Sunday, February 18, 2007

Climate Change, separating science from propaganda.

David Springer has indicated that Uncommon Descent is the place to find out the truth about global warming. However, there are those who are unable to post queries or alternative views as Dave controls access to his threads.

So, in the hope that Dave is pursuing this topic in the light of furthering human knowledge, rather than taking a particular propaganda line ( You do live in Texas, after all, Dave), I offer this thread to all who have questions, additional evidence and material that they are unable to post at Uncommon Descent.

Naturally, I invite Dave and any fellow contributors and commenters from Uncommon Descent to participate if they wish. Usual minimal rules apply, (no obscenity, no spam) and as an additional request can I ask everyone to restrain themselves from using gratuitous abuse.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Climate change is part of the Darwinian conspiracy?

As "Intelligent Design" has utterly failed as a way to insinuate creationist ideas into state school curricula, it seems that Uncommon Descent has given up all pretence that is any kind of science blog and is now openly promoting an obvious right-wing politico-religious agenda. The views of David Springer, expressed virtually unchallenged in this carefully moderated environment, would be less hilarious if they were to become part of a political party's manifesto.

The most worrying issue for me is how Springer and others can dismiss climate change in such a cavalier manner and in the face of evidence from many sources. So much evidence is available, in my own area, glaciers in the Pyrenees have disappeared. Mount Kilimanjaro glaciers have shrunk alarmingly over the last 80 years. The Antarctic , the Greenland ice shelf, the Arctic sea ice, everywhere one looks, the trend is clear. That people can still promote ID is no longer a problem after Dover, but why are the same people denying climate change? This is serious. Have these reality deniers no thought for their children's future?

Friday, February 09, 2007


I am unavailable for the next few days, as my sister-in-law and family are here for a short visit. Her husband wanted to check his emails and noticed the title of the previous thread which happened to be on the screen. "Who is Bill Dembski?", he asked me. The U. K. is definitely ripe for an "Intelligent Design" take-over.

I am temporarily suspending comments till I get back.

Edit: On reflection, I will leave comments open, so, play nice till I get back.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Explanatory Filter, a useful process?

Secondclass' thread reminded me of a question I asked at the ARN board over a year ago. What can be achieved with the explanatory filter when applying the process to a real biological system? Despite the thread running for nine months and to eighteen pages, nobody came up with any true example.

Indeed, Salvador Cordova disingenuously introduced the "red herring" of Genetic-ID, which he also trotted out again here.
The comments are amusing for several reasons, DaveScot not being impressed with Salvador's argument, and a couple of posts by one Xavier (me), with Secondclass getting a DaveScot addition to his final comment.

If Joe Gallien has time, maybe he could enlighten me as to whether the EF has yet been applied to a real biological example.

This thread might be the place for anyone else apart from Joe and Secondclass who might wish to comment on the previous thread.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

"How Carefully Do Dembski's Advocates Read His Work?" by Secondclass

It seems to me that anyone who finds Dembski's work convincing hasn't read it very carefully or thought about it very much. I have yet to find an exception, other than possibly Dembski himself.

The most extreme case I've discovered is Joe G., who claims that he has read The Design Inference, No Free Lunch, and other works by Dembski, and that he has discussed complexity and specification with Dembski himself. But after all that study, Joe still hasn't grasped even the basics of Dembski's approach and terminology.

1. Joe doesn't know that the "complexity" part of "specified complexity" is synonymous with improbability.

2. Joe doesn't know that specificity is positively correlated with simplicity of description.

3. Joe doesn't know that Dembski's most oft-used example, the Caputo incident, is an instance of specified complexity, according to Dembski.

4. Joe doesn't know that knowledge of designers' capabilities plays no role in Dembski's approach. He has failed to realize the Dembski's approach is eliminative, with design exempt from consideration for elimination.

And until he was corrected, Joe thought that detachability was a sign of fabrication rather than a requirement for specification.

Those of you familiar with Dembski's work can decide whether Joe has actually read what he claims to have read. Either way, I thank Joe for adding a strong data point to my theory regarding the level of understanding of Dembski advocates.