Intelligent Design, The Science of it All

Objective Truth part five

PART V

There are only two types of causes, natural and intelligent.  Common sense tells us the Grand Canyon had a natural cause and Mount Rushmore had an intelligent cause.  We have a natural ability to spot intelligent design even in the simplest form, like a footprint in the sand or a heart carved in a tree.  The SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) program would be thrilled to hear even a very simple organized message from outer space on one of their radio telescopes.  They would immediately know that it indicated intelligent life.  So if a simple message from outer space or the words on this page require intelligence, what about the most intricate design known to man?

SETI-Antenna-array

The search for extraterrestrial life began over fifty years ago.  The SETI Institute has methodically searched the heavens for extraterrestrial intelligence for over twenty-five years and found nothing.  There is no evidence of intelligent life “out there.”  According to these esteemed scientists, our galaxy is 12 billion years old. Some estimate that a civilization as advanced as ours, or more advanced, would colonize the entire galaxy in 5 to 50 million years.  Even if they did not want to “leave home,” they could use self-replicating space probes— sophisticated machines that can explore and reproduce themselves on alien worlds.  Such “Von Neumann probes” would allow an advanced civilization to explore the entire galaxy without leaving home, perhaps in less than a million years.  We have found no aliens, we have found no probes, we have found no signals.  So where are they? One or 5 or even 50 million years is a blip compared to the 12-billion-year age of our galaxy (just 1 percent of 12 billion years is 120 million years).  As we will see in chapter 12, our Earth is special.  Surely an advanced civilization, or its probes, would have reached Earth millions if not hundreds of millions of years ago.  An extremely advanced civilization might be able to alter the position or color of stars. Our telescopes reveal no evidence of that.  We have found absolutely no evidence that intelligent life exists anywhere else in the universe.  Of course, this evidence is inconclusive; it does not prove that life or even intelligent life does not exist “out there.” Perhaps there are a vast multitude of advanced civilizations that, for whatever reason, have no desire to make their presence known.

Or you could go with the theory of a comic strip characters Calvin and Hobbs—“ The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.”

In actual SETI research, scientists are looking for more subtle indicators of intelligence, namely, unnaturally modulated and focused radio signals. 12 Either way, SETI does presume that the presence of a complex and specified pattern would provide grounds for suspecting the existence of an intelligence. Moreover, SETI seeks precisely to establish the activity of an intelligent cause in a remote place and from a remote time in which intelligence is currently unknown.

Arguably, the unnaturally modulated electromagnetic signals that SETI scientists are looking for represent an improbable pattern, but not necessarily evidence of digitally encoded, functionally specified information. Some have noted this difference in the criterion that SETI uses to detect intelligence in order to discredit ID proponents who have cited SETI to legitimate design reasoning in biology. But, if anything, the SETI standard for detecting intelligence constitutes a less demanding threshold for detecting intelligence than that used by ID advocates. Whereas SETI requires only evidence of a channel of communication (i.e., an unnaturally modulated signal), I would argue for a design based upon the presence of functionally specified digital code within the communication channel.

In 1996 a SETI research group scanned all 202 of the solar-type stars within 155 light-years, listening for intelligent electromagnetic signals. They found none.  The latest SETI search effort places the minimum travel distance much farther away than 250 light-years.  A spacecraft traveling at 1 percent the velocity of light (nearly 7 million miles per hour) would require 25,000 years to traverse 250 light-years.  And this makes for a quick trip.  The odds of the travelers surviving so long in radiation and sustaining the journey’s supplies— not to mention psychological isolation— seem utterly remote.

Most scientists feel that the earth is the unique treasure of one planet in a billion trillion possible necessary combinations of temperature, size, gravity, rotation the so-called “Goldilocks” zone.

“The odds of these 122 constants that make it possible for our existence, being precisely as they are at 1 chance in 10138 power.  In mathematics this means: 1 chance in 1 with138 zeros after it.” Dr. Hugh Ross.  NOAA places the odds of being hit by lightning at 1 in 1,000,000 or 1 with six zeros after it. Your odds to win the California Super Lotto are 1 chance in 41,416,353 or a 4 with approximately 7 zeros after it.

“The laws [of physics] seem to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design. The universe must have a purpose.”  Paul Davies: British astrophysicist, Davies, P. 1984, Superforce: The Search for a Grand Unified Theory of Nature.

If you just look at the evidence from science, and assume no divine intent, it appears unlikely we will find another planet equally capable of sustaining life over billions of years in the entire Milky Way Galaxy.

Don’t tell me amino acids can be created by accident.  Don’t tell me about “billions and billions” of years for life to arise.  Don’t tell me about “countless” stars and planets in the universe.  It all doesn’t matter.  Using simple concepts of number— exponents— one can expose as false claims that life arose by accident. You cannot seriously expect to get a specified protein of 75 linked amino acids in the history of the universe, except as a product of already existing life, even if you assume that everything in the universe is made up of amino acids and even if you assume that amino acids will freely combine into 75-unit chains.  Period.  And there actually is no dispute about this fact.  Of course, it takes more than one functional protein to create life.  If you use blue-green algae as a model for the first life-form, it takes perhaps 2,000 functional and exquisitely coordinated proteins.  Yale physicist Harold Morowitz calculated the likelihood of life arising by chance as one in 10 to the one hundred billionth power (one in 10100,000,000,000).  We will get into that in more detail in the Part VI

Statistical zero, where scientists usually write something off as impossible, is 1 in 10to the 50th power, or 1 with 50 zeros after it.

There are relatively few atheists among neurologists and brain surgeons and among astrophysicists, but many among psychologists, sociologists, and historians.  The reason seems obvious: the first group study divine design, the second group study human undesign.

monkeysinternet

Someone once said that if you sat a million monkeys at a million typewriters for a million years, one of them would eventually type out all of Hamlet by chance.  However, when we find the text of Hamlet, we do not wonder whether it came from chance or monkeys.  There are all kinds of debates on this concept and I am not sure I really want to discuss it, but it did seem somewhat appropriate here and leads to my conclusion for this part.

Why then does the atheist use that incredibly improbable explanation for the universe?  Clearly, because it is his only chance of remaining an atheist.  At this point, we need a psychological explanation of the atheist rather than a logical explanation of the universe.  That is an objective truth (subjective conclusion though I believe it to be the truth) that is true for me and you, even if you do not want to believe it.

ADDENDUM 

I find myself need to make a clarification for the second time in my blogging career.  I certainly did not think that anybody would mistake the joke I made about subjective truth with the point of the Objective Truth in part V of the series I am writing.  Below is the original text with the corrections below it.

<< Statistical zero, where scientists usually write something off as impossible, is 1 in 10to the 50th power, or 1 with 50 zeros after it.

There are relatively few atheists among neurologists and brain surgeons and among astrophysicists, but many among psychologists, sociologists, and historians.  The reason seems obvious: the first group study divine design, the second group study human undesign.

Someone once said that if you sat a million monkeys at a million typewriters for a million years, one of them would eventually type out all of Hamlet by chance.  However, when we find the text of Hamlet, we do not wonder whether it came from chance or monkeys.  There are all kinds of debates on this concept and I am not sure I really want to discuss it, but it did seem somewhat appropriate here and leads to my conclusion for this part. 

Why then does the atheist use that incredibly improbable explanation for the universe?  Clearly, because it is his only chance of remaining an atheist.  At this point, we need a psychological explanation of the Atheist rather than a logical explanation of the universe.  That is an objective truth (subjective conclusion though I believe it to be the truth) that is true for me and you, even if you do not want to believe it. >>

The inference to the subjective conclusion was the need of a psychological exam for the Atheist.  The objective truth was the concept of statistical zero.  We will be examining the mathematical probabilities of some of the chance happenings claimed by evolutionary scientists and the convoluted statements to try to dismiss the Objective Truth of statistical zero.

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Objective Truth part five

    1. Thanks for the link. I have generally ignored RNA and mtRNA (messenger RNA) because of the more difficulty in RNA folding left or right handed which calls for mtRNA to already be there to fold the developing RNA correctly so that various enzymes can attach. That decreases the improbability drastically. Another thing is the “primordial soup” would generally destruct the proteins and amino acids due to UV rays and H20 dilution. I’ll go ahead and cover it in more detail, because here the FACTS or not completely settled on either side of the argument, but many of the opposing camps of scientists are working together on the issue. Thanks for the plug on Facebook.

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