Some of My Other Skepticisms


Besides being a great skeptic on the existence of some supreme deity, I'm also a skeptic of the many things said to be supernatural or unexplainable.  People will jump to conclusions and not bother to try and find out if there is some sort of logical explanation behind them all.  Below are many of the things I'm skeptical about and my reasoning why.

| UFOs | Psychics | Astrology | Bigfoot | Loch Ness Monster | Crop Circles | Ghosts |


U.F.O.s

     Since the 1940's, after the claim that a UFO crashed in Roswell, N.M., a growing number of people have witnessed unidentified flying objects in the skies above our Earth.  Most claimants state that these UFOs are not of this world; that they are visitors from a planet far beyond our solar system.  Some of these UFOs have even been captured in still photographs, as well as video tape and motion picture film.  There have also been stories of people being abducted by some of the beings that piloted these UFOs.
     Besides the fact that most of these sightings are based on hearsay, all the photos that have been taken are all blurry, showing no legible detail; not to mention that most of them have been shown to be hoaxes.  But, along with the poor evidence that aliens have visited us, I have my own reasons to believe that these UFOs aren't extraterrestrial in origin.
     Because of the vastness of the universe, and the number of stars that exist within, I seriously doubt that our little piss-ant planet contains the only known forms of life.  Our galaxy alone contains somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 billion stars.  Of those 200 billion stars, at least a third of those are just like our own sun.  It stands to reason that some of those stars harbor planets that are able to sustain life.
     Although I believe there is better than a 99% chance that there is other intelligent life inside our galaxy, I have no reason to believe that any of them have visited us.  There is not a star in our galaxy that is less than 25 trillion miles from here.  Unless these beings have spaceships with faster than light speed capability, it's illogical to think that they could reach us within an allowable amount of time.
     First off, they would have to find us.  It's inconceivable that they would be able to pick out our planet, out of the many that must be contained inside our galaxy, as having life.  If they were able to discern that our planet had life, I think they would try contacting us by other means than flying their spaceships here.  As I said before, unless they have light speed capability, it would take them hundreds, if not thousands of years to reach us.
     Let's say that they do have the capability to travel the speed of light; the closest star to us is almost 5 light years from here.  It would take almost 5 years for beings from that star system to reach us.  Would they come from that far, and travel for that long just to give some redneck a quick peek, only just to high tail it back to their planet?  There have been hundreds of sightings of these so called UFOs, and not once have they attempted to make any form of contact.
     If these aliens did have faster than light capability, then one would thank that they would have the intelligence and technology to conquer this planet with great ease.


Psychics

     There are countless people, (especially in the United States), that claim to have some sort of psychic ability.  A lot of these people have written books about their abilities, are seen on talk shows, infomercials, and some even have their own T.V. program.
     These "psychics" make claims that they can see into the future, talk to the dead, read minds . . . And people will pay hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to receive a reading, because they actually believe in these frauds.
     At the beginning of each year, news magazines (i.e. The National Enquirer, The Star) will have a cover story of predictions for the coming year by well known psychics.  If you were to look back at these magazines at years end, you will notice that 99.999% of these predictions never come true.  The "predictions" that do come true are usually the outcome of some known event that will occur in that year, for example the next president of the U.S., in which the so called psychic had about a 50-50 chance on getting it right.
     I've often wondered why these so called psychics never manage to predict tragic events, like . .

  • The Challenger explosion
  • The death of Princess Diana
  • The death of JFK, Jr.
  • An earthquake in Mexico
  • The terrorist attack on the WTC

     You would think that they (psychics) would see something like these coming.  Often psychics will claim that they did predict such events, but not until after the fact do they come forward.  One of the most famous "predictions" of a tragic event was claimed by famous psychic Jeane Dixon, on her prediction of President Kennedy's assassination.  She actually never made this prediction, but it was perpetuated by the media.  Some of Ms. Dixon's failed predictions include . . .

  • Russian's would put a man on the moon before the U.S.
  • Richard Nixon would win the 1960 presidency.
  • World War III would begin in 1958.

     You will never hear of a psychic's straight forward predictions ever coming true.  It is always their ambiguous and vague prognostications that are remembered.  For example, a psychic may say, "A meteor will hit Los Angeles on June 17, and kill 20,000 people."  Predictions such as this never come to pass.
     On the other hand, a psychic might say, "An earthquake will hit a major city causing great loss of life."  How many major cities lay on earthquake faults?  Hundreds.  Anyone could make this type of prediction and be almost guaranteed to get a hit.  At the start of a new year, write down 20 very vague predictions, and see how many come true by years end.  I'd be willing to bet that more than half of them will.
     James Randi , a famous magician who has exposed many psychics as being frauds, offers a $1,000,000 challenge to anyone who can prove they have psychic powers under controlled conditions.  Many have taken the challenge, all have failed.  All of your most famous psychics, such as Sylvia Browne, John Edward and James van Praagh have all refused to take the challenge.  I wonder why?  Although Sylvia Browne has accepted the challenge, not once, but twice on the Larry King Live show, she has never gone through with it.


Astrology

     Astrology and psychics go hand in hand.  Astrologers claim that the stars, moon and planets control our lives from the minute we are born, depending on what day and what month that may be.  There are some people who rely so much on astrology, they read their horoscope first thing in the morning, just to be sure it is safe to get out of bed.
     Look at your horoscope (I would be an Aquarius by the way) from different newspapers or from other sources that provide daily horoscopes and you will notice that none of them are even close to being the same.  I picked 3 online horoscope services at the time of this writing, and you will notice that none of them say anything similar.  These were all horoscopes for Aquarius, for the same day.  And for the record, none of these were a depiction of my life for that day in any way.

A friend is in trouble and you pull out all the stops today as well as going into your own bank account. You may experience problems with appliances or electronics today, be sure to call in an expert to service your valuable equipment.

This is going to be a good day to analyze the different ways you can proceed toward your professional dreams. As a first step, take stock of your resources, then figure out how you can use them to best advantage. You would also find it helpful to interview others who have the position you desire. Ask them how they got there, and see if they can help you. Today you may learn a lot from others, so don't hesitate to ask for and exchange ideas.

You may feel the need to take on too much right now. Take it easy. You can do anything you set your mind on but you have to pace yourself. Problems may arise with an authority figure that will cause you to feel anxious. Be careful not to over step your boundaries. You will have to be patient and understanding when dealing with your family right now. Be careful of what you say.

     If astrology is true, why don't all the people born on, let's say, April 19, 1970 share the same fate?  Shouldn't they all live similar lives and then die at the same time and in the same way?  Why don't identical twins live virtually "identical" lives?  They are practically born at the same time.


Bigfoot

     Bigfoot (also known as Sasquatch) is said to be an ape like creature roaming the Pacific Northwest, although it has been reportedly seen in other parts of the North American continent.  There are also claims of similar creatures in the Himalayan region known as the Abominable Snowman or Yeti.  These creatures are supposedly 7' to 9' tall, walking on two legs, weighing in the neighborhood of 500 lb.
     The only compelling evidence that these Bigfoot exist are the many footprints that have been found, and said to have been left by these ape like creatures.  There have been literally thousands of plaster casts made of these so-called footprints.  Upon close examination of these casts, one can see the diversity in all of them, almost like snowflakes.  With so many different kinds of footprints, one would think that these creatures are so numerous, that many could be seen in a day's outing.
     There have only been a handful of "eyewitness" accounts, and maybe less than a dozen so-called photographs of this elusive beast, most of which are blurry shadows against a backdrop of trees.  The most famous Bigfoot sighting to have said to have been caught on film, is the Roger Patterson movie shot in 1967.  This is the film that almost everyone has seen of a supposed Bigfoot walking along a creek bed, turning and looking into the camera, and then trotting off into the woods.  Although not actually proven to be a hoax, it is rumored by film director John Landis, that the creature in this film is actually a man in a ape suit created by special effects man John Chambers, the same person behind the Planet of The Apes films.  John Chambers has denied this claim.
     I have often wondered why, in all the many years that Bigfoot footprints have been collected, not one of these brutes have ever been captured or killed by someone.  You would think that at least one specimen would have been caught by now.  So far, not so much as a skeletal remnant has been found.


Loch Ness Monster

     It is said that a large creature, probably a plesiosaur, resides in Loch Ness in Scotland.  The legend of the Loch Ness Monster has probably been around as long as the legend of Bigfoot.  The first recorded sighting was was approximately 1500 years ago by the Irish monk, St. Columba.
     It really didn't grab the public's attention until 1934, when a photograph taken by Dr. Robert Kenneth Wilson, a London physician, showing what appeared to be a plesiosaur like beast with a long neck emerging out of the murky waters.  It was revealed many years later that this photo was a hoax.  The image in the photo was actually that of a toy submarine doctored up to look like the legendary creature.
     Unlike Bigfoot, who has a large habitat range of thousands of square miles, the Loch Ness Monster is confined to one small lake in Scotland. OK it's a BIG lake, but still small in comparison to the vast wilderness that a creature such as Bigfoot can hide in.  It seems to me that that a lake such as Loch Ness could easily be combed (which it has, with no results) to find a creature the size that the Loch Ness Monster has been claimed to be be, (Roughly 40 feet in length).
     The only evidence that we have that this creature exists, are people's testimony that they saw something in the lake bobbing up and down, along with countless photos of things that could be anything from a wake to a log.  After all these years, we still don't have one specimen or part of a specimen, nor do we have one unambiguous photograph or video footage showing the thing.


Crop Circles

     Crop Circles are intricate geometric patterns found in fields of wheat, corn, alfalfa, etc.  People believe that these circles are messages from aliens of another planet.  In 1991, Doug Bower and David Chorley admitted to hoaxing approximately 250 circles over many years. Other hoaxers have shown their technique on the BBC.  Some people have claimed that the circles are too complex, and appeared too quickly (literally overnight) to be made by humans.  The hoaxers easily showed that with careful planning, an elaborate and complex crop circle could be made in a matter of hours.


Ghosts

     Because I'm not a believer in the afterlife, I certainly do not believe in ghosts.  Ghosts are supposed to be the manifestations of the dead.  Some people believe that when a person dies, that person's spirit or soul leaves the body and then journeys to the afterlife, where ever that might be.  A person's soul may go to Heaven, Hell or get stuck here on Earth.  If the soul gets stuck on Earth, then it becomes a ghost, and is able to walk through walls, play mischievous pranks, and scare the living daylights out of some people.
     Just how would a soul get stuck here on Earth?  Wouldn't a person's soul get drawn into Heaven or Hell by forces they couldn't overcome? Does the soul of a person retain its freewill and just decides to hang around?  Wouldn't a person be able to stay out of Hell if they decided to stick around as a ghost instead?
     There are some people who believe that their loved one has gone to Heaven to be with the Lord after they have died.  These same people also believe that this loved one is haunting them in some fashion...Like moving objects, causing electronic equipment to come by themselves, or what have you.  If a person is in Heaven, then how could they be down here on Earth haunting the place?  Do they get a free pass to leave Heaven and come down to wreck havoc with their love ones?
     People have made claims that they have actually seen ghosts.  They may describe seeing a woman standing on a staircase, wearing a red dress. Some folks have claimed to have seen Confederate soldiers who were killed during the American Civil War.  They knew it was a Confederate soldier because of the gray uniform that the ghost was wearing.  Why would ghosts be wearing clothing?  Even if a person does have a soul that would become a ghost after their death, the clothing they were wearing at the time of their death would not have a soul.  Ghosts, if they existed, would be naked.
     Photographs of ghosts are proof positive of their existence say believers.  However, photographs of ghost are easily explained.  In most cases the photographs are forgeries, by double exposing the film to make it look as if there is a ghostly image in the photo.  The most common photos depicting "ghosts" are that of glowing orbs; balls of light that appear in the photo, but were not part of the subject when the photo was taken.  These glowing orbs are nothing more than out of focus bits of dusts, insects or water droplets.  These orbs are so easily explained, that most modern "ghost hunters" do not even accept them as images of ghosts.

1999 Derrick Miller

 
HOME
 
Back to "Miscellaneous items"