Sunday, September 11, 2016

Beating the Dead Horse of Intelligent Design

The funniest thing about this new interview of Bill Dembski is not that it's conducted by Sean McDowell, who has a "Ph.D. in Apologetics and Worldview Studies from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary" and is the son of the well-known evangelist Josh McDowell.

It's not that McDowell doesn't ask him a single probing question.

It's not that Dembski reveals he has a new book on intelligent design coming out, co-authored with the illustrious Robert J. Marks II; the table of contents can be found here.

It's not that Dembski still doesn't understand that the source of information in biology is well-understood biological processes such as mutations, recombination, gene duplication, and gene transfer.

No, the single funniest thing is that Dembski points to his nearly-dead, on-its-last-legs vanity journal Bio-Complexity as one of the ID movement's greatest scientific successes.

As I've pointed out before, Bio-Complexity is a great example of the utter intellectual vacuity of intelligent design. Despite having an editorial board of 31 people, in 2014 the journal managed to publish exactly 1 research article and a total of 4 papers. In 2015 they published a total of 2 papers. In 2016 so far they've published exactly 1 paper. (At that rate, in 2017 they'll publish half a paper.)

Wow! That is a research record to be very proud of! It really shows that intelligent design is fruitful, and inspiring top-quality research from scientists all over the world! The only downside is all the hard editorial work that needs to be done by those 31 members of the editorial board. Why, if they didn't have to spend all their time reviewing papers, they might be publishing some intelligent design research of their own. Truly, it's a scientific success.


William Spearshake said...

And most of the papers published are authored by the editors and/or the editorial board. And to add to this embarrassment of a journal, the bios of the editorial board are not current, including that for Dembski himself.

N. Manning said...

The Table of Contents of their great new book seems to indicate that the content is largely analogies, argument via idiosyncratic definition, and self-referencing (of old essays and book chapters).

In other words - standard "we want to bilk our un-thinking followers of more of their money" creationist hyperbole and nonsense.

Joe Felsenstein said...

It is also horrifying that he talks of his ID arguments as if they were alive and unrefuted. Didn't he notice them having been knocked down, one after another?

Mikkel Rumraket Rasmussen said...

I'm frequently told that you win hearts and minds by being respectful and not insulting, and by using the principle of charity, rather than assume malice.

I don't know how to be respectful and charitable towards Dembski. He MUST know that everything he says is false. It has been shown false to him so many times he cannot be unaware of it.

The most charitable interpretation I can give is that he is crazy. As in mentally ill, rather than just a lying sack of shit. Is Bill Dembski mentally ill?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

I don't think he's crazy at all. In my opinion, he has exhibited some dishonesty on some occasions, but I think he's genuinely convinced he is right and his critics are all wrong. Part of this might be due to not reading critiques carefully or not wanting to. If you are immersed in Jesus-land and have few people that you talk to often that disagree with you, it's hard to think outside the box.