What are your religious views?

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What are your religious views?

Deeply religious - I follow a strict religious code and trust my life to a higher authority
22
19%
Somewhat religious - I believe in a higher intelligence watching over us
38
32%
Agnostic - I'm on the fence; you really can't say either way at this time
29
25%
Atheist - I don't believe there is a higher intelligence watching over us
29
25%
 
Total votes: 118

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Summerlander
Posts: 3655
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Re: What are your religious views?

Postby Summerlander » 22 Jun 2012 23:03

Wait, I just remembered a study (yes, a scientific one). It was a study, if I remember correctly, that says when electrons are observed, they act differently then when they are not observed. So if that's true, how do we know the same can't happen with anything else?


If you are talking about what Thomas Campbell implied, let me tell you he is not a reliable source. Mr. Campbell and many alike (popularisers of the double-slit experiment laced with mysticism) are deliberately giving the laymen the wrong impression. Meanwhile, real physicists can see right through him and stay well away.

Let me explain something to you about the word "observation" that they use. When physicists say "observation", they really mean making a measurement. Campbell, on the other hand, gets his lemmings to believe that the word should be taken literally. All this malarkey is done in the name of keeping Monroe's legacy and unfounded belief system alive. He claims to present a refined model including a theory of everything and, oh my lord he is so clever in his words that he even claims to hold the "big picture" while mainstream science has the "little picture" view.

Consciousness has nothing to do with what happens in the behaviour of photons. Photons and electrons leave an interference pattern on the wall very much like that of waves after having gone through the slits. The measuring device consists of bulbs that will interfere with the photons' trajectory and thus changing the outcome.

Make no mistake about it. There is nothing magical when it comes to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. What is uncertain about it is the fact that we can never know what route the quantum particles took because, whenever you measure (better to use this word to avoid confusion) something, you will inadvertently change its state.

Think about this analogy (which reflects what lies at the heart of the uncertainty principle of quantum physics): it is a dark night and you are trying to see what a tennis ball looks like in a vast field. You can't see where it is and have no idea what it looks like so you use a torchlight (to make a measurement). You shine a light on the ball and see that it looks bright green and it is very well lit. But this is not what the ball looked like prior to the measurement. You have changed its appearance. It probably looked dark and shaded before but what you see now is a different picture as photons bounce off its surface and your eyes pick up on this.

Consciousness did not play a role in changing the ball's appearance any more than it did in changing the trajectory of electrons/photons. The only part it played was being aware of the experiment and the individual deciding to shine a light on it (and it was this measurement that changed its state). In a similar manner, the measuring device changes the state of electrons or photons - not conscious observation (guarantee you this 100%!).

Furthermore, these people who claim that in their experiments the pattern changes by simply looking or not looking at the data that was recorded are either fantasising or being deceitful. Campbell's version of the experiment, where he claims that the measuring device can be turned off but the interference pattern remains if we never look at the recordings simply does not happen and it is false.

There was another study that I found quite interesting. My brother told me of this one and I thought he was kidding, but here it is. They had a guy on his death bed, about to die. This bed was also a weight scale. So it could measure the weight of the man about to die. They found that upon dying, the man weighed a very small amount less. This study was trying to find if the soul had a weight to it, or if there was a soul at all. Very intriguing to me, especially since this was a scientific study. I'm sure opposing scientists could come up with a million and one reasons for this, but it's interesting, none the less. Science is evolving at a rapid pace. You never know, before long, ghosts could be proven to exist


LMAO!!! :lol:

I'm sorry! I'm not laughing at you - just your naivete which is common amongst many young people. You are talking about Duncan MacLeod. Oh no, not that one! I meant Duncan MacDougall but he might as well have been the first one if he believes in immortality. To say that the human soul weighs 21 grams is ridiculous and I am not surprised that his test has never been repeated with the same results! He was known to be very imprecise in his measurements and very biased. Some said he was suspect from the get-go. Anyway, we can now ascertain that the 21-gram soul notion is all hooey.

One can see him mistaking the loss of weight due to evaporation of moisture in respiration, evaporation of sweat, the evacuation of some urine etc. for that of the departure of the soul. Very unscientific and not deserving of merit.

It is not surprising then that no loss was reported for dogs as this corroborated his religious belief that animals don't have souls! Further down the trough, it was found that this doctor had failed to take into account the sudden rise in temperature at death when the blood stops being air-cooled through the lungs. It is also a known fact that in humans, the sudden rise will cause sweat and moisture evaporation (hence weight loss) and why this did not register in dogs (dogs cool themselves by panting, not sweating!).

This guy demonstrated nothing but natural port-mortem weight loss - nothing to so with souls! :roll:
The only credit I would give him was that he admitted that his experiments would have to be repeated many times with similar results before any conclusions were made. They weren't. There was weight loss but he had even got the amounts wrong. For starters, even the scales were found to be erroneous.

Until they had an experience for themselves. I think I have a very rational mind. If anything strange happens in my life, something I can't explain, I'll try, subconsciously most likely, to put a label on it. To define what happened, to tell myself it couldn't possibly be anything out of the ordinary. But when I can't, and I see no explanation for it, slowly but surely, I'm open to more and more possibilities.


As a child, I did experience what seemed to be poltergeist activity and I even remember blacking out. My mother, who has spiritualist beliefs thought that I had been possessed. But looking back, I have become aware of other mundane elements which can't be ignored and just show that sometimes things are not as they seem. For starters, there was a lot of tension in the house and members of the family that were not trustworthy. The psychological impact it had on me as a child prompted an unexpected response on my part - and possibly a protective one from my unconscious mind. See, I experienced it and I still don't believe in the paranormal.

I don't want to come across as a grandiloquent so-and-so but I will tell you with utmost confidence that scientists have more chances of finding the Higgs boson at CERN than the essence of ghosts. I'm telling you: they don't exist. Evidence supports that consciousness is inherent in the complexity of matter (especially when there is nothing in the known universe as complex as the human brain) just like gravitation creates heavier elements in space. From a cloud of dust, to rocks, to planets, to stars... the heavier and more complex they get, the warmer they tend to get and beyond this they get so hot that light is produced. The excitation of atoms and how they interact causes the release of photons. Amazing! I believe something similar happens to organisms as they evolve. The bright light of a star is analogous to the thinking brain. Rocks in space would be akin to inanimate objects.

You may be open but not so much that your brain falls out. Beware of tripe out there.

If the thought of not existing is more comforting to you, than by all means. But I think my living self will be happier believing there is more to life than death. Why would these thoughts be inside so many people? If they were planted by others, who put the thought in their head? And so forth. Are humans really so?


It's not that the thought of not existing is more comforting to me. I just don't mind it. Although, I've got to say that, the more I got rid of thoughts in meditation, the happier I felt. And now, in my normal looking state, I seem to compensate and end up writing essays! LOL! :mrgreen:

I don't know why these thoughts would be inside people's heads. A recent study on psychology has suggested that we are prone to believing in invisible agents from an early age. When a child doesn't understand the natural behaviour of certain objects, they tend to assume that someone must be interacting with them and that they are not only invisible but also more powerful. It is also more interesting to believe in that. Apart from lack of comprehension, fear and fascination play their role.

If you ask me, it was an idea that was born, developed and scattered. If it wasn't that, it might have been something else. It was most likely random at the beginning and not something that someone concocted for nefarious reasons. I think that religious belief has helped to form civilisation... it really did bring people together. Maybe it was necessary at the primal stages when we weren't so evolved and less intellectual. I guess we needed to believe in something greater and be afraid. This idea began to be used to control people. Today, it has certainly evolved into something more corrupt and hard to let go.

Perhaps it still has a purpose today but I think that we have outgrown it. It is time we grew up and recognised that we can be good and kind to each other without having to believe or wholeheartedly accept something that hasn't been proved and which I honestly believe never will because for me it is simply not there.

Isn't it funny that people used to think the eclipse was a sign from the Gods and that thunder meant that they were angry? And then we have to take into account the fact that they also experienced hallucinations, false awakenings and our beloved visions of the night. A lot of the mythical beings in folklore come from these states of mind. If its not angel visitations, it is alien abductions (in this day and age). Very often they come at night when people are half asleep, feel paralysed and vibrations are experienced.

Check out these links:
http://obe4u.com/?page_id=307
http://obe4u.com/?page_id=310

I was even "abducted by aliens" when I was trying to induce a WILD. Funnily enough it happened around the time when I was watching Stephen Spielberg's Taken series. My experience felt so real and terrifying that I was even inspired to create this depiction of it:

Image

But considering the nature of lucid dreams and how real they can get, it doesn't surprise me. Our minds have have enough waking state experience to learn from it and to be quite capable of emulating realistic scenarios coupled with grand illusions of sentience in simulated characters. We deal with people and different kinds of behaviour everyday. Our active imagination is fertile ground for creativity and our beloved lucid state makes it seem actual in every way and more...

It's inspiring! Here's another lucid-dream inspired drawing in my journal. It's like I have gone to another world! We have everything we need in our minds:

Image
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

Ty8200
Posts: 105
Joined: 04 Jun 2012 08:26

Re: What are your religious views?

Postby Ty8200 » 24 Jun 2012 23:59

If you are talking about what Thomas Campbell implied, let me tell you he is not a reliable source. Mr. Campbell and many alike (popularisers of the double-slit experiment laced with mysticism) are deliberately giving the laymen the wrong impression. Meanwhile, real physicists can see right through him and stay well away.


I'm not entirely sure if it was him. I was never much for science, as you could probably guess by now. But yes, the double-slit experiment sounds right. They only "observed" them after they had hit the paper, or other surface. Not while. So the tennis ball analogy wouldn't quite fit in here. I believe this was on a science program on television. I guess that doesn't mean it's necessarily going to be more reliable, however.

LMAO!!! :lol:

I'm sorry! I'm not laughing at you - just your naivete which is common amongst many young people. You are talking about Duncan MacLeod. Oh no, not that one! I meant Duncan MacDougall but he might as well have been the first one if he believes in immortality. To say that the human soul weighs 21 grams is ridiculous and I am not surprised that his test has never been repeated with the same results! He was known to be very imprecise in his measurements and very biased. Some said he was suspect from the get-go. Anyway, we can now ascertain that the 21-gram soul notion is all hooey.

One can see him mistaking the loss of weight due to evaporation of moisture in respiration, evaporation of sweat, the evacuation of some urine etc. for that of the departure of the soul. Very unscientific and not deserving of merit.

It is not surprising then that no loss was reported for dogs as this corroborated his religious belief that animals don't have souls! Further down the trough, it was found that this doctor had failed to take into account the sudden rise in temperature at death when the blood stops being air-cooled through the lungs. It is also a known fact that in humans, the sudden rise will cause sweat and moisture evaporation (hence weight loss) and why this did not register in dogs (dogs cool themselves by panting, not sweating!).

This guy demonstrated nothing but natural port-mortem weight loss - nothing to so with souls! :roll:
The only credit I would give him was that he admitted that his experiments would have to be repeated many times with similar results before any conclusions were made. They weren't. There was weight loss but he had even got the amounts wrong. For starters, even the scales were found to be erroneous.


Again, not entirely sure if it was him. But even I thought it was ludicrous when I heard it.

As a child, I did experience what seemed to be poltergeist activity and I even remember blacking out. My mother, who has spiritualist beliefs thought that I had been possessed. But looking back, I have become aware of other mundane elements which can't be ignored and just show that sometimes things are not as they seem. For starters, there was a lot of tension in the house and members of the family that were not trustworthy. The psychological impact it had on me as a child prompted an unexpected response on my part - and possibly a protective one from my unconscious mind. See, I experienced it and I still don't believe in the paranormal.


Well, as a child, perhaps, looking back from adult-hood, you can rationalize it. And I, along with many I know have grown up in high-tension environments but I've never heard a story like that, from anyone personally. If our subconscious brains all act the same, anyone living in a high-tension environment (which is a lot of people) would experience the same, or at least similar things, I would think.

I don't want to come across as a grandiloquent so-and-so but I will tell you with utmost confidence that scientists have more chances of finding the Higgs boson at CERN than the essence of ghosts. I'm telling you: they don't exist. Evidence supports that consciousness is inherent in the complexity of matter (especially when there is nothing in the known universe as complex as the human brain) just like gravitation creates heavier elements in space. From a cloud of dust, to rocks, to planets, to stars... the heavier and more complex they get, the warmer they tend to get and beyond this they get so hot that light is produced. The excitation of atoms and how they interact causes the release of photons. Amazing! I believe something similar happens to organisms as they evolve. The bright light of a star is analogous to the thinking brain. Rocks in space would be akin to inanimate objects.

You may be open but not so much that your brain falls out. Beware of tripe out there.


You seem very passionate about science. I think that's why it's so hard for you to believe in the possible existence of ghosts, or anything paranormal or unexplainable. People believed with every fiber of their being that the earth was flat, 500 years ago. Now we know otherwise. Perhaps in another 500 years, we'll be able to communicate with dead people. Some EVPs I've heard are very interesting. Some say it's radio interference, or static, but you can tell when words are words. And when words have important meaning to the background of the person they're trying to communicate with. Just a thought.

I don't know why these thoughts would be inside people's heads. A recent study on psychology has suggested that we are prone to believing in invisible agents from an early age. When a child doesn't understand the natural behaviour of certain objects, they tend to assume that someone must be interacting with them and that they are not only invisible but also more powerful. It is also more interesting to believe in that. Apart from lack of comprehension, fear and fascination play their role.

If you ask me, it was an idea that was born, developed and scattered. If it wasn't that, it might have been something else. It was most likely random at the beginning and not something that someone concocted for nefarious reasons. I think that religious belief has helped to form civilisation... it really did bring people together. Maybe it was necessary at the primal stages when we weren't so evolved and less intellectual. I guess we needed to believe in something greater and be afraid. This idea began to be used to control people. Today, it has certainly evolved into something more corrupt and hard to let go.


You're jumping back to religion now. Religion isn't what I'm talking about, simply some form of existence beyond this human self. And if this idea was born, who harbored it? And why did they? What purpose would it serve, having no influence from anything else? Why would so many believe it? What would connect with them, so as not to say "you're crazy"? I think this is one reason only 2% of the population are atheists. Not only not believing in a higher power, but advocating the "fact" that one does not exist. Personally, I'm agnostic. I find little point in even thinking about it too much, considering there is no way to tell, and will never be a way to be certain, until we die.

Perhaps it still has a purpose today but I think that we have outgrown it. It is time we grew up and recognised that we can be good and kind to each other without having to believe or wholeheartedly accept something that hasn't been proved and which I honestly believe never will because for me it is simply not there.


For me, I don't do good things for the sake of a higher power. I do it for me, and the person I'm trying to help. It makes me feel better about who I am, and eases the burden of someone else. And I agree, the existence of God or a higher power will never be proven. We'll simply have to wait until we die to find out.

I was even "abducted by aliens" when I was trying to induce a WILD. Funnily enough it happened around the time when I was watching Stephen Spielberg's Taken series. My experience felt so real and terrifying that I was even inspired to create this depiction of it:


Ouch, looks painful. Do you believe in aliens? I think if you believe there are other life forms out there, it would only be fair to believe the possibility of a higher power, IMO.
Reality is the sight, where reflection is the truth.
Water is the glass, where deception is the stone.
Reality is the cage, where limit is the lock.
Mind is the key, where only the blind can see.

SGraham
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Location: California

Re: What are your religious views?

Postby SGraham » 25 Jun 2012 01:07

Ok so i know this debate is between summerlander and Ty8200 but i just want to chip in conserning this quote
Ty8200 wrote:if you believe there are other life forms out there, it would only be fair to believe the possibility of a higher power

Well i my self am an Atheist and i was not raised one so all religious views i have i developed my self. any way i do believe in the exsistance of extra terrestrial life forms and no im not a UFO nut. i think that the universe is so large that the non exsistance of aliens is mathematicly impossible. as i said im not a UFO nut and i also dont think they have visited Earth i just think they are out there somewhere. so baisicly to boil down my post i think believing in the exsistance of aliens is much more logical than a transendant being that created the Universe.
How do you define real ?
think it over it's a tough question...

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Jack Reacher
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Re: What are your religious views?

Postby Jack Reacher » 25 Jun 2012 05:17

Yeah you cant really compare it to believing in a higher power, its not the same logic.
"There is theoretical abstraction, and then there is true abstraction."

Ty8200
Posts: 105
Joined: 04 Jun 2012 08:26

Re: What are your religious views?

Postby Ty8200 » 25 Jun 2012 16:27

Jack Reacher wrote:Yeah you cant really compare it to believing in a higher power, its not the same logic.


Really? When people hear "higher power" they immediately jump to God. I'm not talking about God, or some spirit. Something besides humans that have a better understanding of how things are, or exist. That's my version of a higher power.
Reality is the sight, where reflection is the truth.
Water is the glass, where deception is the stone.
Reality is the cage, where limit is the lock.
Mind is the key, where only the blind can see.

Ty8200
Posts: 105
Joined: 04 Jun 2012 08:26

Re: What are your religious views?

Postby Ty8200 » 25 Jun 2012 16:38

SGraham wrote:Ok so i know this debate is between summerlander and Ty8200 but i just want to chip in conserning this quote
Ty8200 wrote:if you believe there are other life forms out there, it would only be fair to believe the possibility of a higher power

Well i my self am an Atheist and i was not raised one so all religious views i have i developed my self. any way i do believe in the exsistance of extra terrestrial life forms and no im not a UFO nut. i think that the universe is so large that the non exsistance of aliens is mathematicly impossible. as i said im not a UFO nut and i also dont think they have visited Earth i just think they are out there somewhere. so baisicly to boil down my post i think believing in the exsistance of aliens is much more logical than a transendant being that created the Universe.


I never said this higher power has to be a "being that created the universe". Again, jumping straight to God. Transcendent, however, yes. Do you believe that humans are the best and perfect form of life? I think that would be conceited, to say the least, if you believe there are other forms of life.
Reality is the sight, where reflection is the truth.
Water is the glass, where deception is the stone.
Reality is the cage, where limit is the lock.
Mind is the key, where only the blind can see.

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Summerlander
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Re: What are your religious views?

Postby Summerlander » 25 Jun 2012 18:01

In the dark space between galaxies, scientists discovered a kind of relic radiation which supports the idea of a large explosion responsible for the observable universe (whether some like it or not, this supports the Big Bang theory - there really was an unimaginably massive explosion!!).

This radiation is uniform in all directions. Roughly the same levels of energy are observed between two areas even if they are a gazillion light-years or even parsecs apart. Some might think of this as an amazing coincidence but I say it is only a natural occurrence in the universal "well".

I'm going to go on a red tangent here to address some of the issues raised by Ty8200 before arriving at the alien debate...

I like describing our universe like a well. A well where cause and effect reigns no matter how magical what happens in it seems. Like quantum entanglement or "spooky action at a distance" which seems to violate the light speed limit rule.

But the Pauli Exclusion Principle (sorry for the physics jargon again but look it up if you have to) is the reason why we don't fall through the floor and states that in the universal well, two electrons of seemingly the same energies are not exactly the same and cannot occupy the same quantum state. One might say that an individual electron "knows" the state of every other electron in the universe and thus adopts the most probable state. But the electron is not a conscious entity and there is no magic at play here. I could go on with the jargon and quote formulae that looks alien to everyone but there is a simpler way to look at this via analogy: imagine that the universe is a bowl of marbles and these marbles are making contact inside... now, imagine that you remove one of the marbles... you can see that, with such removal, the pressure from the other ones would push or force another to fill the gap that was left behind - and lo and behold, the whole system is affected!!.

This is how electrons "know" what one another is doing even if they are light-years apart. It's the interconnection of particles that force them to adopt integer and half-integer spins in a pool of waves where peaks and troughs add or cancel each other out in the probabilistic framework...


Yes, I love science... :geek: ... sorry... but I can also be cool! 8-)

It is not hard, then, (and I'm getting to the alien thing!) to envisage that, as atomic structures became more complex in the development of the universe, similar lifeforms would emerge and evolve in similar ways. Life is quite diverse here on Earth anyway. There are many Earth-like planets out there, and, what's more, they are even considering looking into "inhospitable" planets as there is a chance that extremophiles might have had a chance to evolve into complex lifeforms overtime.

In saying all of the above, and considering the vastness of what we can observe in the universe, the odds favour the notion that we are not alone. Science acknowledges this and hence why we have programs like SETI. If one day we come across intelligent lifeforms out there, our best bet is to use the language of mathematics to communicate with them. The film Contact starring Jodie Foster is quite educational. The issues surrounding religious fanaticism, the belief in a higher power or God, who should represent the human race (a theist or an atheist?) and how the world would react at the discovery of an alien civilisation are clearly addressed there.

More chances of finding alien than God.

On the "higher power"... it depends what you mean by it - in which case we may be talking semantics here. The higher power term can be used for something conscious that exists but may not necessarily have created anything and may not even be transcendental - even if the aliens give us a transcendental impression!!

Usually, things are not what they seem and it is very easy to see magic in that which you don't yet understand. Imagine showing a mobile phone or a computer to someone in 50 AD!! This goes back to what I was saying about children and how impressionable they are.
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

SGraham
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Location: California

Re: What are your religious views?

Postby SGraham » 25 Jun 2012 19:51

Ok Ty8200 you're being a little hypacritical
Ty8200 wrote:I never said this higher power has to be a "being that created the universe". Again, jumping straight to God


well first of all you were totally taking about God you said that if you believed in aliens it would logicaly fallow that a " higher power " exists. what else were you taking about when you said " higher power"?

Ty8200 wrote:Do you believe that humans are the best and perfect form of life?
and no i dont believe humans are the perfect form of life, we get into far to many wars and all we can seem to do is fight and disagree with each other. and if you think about it what is the leading cause of war amongst humans? more wars have been staked in the name of God than anything else. I think if we can just put aside our differenses we might actaully make some progress.
How do you define real ?
think it over it's a tough question...

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Summerlander
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Re: What are your religious views?

Postby Summerlander » 25 Jun 2012 20:35

SGraham wrote: i dont believe humans are the perfect form of life, we get into far to many wars and all we can seem to do is fight and disagree with each other. and if you think about it what is the leading cause of war amongst humans? more wars have been staked in the name of God than anything else. I think if we can just put aside our differenses we might actaully make some progress.


Absolutely! Just the other day I saw two men nearly coming to blows on the bus. What they was arguing about was something so trivial and silly that an alien being watching (supposing it could understand our language) would assume that we are nothing but talking apes with delayed reactions.

An ape might have been considered more advanced by the alien in the sense that it wouldn't stall and would do what it feels like without a thought. In a way, nature has bestowed us a complex thinking brain but we misuse it and it often works against us.

There is certainly more room for development in humans. The main problem is ego and our attachment to our ideas of dignity. Once in a while a "buddha" comes along to show us that a smoother path exists.
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Peter
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Re: What are your religious views?

Postby Peter » 25 Jun 2012 21:00

why to we always assume that peace is the natural progression for us and that an alien visitor would be peaceful, they just might as easlily decide that the arguing humans were the only ones on the planet that were devloped.

Budda might also be considered an oddity and his followers the same, there are so many assumptions that to me are leading to a dead end. Science has followed one path, if we were to look back could we find minds that had different views but never got the funding or exposure to lead us in another direction.
I think as far as aliens are concerned we are really looking for some other version of ourselves and not aliens, I am not sure we can even imagine what an alien might look or be like
Who are you I asked, the reply "dont be silly, we are your daughers" many years before they were born


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