Klinghoffer Dismisses Latest Planet Discoveries

As you know from our earlier post, NASA News Conference on Extra-Solar Discovery, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) made an announcement that is certain to upset creationists.

NASA posted a subsequent article on their discovery: NASA Telescope Reveals Largest Batch of Earth-Size, Habitable-Zone Planets Around Single Star. One excerpt is sufficient:

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.

The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system. All of these seven planets could have liquid water – key to life as we know it – under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone.

PhysOrg then posted this article: Temperate earth-sized worlds found in extraordinarily rich planetary system (Update), which says:

Astronomers have found a system of seven Earth-sized planets just 40 light-years away. They were detected as they passed in front of their parent star, the dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. Three of them lie in the habitable zone and could harbour water, increasing the possibility that the system could play host to life. It has both the largest number of Earth-sized planets yet found and the largest number of worlds that could support liquid water. … All the planets, labelled TRAPPIST-1b, c, d, e, f, g and h in order of increasing distance from their parent star, have sizes similar to Earth.

[…]

These new discoveries make the TRAPPIST-1 system a very important target for future study. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is already being used to search for atmospheres around the planets and team member Emmanuël Jehin is excited about the future possibilities: “With the upcoming generation of telescopes, such as ESO’s European Extremely Large Telescope and the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope , we will soon be able to search for water and perhaps even evidence of life on these worlds.”

We knew the creationists would be upset by this news, and we found the first sour reaction from the Discovery Institute. Their article is Speculative Evolution Story of the Day: Seven Planets Found Where “Life May Have Evolved”, written by Klinghoffer.

There’s not much to it. All he does is quote-mine various articles and headlines, to emphasize the “maybe” words. Here are some excerpts:

NASA today announced the discovery of new exoplanets, totaling seven orbiting a dim red dwarf star, TRAPPIST-1, some 40 light years away. Note the headlines, which you could probably write yourself based on previous experience with these types of articles (emphasis added):

• “Scientists find three new planets where life could have evolved” (Sky News)

• “Nasa discovers new solar system where life may have evolved on three planets” (The Telegraph)

• “Nasa’s ‘holy grail’: Entire new solar system that could support alien life discovered” (The Independent)

• “Seven Alien ‘Earths‘ Found Orbiting Nearby Star” (National Geographic)

That was Klinghoffer’s bold font on all the words and phrases he quote-mined. He keeps doing it. For example:

Still, excitement runs high and even the faintest possibility of life circling this faint star is enough to send the media off to the races. The New York Times notes the longevity of dwarf planets [Hee hee!]:

“If you’re looking for complex biology, intelligent aliens that might take a long time to evolve from pond scum, older could be better,” said Seth Shostak, an astronomer at the Seti Institute in Mountain View, Calif. “It seems a good bet that the majority of clever beings populating the universe look up to see a dim, reddish sun hanging in their sky. And at least they wouldn’t have to worry about sun block.”

After all that quote mining, he tells us — and here the bold font was added by us for emphasis:

So we “simply do not know” whether any of these planets could or does host an alien biology. Life could have, may have, evolved. … However, everything else we do know indicates that life can’t and won’t originate and evolve without intelligent design.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Klinghoffer continues:

Alien evolution remains about the most speculative science subject possible. That is, except for the multiverse, which serves the same purpose. Materialist science must have alien life, to show that earthly life isn’t special, and it must have a way to explain away the appearance of cosmic fine-tuning.

Yes, we’re the ones who are desperate. The Discoveroids and other creationists are content that their “theories” are rock-solid. And now we come to the end:

None of this puts a damper on breathless coverage from the popular science media. But the actual science of evolution is itself speculative and unfalsifiable. [He attributes that to Karl Popper, as reported by Tom Bethell.] So to be fair, why hold media coverage to a standard higher than the science itself meets?

In other words: There is no alien life. Materialist scientists hope for it, because their unfalsifiable theories demand it, but we creationists know better. The intelligent designer made Earth unique, and there’s nothing else out there. Trust us.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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18 responses to “Klinghoffer Dismisses Latest Planet Discoveries

  1. The New York Times notes the longevity of dwarf planets:

    I might be more impressed by Klinghoffer’s science if he knew the difference between a planet and a star.

  2. Yes, realthog, I should have highlighted that. I think I will.

  3. Michael Fugate

    I notice that exoplanets isn’t one of the topics for the 2nd annual Intelligent Design Education Day.

    But just look at what you can learn – if you go:
    A broad overview of intelligent design;
    Themes from the new book, Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition that Life is Designed, presented by the book’s author, molecular biologist Douglas Axe;
    Arguments for why the human eye cannot be explained by Darwinism, presented by molecular and cell biologist Jonathan Wells, author of Icons of Evolution and the forthcoming Zombie Science;
    Scientific reasons why humans are exceptional and unique from animals, presented by developmental biologist Ann Gauger, co-author of Science & Human Origins.

    It would seem that if humans aren’t the product of common descent, then the human eye couldn’t be either. I am sure neither Wells nor Gauger are quite bright enough to see that.

  4. And, once again, we have the anti-evolution argument in a twisted circle:
    The parameters of the laws of the universe are fine-tuned for life, therefore they are designed.
    The laws of the universe (such as the “2nd law of thermodynamics” or “conservation of information”) prevent the formation of life, therefore life is designed.
    Earth has a “privileged” material status for the formation of life, therefore it is designed.

  5. Hugh Ross’ estimate regarding life on earth or any other planet without divine intervention, so clearly NASA is wasting it’s time and money with this ongoing search.
    Probability For Life On Earth (APR 2004)
    http://www.reasons.org/articles/probability-for-life-on-earth-apr-2004

  6. Michael Fugate

    Another one bites the dust – the DI’s diss of the fossil record.
    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/355/6327/792.full

    feathers and wings – not designed by an intelligence.

  7. “I have changed my mind about the testability and logical status of the theory of natural selection; and I am glad to have an opportunity to make a recantation…”

    What Did Karl Popper Really Say About Evolution?

  8. Kwackerjacker brays:

    However, everything else we do know indicates that life can’t and won’t originate and evolve without intelligent design.

    OK, so what’s to stop the Intelligent Designer, blessed be he, from doing his voodoo on the Trappist system? Nothing as far as I can see.

    So, Klinkletinkle really doesn’t have an argument. ID here, ID there, ID ID everywhere! On a boat. With a goat.

  9. Hey, what about the Privileged Planet, or as we call it, Gonzales’ PP book?

    Didn’t it tout having planets in the Goldilocks Zone? Hmmmmmm? Sure, none had been found when PP was published, but now it’s a different story. Maybe Gonzalez needs to write an update. Call it, “Not So Much Privileged As Upper East Side.”

  10. I bet if a bug-eyed alien landed on Earth tomorrow, the Deluded would be taken aback for a while, then come up with ‘It`s god`s will’. Can`t deny they are an inventive lot.

  11. The DI refuses to inquire or speculate on the identity of the designer, claiming it wouldn’t be scientific to do so. Yet, amazingly, they know the mind of the designer so well that they can state confidently that the designer would not create life elsewhere in the universe.

  12. Michael Fugate

    So hung up about exceptionalism – is it low self esteem? Humans – we aren’t animals we’re unique and exceptional; earth – its the only planet with life its unique and exceptional; the universe – its the only one and it has the earth and the earth has us – its unique and exceptional. I am sure they would say the same about theists and who know who else.

  13. Klinghoffer strikes again!

    So we “simply do not know” whether any of these planets could or does host an alien biology. Life could have, may have, evolved. … However, everything else we do know indicates that life can’t and won’t originate and evolve without intelligent design.

    “Know”? Try “believe.” And, ahem, I thought the whole point of creationism *cough* *cough*–I mean intelligent design–was that evolution doesn’t happen at all!

    And then:

    Alien evolution remains about the most speculative science subject possible. That is, except for the multiverse, which serves the same purpose. Materialist science must have alien life, to show that earthly life isn’t special, and it must have a way to explain away the appearance of cosmic fine-tuning.

    Rubbish. As I’ve written elsewhere, even if life on Earth is unique in the universe, that proves nothing about whether it evolved by Darwinian means or not. As for “cosmic fine-tuning,” there have been respectable scientific studies indicating that at least some alternative settings of the various fundamental constants could result in a universe capable of supporting life. Perhaps not life exactly as we know it, but life just the same.

    It’s the height of arrogance to think the universe was designed just so we could exist. Isn’t pride supposed to be one of the seven deadly sins?

  14. “On a boat. With a goat.” and circling the moat, while imagining that they are making discoveries in a newly found ocean. Once “magic” become integral to your explanation you are no longer *explaining* anything, but the IDiots are far too stupid to realize any of that.

  15. @ Eric Lipps:

    “I thought the whole point of creationism *cough* *cough*–I mean intelligent design–was that evolution doesn’t happen at all!”

    No, that would be the notion of some of the worse-deranged, even further along the Loony Trail than the denizens of the DI. People like R@y M@rtin&z, for example.

    The DI just thinks that sometime or at a number of indeterminate times, and somewhere or in a number of unknown places, an unknown intelligence caused an unspecified event with some unknown effect that was essential to the development of life, or maybe of intelligence, or maybe of some other thing.

    Scoffers and cynics may show as many examples of evolutionary development as they like. They cannot ever sully the pristine perfection of this all-explaining theory. Sure, evolution can cause changes, but the vital effects (whatever they may be) explained by intelligent design are forever out of the reach of naturalistic cause, and even if the effects the DI cites turn out to be explicable by natural causes, some other effect is sure not to be. Simple! Obvious! Elementary!

    (Irony transmits poorly in print. I apologise if it is not apparent, above.)

  16. “[He attributes that to Karl Popper, as reported by Tom Bethell.]”
    Which Popper later withdrew, because unlike these two clowns Popper actually was a honest man.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA211_1.html

  17. (1)…interstellar travel (to the third world)… we come in our ship from faraway…are reaching finally, that star they call Sun…our destiny that third planet is distinguished from the others aridly and barrens, with its luminescent blue against the dark background of the Universe…now we are under its spell…they call the Earth…we pick up its broadcastings TV…we are hearing the stories that they tell…they speak strangely but we understand… We see at its inhabitants, the human beings very similar to us, outside… We have been studying them in their lifestyles, some in developed places with high level, and others in those other places to that they call…The Third World…suffering, hunger, malnutrition, war, calamitites and horror against the feeble… There´s no limit to what we feel… Are we dreaming or is it all real?…is it true?… We see at their leaders to they call religious…(Torquemadas who were “executioners” against the Human Beings in the Middle Age with their Inquisition on behalf of their sanguinary gods…and still have the arrogance to put their secrets and sectarian religious symbols (channel TV Discovery Max, “secret societies”) in popular bank note 1 dollar, if anyone doubts who governs in the shadow the World)…well fattened in their golden palaces… while children perish converted into skeletons with some skin and eyes full of flies, in the arms of their horrified mothers who do not have even a glass of clean water to drink them… religious and political leaders who are purposely keeping the horror because WITHOUT POOR AND IGNORANT THERE IS NOT RELIGION… Have to separate between the worthy concept, strictly personal, believing in a Goddess or a God (wheat) and Humankind´s anxiety of Eternity;…from the manipulation and interested ancient Lie that is religion (darnel)… religions only are a Malign Tale for social control to serve at pontifices, monarchies and politicians…who hypocritically first created the poor…”the poor are always with us”…and after give them an alms… Only are in Earth´s “culture” religion gods, for that reason ½ century ago without go to Moon…religious have very fear from extraterrestrial…because innocent people also will know this… IT´S TRUTH THAT RELIGION IS LIE

  18. ‘speculative and unfalsifiable. [He attributes that to Karl Popper, as reported by Tom Bethell.] ‘

    Two commenters have already pointed out that Bethell has got Popper wrong; one of many fallacies in Bethell’s *Darwin’s House of Cards*, which I briefly discussed in my Darwin’s Birthday piece: https://paulbraterman.wordpress.com/2017/02/11/even-on-his-birthday-dont-say-darwin-unless-you-mean-it-updated/