Category: Comp. Sci. / Eng.

Help requested of readers to advance design detection in DNA

DNA Skittle was a DNA visualization program pioneered by John Sanford to help identify design features of DNA that are recognizable to the human visual system. The program is available for free, but the Skittle developers need help with ensuring it is usable through internet channels. Can you spare 10 minutes and review the product […] more

Creationist RA Herrmann’s ID theory — the last magic on steroids!

First, an excerpt from Dr. Herrmann’s personal history: I was associated with the occult from birth, but in 1946 when I was 12 years old, I suddenly became extremely interested in occult manifestations and simultaneously became, what is sometimes called, a “mental giant” – indeed, a child scientist. I delved into any aspect of the […] more

Illustrating embedded specification and specified improbability with specially labeled coins

The reason the 500-fair-coins-heads illustration has been devastating to the materialists is due to a fact that has somewhat escaped everyone until Neil Rickert (perhaps unwittingly) pointed it out: the sides of the coin are distinguishable, but not in a way that biases the probability. This fact guarantees that chance cannot construct recognizable symbolic organization, […] more

Specified Entropy — a suggested convention for discussion of ID concepts

In terms of textbook thermodynamics, a functioning Lamborghini has more thermal entropy than that same Lamborghini with its engine and other vital parts removed. But intuitively we view such a destruction of a functioning Lamborghini as an increase in entropy and not a decrease of entropy. Something about this example seems downright wrong… To fix […] more

Forgotten Creationist/ID Book endorsed by Nobel Prize Winner in Physics

There is a forgotten creationist book by engineer and physicist Robert Gange, PhD: Origins and Destiny that was published in 1986. It is available for free online, but for how long, I do not know. It was pioneering, and anticipated arguments that would be found in ID for the next 27 years, and likely beyond. […] more

The Tragedy of Two CSIs

CSI has come to refer to two distinct and incompatible concepts. This has lead to no end of confusion and flawed argumentation. CSI, as developed by Dembski, requires the calculation of the probability of an artefact under the mechanisms actually in operation. It a measurement of how unlikely the artefact was to emerge given its […] more

Ranking the information content of platonic forms and ideas

Consider the following numbers and concepts (dare I say platonic forms): 1 1/2 1/9 or 0.111111….. PI PI squared The Book War and Peace by Tolstoy approximate self-replicating von-Neuman automaton (i.e. living cells) Omega Number, Chaitin’s Constant Chaitin’s Super Omega Numbers I listed the above concepts in terms of which concepts I estimate are more […] more

CSI Confusion: Remember the Mechanism!

A number of posts on Uncommon Descent have discussed issues surrounding specified complexity. Unfortunately, the posts and discussions that resulted have exhibited some confusion over the nature of specified complexity. Specified complexity was developed by William Dembski and deviation from his formulation has led to much confusion and trouble. I’m picking a random number between […] more

Dawkins Weasel vs. Blind Search — simplified illustration of No Free Lunch theorems

I once offered to donate $100 to Darwinist Dave Thomas’ favorite Darwinist organization if he could write an genetic algorithm to solve a password. I wrote a 40-character password on paper and stored it in safe place. To get the $100, his genetic algorithm would have to figure out what the password was. I was […] more

The paradox in calculating CSI numbers for 2000 coins

Having participated at UD for 8 years now, criticizing Darwinism and OOL over and over again for 8 years is like beating a dead horse for 8 years. We only dream up more clever and effective and creative ways to beat the dead horse of Darwinism, but it’s still beating a dead horse. It’s amazing […] more

Nuances in understanding NFL Theorems — some pathological “counterexamples”

NLF theorems are stated in terms of the average performance of evolutionary algorithms, but ID proponents must be mindful whenever the word AVERAGE is used, because it implies there may be above average performers, and I’m surprised Darwinists have been slow to seize refuge in the possibility of above average outcomes. To illustrate, the house […] more

Should ID include AI as a form of Intelligence? I think so

So what is the evidence of intelligence? I would suggest the ability to construct artifacts or events with Specified Improbability (the usual term is Specified Complexity, CSI, etc. but those terms are too confusing). Thus factories with robots, smart cruise missiles, genetic algorithms, bacteria, a collective network of ants, etc. can be considered intelligent systems. […] more

A challenge to strong Artificial Intelligence enthusiasts . . .

For some little while now, RDF/AIGuy has been advocating a strong AI claim here at UD.  In an exchange in the ongoing is ID fatally flawed thread, he has said: 222: Computers are of course not conscious. Computers of course can be creative, and computers are of course intelligent agents. Now before you blow a […] more

The Blind Watchbreaker would dispose of lunches even if they were free — mootness of anti-NFL arguments

Our colleague Elizabeth Liddle has described the process of human design as trial and error, tinkering and iteration. Like Dawkins, she has argued nature (like human designers) is able to construct biological designs via trial and error, tinkering and iteration. However, when nature is properly compared and contrasted with the way humans go about creating […] more

Order, Organization, Disorder, Disorganization — the role of specification in perception of design

Can I find examples that can fit any of the four following descriptions? Are some even impossible in principle? [Assume first that the artifact in question has high improbability (like a set of a million coins or as stream of a million bits) or high Shannon entropy. Also assume by "disordered" I mean Kolmogorov simple […] more

When designed errors are the perfect design

Shannon’s legendary paper: Mathematical Theory of Communication unwittingly lends support to the philosophical notion that perfect designs in one dimension must of necessity have imperfection in other dimensions. We intuitively understand that we communicate much better with someone in a quiet room versus a noisy room. But Shannon’s genius was that he quantified this notion […] more

ALERT: A caution on the ongoing hacker attack on the Java programming language

Off topic, but important as a service to UD’s readers. HERE. Pardon, I took some days before commenting, until I found some useful info beyond the media panic headlines. Notice the clip from Oracle’s advisory, the link to the FAQ and the further link on gory technical details. The bottomline is that over the past […] more

A Designed Object’s Entropy Must Increase for Its Design Complexity to Increase – Part 2

In order for a biological system to have more biological complexity, it often requires a substantial increase in thermodynamic entropy, not a reduction of it, contrary to many intuitions among creationists and IDists. This essay is part II of a series that began with Part 1 The physicist Fred Hoyle famously said: The chance that […] more

A Designed Object’s Entropy Must Increase for Its Design Complexity to Increase – Part 1

The common belief is that adding disorder to a designed object will destroy the design (like a tornado passing through a city, to paraphrase Hoyle). Now if increasing entropy implies increasing disorder, creationists will often reason that “increasing entropy of an object will tend to destroy its design”. This essay will argue mathematically that this […] more

The Shallowness of Bad Design Arguments

The existence of bad design, broken design, and cruelty in the world inspires some of the strongest arguments against the Intelligent Design of life and the universe. I consider the “bad design” argument the most formidable of the anti-ID arguments put forward, but in the end it is shallow and flawed. I will attempt to […] more

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