Crop Circles: Blending Art with Skepticism
Crop Circles (a.k.a. Crop Formations), when done correctly, are beautiful. Shapes and patterns made by the flattening of tall grasses, they are impressive in both their design and scale. They have the added bonus of being an excellent visual exercise in how to be skeptical about supernatural claims.
Here is the quick quick summary: Crop Circles are claimed (by some people, usually people classified as being in the “UFO community”) to be the result of extra-terrestrial activity. The arguments in favor of their “evidence” range from eyewitness encounters to arguments from ignorance … but ironically, few straw-man arguments. Essentially, there is no scientific evidence for the ET arguments, and there are copious amounts of direct evidence (such as videos) of people making crop circles all over the world.
But that does not stop the true believers from truly believing. For example, the website cropcircles.net is run by people who are absolutely convinced that crop circles CAN NOT be the work of people … at least not the “real” crop circles. Here is one excerpt from their webpage which sums up their thoughts:
“The issue is that no man-made crop circle has satisfactorily replicated the features associated with the real phenomenon, and this has baffled scientists and researchers. Crop circles are created by a force seemingly at odds with modern science. “
Regardless of the anti-science people in the world, IO9.com has gone ahead and put together their list of the most impressive crop circles of 2014. IO9 has, quite correctly, categorized this news item in their “Art” section.