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  Topic: Conservative Commentators and AE, Talking heads, columnists, talk shows...< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Wesley R. Elsberry

Posts: 4928
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: April 27 2012,07:35   

I just followed up  a dismissal of the Elsberry and Shallit critique of Dembski's CSI at "Catholic Answers Forum".


Quote (buffalo;9225040]rossum and I had a few go arounds on how design can be proven.  It may be that because we actually live inside the design frame of reference that we cannot differentiate design.  In other words @ we would have to be outside this frame of reference to actually see design.  Being in the frame itself everything looks designed to us, but that could be that the entire frame is designed therefore everything in it.[/QUOTE)

Jeff and I considered the sufficiency of Dembski's "complex specified information" to distinguish a recent event from a ancient one, and found it lacking. There is some overlap with your "design frame" concept.

There are some issues which arise from such a defense, however. Dembski stipulates that algorithms can serve as conduits for prior specified complexity and add a certain amount of information as well [19, p. 160]. Dembski has not produced a demonstration that anything beyond, say, cosmological constant tuning might be needed as the sole role for a distantly removed intelligent designer, perhaps one who did part of what Dembski describes: "The fine-tuning of the universe and irreducibly complex biochemical systems are instances of specified complexity, and signal information inputted into the universe by God at its creation." [17, p. 233] Even if we accept this nearly Deist construction of events minus the gratuitous inclusion of irreducibly complex systems, natural processes could then have provided the means by which such an initial influx of specified complexity at the beginning of the universe becomes the basis of the whole of biological diversity. Dembski's framework is, as we have pointed out here, incapable of distinguishing between such a scenario and one requiring more recent
interventions by an intelligent agent. In this regard, specified complexity becomes something like the cosmic microwave background radiation: it can be detected almost anywhere one looks.

Essay on Dembski's "complex specified information" (2003)

In my opinion, airy dismissal is not an effective mode of argument (nor the genetic fallacy, nor still a genetic fallacy based on an incorrect premise). That's why the essay runs to 54 pages. I don't tend to take one or two sentences as comprising a serious response.

Wesley R. Elsberry

"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

  28 replies since Jan. 01 2010,12:24 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  


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