Nutty Evolutionist Seduces Lady Luck, Gets Good Press
You can get away with nonsense if you dress it up in seductive jargon. Evolutionists have mastered this trick.
The press room at Columbia University is making celebrities out of Darwin drunks and evolutionist playboys. David Kipping is the latest example. The headline says, “New Study Estimates the Odds of Life and Intelligence Emerging Beyond Our Planet.” Oh wow. A study. Prepare to be hoodwinked.
In a new paper published in the Proceeding [sic] of the National Academy of Sciences today, David Kipping, an assistant professor in Columbia’s Department of Astronomy, shows how an analysis using a statistical technique called Bayesian inference could shed light on how complex extraterrestrial life might evolve in alien worlds.
“The rapid emergence of life and the late evolution of humanity, in the context of the timeline of evolution, are certainly suggestive,” Kipping said. “But in this study it’s possible to actually quantify what the facts tell us.”
With no rigor whatsoever (but only hand-waving), Kipping converts utter impossibility into certainty. His basic idea is this: evolutionists say that life evolved early on the Earth. They also say that intelligence evolved late. His conclusion (actually, he calls it a “gentle nudge toward a hypothesis”) is that any earth-like planet has a 9-out-of-10 chance of evolving life, and a 2-out-of-3 chance of evolving intelligence. This is completely bonkers, with no data to support it, and it flies in the face of what we know from centuries of probability theory and demonstration about the probability of specified complexity arising by chance. But for this, Kipping gets published in one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world, PNAS. Unbelievable.
Kipping justifies his analysis using a tool called Bayesian Inference. This tool can be useful if you know the prior probabilities and the posterior probabilities. If you don’t know these, or cannot have any objective basis for coming up with them, it’s a case of garbage in, garbage out. And Kipping’s probabilities are garbage! They are based on circular reasoning: he assumes life evolved, so he claims it did evolve, and will evolve. Take away those assumptions, and this house of cards collapses.
With laughable bravado, he titles his paper in PNAS, “An objective Bayesian analysis of life’s early start and our late arrival.” Objective according to whom? Kipping shows some wizardry with differential equations and Greek symbols. That is bluffing. No amount of manipulation of bad assumptions is going to produce reliable results. And look at his starting assumptions:
Despite having no observational data concerning nonterrestrial life, we are in possession of stronger constraints when it comes to life on Earth. Until this situation changes, inferences concerning the existence of life elsewhere in the Universe must unfortunately rely heavily on this single data point. While a single data point is not ideal, it is certainly not devoid of information either. This is even true when strong selection biases are in play, such as the fact that our existence is predicated on at least one previously successful abiogenesis event.
Stop right there. Turn off the channel. The guy is nuts.
Problems such as these lend themselves to Bayesian analysis, where the biases can be encoded into the inference framework.
He plugs folly into Bayes’ theorem. What do you think is going to come out? GIGO!
In a new short film based on Illustra’s documentary Origin, the producers have condensed their discussion of the probability of one small protein arising by chance. Watch “First Life” to inoculate yourself from being snookered by bluffing Darwinists. In this 11-minute open-access film, you will see some objectivity, all right: some calculations of probability that are NOT based on the assumption of evolution. And this is the probability of getting one protein! It is not alive, and will do nothing without a complete cell, with hundreds of proteins, to provide energy, metabolism, waste disposal, protection from the environment, motion and all the other requirements for the simplest life.
That is the reality. Illustra is not the only source calculating extreme improbabilities for life. Secular organizations and scientists like the Wistar Institute, the late astronomer Fred Hoyle, and even Carl Sagan knew about this and admitted it. ID advocates with PhDs like Stephen Meyer (Signature in the Cell) and Douglas Axe (Undeniable) have written extensively on the probability issue. In fact, all origin-of-life researchers know about the probability problem, but they believe life emerged by chance anyway. Why? Because they have sworn allegiance to Darwin and materialism. Professing themselves to be wise, they have become fools, because they refuse to acknowledge a Creator in their thinking. Without intelligent causes, what do they have? Chance!
After watching Illustra’s film, consider what Kipping has done. He sweeps away all this reality and fantasizes about how easy it is for life to evolve. He calls on Lady Luck. She shows up in her sexy gown, and makes him feel real good. PNAS watches this science porn and publishes it – open access, so everybody can watch. Nobody is allowed to complain. The readers of PNAS, and the dupes trusting Columbia U’s press office, will never hear any moral outrage. They will think that science porn is the new normal. Even reporter Chris Ciaccia at Fox News Science, seduced by Lady Luck’s suggestive attire, excitedly shared the news of Kipping’s affair.
“The rapid emergence of life and the late evolution of humanity, in the context of the timeline of evolution, are certainly suggestive,” Kipping said in a statement. “But in this study it’s possible to actually quantify what the facts tell us.”
The popular press went wild with this sleazy affair: MSN, United Press International, Popular Mechanics, CNET, The Daily Mail UK, New York Post, Forbes, New York Times Post, and a host of small-town newsrooms. Science journalism is dead.
Three guesses who is backing this science porn: the SETI folk and NASA Astrobiology people. They are apparently needing more date rape drug (money) to make more science porn videos, because they are empty-handed: they still have NO evidence that life could evolve elsewhere, or has evolved here on Earth.
“The analysis can’t provide certainties or guarantees, only statistical probabilities based on what happened here on Earth,” Kipping said. “Yet encouragingly, the case for a universe teeming with life emerges as the favored bet. The search for intelligent life in worlds beyond Earth should be by no means discouraged.”
It sure makes people feel good to fantasize about a fling with Lady Luck. Her pimp, Bayes, will get you whatever you ask for if you pay up front in cash with gullibility bonds.
Sorry for the salacious analogy, but this really is like a prostitution of science. It needs to be condemned in the harshest of terms. The founding fathers of science wanted to get away from seductive storytelling and back to hard, objective, repeatable evidence and demonstration. Kipping’s affair represents the exact opposite. This should make you doubly angry: first, that he committed such an obscene act, and second, that PNAS, Columbia University, and Fox News published it! Where is the outcry?
Another description of this B.A.D. paper is DIDO. We’ve all heard the acronym GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out. DIDO is the matching acronym, “Darwin In, Darwin Out.” We see that Kipping plugged Darwinism into his Bayesian illusion, and got Darwinism out – what a surprise! And since Darwinian thinking is also garbage thinking (because “Stuff happens” is the opposite of science), it means that DIDO and GIGO are equivalent. From the associative and commutative properties, we can derive two corollaries:
GIDO: Garbage In, Darwin Out
DIGO: Darwin In, Garbage Out.
Get angry, people! Shame these science pornographers out of the lab.