Skoshi Tiger Skoshi Tiger is offline
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Notice how there is ALWAYS a convenient explanation! Sure!

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/bus...-just-a-cloud/

unfortunately it doesn't sound like the actual thing!

http://weatherthings.com/HolePunch.html

Last edited by Skoshi Tiger; 08-22-2011 at 06:23 AM.
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  #286  
Old 08-23-2011, 10:30 PM
Pluto Pluto is offline
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... very interesting thread to read ...
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  #287  
Old 08-24-2011, 10:31 PM
flyingblind flyingblind is offline
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I was mostly giving my personal view on the overall discussion rather than any particular view point although clearly I fall into the, 'There is more to life, the Universe and everything than can be explained by purely physical laws and natural phenomena', camp. I believe there is extra-terrestrial intelligence but I don't think it whizzes about in UFOs.

The scientist would rationalize everything by saying that if you gave a billion monkeys a typewriter each and they banged away for a billion years then they would, eventually, produce the complete works of Shakespeare. And I would say, yes, but Shakespeare produced his complete works over a few decades because he has a depth of intelligence, emotions, understanding and insight that make him human or, if you are of a religeous bent, the image of God.

I happened to watch a very interesting programme the other night on the chaos theory. Scientists have discovered that the universe is controlled by very simple equations, as simple and profound as e=mc2. It basically shows that the universe operates using feedback loops that create fractals. Everything - organic and inorganic growth, dynamic systems such as flocking birds and weather systems, even the brain, are all subject to this control. The most famous formula was something like z=z2+c where the = sign is two half arrows pointing in opposite directions and C is a variable. By changing C even slightly then you get an infinitly variable and unpredictable change in the pattern generated. But I am sure you know this already or can Google for a much better explanation.

Now what the scientists could do was write a programme that ran using such a simple formula and they could emulate these apparently very complex natural systems on a computer. They could do all sorts of strange and wierd things like generate an avatar with legs that could literally teach itself to walk.

But what I found really interesting was that the programme could not simply leave it as an excellent and informative documentary on an aspect of how the universe and stuff in it behaves. They suddenly announced that this discovery had finally dispelled any notion of intelligent design or any such tosh being behind anything as, clearly, everything could do it quite well enough on its own.

Of course, it dispells no such thing, and I would mischievously suggest that what it does show is that you need someone to work out the formula and write the computer programme and the operating system. You need to design and build a computer and provide power to run it plus a room to put it in etc. etc. Which seems like an awful lot of intelligent design that is needed to prove intelligent design is not needed.

And whilst I am making mischievous suggestions, here is a thought which might well out raaid raaid. If the scientists are correct and the universe is controlled by simple formulae and small variables then what if there was some supreme being that was able to instigate such variables at will and know what the result would be. A little tweak here could generate an unexpected tempest and another could quiet it. A small adjustment there might visit any number of plagues on Egypt. The possibilities are endless.

On the one hand the universe could run along quite happily without intervention but on the other, just as the scientist can make small changes to his programme and alter how it runs and it's outcome then maybe the universe can also be controlled and directed. If that really was the case wouldn't it just be an absolute hoot?

If a butterfly in Brazil could effect a tornado in Texas then what sort of effects would the Almighty have if he poked a metaphorical finger in the works? It would be the ultimate scientific irony if the discovery touted as the end of intelligent design was actually the very means by which miracles are engineered and prophecies fulfilled.

But as I said in my first post, such arguments are unprovable and unwinnerble by their very nature, but interesting and fun none the less.

Oh, and as a quick answer to Oldschool61 I don't think you can use Nazareth having no historical record for 300 years after it was said to exist as proof the Bible is fictitious. It was likely a fairly insignificant place of little note. Given the many upheavals and unrest that have afflicted the region then records are likely to be patchy at best, the entire records held at the temple in Jerusalem were destroyed by the Romans in 70AD for example. You would need at least a contemporary map of the area with no mention of Nazareth or some document saying when buiding actually started to be sure it wasn't there. Many Villages existed in England without any record until mentioned in the Domesday Book. A similar problem existed with Pontius Pilate. There was absolutly no record of him either so people suggested he was fictitious along with the Bible until an inscription bearing his name was found in Caesarea in 1961. Also it seems unlikely that the very early Christians would claim thier leader came from a place known not to exist at the time.
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  #288  
Old 08-25-2011, 08:02 AM
Skoshi Tiger Skoshi Tiger is offline
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those Crazy Chinese ......

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/bus...d-in-shanghai/
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