The remarkable thing is that we haven’t found so much as a fossil bacterium in recent Mars samples. The belief that whatever’s weird out there must be aliens is a sheer act of faith. The same people who would dismiss massive evidence for design in the universe and life forms believe in ET with no evidence at all. That’s probably because, at heart, their commitment is one of the few types of religion that naturalism permits.
Fazale Rana: Loeb’s work affirms a point that I (and others) have repeatedly made. Science has the toolkit to detect the work of agency in nature. To put it another way, Loeb’s thesis demonstrates that detection of intelligent design in nature is legitimately part of the construct of science.
Avi Loeb has come up with a very reasonable idea for searching for evidence of other civilizations in our galaxy: Look for alien debris on our still, lifeless, atmosphere-free Moon.
It’s curious how folklore can prevail for ages in science as long as it has a naturalistic origin. Maybe Top People shouldn’t count on everyone just forgetting that now.
Okay re the importance of reproducibility but it was never clear why Oumuamua was supposed to be ET anyway. More Oumuamuas would not make it more likely.
Specified complexity is what we should be looking for in signals from intelligent beings — orderly patterns that hold meanings not found in inanimate nature.
Okay, Oumuamua is unusual. But here’s what seems even more unusual. That a Harvard astronomer would be retailing stories that, sixty years ago, were the domain of tabloid magazines. And people are listening seriously.
Skepticism makes no headway here so it must in fact be a sort of naturalist religious cult.
“Stick with analogs we know, you advise”? Yes, good idea. It used to be the usual approach among scientists. So why was it suddenly suspended? We are still wondering. Or maybe we know but no one wants to discuss it. See Tales of an invented god .
Look, these people needed a miracle from outer space and it was great while it lasted. But why is the embarrassing story being kept alive? Won’t another, similar one come along soon?
Yeah. Sure. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that it was orthodox science media (Scientific American, we are looking at you… ) who were marketing the space alien thing, not some crackpot in a tinfoil hat. And yet the same people have the nerve to sponsor reams of stuff on why “people” believe in pseudoscience.
Hmmm. In the real world, when you are an only child so far as you know, it is hard to compare yourself to your siblings. Few readily accept criticism for failure to measure up to the standards of imaginary beings.
ut hey, like we always say, They Will Always Be Out There if you need them to be. Also, be kind to ET. He is somebody’s deity.
It is now in Saturn’s orbit and public attention is fading but an astrophysicist reflects on colleagues seeing ET.
At least media feel freer to treat the topic that way: The turning point came in November, when Avi Loeb, the head of the astronomy department at Harvard University, co-wrote a paper saying that Oumuamua is so unusual that scientists should consider the possibility that it’s not a far-out comet or asteroid, as his colleagues assumed, Read More…