The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Lance Moody site

Superb contrarian and expert skeptic Lance Moody has a site (named as in the image).

Lance Moody can be harsh and he can be sweet but either way he is always intelligent and/or brilliant with his observations.

He has had a recent colloquy with our friend and nice guy Frank Warren about the L.A. Battle (of 1942) photo.

Mr. Warren is considered the resident "expert" on that event, even though Mr. Moody took him to task for a minor flub, which Mr. Warren noted and apologized for.

To see the back-and-forth and other insights by Mr. Moody, go to his site.

You can access it by clicking here

7 Comments:

  • Thanks again, Rich for the nice mention.

    I know that much of this stuff may seem like minutiae but, in this case, I think it reveals a deeper and more important problem.

    Frank won't agree, I suspect, but his dogmatic proclamations about this piece of evidence (spectacularly proven wrong) to me shows what a big gorilla that faith (as opposed to knowledge) is in this particular cage.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Friday, May 13, 2011  

  • You and I are on the same page, Lance.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, May 13, 2011  

  • I like Lance, and find that he has some interesting things to say from time to time, and I agree that the pseudoscientific approach to anything paranormal is a problem - but so is the pseudoskeptical approach shown all too often by folks like Lance (or, in a much earlier and better known personage, Phil Klass).

    There is a middle ground of proper skepticism, an honest and open-minded look for the truth. I don't see that from the pseudoskeptics anymore than I do from the pseudoscientists. Instead, all I really see are a pathology where two groups of people seem intent on spending inordinate amounts of time trying to convince each other that they're right.

    The mind boggles...

    Paul

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Saturday, May 14, 2011  

  • I ignored dear Lance have a blog! It is a good news. I liked specialy Lance's past exchanges on Kevin Randle blog^^
    I'm happy to find and read another skeptic "channel" and infos will be relayed in France.
    Long live to your blog, Lance ;)
    Cheers,

    Gilles Fernandez

    By Blogger Gilles. F., at Saturday, May 14, 2011  

  • Hi Paul and Gilles!

    Paul, I do agree that there is a permanent impasse between Skeptics and Believers (or whatever word you might want to use, I don't use the term pejoratively just as a shortcut). In most cases (but regrettably not all) I try to focus only on the evidence.

    I think that most of our arguments (and we have had a few) have been about specific factual details. I think I can back up my side of the equation based on good reasoning (not to say that you can not).

    Our most heated argument was about the Kelly Johnson case and I was definitely frustrated because you never engaged me on the facts, deferring to the work Brad Sparks did for your film.

    In a few short moments, before a group of reasonable people, I can show that Sparks simply can't back up many of the claims he makes.

    You rightly chide me for not publishing my proposed possible prosaic solution for the case but that is a side issue. I don't have to provide a solution. Just showing fatal flaws in the Sparks work is enough to call the scenario you support into question.

    Does that still leave us with a mystery? It certainly may but it doesn't prove anything about the paranormal.

    Anyway, now that Rich has made me rich and famous by mentioning my oft-neglected blog, I may be spurred into actually finishing that piece.

    This stuff about pseudoskeptics, etc. is amusing. It always seems that people who aren't skeptics feel the need to define what a skeptic is.

    I am the kind of skeptic who is aligned with most of the skeptical writers:

    Sagan
    Klass
    Shermer
    My beloved Gardner
    Hyman
    Asimov
    etc.

    ...and most of the skeptical organizations (even though I don't participate in these any more).

    I think I can safely say that among skeptics, I am a skeptic.

    From my point of view, there is no middle ground, as you suggest, in skepticism. You either accept the basic tenets or you don't. And you can't pick and choose which things you want to be skeptical about.

    Yes, these discussions often seem to get mired in minutiae but that isn't the fault of the skeptics. We aren't the ones making the extraordinary claims. I certainly hope you would agree that claims about stuff that would change our knowledge of the fabric of reality OUGHT to be picked apart pretty heavily, no?

    There is always the chance that I simply don't know enough about skepticism to advance to the level you suggest I should.

    Which skeptics (of your middle-ground variety or even the dumb bastard kind, like me) did you decide to use in your Best Evidence film, for instance?

    I appreciate the fact that we can argue about this stuff in a good natured (even if direct way) and still stay friends. I do not claim that you don't have valid points about certain cases, for instance. You do.

    But suggesting that I am using a non-scientific, irrational approach is something I don't think you can back up. And if you do have specifics of me doing this, I would like to hear them (and correct any errors). Just disagreeing with you is not enough to prove that case.

    Best wishes (and good luck on your trip!),

    Lance


    ===

    Best to you Gilles! Thanks for the kind words.
    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Saturday, May 14, 2011  

  • Hi Lance,

    While I appreciate your response, it illustrates the very problem that I see - the inability to accurately assess the nature of your own position. The believers have the same problem.

    From what I've seen, you're not a skeptic, although you like to cloak yourself in that mantle as Klass did - you're a disbeliever. I judge this not only from what you write, but how you write it - your style and tone sounds a lot like that used by the believers. In neither instance does it come across as neutral.

    You are welcome to your definition of scepticism, just as the believers that I have heard claim the same mantle are welcome to use it. It's all in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. But as the end of the day, what you practice (as I have observed it) is not objective skepticism, anymore than David Rudiak practices objective skepticism - it's the same kind of disbeliever pseudoskepticism that Klass refined into a veritable art form. The fact that he, or you, may be correct from time to time doesn't change the underlying principles from which you operate.

    And it has nothing to do with disagreeing with me. I honestly don't care one way or another. As I've said repeatedly, I have no emotional investment in a particular answer, or theory, or even any particular area of the paranormal. That's what you have always misunderstood about the Santa Barabra Case, where my responses were rooted more in your attacks on my film and my professional competence as a filmmaker than the material contained therein (as well as my rejoinder to you to move beyond my film, which is after all just a film, and focus on the actual case itself, if you were truly interested in it). It's just a mystery that interests me on an intellectual level, and one about which I maintain an objective and open-minded skepticism.

    Best,
    Paul

    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Saturday, May 14, 2011  

  • Thanks Paul,

    You may have missed the question but which of the good kind of skeptics did you decide to use in your Best Evidence film?

    Your implication is that I would look at incontrovertible evidence of the paranormal and still disbelieve.

    Have you any evidence for this?

    Can you cite something?

    To the contrary, I don't say that all of your best evidence cases are bullshit. I think some of them are interesting and I don't have a pat answer that negates them. I simply don't know.

    Is that what a disbeliever does?

    On the other hand I can cite for you hundreds of cases of believers seeing incontrovertible disconfirming evidence and not missing a beat, going right on believing.

    For instance, that cold holiday night when Mrs. "Keech" and her followers stood out waiting for the saucer pickup that never came.

    Or hearing someone say, "I think Adamski (or Meier or WIlliamson or Ed Walters) had a real experience at first but then decided to fake things."

    Or when the Fox sisters came right out and said they were faking even while spiritualists walked away as muddle-headed as ever.

    So I do take great umbrage that you would equate me with believers. You can't and haven't supported that claim.

    In the back of my mind, I suspect that only one person can live up to your standard of good and righteous skeptic, and baby, it's you!

    P.S.: I never meant to disparage you as a filmmaker and if I did, I apologize.

    Lance

    By Blogger Lance, at Saturday, May 14, 2011  

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