Cosmology Extraterrestrial life Intelligent Design

At Mind Matters News: The UFOs Carl Sagan was convinced of but couldn’t talk about

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Sagan had already been denied tenure at Harvard, a sci-fi screenwriter reflects, and he couldn’t afford to take more chances. So, it is suggested, he pretended to be much more skeptical than he really was:

Writer Bryce Zabel recalls a dispute with Sagan on the topic in a parking lot 40 years ago, during the Voyager 2 flyby — which changed Zabel’s career…

[And that, according to Zabel, was what emerged.]

Sagan was denied tenure at Harvard for being, according to Zabel, a little too “out there.” But today, Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb openly discusses his thoughts on ETs and UFOs in popular science venues. And, in what sounds like a helpful move, NASA is seeking standards for ET life claims, rather than just denying or avoiding them altogether.

Perhaps all unidentified aerial phenomena are due to rare natural events. But the only way to honestly evaluate that is to start with the premise that they might — in principle — not be natural events. The need to simply “debunk” is not so much part of science as it is a social phenomenon: the Ingroup vs. Outgroup. Continually proving that one is a member of the Correct group is hardly the spirit that advances science.

News, “The UFOs Carl Sagan was convinced of but couldn’t talk about” at Mind Matters News

You may also wish to read:

The surprising role that dolphins have played in the search for ET. Dolphins, with their apparent alien intelligence, have been seen by scientists interested in ET as a stand-in. The discovery of dolphin intelligence supported the view that intelligence might evolve in unexpected places among life forms without hands.


The UAPs (UFOs) are “not caused by any U.S. advanced technology.” And that’s all the Pentagon probably really knows. Some, including physicist Mark Buchanan, hope we never find out if it’s aliens or not.

4 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: The UFOs Carl Sagan was convinced of but couldn’t talk about

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    The role of dolphins as “alien intelligence” is evidence of the role of religion in science. Without fashion and cult worship, dolphins are typical social mammals. They have the same kind and degree of communication as dogs or elephants or squirrels. A dozen specific calls, with variations by emotion. It’s a high level of intelligence compared to fish, but dolphins are clearly NOT on the same level as humans. The cult of “special partnership” was created by John Lilly, and still lives in some New Age groups.

    Speaking of squirrels…. This morning I was watching a pair of squirrels fighting or mating. They were curling together in all sorts of wrestling holds, while zooming up and down a phone pole as a single eight-legged animal. Perched on top of the pole, they got into serious rolling and flopping, without falling. Amazing exhibition of kinesthetic intelligence. Suddenly they noticed I was watching. One of them said in a human-like voice, what sounded like “Down! Right now!” and they both zoomed down separately. If I wanted to start a squirrel-worship cult, that would do the job!

  2. 2
    EDTA says:

    On the subject of UFOs, here’s a serious contender explanation for UAP (in my humble opinion):

    (Includes a possible way to test the idea even.)

    (Just FYI, I still have not seen one with my own eyes…)

  3. 3
    EDTA says:

    Polistra @ 1,
    > If I wanted to start a squirrel-worship cult, that would do the job!

    You’re nuts. 😎

  4. 4
    polistra says:

    Come to think of it, that would be a pretty good sacrament for a squirrel cult. “O mighty squirrels, we are nuts! Please save us through the coming cold winter!”

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