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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Jul > Jul 27

Re: Why The Cover-Up?

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 10:05:39 -0500
Archived: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 21:08:58 -0400
Subject: Re: Why The Cover-Up?

>From: Paul Scott Anderson <paulscottanderson.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>kDate: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 10:25:03 -0700
Subject: Re: Why The Cover-Up?

>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Tue, 24 Jul 2007 09:36:51 -0500
>>Subject: Re: Why The Cover-Up?

>Referring to some ideas as "silly" with no evidence for that
>position, is bias. Scientists used to consider meteorites a
>"silly" idea...! All I was doing was saying that Ed and Bob et
>al have a right to their theories and views, without being
>labelled as cranks or whatever, and that dismissing things out
>of hand too hastily is foolish, IMO.

Yes, to anyone possessed of any scientific sophistication (or
common sense for that matter) Gehrmanism is indeed silly. It's
also silly to draw meteorites into the discussion. The evidence
for meteorites was substantial, and eventually scientists of
another era, when much less was known about the subject (or
about any subject), were forced to acknowledge their reality.
Something of the same will happen with the UFO phenomenon,
though rejection of UFOs-as-anomalies by scientists even now is
hardly universal.

What the defenders of Gerhmanism consistently fail to
acknowledge is that _within_their_disciplines_ scientists are
far more likely to be right than wrong. Challenges from outside
(as opposed to inside) the disciplines - which is what
Gehrmanism and other esoteric approaches are about - virtually
never succeed. If mainstream archaeological, paleontological,
anthropological, and historical understanding were being
challenged by Gehrmanist archaeologists, paleontologists,
anthropologists, and historians, then we'd have something beyond
what we have now: a grotesque and tedious exchange on Updates
which to the unsympathetic observer will amount to no more than
documentation of ufology's hopeless mopery.  (Actually, it looks
that way to this sympathetic observer, too, sad to say.)

Let's be clear here: In science's modern, professionalized
history, revolutionary would-be scientific claims advanced by
untrained, uncredentialed lay theorists are all but certain to
be wrong, and often crankishly so. (For a relevant instance, see
the history of physics cranks.) That isn't because individual
scientists have godlike powers; it's because science as a
process has many tested mechanisms, not to mention bodies of
established knowledge and the appropriate
investigative/analytical resources, in place to weigh and
examine competing claims. While not perfect (no perfection
exists in this imperfect world), the process works astonishingly
well, as the modern world of high technology and advanced
knowledge richly attests.

Science advances because, unlike so much of ufology, it is self-
correcting. It discards ideas and hypotheses when evidence fails
to support them.  For many in ufology, on the other hand, the
absence of evidence amounts to proof that the evidence exists
but is hidden; those who express the heretical view that non-
evidence is more likely to mean that evidence does not exist are
called inquisitors and sternly lectured.

In spite of repeated challenges to provide instances, no support
for Gehrmanism among scientists can be demonstrated. Unless you
think one idea is as good as another (just about the only
possible reading of your and others' posts), Gehrmanism is
vacuous and time-wasting, and serves only as evidence of the
continuing appeal of crank doctrines to many.

>Most scientists still reject the possibility of psychic
>phenomena, yet I am sure they exist. Why? Because I've
>experienced some of them. I've had detailed dreams before of
>things that happened later, classic premonitions. Sometimes
>pertaining to my research, sometimes just mundane things. Yet I
>have no idea how that can happen, I just know it can and does.
>Yet mainstream science ignores things like this because it can't
>explain them yet. So, I am open-minded to various ideas.

Science does not "ignore things like this." Even scientists who
do not embrace paranormal explanations deem the phenomena
involved worthy of scrutiny. I take it that you've never heard
of the discipline of anomalistic psychology.

The Parapsychological Association has maintained an affiliation
with the AAAS since (if memory serves) the 1970s. From the early
1880s on, scientific research into psi has continued through
good times and bad, with sometimes ingeniously inventive methods
and intriguing results. Though the subject remains controversial
and disputed, it is one amenable to scientific inquiry and has
produced a respectable professional literature.

Of what the scientist/science writer Henry H. Bauer calls the
Big Three - the areas of anomalistics making the most
substantial and potentially significant claims -
 parapsychology/psychical research is the oldest and best
established. (The other two are cryptozoology and ufology.) One
might also mention mainstream research into near-death
experiences, which are discussed in the mainstream scientific
literature and taken seriously as genuine anomalies of

Jerry Clark

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



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