Re: (non-flame) Dawkin's METHINKITISLIKEAWEASEL model

From: Richard Wein (
Date: Tue Oct 10 2000 - 07:39:00 EDT

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    >DNAunion: Here are some other references I found to Dawkin's model and how
    it works. Note that the first representation, though contained in Behe's
    book, is not made by an IDist (it is made by E. Sober). Here is material
    from another of my posts from another site:


    Oh dear, oh dear. When will creationists/IDers stop beating up on this poor
    old straw man?

    Dawkins' METHINKITISLIKEAWEASEL model was only intended to demonstrate the
    power of cumulative selection vis-a-vis single-step selection. Dawkins made
    this perfectly clear at the time (in The Blind Watchmaker), and specifically
    pointed out the limitations of the model. (Sorry, I can't quote as I only
    had the book on loan from the library.)

    Creationists and IDers insist on taking the model to be a more general
    analogy to evolution, so that they can shoot it down. Of course, the model
    is a very poor one in a more general sense, mainly because it has a built-in
    target, as Dawkins himself pointed out. For much better analogies to
    biological evolution, which don't have built-in targets, see genetic

    DNAUnion, if you haven't read The Blind Watchmaker, or have read it and
    forgotten the details, I strongly suggest you read it, paying attention to
    exactly what Dawkins says about the model and the disclaimers he makes. (If
    you haven't read TBW, then take this as a lesson not to accept arguments
    from other creationists/IDers without checking the original sources.)

    Richard Wein (Tich)
    "Do the calculation. Take the numbers seriously. See if the underlying
    probabilities really are small enough to yield design."
      -- W. A. Dembski, who has never presented any calculation to back up his
    claim to have detected Intelligent Design in life.

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