The November 2011 issue of The American Spectator featured an essay of interest to all those who lurk at this blog: “Extraterrestrial Intelligence and the Search for God.” I was gratified that the author, Tom Bothell, was familiar enough with the subject matter to note Michael Crichton’s well-placed dismissal of the Drake Equation that ET life enthusiasts breathlessly love to reference. But Bothell also saw the religious bait-and-switch going on with respect to SETI and anything resembling traditional theism. He writes:

The late novelist Michael Crichton gave an entertaining lecture at Caltech in 2003 saying that the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is a religion. And in a way it is. Carl Sagan, one of its leading promoters, “believed in superior beings in space, creatures so intelligent, so powerful, as to resemble gods.” … That’s religion. The well-known atheist Richard Dawkins shows similar tendencies. He was quoted in the New York Times the other day as saying, “It’s highly plausible that in the universe there are Godlike creatures.” But he was careful to add that “these Gods came into being by an explicable scientific progression of incremental evolution.” (He would not have wanted to see “Gods” capitalized, however.)

These observations and others in regard to the religious commitment of atheist materialists to their quest for non-divine deities make this brief essay worth the read.