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Is ufology "anti-science"?

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posted on Sep, 29 2007 @ 05:23 PM
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As a bit of light relief, in my limited spare time I'm currently working on a Science Masters degree. As a small part of that Masters degree, I am doing a mini-project that involves researching the perception of science and scientists by those involved in ufology. Part of that mini-project has taken the form of organising a couple of small and relatively informal "focus groups" with a few leading skeptics and leading UFO researchers in England, to discuss relevant issues. I have also read a considerable volume of relevant literature (including a PhD thesis by Shirley McIver about ufologists, various relevant books and numerous online discussions). I’d like to supplement the results of those focus group discussions by getting your input.

It would be very helpful to me if as many members of ATS as possible could give their views on at least some of the questions below (ideally including the "Basic details of Respondent"). Even an answer to a single question that you consider interesting would be great.


Outline of issues
In November 2006, Tony Blair made a speech in which he indicated a need to “take on and defeat the vestiges of anti-science” (Blair, 2006). In 1985, a Royal Society report on the Public Understanding of Science suggested that “Greater familiarity with the nature and the findings of science will also help the individual to resist pseudo-scientific information” (Bodmer, 1985, p 10).

In academic and popular literature, ufology is often cited as an example of a:
(1) pseudo-science and/or
(2) anti-science.

The core issue I am interested in exploring is whether (as implied by some researchers) better public understanding of science would reduce the amount of "pseudoscience" and "antiscience", taking ufology as an example of a field commonly alleged to be "pseudoscience"/"antiscience".


BASIC DETAILS OF RESPONDENT
Have you read any UFO books?
If so, how many?
(1) 1-10
(2) 10-100
(3) 100+

Do you consider the possibility that any UFO sightings are caused by extraterrestrial craft:
(a) Beyond reasonable doubt?
(b) More probable than not?
(c) A real possibility?
(d) A merely fanciful possibility?
(e) Impossible?


TOPIC: ANTI-SCIENCE / PSEUDOSCIENCE

Is ufology either a "pseudo-science" or "anti-science"? If you think so, why? If not, why are such views expressed?

What does it mean to you to be “scientific”?

Is it a good thing to be “scientific”?

Do you think levels of antiscientific/pseudoscientific views are increasing?




TOPIC: EDUCATION

Would the number of sightings of UFOs and/or belief in UFOs decrease if there was increased knowledge of:
(a) scientific facts (e.g. relating to astronomy or meteorology)
(b) scientific methods.

Perhaps surprisingly, the skeptics involved in a focus group I organized did NOT think that this would make a significant difference, commenting that it would make at most “a marginal difference” since various other social and psychological factors are more important. On the other hand, the ufo researchers in a focus group thought that improved science education would significantly reduce the number of reports reaching them.


Do you think skeptics are generally better educated in science than UFO researchers?
(Interestingly, the skeptical participants in a focus group I organized did NOT think this was the case. However, one of the ufo researchers in a focus group thought this WAS the case, commenting that this is why skeptic’s “voice is weighter, and heavier and more listened to. It’s because they are more articulate, they are better educated, they put themselves across better”.)



TOPIC: INVOLVEMENT OF SCIENTISTS

Is the involvement of scientists necessary or desirable in the study of UFO reports? If so, why? I note that researchers Dave Clarke and Andy Roberts have written in their book “Flying Saucerers” (2007) that “when physical scientists did venture into the UFO subculture they were unwelcome guests and treated with suspicion”. On the other hand, ufo researchers in a focus group I organized suggested that they would “love” more scientists to be involved, but scientists “will not look at the phenomenon. The ufo researchers involved suggested that scientists “don’t want to know. They don’t want to know”.

Does it matter how those involved in ufology are regarded by mainstream scientists?

Has, or will, science explained all UFO reports? If not, why not?

Has there been adequate scientific study of UFO reports to date? If not, why not?

In 1969, the Condon Report suggested that “nothing has come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years that has added to scientific knowledge”. Do you think the study of UFOs has added to scientific knowledge? If so, how?

The Condon Report also suggested that “further extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified in the expectation that science will be advanced thereby”. Is there any real prospect that science will be advanced by the study of UFO reports in the future?



TOPIC: POLLING DATA

One of the most common questions in opinion polls regarding UFOs is whether a person “believes” that “UFOs are real”. What do you think about this question?

Would you expect polling data to indicate that belief in UFOs is inversely related to levels of intelligence?

Would you expect polling data to indicate that belief in UFOs is inversely related to levels of education?



References
Blair, T (2006) “Britain’s path to the future - lit by the brilliant light of science”, 3 November 2006. Transcript of speech online at:
www.number10.gov.uk...

Bodmer, W. F. (1985) The Public Understanding of Science, Royal Society Report.

BUFORA (2007) [British UFO Research Association], webpage entitled “About BUFORA” (referring to itself as a “scientifically-oriented organization” and promoting “scientific research”) as at 23 August 2007:
www.bufora.org.uk...

Condon, E (1969) “Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects”, Bantam, USA.

Gross, P. and Levitt, N. “Higher Superstition”, London, John Hopkins Press.

Holton, G. (1992) “How to think about the ‘anti-science’ phenomenon”, Public Understanding of Science, 1, (1), pp 103-128, January.

McIver, S. (1984) “The UFO Movement: A Sociological Study of Unidentified Flying Object Groups”, PhD Thesis, University of York.

Morgan, D L (1997) “Focus Groups as Qualitative Research”, Sage, London, Thousand Oakes and New Delhi.

MUFON (2007) [Mutual UFO Network], webpage entitled “Frequently Asked Question” (stating that UFOs can and should “be approached dispassionately and scientifically) as at 23 August 2007: www.mufon.com...

The Open University (1998) S802 Science and the Public, Anti-Science, Milton Keynes, The Open University.

Pope, N. “Ufology and Science”
theparanormalreport.com...

Park, R. (2000) “Voodoo Science : The Road from Foolishness to Fraud”, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Schermer, M. (1997) “Why People Believe Weird Things”, New York, Freeman.

Trocco, F. (1998), “How to believe in weird things”, Public Understanding of Science, Volume 7, 2, April 1.

Wheen, F. (2004) “How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World”, London, Harper Perennial.




posted on Sep, 29 2007 @ 05:35 PM
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Originally posted by IsaacKoi
The core issue I am interested in exploring is whether (as implied by some researchers) better public understanding of science would reduce the amount of "pseudoscience" and "antiscience", taking ufology as an example of a field commonly alleged to be "pseudoscience"/"antiscience".


I might answer your post in a more detailed way tomorrow (its bedtime now for me), but let me just say that when any scientist risks his reputation by seriously considering the existence of alien life and UFO's, how biased is not the scientific community?

Also I would like you to view this video which is the ONLY one ive found where someone with pretty good understanding takes a good hard look at the UFO phenomenon, and disproves the theories of optical illusions and so on.

Anyway, thanks for posting and ill answer your questions tomorrow in a more orderly fashion.




[edit on 29-9-2007 by Copernicus]



posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 02:49 AM
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Originally posted by Copernicus

Originally posted by IsaacKoi
The core issue I am interested in exploring is whether (as implied by some researchers) better public understanding of science would reduce the amount of "pseudoscience" and "antiscience", taking ufology as an example of a field commonly alleged to be "pseudoscience"/"antiscience".


I might answer your post in a more detailed way tomorrow (its bedtime now for me)


Thanks Copernicus. I look forward to your post.

I should have made it clearer at the start of my post above that I don't expect anyone to give their views on ALL the questions - I'd be happy with views regarding ANY of them.

I think my failure to make this clearer may have deterred some members from giving their views...

I hope a few more members will jump in now.

All the best,

Isaac



posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 08:15 AM
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reply to post by IsaacKoi
 


"In academic and popular literature, ufology is often cited as an example of"

I think is more cited like a pseudo-science as cryptozoolgy and others are and that can be a kind of anti science because if ufo are real they break all our scientific rules or, at least, most of them, so for me we should call it the new science, not a pseudo because, for me, it's a study like another one and it's not anti-science, it's just en evoluated one!!!


"better public understanding of science would reduce the amount of "pseudoscience" and "antiscience""

Yes i think!

"Have you read any UFO books?
If so, how many?"

(1) 1-10. I think if you had read one you had read all, maybe there is some information in one that is not in another, so i think if you read 5 good ufo book you don't need to read more.

"Do you consider the possibility that any UFO sightings are caused by extraterrestrial craft?"

A real possibility, most pictures i've seen are generaly misindentified birds, bugs or clouds but a few are really strange and questionable but what is it really? maybe extraterrestrial craft or top secret human craft. during the belgian ufo wave i've seen one of this triangular craft, some says it's the x-33 plane, i thought it was possible since i remember that "craft" didn't make any sound, the only sound i heard it was the f-16 fighter jet who crossed the sky 1 or 2 minutes after the ufo. so we can't say as we don't know!


"Is ufology either a "pseudo-science" or "anti-science"? If you think so, why? If not, why are such views expressed?"

as i said upper it's for me the new science.

"What does it mean to you to be “scientific”?"

It's someone who study some chimic/physic element and/or behaviour of fauna and flora and/or all about space. to simplify it's someone who study the whole world in which we are living.

"Is it a good thing to be “scientific”? "

Yes or not it depend of what you are doing with your discovery, a scientific can change the world in a good way but i can also destroy the world!


"Do you think levels of antiscientific/pseudoscientific views are increasing?"

I never really pay attention to this.


"Would the number of sightings of UFOs and/or belief in UFOs decrease if there was increased knowledge of scientific facts and scientific methods."

The sighting will certainly decrease but the belief, i think, will be increase as more and more scientific start to believe in ufo,extraterestrail life, etc...
maybe the skeptics are more educationed in science but i think they are to close-minded

TOPIC: INVOLVEMENT OF SCIENTISTS

A scientic view and analysis of an ufo sighting will give more credibility to the existence of the ufo phenomena and maybe give an explanation on most part of those sightings.

So i think without a scientific community we will be take for fools as more as we are right now



"One of the most common questions in opinion polls regarding UFOs is whether a person “believes” that “UFOs are real”. What do you think about this question?"

It's a question like another one, no? but it depend who answer to this question, if someone in the street say yes nobody will pay attention but if it was bush, what people will think then???????????
And if more and more people answer yes maybe something will change, i mean maybe the government will finally say the truth about that.


Sorry for the two last questions but i don't really understand what they mean, sometimes my english is *cked up.... maybe you can write them in another way!?


I hope those reply will help you! if you don't understand things i wrote, because of my english, just ask me question.



posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 08:19 AM
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Ufology is dead.

I know, mod warning...one liner post, lol.



posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 10:51 AM
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Hi,
I really don't want to write a book for my answer to your excellent questions re science v ufology.

My present position: First off, their here. They have been here for hundreds if not thousands of years, eg Was the guiding North Star a Star? The Virgin Mary was a virgin and gave birth to Jesus Christ.

BASIC DETAILS OF RESPONDENT
Have you read any UFO books?
If so, how many?
(2) 10-100 YES


Do you consider the possibility that any UFO sightings are caused by extraterrestrial craft:
(a) Beyond reasonable doubt? YES
____
TOPIC: ANTI-SCIENCE / PSEUDOSCIENCE

Is ufology either a "pseudo-science" or "anti-science"? DON't KNOW
If you think so, why? If not, why are such views expressed?

What does it mean to you to be “scientific”? FACTUAL according to PRESENT scientific knowledge, publicly shared.

Is it a good thing to be “scientific”? WHERE POSSIBLE. Curiosity, Theory, and Intuition must have roles for (common) evolution, not all scientific judgements should reached ONLY bases on present publicly share science principles.

Do you think levels of antiscientific/pseudoscientific views are increasing? DON't KNOW.
TOPIC: EDUCATION

Would the number of sightings of UFOs and/or belief in UFOs decrease if there was increased knowledge of:
(a) scientific facts (e.g. relating to astronomy or meteorology)
(b) scientific methods.
YES, if secret science was shared.

Do you think skeptics are generally better educated in science than UFO researchers?
NOT NECESSARILY, Genuine Skeptics (non-disinfo) are raised to believe the "glass is half empty, Ufology Researchers believe "the glass is half full".

Is the involvement of scientists necessary or desirable in the study of UFO reports? DESIRABLE -- YES.

If so, why?
TO HELP us understand the far-advanced technology used in Alien Craft, eg:
- Atmospheric and Non Atmospheric propulsion systems
- Inter-dimensional Propulsion systems
- Construction materials
- Guidance systems, ect...

Does it matter how those involved in ufology are regarded by mainstream scientists? NO. The other way around matters though.

Has, or will, science explained all UFO reports? NEVER.
If not, why not?
ALL is a big word, to big for the subject.

Has there been adequate scientific study of UFO reports to date? NOT publicly.
If not, why not?
Scientists want to keep their income and Universities and such want ot keep their Gov Funding. Part of that unwritten contract is NOT to involve themselves in EBE/UFO related matters. The more individual scientific denial against UFO/EBE reality, the higher the pay-rate and of respect achieved (of public science).

In 1969, the Condon Report suggested that “nothing has come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years that has added to scientific knowledge”. Do you think the study of UFOs has added to scientific knowledge?
Of the class "b)" (see below) Science.

If so, how?
ThERE are three Sciences,
a) ONE - Publicly Known;
b) ONE - Gov Science Known and
c) ONE - EBE Known.
I call it the real evolutionary science.

The Condon Report also suggested that “further extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified in the expectation that science will be advanced thereby”.
ThE Condon Report and HIS conclusion's are fraudulent.

Is there any real prospect that science will be advanced by the study of UFO reports in the future? YES, class "b" (see above)

TOPIC: POLLING DATA

One of the most common questions in opinion polls regarding UFOs is whether a person “believes” that “UFOs are real”. What do you think about this question? PERHAP's the question is gauging the growth rate of the public's evolving belief in 'UFOs'?
PERHAP's when the shock factor is no longer a problem (now) government disclosure of the partial truth will happen. I think religion and how it helps keep society glued together will be the biggest problem with disclosure now. NOT science as was suggested by polls.

Would you expect polling data to indicate that belief in UFOs is inversely related to levels of intelligence? GEN Public - NO.

Would you expect polling data to indicate that belief in UFOs is inversely related to levels of education? NO, Interest In learning the truth -- YES.

Dallas



posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 11:16 AM
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Originally posted by IsaacKoi
Even an answer to a single question that you consider interesting would be great.


Hello IsaacKoi, here are my answers [I do my best because of the English language] of some of the questions you ask below.

In academic and popular literature, ufology is often cited as an example of a:
(1) pseudo-science and/or
(2) anti-science.

In popular literature, (1) pseudo-science or anti-science
In academic, (2) anti-science


BASIC DETAILS OF RESPONDENT
Have you read any UFO books?
If so, how many?
(1) 1-10
(2) 10-100
(3) 100+

(2) 10-100

Do you consider the possibility that any UFO sightings are caused by extraterrestrial craft:
(a) Beyond reasonable doubt?
(b) More probable than not?
(c) A real possibility?
(d) A merely fanciful possibility?
(e) Impossible?

(a) Beyond reasonable doubt? But!!!!
Some of those UFO sightings are absolutely caused by extraterrestrial craft, but for some many years now, some of the UFO sightings are caused by human made craft, back engineered crafts so to speak.


TOPIC: ANTI-SCIENCE / PSEUDOSCIENCE

Is ufology either a "pseudo-science" or "anti-science"? If you think so, why? If not, why are such views expressed?

Ufology is not "pseudo-science" as well "anti-science” because the Ufo phenomenon is an absolute reality.
It must therefore be treated as real science.
But because of its extreme high secret level, and decennia of denying by governments as well the military, most scientists dare not touch this subject, because of the consequences.


Is it a good thing to be “scientific”?

Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. It is based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning, the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses.

Source en.wikipedia.org...

I can not say it better myself.


Is it a good thing to be “scientific”?

You must approach new claims “scientificly” in order to proof things without any reasonable doubt .

Do you think levels of antiscientific/pseudoscientific views are increasing?

I don’t know.

TOPIC: EDUCATION

Would the number of sightings of UFOs and/or belief in UFOs decrease if there was increased knowledge of:
(a) scientific facts (e.g. relating to astronomy or meteorology)
(b) scientific methods.

No.

Has, or will, science explained all UFO reports? If not, why not?

No, because they cannot explain all UFO reports with natural phenomena.

Has there been adequate scientific study of UFO reports to date? If not, why not?

No, because of what I have said in the TOPIC: ANTI-SCIENCE / PSEUDOSCIENCE

In 1969, the Condon Report suggested that “nothing has come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years that has added to scientific knowledge”.

The Condon Report was a fraud.

Do you think the study of UFOs has added to scientific knowledge? If so, how?

The study of UFOs has indeed added to scientific knowledge, but again that knowledge is hidden.
This knowledge if handled properly can chance the world at a giant scale.


The Condon Report also suggested that “further extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified in the expectation that science will be advanced thereby”. Is there any real prospect that science will be advanced by the study of UFO reports in the future?

Yes absolutely, at a giant scale.

TOPIC: POLLING DATA

One of the most common q



posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 11:25 AM
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TOPIC: POLLING DATA

One of the most common questions in opinion polls regarding UFOs is whether a person “believes” that “UFOs are real”. What do you think about this question?

A better question in my opinion could be, do you believe that some UFOs are extraterrestrial craft

Would you expect polling data to indicate that belief in UFOs is inversely related to levels of intelligence?

No.

Would you expect polling data to indicate that belief in UFOs is inversely related to levels of education?

No.



posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 02:13 PM
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My thanks to Copernicus, Dallas, Ufopunx and Spacevisitor for their views on the questions relevant to the mini-project I'm currently finalising.

I really appreciate you guys taking the time to give these answers.

I'll post a summary of the final version of the project on ATS.

Hopefully a few more members will give their views on one or more of the above questions before I finish writing up the results.

Thanks again,

Isaac



posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 02:35 PM
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Great topic, and I thank you.
I'm actually humbled by the
request you present to the
ATS members.

Originally posted by IsaacKoi

In academic and popular literature, ufology is often cited as an example of a:
(1) pseudo-science and/or
(2) anti-science.


Not sure if this was a question, but
I believe both, and further, I think
some consider it a non-science.


Have you read any UFO books?
If so, how many?


No idea how many. Quite a few over the
years.


Do you consider the possibility that any UFO sightings are caused by extraterrestrial craft:

(d) A merely fanciful possibility?

Really, anything is possible. But,
reality is a harsh teacher.
Why doubt man-kinds abilities ?


Is ufology either a "pseudo-science" or "anti-science"? If you think so, why? If not, why are such views expressed?


I think it is a science, but one perverted
by fringe thinkers.


What does it mean to you to be “scientific”?


Looking at evidence un-biased, but with
your feet based in reality.


Is it a good thing to be “scientific”?


Is it a good thing to live in a fantasy ?
Your call.



Would the number of sightings of UFOs and/or belief in UFOs decrease if there was increased knowledge of:

(a) scientific facts (e.g. relating to astronomy or meteorology)
(b) scientific methods.

Both, IMO.


Do you think skeptics are generally better educated in science than UFO researchers?


Trick question.
I'm a researcher AND a skeptic.


Is the involvement of scientists necessary or desirable in the study of UFO reports?


Both, I think. We need minds that are a
bit above the social norm.


Does it matter how those involved in ufology are regarded by mainstream scientists?


No.


Has, or will, science explained all UFO reports? If not, why not?


Not at all. No chance. There ARE things flying
that the majority of people have no idea of.


Has there been adequate scientific study of UFO reports to date? If not, why not?


Adequate ? Hmmm. Tough call. Some good,
some bad. >coughHoaglandcough<


Do you think the study of UFOs has added to scientific knowledge? If so, how?


Not really. It's all pure speculation.


Is there any real prospect that science will be advanced by the study of UFO reports in the future?


Let's cut to the chase.
We are flying craft that are called UFO's.
The science is there. Just not revealed.


One of the most common questions in opinion polls regarding UFOs is whether a person “believes” that “UFOs are real”. What do you think about this question?


I've said this before. UFO's exist.
It's when the fringe brings up aliens
that ufology gets tainted.


Would you expect polling data to indicate that belief in UFOs is inversely related to levels of intelligence?


Again, as long as ET is left out of the
picture, yes.


Would you expect polling data to indicate that belief in UFOs is inversely related to levels of education?


See above.

Again, thank you for asking.

Regards,
Lex



posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 03:01 PM
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IssakcKoi, out of appreciation for your excellent work here on our humble, wee digital homestead, AboveTopSecret.com, I would like to add my limited mental faculties to your study...



Originally posted by IsaacKoi
BASIC DETAILS OF RESPONDENT
Have you read any UFO books?
If so, how many?
(1) 1-10
(2) 10-100
(3) 100+


(2)10 - 100, I haven't found even 20 that are worth reading, but I have read 12 that were excellent.


Originally posted by IsaacKoi
Do you consider the possibility that any UFO sightings are caused by extraterrestrial craft:
(a) Beyond reasonable doubt?
(b) More probable than not?
(c) A real possibility?
(d) A merely fanciful possibility?
(e) Impossible?


(c)A real possibility, because we don't know what we don't know, do we?



Originally posted by IsaacKoi
TOPIC: ANTI-SCIENCE / PSEUDOSCIENCE

Is ufology either a "pseudo-science" or "anti-science"? If you think so, why? If not, why are such views expressed?

What does it mean to you to be “scientific”?

Is it a good thing to be “scientific”?

Do you think levels of antiscientific/pseudoscientific views are increasing?


I think ufology is all of the above.

I have met world class scientists who have interest in and do research upon the subject and do so in a VERY scientific manner.

I have met people who think they use scientific methodology and believe (rather than know) their results which speaks volumes to those results.

I have met many people who believe science is incapable of speaking to the ufo phenom and there for toss it aside.

David Biedny has a saying I love to use, "I don't want to believe anything I want to know it." I think that sums up my personal view rather nicely.


Originally posted by IsaacKoi

TOPIC: INVOLVEMENT OF SCIENTISTS

Does it matter how those involved in ufology are regarded by mainstream scientists?

Has there been adequate scientific study of UFO reports to date? If not, why not?


I think the individual researcher should be regarded based upon the value added to the study by him/her or the value taken away by him/her. If someone is out there doing great work (like yourself IMHO) they should be regarded well by scientists.

On the other hand, someone who is perpetuating bollocks should be regarded as such.



I think the future holds bright promise for this phenom if, and ONLY if, the honest researchers who employ critical thought are somehow "brought up" and the charlatans are ignored.

Naturally, the trick is to accurately decide who is who.


Springer...



posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 03:24 PM
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I think the negative attitude towards the study of UFOs of many academic scientists, is mostly a psycho-social phenomenon. And overall has harmed the public's trust in science (much like people laugh at official economic statistics like 3% inflation).


Skeptics, who flatly deny the existence of any unexplained phenomenon in the name of 'rationalism,' are among the primary contributors to the rejection of science by the public.

People are not stupid and they know very well when they have seen something out of the ordinary. When a so-called expert tells them the object must have been the moon or a mirage, he is really teaching the public that science is impotent or unwilling to pursue the study of the unknown.

(Vallee, J., Confrontations, New York: Ballantine Books, 1990.)



posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 04:04 PM
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Have you read any UFO books?
If so, how many?

(1) 1-10

Do you consider the possibility that any UFO sightings are caused by extraterrestrial craft:
(c) A real possibility

Is ufology either a "pseudo-science" or "anti-science"? If you think so, why? If not, why are such views expressed?

I think its a anti-science currently, since Im not aware of any public research going into the existence of UFO's. All the research by top scientists are being done behind closed doors by organizations under the various governments on earth (mostly the US government). This is because of the enormous psychological conditioning that there is no such thing as aliens. Character assassination and ridicule of people believing in aliens is quite common because its the way people have been programmed to act and behave.

What does it mean to you to be “scientific”?

It means to make sure that the claims can be verified by other scientists by showing them the calculations or other verifiable means of proofing the claim is correct. Scientific proof can only be applied to things that can be measured and observed in the physical world.

Is it a good thing to be “scientific”?

Its excellent within a field such as maths or physics, and its also good when it comes to reverse engineering or building space crafts. But if you mean being scientific about the sightings, then no. There is no way to scientifically proof that what you see is what you think it is. Its a question of your own interpretation of the sighting, and that is subjective. There is no place in science for subjective things.

Do you think levels of antiscientific/pseudoscientific views are increasing?

Absolutely.

Would the number of sightings of UFOs and/or belief in UFOs decrease if there was increased knowledge of:
(a) scientific facts (e.g. relating to astronomy or meteorology)
(b) scientific methods.


No.

Perhaps surprisingly, the skeptics involved in a focus group I organized did NOT think that this would make a significant difference, commenting that it would make at most “a marginal difference” since various other social and psychological factors are more important. On the other hand, the ufo researchers in a focus group thought that improved science education would significantly reduce the number of reports reaching them.


I have to agree with the skeptics here, but probably for different reasons than they had in mind. My point of view is once again that you cant proof what a light in the sky is, since that is subject to your interpretation of it. Its subjective, not scientifically objective.

Do you think skeptics are generally better educated in science than UFO researchers?

No, I think being a skeptic or a believer has more to do with your upbringing, personality and life experience.

Is the involvement of scientists necessary or desirable in the study of UFO reports? If so, why?

Its desirable. Somebody has to look at the sightings and try to make objective interpretations based on the science. But the distrust of their interpretations is probably significant amongst the believers at this point in time, since they have historically shown to give ridiculous explanations. For one example of this, check the video I linked in the second post of this thread, where the nasa scientist tries to explain the UFO and dont even acknowledge its behind the tether despite it being obvious to anyone.

Does it matter how those involved in ufology are regarded by mainstream scientists?

No.

Has, or will, science explained all UFO reports? If not, why not?

No, there is a small amount of reports that are still unexplained by scientists as far as I know. As for why not, I think its because its sightings that cannot be interpreted as a natural phenomenon with any credibility.

Has there been adequate scientific study of UFO reports to date? If not, why not?

Yes, I think they are all being studied.

In 1969, the Condon Report suggested that “nothing has come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years that has added to scientific knowledge”. Do you think the study of UFOs has added to scientific knowledge? If so, how?

Yes, but its not being acknowledges publicly. For example, the scientific research of crashed alien crafts have most certainly contributed heavily to current public and private top secret technology. Also I believe the ufo's have made scientists wonder how its possible to fly the way they do, and therefore have given them new ideas. But this is within the private projects. To the public, they are not acknowledged to exist by most scientists.

The Condon Report also suggested that “further extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified in the expectation that science will be advanced thereby”. Is there any real prospect that science will be advanced by the study of UFO reports in the future?

No, how can science be advanced by studying reports? Much have been learned from the crashed alien crafts they wont admit to studying though. Top secret technology is many decades ahead of public technology because of this.

One of the most common questions in opinion polls regarding UFOs is whether a person “believes” that “UFOs are real”. What do you think about this question?

I would prefer if they replaced "UFO" with "extraterrestrial flying vehicle" since UFO just means Unidentified Flying Object and can be interpreted as exactly that and not necessarily alien.

Would you expect polling data to indicate that belief in UFOs is inversely related to levels of intelligence?

Do you mean IQ? Then no. I think anyone who sees a light in the sky starts to go through the natural explanations in their head, such as aircraft, planet, balloon etc. I dont believe IQ will affect the interpretation since its very easy to rule out what it can not be. A child could do it. If it moves in impossible ways, its not a aircraft. If its a glowing ball of light, its probably not a bird. And so on.

Would you expect polling data to indicate that belief in UFOs is inversely related to levels of education?

No, for the same reasons mentioned in the previous question. Even though I think military personal may have a easier time identifying some UFO's as not being aircrafts, the absolute majority of people seeing UFO's wont have a education that helps them, and it will therefore not affect the average polling data much.

[edit on 30-9-2007 by Copernicus]



posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 05:02 PM
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Would you expect polling data to indicate that belief in UFOs is inversely related to levels of education?

I had the impression that several decades of polls show that belief in the reality of UFOs is higher among people of higher education.

E.g. Stanton Friedman keeps citing such poll results for several decades in his public appearances on TV and I never heard anyone challenge him on that point.



posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 06:29 PM
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Originally posted by IsaacKoi
BASIC DETAILS OF RESPONDENT
Have you read any UFO books?
If so, how many?
(1) 1-10
(2) 10-100
(3) 100+


(1) 1- 10



Originally posted by IsaacKoi
Do you consider the possibility that any UFO sightings are caused by extraterrestrial craft:
(a) Beyond reasonable doubt?
(b) More probable than not?
(c) A real possibility?
(d) A merely fanciful possibility?
(e) Impossible?


(c) A real possibility. The reason being that the ETH is still a valid hypothesis for the phenomena even after all these years. Despite popular belief, E.T. visitation doesn't 'break' any laws of physics.


Originally posted by IsaacKoi
TOPIC: ANTI-SCIENCE / PSEUDOSCIENCE

Is ufology either a "pseudo-science" or "anti-science"? If you think so, why? If not, why are such views expressed?


Ufology is such a catch all term that means many things to many different people, but if we are strictly talking about 'Ufology' as the study of unidentified atmospheric phenomena then 'Ufology' is not 'anti-science'. As long as scientific methods are followed it isn't 'pseudoscience'.

I think that view gets expressed often out of sheer bias against the entire subject.



Originally posted by IsaacKoi
What does it mean to you to be “scientific”?


To follow established scientific methodology.


Originally posted by IsaacKoi
Is it a good thing to be “scientific”?


Of course.



Originally posted by IsaacKoi
Do you think levels of antiscientific/pseudoscientific views are increasing?


Those views are certainly reaching more people than ever before and there are more people around to listen and accept those views so I think the answer would be Yes.






Originally posted by IsaacKoi
TOPIC: EDUCATION

Would the number of sightings of UFOs and/or belief in UFOs decrease if there was increased knowledge of:
(a) scientific facts (e.g. relating to astronomy or meteorology)
(b) scientific methods.


I think the number of sightings of IFO's reported as UFOs would go down if people reporting were more knowledgable in general.

The 'belief in UFOs', which I'll take to mean the acceptance of existence, would increase.




Originally posted by IsaacKoi
Do you think skeptics are generally better educated in science than UFO researchers?


No.




Originally posted by IsaacKoi
TOPIC: INVOLVEMENT OF SCIENTISTS

Is the involvement of scientists necessary or desirable in the study of UFO reports? If so, why?


Of course. Reports can only yield limited information, it will be actual field investigations of the phenomena that will ultimately explain what the phenomena is.



Originally posted by IsaacKoi
Does it matter how those involved in ufology are regarded by mainstream scientists?


I think it matters, but is quite superficial. As it is right now anyone can involve themselves with Ufology, that has nothing to do with the validity of the phenomena.



Originally posted by IsaacKoi
Has, or will, science explained all UFO reports? If not, why not?


Certainly science has not explained the "unknowns", the phenomena itself (UAP).

I think science will explain them hopefully sooner than later. The multi-national scientific effort in Hessdalen, Norway is a good example of progress in this regard.



Originally posted by IsaacKoi
Has there been adequate scientific study of UFO reports to date? If not, why not?


Reports alone can't answer the UFO Mystery, an adequate scientific study of the UFO Mystery by its very nature of being "adequate" must go beyond simply looking at the UFO reports.

Clearly no scientific study has to date gone beyond simply looking at UFO reports, with the exception of the multi-national scientific effort in Hessdalen, Norway.





Originally posted by IsaacKoi
In 1969, the Condon Report suggested that “nothing has come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years that has added to scientific knowledge”. Do you think the study of UFOs has added to scientific knowledge? If so, how?


Again I'd refer to Hessdalen where UFO reports clearly resulted in Discovery of anomalous phenomena.




Originally posted by IsaacKoi
The Condon Report also suggested that “further extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified in the expectation that science will be advanced thereby”. Is there any real prospect that science will be advanced by the study of UFO reports in the future?


I think Hessdalen proves to us we have a lot to learn about anomalous atmospheric phenomena that lead to UFO reports.





Originally posted by IsaacKoi
TOPIC: POLLING DATA

One of the most common questions in opinion polls regarding UFOs is whether a person “believes” that “UFOs are real”. What do you think about this question?


I never thought much about the question. It's vague, and clearly UFO reports are 'real' reported observations.


Originally posted by IsaacKoi
Would you expect polling data to indicate that belief in UFOs is inversely related to levels of intelligence?


It depends on what you mean by "belief in UFOs".

I'd expect that lower intelligence lends itself to more "Beliefs" associated with UFOs.

I'd also expect higher intelligence to lend itself to acknowledgement of anomalous phenomena.



Originally posted by IsaacKoi
Would you expect polling data to indicate that belief in UFOs is inversely related to levels of education?


Again, it depends on what you mean by "belief in UFOs".

I think my answer would be similar to that above for intelligence.



posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 07:15 PM
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reply to post by IsaacKoi
 


Hi IsaacKoi

What a delightful thread! I've answered your questions as best I can, hope you find this useful.

-Paul.

1.BASIC DETAILS OF RESPONDENT
(2) 10-100

2.Do you consider the possibility that any UFO sightings are caused by extraterrestrial craft?
At the moment I am (d)

3. To me, clearly UFOlogy is a pseudo-science. While it is true there is data collection, much of the "data" seems to be ambiguous at best, and UFOlogists seem quick to leap to their favoured view point- the ETH.

What does it mean to you to be “scientific”?
Scientific is a method of investigation normally employed to help us model and understand the Physical world. There are three basic processes:

(a). Observe a phenomena in an objective way.

(b). Construct a theory to understand the phenomena. The theory should make testable predictions.

(c). Test Theory to see if predictions are accurate. If not, refine the model. This process can go on for a long time: Newtonian Gravity -> General Relativity for example.
This process is peer reviewed in the hope that the cause will remain true.

Is it a good thing to be “scientific”?
Science keeps us grounded in a beautiful physical world which can be understood. It gives us the gift of rationality. Without this, mankind is reduced to cowering in caves at the sight of a total eclipse.

Sadly I believe there is a real increase and indeed a celebration of anti-science. I always smile at the people who say "Ah but science doesn't know everything..." Indeed it doesn't, but it doesn't know nothing! It knows enough give all the comforts we take for granted today- medicine, power, travel etc.

4. TOPIC: EDUCATION
Would the number of sightings of UFOs and/or belief in UFOs decrease if there was increased knowledge of:
(a) scientific facts (e.g. relating to astronomy or meteorology)
(b) scientific methods.

I believe this to be true. As an astronomer I am often called upon by local people who believe they have seen a UFO, only for it to be a bright planet like Venus, Jupiter or Mars. My approach to this is simple- I invite them to my observatory and show them these worlds through my telescope. It is interesting how many people don't even know planets are visible in the night sky, more less that they can cast shadows (e.g. Venus) when near their full brightness. Good education solves many problems.

I don't necessarily think Sceptics are better educated, it's simply being familiar with what you know. I'm a Theoretical Physicist as well as an amateur astronomer, but ask me to build a shed, or change a car battery and I'm screwed! If you are familiar with the night sky, then it's harder to spot a UFO. If you know the scientific method, then you have objective rational thought, this is a very powerful tool.

5. TOPIC: INVOLVEMENT OF SCIENTISTS
It is necessary for scientists to be involved with UFO studies. I myself am an Astronomical advisor to a local UFO group. While I do not support the ETH, I would never turn anyone away who believed they observed something unusual in the night sky.

6. TOPIC: POLLING DATA
Asking someone whether they believe in UFOs is a stupid question. It automatically associates UFOs with belief like God etc, and so people less inclined to "believe" will probably dismiss the question out of hand. I would expect a poll to show that belief in UFOs is inversely proportional to levels of scientific understanding- not the same as intelligence. More a factor of misunderstood basic Physical principles and astronomical facts.



posted on Oct, 1 2007 @ 11:52 AM
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Have you read any UFO books?
If so, how many?


(3) 100+

Do you consider the possibility that any UFO sightings are caused by extraterrestrial craft:

(c) A real possibility.

Is ufology either a "pseudo-science" or "anti-science"? If you think so, why? If not, why are such views expressed?

Some people who study ufology attempt to apply the scientific method to their researches, but most do not. Many people interested in the field are “anti-science” in their approach, preferring to cast aside not only the scientific method, but also anything said by government, self-styled skeptics, or anyone who does not agree with their point of view. In that sense it is anti-science.

What does it mean to you to be “scientific”?

To apply the scientific method and to treat the issue seriously and dispassionately. This means to ‘follow the evidence,’ not the heart and to refuse to take things at face value. It also means that you base results on what science has already learned AND that your data is reproducible by others. As any other ‘science’ has a recognized body of literature supporting it, this also means being familiar with the subject by having read the literature.

Most people posting on UFOs are not well versed on the issues. Because the study of UFOs is not sanctioned by the scientific community, it has no ‘admission standards,’ therefore anyone can play. The water is further muddied by the presence of the religious or cult elements of some people who treat ufos in this manner. Examples are Adamski, Meier, Greer, heaven’s gate, etc. Despite the obvious and proven fraudulent activity and hoaxes of these groups, they continue to have their adherents. This spins a lot of wheels and wastes a lot of time. Because of this sloppy thinking, science does not want to enter the fray. I don’t blame them. Just look at the threads here: Hillary is a shape-shifting reptilian? Sleeper bangs hot alien sperm collectors? ATS members who are aliens? Gay Greys? The Billy Meier Ray Gun (found on ebay) is real? Scientists won’t engage this, but as a result the field goes unchecked by any rigorous scientific discipline.


Is it a good thing to be “scientific”?

It absolutely is and is the only way to discover the real truth about our universe. The problem is that science moves slowly and is subject to its own biases. Science is essentially a reaction to religious craziness in an attempt to separate out the snake-oil salesmen from truth. We can’t blame science for that, but the abhorrence science feels for alternative explanations means they won’t deal with some of the issues. There is obviously something going on that has so far defied explanation. It is so far beyond what science can accept that it remains on the fringe. Eventually, if science is true to itself, the truth will reveal itself. That doesn’t mean that God is real, but it might mean the extra-dimensional hypothesis might actually work. It’s not that Einstein was wrong, it’s just that there might be a super-theory that encompasses his ideas and, in effect, circumvents them. Science gravitates to the nuts & bolts hypothesis, figures out that’s basically impossible, then dismisses the same thing. We need science to get beyond nuts & bolts successfully. Until it does, we won’t be seeing much scientific progress, at least in public.

Do you think levels of antiscientific/pseudoscientific views are increasing?

Not really. I think the Internet has given more prevalence to non-scientific issues. People whose approach is decidedly non-scientific have an easier time making their views known, but they have always been there. The cults, by their very nature, are loud and shrill.

Would the number of sightings of UFOs and/or belief in UFOs decrease if there was increased knowledge of:
(a) scientific facts (e.g. relating to astronomy or meteorology)
(b) scientific methods.


I think the incidents of reporting things that were obvious astronomical or natural phenomena would go down if people were able to be critical about their observations, however the number may go up because of the prevalence of cell phone cameras and general observation of our surroundings that was impossible prior to the blossoming of technology.

Do you think skeptics are generally better educated in science than UFO researchers?

Generally speaking, yes. I think this could be easily proven by poll data. People well educated in the methods of science rarely claim to meet aliens or have alien souls. They are not likely to claim that the moon has 2/3rds of the gravity of earth or a breathable atmosphere. They won’t claim moths are alien energy anchor beings or that there is a race of humans living on Uranus.

Is the involvement of scientists necessary or desirable in the study of UFO reports? If so, why?

Generally speaking, no, not for ‘reports.’ Scientists need not waste their time with the average report. Do we need scientists to ‘study’ Gottigo’s UFO report of a Continental commercial jetliner? Unlikely. The scientific role might be better applied to theory. How could it be that the speed of light could be broken? Is there any merit to a trans-dimensional hypothesis, really? How do you explain the ‘high strangeness’ of many UFO reports? Is anti-gravity actually feasible? If science can answer some of these questions definitively, this may lead us down the right path to understanding.

Does it matter how those involved in ufology are regarded by mainstream scientists?

Yes. The problem with mainstream science is that it refuses to deal with the subject and treats it as pseudo-science or worse. There are good people in the field who want to know the truth. The problem is that others who become interested muddy the waters with religion, conspiracy, magic, and other issues that prevent a purely scientific inquiry. By refusing to see beyond the crazies in the field, science throws the baby out with the bathwater. The field could use some scientific discipline.

Has, or will, science explain[ed] all UFO reports? If not, why not?

Why does a given UFO report need to be ‘explained?’ They won’t ‘all’ be explained simply because there are not the resources to devote to explaining them. One problem is reporting every light in the sky someone does not immediately recognize as proof of aliens from space. We don’t have the time to deal with the issue at that level.

Has there been adequate scientific study of UFO reports to date? If not, why not?

Very likely, but it’s just that we are not aware of it. It’s not in the public domain. This is the area where I start to buy off on a conspiracy theory. It is at least theoretically possible that science has studied this area in depth, but that the reports are cloaked in secrecy. There seems to be some evidence that this is true.

In 1969, the Condon Report suggested that “nothing has come from the study of UFOs in the past 21 years that has added to scientific knowledge”. Do you think the study of UFOs has added to scientific knowledge? If so, how?

Putting on my conspiracy hat, I suspect a great deal has been learned. See immediately above. A great deal has happened since 1969 as well. This puts science in an awkward position. Why advocate more scientific study if it has already taken place. Some people suspect the ‘problem’ has been ‘solved’ insofar as science cloaked in secrecy has done way more than just look at the field. For science to publicly pretend to examine it would be a sham in itself.

The Condon Report also suggested that “further extensive study of UFOs probably cannot be justified in the expectation that science will be advanced thereby”. Is there any real prospect that science will be advanced by the study of UFO reports in the future?

I suspect that has already happened, but I’m not sure. There is ample evidence that the Condon report was a sham. See “Aliens in the skies; (The Scientific Rebuttal to the Condon Committee Report, The New UFO Battle of the Scientists) Putnam: 1969. as just one example.

One of the most common questions in opinion polls regarding UFOs is whether a person “believes” that “UFOs are real”. What do you think about this question?

People’s ‘beliefs’ are relevant insofar as they govern people’s actions. People’s beliefs about 9/11 govern how they trust their government, but beliefs by themselves do not govern truth. It’s ironic. People decide to not believe anything the government says, but tell them a conspiracy theory, and they lap it up instantly, no matter how crazy it is. It fits their world view, but has nothing to do with facts and research. They think they are wildly intelligent for refusing to believe more mainstream explanations, then fall into a pit of believing any wild theory someone comes up with. They will tell you that the government lies about everything, then turn right around and tell you in all seriousness that all the planets have human civilizations, even Uranus. If you don’t believe it. Well! NASA lies, too!

Would you expect polling data to indicate that belief in UFOs is inversely related to levels of intelligence?

Not so much intelligence as education. Having said that, people well educated in science would tend to ‘believe’ UFOs are not real because they have been ‘educated out of the possibility’ that UFOs exist. This, in my opinion, is just as bad as credulous belief.

next post..reached maximum

[edit on 10/1/2007 by schuyler]



posted on Oct, 1 2007 @ 05:08 PM
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continued from last post. I didn't realize I had exceeded the post character amount.

question was about education.

Yes, however, see immediately above. I suspect you’d see a bell-shaped curve. Those with no education are unlikely to be particularly interested. Those with some may very well be. These are the sophomores, which means ‘wise fool.’ They have enough education to express themselves, but not enough to be sufficiently scientific about the issues. This includes the vast majority of liberal arts graduates of our colleges. The more highly educated people, once again, are unlikely to be interested and will treat the issue with contempt. They have the added burden of not being entirely free to explore these issues because of social stigma.

P.S. I was answering the OP. I really don't care what a Meier cult member thinks about this. This kind of stuff discredits the entire field.



posted on Oct, 1 2007 @ 05:25 PM
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My thanks to all of those that have responded on this forum or by email. I really appreciate you taking the time. The answers have added to the results from the focus group discussions that I had organised. In fact, the answers have given me a few ideas to consider after finishing off the current mini-project.

The mini-project has to be filed shortly and I still have plenty to think about. Once I've met the deadline, I'll post a bit more in response to the views expressed in the focus groups and in response to the questionnaire.

I've found some of the information that has emerged slightly surprising - which, of course, merely makes the exercise more interesting.

Kind Regards, and thanks again,

Isaac



posted on Oct, 1 2007 @ 05:50 PM
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(Q)Have you read any UFO books?
If so, how many?
(1) 1-10
(2) 10-100
(3) 100+

(A)(2)16 to be precise.

(Q)Do you consider the possibility that any UFO sightings are caused by extraterrestrial craft:
(a) Beyond reasonable doubt?
(b) More probable than not?
(c) A real possibility?
(d) A merely fanciful possibility?
(e) Impossible?

(A) (c) with occasional leanings towards (b)

TOPIC: ANTI-SCIENCE / PSEUDOSCIENCE

(Q)Is ufology either a "pseudo-science" or "anti-science"? If you think so, why? If not, why are such views expressed?

(A)Unfortunately many do see ufology as a "pseudo/anti science"in part due to the likes of Icke,Greer et al.Also the lack of recognition by almost all media outlets (UK at least)and mainstream science is somewhat to blame too.
In reality the subject CAN and SHOULD be approached in a true scientific manner.It has been in the past,and a handful of scientists still do.Also our French neighbours (GEPAN) are trying.

(Q)What does it mean to you to be “scientific”?

(A)As has been mentioned,to be "scientific" one has to approach the subject using the scientific method.Remaining objective and focused,but also open minded to a degree.
Refraining from any personal beliefs and/or flights of fancy,allowing them to pollute research which would lead to inaccurate data/conclusions.

(Q)Is it a good thing to be “scientific”?

(A)Of course,its fundamental.

(Q)Do you think levels of antiscientific/pseudoscientific views are increasing?

(A)To a degree yes,i believe its due to the fact that most serious,professional scientists wont even entertain the idea.This leaves all the kooks and crackpots with financial agendas unchecked and as a result makes them the loudest/only voice.
An example would be if i were to ask my friends and work colleagues if they have heard of David Icke,the reply would be "Yes,he a complete nutcase,UFO`s and Reptiles from Mars"ect.
But if i were to ask if they were familiar with Dr Haines,Hyneck ect the reply would be "Who?".
Therin lies the problem as far as im concerned.As most know,none of the scientists mentioned,rightfully so,have claimed the ETH to be the answer,however their research has most certainly pushed the door of possibility further open.

TOPIC: EDUCATION

(Q)Would the number of sightings of UFOs and/or belief in UFOs decrease if there was increased knowledge of:
(a) scientific facts (e.g. relating to astronomy or meteorology)
(b) scientific methods.

(A)With better education,witnesses to sightings would be in a better position to analyze and identify their sighting without reporting it,thus a decrease in sightings would be expected.The genuine UFO sightings (in my opinion,especially from pilots ect,although not exclusively) would still continue.

(Q)Do you think skeptics are generally better educated in science than UFO researchers?

(A)No,just a couple of examples.The recent O`Hare sighting was quickly passed off by the FAA as Weather,even though evidence supports that a structured craft,possibly metallic and rotating,while hovering silently for several minutes,was reported by a number of observers.Several of Phill Klass`s debunking efforts were also poor.

TOPIC: INVOLVEMENT OF SCIENTISTS

(Q)Is the involvement of scientists necessary or desirable in the study of UFO reports? If so, why?

(A)Very much so.To me,the most interesting data in the subject comes from those who ARE scientists,unfortunately they were/are a tiny minority.Dr Richard Haines,Dr Michu Kaku,and the late Dr J Mcdonald,Dr J Allen Hyneck,to name just 4.

(Q)Does it matter how those involved in ufology are regarded by mainstream scientists?

(A)Yes and No.

(Q)Has or will,science explained all UFO reports?If not,why not?

(A)No,science has not explained all UFO reports,far from it.Until Science officially recognizes that plenty of data supports anomalous physical craft,serious investigation,not the quick dismissals of "weather","Venus" or hallucinations will ever suffice or provide the truth.

Cont...



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