Uncommon Dissent

Monday, November 21, 2005

“The Golden Record” (1 comments)

Dear Dr. Dembski,

In the future, you might be so good as to remind your "colleagues" that scientists do not automatically discount design in nature; they merely reason that your method of detecting it is fallacious tripe.

Also, you might reconsider posting emails that misspell "its" and "category." After all, you're trying to convince a lot of hard-nosed skeptics that you're not the Grand Marshal of the Moron Parade.

Cheerio,

T.H.


Filed under: With friends like these...

1 Comments:

  • My comments, which certainly would have gotten deleted had I posted them on Dembski's site:

    "Tell me how the “aliens” can know this Golden Record is not the product of unintelligent processes (nature) and I’ll tell you how I know DNA falls into the same [category]."

    OK, it's really quite simple. We are assuming that the aliens will percieve the universe very similar to ourselves. If so, then they will be familiar with what types of effects can be expected from unselected random natural processes. We also assume that the spacecraft will be found in space, where only another space-faring species would be able to find it.

    The combination of these two factors may not be enough if the aliens are so different from us as to be unable to comprehend the meaning of the etchings which give the instructions on how to play and interpret the record. They may very well see those etchings as random scratches caused by passing space debris, especially if the craft arrives in a very banged up condition.

    It is the assumption of commonality of mind, on our part and theirs, which would allow them to grasp that the golden record is from an intelligent source.

    If an alien scientist were to propose an explanation for the etchings, it would have to back its theory up by demonstrating the correctness of that explanation by showing that there was information present that led to a greater understanding of the information, i.e. playing the recording.

    Could this also be the case with DNA? Sure! So prove it. Extrordinary claims require extrodinary evidence. Play the message you think is encoded in our DNA (a la Star Trek TNG).

    But, your case isn't that strong is it, Dembski? You don't actually think there's a message there, just some vague notion of complexity implying intelligence. There's no genetic tatoo on our bodies telling us how to interpret the DNA as a message, no objective clues of any kind for that matter, just your assurance that your mind has something in common with God. Sorry, not good enough.

    By Blogger CRoze, at 9:59 AM  

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