Intelligent Design and Its Critics

  • Another Way to Detect Design

    By on December 29, 1999

     In The Design Inference (Cambridge, 1998) I argue that specified complexity is a reliable empirical marker of intelligent design. A long sequence of random letters is complex without being specified. A short sequence of letters like “the,” “so,” or “a” is specified without being complex. A Shakespearean sonnet is both complex and specified. Thus in general, given an event, object,

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  • Review of John Haught’s “God After Darwin”

    By on December 4, 1999

    Review of John F. Haught, God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1999, 221 pp., $25.00, ISBN 0-8133-6723-9. I suppose it’s the residual effect of original sin, but I enjoy reviewing books I disagree with more than ones I agree with. After all, who wants to spend 1500 words inventing new ways of saying “me, too”

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  • Alchemy and the Emergence of Complex Systems

    By on November 30, 1999

    INTRODUCTION Alchemy has gone the way of the dodo, or has it? On any word analogies test, pairing alchemy with chemistry is like pairing astrology with astronomy. To be sure, alchemy and astrology each had their uses. In the history of ideas they helped focus interest in areas that eventually would submit to rigorous analysis–the properties of matter in the

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  • Why Evolutionary Algorithms Cannot Generate Specified Complexity

    By on November 1, 1999

     In my last piece for Metanexus, I asserted that evolutionary algorithms cannot generate specified complexity and motivated this assertion by pointing to the failure of Richard Dawkins’s well-known METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL example to generate specified complexity. My point was that Dawkins’s evolutionary algorithm converged on METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL with probability one, and therefore reduced

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  • Review of Kenneth Miller’s “Finding Darwin’s God”

    By on October 26, 1999

    I have only met Ken Miller, a professor of biology at Brown University, the once.  This was when we together appeared on one of William Buckley’s Firing Line television debates, part of the side arguing for evolution against a group of critics, those whom I label the “New Creationists.”  I should say that on those sorts of occasions I like

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