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Skepticism: A Call to Arms

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posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 04:31 AM
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There are two kinds of UFOlogist. The armchair UFOlogist who sits on his ass on a computer all day and reads lots of UFO stories and views lots of videos and pictures of UFOs and concludes that UFOs must be everywhere and why doesn't the government do anything about it, must be a conspiracy etc etc.

Yet because he has been reading the rubbish spread by other armchair ufologists, he gets the wrong impression. He doesnt take the time to investigate sightings in a scientific way. In the modern world knowledge is fired in the crucible of science and evidence and only by subjecting ourselves to this standard will UFOlogy become a respectable subject

The second type is the real UFOlogist who actually searches for UFOs and investigates cases. This UFOlogist knows after years of experience that 99% of UFO sightings are either explicable or completely ambiguous and therefore have no scientific content.

Unfortunately these days it is the armchair ufologists who are destroying real UFOlogy by making fools of us and spreading lies. There are also a hell of a lot of people out there who are in it for the money. People are liars and cheats, as the real UFOlogist knows, he has been cheated many times and is always astounded by the fact that there are so many. We should be our own devils advocates, we should try to shoot down all UFO reports, the ones that dont fall down may be the real ones.




posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 04:34 AM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
Who needs skeptics?!


Couldn't have said it better myself


But you didn't need to shout


Now isn't a "call to arms' kinda like recruiting a gang? Hmmmmm something about recruiting for causes in the T&C I recall

Now as to skeptic and sceptics who analyse and look at things fairly I would put ArMaP at the top of the list followed by Phage... JRA is okay but limited topics...

These people work hard to provide facts and links to support their side. There may be others but not to many I have run across


The 'skeptics' who are in the bubbles are debunkers that debunk for sport, just like there are blind believers in rose colored bubbles.

Stats show that out of all the members less than 200 do 90% of the work


Is it any wonder then that there are so many threads like this from both sides lately?



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 04:51 AM
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Originally posted by converge

Originally posted by Violet Sky
Even physical proof is not enough for people these days as their first reactions are to say it is a hoax when to believe otherwise would jar their realities too much.


Let's worry about getting physical evidence first, then we'll worry about how people will deal with it. Perhaps people wouldn't reject things as much as you expect them to if there was hard data in front of them.


I have to say I can see Violet Sky's point here. As jkrog08 and others have shown repeatedly, we've HAD that physical evidence for nearly half a century. Multiple sightings by professionals, with radar to back it up, is hard data, pointing to something the military simply could not have even if they HAD reverse engineered a saucer. I'm not sure what better data we could hope to get. Most people really won't take it seriously until they see it for themselves.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 04:56 AM
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Originally posted by zorgon
Now as to skeptic and sceptics who analyse and look at things fairly I would put ArMaP at the top of the list followed by Phage... JRA is okay but limited topics...

I've been around here a lot longer than my signup date would suggest, and I would agree with your assessment, sir



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 06:35 AM
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Originally posted by zorgon
Now isn't a "call to arms' kinda like recruiting a gang? Hmmmmm something about recruiting for causes in the T&C I recall


I'm not recruiting anyone, I'm inciting people to be more skeptic and I've defined, pretty well I think, what I mean by that in my opening post.

I understand that some people might not agree with my point of view, and I think to some extent it has to do with connotation associated with the term skeptic.

However, and semantics aside, I don't see how someone would be against the notion of approaching the subject with critical thinking and subjecting the (alleged) evidence to scrutiny.

Unless of course they are not really interested in the truth, and in that case they most likely are either pseudoskeptics or doe-eyed believers.



Is it any wonder then that there are so many threads like this from both sides lately?


I don't see my thread as divisive, in fact I thought I had made a decent argument on why we should all shape up if you will, for the sake of the field.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 06:51 AM
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The only reason why, sometimes, I behave like a skeptic, it's just because of the amount of people that come to ATS trying to beg for attention.

Alien and UFO's was my favorite division on ATS for years, and many of my daily views are influenced by something I saw here. ATS actually made a contribution to my life.

On the other hand, and it has gone up recently, the amount of BS on this forum is getting ridiculous.

The amount of people trying to make fun of what we believe/experienced p**ses me off.

Another thing that bothers me are the stupid people trying to make money out of this. They have always been here, but recently they made wrong aproachs to skeptics around the world.

That thing of "the US governament will tell everything they know untill the end of the month, or another world governament will come out first" damaged beyond belief the UFO comunity.

I'm not a skeptic in the way that I don't believe in aliens or UFO's. I'm simply protecting my beliefs by not accepting immediatly what some stupid kid with internet access posts on a forum.

I know it sounds too hard to some people, but I'm tired of having 2 ways.

There are the people like ArMap, Phage or jkrog08 that give you "proof"/valid arguments, positive or negative to the UFO phenomena...

...and the people that see a topic "OMFGZOR I JUST SAW A UFO EATING MY DOG!11111!!!one!!!11" and without even reading the content S&F....S&F....S&F.... So you come to the forum, and you have to read all this non-sense garbage because someone likes to post something first on a thread, but doesn't have the brains to actually think about what they saw.

It's even funny when you see S&F's on the first page, and then someone from the real ATS philosophy comes along and says "hey...It's a lantern", and the thread goes to oblivion.

At least, in the "good ole days", the stories, that were made up by someone with too much free time, were fun...reading or debunking.

Now? It's just lights farting in the sky and someone shacking the camera like they have parkinson...

What makes me sad, it's that we get so tired of watching this garbage, that when real proof comes along we just ignore it automatic.

Just my 2 cents.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 07:44 AM
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reply to post by converge
 

If anyone knows any better way of going about this without employing a skeptical approach - looking and submitting the evidence to scientific standards, being more demanding of people and their claims - I'm all ears.


Autowrench: I have to admit, I do not know of a better way. You are entirely right that the phenomena is too full of bull and innuendo, when you say "UFO," "ET," or "Alien," the crazies come out of the woodwork, don't they? The simple fact is, until they come down here and land, and speak to us, and appear on television, until that time, they are nothing but speculation for most people. I have fought with this myself, I saw my first ET craft in 1999, I was enthralled at it, it was as real as can be, but I was the only one who saw it. Trying to convince another of this was harder than you can imagine. We have to question everything, people, everything. Take nothing at face value, and you will never be surprised.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 08:00 AM
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Originally posted by Clickfoot
I have to say I can see Violet Sky's point here. As jkrog08 and others have shown repeatedly, we've HAD that physical evidence for nearly half a century. Multiple sightings by professionals, with radar to back it up, is hard data, pointing to something the military simply could not have even if they HAD reverse engineered a saucer.


I agree with your statement that we've had physical evidence for a long time, I can't however share the conclusion you reach as a matter of fact.

I do believe (I once again emphasize the difference between belief and knowledge) that some of this physical evidence does show something beyond our current military's capabilities, but the truth is we simply don't know for sure what the military is capable of or not.

What I personally believe and what I know and can prove are two completely different things.

The reason why I incite others to acknowledge this difference and making it clear is that it's not all that uncommon for people to believe something so strongly that once they actually get proof of that something and it turns out to be something completely different, people simply reject accepting it.

There's lots of examples of this, and even right now here on ATS. There's threads where a video or a photo has been effectively and thoroughly debunked and yet some people still don't, or can't, accept that.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 08:12 AM
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Thank you for this thread converge
it was a brilliant and in my opinion a much needed topic on ATS atm.

Last night I was reading through another thread on ATS that displayed such a ridiculous degeneration into a believer vs skeptic nonsense that I was so upset I was ever since thinking of a way to address this very issue.

What a breath of fresh air it was to see your thread as I logged in today. You approached and clarified the topic WAY better than I would have.
Star and flag.

Cheers.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 08:29 AM
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Originally posted by converge
I do believe (I once again emphasize the difference between belief and knowledge) that some of this physical evidence does show something beyond our current military's capabilities, but the truth is we simply don't know for sure what the military is capable of or not.


Discussing why it is illogical for this to be so is rather off topic for this thread, but I understand the point you are making, and it's a very good one.

Star, and thank you



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 08:42 AM
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reply to post by Clickfoot
 


I don't believe everything is real.

I just regard it as a curiosity that may or may not be worth my attention.

UFO does not automatically mean Alien. It could already be identified but perhaps the folks posting it do not realize that.

Tread gently and guide others and they will be inspired to analyze what they post.

That's all I ask.

Berate them and tear them apart and they will not even bother. If they are just looking for attention, they may get the hint anyway. You can't really tell who is and who isn't looking for such.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 08:55 AM
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Also,

Unless you work for some government agency, who are you to tell people that something isn't real?

What makes YOU an expert on anything?

We've been lied to for decades now.

And after everything that's been taught from cockeyed history books, we have a right to question the "official story."

Chinese lanterns, swamp gas, my ass!



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by converge
 

I do believe (I once again emphasize the difference between belief and knowledge) that some of this physical evidence does show something beyond our current military's capabilities, but the truth is we simply don't know for sure what the military is capable of or not.

What I personally believe and what I know and can prove are two completely different things.


What is the tipping point though? When do we accept that some things are allowed to go unlabeled, un-debunked? Why hammer a square peg into a round hole.

In other areas we are fine with a "leap of faith".

Abiogenesis, for example. Scientists reverse engineer it in the singular, which shows a conscious design effort, and yet...it's fact to 90% of the people on this board. It's fact only because any other explanation aside from random change won't fit for them.

The whole theory of evolution works only if abiogenesis did indeed occur not once, not twice, but millions of times over. And yet...we consciously have to put the world's greatest think tank together mixing and remixing based on suppositions of what was meteoralogically available 4.5 billion years ago.

Essentially we believe that it did occur because we are all here today. We faith in it *snicker* because if not we have to believe that the evolved beings of this planet were dropped here by God, space aliens, or Walt Disney.

There is a point where people do act on faith even without "facts". We even do it in science.

I'm not arguing for or against abiogenesis. Obviously they can engineer ribonucleotide through careful (lol) nurturing. I'm sure they will figure out how thymine, cystosine, and guanine came from meteors or lightning in a few years, and then they can start fine tuning the statistics for evolution (btw, I wish those statistics would work for me winning the lottery).

My point is tho that there is an awful lot of work put into proving they are right. Do you know how much money has been spent on unsuccessful experiments in evolution and abiogenesis versus successful experimentation? People were willing to pay money for research that was really a best guess at what happened 4.5 billion years ago.

Why don't we do the same for life on other planets? What if there is and its hostile? Isn't that as important to the human race as our origins?

Why is it always that UFOlogy has to fight the uphill battle of extraordinary claims and telling me that 6 billion people evolved from a meteor hitting an ocean that may have had the exact right amounts of ammonia in it to create life when the water evaporated upon the shore does not require the same skepticism before pumping millions of research dollars into the subject?

Obviously, there is a benefit to research. And I mean more than SETI deciding that aliens would definitely respond to our sending them radio frequency.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 09:41 AM
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Originally posted by converge

Originally posted by zorgon
Now isn't a "call to arms' kinda like recruiting a gang? Hmmmmm something about recruiting for causes in the T&C I recall


I'm not recruiting anyone, I'm inciting people to be more skeptic and I've defined, pretty well I think, what I mean by that in my opening post.

I understand that some people might not agree with my point of view, and I think to some extent it has to do with connotation associated with the term skeptic.

However, and semantics aside, I don't see how someone would be against the notion of approaching the subject with critical thinking and subjecting the (alleged) evidence to scrutiny.

Unless of course they are not really interested in the truth, and in that case they most likely are either pseudoskeptics or doe-eyed believers.



Is it any wonder then that there are so many threads like this from both sides lately?


I don't see my thread as divisive, in fact I thought I had made a decent argument on why we should all shape up if you will, for the sake of the field.


The only issue I have with your original post is using Science as the basis for any skepticism.

Science is the "get out of jail free" card as far as I am concerned. Science is an ever changing 'we're never wrong' field and has absolutely no place in the investigation of the UFO phenomena. How can you use Science in any way to investigate UFO's that are doing things outside of what science knows is currently possible.

They are the skeptics that really annoy me..... the skeptics that hide behind science and anyone that quotes Carl Sagan. My other issue with skeptics are how they insntantly dismiss certain evidence... such as anecdotal evidence which to them isn't considered good enough evidence.... yet you often catch them using anecdotal evidence to explain away UFOs when it suits.

Some skeptics like to make claims about why something can't be... yet have absolutely no proof to back up their claims.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 09:50 AM
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Originally posted by Janitor From Mars
Also,
Unless you work for some government agency, who are you to tell people that something isn't real?


Questioning someone's claims, alleged evidence, or even exposing them as hoaxes, fakes or frauds does not mean that the whole phenomena is not real. Those are two distinct things, and I addressed that in my original post.

All I'm saying is let's be demanding of people's claims. If they are true and real they will hold up to scrutiny.

But if they don't have any evidence, and even assuming what they are claiming is true, if everyone's goal is to make the field respectful and taken seriously how is touting unprovable baseless claims going to help in doing that? It certainly won't convince anyone except the ones who already believe the theories.

My point is let's focus on the cases where there is actual hard evidence and use those as examples so people in general, the scientific community and Congress can and should take seriously.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 09:55 AM
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Originally posted by Total Package
Some skeptics like to make claims about why something can't be... yet have absolutely no proof to back up their claims.
Then they are not real sceptics, a real sceptic does not make claims, the most he/she can do is to state his/her opinion, that is why converge made a distinction between what he knows and what he believes, they are different things.

Also, what we know is not "written in stone", things change and perceptions change, what we "know" about some subject now is not what we "knew" when we were 5 years old, knowledge is a moving target.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 10:00 AM
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Originally posted by converge
My point is let's focus on the cases where there is actual hard evidence and use those as examples so people in general, the scientific community and Congress can and should take seriously.


With all due respect the scientific community can go f#@ themselves. Stanton Friedman is the only member of the scientific community I respect. The rest of them have the heads shoved so far up their own ego's that they will never admit something is unexplained. Science will always come up with "theories" basedon science with little actual proof.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by converge
 


Did you ever see the Larry King show on aliens that had the former military fellows (two with PhDs in science) who claimed (and brought footage) that UFOs shot down their missiles. These weren't the average joe citizen. They had PhDs in physics, were eye-witnesses, etc. and Bill Nye the Science guy basically blew them off with the "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof", ignoring their footage, disregarding the source of the testimony, etc.

I would bet, however, that he would be the first to say we invest money in evolutionary research although it does not have nearly the benefit to society as researching why some "object" shot down our missiles.

This is what makes me upset. This sliding bar of what is "extraordinary". Something shooting down our missiles should be investigated until we can't breathe.

I'm glad that scientists can make an amino acid after six months of chemical experiments in a laboratory, but to what end? Millions of dollars goes into research that just gets us high, it doesn't protect us from potential beings that could shoot down our missiles.

*sighs*



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 10:04 AM
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Originally posted by ArMaP

Originally posted by Total Package
Some skeptics like to make claims about why something can't be... yet have absolutely no proof to back up their claims.
Then they are not real sceptics, a real sceptic does not make claims, the most he/she can do is to state his/her opinion, that is why converge made a distinction between what he knows and what he believes, they are different things.


The problem with skeptics are that their "opinion" is based on their belief system. eg: They don't believe UFOs are aliens from other planets..... so immediately their opinion is biased and misinformed.

How many times do you see skeptics on here automatically looking at a video and saying "CGI" or "Chinese Lanterns" or "It's a bird nothing to see here" without even the slightest bit of evidence to show this is the case.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 10:08 AM
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reply to post by Total Package
 


Fear breeds skepticism. People don't like to leave things open-ended. That's too scary. They need to hear a "case closed". Much of the so-called scientific community and the James Randi-onites are as dogmatic as the medieval Catholic Church. If you don't believe me go troll any skeptic board and say: There is no real proof for evolution. You will get the same reaction as you would trolling the religious boards with a There is no proof for God



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