ARCHIVE: Signals from space aliens or random chance?

ThePhy

New member
I think you are making a great point. Probabilities and mathematical equations don't always translate into reality.

No matter what folks say....
A tennis ball is never going to pass through a brick wall and a picture of Marilyn Monroe juggling fish isn't going to be generated by random pixels, instead you will simply get "snow" one frame after another frame.

Doogie why do you suppose that all the same folks that appeal to these crazy random results turn around and appeal to intelligence for a far more simple event (signal from space)?

Isn't a message from space "bound to happen" through random chance?
On the MM pic, some posts have roughly considered the actual mathematics of the MM pic. The time is big, really really big. But how does really really big time compare with eternity? Are you saying your God’s eternity is a smidgeon shorter than the answer for the MM thing?
 

dreadknought

New member
What about the idea that the signal originated far, far away (say 100 billion light years). That the message is received by SETI, understood, witnessed and verified authentic, was transmitted before we existed to receive it. :think:
 

Nathon Detroit

New member
On the MM pic, some posts have roughly considered the actual mathematics of the MM pic. The time is big, really really big. But how does really really big time compare with eternity? Are you saying your God’s eternity a smidgeon shorter than the answer for the MM thing?
What does time have to do with it?

After all, we aren't removing undesirable results. Every single randomly generated image has the exact same odds of being incomprehensible as the last frame.

Can't we solve this once and for all by asking this one question....

ThePhy, isn't it hypothetically possible that the picture of Marilyn Monroe will display on the very first try? YES or NO?
 

One Eyed Jack

New member
What about the idea that the signal originated far, far away (say 100 billion light years).


There's nothing that far away -- the universe isn't that big.

That the message is received by SETI, understood, witnessed and verified authentic, was transmitted before we existed to receive it. :think:

It would only have a be about 5 billion light years away for this to be true (assuming, of course, that the big bang theory is correct). If you're talking about the existence of human beings, it would only have to be a few hundred thousand.
 

SUTG

New member
What does time have to do with it?

Time has lots to do with it. This is like asking the guy at the roulette whell in Vegas if you can keep spinning the wheel for an hour in hopes that your number will come up.

ThePhy, isn't it hypothetically possible that the picture of Marilyn Monroe will dispaly on the very first try? YES or NO?

YES. I even gave to the math, and it was peer reviewed by Stripe. :chuckle: it is also possible that the SETI message was random. Possibility is just another way of saying probability is greater than zero.
 

Door

New member
ThePhy, isn't it hypothetically possible that the picture of Marilyn Monroe will dispaly on the very first try? YES or NO?

I'm wondering how many billions of times an atheist will have to think through the question before he understands it.

:think:
 

Nathon Detroit

New member
Time has lots to do with it. This is like asking the guy at the roulette whell in Vegas if you can keep spinning the wheel for an hour in hopes that your number will come up.
True but your number could come up on the first try (as you are about to acknowledge below).

I asked...
Isn't it hypothetically possible that the picture of Marilyn Monroe will display on the very first try? YES or NO?

Excellent!

Of course that's true and therefore the appeal to "time" is nothing more than obfuscation. The VERY FIRST signal that SETI received in the 1960's could have been "hello world" and it could of (hypothetically) been produced by random chance.

Yet each and every one of you atheists have appealed to intelligent design instead of random chance. :idunno:
 

SUTG

New member
Of course that's true and therefore the appeal to "time" is nothing more than obfuscation.

I don't understand why you say this. Are you more likely to spin your number on the roulette wheel give 20 seconds of spinning or two hours? YES or NO?


The VERY FIRST signal that SETI received in the 1960's could have been "hello world" and it could of (hypothetically) been produced by random chance.

Yep.

Yet each and every one of you atheists have appealed to intelligent design instead of random chance. :idunno:

So what do you conclude from this?
 

ThePhy

New member
Well in 1977 SETI received a "wow" signal. The "wow" signal was a pattern that was abnormal compared to all the other patterns they received to date.

Do you suppose that the "wow" signal was intelligently designed or a product of randomness?
I would like very much for it to be a real intended communication. It was enticing, but it was far short of convincing. Not even a vague shadow of the scenario you hypothesized.

WOW is here.

And here.
 

Nathon Detroit

New member
I don't understand why you say this. Are you more likely to spin your number on the roulette wheel give 20 seconds of spinning or two hours? YES or NO?
Maybe you aren't understanding what is going o here.

Let me ask it like this.... would time help you determine when a desired result will occur in an experiment.

Lets say you have 20 dice. And you want to roll all 20 dice at once. And the desired result is that you want all the dice to come up as a 1 on the same roll. 20 dice rolled, all landing on 1.

Lets say some folks start rolling the dice on January 1st 2009 and they will roll until January 1st 2011.

You would like to see the successful roll of the dice but you can't stay at the laboratory for the entire experiment, so when do you schedule your visit?

Is there a time frame in that experiment that it's more probable you will get your result?
 

chickenman

a-atheist
Gold Subscriber
LIFETIME MEMBER
Hall of Fame
I think your math is wrong here.
The last person that called me wrong...well, he was right. But not this time. :D
5 dice, each with 6 numbers. The possible combinations are 6x6x6x6x6 = 7,776. Take away 4 since you cannot roll a 1, 2, 3, or 4. 7,772 is the right answer.


I agree with all of this. (except for the 1:7,772 odds)
Refer to my brilliance (okay, so basic multiplication skills) above.


Hmmmm....not sure if this is too good of a case. Of course, with rolling dice, the person rolling will eventually die, etc. Bouncing the dice off of rocks will not chance the probabilities at all. Then of course, dice can be lost, etc.
Very true, all three points.

But if you are using this to argus against abiogensis, then you have to consider that there can be more favorable conditions that arise along with the unfavorable conditions.
Okeedokee. My whole case has been undone. Back to the drawing board. :)
 

ThePhy

New member
What does time have to do with it?

After all, we aren't removing undesirable results. Every single randomly generated image has the exact same odds of being incomprehensible as the last frame.

Can't we solve this once and for all by asking this one question....

ThePhy, isn't it hypothetically possible that the picture of Marilyn Monroe will display on the very first try? YES or NO?
Yes, the odds of the MM pic on the first frame is just as likely as on any one of the later frames.
 

Adamhart

New member
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.


It could be the people from the space station playing around, but I don't really see any evidence for extraterrestrials. UFO's are just military experiment.

But other life should be possible. Let's just hope these beings have 2 arms and 2 legs so we can disprove evolution.
 

Nathon Detroit

New member
I would like very much for it to be a real intended communication. It was enticing, but it was far short of convincing. Not even a vague shadow of the scenario you hypothesized.
Exactly! "far short of convincing" You agree the "wow" signal was not specific enough and comprehensible enough and therefore has all the earmarks of merely random chance, not intelligence.

Therefore the "wow" signal was promising even though the "wow" signal happened a long time ago (1977), yet now you tell me a more ordered "wow" signal couldn't possibly occur because there hasn't been enough time. :dizzy:

What you are really acknowledging is that time really doesn't play a factor. Your appeal to time amounts to nothing more than obfuscation. After all the "wow" signal happened in the very EARLY stages of the SETI project. The "wow" signal could have happened on day one or on day 5,000. Similarly my hypothetical message from space could have happened on day one or on day 5,000.
 

Nathon Detroit

New member
Yes, the odds of the MM pic on the first frame is just as likely as on any one of the later frames.
Thank you.

Therefore the odds of the signal from space are just as likely now as they are into the future.

The "need for time" issue has now been officially put to bed.
 

Nathon Detroit

New member
SUTG, Layla, ThePhy and the like.....

Now that we can rule out the "need for more" as the excuse that the signal from space isn't a product of random chance why do you folks still appeal to it being a product of intelligence and NOT random chance?
 

SingedWing

New member
Luckily you don't get banned for being stupid. If none of us know anything about probability why are you so certain?

I believe I said few of us not all of us. Nor did I say I was certain of anything. See how easy it easy to let probability games fool you?

BTW I don't know much but I've heard the numbers on this. If people were banned in order of stupidity from a group of say 100,000 then statistically I would likely be the last man standing. That utter lack of humility is hopefully helpful in your search for a shred of it.
 
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