The Moon

Discussion in 'The Thinking Cap' started by Spankfurt, Aug 14, 2013.

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  1. Spankfurt

    Spankfurt Managing Director

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    Here is a collection of interesting quotes from scientists, authors, researchers, NASA insiders and star-gazers relating to the enigmatic and often inexplicable nature of the moon:

    Isaac Asimov,
    American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University and Science Fiction writer. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time.

    "We cannot help but come to the conclusion that the Moon by rights ought not to be there. The fact that it is, is one of the strokes of luck almost too good to accept… Small planets, such as Earth, with weak gravitational fields, might well lack satellites… … In general then, when a planet does have satellites, those satellites are much smaller than the planet itself. Therefore, even if the Earth has a satellite, there would be every reason to suspect… that at best it would be a tiny world, perhaps 30 miles in diameter. But that is not so. Earth not only has a satellite, but it is a giant satellite, 2160 miles in diameter. How is it then, that tiny Earth has one? Amazing."


    "The Moon, which has no atmosphere and no magnetic field, is basically a freak of nature"


    Irwin Shapiro,
    Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

    “The best possible explanation for the Moon is observational error – the Moon doesn’t exist.’

    "The Moon is bigger than it should be, apparently older than it should be and much lighter in mass than it should be. It occupies an unlikely orbit and is so extraordinary that all existing explanations for its presence are fraught with difficulties are none of them could be considered remotely watertight."


    Christopher Knight and Alan Bulter
    Book: Who Built the Moon?

    The Moon has astonishing synchronicity with the Sun. When the Sun is at its lowest and weakest in mid-winter, the Moon is at its highest and brightest, and the reverse occurs in mid-summer. Both set at the same point on the horizon at the equinoxes and at the opposite point at the solstices. What are the chances that the Moon would naturally find an orbit so perfect that it would cover the Sun at an eclipse and appear from Earth to be the same size? What are chances that the alignments would be so perfect at the equinoxes and solstices?


    Farouk El Baz,
    NASA

    "If water vapour is coming from the Moon’s interior is this serious. It means that there is a drastic distinction between the different phases of the lunar interior – that the interior is quite different from what we have seen on the surface."


    Mikhail Vasin, Alexander Shcherbakov,
    Societ Academy of Sciences, 1970.

    "Is the moon a creation of an alien intelligence?"


    Dr Harold Urey,
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry

    "I’m terribly puzzled by the rocks from the Moon and in particular of their titanium content."


    Dr S Ross Taylor,
    Geochemist of lunar chemical analysis,

    Said the problem was that maria plains the size of Texas had to be covered with melted rock containing fluid titanium. He said you would not expect titanium ever to be hot enough to do that, even on Earth, and no one has ever suggested that the Moon was hotter than the Earth.

    "What could distribute titanium in this way? Highly advanced technology developed and operated by entities that are immensely more technologically advance than humans."


    Dr. Gordon MacDonald,
    NASA

    "it would seem that the Moon is more like a hollow than a homogenous sphere’. He surmised that the data must have been wrong – but it wasn’t."


    Carl Sagan,
    Cosmologist,

    "A natural satellite cannot be a hollow object."


    Dr. Sean C Solomon,
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    "The Lunar Orbiter experiments had vastly improved knowledge of the Moon’s gravitational field and indicated the frightening possibility that the Moon might be hollow."


    University of Arizona Lon Hood
    "We knew that the Moon’s core was small, but we didn’t know it was this small… This really does add weight to the idea that the Moon’s origin is unique, unlike any other terrestrial body."


    NASA scientists
    The Apollo 12 mission to the Moon in November 1969 set up seismometers and then intentionally crashed the Lunar Module causing an impact equivalent to one ton of TNT. The shockwaves built up for eight minutes, and NASA scientists said the Moon ‘rang like a bell.


    Maurice Ewing,
    American geophysicist and oceanographer

    "As for the meaning of it, I’d rather not make an interpretation right now, but it is as though someone had struck a bell, say, in the belfry of the a church a single blow and found that the reverberation from it continued for 30 minutes."


    Ken Johnson,
    Supervisor of the Data and Photo Control department during the Apollo missions

    "The Moon not only rang like a bell, but the whole Moon wobbled in such a precise way that it was almost as though it had gigantic hydraulic damper struts inside it."


    Moon rocks have been found to contain processed metals, including brass and mica, and the elements Uranium 236 and Neptunium 237 that have never been found to occur naturally.


    Dr. D L Anderson,
    Professor of geophysics and director of the seismological laboratory,
    California Institute of Technology

    "The Moon is made inside out and that its inner and outer compositions should be the other way around."


    Dr. Robin Brett,
    NASA Scientist

    "It seems much easier to explain the nonexistence of the moon than its existence."

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Linkin

    Linkin The Insane Map Maker

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    Thought that they stop caring for the moon, though they seem to jump on the alien bandwagon rather easily. How about a few more trips to it instead, for something that big they sure turned a blind eye and yelled Mars, pity.
     
  3. Andwyr

    Andwyr Disparaging the boot is a bootable offence. Site Advisor

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  4. Darklycan51

    Darklycan51 Map Maker

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  5. Carassus

    Carassus Panda Lurker

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    "Irwin Shapiro,
    Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

    “The best possible explanation for the Moon is observational error – the Moon doesn’t exist.’ "

    I'll use that =D
     
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  6. EagleMan

    EagleMan Administrator Admin Map Maker

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    Something that is pretty rare, even in galactic terms, are solar eclipses. The fact that the Sun is just the right distance away to be matched in apparent size by our Moon in the sky is a pretty unique event. If for some reason or another there's a galactic community to join and space tourism is a thing, it is likely many aliens would come to Earth to witness such an event.
     
  7. Hksaru

    Hksaru Honk

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    All are truly valid theories, namely the Moon being a natural phenomenon or an artificial multi-purpose creation, in part or wholly a mere illusion.

    My theory is too many theories and not enough investigation.
     
  8. Kalthramis

    Kalthramis

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    I wasn't aware our moon was so unique.
    I say drill a big-ass hole into it. If there's aliens, aliens. If there is not, neat. I guess.

    But I find the idea of aliens a bit silly. If they used the moon to spy on us, why not obliterate us? We're quickly expanding, are horribly selfish and violent with a vast history of back stabbing, and love making movies of us slaying aliens. If I was an alien species, I'd obliterate the human race for my own safety.
     
  9. EagleMan

    EagleMan Administrator Admin Map Maker

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    If an alien race is advanced enough to be able to travel across the galaxy in any practical manner but needs to hide behind the Moon to stay hidden from us, I wouldn't have any idea what to make of that.

    Also Kal we're a predatory species. That's only natural. No prey animal is ever going to ascend to civilization, it seems exceedingly unlikely. Advances in culture tend to go hand in hand with technology, which is actually why the Prime Directive from Star Trek is rather prescient despite being created decades ago. People in the Western world are generally okay with technology. But give that technology to people's whose culture never advanced, like in Africa and the Middle East, and horrible things happen as a result. If you let a species collectively get to the space stage on its own, it's very likely to mellow out, as the Western world has. The fact is that humanity is more altruistic and peaceful than ever before in our history, and that trend is only likely to keep going. The news just focuses on the rarer and rarer instances of our moral failures - which in a way is news, because such things are rare now. You don't talk about the billionaires pouring money in to save hundreds of thousands of lives in Africa, you talk about the crazy loon who ran a car through a crowd at Venice Beach, despite the fact that the calculus of life there is incredibly different.
     
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  10. Hksaru

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    I think it's much more likely the moon is a natural phenomenon, but of course creating artificial moons and/or forging moons into space stations is far beyond our technology, just like deep space travel. It'd be a great feat.

    One could only guess at what their intentions would be: security, scientific study, subterfuge, intelligence, etc.

    We're primitive tribes incapable of rational thought compared to any aliens we'd possibly meet at this point. They have no reason to speak to us.
     
  11. EagleMan

    EagleMan Administrator Admin Map Maker

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    There are certainly a few people who would be able to speak to the aliens on equal ground. There's a difference between rational thought and knowledge. Just because a person doesn't know the mechanics of near light speed travel doesn't mean he can't be extremely well developed in terms of morality or intellectuality. However there's little reason for an alien culture to have up close contact with us. An alien might certainly be curious to interact personally with humans, but they would know that first contact would change their course of history, especially if humans obtained access to any of their technology.

    Imagine an alien species making contact with us, with the power to end world hunger and the water and energy crisis and going "lol no". We would be infuriated with them, but they know that we aren't ready for that because that's a point we have to reach on our own. So they have no good reason to make first contact, even if they're a benevolent species. If you give a primitive species access to advanced technology, bad things happen. Some humans will understand why aliens would refuse to help us, but most would just be incensed, and blame them as responsible for refusing to stop the deaths (and early deaths) of millions.
     
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  12. Hksaru

    Hksaru Honk

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    That's precisely why the story/idea of Atlantis has merit as more than purely a legend. Then there's this old thing:
    [​IMG]

    On the other hand, despite how fun it is to stretch the imagination, there's the nihilist side. I've always seen pyramids as the only way for primitive humans to build towers proficiently so it's only natural there isn't much diversity in that regard. You've textualized the lesson told by the legend of Atlantis, which is gradual ascension for society.

    As for individuals being worthy of speaking to (and studying)... maybe. Probably. Abductions, hello? Anyways;
     
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  13. Ser_Fergus

    Ser_Fergus Knight of the DiploGuard

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    This bugs me, y'know.
    Are we?
    What baseline are we measuring against? In a galactic community, we could be considered peace loving hippies for all we know. We're just omnivores, a purely predatory species would probably be significantly more violent.

    We literally know nothing about ourselves, except to measure culture to culture.

    On the other hand, with eaglemans progressively more altruistic scenario, all we need is something to stir up a lot of hate. If we were to encounter a new species and the encounter goes poorly, who knows if we'll all be leaping up to 'Get Those Alien Bastards', in the like-age of how xenophobic America became towards anyone who could be described as a 'Terrorist'.
     
  14. Andwyr

    Andwyr Disparaging the boot is a bootable offence. Site Advisor

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    I've always liked this post.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. EagleMan

    EagleMan Administrator Admin Map Maker

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    It's true we have no real baseline to compare to, but I think humans may be the most aggressive a species can be before you kill yourselves off (assuming we don't do so in the future). I use the Cuban Missile Crisis as a reference. We were one step away from nuclear annihilation in that crisis, but we didn't take that final step. Had we, humanity would probably have very poor chances for its long-term survival.

    So if our aggressiveness took us to being only one step away from killing ourselves, then one can assume that we might be the most aggressive a species can be (in general) before we kill each other through nuclear annihilation. If we as a species were any more aggressive, then we would have had nuclear warfare.

    Of course, the possibilities for what shape an alien species could take is endless, but based on the minimal information we have, I think the best guess is that other alien species are either as aggressive as us or more pacifist. And this is good news, because hardly anyone thinks it's a good idea to go invade other people just because we can. The only reason we'd have to war is if they posed a threat, and technologically inferior species would pose no such threat. They might remain like the uncontacted tribes we still have on Earth.

    Realistically speaking, in terms of resources or slavery, there's no practical reason to conquer a primitive species besides the fact you can say you did. There are billions of other uninhabited planets to mine from. Even planets with life are unlikely to have intelligent life, so there are probably at least a handful of planets brewing with life and hospitable to humans that have no native intelligent species that we could colonize. And conquering a people to enslave them would be horribly economically inefficient considering all the robots and automation we'd have by that point in time.

    So basically I think Stephen Hawking is silly for stating that alien contact is likely to be like the conquistadors landing in the Americas.
     
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  16. Ser_Fergus

    Ser_Fergus Knight of the DiploGuard

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    On the contrary, I think there could be several levels of aggressiveness beyond us. If the human race was, for example, more durable, we would probably be firing off nuclear missiles like regular ones, because we could tolerate it. Continuing with your cuban missile crisis, a race's aggression matches its endurance. Thus, a species that could not survive a large chemical storm would probably be less aggressive than us, but a race of cockroaches would probably be in the middle of another nuclear winter right now.

    As for Stephen Hawking quote, I believe that's a little dramatic, because more warlike cultures (Mongols) were either extinguished, or pacified with conquest, and only then did their unity in empire (And thus their technology) come up. Us being 'Visited', would probably involve a series of tests, and at worst, sociological experiments.
     
  17. Hksaru

    Hksaru Honk

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  18. Talinn

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    I agree with the principle that a species needs to be "peaceful", "wise", and "rational", in order to become technologically advanced. But, I believe sapience is always a double edged sword, as is any biological trait. No species is immune to the threat of extinction. A basic biological principle is that evolution is always a battle, and not a ladder. You never reach perfection.

    Based on that principle, I don't think there are cultural milestones that roughly coincide with technological benchmarks. I don't think we're not much more morally advanced than we were earlier on. The Cuban Missile Crisis was a coin flip between individual organisms, not indicative of humanity's moral compass. There was also the 1983 crisis, where a single Soviet officer saved the world from a possible nuclear war.

    Like I was implying, aliens can regress morally. If they expand far enough, and encounter one planet who acts stupidly and fires first, they'll probably annihilate us when they find us. If their population splits to many populations in allopatric speciation after colonizing so many planets - and these populations rise in the quadrillions - they might well be accustomed to eliminating sapient species if billions of people is a relatively low number. Surely such an expansive and advanced race wouldn't be prone to dissent from time and time?

    The fact is that an alien species could be desensitized to killing billions of people. Everything is relative. We think, "millions of people" killed in a genocide is wrong (and it is), not neccessarily because we can understand it, but because it seems like a large percentage of the human population. (Or am I totally wrong in this and I sound like an asshole?) Basically, I think that aliens might understand "millions killed", to be "trillions killed". If they know that sapient species can arise through colonization of star systems and isolation, wouldn't the value of an individual species be toned down a little, especially if they were causing problems? We also understand genocide to be wrong because we can see firsthand what it does to people. I mean, I've seen pictures of the Holocaust and read figures about it, and I still can't fathom exactly what it means. Imagine if an alien in one world doesn't hear about genocide in one sector of the galaxy, because there's so many things going on in his section of the galaxy? Popular opinion would hold that it's alright to be apathetic to genocide, since it does NOT affect one, at ALL.

    Also, most resources on Earth would be meaningless. However, there's so many variables here that these beings might need or want anything. You just don't know. For example, human dna is a resource, based on the criteria we've set forth: the aliens are technologically advanced and are probably capable of genetic engineering if they are also capable of interstellar travel. They might want plant cellulose, for their ships or what not. And if they're not satisfied with communication efforts with humans; or if they want plant cellulose for genetic engineering; or if they've experienced a dangerous race in the past that didn't seem so dangerous at first; or if they have different criteria for sapient life, we could all be screwed.
     
  19. EagleMan

    EagleMan Administrator Admin Map Maker

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    Spacefaring seems like an incredibly more difficult prospect than science fiction might make it seem. At any rate, it seems likely we will master our own biology before we come up with an efficient way to travel through space, let alone find other species.

    If we consider the dinosaurs, they died off about 65.5 million years ago. Now, let's say on another planet instead of the dinosaurs dominating, an intelligent species like our own took dominance. Given the scale of the universe, this is not entirely unlikely. There's probably planets that also had mass extinction events but instead of mammals rising, maybe alligators took over or something. Maybe that intelligent species lazes about for a couple hundred thousand years, about the same time frame we came about as a species and got to where we are today. Now that puts them as getting to our technological level 65.2 million years ago. The fact we don't see evidence scattered across the skies that's indicative of alien intelligence can mean either 2 things: life, especially intelligent life that doesn't die off, is incredibly rare, even on an astronomical scale, or it means that achieving FTL spaceflight is impossible, at least within the time span of 65.2 million years of research. Or another option, that ET life is actively hiding themselves from us on a galactic scale, but you can't really work with that as a theoretical premise because you'd get nowhere with it.

    Anyways, I'm going to go with the option that it means FTL travel is impossible. After all, there are trillions of planets in the universe, so it's likely that at least thousands of intelligent life forms have arisen and progressed technologically. Now consider the time frames for an intelligent species lifespan. It is a theoretical possibility humans could die out any day - a massive meteor strike, nukes, whatever. Let's say aliens deployed drones around the galaxy to scan for intelligent life. A drone notices our potential as we begin civilization roughly 3000 years ago, making us different from other intelligent creatures like chimps and dolphins. Let's say this alien civilization is on the other side of the Milky Way, so that means they're about 100-120,000 light years away. That signal reaches them that many years later, and they deploy a first contact squad that also takes that many years to get here. So that means after the birth of civilization, which they notice immediately, it takes that alien civilization about 200-240,000 years to respond. And we're only 3000 years into our civilization. Several species probably killed themselves off in their nuclear age, and there's nothing guaranteeing we still won't kill ourselves off. So even before the message got to them, we might already be long, long dead. But if we're still alive, then we've been advancing for around 200k years, and we're probably wise to the fact there's alien life in the universe by that point.

    At any rate, my point is, especially with billions of uninhabited planets lying around with resources to harvest, even giant clouds in space just full of stuff like alcohol and water, resources won't be a concern. Intelligent life is likely to be the rarest "resource" in the universe at that point - all intelligent life will be gravely precious, and murder might be seen as the ultimate sin. An alien race has no use for war, unless it's to keep us from killing ourselves. But most war is caused by resource concerns. Ideology is fast fading as a cause for violence. Sure, there's a hundred deaths there, maybe even a couple ten thousand there, but they are no longer the reason millions die. Resources are the biggest stressors now, and some might argue they always have been, with only religion and other things being used to justify it - e.g. the Crusades brought great wealth and resources to Europe. If you have the whole universe to harvest, suddenly war is petty and unnecessary. And at any rate, they could only intervene if they had a squadron actively sitting on our planet, which they would've already given the Cold War and how precarious everything was. I would've if intelligent life is exceedingly rare.

    So in summation, I really have no fear about extraterrestrial life. Sure, it's always possibility that there's buggers out there, but based on what I know and the logical assumptions I can make from that, nearly all motives for war are nonexistent, and the more advanced a civilization is, the more they celebrate abstract things like intelligence and culture, which means a space faring race should be practically euphoric to discover another intelligent species. This is especially the case with FTL, which limits exploration tremendously. It'd be like having to explore the entirety of the Sun at walking speed trying to find a billiard ball that's on the ground somewhere, but given the scales we're talking about, it'd be even worse than that. When you find it, you aren't just going to throw it away or break it.
     
  20. Kalthramis

    Kalthramis

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    Actually. There is a good chance FTL drives may be possible. Googled due to surplus of articles

    To summarize, the engine essentially shrinks space in front of it, and expands space behind it. This is suppose to shove the ship quickly forward. Technically, you aren't really 'moving.' It's more the engine forces space to readjust itself. What this means is that you can 'theoretically' go faster than the speed of a light, something believed impossible as stated by Albert Einstein, due to the way time and speed interact (Going the speed of sound is suppose to 'freeze' time, so going faster than the speed of light might cause time to instead go backwards.)

    NASA scientists claim this is likely possible, and they seem to have a lot of confidence in their theory. They also said that it might not actually take a ridiculous amount of energy to power a machine like this. To quote one article, the drive could "drastically reduce travel times to other star systems from tens of thousands of years to weeks or months."


    In other words, there is a good chance space travel is not only possible, but is on our doorstep. What this also means is we may invent FTL drives before we unlock genetic engineering, ironically - though I believe we will adopt mechanical upgrades before biological, due to religious nay-sayers.


    But back on the subject of aliens, an alien species might decide to wipe us out only if we prove a threat, which at the current moment, we wouldn't be. If we mercilessly attacked them seemingly without reason (which I doubt we would, even with our half-brained leaders), I could see them blowing us (or most of us) to bits. That said, the universe has indeed been around for a while, but I do not think intelligent life, even on habitable planets, will be a common thing. It may be we could be one of, if not the first intelligent species to walk among the stars within our galaxy. But I doubt we will be the first in all of the universe, as galaxies, for the moment, seem to be innumerable.

    I've been thinking about your post, Eagle, about how aliens may be similar to us, as they likely evolved in a similar way. That is probably the most likely case, I've decided. However, there are other possibilities that could have dire results for us, such as a hyperaggresive semi-intelligent species, like a Neanderthal to us, could have gained dominance over a planet, and slowly developed into an FTL era. The hyperaggressive behavior and mild intelligence would have given them dominance over the planet, and even after the increase of intelligence that accompanies civilization, they may still be hyperaggressive and thus violent towards us.
    Another possibility is an intelligent hive-mind type species, similar to the Zerg but less... Zergy. As an example, say a race of humanoid honey bees. Their hive-mind trait allowed them to gain dominance over their planet, and as a hive-mind, are extremely defensive. Upon reaching an FTL age and discovering us, a potentially harmful species, they could eradicate us without a second thought.

    I would consider these to be rarer than a human-like species, however. Chances are most planets similar to Earth developed in a similar fashion. We gained dominance because we were just barely 'good' enough to do so, so we didn't have time to evolve into the 'godly intelligent aliens' that are so common in science fiction. Evolution doesn't work like that. There is a scale, and once that scale is tipped, that species is likely to immediately gain dominance, just as we did.
    So another species we encounter, assuming they haven't been around in space for millions of years, may be similar to us, as dictated by this evolutionary track idea. Independent, curious, ect. It could be they are even humanoids, as our body type, while not the best for every environment, is very adaptive - something an intelligent but weak species would need to be.

    Or they might have unlocked bioengineering and made themselves into massive, incredibly intelligent beings, and due to being able to bioengineer, consider lives of other species to be of little value, as they could simply recreate the species if they so desired. But that is another detail with a long-winded train of thought.
     
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