This is an old story. The Discoveroids often claim that their “theory” of intelligent is widely used by other sciences (see Discoveroids: Everyone Uses Our Theory), and SETI — the Search for extraterrestrial intelligence — is one of their favorites. See Discoveroids: More on SETI & Intelligent Design, where we said:
They’re trying to have it both ways. If we find no aliens, they win, because we’re the unique creation of the designer. But if we do find aliens, it’s because we used their intelligent design “science” in the search.
Their latest attempt is For SETI Researchers, Here Is a Guide for Handling Fallacious Objections. It was written by Casey Luskin, our favorite creationist. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
A recent story making the rounds, “Space anomaly gets extraterrestrial intelligence experts’ attention,” claims that the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project has found “a strange star” that “could mean alien life.”
We wrote about that here: Klinghoffer: More Evidence for Intelligent Design. Let’s see what Casey can do with it:
Comparisons between SETI’s methodology and the theory of intelligent design (ID) have been made since ID’s earliest days. Both SETI and ID seek to detect the signs of intelligence in the world around us. SETI focuses on looking for evidence of extraterrestrial civilizations far away in the universe. ID looks for signs of intelligent agency in the origin of living organisms and the universe itself.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, they’re both the same. Let’s read on:
SETI and ID share something else: they both try to be very conservative and cautious, invoking intelligent causation only when it is clearly warranted by the evidence.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Then why do the Discoveroids insist that their intelligent designer — blessed be he! — is responsible for the universe, life, and our “perfectly coded” genome? Casey continues:
ID proponents only conclude in favor of design when it’s clear that known material causes cannot explain the observed phenomena and when the data is best explained by intelligence.
Oh, okay. Here’s more:
So far, SETI hasn’t found a case that is clearly explained by some extraterrestrial civilization. This recent find of a star with flickering light is nowhere near enough evidence to conclude that aliens are the best explanation … . But suppose SETI were to one day discover strong evidence of some extraterrestrial civilization — enough to warrant a design inference. They might expect to face some of the same fallacious objections that ID faces. They might like some friendly tips on handling them. Here’s a little guide for SETI folks if that day ever comes:
What follows is really funny. Building on the strange notion that SETI is using the same “theory” of intelligent design that the Discoveroids use in their brilliant research, Casey assumes that SETI researchers will run into the same objections that the Discoveroids do. So they’re offering some advice, based on their extensive experience. Pay careful attention:
Who Made the Aliens? As soon as you claim you’ve detected aliens, skeptics will say “How can you claim there are aliens when you haven’t explained who made the aliens?”
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! People are always asking the Discoveroids: “If your magic designer made the universe, then who made the designer?” The question, which is relevant in a theological context like the Discoveroids’ enterprise, would never be asked if intelligent aliens were discovered. We’ll skip Casey’s confused and rambling advice to SETI researchers about handling that one. This is his next anticipated objection to the discovery of aliens:
Where’s Your “Alien-O’Meter”? Some critics might reply “You need some kind of an ‘alien-o-meter’ to show that these aliens really exist before you can claim that you’ve detected evidence of an extraterrestrial civilization. After all, how do we know that aliens were behind the evidence you’ve discovered if we don’t know the aliens exist?”
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! People are always asking the Discoveroids: “How can you detect design in things like DNA unless you have some kind of design detector?” But in the case of aliens, we’d see them (or their signals), so again, no one would raise such an objection. We’ll skip Casey’s advice to SETI researchers about handling that, and move along to the next objection he thinks SETI investigators might encounter:
Aliens of the Gaps A last objection the SETI researcher will face goes like this: You’re never allowed to conclude that aliens are responsible for anything because someday we might find a fully material, physical explanation other than ETs for the evidence you claim demonstrates an extraterrestrial civilization. As materialist explanations advance, your “alien” theory will just retreat into the gaps of our knowledge.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! People are always telling the Discoveroids — correctly — that their imaginary designer is just a God of the gaps. But again, that’s a theological objection applicable to the Discoveroids, and no one would even think to raise it if aliens were discovered.
What’s going on here? Does Casey really think SETI uses intelligent design “theory,” and its findings — if there were any — would be subject to the same objections rational people properly hurl at the Discoveroids? Maybe he does think that. Anyway, then he says:
Now I personally don’t object to SETI researchers doing their thing, but I’m highly skeptical that they’re ever going to find an extraterrestrial civilization. But my reason for writing this isn’t to rant against SETI. It’s just to point out the irony.
What irony? Casey explains:
People make a lot of fallacious objections against intelligent causation. We in the ID movement get this all the time. It sounds like, “Who designed the designer?” or “Where’s your theo-meter?” or “This is just God of the gaps.” If SETI claimed to find some extraterrestrial intelligent civilization, most likely the analagous [sic] objections would never come up, at least not with much force. Why is that?
Jeepers, why? Here’s Casey’s reasoning:
Most materialists would see extraterrestrial life as proof that a naturalistic origin of life is possible, and that perhaps life is therefore common in our universe. After all, what drives many materialists to look for evidence of extraterrestrial life is a misguided assumption that if aliens exist, it would somehow validates their worldview.
Aaaargh!! But as bad as that was, something far more goofy is coming. Here it is, and it’s the final paragraph of Casey’s amazing post:
But they are mistaken about what SETI means. If we found evidence of an alien civilization, that wouldn’t be evidence that life evolves naturally. It would just be evidence for an extraterrestrial civilization. That’s it. How it arose would be an entirely different question. And all indications we have so far show that life could not arise naturally, whether on earth or anywhere else. For all we know, finding evidence of extraterrestrial life could end up being yet another piece of evidence pointing to intelligent design.
Your Curmudgeon is speechless. That might be the most bizarre Discoveroid post ever.
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