Home » Culture, Darwinism, Education, Evolution » Going public with ID — wait till you’re ready to retire

Going public with ID — wait till you’re ready to retire

I was just listening to Rush Limbaugh (I trust this radio preference of mine will make it quickly into my Wikipedia entry but that my work with the Evolutionary Informatics Lab will continue to be ignored there; by the way, I also enjoy reading Camille Paglia). In any case, Rush read portions of an article at The American Thinker by fellow mathematician Ron Lipsman, who has given up his senior deanship at the big University of Maryland campus so that he can speak his mind more fully. He remains on as a professor there. The article speaks at many levels to the opposition that ID faces from the cultural elite. Here’s a sample:

Ron Lipsman…The liberal hegemony exists in many quarters of the country beside academia — e.g., the mainstream media, major foundations, law schools and the trial lawyers they produce, public school teachers, the Democratic Party, even big corporations. But none of these can maintain the atmosphere as effortlessly as campus profs and administrators. Politicians encounter opposition from their constituents; the media from its readers, listeners and viewers; trial lawyers from their clients; and corporations from their stockholders and consumers. But the educational establishment–both higher and lower–encounters little resistance. The students are ignorant, the parents are cowed, and Boards of Regents are cowardly. The ivory tower is alive and well in America and the intellectual product it presents is completely one-sided. What a tragedy for our nation and especially for its youth.

Or, as my friend and colleague Jonathan Wells has said with reference to the Darwinian evolution establishment (which is a major player in Lipsman’s “liberal hegemony”), “it’s about as self-correcting as the mafia.”

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13 Responses to Going public with ID — wait till you’re ready to retire

  1. Dr. Dembski:

    I trust this radio preference of mine will make it quickly into my Wikipedia entry but that my work with the Evolutionary Informatics Lab will continue to be ignored there

    I agree that the content of your EIL work deserves at least as much spotlight as the controversial incidents related in your Wikipedia entry. Very few outside of the ID camp (and, I’d wager, even fewer inside the ID camp) have given the EIL papers more than a superficial reading, if that. Now that a paper is published, we can expect to see more responses, and frankly, I think that it will not be to the benefit of the EIL’s ID arguments.

  2. 2

    R0b: How generous and how cheesy. Thanks for the good wishes about wanting the work highlighted at Wikipedia, but you just couldn’t leave it there.

    So you are one of the few who has read my work with Bob Marks carefully and are in a position to evaluate it? You haven’t persuaded me. As for our critics not benefitting the EIL’s ID arguments, you are probably right, but not for the reasons you think — the critics are so intent on killing the ID implications of this work that they generally can’t think straight about it and thus have nothing to offer by way of improving it. You seemed to have this problem until Atom engaged you at length (I’m afraid I don’t have his patience, at least not with you).

    Of course, what you mean is that once the critics really look at it carefully, our work will be shown to fall flat. By why offer such an opinion? The work is publicly available at EIL, and much more will soon be available (our research group will be presenting new material at various conferences soon, though we haven’t advertised it for fear that people like yourself, Jeff Shallit, and Wesley Elsberry will make the lives of the organizers miserable and try to get the papers removed). In any case, the math holds up, so the real question is its application to evolutionary biology.

  3. Dr. Dembski:

    So you are one of the few who has read my work with Bob Marks carefully and are in a position to evaluate it? You haven’t persuaded me.

    Nor will I try. My background in math, or rather lack thereof, affords me no authority, although I note that there are other challengers to the EIL who don’t share my deficit.

    But some observations don’t require an extensive math background. To note that 1/439 cannot possibly be the correct result in the ev paper requires only a modicum of care in reading. And simple algebra reveals the inconsequential error in the combinatoric proof of the Strict Vertical NFLT, namely that Γ(K+1) should be Γ(K-1). And it doesn’t require any real expertise to notice that all of the higher-level spaces that you mention in Life’s Conservation Law consist of functions over Ω that are closed under permutation, thus insuring that the endogenous information of the combined searches is equal to the endogenous information of the lower-level search.

    I was too dense to see that last one, and needed Atom to hold my hand, which goes to show that talking across the fence can be productive. Atom’s insight is significant in that it demonstrates that the LCI can be rendered not only true, but provably true, if his restriction obtains in the higher-level search space. Without some kind of restriction like Atom’s, it’s trivial to come up with counterexamples to the LCI.

    In any case, the math holds up, so the real question is its application to evolutionary biology.

    Indeed, the question is whether it can be applied to biology or any other allegedly ID phenomenon (fine tuning, privileged planet, etc.) Until that question is answered, or at least discussed with a modicum of rigor, aren’t EIL-based ID arguments premature? That is precisely the question that I wish to discuss. The implicit assumption that Atom and I see in the LCI is stronger than the conclusion of the LCI, so where does that assumption obtain in reality? If we accept the Principle of Indifference as ultimately binding, then what are the implications of that, and does it render the LCI generally applicable?

    BTW, I’m glad to see that you take an interest in some of the conversations on this site, as I’m sure you have a busy schedule. Perhaps you could resolve a dispute between CJYMan and myself: Are intelligent designers bound by the LCI?

  4. Correction @ 3:

    “all of the higher-level spaces that you mention in Life’s Conservation Law consist of functions over ? that are closed under permutation”

    should be

    “each of the higher-level spaces that you mention in Life’s Conservation Law consists of a set of functions over Ω that is closed under permutation”

  5. 5

    R0b: Please provide the exact place in http://marksmannet.com/RobertM.....rt/S4S.pdf where Γ(K+1) should be Γ(K-1).

  6. William Dembski
    Recommend adding authors and reference/status to that paper.

  7. Dr. Dembski, as I said, it’s in the combinatoric proof of the Strict Vertical NFLT. Γ(K+1) is found in two places, near the end of the proof, in the denominator.

  8. R0b: I’ve given you the URL for the pdf of the article. Please give me the exact column and line numbers where the error occurs (if it does). We give several proofs in the appendices, for general and special cases of the VNFL.

  9. Dr. Dembski: page 11, second column, lower half.

    [Thanks R0b: You are correct. We'll get this corrected. --WmAD]

  10. I was just listening to Rush Limbaugh (I trust this radio preference of mine will make it quickly into my Wikipedia entry
    You should then submit that pix of you and your family with Obama that, IIRC, you posted here :-)

  11. My background in math, or rather lack thereof, affords me no authority, although I note that there are other challengers to the EIL who don’t share my deficit.

    R0b, if Wiki never should refer to EIL and if conferences are pressured into removing its material would that at least make you go hmmmmm?

  12. Dr. Dembski, happy to help, albeit on an item of no significance. I think that the other issues surrounding the LCI and its connection to ID are far more substantial and not as easily resolved.

  13. –Dr. Dembski
    speaking of errors: in your paper Conservation of Information in Search – Measuring the Cost of Success could you correct the sign errors in equation (27) and on page 1057, left column, for Q?
    BTW, here you could take

    Q ≈ HarmonicNumber[(1-β)L]/μ

    as a more pleasing approximation (it fits better with

    Q ≈ N HarmonicNumber[(1-β)L]

    in the next section…

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