Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 179

Thread: Ancient Astronauts.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    74

    Ancient Astronauts.

    Ok. Erich Von Daniken was prone to wild speculation and telling fairy tales but stories of visitors from the sky go back thousands of years.

    Ancient Astronauts - General

    The sighting of strange objects in the sky may actually predate the emergence of modern man. Perhaps the earliest depiction of cylindrical objects resembling spacecraft, with what might be their extraterrestrial occupants, are those carved on a granite mountain and on rocks on an island in Hunan Province, China. They have been assigned a tentative age of 47,000 years, which puts them within the time-span of Neanderthal man, predating modern Homo sapiens.

    We exist. That is beyond dispute. According to what we know about life and how it evolves the spontaneous creation of complex molecules appears to be inevitable under the right circumstances. It is built into matter itself and we know there are billions of earth-like planets within our galaxy. Life has had billions of years to evolve on myriad worlds so many alien travellers could have visited our world.

    In Australia there are many rock paintings of lights in the sky. Aboriginals have told me they have dream time stories about these enigmatic objects which go back tens of thousands of years. Perhaps we are a novelty to the neighbours. A safari park of sorts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    NEOTP Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    1,217
    We dont "know" of billions of earth-like planets in our galaxy. We "know" of one and it's home to my current zip code. Yours too. As for visitation, the evidence has largely been shown to be misinterpretations of religious art.

    All kinds of stories go back thousands of years, most of them religious and more than a few are tied to gods visiting the earth and communing with mortals, or even fostering offspring such as Perseus. Point being there is no credible evidence in support of ET visitation.
    Last edited by schlaugh; 2011-Oct-10 at 01:26 PM. Reason: typos and a missing word (what I get for trying to type while in an 90-decibel starbucks)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,503
    Perhaps the earliest depiction of cylindrical objects resembling spacecraft, with what might be their extraterrestrial occupants,
    Perhaps the earliest depiction of log canoes, with what might be human occupants wearing animal heads...

    (We do have evidence that log canoes, humans and animal heads existed at that time.)
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,503
    Quote Originally Posted by we are not alone View Post
    According to what we know about life and how it evolves the spontaneous creation of complex molecules appears to be inevitable under the right circumstances. It is built into matter itself and we know there are billions of earth-like planets within our galaxy. Life has had billions of years to evolve on myriad worlds so many alien travellers could have visited our world.
    None of these statements are quite correct. We know only that life exists here on Earth. The rest is untested hypotheses.We do not know if the development of life is inevitable, we do not what the right circumstances for abiogenesis are nor how common, rare or unique they may be, we have not yet found any earthlike planets save the one we currently live on, and we only know that life has had billions of years to evolve on one world. And the fact that evolution led to human-style intelligence here does not mean that it will do so elsewhere.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    74
    We don't have very good telescopes. We've detected hundreds of large worlds bigger than Jupiter but earth-like planets are too small to detect easily. However, its common sense that if larger bodies are common then smaller bodies will be even more numerous. Compare the number of asteroids to planets as an example.

    Life is just chemistry. If it happened here then it will happen elsewhere. That too is common sense.

    Intelligence is inevitable. Even amoeba have programmed behaviours. Evolution may stop at single celled animals for a long time but if multicellular ornganisms do evolve then nervous systems become increasingly complex as they have enormous survival value. This leads to ever increasing intelligence.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,503
    Quote Originally Posted by we are not alone View Post
    We don't have very good telescopes. We've detected hundreds of large worlds bigger than Jupiter but earth-like planets are too small to detect easily. However, its common sense that if larger bodies are common then smaller bodies will be even more numerous. Compare the number of asteroids to planets as an example.

    Life is just chemistry. If it happened here then it will happen elsewhere. That too is common sense.

    Intelligence is inevitable. Even amoeba have programmed behaviours. Evolution may stop at single celled animals for a long time but if multicellular ornganisms do evolve then nervous systems become increasingly complex as they have enormous survival value. This leads to ever increasing intelligence.
    Common sense is subjective and not evidence. Many things assumed by the "common sense" of the day have since been shown to be untrue, like Bode's Law, the assumption that asteroids came from a destroyed planet, or Geocentrism.

    As for intelligence, evolution doesn't work that way. It kludges together whatever works-- insects get by just fine with tiny brains. Bacteria, the most biologically successful lifeforms on Earth, have none at all. Viruses have been widespread for a very long time without even the ability to reproduce on their own.

    ETA: Then there's jellyfish, starfish, sea cucumber, slugs, worms, etc-- with little or no brain development over several hundred million years. They already have all they need. Only a single line of development, the vertebrates, actually fit the model you describe.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4,199
    Indeed. Most animals get along just fine without all those annoying questions brains like ours ask like "Why are we here?", "What is my purpose in life?", "Is there life after death?", "Was there life before?", "Are we alone in the universe?" "What happens when I poke this sleeping lion?"
    If anything, the question is not "Why don't they?" but "Why do we?"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    4,058
    Quote Originally Posted by we are not alone View Post
    We don't have very good telescopes. We've detected hundreds of large worlds bigger than Jupiter but earth-like planets are too small to detect easily. However, its common sense that if larger bodies are common then smaller bodies will be even more numerous. Compare the number of asteroids to planets as an example.
    Actually we have a number of good telescopes involved in planet hunting with the dedicated Kepler bring the most significant. It is bringing in a lot of hard data and should give us guide to the relative ratios in the next couple of years. Based on all the data to date though there seems to be no reason to assume our solar system is typical.

    Life is just chemistry. If it happened here then it will happen elsewhere. That too is common sense.
    No that's a guess as we don't know the exact conditions under which life will or will not start.

    Intelligence is inevitable. Even amoeba have programmed behaviours. Evolution may stop at single celled animals for a long time but if multicellular ornganisms do evolve then nervous systems become increasingly complex as they have enormous survival value. This leads to ever increasing intelligence.
    No evidence to support that, the dinosaurs existed for far longer than the primates that have evolved to produce humans without ever developing tool using intelligence.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5,249
    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    No evidence to support that, the dinosaurs existed for far longer than the primates that have evolved to produce humans without ever developing tool using intelligence.
    We don't know that. Considering that some birds use tools, it's possible that some dinosaurs used tools also.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    4,058
    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    We don't know that. Considering that some birds use tools, it's possible that some dinosaurs used tools also.
    I think you know quite well what I meant, particularly in the context of the thread.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    13,222
    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    ...it's possible that some dinosaurs used tools also.
    I imagine it is "possible", however there is nothing in the fossil record to indicate that.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5,249
    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
    I imagine it is "possible", however there is nothing in the fossil record to indicate that.
    There's nothing in the fossil record to indicate that corvids use tools either, and yet they do. I think we need to be careful about presuming we know everything about the past. With dinosaurs in particular, our data is pretty spotty. We don't know for sure whether or not they developed sophisticated tool using capabilities, and we definitely don't know whether or not they were on an evolutionary path toward developing advanced technological capabilities. For better or worse, an extinction event prevents us from knowing where they were headed. The apparent intelligence of modern birds tells us there was potential--and birds are descended from only one line of dinosaurs. We can only speculate on the other dinosaur lines.

    I see no reason to bring up the example of dinosaurs, where we have terrible knowledge gaps, when there are plenty of more solid examples to draw from.

    For example, the plant kingdom consists of highly successful complex multicellular life forms--and most even exhibit some crude forms of "behavior" (light seeking behavior). Nevertheless, modern plants don't have nervous systems and they display only an extremely limited range of behaviors. This is an excellent counterexample to the claim that complex multicellular life inevitably leads to ever increasing intelligence.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    98

    maybe...

    You r probably right...

    We know so little, yet we love to think we've got it all figured out.

    Maybe one day we will know, but even if that is the case...how is knowing gonna change anything?

    It is what it is....

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,102
    Evolution develops from the simple organisms to more and more complex organisms. So, intelligence does indeed look like something that must eventually arise if such development is allowed to continue long enough.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    13,222
    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    I think we need to be careful about presuming we know everything about the past.
    I have presumed nothing.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    a long way away
    Posts
    9,086
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wally View Post
    Evolution develops from the simple organisms to more and more complex organisms.
    Not true. Complex organisms develop from simpler ones, but that is not the same thing.

    So, intelligence does indeed look like something that must eventually arise if such development is allowed to continue long enough.
    And that doesn't necessarily follow.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,102
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Not true. Complex organisms develop from simpler ones, but that is not the same thing.
    Yes, my wording was a bit out. More complex organisms tend to evolve with time, but of course simpler organisms still remain and are equally successful.
    But there does seem to be a tendency that more complex organisms arise, the longer the process continues.

    And that doesn't necessarily follow.
    Why not? Why wouldn't intelligence lie somewhere on a trajectory of increasing complexity?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,503
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wally View Post
    Why not? Why wouldn't intelligence lie somewhere on a trajectory of increasing complexity?
    Why would it? Our particular flavor of tool-using abstract-thought intelligence only developed because of a specific set of circumstances and ancestry. Meanwhile, other species in the same environment did not follow our path but found their own survival solutions.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5,249
    Quote Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
    I have presumed nothing.
    Well, then what was your point? It seems that you find it significant that we currently lack fossil evidence of tool use in dinosaurs. But we lack fossil evidence of tool use in birds also...and yet some birds do use tools. It's not something which would be readily leave obvious fossil evidence.

    It's as if you had wrote something like this:

    "I imagine it is "possible" that there were sunsets in prehistoric times, however there is nothing in the fossil record to indicate that."

    or

    "I imagine it is "possible" that dinosaurs had taste buds, however there is nothing in the fossil record to indicate that."

    or

    "I imagine it is "possible" that dinosaurs had color vision, however there is nothing in the fossil record to indicate that."

    Sunsets don't leave fossil evidence, and neither do taste receptors or photoreceptors. As such, the lack of fossil evidence is not really significant.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5,249
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Wally View Post
    Why not? Why wouldn't intelligence lie somewhere on a trajectory of increasing complexity?
    There are many possible reasons. For example:

    Intelligence seems to require something like a nervous system, which is not necessarily developed (look at complex plants).

    Intelligence also requires a non-trivial investment in resources. This investment takes away from resources and energy devoted to growth, reproduction, and survival reserves, so it's not always a good investment.

    Maintaining a highly intelligent brain requires extra energy, which may significantly reduce the ability to survive between meals or during the winter. Conserving energy or devoting it toward migration may improve survivability.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,011
    At post 20 and I feel the need to pull you back to the OP... remember 'Ancient Astronauts'..

    and it would seem that the science community is being firm.. No such case has been proven. Not one.

    You must be very careful not to become religiously attached to a idea that has nothing but suspicion as a base...

    Some place in the highlands of the Turkish mountains a large apparently wooden beam is pro-ported to have been found..

    Thats it then,. Its NOA'S ARK... well no it might be just a Lintel Beam from a Old Structure..

    Can you see what I am on about ?

    If you put aside the Van Daniken stuff, as the work of the original Woo woo gang... You have nothing..

    Lifetimes are wasted speculating on what might have been. We do 'not quite' know...

    I think concentrating on what we have is a better path to follow.

    Having said all that. There is in my mind some room for this argument yet... I watch from yonder fence post...Mark.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    150
    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    Well, then what was your point? It seems that you find it significant that we currently lack fossil evidence of tool use in dinosaurs. But we lack fossil evidence of tool use in birds also...and yet some birds do use tools. It's not something which would be readily leave obvious fossil evidence.
    I'm reminded of this Strange Horizons article from a couple years ago.

    Now, my big problem with the Erich Von Daniken-type theory of "ancient astronauts", apart from the gaping flaws, misdirection and downright falsehoods often present in those arguments, is that it gives ancient peoples absolutely no credit at all. Humans are ingenious, and quite capable of building impressive structures with stone-age technology. Humans are incredibly imaginative. Our imaginations fill the world and beyond with mythical beings with supernatural powers, which we then go paint on cave walls. They do not have to be depictions of spacemen in fish-bowl helmets.

    That said, who is to say that this planet hasn't, indeed, been visited hundreds, even thousands of times in its 4.5 billion year history. Unless the aliens were intent on terraforming, strip mining the planet to construct fleets of Von Neumann probes, or at the very least carving their names in giant letters on the face of the moon, I don't see why we'd necessarily ever know that they'd come and gone.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,550
    Indeed a general ancient astronauts hypothesis is completely unfalsifiable. I would say even in theory, never mind in practice. At best various claims made by the proponents in regards to the evidence of such visitations can be dealt with. So far the evidence presented seems to be of the "non" nature.
    The dog, the dog, he's at it again!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,011
    None the less. It is conceivable but NOT proven that this planet might have had alien visitations...

    We are not in a position to know it was not. Regardless of proof not been presented does not suggest there is none..

    As a science based forum we must be open to all possible outcomes.. Proof of fact being of some considerable value..

    Please now supply such 'evidence.'... I will wait over here >>> on the fence. cos., I do not know what truth is.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,561
    A big problem with the von Daniken type ideas is that the alien visitors are not advanced ENOUGH. There really ought to be billion-year old intelligences in the Milky Way galaxy. So I'm not convinced with these pictures of rockets and space suits apparently at a similar level of technology to what we are now.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,503
    Quote Originally Posted by kzb View Post
    A big problem with the von Daniken type ideas is that the alien visitors are not advanced ENOUGH. There really ought to be billion-year old intelligences in the Milky Way galaxy. So I'm not convinced with these pictures of rockets and space suits apparently at a similar level of technology to what we are now.
    Ought to be? That's just as speculative as the Ancient Aliens visitation. We don't know for sure what there "ought to be" beyond ourselves; for all we know, we could be the first species to come up with the idea of not being full time hunter-gatherers.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    7,985
    I'm afraid I can't agree with that. Any random intelligent alien species should either be thousands (or millions) of years behind us or thousands (or millions) of years ahead of us. They probably wouldn't resemble humanoids wearing Gemini era spacesuits.

    see this interesting article about civilisation age on Centauri Dreams
    Lost in Time and Lost in Space
    ...the median age of all civilizations is also the median age of our nearest neighbor. There’s a fifty/fifty chance it will be either younger or older than that, but there’s a 90% chance it will at least be 10% of the median, which means that in all likelihood our nearest neighbor will be hundreds of millions of years older than us. And, if you want to find an ETC of approximately our own age, say within a thousand years of ours, you will on average have to pass by a million older to vastly older civilizations.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,503
    Quote Originally Posted by eburacum45 View Post
    I'm afraid I can't agree with that. Any random intelligent alien species should either be thousands (or millions) of years behind us or thousands (or millions) of years ahead of us. They probably wouldn't resemble humanoids wearing Gemini era spacesuits.

    see this interesting article about civilisation age on Centauri Dreams
    Lost in Time and Lost in Space
    That's still speculation, based on zero examples. We don't know.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    5,249
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    That's still speculation, based on zero examples. We don't know.
    Actually, we have one example of an intelligent species capable of space travel. We have a concrete example of what sort of technology is required for space travel. Based on this knowledge, we can make a slightly informed guess at how quickly or slowly a technological alien species may advance.

    And we don't need to rely upon mere speculation to figure out that a species with Gemini era technology would not plausibly be capable of interstellar travel. (Well, maybe they could send robot probes with Gemini era technology, but robot probe visitors wouldn't look like men in gemini era spacesuits.)

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    25,503
    Quote Originally Posted by IsaacKuo View Post
    Actually, we have one example of an intelligent species capable of space travel. We have a concrete example of what sort of technology is required for space travel. Based on this knowledge, we can make a slightly informed guess at how quickly or slowly a technological alien species may advance.

    And we don't need to rely upon mere speculation to figure out that a species with Gemini era technology would not plausibly be capable of interstellar travel. (Well, maybe they could send robot probes with Gemini era technology, but robot probe visitors wouldn't look like men in gemini era spacesuits.)
    Generalizing from an example of one? For all we know, we could be completely atypical in our speed of development.

    And Gemini, Apollo and our spacesuit and rocket design today don't look all that different from each other, compared to the widely varied images used as "evidence" of ancient astronaut visitation.

    Maybe they were's wearing suits. The Sky Gods could have sent down roughly-humanoid drones to placate the primitives, and gotten the proportions a little off-- after all, a baby looks like a large-headed bulky adult. Aliens with different developmental stages would simply think they were averaging out the varieties of human they observed from above...

    They could have used a 1960s style Orion nukeship, and been slightly more advanced at life support and built a cross-generation ship, and/or been capable of long hibernation. Thus using 1960s-equivalent suit and lander designs isn't impossible.

    Or not.
    I'm a cynical optimist. I think the only way out is through, but once we get through it'll be better. Very different, but better. Howard Tayler

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin

    Power, Lord Acton says, corrupts. Not always. What power always does is reveal. Robert A. Caro

Similar Threads

  1. IQ of Ancient Man
    By wd40 in forum Science and Technology
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 2011-Mar-19, 12:21 AM
  2. Replies: 102
    Last Post: 2010-Jan-04, 08:22 AM
  3. Ancient wildfires
    By Blob in forum Science and Technology
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 2006-Jul-16, 10:27 PM
  4. H P Lovecraft and the Ancient Astronauts
    By Graham2001 in forum Off-Topic Babbling
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 2005-Mar-03, 07:33 PM
  5. How much did ancient man really know?
    By Marjorie in forum Against the Mainstream
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 2004-Jul-16, 02:33 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
here
The forum is sponsored in-part by: