Intelligent Design

Then we should be due for another one in about two years. Wm. Dembski, formerly of the Discovery Institute, reviewed The Bible Code favorably in First Things in 1998.

Wow. The number one fallacy that any rigorous treatment must address is p-hacking. That Dembski did not even consider the issue is both astonishing and fatal (to his argument).

Yet, in Dembski’s case, not all that surprising.

I’ve just never found Dembski’s work to be all that credible. (Does anyone else remember the website Dembski created to lambast Judge Jones, Eugenie Scott, Richard Dawkins and other perceived enemies after the Dover Trial decision? I feel like it just wouldn’t be polite to describe it for those who happened to miss it.) Every time another Bible Code gets media notice, statisticians and Biblical scholars have to trudge back out and demonstrate just how silly it can get. The fad usually quiets down again once it is shown that the same methodologies can be applied to Moby Dick and the “secret messages” still get “discovered” and show just how universal are the hidden “prophecies”.

Oh, my.

I sure do remember. It originally had bathroom sound effects, to put it politely. What a thing to waste money on, when you’re pretending to be too poor to do research.

Why does the ID world share so much of the same “Face Palm Factor” as has long plagued the Young Earth Creationist gallery of characters?

It gets impossible to miss.

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@Eddie I think you misunderstand me. Darwinism (positive selection) is still credible, it is just not the dominant force in evolution at a genetic level. Also, you are the one who introduced the term “Darwinian algorithm,” and quoted ID advocates saying…

The sentiments of these “scores of advocates” are demonstrably false. As I have just shown. This does more to support evolutionary theory than anything else. Apparently, ID proponents do not even know that GA algorithms work at all. That would explain a great deal of their skepticism for evolution, and make me discount their instincts as entirely misguided. They just do not know enough of the basics to even assess the theory competently.

I thought that is exactly what you were contesting. Regardless, if we allow the parameters of the GA to be varied too, with multiple sub-populations being mutated in different ways, one can actually evolve for evolvability. This is exactly what we see in the evolution of the immune system. This article is really amazing with solid science, explaining how the immune system evolved. (from the original Nature article)

@Eddie I know you are drawn to ID, and I can accept that about you. You are captured by the arguments. However, you are not familiar with the pre-Dover history of ID (which exposes their political fixation of school curriculums) or the science. Without these two things, you will never understand why ID is rejected by science.

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After being called out on this trick just recently (yet again), you’re trying to do it again. You already agreed that someone doesn’t need to be qualified in a subject, in order to know that other people are qualified in that subject.

He didn’t conclude that you didn’t know about ID before 11 years ago simply because you hadn’t read a book of Philip Johnson’s from 11 years ago, he concluded you didn’t know about ID before 11 years ago (“If you can’t be bothered to read or understand that whole history (from before 11 years ago), you will never understand why ID proponents were kicked out of science”), because you said this.

[quote=“Eddie, post:15, topic:5441”]
Point taken. However, by the same token, you must have noticed by now that I and other ID defenders are asked on almost a daily basis here to address everything ever said by any ID proponent, even if it’s in a book written by Phil Johnson over 20 years ago (and I’ve never even read a book by Phil Johnson!), or a Discovery document which was superseded by later and different public policy at least 11 years ago, before I ever heard of Discovery or ID.[/quote]

Note that you say there that at least 11 years ago was before you had “ever heard of Discovery or ID”. But now you have completely backflipped and claimed that not only were you fully aware of ID at that time, but also that you were corresponding with ID leaders.

So you’ve presented two conflicting claims.

  • “at least 11 years ago, before I ever heard of Discovery or ID”

  • “I have read many, many ID works from the 1990s and early 2000s, and have been corresponding privately with ID leaders for over 10 years now”

When you can demonstrate that ID has moved on from the non-scientific arguments of people like Johnson, please let us know.

As we have seen in this very thread.

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Good evening, Eddie -

I don’t believe that Behe considers himself to be an immunologist, nor does anyone else for that matter. Why wouldn’t it make sense for our friend Joshua to endorse the conclusion of the immunologists (plural–Bottaro and Inlay) over the conclusion of non-immunologist Behe? In fact, shouldn’t you and I do the same?

Good evening, Jon,

In all likelihood, Eddie started a reading project roughly 10 years and 11 months ago that comprised many ID volumes from the previous decade. So I don’t see a contradiction in his two statements.

I agree with you that the ID movement is truly philosophical rather than scientific, by the way. In my opinion, if it were to label itself as such, and not make unwarranted claims from the realm of science (exhibit A: the shredding of non-immunologist Behe’s immunological arguments by experts in immunology), its value to the world and to the church would become much more apparent.


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And at last … an article that explains that the ECOLOGICAL influence on Evolution is so OLD, and TRADITIONAL … that there is a brand new view coming down the pike!!!

TITLE: Evolution impacts environment: Fundamental shift in how biologists perceive relationship between evolution and ecology

Date: February 9, 2010 Source: University of California - Riverside

The traditional view is that ecology shapes evolution. Some research has suggested, however, that evolutionary processes reciprocate by influencing ecology in turn. Now biologists present evidence that ecology and evolution are indeed reciprocally interacting processes, presenting a fundamental shift in our understanding of the relationship between evolution and ecology. The results represent a first significant step in showing that evolution cannot be ignored when studying ecological interactions.

Biologists have known for long that ecology, the interaction between organisms and their environment, plays a significant role in forming new species and in modifying living ones. The traditional view is that ecology shapes evolution. The environment defines a template and the process of evolution by natural selection shapes organisms to fit that template.

Some specialized theory, a few laboratory experiments and studies of natural populations suggest, however, that evolutionary processes reciprocate by influencing ecology in turn.

Now a team of biologists presents evidence that ecology and evolution are indeed reciprocally interacting processes, presenting a fundamental shift in our understanding of the relationship between evolution and ecology…

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And that is why those within the scientific academy who have bothered to pay any attention to the Discovery Institute and friends’ brand of ID have such a low opinion of them and their ignorance of science. That’s a blunt statement but I’m thinking of the opinions of various paleontologists, geologists, physicists, microbiologists, and comparative anatomists I’ve gotten to know well enough that we’ve discussed the ID movement on many occasions. (Many of those discussions appear in online forums.). For example, they’ve produced long compilations of factual errors in Darwin’s Doubt. They’ve also identified lots of what they consider to be dishonest quote-mines in various ID authors. (Sadly,I must agree with that characterization.)

As Dr. Swamidass pointed out, Eddie’s “scores” of ID proponents and PhDs haven’t a clue what they are talking about when they speak dismissively of “genuinely Darwinian programming.” And due to their lamentable track records in being blindly “skeptical” of any science which appears to threaten their favorite religious traditions, I have no reason to care about their science-denialism theatrics. When a group of ideologues have such poor track records for publishing such regrettable materials without adequate research and self-education, I will continue to ignore them and focus on the authors who best reflect the well-researched science of the academy.

Eddie, have you taken the time to read the article about NASA space probe antennas designed using evolutionary algorithms? You repeatedly denied that EAs had ever been used to design anything—despite their being common place for many years now. You regularly accuse others of considering themselves qualified even to affirm what is published by the science academy, yet you regularly make bombastic statements denying even the existence of all sorts of published science. Can you explain your double-standards?

Do you at least at this point admit that EAs are used to design all sorts of things? (Do you understand by now why your demand that EAs be shown to design new toasters and hypodermic needles only served to convince us that you’ve never bothered to educate yourself on even the definition and purpose of EAs? If your answer is still no, then it is clear that you simply deny the existence of things which you fear may be a threat to your beliefs.)

I certainly see no reason to provide any more links and citations in response to your challenges because I’ve watched you consistently and blindly reject them even when those citations were placed right in front of you. In the case of Jon’s detailed citations, you don’t merely state that you find them irrelevant or not compelling—you repeatedly claimed that they didn’t exist! So that convinces me that it is a waste of time to respond to your challenges.

At the very least, if you now accept the existence of evolutionary algorithms which designed new space probe antennas, aircraft wings, and even new medications, I hope you will say so and retract your bizarre denials of the copiously published science. (I’d also say that some apologies are in order, but I’m content with your simply stating that you were wrong and that your bombastic denials were inappropriate and self-defeating and won’t be repeated when someone shows you the courtesy of providing you with citations and educational URL links.)


I may be stirring a hornets nest with this comment, but I will take that risk; I have downloaded a chapter dealing with evolutionary algorithms (EA), and my initial impression (pardon my sense of humour), was that it is more of an argument for ID instead of EC. I hasten to add that I have not created EAs and while I have designed complicated computer programs, I am more of a user of programs and only delve into such when absolutely necessary.

I tried to copy and paste a diagram of the structure of EA but was unsuccessful - in any event, apart from the obvious constraints, and internal criteria set by the programmer, where would inherited traits appear? I had anticipated some type of neural programing to at least enable the EA to “learn” but I cannot find it (perhaps I did not look hard enough?). I noticed that “playing checkers” required a tree architecture, while playing population changes required a string and stochastic treatment(s)! - perhaps I need to add that I am not an ID advocate, but I find artificial programs interesting.

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@Eddie thank you for recognizing the obvious. You are way way out of your depth. You do not know what you are talking about regarding science, and your exclusive strategy regarding ID science is to appeal to unnamed authority, and accuse actual experts substantively responding to you of doing the same. Remember you stated that “scores of ID proponents” did not think that genetic algorithms could do anything useful. Then you accused me of appealing to authority (which I wasn’t) but commenting favorably based on my expertise as a biologist on an article explaining how the immune system evolved.

About immunology, I do not use a pseudonym. A simple web search will show that I am a professor an Immunology department, have a medical degree, and publish in immunology adjacent fields (idiosyncratic drug toxicity is immune mediate). I have an active computational biology research program. While I am not an immunologist, I know what I am talking about when I say that the article had good science. These was never an appeal to authority (as you claim) but a frank statement of my professional opinion.

Now, I am telling you with my expertise that ID is founded on bad science. Disagree with me if you must, ask questions if you are curious, but please do not argue with me. Don’t you want to know if you are wasting your time supporting a movement with broken scientific foundation? I would. I wouldn’t want to bet the farm on the wrong movement.

Now about that article you linked to. I’ve read it before, about when it was published in 2012. Demski’s argument for “no free lunch” is totally convoluted. I’m not convinced. I had an explanation here mapped out, but it really isn’t worth getting into. Hopefully we can move on to new things now.


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