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Stephen Meyer: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena and the God Hypothesis

David Klinghoffer
Photo: Earth as seen from the International Space Station, by NASA.

The recent U.S. intelligence report on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena was a bit of a letdown. If nothing else, though, it reminded cynics, snickering at “little green men,” that there may be a great deal we still don’t know about our planet and our place in the cosmos. Writing in the New York Post, Center for Science & Culture director Stephen Meyer notes that mainstream scientists have been speculating about other-than-earthly intelligence for decades. 

They call it “directed panspermia” and it is supposed to help account for an ultimate mystery: the origin of life. From “Why God is still the best scientific theory to explain our life on Earth”:

Aliens are in the news again. In June, a Navy report could not rule out the possibility that “unidentified aerial phenomena” spotted in our atmosphere were visitors from outer space. In January, Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb claimed an alien spacecraft had actually swept through our solar system in 2017 — and more are coming. Loeb later doubled down, suggesting that UFOs spotted by the military could be spies sent to gather intelligence about our life on Earth. 

As crazy as it all sounds, scientists have long posited the possibility of aliens on our planet. In fact, Francis Crick (who along with James Watson won the Nobel Prize for discovering the structure of the DNA molecule) once theorized that life on Earth was “deliberately transmitted” by intelligent extra terrestrials. Far from being scorned, Crick’s “Directed panspermia” theory was presented at a conference organized by Carl Sagan in 1971 and later published as a scientific paper. 

Scientists took this idea seriously because even the simplest living cells aren’t simple at all. 

A pretty good 2012 science-fiction movie by Ridley Scott, Prometheus, dramatizes a scenario of panspermia. As Meyer notes, however, both here and his bestseller Return of the God Hypothesis: Three Scientific Discoveries That Reveal the Mind Behind the Universe, panspermia doesn’t solve the problem of abiogenesis — life from non-life — it only “kicks that ultimate question out into space.”

Fine-Tuning and the Big Bang

He asks about the fine-tuning that must have accompanied the Big Bang and the start of all physical existence:

Can aliens explain both the origin of life and the fine tuning? Probably not. Explaining both these mysteries requires an intelligence who can act within the universe (to produce the code necessary to life) and also act on the universe as a whole from the beginning (to establish its finely-tuned structure). 

Believers in this kind of intelligence greatly outnumber believers in alien astronauts. They have long called this intelligence behind life and the universe by a different name. 

And you know what that is. Read the rest at the New York Post.