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Area54 last won the day on June 18

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    Astrobiology, vulcanology

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  1. Because the most effective way for me to convince you that your argument is flawed is for you to recognise it yourself. There are more than three plausible reasons. I have confidence you can do it. Are you saying you are absolutely unwilling to try? I hope not. That would be an unimaginative, self-defeating attitude and not one that tallies with the character that comes through in your posts.
  2. He didn't use a bad example. He made no mention of a lever in his example that you quoted. He specified a wedge only and identified it, correctly, as a machime. I don't see the discussion revolving around a single-piece tool. You seem to be raising a strawman. Not a tactically sound move on a forum with several astute members. My interest was in correcting your uninformed understanding of what constituted a machine. Up to you if you take advantage of it.
  3. I don't pretend to understand the motivations of an alien mind. Your statement suggests that you do. While you ask it as a question, the implication is that there would be no point in commisioning such voyages. I've followed your posts for years. I have very little doubt that,if you think about it for a ew minutes, you can come up with at least three reasons why they might. We seem to be talking past each other. If any of the assumptions implicit in excehmist's position are invalid, his position is refuted. And I invite you to stop dodging the question and specify what you consider to be insurmountable or impossible in any of the handful of alternatives I have suggested. More to the point, are you denying that the points I made have been assumed to be false by exchemist and by yourself. If so, what is your rationale for making the assumption that these are false. At present it looks like a casual, lazy rejection
  4. I wait with interest your demonstration that I considered @exchemist's position foolish. I don't. I consider it ignorant, in the specific sense that it ignores certain possibilities, or the counterpart of that - it is based upon certain assumptions. These include: Hibernation of intelligent lifeforms for lengthy periods, of the order of centuries, or millenia, cannot be achieved. Even if they could be achieved, no intelligent lifeform would willingly subject themselves to it. No intelligent lifeforms exist, whose lifespan is such that a millenium would represent only a small portion if its potential. No generation ship could possibly be constructed that would survive intact and functioning for millenia. Even if such shiip could be constructed no intelligent lifeform would willingly subject themselves and their descendents to such a voyage. No intelligent lifeform will ever develop the technology to freeze embryos for millenia, succesffuly stimulate then into growth, raise them via sophisticated robotics and educate them via advanced AIs. No FTL drives, no warp space, no worm holes required. If you feel you can justify those assumptions go for it. If not the position is refuted. On this we are in complete agreement.
  5. You sound a bit like Lord Kelvin, challenging the viability of Darwin's evolutionary theory on the basis that the Earth was not old enough. He was comfortable that it would take no more than a hundred million years or so to cool from a molten state to its present temperature. Ignorance of radioactivity led to a flawed conclusion, despite his genius. Donald Rumsfeld was mocked for speaking of unknown unknowns, but I think he had a point.
  6. Just to reinforce @studiot's correction of your understanding of what constitutes a machine, a wedge is most assuredly a machine. Levers are another. Pick up any stout fallen branch in the forest and use it as an undesigned lever to move a rock. Dictionary definitions are excellent for the purpose they were designed for: capturing current usage of words in general communications. They are less effective, sometimes misleading, and occassionally seriously incorrect when defining terms within science and engineering. The consequence of this - you cannot refute studiot's argument by attacking a strawman definition of machine.
  7. I heard that in Central Asia it is popular to race chickens against cattle, but it turned out to be cock and bull story.
  8. I have not read Darwin's Black Box, but I do have a copy of Behe's later work The Edge of Evolution, along with another dozen or two creationists' works. Wells, Dembski, Denton, Johnson, Stove - the usual suspects. Religious fundametalism threatens our society and it makes sense to know your enemy. Other members have asked, but you seem to have ignored them - can you specify a couple of examples of what you perceive as the limitations of Darwinism, or any mainline aspect of evolutionary theory? It is a common thought in some theological circles. I've run across it many times. If you wish I can try to dig out specific examples for you.
  9. Very true, but such instances are the result of professional observation that hints at such a possibility and is then demonstrated (or refuted) through a series of carefully designed tests. It is not taken as an established fact just because someone makes an unsubstantiated claim in a random blog. I am also curious how you as "I'm not a scientist" seems so proficient at producing bits and pieces of research that allegedly support your view point, yet seem blindly unaware of the vast volume of publications that contradict your claims. It's almost as if you were being fed material by someone with an agenda. Can you explain that?
  10. In discussions about what aliens would, or would not do, what they would, or would not be like, and what they would, or would not think, it always strikes me how few people appreciate precisely what alien means. Put another way, I agree wholeheartedly with your second sentence. (And your first, but that's a secondary matter.)
  11. In addition to your response for rejecting the reasoning, I note that the search phrase "ant ecology" on Google Scholar returns "about 971,000" items. It seems some of us are interested in ants.
  12. Indeed. The unusually high concentrations of iridium, well above normal levels, at the Cretaceous -Paleogene boundary led to the identification of the Chicxulub impact that caused the extinction of most of the Earth's species, including the non-avian dinosaurs. If iridium were common we might still be puzzling over all that.
  13. This statement is flawed in at least two ways: Observations of "the rest of the cosmos" contribute to the "classically understood, etc." mechanisms. Consequently the rest of the cosmos canobt be discounted if one "adheres to" mechansisms that have been determined, in part, by observing the rest of the cosmos. Excluding a hypothetical possibility that lacks substance or support is not equivalent to discounting the rest of the universe. Conclusion: the rest of your rambling can be ignored.
  14. Although, if one had the technology to live for millions of years, maintaining a stable environment shouldn't be much of a challenge. Or changing it and yourself to suit your latest whim.
  15. Pessimist: What doesn't kill you, just weakens you for Nature's next attack. Optimist: As the end product of 3.5 billion years of evolution it will take more than a few spiky buggers to kill us off. Realist: That chap Putin seems to have more nukes than brain cells. Not ideal.
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