Subject: Re: selfdeceptive belief maintenance In article 28SEP199219122923@skyblu.ccit.ari

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From: Bruce Salem Subject: Re: self-deceptive belief maintenance Organization: Stanford Univ. Earth Sciences From: salem@pangea.Stanford.EDU (Bruce Salem) Message-ID: Newsgroups: In article <> (James J. Lippard) writes: >I would like to collect examples of self-deceptive strategies which can >be observed in argument techniques by creationists in order to avoid >being persuaded by anti-creationist arguments. First, I think that the self-deception is due to belief that is supposed to remain largely hidden from the audience. The Creationist argues that he has a scientific alternative to evolution. That is largely a ruse to give his more cherished beliefs of a religious nature the legitimacy of careful research and objectivity most people assign to science, and not the debatable status of opinion, founded on strong belief and prejudice. The aim of such a deception is to move the grounding of morality out of the arena of subjectivity or history and to make it absolute. Creationists, like many engineers, are control freaks, who seek social reform through authoritarianism. That is why among professionally trained people it is the engineers who are most susceptable to Creationism and other pseudosciences. I have something that I was going to post separately. It is the piece of the FAQ that discusses the "Face of Mars" beliefs of Richard Hoagland. who has been making the talk show circuit lately to criticize NASA for its policy on forthcomming imagery of the Mars Explorer project. Despite NASA's long established policy of restricting access to data for one year so that researchers can write papers, Hoagland sees a conspiracy against him in NASA to doctor or censor data that could confirm his theory that a formation that looks like a face and some geometric features on the surface of Mars were created by intelligant alians. I think that he examplifies many of the self-deceptive traits of people who have an ax to grind with main-stream scientists who do not have a stake in the pet theories of these fringies. I am posting the following material from the FAQ as background. Richard Hoagland has been making the talk show circuit, he appeared on CNN's "Sonja Live" this morning. What struck me is how similar Hoagland's attitudes toward the scientific community resembles that of Creationists. He sees a conspiracy within NASA to cover up data and to resist his theories about some extraterrestials making large artifacts, pyramids and the so-called Face of Mars to announce their existance to us. Hoagland at least made the pretence of being scientific in wanting to see what the images that will be taken by the Mars Explorer say, but his battle with NASA and his adherence to what is a most extraordinary explaination is characteristic of a crack pot. As the material below says there is a feature on Mars that really does resemble a face in partial shadow, but seen at higher resolution this gestalt will probabily vanish and its form will probabily be revealed as entirely natural. Like the Creationists the question of their credentials in science can be questioned. Hoagland's seen vague from the introduction given by Sonja Friedeman, herself a psychaitrist. Is Hoagland an engineer and not an astronomer, geologist, etc., does any one know? I am trained as a geologist and I can tell you that naturally formed formations can look like representations of animals especially faces. Pyramidial formations can easily be formed by wind erosion, and on a large scale if the winds are great enough. As Mars is seasonally obscured by dust storms, winds may exist there now to form such geometric features. Bruce Salem THE "FACE ON MARS" There really is a big rock on Mars that looks remarkably like a humanoid face. It appears in two different frames of Viking Orbiter imagery: 35A72 (much more facelike in appearance, and the one more often published, with the Sun 10 degrees above western horizon) and 70A13 (with the Sun 27 degrees from the west). Science writer Richard Hoagland has championed the idea that the Face is artificial, intended to resemble a human, and erected by an extraterrestrial civilization. Most other analysts concede that the resemblance is most likely accidental. Other Viking images show a smiley-faced crater and a lava flow resembling Kermit the Frog elsewhere on Mars. There exists a Mars Anomalies Research Society (sorry, don't know the address) to study the Face. The Mars Observer mission will carry an extremely high-resolution camera, and better images of the formation will hopefully settle this question in a few years. In the meantime, speculation about the Face is best carried on in the altnet group alt.alien.visitors, not or sci.astro. V. DiPeitro and G. Molenaar, *Unusual Martian Surface Features*, Mars Research, P.O. Box 284, Glen Dale, Maryland, USA, 1982. [Apparently the first lengthy consideration of the Face published. Does anybody know what it costs?] R.R. Pozos, *The Face of Mars*, Chicago Review Press, 1986. [Account of an interdisciplinary speculative conference Hoagland organized to investigate the Face] R.C. Hoagland, *The Monuments of Mars: A City on the Edge of Forever*, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, USA, 1987. [Elaborate discussion of evidence and speculation that formations near the Face form a city] M.J. Carlotto, "Digital Imagery Analysis of Unusual Martian Surface Features," *Applied Optics*, 27, pp. 1926-1933, 1987. [Extracts three-dimensional model for the Face from the 2-D images] M.J. Carlotto & M.C. Stein, "A Method of Searching for Artificial Objects on Planetary Surfaces," *Journal of the British Interplanetary Society*, Vol. 43 no. 5 (May 1990), p.209-216. [Uses a fractal image analysis model to guess whether the Face is artificial] B. O'Leary, "Analysis of Images of the `Face' on Mars and Possible Intelligent Origin," *JBIS*, Vol. 43 no. 5 (May 1990), p. 203-208. [Lights Carlotto's model from the two angles and shows it's consistent; shows that the Face doesn't look facelike if observed from the surface]


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