Is SETI science?

Clearly, there are many comparisons one can make between ID science and the search for extra-terrestrials.  That both are examples of design detection is obviously the first that comes to mind.  Both, however, are also detecting design without knowing the identity of the designer.  This is supremely important.

One of the claims of Darwinists is that ID is not science, because one can not detect design while knowing nothing of the designer.  Yet, those same Darwinists will tell you that SETI is science.  How can this be?  Do we really know the identity of the designer that sends us signals from the distant reaches of space?  Yet, we still think we can detect those signals, and we still call it science.  These intelligent designers of signals that reach Earth could be totally different forms of life, with different means of thinking, communicating, reacting, feeling, etc.  We really don’t know anything about what might be out there in terms of lifeforms, so we clearly can’t identify the designer, or even know anything about the designer.  Sounds a lot like ID science, doesn’t it?  The only difference is that the materialists have an a priori bias based on their worldview that they feel is threatened by ID science, but not by SETI.  Therefore, they must oppose ID, hence they claim it is not science.  This is just more evidence of the weak position of the materialists and their knee-jerk reactions to defending their worldview in emotional ways.

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5 responses to “Is SETI science?

  1. Oleg Tchernyshyov

    Here’s a counterexample. I don’t consider SETI science.

  2. There’s a pretty big difference between SETI and ID. The SETI people hypothesize about a specific sort of signal, they set up and execute a search for just the sort of signal their hypothesis predicts, and they rigorously, even ruthlessly, eliminate possible instances that don’t stand up to close scrutiny.

    IDists call each and every observation evidence for ID, without bothering to ask about anything. They have no clear, defined, and measurable standard, they refuse to honestly measure any parameter or quantity that might pertain to their speculation, they cannot stand for any of their group admitting that any observation may not be evidence for design, and they abhor the notion that “I don’t know” means “I don’t know”, not “evolution NO!, design YES!”.

    If the SETI people behaved like IDists, they would be trumpeting claims that the universe is teeming with intelligence that is sending all manner of clever signal.

  3. professorsmith

    Art,
    I am living proof that you are wrong in some of your assertions – assertions that are not backed by evidence. Even though I know you can’t back up your words, please do so. As counter evidence, you can scan my blog for places where I’ve mentioned findings that would contradict ID, you can look at The Privileged Planet for others, etc. Your canard is played out and stale.

  4. professorsmith,

    I probably deserve to be scolded for my hyperbole. But consider, if you might, your own arguments. I haven’t tried to read all of this blog (I only found it recently, and it isn’t set up to facilitate browsing of archives), but two examples on the front page here support my representation nicely. You have jumped on two examples, dog breeding and an alleged limitation to HGT, as evidence for ID. In neither instance do you really explain why this is so, and you most certainly do not take a critical approach to either issue. Basically, you latched onto two ideas you read and trumpeted “support for design”. In a rigorous and formal sense, neither is.

    SETI researchers take the equivalent of dog breeding and ask very tough questions about their true authenticity as far as support for their hypotheses. I think ID supporters should borrow a page from the SETI crew and take a much more discriminating approach towards their treatments of evidence.

  5. professorsmith

    Art,
    Dog breeding is an example of ID by defintion. As for HGT, I never said it was evidence for ID. You might want to read my positions more closely before you start to criticize me.

    As for SETI, I think ID should ask more tough questions, and I think ID is headed in that direction. It makes it more difficult, however, in that all ID inquiries must be made while swimming against a ferocious tide that will countenance no arguments for ID. This post is just another example of that. Most scientists will say SETI is science, while ID is not, yet the two are virtually identical in what they purport to do.

    Point taken about the archives bit. I should try to implement something. Thank you.

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