24 June 2009

But I'm a Creep (I Wish I Was Special)

I've been on Uncommon Descent talking about the issue of being special (like Radiohead did, only not as badass). The question, just about, is "Is the Earth special and is humanity special?" The Drake equation (A * B * C *......* Z = ET Will Talk To Us On Our Telescopes) and the SETI (Silly Excuse to Investigate) people say no. Commentator Denyse O'Leary, noted Canadian journalist and UFO critic, gave the same old UFOs are fake tripe to prove we're special. Here's what I said:

Even if one percent of the stars in our galaxy had life of comparable intelligence as humans (which I do not doubt is the case) I would still say we are special for the simple reason that we are here contemplating specialness. Any species that can move beyond mere existence into the realm of abstract thought would be special in my view. We are able to imagine what the world was like before we were here (highly speculative) and what the world will be like should we be go extinct for whatever reason (much less speculative). We can also plan ahead and develop technologies to spread to other planets, should the initiative be taken. If that is not grounds for special status then some people are in denial of their own specialness, which in itself is another special quality.

Boy howdy if you even consider the possibility of extraterrestrial life on UD you get hammered like I did when I brought up how the face on mars was the only one of thousands of photos NASA took that they ran through five seperate filters to reduce the image to a smear to cover up the truth. Here is the first unfair characterization of me by a commenter:

UrbanMysticDee: If the ability for abstract thought can arise through random chance mechanisms/events alone throughout our galaxy and the universe, I wouldn’t see it as special in the context of this discussion. Indeed, if it were that common, it would be, well, common - not special. Given that I don’t think sufficient evidence exists to support your confidence in the arise of consciousness, abstract thought, etc. through materialistic forces (not to mention the lack of any evidence to support the arise of the simplest of DNA-based life forms through random chance), I have no idea where your confidence comes from. Sounds like you, too, suffer from a philosophical approach to this issue rather than a scientific one.

Here is my reply:

1. I never said or even implicated any connection to materialism or random chance in regards to myself or my views of life in the universe. I’m not sure I can give URLs here but if I can I suggest you peruse my little corner of the internet: http://theurbanmystic.blogspot.com/
* I don’t think consciousness arose through materialistic forces. I don’t even think there are materialistic forces. I’m an idealist. As far as I am concerned there is only consciousness - it arose from nothing but instead is forever preexistant.
* The same goes for life forms, simple or otherwise.
2. After studying the whole UFO/extraterrestrial visitation issue pretty much my entire life I am convinced the evidence is overwhelming that the Earth has been visited by intelligent beings from beyond our solar system and that the cover up of the best evidence constitutes the greatest misinformation campaign in history.
* I myself have seen such crafts.
* The SETI people are in denial about the above. They spent all this time and money on fancy machines and now have to justify the existence of the program by haranguing UFOlogy and repeat their mantra every night that ET will only contact them with their expensive equipment to keep their sanity.
* The Drake equation is based on pure conjecture and isn’t science no matter what the SETI people may say. Neither for that matter is many worlds, string/m-brane theories, and dark energy science as none of them can, by definition, be tested.
3. If one percent of the population of Earth had the ability to fly and see through walls I would still say that they are special just as if one percent of stars in the galaxy had intelligent life I would say such life is special. I think it is a sufficently small number to justify the special categorization.

I'll keep you updated as things go down (expect a video on specialness as the next post).