Okay re the importance of reproducibility but it was never clear why Oumuamua was supposed to be ET anyway. More Oumuamuas would not make it more likely.
Specified complexity is what we should be looking for in signals from intelligent beings — orderly patterns that hold meanings not found in inanimate nature.
At Smithsonian Mag: Siraj and co-author Avi Loeb concluded from their analysis that Jupiter’s gravitational field was strong enough to bump many such long-period comets from the Oort cloud off course, bringing them very close to the Sun.
Michael Egnor: Both an intelligent designer (assuming we’re talking about God) and a black hole are supernatural, in the sense that they are not objects in the natural world. This may not surprise you about God, but it is also true of black holes.
Maybe the people at SciAm are getting a crash course in the design inference?
Some of us still think Loeb is way off the beam about Oumuamua but at least he is talking about how you would know that something is designed. If anyone is interested, it is called the design inference.
He ends up, we are told, sounding like an ID type.
“Nature does not produce such things”
Okay, Oumuamua is unusual. But here’s what seems even more unusual. That a Harvard astronomer would be retailing stories that, sixty years ago, were the domain of tabloid magazines. And people are listening seriously.
These are curious times in science, as fact and reason appear less attractive every day to just the people one would expect to value them and people who might have been able to get away with tabloid news show more sense instead.
“Science” is heading downhill pretty fast in one really important sense: It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between “science” and “sciencey.”
The stuff that comes out of Harvard these days and gets published in Scientific American used to be tabloid news. What has changed?
Skepticism makes no headway here so it must in fact be a sort of naturalist religious cult.