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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Dec > Dec 10

Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2011 09:10:47 -0600
Archived: Sat, 10 Dec 2011 15:02:55 -0500
Subject: Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List


>From: William Treurniet <wtreurniet.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Fri, 09 Dec 2011 12:02:35 -0500
>Subject: Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List

>>From: Jerome Clar"<jkclark.nul>
>>To:<post.nul>
>>Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2011 08:59:40 -0600
>>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

<snip>

>>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.

>So it's progress only when opinions and assumptions correspond to
>your own? Anything else is the opinion of a quack. Do you know
>how that sounds?

If you had read my actual words, you would know that I
specifically stated my criticisms _are not about_ particular
conclusions (on which reasonable persons will continue to
differ) about the nature of the phenomenon, but about the
intellectual grounding that ought to guide our thinking and
analysis. Is this controversial to you?

>><snip>

>Your publication record is not questioned here. It was your
>professed ability to jump to conclusions based on little evidence.

Does this even merit a response? This is less an accusation than
a clumsy rhetorical maneuver from someone who apparently has no
idea of what's actually in my publication record.

>Again, I appreciate your publication record, and do not question
>most of the opinions you have expressed now and then. But it
>does not spare you from potential rigidity in you thinking. In
>fact, it might even predispose you to it.

Yes, I suppose that _does_ prove that I'm rigid. After all, how
else to explain my strange conviction that ufologists should be
intellectually grounded?

>Unlike you, I like much of the chaos that the internet
>encourages. After all this time, it seems the solution to the
>UFO mystery is in dire need of novel ideas.

It's hard to imagine who doesn't favor novel ideas (not
synonymous, by the way, with chaos and incoherence), though it's
sadly easy to imagine those who are thrilled to embrace novel
ideas offered up by the intellectually clueless. After all, the
whole history of ufology (and anomalistics generally) testifies
to the appeal of ideas without demonstrable merit in knowledge,
logic, and data. And look how far that's gotten us.

As one who has offered up novel ideas (beginning with those
proposed in my first book, published in 1975) sufficient to have
influenced the history of UFO theory, I can only assume you
intended to address these remarks to somebody else named Jerome
Clark. Either that, or I can only infer you are unfamiliar with
the theoretical framework - a novel one, I suppose I am forced
to add - to which I came in my later adult life, expressed in
writings that have subsequently affected discussion of the
nature of extraordinary experiences. I sought to resolve some of
the issues that have led to centuries of stalemate about what's
often called the "supernatural," including some kinds of
ostensible UFO encounters.

>Even if the ideas
>are half-baked or silly, they add to the conversation and may
>contribute to a better understanding of what's going on. I
>accept the responsibility to separate the signal from the noise.
>But what is signal for me may be noise for someone else, and
>vice versa.

In short, as I complained at the outset, to some it's no problem
that one UFO buff's opinion should be received as if it
effectually is as good as another's. The reason, in other words,
that ufology will continue to stand paralyzed as it awaits its
inevitable demise on the far fringes.


Jerry Clark




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