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Author Topic:   Detecting Intelligence - SETI and ID Compared
jar
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Posts: 29008
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 31 of 46 (645038)
12-22-2011 3:10 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by New Cat's Eye
12-22-2011 3:07 PM


Which is what I have said all along. Sheesh.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-22-2011 3:07 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
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Posts: 11440
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 32 of 46 (645039)
12-22-2011 3:20 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by jar
12-22-2011 3:10 PM


It sounds like you're trying to say that they're not really looking for intelligence.

Why do you think there's controversy over what you're saying if its something so simple?

Your questioning can be a bit cryptic...


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Straggler
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Posts: 10196
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 33 of 46 (645061)
12-22-2011 7:21 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Taq
12-22-2011 12:05 PM


Taq writes:

Are we sending out a signal like the one you describe, one that could be detected across large galactic distances?

I don't know. But if we are sending signals and we want to say something like "We exist and we are reasonably intelligent" then the sort of signal I descibed would seem a decent way of doing that.

But I am not claiming any special knowledge or expertise here. Frankly I naively thought I was onto an original (in EvC terms) comparison until Mod and others made it obvious that this topic has done the rounds previously.

Taq writes:

If a distant civilization picked up our signal they could at least determine that we are using a binary code of some sort, or at least using modulation within the signal to convey information. I think this would be enough to determine that there is an intelligence behind the signal.

OK. This brings us back to the thread focus. How could they tell it was intelligently sourced? What exactlyis it that gives it away? Specifity? Complexity? What?

I ask not because I disagree with you but because I don't know exactly what it is that does make something obviously intelligently sourced.

IDists throw up all sorts of things. Information. Specifity. Complexity. Etc. But when you ask them in what way these things are exhibited and how you can tell them from that which occurs without intelligence they fudge and fumble and ultimately resort to an "It's obvious when you see it" approach.

If SETI is different (and I think it is) I am asking in what sense exactly is it different in terms of objectively differentiating between genuine intelligent sourcing and the sort of thinking that leads some to conclude that life on Earth (for example) must be intelligently designed.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


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Straggler
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Posts: 10196
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 34 of 46 (645064)
12-22-2011 7:49 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by New Cat's Eye
12-22-2011 3:20 PM


SETI is seeking out any intelligence that has come to the same conclusions about communicating across interstellar distances that we have.

Now you could (and I would) say that such a conclusion is based on objective knowledge of physical reality and the way in which certain aspects of physical reality (i.e. what we know as EM waves) behave. In which case the type of intelligence is largely irrelevant except in so far as it is able to discern aspects of objective reality.

Or you could say that such conclusions are dependent on the type of intelligence that has drawn such a conclusion. In which case only an intelligence very similar to our own wouldconceivably do such a thing.

Rahvin, I and even you seem to be assuming/arguing the former approach. Jar sorta ambiguously seems to be taking te latter approach.

CS about jar writes:

Your questioning can be a bit cryptic...

In my experience jar can be a contributor of great significance when he can be arsed. But when he can't be arsed, and I would suggest his arsedness drops dramatically when he is significantly challenged in any way, he resorts to trite ambiguous soundbites that aren't worth the posting space.


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jar
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Posts: 29008
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 35 of 46 (645067)
12-22-2011 8:25 PM
Reply to: Message 34 by Straggler
12-22-2011 7:49 PM


Actually, even humans do not intentionally broadcast across space using the EM spectrum unless it is as narrow and directional as possible.

SETI is looking for EM transmissions that reach us.

There would be two possible sources for such signals, a civilization that is sending signals to some other civilization that is within the beam width when the signal gets to us (or was in the beam at some time between when the signal originated and it arrived at our location) OR ...

... like the signals radiating out from earth, waste artifacts of local communication.

Most of the EM transmissions originating on earth are that part of old radio and TV signals that did not get reflected off the ionosphere as intended and so escaped to propagate through space.

As soon as we were able we changed our transmission procedure to make EM transmissions as directional as possible.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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 Message 34 by Straggler, posted 12-22-2011 7:49 PM Straggler has not yet responded

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DWIII
Member (Idle past 642 days)
Posts: 72
From: United States
Joined: 06-30-2011


Message 36 of 46 (645072)
12-22-2011 9:30 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by jar
12-22-2011 8:25 PM


jar writes:


Actually, even humans do not intentionally broadcast across space using the EM spectrum unless it is as narrow and directional as possible.

SETI is looking for EM transmissions that reach us.

There would be two possible sources for such signals, a civilization that is sending signals to some other civilization that is within the beam width when the signal gets to us (or was in the beam at some time between when the signal originated and it arrived at our location) OR ...

... like the signals radiating out from earth, waste artifacts of local communication.

Most of the EM transmissions originating on earth are that part of old radio and TV signals that did not get reflected off the ionosphere as intended and so escaped to propagate through space.

As soon as we were able we changed our transmission procedure to make EM transmissions as directional as possible.

Which leads to a third possibility. With our current technology, we are on the threshold of being able to detect extrasolar Earth-like planets. If an extraterrestrial intelligence is barely able to determine the existence of terrestrial planets in our solar system, we ourselves could conceivably be one of their intentional targets of a directed continuous narrow-band transmission, presumably designed by them to get our attention somehow (as a precursor to actual communication). One of the reasons for SETI research is to either detect the existence of such easy-to-recognize signaling, or to rule it out.

So far, we can confidently say (pretty much) that the sky does not seem to be littered with such attention-getting beacons.


DWIII

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Just being real
Member (Idle past 1374 days)
Posts: 369
Joined: 08-26-2010


Message 37 of 46 (645092)
12-23-2011 6:07 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
12-21-2011 1:05 PM


They both operate under the premise that we are able to meaningfully discern between things which have been intelligently designed by non-humans and things which havenít been designed at all. Are they correct?
An "intelligent" way to resolve this (pardon my pun) would be to first work out exactly what the problem is before trying to solve it. First we need to decide what "I"- (intelligence) is exactly. I think that most of us would agree that I= the cognitive ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations, and including the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria.

And if we can all agree that this is a fair definition of intelligence regardless of how much or how little, and regardless of being a human, an elephant, or an extraterrestrial alien, then we can move on to the next step in the equation. That would be to determine something that is only a byproduct of intelligence, or a "Product" of intelligence "only" if you will (IP ). I would suggest that since only things with an "intended purpose" can be achieved by an intelligent source, that "intended purpose" would be one type of IP. Therefore even if we don't have the actual "I" source presently available to study, we can detect "I" by looking for its product IP.

So the next step is to determine what exactly are the characteristics of IP. Also another factor in this equation is to consider the important roll the observer plays. As one poster said, "how can we find what we don't know to look for?" Therefore the observer "O" must be able to recognize IP in order to even know that "I" is or was present. Therefore from here on out when I refer to "O" I am referring particularly to O's recognition ability. There are two major factors inherently necessary in the characteristics of IP. There must first be an intended transmission of something, and there must also be a receiver and the receiver must be completely independent of the transmission. For example in a functional way an object like a cup was transmitted, by the source to be used by someone (the receiver) to hold liquid. In communication, symbols or sounds etc. are transmitted for the intended purpose to be received and relay information.

The final stage is to add up all three components. Let me be clear, all three components are required to be present in order to infer IP. Only T + R + O = IP detection. An observer may see a very complex pattern "T" being generated. But without observing and recognizing a R that specifically uses T, all it is is a complex pattern.

So now lets apply this model to the SETI subject. As Taq very correctly stated in message 10, SETI is searching for a very narrow bandwidth radio transmission. Putting aside all discussions about this requiring modern human like tech. lets just look at the basic principle as to why a narrow radio bandwidth set out from the wide bandwidth noise would imply intelligence. Observation has not ever revealed a naturally occurring narrow band so the thought is that narrow bands would require an intentional artificial source. This would imply that there would have to also be something that that source intended to receive the signal. Therefore if SETI were to detect the narrow band, there would be the T and the O in our equation, and the R is implied. Granted this would be greatly stretching to grasp at straws, but its something to start with. If from there they were to detect that signal was in fact "expressing the value of Pi to 128 decimal places in binary emitted at the frequency of the Hydrogen line," we could then deduce that not only were we the O, but quite possibly the intended R. In such a case we could be almost 100% sure we had detected IP.

So then the big question. If in the SETI case, IP would be suspected just at the detection of a narrow bandwidth (completely void of knowing the existence of R or not), why then when we very clearly have the presence of T, R, and O in the case of DNA code, is it not considered to be IP?


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Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Dr Adequate, posted 12-23-2011 6:15 AM Just being real has not yet responded
 Message 42 by Taq, posted 12-23-2011 3:14 PM Just being real has responded
 Message 43 by bluegenes, posted 12-23-2011 6:36 PM Just being real has responded

    
Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15934
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


(1)
Message 38 of 46 (645094)
12-23-2011 6:15 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by Just being real
12-23-2011 6:07 AM


So then the big question. If in the SETI case, IP would be suspected just at the detection of a narrow bandwidth (completely void of knowing the existence of R or not), why then when we very clearly have the presence of T, R, and O in the case of DNA code, is it not considered to be IP?

Partly because we do not "clearly" have the presence of "T", "R" and "O" in the case of DNA, and partly because your criterion is not used by scientists 'cos of being stupid.

But you already have a thread on which to be wrong about this subject. Why butt in here to be daft on a thread specifically intended to get away from generalized creationist stupidity and to just deal with SETI?


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 Message 37 by Just being real, posted 12-23-2011 6:07 AM Just being real has not yet responded

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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 1533 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 39 of 46 (645097)
12-23-2011 7:00 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Dr Adequate
12-23-2011 6:15 AM


Not just SETI
Why butt in here to be daft on a thread specifically intended to get away from generalized creationist stupidity and to just deal with SETI?

The title of the thread rather suggests that it is to do with SETI and ID along with comparisons between the two. JBR's post seems to be eminently on topic, however wrong, vague or incomprehensible he may be in his argumentation and conclusions.

TTFN,

WK


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 Message 38 by Dr Adequate, posted 12-23-2011 6:15 AM Dr Adequate has responded

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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 15934
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 40 of 46 (645099)
12-23-2011 7:12 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by Wounded King
12-23-2011 7:00 AM


Re: Not just SETI
The title of the thread rather suggests that it is to do with SETI and ID along with comparisons between the two. JBR's post seems to be eminently on topic, however wrong, vague or incomprehensible he may be in his argumentation and conclusions.

No, look, the question is how can we detect intelligence among all the information we get from the stars. That's a good question. Someone talking about DNA is not addressing this question, but rather seizing the opportunity to be wrong about genetics.


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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 1533 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 41 of 46 (645124)
12-23-2011 12:45 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by Dr Adequate
12-23-2011 7:12 AM


Re: Not just SETI
No, look, the question is how can we detect intelligence among all the information we get from the stars.

That may be the only question you are interested in, but it is far from the only one that Straggler posed in his OP to which JBR was replying.

Someone talking about DNA is not addressing this question

JBR only spent half a sentence mentioning DNA after four paragraphs about how he thinks SETI should approach things. Are we to take it that you have no objections to the model he wishes to apply to SETI?

TTFN,

WK


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Taq
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Message 42 of 46 (645134)
12-23-2011 3:14 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Just being real
12-23-2011 6:07 AM


why then when we very clearly have the presence of T, R, and O in the case of DNA code, is it not considered to be IP?

Because we see unintelligent organisms like bacteria producing DNA. Therefore, DNA is the product of unintelligent processes, and the change in DNA through time is also observed to be the result of naturally occuring mechanisms (i.e. evolution).


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bluegenes
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Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 43 of 46 (645146)
12-23-2011 6:36 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Just being real
12-23-2011 6:07 AM


Just being real writes:

I would suggest that since only things with an "intended purpose" can be achieved by an intelligent source, that "intended purpose" would be one type of IP.

I think you meant to say that things with an "intended purpose" can be achieved only by an intelligent source. Am I right?

JBR writes:

In communication, symbols or sounds etc. are transmitted for the intended purpose to be received and relay information.

No. We certainly can't assume intent in everything that's communicated. Did you mean "in intelligently designed communication?"

JBR writes:

Observation has not ever revealed a naturally occurring narrow band so the thought is that narrow bands would require an intentional artificial source.

That's incomplete and misleading. The SETI observation is not only that unintelligent sources are not known to produce what SETI are looking for, but also, and very importantly, that one intelligent source definitely is known to produce exactly what they are looking for.

Just being real writes:

So then the big question. If in the SETI case, IP would be suspected just at the detection of a narrow bandwidth (completely void of knowing the existence of R or not), why then when we very clearly have the presence of T, R, and O in the case of DNA code, is it not considered to be IP?

SETI aren't looking for your "T" (which you define loosely as a "complex pattern") or for "R". They are simply looking for other examples of something that they already have one example of, and for which, in the case of that one example, they know the cause.

Macromolecules do not do things with "intended purpose". A transmitter receiver relationship does not require intelligence on the part of either sender or receiver. SETI receives signals all the time and ignores them for this reason. They (SETI) are intelligent receivers, but they've no reason so far to suspect that any of the senders are intelligent.

Cells transmit and receive signals all the time, and they have no intelligence. And surely you can think of examples when you receive signals that your brain can translate into knowledge and action, but there is no intelligent intent on the part of the senders of those signals?

Edited by bluegenes, : missing word


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Just being real
Member (Idle past 1374 days)
Posts: 369
Joined: 08-26-2010


Message 44 of 46 (645468)
12-27-2011 7:07 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Taq
12-23-2011 3:14 PM


Because we see unintelligent organisms like bacteria producing DNA.
I'm not familiar with a study where bacteria have been observed "producing" the code found written in the DNA of the organisms? Unless your confusing REproduction with production?

the change in DNA through time is also observed to be the result of naturally occuring mechanisms
I'm also unfamiliar with any studies where they have observed beneficially NEW never before existed information getting added to the DNA code of any multicelled organisms through mutation and natural selection? If you are familiar with any please do link me to them. I'll be happy to take a look at them.
This message is a reply to:
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Just being real
Member (Idle past 1374 days)
Posts: 369
Joined: 08-26-2010


Message 45 of 46 (645469)
12-27-2011 7:07 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by bluegenes
12-23-2011 6:36 PM


I think you meant to say that things with an "intended purpose" can be achieved only by an intelligent source. Am I right?
Yes, I'm afraid my grammar was a little off. Thank you for the correction.

...that one intelligent source definitely is known to produce exactly what they are looking for.
Yes, and I would go one further (since we are stating the obvious) and say that so far to date they only know of one source capable of producing that sort of signal. This fact does nothing to negate my point.

SETI aren't looking for your "T" (which you define loosely as a "complex pattern") or for "R".
Excuse me? I didn't define "T" as a complex pattern. T could actually be any pattern or shape. And I didn't say that they were looking for T. I said they were looking of an inference of IP by the existence of T+R+O, which is what they would have if they found such a signal.

A transmitter receiver relationship does not require intelligence on the part of either sender or receiver.
I'm not saying that the function can not occur apart from intelligence. Again my wrist watch runs quite well with out a single intelligent sole around. It is the detection of intelligence that requires an intelligent observer. However I can detect intelligence in the transmitter receiver relationship of the parts within my watch. I am saying that this type of design function requires an original intelligence to create the process.
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