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The one advantage the space alien has over Bigfoot

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Further to “More boldly go: Our entire universe is a mere Copernican blip,”  I suggested one real reason why the space alien is considered “science” but Bigfoot isn’t: The space alien is wished into existence by methodological naturalism, but Bigfoot isn’t.

That said, one advantage the space alien has over Bigfoot is that it would be much easier to scour the planet and demonstrate (to a reasonable person’s satisfaction) that Bigfoot does not exist than to scour the universe and prove likewise that the space alien does not exist.

But we haven’t scoured either one yet. So the advantage has not yet been made real. In any event, it is only an advantage in a negative sense: No one can disprove the aliens’ existence to a reasonable person’s satisfaction. That hardly explains the strong attachment to the idea, evident in the popular science media.

One must look to methodological naturalism to wish such a being into existence, absent all and any evidence.

Just for the record, if we come to believe that we are all alone, that need not imply theism. Fine tuning does that, not mere loneliness. Our aloneness would not impinge on any theology that does not make the space aliens’ existence or otherwise an article of faith.

As it happens, under the sure guidance of methodological naturalism, we went from explorig a comprehensible cosmos to gaping in amazement before an incomprehensible multiverse. Continuing the series, I will trace how that happened, and what we can do about it. – O’Leary for News

So far:

What has materialism done for science?

Big Bang exterminator wanted, will train

Copernicus, you are not going to believe who is using your name. Or how.

“Behold, countless Earths sail the galaxies … that is, if you would only believe …

Don’t let Mars fool you. Those exoplanets teem with life!

But surely we can’t conjure an entire advanced civilization?

How do we grapple with the idea that ET might not be out there?

Not only is earth one nice planet among many, but our entire universe is lost in a crowd

See also: Not only is earth one nice planet among many, but our entire universe is lost in a crowd

3 Replies to “The one advantage the space alien has over Bigfoot

  1. 1
    Jon Garvey says:

    Are you aware that though Bigfoot is still in the realm of the fairies, the Himalayan Yeti has already proved to be less mythical than SETI’s aliens.

    DNA testing of alleged hair samples of US Bigfoot recently showed a range of other common creatures. But three samples from the Himalayas have, according to the “father” of historical DNA studies Prof Bryan Sykes, shown the markers of a species unknown except in the ice-age arctic; either a brown bear/polar bear common ancestor, or a hybrid species. Yeti is out there, and probably mean.

    How that plays into the “cryptobiology myth, aliens science” narrative I’m not sure, but it shows that scientically unsubstantiated human testimony sometimes turns up trumps in the end. But not all of it – shame about your Bigfoot.

    You don’t suppose that might suggest that the fact that some religion is false doesn’t preclude some being true, do you? That would be radical.

  2. 2
    News says:

    Agreed re human testimony. As another example, the “sea serpent” was quite likely the enormous oarfish: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nt-legend/

    Generally, something underlies most legends, because making something up without any natural prompts is quite difficult conceptually. Like trying to imagine another color, not in the spectrum.

    No worry re Bigfoot. The Kodiak bear got the position instead. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jq8AD8M5po thanks to aggressive lobbying efforts by bears. 😉

    My current interest, as you know, is how methodological naturalism affects the way decisions are made as to what to regard as science, and it’s not always what people might at first suppose. – O’Leary for News

  3. 3
    Jon Garvey says:

    My current interest, as you know, is how methodological naturalism affects the way decisions are made as to what to regard as science.

    When you’ve finished that, Denise, you might cast your pen over how methodological naturalism has affected what to regard as theology too, for the last century or two, cf here and here.

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