From: Bruce Maccabee <brumac.nul> Date: Sat, 30 Nov 2002 00:45:32 -0500 Archived: Sat, 30 Nov 2002 10:53:42 -0500 Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs >From: Catherine Reason <CathyM.nul> >To: <ufoupdates.nul> >Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002 13:23:01 -0000 >Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs >>From: Bob Young <YoungBob2.nul> >>To: ufoupdates.nul >>Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2002 01:43:23 EST >>Subject: Re: Jimmy Carter The Nobel Prize & ETs >Hello Bob, >Thanks for your reply, especially since I realized after I'd sent >my last email that I hadn't actually said everything I wanted on >the subject. <snip> >>But then, this case is one of the classics, and is a microcosm >>of the flying saucer conundrum. More than 50 years of >>sightings, claims and investigations and not still not one >>single unequivacly proven alien visit. >Actually, I agree with you on this, at least up to a point. > What conclusions one can draw from it are another matter, but >all of the theories I've seen so far involve extravagant, >unprovable hypotheses - whether extraterrestrials with near- >magical technologies, geophysical explanations that never >actually predict anything but mysteriously manage to explain >everything after the fact, or exotic psycho-social mechanisms >with no discernible scientific basis. Theories involving unprovable hypotheses... instead of studying theories about what UFOs are, study "theories" that are used to explain individual reports. Each proposed explanation is a "candidate explanatory hypothesis" which, like any theory, has to be proved in some way. For example, it might be proposed that a particular sighting was Venus. Well, then, prove it by showing complete consistency with the available and credible data. By taking this approach, studying theories of explanation, you can not learn what UFOs are... but you can learn what they are not. And, if one or more turn out to be unexplainable (in terms of known phenomena) _then_ you have justification for theorizing about what actuall caused the sighting(s).... i.e., theories of the UFOs themselves.
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