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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2002 > Nov > Nov 22

Re: Filer's Files #45 - 2002

From: Jim Speiser <jimspeiser.nul>
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 14:18:18 -0700
Archived: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 08:13:49 -0500
Subject: Re: Filer's Files #45 - 2002


>From: Bob Young <YoungBob2.nul>
>To: ufoupdates.nul
>Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 19:21:07 EST
>Subject: Re: Filer's Files #45 - 2002

>>From: Jim Speiser <jimspeiser.nul>
>>To: <ufoupdates.nul>
>>Date: Fri, 15 Nov 2002 21:44:17 -0700
>>Subject: Re: Filer's Files #45 - 2002

>>>From: Bob Young <YoungBob2.nul>
>>>To: ufoupdates.nul
>>>Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 15:21:32 EST
>>>Subject: Re: Filer's Files #45 - 2002

><snip>

>>I have to ask, which is more likely to be able to violate the
>>laws of physics (as we know them), a meteor, or a product of an
>>advanced technology?

>>Just asking...

>Neither (as we know them), but you forgot the third alternative,
>which I judge to be more likely: the witnesses were mistaken
>about their interpretation of the bright lights that they saw
>brightening and then dimming and disappearing, randomly.


Bob, as you know I'm well-versed in the problems inherent in
human perception, and I accept that "witnesses can be mistaken".
But I wince whenever we start talking about "likelihoods" and
"probabilities," with respect to possible ET spacecraft.

By implying that the meteor explanation has the greater
likelihood, you are tacitly stating that you are familiar with
the probability of an advanced species' abiility to create a
starship capable of transiting to earth.

I take issue with this, not because I think you're wrong in the
above example, but because it is too facile an 'out'. Taken to
extremes, this 'tacit' assignment of a probability causes
skeptics to overstate their case.

In the extreme examples of Klass and Menzel, I would venture to
say that they had assigned the ET Hypothesis a probability of
'x' such that 'x' was _automatically_ less than the probability
of _any_ explanation they put forward.

Thus, Menzel could propose his "noctilucent owls" and Klass his
"PlazmaBallz" without fear of ridicuile because "Hey, at least
we're not the ones saying it's Little Green Men!" or "Well, what
do _you_ think it is, flying saucers from another planet???"

At some point or other, I think we have to have a better grip on
the precise numeric value of 'x' before we can make such
sweeping statements about relative likelihoods.

I also think we need to place some sort of an agreed-upon cap on
the _degree_ to which credible observers can be mistaken about
what they describe, or again it becomes too facile to simply
write everything off as 'witness myopia'. This is one reason I
am gratified to see people like the aptly-monikered Catherine
Reason taking part here.


==JJS==


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