is there evidence for alien abductions etc.?

Discussion in 'Pseudoscience Archive' started by duendy, Nov 2, 2005.

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  1. Gustav Banned Banned

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    you ignore my argument/points and go off on a tangent
    i do not say it with every response
     
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  3. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

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    They're piled up. And, contrary to the believer position, this "pile" is problematic for the alien hypothesis, not a proof. The very fact that the numbers of alleged "abductees" is increasing and the number of testable, physical evidence remains the same (zero), is indicative that the commonality shared by these people isn't "aliens" but their minds. That is the one thing each of these people have in common: they each believe (or many of them do) that they've been abducted by alien beings.

    There's no chunk of metal from the hull of a ship or other piece of material that can be tested to show characteristics that don't exist here on Earth (like isotopic ratios, ductility, conductivity, etc.). Nor are there any nicked items from a space ship. Nor are there any physical traces of unexplained organic matter (alien "dna" -if such a thing exists). Nor are there any interior photos of space ships. Indeed, the number of flying saucer photos is on the decrease in nations where camera numbers & technology is on the increase.

    Mack (1992, p.7) says, "Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of American men, women and children may have experienced UFO abductions, or abduction-related phenomena," yet amateur astronomers rarely report sighting UFOs. One would think that this culture of our population would be in a position to see the most UFOs since they make it their habit and hobby to stare at the night sky.

    It would be akin to world scientists conducting a major investigation into the claims of people "speaking tounges" in churches. Or that the Holy Ghost was "felt" by parrishoners. I realize that there are UFO believers who are immediately offended at the comparison of the supernatural to extraterrestrial visitation, but it really is the same thing. Indeed, there are many similarities that go far beyond the fact that neither has tangible or testable evidence. The so-called aliens are every bit as elusive as the Holy Ghost and every bit as anecdotal in nature. Who would pay for the investigations of either?

    Several other characterisations: abductees will speak of being processed like guinea pigs. Rarely do we hear of accounts involving conversation. And most abductions occur under cover of night. Now, don't dismiss these simple, prominent characterisations too readily. You [and your ilks] dismiss abductees as liars, attention-seekers, story tellers, crazies, and whatnot. So then, why aren't their stories more hyped up? More spiced up? Where's the intoxication?

    As I stated earlier, it is the mind which alleged abductees have in common, not actual aliens. You say "plot," and the plot is very similar among abduction cases. However, the details vary widely depending on who you're talking to: what the aliens were wearing, what exactly they looked like, what types of medical devices were used, that kind of thing, all vary greatly. Another commonality is that "alien abductions" begin to occur after they are depicted in movies and popular literature. The Outer Limits had a number of episodes in the 1960's where aliens came to the planet and performed medical experiments. From a cultural anthropological perspective, this is an example of the feedback loop of media culture and popular culture.

    That's not to say that people didn't experience problems associated with their minds before the media picked up on the alien abduction theme. Indeed, this is probably the single best explanation for a progenitor for the beginning of a feedback loop that has become the extraterrestrial visitation cultural phenomenon.

    But the cultural influences give rise to delusions and false memories about aliens. I realize, too, that the word "delusion" is instantly considered to be offensive and perhaps ad hominem in nature, but it need not be so. Let me offer this quote from a paper that was unconnected directly to the UFO/ETI phenomenon:

    Anyone can have delusions and they are a natural byproduct of our attempts to explain the unusual things that happen to us.

    Maher (1974) asserts that delusions are formed in a particular sequence:

    1. An unusual perceptual experience -intense and pervasive but not shared by others.
    2. The conclusion that the experience, because it is not shared, is personally significant.
    3. The arousal of anxiety due to the presence of an unexplained experience.
    4. Explanation of the experience by means of intellectual processes that are essentially normal.
    5. Reduction of hte anxiety after the explanation is achieved.
    6. Persistence of hte explanation as a defense against further anxiety.

    There was however, a paper that looked at false memories as they related directly to the alien "abduction" phenomenon. Lynn & Kirsch listed as the steps to false memory creation:


    1. A person is predisposed to accept the idea that certain puzzling or "inexplicable" experiences (e.g. amnesia, paralysis) might be telltale signs of UFO abduction.
    2. The person seeks out a therapist, whom he or she views as an authority and who i, at the very least, receptive to this explanation and has some prior familiarity with UFO abduction reports.
    3. Alternately, the therapist frames the puzzling experiences in terms of an abduction narrative.
    4. Alternative explanations of the experiences are not explored.
    5. There is increasing commitment to the "abduction" explanation and increasing anxiety reduction associated with ambiguity reduction.
    6. The therapist legitimates or ratifies the "abductee's" experience, which constitutes additional positive reinforcement.
    7. The client adopts the role of the "victim" or "abductee," which becomes integrated into the psychotherapy and the client's view of self.

    Whether their criteria are accurate or provide a basis for prediction probably remains to be seen, but it provides a place to start that is reasonable in place of the fantastic (a plausible explanation vs. an implausible). A starting point that is measurable and testable until such time as the physical evidence is produced.

    As to the "inexplicable" experiences that Lynn & Kirsch suggest, one very likely starting point is Sleep Paralysis. Studies show that somewhere between 25-40% of the population have had the experience of being aware sleep paralysis (ASP) (Fukuda et al 1987). During this condition, people are unable to move with exception of their eyes, they feel increasingly heavy, and have increased heart rates as well as the possibility of difficulty breathing and acute anxiety.

    This is almost exactly the symptoms reported by Streiber (1987) in Communion: A True Story.

    And of 254 participants in a sleep paralysis study conducted by Cheyne et al (1999), 99 reported auditory experiences and 75 reported visual experiences. This is hypnagogic and hypnopompic imagery. Those that suffer it experience auditory and visual hallucinations as well as a sense of presence or impending evil threat.

    Scientists can't investigate UFOs and abductions -they simply aren't any more testable than religious miracles and myths. But they can test the psychology of the human mind.

    The problem is, believers don't want to here it. The skeptic can no more convince the believer that aliens don't exist any more than the atheist can convince the theist of the same. But it is still fascinating to study the magical thought of humanity nonetheless.

    References

    Cheyne, J.A., Rueffer, S.D., & Newby-Clark, I.R. (1999b). Hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations during sleep paralysis: Neurological and cultural construction of the night-mare. Consciousness and Cognition, 8, 319–337

    Fukuda, K.; Miyasita, A.; Inugami, M.; Ishihara, K.; (1987). High prevalence of isolated sleep paralysis: kanashibari phenomenon in Japan. Sleep, 10, 279-286.

    Kihlstrom, J. F. & Hoyt, I.P. (1988). Hypnosis and the psychology of delusions. In T. F. Oltmanns & B. A. Maher (eds.), Delusional beliefs: Interdisciplinary perspectives. New York: Wiley

    Lynn, S. J.; Kirsch, I.I. (1996) Alleged Alien Abductions: False Memories, Hypnosis, and Fantasy Proneness. Psychological Inquiry, 7(2), 151-156.

    Mack, J.E. (1994). Abduction: Human encounters with aliens. New York: Scribners.

    Maher, B. A. (1974). Delusional thinking and perceptual disorder. Journal of Individual Psychology, 30, 98-113

    Strieber, W. (1987). Communion: A true story. New York: Morrow.
     
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  5. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    Hey Skinwalker....you have got it all worked out haven't you? your materialist dogma that is....'the skeptic can in no way convince the believer that aliens dont exist, as athiests cannot convince theists the same'....what yo meean theists believe in UFOS, abductions...? ....oh right, you mean 'spiritual experieces' or do you mean ;Literalism', an can you tell the difference? just how good is your analytical cap any way? does it only go so far o do you apply it to other fields like the history of religion, and the origins of science and etc

    well skin, i happen to anaylyze YOUR behaviour at debate and i notice that you stick in a rut of your presuppositions. For example anyting i have said about science not undersstanding consciousness in its entireity, and materialism.....well, it might have as well of allen on deaf ears with you/or blind eyes. not a mention. what does this ommission say to me? it says that you are not seriously wanting to explore....that you yourself are deluded--as you define it. you just do not want to look outside the box you hav made for ourself. what can anyone do, when te other rfuses to engage with their points?
     
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  7. shaman_ Registered Senior Member

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    So how many of skinwalker's points did you engage in that post duendy?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2005
  8. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    the 'points' are coming from A materialist
    PREMISE. which i AM challenging. ie., going for the jugular. you hadn't noticed........? now why doesn't THAT surprise me?
     
  9. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    Oooh, so you don't consider any points by people who you value "materialist"?
    Good, good, may I suggest that you talk only in the religious section from now on?
    Or maybe take a course in Critical thinking.
     
  10. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    may i suggest you mind yer own business where i post?....and, if your general contributions are an example of 'critical thinking' i thinki will pass your advice. thankyaverymuch. good bye, so long farewell

    oh. hello agin (sheeeit)
     
  11. Gustav Banned Banned

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    false
    astronomers, amateur or otherwise peer out into space, not the night sky. situating themselves in their backyard, focusing on a distant object out in space would definitely cause them to completely miss out on sighting the klingon battleship hovering above their frontyard

    the alleged similarities do not in anyway imply a common causative factor. the psychosocial hypothesis will not suffice as the sole explanation to the et/ufo phenomena. the simple fact remains that there are additional forms of evidence that should be considered and not ignored

    We are agreed that the puzzle of what was seen on the radar screens and in the East Anglian skies in 1956 is embedded in a human, political and military-historical puzzle every bit as fascinating, and almost as inscrutable. We hope that our attempt to illuminate this intricate enigma will be useful on several different levels, historical, investigative and scientific. All five contributors, despite having differing approaches and opinions, agree this is an instructive case and its re-investigation has brought to light information that not only overturns all previous accounts, but provides the sort of data that scientists claim has been previously lacking in the field of UFOlogy." bentwaters

    i will not commit myself either way as to the validity of data presented nor do i reach any particular conclusion but the bentwater investigation is a fairly decent example that should debunk the absolutely moronic claim that it would be akin to investigating the holy fucking ghost

    i repeat....introducing fairies, deamons and dragons, fantasy creatures, the holy ghost and comparing it with entirely plausible concept of an et ufo is patently bogus a belief in fairies or the easter bunny is qualitatively different from a belief in et ufos. one is grounded in fantasy, the other in statistical probabilities.

    skinwalker (the pseudo skeptic), i suggest you stick to conventional formatting. ie: format all of meanwhile's quoted text.
     
  12. Gustav Banned Banned

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    i entirely agree with this.
     
  13. ... em, Gussy old man? You're still on Skinwalkers ignore list y'know. He can't actually read you. The lucky, lucky bastard...
     
  14. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

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    I mean the supernatural. Alien visitation falls in the supernatural category in the same way the Holy Ghost does. Neither is testable, both are possible, and both must be taken on faith and belief based on hope and fantasy, not evidence. Skeptics cannot convince believers (of aliens or the Holy Ghost) that the evidence is lacking. Believers simply aren't open-minded enough to consider the consequences, though this condition isn't necessarily permanent. I was once a believer in the paranormal. I credit an education and development of critical thought for my current agnostic perspective of both aliens and gods.

    It most definately applies to these areas as well. I've been highly critical of religiousity in man and, indeed, I think belief in alien adbuctions/visitations to be yet another manifestation of the human condition to believe and establish religion. Heaven's Gate & Raelian cults lend credibility to this hypothesis, as do cults of personality such as Steven Greer et al.

    What it should say is that I find your criticisms of science, a process, to be uninformed and baseless not to mention unsupported. Though I am fascinated with your anti-science worldview sprinkled with an occasional demand for scientific inquiry. You claim to "anaylyze (sic) my behavior at debate" but refuse to address the individual points I offer for discussion. I offer these provisionally and am willing to side with or against either depending upon how they are rationalized by others. I offer them as prosaic but testable alternatives to the supernatural explanation of invisible aliens.

    The answer is in the human mind, not spaceships circling the earth.
     
  15. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    gustav and skin....(certain parts of reply will refer to something you said a post ago)
    Skin........yousay your fascianted with my anti-scince view yet my wanting to scientifically explore...or words to that effect?..i am not anti-science. i am anti sciencism, as i keep trying to explain. again then: sciencism is a mode of thought which steadfastedly clings...for dear life, to a materilistic worldview
    Fritjof Capra--heard of him. he is a scientist. yet his views are not like materialistic views at all

    now skin and gustav.......about fairies and things. you must be aware of the research of Jacques Valle?....almost uniquely---? he has looked at certain similarities from pre-modern accounts of 'magical' experiences, and compared them with UF and abduction reported accounts today. Also te late DrMack also recounted how similar were some abduction reports to shamanic experiences, and NDE experiences etc

    So, faced with tis research whats the nest step? do we simply throw out te whole lot ...becase we assume tat te previous experiences are whacko, mentally ill, lies......? is that the scientific way to go?....do we divide up the more 'significant UFO/abduction reports' as te ones most likey 'serious' (Gustav)
    or just discount them ANDthe other. te whole lot (Skinwalker)?

    i am exploring this myself. which means i have not come to any conclusion

    Someting you said Skin that i VERY much agree with....ie., your fear of UFO ET interest and belief in can lad to insidious and very dangerous cults like the one you mentioned. YES. some argue that that is actually being manipulated by the Illuminati!!

    BUT...hey. over there is this family see. a mum, gran and two kids. real people. can tell just lookinat em. they HAVE an experience of abduction. so what do we do...call them whackos?...that it is all in teir mind?

    explore' all in the mind'....and apply it to what i am encouraging exploring to TRY get over a deep impasse--CONSCIOUSNESS

    you say you have studied the history of religion right? you do know that the Christian church persecuted peple who claimed to have 'weird' experiences dont you...??
     
  16. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    .....further.....i had an experience which was very real, where i interacted wit mythical looking entities. so i go to Skin and tell him...he says 'oh...it's all in yer mind'...thAT VERY STATEMENT IS A METAPHYSICAL assumption. it is really not saying anything. it is DISMISIVE REACTION TO THE UNKNOWN......and that kind of Uncritical thinking cretes an impasse to deep inquiry about other phenomena

    i am exploring that there is a contiuum between such experiential encounters with entities and UFO/abduction.....continuum as in interdimensional continuum. and in tis continuum te 'other' an also be 'solid' and leave implants and scars etc

    Skin....you confess you used to be a 'believer' in the paranormal but that education got you over it. ...now, how do you KNOW tha eduction hasn't dulled you to it. how?
     
  17. SkinWalker Archaeology / Anthropology Moderator

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    Not at all. If you would bother to educate yourself or even read the information I posted above, perhaps even follow the citations to their sources, you might discover that these problems of the mind are testable and verifiable. They are also reproducible in a controlled environment. Sleep disorders are well-understood. As are other disorders and problems of the mind that are very common. Delusion can occur to us all. One doesn't have to be "whacko" as you say to be deluded, have a hallucination, or misperceive an extraordinary experience of his/her mind.

    I'd like to see you test this fantasy. Indeed, I'd like to see the evidence of this "implants." People get scars. Shit happens. Nothing extraterrestrial about that.

    Because now I am able to reason and think critically with the benefit of both experience and knowledge. I dare say, that you exhibit little of either, though I won't assume it to not exist.
     
  18. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    whayyyy how vewryy daaaare you
    seriously. how does one KNOWthey have become indoctrinated by 'educatiion'--a cult. obviously it's very hard cause they dont gotya!....have you studied also the history of 'education'---The intentionsof its founders per chance........critical-thinker-you?
     
  19. duendy Registered Senior Member

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    would like to add ---they dont know the source and MEANING of the content either
     
  20. Gustav Banned Banned

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    frankie, you old fart. you mean to say you envy skinwalker? i am absolutely sure that you have the very same privileges that skinwalker has on this board. so go on, explore the ignore function and get to be a"lucky, lucky bastard." who knows, you might even get back your normal complexion
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2005
  21. Hey. Who doesn't?
     
  22. Gustav Banned Banned

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    my my
    a fanboy
    how absolutely pathetic
     
  23. Gus, Gussy-babes. Don't be so hard on yourself. Just because he hates you doesn't mean the rest of of us feel the same way. I imagine.

    Anyway, where does the time go? It's been real.

    Toodles.

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