Wednesday, December 12, 2007


The Informed Reader (B12, WSJ) does another blurb, this one based on an article in the December Seed, about the search for alien life. You guessed it--scientists are still unwilling to believe that God created Earth to be inhabited and that the other planets are, well, dead. Quoth I snarkily: "But...but...that's pseudoscience...must not let beliefs interfere with the pursuit of knowledge..."
If aliens are out there, how should Earthlings go about getting in touch with them?

The question has provoked arcane but furious debate among scientists searching for extraterrestrials. Because scientists haven't picked up signs of alien life near Earth [whew! At least they admit that!], the debate is essentially philosophical, revolving around such issues as who rightly speaks for humanity and whether humans want to draw the attention of possibly hostile life forms.

A dispute erupted recently among scientists over an effort to draft a protocol for messages going from Earth into space, reports David Grinspoon in Seed, a science magazine. Several scientists who believe that governments and other scientists should be consulted prior to any space-bound communications resigned in protest from a prominent study group on extraterrestrial intelligence.

Meanwhile, the search for intelligent life in the universe continues. A few astronomers have sent signals to distant stars since the 1970s, but the first aren't expected to reach their destinations for decades.

A "protocol for messages." Hmm. Does this refer to the multilingual "Greetings from Earth!" messages that have been sent previously? Why would we ever assume that aliens have a language even remotely similar to ours? Are they our *evolutionary ancestors*?


Anonymous said...

I can't tell from the beginning of your post whether you are trying to mock the reactionary biblical Christian view about life elsewhere, or actually stating your beliefs. Either way, you succeed in mocking this view. You seem to feel that scientific consideration of extraterrestrial life is groundless and fruitless because we have no evidence yet for such life. The same could have been said ten years ago about planets around other stars. Now we know that such planets exist in abundance (something the Bible's authors forgot to mention...)
At any rate, if you bother to actually read the SEED article, you will see that you have badly misrepresented what it actually says.

MathewK said...

"...draw the attention of possibly hostile life forms."

I thought we already did that and are now deeply regretting it, you know, leftists..

Hannah said...

Good one, MK.

Lilgreenguy, sorry I was ambiguous at the beginning. If you browse some of my other posts, you'll see that I am stating my beliefs, albeit in my trademark (somewhat sarcastic) way. If there is extraterrestrial life, and IF the universe has been around long enough to *spontaneously* develop intelligent life on Earth (and thus presumably on other planets), wouldn't one think that aliens are by now intelligent enough to give clear evidence of their present existence? That's my main question.

The block quote was not my "misrepresentation." Staff of the Wall Street Journal wrote that, and I commented upon what the WSJ said.

Just as a science text does not have to mention every single fact known about a given subject at the time of writing, so also the Bible (the PRIMARY focus of which is theology) does not have to mention every single fact in the world. That's why God gave us brains: to think over things ourselves and to find out more facts for ourselves.

Aurora said...

Maybe lilgreenguy (and whoever it is who thinks there are lifeforms out there) needs to get together for a nice chat with Shirley Maclaine. I'm sure she would confirm it all for them.

Wes Messamore said...

Until I see evidence to the contrary, even I'm skeptical about the existence of intelligent life on other planets... and I'm a Ron Paul supporter ;)

Hannah said...

W. E. Messamore - LOL! (although I must disagree with you on supporting Ron Paul...)