Opinions on faith and life

Desperate Scientists

2008-09-17

No, desperation is not just for housewives anymore; “science” is desperate too. Just read today’s news report (source):

The revelation last week that tiny eight-legged animals survived exposure to the harsh environment of space on an Earth-orbiting mission is further support for the idea that simple life forms could travel between planets.

This idea, called panspermia, is not new. It holds that the seeds of life are everywhere, and that microbial life on Earth could have traveled here from Mars or even from another star system, and then evolved into the plethora of species seen today. In essence, we may all be Martians.

In various forms, the panspermia concept was discussed among scientists in the 1700s, again in the 1800s, and then notably when Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe popularized it about 30 years ago. Mainstream scientists have often dismissed the hypothesis, however, even into the 1990s. But new life has been breathed into the idea in the past decade.

Right. Now who’s wearing the “tinfoil hat”?

And why do they think this answers any questions at all about origins? Somewhere, sometime in the distant past, life had to originate. Saying life here just came from someplace else only pushes the inevitable to a place science cannot currently investigate, so the unspoken message is that the laws of physics as we know them here must not apply elsewhere, thereby giving hope (aka blind faith in miracles) that things really can just pop out of nowhere and without a cause. In another part of the universe... a magical place where miracles occur. And this is all pronounced with a straight face by respectable scientists.

But of course the “elephant in the living room” is that this amounts to an embarrassing admission: that all our scientific observation and knowledge about what we can investigate here, in our world, proves that life simply could never have arisen here by accident. The laws of physics and biology and even philosophy are constrained to conclude that things can’t create themselves, that effects require causes, and that the mind-boggling complexities and inter-dependencies of life require intelligent design from Someone outside the laws of physics.

Faced with such ugly facts, the faithful atheist must imagine a magical place devoid of laws and order and observability, and find a way to call that “science”. You just have to admire a faith like that.

4 Comments

Greg Anderson

I had a physics prof. who lectured on the 3D geometry of water molecules and the remarkable properties of water itself. She caught herself just prior to implying the existence of more than just a "naturally ordered" arrangement of two gaseous elements that could account for such an astonishing unity of substance.

She had to be careful. Modern day academia has its own inquisition every bit as real as the one which ravaged intellectual life in Europe centuries ago.

Paula Fether

Yep... and that’s essentially the point of the movie Expelled. Academia truly is a religious club.

DB

I am a Biology major and, trust me, there’s plenty here on this earth to be in a state of awe for the rest of your life.

I could start citing examples, but I would likely wax tedious but the natural world is amazing without any panspermia.

Note: it is always the male model, why not Panoogia or Panuterus? No, it’s like a fertile thought is seminal, not oval or uterusal. Someone likes the idea that it is somehow physically feasable for someone to spread his seed far and wide. I mean *really* far and wide.

Why not appreciate and take care of what is close-by.

Paula Fether

The languages don’t help, do they. Of course, I think we’d all be chagrined about the origins of a lot of things if we knew them all.