Home » Extraterrestrial life, Intelligent Design » Coffee!!: Thoughts on SETI’s past and future: Merge with ID?

Coffee!!: Thoughts on SETI’s past and future: Merge with ID?

Interesting discussion at “Don’t defund SETI, science broadcaster pleads.” Could SETI just merge with ID and study evidence of intelligence in signals along those lines?

Otherwise, it could merge with astrobiology units at various universities and restrict itself to looking for evidence of bacterial life in outer space.

SETI has always been handicapped by the Saganesque silliness about space aliens, which made it vulnerable to any politician looking for a program he can trim or cut, by making it sound ridiculous. Put another way, the unemployed don’t care if there are space aliens or not.

But that would cut the heart out of the mission of a project that, through SETI@home, has assembled vast volunteer computational resources. What a waste.

If what they want is evidence for intelligence, they should take a serious look at intelligent design theory. Thoughts?

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13 Responses to Coffee!!: Thoughts on SETI’s past and future: Merge with ID?

  1. Coud we rename it to:

    Search for Extra-terrestiral Complex Specified Information.

    SECSI

    News headlines might read, SECSI search for intelligence continues.

  2. Ms. Ol’Leary, I’ve been wondering something… you are clearly the person responsible for the posts here that are labeled as “News.” So how do you choose whether you are going to post under “News” or under your real name? And why did you suddenly start posting as “News”?

  3. SETI is intent on finding out who or what is behind a sign of intelligence. ID is not supposed to do that.

  4. ID is not supposed to do that.

    Not so. In fact, ID argues every time CSI is traced back to it’s origin it leads to an intelligent agent.

  5. ID argues every time CSI is traced back to it’s origin it leads to an intelligent agent.

    But ID (or at least IDists) tells us we can’t infer anything about the intelligent agent.

  6. Presumably, ID is intent on finding signs of intelligence, not on what or who is behind those signs.

  7. ID understands that the way to the designer is through the design.

    IOW ID does not prevent anyone from inquring about the designer, it is juts a seperate question.

  8. Paragwinn:
    Interesting points. I’m sure I should take the time to read SETI’s mission statement or goals….
    but do you think they would consider it a victory if they came across signs of ETI? I mean regardless if they were able to establish who or what that intelligence happened to be.
    IWO:
    Was establishing the identity of this intelligence a necessity to fulfilling SETI’s mission?

  9. MedsRex,

    if signs of ET were found, that would extend SETI’s mission to determine what or who. For ID, since claims have already been made of finding signs of intelligence, will ID theorists now extend work into what or who?

  10. Paragwinn,
    thanks for clarifying.
    my poor attempt at answering your question is this:
    I believe it would be up to the particular ID theorist to decide if they want to take their work further into identifying the designer. However as far as I understand, thats not a necessity to IDT proper.
    Anyone else want to tackle Paragwinn’s question?

  11. Presumably, ID is intent on finding signs of intelligence, not on what or who is behind those signs.

    ID reasons from known cause and effect, just like the rest of science.

    To do that it has to establish that intelligent agents are in fact capable of causing the effects in question.

    How it could do that without investigating who or what is behind the effect is beyond me.

    Are you sure you understand how the argument for ID works?

    It’s an inference to the best explanation.

    The inference is from what we know intelligent agents can produce, and we know this by having traced the effects back to their cause.

    In in every case where we have in fact been able to trace the effect back to it’s cause, guess where it’s ended up. An intelligent cause.

  12. paragwinn:

    if signs of ET were found, that would extend SETI’s mission to determine what or who.

    How would they do that? But more importantly you hit that ole nail right on the head- once design is determined that alone is an impetus for further investigation in that light.

    I think just the fact that SETI received a signal from ET would change the way we look at things.

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