10 December 2009

Intelligent designers deny the need for a designer

Recursivity: The Fruitlessness of ID "Research"

A heated discussion in Shallit's blog, where, for the first time I realized that there are supporters of the Intelligent Design movement, a spin-off of creationism, claiming that Intelligent Design does not require a designer or the supernatural (god, etc.)

This is in sharp contrast to the main writings of ID. Indeed, ID is defined as
the assertion that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as It is a modern form of the traditional teleological argument for the existence of God, but one which avoids specifying the nature or identity of the designer. The idea was developed by a group of American creationists who reformulated their argument in the creation-evolution controversy to circumvent court rulings that prohibit the teaching of creationism as science. Intelligent design's leading proponents – all of whom are associated with the Discovery Institute, a politically conservative think tank, believe the designer to be the God of Christianity.
It's the article written on Wikipedia by, obviously, Intelligent Designers themselves. One of the main proponents of ID, W. Dembski, is a theologian/philosopher at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and all his writings, talks and work incorporate and propagate christianity very heavily. (He is also trying to use mathematics to support the ID religion but his papers are laughable.) However, someone, writing under the name Joe G and posting in Shallit's blog, insists that (oh yes, he's a bit repetitive):

ID doesn't require the supernatural.
Does ID require a belief in "God"? No.
ID does not require a belief in "God".
ID does not require the supernatural.
All IDists are not religious.
I am an IDists and don't care about religion.
ID does not say anything about worship- nothiung about who, what, where, when nor how.
ID does not say anything about giving service.
ID is not based on any religious doctrine.
ID does not say anything about the supernatural.
ID does not require a belief in "God".
So the bottom line is ID is religious if and only if we change the definition of religion.
The designer could be "God" and that would not mean ID is religious.
ID does NOT argue for the existence of "God".
What IDists do does not have any impact on ID.
IDists have not written that ID is an argument for the existence of "God".
ID is about the DESIGN not the designer(s).
The Wikipedia entry on Intelligent Design can be refuted to any ID FAQ posted on pro-ID websites.
They should be sued for posting such nonsense and then perhaps they would think BEFORE they publish.
I asked him to modify the Wikipedia article (and also tell Dembski and the others about his non-beliefs in gods and religion). But he shies away from doing so. Wikipedia is a public document which can be changed if the information provided is not correct. However, Joe G will not do that. And even if he attempts to do so, leading IDists will not allow him. The reason is simple: ID is a religion, not a science. Scientific entries of Wikipedia welcome modifications (and they become better and better) and corrections of mistakes. But ID is of theological nature and, as such, it relies on faith and dogma.

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What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant