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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1999 > Apr > Apr 10

Re: Friedman vs. Krauss Debate

From: Mendoza <DarkSecretPB@compuserve.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 18:44:20 -0400
Fwd Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 03:38:38 -0400
Subject: Re: Friedman vs. Krauss Debate


With the compliments of the Duke of Mendoza:

>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <updates@globalserve.net>
>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark@frontiernet.net>
>Subject: Re: Friedman vs. Krauss Debate
>Date: Wed, 07 Apr 99 09:35:11 PDT

>a fine spray of irrelevant blather all over the hated Jerome
>Clark when I am not remotely the issue Brad is discussing here.

Mmmm. Why do I have this persistent memory that Jerome's name
did creep into the post to which Brad was responding? And why
does the paragraph Jerome quotes happen to be one in which I was
clarifying what my post was up to?

"Hated". This is so inappropriate it isn't even an exaggeration.
Ah! Of course, it is a joak.

>There is a lot of naive and just
>plain dumb writing about the ETH, but in science (and, ideally,
>even in list exchanges) it is always the best arguments and
>evidence that are at issue, not the worst.

Such as our old friend Trans-en-Provence, and the Roswell
imbroglio - to take a couple of Jerome's favorites. I should
like to see the careful analyses of the psychosocial factors in
those cases, by those who believe they have some ET connexion,
or even some substance as anomalies.

>For examples of thoughtful writing on the ETH [...]
>see Michael Swords's various
>papers (the very mention of which typically drive Peter into
>arm-waving rant and insult)

I've given Swords barely a passing mention on this List. True,
his writings are unimpressive (raved Mendoza intemperately). His
science is inadequate, sometimes radically incorrect, and the
impulse behind his arguments appears to be religious. Quod erat
demonstrandum, but not here. A critical analysis of Swords's
many errors is not difficult, but it is laborious. After that
outburst I really must wipe the foam from my mouth.

Some time back Jerome made a claim that there was "scientific"
writing supporting the ETH. At my repeated insistence, he
eventually cited - somewhat disbelievingly, thinking I was being
disingenuous even to ask - a number of papers, most of which
were by Master Swords. My suspicion that actual practising
scientists hadn't done the business was confirmed, and my
impression that Jerome doesn't know much actual science was
confirmed. If he did, he would know better than to trust Swords.

>given a position sufficiently at risk that it is reduced to
>grasping at those human straws Klass and Menzel, Peter would
>prefer for us to concentrate on the former.

On Menzel (and Taves), I wrote: "Now, anyone may disagree with
their interpretations and their use of the data, in some
instances; but surely no one of good faith can disagree with
their comments on numerous cases that are simply too vaguely
reported to be meaningful of anything at all."

So much for Jerome's good faith.

As for Uncle Phil, I merely remarked that he acknowledged that
reconstructing the then 17-year-old RB-47 case, even with the
help of the pilot, was problematic because of the passage of
time. This is a matter of fact. Where is the straw?

>Actually, I suspect that Peter's and others' fervent
>desire to make us believe defense of the ETH must be put ahead
>of all else betrays their own deep-seated suspicion that their
>own arguments are as wanting as their critics have always held
>them to be.

I'm disappointed Jerome didn't cite that truly loopy
mind-reading paper by Donderi that he keeps up his sleeve for
moments like this. But as projections go, the above will pass.

Actually, the business of hard data and reliable knowledge is
absolutely tied up with entertaining the ETH, never mind
defending it; and that hypothesis is plainly the one that fuels
most of the interest in ufology. Lord, even Jerome thinks it's
"reasonable". And a few of us are curious to see a Top Ten list
of cases supportive of the ETH because we want to see how, and
with what degree of rigor, the "hard data" of such cases is
deployed by the best ETHers to support such a notion.

Perhaps I'm not alone in thinking this request is a bit like
sending in the beaters to force the pheasants into the air.
Pheasants fly slowly, which is why hoorays like to shoot them.
But it is a trifle frustrating when the pheasants refuse to fly
on the grounds that they've joined the National Ostriches'
Union, and say please sod off, not in our job description any
more.

There is absolutely no doubt there are better things to do than
defend the ETH. Laugh at it, for example. But Jerome's the one
who says he thinks it's reasonable.

If "speculation about the Greater Meaning of It All has to be a
distinctly secondary concern until we know a lot more than we
know now", then Jerome should cease and desist, from now until
the moment he feels sufficient knowledge has been put in
appropriate heaps, from such defenses of the ETH (and its
proponents) as he can bring himself to muster and, even better,
stop griping when the Great Unimpressed put the mockers on it.

best wishes
Pinecone D. Musclebeach
Well Hard


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