Joined: Sep. 2009
|Can you tell me how we could go about falsifying the claims made in PP? A single example.|
Let's do better than that. Let's give you G and R's specifics. These are the specific falsifiers for their particular cosmological ID hypothesis. Please engage.
|The most decisive way to falsify our argument as a whole would be to find a distant and very different environment, which, while quite hostile to life, nevertheless offers a superior platform for making as many diverse scientific discoveries as does our local environment. |
The opposite of this would have the same effect—finding an extremely habitable and inhabited place that was a lousy platform for observation.
Less devastating but still relevant would be discoveries that contradict individual parts of our argument. Most such discoveries would also show that the conditions for habitability of complex life are much wider and more diverse than we claim.
For instance, discovering intelligent life inside a gas giant with an opaque atmosphere, near an X-ray emitting star in the Galactic center, or on a planet without a dark night would do it serious damage.
Or take a less extreme example. We suggested in Chapter 1 that conditions that produce perfect solar eclipses also contribute to the habitability of a planetary environment. Thus, if intelligent extraterrestrial beings exist, they probably enjoy good to perfect solar eclipses.
However, if we find complex, intelligent, indigenous life on a planet without a largish natural satellite, this plank in our argument would collapse.
Our argument presupposes that all complex life, at least in this universe, will almost certainly be based on carbon. Find a non-carbon based life form, and one of our presuppositions collapses.
It’s clear that a number of discoveries would either directly or indirectly contradict our argument.
Similarly, there are future discoveries that would count in favor of it. Virtually any discovery in astrobiology is likely to bear on our argument one way or the other. If we find still more strict conditions that are important for habitability, this will strengthen our case.
|Is that something we can do in a lab?|
Doesn't seem like it much, but falsifiability of a scientific hypothesis is NOT limited to what can be observed in laboratories on the ground, as G and R's specifics make clear.
|In the next year? 10 years?|
Or even 20. Or more. Falsifiability of a scientific hypothesis NOT dependent on how many years it takes you to observe and record that one killer falsifying observation.
It's like what Casey Luskin said at EN & V on June 4, 2007. He said it best:
|Clearly the privileged planet hypothesis makes testable predictions. It may take much data to completely determine if the hypothesis stands the test of time, but Dr. Gonzalez’s viewpoint is testable and falsifiable.|