From PZ Myers:
I took another peek into the nonsense the Discovery Institute is currently peddling. It’s depressingly shallow, a lot of motivated reasoning and twisted use of the evidence. For instance, Kirk Durston has an article titled Could Atheism Survive the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life?, which, as an atheist who would be thrilled to pieces if we discovered alien life of a completely independent origin, seems peculiar.
Here’s his argument, though. The origin of life on Earth is a hard problem (agreed). Current models, as he understands them, suggest that it was an event of exceedingly low probability, so low that it was extremely lucky that it happened here, but it would be extremely unlikely that it would also happen in multiple places in our universe. Therefore, logic dictates the existence of a supernatural creator. It’s simply, I don’t understand this, therefore god. It also flops inelegantly into a common creationist theme that there are only two possible models, and if I find a weakness in yours, my model is automatically correct, even if my model has even more flaws, which I conveniently ignore.
The centerpiece of these kinds of articles is usually some juicy admission from real scientists that we don’t understand every detail of the origin of life, therefore, ha ha, god exists!