Could Nasa's James Webb Space Telescope detect alien life?

Discussion in 'Science' started by cerberus, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. cerberus

    cerberus Well-Known Member Donor

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  2. reallybigjohnson

    reallybigjohnson Banned

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    Hopefully NOOOOOOO!
     
  3. OldManOnFire

    OldManOnFire Well-Known Member

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    Well...if you can possibly see any benefit to having the Hubble Space Telescope, then knowing the James Webb Space Telescope is a successor to Hubble, providing far more capability than Hubble, perhaps you might guess there will be lots of new discoveries. But when you have a closed mind as you show here it's all a bit of a moot point...
     
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  4. cerberus

    cerberus Well-Known Member Donor

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    If they make discoveries, then well done them! No 'closed-mindedness' here. It's just that I have zero interest in anything which doesn't materially affect my life. Nor do I take kindly to being lied to, or worse, condescendingly talked down to, as if I'm a gullible child. Or a gullible adult, whichever you prefer?
     
  5. DarkDaimon

    DarkDaimon Well-Known Member

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    It's ok, big bad NASA isn't going to hurt you. I know the loud men on YouTube frighten you with their scary stories, but it is all fake.
     
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  6. cerberus

    cerberus Well-Known Member Donor

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    Thank you for that reassurance, I feel a whole lot better for it.
     
  7. The Don

    The Don Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if Betteridge's Law of Headlines applies....

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge's_law_of_headlines

    It seems perhaps that it may not:

    It seems that it will be able look at the composition of atmospheres of planets in nearby planetary systems, and from that infer whether life may be present.

    In my opinion, the scientists are being suitably cautious:

     
  8. OldManOnFire

    OldManOnFire Well-Known Member

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    They will make discoveries. They can affect your life. It advances our knowledge. No one is lying to you...
     
  9. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    Well in their defense scientists sort of have to "dumb things down" to the child level when trying to explain a lot of this stuff because if they tried to explain it using astrophysics then the vast majority of the general public wouldn't understand what the hell they just said.
     
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  10. cerberus

    cerberus Well-Known Member Donor

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    Well I should hope so, given how much they're taking from your taxes.

    In what way?

    I've no objection to scientific research which will result in benefits to mankind, but I can't think of anything NASA has come up with to far which will do it, can you?
     
  11. cerberus

    cerberus Well-Known Member Donor

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    I'll still go with 'bamboozling the vast majority of the general public in the interest of sustaining a very lucrative living (at least those in the upper echelons) unto retirement. I mean how easy it is to do that, when nobody can possibly dispute what they say irrespective of how ridiculous it is? It's a bit like your local IT expert who comes to fix your PC or whatever - they can tell you there's a serious fault when it might only be a loose component that needs re-seating, but you still have to fork out big bucks?
     
  12. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    It's no different than any other sort of thing that people in general don't really understand. An IT expert can't con me into fixing non issues with my computer because I have been building computers for the better part of 20 years and I understand computers.

    It's just like auto repair. If you brought your car to me and said "it isn't acting right" then I can take a look at it for you. I end up having to take a few things apart and I discover the problem. I can say "the intake valves on your #6 unseated and rubbed against the head causing metal shavings to score the cylinder wall which requires a bore and new pistons and honing".

    People unfamiliar with auto mechanics would say "uh...what?" In "layman's terms" what I said was you need a new top half of an engine because yours is busted.

    These scientists and astrophysicists aren't lying to you or anybody else. They are often just publishing research that you simply don't understand which isn't their fault.

    Want to understand what the IT tech is doing with your computer then learn a bit about computers. Want to understand what the auto shop just said they have to do to fix your car then learn a little bit about how cars work. Want to understand what astronomers are doing with their research then learn a little bit about physics.

    Just because you don't understand something doesn't automatically mean they are making stuff up. It just means you don't understand what they are doing...Or you could understand a bit of what they are doing and just simply don't believe any of it is justified which is your own opinion. Which is fine seeing how I believe there are a whole lot of worthless jobs that people do that serve no real purpose in society as well, however, I disagree that space research is one of them.
     
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  13. cerberus

    cerberus Well-Known Member Donor

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    Well there we must disagree; the point is that you are assuming they're not lying but can't prove it, so the natural default is to just believe without question everything they say. I'm an extremely good judge of when I'm hearing lies - I have a kind of astute recognition of body language, but vocally, if you will, and quite often I've noticed that when they're being interviewed, they'll adopt a condescending tone toward the interviewer as if talking to a child; and if the interviewer unexpectedly asks an awkward question to which there's no cogent answer, they'll trivialise it in such as way as to divert attention away from the question as quickly as possible. You probably listen to these interviews as much as I do, so next time listen carefully and see if you notice it as well.

    I envy your knowledge of computers - it costs me £50 per hour whenever I have to call in my expert.
     
  14. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    I have to admit that I do understand what you are talking about in regards to interviews. I have often seen the body language and tone you've described during some interviews, lectures, documentaries, and even experienced it in person a couple of times.

    Now this is just my take on it and I could be wrong. I believe the reason behind the weird body language is for one a lot of these folks are a bit "weird" in regards to "normal" society. If you watch a documentary you will often see these scientists discussing even basic space stuff with their eyes lit up and tons of emotion akin to one of those Televangelist people lol. It's their passion and for many of them it's their life and they get really in to this stuff.

    A problem with discussing your own passion with others who don't share that same enthusiasm is that is does often tend to get frustrating at times. For one trying to explain theories and whatnot to somebody who doesn't understand the language (physics) can be complicated at times. Also they are still people like everyone else and some of them are just rude and arrogant which is why they talk down to people.

    When accusing someone of lying the burden of proof is on the accuser. It's not up to me to prove they are NOT lying it's up to you to prove that they ARE. Body language and whatnot isn't a smoking gun. Specific statements made by somebody that can be proven to be false with proof that they made such statements in an effort to deceive is proof of lying. Remember, science is a forever evolving discipline, an expert in the field may make a statement today based on what he/she currently understands which may turn out to be factually incorrect 10 years from now as our knowledge evolves. That doesn't mean they lied, they weren't trying to deceive, it just turns out that what they thought was true at the time actually wasn't.
     
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  15. OldManOnFire

    OldManOnFire Well-Known Member

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    Well, the cost is ~$10 billion for a project ranging over 20 years so this is about $500 million per year. There are about 20 nations working on the project. Last I heard the NASA budget was about $18 billion or maybe 1/2% of the federal budget. So the $500 million per year for JW is 1/36th (of) 1/2% of the federal budget which although it is expensive it's mouse nuts.

    Surely you can fathom how space exploration can affect you?

    How many kids and others have been inspired?
    Can't you imagine along the way while spending $10 billion that we learn new technologies and processes, etc.?
    Can you then imagine how these can be transferred to the private sector?
    How it can advance our technical knowledge?
    How about the USA working closely with 20+ other nations?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_spinoff_technologies
    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/42384202/...ons-benefit-all-our-lives-earth/#.W6gfpRSFGkg
     
  16. cerberus

    cerberus Well-Known Member Donor

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    I couldn't have put it better myself, and that's why they're so brazen . . . because they're fully aware that nobody outside of the industry can possibly dispute anything they say, ergo they can get away with saying anything, safe in the knowledge that the 'mystique' of it all will ensure its credence? I've already used an apposite aphorism, namely 'Bullshit baffles brains'.
     
  17. cerberus

    cerberus Well-Known Member Donor

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    'inspired' in what way?

    Sorry but you're missing the main thrust of my stance, which is the exaggeration. But aside from that, I don't believe that there's any useful 'knowledge' to be gained by concentrating money and means on a planet to which mankind will never go? Nor do I believe (for reasons of logistical impossibility) that there are landers/rovers/explorers/curiosities blah blah on Mars; but if you do then I guess there's no more to be discussed.
     
  18. The Don

    The Don Well-Known Member

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    In most Western countries there is a chronic shortage of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduates. Programmes like this really do capture the imagination and interest of people.

    There are all kinds of things to be learned from Mars but I guess you've decided that there aren't.
     
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  19. cerberus

    cerberus Well-Known Member Donor

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    Well give us an example then?? [​IMG]
     
  20. The Don

    The Don Well-Known Member

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    I already have, many times. tl;dr version

    - Possibility of life
    - Exploitable raw materials
     
  21. cerberus

    cerberus Well-Known Member Donor

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    [​IMG] We still couldn't live there though, could we? The atmosphere isn't conducive for human life?? And if there is life - so effing what???
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
  22. The Don

    The Don Well-Known Member

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    I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting that we do. As far as I know there aren't even any manned missions on the cards.

    Discovering life somewhere other than Earth would be a very big deal.
     
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  23. OldManOnFire

    OldManOnFire Well-Known Member

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    In bold above...BINGO!
     
  24. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Knowing how other planets work tests how we think our planet works.
     
  25. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    What you have presented is an argument that simply cannot be made into an argument. What you have basically said is that these people are speaking what amounts to a foreign language that only they understand therefore they can say whatever they want, whether true or not, and nobody can actually tell whether or not they are actually telling the truth because nobody understands what they are saying.

    You aren't proving that they are lying, you basically just openly admitted that you have no idea if they are lying and neither does anybody else because very few people outside of them actually understand the majority of what they are even saying.

    If walked up to two Chinese people and asked them for directions and they began giving me directions in Mandarin it is illogical for me to just stand up and proclaim that they lied to me because I have no idea what they even said. The only way for me to actually PROVE that they in fact gave me directions to the airport instead of the bus stop like I asked because they thought it would be funny would be for me to actually learn Mandarin and translate for myself the words they actually said.

    I can't just proclaim that they lied simply because it SEEMS like they did because they were laughing the entire time while talking to me. In order to make accusations you must have proof. Body language and mannerisms are not proof of anything yet those are what you are choosing as the evidence for your argument that these folks are lying. They can often be good indicators but they aren't actual proof of anything. And in regards to a lot of these scientists it's hard to even use mannerisms as judgement because as I said before if you've ever watched even so much as a Discovery Channel watered down space documentary you can tell pretty quickly that a lot of these people are a bit "socially awkward".
     
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