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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 18

Re: CSICOP condemns X-Files Movie

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 04:46:17 -0400
Fwd Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 04:46:17 -0400
Subject: Re: CSICOP condemns X-Files Movie

From: http://www.csicop.org/articles/x-files-movie/

Movie Release Could Usher in Turn-of-the-Millennium
Era of the Paranormal

Contact Matt Nisbet at 716-636-1425 x219

In the late 1970's, Close Encounters of the Third Kind ignited
imaginations across the world, and helped spur popular
fascination with alien visitation and abduction. Now The
X-Files: Fight the Future film is scheduled to be released June
19, and if the movie is well-received by critics and viewers on
opening weekend, it will likely draw hordes of moviegoers beyond
its 25 million television following.

Tapping into themes of government conspiracy and the paranormal,
The X-Files: Fight the Future has the potential to catapult
interest and belief in a range of paranormal phenomena above
already historic levels.

Many prominent scientists, skeptics and academics are concerned
with the portrayal of science in the series. In every episode of
The X-Files, science fails. FBI agent Dana Scully, the series'
symbol of rational skepticism, is incapable of positing
satisfactory scientific explanations for extraordinary plot
developments. It is always Fox Mulder's mystical speculation
that is on to something.

"In the entertainment media, just short of sex and violence,
conspiracy- mongering and paranormal fantasy sells" says Paul
Kurtz, member of the coordinating committee for the Council for
Media Integrity and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the
State University of New York at Buffalo. "The X-Files taps into
the fascination market, feeding on viewer gullibility. Science
is portrayed as weak and critical thinking is pushed aside."

Magical thinking became a national pastime last summer during
the mythological 50th anniversary of the crash of an alien
spacecraft at Roswell, New Mexico. According to a Gallup poll,
31% of Americans believed an *actual* alien craft had crashed in
1947. In a previous poll, 71% of Americans indicated a belief in
some kind of U.S. government cover-up of UFOs.

Many defend the series as mere fiction. In response to that
assertion, Oxford University's Richard Dawkins in the
March/April issue of Skeptical Inquirer magazine asks us to
imagine for a minute that The X-Files' weekly choice between
rational theory and paranormal theory were turned into a crime
series. In each case one suspect is white and the other black,
and at the conclusion of every episode, like science in The
X-Files, the black suspect is found to be guilty. Could
Hollywood defend that kind of myth-making as "only fiction?"

In 1996, X-Files creator Chris Carter appeared before a "World
Congress" of skeptics at the State University of New York at
Buffalo, fielding hard-hitting questions from noted standard-
bearers of no-nonsense reality that included author/entertainer
Steve Allen, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, and philosopher
Paul Kurtz. A transcript of that question and answer session is
available by calling 1-800-634-1610 or 716-636-1425 outside the

About the Council for Media Integrity

The Council for Media Integrity is a network of distinguished
international scientists and academics concerned with the
balanced portrayal of science in the media. Members of the
Council include E.O. Wilson, Stephen Jay Gould, Martin Gardner,
and Sir John Maddox. Co-chairs of the Council are Nobel laureate
Glenn T. Seaborg and entertainer Steve Allen.

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