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Links With Your Coffee - Tuesday

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20081124/sc_livescience/peoplesaidtobelieveinaliensandghostsmorethangod;_ylt=AvccbZGCUc0Yvb70HFXsfR2s0NUE

Saw this this morning, X-Files promoters did a survey that found more people believe in aliens and ghosts then God.

My question is what about trolls and fairies? Doesn't anyone believe in them anymore?

Interesting comparison, although one doesn't have to be especially irrational to believe in aliens, especially if the term 'alien' simply means some kind of intelligent extra-terrestrial life. [In fact, you'd have to be quite irrational to NOT believe in aliens, I guess]. Whether these beings are aware of us or are ever going to come for a visit is another question entirely, of course. The same mathematical logic certainly does NOT lend itself to a belief in God or ghosts, though.

I think the belief most people reference is not the scientific Carl Sagan type of belief. That is no doubt lumped in with those in fear of anal probing.

I wouldn't say it's irrational not to believe in aliens. There's really no way for us to know how likely it is that life would come to exist at all. From our vantage point, all we know is that it happened once, on earth and that we don't know enough about any other planets to know whether life arose on them or not. This tells us nothing at all about our likelihood, and so I think this is actually one place where the good old 50/50 agnosticism comes in handy.

Ehh, I think we can say that it certainly seems like it is rare, but the vastness of the universe seems too big for life of some kind to not occur a few times, here and there. The science involved is the science of chance.

I agree with John Durant the reviewer of a book dealing with the probability of there being life elsewhere in the universe. I think there are too many unknowns in our knowledge about the origin of life for it to be reasonable to be certain about whether there are aliens or not. (I take "aliens" to refer to intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.)

I point to the LDS owned outlet KSL News in Utah, in their forums, on the Proposition 8 discussion about an investigation into the Church's involvment in the Yes on 8 campaign.

A few fun quotes..

We were founded as a Christian nation and later merged as a Judeo-Christian nation with the right to worship the true and living God as we choose to, without fear of persecution. Apparently you were never taught that vital part of American history
This comment, was moderated as a troll -10 when i saw it.
you have freedom here in America to worship as you wish. And I have the freedom here in America ( or I'm supposed to have that freedom) not worship as I wish. We don't all believe in your "true and living god"..are you aware of that?
And this Marvelous post, by NObama...
"Now the homosexuals decide to blame a religion because it is not politically correct to blame a race of people." They don't mess with the blacks, because the blacks will show up in gayville to loot and pillage. They don't mess around when they feel they have been "wronged."
the gays need to just drop it and get back in the closet where they belong

I'd shrug these off mostly as just kooks and weirdos, but these posts are moderated, and I tried to find "+5 insightful" or "+5 ditto" at least.

Just thought I'd share some of the religious insight going on over there, it's pretty fascinating.

How did we get here? We were never in a capitalist system to begin with.. Not in a perfect one that is. Frennie were government-insured institutions hence this made them take unnecessary changes. Ron Paul warned about this 5 years ago. Also, our financial system was too interdependent, favored big financial institutions over smaller ones, which lowers volatility but makes the whole system that much more fragile. Nicholas Taleb talked about this in his book Black Swan. He also predicted financial problems - that was one year ago.

So there were clear signals all along the way. This ain't some heinseight 20/20 thing either. Some people have been ringing the alarm bell for a very long time.

Okay, you Americans really need to get your encyclopaedias out. Corporate welfare and state capitalism do not equal socialism.

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