The Search For Terrestrial Intelligence

The Search For Terrestrial Intelligence April 22, 2008
Stephen Hawking recently called for humanity to colonize the moon and Mars. He also mentioned one reason why there is so much uncertainty about the existence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe: some of us still aren’t sure if it exists on our planet yet…

Higgaion and Playing Chess With Pigeons have detailed responses to claims made in the movie Expelled. Apparently the “moral absolutist” mentioned in the last post was here on campus promoting Expelled. That explains why he treated my claim that we have faculty on campus who are conservative Christians of an inerrantist variety with such skepticism. But the truth is that I am familiar with institutions that require one to sign an affirmation of inerrancy or a denial of evolution, and if one doesn’t one will not be hired; I have yet to encounter an institution where one asks one to sign a denial of inerrancy in order to be hired. Of course, scientists will prefer applications from those doing credible science, and scholars will prefer applications from those doing credible scholarship. But I can’t imagine a serious but conservative scholar being excluded automatically from consideration here at Butler. Indeed, I know that this is not the case. And so the truth is that, were it not for the protection of religious concerns with special privileges allowing them to sidestep matters of intellectual freedom and discrimination, none of the fundamentalist groups would be supporting “academic freedom” bills of any sort.

John Pieret has a nice post on why the label “Darwinism” continues to be used. I’m a Newtonist too, by the way. Bob Cornwall features an atheist “with whom we might talk”. DaveScot calls for fairness in tarring people with the Hitler brush.

Pharyngula points out the problem of sloppy thinking in the religious beliefs of many, which are unfalsifiable, and thus “not even wrong”:

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