An anniversary, of sorts

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Once upon a time, about two years ago, I dissected a claim by Paul Nelson that he had an objective measure of developmental complexity that he called "ontogenetic depth". I thought it was very poor stuff: no repeatable methods, no clear description of exactly what he was measuring, and actually, it looked like he was just plucking numbers out of thin air.

Note that today is 29 March 2006. On 29 March 2004, Nelson left a comment on the post, promising to address the issues I brought up.

Continue reading "An anniversary, of sorts" (on Pharyngula)

20 Comments

Irreducible Complexity, Complex Specified Information, Explanatory Filter, Law of Conservation of Information, Ontogenetic Depth…

they’re good at mimicking scientific jargon, I suppose. That’s all they’ve done for nigh on two decades.

Happy Anniversary! Will there be a cake?

Anyway, two years is nothing. If Darwin on Trial (just to pick one early item) inaugurated the modern Intelligent Design movement, in June 1991, it’s been damn near 15 years they haven’t accomplished anything except make up jargon.

Intelligent Design: Day 5479 With No Theory

Another anniversary of a brain dead idea coming out courtesy of the DI. What else can you expect? Anyway, I was thinking about the “Ontogenetic depth” and came with some questions (possible research?). Come on DI don’t let this pass you by. How ontogenetic depth (OD) account for parasites? What would the OD be in that case and what does it means? In any case how that supports ID? Then again, I will never see any answer since the IDiots are not working on this or any other crap pot idea. They know is not a workable hypothesis and was only put out there to show they are engaged in science. Huh? shrug

Two years? Wow. I think the Sylvia Brown clock is somewhere close to that as well. Pseudoscience can only get you so far.

I think it’s time for a new word invention myself. “Teach the Controversy” isn’t that scientific sounding. Perhaps they can call it “Equalized Meme Propagation” and get better results.

You can’t blame Nelson for not having finished and tested his theory on Ontogenetic depth. Without access to a functioning SNRF, research is difficult. Once time in the lab is available I would expect a paper Ontogenetic Depth Deduced using SNRFs. Not only will Nelson gather evidence in support of ontogenetic depth but validate a new research tool.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Ontogenetic Depth?

Is that the depth beyond which a dog buries its bone that it cannot find it again?

Snappy phrase though.

G…er The designer used Ontogenetic Depth to hide the true meaning of his message, praise G…er The designer.

Massively parallel computers running the Ontogenetic Depth algorithm prove beyond doubt G…er The designer created life all at once (we’re not sure if they were children or adults yet)but praise G…er The designer.

Yeah I can just see it the Holy Grail of creationism. It’s sure to save the entire funding arrangements from Howie for .….oh another 15 years (giggle)

Happy Anniversary! Will there be a cake?

I’m still baking it. It’ll be ready in another hour, or so.

Bob

Anyway, two years is nothing. If Darwin on Trial (just to pick one early item) inaugurated the modern Intelligent Design movement, in June 1991, it’s been damn near 15 years they haven’t accomplished anything except make up jargon.

Intelligent Design: Day 5479 With No Theory

Hm, you know, that’s an interesting point. We are coming up on that 15 year anniversiary. As far as political pressure movements go, that’s a reasonably prestigious age. I do wonder though where it should be dated from– the publishing of Darwin on Trial is a good idea, but we could maybe also date it from that conference Barbara Forrest mentioned in her Dover testimony that brought together all of ID’s central players for the first time. I think it was this one:

According to Johnson, the wedge movement, if not the term, began in 1992: “The movement we now call the wedge made its public debut at a conference of scientists and philosophers held at Southern Methodist University in March 1992, following the publication of my book Darwin on Trial [1991]. The conference brought together as speakers some key wedge figures, particularly Michael Behe, Stephen Meyer, William Dembski, and myself.”[8]

Anyway, perhaps we should do something to honor that fifteen-year anniversiary, whether it comes this July or next March. Like organize an event where people all across the nation simultaneously slap their foreheads and go “ugh…”

Fross Wrote:

Two years? Wow. I think the Sylvia Brown clock is somewhere close to that as well.

Actually hit 5 years on March 6th.

They lasted fifteen years because they waited fifteen years to do anything.

If TMLC hadn’t messed up by actually trying to do something, they’d still be going strong, collecting money from donors, producing BS books to sell to donors, blathering on the internet, and not doing much of anything at all.

That’s what they’ll continue to do for the next fifteen years, in fact. But now, thanks to the excessive zeal of TMLC, they’ll do it with a shrinking pool of donors. And they stand the risk of losing donors to competing nonsense.

Of course we’re all still on the edges of our chairs (after ~8 years) waiting for Nelson’s allegedly forthcoming monograph, On Common Descent. Give him time.

Excellent line from Ed Darrell in the comments of Jim’s link:

“The problem with the Discovery Institute is that there is no discovery there.”

Re “I do wonder though where it should be dated from—“

The Scopes trial, maybe?

Henry

Henry J - I think ID goes back to Paley… but one could make a case that ID believing knuckleheads in the gene pool go back to when we were walking on knuckles!

Based on my reading of his common ancestors post, I think PN is acting in good faith. Problem is, he gets an “idea” and then shoots off his mounth before really understanding what it was all about.

Being an instinctive creationists, he automatically assumes that when an unexpected result appears in biology, then ipso facto, it must reveal some supernatural influence.

The common ancestor problem is not easy to grasp, at least for me anyway – I wrestled with that idea for a couple of years before it made sense. Once we clearly jetison the concept of a common ancestor, it is easy to see how common ancestry remains a powerful unifying force in biology.

Hmmmmm CAKE.…

and old rotten lies served cold with mustard sauce

“They lasted fifteen years because they waited fifteen years to do anything.”

Don’t put them in the past-tense yet. Superstition and non-sense doesn’t die easily.

Henry J - I think ID goes back to Paley… but one could make a case that ID believing knuckleheads in the gene pool go back to when we were walking on knuckles!

The “argument from design” goes back at least as far as Anaxagoras, in pre-Socratic Greece. The pretense that ID is science and not religion goes back to about 1987.

Nelson will be posting the updates to this thread any minnute now, I’m sure.

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on March 29, 2006 7:27 AM.

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