1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. SUPPORT THE SHOW AND ENJOY A PREMIUM PARACAST EXPERIENCE! Welcome to The Paracast+! For a low subscription fee, you will receive access to an ad-free version of The Paracast, the exclusive After The Paracast podcast, featuring color commentary, exclusive interviews, plus show transcripts, the new Paracast+ Video Channel, Classic Episodes and Special Features categories! We now offer lifetime memberships! You can subscribe via this direct link:
    https://www.theparacast.com/introducing-the-paracast/

    The Official Paracast Store is back! Check out our latest lineup of customized stuff at: The Official Paracast Store!

    Subscribe to The Paracast Newsletter!
    Dismiss Notice

The third term in the Drake Equation

Discussion in 'General Freewheeling Chit-Chat' started by PCarr, Feb 6, 2014.



  1. PCarr

    PCarr Paranormal Adept

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    276
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Washington, D.C. area (Maryland)
    Home Page:
    You do realize that SETI in the U.S. has not been federally funded for 20 years? I've talked to them too, and I believe your sense of "covert contempt" says much more about you than it does about them.

    There is a vast literature on this, both popular and professional. People like Seth Shostak devote a lot of their time just to public outreach, as does the SETI institute, and they have answered every question many times. You just have to open your eyes. Try starting with the staff publications at seti.org. For example, Jill Tarter's. All this stuff is out in the open and available to anyone.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
    USI Calgary likes this.
  2. PCarr

    PCarr Paranormal Adept

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    276
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Washington, D.C. area (Maryland)
    Home Page:
    Geoff Marcy is now doing optical SETI experiments at the Keck telescope, the premier northern hemisphere observatory in the world. I asked him how he got this approved, and he told me that he doesn't tell them! He does it as piggy back science - looking for laser lines in the natural background. No doubt part of this is that he's Geoff f'n Marcy. Anyway, pretty exciting that optical SETI goes on on the most powerful telescope in the hemisphere.
     
    USI Calgary and Frank Stalter like this.
  3. O'Rilly

    O'Rilly Paranormal Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    /-\ /-/ / /_ /_
    Following link goes to a paper by folks at Oxford published June 8, 2018 that reexamines assumptions in the parameters of the Drake equation from a SETI-type mindset. The point the authors make is that there are magnitudes of uncertainty for several Drake parameters, in particular regarding abiogenesis. That uncertainty affects the equation in such a way that a scientifically responsible outcome could be that there are no other civilizations in the galaxy, or even in the observable universe, other than we humans. They do go to pains in the paper to clarify that they are not saying outright there are no other civilizations. But rather, by properly taking into consideration the magitudes of uncertainty for specific Drake parameters, the true situation could well be that no other civilizations other than earth's exists. Thus other civilizations are not a given. Evidently there are some supplements to the paper that are not included at the link. Darn.

    Dissolving the Fermi Paradox

    Abstract
    The Fermi paradox is the conflict between an expectation of a high
    ex ante probability of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe and the
    apparently lifeless universe we in fact observe. The expectation that the
    universe should be teeming with intelligent life is linked to models like the
    Drake equation, which suggest that even if the probability of intelligent
    life developing at a given site is small, the sheer multitude of possible
    sites should nonetheless yield a large number of potentially observable
    civilizations. We show that this conflict arises from the use of Drake-like
    equations, which implicitly assume certainty regarding highly uncertain
    parameters. We examine these parameters, incorporating models of chem-
    ical and genetic transitions on paths to the origin of life, and show that
    extant scientific knowledge corresponds to uncertainties that span multi-
    ple orders of magnitude. This makes a stark difference.
    When the model
    is recast to represent realistic distributions of uncertainty, we find a sub-
    stantial ex ante probability of there being no other intelligent life in our
    observable universe, and thus that there should be little surprise when
    we fail to detect any signs of it. This result dissolves the Fermi paradox,
    and in doing so removes any need to invoke speculative mechanisms by
    which civilizations would inevitably fail to have observable effects upon
    the universe. [emphasis added]
     
    USI Calgary and PointLess like this.
  4. USI Calgary

    USI Calgary J. Randall Murphy Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    9,020
    Likes Received:
    6,592
    Location:
    Calgary Canada
    Home Page:
    The counterpoint is of course is that this approach is just a more sophisticated way of "organizing our ignorance" against ETI, and both versions leave out any mention of the many UFO witnesses there are here in the real world rather than on a math board.
     
  5. O'Rilly

    O'Rilly Paranormal Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    /-\ /-/ / /_ /_
    Actually, I look at the article in quite a different light. Drake developed his equation from within the "big science" world of the '60's when the space race was in the headlines continually, and Drake himself was one the earliest proponents of SETI. For the most part science was then, and is still now, bound to reductive materialism as a worldview. So now, when these SETI-influenced authors say they've looked at magnitudes of uncertainty regarding life, and in particular, abiogenesis, to the point that earth's humans may be the only intelligent beings in the galaxy, or visible universe, then that is rather big news I would say. If the worldview of reductive materialism lacks the ability to readily account even for the origins of life on earth -- thereafter extrapolated to other planets -- then explanations for the origin of life other than those derived from reductive materialism may be indicated. That is what I think is the big takeaway from this article.

    Regarding your comment Randall, first let me say clearly, again, that I am convinced that lots of people around the world are reporting all kinds of actually-experienced strange things. On the other hand, so far, I have not seen any report that requires interstellar visitors. Even the Nimitz tic-tac cannot be proved to have originated from deep space. And perhaps I'm wrong, but you seem to have backed off from making the interstellar visitor angle the only possible explanation. But "interstellar" is what SETI people are looking for. So if UFO reports contain no convincing evidence of actual interstellar visitation, then it is not so surprising that SETI people are not interested in those reports, given their reductive materialist worldview. But please, as I've asked before, if you or anyone else have a list of UFO encounter reports that convincingly prove interstellar visitation, then by all means, I think we all would appreciate that list.
     
    USI Calgary likes this.
  6. USI Calgary

    USI Calgary J. Randall Murphy Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    9,020
    Likes Received:
    6,592
    Location:
    Calgary Canada
    Home Page:
    That's all fair counterpoint, but again, the variables against ETI in the article are such that they also require assumptions based on an absence of evidence, and therefore carry no more weight in terms of reasonableness than if the same variables were assigned values that would give a higher probability of ETI. It's all just interesting mathematical extrapolation. On the other hand, firsthand witnesses don't need a calculator to confirm what they're seeing. Sure we can make the assumption that because UFOs are seen here on Earth that it must mean they're from Earth.

    But how reasonable is that when the craft observed don't conform to any known natural or manmade phenomena on Earth? We could buy into the secret society or breakaway civilization hypothesis, but even Bosley admits that some UFOs go way beyond the technology of whatever those groups would have ( if they even exist ). So then what? How reasonable is it to think there's some other secret civilization with all the resources, manufacturing, and assembly required to build stuff like mother ships and saucers? I don't think it's reasonable to believe that such a civilization could remain hidden for this long. Besides that, what would be the point of building such craft just to fly them around the Earth without anyone knowing?

    Lastly the issue of "proof" is simply evidence sufficient to justify someone's belief in a claim. Therefore it's largely subjective. Some people require more evidence than others. IMO the evidence of firsthand witnesses combined with critical thinking is sufficient to put the Interstellar Hypothesis at the top of the list. But I'll also grant that there may be other explanations. I personally prefer the Alternate Universe Hypothesis, but that's even farther out than the Interstellar Hypothesis, and in either case, both still fall under the ETH.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
    technomage likes this.
  7. O'Rilly

    O'Rilly Paranormal Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    /-\ /-/ / /_ /_
    Sorry, I wasn't thinking of the UFO phenomenon in terms of breakaway civilizations. My general view would align with Hynek's, who on a live radio talk show in around 1980, which I was listening to, he responded to a call-in question as to where UFO's come from. He said that he thought they came from a realm "akin" to that of God and angels. One of the following callers was angrily indignant that Hynek would say such a thing about UFOs. After the show I actually wrote a letter to Hynek thanking him for telling it like he sees it, and he sent me a brief reply (that I lost a long time ago).

    Paul Davies was interviewed not too long ago about the evidence for ETI, after he'd written his book, The Eerie Silence, and he, like the authors of the paper I posted above, agrees that the possibility exists that no other intelligent beings have arisen on other planets, found in the interview here (for about a minute of interview) but he makes clear that his preference would be to find evidence for such beings. Paul Davies, interestingly, was also included in the Acknowledgements section on page 9 of Hynek's 1972 book, The UFO Experience, A Scientific Inquiry, so Davies was evidently acquainted with Hynek. Davies is now working at Arizona State University, see CV, so would he possibly be interested in giving a Paracast interview???
     
    USI Calgary likes this.
  8. USI Calgary

    USI Calgary J. Randall Murphy Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    9,020
    Likes Received:
    6,592
    Location:
    Calgary Canada
    Home Page:
    The thing about assuming UFOs are heavenly craft is that if one looks into the word origins of religious mythology, e.g. by using Unger's Bible Dictionary, we find that the concept of heaven began with the idea that the heavens ( plural ) consisted of various layers extending from the Earth upwards through the heights of the mountains, birds, clouds, and into the realm where the stars and Gods resided. The word "heaven" was later reshaped into a la la afterlife by the church, which was an effective way of giving their flocks motivation to behave. So there's every reason to consider the heavens from biblical mythology as space, and no reasonable argument ( IMO ) for accepting that it actually represents some mystical afterlife realm.
    Davies might actually make an interesting guest, but the problem I've seen with him is this ...


    Not taking UFO reports seriously because aliens are often reported as having humanoid form, and therefore the idea is too anthropocentric, is completely faulty reasoning, yet he seems perfectly comfortable using that rationale to offhandedly dismiss them. So would he even agree to be on a show that is themed to take the phenomenon seriously? I'm not fielding guests at the moment, but you can always suggest it here: Guest Suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018 at 9:03 PM
  9. O'Rilly

    O'Rilly Paranormal Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    /-\ /-/ / /_ /_
    Unger's Bible Dictionary, well, well. Better than nothing. Not that UBD is not good for introductions to various subjects. But, in any case, I'm not saying that UFO's are "heavenly" craft. That's your strawman concept to bat down.

    I am saying that non-human intelligences have long been reported in all kinds of cultures (including but not limited to those out of which the bible has come) and those non-human intelligences have been interacting with humanity for thousands of years.

    Randall, this is so ill-informed that I wouldn't know where to start. I get that you obviously have a serious issue with anything related to christian religious institutions, which is your business. I am not affiliated with any such institution, for your information. But in any case, please, ideas of afterlife have been around since well before the christian church, and those kinds of ideas are also shared by all kinds of non-christian groups, so in my opinion it's just wrong to focus your blame on that institution. Beyond that, my concept of UFOs is not related to "afterlife" but to non-human intelligences that are quite powerful.

    I suggested Davies because he was evidently acquainted with Hynek, and he is now associated with SETI. Might be good to get various opinions, if he's interested. In any case, what you point out as Davies' lack of interest in UFO reports might be comparable to your lack of interest in non-human intelligences reported for thousands of years. Whatever . . .
     
  10. USI Calgary

    USI Calgary J. Randall Murphy Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    9,020
    Likes Received:
    6,592
    Location:
    Calgary Canada
    Home Page:
    Merrill Frederick Unger (1909–1980) was a Bible commentator, scholar, archaeologist, and theologian. He earned his A.B. and Ph.D. degrees at Johns Hopkins University, and his Th.M and Th.D degrees at Dallas Theological Seminary. Merrill Unger - Wikipedia. Given these credentials, it's reasonable to use his research as a point of reference until proven to be in error, which you have not done. Additionally your claim that the reference forms a strawman argument is false, because in the context of the comment that UFOs come from "a realm "akin" to that of God and angels." the biblical reference to that realm ( known as Heaven ) is entirely relevant and in context. If you wish to dispute it, you'll need some stronger counterpoint.
    That might be what your saying now, but it's not what the quote said in your previous post. If you wish to move the goalposts that's fine. We'll forget the previous claim and reframe the question.
    Proclaiming I'm ill informed when I've based my response on a scholarly reference implies that the reference is also ill informed. Therefore if you wish to dispute Unger's A.B. and Ph.D. degrees at Johns Hopkins University, and his Th.M and Th.D degrees at Dallas Theological Seminary, then by all means provide compelling evidence or credible counterpoint.
    The above comment isn't relevant to your quote from Hynek which was specific to "angels and God", which are quite clearly biblical references.
    Davies could turn out to be a very good guest, especially since I'd have the opportunity to press him on his dismissiveness of UFOs. Regarding my interest in non-human intelligence, where do you get the idea that I'm not interested?
     
  11. O'Rilly

    O'Rilly Paranormal Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    /-\ /-/ / /_ /_
    Neither I nor Hynek said it was God and angels, but a realm something like what people consider that to be. I think Hynek is still considered a reliable voice for a possible UFO source, and I didn't misquote him.

    I'm not changing any goal posts. You just read too much into my qualified statement.

    I used to have a UBD in the 1980's.

    I'm really tired of the grind Randall. You've now got 9000 posts. You live here at the Paracast forums. Obviously I do not, since I have less than 30 in almost a year.

    So, have fun.
     
  12. USI Calgary

    USI Calgary J. Randall Murphy Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    9,020
    Likes Received:
    6,592
    Location:
    Calgary Canada
    Home Page:
    Either way it's clear that the inference is to religious interpretations of Heaven, which made my post in context and reasonable. If you don't think so, then I suppose you're entitled to think otherwise.
    That's perfectly fair. I think Hynek is a very credible source too, and never said otherwise.
    I didn't read anything more into your statements other than what you wrote, which was A. Hyneks's quote, and B. Rewording Hynek's quote in your own words in such a way that it was substantially different than what it actually said. That is pretty much the definition of moving the goalposts, But like I said; it's fine for the discussion to evolve.
    You'd have to clarify that one. I don't know what you are referring to.
    Wow. 9000 posts. I hadn't noticed. That alone seems contrary to your statement that I don't have an "interest in nonhuman intelligences". Dare I suggest that if you're tired after only 29 posts, that it's your level of interest that is waning. But that's perfectly fine. I've also been here since 2010 and into ufology on my own for even longer. I find it endlessly fascinating, but it's certainly not for everyone. So by all means, if you're tired of it, then take a break and pursue whatever you are into. That's what life is for. You can always come back to it later if you feel more inspired.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018 at 8:54 PM
Loading...

Share This Page