Space Aliens Invade Darwin Minds
What explains the fascination with extraterrestrials
in the science media? In a word: Darwinism.
— Either the universe is filled with life, or we are alone. Either possibility staggers the imagination. —
I forget the origin of this statement, but it was from an evolutionist who strongly advocated the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI). Theists might be curious about the question but are not as likely to become as obsessed with it as materialists and evolutionists. And yet to this day, there is not so much as a microbe known to live on any other natural world beyond Earth. If facts matter, epistemic modesty should lead one to conclude that there is no life in outer space till proven otherwise. What drives Darwinians to keep searching against 60 years of negative evidence? Let’s probe the minds of evolutionists in recent news. Has an alien mind virus infected the true believers?
Silence reveals insights in search for extraterrestrial life (EPFL, 23 April 2023). This article shares the opinions of Claudio Grimaldi about why the search is worthwhile despite the silence.
The search for radio signals from extraterrestrial civilizations has yet to yield evidence of alien technological activity. Research carried out at EPFL suggests we continue searching while optimizing the use of available resources.
But why? Grimaldi thinks the time is ripe because of thousands of exoplanets discovered. The underlying presumption is that if a habitable planet exists, nature will drive it to be inhabited.
The search for extraterrestrial intelligence currently has the wind in its sails, buoyed by the discovery, around 20 years ago, of the first planets beyond our solar system. Today, researchers assume there could be as many as 10 billion Earth-like planets – rocky, the right size, and located at the right distance from the sun to harbor life. Their sheer number increases the likelihood that technological life may have developed on one of them.
“Developed” is a synonym for “evolved” from material substances to life, complex life, consciousness and technology.
New Paper Investigates Intelligent Life’s Origins (Florida Tech News, 12 April 2023). The subtitle of this article does not even question a naturalistic origin of life.
A new paper published by Florida Tech astrobiologist Manasvi Lingam examines a core question: Is technology-based intelligence more likely to evolve on land or in water?
Manayasi Lingham thinks that the probability is good that intelligent design evolves from mindless chemicals, given the right conditions and enough time. It’s more probable on an ocean world, he thinks.
Humans are a classic example of the kind of technological intelligence that can profoundly sculpt the biosphere through purposeful activities and produce detectable signatures of their technology. In the paper, the authors performed a Bayesian analysis of the probability of technologically intelligent species existing in land-based habitats and ocean-based habitats. It was found that ocean-based habitats should be more likely to host technological species, if all other factors are held equal, because ocean worlds are likely to be much more common.
Bayesian analysis is only as good as two things: the assumptions going into the estimates or prior probability, and the evidence that can update the estimates. Lingam must not be good at math (see Illustra video). Just as one should never build an argument with a sample size of one, one should not do Bayesian analysis about the probability of space aliens when the only life known is on Earth.
Advanced aliens could soon detect life on Earth, say scientists (University of Manchester, 2 May 2023). SETI folk used to figure that our alien friends would be able to listen in on our radio and TV broadcasts (image them receiving the first episodes of I Love Lucy right now). TV broadcasting has subsided, but cell phone towers are now all over. Mike Garrett opines,
“Current estimates suggest we will have more than one hundred thousand satellites in low Earth orbit and beyond before the end of the decade. The Earth is already anomalously bright in the radio part of the spectrum; if the trend continues, we could become readily detectable by any advanced civilisation with the right technology”.
‘Leaking’ cell phone towers could lead aliens straight to Earth, new study suggests (Live Science, 4 May 2023). Stephanie Pappas weighs in on Garrett’s claims. As usual, she never questions any wild speculation that an evolutionist makes.
Can ET Detect Us? (SETI Institute, 2 May 2023). This article mentions Garrett’s calculations and adds information about what the SETI Institute is doing to answer the question of our detectability to space aliens. The assumption is that their civilizations have evolved beyond our own, but that the job is getting easy as humans leak more information to space.
What would the Earth look like to an alien civilization located light years away? A team of researchers from Mauritius and Manchester University has used crowd-sourced data to simulate radio leakage from mobile towers and predict what an alien civilization might detect from various nearby stars, including Barnard’s star, six light years away from Earth. Ramiro Saide, currently an intern at the SETI Institute’s Hat Creek Radio Observatory and M.Phils. student at the University of Mauritius, generated models displaying the radio power that these civilizations would receive as the Earth rotates and the towers rise and set. Saide believes that unless an alien civilization is much more advanced than ours, they would have difficulty detecting the current levels of mobile tower radio leakage from Earth. However, the team suggests that some technical civilizations are likely to have much more sensitive receiving systems than we do, and the detectability of our mobile systems will increase substantially as we move to much more powerful broadband systems.
Alien messages responding to NASA signals could reach us by 2029 (New Scientist, 2 May 2023). Another source of radio leakage is the Deep Space Network, which has been communicating with spacecraft since 1972 (see Richter biography at this site). At the speed of light, those signals have reached at least four stars by now, and the number is growing. If aliens have sent a reply, it could arrive by 2029.
Why Evolutionists Remain Hopeful
A stormy, active sun may have kickstarted life on Earth (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 2 May 2023). Why are they hopeful in the silence? It’s largely NASA’s fault. NASA has pushed astrobiology for decades, and was in cahoots with SETI believers since the 1960s, until they were shamed out of the tinfoil-hat look of SETI in the 1990s and switched to “astrobiology” instead.
The first building blocks of life on Earth may have formed thanks to eruptions from our Sun, a new study finds.
A series of chemical experiments show how solar particles, colliding with gases in Earth’s early atmosphere, can form amino acids and carboxylic acids, the basic building blocks of proteins and organic life. The findings were published in the journal Life.
As we have stated many times, amino acids are simple and easily formed according to thermodynamics and known chemical laws. But they are as far from life as tar is from a jet airliner. Watch this episode of Long Story Short to see why claims about “building blocks of life” are profoundly misleading.
The article reviews the old Miller-Urey spark discharge experiments and admits that Miller used an implausible atmosphere. Lightning was not available in that atmosphere, and it was likely not reducing enough for prebiotic chemicals to form. But solar protons have more energy and are more efficient at producing amino acids.
All else being equal, solar particles appear to be a more efficient energy source than lightning. But all else likely wasn’t equal, Airapetian suggested. Miller and Urey assumed that lightning was just as common at the time of the “warm little pond” as it is today. But lightning, which comes from thunderclouds formed by rising warm air, would have been rarer under a 30% dimmer Sun.
“During cold conditions you never have lightning, and early Earth was under a pretty faint Sun,” Airapetian said. “That’s not saying that it couldn’t have come from lightning, but lightning seems less likely now, and solar particles seems more likely.”
These experiments suggest our active young Sun could have catalyzed the precursors of life more easily, and perhaps earlier, than previously assumed.
Think of the possibilities: protons erupting from the sun hit the early Earth and created amino acids, which created cells, which created multicellular organisms, which evolved to crawl onto land and become reptiles and mammals which, through millions of years of mindless accidents, developed into scientists writing about life by chance – a proposition absurdly improbable to the extreme. But this is the proposition that motivates Astrobiology and SETI.
One thing their research has discovered: how Darwinism created the Building Blocks of Lie.
Discussion question: If alien life is ever detected, would it prove Darwinian evolution? Explain your reasons.