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
My email address (notr...@jspaceman.homelinux.org) is fake. Email sent to it
will only get caught in my spam tarpit.
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?
> 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."
"The curses of Deuteronomy 28 will plague America until we return to God
(Ps 9:17). Wealth and military might are not substitutes for God-given
character and blessing. Freedom comes, not from democracy, but Jesus
Christ. The outline below lists our wars & keys to victory. May God lead
us in the strategic and tactical prayers that are required!"
Capitol Hill Action Network, 2005
...in each case, the word is used in the comments, which of course
anyone can post.
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.
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
"Some people you don't have to parody -- you just quote 'em."
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).
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
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?
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
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.
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?
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