Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

ARCHIVE: Signals from space aliens or random chance?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Originally posted by Knight View Post
    OK, so lets prove once and for all that intelligence (no jokes about my intelligence please) can in fact produce the image in question.

    I submit to you (and for your entertainment pleasure).....

    Marilyn Monroe juggling fish.
    That image is full of win.
    “There's nothing I like less than bad arguments for a view that I hold dear.” - Daniel Dennett

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Johnny View Post
      That image is full of win.
      "I believe in Christianity, as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." C.S. Lewis

      "Don't believe that there's nothing that's true, don't believe in this modern machine." Switchfoot

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Knight View Post
        … The Marilyn Monroe picture is just an example.
        But it is the precise example that you defined and then made the unqualified statement that it would NEVER be seen. You are probably right that it would never be seen, not because it will never occur, but because nobody in this life is going to sit all the people on earth down and examine every displayed image for as long as it takes.

        But I claim that if no one but me does the test, and I am so lazy that I only flash one image on my TV, that image has a non-zero (a very very very small – but non-zero) chance of being MM.
        Randomness has a nearly infinite pool of possible images. Marilyn Monroe juggling bowling balls. Marilyn Monroe juggling bowling balls in color. Marilyn Monroe juggling bowling in purple pajamas. Red Skeleton juggling Marilyn Monroe juggling bowling balls.

        When my college professor used the example of Marilyn Monroe juggling fish he could have picked any example (real or imagined).

        How about....

        Any picture taken by every camera for all of time.

        Any frame of every movie ever shot by every camera through all of history.

        Any vision, of every eye, every seen by every human for all of time.


        The pool of comprehensible images is nearly infinite!
        The key qualifier you chose is “nearly”. In this context, “nearly infinite” means really really big. I agree. In fact, as per Stripe, the exact number is 256640x480. Really big, but most definitely not infinite. For example, next to a googolplex, that number is almost unimaginably insignificant.

        And in that set of 256640x480 images observed by my thought experiment friends will be found every variant of MM image you have itemized, plus every camera image you mention, and every vision of every eye, plus 4 never-before seen images of MM kissing Godzilla's toes (each of the 4 toes).

        You need to differentiate between what a TV screen can show, and what a camera can take, or the human eye has seen. Every image on that TV has to be one of Stripe’s 256640x480 images. The TV simply has no other pattern of pixels it can invoke. That number is so huge that it seems to be infinite, and your visual memory is low enough that even if identical frames were flashed is completely different scenes separated by only a few seconds, you would not detect it.

        Think of a very crude TV capable of only 12 lines with 16 dots across each line, each dot in one of 4 shades of gray. Pictures on that TV would only be recognizable if they were of things that don’t need detail to be recognized. That effect is often seen at major sports stadiums when the scoreboard, with it’s limited pattern of lights, is used to display what is easily recognized as aerial fireworks after a touchdown or home run. It’s really a lousy picture, but it is the best that “TV” can do.

        Your TV has a much finer picture, but it has limits just as real. A picture that depends on the display of very fine details goes flat on a typical TV. TV production professionals know that, and keep that in mind when planning scenery and costumes. And that is behind the big push now for HD TV, to extend the detailed resolution to finer detail than yesteryear’s TVs had. 20 years from now you might see a new generation of “Super-def” TVs hit the market, so that even if really big wall-side displays are examined closely, the pixels will be very small (but still not infinitely small).

        Even the human eye has a “pixel” limit. Each visual nerve receptor in the back of your eye closely approximates a pixel on a super good Hi-Hi-def TV. Once TVs start reaching the number of pixels in the human eye, then the benefit in higher numbers of TV pixels diminishes.
        Yet, randomness produces nothing but unordered snow, over and over again. Randomness does not produce detailed comprehensible ordered images.
        Looks that way to a casual observer, but it just ain’t so

        Comment


        • Originally posted by ThePhy View Post
          Think of a very crude TV capable of only 12 lines with 16 dots across each line, each dot in one of 4 shades of gray. Pictures on that TV would only be recognizable if they were of things that don’t need detail to be recognized. That effect is often seen at major sports stadiums when the scoreboard, with it’s limited pattern of lights, is used to display what is easily recognized as aerial fireworks after a touchdown or home run. It’s really a lousy picture, but it is the best that “TV” can do.
          If you were generating a random signal let me give you a preview of what you would see for eternity.
          Also be sure to.... Join TOL on Facebook | Follow TOL on Twitter
          TOL Newbies CLICK HERE or....upgrade your TOL today!

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Knight View Post
            If you were generating a random signal let me give you a preview of what you would see for eternity.
            Good example. Looks like the “TV” you embedded in your post is about a 10 row, 10 column pixel one. Each pixel seems to have 2 intensity levels. Using Stripe’s basic formula, we come up with 210x10 possible patterns on your TV.

            Now display your Marilyn Monroe pic on that TV, so we can see exactly what pattern we are looking for.

            Then on the very first random pattern I see, the odds of it being the MM one are 1 part in 210x10. Not likely to be the first one, but not a zero percent chance either. Definitely not “Never”.

            In fact, in the eternity you allude to, how does the number of years in eternity compare to the number of years in 210x10 seconds (assuming one frame per second)? Is your god going to short-change you by giving less than an infinite number of seconds in your eternity? Remember an infinite number of seconds is somewhat bigger than 3.14159 x 123 x 87.4 x 210x10 seconds. (The 3.14159 is a magic number, the significance of which I am not at liberty to divulge. The 123 is about how many people come to DBC. The 87.4 is how many wacko ideas the prime moderator of these forums comes up with annually.)

            p.s. I didn't embed any "Bible Gateway" links in my post. I have no idea where they are coming from.
            Last edited by ThePhy; May 24, 2008, 07:08 AM. Reason: typo

            Comment


            • Originally posted by ThePhy View Post
              p.s. I didn't embed any "Bible Gateway" links in my post. I have no idea where they are coming from.
              The software is identifying "The" as "Thesallonians" abbreviated.
              Funny how threads morph.


              For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." ~ Paul


              "You should never wave to someone you don't know. What if he doesn't have a hand? Then he'll just think you're being cocky!" ~Mitch Hedberg

              __.._

              Comment


              • Originally posted by ThePhy View Post
                Good example. Looks like the “TV” you embedded in your post is about a 10 row, 10 column pixel one. Each pixel seems to have 2 intensity levels. Using Stripe’s basic formula, we come up with 210x10 possible patterns on your TV.

                Now display your Marilyn Monroe pic on that TV, so we can see exactly what pattern we are looking for.

                Then on the very first random pattern I see, the odds of it being the MM one are 1 part in 210x10. Not likely to be the first one, but not a zero percent chance either. Definitely not “Never”.

                In fact, in the eternity you allude to, how does the number of years in eternity compare to the number of years in 210x10 seconds (assuming one frame per second)? Is your god going to short-change you by giving less that an infinite number of seconds in your eternity? Remember an infinite number of seconds is somewhat bigger than 3.14159 x 123 x 87.4 x 210x10 seconds. (The 3.14159 is a magic number, the significance of which I am not at liberty to divulge. The 123 is about how many people come to DBC. The 87.4 is how many wacko ideas the prime moderator of these forums comes up with annually.)
                So basically what you are saying is randomness could produce a blob of mud in the shape of a living cell, or super simplistic blurry image that might subjectively represent a recognizable image, I don't disagree with that. But can randomness produce a detailed picture of Marilyn Monroe juggling fish or a self replicating living cell?

                The specifics of what makes something complex happens to make all the difference in the world. When we see "pictures" in the clouds we imagine what we think the cloud looks like subjectively. Yet when an airplane writes... "Eat at Joe's Cafe" in the sky we don't assume that the clouds randomly produced such a message.

                If we are only shooting for simplistic representations of complex things we haven't achieved complexity and therefore we haven't achieved anything.
                Also be sure to.... Join TOL on Facebook | Follow TOL on Twitter
                TOL Newbies CLICK HERE or....upgrade your TOL today!

                Comment


                • Originally posted by chickenman View Post
                  The software is identifying "The" as "Thesallonians" abbreviated.
                  Can you get Knight to add a feature to automatically link any occurences of "ath" to some good atheist site?

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Knight View Post
                    So basically what you are saying is randomness could produce a blob of mud in the shape of a living cell, or super simplistic blurry image that might subjectively represent a recognizable image, I don't disagree with that. But can randomness produce a detailed picture of Marilyn Monroe juggling fish or a self replicating living cell?
                    The simplistic image was produced by randomness. You want a whole lot more detail in the image, fine. Double the number of pixels. Now it may take a lot more time before the likelihood of the right image having appeared becomes appreciable. But that has not been contested. The point is, if you have to wait a lot longer, then wait. If it was likely to appear in the simplistic TV, given a more complex TV, you may have to wait a lot longer. But there is a very definite mathematical relationship that relates the odds of the simple case to the more complex TV. (And this branch of statistics is not the type that gets routinely parodied as “you can prove anything with statistics”) Nothing is different in the two cases, outside of the number of trials needed to reach a certain likelihood of seeing the desired picture.
                    The specifics of what makes something complex happens to make all the difference in the world. When we see "pictures" in the clouds we imagine what we think the cloud looks like subjectively. Yet when an airplane writes... "Eat at Joe's Cafe" in the sky we don't assume that the clouds randomly produced such a message.
                    Because the odds of that happening are so astronomically low as to be effectively (not identically) flat zero. Just like your SETI message.
                    If we are only shooting for simplistic representations of complex things we haven't achieved complexity and therefore we haven't achieved anything.
                    The way the relevant statistical mathematics are derived is by examining simple cases and discerning what the mathematical relationships are. When those are under your belt, moving on up to big numbers (big TVs) can be done with well-understood mathematics backing it. Gut level judgments are fine (and often a good starting point), but gut-level feelings can be shown to be very misleading in some cases. We have achieved a whole lot. Developing firm mathematical rules based on the simple, we can better handle the complex.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by ThePhy View Post
                      Can you get Knight to add a feature to automatically link any occurences of "ath" to some good atheist site?
                      Funny how threads morph.


                      For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." ~ Paul


                      "You should never wave to someone you don't know. What if he doesn't have a hand? Then he'll just think you're being cocky!" ~Mitch Hedberg

                      __.._

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Knight View Post
                        "people of earth, we would like to introduce ourselves to you we are a race of intelligent creatures that lives in a galaxy far, far away and we want to communicate to you that you are not alone in the universe."

                        Would you be able to determine based on that signal from space that their was intelligent life in the universe, and they were trying to communicate with us? Or would you deny the existence of intelligent life and write off the message as being merely the product of random chance that was "bound to happen"?[/B]

                        What would be your assumption and why?

                        Thank you in advance for your honest answer.
                        I'd choose door #3: that there was intelligent life in another dimension, posing as intelligent life in the physical universe. In other words, demons whose agenda is to mis-lead us.
                        In case of Rapture, I'll be on Eternity Leave.

                        Comment


                        • theoretically speaking of course,

                          my answer is yes, I would presume that string of words to be an intelegible message from some life form or other. Of course hoaxes ruled out and conclusive evidence that the 'message' did indeed come from farther away than any message a human could have concocted would be necessary, but yes, that would indeed be something!

                          I dont buy the ball bit one bit though I must say.

                          the Marilyn comment was pretty good too.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Knight View Post
                            This is a bit long, I apologize in advance for that but there is no way for me to ask this question any more brief than this.

                            Imagine that you visiting your friend for the weekend and your friend works for the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), I am sure you are all familiar with them, they sit around all day, everyday for the last 48 years or so scanning the universe for signals that come from the darkness of space looking to see if any of these signals demonstrate the hallmarks of intelligence i.e., some type of pattern. Said in short... they search the heavens for intelligent life in the universe.

                            And in all those years the SETI project has had really only one "wow" moment where a signal resembled something "other" than random noise. Now of course this "wow" moment didn't really amount to much other than a few characters lined up a tad more orderly than usual. I attached the "wow" signal below so you could see the minor order in the sea of randomness.

                            But lets imagine that on the weekend you were visiting something much more than a "wow" moment occurred. Lets imagine that a signal was detected emanating from the depths of space that read.....

                            "people of earth, we would like to introduce ourselves to you we are a race of intelligent creatures that lives in a galaxy far, far away and we want to communicate to you that you are not alone in the universe."

                            Obviously, this message would be one of the most incredible discoveries in the history of mankind.

                            But what would you believe? Would you believe it was actually sent from an intelligent life source from another galaxy? Or would you believe it was merely an amazing coincidence of chance that caused a random signal to just appear to have that amazing understandable order?

                            What many of you have been arguing in another thread leads me to believe that you COULD NOT determine that the message was from an intelligent source and instead it was simply "bound to happen" sooner or later because of the probability of random things eventually looking ordered (by chance). In the thread I referenced ThePhy stated that a tennis ball if thrown against a brick wall enough times would occasionally "slip through" a solid brick wall every now and then simply because the atoms and molecules might line up just right. In fact, he argued that it would, and will, happen several times if the ball was thrown enough.

                            Notice what thePhy stated on the other thread...
                            Therefore ThePhy's argument is... "it's bound to happen!"

                            Now, I am pretty sure that a signal coming from outer space that had 40 words in a comprehensible order... (i.e., "people of earth, we would like to introduce ourselves to you we are a race of intelligent creatures that lives in a galaxy far, far away and we want to communicate to you that you are not alone in the universe.") is still FAR, FAR, FAR, more likely to occur by chance than a tennis ball passing through a brick wall or a picture of Marilyn Monroe juggling fish, accidentally generated on a computer screen by random pixels.

                            Therefore, I would love an honest answer from all of you to the following question.... (finally I get to my question)

                            Would you be able to determine based on that signal from space that their was intelligent life in the universe, and they were trying to communicate with us? Or would you deny the existence of intelligent life and write off the message as being merely the product of random chance that was "bound to happen"?


                            What would be your assumption and why?

                            Thank you in advance for your honest answer.
                            well, for the small amount of time that we have been sending those signals up, it is vastly more likely to be intelligent life.
                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • I just read read through this entire thread. It is a good one.

                              There seem to be 3 events in the foreground of the conversation and a 4th one that is mainly in the background. Those events are the "wow" message that SETI received and that Knight posted, Knight's hypothetical message, the random MM pixel picture, and the tennis ball going through a wall. To list them by probability (highest to lowest):

                              1) "wow" message: The only one we have seen happen and we say it was random

                              2) Knight's hypothetical message: could happen randomly but if it did happen we'd say it was a result of intelligence

                              3) MM picture: random

                              4) tennis ball: random

                              I may have 3rd and fourth switched but in a way I'm not sure that part is significant.

                              Just to focus on the 2 messages for now.....people say the first was random but if the second one occurred it would not be random. I assume it is because Knight's message has a much greater degree of complexity. Is that a good assumption? And is everything I said accurate so far?

                              If so, how complex must something be for intelligence to be assigned to it? Let's say we give a 3rd message that SETI receives. This one just says "earth". Would you say it was a result of randomness or intelligence?

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by PyramidHead View Post
                                well, for the small amount of time that we have been sending those signals up, it is vastly more likely to be intelligent life.
                                Since the length of time that SETI has been in operation is important to you, how long would SETI need to be searching for signals for you to say it was just a random occurrence?

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X