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

Friday, July 28, 2006

Bill "Isaac Newton of INformation Theory [sic]" Dembski up to his usual tricks

Dembski bragged about being one of the primary sources for the disinformation in right-wing lunatic Ann Coulter's latest 'book', "Godless", and many have written about the glaring errors and clear propaganda it contains. Dembski's response to requests to clarify just what he told Coulter [requests form Jim Downard] are met with his usual condescending hubris and pseudo-machismo, and were posted on Dembski's blog (without permission, I suspect) for the dimwitted denizens of Dembski's den to ridicule, but no actual responses to criticisms of the garbage found in her 'book'. Read about it here and here.

For what it is worth, I found it amusing to see 'Davescot' refer to Jim's writing as if it were from a 'girly man.' I've seen a picture of DaveScot (David Scott Springer), and he is not really in a position to be referring to anyone as a 'girly man.' Also of note was 'russ' on Dembski's blog writing that Jim has an "inability to communicate with regular people." This is the same russ that wrote, after visiting this blog for fewer than 10 minutes, that it did not appear that was refuting 'anything of substance' in my writing about Crevo and Haldane's dilemma. It appears that this 'russ' - too cowardly to leave any responses here, I might add - is intellectually incapable of rendering any sort of reasoned opinion on any issue that threatens ot weaken his anti-Darwinian zealotry.

Such is the mindset of the denizens of Dembski's den of sycophantic dolts.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

My nomination for stupidest statement by a non-biologist about biology

"...An observed correspondence or correlation between some DNA codes and some amino acids, is not and will never be a causal relationship. "

Emphasis mine.

I hate to spoil it for the reader, but the writer of that uninformed nonsense is - are you ready? - anti-Darwinist computer-model maker Warren Bergerson...

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pardon my French, but...

... Conservative Republican from Oklahoma senator James Inhofe is an ignorant ass.
You can have him, Oklahoma....

Monday, July 24, 2006

Bill Dembski and his sycophants (or is it psycho-phants?) - grotesque hypocrites and all 'round bad people

While perusing the Internet Infidels creation/evolution discussion board, I came across an interesting thread.

The author had written a review of Ann Coulter's take on evolution in her latest sleaze-oozing imbecile-fest, "Godless", and dared mention that Wizard of ID, Bill Dembski (who has boasted of providing Coulter with much of her "information" about evolution).

Dembski, ever the ego-pumping hypocrite and credential monger, would have none of it.
He made an 'all you have to do is read this' post on his blog titled "Nonexperts in evolutionary biology criticizing nonexperts in evolutionary biology for criticizing evolutionary biology".

The only text of this post was a snippet from the review in which the authors rightly mention the fact that Coulter (and Behe and Dembski himself) is apparently unwilling or unable to read primary scientific journals to get information.
Dembski's supposed rebuttal is to post the 'biographies' of the co-authors of that paper - one is a PhD candidate in the Department of English at the University of Rochester, the other is "...a self-employed artist, an activist for social change, and an avid student of history and anthropology."

This is supposed to render their opinions of Coulter's book irrelevant.

Let us remind ourselves just who William Dembski is.

He is a mathematician, philosopher, and theologian.

He has never done any research in nor has he taken any college-level courses in (as far as I can tell) anything related to biology. Yet, he writes 'authoritatively' on things like genetcs, evolutionary biology, etc.

A bit of the old pot calling the kettle black, to say the least.

What is more, there is a comment on one of the comments in that thread which reads:

"Why would a biologist be considered an expert in design, digital information systems, and factory automation? Sorting out where different critters belong in the phloygenetic tree is really little more than stamp collecting. All the action is in reverse engineering the machinery of life at the molecular scale. Engineers are the experts at reverse engineering. Who cares what happened in the distant past?..."

That comment was provided by one David Scott Springer, supposedly a retired computer tinkerer at Dell. Isn't it interesting to see yet another example of the computer tech/programmer/scientist asserting primacy of his sphere of knowledge above actual relevant knowledge? Allow me to turn that comment around and make it directly relevant:

Why would an expert in design, digital information systems, and factory automation be considered an expert in biology? Concocting or re-writing computer software or re-arranging pre-existing modules is little more than over-valued trial and error. All the action in biology is trying to figure out how biological systems operate, what does the ability to alter computer screen contrast or make a faster CPU have to do with providing any special insight on that?Biologists are the experts in biology. Engineers are the experts at engineering. Who cares what happens in a computer workshop when it comes to biology?

Just so we don't forget... (Salem hypothesis data points)

Warren Bergerson is not the only anti-Darwinist zealot with an engineering background that is clueless in the relevant sciences. Let us not forget (not an all-inclusive list and in no particular order) these other folks that I've briefly mentioned:

David R. Pogge


Walter J. ReMine (aka 'Laserthing', 'IThinkSo')


Jon Bartlett (aka 'Crevo', 'johnnyb')


Steve Petermann


There are many many more out there, of course.
All claiming some sort of special insight into something that they clearly have, at best, a tenuous intellectual grasp on...

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...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Creationist engineer using 'analogy' as 'evidence' yet again

What is it with these people?

Quote;All in all, there is no direct comparison between computers and DNA, or anything else in biology. There are some useful analogies and metaphors, but they are tropes, not biological reality.

It is understandable that DD's ["Darwin Defenders" - a cute little denigratory moniker that ARN forum denizens have given people that actually understand science in an attempt to belittle them without getting into trouble ] would try to ignore the analogy between computers and living systems since analysis based on this analogy clearly demonstrates that their belief system is logically unworkable...

Clearly, the person quoted in lavender above does not understand what analogies are used for...