From: Hofmann, Jim <jhofmann@Exchange.FULLERTON.EDU>
Date: Mon Jun 04 2007 - 23:43:26 EDT

Here's a link pertaining to whether or not SETI helps legitimize the ID
movement as scientific:

I think not,
Jim Hofmann

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of PvM
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2007 6:37 PM

On 6/4/07, <> wrote:
> Pim wrote:
> That's an easy one. For instance let's take criminology and forensic
> sciences. Do they just state "science cannot explain this via
> processes of regularity and chance" thus designed? Of course not. And
> yet ID refuses to go into issues of motive, capabilities and
> opportunities, for obvious reasons of course. Real science, rather
> than using a pure eliminative approach, provides means, motives,
> opportunities, collects physical evidence, collects interviews,
> collects hearsay evidence etc.
> I don't see much difference in what Dembski said in his
> design inference book and what you claim for real science.
> More likely is that God doesn't operate like human agencies.

I am unclear as to what exactly you believe Dembski said in his design
inference book that leads you to this conclusion so I am eagerly
awaiting some examples which would allow us discuss these issues. I
have access to the book so some references would be beneficial.

God may or may not work like human agencies, but that would be a
problem would it not if we cannot make any assumptions at all about
how He would or would not operate? But why would Dembski then suggest
we take examples of human inventions as specifications for design in


<quote>But what about the predictive power of intelligent design? To
require prediction fundamentally misconstrues design. To require
prediction of design is to put design in the same boat as natural
laws, locating their explanatory power in an extrapolation from past
experience. This is to commit a category mistake. To be sure,
designers, like natural laws, can behave predictably (designers often
institute policies that end up being rigidly obeyed). Yet unlike
natural laws, which are universal and uniform, designers are also
innovators. Innovation, the emergence to true novelty, eschews
predictability. Designers are inventors. We cannot predict what an
inventor would do short of becoming that inventor. Intelligent design
offers a radically different problematic for science than a
mechanistic science wedded solely to undirected natural causes. Yes,
intelligent design concedes predictability. But this represents no
concession to Darwinism, for which the minimal predictive power that
it has can readily be assimilated to a design-theoretic

And yet, when it comes to sciences such as criminology, it is exactly
the extrapolation from past experiences which is used to make
predictions about patterns of offenders, especially repeat offenders
that remain uncaught. In other words, regularity and chance processes
seem to be quite able to capture intelligent behavior, as people in
advertising know quite well. Amazon, is building a whole empire on
being able to capture these concepts and deliver predictions as to
user interests etc.

> The trivializing of ID may be politically expedient, but
> frankly, it's rather lame to think that Dembski is just some
> stupid guy with a really really moronically dumb idea. Probably
> wrong in using the idea the way he has, but we all make mistakes.

the idea is interesting at most but quickly seems to fade away. As to
Dembski being stupid, rather than stupid I'd prefer the term ignorant
or uninformed, or even better 'written in Jello' as one mathematician
described Dembski's musings. Personally I believe that Dembski had an
interesting idea, which faded away quickly and since then he has
focused on some mostly irrelevant topics about the nature of 'search'
and 'no free lunch' but basically nothing much relevant to the topic
of evolution has come out of his hands. And the limited amount that he
did deliver seemed of particularly poor quality to me.

And despite all this, IDists seem to continue on their path of
ignorance. Most recently it seems that Behe has learned little (See
Ruse's review

<quote>I am afraid, though, that The Edge of Evolution is a bit of a
sad sack. Nothing very much new, old arguments repeated, opposition
ignored or dismissed without argument. What does surprise me is how
emphatic Behe now is in putting a distance between himself and the
older Creationists. For a start, he stresses his commitment to
evolution. He thinks the world of life is as old as is claimed by any
more conventional biologist. He also wants to give natural processes
of change a role in life's history. For instance, the genetic
mechanisms that led to the production of anti-freeze in fish that live
in Arctic conditions are explicitly acknowledged to be those of random
mutation sifted through the processes of natural selection, the
survival of the fittest.</quote>

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Received on Mon Jun 4 23:43:50 2007

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