I recently became an atheist, and my mother wasn't really happy about it, but she at least accepted that she raised me to have an open mind and that I have a right to my own beliefs or lack thereof.
So I've been doing a lot of research into the arguments against religion, and have obviously found quite a lot about fundamentalist Christianity. However, I'm having different problems discussing things with my mother because she is a rather unique case.
She is some sort of New-Agey Pseudo-Christian who believes in angels and aliens. She doesn't accept the Bible as fact, nor does she like organized religion, but she believes in Jesus as the savior, and a bunch of other things to do with, like... Mars and Lucifer and stuff. Ans Sirius and Arcturians and the Greys and dimensional levels of consciousness or whatever. I'm not entirely sure what it all is, I only managed to get through one of the books she had on the subject(s).
Anyway, she thinks we're descended from ancient aliens rather than apes. Which, I admit, is a freaking awesomely interesting idea, if absolutely crazy. Which she also recognizes, but still believes in it.
So, I was just wondering what other peoples' ideas on the Ancient Alien theory were (with or without the Jesus part), and also maybe some advice on how I can have a coherent conversation of beliefs with her? She likes talking with me about it, but she sort of won't listen to me and still thinks atheism is wrong.
My old history professor at MCC holds that the cloud that followed the Israelites in the wilderness was an ufo. Personally I thought he was a crackpot and he also believed in ghosts amongst his views on aliens in the bible.
A scientific theory about biological life on other planets has no connection to religious beliefs that involve the Supernatural. If someone has combined the two things it is simply nonsense. There is absolutely no connection to accumulating scientific data used in determining the possibility of alien intelligent life (or any form of biological life) on other planets and "faith" or beliefs. The arguments concerning the supernatural or Supreme Being existing are not science. Consequently, scientific theories about alien life have nothing to do with any religion, so combining the two things would be based on nothing. The Supernatural is not about science; it's pseudo-science. Religion evolved out of superstition and fanciful (stories) and that includes new religious myths. There is a need to fabricate new (modernized) religious myths in an attempt to give religion meaning and purpose - to keep religion going. Many new religions were started during the age of enlightenment when science was advancing and people were becoming less religious.
Historical records verify that most Christians believed that Earth is the only place that life could exist because the Creator created it wonderfully for human life. Isaac Newton believed God created and conserved order in the universe. He believed that a creator designed it specifically for the existence of human life. The discovery of other solar systems outside our own, in 1992, proved that our world was not so uniquely designed and that human life could exist throughout the universe. It is not miraculous that there are planets that support life. There are untold numbers of planets in the galaxy; any form of intelligent life that evolved would adapt to that environment. The conditions would be perfect for them.
NASA's Kepler space telescope has spotted five planets about the size of Earth, orbiting stars in our galaxy. Because of these findings by NASA's Kepler space telescope it seem less likely that we are alone. Scientists have just started talking seriously about life on other planets. They are in the "Goldilocks zone" where the distance from the planet to their star is optimal for supporting life. Up until now we have only found one of these, Gliese 481C, and the planet's existence was in doubt. Finding FIVE of these planets, rocky planets that are optimal in size and location to support life makes it almost impossible to deny the existence of life on other planets. As many as 1/4 of all the sun-like stars in the Milky Way may have Earth-like worlds. One of astronomy's goals is to find 'eta-Earth,' the fraction of sun-like stars that have an earth. The number could be one in eight. But it's not one in 100, which was previously estimated. There could be even more Earth-size planets at greater distances, including within the habitable zone (or Goldilocks zone) located at a distance form the star where conditions are not too hot or too cold to allow the presence of liquid water.
Hubble discovered that there are hundreds of billions of galaxies throughout the universe. The existence of these newly found galaxies pushes back the time when galaxies began to form to before 500-600 million years after the Big Bang. There are astronomers building a much more powerful James Webb Space Telescope (JWST); planned for launch in 2014, which will allow astronomers to study the detailed nature of primordial galaxies and discover many more even farther away. Statistically, alien life is virtually a guaranteed proposition. Life's basic building blocks comprise a group of chemicals known as nitrogenated aromatics. They form the very foundations of all life on Earth. Astrophysicists study the composition of the universe by analyzing spectra - the unique signatures of light either emitted directly by stars or reflected by non-luminous objects, such as moons, asteroids, comets, dust and gas. Using sensitive instruments called spectrometers; scientists can detect elements and compounds at great distances. Nitrogenated aromatics exist throughout the Milky Way galaxy. The chemistry that underlies life on Earth is abundant throughout the universe.
The most recent scientific discoveries in space are not about fantasyland or science fiction. The possibility of life on other planets is not about myths and folklore. It is "sad" that there are people who don't use their minds or (imaginations) to consider the wonder of the real discoveries and possibilities that are being contemplated by astrophysicists studying the Cosmos. Science fiction should never be confused (or take the place) of factual scientific information, but it has. There is no desire on the part of our government to produce an educated public - dumb people (underling) are easier to control - besides artificial intelligence will very soon replace intelligent humans.
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From the officers:
The ACA Lecture Series continues Sunday, February 1st, 12:15pm at the Austin History Center, 9th and Guadaupe. Chase Hunter will speak on "Inside Scientology 2: the Sea Org". The lecture is free and open to the public. The building opens at noon.