From: Howard J. Van Till (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu Dec 19 2002 - 08:55:24 EST
> So I am going to stand silent on this one for awhile until I can find some
> way to pose my questions in a way that does not involve the IDers themselves
> and their literature.
Here's one suggestion for a possible starting point if you choose to break
Dembski's entire system of arguing for the need for the formational action
labeled "intelligent design" (non-natural, non-miraculous, form-conferring
action by an unidentified, unembodied, choice-making agent) depends, first
and foremost, on successfully demonstrating that some particular biotic
system or structure, call it "X", could not possibly have been formed by the
joint effect of all actual (whether known or unknown) natural processes. He
wishes to have this demonstration seen as a purely scientific enterprise.
In his estimation the demonstration of this need is scientifically
accomplished by proving that X has the quality labeled "specified
complexity." The "complexity" portion of that requirement is satisfied, he
says, when it can be demonstrated that the probability for the formation of
some X (the bacterial flagellum, for instance) by the joint effect of all
actual (both known and unknown) natural processes has a numerical value less
than 10 exp (-150). Call this probability P(X|N), where N represents the
joint effect of all actual natural processes.
Question: Is it possible, on the basis of what is now known about the
formational capabilities of the universe, to perform the computation of the
actual numerical value of P(X|N) for the E. coli bacterial flagellum?
Howard Van Till
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