He or she will be searching for an answer to the unspoken question as to why they are here and what it all means. But it has to be a loud and clear answer and one that is short and sharp. That is presently absent from the more serious literature.I'm a big believer in science, and the scientific method, and Taylor raises some valid points in his book, which is an interesting and thought-provoking read. For example, he writes about the "levelling" element amongst those who are inclined towards the paranormal and supernatural - the belief that everyone's opinion is equally valid, and the antipathy towards "elitism". Taylor writes:
The supernatural would seem to give such an answer, either from the spirits of those who have "passed on," from the mouths of alien beings, from those who have lived many times or from "psychics" who are prepared to jump where angels fear to tread.
The answer I give here now is short and sharp: the mystery of existence is not to be gained by searching for strange paranormal powers possessed by humans. It is to be gained by looking more closely at the beautiful edifice of science, to see how the whole of existence - both of ourselves (all living beings) and of the material world - is to be understood in a unified manner. We, as humans, are at one with the rest of existence. The basis of all is energy, in its various manifestations. The question now to be answered is why those manifestations of energy are there in the first place.
It is relatively easy for the man in the street to comprehend writings of a pseudoscientific nature about the supernatural. This is because such books do not require any knowledge of the vast body of scientific thought in order to understand the,. Truly scientific works, on the other hand, sadly often fall short of comprehension for many potential readers...The second point can be clearly seen in the history of experiential religious movements, or mass political movements, which have generally found their greatest number of adherents amongst the dispossessed and disenfranchised of society.
A second reason is the great interest of the man in the street in powers which he thinks he may himself possess and be able to develop quite rapidly. Such magical powers have always appealed to those with limited opportunities for self-advancement.
I am an elitist, a state of affairs for which I never offer an apology, because there is nothing wrong with elitism, when the term is properly understood and used. Some people's opinions are objectively worth more than others in areas where they have developed a level of expertise or knowledge - that's why we have doctors performing brain surgery, as opposed to truck drivers (similarly, within their field of expertise, a truck driver will trump a brain surgeon). It's why I don't write a blog about biology, a subject I have never taken a single course in, even while in high school, and about which I know no more than the average person in the street.
This is true of the UFO phenomenon as well, which has myriad self-proclaimed "researchers," but relatively few true experts qualified to offer an informed opinion about various aspects of the phenomenon. This applies, however, not just to the UFO believers, but also to most skeptics, to judge by their lack of familiarity with the actual evidence. That's the great thing about elitism - it is an equal opportunity discriminator.
Speaking of which, and as a bit of a rejoinder to Professor Taylor's true-blue faith in science, here is a final word from one of my favourite comedians, Patton Oswalt, who riffs, in response to developments in science that allowed a 63-year old woman to give birth, as follows:
Sometimes science is fucking wrong and gives us shit we don't need...they might as well go, 'Hey, we made cancer airborne and contagious! You're welcome! We're science: we're all about coulda, not shoulda.'So - does Oswalt have a point?
You be the judge. Just make sure your opinion is an informed one.