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When does evidence become proof?

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posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 03:54 AM
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Some excellent points from across the 'opinion spectrum' here. Many thanks for replying, this is the kind of discussion I was hoping to provoke.

I like Learhog's counter to the shark argument. It's the fantastical elements of these accounts which are so far outside everyday reality that makes the burden of proof that much higher. I fully understand the need to see something myself before believing but I also think this could be a bit limiting. If I were to take this stance it would imply that no argument on a forum such as this one could possibly sway me so there wouldn't be much point trying to engage me in a debate.

Xtraeme makes an excellent point about radar. It seems to me that there is no plausible counter to this so people just ignore the facts. They have the mindset that because these UFOs, sorry dragons, can't exist then the radar can't be showing them so there must be another, as yet unknown, explanation for the data, usually appealing to Ockham's razor as a kind of trump card.

ZeroTensor's point is important. Some skeptics are quite happy to point out that the testimony of police, military, astronauts, politicians is open to misinterpretation etc but ready and willing to accept the testimony of their own senses. We have a kind of faith, if you will, that our own senses tell us the truth. However, I do think there would be a difference between witnessing a distant flyby (one sense) and meeting one on the ground where all senses could be brought into play.

Thanks also to WitnessFromAfar for answering the question in the thread title. I've taken a quick look at your own thread - it looks amazing. I've going to be busy on that one for a couple of weeks, I reckon, looking at all the data you pulled together. Awesome!




posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 05:14 AM
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Your thread confuses three issues.

The first question that you seem to focus on exclusively is do UFOs exist?
UFOs (call them dragons if you must) are real. They are objects. That fly. That are unidentified. That UFOs are real is not debatable: countless reports attest the physical reality of unknown aerial phenomena. Reasonable skeptics do not deny the reality of UFOs. Every unaccounted for radar echo is a UFO. Every strange light in the sky is a UFO.

Second question: do UFOs have prosaic explanations? Even if most of them do, how many remain unexplained?
5-20% depending on report, catalog of observations and elimination filters.

Third question: what are the most likely explanations for UFOs?
There are many and not a single one of them is backed up by hard evidence.

Strictly speaking flying saucers are not UFOs, since people have decided they are alien spacecraft, therefore they are identified.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 05:51 AM
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reply to post by nablator
 


I know where you're coming from but purpose of the thread was more for people to think about what level of evidence they themselves would require before they accepted a fantastic claim, not to try and push one particular view about what UFOs might be (although I concede my own views probably bled through).

All things being equal, if the above scenarios did happen would you believe in dragons?

Also while I agree that reasonable skeptics will acknowledge that UFOs exist in the literal sense not everyone on ATS is reasonable



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 06:37 AM
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reply to post by MarrsAttax
 

I don't want to believe, I want to know. Why do people need to believe, anyway? Personally I consider myself a skeptic, which doesn't mean I agree with prosaic explanations in every case. Debunkers (like Philip J. Klass) who consider themselves skeptics insist on the socio-psychological model being THE answer to every case that can't be debunked otherwise. It makes them as biased as blind followers of one of the many hoaxers, because they are not honest enough to admit they don't know the truth.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 06:42 AM
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When it turns out there's oil or some other useful resource in Dragonland. That seems to be the decider in a lot of things these days.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 07:19 AM
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At what point turns evidence become proof?
- When it's seeable + hearable: either LIVE footage, by others and myself
- When it's measurable
- When one can TOUCH it
- When one can take samples of blood, skin etc
- When pictures and footage are flooding the world, web include


By your criteria above...Bigfoot is now proven to exist.

Do you believe in God? Ghosts? Cryptids? etc.? "Proof" is subjective...many scientists still argue about "proven" theories and laws...especially when it doesn't fit the mold of accepted existence...


[edit on 10-3-2009 by Gazrok]



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:03 AM
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First of all , evidence is a very dangerous word to use. Now Im a believer myself, but I would never say that I have ever seen evidence for alien craft here on earth. I would say I have seen things which make me think that there may be evidence buried somewhere that will never see the light of day again, but as such this evidence is moot, because it cannot be freely examined.
On the day when you can obtain freedom of information documents without anything blotted out , maybe we will be able to follow the evidence properly. Until the evidence is followed to something physical, that you can reach out , touch , examine, probe, disect, genecode, or otherwise experiment upon, there will not be PROOF. Proof puts men in Jail or frees them , and similarly it will either vindicate ufology or damn it , but you cant get proof, unless one happens to have a completely isolated and independant lab, the evidence to be tested, and arent in danger of being killed or silenced by the CIA for obtaining said evidence. Untill science proves UFO are from some other place in time and space, and can tell the world without danger , there will be no proof, only a growing pile of evidence , groaning under the wieght of its own implications.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:56 AM
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(19) When you shoot video then slow the replay, they become visable.

I got some fresh skyfish / rods from march 07 2009. I'll upload it later today and let you know the link.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 08:53 PM
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Fantastic thread. S & F. I'd like to echo the sentiments of one poster - don't recall who, sorry - who pointed out that those who refuse to accept the evidence as "proof" until close to number 18 are perhaps being rather inconsistent.

There are many things that even the greatest of skeptics here accept as true with FAR less evidence. How many of us have personally seen an atom? Or an atomic explosion for that matter? Or many of the countless 'natural' space phenomena that we are told of and perhaps have seen in photographs? If you think about it, there are countless phenomena which skeptics use to debunk UFO sightings which they have never personally witnesses and yet are prepared to reference as 'real' and an more likely alternative to 'alien craft' etc!

It's our prejudice which is often in the driving seat which we falsely call being 'logical' or 'rational' or 'skeptical'. I would have more respect for those positions if they were applied consistently. But they are not. They are applied inconsistently and irrationally based on prejudice.

IMO, At this point, it is only extreme prejudice, narrow-mindedness, or slavish deference to the pronouncements of 'powers that be' - whether they be political, religious or scientific - that holds back the fact of ET piloted craft in our skies from being accepted as a rather obvious truth.


[edit on 10-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 10:28 PM
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Originally posted by nablator
Your thread confuses three issues.

The first question that you seem to focus on exclusively is do UFOs exist?
UFOs (call them dragons if you must) are real. They are objects. That fly. That are unidentified. That UFOs are real is not debatable: countless reports attest the physical reality of unknown aerial phenomena. Reasonable skeptics do not deny the reality of UFOs. Every unaccounted for radar echo is a UFO. Every strange light in the sky is a UFO.


I think the problem here is that 'UFO' is a loaded term with several different meanings. The average person uses UFO to mean "alien spacecraft." The arm-chair researcher uses UFO to mean any unidentified sighting, radar echo or strange light seen in the sky (AKA a Hartman UFO). A more meaningful definition of UFO, typically used by ufologists, is the definition proffered by Hynek, "A UFO is a report the contents of which are puzzling not only to the observer but to others who have the technical training the observer may lack." (1)

Really your point is best made in that a sighting goes through three stages.
  1. First the person notices something they can't identify (the armchair researchers definition of a UFO).
  2. Then an authority does a bit of analysis and passes judgment (if it can't be identified it's a Hynek UFO).
  3. Finally people read the details in a tabloid and based off their limited view of the universe form an opinion, which is often times, labeled an alien UFO (ie/ the average persons definition of a UFO). Cosmologists and ufologists usually refrain from labeling due to the large number of possibilities.

It would be nice if we could create a word for each of these stages and have them stick. The observation stage, the post-analysis UFO, and the hypothesis of what the UFO represents. There's a potential fourth stage where the UFO is truthfully identified.

It's also interesting that immediately after a person goes through the observation stage it's common to guess at its origins. Which I suppose makes sense. To determine if something's unidentified you have to rule out what's known.

My point, though, is the stages aren't necessarily ordered. People often jump right to the hypothesis stage. However the 2nd stage does depend on the 1st; and the 4th stage (identification) can be immediately done after the 1st (for instance imagine a person watching a UFO all the sudden identifies the wing of a plane) or after the 2nd or 3rd stage.

If I had to give these stages names here's what I'd call them:

  1. VFR-UFO - The observation stage, or a RADAR-UFO, identifying the UFO based on the mechanism used to observe it.
  2. Hynek UFO or Confirmed UFO - The post-analysis UFO, abbreviated HUFO (pronounced who-foe) or CUFO (pronounced cue-foe).
  3. UFO Position - The hypothesis stage, a UFOP, indicates a persons position on the origins of a UFO.
    1. Alien UFOP - Alien Unidentified Flying Object Position or AUFOP (pronounced hEy-You-Fop
      ), it's still not identified, thus it's the persons position or belief that it's alien in nature

  4. IFO or IAP - The last stage, truthful identification. Identified Flying Object or Identified Aerial Phenomenon.


[edit on 11-3-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 02:37 AM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


That was a fantastic post Malcram. You should post more often. i see it's just been your 1 year anniversary as an ATS member, congrats!

-WFA



posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 03:12 AM
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Originally posted by dragonking76
As Learhoag said (starred). The saying "seeing is believing" is so very true for nearly all human knowledge/theory. There are always exceptions depending on the individual and how open they are to 'dragons.'


To an extent yes... but I don't think that is the case for everything.

For instance... I have never seen a Concorde flying with my own 2 eyes.... yet I don't sit around saying the Concorde doesn't and never existed. I take it on face value that all those videos I saw of the concorde taking off and the people that have told me they have seen it fly.... that the concorde must have been real.

It comes down to belief. If you believe something cannot be.... then all the proof in the world is never going to be enough for you. Even if you see something with your own eyes that you don't recognise... rather than accepting what you saw you will try and explain it away with something that sounds more "feasible".



posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 03:15 AM
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Originally posted by Malcram
Fantastic thread. S & F. I'd like to echo the sentiments of one poster - don't recall who, sorry - who pointed out that those who refuse to accept the evidence as "proof" until close to number 18 are perhaps being rather inconsistent.

There are many things that even the greatest of skeptics here accept as true with FAR less evidence. How many of us have personally seen an atom? Or an atomic explosion for that matter? Or many of the countless 'natural' space phenomena that we are told of and perhaps have seen in photographs? If you think about it, there are countless phenomena which skeptics use to debunk UFO sightings which they have never personally witnesses and yet are prepared to reference as 'real' and an more likely alternative to 'alien craft' etc!

It's our prejudice which is often in the driving seat which we falsely call being 'logical' or 'rational' or 'skeptical'. I would have more respect for those positions if they were applied consistently. But they are not. They are applied inconsistently and irrationally based on prejudice.

IMO, At this point, it is only extreme prejudice, narrow-mindedness, or slavish deference to the pronouncements of 'powers that be' - whether they be political, religious or scientific - that holds back the fact of ET piloted craft in our skies from being accepted as a rather obvious truth.


[edit on 10-3-2009 by Malcram]



Just read your thread after I posted mine... and you're exactly right. Skeptics or as I prefer to call them debunkers... # me to tears because they pick and choose what they want to believe to fit whatever their agenda is.

They love using buzzwords such as "The burden of Proof is on you" yet rarely if ever give EVIDENCE themselves to prove that their theories are correct.



posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 06:02 AM
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Originally posted by Total Package
Just read your thread after I posted mine... and you're exactly right. Skeptics or as I prefer to call them debunkers... # me to tears because they pick and choose what they want to believe to fit whatever their agenda is.

They love using buzzwords such as "The burden of Proof is on you" yet rarely if ever give EVIDENCE themselves to prove that their theories are correct.


To be fair I think you can be a skeptic without being a debunker (used in the perjorative sense).

The fact is people who say 'the burden of proof is on you' are quite correct. The difference between a true skeptic and a debunker would be that the skeptic has no preconceived notion about 'reality' and would only make judgements when the evidence dictated.

I think it's easy to spot those who are true skeptics and those who are debunkers. Don't think because someone puts forward an alternative explanation they are debunking. A skeptic will say 'This could be a misidentification of a weather balloon and until I see further evidence I am not willing to accept the claim it is an alien space ship. A debunker will say 'This is a weather balloon'.

There is a very good definition of skepticism on the Uk Skeptics website where it mentions '.. the best way of showing that something is true is that it can resist attempts to prove it false: attempting to prove something false is a robust way of testing its validity' which I think is an excellent way to proceed. There are certainly cases that have resisted attempts to prove them false.

As it stands I'd describe the evidence for UFOs as extremely compelling. For me it is also the sheer amount of that evidence which suggests that there is something tangible behind all these reports. I guess you could call this the 'No Smoke without Fire' theory


The fact is no other 'strange phenomena' is backed by such an enormous amount of reports, which suggests to me the phenomena is real and something quite outside our present understanding.

[edit on 11/3/2009 by MarrsAttax]



posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 08:26 AM
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reply to post by MarrsAttax
 


Me personaly , I am a skeptical believer . I am resolute when it comes to the existance of UFO. They do ... end of. As to what they are exactly , where they are from , I cannot say, and untill I can state as fact the origins of a given ufo , I will only ever make speculative suggestions rather than stating as fact, something which is conjectural.



posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 08:40 AM
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In my opinion what needs to happen is one of those crafts to CRASH in some place like Central Park, or in some city. The occupant comes crawling out with it`s tongue hanging out (assuming it has one), and keels over dead.

Tons of people will witness it, take photos and video. The government couldn`t possibly silence all those people and cover it up.
Parts of the craft will show up on ebay!

or

Next time someone gets abducted, I hope they steal somthing before coming back.

Physical evidence which can be examined is always the best way to convert evidence to proof.
But physical evidence that has been gathered in front of and documented by alot of witnesses (who are`nt UFO buffs) is a surefire way to do it.

But on a more serious note, when real proof comes, we`ll know it because we`ll no longer be on here debating the existance of extraterrestrial life.


[edit on 11-3-2009 by johnjohn808]



posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 08:43 AM
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I think its deeper than folk think with this proof stuff. You not only have to have some physical examinable proof , but you have to body block the damned Secret Services to get it fairly assesed. And as some of us are already aware, they can be pushy at the very least, no matter which side of the sea you are from !



posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 09:08 AM
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reply to post by MarrsAttax
 



#9 - Fire in the Sky good movie!

I think that mainly #18 but i wouldnt go as far as saying that everything else is false or a Hoax. I tend to believe people but that doesnt mean that i will change my life forever. I just believe. thats all.



posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 09:20 AM
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Originally posted by nosmokinggun
I would have to disagree with everyone that #18 is where you consider something to be real..

For example I have never seen a shark with my own eyes, does that mean they are not real??

I suspect we can all think of some animal that we have not seen with our own eyes that we know is real and in existence..

I think it would be a combination of a lot of those points and an accepted belief within society that dragons were real that would make me belief in them even if I have not seen one with my own eyes..

As for UFO's they are only UFO's until they are identified.. which is why they will remain mostly a mystery.. until I think a government puts there hands up and says it was us.. or it was them.. or both.. which is not likely to happen as they can use the UFO phenomena to cover up black projects.. as for NASA they see it.. all you got to do is look at the footage.. some of the astronauts reports that are finally coming out.. still we all don't believe.. so going back to the original question when do we believe.. I think some things are easier to believe then others.. and maybe there are some things the masses just don't want to believe..

interesting spin using dragons.. like it!!!



I was about to say the same thing. When i read some of the peoples comments about well its only hersay and what not. But if you say that than almost everything you know is hersay. You dont know if the great pyramids exist unless you see them for yourself. You dont know if a certain animal exist unless you see them for yourself. Or better, do you honestly believe that the galaxy and the universe exist the way the experts tells us they do? You havent youself gone up into space several million light years out of the Milkyway and took a look at what a galaxy and universe looks like. I think the point is made. But what im trying to say is that most of our beliefs and most of our knowledge comes from what other people tells us. Most of us dont go out and experience these things on our own.

I guess for me its Believeing is seeing. and I believe that is all that matters. No one can call you crazy for that.

Peace!

[edit on 11-3-2009 by Armour For Victor]

[edit on 11-3-2009 by Armour For Victor]



posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by johnjohn808
 


I dont see why we should be debating the existance of extraterresterial life.
That should be a given. At least I would hope so.


Peace!




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