Re: Critique of ID & No Free Lunch

From: Preston Garrison (
Date: Tue Sep 10 2002 - 00:34:07 EDT

  • Next message: Howard J. Van Till: "Re: The rhetoric of argument"

    >For the record, here's the statement in No Free Lunch on which my
    >attribution was based.
    >"...we are now at a place where transforming a biological system that does
    >not exhibit an instance of specified complexity (say a bacterium without a
    >flagellum) into one that does (say a bacterium with a flagellum) cannot be
    >accomplished by purely natural means but also requires intelligence." (No
    >Free Lunch, pp. 331-332.)
    >Now, it may be technically true that Dembski did not argue explicitly for
    >the non-designed character of the bacterium-without-flagellum by giving a
    >complete and detailed causally specific account for its natural formation
    >(that seems to be the only kind of scientific account that Dembski would
    >accept), but his judgment that the bacterium-without-flagellum does not
    >exhibit an instance of specified complexity seems quite clearly stated here.
    >Dembski is free to retract it (after all, we are all free to revise our
    >judgments on such matters), but denying that he ever said it seems out of
    >Howard Van Till


    For what it's worth, when I read your quote of Dembski (above) in
    your review (I haven't read his book), I thought that he almost
    certainly meant "...transforming a biological system that does not
    exhibit a_specific_instance of specified complexity [e.g. a
    flagellum]... into one that does..." I couldn't believe, given his
    general stance, that he would allow that the basic stripped down
    economy model E. coli could be achieved without ID, and that ID only
    came in if you wanted the options package.

    Preston G.

    Preston Garrison, Ph.D.
    Biochem. Dept. MSC 7760            Insert the usual disclaimers here.
    7703 Floyd Curl Dr.
    San Antonio, TX 78229-3900

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