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The Skeptics Dilemma

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posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 07:08 PM
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reply to post by Majorion
 

Then how can you say this:



Skeptics on the other hand, don't believe 'anything'.. they claim to be completely disassociated from religious control and fundamentalism, but really.. Science is their God. This term 'skeptic' is being over-used.. In reality, they are a cult like any other.


I am a skeptic about the ET hypothesis. You relate my opinion on ET's to my stand on religion. You presume much.

[edit on 3/22/2009 by Phage]




posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 07:18 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
I am a skeptic about the ET hypothesis. You relate my opinion on ET's to my stand on religion.

I have not mentioned ET's in my posts here, so.. I'm not sure I understand how you've related the two. And for the record, I was not referring to those who are simply 'skeptical' like yourself Phage, I was speaking about the topic of the thread.. which is bogus pseudo skeptics. It seems that there are alot of them here on ATS.



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 07:18 PM
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Let's take a guess
:


Who likes to do this in general ?

* Vague and/or exaggerated claims and ambiguous language.
* Lack of interest in having these claims tested, or reproduced by third parties.
* Claims that, for various reasons the scientific method cannot be used.
* There is no real research into, or progression of, the idea. Resistance or hostility to change.
* Misuse of scientific terms - equivocation and technobabble.
* Proponents of the idea are unable or unwilling to identify what would falsify the idea.
* Associated with the above, proponents are only concerned with data which confirms their hypothesis and ignore data which could disprove it.
* Reversing the burden of proof by claiming their idea has never been (totally) disproved.
* Claiming that a conspiracy of scientists or government officials exists which is hiding the truth about the believer's discoveries, or other invented complaints about scientific objectivity.
* Inability to obtain publication in recognized peer-reviewed publication.
* Science based on a political or religious doctrine and has a religious or political goal instead of the advancement of knowledge.
* Invocation of authority rather than evidence.
* Failure to be able to make verifiable predictions.
* Asking stupid questions in order to make an unsubstantiated assertion e.g. from Erich von Daniken "Elephant Island is shaped like an elephant, but this can only be seen from the air. Does this mean the Ancient Egyptians had flying Machines ?" (No).

1. Believers
2. Skeptics

Cheers,
Europa



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 07:38 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


I don't think so Phage, he equated your professed devotion to science to reverence for a religion. I think that's a fair comparison don't you, considering you just spent several posts confessing you devotion to the scientific approach within the scientific establishment?

[edit on 22-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 07:40 PM
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reply to post by Europa733
 


Your list applies to pseudo-skeptics. Ask me how


Was that the answer you were looking for?

[edit on 22-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 07:44 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
reply to post by Europa733
 


To switch roles for a moment, why should we give this hearsay posted in the "Skeptic's UFO Newsletter' (is that a peer-reviewed newsletter? LOL) any credence whatsoever? It's still just a lot of "so and so says" and "according to so and so". I find it surprising that this would be considered acceptable to skeptics.

[edit on 22-3-2009 by Malcram]


Well, I agree with you as a matter of fact.

Ufology is not a science, it does not get peer reviewed, that's all.

This is why I keep saying that there's one and only way to go further.

S3ETI, SETA, SETV, OSETI

But on the other side, if anyone hade some empirical evidence of ET visitations, we wouldn't be on this thread
"babysitting" our dear believers.

Unless one think there's a worldwide conspiracy or that our scientific community is just too dumb to realize it. (since it's not hidden from it e.g. TEP)

Cheers,
Europa


[edit on 22-3-2009 by Europa733]



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 07:47 PM
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Originally posted by Majorion
Skeptics are a bunch of buzz-kills. All of us skeptical people, I don't think that there is anyone whom believes 'everything'. Skeptics on the other hand, don't believe 'anything'.. they claim to be completely disassociated from religious control and fundamentalism, but really.. Science is their God. This term 'skeptic' is being over-used.. In reality, they are a cult like any other.


You make a very good point.

Everyone is skeptical of things but skepticism has been turned into a religion.

People like Michael Shermer and James Randi has turned skepticism into a perpetual state instead of a tool to search for the truth.

It's like people say I'm a skeptic just like a Muslim will say I'm a Muslim.

Most people who say they are skeptics are really debunkers.

Like you said everyone is a skeptic about things and they are skeptical as they search for the truth.

The pseudo or bogus skeptic wants to act like everyone that accepts these things did so because of belief. Nobody can look at the evidence and weigh it within reason and then come to a conclusion.

Everyone that excepts the ET hypothesis has to be a believer. No, people who accept the ET hypothesis are skeptical, there just not closed minded debunkers. The bogus or pseudo skeptic wants to attach the word skeptic to themselves because they think it makes them seem logical as they debate the "believers."

Nobody is pulling these things out of a black hat and just waking up one day and saying "I believe" in the ET hypothesis.

This is because skepticism sould be used as a tool to seek the truth not a perpetual state of obstruction.

When I hear people like Randi or Shermer introduced as "skeptic" I cringe. What does that mean? Is skeptic now a noun that's a catch all title that denotes a specific set of religious values or adherence to skepticism as a perpetual state of obstruction?

Just about everyone in the world is skeptical of something.

Skepticism:

In ordinary usage, skepticism or scepticism (Greek: 'σκέπτομαι' skeptomai, to look about, to consider; see also spelling differences) refers to:

(a) an attitude of doubt or a disposition to incredulity either in general or toward a particular object;
(b) the doctrine that true knowledge or knowledge in a particular area is uncertain; or
(c) the method of suspended judgment, systematic doubt, or criticism that is characteristic of skeptics (Merriam–Webster).

THE MERRIAM-WEBSTER DEFINITION IS INTERESTING AND I THINK DENOTES A BELIEVER'S CHARACTERISIC IN THE RELIGION OF SKEPTICISM.

HERE'S MORE:

In classical philosophy, skepticism refers to the teachings and the traits of the "Skeptikoi", a school of philosophers of whom it was said that they "asserted nothing but only opined." (Liddell and Scott) In this sense, philosophical skepticism, or Pyrrhonism, is the philosophical position that one should suspend judgement in investigations.

In religion, skepticism refers to "doubt concerning basic religious principles (as immortality, providence, and revelation)." (Merriam–Webster)

The word skepticism can characterize a position on a single claim, but in scholastic circles more frequently describes a lasting mind-set and an approach to accepting or rejecting new information. Individuals who proclaim to have a skeptical outlook are frequently called skeptics, often without regard to whether it is philosophical skepticism or empirical skepticism that they profess.

en.wikipedia.org...

What this shows is skepticism is misused by many who claim to be skeptics.

Most people have a higher degree of skepticism on some issues and less on others and being skeptical does not stop you from weighing the evidence within reason.



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 07:53 PM
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reply to post by platosallegory
 

Yes, but my point is.. that there seems to be way too many people here on this mere conspiracy website, whom claim to be and refer to themselves as 'skeptics'... never in my life have I encountered even one person who refers to him/her self as a 'skeptic'. And as I was saying earlier, almost everyone is skeptical by nature.

I just find it incredibly odd; that there are this many 'skeptics' on a conspiracy website.



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 08:01 PM
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Originally posted by Europa733

Ufology is not a science, it does not get peer reviewed, that's all.


The purveyor of hearsay the Skeptics UFO Newletter may not be peer reviewed but the journal of the Society for Scientific Exploration, which published the Trans-en-Provence reports, is.




But on the other side, if anyone hade some empirical evidence of ET visitations, we wouldn't be on this thread
"babysitting" our dear believers.


That's naive. You have such trust in the honesty of the 'establishment'.



Unless one think there's a worldwide conspiracy or that our scientific community is just too dumb to realize it.


Perish the thought! It's just inconceivable isn't it?
And it doesn't need to be dumb, just lazy, prejudiced, subject to peer pressure and it's members primarily - not exclusively, just primarily - interested in their own social, proffessional and financial advancement. Scientists are people too
And people can be self-seving and 'dumb'.

[edit on 22-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by Majorion
reply to post by platosallegory
 

Yes, but my point is.. that there seems to be way too many people here on this mere conspiracy website, whom claim to be and refer to themselves as 'skeptics'... never in my life have I encountered even one person who refers to him/her self as a 'skeptic'. And as I was saying earlier, almost everyone is skeptical by nature.

I just find it incredibly odd; that there are this many 'skeptics' on a conspiracy website.


Exactly, it's because they misuse the term. Most people who claim to be skeptics are really closed minded debunkers on alot of these kinds of message boards.

They just say their skeptics because it sounds better and they want to look open minded but actions speak louder than words.

When your goal is to belittle eyewitness testimony and try to say everything is wishful thinking or comparing these things to the easter bunny or santa clause, then your just here to debunk.

I think that's pretty obvious.



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 10:16 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
reply to post by akalepos
 


Where do we go with it? Well, I've been reading ATS for a couple of years now and my experience tells me we go nowhere LOL. The evidence is often ignored. If it is not ignored it is dismissed. If it is not completely dismissed it is seriously downplayed. So, I have no high hopes. But maybe I'm just getting cynical in my old age.


Actually you might have hit on something there. When the frustration sets in the cynic seems to come out. That's probably a natural reaction. You just have to discipline it yourself.

I have always found that when something seems to become circular, that there is something wrong with the thinkng process.

By this is mean, that perhaps our questions don't really fit the subject matter. I always tell students that you cannot get the right answer by asking the wrong questions.

Someone somwhere in these posts, it was either you or platosallegory mentioned pyrronism. And it was stated that one ought to suspsend judgement in investigations. This is only partly true,

One suspends judgement if and only if the arguments pro and con of any topic create a balance. It is designed by people wiser than us, to escape this sort of connipted and twisted dialog that results in emotive argument.

You ask where to go from here:

I need to tell ya that my opinion about that, is that next the primary focus ought to be on the so called peer review evidence if there really is any. There, you should find something that furthers the knowledge base, If not, then the claims are specious anyway, and no harm has been done even though no progress has been made.

Ideally, if we are getting toa stumping place where no progress is being made, then I would suggest that there is no progress to be had in this direction.

Philosophers who finally "get it", realize that when we reach the wall, there is nothing further to be determined. There is a limit to what man can know when not all information is available.

This is simply the fact of the matter.

This is what I meant by "getting comfortable with the uncomfortable". When we reach that wall, we have found the limit of that "truth". When there is nothing more to say, then there IS nothing more.

So when we are discussing the ufo/alien phenomena at any level, and there is not enough information for us to make any decision that is based on more than "belief", we have reached IT'S limit due to the amount of real evidence in our possession.

This does not say that there are not persons or groups that have the knowledge needed and refuse to release it. It also does not mean the opposite. (negation)

All that is left are the statements: If the former is true, there is more to be known. If the latter is true, then we know all we can know.

This is not edifying.

We WANT an answer. But WANT is an emotion. Emotions have nothing to do with answers. We just think they do.

Some people are so feeble minded that they measure "truth" by how the answer makes them feel. If it makes the feel good then SURELY by default it must be right, and if it makes them feel badly they simply deny the truth. You cannot argue (logically argue) with these irrational minds.
They are too goofed up.

I would prefer to not live such a simpleton life.

So what do you do from that point?

Seek out more evidence. If you don't, then you stay in the middle of the redundancy of circularity ad infinitum.

I compiled and analyzed all that I have known about this since I was a kid. For ME, when I put it all together, and checked a few time lines, I can came up with some rather different conclusions about the issue. My opinions are only based on a possible outcome of what the information points to. Even I can't say that: This is the Truth! I have to wait and see.


[edit on 22-3-2009 by akalepos]



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 10:19 PM
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reply to post by akalepos
 


But those of the drama make up can't handle any of that. They MUST keep stirring insensible things around and around.

It is partly because of this that the academic community en toto, for the most part, just stays away from the issues despite their personal beliefs.
It is too problematic.



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 10:37 PM
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Geez.. if I could ever learn how to type...



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 11:05 PM
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Originally posted by Europa733
Let's take a guess
:


Who likes to do this in general ?

* Vague and/or exaggerated claims and ambiguous language.
* Lack of interest in having these claims tested, or reproduced by third parties.
* Claims that, for various reasons the scientific method cannot be used.
* There is no real research into, or progression of, the idea. Resistance or hostility to change.
* Misuse of scientific terms - equivocation and technobabble.
* Proponents of the idea are unable or unwilling to identify what would falsify the idea.
* Associated with the above, proponents are only concerned with data which confirms their hypothesis and ignore data which could disprove it.
* Reversing the burden of proof by claiming their idea has never been (totally) disproved.
* Claiming that a conspiracy of scientists or government officials exists which is hiding the truth about the believer's discoveries, or other invented complaints about scientific objectivity.
* Inability to obtain publication in recognized peer-reviewed publication.
* Science based on a political or religious doctrine and has a religious or political goal instead of the advancement of knowledge.
* Invocation of authority rather than evidence.
* Failure to be able to make verifiable predictions.
* Asking stupid questions in order to make an unsubstantiated assertion

1. Believers
2. Skeptics





I said it before, but again - believers act like Creationists attacking Evolution. Rather than present their case by organizing their material in a coherent fashion, they just quote their canonical sources without questioning how solid they are as history or science.


Mike



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 11:46 PM
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reply to post by Europa733
 


This is wrong.


But on the other side, if anyone hade some empirical evidence of ET visitations, we wouldn't be on this thread "babysitting" our dear believers.


Lets first look at the definition of Empirical Evidence.

From the Miriam Webster online dictionary empirical means: 1 : originating in or based on observation or experience 2 : relying on experience or observation alone often without due regard for system and theory 3 : capable of being verified or disproved by observation or experiment

wiki.answers.com...

I mean it's pretty obvious that the ET hypothesis is supported by empirical evidence.

Empirical evidence is based on observation and experience.

Many people have observed and experienced extra-terrestrials. The question then becomes did they observe and experience extra terrestrials or something else? Did they observe and experience spacecraft or something else?

People who support the ET hypothesis are not pulling these things out of nowhere. There's empircal data to support the ET hypothesis like abduction cases, eyewitness accounts, trace evidence, mass sightings, pictures and video.

From this set of data, you can then build a hypothesis.

Nobody ever said that the ET was empirical truth. Gravity is considered an empirical truth.

So yes there's plenty of empirical data or evidence to support the ET hypothesis.

[edit on 22-3-2009 by platosallegory]



posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 12:10 AM
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I disagree. It is not reasonable to demand that the skeptic (or anyone else including scientists, researchers, and the general public) make a determination on what UFOs are without adequate evidence. I should not be forced to decide what UFOs are or where they come from based on insufficient evidence.


Actually, it is unreasonable. I would like to emphasise reason in unreasonable. The kind of evidence you are requesting actual DNA samples and samples of UFO is not evidence but proof, something which is empirically available and can also be made empirically available to you. In the absence of such empirical evidence, you claim that it is should be denied, but this means that you refuse to use reasoning. Do you extend the same standards of evidence for other things in life? Have you ever seen the world from space, still you believe it is not flat, and it goes around the sun in orbit? You are using reasoning to ascertain these conclusions.

Reasoning is also a valid means of gaining correct knowledge. We are using it all the time, "the clouds are dark, it is going to rain", "there is smoke, there must be fire" Likewise, one can use reasoning with UFO evidence. Based on available evidence one can produce a consistent hypothesis.

Again I would like to reiterate how silly your demands are for physical evidence, as if such evidence even if it existed would be handed to you on a platter or mailed to your address? Get real.



Where are you getting this "general description" from? I could overwhelm you with reports of UFOs which do not fit your "general description." Many UFO reports are distant lights in the sky from which size is impossible to determine, and I would almost bet that the great majority of UFO sightings are of something much smaller than "several football fields." In fact, many UFO sightings are of lights and lit "objects" which are so small that they could not possibly be manned craft unless the aliens are the size of Barbie dolls.


I am not going to get into a dispute on general descriptions of UFO's. This is how UFO's are generally described in close encounters. So in these particular cases your objections of the similarity with paranormal phenomena does not hold.


Agreed by who?


These are the general descriptions given in witness testimonies. It's fairly common knowledge that UFO's distinguishing characteristics are that they luminious, they move very fast, make very sharp turns. I have read enough to know that there are common characteristics.


The typical UFO sighting is that of two people together observing a moving, distant white or red light for several minutes.
Source



I have not said that UFOs are ghosts, nor have I said that they are bigfoot, Nessie, or anything else other than UFOs. What I have said, and still say, is that many UFO sightings share characteristics with other anomalous, paranormal phenomena.

Many UFO sightings report that UFOs change shape, change size, change color, and appear or disappear suddenly. Some are amorphous, some are "see-through," and some have physical and psychological effects on people which are quite similar to the effects experienced by witnesses of other paranormal phenomena. These characteristics are not what common sense would expect from physical spacecraft manned by physical EBEs.


However, you do seem to be arguing a case which I think nothing more than a slippery slope fallacy. Again, I agreed that some cases share characteristics with paranromal, but some don't. I recommend you look at the UFO seen over los angeles in the 40's(if i recall correctly) it shares no characteristics with paranormal at all. I have read many cases which have nothing to do with the paranormal.


As far as historical accounts go, I think if you do some research you will find that UFO sightings from before humans invented airplanes were quite often described as balloons, sailing ships in the sky, and dirigibles, as well as saucer-shaped or cigar-shaped craft with lit porthole windows and visible occupants.


Yes, but we also have generic descriptions of disk like objects, luminous that travel at very fast speeds and make abrupt turns. If I recall correctly, one pre-flight astronomer triangulated the speed of a UFO he witnessed, which he calculated was travelling at supersonic speed.

I think in the interests of integrity you should examine all of this evidence, rather than trying to sweep it all neatly away because of a slippery slope fallacy. In fact a skeptic should use any kind of evidence they can procure, which is why all skepitical inquiries are investigations. A skeptics job is not to sit there arguing what constitutes evidence, but to go out there and investigate.


If your claims about the general, typical, or "agreed upon" description of a UFO were correct, a much better case for their origin and nature could be made. It is the inconsistency of reports and the confusing myriad of sizes, shapes, colors, characteristics, and occupants which makes it difficult for reasonable people to render an opinion on the most likely explanation for them.


There is naturally going to be inconsistency in testimonial reports for a whole host of reasons. This is not just limited to UFO's. The skeptics job is to look for general descriptions and then investigate that further if their study is on UFO phenomenon in general. For individual cases, they should use a case-study approach.

[edit on 23-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 01:16 AM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
Actually, it is unreasonable. I would like to emphasise reason in unreasonable. The kind of evidence you are requesting is not evidence but proof ... Have you ever seen the world from space, still you believe it is not flat, and it goes around the sun in orbit?


I've traveled to other countries, and I am aware of people who have flown (or boated, since I used to be in the Navy) around the world, and they didn't fall off an edge anywhere. Plus there's footage from space flights, and etc. etc. I have quite a lot of good evidence to base my belief in a round Earth on.

An ME doesn't make a determination on cause of death if all they have is some old bones to look at. They leave it "unknown."

A scientist doesn't name a new species and present it to the world if all he has of it is a videotape.

People withhold judgment for lack of sufficient evidence all the time, and in many cases we call them "prudent" for doing so. Forcing someone to make the call when there isn't enough evidence is little better than asking for an educated guess, and most often that kind of guesswork on limited evidence leads to mistakes.

If someone's life or future was on the line and the prosecutor said there wasn't enough evidence to make the case, would you try to force a jury to decide guilty or not anyway?


Reasoning is also a valid means of gaining correct knowledge. We are using it all the time, "the clouds are dark, it is going to rain", "there is smoke, there must be fire"


Such reasoning is based on experience. We've seen clouds like that before, and they usually produce rain. We've seen fires before and seen them produce smoke, so when we see smoke we can conclude that it is being produced by a fire. We do not have any experience to draw on to tell us what an alien spacecraft should look like or how an ET should act.


Likewise, one can use reasoning with UFO evidence. Based on available evidence one can produce a consistent hypothesis.


No, one can't, because there isn't a body of consistent evidence.


Again I would like to reiterate how silly your demands are for physical evidence, as if such evidence even if it existed would be handed to you on a platter or mailed to your address? Get real.


I'm being silly? No one has handed me a piece of a giant squid, either, but scientists say they have one and they've analyzed it, dissected it, gotten its DNA profile, and etc. That's good enough for me. When they have the same evidence for an ET, that will be good enough as well. I'm not asking that I personally have the physical evidence, I'm asking that someone have it that I can reasonably trust.


I am not going to get into a dispute on general descriptions of UFO's. This is how UFO's are generally described in close encounters. So in these particular cases your objections of the similarity with paranormal phenomena does not hold.


No, they aren't. And the reason you "don't want to get into" this dispute is because you know they aren't. And "these particular cases" (close encounters) are generally the least reliable and most inconsistent of all UFO cases.


It's fairly common knowledge that UFO's distinguishing characteristics are that they luminious, they move very fast, make very sharp turns. I have read enough to know that there are common characteristics.


No, you haven't read enough, because those are NOT common characteristics of the majority of UFO sightings. Quite as many of them are reported as UFOs because they "hover noiselessly" as because they move fast and make sharp turns. I will also point out that the very fact of them making sharp turns at high speeds makes a physical craft with a physical occupant less likely, based on what we know about physics.


Again, I agreed that some cases share characteristics with paranromal, but some don't. I recommend you look at the UFO seen over los angeles in the 40's(if i recall correctly) it shares no characteristics with paranormal at all. I have read many cases which have nothing to do with the paranormal.


Exactly my point! Yes, there are some individual cases for which, if they were the only cases, or the majority of cases, or the typical case, I could agree that ETH is the most likely hypothesis. But there are thousands of UFO reports and only a few of them meet your criteria. Thus, I can say that the ETH is not the most likely answer for all UFO reports, or most UFO reports.

You want me to look at one particular case and say "yes, ETH imay be the most likely explanation for that one case." But then you want me to extrapolate from that and agree that ETH is the most likely explanation for ALL cases. Yet, when we look at all cases, the great majority of them don't meet the criteria. It's not a reasonable extrapolation.

Besides, I have looked at the "battle of LA" case. I agree that it was most likely a solid object piloted by an intelligent being. Nothing about the case, however, implies where that craft or being came from. It could just as easily have come from the future, or under the oceans, or a parallel universe as from another planet. As far as I know, they didn't drop a star map or make an announcement about where they were from.


I think in the interests of integrity you should examine all of this evidence,


It is precisely the examination of ALL of the evidence that creates the problem. There is too much variance, too many inconsistencies.


There is naturally going to be inconsistency in testimonial reports for a whole host of reasons.


Why? In comparison to UFO reports, North American Sasquatch descriptions are remarkably consistent, as are descriptions of Mothman, the Jersey Devil, and many other anomalies. Why should UFO reports be so very inconsistent by comparison to reports of sightings of other anomalies?



posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 02:58 AM
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I've traveled to other countries, and I am aware of people who have flown (or boated, since I used to be in the Navy) around the world, and they didn't fall off an edge anywhere. Plus there's footage from space flights, and etc. etc. I have quite a lot of good evidence to base my belief in a round Earth on.


So you made an inference, "I did not fall of the edge, therefore the world cannot be flat" Likewise one could make the inference, "UFO's cannot be human, because they are exhibit technology found in no other human craft and beyond our current propulsion systems"

The other evidence footage from space flights could easily be hoaxed. Just as a footage of a UFO could be hoaxed. However, you accept it to be true because you trust it. Likewise, somebody can accept the footage of a UFO based on trust.

In general we do not doubt that we landed on the moon, but we have no evidence other than a rather dodgy looking moon landing clip and the testimony by scientists at NASA. Likewise, using the same standard, there are dozens of scientists from organizations like NASA that give us testimony on the ET origins of UFO's.


People withhold judgment for lack of sufficient evidence all the time, and in many cases we call them "prudent" for doing so. Forcing someone to make the call when there isn't enough evidence is little better than asking for an educated guess, and most often that kind of guesswork on limited evidence leads to mistakes.


You can withthold judgement until the cows come home, but at some point you are going to have to make a judgement. That's life, we have to make judgements even on incomplete data. The point is not of having all the data in the world before you make a judgement, but having enough data.

As I showed you above, you actually don't have complete data on the roundity of the Earth. I could take your absolutist skeptic position and demand physical proof the Earth is round and set my bar soo high you possibly cannnot fulfil, as you are doing with UFO's. So we can agree that demanding proof for something is no fair. Instead, we can demand evidence.

If I demand evidence of the roundity of Earth you can produce mathematical theorems, pictures of the Earth, testimonials of astronauts. Then I am going to have to produce a consistent hypothesis to explain that data and then will reasonably have to conclude that the Earth is round.
Likewise, whatever evidence you get for UFOs, you have to to account for with a consistent hypothesis to explain that data. If that means the ETI hypothesis, then you use that.


Such reasoning is based on experience. We've seen clouds like that before, and they usually produce rain. We've seen fires before and seen them produce smoke, so when we see smoke we can conclude that it is being produced by a fire. We do not have any experience to draw on to tell us what an alien spacecraft should look like or how an ET should act.


Yes of course, but such inference can only tell us what something is not. A UFO the size of several footbal fields, travelling at impossible speeds, doing abrupt tturns is clearly not a human craft.



I'm being silly? No one has handed me a piece of a giant squid, either, but scientists say they have one and they've analyzed it, dissected it, gotten its DNA profile, and etc. That's good enough for me. When they have the same evidence for an ET, that will be good enough as well. I'm not asking that I personally have the physical evidence, I'm asking that someone have it that I can reasonably trust.


But still it comes down to trust. There is in fact very major scientists that have got sample metals from UFO's, such as Marcel Vogel's analysis of Meiers metal sample which he concluded was not manufactured on this Earth. Then there are high-level officials which have handled the Roswell metal and reported its alien properties. There are also cases of doctors extracting alien implants from abductees. Is that enough for you? To be honest it's not even enough for me.


No, they aren't. And the reason you "don't want to get into" this dispute is because you know they aren't. And "these particular cases" (close encounters) are generally the least reliable and most inconsistent of all UFO cases.


I am not going to talk about reliability and consistency of these cases. I am merely pointing out that they exist. Every other UFO case I read has that description. I don't monitor sighting databases so I wouldn't know what is commonly reported, but in terms of major cases which ufologists study those are the most common characteristics.


No, you haven't read enough, because those are NOT common characteristics of the majority of UFO sightings. Quite as many of them are reported as UFOs because they "hover noiselessly" as because they move fast and make sharp turns. I will also point out that the very fact of them making sharp turns at high speeds makes a physical craft with a physical occupant less likely, based on what we know about physics.


The hovering noiselessly lights are called USO's. A UFO is a flying object. The majority of sightings, even ufologists accept to be cases of hoaxes, mistaken identity, only a small minority of these cases actually have genuine unexplainable features. These cases tend to have common charactristics.

It does not make a case less likely if they are defying our laws of physics, because our laws of physics are not complete and thus an advanced alien race defying it would be expected. It is reasonable to infer that they are using exotic propulsion systems.



Exactly my point! Yes, there are some individual cases for which, if they were the only cases, or the majority of cases, or the typical case, I could agree that ETH is the most likely hypothesis. But there are thousands of UFO reports and only a few of them meet your criteria. Thus, I can say that the ETH is not the most likely answer for all UFO reports, or most UFO reports.


I am not concerned with explaining most UFO reports, as most UFO reports can be dismissed as hoaxes, mistaken identity, exaggeration etc. I am concerned with the few unexplained cases. Even if one case exists in the entire history of ufology which cannot be explained without ETH, then it is sufficient evidence.


Besides, I have looked at the "battle of LA" case. I agree that it was most likely a solid object piloted by an intelligent being. Nothing about the case, however, implies where that craft or being came from. It could just as easily have come from the future, or under the oceans, or a parallel universe as from another planet. As far as I know, they didn't drop a star map or make an announcement about where they were from.


However, you are muliplying quantites unnecessarily with these alternate hypothesis: time travellers, underwater civilisations, parallel universes are only theoretical possiblities and do not form a part of our current understanding of the universe. On the other hand, the possibility of the existence of other life forms on other planets does form a part of our current understanding, because it's already happened and there is no reason to believe it could not happen again. In fact given that Earth like planets number in terms of of trillions upon trillions in our universe, the possibility is near certain they exist.



Why? In comparison to UFO reports, North American Sasquatch descriptions are remarkably consistent, as are descriptions of Mothman, the Jersey Devil, and many other anomalies. Why should UFO reports be so very inconsistent by comparison to reports of sightings of other anomalies?


Well seeing as I don't have every report in the world on North American Sasguatch, and Mothman I cannot verify your claim on their consistency. But I am willing to wager, because any kind of witness tesimony will have variation, even on reporting something as mundane as a car accident, that there will be variations.



posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 03:48 AM
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Originally posted by Majorion

I just find it incredibly odd; that there are this many 'skeptics' on a conspiracy website.


I don't find it odd at all. After being a member here for a little over a year, I have also become more of a skeptic.

When you participate in a forum like this, you get to dig much deeper into different conspiracy theories than people who get most of their information from the main stream media and tabloids. (Like the Sun in UK, which seems to report every single chinese lantern launched as a UFO.) And if you are open minded enough to consider ALL the information made available, to look at things from as many different perspectives as possible instead of just clinging stubbornly to your pet CT, you will in time understand that many things have perfectly natural and logical explanations. Not all, but many.

I also think it is very unfair the way many "skeptics" are being bashed by some of the "believers". My experience is that most of the skeptics bring valuable and very sensible information to the table, they very often go the extra mile to give you an explanation for things, and they provide sources, images and facts to back up their statements.

Sadly, some of the believers have another approach. When a skeptic enters a thread with information that contradicts their conspiracy theory, they just stick their fingers in their ears, close their eyes and start ranting at the skeptic instead of adressing the information itself. They end up cluttering the threads with personal attacks and accusations instead of trying to learn something to get to the REAL truth about things.

In my personal opinion, of course, based on what I have seen here at ATS the last year or so.



posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 04:10 AM
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Remember my list you guys...

Europa733 : "But on the other side, if anyone hade some empirical evidence of ET visitations, we wouldn't be on this thread "babysitting" our dear believers."


Malcram : "That's naive. You have such trust in the honesty of the 'establishment'."


* Claiming that a conspiracy of scientists or government officials exists which is hiding the truth about the believer's discoveries, or other invented complaints about scientific objectivity.


Malcram : "The purveyor of hearsay the Skeptics UFO Newletter may not be peer reviewed but the journal of the Society for Scientific Exploration, which published the Trans-en-Provence reports, is."

* Invocation of authority rather than evidence

Now regarding TEP and the SSE, you guys are going to have a hard time to find any mainstream & well recognized "Scientific journal" that either talks about TEP or that give credit to the SSE.

The SSE is what is called a "fringe science or borderline association" specialized in things like Ufos and the paranormal, this is in no case mainstream science. Ask scientists to check & verify yourself. (if they even know about it)

So, ok if you guys think that I am a pseudo-skeptic, I don't really care but some of you guys really fit the description in the link provided below and you demonstrated it and keep demonstrating it on almost every page of this thread :

rationalwiki.com...


Cheers,
Europa


[edit on 23-3-2009 by Europa733]



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