The most conclusive answer that I ever received, regarding the debate of science and religion, was actually the least divisive. As part of a course on cognitive psychology, my professor took the time one day to address the issue of faith in the scientific world and simply stated that, while it may indeed be true that there is a higher power that rules over us or that our existence is nothing more than a dream, it is not possible to use that in science -- because it can neither be proven nor disproven.
And while my totem is currently indicating that we are indeed awake, it is crucial to remember that until something can be decisively verified or refuted, we should always work on the assumption that it may indeed be true or false. Simply put, Schrödinger’s cat can be alive or dead and we should be open to both options.
However, that does not mean we can work with assumptions in a logical setting because there is nothing for us to analyze either way until we open the box and look inside. Therefore, when I looked at the pictures and interviews of self-professed alien abductees from the International UFO Conference, I did my best to keep an open mind about their stories possibly being true. However, seeing as how there is no logical way for me to prove or disprove their assertions, I do not feel guilty for maintaining my cynicism regarding the credibility of these accounts.
The amount of unidentified flying object sightings reported each year is nothing short of staggering and the number is still on the rise. However, regardless of whether they are just specks of light or "Sovereign the Reaper," it is certain that the human race has always been fascinated with the aliens’ tendency to visit us in order to conduct horridly invasive medical procedures, despite Kang’s assurance that they have learned all they can from rectal probing. While I do not intend to mock anyone, the folks interviewed in the aforementioned article are possibly a product of that fascination, although I find it hard to believe that someone would risk public ridicule unless they genuinely believed their own stories to be true.
Still, having faith in their accounts or even keeping an open mind is rather difficult. My cynicism, while seemingly bordering on stubbornness, is not easily moved when someone claims they have been on and off alien ships their whole life. Photographer Steven Hirsch, the man behind these interviews, insists that he does not want audiences to go in with a preconception about his subjects but when people start talking about memories getting erased and or having had six different encounters with extraterrestrials, I become less forgiving. Sure, the people may be right and the aliens are slowly expanding into our society but if ET is really phoning home to invite a secret invasion, he should take a cue from the Skrulls and not let people blab about it.
The obsession with alien life forms and the inevitable conspiracies they inspire, depicted most enjoyably in Disney’s Lilo and Stitch, are rather prominent in some circles. Whether it is just a fascination with the unknown or some kind of Orwellian fear of government hiding things from us, it is certain that the alien phenomenon is one that has started long before the public has been conclusively exposed to species from another planet. While it is not my purpose or place to ridicule anyone, I do not feel that a person telling a story with no logic or credibility should be treated as a logical or credible person. Yes, there is some inherent hypocrisy here because I am a fan of Philip K. Dick but I only accept his stories for the social messages behind them; taken literally, they seem rather unfeasible.
In short, I am a disbeliever but I try not to be. The most compelling flying object story in the past few years is Balloon Boy’s and even that turned out to be false, so you can’t really blame me. Also, while I only cite that example facetiously, it does work to demonstrate what people are willing to do for publicity nowadays. I believe the photographer does not entirely believe the interviews to be true, instead choosing to settle for creepy pictures in hopes that people will watch grown adults share tall tales and make faces resembling the Morlocks (Wells, not X-Men). My reasoning for mentioning all these fantastic science-fiction writers is to demonstrate what capable people did with the concept of extraterrestrial life but this photo gallery just pulls a William Shatner and makes them seem ridiculous. I am still willing to accept the idea that these stories might be true; whether I am willing to respect it is another story.