Monday, December 17, 2007

Dembski, Copyright, and 'Design of Life'

Ive been itching to get my hands on a copy of Billy 'One book a decade' Dembskis new book, 'Design of Life', just to see how many of my predictions came true. Problem is, it doesnt appear anyone has this book, except for DI sycophants and a few of the Usual Suspects. Amazon doesnt have it in stock, Barnes and Noble doesnt even have it listed, local libraries have no idea what Im talking about.

But its okay. I have the best readers on the internet, and someone sent me the answer to exactly what I was really wondering:

1. 'Someone' with the DI contacted Harvard and asked for a copy of 'Inner Life'. Harvard said no. Dembski used a butchered copy of it in his presentations anyway.

2. 'Someone' with the DI contacted Harvard and asked to use stills from 'Inner Life' in a 'publication'. Harvard said no. Would DI have the balls to use them anyway? Is the publication 'Design'?
**Spoiler** No. :(

But there are similarities between a page in 'Design', and Dembskis use of Harvards animation which clearly show where stills from Harvards animation were slotted for use, and clearly shows that Dembski knew prior to his presentation at OU that Harvard wanted nothing to do with the Discovery Institute but Dembski used their animation anyway.

Lets compare a page from 'Design' with a still from Dembskis OU presentation- just prior to Harvards animation:

And then lets zoom in on the picture in 'Design':

Caption: Figure 8.1 This image, from a computer animation in Unlocking the Mystery of Life (, illustrates information processing inside the cell (i.e., the transcription of DNA into mRNA). The animation shows why it is entirely appropriate to compare the cell with an automated city.

Dembskis new title for 'Inner Life of a Cell'? 'The Cell as an Automated City.'

Its obvious to even the most casual observer that 'Design of Life' is the publication DI wanted to use stills from Harvards animation in, but they acknowledged Harvards unwillingness to contribute to Creationism and did not use the stills.

Unless Figure 8.1 was changed within the past month, Dembski knew at the time of his presentation at OU Harvard wanted nothing to do with Creationism, but subsequently played dumb "Aw gosh golly I just found it on the intranets and thought it was neato! I didnt mean nuthin by it!"

This reminds me of my very first encounter with a Creationist. His name was Brad Harrub. Some low-level con artist, got snukered by an April Fools joke in Discover magazine, had this fishing reel he presented as part of his 'Evidences of Creation!'

When it was pointed out to him that the 'fossil fishing reel' was an obvious fraud (you could see the saw marks in the rock, for petes sake), he removed all references to the reel in his online/print media. Yet when I attended a presentation of his a year and a half later, he presented the 'fossil fishing reel' as EVIDENCES OF CREATION!

So what happened? Print media can be traced. If DI had used stills from Harvards animation in print, they would have been royally screwed. So they used 'Inner Life' in presentations instead. Harrub presented information he knew to be fraudulent in his presentation. Who attends these presentations? Average Joe Creationists that have no idea the material is stolen/fraudulent. Dembski was so confident that I would never get video proof of him using the animation, he pretended it never happened for two months.

Professional Creationists are snake-oil salesmen and con artists. They know they are lying, they know they are stealing, they just think theyre 'too good' to get caught.


Ian said...

Quite interesting. Good find.

Tyler DiPietro said...

Wait, you mean Dembski is a lying shit? OMGWTFBBQ!!!!111ELEVENTYONE

Gary said...

Good fisking Abbie. BTW - I think you should get a lot of credit for Dembski's latest melt-down, where he finally admitted that The Designer = The Christian God.

This effectively removes him from any future courtroom appearances defending ID, unless the Worst Case Scenario comes to pass, and Dembski and his DI pals overthrow the Constitution and initate the theocracy they are working towards.

I can see Dembski smirking and loving his roll as Chief Inquisitor.


Brett said...

"Unless Figure 8.1 was changed within the past month, Dembski knew at the time of his presentation at OU Harvard wanted nothing to do with Creationism"

Good point. That really gets to the crux of the issue of whether or not he knew it was plagiarized material or not. Abby scores again.

Doppelganger said...

Like a little automated city... Yup - real cells are just as nice and neat and tidy and oderly as the animations are, so sure...

Bill said...

Wouldn't it be cool if a real city behaved like a cell?

Just think, food would be flying by all the time by diffusion. Step out your front door and snag a chicken enchilada as it sails by. Oops, here comes a pitcher of beer!

You could jump through a vacuole and ride a capillary to work; probably grab a few donuts along the way.

Rather than annex land your city would simply divide into two, and duplicate all city services in the process. City Hall, the police and fire stations would split down the middle.

Of course, the bummer would be that your city wouldn't last forever and one day food would stop sailing by, the vacuoles would close and you'd be excreted or sloughed off.

Oh, well, that's life in the city!

Shalini said...

I have BillDumb's book and I am currently attempting to read it while my hands attempt to throw it across the room.

I hope I don't bust too many of my neurons in the process....

Ray said...

"One book a decade"?

Dembski has authored at least seven in the past five years. One book a year doesn't even do it justice.

Bill said...

Hey, it's dum*Ray*bunny.

And what Five Books would that be?

Speaking of which, RAY, how does Intelligent Design
Theory explain speciation?

Just one example will do.

Thanks, Ray.

Ray said...

Bill, you really should do a little research and inform yourself of the claims ID makes. It is NOT incompatible with speciation. Behe holds to common descent, as do others in the movement.

As for the books, here are the ones he has authroed/co-authored/edited since 2000:
1. Intelligent Design: The Bridge between science and theology.
2. Signs of Intelligence (editor).
3. No Free Lunch
4. The Design Revolution
5. Uncommon Dissent (editor)
6. Darwins Nemesis (Editor)
7. Science and Evidence for Design in the Universe (co-authored with Stephen Meyer)
8. Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA (co-edited with Michael Ruse)
9. The Design of Life
10. Intelligent Design 101 (coming in 2008)

And as for speciation, can you give me some hard evidence? Perhaps a beneficial mutation (that is not induced by an intelligent agent in a laboratory)?

Tyler DiPietro said...

Wow, inflating the record by including the books he's edited (or even co-edited). Impressive, I haven't seen that one before.

"Perhaps a beneficial mutation (that is not induced by an intelligent agent in a laboratory)?"

Bacterial resistence to anti-biotics.

I win.

Ray said...

haha, c'mon Tyler, are you serious? Resistence to anti-biotics is your explanation for how all of biological life is related to a common ancestor? Sounds like bad science to me...

Oh, and my original claim was that he AUTHORED that many books. Even if you go off of the ones that he has authored alone, it is still slightly more than one per decade.

And by the way, is how many books one publishes indicative of whether or not their claims are correct?

Tyler DiPietro said...

Your goalposts are on skis Ray. You asked for an example of a beneficial mutation, I provided one. No, it is not the entirety of evidence for universal common ancestry, nor was it intended to be. The body of evidence for common ancestry is extensive, and you can start reading about it here.

(And btw, mentioning their publication record is a slam on their pretenses of scholarship and relevance. It's not supposed to be "idicative of whether their claims are correct". Try again.)

Bill said...

OK, Ray, I give up. You're right, evolution can't explain speciation. I know I'll get kicked out of the fraternity for spilling the beans, the Big Secret, but there you have it.

So, just to pick three different species, Ray, tell us how "intelligent design" produces fish, birds and oak trees.

DS said...

So funny. Some day I want to do a systematic analysis of how many times creationist tell outright lies vs. pro-evolutionists. Maybe we can ask people to submit lies they have heard from both sides and, in a transparent fashion, tally the results. I wonder who would win...


Doug said...

Geesh, stop being picky. She didn't say that he authored 1 book a decade, or authored +/- 3% of 1 book a decade, she gave his a funny a.k.a name.

"Billy 'One book a decade' Dembskis"

Bill said...

I think Ray is on vacation. Or perhaps he's learning to read so he can answer my question.

When Ray gets all smart and everything he's going to tell us how ID works.

Uh, it may be a while.