Round 1. chissler vs saltheart foamfollower: Please call if you're going to be late.

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posted on Oct, 27 2010 @ 03:02 AM
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The topic for this debate is "First contact between aliens and humans is most likely to occur in the 21st century if it happens at all.”

chissler will be arguing the "Pro" position and begin the debate.
saltheart foamfollower will be arguing the "Con" position.

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edit on Mon 1 Nov 2010 by The Vagabond because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 31 2010 @ 12:55 PM
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I'd like to begin this debate with a sincere thank you to my opponent and the organizers of the debate. Our start date was some bad timing and I've been out of town for much of the week on business and was unable to fulfill my commitment. My opponent was gracious enough to allow me the chance to extend my initial window and begin the debate today. So thank you.

I've used my single 24 hour extension for this debate for this time frame.

 
 


"First contact between aliens and humans is most likely to occur in the 21st century if it happens at all.”

This is a great topic to debate and it's wording really allows us the flexibility to chew on this topic in a holistic manner. As I will be arguing the pro position in this debate, it is my responsibility to present a stronger case that it is "most likely" that contact will be made between aliens and humans in the 21st century, if at all. It is not my position to prove that it will happen, simply that it is most likely to occur. It is also my position that if it does not happen in the 21st century, it may not occur at all.

I break this topic down into three sections for consideration.

  • First contact between aliens and humans
  • most likely to occur in the 21st century
  • if at all

    I will be very clear in my presentation of this position contact between aliens and humans is very likely. Over the course of this debate I will examine how historical and recent sightings will support my position, how technological advances over several fields in recent history support my position and how now, more than ever, we as a society are prepared for such contact. I will emphasize this again as it will be a big part of my position throughout this debate.

    We, as the gatekeepers of our planet, are finally prepared and ready for contact with another life force from another planet!

    I've kept my opponent and readers waiting long enough at this point. So I will turn the floor over to my opponent and get this debate rolling.

    Thank you.



  • posted on Oct, 31 2010 @ 01:05 PM
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    Hello ATS members, moderators, judges, visitors and “observers” from beyond the stars. I thank the creators of this debate, for their work and due diligence, in creating the atmosphere for open and honest discussion of all things eclectic.

    To begin any debate, one must begin by defining the parameters of the argument. So let us start with the competitors. My venerable and sage opponent; Chissler, being ranked #5 in the debate rankings, places me in the doggedly apt, underdog role. Chissler is placed in the pro side of the argument, whilst I have been placed on the con side.

    "First contact between aliens and humans is most likely to occur in the 21st century if it happens at all.”

    First contact-

    What can the first component of the debate entail? Since the rest of the topic assumes that aliens and humans have not come into contact prior to this point in time, namely the 21st century, we can therefore assume that means any contact so far, cannot be construed to fulfill the prerequisite “first contact”. We then can infer from this postulate, since individual or small grouped sightings and revelations cannot be deemed relevant, a vast majority of the populace must be in on the contact and actually believe that it has happened.

    Aliens and Humans-

    Aliens must be defined as a sentient being, since Human was placed in conjunction with them, since Humans are a sentient being. Also, how could a non-sentient being, make “First Contact”.

    Is most likely to occur-

    Lots of wiggle room here. I will assume for the reasons of discussion, which most likely would be a super majority instead of a simple majority percentage. Reasoning being, that if it was just above 50%, this would not be then defined as “most likely” it would be referred to as more than likely. So for discussion purposes I will use the supermajority required in the US Senate, at 60%. (the reasoning for being so specific will be covered later in the debate)

    21st century-

    To be defined as now until December 31st 2100 since the 22nd century does not occur until January 1st 2101. This gives a time frame of approximately 90 years. (I have been specific with the time frame for specific mathematical postulates to be given later in the debate. I have rounded up in time, to be accurate on the error side of the argument.)

    If it happens at all-

    Well this kind of throws me into a quandary. With the given parameters of the debate so far, this thrown in on the end would make it seem that there is a time limit placed upon the event. I will have to assume that according to the topic as defined, if it does not happen in this century, then it will never happen. I did not want to begin the debate in the opening salvo, but this I will have to address just lightly here. One thing I have always believed is that there are no absolutes, except that there are no absolutes. This of course is a cognitive dissonant statement in and of itself and will also be addressed later.

    Now that I have defined the parameters of the discussion, let us begin.

    Chissler, to get things rolling faster and possibly cause you a little problem, I hand you back the floor.



    posted on Nov, 1 2010 @ 04:36 PM
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    Thank you to my opponent for a great opening. I agree with much of the parameters set forth for our debate, however not all.



    I will assume for the reasons of discussion, which most likely would be a super majority instead of a simple majority percentage. Reasoning being, that if it was just above 50%, this would not be then defined as “most likely” it would be referred to as more than likely. So for discussion purposes I will use the supermajority required in the US Senate, at 60%. (the reasoning for being so specific will be covered later in the debate)


    I understand where my opponent is coming from, however I do not agree. What we're dealing with is two options; 1) first contact will be made in the 21st century and 2) first contact will not be made in the 21st century. If someone were to say that there is a 51% chance of this happening, it could be stated that it is "most likely" to occur based on the options presented. This is hardly the crux of the matter at hand, but for our readers who are visualizing the cases presented by both my opponent and I, it is my belief that an American system of a "supermajority" is hardly the basis that we should be operating by.

    So as said, hardly a deal breaker but for the purposes of our debate, I do believe that "most likely" would be synonymous with 51% considering that only one of the two options will prove to be true.

     
     


    UFO sightings are something that are intertwined all throughout the fabric of our society. From the extremes on both end of the continuum with believers and naysayers, to the skeptics, cynics, open-minded and flat out curious. The concept is one of the few issues that almost anyone can talk about, even those that know nothing about it. It gets to one of the most basic concepts that we all think about at one point or another, "are we alone?" These sightings go back hundreds of years and take on all different forms. We have the more popular ones that most people would recognize, such as Roswell, dozens upon dozens upon dozens of other unexplainable events that most people have never heard of, and even some very recent events that have sparked endless discussion involving all parts of this continuum of believers and naysayers. The O'Hare incident at the Chicago Airport in 2006 and just recently in October in New York City. Sightings have been a part of our culture for centuries. However, these are largely suppressed due to an unwillingness of major news corporations to cover these issues.

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    -- Albert Einstein

    Einstein's quote is applicable to our scenario here. Sightings and shared experiences with UFO's, alien life forms, etc., have been a part of our culture going back centuries. But in all of this history, we still have yet to have a single piece of information that can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that these claims are valid. Even some of the more open-minded people, when looking at the facts, can have a tough time validating some of these stories. It raises the question that when large groups of people have a shared experience, it does make you wonder. But when nobody can provide a piece of information to corroborate, we as a society have a tough time accepting. As Einstein said, the same thing over and over again; why would you expect different results?

    The variable that is changing is TECHNOLOGY. Technology is evolving at an unheard of pace. What was never even fathomable a few years ago is now outdated. Think about the weight of that statement. As quick as we can think of a concept, we implement and improve almost immediately.

    640K ought to be enough for anybody.

    -- Bill Gates

    My iPhone has a 32GB capacity. One of the more brilliant minds of our time once believed that this amount of data would be enough for any user. My cell phone, not computer.. cell phone, has over 52,000 times that limit. ...and that is just my cell phone! I echo this to illustrate the pace at which our society is evolving with our technological advancements. And with this technology, it is putting the power into the individual. Just recently a father and his son sent their iPhone into space and captured amazing footage!

    So looking back throughout all of history and considering some of the shared experiences and sightings that are on the books, if you put today's technology into their hands and there is only one conclusion that a person of sound mind would come to, that being that some sort of tangible proof of the experience could be shared with the general population of our planet. A picture, a video.. something! Almost every cell phone today comes with a high resolution camera and camcorder. It is only a matter of time until we have something undeniable to present to the skeptics and naysayers alike that will be irrefutable.

    As my opponent expressed, we're operating with a 90 year window here. If we were to go back 90 years from today, we're sitting on the front step of the 1920's. Since then and now, the progress we've witnessed across all sectors of life would be unthinkable to society back then. Society then would have mocked or be flat out terrified much of what we take for granted today. And in a society today where everything is already instant via the internet, cell phones, social networking, etc., it is still scary for us to think where we will be in another 90 years. Given the advancements we've seen in technology over the past 10 years, much less 90 years, it is very likely that we are reaching a point where we will finally be prepared to experience such contact.

    I will express a concern that as our technology advances, I do fear that this contact will take place on terms that are not our own. With the consistencies we see in most sightings, experiences, etc., it is safe to assume that the technology of other life forms would greatly exceed that of our own. However, as ours does rapidly increase, I suspect that it is inevitable for us to produce some sort of material that will put the general public in a spot where it is undeniably proven that life exists on other planets. And once this is achieved, it is a matter of time before such contact is witnessed. And my fear stems from that the fact that once the "cat is out of the bag" and contact becomes likely, that contact won't be on our terms. I can not fathom a scenario where it would ever be on our terms, but as technology evolves at a pace that our society can not keep up with, it is equipping us in a manner that leaves us susceptible to danger of the cataclysmic variety.

     
     


    It is a very easy position to take on this debate and simply summarize it by saying "hasn't happened yet, so it ain't gonna happen!" But I bring us back to Einstein's quote that if we're doing the same thing over and over again, we will not get different results. As variables change, separate outcomes as a scientific certainty. Hear that again, when you change the variables to any scientific equation, the outcome of that experiment will be different. Change the variable, change the outcome. And for the first time in our societies' history, our technology has developed at an unheard of pace. So for the first time in our history, we've truly changed a variable in this scientific equation. And with this change, it is a matter of time until we finally receive a different outcome.

    The different outcome we will receive is first contact.



     
     


    Socratic Questions

    1. Can you begin to postulate where our societies' technology will be in 80 years?
    2. Given that sightings are increasing with our technology, do you believe it is likely that in the next 20 years we will finally have some tangible proof that even the most closed-minded people would struggle to refute?
    3. Do you believe we are alone?

     
     


    Thank you.



    posted on Nov, 2 2010 @ 04:36 PM
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    24 hour extension request



    posted on Nov, 2 2010 @ 08:15 PM
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    reply to post by chissler
     


    Your comment in regards to the 51% is accepted. I have not used this argument component yet, but it will be applied in the next comment of mine. Just setting the groundwork.

    I will use a Star Trek theme here to liven up the debate.


    ~The philosophical argument~



    Over the thousands of years that modern humans have populated the Earth, stories of alien beings have littered cave paintings, literature, familial originated stories, religious writings, radio shows (think H.G. Wells-War of the Worlds), and now movies. Look at the alien section here at ATS- Alien Section 31,277 posts at the time of the writing of this comment. According to this poll- Poll, 1 in 5 already believes that aliens are here disguised as us. Is this true? I am sure some people that write here would agree, where many would not. What I am saying is that the vast majority of people are not easily convinced of things, if they cannot quantify the experience without placing their very hands or eyes on it.

    BSo let us say that First Contact occurred, like say in the movie First Contact, of the movie genre Star Trek. Would people even believe it happened? Would they believe it, if it was broadcast to the world? Who here has heard of the project called Project Blue Beam? This is a project supposedly to project holographic images to foment a certain outcome or response from the populace. With technologies that are available today, such as the ability of materials that can bend light around an object, holographic projectors that use water to project 3 dimensional objects onto and the advent of computing skills to actually remove objects from real-time video broadcasts, one would have to believe that those aware of these technologies would be very skeptical of a First Contact “if” it were to happen. Even with my very limited knowledge of computer software on video editing with Adobe Premiere Pro, I can install objects into video that were never there to begin with. Now if you bring in experts that work in the film industry, one could say that just because Avatar was one of the most visually stunning movies ever created, was it real?

    The old philosophical statement “if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, did it happen” comes to mind. In this instance though, it would be if First Contact happened and no one believed it, did it happen? Not to mention, that if it did occur, would your government or governments want you to know? Information is more valuable than gold pressed latinum.

    ~The mathematical and statistical argument~



    Space, the final frontier.

    I will try here to quantify what we know and what we think we know. From the archeological study of mankind’s origins, some rather peculiar things of our past come up. We have found that rudimentary batteries and brain surgery occurred millennia ago. So have we really come so far in our knowledge? Some would say that our knowledge has increased exponentially. I would argue that it is more a linear equation with pitfalls along the way, the Dark Ages as one example. What could be our next pitfall? Global hunger, war, economic chaos, natural disasters like a caldera, a super bug, or a myriad of other possibilities could be our next Dark Ages.


    AWhat do we know and I mean really know? One has to think about the individual knowledge here. We are coming to a realization that leaps in knowledge, could be limited by the ability of an individual to understand everything that comes before it. Taking Stephen Hawking as an example, when he dies everything he knew will not be quantified or it will not be completely known. Yes, he has taught students of his knowledge, he has written numerous papers and books, he has disseminated vast amounts of knowledge. That knowledge transferring from one generation to the next is limited by the very ability of those that will come after, to understand the accumulation of that knowledge. I refer this postulate or theorem of mine, as the limit of the equation for the individual knowledge in a society, to understand all the knowledge that has come before. My vaunted opponent has used his analogy of the smart phone, compared to earlier computer generation, as proof of the exponential growth of knowledge, but I say because of the specialization inherent in our society, that a limit to the knowledge that humans as a whole, will come to a point that we have built a Tower of Babel. Without a leap in either genetic or say a cybernetic advancement of the human mind, the tower will either be limited in height or come crashing down.

    What I am saying here is that we may think we know a vast array of things, but do we? The period here--->. is what we know, compared to the solar system that we can imagine and we have a galaxy and a universe yet to explore.

    Now for arguments sake, let us say that we as a race of sentient beings, have existed for say 6000 years and we are looking at the next 90 years as the limited window of opportunity for First Contact to happen. Given as a percentage of given time by total time it comes to a percentage of 1.5%.

    Also, let us look at what the amount of space that we have actually explored or even the radio waves that we have dispersed out into the universe. Travelling at the speed of light, how far has our radio waves travelled in the time that we have had the technology? For arguments sake, I will use 1810 as the first time radio waves with an intelligent message behind it were transmitted. So the radio waves have travelled 200 light years in radius out into the cosmos, such a pitifully small sphere of space that we have made a dent in. The top ten stars that are closest to us are in the sphere that is 10 light years in radius. I was thinking of doing a search for postulates of how many habitable planets there are, but why bother. What most would be assuming is that they would be habitable for us, not the habitability for the unknown. So even speculating on the possibility is irrelevant to the argument.

    I bring this component of the argument that if there are alien beings out there, have we let them know we even exist? We have not even made a scratch on the surface of our own area in space.


    ~Are we worthy argument~



    “I worship stupidity and you are my new god” Q referring to mankind.

    As I mentioned earlier, “there are no absolutes”. Just imagine a sentient race that has evolved to a point that they are all knowing and all seeing. They can travel in all of space, all of time and know all things like a God in our numerous religions. Not that they are God, just that they have evolved to a point that we would see them as God like. Would they reveal themselves to a race such as us?

    From Clarke’s three laws “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

    What would their reasoning being to make contact? What possible detriments to our society, could the possible repercussions of such a contact be?



    Socratic Questions

    1. Can you begin to postulate where our societies' technology will be in 80 years?
    2. Given that sightings are increasing with our technology, do you believe it is likely that in the next 20 years we will finally have some tangible proof that even the most closed-minded people would struggle to refute?
    3. Do you believe we are alone?


    1~That question could take me about 100,000 characters to even begin to postulate. Nice question! I will postulate that we will have within the next 80 years, the ability to travel close to the speed of light. Also see my comments here A


    2~Our technology may come to a point, that even open minded people would not believe it to be true. As I have postulated on the ability to create things that are so fantastic, that it would seem to be magic, to those that do not understand the technology. Also see my comments here B, but no, I do not find it likely that we will.

    3~I believe in the vastness of an infinite universe, anything is possible, anything. Do I specifically believe that we are to have First Contact is the question though. As far as answering the question that the poll I referred to earlier, that we are currently alone or that we are alone in the infinite universe, I believe we are alone here on earth, but that we are not the only sentient being in the universe. I am a spiritual believer that there is higher power, but I do not believe that this could be considered alien in the defined sense of the debate.


    ~Socratic questions~

    1~If First Contact happened and only 1/5 of the populace believed (amount that believe aliens are amongst us now) can we really say it is any different than right now?
    2~Do you think we have really come so far in our knowledge, when only 200 years of the industrial revolution has occurred and there is so much that we do not know.
    3~Why are we worthy as a race in this 90 year window for the alien race to make contact, which could cause vast repercussions to our society?
    4~ Why would a peaceful and a more advanced society, make First Contact with all the possible ramifications that could entail in our current state of being?
    edit on 2-11-2010 by saltheart foamfollower because: (no reason given)



    posted on Nov, 2 2010 @ 09:10 PM
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    Let's keep at it!

     
     


    I'm going to begin my post with an immediate rebuttal to the Socratic questions posed by my opponent.



    1~If First Contact happened and only 1/5 of the populace believed (amount that believe aliens are amongst us now) can we really say it is any different than right now?


    1. The purpose of our debate is not to determine if things would be different. So if there were great or few changes, it is truly irrelevant for our purposes here. If first contact happened, then it happened. Whether people believe it or not, in my opinion, has no bearing on this debate. First contact is first contact, no matter who believes it. If I go out in the rain, I get wet. Whether people choose to accept that or not, I'm wet.



    2~Do you think we have really come so far in our knowledge, when only 200 years of the industrial revolution has occurred and there is so much that we do not know.


    2. I believe we've come very far in our knowledge. Intelligence is no easy feat and we, as the human race, can say we've achieved it. We operate with intelligence, empathy, free will, verbal communication, etc., which was not something achieved over night.



    3~Why are we worthy as a race in this 90 year window for the alien race to make contact, which could cause vast repercussions to our society?


    3. For what I've said above, we are a species of people that are intelligent. To evolve from a single cell being to a multi-cell being, it took over 2 billion years. Throughout our evolution, a lot of variables could have been introduced at any point along the way where intelligence would not have been the outcome. We are very fortunate for the intelligence we have and it is unlikely that there are several "intelligent" beings out there in the universe. Of those that are and are possibly looking for habitation, it would make absolute sense that our planet and our beings be chosen. So why are we worthy? Our intelligence makes us worthy.



    4~ Why would a peaceful and a more advanced society, make First Contact with all the possible ramifications that could entail in our current state of being?


    4. Your question is presented with great assumptions of what other beings societies look like. We have no way of knowing whether or not they are a peaceful society. For the purposes of our debate, I will agree to work on the assumption that they are more advanced. However, it is unlikely that they are coming in peace. I suspect if they are coming, it is purely out of self interest and they may be looking towards the resources that we have on our planet.

     
     


    I will now look a the answers presented by my opponent in the previous post.

    When I asked my opponent to postulate where our technology will be in 80 years, he responded with:



    1~That question could take me about 100,000 characters to even begin to postulate. Nice question! I will postulate that we will have within the next 80 years, the ability to travel close to the speed of light. Also see my comments here


    So we agree that as we inch closer and closer to the end of this time frame, our technology is advancing that is making first contact more and more likely. If you take the pace that technology has advanced in the past 20, 10, 5 or even 2 years, it is mind boggling to think of where we will be in the near future, let alone the distant future. Based on this, I reassert my position that it is very likely in the next 90 years, first contact will be made!

    I appreciate the candor my opponent offered in his answers and his 2nd and 3rd answers were very direct, which is appreciated. I'm not going to get into the details of my opponent's answer to being "alone", however he does seem to illustrate that he is open to the notion that there are other forms of life out in the universe.

     
     



    The old philosophical statement “if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, did it happen” comes to mind. In this instance though, it would be if First Contact happened and no one believed it, did it happen?


    This lingual swing dance merely serves the purpose to add confusion into a topic that truly doesn't need it. If a tree fell in the woods and nobody heard it, did it actually fall? I'm not the most insightful person but I'm damn near certain that even if nobody heard that tree fall, if I were to come strolling by a good hour or two after this, it'll likely be face down in the dirt. Whether it was heard or witnessed, the act took place and the effects of that act can be measured once uncovered. So I may have not heard that tree fall, but the tree is on the ground. I come back to the going out in the rain. If I go out in the rain and nobody sees me, do I get wet? Yes! Yes I do. People seeing me out in the rain and me getting wet are not connected. We don't need to be a physicist to understand this logic.

    So this line of thought presented by my opponent, in my opinion, is only serving to confuse. I don't speculate on the intent of my opponent as it may not be his intent, but I feel it is the outcome.



    Would they reveal themselves to a race such as us?


    My opponent seems to operate with the understanding that if first contact is going to take place, it is going to be an act of peace or possible brotherhood. Why would they reveal themselves to us?

    Because we have something they want!



    It is not a series of coincidences that the planet that which we call home is able to sustain continued life. It is not a coincidence that we as the gatekeepers of this planet have evolved in the manner that we have. To every piece of evolution, to every detail of this equation, there is something we can point to that explains it. Our planet has a lot to offer to those who have the power to call it their own. We, as the human race, have been fortunate enough to be the gatekeepers of this planet and call this our own. But if another species were to come to this planet and come with more fire power than we currently possess, it would be theres to do as they see fit.

    A planet capable of sustained life and a species that have evolved to an intelligent life form that would provide an infinite amount of incentives to the new gatekeepers!



    So again, why reveal themselves to us?

    Because they can!



     
     


    It has to come back to the 90 year window that we're dealing with. I bring us back to Einstein's quote again.

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    -- Albert Einstein

    I continue to quote this because it explains why we haven't had contact in all our years on this planet. Variables haven't changed. With variables unchanged in any scientific equation, the outcome will remain the same. In my previous post I covered one of the larger variables that has changed, TECHNOLOGY. Well there is another variable to consider.

    Our planet is dying!



    If aliens are going to come to our planet, they are coming for a reason. The most likely reason that they are going to come is to take over our planet. If they aren't going to simply take over the planet, they are going to be looking for something from our human race. Pure and simple, it will be out of a self-interest that they come. And given recent trends with our population out of control, pollution having lasting effects on our ecosystem, global warming, weather anomalies becoming more frequent and more severe, it all points to the clear fact that our planet is dying. As the time frame on our planet closes, so does the ability for another alien species to take over this planet.

    So it is my position that if first contact is going to take place, it HAS to take place soon because our planet may not be here in a few more hundred years due to the way that we, as the gatekeepers, are treating it.

    This is another variable in this scientific equation that is changing. Technology has changed, a new variable introduced. Our planet is dying at a rapid pace due to the treatment by our own people, and yet another new variable introduced into this equation. With new variables, new outcomes.

    The new outcome will be First Contact!



     
     


    Socratic Questions

    1. Do you believe that our intelligence as a species and planet capable of sustained life makes us worthy of first contact?
    2. If an alien species came to our planet, would you anticipate that it is because we have something they want?
    3. Do you believe that we as a species are the most ready we've ever been to be able to handle contact?

     
     


    Thank you.



    posted on Nov, 3 2010 @ 01:24 AM
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    ~First off the answers to your questions.~


    1. Do you believe that our intelligence as a species and planet capable of sustained life makes us worthy of first contact?
    2. If an alien species came to our planet, would you anticipate that it is because we have something they want?
    3. Do you believe that we as a species are the most ready we've ever been to be able to handle contact?



    1~No, we may be intelligent as individuals, but as a society we are fearful, timid, greedy, suspicious, stupid, ignorant, etc. I could go on.

    2~I believe that is the only reason currently, that an alien species would make First Contact. I feel that a higher intelligent or higher technological species that are benevolent, would know that interfering with the development of a sentient species would be disaster. You can lead a horse (human) to water (knowledge), but you cannot force him to drink (learn).

    3~Nice way to word that. One would think so, but I have reservations on this question. There have been societies in the past, IMO, that were probably more ready to handle contact. They may have thought the aliens to be gods or spirits, but I would think they would have been better able to handle the contact than many in our society today. As a whole, I would have to say the movies and television have possibly programmed a vast majority to handle it, just as long as no trigger happy private shoots the aliens, that the general sent into to contain the situation.



    Now some rebuttal to some of your comments



    First your comments regarding my first and last Socratic questions.




    The old philosophical statement “if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, did it happen” comes to mind. In this instance though, it would be if First Contact happened and no one believed it, did it happen?


    So this line of thought presented by my opponent, in my opinion, is only serving to confuse. I don't speculate on the intent of my opponent as it may not be his intent, but I feel it is the outcome.



    Are you than changing your mind in mid debate? You did agree with me on my breakdown of the topic and definitions of the debate.

    From my opening statement-


    First contact-
    What can the first component of the debate entail? Since the rest of the topic assumes that aliens and humans have not come into contact prior to this point in time, namely the 21st century, we can therefore assume that means any contact so far, cannot be construed to fulfill the prerequisite “first contact”. We then can infer from this postulate, since individual or small grouped sightings and revelations cannot be deemed relevant, a vast majority of the populace must be in on the contact and actually believe that it has happened.

    Your response-


    I agree with much of the parameters set forth for our debate, however not all.


    You then went on to say you disagreed with the most likely component and I agreed. Well, the reasoning behind my definition was quite clear, that if people did not believe it happened, than it did not happen. It is just a bit of philosophical argument. That is why I put it under the “philosophical argument” component.

    The same thing applies to your response to my first Socratic question, by the way.

    ~Another comment by you~


    So we agree that as we inch closer and closer to the end of this time frame, our technology is advancing that is making first contact more and more likely. If you take the pace that technology has advanced in the past 20, 10, 5 or even 2 years, it is mind boggling to think of where we will be in the near future, let alone the distant future. Based on this, I reassert my position that it is very likely in the next 90 years, first contact will be made!


    Yes, I will agree that we have come a long way, BUT let us take a look at how far we really have come.

    Orville and Wilber Wright flew for the first time at Kitty Hawk, on December 17, 1903. This flight was powered by an internal combustion engine using fossil fuels. It is now 107 years later, what are we using for our main form of locomotive power now, internal combustion engines. Just because we are excelling in certain aspects of technology, does not mean as a whole we are accelerating (increasing the rate of change) our technology advancements. Yes, we have developed such things as nuclear power, but we evolved back to older technology like steam generators to use that newer technology. How far have we really come since the invention of nuclear fusion or fission? What other power sources have we developed? None, except maybe harnessing the wind-which was used 100’s of years ago, wave power generation-using a physical attribute of our own planet, thermal generation-another planet run power source. No new power source has been developed since the advent of nuclear fusion or fission. Heck, we have not even come up with a way to harness the sun or lightening efficiently. Even though we have the most abundant resource just 8 light minutes away we have not come up with a way as simple or complex, depending on which way you look at it, as photosynthesis?

    Regarding space travel we have not really advanced any further than when we landed on the moon, in regards to propulsion. We landed on the moon on July 29th, 1969, 41 years ago. We still get into space by strapping explosives to the bottom of the rocket. No real advance there either except in efficiency. These are things that were done with slide rules and basic computers.

    Let us just say that we were to develop a form of locomotion that could get us to the speed of light tomorrow. We build our first spaceship the next day and send it out on a journey. They will reach 90 light years and we will come to the end of the allotted time. Does one think we are going to meet an alien sentient race in that amount of space? Highly unlikely or almost negligable. I would say in the neighborhood of 1 to 10 to the 99th power against. I would also think that benevolent alien species would wait until just before we were to reach out to other solar systems. I do not see that within the next 200 years let alone the next 90.

    So in conclusion on the possibility of ourselves causing the contact, by our ability to travel to reach them or by us reaching far enough out into space so they contact us, is insignificant.

    You were not asserting that specifically, but I thought I would like to reply to this component.

    ~In response to this comment by you~


    My opponent seems to operate with the understanding that if first contact is going to take place, it is going to be an act of peace or possible brotherhood. Why would they reveal themselves to us?
    Because we have something they want!


    I asked the question of why a peaceful alien species would contact us or why we would be worthy of such contact and you attributed I assumed that it would be benevolence. I was breaking down the possible scenarios of possible First Contact. Benevolence or non benevolence.

    To address the items that they could possibly want from us, I can only imagine two items specifically they could want from us, that would be the planet itself for not it’s resources, but for it’s biosphere. The other possible reason being for contact would be for the organisms, including us on the planet. The reason being is that elemental resources would be easy to collect from the cosmos. Now if a sufficiently advanced society, they would need absolutely no resources whatsoever, even the organisms themselves. All they would need are samples of the dna. Genetic recreation I assume would be a very possible technological advance for a space faring race. All elemental materials could be easily mined from the moons, asteroids, comets, planets, stars nebulae, etc.

    As you assert here-


    But if another species were to come to this planet and come with more fire power than we currently possess, it would be theres to do as they see fit.


    Yes, it comes down to the IF another species comes. That is the question. Just because one can imagine it
    ; it does not make it so.




    Socratic questions.

    1What do you think would be of the reaction of the human species, to a benevolent alien race coming to give us a hand, when you see the way many countries act today, when others attempt to interfere in internal matters.

    2Do you think genetic recreation would be a viable possibility of a space faring race?

    3Do you think an advanced civilization would attempt to save the human race if were to be going down the wrong path?

    4You mentioned earlier that you believed there were other sentient races, do you think there is many or few.
    edit on Wed 3 Nov 2010 by The Vagabond because: fix quote tags



    posted on Nov, 3 2010 @ 04:43 PM
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    I'm going to begin this post with a rebuttal to my opponent's previous post and then respond to the Socratic questions.

     
     




    1. Do you believe that our intelligence as a species and planet capable of sustained life makes us worthy of first contact?

    1~No, we may be intelligent as individuals, but as a society we are fearful, timid, greedy, suspicious, stupid, ignorant, etc. I could go on.


    I could not disagree with this more. As individuals we can be fearful, timid, greedy, suspicious, etc. As a society, while many of things remain, we are strong, united, capable and intelligent! Look at some of the wonders of our world, downtown in any major city, the infrastructure of any town or city, etc., these are all creations of our society. It is the key measure of our intelligence. Another one? Democracy! The manner in which our governments operate display to us that as a society, we are an intelligent being. Sure it is easy to poke fun and say "look at the people we elect", but all jokes aside, these processes display our true intelligence. Think of other animals that we share this planet with. While there is much to marvel with the manner in which they run their own societies, none of them compare to what we've been able to achieve.

    I'm satisfied that my opponent and I both agree that if aliens are going to come to our planet, it is because we have something they want.

    My opponent asserted that I'm "changing my mind mid-debate", however I've never actually stated that I agree with any of those specifics. And he himself quoted for our readers that I stated...



    I agree with much of the parameters set forth for our debate, however not all.


    I will commend my opponent for not editing my words to support his point. When copying and pasting my words, he's accurately reflecting what I said and I appreciate that.

     
     


    I believe my opponent has made one good point in this debate so far. And his point is how very little of the universe we can, have or will cover and that due to this it is highly unlikely that first contact is possible. It's basic physics. The needle in the haystack, if you will. There is no refuting this fact that we're not capable of covering much more than a fraction of the space where these aliens could call home. But first contact is a two way street. I opened this debate discussing the number of sightings that we've had in history, going back over 100 years. We've had sightings of one or two people up to very large groups of people, all sharing similar information without having had spoken to one another. So what does this all mean?

    We don't need to find them! They've found us!!



    Let's cover the facts that society, for the most part, has agreed upon and facts that my opponent and I have agreed upon.

  • An alien species that we would share first contact with is going to have a level of technology that greatly exceeds our own. Thus most likely capable of covering much more of the universe than we are.
  • Considering the vast number of sightings of UFO's in our history, it is most likely that they already know where we are.

    So this argument of us being incapable of covering more than a fraction of the universe in search of first contact is a waste of our time. While it could lead to contact, it is not necessary. We don't need to do the searching because they have already done it. They have found us and the accounts that so many have shared for such a long time point to this.

    With the number of sightings we've had, it leads us to believe that they do know we are here, so the question remains "why haven't they made contact yet?" To that question, none of us know. We could speculate, but we truly don't know. But as Bob Dylan said, "the times are a changing" and the clock is running out on contact occurring on their terms. I highly suspect that once some sort of irrefutable evidence is produced to the general public and it is widely accepted that we're not alone, I genuinely believe that they will initiate this contact. Whether it is in our best interests or not, that remains to be determined. Our technology is growing, which limits their ability to navigate undetected. They can no longer rely on our governments to keep their secrets. The general public now has the capabilities of uncovering the truth. Our planet is dying, the window is running out. Whatever it is that we have that they need, the timeline for them to be able to take it is running out and this will prompt contact.



    Just because one can imagine it; it does not make it so.


    I agree. And while in either position we present, a degree of the imagination is inevitable in this discussion. However, I do believe I'm providing more much than a mere imagination in making my case that first contact is coming in the very near future.

     
     




    1. What do you think would be of the reaction of the human species, to a benevolent alien race coming to give us a hand, when you see the way many countries act today, when others attempt to interfere in internal matters.


    1. Determining benevolence is much more difficult than putting it on a piece of paper. Even if some sort of agreement were reached, how would we know? We wouldn't. And given our skepticism, I'd be hard pressed to think we'd be overly comfortable with this. I'd say a strong theme of "we need to get them first" would exist.



    2. Do you think genetic recreation would be a viable possibility of a space faring race?


    2. Yes.



    3. Do you think an advanced civilization would attempt to save the human race if were to be going down the wrong path?


    3. I would like to think so, but if I could only say yes or no; I'd say no. I don't think they would save it. I think societies are geared to look out for themselves. I think a society is going to spend more time saving themselves, than others. And if societies came across other societies, I believe they're key interest would be how they could exploit that other one in their own self interest.



    4. You mentioned earlier that you believed there were other sentient races, do you think there is many or few.


    4. I'd say many.

     
     


    Now in my third answer, I've spoken to the selfishness of a society. However, prior to this I've spoken of our altruism, our intelligence, etc. I'm not contradicting myself. I believe there are many positives when it comes to our society looking out for those like us. But I don't believe we would spend too much of our time or resources on saving the societies of an unknown species. I don't think any of this changes the inevitably that is first contact, as none of this will be on our terms. It just illustrates how ineffective we'll be able to manage it as we're resistant to any form of change.

    And first contact, it represents change.

     
     


    Socratic Questions

    1. Given the countless number of UFO sightings we've had documented in history, is it likely that alien races that exist in the universe already know who we are and where we are?
    2. If and when first contact does occur, do you anticipate it will be us finding them or them finding us? (Given your position on our ineffectiveness of covering this universe, please elaborate if you're now going to sell us on the likelihood of us finding them before they find us)

     
     


    Back to you.



  • posted on Nov, 4 2010 @ 05:06 PM
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    Final comment before conclusion

    With my comment prior to the conclusion, I will be addressing the most likely possible scenario for First Contact. Both of us have concluded this to be a contact with a non benevolent species. The two possible reasons for contact would be to take our biosphere or that they want the organisms present on it. Now Chissler has postulated that they may make a move because of our destruction of our biosphere. I do not want to go down that road of the argument. We would have an Al Gore mudslinging fest. But I would say this, if another species wanted the biosphere, they could easily rectify every problem we have created. Everything that we have created, be it pollution or our vast cities would turn to dust in no time whatsoever, in astronomical time units. Everything would return to its origin. It would be like we never existed. It would take just one millennia to erase our presence so profoundly, that the vast cities we inhabit would be just piles of rubble. Not to mention that they would have to terraform (or whatever planet they come from-say quantaform-planet of origin Quantas) the planet to make it habitable for their species.

    external image

    You may say the aliens would have to wipe us out and that would be First Contact. Au Contraire. One thing that I have contemplated after reading thousands of different Sci-Fi novels, is that there are only a few possible scenarios of aliens removing us from the planet. One would be biological removal, where a virulent pathogen would be introduced to the planet, ala the Stand or Thirteen Monkeys. Of course in Sci-Fi, you have to have some people remain or the story is not very interesting. The other scenario would be something even easier, if the aliens wanted to remove almost all the life forms on the planet, they would use the tactic of the aliens in the novel, The Foot. Here the aliens just targeted the planet with asteroids they collected on the way to our planet. If they wanted to sterilize the planet because of possible problems with our bacteria, viruses or other pathogens, ala the War of the Worlds, one planet sterilizing sized asteroid would be all it would take. A few decades later a life sustaining, sterilized biosphere all ready to be inhabited. In these two scenarios of First Contact, in the sense that we would actually know there were aliens, we would cease to exist before it was realized.

    There are a few scenarios I have come across in my readings and thoughts, where First Contact would come from non benevolent aliens coming to the planet. One is the enslavement scenario, ala Star Gate or Battlefield Earth, where aliens used us for their slaves. That of course did not work out so well for the aliens in the end, so this is one possibility. Here is where I bring into the debate the genetic recreation if they wanted to enslave us or use us for say food. The use of genetic recreation for us, would be better to institute a slave race. As for food though, they would have 7 billion ripe for the picking. One hopes that we never encounter any non benevolent aliens, the scenarios do not bode well for the lesser technologically advanced species.

    I will just state there are possibilities that a non benevolent alien race would make First Contact.

    There is one scenario I would like to go over. I do not recall where it comes from, it is right there on the tip of my cerebrum, but for the life of me I cannot remember. Let us say there are many aliens and through the time that the universe has existed, benevolent aliens have encountered non benevolent aliens. All matters of differing scenarios played out. The conclusion of the benevolent aliens was that all non benevolent species of aliens had to be destroyed for the safety of all other species. This is a recurring storyline of many Sci-Fi movies and novels. Star Trek, Star Gate amongst many others use this storyline. I do agree with this, we see it in our own society, where groups of countries band together for the safety of themselves.

    This last component I bring up would be a likely scenario for us being observed, to see what our basic drives are. We still have the control freaks in our midst. So basically we are still not evolved enough for the Contact to be made. In my opinion, it would take a few more generations, if not more, to come to a more evolved state. We could also devolve to a point that we would not be seen as a non benevolent species. We could even wipe ourselves out before First Contact could occur. As AC/DC says, “Too many people do not know, Bondage is over the human race, They believe slaves always lose, And this fear keeps them down.” Funny how when I was growing up, I always thought the line here was not bondage is over the human race, but one itch it is over for the human race.




    Socratic Questions

    1. Given the countless number of UFO sightings we've had documented in history, is it likely that alien races that exist in the universe already know who we are and where we are?
    2. If and when first contact does occur, do you anticipate it will be us finding them or them finding us? (Given your position on our ineffectiveness of covering this universe, please elaborate if you're now going to sell us on the likelihood of us finding them before they find us)


    1~It is possible, but we are an imaginative species. As I have postulated earlier, we could be observed by species that are so evolved, we would not even recognize them as aliens, but as Gods. Likely? In my opinion no. The universe is infinite in my opinion. Now the infinite possibilities could be said to be both infinitely possible and and infinitely impossible. I would say highly improbable. Of course, how can one wrap there minds around the infinite.

    2~It would have to be have to be them finding us, within the next 90 years. As I had said earlier, our ability to expand in the next 90 years would be so insignificant, to be almost negligible. To add to your parenthesis remark, one has to think of timelines. We have existed for how long? How long has the universe existed? What if the universe is a continued loop of space time, where the big bang theory has not only occurred once, but an infinite amount of times,.There could have been an infinite amount of aliens that have existed and have then ceased to exist.


    Socratic Questions

    1~Do you think the scenarios, where we are just removed from the planet by biological or asteroid type means, is a likely scenario, yes or no? Explanation if you want.
    2~What would be a likely scenario for a first contact with a non benevolent alien species?
    3~What would be a likely scenario for a first contact with a benevolent alien species?
    4~Can you give us a percentile probability in your opinion of the chance for First Contact in the next 90 years?

    Thanks Chissler for the debate, I look forward to your Conclusion.



    posted on Nov, 4 2010 @ 08:13 PM
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    In Conclusion...



    I will prepare my closing statements with a brief response to my opponent's previous post, an examination of the recent questions and answers and then close with my final thoughts on the matter. I've really enjoyed this debate and wish we could see it continue.

    Off we go.

     
     




    1. Given the countless number of UFO sightings we've had documented in history, is it likely that alien races that exist in the universe already know who we are and where we are?


    1~It is possible, but we are an imaginative species. As I have postulated earlier, we could be observed by species that are so evolved, we would not even recognize them as aliens, but as Gods. Likely? In my opinion no. The universe is infinite in my opinion. Now the infinite possibilities could be said to be both infinitely possible and and infinitely impossible. I would say highly improbable. Of course, how can one wrap there minds around the infinite.


    The above answer is your opinion, but I am struggling to find the logic. Based on your exchanges thus far and even parts of your answer, it would seem to indicate that a knowledge of our existence by other alien races is a forgone conclusion. So I will accept your answer, but I will state that I feel much of our exchanges up to this point would seem to indicate the opposite.


    2. If and when first contact does occur, do you anticipate it will be us finding them or them finding us? (Given your position on our ineffectiveness of covering this universe, please elaborate if you're now going to sell us on the likelihood of us finding them before they find us)


    2~It would have to be have to be them finding us, within the next 90 years. As I had said earlier, our ability to expand in the next 90 years would be so insignificant, to be almost negligible. To add to your parenthesis remark, one has to think of timelines. We have existed for how long? How long has the universe existed? What if the universe is a continued loop of space time, where the big bang theory has not only occurred once, but an infinite amount of times,.There could have been an infinite amount of aliens that have existed and have then ceased to exist.


    For clarity, my opponent has agreed that they would find us and not us find them. This point is lost a bit in everything that was added to the answer, which wasn't really a part of the question or the topic, but I'd just like to echo again that we do agree that we'll be discovered before we do the discovering. Thank you.

     
     


    I'll know answer my opponent's Socratic questions.



    1~Do you think the scenarios, where we are just removed from the planet by biological or asteroid type means, is a likely scenario, yes or no? Explanation if you want.


    1. No. I believe our technology and intelligence would allow for us to remain through such an event.



    2~What would be a likely scenario for a first contact with a non benevolent alien species?


    2. Considering we both agree they are coming for something we we, I think any scenario suggested is one with a non-benevolent species. I'll come back to this later in my post. I don't believe we'd have contact with a benevolent species.



    3~What would be a likely scenario for a first contact with a benevolent alien species?


    3. I can not think of one. I believe contact will be done with the understanding that we have something they want. We're not going to just hand it over so they'll be forced to take it from us.



    4~Can you give us a percentile probability in your opinion of the chance for First Contact in the next 90 years?


    4. Given our technological advancements and the pace at which our planet is dying, assuming these trends continue as I believe they will, I'd say as high as 65% that contact is likely to occur.

     
     


    My opponent's last post, and his entire position for the most part, was very well written and thought provoking. It is clear that my opponent is well versed on this subject matter and has spent a bit more time than myself considering the topic at hand. However, I believe this may have been his downfall. If you consider his position throughout this debate, much of it has consisted of what aliens are going to do once they are here. His reasons for why they are coming or why they aren't and then what they will or won't do when they get here. He's also considered how we might react to it. But none of this has anything to do with the debate. Our obligation with this debate topic has been to illustrate whether or not contact is going to happen. It's not our task to determine what will or won't happen after the fact. And while I concede that these details do share some relevance with the topic, my opponent has come up short in tying this back to the initial topic. And without connecting the dots, it's merely off-topic banter.

    As I've said prior, my opponent has made one strong point in this debate. When he took the position that we as a human race, in our current form and with our current technological capabilities, our ability to cover the universe is nearing futile, if not already there. It is highly unlikely that we'd be able to find other life ourselves. It would be pure luck if we did because based on numbers alone, the odds would be drastically against us. I accept this and would be foolish not to. But as I've said, and my opponent has agreed to, first contact will not be us finding them. First contact will be a matter of us being found by then. It is my position that other alien races already know who we are and where we are, based on the number of documented sightings in history. So when we both agree that first contact will be them finding us, our inability to cover the universe is absolutely irrelevant. It is no longer a factor in this discussion. So my opponent's one key point in this debate and only actual attempt to tie his position back to the topic, has been deemed inconsequential.


    2. If and when first contact does occur, do you anticipate it will be us finding them or them finding us?

    2~It would have to be have to be them finding us, within the next 90 years.


     
     


    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    -- Albert Einstein

    Yeah, I'm quoting this one last time.

    Everything in life can be broken down into some form of a scientific equation. For every action we have a reaction. The same action will result in the same reaction. If we do the same thing over and over, we will get the same results. It is a scientific certainty. This has been the case for us, as a society, which I believe explains the lack of contact up until this point. But as I've clearly covered in this debate, the variables in our scientific equation are changing.

    -- Technology -- Earth --



    Governments have an invested interest in keeping secrets from the general public. So if first contact occurred with high ranking government officials, it is probable that this could be covered up. But with technological advancements that exist in every regular person's pocket, the capabilities of a cover up are shrinking as every citizen now has the ability to break this news.

    I see it, I take a picture, I post it on Facebook to several hundred friends, I tweet it to a few hundred followers and of those Facebook friends and Twitter followers, half of those share it or re-tweet it. And then there friends or followers do the same. Within a few minutes this is exploding all over the internet. No government is able to cover this up and there is no denying what's taken place. Fifty years ago someone would have "called" it in and the story is suppressed. Today we have the power of the internet to break the story ourselves.

    And then our earth. Both of us have agreed that aliens are going to find us and it is because we have something they want. Given our planet is dying and dying quickly, the window for these other races to get what they want from us is quickly evaporating. So why now? Because they have to! Where they are looking for something from us, in the not too distant future, whatever it is they are looking for will no longer be here.

     
     


    I thank my opponent for this exchange. It has been a wonderful mental workout and I've enjoyed doing a lot of reading on the matter. My approach to this debate hasn't been a complicated one. I haven't looked at individual sightings and broken down the details of it proving how contact is likely in the next 90 years. I've looked at the big picture and broken it down with logic.

    I believe I've taken an honest look at where we are currently and where we're heading. I've explained why I feel that what hasn't happened in thousands of years, will now suddenly happen in the next ninety. I believe I've presented a solid argument where you the reader can look at this and say "that's likely!" And even if you still don't believe what I've presented, I do believe I've made the stronger case.

    I'll close out with a final thank you to my opponent who I believe has been the perfect example of class throughout all of this. I hope we can do this again.

    Thank you.



    posted on Nov, 4 2010 @ 09:32 PM
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    ~Conclusion~



    Throughout the debate, I have presented different ideas and postulates. Being that I do not believe we have had any contact, with aliens, I have only based my theorems on what I could imagine. Yes, the case of government secrets and other components are possible, I find them highly unlikely. Just a couple decades ago, auto accidents happened all the time, yet not one was ever caught on video. Now today we have seen 100’s if not 1000’s of these videos.

    The case of the Norway Spiral riveted us here at ATS for quite some time. I believe we had a member here, write up a paper with such detailed descriptions, mathematical models, and graphic representations that I was proud to be member. The reason I have not attacked my opponents position on numerous details, was because of my beliefs. I wanted to get his viewpoints and explore my own. What my opponent has brought up and I have touched on, is the fantastic discoveries we as a species have been implementing over the last few decades. They are quite fantastic, but they are our discoveries. As an Airframe and Powerplant mechanic, with some engineering background, I was not cognizant of many secret projects. The B2 and the F117, both stealth aircraft that were kept in the dark, from the prying eyes of the public for many years are a couple of examples. Look at the latest spacecraft the US has launched recently, we have no idea its capabilities or purpose.

    I will now again address the only argument, that I believe my opponent has brought, the case that aliens will have to stop us from destroying our biosphere. In my opinion, they would have already engaged us in this endeavor. They would not know all the different country’s positions in regards to a possible World War that would render our planet uninhabitable if say a widespread nuclear and biological exchange occurred. Now, this predisposes the relevance of them being a biological being that would be affected by such things. Of course, if these things would not harm them, why would a little global warming or pollution bother them?


    "First contact between aliens and humans is most likely to occur in the 21st century if it happens at all.”

    1~Benevolent aliens would not engage us for our own protection and for our own development.

    2~The possibility that we could cause the contact is negligible.

    3~Non Benevolent aliens would have already engaged us and if they were to find us in the next 90 years, the only two thing they could want is the biosphere-they would just destroy us without us even knowing the cause or the organisms on the planet.

    4~The only reason that First Contact could occur, was the possibility they want something from us and actually make some form of contact, where we would realize we have been contacted.


    To finish, I give it a .5-15% possibility and I am being very lenient with the numbers.

    "First contact between aliens and humans is NOT likely to occur in the 21st century if it happens at all.”





    [align=center]Thanks again Chissler for the debate and judges be kind to the underdog.



    posted on Nov, 12 2010 @ 12:04 AM
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    saltheart foamfollower has won and will advance to Round 2.

    Judges comments:


    The debaters seem to have agreed that an event qualifying as first contact did not occur prior to the 21st century.

    The debaters seem to agree that aliens will find us before we find them.

    The balance of the arguments on past sightings suggests that Aliens may already be aware of us.

    The balance of arguments on technology suggests that:
    1. Humans are likely to become more aware if aliens are watching us.
    2. Such awareness may still be deniable enough that it may not force contact.

    So the debate comes down to whether there the unknown equasion for the probability of aliens initiating contact contains a variable that favors the 21st century above other times.

    The key variable seems to be motives.
    1. Taking raw materials from us by force seems unnecessary from the balance of the arguments here.
    2. Benevolence seems unlikely based on arguments here regarding observed behavior patterns of living things, and the chance of unintended harm resulting.
    3. Taking materials unique to Earth is a possible motive.
    4. Wiping us out because we may be a threat to the environment or others is a possible motive.

    Do the possible variables favor the 21st century over any other?
    Maybe, but this doesn't feel very well supported in the text of the debate. A lot of the damage we are doing to the biosphere was projected to begin reversing once we are gone and this was not refuted. So we can't necessarily expect them to feel like they MUST save us, or even stop the collateral damage we might do on the way down.

    Ultimately, what this exchange makes seem most likely, is that aliens know we are here, but are not making contact for some reason. They could make contact at will, but probably are too advanced to be forced into it. There is no clear reason that the 21st century is a more likely time for contact than the 20th century was or the 22nd century might be, etc.

    This debate goes to saltheart foamfollower.




    (round 1)
    Both debaters define their understanding of the debate, neither engages the topic itself.

    I would award neither with a win for this round.

    (round 2)
    chissler - You have begun to build a case that relies upon previous historical, cultural, and social acceptance of the 'something is out there' meme; cast the shadow of possibility that we must be gaining enough technological grasp to force the issue of establishing first contact within the time frame given, but have yet to address the 'now or never' component.

    saltheart foamfollower - Your style is good, and your focus on the mechanism or 'mathematics' of how many have to believe before we can say it is '1st contact' if it stands, will serve you well. The "worthiness" angle may gain some momentum, but your opponent could use this as a means to complicate the assertion which you are trying to refute.

    At this point I would award a marginally stronger argument on chissler's part.

    (round 3)
    chissler - You seem to be prevaricating around the topic a bit, either by strategy or chance. The key elements of the debate: that 1st contact will either happen within 90 years or not at all is getting lost in a debate about why aliens may or may not want to visit us. You have one more round to firm up your contention.

    saltheart foamfollower - Whether or not chissler has encouraged you to stray from the topic is debatable, but you have strayed somewhat expansively. Focus on why we will not experience first contact, or why it will necessarily be within the next 90 years; if you base your argument on what some alien species may or may not want or need, you may never get to the point you need to reach.

    Both debaters are getting to know each other's form and method, so I would think this round is something of a test of resolve for each. Chissler seems to have taken the initiative in setting the flow of the debate herein, so I am inclined to award this round to him.


    (round 4)
    chissler - Your focus slipped in this round. Given the nature of debate, this is not a good thing. You failed to take advantage of the redirection and issues brought in which do not serve the debate topic assertion.

    saltheart foamfollower - There seemed to be little fuel to further your argument in this round, you may be relying in the initiative the "Pro" side has to positively debate their position, but regardless of that wandering you should have stuck to your opposing points.

    I believe that neither debater has furthered their position in this round, I can award it to neither.

    (round 5)
    chissler - I cannot disagree that the topic was out of view by your opponent. But you did little to keep it in view. Your summary is not entirely persuasive.

    saltheart foamfollower - This was the best element of your effort. Succinct and strongly presented. But you still failed to stay on topic.... keep an eye on that.

    I award the conclusive round to saltheart foamfollower.

    (overall)

    JUDGEMENT:

    Round one: no winner
    Round two: chissler
    Round Three: chissler
    Round Four: no winner
    Conclusion: saltheart foamfollower

    I believe that chissler eeked out a win in this debate.... and that saltheart foamfollower should feel confident about challenging him to a rematch.



    Saltheart wins.

    Chissler, while he has some good points, has a tendency to wander around the topic and not stay focused. Saltheart's socratic questions do a very thorough job of crumpling bastion while the ammunition Chissler tosses is rather deftly deflected.

    Enjoyable read.





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