UFO Conjecture(s)

Friday, June 19, 2015

The religious-like mystery of UFOs

A new book, noted in The New York Review of Books [June 25th 2015, back page], is Faith Versus Fact by Jerry A. Coyne [Penguin Publishing Group, 336 pp. $28.95].

The blurb by Harvard’s Steven Pinker says this:

“Coyne expertly exposes the incoherence of the increasingly popular belief that you can have it both ways: that God (or something God-ish, God-like, or God-old) sort of exists; that miracles kind-of happen; and that the truthiness of dogma is somewhat-a-little-bit-more-or-less-who’s-to-say-it-isn’t like the truths of science and reason.”

This put-down of belief, faith, or religion intrigues, and the book should be a good read.
But is science and/or “reason” all that it’s cracked up to be?

The queerness of quantum artifacts, gravity, dark matter, and dark energy are all as bizarre as religion or the UFO phenomenon.

There is reason to believe that things reported to have been seen in the skies or on the ground, dubbed flying saucers or disks or UFOs are just as real as the multiverses of science or the quarks of quantum mechanics.

Science’s attributes of (so-called) reality are as ephemeral as UFOs or the miracles of Jesus/Christ.
The witnesses to science “facts” are theorizing when it comes to pronouncements as grotesque as The Big Bang, and weirder than any pronouncement about UFOs (or religion).
 I accept, despite the rationalizations of Zoam Chomsky or Robert Sheaffer or other “skeptical” persons who haunt the UFO field, that UFOs have a rational basis as solid as Schrödinger’s cat or the burst of the Universe from a infinitesimal point in space, ex nihilo.
That God came to Earth as Jesus of Nazareth is acceptable to me, even though I think God and Jesus, too, have died, not metaphorically, but actually, and neither represent the ineffable God that created the Universe and us within it.

Thus, when it comes to UFOs, they remain, for me, features of actuality, hallucinatory perhaps, but an aspect of human reality, either way.

Placing science in a loftier plane than UFOs or religion is hubris of a deranged kind.

Science has its moments, but so do UFOs and religion.

It’s a matter of record, the UFO phenomenon I mean.

Sure, just as some of the Jesus story or Allah tale or the Einsteinian hypotheses make little sense, UFOs also, often, make little sense.

But that’s the attractive feature of UFOs, the mystery that attracts some of us, even the skeptical among us.

RR

10 Comments:

  • > Placing science in a loftier plane than UFOs or religion is hubris of a deranged kind.

    Well...science can do something ufology and religion cannot: make very specific predictions about phenomena, predictions based on hypotheses or extrapolations from data. If the prediction is valid, others should be able to replicate the results.

    As a corollary to that, failed science predictions and failure to replicate results call into question the validity of the hypothesis or data. By contrast, ufology and religion seem to truck along largely unchanged, regardless of their failures to establish indisputable facts.

    (And no, biblical prophecy doesn't count as a prediction, as those tended to be written after the events they claimed to foretell.)

    By Blogger Terry the Censor, at Saturday, June 20, 2015  

  • Terry:

    I made sure to note several times the scientific ideas (or theories) that have not been replicated or verified by repeat validation or experimentation.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, June 20, 2015  

  • I think you should read Price, Carrier, and Fitzgerald's stuff. Those who take the myth as a nuts-and-bolts account are often those who can't appreciate the message contained within the myth itself. Or, put another way, to take it literally, one tends to miss the intended mythological meaning.

    Here's an excellent video with the three of them together:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPZ39rqaIZ0

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Saturday, June 20, 2015  

  • There no myths without a core of substance, Parakletos.

    You know this.

    Getting at that core is what we are obligated to do in or with our existence.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, June 20, 2015  

  • Yes, I do know this. But if you turn it into an historical issue, you miss the point. Where do you propose to insert this mythological figure in the course of history/time? Because the myths certainly go back to at least Joshua and earlier. Carrier does an excellent job of utilizing Bayes' theorem. I think you'd enjoy the video, and the question and answer session afterward all the same.

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Saturday, June 20, 2015  

  • It's more than an historical issue, P....

    It's the essence of the supra-reality, the reality that transcends (flawed) history or myth.

    Getting at that should be one's goal.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Saturday, June 20, 2015  

  • ``It's the essence of the supra-reality, the reality that transcends (flawed) history or myth.

    Getting at that should be one's goal.``

    Clearly, that's the 'soul' or 'self' of self-discovery. And of course one should endeavor always to 'know thyself'. And, no doubt, you must think both the UFO mythology and Christ mythology to play some part in that process.

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Sunday, June 21, 2015  

  • Not rhe UFO mythology so much, P...

    Thst's junk mythology in my "neighborhood" and the practitioners a bunch of creeps, generally.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, June 21, 2015  

  • ``Thst's junk mythology in my "neighborhood" and the practitioners a bunch of creeps, generally.``

    If a bunch of 'creeps' took a liking to Rorschach tests, would you ascribe that to the test? And even then, wouldn't it at least serve the 'useful' purpose of identifying the 'creeps'?

    Knowing someone's 'position' on ET does give some psychological insight into their deeper self, IMHO. But the trick is to know if they're sincere or charlatans -- which is not always so easy to do. And even less easy to do when one abandons 'reason'.

    By Blogger Parakletos, at Sunday, June 21, 2015  

  • P. I'm posting more on this later tonight at a different blog.

    I will send you the URL.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, June 21, 2015  

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