Thursday, April 12, 2007

Seth Shostak, Bad Science, and UFOs

If you want to hear some bad science, tune into the December 20th, 2006 episode of Are We Alone, SETI's weekly radio program, with Seth Shostak, which is about UFOs.

If there are really aliens out there listening in, I hope they don't hear this. They'll think we're still stuck in pre-Enlightenment days.

Shostak et al manage the unholy trifecta of bad science - they distort facts, they ignore other facts, and they make mistakes about the facts. For example, at one point Shostak manages to conflate the MJ-12 documents with the legitimate CIA and NSA documents that Stan Friedman and others got through Freedom of Information Act requests. In the process, Shostak shows that he knows nothing about the subject he's chosen to bash.

Note also that Shostak et al tie the UFO phenomenon directly to the ETH, never once mentioning any other possibilities. The open mind that Dr. Michio Kaku urged people to keep with respect to the UFO phenomenon at the end of Seeing is Believing is nowhere to be found on Shostak's show.

In the meantime, SETI continues to search the skies for the ET equivalent of "I Love Lucy" or "The Honeymooners", while pumping out, in the form of radio shows like this, the scientific equivalent of bad pro wrestling - phony, derivative (nary a new thought pops up in this episode), and just plain boring.

I've finally figured it out - Seth Shostak is the Vince McMahon of ufology.

Which means it's time for... a head-to-head showdown with...

The Easter Bunny!


Who Has More Scientific Credibility on UFOs
The Easter Bunny
Dr. Seth Shostak
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com



Yet again, I find myself compelled to cast my vote for The Easter Bunny!



Look out Seth!

Paul Kimball

P.S. For some reason, this hilarious video reminds me of Easter during my fourth year at Acadia. Hmm...

7 comments:

Mac said...

I'm not positive, but I have the feeling the Easter Bunny could kick Shostak's ass if he (she?) really tried.

Paul Kimball said...

Mac:

You're a genius!

Paul

Katie said...

What a naughty bunny! Heh.

I'm just trying to figure out the background music. I'm thinking maybe...Rammstein?

R. Lee said...

I've gnashed my teeth over SETI and Shostak's clumsy ridiculous ways, but you've summed it up brilliantly:

In the meantime, SETI continues to search the skies for the ET equivalent of "I Love Lucy" or "The Honeymooners", while pumping out, in the form of radio shows like this, the scientific equivalent of bad pro wrestling - phony, derivative (nary a new thought pops up in this episode), and just plain boring.

mr. intense said...

I don't know if the Easter Bunny would actually want to lower "itself" to even _trying_ to kick Dr. Seth's ass! I mean, what would be the point? Even if he showed up one post-Easter Monday with Easter egg on his face, bruised, battered, and obviously having been taken down by said Bunny, do you think he'd ever admit it? NO!

'Cause it _couldn't_ be real!
-----------------------------------

On a serious note, I wonder if Shostak would ever accept or invite someone(s) to debrief him on the "best evidence", privately, not on an ego-contest context like a public radio show, and even listen long enough to consider, scientifically, the evidence and possibility there may actually be something to the ufo phenomenon he so assiduously denies? I think the Reverend Brad Sparks would be a good choice to minister to his cognitive needs.

I'm thinking of the way and how Dr. J. Allen Hynek slowly, after 20 years, became "converted" to opening his mind to something other than denial as a result of the preponderance of evidence.

NAH! Then Dr. Seth would have to admit to himself and others associated with SETI and its methodology, let alone FUNDING, that he had been wrong, and a denial-obsessed debunker and hypocrite all along. It would take a bigger, smarter man than he to do that painful paradigm-shift in conciousness, or otherwise why would he continue to be so damn dogmatic?

He may be a lost cause, so perhaps we should forget about him except when he speaks the untruth, etc.

Bleah! ...as Snoopy would say...

That's it! "We" must marshall our forces, including Santa Claus, the E-bunny, Snoopy, and other mythical creatures, to capture and hold Shostak long enough to administer the appropriate amount of DMT to the Doctor so that he may finally begin to see the light! Heh. In someone's dreams... 8^}

Paul Kimball said...

Mr. Intense:

That's a good idea, but I doubt Shostak would go for it. His whole worldview is structured around the premise that "they" exist, but that "they" couldn't be here. It would be a waste of time to try and brief him, I think... just as, with respect, it would be a waste of time for someone to sit down and try to really brief Stan Friedman on anything but the ETH.

Paul

The Odd Emperor said...

Hmmm...

On the other hand. Those alien versions of "I Love Lucy" would be facinating to watch.....