Try a New Hypothesis, Sherlock
by Guest Blogger,
Tyler Kokjohn, PhD.
How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?
— Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of the Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes’s sage scolding reminds us not to fall easy prey to unwarranted assumptions and the limits of human imagination. It, or something similar, is often invoked to defend the extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH) as the best explanation for UFO observations. Unfortunately, little thought has been given to the bias inherent in using this technique. It may work well provided the roster of potential possibilities is complete. However, attempting to establish the ETH represents the best explanation presumes a thorough working knowledge of all the possibilities and the application of reliable methods to assess them. It is not clear either of these conditions…
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