archive: Re: SETI The Drake Equation - Probability One

Re: SETI The Drake Equation - Probability One

John Willcox ( willcox@voicenet.com )
Fri, 21 May 1999 12:51:10 -0400

John, Ron and SETIzens,

Bravo, John for responding with such heart in such an awkward
discourse! You said better than I could that:
1.) One's religion is a seperate matter from their practice of
science.
2.) there is more in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than is Dreamt
of in your Philosophy (sic?)

This is deeply compelling stuff! Sailing very close to the wind, indeed ;-)
I couldn't help but visualize the Nobel Laureate in Lotus Position
on the mountaintop ready to explain the Loss of Causality...
I do hope that Ron does continue addressing this. His is clearly
a good mind struggling with some of the most profound and
interesting thoughts!
When I encounter a bright, probing student jousting with the
great ideas I always think of Niels Bohr:
"Thus on many occasions man divides himself into two persons,
one of whom tries to fool the other, while a third one, who is in
fact the same as the other two, is filled with wonder at this
confusion. In short, thinking becomes dramatic and quietly
acts the most complicated plots with itself and for itself; and
the spectator again and again becomes actor."
Reflect on Bohr's work in light of this, it's quite a stunner!
One of his favourite Schiller lines:
"Nur die Fülle führt zur Klarheit,
Und im Abgrund wohnt die Wahrheit."
(Only wholeness leads to clarity,
And truth lies in the abyss.)
This is important to SETI, who is not interested in the philosophies
of ETIs? How rich is the world of the Mind!
Anyway, (addressing the choir), and seconding John:
Science is a _Discipline_, Religion is _Religion_.
How we perceive life guides our research and our insights.
Now back to our regularly scheduled experiments...
John Willcox