On the recommendation of another RDN user, I signed up for the Introduction to Astrobiology course on Coursera, run by Edinburgh University.
While it attracted a lot of like-minded people either with science backgrounds, or without but wanting to increase their knowledge and understanding of another subject, it also (unsurprisingly) attracted a lot of superstitious people.
An extreme example of this was Neil Gould, ‘director of the Exopolitics Institute, Hong Kong’. With his input, a thread about crop circles (which I’m sure you can imagine) descended into an exchange of various conspiracy theories, the end result of which was Mr Gould publishing a series of links to various ‘proofs’ of UFOs and alien incursions.
I managed to get as far as the first page of his website (http://exopoliticshongkong.com/Earth_History.html), but I couldn’t get any further.
My question is (and hopefully this can apply to reasoned thought generally, not just dealing with internet cranks), is it worth wading through the reams of ‘evidence’ that these people claim to have to back up their claims? I haven’t bothered, in this instance, and I’ve stopped discussing the topic because I sensed it just wasn’t going anywhere. But had I wanted to continue, I would have felt obliged to look through the proposed evidence in order to be able to evaluate it. However, would this have really got me anywhere?