Idiocy On Mars

John K Clark (
Sun, 29 Mar 1998 20:04:46 -0800 (PST)


On Sat, 28 Mar 1998 <> Wrote:

>Why are you supposedly open-minded people so into calling it the
>"Face on Mars" idiocy???

Because the idea that Martians like to make statues just like us is idiocy.
Because the idea that Martians have faces just like us is idiocy.
Because such Martians would be unimaginative and dull as dishwater.

Humans are very good at finding patterns, even when they're no there,
just look at any cloud formation.

>it seems like with any bold new discovery there needs to be an
>chance that something extraordinary might be true.

You're probably tired of hearing this but it's true nevertheless,
extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Completely revising your
world view and throwing out theories that have worked well for years needs to
be done from time to time, but it's not something that should be undertaken
lightly. You had better be very, very certain that it's necessary and not
just the result of something much simpler, like a silly mistake or fraud or
idiocy. If you start making major revisions in your basic theories about how
the world works for trivial reason, very soon you will find that you've made
negative progress and your world view will become very confused.

There is nothing very esoteric in all this, we use this principle in daily
life. If I tell you I just saw a green car drive down the street you'll
probably believe me, if I tell you I just saw a green giraffe walk down the
street with the Pope on it's back singing "Louie Louie" you will probably
demand better evidence than just my word before you believe me.

It's good to have an open mind, but not so open all your brains fall out.

John K Clark

Version: 2.6.i