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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jul > Jul 23

Re: Michael Shermer On 'Larry King Live On UFOs'

From: David Rudiak <drudiak.nul>
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2007 12:13:55 -0700
Archived: Mon, 23 Jul 2007 07:55:32 -0400
Subject: Re: Michael Shermer On 'Larry King Live On UFOs'

>From: Alfred Lehmberg <alienview.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2007 09:02:59 -0500
>Subject: Re: Michael Shermer On 'Larry King Live On UFOs'

>>>From: Eleanor White <eleanor.nul>
>>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>>Date: Sat, 21 Jul 2007 16:34:21 -0400
>>>Subject: Re: Michael Shermer On 'Larry King Live On UFOs'

>>>From: Jason Gammon <BoyintheMachine.nul>
>>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>>Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2007 13:23:34 EDT
>>>Subject: Re: Michael Shermer On 'Larry King Live On UFOs'


>>>>Not only is Shermer not a scientist, he isn't even a skeptic.
>>>>He's a debunker, tried and true.

>>>Y'know, I've _never_ liked that term 'debunker' applied to
>>>ufology. It half implies that somehow, the subject is 'bunk' and
>>>the 'debunker' is trying to show how much 'bunk' the subject is,
>>>a noble pursuit, seemingly.

>>>I wonder if there is a term that suggests a noisy negativist is
>>>actually trying to sully the reputation of a fundamentally good
>>>and sound subject? And a term as easy to say as "debunker."

>>>I don't think this is a good choice, but 'trasher' tells the
>>>story accurately. How about 'bunker'? Any ideas?


"Pelicanists" is an inside joke that nobody understands outside
the field.

"Anal Retentives" probably wouldn't go over well in polite

How about Spiro Agnew (remember him?) and "Nattering Nabobs of
Negativism?" (sort of like Stan Friedman's "Noisy Negatativsts")

I like Robert Anton Wilson's perjoratives for CSICOPism,
"Irrational Rationalism" and "Fundamentalist Materialism", which
he used in his book, "The New Inquisition: Irrational
Rationalism and the Citadel of Science."

In a 1988 interview about his book he commented:

"I coined the term irrational rationalism because those people
claim to be rationalists, but they're governed by such a heavy
body of taboos. They're so fearful, and so hostile, and so
narrow, and frightened, and uptight and dogmatic. I thought it
was a fascinating paradox: irrational rationalists. Later on I
found out I didn't invent that. Somebody else who wrote an
article on CSICOP, that's the group they all belong to:
Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the
Paranormal. Somebody else who wrote about them also used the
term irrational rationalism. It's a hard term to resist when you
think about those people.

"I wrote this book because I got tired satirizing fundamentalist
Christianity, I had done enough of that in my other books. I
decided to satirize fundamentalist materialism for a change,
because the two are equally comical. All fundamentalism is
comical, unless you believe in it, in which case you'd become a
fanatic yourself, and want everybody else to share your
fundamentalism. But if you're not a fundamentalist yourself,
fundamentalists are the funniest people on the planet. The
materialist fundamentalists are funnier than the Christian
fundamentalists, because they think they're rational!

"...They're never skeptical about anything except the things
they have a prejudice against. None of them ever says anything
skeptical about the AMA, or about anything in establishment
science or any entrenched dogma. They're only skeptical about
new ideas that frighten them. They're actually dogmatically
committed to what they were taught when they were in college,
which was about 1948-53, somewhere in that period. If you go
back and study what was being taught in college in those days as
the latest scientific theories, you find out that's what these
people still believe. They haven't had a new idea in 30 years,
that's all that happened to them. They just rigidified, they
crystallized around 1960."


I think that sums up their overly rigid and humorless mentality
quite well.

I still like "Debunker" however, but maybe to make it more
specific they would be referred to as "Dogmatic Debunkers", sort
of the flip side to "Gullible Believers" they like to use
pejoratively to describe UFO researchers.

David Rudiak

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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