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.