Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Twinkle, twinkle, little Starseed

Regular readers of Skeptophilia may remember that a few months ago, I posted about the phenomenon wherein various people with a fairly tenuous grasp on reality become convinced that they are aliens.  (See my post here.)  They prefer the term "Starseed," however, so that they will not be confused with the more prosaic kind of illegal aliens, which could result in their being arrested by INS and deported to Alpha Centauri or something.

One of my criticisms of the whole Starseed thing was that it relied entirely on "feeling;" you determined that you were a Starseed because you "felt like you were," and even what star system you were from was ascertained from looking at a star map and seeing which one "felt right."  My conclusion was that the entire thing seemed predicated on a lot of wishful thinking.

Well, I'm happy to say that I now have come across research (even if I am twitching a little just from calling it that) that approaches the issue a little more analytically.  (Source)  However, if you are understandably reluctant to read the article itself, for fear that your brain will turn to Armour Potted Meat Food Product, I will summarize its main points for you below.

In its opening paragraphs, the article makes a good point, an objection that I wish I had thought of in my first post; if Starseeds are really superpowerful aliens in human form, sent here on a mission to improve humanity and heal the Earth, why don't they just go ahead and do it?  It's not like we see humanity showing much sign of improvement most days, such as might be evidenced by a drop in the ratings for Jersey Shore.  And as far as healing the Earth, I don't think I have a whole lot of confidence that's happening either, however you might define the word "healing."  And you'd think that the author might conclude from this that the people who claim to be Starseeds are actually just regular humans who might profit from some antipsychotic meds.

But no:  the actual answer, he says, is that Starseeds are alien losers:
I personally think that all Starseeds are actually outcasts are social rejects, prisoners are whatever part of their society they wanted to remove. The idea is that aliens vastly outlive us and they know the soul is immortal, so to punish or remove someone they find unpleasant to say the least, they must erase their memories and trick them into thinking they are on a mission to save Earth. Even when a Starseed remembers who they are, the aliens they last were, will return to contact that person and tell them they have a mission to keep them from wanting to return home. When a Starseed like myself doesn't do this mission and completely reject the idea and finds out what actually happened, the aliens will go as far as to threaten violence to keep them trapped on Earth.
Oh!  That makes perfect sense to me now.  Earth is actually like an intergalactic prison colony, and aliens are sent here for punishment.  I suppose there's some logic to this, especially if you've spent much time in Newark.

But by far the best part of the article is when the author quotes some facts and figures from Brad Steiger's highly scientific book, The Star People, which allows you to figure out the likelihood of your being a Starseed in a more statistically sound fashion than just closing your eyes and pointing to a random place in a star atlas.  According to Steiger, you may be a Starseed if you:
  • Have compelling eyes.
  • Have lower than normal body temperature.
  • Were an unexpected child.
  • Have chronic sinusitis.
  • Have hypersensitivity to electricity or electromagnetic force fields.
  • Experience buzzing or audio tone prior to a psychic-spiritual event or warning of danger.
  • Have "flying" dreams.
  • Feel that children and animals are attracted to you, and form strong attachments to pets.
  • Felt Earth mother/father not real parents.
Well, personally, I think that I have drop-dead sexy eyes, although I will admit that I might be a little biased in that regard.  I am very sensitive to the cold, I was definitely an unexpected child, and I have pretty frequent sinus problems.  The next two are "nos," but I did have flying dreams as a child, and dogs and cats both seem to be magnetically attracted to me.  As far as my parents not really being my parents, I look exactly like my dad, so I think it's a big no on that one.  So all in all, my own results are a little equivocal.  But Streiger goes on to quote some statistics, obtained heaven-alone-knows-how:
  • 88-92% have lower body temperature than the norm
  • 92% feel a tremendous sense of urgency to fulfill their missions
  • 65% are female: 35% are male
  • 90% have experienced a sense of oneness with the universe
  • 83-94% have chronic sinusitis
  • 32-34% have extra or transitional vertebra
  • 97% have hypersensitivity to sound, light, odors
  • 70-87% have swollen or painful joints
  • 93% have pain in the back of the neck
  • 84% adversely affected by high humidity
  • 71% have difficulty dealing with/or expressing emotions
  • 74% report out of body experiences
  • 57% perceive auras
  • 63% have experienced a white light during meditation
  • 50% believe that they receive some form of communication from a higher source
  • 50% have accomplished dramatic healings on themselves and others
  • 38% practice automatic writing
  • 60% have perceived spirit guides
  • 75% have experienced clairvoyance, clairaudience
  • 57% have made prophetic statements or experienced prophetic dreams or visions that have come to pass
  • 38% have been visited by an angel
  • 37% reveal the manifestation of a Light Being
  • 35% feel that they have been blessed by the appearance of a holy figure
  • 50% are convinced that they have a spirit guide or angel
  • 40% admit to having had an invisible playmate as a child
  • 20% once spotted an elf or "wee person"
  • 34% are certain that they have encountered alien entities of an extraterrestrial or multidimensional level
  • 55% report an intense religious experience
  • 72% claim an illumination experience
  • 90% have experienced telepathic communication with another entity, physical or non-physical from another realm.
  • 48% have seen a ghost
  • 42% have connected with a deceased loved one
  • 76% believe in reincarnation and have past life memories
  • 37% have survived a life-threatening illness
  • 34% have been involved in a severe accident or trauma
  • 55% have had near death experiences
  • 78% believe that have lived on another planet and can tell you about it
  • Some are aware of parallel existence at this time in other worlds
  • 86% believe in miracles
  • Most believe in a God or creator energy source
  • All believe in life on other planets
The majority of these seem to me to be ample qualifications for being fitted out for a jacket with extra-long sleeves, in my opinion, although a few of them are just weird.  Especially, what's the thing with the arthritis, sinus problems, and dislike of high humidity?  Are Starseeds actually elderly retired aliens from Planet Scottsdale, or something?  Of course, I didn't see any mention of golf, driving Buicks, or wearing plaid shorts with loafers and knee socks, so maybe that isn't right, either.

Be that as it may, there's our handy checklist to see if you're from another planet.  Given the author's surmise that Starseeds are alien convicts, if you are one, it's probably best if you don't tell me about it.  If you did, and the Intergalactic Police showed up at my door and threatened to vaporize my pets if I didn't tell them everything I know, I probably would rat you out rather than let that happen.  No offense, but I Form Very Strong Attachments To Pets, if you get my drift.  Wink wink nudge nudge.

9 comments:

  1. "Experience buzzing or audio tone prior to a psychic-spiritual event or warning of danger."

    I've experienced that, in the airport! Followed by the words, "You are approaching the end of the moving walkway."

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  2. Im curious why you feel the need to shoot them down? Cant you just let them have their beliefs and you have yours? We all have different opinions; that's the way humans evolved.

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    1. Well, it's an interesting question. Part of it is that I teach science and a course in critical thinking, and fuzzy thinking in harmless areas (e.g. the whole Starseed thing) often leads to fuzzy thinking in more important realms -- medicine and health, for example, and also finances (look at how many people pay thousands of dollars of their hard-earned money to psychics). I'm perfectly okay with fantasizing -- but when people begin to lose the ability to differentiate between fiction and reality, there's a problem. Plus, what we learn from science is wonderful and awe-inspiring -- why the need to make stuff up? To quote Carl Sagan: "It is far better to grasp the universe as it actually is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

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    2. I'm all for critical thinking, but things like ''for fear that your brain will turn to Armour Potted Meat Food Product'' and ''who claim to be Starseeds are actually just regular humans who might profit from some antipsychotic meds'' are not critical thinking, it is bias/negative judgement,

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  3. Love the article. I'm also a scientist (medical genetics and neuroscience) and had a very hard time accepting any "knowing" about my starseed origins. I'm finally convinced - after some very personalized and quite humorous experiences - though I'm very skeptical of the whole "starseed" movement... or whatever it is. Frankly, I think a lot of people fall into the "wishful thinking" boat, even if that means someone is a wishful inmate. It may feel more comforting to believe we’re some sort of special category of alien than accept that life on planet Earth generally sucks unless we are willing to invest the time and money into making ourselves the best we can be. On planet Earth. In spite of all my scientific instincts, I’ve come to the conclusion that the "knowing" is the only evidence any of us really have. Why contaminate it with a bunch of woo-woo wannabe thinking? Follow your personal facts. If you are a starseed, guidance will come. If you're not, you'll find the evidence you need wherever you look. It's how the human brain works. Either way, who cares? If you think you have some personal mission to help mankind, go for it. Whether Starseed exist or not, every hand counts when it comes to making a better world.

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  4. Hey there, I respect your article, but if I may just add my own two cents. I'm a 23 year old female, normal body type and in very good health. For the past few weeks now I have been experiencing swollen joints, arthritic symptoms, very uncomfortable sinus issues and its been very humid here in Toronto. I've been greatly effected by this weather change, in a negative way. I've never experienced this before and I stumbled across the starseed theory last year. I can also add that many, perhaps almost all of the characteristics of a starseed I can check off. Not sure too if I believe in the starseed business. And one last point, within the last year my life has changed, I have dreams that come true, repeated creepy coincidences. Too many that are bazaar to right off as just chance. That's all :)

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  6. Good point to Skeptic Starseed. ^_^ Now, my two cents: Whether your logical mind tells you your a Starseed or not, you should follow your heart, intuition and personal experiences. If you happen to cross paths with a purple alien one day, but yet, you're afraid to share the experience with others (from fear of being ridiculed and being labeled "crazy"), does it make your personal experience any less real? Of course not. Back in the day, if you told someone that humans will be able to fly in the air like birds (via aircraft) using a machine, you would end up in the nut house for sure. But yet, history teaches us that there were still the few brace souls who were willing to be labeled "crazy" by making their beliefs known to society. Whether one is a starseed or not, what matters most is who they choose to Be with that belief. If the belief itself, as outlandish as it may sound, helps someone to become a more loving soul, who wishes to be of service to humanity...then, why the heck not? If someone thinks that they're an earth angel; hence, goes around Being angelic and doing good deeds...who would fault that person? Perhaps a cynic who has nothing better to do than sit around and criticize those who are putting forth efforts to better themselves and others despite their own hardships and shortcomings. Even if a starseed happens to be a "social reject" from their own civilization, who was basically abandoned and tricked into coming to earth, how amazing would it be for a so-called outcast to transform into a Being of unconditional love who strives to help heal, uplift and inspire humanity despite not having experienced being loved by their own so-called family. Anyone can place a label on themselves, but it's what they choose to Be and do with that label is what matters. I can call myself a hero every day, but if I'm not Being a hero at any point, then my label is just simply a label. Thank you for sharing your gift my soul brother. You have helped me to receive the answer that I was yearning for deep within me. I AM a starseed, and despite being abandoned by my earth father as a baby, being physically and emotionally abused by my earth mother, being molested by my uncle, losing my children, and raped in the Army, just to name some of the darkness, I'm still here. I chose to turn my dark experiences into wisdom. Logic tells me that I should've become a serial killer who hates humanity; however, my heart, intuition and inner-wisdom tells me that there is indeed something greater...more peaceful...more loving...more joyful, etc., but that we must first search from within, and wake up to our true selves. We are in essence what we've been searching for all along...Unconditional Love. We are All One. ;-)

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  7. i experienced some of the following i guess which makes me half starseed

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