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"There are organized group of scoffers masquerading under the term "skeptics" who deny, ridicule and suppress anything progressive that challenges the static views of the establishment. They are debunkers who tend to distort, dismiss and obfuscate any phenomenon that challenges a conventional materialistic view of reality. In truth, they are not true skeptics engaging in open inquiry, but selective debunkers with an agenda to defend the establishment."
"The opposite conclusion could have been drawn from The Condon Report's content, namely, that a phenomenon with such a high ratio of unexplained cases (about 30 percent) should arouse sufficient scientific curiosity to continue its study."
"From a scientific and engineering standpoint, it is unacceptable to simply ignore substantial numbers of unexplained observations... the only promising approach is a continuing moderate-level effort with emphasis on improved data collection by objective means... involving available remote sensing capabilities and certain software changes."
Ronald D Story - American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics UFO Subcommittee -New York: Doubleday, 1980
"Probably the most striking discrepancy in the Condon report, however, was between its contents and conclusions. Condon had concluded that science could gain nothing from studying UFOs. Yet, the report ended up with a near 30 percent unexplained rate, and a core of cases that came within a hair's breadth of being conclusive evidence for the reality of alien technology – cases which, under the most rigorous analysis, appeared to be the result of extraordinary craft in the skies."
Richard Dolan PHD
"There are unidentified flying objects. That is, there are a hard core of cases - perhaps 20 to 30 percent in different studies - for which there is no explanation... We can only imagine what purpose lies behind the activities of these quiet, harmlessly cruising objects that time and again approach the earth. The most likely explanation, it seems to me, is that they are simply watching what we are up to." (Redbook, vol. 143)
Dr. Margaret Mead, world-renowned Anthropologist.
Debunking the UFO Debunkers
As a ufologist, an autonomous theologian, and social researcher, I am the target of debunkers from the broadest range of debunkers imaginable. My work reveals the cover-up of UFOs and challenges the common concepts of UFOs, it uncovers the contradictions and misconceptions of mainstream Christian doctrines and beliefs, and calls into question many social, academic, scientific, political, and historical improprieties and misinformation and disingenuousness. Early in my research I had several confrontations with James Oberg, a UFO skeptic, whose style of debunking is almost legendary. His tactics led me into a study of debunking to counter his dismissive and completely illogical points, which were almost baffling in their ability to convince others proof of UFOs was a total sham. I found, through years of experience that his tactics were very similar to those used by almost every UFO skeptic in the field. Anyone armed with the knowledge of how debunkers operate can see common threads in the way they argue their points and counter them.
It almost always starts with a condescending and self-assured attitude, which suggests that the debunker's points are backed by the full faith and credit of God. Dismissive terms such as ridiculous, absurd, trivial, or even pathetic are used to make the UFO believer seem ignorant and gullible. Science is used as the Holy Grail of reality, which bravely defending common sense against the unruly hordes of quacks and myth-worshiping infidels. Arguments are as abstract and theoretical as possible, but presented in a manner that makes science superior to any actual evidence that might challenge it, making such evidence seem to be completely worthless. They constantly reinforce the popular misconception that anything that challenges the status quo must be inherently unscientific. They deliberately confuse the “process” of science with the “content” of science.
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance-- that principle is contempt prior to investigation."
Herbert Spencer, British philosopher
"It is really quite amazing by what margins competent but conservative
scientists and engineers can miss the mark, when they start with the
preconceived idea that what they are investigating is impossible. When
this happens, the most well-informed men become blinded by their
prejudices and are unable to see what lies directly ahead of them."
Arthur C. Clarke, 1963
"I am not very skeptical... a good deal of skepticism in a scientific man
is advisable to avoid much loss of time, but I have met not a few men,
who... have often thus been deterred from experiments or observations
which would have proven servicable."
"I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the
greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most
obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of
conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which
they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives."
"'Type one' error is thinking that something special is happening when
nothing special really is happening. 'Type two' error is thinking that
nothing special is happening, when in fact something rare or infrequent
Only a fool of a scientist would dismiss the evidence and reports in front of him and substitute his own beliefs in their place."
"When adults first become conscious of something new, they usually
either attack or try to escape from it... Attack includes such mild
forms as ridicule, and escape includes merely putting out of mind."
W. I. B Beveridge, The Art of Scientific Investigation, 1950
"All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second,
it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident."
"Theories have four stages of acceptance: i) this is worthless nonsense;
ii) this is an interesting, but perverse, point of view; iii) this is true, but quite unimportant; iv) I always said so.
J.B.S. Haldane, 1963
"When a thing is new, people say: 'It is not true.' Later, when its
truth becomes obvious, they say: 'It is not important.' Finally, when
its importance cannot be denied, they say: 'Anyway, it is not new.'"
William James, 1896
"A danger sign of the lapse from true skepticism in to dogmatism is an
inability to respect those who disagree"
Dr. Leonard George
"If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you.
You become a crotchety old person convinced that nonsense is ruling the
world. (There is, of course, much data to support you.) But every now
and then, a new idea turns out to be on the mark, valid and wonderful.
If you are too much in the habit of being skeptical about everything,
you are going to miss or resent it, and either way you will be standing
in the way of understanding and progress. "
"Sit down before facts like a child, and be prepared to give up every
preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses
Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing."
"There are some people that if they don't know, you can't tell 'em."
AGAINST EXCESSIVE SKEPTICISM ~ COLLECTED QUOTES
How to debunk UFOs and Discredit UFO Proponents:
1. Point out that very large percentages of things reported as UFOs turn out to have conventional explanations (but don't talk about individual observers' varying abilities or how believers screen and investigate cases).
2. Always refer to them as UFO believers or ETH believers, implying that their position is faith-based.
3. Argue that any given case could have been something conventional and we will never know because we never have all the facts (but don't acknowledge that well-qualified observers have reported unexplained craft-like objects displaying extraordinary performance totaling in the hundreds or thousands).
4. (Corollary to 3): Avoid any mention of the patterns of appearance and behavior in unexplained cases worldwide for many decades.
5. Focus on the well-known problems and limitations of human perception (but never mention that people are incarcerated on the basis of eye-witness testimony, that our court systems could not function without it, and that if human perception were as inadequate as claimed, nobody would dare to cross a busy street or fly an airplane).
6. Comment regularly on human credulity and wishful thinking, in a desire for saviors from space (just don't mention that it applies only to cultists on the fringes of ufology, nor that close encounter cases typically scare the pants off of the witnesses rather than inspire them).
7. Always act as if no one before you has really conducted a thorough investigation in classic UFO cases so that it's only a matter of time and diligence before the answers will be found (but avoid mentioning that the suggested answers you propose either have already been found wanting or fail to account for the salient features of the case).
8. Demand that UFO believers produce just one spaceship or physical evidence that one has been here. (Never mind that other scientific topics don't require that degree of concrete proof in order to consider something worth studying, such as Agent Orange, SETI signals, or Black Holes.)
Originally posted by dereks
Here Winston's article is completely destroyed skepticreport.com...
"Over the years, I've read my share of debunking and extremely skeptical books about UFOs. In the early years, when I was trying to make sense of the field, I considered very seriously the "facts" and arguments of these irrational critics. They did succeed in leading me astray for a while, but perseverance in reading the literature luckily saved the day, and I eventually understood what I was reading to be the highly prejudiced material that it is."
Keith Rowell, Oregon MUFON Assistant State Director.
"Their critiques virtually all consist of scoffing, ridicule, ad hominem attacks, and the amazing claim that their dogmatic beliefs that certain things are impossible necessarily constitute laws of nature. It is a modern replay of the cardinals refusing to look through Galileo's telescope because truth has already been revealed to them. Interestingly many of the vocal skeptics are not themselves practicing scientists."
Astrophysicist Dr Bernard Haisch, Ph.D.
"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."
Astrophysicist, Dr Jacques Vallee.
Originally posted by mcrom901
reply to post by cripmeister
"You replace one belief with another. You can't be without a belief. What you call 'you' is only a belief. If the belief goes, you go with it. That is the reason why, when you are not satisfied with one belief-structure, you replace it with another" - UGK
Skeptic - One who practices the method of suspended judgment, engages in rational and dispassionate reasoning as exemplified by the scientific method, shows willingness to consider alternative explanations without prejudice based on prior beliefs, and who seeks out evidence and carefully scrutinizes its validity.
If you solve 10 million easy cases, but haven't touched the surface of the "real" phenomena (i.e. the true "core " cases), what have you really done?
Originally posted by cripmeister
reply to post by mcrom901
Care to elaborate on that?