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Why God cannot be an alien - Comments

jon_the_d's Avatar Comment 1 by jon_the_d

There may have been many other Class 2 and Class 1 civilizations out there, which were wiped out by the first civilization to make it to Class 3, for reasons of supremacy or conquest or dominion. Leaving only Class 0 civilizations like us who pose no threat but make for good entertainment or scientific studies.

Or perhaps they got pissed with everyone refusing to follow their religion.

Or they imposed technologies which act as signal jammers or cloaking thingies which block any unlicensed interstellar communication and effectively isolate all the different civilizations that are out there.

Who knows.

The first part of your argument is just hypothesizing and assumptions which can easily be out-assumpted or out-hypothesized.

Stick to the one and only argument you need...

Evidence.

Tue, 17 May 2011 23:51:54 UTC | #627716

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 2 by Schrodinger's Cat

The first part of your argument is just hypothesizing and assumptions which can easily be out-assumpted or out-hypothesized.

You can't out-hypothesise the simplest possible hypothesis..................that they don't exist.

Wed, 18 May 2011 01:41:23 UTC | #627746

jon_the_d's Avatar Comment 3 by jon_the_d

precisely!

no evidence => there's no reason to believe they exist.

same as russell's teapot, fairies, or the monster about to get you from behind. no need to try to reason anything if there's no reason to even think they exist.

Wed, 18 May 2011 01:59:04 UTC | #627749

jameshogg's Avatar Comment 4 by jameshogg

Yeah, an application of Occam's Razor would suggest not to bother with wasting so much time on this if there's no evidence to support the proposition.

Then again I guess it wouldn't hurt to hypothesize.

Wed, 18 May 2011 04:05:18 UTC | #627772

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 5 by Jos Gibbons

One reason the alien approach is invoked is to allow ID to claim it's not a religious view per se, so can be in US science classes. There's another argument for why positing alien designers doesn't help ID avoid being standard divine creationism, namely that said aliens are part of our physical world, so would have to be even more complex$ than that which they design, so would need designers, and so on - but the finite age of the universe means we can only go backwards so many times, which means eventually we need a supernatural designer. See cdk007's video on the subject here. cdk007 makes great pro-evolution videos, including many which show just how much evidence creationists have to ignore.

$ As we all recall, in TGD RD claims a supernatural designer would also have to be more complex than what it designs. Theologians' response to this has basically been, "No it wouldn't. It just wouldn't, OK?" Aliens are different not so much in whether they need to be more complex than that which they design but in whether this fact is so obvious even religious people have to admit it.

Wed, 18 May 2011 07:05:56 UTC | #627796

ScientistX's Avatar Comment 6 by ScientistX

Posters here should do some homework.

Check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nItzZrEkCI (1 of 9 sequential)

Wed, 18 May 2011 07:41:30 UTC | #627810

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 7 by Jos Gibbons

ScientistX, it was a lighthouse.

Wed, 18 May 2011 10:46:43 UTC | #627874

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 8 by Schrodinger's Cat

same as russell's teapot, fairies, or the monster about to get you from behind. no need to try to reason anything if there's no reason to even think they exist.

The difference is that nobody's founded a religion based on Russell's teapot.

One does have to make a serious go at refuting the nonsense, when one has no less a person than Buzz Aldrin ( a Christian and 'old Earth' creationist ) arguing that the 'monolith' pictured on one of Mars's moons by a NASA probe....may have been put there by 'God'.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDIXvpjnRws

Wed, 18 May 2011 12:47:04 UTC | #627922

ScientistX's Avatar Comment 9 by ScientistX

Jos Gibbons (comment 7)

Lol - nice one. Ian Ridpath would be proud of you.

Wed, 18 May 2011 13:09:54 UTC | #627931

DavidMcC's Avatar Comment 10 by DavidMcC

Schrodinger's Cat: As the Drake equation is revised and Carl Sagan's estimate of a million civilisations is now reduced down to possibly as few as a thousand....

Does even that take into account the requirement for a Snowball Earth period to get a reasonable probability of multi-cellular life getting started?

Wikipedia on Snowball Earth

Or, for that matter, the requirement to have a "strong mixture" of land and sea for most of the time, to get technology started?

Wed, 18 May 2011 14:01:56 UTC | #627957

Steve Hanson's Avatar Comment 11 by Steve Hanson

Where are all the bog standard Romulans, Vulcans, Vorgons, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri ?

~Assimilated by the Borg, of course.

Wed, 18 May 2011 22:41:17 UTC | #628209

jonjermey's Avatar Comment 12 by jonjermey

My personal view is that any civilisation much smarter than ours will have realised that attempting to communicate with other solar systems is a waste of time: given the limitation of the speed of light it is always easier, quicker and more energy-efficient to invent something or solve a problem oneself than to try and find someone else who has already done it.

In fact there is a certain intellectual arrogance in thinking that sentient extraterrestrials would be remotely interested in anything we could possibly offer or say to them. The classic science-fiction books, shows and movies are just updated Westerns, with the same premise: there are vast untapped resources 'out there' a few days or weeks away, and we can get there cheaply and exploit them. A more realistic view is that searching for anything useful in space is like looking for a gold coin dropped overboard somewhere in the Atlantic. The investment of time and effort required to find it is grossly disproportionate to the probable return.

Wed, 18 May 2011 22:45:55 UTC | #628210

SimonG's Avatar Comment 13 by SimonG

shrodinger... why would a "god" need to be class 3 even? with our present technology we can cure the blind (cateract removal), strike a man down with a crack of thunder (firearms) rain fire from the sky (napalm),fly, create a "booming voice from the heavens" and a whole manner of other things a person living even a few hundered years ago let alone a few thousand could consider the act of a "god(s)". in fact very few biblical "miracles" are beyond our technology or science. even the ressuraction (though i doubt it happened) can be explained by lazarus syndrome or the fact the person may not have actually been dead. people ascending to heaven on a pillar of fire might cause a few issues but there will be a way. The only thing we lack is the ability to travel between star systems to find a primitive race, we already have pretty much everything we need to potentially make them think one of our explorers is a god. As for where all the other civilisations are... some are possibly shielded, others avoiding/ignoring us. Or we may simply be looking for the wrong signs and signals. it is possible that radio waves from our nearest advanced neighbour have not reached us yet, or long since passed us by... or we may have dismissed them as noise, or the signals were to weak to pick up. Keppler is only looking at a tiny area of out galaxy, really tiny so potentially there may not be a dyson structure in the area it is looking at... or any beings have chosen not to build one and opted for other energy sources. your arguement assumes a lot, other assumptions that are equally valid can provide a different result, there could be beings out there more advanced than us, there may not be. As it stands we have not met any of them so we have no proof of their existence but that could change in time. As there is life on our planet it is certainly possible there could be life elsewhere, we just have not found it yet (ir it found us)

Thu, 19 May 2011 02:27:49 UTC | #628271

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 14 by Peter Grant

Where are all the bog standard Romulans, Vulcans, Vorgons, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri ?

The robots we are going to build travelled back in time and wiped them all out :D

Thu, 19 May 2011 09:22:42 UTC | #628351

ScientistX's Avatar Comment 15 by ScientistX

For a discussion on the likely impact of extraterrestrial visitation and its relevance to the Fermi Paradox see the following JBIS paper:

http://www.ufoskeptic.org/JBIS.pdf

Fri, 20 May 2011 17:17:26 UTC | #628887

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 16 by Alan4discussion

Comment 15 by ScientistX

For a discussion on the likely impact of extraterrestrial visitation and its relevance to the Fermi Paradox see the following JBIS paper: - http://www.ufoskeptic.org/JBIS.pdf

This link is a 2004 / 2005 JBIS article. It deals with very speculative issues. The US Airforce certainly used UFO sightings as a cover for Stealth technology and military space hardware.

Personally I do not believe that any alien visitation to Earth has happened in the distant or recent past. There would be some evidence (biological, technical or physical). Most claims can be attributed to whimsical UFO enthusiasts, nuts, fakes, simple unexplained events and military disinformation. There is no way such numbers of aliens could be visiting Earth!

As far as looking for alien life goes, our best long term prospects look like projects such as ICARUS PATHFINDER sending probes to use gravitational lensing to see deeper into the galaxy, - following on from present day astronomy's searches for exoplanets.

Alan (FBIS)

Sat, 21 May 2011 21:16:39 UTC | #629258

ScientistX's Avatar Comment 17 by ScientistX

Alan4discussion (comment 16) - "Most claims can be attributed to whimsical UFO enthusiasts, nuts, fakes, simple unexplained events and military disinformation."

This is simply not true. For a good overview of the very real underlying phenomenon (i.e. the 5% which are NOT due to simple misidentifications or the sort) take a look at this documentary (I Know What I Saw) by journalist James Fox:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nItzZrEkCI ( part 1of 9 ).

Also required reading is an excellent recent book by another journalist Leslie Kean:

"UFOs: Generals, Pilots, and Government Officials Go on the Record" - which was given a very positive review by Michio Kaku. More information on this book can be found here:

http://ufosontherecord.com/

You may have a personal 'belief' regarding UFOs but with respect, we need to go where the evidence points to. The fact is that there is now a huge amount of high quality evidence for the existence of UFOs - but admittedly no 'proof' as yet (i.e. in similar reasoning to the existence of black holes). Your comments regarding the US Airforce and numbers of aliens are also simply based on personal 'belief'.

Watch the documentary and read the book and we can then discuss the phenomenon more objectively.

Sun, 22 May 2011 11:39:47 UTC | #629462

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 18 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 17 by ScientistX

The fact is that there is now a huge amount of high quality evidence for the existence of UFOs - but admittedly no 'proof' as yet (i.e. in similar reasoning to the existence of black holes).

The evidence that something is going on is indeed considerable. I've closely watched the whole UFO phenomenon, as a sceptic, for 35 years........and unlike psychic phenomenon there are some extremely well attested cases by multiple reliable witnesses.

There is, in my opinion, almost certainly 'a phenomenon' to explain.

However, there is not one shred of evidence that any of this is alien spaceships.

On the two ocassions I can think of where scientists did a thorough investigation, one of the studies clearly found a link between 'earthquake lights' and UFO reports. Nobody fully understands what causes the phenomenon of earthquake lights....though they are now a scientifically documented fact.

The other study was the Hessdalen lights in Norway. Reported as 'UFOs' by locals.....scientists established that yes there were indeed strange lights. They even got a spectral analysis of them.......which appears to indicate a high energy plasma.

Both studies strongly suggest that 'UFOs' are a hitherto unknown natural phenomenon.

Sun, 22 May 2011 17:01:17 UTC | #629553

ScientistX's Avatar Comment 19 by ScientistX

Schrodinger's Cat (Comment 18)

Have you viewed the documentary that I've listed? Large gliding boomerang shaped objects with lights on each 'wing' that can hover and then accelerate away can't be explained away as natural phenomena in my opinion. We're not talking about nebulous lights here - we're referring to structured ''craft'

Sun, 22 May 2011 18:18:06 UTC | #629580

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 20 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 19 by ScientistX

Have you viewed the documentary that I've listed?

Yes...I've watched just about everything there is to watch. Some of it...like the UFO Hunters series...is so unbelievably unscientific in it's analysis that I'm amazed the History channel sponsors it.

I think you'll find the 'large boomerang shaped objects' are inferred by people rather than actually seen directly.......just as people managed to infer a mile wide craft from the Phoenix lights. A scientific analysis of video of those lights conclusively showed they were flares.

People always seem to see these mile wide craft at night. Don't you wonder howcome there is not a single daytime picture of a freakin great mile wide metal craft occupying half the sky ??

Sun, 22 May 2011 19:22:38 UTC | #629611

ScientistX's Avatar Comment 21 by ScientistX

No - The flares were dropped afterwards at around 10pm. There is no dispute - these were definitely shown to be flares, but did not relate to the earlier sightings of the boomerang object.

If you believe that the majority of the people who vividly described their boomerang sightings were simply mistaken even though they largely described the same thing and consistently, then that tells me more about why you are 'sceptical' about this phenomenon. It's a case of it can't be, therefore it isn't - somewhat like the initial disregarding of meteorites (haha - stones falling from the sky!) in the 18th Century. Grossly unscientific stance in my opinion.

The lack of photographs is unfortunate but proves nothing. I know of cases where people had a sighting while having a camera on them, but were so absorbed with what they were watching that they never actually considered using it!

Sun, 22 May 2011 20:17:46 UTC | #629627

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 22 by Alan4discussion

Comment 17 by ScientistX

You may have a personal 'belief' regarding UFOs but with respect, we need to go where the evidence points to

I have personally witnesses a UFO - a large hovering golden saucer in the sky, but then as I changed my viewpoint driving down the hill it became clear it was the sun shining through a cloud formation.

As I pointed out @16, it is simply not credible that such numbers of alien craft could be visiting Earth. Covert military test flights with associated disinformation, over active imaginations and fake videos, are much more credible explanations.

The BIS article you quoted @15 discussed speculative remote possibilities. Evidence shows it is pretty certain there is no intelligent life in the Solar system (with the possible exception of Earth), so we are talking about vast distances, huge ships and vast resources to power such interstellar travel. I am well aware of the issues of incredulity in understanding the scale of the universe or possible future technologies, but that does not mean that just anything will be accepted as other than science fiction. We have yet to find evidence that there is any life elsewhere in the galaxy, although this is possible!

Your comments regarding the US Airforce and numbers of aliens are also simply based on personal 'belief'.

My comments are based on awareness of cover stories for stealth aircraft development, secret military satellites, and the distances involved in space travel.

Mon, 23 May 2011 00:13:47 UTC | #629683

ScientistX's Avatar Comment 23 by ScientistX

Alan4discussion - have you watched the documentary that I listed?

Just because you saw the sun shining through a cloud formation and initially considered it to be a ufo, it doesn't mean that this represents a hard-core ufo sighting which are typically metallic structured objects that can land and leave visible indentations on the ground. Please view the documentary and then we can refer to specific sections in that programme.

As regards origin, these objects will clearly have to be extra solar system in origin - we know very well the environments of our own planetary system to say that the earth is the only habitable planet for intelligent life. And yes, the distances are vast, but what is our science going to be like in a thousand years time, and how much more are we likely to learn about the nature of the universe in that period. We're already struggling to work out the nature of dark matter/energy. And physicists are also actively pondering the possibility of other dimensions! Maybe getting here is much easier than we can currently imagine with our limited knowledge. You simply can't assume that our current knowledge has reached a climax and therefore accept that ufos are impossible, full stop!.

Mon, 23 May 2011 06:49:04 UTC | #629728

PaulinSydney's Avatar Comment 24 by PaulinSydney

Comment 13 by SimonG

In fact very few biblical "miracles" are beyond our technology or science. even the resurrection (though i doubt it happened) can be explained by lazarus syndrome or the fact the person may not have actually been dead. people ascending to heaven on a pillar of fire might cause a few issues but there will be a way

We can resurrect the dead, so long as the person hasn't been dead for more than a couple of minutes. As for ascending to heaven on pillars of fire, rockets would do the trick nicely.

But the prospect for aliens to be "gods" is most unlikely. If they were bound by the laws of physics, it is simply impossible, given the distances involved, for aliens to be visiting this little planet (unless they were already very close, like Martians, for example.) Of course, if they could circumvent the laws of physics, they would, by definition, have supernatural powers and would be, in fact, gods.

I actually think, given the tenacity of life, that it is quite likely there are other tolerably advanced cultures somewhere out in space. But space, as has been famously observed, is really big. So big, in fact, that even if a civilisation has the immense power necessary to cross interstellar space, you'd really have to question the sanity of any species that thought it was a actually a good use of resources, energy and several centuries or so to come to an insignificant rock and muck around with a bunch of apes. And so we are left with the same dilemma that theism presents - either there is no god (or alien overlords) or he (they) exist and is (are) totally insane and should not be approached by anyone but metal health specialists.

Mon, 23 May 2011 06:51:53 UTC | #629730

ScientistX's Avatar Comment 25 by ScientistX

PaulinSydney - see my comment 23.

Mon, 23 May 2011 07:42:42 UTC | #629742

PaulinSydney's Avatar Comment 26 by PaulinSydney

Comment 25 by ScientistX

Yes, but why would aliens be coming to earth and behaving in the manner in which they appear to behave? Even if we grant our aliens means and opportunity, we still need a motive. The most obvious motive for travelling long distances is economic, and we have no evidence that ET wants to trade with us, or to exploit our resources, or steal our land through highly dubious treaties. Humanity certainly never traversed the globe to mutilate cattle or act out a scene from Deliverance.

And then we have the alien crew members. Not one, after crossing the vast distances of space, has decided that the would prefer to hang out on a beach, or try the local intoxicants, or hit the tables at Vegas, or see how many hookers Galactic Credits will buy. Again, if history is any guide, the bordellos and bars of whatever part of the world the aliens are visiting should be jumping like they were being visited by, well, sailors on shore leave. (And these two points also answer Schrodinger's Cat final hypothetical question about how we would be behave if we ever discover an alien civilisation less advanced than ours - our government would seek to exploit them, and our intrepid explorers would want to have sex with them.)

Or perhaps they are here for scientific research. In which case, where are the alien Diane Fosseys and Jane Goodalls, or even the alien Margaret Meads, hanging out with us lower species, getting to know us and our primitive ways so they can write smug PhDs implicitly criticising the probologocentric methodologies of traditional humanology?

So, in short, unless there is a plausible motive for the expenditure of the significant resources needed for interstellar travel that results in the aliens skulking about for no apparent reason, I am inclined to remain sceptical.

Mon, 23 May 2011 08:29:04 UTC | #629755

ScientistX's Avatar Comment 27 by ScientistX

PaulinSydney

For a discussion on WHY ufos might choose to remain aloof please read the following carefully:

http://www.ufoskeptic.org/JBIS.pdf

You will also have noted that over the last 70 years or so the appearance/reality of these objects has become gradually getting more and more apparent to the public at large. I would think that there is no one left on this globe of ours who is unaware of a phenomenon that's not supposed to exist. My own view is that this drip, drip revelation by 'them' is a necessary 'conditioning' that we in the world are having to go through before a crunch disclosure of unprecedented impact upon human society. If that happens the potential for widespread general public unease cannot be ruled out.

Mon, 23 May 2011 09:03:54 UTC | #629766

mmurray's Avatar Comment 28 by mmurray

Comment 27 by ScientistX :

You will also have noted that over the last 70 years or so the appearance/reality of these objects has become gradually getting more and more apparent to the public at large.

The thing I find remarkable is that there are so few sightings given how many people these days carry a still or even video camera in their pocket. The shuttle launches and a video pops up on youtube from someone in a plane with a video camera on their phone. So given saturation ownership of cameras why don't we see more ufo pictures?

Michael

Mon, 23 May 2011 09:21:30 UTC | #629768

PaulinSydney's Avatar Comment 29 by PaulinSydney

Comment 27 by ScientistX

From the paper you recommended...

Contact optimists instead presume that many advanced ET groups are at least as ethical as we are...

Oh, god no! Run for your lives!

Mon, 23 May 2011 09:37:10 UTC | #629771

ScientistX's Avatar Comment 30 by ScientistX

mmurray - there are masses and masses of both ufo still shots and videos already on the internet! Unfortunately with the state of art of digital photo manipulation that we currently have, the provenance of any of these cannot be guaranteed and so their value necessarily diminishes. What we need is some footage taken by a BBC camera crew (or the like) of unimpeachable credibility, but there are precious few if any of these!

PaulinSydney - Lol!

Mon, 23 May 2011 09:52:31 UTC | #629776