Friday, August 1, 2008

Skepticism: More wacky ufologists!!

Here we are: Response number three of four from the UFO article.

It reads as follows:

"fastnlo ( no real name given ) says...

Well said gentlemen... I'm afraid Mr. Huston has made his mind up already, therefore we should all place a bucket over our heads... all we really need to see is where the edge of world is so we won't fall off... right Mr. Huston?

In my opinion we need skeptical, close minded thinkers like you Mr. Huston to offset the over imaginative thinkers such as, dare I say Copernicus!! Somehow I don't think you would have ever went along with his out of this world idea that the earth wasn't actually the center of the universe either... in fact you might have wanted him burned at the stake for such a revolutionary thought!"

Hmmmm? Now what do you say to that? How old are these people anyway?

How about this writer confuses "open-mindedness" with "credulousness." After 60 years of frantic activity these folks in ufology have still not found any evidence of anything and yet they accuse people who do not adopt their point of view of closed-mindedness. How about you guys get some actual hard proof and then we can talk. That's logical error number one, the assumption that, "Since you have chosen not to believe what I say you should, and to question my methodology, you must have a closed mind."

One of the ironies of this field is that ufologists have (at leat) two common refrains. The first is, "How come more people don't take my research seriously enough to look at it?" Then when skeptics actually take them seriously enough to look at their research, and find it lacking, they get angry and mock the skeptics.

Error number two, delusions of grandeur. What exactly are the grounds for comparison of modern ufologists with Copernicus?

And for the record, I do believe in Copernician astronomy. I believe in this because if you plot the orbits using observed data as to the positions of astronomical bodies, with the assumption that the sun is the center of the solar system, they come out much simpler than the alternative. If plotted with the assumption that the Earth is the center, they tend to make these strange loop-to-loop patterns. (See! I did pay attention in tenth grade Earth science.)

Makes you wonder, like I said, is this guy thirteen years old? Seriously, he could be. Is it really worth arguing with him?

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