Seriously? Ok, I'll bite. Here's what it'll take:
Any personally-acquired, irrefutable, empirical
, repeatable, experience that can be shared
with others at the moment or at a subsequent time upon demand. In a word: Science.
I may believe in ghosts - but never having seen one or experienced one myself, I can not say definitively that they exist.
I may believe in Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, Chupacabras, Santa Clause, and/or the Tooth Fairy - nevertheless, unless I can produce one of these
items/personages upon demand to a news organization/university/family - it does not exist.
Please do not interpret this to mean that I (or anyone else here) is that dreaded "skeptic". Quite the contrary - we ARE believers, but like the
infamous Fox Mulder, as much as we "Want to Believe", we have no choice, as rational, intelligent, beings but to accept ONLY
, and nothing else, to confirm and validate our beliefs.
As an academic in a scientific field (Spatial Geomorphology), I am perhaps a bit more jaded and hesitant than others - but, by training, if I have
nothing to examine, nothing to test, and experienced nothing at all myself, I have no empirical evidence, and therefore must bite my tongue until such
time as I do.
Yes, the beautiful Kepler images are wonderful. But it is proof only of an infinite variety of stars and myriad galaxies in a glorious universe - not
of alien life. There is no-one waving back at us in those images, there is no (definitive, repeatable) signal coming from those
trillion-points-of-light. The images may just as well be showing us that we are all alone (unlikely, but NOT an IMPOSSIBILITY - GIVEN THE
Yes, the intriguing UFO snapshots and videos that have for decades enthralled us are mesmerizing and truly fascinating. But it is not admissible as
proof. Why? Because you cannot produce the item being photographed for closer examination. You may speculate, you can guess as to origins, you can
be bewildered and amazed. But it is not sufficient evidence to establish unequivocally that the operators of those fuzzy images are alien in origin.
(p.s. to self: WHY must these images ALWAYS be so grainy, fuzzy, ill-defined!?!)
Yes, our Big-Haired host of Ancient Aliens and his pals among many offshoots have some very interesting ideas. Van Daniken really got me thinking as
a child -and many of you all as well I'm sure. But it is not proof. It is fun, it is entertaining, it is certainly thought-provoking - in fact -
some of it may even be TRUE (which is the real pi$$er - ain't it?) - but, alas, it is not proof -not proof-ENOUGH for scientific purposes: which is
why no scientist is really researching the subject (as well as no access to funding to do so).
, my DESIRE to believe is not, can not, and will not be equivalent to evidence.
I remain, for the time being, but hopefully not forever, a UFO/Alien agnostic...
edit on 8/7/2013 by Outrageo because: