Vindication

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I’ve been saying that there were problems in William Dembski’s “explanatory filter” for a long, long time. Dembski has finally admitted that was the case.

(Original post at the Austringer.)

At the February 1997 NTSE conference, when I brought up the “traveling salesman problem” solved by genetic algorithm as an example that countered Dembski’s EF, he responded that his logic was sound and his premises were true, therefore his conclusion followed. Dembski in that instant dismissed empirical data as having any bearing on his work. It only took the better part of twelve years for Dembski to repudiate the soundness of his logic presented then.

I published a book review of The Design Inference back in 1999 that included the following:

According to Dembski, because humans identify human agency using the explanatory filter, the explanatory filter encapsulates our general method for detecting agency. Because TDI is equivalent to the explanatory filter, the conclusion of design in TDI is equivalent to concluding agency. Dembski specifies a triad of criteria – actualization-exclusion-specification – as sufficient for establishing that an intelligent agent has been at work, and finds that design as he uses it is congruent with these criteria.

However, Dembski’s triad of criteria for recognition of intelligent agents is also satisfied quite adequately by natural selection. “Actualization” occurs as heritable variation arises. “Exclusion” results as some heritable variations lead to differential reproductive success. “Specification” occurs as environmental conditions specify which variations are preferred. By my reading, biologists can embrace a conclusion of design for an event of biological origin and still attribute that event to the agency of natural selection.

John Wilkins and I took up criticism of Dembski’s “explanatory filter” in our 2001 peer-reviewed paper, The advantages of theft over toil: the design inference and arguing from ignorance, finding that Dembski’s supposedly fixed and mutually exclusive categories didn’t work so well when one took care in examining how he proposed to place instances in those categories.

Did Dr. Dembski thank me or us for getting that right? No, don’t be silly. But get it right we did, and there is an admission that the “explanatory filter” doesn’t work from William Dembski.

(1) I’ve pretty much dispensed with the EF. It suggests that chance, necessity, and design are mutually exclusive. They are not. Straight CSI is clearer as a criterion for design detection.

“Straight CSI” does not offer any improvement; after all, CSI was what the “explanatory filter/design inference” was supposed to identify. But I guess when it comes to Dembski recognizing faults in his work, we will have to be satisfied with baby steps.

Lots of critics have told William Dembski that his “explanatory filter” didn’t do what he claimed over the intervening years. This is a long-awaited moment for all of us.

160 Comments

He thinks that instead

Straight CSI is clearer as a criterion for design detection.

because he believes that his Law of Conservation of Complex Specified Information rules out natural selection being responsible for adaptations in the genome. But Jeffrey Shallit and you knocked a big hole in his alleged proof of that, in finding that the new specification he had to use to get conservation depended on the transformation that was involved, which violated his own conditions for the proof. I believe I have knocked another hole by showing that the have his Law work to rule out natural selection, you have to keep the specification that you evaluate the same before and after (in which case it is trivially easy to show that there can be no Law of Conservation).

Perhaps he will notice that his ship is leaking vary badly, and comment.

Although Dembski has abandoned the Explanatory Filter, he still seems to be holding on quite desperately to the concept of CSI

Dembski Wrote:

The challenge for determining whether a biological structure exhibits CSI is to find one thatbs simple enough on which the probability calculation can be convincingly performed but complex enough so that it does indeed exhibit CSI. The example in NFL ch. 5 doesnbt fit the bill. The example from Doug Axe in ch. 7 of THE DESIGN OF LIFE … is much stronger.

Well I am glad he has dropped his horrible protein example but to believe that probabilities of relevant biological structures can be made tractable seems to be at best wishful thinking.

More excitingly Dembski announces that

(5) There’s a paper Bob Marks and I just got accepted which shows that evolutionary search can never escape the CSI problem (even if, say, the flagellum was built by a selection-variation mechanism, CSI still had to be fed in).

In other words, just like an intelligence feeds in CSI, natural selection can feed in CSI from the environment into the organism. CSI is not really a problem but a fallacious concept.

In other words, just like an intelligence feeds in CSI, natural selection can feed in CSI from the environment into the organism. CSI is not really a problem but a fallacious concept.

It seems that anyone with an IQ above room temperature would have noticed that selection is a kind of information. It’s the answer to a yes/no question.

The remaining question is purely empirical: does variation and selection operate quickly enough to account for common descent.

We already know, by observing extinctions, that it isn’t always fast enough to preserve a species.

I think this posting is somewhat disingenuous. (Disclaimer: I accept evolution is a fact, and dismiss ID as the desperate rear-guard action of a discredited philosophy.)

I think this crowing over an admission of error is rather petty.

Consider the standard scientific process.

Propose a hypothesis. Use it to make predictions. Someone tests a prediction and shows that it is invalid, and that the hypothesis is therefore incorrect. Modify the hypothesis. Continue the loop until (a) all versions of hypothesis are shown to be incorrect, in which case you abandon it; or (b) you define a version of the hypothesis that is not rejected by testing, in which case it becomes (provisionally) accepted as correct.

IMO, (a) has already occurred, but WD is married to the hypothesis, and will require more convincing before he will abandon it.

The history of science includes numerous instances of people proposing radical hypotheses that contradicted “established truth”, but who eventually were shown to be correct (the most recent I can think of is Prusiner and his prion model). Of course, a huge number of other thinkers were shown to be INcorrect.…

Rather than go “nyah, nyah, you were wrong, I told you so a long time ago, what took you so long to admit it, and why are you simply modifying your hypothesis instead of abandoning it, when we KNOW you’re wrong?”, we should at least give WD some credit for admitting an error and proceeding to the next step.

djlactin said:

I think this posting is somewhat disingenuous. (Disclaimer: I accept evolution is a fact, and dismiss ID as the desperate rear-guard action of a discredited philosophy.)

I think this crowing over an admission of error is rather petty.

Consider the standard scientific process.

Propose a hypothesis. Use it to make predictions. Someone tests a prediction and shows that it is invalid, and that the hypothesis is therefore incorrect. Modify the hypothesis. Continue the loop until (a) all versions of hypothesis are shown to be incorrect, in which case you abandon it; or (b) you define a version of the hypothesis that is not rejected by testing, in which case it becomes (provisionally) accepted as correct.

IMO, (a) has already occurred, but WD is married to the hypothesis, and will require more convincing before he will abandon it.

The history of science includes numerous instances of people proposing radical hypotheses that contradicted “established truth”, but who eventually were shown to be correct (the most recent I can think of is Prusiner and his prion model). Of course, a huge number of other thinkers were shown to be INcorrect.…

Rather than go “nyah, nyah, you were wrong, I told you so a long time ago, what took you so long to admit it, and why are you simply modifying your hypothesis instead of abandoning it, when we KNOW you’re wrong?”, we should at least give WD some credit for admitting an error and proceeding to the next step.

You really have NO IDEA how incredibly dishonest William Dembski has been, do you?

Here’s a hint: Complex specified information is something that could never exist unless a human mind can interpret it.

When a scientist attempts to describe a complex thing objectively, he speaks of ORDER, never information. Why? Because if you discovered an ancient text written in Chinese, but you cannot read Chinese, the text has NO information for you to consider. But it DOES have order, whether you can read it or not.

(BTW, books cannot reproduce by themselves, so they are not subject to natural selection like living things would be.)

Demski’s use of the term “Complex Specified Information” (CSI) presumes that there was a preexisting mind to create that information. But that preexisting mind would itself be inaccessible to science and would therefore ben religious in nature, therefore CSI is also religious in nature, not science. And it is a basic assumption of Intelligent Design.

Therefore, Intelligent Design (ID) cannot be science. It is religious.

Therefore, teaching ID in science classrooms would be dishonest or ignorant in nature.

QED!

Dembski deserves all the contempt we can throw at him.

Dale Husband said:

Dembski deserves all the contempt we can throw at him.

And again … I find it hard to believe that the technical failings of the EF had anything to do with Dembski giving it up. He seems to be focused on sowing confusion and it appears he decided the EF wasn’t a very efficient tool for the job. After all, if technical implausibility was the problem, he wouldn’t be hanging on to CSI, either.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/tadarwin.html

Totally in agreement here. Dembski has not behaved like a scientist and has done nothing to earn respect. He takes petty jabs at science, accusing people of silencing, censoring his work, while, as several have testified on the EF, refusing to answer questions or accept criticism.

The EF has been like his shield for the past decade, and up until a week ago I believe it was still being used to defend ID arguments (not by him, as far as I know, but it shows how much his flock trust him).

Call me suspicious if science doesn’t work that way.

Where has his tireless battle been to defend the EF? People have been telling him for years the problems with it, ways to test it, etc. Dembski’s response has always basically been ‘the EF is great, read my book’.

Did we ever see him use it on any example at all? You’d think if he’s spent ten years testing this filter and finding out now it doesn’t work, that he must have tested it on at least one entity.

If he hasn’t, why the heck should we turn around now and say ‘well done, you’ve taken a baby step’, when he’s been holding this up as the crown of ID for ten years?

Dembski clamis that the reason that he only publishes books unstead of papers in scientific journals is that it is “quicker”. That alone should tell you that he has no academic integrity whatsoever and that he knows it and has always known it. People point out that his “math” is nonsense not because they believe that he has made an honest mistake, but because they can tell that he has always been completely dishonest.

How dishonest do you have to be in order to claim that all other scientists are completely wrong based on an equation that cannot even have a solution! Everyone knows that his foundation is simply religion, it was never about evidence or even math. An honest person would never have published anything about “CSI” anywhere without being able to at least calculate it. Never mind not having any objective criteria for what selection could and could not do. Never mind ignoring all known major molecular mechanisms. Never mind ignoring all evidence.

The guy is just a fraud fleecing easy marks. He didn’t even have the guts to show up for a trial when he had already crowed about how badly the “evolutionists” would lose, that makes him a hypocrite as well. I can’t think of a single reason why anyone should take him seriously about any biolgical issue.

PvM said: Although Dembski has abandoned the Explanatory Filter, he still seems to be holding on quite desperately to the concept of CSI

Ask our friends in Hollywood to crank up a major tv series titled “E…F…” and see what Dembski & Friends cling to then.

Dale Husband said:

djlactin said:

I think this posting is somewhat disingenuous. (Disclaimer: I accept evolution is a fact, and dismiss ID as the desperate rear-guard action of a discredited philosophy.)

I think this crowing over an admission of error is rather petty.

Consider the standard scientific process.

Propose a hypothesis. Use it to make predictions. Someone tests a prediction and shows that it is invalid, and that the hypothesis is therefore incorrect. Modify the hypothesis. Continue the loop until (a) all versions of hypothesis are shown to be incorrect, in which case you abandon it; or (b) you define a version of the hypothesis that is not rejected by testing, in which case it becomes (provisionally) accepted as correct.

IMO, (a) has already occurred, but WD is married to the hypothesis, and will require more convincing before he will abandon it.

The history of science includes numerous instances of people proposing radical hypotheses that contradicted “established truth”, but who eventually were shown to be correct (the most recent I can think of is Prusiner and his prion model). Of course, a huge number of other thinkers were shown to be INcorrect.…

Rather than go “nyah, nyah, you were wrong, I told you so a long time ago, what took you so long to admit it, and why are you simply modifying your hypothesis instead of abandoning it, when we KNOW you’re wrong?”, we should at least give WD some credit for admitting an error and proceeding to the next step.

You really have NO IDEA how incredibly dishonest William Dembski has been, do you?

Here’s a hint: Complex specified information is something that could never exist unless a human mind can interpret it.

When a scientist attempts to describe a complex thing objectively, he speaks of ORDER, never information. Why? Because if you discovered an ancient text written in Chinese, but you cannot read Chinese, the text has NO information for you to consider. But it DOES have order, whether you can read it or not.

(BTW, books cannot reproduce by themselves, so they are not subject to natural selection like living things would be.)

Demski’s use of the term “Complex Specified Information” (CSI) presumes that there was a preexisting mind to create that information. But that preexisting mind would itself be inaccessible to science and would therefore ben religious in nature, therefore CSI is also religious in nature, not science. And it is a basic assumption of Intelligent Design.

Therefore, Intelligent Design (ID) cannot be science. It is religious.

Therefore, teaching ID in science classrooms would be dishonest or ignorant in nature.

QED!

Dembski deserves all the contempt we can throw at him.

Which would you prefer, the Chinese historian who described ancient Chinese writings by describing them as orderly scribing, or the Chinese historian who had learned the ancient Chinese language, and could access the information as well? Order and information are both important.

Dale Husband: “Here’s a hint: Complex specified information is something that could never exist unless a human mind can interpret it.”

I have to disagree with this. My mother has a computer. It has a program called Internet Explorer on it. There is absolutely no doubt that she doesn’t understand how it works, but it does work. I’ve seen her use it. The binary instructions in the IE program cause the computer to function as a browser.

If the last thinking being in the universe was to drop dead, then nobody would understand how it works, but if a cat walked on just the right keys, the program would continue to instruct the computer on how to act like a browser.

I have no particular problem with the concept of CSI. That IE program is complex, it’s information and it’s specified - it’s a browser program. Similarly, DNA is complex, it’s information (it instructs your body on how to function) and it’s specified (it’s instructions for our body, not a book on building a rock.)

What bugs me is the utter uselessness of CSI for proving there’s a designer, since it’s well known that evolution functions by building and maintaining the complex specified information in DNA.

Dale Husband: “Dembski deserves all the contempt we can throw at him.”

I totally agree with you here.

P.L. said:

Which would you prefer, the Chinese historian who described ancient Chinese writings by describing them as orderly scribing, or the Chinese historian who had learned the ancient Chinese language, and could access the information as well? Order and information are both important.

The latter, of course. But that doesn’t refute my analogy, which shows how order is a concept that applies to the Chinese book whether you can read its text or not.

Indeed, even a code can be recognized in its basic form even if you cannot actually read the words, as indicated in that classic idiom, “It looks Greek to me.”

So an ancient Chinese text would still be highly prized and kept preserved in a museum, once authenticated by someone who can read the text, even if the curator and most of the employees of the museum cannot read a word of Chinese.

DNA is a coding mechanism that produces increased order through reproduction of itself and production of proteins. The issue of infomation would be useless if minds that could process that information did not exist. That is why Dembski’s terminology is joke, because it PRESUMES a mind made the information in the DNA codes. And there is NO conclusive evidence for that. Once natural selection was established as a credible mechanism for change in lines of organisms, the whole issue of infomation in organisms, aside from intelligent ones like human beings, should never have been brought up. Dembski did.….…and it was a STUPID thing to do!

CeilingCat said:

Dale Husband: “Here’s a hint: Complex specified information is something that could never exist unless a human mind can interpret it.”

I have to disagree with this. My mother has a computer. It has a program called Internet Explorer on it. There is absolutely no doubt that she doesn’t understand how it works, but it does work. I’ve seen her use it. The binary instructions in the IE program cause the computer to function as a browser.

If the last thinking being in the universe was to drop dead, then nobody would understand how it works, but if a cat walked on just the right keys, the program would continue to instruct the computer on how to act like a browser.

I have no particular problem with the concept of CSI. That IE program is complex, it’s information and it’s specified - it’s a browser program. Similarly, DNA is complex, it’s information (it instructs your body on how to function) and it’s specified (it’s instructions for our body, not a book on building a rock.)

What bugs me is the utter uselessness of CSI for proving there’s a designer, since it’s well known that evolution functions by building and maintaining the complex specified information in DNA.

Dale Husband: “Dembski deserves all the contempt we can throw at him.”

I totally agree with you here.

First, your mother is still using information on how to use the web browser, even if she doesn’t know all about how it works.

Second, the cat in question only accidentally activated the web browser. He used no information to access it, and unless he understood what he had done and could repeat it, he gained no information from the event. Chance alone does not produce either order or information, which is why I get so pi$$ed at those Creo-tards who deny evolution because they think it’s totally a process of “chance”.

I hope that helps!

I think this direct admission from Dembski, that chance, regularity and design aren’t exclusive categories, so the EF doesn’t work, needs to be force-fed to every creationist who’s claimed that the EF is good, describes how we identify design, and disproves evolution.

Imagine a “colour filter” which identifies red things as red, green things as green and _everything else_ as blue. Its creator could spend as long as they liked pointing at TV screens and claiming that RBG is enough to cover all colours; their filter would still identify oranges, aubergines and zebras as “blue”. Dembski’s EF tumbles all cases of “I don’t know” and all cases of natural selection (which is chance+regularity, iterated) into the “design” basket.

My own design detection algorithms (unpublished, but Nobel-worthy, trust me) tell me the sole function of the EF was to put all cases of natural selection into the “design” basket.

I see that Dembski is still a big favorite. I will just note that he has been publicly rather subdued since chickening out at Dover compared to before that. I think that hurt him and caused some serious introspection. This “baby step” as Wesley calls it is a big step for the crank personality.

Thanks for an interesting post.

Perhaps evolution supporters should build a non-disingenuous quotation list (if this hasn’t already been done)featuring:

Phillip Johnson’s admission that there is “no scientific theory of ID”; Dembski’s current admission that the EF doesn’t exclude stochastic processes; the “cdesign propnentsists” affair; the admission (I think it was Nelson or Minnich, but I could be wrong) that ID has not established a research program–along with relevant context, to show requisite integrity (which, of course, I have not done here). Any other damning admissions come to mind?

No. Well, except the Wedge Document where they basically said WE’RE CREATIONISTS AND ID WILL BE CREATIONISM IN DISGUISE.

JPS said:

Thanks for an interesting post.

Perhaps evolution supporters should build a non-disingenuous quotation list (if this hasn’t already been done)featuring:

Phillip Johnson’s admission that there is “no scientific theory of ID”; Dembski’s current admission that the EF doesn’t exclude stochastic processes; the “cdesign propnentsists” affair; the admission (I think it was Nelson or Minnich, but I could be wrong) that ID has not established a research program–along with relevant context, to show requisite integrity (which, of course, I have not done here). Any other damning admissions come to mind?

Without a doubt, Michael Behe’s Dover testimony to the effect that astrology would be considered a scientific theory under the criteria that would define ID as scientific. He’s also on film with Randy Olson in a DVD extra for Flock of Dodos discussing ID in the classroom saying, “I have very little interest in what gets taught in public schools. My kids don’t go to public schools; what do I care?”

Behe comes in around 5:50 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx3GaDek98M (HT: Nick Matzke).

Seriously, the guy’s a gold mine.

DS said:

Dembski clamis that the reason that he only publishes books unstead of papers in scientific journals is that it is “quicker”.

What a strange thing to assert. The last few papers I’ve published have gone from initial submmission to peer review to revision to DOI in a matter of months, and I don’t usually submit manuscripts to the journals that try for quick turnaround. Is there some particular reason that Dembski needs to get his work out quickly?

I would normally only worry about turn-around time for publication if I were publishing in a highly competitive area, where I might get “scooped,” or if I needed to show progress for a grant renewal. I don’t think Dembski is at risk either of havinng someone beat him in publishing an important new result or of not getting an NSF grant because the papers from the predecessor grant haven’t appeared yet.

I also find it odd that Dembski finds it quicker to write and publish a book than to write and publish a series of papers, but maybe that’s just me …

Pete Dunkelberg said:

This “baby step” as Wesley calls it is a big step for the crank personality.

I don’t really think Dembski has done anything here but rearrange the deck chairs on the LUSITANIA.

White Rabbit (Greg Goebel) http://www.vectorsite.net/gblog.html

Dale Husband said: Complex specified information is something that could never exist unless a human mind can interpret it.

I don’t think that’s Dembski’s main problem. I think his big flaw is that natural animal behavior can turn non-specificity into specificity.

Animals with maladaptive mutations in the current environment can often shift environments or alter strategies. Those big paws make you a slower hunter on land? Start hunting in the water. Or hunt bigger prey. You were born with a thicker/thinner coat than what’s optimal for your current environment? Move to a colder/warmer environment.

CSI requires one to evaluate form-to-function fit, ignoring the fact that animals stuck with a ‘bad form’ can change behavior or niche in order to improve their function. This creates specificity. In the fitness-as-n-dimensional-landscape model, the climber can sometimes change the weights given to any specific dimension, which has the effect of altering the landscape.

JPS said:

Thanks for an interesting post.

Perhaps evolution supporters should build a non-disingenuous quotation list (if this hasn’t already been done)featuring: Any other damning admissions come to mind?

Behe admitting common descent between chimps and humans. Behe admitting earth being billions of years old. I assumed these are all already archived in talk.origins.

SWT said:

I also find it odd that Dembski finds it quicker to write and publish a book than to write and publish a series of papers, but maybe that’s just me …

Well, he doesn’t have to wade through all that unpleasant “research” and “actual work”; he just needs a few hours of Aristotlean mind-wanking, and presto!

Dembski cited his 2005 paper as the “new” definition of CSI. The major effort in that paper is to redefine “specification” into something vague enough to paper over the ID failure.

The point to remember is that the IDC goal is to “prove” the existance of the biblical God the Creator/Designer by finding a naturalistic feature which must have come from a supernatural source. “Complex Specified Information” was supposedly that naturalistic/material feature which can only come from God. In Genesis, it was the rainbow.

According to Behe, benificial mutations come from God, and the nasty ones are from “nature.” According to Dr Dr D, he does not have to provide any example.

JPS said: Perhaps evolution supporters should build a non-disingenuous quotation list

Here’s some of my favorites:

“We have concluded that (intelligent design) is not [science], and moreover that (intelligent design) cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.” - Judge John Jones, Harrisburg, PA, December 20, 2005.

“It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.” - Judge John Jones, Harrisburg, PA, December 20, 2005.

“I couldn’t have written about evolution without the generous tutoring of Michael Behe, David Berlinski, and William Dembski, all of whom are fabulous at translating complex ideas…” - Ann Coulter, in her execrable book Godless

“Evolution is a cornerstone of modern biology” and “much of the work supported by the National Institutes of Health depends heavily on the concepts of evolution.” - White House science advisor John H. Marburger III quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Also, in a speech, Marburger said, “Intelligent design is not a scientific theory. I don’t regard intelligent design as a scientific topic.”

“Christ is never an addendum to a scientific theory but always a completion.” - William Dembski, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, from his book, Intelligent Design, page 207.) More quotes from Dembski’s book: “[A]ny view of the sciences that leaves Christ out of the picture must be seen as fundamentally deficient.” and “[T]he conceptual soundness of a scientific theory cannot be maintained apart from Christ.” Here’s another quote from Dembski: “…I think God’s glory is being robbed by these naturalistic approaches to biological evolution…”

“[The Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s] words, my studies and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism…” - Johnathon Wells, a lifelong member of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church (the Moonies); one of the Discovery Institute’s leading propagandists and the author of Icons of Evolution.

“Our strategy has been to change the subject a bit, so that we can get the issue of intelligent design, which really means the reality of God, before the academic world and into the schools.” - Philip Johnson, 2003, on a Christian radio talk show: And here’s a 1996 quote from Philip Johnson: “This isn’t really, and never has been, a debate about science. It’s about religion.”

There’s more…lots more.

There’s more…lots more.

Like the Judge’s comment about “breathtaking inanity” of the ID advocates.

Or the Pope’s comment about converging lines of evidence, neither sought nor anticipated.

James F Wrote:

Without a doubt, Michael Behe’s Dover testimony to the effect that astrology would be considered a scientific theory under the criteria that would define ID as scientific.

That’s where he also testified that the designer might no longer exist.

ravilyn sanders Wrote:

Behe admitting common descent between chimps and humans. Behe admitting earth being billions of years old.

And admitting it consistently for at least 12 years. IMO, what’s even more damning than that is how other DI fellows who seem to disagree (e.g. Nelson and Wells) refuse to challenge him directly on either point - and vice versa. Even those who do not quite understand the nature and role of science should detect that they are trying to hide something.

On the subject of damning quotes, how about Dembski’s own one, from the 2001 “Is Intelligent Design Testable?” article, whereby he admits that ID can accommodate all the results of “Darwinism”?

SWT wrote:

“I also find it odd that Dembski finds it quicker to write and publish a book than to write and publish a series of papers, but maybe that’s just me …”

Well just remember that publications in scientific journals have to go through that peer review thing. That might indeed significantly increase the time to publication for any of Dembski’s stuff to infinity and beyond. That’s how you know it’s just an excuse to try to hide poor scholarship. That and the fact that you don’t get royalities on the journal articles.

Never fear. Cornell double-major and ID Superstar Hannah Maxson will turn up any day now to explain how straightforward it is to apply Dembski’s theorems to a relevant biological protein. Right now she’s being trained in her undisclosed location by Casey Luskin and Co., sort of like Sarah Palin was briefed by the McCain campaign for a couple weeks before she gave her awesome interviews.

PvM said:

Why take a losing position and reinstate it? Fascinating. I wonder how many ID proponents will take Dembski seriously.

That’s okay. I didn’t hear him call no take backs. One two three no take backs! I didn’t hear him call it. That’s the way they do stuff in science.

Dear GvlGeologist,

How can I seriously even think of calculating them:

GvlGeologist, FCD said:

John Kwok said: I rate the odds of this happening as infinitesimally small, on the order of one in a trillion:

And what are your confidence intervals? ;^)

Simply put, I can’t (And I’ll be the first one to admit that my odds are conservatively quite generous.), since I simply made a wild guess. However, unlike the ever “brilliant” Dembski - who doesn’t deserve either his M. S. degree in Statistics from the University of Illinois, Chicago nor his Ph. D. degree in Mathematics from the University of Chicago - at least I’m honest intellectually.

Cheers,

John

Dear DS:

Why waste your time making such an inane set of calculations as these:

DS said:

Well I applied the EF to Santa and his reindeer. The results were not too surprising:

Sleigh - intelligently designed by humans score 59 range 45 - 65 SD +/- 8 Reindeer - designed by natural selection score 79 range 65 - 95 SD +/- 6 Flying - intelligently designed by aliens score 99 range 95 - 100 SD +/- 1

So there, the filter works just fine at detecting all kinds of design, except devine intervention. That seems to be off the charts for some reason.

I am willing to admit any mistakes in the math if anyone can show where my calculations are in error.

Only a delusional IDiot such as yourself would consider seriously Dembski’s mendacious intellectual pornography, which he claims to be “valid” statistically (However, as I have noted recently, the likes of Shallit and Elsberry, among others, strongly beg to differ with Dembski’s assertion that the Explanatory Filter is a “brilliant” notion.).

Hope you continue enjoying your membership in the Dishonesty Institute IDiot Borg Collective.

Live Long and Prosper (as a DI IDiot Borg drone),

John Kwok

John Kwok said:

Dear DS:

Why waste your time making such an inane set of calculations

Yes, utterly inane calculations.

After all, why on earth should DS waste his time formulating calculations on the design quotient of Santa Claus’ sleigh in order to stump Mr Dembski, when we all know that Mr Dembski would sooner die than be motivated to actually show how his calculations work? In fact, from what I’ve seen of him and his dog and pony show, Mr Dembski would sooner die than attempt to intelligently design his way out of a paper bag.

That’s funny, DS’s satire didn’t look too subtle to me…

Yea, well none of you guys can show where I made any errors in calculation, so the BS EF must work just fine. And don’t worry, I didn’t waste much time on it. It’s a really simple calculation. Just mulitply the number of parts by the number of instructions required to assemble the parts and divide by the speed of light (which we all know is a constant).

John,

I hope you’re being sarcastic in your responses to DS and me, because sure as anything, neither of us were serious in our comments.

Dear GvlGeologist,

Sure, you bet:

GvlGeologist, FCD said:

John,

I hope you’re being sarcastic in your responses to DS and me, because sure as anything, neither of us were serious in our comments.

I was hoping Ray Martinez would show up again, but I guess the “kitchen” here got too hot for him.

Cheers,

John

Dear fnxtr:

It’s known as sardonic humor, which I admit I did miss initially:

fnxtr said:

That’s funny, DS’s satire didn’t look too subtle to me…

The best known practitioner of sardonic humor is of course the bestselling author of “Angela’s Ashes” (Won’t say more lest someone accuses me - and correctly this time - of name dropping, especially of a longstanding personal acquaintance of mine.).

Regards,

John

John Kwok said: The best known practitioner of sardonic humor is of course the bestselling author of “Angela’s Ashes” (Won’t say more lest someone accuses me - and correctly this time - of name dropping, especially of a longstanding personal acquaintance of mine.).

Regards,

John

Dembski wrote “Angela’s Ashes”?

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This page contains a single entry by Wesley R. Elsberry published on December 4, 2008 6:11 PM.

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