Seattle Sound Bites

     Philip YIass, UFO investigator and former senior editor of Aviation Week, on what really would have happened if a crashed flying saucer had been recovered at Roswell, New Mexico in 1947:

     "No one could possibly have known whether this was a precursor craft doing reconnaissance prior to an extraterrestrial attack... There would have been a general alert of the air force and other military bases. Word of this potential threat would have been transmitted to ally and friendly governments around the world. Thousands of military personnel around the world would have been alerted to possible ET attack and within a few weeks the biggest military story of all time would somehow have leaked to the media."

     Carl Sagan, astronomer, about the "Face on Mars":

     "My standard way of approaching this is to point out that there is an eggplant which looks exactly like former President Nixon ... Now what should we deduce from this eggplant? Extraterrestrials are messing with our eggplants?"

     Mario Mendez from a Mexico skeptics group, on the thousands of Americans being abducted by aliens:

"Just south of the border this phenomenon disappears."

     Carol Travis, psychologist and author,on the effectiveness of psychotherapy:

"Research shows that any kind of therapy is beneficial ... the greatest percentage of improvement in a person's optimism and morale occurs between making the phone call for the first appointment and getting there. Research also shows the greatest improvement tends to occur in the first six to ten visits."

     Susan Blackmore, psychologist and author, on our view of self:

"Just as we make the assumption that we are here and the world is there, so we make the totally unjustified assumption that I am in there looking out ... The self is a mental model ... created out of this brain doing things ... We are not what we think we are. We walk around with this massive illusion, thinking there is someone in there. Actually, there's a bunch of neurons in there."

     Jerry Andrus, magician and inventor:

"In the minds of men are millions of subjective rulers, shrunk or stretched to fit what we want them to be. What we should use, where possible, are the objective rulers of science which resist being stretched or shrunk. These rulers are not perfect, but unlike ours, they are not of rubber but of the laws of the universe."

     Carl Sagan:

"There is a reward structure in science which is very interesting. The highest rewards go to those who disprove the doctrines of the most revered ... Think of politics, economics, religion, how we organize society. There we reward those who reassure us that what we have been told is what is right."

     Carl Sagan:

"The Constitution of the United States, particularly the Bill of Rights and its First Amendment, and scientific methods are mutually supportive of knowledge. Both recognize the extreme dangers of having to pay attention to and do whatever the authority says."
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 2001 Oregonians for Rationality