Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Not much news today, so here's a bit of Dembski nonsense...

I'll let others worry about Francine Busby... I want to draw your attention to an early bit of Dembski bilge about randomness:

Randomness, properly to be randomness, must leave nothing to chance. It must look like chance, like a child of the primeval chaos. But underneath a keen intelligence must be manipulating and calculating, taking advantage of this and that expedient so as systematically to concoct confusion.

If it looked like a duck, walked like a duck, and quacked like a duck, one would conclude, that phenomenologically, it was a duck.

Probability is silent as to mechanisms.

Let us now repudiate all pretensions to chance and probability, and require
but one thing of randomness: the systematic violation of a fixed set of patterns.

But Dembski, the absence of a pattern itself would be a pattern.

And the question you've never been able to answer is still unanswered: who gets to define a pattern, under what criteria?

Moreover, as spaces become more "dense" (in a loose term,) things that look like "patterns" as arbitrarily defined become too close to "non-patterns" to tell the difference.

Again, if you "know" what was sent in a communication system originally, you can claim it's a "pattern," but only because you know something a priori. And even then, you will make an error a certain percentage of the time.

Odd that this original article ever got published, but of course it was not in a mathematical journal.

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