Sunday, July 08, 2007

Noah's Ark vs. UFOs

This post by Stardust got me thinking about standards of evidence. From a purely objective standpoint, UFO abduction reports appear to be much more plausible than the story of Noah's Ark. UFO abductions would not have to violate any laws of physics, for example, while having two (or seven) animals from each species (or "kind") fit into a boat built by a man to survive a 40-day flood that covered the Earth would require a "miracle," or violation of the laws of physics (not to mention biology.)

There is no scientific reason whatsoever that there couldn't be intelligent life on other planets. There is no scientific reason that intelligent life from a relatively nearby planet couldn't fly their spacecraft here and abduct a person. They could plausibly even do it undetectably. If they are advanced enough, they might even be able to selectively modify a person's brain to do their bidding.

Don't get me wrong -- I don't believe that any UFO abductions have happened, because there is no good evidence that they have and I tend not to believe extraordinary claims without good evidence. But I can't see how they aren't infinitely more probable than the Noah's Ark story. (Or the talking donkey or Jesus's resurrection, etc.)

Just another example of how many religious people don't apply the same standards of evidence to religious claims as to merely extraordinary claims. I challenge my religious readers who believe the story of Noah is more or less literally true to explain why they believe in that but not in UFO abductions.


CyberKitten said...

I think that the level of acceptable evidence is often linked to peoples particular belief systems.

We can't know everything and we can't investigate everything sufficiently to make a fully informed decision. Therefore we need to trust what other people say and go with our 'gut' on some things.

That's why even when you get down in the weeds of evidence for any particular case people will still diagree on what 'evidence' actually means. Some people don't need much to convince them (of somethings) whilst others will demand a great deal of hard evidence before they believe in something that is outside of their accepted understanding of the world.

Half Sigma said...

There are pictures of crop circles.

jewish philosopher said...

Once you've accepting the existence of God, the Deluge isn't so incredible. Just like if you have previously accepting the existence of space aliens, and many legends from all over the world reported similar alien abduction stories, you might believe there is truth to them.

Athiest#1 said...

Fuck you Jewish philosopher! Atheists rule!