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A remarkable discovery has emerged in astrophysics: key properties of the universe have just the right values to make life possible. Most scientists prefer to explain away this uniqueness, insisting that a number of unseen universes must therefore exist, each randomly different. Astrophysicist Bernard Haisch joined George Knapp in the first half of the show to propose the alternative—that the special properties of our universe reflect an underlying intelligent consciousness.

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Abduction Face Off

 Abduction Face Off

Tonight's guest Budd Hopkins and other researchers have long faced scrutiny for bringing to light controversial reports of alien abduction that many find too incredible to believe. For instance the 1996 PBS documentary program Kidnapped by UFOs?(1) produced by NOVA was considered by many in the ufological field to be a hatchet job, deliberately ignoring research. Now in an article(2) penned by Hopkins on his website, he outlines how the abductees themselves have come under attack by various debunkers.

One newer report of skeptical research(3) comes from Professor Richard McNally of Harvard who concludes that while abductees show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, it may stem from their strong beliefs in their alien encounters which he suggests are based on fantasies and sleep disorders.

I examined the phenomenon of sleep paralysis (SP) for After Dark in 2001 and found that it was widely cited by skeptics as the cause of alien abduction reports. Susan Blackmore posited in the Skeptical Inquirer that "alien abduction is our modern sleep paralysis myth," suggesting that many people are unaware that SP is a natural physiological occurrence, and thus susceptible to misinterpretations. Yet what doesn't jibe is the fact that in most SP cases unique entities or presences are conjured during that person's partial REM state. Reports of these beings generally don't match with the common pattern of the small greys and their repetitive examinations and experiments aboard UFOs. And certainly abduction cases involving people driving their automobiles, land traces, lost time, and scoop marks on the body do not correlate with the profile of sleep paralysis reports.

--L.L.

1. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/aliens/
2. http://www.intrudersfoundation.org/witness_intimidation.html
3. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/sci_tech/2003/denver_2003/2769875.stm

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