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Resolving The ET Question in a Vacuum of Data

                    You raised the question about possible motives.
                    :-)  I applied the principle of light & dark
                    cycles in photosynthesis to the question because
                    one item in your list of possible motives that
                    was missing was a "harvest."  Perhaps of dreams.

                    See: "To The Point" at line 90.

-=> Quoting Ric Carter to Guy George <=-

 RC> Assuming ETs/UFOs exist, they'd be interested in the Sol system if it
 RC> had strategic or resource value - a choke-point for interstellar trade
 RC> & travel, refueling from the gas giants, specific minerals to be mined
 RC> from asteroids/planets, whatever.  Earth would only be of interest if
 RC> *we* had some valuable resource here - water, minerals, smog, livers,
 RC> silly-putty, whatever.  What do aliens want from us?

 GG> Maybe they want our REM sleep.  I can't think of anything else we
 GG> might produce in our 'dark cycle.'

 RC> Demonstrate that "aliens want our REM sleep"; otherwise admit that
 RC> such is just more baseless speculation, entertaining but useless.


 GG> So even though this sounds like a great theme for a Kilgore Trout
 GG> novel, there are a few ideas here that you might find worthy of
 GG> considering or expanding on or modifying... or throwing out.

 RC> Like I said, baseless speculation - entertainment.  If you want to
 RC> be more constructive, work up some ideas that are *testable*, eh?

Resolving The ET Question in a Vacuum of Data
---------------------------------------------- Testing a hypothesis is one way
of narrowing the field of possibili- ties to build our theories--you are
certainly correct about this. Theories like the structure of atoms, Classical
Electronic Theory (still flawed in regard to electromagnetism and induction),
the physical appearance and metabolisms of dinosaurs, quantum mechanics, etc.

But simple observation is another method of narrowing the field.  And sometimes
even of expanding it.  Observation of birds in flight opened our minds to the
possibility of heavier-than-air craft, for example.

And in defense of my speculation regarding 'harvesting dreams' (I forget
exactly what I called it) observation of the force of economics in our
"reality" gives us an indication of the POWER of 'ideas' while the theme and
variations in nature indicates a near-universal principle regarding light and
dark cycles.

    In the plant kingdom we see the CO2 consuming v. O2 producing
    phases (and interestingly, the O2 is produced in the DARK phase
    of photosynthesis!). And even higher animals still need some down
    time. (Why?)

All I suggested was that perhaps something was produced for yet a higher being
during the human dark cycle.  Sleep.  :-)

And what's wrong with some occasional baseless speculation?  Here's some
speculation I heard recently  :-)  which assumed (and perhaps not unreasonably)
that the aliens are as selfish and devoid of consideration for others as humans

 RC: Assuming ETs/UFOs exist, they'd be interested in the Sol system
 RC: if it had strategic or resource value - a choke-point for
 RC: interstellar trade & travel...

Yet these various kinds of creatures have avoided giving us some spectacular
shows as they warred over turf rights overhead...  Is this proof that they
don't exist?  Is it proof that they DO but are not like US?  Or is it proof
that they ARE like us  that they don't exist?  :-)  

However, observing nature, we DO see patterns of competitiveness, ego
(especially in mating season) and greed (found mostly in rodents). So since
this kind of thing happens in the animal kingdom, it 'narrows' the field of
possibilities, lending weight to your theory: IF they exist, they probably ARE
like us.  (Pure speculation is now partially supported hypothesis.)

This 'proves' nothing--you are correct.  It just allows us to guess better (in
lieu of agreeing on criteria for evidence).

  * TO THE POINT: What do we know about the 'collective unconscious?'
    Is there any reason to assume it's even a  h u m a n s - o n l y
    club?  And where would we go to find proof, one way or the other?
    Even the widely held belief that the unconscious mind exists is
    based only on inference.

    There IS evidence of UFOs.  Even so, I am disallowing it in my
    approach here for the sake of common ground.  You are not aware
    of the proofs, or you have seen them and are unimpressed.  So I
    am taking Jung's argument that UFOs are possibly a 'manifesta-
    tion of the collective unconscious'.  I simply assert that the
    'reports' CERTAINLY exist!

    You raised the question about possible motives.  :-)  I applied
    the principle of light & dark cycles in photosynthesis to the
    question because the one item in your list of possible motives
    that was missing was "agriculture."  A Harvest of some sort.
      Possibly something we didn't even know we were
    producing?  Dreams came to mind because they are so anomalous
    compared to the rest of our conscious, willed behavior.  :-)

    And cows give milk.  If they miss a milking they are uncomfort-
    able.  This analogy is consistent with sleep deprivation.

    So maybe it wasn't a GREAT theory.  It was at least, as you
    suggested, "entertaining."  :-)  And I bothered to support it so
    that someone else might be able to build on it or modify it into
    a genuine hypothesis that we COULD test--or maybe find a good
    argument against it that will point us in a better direction...


            >>>------->  More, if you have the time...

                (Same thread posted to "ALL /Ric Carter")

  | Let's look at the problem of HOW WE DEAL with the discussions    #
  | of UFO-related phenomena for a moment.  As philosopher-types, we #
  | might want to address our 'methods' since it seems that we can   #
  | make no headway in discussions.  Discussions that simply will    #
  | not go away unless we DO address the problems that cause them.   #

The Evaluating the Sin of Speculation

But...  Is there really anything actually WRONG with following these ideas
around the bend once in a while?  Someday we might stumble upon some
'speculation' that is so absolutely inspired that it could crack the doors open
to another entire branch of science!

Potential Advantages of Speculation PLUS DIALOGUE to Trim

And look at what we could have done by simply opening our eyes.  For example,
birds don't float up and out of the earth's atmosphere when they die.  (This we
knew.)  And THERE IS SOME REASON they can fly when they are alive. (This we
knew also.)  Then comes the speculative phase followed by testing (or maybe
even just researching what else is already known about the phenomena--because
there's a chance the test has already been done).  In the end, we have
"heavier-than-air craft.  Why did it take so LONG to discover this?

Proving the Negative: Reciprocal Obligation in Logical Debate

Example: Note that C-SETI (the Center for Study of Extraterrestrial
Intelligence) is currently involved in developing programs to communicate with
extra-terrestrials.  And they report having had some success in this endeavor
already, which include "fly- bys," and even large craft hovering overhead.

Others who have not investigated their work might speculate that it's "false
witness," however.    Is there any specific REASON that pro-UFO arguments
should be on the defensive (as though by definition) while the assumption that
"millions of witnesses including astronauts, policemen, airline pilots, etc.
are lying" is immune to even the most rudimentary statistical examination?

Note that to assume you cannot prove the negative argument in such a case as
this is unfounded prejudice, essentially favoring status quo: This artificially
ends ABILITY to continue examination of what is already known (or has been
reported) on the subject.

                            Analogy: The carpenters quit building
                            the house because they say they ran out
                            of INCHES?!!

Proving the Negative: COOPERATION and Review of Processes

Here's another example of an inadvertent error based on assumptions that
contain a bug.  (Starting with proof below.)

    Proof:      Apples = Fruits; Pears = Fruits

    Principle:  IF A = C and B = C  THEN A = B

    Argument:  Apples = Pears

    There is no GOOD reason that the person taking the opposing stand
    in the discussion couldn't help locate a problem in the logic.

                  Error: The "equals" sign is misused.  Apples and
                  pears are SUBSETS of fruits, not "equal" to fruits.

                  This is pre-Fuzzy Logic set theory here.  Fuzzy
                  would even allow weighting of probabilities in
                  evaluating sets of classes that blur (or "fuzz")
                  into one another such as 'economics' which has
                  real and imaginary qualities which are (inter-
                  estingly enough) normally considered mutually
                  exclusive properties!    And though no
                  one has ever claimed to have "sighted" the value
                  of a dollar bill, the same kinds of problems
                  occur in discussions of economics as in UFO-
                  related phenomena.

Set Theory Implied In Building Science

    Furthermore, you realize that at one point there were only four
    elements: air water, earth and fire.  (The fifth element,
    "the quintescence" was a spiritual quality, so let's ignore
    it in our discussion of "physics" for now.)

    Then as work progressed we even discovered several ISOTOPES of
    the various elements that we had previously arranged neatly
    according to certain of their properties (see Periodic Table).
    U-235 AND U-238 are both still called Uranium though these
    "earths" have quite different properties in very important
    regards.  (I am assuming that producing DEATH in those
    handling it might be 'important' enough to qualify as a valid
    distinguishing characteristic.)

    This argument pertains to set theory and misapplications of
    assumptions regarding equality when we might actually be dealing
    with subsets (on the one hand) or 'classes' (on the other).

    And these kinds of organizational principles (definitions of
    sets/classes and subsets) may not all have been identified yet in
    the case of UFO sightings, because we have no coherent explanation
    for the similarities AND discrepencies in the reports.

    This is an observation--beyond mere speculation.  It's obvious!
    Because even if UFO-related phenomena is the product of wide-
    spread delusion, THIS IS IN NO WAY INSIGNIFICANT as a "class" of
    human events--yet we keep arguing about the specifics (subsets)
    instead of addressing the class (or superset) of experiences.

    Why?  Because the "delusion" theory doesn't wash either.  :-)

BACK TO THE HYPOTHESIS:  So then, since we are here discussing possible motives
of alleged ETs, I'd ask you, What do you think the reason is for the dark-cycle
(in plants) and sleep (in animals) that we observe in nature then?

                        Class: Light & Dark Cycles in Living

                        Subsets: (Under Investigation)

Is it insignificant that plants, when not producing for themselves are
producing for 'others' during their 'dark cycle'?  What then might the
analogous product of animals and especially humans during sleep?

Can't we think in these terms now that we understand that we MAY not be the top
of the pecking order in the universe?

  * To The Moderators:  This post applies to the problems encountered
    in 'discussions' about the existence of ETs and UFOs.  It
    examines some of the roadblocks that hamper the flow of ideas.

    I hope this will be judged to have been on topic for the echo
    though philosophical analysis and synthesis can broaden the scope
    of discussion significantly because it draws into the discussion
    the very processes that lead to logical errors.

                                            The Real Rainbow Sally

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