Mermaids: The Body Found

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Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby Dysgwr » 31 Jan 2013, 15:13

A couple of days ago I watched this documentary on Discovery channel. It made a compelling case for the existence of mermaids based on “scientific” discoveries and a government cover-up.

While the show has attracted lots of attention for the supposed cover up (e.g. http://timenolonger.wordpress.com/tag/paul-robertson/) because the discovery of mermaid bodies was thought to be due to new Sonar weapons tests that drove whales, dolphins and mermaids ashore to get away from the sounds.

While the documentary (or ‘mockumentary’, or ‘docufiction’ as you will) didn’t really ring true on many accounts I’d like to pose the question to our community.

The documentary theory is based on the “facts” or should we apply :

• That there are many different cultures in the world which attest to the existence of these creatures (as for dragons)

• Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens shared common ancestry. It could be possible that another branch from the tree went back to the water and developed into a semi-aquatic life-form.

• Mermaid would not often be seen because we have explored more of the surface of the Moon that we have of the Ocean bed.

The skeptic in me thinks this is definitely the realm of mythology… but there’s a part of me that would like to think these creatures might exist.

So, could mermaids really exist, or should we apply Sturgeon's Law to the 'Documentary'

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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby treegod » 31 Jan 2013, 15:30

· they are genetically engineered hybrids created by aliens that came to earth long ago.*

Hey, I suppose it's possible. It hasn't been proved, but it hasn't been disproved (which is arguably not possible; for a while black swans "didn't exist", until they did). The possibility remains open yet... how should I put this... slim.

Sasquatch and the yeti might be possible. Why not throw in the Loch Ness monster? It's not a conclusive no, as far as I know, but there are more likely explanations, which we can probably trust more.

"not exist" for me is a working hypothesis, and it works, until it doesn't. But it certainly would be interesting if they didexist, wouldn't it?
Jane Goodall, in a September 27, 2002, interview on National Public Radio's "Science Friday", expressed her ideas about the existence of Bigfoot. First stating "I'm sure they exist", she later went on to say, chuckling, "Well, I'm a romantic, so I always wanted them to exist", and finally: "You know, why isn't there a body? I can't answer that, and maybe they don't exist, but I want them to."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigfoot#Scientific_view

* a bit of History channel influence. How can a "history" channel have such an interest in such interesting speculations? lol

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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby Dysgwr » 31 Jan 2013, 15:43

"Well, I'm a romantic, so I always wanted them to exist", and finally: "You know, why isn't there a body? I can't answer that, and maybe they don't exist, but I want them to."
So she agrees with me :whistle:
* a bit of History channel influence. How can a "history" channel have such an interest in such interesting speculations? lol
That was the same sentiment I had as to why this was shown on Discovery Channel and originally on Animal Planet
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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby Aphritha » 31 Jan 2013, 16:47

It would be totally awesome if they did exist. I could possibly convince myself that they may have existed at one time. However, the biggest questions to me now would be, if they are inhabiting the ocean floor, where it is reasonable to assume we'd never see them, how are their bodies able to adjust to the pressure of coming to the surface for the occasional sighting? On the other hand, if they exist closer to the surface, why aren't there more sightings? I suppose perhaps if they were extraordinarily rare....


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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby Dysgwr » 31 Jan 2013, 16:54

Thats another point in the "documentary". To hear them speak there were, and still are sightings and many fishermen tell of fish that are trawled with what look like small lances. The programme postulates that these lances are mermaid weapons for hunting.
MERMAIDS: THE BODY FOUND is a story about evolutionary possibility grounded in scientific theory, which blends real-life events and phenomena with a first-hand account of a team of government scientists who testify they found the remains of a never-before-identified sea creature with ties to human origins—a mermaid. Stunning computer animation, eyewitness video and photographic evidence shows us what the mermaid looks like, and questions are raised about whether the government is involved in a massive cover-up, hiding information about the possible survival of these creatures and if they exist today.
If the documentary's purpose was simply to arouse my curiosity and to think about the possibility of these creatures then its a sucess. However, if it wants me to believe wholesale that they do exist, have been washed up on shore, were found by kids and experts who were then hounded by "the Government" that's another matter all together.
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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby cryptic_raven » 03 Feb 2013, 20:00

I suppose rationally, there is not a huge reason as to why they can't exist. However, there is little evidence to support this.

I know of tales of sailors' first interactions with "mermaids" and how they turned out to be driven mad by hunger/scurvy/the sea and what they were actually seeing were either seals or manatees.

Personally, I am sceptical but if merfolk did ever exist, I doubt very much they would look like Ariel from The Little Mermaid. More like the guys from the Harry Potter films or any other "realistic" film versions that are out there (http://dearemrie.files.wordpress.com/20 ... ermaid.jpg). However, with little evidence and a whole load of fakery, I'm inclined to say they probably don't exist and those documentaries provide interesting discourse but little else.
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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby treegod » 03 Feb 2013, 23:34

interesting discourse
That's it basically. I watch the History channel because I find it interesting. I was watching Star Trek for the same reason; it entertains me.

I like fiction and fantasy, it takes me beyond the normal, refreshed my ideas about the "possible". It broadens my imagination, and I'm always amazed at the endless supply of material from the human imagination. One of the greatest resources available to humankind and yet I feel we've only scratched the surface (and taking it too literally at times, lol).

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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby Sciethe » 04 Feb 2013, 14:52

I like fiction and fantasy, it takes me beyond the normal, refreshed my ideas about the "possible". It broadens my imagination, and I'm always amazed at the endless supply of material from the human imagination.
True treegod. We wouldn't be much as Druids with no imagination. This programme is a perfect example of what we're up against when the mythic consciousness which is a reality as source of understanding about the spiritual world is misunderstood in the media as concrete. I get the exact same in tree work. Myths are not the same as scientific reality. I love the term "government cover-up". As if any government would be competent enough to keep mermaids, aliens spacecraft or a shopping list for their auntie secret. :deadhorse: Love mermaids though.
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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby Explorer » 27 Mar 2013, 15:52

Why is the power of the Absurd often so much stronger than the power of the Common Sense?
And is that a strength or a weakness?
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby Dysgwr » 27 Mar 2013, 16:06

Why is the power of the Absurd often so much stronger than the power of the Common Sense?
And is that a strength or a weakness?

Or maybe the people who create these "documentaries" (and other films, stories and any other creative work really) know how to appeal to something deep inside us.
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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby Explorer » 27 Mar 2013, 17:30

Why is the power of the Absurd often so much stronger than the power of the Common Sense?
And is that a strength or a weakness?

Or maybe the people who create these "documentaries" (and other films, stories and any other creative work really) know how to appeal to something deep inside us.
Sure, but how come that people start to really believe it? Why doesn't their common sense tell them that it is all rather unlikely?
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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby Lily » 27 Mar 2013, 20:43

with these things a good way to apply occam's razor is population size.

this article, e.g. suggests that Loch Ness would be able to support a population of SIX Loch Ness monsters
http://tamarawilhite.hubpages.com/hub/H ... rey-ratios
while another one I read estimated the minimum sustainable population at 6-7000 individuals. I am not sure if this includes genetic stability (you might need more).

Now mermaids are smaller and presumably live in the open ocean... but still... there should be loads around.
There are, for example, about 2000 Manatees around Florida and they are highly endangered...
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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby Dysgwr » 27 Mar 2013, 21:45

Sure, but how come that people start to really believe it? Why doesn't their common sense tell them that it is all rather unlikely?
That, sir, is another can of worms entirely :whistle:
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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby treegod » 27 Mar 2013, 22:53

Sure, but how come that people start to really believe it? Why doesn't their common sense tell them that it is all rather unlikely?
Probably as many answers as people.

Why did I believe it when I did? Because it was easier to swallow than reality? Because my imagination had no creative grounding? Because it was the one place where I was more than my circumstances imposed on me?
Yes, all of these, I think.

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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby Explorer » 28 Mar 2013, 08:19

Sure, but how come that people start to really believe it? Why doesn't their common sense tell them that it is all rather unlikely?
Probably as many answers as people.

Why did I believe it when I did? Because it was easier to swallow than reality? Because my imagination had no creative grounding? Because it was the one place where I was more than my circumstances imposed on me?
Yes, all of these, I think.
It is not sheer stupidity, is it? It seems to be something very deep in our psyche. A longing? a blind spot? A part of our brain that works differently?

The most astounding example is that milions of people believe that this invisble all-powerful man by the name of 'god' exists, only because one old book says so.
That seems so extremely unlikely, the evidence so extremely thin, that you would expect that nobody would even give it a second thought.
But instead, people go to war over it, blow themselves up and do horrible things just because of this extremely unlikely idea. I find that jaw dropping.

But it also makes me wonder if I have that in me also. Could I 'believe' in something that defies logic, common sense and nature?
And could I become so fanatical about it that I could hurt others for it?
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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby Oona » 28 Mar 2013, 09:39

The most astounding example is that milions of people believe that this invisble all-powerful man by the name of 'god' exists, only because one old book says so.
That seems so extremely unlikely, the evidence so extremely thin, that you would expect that nobody would even give it a second thought.
But instead, people go to war over it, blow themselves up and do horrible things just because of this extremely unlikely idea. I find that jaw dropping.
I think there's more evidence for most people than a single book. The evidence of my gods for me is that making offerings and praying to them works. My evidence that nature is also god, and divinity can be found in community comes in how I feel. Surely, these may be coincidences or strange effects of natural chemicals in our brains. But it could be more. And for me, and probably a lot of people, it doesn't really matter whether it's "true" or not. Belief helps me live a happier, more sane life. Now, several atheists I know would say that the damage caused by religion as a whole makes it something to be stamped out, happy Druids like me notwithstanding. But I'm not so sure about that. I think a lot more believers are doing good in the world than doing wrong. It's just that due to technology and modern weapons (and the dissolution of the priority given to community living) that the wrong effects are so much more serious than they used to be. So I think it's really modernity that's at fault, not religion. Not that I'm a Luddite, I love my smartphone and laptop. But there has to be a middle ground.

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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby Dysgwr » 28 Mar 2013, 09:42

The most astounding example is that milions of people believe that this invisble all-powerful man by the name of 'god' exists, only because one old book says so.
That seems so extremely unlikely, the evidence so extremely thin, that you would expect that nobody would even give it a second thought.
But instead, people go to war over it, blow themselves up and do horrible things just because of this extremely unlikely idea. I find that jaw dropping.
This is one of the principal reasons I rejected mainstream religions years back. They can be beneficial to human society .. but the hurt they have caused over the years because of varying points of interpretation and the "My God is better than your God" syndrome is most definately inhumane.
But it also makes me wonder if I have that in me also. Could I 'believe' in something that defies logic, common sense and nature?
And could I become so fanatical about it that I could hurt others for it?
I believe the answer is "yes" for each and every one of us; we each have that seed. But we also ecah react differently to peer-pressure and group dynamics which I think are also fundamental in these cases of extremes.
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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby Explorer » 28 Mar 2013, 10:53

And for me, and probably a lot of people, it doesn't really matter whether it's "true" or not. Belief helps me live a happier, more sane life.
And I find that both curious and understandable.
I am not sure if the term 'sane' applies, because it sounds a bit 'insane' to base your life on something and then saying that it doesn't matter if it is 'true' or not.

I am not trying to sound judgemental here, because I do that also, I really do understand.
In fact, at some point I made a very conscious decision that I would rather be insane than unhappy. And that did change things quite drastically in my mind and life. But I still do regard it as a form of insanity.
Now, several atheists I know would say that the damage caused by religion as a whole makes it something to be stamped out, happy Druids like me notwithstanding. But I'm not so sure about that. I think a lot more believers are doing good in the world than doing wrong. It's just that due to technology and modern weapons (and the dissolution of the priority given to community living) that the wrong effects are so much more serious than they used to be. So I think it's really modernity that's at fault, not religion. Not that I'm a Luddite, I love my smartphone and laptop. But there has to be a middle ground.
I agree that there has to be a middle ground.
And I think druidry is a good example of that. It strives for knowledge and meaning to gain wisdom and truth.
Knowledge and Meaning are not just random words, but taken from streams that are often considered opposites, like science and religion. Druidry can provide that middle ground, but that doesn't mean that 'anything goes' in my opinion.

Personally I also think that we have the obligation to educate ourselves and others, and not spread nonsense and ignorance like both 'science-haters' and 'religion-haters' do. Ignorance is fertile soil for supersticion, prejudice and witch hunts. In fact, I find that morally wrong, which why I am usually pretty harsh on people who spread really stupid things, and who should know better.

But, I also clearly see advantages in letting in a certain degree of folly and insanity to make our lives better. I practise that myself also. And apparently our minds are programmed that way, even mine.
So I am not against religion, as long as it stays reasonably reasonable ;-). I guess it is a matter of balance.
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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby DJ Droood » 28 Mar 2013, 13:22

So I am not against religion, as long as it stays reasonably reasonable ;-).

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Re: Mermaids: The Body Found

Postby DaRC » 28 Mar 2013, 13:56

Ermmm before we start bandying terms like 'sane' around can anyone define what sane is? :old:

Consider the conundrum - In an insane world is the sane man sane?

Dictionary : sane
1. sound in mind; free from mental disturbance
2. having or showing reason, good judgment, or sound sense
3. healthy

In which case rationally choosing to believe in deity/ies because it's hard-wired into our psyche, i.e. where scientific research suggests that it improves an individual's capability to survive the slings & arrows of life, shows reason or sound sense.

Edit - caveat - I don't believe in Mermaids as suggested by the aforementioned mockumentary in the OP. :duck:
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