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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 22

Re: ETH &c

From: DevereuxP@aol.com
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 23:51:39 -0500 (EST)
Fwd Date: Sat, 22 Nov 1997 18:44:28 -0500
Subject: Re: ETH &c

Jim Deardoff wrote:

>Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 21:49:44 -0800 (PST)
>From: Jim Deardorff <deardorj@ucs.orst.edu>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
>Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: ETH [Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis]

>The problem is that there is no branch of mainstream science
>that inquires about UFOs, and therefore no appropriate
>scientific journal to which to submit a paper on the topic.
>This is no accident, of course, but is due to the ridicule
>factor that developed from the early 1950s on.... <snip>

>But then, with no branch of mainstream science existing
>(in the U.S.) that deals with the UFO phenomenon .... <snip>

>I got one such paper into the Quart. J. Roy.
>Astronomical Soc. back in 1986, but to do so I dared not mention
>the word UFO.... <snip>

>There was a paper in _Science_, U.S.'s most prestigious science
>journal, by Kuiper & Morris in 1977 called "Searching for
>Extraterrestrial Civilizations" which was quite good as far as
>it went.  But the only way they could slip in a reference to
>UFOs was in one sentence that went into an appendix.  There they
>were discussing the possibility that ETs (they never used the
>ET abbreviation unless it was within SETI)...<snip>

>Jim Deardorff

Dear Jim,

I think the problems in your reply here, and the prevailing ones
I have seen on this strand, are two unquestioned assumptions:
a)Ufology is a subject, and (b)it involves ET craft and the ETH.

This really points up what I have been saying elsewhere on this
list, that the ETH is so overweaning, is such a dominant paradigm,
that it has become an automatic reflex - an *invisible assumption*.

In truth, ufology is not a subject as such (it is a loose bag of
bits - a little good, much indifferent, more bad) and mainstream
science could not possibly deal with it as if it were. Secondly,
most of what is written in ufology isn't up to the standards of
mainstream scientific scholarship in any case, and would get
rejected on those grounds alone. You cannot blame science for
keeping most of ufology at bargepole length, quite honestly.  The
third point is that there is plenty of material out there in the
scientific literature on aspects of ufology if one is not
assuming that UFO=ET. I find ample material on the alien
abduction experience in various areas of psychology, psychiatry,
neuroscience, and experimental brain/mind research, for instance.
Of far more use, and much more scientific, than a shelf full of
Hopkins, Macks, and suchlike. By the same token, there is much in
the cutting edge of meteorology, geophysics, and so on, of prime
importance to ufologists. If they researched worthily in these
fields, they could contribute to the mainstream literature if
they so wished. And even ET-wise, if they could produce excellent
research, genuine scientific work, they would find their niche.
Anyone with challenging new theories has a job in getting
literature into the mainstream -- it is by no means special to
ufology. I know people in other subject areas who reckon that to
get a new paradigm into the peer-reviewed mainstream usually
takes around 15 years. In my main field of research, archaeology,
it took me 20 years. And the reason that happened was because I
made a discovery that was incontrovertable and of some
importance. It was good work. And the truth is I wasn't good
enough earlier.

What I'm trying to say, is that there is no conspiracy as such
against ufology or ufologists. It is not just a question of
terminology, but of conceptual outlook.

There may, however, be an abiding prejudice regarding ufology on
the part of the mainstream that makes breakthroughs unnecessarily
difficult. But that is understandable, and is because of the way
ufology conducts itself. Even on this list, we have seen calls
for the cleaning up the godawful ETH mess being met with
resistance, derision and dismissiveness. If ufologists are
bitching about science ignoring them, perhaps they should put
their own house in order. *It's up to us, not science.* Then
perhaps we can get round to consistently better work, and start
getting into the literature that matters. But that process starts
here, in places like this list. (And while there are shafts of
light here and there, I am afraid I do not see the gloom lifting
yet awhile. But I'd love to be proved wrong.)

Best wishes,
Paul Devereux

PS- But congrats, Jim,  on getting a paper into the *Journal*
of the Royal Astronomical Soc.!

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