Posts Tagged ‘SETI’
The November 2011 issue of The American Spectator featured an essay of interest to all those who lurk at this blog: “Extraterrestrial Intelligence and the Search for God.” I was gratified that the author, Tom Bothell, was familiar enough with the subject matter to note Michael Crichton’s well-placed dismissal of the Drake Equation that ET life enthusiasts breathlessly love to reference. But Bothell also saw the religious bait-and-switch going on with respect to SETI and anything resembling traditional theism. He writes:
The late novelist Michael Crichton gave an entertaining lecture at Caltech in 2003 saying that the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is a religion. And in a way it is. Carl Sagan, one of its leading promoters, “believed in superior beings in space, creatures so intelligent, so powerful, as to resemble gods.” … That’s religion. The well-known atheist Richard Dawkins shows similar tendencies. He was quoted in the New York Times the other day as saying, “It’s highly plausible that in the universe there are Godlike creatures.” But he was careful to add that “these Gods came into being by an explicable scientific progression of incremental evolution.” (He would not have wanted to see “Gods” capitalized, however.)
These observations and others in regard to the religious commitment of atheist materialists to their quest for non-divine deities make this brief essay worth the read.
My blog reader treated me this morning to this post from UFO Mystic. It is headlined “NSA Document Verifies ET Contact” and touts a de-classified NSA Technical Journal article by H. H. Campaigne that examines radio signals from space. The article determines that the signals show intelligence and then ends by saying that more signals from space have been received. Must be Disclosure! A little digging would show that wasn’t and isn’t the case.
The PDF at the UFO Mystic link takes you to an NSA Technical Journal article from volume 14, issue no. 1. The first paragraph alludes to an earlier article (volume 11, no. 2) which is not provided by UFO Mystic (or the site from which it got the story), nor by many other websites tossing this “disclosure” around. Here is the earlier article (also written by Campaigne), which took less than five minutes of my time to find. That article in turn refers to yet another previous article (NSA Technical Journal, volume 11, no. 1) written by Lambros Callimahos. Another five minutes of work. So what’s the point?
The point is that, taken in order and context, this whole thing is a thought experiment between Callimahos and Campaigne, and their readers, in the NSA Technical Journal on hypothetical contact and decipherment of an ET signal. These were released in 2004 to boot — to no hullabaloo. Disclosure Gullibility FAIL again. The whole exercise is sketched out here if you are curious.
Here’s a link to the news that SETI is shutting down (at least for the time being) due to lack of funding. Had it not been for the federal government dogged pursuit of throwing money down rat holes, SETI would have been long defunct in the world of private industry, where the rule of thumb is “put up or shut up [or shut down].” But wait a minute . . . Paul Allen funds this as well. I guess he awoke from a venture capitalist trance (think Dilbert here) and now grasps the obvious: SETI has produced absolutely nothing in the way of its stated mission. A nice idea initially, but its turned into a science entitlement program.
Interesting post over at Uncommon Descent on this; decide for yourself.
I’m swallowing hard in posting this since the conversation includes Paul Davies, whom I have suggested should be kept as far away from theological discussion as possible. But, he’s balanced by John Lennox, who should know something about Christianity since the mathematician is a Christian. Here’s the link to listen, as well as a short abstract:
A popular science author, Davies is also the Chair of the SETI post detection task force. His latest book “The Eerie Silence” which marks SETI’s 50th anniversary examines the likelihood of the universe producing life elsewhere. John Lennox is a Christian Mathematician and philosopher. He is the author of “God’s Undertaker: has science buried God?” and has debated Richard Dawkins on several occasions. Davies’ work on the fine tuning of the universe for life has been sympathetic to theism. In this programme Lennox challenges Davies to look to design not just in cosmology but in the cell. They also chat about what the discovery of ET would mean for Christian theology.