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Skepchick Quickies, 1.3

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16 Comments

  1. Re: pterosaurs in New Guinea.

    Believing that a type of animal such as the Ropen or the Duah exists is relatively hard to imagine, but not improbable when we think of new species of animals, flowers, microscopic organisms being found every day.

    Yeah, there’s no difference between a glow-in-the-dark flying razor-toothed terror-monster and a cryptosporidia, totes the same thing.

    Your credulity is showing.

  2. I would like to believe that pterosaurs still exist. I really would. I would also like some evidence beyond anecdotes, so until that is forthcoming, I remain… drum roll please – ratataatataatatatatatatatatata – SKEPTICAL!

  3. Saying “All planets have Earth-like gravity” seems like a stupid nitpick. The planets Earth inhabitants choose to colonize would probably have near-Earth gravity. And saying “Planets have one climate planet-wide” for a movie like “Aliens” is odd, because they were only in one area for the movie.

    But yeah, what @mrmisconception: said.

  4. Interestingly, this is the first year I’ve ever made a resolution. It’s just one and I don’t think I’m going to abandon it. Especially as sticking with it will probably require less willpower than abandoning it.

  5. @mrmisconception:
    suspension of disbelief can only go so far. I’m willing to accept for a couple of hours that there is an island near Costa Rica where dinosaurs reign supreme (sorry, a whole different movie) but accepting that all these animals from all these different species can ultimately be engineered from a drop of blood found in an ancient mosquito, incidentally still on display in its amber, is another matter entirely. I don’t know anything about the movie mentioned above, but i figure the underlying support for any given fictional scenario must be solid enough to keep the disbelief suspended. If I start finding too many problems, the whole thing falls apart.

  6. @gwenwifar:

    I have the opposite problem – The big premise, like, say, a cop who is mostly robot, I accept that major leap. But the mundane detail, like that the cop is allowed to shoot a bunch of people and not have to take time off for an investigation, that I have a problem getting past.

  7. The Guardian article is brilliant. Unfortunately, both the headline and the starting paras were slightly put-offish, I’m sure many people did not read it in its entirety. Which is a shame, there is really good stuff.
    Take this:
    Alfred North Whitehead recognised back in 1911: “It is a profoundly erroneous truism… that we should cultivate the habit of thinking of what we are doing,” he wrote. “The precise opposite is the case. Civilisation advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them.”

  8. Wait, so the fact it took people the better part of the movie trying to find out what the signal meant is considered “easy communication with aliens”? I thought if anything gave an even slightly realistic impression of how hard it would be to communicate with aliens – even that advanced – then “Contact” would be it.

    At least it beats all those aliens who either speak common English already, or have a universal translator implanted somewhere that speaks common English after hearing someone speak 5 words of English in their own local dialect …

  9. Re: Papuan Pterosaurs – it doesn’t help their claims that flying lights that *just happen* to follow the passenger jet flight paths to Australia *can’t* be planes, because planes don’t fly at night.

    And Pelicans make great Pterosaurs, in silhouette. Lovely to watch a hundred or so catching thermals above the highway :)

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