"European scientists" and their non-mainstream claims

A companion to a thread I just made at BAUT

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"European scientists" and their non-mainstream claims

#1  Postby tnjrp » Dec 31, 2010 8:51 am

Place your bets ladies and other gentlebeings of whatever gender! Especially those of the Old Wordly and more especially yet of the French persuation!

Are European mainstream scientists in fact advocating "UFOs as extraterrestrial craft" and/or "ancient astronauts" hypothesis and are the French kids getting edumacation in the related matters in school or not? True, false or "it's all down to the semantics of the words used" (looks quite a lot to be this last ATM)? All this and probably much much more to be determined in a discussion over at BAUT and/or on this very forum near you!

It's best that instead of me copying the content of the entire thread at BAUT so for a backgrounder I suggest y'all amble over there and check out the sordid history of the affair:
http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php ... curriculum

Whilst on the subject of those European scientists and their wacky notions, it also occured to me that I quite recently read a claim that "Norwegian scientists say there never was any ice age at all in Norway". So instead of just making this a thread about UFO lore in the French schools, why not have an allaround discussion about the prevalence of non-mainstream subjects in the Western academic circles and the school system? More the merier, as they say!

With that admittedly confusing (not to mention somewhat edited) preamble, feel free to discuss the subjects present, ask any relevant questions or present your own cases for the delicate perusal of all and sundry.
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Re: "European scientists" and their non-mainstream claims

#2  Postby tnjrp » Jan 03, 2011 10:08 am

And as could be expected, my thread over at BAUT got the lock (as did another split from the original ancient astronauts thread by a mod). BAUT forum rules, while perhaps necessary considering the enviroment, simply prevent certain types of claims from being brought under examination (thus allowing those doing the asserting to get away with them) :dunno:

Anyhow, has nobody else really heard any such claims of the nature "in country X, science is more open-minded and supports my brand of woo"? It appears to be fairly common in certain Finnish circles to make such "specific" and "well evidenced" claims... :levi:
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Re: "European scientists" and their non-mainstream claims

#3  Postby tolman » Jan 16, 2011 8:56 pm

I think *some* people simply make claims like "Mainstream scientists think that..." knowing full well that what it will be read as is "Many/most mainstream scientists think that...", even if they have no evidence beyond maybe the odd person, if they even have that.

If even the people who want to make misleading claims can't/won't come up with any examples even if it would be in their interest to do so, it's a reasonable assumption that there probably aren't many easy-to-find examples around.

Likewise, when it comes to 'mainstream scientists', someone could easily be mainstream in the field they're qualified in, but considered to be a bit of a crank in some other area which they happen to be banging on about.

I'm sure that all kinds of claims for pseudoscience or woo use foreign examples because the claimant hopes such examples might seem more exotic (or possibly more authoritative) to other people, or because they're harder for other people to investigate and find wanting.
Alternatively, it's possible that someone is repeating claims they'd heard and which they'd found convincing (or not found fault with) themselves for one or more of the above reasons.
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Re: "European scientists" and their non-mainstream claims

#4  Postby tolman » Jan 16, 2011 9:06 pm

tnjrp wrote:Anyhow, has nobody else really heard any such claims of the nature "in country X, science is more open-minded and supports my brand of woo"?

In the UK, I think alternative medicine is possibly one of the places that we'd be most likely to hear that kind of thing.

Often along the lines of Indians/Chinese/whoever use herbal/traditional/homeopathic/whatever medicine due to being 'more spiritual/holistic' (rather than as a result of many people being able to afford nothing else).

Alternatively, 'one or other European country uses more alternative therapy X than the UK', which is somehow expected to 'prove' that it works, rather than prove simply that we aren't the keenest consumers of that particular product, which statistically is only to be expected, given the number of European countries.
I suspect that often the claim would be skewed to try and link to one or other positive stereotype of the country among the target audience - if the French or Italians did something, that'd be because they were more open-minded, if it was the Germans or Swiss, it'd be because the therapy worked, etc...

Though in those cases, the 'foreign example' is necessary since the general argumet is that Britons as a whole should be spending more on product/service X - any example of alleged better practice really has to be foreign.
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Re: "European scientists" and their non-mainstream claims

#5  Postby tnjrp » Jan 17, 2011 8:11 am

tolman wrote:In the UK, I think alternative medicine is possibly one of the places that we'd be most likely to hear that kind of thing
Well, that certainly appears a popular argument among alt-health and more specificially homeopathy crowd here as well. Germany is unfortunately apparently a bona fide case where public health system is much more accepting of homeopathy than in most other European countries. Am not sure how many actual doctors (of medical science, that is) actually do endorse it even there -- in other words, how "mainstream science" it actually is in Germany.
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