Msg: #4675 Sec: 1 - UFOlogy 28-MAR-87 05:28 PMSubj: Isaac Asimov (R)From: Sysop To: AllDr.

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Msg: #4675 Sec: 1 - UFOlogy 28-MAR-87 05:28 PMSubj: Isaac Asimov (R)From: Sysop To: AllDr. Isaac Asimov, the world's most prolific writer, made a comment on lastnight's Larry King Show that points up the haughty attitude of science towardsUFOs. He said that he doesn't believe ETs are coming here in spaceships. Hebelieves people are merely seeing lights in the sky that they can't identify.He said he's seen them himself. Now, here's one of the most brilliantscientific thinkers of the century, admitting not the slightest curiousityabout a phenomenon he has visually confirmed for himself.I have been interested in UFOs for over 20 years. I have no special scientifictraining. Yet I have never, not once, seen an object, day or night, that Icould not positively identify. If I can acknowledge a genuine scientificcuriousity about the phenomenon, why can't the so-called Balzak of Science,Isaac Asimov?What is Science afraid of?From: Dean Mccarron To: Sysop (X)It's afraid of nothing. It's just that it takes resources to investigatelights in the sky, and as UFOs are very unpredictable, it's far easier to workwith something else. (In other words, it is a matter of economics, andworking conditions.)DeanFrom: Sysop To: Dean Mccarron (X)Dean, I couldn't disagree more. Right now, Carl Sagan is campaigning to raise$80 million for SETI, a project which has been in operation in one form oranother for 25 years now and has turned up absolutely 0 results. There is notthe slightest shred of evidence, scientific or anecdotal, that ETs are usingradio waves to communicate with this planet. He will probably get the money,or something close to it.Meantime, an attorney named Robert Bletchman is struggling to raise $27,000for UFO research, a field which, over forty years, has produced vast amountsof evidence - mostly anecdotal but the hard stuff IS there - for itsexistence. Yet its questionable whether he will get it.The question of economics comes back to the question of attitudes.(I know what you're going to ask...What will we do with the money? Go ahead,ask.)JimFrom: Dean Mccarron To: Sysop (X)It's still a question of economics, and the lab-type situation. Let's face it-- when somebody spends $80 million, they want to see a nice laboratory,sophisticated equipment, etc. If the UFO researchers are really interested inmoney, it would be wise to make themselves look more like mainstream science;in fact, they could probably get much better funding if they representedthemselves as "anti" UFO types, or debunkers. (After all, it didn't hurtRandi, did it?)DeanFrom: Sysop To: Dean Mccarron (X)If someone were to spend just 1% of that $80 million on ufology, believe me,they'd see plenty of nice lab equipment, mainly photo-analysis computers,medical labs, radiation detection equipment, etc. They would also see ufologyget a whole lot more scientific. Let's put the cart before the horse.Ufology is filled with mainstream scientists: Nuclear physicist StantonFriedman, Dr. Richard Haines of NASA, Dr. James Harder of UC Berkeley, MichaelSwords, Ph.D., Professor David M. Jacobs, Professor Ronald Story, US Navyoptical physicist Dr. Bruce Maccabee, (the late) astronomer Dr. J. AllenHynek, computer scientist Dr. Jacques Vallee, Professor Ray Stanford, (thelate) meteorologist Dr. James McDonald, Boston Planetarium astronomer WalterWebb....need I go on?Why should we have to misrepresent ourselves in order to get money? Do youthink the phenomenon merits the influx of funds or don't you? Its as simple asthat.JimFrom: Tom Betz To: Sysop (X)BTW, it's "Balzac", Jim. I don't begrudge Dr. A. his lack of curiousity... as long as he keeps turning out all that stimulating reading, and opposing themilitarization of space, I'll be happy to forgive him his lack of curiousity. Hell, he just doesn't have the time! Besides, his admitted fear of flyingwould handicap him seriously as a UFO researcher. Let others better suited tothe task do it... and chain Dr. A. to his word processor, where he can makehis unique contribution to our society.From: Sysop To: Tom Betz (X)I agree, I'm one of Dr. A's biggest fans. That's why I'm doubly disappointedin him. But I'm pointing him out as an example of the attitudes somescientists take, in the name of Science. Another example is his statements onthe Shroud of Turin. Asimov is an avowed Atheist, head of American Humanists,member of CSICOP's religious counterpart, member of American's for ReligiousLiberty, etc. Yet he has not bothered to study the Shroud, which could be theonly evidence extant that would completely nullify his point of view (whichalso happens to be mine). I HAVE bothered to study it, and I tell you I'mimpressed. But the point is, why should I exhibit more scientific curiousitythan Asimov? And how can he maintain, indeed, flaunt his point of view withoutexamining the evidence?From: Tom Betz To: Sysop (X)Look, all he did was answer questions. I heard that program, and I didn'thear him pushing an opinion, I heard him say, in response to questions fromfolks calling in, what his opinion was, and that he hadn't checked out theevidence. _You_ haven't written and published 357 books and a thousand of twoshort stories since 1938... can you imagine how much TIME that takes? 14hours a day, seven days a week... the guy is just always writing orresearching what he's writing... and he's an acrophobe, which makes it hardfor him to travel to the sources of some of these things (UFO sightings,Turin, etc.) I can't fault him... but YOU, Jim, why haven't you written atleast a hundred books? Huh??Answer me THAT!!tbFrom: Sysop To: Tom Betz (X)Tom: Asimov did not seem to be pushing an opinion on Larry King, its true. Hedoes, however, push his opinions by dint of his association with suchorganizations as CSICOP, American Humanists, etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm asubscriber to both Skeptical Inquirer and Free Inquiry, and basically classmyself as a skeptic and a secular humanist. But I, at least, will break withboth those organizations on certain issues where I have taken the time toexamine the evidence. I think that someone as pre-eminent as Asimov has a dutyto his readers to either push an opinion based on his own examinations, orelse not state an opinion.As to my writing at least a hundred books, I'm working on it! And I don't knowthat Asimov has written that many books. The fact that there are 357 bookswith his name on it is circumstantial. _I_ didn't see him write them. JimFrom: Tom Betz To: Sysop (X)heheheFrom: Shon White To: Sysop (X)i'v seen a ufo or something i couldn't identify. But i think that somewhereout in the universe there are other life forms. SHON WHITE *****************************From: Sysop To: Shon WhiteShon: As I've said before, not many people deny that there are other life forms.Even Carl Sagan believes this, or he wouldn't be chasing after all this moneyto fund SETI. Where the argument breaks down is that mainstreamers do notb

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