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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1997 > Nov > Nov 27

Re: ETH [Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis] &c

From: clark@mn.frontiercomm.net [Jerome Clark]
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 13:46:43 PST
Fwd Date: Thu, 27 Nov 1997 08:59:22 -0500
Subject: Re: ETH [Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis] &c

> Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 07:39:51 -0500
> To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
> From: Bob Shell <bob@bobshell.com>
> Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: ETH [Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis] &c

> >From: clark@mn.frontiercomm.net [Jerome Clark]
> >Date: Mon, 24 Nov 1997 16:59:46 PST
> >To: updates@globalserve.net
> >Subject: RE: UFO UpDate: Re: ETH [Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis] &c

> >If you're not endorsing John Keel's half-baked ideas,
> >you ought not to be using his vocabulary.  Keel explicitly
> >endorses occult and demonological notions which no
> >post-Enlightenment thinker would find of any utility
> >whatever in trying to make sense of what the UFO
> >phenomenon is about.  As I said, nobody endorses
> >the use of theory-driven words (whether ET or ultra-
> >terrestrial) in anything other than hypothesis-driven
> >discourse.  In any case, I would not equate scientific
> >speculation about the possible nature of ET life with
> >medieval speculation about demons, unless one
> >believes late 20th century science is in no significant
> >manner different from 12th century theology.

> >Jerry Clark

> Are you sure Keel coined this term???  He certainly is not who I
> first heard it from, and the context in which I first heard it
> was as part of the suggestions that so called ETs were, in fact,
> a development of earthly evolutionary processes.

> I believe that 12th century theology/demonology was very
> different from late 20th century science.  But I'm nut sure that
> our science is all that much closer to really understanding the
> universe.

> Bob


Yup, John Keel did coin the term. See the discussion on pages
511-12 of my High Strangeness (UFO Encyclopedia #3). Keel drew
the bulk of his ideas from early UFO-era occultists N. Meade
Layne and Trevor James Constable, but "ultraterrestrial" (along
with "superspectrum") was his unique contribution to the
vocabulary of supernaturalist ufology.

We know an enormous more about the universe than we did in the
12th century. We can  concede that we have much to learn without
disparaging the huge progress in knowledge accumulation over the
course of the scientific revolution. Among Keel's un-endearing
qualities is his anti-intellectualism. In some deeper sense his
quarrel is not with ufology and ufologists (as much as he
despises both) but with the post-medieval world.


Jerry Clark

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