archiv~1: SETI Post Hoax Thoughts Part 1

SETI Post Hoax Thoughts Part 1
Tue, 17 Nov 1998 08:18:39 EST

Many of us had considerable time wasted by the EQ Peg hoax. For what its
worth, I want to share some of my thoughts on this, a bit off-the-cuff.

1) I am astounded at the transition undergone by the internet. I was on BITNET
a decade ago; at that time it was essentially a scientist's toy and the level
of information was high and usually accurate. NOW the 'net is a no man's land
of propaganda;bad ideas; and worse.

2) Pseudo science was rampant in the 1970's but appeared to be under some
degree of wraps in the late 70's and early '80's. NOW pseudo science has found
its vehicle: the internet. With no checks by way of reason, all the REJECTED
ideas that didn't cut the mustard are NEW! and EXCITING! and begging us all to

3) SETI made especial efforts in the 70's and 80's to DRAW THE LINE between
UFO's and SETI. NOW the UFO and pseudo science propaganda machines have found
a convenient way to gain credibility: embrace SETI; mix SETI science with UFO
nonsense. Under the 'where there is smoke there is fire' attitude, the hope
and unfortunate success) is to BLUR THE LINE.

4) Never has there been a greater need for scientists speaking up and
out--graciously, friendly, but distinctly on why pseudoscience is wrong. Not
wrong ethicly but literally an incorrect portrayal of reality.

5) Some members of the pseudoscience community have perceived scientists as
weak--not able to cut the mustard when it comes to being projected as 'rude';
'evil' you name it. This is a tried and true propaganda method use to SHUT