Joined: Feb. 2008
Oh, I don't expect FTK to respond (not coherently anyway...) I only posted the original in FTKs thread and addressed it to her because I can't yet start new ones, and it seemed like a good thing to bash her about the head with.
It's bugged me for a long time that ID proponents claim scientists do use "design inference" (along with their stupid "what if aliens found Mount Rushmore" line), completely ignoring the fact that such inferences are based very specific evidence, not some vague handwaving about information theory. This seemed like a clear, accessible illustration of the difference.
To push the point a bit further, one could speculate how these blocks of manganese dioxide would be interpreted if found somewhere not associated with human activity. Would we "detect design" at all, or would we just go "hmm, that's strange" and file it away ? ID seems to claim that design is detectable regardless of context, where real science depends a great deal on it.
But perhaps one of our other resident ID enthusiasts (LCD, R o' B ?) would like explain why I've got it all wrong. I suggest not looking at Reciprocating Bills post, as it contains spoilers