# ARCHIVE: Signals from space aliens or random chance?

#### SUTG

##### New member
think the point about random processes is that each subsequent piece of data is constrained by the one that preceded it.

That would be a nonrandom process.

#### Nathon Detroit

##### New member
Actually, it should be 256640x480-1, because the image of Marilyn Monroe jugglig fish is impossible.
Only impossible through random means.

<------ SUTG
Critical thinking skills ---->​

#### SUTG

##### New member
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.

OK, now we're down to 256640x480-5.

#### SUTG

##### New member
Only impossible through random means.

Right. And only according to you and Stripe.

#### Stripe

Hall of Fame
That would be a nonrandom process.
This is where I need to find the article I referenced. I believe it said that no matter what process you define there will always be factors that influence the data one receives. So what we rightly call random is also constrained by the physical setting. Perhaps I err in referring to those constraints as a "pattern", but I'm sure you appreciate the point.

#### Stripe

Hall of Fame
Right. And only according to you and Stripe.

#### SUTG

##### New member

No. What makes you think that?

#### Nathon Detroit

##### New member

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.

#### Stripe

Hall of Fame
No. What makes you think that?
SUTG.

Is it possible for intelligence to generate random numbers?

#### GuySmiley

##### New member
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.
I'm glad you clarified this, because I thought that picture might have been a random error produced by a power spike in my computer.

#### Johnny

##### New member
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.

#### ThePhy

##### New member
… 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).

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

#### Nathon Detroit

##### New member
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.

#### ThePhy

##### New member
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.

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#### chickenman

##### a-atheist
Gold Subscriber
Hall of Fame
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.

#### Nathon Detroit

##### New member
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.

#### ThePhy

##### New member
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?

#### ThePhy

##### New member
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.

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