Wed., Sept. 22, 2021 7 PM - 8:30 PM
The 4th Wed. of this month !
Grace Chapel via ZOOM ( see link below )
S E T I
presented by David Seuss
Wed. Sept. 22, 2021
|Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!
And wow do they succeed. Across the various Star Trek seasons, the crews of Federation starships encounter over 350 intelligent extraterrestrial races. And with a very few exceptions, they all turn out to be pretty much like us: bipedal humanoids that are arrogant, greedy, power-hungry, glory-seeking, deceitful, and militarily aggressive. Unlike present day humans, none of them ever seems to have a single religious thought.
Meanwhile, back here in the present, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) continues with renewed vigor. Some of us at GC Science may have even participated by downloading the screensaver that analyzes astronomical data in the background. Millions of stars have been surveyed at this point and there are serious plans to ramp up the search. And all of this an increasingly unquestioned assumption by many in the scientific community is that life is pervasive in the Universe because organic chemicals are. And if we have life, well then evolution will create intelligent life as an inevitable outcome. Right? Then there is the huge number of exoplanets (4,471 as of August 27th, 2021) that have been discovered. Every star we look at appears to be teeming with planets.
And of course, there is the famous Drake Equation that predicts, depending on how you assign the variable values, that there are hundreds of thousands of intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way. Its creator, astronomer Frank Drake, was so certain Extraterrestrial Intelligence (ETI) was out there he appointed himself the spokesperson for all mankind and beamed a signal to a “nearby” star cluster announcing our presence.
Are these predictions of pervasive life and many intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations reliable? What does the science actually say?
And what if it turns out there are other intelligent races out there? Will we assume the god they pray to is our God or is it more like they are praying to a god we would classify with the ancient Greek gods? Does Adam’s original sin apply to these aliens? Did Jesus die for them, too? Many atheists gleefully assert that finding an intelligent extraterrestrial race will mean the end of Christianity including some that occupy senior leadership positions at the SETI Institute.
Well, not so fast. It turns out that Christian philosophers have been thinking about this very question for over a 1,000 years – long before the modern SETI effort. Some of their answers might surprise you.
We sure have a lot to talk about. Don’t miss it!