This month, the Pentagon’s Task Force publishes a long-awaited report that delves into topics that would normally be driven by science fiction movies and tabloid magazines: unidentified flying objects (UFOs).
This is a nostalgic theme for Carol Cleland, a professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder. When she was a girl raised in Arizona, Clerand was fascinated by UFO reports and cut them from newspapers and magazines and kept them in scrapbooks.
Clerand quit his UFO hobby long ago, but she’s still devoted to exploring extraterrestrial life. She has been with scientists in the field of astrobiology for decades, laying the foundation for humans to find living (mostly microbial) organisms in places such as Mars and the ice satellites Europa and Enceladus. Has also worked. Clerand is currently an affiliate of the California-based Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute and directs the Center for Origin Research at CU Boulder.
How is her recent job Scientific discovery Throughout history, we have relied on anomalies, or phenomena that “shouldn’t be there,” or phenomena that researchers cannot explain in terms of the current understanding of the world.
Cleland sat down with CU Boulder Today to discuss future UFO reports and why scientists should take strange and mysterious observations seriously.
What is your initial interest in UFOs?
In middle school and high school, he devoured science fiction novels such as Isaac Asimov and Ursula K. Le Guin. That’s all I read and I was really interested in UFOs. I collected UFO reports from newspapers and magazines in a scrapbook and searched for patterns in them. One night I jumped onto the roof of my house in Phoenix, wore binoculars around my neck, and was looking for a UFO until one of my parents shouted to me, “Get off the roof.”
Of course, I really wanted the UFO to be an alien spacecraft. I thought it was plausible that we were not the only intelligent creatures in the universe.
No one expects the US government to say that aliens have visited us. But do you think the current report is a sign that people are starting to take these observations seriously?
I think they should take it seriously.
You have to wait for what the report says, but what people are expecting is: Seen by many technically knowledgeable people, despite great efforts, they cannot be explained in terms of known natural phenomena. “
What does that mean?
If all this is true, a truly mysterious phenomenon will occur. It may represent a problem with your instrument. You should be aware that it is the kind of mistake that can have serious consequences, including war.
Alternatively, it may represent a natural phenomenon that transcends current knowledge of physical phenomena and perhaps challenges current physics theory. It is just as important to investigate, as this can make a big difference in scientific understanding. Finally, this is what I dreamed of when I was a kid and could represent extraterrestrial technology.
This seems to be a perfect example of the so-called anomaly. How do these strange observations fit into the history of science?
A real look at the history of major scientific discoveries reveals that they are discoveries that radically change scientific thinking: a phenomenon that has been there for a long time, but is not aware of what they represent. They are either ignored or misunderstood until finally someone says: I’m thinking about it. “
Then instead of trying to explain it from our current point of view Scientific understanding, People begin to enjoy more radical possibilities. This can lead to important scientific discoveries, including major revisions to scientific theory.
What is an example?
One of the great impetus for those who embrace Einstein’s theory is General theory of relativity He could explain the perturbations of Mercury’s orbit, but not Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity. For hundreds of years, people have been trying to explain the deviation of Mercury’s orbit in terms of Newton’s theory. Exotic possibilities have been considered. For example, some suggest that there is a Vulcan planet between Mercury and the Sun, and there is a planet Vulcan with the unique property that the Sun is always between the Earth. Therefore, Balkan could not be observed even with a powerful telescope.
What do you think the scientific community should do for some of the more reliable reports of these aerial anomalies?
If they are really reliable, I think they should be investigated as interesting anomalies worthy of scientific investigation. That’s how to solve the problem. When a physicist says he can decipher it, ask him to decipher it with a clear description of the individual case, rather than vaguely claiming that it can be explained in such a way.
Whatever the outcome, it becomes clear that there is something important in the world that we do not understand.
If you find an extraterrestrial life, do you think it would be stranger than even a science fiction writer like Isaac Asimov would have imagined?
I think this is likely. I think there are certain very general properties that all life should have: organisms must extract energy from the environment to maintain themselves and discharge waste into the environment. Must be. This is the idea behind what I call the “shadow biosphere.” To look for a truly new form of life, look for its shadow and the strange patterns left behind that are difficult to explain without life.
However, I think the question of what life will be like in another world beyond this is an unsolved problem. It is also important to remember that these general properties are not sufficient to define life.
University of Colorado at Boulder
Quote: How UFO research leads to new scientific breakthroughs (June 9, 2021), June 9, 2021 https://phys.org/news/2021-06-ufos-scientific- Obtained from breakthroughs.html
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How UFO research leads to new scientific breakthroughs
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