Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What if it wasn't a matter of Belief?

The Official UFO Debunker Plans & Policies

1- Point out that very large percentages of things reported as UFO's turn out to have conventional explanations, but do not talk about  the widely varying observational abilities and critical thinking skills of individual observers. Do not acknowledge that serious ufologists attempt to screen out the goofy bits and bring some rigor to the investigation of the promising cases.

2- Always refer to people interested in UFO's as "believers", implying that their positions are always faith-based.

3- Argue that any given case could have been something conventional and we will never know because we never have all the facts. Never acknowledge that intelligent, educated, rational, and generally well-qualified observers have reported thousands of unexplained craft displaying extraordinary performance, highly unusual characteristics, and seemingly intelligent control.

4- As a corollary to rule three, avoid mentioning that such reports have spanned many decades and often include patterns of behavior on the part of the unidentified craft.

5- Focus on well-known problems and limitations of human perception, implying that giving any credence to eye witness testimony is tantamount to stupidity. Never mention that our court system regularly incarcerates our fellow citizens based upon eye witness testimony. Also avoid discussions that point out the fact that, if human perception was as flawed as debunkers claim, most people would be too frightened to cross a busy street, drive a car, or fly in an airplane.

6- Comment regularly on human credulity and wishful thinking. Sprinkle in comments about a desire for "Saviors from Space. Do not mention that every group has its cultists and fringe elements. Also do not bother to share that most close encounters do not leave the witnesses feeling as though they were visited by angels but rather they are left frightened and bewildered.

7- Always act as though no one before you has really conducted a thorough investigation into the classic UFO cases and consistently maintain that it's only a matter of time and diligence before the "real answers" to those cases are found. Avoid mentioning that the suggested answers proposed by debunkers have already failed to account for the features described by the witnesses.

8- Demand that UFO "believers" produce just one spaceship or physical evidence that one has been here. Do not mention that serious UFO investigators do not claim to know for certain that there are alien visitors. While they may personally believe this to be true, the thoughtful ufologists simply advocate that serious scientists/engineers gather evidence in an attempt to answer the open questions of a real phenomena witnessed by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

9- Pretend that every ufologist strives to have people agree on the alien visitor hypothesis. If they shout anything about keeping an open mind while we pursue serious scientific study, pretend that you don't hear them.

10- Forget that many ufologists are just as smart as you. Then condescendingly explain to them how they have stupidly and/or foolishly drawn a fantastical conclusion from insufficient evidence. Do not offer to help gather more evidence or even admit more evidence may exist.

11- Act as if you do not understand how the worst UFO related drivel comes into existence or gets propogated. Help to shield the public from the following ideas. The fact is most UFO witnesses are regular folks who see something extraordinary and are left on their own to puzzle out the nature of what they saw and what it may mean in some larger context. Most people intuitively understand when they have witnessed something that contradicts their understanding of the world and the way it works. From this point, it is a simple matter of human nature. There are a number of ways to describe human nature but one of the clearest and most consistent is that humans are pattern recognition machines. This is one reason people enjoy puzzles. When something falls outside established patterns we are programmed to notice and determine why.

In their attempts to solve the puzzle of their experience, clearly some witnesses employ shoddy thinking, some are taken in by hucksters who sell books and videos promoting their personal theories/delusions and so on. However, even if a witness possesses a basic understanding of how the world works (for instance, a bit of physics and some rational thought) the "high strangeness" of what they've seen naturally gives rise to some rather incredible possible interpretations. A person need not be stupid, irrational, or crazy to consider these interpretations. Furthermore, the consideration of or even adoption of a wild interpretation does not necessarily indicate that a person is unwilling to hear or accept other views. In fact, any number of serious sober witnesses would love the opportunity to consider other views based upon sound scientific investigation. Sadly, such an opportunity is unlikely given that the organizations possessing the necessary resources have not been engaged.

(found a version online and tweaked it to fit. JF 060413)