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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 30

Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 98 08:48:41 PDT
Fwd Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 18:46:45 -0400
Subject: Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4

> Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 21:25:46 -0400
> From: The Duke of Mendoza <101653.2205@compuserve.com>
> Subject: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4
> To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>

> >To: "UFO UpDates - Toronto" <updates@globalserve.net>
> >From: Jerome Clark <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
> >Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: MAGONIA ETH Bulletin #4
> >Date: Mon, 29 Jun 98 11:39:46 PDT

> Here we are discussing ETs and their
> connection to UFOs. No science known to me works from anecdotal
> & untestable reports (even Michael Swords admits there's not
> much in ufology that scientists can "do science on") that,
> individually flawed though they may be, can be construed as
> broad hints of something more & greater. If there is an example,
> I'd be pleased to hear about it. Puzzling reports do not an ETH
> make; they simply puzzle.

Of course, the panel of physical scientists focused on what it
could do physical science on.  Again, as I've had occasion to ask
over and over again, why this obsession with the ETH?  Why don't
we put cart before horse?  As I have stated ad nauseam, my
position has always been that the ETH is simply a reasonable
provisional hypothesis, and nothing I have seen or read on this
list or elsewhere convinces me otherwise.  That said, so what?
Let us focus on the puzzles and the questions and the
investigatable issues, and then at the end of that we will know a
whole lot more and then can discuss ultimate causes more
fruitfully.  An approach, I realize, rejected by the PSH crowd,
by now (sadly) simply an adjunct to the debunking movement.

> And no scientific hypothesis that survived experiment and became
> theory has been based on generalizations from observations of
> transient, *inconsistent* & *unpredictable* phenomena.

Well, ball-lightning, for one thing.  Everyone really ought to
read James Dale Berry's classic work on the subject, Ball
Lightning and Bead Lightning, for the amusing and instructive
parallels between rejection of BL reports and UFO reports. Ron
Westrum once published a splendid paper in a sociology journal on
science's reception of BL vs. UFO.  I'll have to look it up (it's
buried somewhere in my thick file "Anomalies and Science"), and
if I find it, I'll list the citation.

> This is
> what the ETH is based on, and it offers more holes than links in
> its chain from "data" to "conclusions".


> It's not mentioned in the post to which I'm responding, but I
> have it on good authority that someone, somewhere is working
> even now on shredding Michael Swords' notions of exobiology into
> teeny weeny bits, and that the results will be published
> sometime this year.

Great. 'Bout time. And I don't doubt for a second, having seen
others make the attempt, that Swords will defend himself quite
effectively, thank you.


Jerry Clark

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