Skip to comments.SETI and Intelligent Design
Posted on 12/02/2005 8:35:59 AM PST by ckilmer
click here to read article
And that, not complexity or a lack of complexity, is the core claim of ID -- that one can distinguish the natural from the artificial or intelligently made. If SETI claims that such a distinction can be made scientifically, then the idea that one could distinguish the natural from the artificial in biology is not unreasonable. Despite what this article claims, both SETI and ID are doing the same thing.
SETI assumes, without any existing evidence, that extraterrestrial intillgence may exist. In order to find evidence of such ET intelligence, they look for evidence of signals which have characteristics that would distinguish the artificial from the natural. ID assumes, without any existing evidence, that a creator of some sort may exist. In order to find evidence of such a creator, they look for evidence of pheonemna or features of life or the universe that would distinguish the created phoneomna from the natural. Both start with no evidence and propose finding the evidence by looking for created features among natural features. So without the whole complexity red herring, the difference is? Either you can differentiate the natural from the intelligently created or you can't. Either both are science or neither is.
Thank you. It's a matter of perspective and a perspective of matter. ;-)
As others have pointed out, there is no possible set of evidence or data which ID cannot fit.
In the spectrum of ID advocates you find people like Michael Denton, who assert that evolution is 100 percent naturalistic and has no deviations from the description given by mainstream biology. You have Behe, who accepts common descent, but believes God has intervened at some points. You have young earth creationists who believe that all variation is simply a matter of juggling existing alleles.
In short, there is no theory or hypothesis behind ID which limits the range of expected phenomena. There is nothing that is even potentially unexpected.
It would be difficult to detect such signals hence the size of the radio telescopes and networks combined with the large amounts of computing assets marshaled by the SETI project.
However, the last article I read stated that close to 1200 signals had been detected that can not be attributed to any known natural source. Which could mean that there are natural sources yet to be discovered or understood to account for these signals....or that there may be a few of those 'alien Pioneer' craft being noisy.
SETI has made a number of advance predictions about the sort of as-yet-undetected signal that would reflect intelligent creation rather than natural origin (e.g. the distinction between a broad-spectrum and a narrow-band signal described in the above article). ID has made a number of after-the-fact assertions about already-known natural phenomena (e.g. the claim that the probability of existing macromolecules forming is unreasonably low, even over an entire planet and billions of years).
The difference is equivalent to that between painting a target on a wall and shooting a bullet through the bulls-eye and shooting a bullet through a wall and painting a bulls-eye around the hole.
I am in the middle of a software test. Sigh. Will answer all posts this evening. :-)
That's a bullseye
That's no fun! You should've done your impression first and then let us guess. Still, I'd say you nailed it.
Also known as the "Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy"....
But at least SETI pushes the technological envelope. Just looking out there we are bound to see something interesting, like pulsars.
Not curious at all. They are complete opposites.
SETI is an investigation that states quite explicitly that they do not know the outcome. SETI is an investigation.
By contrast, ID has zero scientific results, zero output, zero measureable scientific work product, but already has come to several very profound "conclusions".
10 years ago when ID was first proposed, we might have (IMHO generously) called it a working hypothesis. After 10 years and zero output, it can no longer be called even that.
Real science, like just about everything else, requires work. You have to produce something. ID has produced nothing.
This is why ID is essentially a liberal philosophy. At the core of conservative philosophy is hard work. Lower taxes are conservative because it allows hard work to be rewarded. Free market economics is supported because it allows hard work to be rewarded. Property rights are supported because it allows hard work to be rewarded. Etc. Etc.
Real science is hard work, just ask any of the practicing scientists on this forum.
And the work product of ID after 10 years: ZERO.
Both start with no evidence and propose finding the evidence by looking for created features among natural features. So without the whole complexity red herring, the difference is? Either you can differentiate the natural from the intelligently created or you can't. Either both are science or neither is.
Not really.SETI looks for signals that can be differentiated from known natural sources that have features of an efficient, regular or simple artificial source. These are compared to known characteristics of artificial sources, their ability to be reproduced from technology
ID points to complexity alone as evidence for a claim of an "artifical" source of design plan. It ignores the evidence of chemical and physical laws producing a multitude of complex systems.
SETI observes signals, experiments to understand if the signal could come from a known artificial source, predicts possible signal characteristics and mechanisms to produce such a signal. The requirements are specific:
Any signal less than about 300 Hz wide must be, as far as we know, artificially produced. Such narrow-band signals are what all SETI experiments look for. Other tell-tale characteristics include a signal that is completely polarized or the existence of coded information on the signal.
Narrow-band signals, say those that are only a few Hertz or less wide, are the mark of a purposely built transmitter. Natural cosmic noisemakers, such as pulsars, quasars, and the turbulent, thin interstellar gas of our own Milky Way, do not make radio signals that are this narrow. The static from these objects is spread all across the dial. SETI faq
ID simply says it is complex thus it is artifical. Why? It's artificial because it is complex. That's not science - that's fallacious logic.
A good way of stating an important point - I'll have to remember it.
ID is just as valid as any conceptual theory and probably fits the current, factual information better than other more traditionally held theories
Where to you liberal fundamentalists dream this stuff up???
Of course you would expect some blue shifted objects under the big bang. The obvious example is the Andromeda galaxy, which is blue shifted because it is moving towards us (actually, the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies will collide in the distant future). This effect is a consequence that the universe is not in absolute lock step: there are fluctuations and eddies. And fluctuations and eddies are exactly what you would expect from the big bang.
Indeed the variations in the observed mass distribution of the observable universe and in the cosmic microwave background are consistent with the levels of quantum fluctuations from the early big bang.
And, ID is not a theory at all. It was once, maybe, a working hypothesis. However, the total scientific output of ID is zero, so it cannot qualify as any kind of actual theory.
BTW, is ProfSci a professor of Scientology by any chance??
You misrepresent ID. It purports that random chance could not have created complexity with order.
SETI is looking for a signal that has a simplicity and efficiency that can not be observed being produced by any natural source.
You mean simplicity and efficiency like that found in our own DNA? When the human genome was mapped, scientists were stunned by the lack of complexity, finding far fewer combinations possible than was believed necessary to create the diversity of human life.
Now that's funny.
Do you think SETI is searching for unorganized signals?
SETI isn't a theory. It is an institute pursuing a hypothesis through experimentation and observation. The hypothesis includes the ideas or assumptions that if extraterrestrial life exists and if has a technology to broadcast signals then SETI should be able to eventually detect certain narrow band signals with certain characteristics.
I think the mistake that opponents to a Creator make is failing to grasp the full scope of the arguments that demonstrate the foundation for belief in the Creator. It is more than the complexity of creation at a purely biological level. The argument for a creator falls into human pychology, philosophy, art, mathematics and more.
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