I. SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is founded on the following premises:
A. If we discovered a narrow-band radio emission from outer space, this would be evidence of an Intelligence.
1. There is no known natural (non-intelligent) process that produces narrow-band radio emissions.
2. There is a known intelligent process that produces narrow-band radio emissions: human beings who have produced radio transmitters.
3. We understand why intelligent beings would produce narrow-band radio emissions: the narrower the band signal, the less power is needed to transmit it, and there would be more room on the radio-band for other signals. We transmit radio signals as a means of communicating.
4. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that if we found a narrow-band radio emission from outer space, it was produced by an extraterrestrial being for the purposes of communicating.
B. Finding a complex mathematical patterns (such as the prime number sequence from 2 to 101) would provide further grounds for believing the narrow-band radio emission was produced by an intelligent being.
1. There is no known natural (non-intelligent) process that produces long complex mathematical patterns.
2. Intelligent beings can produce long complex mathematical patterns.
3. An intelligent being that can produce a radio transmitter would most likely be able to recognize a long complex mathematical pattern, and recognize that it was probably produced by an intelligent being. Thus it would serve as a universal language, a way of communicating, "This was produced by an intelligent being."
4. Therefore, if we found a narrow-band radio emission with a long, complex mathematical pattern, we would have further grounds for believing it was produced by an intelligent being.
C. It is generally assumed that discovering such radio emission would most likely be produced by an Extraterrestrial Intelligence (as opposed say to a Supernatural Intelligence, though it is not clear that we can definitely rule out a Supernatural source for such a radio emission).
II. Applying Similar Premises to the Biochemistry of Life Yields a Similar Belief that the Origin of Life was Intelligently Produced.
A. Finding Proteins or Nucleotides would be evidence of an intelligence.
1. There is no known natural (non-intelligent, non-biological) process that produces Proteins or Nucleotides (the material that DNA and RNA are composed of).
2. Living cells are composed of Proteins and Nucleotides, and are able to produce Proteins and Nucleotides. However, given that there would have been no living cells prior to the origin of life, this would not explain how the original Proteins and Nucleotides came into existence.
3. Intelligent (human) beings are able to produce (synthesize) Proteins and Nucleotides.
4. We understand why we produce Proteins and Nucleotides: To better understand how living organisms function, and with the hope of someday being able to create living cells ourselves.
5. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that the original Proteins and Nucleotides were produced by an Intelligence.
B. Finding long strands of RNA would provide further grounds for believing that it was produced by an intelligence.
1. There is no known natural (non-intelligent, non-biological) process for producing a long strand (say, 100 nucleotides) of RNA.
2. Most origin of life researchers think that life began with a long strand of RNA that could replicate and evolve.
3. There is a known intelligent process for producing long strands of RNA: we can.
4. Therefore, if we have found long strands of RNA, we have further grounds for thinking the origin of life was intelligently produced.
C. It is generally assumed that if the origin of life was intelligently produced, that it was by a Supernatural Intelligence (as opposed to a Natural Intelligence, though it is not clear that we can definitely rule out a Natural Intelligent Source for the origin of life).
III. Therefore, If SETI is science, then so is ID (Intelligent Design).
A. The grounds for believing ID are the same as the grounds for believing that ETI exists, should a narrow-band radio emission from outer space be discovered.
B. If people believe that SETI is a scientific enterprise, then they should believe that ID is a scientific enterprise.
IV. IF SETI is founded on reasonable premises, then so is ID.
A. Even if we reject SETI as a scientific enterprise, most people think it is founded on reasonable premises.
B. Those same premises would result in belief in ID.
C. Therefore, even if it is not Science, ID is a reasonable belief.