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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Dec > Dec 9

Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2011 08:59:40 -0600
Archived: Fri, 09 Dec 2011 10:15:07 -0500
Subject: Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List


>From: William Treurniet <wtreurniet.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2011 17:44:08 -0500
>Subject: Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List

>>From: Jerome Clark<jkclark.nul>
>>To:<post.nul>
>>Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 10:13:06 -0600
>>Subject: Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List

>>>From: Steven Kaeser<steve.nul>
>>>To:<post.nul>,
>>>Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 10:14:14 -0500
>>>Subject: Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List

>>>>From: Gerald O'Connell<goc.nul>
>>>>To:<post.nul>
>>>>Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 11:35:55 -0000
>>>>Subject: Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List

<snip>

>>Expressed this way - and I'm sure it's not your meaning, Steve -
>>this comes across as intellectual relativism. In fact, there
>>_are_ quacks in this field, and I think a great many are
>>recognizable as soon as they open mouths or attack keyboards.

>Usually it's the proponents of the norm in any field who decide
>how facts should be interpreted. But the same set of facts can
>often be interpreted in different ways, depending on the
>implicit or explicit assumptions that are held. So when someone
>is labeled a quack, it may be because of a mismatch in the
>underlying assumptions rather than a fault in that person's
>logic.

This is precisely the kind of thinking that has always hobbled
ufology and anomalistics: the notion that, really, one person's
opinion is as good as another's and all views, however seemingly
far-fetched and logic-deficient, merit an equal hearing. Are we
then to believe there are no quacks, only differing opinions and
assumptions? If so, then no progress is possible, and our
enterprise will die of its own fatuousness.

<snip>

>The point is that labeling someone a quack as soon as they open
>mouths or attack keyboards may be a little premature - maybe
>even lazy.

When you have matched my publication and research record in this
field, _then_ we can decide who's "lazy" here.

It is true, of course, that not all quacks are instantly
recognizable. The quackery of a few becomes apparent only over
time. (An excellent discussion of crankery in anomalistics -
actually the most thorough and perceptive I've ever read - can
be found in Henry H. Bauer's 1984 book Beyond Velikovsky: The
History of a Public Controversy.) But many fall into instantly
recognizable, and drearily unoriginal, ways of thinking which
any sophisticated and knowledgeable observer of this field will
have no trouble spotting. That observer will also be spared the
folly of apologetics.

>It would be more honest to take some time first to
>understand the context of what that person is trying to
>communicate. Then one could disagree either with the assumptions
>or with the logic or both.

I suspect I have read a whole lot more of ufology's crank
literature than you have. I have a fairly keen grasp not only of
its content but of its history in pre-ufology occult traditions.
My last book (Hidden Realms, Lost Civilizations, and Beings from
Other Worlds) explored some of it in detail. I also have written
about it at length in my encyclopedia and elsewhere. I have
spent, I am certain, a whole lot more time with it than you
have. So please spare me the lectures.


Jerry Clark



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