We recently wrote AIG Says We’re Alone in the Universe, about the opinion of ol’ Hambo’s creation scientists. Now the Discovery Institute is announcing a similar “scientific” opinion.
Their new post is titled Exoplanets and the Fermi Paradox, written by Guillermo Gonzalez, or “Gonzo” as we call him. He’s a Discoveroid “senior fellow” who co-authored the classic creationist book, The Privileged Planet, a “fine tuning” argument applied to Earth.
Gonzo’s post demonstrates of one of the The Ten Laws of Creationism — that everything is evidence of intelligent design. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
We are living during a golden age of discovery in astronomy. … The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia listed 3,986 exoplanets as of February 15, 2019! … Believers in extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) have been encouraged by these discoveries (see here and here [links omitted]). But the number of stars with planets is only one of the seven factors in the Drake Equation, which is an attempt to estimate the number of communicating civilizations in the galaxy.
You know about the Drake equation. Wikipedia says it’s “a probabilistic argument used to estimate the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy.” Gonzo says:
One also needs to consider the many Rare Earth factors needed to make a planet habitable to complex life (see here and here [links omitted]). It could be that these factors more than compensate for the large numbers of planets, resulting in a very small chance of ETI. We just don’t know yet.
Those “Rare Earth” factors are already part of the Drake Equation, and the Wikipedia article says: “there could be as many as 40 billion Earth-sized planets orbiting in the habitable zones of sun-like stars and red dwarf stars within the Milky Way Galaxy. 11 billion of these estimated planets may be orbiting sun-like stars.” Gonzo doesn’t mention any of that. He tells us:
Do these discoveries help resolve the Fermi Paradox, which asks, Why the Great Silence? Not really, but they do show that mere rarity of planets by itself is not the solution. There is one important, albeit indirect, way that exoplanet discoveries do influence the Fermi Paradox. To understand it, we need to think “backwards.” [Huh?] Consider not our detection of exoplanets but, rather, the detection of our Solar System from afar. Now that we know how to find exoplanets, we can turn the problem around and ask how easy would it be for an ETI to detect the planets in our Solar System.
That’s not difficult. We’ve been generating commercial radio signals for about a century. If any intelligent aliens are listening, they need to be within 100 light years of us to be aware of our signals. That excludes most of the galaxy, so there could be loads of intelligent extra-terrestrials out there but they haven’t yet had a chance to be aware of us.
Gonzo doesn’t discuss that. After explaining how we locate extra-solar planetary systems and the kind of data we’ll soon be able to gather about them, he assumes aliens will do the same to locate our Solar System, and know that Earth has oceans and an atmosphere with oxygen. He says:
All this strongly implies that the Earth would not have been “passed over” during a “colonization wave” through the galaxy. Yet, there is no convincing evidence of ETI visitation or communication.
Quite so. If intelligent aliens are out there and close enough to detect us, they’ve left us alone — so far. Gonzo continues:
Yes, I know there are speculative responses to the Great Silence in attempts to rescue ETIs from the obvious implications of the Fermi Paradox. There are good responses to these. I would recommend If the Universe is Teeming with Aliens … Where is Everybody? (2nd edition).
That’s an Amazon link to a book by Stephen Webb, an astronomer. Gonzo ends his post with this:
Contrary to first impressions, then, exoplanet discoveries actually strengthen the impact of the Fermi Paradox.
So there you are. Like the creation scientists at ol’ Hambo’s website, Gonzo and the Discoveroids are claiming that we’re all alone. Well, it’s possible. But even if we had the galaxy all to ourselves, the Discoveroids’ “science” would still be nonsense.
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