Category: Extraterrestrial life
|July 17, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, News|
ID theorists are as likely as anyone to want to study ET life forms. What concerns many people is the fat hype over slim hope.
|July 16, 2014||Posted by News under Exoplanets, Extraterrestrial life, News|
Shovelling aside the hype for a moment, ET “signatures of life” are overwhelmingly likely to be something like bacteria.
|July 8, 2014||Posted by Eric Anderson under Biology, Evolution, Extraterrestrial life, Origin Of Life|
I previously mentioned an upcoming “Emergence of Life” course that folks here might be interested in. Details here. The course has now been scheduled and starts this Monday, July 14, 2014, at Coursera. You can find the course here. If you decide to take the course, I encourage professionalism and civility in any forum interactions […]
|July 4, 2014||Posted by News under Exoplanets, Extraterrestrial life, Intelligent Design, News|
Some think that the taxpayer wants and needs to believe in this stuff. If so, New Scientist is sure helping the taxpayer get his money’s worth.
|July 3, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, News|
Researcher: the water wouldn’t necessarily need to stay liquid indefinitely for it to support microbial life now or have supported it in the past.
|July 3, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, Intelligent Design, News|
So the best we could hope for is salty fossils.
|June 27, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, News|
= Why the space aliens haven’t called back. A zillion reasons. Every theorist, a different reason.
|June 20, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, News|
But, if the methane-rich planets are far away, what is the next step?
|June 14, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, News|
So, in short, Mars may not have much water and may not be a good candidate for the hunt for life.
|June 10, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, News|
All ya gotta do is invent a new computer model, apparently:
|May 27, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, News|
Ah, that raises a non-decaf question: What if they are not?
|May 22, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, Intelligent Design, News|
Researchers are trying to determine how frequently this happens, would impact claims about extraterrestrial life
|May 1, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, Intelligent Design, News|
Except to imaginative artists’ conceptions of landscapes on other planets. There’s a fatal flaw.
|April 30, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, Fine tuning, Intelligent Design|
If there are “no special requirements for a star to host a planet with life” (= any old fireball will do), where ARE all those space aliens anyway?
|April 22, 2014||Posted by Eric Anderson under Biology, Evolution, Extraterrestrial life, Origin Of Life|
One of the wonderful things about the internet is the jaw-dropping amount of information available – literally at our fingertips. Never before in history has the common individual had so much knowledge and experience and expertise available for the learning. To be sure, there is plenty on the internet that is incomplete, wrong, or downright […]
|April 17, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, News|
A moon, the researchers claim, could actually be a disadvantage for origin of life.
|April 7, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, Intelligent Design, Origin Of Life|
To export all the OOL problems to Enceladus on the basis of the mere possibility of liquid water testifies to the strength of desire, not the power of reason.
|February 27, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, Intelligent Design, Just For Fun, News|
How about a rock that does not have an aging process and has negligible metabolism, but does have a brain composed of non-living elements? … To avoid needless novelization, let’s assume that it is of low, not high intelligence, something like that of a turtle.
|February 12, 2014||Posted by News under Extraterrestrial life, News|
No one claims that these organics are on their way to becoming life; the hope is that organics will turn out to be more plentiful in apparently inhospitable venues than formerly thought.
|February 1, 2014||Posted by scordova under Extraterrestrial life, Intelligent Design, Privileged planet|
[ HT: KRock] The aim of this essay is to set the record straight on behalf of Norm Geisler in the landmark creation-evolution case Mclean vs. Arkansas as well exploring a few connections of ID/creation/evolution with Extra Terrestrials (ETs) and certain religious ideas. Ironically, the Uncommon Descent weblog owes much of its existence to an […]
But alas Star Trek was only a dream and tragedy struck the lives of some who were part of that dream. I had the honor of meeting one of the actresses, Nichelle Nichols (Lt. Uhura),
of the original series, and it was a sad day to see her talking on TV about her brother’s suicide with the Heaven’s Gate UFO Cult that tried to go into outer space via mass suicide as the Hale-Bopp comet approached….
Are advanced alien civilizations real, and what about UFOs? A beloved Darwinist professor of physics of mine, James Trefil, in criticizing the existence of ET’s, unwittingly wrote a book that gave fuel to the ID movement. As he explored the improbability of ET’s, he arrived at an interesting conclusion which ID proponents have never let him off the hook for. From Are We Alone?, he concluded:
I were a religious man, I would say that everything we have learned about life in the past twenty years shows that we are unique, and therefore special in God’s sight.
So at least some credible scientists doubt the existence of advanced alien civilizations. Remarkably, a contrary opinion was offered by Richard Dawkins in favor of space aliens creating life on Earth. 😯
It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved, probably by some kind of Darwinian means, probably to a very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now, um, now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer.
Future discoveries will hopefully clarify whether Trefil or Dawkins is closer to the truth. My money is with Dr. Trefil, but Dawkins arguing for detecting signature of some designer? Now that’s news in itself.
That said, I have to express some concern over the possible sources of inspiration for the idea that advanced space alien civilizations are sending UFOs to Earth. I’m not speaking on behalf of my colleagues in the ID community, nor others at UD, but just speaking thoughts as a concerned citizen and also one feeling some obligation to stand up for a fellow ID proponent and creationist Norm Geisler who suffered much ridicule for speaking his conscience in the Mclean vs. Arkansas creation-evolution trial.
Q. Do you believe that Satan exists?
A. Yes. Yes.
Q. What is the basis for that?
A. The basis for that belief is that the Bible is the word of God, and the Bible teaches it. And my basis or belief in the Bible as the word of God, I have already indicated earlier.
Q. That’s true.
A. And I might add that it is confirmed by experience, as well.
Q. What experiences have confirmed it to you, sir, as an expert, the existence of Satan?
A. Uh, dealing with demon possessed people, exorcisms, the study of the UFO phenomena, the study of the occult.
Because of all the pro-ID activity happening at GMU 8 years ago, Eugenie Scott was asked to visit GMU to “set everyone straight about ID” at a gigantic meeting that the faculty sent their students to. One of her first swipes at the creationists and IDists drew huge laughter from the audience when she pointed out creationist Norm Geisler claims UFO’s are a manifestation of Satanic activity.
Eugenie managed to elicit that response from the audience because of the widespread views that Satan is as mythological as Santa Claus and those UFO/ET followers are generally kooks. Even as recently as Septermber 2013, 3 decades after McLean vs. Arkansas, the NCSE’s “Science” Defense League of America was still trying to pile on after Norm: Bride it came from Outer Space.
To some extent, I wish there were no Satan even if that meant the world is purely material and absent of spiritual influence. A purely secular life and values and ideals have had appeal to me whereby we humans with our technology and science can ever progress to better conditions toward some utopia. But alas, that too is wishful thinking bordering on false religion. The fact of inevitable death of civilization and the universe, the obvious flaws of human nature, have precluded me from buying into the falsehood that science and technology and atheism will somehow be the salvation for the human condition.
It would be nice to just laugh away the experiences of people claiming to have contacted aliens and relegate them to being harmless but happy kooks. But these people have suffered mentally, emotionally and physically after such encounters. I feel compassion for them whether or not the cause was a mental or physiological dysfunction or possibly the result of sinister spiritual forces. Having kooky ideas is one thing, but living a life of suffering because of such an experience is another. And the Heaven’s Gate Cult suicides show that religious ideas tied to space aliens can lead to fatal consequences.
Even recently, a member of the UFO related Urantians visited UD in this discussion: Enigma of Consciousness, Comment 481829. No disrespect intended toward individuals with sincere and intense religious beliefs like Urantia, and though I appreciate their interest and support of ID, I feel some obligation to offer my disagreement on some points.
In defense of Geisler, here are some quotes from experts in the field regarding UFOs coming from space alien civilizations:
“One theory which can no longer be taken very seriously is that UFOs are interstellar spaceships.”
– Arthur C. Clarke, New York Times Book Review, 07/27/75
“The ‘medical examination’ to which abductees are said to be subjected, often accompanied by sadistic sexual manipulation, is reminiscient of the medieval tales of encounters with demons. It makes no sense in a sophisticated or technical framework: any intelligent being equipped with the scientific marvels that UFOs possess would be in a position to achieve any of these alleged scientific objectives in a shorter time and with fewer risks.”
– Dr. Jacques Vallee, Confrontations, p. 13
“A large part of the available UFO literature is closely linked with mysticism and the metaphysical. It deals with subjects like mental telepathy, automatic writing and invisible entities as well as phenomena like poltergeist [ghost] manifestation and ‘possession.’ Many of the UFO reports now being published in the popular press recount alleged incidents that are strikingly similar to demonic possession and psychic phenomena.”
– Lynn E. Catoe, UFOs and Related Subjects: USGPO, 1969; prepared under AFOSR Project Order 67-0002 and 68-0003
Many cases of UFO influence I think are of mental and physiological origin, but that does not exclude spiritual origins. Why do I believe that there are spiritual origins for UFO experiences? We have credible accounts of unseen spiritual forces acting even in the present day.
Regarding the paranormal and supernatural, I tried to give a balanced description of viewpoints (pro and con) in the OP and comment section of Creationist RA Herrmann’s ID theory. I cited the good work of Skeptic Organizations like James Randi Foundation, but pointed out there are some credible cases that may lie outside the detection of such organizations. Thanks to KRock, the Creationist RA Herrmann’s ID theory thread became a collection of evidence for and against paranormal and supernatural involvement at the personal level. It is a repository of links to accounts of Astronaut Charles Duke, Governor Bobby Jindal, professor of mathematics RA Herrmann, professor of psychiatry Richard Gallagher, Fr. Ralph DiOrio, professional gambler Mike “Bootlegger” Turner, Latoya Ammons, and others.
In that thread, I tried to give some opinions (like that of James Randi and others) that I think demonstrate a lot of paranormal activity by “practitioners” is a hoax, but also reasons I think controlled methodology will fail to detect rare but genuine occurrences of paranormal or supernatural phenomenon. I cannot go into all the data of that discussion, so I direct readers to that thread and particularly the comment section. That discussion also gave me a chance to respond to critics whom I respect (like RD Fish) regarding evidence of non-material supernatural mechanisms. ID proper doesn’t require the supernatural, but I’ve often contended evidence of the supernatural makes the ID case more believable.
Long before the Heaven’s gate mass suicide, Jaques Vallee warned the world of his concerns regarding the group’s activities. Sadly, it was to no avail, and the group succeeded in taking at least 41 lives. In his book Messenger’s of Deception: UFO Contacts and Cults, he argued that UFO’s are not of extraterrestrial origin. An amazon reviewer summarizes Vallee’s book:
Jacques Vallee’s ‘Messengers of Deception’ (1979) is an intelligent, complex, and prescient exploration of the UFO phenomenon that focuses specifically on its social aspects and the mysterious UFO cults which have arisen globally around it.
By the time he came to write ‘Messengers of Deception,’ Vallee had produced five earlier books on the subject, and was fairly confident that UFOs did not represent extraterrestrial craft of any kind (“I believe that UFOs are physically real. They represent a fantastic technology controlled by an unknown form of consciousness…they may not be from outer space.”).
Almost thirty years later, Vallee, who contributes a new foreword to the current edition, is, like everyone else in the field, still in the dark about the exact nature of the subject under question.
What makes ‘Messengers of Deception’ particularly fascinating is that Vallee cautiously sketches out his belief that some agency with enormous power of various kinds is and has been “staging” thousands of technologically complex, essentially ‘fake’ UFO sightings around the world with the pointed intention of manipulating and guiding civilization, and man himself, in a very specific direction.
The apparent goal of this agency is to encourage mankind, via a belief in the impending arrival from the heavens of the benevolent ‘space brothers,’ to become anti-scientific, irrational, infantile, dependent, and endlessly hopeful that the essential problems of man—including his mortality—can be permanently overcome through the multi-prismed salvation the [false] “space brothers” offer.
So yes, the Darwinists, Eugenie Scott, the NCSE and for that matter the overwhelming majority of Americans will probably get a laugh from hearing Norm Geisler’s claims, but when I consider the 41 lives taken by the Heaven’s Gate UFO cult, I think Norm was right, and it’s no laughing matter.
1. photo credits: Wikipedia, Amazon
4. Many thanks to KRock for helping me with this essay and pointing me to so much material. God bless you KRock.
5. This was the far more serious essay that was pre-cursored by the more light-hearted essay Former Canadian Defence Minister Said US Tried to Start Intergalactic War.
6. I believe miracles, supernatural phenomenon, demon possession is rare and unpredictable and will generally elude laboratory controlled detection. This raises philosophical problems about what we can believe, but I accept some things will escape lab controlled detection from start to finish, but that does not mean we can’t detect these things via inference from scientific instruments.
7. I think some churches overemphasize the Devil, and some individuals blame him disproportionately for their own bad behavior. I’m a member of the PCA and a minister from a sister denomination the OPC expresses my general view that most cases of demon possession are explainable by other factors than actual demons:
8. I also think some phenomenon of seeing apparitions or aliens might be attributable to mechanism related or similar to Charles Bonnet Syndrome (HT: selvaRajan).
9. That said, in light of the cases listed in Creationist RA Herrmann’s ID theory, some phenomenon don’t appear to me to be explainable by anything but supernatural causes.