Berlinski Op-Ed: Academic Extinction

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Jason Spaceman

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Apr 1, 2005, 9:01:32 AM4/1/05
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From the article:
-------------------------------
More and More, Evolutionary Theory is Becoming Nothing More than Darwinian
Mantra

By DAVID BERLINSKI
Friday, April 1, 2005

Wearing pink tasseled slippers and conical hats covered in polka dots, Darwinian
biologists are persuaded that a plot is afoot to make them look silly. At
Internet web sites such as The Panda's Thumb or Talk Reason, where various
eminences repair to assure one another that all is well, it is considered
clever beyond measure to attack critics of Darwin's theory such as William
Dembski by misspelling his name as William Dumbski.

Publishing his work with the Cambridge University Press, hardly a venue known
for its slack intellectual standards, Dembski has proposed that designed
structures in nature might be detected by means of a rigorous analytical test.
The idea of design is a staple of the social, anthropological and forensic
sciences. It is the crucial metaphor in Noam Chomsky's minimalist theory.
Dembski holds two PhD's, the first from the University of Chicago in
mathematics, and the second from the University of Illinois in philosophy.
-------------------------------

Read it at http://www.dailycal.org/article.php?id=18178


J. Spaceman

--
My email address (notr...@jspaceman.homelinux.org) is fake. Email sent to it
will only get caught in my spam tarpit.

Pithecanthropus Erectus

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Apr 1, 2005, 10:00:39 AM4/1/05
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Jason Spaceman wrote:
> From the article:
> -------------------------------
> More and More, Evolutionary Theory is Becoming Nothing More than Darwinian
> Mantra
>
> By DAVID BERLINSKI
> Friday, April 1, 2005
>
> Wearing pink tasseled slippers and conical hats covered in polka dots, Darwinian
> biologists are persuaded that a plot is afoot to make them look silly.

Is there a site where I can get my new uniform? Is there a Junior
Ranger Darwinian Biologist uniform for those of us that aren't scientists?

Or did the EAC lose my address again? Not that they ever had it. I
mean, what EAC?


At
> Internet web sites such as The Panda's Thumb or Talk Reason, where various
> eminences repair to assure one another that all is well, it is considered
> clever beyond measure to attack critics of Darwin's theory such as William
> Dembski by misspelling his name as William Dumbski.
>
> Publishing his work with the Cambridge University Press, hardly a venue known
> for its slack intellectual standards, Dembski has proposed that designed
> structures in nature might be detected by means of a rigorous analytical test.
> The idea of design is a staple of the social, anthropological and forensic
> sciences. It is the crucial metaphor in Noam Chomsky's minimalist theory.
> Dembski holds two PhD's, the first from the University of Chicago in
> mathematics, and the second from the University of Illinois in philosophy.
> -------------------------------
>
> Read it at http://www.dailycal.org/article.php?id=18178
>
>
>
>
>
>
> J. Spaceman
>


--
"God Forbid we should actually test anything."

Creationism

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Nick

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Apr 1, 2005, 10:05:50 AM4/1/05
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PS: Searching PT on "Dumbski" gets hits to only 3 posts out of 800+:

http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=mozclient&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&q=site:www.pandasthumb.org+dumbski

...in each case, the word is used in the comments, which of course
anyone can post.

Nick

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Apr 1, 2005, 10:02:26 AM4/1/05
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April Fools. I think. It's so hard to tell with these guys...

Nick

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Apr 1, 2005, 10:07:14 AM4/1/05
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Ron O

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Apr 1, 2005, 10:56:25 AM4/1/05
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Nick wrote:
> April Fools. I think. It's so hard to tell with these guys...

The Daily Cal has gotten slapped for their April Fools antics before.
Where is the disclaimer? If you had the print copy you'd probably find
a disclaimer somewhere in the paper. It is an interesting mix of fact
and fiction, no different than what Berlinski recently passed off as
legit. It must be a stab at subtle humor with pink tassels thrown in.

Ron Okimoto

Glend

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Apr 1, 2005, 11:17:52 AM4/1/05
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Yes, it reminds me of Berlinski complaining that evolutionary theory
doesn't produce predictions to 13 decimal points, shortly after
replying to my letter in [b]Commentary[/b] (Feb., 2005) that "...if the
mind and the brain prove in the end to be hopelessly distinct, then
plainly thermodynamic considerations will play less of a role than he
[Glen] conjectures. A physical theory applies, after all, to physical
objects."

So if we stick with physics, we're wrong, and if it isn't high
precision physics (and neither the thermodynamics of mind or of
evolution produces precise predictions in most cases--nevertheless
thermodynamics is rock-solid) we're also wrong. Evolution is incorrect
to him for not being the "proper physics" in his view, and other ideas
are wrong for adhering to physics. It sounds like a joke.

Of course the notion that physical theory applies to physical objects
is woefully incomplete, since objects are neither necessary nor
particularly relevant in physics.

Anyhow, it seems impossible to tell where Berlinski's joking begins and
where his incorrect views of science end. Kind of like Dembski trying
to parody himself on April 1, it's tough to parody anything so devoid
of meaning.

Steve the Sauropodman

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Apr 1, 2005, 1:11:36 PM4/1/05
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Let's set the record straight. I DO NOT wear pink tasseled slippers
and a conical polka dot hat. I wear Bugs Bunny slippers, and a maroon
fez, with a black tassel. There. Hummpht...the nerve of some
people...pink slippers, indeed.


"Some people you don't have to parody -- you just quote 'em."

Tom Lehrer

noctiluca

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Apr 1, 2005, 3:26:38 PM4/1/05
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Steve the Sauropodman wrote:
> Let's set the record straight. I DO NOT wear pink tasseled slippers
> and a conical polka dot hat. I wear Bugs Bunny slippers, and a
maroon
> fez, with a black tassel. There. Hummpht...the nerve of some
> people...pink slippers, indeed.

Yeah, it takes all kinds. Now a snappy pink pocket protector, on the
other hand, jazzes up just about any spring lab ohhnsohhmb. ("ensemble"
- with the obligate outlandish Fench drawl).

Steve the Sauropodman

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Apr 1, 2005, 3:55:19 PM4/1/05
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And perhaps a pair of snazzy X-Ray Specs for a night out on the town!

Steve

Chris Krolczyk

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Apr 2, 2005, 4:02:10 PM4/2/05
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Ah, but then there's this:

"Dembski holds two PhD's, the first from the University of Chicago in
mathematics, and the second from the University of Illinois in
philosophy."

As soon as credentialism rears its head, you've gotta
wonder: is this really a *legitimate* op-ed by Berlinski,
or a parody by somebody who's got a serious knowledge
of creationist/ID rhetorical tactics concerning the old
"my PhD can beat up your PhD" two-step?

-Chris Krolczyk

Ron O

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Apr 2, 2005, 8:51:18 PM4/2/05
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Apparently Berlinski wrote it and is serious. I thought that someone
at the Daily Cal wrote it and put him as author as some kind of joke.
The pink tassels seemed to be an indication that it was a spoof. I
just thought that they used the standard creationist tactics as joke to
poke fun of the usual bull pucky. How many degrees does Berlinski have
and he can write about scientist wearing funny hats? These guys have
really gone over the deep end. Dembski has his own April fools joke
that may not be a joke on another thread. Science doesn't care how
many degrees you have if you can't come up with a decent argument. No
way to test your assertions, there is no way to evaluate your claims.
It doesn't matter where you publish your junk if it is junk. A lot of
junk gets published in science journals. If it stands up against the
test of time and scientific evaluation it makes the grade. If it never
gets off first base, it never gets off first base. ID can't even get
to first base.

The funniest thing about this piece is that Berlinski may have really
written it.

Ron Okimoto

Alexander

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Apr 3, 2005, 5:45:26 AM4/3/05
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"Jason Spaceman" <notr...@jspaceman.homelinux.org> wrote in message
news:jt6dnZVQt7O...@rogers.com...

Have finally got round to reading this and was stunned to find that
Chomsky's name was also dragged into the equation. What 'minimalist' theory
is Berlinski referring to ... ? A post-structuralist sociologist working
with linguistics somehow underpins the case for ID? Don't think so.

Alexander

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Apr 3, 2005, 6:16:57 AM4/3/05
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"Alexander" <alexande...@virgin.net> wrote in message
news:WWO3e.4269$Br....@newsfe2-win.ntli.net...

D'oh ... shoudn't try multi-taksing while writing to this newsgroup ...
Chomskian stuff is still structuralist really of course.

Still not sure what Berlinski means by his 'minimalist' theory however ...
anyone have a clue?

josephus

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Apr 9, 2005, 2:42:36 AM4/9/05
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Jason Spaceman wrote:

Just and observation. If I think about the attack on Calculus and the
attacks on Astronomy and the attacks on Physics as well as Chemistry and
Biology., then his article is ( faux ) but very close to the real plans
of the folks in the smoky back rooms. The planners of the
creationists are plotting these attacks
josephus

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