Evolution Skepticism/critical thinking

Skeptico weighs in on the “design inference” of nuclear tests

Due to long delays because of rain on the East Coast that resulted in an air traffic delay and a lot of hanging out for hours at O’Hare airport waiting for the delay to be lifted, I never managed to write anything for today. (I was tempted to spend the $6.95 for wireless while waiting around. Unfortunately, the wireless in the part of O’Hare where I was stranded had a really weak and fluctuating signal. I couldn’t even manage to get it to accept my credit card information, and thus decided to bail on that idea.) By the time I got back, it was late, and I was way too exhausted to write anything. Air travel always drains me, but it’s especially bad when delays and super-crowded planes take over, not to mention that I had the sniffles and the pressure changes on landing caused agonizing bilateral ear pain. My hearing is only now starting to return to normal.

Fortunately, there’s always good stuff from other bloggers that I can point you to, if you haven’t already seen it. For example, the other day, I discussed a really bad argument by the Discovery Institute claiming that seismologists looking for evidence that North Korea did in fact detonate an atomic bomb is a “design inference” and that ID is no different than looking for “design” in seismic activity. (I also notice that the Discovery Institute did not see fit to let my TrackBack go through.)

Leave it to Skeptico to take on the same bad argument, only in more detail, pointing out that, for SETI, the detection of man made explosions in seismology, archeology, and other sciences that look for evidence of designed objects, we know a lot about the designer and the likely motivations of the designer, as well as characteristics to detect the non-natural.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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