Re: Crop Circles

Dan Clemmensen (
Sat, 30 Aug 1997 22:12:47 -0400 wrote:
> In a message dated 97-08-30 20:46:02 EDT, you write:
> << Danny, several of the guys who initiated the crop circle hoax have
> come forward. They've explained their methods. There are no instances
> of crop circles that cannot be generated by these methods.
> Now, lets apply Occam's razor: Which is more likely, that all
> crop circles are hoaxes, or that most are, but a few are generated
> by aliens, and the aliens started after the first hoax?
> >>
> Actually about 30% are man made. Theres a big difference between the two,
> the alien ones have bent stalks, which are impossible to duplicate(the
> chromosones are changed), and the man made ones are broken. Also the real
> ones are much more precise and sometimes the wheat is found braided. Those
> guys were paid to do that.
> danny

By whom, and for what purpose? your theory now includes:
1) Hoaxers,
2) aliens,
2) conspiracy,
4) an attempt by the aliens to communicate by essentially
the most ridiculous and difficult means possible, rather
than by some simpler means.

The competing and simpler theory includes:
1) Hoaxers.

Please note that crop circles have followed the usual path for
this sort of phenomenon: additional elaborations are "discovered"
only after the original incident is shown to have a natural explanation.

The people who are initially fooled and go on record end up with
a huge psychological incentive to continue to believe, rather than
recanting and thereby looking foolish, so they selectively
grab at new observations and facts that support their position.
This is called "resolution of cognitive dissonance" and is a
well-known phenomenon.

This will be my last post on this topic on this list, since
I feel that it is off-topic. I recommend you look into
The psychological phenomena of belief a bit. Try Sagan's
"the Demon-Haunted World" for starts.

We investigate a lot of radical ideas on this list, but
we try to stay firmly grounded in science. The real universe
is so amazing that IMO pseudo-science trivializes it.