Thursday, March 08, 2007

Mac Tonnies: CTH or ETH... Which Makes More Sense?


Mac Tonnies explains why he thinks the CTH makes as much sense - or maybe even more sense - than the ETH

Here's the funny thing about the CTH brouhaha as it concerns the ardent ETHers - all of the criticisms they level against Mac's hypothesis are the same ones that can be levelled against the ETH, and have been for decades by mainstream science.

For example:

Average CTH critic - "The CTH is preposterous, because there's no evidence of this civilization, and there would surely be some because to become that technologically advanced they would have to leave signs, traces, and they would have travelled to the stars and established bases,etc., etc."

Average ETH critic - "The ETH is preposterous, because there's no evidence to support it, and the problems of interstellar space travel are insurmountable, or for all practical purposes insurmountable. Further, any civilization advanced enough to get here would have colonized the galazy by now, yet we see absolutely no sign of this, etc., etc."

Average CTH or ETH proponent's answer?

"Well, they're obviously more advanced than we are, so they can do things we can't understand, and that explains everything."

I'm not saying either hypothesis is right - indeed, the ETH still makes more sense to me than the CTH, at least what I've seen of it so far (I remain open-minded, however), and any discussion of just the two of them ignores all of the other possibilities. What I am pointing out is the inherent hypocrisy and irony of much of the knee-jerk criticism of the CTH by the ETHers, at least at this stage.

Paul Kimball

13 comments:

mister ecks said...

Well said.

binnall said...

A more puzzling conundrum may be why Tonnies doesn't own a television.

BoyintheMachine said...

It could very well be that both CTH and ETH are merely different aspects of the same thing. On Posthuman Blues, I brought up Whitley Strieber's "Hunger" novels, which revolve around an extraterrestrial vampire species which came to the planet eons ago. The first book pre-dates "Communion", and itself has provided fodder for the skeptics who claim that Strieber's alien-stories are fiction, that they portray his same 'others among us' theme. (CTH or merger of CTH and ETH) Then again, I am partial to the A.I. theory of the UFO phenomena, mainly that we are dealing with an advanced machine intelligence, possibly post-humanoid or transhumanoid in nature. One of the interesting things about this theory is that involves our misperception of the phenomena itself. (Ex.- The belief that occupants control the craft, when in fact it could be that the craft controls the occupants.

-Jason Gammon
www.boyinthemachine.blogspot.com

gordon said...

The problem as I see it with certain flavours of the CTH is that they're trying to explain phenomena that are occuring now. If there were another current Earth-evolved species capable of greater technological feats than humans, I doubt there would be humans.

The suggestion that they deliberately hide from us is difficult to swallow. Surely any life evolving on Earth would show the same competitiveness and will to dominate as every other species on Earth does? Even if they had now evolved socially to be beyond such "pettiness", at some earlier stage they would have had the same base instincts as other life and would have suppressed the development of any other competitors.

And to postulate that they would run away and hide underground to keep away from ourselves (who are presumably technologically inferior) is just as illogical.

About the only version that makes sense is that some much-earlier species developed space travel, had to abandon Earth for some reason (eg the CT extinction event) and are "visiting" - which really makes the same case as the ETH.

Anonymous said...

There is an old saying that, "There is nothing to explain where nothing has been proven to exist in the first place". In case you didn't notice, visiting ETs has not been proven to exist in the first place. Until there is some actual evidence that ETs are visiting us, that is, there is some actual physical evidence we can hold in our hands, technically all these "hypothesis" are not hypothesis, but personal New Age fantasies or wild-arse speculation. I too have heard all those poorly told UFO stories and have seen the poorly taken photos to go along with them, and they are not even remotely persuasive. Photos could be acceptable if someday two photos were taken by two unrelated people from two totally different vantage points at the same instant in time -- then that could tremendously add to their credibility factor. But as it stands, not one single UFO story or picture has ever had any scientific credibility or could pass the BS test -- and that is being generous.

Personally, I prefer the AIAH (The Aliens are Idiots Hypothesis) over the CTH or ETH. The AIAH explains the alleged ETs behaviors far better than either of the other hypothesis, such as their rash of broken-down spaceships, or of abductees being put back into bed with their clothes on backwards or in the wrong vehicles, or of aliens using a wheat field as a method of communication. The ETs are too shy to talk to us face-to-face about their teenage crush on us, so they put on silly air shows and steal cow genitals to "impress us". It isn't working.

Anonymous said...

There is an old saying that, "There is nothing to explain where nothing has been proven to exist in the first place". In case you didn't notice, visiting ETs has not been proven to exist in the first place. Until there is some actual evidence that ETs are visiting us, that is, there is some actual physical evidence we can hold in our hands, technically all these "hypothesis" are not hypothesis, but personal New Age fantasies or wild-arse speculation. I too have heard all those poorly told UFO stories and have seen the poorly taken photos to go along with them, and they are not even remotely persuasive. Photos could be acceptable if someday two photos were taken by two unrelated people from two totally different vantage points at the same instant in time -- then that could tremendously add to their credibility factor. But as it stands, not one single UFO story or picture has ever had any scientific credibility or could pass the BS test -- and that is being generous.

Personally, I prefer the AIAH (The Aliens are Idiots Hypothesis) over the CTH or ETH. The AIAH explains the alleged ETs behaviors far better than either of the other hypothesis, such as their rash of broken-down spaceships, or of abductees being put back into bed with their clothes on backwards or in the wrong vehicles, or of aliens using a wheat field as a method of communication. The ETs are too shy to talk to us face-to-face about their teenage crush on us, so they put on silly air shows and steal cow genitals to "impress us". It isn't working.

Mac said...

Hmmm ... my Google clips aren't available. Don't tell me -- Jerry Clark's been hacking!

nycjeff said...

I'd have to agree with anonymous, sort of.
Although I don't believe that there is no evidence, I'd prefer to get the majority of the scientific community on the same page (i.e. there are intelligently controlled objects in the sky/water that current humans have no control over) before speculating on what exactly they are, although I suppose the cheese is already out of the can.

Spenser said...

Compelling Post. Well done. :)

mr. intense said...

Hmmm...leaving the questions, speculation, and debate about ETH vs. CTH aside for a moment, I'd like to ask/solicit comment on what _other_ possible sources and causes might give rise to the history of UFO incidents if neither the ETH or CTH theories are valid. Just as a thought experiment.

There's Carl Jung's speculation about some kind of human-generated collective projection, GAIA theories, Vallee's thoughts on how the phenomena may somehow be related to a misunderstood aspect of the universe, or "control system", possibly even like some kind of "unattended clockwork", religous speculation about "demons" and "angels", etc., etc.

But these are all "boxes", and I would like to see what others may think or can come up with that has _not_ been really been discussed or brought up before in a serious way.

By that I mean, what are the alternatives to all of the above?
Can humans even conceive properly of "something completely different" than the most common or popular
theories that may be able to be explored and perhaps even tested?

This is difficult to express, but, if one "discards" all "ufo theories," and tries to concentrate on the record of sightings themselves without "preconception" or assumptions of any kind (which may be impossible), do any patterns emerge that may give rise to new theories, or better "indications" of any of the older theories, and how might one develop ways of testing or scientifically analyzing same?

Hope that wasn't too muddled.

Dustin said...

This really looks like it's coming together nicely Paul. Well done! After having seen your production skills, next time I agree to be on a DVD I'll have to commission you to film and interview me so I don't end up looking bizarre and amateurish. ;-)

sylph said...

Those pictures! Tonnies needs a faux-tan spraying session or two.

Greg Bishop said...

I keep coming back to the quote from Leonard Nimoy about whales, which goes something like: "They haven't evolved ahead of us or behind us, but off to the side."

What I see in many of these comments is evidence that we are trapped by our language and by what we can imagine. A full understaning of the ETH/CTH/UFO phenomenon may be dead on the launching pad for the simple reason that we have to categorize it. We push at a microbe with a bulldozer or poke at a universe with a pin. Perhaps these ideas are models and metaphors for what "it" "really" "is."