PvM posted Entry 2324 on May 29, 2006 02:09 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/2319

In 2003, Micah Sparacio collected a set of common criticisms of Dembski’s Specified Complexity. Since the initial collection of criticisms, little seems to have happened to address the various criticisms raised. I have collected ones which I find particularly of interest as they shown the various and many problems with the concept of specified complexity. Especially C11 seems applicable to my argument that CSI is merely a unncessary complex way of stating that we do not understand yet how something with a function in biology may have arisen.

This is a work in progress, as I will be linking the claims to other relevant materials.

C7 [yersinia]: Dembski’s original formulation of the CSI (complex specified information, i.e. specified complexity) argument was to:

(1) rule out chance causes (which can only produce small amounts of “specified information” – the definition of this is difficult but we can think of it as a e.g. “functional DNA changes with a probability of random occurence greater than 10^-150”),

(2) rule out regular causes (which can only transmit “specified information”, not increase it), and

(3) If (1) and (2) were successful, conclude design.

However this failed to rule out the very important possiblity of variation + natural selection, a combination of chance & regularity, which could randomly generate small amounts of specified information via chance and then preserve them (on average) via selection. Thus even hundreds or thousands of bits of SI (at some point we pass the 10^-150 random-generation-probability limit and reach CSI) could be generated by gradual accumulation.

To patch this hole, Dembski turned to Behe’s concept of Irreducible Complexity. The beginnings of this are seen in his book Intelligent Design and IC is emphasized further in No Free Lunch. IMO Dembski’s SC argument is in fact entirely dependent on the IC argument.

So C7 is: Dembski’s SC argument boils down to Behe’s IC argument, thus the SC argument adds nothing to the debate.

C8 [yersinia] is that the IC argument has been subject to a number of severe criticisms, especially regarding indirect evolutionary pathways. In recent articles Dembski seems to have been hedging his bets by saying that even if convincing evolutionary pathways to IC/SC were found (to his satisfaction) that the SC would still somehow imply design via obscure means (front-loading the fitness function, but conceiving this in practical ecological terms is difficult).

Summary of C8: Dembski having an emergency backup design scenario in case it turns out that IC/SC can evolve removes the SC–>ID argument from being falsifiable even in principle.

C9 [Alix Nenuphar]: Misuse of an inductive argument by the assertion of no false positives.

As I understand it, specified complexity as used in the filter guarantees no false positives. But the argument is inductive in nature, i.e. it relies on the possibility of sweeping the field of all chance, regularity, and chance+regularity scenarios, without examining each in detail beyond what is required to assign a probability to the scenario. Nothing in this process guarantees that some highly unlikely natural scenario might not in fact, occur and be mis-identified by the filter.

C10 [Erik]: One thing that can be said in favour of the definition of “specified complexity” is that it is detailed. To check if the definition is satisfied, one must specify a sample space, the set of hypotheses to be eliminated, the event under study, the specification, the value of the rejection function everywhere on the sample space, and background knowledge which “explicitly and univocally” identifies the rejection function. In practice, Dembski does not take his own definition seriously and in none of his examples has he provided the details needed to verify that the definition is satisfied. It is symptomatic that Dembski failed to specify any of these details in his analysis of the flagellum.

C11 [Erik]: The term “specified complexity” is a redundant, obfuscatory middle-man that serves no non-rhetorical purpose (it is apparently the name of the state of affairs that someone has sucessfully eliminated a set of non-ID hypotheses using the Explanatory Filter). It adds nothing to the actual argument, but it invites equivocation with other concepts with the same name (e.g. Paul Davies’s concept) and with intuitive concepts of “complexity” that lack any a priori connection to specified complexity. Dembski also seems to equivocate between specified complexity w.r.t. to a uniform probability assumption and specified complexity w.r.t. all known natural causes.

C12 [Erik]: I have not checked all the relevant publications, but to the best of my knowledge at most one person has been able to apply Dembski’s concepts and methods to a real example, namely Dembski himself. It’s been something like five years the methods were first formulated and only one real application (the flagellum calculation) has been published. That no one except its creator has been able to apply the method and concepts, not even to simpler non-trivial real-world cases than the origin of flagella, is clear testament to its lack of scientific utility in its current state.

C13 [Erik]: The form of the Explanatory Filter gives ID a free-ride by asking us to accept a general “ID hypothesis” without evaluating the merits, or lack thereof, of this hypothesis. It also assumes the existence of a sharp dividing line separating non-intelligence and intelligence. Hypotheses involving intelligence are to lumped into the general ID hypothesis and protected from being subject to critical evaluations of their merits. This assumption is made without a definition of “intelligence”.

C14 [Erik]: The definition of the concept of “specification” is so subjective that specifications, like the appeal of painting, are in the eye of the beholder. To establish that something is a “specification” all you do (and can do!) is to assert that you have background knowledge that allows you to explicitly and univocally identify a superset of the event in question without recourse to the event, and hope that the rest of the world believes you.

C15 [Erik]: The Universal Probability Bound is a reasonable estimate iff the definitions are strictly adhered to and intelligence is not as magical as Dembski assumes. This means, among other things, that one must be sure to specify the rejection function on the entire sample space. Since the definitions are not strictly adhered to in practice, there is no reason to think that the UPB is an underestimate of the appropriate probability. In Dembski’s terminology, vagueness translates to lots of specificational resources. Regarding intelligence, we must assume that the intelligent agent that applies Dembski’s method is not sufficiently magical and creative to (e.g.) come up with a specification for every observed event, whatever it is. If intelligent agents can escape the implications of the NFL theorems for learning/inference and optimization, and do things that no natural causes can, then what prevents them from inventing a (non-trivial) specification for every event they investigate?

C19 [Gedanken]

Take a case in which the prior probability is extremely low that a designer can effect the potential “design” being observed. (By this I do not mean that this is a generally usable method for evaluating cases, rather I am specifying that in this case that prior probability can be known. I do not mean that such prior probability can regularly be known.) Also assume that there is a rather high probability that something was missed in the steps of analyzing chance and necessity in the explanatory filter. (In other words that the “argument from ignorance” aspect actually may have an important case that the observer is ignorant of, and this is a high probability in this case.) In this case the Bayesean posterior probability that the “designer did it” is often lower than the posterior probability that the missed case is the explanation. Now considering cases in which the prior probability is unknown (a basic assumption of the normal application of the “explanatory filter”) the reasonableness of the EF is dependent on the actual prior probability, though unknown. If one has certain religious reasons, for example, of having differing views of that prior probability, then the result changes based on those views. The EF is not an objective methodology, and its “reliability” differs depending on precisely that prior probability.

Imagine that a supporter–let’s call him Bob–of Dembski’s Explanatory Filter is looking at two 150-digit liquid crystal displays. Bob knows from reliable sources that LCD 1 displays a 150 digit random number, which is either drawn according to a uniform probability distribution or chosen directly by a human. A new number is drawn, by one of the methods, everyday at 12 and displayed on LCD 1 starting one hour later. LCD 2 displays the same number starting 30 minutes after it was drawn, but Bob doesn’t know that. Thus, if Bob looks at the two displays as LCD 1 is updated with todays number, he will observe that it is identical to that displayed on LCD 2. He might be tempted to use LCD 2 as a specification for the outcome of LCD 1 and conclude, using the Explanatory Filter, that the number was chosen by a human, even if it was generated randomly. (For a more creative and amusing example, see Sobel’s review of “The Design Inference”.)

C22 [Erik] The requirement that the items of knowledge determining the specification and the event to be specified must be statistically independent is either practically impossible to verify or ineffective at ensuring Dembski’s claim of no false positives. It is possible to interpret the condition strictly so that it represents a condition that serves it theoretical purpose well. If the condition is interpreted in an objective fashion, so that (e.g.) Bob above (or the reader of Sobel’s review) could be faulted if he applied the Explanatory Filter without having made sure that the numbers of LCD 1 and LCD 2 are uncorrelated before using the latter as a specification, then it is difficult verify the validity of specifications in practice. On the other hand, if the independence criterion is interpreted to be less demanding, then it does not ensure that false positives cannot occur (with a non-neglible frequency).

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Comment #103044

Posted by secondclass on May 29, 2006 8:24 PM (e)

The requirement that the items of knowledge determining the specification and the event to be specified must be statistically independent is either practically impossible to verify or ineffective at ensuring Dembski’s claim of no false positives.

The independence requirement is indeed impossible to verify when we don’t have a complete understanding of the causal history. In such cases, says Dembski, you must conclude an unknown supernatural cause rather than an unknown natural cause. Why? Absolutely no reason. It’s the Big Dembskian Non Sequitur.

Comment #103062

Posted by steve s on May 29, 2006 9:32 PM (e)

Anybody know a worse attempt at a scientific theory ever?

Comment #103090

Posted by Shalini on May 30, 2006 5:07 AM (e)

[Anybody know a worse attempt at a scientific theory ever?]

Flat-earthism.

:-)

Comment #103094

Posted by GT(N)T on May 30, 2006 6:21 AM (e)

“Anybody know a worse attempt at a scientific theory ever?”

“Flat-earthism.”

The hypothesis of a flat earth is testable. The hypothesis ‘God done it’, isn’t.

Comment #103095

Posted by Chris Ho-Stuart on May 30, 2006 6:23 AM (e)

In all seriousness… I disagree. Flat Earthism is a superior scientific theory, because it has real content, and the capacity of being tested and falsified. Dembski’s work does not even rise to that level.

Comment #103104

Posted by snaxalotl on May 30, 2006 8:18 AM (e)

and the earth is also approximately flat, so in many ways it has the benefits of newtonian physics over relativity

Comment #103106

Posted by Vyoma on May 30, 2006 9:16 AM (e)

snaxalotl wrote:

and the earth is also approximately flat, so in many ways it has the benefits of newtonian physics over relativity

I’m not sure, so I have to ask. You are just kidding, right? There are no sarcasm tags…

Comment #103107

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on May 30, 2006 9:32 AM (e)

No sarcasm needed: the Earth is flat, for all sufficiently local purposes. That’s what made its roundness counter-intuitive to most of the ancients.

Comment #103111

Posted by K.E. on May 30, 2006 10:25 AM (e)

[Anybody know a worse attempt at a scientific theory ever?]

Well the old creo favourite
Infinite monkey theorem

Comment #103115

Posted by PaulC on May 30, 2006 11:44 AM (e)

To expand on snaxalotl’s point, the flat-earth model is a useful simplifying assumption that can be applied to many situations arising in practice. It would really be a waste of effort, for instance, if an architect were to take into account the insignificant curvature of the earth when laying out a foundation. Below a certain distance, artillery can also be fired quite accurately assuming a flat earth. Finally, flat maps will always be the preferred visualization tool for suitably small areas, and permit precise distance calculations. At that level, terrain is much larger source of error than the slight curvature, so there would be no purpose in taking it into account.

The flat earth strikes me as just as useful a scientific theory as Newtonian physics. Both fail outside their range, but are such a close approximation within range that they can be considered superior models to the ones needed to derive results out to more digits than humans generally require.

ID just gets everything wrong from beginning to end, so please don’t put it in the same category as the flat earth.

Comment #103117

Posted by Vyoma on May 30, 2006 12:27 PM (e)

I see. In essence, the ground is flat. The planet earth, however, is still round. The way you (PaulC) phrase it, the assertion makes more sense.

Comment #103118

Posted by Glen Davidson on May 30, 2006 12:37 PM (e)

You’d have to specify in which way “flat earth theory” is supposedly better than ID in order to demonstrate it to be so. In fact this has been done indirectly. But the fact is that in other ways the “flat earth theory” is every bit as bad as ID.

If by “flat earth” one does indeed mean “not spherical” (or any other 3-D shape other than a disc), then it is a poor theory in the sense that it is demonstrably incorrect. If that’s all there is to it, however, it’s just another failed theory/concept, no big deal. As such, it’s reminiscent of Paley’s argument, which wasn’t really so very bad, and was falsifiable (in most intelligent people’s minds) by the evidences in favor of evolutionary theory.

Where the flat earth idea becomes the equal of Dembski’s ID is when it comes up with ad hoc defenses and faulty criteria for detecting the earth’s flatness, primarily in order to preserve some religious preconception. Flat earthers past, say, the 16th century, have been nothing but apologists, coming up with acausal and a-physical models to fit the evidence into their own prejudices. They have been trying to come up with anything to keep their “theory” from being testable, much as Dembski does (except through his bogus limitations of what can evolve–and his false dichotomy between “natural” and “designed”). And the one thing that can be noted that is “worse” about the flat earth concept is that it is more readily refuted by those not having much science background, say, by jet lag, or flying into lower latitudes to observe the sun there.

Newton, btw, has not been superseded in at least some of his claims. Yes, space and gravity are not what he thought, and motion is affected by relativity, but momentum and the second law of motion continue to be used in relativity in essentially the same manner as before (if using different calculations to properly account for mass, thus momentum). Newton was incomplete in some areas, but in other aspects his concepts continue unchanged in relativity.

Is there a worse attempt at a scientific theory than ID? There are probably any number of physics theories as bad as ID that could be found at crackpot sites. Worse? I don’t know, it seems that once one doesn’t care about anything except one’s preconceived notions, one typically comes up with ideas as bad as one’s fellow cranks. It’s hard to think of anything worse than ID, but then it’s hard to think of anything worse than, say, explaining free will via quantum physics. Both are just bad, biased apologetics, for the Bible in one instance, for “free will” in another case.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #103120

Posted by Henry J on May 30, 2006 12:45 PM (e)

Re “There are probably any number of physics theories as bad as ID that could be found at crackpot sites.”

Yep. If ya want to deny big bang, black holes, quarks, or infinite range of gravity, there’s websites that try to do that. (Might be some overlap in those categories.)

Henry

Comment #103121

Posted by Cody Cobb on May 30, 2006 1:06 PM (e)

steve s wrote:

Anybody know a worse attempt at a scientific theory ever?

Time Cube

Comment #103122

Posted by PaulC on May 30, 2006 1:17 PM (e)

Vyoma:

I see. In essence, the ground is flat. The planet earth, however, is still round.

I was overreaching a little to conflate flatness as a simplifying assumption with flatness as proposal about the overall shape of the earth. Clearly, the earth has been demonstrated to be spherical (to within a good approximation) and in that sense “flat earth theory” is wrong.

However, I still think it has some advantages over ID in the following sense: even if you believed that the earth was really flat, your incorrect belief would allow you to make many useful predictions provided you stayed in the range where it roughly applies.

The distinction between this and flatness as a simplifying assumption is that you would not be using it consciously as such. It would reflect your actual belief and would also lead you to incorrect predictions in unexpected ways. That’s what makes it bad science. If you then spun an elaborate set of epicycles around the cases in which it failed that would make it even worse science. But the “flat earth theory” is still better than the “spiky earth theory” or the “Escher waterfall earth theory.” At least it leads to correct approximate predictions in a certain useful range.

ID typically leads to no testable predictions at all so in that sense it is worse than flat earth theory. However, any modern day proponents of a flat earth–if they are at all serious–are as bad as IDers to the extent that they lean on apologetics and unfalsifiable assertions to get around the clear contradiction between their beliefs and the evidence.

Comment #103330

Posted by Ana Lytic on June 1, 2006 8:29 AM (e)

Interesting. Comparing ID to Flat Earth is just name calling. The only real objection that I saw above was the concept of impossibility of ruling out unknown natural causes, either random or rule, 100.0000%. So the door to naturalism is never completely closed, regardless of any “intuition of complexity” (C11) that such complexity would not be possible under those circumstances.

So the Leap-of-Faith in the religion of Naturalism is never dampened, least of all by the obvious. Go back to your name calling boys.

Comment #103336

Posted by Ana Lytic on June 1, 2006 8:53 AM (e)

Probably the worst theory ever is evolution.
Here are the actual paleotolgical facts:
1. First there were no animals in the lower strata.
2. Then there were some types.
3. Then there were lots of types.
4. Then there were fewer types.

Anything else is just an extrapolation from these facts. It is imaginary. It is fantasy designed as an attack on religion, as Darwin admitted. He proposed four falsifications for his theory; all have been verified as falsifications.

But the Atheist beat goes on, taking any leap of faith to prop up the only hope for Atheism: evolution. Every find of a tooth and a knuckle bone is declared the missing link, with full anatomy reproductions in the likes of National Geographic.

The silliness of this is lost on the those of the True Faith that there is nothing beyond the tangible, no intuition, no non-measurables, even no actual mind, just a “meat machine” doing processing of randomly acquired bits. This discussion should be assigned to that naturalist, Atheist position: “Darwin’s Horrid Doubt” that the mind has any useful products, having evolved randomly from slime.

Comment #103337

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on June 1, 2006 8:56 AM (e)

Anal Ytic:

…except for the fact that remembering that unknown natural causes cannot be ruled out (i.e., that we are not, and never will be, omniscient) completely destroys the false dichotomy ID is predicated upon, i.e. “if not natural, then supernatural”.

By the way, equating a method (naturalism) with a religion is name-calling, and does nothing to strengthen your position.

Comment #103339

Posted by Jim Wynne on June 1, 2006 9:17 AM (e)

Ana Lytic wrote:

Here are the actual paleotolgical facts

Paleotolgical?? I assume that you can name the paleotolgicist responsible for verifying those “facts”? I’ll bet he’s also a cdesign proponentist.

Comment #103342

Posted by k.e. on June 1, 2006 9:32 AM (e)

“meat machine” Anal lifter projects “Anal’s Horrid Doubt”
having evolved randomly from slime (you understand).

Have you evoloved from/are ‘Blast from the past’?

This is a sendup right?

Comment #103348

Posted by Glen Davidson on June 1, 2006 10:42 AM (e)

Ana Lytic wrote:

Anything else is just an extrapolation from these facts.

Apart from your ignorance of the geological column (species numbers change up and down at various times, quite unlike your mis-statement of the facts), virtually all of science is extrapolation from the facts. That’s how we get science.

I suppose ID/creationism is considered by you to be “superior” for not extrapolating from the facts. I will readily grant that it does not, however no scientist or competent philosopher would ever suppose that any generalizing concept was superior for extrapolating from ancient texts, rather than from the facts.

I have this pull to go on, exclaiming over your obtuseness and near-total lack of education, but it wouldn’t do an ignoramus like yourself any good, and everyone else knows how stupid you sound already.

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Comment #103424

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 1, 2006 6:16 PM (e)

But the Atheist beat goes on,

Hang on there, young Jedi — the IDers fell all over themselves, under oath, in front of a judge, to explain that ID was NOT RELIGIOUS APOLOGETICS.

And now, here you are, blithering on about “atheists”.

Make up your friggin mind. Is ID religious apologetics, or ain’t it.

If it is, why did the IDers lie under oath by testifying that it ISN’T?

And if it’s not, then why are you blithering about “atheists”?

I wish the IDiots would at least TRY to be consistent in their balderdash … (sigh)

Comment #103425

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 1, 2006 6:18 PM (e)

the false dichotomy ID is predicated upon, i.e. “if not natural, then supernatural”

Also known as “God of the Gaps”.

Comment #103429

Posted by David B. Benson on June 1, 2006 6:33 PM (e)

‘Paleotology’? Is this some branch of IDiot science?

Comment #103431

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 1, 2006 6:47 PM (e)

Yep. If ya want to deny big bang, black holes, quarks, or infinite range of gravity, there’s websites that try to do that. (Might be some overlap in those categories.)

Crank.net is a great place to check out the various bits of contemporary crackpottery.

even ranked for your convenience.

;)

Comment #103433

Posted by steve s on June 1, 2006 7:24 PM (e)

Comment #103121

Posted by Cody Cobb on May 30, 2006 01:06 PM (e) | kill

steve s wrote:

Anybody know a worse attempt at a scientific theory ever?

Time Cube

I gotta give you that. Time Cube is slightly stupider that Intelligent Design.

Comment #103472

Posted by Andrew McClure on June 1, 2006 11:19 PM (e)

steve s wrote:

Anybody know a worse attempt at a scientific theory ever?

It depends on our criteria for judging “worse”.

The scientific theories I personally dislike the most are the ones which are proposed by people who have seen a 1-hour special on String Theory on the Discovery Channel, decide themselves experts on the subject, and immediately realize about 5 to 10 “obvious” consequences of String Theory which seem to them to immediately follow from what was in the program. Invariably, these people then feel compelled to tell as many people as possible about their new discoveries in String Theory– which, since they’re based on String Theory, must of course be true.

The scientific theory I think is probably the least well founded, though due to its immense entertainment value I like it a great deal, is the alternative version of the global warming hypothesis which can be found elucidated on a subpage of cuttingedge.org. Cuttingedge.org describes themselves thus:

Our mission is three-fold:

1. To explain the goals and aspirations of the New World Order
2. To explain how its implementation will affect the average American citizen and family.
3. To show how families are being influenced now, before we actually move into this system.

Armed with this information, you will learn how you can:

1. Protect yourself, your children, your family, your loved ones and friends
2. Live triumphant Christian lives in a most difficult world

Cuttingedge.org affirms the existence of the global warming phenomenon; however, their explanation as to why global climate change is happening is slightly different from that of the mainstream scientific community*.

* Global Warming, as Cutting Edge explains, is caused by the U.N., which is using weather control technology in a secret long-term plan to eradicate civilization in order to further the U.N.’s occult agenda. As explained in Cutting Edge’s “Weather Control Warfare” section (some sections of which to my immense sadness were recently made accessible only to paid subscribers of the site), the evidences that this weather control technology is in common use are plain and plentiful, but the U.N. has craftily distracted the world from this evidence by masking their activities under such labels as “Sustainable Development” and the Kyoto Accords.

Comment #103475

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 1, 2006 11:28 PM (e)

* Global Warming, as Cutting Edge explains, is caused by the U.N., which is using weather control technology in a secret long-term plan to eradicate civilization in order to further the U.N.’s occult agenda. As explained in Cutting Edge’s “Weather Control Warfare” section (some sections of which to my immense sadness were recently made accessible only to paid subscribers of the site), the evidences that this weather control technology is in common use are plain and plentiful, but the U.N. has craftily distracted the world from this evidence by masking their activities under such labels as “Sustainable Development” and the Kyoto Accords.

You’ve made a convert outta me! that’s about the whackiest thing I’ve ever seen.

made my night!

Comment #103477

Posted by Wheels on June 1, 2006 11:28 PM (e)

So what you’re saying is that they’re fans of Michael Crichton’s bestseller, State of Fear?

Comment #103478

Posted by Andrew McClure on June 1, 2006 11:34 PM (e)

Wheels wrote:

So what you’re saying is that they’re fans of Michael Crichton’s bestseller, State of Fear?

Well, much of their content predates Crichton’s novel by some time. So if anything, it seems more likely that the reverse is true.

Comment #103484

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 2, 2006 1:09 AM (e)

for a lark, I googled the words: Michael Crichton is an Idiot

115,000 hits.

Comment #103486

Posted by Sir_Toejam on June 2, 2006 1:40 AM (e)

..and since it’s been mentioned, I suppose a link to a nice review of Crichton’s ‘work’ by some real climatologists would be in order:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=74

Comment #103522

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on June 2, 2006 7:04 AM (e)

* Global Warming, as Cutting Edge explains, is caused by the U.N., which is using weather control technology in a secret long-term plan to eradicate civilization in order to further the U.N.’s occult agenda. As explained in Cutting Edge’s “Weather Control Warfare” section (some sections of which to my immense sadness were recently made accessible only to paid subscribers of the site), the evidences that this weather control technology is in common use are plain and plentiful, but the U.N. has craftily distracted the world from this evidence by masking their activities under such labels as “Sustainable Development” and the Kyoto Accords.

Where do chemtrails and the Black Helicopters fit in?

Comment #103548

Posted by stevaroni on June 2, 2006 10:57 AM (e)

Global Warming, as Cutting Edge explains, is caused by the U.N., which is using weather control technology in a secret long-term plan…

Shush! You’ll reveal our secret scheme to raise the sea levels and forever hide the secret island of Atlantis and all its advanced crystal anti-gravity technology!

Comment #103549

Posted by stevaroni on June 2, 2006 11:06 AM (e)

Actually, my vote for “favorite crackpot theory” is the moon landing hoax.

I always point out that the biggest flaw with this conspiracy is that it would have been more expensive to fake it than it would to just do it in the first place.

(Since there were maybe 50,000 engineering and technical types in the program who had real aerospace experience and could spot a fake (not to mention the Russians) and you could never let all of them into the conspiracy, you’d still have to design, build, fly and land real equipment that could actually do the job as a cover story)

Comment #103780

Posted by Corkscrew on June 4, 2006 8:53 AM (e)

But the Atheist beat goes on, taking any leap of faith to prop up the only hope for Atheism: evolution. Every find of a tooth and a knuckle bone is declared the missing link, with full anatomy reproductions in the likes of National Geographic.

Atheists like this guy?

Comment #103785

Posted by K.E. on June 4, 2006 9:24 AM (e)

Corkscrew
YES nobody expects the Vatican Evolutionistas
We have 2 things on our side.
1. Fear
2. Surprise
3. And an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.

ah that’s 1,2,3,
leaves room and re-enters

NOBODY expects the Vatican Evolutionistas

We have THREE things on our side.
1. Fear
2. Surprise
3. And an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.
4. and besides we love the lovely red uniforms

…..ah that’s 1,2,3,4
leave room and re-enters

NOBODY EXPECTS the Vatican Evolutionistas

We have FOUR things on our SIDE..AH..HA.
1. Fear
2. Surprise
3. And an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.
4. and besides we love the lovely red uniforms…..
AND NOW for the hairy Darwin treatment

no…no…no NOT the hairy Darwin treatment

Confess heretic or forever suffer the death of a thousand ID anti-science mind memes.

Heywood that’s not for you BTW, how many more kangaroos can you lose from the top paddock before you’re comatose?

Comment #117735

Posted by Popper's ghost on August 7, 2006 5:18 PM (e)

for a lark, I googled the words: Michael Crichton is an Idiot

115,000 hits.

And googling the words: Michael Crichton is not an Idiot
gets 143,000 hits.

We can do better than adopt the IDiots’ approaches.