VJ has written, by his standards, a short post distinguishing order from complexity (a mere 1400 words). To sum it up – a pattern has order if it can be generated from a few simple principles. It has complexity if it can’t. There are some well known problems with this – one of which being that it is not possible to prove that a given pattern cannot be generated from a few simple principles. However, I don’t dispute the distinction. The curious thing is that Dembski defines specification in terms of a pattern that can generated from a few simple principles. So no pattern can be both complex in VJ’s sense and specified in Dembski’s sense.
At the heart of this the problem is that Dembski has written a paper that most IDers would find unacceptable if they took the trouble to understand it. But they don’t quite have the courage to say they disagree. That is why this comment from Eric Anderson made me chuckle:
Second, why is it so hard for some people to get it through their heads that the issue is not “order”? Is this really hard to understand, or just that so many people haven’t been properly educated about the issues?
I wonder which one it is in William Dembski’s case?
TJ has written a 4000 word appendix to this post. I haven’t time to read it all but it appears that he accepts that some of his original OP was wrong. It is rare for people to admit they are wrong in heated Internet debates so all credit to him. In particular he appears to accept that there is considerable confusion about order, complexity, and specification within the ID community (why else the need to propose his own definitions?).
What would be really nice would a similar admission from Eric Anderson that the ID community needs to sort out its own definitions before complaining that others are incapable of understanding them.