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Author Topic: Alien life on Mars?  (Read 6954 times)

Offline syhprum

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Re: Alien life on Mars?
« Reply #25 on: 08/11/2012 21:30:57 »
"It is possible that life elsewhere would have different molecules than life on Earth"

I think that with the relative closeness of Mars to Earth with the inevitable interchange of meteorites between the two I think it unlikely that a completely different form of molecular life would have evolved there I think that any life found there will be similar the Earth life at a molecular level.
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: Alien life on Mars?
« Reply #26 on: 12/11/2012 15:36:19 »
Okay, that's enough philosophy, please can we return to the topic in hand?  We don't have a philosophy section of the forum, but I'm sure a new thread on the philosophy of science would fit in the General Science board, should you wish to start one.

First I would like to explain why you, or/and the researchers you refer to are over-complicating the issue of cooperative and competitive behaviour.  To start with, it is not the behaviour/strategy that is competitive or cooperative; it is the person or animal.  This means that it is not a matter of a person choosing to adopt a cooperative strategy to deal with one situation and a competitive strategy to deal with another, but rather, that if a person is cooperative then everything they do is cooperative and if a person is competitive then everything they do is competitive.  This means that it is not obvious to a detached observer what is competitive and what cooperative, for all acts, from murder to cuddling a baby can be either competitive or cooperative.  However, cooperation is win-win while competition is, in fact, lose-lose.  So  a competitive person is their own worst enemy.

The obvious question then is how does one distinguish between the two types of people, how does one tell whether one is dealing with cooperation or competition.  It is really very simple because we all have the human faculties that allow us to see and understand this sort of thing: suppose you spend an afternoon with someone, maybe a friend, and the conversation is all about your work or hobbies or interests, and this friend is very encouraging and you are getting enthusiastic and full of new ideas and so on, so that you think you will go home and get on with things and make some real headway etc.  Then you go home.  Suddenly you feel tired, drained, even depressed and you can’t think what happened to all that enthusiasm because now you feel you just can’t be bothered.  This is the sign that you friend is competitive.  If your friend was cooperative you would find that when you got home you felt full of fresh energy and enthusiasm.   That is how you tell the difference between competitive and cooperative people: the first drains you of energy and leaves you depressed, and the second fills you with energy and enthusiasm and the zest for life.

But to return to your latest comment: this sounds to me like a dismissal, the kind of retreat to a fall-back position that people use when they are defeated, when they are faced with an argument which they cannot answer.  It is so typical of scientists and their like that they refuse to deal with the issues that are fundamental and of crucial importance and retreat into nit-picking where they can get their challengers bogged down in detail.  It is a classic diversionary maneouver.  By bundling all the questions that you can’t answer, and which would derail science, as philosophy, you get away with murder,

When one considers what science expects of us, what it is imposing upon us, it is absolutely ridiculous that instead of answering these crucial questions, science practices the hard sell, the brainwashing advertising that has been developed by business.

I am not allowed to pick flowers in the country, increasingly there are places I cannot visit because science has claimed them for its own, my food is doctored, the water I drink is doctored, I am pressured to sort out my rubbish for recycling, to cut down my fuel consumption, my paper use, energy use, I am threatened with climate change, I am indoctrinated in scientific “knowledge” and practice from a very early age without due acknowledgement of other possibilities – in fact, science is taking over the world, is getting into every nook and cranny of people’s lives and controlling them, and yet its adherents refuse to explain themselves and the grounds upon which they feel they have the right to exercise such mind-boggling authority.

It seems to me utterly reprehensible that a site such as this should avoid answering the important questions.  By your silence you condone, and thus contribute your fair share to, the insidious brain-washing.  You may be causing untold harm, maybe destroying the environment by your efforts to control it, destroying people’s lives by your dictates, and yet you prefer to cling to your comfortable over-lordship than to give an honest account of yourselves.

So, no, this is not philosophy; this is going to the heart of science, asking the questions that need to be asked, and refusing to be dismissed, belittled or silenced. 
 

Offline BenV

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Re: Alien life on Mars?
« Reply #27 on: 12/11/2012 15:41:22 »
Hi Pantodragon,

I would like to respond to some of your comments, but will not do so in this thread about life on mars. So, I'm going to split this latest comment off into a new thread in the general science part of the forum.  What title would you like me to give it?
 

Offline pantodragon

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Re: Alien life on Mars?
« Reply #28 on: 15/11/2012 15:13:27 »
I would like to respond to some of your comments, but will not do so in this thread about life on mars. So, I'm going to split this latest comment off into a new thread in the general science part of the forum.  What title would you like me to give it?

Yes, I wish you would reply to some of my comments instead of playing at policemen.  You offer a good example of the competitive person that I talked about in my previous post with the result identified as characteristic of competitive behaviour: “Suddenly you feel tired, drained, even depressed and you can’t think what happened to all that enthusiasm because now you feel you just can’t be bothered.”    In other words, by your policing activities you have killed the discussion stone dead – that, of course, is what competitiveness is about: why bother to risk a proper discussion when you have tricks up your sleeve to drain the blood out of your opponents so that they just wilt and you end up winning the argument by default?

Another way of describing your behaviour is to identify you as a party pooper: you’re the person standing at the edge of a bunch of people who are having a good energetic conversation, which you cannot thole since you are not the centre of attention, and so you feel a great urge to take over and control, and so you interrupt in a loud voice with some superfluous point of order.  The result is that you make yourself the centre of attention but that your interruption breaks the flow of the conversation, diverts its energy, and causes the participants to forget what they were about to say and thus loose interest – party thoroughly pooped.

It really is time you went on to another forum where you are the newbie, and are not surrounded by sycophants who hang on every word and express admiration at every opportunity.  I say this for your own good.  You have no idea what harm you are doing yourself with this behaviour.  In the first place, you surround yourself with sycophants, not friends and that is really not a pleasant world to live in.  In the second place, too much competitiveness leads to autism. 
 

Offline BenV

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Re: Alien life on Mars?
« Reply #29 on: 15/11/2012 15:28:20 »
So what title would you like the new discussion thread to have?

Please allow me to explain why I don't want to discuss these topics here:  If people come to a science Q&A forum, such as this, and see a post entitled "Alien life on Mars?" they will expect to see a discussion of alien life on Mars.  If they then discover the most recent posts are all discussing the philosophy of science, they won't read much further back and will assume that the other threads are similar - i.e. they don't contain the answers they are looking for.  As I'm one of the people who run this forum, I'm very keen for it to do what we set it up to do - help people ask science questions and find scientific answers.
 

Offline JP

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Re: Alien life on Mars?
« Reply #30 on: 15/11/2012 16:16:31 »
Pantodragon, Ben has asked me to look over this thread as an impartial moderator. 

First, I'd like to request that you review the forum rules, located here: http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=8535.0

Second, I am locking this thread since it has gone far from the original question about life on mars into both philosophy of science and ad hominem arguments.   As Ben said, this is a science Q&A forum.  We have some room for discussion of philosophy, but for the most part it is beyond the scope of what we are able to accommodate.  If you would like to engage in in-depth conversations on the philosophy of science, perhaps another forum would be a better fit for you.  Ad hominem arguments such as lecturing others on their psychological faults rather than discussing the science at hand, are not tolerated on the forum at all. 

If you would like to re-open a thread on the philosophy of science, you are welcome to do so, either in General Science (if you would like to discuss established ideas in science) or in New Theories (if you would like to propose new ideas), but please keep the forum rules in mind when you do so.

Thank you,
The Moderators
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Alien life on Mars?
« Reply #30 on: 15/11/2012 16:16:31 »

 

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