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Oldie but goodie: Berlinski reviews Dawkins

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2 Responses to Oldie but goodie: Berlinski reviews Dawkins

  1. Yet another wonderful Berlinski review!

    Berlinski writes: “It is one thing, however, to appeal to a path up Mount Improbable, quite another to demonstrate its existence.”

    This also relates to the supposed counter-examples offered in the Avida simulations that Irreducible Complexity is evolvable. The simulations essentially give a 100% probability for the existence of selective pressures (a path up Mount Improbable) which can allow a system to climb up mount improbable. They don’t even attempt to quantify the probability of such selective pressures existing in the first place. They never take physical reality into account. 100% is the assumed probability for the selective pressures’ existence, when perhaps something closer to 0% is more realistic. These Genetic Algorithm simulations end up being little more than tautologies: “if selective pressures exist to create IC, then IC will be made”.

    But Dawkins and his comrades in their world of DarLogic essentially argue: “if selective pressures exist to create IC, then IC will be made, therefore since evolution is true, selective pressures existed in the past which created a path up mount improbable, and since a path up mount improbable existed in the past, evolution is true”

  2. “The beauty of this theory,” Dawkins affirms, commending the hopping scenario, “is that the same nervous circuits that were used to control the center of gravity in the jumping ancestor would, rather effortlessly, have lent themselves to controlling the flight surfaces later in the evolutionary story.”

    Berlinski writes: “It is the phrase “rather effortlessly” that gives to this preposterous assertion its antic charm.”

    Berlinski is being courteous to a fault.
    Dawkin’s thinking is insane–insanity being defined as “loss of touch” with reality.

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