Astronaut Tim Peake and intelligent design

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Astronaut Tim Peake and intelligent design

#1  Postby Blackadder » Aug 13, 2018 6:45 pm

Tim Peake making careless remarks about ID. Or being quoted out of context. Whatever it is, the religious correspondent of the Times seizes on it in predictable fashion and jumps through the usual creotard contortions to try to make it a thing.

As it's behind The Times paywall, I've taken the liberty of C&P.

Full article here

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/tim-peake-makes-leap-towards-intelligent-design-thesis-38v7qz9v2

Tim Peake says that his time in the heavens as an astronaut did not prompt any spiritual experiences but he did entertain the idea that the universe was the result of intelligent design.

The spaceman, speaking from Peterborough Cathedral at a display of the Soyuz capsule that brought him back from the International Space Station in 2016, said that the views of Earth had inspired wonder rather than faith, but that his mind was still open.

“Although I say I’m not religious it doesn’t necessarily mean that I don’t seriously consider that the universe could have been created from intelligent design,” he said. “There are many things in science that lead us towards that conclusion. From a point of view of seeing how magnificent the Earth is from space and seeing the cosmos from a different perspective, it helps you to relate to that.

“That’s the macro level. When you look at the smaller scale, the micro level, and you understand quantum mechanics and quantum physics, there are many things that lead us . . . towards intelligent design of the universe.”

The idea is rejected by some scientists but even Richard Dawkins, the most prominent critic of religion on scientific grounds, has said that there is “an intriguing possibility” that “at some earlier time somewhere in the universe a civilisation evolved by probably some kind of Darwinian means to a very, very, high level of technology and designed a form of life that they seeded on to perhaps this planet”.


Professor Dawkins said that this did not suggest that creation happened spontaneously. “That higher intelligence would itself have had to have come about by some explicable, or ultimately explicable, process. He couldn’t have just jumped into existence spontaneously, that’s the point.”

Major Peake said that he was fascinated by the question but could not offer any answers.

Asked whether he had had spiritual experiences when in space, he said: “I don't think so. Personally my experience on the space station is one of a change of perspective rather than one of a spiritual experience.

“What I think is important is whether we feel we have a purpose. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in God or not . . . Our sense of purpose should be about how we lead our lives and our relationships with others. That’s what I believe in.”

Major Peake’s Soyuz TMA-19M capsule will be at Peterborough Cathedral until November 5 as part of a national tour organised by the Science Museum.
That credulity should be gross in proportion to the ignorance of the mind that it enslaves, is in strict consistency with the principle of human nature. - Percy Bysshe Shelley
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Re: Astronaut Tim Peake and intelligent design

#2  Postby Keep It Real » Aug 13, 2018 8:11 pm

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You're only conscious when you're thinking about consciousness.
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Re: Astronaut Tim Peake and intelligent design

#3  Postby Dolorosa » Aug 13, 2018 10:51 pm

Blackadder wrote:Tim Peake making careless remarks about ID. Or being quoted out of context.


May I ask... why do you consider his remarks to be careless? I don't think he's under any obligation to abstain from spiritual flights of fancy or even theological musings just because he's an astronaut. Also, rather than having a science background the guy is military through and through. So, I guess, my question stands... Where does his negligence lie exactly? (If that is indeed what happened.)
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Re: Astronaut Tim Peake and intelligent design

#4  Postby Dolorosa » Aug 13, 2018 11:04 pm

There is an interesting article on the subject of the overview effect, which Tim Peake's observations potentially fall under.

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... ace_Flight
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Re: Astronaut Tim Peake and intelligent design

#5  Postby Blackadder » Aug 14, 2018 5:58 am

Dolorosa wrote:
Blackadder wrote:Tim Peake making careless remarks about ID. Or being quoted out of context.


May I ask... why do you consider his remarks to be careless? I don't think he's under any obligation to abstain from spiritual flights of fancy or even theological musings just because he's an astronaut. Also, rather than having a science background the guy is military through and through. So, I guess, my question stands... Where does his negligence lie exactly? (If that is indeed what happened.)


He is from a military background, you are right. However his mission to the ISS was not a military one, so far as I understand - it was a scientific one and as such, he is seen by many members of the public as representing the world of scientific endeavour. His exploits are taught about in science classes in junior schools in the UK and the BBC's children's science pages have interviewed him about science for KS2 level students.

So, while he is not indeed under any obligation to refrain from flights of fancy, he would be well aware that he is seen as part of the science education establishment. To stand in front of the media and to throw out comments about quantum physics leading us to the conclusion that the universe is the product of intelligent design, without explaining why he thinks that, would be careless. Perhaps he is naive about how the religious will desperately cling to any hint of scientific authority for their beliefs? Maybe he is unaware of how manifestly dishonest the the proponents of ID have shown themselves to be in the past and how they continually seek to undermine science education?

I don't know why he said the things he did, but they were unfortunate for a person in his situation.
That credulity should be gross in proportion to the ignorance of the mind that it enslaves, is in strict consistency with the principle of human nature. - Percy Bysshe Shelley
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Re: Astronaut Tim Peake and intelligent design

#6  Postby Dolorosa » Aug 14, 2018 11:52 am

Forgive me, but it sure feels like you are projecting. There are no such expectations on people going into space, just like there are no expectations that every single person going into space would be an atheist and come back as one. Being a science communicator is also not a requirement; although many elect to become one. And even if you are one it doesn’t make you impervious to these sort of experiences. In fact, it would be a disservice to science if, having experienced something as profound and transcendent as what many of these astronauts appear to have, one were to hide this for fear of upsetting someone who tallies points in the "war" between religion and science.

The beauty of science is that it should be transparent - in any conducted experiment one acknowledges (or at least ought to acknowledge) both intended and unintended results; if an overview effect is indeed an unintended consequence of seeing Earth from space then instead of hiding it, under the guise of not wanting to give ammunition to the "manifestly dishonest", one ought to be open about it and even study it to understand the reasons for such a manifest change. Perhaps the way to counter "manifest dishonesty" would be by being honest and transparent and not avoidant and deceptive?

Who knows, not holding these astronauts hostage to some 3rd party ideals may even assist them in processing their experiences? After all, Tim Peake is not unique. Astronauts Ron Garan, Rusty Schweikart, Edgar Mitchell, Tom Jones, Scott Kelly, James Irwin, Mike Massimino and Chris Hadfield are all reported to have experienced the effect

Garan – a devout Catholic is now dedicated to sharing his experience with a wide audience by working on a project that would allow man capsules travel to the edge of space.

Schweikart turned to Transcendental Meditation.

Edgar Mitchell was an ardent UFO believer and co-founded Institute of Noetic Sciences dedicated to research of paranormal phenomena attributable to mind, such as remote healing that he himself claimed to have benefited from.

James Irwin a creationist, claimed that whilst on a lunar mission he felt God like never before. Later he travelled in search of Noah’s Ark.

Whilst Charles Duke, the youngest person to walk on the Moon, became a committed Christian after his return to earth and is still active in prison ministry.

Thing is, we can’t just white wash history nor should we. The duty is not on these individuals to foster your convictions but on you to remain ever sceptical and, in the words of Kant, “Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) “Have the courage to use your own understanding".”
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Re: Astronaut Tim Peake and intelligent design

#7  Postby Hermit » Aug 14, 2018 1:14 pm

Excellent points and nice research.
God is the mysterious veil under which we hide our ignorance of the cause. - Léo Errera


God created the universe
God just exists
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