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  Columnist: William B Stoecker

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Is ufology infected by materialism?

Posted on Wednesday, 21 August, 2013 | 30 comments
Columnist: William B Stoecker

Philosophical materialists believe that the primary reality is matter, or, in the parlance of modern physics, mass/energy and space/time...the observable, measurable physical universe. The mind is merely a series of electrochemical reactions in the brain and there is no afterlife, no God, and no moral absolutes. Yet, ultimately, materialists cannot define matter, energy, space, or time. By contrast, philosophical idealists believe that the primary reality is mind/thought/consciousness/soul/spirit... which they cannot define. The mind in a sense dreams the universe; indeed, all the universe is but a great thought. If the idealists are correct, there probably is an afterlife, and, for all of us to be at least roughly on the same page, perceiving at least approximately the same universe (otherwise we could not interact with one another or with the rest of the universe) our minds must be connected at some higher level, forming a greater, or universal mind...God. I must admit at this point that I have become convinced that idealism is the correct view. After all, how can we be absolutely certain that the material universe out there is real and independent of our thoughts? The answer is that we cannot be quite certain. Yet we can be certain that we think, meaning that our minds exist. If mind is the only thing whose existence is a certainty, does it not seem likely that mind (or soul, or spirit) is the primary reality? Adding to that is the evidence for intelligent design, which I have discussed elsewhere, and which requires, of course, an intelligent designer. Almost by definition the only being with the time, the power, and the patience to create (by thinking them) a multitude of organisms and then spend billions of years tinkering with the basic design and introducing new models based on the older models would be a Supreme Being.

Materialism cannot adequately explain the phenomenon of synchronicity, or clustering of like objects, people, and events, yet it is well documented, and the evidence for hauntings, telepathy, and other paranormal phenomena is also better documented than most materialists are willing to admit. And how do we explain beauty? It is easy to see why a man finds a young woman to be beautiful, or why a beach and ocean, a stream, or a grassy meadow might be beautiful...these are all habitats likely to provide food, water, and shelter. But why is a glaciated mountain peak or a winter landscape beautiful? It is hard to survive in winter, or on a steep and heavily crevassed glacier. Why is a tiger beautiful? It represents danger and death to human beings. Again, materialism seems to fail as an explanation.

Be that as it may, and whether or not someone believes in materialism or idealism, there should be little doubt that the majority of modern scientists, especially physicists, cosmologists, and evolutionary biologists, are dedicated materialists...even though many of them have never considered the matter and are not truly aware that they even have any philosophical viewpoint. They just take materialism for granted, assuming, with considerable arrogance, that all right-thinking people “know” that there is no God and that the only reality is the material universe. In fact, one of the main reasons why so many cosmologists now advocate a theory of infinite parallel universes is that the constants in our universe, and even the relative sizes and distances of our Moon and Sun are just too perfect, too “designed.” They are yet more evidence for the existence of a Supreme Being, a being far more powerful and intelligent than the scientists can ever be, and this simply won't do. Better a multitude of universes where one (ours) is statistically certain to have all the right constants. To some of us, this seems to be a rather poor way to do science.

Ufologists, people who believe that UFOs exist and are worth studying, consider themselves, with some justification, to be independent thinkers, open minded seekers of truth. They are certainly willing to investigate areas that mainstream science tends to ignore. Yet, since the earliest days of UFO investigation, the overwhelming majority of ufologists have insisted that UFOs must be spacecraft from another solar system. Even now, few are willing to consider the possibility that they might be from within our own Solar System, even though Mars almost certainly had conditions favorable to life in the remote past (and even today may not be quite as harsh a world as NASA and JPL have led us to believe). Mysterious structures on Mars and the Moon seem to indicate that someone lived there in the past, and may still be there today, perhaps in underground habitats. Nor are most ufologists open to the idea that the Nazis may have developed gravity control craft, perhaps by rediscovering technologies from Mankind's distant past, or that our own or other governments may have such craft...despite the evidence that Townsend Brown's electrogravitics technology really works. As for the idea that UFOs might be unknown life forms living in our own atmosphere and beyond, or that they may be paranormal entities taking on various shapes in order to deceive us, few researchers are open minded enough to consider it. Of course, almost from the beginning there have been some who are willing to entertain notions contrary to the “nuts and bolts” paradigm. Jacques Vallee and the late John Keel come to mind, among others.

This certainly does not mean that there cannot be alien visitors, even aliens from other star systems, or that some UFOs cannot be machines. Clearly, something very mysterious crashed at Roswell, and something equally strange came down at Kecksburg, and, both times, the US military carted the wreckage away, never to be seen again by any of us commoners. Author and researcher Kevin Randle has written of the USAF UFO crash retrieval team and furnished copies of government documents proving that at least part of its mission was, in fact, to retrieve crashed UFOs. In my book and in at least one article, I have discussed my own experiences with some rather sinister former members of this team. That some UFOs are machines, whatever their origin, cannot rationally be denied. The real problem is that researchers who should know better rule out any possibility that some UFOs might be something else. And many ufologists are prone to make sweeping declarations about the “Pleiadeians” or the “Sirians,” as if they somehow know for certain the origin of our visitors. Proponents of the “ancient aliens” theory assert dogmatically that our ancestors could not possibly have been clever enough to develop any technology at all on their own, and the great discoveries of the past, and the great achievements like the building of massive megalithic structures could only have been accomplished by aliens from distant worlds. Oh, really? What about the possibility that some of our remote ancestors were more intelligent and more creative than we imagine? What about the possibility that, if they did indeed receive help, the inspiration was given to them by paranormal entities or even by God? And who inspired the aliens to develop their own technology? Other, even more ancient aliens? If so, who taught them?

Abductees and people who have had close encounters with UFOs have reported a bewildering variety of “aliens,” including (among others) the ever-popular “Grays,” reptilians, mantis-like creatures, robotic entities, and “Aryans.” Some researchers suggest that this means that our world is being visited regularly by races from a great many planets, who apparently have nothing better to do than to cross light years of space and abduct people. While recent discoveries in astronomy prove that most stars have planetary systems, they also prove that most of these systems are very different from our own. As yet, no Earth-sized planet in a “Goldilocks zone” has been found. Planets much larger than Earth are likely to be too volcanically active to support advanced life forms (invariably, more massive objects in space have hotter interiors than less massive ones) and planets much smaller than our own would not have enough gravity to hold on to much of an atmosphere. Most of the stars in our galaxy as well as in other galaxies are concentrated near the center or in dense globular clusters where the light from a multitude of nearby stars would make most planets too hot, and relatively frequent and nearby super novae would wipe out most life forms that did manage to develop. Many of the stars in our galaxy are Population Two stars with almost no elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, and hence no chance of solid planets. Most stars are red dwarf stars, and planets close enough to these relatively cool suns to be warm enough for liquid water on the surface would be blasted by solar flares and also would become tide-locked, with one hemisphere always facing the star and becoming too hot for life, and the other hemisphere so cold that even the atmosphere would freeze. So planets like our own and races anything like the ones reported by abductees would be very, very rare.

Yet many, many ufologists insist that all UFOs must be craft from other solar systems and refuse even to consider the possibility that some may be paranormal in nature. There is really only one explanation for this. Without in most cases even being conscious of it, many ufologists have become “infected” by our culture's prevailing materialist mindset. Subtly and not so subtly, materialism is preached in the public schools and universities and by the elite media. If even those people open minded enough to at least study the UFO mystery are often so brainwashed, what hope is there for us to solve the mystery? And if most of our mainstream scientists are unable to think outside the very small materialist box, what hope is there for truly understanding our universe or developing real breakthrough technologies?

Perhaps it is time for all of us to look within and ask ourselves if we are really the open minded and rational beings we imagine ourselves to be. Perhaps it is time for all of us to reconsider the basic nature of reality.

Article Copyright© William B Stoecker - reproduced with permission.

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