As part of the year-end Kitzmas festivities, The Discovery Instituteâs PR organ Evolution News and Views re-posted an earlier article titled Following Kitzmiller v. Dover, an Excellent Decade for Intelligent Design.
This uncredited article from September 2015 included the following, which caught my eye:
In fact, the decade since Dover has been an excellent one for ID. Casey Luskin noted some highlights not long ago:â¦ Theoretical peer-reviewed papers taking down alleged computer simulations of evolution, showing that intelligent design is needed to produce new information.
The paper which was linked, hereafter Ewert 2014, is titled âDigital Irreducible Complexity: A Survey of Irreducible Complexity in Computer Simulationsâ, and was written by Winston Ewert of the Biologic Institute for a 2014 edition of the instituteâs open-access journal BIO-Complexity.
Ewert claims that Michael Beheâs concept of âIrreducible Complexityâ is a stumbling block for evolutionary algorithms, and that several computer models of the evolution of irreducibly complex structures all fail to falsify Beheâs concept. Ewert examines five models: Lenskiâs Avida, Schneiderâs Ev, my own Steiner Trees, Sadedinâs Geometric Model, and Thompsonâs Digital Ears program.
I wonât speak for the other models, but I can say this about Ewertâs discussion of Steiner solutions to network problems: itâs a massive strawman fallacy, a desperate âbait and switchâ in which the problem my algorithm was solving, Steiner networks, was âreplacedâ with a much simpler problem, Minimum Spanning Trees. This ruse enabled Ewert to launch a (straw) attack on my genetic algorithm for solving Steinerâs problem.
The Steiner Genetic Algorithm was the subject of a heated blog war, the âWar of the Weasels,â occurring between Pandaâs Thumb and Uncommon Descent during the summer of 2006. It all began with my post of July 5th, 2006, Target? TARGET? We donât need no stinkinâ Target! It seemed the War of the Weasels ended in the fall of 2006, after Uncommon Descentâs top programmers were unable to out-design the Steiner genetic algorithm during a public design challenge. But with Ewertâs 2014 article, and an earlier 2012 piece in BIO-Complexity by Ewert, Dembski and Marks, itâs clear that no ceasefire exists.
The War of the Weasels is back! More below the fold.