Stephen Hawking, Intelligent Design, SETI, & Raelians

What do Stephen Hawking, the Raëlian UFO & Intelligent Design cult, and SETI have in common? Bear with us, and all will be revealed.

Many of you have seen at least one episode of Stephen Hawking’s Universe. According to the Times of London, in Don’t talk to aliens, warns Stephen Hawking:

[Hawking] concludes that trying to make contact with alien races is “a little too risky”. He said: “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

Hawking may be right about that. Or wrong. But in the opinion of the Raelians, he’s totally wrong.

We like the Raelians, a sect based entirely on intelligent design (ID). See their Message from the Designers. We like them because they help us point out that in addition to the Christian denominations that follow a literal reading of Genesis, there are people all over the world, of many faiths, with a deeply-held belief in creationism, creation-science, and Intelligent Design.

Among those who are fervent believers in creationism are many — perhaps most — Muslims. See: Why Muslims Should Support Intelligent Design, By Mustafa Akyol. It’s not only Muslims. There are also the Hare Krishnas. Their website has this article: The Intelligent Designer. And let’s not forget the Unification Church, founded by Rev. Sun Myung Moon. One of Moon’s followers, Jonathan Wells, is a leading intellectual in the ID movement and a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute. See The Genius of Jonathan Wells. Finally, there is Hindu Creationism, Just Like Our Own.

But the Raelians, who believe in ID without otherwise being involved in any particular religion, are an excellent vehicle to illustrate that our opposition to creationism (and ID) is not at all motivated by hostility to any sect. Our position is simplicity itself — regardless of religion or non-religion, creationism is silly science. Period.

That said, let us turn to the Raelians for their curious critique of Hawking. At their website we read Stephen Hawking’s warnings about aliens based on evolutionist prejudice . It’s a strangely written piece, which is either an interview with, or just an article about Claude Vorilhon, the cult founder who calls himself “Rael.” Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

The universe, he [Hawking] points out, has 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars. In such a big place, Earth is unlikely to be the only planet where life has “evolved”.

This is where Raelians start to disagree as the Raelian philosophy states that the Universe is infinite and that life has always existed and will always exist in an infinite number of forms, implying then infinite in space and time. Infinity is one of the main concepts of the Raelian philosophy, very often rejected by the Scientific community for it is difficult to prove infinity. It is however what they will most likely propose soon, after pushing the boundaries of the known Universe over and over again.

Yes, infinity is a tricky devil. Let’s read on:

The other main point we disagree with is his warning regarding aliens’ intents. Hawking suggests that seeking aliens out is dangerous and that humanity should be doing all it can to avoid any contact. He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. … Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”

We suspect that building a fleet of interstellar ships to go around the galaxy on a strip-mining binge is an extremely unprofitable enterprise; but you’re not interested in our opinion. Let’s continue:

Rael commented on these pessimistic ruminations: “With these views, Hawking demonstrates that he’s not only physically handicapped but mentally handicapped by the degenerative disease of ‘evolutionism’ or ‘Darwinism.

Rael runs a very classy cult. Here’s more:

His fears about murderous, invading aliens are based on the theory of evolution – the myth of evolution, to be more precise. He’s afraid humans are inferior to aliens who might invade. That’s logical, but only if you accept the myth of evolution.”

You probably didn’t know that Darwin spent the final decades of his life hiding under the bed, fearing that the aliens were trying to get him. A sad story. We heard it from Lady Hope. Anyway, here’s more from the ID cult:

Rael called evolution “a magical, irrational concept” that does great harm. “Hitler’s views about superior Aryans; slavery and apartheid; and Hawking’s delirium of aliens wiping out humanity all fit perfectly with the evolution myth,” he said …

In playing the Hitler card, Rael shows that he has a great deal in common with a certain “think tank” in Seattle. Moving along:

And the truth about the origin of life on Earth? “It’s the result of intelligent design, not by just one so-called godly designer but by extraterrestrial designers, plural, called the Elohim,” Rael said. “With intelligent design, you automatically have intelligent organization of the universe as well, organization based on peace and love, not on monsters ready to invade and destroy humanity.”

Rael’s ravings may be far more attractive to a certain kind of mentality than the bland, pseudo-scientific pretensions of the Discoveroids. There’s more to the article, so click over there and read it all if you like.

What do we learn from this? We learn that ID — far from being a scientific theory — is some kind of symptom. Of what, we don’t know, but we recognize it when we see it.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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2 responses to “Stephen Hawking, Intelligent Design, SETI, & Raelians

  1. What do we learn from this? We learn that ID — far from being a scientific theory — is some kind of symptom. Of what, we don’t know, but we recognize it when we see it.

    It’s a symptom of a deep-seated desire for humanity to be the ultimate purpose of the universe. Same thing that drove geocentrism. Science tells us the nuts and bolts of how we function and how we got here, and it can made predictions about our future based on available data. Higher purpose is the bailiwick of philosophy and theology, and attempts to meld it with science are doomed to fail.

  2. longshadow

    Infinity is one of the main concepts of the Raelian philosophy, very often rejected by the Scientific community for it is difficult to prove infinity.

    This is so utterly, profoundly, and completely idiotic — every scientist who uses calculus is subsumed by infinity and the infinitesimal, bathed in it, swaddled in it.

    So much nonsense; so little time.