The UFO report won’t change minds. But maybe it should
Just in case there is extraterrestrial life, perhaps we should have a little more cognitive humility about the unknown
Those of us who’ve dreamed of extraterrestrial life since sci-fi-drenched childhoods are awaiting the US federal government’s forthcoming report on UFOs. And yet the report is unlikely to change any minds.
Which makes the controversy over unidentified flying objects a lot like everything else these days — and a good candidate to teach us a thing or two about the value of cognitive humility.
Let’s start with some data. Pollsters tell us that one American in three believes that we’ve had extraterrestrial visitors. And — for once — there’s no partisan divide. According to Gallup, Democrats (32%) and Republicans (30%) are about equally likely to believe that at least some UFOs are alien spacecraft. Belief is somewhat higher among independents, at a robust 38%. (And maybe higher still in Roswell, New Mexico.)..