Sunday, February 3, 2013

Skeptic Ben Radford debunks extraterrestrials to their faces: A P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S special report

Ben Radford
Photo by Sgerbic
Note:  Every ten years, extraterrestrials and their human skeptical allies hold a P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S convention at Bolingbrook’s Clow UFO base.  This is the first convention since 1993 that skeptics have been represented by The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and it’s parent group, Center For Inquiry.  The following story is a highlight from the convention.
By Reporter X

CSI Research Fellow Ben Radford shocked extraterrestrial P.R.O.G.R.E.S.S. guests by “debunking” their existence.  

Said Snop Klo of Gliese 676 C, “I did not travel 54 light years just to be told I don’t exist!”

Convention organizers, who asked not to be identified, say Radford was invited to speak to the Third Gender Caucus, a group for species that have more than two genders.  They say he was brought in to balance featured speaker Zinnia Jones, a human transgendered video blogger.

“After we booked Zinnia, we were told about the deep rift in your skeptical community.” Said an alien, who asked to be identified as Ze.  “So we thought we’d invite Ben to talk about human gender myths.  We thought it would be entertaining, and promote good relations with our divided allies.”

When Radford walked on stage, he immediately started examining the podium.  

Rebecca Watson must be around here somewhere.”  He said.

After a few seconds, he addressed the audience.

“I was told that I was going to address an audience of aliens.”  Said Radford.  “I am, however, a skeptic.  I know that it is impossible for aliens to be on Earth.  You are all part of an elaborate hoax, and you failed to fool me, one of the most prominent skeptics on Earth!”

Radford stated that the evolution of intelligent life is very rare.

“As overrated biologist Dr. P.Z Myers pointed out, there have been five major extinction events on Earth.  Highly intelligent life has only appeared once in 3.5 billion years.  That tells me that intelligent life is rare.  Yet you expect me to believe that there are enough species to fill an auditorium?  I don’t think so!”

Radford then attacked the feasibility of interstellar travel.

“I’m sorry, but nothing can go faster than the speed of light.  That means spending decades on a space ship.   Decades inside a craft facing the harshest conditions in the universe.  I’m skeptical of the ability to build a life sustaining craft that survive a trip to Alpha Centauri, let alone colonize the galaxy!  That’s why I haven’t seen any aliens or heard their radio broadcasts.  They aren’t out there!”

Radford then accused the aliens of being humans in disguise.  He singled out some that he suspected were really bloggers on Skepchick.

“You’re really Maria, and you’re that A chick.”  Then he pointed at an insectoid creature.  “You’re not even trying!”

At the end of his speech, Radford announced, “Before I answer any questions, we will have the traditional response from CFI’s president, Ron Lindsay.”

An obviously shocked Lindsay took to the podium.  After glaring at Radford, he addressed the audience.

“Ben, like any good skeptic, believes that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.  I will present that evidence to him.”

Lindsay then e-mailed Radford physics equations that allow faster than light travel, studies of alien DNA, and the solution to the Drake Equation.

Lindsay than started projecting giant holographic images of CFI founder Paul Kurtz.

“Here is Paul in 1976 with two alien dignitaries and American Humanist Association president Bette Chambers.  Here is another picture of Paul in 1980 signing a treaty with the Interstellar Alliance for the Advancement of Science designating the Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism as the official ambassador of Earth’s skeptical movement.  Here is a photo of Paul in 1996 getting dragged out of Clow after The James Randi Educational Foundation became the skeptical movement’s ambassador organization.  Note that Paul’s two one finger salutes were directed at James Randi.  Finally here’s a picture from 2011 showing Randi and the president of the IAAS giving Paul a lifetime achievement award.  Notice how everyone is smiling this time.”

After a few more examples, Lindsay concluded by saying, “Human skeptics are well known for their ability to transcend cognitive dissonance and change their minds when presented with the facts.  As Ben will now demonstrate.”

Obviously stunned, Radford slowly walked back to the podium and said, “Um.  I’m sorry.  I guess I should be asking you questions instead of lecturing.”

One alien stood up and yelled, “Don’t feel bad.  It’s OK to be skeptical.  In fact, it is only when you are able to debunk your own existence that you will achieve true skeptical inner peace.”

When Radford left the stage, Jones walked up to the microphone.

“Hello.  I never doubted you guys for a minute.”

The crowd erupted in cheers and applause.  

Backstage, CSI Executive Director Barry Karr told Radford that it would be better if he went back to being a “Level One Skeptic.”

“What does that mean?”  Asked Radford.

“I could tell you, but you won’t remember it tomorrow.”


Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

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