From the Chicago Tribune, 6/26/94: Outer space creatures need not apply on Earth Associate

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From the Chicago Tribune, 6/26/94: Outer space creatures need not apply on Earth Associated Press TUKWILA, Wash.--So you believe Earth has been visited by unidentified flying objects and the evidence has been supressed by the government? Or that hypnosis or psychotherapy can enable you to recover memories from before you were born? Or that creatures from outer space regularly abduct humans, subject them to sexual abuse and use them for breeding experiments with aliens? Well, you have plenty of company, and that makes you a part of one of the biggest problems in science, say astronomer Carl Sagan and other debunkers of pseudoscientific misconceptions. "It's not that we're grumpy about lost continents or UFOs," Sagan said Friday at the national convention of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, a skeptics' group. "It's that the world can ill afford such scientific illiteracy." Surveys indicate 25 percent to 50 percent of adult U.S. citizens "don't know the Earth goes around the sun once a year," Sagan said. "Almost every newspaper in the United States has an astrology column...and none has a daily science column. Some have a weekly science column. Why is that?" he asked. "When is the last time you heard an intelligent remark on science from a president of the United States?" He was joined by Philip Klass, a UFO investigator and former senior avionics editor of Aviation Week and Space Technology, and Elizabeth Loftus, a University of Washington psychology professor and expert on repressed and false memory, at a news conference during the conference. Klass attacked the claims of alien abduction devotees who believe people who suppress memories of being abducted and molested will be doomed to repeat the experience--along with their children and grandchildren. Most of the 740 people attending the convention are psychologists, said Paul Kurtz, chairman and founder of the committee, based in Buffalo. On Thursday, there was a debate between John Mack, a Harvard psychiatrist who believes about 90 of his patients have been abducted and molested by space aliens, and Donna Bassett, a journalist from North Carolina who convinced Mack she was an abductee and then wrote about her "treatment."


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