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  Topic: dembski's "EVOLUTION'S LOGIC OF CREDULITY", dembski responds to orr< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
rafe gutman



Posts: 27
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 05 2002,17:13   

allen orr recently wrote a review of dembski's "no free lunch" in the boston review.  dembski wrote a response to it, and orr responded to that:

http://bostonreview.mit.edu/BR27.5/exchange.html

this article is currently being discussed on several intelligent design fora (such as ARN and ISCID), but considering the intense moderation/censorship of those sites, i thought i would bring the topic here for discussion.  those critics of ID who are concerned that their comments will be censored can post them here.

here is the intro:
Quote
Allen Orr wrote an extended critical review (over 6000 words) of my book No Free Lunch for the Boston Review this summer (http://bostonreview.mit.edu/BR27.3/orr.html). The Boston Review subsequently contacted me and asked for a 1000 word response. I wrote a response of that length focusing on what I took to be the fundamental flaw in Orr's review (and indeed in Darwinian thinking generally, namely, conflating the realistically possible with the merely conceivable). What I didn't know (though I should have expected it) is that Orr would have the last word and that the Boston Review would give him 1000 words to reply to my response (see the exchange in the current issue at http://bostonreview.mit.edu/BR27.5/exchange.html).



In his reply Orr takes me to task for not responding to the many particular objections he raised against my work in his original review, suggesting that this was the result of bewilderment on my part and intelligent design running out of steam and not, as was the case, for lack of space. This sort of rule-rigging by Orr and the Boston Review -- give the respondent a little space, and then let the original author crow about winning -- is to be expected. I actually find it encouraging, taking it as an indication of intelligent design's progress. Orr's review and follow-up hardly spell the death-knell for intelligent design or for my work in this area. Sooner or later (and probably sooner) Orr will find himself in a forum on intelligent design where the rules of engagement are not rigged in his favor. I look forward to his performance then.


Edited by rafe gutman on Dec. 05 2002,17:15

  
ExYECer



Posts: 36
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 06 2002,00:40   

Leo

 
Quote
ID does not have a problem with the idea that living things may have been designed through a long series of mutations (and whether this is true makes another interesting investigation). But it's the 'random' part that ID claims is demonstrably false.
Nor is Darwinism random either so I guess ID has nothing much against Darwinism? But the problem for ID is that it has to eliminate natural mechanisms in order to infer design. But if specifications can be generated for almost any hypothesis, not much would be left to chance or regularity (can we say false positives? The eye looks design just like a camera lense for instance?). ID is not helping us resolve much in understanding how these supposedly designs happened. In fact its failure to be able to distinguish between intervention and 'front loading' makes its approach not much different from methodological naturalism, other than that ID does not seem to be interested or able to propose its own hypotheses and thus seems to be limited to disproving hypotheses, just like good old science but more restricted. Mutations are still random 'with respect to function/benefit'. Its that simple. That mutations are not random in time, location or environment is hardly a surprise but so far mutations seem to remain random wrt their benefit of the organism in a given environment.
ID'ers make vague claims that science cannot explain 'X' and if history is a predictor of the future will continue to be shown wrong.

So far ID has failed to show how it can reliably identify rarefied design. In fact it has major problems with issues such as specification (almost anything can be specified and thus not much chance remain: can we say false positives?). CSI and the law of conservation of CSI seem to be failing to deliver. The law of conservation of CSI _in a closed system_ or more correctly since it is not really a conservation law despite the confusing use of terms by Dembski, CSI in a closed system can only decrease. Sound familiar? Entropy in a closed system can only increase... Of course in an open system CSI can increase just like entropy can decrease. Its that simple.

Perhaps Dembski and the ID movement could benefit from a more rigorous derivation of their claims (See Wolpert's comments for instance). But I foresee that any such effort will be the downfall of ID since the law of conservation of CSI will wither away as just a variant of the 2nd law. Specification will be shown to be either too subjective and all inclusive or impossible to specify in a mathematically sound format. The ID filter will be seen to not deal well with false positives, 'we don't know'.

As Miller stated so well, most scientists are not interested in the intelligent design claims for the simple reason that ID cannot really be helpful in scientific inquiry. Dembski himself has condemned ID to such a status of irrelevance with his latest posting.

  
ExYECer



Posts: 36
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 06 2002,00:43   

Arn Moderator 4 wrote:

I've deleted a couple of non-substantial posts already. I'm going to pay special attention to this thread. No short quip posts. Substance and respect, please, if you will.

Thus my to the point and substantial posting in response to Dembski. If such approaches are considered spamming and worthy of envoking rule 6 then perhaps I should break up the posting on lets say 6 smaller pieces? But that seems contradictory to the 3 postings per day rule. In effect ARN moderator 4's suggestion would enforce a large posting instead of multiple smaller ones.

Dr Dembski

I find it fascinating how you are hopping from 'No Free Lunch' theorems as a foundation of your argument to 'No free lunch principle'.

     
Quote

The Design Inference laid the groundwork. This book demonstrates the inadequacy of the Darwinian mechanism to generate specified complexity. Darwinists themselves have made possible such a refutation. By assimilating the Darwinian mechanism to evolutionary algorithms, they have invited a mathematical assessment of the power of the Darwinian mechanism to generate life's diversity. Such an assessment, begun with the No Free Lunch theorems of David Wolpert and William Macready (see section 4.6), will in this book be taken to its logical conclusion. The conclusion is that Darwinian mechanisms of any kind, whether in nature or in silico, are in principle incapable of generating specified complexity. Coupled with the growing evidence in cosmology and biology that nature is chock-full of specified complexity (cf. the fine-tuning of cosmological constants and the irreducible complexity of biochemical systems), this conclusion implies that naturalistic explanations are incomplete and that design constitutes a legitimate and fundamental mode of scientific explanation.
Source

and several other references to the importance of the NFL theorems.

It is interesting to find out that one of the fundamental principles of your book has now been side tracked when it became clear that the NFL theorems are likely not relevant for evolutionary mechanisms.It still saddens me that you accuse people of 'smuggling in' CSI, especially Tom Schneider who has succesfully disproven most of your claims about Ev.
So now the question is reduced to, smuggling in of complex specified information. How it such information 'smuggled in'? Your limited applicable "Conservation of information" theorem, also known as the second law of thermodynamics shows that in a closed system indeed information can only decrease. But what about an open system, information is imparted on the system by making choices, whether it be intelligent design or some vetting algorithm like natural selection which transforms information about the environment into the genome. The reason why this works so well for DNA is because it has some very useful properties, it can store historical information, it can copy/duplicate such information. Your argument that 'No free lunch' theorems/principles show that information/entropy can only increase/decrease through intelligent design is begging the question indeed. What is the difference between intelligent design and natural design I ask you? In both cases, choices are made that lead to increased correlation between the genome and the environment, hence information is transfered from the environment into the genome. Furthermore your argument about front loading becomes meaningless, where is this front loading supposed to have taken place? It must have happened before the laws of physics came into existence and in any event your approaches do not even allow us to distinguish between front loaded and intervention design. As Murray has so very aptly argued, this makes intelligent design nothing different from methodological naturalism.

So what do we have so far

1. NFL theorems are not really that important anymore
2. NFL principles are now the 'hot topic' of course they lack even more in mathematical foundation despite Dembski's assertion The No Free Lunch Principle states that if you have some naturalistic process whose output exhibits specified complexity, then that process was front-loaded with specified complexity. as argued by Wolpert, one of the authors of the NFL theorems
       
Quote

I say Dembski "attempts to" turn this trick because despite his invoking the NFL theorems, his arguments are fatally informal and imprecise. Like monographs on any philosophical topic in the first category, Dembski's is written in jello. There simply is not enough that is firm in his text, not sufficient precision of formulation, to allow one to declare unambiguously `right' or `wrong' when reading through the argument. All one can do is squint, furrow one's brows, and then shrug.
and

       
Quote

Indeed, throughout there is a marked elision of the formal details of the biological processes under consideration. Perhaps the most glaring example of this is that neo-Darwinian evolution of ecosystems does not involve a set of genomes all searching the same, fixed fitness function, the situation considered by the NFL theorems. Rather it is a co-evolutionary process. Roughly speaking, as each genome changes from one generation to the next, it modifies the surfaces that the other genomes are searching. And recent results indicate that NFL results do not hold in co-evolution.
3. Conservation of information laws seem to be nothing different from the SLOT
4. Intelligent design cannot distinguish itself from methodological naturalism when it is unable to distinguish between front loading and intervention.
5. Specified complexity seems to be a subjective and meaningless concept in that one could easily specify any chance/regularity hypothesis, leading to countless false positives. May I point in this context to the very to the point analysis by Sobel

       
Quote

From this second illustration can be gathered that Dembski.s theory enables a moderately imaginative person,
with a list of possible delimitations of an event, easily eliminate relevant chance-hypotheses for the event; if they all
make more probable that not its non-occurrence, and avoiding .false negatives. concerning relevant chance-
hypotheses for this event is somewhat (it need not be very) important to him.  From the two illustrations, one may
gather that by the lights of Dembski.s book, we are entitled, and will always be entitled  to conclude, that not much
happens by chance.
As far as the flagellum is concerned Ken Miller has posted a prepublication  of an article that will appear in volume entitled "Debating Design: from Darwin to DNA," edited by Michael Ruse and William Dembski, which will be published by Cambridge University Press volume early in 2003. In another pre publication Miller addresses "Answering the Biochemical Argument from Design".

But what I find most telling is that the design inference has now retreated from trying to provide scientific contributions to a mere 'Intelligent design, in contrast to Darwinism, is not a theory about process but about creative innovation." It should not come as a surprise that intelligent design researchers have been less than succesful in finding funding for research into something that seems to be unable to contribute much to the scientific discussion.

Not surprisingly, Darwinism, which does propose real scientific pathways allowing us to extend our understanding of how life evolved, has a burden that indeed ID need not deal with, providing for hypotheses which can be disproven. Intelligent design, unable to even address if innovation occurs as an intervention or as some form of front loading has to deal with the fact that its foundations on NFL theorems, conservation of specified complexity and specification are falling apart fast. Dembski argues "The formal theory for specifications that I develop maps onto the biology unproblematically" but I have yet to see anything resembling such a theory. In fact the 'theory' seems to show that specification depends inherently on subjective interpretation and can in principle be extended to any hypothesis. (See also Sobel) The specification of the flagellum shows how meaningless 'specification' really is. It looks like an outboard engine. Well, the inner ear looks like a drum, can we now infer design for the ear? Snowflakes look like little sculptures once magnified enough. The sunset looks like an expressionistic painting. Need I say more?

To state that biology has remained empty handed in explaining biological complexity seems to show a tendency to ignore the known literature on these topics. But I doubt that Dembski is interested in discussing how ID fares compared to scientific inquiry into these topics, after all ID has no burden at all. Of course if Dembski applied his argument consistently he would have to argue that ID bears the burden of providing convincing evidence of design and its designers but ID is not interested in process and seems to be stuck detecting rarefied intelligent design using a faulty filter. See for instance the excellent article by Welsberry and Wilkins The advantages of theft over toil: the design inference and arguing from ignorance where they show how Dembski's filter fails to incorporate 'we don't know' and provides a priveleged and unwarranted position to the design inference.

That Dembski has abandoned much hope for a scientific breakthrough for ID seems obvious when he argues for political approaches instead. It seems that the 'Wedge strategy' is alive and well.. Of course Bruce Gordon seems to have realized how

       
Quote

"... the theory has been prematurely drawn into discussions of public science education where it has no business of appearning without broad recognition from the scientific community ... inclusion of design theory as part of the standard discourse of the scientific community, if it ever happens, will be the result of a long and difficult process of quallity research and publication. It also will be the result of overcoming the stigma that has become attached to design research because of the anti-evolutionary diatribes of some of its proponents on the one hand and its appropriation for the purpose of Christian apologetics on the other. ...If design theory is to make a contribution to science, it must be worth pursuing on the basis of its own merits, not as an exercise in Christian 'cultural renewal,' the weight of which it cannot bear.... In conclusion, it is crucial to note that design theory is at best a supplementary consideration introduced alongside (or perhaps onto by way of modification) neo-Darwinian biology and self-organizational complexity theory. It does not mandate the replacement of these highly fruitful research paradigms, and to suggest that it does is just so much overblown, unwarranted, and ideologically driven rhetoric." Bruce Gordon, ex-CRSC Fellow, Science and Theology 2:1 (2001), p. 9
See also Here

Perhaps Dembski may help us understand where he believes ID should be going, other than following the inevitable political route now that the bridges to a scientific route seems to have been  burned effectively by Dembski's latest admissions of what ID is and isn't. I had some hopes that ID would provide for a positive research program that would expand our understandings but that does not seem to be a burden ID is willing or able to carry.

I am also interested in why, if Dembski believes that the rules of engagement are fixed in favor of evolutionists, he did not invite Wesley Elsberry for instance or Richard Wein to present their case at the last RAPID meeting? Seems that ID has only itself to blame here.

[PS: I will be addressing some historical revisionism of Behe's IC "This becomes immediately evident from reading Behe since in his definition of irreducible complexity, the function of the system in question always stays put." and many other interesting issues raised by Dembski. ]

And some reference about evolution and biological complexity

ev: Evolution of Biological Information

Evolution of Biological Complexity

Genomic Complexity in Micro Organisms and Digital Organisms

Some Techniques for the Measurement of Complexity in Tierra

The Evolution of Complexity and the Value of Variability

   
Quote

The hypothesis that environmental variability promotes the evolution of organism complexity is explored and illustrated, in two contexts. A coevolutionary `Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma' (IPD)
ecology, populated by strategies determined by variable length genotypes, provides a quantitative demonstration, and an example from evolutionary robotics (ER) provides a more qualitative and naturalistic exploration.
In the ER example, the above hypothesis
is illustrated in real environments, and the organism complexity is seen in robots exhibiting relatively complex behaviours and neural dynamics.
Implications are drawn for the emergence of complexity in general, and also for artificial evolution as a design methodology.
Complexity and Self-Organization

What is complexity

 
Quote

The physical complexity of a sequence refers to the amount of information that is stored in that sequence about a particular environment. For a genome, this environment is the one in which it replicates and in which its host lives, a concept roughly equivalent to what we call a niche.
Quote

Information is a statistical form of correlation, and thus requires, mathematically and intuitively, a reference to the system that the information is about.
Quote

As we saw above, information is revealed, in an ensemble of adapted sequences, as those symbols that are conserved (fixed) under mutational pressure. Imagine then that a beneficial mutation occurs at a variable position. If the selective advantage that it bestows on the organism is sufficient to fix the mutation within the population,(24) the amount of information (and hence the complexity) has increased. A beneficial mutation that is lost before fixation does not decrease the amount of information, nor does this happen if a neutral mutation drifts to fixation.
In this paper Adami clarifies many of the concepts relevant to complexity such as information, entropy etc.

  
ExYECer



Posts: 36
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 07 2002,13:22   

Originally posted by mturner:
Originally posted by Ex_YEC_er:
If that is the case then intelligence and volition cannot be intelligent design since ID is infered through the elimination of chance and regularity.

So what is it ?



Quote
Wrong as always. When are you going to accept that ID is about no such thing.


As I said before you seem to be unfamiliar with the major proponents' arguments in the ID world. Dembski's design inference argues, incorrectly I might add, that rarefied design can be infered through the elimination of chance/regularity hypotheses. In fact if such a hypothesis cannot be rejected then ID has to be rejected.

 
Quote


For ID, volition and intelligence are regularity, and evolution is the product of this regularity, not the product of chance, as you Darwinists would have us believe.



Why is it that opponents of Darwinism so often seem to fail to understand that chance is but ONE aspect of the mechanism. In fact it it Dembski who seems to be arguing that Intelligent Design cannot be captured in regularity or if it can then it is not design anymore. If Mturner wants to argue against Dembski that's fine with me, join the fast growing club of those who object on scientific reasons to the Dembski design inference.

 
Quote


ID does not deny the existance of random causation, the way you deny the existence of intelligent causation.

Shameless misrpresentation of my arguments I would argue. I in fact accept intelligent causation in nature. If you want to argue, please at least present my arguments correctly or run the risk of being called on spinning strawmen.

 
Quote


Randomness and regularity  both exist, there is no effort to "eliminate" them, but regularity (intelligence/volition) acting in direct response to chaotic, random  environmental change (chance) is what brings about organismic adaptation and evolution; not Darwinism's random, accidental mutation supposedly being "regulated" by chaotic, random, accidental, environmental pressures. Absurd.

Welcome aboard opposing the ID inference ala Dembski/Behe then. Of course you seem to be somewhat unfamiliar with the supporting evidence and lacking in supporting evidence for your thesis but I will ignore that for the moment since I am thrilled to have you oppose Dembski's design inference.

 
Quote


And so that is what ID is really about, and what Darwinism is really about, whether you like it or not, and whether or not you can ever bring yourself to face that, for you, painful truth.

So far it seems that mturner is having some problems facing the truths. I will be kind and gentle when introducing him/her to the facts of life.

Welcome aboard the anti-Dembski-ID train though. It is comforting to see that even pro-Intelligent design people are realizing that Dembski's arguments are just not useful in infering rarefied intelligent design. Of course without Dembski's attempt to bring ID into science, one may wonder what will happen to ID as a scientific movement? That presumes of course that such a movement ever existed in any serious manner.  :D

Edited by ExYECer on Dec. 07 2002,13:29

  
ExYECer



Posts: 36
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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 07 2002,13:42   

In response to my posting of my reply to Dembski ARN moderator 4 now has found another objection :-)

Quote
I still don't like your tone. It "saddens" you, that Dembski "accuses"? That sucks, and is disrespectful.


He therefor has banned me from further participation in the thread. I would like to extend my appreciations to ARN moderator 4 for all his good work ;)

Edited by ExYECer on Dec. 07 2002,13:43

  
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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 07 2002,14:40   

This is a test of this Board for me.

Thanks for the link to the Murphy paper - that had some good ideas in it.

rlbennett



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Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 07 2002,21:27   

Quote (ExYECer @ Dec. 07 2002,13:42)
In response to my posting of my reply to Dembski ARN moderator 4 now has found another objection :-)

Quote
I still don't like your tone. It "saddens" you, that Dembski "accuses"? That sucks, and is disrespectful.


He therefor has banned me from further participation in the thread. I would like to extend my appreciations to ARN moderator 4 for all his good work ;)

Well, at least it saddened you.  Why does that suck?  Sucks for you.  I don't think it is possible to read Dembski writings any other way but as accusing evolutionists.

  
Bebbo



Posts: 161
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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 08 2002,08:51   

Quote (ExYECer @ Dec. 07 2002,13:42)
In response to my posting of my reply to Dembski ARN moderator 4 now has found another objection :-)

Quote
I still don't like your tone. It "saddens" you, that Dembski "accuses"? That sucks, and is disrespectful.


He therefor has banned me from further participation in the thread. I would like to extend my appreciations to ARN moderator 4 for all his good work ;)

Moderation at ARN is a mess. The choice of moderator is strange considering posts of his I've seen in the past. It's obvious that one moderator is not enough for that forum, and he's too partisan anyway.

Btw, does anyone else think that Chris Langan is an unpleasant character? Besides his overbearing arrogance, his metaphors are sometimes weird.

--
Dene

  
pzmyers



Posts: 35
Joined: Sep. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 08 2002,13:27   

Quote (Bebbo @ Dec. 08 2002,08:51)
Btw, does anyone else think that Chris Langan is an unpleasant character? Besides his overbearing arrogance, his metaphors are sometimes weird.

Yes.

Quote
'By the way, I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've gotta ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?"'


I really think that talking about blowing a critic's head off is creepy and inappropriate...and for the moderator to then chime in with a joke about him needing a new suit is rather appalling.

   
Bebbo



Posts: 161
Joined: Dec. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 08 2002,14:29   

Quote

Quote (pzmyers @ Dec. 08 2002,13:27)
[quote=Bebbo,Dec. 08 2002,08:51]Btw, does anyone else think that Chris Langan is an unpleasant character? Besides his overbearing arrogance, his metaphors are sometimes weird.

Yes.

Quote
'By the way, I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've gotta ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?"'


I really think that talking about blowing a critic's head off is creepy and inappropriate...and for the moderator to then chime in with a joke about him needing a new suit is rather appalling.

I'm not sure if the Dirty Harry quote was just for fun or aimed at Mellott. What I found creepy was this one:

Quote

You know, I really get a kick out of certain “Scientists” – the kind of “Scientist” who’s always knocking philosophy. When you tree one of these Scientists and ask him to vocalize about why he hates philosophy, he vulcanizes about the evils of nebulosity, nihilism and deconstructionism. But then when you bag him, mount his skin on your trophy wall and turn off the lights, there it is on his hide in glow-in-the-dark green paint: “I was a nihilist who tried to deconstruct nature despite my nebulous grasp of reality.”


It reminded me of someone I've debated with on Usenet who uses phrases like "beaten up" to describe someone she self-proclaimededly beat in a debate.

So far Chris Langan is the one with the biggest chip on his shoulder that I've encountered on the net for a while.

--
Dene

  
JxD



Posts: 16
Joined: Dec. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 08 2002,21:44   

Quote
In his reply Orr takes me to task for not responding to the many particular objections he raised against my work in his original review, suggesting that this was the result of bewilderment on my part and intelligent design running out of steam and not, as was the case, for lack of space. This sort of rule-rigging by Orr and the Boston Review -- give the respondent a little space, and then let the original author crow about winning -- is to be expected. I actually find it encouraging, taking it as an indication of intelligent design's progress. Orr's review and follow-up hardly spell the death-knell for intelligent design or for my work in this area. Sooner or later (and probably sooner) Orr will find himself in a forum on intelligent design where the rules of engagement are not rigged in his favor. I look forward to his performance then.
 It is almost like they revamped the moderation on purpose, doesn't it?  Here fishy fishy fishy. . .  I can't believe Dembski has resorted to these childish taunts.

  
katerina



Posts: 6
Joined: Dec. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2002,15:37   

Quote
originally posted by Chris LanganYou know, I really get a kick out of certain “Scientists” – the kind of “Scientist” who’s always knocking philosophy. When you tree one of these Scientists and ask him to vocalize about why he hates philosophy, he vulcanizes about the evils of nebulosity, nihilism and deconstructionism. But then when you bag him, mount his skin on your trophy wall and turn off the lights, there it is on his hide in glow-in-the-dark green paint: “I was a nihilist who tried to deconstruct nature despite my nebulous grasp of reality.”


Didn't y'all recognize the cultural origin of this 'treeing'?

People in the South used to talk about treeing African-Americans.

Now, on the subject of Chris' mixed metaphors.

1.  He is just a bad writer and lacking in intellectual training.  (it's not deconstructionism but deconstruction)

2.  He has something going on mentally-wise.  There's a lot of projection and dream-like shifting in his mixed metaphors.  I would say he is something of a looney.

3.  I have considered starting a collection of his speech against the Academy that he protests too much.  Read him long enough and it does sound like the focus of his envy is on the fact that he doesn't get to slave away teaching dolts for little remuneration with colleagues who are themselves a over-complicated egotists, as we professors must do daily.

  
pzmyers



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Joined: Sep. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2002,18:20   

Quote (katerina @ Dec. 10 2002,15:37)

I presume that your description of students as "dolts" and our colleagues as "over-complicated egotists" is an attempt to project Langan's opinion, rather than yours? I hope?

   
katerina



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Joined: Dec. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2002,18:53   

Irony, darling.

Chris envies the university position that he doesn't have.

On the other hand, he seems to think that we just sit around in smoking rooms making fun of the non-university folk, when, in fact, we deal with a lot of nasty stuff.

  
pzmyers



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Joined: Sep. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 10 2002,21:00   

Quote (katerina @ Dec. 10 2002,18:53)
Irony, darling.

Chris envies the university position that he doesn't have.

On the other hand, he seems to think that we just sit around in smoking rooms making fun of the non-university folk, when, in fact, we deal with a lot of nasty stuff.

Just making sure.

What a silly stereotype, though. We don't have smoking rooms. As everyone knows, we are so pc that we don't allow smoking, unless it is Sacred Weed.

   
katerina



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Joined: Dec. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 11 2002,07:23   

Wull yeah.  It's a silly stereotype.

I just recently clued into this facet of Monsieur Langan's character.  The word that keeps coming to mind is 'penis envy', but I don't know why or if that is valid.

But come on.  If you have never been in a science lab, what do you know about what is going on there?  And if you have never been involved with or been a research scientist, you don't really have a good idea of the financial tension, the long hours, the bizarro lab politics (on occasion), etc.

And if you have never been involved with or been a tenure-track professor, then you have no idea of what the isolation, the carrot-stick tension, the publish or perish pressure, the student loan repayment pressure, is like.

Chris gives professors the kind of prestige that the rest of the American culture does not.

So it's a little sicko.  He envies us.  But he is precisely not the sort of person we care to envy us.

  
SLP



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(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 14 2002,21:30   

Quote (katerina @ Dec. 11 2002,07:23)
I just recently clued into this facet of Monsieur Langan's character.  The word that keeps coming to mind is 'penis envy', but I don't know why or if that is valid.

But come on.  If you have never been in a science lab, what do you know about what is going on there?  And if you have never been involved with or been a research scientist, you don't really have a good idea of the financial tension, the long hours, the bizarro lab politics (on occasion), etc.

And if you have never been involved with or been a tenure-track professor, then you have no idea of what the isolation, the carrot-stick tension, the publish or perish pressure, the student loan repayment pressure, is like.

Chris gives professors the kind of prestige that the rest of the American culture does not.

So it's a little sicko.  He envies us.  But he is precisely not the sort of person we care to envy us.

Indeed.

Hello, Kat.

Sorry I did not respond to that email a while back - I hit the delete button instead of the respond button..

Anyway, being banned at ARN and all, I only occasionally stop by to read the sycophants pile on the critics (and get trounced), but this Langan thing is amazing.

I recall reading an old Guiness book of world records years ago, and the record for the highest measured IQ.

The guy worked as a janitor because he claimed that he did not want to be taken advantage of and that the CIA had been pestering him, or something odd like that.

Perhaps it is that folks with super-high IQs also get a dose of instability/paranoia/various other complexes to go along with it.
I think Kat's assessment makes a lot of sense - angry at not being 'recognized' as the super-genius he thinks he is has probably fostered a great deal of resentment and he is lashing out.
Problem is, I don't see what a "self-creating universe" has to do with evolution, but then, I am just a lowly scientist with no philosophy training.

If I may be so bold as to make a prediction - 10 years from now, Langan will have a solid following - primarily ID-types and various hangers-on, none with any real smarts themselves.

His CTMU will still be unpublished - at least via traditional means, and will, regardless, be little mnore than a punchline.

But then, again, I am just a scientist... :(

  
Alan



Posts: 1
Joined: Dec. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 14 2002,22:54   

Quote (SLP @ Dec. 14 2002,21:30)
If I may be so bold as to make a prediction - 10 years from now, Langan will have a solid following - primarily ID-types and various hangers-on, none with any real smarts themselves.

Yes.  Even though no one will be sure how Langan's theory supports ID, his say so, along with his high IQ, will be enough.  Being able to say the smartest guy in America is on our side is enough for the ID-types.

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 21 2002,00:03   

SLP, "Perhaps it is that folks with super-high IQs also get a dose of instability/paranoia/various other complexes to go along with it."

My sense is that people that used to be called "severely intelligent” (say the 4+ standard deviations above average group) have only the typical range and incidence  of mental illness.  They tend, in my experience, to view symbols as real a bit easier than most.  My brother for example views money as the way to keep score in what he sees as a game.  And so he has amassed a very high score.  But this is common enough, and well accepted as normal.  

Many severely intelligent children become very frustrated with teachers and can become disciplinary problems.  They also can become angry when other children change “rules” in play activities directly to prevent the brighter child from always winning.  This may account for something that I have often seen; the severely intelligent generally find that whatever they are currently interested in is totally compelling to them.  The interests and concerns of others are only grudgingly attended, if at all.

Mentally ill people with very high intelligence can be much more visible than those who are less bright, as they are less likely to become jailed or hospitalized.

Edited by Dr.GH on Dec. 21 2002,00:05

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
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