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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Nov > Nov 13

Re: Larry King Live: Friday, November 9th, 2007

From: Brian Ally <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 01:50:03 -0500
Archived: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 09:18:27 -0500
Subject: Re: Larry King Live: Friday, November 9th, 2007

>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 17:24:44 -0600
>Subject: Re: Larry King Live: Friday, November 9th, 2007

>>From: Brian Ally <ufoupdates.nul>
>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2007 12:22:58 -0500
>>Subject: Re: Larry King Live: Friday, November 9th, 2007

>>It is a well-established fact that people, in general, _are_
>>easily fooled. As such, the majority of UFO sightings are
>>'highly dubious' and need to be approached with a healthy dose
>>of scepticism.

>Where, exactly, has it been established that people are "easily
>fooled"? I mean this not as a rhetorical question but as a
>serious one. Nobody disputes that people can be fooled. It's the
>adverb "easily" I have trouble with, at least as a sweeping

Granted, my throw-away comment could have been worded more
carefully. A sweeping proposition it was. But the kernel of my
argument stands: we are cognitively fallible beings, often
miserably so. We easily misinterpret phenomena, especially if it
is a surprise. We are susceptible to the most irrational
choices, often through superstition or ignorance. Ask a
magician, a politician, a thief what they think about how easily
we humans can be fooled at times.

>It seems to me that there may be an implicit but empirically
>dubious presumption underlying such claims generally: namely,
>people report extraordinary anomalies. Extraordinary anomalies
>don't exist. Therefore, people are easily fooled.

I said nothing of the sort. It seems that there is an implicit
suggestion that I am an idiot who doesn't understand the first
thing about logic. I would be ashamed to make such a dubious
claim, even as a throw-away comment.

Your attempt at redirection is duly noted, though.

The point I was trying to make is that people are - in general -
 not very good witnesses - look it up. For that reason, I am
disinclined to take _any_ UFO report - for varying definitions of
'UFO', Dick Hall ;-) - at face value.

>This is an empirically testable hypothesis, arguably. So where,
>specifically, is the evidence? I'm curious.

I'm not a librarian. And I'm frankly surprised and amused that
you are asking me this. Surely you must know something about the
fallibility of witnesses? One could assume that the subject
pertains here, wouldn't you agree? Search google for perception,
credibility, witness, etc. and you'll find plenty to slake your
curiosity. If that doesn't satisfy your objection I won't be put
out if you claim victory here. Suit yourself.


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