This needs to be approached with an open mind, but I hope the logic and rationality of my arguments stand up to potential critique. If you do wish to engage in a discussion concerning this three part series, please comment below or send me an e-mail.
Ufology, like every other field of study, including the general sciences, is significantly governed by social ideological constructs. All human endeavour, whether it be historical, artistic, or scientific exists within the frame of human experience and society. No field of study operates in a vacuum, separate of our current cultural zeitgeist; nothing humans do is independant of our social world, as we are trapped in it. There is no place in which one can stand “outside” of the given social, cultural and experiential reality we dwell in. Therefore, the sciences are governed by the same ideologies as Ufology.
We, a people who are trapped in our ever present ideological constructs, have accepted the ideological myths told by scientists; they “make sense” to us. However, significant scientific “facts” have been proven, and later disproven as human knowledge expands, grows and shifts. As our cultural and social landscape changes, so too does current scientific knowledge. Take Phrenology for example; a cutting edge science in the 19th century, that attempted to prove the size and shape of one’s skull was a measure of intelligence. Obviously, this is nothing more than a debunked pseudoscience today, as all evidence currently contradicts this theory- but in the 19th century, brain scientists taught this theory in universities and colleges. From a social and political standpoint, it was used to justify racism, slavery and the colonization of “lesser peoples.” Phrenology provides a clear link between social ideological constructs using science to justify political and economic agendas, the subjugation of a group based upon “scientific facts.”
We typically do not question the ideology of science, and there is good reason for it. Science is, generally, a good thing. It saves lives, it moves humanity forward in its pursuit for knowledge, and it allows for silly little blogs like mine to exist. I am not calling for some revolution against science due to the fact that it is ideological. All human endeavours are ideological, and all ideologies change over time. There is no place “outside” of our social reality from which to revolt from. The question we need to ask is whether the ideologies present in Ufology, with all their issues, are any different than those of the general sciences? In other words, can any ideology be measurably more valid than another?
Please return for Part 2, to be posted Sunday.