-=- What follows was pulled off of the I_UFO forum; a forum dedicated towards the dissemin

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-=- What follows was pulled off of the I_UFO forum; a forum dedicated towards the dissemination and perpetuation of paranormal beliefs no matter how easilly they are debunked nor how often. In this missive the authorship seeks to give scientists a religion and to make scientific method religious dogma. This is quite common as the believer in the paranormal has been utterly incapable of rising their beliefs to the level of scientific method and thus must attempt to drag scientific method down to their level of unevidenced belief. It is 285 lines long - Fredric L. Rice -=- By: Glenda Stocks From: user5911@aol.com (User5911) Newsgroups: alt.alien.visitors Subject: CSICOP as Religion Date: 9 Jan 1995 13:01:17 -0500 Today, the U.S. government is publicly out of the UFO phenomena business. Most of the debunking torch has been passed to a private group called the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal ("CSICOP"). CSICOP boasts an impressive roster of scientific and technical consultants, many of whom hold professorships at prestigious universities. CSICOP has inspired the creation of local branches (parishes, churches, what have you) usually known as "skeptical societies". CSICOP publishes a quarterly journal called 'The Skeptical Inquirer' (Which is neither skeptical, nor inquiring, but we will get to that in a moment) Note, that the act of joining CSCICOP involves a profession of religious faith, that the materialist reductionist paradigm is sufficient to explain all phenomological occurances, that the entire breadth and depth of 'reality' is already KNOWN, that the complete and utter limits to our concepts of space and time, have become embedded in rock, since invoking the name of the messiah Einstein, that all anomalies, or even the phenomena of human consciousness is understood, and any aspect of human consciousness that does not fit the reductionist paradigm is by definition, delusion, illusion, and mental illness. That evolutionary theory, genetic theory, and physics are complete, fixed, and completely known. Yet, given the recent explosion of understanding in anomalies in quantum physics (quantum-coherence), complexity theory, and artificial life research, it becomes evident to even the casual observer that much yet remains that we do not know. Still, admission to CSICOP requires that you abandon intellect and free-thought at the door, to join the inqisitional style crusade against heretics who dare ask questions which hound the fringes of reductionism. A basic premise upon which CSICOP operates is that UFOs are not proven to be extraterrestrial craft (actually a true position, yet while there is no proof they are extraterrestrial craft, overwhelming proof exists that some sort of unknown phenomena does exist). CSICOP also debunks all other phenomena that is considers phony or 'pseudoscientific', (regardless of the status, quality, or rigor of the investigation done by the originating scientists), such as clairvoyance, spiritualism (two phenomena embedded in human consciousness, and therefore cannot be either proven, nor disproven, merely observed), and claims of cryptozoologists. It brands any effort to seriously study UFOs as 'pseudoscience' - a term it bandies about freely. Since science is not a subject, but rather a method, it is completely inaccurate to label the study of any phenomena as 'pseudo-science'. Still, occasionally seeing the light of this logic flaw, CSICOP is more than forthcoming at attacking any scientist who would dare to become interested in any of these damnable subjects. Quickly leaping to character assasination, and ridicule, neither of which are part of the scientific method, last I checked. (Recently an epistimologist, Stan McDanial, wrote a scathing report on how NASA has handled the research on anomalous artificats found on Mars. The entire fiasco was almost laughable, because a broad range of what I will loosely term 'scientists' appear to have suffered a complete and total loss of curiousity, over what are unquestionably some damn funny looking rocks (actually mountain sized rocks) on another planet. The psychology of it is all so fascinating, and we are reminded of Neitche's statement in "The Twilight of the Gods": "With the unknown, one is confronted with danger, discomfort and worry; the first instinct is to abolish these painful sensations. FIrst principle: ANY EXPLANATION IS BETTER THAN NONE.... The search for causes is thus conditioned by fear. The question "Why?" is not pursued for its own sake but to find 'a certain kind of answer' -- an answer that is pacifying, tranquilizing and soothing." The influence of CSICOP today is quite strong. In addition to its presence in universities through CSCICOP affiliated faculty, CSICOP has exerted influence in the media. Celebrity astronomer Carl Sagan, for example, is listed as a Fellow of CSICOP. Other Fellows have included Bernard Dixon, European editor of 'Omni' Magazine (a bastion of scientific rigor); Paul Edwards, editor of the Encyclopedia of Philosophy; Leon Jaroff, managing editor of Discover magazine; Phillip Klass, senior avionics editor for Aviation Wekk & Space Technology magazine; and the late B. F. Skinner (!), author and famous behaviourist who dis so much to promote the stimulus-response model of human behaviour in our own generation. CSICOP has gained a following primarily because the organization successfuly promotes an image of objectivity. In CSICOP's statement of purpose, for example, we read the following words: "The Committe for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal attempts to encourage the critical investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims from a responsible, scientific point of view and to disseminate factual information about the results of such inquiries to the scientific community and the public ... The Committee is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization." The Committee sounds like a wonderful organization. The world can greatly benefit from objective research into UFOs and paranormal claims. It is especially important for serious researchers to sort out the legitimate from the fraud, and that is not always easy to do. Sadly, CSICOP does not provide the objectivity needed to accomplish that task. The result of a CSICOP investigation has always been, to my knowledge, an utter debunking. By committing lies of ommision, conducting open character assasination, and failing to ever accept, or even consider, witness testimony, exactly as stated. Usually witness testimony is simply 'concluded as being' something other than that which witness testimony stated as being observed This has puzzled those people who cannot understand how some evidencedcan possibly be rejected if it is looked at objectively. The solution to this puzzle comes by discovering who started CSICOP and why. CSICOP was founded in 1976 under the sponsorship of the American Humanist Association. The American Humanist Association is, of course, dedicated to advancing the philosophy of 'humanism'. 'Humanism' itself is difficult to define because it often means different things to different people. Essentially, humanism is a school of thought concerned with human interests and human values as opposed to religious interests and values. It deals with questions of ethics and existance from the perspective of human beings as physical entities on Earth. 'Religious humanists' will have spiritual and theological concerns, but will approach them from a human-centered focus as opposed to the God-centered or spirit-centered orientation of most religions. The best known form of organized humanism in the United States today is called 'secular [non-religious] humanism'. Secular humanism admits only the reality of physical existance and rejects spiritual or theological reality. It is a philosophy of strict materialism. Many secular humanists adhere to the stimulus-response model of human behaviour. (I, myself, have been a strict materialist for the last decade, so imagine my surprise when I found out the universe appears to be non-local, and composed more of a mental stuff, than a physical thing.) The founding and current chairman of CSICOP is Paul Kurtz, professor of philosophy at the State University of New York at Buffalo. For many years, Mr. Kurtz had served as the editor of 'The Humanist' magazine. He was one of the drafters of the 'Humanist Manifesto II' and authored a book entitled 'In Defense of Secular Humanism'. (And even recent promotional literature for CSICOP rings of a fundamentalist call to arms, and ideological challenge, to rise up against the heretics and blasphemers against the purely reductionist and materialist model of an alleged, assumed, 'out there', Etic reality. More frightening yet, a cry against self-discovery, or even acceptance of personal human consciousness. And, most frightening of all, outright attacks against that group of society who suffers the most unfortunate fate of all, that of actually having aspects of the 'paranormal' enter their personal lives. Now, those who have their psyche assaulted by seeing a UFO are branded equally as witches at an inquisition. These, all must be treated as afronts to secular humanism, which assumes that any such occurances simply cannot occur, and are the signs of deranged minds. Bring out the torchs now Paul, it's getting hot in here.) Paul Kurtz's book is interesting because it expresses some of the doctrines and goals of the organized secular humanist movement. Those doctrines and goals are significant in light of the role that Professor Kurtz and other secular humanists have played in founding CSICOP. On the subject of spritual experience, Professor Kurtz wrote: "Humanists reject the thesis that the soul is separable from the body or that life persists in some form after the death of the body." (Militant athieism at it's best. Actually, it's awesomely amusing at how strongly secular-humanists defend their right to believe their entire existance is meaningless. More to the point, existance of a human soul is an open question in light of the fact that no reasonable explanation can even begin to account for human consciousness, and anomalies abound worthy of further research. Additionally, experiences such as OBE's, NDE's, or mystical revelations, are labeled immediately as 'delusion' and 'illusion' by secular humanists, which completely misses the point in the first place. Exactly, what, is it about human consciousness which produces these experiences. Fortunately there is now a new publication "The Journal for Consciousness Studies" which is not afraid to ask these hard questions.) According to the Humanist Manifesto II: "Rather, science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces. As far as we know, the total personality is a function of the biological organism transacting in a social cultural context." This, my dear reader, is a blantant expression of RELIGIOUS FAITH! Anomalies in human consciousness and evolution ABOUND. And are being researched. But this mindset denies any inquiry, which is, by definition anti-science! Such ideas are fine for those who choose to believe them (your religion, is your religion afterall). The point I am making is this: individuals and organizations which actively promote such ideas will find it difficult to be genuinely objective when they investigate evidence which flatly contradicts their established view (religious faith). They have declared, a priori to any evidence, what they will believe and what they will reject. I hardly need point out again how unscientific this is. (At the end of this little thesis I will list a few books you can read, wherein the authors actually deign to THINK). Objectivity is even more difficult when those same people actively seek to SPREAD THEIR WAY OF THINKING AS A SOCIAL GOAL. According to the 'Humanist Manifesto II': "We affirm a set of common principles that can serve as a basis for united action -- positive principles relevant to the present human condition. They are a design for a secular society on a planetary scale." GS> Watch that! They may be wanting to proselytize others. I tried to warn GS> folks about their efforts at mind control. Imagine the effect of GS> someone like this on discussions in a UFO echo, or a religion echo, or GS> a science echo, or a politics echo. They actively seek to persuade GS> others to think like them. Watch out! (Now, I ask the reader. What are you going to do, after CSICOP has spread it's religion over the entire world, if you have the terrible misfortune of actually seeing a damned UFO?, or have an OBE?, or an NDE?, or a mystical experience which transends all other experience you have had in your entire life? Simple, you check yourself into the mental hospital, for secular-humanist reconditioning, probably some sort of mind numbing therapy which will wash these violent illusions, and delusions from your head. But, *IF* you persist in daring to accept any portion of your personal experience into your own personal emic reality tunnel, WATCH OUT! You will be branded and hunted down like the damnable witch you must be. Thrown out of all professional organizations, never to work again. But, hey, wait a minute, isn't that a pretty fair description of how things work today?) GS> aha! This explains why, when some skeptics (note some), take a fit GS> when anyone expresses an understanding about paranormal stuff. It is GS> received as an insult to the skeptic's _religion_. Imagine the GS> response you would get if you insulted someone's religion? That GS> explains the vehement attacks and ridicule! That also explains why GS> message areas that allow views contrary to theirs _must_ be stopped at GS> all costs! I get it now! And they call some of us Foaming True GS> Believers (FTB's)! They should look at themselves in a mirror, because GS> a true skeptic has an open mind. We see in the above quote that there exists a united intention among many secular humanists to create a worldwide secular society. The founding chaiman of CSICOP, Professor Kurtz, helped draft the document which announces that intention. There is nothing wrong per se with having such a goal. It is common for activist religions and philosophies to try to shape the world in their own images. There is, however, a price to be paid for such activism: CSICOP and its affiliated skeptic groups (parishes) lose their credibility. They have to be viewed as advocates for a certain point of view, not as disinterested investigators. They are prosecutors in the courts of inquiry, not the judges and juries. Now, I promised at the end of this thesis I would give you a book list. These are books, written by objective scientists, who are grappling with basic fundamental questions of the deep structure of reality itself, and how consciousness may interact with it. I encourage those fundamental materialists who have allowed theirs senses to delude them into thinking in such rigid narrow boundaries, to take some time to explore some new and fresh ideals. I consider myself a complete agnostic in the absolute best use of that word. I neither accept, nor reject, entire data sets, but form tentative hypothesis for a model of the universe that may account for the richness of our experience within it. I certainly reject dogmatic absolutes, and since this appears to be all that CSICOP has to offer, I look for my investigative materials elsewhere. "Quantum Reality" by Nick Herbert "Elemental Mind" by Nick Herbert "Shadows of the Mind : A Search for the Missing Science of Consciousness" by Roger Penrose "Not in our Genes : Biology, Ideology, and Human Nature" R.C. Lewontin, Steven Rose, and Leon J. Kamin "Mind, Matter, and Quantum Mechanics" by Henry P. Stapp "The Holographic Paradigm and other paradoxes : Exploring the leading edge of science" edited by Ken Wilber "Thinking Allowed" edited by Jeffrey Mishlove "The Rediscovery of the Mind" by John R. Searle "The Dreaming Universe" by Fred Alan Wolfe and "The New Inquisition" by Robert Anton Wilson

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