RE Investigation into professional negligence of Field Agent 09345

Field Agent 09345 Report:

Commanding Officers, Judge and Advocates, Disciplinary Committee…

With regards to the investigation into professional negligence of myself, Field Agent 09345, and aforementioned Field Report now under review by this honourable committee, I should like to offer some justification on my behalf. This is not offered to be an excuse on my part but rather to give some context and rationalization for my incompetence. I would like it made public that my errors have come at extraordinary circumstances and not, as most would and rightly believe, gross negligence and utter incompetence.

My now infamous report to my superiors which I filed approximately one hundred and twenty hours ago was done so while I was under false assumptions that, I hope to prove, no single being could have anticipated.

I shall start at the beginning. Shortly after being stationed on my former assignment I was only beginning my preliminary survey of the people and habitants of this planet when I was startled to learn that a planetary authority had been appointed to handle any and all extraterrestrial relations. Please see the initial announcement made via the mass communications network.

I except fully the responsibility for not doing due diligence on the facts on this case and instead leaping head first into the most foolish of all possible directions by issuing my report “Earth: ready for contact with inter-planetary community.” My behaviour was ill suiting of my position and I have seriously damaged the reputation of my colleagues and the diplomatic wing of our organization.

Obviously I did not anticipate this announcement to be completely false.

Had I only known the extent of my folly before hand, I assure this honourable committee, I would have acted differently.

First and foremost, I am aware and fully support the articles of achievement laid down for the purpose of determining acceptable grounds for communication with a new planet. I would especially like to highlight my appreciation for Article 1.1 “Given species must have reached a sufficiently advanced level of scientific advancement and regularly demonstrate this advancement in daily life.”

Simply put… I had no idea that such a huge percentage of the planet rejected science based inquiry. I realize that ignorance is not an excuse but I must plead for special consideration in this case.

Considering this species is over 200,000 years old and has achieved a remarkable understanding of atomics and interstellar flight, I could hardly be expected to realize that huge proportions don’t believe their own species is over 200,000 years old or that they have achieved interstellar flight. The sheer ridiculousness of this rejection of science, I think, validates me somewhat. Who could have predicted such thinking?

I can only express bafflement (again no excuse I should have done the research) and I have since realized that no species with as much collected evidence on their own evolution who then chooses to believe that they and the very earth they live on to be no older than 6000 years is clearly unsuitable for first contact.

I soon realized that the majority of the planets inhabitants pledge allegiance to a belief system that is to be accepted based on faith and rejects scientific evidence while paradoxically suggestion their faith in creation 6000 years ago is based on sound evidence. There is nothing intelligent about this design theory.

In all professional honestly I did not do proper research and that is the reason for my ignorance. That being said… I can’t even begin to explain why they think water has memory.

What is astounding is that they have a clear understanding of chemistry and (apparently) understand the nature of H20. What line of thinking that led so many to assume that water has the potential maintain the “essence” of something despite being repeatedly diluted over and over again is truly a great mystery of the universe.

I can’t say this is a result of poor understanding of basic science since I’m amazed to say their medical science is actually quite advanced. They have already grasped a firm understanding of biology and developed several immunological defences against diseases which once plagued their society. One such condition known as “small pox” caused the deaths of over 300–500 million humans in the last 100 years. Their medical technology known as vaccines virtually eliminated this threat. Several other dangerous infections have been curtailed by this medical breakthrough.

It is with, frankly great sorrow, to report that my failure to adequately research this planet’s people forces me to admit to another violation of the Articles for Communication with a New Species, this time Article 5.3 “Species must value established, tested, documented technology over untested, non-scientific or otherwise instinct based fear mongering; that endangers existing and/or future lives.”

I confess (and assert in retrospect) to know of no other species that would reject a proven medical breakthrough, the consequences of which is a rise in the death of their fellow beings, particularly their vulnerable offspring.

It is also clear, now that I have bothered to do some fact checking, that Article 11.5 “Species must value individual autonomy and the liberty to pursue lifestyles so deemed by the individual in such it does not bring harm to others. This liberty must not be impinged upon unless after great consideration, certainly not because any one group asserts to have authority based on an arbitrary system they invented, and not formed from any rational investigation or empirical evidence.” … is clearly not embraced by a large number of people on this planet.

Specifically relating to the mental capacities of these beings, I’m afraid I must report Article 3.2 cannot be applied in this case. That article being “Given species must demonstrate sufficient knowledge of its own limitations in understanding, cognitive prowess, and internal biases and evolutionary induced logic short comings, where they apply.” Given this, they obviously haven’t achieved Article 3.3 “With respect to Article 3.2 given species should have in place an understanding and due skepticism in their own understanding of the universe around them and develop a method of inquiry to suit this.”

Once again, I would like to acknowledge that my conduct was not befitting of my duty and I have failed in my responsibilities. It is beyond clear to me that this society is not fit for interstellar relations with galactic community. However, if I could make one request before my inevitable court martial, this world should be kept under observation. While there are many issues that need to be address, I have noticed a small number of the population trying to improve their civilization. Their embrace with scientific inquiry is a shining light of potential.

Sincerely,

Humbled Agent 09345.

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  • Ethan Clow

    Ethan Clow, born and raised in the Vancouver area, is best known in the skeptical community as Ethan the Freethinking Historian, co-host of Radio Freethinker, a skeptical podcast and radio show on CiTR in Vancouver. And as the former Executive Director of the Centre for Inquiry Vancouver. Ethan graduated with a B.A. in History from UBC in the fall of 2009 and has an active role with skeptical movements in Vancouver and British Columbia. He was an executive member of the UBC Freethinkers, a campus club that promotes skepticism and critical thinking. He still maintains a close relationship with the UBC Freethinkers and helps plan events and organizes skeptical activism as best he can. Currently he works for the Centre for Inquiry as the Executive Director of CFI Vancouver.