The Discovery Institute hates not only SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, they don’t like the idea of any kind of extraterrestrial life? Why?
Because they’re creationists, and they think that life — intelligent or not — couldn’t appear naturally, here or anywhere else in the universe. It’s a miracle, wrought by their magical, mystical intelligent designer — blessed be he! — and because it happened here, that means we’re oh so special. If any kind of life were found — gasp! — out there, it would really upset them. See SETI Will Eventually Destroy Creationism.
We’ve posted before about their attitude. For example, see Klinghoffer Opines on SETI (their lack of results so far is proof that we were intelligent designed), and also Discoveroids React to the Martian Landing (it’s a desperate attempt to disprove intelligent design), and also Discoveroids’ Reaction to Extra-Solar Planets (they don’t like ‘em), and also SETI Uses Intelligent Design Theory (it doesn’t), and also Klinghoffer: The View from Bizarro World (more of the same).
Now they’re at it again. At the Discoveroids’ blog we find this new gem: The Anxious Search for Extraterrestrials. Anxious? That gets explained at the end. This thing is by Tom Bethell. He’s not officially a Discoveroid, but they publish his essays, and Wikipedia says he advocates intelligent design and other fringe science.
After gloating that “NASA’s Curiosity rover had failed to detect methane in the Martian atmosphere,” and then devoting many paragraphs to derisively explaining SETI and its failure to produce any results (yet), Bethell asks:
Why have we invested so much hope in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence?
Before answering that, he takes a few swipes at Carl Sagan for his prediction of numerous extraterrestrial civilizations, and says:
Built into this is the assumption that self-replicating life can easily get started on its own. No divine intervention is allowed, of course. That has been the underlying assumption since Darwin’s day. If so, life must have arisen by accident. Then it keeps climbing onward and upward, through random variation and natural selection.
Yes, Bethell reveals the secret — all those SETI boys are Darwinists! Then he touches on the Fermi paradox and the Drake equation. Those topics are essential background for SETI work, but you know that stuff. Then he finally gets around to telling us what he and the Discoveroids think about SETI. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
If the origin of life is easy, why can’t we make it happen in our own laboratories, by deliberate and ceaseless effort? Furthermore, Frank Drake and colleagues have been listening for over fifty years now but they haven’t heard anything much beyond background hiss.
Yeah, all those smarty-pants SETI guys haven’t found anything — they’re Darwinist fools! Let’s read on:
There is another consideration. Some scientists want to believe in extraterrestrials because it is an article of our secular faith that there is nothing exceptional about human life. The Earth, its life, mankind and civilization are routine things; nothing out of the ordinary. If so, of course, we should expect to find such life all over the Galaxy.
We wouldn’t describe it as an article of faith — scientific curiosity is a better term. It is, however, an article of faith with creationists that we’re all alone. They insist that life can’t occur naturally and evolution is impossible; therefore, they say, we’re here as the result of a divine miracle. Bethell continues:
The anti-religious physicist Lawrence Krauss wrote that the discovery of extraterrestrial life “would be far more jolting — and not just to orthodox Christians — than was the revelation that the Earth is not the center of the solar system.”
Yes, no doubt. But Bethell takes issue with part of that. He claims:
Actually, the Copernican system wasn’t jolting at all. That is a modern invention, promoted by people like Gould and Krauss.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We’ll let you read Bethell’s explanation of that. Here’s more:
We have spent so much time putting mankind in the basement that it takes an effort to consider that we might be exceptional. Yet if we are alone in the cosmos — well, you can’t get more exceptional than that.
Here’s the last paragraph:
If we can’t find life on Mars, we are unlikely to find it anywhere else in our solar system. Maybe life takes a designer? You can see why SETI makes some of us anxious.
Right. If there’s no life on Mars, we’ll have to give up on Darwin. At least that’s the Discoveroid view of things. Aren’t they wonderful? All the evidence in this world hasn’t made a dent in their Babylonian era science, but if something as simple as a cactus were found on another world — their religious fantasies couldn’t handle it.
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