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Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 09 2011,09:15   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Nov. 09 2011,03:32)
Robin: I think the exit path may be a way to ensure the host dies. Many theories have been brought forth that the Xenomorphs are biological weapons. They don't kill to feed (apparently, they feed on metal, which provides material for their shells and acid blood). In this regard, it makes sense that they are "programmed" to cause maximum damage at every stage of their life cycle, which is as such (from memory of my Aliens RPG years):

Acheronis Larva: Face-Hugger
Acheronis Nympha: Chest-Burster
Acheronis Pungent: Soldier Alien
Acheronis Regina: Queen Alien.

Of note, Acheronis Pungent can also lay eggs if no Regina is around, as demonstrated in a cut scene of the first movie where Ripley comes upon an infected Dallas.

(/nerd off too)

Yep, quite so. This is going to be revealed in Ridley Scott's new movie Prometheus coming out next year. Basically the rumors (and assumptions from the first movie) are that one of the Space Jockey races (the Space Jockey was the fossil Kane, Lambert, and Dallas found in the derelict ship in the first movie) designed and created the Acherons as weapons for a war with another race of Space Jockeys. Well, during transport of some of the weapons, several of the Acherons got out and impregnated the pilot of the transport. In order to avoid infecting his own race, he set his ship on a course out of his own solar system and it ultimately crashed on LV-426.

As an aside on the lifecycle bit, O'bannon originally envisioned a a single organism lifecycle. By that he meant that eggs held larva that could infect a host (must have a mass of at least a large dog), that would then give birth to an embryo (chestburster), that would rapidly grow into an adult that would focus on collecting "larder" organisms to create more eggs. Adults are "programmed" to destroy all potential competitors/predators in the immediate area (including in many cases other acherons) and secure a nursery for eggs. Adults do not eat or sleep; they gain energy from ambient electro-magnetic radiation which they convert to chemo-electricity. All in all, a very self-sufficient organism.

Personally I find THAT concept a heck of lot more terrifying than an alien ant colony.

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed. Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Quack



Posts: 1788
Joined: May 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 09 2011,10:24   

Have brain - will travel, but not in your direction...

--------------
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.
                                                                                               Richard Feynman

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 09 2011,17:52   

Quote
"programmed" to destroy all potential competitors/predators in the immediate area (including in many cases other acherons)


That seems a bit weird. Except for Jeunet's Alien 4, where we witness Xenomorphs attacking each other (and for a definite purpose, coolest part of the movie, IMO), they seem to be rather social beings, as with ants. Yet again, some interesting aspects of their reproductive cycle seems to be the integration of the host's DNA. In Alien 3, the Acheronis Nympha takes a very doglike shape after being hosted by a dog. There is never any hint of a male reproducer throughout the series. Could it be that the genetic material is basically "stollen" from the host?

What would Ken Ham do?

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4244
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 09 2011,18:38   

When there was just one Alien film and no internet and I drove a '72 Superbeetle, I viewed the alien with an evolutionary eye - in fact it never occurred to me to think of them as designed (as weapons, for example). In particular, I saw them as adapted to co-opt bright, primate-like spacefaring species as hosts.

One such adaptation was on display (or so I thought) when Kane encountered his egg. It opens, and, as foreboding as the thing appeared, he cannot resist peering inside, whereupon his face gets hugged and kissed. I envisioned the cycle requiring the potential host to peer into the egg, and I viewed the egg's deliberate opening as playing on the host's primate-like curiosity. We just can't resist looking inside.

Later, once attached, the face hugger tightens it's grip around the host's neck in response to attempts to remove it - backing off when the attempts cease. This again appeared to be to be an adaptation to intelligent hosts who might attempt such a removal - as well as respond to an instinctive "threat." And, again, when the chest burster burst, the ship's crew was so stunned that they couldn't react, giving it time to beeline outta there - reflecting adaptation to a primate-like astonishment. (<- that last one is the weakest).

Of course, all this gets blown away by the subsequent films, what with face huggers running around the room like severed hands on meth and all. But those weren't Ridley Scott's work. At any rate, the subsequent three movies don't hold a candle to the first.

Oh, and Deckard is a replicant. Wait...wrong movie...

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Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,02:40   

Although I'll conceed that "3" and "Resurection" are big pieces of crapolla (except for Resurection's photography, mindblowing as always with Jeunet and Caro), I'll also argue that Aliens is a masterpiece on its own. The scenario, the acting (Paxton FTW), the dialogues, the xenomorphs design (esp. the Queen) and the Fenwick Power-Fucking-Loader all add up for an excellent movie.

Point is, what made the first movie so fascinating was its oppressive and mysterious athmosphere, with no particular details about the Acheronis. It allowed each viewer to create their own mythology, as you just exposed yours, which I find very interesting. The second movie built on very scarce ressources in term of information regarding the "Alien Culture", and Cameron did a wonderful job of it, IMO. It's a bit like Predator and Predator 2, in these regards. Loved the first movie for its ambience, loved the second one for the implications of the Predator being a sport hunter (included in the trophies at the end of the movie: a Rancor and yes, an Acheronis Pungent).

Now, the only real question is: are we waaaay off topic or what?!?

--------------
"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

"The reason people use a crucifix against vampires is that vampires are allergic to bullshit" Richard Pryor

   
OgreMkV



Posts: 3335
Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,07:10   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Nov. 10 2011,02:40)
Although I'll conceed that "3" and "Resurection" are big pieces of crapolla (except for Resurection's photography, mindblowing as always with Jeunet and Caro), I'll also argue that Aliens is a masterpiece on its own. The scenario, the acting (Paxton FTW), the dialogues, the xenomorphs design (esp. the Queen) and the Fenwick Power-Fucking-Loader all add up for an excellent movie.

Point is, what made the first movie so fascinating was its oppressive and mysterious athmosphere, with no particular details about the Acheronis. It allowed each viewer to create their own mythology, as you just exposed yours, which I find very interesting. The second movie built on very scarce ressources in term of information regarding the "Alien Culture", and Cameron did a wonderful job of it, IMO. It's a bit like Predator and Predator 2, in these regards. Loved the first movie for its ambience, loved the second one for the implications of the Predator being a sport hunter (included in the trophies at the end of the movie: a Rancor and yes, an Acheronis Pungent).

Now, the only real question is: are we waaaay off topic or what?!?

Wait!?!?!?

What the crap?

You're telling me that there are two OTHER Alien movies?  You have got to be kidding me.  Drunk, that's it... you're drunk.

You know, in a similar vein, I had other people telling me there was a second Highlander movie too.  Some people just should not discuss movies while taking drugs.

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Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

http://skepticink.com/smilodo....retreat

   
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,08:31   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Nov. 09 2011,17:52)
Quote
"programmed" to destroy all potential competitors/predators in the immediate area (including in many cases other acherons)


That seems a bit weird. Except for Jeunet's Alien 4, where we witness Xenomorphs attacking each other (and for a definite purpose, coolest part of the movie, IMO), they seem to be rather social beings, as with ants. Yet again, some interesting aspects of their reproductive cycle seems to be the integration of the host's DNA. In Alien 3, the Acheronis Nympha takes a very doglike shape after being hosted by a dog. There is never any hint of a male reproducer throughout the series. Could it be that the genetic material is basically "stollen" from the host?

What would Ken Ham do?

Well, the thing to remember is that Cameron went in a very different direction (social insect structure) from what O'bannon originally envisioned. The two movies after Cameron's Aliens thus followed his organism lifecycle and structure, not O'bannon's. Hence the reliance on cooperative aliens as opposed to O'bannon's concept of a solo organism that ensures it's dominance by wiping out any potential competition.

The DNA swapping concept was (as far as my investigation goes) pretty much David Fincher's idea. I kind of liked the idea to some extent - the idea that the organism somehow gains some of it's host's genes - but I really thought they went too far in the reverse with the Ripley clone in the fourth movie. But eh...that's just opinion.

Keep in mind that the original concept of the alien morphology came from O'bannon, Giger, and Scott and their concept from the beginning was a partially "built" biomechanical organism. This is a creature that while organic, has characteristics of being a cyborg/machine. Hence the reason that in the first movie, the alien moved very slowly and deliberately - very mechanically though fluid. Scott was very particular about portraying that aspect of the creature, so much so in fact that he and the producers sent Bolaji Badejo - the Nigerian design student who played the creature - to Tai Chi and mime classes so he could learn to slow his movements way down. Watch some of the cut scenes to get a real sense of this, particularly the longer Brett death scene and the longer Lambert death scene. I find it amazing actually because the actor's movement is really - at least to me - completely unearthly, but I understand why it was cut for pacing purposes.

In any event, the point is that the original concept of the alien was ditched in favor of James Cameron's concept. I personally find it a pity.

For fun I actually worked on a script wherein I play with the concept of there being at least two species of aliens. The "hive" creatures were the ones originally designed by the Space Jockeys, but the Jockey designers intentionally included a rapid selective pressure component to their creatures' design so that the organisms could more rapidly adapt to conditions and environments and become more effective weapons over several generations. However, what they didn't anticipate was a rapid development of self-preservation and a rudimentary sense of "self". Of course, the moment one of those aliens found a host, it's self-preservation/self-awareness mutation would spread since it would wipe out all others and only its offspring with its mutation would survive. In my script, Ripley encounters both groups, discovers the difference and then has to survive while the solo alien hunts down everything on this space station.

As for Ken Ham would just chalk this up as work of the devil I suppose...

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed. Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Kristine



Posts: 3046
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,09:27   

The whole issue of this thread is, information increases by itself. With that, the ID crowd takes issue, because they practically worship information as if it were "meaning," and they cannot see how anything meaningful happens by itself.

It does not, because information is not "meaning." Too much information becomes noise, just as noise is itself information.

"Meaning" is an abstract concept that exists only in our heads. The universe neither has nor does not have "meaning." I would even correct Carl Sagan's assertion that the universe is "indifferent," for that implies the ability to be otherwise. Many people have great difficulty conceiving of a completely impersonal existence, let alone it giving rise to beings who have subjective, personal experiences (which we also wrongly worship as the pinnacle of experience).

That is why I love Alien the most of all of the franchise - the sequels managed only to diminish the creature's terrifying nature. In Alien, the creature represented pure survival, mere existence - beautiful in itself (much of Alien is beautiful, right down to the musical score), whereas later it simply became another "devil." (I admit, though, that I have not seen Alien Resurrection.)

I'm going to interject another film reference here - The Oxford Murders, which had so much potential but garbled the mathematics (and Wittgenstein's philosophy). John Hurt's characters asks in the beginning of the movie, in response to a Dembskiesque defense from Elijah Wood on the "mathematical harmony" of the universe and the "hidden meaning" of numbers, "Where is the 'beauty and harmony' of cancer?"

I would have said that perhaps cancer is beautiful to itself, in its exuberant life, although "beauty" is a human-contrived definition, too. (I recently lost a relative to cancer, so I am not trying to be callous here.) That something can be both beautiful and deadly (thus "ugly") is personified only by the Devil/Satan/Lucifer to many people, particularly citizens of the United States. So, when we ask them to see nature in as both beautiful but not necessarily good, guess what conclusions they draw? It must be evil, in an absolute sense! And being thus evil, it must be meaningless, or rather the random injustice meted out by the "natural" consequences of human sin and disobedience. (Oh yes, people like Dembski and Behe consider our punishment for our sins to be natural, because nature is a created thing in the first place.)

As human beings, we fall naturally into dualistic thinking. The whole issue of "information" gets twisted into information = meaning = goodness and
noise = randomness = evil.

This is the whole problem: noise cannot contribute information! It's "bad," whereas information is good, and goodness comes only from God. You see? And so they don't even know (or at least they pretend not to understand) the definition of information as Shannon used it, or as Dawkins uses it, etc.

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Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
fnxtr



Posts: 2153
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,10:11   

Quote (Kristine @ Nov. 10 2011,07:27)
The whole issue of this thread is, information increases by itself. With that, the ID crowd takes issue, because they practically worship information as if it were "meaning," and they cannot see how anything meaningful happens by itself.

It does not, because information is not "meaning." Too much information becomes noise, just as noise is itself information.

"Meaning" is an abstract concept that exists only in our heads. The universe neither has nor does not have "meaning." I would even correct Carl Sagan's assertion that the universe is "indifferent," for that implies the ability to be otherwise. Many people have great difficulty conceiving of a completely impersonal existence, let alone it giving rise to beings who have subjective, personal experiences (which we also wrongly worship as the pinnacle of experience).

That is why I love Alien the most of all of the franchise - the sequels managed only to diminish the creature's terrifying nature. In Alien, the creature represented pure survival, mere existence - beautiful in itself (much of Alien is beautiful, right down to the musical score), whereas later it simply became another "devil." (I admit, though, that I have not seen Alien Resurrection.)

I'm going to interject another film reference here - The Oxford Murders, which had so much potential but garbled the mathematics (and Wittgenstein's philosophy). John Hurt's characters asks in the beginning of the movie, in response to a Dembskiesque defense from Elijah Wood on the "mathematical harmony" of the universe and the "hidden meaning" of numbers, "Where is the 'beauty and harmony' of cancer?"

I would have said that perhaps cancer is beautiful to itself, in its exuberant life, although "beauty" is a human-contrived definition, too. (I recently lost a relative to cancer, so I am not trying to be callous here.) That something can be both beautiful and deadly (thus "ugly") is personified only by the Devil/Satan/Lucifer to many people, particularly citizens of the United States. So, when we ask them to see nature in as both beautiful but not necessarily good, guess what conclusions they draw? It must be evil, in an absolute sense! And being thus evil, it must be meaningless, or rather the random injustice meted out by the "natural" consequences of human sin and disobedience. (Oh yes, people like Dembski and Behe consider our punishment for our sins to be natural, because nature is a created thing in the first place.)

As human beings, we fall naturally into dualistic thinking. The whole issue of "information" gets twisted into information = meaning = goodness and
noise = randomness = evil.

This is the whole problem: noise cannot contribute information! It's "bad," whereas information is good, and goodness comes only from God. You see? And so they don't even know (or at least they pretend not to understand) the definition of information as Shannon used it, or as Dawkins uses it, etc.

This reminds me of 2 things:

1) A discussion with a friend (who may have stolen his idea) about a cougar killing a deer; while it's subjective whether or not the cougar is "beautiful", the deer is most definitely, objectively, dead.

B) In Moorcock's "The War Amongst the Angels", the "good" angels are on the side of chaos. Interesting read.

"Resurrection" is good (weird), despite the presence of whatsername the shoplifter, and excepting the live birth offspring, which I thought just comical.

--------------
"But it's disturbing to think someone actually thinks creationism -- having put it's hand on the hot stove every day for the last 400 years -- will get a different result tomorrow." -- midwifetoad

  
Erasmus, FCD



Posts: 6349
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,10:17   

Quote (Kristine @ Nov. 10 2011,10:27)
The whole issue of this thread is, information increases by itself. With that, the ID crowd takes issue, because they practically worship information as if it were "meaning," and they cannot see how anything meaningful happens by itself.

It does not, because information is not "meaning." Too much information becomes noise, just as noise is itself information.

"Meaning" is an abstract concept that exists only in our heads. The universe neither has nor does not have "meaning." I would even correct Carl Sagan's assertion that the universe is "indifferent," for that implies the ability to be otherwise. Many people have great difficulty conceiving of a completely impersonal existence, let alone it giving rise to beings who have subjective, personal experiences (which we also wrongly worship as the pinnacle of experience).

That is why I love Alien the most of all of the franchise - the sequels managed only to diminish the creature's terrifying nature. In Alien, the creature represented pure survival, mere existence - beautiful in itself (much of Alien is beautiful, right down to the musical score), whereas later it simply became another "devil." (I admit, though, that I have not seen Alien Resurrection.)

I'm going to interject another film reference here - The Oxford Murders, which had so much potential but garbled the mathematics (and Wittgenstein's philosophy). John Hurt's characters asks in the beginning of the movie, in response to a Dembskiesque defense from Elijah Wood on the "mathematical harmony" of the universe and the "hidden meaning" of numbers, "Where is the 'beauty and harmony' of cancer?"

I would have said that perhaps cancer is beautiful to itself, in its exuberant life, although "beauty" is a human-contrived definition, too. (I recently lost a relative to cancer, so I am not trying to be callous here.) That something can be both beautiful and deadly (thus "ugly") is personified only by the Devil/Satan/Lucifer to many people, particularly citizens of the United States. So, when we ask them to see nature in as both beautiful but not necessarily good, guess what conclusions they draw? It must be evil, in an absolute sense! And being thus evil, it must be meaningless, or rather the random injustice meted out by the "natural" consequences of human sin and disobedience. (Oh yes, people like Dembski and Behe consider our punishment for our sins to be natural, because nature is a created thing in the first place.)

As human beings, we fall naturally into dualistic thinking. The whole issue of "information" gets twisted into information = meaning = goodness and
noise = randomness = evil.

This is the whole problem: noise cannot contribute information! It's "bad," whereas information is good, and goodness comes only from God. You see? And so they don't even know (or at least they pretend not to understand) the definition of information as Shannon used it, or as Dawkins uses it, etc.

very nice.  but are you so sure about

Quote
As human beings, we fall naturally into dualistic thinking.

?

i am not sure that this is human but is certainly western.  but then i don't know much about humans either but it occurred to me that this might be a cultural thing and not an innate human thing if there are such things

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You're obviously illiterate as hell.Peach, bro.-FtK

Finding something hard to believe based on the evidence, is science.-JoeG

the odds of getting some loathsome taint are low-- Gordon E Mullings Manjack Heights Montserrat

I work on molecular systems with pathway charts and such.-Giggles

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,10:21   

Quote (Kristine @ Nov. 10 2011,09:27)
The whole issue of this thread is, information increases by itself. With that, the ID crowd takes issue, because they practically worship information as if it were "meaning," and they cannot see how anything meaningful happens by itself.

It does not, because information is not "meaning." Too much information becomes noise, just as noise is itself information.


I agree with your point, Kristine, though I don't know if the ID crowd so much worships information/meaning as merely relies upon it as a way to confound the rubes. It's a great concept for creating "noise" (ha!), but I'm pretty sure that most of IDers know it's just a distraction and doesn't actually impact evolutionary theory one way or the other.

 
Quote
"Meaning" is an abstract concept that exists only in our heads. The universe neither has nor does not have "meaning." I would even correct Carl Sagan's assertion that the universe is "indifferent," for that implies the ability to be otherwise. Many people have great difficulty conceiving of a completely impersonal existence, let alone it giving rise to beings who have subjective, personal experiences (which we also wrongly worship as the pinnacle of experience).


I agree. I see this as basically that same argument for the assumption of "purpose" that creationists use try support their conviction of intent. It's just a redo of the argument that the purpose of the hand is to grasp and hold things since that's what it's clearly good at. The fact that some folks can use their hands to walk, swim, punch, count, smother, etc doesn't register. Similarly they claim that the purpose of wings is obviously flight, ignoring of course that there are a variety of winged organisms that don't use those features for flight. In any event, it seems to mean that the assumption of meaning in the information argument is no different.

 
Quote
That is why I love Alien the most of all of the franchise - the sequels managed only to diminish the creature's terrifying nature. In Alien, the creature represented pure survival, mere existence - beautiful in itself (much of Alien is beautiful, right down to the musical score), whereas later it simply became another "devil." (I admit, though, that I have not seen Alien Resurrection.)

I'm going to interject another film reference here - The Oxford Murders, which had so much potential but garbled the mathematics (and Wittgenstein's philosophy). John Hurt's characters asks in the beginning of the movie, in response to a Dembskiesque defense from Elijah Wood on the "mathematical harmony" of the universe and the "hidden meaning" of numbers, "Where is the 'beauty and harmony' of cancer?"

I would have said that perhaps cancer is beautiful to itself, in its exuberant life, although "beauty" is a human-contrived definition, too. (I recently lost a relative to cancer, so I am not trying to be callous here.) That something can be both beautiful and deadly (thus "ugly") is personified only by the Devil/Satan/Lucifer to many people, particularly citizens of the United States. So, when we ask them to see nature in as both beautiful but not necessarily good, guess what conclusions they draw? It must be evil, in an absolute sense! And being thus evil, it must be meaningless, or rather the random injustice meted out by the "natural" consequences of human sin and disobedience. (Oh yes, people like Dembski and Behe consider our punishment for our sins to be natural, because nature is a created thing in the first place.)

As human beings, we fall naturally into dualistic thinking. The whole issue of "information" gets twisted into information = meaning = goodness and
noise = randomness = evil.

This is the whole problem: noise cannot contribute information! It's "bad," whereas information is good, and goodness comes only from God. You see? And so they don't even know (or at least they pretend not to understand) the definition of information as Shannon used it, or as Dawkins uses it, etc.


Nicely put, though I submit that a good number of IDs like the information/meaning argument simply because it implies intention.

Of course I find a variety of deadly/strange things beautiful myself. For example, I think spiders are quite beautiful, particularly Argiopes:





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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed. Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
fnxtr



Posts: 2153
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,11:04   

Quote (Robin @ Nov. 10 2011,08:21)
I agree. I see this as basically that same argument for the assumption of "purpose" that creationists use try support their conviction of intent. It's just a redo of the argument that the purpose of the hand is to grasp and hold things since that's what it's clearly good at. The fact that some folks can use their hands to walk, swim, punch, count, smother, etc doesn't register. Similarly they claim that the purpose of wings is obviously flight, ignoring of course that there are a variety of winged organisms that don't use those features for flight. In any event, it seems to mean that the assumption of meaning in the information argument is no different.

Is still remember the quote from either natgeog or sciam a few years back, in the story on the evolution of feathers:

"Saying feathers evolved for flight is like saying fingers evolved to play the piano."

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"But it's disturbing to think someone actually thinks creationism -- having put it's hand on the hot stove every day for the last 400 years -- will get a different result tomorrow." -- midwifetoad

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,11:18   

Quote (fnxtr @ Nov. 10 2011,11:04)
Quote (Robin @ Nov. 10 2011,08:21)
I agree. I see this as basically that same argument for the assumption of "purpose" that creationists use try support their conviction of intent. It's just a redo of the argument that the purpose of the hand is to grasp and hold things since that's what it's clearly good at. The fact that some folks can use their hands to walk, swim, punch, count, smother, etc doesn't register. Similarly they claim that the purpose of wings is obviously flight, ignoring of course that there are a variety of winged organisms that don't use those features for flight. In any event, it seems to mean that the assumption of meaning in the information argument is no different.

Is still remember the quote from either natgeog or sciam a few years back, in the story on the evolution of feathers:

"Saying feathers evolved for flight is like saying fingers evolved to play the piano."

Yeah...or noses evolved to hold glasses. It just does not follow that because a feature or item is good for something that use must be it's purpose. Case in point:



vs



So what's the purpose of the spool? If your an IDiot, it clearly must have been designed as a table since that's what the vast majority of them end up being.

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed. Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
fnxtr



Posts: 2153
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,12:48   

I am so not sitting on that blue chair.

--------------
"But it's disturbing to think someone actually thinks creationism -- having put it's hand on the hot stove every day for the last 400 years -- will get a different result tomorrow." -- midwifetoad

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4244
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,13:20   

Quote (Schroedinger's Dog @ Nov. 10 2011,03:40)
Although I'll conceed that "3" and "Resurection" are big pieces of crapolla (except for Resurection's photography, mindblowing as always with Jeunet and Caro), I'll also argue that Aliens is a masterpiece on its own. The scenario, the acting (Paxton FTW), the dialogues, the xenomorphs design (esp. the Queen) and the Fenwick Power-Fucking-Loader all add up for an excellent movie.

Point is, what made the first movie so fascinating was its oppressive and mysterious athmosphere, with no particular details about the Acheronis. It allowed each viewer to create their own mythology, as you just exposed yours, which I find very interesting. The second movie built on very scarce ressources in term of information regarding the "Alien Culture", and Cameron did a wonderful job of it, IMO. It's a bit like Predator and Predator 2, in these regards. Loved the first movie for its ambience, loved the second one for the implications of the Predator being a sport hunter (included in the trophies at the end of the movie: a Rancor and yes, an Acheronis Pungent).

Now, the only real question is: are we waaaay off topic or what?!?

Good thoughts. Aliens certainly comes in second for me, but a somewhat distant second.

Aliens did contain, it its set design, a continuity error (from film to film) that I still find hard to swallow. Specifically, upon locating and entering their hive, the marines witness bizarre secreted structures that resemble black ribs and bones, a motif in the first film as well. However, in the first film that bizarre motif characterized the construction of the space jockey's craft, not anything the alien had produced. That always went "clunk" for me.

Although not as much as the "clunk" I experienced watching Alien in the theater for the first time - otherwise one of the most intense cinema experiences of my life (as my GF was wretching into her popcorn container due simply to the intensity) - when Ripley finally blasts the alien away, which we see is a man in a rubber suit with big feet.

CLUNK!

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Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
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Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,13:27   

Aliens was essentially a war film in space - and I think it fares well on those terms.

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"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
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Reciprocating Bill



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,13:32   

BTW I absolutely resonate with Kristine's characterization of Alien, including the score, as very beautiful. Among my favorite cues is the symphonic accompaniment of the Notromo's roll to the left as it prepares to enter the atmosphere.

But my favorite moment in ALL OF MOVIEDOM is the moment when the camera lifts to reveal the Space Jockey - with flutes wafting ever so strangely behind it all.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,14:10   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 10 2011,13:20)
Good thoughts. Aliens certainly comes in second for me, but a somewhat distant second.

Aliens did contain, it its set design, a continuity error (from film to film) that I still find hard to swallow. Specifically, upon locating and entering their hive, the marines witness bizarre secreted structures that resemble black ribs and bones, a motif in the first film as well. However, in the first film that bizarre motif characterized the construction of the space jockey's craft, not anything the alien had produced. That always went "clunk" for me.


I'm with you on the feeling, though again this was a change that Cameron intended, so I'm not sure it's actually a continuity error. Still, it's jarring Fridge Logic. Cameron didn't think most audiences got the idea that the Space Jockey folk built organic/mechanical items and were actually a part of them (hence the Space Jockey actually being a part of his chair in the ship). O'bannon and Scott did that whole bit to give clues about the organic/mechanical nature of the creatures, part of which was inspired by Giger's lithographs to begin with.

Quote
Although not as much as the "clunk" I experienced watching Alien in the theater for the first time - otherwise one of the most intense cinema experiences of my life (as my GF was wretching into her popcorn container due simply to the intensity) - when Ripley finally blasts the alien away, which we see is a man in a rubber suit with big feet.

CLUNK!


Gotta say, this part didn't go clunk for me; I never got the impression that was a man in a suit. I can watch it today even knowing it is and it still creeps me out.

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed. Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Woodbine



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,14:10   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 10 2011,19:20)
Aliens did contain, it its set design, a continuity error (from film to film) that I still find hard to swallow. Specifically, upon locating and entering their hive, the marines witness bizarre secreted structures that resemble black ribs and bones, a motif in the first film as well. However, in the first film that bizarre motif characterized the construction of the space jockey's craft, not anything the alien had produced. That always went "clunk" for me.

Like you said the obvious reason for the similarity is the influence of Geiger, but I've heard a somewhat retrospective rationale for this.

If you recall in Alien 3, the alien that gestates in the dog emerges looking and behaving very doggy.

Therefore when the alien (or aliens) that used the space jockey (and friends?) as hosts they took on aspects of their characteristics. And so when the aliens secreted their nest it exhibited elements of the space jockey's ship; the ship's design being a reflection of the jockey's nature/culture.

Ta dah!

  
Robin



Posts: 1430
Joined: Sep. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,14:11   

Eh...double post, schmubble post - I'll use this for a different comment...

For me the biggest "CLUNK" with Aliens 3 is the Fridge Logic that kicks in when you think about the number of facehuggers on the Sulaco. By my count there had to be three, but the movie only ever shows one. That one for some reason really annoys me. But if there were three, how did everyone miss finding them? Uggh!

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we IDists rule in design for the flagellum and cilium largely because they do look designed. Bilbo

The only reason you reject Thor is because, like a cushion, you bear the imprint of the biggest arse that sat on you. Louis

  
Kristine



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,14:19   

Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Nov. 10 2011,10:17)
Quote (Kristine @ Nov. 10 2011,10:27)
The whole issue of this thread is, information increases by itself. With that, the ID crowd takes issue, because they practically worship information as if it were "meaning," and they cannot see how anything meaningful happens by itself.

It does not, because information is not "meaning." Too much information becomes noise, just as noise is itself information.

"Meaning" is an abstract concept that exists only in our heads. The universe neither has nor does not have "meaning." I would even correct Carl Sagan's assertion that the universe is "indifferent," for that implies the ability to be otherwise. Many people have great difficulty conceiving of a completely impersonal existence, let alone it giving rise to beings who have subjective, personal experiences (which we also wrongly worship as the pinnacle of experience).

That is why I love Alien the most of all of the franchise - the sequels managed only to diminish the creature's terrifying nature. In Alien, the creature represented pure survival, mere existence - beautiful in itself (much of Alien is beautiful, right down to the musical score), whereas later it simply became another "devil." (I admit, though, that I have not seen Alien Resurrection.)

I'm going to interject another film reference here - The Oxford Murders, which had so much potential but garbled the mathematics (and Wittgenstein's philosophy). John Hurt's characters asks in the beginning of the movie, in response to a Dembskiesque defense from Elijah Wood on the "mathematical harmony" of the universe and the "hidden meaning" of numbers, "Where is the 'beauty and harmony' of cancer?"

I would have said that perhaps cancer is beautiful to itself, in its exuberant life, although "beauty" is a human-contrived definition, too. (I recently lost a relative to cancer, so I am not trying to be callous here.) That something can be both beautiful and deadly (thus "ugly") is personified only by the Devil/Satan/Lucifer to many people, particularly citizens of the United States. So, when we ask them to see nature in as both beautiful but not necessarily good, guess what conclusions they draw? It must be evil, in an absolute sense! And being thus evil, it must be meaningless, or rather the random injustice meted out by the "natural" consequences of human sin and disobedience. (Oh yes, people like Dembski and Behe consider our punishment for our sins to be natural, because nature is a created thing in the first place.)

As human beings, we fall naturally into dualistic thinking. The whole issue of "information" gets twisted into information = meaning = goodness and
noise = randomness = evil.

This is the whole problem: noise cannot contribute information! It's "bad," whereas information is good, and goodness comes only from God. You see? And so they don't even know (or at least they pretend not to understand) the definition of information as Shannon used it, or as Dawkins uses it, etc.

very nice. but are you so sure about

 
Quote
As human beings, we fall naturally into dualistic thinking.

?

i am not sure that this is human but is certainly western. but then i don't know much about humans either but it occurred to me that this might be a cultural thing and not an innate human thing if there are such things

Oh, good point. I really don't know. Maybe I should not have been so *ahem* absolutist.

Although it is true that Buddhism turned into two Buddhisms: an esoteric practice, and the same old worship-Buddha-as-god plus heaven, hell, and "sins" - not unlike the dichotomy between traditional/Fundamentalist Christianity and contemplative/liberal-holistic versions.

Has anyone else seen The Oxford Murders? It's shallow and cringeworthy at times (unfortunate, since the cast except for Wood is excellent), but it certainly is about information versus coherence.

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Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

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Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4244
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,14:19   

Quote (Woodbine @ Nov. 10 2011,15:10)
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 10 2011,19:20)
Aliens did contain, it its set design, a continuity error (from film to film) that I still find hard to swallow. Specifically, upon locating and entering their hive, the marines witness bizarre secreted structures that resemble black ribs and bones, a motif in the first film as well. However, in the first film that bizarre motif characterized the construction of the space jockey's craft, not anything the alien had produced. That always went "clunk" for me.

Like you said the obvious reason for the similarity is the influence of Geiger, but I've heard a somewhat retrospective rationale for this.

If you recall in Alien 3, the alien that gestates in the dog emerges looking and behaving very doggy.

Therefore when the alien (or aliens) that used the space jockey (and friends?) as hosts they took on aspects of their characteristics. And so when the aliens secreted their nest it exhibited elements of the space jockey's ship; the ship's design being a reflection of the jockey's nature/culture.

Ta dah!

Are you forastero??

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Schroedinger's Dog



Posts: 1691
Joined: Jan. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,16:00   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 10 2011,20:19)
Quote (Woodbine @ Nov. 10 2011,15:10)
 
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Nov. 10 2011,19:20)
Aliens did contain, it its set design, a continuity error (from film to film) that I still find hard to swallow. Specifically, upon locating and entering their hive, the marines witness bizarre secreted structures that resemble black ribs and bones, a motif in the first film as well. However, in the first film that bizarre motif characterized the construction of the space jockey's craft, not anything the alien had produced. That always went "clunk" for me.

Like you said the obvious reason for the similarity is the influence of Geiger, but I've heard a somewhat retrospective rationale for this.

If you recall in Alien 3, the alien that gestates in the dog emerges looking and behaving very doggy.

Therefore when the alien (or aliens) that used the space jockey (and friends?) as hosts they took on aspects of their characteristics. And so when the aliens secreted their nest it exhibited elements of the space jockey's ship; the ship's design being a reflection of the jockey's nature/culture.

Ta dah!

Are you forastero??

First, that's very rude! Am I asking you if you're Joe G?!?

Second, Woodbine has a point. As the Acheronis grows, it will eventually swallow whatever survival tactic it can get from its host and environement. Of course, to accept this, you have to accept the premises that it's a biological weapon. If you concider the Xenomorph as an individual entity, it kinda falls down. But I wouldn't base everything on the first movie alone. My bias, sorry...

And in strict structural plan, the "hive" might be sound, considering the material at hand...

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"Hail is made out of water? Are you really that stupid?" Joe G

"I have a better suggestion, Kris. How about a game of hide and go fuck yourself instead." Louis

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Kristine



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(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,20:27   

Oh, snap! :D

And of course, none of those geniuses at UD got that stating, "I believe in the number pi," esp. in a debate regarding "truth" and absolutes, is patently absurd. (I both laughed and groaned at that moment, having developed more of a sense of humor at absurdities and inaccuracies in films since seeing The Red Baron (starring Toms Koutnk), which begins with a young Young Manfred von Richthofen seeing a biplane at least a decade before they were invented.)

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Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?

AtBC Poet Laureate

"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive

"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr

  
Henry J



Posts: 4098
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 10 2011,23:27   

Quote
"I believe in the number pi," esp. in a debate regarding "truth" and absolutes, is patently absurd.

They have patents on absurdities?!?

  
fnxtr



Posts: 2153
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 11 2011,02:03   

Quote (Henry J @ Nov. 10 2011,21:27)
Quote
"I believe in the number pi," esp. in a debate regarding "truth" and absolutes, is patently absurd.

They have patents on absurdities?!?

Why, yes. I'm currently waiting for the royalties to roll in on my Round-Headed Screwdriver (for when you've stripped the head), and my Leaf-Blower Sheepdog Harness.

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"But it's disturbing to think someone actually thinks creationism -- having put it's hand on the hot stove every day for the last 400 years -- will get a different result tomorrow." -- midwifetoad

  
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