A brief disclaimer before I start. I do not read Uncommon Descent. I didn’t check
it before writing my post yesterday. So I didn’t know about the content of Dembski’s
post there that I’m about to write about, until I saw Bob O’H‘s comment on my post this morning.
Yesterday, I explained how he used Dawkins’ “weasel” experiment as an example
of his and Marks’ approach to quantifying the information in search. I said that
it was a lousy example for what it was purportedly being used to demonstrate. And I
theorized that he wanted to claim peer-review approval for his “critique” of Dawkins.
Unbeknownst to me, before I even wrote those words, Dembski had already
done that, over on UD (as usual, I refuse to link to UD; you know where to find them
if you really must):
P.S. Our critics will immediately say that this really isn’t a pro-ID article but that it’s about something else (I’ve seen this line now for over a decade once work on ID started encroaching into peer-review territory). Before you believe this, have a look at the article. In it we critique, for instance, Richard Dawkins METHINKS*IT*IS*LIKE*A*WEASEL (p. 1055). Question: When Dawkins introduced this example, was he arguing pro-Darwinism? Yes he was. In critiquing his example and arguing that information is not created by unguided evolutionary processes, we are indeed making an argument that supports ID.
Umm… Bill, the reason that your critics say it isn’t a pro-ID article is because
it doesn’t talk about intelligent design. It’s a rather dull math paper
about how to quantify the information content of a search algorithm that that
allows it to perform well in a particular kind of search domain.
And the paper doesn’t critique Dawkins’ experiment at all! It
describes a variant of the “Weasel” experiment as an example of how
to quantify the landscape information in a partitioned search. It doesn’t
critique that at all; it just presents a straightforward analysis of it.
So it doesn’t actually critique anything.
But more importantly: as people have explained to you hundreds of times by now, Dawkins’ didn’t use locking. Dawkins’ search algorithm was not
partitioned search. In fact, the algorithm that Dawkins’ used can’t be
modeled as a partitioning search at all.
So, as usual… Dembski is a liar. At this point, there’s just no way to
excuse him. I don’t consider him to be a particularly competent mathematician – but
ignorance and incompetence are no longer an adequate explanation of his rubbish. He’s
had the locking error pointed out to him numerous times; he’s had the difference explained
to him, demonstrated to him, proven to him numerous times – but he still keeps
harping on the incorrect version of the experiment, because it’s an easier target.