Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hysterical about hysteria

In Hysterical about hysteria, the author comments on the somewhat suspicious insistence of scientists and authorities that the noxious fumes experienced by witnesses to Peru’s recent “thing that crashed from the sky” was “mass hysteria.”
Instead of actually treating the witnesses with respect and interest, they’re dismissed. As he writes:
Whoa, time out. Geologists say that meteorites can't cause people to become sick, therefore the people must be delusional. Isn't that putting the theory before the observation? It's also a little weird that the "large number" of reports is used to cast doubt on them. In most areas of science, a large number increases our confidence. Why can't we just say, There were reports of people reporting a flash in the sky and a big hole in the ground and getting sick, that's weird, so let's investigate.

Good point.


Dustin said...

That's really an unfortunate story, especially seeing as how the meteor did cause people to be sick, it seems, albeit indirectly.

Being a scientist I can tell you that it's just like any group of people. Some are good at what they do(researching the unknown, in large part) and some are bad.

Richard Lalancette said...

Well, maybe the impact was done with US/British Weapon installe in space or airborn, on a plane?

I haven't been able to see the rock itself yet...