Whatever It Is, It Ain’t Aliens

Hey Dr. Larry, how come you are so confident that “it ain’t aliens?” Did not the physicist union rep demand “rigorously defined areas of doubt and uncertainty?”

And how do you know that underneath the current “turtles all the way down” there isn’t a sub-string turtle with unimaginable quantities of energy there for the taking?

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I haven’t seen this spelled out this way before

The Laws of Physics: Travel from another star in any reasonable time requires near-light speed travel. A ship propelled by onboard conventional rocket fuel would require more fuel than there is mass in the visible universe to accelerate to near light speed and slow down at the end of the voyage, so clearly some more advanced fuel would be required. But even using nuclear fusion one would use more than 2,000 times the mass of the ship in fuel for each acceleration and deceleration to and from near-light speed.
It makes sense to me, intuitively, and I know it’s all tied into time slowing down and mass increasing as we approach C, but I’d like to see the equation, just so I could stare at it in awe.

It leaves me thinking that we only get there by string theory, and not by conventional or nuclear power. That is, there have to be a few extra spacial dimensions which let us leap across 3D space as if we were navigating the pages of a newspaper by crumbling it up into a ball and drilling between sheets.

But discovering how those extra dimensions work is the basic challenge of Flatland. The two-dimensional being can only see a mere slice of the three-dimensional being. That makes for a very scary proposition, If we are as the squares and pentagons of Flatland, and we are being attacked by spheres, then they see and understand us in a way that we can never comprehend them. So, unless that extra-dimensional thing is a beneficent god, it’s a bad situation.

On the other hand, if there are extra-dimensional beings in our vicinity, then, if they didn’t like us, they would have gobbled us up long ago. Therefore, if they are out there, they are at least tolerating us. But are they going to instruct us in extra-dimensional travel?

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I’m sorry, but this is a very foolish article. The idea of determining what aliens can do based on our current understanding of technology is frankly ludicrous, and surprising from someone in the field of physics.
Electromagnetism was discovered less than 200 years ago. Such a thing would have been completely unimaginable to almost all who came before. What about quantum entanglement? Completely unexplainable according to all current theories of physics, and impossible according to relativity. I’m also rather shocked by the self-congratulatory tone and general myopia that would have suited an enemy of Galileo. This kind of view of things on many subjects is what’s plaguing many of the sciences today.

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I was thinking that today. Imagine this.

I’m in the year 1850 being told today about Airplane.

“Can’t happen!” I say, “Because the density of coal is just too high to fly!”…

But what about liquid fuel?

“That’s some scifi gobledegook”

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Yup. Not quite time to foreclose on future developments. Already we are told that 95% of the universe is composed of stuff who’s properties we can only guess at above the claim that Dark Matter contains mass and Dark Energy is repulsive of spacetime. We have spooky action at a distance, and we have the observer effect which gives consciousness the status of a physical force. Maybe a sufficiently powerful mind merely needs to see something to make it real?

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Until someone offers substantive evidence that it’s aliens, it’s reasonable to work on the premise that the aliens that are visiting us are as real as the magical witches seen by past generations of observers.

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I have told in other threads that I am descended from a witch. She was convicted by a jury, and hanged for it, at Salem. That is a legal fact. The Governor of Massachusetts pardoned her some 300 years later, but the pardon does not make it any less true. I perhaps have her witchy DNA. I perhaps can create visions to delude you, to create the visual impression of a UFO. I probably don’t even need any particular witch DNA to create the visual impressions.

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It’s reasonable to work on no premise, because we have no idea. No one has suggested that they may be creatures of some sort, right? Add that to your fantasy pile along with aliens and governments. The worst thing about science in these times is the inability to say ‘We don’t know’. We should investigate with great effort what these things are (or if they are as opposed to visual effects), because whatever their source, if they do represent real capabilities such power could be destructive.

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I completely agree. Part of the problem with the current run of UFO stories in legacy media is how credulous and ill-informed most reporters seem to be. Skeptical organizations and activists have expertise in responding to this kind of extraordinary claim, but their wisdom is routinely ignored. Here’s a skeptical analysis of the 60 Minutes story:

https://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/did-us-government-say-ufos-are-real-an-analysis-of-60-minutes-investigation/

You’re assuming that our state of ignorance before the discovery of electromagnetism, relativity, quantum mechanics, etc. is equivalent to gaps in our knowledge today. I don’t think this is the case. Despite obvious limitations, we have a far better understanding of how the universe works than our ancestors from previous centuries. It’s admittedly possible that faster-than-light can somehow be achieved, but it’s extraordinarily unlikely given well-established principles of physics.

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Hey @Schopenhauer welcome back! Glad to see you return.

While I do agree with you here, I have to disagree anyway (I know that sounds weird, bear with me). What I just quoted has been a true statement in a majority of years going back a couple of millennia. This is especially true if you do not force a eurocentric view of progress.

Maybe it really is more true today than it was all of those other times. I personally feel that it is.

But I would not bet any money on it either. The amount we do not know about … well EVERYTHING … vastly dwarfs what we do.

Though to be clear, no, “It ain’t Aliens”. I’ll happily put my money on that square.

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I’m with you here. If the comparison were to a thousand years ago, I would say there had been huge leaps in our understanding of physics. But by 200 years ago, Franklin had been experimenting with lightening, some Frenchman had gone up in a hot air balloon, and we might have been moving off from the Phlogisten theories of chemistry. So even as Einstein and others have improved upon Newton’s physics, and even as we know the gaps in quantum theory and particle mechanics, II don’t see us as just on the verge of some great breakthru into Dark Matter and understanding the composition of the universe. To the contrary, I think the mystery is in extra dimensions, and there, we have no idea at all what we don’t know.

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Nah it’s spacemen. Life’s just more fun that way.

Spoken like someone who’s never been abducted and probed! :wink:

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