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.
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.
My ol’ pal Highwayman and I have been having quite a discussion lately (with him doing most of the ‘discussin’ of course lol!) about Dr. Hawking, God and such. While talking about spiritual things leave me feeling a little itchy, I of course ran across this little synchronistic piece on Jason Offutt’s blog From the Shadows about a man who suffered an injury playing a sport and then has the ability of precognition:
Bob Higgins went for a rebound in a Mormon Church gym when someone cut out his legs and he fell to the court, his head bouncing off the hard wood floor.
“I suffered an extremely hard concussion and lived,” Higgins said.
Higgins, a Catholic, had twisted his ankle playing in that gym before, and after his teammates dismissed his injury, he vowed to God he’d never play there again. But he did – and as Higgins lie on the floor unconscious, he felt his spirit leave his body.
“I was out and floated up through the hoop looking down at myself as my teammates carried me off,” he said.
Higgins said he could see a clear silver strand connecting his spirit self to his physical body as his teammates moved his body onto a stage adjacent to the court. Then they left his body there and resumed the game. His spirit self stood, watching the game until he saw people approaching.
“A group of what I think were angels began walking my way,” he said. “Then out of the group a small man came having been directed by a taller bearded man from a group of robed men.”
This small man reached out to Higgins and carried him up a tunnel of light.
“We arrived at a large glass-like temple with black and gold flakes in the shiny floor, mostly black,” he said. “The purple curtains were very tall all around.”
Higgins’ guide took him up steps to a throne holding a bearded man.
“He had dark black hair and bore scars on his hands and feet and face,” Higgins said. “I am sure it was Jesus. He looked like a biker, not menacing but authoritative and in control.”
This man Higgins believed to be Jesus wore sandals of gold and jewels. He looked at Higgins, then, unsmiling, gave commands to the small man who had brought him there.
“I felt kind of ashamed to be there because I really didn’t want to be there,” Higgins said. “I knew he knew all about me, but it went so quickly and I felt like it as a blur and I really had no control of myself at this point. I could think and see, but I didn’t breath or feel anything; I was just an it.”
The man on the throne gestured to a person Higgins felt was an angel. The angel took Higgins by the arm and led back to the tunnel. Higgins didn’t like what waited for him back in the gym.
“We descended swiftly and I found myself sitting up still out of my body and I saw around me large men in bright robes; large blonde men with backsides like ‘he men,’” Higgins said. “Very big guys fighting with fierce looking scraggly men trying to reach around savagely at me with long nails; dirty desperate looking men who I could barely make out in the darkness.”
These unkempt men in rags fought with Higgins’ angels, trying to grab Higgins, then one angel touched Higgins and he woke.
“Whoa, I had a headache,” Higgins said. “I had to be carried back to my apartment with a concussion and off work for a week.”
Higgins believes his experience has to do with breaking his promise to God.
“I think I let the devil in,” he said. “I had not kept my vow not to play ball with the Mormons because I had been hurt before playing ball with them and they just left me there. Mormons aren’t bad, it was just a failure on my part to keep my vow.”
Something happened to Higgins after his concussion – something that lets him see future horrors.
“I got warnings of attacks in my sleep about terrorists, through the first Trade Center bombing and the Oklahoma City bombing,” he said.
His most terrifying premonition was on Sept. 10, 2001.
“A spirit tried to wake me the night before 9-11 and told me, ‘Wake up young man, your nation is under attack,’” Higgins said. “I asked in my sleep, ‘Where? Where? By whom?”
The spirit told him Washington, D.C., and New York.
“I was so disturbed to see rubble and smoke as if I was propelled in time to the scene,” Higgins said. “I was choking.”
Higgins kicked in his sleep and woke his wife who asked what was wrong.
“I told her what the spirit said to me and she remembered it later that morning and was astonished,” he said. “I was sorely confused. I thought about it all morning and I couldn’t decide what I should do.”
He realized there was nothing he could do.
“I felt bad knowing this and not doing anything to this day,” Higgins said. “Watching in horror as the planes hit the second time then people jumping to their deaths.”
Remember that I said earlier that this was a synchronicity coming across this recent post by Offutt? Well, he was a guest on the Paracast the past weekend in which he discussed his book about finding paranormal objects and activities literally in your backyard.
The synchronicity isn’t about finding something in my yard (other than cats and woodchucks) but about coming across Jason Offutt related stuff in two days that talks about a religious vision while talking about religion with the Highwayman.
I know, that’s reaching, but it’s cool, is it not?
Enrico Fermi, whose famous lunch-time theory has transcended the decades was a believer.
Yes, a believer.
According to Mori of Forgetomori, Fermi not only questioned ‘why’ we haven’t seemed to have been visited by aliens, he actually believed they existed:
According to “Dr. SETI“, H. Paul Shuch, from the official SETI League, “physicist Enrico Fermi, said to be a firm believer in the existence of extra-terrestrials, was frustrated by the lack of firm evidence of their existence”. Wait a minute, Fermi actually believed in the existence of aliens?
That may sound preposterous given that his famous Paradox is one of the most referenced arguments advanced against the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations, but amazingly, it probably is true.
Fermi unfortunately passed away in 1954, shortly after he formulated his paradox. He didn’t publish the concept in written form, rather it was just an idea discussed by him with colleagues at lunch. That was then often quoted and referenced by others for decades afterwards. This probably explains why his original idea came to be so misunderstood.
It was only in 1985 that someone seems to have decided to actually document the origins of the paradox, and sadly, even this work is widely ignored. That’s the report from Los Alamos National Laboratory, “Where is Everybody?’: An Account of Fermi’s Question“, by scientist Eric M. Jones.
Jones interviewed those present at that historic lunch at Los Alamos in the summer of 1950. They were Emil Konopinski, Herbert York and Edward Teller, and he provided accounts of the conversation by all of them.
Interestingly, the paradox was related to the cartoon seen above. Konopinski wrote:
“I do have a fairly clear memory of how the discussion of extra-terrestrials got started while Enrico, Edward, Herb York, and I were walking to lunch at Fuller Lodge. When l joined the party, I found being discussed evidence about flying saucers. That immediately brought to my mind a cartoon I had recently seen in the New Yorker, explaining why public trash cans were disappearing from the streets of New York City. The New York papers were making a fuss about that. The cartoon showed what was evidently a flying saucer sitting in the background and, streaming toward it, ‘little green men’ (endowed with antennas) carrying the trash cans. More amusing was Fermi’s comment, that it was a very reasonable theory since it accounted for two separate phenomena: the reports of flying saucers as well as the disappearance of the trash cans.”
Edward Teller also recalled:
“I remember that Fermi explicitly raised the question, and I think he directed it at me, ‘Edward, what do you think? How probable is it that within the next ten years we shall have clear evidence of a material object moving faster than light?’ I remember that my answer vas ‘ 1 o-6.. Fermi said, ‘This is much too low. The probability is more like ten percent’ (the well known figure for a Fermi miracle.) “
The discussion then went on to other topics, as they arrived at the luncheon table. It “had nothing to do with astronomy or with extraterrestrial beings. I think it was some down-to-earth topic. Then, in the middle of this conversation, Fermi came out with the quite unexpected question ‘Where is everybody?‘ … The result of his question was general laughter because of the strange fact that in spite of Fermi’s question coming from the clear blue, everybody around the table seemed to understand at once that he was talking about extraterrestrial life”, Teller wrote to Jones. “I do not believe that much came of this conversation, except perhaps a statement that the distances to the next location of living beings may be very great and that, indeed, as far as our galaxy is concerned, we are living somewhere in the sticks, far removed from the metropolitan area of the galactic center”, Teller added.
But York believes that Fermi was somewhat more expansive and “followed up with a series of calculations on the probability of earthlike planets, the probability of life given an earth, the probability of humans given life, the likely rise and duration of high technology, and so on. He concluded on the basis of such calculations that we ought to have been visited long ago and many times over. As I recall, he went on to conclude that the reason we hadn’t been visited might be that interstellar flight is impossible, or, if it is possible, always judged to be not worth the effort, or technological civilization doesn’t last long enough for it to happen.” York confessed to being hazy about these last remarks.
Note how York confirms that Fermi assumed extraterrestrial civilizations existed, only that their non-arrival must have meant something stops them on their way. That’s exactly the position taken by SETI scientists to this day.
Eric Jones’ report can be downloaded at the FAS website:
One could argue that UFOs are proof of alien civilizations, but most UFOs seem to exhibit characteristics more akin to paranormal activity, i.e., ghosts, hauntings, shapeshifting, etc. Definitely ‘nuts and bolts’ explanations and trace evidence is in the minority, thus robust scientific proof is hard coming.
But as Arthur C. Clarke once said, ” A sufficiently advanced technological society will appear to the less technological as magic.”
Maybe we better keep that in mind.
Fermi believed in aliens? What a paradox! (From August 2007)
On March 7, 2010, the ESA (European Space Agency)’s probe Mars Express performed a fly-by of Mars’ moon Phobos to take pictures and check its mass using radar. The camera was able to measure a field 15 feet across, quite an accomplishment on a small object 15 miles long. The amazing feature of Phobos however is its layered striations and lateral pockmarks:
Quite interesting, is it not? Not surprisingly, that purveyor of Lunar crystal cities and Mars faces, Richard Hoagland, points out these features prove that Phobos is artificial!
To be fair however, Hoagland uses the probe’s radar readings to measure the moon’s mass to make his point. Amazingly, he could actually have something to go on here!:
[…]By extremely careful measurements of the actual “radio frequency drift,” recorded during these Phobos “close-approaches,” and by then plugging that data into sophisticated ESA computer models of Phobos interior mass distribution, each varying slightly, and designed according to “Newtonian and Einsteinien Laws of Gravity” … the ESA folks expected to not only be able to measure accurately the overall MASS of Phobos far more precisely than ever before … but, even more importantly–
For the first time, resolve”how” that detected mass was arranged — INSIDE — as measured against the Mars Express “gravity tracking data.”
Normally, even the first results of such a delicate experiment would “wait weeks before it was posted … if it ever was”; ESA this timeposted the “early Doppler results of this ‘super close’ Phobos March 3rd pass” … on March 9th–
Barely one week after the fly-by itself!
And then — described in detail, the science behind the published radio-tracking graph (below):
“ … The Mars Express Radio-Science team, led by Martin Pätzold (Cologne University), has performed a preliminary analysis of the radiometric data recorded during the evening of closest approach, 3 March 2010 …
“The grey line in the image [above] shows the frequency change due to Phobos during a 20-minute window, centered on the closest approach. Before closest approach, the effect of Phobos on the spacecraft is negligible. Then there is a clear jump in frequency at closest approach. This is Phobos slightly changing the orbit of Mars Express.
“The blue line is the expected frequency change assuming the mass of Phobos, as measured during a previous flyby, is evenly distributed throughout the moon’s interior. There are clearly small differences between the blue and grey lines. The challenge now for the Radio-Science team is to dig into these small differences to pries out information on the mass distribution. “The real work starts right here,” says Pätzold.“It may take a few weeks for the extraction of precise information on the interior of Phobos,” says Tom Andert, from Munich University [emphasis added] ….”
One of the responders to this post, on the official ESA “Phobos Blog,” shrewdly observed—
Posted by: Daniel Fischer • Thanks for sharing these data! • reply
09-03-2010 • 17:37:42
Thanks to the Cologne people and ESA for sharing these hot non-imaging data, even without vertical scales – a clever (and accepted) way in showing success without compromising scientific details.
Though, as the total mass of Phobos and C/A distance are both known, reconstructing the ‘missing’ Hertz residuals scale in the 1st plot should be possible for any physicist, right [emphasis added]?
By putting out the actual raw “gravity tracking” data this early, ESA was (apparently) “hedging its bets”; if it WAS planning to release ALL the data, from ALL the experiments carried out during this unique “dozen Phobos fly-by orbit sequence …” — revealing that it IS an “ancient, manufactured object” (as I was beginning to seriously suspect …), this was a MAJOR, additional step in signaling thatultimate intention ….
Providing the perfect segue into what came next–
The Phobos Blog — published on March 25th … posted this “little bit of ‘tracking news'”:
General , Science 25 March, 2010 17:21
Radio science result from 2008 Phobos Flyby now accepted for publication
I’ve just heard that the technical paper discussing the mass and density of Phobos, as determined during the 2008 flyby, has been accepted by Geophysical Research Letters. The abstract is:
We report independent results from two subgroups of the Mars Express Radio Science (MaRS) team who independently analyzed Mars Express (MEX) radio tracking data for the purpose of determining consistently the gravitational attraction of the moon Phobos on the MEX spacecraft, and hence the mass of Phobos. New values for the gravitational parameter (GM=0.7127 ± 0.0021 x 10-³ km³/s²) and density of Phobos (1876 ± 20 kg/m³) provide meaningful new constraints on the corresponding range of the body’s porosity (30% ± 5%), provide a basis for improved interpretation of the internal structure. We conclude that the interior of Phobos likely contains large voids. When applied to various hypotheses bearing on the origin of Phobos, these results are inconsistent with the proposition that Phobos is a captured asteroid [emphasis added] ….
No … this was NOT “the rest of the radio-tracking results” from the March 3rd fly-by, that we were all eagerly anticipating ….
A nominal announcement of “scientific journal (peer-reviewed) publication” … of earlier Phobos “gravity-tracking” results–
From data acquired two YEARS earlier by Mars Express … back in 2008!!
Another major clue that … the political goals of the current, ultra-close Phobos “fly-by campaign” were predicated on the provocative results discovered earlier … in the 2008 fly-bys ….
Which, quoting from the just-published abstract–
” … provide meaningful new constraints on the corresponding range of the body’s [Phobos’] porosity (30% ± 5%), [and thus] provide a basis for improved interpretation of the internal structure. We conclude that theinterior of Phobos likely contains large voids. When applied to various hypotheses bearing on the origin of Phobos, these results are inconsistent with the proposition that Phobos is a captured asteroid[emphasis added] …”
“Inconsistent … that Phobos is a captured asteroid …?”
There … the “ticking time bomb to Disclosure” —
For, Phobos IS — according to these officially-published ESA 2008 Mars Express tracking measurements–
Precisely the same result … as the Soviets reported from their own “mysteriously lost” Phobos-2 Mission — back in 1989 (below)!
Which, of course, is how we at Enterprise have KNOWN about “the reality of an artificial Phobos …” since “Bush 1” … for 21 years–
From correctly interpreting official Soviet spacecraft findings at Mars, in 1989 — data published openly in “the most prestigious science journal in the world,” Nature — of the observed, artificial nature of the evidence transmitted back from the Soviet’s first “Phobos Mission” … Phobos-2 … before it “disappeared.”
Findings which now — from ALL the political clues and “dots’ we’ve been publishing here at Enterprise on “real disclosure,” for months on end — are about to be openly confirmed by ESA [….]
I have serious doubts about any “disclosure.” The word leaves a bad taste in my mouth in that the Euros, or any world government for that matter will admit finding any exo-archeological artifact, no matter how old, dead or benign the object appears to be.
People on Earth aren’t ready to share the Universe yet, especially the radical extreme Abrahamaic religious types.
But if true, this would be the type of proof the SETI types need to prove their hypothesis.
I don’t think so though. They can be just as dogmatic and extreme as the above!
In the spirit of the season, talking about the Shroud of Turin seems appropriate in not only a Christian sense, but in the weird science sense also.
On April 3rd, the History Channel broadcast about it and discussed how to bring the ‘image’ in the Shroud to life and to present the face of Jesus:
[I]n HISTORY’s The Real Face of Jesus, a team of computer graphics artists uses cutting-edge 3D technology to answer a question that has captivated painters, sculptors, scholars and theologians for hundreds of years: What did Jesus Christ look like?
Led by Ray Downing of Studio Macbeth, these digital wizards are no strangers to reconstructing important figures for HISTORY. In 2009, they created a living, moving model of Abraham Lincoln for his bicentennial, basing it on more than 100 photographs of the 16th U.S. president. But this time, their only guide is a centuries-old cloth that many believe was Jesus’ burial shroud. Known as the Shroud of Turin, this 14-foot piece of linen bears a faint, ghostly image of a crucified man, along with dark red stains that some researchers have identified as blood.
To attempt this unprecedented feat of science and technology, Ray and his associates must rely on the most sophisticated electronic tools and software available. They must also seek out the knowledge of scientists and researchers who have grappled with the Shroud of Turin’s many mysteries. As part of their yearlong quest, Ray and his associates visit John Jackson of Colorado’s Turin Shroud Center, who in 1978 was given exclusive access to the cloth for five days of intensive scientific examination. Jackson and others have posited that the image on the Shroud of Turin contains unique three-dimensional information in the form of shading variations that indicate how close the body was from the cloth. The tip of the nose, for instance, appears darker because it was near or touching the linen at the time the imprint was formed. As Ray explains it, “It is as if there is an instruction set inside a picture for building a sculpture.”
Ray and his team use this logic as they coax a 3D model out of the two-dimensional artifact. Months into the endeavor, they realize that the fabric would have been wrapped around the face of the man buried beneath it. Thanks to this breakthrough, they can finally account for and remove the distortion in the image, achieving an accurate and lifelike 3D portrait of the man in the shroud—of a face both hidden and preserved in time.
My take on it is that in all likeliness, the Shroud is a very good fake and an outstanding work of art that should be investigated in its own right. How could someone in the Middle Ages discover the photographic effect and utilize it? Maybe the show will do that.
After all, the stirrings of the Renaissance were beginning during the 1300s, the supposed real ‘age’ of the Shroud. Mechanical science was already making itself known (the Brick Dome of Florence Cathedral – Filippo Brunelleschi) so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility the Shroud is a product of this time.
I hope the History Channel puts this on Hulu or YouTube since all I have is the InnerTubes.
This is the last post for the next few days in that ol’ Dad is celebrating the pagan-Christian holiday of Easter with family and friends and yes, I have both contrary to popular belief, LOL!
If anyone hasn’t already noticed, April marks the 3rd anniversary of Dad2059’s Blog/Webzine (I can’t believe it’s lasted this long!). If you type in ‘Dad’ in Google search, this blog is on top and the next few down too!
Also the blog averages between 100 – 200 hits per day and that’s without Twitter, Digg, Facebook and all that other intrusive stuff.
So many thanks for your continued support over the past three years.
Hopefully I can add more features and post better interesting things that will both educate and entertain in both the esoteric and the mundane.
Physicist Wal Thornhill of Electric Universe fame laments on the terrible condition science is in now-a-days as it takes on the mantle of religion, mainly when it comes to Anthropogenic Climate Change:
The Global Warming circus in Copenhagen was politics driven by a consensus that, by definition, has nothing to do with science. The apocalyptic nonsense that opened the meeting highlighted that fact. How many who attended or demonstrated at the meeting actually understand the (disputed) scientific grounds for the hysteria? Meanwhile, leading science journals allow skeptics of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) to be labelled “deniers” and refuse them the right of reply. It is doctrinaire denouncement, not science. It is the journal editors who are denying the scientific method by censoring debate. It is they who are peddling ideology.
Despite the glossy media image, modern science is a mess. When the fundamental concepts are false, technological progress merely provides science with a more efficient means for going backwards. At the same time, government and corporate funding promotes the rampant disease of specialism and fosters politicization of science with the inevitable warring factions and religious fervor.
“Science has become religion! ..although religion may have borrowed some of the jargon of science, science, more importantly, has adopted the methods of religion. This is the worst of both worlds.” —Halton Arp
There have been several warm climatic periods documented in history that had nothing to do with human activity. There seems to be evidence that the Earth has actually been cooling since 2001, in line with reduced solar activity. So it would be more realistic to consider climate change as a normal phenomenon and to plan accordingly because despite all of the hoopla in the media, modern science is founded on surprising ignorance. An iconoclastic view suggests the following:
— cosmologists have been misled by theoretical physicists who don’t understand gravity, which forms the basis of the big bang theory. Imaginary ‘dark matter,’ ‘dark energy,’ and black holes have been added to make models of galaxies and star birth appear to work. When all else fails, mysterious magnetic fields are invoked. The bottom line is that cosmologists presently have no real understanding of the universe;
— astrophysicists don’t understand stars because they steadfastly ignore plasma discharge phenomena;
— particle physicists don’t understand matter or its resonant electrical interactions. They prefer to invent imaginary particles;
— geologists have been misled by astronomers about Earth’s history;
— biologists have had no practical help from theoretical physicists so they don’t understand what might constitute the ‘mind-body connection’ or ‘the spark of life;’
— and climate scientists have been misled by astronomers and astrophysicists so they have no real concept of recent Earth history in the solar system and they don’t understand the real source of lightning and the electrical input to weather systems. For example, the major city in northern Australia, Darwin, was utterly destroyed in tropical cyclone ‘Tracy’ in 1974. The catastrophe was described in part, “At 3am, the eye of the cyclone passed over Darwin, bringing an eerie stillness. There was a strange light, a diffuse lightning, like St. Elmo’s fire.” There was no solar energy being supplied to the 150km per hour winds at 3 in the morning. “A diffuse lightning” is an apt description of the slow electrical discharge (distinct from impulsive lightning) that drives all rotary storms and influences weather patterns. That is why the electrically hyperactive gas giant planets have overwhelmingly violent storms while receiving very little solar energy.
Yet with these unacknowledged shortcomings we have bookshelves filled with textbooks, science journals and PhD theses, mostly unread, that would stretch to the Moon, fostering the impression that we understand most things. And the public is assailed with documentaries that breathlessly deliver and repeat fashionable science fiction as fact. How can this be?
Science has left its classical and philosophical roots, rather like surrealist art departed from realism. The analogy is fitting. It is demonstrated by the fondness for expressing theoretical models in artists impressions, computer animations and aesthetic terms. The artist/philosopher Miles Mathis is of the opinion that “ Science has become just like Modern Art. The contemporary artist and the contemporary physicist look at the world in much the same way. The past means nothing. They gravitate to novelty as the ultimate distinction, in and of itself. They do this because novelty is the surest guarantee of recognition.” So why does the media not have science critics alongside art critics? Has science become sacrosanct? Bluntly, the answer is yes. No science reporter wants to have the portcullises lowered at the academic bastions. Happily, the Internet allows the curious to circumvent such censorship.
So far, the Internet is mostly censorless, except for certain nations where Google has helped their government authorities censor content. Plus you can only believe about 50% what you read. It takes effort to winnow wheat from the chaff at times.
But Thornhill makes valid points in that science has become dogmatic to the point of being a religion that nobody dares question, especially when it comes to anthropogenic climate change.
…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.
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!
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.
Nice job of recycling a spacecraft that finished one mission and using it for another.
Maybe there’s hope after all!
“U.S. President Barack Obama has proposed a funding boost for NASA that provides more support for Earth sciences missions and aviation, while keeping the agency’s three space shuttles on target for a 2010 retirement.
NASA would receive $18.7 billion for the 2010 fiscal year under the budget proposal released by the White House on Thursday. That would be an increase from the $17.2 billion NASA received in 2008 and represents an overall boost of more than $2.4 billion for the space agency when coupled with the additional $1 billion it received in the recent economic stimulus bill.
The budget calls on NASA to complete International Space Station construction, as well as continue its Earth science missions and aviation research. Yet it also remains fixed to former President George W. Bush’s plan to retire the space shuttle fleet by 2010 and replace them with the new Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, which would fly astronauts to the space station and return them to the moon by 2020.
The outline does make room for an extra shuttle flight beyond the nine currently remaining on NASA’s schedule, but only if it is deemed safe and can be flown before the end of 2010.
“The $18.7 billion budget proposal for 2010 is fiscally responsible and reflects the administration’s desire for a robust and innovative agency aligned with the president’s goals of advancing our nation’s scientific, educational, economic and security interests,” said Acting NASA Administrator Chris Scolese in a statement. “This budget ensures NASA maintains its global leadership in Earth and space research, and it advances global climate change studies, funds a robust program of human and robotic space exploration, allows us to realize the full potential of the International Space Station, advances development of new space transportation systems, and renews our commitment to aeronautics.”
There goes the opinion that Mr. Obama will gut the space program. He proved a lot of folks wrong. Myself included.
The budget isn’t set in stone though. Congress has yet to approve the bill.
From the Cult of SETI:
“In the 1970s, a small group of Canadian astronomers thought they had a method for finding planets around other stars. Their intention was not to see the planets directly, but to measure the planets’ effect on their host stars; the wobble that their host stars would have as a consequence of the planets existence. The Canadians built the requisite technology, a very sophisticated spectrometer, and looked at a half dozen stars. They didn’t find any planets. However, had they not given up so quickly, had they had a certain amount of persistence and looked at more candidate stellar systems, they would have been the first to find planets orbiting other stars. As it happens, that honor went to a couple of Swiss astronomers in 1995. It’s been 13 years since the first planet around an ordinary star was found. 51Peg was that planet, and it caused a sensation. Since then there have been over 300 planets found. That’s a lot of planet pleasure.
As those of you who are familiar with this field are aware, many of these planets are very large and very close to their suns. They are so-called hot Jupiters. They have other unfortunate properties that suggest that while there are a lot of worlds out there, many of them hardly seem like the kind of worlds with a chance for life. But that situation is changing as the data continue to come in.
There is a strong tendency for planets we find to be very close to their stars, but that’s the result of an obvious selection effect. The planets that are close to their stars are the easiest to detect.”
This is an interview with Tori Hoehler by Seth Shostak, SETI scientist and UFO debunker.
Read the mainstream version of finding ETL/ETI and form your own conclusions.
Hey, I enjoy these interviews!
And why is SETI called a “cult” by certain people?
Because it is based on a belief that is yet to be proven, i.e., that the Universe has other intelligent species and that they’ll communicate by radio waves.
Anyone who thinks that alien life would communicate by other means, or that they already might be investigating Earth, are immediately and rabidly attacked as delusional, and thusly, heretics:
PH: But while the SETI people are telling the UFO people, “you don’t have any evidence,” the UFO people are telling the SETI people, “you have even less evidence than we do.”
SS: Yes, that’s quite right, but we don’t claim that we’ve found them. That’s a big difference. They do claim that they’re here.
PH: Don’t you think that the tremendous ridicule that surrounds the UFO subject really prevents academics from looking into it?
SS: There may be something to that. It may apply to 90 percent of scientists. But scientists are well aware of many instances in which something that was very radical turned out to be true. It happens over and over again in science; that’s the way science makes the big steps. So I don’t think they would all be scared off by the fact that it’s considered radical or non-mainstream. Continental drift was not very popular at the beginning, but it gained adherents rather quickly. As soon as you have a trickle of evidence, that trickle turns into a torrent, and then what was radical yesterday is today mainstream. Now I don’t see that happening with the UFO phenomenon. ( link )
And of course, competing for private funds is there also as the interviewer points out.
I don’t know, I think the whole thing amusing and good theater! Wouldn’t it be ironic that both groups could be right in their own way?
With quantum entanglement and our increasing prowess in long range sensing/viewing technology, couldn’t we be spied upon/visited by non-corporeal entities?
Truth is always stranger than assumptions/theories/fiction. 8)
Other posts comparing SETI with religions:
Kiiriq recalled that elders would call them Tunnit or Inukpasuit, the giants. They were treated as fearsome coastal dwellers and were considered enemies of Inuit. They spoke an Inuit language of an archaic type understandable to our ancestors.
Kiiriq would continue his tale and describe how Inupasuit were viewed as unkempt and unclean by Inuit standards. They were considered a danger to Inuit because they at times waylaid and captured unwary hunters.
Being smaller then them, our ancestors were considered a delectable prey. Once captured, they would be cooked and eaten with relish. Thus Inuit feared these giant beings and would attempt to wipe them out if they could. They were considered slow of thought but clever in their means of pursuit of game. Inuit were ever moving eastward and the Inupasuit soon fell into the lot of myths and legends in our great grandparents’ time.
My research led me to Farley Mowat, author of Westviking, who includes descriptive appendices called “The Vanished Dorset”.
Mowat provides a description by the Norse who encountered the Dorset (Tunnit) around A.D.1000 as being swarthy and ill looking with remarkable eyes.
The “giants in the earth” mythos is common in Northern Native American cultures too it seems.
I read an article in a magazine a few years back about a tribe of Native Americans living around Hudson Bay that curiously have Northern European genetic markers.
And no-one knows why.
Earth-like planets with life-sustaining conditions are spinning around stars in our galactic neighborhood, US astrophysicists say. They just haven’t been found yet.
“There are something like a few dozen solar-type stars within something like 30 light years of the sun, and I would think that a good number of those — perhaps half of them have Earth-like planets,” Alan Boss told the annual meeting of the(AASS).
“So I think there is a very good chance that we will find some Earth-like planets within 10, 20 or 30 light years of the Sun,” the astrophysicist from thetold his AAAS colleagues meeting here since Thursday.
By “Earth-like”, they mean a rocky world that’s Mars-size to something five times the Earth’s mass, but less than the mass of a Neptunian world.
That leaves plenty of wriggle-room for interpretation.
75,000 years ago early humans built a stone calendar that predates all other man-made structures found to date. This ‘African Stonehenge’ has for the first time created a link to the countless other stone ruins in southern Africa and suggests that these ruins are much older than we thought. The complex that links Waterval Boven, Machadodorp, Carolina and Dullstroom, covers an area larger then modern-day Johannesburg.
Six years of research by a group of independent scientists and explorers has delivered what may be the crucial missing elements in our understanding of the lives and development of early modern humans. Their discovery has been released in a book they call Adam’s Calendar. But the research has also shown that these stone settlements represent the most mysterious and misunderstood structures found to date. It points to a civilisation that lived and dug for gold in this part of the world for thousands of years. And if this is in fact the cradle of humankind, we may be looking at the activities of the oldest civilisation on Earth.
I wonder if those ruins have any relationship to these in South America?
Maybe Michael Cremo isn’t so crazy after all?