Comment to Bill Hamilton

John W. Burgeson (
Wed, 5 Mar 1997 11:14:15 -0500

Bill hamilton wrote:

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

>>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.

I think I don't agree with either you or Brian at all on this.

Seems to me that the example of Newton's laws are EXACTLY CSI.

Recall the example:

1. Archer shoots at barn. No target. No CSI.
2. Archer shoots at barn, then draws target. No CSI.
3. Archer draws target -- then shoots at barn. CSI.

In all cases we are making the investigation AFTER the action.
How do we tell the difference between cases 2 and 3?

Exactly the way we did with Newton's laws. We ask the archer to demonstrate
his capability by experimentation. The "proposed law" here is, The archer
hits what he shoots at."

Now, as I see it, Bill can't propose experiments of this kind. (Maybe I'm
wrong here).

But if he shows that there are barns all over the county, with arrows stuck
in the center of
painted targets on their sides, and a local archer who tells people "I did
it," then he is entitled to make both the assumption "the archer lies" and
"the archer tells the truth," and to carry these two assumptions through
ensuing investigations, looking for collaborating evidence, at all times
seeking the "best" explanation. I think that the MN adherent (in this
example) is stuck with only one (the first) explanation to work with.


The analogy/metphor breaks down about here, so I can't carry it any