In defense of myself: When is an anomaly an anomaly?
Wed, 21 Jul 1999 00:31:03 EDT

>> Never once has Mac Tonnies once said he believed in anything let alone the
>> 'Face on Mars'. His sole remark was that the 'Face on Mars' was anomolous
>> 0nough to warrant some further investigation before we dismiss it out of

>True, he never said as much, but let's face it: there's nothing at all
>even remotely special about that rock, and the only reason anyone
>might think there is is because ey /wants/ there to be.

Come again? Apparently you know me better than I know myself, and I find this difficult to swallow. My position on "belief" is that it is a complete intellectual cop-out. I don't "want to believe" anything; I want to know the truth, like any rational person. I'm more than willing to grant you that finding an ET civilization on Mars (extinct or otherwise) is an inspiring thought, but that's not what the "Face" represents to me, and I'm rather sick of being goaded into the postion of "defending" myself when I have absolutely nothing to defend.

>I've seen all the pictures, read the descriptions, and I simply don't see
>"anomalous" or interesting, because there's nothing to see.

Observors draw different conclusions, and I'm the first to say that the data we currently have isn't sufficient for a verdict one way or another. _Again_, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind, if for no other reason than there's no reason to conclude anything about the "Face" right now. But we have an orbiter with a wonderful hi-res camera orbiting Mars as I write this. This issue is falsifiable and, as such, is a completely legitimate issue for science to deal with--like it or not.

It seems to me that the reason you find the evidence lacking is, paradoxically, because we haven't yet gone to the necessary lengths to get really _good_ evidence (though what we have is, I maintain, enticing).

>This is not closed-mindedness, just honest observation.

It's an honest _opinion_, just as mine is. As such, I can appreciate it.

>Wasting money on this that could be spent looking for real extraterrestrial
life >is silly.

The MGS is in a position to image Cydonia anyway; we don't have to spend a dime!

>Resisting dogmatism doesn't mean one has to fall prey to every
>baseless idea that floats by. It just means that one should try
>not to color one's perceptions by what one wants to believe. I,
>like many others here I'm sure, would like to believe that there
>once was a civilization on Mars. But there's simply no evidence
>to justify that--not even enough evidence to justify wasting time
>and money examining a perfectly ordinary rock.

Perhaps I should have saved some typing and instead responded with the following: "You know it all. I apologize. I am truly humbled." Get off this brittle and erroneous intellectual high-horse. No one's out to rearrange your personal paradigm. This issue has nothing to do with personality, let alone "belief," as you would so conveniently have it. If only this matter was so binary!

--Mac Tonnies