Reason • Reality • Philosophy • Science • Psychology • Spirituality
How about UFO's?
I was wondering what The Scionics Institutes view on the UFO phenomenon was.
This is related to the question of whether or not there are other intelligent beings in the universe, and whether or not other any such beings are visiting Earth.
We know that life evolved on Earth, and that it eventually gave rise to human beings. Although conditions vary widely from planet to planet, we have no reason to think that the conditions which gave rise to life on Earth were particularly special or unique in the universe. To put it another way, the universe is so vast, and planets are so plentiful, that it seems likely that there are many planets with conditions sufficiently similar to Earth to have allowed for the advent of life, and the subsequent evolution of intelligent life.
That being said, we are still operating from a sample of one, from among the countless planets. After all, we have not yet seen any definitive evidence of extraterrestrial life, and certainly not of extraterrestrial intelligence. These may be out there, but we have not yet seen any. It is possible that the advent of life requires events of such a low probability that even our own existence defies the odds, and we may in fact be the only life, or only intelligent life, in the universe. On the other hand, it may be the case that, given a few billion years with the right planetary condition, life is almost inevitable. This remains an unanswered question for now.
There are no well-verified cases of extraterrestrial UFOs. We now live in a world where just about everyone, at least in moderately advanced societies, carries a camera (and a video camera) around with them as an integral part of their phones. Yet, there are no really good pictures or videos of such craft. There is also no credible physical evidence of extraterrestrial technology, or of extraterrestrial aliens themselves.
While on the topic, all sorts of claims have been made regarding “ancient aliens,” often related to pyramids or other ancient sites; in fact, there is a television show by the same name, “Ancient Aliens,” which is famous for making such claims. When these claims are examined (using the search techniques we described in the last paragraph of this post, for example) they are exposed as nonsense (at best) and lies (at worst).
So…no credible evidence of alien visitation, either in modern times or in the past. In that case, then, how are reports of “close encounters” to be explained? In the middle ages in Europe, witchcraft was part of what we may call the “popular mythology” of the time. Whether due to hallucination (which can occur for a number of reasons), misinterpretation, or simple fabrication, people of the Middle Ages at times reported phenomena related to their popular mythology, including witchcraft.
In more modern times, with the general increase in scientific knowledge and the simultaneous decrease in belief in things like witchcraft, the “popular mythology” is now populated with pseudoscientific things such as UFOs, crystal healing, sacred geometry, chi, chakras, flat Earth, and so on. Thus, today (again, whether due to hallucination, misinterpretation, or fabrication) people are far more likely to report close encounters with UFOs and extraterrestrials than witches.