Quality of "ID science" (was Identity of the ID designer)

From: Howard J. Van Till (hvantill@chartermi.net)
Date: Thu Dec 19 2002 - 08:55:24 EST

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    Burgy writes:
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    > 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
    the silence.

    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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