RSS 2.0 Feed

» Welcome Guest Log In :: Register

Pages: (3) < [1] 2 3 >   
  Topic: Unacknowledged Errors in Marks and Dembski essay, Critique of "ev" backfires< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 30 2007,22:57   

This thread is for discussing the train wreck in progress that is the Robert Marks and Bill Dembski essay trying to critique Tom Schneider's "ev" program. The title here is "Unacknowledged Errors"; part of the reason for this thread is to watch for when, if ever, the errors in the Marks and Dembski paper become acknowledged by the authors.

The Marks and Dembski essay, in PDF format:

Quote

Abstract

How do genetic systems gain information by evolutionary processes? Schneider [14] asks this question and then purports to answer it by simulating the evolution of nucleotide binding sites with an algorithm called ev. Upon examination, ev's structure is algorithmically equivalent to the inversion of a perceptron neural network. We show that ev is able to evolve binding site locations only because it is prestructured to do so. The difficulty of the problem is 131 bits. The perceptron search structure adds about 122.2 bits of information, leaving only about 8.8 bits to the search procedure. Although the perceptron structure smuggles in an enormous amount of information, ev squanders it with the evolutionary search. The evolutionary algorithm in ev required over 45,000 fitness queries to achieve success. Based on query count, repeated random queries outperform the evolutionary algorithm by over 10,000%. The simulation of evolutionary processes using ev illustrates a larger problem in interpreting the results of evolutionary simulations. Interpretations of simulation results, if they are to be credible and inspire confidence, should (a) identify the inherent difficulty of solving the problem and, (b) measure the amount of information about the solution provided by the search structure and the search procedure.


Tom Schneider responds to criticism:

Quote

Considering 439 queries as 3 orders of magnitude, Dembski's estimate is off by about 13 orders of magnitude.


Schneider provides several different methods to arrive at the conclusion that Marks and Dembski are off, way, way off. So, how long will the erroneous claims of Marks and Dembski be headlining "Baylor's Evolutionary Informatics Laboratory"?

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,11:26   

It looks like the "ev" critique paper no longer graces the website of "evolutionaryinformatics.org", so perhaps the first step has been taken.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,11:40   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 01 2007,11:26)
It looks like the "ev" critique paper no longer graces the website of "evolutionaryinformatics.org", so perhaps the first step has been taken.

Hopefully we still have a copy?

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,11:49   

More persecution complex whining on this topic appeared today, courtesy of ace whiner Casey Luskin.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Rob



Posts: 154
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,13:35   

Thanks for pointing this out, Wesley,  Here I thought I was the first one to question M&D's results in that paper, but it turns out that Tom scooped me by a long shot.  I wonder when (or if) Marks & Dembski became aware of his responses?

For anyone interested, the error in the results can be traced to an easily discovered bug in one of their MATLAB scripts (now removed from their site).  The error is so big that putting a number on it is dicey.  My method of estimating it is different than Tom's, and I come up with 20 orders of magnitude as opposed to Tom's 13 orders of magnitude.

It should also be noted that the erroneous results are still reported in one of M&D's other papers, and that both Marks and Dembski have repeated their now-falsified conclusion in interviews.  Also, Gil Dodgen included the erroneous results in one of his UD articles.

--------------
-- Rob, the fartist formerly known as 2ndclass

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,15:22   

Given that Dembski's last large-scale flub was 65 orders of magnitude off, one might find IDC cheerleaders rejoicing over him getting about 45 orders of magnitude or more closer to reality when engaged in pulling numbers out of his posterior.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
deadman_932



Posts: 3094
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 01 2007,18:08   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 01 2007,11:40)
 
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 01 2007,11:26)
It looks like the "ev" critique paper no longer graces the website of "evolutionaryinformatics.org", so perhaps the first step has been taken.

Hopefully we still have a copy?

I kept a copy of that ev2.pdf ... I'd wager a lot of people did.

--------------
AtBC Award for Thoroughness in the Face of Creationism

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 02 2007,09:36   

Wes - you might want to promote this to the Pandas thumb.

From wikipedia:

Quote
A universal probability bound is a probabilistic threshold whose existence is asserted by William A. Dembski and is used by him in his works promoting intelligent design. It is defined as "A degree of improbability below which a specified event of that probability cannot reasonably be attributed to chance regardless of whatever probabilitistic resources from the known universe are factored in."[1] The notion that such a degree of improbability actually exists, and is specifically 1 in 10^50, is known in the informal Creationist literature as Borel's Law.[2]


What does a miss of 65 orders of magnitude tell us about, erm, god?

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 02 2007,10:00   

Quote
What does a miss of 65 orders of magnitude tell us about, erm, god?


She's really big...er or really small. Or both at the same time. Or she's gay.

--------------
The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 02 2007,11:11   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 01 2007,15:22)
Given that Dembski's last large-scale flub was 65 orders of magnitude off, one might find IDC cheerleaders rejoicing over him getting about 45 orders of magnitude or more closer to reality when engaged in pulling numbers out of his posterior.

Well, at least he's getting to the bottom of things...

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,02:47   

World Net Daily gets in on the situation with "Baylor's Evolutionary Informatics Laboratory".

Quote

But in a recent guest column, Mark Ramsey, the founder of Texans for Better Science Education, called the dispute "a giant leap backward" for Baylor.

"This censorship is based not on poor scholarship or bad data but on a disagreement about the research's conclusions. The conclusions were not deemed to be particularly favorable to the notion that Darwin was right and no intelligence was required in the creation of the world and everything in it," he wrote.


This just goes to show how commentators like Mark Ramsey have no clue whether any of this stuff is based on good, bad, or no data at all. The "ev" critique paper was based on bogus data.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Actually, GIGO is a step forward for Dembski, who for years has been stuck in "garbage out" mode. Actually trying to pay some attention to data at all probably must be credited to Robert Marks.

This was the stuff that was supposed to wipe the MSU Devolab off the map?

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Rob



Posts: 154
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,14:44   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 04 2007,02:47)
Actually, GIGO is a step forward for Dembski, who for years has been stuck in "garbage out" mode. Actually trying to pay some attention to data...

More like datum.  After a decade of philosophizing about ID, Dembski finally came up with a single empirical number.  Goal for next decade:  Come up with an accurate empirical number.

--------------
-- Rob, the fartist formerly known as 2ndclass

  
Reed A. Cartwright



Posts: 21
Joined: April 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 04 2007,15:22   

Could someone provide links to the earlier discussion?  I am out of the loop.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,04:46   

Ok, I now have a post up on this topic at PT.

I entered the following comment over at William Brookfield's weblog in the thread where he whines about critics not responding on his schedule to EIL online essays.

Quote

The "Unacknowledged Costs" paper critiquing Schneider's "ev" has unacknowledged errors. The conclusions in another of the essays are tainted by reliance on the bogus numbers in the "ev" critique.

Tom Schneider had responses up back near the beginning of August in his usual place for such responses. It doesn't seem that Brookfield's search could be described as assiduous.

I've been awaiting substantive replies from Dembski on several of my critiques for years. Will Brookfield draw a conclusion about Dembski from that datum?

Wesley R. Elsberry


What do you suppose the odds are that it will make it through moderation?

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Zachriel



Posts: 2709
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,07:43   

Looks like 2nd Class is Panda-Famous!



Unacknowledged Errors in “Unacknowledged Costs”: In the current case, Marks and Dembski owe a debt [to] Tom Schneider, “After the Bar Closes” regular “2ndclass”, and “Good Math, Bad Math” commenter David vun Kannon.

(Oops! I see Wesley R. Elsberry already xposted. Consider this comment celebratory, then.)

--------------
Proudly banned three four five times by Uncommon Descent.
There is only one Tard. The Tard is One.

   
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,07:59   

Quote (Zachriel @ Oct. 09 2007,07:43)
(Oops! I see Wesley R. Elsberry already xposted. Consider this comment celebratory, then.)

Outstanding post.  Thanks.

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,11:15   

Hmmm... synchronicity...

Quote

Of course, looking at another of the papers that is listed on the EIL site, I noticed that it includes a clear error that I informed Dembski of long ago.

In fact, today is the seventh anniversary of the unregarded notification of that error. This is the standard for unacknowledged errors that Dembski has set. Time will tell as to whether Robert Marks will be an apt pupil…


--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Tracy P. Hamilton



Posts: 1239
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,12:09   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 09 2007,04:46)
Ok, I now have a post up on this topic at PT.

I entered the following comment over at William Brookfield's weblog in the thread where he whines about critics not responding on his schedule to EIL online essays.

   
Quote

The "Unacknowledged Costs" paper critiquing Schneider's "ev" has unacknowledged errors. The conclusions in another of the essays are tainted by reliance on the bogus numbers in the "ev" critique.

Tom Schneider had responses up back near the beginning of August in his usual place for such responses. It doesn't seem that Brookfield's search could be described as assiduous.

I've been awaiting substantive replies from Dembski on several of my critiques for years. Will Brookfield draw a conclusion about Dembski from that datum?

Wesley R. Elsberry


What do you suppose the odds are that it will make it through moderation?

The post is up on the Pleasurian site.

--------------
"Following what I just wrote about fitness, you’re taking refuge in what we see in the world."  PaV

"The simple equation F = MA leads to the concept of four-dimensional space." GilDodgen

"We have no brain, I don't, for thinking." Robert Byers

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,12:21   

Ah, put it in the "pleasant surprise" category, then.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,12:42   

I've entered another comment at the ICON-RIDS site...

 
Quote

Amusingly enough, today turns out to be the seventh anniversary of my notifying William Dembski of errors in his description of Dawkins's "weasel" program. If Dembski had heeded that (much less acknowledged it), he might have restricted the damage to the online text originally containing the error. Instead, it now contaminates at least one of his published books, and can even be seen in one of the two remaining EIL essays online.

If the paper which is claimed to be under review does get published with the error in it, I look forward to publishing a letter noting the error and its long, long history in the same publication. While Dembski's attitude toward plain errors discovered by critics seems to be ramping up the recalcitrance, it could be the case that Dembski's co-author, Robert Marks, may not wish to take that ride. Time (and plenty of it) may tell.

Wesley R. Elsberry


--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Hermagoras



Posts: 1260
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,15:25   

How will this play out?  Will anybody mention it on UD?  I keep refreshing the relevant links (PT, Austringer, UD, Schneider's blog) hoping for something other than crickets.

Honestly, I don't see how Dembski can avoid saying something.  The errors are so widely publicized and so well described that even I -- an English professor -- can understand them.  Further, what remains of Dembski's credibility is entirely hung on the thin nail of his collaboration with Marks.  Is it possible that he'll just keep his fingers in his ears?  Am I being naive?

--------------
"I am not currently proving that objective morality is true. I did that a long time ago and you missed it." -- StephenB

http://paralepsis.blogspot.com/....pot.com

   
oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 4999
Joined: July 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,15:32   

Quote (Hermagoras @ Oct. 09 2007,15:25)
How will this play out?  Will anybody mention it on UD?  I keep refreshing the relevant links (PT, Austringer, UD, Schneider's blog) hoping for something other than crickets.

Honestly, I don't see how Dembski can avoid saying something.  The errors are so widely publicized and so well described that even I -- an English professor -- can understand them.  Further, what remains of Dembski's credibility is entirely hung on the thin nail of his collaboration with Marks.  Is it possible that he'll just keep his fingers in his ears?  Am I being naive?

From what i've read, as a occasional programmer it makes me wonder how they wrote it in the first place and thought it implemented their idea correctly. Especially considering the kind of tools available in a decent IDE.
I mean, IntelliSense for instance  :)

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,16:23   

I've emailed Robert Marks to inform him that the EIL paper that relies upon critiquing Dawkins's "weasel" program has a problem. Dembski and Marks say partitioned search contributes a lot of information to "weasel". The problem? "Weasel" does not use partitioned search. This is the upshot of the seven-year-old notification I sent Dembski. I've very clearly said that I plan to submit a corrective letter if they manage to get the paper published as it stands.

Will a second EIL "publication" go away? I'm waiting to see.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,16:34   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 09 2007,16:23)
I've emailed Robert Marks to inform him that the EIL paper that relies upon critiquing Dawkins's "weasel" program has a problem. Dembski and Marks say partitioned search contributes a lot of information to "weasel". The problem? "Weasel" does not use partitioned search. This is the upshot of the seven-year-old notification I sent Dembski. I've very clearly said that I plan to submit a corrective letter if they manage to get the paper published as it stands.

Will a second EIL "publication" go away? I'm waiting to see.

PHHH. YOU ARE MICROWAITING. WE ACCEPT MICROWAITING BUT A RETRACTION WOULD TAKE MACROWAITING, WHICH NO-ONE HAS EVER OBSEREVED.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Doc Bill



Posts: 1039
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,16:43   

My sense is that Marks is no Dembski (unlike Wells who is a Dembski).

Marks just pulled in a NSF grant, for example.  Unlike Dembski, Marks has a career.

I just don't see Marks flushing his reputation down the crapper for the likes of Dembski, unless his ambition is to run against Behe for Mayor of Cranksville.

I vote he'll pull the paper and the EIL will quietly become boojumized.

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,16:59   

I think that there has been a tremendous amount of thought exerted by Wes, and the other contributers to the D&M debunking.

Congratualtions and my thanks.

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

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

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,17:25   

Thanks, Gary.

But I have to admit that my role has been more reporter than analyst in the "ev" critique case. The heavy lifting was done by Schneider, Secondclass, and vun Kannon.

It's gratifying, though, that something I noted so long ago may be of great relevance to that other paper on the EIL site. I'm still somewhat amazed by the coincidence on dates. I had a draft of the PT post put together last week, got some comments for changes from Rob last Wednesday or so, and got a little time to finish it off today. When vun Kannon's comment sent me off to the EIL website again, that's when I realized that the other paper was passing along that tired old error of Dembski's. Then I looked up my email and discovered the date match.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,22:28   

Pim van Meurs posted a bit from my PT post to the ASA email list, and got a reproof from one of the list members. Pim was upbraided for defending Dawkins, citing PZ Myers, and then, horror of horrors, expecting people to read stuff I've written.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,23:05   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 09 2007,22:28)
Pim van Meurs posted a bit from my PT post to the ASA email list, and got a reproof from one of the list members. Pim was upbraided for defending Dawkins, citing PZ Myers, and then, horror of horrors, expecting people to read stuff I've written.

That email just about sums up my disgust for Fundies. Don't let reality get in the way of your dogma, kids..

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
someotherguy



Posts: 398
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,23:08   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 09 2007,22:28)
Pim van Meurs posted a bit from my PT post to the ASA email list, and got a reproof from one of the list members. Pim was upbraided for defending Dawkins, citing PZ Myers, and then, horror of horrors, expecting people to read stuff I've written.

That was amusing. . .in a sort of sad clownish way.

--------------
Evolander in training

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 09 2007,23:14   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 09 2007,23:05)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 09 2007,22:28)
Pim van Meurs posted a bit from my PT post to the ASA email list, and got a reproof from one of the list members. Pim was upbraided for defending Dawkins, citing PZ Myers, and then, horror of horrors, expecting people to read stuff I've written.

That email just about sums up my disgust for Fundies. Don't let reality get in the way of your dogma, kids..

I would like to temper my remarks having read the rebuttals in the thread. Clearly not all of the posters are bad.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,00:16   

The ASA members have a variety of perspectives. The ASA is the group that Henry Morris got fed up with and split from to set up the Institute for Creation Research, IIRC.

You can find YEC advocates, ID advocates, and very trenchant critics of both within the ASA ranks.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,08:43   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 09 2007,23:14)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 09 2007,23:05)
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 09 2007,22:28)
Pim van Meurs posted a bit from my PT post to the ASA email list, and got a reproof from one of the list members. Pim was upbraided for defending Dawkins, citing PZ Myers, and then, horror of horrors, expecting people to read stuff I've written.

That email just about sums up my disgust for Fundies. Don't let reality get in the way of your dogma, kids..

I would like to temper my remarks having read the rebuttals in the thread. Clearly not all of the posters are bad.

Richard - Don't feel like the Lone Ranger dude... My reaction to Mahaffey - the first poster - was the same as yours...

I'm thinking that someday we will hear of Mr. Mahaffey's sad demise while he is wearing a triple-deep wetsuit, mesh stockings, clown makeup and rubber ear-plugs.

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,08:55   

I certainly hope not. I took the opportunity of emailing Mahaffy directly and we have been having a cordial exchange. He was making a tentative assumption about me and I think that we have cleared that up.

I'm still somewhat amused by the initial message, though.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Alan Fox



Posts: 1391
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,09:09   

Just thought I'd post a link at ARN

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,09:18   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 10 2007,14:55)
I certainly hope not. I took the opportunity of emailing Mahaffy directly and we have been having a cordial exchange. He was making a tentative assumption about me and I think that we have cleared that up.

I'm still somewhat amused by the initial message, though.

Had he assumed you were some species of atheist? Evil, puppy murdering or otherwise?

I'd take it as a compliment. All the best people are atheists doncherknow. Atheism's very in this season. There are even different brands: militant, evangelical, shrill, new, naive...you name it there's an atheism for you!

Buy now to avoid disappointment.

Oh wait...did I miss the point?

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,09:34   

The real problem is the shortcut epistemology that underlies certain varieties of Christian belief. I'll try to capture this in a shorthand fashion:

1. Christians are commanded to tell the truth.

C1. If another Christian tells you something, you are warranted in taking it as true.

C2. If a non-Christian tells you something, you are warranted in doubting it.

That this epistemology is not just mistaken, but hopeless, does not seem to be a message that reaches very well. The first conclusion means that non-deliberate error propagates readily and is hard to eradicate (cf. Darwin on "false facts"). It also means that Christians adopting this epistemology are vulnerable to avowed Christians who nonetheless lie. The second conclusion means that truth may be rejected simply because of a faith commitment or non-commitment that has nothing at all to do with the topic at hand.

I know of various Christian critics of antievolution who avoid association with known atheist activists simply because it would make it harder for them to convince other Christians to listen to what they have to say.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,10:00   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 10 2007,15:34)
The real problem is the shortcut epistemology that underlies certain varieties of Christian belief. I'll try to capture this in a shorthand fashion:

1. Christians are commanded to tell the truth.

C1. If another Christian tells you something, you are warranted in taking it as true.

C2. If a non-Christian tells you something, you are warranted in doubting it.

That this epistemology is not just mistaken, but hopeless, does not seem to be a message that reaches very well. The first conclusion means that non-deliberate error propagates readily and is hard to eradicate (cf. Darwin on "false facts"). It also means that Christians adopting this epistemology are vulnerable to avowed Christians who nonetheless lie. The second conclusion means that truth may be rejected simply because of a faith commitment or non-commitment that has nothing at all to do with the topic at hand.

I know of various Christian critics of antievolution who avoid association with known atheist activists simply because it would make it harder for them to convince other Christians to listen to what they have to say.

I was aware of all of this except that last part. I didn't realise that there were Christian critics of antievolution who avoided their atheist/non-christian colleagues. I suppose it makes a kind of warped sense, and I suppose in the panoply of human stupidity I should have expected it, but....

Wow. Just...wow.

That's so depressing...quick...to the Bat-Selective Serotonin-Reuptake-Inhibitors, Robin!

Mind you, I have had the same arguments thrown at me from a different angle. Atheists who will not associate with the churches or theists of any stripe in their quest to counter antievolution. My reaction then was as it is now, except a good deal harsher! I expected these guys to know better.

I can understand the hinderance of a half-committed ally, and I also understand the value gained in making sure that one presents a coherent message. What I don't understand so well is that some people cannot seem to grasp the gains of working with diverse people and saying "on many things we differ, but on this we agree.".

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,11:20   

Wes and Louis - I would like to say thanks, your last 2 posts reconfirm my reasons for liking this site!  Knowledge, Fun and Reason; it doesn't get much better than that.

Unless you two were blond, drinking was involved, and we weren't wearing all our clothes...

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,11:30   

Quote (J-Dog @ Oct. 10 2007,17:20)
Unless you two were blond, drinking was involved, and we weren't wearing all our clothes...

Settle, petal!

With those hips? You are joking aren't you?

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
W. Kevin Vicklund



Posts: 68
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 10 2007,12:54   

Quote
For anyone interested, the error in the results can be traced to an easily discovered bug in one of their MATLAB scripts (now removed from their site).  The error is so big that putting a number on it is dicey.  My method of estimating it is different than Tom's, and I come up with 20 orders of magnitude as opposed to Tom's 13 orders of magnitude.


That would place D&M's error at somewhere between 20-30 cDmb.  For reference, one dembski (Dmb) is an error of about 65 orders of magnitude.  1 cDmb is the error introduced by rounding to the nearest order of magnitude - any result that produces an error greater than 1 cDmb should be considered a failure.  1 mDmb is about a 16% error.

  
Rob



Posts: 154
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 11 2007,10:40   

Note: If anyone wants a copy of the retracted paper, it's still on the Baylor server.  If you really want to be a troublemaker, you could write to President Lilley and ask him if Baylor endorses the paper.

--------------
-- Rob, the fartist formerly known as 2ndclass

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 11 2007,12:02   

Quote (Rob @ Oct. 11 2007,10:40)
Note: If anyone wants a copy of the retracted paper, it's still on the Baylor server.  If you really want to be a troublemaker, you could write to call President Lilley and all of the Baylor regents using the home phone numbers provided by Dembski and ask him them if Baylor endorses the paper.

Suggestion edited for maximum troublemaking potential.

--------------
Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 11 2007,12:21   

The Finite Improbability Calculator now has error in dembskis as a capability. Mistaking 10,000 years as the age of the earth instead of 4.55 billion? That's an 87 mDmb error.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Art



Posts: 69
Joined: Dec. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 11 2007,17:46   

I haven't been keeping close tabs, so maybe someone can tell me - what has Marks hisself had to say about his essays, the errors, and of the spat between Dembski and Baylor?

   
Doc Bill



Posts: 1039
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 11 2007,18:02   

Br'er Marks, he lay low.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 11 2007,20:01   

I haven't heard back from Marks concerning my correspondence. I did send another note showing where I had publicly pointed out the error that obviates their analysis in the "Active Information" essay on the "evolutionaryinformatics.org" website, that time about five years ago.

It will be interesting to see what calculus they use on their decision. Do they continue to try to publish a paper with a long-known error that is critical to their analysis, such that they take the very public fallout that will assuredly follow? Or do they remove the bogus essay from their website, admitting that they can't get the description of the simplest of evolutionary computation pedagogical examples right, despite getting clues about it seven years ago? In the first case, it is likely that they will be looking at another tainted, and perhaps retracted, publication, much like Meyer 2004b. In the second case, they end up self-retracting 2/3rds of the content of the "Evolutionary Informatics Laboratory", snatching the rug out from under IDC cheerleaders bashing Baylor University over censoring the wonderful scientific content of the EIL.

Tough call, I know. In the first case, they blow any pretense to scientific integrity. In the second case, they blow most of their credibility (such as it is). Of course, IDC cheerleaders don't appreciate the first and obviously don't care about the second, which makes choice 2 the clear winner if all one cares about is the IDC followership. Choice 1 would contrariwise be evidence that at least one of the pair still cares something for the scientific process.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 13 2007,03:26   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 12 2007,02:01)
I haven't heard back from Marks concerning my correspondence. I did send another note showing where I had publicly pointed out the error that obviates their analysis in the "Active Information" essay on the "evolutionaryinformatics.org" website, that time about five years ago.

It will be interesting to see what calculus they use on their decision. Do they continue to try to publish a paper with a long-known error that is critical to their analysis, such that they take the very public fallout that will assuredly follow? Or do they remove the bogus essay from their website, admitting that they can't get the description of the simplest of evolutionary computation pedagogical examples right, despite getting clues about it seven years ago? In the first case, it is likely that they will be looking at another tainted, and perhaps retracted, publication, much like Meyer 2004b. In the second case, they end up self-retracting 2/3rds of the content of the "Evolutionary Informatics Laboratory", snatching the rug out from under IDC cheerleaders bashing Baylor University over censoring the wonderful scientific content of the EIL.

Tough call, I know. In the first case, they blow any pretense to scientific integrity. In the second case, they blow most of their credibility (such as it is). Of course, IDC cheerleaders don't appreciate the first and obviously don't care about the second, which makes choice 2 the clear winner if all one cares about is the IDC followership. Choice 1 would contrariwise be evidence that at least one of the pair still cares something for the scientific process.

{waves hand in the air}

Oooh Miss, me Miss, me I know Miss, me Miss, me!

I have consulted my Complex Specified Information Design Detecting Teleology Seeking Device (that's a magic 8 ball for those in the know) and I confidently predict Dembski and Marks will plumb for option 2.

If I am wrong, may God strike Mike Behe down with a particularly nasty case of piles.*

No one can say I'm not fair.

Louis

* I don't belive god exists. This therefore won't happen. Prof Behe, if you are reading, you may sit comfortably. Unless of course you already have piles....hey wait a minute, I see motivation.....no, no, it couldn't be THAT. Forget it.

--------------
Bye.

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 16 2007,10:36   

Quote

I keep refreshing the relevant links (PT, Austringer, UD, Schneider's blog) hoping for something other than crickets.


The "Intelligent Designer" may have an inordinate fondness for beetles, but His boosters seem to have a thing for crickets.

I think you can stop refreshing the links now.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2007,14:26   

Here's the sort of thing one can find out with just a little bit of fact-checking:



Remember how Dembski and Marks claimed that the only reason Dawkins's "weasel" worked better than blind search was because it used "partitioned search"? Remember how I pointed out that Dawkins never said anything that could even be construed as "partitioned search"? Well, the chart above shows that the other part of the assertion from Dembski and Marks is bogus, too. Plain old evolutionary computation without help from "partitioned search" comes within an order of magnitude of the efficiency of "partitioned search". The difference between the two is about 3.4x, or about 8.2 milli-dembskis of error.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
JAM



Posts: 517
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2007,15:51   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 10 2007,09:34)
The real problem is the shortcut epistemology that underlies certain varieties of Christian belief. I'll try to capture this in a shorthand fashion:

1. Christians are commanded to tell the truth.

C1. If another Christian tells you something, you are warranted in taking it as true.

C2. If a non-Christian tells you something, you are warranted in doubting it.

Maybe we can force them to watch the Star Trek episode "I, Mudd."

Quote
Captain Kirk: Harry lied to you, Norman. Everything Harry says is a lie. Remember that, Norman. *Everything* he says is a lie.

Harcourt Fenton Mudd: Now I want you to listen to me very carefully, Norman. I'm... lying.

Norman: You say you are lying, but if everything you say is a lie, then you are telling the truth, but you cannot tell the truth because you always lie... illogical! Illogical! Please explain! You are human; only humans can explain! Illogical!

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 18 2007,22:05   

Quote
"... You are human; only humans can explain! Illogical!"


"I am not programmed to respond in that area."

Henry

  
Rob



Posts: 154
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2007,01:06   

Today's Orwellian moment is brought to you by Dr. William Dembski.

Here is part of Dembski's interview with Mario Lopez, as displayed in the Google cache on Oct. 20, 2007:    
Quote
CA: Are you evading the tough questions?

WD: Of course not. But tough questions take time to answer, and I have been patiently answering them. I find it interesting now that I have started answering the critics’ questions with full mathematical rigor (see http://web.ecs.baylor.edu/faculty....s.html) that they are strangely silent. Jeff Shallit, for instance, when I informed him of some work of mine on the conservation of information told me that he refuse to address it because I had not adequately addressed his previous objections to my work, though the work on conservation of information about which I was informing him was precisely in response to his concerns. Likewise, I’ve interacted with Wolpert. Once I started filling in the mathematical details of my work, however, he fell silent. Perhaps the most striking instance of silence is that of Thomas Schneider, whose article on the evolution of biological information in Nucleic Acids Research (2000) claims to refute my colleague Michael Behe. When Robert Marks and I recently showed that his evolutionary program was equivalent to a neural network and that it works worse than pure chance (http://web.ecs.baylor.edu/faculty/marks/T/ev2.pdf), he too fell silent though in the past he would reply in a day’s time on his own website to any challenge from me. I have found that Darwinists make a habit of staying quiet about problems with their theory and ignore the best criticisms of it.

CA: Are there any major universities supporting the work of ID proponents? If not, why not?

WD: I wouldn’t say that universities as such support ID. They tolerate it if the faculty member doing ID research has tenure. And if they don’t have tenure, the university makes sure that they don’t get tenure (the tenure denial of Guillermo Gonzalez at Iowa State University is latest instance). Why this opposition? Darwinists have been very successful at demonizing anyone who dissents from their materialistic view of evolution. They have essentially established a Stalinist regime over the western academy.

CA: I know about the Biologic Institute and the work of Dr. Minnich. Are there any other laboratories currently doing ID work?

WD: Baylor’s Evolutionary Informatics Lab: www.evolutionaryinformatics.org. I understand another ID lab at Baylor is on the way.
(Emphasis mine)

If you look at the interview as it is reported now, the same part reads as follows:    
Quote
CA: Are you evading the tough questions?

WD: Of course not. But tough questions take time to answer, and I have been patiently answering them. I find it interesting now that I have started answering the critics’ questions with full mathematical rigor (see the publications page at www.EvoInfo.org) that they are largely silent. Jeff Shallit, for instance, when I informed him of some work of mine on the conservation of information told me that he refuse to address it because I had not adequately addressed his previous objections to my work, though the work on conservation of information about which I was informing him was precisely in response to his concerns. Likewise, I’ve interacted with Wolpert. Once I started filling in the mathematical details of my work, however, he fell silent.

CA: Are there any major universities supporting the work of ID proponents? If not, why not?

WD: Previously I would have said that universities don’t so much support ID as tolerate it if the faculty member doing ID research has tenure. But I can’t say that any longer. Robert Marks’s Evolutionary Informatics Lab had a presence on the Baylor server until the work of the lab was linked to ID (there had been anonymous complaints), at which point the Baylor administration went into Marks’s webspace and, without his permission, removed the EIL site from his space on the Baylor server. For the whole sordid story, which gained national media attention and will be featured in the upcoming Ben Stein documentary (www.expelledthemovie.com), go to my blog Uncommon Descent (http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/media-coverage-baylor-robert-marks-and-the-evolutionary-informatics-lab/). Mind you, Robert Marks’s title is Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering—he doesn’t just have tenure but he is (or was) a star professor at Baylor. In any case, Marks still remains at his university. Untenured faculty are not so fortunate. In the case of faculty members who support ID and don’t have tenure, most universities make sure that they don’t get tenure (the tenure denial of Guillermo Gonzalez at Iowa State University is latest instance). Why this opposition? Darwinists have been very successful at demonizing anyone who dissents from their materialistic view of evolution. They have essentially established a Stalinist regime over the western academy.

CA: I know about the Biologic Institute and the work of Dr. Minnich. Are there any other laboratories currently doing ID work?

WD: The Evolutionary Informatics Lab: www.EvoInfo.org. I knew of another ID lab that another faculty member at Baylor (not Robert Marks) was intent on starting, but with the witch-hunt against Marks, that’s not going to happen any time soon.

Most interesting is the bolded part, which is missing in the latest version of the interview.  Dembski has gone back in time and removed his false claim against Schneider's ev program and his crowing about Schneider's lack of response.  But hey, that was just street theater anyway.

I suppose it's Dembski's prerogative to change what he said, but I'm not impressed with the fact that he excised a false claim without acknowledging that it's false and noting the excision.

--------------
-- Rob, the fartist formerly known as 2ndclass

  
Rob



Posts: 154
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2007,01:45   

P.S.  The original interview is found on the Baylor server.

--------------
-- Rob, the fartist formerly known as 2ndclass

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2007,04:05   

Quote (Rob @ Oct. 21 2007,02:45)
P.S.  The original interview is found on the Baylor server.

Actually, the "original" interview as presented in that document is already silently redacted. The ORIGINAL original presented at Ciencia Alternativa is in Spanish and includes a number of questions and answers dropped from the IDEA version.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2007,11:33   

Dembski:
Quote
Con la creación del Laboratorio de Informática Evolutiva de la Universidad de Baylor este mismo mes y el trabajo llevado a cabo por mi y mi colega Robert Marks acerca de la conservación de la información (del cual algunos artículos están disponibles en www.evolutionaryinformatics.org), creo que el DI está finalmente en posición de desafiar ciertos supuestos fundamentales de las ciencias naturales acerca de la naturaleza y del origen de la información. Creo que esto tendrá un gran impacto en la ciencia.
Bill is so modest.

There is more:
Quote
Este trabajo acaba de empezar y puede consultarse en www.evolutionaryinformatics.org. En cualquier caso, me veo como una parte de una comunidad investigadora vibrante y dinámica que está alcanzando rápidamente perspectivas interesantes.


Edited by Dr.GH on Oct. 21 2007,09:38

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

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

   
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2007,11:49   

Quote
E. A.: El movimiento por el DI ha sido duramente atacado por académicos y periodistas. ¿Crees que sus críticas te han ayudado a mejorar tus propios puntos de vista o piensas que estos ataques son solo puro fanatismo? ¿Hay alguna crítica constructiva realizada por algún enemigo del DI?

W. D.: Parte de esas críticas son mezquinas y muestran una enorme ignorancia del trabajo de la comunidad del DI. Pero otras críticas han mostrado su valor. En relación a mi propio trabajo, gente como Jeffrey Shallit, Wesley Elsberry y Ken Miller han argumentado que no puede inferirse diseño en los sistemas biológicos porque esos sistemas que mis colegas y yo atribuimos al diseño pueden ser en realidad explicados por procesos evolutivos darvinistas. Al plantear sus refutaciones, me han obligado a examinar más de cerca el poder de los procesos evolutivos, de ahí mi trabajo en la informática evolutiva. Al profundizar en sus afirmaciones, me encuentro con que los procesos evolutivos sin guía no tienen el poder creativo que mis críticos les confieren y que, de hecho, siempre requieren tanta información como proporcionan. No siempre me gusta el espíritu de mis críticos, que no solo consiste en refutar mis ideas sino en desacreditar mi legitimidad como especialista. Pero las críticas en sí han sido muy útiles para motivar, clarificar y extender mis ideas.
The part I put in bold (losely translated), "I simply dislike the the spirit of my critics, who don't just try to refute my ideas, but also to discredit my legitimacy as an expert."  You meany bad critics.

Quote
M. L.: Tus críticos (Wein, Perakh, Shallit, Elsberry, Wolpert y otros) no parecen satisfechos con su trabajo. Te acusan de ser en cierto modo esotérico y carente de rigor intelectual. ¿Qué tiene que decir de esta acusación?

W. D.: La mayoría de estos críticos responden a mi libro No free lunch. Como expliqué en el prefacio de este libro, el objeto es proporcionar suficientes detalles técnicos como para que los expertos queden satisfechos, pero también suficiente contenido como para que el lector general pueda comprender la esencia de mi proyecto. El libro parece haberlo conseguido con el lector general y con algunos expertos aunque principalmente con aquellos que tienen una buena disposición para con el DI. En cualquier caso, quedó claro tras la publicación del libro que necesitaba poner a punto algunos detalles matemáticos, cosa que he estado haciendo recientemente (véase mis artículos contenidos en Mathematical Foundations of Intelligent Design en www.designinference.com), y que han sido abordados en profundidad y en colaboración con mi amigo y colega Robert Marks en el Laboratorio de Informatica Evolutiva (www.evolutionaryinformatics.org).


Ah, here it is (the translation above is actually good).

Quote
M. L.: ¿Evitas cuestiones difíciles?

W. D.: Claro que no. Pero lleva tiempo contestar a las cuestiones difíciles y he sido paciente para hacerlo. Encuentro interesante que ahora que he respondido a las cuestiones críticas con pleno rigor matemático (véase http://web.ecs.baylor.edu/faculty/marks/eil/Publications.html) ellos guarden, extrañamente, silencio. Por ejemplo Jeff Shallit, cuando le informé acerca de mi trabajo sobre la conservación de la información, me dijo que se negaba a hacerlo porque yo no había respondido de manera adecuada sus anteriores objeciones, pese a que el trabajo sobre la conservación de la información del que le estaba informando era precisamente en respuesta a sus objeciones. Igualmente, he contactado con Wolpert. Pero una vez que empecé a completar los detalles matemáticos de mi trabajo, guardó silencio. Quizás el silencio más sorprendente sea el Thomas Schneider, cuyo artículo sobre la evolución de la información biológica en Nucleic Acids Research (2000) afirma refutar a mi colega Michael J. Behe. Cuando Robert Marks y yo demostramos recientemente que su programa evolutivo era equivalente a una red neuronal y que trabajaba peor que el puro azar, también guardó silencio aunque en el pasado había respondido dentro del mismo día en su propia página web a cualquiera de mis críticas. Me he encontrado con que los darwinistas tienen por costumbre permanecer inconmovibles ante los problemas de su teoría e ignorar el mejor criticismo que se le plantea.


It is clear that Dembski had a huge emotional investment in the "Baylor Lab."  It was to be his academic redemption.  Instead, it repeated his defeat.

Edited by Dr.GH on Oct. 21 2007,10:27

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

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

   
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2007,13:04   

Quote
M. L.: ¿Cree que estamos ante la aparición inminente de una teoría neo-saltacional en el marasmo de las ideas?

W. D.: No creo que la evidencia apoye un ancestro común universal, pero hay teóricos del diseño como Michael J. Behe que sí lo creen. Una teoría saltacionista de la diversificación de la vida es por consiguiente una opción basada en la teoría del diseño pero no es la única opción y no espero que dentro del movimiento del DI una posición cobre ventaja sobre otra.


My translation, "I don't believe the evidence supports that there was a universal common ancestor, but there are design theorists like Michael J. Behe who do."  (My translation is a bit stronger in attitude, but he did say "believe" not "think."  And he most definately says "universal common ancestor" not "universal common descent" as translated in the IDEA article).

Elsewhere I recall Dembski saying he had "no problem" with common ancestory.  He may be quibbling over "universal common ancestor" as opposed to some general sense of common ancestory of closely realated species.  From his remarks about the Cambrian explosion (only 5 to 10 million years, 550 Ma BCE), I expect he is thinking that it is there that all the designer's designing was designed.  A classic "God of the Gaps" position.

Edited by Dr.GH on Oct. 21 2007,11:16

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

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

   
Hermagoras



Posts: 1260
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2007,18:55   

Just curious: was the interview actually conducted in Spanish?

--------------
"I am not currently proving that objective morality is true. I did that a long time ago and you missed it." -- StephenB

http://paralepsis.blogspot.com/....pot.com

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 21 2007,22:23   

Color me doubtful. I'd expect it to have been conducted in English.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Dr.GH



Posts: 2113
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 22 2007,01:31   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Oct. 21 2007,20:23)
Color me doubtful. I'd expect it to have been conducted in English.

Almost for sure the original was English.  Which brings up an interesting question, the English version is far milder than the Spanish.

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

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

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 22 2007,08:54   

Antievolutionist exaggeration would explain the change in emphasis.

Example

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 30 2007,15:35   

We're past twenty days since Robert Marks was delivered notice that the "Active Information" essay's analysis is founded upon a mistake -- where the mistake's existence was pointed out directly over seven years ago. I have received no response, and there has been no change in the availability of the essay.

Given how quickly the "Unacknowledged Costs" essay based on a programming error was pulled, it looks like Dembski and Marks plan to brazen this one out.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 15 2007,05:06   

Out past thirty days and still no response.

Bump for the folks at UD who wondered where the "unacknowledged costs" paper went.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 15 2007,05:12   

In a discussion I had with Rob Pennock, he gave me a summary of arguments Alvin Plantinga makes regarding knowledge. What I took from that is that in Plantinga's view (and thus the view of much of the IDC movement) knowledge is only possible via God's grace in making someone a functioning knower; error is an indication that one is not properly functioning/not in God's good graces.

So admitting error, it turns out, is not merely a sign of having a faulty argument, but also an admission that one doesn't have God's backing, that one is not properly functioning.

I wonder if even Plantinga could get on board with the notion that it isn't really an error if the proof of error can either be ignored or digitally scrubbed out of existence.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Hermagoras



Posts: 1260
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 15 2007,07:32   

Check UD.  In the comments, getawitness has politely raised the issue and now he wants an answer!

--------------
"I am not currently proving that objective morality is true. I did that a long time ago and you missed it." -- StephenB

http://paralepsis.blogspot.com/....pot.com

   
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 15 2007,07:47   

Quote (Hermagoras @ Nov. 15 2007,08:32)
Check UD.  In the comments, getawitness has politely raised the issue and now he wants an answer!

Link for that and the quote, just for posterity.  (Thanks for that Hermagoras.)

Quote
Bugsy [160], I took your advice and Googled the paper (for those watching, it’s “Unacknowledged Information Costs in Evolutionary Computing: A Case Study on the Evolution of Nucleotide Binding Sites.”) Wow! What a story if true. As the story goes, Dr. Dembski put this refutation of Tom Schneider’s “ev” program on the evo-info website and crowed about how Schneider had not responded to it. Then when the paper was soundly refuted and shown to contain devastating errors, it was removed without comment from the site.

Now, if this story is true, it seems scandalous. Dr. Dembski has routinely decried the Darwinist rewriting of history that he observes. (He did so just weeks ago in the case of Homer Jacobson.) Is there any place where he either retracts the paper publicly, contests the refutation by Schneider and others, or offers another explanation for its disappearance? I would like to believe that the story is not as it seems.


--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Hermagoras



Posts: 1260
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 15 2007,20:12   

UD has now eliminated an entire thread where getawitness insisted on bringing things to light: luckily, someone saved the comments.

--------------
"I am not currently proving that objective morality is true. I did that a long time ago and you missed it." -- StephenB

http://paralepsis.blogspot.com/....pot.com

   
Hermagoras



Posts: 1260
Joined: June 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 16 2007,12:12   

Well howdydo!  Pressure at Uncommon Descent has apparently produced the following statement:

Quote
ERRATA

Thanks to those who pointed to a bug in our software.  This paper has been withdrawn.


Link

--------------
"I am not currently proving that objective morality is true. I did that a long time ago and you missed it." -- StephenB

http://paralepsis.blogspot.com/....pot.com

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 16 2007,18:44   

I checked out the PowerPoint that was linked as the "new analysis" concerning the Marks and Dembski critique of Schneider's "ev".

Before: 'Ev sucks, because our bogus program proves it!'

After: 'Ev sucks, because we say so!'

Yeah, big improvement... not.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
mitschlag



Posts: 236
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 17 2007,08:08   

Unfortunately, the PowerPoint falls flat without fart noises.

I'm eagerly awaiting the YouTube version.

--------------
"You can establish any “rule” you like if you start with the rule and then interpret the evidence accordingly." - George Gaylord Simpson (1902-1984)

  
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 17 2007,08:29   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Nov. 16 2007,18:44)
I checked out the PowerPoint that was linked as the "new analysis" concerning the Marks and Dembski critique of Schneider's "ev".

Before: 'Ev sucks, because our bogus program proves it!'

After: 'Ev sucks, because we say so!'

Yeah, big improvement... not.

That Powerpoint was also a typical engineering production. Lots of densely packed text, little attention to graphic design niceties, and overloaded with tricksy animations.

It would really suck to have to take a class from either Dembski or Marks.

--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
                        - Pattiann Rogers

   
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Nov. 17 2007,08:38   

Quote (Hermagoras @ Nov. 16 2007,12:12)
Well howdydo!  Pressure at Uncommon Descent has apparently produced the following statement:

Quote
ERRATA

Thanks to those who pointed to a bug in our software.  This paper has been withdrawn.


Link

I just noticed that Gil Dodgen(!!) and Granville Sewell are on the job at the EI "lab."  Further evidence that the lab is part of a clown college.

--------------
Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
olegt



Posts: 1405
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 05 2007,09:59   

"Unacknowledged information costs" is back online in a revised form.

In other news, Tom English is no longer listed at the EIL personnel page.

--------------
If you are not:
Galapagos Finch
please Logout »

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 05 2007,10:04   

They have Gil's checkers program up there in resources. That'll assist "investigating how information makes evolution possible"...  :O

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 05 2007,14:34   

At first glance, it appears that the only difference between the "revised" version and the original essay is that the original said that they got their numbers from a MATLAB script, and the revised essay doesn't say where their numbers come from. I sure don't see newly derived numbers, with the exception of two new figures for the paper (4 and 5). That's going on memory at the moment.

So, the script that they based their numbers upon was found to have several serious problems. They've removed all reference to the script, but have retained the bogus numbers that they generated with the busted script. They have failed to acknowledge the criticism or the critics who pointed out the problems in the original version of the essay.

This is going to look great when I discuss it in my follow-up essay, assuming they manage to get this incredible dog published.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Rob



Posts: 154
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 14 2007,12:42   

It looks like they're now acknowledging that their numbers apply to a much easier target than the one in Schneider's paper.  (A target of all positives is a cakewalk -- all it takes is a very low threshold value.)

Their numbers are still all wrong, since they're based on a misunderstanding of ev.  They think that the search space is 2^131, but it's really 2^256.  Had they stepped through a a few generations of an ev run, they would have known this.

But their biggest problem is still that their framework is nothing more than an obfuscatory semantic game.  For instance, they say that endogenous information is "a numerical measure of the inherent difficulty of the problem to be solved," but it would be more accurate to say that it's the inherent difficulty of a different problem with different probabilities.

Here's an example:  What is the inherent difficulty of rolling a 7 with a pair of dice?  We might naively think that the answer is based the number 1/6, which is the probability of rolling a 7.  Wrong, say D&M, the actual probability doesn't matter -- all that matters is the size of the search space.  D&M would presumably say that the inherent difficulty of rolling a 7 is based on a probability of 1/11, which is not the probability of the problem in question.

And how do we non-arbitrarily define the search space?  D&M seem to define it as the set of outcomes accessible to the algorithm in question.  But for non-trivial problems, we don't know what outcomes are accessible unless the algorithm's starting point is chosen randomly from a well-defined set.  But the java version of ev starts at the same point every time (it doesn't randomly seed the random number generator), so its set of accessible outcomes is much smaller than the set of all n-bit sequences.  So even if 131 were the correct number for n, the search space of ev would be much less than 2^131.

To see further see why D&M's notion of "inherent difficulty" isn't very meaningful, consider a problem that involves an infinite set possible outcomes.  Take, for instance, a Poisson distribution, which occurs commonly in nature.  For lambda=1, all non-negative numbers have a non-zero probability, but the outcome is virtually guaranteed to be 0, 1, 2, or maybe 3.  But according to D&M, the inherent difficulty of finding any of these very likely outcomes is infinite!  D&M's terminology simply doesn't mean what it seems to mean.

--------------
-- Rob, the fartist formerly known as 2ndclass

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 14 2007,15:56   

Re "D&M's terminology simply doesn't mean what it seems to mean."

Like that line from the movie "The Princess Bride": "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

Henry

  
Rob



Posts: 154
Joined: July 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2007,10:23   

Wes might be interested to know that Dembski and Marks have rewritten the response to Haggstrom, but they still claim that WEASEL is a partitioned search.

--------------
-- Rob, the fartist formerly known as 2ndclass

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2007,11:04   

They are deluded, and Dembski at least has cherished that particular confusion for years.

I'm disappointed that Marks did not recognize Dembski's recalcitrance on this point as unscholarly and false.

There's also the issue that I've already done the runs that show that "weasel" as Dawkins actually described it comes within an order of magnitude of the efficiency of the "partitioned search" that they going haring off after. If they manage to publish, I will be pointing out all the opportunities they've been given to actually get it right, and stubbornly clove to error instead.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2007,11:08   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Dec. 31 2007,11:04)
They are deluded, and Dembski at least has cherished that particular confusion for years.

I'm disappointed that Marks did not recognize Dembski's recalcitrance on this point as unscholarly and false.

There's also the issue that I've already done the runs that show that "weasel" as Dawkins actually described it comes within an order of magnitude of the efficiency of the "partitioned search" that they going haring off after. If they manage to publish, I will be pointing out all the opportunities they've been given to actually get it right, and stubbornly clove to error instead.

Have you contacted Marks directly?

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2007,14:28   

RTH:

Quote

Have you contacted Marks directly?


Yes. No reply now since early October. I will be bringing up the issue of my correspondence should they manage to get this thing published in a real journal.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Dec. 31 2007,14:30   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Dec. 31 2007,14:28)
RTH:

Quote

Have you contacted Marks directly?


Yes. No reply now since early October. I will be bringing up the issue of my correspondence should they manage to get this thing published in a real journal.

That is sad. I was hoping he was a good guy who didn't have all the facts.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4807
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2008,10:14   

Given Marks' reported comments on evolutionary computation, I am going to enjoy making a response to the essays of the EIL whenever and wherever they appear, if ever.

The fact that neither Dembski nor Marks can apparently read the few pages in Dawkins' "The Blind Watchmaker" describing "weasel", but instead rely upon a long-rebutted misrepresentation of it will be a prominent feature.

Back in 1997, my talk at the DI-sponsored "Naturalism, Theism, and the Scientific Enterprise" was itself a bit of a retrospective of the Wistar conference. I took Schutzenberger's mistakes as a case study, and delineated how subsequent antievolutionists enshrined those mistakes, never noting the existence of the evolutionary computation literature that showed the original stuff to be mere poppycock.

--------------
"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Tracy P. Hamilton



Posts: 1239
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 07 2008,11:34   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Feb. 07 2008,10:14)
Given Marks' reported comments on evolutionary computation, I am going to enjoy making a response to the essays of the EIL whenever and wherever they appear, if ever.

The fact that neither Dembski nor Marks can apparently read the few pages in Dawkins' "The Blind Watchmaker" describing "weasel", but instead rely upon a long-rebutted misrepresentation of it will be a prominent feature.

Back in 1997, my talk at the DI-sponsored "Naturalism, Theism, and the Scientific Enterprise" was itself a bit of a retrospective of the Wistar conference. I took Schutzenberger's mistakes as a case study, and delineated how subsequent antievolutionists enshrined those mistakes, never noting the existence of the evolutionary computation literature that showed the original stuff to be mere poppycock.


Schutzenberger said it, I beleive it, that settles it!  I wonder how many of the antievolutionists have actually looked at the Wistar symposium proceedings?

--------------
"Following what I just wrote about fitness, you’re taking refuge in what we see in the world."  PaV

"The simple equation F = MA leads to the concept of four-dimensional space." GilDodgen

"We have no brain, I don't, for thinking." Robert Byers

  
olegt



Posts: 1405
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 19 2008,07:11   

EIL continues to evolve.  The critique of Schneider's ev has been taken off the EIL publication list.  

The paper was titled "Unacknowledged Information Costs in Evolutionary Computing: A Case Study on the Evolution of Nucleotide Binding Sites".  It's now gone.  The link provided above by Hermagoras goes to a 404.

The current list of papers (all preprints), for future references:
* William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II "Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success" (in review).
* William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II   "The Information Cost of No Free Lunch," (in review)
* William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II  "Horizontal and Vertical No Free Lunch for Active Information in Assisted Searches" (in review)
* William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II  "Judicious Use of Computational Resources in Evolutionary Search" (in review)

--------------
If you are not:
Galapagos Finch
please Logout »

  
Zachriel



Posts: 2709
Joined: Sep. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Mar. 19 2008,09:08   

Quote (olegt @ Mar. 19 2008,07:11)
EIL continues to evolve...

* William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II   "The Information Cost of No Free Lunch," (in review)

From that paper:

Quote
Dembski & Marks: In refuting the NFLT, for example, critics talk of search structures having “links” in the optimization space and smoothness constraints allowing for use of “hill-climbing” optimization. Making such assumptions about underlying search structures is not only common but also vital to the success of optimizing searchers (e.g., adaptive filters and the training of layered perceptron neural networks). Such assumptions, however, are useless when searching to find a sequence of, say, 7 letters from a 26-letter alphabet to form a word that will pass successfully through a spell checker, or choosing a sequence of commands from 26 available commands to generate a logic operation such as XNOR.

This claim is very close to a claim made by Sean Pitman, of talk.origins fame, concerning word evolution.


Word Mutagenation



I know that Dembski tends to write in "jello", so it is sometimes hard to pin down his assertions, but he certainly seems to be saying that the wordscape does not "link" in such a way as to make a standard "hill-climbing" optimization possible. In fact, 7-letter (and longer) words quite readily evolve from simple precursors (even without selection for length).

I'm rather surprised that Dembski would repeat such a claim. And that the claim remains in the paper. I can’t believe Dembski chose Word Mutagenation!!

--------------
Proudly banned three four five times by Uncommon Descent.
There is only one Tard. The Tard is One.

   
  86 replies since Sep. 30 2007,22:57 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

Pages: (3) < [1] 2 3 >   


Track this topic Email this topic Print this topic

[ Read the Board Rules ] | [Useful Links] | [Evolving Designs]