Thursday, September 25, 2014

A paradigm shift in the making

Paradigm shifts are happening all over the place (NOT!). If you look closely you can watch them happening because, as we all know, it's so obvious that the paradigm is shifting (NOT!). Apparently it's even more obvious if you don't have a clue what the paradigms are in the first place.

That's the situation for Mary Poplin, a Professor of education at Claremont Graduate University. She's a brand new contributor to Evolution News & Views (sic) and her first post is the text of the forward she wrote to Bill Dembski's new book [A Paradigm Shift in the Making: William Dembski's Revolutionary Breakthrough].

This is part of the standard hype on the IDiot blogs whenever a new book is about to appear. For the next few weeks we are going to be subjected to incessant, sycophantic, praise of Bill Dembski and his "revolutionary" work. Then comes the publication, the negative reviews, and the complaints that the reviewers don't understand Dembski and don't understand IDiots.

Here's the first two paragraphs of the forward. Doesn't this just make you want to pre-order the book (at 34% of the regular price) (NOT!)?
Scholars have long acknowledged that scientific revolutions, along with their paradigm shifts, happen in human history. Yet rarely do we have an opportunity to witness such a shift first hand or to have such a clear and careful explanation of one. William Dembski's painstakingly detailed explication of the shift from the material age to the information age in science and philosophy is a brilliant and rare example. As both a philosopher and a mathematician, Dembski is metaphysically and methodologically able to delineate this shift, having previously written in both areas as well as developed a statistical method for inferring intelligent causation.

This book extends his earlier work and asks the most basic and challenging question confronting the 21st century, namely, if matter can no longer serve as the fundamental substance of reality, what can? While matter was the only allowable answer of the past century to the question of what is ultimately real (matter's origin, on its own terms, remaining a mystery), Dembski demonstrates there would be no matter without information, and certainly no life. He thus shows that information is more fundamental than matter and that intelligible effectual information is in fact the primal substance.
I'd like to welcome Mary Poplin to the land of IDiots. I think she'll fit right in.

I wonder what Jeffrey Shallit thinks of the idea that information is the primal substance? He recently demonstrated that most IDiots don't understand information [Barry Arrington's Silly Misunderstanding] and that prompted a post on Uncommom Descent proving that Shallit was correct and IDiots really don't understand information [Darwinian Debating Devices: Fail Files 2014-09 – Jeffrey Shallit]. Shallit's response is here.

You know what's coming next? The IDiots are going to tell us that Dembski's new book will address all of the criticisms and we'll just have to go out and buy it ASAP. Meanwhile, nobody is allowed to criticize Dembski until they have read the book.

Oh, BTW, it should take several days to read the book and anyone who publishes a review before then must be lying.

This is getting soooooo boring.


76 comments :

  1. Alas, Larry, it's even worse than you imagined. From the Amazon blurb is this:

    "Dembski provides a non-technical overview of his work on information."

    Yes, YET ANOTHER non-technical overview that is the Mark of the IDiot. Well, of course it's non-technical? It's all bullshit which is about as non-technical as you can get!

    However, if memory serves, doesn't this book "satisfy" the grant he took from the Templeton Foundation, like 15 years ago, for such a book?

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    1. I tracked down some notes that indicate Dr. Dr. received a grant from the Templeton Foundation for a series of books in 2000. He announced "B as C" as early as 2002 and reference was made to it coming out "soon" in 2008 and again in 2011. I am not the Templeton Foundation grant judge, but it seems to me that "B as C" is an admitted rehash in simplified form of "work" Dembski has already published and as such represents nothing new under the Sun. Perhaps that's the point.

      Delete
  2. Mary Poplin came and spoke at Waterloo. To say she was an awful and ignorant speaker would be being too kind. You can find my posts on her talks by googling "Poplin Recursivity".

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    1. Sounds like she has all the right credentials for a contributor to Evolution News & Views. I'm sure it won't be long before we see her on Uncommon Descent.

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  3. Apparently Barry was not happy that Jeffrey mentioned his CPA and lawyer credentials in his OP

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  4. The new fashionable version of "Did the earth move for you?" is, "Did the paradigm shift for you?"

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    1. Piotr,

      Off topic... (sorry Larry)...

      I've been visiting your home land-Poland for the last two weeks and I'm really disappointed that I have not been able to find any real lamb kebab...
      Most of them are either chicken or beef but not lamb...

      When we visited Poland few years back, lamb kebabs, mainly sold by the Turks, were everywhere all over the country... Now, we have not found even one... Even the places we visited last time, like Kebabistan in Sopot, no longer sells lamb kebabs...

      My wife's Polish is not really adequate, and few vendors speak English, to find out what happened to the real and delicious lamb kebabs that we were so looking forward to before our trip to Poland...

      I don't believe the "evolution" of meat had anything to do with this... did it...?

      Delete
  5. Professor Moran you have taken me back to seventh grade the year was 1991. All the intellectual giants were using the (NOT) rhetoric to belittle opponents. Do you and Mr Shallit plan on attending a Dembski talk and pinning him down to fart on his head? Maybe you can gather dog feces in a paper bag and light it on fire on the DI doorstep? I can only imagine you giggling in anticipation waiting for your victim to stomp out the fire. It's sad that men of your stature are so juvenile.

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    1. Both of us attended Dembski talks and both of us have challenged his views directly. Both of us have been criticized in his earlier books.

      You are lucky that this isn't Uncommom Descent or I would have to ban you for trolling and being uncivil.

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    2. Google "Dembski fart noises" - I dare you!

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    3. Beau Stoddard: "Do you and Mr Shallit plan on attending a Dembski talk and pinning him down to fart on his head?"

      After the Kitzmiller trial, Dembski, super butthurt, set up a website complete with pictures and cardboard animations of Judge Jones, Richard Dawkins, Kenneth Miller, Eugenie Scott etc. where, when you clicked on them, they would make fart noises. What a silly little child that man is.

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    4. This was, of course, only after Dembski had chickened out and decided not to testify at the trial after initially saying he would do so. Given the evisceration his pal Michael Behe suffered there, it would appear Dembski made a prudent decision.

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    5. Dembski not only handmade a web animation of his scientific opponents to which he added fart noises that Dembski admitted he produced himself-- he also took a plush doll of Charles Darwin, put a vise around its head, and tried to crush the doll's head. He photographed his self-made voodoo doll and put it on the internet with a threat that his scientific opponents (e.g. Prof. Ken Miller etc.) would be forcibly dragged into court under subpeona and forced to answer IDers' questions about evolution. His emphasis was that it had to be by force, not voluntary-- he could only get off on force. Handcuffs or nothing.

      At Dover, of course, the evolutionists answered all the ID lawyers' questions voluntarily, and for free. By contrast, brave Bill Dembski went to Dover, saw that his side was getting killed and exposed as frauds, so he flew outta town without answering any questions. Then he charged the school district $20,000.

      Strangely, today Bill Dembski has many more scientific opponents than he did in 2005. Funny how that works out.

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    6. So to conclude: tell us again how mature and serious the anti-evolutionists are.

      And tell us again how their "mature" behaviour makes their pseudoscience into a fact.

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    7. Where'd Beau Stoddard go? A day or two ago he was telling us how important it was that we behave immaturely and make fart jokes, which entails that IDcreationists are better than we are because they're mature and don't make fart jokes.

      Since it was so important to Beau Stoddard, at that time, we helpfully pointed out Dembski's fondness for recordng and publishing his fart noises. Also Dembski's fondness for torturing plush dolls that look like Charles Darwin out of an apparent belief that the actual Darwin will feel pain.

      Now Beau Stoddard takes no interest in these points. Why? A moment ago, the "immaturity" accusation was crucial, critical, of great scientific import. Now, all of a sudden the "immaturity" issue is trivial, irrelevant, unimportant. Why? What changed, Beau Stoddard?

      ID crestionists? Hello? Anybody here?

      Off fighting gay marriage, I guess.

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    8. Off fighting gay marriage, I guess.

      Someone has to fight for the principles of this impotent and befuddled god. Earthquakes and Hurricanes aren't as influential as they used to be.

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    9. """Dembski not only handmade a web animation of his scientific opponents to which he added fart noises that Dembski admitted he produced himself-- he also took a plush doll of Charles Darwin, put a vise around its head, and tried to crush the doll's head. He photographed his self-made voodoo doll and put it on the internet with a threat that his scientific opponents (e.g. Prof. Ken Miller etc.) would be forcibly dragged into court under subpeona and forced to answer IDers' questions about evolution. His emphasis was that it had to be by force, not voluntary-- he could only get off on force. Handcuffs or nothing."""

      Any links? I'd love to see that.

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    10. It used to be on http://www.overwhelmingevidence.com/id/JJ_school_of_law/ but apparently the webpage has been taken down.

      The URL itself was apparently a butthurt attempt at trolling.

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    11. Pedro, you asked for links.

      Here is Dembski's "The Vise Strategy: Squeezing the Truth Out of Darwinists" from his blog UD, May 11, 2005, complete with photos of the Darwin doll being tortured.



      http://www.uncommondescent.com/darwinism/the-vise-strategy-squeezing-the-truth-out-of-darwinists/

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    12. From Rumraket's link, above, to Dembski discussing the removal of fart sounds-- widely bemoaned by ID proponents as a great cultural loss-- Dembski tells us no worrues, he's saving the original, all-fart version because Dembski's farts will be so very important to "future historians", he says, then he comments:

      "Calm yourselves everybody. An enhanced flatulent version is being worked on at this very moment. I will make it available. I do want to say this for the record, however. Many people regard the flatulent version as unsophisticated and even infantile. I want to suggest that in this postmodern age the flatulence in this animation actually serves as a sophisticated rhetorical device that mirrors the subtext of flatulence that runs throughout Judge Jones’s decision."

      See, just like "information", Dembski just has his own definition of "sophisticated."

      Years later, just as with the long-promised evidence for Intelligent Design, Dembski has never delivered his promised "enhanced flatulent version".

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    13. So because Dembski, was infantile at times, therefore we are justified in also being infantile.

      The logic is unassailable.

      Like a rock.

      ...standing on the rock, waiting for my seeds to grow....waiting for the pieces to fit

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    14. I wasn't aware of Dembski and his childish behavior. I don't support that either. My point was that men of higher intelligence shouldn't stoop so low.

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    15. On the contrary, Beau, ridicule and mockery can be very effective rhetorical devices:

      http://sandwalk.blogspot.ca/2013/03/on-effectiveness-of-ridicule-and-mockery.html

      It just needs to be used with caution. It doesn't work when Dembski tries it, because his views and actions are so ridiculous to begin with.

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  6. There never was paradigm shifts. its a invention by someone to allow science to escape being in plain old fashioned error. not wrong JUST paradigm shifting.
    One should be conservative on saying shifts are coming HOWEVER this time its right.
    ID and yEC is in our time bringing a revolution to certain conclusions in certain subjects touching on origin matters.
    This forum exists because of this threat at least in the neighbourhood.
    its not just defending atheism here.

    i thought the statement about information overthrowing materialism as a good point.
    Its interesting. It does mean a greater equation is behind reality. not mere material but systems of functioning. tHis is the traditional Christian belief though not articulated that way.
    It means reality is not reducable into its atoms. It means it hits a wall of systems.
    This is the God wall. The living life equals God created complexity wall.

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  7. On a more positive note, the book does have a nice front cover

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    1. At first glance, I thought the blue area just below the title was a tidal wave of flood water, about to wipe out the unsuspecting herd of bison. That would have been appropriate, given that Dembski recently outed himself as a Biblical inerrantist who believes the story of Noah's ark is historical fact.

      http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2010/10/dembski-coming.html

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    2. Yes, it's a lovely photo. (The best part of the book?)

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    3. Gorgeous on the outside, admittedly.

      Like some people...

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    4. “The covers of this book are too far apart.”

      ― Ambrose Bierce

      (Although there is some doubt as to Bierce being the first to say this)

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    5. "Well, for those who like that sort of thing, I should think it is just about the sort of thing they would like."

      -- attributed to Abraham Lincoln

      "This paper fills a much-needed gap."

      -- unintenional crtique in first draft of a review by Lee Neuwirth in Mathematical Reviews

      "Your proof is very ingenuous."

      -- inadvertent criticism by Takeo Maruyama in letter to me

      "The importance of this result cannot be minimized"

      -- inadvertent critique by me of a draft paper by Monty Slatkin

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    6. "I am sitting in the smallest room in my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me." -- a musical composer whose name I forget, to a reviewer

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    7. A familiar critique that seems to transcend time in its usefulness:

      "It is not even wrong."

      (have to rely on Wickipedia to attribute it to Wolfgang Pauli)

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  8. Some quick questions?

    1) Will "intelligible effectual information" be the new "specified complexity"?
    2) Charging $31.46 for a 208 page paperback, are they hoping for volume sales?
    3) Only 208 pages but 21 chapters, is that how Dembski controls his diarrhea of the mouth?

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  9. Dembski's book is apparently mostly theology, along the lines of "In the Beginning was the Information". I have not read the book, but based on recent talks he has been giving after its publication, the parts of it about information and evolution repeat the conservation-of-information arguments given in two papers by Robert Marks and Dembski. The papers are available here and here.

    The Search For a Search argument that is the basis of Dembski and Marks's conservation argument has been criticized by me in my 2007 article in Reports of the National Center for Science Education (look towards the end of the article, which is available online here). The same criticism is in a post by me at Panda's Thumb. I am currently working on a longer explanation of that point, and will post it soon at Panda's Thumb.

    Essentially the same criticism (that a typical fitness surface is not a "white noise" surface in which similar genotypes have utterly dissimilar fitnesses, was made by about 7 people from 2002 on, in response to Dembski's earlier "No Free Lunch" argument. Links to their arguments will be found in my 2007 RNCSE article cited above.

    Short version of all this: all indications are that Dembski's book has no new argument about evolution, only ones that have already been available and have already been thoroughly critiqued.

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    1. typo: after "dissimilar fitnesses" close the parenthesis (I seem to have a recurring problem closing my parentheses.

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    2. Well, to the extent that "paradigm shifts" occur at all in science these days, they are never first announced in a book for the general public, are they? That "peer review" thing is still kind of important.

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  10. Short version of Dembski's book:

    1. Information, like the number seven, is mathematical and therefore non-material.

    2. God, like spooks and spirits, is non-mathematical and therefore non-material.

    3. Ignore the vast mountains of evidence that natural processes create information.

    4. Ignore the total lack of evidence that spooks create anything.

    5. Living things have information in their DNA.

    6. Therefore, God did it.

    7. The critics who point out my many, serious, mathematical blunders are all dummies who are ignorant of my genius. Here's a web animation of them with fart noises.

    8. Conclusion: cut taxes on the rich, global warming is a hoax, ban gay marriage, stop young people from having sex.

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  11. For an oldie, but an immensely entertaining goodie, it's always fun to read about how Dembski claimed that his "specified complexity" and the crackpots claiming to find the "Bible Code" are using the same method:

    http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2006/02/dembski-and-the.html

    In his review of a book on Bible Codes, Dembski says the crackpots are using the exact same method as himself; so if the "Bible Code" is just random noise (and it's been widely debunked), then Dembski's "Specified Complexity" detects noise, not intelligent design.

    What's even more delicious is that in his review, Dembski says that the evidence shows that

    1. The author of the Bible Code must be "preternatural"

    2. It can be identified as Yahweh, the God of Christianity.

    This is hilarious because nowadays, IDiots like Stephen Meyer run around saying that

    1. Intelligent Design is science, therefore it can only detect intelligence, but can't detect the supernatural;

    2. Intelligent Design can only detect a Designer, but can't identify who the Designer is.

    That's not what they tell church audiences. Total liars.

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  12. 8 contd: and the Beav never talked about beavers with his brother Wally back in 1959.

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  13. What is really interesting is how Dembski is pushing the envelope while the folks here would rather tear it up.

    Evolutionary biology is getting nowhere precisely because you (pl) refuse to look at the genome as a designed object.

    F^&%, no need to bring God into the picture to understand that life is a designed object. All we have to do is follow the logic. but this is something folks on this board have a hard time doing, believe it or not.

    Even the eminent professor Felsenstein denies the most basic logical observation about nature. It goes like this:

    1. Man's design capability is a product of nature since Man is embedded in nature and not separate from it (the 'Man is not special' view folks here should be comfortable with)

    2. Therefore, nature is the author of Man's design capabilities. No argument here, right? I mean, God didn't make Man, nature did. Right? Right.

    3. So....nature is the author of our design capability. How do we verify this? Look in the genome. The same design principles we understand can also be found in the genome. Therefore, we know design was discovered prior to our ascendancy in nature. Not only that, we know there are more undiscovered design principles to be teased out of nature by the simple fact than Man has not been able to create Man, whereas Nature does already create Man. Nature is way ahead of us.

    4. So we know beyond any reasonable doubt that Nature is the author of design, has design capabilities, and in fact designs at a higher level than man designs.

    Therefore, the study of how nature designs can bring more scientific dividends that the current paradigm of 'evolutionary biology with earplugs,goggles and gas mask.'

    We know life is designed. We just don't know how it was done. Yet.

    But with folks like Larry, Joe, and Moe (diogenes, or Shallit, take your pick) + Jerry and Dick policing evolutionary thought processes, we are forced to endure loud gesticulations of a very resolute "NYET".

    ...and they steal our bus money to boot.

    Design denial - the 21st century flat earth syndrome.

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    1. Exactly where did I make this argument? William Dembski argued that he had a way of detecting design, in a way that ruled out that it could be due to natural selection. I critiqued that. So where did I make the argument in your points 1 - 4? (Hint: I didn't).

      And in addition to that you accuse me of a crime?.

      Your method is very simple: Making Stuff Up.

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    2. Man has not been able to create Man

      Would've been news to my mom and dad.

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    3. We know life is designed. We just don't know how it was done. Yet.

      More accurately, "We just haven't published a single solitary scientific article even hinting at how we know this. Yet. And probably not for a long, long time to come, if ever. So keep those donations coming, folks!"

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    4. Steve,

      Please present quotes from Prof. Felsenstein's works (in which hr debunks Dembski's math) supporting your accusation that Joe believes the incoherent gobbledygook you attributed to him.

      I don't think Steve ever read Joe's critiques of Dembski. If he did, he didn't understand them.

      It would also be nice if you finally presented evidence for intelligent design, but that's not gonna happen.

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    5. I obviously could have written my comment more clearly. I am not attributing the above comment to you Felsenstein. I am saying you denied the above (in a comment I made at Panda's Thumb a while back).

      Obviously, you still hold that opinion.

      Now diogenes's take is that it is all gobbledygook.

      Sooooo both, refute away. Show me the error of my ways.

      How is nature not the author of human design capability. How is nature not capable of design? Because nature has no brain? No hands? No feet?

      Show the difference between the concepts used in cell architecture, development and mainenance and what humans are discovering through our work in software development??

      Are cells in fact detecting defects and correcting them or is this just an illusion? Do cells in fact recognize waste and dispose of it or is this just an illusion? Do cell have an hierarchy of interlocking systems that communicate with each other or is this just yet another in a long series of illusions that can in no way be mapped to human design experience?

      No, the issue is your intransigence in the face of overwhelming evidence for design in nature.

      Intelligent design has the most promise to pay dividends in revolutionizing software development and thus artificial intelligence.

      With you (pl) at the helm, we will just be doing more of the same, spinning pinwheels and declaring intelligent design dead for the nth time.

      The smart money is on intelligent design.

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    6. Steve, please explain extinctions, scientifically, from your religious-ID-creationist point of view.

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    7. Heck, explain why animals are condemned to eat or be eaten by other animals in this best-of-all-possible-"intelligently"-designed worlds. Or why cute little baby animals die of terrible diseases, courtesy of an all-"merciful" miracle-producing deity who is apparently too busy appearing on burnt tortillas and slapping little propellers onto trillions of microbes' butts to notice.

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    8. Therefore, the study of how nature designs can bring more scientific dividends that the current paradigm of 'evolutionary biology with earplugs,goggles and gas mask.'

      Quite a curious comment, since, if we followed these issues, we would arrive at:

      «we know that life was "designed" via the natural processes that we call evolution»

      and

      «Therefore we should try evolution-like processes to make some designs!»

      Then you would investigate this thing, and perhaps learn a thing or two about how random mutations, recombination, and selection have been so successful at solving very hard problems, and to actually design, for example, computer chips that do some job that was hard to program.

      But I had told you about this already. But you don't come here with any interest to learn, but to preach. Right?

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  14. i think you are all just pissed that God wont do a dog and pony show and that He has the gall to ask us to work for our existential pay.

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    1. Thank you for stating your unfounded opinion.

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    2. i think you are all just pissed that God wont do a dog and pony show

      Yeah, right, it's atheists who are disappointed that God doesn't split seas, appear in pillars of fire, feed multitudes with a handful of bread and fish, walk on water, etc., for the past couple thousand years. Any reason why, exactly, or don't you check for rationality before you hit "Publish"?

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    3. "You are all just pissed that God wont do a dog and pony show"

      No, you creationists are the ones who should be angry at God for supposedly creating life supernaturally, then leaving behind no evidence he did it for you creationists to point to. Instead He made living things look just like they evolved, and the human genome look like an ape genome that's evolved for 5 million years, thus giving us lots of evidence we can, and do, to point to.

      The shrieking tone of Steve's comments, and the fact that he NEVER presents scientific evidence or facts against evolution, just shrill declarations of unspecified victories, make it crystal clear who's angry at God.

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    4. Shriiiiiiieeeeeeekkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    5. oh, and judmarc, God has not been a sloth these past couple of thousand years. He's got Pedro Pio, Fuastina, Medjugoria (sp), Lourdes, on and on.

      True, he's tired of wipin' asses, and decided better to let them fight it out....that's the way we've always learned....

      the hard way.

      And its no different here. You will just have to learn intelligent design the hard way. Suckin' it up, grumbling about the stupidity of it all..and how you can't see no stinkin' god and how can nature design without a brain for christ's sake...

      but then, there it is.

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    6. God has not been a sloth these past couple of thousand years. He's got Pedro Pio, Fuastina, Medjugoria (sp), Lourdes, on and on.

      Do you mean Padre Pio, St. Faustina (aka Helena Kowalska), and Medjugorje?

      He also has Benny Hinn, Peter Popoff and a number of underpasses in southern california with water stains that look like jesus or his mother. All equally valid evidence of the divine.

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    7. The funny thing about these "god says and intends this and that"-types is that brainscans have revealed that when questioned, the brainareas responsible for their own opinions light up, instead of what one would expect, the areas responsible for trying to estimate what "some one else thinks".

      So what's really happening when Steve's blathering about what he thinks god has decided, he's really just giving us ad-hoc rationalizations spawned by his own whims and desires.

      As the saying goes, you can be pretty sure your god is made up when he hates all the same people you do.

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    8. Fascinating Rumraket, do you have a reference?

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    9. Thanks Rumraket, it goes in the files.

      So when conservative Christians say, "Hey, I don't hate gay people. God hates gay people, I just have to do what he says" we can respond, "No, you hate gays, but you think you're God. When you determine whether or not God hates gay people, the part of your brain that evaluates your own opinions is the part that lights up."

      And when they say, "Why do you hate God so much? You can't hate something you don't believe exists" we can respond, "No, we hate you, and you think you're God. When you determine God's opinions on anything, the part of your brain that evaluates your own opinions is the part that lights up, so we hate the part of you that attributes your own hatred, prejudice and desire for vengeance and violence onto an imaginary person. That part of you is real; we see it in the brain scan."

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  15. Here's another oldie but a goodie, more evidence of William Dembski's maturity and civility, and the gravity of his arguments.

    When Dembski was working at a Bible seminary, the last few years, he gave his Bible students extra credit for trolling pro-evolution web-pages (yes, we have documentary evidence, given below.) Dembski lost his seminary job, so it hasn't happened much lately, but those of us who comment at pro-science blogs were familiar with the phenomena: perhaps twice a year, when the semester at Dembski's seminary was nearing completion, large numbers of Intelligent Design proponents would suddenly appear at pro-science blogs talking exactly like William Dembski, using his little linguistic tics, e.g. saying that that Specified Complexity cannot be created by natural selection because NS is "deterministic" and cannot choose among "live options", but SC can only be created by "Intelligent Agents" because only they have free will and can choose among "live options". Dembski's cultic vocabulary, like "live options", would proliferate near the end of a semester; then when the semester was over, his army of trolls, having gotten their extra credit for trolling, would disappear.

    Here's some documentary evidence: Dembski's course syllabus describes how much extra credit he gives out for trolling pro-evolution websites. (It's a dead link but it's archived at the Wayback machine.) Note that Dembski also requires his students to write a critical review of a book by theistic evolutionist Francis Collins; positive reviews of Collins were not permitted to pass his course. Highlights of Dembski's syllabus:

    Dembski (page updated April 30, 2012): "Christian Apologetics (SWBTS [Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary] #PHILO 4373 – Fall 2009)

    Here’s what’s involved in finishing out this course: (1) You need to hand in a hard-copy version of your critical review... (2) You need to email the grader (Jack Greenoe -- JLGreenoe{AT}elearning.swbts.edu) your 3,000-word web posts on hostile websites (including links to your posts) by Friday, December 4, 2009 at 12:00 noon.…

    Intelligent Design or Unintelligent Evolution (SWBTS #PHILO 2483 – Fall 2009)
    ...Here’s what’s involved in finishing out this course: (1) You need to hand in a hard-copy version of your critical review... (2) You need to email the grader (Jack Greenoe -- JLGreenoe{AT}elearning.swbts.edu) your 3,000-word web posts on hostile websites (including links to your posts)

    Spring 2009
    Intelligent Design (SOUTHERN EVANGELICAL SEMINARY #AP 410, 510, and 810; May 11 – 16, 2009)
    ...Here’s what you will need to do to wrap things up:

    AP410 ...You have three things to do: (1) take the final exam (worth 40% of your grade); (2) write a 3,000-word essay on the theological significance of intelligent design (worth 40% of your grade); (3) provide at least 10 posts defending ID that you’ve made on “hostile” websites, the posts totalling 2,000 words, along with the URLs (i.e., web links) to each post (worth 20% of your grade).

    AP510 This is the masters course. You have four things to do: (1) take the final exam (worth 30% of your grade); (2) write a... critical review of Francis Collins’s The Language of God -- for instructions, see below (20% of your grade); (3) write a 3,000-word essay on the theological significance of intelligent design (worth 30% of your grade); (4) provide at least 10 posts defending ID that you’ve made on “hostile” websites, the posts totalling 3,000 words, along with the URLs (i.e., web links) to each post (worth 20% of your grade)."
    [Dembski's 2009 course syllabus, last updated April 30, 2012.]

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    1. I didn't know he was no longer working at the seminary. What happened? Inquiring minds want to know.

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    2. That's remarkable. He would be "not retained" by any real academic institution for such behaviour.

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    3. Lutesuite, I don't know why Dembski no longer teaches at the seminary. Evolutionists have some speculations, nothing concrete.

      You recall that in 2010 Dembski wrote a theology book on old Earth creationism, saying that extinct species etc. lived & died for millions of years before Adam and Eve. But Adam and Eve eating an apple was still the cause of all death in the world, including prehistoric animal death, because eating a magic apple is causative backwards in time. Well that theology did not go over well with a lot of Christians.

      What was worse was that Dembski said that Noah's Flood was not global. Oops. That implied the Bible was not inerrant, so his boss publicly threatened to insta-fire Dembski if he doubted even one line in the Bible.

      Brave Sir Dembski, defender of free speech, arch-foe of "censorship" when it comes from Darwinians, immediately caved, and let himself be censored, announcing that of course he had made a mistake, OF COURSE Noah's Flood was global, mea culpa, and he said he needed to learn more about the global Flood by studying the Bible more (not geology-- he didn't need to study geology to know that all the world's geologists were wrong.)

      That was 2010; Dembski was not immediately fired then. We have no evidence at all whether this incident was connected in any way to Dembski leaving SBTS a couple years later. We don't know if he was fired; maybe he quit.

      But the fact that his boss said very publibly that Dembski would be insta-fired for questioning Biblical inerrancy is evidence that Dembski's boss had no respect for him. Such disrespectful treatment of an academic, discussing personnel decisions publicly and making explicit threats and demands of obedience, is unheard of in academia. I conclude Dembski's boss couldn't stand him. Why he left, we still don't know.

      Dr. Dembski had 6 kids. He still draws a salary as Sr. Fellow of the Disco Tute. Let's hope he finds decent employment where he belongs, at a religious institution.

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    4. Thanks for the info, Diogenes. Just further comment on this part:

      But the fact that his boss said very publibly that Dembski would be insta-fired for questioning Biblical inerrancy is evidence that Dembski's boss had no respect for him. Such disrespectful treatment of an academic, discussing personnel decisions publicly and making explicit threats and demands of obedience, is unheard of in academia. I conclude Dembski's boss couldn't stand him.

      I don't know if that indicates anything personal against Dembski, or just the degree to which conformity of thought is demanded in such institutions. You're right that this would be almost unheard of in an academic institution. But SBTS is not by any stretch of the imagination an academic institution. It's a religious clown college.

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    5. I remember the little pipsqueaks from Dembski's course hitting AtBC, but not too many of them. They weren't very engaging, either. Certainly not like the professional knuckle-draggers who haunt that forum from time to time. They were also probably shocked by the polite, educated reception they got, quite different from what Dembski told them. I don't think it had much impact one way or the other, just like the rest of Dembski's ideas.

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    6. Holy shit, at that link we can also see that you can get extra credit at Dembski's courses merely for getting your copy of Signature in the cell autographed by a speaker at a pro-ID conference.

      HAHAHahahahahhaha....

      Dr Dr Isaac Newton of information-theory and farting ethusiast's courses sound hilarious.

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    7. Good catch Rumraket. I found something else in Dembski's syllabus: he gave his students extra credit for trolling "Darwinists" in person, not just online, that is, he ordered his students to be obnoxious face to face to "Darwin-lovers".

      Dembski: Dear Class, I want to share with you a few things: (1) For extra credit I'd like you to go to SMU on September 24th... there are two back-to-back events at SMU celebrating Darwin... I don't want you going there merely as spectators but will indicate in class how you might actively participate and engage the Darwin-lovers you'll find there.

      Note that Dembski's instructions to his moron army were too incendiary even to be put on the internet! He would only tell them in person how to be obnoxious to "Darwin-lovers", leaving no paper trail. Good thing too, considering how much evidence we have of Discovery Instituters' other malfeasance and dishonesty archived at the Wayback Machine, even after the DI deletes/edits it!

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  16. Steve said clearly that I "denied" his argument that Nature was designed (by Nature).

    I never dealt with it at all. I critiqued Dembski's argument that there was a signal of Design in nature.

    So yes, Steve was Making Stuff Up.

    Steve says he sees "design principles" put into organisms by Nature. And that we don't know how this was done.

    Do adaptations put there by natural selection count as these "designs"? In which case we do know how they were put there. Why wasn't this issue dealt with in Steve's argument?

    As for the rest of Steve's comment, he accused me of a crime. For sure. Jerk.

    And then he had the barefaced gall to sniffily summarize others as saying that

    So because Dembski, was infantile at times, therefore we are justified in also being infantile.

    I wonder whether there are two Steves and I have confused them. Or two personalities of one Steve? One is infantile and insulting and Makes Stuff Up. The other loftily sniffs at people who are infantile.

    Wow, whotta jerk!

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    1. Joe, you are learning fast to mimic your fellow posters.

      My argument was not that 'nature was designed (by nature)'. That is your purposeful misinterpretation.

      What I said was that nature designs just as Man designs. Its a simple logical conclusion.

      Further, to jog your memory, I asked how is it that nature does not design but Man does? Surely a ludicrous proposition as that would imply that Man is not a part of nature.

      So, does Joe Felsenstein assert that even though Man designs, it does not follow that nature designs?

      Well, show the error in the logic. What/where is the dichotomy between nature and Man? What prevents nature from designing but allows Man to design?

      Why would you want to co-opt other posters tired old rhetorical ploy of blustering out of a direct reply to a simple, clear, logical observation?


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    2. Steve,

      Each time I watch anything on TV where so called scientists say nature did this and nature did that, I play a game with my kids to substitute the term" nature" with "mindless accident" or "Intelligent Designer".... Can you guess which one they choose most of the times and fits better...?

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  17. By the way, there is not only a signal of design in nature. There is direct evidence of design in nature.

    Natures used/uses all the same tools (as Man does) and probably many,many more that we dont know of to design life and maintain it.

    Biomimetics is a hot area of study for good reason. Its only a matter of time before we discover those higher design principles that will allow us to better imitate life in the form of AI.

    Your silly protestations to the contrary wont change that fact.

    At least we will have you on record as denying that those design principles can ever be detected or even exist since of course nature does not design nor possesses design capability.

    We'll have to thank Dembski, Behe, Marks, Wells, Denton, etc. when those superior design principles that nature obviously possesses are finally detected, not Felsenstein, Matzke, Moran, Dawkins, Coyne, Myers.



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    1. Steve, you said:

      "...there is not only a signal of design in nature. There is direct evidence of design in nature."

      But then, while adding the words "superior", "higher", and "principles" to design, you said:

      "Its only a matter of time before we discover those higher design principles..."

      And:

      "...when those superior design principles that nature obviously possesses are finally detected..."

      So, you're claiming that there's direct evidence of design and superior design principles in (and by) nature but you're also claiming that design and higher/superior design principles have not been detected, yet you're also apparently giving credit to "Dembski, Behe, Marks, Wells, Denton, etc." for already detecting design and higher/superior design principles in (and by) nature. Make up your feeble mind.

      And by the way, you're claiming that design and higher/superior design principles in, of, and by nature were/are designed, created, and constantly controlled by the biblical characters yhwh-isho-holy-ghost, right?

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    2. When it comes to this problem, I always rely on the opinion of the most knowledgeable man alive when it comes to detecting design Richard Dawkins.... Unlike some of the morons here, he has no problem detecting design in "the detailed molecular biology and biochemistry"... Maybe you morons should take some courses from RichD on how to do that since you fall behind with the best progress in the field..?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQ8

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    3. I that interview, Richard Dawkins was answering a question where he was asked to speculate how intelligent design could be involved in life on earth. He said a technologically very advanced race could have seeded Earth with life. He said if designed, then life should bear some evidence of it being intelligently designed. Dembski claimed (about 15 years ago) to have developed a mathematical method to detect design in nature. Why doesn't he apply this method to "the detailed molecular biology and biochemistry" of life on Earth and provide an empirical test of design?

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