As others see them

| 35 Comments | 1 TrackBack

Many Intelligent Design creationists have been given a hearing before scientists. William Dembski, for instance, has given a talk at the prestigious Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark, a fact he has made much of. For instance, here’s what he wrote to the National Association of Scholars (pdf):

How has the scientific community received my work? Of those who have actually read it, by and large I find scientists intrigued. I speak around the globe to science faculties (to take just one upcoming example, mathematicians at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen invited me to speak there about my work on the design inference in the spring of 2004).

And this is how he presented it on ARN:

These results have been thoroughly vetted. I first presented an overview of them at a technical seminar at the Niels Bohr Institute last year. There was no challenge to the mathematics.

However, a comment from Rasmus Pedersen, citing an article in the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen, shows what the attendees at his seminar thought of it:

In the hour at his disposal in front of a friendly-minded but mathematically knowledgeable audience, Dembski wove like a freshman about to fail. He repeated his heuristic, hand-waving arguments endlessly, drew stains on the blackboard, but didn’t produce a single result of any mathematical value. Unfortunately, this is also what a mathematician gets from reading his “mathematical” book, The Design Inference, which, incidentally, is widely used to scare people who are intimidated by mathematical equations. It looks impressive, but in actuality contains no coherent mathematics. But now Dembski can boast that he, as a researcher of Intelligent Design, was invited to the Niels Bohr Institute as well as the Danish Technical University. What he doesn’t mention is that he will never be invited again.

1 TrackBack

Peezee Myers posted the following to Panda's Thumb... Read More

35 Comments

Just a minor correction: the first quote is from a letter by Dembski to Science Insights, which is the journal of the National Association of Scholars (http://www.nas.org), not the National Academy of Sciences (also NAS, but at http://www.nasonline.org).

What I want to know is this: What (If anything) do the IDists DO with all this? Even if proven (which it can’t be) of what value is it?

A thing is designed for one purpose fulfils the same purpose if occuring naturally… so what’s the point? Perhaps I should ask WD himself…

“A thing is designed for one purpose fulfils the same purpose if occuring naturally… so what’s the point?”

One is seen to validate God. The other does not. That is all that there is to it.

Could someone who has examined these supposed references, comment on this part of his NAS letter:

More significantly, given Gross’s unending refrain that intelligent design is crank science, my work is favorably cited in the peer-reviewed mathematical and biological literature (for the actual references see the ID FAQ on my website: http://www.designinference.com/docu[…]9.ID_FAQ.pdf).

Demdski has a Russian themed sniping session going on his blog at the moment. Jesus hates communists and all that. I wonder if he’ll comment on this one, or if its something he’d rather ‘the faithfull’ not see.

Pardon me for interjecting, but it appears possible that pz has (perhaps unwittingly) omitted few small details from his post.

This is from the official site of the NBI in Copenhagen:

“The Niels Bohr Institute is a part of the Niels Bohr Institute for Astronomy, Physics and Geophysics, University of Copenhagen, and shares premises in the city with the Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita).”

Note that there is no mention of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) on the page.

However, pz is using a second-hand quote from a letter to the editor of the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen, written by someone named Hjorth, an associate professor of mathematics at the DTU, about a talk that Dembski had given before his department the year before.

So the question is, how does this Hjorth know what the NBI will or will not do in the future, given that the NBI is not affiliated with the DTU (where he actually claims to be employed)? And how does pz know that Hjorth knows what he’s talking about, given that Hjorth might be a mere disgruntled ID critic with absolutely no say over who is or is not to be re-invited to the NBI?

Just wondering.

Rich Wrote:

Demdski has a Russian themed sniping session going on his blog at the moment. Jesus hates communists and all that. I wonder if he’ll comment on this one, or if its something he’d rather ‘the faithfull’ not see.

Yes, Isaac Newton vs. Boris Yeltsin…

At least Yeltsin had nukes, and good vodka.

Sure, Neurode. In fact, contrary to Hjorth’s lies, Dembski lit the campus afire with his revolutionary ideas. That’s why his results are being discussed at Information Theory conferences around the world. Just look at what prominent billing Dembski is being given at the next IEEE Information Theory conference.

http://www.isit2005.org/

Truly, the Darwinists’ Waterloo is nigh.

Steve. Steve, Steve, Steve.

your post:

“Sure, Neurode. In fact, contrary to Hjorth’s lies, Dembski lit the campus afire with his revolutionary ideas. That’s why his results are being discussed at Information Theory conferences around the world. Just look at what prominent billing Dembski is being given at the next IEEE Information Theory conference.

http://www.isit2005.org/

Truly, the Darwinists’ Waterloo is nigh.”

I can’t tell if this a sarcastic joke post or not. If it is, do some emotocons or something. If it isn’t, you might want to click your link http://www.isit2005.org/ and check out “what prominent billing Dembski is being given”.

Rich, check your irony meter. I think it is malfunctioning.

Geez. Smiley faces, People! I was trying to work out the odds of Steve being a “Steve”, too.

“Dembski lit the campus afire with his revolutionary ideas” was a quality line, I could feel the passion, y’know?

Down with antiphrasis, ‘specially from you sciencey types. And where’s my Pandas thumb membership card and decoder ring?

*shakes fist*

EGG-HEADS!

Hmmm, the word of Hjorth vs the word of Dembski.….

Well given that that one of them is a documented liar (his surname begins with ‘Demb’ and ends in ‘ski’), I think I know where I’ll be placing my trust.

Anyone got any Danish academic friends? It might be useful to try and contact some people who were definitely at the talk given by Dembski.

Steve,

The Isaac Newton of information science doesn’t need to go to such conferences. He is far above such trifling discussion and therefore would not attend. Its much like his scientific publication record; being the most revolutionary theorist since Sir Isaac, he doesn’t need to bother with all that peer review crap.

Look Here

It’s a damn cheek people people taking my name in vain. I’m fair spinning in my grave. I did proper Science and Mathematics, calculus, put that fellow DesCartes in his place with my stuff on light, not to mention gravity. But I still showed proper consideration for my peers, don’t you know. Shoulders of giants, and so forth. So let’s have a little respect.

Who the hell is this Dembski, by the way?

Neurode, Dembski was invited to give lectures at the Niels Bohr Institute and the Technical University of Denmark

Wednesday, May 12th; 3.pm. at the Technical University.

TITLE: The Design Inference as an Extension of Fisherian Significance Testing

ABSTRACT: Within Fisher’s theory of signifcance testing, a single chance hypothesis is eliminated provided that a sample falls within a prespecified rejection region whose probability is in some sense sufficiently small. But what does it mean for a probability to be “sufficiently small”? Why does the rejection region have to be “prespecified,” or specified in advance of the sample being taken? And is it possible not just to eliminate a single chance hypothesis but, as it were, to sweep the field clear of chance hypotheses entirely? The design inference attempts to answer these questions. In answering them, some connections with Bayesian decision theory and Shannon information theory will be made.

and

Thursday the 13th of May 11.15 am. - 1.00 pm. At the Niels Bohr Institute (Copenhagen: Blegdamsvej 17, Auditorium A).

TITLE: Intelligent Design and Self-Organization

ABSTRACT: Intelligent design is the science that studies signs of intelligence. The preeminent sign of intelligence within that theory is specified complexity, which can be cashed out as a type of information, albeit one that is richer than Shannon information. This talk will argue that specifed complexity, though capable of being expressed through self-organizational processes, cannot properly be said to be generated by such processes. In other words, self-organizational processes may rework existing specified complexity but cannot bring it about de novo. This talk will attempt to justify that claim.

Ike, Ike, Ike…

You were a complete barsteward to your peers! You ripped them off, belittled them in public - “standing on the shoulders of giants” takes on a different hue when you know it was in response to the dwarfish Hooke complaining that you’d nicked his ideas – and used your status to ensure their failure. All the while peddling your peculiar mix of mystic gnostic astrologic nonsense. You held the Bible to be more important than science, and confabulated the most enormous mess of mathematical nonsense around it.

Hmmm.

The Corpuscular R

Well, Sir

That Hooke was an odious little man.

Well, Sir

That Hooke was an odious little man.

Also Sir Isaac, I bet you never owned a BBQ restaurant:

http://www.iidb.org/vbb/showthread.[…]i+restaurant

Posted by Rich on August 16, 2005 01:08 PM (e) (s)

I can’t tell if this a sarcastic joke post or not. If it is, do some emotocons or something.

A few years ago I noticed that people were starting to depend on emoticons to judge sarcasm, so I make an effort to not enable that. I think the sarcasm was overwhelmingly evident in the content: Dembski’s ideas always underwhelm scientific audiences at universities, questioning Hjorth’s character is wholly unfounded, and IT theorists have no enthusiasm at all for Dembski’s Potemkin mathematics. I’ve been repetitively asking Salvador about Dembski’s publications in the legit IT literature (there aren’t any) and invitations to IT conferences (ditto) not because I don’t know the answer, but to display those facts. If Dembski’s ideas had any importance in Information Theory, those facts would be different.

On a related note, while I happen to know Intelligent Design Theorist Timmy quite well, and take umbrage at their suggestions, some cynics here have theorized that Timmy is a character who illustrates the point that creationists say such ludicrous things, that it’s virtually impossible to tell when they’re being spoofed. For instance,someone called Dembski “the Isaac Newton of Information Theory” without side information, there’s no way to tell if this is an honest creationist, or someone pretending to be deluded.

A nice new Onion take-off on ID and their creationist panderers today.

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 3, column 73, byte 254 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

And where’s my Pandas thumb membership card and decoder ring?

“Sure, [name].” is a reliable indicator or sarcasm, here and elsewhere.

I would like to recommend this site:

http://www.re-discovery.org/

http://www.re-discovery.org/per_table_lg.gif

Quoting: The reDiscovery Institute is non-profit, non-partisan, public-policy think-tank located in Tacoma, Washington, with branches in Atlanta, Georgia and Fort Worth, Texas. The reDiscovery Institute fosters integration of science education with traditional Judeo-Christian principles of free market, limited government, morality, faith, property, obedience, and anti-intellectualism .

Our primary focus is to extend and promote Design Theories, which have been so successful in Biology, to the fields of Chemistry, Astronomy, Geology, Atmospheric Science, Oceanography, Material Science, Acoustics, Condensed Matter Physics, Fluid Dynamics, Nuclear Physics, Anthropology, Physiology, Algebra, Geometry, Statistics, and Meteorology.

Our goals are to Teach the Controversies, all of them, each and every one. The reDiscovery Institute promotes better education of children, and re-education of adults; those on our current Enemies List. The reDiscovery Institute supports Fellows, who relentlessly write letters to editors and post ‘articles’ on the web. Highly-paid journalists present our Fellows to the public as bonafide scientists.

The reDiscovery Institute maintains a slick web page, and tirelessly promotes archaic religious dogma elegantly dressed in modern scientific terminology, to school boards, museums, theaters, and editorial pages across America. We are consultants to Fox News Network. The reDiscovery Institute urges adherence to John Phillipson’s Ice Pick Gambit: “Until we gain total control, keep the old testament part of our agenda quiet because it frightens normal people.” The reDiscovery Institute is backed by members, a board, and an ultra-conservative, ultra-rich, California savings and loan heir who believes that the American democracy should be replaced with biblical theocracy.

They forgot the smiley.

The Onion story: http://tinyurl.com/aeh9w

“Intelligent Falling Theory” refutes gravity.

ABSTRACT [Dembski’s paper]: Within Fisher’s theory of signifcance testing, a single chance hypothesis is eliminated provided that a sample falls within a prespecified rejection region whose probability is in some sense sufficiently small. But what does it mean for a probability to be “sufficiently small”? Why does the rejection region have to be “prespecified,” or specified in advance of the sample being taken? And is it possible not just to eliminate a single chance hypothesis but, as it were, to sweep the field clear of chance hypotheses entirely? The design inference attempts to answer these questions. In answering them, some connections with Bayesian decision theory and Shannon information theory will be made.

Dembski sure doesn’t know jack about statistics, does he?

I know one thing, though. One way to avoid any possibility of a wrong “chance” hypothesis (and “sweep the field clear of chance hypotheses entirely”) is to just say “Goddidit”.….. Neat, eh?

Cheers,

I’m afraid PZ unwittingly got a few minor facts wrong (understandable, I didn’t provide much detail in my original comment). Mr. Hjorth is an associate professor of the DTU, doesn’t seem to be associated with the Niels Bohr Institute, and probably only attended the talk Dembski gave at the DTU. I also made a minor error in writing that Hjorth was invited to Dembski’s talk; in fact, he was the one who invited Dembski to the DTU in the first place, so I guess he has some say in whether Dembski will be officially invited to that particular institution again anytime in the near future. The letter doesn’t mention his standing with the NBI except in the part which I translated.

In fact, contrary to Hjorth’s lies, Dembski lit the campus afire with his revolutionary ideas.

I wasn’t at either talk, but if Dembski lit the campus afire with the holy flame of ID, it isn’t burning nearly bright enough to make a public impact for me to see…

Come on, Rasmus, even the creationists could see that was sarcasm.

Come on, steve, even an American could see that was sarcasm about sarcasm ;)

Recursive Antiphrases Jokes. I’m not taking you guys to any parties - [ although I’m sure the creationists are a blast]

oooh oooh! take me rich! I’ll regale the attendees with horror stories of internal parasities and fish biology!

gotta be better, yeah?

I am totally shocked and abhorred.

Are these guys at the reDiscovery Institute serious?

Or is this a huge joke?

The only Institute this place demonstrates, is the institue for the insane.

I can’t stop reading!

Somebody HELP!!!

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on August 16, 2005 11:29 AM.

Skeptic on Dembski was the previous entry in this blog.

Ohio Bombshell: Gov. Taft Fixing the SBOE Process? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.381

Site Meter