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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 25

Re: The End of SETI As We Know It? - Balaskas

From: Nick Balaskas <Nikolaos.nul>
Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 23:24:36 -0400 (Eastern Standard Time)
Fwd Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 09:57:51 -0400
Subject: Re: The End of SETI As We Know It? - Balaskas 

>From: Mac Tonnies <macbot.nul>
>To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Sun, 22 May 2005 18:56:34 -0700 (PDT)
>Subject: CI: The End of SETI As We Know It?

>The End of SETI As We Know It?

>by Mac Tonnies


>When I was doing radio spots promoting my book I was asked a lot
>of dumb questions, mostly in keeping with the David
>Bowie/Spiders from Mars theme. But I remember one particularly
>good question, I think by a DJ in Dublin. Essentially, he wanted
>to know what business I had writing a book on scientific
>subjects since I had no formal scientific background. (Unlike
>Richard Hoagland, who didn't graduate college, I can't claim
>experience as a planetarium director or advisor to Walter
>Cronkite, nor can I claim to have inspired NASA with the idea to
>include messages on deep-space probes.)

>The gist of my answer was: Who exactly is qualified to assess
>candidate artifacts on the Martian surface? The stark truth is
>that there are no experts. There are no "working teams"
>exploring this possibility (with the exception of the Society
>for Planetary SETI Research, of which I'm a member). There's no
>grant money, no exo-archaeological funds on NASA's Mars
>exploration budget. Unfortunately, what we do have are lots of
>pseudoskeptics content to cling to dated "straw man" arguments
>in order to keep the status quo afloat - even if that means
>misrepresenting or ignoring contradictory data.

>It's not just Mars, of course. We've allowed a handful of
>people, foremost among them Seth Shostak and Jill Tarter of the
>SETI Institute, to become veritable ambassadors for the aliens
>they pretend to understand so well, despite a pronounced, utter
>failure to provide the hard evidence they claim is so vital.


Hi Mac!

Although the majority of people, including SETI scientists, talk
about life beyond Earth as if it was an established fact, the
sobering reality is that after all these years, we do not have
more compelling evidence now than we did anytime in the past for
this popular belief (with the possible exception of certain
ancient historical/religious documents where our ancestors
allegedly encountered intelligent beings from the heavens). This
lack of compelling evidence for life beyond Earth must include
the frequent accounts of strange lights in the sky and reported
sightings of other such UFOs.

Since there are no experts on the subject of ET life and there
isn't any tangible proof either, I have offered to take up the
challenge to teach the full year Natural Science course 'Life
Beyond Earth' at York University this coming September. Your
suggestions on just how and what to teach students enrolled in
this course and sharing your thoughts, experiences and personal
beliefs about this interesting subject (which, if we are honest
with ourselves is very speculative at best) would be much
appreciated by us. If students avoid having their minds clouded
with the scientific biases and preconceptions and of this age,
who knows, we may even learn the truth in their final exams!

Nick Balaskas

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