Joined: April 2007
FYI, here is a follow up comment I made on Telic Thoughts. Our discussion got the attention of a lot of old timers from the ID camp. This gives me the impression that Dembski might be looking in on this one.
Here is the Link for those who are interested.
One of the key points that came up was a discussion of what appears to be Dembski's three or four broad categories for explaining phenomena.
1. Specified, via naturally occurring laws
2. Unspecified, via Chance
3. Specified, via Design
The paper that is the subject of the thread focuses on infering category number 2 is "less likely than not".
That leaves the other three catagories.
What if the second explaination doesn't apply to any phenomenon? What if true randomness doesn't exist? Only the appearance of randomness, similar to a psuedorandom number generator.
Fifth Monarchy Man spoke like the ethical NOMA rejecting Theist he is and indicated that would be fine by him. Either a designer or a law giver, they all point to God.
On the other side, Valerie wrote…
|A flipped coin and a falling coin are both deterministic events in the sense that their outcomes can be predicted, in theory, with a sufficient knowledge of their initial conditions (and assuming that quantum-mechanical uncertainty does not become a factor).|
Which was a very good variation of the point I am making. I noted she talked about quantum-mechanical UNCERTAINTY, not randomness.
I suspect this was a reference to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. Which was a general description of quantum weirdness at the beginning of tbe study of quantum physics. However, it appear the uncertainty is not due to hidden local variables as many scientists were presuming back in the 1920s.
It is the lack of our ability to describe quantum effects algorithmically that makes it uncertain. Countless quantum experiments show that non-local measurements effect the outcome. Measure the linear polarization of two out of three entangled photons and you know, with certainty, the circular polarization of the third. However, measuring the circular polarization of the first two, results in the opposite circular polarization of the third. This paradox is real and is not random. So real that we are developing quantum computers based on it.
This non-local quantum interconnectness occurs regardless of how separated the measurements are in either space or time.
Any uncertainty is due to a lack of knowledge, not randomness or "chance".
IMO, there is no such thing as "Chance Hypotheses". Everything is via natural law or interconnected quantum effects.
Who or what is behind the interconnected quantum effects is as metaphysical as discussing who or what created the universe and its laws.
Some people, myself included, consider the exploration of these kinds of questions to be philosophy and not science. When it comes to philosophy, I take a page from Socrates' book and suggest it is the wise man who knows he doesn't know the Truth.
On the other hand, Creationists and people like Fifth Monarchy Man feel they do know the one and only Truth. Which is fine as long as they don't try to hide this agenda. They are entitled to their belief and even entitled to use tax-free charitable donations to do whatever research they feel is appropriate in support of their belief.
Now, one of the questions in this thread is to discuss whether Dembski provided a "sound" analysis that makes a modest scientific suggestion or is the science here just a "cheap tuxedo" disguise in an attempt to promote a belief in a "Designer", aka "Creator", aka God.
When taken as a modest scientific suggestion, Dembski's analysis provides support for something I call the Third Choice. That is that neither randomness nor God should be considered the default explanation. The obvious, experimentally supported, explanation is that interconnected quantum effects is the fundamental organizing force of the universe.
Interconnected quantum effects is the suggestion that is backed up with a positive “warrant”. Simply attacking opposing hypotheses is too easy and doesn’t provide affirmative support. Even more so, when it is done with a hand-waving flourish that it is sufficient to consider only a single hypothesis (the most likely) instead of the entire set of hypotheses AS A SET (not divide and conquer).