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  Topic: 'Origin of Life Prize', a scam?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
SLP



Posts: 136
Joined: Dec. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 29 2010,08:07   

Came across this on the CARM forum:

I was perusing some Amazon.com discussions and I came across an IDC who all but worships physician and YEC/ID David Abel. Abel has published a couple of assertion and speculation-filled hypothetical papers, and many IDCs see this as 'proof' that ID is legitimate. Anyway, Abel also founded the so-called "Origin of Life Prize", which I will not glorify by providing a link to.

Essentially, this 'prize' will be given to anyone who can all but duplicate the origin of life. But the criteria for winning the prize put some interesting constraints on how you can win it - you see, you have to 'prove' the strawman version of OOl that Abel lays out, you can't just propose your own hypothesis and provide the evidence. Nope - among other things, you have to explain how the "information" required for the first living thing was "written" before the first living thing appeared - hence the strawman. There are many similarly biased and absurd criteria, but that is just a taste of what passes for legitimacy in IDC circles.

Abel has also compiled a list of judges that will score your submission - the average score must be 80%. Who is on the list? Well, besides a collection of unknowns, mostly from Mexico, and a bunch of people who have probably never even heard of this prize*, there are folks like Phil Skell and Walter Bradley - along with Bill Dembski. Because according to Abel, the nature of the OOL is multidisciplinary, and so it makes sense to have creationist engineers and such judging. So, you submit a winner, but YEC Bradley gives you a bad score - too bad, so sad...

And did I mention that Abel has to first decide whether he will even pass it along? This is just the Hovind Prize with bigger words and fewer bible references.

Anyway, I came across a blog (so I cannot link) on which the author made a submission - he didn't really put a lot of effort into it, he just wanted to see how it would be handled. It was rejected by Abel - so no judges ever saw it - and what was interesting is some of the things Abel wrote in his reply:

"The problem for me comes in when we start trying to explain formal linear digital prescription, representational symbol systems, Hamming "block-coding" (many to one redundancy coding to reduce noise pollution in the Shannon channel), cellular computation, and formal organization with nothing but a purely materialistic belief system. We can't even practice the scientific method or mathematics with a consistently held materialistic worldview."

Again, with some key words emphasized:

"The problem for me comes in when we start trying to explain formal linear digital prescription, representational symbol systems, Hamming "block-coding" (many to one redundancy coding to reduce noise pollution in the Shannon channel), cellular computation, and formal organization with nothing but a purely materialistic belief system. We can't even practice the scientific method or mathematics with a consistently held materialistic worldview."


Never mind the jargonistic bafflegab - Wait - I thought the OoL Prize was totally scientific? I thought Abel was a scientist with no religious beliefs biasing him? I thought this 'prize' was all about the truth and science? What is all this about 'materialistic worldview'? Is Abel looking for supernaturalistic answers? Looks like it.

Abel's response shows what it is really about.



*Several years ago, this topic came upon the ARN forum, and a participant there contacted several of the people on Abel's list of judges. It turns out that several of them had never heard of the 'prize' but were on Abel's list anyway.[B]

  
  10 replies since Nov. 29 2010,08:07 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

    


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