Now comes before the public claims that a six-inch "humanoid" was discovered a decade ago in the driest desert on Earth, Atacama, Chile. Story headlines indicate the authenticity was confirmed by well-credentialed scientists. Supported by mega-hype, the intense public interest in the topic is attested to by the millions of hits regarding the related stories on the Huffington Post website.

In fact, the researchers accomplished a very credible job of examining the body. Their reports state unequivocally, "The specimen was concluded by the medical specialist to be a human child with an apparently severe form of dwarfism." The key word is "human," not "humanoid." Nonetheless, those selling the Sirius movie repeatedly use "humanoid" in their advertising. While misleading at best, the statement might be true if one accepts that "all humans are humanoids but not all humanoids are human." That, however, is not the generally accepted definition and most readers consider "humanoid" to be something similar to, but different from, human. Beyond biological organisms, the term frequently refers to robots made to resemble human form.

Propagation of hype and hoaxes are not benign and often damage proposals for legitimate research in any field. That is especially true when the P.T. Barnum approach to an exposé is taken. Career scientists rightfully tend to be extremely skeptical to claims of anomalous phenomena of all kinds. Despite substantial quantifiable evidence supporting such diverse topics as remote viewing, psychokinesis, alternative healing methods, near-death experiences and UFOs, top scientists generally eschew any association with research into these controversial topics.

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