In “SETI needs Intelligent Design” at Applied Intelligent Design blog (Jul 11, 2012), Eric Holloway argues,
As Dr. Gonzales’ and Dr. Richards’ show in the book Privileged Planet a SETI project with materialistic metaphysics does not have a hope in heaven to expect to find a habitable planet. The improbabilities involved in the formation of habitable planet in the universe are extremely small, much smaller than the probabilistic resources available in our universe.
Fortunately, the fact we live on a habitable planet within our universe makes the possibility of a trans-universal designer extremely strong. At least it makes such a possibility the much preferable explanation to a process that works through merely chance and necessity. If an intelligent designer created our planet, despite the enormous probabilistic barriers to doing so, then this makes the possibility of other habitable planets a live possibility.
This possibility gives SETI a way out of the probabilistic hole they dug for themselves with materialism. It is only if SETI allows for the possibility of intelligent design that they can justify further searches for other habited planets in the universe.
That is not all. The very interesting result from “Privileged Planet” is more than the fact our planet is very finely tuned for highly complex living beings.
It’s not a completely new idea. The mediaeval poet Dante peopled the moon and all the known planets (with the souls of the saved, in his case), andC.S. Lewis and Alice Meynell discuss the matter of alien races at length in relation to the Christian religion, both concluding that they posed no problem.
One gets the feeling that SETI would be unwilling to work with this assumption even if it proved fruitful. Their quest is to find undesigned alien races in an indifferent universe and nothing else would be a victory.
See also: SETI’s Seth Shostak: “Life is not all that special”
Exploring why NASA needed to believe in the arsenic-eating bacteria