Joined: July 2007
|Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Feb. 26 2010,05:53)|
|Quote (Joe G @ Feb. 25 2010,18:59)|
|Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Feb. 24 2010,20:37)|
|Quote (Joe G @ Feb. 24 2010,10:55)|
|Quote (Dr.GH @ Feb. 24 2010,10:51)|
|I am not surprised that Joe cannot read very well. Dembski's Explanitory filter concluded "Design" by rejecting necessity, and then chance.|
That is false.
Once chance and necessity have been cleared there is still the specification that has to be met.
IOW Gary- you have reading comprehension issues.
See that last decision node?
Here's a free legal lesson... when one is giving direct testimony as a witness, or if one is a lawyer questioning a witness on direct, and one refers to some matter that would otherwise not be legitimate for the opposition to broach, that is called "opening the door". The opposition then gets to pursue that matter, since its legitimacy as a topic is stipulated by the side that broached it. Many a fine legal strategy has gone down in flames because someone gets a bit carried away in what they reference, and the opposition then has the opportunity to go after something that could have otherwise been withheld from the trial record.
Note above that Joe G. references the "explanatory filter", thus opening the door for discussion on that topic.
Now flashback to last November when this was explained to Joe G. previously:
How can design be the "default" once chance and regularity have been eliminated if it still requires the critia of "specification" as evidenced in the final decision box of the EF?
Is "specification" really a criterion? It isn't really all that difficult to say, "METHINKS IT IS LIKE AN OUTBOARD MOTOR", and call that a "specification", though that fails to meet any sort of technical standard for rigor. (See page 24.) Informal "specification" of the sort seen throughout Dembski's writings fails to impress as having any sort of property of exclusivity. When it is desirable for IDC advocates, the status of "specification" is commonly granted for the vaguest natural language handwaving. Our (WRE & JOS) article provides many examples from Dembski demonstrating this fault.
More directly, though, "specification" is simply supposed to serve as another way to eliminate "chance" explanations for an event, and what remains unexplained by "regularity" or "chance" is assigned to "design". The propositional logic in chapter 2 (IIRC) of "The Design Inference" makes this an unarguable point: "design" is what is left after all other classes of causal explanations are eliminated. Referring to this as a default is simply taking Dembski at his word in how he defines the terms. Wilkins and I worked through the logic back in 2001, published in Biology and Philosophy. There has been no response in the technical literature.
Talk about leaving the door open- Well Wes you brought up rigor.
Please give us an example of a technical standard of rigor pertaining to the blind watchmaker thesis- or whatever your position is.
Tell us how we would quantify or test the premise that the bacterial flagellum "evolved" via blind, undirected processes?
As for the validity of "specification" how do you think archaeologists determine rock from artifact?
Do you think they flip a coin?
No they look for signs of work- ie a specification.
How do forensic scientists determine accident from natural cause from criminal activity?
Do they also flip a coin?
Yes it is true that "specification" can be as simple as "it looks designed".
But if something looks designed and cannot be accounted for via any other known mechanism, then we should be allowed to carry on with the design inference.
The advantage of experience over ignorance- my response to desk jockeys Elsberry and Wilkins
But anyway I am really interested in seeing the technical standard of rigor as applied to the theory of evolution via an accumulation of genetic accidents.
Back over at the thread about Telic Thoughts, Steve Story observed:
One problem that you run into with following IDers is that most of them are just ignorant and arrogant.
Now back to the current response.
"Rigor" is not a particular topic. Pull that in court and see how far you get.
To follow Joe G.'s digression, though, one finds that rigor is common in evolutionary science. Joe G. asked for an example, so one that deals with modes of speciation would be
Pearson, P.N.; Shackleton, N.J.; and Hall, M.A., 1997. Stable isotopic evidence for the sympatric divergence of _Globigerinoides_trilobus_ and _Orbulina_universa_ (planktonic foraminifera). Journal of the Geological Society, London, v.154, p.295-302.
Within that, they analyzed isotope ratios to test and exclude a hypothesis of depth parapatry as being operative in the O. universa speciation event.
Alternatively, open the journal Evolution at random and ask yourself the question, "Could Joe G. write something as rigorous as this article?"
But Joe's response, it seems, is rather reminiscent of something he wrote to me months ago. Here's my response from then:
1. "refuting the design inference" was the topic. Pathetic detail in support of evolutionary science is given by others elsewhere. However, showing that the claims made concerning "design detection" are ill-founded does not require the establishment of other concepts. The claims I'm making -- and supporting -- concern the logical and empirical faults in Dembskian "design inference" arguments. Nice attempt at digression, though. How often does that work for you?
2. I haven't seen anybody publish anything in the technical literature that would substantiate that claim. Nor am I responsible, in particular, for the other contributions in the anthology. An actual contribution to the discussion would have attempted to advance an argument of use of strawman on my part. For any substantiation of your claim, let's see the complete bibliographic references to the peer-reviewed literature, please.
3. Been there, done that. While dismissal may seem an effective tactic to you, I'll trust that the readers will take my points. Given the absence of published responses in the technical literature and the existence of citations, it seems that they have done so.
4. Been there, done that. Given that I have been a participant in the "debate" (NTSE 1997, "Interpreting Evolution" 2001, 4th World Skeptics Conference 2002, Greer-Heard Forum 2006, SMU 2006, etc.), it would seem distinctly odd to hold that I somehow am not competent to enter into the discussion. Even Dembski hasn't gone that far. See above about "dismissal" as a tactic.
One begins to see Dembski's point about discussion on the Internet, though it is far more appropriately aimed at advocates of his ideas than the original targets.
I note that you did not provide any publications that address the arguments I've made. It is interesting that when it comes to technical articles on the topic of "design inference", I have two, and Dembski has zero.
Let's have a look at some of Joe G.'s "discussion" in his links.
Also the EF is a process YOU can choose to use or not. The “beauty” of the EF is that it is not pre-determined for a design output. It forces you to consider the alternatives first.
So what do these guys have to say?
"We show that if Dembski's filter were adopted as a scientific heuristic, some classical developments in science would not be rational, [it would inhibit the course of science from even addressing phenomena that are not currently explicable.]"
Just how can a process that you can choose to use or not do something like that?
The EF is just if you have a question about how X came to be that way.
I've restored the remainder of the sentence in square brackets above.
One might note the conditional phrasing in our original statement. Then again, if one isn't particularly interested in reading for comprehension, one might not.
If one is applying Dembski's "design inference" as widely as Dembski himself asserts one ought to, there is no difficulty in seeing that our critique stands.
They go on to say:
"[We show that if Dembski's filter were adopted as a scientific heuristic, some classical developments in science would not be rational,] and that Dembski's assertion that the filter reliably identifies rarefied design requires ignoring the state of background knowledge. If background information changes even slightly, the filter's conclusion will vary wildly."
As I said that goes for all of science. It is the nature of the beast. And that is why we call them scientific INFERENCES. Notice the title of Dembski’s book is “The Design INFERENCE”.
And I am still in the paper’s ABSTRACT!
From my experience a paper built on faulty premises is doomed to fail. And this paper passed peer-review!!!
It may be characteristic of science that inferences are not absolute, but it is not characteristic of Dembski's unretracted claims of reliability. Nor is it characteristic of science to ignore the state of background information and make declarations that further background knowledge cannot alter the result of an inference, as is the case for Dembski's claims.
For instance, Dembski brushes off a criticism concerning the reliability of his "explanatory filter" by noting that the objection is the problem of induction, but fails to either solve the problem of induction or retract the claim of reliability. That's philosophical humor, by the way. Dembski is not going to solve the problem of induction. That means that he should have retracted his claim of reliability. Just to be clear, let's see what Dembski means by saying that his Explanatory Filter/Design Inference/Specified Complexity criterion is reliable.
I want, then, to argue that specified complexity is a reliable criterion for detecting design. Alternatively, I want to argue that the complexity-specification criterion successfully avoids false positives -- in other words, whenever it attributes design, it does so correctly.
-- WA Dembski, "No Free Lunch", p.24
The above is not a typical statement for "scientific inquiry". It describes the operation of an oracle, not an inference.
Some may object that "success" need not refer to the 100% reliability that Dembski's words above seem plainly to invoke. But we have further testimony from Dembski that that is exactly what is meant.
[...] Biologists worry about attributing something to design (here identified with creation) only to have it overturned later; this widespread and legitimate concern has prevented them from using intelligent design as a valid scientific explanation.
Though perhaps justified in the past, this worry is no longer tenable. There now exists a rigorous criterion complexity-specification for distinguishing intelligently caused objects from unintelligently caused ones. Many special sciences already use this criterion, though in a pre-theoretic form (e.g., forensic science, artificial intelligence, cryptography, archeology, and the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence). The great breakthrough in philosophy of science and probability theory of recent years has been to isolate and make precise this criterion. Michael Behe's criterion of irreducible complexity for establishing the design of biochemical systems is a special case of the complexity-specification criterion for detecting design (cf. Behe's book Darwin's Black Box).
What does this criterion look like? Although a detailed explanation and justification is fairly technical (for a full account see my book The Design Inference, published by Cambridge University Press), the basic idea is straightforward and easily illustrated. [...]
-- W.A. Dembski, "Science and design", First Things, Oct. 1998, http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft9810/dembski.html, last accessed 2002/01/20.
Further, Dembski has never bothered to propose an effective empirical test methodology for his Explanatory Filter. Instead, it has been left to critics like myself to propose empirical methods of determining whether Dembski's claims of reliability have any grounding in fact.
Dembski has, so far, not analyzed potential counterexamples. I proposed at Haverford College last June that Dembski "do the calculation" for the Krebs citric acid cycle and the impedance-matching apparatus of the mammalian middle ear. Dembski has not done so.
Skipping down to the end they have their own flow chart. This one has “Don’t Know”, “regularity” and “chance”. IOW we don’t know but we know it wasn’t via agency involvement. Truly pathetic.
Joe G. obviously missed our discussion of ordinary design inferences.
So a revision to Dembski's filter is required beyond the first "Don't-know" branch. This sort of knowledge of designers is gained empirically, and is just another kind of regularity assignment. Because we know what these designers do to some degree of accuracy, we can assess the likelihood that E would occur, whether it is the creation of skirnobs or the Antikythera Device. That knowledge makes E a HP event, and so the filter short-circuits at the next branch and gives a design inference relative to a background knowledge set Bi available at time t. So now there appears to be two kinds of design - the ordinary kind based on a knowledge of the behavior of designers, and a "rarefied" design, based on an inference from ignorance, both of the possible causes of regularities and of the nature of the designer.
So the "don't know" options in our flow chart do not -- contrary to Joe G.'s falsehood about them -- exclude conclusions of design. They do avoid an erroneous conclusion of rarefied design, where there is no warrant to invoke a design inference based on what is known.
I wonder if these clowns think that all the success people have had using the EF or some reasonable fasimile thereof, is just an illusion?
I also wonder if they have a better process for detecting design without being biased toward that end?
Yes, that's what the distinction between ordinary design inferences and rarefied design inferences was about. But one has to read the article to comprehend that.
Later, Jeff Shallit and I produced an alternative method we called specified anti-information (SAI) premised on the universal distribution. It can be found in the appendix to our long essay on Dembski's CSI.
Part 2- It gets worse-
For some reason these clueless desk jockeys think that “design” is the default position when all other nodes get passed. Not so.
To reach the design inference there has to be signs of work, counterflow or some recognizable pattern. Or else we default to “it could be explainable by some small chance event”, i.e. “we don’t know”.
To get to “design” it not only has to pass through the other nodes. It has to have that second part also.
So it looks like this peer-reviewed paper is nothing but a strawman.
If Joe were familiar with Dembski's work, he might have recalled that Dembski provided propositional logic for his explanatory filter on page 49 of "The Design Inference". There, one finds that specification is used simply as another way of eliminating chance. Design is defined by Dembski as the set-theoretic complement of regularity and chance. (Later, Dembski collapses "regularity" into "chance" as well.)
Nor is "chance" equivalent to "don't know". Dembski's own pronouncements on what is decideable via his "design inference" do not admit that further evidence can bear upon a decision once the "explanatory filter" is applied. Even where Dembski does admit the "explanatory filter" cannot be used (the Oklo nuclear reactors), it is as a preliminary to use of the EF, not as a decision-point within the EF.
Nope, no straw involved, just actually reading what Dembski has claimed.
Proudly strutting their strawman around, they say the following about “Charles”:
" Although he has not heard of Dembski's filter, he knows the logic: whatever cannot be accounted for by natural law or chance must be the result of design."
That has nothing to do with Dembski. You jerks made that up because you don’t know what you are talking about. Obviously neither did the people who “reviewed” it.
If I were Dembski I would have sought out the both of you and knocked your teeth out.
Dembski has had several opportunities to get in my face about this if he thought I had gotten pp.36 or 49 of "The Design Inference" wrong. We were on stage together in 2001, 2002, and 2006. So far, I still have my teeth. Why should that be the case?
Perhaps it has something to do with this... William A. Dembski, "The Design Inference", p.36:
Defining design as the set-theoretic complement of the disjunction regularity-or-chance guarantees that the three modes of explanation are mutually exclusive and exhaustive.
Apparently, Joe G. has either not read Dembski or not understood Dembski.
Too bad for you that if "specification" is not observed the design in not inferred.
IOW one can eliminate chance and necessity but if there isn't any specification then design is not the default.
As for your "rigorous" example- RotFLMAO!
YECs accept speciation Wes.
Do you have any examples of rigor pertaining to- for example- the alleged evolution of vision systems?
That would include the genes involved and the modifications to the genome that allowed for such a thing.
As for the EF Dembski even says that future knowledge may upset the design inference. And tat is how it is with scientific inferences.
Chromosomes. are. all. connected. It is one long polymer. Called the DNA. - oleg t
simple English (hint: "equal" and "interchangeable" aren't synonyms)- JohnW
Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.
I usually underestimate my abilities