Thursday, January 08, 2009

International Year of Astronomy and how an alien visit might influence the world’s religions

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. You may notice that this and future entries are shorter than usual; career, family and book deal commitments have forced me to cut back some of my projects. Now, here's today's news:
g Stars - With the VISIR instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have mapped the disc around a star more massive than the Sun. The very extended and flared disc most likely contains enough gas and dust to spawn planets. It appears as a precursor of debris discs such as the one around Vega-like stars and thus provides the rare opportunity to witness the conditions prevailing prior to or during planet formation. See article. Note: This article is from 2006.
g Abodes - It has long been thought that climate change brought about the extinction of the Paleo-Americans and large animals such as mammoths, mastodons and saber-toothed tigers about 12,900 years ago when the planet stopped emerging from the Ice Age.Instead, it reverted to glacial conditions for another 1500 years. Scientists are now more seriously considered what was previously a highly controversial hypothesis - that an extraterrestrial event caused this turn of events. See article.
g Learning - The year 2009 is being recognized as the International Year of Astronomy (IYA). It marks the four hundredth anniversary of the year 1609 when Galileo Galilei used the then newly-invented telescope to observe astronomical objects after publishing his discoveries in his work “Sidereus Nuncius.” See article.
g Aftermath - How will an alien visit influence the world’s religions? Here’s one common man’s view.

Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future


Ryan Shulman said...

The concept of an incorrect biblical story or no God is very interesting. Much of our society would collapse, with many major religions being dispelled. Not only would the arrival of aliens wreak havoc with our present beliefs, but would usher in a new wave of thought.

Rob Bignell said...

I quite agree, Ryan. Human history alone shows that when a "superior" (technologically and militarily) comeinto contact with an "inferior" culture, the "inferior" tends to cast off its beliefs - and not just because it was forced to.

Martin J Sallberg said...

Research on dementia proves that it is possible to delay the onset of cognitive symptoms by brain exercise, but the longer the first symptoms are delayed the faster cognition declines when it starts declining, and that the limit of inevitable decline is slightly below half normal neuron count. Ape research proves that apes who fail to perform a task do not investigate why they failed. Apes only have 25-33% normal human neuron count, placing them below the critical limit. Hydrocephalic humans cannot ask questions. This shows that questioning and investigation requires a brain capacity past the ultimate limit between usefulness and redundancy (research on neuroplasticity debunks the module tenet of evolutionary psychology, meaning that the limit between useful and redundant brain capacity is not species-specific at all, but rather universally information-theoretical). This is perfectly logical considering the fact that investigation requires the ability to discriminate all possible outcomes, which of course is impossible for any being whose brain capacity is a limiting factor on intelligence. Research on neural networks prove that the effect of increased capacity is distinct from the effect of increased experience, and yet IQ tests for humans only measure "mental age" which is just a macroaccumulation of lots of experience, and explain all deviations from that away as task-specific capabilities. Why? Because humans are past the limit between usefulness and redundancy on the other general intelligence factor (neuron count) of course! This means nothing can be to humans what humans are to dogs, (like dollar billionaries are not 1000 times happier than dollar millionaries, just replace dollars with brain capacity and happiness with intelligence).