I've been discussing this topic with David Brin privately as well, he's still insisting that although he thinks such things are possible, his contrary nature is telling him it's theology. I'm working on him though...
Like a true evangelist.
Hoping to convince logically with the vast and ever-growing information at hand, no strong arming, no torture, no bible thumping. He's already part-way there. I got another response from him yesterday.