Re: more on information from naught

From: george murphy (
Date: Fri May 10 2002 - 13:05:50 EDT

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    Allen Roy wrote:

    > Van Till said this of Dembski's book --=20
    > "lots of smoke (obfuscation by introducing
    > new and technical terminology ad infinitum; using familiar words in =
    > obscure
    > and rapidly changing ways) and mirrors (making things seem different =
    > from
    > what they are), making the conclusions highly incredible."
    > A friend of mine said:=20
    > "I wonder if this guy [Van Till] thinks the Pythagorean Theorem is smoke =
    > and mirrors. I
    > wonder if he's ever heard of the word "axiom" or "definition" or =
    > "theorem".
    > Doesn't sound like it. The title of the book is in reference to a
    > collection of mathematical THEOREMS (proven in isolation from Dembski by
    > other mathematicians with no interest in creation and evolution), not
    > wishful confusing conjectures that this man is probably more use to. =
    > What
    > would be much more engaging would be if this man could dismantle =
    > Dembski's
    > mathematical work, instead of trying to tarnish its effectiveness by
    > misrepresenting it as a confusing religious or philosophical work."
    > I have now been informed that "Howard made some general criticisms of a =
    > book" and that my friend "did not respond to those criticisms but only =
    > made snide remarks about the critic."
    > It appears to me that Van Till's "criticism" of Dembski only consists of =
    > snide remarks about the logical and mathematical abilities of Dembski. =
    > My friend addressed Van Till's "criticism" by pointing out that Van Till =
    > would be more gainfully employed in actually dismantling Dembski's =
    > mathematical work rather than in willful misrepresentation of it. Van =
    > Till's qualifications should be apparent in his statements and not by =
    > the number of letters attached to his name.

         Howard's criticisms were brief & general but of Dembski's arguments, not
    of Dembski himself. If your anonymous friend had said that these criticisms
    were too brief & general to be useful, OK. Instead he insinuated that the
    critic didn't know the meaning of basic math terms.
         Why pursue this at length? Simply to discourage anonymous and/or ad
    hominem material. Your post contained both.
         I note also that you have decided that Howard's statements were not only
    "misrepresentation" but "willful misrepresentation." Attributing malice to a
    person without definite evidence of it is also wrong.

    George Murphy

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