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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 6

Re: Occam's Razor and UFOs

From: RobIrving@aol.com
Date: Sat, 6 Jun 1998 13:48:43 EDT
Fwd Date: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 14:00:26 -0400
Subject: Re: Occam's Razor and UFOs

> From: "Greg Sandow" <gsandow@prodigy.net>
>  To: "'UFO UpDates - Toronto'" <updates@globalserve.net>
>  Subject: RE: UFO UpDate: Re: Occam's Razor and UFOs
>  Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 14:31:11 -0400

Hi Greg,

>> Of which there is no substantial evidence that we know of.

>  Which is why belief in it is called The Extraterrestrial [note
>  the word that follows] Hypothesis.

As you've drawn attention to it I should point out that
'hypothesis' usually implies some effort on the part of its
proponents to show that it can make testable predictions. Mere
belief, of course, does not carry that requirement. It's a small
point, but as we're working through the scientistic terms used
and abused in ufology it may be worth mentioning.

>  I was talking only about skeptics who use Occam's Razor -- or,
>  rather, misuse it -- as an argument for conventional explanations.

I essentially agreed with you. As you went on to say,
conventional explanations may only be of limited use as more
information arrives.

My point was that this is dependant upon the quality of
information; I don't think that in populist ufology we get much
quality information.

If we did, I think that more people - including the so-called
scientific establishment - would take it more seriously. That's
the challenge... all the time ufology yearns for scientific
credibility, that is, which, by the way, I don't see that it
necessarily has to (but evidently leading ufologists think so or
they wouldn't keep harping on in those terms).

>  If you want to use what I said as a springboard for an attack on
>  ufology you don't like, go right ahead.

Don't take it so personally. I liked your message... it made me
think. I just didn't agree with every aspect of it, that's all. I
tend to ignore messages I totally agree with, or that I don't
think much of.  Yours happened to fall nicely somewhere between,
though closer to the former.

>  But that's not the discussion I was trying to start.

Oh well... better me beating you over the head than Brookesmith.

Rob



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