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montalban
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« on: April 11, 2006, 11:39:40 PM »

Is the search for extra-terrestrial life 'science'?
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2006, 12:18:58 AM »

Well, we have technology to try to look for some, if you want to consider the technology of searching and the thoughts of astronomy scientific.  Let us not forget that the findings of bacteria can be considered an incredibly amazing find.

But as to ET life itself, there's no science in it, but any speculation can be theory, or as popularly done, fiction.  But nevertheless, I'm personally open to the possibilities of ET life.

God bless.

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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2006, 12:21:10 AM »

Is the search for extra-terrestrial life 'science'?

They are attempting to answer a question using observable phenomena and the scientific method, so yeah, that pretty much qualifies it as science.
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2006, 12:56:27 AM »

They are attempting to answer a question using observable phenomena and the scientific method, so yeah, that pretty much qualifies it as science.
When one refers to 'the scientific method' (although there's more than one), it involves having a theory and testing it. How are they testing for life?

Exobiologists speculate on what aliens look like. Some have gone so far as to determine what type of society aliens have...
"At this point, I think it is necessary for us to introduce or to clarify a distinction between primary-evolved civilizations and diffused civilizations....in the future evolution of our contacts, we should think about the sociology of CETI and by this I mean the social structure of the communication between technical civilizations. We have emphasized the energy aspects of Type II and Type III civilizations..." Sagan, C, (Ed.), (1973) "Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence: CETI", MIT Press, pp170-171)
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2006, 01:05:45 AM »

Hypothesis.
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2006, 01:23:39 AM »

It's science, all right, but they're unfortunately wasting their time. There's no other intelligent life out there.

Quote
When one refers to 'the scientific method' (although there's more than one), it involves having a theory and testing it. How are they testing for life?

They're searching for signals from other civilizations. Presumably whatever force would generate these signals would be alive, at least when they would have been produced.

And they don't actually have a theory. A theory is a coherent explanation that fits all available facts and makes predictions. Currently, the only theory that is reasonable to hold is that there is only life on earth, as we have observed life nowhere else. Anything else is speculation, i.e. a hypothesis. It is hypotheses that are tested, not theories: theories are the result of testing, not what is tested.

If they do in fact find signals evidencing an intelligence that does not come from earth, then "intelligent life exists in places besides earth" will become a reasonable theory to hold.
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2006, 01:34:50 AM »

Again you seem happy to post without making a point.

Why do you think a Type-II civilization is more likely to be in contact with us, than say a Type-I civilization?
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2006, 01:44:49 AM »

"Interstellar transmissions via energy-markers (photons) or matter-markers (probes) appear to be energetically indistinguishable alternatives for advanced technical societies. Since only Type II and Type III civilizations realistically can afford beacons or starprobe technology, alternative distinguishability criteria suggest the possible superiority of intelligent artifacts for contact and communication missions among extraterrestrial cultures. A balanced, more cost-effective Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) strategy is proposed."
http://www.rfreitas.com/Astro/InterstellarProbesJBIS1980.htm
Published in "Journal of the British Interplanetary Society", Vol. 33, pp. 95-100, 1980
 
It is listed as among "Peer Reviewed Journal Publications and Other Recent Articles"
http://spsr.utsi.edu/articles/
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2006, 01:47:03 AM »

It's science, all right, but they're unfortunately wasting their time. There's no other intelligent life out there.

They're searching for signals from other civilizations. Presumably whatever force would generate these signals would be alive, at least when they would have been produced.

And they don't actually have a theory. A theory is a coherent explanation that fits all available facts and makes predictions. Currently, the only theory that is reasonable to hold is that there is only life on earth, as we have observed life nowhere else. Anything else is speculation, i.e. a hypothesis. It is hypotheses that are tested, not theories: theories are the result of testing, not what is tested.

If they do in fact find signals evidencing an intelligence that does not come from earth, then "intelligent life exists in places besides earth" will become a reasonable theory to hold.
They are not just looking for radio signals that point to intelligent life, they're also speculating about what kind of intelligent life it is. Exo-biologists might even tell you what they look like, what their social customs might be, etc.
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2006, 10:03:49 AM »

When one refers to 'the scientific method' (although there's more than one), it involves having a theory and testing it. How are they testing for life?

Actually they're testing for Intelligence by attempting to observe non-random radio signals. They may not have the capability to observe all such signals, but they are working within their capabilities to verify their hypothesis.

It's science, all right, but they're unfortunately wasting their time. There's no other intelligent life out there.

The fact that intelligent life (using the term loosely) evolved on earth makes it at least plausable, by induction, that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe. Though I dont know if SETI is the best way of going about searching for such intelligence.

They are not just looking for radio signals that point to intelligent life, they're also speculating about what kind of intelligent life it is. Exo-biologists might even tell you what they look like, what their social customs might be, etc.

And they dont claim this to be anything more than speculation, unfortunately our neither our understanding of evolution nor our computational power is not yet adequate to accurately predict evolution under various enviromental conditions.
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2006, 11:34:22 AM »

Mont

Quote
Again you seem happy to post without making a point.

Actually, many of my posts to you use jocularity or are short because I like you. Why would I want to (rhetorically) blast away at you? Smiley  My point in this case, though, was that there is a thing called a hypothesis, which is every bit as allowable in science, and which is on a different level than theory. That there is alien life is a hypothesis, not a theory. I was trying to nudge you in that direction without being overly public or triumphalistic about a distinction that most 8th graders know Wink

Quote
Why do you think a Type-II civilization is more likely to be in contact with us, than say a Type-I civilization?

I think the SETI program is a waste of resources, and that we should be using out limited resources (monetary and otherwise) for other projects, such as figuring out ways to make space travel more affordable, which would facilitate the private sector getting involved and help to create (hopefully) some excitement, and give us a more rapidly expanding understanding of the universe. However, you didn't ask whether SETI was the best usage of our resources, but whether it was science. And I'm sure there is indeed life on other planets, though I have doubts as to whether it is life of the humanoid kind.
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2006, 09:16:06 PM »

Mont

Actually, many of my posts to you use jocularity or are short because I like you. Why would I want to (rhetorically) blast away at you? Smiley  My point in this case, though, was that there is a thing called a hypothesis, which is every bit as allowable in science, and which is on a different level than theory. That there is alien life is a hypothesis, not a theory. I was trying to nudge you in that direction without being overly public or triumphalistic about a distinction that most 8th graders know
Thanks for being condascending.
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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2006, 09:17:13 PM »

And they dont claim this to be anything more than speculation, unfortunately our neither our understanding of evolution nor our computational power is not yet adequate to accurately predict evolution under various enviromental conditions.
Yet they skim millions of dollars from governments to continue this speculation ; about what little aliens look like, etc.
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2006, 03:12:54 PM »

I just bought a book by Father Seraphim Rose of blessed memory which addresses this issue.  I haven't gotten to the part of the book that deals with UFO's, yet, so I don't know what it says.  The book is called, Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future.[/u]  This might prove helpful to the original question.
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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2006, 06:15:55 PM »

I just bought a book by Father Seraphim Rose of blessed memory which addresses this issue.  I haven't gotten to the part of the book that deals with UFO's, yet, so I don't know what it says.  The book is called, Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future.[/u]  This might prove helpful to the original question.

I've actually read this book.  When it comes to UFOs, Fr. Seraphim was rather adamant that UFOs and other such "close encounters" are really demons disguising themselves as aliens from other worlds.  His assertion is basically that our prevailing naturalistic worldview and our scientific pursuit of extra-terrestrial intelligence has left us wide open to demonic deception.  (I find it very interesting to see Chuck Colson saying the same thing to the Evangelical world.  A few years ago he pointed out somewhat-scientific evidence of a claim Fr. Seraphim made many years before from anecdotal experience, that the vast majority of those who see UFOs also engage in occult practices and that those who don't dabble in the occult tend to not see UFOs.  Follow this link to read more--I do not endorse the web site, but the article by Mr. Colson is very informative.)

I don't mean to say that all so-called extra-terrestrial intelligence is really demonic manifestation and that we should therefore not look for life in other places of the universe.  We may actually find other natural (as vs. spiritual) life in this universe, and some of it may even be intelligent.  Astronomers are just beginning to see how vast this universe really is, so vast that we may never know this side of the Parousia just how much natural life is in it.  We just need to be extremely careful in our search, because the devil and his minions have already been exploiting our inquisitiveness to manifest themselves as the aliens from other planets that many think them to be so that they may drag even more unsuspecting souls to perdition.
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2006, 06:33:52 PM »

Here's something to speculate about.

If there is extraterrestrial life with which Earth has never had contact, would it:

A) be subject to the conditions of the Fall, and

B) would it be redeemed through the Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of Christ on Earth?
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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2006, 11:04:32 PM »

Here's something to speculate about.

If there is extraterrestrial life with which Earth has never had contact, would it:

A) be subject to the conditions of the Fall, and

The answer to that question would probably depend on whether one believes the effect of the fall were biological or enviromental, I would presume the that we should say the latter which would imply the fall on earth would not have an impact. But surely the fall of the demons is not restricted to this world, so by these demons there could have been a separate fall.

Quote
B) would it be redeemed through the Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of Christ on Earth?

Well, Col. 1:19 says, 'And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.' Thus I would presume that the Cross was for the salvation of all, human, demon, or alien; infact the doctrine that there would be a second incarnation and death of Christ for the demons was specifically rejected. In some ways it seems arrogant to claim that the Salvation of the Universe occurs here on Earth, but God has manifested himself in all cultures and all peoples here on earth, not only mediterranean cultures and if there are peoples beyond this Earth I'm sure that he has touched and influenced them in some way. But it seems to me that we will be judged more by what we do than by what we believe, but even then, in the end 'every knee shall bow to [the Lord], and every tongue shall confess to God' and all shall be saved in the final apokatastasis.
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« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2006, 04:01:28 AM »

Supposing for a second that one believed that aliens would also have fallen under the "original sin" (or ancestral curse or whatever). Would this not be a return to philosophical geocentrism? What would this say about the free will of aliens, to be going along fine and then to be strapped down by the resulting consequences of some act of disobedience on a distant planet? It is hard enough trying to explain why God would allow all of humanity to fall under the corruption that we do, let alone making that corruption extend to the whole universe?
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« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2006, 05:43:33 AM »

Unless we're not making the idea of the "ancestral curse" or the "original sin" one that has effects only particular to humanity, but rather to all of the created world; I mean, that is the position we seem to take with regards to the act - that it caused a fundamental shift in the relationship between the created world and the creator, and that this shift effects all of the created world as if there was an instantaneous and never-minimizing wave that rippled through the creation.
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