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Grey Matter


Ufology is NOT a science

Lisa Shiel recently wrote a post at her blog that got me to thinking. The post's title was Is cryptozoology a science? In Lisa's opinion, and I believe she is backed up with the facts, cryptozoology is not a science. Is there scientific work within cryptozoology? Sure there is, but that alone does not make it a science.

Ufology may be even further from being a science than cryptozoology is. There seems to be more physical evidence in cryptozoology that can be studied than in Ufology. Again, I am not saying there is no scientific work going on in Ufology, but that doesn't make it a science. At least cryptozoologists have footprints and hair samples that can be studied by scientists, Ufology has very little physical evidence.

It isn't that there are no physical evidence cases in Ufology, but they are very few. Some would cite crop circles as being physical evidence and while those can be studied scientifically and some may be found to have strange qualities that is still not proof they are made by creatures from another planet or beings from another dimension. The same is true of metal and other artifacts found at a crash sites, landing sites, or where a sighting occurred.

Then there are those who think they are using science to disprove certain UFO cases. Proving that crop circles can be man made doesn't prove that they are only man made. Nor does proving that hedgehogs mate, prove they are all made by mating hedgehogs. If metal found at a crash or landing site proves to be perfectly normal, it doesn't mean nothing out of the ordinary took place, it may just mean that the metal wasn't actually connected to the event. Or it could mean that the event was actually an unknown man made object, but there is no way to absolutely prove any conclusion by merely testing the metal.

So while many out there will be whining about how there is no scientific research into UFOs and everyone in ufology is crazy and should be replaced by real scientists, that will never happen until a flying saucer, or one of those huge triangles crashes into the CNN building. Then it will no longer be called Ufology, it will be given an entirely different name and be studied by "real scientists" and not arm chair ones. Because then there will actually be something for scientists to sink their teeth into. Of course, that may well be happening now, but it goes into that basket of things I can't actually prove just like almost everything else in ufology. Sure there are things I could cite as evidence that could make it seem as though that is going on, but there is no absolute evidence proving that without a shadow of doubt.

In criminal cases prosecutors must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. While I think it is pretty easy to prove there are unidentified objects flying in the sky, it is not easy to prove what they are beyond a reasonable doubt. That goes for both the believers (for lack of a better word) and the skeptics. You can show that one sighting was likely Venus, if there is film you can probably prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, but it is impossible to prove what something was in all cases. That is why we use the term UFO, no? Reserved for unidentified flying objects, once something is determined to be Venus it is no longer a UFO.

So back to the original topic. Ufology is not a science, some may think it is, others might wish that it was, but it isn't. Others like myself may be perfectly happy with that fact. I have never quite understood the human need to take everything mysterious and turn it into something mundane and entirely known.

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