SETI and Intelligent Design
In SETI and Intelligent Design, SETI researcher Seth Shostak wants to assure everyone that the two don’t have anything in common.
However it is obvious that Seth doesn’t completely understand ID’s argument, and he misrepresents the anonymous quote he provided.
Seth on ID:
The way this happens is as follows. When ID advocates posit that DNA--which is a complicated, molecular blueprint--is solid evidence for a designer, most scientists are unconvinced. They counter that the structure of this biological building block is the result of self-organization via evolution, and not a proof of deliberate engineering. DNA, the researchers will protest, is no more a consciously constructed system than Jupiter's Great Red Spot. Organized complexity, in other words, is not enough to infer design.
Yes specified complexity is used as evidence for design. Not mere complexity and not organized complexity. A hurricane is an example of organized complexity. DNA is an example of specified complexity.
Seth on IDists on SETI:
"upon receiving a complex radio signal from space, SETI researchers will claim it as proof that intelligent life resides in the neighborhood of a distant star. Thus, isn't their search completely analogous to our own line of reasoning--a clear case of complexity implying intelligence and deliberate design?" anonymous IDist(s)(No IDist claims complexity implies intelligence so methinks Seth made it all up)
What does Seth say about his made-up quote?:
In fact, the signals actually sought by today's SETI searches are not complex, as the ID advocates assume.- S Shostak
1- All that quote said was about RECEIVING, not searching.
2- And if you did RECEIVE a signal of that nature you would claim it as such
3- By ID’s standards of complexity is related to probability your narrow band meets the complexity criteria
An endless, sinusoidal signal - a dead simple tone - is not complex; it's artificial.- Shostak
Not if we use the word complexity in terms of (im)probability then that sine wave would meet the criteria.
However Seth does add some insight:
Such a tone just doesn't seem to be generated by natural astrophysical processes. In addition, and unlike other radio emissions produced by the cosmos, such a signal is devoid of the appendages and inefficiencies nature always seems to add -
Exactly! And if natural astrophysical processes can be found that generate such a tone then you would have to search for something else. Something that natural astrophysical processes cannot account for.