A man for this season

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Over at his website, Bill Dembski had published the front matter [pdf] for A Man For This Season: The Phillip Johnson Celebration Volume to be published by InterVarsity Press in 2006, and edited by Dembski and Jed Macosko. The volume is a festscrift for PEJ that stems from the celebration that was held at the opening of the Intelligent Design and the Future of Science conference that was held in Biola in April 2004. This is the conference, you will remember, that PEJ received the first Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth "honoring lifetime achievements of an individual who has expanded the scope of academic freedom and truth-seeking."

Dembski is known to all, Jed Macosko perhaps not so. Macosko holds the PhD in chemistry from UC Berkeley, and in his portion of the introduction he recounts living in Johnson's basement for a period while in grad school. He is an ISCID fellow, and was a DI/CSC fellow between 2001 and 2003. He is currently an assistant professor (of biophysics) at Wake Forest University. Unlike most ID supporters, he seems to actually publish peer-reviewed scientific research, though none of it appears to offer a theory of intelligent design or any explicit discussion of design.

Over at Stranger Fruit, I offer some thoughts on the volume and its constituent papers. This is - obviously - not a review as I have not read the book and I will no doubt comment more when I do so next year.

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The introduction is entitled ‘A Mythic life.’

Bahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Excuse me one moment.

Bahahahahahaahahahahahahah.

Also, according to Big Bill, PJ is a strategist, teacher and a prophet.

Bahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

The last chapter is by ‘the great one himself.’

Bahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Anyway, I think we’ve found out the identity of the glorious creator, the intelligent designer himself. No its not Allah, its not JCs Dad, its not a bunch of space aliens, its actually PJ himself. The Cambrian explosion? That was PJ. Those finches on the Galapagos islands? That was PJ.

Over at his website, Bill Dembski had published the front matter [pdf] for A Man For This Season: The Phillip Johnson Celebration Volume to be published by InterVarsity Press in 2006, and edited by Dembski and Jed Macosko.

Does it have any of Johnson’s classics explaining that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS . … ?

And still no science, showing that ID is scientifically vacuous. No wonder ID is retreating into theology and front loading where it finds a far more receptive audience

Wonder what Jed Macosko’s Second Denial is. For the uninitiated, IDers usually not only embrace ID, but also some other obviously wrong crank idea, which I call their Second Denial. Johnson denies HIV causes AIDs. Marshall Hall (fixedearth.com) denies heliocentrism. Charlie Wagner denies the medical community’s telling the truth about cholesterol, blood pressure, and heart disease. Wonder what Macosko’s Second Denial is.

If Johnson, as this volume seems to assert, is the main prophet of ID, then Dembski must be a lesser luminary. If, then, Dembski is the Isaac Newton, who is Johnson? Perhaps his repudiation of Einstein’s alleged immodesty and lack of logic (recently affirmed by his buddy Richards’s “discovery” of faults in relativity) provideds some clue to Johnson’s status in the pecking order of ID prophets?

“No wonder ID is retreating into theology and front loading where it finds a far more receptive audience”

sorry, but every time i hear you use that phrase, front loading, i keep thinking pant-loading, for some odd reason.

;)

At the idthefuture website Dembski uses his famous Waterloo statement again.

Kansas may well turn out to be the Waterloo for America’s evolution vendors.

This reference to Waterloo got him fired once from directorship of the Polanyi Institute at Baylor. Can lightning strike twice? One can only hope. For a treat of Dembski at Waterloo just Google “dembski waterloo.”

By the way, if you Google “dumbski” Google will ask “Did you mean ‘dumbsky’?”

Google is so smart!

Wonder what Macosko’s Second Denial is

The rediscovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker …?

If, then, Dembski is the Isaac Newton, who is Johnson?

Isaac Newton’s mommy.

“Intelligent Design and the Future of Science”?

How freakin’ pretentious can you get?!

I’ve got ideas for some other momentous conferences:

“Play-Doh and the Future of Art”

“Rap Lyrics and the Future of Literature”

“Hog-Calling and the Future of Music”

“Dianetics and the Future of Christianity”

“Dembski, Johnson, and the Future of Logic”

Mark Perakh Wrote:

If Johnson, as this volume seems to assert, is the main prophet of ID, then Dembski must be a lesser luminary. If, then, Dembski is the Isaac Newton, who is Johnson?

He’s the Charles Darwin of intelligent design, of course.

I can think of few things more laughable than their reference to “Johnson’s Revolution in Biology”. A naive reader might think that Johnson had actually contributed something – anything – to the science of biology. The guy is lawyer. He has no training in biology, has never demonstrated even mild familiarity with the subject, and needless to say, has never published in the field. I’d be very surprised if more than 1 in 20 biologists had ever even heard of Phillip Johnson. And among the small minority who have, I’d be very surprised if more than 1 in 10 had anything less than a highly negative opinion of him. And yet, the ID people have deluded themselves into thinking that he’s caused some kind of revolution. How nuts can you get?

Aside from his advocacy of creationism, which is hardly original, his only other musing on biology is his HIV denialism. That’s what he’s contributed, creationism and HIV denialism. Neither are unique to Johnson, and both are horribly wrong.

William “Disenchanted” Dembski said: Kansas may well turn out to be the Waterloo for America’s evolution vendors.

If Dover sets the precedent, Dover will be the Edwards v Aguilard of ID.

Phil Johnson is the George Washington of ID. And Paul Nelson is the Archimedes of Ontogenetic Depth. And Michael Behe is the Christopher Columbus of IC.

They’re all extraordinary people, according to each other. Revolutionary genuises, overthrowing paradigms hither and yon. Truly, we are blessed, to live in this era of discovery.

Come on, get it straight!

Dembski is the Alfred E. Newman of Information Science.

What, me worry?

The claim that Dembski is the Isaac Newton of Information theory may not be so far from the truth. Newton’s brilliance in math and physics has not been matched in any way by Dembski, but Newton had a decidedly strange way about him, according to his biographers. Newton spent most of his time studying alchemy and then dabbled in theology, giving a strong denial of the Trinity. Those thoughts kept Newton from achieving academic honors, just as poor Dembski has been shunned by the academic community. There is one area that I wish Dembski would do to follow Newton lead, become agoraphobic.

I had PEJ as a CrimLaw perfesser first year. He would occasionally (at that time, 1993) let his “other interests” slip in his discussions, and engage in post-class “discussion” of his less legal interests. He’s a complete scientific ignoramus and hack, and would be torn to shreds by any graduate student, much less professor in any of the life sciences. His (implicit) defence is that he’s attacking evolution from the standpoint of law (another subject on which I believe he is in many principla issue misguided, but what am I, just a former law school student, and what is he, but a former “Surpeme Court clerk! Wow, my temerity). Doesn’t matter if he was Pope Of The Constitution, it has nothing to do with science. Law follows science (if it’s wise; see, e.g., The Crime Of Galileo, by Giorgio de Santilliana)). No amount of “legal reasoning” (including, e.g., such neat stuff as “precedent”; think about what that means in scienctific discourse) can change scientific facts. But that’s not Johnson’s schtick: He’s insisting on “legal proof” for evolution (and any other inconvenient scientific facts that get in his way), while asking for a “legal” standard of acceptance for his own pet theories. Nonsense abounds, of course, in his books.

Cheers,

If Dover sets the precedent, Dover will be the Edwards v Aguilard of ID.

And Johnson will be ID’s Wendell Bird.

Just another loser.

There is a Russian proverb that can loosely be translated as “Like the priest, so the parish.” If Johnson is the acknowledged leader of ID movement, this is all one needs to know to judge the merits of ID.

Bill writes: “Come on, get it straight!

Dembski is the Alfred E. Newman of Information Science.”

Close

Dembski is the Alfred E. Newman Professor of Mathematical Obscurantism

Didn’t Isaac Newton teach at Oxford?

If I recall correctly, Dembski got fired from Baylor and is now “teaching” at some podunk, backwaters, know nothing, piss ant, bible school deep in the woods somewhere. But, I guess a paycheck is a paycheck and it beats starving. That pretty much sums it up for the “leading light” of “intelligent design.” A bunch of hillbillys playing armpit music.

Cue the Deliverance music…

“But, I guess a paycheck is a paycheck and it beats starving”

debatable.

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is in Louisville, Kentucky. As one of the premier training grounds for the very conservative, majority wing of the enormous Southern Baptist Convention, it’s not a backwater at all, for Baptists. http://www.sbcbaptistpress.org/bpne[…]asp?ID=19115 and http://www.sbts.edu/

It’s a fine pulpit to perplex and confuse preachers and hammer away at the public’s understanding of science, if that is one’s bent. It’s an interesting place to try to introduce a serious understanding of science in people who will be preaching and ministering to millions, if that is one’s bent. The latter is more difficult, and little in demand, among most Baptist congregations.

Dr. Dembski has a solid opportunity to redeem himself from a debacle in Waco that was not entirely of his own making (he got to Waco just as the faculty of Baylor was rising up to oppose efforts that would eviscerate some academic areas in favor of a “religious world view”). It’s troubling on some levels. Baylor, as the greatest Baptist institution of higher learning on Earth, is a great pulpit, but one where the biology department may insist that philosophers stay rooted in reality. I understand there is no biology department at SBTS. The attacks on federal judges from the head of the seminary are not encouraging either, thought it may fit well with the intent of the intelligent design protesters who wish to use the courts to get what they cannot earn in the laboratory and science journals.

The claim that Dembski is the Isaac Newton of Information theory…

More like the Anselm of Information Theory.

In all of Discovery Institute’s glowing hagriography of Johnson, it might be worth noting what Johnson himself had to say about the Insitute in Ohio in 1982:

Discovery Institute adviser Phillip Johnson, arguably the nation’s best-known anti-evolutionist, dedicated his 1997 book, “Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds,” to “Howard and Roberta.” Johnson said his relationship with Discovery is limited.

“I’m very loosely connected,” he said during an October visit to Northeast Ohio. “I don’t direct it and I don’t take any money from them.”

from: http://www.cleveland.com/debate/ind[…]0179810.html

John Lynch, thanks for posting that pdf. It heated me up to a healthy boil.

For a while now, I’ve been feeling as though I ought to be doing more to push back against ID. The rank-and-file that support ID really aren’t interested in science, so scientific arguments have little effect on them. But I think a case could be made that the anti-evolutionist movement is destructive to religion– which might get more notice. I’ve been thinking about writing an article for a Christian audience, trying to explain the ethical and intellectual damage that ID is doing to their cause. PEJ is a perfect case study of the moral rot Christians should be concerned about.

I realize that a lot of those of you who support evolutionary biology aren’t really interested in whether or not ID damages Christianity, but I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who thinks that this approach has potential, has suggestions, or would be interested in taking part. I can be contacted at bspitzer2001 over on yahoo.

Thanks for prodding me off my duff.

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This page contains a single entry by John M. Lynch published on April 30, 2005 5:33 PM.

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