Sunday, April 19, 2015

Scan of 100,000 Galaxies and No Alien Life: What's That Supposed to Mean?

A news source that culls the internet for the kind of articles I like to read directed me to "A Scan Of 100,000 Galaxies Shows No Sign Of Alien Mega-Civilizations."  Ouchie for that particular worldview -- not saying that it had an iota of hope ever anyway.

I ask you to think about all the things that occur by accident here.  It's not just the individual detail, but the composite complexity of each item that makes up other composite complexities that are part of other composite ones upon other ones upon other ones.  Just one of them is more than what you see in those 100,000 other galaxies and we're supposed to believe, according to them, that every one of ours occurred by accident.   That's the prevailing view of all the state and almost all the private school and university systems, so much so that it's the only position they allow.  You get fitted for the dunce cap right when you walk through the door.  Take your stupid pill at matriculation and then keep taking them all the way up to the wizard giving you the diploma.

People are planning a trip to Mars.  Why?  These are supposed to be the smart people.

Founder and owner of Tesla, Elon Musk, spends three days a week at his SpaceX company, and in a recent article, "The Elon Musk Interview on Mars" in Aeon (if you follow this link, careful with the beginning, and the foul language), Russ Andersen reports:

Musk told me he often thinks about the mysterious absence of intelligent life in the observable Universe. Humans have yet to undertake an exhaustive, or even vigorous, search for extraterrestrial intelligence, of course. But we have gone a great deal further than a casual glance skyward. For more than 50 years, we have trained radio telescopes on nearby stars, hoping to detect an electromagnetic signal, a beacon beamed across the abyss. We have searched for sentry probes in our solar system, and we have examined local stars for evidence of alien engineering. Soon, we will begin looking for synthetic pollutants in the atmospheres of distant planets, and asteroid belts with missing metals, which might suggest mining activity. 
The failure of these searches is mysterious, because human intelligence should not be special. Ever since the age of Copernicus, we have been told that we occupy a uniform Universe, a weblike structure stretching for tens of billions of light years, its every strand studded with starry discs, rich with planets and moons made from the same material as us. If nature obeys identical laws everywhere, then surely these vast reaches contain many cauldrons where energy is stirred into water and rock, until the three mix magically into life. And surely some of these places nurture those first fragile cells, until they evolve into intelligent creatures that band together to form civilisations, with the foresight and staying power to build starships.

"Human intelligence should not be special"(I'm laughing out loud).  Perhaps Musk or Andersen, because the Penn State 'scientists' had honed the 100,000 qualifying galaxies down from 100 million galaxies in their search, should restate their statement that humans have yet to undertake an exhaustive search for extraterrestrial intelligence.  This seems to be the equivalent of googling space and the search coming up with nothing.

Human intelligence isn't special -- ya know -- compared to God, but, trust me, it's special in the sense that there isn't anything matching anywhere to the furthest reaches of space.  However, the theory of evolution would assume that this should be occurring very regularly.  With everything that we have on earth, as many times as it has happened, there is either a very intelligent and powerful designer, or we should have found something else out there.  If you don't want to believe in the former, you're left with the latter, and it doesn't make any sense at all not to have found anything else.  At.  All.

Traveling to Mars is the ultimate leap of faith for those signing up for the trip to Mars.  They can't trust God or the Bible, and they really are true believers in their myth, likely aided by a few too many science fiction films.

10 comments:

Dave Barnhart said...

I would contend that finding no evidence of life outside Earth doesn't mean anything other than the fact that nothing has been discovered so far. If, indeed, it could be proven that no life exists elsewhere in the universe, then it would be a big blow for those with an evolutionary viewpoint, but as we all know, "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

For those of us with a biblical worldview, it is still meaningless. If God, for some purpose unknown to us (his ways are not our ways nor his thoughts our thoughts) did create life elsewhere, he didn't tell us about it in his word. Since the Bible gives us everything necessary for life and godliness, then while the question of extra-terrestrial life may be of some scientific curiosity, whether or not such life exists is irrelevant to us living out the Christian life. If such life were discovered, it would not change my faith whatsoever. The fact the Bible doesn't mention it certainly in no way means such life could not exist, but discovery of it also doesn't change God's plan for this world or humanity.

In my view, it's simply human arrogance to assume that we know whether God has or has not done something, simply because he has not revealed it to us.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi David,

I don't exactly agree with you. Not finding life doesn't fit with an evolutionary model. It doesn't add to scripture, not finding anything, so in that way, it means nothing. Scripture is true no matter what men think they're finding or not finding, but it strikes at the model for evolution, which is the foundation for quite a few other worldviews. They are accepting that as their creation account instead of the Bible.

The absence of evidence is the absence of evidence. This is more absence of evidence for evolution, which is absence of evidence for evolution. Is that evidence of absence? If you have none, it is the evidence of absence. The fruitfly, the moth, fossil record, etc. are further absence.

Do you believe in alien life? If you say, "No," does that mean no aliens exist? No, but that there is none means something. You say it means nothing. Somebody is arrogant. You are saying that it's arrogant to say it means nothing?

There is no evidence that I can't live on Mars, but is that evidence that I should? Who is arrogant? You seem to be intimating that it's the people who say no one should go.

I don't know whose arrogance you're talking about---could you point me to it (speaking of your third paragraph).

Dave Barnhart said...

My apologies. Actually, looking back at your post, my third paragraph was probably my reading into what you wrote. You didn't state so, but your comments seemed to indicate you believe there can't be life anywhere else out there given a biblical model. I don't agree with that, so I was reacting to something you didn't actually say. Looks like I was taking the wrong things from your argument.

I agree that not finding life anywhere else doesn't fit with an evolutionary model. However, the fact we haven't found any yet just may mean we don't know where or how to look properly. If we assume for the moment that the evolutionary model is true, and that all distances between the galaxies are as accurate as science says they are, then any light or radio waves from a civilization like ours may simply not have reached here yet, so there may be no way for us to observe or detect it.

To me absence of evidence is like arguing from silence. You can't really say anything useful about what isn't there, especially when in this case we can't possibly observe everything. And given the factors which would all have to be exactly right to support life similar to what we have on earth, even if other civilizations had evolved to a similar level as humanity (which I don't believe), there might be just a very small number of them. So I don't think the lack of evidence shows that there is no life out there. We simply haven't gathered enough to say that. In the biblical model, if there is something out there, maybe God just decided we won't need to know about it yet.

I'm not going to believe that alien life exists unless I see evidence of it, but I see nothing in the Bible to say it *can't* exist. But I don't see that our not finding any yet really has any meaning other than that we haven't found it.

On a trip to Mars, maybe if God tarries, we might be able to use resources from nearby planets. I don't think it's super important that people go there in the near future, but we still might learn something scientifically interesting. I don't see any reason for people to live there either, unless it becomes a mining colony or something similar. However, other than perhaps a cost issue, I see no reason to say humans *shouldn't* go there.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Dave,

If we're going to judge based upon "evidence" and not the Bible, which is evidence in a sense, but superior in light of sin especially, then we should see evidence. Evolution isn't supplying evidence. On the other hand, based on their standard, we should be seeing it everywhere and we don't. The two articles to which my little essay refers both indicate that expectation from them. Their model says that we should have found it. Is not finding evidence of something? No. But it does support what we do read in the Bible. My conclusion from the Bible is one human race created by God, special creation, none other. I think that argument can be made from the Bible. You would be harder pressed to argue that the Bible's silence is evidence that life could exist somewhere else.

If our concern for earth is apocalyptic, going to Mars, you and I know won't solve that (Psalm 139).

I'm still not sure who's arrogant though. I really am interested. Was that directed toward me? Even if I was concluding something from the absence of evidence, I don't know how that is arrogant, but I'm open to it.

Dave Barnhart said...

My comment about arrogance was directed at the *idea* that life can't exist elsewhere than earth simply because God has not told us that such life exists. You weren't making that argument, so I shouldn't have written that last paragraph, though it seems from your latest comment you do believe it. We'll have to agree to disagree. I think God could have done many things he hasn't told us about for reasons that are beyond us. I will agree that one cannot make a good argument from silence that alien life *does* exist elsewhere.

My point was that the existence or non-existence of life elsewhere is irrelevant, because we order our lives by what God has revealed. My faith would remain if aliens were discovered. I can't see that such a discovery would invalidate the Bible in any way. Certainly God's redemptive work is directed at earth and on humans created in God's image. Just as this is not directed at angels, there may be other created forms of life God is using that are not part of this.

I agree that not finding anything does line up with the creation point of view. I just don't think we have seen anywhere enough to say that because we haven't found anything, nothing must be out there.

George Calvas said...

How is it that God mentions other life forms in the bible, i.e., Jesus Christ, Spirit of God, spirits, Devil, angle of the Lord, angels, devils, seraphim, cherubim, giants (human and devils?), yet gives no indication that the sin that entered into the world by humans who were created by God according to Genesis 3 to obey from the beginning would have been allowed to exist elsewhere.

Since the historical evidence of the bible is clear, including the purpose of God in Jesus Christ, there is nothing in it that even remotely suggests that God would allow the sin of mankind, and angels to infest his universe until all is settled after the Great White Throne judgment.

Why believe in speculations that have no basis except in a "science falsely so called"?

Dave Barnhart said...

George,

First, I've already said I'm not going to believe in alien life unless I see incontrovertible evidence of it.

That said, the Bible does make clear that the "whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together," and this obviously includes even the angels who did not fall, and from what it says, that would include the whole universe. Since sin itself fell on Adam's race, sin is uniquely a problem of humanity, though I suppose the term might also apply in some fashion to fallen angels, but it clearly does not apply to those that did not fall.

This seems to indicate to me that though the curse that came about after sin does indeed infect all of the creation, the biblical record of sinless created beings (who nonetheless are covered by Romans 8:22) would not prevent God from creating other beings (not that he necessarily did) that serve him that are affected by the curse, but not by Adam's fall. So I agree that sin would not have to exist elsewhere, though that does not preclude the existence of life we don't already know about (intelligent or otherwise) outside the Earth.

(As an aside, since man did visit the moon, we know sin could exist outside the earth, even if it's close by.)

Since God is so great, infinite in power, and his ways past finding out, I don't think we are on solid ground claiming God didn't create (or could not have created) other things he didn't tell us about. Whether he did or didn't I still believe is irrelevant to living the Christian life, and it's not a hill I'm going to die on.

KJB1611 said...

There is no need to search for alien life in other galaxies; we have millions of aliens-illegal aliens-in the United States right now, coming from Central and South America. We get enough aliens from those countries, and we do not need any more from other galaxies, although Obama would probably unilaterally give them amnesty if they could vote Democrat, joining other important Democrat constituencies, such as the voting dead.

Bill Hardecker said...

Liberals want to find ET life forms so that they can figure out a way to tax em. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

What's always been ironic to me is that we search for life according to certain rules and preconditions that are themselves the product of our own limited understanding.

And, to the extent that we do understand the "rules", it doesn't seem to dawn on some that our very effort to discover those rules acknowledges a certain order that is itself evidence of a decided non-randomness.