RE: The Star-Trek effect

From: Glenn Morton (
Date: Wed Jan 23 2002 - 09:09:27 EST

  • Next message: george murphy: "Re: The Star-Trek effect"

    Hi Jonathan,

    >-----Original Message-----
    >From: []On
    >Behalf Of Jonathan Clarke
    >Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2002 2:33 PM
    >Cc: Asa@Calvin. Edu
    >Subject: Re: The Star-Trek effect
    >Hi Glenn
    >I don't think that we should take William Wherwell's opinion as
    >respresentative of Christian views on the plurality of life on

    You miss the point of the post. It isn't the actual position that I am
    criticizing, indeed, Whewell stands vindicated today and CHambers falsified
    so far. It was the approach. He went against observational evidence of his
    day. Consider what Whewell did with stars like the sun in order to avoid
    having any possibility of life around them:

    "The stars, then, being like the sun in being luminous does it follow that
    they are, like the sujn, definite dense masses? Or are they, or many of
    them, luminous masses in a far more diffused state; visually contracted to
    points, by the immense distance from us at which they are? P. 147

    While I am not through with the book, with each passig page he is going
    further and futher afield from the data.

     In his
    >1817 "Astronomical discourses" the Scottish preacher Thomas
    >Chambers wrote of
    >other planets that “must be the mansions of life and of
    >intelligence” and “The
    >universe at large would suffer as little, in its splendour and
    >variety, by the
    >destruction of our planet, as the verdure and sublime magnitude of a forest
    >would suffer by the fall of a single leaf”.

    I was aware of Chambers work, Michael Ruse discusses it in the preface and
    it was in response to the 1817 work that Whewell in 1833 acknowledge the
    possibility of life in space only to change his mind after evolution entered
    the intellectual discussion.

     Even earlier the 17th
    >century Dutch
    >astronomer Christain Huygens in his posthumous book "Cosmotheoros"
    >wrote “For
    >all this Furniture and Beauty the Planets are stock’d with seem to
    >have been
    >made in vain, without any Design or End, unless there were some in
    >them that
    >might at the same time enjoy the Fruits, and adore the wise
    >Creator of them.”
    >On the spiral nebulae, wasn't the original idea that they were actually
    >protostellar nebular in the process of collapsing, rather than
    >being galaxies?
    >Until stars were resolved in then they were thought to lie within our own

    See my note to George. THis had been accomplished prior to Whewell's book as
    he wrote about it!

    >But it is interesting how groups such as RTB seem to have nailed
    >their colours
    >to the mast by saying that life is rare in the universe, without any direct
    >evidence one way or the other. Doubtless should life be
    >discovered elsewhere in
    >the universe this will be used as a rod to Christian's backs.

    I really don't think that that can be used against Christians today. Most
    evolutionists actually beleive that life is rare in the universe especially
    intelligent life. But when we finally get clear enough pictures of planets
    around stars to do spectrographic analysis and we find an oxygen rich
    atmosphere, it will be very difficult to deny that it has life not related
    to this earth. (there is already one picture of a large planet).

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