Creationist Wisdom #473: Twilight Zone SETI

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in The Missoulian, published in Missoula, Montana. The letter is titled Search for extraterrestrial lift ignoring clues God provided to discover truths.

Extraterrestrial lift? Huh? Is someone looking for an elevator on Uranus? Oh, it should have been “life,” instead of “lift.” It’s a letter about SETI, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence , one of our favorite off-topic topics. The title will get changed, eventually, but for now it just adds to the fun.

We don’t embarrass letter-writers by using their full names, unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures. Today’s writer isn’t known for anything except writing letters like this one, so we’ll use only his first name, which is Larry. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Recently I read in a national magazine an article entitled, “Is there anybody out there?” about the search for extraterrestrial life.

That unnamed magazine was probably something Larry read while sitting (uncomfortably) in his proctologist’s waiting room, and it’s the sole source of his knowledge of the subject. Okay, let’s find out what he thinks about it:

It seems to me that scientists are looking in the wrong place for an answer, spending lots more money than necessary and not using all of the tools mankind has been given.

Ahhhh … when searching for intelligent life “out there,” we shouldn’t be looking out there. Okay, Larry, tell us where to look:

Those who seek are looking for physical evidence, as opposed to clues of any other sort. It is commonly believed that humans have only five senses but there are more, if only we could realize it. [Twilight Zone intro.] If spiritual possibilities are ignored then the solution to the question is evaded completely.

You were expecting the usual creationist babbling, but look what you’ve stumbled into! Let’s read on:

Actually, there are many supposedly learned persons who don’t want there to be a spiritual aspect to the investigation because that leads toward God. They prefer to believe that, through evolution, humankind essentially created itself and that the process is or has been going on elsewhere in the universe; and that men (themselves, in particular) are the only gods.

Is Larry talking about you, dear reader? Is your pitiful belief in evolution preventing you from exploring the spiritual dimension? It may not be too late. Pay attention, as Larry continues:

It doesn’t require prodigious infusions of cash or journeys to other planets to discover the truth about these things. It is an experiment that every individual is equipped to conduct.

Whoa — that’s great news. It doesn’t require any money or space ships. Even you can do it — on your own. Get ready, because right now, at the end of the letter, Larry explains how it’s done:

The method is really quite simple – just begin a personal, private conversation with God and find out who he is and what he is like. It’s what he made us for.

Your Curmudgeon is going to give it a try, so we may be out of contact for a while — contact with you, that is. We’ll be back, but nothing will ever be the same again.

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

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

19 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #473: Twilight Zone SETI

  1. There you go again. Are you gonna find letters from Moe and Curly before you treat us to another one by Denyse? 🙂

  2. SC: “SETI…one of our favorite off-topic topics.

    Actually it’s as on-topic as one can get, especially here, given the Discoveroids’ obsession with it. In fact Larry seems to disagree as much with the Dicsoveroids as with mainstream science. So lets see if he admits that the bacterial flagellum is also the wrong place to look for answers.

  3. What a tease! Why doesn’t Larry say what God told him about whether there is extraterrestrial life, and where it is?

    I am breathlessly awaitning the verdict.

  4. Larry proclaims

    It doesn’t require prodigious infusions of cash or journeys to other planets to discover the truth about these things.

    Keeping Ham’s Creation ‘ministry’ and the Discoveroid’s Apologetics Institute, however, does require prodigious infusions of cash.

    As does a visit to Disneyland. Q.E.D.

  5. “Those who seek [evidence for extraterrestrial life and intelligence] are looking for physical evidence, as opposed to clues of any other sort. It is commonly believed that humans have only five senses but there are more, if only we could realize it. [Twilight Zone intro.] If spiritual possibilities are ignored then the solution to the question is evaded completely.

    Meaning what, exactly? The Bible doesn’t mention extraterrestrial life, but so what? It doesn’t mention Australia, either (or the United States, though there are “Bible code” enthusiasts who claim it does).

    And “could it be” (to use one of the creationists’ stock phrases) that scientists look for physical evidence because that’s all there is? Prayer is unlikely to provide guidance in a matter of this sort.

  6. For a while there, I thought Larry was going to recommend the use of various chemical aids to enhance our spiritual journey.

  7. If SETI suddenly picked up a signal, Larry would say “That’s just what God told me.”

    Maybe God will tell Larry how to build a warp drive, get a bill through congress, or do some other impossible thing.

  8. @Eric Lipps
    As far as the Bible not mentioning extra-terrestrial life (other than gods and angels).
    The Bible does not mention the majority of terrestrial life – the microbes. We have no clue as to on which day God created internal parasites and germs (those that live neither in the water, the air, or on land), or how they survived before the Fall. Are we to think that maybe Saccharomyces cerevisiae was created along with the fruit trees and grasses? And what are we to think of viruses?
    It is almost as if the Bible was written as the product of an Ancient Near Eastern culture, with no knowledge of the natural world other than what was known in ANE. Or, at least, that the Bible was written to give that impression. (And if God went through all that work to give us that impression, who are we to question Him?)

  9. @Eric Lipps,
    If Australia is not mentioned in the Bible, shouldn’t you get touchy-feely contact with the Almighty before presuming it exists? The devil is everywhere, even on maps!
    Seriously, I agree; Larry lost me completely when he differentiated physical evidence from “clues” (whatever these might be).

  10. Charles Deetz ;)

    Note that all these Creationist Wisdom posts, there is no conversation about Noah’s ark at all. A search of the site gives seven CW articles that mention the ark in the last two hundred. Have the run-of-the-mill creationists given up trying to prove the ark is real?

  11. TomS: “We have no clue as to on which day God created internal parasites and germs (those that live neither in the water, the air, or on land), or how they survived before the Fall.”

    As you know, the whole purpose of “scientific” creationism is to look for independent evidence that validates what the Bible says. If while they’re at it, they come across something that the Bible left out (it would need millions or more pages to mention all the “kinds”) but otherwise did not explicitly deny, then they’d be more than glad to include that in their “theory.” You would probably know better about what the Biblical YECs and OECs say about those tiny creatures, but I do know what Behe claimed for at least one of them, the malaria parasite (MP). Apparently that was one of the designer’s direct designs. Behe is not nearly as clear if humans are too. He’s clear that humans and MPs have ancestors, and share some at that, but apparently in his “theory” the changes from “common ancestor of human and chimp” to modern human “could be” plain old Darwinian evolution, while the changes leading to the MP must have involved “something else.” If the designer is God, He has an inordinate fondness for creatures that make humans sick.

    Note the irony: Behe, who is regarded as a “creationist” by most critics, and who is raved about by many self-described creationists, has said many things that would make Biblical literalists cringe. Not just what I recounted above (admittedly in my own words, Behe’s are certainly more politically correct), but when he called reading the Bible as a science test “silly,” and the bombshell at Dover where he admitted that the designer might no longer exist.

    Some really strange bedfellows under that big tent.

  12. Charles Deetz: “Note that all these Creationist Wisdom posts, there is no conversation about Noah’s ark at all.”

    Interesting observation, and one that fits nicely with my hypothesis that these letter-writers are “transitional fossils” between rank-and-file evolution-deniers, and in-on-the-scam activists. An innocent literalist might mention it, then never write another letter after being embarrassed by the comments. While one who has completed the transition to activist and has chosen the Biblical strategy (as opposed to the ID one) realizes that a letter-to-the-editor is not the best place to discuss a topic that’s controversial even among evolution-deniers. In a letter the goal is to pack as many misleading sound bites into as few words as possible. So even if they’re on the “Biblical track” they learn to make it more about “weaknesses” of “Darwinism” (or perceived implications of acceptance) than anything about their own “theory.” If they’re on the ID track, as many are, they know to avoid Biblical reference wherever they are along the “transition.”

  13. A proctologist is a very specialized type of Astronomer…
    they are always looking at Uranus.

    OK! Sorry! But I couldn’t help myself, as I saw it in an odd fashion in your blog.

  14. Ceteris Paribus

    Larry explains how it’s done:

    The method is really quite simple – just begin a personal, private conversation with God and find out who he is and what he is like. It’s what he made us for.

    Just got off the secure phone with the Big Sky Guy, and the Dude is totally cool with the evolution scene. Seems that whole ID scam was just something He put together to distract a bunch of creepy kids. They had been given magnifying glasses to observe nature, but turned out they only used them to solar-fry ants crawling on the sidewalk.

    Oh, and no worries about life on other planets. BS Guy says that there are still plenty enough to go around, even though some members of the Church of LDS have taken up options on the choicer planets near Kolob. And when the supply of real planets does run low, there are already plans for importing container loads of inflatable versions from a supplier in an alternate universe.

  15. Ceteris Paribus

    arrgh – the horrid unclosed block-quote again? Or maybe a message from the BS Guy. Help! Help! Only the Unseen Hand of the universe can save me.

    [*Voice from above*] All is well, my child.

  16. I am really puzzled by these people who talk about having “conversations with god”. Are they just telling god how they feel and not expecting an actual voice to answer them? Or, do they believe they are having a real two way conversation in which god actually speaks to them?

    When I was doing my Psychiatry rotation in medical school, the police would often bring in people who were having “conversations” with various unseen people or things. We diagnosed them as delusional psychotics, put them in a locked ward and gave them powerful medications. However if a person is carrying on a conversation with god they are considered perfectly normal and actually very pious individuals.

  17. Demonstrate ANYONE who has solved any REAL problems in the world by have an close personal conversation with some gawd??!!!

  18. “They prefer to believe that, through evolution, humankind essentially created itself”

    Well, you’ve got to hand it to him. He’s got evolution nailed.

  19. @Stephen Kennedy: So to avoid arrest, delusional psychotics would be well-advised to walk around with their palms clasped together, fingers straight and upright, head bowed slightly… and of course, speaking in Latin.