Wednesday, July 11, 2012

SETI needs Intelligent Design

As Dr. Gonzales' and Dr. Richards' show in the book "Privileged Planet" a SETI project with materialistic metaphysics does not have a hope in heaven to expect to find a habitable planet.  The improbabilities involved in the formation of habitable planet in the universe are extremely small, much smaller than the probabilistic resources available in our universe.

Fortunately, the fact we live on a habitable planet within our universe makes the possibility of a trans-universal designer extremely strong.  At least it makes such a possibility the much preferable explanation to a process that works through merely chance and necessity.  If an intelligent designer created our planet, despite the enormous probabilistic barriers to doing so, then this makes the possibility of other habitable planets a live possibility.

This possibility gives SETI a way out of the probabilistic hole they dug for themselves with materialism.  It is only if SETI allows for the possibility of intelligent design that they can justify further searches for other habited planets in the universe.

That is not all.  The very interesting result from "Privileged Planet" is more than the fact our planet is very finely tuned for highly complex living beings.  Additionally, our planet has been uniquely placed and constructed to make the discovery of the universe a tractable task.  Furthermore, the extremely amazing thing is that the finely tuned parameters for life are the same parameters for discovery.  This requires an even higher level of design than if these parameters were independent.

However, this third aspect is not explained by either the function of survival or discovery.  Also, it is both not necessitated by the situation while at the same time exhibiting a highly intelligent design decision.  Since design decisions are made for a reason, we need to identify a third reason for this third feature of our finely tuned abode.

So, what does the convergence between survival and discovery entail?  It entails that wherever there are  habitable planets in the world, they will share a common frame of conceptual reference.  What purpose would a common set of concepts serve?  On the Pioneer space mission, a disc was placed on the craft that attempted to communicate aspects of our world to extraterrestrial beings, and part of this communication made use of concepts that should be universal, such as mathematical concepts.  Or another example, in CS Lewis' "Out of the Silent Planet" the protagonist at one point attempts to communicate with an inhabitant of Mars by making use of common concepts the two share.

With these considerations in mind, one possible explanation for the convergence between survival and discovery is that it provides a means for disparate inhabitants of the universe to understand each other.  Why provide a means of understanding?  Perhaps because the inhabitants are meant to discover each other...

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