Commentary on the so-called Creation/Evolution/Intelligent Design Debate and Right-Wing nuttery in general - and please ignore the typos (I make lots!)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Warren Bergerson's cavalcade of whimsy

Every week or so, I peruse the ARN discussion forum for examples of what I will now call the Bergerson effect - the act of extending one's actual area of knowledge to encompass and in fact supersede all others.

I have writen about Bergerson (aka 'Lifeengineer') a few times before, but to reiterate - he is apparently an engineer of some sort that is involved in producing models of human behavior for an insurance company. His favorite themes are:
1. He has disproved 'Darwinism' using simple actuarial math
2. Only a tiny percentage of all people that call themselves scientists are actually competent in the sciences
3. A tiny percentage of scientists understand how science works
4. Genetics is a pseudoscience
5. Evolutionary biology is a pseudoscience
6. All academic science is rife with corruption and incompetence
7. All industrial science is corrupt and incompetent, also
8. He and a small handful of people (whom he refuses to name) understand how to engage in true science
9. True science involves the formulation and use of 'hard science predictive theories'

Problem is, he has NEVER, not once, ever provided any supporting documentation or evidence at all for ANY of these claims, and in fact labels all who ask for such evidence as 'trolls' or accuses them of engaging in 'politics' or ideological paradigm defense.

I pointed out how predictive theories are really not theories as in scientific theories so much as expectations from previous experience and are used primarily by those in the computer programming/computer science field.

Thus, Bergerson believes that HIS field of supposed actual 'expertise' trumps all others; that the concepts and 'theory' structure used in computer modeling not only should, but must be applied to all other fields of science. And if that is not done - if a geneticist, for example, cannot produce a "predictive theory" in the same manner that he would in computer modeling, then they are clearly incompetent and engaging in pseudoscience.

He is, in my personal opinion, of course, a very delusional person, with a hint of megalomania.

Here - see for yourself:

ID theories

Can science explain science?

Truly some amazing exchanges there.

I especially this juxtaposition of claims by Bergerson from the 'Can science...' thread:

I would argue that for even moderately complex scientific issues, the portion of scientists with professional credentials with the competence to make meaningful contributions is less that 1 in 100 and for complex issues the ratio is probably less than 1 in a thousand. Is there published reports demonstrating that at least 99 out of 100 scientists are incompetent? Probably not.


I predict that such a test would confirm the 99 plus percentage incompetence claim. ... As far as I know, there is no published data supporting this conclusion.

No evidence, no studies, no data to support his claims - which he makes frequently - and he is lecturing others about incompetence and how to engage in real science?


Oh - one last one. A claim too incredibly unsupported and stupid to let slide:

There is hard evidence that genes do not contain anywhere near sufficient information to control or determine developmental processes.

That is a particulary funny, stupid claim. It derives from some older threads (that I may attempt to track down) in which Bergerson, again directly applying computer modeling/computer programming concepts to biology, declared that any type of phenotypic change requires millions of changes in 'programming', and since genes do not possess that much "information", natural processes cannot account for such changes.

I do wonder then how this wizard would explain achondroplasia caused by a single point mutation...

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