Aliens Cause Global Warming

The Drake equation cannot be tested and therefore SETI is not science. SETI is unquestionably a religion. Faith is defined as the firm belief in something for which there is no proof. The belief that the Koran is the word of God is a matter of faith. The belief that God created the universe in seven days is a matter of faith. The belief that there are other life forms in the universe is a matter of faith. There is not a single shred of evidence for any other life forms, and in forty years of searching, none has been discovered. There is absolutely no evidentiary reason to maintain this belief. SETI is a religion. —Michael CrichtonAliens Cause Global Warming (Crichton Official Website)

SETI is the “Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence” project. A screen-saver popular among uber-geeks actually gives your computer calculations to do in order to help out the whole SETI program. The “Drake equation” is a way of figuring out, out of all the stars where planets might exist, where those planets might support intelligent life, where those life forms might attempt to communicate with outsiders, and where those signals might actually have been broadcast at precisely the time necessary for us to be able to receive them now. I have a vivid memory of Carl Sagan introducing this equation in the classic PBS series “Cosmos.” (See a few of my thoughts on religion and Sagan’s novel “Contact”.)

Since we have no meaningful way to supply numbers for most or all of these variables, Crichton calls this guesswork “prejudice.”

From time to time I blog about how the news media accepts unquestioningly the “fact” that global warming is caused by human activity, and I confess to feeling a bit smug each time I see a “mistaken” story.

But I’ve got to be honest with myself. I hate the smell of cigarette smoke, and rejoice in every law that makes it easier for me to breathe fresh air. Crichton gives an interesting account of how the EPA used “junk science” to “prove” that second-hand smoke causes cancer. And it’s really easy for me to want to pat the anti-smoking activists on the back for their cleverness.

If the pro-smokers are so tobacco-addled that they can’t see how yucky their habit is, and if it will take a little bit of scientific hocus-pocus to reduce the effect their nasty habit has on my nose, then bravo! If it’s true that the science that supports smoking bans is no better than the science that supports global warming doomsday scenarios, then I’m employing a double standard, calling junk science duckspeak (George Orwell’s term for an utterance which, when spoken by a supporter, is true and just and good, but when spoken by an opponent, is false and wrong and bad.) (And, of course, all this presumes that what Crichton and others call junk science really is junk. Since I’m not a scientist, I have to accept — on faith — the word of experts. I’ve been following the global warming/population bomb meme complex for long enough that I can see where journalists are oversimplifying or selectively reporting in order to reinforce a particular bias; I am not as informed about smoking issues (nor, to be honest, do I plan to investigate, since I’m personally in favor of the current anti-smoking trend).

An older link, popular now thanks to the skeptics at Arts & Letters Daily.

4 thoughts on “Aliens Cause Global Warming

  1. i belive u r telling the truth but i just dont know wi dont even know what iam typing iam just typing wat every come out of my head so can

  2. While I’m far from a scientist, it seems to me that plenty of “laws” in science are formulas that are developed to fit observed patterns. The dominant patterns that explain a whole lot of other observed phenomena get promoted to laws, and in the absence of sufficient observed data, these laws can help you fill in the gaps by telling you what to look for to make *this* observed bit fit nicely with *that* bit.

    Will, Newton himself was obsessed with trying to get the orbits of the planets to fit into a scheme based on a nesting series of perfect solids (a theory for which there was absolutely no scientific evidence).

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with looking for extra-terrestrial life; the faith you have in the value of the promised results is worth the cost. But that is a cultural value — certain projects get funded more than other because they will generate revenue, fill a national security need, etc.

  3. The argument you mentioned above is clearly one of the dumbest arguments I’ve ever heard. Searching for answers without proof cannot be reasonably compared to believing that something is definitively true without proof. We shouldn’t search for alien life, because we don’t have evidence it exists. Newton shouldn’t have searched for the laws of physics because he didn’t already have proof there were definite laws. And I shouldn’t go to school, because let me tell you – I certainly don’t have concrete evidence that I will use what I learn in school in the “real world”. What??

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