Joined: Nov. 2005
|I think the point stands that the program of ID could be legitimate science|
I think this is far from obvious, since nobody has yet come up with a way to "infer design" without assuming something about the properties of the designer. IDers as we know them are insistent about making no such assumptions.
The problem I've been criticizing is the conflation of "rejecting random cause with high confidence" and "inferring design." The two are not synonymous, and indeed there are rigorous techniques for rejecting randomness. (Google "randomness testing", better yet take a university course in it, or if you must, read the stuff I wrote above. I think I at least have the main ideas right).
Suggesting the two are synonymous works into the hands of people like Dembski, since he can misapply randomness-testing techniques to provide a rigorous-looking veneer to his claims of inferring design. There's nothing new to Dembski's tactic, since creationists have been using inappropriate probabilistic arguments for a long time. Dembski has simply done the best obfuscation job so far, misappropriating even very new and esoteric results to his cause.
Anyway, my point was to refute the categorical claim that every discovery of a pattern in data could be attributed to cherry picking. In fact, the presence of a low-complexity pattern in a much larger set of data can be inferred in a rigorous sense with no a priori assumptions except for the universal computational model in which patterns are described, and this only effects the constants in the analysis.
|I also think that our friends fighting the political fight need to be careful not to make catagorical statements to the contrary which they might find hard to defend.|
The problem is that once you've finished making a fully qualified statement about the proverbial the barn door, the cows may already be out stampeding. In other contexts, I'm comfortable with saying ID is claptrap and leaving it at that. There's no reason to ask if it could be a "real science", because the parts of it that aren't sheer baloney already are real sciences with peer-reviewed results.
There's more reason to believe that Pinocchio could become a "real live boy" some day. At least he learned his lesson after his nose started to grow.
ID as we know it is purely a political artifact. Nobody I can think of got into it out of an actual interest in the problem of inferring design. Certainly, Dembski would be just as happy saying "believe or be damned to ####" if he could get away with it. Behe is a little harder to peg, but it also seems that he started out with an unshakable belief that evolution cannot explain certain things and has been constructing his argument post hoc to defend it. That is not how science works.