Discoveroids: A Means Not-A

Everybody knows about the recent discovery: NASA Telescope Reveals Largest Batch of Earth-Size, Habitable-Zone Planets Around Single Star. PhysOrg reported it here: Temperate earth-sized worlds found in extraordinarily rich planetary system (Update), and said:

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.

It’s no surprise that the Discovery Institute is among the creationist outfits claiming that this discovery of no significance whatsoever — see Klinghoffer Dismisses Latest Planet Discoveries. They insist that the intelligent designer — blessed be he! — made Earth unique, as a home for us (whom he also created), and there’s nothing else of any importance out there.

Their latest post on the subject is Lonely Planet — Metaxas on the TRAPPIST-1 System, by Klinghoffer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

In a BreakPoint broadcast, considering media hype about the recent discovery of seven supposedly [Hee hee!] Earth-like exo-planets, our friend Eric Metaxas finds a note of poignancy. That is the TRAPPIST-1 system some 40 light years away, which I wrote about a little while back. Insightfully, Metaxas notes the sense of loneliness for companionship from beyond the stars, notable in the media, in science, and science fiction too.

Discovery Institute fellow traveler Eric Metaxas senses your loneliness, dear reader. According to Klinghoffer, he said in his broadcast:

In the new movie “Arrival,” a group of scientists try to break the language barrier between humanity and an extraterrestrial race that’s landed on Earth. These visitors have not come to make war, but to offer us a gift. I won’t spoil it for you, but I will say that the film is pervaded by a sense of loneliness and a longing for kinship with someone beyond our world.

Where in the world is Klinghoffer going with this? Hang on, it’s coming. He says:

He [Metaxas] … concludes by observing that there is, in fact, no cause for loneliness. As Eric argued in a provocative Wall Street Journal article, evidence of design in the cosmos indicates that we’re not alone at all.

We’re not alone? But we thought the Discoveroids, like all creationists, insisted that we are the only intelligence their magic designer created. What’s going on here? Klinghoffer explains:

Distant planets may be devoid of intelligent life — probably are, as far as anyone can tell at the moment. But a designer operating behind or through nature is the accessible object of both scientific and spiritual searching:

[Klinghoffer quotes from the Metaxas broadcast:] The longing for life beyond our planet is obsessive. For decades, we’ve poured resources into the search for celestial neighbors, hoping to establish in real life the kind of contact portrayed in “Arrival.” But the stars, despite our best efforts, have proved silent and barren.

But in another sense, our Sun, Earth, and the TRAPPIST-1 system are anything but silent! They declare a cosmic Intelligence Who’s both infinitely mysterious and intimately knowable. Christians recognize that our planet was uniquely designed and fine-tuned to support life — and that’s putting it mildly. Our place in the universe is nothing less than a miracle.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! It’s a miracle! [*End Drool Mode*] Klinghoffer’s final paragraph is a bold intellectual challenge:

We leave others to draw religious conclusions. The scientific evidence, though, is clear and demands a response from objective and open-minded observers.

So there you are. As we understand it, Klinghoffer is saying this: (1) evidence of a potentially habitable planetary system is proof that we’re alone; (2) but we’re not alone, because we have the intelligent designer; and (3) A is not-A.

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

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20 responses to “Discoveroids: A Means Not-A

  1. Our planet is designed and it is a miracle…
    He kinda needs to choose one or the other.

  2. Charles Deetz ;)

    Even a theologian would blanch at this posting, I think. At its core, the designer is inscrutable in its behavior, even if ‘knowable’. And the designer is not one for communicating, unless you are Hambo and think the bible and self-generated prayer/voices count. Sounds a lot like the movie being described.

  3. our planet was uniquely designed and fine-tuned to support life

    Who would say that a junk yard is uniquely designed and fine-tuned to produce a 747?
    Who would say that a monkey typing on a keyboard is uniquely designed and fine-tuned for producing “Hamlet”?

    Yet we are told that life appearing on Earth is even less probable than scenarios like those. That’s how ill-suited life is on Earth, so we are told.

  4. Another person making a box-o-rocks look really smart!

  5. Really Tom, the junkyard nonsense. Is that the best you have – pathetic.

  6. Metaxas’ formulation of the fine-tuning argument reminds me of Douglas Adams’ Puddle of Water.

  7. “But a designer operating behind or through nature is the accessible object of both scientific and spiritual searching:”

    If their book is to be believed, contact with their “accessible object” often results in the death of almost every man, woman, and child in a community or the entire planet.

    I’ll take my chances with an alien invasion, thanks.

  8. Klinkledinkle’s laid another egg!

  9. hey TomS.. if junkyard dogs came from junkyards, why are there still junkyards???

  10. “spiritual searching” – AKA imagining. They know that “it’s just my imagination” means it’s not real, right?

  11. Michael Fugate

    Miracles? Metaxas should know; he wrote “Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life”.

  12. Michael Fugate

    What a dilemma for IDers! – is the design they claim to see in the universe a product of gods or aliens? They try to claim it doesn’t matter, but what if it is aliens? What if aliens have been tampering with free will like the Russians with free elections? Will they rejoice or despair?

  13. Pervasive loneliness in “Arrival”? Longing for extraterrestrial kinship? Those aren’t phrases I’d use to describe the intense curiosity around the issue of extraterrestrial life. I wish I could say I’m happy that they find comfort in their mythical designer, but I can’t when rationality is abandoned. But then I don’t suppose it’s rational for me siimply to delight in watching the stars.

  14. Who would say that the White House is uniquely designed and fine-tuned to give a fly a resting place?

    Still apologists maintain that our Universe is uniquely designed and fine-tuned for Homo Sapiens to live. Please note that the ratio White House vs. fly is much, much smaller than the ratio Universe vs. Homo Sapiens.

  15. Hey, guys, I’m citing creationist arguments.

  16. I love when the IDiots go antiscience, it’s like listening to Ken Ham and Ray Comfort. They show their true colours.

  17. The scientific evidence, though, is clear and demands a response from objective and open-minded observers.

    As an objective and open minded observer, I respond “rubbish!”

    There ya go, Kling. Got your wish.

  18. Ross Cameron

    Odd how creos can waffle on about how Earth was ‘designed’ when impact damage on the moon and other planets of our solar system point to a fiery past. Or are they saying that`s how the ‘designer’ created Earth?

  19. Mark Germano

    “We leave others to draw religious conclusions.”

    Do Klinghoffer’s readers take him seriously when he writes something like that? I mean, right after quoting a guy who’s point is that specifically his god designed everything? It’s flabbergasting.

  20. Once again into the breach with the old trick of inverting causality: the earth was designed to allow us to live, rather than our having come to be because the earth is as it is. This presumes that God (let’s pull the mask off the ol’ Designer) always intended to create humans, even though the Bible itself makes plain in Genesis that God created a world without intelligent life and only created humans because he was dissatisfied with it. (Presumably because such a world contained no species capable of worshipping Him.)