Thursday, September 27, 2007


Im going to have a series of posts on the Q&A from The Dembski Affair. No, Im not posting audio/video. Just wait, and just trust me. Again, all quotes are paraphrased-- audio is super quiet at some times, hidden behind audience applause/laughter in others.

The first comment of the evening came from the fellow who placed the full page ad in the school newspaper against ID. You see, Dembski spent the first 5-10 minutes of his talk trying to show everyone that ID Creationists DO publish (the ad said that they do not), and this fellow wanted a moment to clarify.

Dembski did not want him to do that.

You see, the papers Dembski listed? They dont *technically* support ID. They admitted that under oath at Dover. But the audience heckled Dembski over his whines of "Its question tiiiiime!" (as opposed to snack time? nap time? heh.) so the fellow got his comments in.

Dembski lucked out. "Those publications do not support ID Creationism" was not the path this fellow chose to take. Instead, he apologized for stating IDCs hadnt published, and reworded this into a question:

"Why do IDC publish 'direct to consumer' books, as opposed to pushing their ideas in the scientific world?"
But give Dembski an inch, he takes a mile. With a sense of smug satisfaction, having dodged a bullet on stage, Dembski declared "Well you can send me an apology and Ill post it on my blog."

Alas, he never answered that question.

But the fellow at the mic took a moment to get a zinger in. "You listed 8 peer reviewed articles. How many people in this audience have published more than 8 articles? (several people raise their hands) So... there are at least half a dozen people in this audience, who by themselves, have published more than the entire ID community in the past decade. Ill get you that apology tomorrow."

Dembski: "I would say thats not all of it! We're a minority! When you consider what happened to Stephen Meyer... (fellow interrupts, rightly so) WAIT A SECOND IM TALKING! IM TALKING! There are lots of papers that talk about design! But they have to add disclaimers that 'this paper has nothing to do with Intelligent Design'. The climate of hostility is very great on us. My colleague Robert Marks has 300! We're starting a program now on evolutionary informatics. We face tremendous hostility! Many of us have lost jobs over this! So dont be so smug about this! A lot of this we have to fly under the radar, we cant be upfront about our views of intelligent design. Its not quite how you make it up. We have people who have published an awful lot. Some of us have to be careful to keep our livelihoods. Ehhhh eh."

So a few points on Q1:
  1. The papers Dembski listed do not support ID. They admit that.
  2. Dembski did not answer why they publish 'direct-to-consumer' rather than in peer reviewed papers. I have two hypotheses. One-- theyre full of shit. They can only publish said shit to feed to their 'fellow' flock. Its a wonder they dont all have MadCow. Two-- You dont get royalties off Science sales.
  3. Meyer and Sternberg refused to play by the rules every other scientist on this planet has to play by, and used Sternbergs position to usher a sub-par Meyer article into a non-relevant journal. Special treatment for Creationists. Sorry, science isnt the Baptist church. You dont get special treatment. And you get in trouble for screwing around like that. I know I know-- no special treatment AND you have to take responsibility for your actions. Creationists nightmare.
  4. Dembski should not bring up Robert Marks and Baylor.
  5. One who does nothing to benefit humanity should not bitch about 'maintaining their livelihoods.' If you were a plumber that couldnt plumb, you would be fired. If you were a nurse that couldnt nurse, you would be fired. Yet again, though, Dembski wants special treatment for Creationists. They are 'scientists' that wont do any science and 'mathematicians' that wont do math, and they 'fear for their jobs'! GASP! You mean, one day, Dembski might have to publish a theorem or write a peer reviewed paper to keep his job??? YOU MONSTERS! MARTYR!!! MAAAAARTYR!!!


Tyler DiPietro said...

Interesting. Dembski behaves in ways that are perfectly predictable.

1. Claim published science supports you when it doesn't.

2. When challenged by someone without knowledge of the fact that said published science doesn't really support ID, but asks whether that research output was significant, allege conspiracy.

3. When challenged by someone with knowledge of the fact that said published science doesn't really support ID, allege conspiracy anyway.

4. When challenged on the fact that you claim to be the "Isaac Newton of Information Theory" (or at least tacitly accept to accolade from David Berlinski), allege conspiracy.

5. Allege conspiracy again, just for good measure.


The guy must get a major stiffy at the idea of being persecuted.

Tyler DiPietro said...

"4. When challenged on the fact that you claim to be the "Isaac Newton of Information Theory" (or at least tacitly accept to accolade from David Berlinski) without having published a single proof in the discipline, allege conspiracy."


AIGBusted said...

I've read Dembski's blog before, as well as little of his writings, and he is as deluded, arrogant, and pseudointellectual as it gets. He claims there is historical evidence for Jesus rising from the dead (there isn't), that Ken Miller lied under oath (he didn't), among other things. He is such an embarrassment to science.

txjak said...

Dembski isn't an embarrassment to science. He's too busy denying science to in the name of ID to embarrass it.

He is an embarrassment to god, however, if there is one.

386sx said... Dr. Sternberg was at the center of a controversy over a paper published in 2004 in Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, a peer-reviewed publication he edited at the time. The paper contended that an intelligent agent was a better explanation than evolution for the so-called Cambrian explosion, a great diversification of life forms that occurred hundreds of millions of years ago.

Well yeah, but an intelligent agent is a better explanation for everything. Occam's razor and all that.

Intelligent Design Cats: We're "pointing" at ur Cambrian explosion... we're not in ur pathetic levelz of detail.

Torbjörn Larsson said...

The "collegue" Robert Marks has published 0 papers on IDC out of his 125 peer reviewed papers.

He and Dembski have published 1 book chapter on "The Jesus Tomb Math" however. But maybe that is Dumb Design Creationism?

ERV said...

386sx-- MAKE THAT CAT!!

Torbjörn-- Dembski said 300. You must be a liar.


386sx said...

Okay, soon as I figure out how to make one. (I don't care if I have to spend millions and millions of dollars.)

Torbjörn Larsson said...


Sorry, I'm bad at dogma. I will try harder to discuss without referring to facts. :-P