UFO Conjectures

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Delusions: Self and Otherwise

This 1979 book from my shelves addresses many of the points or, rather, non-points, made here in comments recently.

Contents include:

Reality exists outside of us

Science is objective

Nothing but…

The myth of mind control

The lying truths of psychiatry

The chapter “Reality exists outside of us?” [Page 144 ff. by Sir Alan Cottrell] says this:

“ … it would appear that the concept of an independent reality ‘out there’ has been discredited … The central conclusion  is that if reality has any meaning at all, it is in the context of the observer and the observation itself.” [Page 158]

My point, with this book, is that what we’re debating in this place (and elsewhere) have many possibilities. No topic is definitive, to the point of conclusiveness.

If someone thinks they have the answer(s) to things, they don’t.

UFO skeptics don’t have the answers, and UFO believers don’t either.

UFOs, among lots of other things, are wide open to explanation and rumination.

What troubles me is the facile, superficial argumentation that rears its head in comments here.

Gilles Fernandez, Lance Moody, Zoam Chomsky don’t have the answers, but neither do David Rudiak, Tony Bragalia, Dominick, et al.

Further, most named here are ill-read, maybe not about UFOs but about almost everything else.

Their “discussions” here are limited by their liberal arts and general academic illiteracy.

Ufology – sorry Gilles, and Zoam and David – needs an intellectual overhaul.

Paul Kimball and Joel Crook would agree I think.

The rubric “ufology” like the categorical UFO sobriquet is fraught with baggage that dolts have assumed in order to belong to the rampant discussion(s) of UFOs on the internet, not just here but everywhere.

I suggest that those wishing to make points in this arena do so with cited material and footnoted asides that come from material outside the internet swill.

After all, we’re not animals….or are we?



  • We are 'homo sapiens', and have been for about fifty thousand years. But some of us have progressed and developed a bit more than others during this period.

    By Blogger cda, at Wednesday, July 09, 2014  

  • Quoting some new-age reality-relativist craptrap based on a wishful half-baked god-stuff misinterpretation of QM isn't a good start. I believe that's Paul Davies (1979) that you quoted.

    There is nothing non-objective about QM or our one scientific reality. And if one has to invoke such quantum quackery as an excuse to continue to believe in the "UFO" delusion--when it's been made abundantly clear why people make "UFO" reports--then his position is in big trouble.

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Wednesday, July 09, 2014  

  • mmm, humans are animals, and have only gradual differences compared to other mammal animals.

    By Blogger Don Maor, at Wednesday, July 09, 2014  

  • Ah.....Don Maor makes my point and CDA leans towards it:

    They think we're animals or have descended from animals, the Darwinian position.

    But that is open to question, and not in the religious realm.

    Dealt with at one of our other blogs, a while ago.



    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, July 09, 2014  

  • Mr Chomsky,

    The religious bent of your science is showing -- it is the Religion of "Local Reality". Go read up on "Bell's theorem". Local Reality died in 1981. It's not metaphysics. There is on-going experiments in learning to actually use "spooky action at a distance" to actually transmit information... which is of itself kind of strange since the "local reality" believers said that even if "spooky action at a distance" does work, no useful information could be transferred... and they, of course, were wrong.

    >> "There is nothing non-objective about QM or [sic] our one [sic] scientific reality. "

    Bad form to use a double negative when referring to "objective reality." I'm not certain what you are trying to say when you speak of "scientific reality" when "reality" as described by Science is a moving target.

    Yes QM is totally objective regardless of which interpretation you choose... but unfortunately the users of QM are incapable of being anything except subjective because their measurements and observations are relative to their position and equipment. Go re-read the Copenhagen interpretation: "quantum mechanics does not yield a description of an objective reality but deals only with probabilities of observing, or measuring, various aspects of energy quanta, entities that fit neither the classical idea of particles nor the classical idea of waves."

    Those folks that cling to "old versions of reality" when experiments have "kicked the can down the road" have serious problems claiming to have the "high ground".. I'm not certain there is [or can be] "One QM interpretation to rule them all" because for most of the interpretations do not violate the experimental observations.

    Heinze Pagels [a skeptic by the way] in "The Cosmic Code: Quantum Physics as the Language of Nature" [1981] proposed that idea of a "Quantum Reality Market Place" where all the "interpretations" of QM are true... even the mutually exclusive ones because they are required to define the others...

    If you like "mathematical horror" you might go read Tegmark... http://space.mit.edu/home/tegmark/crazy.html --of course I'm sure he'll make your skin crawl.

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Thursday, July 10, 2014  

  • Joel;

    I doubt very much that there's anything I haven't heard about these subjects, including the MUH, that bears on the issue.

    The point was that none of it--especially quantum quackery--is necessary to explain why people make "UFO" reports. We already know very well why people make "UFO" reports, it's described by the PSH.

    "Nothing non-objective about QM" says exactly what I mean it to say since I'm referring the lack, the failure of that proposed by quantum quackery.

    "Our one scientific reality" is world we share, the totality of facts, the world as it is at any moment, and which is continuously evolving.

    "The problem with interpretations of quantum mechanics is that it's all the same mathematical theory, and these interpretations are experimentally indistinguishable. ... This means that even an intellectually honest interpreter ends up writing pseudo-philosophy which is not scientifically rigorous, objective or testable. ... you can get QM to say whatever on earth you want it to say before starting, which only leads to more quantum quackery."


    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, July 10, 2014  

  • Ah, I see you're one of those-- You quote from the haddiths of the irrational "Skeptic Religion" to support your own version of "Science quackery".

    While it may be named the "rational wiki", reading it leaves a bad taste in the mouth because 50% of it is "psycho-social" snobbery and has nothing to do with being rational, intelligent, or scientific.

    The wiki you referenced is filled with the weasel words of Egotists pretending to be rational. If an information source cannot clearly make its case without resorting to ad hominum attacks one can be pretty sure the source is just as fair and balanced as certain unnamed cable channels.

    Unfortunately, my understanding of the reason some people investigate these things is not on the map of your PSH. Some people observe, question, measure, and actually have hypothesis in regards to the things they observe. They actually do science. My father happened to be one of those. He wasn't an ETHer or a Roswellian.. he thought their "agenda" was not realistic.

    I don't think that the ETHers or the Roswellians know much about science... They've certainly had a long enough time to try to do science but they have not. Nor do the Skeptics who show there "wares" here and elsewhere. Most are in it for the fame or fortune or in it for the thrill of the Ego strokes they feel when "putting down the heathens".

    It appears that "skepticism" has nothing to do with actual science.

    To twist Mr. Fernandez's tag line on its head:

    Well, That's Skepticism!

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Thursday, July 10, 2014  

  • Rich,

    Max Tegmark wrote something which seems to confront the "rigidity" of our skeptical friends. In a paper proposing and defending the idea that the universe is part of a multiverse. In a paper entitled "Shut up and calculate!" he wrote:

    "Evolution endowed us with intuition only for those aspects of physics that had survival value for our distant ancestors, such as the parabolic trajectories of flying rocks. Darwin’s theory thus makes the testable prediction that whenever we look beyond the human scale, our evolved intuition should break down."

    "We have repeatedly tested this prediction, and the results overwhelmingly support it: our intuition breaks down at high speeds, where time slows down; on small scales, where particles can be in two places at once; and at high temperatures, where colliding particles change identity... The point is that if we dismiss seemingly weird theories out of hand, we risk dismissing the correct theory of everything, whatever it may turn out to be."

    For the full paper see: http://arxiv.org/pdf/0709.4024v1.pdf

    That is the crux of the issue our skeptical friends have. They consider "reality" a "settled issue" which does not allow for unusual events that their intuition of reality is always correct and since it is always correct then any one who perceives something different is a liar, a lunatic, or a criminal selling snake oil.

    And yet reality isn't settled and the weirdness is built right in [see Tegmark's examples above]. I suggest that maybe there needs to be an evaluation of a "psycho-Social Hypothesis of the Irrationality of Skeptics".

    I realize I am beating a dead horse: Skeptics are [at least in their own minds] never wrong.

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Thursday, July 10, 2014  

  • Evolution is a fact. It may require further study...but is a monumental truth.

    By Blogger Don Maor, at Friday, July 11, 2014  

  • Evolution is dicey in some spots, Don, but it's the basis of a book by Lecomte Du Nouy I often recommend to people seeking erudition: Human Destiny.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, July 11, 2014  

  • Don:

    What Tegmark is saying is that "yes evolution is true-- and it has molded our ability to perceive "reality" in a way "enhance" our ability to "survive"... but the price is that our perceptions are distorted-- the "reality of the skeptic" is not *the full picture of what is real"... So when a skeptic says "That's impossible!" they are in effect admitting their ignorance *and* intransigence to perceive the full scope of the "weirdness" of reality.

    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Friday, July 11, 2014  

  • Decades ago we would say "Skeptics address the subject, cranks "address" skeptics."

    Joel; Disparaging Scientific skepticism and skeptics with phony--and frankly irrational comparisions--isn't making the subject of a social delusion any more real. You're still doing the worthless "little Galileo" act to a dead "close-minded" skeptics straw-man. Skeptics aren't anything like the straw-man you describe. It's particularly amusing that you use a scientist's paper to attack Scientific realists. Don't you think it says quite a lot that this tired routine was deconstructed decades ago?

    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Friday, July 11, 2014  

  • Alas Mr. Chomsky I'd love to debate your "fabulist" philosophy of science but I think it would be a waste of both your time as well as mine.

    Nature, being what it is, will probably have the last laugh on both of us.


    By Blogger Joel Crook, at Friday, July 11, 2014  

  • I wasn't named as not having the answers, and I was not labelled as academically illiterate.

    I am honoured!

    (Time to drop a few names to show I am indeed a literate intellectual.)

    I feel my virtuous lack of hardened positions is owing to high "epistemic values," as philosopher of science Michael Ruse terms it. But perhaps I'm just an old-timey Pyrrhonian skeptic, as outlined 2000 years ago by Sextus Empiricus -- the simple soul who takes pleasure in the suspension of judgement, and is comfortable living with doubt. As Gregory Vlastos wrote in Socratic Studies...[etc.]

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Saturday, July 12, 2014  

  • Disparaging Scientific skepticism and skeptics with phony, and frankly irrational, comparisons isn't making the subject of a social delusion--the abstract and absurd "UFO" idea--any more real.

    Joel; There is no debate between the world's scientific realism and Internet contrarian woo. In no way does utterly evidenceless and inconsequential belief in the pulp-fiction "UFO" myth even begin to compete with our world scientific reality.

    Ignoring that fact and pretending that there is while making fallacious appeals to ignorance ("anything could be true"), to the philosophy of science (Galileo, Bohr or Kuhn), hypotheticals, conspiracies, reality is relative, and every other tactic in the Internet Woo-Woo Credo, while using sciencey-sounding words like "quantum," "anomaly," "paradigm" and "phenomenon," and quoting scientists as if they support such nonsense, are the hallmarks of contrarian antiscience. It's all mere posturing, worthless excuses, a phony rationale for continued belief in the utterly evidenceless "UFO" delusion.

    When it's all so obviously juvenile baloney, why bother?



    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Saturday, July 12, 2014  

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