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Alien origin thought experiment.


Moontanman
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Possible origins of the "aliens" in UFOs or UAPs  

14 members have voted

  1. 1. Possible alien origins

    • Another planetary system
      8
    • Another plan of existence
      2
    • Another hidden (deep sea or underground would be possible examples) civilization.
      1
    • Time travelers from the far future
      3


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On 12/24/2021 at 9:31 PM, beecee said:

Hmmm, let's remind you again.....

Alien Origin thought experiment:

Possible alien origins

  • Another planetary system
     
     
  • Another plan of existence
     
     
  • Another hidden (deep sea or underground would be possible examples) civilization.
  • :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

 

Yes I get it, you want to return to basics, to clarify your possition and avoid the ambiguity of a nuanced reality.

However, the thread has evolved and I feel that the difficuty of first contact and communication is a legitimate line of enquiry that adds to the topic; no doubt you'll disagree, and you're most welcome too, but for a fruitful discussion an explanation of why you disagree is required (not just a dismissive hand waving excuse), IOW a reason why not an excuse not too.

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8 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Yes I get it, you want to return to basics, to clarify your possition and avoid the ambiguity of a nuanced reality.

However, the thread has evolved and I feel that the difficuty of first contact and communication is a legitimate line of enquiry that adds to the topic; no doubt you'll disagree, and you're most welcome too, but for a fruitful discussion an explanation of why you disagree is required (not just a dismissive hand waving excuse), IOW a reason why not an excuse not too.

While the thread has evolved, you still have not answered the OP question, and your continued objections to me raising that position is rather telling.

Again, (as per the thread evolution, as you raised) most cosmologists accept that while we have no concrete evidence for life off the Earth, it is most likely there, somewhere, sometime. To a lesser extent, some of that life may have evolved to somewhere near our own advancement, and are undertaking space endeavours also. That obviously would not be any as yet undiscovered life within our own stellar system. Which again raises the two prohibitive aspects pushing against interstellar contact...time and distance.

Language, (that which you seem to think is another barrier) is nothing more than a slight inconvenience, that the language of mathematics will help to overcome, along with other illustrative methods that we ourselves have attempted with the Pioneers and Voyagers, if by chance they are one day intercepted by some advanced Alien species.

But again, as Confucious was reported to have said, "a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single footstep", so once again why are you so apprehensive about answering the question in the OP? Instead of practising whatever it is that you are trying to practise. 

 

PS: Of course for your information and edification, the OP assumes that we have been visited by Alien controlled craft, from somewhere, sometime. As facts stand at this time, we have no concrete evidence to support any visitation by any advanced species.

 

 

On 12/18/2021 at 9:43 PM, dimreepr said:

Firstly, chemosynthesis doesn't need sunlight, so a parent star isn't necessary* and secondly the sagan quote isn't relevant to your question, unless you mean a parent star litterally, in which case the question is meaningless.

Again, on one of your early "inquisitions"

The Sagan quote of course is relevent....nothing exists without stars. You do understand that this is where our elements all come from, yes? (other then H and some He of course)  Stars have a habit of going nova and supernova, and spread their guts (the elements) throughout the universe.

We need energy to exist...we get that energy from the Sun fundamentally, and via food as an extension. Without that energy we hunger and die. That applies to any living organism. Nothing exists without stars.

And that just a small sample of how you obfuscate, based on your unsupported and refuted claim, that language is a barrier preventing contact. It isn't, as I have shown. 

Edited by beecee
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15 hours ago, beecee said:

While the thread has evolved, you still have not answered the OP question, and your continued objections to me raising that position is rather telling.

What's telling, is that you do not read my post's.

 

15 hours ago, beecee said:

The Sagan quote of course is relevent....nothing exists without stars. You do understand that this is where our elements all come from, yes? (other then H and some He of course)  Stars have a habit of going nova and supernova, and spread their guts (the elements) throughout the universe.

But not to your question as I've explained; another post you clearly haven't read.

15 hours ago, beecee said:

And that just a small sample of how you obfuscate, based on your unsupported and refuted claim, that language is a barrier preventing contact. It isn't, as I have shown. 

OTOH I have read all of your post's (and largely understood) and I challenge you to point to a post, where you have shown anyone that language isn't a barrier 'preventing contact'...

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On 12/26/2021 at 7:18 AM, dimreepr said:

However, the thread has evolved and I feel that the difficuty of first contact and communication is a legitimate line of enquiry that adds to the topic; no doubt you'll disagree, and you're most welcome too, but for a fruitful discussion an explanation of why you disagree is required (not just a dismissive hand waving excuse), IOW a reason why not an excuse not too.

Well, no. It's not your thread, and nobody is really obligated to follow a line of inquiry that goes beyond the scope of the OP. If you want to start a new thread, feel free, but you can't compel people to participate in it. 

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7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

What's telling, is that you do not read my post's.

Your usual tit for tat approach?

7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

But not to your question as I've explained; another post you clearly haven't read.

It is relevant to your own statement of inquiry, that obviously you fail to understand, or are you just being obtuse ? Nothing exists without stars. Got it?

7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

OTOH I have read all of your post's (and largely understood) and I challenge you to point to a post, where you have shown anyone that language isn't a barrier 'preventing contact'...

Language is at best a minor hindrance to inter-stellar contact, but nowhere near the barriers that time and distance are. I was in Panama for 6 days, i did not and still do not understand Spanish, and got on admirably! And again, of course, far more intelligent people than you, understand that mathematics and illustrations between reasonably intelligent species, should overcome any language barriers between them.

But hey! you still havn't answered the OP's question. It really isn't that difficult....

1. Possible alien origins

Another planetary system

Another plan of existence

Another hidden (deep sea or underground would be possible examples) civilization.

Time travelers from the far future

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

 

My answer was........

On 6/19/2021 at 7:01 AM, beecee said:

I'm with an advanced civilisation from another planetary system.

Perhaps the "human resemblance" evolutionary process, is simply the most favoured to reach advanced intelligence and associated abilities. What I mean is that while an Octupus is obviously "intelligent" it is still confined somewhat by its evolutionary path.

I pick a civilisation from another planet simly because of the "near infinite" extent and content of our universe, and the stuff of life being everywhere we look.

That is somewhat supported here.......https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/jun/15/scientists-say-most-likely-number-of-contactable-alien-civilisations-is-36

extract:

"He added that, while it is a speculative theory, he believes alien life would have similarities in appearance to life on Earth. “We wouldn’t be super shocked by seeing them,” he said".

"Under the strictest set of assumptions – where, as on Earth, life forms between 4.5bn and 5.5bn years after star formation – there are likely between four and 211 civilisations in the Milky Way today capable of communicating with others, with 36 the most likely figure. But Conselice noted that this figure is conservative, not least as it is based on how long our own civilisation has been sending out signals into space – a period of just 100 years so far."

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Obviously that article by professional people, also agree with me re language not being any barrier as such. I believe you should understand this, but for some reason???.......

Let me attempt again....You said you challenge me to show language isn't a barrier.....surely you are aware of the plaques on the Voyagers and Pioneers craft that mathematically and via illustration, hope to convey to any possible  advanced civilisation that may intercept them.

Let me assure you dimreeper, that if and when we make contact with a similar advanced species, the language difficulties will be secondary to the abilty to have overcome the distances and consequently time barriers.

 In summing I'm pretty sure that we can be optimistic that taking into acount the universal nature of physical laws and such, would be certainly enough to overcome any supposed barriers of reasonable communication, with advanced species. In essence, it would be the least of our worries ( and the advanced Alien's worries) in answering mankind's ( and probably the advanced Aliens) greatest question. Are we alone.

They are my views for what they are worth, in answering your inquisitions. Please, at least try (just for me?) to answer the OP question/s. If you have answered it and I have missed it, then I am really sorry about that, so I beg your forgiveness and ask you to answer again....pretty please?

5 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Indeed, but I can ask...

Sure, and you have been answered now three times.

Edited by beecee
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https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/alien-interpreters-how-linguists-would-talk-to-extraterrestrials/

extract:

"On the other hand, there's the argument that any species that achieves a high level of technology would necessarily understand certain concepts, so that ought to provide a basis for at least a limited degree of communication," he added.

Keren Rice, a linguist at the University of Toronto in Canada, agreed that basic communication should be possible between humans and aliens. "The only way that I could imagine this not happening is if the things that we think are common to languages—situating in time [and] space, talking about participants, etc.—are so radically different that the human language provides no starting point for it," Rice told Live Science in an email.

Although there are evolutionary roots to the structure of human language, Snedeker said, it's possible that there's only one way for languages to work. In that case, aliens may have evolved to solve the problem of language in the same way that humans did, making interplanetary communication possible.

Everett agreed. "It's entirely possible that there are languages that have systems of organization and ways of transmitting meaning that we've never imagined," he said, "but I think that's unlikely."

But even if people are able to discern the patterns in the language, the way the message is sent could be a challenge. Humans communicate mainly through sight, sound and touch, but aliens might not. "It's hard to imagine a language working on taste, but who knows?" Everett said.

If extraterrestrials have starkly different perceptual or expressive systems than those of humans, technology could help bridge the gap between human perception and alien output, linguists said. For example, if aliens spoke at frequencies that people can't hear, humans could instead interpret digital recordings as visual waveforms.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The article concludes thus...."There's no right answer to the question," Snedeker said.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

So we can speculate about language/communication between Alien species and ourselves, as much as we like, but it all remains speculative and the only true valid facts are time and distance being the two great barriers between inter-species contact.

My dogs don't even have a language, but I communicate with them quite successfully.

Let's hope that dimreeper can find the time, to answer the question/s in the OP, just as I have answered and offered my views and links, relating to his inquisitions.

7 hours ago, swansont said:

Well, no. It's not your thread, and nobody is really obligated to follow a line of inquiry that goes beyond the scope of the OP. If you want to start a new thread, feel free, but you can't compel people to participate in it. 

While I obviously see the priorty in answering the OP question/s, I am not that concerned with this current language "connection." But your suggestion in starting a new thread has merit. Perhaps starting with transferring those "off topic"  posts on language  to another thread as a start?

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17 hours ago, beecee said:

Language is at best a minor hindrance to inter-stellar contact, but nowhere near the barriers that time and distance are. I was in Panama for 6 days, i did not and still do not understand Spanish, and got on admirably! And again, of course, far more intelligent people than you, understand that mathematics and illustrations between reasonably intelligent species, should overcome any language barriers between them.

We speak the same language and you don't understand me.

15 hours ago, beecee said:

My dogs don't even have a language, but I communicate with them quite successfully.

Yes, you do that through anthropomorphism and training, that doesn't mean you can have a logical conversation with your dog... 

How would you anthropomorphise a jellyfish?

15 hours ago, beecee said:

This doesn't show my hypothesis to be wrong, it's just a different opinion.

17 hours ago, beecee said:

It is relevant to your own statement of inquiry, that obviously you fail to understand, or are you just being obtuse ? Nothing exists without stars. Got it?

Got it, your question is moot and irrelevant... 

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6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

We speak the same language and you don't understand me.

I'm apparently in good company in that regard.

6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Yes, you do that through anthropomorphism and training, that doesn't mean you can have a logical conversation with your dog... 

I'm having/had far more success with them then with yourself.

6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

How would you anthropomorphise a jellyfish?

 The basis of the facts that time and distance are great barriers between inter-stellar contact, while any apparent language difficulty, with an advanced species,   would most likely be overcome via mathematics and illustrations, as most reasonable cosmologists/scientists anticipate as shown with the Pioneers and Voyagers.

6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

This doesn't show my hypothesis to be wrong, it's just a different opinion.

And an hypothesis it remains. Good luck with any progress with that.

6 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Got it, your question is moot and irrelevant... 

Only if you remain as obtuse as you seem to be maintaining. You raised the position of life forms that exist without "direct" energy from the Sun. I am showing you that nothing at all exists without the Sun and other stars....As a great man said, "we were all (including the elements) born in the belly of stars" Carl Sagan.

Still not answering the OP question? Why? Against your religion? philosophy? 🥱

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17 hours ago, beecee said:

The basis of the facts that time and distance are great barriers between inter-stellar contact, while any apparent language difficulty, with an advanced species,   would most likely be overcome via mathematics and illustrations, as most reasonable cosmologists/scientists anticipate as shown with the Pioneers and Voyagers.

You/they are assuming a certain amount of commonality for a basic language to be established.

What if the alien's evolved from octopuses and have to spend half their time in an ocean enviroment and communicate with the colours of their skin and, no doubt, they'd have a different way of counting; how would you tell them you're hungry?

I'm not saying language is always a barrier, but it is a significant hurdle that's not automatically surmountable. 

Much like time and distance... 😉

18 hours ago, beecee said:

Only if you remain as obtuse as you seem to be maintaining. You raised the position of life forms that exist without "direct" energy from the Sun. I am showing you that nothing at all exists without the Sun and other stars....

Thus rendering your question moot and your use of Sagan's quote irrelevant.

Life can't exist without star's; but it can exist without a sun... 

19 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Life can't exist without star's; but it can exist without a sun...

And before we go round the block again, if life can exist without a direct need of a sun, then a parent star is not needed but a parent universe is.

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7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

You/they are assuming a certain amount of commonality for a basic language to be established.

Yes, advanced intelligence. You/they are assuming no commonality for any communication. As usual, I'm still in good company.

7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

What if the alien's evolved from octopuses and have to spend half their time in an ocean enviroment and communicate with the colours of their skin and, no doubt, they'd have a different way of counting; how would you tell them you're hungry?

We are talking about advanced species you understand?

I already have used octopuses as an example, and a reason, why any advanced intellgence that undertakes space travel, should/must be as detailed  in the following quote......your continued what ifs after what ifs after more what ifs, do not cut it. 

On 12/29/2021 at 6:20 AM, beecee said:

I'm with an advanced civilisation from another planetary system.

Perhaps the "human resemblance" evolutionary process, is simply the most favoured to reach advanced intelligence and associated abilities. What I mean is that while an Octupus is obviously "intelligent" it is still confined somewhat by its evolutionary path.

I pick a civilisation from another planet simly because of the "near infinite" extent and content of our universe, and the stuff of life being everywhere we look.

 

7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

I'm not saying language is always a barrier, but it is a significant hurdle that's not automatically surmountable. 

Much like time and distance... 😉

I'm not saying language would never be a barrier, but any advanced species undertaking space travel, would have knowledge of the universal laws of physics and mathematics, and communication/s would probably be surmoutable. 

Time and distance are governed by the universal laws of physics.

7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Thus rendering your question moot and your use of Sagan's quote irrelevant.

Life can't exist without star's; but it can exist without a sun... 

Here we are again, back in the twilight zone of confusion and nonsense.

You do understand that the Sun is a star? a yellow dwarf G2V star?

Not much more to say, as it appears you have your fingers in your ears and simply want last say on your nonsense. Sad.

https://history.nasa.gov/EP-177/ch3-1.html#:~:text=Without the Sun's heat and,oxygen for life on Earth.

"Nothing is more important to us on Earth than the Sun. Without the Sun's heat and light, the Earth would be a lifeless ball of ice-coated rock. The Sun warms our seas, stirs our atmosphere, generates our weather patterns, and gives energy to the growing green plants that provide the food and oxygen for life on Earth".

https://earthscience.stackexchange.com/questions/4535/would-life-on-earth-survive-without-the-sun

The answer is No, the Earth would not remain in any recognizable form without the Sun.

There would still be a husk of a dead planet with a small amount of energy coming from the residual heat of the core which might be able to sustain chemosynthetic life in small colonies. However, this is a pretty minor amount of energy compared to what we usually receive from the sun, and without an energy input lifeforms aren't able to sustain their unusually low entropic state (i.e. entropy wins the battle with life).

Some other examples of everyday things which would no longer occur (some already mentioned by @fre0n) are:

  • There would be no seasons.
  • There would be no weather.
  • There would be no daytime.
  • There would be no liquid water at the surface.
  • The surface temperature would drop to near absolute zero
  • ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::Obviously, the above two references, more or less describe an Earth where for some reason, the Sun has disappeared or has been extinguished. And while certainly planets have been discovered without a parent star, that planet near certainly was gravitationally ejected from a stellar system, or had ungone a collision, throwing it out of its original orbital parameters. Our understanding of the formation of Planets and Stars, are that they form from the same collapsing  accretion disk.

It is a near certain fact, that any planet that happened to form without an original energy giving, life creating, parent star, would be one frozen lifeless lump of rock...

7 hours ago, dimreepr said:

And before we go round the block again, if life can exist without a direct need of a sun, then a parent star is not needed but a parent universe is.

All planets, all planetary life existing on such a planet, needs a parent star. FACT. Any life without the "direct" need of a Sun, (such as in Ocean's near deep sea vents and such) still would not exist without any parent star, at sometime during its formation.

"we were all (including the elements) born in the belly of stars" Carl Sagan.

On 12/29/2021 at 6:20 AM, beecee said:

Only if you remain as obtuse as you seem to be maintaining. You raised the position of life forms that exist without "direct" energy from the Sun. I am showing you that nothing at all exists without the Sun and other stars....As a great man said, "we were all (including the elements) born in the belly of stars" Carl Sagan.

Still not answering the OP question? Why? Against your religion? philosophy? 🥱

OK, dimreeper, I have answerd all your "what ifs" along with links and references with regards to your claims. It appears you want the final say, while still stubbornly refusing to answer the original question. I can't change that. You have fun then playing your off topic philosophical/pseudo religious games. In essence, photosynthesis and chemosynthesis, or any other synthesis you care to name, does not, can not, take place on any planet, that did not/has not, got a parent star.

Are you now going to cease playing games and answer the OP question/s? 

Edited by beecee
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14 hours ago, beecee said:

We are talking about advanced species you understand?

Yes I do, why are you assuming something related to hominids?

Just because it has an octopus ancestor, why assume it can't become more advanced than us and if it communicates via it's skin or by touch, how could you tell a threat from a welcome?

14 hours ago, beecee said:

In essence, photosynthesis and chemosynthesis, or any other synthesis you care to name, does not, can not, take place on any planet, that did not/has not, got a parent star.

Just being cock sure about your assertions doesn't make it fact, how can you even guess that you're right about something you can't possibly know?

Edited by dimreepr
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45 minutes ago, beecee said:

Nothing new to see here.....same old, same old nonsensical denial of science. 😏

main-qimg-1f262d1af8d58212715cbddadae2732c-lq

You can't assume intelligence is a commonality, as you pointed out, an octopus has a very different intelligence to us; even assuming an equal level of advancement doesn't mean we can assume an equal level of technology. 

IOW stop assuming you know what an alien visitor would look like; "It is a silly thing"...

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23 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

"It is a silly thing"...

What's even more sillier, is assuming that octupuses, as intelliget as they are, are able to undertake space travel. As damn near as silly, and as arrogantto keep avoiding the OP question, due to some deep held philosophical religious nonsense.

Perhaps the "human resemblance" evolutionary process, is simply the most favoured to reach advanced intelligence and associated abilities. What I mean is that while an Octupus is obviously "intelligent" it is still confined somewhat by its evolutionary path.

I pick a civilisation from another planet simly because of the "near infinite" extent and content of our universe, and the stuff of life being everywhere we look.

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16 minutes ago, beecee said:

What's even more sillier, is assuming that octupuses, as intelliget as they are, are able to undertake space travel. As damn near as silly, and as arrogantto keep avoiding the OP question, due to some deep held philosophical religious nonsense.

Perhaps the "human resemblance" evolutionary process, is simply the most favoured to reach advanced intelligence and associated abilities. What I mean is that while an Octupus is obviously "intelligent" it is still confined somewhat by its evolutionary path.

I pick a civilisation from another planet simly because of the "near infinite" extent and content of our universe, and the stuff of life being everywhere we look.

I base my assertions on the trouble I had talking to Bill, a very distinguished dolphin. He suddenly disappeared, leaving a garbled message... Something about fish???

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Discussing the gist of this thread, "Possible alien origins" the choices given were.....Another planetary system: Another plan of existence: Another hidden (deep sea or underground would be possible examples) civilization: Time travelers from the far future: I chose "another planetary system" because of the "near infinite" extent and content of our universe, and the stuff of life being everywhere we look.

On 6/19/2021 at 1:17 AM, Moontanman said:

I chose time travelers due to the resemblance the reported entities have to humans. I wouldn't expect aliens to resemble humans so closely.  

My thoughts on the resemblance was as follows....

On 6/19/2021 at 7:01 AM, beecee said:

Perhaps the "human resemblance" evolutionary process, is simply the most favoured to reach advanced intelligence and associated abilities. What I mean is that while an Octupus is obviously "intelligent" it is still confined somewhat by its evolutionary path.

The other interesting thing with regards to time travellers, is that while time travelling, at least to the future is possible, time travel to the past, is well, far less certain, mainly due to the many paradoxes etc that can develop. And in this instant, these time travellers would likely be from the future, (relative to us) and their past, ( relative to them) Still, while wormholes are still a solution of GR, (despite no evidence of them so far) backwards time travel cannot be 100% discounted.

I reject the "Another hidden (deep sea or underground would be possible examples) civilization" choice as this seems to apply to our own system, and I'm pretty sure, that intelligent advanced life does not exist there, not withstanding ourselves of course on planet Earth! Simpler forms of life certainly, and probably in the oceans of Europa, the interior of Enceledus, and Titan as candidates.

Another plane of existence? That apears a little bit too paranormal and supernatural for my liking. I reject it for no other reason.

On 6/21/2021 at 5:43 AM, Bufofrog said:

I don't think there is alien life involved with UAPs. (2) I don't think time travel is possible. (3)  I don't think interstellar space travel is feasible.  I am curious to see if UAPs are anything more than glitches and misidentification, I don't know what it could be though.

I concur with the highlighted part. (2) at least not into the past, and obviously that would be the case. (3) Not now, not today, but certainly one day it will be feasible, although some difficulties still to overcome, not the least being helth aspects and radiation. 

On another note, I would like to see Moontanman back into the fray, and hope that his pain is diminishing somewhat. Perhaps in the new year?

 

 

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2 hours ago, beecee said:

The other interesting thing with regards to time travellers, is that while time travelling, at least to the future is possible, time travel to the past, is well, far less certain, mainly due to the many paradoxes etc that can develop.

Well I don't agree that time travel ( as you and Moontanman appear to envisage it) is possible within the universe as we know (observe) it.

The spacetime manifold is the wrong shape to allow this.

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18 minutes ago, studiot said:

Well I don't agree that time travel ( as you and Moontanman appear to envisage it) is possible within the universe as we know (observe) it.

The spacetime manifold is the wrong shape to allow this.

How do you mean? One literally is time travelling when flying. There was also an account detailing near what I said with relation to future and past time travel by Kip Thorne, but I cannot find it now.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, beecee said:

How do you mean? One literally is time travelling when flying. There was also an account detailing near what I said with relation to future and past time travel by Kip Thorne, but I cannot find it now.

 

 

It is here: Black Holes & Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy (Commonwealth Fund Book Program) Reprint, Thorne, Kip, Hawking, Stephen W. - Amazon.com

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Here are the last two paragraphs in the chapter 14, Wormholes and Time Machines:

Hawking suspects that the growing beam of vacuum fluctuations is nature’s way of enforcing chronology protection: Whenever one tries to make a time machine, and no matter what kind of device one uses in one’s attempt (a wormhole, a spinning cylinder, a “cosmic string” or whatever), just before one’s device becomes a time machine, a beam of vacuum fluctuations will circulate through the device and destroy it. Hawking seems ready to bet heavily on this outcome.
I am not willing to take the other side in such a bet. I do enjoy making bets with Hawking, but only bets that I have a reasonable chance of winning. My strong gut feeling is that I would lose this one. My own calculations with Kim, and unpublished calculations that Eanna Flanagan (a student of mine) has done more recently, suggest to me that Hawking is likely to be right. Every time machine is likely to self destruct (by means of circulating vacuum fluctuations) at the moment one tries to activate it. However, we cannot know for sure until physicists have fathomed in depth the laws of quantum gravity.

Thorne, Kip. Black Holes & Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy (Commonwealth Fund Book Program) (p. 521). W. W. Norton & Company.

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5 hours ago, beecee said:

The other interesting thing with regards to time travellers, is that while time travelling, at least to the future is possible, time travel to the past, is well, far less certain, mainly due to the many paradoxes etc that can develop.

I've never understood why paradoxes are an impediment to time travel. Not that I think time travel is possible, but I don't know why the possibility of me killing my father before I am born somehow interferes with whatever the mechanics of time travel would be. Seems just as likely that I would kill my father and something unexpected would happen somewhere. Surely the universe doesn't care that we don't like paradoxes.

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1 hour ago, zapatos said:

I've never understood why paradoxes are an impediment to time travel. Not that I think time travel is possible, but I don't know why the possibility of me killing my father before I am born somehow interferes with whatever the mechanics of time travel would be. Seems just as likely that I would kill my father and something unexpected would happen somewhere. Surely the universe doesn't care that we don't like paradoxes.

Perhaps it goes too far OT, but I think you are correct -- time travel is not necessarily impossible logically, but it very well can be impossible physically, e.g. as per Kip Thorne's quote above. 

Edited by Genady
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15 hours ago, beecee said:

Perhaps the "human resemblance" evolutionary process, is simply the most favoured to reach advanced intelligence and associated abilities. What I mean is that while an Octupus is obviously "intelligent" it is still confined somewhat by its evolutionary path.

I don't think there is a "human resemblance evolutionary process" and there are no known advanced intelligent aliens that have that form. It seems like rank anthropomorphising to presume it is superior or even necessary - if that is what that prejudice is.

Whilst hands with opposable thumbs at the ends of upper arms of visually capable bipeds appear a very good way to make and use tools (to humans) I don't see it is a requirement; birds build complex nests with beaks and even manipulate tools and Octopuses ('pi?) can do it with suction cup fitted tentacles.

But I suspect that physical capabilities are amongst the least essential - mental and communicative abilities can work around a lot of physical limitations, including by making teamwork possible. One beak to hold the work piece, another to steady the anvil and two more to work the hammer? Isn't much of human success a result of tools and techniques that work around the physical limitations of individuals?

Might that ability to work around physical limitations be a crucial marker of an "intelligent" tool using species? Where is the lower threshold for physical abilities? When starting off a lower base the achievements look greater, not less.

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