Manifest “question-begging” fallacy

(Christy Hemphill) #61

You think SETI is searching for messages from non-physical aliens? How would it even be possible for us to detect a message from an intelligence that had no physical form?

(Daniel Fisher) #62

But not for lack of trying. We have no experience of humans doing these things only because such a feat is far, far, far too advanced for even our intelligence. Hence why it seems more reasonable to me to postulate a source with greater intelligence than ours, over against a process with no intelligence.

One last thought, since you mentioned it I had to toss this in…

During a submarine ride a few years back, I noticed on all the scopes that there were no ships of any kind anywhere we were able to detect. But the “active intercept” (the devices that determine if we have been “pinged” by active sonar) was gong crazy… I inquired to the sonar operator if we were picking up pings from a ship that was far away, he clarified that no, we were being pinged by dolphins. Their biological machinery uses essentially the same technology that our machinery does. Only they do it far better; their active sonar transmitter, receiving array, and processing computers are far more sophisticated and give exponentially greater accuracy and speed than anything we’ve invented or could even conceive of at this point.

I won’t argue semantics of “machines,” but I am constantly amazed at how much more sophisticated living things are than anything we have invented, especially when we’re comparing uses of the same technology. Hence why it seems so odd to me to postulate decreasing requirement of intelligence as the level of sophistication increases.

(Daniel Fisher) #63

(You need to watch more “Star Trek”! :slight_smile: non-corporeal beings made of pure energy show up it seems in nearly every fourth episode…)

(Christy Hemphill) #64

When my husband was in the Army and deployed to Kuwait for the Iraq war, he met some of the Navy team that had dolphins identifying mines. It was pretty amazing that they could do what the best military tech could not.


One thing I have never heard is how long did this intelligence existed. Since new species still show up is the intelligence still around?

You forget you are talking to EC and we know there was intelligence in the process.

(Mitchell W McKain) #66

Except that it has been demonstrated that evolutionary algorithms are more intelligent than we are in quite a number of ways. Because of what they lacks, some might not call them intelligent at all. But this doesn’t change the fact they can design machines better than our best engineers and crush our best professional players in games of strategy. So it just isn’t correct to say that the process of evolution lacks the kind of intelligence to do what the evidence tells us it had done.

The best you can say is that these algorithms have been devised (even if copying to some degree the natural process) and set to doing these tasks by intelligent human beings, and therefore by analogy you can suggest that the evolution of life was similarly devised and set to doing the task of developing living organisms by an intelligent creator. And I have little doubt that in both case the intelligent agency interfered whenever the process got stuck or needed tweaking.

(system) closed #67

This topic was automatically closed 3 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.