archive: Re: FW: SETI Fwd: Scientist: Reason for Optimism in ET Search

Re: FW: SETI Fwd: Scientist: Reason for Optimism in ET Search
Mon, 24 Aug 1998 22:49:41 EDT

In a message dated 8/24/98 12:07:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

> From the quality of his
> postings on the newsgroups, I would be very critical of his thinking.
> *Perhaps you wish to share just one posting 'from the newsgroups' which
> found *lacking John. Point out the technical and scientific errors. (which
> there aren't...) I would *be very much interested in your critical analysis
> rather than your subjective vituperative.

Ok, Chip. First, I want to point our that your technical skills and
scientific rigor are without peer. I don't think I found any errors of your
scientific method. But I did find that your communications of your scientific
thinking were flawed. In your defense, you did not need to participate in the
threads at all, and you did so out of your valuable time in order to educate
as many as who would listen. You are to be commended for such service to the
general public. I am sure that if there was a quality deficit in your postings
it was because of a lack of time to polish the work.

But now I have to explain my posting you quoted above, criticizing your
posting quality. As you asked, I will critically analyze your communications.

In our first exchange:

John said:
>You should start with a premise. Is there any evidence that we are the
>only intelligent life in the universe?

Chip said:
>>Uh-oh....this is not science as posed. Unless you say that flying saucers
>>science :-(.

Now for your questions:

Chip today said "Point out the technical and scientific errors."

I made a premise, not a scientifically valid null hypothesis. All human
endeavors, including science, need some kind of premises. Your claim that my
premise is not science is neither technically nor scientifically accurate. I
am using your words Chip. If I wanted to make a null hypothesis, it is easy as
pie. The null hypothesis is this "There is no other intelligent life in the
universe". And when did I state that I made any kind of a scientific proof
anyway? This was just the opening premise to describe Drake equation kind of

The next step was your equating my post with UFOlogy. This had very little
to do with the discussion of Radio Astonomy, Seti, etc. You were very
nonscientific to equate my premise to UFOlogy. And it did nothing to advance
either of our points. That does not sound scientific to me.

Your misinterpretation of the reality of human knowledge is why I suggest
that others read your writing critically. I believe that others will form
their own opinion after assessing the quality of your posts here, and re-
reading 'space signals' thread. I sincerely do not mean to be vituperative.
And I welcome your valuable participation with the Seti list. I apologize if
my criticisms are erroneous or unwelcome.

Sincerely, John Marcus, M.D.