From: PvM <>
Date: Tue Jun 05 2007 - 13:07:12 EDT

On 6/5/07, <> wrote:
> PvM wrote:

> Me: 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.

> In general, I think you have a point. We generally use
> a lot of corroborating evidence together to help build
> our case in science. This is what makes the YEC position
> largely untenable. Some of their ideas might work in
> isolation, but when you put it all together, it's a
> nightmare of a mess.

> Nevertheless, you would have to work this way from
> decryption. Your enemy may be just sending noise.

Sure, but we know that somehow they are communicating real messages.
Decryption is based on this presumption as well as based on known
quantities of the language(s) involved.

> You want to put your computers to work analyzing
> signal. Now a good code is good because it is hard
> to tell the difference from it, and a random generation
> of digits. So in cryptography, you would have to work
> from a way of standpoint of detecting design. It is
> a narrow enough discipline that it is possible to
> do that.

Cryptography either uses known distributions of words or letters or
becomes mostly a brute force method. Either way, it's not really about
detecting design as much as unraveling a mapping function

> > 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.

> It did sound interesting at first to me also. I have not
> found a way to use it constructively, but that does not
> mean it cannot be useful for anything. The annoying thing
> to me is the hype. I have no objection to people exploring
> what they like. But they built up this thing like some kind
> of "secret weapon", but then you go and look for it, and you
> find out it's just a scare crow.

If ID believes it can be applied in a useful manner then fine, I see
little future for an approach based on ignorance and I believe that
science already has successful methods to detect 'design'.

ID may claim that it, like in the case of scientists before them,
provides an outline to find how nature works. In other words, thinking
in terms of design can be fruitful although there is no direct
relevance between design and Design and it's just a matter of
coincidence. Scientists already use such an approach when they discuss
life in terminology that is often so confusing to IDists who believe
that it supports their position. So the use of analogies has a limited
purpose in communicating and unraveling of new ideas but even there ID
gives us little guidance other than to suggest that when we do not
understand something it may very well be 'designed'. End of story.,

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Received on Tue Jun 5 13:08:03 2007

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