Re: Dembski and CSI [was Re: NTSE Note #5

Bill Hamilton (
Mon, 3 Mar 1997 09:24:14 -0500

At 11:08 PM 2/28/97, Brian D Harper wrote:
>(2) My initial reaction to the above was that Newton's Laws (NL)
>would be "fabrications" since they were discovered after the fact
>by finding patterns in "information" that had already been actualized.

Agreed. And in this case the patterns as originally postualted weren't
even accurate, in the sense that they are first-order approximations that
break down at relativistic velocities and in the quantum realm.

It seems to me that Dembski wants to be able to exclude patterns such as
fractals generated by computer algorithms that display interesting design
or structure but serve no clearly functional purpose. However, if that ius
his aim it may force him to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There
are numerous examples of fractals in nature that serve useful purposes
(drainage, avoidance of structural modes that can be excited by winds,
optimum exposure to light and air, etc.), and as anyone who has taken a
sufficient number of high school math and science courses knows, nature is
full of mathematical patterns that may well be the results of nonlinear
dynamical systems creating strange attractors.

Bill Hamilton
William E. Hamilton, Jr, Ph.D. | Staff Research Engineer
Chassis and Vehicle Systems | General Motors R&D Center | Warren, MI
810 986 1474 (voice) | 810 986 3003 (FAX) | (home email)