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Too Much Speculation and Not Enough Science

Too Much Speculation and Not Enough Science

Fairly often I see articles from various “science” magazines dealing with so called “habitable planets.” Some of these periodically pop up in my Google news feed, and some of them are actually reported on in the mainstream news media.

A recent one was headlined, “Astronomers Find What May Be a Habitable World 31 Light-Years Away.” ( The question that immediately popped into my mind was, “How in the world could they determine that?” Here’s the article’s rationale.

It started out stating that astronomers have identified an Earth-sized world orbiting at a distance from its star that should be hospitable to life as we know it. But then it threw in a caveat. The caveat is, “if the exoplanet itself has the right conditions to be conducive to life’s emergence.” It goes on to say that this information is not yet available to us, but this exoplanet represents a promising candidate for a future search for biosignatures. And why, might you ask, is the information not yet available? Well, it seems that the search for life on other planets is “hobbled by the limitations of our current technology.” In other words, they have a theory about what might be there, but there is no actual evidence. Anything they say about it is pure speculation!

But here’s what’s weird beyond that. Scientists have not actually even seen this planet. You know how they deduce it exists? They say that current technology detects a very faint, regular dip in starlight as an exoplanet orbits between us and its star. So based on a quick flicker, they make this leap.

Now frankly, I don’t necessarily doubt that they may have detected a planet that is going around a star. But there are some pretty major assumptions that are being made when it comes to speculation about life on other planets – assumptions that have NOTHING to actually back them up. In fact, the odds against any planet being able to support life are so high it can hardly even be calculated.

For one, it has to be in a zone where the temperatures are not too extreme to support life. It can’t be too hot or too cold. Additionally, the particular sun the planet goes around would have to be just the right temperature – and every one is different. Then there is a matter of the planet’s magnetic field. The planet would need to have just the right kind of liquid core made up of materials that can rotate inside to create a magnetic field. Additionally, not all planets rotate in a way that allows both sides to have a period of daylight and darkness. This also determines what parts of a planet are potentially habitable. And the list of issues could go on and on. 

The truth is, nowhere has there ever been any sign whatsoever that life, of any kind, exists outside of the earth. In spite of that, massive amounts of time, effort, and money have been expended specifically attempting to find extraterrestrial life. I actually get the desire to explore outer space and learn what we can about that environment. Exploring the unknown has always been one of humanity’s drivers. But why is there specifically this obsession with finding life?

Actually, there is a very clear reason. People who have this obsession are almost exclusively atheistic Naturalists who, as a matter of religious faith, believe that God does not exist, and that life emerged and evolved out of non-life. There is no actual science to demonstrate that this is true, or even possible, but they are constantly speculating and searching for evidence to back up their beliefs. This religion is so dominant in academia that other points of view are summarily dismissed, and not even allowed to be discussed – and certainly not allowed in text books. Anything other than naturalistic beliefs are called “unscientific” – even though the naturalistic approach is, itself, not based on empirical science.

While the search for proof of naturalistic evolution dominates biological studies on earth, the search continues now into outer space. And as it concerns outer space, these folks are so convinced that naturalistic evolution is true, and so determined to find evidence for it, that they are willing to spend all that time, effort, and untold billions of dollars to search for it. They are dead set on finding support somewhere for their naturalistic religious beliefs.

There is so much that scientists simply don’t know, and it is their work to search out answers for those things. And that is a good thing. But real science involves an honest exploration of the unknown using the scientific method. The problem is, much of what passes for science these days is not science at all – it is speculation based on naturalistic philosophy.

There are certain matters that simply can’t be evaluated by science. Science is only able to deal with things that pertain to the operation of the natural universe. Because of a commitment to a particular set of philosophical beliefs, many scientists are attempting to impose their (religious) beliefs into their science. They should just stick to science.

Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books entitled The Truth MirageRules for Christians RadicalsLiberalism vs. Conservatism, and his latest book Shattering the Truth Mirage and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.

You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.

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