UFOs (UAPs): Explanations?

Discussion in 'UFOs, Ghosts and Monsters' started by Magical Realist, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Kinda like approaching a lion assuming they all bite.
     
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    In wegs' defense, the idea is that we can't exactly claim to be serious and objective about studying lion behavior - if we go into it assuming the only thing lions ever do is bite.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2022
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  5. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Nobody said they "only" bite. But they do bite. You can't ignore the history based on the excuse that it isn't the only thing they do.

    Similarly, you can't ignore the history of UAPs being debunked.
     
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  7. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    By having a “debunking” mindset, I mean going into each UAP claim believing that the explanation will not be surprising. And by “surprising,” I don’t mean “other worldly,” but it could be secret technology developed by another country.

    I’m cautiously optimistic that the NASA team investigates with an open mind and not just seeking to debunk the claims. If they debunk the claims having that open mind, and most or all of the UAP’s have unusual yet mundane explanations, so be it. It could be technology we have never seen before and that would be very exciting news.

    If they come away with “we don’t know” that would be exciting, too. A little unnerving, even.
     
  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    You are wrong James. Sarkus has corresponded with me via private message on this matter. Try not to look like a fool by assuming everybody is lying to you,
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2022
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  9. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    That's why I sometimes call our 'movement "skeptics"' debunkers as opposed to skeptics. They are movement "skeptics" because they are aligned with a rather aggressive social movement exemplified by the Skeptical Inquirer. And I place quotes around the word "skeptic" to refer to the fact that they are not skeptical about the things they themselves believe in, they are only skeptical about other people's beliefs that they happen to dislike.

    This is in distinction to historical skepticism that questioned and applied "critical thinking" to the foundations of all propositional belief, even our own most sacred pieties. (Just think 'Socrates'.)

    If they go into it with the pre-existing belief that the whole UAP phenomenon is simply bullshit and that their task is to debunk it so as to make the public agree with their preordained conclusion, then the whole thing will fail intellectually if not rhetorically.

    Of course, if they went in with the pre-existing belief that UAPs are alien spacecraft, the same kind of cognitive defects would obviously exist.

    An open mind is a hard thing to find...

    Of course, true UFO believers probably wouldn't believe that they reached their conclusion with an open mind and would dismiss their conclusions as just more debunkery. It would just be another part of the coverup to them. (Everyone says that they have an open mind, but...)

    I use the word "mundane" to mean 'everyday, familiar, boring, humdrum' as in "my mundane existence". So if the UAPs are exotic earthly technology, that would be anything but mundane in my estimation. It would mean that huge generational leaps have been made in aerospace technology. Hugely exciting and anything but mundane.

    That's what the UAP Preliminary Assessment said. It's what the intelligence bigshots have been publicly saying.

    Of course if further investigation still left them saying "we don't know", I expect that Mick and CSICOP would continue to dismiss the whole thing as bullshit ("nothing to see here, move along") as they have been doing for years now. I don't see their minds changing either. (I perceive them and theirs as the mirror image of the UFO true believer, the true deniers.
     
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  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    I'm sure they wouldn't see it as "bullshit" if the analysis/investigation has shown that it can not possibly be anything they have proposed, but they would likely come up with mundane ideas that the investigation had not considered. Any remote possibility that it could be mundane would still, to most people, be a more likely origin/cause than the non-mundane (as MR uses the term), and thus assumption, for practical purposes, would and should stem from that assumption.
    If evidence and investigation makes actual non-mundane more likely then I would expect world governments, for example, to react quite strongly, whether a unified approach (unlikely) or not, in the development and implementation of forces specific to the capture of said phenomena and any tech that is involved, so as to gain the benefits/advantages thereof. After all, we'd be talking at a minimum about the greatest and most profound scientific discovery since... ever: the realisation of not being alone in the universe.

    I'm happy to repeat my stance, though: I won't know what UAPs are until there is strong evidence of what they are. I do, however, consider the non-mundane (as MR uses it) to be so unlikely as to be unworthy of any significant consideration, and non-mundane (as you, Yazata, use it) to be far more likely than MR's version of non-mundane, but still considerably more unlikely than perhaps just a rather interesting perspective of something we'd just go "Oh. Okay, fair enough. What's for dinner?"

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  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    The very existence of Skeptical Inquirer is a response to ubiquity of what were (and largely remain) unexamined claims of the paranormal.

    Probably because you're so accustomed to it, you fail to recognise just how aggressively the pro-paranormal crowd try to push their beliefs onto the general public. It's not that there's a conspiracy of UFO believers, or whoever, of course. It's more that the sheer volume of garbage pumped out by the various Believer industries has normalised the idea in popular culture that the paranormal itself is ubiquitous and unexplained. This belief system is pushed in countless Hollywood movies, TV shows, pseudo-documentaries and regular statements in various media about all the things that might be out there that we don't know about. It looks like you've drunk the kool aid.
    Which things could you be thinking about, I wonder? Of course, it's unlikely I'll find out, since you're not brave enough to engage with me these days.

    You seem to built up in your mind a largely fictional mental picture of what the average skeptic is and what he believes.
    You keep trying to bring in notions of the broadest possible philosophical skepticism into these discussions of claims of the paranormal. There's really no need for that. The usual processes of scientific investigation and critical thinking are more than sufficient to show up the emperor's new clothes for what they are.

    Mostly, you won't read about broad philosophical skepticism in the pages of Skeptical Inquirer. That is not because the contributors are unaware of broad philosophical skepticism - there are lots of very bright and clued-in skeptics - but because it's like wanting to use a cannonball to blow through tissue paper.

    Your hope is that if you can undermine all critical thinking by claiming that none of our thinking or conclusions is really reliable, you can therefore sneak in the paranormal under the radar. Since nothing can be known, anything is possible, you want to say. But most of us don't actually operate on the assumption that we know nothing and that we can never really know anything. I don't think you do, either, when it comes down to it. If we make a few basic assumptions that have proven themselves time and again to produce reliable results - e.g. that the world is real and displays regularities that we can investigate - that's more than sufficient to allow us to recognise that evidence put forward for the paranormal so far is bunk.
    If...

    But you know this is not what "they" do.

    Nevertheless, you're willing to keep telling that Big Lie of yours. Why?
    Indeed. Meanwhile, Magical Realist is hitting "Like" on every one of your posts. Why doesn't that set off any alarm bells for you?
    Indeed.
    And as for you - you'll continue to claim that nobody has an open enough mind for your liking, so therefore all skeptical investigation is biased and worthless, thus leaving open the door a crack, so the woo is allowed in.
    Yes. You insist on muddying the waters by using that term in a way that nobody else in the thread has used it. I think you enjoy the confusion it causes.
    Nobody has disagreed that super-advanced human technology, if it exists, could be exciting. Why you think it necessary to make this point as if it is novel or relevant to the main claims that are being made here by the believers is a mystery.
    Do you believe the "intelligence bigshots" have a better handle on UFO investigations than the rest of us? Why?

    Will you just accept whatever the next "official" report concludes? Or will you still be insisting that because we can know nothing the door is still open for the paranormal? I think the latter is the most likely scenario for you.
    CSICOP had a name change a couple of years ago, in case you're interested. Now it's just CSI.

    Neither Mick nor CSI have ever "dismissed the whole thing as bullshit". You know this. This is part of your own personal Big Lie. Why do you tell it? Why do you feel like you need to tell it, repeatedly?
    Of course you do.

    You ought to watch a few of Mick West's videos. They are often conclusive and almost invariably present the results of a careful and systematic investigation of a UFO claim. It doesn't strike me as likely that you've ever sat through one of them, or taken in the important features of the investigation. Suffice it to say - West's conclusions, in many cases, are not a matter of his beliefs or opinions. They are robustly objective - quite unlike the paranormal opinion-based guff you and Magical Realist are boosting as a team.
     
  12. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I think Mick West's approach is thorough, but he's a debunker. He's known for debunking. We all should be skeptical when we deal with UAP claims, but not so much that we're merely ''examining'' limited data to support our skepticism. He gives off that vibe, James. I think that the eyewitness accounts for the tic tac video for example, seemed highly credible. Mick West can't really answer for that, so we are still left with ''we don't know.'' (Although, West will say that we do know.)

    He often doesn't look at the full picture with all of the facts associated with it, instead he draws conclusions on the cherry picked ''evidence'' he wants to substantiate his skepticism. To the average skeptic, he looks like an authentic, open-minded guy who's just doing his due diligence, but he's making a name for himself by debunking.

    @ James - It's fine if you like his ''work,'' but the reason that some of us don't, isn't because he doesn't agree with the UAP enthusiasts, but rather that he seems bent on debunking.
     
  13. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    There is nothing wrong with that. It only takes one debunkage to bring down an incident. If three hundred people saw a flying disc and submitted three hundred videos of it, it still only takes one still frame that shows "product of Mattel Corp." to debunk the account.

    That's the thing with UAPs and other paranormal accounts - it is not an even playing field - it is far easier to falsify than it is to prove.


    The proclaimer claim "no mundane explanation can explain this incident" is the equivalent of "no prime numbers are even" in that they have the onus to prove their assertion for every case.

    Skeptics say "this could be a frisbee" is the equivalent of "2 is an even prime". Skeptics only have a show a single possible exception to the proclaimer's argument. It doesn't matter how many other odd primes there are. (which is why Mick can rightfully ignore anything that doesn't support his case.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
  14. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    lol If it were only that easy...

    Of course, but he feels the need to pin a mundane (''familiar,'' in this case) explanation on even the tic tac flying object, despite the Pentagon coming away with ''not knowing'' as its explanation (for now).

    Going through the motions of debunking, isn't the same as authentic, open-minded investigation. It may get you an audience of applauding skeptics, but that's about it.

    I'm a skeptic, but I think West is a debunker. Yazata makes an excellent point above; there's a difference between someone who genuinely looks for answers when mysteries present themselves, with healthy skepticism, and someone like West, who is convinced before he even begins, that he'll find the answer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
  15. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    So, anyone can label themselves a ''skeptic,'' and think they're the smartest person in the room, when really, there's not much to being skeptical, if we're using this definition.

    I'm skeptical, but perfectly okay with ''we don't know what this is,'' as an explanation. I'm aware of some of West's commentary, but don't know if he's altogether comfortable with the ''not knowing'' part, which is why he pushes his speculations as explanations.

    He has a site called metabunk.org, so he's likely a wee bit biased. lol
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Can a PhD in mathematics solve a simple math problem without being told "so anyone could label themselves a mathematician - there's really not much to it"?

    It's OK to be biased toward the negative. In fact, it's desirable. It's called the "null hypothesis" and it's a valid principle in scientific research - particularly medicine - which, like cryptophenomenology - is a messy, inexact discipline.

    "Does our anti-itch creme cause retarded growth?" We start our tests with the assumption that there is no causal connection between the two until sufficient evidence indicates that it does.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
  17. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    West isn't ''solving'' anything, though.
     
  18. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I think you're taking the analogy too literally. Substitute the word "claim" for "solve".
     
  19. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    I understand where you're going with this, but we shouldn't substitute ''West'' for a ''PhD in Mathematics''. He's not an expert, and it sounds like it's pretty common to cherry pick cases to examine, and pieces of evidence to explore, when it comes to debunking UAP's.

    This isn't to say that he doesn't make valid points, but he seems to cling to his own conclusions/narratives and builds his investigation around that, as opposed to staying open minded and let ting ALL of the facts and eyewitness reports lead the way. West leads the way with his bias, and no one is the wiser because his “investigations” will always “produce” the facts that he wants.

    Are you aware if he has ever admitted that a particular case has ''stumped'' him?
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
  20. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    You're still taking the analogy too literally.

    I think you are overstating your case that debunkers and skeptics need to be unbiased to be taken seriously.

    My addendum to post 7332, above:

    It's OK to be biased toward the negative. In fact, it's desirable. It's called the "null hypothesis" and it's a valid principle in scientific research - particularly medicine - which, like cryptophenomenology - is a messy, inexact discipline.

    "Does our anti-itch creme cause retarded growth?" We start our tests with the assumption that there is no causal connection between the two until sufficient evidence indicates that it does.




    Note that you are not meant to take his word for any of it. He walks you through his explanations and it is up to you to conclude whether or not you agree with his findings.
    He respects - and expects - that you have your own perfectly good analytical mind.
     
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  21. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    So, the hypothesis in this scenario is “the tic tac flying object is currently unexplainable and unidentifiable.” The null hypothesis would be “the tic tac flying object is identifiable.” Is that correct?

    The challenge with UAP’s is that there isn’t much of a reference point because we mainly rely on fuzzy pics and eyewitness accounts to compile data. It’s not like the tic tac flying object landed, and we can compare it to other aircrafts.
     
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    No, the null hypothesis is: 'there is no reason to think "little green men" (until there's evidence of little green men).

    But your thought process there is biased. You are looking for ways it could be identified as a non-human craft. Your statement is full of hope for the conclusion you desire.

    A fuzzy pic does not say 'this is otherworldly'. There's no there there, until there's a there there.


    Let's say you stumble across a blurry photo of a weird growth sticking out of the underbrush in a forest. You don't immediately say 'I can't identify that as a mushroom; maybe it's an alien critter. We have to keep that possibility alive because this picture is fuzzy...'

    Why do it when it's in the sky? Why do fuzzy dots in the sky get a pass on your natural skepticism?
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2022
  23. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Oh, but I’m not believing that the tic tac object was operated by aliens. West sticks to mundane explanations even if there is evidence against them, is my point. He would rather speculate that it must be something we have seen before over “unidentifiable.”

    (I agree with the null hypothesis as it relates to aliens operating these mysterious flying objects.)
     

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