archive: RE: SETI The Drake Equation - Probability One

RE: SETI The Drake Equation - Probability One

Cecchini, Ron ( (no email) )
Fri, 21 May 1999 01:23:47 -0400

> From:[]
> <missionary mode on>
> Don't leave the faith, just understand it deeper.

Thanx for the concern. Seriously.

> It needn't be one or the other.

In a sense, it does, as Science of course demands evidence
& discourages "blind faith".

However, 2 things:

1. if a "god" exists, he/she/it obviously could have
made the Universe to behave exactly as we observe.

2. i do realize that even Science requires a "faith"
of sorts...

That last part took a while for me to recognize & admit,
namely that a reliance on the scientific method to uncover
Truth requires the belief that:

a) there is an objective, physical Reality out there (the
Truth) for us to discover, and

b) that Cause & Effect "rules" the Universe.

This last point i've debated to death with various particle
physicists, regarding whether or not Science demands (what
i call) "strong causality" & whether or not the Universe is
(again, what i call) "strongly deterministic" -- basically,
that there are no un-Caused Effects, & that every Cause leads
to only 1 Effect.

*However*, this belief is *not* a "blind faith", as if/when
it is shown that Causality is definitely violated, or that
the Universe is non-deterministic, then (at least according
to my assertion (& guys like Einstein & Bohm) of what Science
is & demands) the scientific method will be shown to be suspect;
at the least, it couldn't be relied on to always reveal Truth.

i've argued with many quantum physicists -- specifically, the
ones that buy into the Copenhagen Interpretation of q.t. --
over this. They somehow think that "science still works"
even if Causality is violated & Determinism is not necessary.

i think this is ludicrous.

ok, i'm rambling...

> > even if it were only a statistical sample set of 2.

> It needn't be an exact recital, to be convinced.

You mean for you & me to be convinced.

It certainly isn't proof of anything, as one could always
make the claim that intelligent beings always evolve along
the same lines, & that somehow the need to create a religion
is built into this evolutionary process, and thus the odds
that 2 intelligent species from different planets would have
nearly identical religions isn't as low as one might expect.

However, i admit that if E.T. tells me a story about Christ
then i'm reconverting & becoming a religious nutter... Worldview already pulled one 180, thus dumping me on
my rearend & sending me into a "dark place" for a good long
while ... & i came out of it. (i wouldn't say i'm completely
"fine" though -- i "angst" over this stuff alot.) But i
suppose i could pull another 180 without going (too) insane.

However, i'd need to see some "extraordinary evidence".

i no longer blindly trust anyone, including myself or my feelings.

> Some theoretical physicists are convinced of the existence of God because
> is unlikely that the 11 or so basic physical constants that describe the
> Universe just happen to be the exact quantity that allows us to exist. One

> misadustment in, say, Planck's constant, would eliminate life as a
> possibility.

This is the ol' Anthropocentric Argument ... & is really
proof of nothing, as what it is saying is this:

"We're here, therefore the Universe must have been built
(intelligently designed) just for us to exist."

Um, no. That doesn't logically follow.

For all we know, the Universe expanded & collapsed an
"infinite" number of times before the incarnation that
we now find ourselves in.

All we know is that "we're here". We have no information
about what happened before we (this Universe) were here.

> I know this subject has been beaten to death, but there needn't be a
> between science and religion.

Talking about the *origins* of things is Metaphysics, &
is thus beyond the realm of Science.

All theories are equally valid.

All theories are equally loony.

E.g. 10 dimensions, originating from Nothingness, & then
collapsing into the 4 dimensions of space & time, as per
String Theory, is just as nuts sounding to me as the notion
of a God that always existed.

(btw, i piss off religionists & scientists alike, as i refuse
to let anyone put forth what i think are self-contradictory
notions; e.g. certain interpreations of quantum theory.)

This is why in my first post to the Sagan list i said that
the 2 things that dominate my thoughts are:

1. my existence
2. my consciousness

They are paradoxes seemingly beyond figuring out.

take care
i'm outta here 'til Tuesday