UAP rationale thread (updates pertaining to standards & abstract matters of the UFO preoccupation)

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by C C, Jun 24, 2023.

  1. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    UFO Whistleblowers Go to Washington
    https://skepticalinquirer.org/2023/10/ufo-whistleblowers-go-to-washington/

    INTRO: UFOlogy exists in a constant state of frustration. Its adherents know, sometimes based on deeply personal experiences and sometimes based on their study of the proffered evidence, that UFOs represent something beyond humanity as we know it. UFOs, they think, are alien visitors from another world, or perhaps interdimensional entities, time travelers, or even angelic beings.

    Science, unfortunately, remains unconvinced. Driven by evidence and testable hypotheses, the scientific examination of UFOs (or UAP, as they have recently been rebranded) has been stymied by the annoying absence of both those things. UFO photos remain blurry. Anecdotes about giant triangular craft flying overhead or visits by grey beings never rise to the standard of scientific evidence. Scientists take a pass.

    Seeking to explain this disconnect between their deep-seated personal beliefs and the extraordinary lack of scientific data to back it up, the believers in nonhuman intelligence reach for an old standby: a vast conspiracy... (MORE - details)
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  3. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

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    Whether there is life elsewhere in the Universe can be answered with a "most probably" I think. An immense universe provides opportunities but we could never detect it "now."



    This is a different scenario to UAPs.
     
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  5. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    As far as I can see, the post you are replying to is not about whether or not life exists elsewhere. It is the story of how this Grolsch nutcase was groomed to be the latest “whistleblower” in the imaginary government cover-up conspiracy.
     
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  7. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

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    Oops. The paragraph I meant to cite was this one from CC post. #21

    "But here’s the thing: I really do want us all to get somewhere when it comes to life in the Universe. That’s why I’m putting my cards down on the explosion of possibilities happening right now in the actual-factual science of astrobiology. I’m happy to be wrong about UAPs, but I know that the astronomical telescopes, technologies, and techniques coming online now mean we will soon be able to sniff out life in the atmospheres of alien worlds."
     
  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Ah I wondered if something like that might have happened. Alles klar.
     
  9. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    A pretty lightweight overview (at the very bottom) with "already know about it" developments on one hand, but perhaps new slash inspiring for some lurkers.

    With respect to an interstellar ET counterpart of "
    We’ve also sent robot emissaries to every planet in our Solar System"...

    The "traveling faster than light" abilities that UAP enthusiasts imaginatively project upon their objects of interest wouldn't find concomitance with smart-machine probes slowly multiplying and migrating their way across the "thousands of years traveling" gulfs between stars.
    [1]

    RELATED (Seth Shostack - 2021): If we ever encounter aliens, they will resemble AI

    FOOTNOTE: [1] The black monoliths of 2001: A Space Odyssey relied on a "wormhole-like" transition or something to extravagantly transport Dave to the next stage of assisted human evolution. But that's a fictional device, rather than the realistic, turtle-pace approach the "SRS" idea actually takes.

    And aside from dispensing hordes of nanobots to do the dirty work, the black monolith form seems pretty useless for extracting raw materials and manufacturing copies of itself. Not to mention the question mark of propulsion. Clearly Kubrick and Clarke did get into an overdose of the enigmatic "god-level tech" theme to convey a feeling of para-religious awe and mystery. ... "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

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    The golden age of astrobiology will change everything
    https://bigthink.com/13-8/little-book-aliens-golden-age-astrobiology/

    EXCERPTS: As you read these words, the human species is poised at the edge of its greatest and most important journey. Over the past three decades, the scientific search for life in the Universe — a field called astrobiology — has exploded. We’ve discovered planets everywhere in the galaxy, and we’ve figured out how and where to look for signs of alien life in the atmospheres of these new worlds.

    [...] All these new discoveries, from exoplanets to Earth’s deep history, are transforming what we think of as SETI. A new research field is rising that scientists are calling technosignatures, which embraces the “classic” efforts of SETI while taking the search for intelligent life into new forms and directions. Knowing that the galaxy is awash in planets means we now know exactly where and how to look for alien civilizations.

    [...] So now, finally, we are on the road to finding those aliens I was so obsessed with as a kid. Or we’re on the road to finding out we really are alone in the cosmos. Either answer would be stunning. It’s a pretty damn exciting moment... (MORE - missing details)
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    Last edited: Oct 27, 2023
  10. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Although the "new wave" of UAP footage released over the past few years from military and other sources is probably of Earthly, terrestrial origins... Suppose that wasn't the case. What then to make of the eccentric behavior of the "phenomena" and the avoidance of contact?

    One explanation might be that the possibility of such "visitors" does not concern anything that is driven by biological desires and self-interests. It seems quite absurd that fragile life in the known sense would ever be at home in the hostile conditions of space, regardless of decades of science fiction fancifully depicting otherwise. Especially so when slowly migrating across the immense distances of interstellar space.

    Humans manipulating controls on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise was always a glaring anachronism, since by then one merely need give orders to the pervasive AI system to do anything -- whether vocally or by brain implant. But it goes well beyond that. A biological crew and its burdensome needs would be completely superfluous. Thus, we venture into...

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    If alien life is artificially intelligent, it may be stranger than we can imagine
    https://www.bbc.com/future/article/...ligent-it-may-be-stranger-than-we-can-imagine

    EXCERPTS (Martin Rees): It may be only one or two more centuries before humans are overtaken or transcended by inorganic intelligence. [...] That raises a profound question about the wider cosmos: are aliens more likely to be flesh and blood like us, or something more artificial? And if they are more like machines, what would they be like and how might we detect them?

    [...] The prospect of inorganic alien intelligence raises some striking possibilities. If these beings are out there, they would act and think totally differently to us. They may not want to be detected. Indeed, their intentions may be impossible to fathom...

    [...] non-organic intelligence may have no use for an atmosphere, or the planet on which they originated. Interstellar voyages – or even intergalactic voyages – would hold no terrors for near-immortals.

    Indeed, they may prefer to live in zero-gravity [...] It's also not obvious that they would need to live in orbit around a star. Perhaps they'd have new ways of getting energy that we just can't envisage yet.

    [...] They may not have the same base desires as us. We have evolved through Darwinian pressures to be an expansionist species. ... They may just want to think deep thoughts.

    The fact we haven't seen any, and haven't been invaded by them, doesn't mean there's nothing out there. They may simply be more contemplative. We can't assess whether the "great silence" of the cosmos signifies their absence, or simply their preference.

    [...] We also can't assume that they'd even be a "civilisation" ... ET might be a single integrated intelligence.

    Pessimistically, they could be what philosophers call "zombies". [...] Might it be that electronic intelligences, even if their intellects seem superhuman, lack self-awareness or inner life?

    [..] Alternatively, their more advanced intelligence could well allow them to understand crucial aspects of reality that we cannot, just as a monkey can't understand quantum theory...

    [...] it would be what I call "secular intelligent design" that's a bit like machines designing better machines. And while it may not be broadcasting its existence to us, it could be found throughout the Universe... (MORE - missing details)
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    Last edited: Oct 28, 2023
  11. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    The alien hunter: has Harvard’s Avi Loeb found proof of extraterrestrial life?
    https://www.theguardian.com/science...avi-loeb-found-proof-of-extraterrestrial-life

    EXCERPTS: . . . Spherules cover the Earth, and most aren’t from meteorites. Their origins range from volcanoes to the Industrial Revolution and the iron age. As it turns out, Harvard’s analysis showed the samples had unusual compositions, but whether they belong to the meteorite Loeb is looking for, let alone if that in turn was created by extraterrestrials, will require much more research.

    Avi Loeb sees his detractors as self-important and jealous, as well as myopic and risk-averse in the extreme. He strongly believes that blogging his research improves public understanding of the scientific process...

    [...] The problem, of course, is that scientists usually keep quiet until their peers have had a proper look at their work. “That’s another way to do it,” Loeb said when the New York Times put this to him in August. “But it was not a crime.”

    What is criminal, he suggests, is the underfunding of his chosen field, especially compared with something like Cern.

    “The Large Hadron Collider was billions of dollars looking for supersymmetry, and it’s not there. They haven’t found it. [...] There is a whole community of people trying to unify quantum mechanics and gravity. These are people working on string theory, extra dimensions and the multiverse, and they don’t have a single piece of evidence, yet they work on it for decades. And they think that they are promoting the frontier of physics.” (MORE - missing details)

    RELATED (BigThink): Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb's “alien spherules” are industrial pollutants
     
  12. TheVat Registered Member

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    I remember Loeb promoting the possibility of Oumuamua being an ET artifact including a pop sci book about it. The empirical support seemed wafer-thin. He is very far from ruling out the null hypothesis on these phenomena.

    He's not a crank. But maybe he charms people too much.
     
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  13. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Related to items like in post #47. I.e., even if we finally realized that fragile organic or non-artificial life likely wouldn't be incrementally migrating between stars, the absence of such technological signs still rears its head. If some UAPs and instances of "visiting objects" like ʻOumuamua are not really examples of such.
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    Why don't we see robotic civilizations rapidly expanding across the universe?
    https://www.universetoday.com/16434...ations-rapidly-expanding-across-the-universe/

    EXCERPTS: Tipler theorized that an ETC would be assisted by self-replicating robotic explorers (von Neumann probes) that would spread from system to system, facilitating the arrival of settlers later. As he wrote:

    “[...] I shall therefore assume that such a species will eventually develop a self-replicating universal constructor with intelligence comparable to the human level… and such a machine combined with present-day rocket technology would make it possible to explore and/or colonize the Galaxy in less than 300 million years.“​

    The idea that humanity is not likely to come into contact with an alien species but could learn of their existence through their robotic emissaries is a foregone conclusion among many SETI researchers. And it certainly makes sense...

    [...] Of course, this raises the question: if we’re likely to find bits of an intelligent civilization’s technology rather than members of a civilization itself, why haven’t we?

    [...] In a recent study, mathematician Daniel Vallstrom examined how artificial intelligence might be similarly motivated to avoid spreading across the galaxy, thus explaining why we haven’t seen them either!

    [...] Vallstrom argues that cooperative societies and super-AIs would need a good reason to pursue exponential growth and settle an entire galaxy, eventually culminating in a Kardashev type III society. In addition, he posits that evolution would not necessarily favor rapid or exponential reproduction...

    [...] Vallstrom states plainly that advanced civilizations and super-AIs would not be likely to contact us since they would be unlikely to benefit from it. Simply put, a highly advanced species would have little reason to contact a less advanced species, not unless the cost of doing so was small or there was mutual benefit to be had. “For example, we probably wouldn’t fault old societies or super-AIs for not helping, say, the dinosaurs or the Neanderthals,” he writes... (MORE - missing details)

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  14. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Avi Loeb: We are probably not the “Top Gun” civilization
    https://avi-loeb.medium.com/we-are-probably-not-the-top-gun-civilization-5a2772d3c6c2

    EXCERPTS: . . . As they entered my home with an expensive camera that was used to film “Top Gun”, the producer asked: “What do you think about Fermi’s question?”

    I explained that the framing of Fermi’s question is arrogant, akin to a person who stays at home and wonders “Where is everybody?”, without investing effort in the search for partners. The search for extraterrestrials should be an unapologetic component of mainstream research in physics and astronomy.

    We would have never discovered the Higgs boson or gravitational waves without investing billions of dollars in the searches for them. Given the vastness of space and time in the cosmos, why would we presume that the answer to the most consequential question in science: “Are we not alone?”, will fall into our lap without effort?

    Let me be explicit: the existence of extraterrestrials is not an extraordinary claim. It is as ordinary as our own existence. Given that, it is the duty of scientists to invest resources in finding the answer.

    [...] Investing resources in the search of extraterrestrials is worthwhile since it offers great benefits, akin to learning from a smarter student in our class of intelligent civilizations. Our current geopolitics suggests that we have a lot to learn on how to survive for a cosmologically significant time.

    To learn our lesson, we better look up for extraterrestrials rather than look down on each other. We should foster childlike curiosity and resist childlike bullying... (MORE - missing details)
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  15. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Loeb is definitely on a roll, appearing everywhere. Apparently expects to get more out of Grusch than what anybody else has (directly, without having to go through those who may constitute his supposed original sources and witnesses.).

    The thing about Loeb, despite his hasty speculations on very preliminary "evidence", is that he does provide reasons -- an underlying philosophy -- for construing [some] UAPs and interstellar objects entering the solar system as extraterrestrial in origin. And he's a Harvard professor rather than the usual autodidactic UFO buff of some eccentric subculture.

    Although somebody like me who favors the "Rare Earth Hypothesis" (REH) may consider such expectations to be an exercise in futility, Loeb's gung-ho orientation is ironically consistent with the majority of scientists and sci-buffs who diss REH and believe complex and intelligent life is popping out all over the galaxy.

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    (Avi Loeb) All habitable worlds come to an end
    https://thedebrief.org/all-habitable-worlds-come-to-an-end/

    EXCERPTS: . . . During the red giant phase, humanity could migrate on an artificially-made space platform to maintain its Goldilocks’ distance from the brightening Sun. Having nuclear reactors on the platform would enable humans to eventually escape the solar system when the sun dims to a white dwarf.

    Civilizations that were not fortunate enough to board a Noah’s ark of this type might have cried for help but we were not around to hear them. [...] Alternatively, we could discover probes from alien civilizations that out of final desperation allocated all their economic resources towards venturing into interstellar space. Do we see any of their objects near Earth?

    Our intelligence and military agencies would be the first to notice rare unusual objects near Earth because their day job is to monitor the sky. Astronomers, on the other hand, ignore fast-moving objects that cross the sky above their telescopes. Could a small fraction of the Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena (UAPs) flagged by military and intelligence personnel, be of extraterrestrial origin? This is the question that the Galileo Project Observatory at Harvard University is addressing right now by using machine learning software to analyze images...

    A few days ago, I had the privilege of a long conversation that lasted more than an hour with David Grusch, who recently testified under oath to the US Congress about programs within the government for crash retrieval and reverse engineering of alien spacecraft. Any related findings would save me time and effort in retrieving the evidence myself within the coming decades.

    David and I hope that any such evidence will eventually be shared with scientists who can make sense of what it means. What lies outside the solar system should not be hidden behind the veil of national security [...] Learning from interstellar survivors might be critical for making contingency plans in anticipation of the time when the habitability of our own world will come to an end.... (MORE - missing details)
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    Last edited: Dec 13, 2023
  16. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    In the minds of UAP buffs who advocate the ET hypothesis, this provides an explanation for lack of public contact, rather than ruling-out space aliens or UAPs being automated machine probes.
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    After all of this time searching for aliens, is it the Zoo Hypothesis or nothing?
    https://www.universetoday.com/16500...-aliens-are-we-stuck-with-the-zoo-hypothesis/

    EXCERPTS: Despite decades of observation and SETI surveys, there is still no definitive evidence that advanced extraterrestrial civilizations are out there. [...] these searches have found no compelling evidence of technosignatures within our galaxy or beyond. According to Crawford and Schulze-Makuch, the “Great Silence” we perceive when we look out into the Universe can only mean one of two things.

    First, there’s the possibility that the Hart-Tipler Conjecture is correct, and there are no advanced ETC out there. Similarly, it may be that intelligent life (or life in general) is rare in the Universe due to the odds being stacked against its emergence or evolution (aka. the Great Filter).

    If neither of these scenarios is true, we are left with only one answer: the Zoo Hypothesis is correct and advanced civilizations are keeping their distance to avoid being detected... (MORE - missing details)
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  17. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    But much due to slow, lengthy government analysis and progress reports lagging behind that of the skeptic community. As well as indeed wanting to lift the stigma because of defense and intelligence concerns that some UAPs may be of Earthly foreign origin. The initial status of releases and statements will also be referred back to by enthusiasts for years, no matter how outdated they become by publicly showcased future developments that identify the events better.
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    The UFO Movement Sees Otherworldly Growth
    https://www.wsj.com/science/space-a...sb1icfzne96&reflink=desktopwebshare_permalink

    EXCERPTS: [...] There’s probably never been a better time to believe in aliens than right now. That’s mostly because the federal government quietly admitted in April 2020 that several Navy pilots have encountered “unidentified aerial phenomena,” or UAPs, while flying around the Pacific Ocean.

    [...] “We are living in a watershed moment,” says Dr. Christopher Bader, a sociologist ... The hearings before Congress “have legitimized the discussion of UFOs in a way that is virtually unprecedented.”

    [...] With little green men now a subject of serious scrutiny on Capitol Hill, aliens are taking over the American mind. Skepticism is declining, with 34% of Americans believing UFOs are probably alien ships or are controlled by nonhuman life-forms in 2022, compared with 20% in 1996...

    [...] The new acolytes are constantly exchanging ideas about extraterrestrial life online, often connecting with thousands of other enthusiasts on Reddit, Twitter, or Discord to discuss reams of government documents, video footage and other evidence...

    [...] Colleges are also offering related lessons: “Following the release of the U.S. Pentagon UFO report, there has been a surge of interest,” says a description for a University of Michigan online course titled, “UFOs: Scanning the Skies.” (MORE - missing details)
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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2024
  18. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    During the Cold War, attempts to obfuscate and stigmatize UFO findings/reports were due to protecting secret US spy planes and other projects. Today's "recovered spacecraft" claims and these hesitant responses slash backtracking may similarly stem from special access programs that are less than extraterrestrial in origin.
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    It only takes one to be real and it changes humanity for ever’: what if we’ve been lied to about UFOs?
    https://www.theguardian.com/science...d-by-aliens-lied-to-ufos-uaps-grusch-congress

    EXCERPTS: Interest in unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs), the new term for UFOs, reignited in June 2023 when ex-US intelligence agency whistleblower David Grusch told the Debrief website that during his official duties he had discovered the US had indeed been retrieving spacecraft of non-human origin for decades. [...] testimonies resulted in the new Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Disclosure Act, authored by a bipartisan group of five elected representatives, led by Democrat majority leader Chuck Schumer and Republican senator Mike Rounds....

    [...] If you thought that we were about to finally get the truth about UFOs, think again. At the end of last year, a US government bill that would have mandated the controlled release of all classified documents and artefacts relating to UFOs was significantly watered down at the last minute so that it would get through Congress.

    [...] Not only has the act done little to improve transparency – it is already driving the suspicion that the US government really does have something to hide. “If it is the case that there is no substance to the UFO/UAP issue beyond misperceptions, paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, gullibility and disinformation then the government, military and academic organisations need to openly and transparently look under every alleged rock in this topic,” says clinical psychologist Daniel Stubbings of Cardiff Metropolitan University. “But they have chosen to do the exact opposite, which increases the suspicion that there is something to hide.” (MORE - missing details)
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  19. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, this guy Stubbings is talking about the effect of these limited disclosures on the psychology of gullible people. He is not claiming there really is something to hide. After, a psychologist from the sports medicine dept of a Welsh university is not going to set himself up as an authority on aerial phenomena.
     
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Of course the US government has some things to hide!

    Some information is classified for various reasons. This is especially true of information about military capability, for reasons that ought to be obvious.
     
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  21. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Indeed. But this just goes to support my view that this current exercise will settle nothing. The sceptics will remain sceptical while the conspiracy theorists -who now comprise a significant portion of the Trump-inclined population of the USA - will have a field day bigging up various nutty ideas to undermine trust in government and weaken the population's hold on reality.
     
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