We hear a lot about so-called peer review. In fact, this is one of the most frequent responses and challenges to the Billy Meier UFO case evidence and information, especially from skeptics and other pseudoscientific types. So, just exactly what is peer review?
From the Lloyd Sealy Library at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice:
In academic publishing, the goal of peer review is to assess the quality of articles submitted for publication in a scholarly journal. Before an article is deemed appropriate to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, it must undergo the following process:
- The author of the article must submit it to the journal editor who forwards the article to experts in the field. Because the reviewers specialize in the same scholarly area as the author, they are considered the author’s peers (hence “peer review”).
- These impartial reviewers are charged with carefully evaluating the quality of the submitted manuscript.
- The peer reviewers check the manuscript for accuracy and assess the validity of the research methodology and procedures.
- If appropriate, they suggest revisions. If they find the article lacking in scholarly validity and rigor, they reject it.
- Because a peer-reviewed journal will not publish articles that fail to meet the standards established for a given discipline, peer-reviewed articles that are accepted for publication exemplify the best research practices in a field.
I’ll take a wild guess and suggest that somewhere in history, something that was once accepted as scientific fact because it was deemed to be so by peer review, may have been amended, corrected, etc. The peers in all these reviews are, of course, just other human beings who, therefore, can and do make mistakes…just like the rest of us. And scientific knowledge moves on and doesn’t remain static.
Regarding “experts in the field” in UFOlogy, just who might these people be and, of course, what is their expertise? Right from the start we see that the majority of the so-called experts are simply people who…report on other people’s evidence, claims and experiences, etc.
In fact, I am in this category but, since I’ve actually been the closest to an extraterrestrial UFO (in addition to my six other sightings about which I can’t make such claims) and because I have received date and time stamped verifiably accurate, documented information from them (through Billy Meier) I call myself “the world’s leading expert on UFOs”.
Obviously, I’m not even remotely as expert as Meier, and quite possibly many others who have been involved with him closely over several decades. However, to the best of my knowledge, few if any of those other people are actively, publicly presenting any information.
So who else does that leave in the mix as an “expert” at this level? It leaves no one, to my knowledge.
Sure, there are people in the “UFO industry” running around the rubber chicken circuit talking about the dead end (gag me) Roswell case, or any number of other ones – for which there simply is no significant, verifiably unique, tangible evidence. That doesn’t mean that other UFO cases, events and/or brief contacts didn’t occur, it’s simply that all reporting on them is usually second or third hand at best.
But absent any universally accepted “UFO experts” among credentialed scientists who should constitute such a peer review board, what’s the best evidence that laymen can turn to, research and evaluate for themselves? As I’ve long suggested, the existence of a verifiable copyright is our own internationally respected, legal standard of proof of prior publication. Not only can any layman ultimately confirm and rely on it but obviously any and every scientist, jury and judge can also (as I have firsthand experience with).
If the prior publication is in fact the exact same information that was only later approved in a peer reviewed paper, or corroborated by a subsequent “new official discovery” or scientific finding, etc., shouldn’t it be afforded the same credibility and authenticity as it would if it pertained to any other respected field of science? And if in fact it is shown to be, by this same objective process of research and evaluation, one of dozens of such legally verifiable proofs wouldn’t that be all the more interesting, and amazing, and completely eliminate the cynical comments of “lucky guess” that the outclassed skeptics often rely on?
Since the core element in the spiritual teaching is self-responsibility, isn’t it thrilling to know that by applying it along with straight-ahead, objective, scientific principles for determining the truth of claims, including verifying the existence of a copyright, you are in control of determining the truth for yourself?
So, this is by no means any criticism of scientific processes, peer review, etc. But we must not let others determine the truth for us, especially by relying on, or citing, “scientific experts” in a field where, unfortunately, not only do none such exist but where the scientific standards themselves are so abysmally low, allowing any and all preposterous, unsubstantiated claims by numerous hucksters to be taken serious and/or promoted uncritically.
It is also to be hoped that those scientists, and others in the professional and scholarly communities, who have intellectual honesty and integrity will cinch up their belts and step forward – without giving lame, wimpy excuses for demurring – and participate in a fair, rigorous examination of the higher standard of proof in the Meier case.
For the latest on authentication of the physical UFO evidence, see also: