Author Michael Crichton dies at age 66.

Goodnight, sweet prince.

In a 2004 interview with The Associated Press, Crichton came with a tape recorder, text books and a pile of graphs and charts as he defended "State of Fear" and his take on global warming.

"I have a lot of trouble with things that don't seem true to me," Crichton said at the time, his large, manicured hands gesturing to his graphs. "I'm very uncomfortable just accepting. There's something in me that wants to pound the table and say, 'That's not true.'"

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Aliens Cause Global Warming - Michael Crichton

Which gives me an opportunity to post this: "Aliens Cause Global Warming"

He keeps hammering that SETI

He keeps hammering that SETI is a religion, SETI is not testable, yada yada. SETI is precisely an experiment testing the existence of extraterrestrial life. Not a perfect one but the best we have. What's with him preaching experimentation and denigrating an experiment.

Yeah, well he's right

Yeah, well he's right. The drake equation pretty much is religion. There was no actual evidence that there were aliens and the only justification they had for wasting all that money was the equation. Which was really just pure speculation.

"In 1960, Drake organizes the first SETI conference, and came up with the now-famous Drake equation:

N=N*fp ne fl fi fc fL

Where N is the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy; fp is the fraction with planets; ne is the number of planets per star capable of supporting life; fl is the fraction of planets where life evolves; fi is the fraction where intelligent life evolves; and fc is the fraction that communicates; and fL is the fraction of the planet's life during which the communicating civilizations live.

This serious-looking equation gave SETI an serious footing as a legitimate intellectual inquiry. The problem, of course, is that none of the terms can be known, and most cannot even be estimated. The only way to work the equation is to fill in with guesses. And guesses-just so we're clear-are merely expressions of prejudice. Nor can there be "informed guesses." If you need to state how many planets with life choose to communicate, there is simply no way to make an informed guess. It's simply prejudice.

As a result, the Drake equation can have any value from "billions and billions" to zero. An expression that can mean anything means nothing. Speaking precisely, the Drake equation is literally meaningless, and has nothing to do with science. I take the hard view that science involves the creation of testable hypotheses. The Drake equation cannot be tested and therefore SETI is not science. SETI is unquestionably a religion."

The Drake equation isn't

The Drake equation isn't bullshit, it's just trivial and uninformative.Finding evidence of alin is the whole point of SETI, DUH. And so far SETI has provided useful information, it has lowered the likelihood of the existence of aliens.

"And so far SETI has

"And so far SETI has provided useful information, it has lowered the likelihood of the existence of aliens."

I'll take that as claiming that it has lowered our estimation of the existence of aliens. Well no, it's lowered our estimation of the existence of aliens who've set up enormous and expensive programs to broadcast their existence across the universe. Which if someone thought was a piece of useful information they could fund themselves out of private funds with out the fraud involved in the Drake equation.

Yes, I view it as fraudlent to push what is "trivial and uninformative" as scientific authority. It misleads people while at the same time undermining trust in people who call themselves scientists. It shows and attitude of "Let's defraud them just so long as we get our funding".

The same attitude can found in scientist the Global Warming crowd:

"If [Al Gore] reaches more people and convinces the world that global warming is real, even if he does it through exaggeration and distortion — which he does, but he’s very effective at it — then let him fly any plane he wants." - Richard A. Muller (Physicist, UC Berkley)

Pardon me for interrupting the hagiography

But I'll also take this opportunity to post the reason I stopped taking Crichton seriously.

Also, he sometimes floundered when it came to endings. Congo and Sphere just kind of fizzle out, as did Jurassic Park 2 (not that Spielberg's Godzilla-inspired teratoma was an improvement). On the other hand, I liked Andromeda and Timeline.

Doesn't seem a very big deal

It seems petty, and that's about it. So Crichton was petty on at least one occasion. Big deal.


Where's my "+1, Insightful" option...

Well, our mileages vary.

'Petty' doesn't seem to have connotation sufficient to characterize insults involving pedophilic sodomy.

The only difference...

The only difference is our perception, I mean that with all do respect. I perceived it to be humorous, after all, it was a work of fiction.

So yeah, our mileages very by a great degree.

Ah come on. It was childish

Ah come on. It was childish but it's still funny. I could almost see self-derision there.

The biggest problem with

The biggest problem with searching for evidence, is that we have no idea what we should really be looking for. So far, we are attempting to detect broadcast noise from an ancient, yet at the time of transmission, technologically similar civilization.

According to Drakes own equation, what we could detect would represent a tragically small cross section of possible extra terrestrial biological entities in our universe.

If we look at the intense biodiversity of our planet, and take it as a microcosm of our universe, sapient life is the exception and most certainly not the norm. Probes designed to detect microbial life would most likely find "ET" before any radio telescope survey.

Nice idea, poor execution. IMNSHO.