Extraterrestrial life

Extraterrestrials: They’re not there, but they must be !

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Chris McKay, a planetary scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, reviews Paul Davies’s latest book, The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence/Are We Alone In The Universe? , which argues that we should expand the hunt for intelligent life:

McKay considers why we should look closer to home β€” perhaps even in our DNA.

Although supporting the current quest, Davies recommends bold and sometimes bizarre avenues of exploration. For example, if migratory Galactic civilizations passed this way some time ago, they might have posted an alien message in our DNA or depleted our region of the Universe of some resource, such as (undiscovered) magnetic monopoles. Perhaps they left a device in the Solar System as a calling card, and are patiently waiting for us to discover and activate it. There are many places to look, many ways to expand the search.

Davies devotes pages to what will happen if a signal is received and how we should respond. Most readers will find these questions remote and hypothetical β€” not least because once a signal is received, events are likely to be quickly taken out of the hands of the astronomers.

The greatest joy of The Eerie Silence is the ending, in which Davies gives his own perspective. He splits his personality into three: scientist, philosopher and human. As a scientist, he is sceptical that we will detect extraterrestrial life, yet he finds that possibility plausible as a philosopher and longs for it to be true as a human. Read at least this page, even if you do not have time for the rest of this excellent book.

– Chris McKay, Is there anybody out there? (Nature, 464, 34 (4 March 2010) doi:10.1038/464034a)

Why does all this remind my of a woman wittering alone at home by the telephone (Why doesn’t he call? Why doesn’t he text?) waiting for a familiar knock on the door and checking her e-mail every two minutes. No one can cure anyone else of this romantic disorder just by talking sense to them. Usually, women cure themselves when they are ready by asking a simple question: What would happen if I just forgot about him and lived my life and was happy?

Well, he’s already forgotten her, so ….

But she, at least, knew for sure that he existed.

So, now, what’s the matter with Paul Davies? SETI? Why can’t they just let go?

And don’t tell me that this is all just about finding bacteria on another planet. That’s like the lonely, pacing woman claiming she’s really only worried about him. Sure.

Comments?

Here’s more on extraterrestrial life:

Extraterrestrials: The recent pilgrimage to Darwin’s shrine

Does our solar system occupy a unique position in the universe or just an ordinary one?

Rare? Solar systems like ours are rare?

Astronomer argues that we can test whether Earth is fine-tuned as a science lab

Serious push to find more exoplanets

Exoplanets: Will intelligence be common or rare?

10 Replies to “Extraterrestrials: They’re not there, but they must be !

  1. 1
    Joseph says:

    One thing is certain-

    There is more evidence in support of ETs than there is in support of the theory of evolution.

    Just sayin’…

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    You know Joseph, I’ve always told evolutionists that other life just may be possible in the universe, it is just not possible in the materialistic/Darwinian framework to account for ET’s in this universe. i.e. For one to reasonably qualify other life in the universe one is forced to concede that the only reason we should find other life in the universe is if God originally put it there in the first place. Indeed pretty much all Origin of Life probability calculations consider the entire universe as the base for making such probability calculations! Here is a clue for how SETI could expand their search for ‘intelligent life’:

    SETI – Search For Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence receives message from God,,,,, Almost – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4007753

    As a sidenote. yesterday I was sighing about the History Channel going through yet another of their ‘UFO days’ (or is that daze?), since I have yet to see any compelling evidence for UFO’s, and since I am somewhat biased towards the philosophical position of God having this planet be fairly unique in the universe. And yet, in yet another ‘coincidence’ it seems God wanted to stretch my mind a bit, for in my Bible reading, which happened right after I sighed about the UFO programs on the History Channel, took me to the first part of Ezekiel,, reading particularly this part:

    ‘This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like chrysolite, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. 17 As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not turn about [d] as the creatures went. 18 Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around.

    19 When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. 20 Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

    22 Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked like an expanse, sparkling like ice, and awesome. 23 Under the expanse their wings were stretched out one toward the other, and each had two wings covering its body. 24 When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, [e] like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings.’
    http://www.biblegateway.com/pa.....ersion=NIV

    Which made me think that the technology we will see in the ‘higher dimension’ of heaven (which is where I think the ‘UFO’ of Ezekiel came from) is absolutely going to make what we have done here on this earth seem like child’s play! πŸ™‚

  3. 3
    Bravoman says:

    @1 : Joseph

    It’s an established fact that evolution happened, now read what you wrote…

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Bravoman you state:

    ‘It’s an established fact that evolution happened,’

    Do you know what site you are on?

  5. 5
    andrewjg says:

    @3 & @4

    I think one must be careful in distinguishing between evolution and evolutionary theory – the phrase Joseph used. Firstly because evolution covers a great many things and secondly because the the argument is really about what can naturalistic processes produce.

    I can easily imagine a designer including systems which would allow creatures to evolve in response to stimulus as a survival mechanism. Especially if the designer had the foresight to know the creatures must survive in a changing environment.

    Mutation and natural selection alone don’t constitute a limited designed evolution(change) system. I think ID is about looking at the systems in life and showing these systems / mechanisms were designed. Those who believe no designer was involved must show how these systems / mechanisms could have occurred naturally. It is not enough to show evolution. One must show how the mechanisms in evolutionary theory are themselves products of natural forces. The mechanism currently proposed in evolutionary theory are purely naturalistic products but as Joseph has stated completely inadequate to show how evolution might have occurred.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Andrew, To be very careful in ‘distinguishing terms’ for Bravoman,,, there is no evidence that even the much heralded micro-evolutionary events, of say antibiotic resistant bacteria, have violated the principle of genetic entropy! i.e. all ‘beneficial adaptations’ away from a parent species for a sub-species are always found to come at a cost of preexisting information/complexity.

  7. 7
    uoflcard says:

    OT:

    This is the closest I’ll ever come to following pop culture/celebrities:

    Alicia Keys obsessed with biology

    Quote from article:

    Writing on her blog, she said: “I’m most enamoured with anatomy at this point. The miracle of the human body.

    “The ability to create all these small amazing machines of veins, capillaries, digestive systems, eyes and nose.

    “I can spend hours looking at one little ear. Have you ever noticed how complex just an ear is? A tiny maze of art.”

    I agree 100%, Alicia Keys!! But watch your language…don’t say “machines”. They’re blind kludges of atoms

  8. 8
    PaV says:

    I thought this comment was interesting:

    For example, if migratory Galactic civilizations passed this way some time ago, they might have posted an alien message in our DNA or depleted our region of the Universe of some resource, such as (undiscovered) magnetic monopoles. Perhaps they left a device in the Solar System as a calling card, and are patiently waiting for us to discover and activate it. There are many places to look, many ways to expand the search.

    How is it that even theistic evolutionists, let alone the atheistic brand, say that the Designer (God) wouldn’t interfere with the “laws of nature”. Then it is proposed that this is exactly the method to be used by aliens that they might be detected. These logical inconsistencies don’t seem to occur to them.

    One more thing, Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity. He is both God and man. He became Man. He remained God, and as God worked miracles to confirm this divinity. Isn’t it, then, nonsense to assert that God doesn’t interfere (what more interference can there be than becoming man and living among us?) in our world, nor does he violate the laws of nature (then what are miracles? If natural laws can explain them, then they’re not miracles, are they?).

    This is the kind of argument to be made if the world were completely like the pagan Greeks, or even Hindu or Buddhist. But this is complete nonsense to the world of Judaism (I remember something about the Red Sea parting, or something like that) and Christianity.

    Why are these kinds of arguments even countenanced?

  9. 9
    Joseph says:

    Bravoman:

    It’s an established fact that evolution happened, now read what you wrote…

    Well it ain’t established that blind, undirected chemical processes produced the diversity of living organisms on this planet starting from some unknown population(s) of single-celled organisms.

    And that is what the theory of evolution posits.

    Anything else I can help you with?

  10. 10
    UrbanMysticDee says:

    I’m pretty sure I’m the lone visitor here convinced that not only does life exist elsewhere in the universe but that it has visited the Earth in the past, and continues to visit the Earth int he present. However, I do think all the SETI people aren’t really looking for extraterrestrial life. They’re may be a disinformation campaign, but are likely just debunkers who say “see, we didn’t get a signal so they don’t exist!” Or maybe they just have colossal egos. “ET better call me on my telescope or he’s not real!”

    Assuming extraterrestrials do exist and that they can do what the hundreds of thousands of eye witnesses say they can, why would a civilization that possesses faster-than-light travel use radio signals to communicate when they can get to their destination before the signals do? The whole grounding assumption of SETI seems to be a red herring.

    From the interviews I’ve seen with SETI people I don’t believe for a second they believe in extraterrestrial life or would ever want to recieve a signal. If they ever did it would completely shatter their worldview that they’re the pinnacle of intelligence, much much smarter than the great unwashed masses of humanity. Why would someone who fancies themselves a supergenius ever want to hear from someone a million times smarter than they are? And science forbid the aliens might believe in God! They can’t be accepting signals from them!

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