googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Climate change is now an interstellar problem!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Climate change is now an interstellar problem!

It's sad but true. Alarmists blame nearly every disaster on climate change. Hurricane Matthew? Climate change! A drought in California? Climate change! Steve Erwin getting stabbed in the heart by a sting ray? Climate change! (Yes, I really heard someone say that). But even I didn't know climate change had become a problem of galactic proportions. First, some back story.

A few years ago, I wrote about the Drake Equation. Introduced in 1961, the Drake Equation is a formula secular scientists have used to estimate the number of intelligent civilizations that might exist in our galaxy. Starting with a couple of assumptions, all grounded in evolutionary ideas about the age of the universe and the origin of life, some scientists speculate that our galaxy teems with extraterrestrial life – as many as 100,000,000 civilizations! Convinced that there is life out there, groups like SETI have spent 3 decades and millions of dollars trying to find evidence for it. So far, they've found nothing.

The reason we haven't found life beyond earth was the subject of a article, recently. They described the problem this way:

It is one of astronomy’s great mysteries: Why, given the estimated 200bn-400bn stars and at least 100bn planets in our galaxy, are there no signs of alien intelligence?.... [A]ny life form with rocket technology could colonise the galaxy in a few million years, so why wasn’t there any evidence already?

If you start with the assumption that life will evolve on any planet that has liquid water; if you assume simple, reproducing cells will evolve over time to become more complex; if you assume there has been billions of years of time for life to evolve; then, yes, I can see why secular scientists are scratching their heads. There would have to be millions of intelligent civilizations out there. And given that our technology has virtually exploded in the last 100 years, it's hard to imagine what we will be able to do in the next 100 years. An intelligent life form that harnessed electricity 1,000,000 years ago could very possibly fly across the galaxy by now.

British physicist, Brian Cox, believes he knows why we haven't found any extraterrestrial life, and even says it's unlikely we ever will.

Professor Cox’s suggestion is that the rate of advances in science and engineering in any type of alien civilisation may outstrip the development of political institutions able to manage them, leading to a self-destruction model. So technology that allows the generation of power but produces greenhouse gases, or nuclear weapons, may destroy civilizations within a few thousand years of being developed, which could threaten ours too....

‘One solution to the Fermi paradox is that it is not possible to run a world that has the power to destroy itself and that needs global collaborative solutions to prevent that. It may be that the growth of science and engineering inevitably outstrips the development of political expertise, leading to disaster.’

There you have it! There are no aliens out there because they've all fallen victim to climate change. Burning fossil fuels and having nuclear weapons inevitably leads to self annihilation. It's already happened across the galaxy! It's just too bad the aliens didn't have the Democrat Party forcing them to lay down their guns and start using “green technology.”

I can't make this stuff up, folks! And they say creationists are science deniers? Please! From the same article, co-conspirator, Prof. Forshaw commented, “These seem outlandish ideas but they are based on solid evidence and reasoning.” Outlandish? Yes. Solid evidence and reasoning? Please, Dr. Forshaw, share this “evidence” with me. Have you found the ruins of an advance civilization somewhere? Have you intercepted radio signals of planets calling for help because they're on the verge of destruction? Have you found the escape pod Jor-El used to launch his son into space just before Krypton exploded? Come on, people! This isn't science; it's science fiction!

By the way, I believe there is no sign of life beyond our planet because there hasn't been millions of years, life hasn't formed on other planets, and so there's no chance that life evolved anywhere.

Now, please excuse me while I laugh my head off.


Steven J. said...

If you start with the assumption that life will evolve on any planet that has liquid water; if you assume simple, reproducing cells will evolve over time to become more complex;

Strictly speaking, the Drake equation assumes neither. Of its seven variables, only the first (rate of star formation in the galaxy) is known reasonably well, although recent observations of extrasolar planets support high estimates for the second variable (percentage of stars with planets). The rest of the variables are completely unknown, but implicitly suggest that not every suitable planet will produce life and not all life will evolve to more complex forms.

In recent years, various suggestions have been put forth for why intelligence, and even multicellular life itself, may rarely develop on seemingly suitable planets.(e.g. Ward and Brownlee's 2000 book Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Rare in the Universe). Cox is suggesting that the last variable -- lifespan of a high-tech civilization -- might be rare, even if the other variables take high values. The idea that advanced civilizations might self-destruct is older than widespread concern over global warming; cf. Martin Rees' 2003 book Our Final Hour, which suggests various ways we might destroy ourselves in the next century (not just nuclear war; consider a really bad accident with genetic engineering). I'm not sure, from his comments, that Cox is all that optimistic about the messianic potential of Hillary Clinton (I recall one wag suggesting, a few years ago, that we'd better hope that the pessimists are wrong about global warming, because no matter who's elected, we're going to find out the hard way).

And they say creationists are science deniers? ... By the way, I believe there is no sign of life beyond our planet because there hasn't been millions of years,

Yes, they say that. We don't have evidence one way or the other about extraterrestrial civilizations destroying themselves (if we accidentally unleash the robot apocalypse, are we going to randomly beam messages into space asking for help?). We do have rather a lot of evidence (e.g. light from galaxies millions of light years away) that there have indeed been millions of years.

Side note: you don't consider the possibility that intelligent life has been created elsewhere. Granted, there isn't much reason to consider it. And granted, the argument against such life goes back, in Christian theological circles, to at least the fourth century (then they were discussing whether there could be inhabited continents in the western hemisphere; they assumed that since they couldn't get to these continents, if they existed at all, no descendant of Adam could, so such beings would have to be an alien creation, punished for Adam's sin by living on a fallen world even though they weren't Adam's descendants). Much the same argument, except for probably not overlooking the possibility of the Bering land bridge, is applied to extraterrestrial life.

Still, Christianity generally accepts the idea of nonhuman created intelligences (angels), and it's not clear why it couldn't accommodate the idea of biological beings on distant worlds. My own reading leads me to think that in the 19th century, conservative Christians were generally more accepting of the possibility of extraterrestrial life than they are today.

RKBentley said...

Steven J,

You're right that the Drake equation itself does not make any assumptions. The assumptions are made when scientists begin assigning values to the variables. The Wiki article I cited in my original post says Drake proposed 100% of habitable planets will develop life.

Belief in ET life is mainstream among the scientific community. There's really no denying it. I believe it's a consequence of their evolutionary worldview. If it happened by chance on earth, it's bound to have happened on at least some of the trillion other planets out there. The DailyMail article describes the fact that we can't find evidence for it as, “a great mystery.”

I can't say for certain that God did not create life on other planets. I can say that the Bible strongly suggests otherwise. At the very least, it doesn't flow from the creationist paradigm like it does from the evolutionary view. I certainly wouldn't waste time and resources looking for something that – based on everything we know biblically and scientifically – almost certainly doesn't exist.

Thank you for your comments. God bless!!