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Critique of Intelligent Design

Evolution vs. Creationism

The Art of ID Stuntmen

Faith vs Reason

Anthropic Principle

Autopsy of the Bible code

Science and Religion

Historical Notes


Serious Notions with a Smile


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Mark Perakh's Web Site


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Title Author Date
Complexified Specificity Perakh, Mark May 14, 2006
I like the title of Mr. Eriksen's comment – Complexifying Specificity. It has a nice sound – sufficiently obscure to suggest a hidden "scientific" meaning and at the same time having a slight tenor of derision aimed at Dembski's favorite term, Specified Complexity (SC) a.k.a. Complex Specified Information (CSI). Since Dembski's hopelessly muddled presentation of his CSI concept has decisively been shown meaningless by several critics (including articles on this site, such as the fine article by Elsberry and Shallit), perhaps Dembski could try scrambling out of the scrape he is so deep in now by switching to the term Complexifying Specificity instead of CSI. This may enable him to claim that this is his own novel concept, unlike Specified Complexity, which, aside from Dembski's inconsistent screeds, has a legitimate use.

Mr. Eriksen's overall opinion of my essay "A Free Lunch in a Mousetrap" seems to be positive, and I appreciate it. He thinks, however, that it contains a point showing my insufficient understanding of Dembski's concept of SC (which naturally implies Mr. Eriksen's better understanding of the question in point). I'd rather not discuss who understand this or that point better, as this is a matter of opinion, and everybody is entitled to believe in his own superior understanding of whatever subject is discussed.

Asserting that I misunderstand this or that point in Dembski's "theory" used to be an accusation by Dembski's acolytes (see, for example my post). Until now, however, it appeared only in posts by ID supporters. Mr. Eriksen's comment seems to be the first one where such a complaint came from somebody who generally shares my position.

Mr. Eriksen's thinks that, while I asserted that in Dembski’s view 'complexity "translates" into low probability,' in fact Dembski's position is better expressed as 'complexity "is" low probability'. Frankly, I see no substantial difference between the above two statements and therefore see no grounds for Mr. Eriksen's speaking about any "misunderstanding" on my part. Both statements can equally be applied to the description of Dembski's position, differing in unessential nuances, and therefore I see no reason to argue against Mr. Erikson's comment. The main point is that Dembski's position is contrary to both facts and logic, and in this Mr. Eriksen seems to agree with me.

Regarding Mr. Eriksen's point – that in Dembski-land words often mean not what they mean in the real world - I couldn't agree more with that, and I believe I have pointed to Dembski's inconsistent and often idiosyncratic usage of terms more than once.

Best wishes,

Mark Perakh
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