UFO’s, NASA and Religion ~ Gulp!

 

What would happen to religion if ET’s landed?

NASA granted a million dollars to the Center of Theological Inquiry to study this question. Really.

Here’s a NASA dot gov link talking about it. A “.gov” URL can’t be faked, so this must be real, not a hoax.

Two explanations come to mind…

1.) NASA needed to dump some “excess” year-end money.

At the Pettis VA Medical Center where I worked for 13 years as a pathologist, I was told that any department that didn’t deplete its budget money by fiscal year-end would have its budget cut the following year by the unspent amount. They said it’s like this in all government agencies. Congress funds NASA, too, of course.

If this budgeting habit is widespread, it might help explain why the US seems to be fading, like every other powerhouse nation in history, into a ghost of its former stature. Runaway debt is poison. Enjoying world-reserve-currency status merely prolongs the decline.

But the point is, NASA may have been dumping excess year-end money, feeling too rushed to consider the appearance of tax dollars going to a religious study.

Odd but right at home with the US spending shenanigans in The Death of Common Sense, by Phillip Howard.

2.) There’s also the remote possibility that NASA has a genuine concern for the fate of religion in a world where ET’s become real, no longer forgettable things that nearly all scientists agree must be out there somewhere.

As a sci-fi writer, I use the UFO literature as a muse. Endless ideas. But I’ve probably read too much of it because some of the UFO people don’t sound simple-minded, crazy or dishonest to me at all.

Two of the non-crazies are President Carter and Paul Hellyer (a former Canadian Minister of Defense).

Worldview anomalies from these people are hard to ignore. And they’re not alone. A few astronauts, along with hundreds of government and military personnel have given lengthy video interviews about UFO’s and ET’s.

For instance, here’s the late Edgar Mitchell (God rest his insightful soul), the sixth man to walk on the moon:

 

There’s also FAA Division Chief John Callahan who reports a UFO in Alaska, describing multiple witnesses, radar corroboration and CIA cover-up – “This meeting never happened.”

If that’s a little unnerving, a former ER doc, Steven Greer, MD, who left the emergency room to pursue “UFO disclosure” full-time, challenges both the UFO community and the general public with his detailed stories and documents.

Most MD’s I’ve known over the years would love to escape medical practice and its complex, risky and stressful routine. Some manage to get away, usually climbing the food chain to administration.

But doctors from the top ten percent of a medical school class (AOA), like Dr. Greer, don’t willingly accept a loss of prestige. And because they’re heavily in debt, they rarely opt for a lower income without a solid business plan.

As far as I can tell, there’s nothing prestigious or solid about UFO’s in the US. So Dr. Greer is difficult to ignore.

His Jewish wife of nearly four decades must be a saint to have followed and supported him in this unusual lifestyle. He thanks her publicly.

He says he’s seen UFO’s since childhood.

Stanton Freedman, PhD sounds a little edgy, highly intelligent, and happens to be a nuclear physicist who’s dedicated most of his life to studying UFO’s, even though he’s never seen one.

There’s no way I can ignore a person like him. Sorry, Mom.

Richard Dolan is a historian with an academic delivery that appeals to people who like objectivity. His level-headed views and philosophical analysis of UFO’s give him a unique voice in the spectrum of “experts.”

He’s never seen a UFO. Here’s his perspective. I find it riveting…

But for some reason the guy who sounds the most convincing to me is The Honorable Paul Hellyer of Canada. He’s 93 years old now but sharper in front of a panel of politicians than most younger people would be. Aside from his topic, he sounds as rational as a math teacher on Tuesday morning.

When he went public on UFO’s he hadn’t seen one. Then a few years later he said that he and his wife had finally seen one (twice).

While atheists are understandably upset that some of NASA’s tax dollars went to a religious outfit, there’s a group of well-educated religious people who think that the arrival of ET’s on Earth would support the theory of intelligent design.

I’d agree. “Coincidences” like Earth’s hypercomplex DNA codes showing up in a “mindless universe” can’t happen on one planet after another without spoiling science’s enthusiasm for the neo-Darwinian myth.

Spirituality provides meaning and purpose to most people today, and has done so for our ancestors throughout recorded history. Perhaps science demotes these facts to everyone’s peril.

Is it possible that the rocket scientists at NASA truly worry that religion might die if our world accepted ET’s as real?

I guess fundamentalism (both scientific and religious) would take a hit. But I don’t think most people’s appreciation of God would suffer. Mine wouldn’t.

How about yours?

Morrill Talmage Moorehead, MD

 


Fundamentalism in Science and Religion

The growth spurts of science come from dissent, doubt, and radical questioning of normsThese are the sunshine and water of science.

When your interpretation of evidence brings you to disagree with something that science has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, you are following in the footsteps of the greatest scientists in history: Einstein, Copernicus, Salk, Papanicolau… the list grows with every decade.

But when we agree vehemently (and emotionally) with a scientific dogma that we haven’t personally studied in-depth, or that we can’t understand after having studied, we find ourselves following the footsteps of the average American fundamentalist, whether “religious” or “scientific” – and that distinction needs to be tentatively abandoned because “scientific materialism” is an untestable assumption that rules out God and the reality of our own minds without considering one piece of evidence, pro or con. That’s more akin to fundamentalist religion than objective science.

The thing that all fundamentalists have in common is a belief that they are in possession of a source of ultimate truth, whether old writings, a person with special insight, or an array of science journals. The important parts of their “truth” must be kept static, never doubted or questioned because the facts have been proven and are now known forever.

To go against the known “truth,” or even to doubt it, is considered irrational and morally wrong, especially among modern scientific fundamentalists. (Many Christian fundamentalist groups have been arguing over “important details” long enough to have seen the irony and abandoned much of the vicious outrage of bygone generations. Scientists could learn something here.)

Of course the religious fundamentalists must label their dissenters as heretics, infidels, heathen or whatever.

The scientific fundamentalists don’t use the same terms, they casts aspersions upon a dissenter’s educational credentials, sanity, mental acuity, motivation, and funding, but not so much upon the detailed logical weaknesses of opposing ideas. It’s too much work and they already know they’re right.

An important example is the way the scientific fundamentalists have responded to Stephen Meyer, PhD in his detailed analysis of DNA and molecular biology that concludes that intelligence must have been involved in writing the code and designing the cellular systems of life if the Universe is really only 13.8 billion years old.

The fundamentalist gatekeepers of science journals obstruct publication of dissenters’ work because of narrow-minded bias. They seek to embarrass anyone who dares talk rationally and openly about a shunned concept.

An example is the general rejection of “functional medicine” by orthodox western medicine. More specifically, Dale Bredesen’s breakthrough work with Alzheimer’s patients is ignored because it goes beyond standard experimental design where one variable must be isolated independently, a practice that grossly underestimates the complexity of many diseases and disallows examination of multiple simultaneous synergistic treatment effects.  (The whole treatment is better than the sum of its parts as tested independently.)

And yet, fundamentalism is the natural style of human thinking.

Ever wonder why?

Is it because we’re social “pack animals” or because God created us this way?

Is it the result of a “residual primitive brain” or the result of “sin?”

Maybe none of the above, or all, but the human groupthink tendency probably offers a survival advantage that’s underrated by those of us who perhaps value objectivity too highly.

Could it be that we shouldn’t paint fundamentalism in the same black-and-white colors it endorses?

That’s a tough challenge for me, personally.

But maybe fundamentalism is like salt: necessary for survival, but fatal if the dose is too high or too low.

Is religious and scientific fundamentalism good, bad or somewhere else – maybe on an amoral spectrum of usefulness?

What do you think?

M. Talmage Moorehead