Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


SETI is really one big fat design inference

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) folk should induct ID theorist Bill Dembski into their Hall of Fame because he literally wrote the book on The Design Inference and that's the idea that keeps them going. Read More ›

Big new telescope array to search for extraterrestrial alien signals

The nice thing about SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) projects is that it makes very little difference if we don’t find anything. It’s not as though any conclusion can be drawn from a failure to find anything. We will just indulge in another round of speculations as to why we don’t. It’s not always clear why this is a science and not a religion. But hey. Read More ›

Is Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) gaining respectability again?

Sarah Scoles: Proper science is now more willing to embrace SETI... Don’t just ignore all the outliers as outliers, in other words: Important truth, if not whole truth, can lurk inside of them too. Read More ›

SETI aims to become more “respectable”

And get government grants. The thing is, we do not actually have any evidence-based reason to believe that ET is out there. Why should government fund a search for ET as an alternative to, say, health care and affordable housing, for which we needn’t search very hard to see the need? Read More ›

Is SETI an “occult cult with money”?

Much information is offered here: Astronomer Jill Tarter discusses the search for intelligent life (Phys.org). Jill Tarter, one of the queens of SETI, was given royal treatment in a Harvard interview. The interviewer could have asked some hard questions, but one never treats royalty that way. “For me, after millennia of asking priests and philosophers what we should believe, I just thought it was very exciting that right then in the middle of the 20th century we were beginning to have some tools—telescopes and computers—that allowed scientists and engineers to try to figure out what is, and not have to take somebody’s belief system. I thought that was really important and I got hooked.” Without realizing, she was being treated Read More ›

SETI finds more creative ways to keep looking

The aliens, we are told, are needles in a cosmic haystack: A new calculation shows that if space is an ocean, we’ve barely dipped in a toe. The volume of observable space combed so far for E.T. is comparable to searching the volume of a large hot tub for evidence of fish in Earth’s oceans, astronomer Jason Wright at Penn State and colleagues say in a paper posted online September 19 at arXiv.org. “If you looked at a random hot tub’s worth of water in the ocean, you wouldn’t always expect a fish,” Wright says.Lisa Grossman, “We may not have found aliens yet because we’ve barely begun looking” at ScienceNews Paper. Abstract: Many articulations of the Fermi Paradox have as a Read More ›

SETI reacts to the new study that says not to wait up for extraterrestrials

From SETI’s Seth Shostak, who surely doesn’t welcome this news, at NBC: A recent paper by three researchers at the University of Oxford is throwing shade on those who feel confident that the cosmos is thick with extraterrestrials. … If we own up to the true extent of these uncertainties and do the requisite math, the Oxford study finds that there’s at least a 53 percent chance that we’re alone in the Milky Way and at least a 40 percent chance that we’re alone in the visible universe. Homo sapiens could be the smartest thing going. This result, they claim, melts the Fermi Paradox like butter on a hot griddle — maybe no one has colonized the galaxy because no Read More ›

Debating Darwin and Design: A Dialogue Between Two Christians

A couple of months ago, I agreed to take part in a written debate with a good friend of mine, Francis Smallwood. Francis, like me, is a commited Christian. Unlike me though, he is also a neo-Darwinist. On his blog Musings Of A Scientific Nature he writes on many different scientific issues, although his primary focus is on Darwinism. I encourage UD readers to check his blog out. As an enthusiastic ID proponent, I obviously think his embrace of Darwinian theory is profoundly mistaken, and equally I think his criticisms of ID are weak. However, he is at least willing to engage in debate with people of opposing view points and is not as dismissive as most Darwinists. Our idea Read More ›