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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 24

Re: Re: ETH &c

From: Jim Deardorff <deardorj@ucs.orst.edu>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 18:02:24 -0800 (PST)
Fwd Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 09:14:58 -0500
Subject: Re: Re: ETH &c

> From: DevereuxP@aol.com
> Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 23:51:39 -0500 (EST)
> To: updates@globalserve.net
> Subject: ETH &c

> Jim Deardorff 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]
> >&c

> >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> [...]

> >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. ...

Hello Paul,

Perhaps you mean that science wouldn't be able to deal with all
of what makes up ufology as we know it, as a whole, because that
involves so many different ways in which the paranormal enters
in.  Even if the ridicule factor could be removed from scientific
investigation of UFOs and the paranormal, there'd be one branch
of science trying to deal with how crop circles could be formed
(and they would ignore the UFO reports that have so often
preceded discovery of a new crop-circle region, or the animal
mutilations).  Another branch, astronomy, would try to deal with
how UFOs and their occupants could get from there to hear in a
feasible length of time, but they'd likely assume that ET science
couldn't be so far along as to have found ways around the
restrictions of relativity and rocketry; physical optics would
try to deduce how UFOs can suddenly make themselves go invisible
in the daytime, but in their peer reviewed papers they'd likely
not permit discussion of the possibility that alien science could
perhaps tap other dimensions we're unaware of, etc.

But of course there's no branch of mainstream science to try to
put it all together and deduce where they're from, why they're
here, how much farther evolved are they than we (or how many
centuries ahead of our science & technology that of the UFO
occupants is), what all they want, etc. Only science fiction
tries that, and science as spoken for by CSICOP doesn't wish to
engage in anything that sounds like science fiction.

> 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.

In many cases, the best that can be done is to describe
accurately and completely what the witnesses have reported and
experienced, and then to look for common denominators, etc.  Most
of that lies outside the scope of the scientific method in the
sense that we our unable to call forth UFO events at will, or to
predict their occurrences, or to explain physical mechanisms
behind "bizarre" events reported.  (I.e., no repeatability as in
a lab experiment, and no explanations of the paranormal
available.) Although such limitations ought to be taken in stride
by science, upon postulating that the phenomenon (ufology)
involves alien intelligences, that doesn't happen because of the
elements that keep the ridicule curtain in place.  A key element
there is the thought that that which hasn't happened before to
modern man surely couldn't be happening right now. Another key
element is the belief that 20th-century science must be close to
the ultimate answers to the basic enigmas of science, so surely
any aliens who might be millions of years ahead of us in their
sciences shouldn't be much smarter than we are (i.e., gross
egoism).

> You cannot blame science for
> keeping most of ufology at bargepole length, quite honestly.

Perhaps not in the sense of blaming more individual scientists
for not risking their reputations and livelihood by openly
studying elements of ufology, when they have families to raise.
To do this almost requires that the scientist be independently
wealthy or already retired before trying to bring ufological
matters to the attention of other scientists. It's a tough road
that the PhD scientific UFO researcher has to hoe in continuing
their scientific careers while persuing ufological topics.

In doing this they have to be pretty careful of what they say to
whom.  The temptation is always present to debunk certain aspects
of ufology, even though that may contradict some well witnessed
reports, in order to win or maintain some acceptance from
mainstream scientists and thus maintain their scientific
reputations.

> 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 feel it's worse (less plausible) to assume that UFO aliens
cannot have had origins that lie outside of the earth.  There's
no logic in demanding that anthropocentrism be built into
ufology's postulates, or in complaining when the ETH is taken as
a plausible starting point in the inevitable theorizing.

> 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.
[...]

There we part grounds irreconcilably, except for the scientific
limitations already mentioned that prevent us from subjecting the
UFO aliens to our own laboratory experiments.  (Clandestine
scientific studies upon crashed saucers, etc., are excluded here,
since science isn't science if it is kept secret from all but a
very few.)  Science needs to be extended in its definition and
methods so as to include the study of more advanced entities that
may be around and exhibiting themselves, and not just the study
of intelligences inferior to our own.

Jim Deardorff



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