Failed Prophecies: An ID Anniversary

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The anniversary of some specific predictions by IDist William Dembski has arrived, and Kristine, the Amused Muse, has reminded us that Dembski predicted in 2006 that within 10 years the theory of evolution will be dead. We’re four years on from that prediction and nothing I see tends to confirm it. Anyone else?

The original news article isn’t available on the web any more, but both Kristine and Ed Brayton have sufficient extracts from it to reconstruct Dembski’s hubristic pronouncements. Brayton also supplies a link to Glenn Morton’s invaluable collection of quotations on The Imminent Demise of Evolution. Dembski is a minor figure in a long line of failed prophets.

By the way, another ID anniversary is nearly upon us. Any guesses as to what it is?

126 Comments

Re: Anniversary. That by 2000 there’d be conclusive proof that the earth was 6,000 years old? Just guessing here. Don’t leave us hanging. :)

People have been claiming Evolution(ary Biology) would be dead for 149 years. One wonders why these people haven’t attempted to get a new, and possibly more accurate hobby by now.

Funny, Dembski’s acolytes keep claiming that evolution is already dead, it’s just that the hundreds of thousands of professional scientists that have anything to do with evolution haven’t noticed yet.

Don’t IDists have some private alternative reality they can go an slip into, and leave the rest of us in peace?

People have been claiming Evolution(ary Biology) would be dead for 149 years. One wonders why these people haven’t attempted to get a new, and possibly more accurate hobby by now.

No, of course not. That is nothing for some xians. They have been predicting the Happy Day when god shows up and kills everyone and destroys the earth for 2,000 years. The Second Coming Apocalypse was originally scheduled for the 1st century CE.

They will just kick the prophecy down the road until no one cares anymore. That could take centuries. After all 26% of the fundies are also still Geocentrists and it has been 450 years since Copernicus.

Don’t IDists have some private alternative reality they can go an slip into, and leave the rest of us in peace?

These days it seems to be Texas.

Many IDists are xian Dominionists including the Dishonesty Institute which is funded by Dominionist money.

I keep asking them why they don’t just find a theocracy and join it rather than attempting to destroy the USA and set up their own. Haven’t got an answer yet.

Would the prophecy be some juicy tidbit expressed in the Wedge Document, asserting that Intelligent Design would supplant evolution as the valid scientific theory worthy of study in science classrooms? Of course, they’re absolutely right.…. and if you really believe what I just said, then I have a bridge for sale over in Brooklyn, NY.

Richard B. Hoppe Wrote:

By the way, another ID anniversary is nearly upon us. Any guesses as to what it is?

Ontogenetic Depth? ISTR that being promised “anyday now” around this time in 2004,when PT was just getting started.

Yay Kristine!

BTW - Is this the anniversary of the Famous Dembski Broken Promise to buy someone a single-malt bottle of scotch if ID lost at Dover?

I have a a bit more of the article here, including this:

He [Dembski] calls Darwinian evolution “viscerally unacceptable” to most Americans. …

As if Dembski’s or anyone else’s gut reation should be taught as science at taxpayers’ expense!

Yes! Paul Nelson Day is was what came to my mind.

Awww, poor IDers, you nasty people picking on them like this.

John Pieret said:

I have a a bit more of the article here, including this:

He [Dembski] calls Darwinian evolution “viscerally unacceptable” to most Americans. …

As if Dembski’s or anyone else’s gut reation should be taught as science at taxpayers’ expense!

I suspect that these “gut” reactions to evolution are derived from his own serious misconceptions about how matter behaves in the universe.

He then attributes these misconceptions to the science community and seems to believe that some scientist somewhere is going to finally notice what Dembski himself thinks he has noticed; namely, that intelligence is required to assemble matter into living organisms because atoms are assembled from uniform random sampling of infinite solution sets.

This is the problem with getting an armchair degree in mathematics or of systematically avoiding confronting one,s misconceptions in getting one’s degree.

Like all ID/creationists, Dembski never got himself into the lab. He never actually designed and built apparatus and instrumentation based on how nature works. He has never put his misconceptions to any real test against nature. He has never experienced the result that, with such designs and implementations, everything in the experiment works as expected and makes the next step into our understanding of nature.

Thus none of the ID/creationists can even imagine just how far off track their misconceptions are. So they confidently bluster and promise the demise of real science without having the slightest idea of what real scientists know and do.

Isn’t there something in the ID science book that warns about “false prophets” or something? Not that anybody ever fails to weasel their way out of their own religious beliefs. Just sayin though…

John Pieret said:

I have a a bit more of the article here, including this:

He [Dembski] calls Darwinian evolution “viscerally unacceptable” to most Americans. …

As if Dembski’s or anyone else’s gut reation should be taught as science at taxpayers’ expense!

Sorry to have missed that, John.

Isn’t there something in the ID science book that warns about “false prophets” or something?

The penalty for false prophecy, according to the biblical context, is capital punishment (per Deuteronomy 13:1-5).

“But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.”

Sure. Deuteronomy even explains how to tell a false prophet from a true one and what the penalty is. The ones that are wrong are to be put to death.

They never, ever bother though. If they did, the DI, most televangelists, many pastors, and all the Rapture End Timers would have died in a blizzard of rocks.

John Pieret said:

I have a a bit more of the article here, including this:

He [Dembski] calls Darwinian evolution “viscerally unacceptable” to most Americans. …

Combine visceral unacceptability with religious doctrine and you’ve pretty much accounted for all creationists. You can’t reason someone out of something they weren’t reasoned into.

And yet by the test of making money by publishing potboilers, the theme of the approaching death of Darwinism is a proven winner. Darwinism won’t be dead by 2025, but neither will the writing of books promising its demise.

Anniversary? Beatdown in Dover?

I keep asking them why they don’t just find a theocracy and join it rather than attempting to destroy the USA and set up their own. Haven’t got an answer yet.

While I know you being fesicious, it is a lot easier to take advantage of free speech and freedom of religion to promote your ideas, then co-opting government institutions to get rid of these liberties, than it is to crash a theocracy different from your own. Thankfully, my scenario is pretty unlikely too.

No, that occurs on December 20th, which will be the 6th anniversary of Judge John Jones’s ruling at the close of the Kitzmiller vs. Dover trial:

brian said:

Anniversary? Beatdown in Dover?

But it could be the sixth anniversary soon of the “Shakedown in Dover”, when the ever adorable Bill Dembski charged the Dover Area School District for serving as a witness on his behalf, while still backing out when he realized that he couldn’t have his own private attorney present at the trial. If I’m not mistaken, Bill’s act was that of larceny, charging the Dover Area School District board to the tune of $20,000.

OOPS, sorry about that. I meant 5th anniversary for Judge Jones’s ruling:

John Kwok said:

No, that occurs on December 20th, which will be the 6th anniversary of Judge John Jones’s ruling at the close of the Kitzmiller vs. Dover trial:

brian said:

Anniversary? Beatdown in Dover?

But it could be the sixth anniversary soon of the “Shakedown in Dover”, when the ever adorable Bill Dembski charged the Dover Area School District for serving as a witness on his behalf, while still backing out when he realized that he couldn’t have his own private attorney present at the trial. If I’m not mistaken, Bill’s act was that of larceny, charging the Dover Area School District board to the tune of $20,000.

You should be aware the Dr. Dr. Dembski published a book on how the world may be retrospectively changed. Since he believes the sin came into this world this way it seems not unlikely that it doesn’t matter to him if his prediction doesn’t come true in 2015. He may then claim that it will happen in the far future but that it will then be also true for the past and the present.

How about this anniversary? How is that wager working out?

On 5 April Dembski offered a wager concerning Pianka:

“I’m willing to wager $1000 with David Hillis that sympathy not just nationally but at UTAustin for Pianka will take a nose dive once his TAS speech goes public. Of course, we need to set the terms of this wager more precisely. But it’s a wager easily settled — Pianka needs merely to make his speech before the TAS public (the actual speech — not a bowdlerized version of it).”

brian said:

I keep asking them why they don’t just find a theocracy and join it rather than attempting to destroy the USA and set up their own. Haven’t got an answer yet.

While I know you being fesicious, it is a lot easier to take advantage of free speech and freedom of religion to promote your ideas, then co-opting government institutions to get rid of these liberties, than it is to crash a theocracy different from your own. Thankfully, my scenario is pretty unlikely too.

Too true. (psst! brian: “facetious”)

This is a great collection of failed predictions to go with the several Kristine mentioned in her post.

I’ll wager a bottle of vintage Blatz. (Room temperature of course.) I’ll even throw in a baloney sandwich.

If Dembski can make predictions, so can I:

Prediction 1: In 2016, after being reminded of what he said in 2006, Dembski will mine a few quotes to pretend that “Darwinists” have abandoned the “old Darwinism,” and claim to be vindicated. Remember that to properly execute their scam they need “Darwinism” to be both dead and dying at the same time. And of course falsified and unfalsifiable. So there is no way they can let “Darwinism” die, even in the remote chance that evolution actually does.

Prediction 2: If anything ever comes of “Ontogenetic Depth” it will not be a new scientific explanation for the origin of species, but another fancy incredulity argument that neither offers anything promising or uncovers any weakness in evolution (the fact or the theory). But like all elaborate incredulity arguments it will give nonscientists cool but misleading sound bites, while the refutations of those sound bites will be too technical to understand by all but a few % that are both science-literate and closely follow the antics of anti-evolution activists. IOW it will be like everything else the DI does.

The DI, if not those Bible-based pseudoscience outfits, is forever forced to pull a bait-and-switch at nearly every turn. Even if they turn out to be correct that design is both empirically detectable and responsible for “something” in biology, the best explanation will still be Darwinian evolution, and the conclusions will still include ~4 billion years of common descent. If they had even the slightest confidence that mainstream science was wrong about any of that, there would not be this hopeless disagreement among them as to what happened instead, and when. Behe still thinks that “non Darwinian” species changes occur in-vivo, and have periodically for ~4 billion years. Other DI folk seem to think, but never say for sure, that different lineages originated from nonliving matter periodically over ~4 billion years. Still others, like Nelson, think that life, and even the planet it inhabits is on the order of half a million times younger than most of his DI buddies. With that much internal disagreement the last thing they need to worry about is “Darwinism.”

Speaking of Nelson, it has been more than 2 years since another PT poster mentioned the possibility that Nelson might be an Omphalos creationist (one who admits that their conclusions are faith-based, and that the evidence would not support it) instead of a “true” YEC. So I asked him while he was briefly posting here. He replied to one or two other comments, suggesting that he saw my question but ignored it.

They can’t even answer a simple yes or no question, yet they pretend that they will replace (or “have replaced,” depending on which sound bite is cooler at the moment) 150 years of biology, and the case of the “alternate age” advocates, all fields of science.

We should be coming up to some Freshwater anniversary, no?

Mike Elzinga Wrote:

Like all ID/creationists, Dembski never got himself into the lab. He never actually designed and built apparatus and instrumentation based on how nature works. He has never put his misconceptions to any real test against nature. He has never experienced the result that, with such designs and implementations, everything in the experiment works as expected and makes the next step into our understanding of nature.

Thus none of the ID/creationists can even imagine just how far off track their misconceptions are. So they confidently bluster and promise the demise of real science without having the slightest idea of what real scientists know and do.

Maybe Dembski has not been in a biology lab, but at least Behe and Wells have. But that gives them less of an excuse for not having a promising alternate theory by now. But even if biologists are few among DI fellows, they are funded enough to lure any scientist who is willing to sell out to pseudoscience - and sadly there are plenty of them, if only because pseudoscience is more lucrative than science in our culture. Certainly some of those sell-outs are “experimentin’ away” at the Biologic Institute as we speak. I expect another “peer reviewed” vacuous argument from incredulity any day now. But they can afford to take their time, because what they have now still sells, even to those with the ability, if not the interest, to know better.

I think the main DI guys not only “can imagine,” but “know darn well” how “far off track their misconceptions are.”

John Kwok said:

The Tea Party Movement started back in February after a MSNBC news reporter suggested that we needed a tea party to stop excessive government spending. Almost immediately they started to spring up. The Tea Party Movement is a genuine grass roots movement aimed at curbing a Progressive Socialist-leaning expansion of the Federal Government, reduce government spending and restore more civil liberties toward both individual states and citizens.

Cutting taxes to “favor the rich” is a policy which that great Republican president, John F. Kennedy, used to help spur economic growth in the early 1960s. He recognized that doing this would help ensure greater economic prosperity and substantial job growth. It’s too bad the President of the United States seems committed to his Progressive Socialist agenda, instead of trying to learn from what Kennedy and Clinton did right in ensuring our country’s economic prosperity:

amyc said:

John Kwok said: As for the Xian - Far Right alliance, that has been unraveling in reaction to the 2006 and 2008 national elections (For those who think that the Tea Party Movement is yet another manifestation of that alliance, then you’re mistaken. Instead, it seems to be a populist movement based on a concerned citizenry’s legitimate concerns of excessive government spending, and an activist Progressive-oriented Federal Government interested in expanding its power at the expense of both the states and citizens. One clear sign of this was the Tea Party Movement’s initial reluctance to join forces with the Republican Party, simply because of its longstanding ties to the Xian Far Right.). Moreover, I believe that that alliance is also splitting due to differences with respect to promoting conservation biology and acceptance of anthropogenic global warming (There is, for example, increasing recognition by some Xians - including creationists - that we need to preserve and to protect for future generations, GOD’s creation (Earth’s biodiversity). In recognition of this, eminent evolutionary biologist E. O. Wilson has been among those reaching out to this segment of the Xian community.).

I know this really isn’t the place for politics, but I have to disagree on what you said about the TP “movement”. If they were really that concerned about fiscal responsibility, then where were they when we had a president who sent us from a surplus to a deficit and at the same time cut taxes that favored the rich? I don’t buy the whole tea party thing, it’s all made up by fox and glenn beck. That’s all I’ll say on politics. You may disagree with me, but that’s how I see it. Now let’s get back to the real topic…Has anyone else read Republican Gamorrah? It’s about the extreme religious right’s stranglehold on the Republican party. After reading that book, I’m thinking that the xians are still a big threat. You’re right though that some of them are coming around on climate change…but only some. I know a few people who still say that they don’t believe in climate change (or global warming, whichever) because they don’t believe that God would let humanity destroy his (they always say his) creation. To which I reply: the dodo bird, the buffalo herds (almost!), and the thousands of other species that we kill off every year by destroying the rainforests.

You know what economists call cutting taxes for the rich to help everybody else? It’s called trickle-down economics. You know what else it’s called? Voodoo economics, because it doesn’t work. Obama walked into a recession and piles of debt. You talk about civil liberties being taken away, but you don’t seem to realize that it was GWB who took those liberties away. Under his regime there was torture, unlawful arrests, unwarranted wire tapping, along with an invasion that we had no business doing. You can’t expect a new president to come into all of that and be able to fix it all with in a year. That’s just asinine. It will take time to recover from the recession. There is no magic legislation that will fix that. And Kennedy was not a republican–he was a democrat. Get your presidents straight.

And let’s leave the political debate at that, please.

Amyc -

I suggest you read your 20th Century American history and see what a Democratic President, John F. Kennedy, did to spur economic growth by cutting taxes. To a lesser extent, Bill Clinton also did this. It’s a pity Obama is so fixated on being the Progessive Socialist ideologue that he is instead of learning from what his two Democratic predecessors did.

Anyway, I agree with RBH that we should “leave the political debate at that, please”.

John

John Kwok said:

Amyc -

I suggest you read your 20th Century American history and see what a Democratic President, John F. Kennedy, did to spur economic growth by cutting taxes. To a lesser extent, Bill Clinton also did this. It’s a pity Obama is so fixated on being the Progessive Socialist ideologue that he is instead of learning from what his two Democratic predecessors did.

Anyway, I agree with RBH that we should “leave the political debate at that, please”.

John

I wanted to leave the political debate at that three messages ago. I even brought up a different topic in my post that was at least somewhat related to what others were talking about, but then you kept accusing people of being socialist. This is the new era of McCarthyism.

As my last point, I will say this: this country has followed the republican economic “trickle down”/deregulation strategy for decades now, and we ended up in a recession that almost turned into a depression. I just don’t see why we should be so against new ideas.

When Obama made the comment about “spreading the wealth around” he was not talking about socialism. He was discussing the disparities between the upper and lower classes of America–disparities so great that they almost top those of the gilded age. All he meant was that the gap between upper and lower class Americans should be bridged. He was not advocating socialism.

I’ll stop there because we obviously disagree on ideological levels, and neither of us is going to change the other person’s mind. I respectfully disagree with you.

I will have to disagree respectfully with your observation Amyc:

Amyc said:

John Kwok said:

Amyc -

I suggest you read your 20th Century American history and see what a Democratic President, John F. Kennedy, did to spur economic growth by cutting taxes. To a lesser extent, Bill Clinton also did this. It’s a pity Obama is so fixated on being the Progessive Socialist ideologue that he is instead of learning from what his two Democratic predecessors did.

Anyway, I agree with RBH that we should “leave the political debate at that, please”.

John

I wanted to leave the political debate at that three messages ago. I even brought up a different topic in my post that was at least somewhat related to what others were talking about, but then you kept accusing people of being socialist. This is the new era of McCarthyism.

As my last point, I will say this: this country has followed the republican economic “trickle down”/deregulation strategy for decades now, and we ended up in a recession that almost turned into a depression. I just don’t see why we should be so against new ideas.

When Obama made the comment about “spreading the wealth around” he was not talking about socialism. He was discussing the disparities between the upper and lower classes of America–disparities so great that they almost top those of the gilded age. All he meant was that the gap between upper and lower class Americans should be bridged. He was not advocating socialism.

I’ll stop there because we obviously disagree on ideological levels, and neither of us is going to change the other person’s mind. I respectfully disagree with you.

Whether one wishes to recall this or not, Obama’s past history is replete with ample instances where he received his political education and inspiration from Socialists or those who were Socialist-leaning (I’m not going to specify each and every instance since that’s a discussion that belongs elsewhere, not here at Panda’s Thumb). His desire to “spread the wealth” does reflect his Socialist leanings.

Again - and I wish for this to be the last word on this subject - Obama could have learned from his predecessors John F. Kennedy and William Clinton, who relied on economic measures more consistent with “trickle down economics”. He opted not to, but instead, has adhered to his Progressive Socialist agenda.

End of the line, kids.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard B. Hoppe published on April 3, 2010 12:35 PM.

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