Riffing off Barry Arrington’s comment in Funny Shaped Rocks and the Design Inference, “It is amusing to watch some scientists insist on design inferences with respect to a relatively simple specification, while others refuse to countenance even the bare possibility of the same inference for a far more complex and intricate specification”:
One thing that has always intrigued me is the way Why THEY Must Be Out There is supposed to be a question in science.
There is no evidence that they are out there.
The usual argument we hear is that it simply isn’t possible that we are alone. Well, excuse me, it is at least possible that we are alone. Each century They never call, They never write makes that a more reasonable idea.
It’s the same as with any other kind of search. If we never find what we are looking for, maybe we are looking for something that doesn’t exist.
Personally, I think the alien is fun. I just don’t think he’s science.
Or if he is, why is a design inference “not” science?
If science is simply the business end of metaphysical naturalism, it would make sense to say that a design inference is not science. No evidence can support a design inference for the universe because such a proposition is—by definition—not true.
Our brains evolved for fitness, not for truth, so the mountains of evidence we see are an illusion generated by natural selection.
Somehow metaphysical naturalism is exempt from this universal acid. Somehow it turns out to be true anyway, for unclear reasons.
A corollary is, any tertiary doctrine that supports it is “science.” The space alien is a tertiary doctrine, meaning that he is one of a wide array of teachings grounded in the now widely accepted idea that humans are just animals and not special.
True, the lack of evidence points in the other direction but our perception of evidence is tainted by the fact that our brains are shaped for fitness not for truth.
Metaphysical naturalism is not thought to be subject to the same limitation. Therefore, despite lack of evidence, it is quite likely that the space alien exists even if no evidence arises.
But who decided that science was to be treated as the business end of metaphysical naturalism anyway?
See also: But surely we can’t conjure an entire advanced civilization?
And How do we grapple with the idea that ET might not be out there?
What can we hope to learn about animal minds?
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