Friday, July 20, 2007

Gee our old LaSalle ran great

Dembski is really on a rant. He is upset over some book reviews published in Nature. His response:

  1. Paranoia
  2. Engage in ad hominem
  3. Question motives
  4. Ring his own bell, with vim and vigor
  5. Bizzare, Nixonian-like refence to himself in third person
Here is the paranoia:
the scientific community has sunk in discussing ID. Bigotry, cluelessness, and misrepresentation don’t matter so long as the case against ID is made with sufficient vigor and vitriol
Yes, it's the tiresome old scientific community in their black helicopters vs. ID. You know what? I'm part of the scientific community and I can tell you this: the overwhelming majority of the scientific community (OK, the physics community) doesn't give a rat's ass about ID. There is a small minority of us who are interested and stay attuned, but that's the extent of it. This is especially true since Dover. ID has fallen off the radar.

The egregious ad hominem appears here:
Judge Jones, who headed the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board before assuming a federal judgeship, is now a towering intellectual worthy of multiple honorary doctorates on account of his Dover decision, which he largely cribbed from the ACLU’s and NCSE’s playbook.
The fact that Judge Jones headed the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is totally irrelevant. It is meant to suggest that Judge Jones is an intellectual lightweight. The fact that Judge Jones has received multiple honorary doctorates is also irrelevant. Here Dembski distorts an honor into something shameful, again to impugn Jones's intellect. Finally he refers to the fact that Jones lifted much of his decision from the plaintiff, apparently common practice, and once again irrelevant.

The whole paragraph is so irrelevant, so bad, that Dembski would get an F were he writing an essay for freshman English rather than a blog post.

Next, in another tactic devoid of substance, Dembski questions the motives of the writer:
Kevin Padian, for his yeoman’s service in the cause of defeating ID, is no doubt looking at an endowed chair at Berkeley and membership in the National Academy of Sciences. And that for a man who betrays no more sophistication in critiquing ID than Archie Bunker.
Note that we don't know exactly what Dembski dislikes about the Padian's review, and just how it is unsophisticated, because Dembski's post contains no content. Go read it and then tell me one, just one, specific problem Dembski sees in Padian's review. It might, in fact, be the worst review in the history of reviews, but all we know is that it makes Dembski really, really, mad.

Then the post turns to self-aggrandizement:
Finally, Texas A&M awarded me the Trotter Prize jointly with Stuart Kauffman in 2005 for my work on design detection. The committee that recommended the award included individuals with mathematical competence. By the way, other recipients of this award include Charlie Townes, Francis Crick, Alan Guth, John Polkinghorne, Paul Davies, Robert Shapiro, Freeman Dyson, Bill Phillips, and Simon Conway Morris
And then this
Would it help to derail ID to characterize Dembski as a mathematical klutz. Then characterize him as a mathematical klutz.

What Dembski forgot to mention, what he always forgets to mention, is that he has never used his magnum opus. Not once. Here is opportunity for Dembski or one of his students to demonstrate his mathematical prowess. His explanatory filter is shown for convenience. Please use it to demonstrate that anything biological is designed.

The response of the ID movement is sooooo depressing. No research, no publications (not even in their own journal) no nothin'. Just a balling of tiny fists accompanied by an incessant whine.

For crying out loud man, stop bellyaching and do something.

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