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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 11

Re: ETH [Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis] &c

From: Ed Stewart <egs@netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 11:08:44 -0800
Fwd Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 21:23:57 -0500
Subject: Re: ETH [Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis] &c

> Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 14:22:34 +0000
> To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
> From: Sean Jones <tedric@tedric.demon.co.uk>
> Subject: Re: ETH [Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis] &c

Regarding the Drake equation, anyone interested please look up
the archives for 1/97 where the relevancy and lack of relevancy
of the Drake equation to ufology was discussed in detail.

Sean Jones makes the same mistakes that appear to be continually
made by those that are looking for validation of their ETH belief

> Drake, a United States astrophysicist devised an equation to
> prove mathematically that there must be other life in the
> universe.

That is absolute poppycock! Nowhere has Frank Drake ever
presented his now famous relationships, nor have they ever been
discussed in the scientific community has "proof" or
"mathematical proof" of anything. They are simply a WAG. For
those that may be acronym impaired, a WAG is a Wild-Ass Guess,
nothing more and nothing less.

> His equation mathematically suggests the relationship
> of the number of stars like earth's, the number of stars with
> planetary systems, the number of planets in each system having
> conditions suitable for the origin of life, the number of those
> planets on which life could actually develope, the number of
> those planets on which intelligent life could evolve, the number
> of those intelligent populations that could develope
> civilisations capable of interstellar travel.

Again, the above is incorrect. No where does the Drake equation
address as Sean Jones states: the "number of those intelligent
populations that could develop civilisations capable of
interstellar travel."  Drake tried only to address those possible
civilizations that had achieved a technological level high enough
to be able to *communicate*, i.e. send and receive communications
over interstellar distances. No where does any of the
relationships expressed in the Drake equation address
interstellar travel.

No matter how hard ufologists hope to find some kind of support
for ET being here today sharing time and space with us on our
Earth from the Drake equation, that support simply does not
exist. It is like comparing apples and oranges. Ufologists'
continuous misrepresentations over the Drake "equation" if
fundamentally critical in showing that ufology is more of a
belief system than any kind of science.

> So we have a
> mathematical formula that *proves* that there must be life out
> there, and a high probability that some of them have the
> capability of interstellar travel.

No we don't. No proof. The Drake equation is not proof of
anything and it never even makes any kind of correlation
regarding "interstellar travel, thus any inferences predicated on
the Drake equation are wrong from the beginning.

A simple way of looking at the Drake "equation" is that it hopes
to address what may well be out there, and not what may be here.
There is no linkage expressed or implied between what may be out
there and what may be out here.

Let me try to draw an example. Suppose we develop an "equation"
that could help us to guess the number of killer whales that
populate the oceans and then someone comes along and tries to
draw inferences from that, that it is reasonable to speculate
that killer whales may pop in and out of our swimming pools. It
is ridiculous to try to draw the inference based on the initial
quantified speculation of how many killer whales exist in the
oceans. But in essence, that is what ufology tries to do
everytime someone "discovers" the Drake "equation" and attempts
to use it to support their belief in the ETH.

> Now we are at the point where we must either accept that there is
> life out there or stuff it, there is no life out there. If you
> are one of those who will not accept that there is life out there
> then you have no credence in the ETH.

Wrong. There is no dichotamy here. One can believe that
intelligent life exists "out there", and yet fail to see where
there exists any compelling evidence for intelligent life "here".
In essence that was Sagan's position and the predominant position
within the scientific community. The two belief systems are not
mutually exclusive and ET intelligent life "out there" does not
imply ET intelligent life "here".

> Is it unreasonable to suggest that this intelligent other life,
> which has achived interstellar travel, has traveled to our lovely
> planet earth?

Based on what? Your false assertion that the Drake "equation"
proves that ET has achieved interstellar travel? Or that it even
"implies" it? I must say that not only is it unreasonable, but
also demonstrably false based on your inaccurate initial

> Stan Friedman has already shown us that we do not
> need to exceed the speed of light to visit other stars and/or
> solar systems.

Somebody give him a medal.

> So my understanding of the ETH: "Some of the Unidentified Flying
> Objects that are sighted by witnesses could indeed be vehicles
> from another planet" has credibility. Its only a matter of
> weather you agree with me or not.

Well, if your understanding of the ETH has any credibility or
not, it certainly is not predicated on your understanding of the
Drake equation. As a matter of fact, your argument for the ETH
based on your misunderstanding of the Drake equation probably
does more to weaken it, than to suggest any real credibility.

> BUT as to hardcore physical proof to substantiate the ETH, I must
> bow down to you, and apologise, for I have none personally.

That is the major problem with the ETH. And no matter how hard
believers in the ETH wish for our world to relax its standards
for what comprises compelling evidence, critical thinking,
discernment, and ultimately proof, those standards are the only
thing that gives us the confidence to separate real knowledge
from pseudo-knowledge and/or faith.

> But is it not a *reasonable* hypothesis??

Asking the wrong question. It is not relevant whether the ETH is
reasonable or not. What is relevant is whether or not we will
ever devise the methodology to where we can take this hypothesis
into the realm of real knowledge, or not? After fifty years, we
haven't made any progress whatsoever with this hypothesis. Each
day that slips by, the ETH falls deeper and deeper into the realm
of an unsupportable belief system based solely on the faith of
its believers. At the rate it is going, it is pre-destined to be
the fodder of future cults and religions and not of science.

Nobody from the outside of ufology will lift a hand in trying to
reverse that trend. Ufology will have to do it all on its own.
That means learning the basics of critical thinking, discernment,
logic and what constitutes proof and then PRACTICING IT!

Ed Stewart

ps. discussing belief systems is inherently a total waste of time.
Ed Stewart egs@netcom.com | So Man, who here seems principal alone,
There is Something        | Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown.
  Going On!       ,>'?'<, | Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal,
Salvador Freixedo ( O O ) | 'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.
--------------ooOO-(_)-OOoo------- Alexander Pope, Essay on Man -------

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