Why Dembski should more often look at a mirror


In his reply to the critical comments by Cosma Shalizi, William Dembski asserts that his “dear critics” to whom he has emailed his new paper on Variational Information are not qualified to judge his mathematical breakthroughs. He lists six such “dear critics” - Shallit, Levitt, Wein, Stenger, Schneider, and myself. A question is, if we all are not qualified to appreciate the great achivements of the Isaac Newton of information theory, why did he send his article to us and explicitly requested our opinions? I can’t speak for the rest of the “dear critics” but there is little doubt that at least the three mathematicians on that list are versed better than I in the material of Dembski’s article. I indeed do not claim to be an expert in the subject matter of Dembski’s new paper, nevertheless I had no problem with understanding his paper. There is little doubt that the mathematicians like Shallit, Levitt and Wein must have even less problems with that. As promised in a comment to another thread, I have now posted an essay to TalkReason, which, although is not directly about Dembski’s new paper, contains some material which may shed light on the question of who, Dembski or his critics, is better qualified to judge the merits of his newest mathematical opus - see www.talkreason.org/articles/complexity.pdf .


This is what I never understood about Dembski’s behavior towards this new paper of his.

  • He first submitts it to the journal complexity.
  • He then sends it to his critics and collegues asking for reviews. This included straight biologists who propably would have nothing to say about a paper with no biology.
  • He latter states that he didn’t expect that the people with some background in could grasp it.

Why the fuck did he send it out in the first place? It wasn’t to improve the paper because he had already submitted it and because he said that he didn’t feel that they were qualified. I think that in a fit of ego he send it out to his critics to taunt them.–“Lookie at my new, great paper. You can’t touch it.”–However, it quickly realized by the critics that Dembski offered little if anything new, to Dembski’s chargin.

Yeah. Perhaps Dembski’s proper place is trolling USENET rather than academia. At least there they will have the heart to tell the truth about his sloppiness.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Perakh published on August 12, 2004 5:11 PM.

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