ICR: There Ain’t No Alien Life!


That splendid illustration of the creationists’ universe is the work of the elves in our art department, shown here in its entirety for the first time.

Besides seeing man on the immovable flat earth (supported by pillars) around which the sun travels, you can now see everything else. The first time we used that pic we showed you only the middle portion, and there was a complaint that it omitted the Lake of Fire. No one remarked that it also omitted the glory of heaven above. Now all of creation is revealed. The full canvas is ten feet high, and it hangs on the wall behind your Curmudgeon’s throne-like chair.

Why have we included that illustration here? We used it before when we wrote Ken Ham: Aliens Are Going to Hell!, which presented the official opinion of Answers in Genesis on the existence of intelligent aliens. It was relevant then and it’s relevant now.

Something’s going on. The creationists are becoming increasingly agitated about aliens. First it was AIG, now it’s the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the granddaddy of all creationist outfits, the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom — which is giving us their bible-based opinion on the existence of life on other worlds. The last time we wrote about their view was ICR’s New Position on Alien Life.

ICR’s new article is NASA’s Far Out Search for Life . It’s written by Brian Thomas. This is ICR’s biographical information about him. Here are some excerpts from what he says, with bold font added by us:

Despite billions of dollars spent on the decades-long search and the fact that not one shred of distant life evidence has been found, NASA continues to suggest that life might really be out there and that its discovery is within reach. Does scientific evidence really justify this expensive search for distant life? If not, what’s the driving force behind this program?

And what is the driving force behind the latest creationist frenzy over the issue? The explanation is coming:

The hope of discovering life in outer space dangles at the end of the long and costly stick, and its elusive carrot takes the form of life-friendly planets in distant star systems. The Kepler space telescope has helped astronomers verify over 1,700 “exoplanets” out of an ever-growing pool of more than 5,000 candidates. These findings almost certainly help fuel NASA’s plans to launch the Transiting Exoplanet Surveying Satellite in 2017, the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018, and others later on — all looking for distant signs of life.

That’s what has the creationists so worried. A few short years ago, there was no evidence of extra-solar planets. Their number was an unknown variable in the Drake equation. Now we have evidence of thousands of extra-solar planets, and that’s after surveying only a small region of our galaxy, with methods that are rapidly improving. As a result, it seems likely that there are billions of planets out there. The creationists are greatly concerned, but they refuse to give up believing in our unique status as the only life-bearing planet in the universe. Let’s read on:

NASA News wrote, “Future missions will extend the search for oceans in the form of atmospheric water vapor and for life as in carbon dioxide and other atmospheric chemicals, on nearby planets that are similar to Earth in size and mass, a key step in the search for life.”

Aha! Here’s NASA’s article: Finding Life Beyond Earth is Within Reach. It’s the specific cause of the recent creationist agitation. The first paragraph explains their panic:

Many scientists believe we are not alone in the universe. It’s probable, they say, that life could have arisen on at least some of the billions of planets thought to exist in our galaxy alone — just as it did here on planet Earth. This basic question about our place in the Universe is one that may be answered by scientific investigations.

Back to ICR:

Those who hope for life in outer space seem to assume that they need merely to discover the conditions that sustain life, when ironically those very conditions destroy the chemicals of life. Even here on Earth where oceans of water, appropriate atmospheric chemicals, and an Earth size and mass collaborate to permit life, a century of experiments invoking a countless array of factors have [sic] not generated anything close to life.

That’s creationist proof! If we haven’t done it yet, then it’s impossible. Life can’t begin to exist without the miraculous intervention of Oogity Boogity! ICR refers to the NASA article and says:

This exposes the real foundation for belief in exoplanetary life — the assumption that life somehow arose by natural processes here on Earth. By definition, secularists make this assumption into a fact, but science clearly refutes it.

Science refutes it? That wild creationist claim has a footnote. Let’s see … ah, it refers to an ICR article. We’ll ignore it; surely you understand why. Here’s more:

If belief in evolution underpins the search for life in outer space, then does NASA’s search stem more from faith in evolution than from solid science?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! But ICR’s belief that there’s no life out there isn’t based on faith. It’s solid creation science! Moving along:

At first blush, the chances that certain conditions spawned life from non-life might appear somewhat favorable given billions of years on trillions of planets, but those chances actually approach zero if there are no such conditions.

If there are no such conditions? What are they talking about? Ah, here’s their reasoning:

For example, origin research has so far revealed that the odds of the spontaneous generation of life lie far beneath the odds of the spontaneous generation of aircraft carriers.

Lordy, lordy. That’s a fine example of the research done by ICR. Now we’ve arrived at their final paragraph. We’ll break it into two parts:

Exploring the universe clearly has its benefits, and satisfying our God-given curiosity about this amazing cosmos in which He placed us surely counts as one of them. But as we explore, let us not pretend that the conditions that permit life equal some imaginary conditions that produce life.

Why shouldn’t we proceed on that assumption? ICR’s final sentence explains it for us:

Science and scripture together confirm that life comes not from the laws of physics and chemistry, but from the life-Giver.

Oh. Okay then. NASA should give up. There’s no need to search for knowledge when the creationists already know everything there is to know.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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22 responses to “ICR: There Ain’t No Alien Life!

  1. BlackWatch

    Dear CITADEL elves. Very Hambonian.

  2. Our Curmudgeon generously gives us a sublime treat:

    That splendid illustration of the creationists’ universe is the work of the elves in our art department, shown here in it’s entirely for the first time.

    Bravo! I haven’t been so moved since my visit to the Sistine Chapel!

    If you are ever tempted to sell this masterpiece, Ole Hambo surely could find space on his Ark!

  3. Re the earlier post linked to above and what Ken Ham strongly implied regarding possible aliens several days ago (NB he’s today, as is usual, pretending that ‘atheists’ have been ‘distorting’ his words) my detailed rebuttal of his hypocritical allegations has been posted under this:
    Except that it ‘awaits moderation’ (due to its fairly numerous links I assume). I would be very grateful if it could be URGENTLY APPROVED.

  4. But Mr. Thomas surely knows what he’s talking about – after all, he’s teh author of “Dinosaurs and the Bible”.

  5. Apologies for going Off Topic here–but it’s a bit rich! Yesterday, the Disco’Tute’s dear ole Poo-Flingy Klingy posted this blog piece, How They’ll Write About Intelligent Design Someday. It was a favourable notice of a piece in the New York Times by George Johnson favourably reviewing a book the DI regard as ID-friendly. Klingy’s spin–as the title of his blog piece indicates–is that this was evidence that just as soon as the world finally discards the egregious errors of Darwinism (as it will, any day now), the visionaries of the Disco’Tute will stand revealed as the Prophets of TRVTH itself!

    But lo! Today Klingy is back with this piece: So, as George Johnson of the NY Times Says, Intelligent Design Is Just “Creationist Superstition,” Is It?, reporting that Mr. Johnson took exception to Klingonhuffer’s ‘spin’ on his review and tweeted at him: “No. Intelligent Design is creationist superstition. Nothing more.”

    Poor l’il Poo-Flingy can’t get no respect!

    O ye that live by Twitter shall die by the Tweet…

  6. Megalonyx says: “Apologies for going Off Topic here–but it’s a bit rich!”

    Indeed. I usually ignore those little cat-fights because they’re not worthy of enough attention to justify a full post, but they do make for juicy comments.

  7. Ken Phelps

    The whole fundie vs aliens thing seems odd to me. My fundamentalist father always assumed that God had created many worlds, and that only ours had gone astray. After all, just look at the size of the universe. It seems like the current generation of the God-smacked are just reflexively anti-science out of sheer a$$holiness.

  8. When missions get launched that can study planetary atmospheres, and results start rolling in, expect the ICR to move the goalposts to be “no intelligent life”, like that AiG did. That’s a pretty safe bet, we’re unlikely to stumble on a planet with artificial chemicals in its atmosphere. Technological civilizations will either be too young to be polluting, or too mature to be polluting. Catching one in the few hundred year span between achieving the ability to pollute and the ability to control it would be a really long shot.

    It might be possible, if a civilization created enough light pollution, that the spectra of that light could be detected when the planet is between us and its star and found to be artificial. That might work with any advanced civilization, whether or not it pollutes its atmosphere.

  9. Ed says: “When missions get launched that can study planetary atmospheres, and results start rolling in …”

    We still may not be able to detect them. I’ve mentioned before that Earth, for several millennia starting with the ancient Egyptians and continuing up to at least the year 1800, had an intelligent, civilized species that couldn’t be recognized by the methods we plan to use. In all that time we had no electronic transmissions, no artificial lighting, and no industrial pollution (well, none of any significance). On some other world, intelligent aliens could live like that for a million years and we’d never know they existed.

  10. I think the creationists are alarmed by how much astronomers now know about the Cosmos compared to just a few years ago and that it is just a matter of time before strong evidence for some type of life, such as exoplanet atmospheric composition showing evidence of metabolism, will be discovered.

    When I got my undergraduate degree in Astronomy, my professors believed that there were planets around other stars but did not think there would ever be a way to detect them. We have now not only found thousands of confirmed and possible exo-planets but have also been able to compute their orbits, determine their masses and radii allowing us to calculate an exo-planet’s density. We can calculate their likely surface temperatures and it may not be long before we can even determine the constituents of their atmospheres.

    Whenever a course related to Astronomy is offered on a MOOC like Coursera, I always take them because if I did not, my knowledge of Astronomy would be hopelessly out of date. I just finished courses given by the California Institute of Technology on the Solar System and the University of Geneva about Exo-planets. The pace at which our knowledge is advancing is mind boggling.

    Creationists, particularly the slack jawed walking around droolers who post on the AIG and ICR Facebook pages, have almost no inkling of how much scientists actually know and how they know it. This is especially true in a technology intensive science such as Astronomy.

  11. What Brian Thomas misses is that even if evolution isn’t true there could still be alien life. What a “designer” could do once he, she or it could surely do again somewhere else.

    If anything, if life is magically “created” the odds of its occurring elsewhere go up, not down. Therefore, searching for it is an expression of human curiosity, not some sinister scheme based on secularist “faith.”
    Even the Bible hints at it. John 10:16: “Other sheep have I, which are not of this fold,” etc., and John 14:2, “In my Father’s house there are many mansions.”

    But of course, human curiosity is anathema to fundamentalists, and they’d blow a blood vessel at anyone interpreting the Bible the way I have above (though it’s absurdly easy; I’ve barely scratched the surface).

  12. Eric Lipps says:

    What a “designer” could do once he, she or it could surely do again somewhere else.

    If the designer is as eager to be glorified and worshiped as they claim (which seems a peculiar desire for an infinite intelligence), then why stop at creating life on only one world? He’d be likely to fill the universe with adoring intelligent species.

  13. Ah, Dutch me finally gets the chance to correct SC’s English. Even better that it will be in honour of the elves’ hard work, which SC so cruelly tries to spoil with

    “shown here in it’s entirely for the first time.”
    That “l” should be replaced by a “t” – again, all and only in the honour of the elves. The result is simply awesome!

  14. Thank you, mnb0. Egad, my English is being corrected by a Dutchman! It must be a sign that we are living in the End Times.

  15. And there is no apostrophe in the possessive pronoun “its”.

  16. and it’s should be its I guess.

  17. The whole truth

    What happened to the creobot claim that the universe is fine tuned for life?

  18. It’s still around, but it has moved to Twitter keeping “if we evolved from monkeys why are there still monkeys?” company.

  19. @The whole truth
    Do you mean that the universe is fine tuned so that life can appear?
    Or do you mean that life is so improbable under these conditions that it requires special intervention for it to appear?

  20. The whole truth

    Hi Tom, my question is just a way to point out that creobots don’t stick to their claims. One day they claim that the entire universe is fine tuned for life (by their ‘God’) and the next day they claim that Earth is the only place in the universe with life. It can’t be both ways.

  21. @The whole truth, yes, I apologize for not making it clear that I was agreeing with you wholeheartedly. Pointing out another one of the cases of a “short attention span” on the part of the creationists. Another argument which seems to work for the moment, but which would work against them if brought up at a different time.

  22. Charles Deetz ;)

    So what is there answer as to why god made this whole universe, and not just a Sun, Earth, and Moon? Just to make stars in the sky to entertain us?

    I too would see it as more probable that god would populate other places in the world. That they go against even that expectation of logic that a christian could agree with shows how cornered and lost they are.