This appeared a month ago at the PhysOrg site: UK codebreakers stumped by WWII pigeon message. It says:
British intelligence officials are baffled by a secret World War II message that was discovered on the leg of a dead pigeon, they admitted on Friday. The message, consisting of 27 hand-written blocks of five letters, was attached to a pigeon skeleton that was found by retired probation officer David Martin when he was renovating his house in Surrey, southeast England.
Codebreakers said the message, which did not include a date, was impossible to crack without its codebook.
Written on a small sheet of paper headed “Pigeon Service”, the code was found in a small red canister and listed the sender as “Sjt W Stot”. The recipient is named as “X02”.
Not much there to get excited about, right? But that’s because you’re not a creationist. The story has deep meaning for the Discoveroids — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. They just posted this amazing article at their blog: Pigeon Code Illustrates Principles of Intelligent Design. After describing the find, they say, with bold font added by us:
Why did they immediately infer an intelligently designed message and not gibberish?
Wow — what a powerful question! Let’s see now … maybe because as the PhysOrg article mentions, it was in a red canister attached to a pigeon, found in England, “Britain used some 250,000 pigeons as military messengers during World War II,” the paper in the canister said “Pigeon Service,” and it was sent by a sergeant? We don’t like to leap to hasty conclusions, but all of that might have suggested something. Let’s read on:
Even without the clue that it was found in a canister attached to a carrier pigeon’s foot, intelligence experts would have ways to determine the answer.
Get ready now. Here comes the Discoveroid analysis:
One clue is the spacing of the array into columns of five letters. Another could come from letter frequency analysis, to see if certain letters appear more frequently than expected by chance.
Yes! In fact it looks just like DNA, and we all know that’s designed. The Discoveroid analysis continues:
And even without knowing about World War II code-making, a third clue would be knowing that our uniform experience with codes leads us to infer that such arrangements of symbols are typically the product of a mind.
How true! But wait — there’s more:
Some 250,000 pigeons were used as military messengers during the war. That provides two more examples of intelligent design: the designed plan by humans to use pigeons as messengers, and the design of the bird itself. When you see multiple systems interacting for the function of heavier-than-air powered flight, you have good reason to infer the activity of intelligent causation, rather than an unguided natural cause like natural selection.
See? When the keen mind of a Discoveroid goes to work on a deep mystery, everything is suddenly obvious. You can’t fool those guys! They know — almost instinctively — that the pigeon and the paper weren’t products of natural selection.
It’s not relevant to the Discoveroid post, but there’s a follow-up story to the pigeon code: Has a Canadian cracked the ‘pigeon code’ that stumped Britain’s spies?
Whether the code has been cracked or not, don’t try to claim that the bird evolved with that message in a red canister on its leg. The Discoveroids are smart and they’re way ahead of you.
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