Tag: curiosity

The Hazards of Well-Intended Ignorance

The Hazards of Well-Intended Ignorance

community, conservatism, contemplation, Creation, critical judgment, culture, Education, epistemology, Ideology, mind, quantum physics, Science, SETI, Skeptic, Spirituality, Wholeness, world
In October of 2014, I published a post on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) in which I distinguished two senses of SETI: scientific SETI and religious SETI. I said that scientific SETI is a legitimate scientific discipline that partakes of all the conventional evidentiary criteria and methodology that attend any other area of scientific research. But I also said that religious SETI is, like virtually all similar misappropriations of science, a pseudo-science in which conclusions are drawn in advance of evidence, with scientific theories being “reverse engineered” to support those preconceived conclusions. This “bass-ackwards” approach thrives in a nation like the United States in which First World communications technology enables people with non- and even anti-scientific
Taking the Vows of a "None"

Taking the Vows of a "None"

"Life" Issues, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, Buddhism, C. S. Lewis, Change, critical judgment, culture, Ecumenism, faith, faithfulness, Healing, Holy Mystery, Human Condition, Ideology, journey, meditation, monotheism, Mystery, paradox, peace, Religion, Renewal, Spirituality, Tolerance, vipassana, wonder
I keep reading and hearing about the results of polls like the ones from Gallup and Berkeley to the effect that the fastest-growing group of "religious" people are people who respond "None" on surveys of religious attitudes. At first, I was encouraged by this. I figured any development that indicates people are coming to believe that this life and rationality are sufficient to imbue human existence with purpose, meaning, and value, and that consequently people are increasingly open to discovering other sources, alternate sources, non-theistic sources, of what we might generically call "Transcendence", would be an overall benefit to the human species. All I ask is that ample allowance be made for people who wish to remain conventionally, monotheistically religious – which, at this point, se
SETI and Religion:  Why We Need Little Green Men

SETI and Religion: Why We Need Little Green Men

Atheism, Creation, critical judgment, culture, curiosity, doubt, extraterrestrial intelligences, Human Condition, Milky Way, Nature, quantum physics, Religion, Science, secularism, SETI, Skeptic, Spirituality, Theology, wonder, world
When I was … I dunno … maybe 9 or 10 years old, I encountered someplace a few creepy little verses of poetry that, because of the “creepiness coefficient,” I hesitate to call a “nursery rhyme”. (Of course, many nursery rhymes and kids’ fables would make Quentin Tarantino look like Jane Austen.) The lines rather creep me out even today when I read or recite them: Yesterday upon the stair, / I met a man who wasn’t there. / He wasn’t there again today; / I wish, I wish he’d go away! At least in the popular imagination, this little doggerel could also describe the public’s fascination with the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI). By any rational estimate, the lack of evidence in favor of the existence of intelligence outside of Planet Earth, combined with the stern application of