Re: This is a list of Christian scientists was: Re: [asa] Peer review of ID

From: PvM <>
Date: Wed Oct 10 2007 - 00:10:32 EDT

On 10/9/07, James Mahaffy <> wrote:
> Pim,
> First it is uncritically defending Dawkins, then it was approvingly citing PZ Meyers

Both are excellent scientists and often misrepresented.

>. Both of these are militant atheists preaching a gospel
diametrically apposed to what we > Christians cherish. And now you
want us to read Wesley Elsberry. Now I can see

I want you to learn about how Marks and Dembski made an incredible
error which led to claims which were clearly inspired not by their
science but more by their faith. Not just that but ID proponents were
citing their work without obviously having studied it and now it seems
that they were wrong, the paper disappeared from the web site but no
explanation or apology or even recognition.

> reading Dawkinns (he is important and a decent thinker) - but please Pim there are plenty
> of Christian academicians who would share your distaste for ID. You can use better
> sources.

None of these Christian academicians have found the errors in the
paper. Why should I search for something that does not exist when
Wesley Elsberry is an excellent resource on rebutting ID?

> And no Pim these folks are NOT neutral and their world and life view does affect what
> they say. This is a list of scientists who stand redeemed by the blood of our Lord and
> some of the folks you cite without much criticisms have made undermining our faith an
> important part of their agenda.

What a silly effort to avoid reading the embarassing facts about
recent ID research which claimed to disprove Ev, the work by
Would it not be the Christian thing to acknowledge and thank those who
have found the errors, lest the error would have continued and be used
by ID proponents to make flawed claims?
Of course, in this case the flawed claims are more straightforward
than when ID conflates concepts of design or information but some
excellent people have done science and faith a favor by exposing them.
Sure there are also capable Christians who have done much to show the
vacuity of Intelligent Design (Ryan Nichols) and I have quoted them as

Explain to me in a logical or reasonable manner why I should not point
out the excellent research by atheists or non-atheists? Why should I
defend Christians misrepresenting science or the position of atheists
such as Dawkins? Do we not all benefit from accurately portraying
This has nothing to do with Christianity or atheism, but all with good
science. Sure, people's worldviews may be coloring their perspectives
on science but I have not seen Wesley or PZ Myers cloud their
scientific perspectives because of their worldviews. I wish I could
say the same for many of the ID proponents I have been discussing with

No, when it comes to issues of science I believe that atheism has the
better track record, of course with so many Christians endeared by YEC
and Global Warming Denial, this seems to be a tough act to follow.
As a Christian and a scientist, I intend to speak out fully and loudly.

So, anything to say about Marks and Dembski's major faux pas? Do you
think they should acknowledge those who found the error or is it
better that we allow Dembski to abuse the 'peer review' of the web, as
he explained in his own words?

As Wesley remarks

Now what remains to be seen is whether in any future iteration of
their paper they bother to do the scholarly thing and acknowledge both
the errors and those who brought the errors to their attention.
Dembski at least has an exceedingly poor track record on this score,
writing that critics can be used to improve materials released online.
While Dembski has occasionally taken a clue from a critic, it is
rather rarer that one sees Dembski acknowledge his debt to a critic.

Dembski and Marks knew about the errors as they withdrew the paper.
But no acknowledgement beyond that, no effort to correct the damage
already done.

In Christ

> --
> James Mahaffy ( Phone: 712 722-6279
> 498 4th Ave NE
> Biology Department FAX : 712 722-1198
> Dordt College, Sioux Center IA 51250-1697
> >>> On 10/9/2007 at 11:13 AM, in message
> <>, PvM <>
> wrote:
> > Wesley Elsberry has published a posting on PT describing how various
> > people discovered orders of magnitude errors in a recent paper by
> > Marks and Dembski, supposedly showing that Ev (Schneider's program)
> > performed worse than random search.
> >
> >
> > What is fascinating that as early as august, Schneider had already
> > found the errors
> >
> > <quote>2007 Aug 03. In An Interview with Dr. William A. Dembski
> > Dembski complains:
> >
> > Perhaps the most striking instance of silence is that of Thomas
> > Schneider, whose article on the evolution of biological information in
> > Nucleic Acids Research (2000) claims to refute my colleague Michael
> > Behe. When Robert Marks and I recently showed that his evolutionary
> > program was equivalent to a neural network and that it works worse
> > than pure chance (,
> > he too fell silent though in the past he would reply in a day's time
> > on his own website to any challenge from me. I have found that
> > Darwinists make a habit of staying quiet about problems with their
> > theory and ignore the best criticisms of it.
> >
> > Several people told me about that paper soon after it came out in
> > early June 2007. The paper has no date, no authors and is on a
> > personal web site. It was presented initially as a draft of a paper.
> > As such it is a moving target so I decided to wait for it to be
> > properly published in a peer reviewed journal. As for not responding,
> > I had other much more important things to work on, rebutting Dembski's
> > obviously incorrect arguments is low priority and I will respond in
> > time. As of August 4, 2007, the original page, with link
> >
> > is gone. So how can Dembsky complain about me not responding? (NOTE:
> > please do NOT send me this or any other document - I have my own
> > copies!) On the other hand, Dembski has had 6 years to deal with
> > these:
> >
> > * Dissecting Dembski's "Complex Specified Information"
> > * Effect of Ties on the Evolution of Information by the Ev program
> >
> > but as far as I can tell, he ignored them.
> >
> > Clearly Dembski has not run the Evj program or he would have seen that
> > it does not work "worse than pure chance". Here's what you do. Run the
> > Evj program with 'Pause on Rseq >= Rfreq' turned on, max out the speed
> > and let it evolve until Rs >= Rf. This standard run completes in 675
> > generations on any computer and takes under 8 seconds on a 3 GhZ Mac
> > Pro. That evolutionary run is supposedly, according to Dembski, "worse
> > than chance". </quote>
> >
> >
> >
> > When finally on september 26, another poster sent an email, the paper
> > was taken down without any notice. Another paper which references the
> > findings was left undisturbed.
> >
> > The question is will Marks and Dembski acknowledge the errors and
> > those who discovered them? Will a future paper correct the perception
> > that Marks et al disproved Ev? Given that ID proponents were quick to
> > herald the paper and findings, what does this mean for their ability
> > to do 'peer review' ?
> >
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Received on Wed Oct 10 00:11:27 2007

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