Alejandro Rojas and I, at the Roswell debris site.
Are all UFO’s Extraterrestrial? No… Of-course not. Just because it’s unidentifiable to the witness, doesn’t make it a real UFO, and on the flip side for all you skeptics out there, just because it’s unidentifiable to the witness doesn’t necessarily mean it’s automatically not a UFO either. Unlike Santa Clause where believing is seeing, UFO sightings are a bit more complicated.
Back in January of 2013, I wrote a blog about Occam’s Razor. William of Ockham (1287-1349) was an English Franciscan Friar well-known at that time as a Roman Catholic philosopher. He was born in the village of Ockham in the English county of Surrey. He is well-known today for his methodological principle known as “ Ockham’s Razor, or Occam’s Razor”. It suggests when faced with multiple theories or hypotheses, the one that has the least assumptions should be looked at first. It doesn’t mean the one with least assumptions is the correct one, it simply means that’s a good place to start, especially while doing an investigation.
Skeptics try to use Occam’s Razor as an offensive tactic when saying UFO’s in general are not extraterrestrial, because they misunderstand its meaning. They seem to think Occam’s Razor means, the simplest explanation is the most correct, and that’s wrong. Their misunderstanding turns out to be their weakness in a debate scenario.
If their misunderstanding of Occam’s Razor was applied to law enforcement, then homicide detectives would automatically go with the first assumption when investigating a murder case. If they did that, and some have, then the jails would be over-flowing with innocent people falsely accused of a crime. Currently there have been multiple wrongly accused felons exonerated by new forensic evidence, and released from jail, because forensic science is maturing and so is law enforcement techniques.
Some UFO believers also use the misunderstanding of Occam’s Razor as a defensive tactic saying, if it’s unidentifiable to them, then it must be extraterrestrial. This is wrong too!
The problem falls really on both sides, the believers, and the non-believers. Sometimes things aren’t what they appear to be, and we shouldn’t be making haste assumptions, positive or negative. Sometimes we have a tendency to surmise or make decisions way too quickly without thinking things through properly. Our quick decisions can get us into trouble and sometimes they can get us out of trouble, but when we have a little more time to think about it, maybe there was a better decision.
Take this simple word problem for example:
A bat and baseball cost $1.10. The bat costs one dollar more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? This seems pretty simple to answer using basic logic. If you said, “10 cents”, hey guess what? You’re wrong! It appears the simple or quick thinking answer is not the correct one. The answer is actually “5 cents”.
This is where the misunderstanding of Occam’s Razor applies, and also the misunderstanding of the “seeing is believing” scenario. When you work the word problem out mathematically you get the correct answer.
x represents the price of the ball
x + ($1.00 + x) = $1.10
$1.00 + 2x = $1.10
2x = $1.10 – $1.00
2x = $0.10
Solve for x:
x = $0.05
Even after looking at the equation, it doesn’t make sense when you compare it to the word problem, but there it is, the ball costs 5 cents not 10.
The same type of thinking goes for UFO sightings. Just because you see a light in the sky or a shiny object flying by, don’t automatically assume it’s extraterrestrial. Take a little time trying to understand what you’re seeing. Can you compare it to an airplane? A mylar balloon? A string of balloons? How about an airplane banking in a turn with one of its wings briefly reflecting the sun? How about a bright light at night? Does it move with the stars over a period of time? And now commercial drones are being flown everywhere, can you compare it to that? And after going through all the plausible scenarios, does it still appear to be a true phenomenon?
As for the skeptics, just don’t assume you know what you’re talking about either, go through the same type of decision making process to make your case. You may be right, then again, you may be wrong, remember the 5 cent ball.
As for the base ball word problem, majority of people fail to get the correct answer, including Ivy League graduate students. It’s not that people who got the answer wrong are less smart than those few who got it right, it’s just that we have a habit of making quick decisions and accepting them. The people who got the wrong answer and admitted it, are the ones that see the world a little differently and can except new ideologies… like intelligent life living outside our solar system, with a 5 cent base ball in their hand.
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