THIS IS SCIENCE?
(Thanks to the artist at Abstruse Goose for the great cartoon!)
Years ago (August 1988), Gregg Easterbrook wrote an article for “The Atlantic” called, “Are We Alone?” Now, I’m not prone to browse articles from 22 years ago, but Gregg alluded to this article yesterday in his “Tuesday Morning Quarterback” column on ESPN.com, a column I faithfully read and heartily recommend, not only for its football analysis but its humor and insight into other areas as well.
So it seems that yesterday Gregg mentioned the on-going search for extra-terrestrial intelligences (SETI) and harkened back to his long article from over two decades ago. While some technology has changed, the issues behind the search for other life forms remain much the same.
It’s a long article, somewhat technical in spots, and I can’t say I read thoroughly the whole thing. But I was struck by the following quote:
“Some thinkers have postulated that living beings might not need to have solid bodies — that intelligence could exist as pure thought, as patterns of magnetism within the burning fury of a star, or in other strange genres.”
I’m as good a fan of fantasy and science fiction as the next guy. And this sounds like something out of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars series of books (an excellent read, by the way). But what strikes me about this quote is that this is the kind of thing “scientists” come to when all efforts fail at finding carbon-based life. As I said, the article is very technical, unraveling the type of radio waves used to scan the heavens, and then a statement like this comes along. And my first thought was, “This is SCIENCE?”
There’s absolutely no evidence that intelligent life could exist as “pure thought” or as “patterns of magnetism.” But that’s what some thinkers come to.
The point of this article is not to discuss whether or not extra-terrestrial life exists (it doesn’t), but to point out that under the garb of science many leaps of faith occur. Whether it’s Richard Dawkins’ suggesting that aliens seeded life on this planet (see the movie “No Intelligence Allowed”), or the enormous assumptions of faith of the evolutionist (life arising from non-life), eventually so-called scientists routinely make these leaps of faith when the limitations of their science fail to explain something profound.
We need to be wary of, and unintimidated by, the expertise and technical jargon of the scientist. For all that knowledge, they sometimes miss the mark. “Claiming to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22). Historically, the Scientific Revolution flourished in a setting where it was recognized that God was the creator and made all things in a rational way, giving way to all kinds of scientific inquiry.
May we recover that awareness and acknowledgement of God the Creator!