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CSICOP X-File Movie Review Lacks 'Rationalism'

From: 'Jack Hudson' <true.x-file.news@n2news.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 06:46:54 -0700
Fwd Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 11:53:39 -0400
Subject: CSICOP X-File Movie Review Lacks 'Rationalism'

"If The Truth Is Out There...We'll Find It!"

6/19/98 For Immediate Release:

CISCOP X-File Movie Review Lacks "Rationalism"

by Jason Sterling

On June 16th, the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of
Claims of the Paranormal issued a press release via the internet
entitled "Skeptics Versus the X-Files" in which they claim that
the motion picture debut of the globally popular TV program "has
the potential to catapult interest and belief in a range of
paranormal phenomena above already historic levels." Taken at
face value, this argument seems to have some basis in fact.
Topics like UFOs and angels, it seems, are more popular now than
ever. A recent poll, that CSICOP cites, showed that 71% of the
American people believe in a government cover-up of UFOs. But
like many arguments postulated by skeptics, and in particular
the man whose name is attached to the news release as a
contact(there is no author credit)this theory of a never before
seen level in paranormal interest falls apart under scrutiny and
for very obvious reasons. From the time that man existed on
Earth and up until the not so distant past, ALL of MANKIND
believed in paranormal phe omena ranging from water sprites and
shape shifting demi-gods to flying, firey chariots and blond
haired babes that would swoop down and carry the souls of fallen
warriors to an eternal beer bash in the heavens!

If that sounds like a startling revelation, consider this: these
days skepticism is more concerned than ever with maintaining a
status quo of knowledge and so-called rational thought, as
opposed to discovering truth. Though the CSICOP release shows a
version of the now famous poster from Fox Mulder's office that
features a flying saucer with the phrase "I Want To Believe",
now pasted over with the CSICOP inspired "I Want To Know!" (see
http://www.csicop.org/articles/x-files-movie ) skeptics today
"want to believe" even more than the paranormal true-believers.
They want to "believe" that nothing that could upset their
rationalized framework for the universe would, or could, ever be
real. Any doubt about that statement should be sufficiently
erased by observing the subtle placement of the now trademark
"X" for "X-Files" over the flying saucer in the poster. The
result is a clever way of "X-ing" out the the alien craft with
the symbol of the show itself, making the real statement of the
entire image "I Want To Know THERE ARE NO FLYING SAUCERS!"

Skeptics don't really want to "know" anything outside of their
fragile box. This is why the level of any true "investigations
of the claims of the paranormal" among skeptics has dropped to
abyssmal levels. If anyone makes a claim of something unusual,
more times than not, the skeptical response is "Prove It!" A
consistant and mantra-like repetition of Carl Sagan's comment
"extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" has
resulted in skeptics tending to rely entirely on the work of the
believers to produce evidence that the skeptics claim is never
enough proof, rather than skeptics actually investigating to
determine what the truth is. The main defect in the skeptical
ideology is the pursuit of a "rational" explanation when many
times the truth isn't what you might expect, let alone rational.

Another indication of how skeptics are becoming more and more
irrational in the attempts to preserve "rational thought" is
their acceptance of the use of inaccurate statements and
half-baked theories to prop up their position. Case in point: In
the CSICOP article, along with the grossly over inflated
speculation about the impact of the X-Files movie, this
statement appears - "In every episode of the X-Files, science
fails. FBI agent Dana Sculley, the series symbol of rational
skepticism, is incapable of positing satisfactory scientific
explanations for the extraordinary plot developments. It is
always Fox Mulder's mystical speculation that is on to
something." That statement is completely false. More importantly
it reflects a lack of a talent that many skilled skeptical
investigators were once proud of - keen observation.

In this instance, keen observation would have revealed that
there are times when the "rational" explanation wins out. For
example the episode which was the three-part season cliff hanger
last year that featured a deliberate hoax of creating an
artificial alien body of exotic hybrid cells called "chrimeras".
Then there was the black and white episoide that featured a
cameo appearance by talk show host Jerry Springer and was about
a "monster" that was going around making love to women in a
small town after they had been subjected to knock-out gas
normally used to sedate nervous cows for milking. The "monster"
turned out to be a greatly deformed teen-age boy whose heroin
was Cher because of her performance in the film, "Mask".

There are some episodes that seem to predict developments in
science that actually occur. In the first season the "Eve"
episode involved the issue of human cloning experiments done
through invetrofertilization. Only a few years later, Congress
would be debating the issue of human cloning due to the
breakthrough with Dolly the cloned sheep. There was nothing
"paranormal" about the "Eve" episode. It was meerly scientific
speculation, speculation that became a true potential reality
beyond what many could have ever expected.

There are X-Files programs that have no resolution. The episode
featuring cock roaches is but one example. When death after
death seems to be attributed to killer cock roaches, Sculley
comes up with explanation after explanation that seems to fit
perfectly. Eventually, however, the argument that some of the
cock roaches might be tiny robots sent here from outer space is
made due to the discovery that some seem to be made of metal. In
the end there is no real solution, just more speculation after
all the evidence is inadvertantly destoryed in the explosion of
a fertilizer factory. But what true keen observation would
reveal is that the X-Files is a fictional show. Many times the
viewers know that there is only a so-called paranormal
explanation because they see the events contributing to the case
at hand when the characters don't. When a man's shadow (one of
the series' more nonsensical attempts)acts like a black hole and
destroys anyone who comes in contact with it, what kind of
rational explanation is ther ? Even as a paranormal phenomena it
doesn't make sense since *everything* that the shadow would
touch(walls, floors, the ground) should be sucked in as well.

The pathetic position that skepticism finds itself in today can
be seen in a saddening panaorama of examples. From the whinning
of the 1996 "World Congress" of skeptics at X-File creator Chris
Carter when he appeared before them, to the extremes like the
recent investigation that revealed that scientists Jacques
Vallee and Bernhard Haisch conspired to promote an article that
Vallee wrote and Haisch published contaning fraudulent
information attempting to debunk the Philadelphia Experiment.
Oxford University professor Richard Dawkins weighed into the
CSICOP article with his observation that if the X-Files was a
crime show where every week there were two suspects, one black
and one white, and every week the black suspect was found to be
the guilty one, could "Hollywood defend that kind of myth-making
as "only fiction". The obvious answer is "yes" if the show in
question was all about how bad black people are supposed to be.
Of course that would be incredibly racist and completely
intolerable except maybe in t e South Africa of past decades.
What Dawkins is failing to realize, due to his lack of
observation, is that the show that he uses as an example would
be making a statement about the nature of people of differing
races where the X-Files is about the nature of reality and how
it is perceived. The show is not about whether skeptics are
right or true-believers are right, and there are times when
Mulder and Scully have seemingly exchanged roles. Dawkins'
observation is a reflection of the paranoia that has so embraced
skeptics that it makes their arguments sound more and more
*religious*. Religious in that they are worshiping rationalism
instead of looking for "truth" and in their own words and
phrases, they espouse these religious beliefs. After all, you
seldom hear of a skeptic mention the idea of finding the
"truth". Their concern instead is for the discovery of a
rational "explanation". *Explanation* is a sophisticated way of
saying "excuse". It used to be "rational" to view the Earth as
the center of the un verse or the world as being flat, or that
man would never fly. None of these views proved to be the truth,
and the first two were held by both scientists and by the

What is the point of posing excuses for events when actual
scientific work should be done to discover a true answer, be it
mundane or extraordinary? For that  only skeptics like Matt
Nisbet would have the answer. You see Nisbet not only is the
name of the contact on the CSICOP press release, but he had
written a letter to the editors of USA Today supporting the Air
Force's contention that when Roswell witnesses claimed to have
seen alien bodies, they were actually seeing crash test dummies,
a *rational* explanation that not only had true-believers
balking, but many non-believers as well. The reason? The crash
test dummies hadn't been used until the '50s and the Roswell
crash was in 1947. To make matters worse, investigator Marshall
Barnes had pointed out that he was surprised at how detailed the
dummies were in the original photos released by the Air Force to
the media. "These things (the photos in the USA Today story)were
tall and looked nearly exactly like models that I have seen of
Nazi propaganda for th head shape and features of the perfect
Aryan. So how anyone could come up on a crash site and see these
things as short, big eyed aliens with small noses is completely
beyond explanation." And the Air Force didn't try to explain it,
but Nesbit still endorsed the idea despite its lack of proper
science and common sense. That doesn't mean that there is
evidence that *proves* that Roswell did happen, but the lack of
conclusive proof doesn't jusitify the blind acceptance of just
any explanation to the contrary, especially when it is plainly
no answer at all.

The X-Files always begins with the motto in the sky - "The Truth
Is Out There". For skeptics with Prof. Dawkins and Matt Nisbet's
style of *irrational* rationalism, we can be most assured of one
thing - they'll never find it.

Distribution in any form granted as long as proper credit is
given to True.X-File.News

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