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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 2

Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4

From: Dennis Stacy <dstacy@texas.net>
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 22:57:57 -0500 (CDT)
Fwd Date: Thu, 02 Jul 1998 11:18:21 -0400
Subject: Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4

>To: "UFO UpDates - Toronto" <updates@globalserve.net>
>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
>Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4
>Date: Wed, 01 Jul 98 11:08:33 PDT


>The weight of evidence, of course, is currently falling in
>the direction of Swords and others who suspect the galaxy --
>and the larger universe -- is densely populated.  All one
>has to do is to read the newspapers; you don't have to go
>to obscure scientific journals anymore to follow the argument.
>The discovery that planets are apparently ubiquitous should
>give heart to anyone sympathetically inclined to the ETH.

No, Jerry, that is just the point. The weight of evidence *isn't*
falling in Swords's direction, as you would know if you had
thoroughly read and digested Davis's article in The Anomalist 5
(and followed up on the 149 footnotes/references therein, as you
are always urging others to do). Name any of the "others who
suspect the galaxy -- and the larger universe -- is densely

Secondly, if the universe *were* as densely populated as you seem
to assert here, then we would already have word of same from SETI
-- ufologists need not apply.

Thirdly, there is no "discovery that planets are apparently
ubiquitous," unless you've been reading other newspapers and
sources than I have. To the best of my knowledge, about eleven
giant gas planets have been *indicated* to date, a couple or
three of which may have been more or less confirmed. But to refer
to such huge masses, typically on a Jupiter scale, as even
remotely possible sources of ET intelligence on your part, is
disingenuous at best.

>If the galaxy is full of millions of advanced civilizations, we
>ought to EXPECT to see them.  If we don't see them or any
>evidence of them, they likely don't exist, and the SETI program
>is a big waste of time, money, and personnel, and all those
>popular and academic books on intelligent life elsewhere
>are destroying trees for nothing.

I'm always amazed at the animosity shown by ufologists towards
SETI. If I were a Freudian, I would suspect some sort of penis
envy. After all, if SETI exhibited any success, wouldn't
ufologists be the first to say I told you so!?

As for trees destroyed in the pursuit of truth, ufology has its
own ecological crimes to answer for.


>The point Dennis misses here, I think, is the one I have
>attempted to make continually (not "constantly," Dennis),
>albeit so far without any notable success: namely that,
>contrary to what debunkers and Purely Speculative
>Hypothesizers (if there is any longer a distinction) want us
>to believe, the ETH is neither absurd nor indefensible.
>Swords shows that the ETH can be defended using principles
>embraced by many scientists writing and researching in
>exobiology.  You can determine that easily by reading this
>literature for yourself.  Swords does not go beyond that
>observation, and neither have or do I.

And the point Jerry misses here is this: a 'densely" populated
universe is still separated, one civilization from another, by
immense distances, which involve gigantic expenditures in terms
of energy and other resources, to surmount. Clark seems to say,
hey, there's a lot of us out there, so interstellar travel should
be a relative snap, even though it still takes us a couple of
years to get to Mars, a planet within our own solar system.

Clark also ignores the fact, which I raised, that the Swords
argument actually *reduces* the density, i.e., number, of
intelligent life forms capable of space travel, by imposing
additional restrictions (atmospheric oxygen content ratio, etc)
on same.

In other words, Clark seems to have overlooked one of the major
implications of Sword's own theory: namely, that the universe can
be densely populated, but only a very small segment of same will
ultimately achieve space travel. Put another way: the latter is
hardly a given, as Clark seems to believe.

In addition, you can read the available scientific literature,
Davis included, and find any number of scientists who disagree
with Swords. So what determines your choice as to who's
ultimately "right" or "wrong" in this matter? Prior disposition,
I suspect.

Clark prefers Swords's description of the universe. Over the
years, I've come to prefer Davis's.