Denial, the first step towards recovery of despair


On UcD, Dembski posts a ‘response’ to Steve Reuland and others pointing out that the paper which Dembski called pro-ID wasn’t.

Dembski Wrote:

I posted a reference the other day to a peer-reviewed paper by two Finnish ID-supporters that I claimed supported ID. The paper highlighted that evolutionary methods work to the degree that they are directed. As is typical with our detractors, whenever a pro-ID paper by pro-ID scientists comes out in a peer-reviewed biology journal, they try their best to show that it doesn’t actually support ID. An example is the following post at PT by Steve Reuland:

The response seems to be that it was a paper by two ID supporters (interestingly enough Dembski may have out-ed the second author).

What is Dembski’s ‘devastating argument’? Now stop snickering and pay attention


Seems that Demsbki indeed has fallen for the false duality of not Darwinian means ID.

Does directed evolution falls properly under intelligent design? Certainly not as formulated by Dembski. It should come as no surprise that ID proponents are conflating the various meanings of intelligent design but rest assured, ID formulated as the set theoretic complement of chance and regularity has nothing to gain from science exploring the regularity aspects of proteins.

Next step Anger all the way to acceptance… “Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Testing, Acceptance”


Ah, so Dembski agrees that eugenics is non-Darwinian.

William Dembski Wrote:


He might want to send this angry missive to his creationist friend Matti Leisola, who referred to directed evolution methods as “Darwinian” and claimed that their widespread use represents an “Overreliance on the Darwinian methodology”.

What an utter fool.

Pough, good point…

This is not a good week for creationists…

Furthermore, Dembski has just shot down the whole Darwinism caused eugenics and the holocaust nonsense. What is eugenics, if not an attempted at directed evolution in a human context? If directed evolution is non-darwininan evolution, then Darwinism can’t be responsible for eugenics now, can it?

Oops. I guess I should read the comments more thoroughly. pough beat me to the punch.

It has already been pointed out, but it needs to be said again. Dembski logic: DIRECTED EVOLUTION IS NON-DARWINIAN. Directed evolution properly falls under ID. Eugenics is directed evolution. Conclusion: Eugenics is NON-DARWINIAN. Eugenics properly falls under ID.

Uncommondescent regular poster bFast is halfway to understanding the logic above when he responds to Dembski:

Directed evolution requires a director. Any director that I can envision uses intelligence in the process of directing. Directed evolution is unquestionably an ID position.

How long will it be before the IDists wake up and realize that, according to their own logic, they are actually claiming that eugenics is an ID endeavour? When will they realize that, according to their own logic, eugenicists were not “evolutionists” but “IDists”?

(I suppose that, for all intents and purposes, these can be seen as rhetorical questions…)

It will be interesting to hear Egnor argue against Dembski’s position on directed evolution being ID, won’t it?

Hmmmm… Is that crickets I hear?

PvM Wrote:

Seems that Demsbki indeed has fallen for the false duality of not Darwinian means ID.

It may “seem” so, but he knows better. But that doesn’t stop him from feeding that misconception among his cheerleaders.

Steve Wrote:

He might want to send this angry missive to his creationist friend Matti Leisola,

He might also want to read the paper, or at least the abstract, before posting about it. :-) “There is also overreliance on the Darwinian blind search to obtain practical results.” That is directed search towards a result, right there.

Fool or tool, as a longtime theological philosopher and ID bench-warmer he has now apparently lost the ability to analyze papers and think for himself. So it goes.

So if directed evoultion is intelligent design, then the paper by Leisola et al simply compares two classes of methods to design something. This is of course a common type of paper in different engineering disciplines. For instance, there are tons of papers and books about different methods for software design. So if Leisola et al is a pro-ID paper, then I guess those other papers should also count as pro-ID.

Oh my God, maybe I am doing pro-ID research too!

… Dembski hasn’t already hit the Anger stage!? Didn’t he pretty much hit that less than 24 hours after the Kitzmiller Dover decision?

Of course, Dembski’s statement is nothing more than a very nonsensical attempt to set up a straw man, and to follow it up with an illogical conclusion.

Let’s deal with the straw man first. No-one ever defined “Darwininan evolution” as non-directed, except for Dembski, just a short time ago. The evolution of the Chihuahua (the dog, not the cheese, nor the state they’re both named after) was directed by humans, but it’s still evolution.

I don’t personally agree with using the term “Darwinian evolution” (just as I don’t think we should talk about “Newtonian gravity”), but at any rate, even if that term is used, naturally it refers to evolution, whether directed by humans or not.

Now let’s move on the the idiotically illogical conclusion (I don’t mean to imply that Dembski is an idiot, but rather, that in his insincerity, he is compelled to make contorted arguments that are idiotic on critical examination). Dembski is essentially saying that if “directed evolution” (directed by humans in the case at hand) happens, then the more common “undirected evolution” must not happen.

Of course, that’s the exact opposite of what logic would suggest. It’s roughly the logical equivalent of seeing someone drop something on purpose, and saying that, since “directed gravity” works, therefore “unidirected gravity” must not work, and apples can fall off trees unless a “designer” is specifically dropping each one of them on purpose.

No sincere person would believe this type of thing, not even a sincere person of fundamental religious beliefs. This argument of Dembski’s is essentially an order issued to a group of followers, that they must pretend to believe an Orwellian argument. Orwell was writing about POLITICS in “1984” (the work which gives rise to the term “Orwellian”).

harold Wrote:

The evolution of the Chihuahua (the dog, not the cheese, nor the state they’re both named after) was directed by humans, but it’s still evolution.

There is Chihuahua Cheese? How does it smell?

“There is Chihuahua Cheese? How does it smell?”

Depends whether or not you cut the nose off

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 1, column 54, byte 54 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.3/mach/XML/ line 187

Well, congratulations are in order for Dr. Dembksi who has just eliminated (by fiat rather than reason) the use of experimental results in telling us anything about natural mechanisms.

How do iron bars rust when they’re outside? Well, if you conduct experiments, you are only looking at designed rust, nothing to do with ‘natural’ rust mechanisms. If you eliminate extrapolation from experiments to mechanisms that operate in the outside world, you’ve cut out 95% of science. Way to go, Dr. “I’d rather invent an new, useless philosophy of science and ignore 300 years of progress than admit that experimental results aren’t what I’d like” Dembksi.

“Direct rust is non-natural. Experiments on rust are all about ID.”

Well, if you conduct experiments, you are only looking at designed rust, nothing to do with ‘natural’ rust mechanisms.

Yes, of course. If you deliberately rust iron, this is Directed rusting. It is Designed rusting. Designed rusting proves god exists.

They’re done now. All that is left is to teach Intelligent Rusting in high school science classes.

Off topic, but I want to bring this site’s attention to an AP story where the Pope weighs in on evolution.

Re “Experiments on rust are all about ID.”

So that’s why the I.D. arguments are getting all rusty!

Do you think we could ever get Dembski and his merry band of wack jobs to tell us the exact definition of the words they use? Maybe like a Wikitionary for creationist, that way when they use the term “Darwinian” we could all know that means.….…uh.……something, hell I don’t know. The point is somebody from the funny farm has got to be able to present us with a list of terms and there definitions. This would make it much easier to understand there crack headed ramblings.

Um, Dembski, the point of evolutionary algorithms is that they lead to results which are not intended by anybody.

Now there is doubt as to how well normally utilized genetic algorithms really mimic evolution “in the wild”. Perhaps the more important point is that they do work, and that they are based upon evolutionary theory. There would not be much point in using genetic algorithms if they could not be directed in some manner, yet they wouldn’t lead to useful results if they were wholly directed either.

Unfortunately for Dembski, evolutionary theory continues to provide useful ideas not only in biology but even beyond biology. Unsurprisingly for a non-magical concept, evolution integrates with other sciences, including design by known intelligent agents. It was undirected evolution that gave us the idea for directed evolution, indeed, it is what gave them their ideas about directed evolution. The trouble is that their ideas are merely parasitical and without application possibilities, while undirected evolution both explains the non-teleological biology that we see, and it gives us ideas for how to enhance our limited design capabilities.

What Dimski forgets is that we’d never ever allow our directed evolution to be totally hamstrung by the past, as his much more capable “designer” was. We know how to intervene, to direct evolution, so that it actually will produce the evidence for rational design that is so lacking in “natural” biology.

Glen D

Andrew -

Chihuahua cheese is somewhat like a mild cheddar in flavor and odor, but with a subtly distinct taste, and it melts very nicely. It also tends to be a bit softer than cheddar.

Sometimes it’s white, but it can be light orange as well (also like cheddar).

Actually, you can find it almost anywhere in the US these days, and so there are probably lots of different versions.

It’s also called “queso mennonita” because Mennonite immigrants first made it.

It probably evolved from cheddar :-).

The pope story needs a thread…

But maybe not until the entire transcript can be read. The Yahoo! article makes it sound as though the pontiff is emphasizing the existence of a god, with or without evolution… but that isn’t so different from the IDists arguments, is it?

They definitely pulled a few pro-ID quotes out of him.

Anger seems to be the next step and Dembski seems to be working up towards it

If he but were to read the paper closely, he would find that it distinguishes between Darwinian evolution as an “inspiration” to directed search and “Darwinian blind search” as inherently limited. Darwinian evolution, which is blind, is the inspiration for evolutionary computing, which employs well-crafted fitness landscapes to achieve ends and therefore is not blind — and therefore is properly a branch of ID. Yes, we’re playing a turf war here. But it will not do to have Darwin discard teleology and then to claim teleological processes as Darwinian. This is an abuse of language, and Steve Reuland is guilty of it.]

It seems to me that Dembski is abusing language here. First of all, blind or non blind search are all part of science not ID which is the set theoretic complement of chance and regularity. Even if evolutionary algorithms were to employ carefully crafted fitness landscapes to achieve its success, they have little to do with the very limited concept of Intelligent Design. Only through a equivocation on the terms can Dembski use a bait and switch argument.

Also, if Dembski had familiarized himself with the concept of teleology, it would have been self evident that Darwinian mechanisms, according to various authors, is in fact ‘teleological’ in nature.

Denial and Anger and a bit of bargaining. Dembski seems to be well on his way to recovery. But I predict it will be a long road.

At least Dembski seems to be coping via his most favorite past time (and most successful as well) namely poking fun at atheists… Check out the videos he posted.

Sad to see someone self destruct

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on April 10, 2007 11:43 PM.

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