Tuesday, March 15, 2016

So There is Nothing Religious About Intelligent Design (Part X)

From my 'favorite' source of religious views, the Evolution 'News' and Views blog brought to you by those less-than-stalwart fellows at the Discovery Institute I give you ' "I Think We're Alone Now" ' authored by one of the usual toothless chihuahuas davey 'klingy' klinghoffer.  In it he quotes someone simply mentioned by name,  John Stonestreet.

Now one of my constant themes is for an organization that keeps trying to distant themselves from their religious underpinnings, why do they quote Stonesteet?  He is the President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, how much more religious can you get?  According to the Colson Center's About page, Stonestreet's "passion is to illuminate a biblical worldview for today's culture".  So we have a religious commentator saying something that agrees with klingy and the DI's philosphy so . . . of course . . . he [klingy] has to say something and  . . . of course  . . . klingy forgets to mention the religious connections.  Connections that might well present the reader with a specific context . . . religious . . . that the DI likes to try and forget.  Anyone not really surprised?

As for the rest of the post, it's the usual stuff trying to claim that humans are somehow a privileged species living on a privileged planet in a privileged solar system within a privileged universe.  You can read the rest of it, but I do have one small problem.  I recall reading about Drake's equation a long time ago and one of the things I recall was that it wasn't so much a prediction as a something raising points to consider.

If you recall Drake's Equation was a statistical idea of how many alien civilizations there might be in the universe.  He voiced it back in the early 60's.  What he was trying to do was not give us some sort of absolute carved-in-stone number, but express possibilities that would drive conversation and even guide the search for such alien life.  I had to refresh my memory and found this on Wikipedia:

"The Drake equation is a probabilistic argument used to arrive at an estimate of the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy . . . The equation was written in 1961 by Frank Drake, not for purposes of quantifying the number of civilizations, but as a way to stimulate scientific dialogue at a meeting on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). The equation summarizes the main concepts which scientists must contemplate when considering the question of other radio-communicative life." (Wikipedia:  Drake Equation)
Of course since we have been looking for a time and while we have found a number of planets that are within the realm of possibility for life, we have yet to find any evidence of intelligent life.  So to Creationists, ever fearful of the possibility of finding life and even more fearful of finding intelligent life, want to keep selling the idea that we are 'privileged'.  Stonestreet treats the Drake Equation as if it predicted some number that means we should have seen many, many signs of intelligent life . . . even though that wasn't the purpose of the equation.

So do you feel 'privileged'?  Funny, for being so 'privileged', why would the majority of our planet kill us off in a matter of minutes?  That is to say nothing of the rest of the solar system, let alone the universe?  I wonder how long klingy and his new friend Stonestreet can tread water on 70% of the Earth's surface, survive at the top of Everest or the depths of the Marianas, or hold their breath in the vacuum of space?  Privileged is not the word that comes to mind.

Someday we may find life, even intelligent life.  But Creationists like Stonestreet and klingy don't even think we should be looking.  I wonder what they would like us to do instead?  Sit cross-legged  and contemplate our navel?  Oh, I know!  The DI probably wants all the funding changed over to them!  That makes more sense, I can see their pitch.  Instead of wasting money looking for signs of intelligence out there, we can spend the money failing to find signs of intelligence at the DI.

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