Same ol’, same ol’

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Well, tonight I let my macabre sense of fascination with creationism get the better of me, and I skipped the premier of the new Dr. Who on the SciFi channel and went to see the the Dembski lecture over at Berkeley. I should have stayed home. At least Phillip Johnson gets to his point and outrages you enough to get your blood flowing. Dembski just sort of meanders around and issues ultravague utterances about how maybe design did something somewhere, and how we should think this because “Darwinists” can’t list every single mutation that occurred over billions of years, therefore their research program has failed. Yawn. The only good bit was when Dembski put up a flagellum graphic with “liquid cooled” written in big bright letters across it. I wonder how long it will be until the aquariums add this label to the fish species descriptions.

I wasn’t expecting that NCSE would get a bottle of single-malt scotch or anything, but I was hoping at least for some nice juicy ranting and raving about Judge Jones’s opinion and how its rebuttals to the standard ID talking points were all wrong. But apart from a half-hearted jab at Jones and something about how people were trying to “kill” ID there was nothing noteworthy to report that you haven’t heard before – things look designed, Mt. Rushmore, a few quotes from the collection, some clueless rambling about the flagellum…bleah.

Well, at least SciFi is re-broadcasting Dr. Who now, so the evening wasn’t a total loss…

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I got home late Saturday night from attending a lecture by William Dembski held on the UC Berkeley campus, under the auspices of the Berkeley IDEA Club student group. This was the second lecture Dembski gave for the IDEA Club; he had one Friday night on t Read More

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From the IDEA site linked to above:

This talk on ID distinguishes it from materialistic forms of evolution on the one hand and creationism on the other.

Did Dembski admit that ID wasn’t materialistic? This would rule out Davros as the intelligent designer.

Bob

Yeah I noticed that part about materialism, too. I thought about going to this, given that I am in Davis, but I had a Saint Paddy’s day party to go to. I might be able to make it to the Saturday presentation, though. Nick, you going to that one too?

I presume there was no real chance for feedback at this talk, then?

The rest of this comment is offtopic and I apologise now…

> I skipped the premier of the new Dr. Who on the SciFi channel”

Dude, no offence… but speaking as somebody who:

a) is a non-biologist living outside the US (southern hemisphere, if you must know) who

b) has been following Panda’s Thumb quite enjoyably and regularly ever since a quiet local news article alerted us to the “Intelligent Design” movement and

c) has been a “Doctor Who” fan for 25 years (and therefore know about its internal contradictions) and

d) can compare the probability of genuinely new content in the ID movement to the probability of the new “Doctor Who” being more amazing than the old series…

… well, lemme just say - I’m VERY glad for you that there was a re-run.

I understand the need to occasionally chill, relax, turn the brain off and disintegrate in front of some cheap badly written, self-contradicting, populist trash inanity…

… but you blew off the new “Doctor Who” for that!? Man! :-)

Sadly, the new Doctor Who is so bad that a Dembski lecture is probably fascinating by comparison.

Still miss Tom Baker in the role. And it was really odd seeing the Dr. interrupted by commercials.

Not only is it interrupted by commercials, they’re commercials for frauds and swindlers. I mean psychics and ghost hunters.

Wait. I was right the first time.

Here in Baltimore, MD the Doctor comes on Sunday mornings at the midnight hour on the local PBS stations.

Mr. Christopher’s feelings on the new Who are hardly the majority viewpoint. Its the highest rated Who since the Douglas Adams season (1979, when ITV was on strike so Who had no competition), and has been winning awards right and left, including the Brit equivelant of America’s People’s Choice Awards.

To me, the new series, like all Who, bats about .500. Some episodes are worth seeing once (the early 21st century references in anachronistic settings (i.e., 5000 years in the future) are a bit high for my tastes, not being a fan of the shows it references), others are worth owning (though if you buy, you buy them all as a season block).

Its certainly different, and owes more of its writing style to modern sci-fantasy shows like Angel and Buffy (in trying to fit a story into 45 minutes) than to the classic series.

Shame that Dembski didn’t even give one new argument to take apart…

(of course, popularity and awards are not necessarilly indicative of quality, but there you go)

Nick Matzke reports that Dembski argues “Darwinists” can’t list every single mutation that occurred over billions of years, therefore their research program has failed.

At least the ID proponents only have to demonstrate a single step in the process, the “proof of other organizing force” (poof).

“The only good bit was when Dembski put up a flagellum graphic with “liquid cooled” written in big bright letters across it.”

Shouldn’t that be lipid cooled?

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

I’ve heard that Demski’s intelligent agent is the “Prince of Poof.”

A man living in a box being hurtled through time, constantly amusing people while forever blathering on about things. He seems very confident and pleased with himself yet for all his travels he does not seem to get very far.

Dear God, Dembski is a Time-Lord!

Well them nutters at the Disco Institution are imploding noisily. Get this.1.Berdimski has finally copped to the fact that he is wacked and practices wacko science. This is looney beyond measure.2.Witt the twit tried to use Lowell to disparage science and ended up screwing id creationism itself. And he don’t even know it.(snicker) Damn, this dude is irony-proofed.3.Behe killed god in Dover. Imagine when all the crazies at the Institution has to shake his hand. When he leaves,they become Pilate-like in their obesession to wash the blood from their sweaty palms.4. Dimbski is still Dumbski.(He-He-He)5.Now for the unkindest cut of all. Henceforth, “Id is creationism in a cheap tuxedo” is kaput, pau, fini, sayonara. Personally, I thought it was an insult to my senior prom tux-a looong time ago-with its matching cumerbund, lapels, and bow-tie. All in ravishing purple. Cheap, but I looked so sweet. The new moniker comes comes out of the orifice-you choose- of creationist Alvin Plantinger when he described id as being “creationism in drag”. Priceless. You Thumbers couldn’t get a better description if you tried. I realize its an insult to drag queens but better them then my tux. This all reminds me of Voltaire’s plea of making his opponents look stupid. Like Clouser and the other loon’s vis-a-vis the good Rev Doctor; the Toe; the Hugger and the Thumber’s favorite granddaughter.

Yeah, it was quite amusing that an ID supporter managed to come out with a much better disparagement than any of us managed.

The “in drag” phraseology has been around for quite a while.

While using it made for one of the few accurate statements in Plantinga’s article, he doesn’t deserve credit for originating it…

The “Dr Who” aired by Baltimore PBS must be the longest-running series they have ever shown. They’ve cycled through the entire set of Doctors numerous times. There is something very appropriate in considering Intelligent Design proponents and Daleks in the same set of thoughts.

off-main-topic, on-secondary-topic

The “Dr Who” aired by Baltimore PBS must be the longest-running series they have ever shown.

Given the sample size of posters here, I’m amazed that I’m the third Baltimoron who watches Dr. Who on MPT Sunday nights.

But apparently unlike other viewers, I’m channel surfing waiting for some funny skits on SNL down on Channel 11. I rarely make it to the end of an episode, and judging from the plotlines, it doesn’t make much difference.

But seriously, I’m a little puzzled by the leisurely pace of the Dr. Who plotlines that are cluttered with endless minor stage business. They remind me of soap operas, where nothing happens for days on end. Was Dr. Who originally shown as a daily serial, with one of our “episodes” taking days or weeks to air?

In drag? eh, I don’t know if that expresses anything about the issue. This metaphor says it all:

http://darwin.bc.asu.edu/blog/wp-co[…]t/benson.gif

Sadly, the new Doctor Who is so bad that a Dembski lecture is probably fascinating by comparison.

Probably true, but you can’t just ignore it, or not experience it. That would be unforgivable for a real Dr Who fan. Yes, Tom Baker was the best, but there’s always hope…

The Daleks are important in that they illustrate our never-ending conflict with mindless “intelligently-designed” things - like creationists & ID’ers.

Apesnake concludes that “Dembski is a Time-Lord!”

I disagree. If he were, we would have seen his video tape of the Cambrian explosion demonstrating the arrival of fully formed “fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc.” all at the same time.

Delta Pi Gamma (Scientia et Fermentum)

Sorry, just a little question of clarification - the original talk (the IDEA page doesn’t really specify): did it have opportunity for feedback / debate, or was it just an IDEA propaganda - chance-for-applause staging?

(I again offer apologies for the off-topic post, but hey it’s not like Dembski gave anything new, so…)

Joe Shelby> To me, the new series, like all Who, bats about .500

Sorry; not being American, I recognise it as a baseball reference but don’t actually understand it. What’s the scale?

Apesnake> Dear God, Dembski is a Time-Lord! No no. No, no, no, no, no. Time Lords actually KNOW and DO things and solve problems.

Air Bear> Was Dr. Who originally shown as a daily serial, with one of our “episodes” taking days or weeks to air?

Original episodes were 25 minutes (the occasional rare exception in 80s series when they had 45-50 minute episodes. In the UK they were shown (I believe) weekly. In Australia (hooroo) they were shown daily, 4days/week; generally covering one story-line per week.

abcedx> Yes, Tom Baker was the best, but there’s always hope…

That’s a matter of debate (and this isn’t the place for an off-topic Who flame war). There IS the viewpoint that Tom Baker may have popularised the series and was certainly its longest running (on-air) protagonist (as opposed to its off-air, print-version). However, there’s also the view that Tom Baker introduced the most (unpleasant) eccentricity; for example, his last season (1981?) he knew he was leaving soon and just played it good and silly quite often. EVERY Doctor had good points that could give rise to argument that they were the best.

Joe Shelby> Mr. Christopher’s feelings on the new Who are hardly the majority viewpoint.

Actually, he[Paul Christopher]’s probably the only person I’ve ever heard say such a thing. I do admit I very much dislike the Deus Ex solution to the upcoming episode “The End Of The World”… seeing as the only time such “miracles” have ever been aired before, they were NOT critical to the problem’s solution. But (as a 25-year fan), this is the first time I’ve seen “normal people” get into Who. It may indeed be a of a style different to any of the previous episodes (possibly some late McCoy and the McGann aside), but it seems almost everyone who sees it loves it.

abcedx> The Daleks are important in that they illustrate our never-ending conflict with mindless “intelligently-designed” things - like creationists & ID’ers.

Oh, this is so, so, so, so, so much more true than you could no. I won’t give away spoilers (unless of course you’ve read the websites already) but man, wait until Episode 13. Is all I’ll say.

I would hazard a guess that peoples favourite Dr. is the 1st they enjoyed viewing.

My favourite was Jon Pertwee. Although I do agree Tom Baker was good once I adjusted to seing someone different playing the part.

Apesnake, Re “A man living in a box being hurtled through time, constantly amusing people while forever blathering on about things. He seems very confident and pleased with himself yet for all his travels he does not seem to get very far. Dear God, Dembski is a Time-Lord!”

Except that Dr. Who generally manages to help somebody out with major problems, during each of his little trips.

Henry

Dembski Wrote:

Comment: They are herewith throwing down the gauntlet. I’ll wager a bottle of single-malt scotch, should it ever go to trial whether ID may legitimately be taught in public school science curricula, that ID will pass all constitutional hurdles.

Snurk!

“But (as a 25-year fan), this is the first time I’ve seen “normal people” get into Who.”

A youngster, I see. You only started viewing in Tom Baker’s last year while we old fogies were there for “An Unearthly Child” in 1963. :o)

When we get the new series with David Tennant in Australia it will be on the ABC and will, thankfully, be free of advertisements.

How to get banned at Uncommon Descent (again)-

I was temporarily re-instated at Uncommon Descent, only to be banned moments later for asking this question:

“One last time: if ID is really science, then it is falsifiable. So what is the expected observation in the event that ID is not correct? What observation would not be inconsistent with an all-powerful creator? Could any observation be inconsistent with the existence of an omniscient being?”

Or maybe I was banned already, hard to tell.

I propose everyone post this or a similar question on Uncommon Descent until someone actually answers it. It would be futile to expect a real answer, but perhaps some newbie will be spared the indignity of falling victim to their disingenuity.

Satori was banned again for asking “So what is the expected observation in the event that ID is not correct? What observation would not be inconsistent with an all-powerful creator?”

Using the “g/c”word is grounds for banishment. Remember ID doesn’t require a mechanism, it’s all about detecting design, not explaining design. As has been pointed out by others, a leading ID theorist has already stated that ID is nonmechanistic (see Dembski’s post 18. September 2002 09:01). The source of design is outside of the realm of ID and that’s what makes it so nifty, everyone can buy into it and the designer can be anyone/anything, Dell did it (DDT).

To quote mine: “If you were really an engineer you would have solved this problem.” “I think you’re being too accomodating to Doctor Morris who appears to have forgotten “his place in the scheme of things.” “An embarrassingly poor choice of words is what they both are. —ds”

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 3, column 2, byte 64 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

Note on baseball averages: the “scale” is 1.000 and .500 means one half. The percentage is hits/at-bats, and (in baseball, at least) .300 is considered very good and the all-time best hitters were around .400. “Batting .500” would be fabulous for a baseball hitter, but for a television show seems a bit mediocre.

Bruce Thompson wrote:

Using the “g/c”word is grounds for banishment.

Here’s the FAQ on “g/c”: http://www.400monkeys.com/God/

… almost ^W entirely non-ID/Dembski/Uncommon Descent/etc. related and therefore possibly classifiable as off-topic. I apologise again. I’m not sure what more I could add to the august relevant comments here. Sorry.

Stephen Elliot Wrote:

I would hazard a guess that peoples favourite Dr. is the 1st they enjoyed viewing. My favourite was Jon Pertwee. Although I do agree Tom Baker was good once I adjusted to seing someone different playing the part.

A generalisation that may have a high but not 100% accuracy; like I said, I like ‘em all. Well, I’m not too fond of Paul McGann’s Doctor. The telemovie was not the best and the following novels weren’t too wonderful either. But he had redeeming features. Pretty much all the Doctors were pretty darn good.

Mind you, as Tent O Field points out, I started watching in Tom Baker’s era… but he introduced too much absurdity, and of the wrong ^W inappropriate(i.e., not a la Douglas Adams) type absurdity. If I were to do something so insane as to rank the Doctors according to some scale of personal (before a flame war breaks out) preference, Tom Baker would likely not appear in the top 50%.

Bill Gascoyne Wrote:

Note on baseball averages: the “scale” is 1.000 and .500 means one half. The percentage is hits/at-bats, and (in baseball, at least) .300 is considered very good and the all-time best hitters were around .400. “Batting .500” would be fabulous for a baseball hitter, but for a television show seems a bit mediocre.

Thanks for explanation, Bill.

Re: the mediocrity of the television show; remember, please, that “Doctor Who” was always considered a “fringe” show. Producer Russell T. Davies was quite correct to say that the show had been a smashing success because it had done something no other such show had done before - become a mainstream success. The Paul McGann/Fox/BBC telemovie was meant to be a pilot for a series but tanked badly in the U.S.; now your average British viewer is watching it and the Americans are supposedly clamoring for it as well. In thiscontext, batting .500 is freaking fantastic.

Tent O Field Wrote:

A youngster, I see. You only started viewing in Tom Baker’s last year while we old fogies were there for “An Unearthly Child” in 1963. :o) When we get the new series with David Tennant in Australia it will be on the ABC and will, thankfully, be free of advertisements.

a) Comparatively speaking, yes; it is my shame and I envy you, but barring a time machine, I’ve done the best I can by having the ENTIRE series’s available episodes in my library not to mention all bar maybe one or two of the series novelisations.

b) I mentioned the 25-year thing in order to point out I wasn’t speaking out of any ignorance. I bow to the superiority of your age / experience.

c) Second-last year of Tom Baker’s reign… at least as far as my friend’s research of the year’s microfiche retrieved ABC.au’s television listings goes.

d) Huzzah, non-commercialisation of at least one television station. Mind you, I downloaded (or was given copies downloaded) ad-free episodes before they reached Australia. And before anyone cries foul… I did purchase the DVD set, in spite of the fact I could have mastered and burned my own from the downloads.

e) And wait ’til you get to see the Christmas episode. It’s not bad, not at all.

air bear Wrote:

But seriously, I’m a little puzzled by the leisurely pace of the Dr. Who plotlines that are cluttered with endless minor stage business. They remind me of soap operas, where nothing happens for days on end. Was Dr. Who originally shown as a daily serial, with one of our “episodes” taking days or weeks to air?

Not a daily serial, but a weekly one. Most of the time in the US they show an entire 90-minute (or more) story. In Britain, it was generally aired in 4 or more 25-minute chunks on Saturday evenings around dinnertime. (The US version gets pared down to about 90 minutes after taking out the repeated title sequences and recaps.)

And you can count me as another who has watched Doctor Who in the wee weekend hours on Maryland Public Television.

Troff Wrote:

I like ‘em all.

Peter Davison didn’t really work for me, though–it was a constant distraction, because he always seemed too young to really be The Doctor.

Perhaps it should be pointed out that the very posh Lalla Ward - Tom Baker’s co-star (and briefly wife) - is now married to Richard Dawkins.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lalla_Ward

Beat that Dembski!

… which means that although Dawkins may not be a Time Lord - he is married to one ( or rather a Time Lady - and in UK terms a real ‘Lady’.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romana

Perhaps it should be pointed out that the very posh Lalla Ward - Tom Baker’s co-star (and briefly wife) - is now married to Richard Dawkins.

I did not know that.

VERY cool…and it’s something Dembski could not POSSIBLY beat.…

normdoering Wrote:

Here’s the FAQ on “g/c”: http://www.400monkeys.com/God/

Thank you Norm! That has to be the funniest thing I’ve seen all week.

Hey, I just watched last year for Billie Piper. Sigh. Okay I know she’s a pop tart but I’m in Canada and find her accent charming.

fnxtr

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on March 18, 2006 1:13 AM.

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