or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Time Machine - Page 3

post #61 of 6198
Exactly! BTW, that little bit in "Best of Show" with the guy talking about being probed is so hilarious that I'm cracking up right now just thinking about it.
post #62 of 6198
Whoa. Before the two of you get too confident with this, it's a myth that only hillbillies make the claims. It's all walks of life. It includes airline pilots who've never set foot in the Apalachians. It includes astronauts. It includes both Presidents and Presidential candidates (well maybe one of those was a hillbilly. I can't remember).
post #63 of 6198
I think a distinction is called for here. Dean, you keep using the word "alien".
I prefer the term "unidentified".

I think the distinction is important because there is a huge difference between someone claiming to have seen (or been probed by) an extra-terrestrial being and someone telling us they see something they cannot explain (and maybe even none of us can explain). The latter is inherently easier for me to accept.

No one to this point has produced even a shred of worthwhile evidence (ambiguous or otherwise) to make a case for "creatures from outer space" (which is verbatim one of Websters definitions for "alien").

However, I don't totally discount all of the claims of seeing the "unidentified". And I'm not convinced that in each case it can be explained.

And btw, it's not uncommon for UFO sightings to coincide with radar reports of the same thing.
post #64 of 6198
Carl Sagan, when asked if he believed in UFOs, typically responded "of course". He, and many others, think that a lot of sightings were due to military test aircraft or spy planes which would never be admitted to.

And hillbillys aren't the only targets. Cartman, for example. And it would go a long way toward explaining Sect'y Rumsfeld's facial expressions.


P.S. It seems like there was not too much disagreement on the movie, huh? Pretty weak.
post #65 of 6198
I speak only for me but I fell asleep twice (once for a rather extended period) while watching it.

Since 1950's movies were mentioned earlier, I'm wondering if (like me) any of you are ancient enough to have been around to see them back then. If so can anyone else relate to my last post in this thread...

post #66 of 6198
However, I don't totally discount all of the claims of seeing the "unidentified". And I'm not convinced that in each case it can be explained

Well certainly if you see something, and can't identify it, its a sighting of an unidentified object. But its pretty syllogistic to derive anything else from that fact. I hold that in all cases, if the event were subject to careful examination, it wouldn't be unexplained anymore. One off events, that never repeat and which leave no physical evidence are not subject to examination, and are therefore in the 'bleeding Jesus statue' area.
post #67 of 6198
You're about to wear me down again (I'm gradually running out of bs for this too).

But you know what? It would tickle me to no end (more hillbilly vernacular) if some day you yourself were to see something in the sky that is so unusual that you're stumped by it. If that ever should happen and there is still an AVS Forum I hope you'll let me know about it.
I say this because exactly that happened to someone I know. At the time he was the local medical examiner here. He too gave no credence to any of this before that. And then he saw it.
I know. You will tell me that what he saw is just anecdotal and could be easily explained. But you can believe me that you will never be able to get him to accept that.
post #68 of 6198
I did see such a thing. One night when I was say 17 or something like that, I was taking my younger sister somewhere. As we pulled out of the driveway, we say this thing in the sky, which had this weird scintilating light pattern on it. It looked like it was about trailer sized and maybe a mile away up in the air. We watched it for a while but couldn't figure it out.

So, I took here where she was going, and on the way back I saw it again. But this time it was much closer, and it was a blimp with a lighted aftertisement on the side. I lived in a very small town, and nothing like that had ever come over that area, so there was no way I'd have expected it or thought that it might be such a thing. If I hadn't seen it again, it would be yet another of those anecdotal stories that drive these myths. But, of course it was nothing mysterious at all.
post #69 of 6198
I know when I'm whipped.
post #70 of 6198
OK, so in summation:

1. We are the center of the universe.

2. We are the sole inhabitors of this great expanse.

3. We are the smartest beings to ever exist.

4. Only we, and we alone, are capable of coherent thought.

5. We are the HT elite.

6. HT is our favourite hobbie.

7. HT is the hobbie of the elite of the smartest beings in the center of the universe.

8. HT is the hobbie of the gods.

9. The gods are not pleased with "The Time Machine"

post #71 of 6198
I think the general public would say that there is proof of extraterrestrials having visited the earth and having progeny to show for it! How else could there be an explanation for the existence of the audio/videophile?
post #72 of 6198
1. We are the center of the universe.
2. We are the sole inhabitors of this great expanse.
3. We are the smartest beings to ever exist.
4. Only we, and we alone, are capable of coherent thought.

I hope you didn't get anything like that from my comments. I was implying almost the absolute opposite. We are nothing. We are so irrelevant that to think that super-intelligent civilizations out there have nothing better to do that keep up with our transactions is the height of egotism.

And even if they were that bored that they would want to come here for vacations, this assumes that they have come up with a faster than light transport system, which is very unlikely anyway. We can be pretty sure that there are no or very few alien civilizations out there anywhere in our local galactic neighborhood, or if they are nearby and are visiting us, they would have had to create a super-advanced technology without emiting the huge amounts of electromagnetic radiation that such a civilization would almost certainly be spewing out in droves. But we've not found any such emanations from any nearby stars.

But clearly, given that that are an estimated couple hundred billion galaxies out there, each with from tens of billions to trillions of stars in them, we could hardly be the only place in all of that where local chemicals formed a more perfect union. I think that, even from just a purely statistical point of view, the odds of us being the only ones is unbelieveably low. However, if you go through the Drake equation, there are plenty of factors that could contribute to keeping the number in any one galaxy relatively low and spread out, both in time and space. Given that that would start getting into distances of thousands to tens of thousands of light years spread among them, the likelihood of their interacting could be very, very low.

Despite its casually existing in every sci-fi epic out there, I think that we can safely say that the odds of faster than light travel being possible for macroscopic, complex entities like ourselves and our machines, is probably well below 50/50. So it might be possible, but all evidence of how the universe currently works says its quite likely not to be. If that's the case, or if doing so basically kills anything that is subjected to it, or it cannot be controlled and you end up at some random destination, or any number of other things that would make it not workable or impossible, then the likelihood of us ever meeting another civilization other than through radio communcations is basically nil. It doesn't have to be nil, but the current preponderence of evidence says that it will be.
post #73 of 6198
Your last post would be a very cogent argument

But only if you change this...

all evidence of how the universe currently works

to this...

current evidence of how all the universe works

In my humble opinion, that is.
post #74 of 6198
Actually, "evidence" means:

"Plainly visible; to be seen"

so it implies that which is current visible or known to us. If its something beyond our knowledge, it is not evident.
post #75 of 6198
My semantics stand corrected.

What I keep trying to emphasize is that evidence may be discovered in the future which possibly will refute what you now believe to be evident.

It's a simple point. But not an insignificant one.
post #76 of 6198

I think you might enjoy this website: http://www.mkaku.org/ It is the official website of Dr. Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist at CUNY. He has written on time travel, wormholes and more.
post #77 of 6198
Thanks, Larry. I'll take a look.
post #78 of 6198
Then maybe what we think are extra-terrestrials are our progeny from the distant future time-travelling? This might explain the rumors of them breeding with us. Possibly one of their dictums, us or them, is to not appear in situations where their existence is totally verifiable. They could have been around for thousands and thousands of years and simply have hung out in unexplored areas; by the fifties, there wasn't much left unexplored.

Although apparently Nostradamus predicted somewhere (this is what I heard from someone else- much of Nostradamus seems so obscure that it can predict most anything), as did A.C. Clarke in Childhood's End, that we as humans will persist for only a couple of more thousand years. Whether we will evolve into something else and go somewhere, or simply destroy ourselves (a much more believable scenario to Dogfood), who knows?
post #79 of 6198
Its very probably unlikely that our descendants from far out in the future would be able to breed with us. It won't be because of genetic drift, because there probably won't be that much within another 10K years (unless some serious environment stress causes it, but if survive another 10K years, its likely that our technology could protect us from most things), but because of direct manipulation driving changes in the human genome.

I cannot imagine that even 200 years from now we won't have bowed to the pressure to improve ourselves via manipulation of the human genome. Its too powerful a tool to go unused. And, just like any 'weapon', it will be overused, justified by the need to breed super-warriors (because the other side is doing it already.) But, of course, the super warriors might eventually wonder why the hell they are dying for us whimps and getting very little pay and just kill us.

Its all been covered ad nauseum in the sci-fi books, but its been covered ad nauseum because its a completely plausible scenario, based on man's past and even conservative projections as to where our technology is going.
post #80 of 6198
What I keep trying to emphasize is that evidence may be discovered in the future which possibly will refute what you now believe to be evident.

But anything is 'possible'. Monkeys really could fly out of my butt. However, that's not a useful argument really. What you have to look at is what is likely and what is not likely, and the odds as best we can see them. Its clear that we will develop amazing means of manipulating matter on very small scales, which will allow for things that will blow our minds.

But that's piddly compared to direct transportation through time or space. Its possible that such things could be developed. But the odds are very low. Every age of course thinks it knows everything, and has to eat crow in some way. But, the gap is continuously closing. Assuming that what is knowable is not infinite (and I do not belive it is, though it is large), every age gets closer to that limit, and thus has less and less crow to eat as time goes on.

We are beginning to get a pretty damn good feel for things by now. Definitely our understanding will deepen, tremendously. But the odds are still low that we are going to discover how to cheat the laws of thermodynamics, for instance. And, in the case of time travel, I've already presented my arguments for why it could never become possible, because if it ever can, it already has, and the results would be tremendous and all around us.
post #81 of 6198
But anything is 'possible'. Monkeys really could fly out of my butt. However, that's not a useful argument really. What you have to look at is what is likely and what is not likely

I found these quotes with the link Larry provided...

Newton believed that time was like an arrow; once fired, it soared in a straight, undeviating line. One second on the earth was one second on Mars. Clocks scattered throughout the universe beat at the same rate.

Einstein gave us a much more radical picture. According to Einstein, time was more like a river, which meandered around stars and galaxies, speeding up and slowing down as it passed around massive bodies. One second on the earth was Not one second on Mars. Clocks scattered throughout the universe beat to their own distant drummer.

post #82 of 6198
Sure, you could point out a million such steps forward. But the thing is, the differences between Newton's phsics and Einstein's physics is very small, and only comes into play around very dense objects or at very high speeds. Newton's physics were completely legitimate and remain so today, its just a subset of Einstein's physics.

The only way that you could move beyond Einstein's physics is to go faster than light or find something more dense than infinitely dense (which a black hole is.) Neither of those things seem likely. Einstein's predictions have been carried out to very high levels of accuracy, and it seems to be quite correct. And it does not allow for anything to travel faster than the speed of light. There is no guarantee at all that he didn't make the ultimate step forward in terms of understanding gravity on the macro level, or that any better theory will ever have more predictive power. Everyone hopes for a quantum theory of gravity, but there's no guarantee that such a thing even exists. The micro and macro worlds might really be permanently on different sides of the fence.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say there is that, using a theory that absolutely guarantees that nothing can go faster than the speed of light and which completely guarantees classical cause and effect ordering, is probably not a good way to argue your case :-)

Anyway, as I was saying, its useless to argue about what could possibly, maybe be. Monkey's really could fly out of my butt, but are you going to base any plans in your life on it? I'm definitely not, other than maybe keep some extra HandyWipes around.

Basically, these types of arguments are like Biblical arguments, in that they cannot be refuted because anything is possible, and no evidence is to be had. We can conjecture all we want, and I do it all the time since its a favorite day dream of mine to go back in time knowing what I know. But, the odds are very low that they will ever come to be.
post #83 of 6198
What Dean is saying is that these are "untestable hypothesis". Too much speculation. It's not a popular or exciting view, but we simply may be approaching a saturation point where we have learned, say, 80% of the physics there is to know. The usual response to this is that it's been said before like in the late 1800s, but there have been huge changes in the approach to science since then. Mysticism is dying in modern society, and hopefully it will not come back.

What I'm saying is that we can now see the edges of the universe, we can see the smallest permanent units of matter and understand even smaller pieces. There are holes and problems to fix in physics, but they are mostly in tying theories to the real world. There is still a lot to explain and learn in nature, but it's growing far less likely that we will uncover a smoking gun that will overthrow a lot of what we know. And what we know, sadly for sci-fi buffs, me included, means a lot of those neat technologies like time travel to the past and transporters are practically impossible.

post #84 of 6198
The usual response to this is that it's been said before like in the late 1800s, but there have been huge changes in the approach to science since then. Mysticism is dying in modern society, and hopefully it will not come back.

Yeh, that's something I kept trying to get in there but never quite got it said right. We have moved exponentially forward over the last century, increasing the area under the knowledge curve more since 1900 than it was increased in all previous time put together. Nature is complex, and subtle, but not bottomless. If we are 80% there, the next 20% is really going to be cool, but not likely to fundamentally change the other 80%.

And actually, we should be specific here. I'm assuming that that number refers to the area of core physics, i.e. the nature of matter and energy. There are still huge areas of investigation in terms of biotech and software and other areas of technology application, but none of those things are going to fundamental change the way we look at the nature of our universe, they are just incredibly advanced, very cool applications of what we know.

So, there can still be a mongomerous amount of exploration still ahead of us, despite the fact that we might be getting relatively close to the fundamental truths about the nature of matter and energy. Once we get those fundamental truths worked out, even if they don't cause some massive revolution such as time travel, the applications of those truths are going to be more than revolutionary enough. The rate of change of change is already more than many people can handle, and its just begun.
post #85 of 6198
Maybe. But so is the amount of time which separates the two. Less than 300 years. If instead I had compared what was man's understanding of nature two thousand years ago to that of today what do we find? Would you still describe the difference as being "small"?

But that's kind of the point mmoore and I are making here at the end. Saying that cave people knew squat, and we know a lot more, therefore we are going to know as much more in another thousand years is syllogistic. One doesn't follow the other. The very fact that we know millions of times more about the nature of nature could be proof that we are getting close. The well is not bottomless. It does have an end. We don't know where it ends, but it could end in another 20 years, at least in terms of having an understanding of any fundmamental aspects of nature that are remotely within our grasp to manipulate. Things to know about nature probably will follow an asymptotic curve, and the further you go along that curve, the shallower the slope gets (statistically of course, there can be discontinuities.)

If we discover that there are in fact an infinite number of alternate universes, to which we cannot go, that will be really cool and interesting, but will have no practical effect on our abilities. We are in this one, and the laws of physics of this one are the ones we have to deal with it.

Of, if we discover that in fact string theory is correct and that we live in a 10 dimensional world, but the other 6 are rolled up in infinitesimally small areas that we either cannot every explore, or cannot do anything useful with even if we do, then that will be very cool, but it won't change a thing in terms of giving us super-human abilities.

So there may be many more things yet to learn, but it many well be that many of those things (such as what the conditions were 10x-43 seconds after the big bang), are cool but there's no way we can use that information to do much in practical terms.

Technology of course will continue to explode (as long as it doesn't explode us first), and 1000 years from now might be indistinguishable from magic to us. To me, that is likely to be more important to us in the long run that time travel would be. Time travel would be a very dangerous tool, far more so than nuclear weapons, and could never really be used without huge risk. So even if it existed, in what way would it make your life better than having a 5000x5000 flat walls screen with 64 bit color and 500Hz refresh rate, playing from a 1 cm square cube? I'll take the wall screen myself, because its great fun and probably won't cause the self destruction of our civilization.
post #86 of 6198
It's beginning to feel like we're re-enacting "Inherit the Wind".
But I'm not sure which of is Darrow and which of us is Bryan.
post #87 of 6198
"Once we get those fundamental truths worked out"

"It does have an end. "

"it could end in another 20 years"

"none of those things are going to fundamentally change the way we look at the nature of our universe"

Sound familiar?
post #88 of 6198
Well Dean, I still say "wow" when I see a really amazing picture from Hubble. That all matter may be composed of incredibly tiny, vibrating strings is fascinating to me. You sound almost bored by physics. I think incredible discoveries await humanity.
post #89 of 6198
I screwed up. I discovered that I must have accidentally inserted the "it's beginning to..." comment as both an edit and a new post. When I attempted to delete the insertion I removed a whole post. That has now left Dean replying to (and quoting from) a post which does not exist. So if anyone reads the thread now just use your own imagination. There is apparently no way to restore that post in the order in which it was made.

We have ended (if indeed we have ended) with Dean making a reference to home theater and me making a reference to movies. Lest anyone think we are off-topic.

post #90 of 6198

I think Dean needs to seek out new life and new civilizations. Simply put, to boldly go where no man has gone before! Oh nevermind. I am retiring to my time machine (I call it my "bed").
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home