From: Greg Sandow <email@example.com> Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1998 09:26:51 -0400 Fwd Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1998 17:44:07 -0400 Subject: Re: Occam's Razor and UFOs > From: RobIrving@aol.com > Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 07:46:16 EDT > To: firstname.lastname@example.org > Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: Occam's Razor and UFOs > >From: Greg Sandow <email@example.com> > >To: "'UFO UpDates - Toronto'" <firstname.lastname@example.org> > >Subject: RE: UFO UpDate: Re: Occam's Razor and UFOs > >Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 10:29:54 -0400> > Greg, > >You're now, in other posts, making a virtue of ignorance -- no, > >sorry, of not clogging your mind with data -- but here it would > >be helpful to hear the voice of scientists who haven't yet been > >publicly quoted. > "Making a virtue of ignorance" isn't necessarily how I see it, > but if you have to put it that way that's fine. What I mean is > that ufology is not my primary pursuit, or even interest. > Therefore I don't carry information about cases around in my > head, as others seem to. If you were to ask me about specific > cases concerning subjects of more immediate interest to me, such > as human attacks on horses, I wouldn't presume to know the > details of specific cases without referring to my research > material. Yes I believe that 'not knowing' is something of a > virtue, but that's perhaps another conversation. > I gave up needing to appear as if I know everything years ago... > empty vessels produce the finest resonance, and all that. > Anyway, as for our discussion about how well research into the > ETH would be accepted by the powers-that-be in science, soon I am > to interview a leading theoretical physicist in this country, who > has in the past made comments on ufology. I'll ask him and let > you know. Maybe I'll make some other calls too - this might make > for an interesting project. > Offhand, apparently unlike you I don't know what they'd say. No, Rob. When I don't know someone, I don't have a clue how they're going to answer any question. You don't seem to understand what's going on here. More or less off the top of your head, you offered an opinion on scientists and UFOs. Nothing stops them from examining the evidence, you think, so if they haven't supported the ETH, that must be because the evidence for it isn't very good. This seems to be one of your favorite rhetorical gambits -- mixing opinions in with facts in your arguments, and treating the opinions as if they carried as much weight as facts, even if you haven't (or don't offer) any evidence for them. Thus you opined that the opposition to John Mack at Harvard doesn't really tell us much about scientists and UFOs, because Mack -- or so you speculate -- got into trouble not for his opinions, but because he publicized them on talk shows. Having imagined that I invoked Kuhn's theories on scientific paradigms, you counter me with a shrug, saying that you personally don't think much of Kuhn's work. (And yes, you gave one quick reason, but hardly enough for any serious discussion of someone so well established.) And now you say that you, yourself, personally, don't think scientists would be discouraged from taking a favorable view of UFOs. Again, you've offered us a glimpse, not at the actual subject we're discussing, but of your own mind. Which is why I get exasperated with you. As you've shown us all, you don't know very much about UFOs. Nevertheless, you expect us to take your unsubstantiated opinions seriously. As I and others on this list have tried to tell you, there's a lot of data about scientists and UFOs -- quite a lot of it, actually, much of it published, and none of it ambiguous, especially to anyone who's actually talked with one or more scientists about this subject. So now, like an eager puppy, you're dashing off to find out for yourself. There's nothing wrong with replicating research; I said I might do it myself (though both of us ought to offer more than a single sample, if we want our inquiries to mean very much). But you at least ought to acknowledge that you're tilling a well-plowed field here, and that whatever answer you get from your theoretical physicist won't be entered on a blank dossier. You are not, in other words, going to find some data on a subject that has never been investigated before. You're simply going to discover whether this physicst says the same thing as the other scientists whose views are already known. Greg Sandow And by the way, I just found more published evidence. Kenneth Ring, who wrote a book called "Project Omega," is an psychologist at the University of Connecticut who became known for his studies of near-death experiences. At one point, someone sent him a copy of Whitley Strieber's "Communion," suggesting that UFO abductions might interest him as well. His first reaction was to hide the book, or so I read in a substantial new book, "Enquete sur les enlevements extraterrestres" ("An Inquiry into Alien Abductions"), by Marie-Therese de Brosses. (Many thanks to Jean-Luc, who gave me a copy.) And why did Ring hide "Communion"? "It was out of the question," he said, "that anyone should come into my office and see a book like that on my desk!" (His exclamation point, my translation from French.) Now, Rob is free to point out that Ring overcame his reluctance, and both studied and wrote about abductions. My own interpretation, however, would go like this. Even Kenneth Ring, who'd already pushed the envelope by accepting NDEs, was afraid of what his colleagues would think if they saw him with a book on UFOs.
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