Creationist Wisdom #644: God and Aliens

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the La Crosse Tribune of La Crosse, Wisconsin, and it’s titled Scientists can’t prove God’s existence. The newspaper has a comments feature.

Because today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name. His first name is Richard. Excerpts from his letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

The existence of life on other planets has been pondered for centuries. Serious investigations by the science communities have been conducted to find measurable proofs of this existence.

“Measurable proofs”? An unusual expression, but we’ll overlook it. Then Richard says:

Science as a discipline stands mute thus far, because evidence — either yay or nay — hasn’t presented itself.

No, science hasn’t been mute. Astronomers have found evidence suggesting the presence of Maybe Billions of Habitable Planets, and even with our currently limited ability to make such observations, several extra-solar planets have been found to be in their star’s Goldilocks zone. The most recent article on this from PhysOrg was a couple of weeks ago — Nearby star hosts closest alien planet in the ‘habitable zone’. But Richard’s claim that science is “mute” is correct in a limited sense — no one claims that alien life has been found. Nevertheless, there’s good reason to continue searching. Let’s read on:

As a Christian, I can write reams on my belief. I am only constrained by my own honesty.

Yes, but what is Richard trying to say? He continues:

The true scientists, however, bound by the restriction of their discipline, can only stand mute on God’s existence.

Well, that’s certainly true. A deity that exists beyond time and space literally can’t be detected by science, so of course no one tries to search for such a thing or has anything scientific to say about it. Here’s more from Richard:

There have been attempts to get measurable and repeatable proofs for or against without conclusive results.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We’ve seen no hint of such attempts in the scientific literature. Further, it’s not the business of science to investigate deities. There’s no evidence to examine. Moving along:

I understand they may try to refute some of the claims made, but the ultimate question of God’s existence still looms unanswered.

Richard doesn’t describe such attempted refutations, so there’s no point in trying to speculate what he’s talking about. Here’s another excerpt from his letter:

Serious comment by the science community cannot be made.

Individual scientists are free to make any personal comments they like, but if Richard means scientific comment on God’s existence, he’s correct. There’s no data, so there’s nothing to say. And now we come to the end of the letter:

Atheists have cited science as evidence as a proving ground for their belief system. This attempt is a dead end, for science cannot testify on their belief.

That’s the whole letter, and we confess to being a bit puzzled. What was Richard trying to say? Our best guess is that if we can keep searching for alien life, the existence of which is very much an open question, then … then what? Perhaps you can figure it out, dear reader.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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8 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #644: God and Aliens

  1. Our Curmudgeon wants to know:

    What was Richard trying to say?

    But that’s obvious! He is doing precisely what John Cage was doing in his famous composition, 4’33”, which he explained thus:

    “I have nothing to say – and I am saying it”

  2. Sorry, Richard, I’m a scientist and an atheist. I became an atheist first, after reading the bible end to end, which convinced me it was a collection of myths, mostly cribbed from other religions. Later I went to graduate school and became a professional scientist.

  3. There have been attempts to get measurable and repeatable proofs for or against [God] without conclusive results.

    That’s the real puzzler for me. Assuming Richard isn’t merely Trumping, he’s clearly referring to something he’s read or heard about scientists making such an attempt. What on earth could it be?

  4. michaelfugate

    Weighing souls?

  5. Weighing souls has actually been attempted. Mary Roach writes a very entertaining account in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spook:_Science_Tackles_the_Afterlife

  6. Ceteris Paribus

    Richard laments:

    As a Christian, I can write reams on my belief. I am only constrained by my own honesty.

    I hereby sincerely thank God for the limits He has placed on Richard and his fellow Christians, busily writing to proclaim faith in creationism in their local news papers.
    Otherwise the planet would certainly already be awash in a world wide flood of holy printers ink.

  7. Well, I can write reams on my greatness. The only thing that constrains me is my own humility.

  8. “Richard” says:

    The existence of life on other planets has been pondered for centuries. Serious investigations by the science communities have been conducted to find measurable proofs of this existence.

    Science as a discipline stands mute thus far, because evidence — either yay or nay — hasn’t presented itself.

    “Yay”? How about “Yippee!”

    The true scientists, however, bound by the restriction of their discipline, can only stand mute on God’s existence.
    There have been attempts to get measurable and repeatable proofs for or against without conclusive results.

    Usually that’s taken as evidence that something doesn’t exist. Even when it isn’t, as with extraterrestrial life, “true scientists” don’t assume it exists. With ET life, they can only say that it seems likely to exist, but may not.

    Creationists don’t apply the same caution with regard to God, or to the questions of whether the Bible is true and whether life, the universe and everything really emerged from nothing in six 24-hour days a few thousand years ago.