UFOs (UAPs): Explanations?

I'm sad that MR was banned. :redface:
The man has accumulated close to 70 official warnings.

There are two possibilities, essentially:
1. Certain moderators (exhibit A: myself) have it in for poor MR and therefore look for any opportunity to issue warnings to him. Often these warnings are undeserved and vindictive.
2. MR is well aware of our site posting guidelines but is willing to either blatantly ignore them or else to see just how far he can push the limits before getting a warning. It is a repeated behaviour of his to accumulate a string of warnings then post within our guidelines for long enough for warning points to expire, before escalating his poor behaviours again and repeating the pattern. So far, this is "working" for him, insofar as he has avoided a permanent ban. Perhaps it will continue to work.

Please go ahead and decide for yourself which of these explanations for the outcomes you see is a better fit to the observable facts.

You might decide that both possibilities are true: that MR is not an innocent babe in the woods, but also that I'm an unscrupulous scoundrel out to punish MR for holding a different opinion on UFOs to the one I hold (or maybe I just don't like the guy, or something).

Whatever the case, I'm actually interested in what makes you sad about MR's temporary ban. Again, I see a number of possibilities:
1. You're sad that MR can't control himself enough to avoid attracting moderator attention for breaches of the site posting guidelines.
2. You're sad because evil moderators like myself exist, who preference our personal biases over moderating forum members fairly.
3. You're sad because you believe this forum has too many rules - or that the rules are applied too harshly.
4. You're sad because you find MR's perspective on UFOs (and/or other things) interesting and/or convincing and you miss him when he's not here.

It could be a combination, of course, and there could be other reasons. Want to share?
 
Yea, I think [Magical Realist] pushes the envelope, but not out of malice.
I agree with you that it's probably not out of malice.

MR, for whatever reason, is deeply invested in the idea that UFOs must be something supernatural - something amazing and attention-grabbing and exciting and imaginative. He sees sober, rational investigation as boring and unimaginative. Known science - probably all well-established knowledge, if it comes to that - seems staid in comparison with wild flights of fantastical imagination.

Also, if I had to guess, I'd say that MR finds community and comfort amongst the UFO enthusiasts. Perhaps he's out there chatting away in the youtube comments with his UFO buddies, when he's not here making silly pronouncements about the infallibility of human perception and such things. Maybe his UFO buddies are like the family he never had but always yearned for, or something.

I think that MR pushes the envelop because he can't bear the thought that all the UFO stuff he invests so much of his love and devotion in might not add up to anything of much significance. He feels compelled to push away the uncomfortable thought that the unicorns might just be a fun story after all is said and done. In fact, the more rationality is pushed on him, the more angrily he reacts.

He can't be unaware that some of the things he says are just plain idiotic, but I sometimes think that he actually can't help himself. The alternative to being the gullible fool would be to put the unicorn toys away in the toy box. But those toys are deeply meaningful to him. He can't let anybody take them away, even if it negatively impacts his reputation or if it results in people ridiculing him for his naivete and gullibility.
He's not trolling, either.
Yeah, he is, at least for some of the time. For instance, it's no longer viable for him to claim that human perception is infallible. He has received enough relevant information that ought to put that silly notion to bed. In general, he doesn't come across as a functional idiot, so that only leaves trolling as a live explanation for some of his behaviour.

I guess it's still a distant possibility that he actually is an idiot who can't take in new information (at least on certain topics, or when it comes to certain ways of thinking), but that seems unlikely. An actual idiot probably wouldn't come across as quite so calculating when it comes to pushing the boundaries of what he can get away with posting here (most of the time).
People here ridicule him, and I'm not sure why they're not warned?
At some point, it's fair to call a spade a spade. Magical Realist regularly makes himself look ridiculous.

It might hurt his feelings to have that pointed out to him, or it might not (especially if he's knowingly trolling or telling lies, like he was when he attracted his most recent ban). But we shouldn't stop ourselves from telling the truth just because somebody's feelings might be hurt.
He may be in violation of forum rules at times, but others have been as well, in this thread.
All reported posts are considered by at least one moderator. Many reports result in moderator action. If you are concerned about violations of forum rules, please hit the "report" button. That's what it's there for.
 
The man has accumulated close to 70 official warnings.

There are two possibilities, essentially:
1. Certain moderators (exhibit A: myself) have it in for poor MR and therefore look for any opportunity to issue warnings to him. Often these warnings are undeserved and vindictive.
2. MR is well aware of our site posting guidelines but is willing to either blatantly ignore them or else to see just how far he can push the limits before getting a warning. It is a repeated behaviour of his to accumulate a string of warnings then post within our guidelines for long enough for warning points to expire, before escalating his poor behaviours again and repeating the pattern. So far, this is "working" for him, insofar as he has avoided a permanent ban. Perhaps it will continue to work.

Please go ahead and decide for yourself which of these explanations for the outcomes you see is a better fit to the observable facts.

You might decide that both possibilities are true: that MR is not an innocent babe in the woods, but also that I'm an unscrupulous scoundrel out to punish MR for holding a different opinion on UFOs to the one I hold (or maybe I just don't like the guy, or something).

Whatever the case, I'm actually interested in what makes you sad about MR's temporary ban. Again, I see a number of possibilities:
1. You're sad that MR can't control himself enough to avoid attracting moderator attention for breaches of the site posting guidelines.
2. You're sad because evil moderators like myself exist, who preference our personal biases over moderating forum members fairly.
3. You're sad because you believe this forum has too many rules - or that the rules are applied too harshly.
4. You're sad because you find MR's perspective on UFOs (and/or other things) interesting and/or convincing and you miss him when he's not here.

It could be a combination, of course, and there could be other reasons. Want to share?
I’m sad that MR was banned because he’s been an active and productive member here for a while, and is singled out for his unconventional thinking.

Others are not banned, not that I’d care to see them banned personally either, but in keeping with the forum rules, flaming, insulting and ad homs all directed at MR, seem to be given a pass. Continually. It doesn’t matter if they’re merely replying to what they perceive as MR’s violation of the rules, they are in violation as well. So if you’re a skeptic in this thread, you’re insulated from following the forum rules?

So, that’s what doesn’t make sense to me. I’m hopeful that asking if I think the mods are “evil,” is sarcasm. lol I don’t think that at all. But, you cherry pick the rules that are to be followed, and the ones that violate MR as a member, you ignore. I don’t lose any sleep over this, it’s just my observation, fwiw.

Maybe sad isn’t the appropriate word. I’m disappointed.
 
Yazata,

More feedback on moderation etc. We have dedicated subforums for that, as I pointed out to Seattle, above. But at least there's also some on-topic stuff in your post.
Depends on what "envelope" that is, and on who defined and constructed it. If we are talking about the movement "skeptics" on this board, the envelope merely consists of what they are personally willing to believe at the moment, and on their personal (rather scientistic) faith about the nature of reality.
That envelope is the same for everybody posting here. What you believe is always what you are personally willing to believe at the moment; it doesn't matter whether you're a skeptic with a rather scientific "faith" or an astrologer with a completely unscientific "faith".

On the topic of UFOs, as far as I can tell, you're actually a skeptic yourself. If I were to ask you "Are you convinced that at least one sighted UFO was an alien spaceship?" I'm fairly sure your honest answer would be "No, I'm not convinced." None of the other skeptics here is saying anything different. None of us is convinced, any more than you are.

You seem to think that you have a "more open" mind than the other skeptics here because you believe that there might be more to the "nature of reality" than is currently known by science. I have some news for you: ask any practising scientist and they will tell you exactly the same thing. Scientific research is all about exploring the boundaries of what is known, looking for more knowledge about what is currently unknown. Science hasn't been completed. We don't know everything. All scientists are well aware of that. It's not a profound insight to be aware that we don't know everything.
I'm not MR and can't speak for him (and I see that they have ensured that he can't speak for himself either)...
They haven't ensured that MR can't speak. MR has temporarily removed himself from participating on this forum, by his own dishonest actions. Had he not knowingly told lies - a clear breach of our site posting guidelines - he'd be able to post right now. Had he not previously accumulated more than 50 active warning points, even his knowingly telling lies would not have resulted in a temporary ban this time around. This is a man who has had approximately 70 official warnings. There are active members here (who aren't moderators) who have been members for years and have received no warnings, or perhaps one or two, after which they modified their behaviour to adhere to our quite reasonable posting guidelines.

Don't worry. MR will be back again soon and back to his old tricks, no doubt. You'll hardly notice he was gone, I assure you.
... but think that MR might be trying to open a few tightly closed minds around here. He's just proposing hypotheses that lie outside the worldview that our "skeptics" are willing to entertain, and pointing to a much broader data-set than they are willing to recognize.
That's disingenous of you. Clearly, he is not "just" doing that, unless you count telling deliberate lies "just proposing hypotheses [etc.]".

On the other hand, do you seriously believe that I - me, James R - am unwilling to entertain hypotheses that lie outside my "worldview"? What does that mean, exactly? That I'm unwilling to accept such ideas, or do you actually mean "entertain", as in "give a fair hearing to" or similar?

You can hardly complain that MR hasn't been given a platform here on which to state his views and opinions clearly and publically. We're all here "entertaining" his opinions.

And what of my "worldview" and the "data-set" I'm unwilling to recognise? Recognise? What does that mean? Do you mean I won't accept shoddy data sets? Is that a fault on my part? Or are you suggesting that I need to adjust my "worldview" by becoming willing to appeal to things other than evidence to establish simple facts such as that there was an alien spaceship in the sky?

What is it that you think you "recognise" in your "worldview" that my "worldview" is lacking? What important things do you know and accept that I'm unaware of or unwilling to accept? We could have an interesting discussion about such things, if there are any. Couldn't we?

I wonder why you're in such a rush to defend Magical Realist's irrationality. You don't seem any more willing open your mind to his nonsense than the rest of the skeptics here. You're not buying his advanced alien city under the sea theory, for instance. Why not? Does your mind need more opening? Do you think MR can help you with that?
They are trying to rule out whole classes of evidence (such as personal experience and testimony) and whole classes of explanatory hypotheses (including the eminently skeptical placeholder: "I just don't know at the present time") simply a-priori, because the topic of discussion is "woo" in their minds.
We've been through this before, Yazata. I'm sorry to see you stoop to knowingly telling lies as well. It's actually a bit sad that you're willing to sink to that level to defend ... what, exactly?

Every skeptic here has agreed that there are unsolved UFO cases. Repeatedly, we have all said "we don't know yet". Why do you feel the need to pretend - and tell the lie - that these things haven't been said?

Similarly, why tell the lie that skeptics rule out personal testimony? We have had long discussions about eyewitness testimony. Nobody has said it is worthless or ought to be discounted, especially a priori.
And it crosses the line into intellectual dishonesty when they stoutly insist that they aren't dismissing that evidence or those hypotheses as possibilities, while simultaneously they rhetorically do exactly that, with ridicule, insult and sarcasm.
You ought to easily be able to find a few examples, if what you say is true. So, where are they?
Because Sciforums has and always has had a two-tier system of justice. People who agree with the moderators' politics, atheism, and their movement "skepticism" can say pretty much anything they like about their opponents, no matter how rude and inflammatory it might be, without any repercussions. But if people who disagree say anything at all that offends their own delicate sensibilities, the transgressers are immediately warned and banned. It's an attempt to stack the deck in favor of particular conclusions, and that's a kind of intellectual dishonesty too.
The thing is, Yazata, it actually matters what is true. Statements about opponents in an argument that are demonstrably true are much less likely to attract moderator attention than statements that are demonstrably false.

It is not always appropriate to protect people's feelings when doing so obscures the truth.

I could say much more about this, but this is not the appropriate forum. If you want to continue that particular discussion, please PM me, or start a thread in a more appropriate subforum.
 
Given that Yazata has rolled out his strawman again:
He says things that are outside what people here are willing to think about even as hypothetical possibilities, so to people with that a-priori mindset it's trolling I guess. It provokes them.
I will repeat my answer to that strawman:
What's ''argued'' on this thread is the offered ''evidence'' , and not that such ideas are ''outlandish'' and can't be true.
I think your strawman friend Worzel Gummidge would be impressed with the following:
I'm probably one of the few Sciforums participants who is formally qualified to teach 'critical thinking' classes.
I'm probably the most intelligent and reasonable participant that you have on this board.
 
“Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds.” - Richard Feynman
;)

I read a philosophy of science journal article at least a decade ago about the interactions between the philosophy of science and practicing scientists, that (if I remember correctly) suggested that the context of Feynman's disparaging remarks was his frustration with those philosophers of science, particularly the 50's-60's positivists as I recall, that presumed to pontificate to scientists about scientific methodology, on how they should proceed in addressing their scientific questions. Feynman believed that those prescriptions were of no use to him in doing his physics. So I've always kind of considered Feynman a fellow-traveler regarding my own skepticism about "The Scientific Method".

Scientists have an annoying tendency to do a lot of what they do rather unthinkingly (just as birds are still dependent on aerodynamics despite their having no interest in learning about it). Scientists use logic and mathematics, without really understanding what those things are or what kind of reality they have. They assume that physical reality conforms to logic and mathematics, without being able to fully justify that metaphysical assumption. They explain things, without worrying a great deal about what explanations are or what they accomplish. They assume that experimental results can justify their hypotheses, without worrying about precisely how that happens. They reduce particular kinds of things to others without worrying about what's being gained or lost. They continue to employ teleological conceptions, especially in biology. They employ concepts like 'observe' that can become problematic in problem situations. They use concepts like 'species' or 'gene' that still need better definitions. They create taxonomic schemes and phylogenies, that have their own problems, as with the controversies about cladistics.

As long as science works smoothly and continues to produce what appear to be useful results, many scientists seem to feel that they don't need to address those more conceptual kind of questions. (They are precisely the questions that most interest me.) Maybe they are right. They just continue to address problems the way they learned in graduate school, largely by emulating earlier scientists. But when problem cases arise, as they did with relativity and (especially) quantum mechanics, the philosophical questions jump into the forefront as scientists start to pay closer attention to whatever it is that they are doing when they write out their mathematical hieroglyphs and conduct their experiments. Einstein was acutely aware of that, as were most of the pioneers of QM, who became self-taught philosophers in hopes of coming to terms with the presuppositions inherent in and the implications of their own work.

The point at issue here isn't that philosophers should be telling scientists how to do science, but rather that philosophers might be of aid to scientists in figuring that out for themselves. When these kind of conceptual issues arise in problem cases, it might do the scientists good to consult with those who have already thought deeply about those particular issues and who are familiar with the literature regarding them. Anything less is willful ignorance.

The relationship between philosophy of science and science proper is dynamic, cross-fertilizing and synergetic.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: C C
Scientists have...
You're annoyed by scientists using a tool without thinking about the making of that tool? Do you get annoyed by drivers not knowing the workings of the combustion engine? By McDonald's staff not knowing the electronics behind how their grills work? ;)
As long as science works smoothly and continues to produce what appear to be useful results, many scientists seem to feel that they don't need to address those more conceptual kind of questions.
Why do you think they should, as long as it is working? When it doesn't, that's surely when you address it.
Maybe they are right.
Maybe. And maybe it's right that the McDonald's staff member doesn't address the electronics behind the grill he's using.
They just continue to address problems the way they learned in graduate school, largely by emulating earlier scientists.
Not just earlier, but current. You are also painting this as a bad thing. Are you not driving your car the way earlier drivers have done? ;)
But when problem cases arise, as they did with relativity and (especially) quantum mechanics, the philosophical questions jump into the forefront as scientists start to pay closer attention to whatever it is that they are doing when they write out their mathematical hieroglyphs and conduct their experiments. Einstein was acutely aware of that, as were most of the pioneers of QM, who became self-taught philosophers in hopes of coming to terms with the presuppositions inherent in and the implications of their own work.
Okay, so you have exampled two of the most fundamental shifts in our understanding of physics of the past 100+ years. And you're asking... what? Why the average scientist isn't well versed enough in the philosophy of science to be able to cope with the issues these findings introduce to the understanding of reality???
Isn't it enough to know that, when such issues arise, that there are those they can turn to who can help them address the issues? Isn't it enough to know that when your car breaks down there are people you can take it to, who will work out what is wrong with it, and fix it for you?
The point at issue here isn't that philosophers should be telling scientists how to do science, but rather that philosophers might be of aid to scientists in figuring that out for themselves. When these kind of conceptual issues arise in problem cases, it might do the scientists good to consult with those who have already thought deeply about those particular issues and who are familiar with the literature regarding them. Anything less is willful ignorance.
Sure, but has anyone suggested otherwise?
The relationship between philosophy of science and science proper is dynamic, cross-fertilizing and synergetic.
Sure, which is analogous to why car technology keeps improving. It doesn't mean you need a mechanic in your backseat as you take your journeys. ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: C C
Dave said: "We don't need to have this thread become the Magical Realist Show,"

For once this is something here I can't be blamed for.

EBV9ygR.gif
 
  • Like
Reactions: C C
James R said: For instance, it's no longer viable for him to claim that human perception is infallible. He has received enough relevant information that ought to put that silly notion to bed.

Actually I never claimed that so it is you who is lying now. Or did you only make a mistake? I only claimed that perception is reliable. But it is not infallible, much as your car is reliable without being infallible.
 
Last edited:
[...] Scientists have an annoying tendency to do a lot of what they do rather unthinkingly (just as birds are still dependent on aerodynamics despite their having no interest in learning about it). Scientists use logic and mathematics, without really understanding what those things are or what kind of reality they have. They assume that physical reality conforms to logic and mathematics, without being able to fully justify that metaphysical assumption. [...] As long as science works smoothly and continues to produce what appear to be useful results, many scientists seem to feel that they don't need to address those more conceptual kind of questions.

[...] The point at issue here isn't that philosophers should be telling scientists how to do science, but rather that philosophers might be of aid to scientists in figuring that out for themselves...

Though there's an abrasive discomfort in having to suggest that postmodernist and collectivist scholars of the 20th-century qualified as "philosophers", I feel that particular slice of it has done enough damage to science. Albeit indirectly through the current-day crusading mediators of their "ideas" and legacy.

IOW, occasionally I wish there "still" were those fabled, idealized scientists truly subscribing to some guiding, a priori package stuffed up into their hinterlands, that spread its tail-feathers like a peacock. Which they would never cast a self-critical or evaluating glance at, not even for the sake of pious Woke-ism and its admonitory shaming. A strict and dogmatic code of methodology and academic honor that avoided the various invalid science pitfalls of their profession.

But instead we have this seething landscape of wriggling tentacles stretching from the hills of motivated reasoning and research, to the rivers of publication bias (tack on the stress of "publish or perish"), to the swamps of replication deficiency, to the plains of statistical errors, to the lake shores of peer review failings and retractions, to the straggly forests of fraud; in addition to being compromised by the policies of their political-driven institutional administrators and profit-driven industry employers.
 
Actually I never claimed that so it is you who is lying now. Or did you only make a mistake? I only claimed that perception is reliable. But it is not infallible, much as your car is reliable without being infallible.
My bad. I acknowledge that you have never made the explicit claim that human perception is infallible.

Your consistent attitude to 'eyewitness' reports of UFOs, however, has been that they should be accepted at face value unless and until they can be shown to be in error/fraudulent etc. Moreover, you advocate that the entirety of an eyewitness's statement should be taken to be a true account of events, unless and until it can be shown to be in error/fraudulent etc. That includes not only the witness's report of the bare facts of what he observed (I saw a thing in the sky that was round and lit up) but also the witness's interpretations/guesses/beliefs about what he saw (I believe the round, lit-up thing looked like a saucer with windows and that it had intelligent pilots inside and that it was Not of This World and that it couldn't do what I saw it do unless it was Not of This World).

You also consistently ignore the vast amount of scientific and legal literature relating to eyewitness testimony, showing just how unreliable it often is. You deny that people can remember seeing things they could not have seen. You deny that people can completely miss prominent elements of a scene that plays out right in front of their eyes. You deny that memory is not like a video recording, but is in fact a reconstruction of events typically based on a few memory-jogger cues and associations, which can be contaminated by events and interpersonal interactions that occur after the time that the actual events occurred. You deny all these things, and more. You continue to deny them and have never bothered to research them, as far as I am aware.

Implicitly, you do give the impression that you believe that human perception, not to mention human interpretation and reconstruction of events, is close to being infallible. It is no longer viable for you to adopt that stance. You have been pointed towards lines of inquiry that would disprove your assumptions, if you ever made any effort to pursue them. Unfortunately, investigating UFO reports has never been something you've been interested in.
 
Reported for calling a(nother) member a liar, having literally just gotten back from a ban for calling a member a liar.
Truth matters.

It is acceptable to call another member a liar if you have the evidence to show that they lied. It is poor form, to say the least, if you cannot show that they lied. It is sanctionable by moderation if it can be shown that you have knowingly made a false accusation.
 
Quote me the sci forum rule that says you can't say another poster is lying.
The report button's function is to bring a post to the attention of the moderators so that they can address it.
There is nothing saying a member can only report something that directly and explicitly violates forum rules.

You have been here long enough to know this.
 
There is nothing saying a member can only report something that directly and explicitly violates forum rules.

So there are things we can be banned for that aren't against sci forum rules? I didn't know that. How are we to avoid these things so we don't get banned? How can we be sure these things aren't the arbitrary whims of a frustrated moderator? Do you have a list of them?
 
Last edited:
So, what is the point of this sub-forum? The scientific method doesn’t work for these discussions, in the sense that we can’t measure or test anything. There is not much evidence other than eyewitness accounts and footage, that may or may not be verifiable.

So, a thread is created to discuss UAP sightings, and potential explanations are frowned on? Only if there’s objective evidence to discuss, the discussion shouldn’t continue?

I don’t get it. When the site administrator created a sub-forum to discuss UFO’s and ghosts, what was the vision behind that? Science can’t solve the problem of UAP’s. Not yet, anyway.

So, it should be obvious that this discussion would go off into more of a philosophical conversation.
 
Last edited:
So there are things we can be banned for that aren't against sci forum r,ules?
Nobody said that.
That's bizarre. The fact that you formed such a non sequitur interpretation should give you pause in the context of UAP investigation and their interpretations.

How are we to avoid these things so we don't get banned?

Have you heard the courtroom expression People who tell the truth don't have to have a good memory?
This is kind of like that.
Members who behave honestly, post in good faith and avoid trolling generally don't have to worry about getting banned.

Try it. It's way easier than having that Sword of Damocles hanging over your head.
 
So, what is the point of this sub-forum? The scientific method doesn’t work for these discussions, in the sense that we can’t measure or test anything. There is not much evidence other than eyewitness accounts and footage, that may or may not be verifiable.
This is an oversimplification of the SM.

It doesn't "not work" just because there's no hard, extant evidence.


Thing is, there's a non-zero danger of self-fulfilling prophecy here. You may be in danger of repeating a question until you get the answer you want.

"Do you want to date me?"
:silence:
"Do you want to date me?"
:silence:
"Do you want to date me?"
:silence:
"Do you want to date me?"
:silence:
"Do you want to date me?"
:silence:
"Do you want to date me?"
:silence:
"Do you want to date me?"
"WHATEVER. Just STOP blowing up my phone!"
"I knew you wanted to date me."


Science can’t solve the problem of UAP’s. Not yet, anyway.
That's only trues if you assume it hasn't been solved already.


Think of Yeti. It is a perfectly viable solution that Yeti simply doesn't exist.
Yet some fan will keep bloody-headed saying "We can't solve the problem!" until the oceans boil.


Ask yourself this: What if we didn't get any good pic of a UFO for another ten, 20 or even 40 years. How long would it take you convince you they aren't really real? Would you ever let it go? If not, that makes it a religion, does it not?
 
Back
Top