Joined: Oct. 2009
In Arrington's April 11 post, he writes:
|Mathgirl wrote in a comment to my last post: “My conclusion is that, without a rigorous mathematical definition and examples of how to calculate [CSI], the metric is literally meaningless. Without such a definition and examples, it isn’t possible even in principle to associate the term with a real world referent.”|
I have learned in my practice that when an untrustworthy person employs brackets, it is often an attempt to conceal and mislead the reader. Accordingly, I went looking for what Arrington replaced with those brackets. My suspicion was unsurprisingly well-founded.
The comment Arrington refers to actually says:
|My conclusion is that, without a rigorous mathematical defintion and examples of how to calculate it, the metric is literally meaningless.|
The word "it" Arrington replaced can refer, grammatically, only to the phrase "the metric." (It cannot reasonably be read as a reference to "CSI," because the sentence contains no other referent. The previous sentence does refer to CSI, but in light of her specific statement that the definition and examples she seeks are in relation to "the metric described by Dembski," there is no good-faith basis for arguing that she is referring here to a qualitative concept of "CSI.")
Arrington's edited citation distorts the commenter's words and meaning. He uses the conflation of "CSI" and a metric for CSI to imply that Mathgrrl's position with regard to Orgel, etc., is incoherent, when she has in fact stated it plainly and clearly. She criticized the impossibly quantification of "CSI," without regard to the validity of the qualitative concept. This is consistent with her specific statement that the qualitative concepts described by Orgel et al are dissimilar to the metric Dembski claims exists.
The error has been picked up by further commenters. William J. Murray repeats it unquestioningly here, for example, in the latest post. I cannot see how this confusion is anything other than Arrington's goal, given his decision to rewrite Mathgrrl's post.
Arrington is carefully building a reputation not only as a sneering bully, but one who is unable to carry a cogent point without manipulating the record.