Denyse O’Leary, she of the multiple blogs and little reliable knowledge of evolution, is offering a prize for the original code for Dawkins’ cumulative selection demonstration program (‘METHINKS …”), described in The Blind Watchmaker, originally published in 1986. The winner actually gets to choose between two prizes, a copy of Stephen Meyer’s new elaboration of the standard ID argument from ignorance, Signature in the Cell, or a copy of Dawkins’ forthcoming The Greatest Show on Earth. (Actually, for the latter prize, O’Leary says she will ask Dawkins’ publicist to provide the prize. Strange to offer a prize she can’t herself deliver.)
The comment thread is strangely reminiscent of the recent “birther” rhetoric in the U.S. A commenter called “kibitzer” replicates the birther script almost flawlessly. For example
It is simply unconscionable that over 20 years after the program has been out and used to argue for Darwinism, Dawkins still has not made this code publicly available.
But the program has been much discussed on the Internet in the last decade. So where is the code?
Then provide the original code. Repeat after me: WE WANT TO SEE THE ORIGINAL CODE, WE WANT TO SEE THE ORIGINAL CODE, WE WANT TO SEE THE ORIGINAL CODE …
Of course, as programs go, Dawkins’ WEASEL is trivial and it’s easy enough to reconstruct something that’s close to it. But given the controversy surrounding it, let’s see the original program. Why is that so difficult?
We’re all beating our gums. Please, let’s see the original code. Why is that so much to ask? To paraphrase Ben Stein, Does anyone have it? Anyone?
Controversy? Only in the fevered imagination of Bill Dembski, who has now infected Robert Marks.
Hat tip to Glenn Branch.