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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 12

Re: Occam's Razor and UFOs

From: RobIrving@aol.com
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 01:54:24 EDT
Fwd Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 07:09:45 -0400
Subject: Re: Occam's Razor and UFOs


> Subject: UFO UpDate: Re: Occam's Razor and UFOs
>  From: Mark Cashman <mcashman@ix.netcom.com>
>  Date: Wed, 10 Jun 1998 09:34:50 -0400
>  To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>

Mark,

>  This seems clearly to show Rob, that you are focused on popular
>  culture while knowing little about UFOs. Of the ten cases I
>  cited, at least 5 are classics, cited in multiple references.

Let's get this straight. Is your complaint that I don't memorize
cases, as perhaps you do, or that I can't be bothered to get off
my comfy chair and look them up? Either way, Mark, I can take
the heat, but it's a non-issue in my book, or would be if I
could only be arsed to reach for the book and check.

>  Kelly-Hopkinsville is one of the most well known occupant cases,
>  Levelland the exemplar EM case. Marignane has been referenced
>  several times, as has Loch Raven Dam and Valensole.

Then in that case they must be on the shelf somewhere. That's
good enough memory for me.

>  ETH isn't part of popular culture. Ideas about ETs are. ETH is a
>  hypothesis and is part of the scientific investigation of
>  possible causes for UFO reports.

Okay, I accept that point. Do you think, however, that it's fair
to say that many of the leading ET Hypothesists believe it? In
which case, what bearing do you think that might have on the
science aspect? (not rhetorical - well, maybe partly, but please
answer it anyway)

>  You can't shift the base from considering the actual cases that
>  lead to consideration of ETH (and which helped stimulate the
>  interest in ETI among the public) to merely considering popular
>  culture in a vacuum. Some of these cases were key in establishing
>  the possibility of ETI for the public, though, not being aware of
>  their fame, you would be unaware of their role.

Hmm, I'm not sure I merely consider popular culture in a vacuum.
What makes you say this?

>  Trying to attribute interest in ETI and acceptance of it as a
>  popular explanation for UFOs to popular culture is placing the
>  cart in primacy to the horse. Serious cases such as those listed
>  and many others have had a profound impact on the willingness of
>  the public to consider ETH.

Perhaps, dare I suggest it, that willingness is placing the cart
before the horse. Let me ask you: Do you believe that the ETH is
really more than a hypothesis? If you do, then we should perhaps
untie the cart and put it in its rightful place, just so we know
where we're coming from.

>  Perhaps you didn't realize that in the 1940s, ETH was not even in
>  the running as a theory for UFOs, as far as the public was
>  concerned. It was only cases like those I listed, which became
>  famous in the press, that caused the change in opinion.

That depends upon how wide a context you're putting it. The
wider it is, the more BS that is. Perhaps ET can be read as a
metaphor for some other outside entity, cultural tracking and
all...

>  The truth is that ETH is far more accepted by the public as a
>  theory of UFO report causation than any other. This despite the
>  lack of credibility of the charlatans and the hucksters.

But perhaps aided by the mythology of which serious researchers
like you, as well as said charlatans and hucksters, contribute.
You are the one putting the cart before the horse in this
instance, I think.

Anyway, does consensus make it true? Does US consensus make it
truer?

>  Jerry
>  can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the public at large
>  wouldn't know Sims and Leir from any other two guys, or Greer if
>  he appeared in a puff of green smoke and waving lights. The
>  modern charlatans just don't get the press of Adamski and the old
>  contactees. They do, however, generate a lot of heat in the "UFO
>  community", which is where they get most of their attention.

You would know more about the American perspective than I. But
bear in mind that it is certainly not the only perspective....
We have Reg Presley, remember. If I could remember the bod's
name I'd give you a perfect example from Italy of a particularly
dodgy ET believer who seems to get most of the media attention,
despite the worthy efforts of more sensible others. The more I
think about this, in fact the less I agree with you.

>  I think public awareness and acceptance of ETI comes down in
>  large part to the following factors:

>  1) Well-known cases suggestive of ETH.

>  2) MHH proponents, especially the AF, being unable to
>     successfully explain important cases, and making general
>     fools of themselves with clearly contrived "explanations".

>  In short, the public uses Occam's Razor a bit themselves.

I hope they keep it sharp.

Btw... before you go racing off in your cart and horse, perhaps
you wouldn't mind addressing some of the questions I asked you
in your TBC thread?

Rob



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