I wrote a post a while ago, I think it may have been one of my first posts, that mentioned The Teaching Company. They basically do lecture series on any number of topics. I’ve gotten a few including a general philosophy course, and a philosophy of science course. The one on philosophy of science was sort of tough to get very into as it had such a materialist bent. Maybe it was less so later, but I had a tough time listening to much that I stopped after the first few lectures. The point, however, is that people in the paranormal would do well to go through some of these courses so that they have a better handle on the arguments used by ‘debunkers’
Anyway, I noticed they have a new lecture called Skepticism 101: How to Think like a Scientist. The series of 18 lectures feature none other than Michael Shermer, PhD. There are five lectures with paranormal themes including, The Paranormal and the Supernatural, Science Vs. Pseudoscience, Comparing SETI and UFOlogy, Comparing Evolution and Creationism, and Life, Death & the Afterlife. I haven’t listened to the lectures, but I reckon its consistent with Dr. Shermer’s previous skeptical endeavors.
But this post isn’t really about the Teaching Company’s products, or even Michael Shermer, PhD’s skeptical bona fides. I wondered if the paranormal community could produce something along the same lines. Is there any one person or group who could pull it together to put out say 20 quality lectures on the ufo topic and do it in a way that wasn’t open to immediate ridicule? For me, Richard Dolan is the only one that comes to mind. It would take the form of a history course using his UFOs and the National Security State series (1941-1973, and 1973-1991, and whatever the last one turns out to be). I think everyone in the field has heard Mr. Dolan talk before, but normally its and hour, or maybe two in a podcast interview or conference presentation. This format would allow him to go into much greater detail than he normally does in presentations and would probably reach a much different audience than that which normally listens to the Binnall of America podcast or goes to the X conferences.
Dolan may not be the only person who could put something like this together. I’m sure Stan Friedman, Jacques Vallee, and Grant Cameron could also put together some quality information and do it in a way that would be reasonable. Maybe there could be a series of 24 lectures, with 4 people producing six each, or some combination like that.
Anyway, I don’t know Richard Dolan or the people at The Teaching Company, so I’m not really in any position to effectively suggest this, but if any of my two or three regular readers stumbles on this post and has relevant network contacts, maybe forward it along.:)
Thanks for reading and I wish good fortune to everyone.