William Dembski can’t handle the truth

Go see over at the Panda’s Thumb where my very, very simple objection to Dembski’s theories makes him go totally berserk and shut off all comments for the blog. Talk about a lack of an open mind.

Why does he claim he shuts them off? Because he is “weary.” In addition to being very womanly [this annoys him because he is a Republican, not because women are bad – it is a major insult to women in fact to be so compared], this response to me shows how Dembski absolutely hates peer-review. They always act like they want peer-review, but when they get an actual peer (me) to review them, their brains shut off. Amazing.

You can’t make this stuff up.

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13 thoughts on “William Dembski can’t handle the truth

  1. I didn’t get this in before Dembski shut down comments:

    Dr. Dembski [4]:

    But in his articulation, it was a targeted search and our critique applies.

    Why would you regard your analysis of the amenability of the problem to solution by a simple evolutionary process as a critique? I don’t have The Blind Watchmaker at hand, but I do know that in the 1987 BBC Horizons program Dawkins says outright,

    Although this is a fairly good model for Darwinism, in that it is cumulative selection, in another way, it’s really a bit of a cheat, because this program is homing in on a distant target, “Methinks it is like a weasel.” It’s looking into the future. Real evolution is blind to the future. [6:54]

    Would you please quote text from the book indicating that Dawkins hid the limitations of the Weasel Program from his readers?

    Dawkins also said in the BBC program,

    This is the problem with combination locks. I get absolutely no reward for getting some of the problem right. But I don’t believe that evolution uses chance like that at all. [4:18]

    Again, your loaded term active information leads to attribution of the gain in performance relative to random search to Dawkins, when in fact it is due to “alignment” of evolutionary processes, in general, with problems in which increase of reproductive fitness through accrual of traits is possible.

  2. Sal Gal,

    Perhaps you were thinking of this quote from page 50 of TBW:

    Although the monkey/Shakespeare model is useful for explaining the distinction between single-step selection and cumulative selection, it is misleading in important ways. One of these is that, in each generation of selective ‘breeding’, the mutant ‘progeny’ phrases were judged according to the criterion of resemblance to a distant ideal target, the phrase METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL. Life isn’t like that. Evolution has no long-term goal.

  3. I’m disappointed that I didn’t have a chance to offer my congratulations before Dr. Dembski shut down the thread. Some of the mathematical and computer-generated results in this paper are non-trivial, so Dembski and Marks deserve some kudos.

    However, the claim that this paper supports ID is false. While the performance difference between a given search and purely random search over the same space may be interesting, Dembski has offered no valid logic that ties this difference to intelligence.

  4. Dear Richard Thughes,

    First: any relation to Langston?

    Second: As you may not be aware, The Panda’s Thumb is a relatively well known textbook used in conservative schools. And in any case I don’t know why you want the link to say “uncommon descent.”

    NS

  5. The blog to which you linked is named Uncommon Descent, saying that in the link is reasonable.

    Of Pandas and People is a relatively well known pro-ID (formerly pro-creationist) textbook.

    The Panda’s Thumb is a pro-evolution group blog, featuring a discussion board wherein a thread is dedicated to laughing at the discussion on Uncommon Descent. I doubt you intended to link there, and titling the link “The Panda’s THumb” is both misleading and amusing..

  6. You, like Austringer, make the most basic mistake. There is no information in the environment, only data. The data is only converted to information when there is a receiver that can do the converting.

    Tell me, how did single-cell precursors deal with environmental factors without any semblance of sensory mechanisms (no receiver) in place? Is it like the blind guy that felt his way along for so long, and got so used to it, that he suddenly had an epiphany and claimed he could see?

    On second thought, forget precursors. Tell me how any subsequent level of biologically complex entities were able to break any development threshhold without sensory systems already in place? How did they know they even needed mechanisms to do any environmental data conversion?

    Model just one of the scenarios? Just one. There are a smorgasborg of them to choose from.

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