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Old 06-02-2010, 01:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
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regarding the image i posted - judging by the rest of the imagery in that tradition, and the sorts of places in which the art was produced, it is very probable that the cultural group responsible for the images were shamanistic.

shamans were (are) spiritual leaders who make use of altered states of consciousness to establish and maintain contact with the spirit world.

altered states are biochemical phenomena, and the sorts of visual and somatic hallucinations they produce are often quite predictable.

in this image, we see floating human-like figures which is likely related to the sensation of an out-of-body experience, or of flying. the large eyes could indicate expanded visual powers. the flying objects around them may be what are called entropic phenomena - basically, the weird spots and shapes you see when you're on drugs. even the elongation of the figures is a well-documented somatic hallucination referred to as 'attenuation'.

the snakes and birds are common in this tradition - they probably had metaphorical significance.

it's hard to 'interpret' ancient art in this way, since it really consists of layer upon layer of metaphor, most of which we no longer have access to. there are clues to help us interpret, but in a sense you're right, it's all a giant guessing game
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Old 06-02-2010, 04:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Tore, I'm with you on the parsimony, especially being a biologist myself. However, I don't like to be trapped by it. I use it appropriately when thinking about designing a very specific experiment, but I have a firm belief that sometimes wild leaps need to be made to make real discoveries. Being very parsimonious gets you the tiny details, like which protein out of millions of proteins belong to which intracellular compartment, but that is about as far as it goes. For example, when Fleming discovered penicillin, he did so knowing full well most of the scientists in the world thought he was nuts.

Basically I guess I'm saying stay logical, but keep an open mind. It is one thing to believe the hypothesis with the least assumptions and another to flat out deny the other possibilities. When that happens, it is harder recognize evidence that proves the wilder theory even if it shows up. At this point, I like to give our ancient ancestors credit for their accomplishments. They built the pyramids. They were bored and came up with fantasy creatures and stories to go with them. But who knows, maybe it was all aliens...
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Anyone who has seen this show can't logically deny the evidence.
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
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^ Heh.. totally accidentally deleted your post as spam and banned you.

My bad...
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:57 AM   #15 (permalink)
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i think the unimaginable vastness of the universe is enough to convince me that if i were to assume there were no technologically advanced species farther along than us, i would be quite ahead of myself and parsimony is dust to the wind. the drake equation is very vague, but only so much as our understanding of our non-local environment is though, and i strongly believe this should be more often considered.

and then there is Paul Hellyer. he is the former Canadian Defense Minister, and was Deputy Prime Minister under Pierre Elliot Trudeau. he's not some quack, and he, along with his current associates (and well over 4,000,000 reported interactions in one form or another since 1957) REALLY believe in aliens. they call the interactions between our race and the many that visit Earth "Exopolitics" and are moving in an effort to psychologically prepare humanity for the eventuality of our integration into a Universe Society.

interesting sh*t.

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Old 06-06-2010, 09:38 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zevokes View Post
i think the unimaginable vastness of the universe is enough to convince me that if i were to assume there were no technologically advanced species farther along than us, i would be quite ahead of myself and parsimony is dust to the wind. the drake equation is very vague, but only so much as our understanding of our non-local environment is though, and i strongly believe this should be more often considered.

and then there is Paul Hellyer. he is the former Canadian Defense Minister, and was Deputy Prime Minister under Pierre Elliot Trudeau. he's not some quack, and he, along with his current associates (and well over 4,000,000 reported interactions in one form or another since 1957) REALLY believe in aliens. they call the interactions between our race and the many that visit Earth "Exopolitics" and are moving in an effort to psychologically prepare humanity for the eventuality of our integration into a Universe Society.

interesting sh*t.
While it's almost definate that aliens exist, the vastness of the universe makes it extremely unlikely for any alien race to come into contact with us, and still very unlikely to have done in our entire history. That's one argument against this theory, but there is still a possibility aliens visited us.
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dom View Post
...the vastness of the universe makes it extremely unlikely for any alien race to come into contact with us, and still very unlikely to have done in our entire history. That's one argument against this theory, but there is still a possibility aliens visited us.
you can call this arrogance if you wish, but i'd like to point out that from where i stand, i can see no argument.

WHY does the vastness of our universe make it extremely unlikely that any alien race would have come in contact with us?

you just rearranged my words and muttered "nah."
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Old 06-06-2010, 10:48 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by zevokes View Post
you can call this arrogance if you wish, but i'd like to point out that from where i stand, i can see no argument.

WHY does the vastness of our universe make it extremely unlikely that any alien race would have come in contact with us?

you just rearranged my words and muttered "nah."
I see what you're saying but it all depends on exactly how frequent intelligent life is and whether they are alive in human's existance. There are so many varibles to aliens actually visiting us that it is actually extremely unlikely - think about it: first of all there has to actually be other life (almost definate), secondly that life must become intelligent (again, almost definately out there), thirdly that intelligent life must become an advanced space-faring species during human existance. That's where it becomes less likely. Fourthly that intelligent, space-faring life must choose to visit us during human existance. That is extremely unlikely considering the amount of other planets. Assuming this space-faring species can travel across the galaxy, that is hundreds of billions of planets they could visit before they come to us. And all of that must be within human existance, which is relatively an extremely small window.

Now all of that depends on the frequency of life, which we do not have a clue about. If life is very frequent (i.e. life in every other solar system) then yes, it is likely we have been or will be visited by aliens. If it is very infrequent (i.e. a few in every galaxy) then it is unlikely.

What I'm saying is that the vastness of the universe means that the frequency of life becomes the biggest factor is our likeliness to have been visited, and we don't know that.

Also, I'm not saying it is a good argument, just saying that it is sometimes used as a point against this theory.
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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"during human existence" is not an accurate measure at all.

earth is young. that doesn't mean the rest of the planets in the universe are.

the idea of space travel should also not be limited to the idea of limited means. it's likely that with an understanding of physics millions of times greater than our own (relative to our difference in age as a species), these civilizations don't have to deal with overcoming the problems we humans face as the pilots of jet-propelled craft.

then you need to consider the size of a UNIVERSE SOCIETY. i don't know exactly how long humans have been around. but i wouldn't call the notion impossible that a species, or very large group of different species co-mingling, could be millions of times older than humans. thus creating a possible population of numbers and vastness unimaginable. perhaps there are more of them than there are stars in the sky... perhaps enabling them, if they did not create all the planets in the universe themselves, that is, to keep tabs on all life-bearing planets.

and who knows, perhaps we're under an intergalactic quarantine, effectively disabling our evolutionary path... cuz we do SO MUCH STUPID SH*T.
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Old 06-06-2010, 12:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zevokes View Post
"during human existence" is not an accurate measure at all.

earth is young. that doesn't mean the rest of the planets in the universe are.

the idea of space travel should also not be limited to the idea of limited means. it's likely that with an understanding of physics millions of times greater than our own (relative to our difference in age as a species), these civilizations don't have to deal with overcoming the problems we humans face as the pilots of jet-propelled craft.

then you need to consider the size of a UNIVERSE SOCIETY. i don't know exactly how long humans have been around. but i wouldn't call the notion impossible that a species, or very large group of different species co-mingling, could be millions of times older than humans. thus creating a possible population of numbers and vastness unimaginable. perhaps there are more of them than there are stars in the sky... perhaps enabling them, if they did not create all the planets in the universe themselves, that is, to keep tabs on all life-bearing planets.

and who knows, perhaps we're under an intergalactic quarantine, effectively disabling our evolutionary path... cuz we do SO MUCH STUPID SH*T.
By "during human existance" I meant that they would have to have become space-faring and find us by the time humans are alive. There may well have been a species with a space empire millions of years before humans but they got extinct by a gamma ray burst or something. What I'm saying is that depending on the frequency of life it is would be very unlikely to come into contact with aliens during our existance. Not ruling out the possiblity at all.
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