SETI a Descendant of OOL
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) may seem a different subject than origin of life (OOL), but researchers in both depend on each other’s assumptions. The common bond is illustrated in a SETI article on Space.com today. Devon Burr of the SETI institute wrote an article not about intelligent aliens trying to broadcast signals to us, but about Saturn’s moon Titan, where no aliens are known to exist. Let Burr explain the connection himself:
As we search for extraterrestrial life, Earth in some sense always provides our framework. The data indicate that life does in fact exist on this planet, and it existed here sometime before about 3.5 billion years ago (give or take a couple hundred million years). However, thanks to plate tectonics and other pesky processes, we’re missing some critical information about this early time. This includes information about how life got started on Earth.
Titan may come to our rescue….
As many astrobiologists have asserted, Titan is supposed to resemble the early Earth in deep freeze. The “chemical evolution” taking place there may provide clues to how life supposedly arose here out of a primitive soup. Probably, it never got very far because of the cold on Titan, where water cannot exist as a liquid. He mentions that a few astrobiologists still hold out hope that some kind of exotic life based on methane or ethane chemistry may have evolved there. Still, it’s a long way to amphioxus as well as from it (02/23/2006), but that should not be a problem for natural selection, given enough time.
At the end of the article, Burr states, “continued spacecraft investigation of Titan may tell use about life on Earth in the ancient past. In the exploration for life, Titan and Earth symbolize spatial and temporal symbiosis.”
The January 2007 issue of Sky and Telescope arrived on newsstands and contains a story that could be called the flip side of Burr’s interplanetary symbiosis. Its provocative cover story is, “Is the Earth contagious?” Selby Cull speculates about “reverse panspermia,” the idea that microbial life on Earth could have migrated to the other planets of our solar system – including Titan. Large meteor impacts could have lofted material into orbit that eventually found its way to Mars, Europa or other planets or moons, complete with bacterial hitchhikers. So even if future astronauts detect life on Titan, it might have a familiar genetic signature.
Selby Cull assumes that such a meteor impact wiped out the dinosaurs, clearing ecological niches for mammals – a claim that is highly controversial (10/24/2006). So, for presenting that as fact, among other flights of fancy, he wins Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week for his ending lines: “If one day we find fossil bacteria on another world, will genetic testing be able to distinguish a citizen of Titan from an expatriate from Earth? Depending on what we find, we may never be able to tell whether they are truly aliens or just exiled earthlings – displaced by the very catastrophe that made human life possible.”
There is a continuum of belief from big bangers to astrobiologists to chemical evolutionists to Darwinian biologists to SETI researchers. They are all blood brothers sharing a common mythology. A phylogenetic search of the evolution memes show that astrobiologists and SETI enthusiasts and complete wackos spring from a common ancestor. They will believe anything, make the wildest unsupported statements, and uniformly ignore evidence for design that stares them in the face. Their eyes and ears appear to be tuned to mystical fantasies incomprehensible to reasonable humans. Maybe they are from another planet.