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

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Wed Oct 10 2007 - 03:30:32 EDT


I think it's worthwhile pointing out that Wesley Elsberry is not a militant
atheist. I have corresponded with him a number of times and he says he is a
Theistic Evolutionist.

BTW, I've run Schneider's ev program myself - it certainly does better than
chance, so it's not clear what Dembski is on about there. However, the
program doesn't prove that Rseq = Rfreq. That is a coincidence of the
choice of parameters chosen in the example given in the paper. If you alter
the required spacing between the binding sites (alter Rfreq), you find that
Rseq doesn't equal Rfreq. The reason is that the nucleotides on the binding
site are not statistically independent in his simulation. (Specifically the
neural network "recogniser" induces a distribution where there are
dependencies between the nucleotides).


On 10/10/07, James Mahaffy <> wrote:
> Pim,
> First it is uncritically defending Dawkins, then it was approvingly citing
> PZ Meyers. 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 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. 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.
> --
> 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 03:31:33 2007

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