Re: Apology to Ms. Morgan

Phillip Bigelow (
Mon, 30 Sep 1996 21:16:06 +0900

Stephen Barnard wrote:
> While I have no sympathy for the AAH (I'm a mere layman in this area), I
> have to say that I find Elaine Morgan's posts to this newsgroup to be
> very reasonable and civil,

While I disagree strongly that Ms. Morgan is "very reasonable" in
her ideas, I have to agree that there is a strong motivation for
Elaine to maintain an aura of civility in her posts: her ideas are
at best "out there" in terms of believability. If she spouted
an attitude while she promoted these ideas, it would do her a grave

> and I find the tone of her detractors to be
> often obnoxious in the extreme.

There are some interesting analogs to your opinions on this issue.
In the O.J. Simpson criminal case, the press and the general
public, as well as the jury, commonly called the prosecution's
demeanor as "pompous", "overly agressive", and "overly self-
righteous", while the defense, in it's mandate to infer a
degree of reasonable doubt in the case, was often viewed as
"right on the mark".
In short, the prosecution, with their *myriad* of scientific
evidence in it's favor, and IN SPITE of their scientific
evidence, lost the case simply because of the perceived
starkly cold (and often boring), but ironically, voluminous
scientific evidence, and of those "pompous" procescutors
who presented it.

Defender Jonny Cochran did an admirable job of turning the jury
away from the evidence, and toward the "likeability" factor, and
"emotional" factor. The "being-set-up" scenario had *no* evidence
to back it up...Cochran even admitted it after the verdict came in was simply a purely speculative idea planted in
fertile minds. There was no science at all behind Cochran's strategy.

Back in this newsgroup, about 6 months ago, I remember one participant
state that he felt that Ms. Morgan "must" have a good point, because
there are so many cranky anti-AATers who are rude to her.
In other words, this person was basing his "scientific" opinion on
the AAT on the degree of politeness of the pro- and anti-participants!!
What nonsense!

> In my (admittedly limited) opinion, the AAH very implausible, but so
> what? I've read so much implausible speculation in this newsgroup that
> mere implausibility has no power to piss me off any longer.

Many Americans feel this way. Scientific skepticism has *never*
been an "in-vogue" thing for the non-scientific public to practice,
but it is even less popular today than ever before.
People believe in things, and vote for things, more with their emotions
rather than from analysis of the evidence. And historically,
the general public has also been lazy when it comes to such things
as critical thinking.
Why do you think that psychics are so popular today?
Part of the reason is that they are nice people: They tell people
what they want to hear; they always make it sound exciting, and
they over-generalize.