Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Curmudgeon Recess

I am scheduled to be on The Gino Geracci Program (94.7 FM, Denver) Friday, May 11 at 5:00PM to briefly talk about my upcoming debate on ID on May 13. Having said that, I am going to take a short recess to hunker down on preparing for that debate. I hope many in the Denver area will attend and try to bring ID-skeptics or outright unbelievers with you. There will be a question-answer time.


Jeff said...

Dr. G: listened to you on the radio this afternoon, thought you gave a well articulated statement of the ID position.

I have a question though... what do you make of the argument surrounding the "side information" that Dembski proposes, and that the real usefulness in his inference comes from how one chooses it? It seems that it takes a mind to properly know what side information is relevant to the example at hand, and so some make the argument that one has to know this ahead of time. For example, in order to detect specified patterns in Morse code, one has to already know Morse code, and so the inference comes from the mind beforehand, not from calculating the code's probability. Does this make the design filter circular?

Douglas Groothuis said...

There is an objective pattern there that is not reducible to chance or natural law or a combination. Thus, intelligence. We can identify tools made by intelligence even if we don't know their purpose. The same would go for symbols.

That's my take. Can you point me toward more on this?

Jeff said...

See Michael Murray, Faith & Philosophy vol 20.3. 312-314 mostly.My question comes from one he raised in this article. It seems that the mind is a necessary component of Dembski's design inference. And so, if the mind is required to gauge relevant side information in the first place, it seems that Dembski ends up arguing that: It takes a mind to detect a mind. I agree with this point, but this seems to take away from the power of the inference, which tried to propose something more mechanistic for design detection. (I've only read the first chapter or two of the Design Inference, as the math gets tough...)so maybe I'm missing more to his argument.

I mostly agree with the ID position... just questioning this particular detection mechanism.