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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2001 > Nov > Nov 21

Re: More Baloney Detection - Hamilton

From: Bill Hamilton <skywatcher22@space.com>
Date: 21 Nov 2001 08:25:06 -0800
Fwd Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 12:30:20 -0500
Subject: Re: More Baloney Detection - Hamilton


 >Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 02:13:14 -0800
 >From: Larry Hatch <larry@larryhatch.net>
 >To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates@home.com>
 >Subject: Re: More Baloney Detection

 >>Source: Scientific American

 >>http://www.sciam.com/2001/1201issue/1201skeptic.html

 >>More Baloney Detection

 >>How to draw boundaries between science and pseudoscience,
 >>Part II

 >>By Michael Shermer

 >>[Michael Shermer is founding publisher of Skeptic magazine
 >>(www.skeptic.com) and author of The Borderlands of Science.]

 >>When exploring the borderlands of science, we often face a
 >>"boundary problem" of where to draw the line between science and
 >>pseudoscience.

 ><snip>

 >>7. Is the claimant employing the accepted rules of reason and
 >>tools of research, or have these been abandoned in favor of
 >>others that lead to the desired conclusion? A clear distinction
 >>can be made between SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial
 >>Intelligence) scientists and UFOlogists. SETI scientists begin
 >>with the null hypothesis that ETIs do not exist and that they
 >>must provide concrete evidence before making the extraordinary
 >>claim that we are not alone in the universe. UFOlogists begin
 >>with the positive hypothesis that ETIs exist and have visited
 >>us, then employ questionable research techniques to support that
 >>belief, such as hypnotic regression (revelations of abduction
 >>experiences), anecdotal reasoning (countless stories of UFO
 >>sightings), conspiratorial thinking (governmental cover-ups of
 >>alien encounters), low-quality visual evidence (blurry
 >>photographs and grainy videos), and anomalistic thinking
 >>(atmospheric anomalies and visual misperceptions by
 >>eyewitnesses).

 >While Shermer put in no qualifiers here, he is apparently
 >stating that:

 >1) The vast majority of SETI people proceed from the null
 >hypothesis that there is no intelligent life anywhere out there.

 >2) The overwhelming majority of ufologists take the position
 >that ETI do indeed exist, AND that the ETs have come here to
 >visit us.

 >I'm sure this belief/position/opinion is taken by a great many
 >ufologists, but I would not count myself among them.

 >Assuming ET has discovered Earth somehow, and being so advanced,
 >would send intelligent robotic/cybernetic probes; baffling as
 >those might be.

 >Others would argue for beings or machines from "other
 >dimensions", or perhaps time-travel and so forth. A few would
 >argue for religious phenomena, but lets not get into that.

 >How about a straw poll? I'll cast the first vote if
 >nobody beats me to it:

 >* Are there other intelligent beings elsewhere in the cosmos,
 >perhaps within our own galaxy of billions of stars? I would vote
 >yes with a 99% likelihood. Your vote? _________

Yes, with a 99.999% likelihood

 >* Have living beings from other stars come here in the flesh
 >(muck, protoplasm, tentacles or whatever) ? I would vote no.
 >Seems dumb to me, see above. Your vote? _________

 From other planets maybe, not stars. I vote yes.

Bill H.








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