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SETI and Intelligent Design
space.com ^ | posted: 01 December 2005 | Seth Shostak

Posted on 12/02/2005 8:35:59 AM PST by ckilmer

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it is curious that seti is accepted in the scientific community and id is not
1 posted on 12/02/2005 8:36:00 AM PST by ckilmer
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To: ckilmer
I remember an old episode of Cheers ...
In which Cliff Clavin was shown to be rather stupid ...
And that's why Intelligent Design is so silly ...

Straw man, anyone?.

2 posted on 12/02/2005 8:40:05 AM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: RadioAstronomer

Do you know Seth? If you do, tell him thanks for the great article :-)


3 posted on 12/02/2005 8:40:08 AM PST by RightWingAtheist (Free the Crevo Three!)
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To: ckilmer

The difference is that we can find concrete evidence through SETI, but not through ID.


4 posted on 12/02/2005 8:41:06 AM PST by RightWingAtheist (Free the Crevo Three!)
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To: PatrickHenry

Morning ping. Even if this isn't worthy of cranking up the ping machine, this should be archived as a means of comparing good vs. bad/bogus science in the context of the ID debate.


5 posted on 12/02/2005 8:42:17 AM PST by RightWingAtheist (Free the Crevo Three!)
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To: ClearCase_guy

"Well you see, Norm, it's like this... A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as
the slowest buffalo and when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones
at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a
whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by
the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain
can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, excessive
drinking of alcohol kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and
weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates
the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. And
that, Norm, is why you always feel smarter after a few beers."


6 posted on 12/02/2005 8:43:42 AM PST by JoeSixPack1
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To: ckilmer

Does anyone know what the radio frequencies from Earth would "look like" if someone was in another star system doing the same, SETI-like experiment?


7 posted on 12/02/2005 8:50:33 AM PST by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: ckilmer

"All your intelligent design are belong to me"

8 posted on 12/02/2005 8:52:10 AM PST by add925 (The Left = Xenophobes in Denial)
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To: ckilmer

Sounds like this might be Cliff the Postman pretending to be an actual scientist. By the way SETI did have one important function. It has thoroughly debunked the concept of a big bang beginning by acknowledging that there are many blue shift situations whereas a big bang would require an expanding universe with only red shifts!

ID is just as valid as any conceptual theory and probably fits the current, factual information better than other more traditionally held theories. SETI is probably worried that their funding might be cut if they do not support the politically correct version of reporting.


9 posted on 12/02/2005 8:52:18 AM PST by ProfSci (An Actual Scientist)
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To: ClearCase_guy

SETI must be going reeeeeal slow these days. Shostak has a lot of time on his hands to weave strawmans to peddle.

That's before actually tackling questions of ID's validity. He's just a sloppy debater who skates by on an inflated impression of his reputation.


10 posted on 12/02/2005 8:52:46 AM PST by Frank_Discussion (May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather!)
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To: ckilmer

Well, it’s because the credibility of the evidence is not predicated on its complexity. If SETI were to announce that we’re not alone because it had detected a signal, it would be on the basis of artificiality.
//////////////////
this is a gob smaker. so the signature of intelligence is its artificiality.


11 posted on 12/02/2005 8:57:14 AM PST by ckilmer
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To: RightWingAtheist
Have you tried looking closely at your lawn, you'll find more there than at SETI.
12 posted on 12/02/2005 8:57:20 AM PST by fella (Political Correctness = Stuck On Stupid)
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To: ProfSci

?


13 posted on 12/02/2005 9:02:04 AM PST by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: RightWingAtheist

What is truly amazing here is that this guy makes the case for ID!!

He claims that SETI is seeking narrow, organized signals, much in the same way we can discern if an object if fabricated by the unnatural appearance and shape.

Well, life is an organization of chemicals and elements that exist everywhere, but when assembled properly----life.

ID purports that such organization is evidence of design at work rather than random chance.

The radio signals sought by SETI are those organized and not those emanating from random chance.


14 posted on 12/02/2005 9:03:47 AM PST by Erik Latranyi (9-11 is your Peace Dividend)
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To: ckilmer; wallcrawlr

Ping


15 posted on 12/02/2005 9:04:05 AM PST by DaveLoneRanger (Celebrating my first full year on FR! Has it been one year already?? Has it only been one year??)
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To: ProfSci
Sounds like this might be Cliff the Postman pretending to be an actual scientist.

Well, he is the senior astronomer at SETI, and his cv says his Ph.D is in astronomy from Caltech, so mabe we can give him the benefit of the doubt.

...a big bang would require an expanding universe with only red shifts!

Uhhh, no, it wouldn't require that.

16 posted on 12/02/2005 9:06:15 AM PST by Senator Bedfellow (Sneering condescension.)
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To: RightWingAtheist

Our of curiousity, what is the "concrete evidence" that points to extraterrestrial intelligence?


17 posted on 12/02/2005 9:07:45 AM PST by sheltonmac (QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES)
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To: ckilmer
Nature, for its part, seems unoffended.


18 posted on 12/02/2005 9:23:07 AM PST by Physicist
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To: ProfSci
By the way SETI did have one important function. It has thoroughly debunked the concept of a big bang beginning by acknowledging that there are many blue shift situations whereas a big bang would require an expanding universe with only red shifts!

This, plus your claim to be An Actual Scientist, is making my B.S. meter twitch. Explain how the Big Bang cancels all proper motion, and renders orbital mechanics invalid.

19 posted on 12/02/2005 9:29:56 AM PST by Physicist
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To: ckilmer
it is curious that seti is accepted in the scientific community and id is not

That's because "intelligent design" has absolutely no scientific basis but SETI does...as the article explains quite well.

20 posted on 12/02/2005 9:39:35 AM PST by Ophiucus
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To: ProfSci; doc30; Senator Bedfellow
Not even close.

It has thoroughly debunked the concept of a big bang beginning by acknowledging that there are many blue shift situations whereas a big bang would require an expanding universe with only red shifts!

The universe is a swirling mixture of multiple vectors thus some objects will move towards each other while others move away in an expanding framework. Thus, red and blue shifts would be observed.

ID is just as valid as any conceptual theory and probably fits the current, factual information better than other more traditionally held theories

Completely wrong. ID can not be supported by experimentation and observation nor can it predict phenomenon. Thus, it utterly fails to be a valid scientific theory.

21 posted on 12/02/2005 9:50:32 AM PST by Ophiucus
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To: sheltonmac

The difference is that we can find concrete evidence through SETI, but not through ID.

Our of curiousity, what is the "concrete evidence" that points to extraterrestrial intelligence?
///////////////
there is the kicker.

there is no "concrete evidence"

similiarly atheists will say : show me your concrete evidence for God. (But exclude everything in the natural universe as evidence of a creator.)


22 posted on 12/02/2005 9:51:53 AM PST by ckilmer
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To: ProfSci
It has thoroughly debunked the concept of a big bang

While the Big Bang is still an hypothesis, SETI has done nothing to bunk or debunk it. M31 is blue-shifted, but it is relatively nearby and is allowed to blue-shift.

23 posted on 12/02/2005 9:55:43 AM PST by RightWhale (Not transferable -- Good only for this trip)
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To: ckilmer

It's like saying, "Show me the forest, but don't use the trees as evidence."


24 posted on 12/02/2005 9:59:19 AM PST by sheltonmac (QUIS CUSTODIET IPSOS CUSTODES)
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To: Erik Latranyi
What is truly amazing here is that this guy makes the case for ID!!

Please reread the article - especially the conclusion. ID claims that naturally occurring complexity must be artificial since it is complex - a circular logic fallacy. SETI is looking for a signal that has a simplicity and efficiency that can not be observed being produced by any natural source. This indicates a possible artificial source. The evidence builds if it can be reproduced or a mechanism could be constructed for reproduction.

25 posted on 12/02/2005 10:00:36 AM PST by Ophiucus
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To: ckilmer

I gather that one argument for ID is that the odds of random events leading to the creation of life are so long as to be unsupportable. However, the odds of any series of events leading to any situation are equally long.


26 posted on 12/02/2005 10:03:40 AM PST by Sam Cree (absolute reality) - "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein)
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To: Sam Cree
I gather that one argument for ID is that the odds of random events leading to the creation of life are so long as to be unsupportable. However, the odds of any series of events leading to any situation are equally long.

Close except that the formation of DNA, cellular systems, or even orbital mechanics and quantum events are not "random."

They follow very detailed, exact laws of the chemical and physical interactions that determine chemical reactions, protein structures, and physical events.

Simple example: salt is not formed and its structure determined by sodium and chloride atoms just randomly bumping into each other and sticking together in a random fashion. The many laws that describe ion dissociation, electron valencies, bond mechanics, etc. determine that one sodium and one chloride bond at a specific angle.

27 posted on 12/02/2005 10:12:34 AM PST by Ophiucus
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To: doc30
Does anyone know what the radio frequencies from Earth would "look like" if someone was in another star system doing the same, SETI-like experiment?

They would see our narrowband carriers. :-)

28 posted on 12/02/2005 10:20:19 AM PST by RadioAstronomer (Senior member of Darwin Central)
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To: Erik Latranyi
organized signals

Huh?

29 posted on 12/02/2005 10:21:36 AM PST by RadioAstronomer (Senior member of Darwin Central)
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To: ProfSci
It has thoroughly debunked the concept of a big bang beginning by acknowledging that there are many blue shift situations whereas a big bang would require an expanding universe with only red shifts!

You should consider brushing up on your Astronomy 101.

30 posted on 12/02/2005 10:23:48 AM PST by RadioAstronomer (Senior member of Darwin Central)
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To: ckilmer
The apparent complexity of the product is offered as proof of deliberate blueprinting . . .

On the contrary, apparent complexity leads to the reasonable inference that a designer may be involved in its production.

31 posted on 12/02/2005 10:28:58 AM PST by Fester Chugabrew
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To: RightWingAtheist
[ The difference is that we can find concrete evidence through SETI, but not through ID. ]

ID = Agnostic Creativism..
SETI = Gnostic Fantasy..
Evolution = Dialectic Material Psuedo-Science..

32 posted on 12/02/2005 10:32:24 AM PST by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole..)
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placemarker


33 posted on 12/02/2005 10:36:06 AM PST by js1138 (Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.)
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To: RadioAstronomer

I was thinking something similar, but we use so much of the broadcast spectrum and, since the Earth would appear to be a point source, I imagine there would be all kinds of overlap of the different bands and frequencies from all the radio sources, as well as possible attenuation from interstellar media. So my first thought is the spectrum would look fairly broad and incoherent in the radio region and then taper off where the spectrum goes to shorter wavelengths. Would there be specific, narrow band emissions that would not overlap?


34 posted on 12/02/2005 10:37:10 AM PST by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: Ophiucus

While you've pointed out some circumstances that must exist to permit the occurance of certain constructs, I don't believe you have made clear that the existence of those circumstances did not occur through random and unplanned events.


35 posted on 12/02/2005 10:38:07 AM PST by Sam Cree (absolute reality) - "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein)
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To: RightWingAtheist
Even if this isn't worthy of cranking up the ping machine, this should be archived as a means of comparing good vs. bad/bogus science in the context of the ID debate.

It's good enough. ID and SETI too. Great way to slide into the weekend. I'm hauling out the ping machine ...

36 posted on 12/02/2005 10:45:33 AM PST by PatrickHenry (No response if you're a troll, lunatic, dotard, common scold, or incurable ignoramus.)
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To: VadeRetro; Junior; longshadow; RadioAstronomer; Doctor Stochastic; js1138; Shryke; RightWhale; ...
Evolution Ping

The List-O-Links
A conservative, pro-evolution science list, now with over 320 names.
See the list's explanation, then FReepmail to be added or dropped.
To assist beginners: But it's "just a theory", Evo-Troll's Toolkit,
and How to argue against a scientific theory.

37 posted on 12/02/2005 10:46:47 AM PST by PatrickHenry (No response if you're a troll, lunatic, dotard, common scold, or incurable ignoramus.)
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To: Ophiucus

Quite so. Well stated :)


38 posted on 12/02/2005 10:46:51 AM PST by Senator Bedfellow (Sneering condescension.)
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To: Sam Cree
While you've pointed out some circumstances that must exist to permit the occurance of certain constructs, I don't believe you have made clear that the existence of those circumstances did not occur through random and unplanned events.

I'm not sure I understand your statement. Are you bringing to question that the laws themselves of chemical and physical determinants for reaction and molecular structure occurred through random events? Or, perhaps, that the earliest protein precedents of RNA/DNA resulted from random organic compounds coming together in an "planned" event?

39 posted on 12/02/2005 10:46:56 AM PST by Ophiucus
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To: RadioAstronomer
They would see our narrowband carriers. :-)

I suppose so -- and I suppose also that they'd be narrowly focused S-band type signals sent from blowtorches like Goldstone, Madrid, and Canberra.

The question is: how likely is it that one could pick up such signals, even from big, powerful sites like those, at a distances on the order of light years?

I'd think it would be hard enough to detect extremely weak signals sent to us on purpose, much less incidental signals directed to (say) some alien version of Pioneer 10.

Leaving aside questions being batted about in this thread, what's your personal opinion of the likelihood of ever seeing such signals, assuming they were sent?

40 posted on 12/02/2005 10:49:06 AM PST by r9etb
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To: ckilmer
So that's one point: the signals SETI seeks are really not like other examples drawn from the bestiary of complex astrophysical phenomena. That speaks to their artificiality.

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.

41 posted on 12/02/2005 10:52:10 AM PST by Question_Assumptions
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To: Senator Bedfellow
Well stated :)

Thank you. It's a matter of perspective and a perspective of matter. ;-)

42 posted on 12/02/2005 10:53:29 AM PST by Ophiucus
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To: ProfSci
ID is just as valid as any conceptual theory and probably fits the current, factual information better than other more traditionally held theories.

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.

43 posted on 12/02/2005 10:55:46 AM PST by js1138 (Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.)
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To: Question_Assumptions
Either you can differentiate the natural from the intelligently created or you can't.

I thought the whole ID thing was that everything is and has been intelligently designed, including electromagnetic waves. If that's true, then no matter what particular e/m wave you look at, you will say, "There, see that? That's the result of an intelligent designer."
44 posted on 12/02/2005 10:58:07 AM PST by BikerNYC (Modernman should not have been banned.)
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To: r9etb; RadioAstronomer
Leaving aside questions being batted about in this thread, what's your personal opinion of the likelihood of ever seeing such signals, assuming they were sent?

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.

45 posted on 12/02/2005 11:01:06 AM PST by Ophiucus
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To: Question_Assumptions
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.

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.

46 posted on 12/02/2005 11:05:45 AM PST by steve-b (A desire not to butt into other people's business is eighty percent of all human wisdom)
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To: All

I am in the middle of a software test. Sigh. Will answer all posts this evening. :-)


47 posted on 12/02/2005 11:05:51 AM PST by RadioAstronomer (Senior member of Darwin Central)
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To: steve-b
The difference is equivalent to that between painting a target on a wall and shooting a bullet through the bullseye and shooting a bullet through a wall and painting a bullseye around the hole.

That's a bullseye

48 posted on 12/02/2005 11:09:04 AM PST by js1138 (Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.)
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To: ProfSci
Sounds like this might be Cliff the Postman pretending to be an actual scientist.

That's no fun! You should've done your impression first and then let us guess. Still, I'd say you nailed it.

49 posted on 12/02/2005 11:14:37 AM PST by Stultis (I don't worry about the war turning into "Vietnam" in Iraq; I worry about it doing so in Congress.)
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To: steve-b
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.

Also known as the "Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy"....

50 posted on 12/02/2005 11:17:29 AM PST by longshadow
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