REPLY #1 TO
"PSEUDOSCIENCE AND THE PARANORMAL"
are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.
prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.
My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text
and are prefaced by my initials (MB)
(R) Neighbor, you are about as open-minded as a Baptist minister. As a matter of fact...you might just be.
(MB) Being "open-minded" does not mean that one is willing to accept any piece of claptrap that comes along. It also does not mean that new ideas are rejected off-hand. What it means is that all ideas are subjected to the same standards of evidence and support prior to being accepted. If an idea fails the test, it is discarded. Sitchin fails the test as there are simply too many holes in his ideas to be able to use them to draw any valid conclusions.
(R) I never say Sitchin is infallible.
(MB) Nothing is infallible. However, if a flawed theory can be successfully corrected, it can still present a valid idea. Too many of Sitchin's basic "facts" are irreparably wrong for me to take his overall ideas seriously. He presents many interesting individual bits and pieces of arcana and offers some intriguing alternatives to current interpretations. His ideas have great emotional appeal. Unfortunately, there is no level of emotional appeal that can substitute for being
(R) What are your learned comments regarding the Piri Reis Map?
(MB) Piri Reis was an avid collector of maps and charts. His major contribution was to collate all the available maps of his day and produce a comprehensive "world as we know it" map. However, despite some wild claims to the contrary, his map is not unerringly accurate nor is there anything on it that wasn't already known to his contemporaries.
(R) Was there ever a flood?
(MB) Was there ever a flood of the proportions claimed by the Bible and by the Creationists? Nope. Not a chance. It has been conclusively proven that such a thing is impossible.
(R) Have you never read "A Canticle for Leibowitz"?
(MB) No, I haven't, but I understand that the book is rather popular in some circles. As I understand it, the book is a series of stories describing the author's vision of the future of technology and humanity. Is this book supposed to be something more than well-written fiction?
(R) If you were living centuries ago and some crackpot suggested that earth travels around the sun would you vote to behead the gent?
(MB) Nope, but others did. I would make my decision based on the evidence presented. The others were horrified that the new theory would tear down a basic precept of their beloved religion. I would be receptive to anything that would increase my understanding of reality.
(R) Are you so positive about modern science's present-day accepted theories regarding everything that there is no room for improvement?
(MB) There is always room for improvement. However, the fact that a particular theory has room for improvement does not mean that all conceivable alternatives deserve equal consideration. All must meet the same standards of evidence.
(R) Is it possible to travel through time?
(MB) It is not possible for any object with a positive mass to travel backwards in time. It is possible for the same object to travel forward in time if it achieves speeds near that of light.
(R) Are there pyramids on Mars?
(MB) Are there pyramid-shaped objects on Mars? Yes. Are those objects natural formations? There is no evidence to claim otherwise.
(R) Do you suppose someday they will invent an all-male army?
(MB) I'm not really sure what you're referring to here. Most of the world's armies through history have been all-male until recent years.
(R) How is it possible that the Sumerians described Uranus and Neptune as blue-green, watery, and twinlike 6,000 years ago and yet we had to wait until Voyager 2 revealed this same information in the 1980's?
(MB) It's merely Sitchin using an old technique of fitting known facts to the context of a story one is trying to interpret a certain way. The old Sumerian myths never referred to planets or heavenly bodies, but to various gods. Sitchin has reinterpreted these stories to fit his overall theory and attempts to give them credibility by asking "How did the ancients know this?". It's simple -- they didn't.
(R) I am merely scratching the surface for now. I do not believe you have digested even 1 of Sitchin's 7 magnificent tomes and yet here you are quoting some other pseudo-academic critic as it is easier to do that than to read the cumbersome 7 books for yourself.
(MB) I know enough about the books to know that I really don't want to spend valuable time reading them in their entirety. I am content to listen to both sides of the debate about them and draw my own conclusions from the facts that are presented.
Perhaps you can answer this one for me -- in Sitchin's "The 12th Planet", he includes the Sun and Earth's Moon in his count. Fine, but if he does that, why does he see fit to exclude the other large planetary satellites from his count? Are Europa, Io, Callisto, Ganymede, Triton, and Titan second-class citizens? Why does Earth's Moon deserve special consideration?
(R) The akashic record for your present life will take up very little space at the rate you are going.
(MB) Until such a thing can be shown to exist, I won't spend much time being concerned about it.
(R) And you and I both know that Jesus ain't agonna save us!
(MB) This is true...and I don't worry about that, either. Nor, do I worry about being "saved" by anyone or from anything. When I die, that's it. No afterlife, no subsequent life, and no reason to think otherwise.