Date: Sat May 14 1994 10:52:12 Subj: MACK - BEE LettersToEd UFO - LETTERS TO EDITOR 05/12/

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Date: Sat May 14 1994 10:52:12 From: Sheppard Gordon Subj: MACK - BEE LettersToEd UFO ------------------------------- LETTERS TO EDITOR 05/12/94 THE SACRAMENTO BEE Pseudoscience The Forum article "UFO alert: Aliens are kidnapping my patients! declares Harvard doc" may have looked like something out of the National Enquirer, but it was actually much worse. Written by a credentialed professor of psychiatry from the Harvard Medical School, it is nothing less than sanctioned pseudoscience. In science, any assertion is verified or falsified by matching the claim against physical evidence. Pseudoscience deals in what people say. The author stated, "I have myself studied an object that was given to me by one of my clients, after it came out of her nose." This is "evidence"? How do we know that:it really came out of her nose; she didn't put it in her nose; she is not lying; or that Dr. John E. Mack is not making things up? There was no empirical evidence exhibited in this article, only personal reports. And in science, that is no evidence at all. Paul Geisert Sacramento ### Why did The Bee publish the "UFO alert" article? Some possibilities: A bunch of aliens took over the presses; the National Enquirer is thinking of moving in, and The Bee was gearing up for the competition; The Bee's calendar is a whole month behind (April Fools' Day is over for 1994); or there is among the decision-making staff of Sacramento's only daily newspaper either an abysmal lack of understanding of what real science is, or a serious failure of judgment about what is service vs. disservice. I favor No. 4. How sad to see The Bee print a pseudoscientific article in the heretofore serious news section. Mynga Futrell Sacramento

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