Category Archives: dogmas

Those evil, soul harvesting ETs

As a kind of continuation of my previous post (Dolan on Malstrom), the possible interference of UFOs/inhabitants in the US nuclear missile force is a meme that is gaining traction in our culture and ties in with another meme that is also getting attention; the idea that UFO beings are demonic in nature and that nothing good can come of them.

First, in the past few years serious researchers are considering the fact that UFOs have qualities that mimic paranormal, or ghostly ones. That ability to flicker in and out of sight, turn at right angles, shape shift and become a ‘personal’ experience for the observer. This is not an old idea. Investigator John Keel wrote about this during the 1960s. Researcher Jacques Vallee followed in suit in the 1970s. And Vallee was a staunch ETH nuts and bolts guy at first!

So the demonic meme isn’t an old one, just one that has had a resurgence. The most notable example is Nick Redfern’s ‘Final Events, and the Secret Government Group on Demonic UFOs and the Afterlife ‘ , a tome that is an expose of a secret think tank in the American espionage organization CIA and its plan to make the USA in a fascistic theocracy in order to save American ‘souls’ so they won’t get ‘harvested’ by these demonic beings.

What is curious about this meme is the Judeo-Christian flavor of it and to me, that is suspicious. For it completely leaves out the pantheon of gods and demons of the other religions on the earth.

There’s no mention of djinns, manitus, vimanas or anything like that in this think tank’s study, it’s completely fundamentalist, evangelical Christian in scope.

Writer and researcher Micah Hanks of The Gralien Report and Magic, Mysticism and the Molecule weighs in on this subject of demonic UFOs most eloquently and assuredly better than I can:

Quoting Archbishop Desmond Tutu in this week’s edition of Time Magazine, apartheid’s fierce adversary and soon-to-be-retiring holy man commented that, “The texture of our universe is one where there is no question at all but that good and laughter and justice will prevail.” Considering this philosophy alongside popular speculation that alien species may have been visiting Earth for hundreds, if not thousands of years, one might surmise that their intentions were good, also. If aliens are actually here, they haven’t harmed us yet, right?Speculation of this sort no doubt raises contention within ufological circles. After all, there appear to be two differing viewpoints present in modern ufology which, over the years, have slowly resulted in a sort of loose segregation among its ranks: those who believe aliens are here to help humankind, and those who feel that their intentions are more dubious, and present cause for concern. Though these differing perspectives will no doubt continue to foster argument, it is interesting to consider how people’s beliefs in this regard are affected by theology, namely that of Judeo-Christian origin.

During a recent interview, UFO researcher and Presbyterian minister Barry Downing told AOL News that UFOs “may have been around for millions of years,” and speculates that their presence could have had some influence on the “development of the biblical religion.” Downing’s 1968 book The Bible and Flying Saucers sought to draw connections between biblical mythology and visits from alien beings, similar to those proposed by the various progenitors of the “ancient astronaut” hypothesis, namely Ezekiel reporting the appearance of flying “wheels” in the Old Testament (Ezekiel 1:16). Downing cites the parting of the Red Sea that granted safe passage to the Israelites–and even the Ascension of Jesus Christ–as other instances where ancient people sought to explain complex phenomenon where aliens might have intervened.

Since the instances related above are generally accepted as miracles or, at very least, circumstances that seemed to work in favor of Judeo-Christians people in the Old and New Testament, one obvious perspective would liken the resulting influence of presumed alien visitors to that of angelic beings. This notion is contrasted rather drastically with the assertions made in my colleague Nick Redfern’s new book Final Events, and the Secret Government Group on Demonic UFOs and the Afterlife. Redfern’s book tells the peculiar story of the Collins Elite, an organization with members in various branches of government (namely the CIA) who begun investigating UFOs and their potential link to the devilish dealings of Aleister Crowley and, perhaps more importantly, Jet Propulsion Lab co-founder Jack Parsons. The notion that UFOs and their alien occupants may actually be linked to dark dealings and satanic rites is hardly new (as Redfern’s book illustrates), having been proposed in ufological circles by the likes of Daniel Boudillion, Greg Bishop and myself in my book Magic, Mysticism and the Molecule. But is there any credible link between the presumed activities of extraterrestrials and demonic forces?

Many have proposed the odd theory that alien abductions are actually representative of a tangible process of removing people’s souls, which our extraterrestrial visitors appear to be “harvesting” in various capacities. In his book Communion, famous author and alien abductee Whitley Strieber described how abductees “experienced feeling as if their souls were being dragged from their bodies.” Strieber even discussed one incident of his own where he had experienced “total separation of soul and body,” and reported hearing his alien captors literally say “we recycle souls.” Another peculiar exchange that points to the possible dubious nature of alien-human contact was reported during an abduction encounter that appeared in David M. Jacobs, PhD’s book The Threat. An abductee interviewed for Jacobs’ book recalls telepathically communicating with one of his extraterrestrial captors, and asking what their intentions were. Rather cryptically, he was told “all they’re interested in… no matter what happens at all, is that they control.”

The foreboding circumstances presented within such reports can hardly escape designation within our so-called “evil” category. Still, they may be worthy of further interpretation, as seen from perspectives seeking to define the phenomena more broadly, rather than the strict, cut-and-dry labeling of “good and evil.” Consider the numerous consistencies between reports of UFO abductees and those who have had various sorts of mystic experiences, both self-induced (via entheogenic drugs, meditation, etc) and spontaneous. One common theme would be the perception described by mystics that a “presence” accompanies their meditations, rituals, and other methods of entering altered states. This sometimes even culminates in trans-dimensional “encounters” with sentient beings, seeming so real that no explanation could exist in the mind of the initiate other than a literal meeting with an alien presence having transpired. Mystic experiences are also traditionally rife with descriptions of bodily dismemberment, as well as levitation, out-of-body experiences, tunnels of light, religious iconography, and a host of other things that similarly pepper various ufological literature, especially in the cases where alien abductions have been involved.

Does making associations between the two phenomena in this way challenge the notion that alien abduction is an entirely physical phenomenon? Perhaps so; but more to-point in the present circumstance, it illustrates the commonality between mystic experiences–many of which involve circumstances that could certainly elicit a sense of separation between soul and body–and the nuts and bolts, primarily medically-oriented alien abduction scenarios which, of no particular surprise here, contain many of the same sort of elements. Perceived in the absence of their mystical counterparts (and interpreted solely in a physical sense), alien abductions could hardly be received as anything but negative or “evil.” And yet, ironically, mystic practitioners have long noted circumstances that are curiously similar within their meditations and dream quests, having merely accepted them as one small part of a greater experience.

In the end I guess, one person’s DMT experience could be another’s demonic UFO abduction.

I’m not sure about this at all about the so-called spirituality of ET entities, or any other ‘spirit’ entity that can cross over from the other side/dimension at will.

Certainly the subject deserves more research on my part if I want to accurately comment on it.

Alien Contact in History: Battle for Our Souls, or a Culture Clash?

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Hawking Again Under Fire

As if you didn’t know it, religious figures didn’t like Dr. Stephen Hawking’s last heretical statement against God, and how ‘He’ wasn’t needed to create the Universe.

Namely the chief honchos of the Church of England:

Religious leaders in Britain on Friday hit back at claims by leading physicist Stephen Hawking that God had no role in the creation of the universe.

In his new book “The Grand Design,” Britain’s most famous scientist says that given the existence of gravity, “the universe can and will create itself from nothing,” according to an excerpt published in The Times of London.

“Spontaneous creation is the reason why there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,” he wrote.

“It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper [fuse] and set the universe going.”

But the head of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams, told the Times that “physics on its own will not settle the question of why there is something rather than nothing.”

He added: “Belief in God is not about plugging a gap in explaining how one thing relates to another within the Universe. It is the belief that there is an intelligent, living agent on whose activity everything ultimately depends for its existence.”

Williams’ comments were supported by leaders from across the religious spectrum in Britain. Writing in the Times, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks said: “Science is about explanation. Religion is about interpretation … The Bible simply isn’t interested in how the Universe came into being.”

The Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, added: “I would totally endorse what the Chief Rabbi said so eloquently about the relationship between religion and science.”

Ibrahim Mogra, an imam and committee chairman at the Muslim Council of Britain, was also quoted by the Times as saying: “If we look at the Universe and all that has been created, it indicates that somebody has been here to bring it into existence. That somebody is the almighty conqueror.”

Hawking was also accused of “missing the point” by colleagues at the University of Cambridge in England.

“The ‘god’ that Stephen Hawking is trying to debunk is not the creator God of the Abrahamic faiths who really is the ultimate explanation for why there is something rather than nothing,” said Denis Alexander, director of The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion.

“Hawking’s god is a god-of-the-gaps used to plug present gaps in our scientific knowledge.

“Science provides us with a wonderful narrative as to how [existence] may happen, but theology addresses the meaning of the narrative,” he added.

Fraser Watts, an Anglican priest and Cambridge expert in the history of science, said that it’s not the existence of the universe that proves the existence of God.

“A creator God provides a reasonable and credible explanation of why there is a universe, and … it is somewhat more likely that there is a God than that there is not. That view is not undermined by what Hawking has said.”

Hawking’s book — as the title suggests — is an attempt to answer “the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything,” he wrote, quoting Douglas Adams’ cult science fiction romp, “The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

His answer is “M-theory,” which, he says, posits 11 space-time dimensions, “vibrating strings, … point particles, two-dimensional membranes, three-dimensional blobs and other objects that are more difficult to picture and occupy even more dimensions of space.”

He doesn’t explain much of that in the excerpt, which is the introduction to the book.

But he says he understands the feeling of the great English scientist Isaac Newton that God did “create” and “conserve” order in the universe.

It was the discovery of other solar systems outside our own in 1992 that undercut a key idea of Newton’s — that our world was so uniquely designed to be comfortable for human life that some divine creator must have been responsible.

But, Hawking argues, if there are untold numbers of planets in the galaxy, it’s less remarkable that there’s one with conditions for human life. And, indeed, he argues, any form of intelligent life that evolves anywhere will automatically find that it lives somewhere suitable for it.

Hawking seems unfazed by this, as I have indicated earlier to commenters on this blog that he isn’t worried about his opinion because no only does he feel he’s right, he feels he’s paid his dues and then some.

But if there’s a God, Hawking would be the one to find it.

Religious leaders hit back at Hawking

Jung the Occultist

When people discuss Carl Gustav Jung, it’s generally about his famous split with Freud in 1912, or his theory of cultural archetypes.

But as I’ve been reading about him lately through his 21st Century disciples (Christopher Knowles and Christopher O’Brien..hmm..”Christophers”…), the theory of archetypes and synchronicity (note the “Christ” figures as disciples) bringing “gnosis” (knowledge..heh..another one!) is hard to ‘ignore’ (hah, another one! Okay, stop now).

Well it seems that Jung in the last years of WWII was in the throes of depression and was suffering heart ailments as well. While in a coma after suffering a fall that broke his leg, he had an “out of body experience”:

On 11 February 1944, the 68-year-old Carl Gustav Jung – then the world’s most renowned living psychologist – slipped on some ice and broke his fibula. Ten days later, in hospital, he suffered a myocardial infarction caused by embolisms from his immobilised leg. Treated with oxygen and camphor, he lost consciousness and had what seems to have been a near-death and out-of-the-body experience – or, depending on your perspective, delirium. He found himself floating 1,000 miles above the Earth. Seas and continents shimmered in blue light and Jung could make out the Arabian desert and snow-tipped Himalayas. He felt he was about to leave orbit, but then, turning to the south, a huge black monolith came into view. It was a kind of temple, and at the entrance Jung saw a Hindu sitting in a lotus pos ition. Within, innumerable candles flickered, and he felt that the “whole phantasmagoria of earthly existence” was being stripped away. It wasn’t pleasant, and what remained was an “essential Jung”, the core of his experiences.

He knew that inside the temple the mystery of his existence, of his purpose in life, would be answered. He was about to cross the threshold when he saw, rising up from Europe far below, the image of his doctor in the archetypal form of the King of Kos, the island site of the temple of Asclepius, Greek god of medicine. He told Jung that his departure was premature; many were demanding his return and he, the King, was there to ferry him back. When Jung heard this, he was immensely disappointed, and almost immediately the vision ended. He experienced the reluctance to live that many who have been ‘brought back’ encounter, but what troubled him most was seeing his doctor in his archetypal form. He knew this meant that the physician had sacrificed his own life to save Jung’s. On 4 April 1944 – a date numerologists can delight in – Jung sat up in bed for the first time since his heart attack. On the same day, his doctor came down with septicæmia and took to his bed. He never left it, and died a few days later.

Jung was convinced that he hadn’t simply hallucinated, but that he had been granted a vision of reality. He had passed outside time, and the experience had had a palpable effect on him. For one thing, the depression and pessimism that overcame him during WWII vanished. But there was something more. For most of his long career, he had impressed upon his colleagues, friends, and reading public that he was, above all else, a scientist. He was not, he repeated almost like a mantra, a mystic, occultist, or visionary, terms of abuse his critics, who rejected his claims to science, had used against him. Now, having returned from the brink of death, he seemed content to let the scientist in him take a back seat for the remaining 17 years of his life.

Although Jung had always believed in the reality of the ‘other’ world, he had taken care not to speak too openly about this belief. Now, after his visions, he seemed less reticent. He’d had, it seems, a kind of conversion experience, and the interests the world-famous psychologist had hitherto kept to himself now became common knowledge. Flying saucers, astrology, parapsychology, alchemy, even predictions of a coming “new Age of Aquarius”: pronouncements on all of these dubious subjects – dubious at least from the viewpoint of modern science – flowed from his pen. If he had spent his career fending off charges of mysticism and occultism – initially triggered by his break with Freud in 1912 – by the late 1940s he seems to have decided to stop fighting. The “sage of Küsnacht” and “Hexenmeister of Zürich”, as Jung was known in the last decade of his life, had arrived.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Yet Jung’s involvement with the occult was with him from the start – literally, it was in his DNA. His maternal grandfather, Rev. Samuel Preiswerk, who learned Hebrew because he believed it was spoken in heaven, accepted the reality of spirits, and kept a chair in his study for the ghost of his deceased first wife, who often came to visit him. Jung’s mother Emilie was employed by Samuel to shoo away the dead who distracted him while he was working on his sermons.

She herself developed medium istic powers in her late teens. At the age of 20, she fell into a coma for 36 hours; when her forehead was touched with a red-hot poker she awoke, speaking in tongues and prophesying. Emilie continued to enter trance states throughout her life, in which she would communicate with the dead. She also seems to have been a ‘split personality’. Jung occasionally heard her speaking to herself in a voice he soon recognised was not her own, making profound remarks expressed with an uncharacteristic authority. This ‘other’ voice had inklings of a world far stranger than the one the young Carl knew.

This ‘split’ that Jung had seen in his mother would later appear in himself. At around the age of 12, he literally became two people. There was his ordinary boyhood self, and someone else. The ‘Other,’ as Carl called him, was a figure from the 18th century, a masterful character who wore a white wig and buckled shoes, drove an impressive carriage, and held the young boy in contempt. It’s difficult to escape the impression that in some ways Jung felt he had been this character in a past life. Seeing an ancient green carriage, Jung felt that it came from his time. his later notion of the collective unconscious, that psychic reservoir of symbols and images that he believed we inherit at birth, is in a sense a form of reincarnation, and Jung himself believed in some form of an afterlife. Soon after the death of his father, in 1896 when Jung was 21, he had two dreams in which his father appeared so vividly that he considered the possibility of life after death. In another, later dream, Jung’s father asked him for marital advice, as he wanted to prepare for his wife’s arrival. Jung took this as a premonition, and his mother died soon after. And years later, when his sister Gert rude died – a decade before his own near-death experience – Jung wrote that “What happens after death is so unspeakably glorious that our imagination and feelings do not suffice to form even an approximate conception of it.”

Hmm..apparently the whole family could communicate with “spirits”, what ever spirits are.

Are they just glimpses of other dimensions, or are they projected “archetypes?”

It’s hard to say from this article, but I would conjecture that given Jung’s, and others OBE’s that what ever our core beings (consciousness) are, they exist in another reality.

And the collective subconscious is capable of projecting “archetypes” that can become real and solid.

Pretty deep.

The Occult World of CG Jung

Asimov’s Rebuttal To Hawking; 20 Years Ago

Isaac Asimov is one of my favorite authors. Many hours have I spent reading about the robot R. Daneel Olivaw and his journey through the millennia from android cop to Galactic Empire Prime Minister.

Asimov was also a prolific science fact writer. Over 500 articles are to his credit before he died in 1992. One article appeared in the inaugural issue of Second Look, a magazine about the search for other intelligent life.

Asimov, whose books often were devoid of ETIs, wrote a telling rebuttal to Stephen Hawking’s anti-alien piece, twenty years in the past:

[…]

Is it safe for us to contact advanced civilizations?Are we not safer in isolation? May not an advanced civilization, aware of our existence, send out their ships and take us over, exploit us, enslave us, wipe us out?

If we fear that, then we must also realize that we are no longer in isolation anyway and that it is too late to avoid attracting attention to ourselves. Ever since humanity has been using radio waves in quantity, a sphere of radio-wave activity has been expanding out from Earth in all directions at the speed of light, and with steadily increasing intensity. An advanced civilization may pick it up and, even if they can’t interpret the details of the signals, they’ll know we are here.

To be sure, the involuntary sending out of messages is excessively weak and at the distance of even the nearest civilization may be too weak to be detectable. Ought we to make things worse by sending out deliberate signals?

At the moment, that is not in question. All we are engaging to do is to receive signals, to listen. We are free not to answer any signals, if we choose not to.

But what if we decide to answer. Is that safe?

Consider that if there are advanced civilizations in the Universe, then some of them may be very old. The Universe and our own Galaxy have lasted long enough to contain civilizations that are as much as 10 billion years old. In 10 billion years, civilizations will certainly have explored the entire Galaxy, will have recorded every planet capable of supporting life and, if that represented their choice of action, would have colonized them all.

The mere fact that humanity is here on this planet and that, as nearly as we can tell, life has developed, undisturbed, for over 3 billion years, indicates that such a conquering Galactic civilization does not exist.
Why not? It may be that a) civilizations, however old, cannot leave their home planets, b) that they can leave but do not choose to, c) have left, but believe in allowing life-bearing planets to develop their own intelligent life-forms free of interference.

The best reason why civilizations, however old, cannot leave their home planets rests with the speed-of-light limit to travel. If there is no way of getting around the speed-of-light limit, then it would take hundreds or thousands of years to travel from one habitable world to the next and this is not an attractive prospect. Each civilization would then limit its expansion to the neighborhood of its own planetary civilization. In fact, the mere existence of signals would indicate that the civilization sending them feels nailed to the spot and can reach out only by speed-of-light radiation.

Even if the speed-of-light limit is not absolute and if there are ways of getting around it, the difficulties may be too great to allow the kind of mass transfer of populations that would be involved in conquest and settlement. It may be that civilizations would use it only as a means for sending out scouting vessels to explore and to gain knowledge of the Universe. Such scouting vessels might have noted Earth’s existence thousands of years ago before civilization appeared on Earth. We would be viewed not as a world for settlement but as a world for interested observation, and if we find that signals seem to be aimed at us particularly, that may be the reason.

Finally, even if advanced civilizations find methods for making flights between the stars as simple as we find flights between cities, this does not necessarily mean they would conquer us.

We know from our own experience how extraordinarily contentious and quarrelsome the members of an intelligent species can be. We also know how difficult it is to make major advances such as those required in the exploration of space, when the various segments of our species spend almost all their time, money, and effort in quarreling with each other. In fact, it doesn’t really seem likely that humanity will be able to advance into space unless the peoples of Earth abandon war and agree to make the advance a truly cooperative venture. Space exploration is a global concern and can only succeed if it is a global activity.

We might argue, therefore, that any intelligent species that cannot control its contentiousness will destroy itself before it goes out into space (as we may). On the other hand, any intelligent species that makes it way out into space, succeeds in doing so only because it isn’t contentious in the first place, or has learned to control its contentiousness, if it is. It will therefore be more likely to seek a League of Galactic Civilizations than to attempt conquest.

Since 1992 we have sent out many deliberate messages into the Galaxy with the intention of contacting ET someday, despite the fact that there’s no proof ET’s communicate by radio and that radio waves lose significant signal strength after one light-year.

What would Asimov think of the possibility of a Technological Singularity? How would that affect the search for ETI? Would the article have been written differently?

If the theory of parallel universes is valid, I’m sure Asimov is out there somewhere contemplating the very same.

Was Isaac Asimov right about contacting extraterrestrial civilizations?

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The Transhumanism of Star Travel and Learning from Earth

Athena Andreadis guest blogging on Sentient Developments 5/29/09 about how the first transhumans braving interstellar space won’t be the rich and beautiful:

…spacefaring enthusiasts acknowledge the enormity of the undertaking they propose, most transhumanists take it as an article of faith that their ideas will be realized soon, though the goalposts keep receding into the future. As more soundbite than proof they invoke Moore’s exponential law, equating stodgy silicon with complex, contrary carbon. However, despite such confident optimism, enhancements will be hellishly difficult to implement. This stems from a fundamental that cannot be short-circuited or evaded: no matter how many experiments are performed on mice or even primates, humans have enough unique characteristics that optimization will require people.Contrary to the usual supposition that the rich will be the first to cross the transhuman threshold, it is virtually certain that the frontline will consist of the desperate and the disenfranchised: the terminally ill, the poor, prisoners and soldiers — the same people who now try new chemotherapy or immunosuppression drugs, donate ova, become surrogate mothers, “agree” to undergo chemical castration or sleep deprivation. Yet another pool of early starfarers will be those whose beliefs require isolation to practice, whether they be Raëlians or fundamentalist monotheists — just as the Puritans had to brave the wilderness and brutal winters of Massachusetts to set up their Shining (though inevitably tarnished) City on the Hill.

So the first generation of humans adjusted to starship living are far likelier to resemble Peter Watts’ marginalized Rifters or Jay Lake’s rabid Armoricans, rather than the universe-striding, empowered citizens of Iain Banks’ Culture. Such methods and outcomes will not reassure anyone, regardless of her/his position on the political spectrum, who considers augmentation hubristic, dehumanizing, or a threat to human identity, equality or morality. The slightly less fraught idea of uploading individuals into (ostensibly) more durable non-carbon frames is not achievable, because minds are inseparable from the neurons that create them. Even if technological advances eventually enable synapse-by synapse reconstructions, the results will be not transfers but copies.

I noticed she takes the same tact that Alastair Reynolds does concerning uploading minds in his “Revelation Space” series.

Which makes sense, because current theories speculate that the original brain would have to be destroyed during the scanning process.

Then a whole new can of worms gets opened concerning copies and the soul.

Trans-Sufiism anyone?

Dreamers of a better future, Unite!

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The land of woo is big business:

Skeptical literature is seldom a hot seller with the exception of fiery books about atheism and the culture wars which tend to dive into the political realm and use science to bolster what’s more of a philosophical case than a purely scientific one. Cranks, on the other hand, sell books by the truckload. Even a skeptical bestseller like Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion which sold over 1.5 million copies, can’t match the estimated 6 million or so copies of The Secret, a book of New Age fluff which declares that if you want something bad enough, reality will change to accommodate your whims. Oh and that’s not counting the 1.5 million DVDs of the same kind of wishful-thinking-in-a-can sold before the book was published and endorsed by the Queen of Woo herself.

And you can see why pseudoscience is so popular. Cranks aren’t limited by facts and figures like skeptics or scientists. They can make up anything to win favor with a crowd. When they’re telling people that their wildest dreams can come true if they close their eyes and think about it hard enough, anyone who dares to stand up, and point out that there’s no evidence for this claim or that reality doesn’t conform to our entitlement complex, seems like a heckler killing everybody’s joyful buzz. The public interested in the kind of stuff skeptics refute on a regular basis doesn’t care about the need for a contrarian opinion. They only care about having their wishes fulfilled, so anyone who tells them otherwise is treated as an undesirable. Even worse, when they tune in and buy the books and DVDs on a regular basis, cranks get even more exposure because their brand of snake oil generates cashflow and keeps ratings high.

Greg Fish in quite a few of his recent posts has been on a one person crusade to smash down the doors of various dogmas and its proponents who plan on taking over the school systems of the country, the government and other areas of influence. Like the media.

I like Greg and I comment on his blog quite often, but I think he’s fighting a losing battle because like most pure scientific empiricists, he gets frustrated by the social dynamic by which most societies operate; a religion (doesn’t matter what kind) and those who use it for control.

A paradigm that has existed for 6000 years.

Hats off to ya for your persistance Greg!

why woo is big business

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For once I understand NASA’s logic concerning developing techniques to find extra-solar, Earth-like planets:

A new technique for finding wet exoplanets got a field test when astronomers pretended to be aliens.

“If you were on another planet, you’d look at Earth and say, ‘That looks like the most interesting planet around that star,’” said Nicolas Cowan, a grad student at the University of Washington and lead author of the study. “Any critter with half a brain can look at Earth and say, ‘That’s the one that looks different.’ The question is how to quantify what it is that makes it look interesting.”

Astronomers used a telescope aboard the Deep Impact spacecraft — which crashed a probe into a comet in 2005 and is on its way to another — to stare at Earth for two separate 24-hour periods. They tracked the changes in light and color that crossed the Earth’s surface as it rotated, and connected them back to continents and oceans. The results will be published in the August issue of Astrophysical Journal.

Though the spacecraft was only 30 million miles away from Earth, light years closer than the nearest extrasolar planet, it was far enough to blur out the distinctive features of the Earth’s surface.

260626main_epoxi_1_hi.60109

Nice job of recycling a spacecraft that finished one mission and using it for another.

Maybe there’s hope after all!

The New Exoplanetology: ‘I Learned By Watching You, Earth’