UFO Conjecture(s)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A 2003-2004 Paper for students: A skeptics cornucopia?

This paper attacks "pseudo-science" (Ufology keynoted) as an intellectual warning for students:

Astronomy Education Review



  • Human psychology overrules any critical assumption.

    Skepticism for me is a two sided stick whose family includes cynicism toward positivism equally as it does to alternatives based on fantasy, based on results.

    If science is defined by the truth, one could say how it is practiced ( by behavior) it is pseudo- science.

    As a belief system, it has failed.
    One end of this stick leads to general rules and the other to the devil and these days, I think there is a certain cynicism about our institutionalized belief systems based on empirical thinking, for which, there is a great deal of evidence to suggest it’s warranted. Fifty percent of all living species have vanished in 40 years due to human activities and by 2050, Anchorage Alaska will be balmy.

    Yet, as far as skepticism is concerned, the mass media, and our voyeurism toward events creates denial, a belief that all this will go away or more importantly none of it exists

    Where is the skepticism based on empirical data toward our own behaviors?

    In looking over this listing of weaponry against unfounded beliefs pointed at students, I cannot help but think I could write a long list of “facts “ that I was taught ( indoctrinated in ) as a kid that were found to be absolute bullshit.

    Empirical frameworks result in belief systems that are not set in stone, and are always changing as far as what exists between A and B. These days what was set in stone seems to be back firing at an ever increasing velocity in terms of the verifiable results this list of critical assumptions has feet of clay.

    This grey area promotes what could be called a psycho-social malady as a parallel to a shared psychosis of fantasy over riding realities, the search for an escape hatch.

    How many shows are promoting the fantasy of escaping from the current juggernaut of fate by seeking opting out by moving to Alaska?

    Then again to me this parallels the majority of the paranormal community seeking the same fantasies of alternatives, also mirrored by conspiracy theories.

    I think all of this is based on the weaknesses in human psychology, the desire for alternative story lines and no amount of hard data can override this desire to maintain pretense at all costs, regardless if it’s fact or fantasy driven.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, October 01, 2014  

  • "Fifty percent of all living species have vanished in 40 years due to human activities and by 2050, Anchorage Alaska will be balmy."

    One is a statement of fact (as far as such fact can be determined by science). The other is merely a prediction, which may or may not turn out to be true.

    Nobody will be tempted to move to Anchorage. The simple reason is that it would require lots of real courage and determination to reside in a 'foreign' territory, in the face of many doubts and uncertainties.

    For decades we have had the threat of a massive earthquake in California along the San Andreas fault (the state will split into two, etc), yet people still choose to live and work there. Why?

    Then there is the Yellowstone geyser threat. Is anyone bothered by this? They ought to be, but are they?

    Just think: UFOs may or may not invade our planet soon (so we have been told by some well meaning people for the last 65 years). What are we, on earth, doing about that threat? Should we bother?

    Meantime, we humans continue to multiply and multiply.

    By Blogger cda, at Wednesday, October 01, 2014  

  • CDA
    Here we have climatologists in science making this prediction on atmospheric changes based on measurements which falls into the various reactions of belief or disbelief in reaction to this data.
    Data is prone to subjectivity and what establishes confirmation is consensus and consensus if often wrong.
    In this I think you have provided a good example of how interpretation on either side of the coin ( rightly or wrongly) entangles itself with psychology.
    The same with the UFO subject that is rife with arguments of what constitutes data.
    What I see is that few are divested of anticipating outcome A versus B as a matter of psychology.
    Theres the rub in my view...interpretation in both a theoretical and actual situation can be subjective when it is beyond direct observation.
    Then it falls to the matter of the credibility of witnesses if one has not observed whatever directly...on and on.
    I see less consensus than in the past on many fronts due to conflicting interests that lead to cross purposes of interpretation.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Wednesday, October 01, 2014  

Post a Comment

<< Home