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Excluding Intelligent Design Principles From the Search For Alien Life 308

KIdPanda writes "Prompted by pictures of man-made structures in the Utah desert, a SETI astronomer explains the sometimes-ambiguous difference between seeing the hand of God, alien intelligence, or nature. 'In my photographs, Shostak's SETI-trained eye — standing in for a pattern-crunching computer program — searched for an unexpected increase in visual order (or, in thermodynamic terms, a decrease in entropy caused by the rebellion of life against universal decay). A road or a tended field is mathematically simpler than a mountainous jumble or naturally varied vegetation. ... But there's an obvious problem: nothing is simpler than a sweep of blue sky, or the inky blackness of space. If simplicity is the benchmark, space itself is evidence of design."

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