Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Problem of UFOs and Reported Miracles

Everyone who visits this blog should understand that there is not enough evidence to support the idea that alien spacecraft have visited Earth. However, you can find tons of eye-witness testamony regarding UFOs and UFO abductions. Why is this so?

Part of the reason for people believing they saw a UFO is due to a psychological phenomena known as argument from ignorance. Someone sees bright lights in the sky, they don't know what it is, so they say, "It must be a UFO!" Their thought processes should have stopped after they realize they don't know what it is, but the human mind craves understanding of the world. We sometimes impose improbable and unlikely rationales simply because our minds cannot stand not understanding.

The same is true of God. Plenty of people claim to have experienced miracles by the hand of God, but as evidenced by UFO beliefs, eye-witness testamony is a horrible form of evidence. Here's a typical story of a theist explaining a miracle:

Theist: "One time, I got in a car accident. I should have died, but God saved me. That's how I know God exists; through miracles like that in my life."

The statement above falls prey to the argument from ignorance phenomena. The theist got in a car accident, doesn't know why he survived, but proclaims divine intervention as a way to understand what happened.

So whenever someone proclaims to have seen UFOs or miracles from personal experience, you can remind them of how our brain tricks us through argument from ignorance.


  1. But if there are no aliens... why did I wake up in that field naked with a sore rectum?

    Probes, I tell ya, probes!

  2. Sleep paralysis is something I want to experience. I am jumping ahead here a little bit but sleep paralysis is the main cause of "alien abductions".

  3. Beams, I experienced sleep paralysis once, and it was weird. I woke up on my back in bed, opened my eyes, and I couldn't move, except for my eyes and breathing. Luckily, after a few seconds of panic, I remembered having read something about it, and about a minute later my paralysis subsided.

    No aliens appeared. I guess my skeptical aura scared them off.

  4. Hey, now, just a minute. UFO means "Unidentified Flying Object," so if someone sees something and doesn't know what it is, it's an unidentified flying object--to them at least.

    Not that that means it's an alien spaceship or anything. ;o)

    I get sleep paralysis once in awhile. I used to be afraid of it, but then I started trying to use it to astral project (didn't work--it seems me and my body are one and the same, lol), and I haven't had it since. There go my experiments. *sigh*

  5. Yep, I've had sleep paralysis too. It's creepy/weird.

    Ms Monkey, I like the UFO <--> God analogy, but I think it should be pointed out that there actually IS evidence that both exist. For the former, pictures / blurry videos and declassified government documents; for the latter, reports of miracles.

    With that said, I think you're right about there not being enough credible evidence for either.

  6. I am personally a sucker for UFO vids. The little boy left in me keeps hoping I'll find something convincing me they absolutely do exist.

    I'm too skeptical of myself, however, to overlook the wishful thinking.

  7. Throw this one in also:

    Humans came from monkeys. can remind them of how our brain tricks us through argument from ignorance.