ICR’s Opinion of SETI

The creationist’s quest for knowledge begins and ends with one book, compiled over a period of a thousand years, and completed around 2,000 years ago. A good example of that can be seen today at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom.

Their latest post is China Spends Millions Searching for Aliens . It was written by Brian Thomas. He’s usually described at the end of his articles as “Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.” This is ICR’s biographical information on him. Here are some excerpts from his brilliant article, with bold font added by us:

How much money should a nation spend on space-alien ventures? China is shelling out almost 200 million dollars on an enormous radio antenna built to listen for signs of far out intelligence. In the western hemisphere, the US invested millions of dollars in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) project but turned up no evidence whatsoever. The ever-growing number of barren and gaseous exoplanets discovered continues to elevate Earth’s uniqueness.

Creationists desperately hope we give up searching the stars for life. It’s bad enough that we’ve already found thousands of stars with planetary systems. Creationists used to claim that our Sun was unique in having planets. In ICR: The Golden Age of Creation Science, we quoted from an old article by ICR’s founder, Henry M. Morris (1918 – 2006), titled The Stars of Heaven, wherein he said what creationists always used to say:

Thus the earth is unique in the solar system and, for all we know, the solar system is unique in the universe. So far as we can observe, there are not even any planets anywhere else, let alone a planet equipped to sustain biological life. … Amazing though it may seem to evolutionary naturalists, the evidence favors the conclusion that man is unique in the universe and, furthermore, that he is the apex, not of the evolutionary process, but of God’s creative purposes!

Those were the good old days! Now, those blasphemous, hell-bound scientists are discovering a vast number of stars with planets, hundreds so far that are in their star’s Goldilocks zone. Sooner or later, life will be found out there. After that — who knows? — perhaps intelligent life. It’s a creationists nightmare! That’s why ICR is opposed to SETI research. Back to the Brian Thomas article:

Apparently, China would love to be the first nation to make “first contact.” China recently made news for displacing over 9,000 villagers from areas surrounding their new alien-hunting antenna dish. The project called “Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope,” or FAST, will have an array of tilting and tunable triangular plates along the world’s largest parabolic dish of its kind. The device should dramatically increase the sensitivity of faint radio signal detection. “And, of course, it will advance the search for extraterrestrial signs of life.” according to CNN.

Wikipedia has a brief article on the Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, so we won’t bother any more with the description provided by Brian. Then he asks:

What underlying beliefs does this venture reveal?

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! We want to know what’s out there! A more relevant question is: What underlying beliefs could possibly cause someone to oppose such a venture? Okay, let’s read on:

The factual record looks quite bleak for alien-seekers. Its pages are blank. Radio telescope arrays captured zero hints of intelligent code after 60 years of diligent searching.

Scientists are fools! Especially when their record is contrasted with the incredible accomplishments of creation scientists. Brian continues:

Plus, the physics of interstellar travel are extraordinarily prohibitive. If a snowflake-sized speck touched a ship travelling at only 1/3 the speed of light, the collision would equal almost four tons of TNT. On what basis do we scour the skies for life?

Egad — it’s horrible out there! We should shut down all space programs immediately! Here’s more:

Investigating the unknown is part of what makes us human — an expression of God’s image that can even peek through fallen mankind. Curiosity and diligence that improve lives justify sensible investments. But China’s new and expensive FAST project, scheduled for completion in September 2016, appears to confirm what author Gary Bates [a creationist] wrote over a decade ago: “One may well ask then, ‘How is it that so many are willing to spend so much on so little?’ The answer — a belief in evolution!”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! SETI is Darwin’s fault! And now, the article’s thrilling conclusion:

Ironically, while the secular world vainly scours the skies for superintelligence, a real Superintelligence who came to Earth from beyond the stars awaits our contact with Him through His life-giving truths found in the Bible. This Book also happens to teach that Earth was uniquely fitted for life, God (not evolution) created man, and stars are real and worth our attention — all in exact accord with real, observable science.

Imagine a world where creationists are running the show. Actually, we don’t need to imagine it. There was such a world. We call it the Dark Ages.

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

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12 responses to “ICR’s Opinion of SETI

  1. At least he concedes that stars are real. The bible simply states they are lights in the sky.

    Why does ICR get wound up about something being built in China? No American tax dollars are at stake. What is their interest? If they do not believe anyone is out there, why not crow about the Chinese wasting their money? The ICR must truly be afraid that something will be found.

  2. “…a real Superintelligence who came to Earth from beyond the stars…”

    So this superintelligence is an alien, like the many super heroes and villans in the sci-fi movies that can morph into any shape they choose to hide their true alien identities?

  3. We scour the skies for life because we know next to nothing of the universe.

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    And real collected factual evidence, observable science of creator, despite millions of collectors out there … zero. Unless you count Benny Hinn making a chuck of liver come out of thin air.

  5. Most of the descriptions of this telescope (acronym “FAST”) don’t even mention its use in SETI.

  6. “Investigating the unknown is part of what makes us human — an expression of God’s image that can even peek through fallen mankind.”

    HUH?! God, being omniscient, would have zero curiosity because he knows all there is to know already. “Investigating the unknown” is, almost by definition, an un-godlike trait that can hardly be ascribed to “God’s image”.

  7. Eric Lipps

    Plus, the physics of interstellar travel are extraordinarily prohibitive. If a snowflake-sized speck touched a ship travelling at only 1/3 the speed of light, the collision would equal almost four tons of TNT.

    And what does this have to do with whether life, even intelligent life, exists on other worlds throughout the universe?

    >On what basis do we scour the skies for life?

    To see whether we can find it, of course.

    That search isn’t even necessarily hostile to creationism. Suppose aliens exist, and we find them. Creationists can always claim they’re just like us, and also created 6,000 years ago, with their own Adam and Eve. But creationists are frightened anyway, because a finding of alien life would threaten their belief in Earth as a “privileged planet.”

  8. I make so bold as to suggest that “frightened” is an apt description of creationism.

  9. Radio telescope arrays captured zero hints of intelligent code after 60 years of diligent searching.

    Here the author displays his ignorance of SETI; the object of SETI is not to detect coded messages from alien beings (though they would surely welcome such a discovery); rather, the purpose of scanning the radio frequencies is in the hopes of detecting radio signals manifesting “artificiality.” Across any significant interstellar distance, the interstellar medium will cause scintillation of the signal and essentially wipe out any sidebands that would contain modulated information; all that would remain detectable is a carrier signal.

    And that is what SETI researchers look for; the signature of an artificial radio signal not generated by any known natural process: a narrowband carrier wave, such as would be produce by a something like a TV broadcast, or a powerful military radar system.

    They aren’t looking for content of the TV broadcasts, like in “Contact,” because it is unlikely we could ever detect the message content at interstellar distances. At best, we can hope to detect the existence of a transmitter transmitting signals that are artificial in nature. That’s it.

  10. So china is shelling out/wasting $200m on a pointless search for aliens when they could build four, count ’em, four life sized replica arks for that money

  11. That ‘Superintelligence’ remark is quite pertinent. As Micheal Shermer has elaborately pointed out (inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s third law: a technology advanced enough is indistinguishable from magic): an alien advanced enough is indistinguishable from God.
    Note, if these superintelligences/gods/advanced aliens exist, I hope it will not find us… (which they probably won’t if they aren’t specifically looking for lower life forms, the universe is vast). But then, they probably do not exist, see Fermi’s paradox, thank Alien!

  12. “One may well ask then, ‘How is it that so many are willing to spend so much on so little?’”

    Talk about pot calling the kettle…In my opinion, all those mega churches, huge jesus statutes, golden plates, and Vatican city costs provide a pretty tiny return on investment – except to the people living off the largesse, coincidentally enough!