Are the Aliens After our Weed?

It’s not everyday you get to witness an honest-go-goodness UFO sighting. My guess is that most people probably haven’t had the experience for themselves. The last time it happened to me was over forty years ago in the Air Force while living in the barracks at Peterson AFB. A bunch of us jumped in a car and chased down the source of that “UFO” to a low flying advertising plane with matrix light displays under the wings operating about six miles west of base towards the foot of Pikes Peak. So up til now, my only UFO sighting did get identified, thereby making it identified, and therefore moot. And that’s how I figured I’d go out of this world. My one chance at achieving crackpot “I’ve been alien probed” notoriety, nothing more than an ephemeral incident of my slightly more succulent youth.

Well I figured wrong, but in a good way. Turns out I did live long enough to see another UFO, yet (so far at least) avoid the dreaded probings. Let me expound. I was staying out in the high mountain plains with one of my host families last month, about twenty miles east of my many holdings here in the high mountain meadows. It was nearing sundown when my friend came out to Nellybelle for a late afternoon Colorado smoke session.

Out of the blue he inquires, “Have you seen the UFO’s?”

“No, but I see you Bogarting that blunt over there! Don’t try and distract me with stories of ET you cheeky bastard! You know you are in the presence of a superior skeptic!”

I thought that was the end of the conversation but my friend insisted he wasn’t bullshitting me. Been my MO to take claims of UFO sightings from dudes sitting around at sunset, toking blunts as fat as my middle finger, with more than a fair degree of skepticism.

I dropped the “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence!!” bomb on his ass like I was a WWF wrestler standing on the top of the ring, about to slam down on my off-kilter opponent. Just like on the WWF, there I was, airborne and dropping from the top rope when he rolls outta the way and I smack down hard on the mat……

Google it” he says as I peel my face up off the canvas and try to collect my wits, all the while reminding myself, “Mama said there’ll be days like this“.

End Part One……..

Evolution Proven False?

missinglink

This seems as good a time as any to examine the tendency of nut-jobs (religious and otherwise) to grab onto minor controversies within the ranks of their opposition and distort them out of all proportion.

The inspiration for today’s posting comes from Jerry Coyne, who pointed me in the direction of this article in The New York Times, with a further reinforcement from a favorite Youtuber of mine, Coffee With Claire.

The NYT story highlights a case of recently discovered academic fraud within the field of social psychology and the faked data of a Dutch researcher. Claire’s latest YouTube offering reminded me of how it will be misused by anti-science zealots as proof that all of “science” is just one big scam, by invoking the logical fallacy of composition (what is true of the part is necessarily true of the whole). Claire does an excellent take-down of this knuckle dragging God slobberer. His YouTube handle is noimplant4me and his video exemplifying the well worn logical fallacy of composition is here.

Claire rightly notes that noimplant4me fails to mention that in every instance of scientific fraud, it is other scientists who are responsible for policing and catching the miscreants. In the case of noimplant4me, this misuse of logic is aimed at supporting the house of cards that is young earth creationism, but I’ve also seen similar scientific shenanigans leveraged in support of global warning denial.

My noting this tendency will likely have little effect on those who continue to misuse it. That said, I think it is worth mentioning that in this latest example of fraud within the field of social psychology, not much of consequence was really affected. The studies under scrutiny were of the touchy-feely variety and the results, much like religious texts, were manipulated by a man of ignoble character into a framework that fit social convention.

I don’t want to pile on the social psychologists too hard. Sure, most of what they study looks to be about as useful as the beard on my Aunt Bess, but at the end of the day, it’s experts in this field who are responsible for having to make a comprehensible analysis of crazy cultural shit like #atheismplus, so I’ll cut them some slack.

Evolution has not been proven false.

Enjoy.