From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul> Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 07:43:34 -0500 Fwd Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 07:43:34 -0500 Subject: Still Wrong Source: Joshua Rosenau's Blog - New York, New York, USA http://scienceblogs.com/tfk/2007/01/still_wrong.php January 26, 2007 Category: Culture Wars Still Wrong by Josh Rosenau Roddy Bullock repeats some questions, as if they get more interesting the millionth time: "Question: What do you call a person who hypothesizes an unseen intelligent being and searches outer space for confirming material evidence? Answer: A scientist. Question: What do you call a person who hypothesizes an unseen intelligent being and searches inner space for confirming material evidence? Answer: A religious nut." What he's trying to do in repeating this pair of questions twice, is to suggest that the search for extraterrestrial life is the same as what IDolators do. And so long as you ask the wrong questions, the two could bear some resemblance. But here are the right questions: What do you call a person who hypothesizes intelligent life like his/her own and searches the sky for data to test that hypothesis? What do you call a person who assumes a supernatural being crafted the universe to be just-so, and forces anything and everything to fit that assumption? The answers are the same as what Bullock offered. He continues: "Surprised? You should be. How can the exact same methodology be both touted as scientific and doubted as religious? Are radio telescopes searching for Morse code-like evidence of space aliens inherently scientific while electron microscopes discovering source code-like evidence of design in the cell are not? Why are alien hunters with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) permitted to infer intelligence if ever they find evidence of specified complexity, but microbiologists who actually find such evidence are lambasted for inferring the same cause?" SETI doesn't look for specified complexity. They look for simplicity. And any inference of intelligence that they make is based on a set of hypotheses about the natural intelligences that we know about, not about beings unbound by natural laws. SETI researchers think about what sort of signal they would send, and look for signals like that. They do not use Demsbki's bogus formulae, nor do they use his explanatory filter, let alone Behe's irreducible complexity. They look for patterns that match what they think an intelligence like their own would produce. We know of nothing but evolutionary processes that could possibly have produced DNA, flagella, or any other biological phenomenon. That isn't to say that we stop looking, it means that we have to demonstrate that a mechanism is physically and biologically possible before we would invoke it as an explanation. IDolators skip that step. We know nothing about what a supernatural creator could possibly do, nor what sorts of things such a being might choose to create. They offer no mechanism, and try to treat their lack of a mechanism as some sort of virtue. It is not. Without a mechanism, it's impossible to suggest what their designer wouldn't do, and without knowing that, it's impossible to falsify design. And that is why scientists and "religious nuts" are different.
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