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Re: ID in the Los Angeles Times

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  • Stephen E. Jones
    Group On Tue, 27 Mar 2001 21:08:57 +0800, Stephen E. Jones wrote: [...] SJ The ID movement is slowly but surely making an impact! Check out this ... [...] Here
    Message 1 of 11 , Apr 1, 2001
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      Group

      On Tue, 27 Mar 2001 21:08:57 +0800, Stephen E. Jones wrote:

      [...]

      SJ>The ID movement is slowly but surely making an impact! Check out this
      >unusually sympathetic frontpage (?) story in the LA Times.
      >
      > http://www.latimes.com/news/front/20010325/t000025850.html ...
      > Los Angeles Times Sunday, March 25, 2001 ... Enlisting Science
      > to Find the Fingerprints of a Creator Education: Believers in
      > 'intelligent design' try to redirect evolution disputes along
      > intellectual lines.

      [...]

      Here are letters to the editor of the LA Times, following the above article.

      My comments are in square brackets.

      Steve

      PS: I might become a little slower in responding to posts. I have a
      Chemistry test looming on 11 April that is worth 30% of my total
      mark and with my current knowledge I might get 3% and that's for
      putting my name at the top of the paper! :-)

      ========================================================
      http://www.latimes.com/print/editorials/20010331/t000027616.html

      Los Angeles Times

      Letters, Op-Ed

      [...]

      Saturday, March 31, 2001 ...

      Evolution, Intelligent Design

      Re "Enlisting Science to Find the Fingerprints of a Creator," March 25:
      The only difference between the "intelligent design" movement and
      "creation science" is the name. There is nothing scientific about either. A
      scientist tests his hypothesis and submits his findings to replication by other
      researchers. He follows the evidence, even if it means rejecting his original
      idea. That's the way science works.

      [There are several fallacies here. First, equating ID with "creation science"
      with all its attendant false connotations with YEC. The public are
      increasingly seeing through this one. Second, before a scientist "tests his
      hypothesis" he/she must first choose a hypothesis. To rule out design in
      advance means that ID can never be considered as a hypothesis, even if it
      was true. Third, science *should* "follow ... the evidence, even if it means
      rejecting ... [the] original idea" but in the area of design, modern science
      refuses to "follow... the evidence", but sticks with its *un*-"original idea"
      that there really can't be design because the idea of a Designer is counter to
      the materialistic-naturalistic personal philosophy of most (but not all)
      modern scientists!]

      Advocates of intelligent design start out with the answer they want,
      searching for evidence they think supports it and ignoring everything else.
      The one thing they have in common is their religious faith, i.e., belief in the
      unknown. These people should be careful what they wish for. If they think
      they can prove the existence of an intelligent designer, they will then have
      the problem, as Einstein put it, of figuring out who designed the designer.
      And so on.

      [The boot is on the other foot! To "start out with the answer they want,
      searching for evidence they think supports it and ignoring everything else"
      sounds like a good description of modern materialistic-naturalistic science
      and its handmaiden, Darwinian evolution. ID only asks that *all*
      possibilities (design and non-design) be considered fairly on their merits. ID
      is only about detecting *design*. It is not about who the designer(s) is.
      Therefore it does not need to try to "figur[e] ...out who designed the
      designer", any more than archaeology and SETI would need to show who
      originally created the designer(s) of their detected designs.]

      FORREST G. WOOD
      Bakersfield

      * * *

      In its zeal to eradicate any trace of the spiritual or the divine from public
      life in the U.S., the ACLU makes a serious error: It equates secularity with
      the atheistic worldview. This goes far beyond the notion of separation of
      church and state as conceived by our founding fathers. Separation of
      church and state does not mean separation of God and state. As regards
      teaching intelligent design in the public schools: I think the coldest, most
      objective scientist can accept the plausibility of an intelligent order to the
      universe. Plato and Aristotle show us that you don't need religion to draw
      this conclusion. On the other hand, it takes a tremendous amount of faith to
      believe that the order in the universe is an accident.

      [This makes some good points. But ID is not necessarily about "God", i.e.
      the Christian God, even though the ACLU might try to make out it is, so
      that atheism can then be the unofficial State `religion' of the USA. As
      pointed out, design is a secular concept that even great philosophers like
      "Plato and Aristotle" recognised as real.]

      JAMES RADOMSKI
      San Bernardino

      * * *

      "Narrow scientism" has suffocated the human spirit and debased the
      culture? Holy stealth creationist! I believe it's the other way around. It is
      stupid to say that God does not exist. It is as stupid to say that God does
      exist. However, it is intelligent and wise to say that man created God in his
      image to rationalize his follies. It is stupid to say that man did not create
      God. The empirical evidence is overwhelming.

      Let the stupid believe in what they want. But fight to the death anyone who
      tries to stop science, which is our true salvation.

      [If it is "stupid to say that God does not exist" then modern science is, in
      effect, saying something "stupid" when it declares that materialism (i.e.
      matter is all that there is) is true! Why is "stupid to say that man did not
      create God"? What is this "empirical evidence" that "is overwhelming" that
      man did create God? The religious language of the last sentence: "science,
      which is our true salvation" shows that if it is a case of science vs religion,
      it is of materialistic-naturalistic religion vs theistic religion.]


      DICK DENNE
      Toluca Lake

      * * *

      The quest by an aggressive but vocal minority bent on stamping out any
      reference to an "intelligent force" in our public schools is sadly reminiscent
      of McCarthy's search for communists in the 1950s. As a result of their
      efforts, Roger DeHart is now constrained to teach only a 142-year-old
      theory, without the ability to introduce the multitude of new information
      that has become available in the meantime. I would hope that my tax
      money would be used to educate my children about all scientific facts that
      are currently available and about any new theories that better fit our 21st
      century facts without the paranoid fear that the existence of a supreme
      being might be indicated.

      [This makes the good point that we now have a situation where the private
      (perhaps unconscious) fear in secularist hearts that God just might exist, is
      driving them to suppress any presentation of evidence that would support
      that possibility. But, like the ostrich with its head in the sand, thinking that
      if it can't see the danger then it doesn't exist, denying the evidence of design
      does not change the fact of design. If design really exists, then it exists
      irrespective of whether those currently in power like the idea! If secularists
      really thought design did not really exist, they would be *demanding* that
      the strongest evidence for design be presented by its leading advocates
      alongside their own anti-design theories. confident that the case for design
      would be shown to be inadequate. That they do the very *opposite* of this,
      shows that in their hearts they know that design is in fact true.]

      Without delving into any specific issues, it simply defies logic to believe
      Darwin's 1859 theory is the gospel truth. The scientific community of 1859
      had not even discovered the bugs called germs. How about the
      undiscovered bugs in Darwin's theory?

      [I don't agree that the "bugs in Darwin's theory" are "undiscovered". The
      "bugs" in "Darwin's 1859 theory" and modern revisions of it, are well-
      known, but they are not allowed to be taught in schools and universities.
      The ID movement wants *more* about evolution taught, not less,
      including evolution's many problems and its underlying philosophical
      assumptions:

      "Phillip Johnson takes a different approach. `I always say we ought to
      teach the young people much more about evolution than the science
      educators want them to know -- because the science educators don't want
      them to know about the problems ...'" (Johnson P.E., "Evolution Under
      The Microscope," CBN News, October 7, 1999.
      http://www.christianity.com/CC/article/1,1183,PTID2546|CHID|CIID136845,00.html)]

      KEN RENTZSCH
      Los Angeles

      [...]

      Copyright (c) 2001 Los Angeles Times
      ========================================================


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      "Contrary to popular belief, Darwin's distinctive contribution to this
      movement is not the theory of evolution as a whole, but a theory which
      explains evolution by natural selection from accidental variations. The
      entire phrase and not merely the words Natural Selection is important, for
      the denial of purpose in the universe is carried in the second half of the
      formula-accidental variation. This denial of purpose is Darwin's distinctive
      contention. By an automatic or natural selection, variations favoring
      survival would be preserved. The sum total of the accidents of life acting
      upon the sum total of the accidents of variation thus provided a completely
      mechanical and material system by which to account for the changes in
      living forms. In this way the notion of a Deity or Providence or Life Force
      having a tendency of its own, or even of a single individual having a
      purpose other than survival or reproduction, was ruled out." (Barzun J.,
      "Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Critique of a Heritage," [1941], Revised Second
      Edition, Doubleday Anchor: Garden City NY, 1958, pp.10-11)
      Stephen E. Jones, Ph. +61 8 9448 7439. http://www.iinet.net.au/~sejones
      Moderator: CreationEvolutionDesign@yahoogroups.com
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • bill r wald
      ... OK, exactly what is the hypotheses and exactly how is it to be tested in 15 lines or less? This is never stated in plain English. ... Which is why ID
      Message 2 of 11 , Apr 1, 2001
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        >Second, before a scientist "tests his
        >hypothesis" he/she must first choose a hypothesis.

        OK, exactly what is the hypotheses and exactly how is it to be tested in
        15 lines or less? This is never stated in plain English.

        > ID only asks that *all* possibilities (design and non-design)
        > be considered fairly on their merits.

        Which is why ID supports SETI, the search for life on Mars and the other
        planets,
        and is pleased that organic molecules are found in dark space. <G>

        ID needs to team-up with investigations of space aliens, alien
        kidnappings and implants. ID should be demanding that Area 51 and the
        records of the Roswell crash be removed. Did NASA lie when they reported
        the last Mars lander crashed? And then there is the Phillidelphia
        experiment.

        billwald@...
      • Stephen E. Jones
        Group On Sun, 1 Apr 2001 09:25:32 -0700, bill r wald wrote: [...] ... BW Which is why ID supports SETI, the search for life on Mars and the other ... [...] I
        Message 3 of 11 , Apr 2, 2001
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          Group

          On Sun, 1 Apr 2001 09:25:32 -0700, bill r wald wrote:

          [...]

          >SJ>ID only asks that *all* possibilities (design and non-design)
          >>be considered fairly on their merits.

          BW>Which is why ID supports SETI, the search for life on Mars and the other
          >planets,
          >and is pleased that organic molecules are found in dark space. <G>
          >
          >ID needs to team-up with investigations of space aliens, alien
          >kidnappings and implants. ID should be demanding that Area 51 and the
          >records of the Roswell crash be removed. Did NASA lie when they reported
          >the last Mars lander crashed? And then there is the Phillidelphia
          >experiment.

          [...]

          I wasn't going to answer Bill's post, but this, by Edwin T. Jaynes, a
          prominent physicist, in his book, "Physics and Probability," was just
          posted on another List I am on:

          --------------------------------------------------------------------------
          [...]

          Dealing with Critics

          Looking back over the past forty years, I can see that the greatest mistake I
          made was to listen to the advice of people who were opposed to my efforts.
          Just at the peak of my powers I lost several irreplaceable years because I
          allowed myself to become discouraged by the constant stream of criticism from
          the Establishment, that descended upon everything I did. I have never -
          except in the past few years - had the slightest encouragement from others to
          pursue my work; the drive to do it had to come entirely from within me. The
          result was that my contributions to probability theory were delayed by about
          a decade, and my potential contributions to electrodynamics - whatever they
          might have been - are probably lost forever.

          But I can now see that all of this criticism was based on misunderstanding or
          ideology. My perceived sin was not in my logic or mathematics; it was that I
          did not subscribe to the dogmas emanating from Copenhagen and Rothamsted. Yet
          I submit that breaking those dogmas was the necessary prerequisite to making
          any further progress in quantum theory and probability theory. If not in my
          way, then necessarily in some other.

          In any field, the Establishment is not seeking the truth, because it is
          composed of those who, having found part of it yesterday, believe that they
          are in possession of all of it today. Progress requires the introduction, not
          just of new mathematics which is always tolerated by the Establishment; but
          new conceptual ideas which are necessarily different from those held by the
          Establishment (for, if the ideas of the Establishment were sufficient to lead
          to further progress, that progress would have been made).

          Therefore, to anyone who has new ideas of a currently unconventional kind, I
          want to give this advice, in the strongest possible terms: Do not allow
          yourself to be discouraged or defected from your course by negative
          criticisms - particularly those that were invented for the sole purpose of
          discouraging you - unless they exhibit some clear and specific error of
          reasoning or conflict with experiment. Unless they can do this, your critics
          are almost certainly wrong, but to reply by trying to show exactly where and
          why they are wrong would be wasted effort which would not convince your
          critics and would only keep you from the far more important, constructive
          things that you might have accomplished in the same time. Let others deal
          with them; if you allow your enemies to direct your work, then they have won
          after all.

          [...]
          --------------------------------------------------------------------------

          This last paragraph above resonates with me powerfully, and is my answer to
          those purely negative critics, who have themselves, apparently, nothing
          positive to offer!

          Steve


          --------------------------------------------------------------------------
          "The several difficulties here discussed, namely-that, though we find in our
          geological formations many links between the species which now exist and
          which formerly existed, we do not find infinitely numerous fine transitional
          forms closely joining them all together;-the sudden manner in which several
          groups of species first appear in our European formations;-the almost
          entire absence, as at present known, of formations rich in fossils beneath
          the Cambrian strata,-are all undoubtedly of the most serious nature. We see
          this in the fact that the most eminent palaeontologists, namely, Cuvier,
          Agassiz, Barrande, Pictet, Falconer, E. Forbes, etc., and all our greatest
          geologists, as Lyell, Murchison, Sedgwick, etc., have unanimously, often
          vehemently, maintained the immutability of species. (Darwin C.R., "The
          Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," [1872], Everyman's
          Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.318)
          Stephen E. Jones, Ph. +61 8 9448 7439. http://www.iinet.net.au/~sejones
          Moderator: CreationEvolutionDesign@yahoogroups.com
          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign
          --------------------------------------------------------------------------
        • bill r wald
          Dear Steve I m not a critic yet. There is nothing to criticise until I see a paragraph in plain English describing a proposal to detect ID that DOESN T involve
          Message 4 of 11 , Apr 2, 2001
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            Dear Steve

            I'm not a critic yet. There is nothing to criticise until I see a
            paragraph in plain English describing a proposal to detect ID that
            DOESN'T involve a mis-use of statistics by PhDs who should know better.

            This ID stuff is like alchemists trying to turn lead into gold. Turns out
            it is possible but not because of anything they knew about or tried. I
            believe that God create life on earth but I also believe that IDers are
            blowing smoke rings because they can't describe their investigation in
            plain English. (Yes, they are good at churning out hundreds of pages of
            BS but can't state their proposal in three pages, double spaced)

            billwald@...
          • Stephen E. Jones
            Group On Mon, 2 Apr 2001 18:48:41 -0700, bill r wald wrote: BW I m not a critic yet. Agreed. Bill s `spoiling tactics are not even those of a critic! Look at
            Message 5 of 11 , Apr 3, 2001
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              Group

              On Mon, 2 Apr 2001 18:48:41 -0700, bill r wald wrote:

              BW>I'm not a critic yet.

              Agreed. Bill's `spoiling' tactics are not even those of a critic! Look at what
              Bill wrote again:

              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              [...]

              On Sun, 1 Apr 2001 09:25:32 -0700, bill r wald wrote:

              >SJ>ID only asks that *all* possibilities (design and non-design)
              >>be considered fairly on their merits.

              >Which is why ID supports SETI, the search for life on Mars and the other
              >planets,
              >and is pleased that organic molecules are found in dark space. <G>
              >
              >ID needs to team-up with investigations of space aliens, alien
              >kidnappings and implants. ID should be demanding that Area 51 and the
              >records of the Roswell crash be removed. Did NASA lie when they reported
              >the last Mars lander crashed? And then there is the Phillidelphia
              >experiment.

              [...]
              ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

              [*** Moderator (hat on). The above is not the language of a critic, who at
              least is trying to get to grips with the theory he is trying to criticise. This is
              the language of a `vandal' who has nothing to offer himself, but nihilistically
              scrawls meaningless `graffiti' over other people's work. I would encourage
              Bill to stop wasting his time and ours and start mounting a coherent
              critique of ID if he has one, or to just lurk. Posting such not-even-criticism
              `graffiti' like the above is an abuse of this List. I know Bill was used to
              posting such fare on the Calvin Reflector, but this List is different. Rule 3.
              states "... quality rather than quantity should be the aim." Posts like the
              above are definitely not "quality" and are not welcome on this List. The
              reason I am coming down hard early and making all these rulings is
              because I have seen what happens on Lists where good rules are not
              enforced. I am *determined* that shall not happen on this List, and I would
              rather close the List down than let it happen. I am also aware of other
              `graffiti artists' out there who may want to join this List in the near future.
              My policy is to not stop anyone joining, but to have, and enforce, firm but
              fair rules. Paradoxically these rules are to *enhance* debate, not restrict it.
              I have found from experience that a version of Gresham's Law ("bad
              money drives out good"), applies to Creation-Evolution discussion groups:
              "bad debate drives out good." I want our debates to be good! ***]

              BW>There is nothing to criticise until I see a
              >paragraph in plain English describing a proposal to detect ID that
              >DOESN'T involve a mis-use of statistics by PhDs who should know better.

              This is ironic in that I have just posted excerpts from a paper in NATURE
              by a design theorist! But I doubt that it will make the slightest difference to
              those who are implacably opposed to ID. Their mantra that ID is not
              science because it has not been published in peer-reviewed scientific
              journals is just a pretext. They have *no* intention of taking ID seriously,
              *ever*.

              There is one thing that ID cannot do and that is make anyone to "see" who
              doesn't want to. I have said on the Calvin Reflector that it is not a
              requirement of ID that it must convince those who show they are
              implacably opposed to it. The test of ID is if it can convince open and fair-
              minded scientists and members of the public. If necessary, ID will just go
              around those who are implacably opposed to it.

              BW>This ID stuff is like alchemists trying to turn lead into gold. Turns out
              >it is possible but not because of anything they knew about or tried. I
              >believe that God create life on earth but I also believe that IDers are
              >blowing smoke rings because they can't describe their investigation in
              >plain English. (Yes, they are good at churning out hundreds of pages of
              >BS but can't state their proposal in three pages, double spaced)

              See above. There is nothing I (or anyone else in ID) can do for someone
              with this approach. There are *plenty* of ID books and articles that even
              ID's critics take seriously and respond to, in books, web articles and even
              scientific journals.

              But if someone wants to sit back and say that all ID books, journals and
              web articles are just "BS", and that he will only consider ID when it is
              presented to him as a "proposal in three pages, double spaced", then he is
              free to do so with ID's blessing. But he will be waiting a long time for ID's
              "proposal". No one in ID is going to *bother* wasting their time trying to
              personally convince someone who has that approach.

              There are *plenty* of others who are open-minded enough to consider ID's
              publicly available evidence and arguments without demanding special,
              personalised treatment. Resources being limited and life being short, it is
              these relatively uncommitted people, who ID regards as its highest priority.
              Interestingly, in this ID is in the mirror-image position that Darwin was,
              with most of the older scientists against him, and therefore looking more to
              the younger generation, whose minds had not absorbed a philosophy
              imprinted on every fact:

              "Although I am fully convinced of the truth of the views given in
              this volume under the form of an abstract, I by no means expect to
              convince experienced naturalists whose minds are stocked with a
              multitude of facts all viewed, during a long course of years, from a
              point of view directly opposite to mine. ... I look with confidence to
              the future,-to young and rising naturalists, who will be able to view
              both sides of the question with impartiality. ... for thus only can the
              load of prejudice by which this subject is overwhelmed be
              removed." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species," 6th Edition,
              1928, reprint, p.456)

              Again, I encourage Bill, if he has any factual criticisms of ID, to state what
              they are, in a form that can be constructively debated. In order to ensure
              that such criticisms are of good quality, an actual quote from a leading IDer
              would be ideal. That way, we would be debating *ID* and not some strawman
              version of it.

              Steve

              --------------------------------------------------------------------------
              "The cosmos is so vast because there is one crucially important huge
              number N in nature, equal to 1,000,000, 000,000, 000,000,000,000, 000,
              000, 000, 000. This number measures the strength of the electrical forces
              that hold atoms together, divided by the force of gravity between them. If
              N had a few less zeros, only a short-lived miniature universe could exist: no
              creatures could grow larger than insects, and there would be no time for
              biological evolution." (Rees M., "Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces that
              Shape the Universe," [1999], Phoenix: London, 2000, p.2)
              Stephen E. Jones, Ph. +61 8 9448 7439. http://www.iinet.net.au/~sejones
              Moderator: CreationEvolutionDesign@yahoogroups.com
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign
              --------------------------------------------------------------------------
            • Ian
              BW There is nothing to criticise until I see a ... SJ This is ironic in that I have just posted excerpts ... Personally, I can empathise with Bill s position
              Message 6 of 11 , Apr 3, 2001
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                BW>There is nothing to criticise until I see a
                >paragraph in plain English describing a proposal to
                >detect ID that DOESN'T involve a mis-use of
                >statistics by PhDs who should know better.

                SJ>This is ironic in that I have just posted excerpts
                >from a paper in NATURE by a design theorist! But I
                >doubt that it will make the slightest difference to
                >those who are implacably opposed to ID. Their mantra
                >that ID is not science because it has not been
                >published in peer-reviewed scientific journals is
                >just a pretext. They have *no* intention of taking
                >ID seriously, *ever*.

                Personally, I can empathise with Bill's position here.
                Of the article I have looked through (albeit briefly)
                on the ARN and Origins website, I haven't been able to
                find a simple theory outlining the proposed
                Intelligent Design hypothesis. All I have come across
                are article arguing against current scientific dogma
                and the philosophy of naturalism. The basic gist of
                the whole movement seems to be that naturalism can't
                explain it all, so it is glaringly obvious that an
                intelligent designer is responsible. Are there one or
                two specific articles that anyone can provide a link
                for? (BTW, Steve, I would be interested in reading the
                full article from Nature you provided an extract
                from.)

                SJ>There is one thing that ID cannot do and that is
                >make anyone to "see" who doesn't want to. I have
                >said on the Calvin Reflector that it is not a
                >requirement of ID that it must convince those who
                >show they are implacably opposed to it. The test of
                >ID is if it can convince open and fair-minded
                >scientists and members of the public. If necessary,
                >ID will just go around those who are implacably
                >opposed to it.

                I like to think of myself as an open-minded
                individual! It's not so much the concept of 'design' I
                have trouble with, it is the idea of the theistic
                intelligence that is associated with it. One idea that
                seems reasonable to me, which is not accepted within
                the current scientific paradigm, is Wilhelm Reich's
                'orgone' energy. Whilst I get the impression that this
                is what could be responsible for many of the mysteries
                eluding naturalistic materialism, I would say it sits
                comfortably within an atheistic worldview.
                [http://www.orgonelab.org]

                Regards,

                Ian.

                _____________________________________________________________________________
                http://my.yahoo.com.au - My Yahoo!
                - Have news, stocks, weather, sports and more in one place.
              • bill r wald
                ... at what ... So instead of writing me a half screen paragraph describing a method for detecting ID he post 7 screen long calling me an obstructionist. (cut)
                Message 7 of 11 , Apr 3, 2001
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                  >>BW>I'm not a critic yet.

                  >Agreed. Bill's `spoiling' tactics are not even those of a critic! Look
                  at what
                  >Bill wrote again:

                  So instead of writing me a half screen paragraph describing a method for
                  detecting ID he post 7 screen long calling me an obstructionist.

                  (cut)

                  >Again, I encourage Bill, if he has any factual criticisms of ID, to
                  state what
                  >they are, in a form that can be constructively debated.

                  My criticism is that I can't think of ANY method of detecting ID and
                  apparently neither can anyone else because Steve is compelled to respond
                  to every post with lines and lines of verbage that ignore the question
                  when a simple paragraph would shut me up.

                  > In order to ensure that such criticisms are of good quality, an actual
                  quote >from a leading IDer would be ideal.

                  You got the cart before the horse. All quotes are meaningless until an
                  algorythm to detect ID is outlined.

                  billwald@...
                • bill r wald
                  ... NATURE ... I was a pro-union, anti- PC agitator who wrote a monthly column in the union newspaper for the purpose of annoying the administration of the
                  Message 8 of 11 , Apr 3, 2001
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                    >>BW>There is nothing to criticize until I see a
                    >>paragraph in plain English describing a proposal to detect ID that
                    >>DOESN'T involve a mis-use of statistics by PhDs who should know better.

                    >This is ironic in that I have just posted excerpts from a paper in
                    NATURE
                    >by a design theorist!

                    I was a pro-union, anti- PC agitator who wrote a monthly column in the
                    union newspaper for the purpose of annoying the administration of the
                    Seattle Police Department. I collected more than my share of Internal
                    Investigation complaints and became expert in writing pages and pages of
                    BS that didn't say anything. In 30 years I collected exactly one month of
                    suspension and am now collecting my pension so was pragmatically
                    successful. Having personally generated reams of nonsense I am somewhat
                    adept at recognizing it.

                    I took enough college level statistics and probability to know that the
                    concept of probability does NOT apply to historical events: crudely put,
                    if an event occurs the probablilty of it occurring is 100%. (That might
                    be the only thing I remembered from my studies of probability)

                    Well, one other thing. The calculated probability of an event can be a
                    billion to one but the probability that the event occurs on the first
                    trial is the same as it occurring on the billionth or the 100 billionth
                    trial. Thus people are dealt a royal flush and any statistical
                    discussions of ID are false from the get-go.

                    billwald@... (1 screen, 17 lines)
                  • Stephen E. Jones
                    Group On Tue, 3 Apr 2001 09:02:33 -0700, bill r wald wrote: [...] BW I took enough college level statistics and probability to know that the ... [...] This is
                    Message 9 of 11 , Apr 3, 2001
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                      Group

                      On Tue, 3 Apr 2001 09:02:33 -0700, bill r wald wrote:

                      [...]

                      BW>I took enough college level statistics and probability to know that the
                      >concept of probability does NOT apply to historical events: crudely put,
                      >if an event occurs the probablilty of it occurring is 100%. (That might
                      >be the only thing I remembered from my studies of probability)
                      >
                      >Well, one other thing. The calculated probability of an event can be a
                      >billion to one but the probability that the event occurs on the first
                      >trial is the same as it occurring on the billionth or the 100 billionth
                      >trial. Thus people are dealt a royal flush and any statistical
                      >discussions of ID are false from the get-go.

                      [...]

                      This is so obvious that Bill might have paused to consider that it had also
                      occurred to Dembski with a Ph.D in Statistics, his second Ph.D Philosophy
                      supervisors of Dembski's monograph The Design Inference, and the peer-
                      reviewers at Cambridge University Press who published it.

                      Rather than give Bill the answer (and starting up another thread), I will give
                      him the opportunity to tell us what it is, and why he rejects it, assuming Bill
                      has even read Dembski's books and/or articles that discuss this.

                      Steve

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                      "The seeds for all cosmic structures - stars, galaxies and clusters of galaxies
                      - were all imprinted in the Big Bang. The fabric of our universe depends on
                      one number, Q which represents the ratio of two fundamental energies and
                      is about 1/100,000 in value. If Q were even smaller, the universe would be
                      inert and structureless; if Q were much larger, it would be a violent place,
                      in which no stars or solar systems could survive. dominated by vast black
                      holes. (Rees M., "Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces that Shape the
                      Universe," [1999], Phoenix: London, 2000, p.3)
                      Stephen E. Jones, Ph. +61 8 9448 7439. http://www.iinet.net.au/~sejones
                      Moderator: CreationEvolutionDesign@yahoogroups.com
                      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign
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