How likely are we to find extraterrestrial life?

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How likely are we to find extraterrestrial life?

Post #1

Post by otseng »

Many NASA scientists think we're on the verge of finding alien life.

Ellen Stofan, NASA's former chief scientist, said in 2015 that she believes we'll get "strong indications of life beyond Earth in the next decade and definitive evidence in the next 10 to 20 years."

Many astrophysicists and astronomers are convinced that it's not a matter of if we'll find life — it's when.
https://www.businessinsider.com/nasa-pl ... de-2019-11

Questions for debate:
- How likely are we to find extraterrestrial life?
- What empirical evidence is there that any extraterrestrial life exists?
- What are the implications if extraterrestrial life exists or do not exist?

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Re: How likely are we to find extraterrestrial life?

Post #111

Post by Quantrill »

DrNoGods wrote: Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:09 pm

This is just a classification adjustment. Pluto is still exactly the same rock it was before humans decided to reclassify it, and the science surrounding the rock and everything we know about is orbit and other properties did not change because it was reclassified by humans.

This is probably the most common thing theists do when confronted with science being at odds with a biblical story ... try to claim they are both faith based. It is a weak argument and never works. Science is not based on faith, but on observations, measurements, reproducibility, consistency, etc. It doesn't require faith to accept that the heliocentric theory of our solar system is correct. People used to believe the earth was the center of the universe and anyone who claimed otherwise risked threats and possibly execution by the church. But science showed that this interpertation was wrong by observing planetary movements and working out the math and dynamics of massive bodies which proved that the planets orbited a central star. There is no faith involved in accepting that an acid mixed with a base will produce a salt plus water, and there are countless other examples. Religious faith has no similar analogies ... it is belief without evidence and that is the gigantic difference. You take scientific consideration out of the debate by ignoring it in favor of the biblical narrative.

Same weak argument that science is faith based. It isn't. Science does not set out to disprove biblical myths as some goal. But science can be applied to investigate the validity of a bible story like Noah's flood, and ask whether such an event is consistent with what we see in the world today (eg. the distribution and diversity of plant and animal life), and whether it could have happened based on the feasibility of the various circumstances required for it to happen (eg. where did the water come from). Looking at these items from a science perspective it is very easy to demonstrate that the event did not happen as described in the bible. To believe that it did happen, despite unambiguous scientific proof that it did not, is simply ignoring the science because you don't want to believe it, because it contradicts the bible story which you do want to believe. I don't "believe science" as a subjective choice (like religion). I believe the aspects of it which have been demonstrated to be correct, and there is no faith required.

Of course science does not have "all knowledge", and probably never will. It is a process of continuously learning about nature and refining what we do know to try and better understand the natural world and how it works. If something isn't yet known by science that just means it is still an open problem requiring further research. That is how the process works. And if science cannot yet answer a question or explain something, that does not mean that the answer defaults to the action of a deity of some sort. Science requires evidence, religion does not. A key fundamental difference.


And yet again, the worn out retort that science is faith based just like religion. How do you think this helps your argument in any way? It is so clearly and obviously wrong that I'm surprised theists still use it.
Well, that is the point. Pluto doesn't change. But science changes it's mind about Pluto. In other words, just because science doesn't allow for the miraculous or spiritual, doesn't change what is true.

Your acceptance of the theories of science are faith based. You trust science. You trust it's method of obtaining knowledge to the degree that you discount the miraculous and spiritual. If science cannot prove it, then it must not be so, you will say.

You see? People who put their faith in science, don't say the Bible says this but science cannot prove it. They say the Bible is just full of myths and lies...because science cannot prove it. But science is still learning.

Yes, the Church had put too much trust in early science such as Aristotle. And that was their mistake. But it was the 'science' of the day.

Concerning the flood and science's attempts to disprove it, and that is what they attempt to do, they cannot. They cannot duplicate the conditions that the earth was under at that time. Their attempt is based upon their belief that everything has always been just as it is now. That is their faith. And it hasn't.

Science's hypothesis, theories, facts, are based upon just today. They are based upon what science knows today, and they can change as science learns about more things tomorrow.

But that is fine by you, because your faith is in science to produce truth.

My faith is in God and in the Word of God the Bible. So, you see, it is no wonder that Christianity and science are opposed. It is actually two faiths in opposition.

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Re: How likely are we to find extraterrestrial life?

Post #112

Post by Clownboat »

Quantrill" wrote:Why should I care that others don't consider the Bible as evidence for scientific claims?

Otherwise you are no different then a Muslim who is in on a debate platform in a science subforum who does nothing more than present their faith beliefs and the supporting religious material to go along with it.

Is your Jesus no different then their Mohammed?
Just as I don't care that Science is inept in adding anything of value to the Christian and the Bible.

Well, it is correct that the Bible is at odds with much modern knowledge.
Yes, it would need to be renamed a 'science only' section as you are requiring 'scientific proof' for anything the Bible says.

Or you could do the Christian thing and abide by the forum rules that you agreed to. If atheists can do it, surely a Christian can, no?
Thus you push for the 'scientific method of knowing' which is evidence and proof.

Evidence sure, but proof... that is for math and booze.
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Re: How likely are we to find extraterrestrial life?

Post #113

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to Quantrill in post #111]
Concerning the flood and science's attempts to disprove it, and that is what they attempt to do, they cannot. They cannot duplicate the conditions that the earth was under at that time. Their attempt is based upon their belief that everything has always been just as it is now. That is their faith. And it hasn't.
Noah's flood can be dated to only about 4,300 years ago, and we know very well what the world was like that relatively short time ago. There were civilizations in the Middle East, China, India, and other locations and writing had been developed. So this supposed global flood covering the highest mountains happened, according to dates derived from biblical chronology, within the period of written history! And we have historical records besides the written history such as archeological artifacts, etc. that would not exist as they do today if this event had actually happened as described in the bible. You're describing it as if it happened so long ago that we did not know "the conditions that the earth was under at that time." 4,300 years ago is very recent history in terms of global geology, and very little has changed since then in terms of continental locations, mountain range locations, major river systems, etc.

But I don't think you care to debate the scientific points relating to this mythical event (or others) in this forum section allocated specifically for that sort of thing. You've stated that you believe it happened because the bible describes it, and that is sufficient for you to accept it as true despite the vast amounts of physical evidence against it, and none that supports it.

Your confusion about faith and science evidently stems from a lack of understanding of how science is built upon actual observations, over millennia now, that form a large basis of known information that can be demonstrated to be correct. This knowledge base builds upon itself as time goes by, with new discoveries adding to the base or requiring refinements to existing theories, etc. But it is all based on measurements and observations that can be tested, repeated, etc. to confirm that the knowledge base that has been built up over time is accurate. This is completely different from religioius faith which requires no confirmation by observation and experiment, but is simply accepted without any evidence whatsoever apart from the unsubstantiated writings of ancient men who were scientifically illiterate due simply to the time at which they lived. There is no comparision between the faith that is required to believe these ancient tales, and the trust in mathematical axioms and the scientific method which can be tested and demonstrated to be correct.
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Re: How likely are we to find extraterrestrial life?

Post #114

Post by Quantrill »

DrNoGods wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:00 pm
Noah's flood can be dated to only about 4,300 years ago, and we know very well what the world was like that relatively short time ago. There were civilizations in the Middle East, China, India, and other locations and writing had been developed. So this supposed global flood covering the highest mountains happened, according to dates derived from biblical chronology, within the period of written history! And we have historical records besides the written history such as archeological artifacts, etc. that would not exist as they do today if this event had actually happened as described in the bible. You're describing it as if it happened so long ago that we did not know "the conditions that the earth was under at that time." 4,300 years ago is very recent history in terms of global geology, and very little has changed since then in terms of continental locations, mountain range locations, major river systems, etc.

But I don't think you care to debate the scientific points relating to this mythical event (or others) in this forum section allocated specifically for that sort of thing. You've stated that you believe it happened because the bible describes it, and that is sufficient for you to accept it as true despite the vast amounts of physical evidence against it, and none that supports it.

Your confusion about faith and science evidently stems from a lack of understanding of how science is built upon actual observations, over millennia now, that form a large basis of known information that can be demonstrated to be correct. This knowledge base builds upon itself as time goes by, with new discoveries adding to the base or requiring refinements to existing theories, etc. But it is all based on measurements and observations that can be tested, repeated, etc. to confirm that the knowledge base that has been built up over time is accurate. This is completely different from religioius faith which requires no confirmation by observation and experiment, but is simply accepted without any evidence whatsoever apart from the unsubstantiated writings of ancient men who were scientifically illiterate due simply to the time at which they lived. There is no comparision between the faith that is required to believe these ancient tales, and the trust in mathematical axioms and the scientific method which can be tested and demonstrated to be correct.
Really? So how did science arrive at the date of Noah's flood?

I am not saying the flood happened so long ago that we cannot know the conditions on the earth at that time. I am saying the conditions on the earth at that time were not the same as now. All of which disrupts your scientific analysis which is based on everything being the same as it is now.

Well, you are correct in that I am not interested in your 'scientific points' as they are filled with bias against God and the Bible. And you are correct that I believe what the Bible says about the flood and anything else that science wants to try and disprove about the Bible.

It doesn't matter how much science is learning. That knowledge is good only for today, as I said. Science can change it's mind in an hour. The point is you trust it. You are willing to trust what science says though they may change it later. That is your faith. I don't mind that that is your faith. Why do you mind?

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Re: How likely are we to find extraterrestrial life?

Post #115

Post by brunumb »

Quantrill wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:04 pm Really? So how did science arrive at the date of Noah's flood?

I am not saying the flood happened so long ago that we cannot know the conditions on the earth at that time. I am saying the conditions on the earth at that time were not the same as now.
The date for the Noachian flood was not determined by science. It has been deduced by creationist analysis of biblical chronology.

How do you know that the conditions on the earth at that time were not the same as now? Can you provide verifiable evidence confirming your claim?
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Re: How likely are we to find extraterrestrial life?

Post #116

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to Quantrill in post #114]
Really? So how did science arrive at the date of Noah's flood?
As brunumb said, the dating of the flood was not done by science (as science cannot date something that did not happen), but is derived from biblical chronology. Creationist websites go through the details:

https://answersingenesis.org/bible-time ... the-flood/
I am not saying the flood happened so long ago that we cannot know the conditions on the earth at that time. I am saying the conditions on the earth at that time were not the same as now. All of which disrupts your scientific analysis which is based on everything being the same as it is now.
4300 years ago is nothing in geoligic time. The conditions on earth a measly 4300 years ago (or 4359 using the AIG number) were indeed the same as they are now in terms of the primary geology (configuration of the continents, major mountain ranges and river systems, etc.). So saying that the conditions on earth then are not the same as now is just wrong unless you get down to details so insignificant that they would have zero bearing on an event as catastrophic as Noah's flood would have been (eg. lower atmospheric CO2 levels, some animals not yet extinct, and things like that). 4300 years is just too recent for earth to show major change in its geology or atmosphere to an extent that would allow a global flood to have occurred.
Well, you are correct in that I am not interested in your 'scientific points' as they are filled with bias against God and the Bible.
It isn't "bias against God and the Bible." You seem to interpret anything that contradicts the biblical narrative to be bias rather than simply the interpretation of observations and measurements to follow the evidence where it leads. Science, in general, has no bias for or against religion. But it certainly can show certain ancient tales to be true or false such as the Noah's flood event, or people living to 900+ years old, etc. This is much more of a problem for biblical literalists given the short time ago that "creation" supposedly happened (some 6000 or so years ago ... again a time frame arrived at from analysis of biblical chronology). Some of the stories and events described in the bible are just scientifically impossible, and that isn't bias against the book or the particular god it is associated with (of the many thousands that humans have invented), it is simply the result of examining the stories and events via scientific inquiry.
It doesn't matter how much science is learning. That knowledge is good only for today, as I said. Science can change it's mind in an hour. The point is you trust it. You are willing to trust what science says though they may change it later.
Science never just willy nilly "changes its mind." Any changes to existing theories or interpretations must be based on solid evidence and analysis. And some things will never change because they have been proven to be correct (eg. the heliocentric model of our solar system, much of the fundamental mathematics, physics and chemistry that underlies science, etc.). There are always new discoveries being made and this often requires refinement to current understanding, but that isn't science "changing its mind" ... it is incorporating new knowledge into the knowledge base when it is justified. Most of science can be trusted because it has been demonstrated to be correct. Hypotheses are not simply accepted as correct without lots of confirmation via experiment and observation that supports the hypothesis. This is completely different from religion where there is no such confirmation. Everything is simply believed without evidence because of trust in a holy book, not trust in direct measurement and observation.
That is your faith. I don't mind that that is your faith. Why do you mind?
I assume you are asking why I mind if you have faith in religion? I don't. I don't mind anyone practicing any religion they choose. But I do oppose someone calling trust in science "faith", although this is such a common theist misrepresentation that it is to be expected. I don't think people who try to make that false analogy actually believe it themselves, unless they are so ignorant of how science actually works that they genuinely confuse the two. Trust in science is not at all similar to faith in a religion.
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Re: How likely are we to find extraterrestrial life?

Post #117

Post by Quantrill »

DrNoGods wrote: Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:20 pm
As brunumb said, the dating of the flood was not done by science (as science cannot date something that did not happen), but is derived from biblical chronology. Creationist websites go through the details:

https://answersingenesis.org/bible-time ... the-flood/

4300 years ago is nothing in geoligic time. The conditions on earth a measly 4300 years ago (or 4359 using the AIG number) were indeed the same as they are now in terms of the primary geology (configuration of the continents, major mountain ranges and river systems, etc.). So saying that the conditions on earth then are not the same as now is just wrong unless you get down to details so insignificant that they would have zero bearing on an event as catastrophic as Noah's flood would have been (eg. lower atmospheric CO2 levels, some animals not yet extinct, and things like that). 4300 years is just too recent for earth to show major change in its geology or atmosphere to an extent that would allow a global flood to have occurred.

It isn't "bias against God and the Bible." You seem to interpret anything that contradicts the biblical narrative to be bias rather than simply the interpretation of observations and measurements to follow the evidence where it leads. Science, in general, has no bias for or against religion. But it certainly can show certain ancient tales to be true or false such as the Noah's flood event, or people living to 900+ years old, etc. This is much more of a problem for biblical literalists given the short time ago that "creation" supposedly happened (some 6000 or so years ago ... again a time frame arrived at from analysis of biblical chronology). Some of the stories and events described in the bible are just scientifically impossible, and that isn't bias against the book or the particular god it is associated with (of the many thousands that humans have invented), it is simply the result of examining the stories and events via scientific inquiry.

Science never just willy nilly "changes its mind." Any changes to existing theories or interpretations must be based on solid evidence and analysis. And some things will never change because they have been proven to be correct (eg. the heliocentric model of our solar system, much of the fundamental mathematics, physics and chemistry that underlies science, etc.). There are always new discoveries being made and this often requires refinement to current understanding, but that isn't science "changing its mind" ... it is incorporating new knowledge into the knowledge base when it is justified. Most of science can be trusted because it has been demonstrated to be correct. Hypotheses are not simply accepted as correct without lots of confirmation via experiment and observation that supports the hypothesis. This is completely different from religion where there is no such confirmation. Everything is simply believed without evidence because of trust in a holy book, not trust in direct measurement and observation.

I assume you are asking why I mind if you have faith in religion? I don't. I don't mind anyone practicing any religion they choose. But I do oppose someone calling trust in science "faith", although this is such a common theist misrepresentation that it is to be expected. I don't think people who try to make that false analogy actually believe it themselves, unless they are so ignorant of how science actually works that they genuinely confuse the two. Trust in science is not at all similar to faith in a religion.
The Bible doesn't say what the date of the flood is? So where do you get the date of the flood? If you don't have a date of the flood, ok. I understand.

Whenever the flood did occur, doesn't matter. God can with such a judgement change the conditions upon which science today wants to believe remain as they always have.

Where does the Bible say the earth is only 6000 years old?

All of science's hypothesis, theories, and facts, are based on today's knowledge. They can change as science learns more. Call it 'willy nilly' or call it incomplete. It's all based upon a lack of knowledge.

No, I am asking why you mind having faith in science. I don't mind that you do. You seem to.

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Re: How likely are we to find extraterrestrial life?

Post #118

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to Quantrill in post #117]
The Bible doesn't say what the date of the flood is? So where do you get the date of the flood? If you don't have a date of the flood, ok. I understand.
Click on the link I provided in the earlier post (to the Answers in Genesis website). That kind of analysis is where creationists get both a date for the supposed global flood, as well as the time since "creation." Looks like you didn't read the earlier post. These dates don't come from science, but from biblical chronology (when taken literally). This is very common knowledge.
Where does the Bible say the earth is only 6000 years old?
See above. The bible doesn't say this, but it is implied from all the begats, etc. that allow people who study such things (eg. AIG and many others) to come up with the dates I am quoting. Again, this doesn't come from science, but from the bible itself. Science only shows that they cannot be correct, or that the events did not actually happen as described.
All of science's hypothesis, theories, and facts, are based on today's knowledge. They can change as science learns more. Call it 'willy nilly' or call it incomplete. It's all based upon a lack of knowledge.
But today's knowledge is the result of a continuous build up of knowledge going back thousands of years when humans first started trying to figure out nature. Of course this knowledge base changes with time because new discoveries are made, new observations shed new insight into mechanisms for how things work, etc. I wasn't until 1944 when Oswald Avery and his group showed that DNA was the "transforming substance" responsible for heritable traits, rather than a protein as had been assumed for many decades. That piece of information was a major discovery. Then, 9 years later in 1953 the molecular structure of DNA was worked out, and subsequently the genetic code and how genes code for proteins, etc. This kind of sequential acquisition of knowledge is just one example of how the whole process of science works. It isn't "based on a lack of knowledge" ... it is driven by the quest for knowledge, and the knowledge base continues to grow over time. That is a good thing.
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Re: How likely are we to find extraterrestrial life?

Post #119

Post by Quantrill »

DrNoGods wrote: Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:18 pm
Click on the link I provided in the earlier post (to the Answers in Genesis website). That kind of analysis is where creationists get both a date for the supposed global flood, as well as the time since "creation." Looks like you didn't read the earlier post. These dates don't come from science, but from biblical chronology (when taken literally). This is very common knowledge.

See above. The bible doesn't say this, but it is implied from all the begats, etc. that allow people who study such things (eg. AIG and many others) to come up with the dates I am quoting. Again, this doesn't come from science, but from the bible itself. Science only shows that they cannot be correct, or that the events did not actually happen as described.

But today's knowledge is the result of a continuous build up of knowledge going back thousands of years when humans first started trying to figure out nature. Of course this knowledge base changes with time because new discoveries are made, new observations shed new insight into mechanisms for how things work, etc. I wasn't until 1944 when Oswald Avery and his group showed that DNA was the "transforming substance" responsible for heritable traits, rather than a protein as had been assumed for many decades. That piece of information was a major discovery. Then, 9 years later in 1953 the molecular structure of DNA was worked out, and subsequently the genetic code and how genes code for proteins, etc. This kind of sequential acquisition of knowledge is just one example of how the whole process of science works. It isn't "based on a lack of knowledge" ... it is driven by the quest for knowledge, and the knowledge base continues to grow over time. That is a good thing.
Yes, I read the earlier posts. But I also know there is no date given for the flood. The genealogical records are not give to provide a date for the flood. They are given to show ancestor connection. We have no idea how many people were left out of these records as God did not include everyone for various reasons. And as the people prior to the flood could live up to 1000 years, it wouldn't take many to change any date drastically.

Concerning the age of the earth...see my comment above. So, no age given for the earth or the flood in the Bible. So, any effort to prove the flood by it's date is futile. Any effort to disprove the flood by the date is futile. For the date is not given.

Nothing wrong with science's quest for knowledge. But, it is still incomplete. And as it learns, it changes it's mind.

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Re: How likely are we to find extraterrestrial life?

Post #120

Post by DrNoGods »

[Replying to Quantrill in post #119]
The genealogical records are not give to provide a date for the flood. They are given to show ancestor connection. We have no idea how many people were left out of these records as God did not include everyone for various reasons. And as the people prior to the flood could live up to 1000 years, it wouldn't take many to change any date drastically.
So you are saying the ancestrial connections given in the bible are wrong, or incomplete, or ??? No one is claiming that the geneology was given specifically to date the flood, but that is what is used to estimate the date as AIG (and others) have done. By the same analysis people (starting with James Ussher in the 17th century) arrive at an approximate date for "creation":

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ussher_chronology

This is common knowledge so I'm surprised you are not familiar with it. But if you allow the biblical description to be randomly interpreted and incomplete, then of course you can arrive at any meaningless date for the flood or any other event. However, it isn't just the date that disproves the event ... practically any analysis from geology, archeology, biology, etc. can disprove it regardless of any date that is assigned to it. And no human being has ever lived to 900+ years, or anything even remotely close. This we are sure of from basic biology. You have to completely disregard science to believe that the global flood described in Genisis happened, or that human beings ever lived to 900+ years.
Concerning the age of the earth...see my comment above. So, no age given for the earth or the flood in the Bible. So, any effort to prove the flood by it's date is futile. Any effort to disprove the flood by the date is futile. For the date is not given.
Again ... the date is arrived at by biblical chronology using the ages that are given for the lives of various (imaginary) people. If you don't accept the dates estimated from this chronology, then you must believe that the bible's description of the various relationships and who begat who, is wrong. But isn't that at odds with the idea that the bible is divinely inspired and the "word of God", and inerrant? You can't have it both ways.
Nothing wrong with science's quest for knowledge. But, it is still incomplete. And as it learns, it changes it's mind.
It will always be incomplete, but that in no way makes it wrong or useless. And it doesn't "change its mind." It continuously refines the knowledge base as new information becomes available, the key point being that this new information is confirmed by observation or experiment and not just some random, untested hypothesis. The process works, and the world is a far better place because of it.
In human affairs the sources of success are ever to be found in the fountains of quick resolve and swift stroke; and it seems to be a law, inflexible and inexorable, that he who will not risk cannot win.
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