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Neil Degrasse Tyson on UFO Sightings and Aliens

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posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 03:32 PM
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Neil Degrasse Tyson is one of my *absolute* favorite researchers/scientists. Being in science/medicine myself, his passion and attitude are an incredible inspiration. Below is a wonderful video where Mr. Tyson touches on the topics of UFOs and aliens.



[edit on 4/27/2010 by VneZonyDostupa]




posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 03:35 PM
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I sometimes wonder if Tyson is a relatively new member of MJ-12, or whatever they're calling it these days, like Carl Sagan was before him.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 03:42 PM
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reply to post by VneZonyDostupa
 


I also admire Neil Degrasse Tyson, but here he comes across as a pompous person. He attacks eyewitness accounts and then degrades people for not using their camera phone (I do not have a camera cell phone). He also states about eyewitness testimony not having a thing to do with science (although it has sent many people to the electric chair).

I lost a lot of respect for him during his cute little stand up routine. He should not give up his day job.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 03:52 PM
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Originally posted by kidflash2008
reply to post by VneZonyDostupa
 


I also admire Neil Degrasse Tyson, but here he comes across as a pompous person. He attacks eyewitness accounts and then degrades people for not using their camera phone (I do not have a camera cell phone). He also states about eyewitness testimony not having a thing to do with science (although it has sent many people to the electric chair).

I lost a lot of respect for him during his cute little stand up routine. He should not give up his day job.


I think you must have stopped listening about halfway through his lecture. He said that eye witness testimony is important in the courts (which negates your point about the electric chair), but that in science, it's worthless. This is absolutely true. Unless you have verifiable, repeatable (or testable) data, it doesn't matter. That's why I have a hard time believing most alternative therapies. They are very hesitant to submit their therapies to double-blind studies because, most likely, it will show the opposite of their "testimony". This is the point Tyson was trying to get across: saying something is true doesn't make it true.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 03:57 PM
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reply to post by VneZonyDostupa
 


I did listen to the whole thing. He does say it is important in the courts, which should matter the most. I just do not think science should totally dismiss eyewitness accounts. There is also many cases with physical evidence, but that is another post.

The problem is flying saucers are very unpredictable. No one knows the mindset of the extraterrestrials as to where they will appear or land. To put the scientific test on this phenomena like a laboratory is not logical.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 04:16 PM
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reply to post by kidflash2008
 


You don't think it's logical to demand actual physical (including clear footage) evidence of extraterrestrial visitation? You're totally content with the conflicting eye witness reports, fuzzy/grainy pictures of ambiguous shapes in the sky, and various 'unnamed government sources' that 'prove' ETs are here? What is so wrong with wanting solid evidence? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence?

If I practiced medicine under the same premise people use to 'prove' the existence of ETs on Earth, I would have killed dozens, if not hundreds, of patients. Infections, particularly viral, can be "unpredictable", to use your own words, and can be hard to identify. If I relied on eye witness accounts from other physicians as to the behaviour of certain infections, it would lead to improper treatments and patient deaths. Rather, I rely on peer-reviewed scientific studies that demonstrate clear pathologies and treatments. This sort of scientific process should (and is, in real scientific circles) be required in ANY circumstance where a theory is being tested.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 09:09 PM
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reply to post by VneZonyDostupa
 


I have never liked Mr Tyson. There are certain personalities that I don't like right off the bat. I don't like Chris Rock, I don't like Adam Sandler, I don't like Oprah Winfrey, I don't like Neil Degrasse Tyson. He is a loud buffoon. He is trying to be cute but he comes across very loudly insulting. I don't care what he has to say, I don't want to hear it from him. The video presentation was awful and if I had been present I would have walked out on him.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 09:43 PM
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Originally posted by kidflash2008


I did listen to the whole thing. He does say it is important in the courts, which should matter the most. I just do not think science should totally dismiss eyewitness accounts. There is also many cases with physical evidence, but that is another post.

The problem is flying saucers are very unpredictable. No one knows the mindset of the extraterrestrials as to where they will appear or land. To put the scientific test on this phenomena like a laboratory is not logical.


You can use eyewitness in science, but anyway is not evidence, just an starting point, what can do an eyewitness do in science? "hey, i was taching the volcano and the magma idk, start doing this and that", and the scientist "ok, cool, lets see why", if the scientist find the reasons then they for sure will have evidence, and the evidence wont be the eyewitness.

So, ok, aliens, the eyewitness can say he saw something but have he some proof? can he find some proof? can the scientist find some proof? if the eyewitness says the piece of the ship fall into the ground and the scientist find them, that is proof, and like in the other case, the eyewitness is not, he is only the starting point.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 10:53 PM
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Originally posted by kidflash2008
reply to post by VneZonyDostupa
 


I did listen to the whole thing. He does say it is important in the courts, which should matter the most. I just do not think science should totally dismiss eyewitness accounts. There is also many cases with physical evidence, but that is another post.


We know that eyewitness testimony, while used to convict people in courts, is just as unreliable there, as anywhere else like UFO sightings.

Eyewitness testimony was the number 1 cause for wrongful convictions in cases where DNA evidence has since exonerated those convicted:



www.innocenceproject.org...

In case after case, DNA has proven what scientists already know - that eyewitness identification is frequently inaccurate. In the wrongful convictions caused by eyewitness misidentification, the circumstances varied, but judges and juries all relied on testimony that could have been more accurate if reforms proven by science had been implemented.


So this shows Tyson is right.


While eyewitness testimony can be persuasive evidence before a judge or jury, 30 years of strong social science research has proven that eyewitness identification is often unreliable. Research shows that the human mind is not like a tape recorder; we neither record events exactly as we see them, nor recall them like a tape that has been rewound.


The answer isn't that we should trust eyewitness testimony more regarding UFOs, it's that we should trust it LESS in courts! And I think attorneys and judges have some awareness of how unreliable it is but we use it anyway, which is kind of scary if you're the innocent person convicted based on a faulty eyewitness report.

Should the eyewitness testimony be disregarded completely? No. When credible people make credible reports they saw something, you can note that they saw something. But most of what they say aside from a general description can be dismissed as unreliable. Here is the approach of one scientist which seems entirely appropriate for how to handle eyewitness testimony:

Investigation Casts Light on the Mysterious Flying Black Triangle

"Each sighting requires a great deal of analysis. A witness's perceptions of speed, acceleration, and size are likely of very little value," Miller said. "I have taken an approach of first identifying needs -- or mission requirements -- and technology availability. Then I compare those with the cold raw, simple facts of a sighting, not the conjecture or guess work of a witness," he said.



Here's a case where we have an eyewitness with 20 years in the aviation industry (Paul Hurley), and I find him credible as in I don't think he's lying, I think he's being honest.

Listen to what he describes at 1m45s saying the UFOs "took off" !! This would clearly cause us to rule out the balloon theory.

video.google.com...#

Yet we know the objects didn't "take off" because they were just flares attached to balloons. This is just one example of how a witnesses mind plays tricks on them. They see an object one minute, don't see it the next so their brain tells them it "took off" when in fact that's not what happened.

Paul Hurley is credible.
Paul Hurley is not lying.
But like any other eyewitness, you can't even trust him to accurately report even the most basic aspects about a sighting, like whether the object "took off" or not (and at what rate of speed, etc)



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 12:18 AM
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Within the first minute, this guy demonstrates his ignorance regarding UFO reports. Here's a bit from Dr. James E. McDonald (who investigated hundreds of UFO reports and interviewed hundreds of witnesses) explaining Tyson's first mistake. The quote comes from McDonald's 1968 testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Astronautics:

"Another characteristic in interviewing the witnesses is the tendency for the UFO witness to turn first not to the hypothesis that he is looking at a spaceship, but rather it must be an ambulance out there with a blinking red light or that it is a helicopter up there. There is a conventional interpretation considered first; only then does the witness get out of the car or patrol car and realize the thing is stopped in midair and is going backwards and has six bright lights, or something like that. Only after an economical first hypothesis does the witness, in these impressive cases, go further in his hypotheses, and finally realize he is looking at something he has never seen before.

I like Dr. Hynek's phrase for this, "escalation of hypotheses." This tendency to take a simple guess first and then upgrade it is so characteristic that I emphasize it as a very important point."

I've read many, many books dealing with UFO's and the people who report them. As a rule, witnesses are puzzled, curious or frightened and readily admit that they have no idea what it was that they saw. Hardly ever (at least in my reading on the subject) does a witness describe what he has seen as an "alien spaceship." I'm not sure where Tyson is getting his information.

Next, Tyson conflates people who report seeing an unidentified flying object with those who claim they have been abducted by aliens, two distinct and separate categories of people.

And while it's true that the nature of the abduction phenomenon is unclear, what is clear is that a large number of abductees - whether they were actually physically taken or not - sincerely believe they have been abducted and are traumatized by what they feel has happened to them. Many abductees exhibit symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder at a level that is on par with that of traumatized combat veterans. So at best, Tyson is here blatantly making fun of people who - regardless of the objective reality of their percieved experience - are suffering a great deal of mental anguish. Maybe he should take a few jabs at people with schizophrenia or Alzheimer's disease while he's at it.

This uninformed douchebag's "attitude" is an "inspiration" to the OP? That's telling.

By the way, nice vest, Sinbad.



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 12:23 AM
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reply to post by VneZonyDostupa
 


Degrasse Tyson is great at explaining, I like his style. He's the complete opposite of Richard Dawkins. But I can understand why some people don't like him, he's a pretty loud guy and he can come off as arrogant. Here's a more in depth video on his views on UFOs and eyewitness testimony.



[edit on 28-4-2010 by cripmeister]



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 12:29 AM
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And regarding eyewitness testimony, we turn once again to Dr. McDonald's remarks before Congress:

"Then, looking at the negative side, all of us who have checked cases are sometimes in near anguish at the typical inability of the scientifically untrained person to estimate angles, to even understand what you are asking for when you ask for an angular estimation. We are all aware of the gross errors in distances, heights, and speeds so estimated.

And I would emphasize to those who cite jury trial experience that the tendency for a group of witnesses to an accident to come in with quite different accounts, must not be overstressed here. Those witnesses don't come in from, say, a street corner accident and claim they saw a giraffe killed by a tiger. They talk about an accident. They are confused about details. There is legally confusing difference of timing and distance, and so on; but all are in agreement that it was an auto accident.

So also when you deal with multiple-witness cases in UFO sightings. There is an impressive core of consistency; everybody is talking about an object that has no wings, all of 10 people may say it was dome shaped or something like that, and then there are minor differences as to how big they thought it was, how far away, and so on. Those latter variations do pose a very real problem. It stands as a negative factor with respect to the anecdotal data, but it does not mean we are not dealing with real sightings of real objects."

It is also good to consider the large number of reports that have been made of flying objects seen at such close proximity as to essentially rule out misidentification of conventional objects or phenomena. When an object appears at tree top level and is the apparent diameter of a dinner plate held at arm's length, even the most untrained and incompetent observers are going to be able to provide a rather unambiguous description.



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 01:37 AM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 


I agree 100%. Eyewitness testimony is the worst thing to account for. I remember reading in a book about an experiment done with witnesses. The made a bunch of people watch a video and count how many times a ball was thrown around in a circle. Everyone counted and then the person asked who saw the bear. Everyone was dumbfounded and when they replayed the tape the watched a guy in a bear suit walk in the middle of the circle and wave at the camera.

Not very reliable if you ask me.

I understand that people need photographic/physical evidence, but I also understand why there is not perfect evidence coming about. If I were to see a UFO I think I would stand there in amazement to begin with and maybe after a bit think about photographing/recording it. The initial shock would have to wear off before that thought crossed my mind.

I also do not understand why people think about evidence in an abduction. If I was in a spaceship having tests done on me the last thing I would think about would be grabbing something to save for later, to prove to people this was real. I would be worried about my life and wondering if I would be able to live.

Ask anyone that was in a POW prison if they have any evidence, I would guess the majority would say no. Not that I am comparing the 2 I am just saying I doubt people abducted are thinking about that.


Pred...


edit because I cannot damn-well spell


[edit on 28-4-2010 by predator0187]



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 03:46 AM
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He reminds me of the comedian "sinbad" he even looks like him. But i disagree with his stand point on aliens. Maybe he should take up comedy full time and drop the science thing.



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 08:15 AM
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It seems to me that he's more criticizing those that quickly jump to conclusions and attribute a single sighting of something unknown to be extraterrestrial beings. There needs to be more rational inquiry and skepticism rather than plain belief if "real science" is ever going to more fully embrace these subjects, in my opinion...



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 11:07 AM
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Anybody who believes there is real science in UFOlogy is only fooling themselves. The applied science is shaky and many times just downright bad, the evidence is circumstantial, and far too often the researchers already have the answer they want, and are looking for the evidence to fit that model.

That being said, something is happening in our night sky. People have been seeing things. That doesn't mean they are alien visitors, I'm sure about 99% of UFO sightings can be attributed to man-made craft, but it would be interesting to look at that 1% and see what type of natural or otherwise phenomenon causes them.

The universe is mystifying enough just by itself, we no longer need to continue making angel-sighting stories to make it more mesmerizing.



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 04:03 PM
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Originally posted by VneZonyDostupa
reply to post by kidflash2008
 


You don't think it's logical to demand actual physical (including clear footage) evidence of extraterrestrial visitation? You're totally content with the conflicting eye witness reports, fuzzy/grainy pictures of ambiguous shapes in the sky, and various 'unnamed government sources' that 'prove' ETs are here? What is so wrong with wanting solid evidence? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence?


I did not say it is not logical to demand physical proof of flying saucers and extraterrestrials, I stated it is not logical to use the laboratory as a means to get it. Many samples are taken when the craft land, and other evidence such as radiation readings and photographs taken of landings. (I also think the US Government has craft from both Roswell and Kecksburg, but that is another thread.)

This is a subject that does not lend itself to the usual means of scientific research.



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 04:09 PM
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reply to post by WolfofWar
 


There is a film from the 1950s that the military deemed was not birds or aircraft in our (or the Soviet Union's) possession. They also made the statement the craft were intelligently controlled:

www.nicap.org...

Many pilots (both military and civilian) have witnessed metallic disks do maneuvers that were beyond any technology available. Hundreds of excellent cases out there, and yet we keep hearing the same thing over and over again:

"There is no good evidence out there!"

Yes, there is.

[edit on 4/28/2010 by kidflash2008]



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 04:20 PM
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The only thing I can compare it to is meteorite sightings. For quite a while, hundreds of years, the idea that a star can not only fall from the sky but actually land on the Earth as some kind of rock was considered to be ridiculous, and the occasional eyewitness pretty much kept quiet about it.

But, slowly, after a while, people with an inquisitive nature -- spurred on either by their own eyewitness reports or the reports of others -- eventually started gathering decent data, and this then led to recognizing that not all people describing rocks falling out of the sky were complete loons. Not to say that some of them weren't, but at least there was a reasonable, rational scientific explanation for the reports.

UFOs are a lot like meteorites, with the exception that UFOs leaving any kind of real physical evidence are extremely rare, and most times that evidence doesn't amount to anything. A lot of this might have to do with the "semi-reality" of UFOs, as they whiz through our spacetime context and then back out again.

At any rate, eyewitness reports and experiences ARE useful, in that they might someday point us in the right direction of investigating just what's going on here. After all, Occam's Razor applies in reverse here. What is more likely, that every single witness ever is wrong and unreliable, or that something odd and unexplored might be happening?

[edit on 28-4-2010 by Blue Shift]



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 04:26 PM
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reply to post by kidflash2008
 


The video is shaky evidence at best. All of our images and footage that are not faked are so vague that they literally could be anything. Half of the sightings in the 80's of triangular shaped craft ended up being our own stealth bombers.

Evidence is not eyewitness reports. Those are circumstantial.



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