The most widely-quoted sceptic of “crop circles” has made claims which seem to be in direct contradiction to the experimental facts: how can this be, for a professor of physics at a leading university?

The most widely-quoted sceptic of “crop circles” is currently Taner Edis, a professor of physics at Truman State University. He wrote in 2008 (see police-left-baffled-mysterious-crop or or ALIENS-create-strange-crop-circles-farmers-fields):

"Many crop-circle makers have come forth, or have been exposed. We know a great deal about their various techniques. So we do not need to find the perpetrator of every crop circle, to figure out that probably they all are human-made. Many true believers remain, who continue to think there is something paranormal — perhaps alien — about crop circles. But the circles we know all fall within the range of the sort of thing done in hoaxes. Nothing stands out as extraordinary.”

Really? Has Professor Edis ever studied “crop circles” in detail? I think not.

This would seem to be one of the most basic errors in logic that any scientist could make: to extrapolate from the observation that some crop circles are human-made, to a firm conclusion that all crop circles must be human-made, without introducing any further evidence in-between! Or as Karl Popper, a philosopher of science, once wrote: “No matter how many instances of white swans we may have observed, this does not justify the conclusion that all swans are white.”

Clearly if some crop circles have appeared under circumstances where no local human was seen in the field at the time; and if those (or other) crop circles contain remarkable, detailed features of the flattened plants, which no local human has ever been able to reproduce, then none of the long extrapolations which Professor Taner Edis has suggested could be true (see time2012a or 2014 review). Likewise if some crop circles show remarkable mathematical relations, never seen before on Earth (see Easy-pi-Astrophysicist-solves-riddle-Britains-complex-crop-circle.html), then one might wish to ask seriously who made them?

Many “paranormal” crop circles have been seen and evidenced over the years. Three examples are shown in the slide below. Their complex details, never reproduced by any local human on the ground, should be obvious even to an untrained observer:

Perhaps Professor Edis in 2016 no longer holds the sceptical views which he expressed in 2008, in the light of much more evidence? (see for example In which case, we would be grateful if he might clarify his views in public, with regard to real observational facts, so that major websites such as Wikipedia or the London newspapers would not report incorrect facts and/or long extrapolations as somehow “true”, and thereby mislead millions of people, who might presume they are being told the “honest truth”.

Furthermore, if there are any interested students of physics at Truman State University (or elsewhere), and they are being told such “whoppers”, then they should be encouraged to find out the real facts for themselves, even if those facts seem contrary to what they are being taught in the schools. The truth is not supposed to imprison young minds; rather it is supposed to set them free.

Red Collie (Dr. Horace R. Drew, Caltech 1976-81, MRC LMB Cambridge, 1982-86, CSIRO Australia, 1987-2010)


Mark Fussell & Stuart Dike

web counter
web counter