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Chapter 6: Hallucinations 
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Post Re: Chapter 6: Hallucinations
Interbane wrote:
ant wrote:
Well, Sagan is likely to dismiss anything and everything there is no evidence for, or would be contrary to our understanding of the natural world


Just curious, but is there another way? How should we treat things that are contrary to our understanding of the natural world?



I don't know..,
Maybe if our understanding of the natural world is incomplete to a degree we do not know then the best position is an agnostic one.

(of course that's not to say many anecdotal tales can not be explained adequately).

Heck, it's even possible to be agnostic about thematic art if you're skeptical enough.
Right?



Last edited by ant on Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:25 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 6: Hallucinations
just wondering..,

what has been the PROGRESS that's been made with gathering EVIDENCE for INTELLIGENT alien life?



Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:30 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 6: Hallucinations
I would think zero progress, without even looking it up. I could be wrong.


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Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:58 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 6: Hallucinations
Quote:
ant and Interbane:


ant wrote:
Well, Sagan is likely to dismiss anything and everything there is no evidence for, or would be contrary to our understanding of the natural world




Just curious, but is there another way? How should we treat things that are contrary to our understanding of the natural world?



According to Sagan, we can't count the evidence of our own eyes and ears - because we hallucinate. One of the reasons for my belief in the afterlife is that a perfect stranger - gave me a message from someone who had recently passed over and he named the name. The name of the person was 'Jeremy' so it wasn't an all that common name. He also gave me his message which was very personal and meaningful. Now, that was evidence to me.....but means nothing to anyone else much. It made me very happy though, and it was just what that Jeremy would have done. :-D

I think I must add here, in case you get the wrong idea about me and my morals, that Jeremy was the father of my grandson. :blush:


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Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:00 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 6: Hallucinations
Interbane wrote:
I would think zero progress, without even looking it up. I could be wrong.



Okay, fine.

So at what point does the clock start clicking on a hypothesis that has zero progress after 20 years?
If this was a public funds issue, the debate would be over. We simply could not continue to throw money into a "scientific" endeavor simply because its been branded as science by "experts" on alien intelligence.


Right?

BTW, are there any experts on alien intelligence?



Last edited by ant on Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:03 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 6: Hallucinations
Quote:
So at what point does the clock start clicking on a hypothesis that has zero progress after 20 years?


I don't know... a thousand years? Even that's a blink of an eye on the cosmic timeline. But remember, I'm not advocating keeping the program open. Perhaps it's a good thing when we have a rip roaring economy with a flourishing middle class. But right now there are much better uses for that money.


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Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:06 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 6: Hallucinations
Penelope wrote:
Quote:
ant and Interbane:


ant wrote:
Well, Sagan is likely to dismiss anything and everything there is no evidence for, or would be contrary to our understanding of the natural world




Just curious, but is there another way? How should we treat things that are contrary to our understanding of the natural world?



According to Sagan, we can't count the evidence of our own eyes and ears - because we hallucinate. One of the reasons for my belief in the afterlife is that a perfect stranger - gave me a message from someone who had recently passed over and he named the name. The name of the person was 'Jeremy' so it wasn't an all that common name. He also gave me his message which was very personal and meaningful. Now, that was evidence to me.....but means nothing to anyone else much. It made me very happy though, and it was just what that Jeremy would have done. :-D

I think I must add here, in case you get the wrong idea about me and my morals, that Jeremy was the father of my grandson. :blush:



That's fine. And let me be clear - I am no one to completely dismiss your claims as hallucinations, or corral them into the million other claims that may be similar to yours. :)

But Sagan would.
Why? Because it's contrary to natural laws that apparently are understood enough to rule out millions of anecdotal accounts. AND, there's no evidence to back them up.


But intelligent aliens are treated differently by Sagan from what I see so far:

There's zero evidence for the existence of intelligent alien life that would be capable of communicating BACK .

If you think the very idea of the existence of alien civilizations is incredible, you'd need evidence proportional to your claim.

But Sagan doesn't.
You, do, though.
Why? Because you aren't a scientist, I guess.



Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:16 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 6: Hallucinations
Interbane wrote:
Quote:
So at what point does the clock start clicking on a hypothesis that has zero progress after 20 years?


I don't know... a thousand years? Even that's a blink of an eye on the cosmic timeline. But remember, I'm not advocating keeping the program open. Perhaps it's a good thing when we have a rip roaring economy with a flourishing middle class. But right now there are much better uses for that money.


Right. Okay..fine.

So, if we had endless money, there wouldn't be a debate .

Since we don't, we'd have to put the debate on the table if it is or isn't "science"

Practical science? Of course it isn't. The debate is over.

Leisure science with a relaxed approach that's mostly on the margins of strict, scientific methodology? I'd say yes, SETI is that. It's quasi science.

What probabilities should we assign to the existence of a communicating alien civilization?
There's no way to assign a probability, is there?
Is that a good start for a hypothesis?
Of course it isn't.


So science is not always science.
it depends on the many things



Last edited by ant on Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: Chapter 6: Hallucinations
ant wrote:
That's fine. And let me be clear - I am no one to completely dismiss your claims as hallucinations, or corral them into the million other claims that may be similar to yours.


I have no idea how to check, but I'm fairly sure there are millions of incidents of hallucination, where the people understand they are hallucination. Millions more where people are unsure whether it's hallucination or real. And millions more where they're sure it's real(even though it's hallucination).

Now, there could very well be real sightings in that massive pool. It's possible. There could be many people who see real supernatural things, but mistake it as mere hallucination. It would go against the way we know the world works, so we would need millions of pieces of evidence showing that it's a real thing and is not a naturalistic hallucination. In other words, all the existing evidence would need to be overcome. We know people hallucinate, and they do it all the time. We also know people desire belief in the supernatural because it is comforting, even when it most often leads to false beliefs.

The reasoning behind the skepticism of men like Sagan and Randi and all the others is entirely reasonable and rational. It may seem that they frivolously dismiss claims of supernatural sighting, but I assure you there is justification, like an intricate logic puzzle.


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Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:11 am
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Post Re: Chapter 6: Hallucinations
Quote:
The reasoning behind the skepticism of men like Sagan and Randi and all the others is entirely reasonable and rational.


Just to be clear - I don't think anyone here is arguing that it's not reasonable of them.
I can only speak for myself though.



Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:35 am
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Post Re: Chapter 6: Hallucinations
ant wrote:
Just to be clear - I don't think anyone here is arguing that it's not reasonable of them.
I can only speak for myself though.


But do you think it's unreasonable to dimiss millions of anecdotal accounts? I think the whole thing is counterintuitive, where the truth is more difficult to understand than what you see at face value.


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Post Re: Chapter 6: Hallucinations
Interbane wrote:
ant wrote:
Just to be clear - I don't think anyone here is arguing that it's not reasonable of them.
I can only speak for myself though.


But do you think it's unreasonable to dimiss millions of anecdotal accounts? I think the whole thing is counterintuitive, where the truth is more difficult to understand than what you see at face value.



I'm not certain how we'd be able to dismiss millions without having scrutinized each and every one.
Each experience would be unique in its totality.
This isn't about counting a thousand swans.

I will say it's easier to hallucinate than most people think, given the right conditions.



Last edited by ant on Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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 Ten Questions to Ask an Alien
Chris OConnor wrote:
I want to post a great paragraph from Ch. 6 that had me laughing:

"Occasionally, I get a letter from someone who is in "contact" with extraterrestrials. I am invited to "ask them anything." And so over the years I've prepared a little list of questions. The extraterrestrials are very advanced, remember. So I ask things like, "Please provide a short proof of Fermat's Last Theorem." Or the Goldbach Conjecture. And then I have to explain what these are, because extraterrestrials will not call it Fermat's Last Theorem. So I write out the simple equation with the exponents. I never get an answer. On the other hand, if I ask something like "Should we be good?" I almost always get an answer. anything vague, especially involving conventional moral judgements, these aliens are extremely happy to respond to. But on anything specific, where there is a chance to find out if they actually know anything beyond what most humans know, there is only silence. Something can be deduced from this differential ability to answer questions." ROFL

Sagan is such a smartass.

Chris

In a footnote to that quote, Sagan poses the following.
Quote:
It's a stimulating exercise to think of questions to which no human knows the answers, but where a correct answer would immediately be recognized as such. It's even more challenging to formulate such questions in fields other than mathematics. Perhaps we should hold a contest and collect the best responses to "Ten Questions to Ask an Alien."
p. 100

OK let's play! Anyone have ideas for alien questions?

How about something like:
"What new material or technology would revolutionize our current world economy?"
"Which planet should we direct our SETI receivers towards? Oh, and the frequency too if you have it!"
"How can we encourage people who believe in the same Diety to stop killing each other?"



Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:41 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 6: Hallucinations
Quote:
OK let's play! Anyone have ideas for alien questions?

How about something like:
"What new material or technology would revolutionize our current world economy?"
"Which planet should we direct our SETI receivers towards?"


"have you accepted jesus as your personal saviour?" :-D

"do 1% of you hog all the money and power?" if not "what do you think about us doing it."

"do you have a flag?" (izzard)

"are any of you addressed as 'your royal highness' or something similar?"



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Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:55 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 6: Hallucinations
How many people here are actually reading this book for this 2nd BT discussion about it?



Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:12 pm
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