UFO Conjecture(s)

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Darwinian Ufology

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We assume (almost) every visitor here is familiar with Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, and his theory of Natural Selection.

Darwin’s concept of evolution can be applied to UFOs.

Strange objects, seen mostly in the air, have been reported since the beginning of mankind, appearing on cave walls, drawn by primitive man and in carvings of early civilizations, such as the Assyrian and Egyptian.

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But to make concise our argument here, let us start with the period just before that of the airplane and the Wright brothers.

This would have to do with the airships of the 1890s.

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Darwin spells out how species adapt and change, over time, and provides this1:

· Individuals in a population vary significantly from one another.
· Much of this variation is inheritable .
· Individuals less suited to the environment are less likely to survive and less likely to reproduce; individuals more suited to the environment are more likely to survive and more likely to reproduce and leave their inheritable traits to future generations, which produces the process of natural selection.

This slowly effected process results in populations changing to adapt to their environments, and ultimately, these variations accumulate over time to form new species.2.

The 1890s airships were, reportedly, not unlike the dirigible ships that populated the skies, rarely but concomitantly, and sailed no differently that man-made airships, even containing pilots and/or passengers no different than those who built and flew airships of a prosaic kind.

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But from the period between the 1890s and the mid-1940s, dirigible-like airships all but disappeared from view, literally.

The, during World War II and soon after, smallish lights, dubbed “foo fighters” appeared to WWII fighter pilots and missile-like airfoils, similar to the Nazi V-2 rocket, made a presence in the skies over Europe.

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This indicates, to us, that the 1890s ships had changed, evolving from their convoluted but primitive state to amorphous balls of light and structured craft, adapted from the V-2 archetype.

The “evolved” UFOs had branched from the 1890s to two distinct “species” – the advanced and advancing balls of light and the dead end, virtually defunct, missile-shaped craft.

In 1947 UFOs popped up in the round-shape which incurred the “flying saucer” epithet, although a few cigar-shaped craft, a dying breed, made themselves known, as in the Chiles-Whitted sighting of 1948, among a few others.

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This was an adaptation from the missile shape, not the ball-of-light construct.

One ground and in the skies, UFOs maintained the “saucer” adaptation well into the 1970s and 1980s, as evidenced by NICAP’s lists of sightings.

NICAP

UFOs seemed to have used or been affected by “natural selection” – missile shapes (cigar craft) were inefficient, and the balls-of-light were inconsequential, and not suitable to the space-age environment.

But late in the 19802 and from 1990 onward, to 2011, the raft of UFO sightings indicated a shift from disk-shaped configurations to triangular configurations.

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What caused this evolutionary change in UFOs?

Darwin ‘s theory posited this3:

…variation arose constantly and not just in response to changed circumstances…species formed in isolated populations only, as on islands, to an emphasis on speciation without isolation; that is, [Darwin] saw increasing specialisation within large stable populations as continuously exploiting new ecological niches.

But “New species have appeared very slowly, one after another, both on the land and in the water [or skies]….[and] We can clearly ubnderstand why a species when once lost should never reappear, even if the very same conditions of life, organic and inorganic, should recur. For though the offspring of one species might be adapted…to fill the place of another species in the economy of nature and thus supplant it; yet the two forms – the old and the new – would not be identically the same.”4

That is UFOs from the past woluld not assume the same identity as UFOs of the present.

Triangular UFOs have supplanted the “flying disks” of previous years. But, again, why?

Darwin would allow that the environment – the technological advance of aircraft itself – would force an adaptation, and that’s is what seems to have happened to UFOs.

But what about the remnant balls of light? They still appear, like Darwin’s crocodiles or, better, cirripedes,5 because they are self-productive and immune to intense adaptation.

What this means, for us, is that some UFO species will evolve – adapt and change, according to Natural Selection, while other UFO species -- the balls of light – will not change, and have not changed.

Ufologists (yes, we hate the term), should take a look at the different species, as the evolutionary species (the Triangular UFO) provide one clue to the UFO origin while another species (the balls of light) provide a different clue to the origin of UFOs.

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a guide post for study, or should be.
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1 From Wikipedia
2 Ibid
3 The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin, Chapter XI (ff.)
4 Ibid
5 Ibid (Chapter 4)

Monday, January 03, 2011

Scholarship, Truth, and UFOs


The January 3rd 2011 New Yorker has an article by Daniel Mendelsohn about the Vatican Library [Page 24 ff.].

There are a few quotes in the piece by current Library Prefect, Monsignor Cesare Pasini which applies to our approach here for 2011, regarding postings and content.

Monsignor Pasini, talking about culture and scholarly community says this:

“There is the possibility of entering mystery of culture…The mystery of scholarship, the mystery of the spirit of humanism. The patient study that allows someone to know something that hasn’t been know before – or perhaps something that someone has studied before. But one can go another step further, testing, verifying, correcting…the world of scholarship, entering the mystery of scholarship – the mystery of truth.” [Page 30]

This is where “ufology” (we hate the term!) goes wrong. There is no culture, no scholarship, and no mystery. Ufology and the UFO phenomenon have been held hostage by a few fanatic self-aggrandizers and intellectually deficient persons, many of whom can be found lighting up the pages of UFO Updates with smug, meaningless asides and self-promoting rants.

We shall make sure that posts here, from now on, will make every effort to be scholarly and truthful – even when we provide our usual lambastings of UFO geezers and those who kneel at their feet, sycophantically.

Those of you, with open minds and the desire to attack the UFO mystery – its old and new manifestations -- with hard scholarship and a sincere pursuit of truth will bear with us we hope.