That wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the point. On what basis is SETI research conducted ? Evidence ? What evidence ? ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s based on mathematical probability. Also, SETI is a belief. If it werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t, then there would be no research.

IMO SETI is conducted to find evidence, or not, and as you say is based on the probability (high or low) that ETI might be in close proximity (in time and space) to ourselves. Depends what you mean by belief, certainly not the same belief as a religious person might have in god, it more like plain old curiosity to me. E.g. the math shows (drake formula) that ETI might exist, lets listen and see what turns up. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nothing to loose and everything to gain.

(chance @ Sep 15 2005, 01:51 PM)

Some astronomers have agued successfully that SETI is a worthwhile endeavour, the results will provide some answers either way: Discovery of ETI will be rather exciting, non discovery will tell us something about our local region of space (i.e. it lonely). It should be pointed out that there is no presumption that life/intelligence MUST be there for the finding, only that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a statistical possibility.

Again, based on mathematical probability.

Agreed, basically the Drake formula.

(chance @ Sep 15 2005, 01:51 PM)

First it the inference that Ã¢â‚¬Å“If life resulting from chance is just too improbable then by default it must be designedÃ¢â‚¬Â. There is no science that supports the second premise, thus you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t infer a designer.

Anthropic principle and multiple universes. What science supports a multiple universe ? And how can any research take place when the equations of General Relativity guarantee that we will never discover another universe since the Space-Time manifold of universe A will never overlap the space-time manifold of universe B.

I think you will find that these ideas have not reached the status of scientific theory, and are at best, mathematic solutions (hypothesis). There is no statements like, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The big bang is impossible <show math>, thus string theory is the default correct model <no math provided>..

(chance @ Sep 15 2005, 01:51 PM)

Thus you are left with a statistical calculation much like SETI, which if one is honest, must change when new data becomes available, but no matter what the starting data there will always be a small result positive for life arriving by chance. If the bias is changed with the math, that figure can also change (just like SETI, Drake formula). So it is wrong to claim, Ã¢â‚¬Å“it must be designedÃ¢â‚¬Â.

Not sure what your point is here but the bias I refer to is the double standard. Mathematical calculations induce research into ETI yet the same mechanics of probability question unintelligent / arbitrary causation and the results are ignored.

I should have been more clear, bias (mathematical) as I used the term, is the weighting given to any of the parameters, not bias as in, prejudice to an opposing idea.

(chance @ Sep 15 2005, 01:51 PM)

The second is that much of the math is retro-engineered i.e. Ã¢â‚¬ËœIf current life is as complex as <insert math showing complexity>, the odds of all these attributes coming together by chance are too highÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. Assume you must start at some arbitrary point e.g. a single cell (sometimes quoted) or Virus, when neither side know what first life is, nor how it started, nor under what conditions, so the point is moot.

Again not sure what your point is here chance ?

The mathematics and fine tuning of the universe infer intelligence of some kind which ultimately is a positive for ID.

The Ã¢â‚¬Å“mathematics and fine tuning of the universeÃ¢â‚¬Â start from the finished position, they count up the number of attributes that give that position, then state how seemingly impossible it is for those conditions to arise to give that result. E.g. the commonly used the eye is too complex, or the sun moon relationship are a couple of arguments that come to mind. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s called post hoc reasoning

http://www.nizkor.or...s/post-hoc.html . In itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s simplest form of rebuttal it the same thing as admiring a puddle of water because the volume of water exactly fits the depression in the ground.

ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why I have been at pains to find a positive for ID:

Is the sum of the ID arsenal, purely an attack on the status quo?

Is there no original research that finds an intelligent designer as the cause?

Can ID stand alone (assume evolution has not been discovered)?