Wesley R. Elsberry posted Entry 191 on May 8, 2004 03:34 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/190

Otto: Apes don’t read philosophy.

Wanda: Yes, they do, Otto, they just don’t understand it.

("A Fish Called Wanda")

In his new book, The Design Revolution, “intelligent design” advocate William A. Dembski invokes the late philosopher Sir Karl Popper as an authority on “testability” (ch. 39, pp.281-282).  Perhaps Dembski has read Popper, perhaps he hasn’t. It’s certain, though, that Dembski does not understand Popper, and has a long history of not understanding Popper. Which is surprising, because Popper was an extraordinarily accessible philosopher.

Dembski bases his chapter on “Testability” in The Design Revolution (ch.39) on an essay he posted to the Internet in 2001. Between these two, Dembski switches from the term “falsifiability” to “refutability” instead. This is an odd thing for Dembski to do. It is explainable as a response to criticism that I made of his use of “falsifiability” in 2001, as I showed then that Dembski’s use of “falsifiability” differed markedly from that of Popper, who defined its usage in science and philosophy. The new version of Dembski’s argument shows a continuing misunderstanding of Popper and overlooks the fundamental flaws in Dembski’s argument.

Sir Karl Popper is justly famous as a philosopher of science. He proposed a demarcation criterion that, in his view, made the distinction between scientific theories and non-scientific conjectures. The basis of this criterion was what Popper called falsifiability. It should be noted that Popper’s proposal of a demarcation criterion has not been generally accepted in more recent treatments of philosophy of science. But the issue here is not over whether Popper’s falsifiability properly can be used as a demarcation between science and non-science. What is at issue here is whether William Dembski  accurately conveys the concepts from Popper that Dembski cites.

Popper’s concern with testability focused on distinguishing between theories that are empirically testable and those that aren’t.  This is the context into which Popper introduced the concept of “falsifiability”. “Falsifiability” refers to a deductive method of testing a theory: derive an entailed proposition from the theory that must be true if the theory is true, and attempt to determine the truth or falsity of the entailed proposition from empirical data. If the entailed proposition turns out to be false, one is justified in considering the theory that generated it false. Popper was explicit that “testability” and “refutability” meant the same thing as “falsifiability”, if they were to mean anything at all.

In order to be falsifiable, Popper asserted, a claim had to have the form of a universal statement. Only universal claims are susceptible to the application of modus tollens that underlies falsifiability. What about conjectures that come in the form of existential statements instead? Popper considered such “empirically irrefutable”.

Let’s examine what Popper said on these topics.

Some twenty five years ago I proposed to distinguish empirical or scientific theories from non-empirical or non-scientific ones precisely by defining the empirical theories as the refutable ones and the non-empirical theories as the irrefutable ones. My reasons for this proposal were as follows. Every serious test of a theory is an attempt to refute it. Testability is therefore the same as refutability, or falsifiability. And since we should call ‘empirical’ or ‘scientific’ only such theories as can be empirically tested, we may conclude that it is the possibility of an empirical refutation which distinguishes empirical or scientific theories.

If this ‘criterion of refutability’ is accepted, then we see at once that philosophical theories, or metaphysical theories, will be irrefutable by definition.

(Popper, 1985, p.214.)

And, of course, Popper held that strict or pure existential statements were empirically irrefutable.

With empirical irrefutability the situation is a little different. The simplest examples of empirically irrefutable statements are so-called strict or pure existential statements. Here is an example of a strict or pure existential statement: ‘There exists a pearl which is ten times larger than the next largest pearl.’ If in this statement we restrict the words ‘There exists’ to some finite region in space and time, then it may of course become a refutable statement. For example, the following statement is obviously empirically refutable: ‘At this moment and in this box here there exist at least two pearls one of which is ten times larger than the next largest pearl in this box.’ But then this statement is no longer a strict or pure existential statement: rather it is a restricted existential statement. A strict or pure existential statement applies to the whole universe, and it is irrefutable simply because there can be no method by which it could be refuted. For even if we were able to search our entire universe, the strict or pure existential  statement would not be refuted by our failure to discover the required pearl, seeing that it might always be hiding in a place where we are not looking.

(Popper, 1985, pp.212-213.)

Let’s examine what Dembski says about “intelligent design” in light of Popper’s statement:

The fundamental claim of intelligent design is straightforward and easily intelligible: namely, there exist natural systems that cannot be adequately explained in terms of undirected natural causes and that exhibit features which in any other circumstances we would attribute to intelligence.

( Dembski, 2004, p.45. )

Dembski delivers a clear “strict or pure existential statement” here. One doesn’t have to accept Popper’s notion of falsifiability as a demarcation criterion to recognize that Popper’s argument for considering pure existential statements as being empirically irrefutable is still sound. But nowhere within Dembski’s chapter on “testability” does Dembski confront and attempt to rebut Popper’s argument. The chapter reads as if Dembski were completely unaware or ignorant of Popper’s statements in this regard.

It is useful to point out the provenance of Dembski’s chapter 39 on “testability” in The Design Revolution. It is derived mostly from an earlier essay posted to the Metanexus MetaViews email list and web site on January 24th, 2001 and entitled, “Is Intelligent Design Testable?” (IIDT hereafter for short. A copy is available at ARN.) Within this essay, one will note the absence of any reference to or use of the term “refutability”. What one does find is reference to “falsifiability”:

Dembski in IIDT wrote:

In relation to science testability is a very broad notion. It certainly includes Karl Popper’s notion of falsifiability, but it is hardly coextensive with it and can apply even if falsifiability does not obtain. Testability as well covers confirmation, predicability, and explanatory power. At the heart of testability is the idea that our scientific theories must make contact with and be sensitive to what’s happening in nature. What’s happening in nature must be able to affect our scientific theories not only in form and content but also in the degree of credence we attach to or withhold from them. For a theory to be immune to evidence from nature is a sure sign that we’re not dealing with a scientific theory.

What then are we to make of the testability of both intelligent design and Darwinism taken not in a generic abstract sense but concretely? What are the specific tests for intelligent design? What are the specific tests for Darwinism? And how do the two theories compare in terms of testability? To answer these questions, let’s run through several aspects of testability, beginning with falsifiability.

FALSIFIABILITY: Is intelligent design falsifiable? Is Darwinism falsifiable? Yes to the first question, no to the second. Intelligent design is eminently falsifiable. Specified complexity in general and irreducible complexity in biology are within the theory of intelligent design the key markers of intelligent agency. If it could be shown that biological systems like the bacterial flagellum that are wonderfully complex, elegant, and integrated could have been formed by a gradual Darwinian process (which by definition is non-telic), then intelligent design would be falsified on the general grounds that one doesn’t invoke intelligent causes when purely natural causes will do. In that case Occam’s razor finishes off intelligent design quite nicely.

(Dembski, 2001.)

One will note that Dembski’s deployment of “falsifiability” is unrecognizable as any sort of usage that could be said to be derived from Popper. Demsbki does not proceed from some “theory of intelligent design” and find a proposition that is an entailed consequence and test its empirical validity, as Popper required for his “falsifiability”. Dembski asserts that an essentially unrelated proposition, whether some phenomenon can be explained sufficiently well by reference to a completely unrelated theory, somehow has implications for the truth value of the conjecture of interest. This has no corresponding construct in Popper’s framework, perhaps for the simple reason that it is an obviously invalid approach that Popper wouldn’t have touched with a ten foot pole. (See below for more.) It was this clearly erroneous deployment of “falsifiability” that I strongly critiqued in my presentation on June 17th, 2001 at the CTNS/AAAS “Interpreting Evolution” conference at Haverford College with William Dembski and Michael Behe in attendance (see slides 23-25).

Now, by examination of Dembski’s chapter on “testability” in The Design Revolution, it appears that Dembski did get the message that his deployment of “falsifiability” was flawed. But rather than fix the underlying problem, Dembski chose simply to introduce another term with which to replace “falsifiability” that he could redefine to suit his already existing text. Unfortunately, Dembski again ties the new term of choice, “refutability”, to Sir Karl Popper. Here is Dembski’s justification for invoking Popper on “refutability”:

The main point of Popper’s criterion of falsifiability is not so much that scientific claims must have the possibility of being demonstrably false as that they must have the possibility of being eliminated as the result of new evidence. To underscore this point Popper even wrote a book titled Conjectures and Refutations. That is the point of refutability.

(Dembski, 2004, p.281.)

The aphorism about judging a book by its cover leaps to mind. Examination of the book in question, though, leads to an understanding that Popper treated testability and refutability as synonyms for falsifiability (see pp. 37, 39, 197, 219, 256, and 258. See p. 279 for discussion of Carnap, who makes a similar error to that of Dembski.). In other words, the point of refutability is, according to Popper, quite unlike what Dembski has represented in his book.

So much for invoking the authority of Popper as a prop for Dembski’s version of “refutability”. But does Dembski’s formulation have any merits of its own? Let’s have a look.

Refutability comes in degrees. Theories become more refutable to the degree that new evidence could render them unacceptable. Note that refutability asks to what degree theories could be refuted, not to what degree they actually have been refuted. Thus refutability gauges how sensitive theories are to refutation in principle rather than on the basis of any particular evidence. The more sensitive to evidence generally, the more refutable the theory. According to Popper, one mark of a good scientific theory is that it is highly refutable in principle while consistently unrefuted by the evidence in practice. Better yet are those theories on which scientists have expended tremendous diligence to refute them, only to have their efforts come to nothing. Within Popper’s scheme of scientific rationality, theories are corroborated to the degree that they resist refutation.

Let’s now ask, Is intelligent design refutable? Is Darwinism refutable? Yes to the first question, no to the second. Intelligent design could in principle be readily refuted. Specified complexity in general and irreducible complexity in biology are, within the theory of intelligent design, key markers of intelligent agency. If it could be shown that biological systems that are wonderfully complex, elegant and integrated — such as the bacterial flagellum — could have been formed  by a gradual Darwinian process (and thus that their specified complexity is an illusion), then intelligent design would be refuted on the general grounds that one does not invoke intelligent causes when undirected natural causes will do. In that case Occam’s razor would finish off intelligent design quite nicely.

(Dembski, 2004, pp.281-282.)

Here Dembski’s “refutability” runs head-on into Popper’s argument concerning the empirical irrefutability of strict or pure existential statements, such as the fundamental claim of intelligent design quoted above. The result is fatal for Dembski’s “refutability” and the claims he makes for it.  No matter how many systems ID advocates assert might have specified complexity or irreducible complexity and later have them overturned by empirical inquiry finding that directed natural causes, such as natural selection, are perfectly capable of explaining them, the ID advocates can always propose yet another system as a candidate. (Dembski’s phrasing of “undirected natural causes” excludes natural selection, since natural selection is constrained and thus guided by local environmental conditions and factors like co-evolution. If Dembski wishes to redefine “guided” as “guided by an intelligent agent”, he needs to do so explicitly.) The cycle is endless, as Popper quite clearly saw with his example of search for the ten-times-larger-pearl. We already see the beginning of this, as ID advocates used to be very keen on using the human blood clotting cascade as a model system showing “intelligent design”. Good responses to the ID claims on blood clotting have made this system less tenable as an illustration, but ID advocates do not thereby say that the “fundamental claim of intelligent design” is thereby to that degree refuted. To the contrary, they simply have picked up and moved on to another system to serve as a poster-type example, in this case the flagellum of E. coli bacteria. We can already observe that the “sensitivity” of “intelligent design” conjectures to empirical evidence appears to be “none whatsoever”. On Dembski’s own criteria, as well as Popper’s, “intelligent design” is irrefutable.

As criticism of ID arguments about the E. coli flagellum accumulate, one can see that ID responses are tending to insulate against empirical refutation. One class of ID responses claims that the information needed to make flagella was “front-loaded” into some ancestral strain of bacteria. Another is that the “intelligent designer” acted at the quantum level to produce the flagellum. And a third class of response requires video-camera certainty concerning every step of proposed natural pathways to development of bacterial flagella. (It is useful to note here that “intelligent design” advocates select examples where knowledge concerning their historical origins is sketchy to non-existent. If “intelligent design” were more than a “bare possibility”, the ID advocates should be able to use as examples biological systems whose historical origins are well-known, but which remain unexplained by various evolutionary hypotheses or mechanisms. Instead, whenever there is sufficient evidence of the origin of a biological system, it uniformly is explained by some evolutionary hypothesis or mechanism. By the sort of inductive process invoked by Dembski elsewhere (e.g., Dembski, 2004, pp.95-96), “intelligent design” advocates should concede that this will continue to be the case for all future examples.)

On a further note, Dembski’s claim that “Darwinism” is irrefutable is clearly a mistake. If one credits Dembski’s formulation of “refutability”, it is clear that he has misapplied it in his haste to say something negative about “Darwinism”. Dembski’s entire program of finding “specified complexity” in biological systems is dependent upon his “generic chance elimination argument” (GCEA) being able to consider — and eliminate — evolutionary hypotheses for the origin of some event.  If Darwinian hypotheses were actually irrefutable, as Dembski claims, then his GCEA would get nowhere in considering biological systems. Dembski cannot “have his cake and eat it, too” in this instance, since “Polite society frowns on such obvious bad taste.” (See also my essay on Huxley and the “typing monkeys” metaphor.)

As I have noted before elsewhere, falsifying tests for natural selection date back to Darwin.

Natural selection cannot possibly produce any modification in any one species exclusively for the good of another species; though throughout nature one species incessantly takes advantage of, and profits by, the structure of another. But natural selection can and does often produce structures for the direct injury of other species, as we see in the fang of the adder, and in the ovipositor of the ichneumon, by which its eggs are deposited in the living bodies of other insects. If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.

(Darwin, 1859, ch. 6)

Famously, Popper himself had a go at an opinion on the status of “Darwinism”, which he originally critiqued as being “almost tautological” and thus relegated its status to that of a useful “metaphysical research program”. Popper recanted his earlier stance in an article published in Dialectica in 1978, saying that natural selection could be formulated in a way that was far from tautological and also testable. Dembski, predictably, also fails to learn this lesson from reading Popper. Perhaps understanding of Popper will one day come to Dembski. Until then, we’ll know to check the original sources when Dembski makes a claim about Popper.

  1. Darwin, Charles R. 1859. On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, First Edition. (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/origin.html…, last accessed 2004/05/03.)

    Dembski, William A. 2001. “Is Intelligent Design Testable?” MetaViews. (http://www.arn.org/docs/dembski/wd_isidtestable.htm…, last accessed 2004/05/03.)

    Dembski, William A. 2004. The Design Revolution. Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

    Popper, Sir Karl. 1978. “Natural Selection and the Emergence of Mind,” Dialectica 32:339-355.

    Popper, Sir Karl. 1985. “Metaphysics and criticizability.” In: Popper Selections, David Miller (ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Originally published in 1958.

    Popper, Sir Karl. 1992. “Conjectures and Refutations.” Routledge; 5th edition.

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Comment #1958

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 9, 2004 2:19 AM (e)

Excellent essay. Welcome back Wesley, I missed your hard hitting though fair contributions. Once again you have hit the nail by exposing in detail the underlying problems with ID.
That more recently ID proponents are retreating into front loading is not surprising given the problems ID is facing to propose scientifically relevant hypotheses.
In the end, the retreat to front loading is understandable from a scientific and theological perspective.

Comment #1959

Posted by Immanuel Rant on May 9, 2004 2:39 AM (e)

Excellent article Wesley!

Creationists/IDists seem to have a big thing for Popper. For some reason they forget that the philosophy of science has gone way beyond Popper and are loathe to even acknowledge that there a valid criticisms of Popper’s idea. I think the word “falsibility” excites them too much to actually understand what Popper was saying.

At the same time while IDists are throwing Popper around they seem to want to engage in a form of epistemic relativism in regards to science.

ARN, as usual, has good examples of both (often in the same post).

Comment #1961

Posted by Bob Maurus on May 9, 2004 4:38 AM (e)

Concerning “frontloading,” a friend dropped an article about Christian Schwabe and his Genomic Potential Hypothesis in my inbox the other day, bemoaning the fact that Schwabe couldn’t get printed in Science journals - along with a link to Dembski’s claims about the testability of ID, which I was quite happy to counter with Wes Elsberry’s timely rebutal here yesterday.

What is the scientific relevance or credibility of Schwabe’s hypothesis? How does it relate to discussions of evolution theory? I haven’t found anything on it yet that’s layman friendly.

Comment #1962

Posted by Richard Wein on May 9, 2004 5:29 AM (e)

Hi Wesley. A very good article. I have a few comments.

We can already observe that the “sensitivity” of “intelligent design” conjectures to empirical evidence appears to be “none whatsoever”. On Dembski’s own criteria, as well as Popper’s, “intelligent design” is irrefutable.

ID is only irrefutable (in Dembski’s sense) in the eyes of ID advocates. As far as mainstream science is concerned, it is refutable and has been refuted. ID’s central proposition is rendered “unacceptable” (to use Dembski’s term) by the evidence which leads scientists to infer that there was no intelligent intervention in the evolution of species.

Dembski’s entire program of finding “specified complexity” in biological systems is dependent upon his “generic chance elimination argument” (GCEA) being able to consider — and eliminate — evolutionary hypotheses for the origin of some event. If Darwinian hypotheses were actually irrefutable, as Dembski claims, then his GCEA would get nowhere in considering biological systems.

According to Dembski, it is “Darwinism” which is irrefutable, rather than specific evolutionary hypotheses. ID advocates generally use “Darwinism” to mean the proposition that no intelligent agency was involved in the evolution of species. Your conclusion, however, remains true: Dembski’s claims are inconsistent. He claims that an application of his design inference leads to the conclusion that intelligent agency was involved in the evolution of the flagellum, which, if true, would refute Darwninism (i.e. render it “unacceptable”). Yet he also claims that Darwinism is not refutable! (Since he defines refutability as a matter of degree, I assume that the latter claim is intended to mean that Darwinism has zero refutability.)

Comment #1963

Posted by Richard Wein on May 9, 2004 5:31 AM (e)

Hi Wesley. A very good article. I have a few comments.

We can already observe that the “sensitivity” of “intelligent design” conjectures to empirical evidence appears to be “none whatsoever”. On Dembski’s own criteria, as well as Popper’s, “intelligent design” is irrefutable.

ID is only irrefutable (in Dembski’s sense) in the eyes of ID advocates. As far as mainstream science is concerned, it is refutable and has been refuted. ID’s central proposition is rendered “unacceptable” (to use Dembski’s term) by the evidence which leads scientists to infer that there was no intelligent intervention in the evolution of species.

Dembski’s entire program of finding “specified complexity” in biological systems is dependent upon his “generic chance elimination argument” (GCEA) being able to consider — and eliminate — evolutionary hypotheses for the origin of some event. If Darwinian hypotheses were actually irrefutable, as Dembski claims, then his GCEA would get nowhere in considering biological systems.

According to Dembski, it is “Darwinism” which is irrefutable, rather than specific evolutionary hypotheses. ID advocates generally use “Darwinism” to mean the proposition that no intelligent agency was involved in the evolution of species. Your conclusion, however, remains true: Dembski’s claims are inconsistent. He claims that an application of his design inference leads to the conclusion that intelligent agency was involved in the evolution of the flagellum, which, if true, would refute Darwninism (i.e. render it “unacceptable”). Yet he also claims that Darwinism is not refutable! (Since he defines refutability as a matter of degree, I assume that the latter claim is intended to mean that Darwinism has zero refutability.)

Comment #1966

Posted by Matthew Heaney on May 9, 2004 7:05 AM (e)

Karl Popper recanted, and said that yes, natural selection as indeed falsifiable. Dembski is arguing that Darwinism is not falsifiable, but he’s also using Popper to bolster support for his own theory. So which is it? If Dembski buys into the Popperian program, then he’s going to have to reconcile how Popper himself gainsays Demski’s argument.

Comment #1967

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on May 9, 2004 7:48 AM (e)

Richard,

Dembski uses a parallel construction to say that “intelligent design” is refutable, but “Darwinism” is not. By parallel, how Dembski explicates “refutability” for “intelligent design” must also hold for how it should be applied to “Darwinism”. Dembski deploys “refutability” as a piecewise rejection of specific propositions in the case of “intelligent design”, and therefore that is the same standard that must be used for “Darwinism”. I’m not defending Dembski’s approach as valid, just pointing out the consequences of his own usage.

Of course, Dembski is inconsistent. That’s the point. And I also pointed out that the literature has long had falsifying tests for natural selection. That Dembski fails to take cognizance of these is a further strike against him.

About the irrefutability of the “fundamental claim of intelligent design”… I have to agree with Popper on this one. Because it is a pure existential statement and biologists don’t have a videotape collection of every moment of every organism that ever lived, ID advocates can always claim that the Designer acted in one of those gaps where there isn’t data. And they do. Just because the preponderance of biologists find the available evidence dispositive does not change the logical status of the proposition. As I noted, where we do have the evidence in abundance, we also see that biological systems are explained as the result of evolutionary processes. It is precisely those systems where design is exclusively maintained by scanty knowledge inference (or D.E.M.B.S.K.I.) that ID advocates feel comfortable in advancing as examples for their position.

Wesley

Comment #1971

Posted by Richard Wein on May 9, 2004 8:12 AM (e)

Wesley,

I’m not defending Dembski’s approach as valid, just pointing out the consequences of his own usage.

So I understood. And I am doing the same.

About the irrefutability of the “fundamental claim of intelligent design” … I have to agree with Popper on this one.

I was using “irrefutability” in Dembski’s sense, not Popper’s.

Comment #1972

Posted by Richard Wein on May 9, 2004 8:27 AM (e)

P.S. Perhaps we are differing in our interpretation of Dembski’s usage of “refutability”. The nearest he comes to a definition in the quoted passages is this: “Theories become more refutable to the degree that new evidence could render them unacceptable.” Obviously, this raises the question of what he means by “unacceptable”. I take him to mean that a theory is “refuted” when the evidence leads to an inference inconsistent with the theory. What do you take him to mean?

I should add that I haven’t read TDR, so I’m relying on the passages you quote here. But perhaps Dembski is clearer about his meaning elsewhere in the book.

Comment #1976

Posted by Richard Wein on May 9, 2004 9:29 AM (e)

P.P.S. Since you referred, in your reply to me, to Dembski’s “parallel construction”, I suspect you are concentrating on the second paragraph of the passage in question. Note that this paragraph only gives an example of how ID (allegedly) could be refuted. It does not claim that this is the only way ID could be refuted. In order to determine whether ID and Darwnism are refutable (in Dembski’s sense), we need to understand more generally what he means by the term.

Comment #1995

Posted by Steve Reuland on May 10, 2004 7:06 AM (e)

Bob Marus wrote:

What is the scientific relevance or credibility of Schwabe’s hypothesis? How does it relate to discussions of evolution theory? I haven’t found anything on it yet that’s layman friendly.

You can see a good skewering here:

http://home.wxs.nl/~gkorthof/korthof56.htm

There is nothing of value to it. Not only is the hypothesis itself clearly implausible, but he borrows many creationist arguments against evolution that are flat-out false. For example, he reproduces Michael Denton’s fallacious molecular phylogenetics argument, even after Denton himself repudiated it.

Schwabe’s “theory” hasn’t been published in Science for the simple reason that it’s not good enough.

Comment #2004

Posted by Bob Maurus on May 10, 2004 10:03 AM (e)

Thanks, Steve.

Comment #2148

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 13, 2004 10:55 PM (e)

The article was well written and considerably researched. I did enjoy the read even if I did not clearly understand exactly where Wesley thinks Dembski goes awry in understanding Popperian thought.

It seems that the gist of Wesley’s argument is that Dembski uses the word refute rather than falsify:

I look up falsify and I get: “To declare or prove to be false.”

I look up refute and get: “To prove to be false or erroneous; overthrow by argument or proof: refute testimony.”

IOW, the two words mean exactly the same thing in the way we use them. Have I misread or missed something?

Also, I see much misunderstanding, as I did in another thread I participated in on this forum with people understanding what ID is. Here are a few examples:

*****ID is only irrefutable (in Dembski’s sense) in the eyes of ID advocates.******

This is too broad and shows misunderstanding of ID. It’s like saying, ‘Geology is only refutable in the eyes of geologists.’ WHAT in geology? There is no theory of geology just as there is no theory of ID to refute. There are theories and predictions within these two bodies of thought that are refutable, but not the topics themselves.

******ID’s central proposition is rendered “unacceptable” (to use Dembski’s term) by the evidence which leads scientists to infer that there was no intelligent intervention in the evolution of species.******

What is ID’s “central proposition?” I have studied this new science since its inception and I’m not aware of any one central proposition. Also, other than radical naturalist Dawkins and a handful of others, I know of no one who espouses there is evidence of no intelligent intervention in origins. What on earth IS this evidence? Aren’t you guys aware of the old adage that states if something did NOT occur, it could not possibly have left any evidence either way?

*****According to Dembski, it is “Darwinism” which is irrefutable, rather than specific evolutionary hypotheses.******

I’m afraid this is exactly backward. Darwinism is too broad a term to be refuted. There is no such thing as a theory of Darwin to falsify. However, many of its core tenets are not falsifiable, and therefore fall outside the realm of science, according to Popper. I believe this is what Dembski is referring to.

*****ID advocates generally use “Darwinism” to mean the proposition that no intelligent agency was involved in the evolution of species.*****

Sorry, this too is incorrect. Evolution has little to do with ID. There are many Idists who feel that the first protist was designed and everything else arrived here via common descent.

Comment #2149

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 13, 2004 11:13 PM (e)

Jerry: Darwinism is too broad a term to be refuted.

How so? Natural selection and variation do not sound that broad. In fact, most of the evidence seems to support Darwinian theory.

Comment #2150

Posted by Richard Wein on May 14, 2004 5:35 AM (e)

Jerry:

What is ID’s “central proposition?” I have studied this new science since its inception and I’m not aware of any one central proposition.

Dembski:

The fundamental claim of intelligent design is straightforward and easily intelligible: namely, there exist natural systems that cannot be adequately explained in terms of undirected natural causes and that exhibit features which in any other circumstances we would attribute to intelligence.

Comment #2157

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 14, 2004 10:43 AM (e)

*****there exist natural systems that cannot be adequately explained in terms of undirected natural causes and that exhibit features which in any other circumstances we would attribute to intelligence.******

But what does this really have to do with ID: A science based on probability employed to detect design in a given artifact or system? It may be a true statement, but its too vague to really be addressed or falsified. Therories must take the form of universal postulates.

Comment #2159

Posted by Larry LaPorte on May 14, 2004 11:29 AM (e)

“ID: A science based on probability employed to detect design in a given artifact or system? “

Hahahahhahahahah. Can you show me any study which shows that any ID scientist has been able to accurately predict, using an algorithm “based on probability,” whether an object of uknown utility that the ID scientist has not seen before was “designed” or not?

Your “ID” is a science in the same way that mind reading is a science, Jerry: bogus nonsense.

Real scientists (and non-scientists) have used their brains for hundreds of years to determine whether found objects were designed. Why all of a sudden do we need charlatans like you telling us that you have a better way but refusing to provide a single demonstration that your way works?

Comment #2160

Posted by Brian on May 14, 2004 11:32 AM (e)

Dembski could give a scientific response but is unlikely to do so. The idea of Irreducible Complexity supposedly did not spring forth through a leap of faith, but rather as a hypothesis based on the observation of complexity in natural systems. Dembski should just say “Here are the dozen best examples of IC, and that’s the restricted existential statement you’re looking for. Refute these, and then there is little reason to talk about IC any more, especially because these examples are what led to the IC theory to begin with.” IC theory would be falsifiable as to those examples. Dembski is unlikely to make this argument though, because the dozen examples will soon be refuted. He could try and claim any complex system on the earth constitutes the restricted existential statement, but that’s a little too cute to pass Popper’s test.

Comment #2162

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 14, 2004 11:43 AM (e)

*****Hahahahhahahahah. Can you show me any study which shows that any ID scientist has been able to accurately predict, using an algorithm “based on probability,” whether an object of uknown utility that the ID scientist has not seen before was “designed” or not?*****

No. Nor would I expect anyone to conduct such a silly study. Why would you as your proposition is largely nonsensical.

*****Your “ID” is a science in the same way that mind reading is a science, Jerry: bogus nonsense.*****

Please back this up with something other than broad assertions. I’m not going to get into a juvenile is too/is not/is too argument with you.

*****Real scientists (and non-scientists) have used their brains for hundreds of years to determine whether found objects were designed. *****

This is the no true Scottsman logical fallacy. I only address cogent posts based on logic.

*****Why all of a sudden do we need charlatans like you telling us that you have a better way but refusing to provide a single demonstration that your way works?*****

I don’t believe anyone has asked for a demonstration. Basically, the only thing I’ve received since I’ve been in here is ad homonym fallacy. Your post seems typical.

Comment #2166

Posted by Larry LaPorte on May 14, 2004 11:59 AM (e)

Jerry, you lazy ignorant pathetic excuse for a liar (Ph.D.? what a joke), here’s just one example of a request for a demonstration:

A proper test of ID would be for it to make some prediction about a biological process, event, or feature that could not, in principle, be explained by evolution but only by intelligent design, and then having that prediction corroborated. Such a testable prediction might, for example, be recognition of the operation of the intelligent force that causes the alleged organic design, or a prediction of the identity of the designer.

By the way, you might want to use the following website to find other requests for demonstrations (I don’t have time to teach you how to use it; ask your mommy):

www.google.com

Comment #2167

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 14, 2004 12:03 PM (e)

*****Dembski could give a scientific response but is unlikely to do so.******

Why are you guys so obsessed with Dembski? And why do you look to Dembski hoping to find the science of ID? Dembski is not a scientist, he’s a philosopher. Philosophy is all you will ever get out of him and that is logically all that could be expected.

******Dembski should just say “Here are the dozen best examples of IC, and that’s the restricted existential statement you’re looking for. Refute these, and then there is little reason to talk about IC any more, especially because these examples are what led to the IC theory to begin with.” IC theory would be falsifiable as to those examples. Dembski is unlikely to make this argument though, because the dozen examples will soon be refuted. He could try and claim any complex system on the earth constitutes the restricted existential statement, but that’s a little too cute to pass Popper’s test*****

Really, well if Dembski is unlikely to make that argument I certainly have no problem with it. Please consider the mammalian circulatory system which we will boil down to its core IC components:

Hemoglobin to carry oxygen, plasma to carry the hemoglobin, lungs to oxygenate the hemoglobin, miles of veins, arteries and capillaries to carry the fluid, a heart to pump the blood, a kidney to keep the blood clean and a brain to make it all work together.

Now take a monkey into a lab, pull out one of these irreducible components and show me how this system can still function. Refute this, then we’ll talk. ;)

Comment #2169

Posted by Leighton on May 14, 2004 12:27 PM (e)

Okay, Jerry, what sources would you recommend for learning about ID, if not Dembski? Are Behe, Johnson, and Wells inadmissable too?

Where are you pulling your ideas about ID from?

Comment #2170

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 14, 2004 12:28 PM (e)

*****Jerry, you lazy ignorant pathetic excuse for a liar (Ph.D.? what a joke), here’s just one example of a request for a demonstration*****

LOL … This is funny. You seem to be reduced to name calling in 1 post, gotta be a record. ;)

*****A proper test of ID would be for it to make some prediction about a biological process, event, or feature that could not, in principle, be explained by evolution but only by intelligent design, and then having that prediction corroborated.*****

You’re cracking me up, man. Do you think we have a problem in this area? You only think so because you are ignorant of the subject.

ID is based heavily on thermodynamics and one aspect of ID thermo is this postulate which has been around for years: ‘With the spreading of loose information, entropy will increase.’

Since genes are information, ID would predict that rather than an evolution of complexity within the human genome just the opposite, or devolution of the genome toward disorder would be occurring. Well, the only study ever done on the human genome by evolutionary biologists is in and this is exactly what is happening. Here’s the abstract:

High genomic deleterious mutation rates in hominids.

Eyre-Walker A, Keightley PD.

Centre for the Study of Evolution and School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK. A.C.Eyre-Walker@susx.ac.uk

It has been suggested that humans may suffer a high genomic deleterious mutation rate. Here we test this hypothesis by applying a variant of a molecular approach to estimate the deleterious mutation rate in hominids from the level of selective constraint in DNA sequences. Under conservative assumptions, we estimate that an average of 4.2 amino-acid-altering mutations per diploid per generation have occurred in the human lineage since humans separated from chimpanzees. Of these mutations, we estimate that at least 38% have been eliminated by natural selection, indicating that there have been more than 1.6 new deleterious mutations per diploid genome per generation. Thus, the deleterious mutation rate specific to protein-coding sequences alone is close to the upper limit tolerable by a species such as humans that has a low reproductive rate, indicating that the effects of deleterious mutations may have combined synergistically. Furthermore, the level of selective constraint in hominid protein-coding sequences is atypically low. A large number of slightly deleterious mutations may therefore have become fixed in hominid lineages

http://homepages.ed.ac.uk/eang33/pdfs/eyre-walker_keightley1999.pdf

This biological prediction of ID stands as supported by the evidence.

******Such a testable prediction might, for example, be recognition of the operation of the intelligent force that causes the alleged organic design******

There is no such thing as an ‘intelligent force’ anywhere within the science. There are no leprechauns or fairies, either.

******or a prediction of the identity of the designer.*****

There is no such thing as a prediction of the identity of a designer. If the designer were an astronaut, how in heck do you figure that anyone could devise experimentation to figure out its name? That’s just silly.

See, I don’t need my mommy. And you don’t need to go to a philosopher to learn science. Throw it my way because philosophy is not my field

Comment #2171

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 14, 2004 12:36 PM (e)

*****Okay, Jerry, what sources would you recommend for learning about ID, if not Dembski? Are Behe, Johnson, and Wells inadmissable too?

Where are you pulling your ideas about ID from?****

Johnson is OK. Behe revamped the argument from irreducible complexity that’s been around since the days of Christ, but I guess that’s all he’s ever done for ID. Wells is a law professor–wouldn’t go there.

If I had my druthers, I wish people would learn from us out here in the field that don’t make a fortune off books and lectures. We just do it.

Oh, we lecture (for free)and I have a book that will soon be out, but we are the crux of IDists that actually teach it to high schools and colleges and design research for their science departments.

I feel the latter is your best bet to get to the heart of the matter.

Comment #2172

Posted by Larry LaPorte on May 14, 2004 12:54 PM (e)

You’re cracking me up, man. Do you think we have a problem in this area?

No, Jerry. I don’t think you have a problem in this area. I know that you have many problems in multiple areas.

Your first problem is that you are a liar with an understanding of biology roughly equivalent to that of a 6th grader who leared biology from a creationist.

Although you speak as if you know more about ID than anyone else on this blog, you stated that you weren’t aware that “anyone has asked for a demonstration.”

You were provided with one such request. No demonstration of the type requested in the article I linked to has been provided. Why? Because ID is bogus.

The paper you cited tested the prediction that “humans may suffer a high genomic deleterious mutation rate”. That prediction was not made by ID hucksters. It was made by scientists. The conclusions of that paper have nothing to do with ID. The paper only highlights the difference between scientists and frauds like you, Jerry. Real scientists propose testable hypotheses and publish papers in peer-reviewed journals. ID hucksters like you troll around on evolution blogs and make fools of themselves.

Now, as for the ID postulate that “With the spreading of loose information, entropy will increase,” would you mind defining the terms “spreading” and “loose” for us all?

That way we might be able to discuss the relevance of a mutation rate to your thermodynamic theory (ignoring for the moment the fact that humans eat food which contains stored energy).

Also Jerry Don, since you behave as if you believe yourself to be an expert in thermodynamics, could you please explain the results in this molecular biology paper to me, results which Maxwell might find a bit troubling?

Simplification of DNA topology below equilibrium values by type II topoisomerases.” Rybenkov, V.V., Ullsperger, C. U., Vologodskii, A.V. and Cozzarelli, N.R., Science, 1997, 277, 690-693.

I’m sure Alex Vologodskii and Nicholas Cozzarelli would be very excited to hear what insights a deluded mental dwarf such as yourself has to offer.

Comment #2173

Posted by Dr. Roland Strickland on May 14, 2004 1:03 PM (e)

we lecture (for free)and I have a book that will soon be out, but we are the crux of IDists that actually teach it to high schools and colleges and design research for their science departments.

JD, I’m bored with the innuendo. How about some names? i.e., whose “we”? which high schools and colleges? could you provide an example of a “research” program this “crux of IDists” has designed for a “science” department at one of the “high schools and colleges” you refer to?

Or are you just a pathological liar?

Note that I could care less about your book. The most use that our nation’s physicists or biologists will get out of it is for lighting their grills or wiping themselves. I’m not criticizing it, necessarily. Just making a prediction.

Comment #2174

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 14, 2004 1:25 PM (e)

******No, Jerry. I don’t think you have a problem in this area. I know that you have many problems in multiple areas.******

This is correct. However science and ID are not in those areas.

*****Your first problem is that you are a liar with an understanding of biology roughly equivalent to that of a 6th grader who leared biology from a creationist.*****

LOL … I majored in chemistry and have never been to a creationist site in my life except out of curiosity, not to gather facts. Has anyone ever told you that name calling is the ad homonym fallacy? How do you ever expect to win any points in debate if you base your arguments on logical fallacy?

*****Although you speak as if you know more about ID than anyone else on this blog, you stated that you weren’t aware that “anyone has asked for a demonstration.******

Nah … I’m not going to let you wiggle your way out of this. I addressed your request for a demonstration and now it is your turn to address that post. Don’t run from it, you’ll look sillier than if you addressed it.

*****The paper you cited tested the prediction that “humans may suffer a high genomic deleterious mutation rate”. That prediction was not made by ID hucksters. It was made by scientists. The conclusions of that paper have nothing to do with ID. The paper only highlights the difference between scientists and frauds like you, *****

LOL … Did you even read it? The paper never mentions frauds or scientists. Do you just make it up as you go? I’m not surprised you are a Darwinist. Did you know that the word gullible is not in the dictionary?

*****Jerry. Real scientists propose testable hypotheses and publish papers in peer-reviewed journals.******

The no true Scotsman fallacy again. I fear there may be no hope that you will ever bring a logical argument against ID.

*****Now, as for the ID postulate that “With the spreading of loose information, entropy will increase,” would you mind defining the terms “spreading” and “loose” for us all?*****

Nope. Look it up. I don’t seriously address posts this juvenile. I toy with them. Now, if someone else wants to ask those questions ……

****Also Jerry Don, since you behave as if you believe yourself to be an expert in thermodynamics*****

Yep, a ‘real’ thermodynamicist, I’m afraid.

*****could you please explain the results in this molecular biology paper to me, results which Maxwell might find a bit troubling?*****

LOL … No thank you, I don’t believe I need to be making your arguments for you. I’ll let you do that, if you can. ;0)

Comment #2175

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 14, 2004 1:36 PM (e)

*****JD, I’m bored with the innuendo. How about some names?*****

I use my real name.

*****i.e., whose “we”? which high schools and colleges?*****

On the Internet?? There are nuts reading this that would cause problems for these institutions. I don’t need that and you probably didn’t think it through before requested it.

******could you provide an example of a “research” program this “crux of IDists” has designed for a “science” department at one of the “high schools and colleges” you refer to?*****

Sure can. ;0)

*****Or are you just a pathological liar?*****

LOL … Have I picked up another PhD troll? They tend to follow me around, don’t you know. Do I know you from anywhere else?

*****Note that I could care less about your book.*****

Good. Then you won’t get a copy.

*****The most use that our nation’s physicists or biologists will get out of it is for lighting their grills or wiping themselves. I’m not criticizing it, necessarily. Just making a prediction*****

LOL … I thought you could care less about the book. But you may be the only person I know that can ‘dis’ a book without reading it. How do you do this, by osmosis? Now let’s go back to the opening sentence:

*****JD, I’m bored with the innuendo****

Great. Maybe this means you will actually bring an argument against any tenet of ID I’ve posited thus far on the forum. But, I’m not holding my breath.

Comment #2176

Posted by Saul on May 14, 2004 1:45 PM (e)

For more examples of Jerry Don’s pathological lying, see

http://www.arn.org/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=13;t=001315

and compare his statements and lies there with those here.

Jerry Don’s profile on the ARN site says that he is a “51 year old CEO of a business in the Midwest”. Anyone know in what state? Can anyone find the name of Jerry’s business? He has no other web presence except as a blogger on creationism boards like ARN.

I’m having fun watching him step into his own shite over and over again, like a rat in a corner just before it’s neck is snapped in two by a fox.

I suspect he is interested mainly in getting banned from this site so that he can use the ban as another reason to criticize “Darwinists” and accuse them of being unfair to pathological liars or something like that.

Good luck Jerry!

Comment #2178

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 14, 2004 1:53 PM (e)

*****Jerry Don’s profile on the ARN site says that he is a “51 year old CEO of a business in the Midwest”. Anyone know in what state? Can anyone find the name of Jerry’s business? He has no other web presence except as a blogger on creationism boards like ARN.*****

LOL…Now does the good professor from a couple of posts back understand why I don’t give out certain information on the Web?

Comment #2180

Posted by Dr. James R. Quaradial on May 14, 2004 1:58 PM (e)

“Now does the good professor from a couple of posts back understand why I don’t give out certain information on the Web?”

Yes, I understand completely. The more “information” you give us about you, the more proof we will have that you are a pathological liar.

Comment #2182

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 14, 2004 2:13 PM (e)

*****Yes, I understand completely. The more “information” you give us about you, the more proof we will have that you are a pathological liar.*****

Very cool. Maybe we’re getting somewhere. I’ve been toying with this for a few days and I’m wondering if you can give me your opinion. This is an entropic formula that could deal with informational, logical and thermodynamical. I’m wondering if I could get the input of another educator:

Considering the general definition from statistical mechanics, which defines entropy as an absolute quantity, whereas the classical definition is only relative: S = -k*sum(overj){Pj*log(Pj)}, where “Pj” is the probability, “P”, of finding the system in state “j”, the sum is over all possible states “j”, and “k” is an arbitrary constant to define units (Boltzmann’s constant in thermodynamics). That definition of entropy is also used in information theory (with no “k”), and so is much more relevant to the question regarding complexity and order (which are poorly adapted concepts for thermodynamics).

Do you feel I need to slant this more Boltzmann, toward Prigogine, or possibly go down the middle with Schrodinger?

Comment #2187

Posted by Jack Krebs on May 14, 2004 3:11 PM (e)

I’ve watched Jerry Don Bauer participate in a number of internet disucssions, and they always seem to devolve to about the same level. My feeling is that I’d like to see the Panda’s Thumb keep these kind of discussions to a minimum. People who want to argue with Jerry might invite him to step over to ARN or ISCID and take up the discussion there.

Just a thought on my part.

Thanks.

Comment #2189

Posted by Dr. Roland Strickland on May 14, 2004 3:17 PM (e)

Jerry Don Bauer is employed at Time For Joy Productions which produces evangelical music out of Branson, Missouri. Could Jerry Don Bauer really be a Christian fundamentalist? What a shock that would be to us all.

A link which includes a letter from Jerry Don Bauer and pictures (!) is included.

WARNING!!! Turn down the volume on your computer first!!!

When you get to the site, search for “Jerry Don” and you’ll find his letters and pictures.

http://www.urban.ne.jp/home/koa7/newsletter.htm

Nice headphones, Jerry Don! Are the headphone your direct connection to God? Is that where you get all your thermo gobbledygook?

If it’s not you, Jerry Don, perhaps the real Jerry Don Bauer or his attorneys would be interested in knowing why you’ve stolen his identity.

Comment #2190

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 14, 2004 3:24 PM (e)

*****I’ve watched Jerry Don Bauer participate in a number of internet disucssions, and they always seem to devolve to about the same level.*****

I’m sorry. I’m just responding to posts from wannabe detractors of ID that refuse to argue even one tenet of it. I’m being nice to people, in spite of the incoming, and just want to reason. Is this not the purpose of the forum?

Comment #2191

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 14, 2004 3:27 PM (e)

*****If it’s not you, Jerry Don, perhaps the real Jerry Don Bauer or his attorneys would be interested in knowing why you’ve stolen his identity.*****

LOL…This is your logic to refute the above posts? Why don’t you just come right out and state that ID is science. ID is fact. There is not one thing I can do to refute even the simplist tenet of ID. I are a IDist. Welcome aboard, Doc. I went through this too.

Comment #2206

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 14, 2004 5:42 PM (e)

Oh no, not the entropy debacle all over again. I have spent countless postings on ISCID and ARN trying to educate Jerry as to how to correctly apply entropy calculations to the genome as relevant to the issue of evolution. Seems that contrary to what science (read Schneider, Adami, Ofria and others have found) Jerry seems to be under the impression that entropy tendency is positive under mutation. Not to mention that Jerry confused tendency (which is a derivative) with the actual entropy. Since entropy is always positive, not surprisingly Jerry concluded, incorrectly, that this showed a positive tendency.

You can lead him to water but surely it seems that you can’t make him drink.

Just check out the ISCID or ARN threads, a riot…

We can find W, because the researchers tell us is there are about 100 million possibilities that could mutate, so four mutations is not that big a number, relatively speaking. But this will be positive entropy, thus we can surmise that entropy has risen in each, or at least most, generations for the last six million years and there is no evidence at all to suggest it hasn’t been this way throughout the entire 2 billion year process.

S = log2W, S = log2(100,000,000), S = 26.5754247590989, therefore S is positive showing a positive tendency of disorder as we would expect.

Link

Ok, you can stop laughing now, this is serious stuff…

Comment #2209

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 14, 2004 6:01 PM (e)

PvM, You’ve trolled me through more forums than I can count now. Go play in the sandbox or something. Let these people address the arguments they have initiated. I think that’s fair.

Comment #2210

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 14, 2004 6:08 PM (e)

What arguments would that be Jerry? I hope they are better than the earlier debacle on these issues at this board.

And if you consider me showing the errors in your claims to be ‘trolling’ then you surely must believe that there are a lot of trolls out there :-)

You have shown through your own statements a total flawed understanding of concepts of entropy leading you astray more than once. And despite many efforts by various people to correct these errors and educate you, it seems that these attempts have been mostly in vain.

Of course that won’t prevent me from at least explaining to those on this board who are interested in what is wrong with your arguments.

Comment #2211

Posted by Mark V. on May 14, 2004 6:10 PM (e)

Jerry Don, did you teach yourself rudimentary thermodynamics or did you learn thermodynamics from legendary gospel singer Gary Paxton?

Too bad you don’t have Gary’s head of hair.

Comment #2212

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on May 14, 2004 6:44 PM (e)

If I may interject, anyone who thinks JDB is a hopeless lunatic and a troll, should simply stop answering his posts. It goes to no one’s advantage (including, and especially, the Thumb’s), to keep hurling insults back and forth. Thanks.

Comment #2213

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 14, 2004 6:45 PM (e)

*****Jerry Don, did you teach yourself rudimentary thermodynamics or did you learn thermodynamics from legendary gospel singer Gary Paxton? Too bad you don’t have Gary’s head of hair.*****

Gary is not a gospel singer. He does it all. Anyhow, you wouldn’t like Gary now, he’s nuts. Yeah..he met a group called Paul Revere and The Raiders in an A&W Rootbeer stand in Hollywood and told them he would make them the number one rock group in America and he did. He brought a guy named Luther Vandross into the studio and produced a record album that sold 37 and a half million copies. He was the biggest record producer in Hollywood for 25 years. And yes, he’s a former business partner of mine.

So what. Now that you know I am known in Japan as a record producer with Gary S. Paxton as one of my former partners, how can you address the ID argument?

Comment #2215

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 14, 2004 7:10 PM (e)

*****If I may interject, anyone who thinks JDB is a hopeless lunatic and a troll, should simply stop answering his posts.*****

I would add that I would appreciate it if no one would answer the posts that do not have an argument. Calling me a liar does not address anything logically. Further your cause, guys. Show that ID is false. Thus far, no one here seems capable of even addressing the subject.

Comment #2222

Posted by Andrew on May 15, 2004 6:49 AM (e)

As someone with a layman’s interest in evolution, and wishing to have no truck with ID (or God) I would appreciate it if somebody would address JDB in a logical and consistent manner to debunk him.

I could use the tips for my own arguments.

The name calling simply looks hysterical. Flaming may be an old internet tradition (like text browsers) but face it, it makes everything look pretty crappy.

Now snap to it boys (and mature women). I don’t want to have to go to the hard work of getting a degree if I can cadge the best arguments off you chaps.

Comment #2223

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on May 15, 2004 7:33 AM (e)

“Andrew”,

Well, for starters, there’s this paper critiquing Dembski’s CSI. IC is claimed to be a subset of CSI, so this applies to both.

I feel that every aspect of ID advocacy is fair game for criticism, from their arguments as such (see the paper mentioned above for one), their socio-political activism, and their rhetoric. Some people object to having the latter two categories critiqued on the grounds that such examinations don’t bear upon the arguments-as-such. I find this objection incredibly weak. The arguments-as-such have been thoroughly examined and dissected (see, for example, links from my page on William A. Dembski’s work); it is not as if they haven’t been addressed on their own lack-of-merit. The criticism of the politics and rhetoric proceeds in parallel with the criticism of the arguments-as-such.

Wesley

Comment #2229

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 15, 2004 9:43 AM (e)

Jerry: Show that ID is false. Thus far, no one here seems capable of even addressing the subject.

Fascinating self denial. Not only does it seem self evident that Jerry is avoiding addressing the subject of thermodynamics in any scientifically meaningful manner but he also seems to ignore the vaste amount of evidence presented on this blog and other websites that ID is false. Not false in the sense that there is no God but false in the sense that it has failed to be a scientific alternative or extension.

Welcome to our Bible courses section explores and contradicts some of the suggestions by Jerry Don that he is not a ‘creationist’ as well as Jerry Don’s understanding of the concept of entropy

Such as this whopper

Yet evolutionists proclaim with every stage of the evolutionary process the law of entropy must be broken billions of time to form even the most primitive organism.

Of course as anyone knows, or should know, evolutionists do not claim that the law of entropy must be broken to form even the most primitive organisms. This is clearly a strawman on the part of Jerry Don and a complete misunderstanding of the concept of entropy as well as of the claims of evolutionists.

or here where Jerry Don can be observed saying

And I don’t believe complex systems CAN be set up to maintain order in the face of entropy.

For reference:

Creationist: Believer in the literal interpretation of the account of the creation of the universe and of all living things related in the Bible

Comment #2237

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 15, 2004 11:03 AM (e)

Well see, there ya go Wesley. The way to get anywhere in this subject is to get very specific. We can discuss CSI if you wish.

But may I suggest that the presentation of web sites with the invitation to ‘Go read this and you’ll see how wrong you are’ is not a fair argument? How would one ever score points by doing that as the writers of those web sites are not here to debate when they are wrong.

So, why don’t you place an argument in your own words. Do you feel there is no upper barrier limit where things cannot come together on there own? Do you feel that Dembski just uses the wrong figures? What problems do you have with CSI?

Comment #2238

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 15, 2004 11:07 AM (e)

LOL….Pim, you are stringing together meaningless quotes from me from across several forums involving subjects that, I’m afraid, are not even related to one another.What is your point, do you have one?

Comment #2240

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on May 15, 2004 12:18 PM (e)

Jerry Don Bauer wrote:

Well see, there ya go Wesley. The way to get anywhere in this subject is to get very specific. We can discuss CSI if you wish.

But may I suggest that the presentation of web sites with the invitation to ‘Go read this and you’ll see how wrong you are’ is not a fair argument? How would one ever score points by doing that as the writers of those web sites are not here to debate when they are wrong.

So, why don’t you place an argument in your own words. Do you feel there is no upper barrier limit where things cannot come together on there own? Do you feel that Dembski just uses the wrong figures? What problems do you have with CSI?

That’s fascinating. Risible, but fascinating. Jerry somehow believes that I have not yet put arguments on these topics “in my own words”.

If Jerry had bothered to open up a browser window and look at any of the URLs that I provided, he would have found my name prominently displayed on each of them. If Jerry had bothered to read the critique of CSI that I referenced before, he would already know the answers to his questions.

There is another paper with my name on it that critiques the “explanatory filter”. This one was published in Biology and Philosophy back in November of 2001.

Jerry might consider checking out the authorship of referenced words before claiming that someone has not put an argument in their own words. Jerry might even go to the uncommonly difficult length of plugging a search into Google like “elsberry ‘intelligent design’” and see what pops out before insinuating that no such arguments exist.

Comment #2241

Posted by Andrea Bottaro on May 15, 2004 12:35 PM (e)

Andrew, there is really no simple “logical and consistent manner” to address JDB. His arguments are so far out, that to address them requires long explanations of very basic principles of biology and physics. When one does so, he usually ignores the main point, and starts on an unrelated tangent. It’s like trying to nail a bead of mercury to the table, which is what makes people frustrated and eventually causes flame wars. On the large scale of things, it’s not even really necessary to answer his pronouncements, since as far as I know not even creationists (at least, the professional kind) take him seriously.

My experience is, if you can stick to the topic without getting distracted by his tactics, go ahead and he eventually quits, otherwise, have some Mylanta at hand.

Comment #2243

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 15, 2004 1:06 PM (e)

Jerry: So, why don’t you place an argument in your own words. Do you feel there is no upper barrier limit where things cannot come together on there own? Do you feel that Dembski just uses the wrong figures? What problems do you have with CSI?

If Jerry had looked at the links he would have realized that these linked to pages authored by Wesley and thus are in his own words. That Jerry is unable to rebut these arguments is quite telling but not surprising to me.

Perhaps Jerry will follow Wes’s advice and read the papers which show the many problems with ID?

Jerry: LOL ….Pim, you are stringing together meaningless quotes from me from across several forums involving subjects that, I’m afraid, are not even related to one another.What is your point, do you have one?

That your quotes are meaningless, erroneous, contradicted by fact? At least we agree about the lack of meaning in these quotes. They show and support my argument that your understanding of concepts of entropy are, how do I say this in a nice manner, well, eh lacking?

Comment #2244

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 15, 2004 1:25 PM (e)

*****That’s fascinating. Risible, but fascinating. Jerry somehow believes that I have not yet put arguments on these topics “in my own words”.
If Jerry had bothered to open up a browser window and look at any of the URLs that I provided, he would have found my name prominently displayed on each of them. If Jerry had bothered to read the critique of CSI that I referenced before, he would already know the answers to his questions. *****

So what? What is your argument? I could send you to several of my writings as well. Are you suggesting I can use my own writings to back up my arguments?

Why not address the argument head on? The Idist on here seems to not be afraid to discuss the subject. Now I have offered you several specific questions, and I’m afraid if you don’t address, them you will logically have to admit that you have no argument against CSI:

1) What problem do you have with CSI?
2) Is it Dembski’s version of an upper limit barrier you are having trouble with?
3.) Do you feel there is no such thing in reality as an upper limit barrier?

*****There is another paper with my name on it that critiques the “explanatory filter”. This one was published in Biology and Philosophy back in November of 2001.
Jerry might consider checking out the authorship of referenced words before claiming that someone has not put an argument in their own words. Jerry might even go to the uncommonly difficult length of plugging a search into Google like “elsberry ‘intelligent design’” and see what pops out before insinuating that no such arguments exist.*****

I don’t WANT links to abstract papers and Google searches. I know they are out there. What I want from Wesley is for him to back up his arguments with logic, or to quit posting assertions he has no reasonable evidence with which to back up. Please cease from sending me to papers that you hope will make your arguments for you. If you have legitimate arguments on any tenet of ID, now is your chance to have them addressed.

Comment #2245

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 15, 2004 1:35 PM (e)

*****Andrew, there is really no simple “logical and consistent manner” to address JDB.*****

LOL … Yes, there is. And my posts have tried to remain steadily consistent to the subject as is allowed to be in this type of flame forum. Go back and dissect the ICS I gave you. If you cannot, then the assertions on here that there is no such thing as an ICS stands refuted by logic.

Address Wesley’s problems with CSI. If those on this forum cannot do so, then those on here must admit that they have no logic to refute CSI.

Go back and address the thermodynamics I gave you and the studies by Eyre-Walker and Keightly I gave you. If no one can do so, then this forum must admit that macroevolution has been refuted right here in front of God and everybody, and ID stands proudly.

I don’t see how anyone can get any more specific than this.

*****His arguments are so far out, that to address them requires long explanations of very basic principles of biology and physics.*****

We have time. ;0)

Comment #2246

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 15, 2004 1:45 PM (e)

Jerry is moving the goalposts: So what? What is your argument? I could send you to several of my writings as well. Are you suggesting I can use my own writings to back up my arguments?

Remember what Jerry asked ?

So, why don’t you place an argument in your own words

Well, the papers are written by Wesley and thus present the argument in his own words.

Jerry tries: Why not address the argument head on? The Idist on here seems to not be afraid to discuss the subject. Now I have offered you several specific questions, and I’m afraid if you don’t address, them you will logically have to admit that you have no argument against CSI:

FIrst of all Wes did address the argument head on, which is probably why Jerry is shying away from reading and discussing the links provided by Wes. In addition if not answering questions were to be seen as ‘having no arguments’ then Jerry is admitting defeat in many (past) threads in which he can be observed to address and answer many of the relevant questions.

Jerry: What I want from Wesley is for him to back up his arguments with logic, or to quit posting assertions he has no reasonable evidence with which to back up.

In other words, do not bother Jerry with facts and evidence. Wes has provided in depth rebuttals of CSI and other arguments and claims by Dembski. That Jerry is unwilling to address them probably should be interpreted as admission of defeat? Or does Jerry’s ‘logic’ not apply to himself?

Jerry: Go back and address the thermodynamics I gave you and the studies by Eyre-Walker and Keightly I gave you. If no one can do so, then this forum must admit that macroevolution has been refuted right here in front of God and everybody, and ID stands proudly.

These claims have been addressed and shown to be fallacious on various forums. That Jerry despite many attempts to educate him about the concepts of entropy continues to repeat the same nonsense merely supports my point. Empty claims of refutation of macro evolution based on fallacious arguments just are not very impressive. But perhaps you can present the argument in your own words in a coherent and scientifically sound manner?

Comment #2248

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 15, 2004 1:55 PM (e)

From the Eyre-Wlaker paper

If deleterious new mutations are accumulating at present, this could have damaging consequences for human health, but this would depend critically on the frequency distribution of fitness effects of mutant alleles, about which we know little.

Comment #2250

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 15, 2004 2:11 PM (e)

Now lets explore on of Jerry’s erroneous claims

ID is based heavily on thermodynamics and one aspect of ID thermo is this postulate which has been around for years: ‘With the spreading of loose information, entropy will increase.’

Since genes are information, ID would predict that rather than an evolution of complexity within the human genome just the opposite, or devolution of the genome toward disorder would be occurring. Well, the only study ever done on the human genome by evolutionary biologists is in and this is exactly what is happening. Here’s the abstract:

If Jerry is correct that ID would predict the devolution then it seems that given the evidence ID has been disproven.

But I doubt that Jerry’s arguments logically follow from entropy, information and complexity arguments. In fact, as I have explained to Jerry countless times, actual research has shown how simple concepts of variation and selection can increase the information/complexity in the genome and decrease its entropy.

Check out the work by Schneider, Adami, Lenski, Ofria and countless others who have applied the concepts of entropy and information in a less haphazard manner to show why Jerry’s ad hoc arguments should be rejected.

See Figure 1 to see how fitness in experiments with ecoli can be shown to increase.

Another interesting Paper: On the Reorganization of Fitness During Evolutionary Transitions in Individuality or Does complexity always increase during major evolutionary transitions?

Comment #2252

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 15, 2004 2:34 PM (e)

*****Schneider, Adami, Lenski, Ofria and*****

Pim, you troll me in every forum I ever enter. You were just thoroughly defeated on the above stuff at ARN where you admitted you had no more argument to offer and were going to take some time off to study.

Now you are going back to square one as if that debate never took place. You seem the naturalist equivilent of Dwayne Gish.

Please post to someone, who don’t know who you are.

Comment #2253

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on May 15, 2004 2:43 PM (e)

Jerry Don Bauer wrote:

Why not address the argument head on? The Idist on here seems to not be afraid to discuss the subject. Now I have offered you several specific questions, and I’m afraid if you don’t address, them you will logically have to admit that you have no argument against CSI:

Sorry, your conclusion doesn’t follow from your premise. The notion that an argument I made elsewhere can be avoided simply because I don’t cut and paste it at the whim or demand of every antievolutionist I run across is ludicrous. I’d never get anything done in Jerry-world.

Maybe that’s the idea. I notice over on ARN that Bill Dembski is urging Salvador Cordova to write rebuttals of my arguments, rather than addressing them himself.

If Jerry wants to ignore my arguments, that’s his prerogative. But it doesn’t say anything about the logical status of those arguments that Jerry prefers to remain ignorant of them.

Comment #2254

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 15, 2004 2:44 PM (e)

Jerry: Pim, you troll me in every forum I ever enter. You were just thoroughly defeated on the above stuff at ARN where you admitted you had no more argument to offer and were going to take some time off to study.

I guess that this means that by Jerry’s own admissions, he has admitted defeat?

I never said that I had no more arguments to offer, nor did Jerry ever address the Lenski, Adami, Ofria and other references I provided to him. Somehow Jerry seems to follow me around to other boards though ready for more ‘punishment’. I am not sure why but I will happily expose Jerry’s errors and unfamiliarity with entropy to all.

So stop embarassing yourself with your claims Jerry, I never were ‘defeated’ on ARN. Only in Jerry’s mind but if people are interested check out the following threads on ARN

A Formal Statement of ID Theory

Pay special attention to my posting

I will likely be unable to contribute to these threads for the next week or two. I am looking forward to exploring in more depth the issues exposed namely the ‘appeal to ignorance’ argument of the DNA Turing machine by Salvador and the problems with Jerry’s entropy calculations. I hope that Jerry will find the time to apply the correct formulas to his entropy calculations.

And compare that with Jerry’s ‘interpretation’ of my statement.

Comment #2255

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 15, 2004 2:51 PM (e)

Oh yes, Jerry’s ideas were also thoroughly refuted on the ISCID thread where Jerry was posting as Chronos.

Gedanken states is well

e has not demonstrated that the entropy must be increasing, simply because his argument confuses the positive value of entropy with a delta or change of entropy in a positive direction. Even if there were an argument that demonstrated this was a positive delta, Chronos has decided not to give such an argument and relies on the value being positive – an irrelevant issue.

Then Chronos has not demonstrated that change over time requires an decrease in entropy. (Or any particular change in entropy – for example changes occur and they are different, but they have the same number of informational or microstates and thus S has not changed.)

Comment #2257

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 15, 2004 3:12 PM (e)

*****Sorry, your conclusion doesn’t follow from your premise. The notion that an argument I made elsewhere can be avoided simply because I don’t cut and paste it at the whim or demand of every antievolutionist I run across is ludicrous. I’d never get anything done in Jerry-world.*****

So, I take it that you cannot answer the questions I posed to you? If you cannot, just honestly admit that there is nothing you have to suggest specified complexity does not exist and there is therefore, no reason it cannot be mathematically quantified.

Even if you were to reason us past Dembski (which you won’t), you are going to have to take on the science of archeology which uses design techniques every day in their field to detect design in artifacts.

Even if you ‘dis’ archeology you are going to have to go against the pre-Dembski version of the EF that has been used in science for eons. I was taught this technique as a chem major a full 20 years before anyone had ever heard of Bill Dembski.

******Maybe that’s the idea. I notice over on ARN that Bill Dembski is urging Salvador Cordova to write rebuttals of my arguments, rather than addressing them himself.*****

Well, knowing both of these gentlemen, I wouldn’t think there is a chance of a snowball in hades that they would avoid a rebuttal of your argument if they had any reason to be believe there was any logic in there to rebut. I can assure you that I won’t.

*****If Jerry wants to ignore my arguments, that’s his prerogative. But it doesn’t say anything about the logical status of those arguments that Jerry prefers to remain ignorant of them*****

LOL … You haven’t made any other than the OP which I promptly refuted. Don’t you think people can read through this thread and discover this for themselves? Please cut and paste those arguments if you think I am ignoring them. I’ll address anything you care for me to, point by point and sentence by sentence. But you’re going to have to post something in order for me to do it. But note that I DID relist the arguments I have made and you choose to ignore them a second time. Sad. I’m just glad I’m not on your side of the issue. I’d be blushing right now

Comment #2258

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 15, 2004 3:19 PM (e)

Jerry: So, I take it that you cannot answer the questions I posed to you? If you cannot, just honestly admit that there is nothing you have to suggest specified complexity does not exist and there is therefore, no reason it cannot be mathematically quantified.

Once again Jerry’s grandstanding ignores the vaste evidence presented by Wes in his own words in the papers referenced. If Jerry is unwilling to read and comment on these, well that is really his problem.

I am not sure what this ‘pre Dembski’ version of the EF refers to but archaeology is quite unlike the EF.

Thus somewhat ironically Jerry (probably blushingly) utters the following ad hominem

But note that I DID relist the arguments I have made and you choose to ignore them a second time. Sad. I’m just glad I’m not on your side of the issue. I’d be blushing right now

So why is Jerry ignoring Wes’s claims and arguments I wonder? Time shall tell but if the entropy threads are any indication of how his arguments will unfold then things do not look too good for Jerry Don.

Are we being trolled here? This feels unreal to me. YMMV of course

Comment #2260

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 15, 2004 3:52 PM (e)

Jerry: Even if you were to reason us past Dembski (which you won’t), you are going to have to take on the science of archeology which uses design techniques every day in their field to detect design in artifacts.

And if Jerry were familiar or had familiarized himself with Wesley’s arguments he would have noticed how Wesley deals with these issues.

But that would require Jerry to actually engage in a discussion with Wesley, a formidable opponent indeed. Not only a very daunting task but also an unenviable one.

Or from Metanexus we read

Dembski argues that archaeology, cryptography, forensics, and SETI “fall under intelligent design” and that since these disciplines are included in science, therefore ID is science. But I imagine archeologists would be surprised to discover that all along they were contributing to the theory of ID, that what they were really doing was “detecting intelligence” instead of developing theories about culture as expressed in its artifacts. Although it hardly needs stating, except for SETI, the sciences Dembski cites have nothing to do with detecting the possibility of intelligence, since we already *know* intelligence is involved in some of the target phenomena needing explanation. And SETI is the honest search for signs of intelligent life outside the solar system, using empirical methods that might reveal something about the target phenomenon, were it discovered. By contrast, ID hypotheses about human and cosmic origins are parasitic on the supposed failure of standard evolutionary explanations; they import an ad hoc, mysterious entity (the designer) and processes (the designer’s means) to “explain” origins; they suggest no experiments, say nothing about the characteristics or origins of the designer, and rule out the designer itself as a target of scientific explanation. ID simply doesn’t share the explanatory virtues of the sciences Dembski mentions, and thus ID can’t be declared science on the basis of its similarities with them.

Link

The argument proposed by Jerry is neither original nor particularly relevant.

Comment #2299

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 16, 2004 5:59 PM (e)

Dr. Elsberry,

This flame forum is not designed to foment thought and reason. Therefore, I have posted a refutation of the paper you authored which keeps being shot my way in Bill Dembski’s forum which is heavily moderated toward understanding rather than discord. I refute your paper there and it stands as refuted unless you address that refutation.

I hope you will take this discourse forward for the education of the public. The address to your paper is here:

http://www.iscid.org/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=6&t=000526#000000

Thanks, I can assure you that those of us who paticipate in Bill’s forum know how to debate and will treat you with the greatest of respect, Jerry

Comment #2300

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 16, 2004 6:00 PM (e)

Dr. Elsberry,

This flame forum is not designed to foment thought and reason. Therefore, I have posted a refutation of the paper you authored which keeps being shot my way in Bill Dembski’s forum which is heavily moderated toward understanding rather than discord. I refute your paper there and it stands as refuted unless you address that refutation.

I hope you will take this discourse forward for the education of the public. The address to your paper is here:

http://www.iscid.org/ubbcgi/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=6&t=000526#000000

Thanks, I can assure you that those of us who paticipate in Bill’s forum know how to debate and will treat you with the greatest of respect,

Jerry

Comment #2301

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 16, 2004 6:06 PM (e)

Sheeze…almost othing I post here ever comes out the way I post it. Here is the link:

http://www.iscid.org/boards/ubb-get_topic-f-6-t-000526.html

Comment #2304

Posted by Bruce Wainscott on May 16, 2004 6:55 PM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'kwickxml'

Comment #2307

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 16, 2004 7:42 PM (e)

Jerry: This flame forum is not designed to foment thought and reason.

Seems Jerry is confusing rebuttals of his assertions with ‘flaming’. Not surprising given his reinterpretation of the term ‘troll’ :-)

Jerry: I refute your paper there and it stands as refuted unless you address that refutation.

ROTFL. Poor Jerry has to use poor logic to bait Wes.

Having looked at Jerry’s ‘claims’ it quickly becomes obvious that his assertions are not really much of a refutation.

The rest of the paper is largely nonsensical, I’m afraid.

That’s about the extent of his argument, other than a misunderstanding of how Bill’s EF is an extension of Paley’s argument.

Given that Jerry seems to be unwilling to address the refutations of his claims on entropy I may also conclude, using that ‘Jerry logic’ that Jerry has thus been rebutted.

While an answer to Theft over Toil was certainly overdue, Jerry Don has opened up Dembski’s claims to a discussion which Dembski may have wanted to avoid. And that in ID’s own back yard. Thanks Jerry for initiating this discussion, with it it opens up a whole new can of worms. Let’s see how the moderator at ISCID deals with this.

Comment #2308

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on May 16, 2004 7:42 PM (e)

Jack’s gentle hint:

I’ve watched Jerry Don Bauer participate in a number of internet discussions, and they always seem to devolve to about the same level. My feeling is that I’d like to see the Panda’s Thumb keep these kind of discussions to a minimum. People who want to argue with Jerry might invite him to step over to ARN or ISCID and take up the discussion there.

Andrew’s direct method:

The name calling simply looks hysterical. Flaming may be an old internet tradition (like text browsers) but face it, it makes everything look pretty crappy.

Andrew is right.

These personal remarks are uncalled for.
What happens is that people react to some other people based on past experience. But (1) it must look nutty to others who have not had the same experience, and (2) it is bad in any case.

No more!

Andrew:

As someone with a layman’s interest in evolution, … I would appreciate it if somebody would address JDB in a logical and consistent manner ….

Experience shows that there is much to be said for Andrea’s point. But perhaps I can help on one thing. JDB seems to be one of those people who argue that the processes of life somehow violate the second law of thermodynamics. Of course if that were true it wouldn’t be a law would it? Yet people who make that argument will go on and on for literally years.

Confusion over the second law arises because people have sometimes ‘explained’ it via analogies and metaphors. These are sometimes good, but lead you astray if you don’t know what is behind them and take them literally when you shouldn’t.

Metaphor aside, the second law is an inequality.
Or: a pair of inequalities, for closed systems and for any system. Furthermore, self assembly of complex things is the norm except for man made items and some (other) animal made items such as termite nests. A snowflake has much less entropy than the vapor from which it formed. A tree has much less entropy than the air from it is mostly built. Yet the second law says entropy increases (loosely; see below). What’s up?

The Second Law is not about the entropy of some chunk of matter. It is about the net, or total, change in entropy due to the process of getting from state A to state B.
So what matters is not the entropy of the snowflake, but the change in entropy due to the process of forming the flake. Likewise, what matters in evolution ( “vs” thermo) is not the entropy of an organism (or even the entropy of all of them together) but rather the net change in entropy due to the process of formation of organisms.

In symbols:

The second law for isolated systems is dS >= 0 .
The second law for all systems is dS - dQ/T >= 0 .

On a minute to minute basis life does not violate the second law, or else it wouldn’t be a law.
All the physical and chemical processes, including making new DNA with a few variations (yes, you are a mutant) are normal physics and chemistry and satisfy the second law. Thus, for each minute dS - dQ/T is some non negative number. In 4 billion years dS - dQ/T is the sum of all the values for all the minutes. The sum of non negative numbers is non negative. Therefore the second law is satisfied.

QED.

Comment #2318

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 16, 2004 10:07 PM (e)

*****Please consider this post a refuation to your refutation. Your failure to respond substantively with a complete explanation to this message will be considered an admission that your theories regarding design are flat out wrong.******

Very well. However, I would much prefer you bring this argument in a reputable forum where reason rather than name calling is considered the force de jour. May I paste this in Dembski’s forum and invite you over? I can assure you that you will be treated with respect unlike what I have had to endure in this … ahem … pleasant and scholarly environment.

*****You say: there can be things designed of such simplicity that the EF doesn’t detect it.*****

Yes, I do. One must understand how this tool is used in science in order to actually use it. I wouldn’t attempt to use a crowbar to hammer in a nail. I won’t use the jack in my trunk to stitch upholstery. This is not much different.

******and you also say: It’s not necessary to know who the designer is in order to detect design–Jerry, I’m going to assume that when you say “who” you really mean “what” — ******

Then you would be assuming a false preposition. What/who blends into the background because I would have no idea if the designer was a what or a who. What in science would ever lead you to believe I could know this?

******we ALL agree that, even according to our traditional methods of inferring design, the name, address, and license plate of the designer need not be known before someone can conclude that an object was designed.******

Very good. Exactly my point.

******I’m also going to assume that the whatever it is that you believe must have designed the bacterial flagellum, this “intelligent” “thing” was NOT human. (1) PLEASE let me know if I am wrong when I say that it is NOT possible that a human being designed all the complex biological structures (the primate circulatory system, for example) that you refer to as evidence that natural selection cannot account for the diversity and “complexity” and life on earth.******

Sorry. I don’t know it was not human. In fact, I have no evidence at all in any direction. Do you? If so, I would love to hear it.

******(2) My other question is can you give me an example of a thing that is intelligently designed by an UNKNOWN designer (i.e., you have NO idea WHAT designed this thing) but that is so simple that it cannot be detected by EF?*****

No, I don’t see any way of doing this. The paramount point seems to perch on my left shoulder screaming at me: If the EF can’t show it as designed, then why the heck do you think it is? So why would you think something is designed when you have no evidence to point to that conclusion?

Comment #2320

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 16, 2004 10:27 PM (e)

******But perhaps I can help on one thing. JDB seems to be one of those people who argue that the processes of life somehow violate the second law of thermodynamics. Of course if that were true it wouldn’t be a law would it? Yet people who make that argument will go on and on for literally years.******

Well, my word. I don’t think the processes of life violate SLOT. I’m here aren’t I? You guys are going to get me giggling if you aren’t careful.

******Confusion over the second law arises because people have sometimes ‘explained’ it via analogies and metaphors. These are sometimes good, but lead you astray if you don’t know what is behind them and take them literally when you shouldn’t.*****

Oh please. I am a chemist that specializes in thermodynamics as applied to ID. I didn’t learn thermo from creationist web sites. I learned it in chem classes. And I can assure you that people who debate this with me soon figure this out. ;)

*****The Second Law is not about the entropy of some chunk of matter. It is about the net, or total, change in entropy due to the process of getting from state A to state B.*****

LOL ….you lose it right here. I can very easily calculate the entropic change in a beaker of water using nothing more complicated than Clausius’ deltaS=Q/T doesn’t have a whole lot to do with some abstract universe.

*****The sum of non negative numbers is non negative. Therefore the second law is satisfied.****

Might I even be so bold as to postulate that the sum of positive integers will be positive? Aren’t we revolutionizing science here? ;)

Comment #2322

Posted by Bruce Wainscott on May 16, 2004 10:46 PM (e)

Jerry you said

Sorry. I don’t know [that the intelligent designer] was not human. In fact, I have no evidence at all in any direction.

Jerry, please let me know if I am misrepresenting your position.

You believe the following statements is true:

A human being COULD have designed all of the biological systems (e.g., primate the circulatory system) that are too complex to have evolved by natural selection.

Jerry, you also asked:

If the EF can’t show it as designed, then why the heck do you think it is?

Well, Jerry, you stated above that “there can be things designed of such simplicity that the EF doesn’t detect it.”

Since you were unable to provide an example to satisfy my first question, perhaps you can answer this straightforward question: what is the SIMPLEST biological system that EF has detected as one that must have been intelligently designed? Please identify the system with as much specificty as you are able, naming its essential components to the extent you are familiar with them, and the organism in which the system is found (by family, at least).

If you aren’t aware of a biological system, name the SIMPLEST non-biological system which EF has able to detect as having been necessarily designed but for which the identify and nature of the designer are COMPLETELY UNKNOWN.

If for some mysterious reason it is impossible to say which is the simplest system which EF has been able to detect as having been necessarily designed, then name the closest system you can think of and please share with us your impression of just how close that system to is being the simples system which EF has been able to detect as having been necessarily designed (note: if a non-biological system, please remember that I am not interested in something that was shown before EF to have been intelligently designed).

As always, Mr. Bauer, please recognize that your failure to respond to this post will constitute an admission on your part that your theories of design are wholly without merit.

Comment #2323

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 16, 2004 11:50 PM (e)

*****As always, Mr. Bauer, please recognize that your failure to respond to this post will constitute an admission on your part that your theories of design are wholly without merit.*****

Thanks so much for being a gentleman in debate. I can assure you that as long as the posts are civil, I will be onboard to answer them. To the entire forum: This, ladies and gentlemen is coming to the classrooms of your children and you need know what it is. Pay attention, because it is not religion, as Darwinist religionists have tried to paint it. Its science–its fact.

*****Well, Jerry, you stated above that “there can be things designed of such simplicity that the EF doesn’t detect it.”*****

Well, I think I also gave an example in the OP on Bill’s forum.

*****Since you were unable to provide an example to satisfy my first question,*****

Because that question didn’t make a lick of sense, but we will ignore that oversight on your part to further the argument.

******perhaps you can answer this straightforward question: what is the SIMPLEST biological system that EF has detected as one that must have been intelligently designed? Please identify the system with as much specificty as you are able, naming its essential components to the extent you are familiar with them, and the organism in which the system is found (by family, at least).*****

Yes, I can. Please understand that I cannot do this in a sentence.

*****If for some mysterious reason it is impossible to say which is the simplest system which EF has been able to detect as having been necessarily designed, then name the closest system you can think of and please share with us your impression of just how close that system to is being the simples system which EF has been able to detect as having been necessarily designed (note: if a non-biological system, please remember that I am not interested in something that was shown before EF to have been intelligently designed).*****

LOL … Why don’t we just cut to the quick and get to where you are wanting to go. Your best bet in dealing with me is just to shoot straight. I’ll be glad to treat you with honesty, if you’ll just do the same with me. Let’s just calculate that first organism that poked its pretty head out of that primeval ooze.

Chemical reactions operate quite differently than calculating the odds of say, winning a lottery.

For two atoms to “bond” (join together into a molecule) they must be within an “interacting neighborhood.” In fact, in order for two atoms to react together, they must be in the area of about 100 picometers (10 to the -10 power meters) in distance from one another.

The universe is big. And atoms must be moving in order to come into the “neighborhood” of another atom. The faster they are moving, the more opportunities they have to form a bond.

But this gets a little hairy because if they are moving too fast, the momentum will shoot them past each other before they can bond.

And, the temperature can’t be too cold as reactions will not effectively occur and if it is too hot more bonds will be broken than are formed, and even when the temperatures are perfect, “bonds” of a long molecular chain may be broken simply because a random high energy atom or molecule knocks it loose. The point is, there is a certain finite number of opportunities available, even in 50 billion years for a reaction to occur in reality

For these reasons, some people conclude, based upon the size of the universe, the temperatures under which bonding occurs, the surmised age of the universe, the nature of bonds and how they form and break– that 10 to the 67th power is the ultimate upper threshold for any chemical event to happen–anytime, anywhere in the universe, even in 50 billion years.

Dembski defines a universal probability upper bound of 10-150, based on an estimate of the total number of processes that could have occurred in the universe since its beginning. Estimating the total number of particles in the universe at 1080, the number of physical state transitions a particle can make at 1045 per second (the inverse of Planck time, the smallest physically meaningful unit of time) and the age of the universe at 1025 seconds, the total number of processes involving at least one elementary particle is at most 10150. Thus, anything with a probability of less than 10-150 is unlikely to have occurred by chance.

Previous to Dembski, statisticians concluded that 1:10^50 was the upper limit odds in which anything could actually happen (Borel’s Law). Pick one, because it doesn’t really matter.

The smallest known bacteria I’m aware of consists of around 300 proteins but I don’t think anyone would disagree with me that I am safe in using a 100 protein scenario in order to form an organism that could remotely be called life.

Proteins from which all of life is based are formed from amino acids. And these proteins are usually chains of from 50 to 50,000 amino acids.

Chemist, Stanley Miller showed long ago that under the correct conditions we can create amino acids in a beaker. The problem is they come out completely “racemized.” There’s a fancy word and I will define it for you. The amino acids produced by Miller consisted of equal amounts of “right-handed” and “left-handed” molecules. The atoms that react to form amino acids bond together into cork-screw shapes–these cork-screws can curve to the right (right-handed) or to the left (left-handed). But a useable protein for life has to be composed entirely of left-handed molecules.

The amino acids produced in nature consist of about 50% left handed and 50% right handed. So, when an amino acid adds itself to a protein chain, the odds are one in two that it will be left-handed. That’s not a big deal if the protein chain is extremely short–say three amino acids long. Our probability would be one chance in 2 to the 3rd power or 1:8. That’s not bad odds for this type of thing.

So we are going to give the Naturalist his primeval ooze from which that first protist magically popped and we are going to surmise that this ooze was racemized amino acids that had occurred naturally.

The odds against assembling a protein chain consisting of only left-handed amino acids by chance is 2 to the “n” th power. And “n” is the number of attached amino acids in the protein. So its not difficult to calculate that the odds against assembling a useable protein of only 250 left-handed amino acids from a racemized mixture is one chance in 2 to the 250th power. This is about 1 chance in 10 to the 74th power.

Well shoot, we are already past the probability barrier with one tiny protein and we are nowhere near our organism. If you want to go with Dembski we can just figure one more protein.

And many of the proteins found in nature are 50,000 chained amino acids. The odds of assembling a protein that long are 1:10^15,000

Could this ever happen in nature? Of course not we are off the map of the probability barrier before we ever get our first protein. These were designed.

But just so the Naturalist won’t think we don’t know how to calculate the probability of our little organism, we’ll go ahead and do it just so we can say we did.

To calculate the organism, we have to multiply together the odds of each one of our amino acids. When we do we come out with a 1:10^7400 chance that this tiny, highly unrealistic and overly simplistic organism could ever form. These are staggering odds and it is undebateable by anyone that this could occur in reality.

Now we can see why some Idists calculate that the odds against a fully functioning human cell occurring by chance is one chance in 10 to the 100 billionth power! That’s one hundred billion zeroes. Us computer geeks can think of it as a 100 gigabyte hard drive full of nothing but zeroes.

There is no other logical conclusion but to surmise that since our cells were designed, therefore, so was man. Agree?

Comment #2325

Posted by Bruce Wainscott on May 17, 2004 12:49 AM (e)

Jerry Don

Why don’t we just cut to the quick and get to where you are wanting to go…. Let’s just calculate that first organism that poked its pretty head out of that primeval ooze.

Your bogus calculations relating to abiogenesis and hypothetical proteins are not answers to my questions Jerry, nor are they at all relevant to evolution because NOBODY except ID apologists believes that any extant protein in our bodies was synthesized purely by the random congregation of molecules which form amino acids.

You failed to answer the question, Jerry. Miserably.

So I thank you Jerry for your obvious attempts at avoiding the question and your equally obvious demonstration that you know very little about biology but a lot about building strawmen.

Once again: what is the SIMPLEST biological system that EF has detected as one that must have been intelligently designed? Please identify the system with as much specificty as you are able, naming its essential components to the extent you are familiar with them, and the organism in which the system is found (by family, at least).

Just to clarify, Jerry, since you seem to have some difficulty reading English, I’m not asking you about a hypothetical system. I’m asking you about a REAL system. And I’m not asking about an organism – I’m asking about an extant biological structure or system (e.g., the primate circulatory system – is that the answer to my question? Please let me know if it is).

And before you grease yourself up like a li’l pig and run back under your rock, remember your earlier statement: there can be things designed of such simplicity that the EF doesn’t detect it.

Now please go back and try to answer my question. It’s okay if you can’t answer it. The world won’t end.

As always, Mr. Bauer, please recognize that your failure to respond to this post will constitute an admission on your part that your theories of design are wholly without merit. Thus far, you have NOT successfully responded to my questions.

Comment #2326

Posted by Bruce Wainscott on May 17, 2004 1:41 AM (e)

Jerry, I just realized that in all of your hyperventilating, you neglected to let me know whther the following statement is true or false.

A human being COULD have designed all of the biological systems (e.g., primate the circulatory system) that are too complex to have evolved by natural selection.

Comment #2337

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 17, 2004 10:04 AM (e)

Despite various good resources that explain what is wrong with the abiogenesis probability calculations proposed by various creationists, Jerry Don can be observed to repeat many of them.

Nor would this be the first time that such has been pointed out to Jerry. That Jerry insists on proposing a strawman to show that life has to be designed should be obvious.

Some hints as to what is wrong:

1. Jerry presumes random chance assembly ignoring the chemistry processes at work

2. Jerry ignores pathways which include selection

3. Jerry ignores other pathways which would have led to life.

In other words, the argument boils down to, the likelihood of Jerry posting exactly this argument is so small that for all practical purposes we can conclude that it did not happen. If Jerry wants to argue that he did post this argument after all, he may have to explain how he circumvented this improbable feat. And by explaining this I hope he will also realize why his argument is fallacious.

But perhaps Jerry can first address Bruce’s real questions rather than addressing a strawman version of it?

Comment #2341

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 17, 2004 11:55 AM (e)

******Once again: what is the SIMPLEST biological system that EF has detected as one that must have been intelligently designed? Please identify the system with as much specificty as you are able, naming its essential components to the extent you are familiar with them, and the organism in which the system is found (by family, at least).******

Your question is silly. But so you will get off of it, I would surmise that the simplest of those free-living species today is the bacterium Mycoplasma Genitalium, which has only 468 genes.

*****And I’m not asking about an organism — I’m asking about an extant biological structure or system (e.g., the primate circulatory system — is that the answer to my question? Please let me know if it is).******

Oh … then why did you ask what family it would be in? Anyhow, the primate circulatory system is certainly one, but I would think the five IC components of the flagellum needs to be considered; but these would be too simple to use the EF on. If you would like we can begin with 500 bits and walk backward into a system, but what the heck is your point with this?

******And before you grease yourself up like a li’l pig and run back under your rock, remember your earlier statement: there can be things designed of such simplicity that the EF doesn’t detect it.******

LOL ….Boy, there’s a scholarly comment. I can assure you it won’t be the Idist running from these arguments. We have truth on our side. We’ll see which side scurries when the light is turned on.

*****As always, Mr. Bauer, please recognize that your failure to respond to this post will constitute an admission on your part that your theories of design are wholly without merit. Thus far, you have NOT successfully responded to my questions.******

+Yawn+

Comment #2342

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 17, 2004 11:59 AM (e)

*****A human being COULD have designed all of the biological systems (e.g., primate the circulatory system) that are too complex to have evolved by natural selection.*****

I don’t know who/what the designer was/is. And since we seem to be having much trouble in the lab trying to duplicate abiogenesis, I would say that if it were a human, it had some help from a very knowledgeable astronaut.

Comment #2343

Posted by Bruce Wainscott on May 17, 2004 12:32 PM (e)

*****A human being COULD have designed all of the biological systems (e.g., primate the circulatory system) that are too complex to have evolved by natural selection.*****

I don’t know who/what the designer was/is.

Jerry I didn’t ask you if you knew who or what the designer was or is.

Read the question. Anything other than a “true” or “false” will indicate to everyone that you are either unwilling to stand by your own slippery statements or that you are incomprehensible.

Answer this simple question (merely an attempt to clarify a previous statement that you made) and then I’ll respond to your previous non-answer.

Comment #2346

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 17, 2004 2:49 PM (e)

******Read the question. Anything other than a “true” or “false” will indicate to everyone that you are either unwilling to stand by your own slippery statements or that you are incomprehensible.
Answer this simple question (merely an attempt to clarify a previous statement that you made) and then I’ll respond to your previous non-answer.******

LOL …..Are you one of those danged attorneys? What does this have to do with any of my past arguments? Did I state somewhere that I believe the designer was human, or non-human? If I did, point me there and I’ll expand on it.

I don’t know how to answer the question because I don’t see how it can be answered with a simple yes, or no. I suppose if you want to consider cells and DNA and considering today’s level of technology, then the answer would be no, the designer was probably not human.

But if there were a race of humans better developed than we are today, or if technology was given to another race of humans somewhere I don’t know about by an outside source, then the answer might be yes. But the truth is, I have no empirical evidence that would identify a designer as anything, or not anything. I just don’t know. So what is you want from me?

Comment #2349

Posted by Bruce Wainscott on May 17, 2004 3:10 PM (e)

I suppose if you want to consider cells and DNA and considering today’s level of technology, then the answer would be no, the designer was probably not human.

Okay Jerry. You’ve whiffed twice already on my simple true or false question.

If you’ve forgotten what you said which inspired me to ask the question, then I respectfully ask that you read what you wrote above. It’s called “scrolling up.” Try it sometime.

Once again, here’s the question.

True or False:

A human being COULD have designed all of the biological systems (e.g., the primate circulatory system) that are too complex to have evolved by natural selection.

[I didn’t think I would need to “clarify” this, Jerry, but sadly, and for the record: by “human beings,” I mean “human beings that were born on the planet Earth.” And by “biological systems” I am referring to those systems which we observe in organisms living on earth today.]

Comment #2350

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 17, 2004 3:27 PM (e)

“A human being COULD have designed all of the biological systems (e.g., the primate circulatory system) that are too complex to have evolved by natural selection.”

Very well, just to further the discussion, I’ll answer this question in view of the qualifiers I point out in my previous post: True.

Comment #2351

Posted by Bruce Wainscott on May 17, 2004 3:40 PM (e)

Jerry, you’re still being evasive.

And you’ve used up for third strike in the process. Here’s an extra pitch that I usually save only for five year olds just learning to hit off the tee. To help you out, because I know it’s difficult for you, I’ve inserted my “clarifications” directly into the proposition!

Please don’t give me the answer that you believe will “further the discussion.” I want to know YOUR answer to the question, the answer that you believe is the BEST answer of the two answers I am offering you (which is all you need).

I’ve also taken the step of using a different word than “could,” as I suspect that you are having difficult understanding what “could” means.

So, once again:

True or False.

A human being who was born on the planet earth MIGHT in fact have designed all of the biological systems we observe on earth today (e.g., the primate circulatory system) that are too complex to have evolved by natural selection.

Comment #2353

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 17, 2004 4:09 PM (e)

*****A human being who was born on the planet earth MIGHT in fact have designed all of the biological systems we observe on earth today (e.g., the primate circulatory system) that are too complex to have evolved by natural selection.*****

Now you’re changing the question. Didn’t like my answer to the other one?;)

Tell me, at what point do we stop playing games and actually debate origins?

Comment #2354

Posted by Bruce Wainscott on May 17, 2004 4:57 PM (e)

*****A human being who was born on the planet earth MIGHT in fact have designed all of the biological systems we observe on earth today (e.g., the primate circulatory system) that are too complex to have evolved by natural selection.*****

Now you’re changing the question.

Huh????????? I’m just trying to get a true or false answer from you without your stupid qualifications. I haven’t changed the question at all except to clarify for you what any intelligent reader would have understood from the beginning.

Either you believe that the proposition above is true (and I don’t care for the moment *how* humans might have designed the systems in question) or it’s false.

This is your fifth chance, Jerry!!! Are you up to the task? Are you going to crawl back into the muck?

Comment #2358

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 17, 2004 6:57 PM (e)

******Huh????????? I’m just trying to get a true or false answer from you without your stupid qualifications. I haven’t changed the question at all except to clarify for you what any intelligent reader would have understood from the beginning.******

Bruce, you seem quite the colorful fellow. But do you understand how incredibly silly that question is? You are actually asking me if I feel that a human on Earth could have pre-existed himself in order to have designed his own cardiovascular system. Now how do you feel I’m going to answer this question?

*****Either you believe that the proposition above is true (and I don’t care for the moment *how* humans might have designed the systems in question) or it’s false.*****

The answer is quite obviously, no. That human could not have pre-existed himself in order to design his own cardiovascular system.

******This is your fifth chance, Jerry!!! Are you up to the task? Are you going to crawl back into the muck?*****

LOL … Well, I better jump on it, then. ;0)

Comment #2359

Posted by Bruce Wainscott on May 17, 2004 7:27 PM (e)

But do you understand how incredibly silly that question is? … That human could not have pre-existed himself in order to design his own cardiovascular system.

Compare Jerry’s statement above with his earlier statement that:

I don’t know [that the intelligent designer] was not human. In fact, I have no evidence at all in any direction.

I conclude, Jerry, that you are completely full of crap. You are so dumb that you can’t even keep your own bogus lies straight.

Now we can move on to your inability to tell us what is the simplest biological system that EF can determine must have been intelligently designed. You’ve made very little progress answering that question thus far.

So far all you’ve been able to tell us is that the circulatory system is too complex to have been designed but that

[the] five IC components of the flagellum would be too simple to use the EF on

So somewhere between the primate circulatory system and each of the five IC components of the flagellum (whatever the fxck those are), lies a biological system that is simpler than the primate circulatory system but that is still amenable to an EF analysis. What in the world can that system be, Jerry????????? What is the simplest biological system that is amenable to an EF analysis?????? Surely if you were intelligent enough to share the answer with us, Jerry, you would not hesitate to do so. Because frankly your inability to share the information suggests to us that you don’t HAVE the information nor do you have the SLIGHTEST CLUE as to how you would go about finding an example of a biological system that lies on the cusp of EF “radar.”

Could that be because the EF and ID in general are completely bogus theories? As bogus and contradictory as Mr. Jerry Don Bauer himself?

The answer is certainly YES YES YES.

Unless Jerry of course wants to step up to the plate and make a fool out of himself again.

Comment #2362

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 17, 2004 9:03 PM (e)

Bruce, thanks for the patience you have exhibited in trying to have a discussion with Jerry. Others, such as me, who are more familiar with Jerry have found in the past that conducting a serious discussion with Jerry is complicated by the fact that he tends to paint himself in a corner but refuses to admit this. Frustrating indeed but I believe that Bruce’s exchange with Jerry can serve as an example.

Comment #2363

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 17, 2004 9:57 PM (e)

*****Jerry: But do you understand how incredibly silly that question is? … That human could not have pre-existed himself in order to design his own cardiovascular system.

Jerry: I don’t know [that the intelligent designer] was not human. In fact, I have no evidence at all in any direction.

BRUCE: I conclude, Jerry, that you are completely full of crap. You are so dumb that you can’t even keep your own bogus lies straight.*****

**********************************************************

Lol … but your logic is nonsensical. The fact that the one human could not have pre-existed himself to create his own cardiovascular system does not extrapolate to, ‘Therefore another human could not have created it.’ And talk about a straw man, you created this entire illogical argument and then determined they are my lies. I never postulated any of that, you postulated it then attacked it. Do you base all your arguments on logical fallacy, or just this one?

*****Now we can move on to your inability to tell us what is the simplest biological system that EF can determine must have been intelligently designed. You’ve made very little progress answering that question thus far.*******

You mean we can actually discuss something that has anything to do with ID or origins? I’ll believe it when I see it.

*****So somewhere between the primate circulatory system and each of the five IC components of the flagellum (whatever the **** those are),*****

Now, watch your language there may be children reading this. But just for the record those parts would be the rotor, stator, bearing, hook and flagellar filament. You want to argue ID and you haven’t even read Behe? Aren’t you at a little bit of disadvantage in this debate via undereducation? ;)

*****lies a biological system that is simpler than the primate circulatory system but that is still amenable to an EF analysis. What in the world can that system be, Jerry????????? What is the simplest biological system that is amenable to an EF analysis?????? Surely if you were intelligent enough to share the answer with us, Jerry, you would not hesitate to do so.*****

You don’t have to throw a tantrum, my friend. Just ask me to show you and I’ll be glad to. You haven’t ask me for a demonstration.

The simplest system that the EF might apply to can be defined as one calculating out to a minimum of 500 bits as described in the formula H = log2W where H is bits and W is possible microstates.

Therefore, it would seem that 148 pebbles existing in 1000 microstates would be the system as (1000)^148 calculates out at 501.611142327992 bits. But if we drop to 147 pebbles, we drop to 498.289214233104 bits which puts us under the probability barrier and we cannot show design. Next???

*****Unless Jerry of course wants to step up to the plate and make a fool out of himself again.*****

LOL ….I haven’t stepped up to the plate yet. I’ve been letting you do all the pitching. We’ll let this continue until your arm gets tired, then I’ll help you with some logic. ;)

Comment #2369

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 18, 2004 8:44 AM (e)

Jerry, I thank you for once again demonstrating that avoidance is the full extent of your ability to address scientific issues. Bruce has politely and insistently asked Jerry for examples, but not surprisingly Jerry has been ignoring such requests.

Jerry’s ‘calculation’ clearly shows that he has NO IDEA about how to apply the EF.

Jerry also ‘challenged’ Wesley to discuss one of Wesley’s excellent papers in which Wes and John Wilkins expose the many flaws in Dembski’s argument. So far, other than making some fallacious claims, non sequiturs and an early abandoning of the analysis (The rest of the paper is largely nonsensical, I’m afraid.), Jerry has been unable to either present or defend a logical argument.

Jerry ‘logic’ includes:

My point is that the EF is not a universal, its just very effective on those things it applies to.

Can we say circular reasoning?

I Read Jerry’s response at ISCID and come to the realization that Jerry just does not understand the EF or how to apply it correctly to non trivial cases. Which is not surprising given that the EF has never been applied to such cases anyway.

But a design engineer is simply irrelevant when the question is was a system designed or is it the result of natural processes. The latter is all that Idists are concerned with.

And while that may sound like a lofty goal, IDists should thus distantiate themselves from the EF since it is totally unable to distringuish between a truely intelligent designer or natural selection as the designer.
So despite Jerry’s grandstanding that information about the designer is irrelevant, it quickly becomes obvious that a design inference will be mostly impossible without information about motives, means, opportunities. In other words, just how criminology and archaeology scientifically approach the issue of intelligent design. An eliminative approach is just not very useful to detect new design

Jerry should take notice of what ID proponent Del Ratzsch has to say about the EF

So typically, patterns that are likely candidates for design are first identified as such by some unspecified (“mysterious”) means, then with the pattern in hand S picks out side information identified (by unspecified means) as releavant to the particular pattern, then sees whether the pattern in question is among the various patterns that could have been constructed from that side information. What this means, of course, is that Dembski’s design inferene will not be particularly useful either in initial recognition or identification of design

p. 159 Del Ratzsch Nature design and science

or Wimsatt

I could not in conscience fail to respond to the ad for Bill Dembski’s new book, ““No Free Lunch”, and to the general tenor of the political push generated either within or by others using the so-called “intelligent design theory”. This is not a theory, but a denial of one, and a denial whose character is widely misrepresented, at least in the press…..

Unfortunately “popular” presentations of “Intelligent Design” have tended to give the impression that it rested solely on mathematical demonstrations. Anyone who could have succeeded in showing that natural selection is incapable of generating biological structures according to standards from mathematics or logic would have constructed a mathematical proof that would have dwarfed Godel’s famous Undecideability theorem in importance. As one who read Dembski’s original manuscript for his first book, found much to like in it, and had appreciative remarks on the dust jacket of the first printing, I can say categorically that Demski surely has shown no such thing, and i call upon him as a mathematician to deny and clarify the implications of this advertising copy

Seems to me that Jerry’s ‘math’ is written in jello as well.

Dembski’s is written in jello. There simply is not enough that is firm in his text, not sufficient precision of formulation, to allow one to declare unambiguously ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ when reading through the argument. All one can do is squint, furrow one’s brows, and then shrug.

Shrug

Comment #2399

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 18, 2004 3:59 PM (e)

Well shoot, Bruce. Where did you go? Are you up to the task? Are you going to crawl back into the muck? :0)

Comment #2437

Posted by Pim van Meurs on May 19, 2004 9:18 AM (e)

I guess Jerry is still thinking about the answers?

Comment #2472

Posted by Jerry Don Bauer on May 19, 2004 9:51 PM (e)

See ya, guys. Thanks for the conversation but this ‘debate’ seems to be over. Catch me on ARN if you get bored. ;) Best to you and yours, Jerry

Comment #2682

Posted by PT&S on May 24, 2004 1:32 PM (e)

As long as this entire discussion has gone off the rails, I’ll ask. With all the flaming, how did noone think to ridicule JDB’s misspelling “ad homonym”? Or is that old news?

Comment #2686

Posted by Bruce Wainscott on May 24, 2004 1:37 PM (e)

The fact that the one human could not have pre-existed himself to create his own cardiovascular system does not extrapolate to, ‘Therefore another human could not have created it.’

Ah, the disgusting doo-doo smell of … victory!

Comment #2812

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on May 25, 2004 12:10 PM (e)

Those who are interested may read my response to Jerry’s commentary on “The Advantages of Theft over Toil” at the Antievolution.org Discussion Board.

Short form: what was claimed to be a “refutation” failed to provide the two elements needed for refutation: addressing the arguments presented in the original and providing valid counter-arguments to those.

An interesting case of misrepresentation on Jerry’s part is exposed in detail in my response.

Comment #2813

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on May 25, 2004 12:20 PM (e)

Jerry Don Bauer wrote:

LOL … You haven’t made any other than the OP which I promptly refuted.

I haven’t seen any refutation of the entry post I made. I did see some gratuitous dictionary-wielding that failed to address my arguments, but I will have to demur from referring to that as a “refutation”. The thing that Jerry apparently “missed or misread” was, in fact, the entry post.