Thursday, June 22, 2006

UFO's and Creationism

While avoiding doing any real work this morning, I ran across this article on unidentified flying objects(UFO's) on space.com. One thing that impressed me is how similar UFOology and creation science are to each other. Consider:

1. Both recycle outdated information. UFO believers often make reference to cases long debunked, and creation "scientists" often recycle long debunked claims such as no transitional fossils exist or that evolution can't happen because of the second law of thermodynamics.

2. Both are fertile grounds for con-men and hucksters. Just consider the raft of Roswell material or take a visit to the Raelian website for evidence. Note that the Raelian website's opening title is "Intelligent : Design - Message from the Designers", obviously capitalizing on intelligent design, the latest incarnation of creationism.

As for Creationist hucksterism, how about good old Dr. Dino whose exploits have been documented in numerous places such as this site devoted entirely to him or here at Talk.origins.

Intelligent design seems to be spawning it's own hucksters such as George Gilder of supply side economics fame. Of course the Intelligent Design hucksterism is a bit more sophisticated, but hucksterism it is and may be less obvious by some folks since it is politically motivated.

3. Both argue from ignorance- and I might add capitalize on the public's ignorance of science. For instance UFOologists use the classic argument from ignorance Here with respect to UFO claims the space.com article notes:

"...the claim that aliens must have careened out of control above the New Mexico desert simply because some classified government documents sport a bunch of blacked-out text. "How does the latter prove the former?

Sure, the missing verbiage is consistent with a government cover-up of an alien crash landing, Shostak said. "But it's also consistent with an infinitude of other scenarios, not all of them involving sloppy alien pilots..."

Creationists including the intelligent design people do the exact same thing...since there are things we can't currently explain about evolution, therefore evolution must be wrong. Why else do the ID advocates spend so much time arguing from ignorance unless it's to hide the third similar thing between Creationism and UFOology.

3. Both UFO's and Creation Science (Including ID) have an embarissing lack of empirical evidence. About UFO's the article notes:

"despite a torrent of sightings for more than a half-century, I can't think of a single, major science museum that has alien artifacts on display ... Contrast this paucity of physical evidence with what the American Indians could have shown you fifty years after Christopher Columbus first violated their sea-space. They could have shown you all sorts of stuff —including lots of smallpox-infested brethren —as proof that they were being 'visited,"

Creation Science, likewise has no positive evidence. Where are the human fossils along side dinosaurs. Of course we do have the Taylor trail footprints from Texas, which have been completely debunked. Why am I just a wee bit skeptical of images such as this one?

4. Both Ider's and UFOologists believe that there is proof . Scientists refuse to see it because they are biased or there is some sort of vast conspiracy to cover up the Truth. That is well documented in both the UFO and Creationist literature. Intelligent design recently has picked up much of the same rhetoric, claiming scientists are dogmatic secular fundamentalists and that's why they just don't see the Truth.

5. Finally both UFOology and Creationists including intelligent design invoke the promide of new paradigms. For instance from the space.com article:

"Physics is leading to new and potentially paradigm shifting understandings about the nature of our universe and its physical properties," Roe said. "These understandings may point the way towards an acceptance of the probability of interstellar travel and communication by spacefaring races."

Likewise, especially by the ID type Creationists evolutionary scientists are painted as being closed to new paradigms. In answering the question as to why intelligent design is controversial the IDEA website notes that:

"it challenges the reigning philosophical paradigm reigning over science, as well as the reigning theory of origins in biology, namely evolution. Additionally, it challenges the metaphysical beliefs of many practitioners of science. These changes lead to predictable "paradigm change resistance" that characterizes the discovery and promotion of new ideas in science"

These similarities may be accidental, and possibly there is something to the notion of Creationism, just like there might be something to the UFO phenomeon. There are after all many things about the universe we do not understand. That said, scientists want empirical evidence and neither creationists including ID and UFOologists have shown any. So while you are waiting for real scientific evidence, have fun visiting these entertaining Creationist and UFO sites. Me? I am going back to work.

http://www.ufoevidence.org/
Great fuzzy UFO pictures.

http://www.ufomaps.com/
New UFO sitings keep pouring in. I love the little smiley saucers.

http://www.mufon.com/
Whose mission is the scientific study of UFO's for the benefit of Humanity

http://ufo.cjscreations.com/
Links to other UFO sites

http://www.icr.org/
Creation Science?

http://www.sixdaycreation.com/
six days?

http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/
Where's the beef?

http://www.discovery.org/csc/
Now this seems like science...or is it merely politics.

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