Quizzes, EleP(T|H)ants, Methods and Burdens of Proof.


Over in the ID Quiz thread at Uncommon Descent, Mark Frank asks;

“Here’s quiz on ID for you ID proponents:
On page 21 of “Specification: The Pattern That Signifies Intelligence” William Dembksi defines the context dependent specified complexity of T given H as -log_2[M\cdot N\cdot \varphi_S(T)\cdot P(T|H)]
Consider the context of the bacterial flagellum.
1. What is T?
2. What is the function \varphi_S(T)?
3. How is \varphi_S(T) estimated?
4. What is H?
5. How is P(T|H) estimated?
6. M\cdot N\cdot \varphi_S(T)\cdot P(T|H) is meant to be a probability. Under what conditions might the answer exceed 1?”

This seems a fair question, asking IDists to use their own proposed methodology to detect design, empirically.
But instead of heartily embracing this opportunity to show the power of ID, he is set upon.
Joe moans that

“Really Mark? Then tell us how to determine the probability wrt unguided evolution. If you know the answers to your questions you should be able to do that.”

Sorry Joe, it’s your methodology, do your own work, if you can.
KirosFocus has a length moan from large numbers and incredulity, finishing with;

“We cannot stop such from those tactics but we can expose them and red ring fence off those who insist on such tactics.”

If you can’t employ your own design detection methodology it is no ones fault but your own.
Either the methodology is unusable,
OR non of you are smart enough to use it,
OR you’re all secretly supports of Darwinian evolution and are making ID look as ridiculous as possible.

All Mark Frank has asked is for you to employ your own methodology. You can’t. ID is intellectually bankrupt, and only addressing the required calculations will change that.


[Edit: symbols latexed by Lizzie]

155 thoughts on “Quizzes, EleP(T|H)ants, Methods and Burdens of Proof.

  1. keiths: The article also includes Dembski’s hilarious infinite wavelength, zero energy hypothesis:

    “How much energy is required to impart information? We have sensors that can detect quantum events and amplify them to the macroscopic level. What’s more, the energy in quantum events is proportional to frequency or inversely proportional to wavelength. And since there is no upper limit to the wavelength of, for instance, electromagnetic radiation, there is no lower limit to the energy required to impart information. In the limit, a designer could therefore impart information into the universe without inputting any energy at all.”

    And furthermore Dembski justifies his “theory” with a quote from Feynman.

    Richard Feynman was right when he remarked that no one understands quantum mechanics. The “mechanics” in “quantum mechanics” is nothing like the “mechanics” in “Newtonian mechanics.” There are no analogies that carry over from the dynamics of macroscopic objects to the quantum level. In place of understanding we must content ourselves with knowledge. We don’t understand how quantum mechanics works, but we know that it works. So too, we don’t understand how a designer imparts information into the world, but we know that a designer imparts information.

    You have to admit that pseudoscientists can actually be unintentionally funny sometimes; especially when they are trying to appear to be so sophisticated and erudite.

  2. coldcoffee: ID MECHANISM

    Well, it seems you think Dembski is an authority. What do you make of this:

    As for your example, I’m not going to take the bait. You’re asking me to play a game: “Provide as much detail in terms of possible causal mechanisms for your ID position as I do for my Darwinian position.” ID is not a mechanistic theory, and it’s not ID’s task to match your pathetic level of detail in telling mechanistic stories. If ID is correct and an intelligence is responsible and indispensable for certain structures, then it makes no sense to try to ape your method of connecting the dots. True, there may be dots to be connected. But there may also be fundamental discontinuities, and with IC systems that is what ID is discovering.


    So if you are holding out hope for ID actually explaining something, anything, then Dembski disagrees with you.

  3. “It looks designed to me because it has many interacting parts, therefore it was designed”.

    How was it designed? With intelligence!

    ID in a nutshell.

  4. Here we have more Nonmath, courtesy of KirosFocus:


    kairosfocusFebruary 13, 2014 at 6:48 am
    PS: my rough back of envelope sez that at 1,000 bits the search capacity of 10^80 atoms, 10^25 s Planck time is 10^150 observations. If that is taken as one straw, the set of possibilities for 1,000 bits will be as a cubical haystack billions of times bigger than the observed 93 bn LY across cosmos. Do the blindfolded reach in and grab a 1 straw size sample test, and see where that gets you even with millions of cosmi in the stack. The bulk, straw, dominates. Just so, given that integrated multipart relevantly specific function tightly constrains acceptable configs — think, parts of an engine here — to narrow zones in the set of configs, we are talking maximal implausibility of cosmos scope blind mechanisms of chance and/or necessity originating FSCO/I, which is what we observe. Regardless of the objections, side tracks and dismissals, it remains so that on billions of observations, design is the ONLY vera causa of FSCO/I. One is epistemically entitled per inductive logic to take FSCO/I as an index of design as cause, never mind how the objectors scream.”


    Bonus cringe for him using “sez” like Joe. He’s cool and down with the kids.

  5. Good grief! – is he still peddling that nonsense? Do any of the more intelligent UDites still fall for it?

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