Here's a link to the San Antonio, NM saucer story (1945).
Excellent article, Ben!
Yes, I did read your article several years ago on Jeff Rense's site.
It is indeed a fascinating account.
//But what is more important than all this is the indelible psychological imprint this type of alleged incidents has left in the "psyche" of a segment of the population and created a subculture of its own.//
Wow, for once I actually agree with you. I tend to find conspiracy theories - especially those with no real impact on people's day-to-day lives - to distract from far more important and pressing topics. To be sure, it can be fun to speculate on the nature of extraterrestrial intelligence, but those who devote their lives to haranguing government officials about some imagined coverup are wasting valuable resources.
There are much more significant topics with a much greater real-world impact about which to petition the government, and I find these sort of wild goose chases to be a distraction from these issues. This is a timely topic, as the President today just released his long-form birth certificate on the White House webpage in an effort to redirect citizens' efforts away from "birther" conspiracies and more towards matters that concern the well-being of the public.
As for Mr. Vigil's photograph, let him know that I've got some lens cleaner and bug spray for him.
Thanks, Benny. I am glad you agree with me for a change. :)
By the way, as I stated, Mr. Vigil used his cellphone, not a regular camera. Do you have a lens cleaner and bug spray for his cellphone lens? :)
Yes, I am glad that you brought up this subject of how beliefs can affect society, and even politics.
As you said, even the President had to finally convince the people that he was born in the U.S.
Even with the birth certificate there will be people who still will hold on to their belief that Mr. Obama was not born in the U.S.
I also heard that more than half of Americans still believe that Mr. Obama is a Muslim and not a Christian.
So, "beliefs" can be very frightening in some cases.
"It is human nature to have religious beliefs and it has nothing to do with educational levels of the person."
well, no actually.
statistically mapped to the general population, religiosity is inversely proportional to education level, particularly in the U.S.
Thanks, Jeff, for your reply.
I know two of Los Alamos scientists who seem to espouse typical Fundamentalist Christianity.
They told me that there is a group within the scientists circle who are Fundamentalists to the tee.
Sometimes, though, it is difficult to distinguish religiosity from self-proclaimed spirituality.
i had a feeling you'd cite individuals, which doesn't really contradict what i said above since statistical generalizations don't preclude outliers.
for example, something like 95% of the members of the national academy of sciences are non-believers of any faith.
what is the difference between religiosity and self-proclaimed spirituality?
O.K., Jeff, thanks for the JSTOR 1984 and 1962 study.
I didn't have time to read them thoroughly. It's highly academic and fine and dandy and I respect those studies.
When you said above that 95% of the members of the national academy of sciences are non-believers of any faith, you are saying that 95% of those members do not espouse any concept of an intelligent desiger or a "creator" of this universe, i.e., everything just happened spontaneously with no explanation?
O.K., I ask this because I personally tend to think that even though the vast majority of them could be agnotics, perhaps there could be a large percentage of those who COULD consider that there could be a "god" somewhere or some intelligence who may have had a hand in creating some sense of order in the universe? There could be a large number of those who have nothing to do with organized religion but personally are open to asking questions?
could, but why?
in other words, what's the cosmological value in a non-intervening deism? and even then, there's no evidence pointing to it. it just leads to an infinite regression of who created the creator.
asking questions is fine, it's just that not all questions are meaningful. "what's the purpose of the universe?" is one that springs to mind.
I feel compelled to respond, though this is getting pretty far off topic.
The fact that we are but a tiny, insignificant speck in a cold, uncaring universe does little to detract from the fact that the universe is beautiful and awe-inspiring. To quote Douglas Adams, "Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"
//the vast majority of them could be agnostics//
I would assume that most of them, if pressed to place a fine point on their religious affiliation, would describe themselves as "atheist agnostics" or "agnostic atheists." The two terms are not mutually exclusive. Though claiming that a god is possible (but highly improbable) is a far cry from claiming that one exists. The same could be said of unicorns, leprechauns, or factual conspiracy theories.
Here's a first page from JSTOR on a 1984 study.
Here's a first page from JSTOR on a 1962 study.
Here's an Evolutionary Psychology article from 2009 that doesn't address it directly, however it seems pretty easy to me to infer the negative relationship since they talk about socioeconomic conditions.
thanks for holding my feet to the fire, as it were...