Intelligent Design

Seth Shostak: Just Add Water

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In a recent KCBS radio interview about his work for the search for extraterrestrial life, the Center for SETI research Director Seth Shostak repeatedly made claims about the simplicity of life. “Life is just chemistry,” Shostak informed …  Read more

21 Replies to “Seth Shostak: Just Add Water

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    Shostak elaborated that life is merely a collection of big molecules and that “You’re nothing more than that.”

    Hmmm, “I”, the personal agent of me, certainly don’t feel like “I” am nothing more than just a collection of big molecules. If fact, I think that I am a unified ‘soul’ that transcends my body (i.e. transcends my ‘collection of big molecules’):

    “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”
    George MacDonald – Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood – 1892

    A few notes to that effect

    The Unbearable Wholeness of Beings – Stephen L. Talbott
    Excerpt: Virtually the same collection of molecules exists in the canine cells during the moments immediately before and after death. But after the fateful transition no one will any longer think of genes as being regulated, nor will anyone refer to normal or proper chromosome functioning. No molecules will be said to guide other molecules to specific targets, and no molecules will be carrying signals, which is just as well because there will be no structures recognizing signals. Code, information, and communication, in their biological sense, will have disappeared from the scientist’s vocabulary.
    ,,, the question, rather, is why things don’t fall completely apart — as they do, in fact, at the moment of death. What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?
    Despite the countless processes going on in the cell, and despite the fact that each process might be expected to “go its own way” according to the myriad factors impinging on it from all directions, the actual result is quite different. Rather than becoming progressively disordered in their mutual relations (as indeed happens after death, when the whole dissolves into separate fragments), the processes hold together in a larger unity.

    picture – What power holds off that moment — precisely for a lifetime, and not a moment longer?

    “To paraphrase, (Erwin Schrodinger in his book “What Is Life”), he says at the molecular level living organisms have a certain order. A structure to them that’s very different from the random thermodynamic jostling of atoms and molecules in inanimate matter of the same complexity. In fact, living matter seems to behave in its order and its structure just like inanimate cooled down to near absolute zero. Where quantum effects play a very important role. There is something special about the structure, about the order, inside a living cell. So Schrodinger speculated that maybe quantum mechanics plays a role in life”.
    Jim Al-Khalili – Quantum biology – video (6:52 minute mark)

    WHAT IS LIFE? ERWIN SCHRODINGER – First published 1944 Pg. 28-29
    Excrpt: “The orderliness encountered in the unfolding of life springs from a different source. It appears that there are two different ‘mechanisms’ by which orderly events can be produced: the ‘statistical mechanism’ which produces order from disorder and the new one, producing order from order. To the unprejudiced mind the second principle appears to be much simpler, much more plausible. No doubt it is. That is why physicists were so proud to have fallen in with the other one, the ‘order-from-disorder’ principle, which is actually followed in Nature and which alone conveys an understanding of the great line of natural events , in the first place of their irreversibility . But we cannot expect that the ‘laws of physics’ derived from it suffice straight away to explain the behaviour of living matter, whose most striking features are visibly based to a large extent on the ‘order-from-order’ principle. You would not expect two entirely different mechanisms to bring about the same type of law-you would not expect your latch-key, to open your neighbour’s door as well. We must therefore not be discouraged by the difficulty of interpreting life by the ordinary laws of physics. For that is just what is to be expected from the knowledge we have gained of the structure of living matter. We must be prepared to find a new type of physical law prevailing in it. Or are we to term it a non-physical, not to say a super-physical, law?
    No. I do not think that. For the new principle that is involved is a genuinely physical one: it is, in my opinion, nothing else than the principle of quantum theory over again.,,,”

    Higher Dimensional Special Relativity, Near Death Experiences, Biophotons, and the Quantum Soul

    i.e. Reductive materialism, Shostak’s philosophy, simply does not do ‘wholeness’.

    Quote and poem:

    “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
    Shakespeare – Hamlet

    If thou thinkest this is wondrous strange,
    And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
    There are more things inside thyself, Darwinio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. But come;
    Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
    How strange or odd soe’er thou bearest thyself,
    As thou perchance hereafter shall think meet
    To put an antic explanation on,
    That you, at such times observing, never shall,
    With arms encumber’d thus, or this headshake,
    Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
    As ‘Well, we know it evolved,’ or ‘It emerged or arose,’
    Or ‘Natural selection,’ or ‘It might have, perchance,’
    Or such ambiguous giving out, to note
    That you know naught of anything: this not to do,
    So grace and mercy at your most need help you, Swear.

    Supplemental note. Here is a humorous clip from “Where are the Aliens?” :

    Tyson: “Their (SETIs) goal is the ultimate prize in the life finding game. Someone out there we can talk to.”
    Shostak: “Nothing to do but sit here and wait for them to call.”
    (And exactly at that moment the phone rings right behind Shostak).
    Shostak: “And on cue they’ve called.”
    – quotes as stated at 11:22 minute mark – Where are the Aliens – Origins Nova – Neil Degrasse Tyson – video –

    As a Christian who has seen a few answered prayers during my life, I find it strange that the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) organization spends millions of dollars vainly searching for signs of extra-terrestrial life in this universe, when all anyone has to do to make solid contact with THE primary ‘extra-terrestrial intelligence’ of the entire universe is to pray with a sincere heart. God, who created heaven and earth, certainly does not hide from those who sincerely seek Him.
    I would think that personally communicating with the Creator of the universe would be a lot more exciting than not communicating with some little green men that in all realistic probability, given naturalism, do not even exist.


    Isaiah 45:18-19
    For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘seek me in vain’; I, the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    I wonder if he is required to say such things in order to keep his job.

  3. 3
    EvilSnack says:

    Would materialists score as highly if they didn’t write the test and grade it themselves?

  4. 4
    Mapou says:

    Of all the species inhabiting the universe, only humans are stupid enough to use EM radiation for communication. And only the stupidest of humans believe that they can find ET by listening to EM radiation.

    Here’s a thought. Space (distance) is a perceptual illusion. It does not exist. Any alien worth his green blood and purple gonads knows how to travel instantly from anywhere to anywhere. Sheesh!

    PS. I’m only partly kidding.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:


    Quantum “Spookiness” Passes Toughest Test Yet – August 28, 2015
    Excerpt: It’s a bad day both for Albert Einstein and for hackers. The most rigorous test of quantum theory ever carried out has confirmed that the ‘spooky action at a distance’ that the German physicist famously hated — in which manipulating one object instantaneously seems to affect another, far away one — is an inherent part of the quantum world.,,,
    Moreover, the experiment closed both loopholes at once: because the electrons were easy to monitor, the detection loophole was not an issue, and they were separated far enough apart to close the communication loophole, too.
    “It is a truly ingenious and beautiful experiment,” says Anton Zeilinger, a physicist at the Vienna Centre for Quantum Science and Technology.

  6. 6
    Mapou says:

    Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance” (nonlocality) is actually the rule, not the exception. And it’s not nearly as spooky as it sounds once you realize that distance is an illusion. Only positional properties are needed, distance is abstract and superfluous. Nonlocality is synonymous with nonspatiality.

    Now, it’s a sure bet that every intelligent alien knows this. So why would they use EM radiation to communicate over long distances? Shostak and his merry band of ET hunters are wasting a lot of time and money, not to mention making fools of themselves. The aliens have been here on earth from day one and they left many clues to which we have chosen to be blind. In fact, some of them run the world as I write. Christians know this. They even know the alien king’s name: Lucifer, the great Satan, the ancient serpent and true ruler of the world.


  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    semi related to Shostak’s ‘merely a collection of big molecules’ quote:

    “I must confess that I was not able to find a way to explain the atomistic character of nature. My opinion is that … one has to find a possibility to avoid the continuum (together with space and time) altogether. But I have not the slightest idea what kind of elementary concepts could be used in such a theory.”
    — Albert Einstein (1954) – Einstein from “B” to “Z” Springer, p. 151 – John Stachel
    Stated the year before he passed away after 3 decades of trying to find a way around quantum mechanics for a, in essence, ‘complete’ materialistic theory of everything.

    “..the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however tenacious this illusion may be.”
    Albert Einstein – March 1955 (he passed away in April of that year)

    God Science: Episode One – The Simulation Hypothesis – video

  8. 8
    Bob O'H says:

    Of all the species inhabiting the universe, only humans are stupid enough to use EM radiation for communication.

    Careful in the evenings – you’ve just insulted a LOT of fireflies.

  9. 9
    Mapou says:

    Bob O’H:

    Careful in the evenings – you’ve just insulted a LOT of fireflies.

    Well, in that case, maybe Shostak should be searching for signs of giant intelligent ET fireflies signalling each other over interstellar space?

  10. 10
    Mapou says:


    “..the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion, however tenacious this illusion may be.”
    Albert Einstein – March 1955

    This is nonsense, of course, since only the present exists. And the present consists of the immediate past and immediate future, the latter constantly morphing into the other. As always, yin and yang rule.

  11. 11
    Axel says:

    BA your #7

    “‘complete’ materialistic theory of everything”.

    Not very rational of Albert, BA, considering his humble admiration of the library of nature, whose books had been authored by “the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.”

  12. 12
    Mapou says:


    “I must confess that I was not able to find a way to explain the atomistic character of nature. My opinion is that … one has to find a possibility to avoid the continuum (together with space and time) altogether. But I have not the slightest idea what kind of elementary concepts could be used in such a theory.”
    — Albert Einstein (1954) – Einstein from “B” to “Z” Springer, p. 151 – John Stachel

    Very interesting. Einstein was essentially admitting that he was wrong about pretty much everything. He was wrong about continuity (the universe is discrete), he was wrong about space (it does not exist) and he was wrong about the time dimension (it doesn’t exist either). Not long before he died, he wrote to his friend Besso:

    “I consider it quite possible that physics cannot be based on the field concept, i.e., on continuous structures. In that case, nothing remains of my entire castle in the air, gravitation theory included, [and of] the rest of modern physics.” (From: “Subtle is the Lord” by Abraham Pais.)

    Nobody really listens to Einstein, especially the relativists.

  13. 13
    daveS says:


    he was wrong about space (it does not exist) and he was wrong about the time dimension (it doesn’t exist either).

    Can you demonstrate how to do basic mechanics, say describing the motion of a free particle, without space and without a time dimension?

  14. 14
    Mapou says:

    daveS @13,

    Time and space are abstract, which does not mean that they are useless in calculations. The only things that exist are particles, their properties and their interactions. One can calculate the motion of a particle by deriving time from interactions and calculate abstract distances from positional properties.

    We use all sorts of abstract quantities in science. I argue that one of the worst things one can do in physics is to give substance to abstract concepts.

    And wouldn’t you know it? This is exactly what the fanatical relativists did with time and space. Worst, they’ve held on to that meme like glue. The propaganda was and continues to be fierce and relentless. But we all know that the end result of any restricted meme pool is intellectual incest: we are now drowning in strange pseudoscientific ideas such as time travel, infinite parallel universes, wormholes and other stupid Star Trek voodoo physics. Not even wrong.

    PS. There are simple and irrefutable arguments (that I’ve mentioned here on UD on occasions) against the existence of time and space but I’ll pass for now.

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    “The only things that exist are particles, their properties and their interactions.”

    Actually even the objective existence of particles apart from conscious observation makes quantum theory remark ‘I have no need of that hypothesis’ (see quantum teleportation and Wheeler’s delayed choice).

    “Atoms are not things”
    Werner Heisenberg

    “I think that modern physics has definitely decided in favor of Plato. In fact the smallest units of matter are not physical objects in the ordinary sense; they are forms, ideas which can be expressed unambiguously only in mathematical language.”
    Werner Heisenberg

    As to Einstein’s remark that ‘the distinction between past, present, and future is only an illusion’, he may have been alluding to the ‘eternal framework’ that both special relativity and general relativity pointed to.

    “I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.”
    Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest – 2005

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12

    To grasp the whole ‘time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light’ concept a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the same ‘thought experiment’ that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into e=mc2.

    Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ – video (6:00 minute mark)

    This higher dimension, ‘eternal’, inference for the time framework of light is also warranted, by logic, because light is not ‘frozen within time’, i.e. light appears to move to us in our temporal framework of time, yet it is shown that time, as we understand it, does not pass for light. The only way this is possible is if light is indeed of a higher dimensional value of time than our temporal time is otherwise light would simply be ‘frozen in time’ to our temporal frame of reference. Another line of evidence that supports the inference that ‘tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday’, at the ‘eternal’ speed of light, is visualizing what would happen if a hypothetical observer were to approach the speed of light. Please note, at the 3:22 minute mark of the following video, when the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape as a ‘hypothetical’ observer moves towards the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light, (Of note: This following video was made by two Australian University Physics Professors with a supercomputer.).

    Approaching The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects – video

    Moreover, both the ‘eternal’ and tunnel aspects of special relativity are confirmed in NDE’s:

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video (testimony starts at 27:45 minute mark)

    ‘When you die, you enter eternity. It feels like you were always there, and you will always be there. You realize that existence on Earth is only just a brief instant.’
    Dr. Ken Ring – has extensively studied Near Death Experiences

    ‘Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously.’
    – Kimberly Clark Sharp – NDE Experiencer

    “I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.”
    Barbara Springer – Near Death Experience – The Tunnel – video

    Ask the Experts: What Is a Near-Death Experience (NDE)? – article with video
    Excerpt: “Very often as they’re moving through the tunnel, there’s a very bright mystical light … not like a light we’re used to in our earthly lives. People call this mystical light, brilliant like a million times a million suns…”
    – Jeffrey Long M.D. – has studied NDE’s extensively

    Of related interest: Long before Einstein ever came along, Jesus implored us to store treasure up in the eternal realm rather than storing them in the temporal realm that we currently live in:

    Matthew 6:19-21
    Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
    But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
    For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

    Rich Mullins – Creed – music

  16. 16
    Mapou says:


    To grasp the whole ‘time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light’ concept a little more easily,

    I’m sorry but you are getting your understanding of physics from the same people who gave us physical space, the time dimension and all that other jazz.

    Claiming that time can come to a complete stop assumes that time can move in the first place. And this is precisely why the time dimension does not exist: time cannot change by definition! Why? Because changing time is self-referential. This is the reason that I and many others (including Karl Popper) insist that Einstein’s spacetime is a block universe in which nothing happens. This is one of the main reasons that Einstein’s physics fails and does so miserably: it does not reflect reality.

    Something does happen at the speed of light but it’s not time that does it. In fact, the speed of light is the only speed in the universe. Nothing can move slower or faster. But then again, one can never understand this unless one also understands the abstract nature of time.

    PS. In a way, it’s gratifying to know that Einstein was beginning to understand all of this but, unfortunately, he died before he could explore it further. So we were left at the mercy of the relativist hordes that he helped create. 100 years of crappy physics ensued. It’s painful to even think about.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    Mapou, I thought I made it clear that I consider you to be eccentric in your physics?

    Not to say that there are not important elements of truth in your interpretation of physics, but I hold that you go much too far in many of your personal interpretations of certain elements of physics.

    i.e. IMHO, you rely much too much on your personal intuition, which is the same as saying you rely on your personal opinion, and do not rely on empirics.

    And no, this is not politics where you can just will your opinion to succeed. You absolutely need an empirical basis for each and every claim you make. Especially as radical as some of your claims are.

  18. 18
    Mapou says:

    BA77, the empirical basis of my arguments is all around us. The problem is not one of observation but one of interpretation and logic. For example, I don’t deny that clocks slow down at speeds approaching the speed of light. But I do deny that it happens because time slows down. That is illogical on the face of it, even to the point of being stupid and silly.

    And no, this is not politics where you can just will your opinion to succeed.

    Oh, it’s politics alright. Otherwise you and I would not be having this discussion. In this world, everything is politics but, every so often, reality rises up and kicks a few arses. That’s what happens when you get a major paradigm shift that has been years, sometimes centuries, in the making.

  19. 19
    bornagain77 says:

    as to:

    For example, I don’t deny that clocks slow down at speeds approaching the speed of light. But I do deny that it happens because time slows down.

    In case you want to ever back that claim up with other than your own personal opinion, here are a couple of references that you may need.

    The God of the Mathematicians – The religious beliefs that guided Kurt Gödel’s revolutionary Ideas
    by David P. Goldman – August 2010
    Excerpt: In a Festschrift for Einstein’s seventieth birthday in 1949, Gödel demonstrated the possibility of a special case in which, as Palle Yourgrau described the result, “the large-scale geometry of the world is so warped that there exist space-time curves that bend back on themselves so far that they close; that is, they return to their starting point.” This means that “a highly accelerated spaceship journey along such a closed path, or world line, could only be described as time travel.” In fact, “Gödel worked out the length and time for the journey, as well as the exact speed and fuel requirements.”
    Gödel, of course, did not actually believe in time travel, but he understood his paper to undermine the Einsteinian worldview from within.

    Of note; In the following study, through a fairly ingenious thought experiment, challenged the assumption of length contraction as being valid for ‘photon clocks’. In doing so, they cleared up some loose ends in relativity concerning time’s relation to space. Loose ends that had been ample fodder for much of the speculation of time travel being possible in relativity:

    Physicists continue work to abolish time as fourth dimension of space – April 2012
    Excerpt: “The rate of photon clocks in faster inertial systems will not slow down with regard to the photon clocks in a rest inertial system because the speed of light is constant in all inertial systems,” he said. “The rate of atom clocks will slow down because the ‘relativity’ of physical phenomena starts at the scale of pi mesons.”
    He also explained that, without length contraction, time dilation exists but in a different way than usually thought. “Time dilatation exists not in the sense that time as a fourth dimension of space dilates and as a result the clock rate is slower,” he explained. “Time dilatation simply means that, in a faster inertial system, the velocity of change slows down and this is valid for all observers.,, Our research confirms Gödel’s vision: time is not a physical dimension of space through which one could travel into the past or future.”

  20. 20
    Mapou says:

    Well, thanks for the references and the quotes. It’s funny that Godel’s paper is used by the relativists as supporting the idiotic concept of time travel when, in fact, Godel was saying the exact opposite. I read somewhere that some believe that Godel was slowly poisoned to death to silence his refutation of Einstein’s concept of spacetime and thus relativity. And Godel himself believed he was being poisoned. He probably died mostly from malnutrition.

    By the way, I was not the one who figured out that time does not change and that Einstein’s spacetime is a block universe. I first found out about it some 20 years ago when a physics professor, Dr. William M Stuckey, a member of the faculty at Elizabethtown College first brought it to my attention on an AOL physics discussion board. So it’s not my personal opinion, as you keep insisting.

  21. 21
    Mapou says:

    I was reading BA77’s article on time and I noticed that those guys (Amrit Sorli and Davide Fiscaletti) not only use the same definition of time that I’ve been promoting in the last two decades but their theory of gravity calls for a depletion of energy in a region of space around a massive object, exactly like my own theory of gravity. Here’s their theory in a nutshell, published in March 2012 (emphasis added):

    “We are developing a mathematical model where gravity is a result of the diminished energy density of a 3D quantum vacuum caused by the presence of a given stellar object or material body,” Sorli said. “Inertial mass and gravitational mass have the same origin: diminished energy density of a quantum vacuum.

    The main difference is that I actually provide an explanation as to why there is a depletion of energy in the lattice (my term for the quantum vacuum) in the presence of matter. Here’s an excerpt of an article on gravity that I wrote in December 2009, almost three years before Sorli et al:

    Nature solves this problem by temporarily borrowing energy from the lattice. As a result, an imbalance is created. An imbalance is, of course, a violation of energy conservation and nature tries to correct it at the earliest opportunity. It does so by moving more matter (or energy) toward the source of the imbalance. This is manifested as gravity.

    Prior rights. Just saying.

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