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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday

Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.



Friday, March 03, 2006

I'll Bet William Dembski...

...an amount of money that I'm able to pay (me not being the recipient of generous grants from right-wing pizza magnates who can build their own cities) that evolution will not, as Dembski predicts, be "dead" in 15 years, that Intelligent [sic] Design will not make any significant contribution to science or medicine, and that ID believers will not be garnering many Nobel Prizes. (Alternative link for Dembski's prediction in "Whither Intelligent Design?" here.)

[UPDATED: See my terms of the bet below. After initially saying that he and I could "play ball," Dembski has received my terms and not replied to either accept or reject them.]

Okay, I can fork over $1000. That's the best I can do. So it's a bet, Dembski--one thousand dollars. You probably make that just by yawning at your desk when you should be trying to educate people about knowledge that is really worth having!

(Yeah, go help some little blind kids or something--don't tell them that their sightless eyes were designed.)

The clock is ticking. Fifteen years. Evolution, dead as a doornail. It's a bet!

UPDATED: These are the terms that I submitted to Dembski:

Naturalistic evolutionary theory as defined by the mainstream, legitimate scientific organizations that he is opposing, a goner in 15 years (not just "Darwinism," that makes about as much sense as "Newtonianism" in physics--no evolutionary biologist is a strict "Darwinist" today, just as no physicist is a strict Newtonian). Evolution as the undirected, naturalistic process of random mutation and natural selection working over millions of years after life arose by abiogenesis, gone, denounced by peer-reviewed, legitimate scientific organizations, and replaced with intelligent design (irreducible complexity by an intelligent agent).

More specifically: evolution as defined by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Anthropological Assocation, Oxford University, the National Science Teachers Association, the National Center for Science Education, and the American Institute of Biological Sciences, has to be rejected in 15 years by these same organizations in favor of irreducible complexity through the work of an intelligent agent. No more talk from Dembski of the "elitism" of these institutions--an electrician is an elitist compared to me. Either ID is a science or it isn't, and only a pseudoscience remains a perpetual "censored" underdog, appealing to the credulous layman outside of the legitimate peer-reviewed literature.

If this is about science, then it's not a "culture war," and it's not a youth movement, and it's not about redefining science so loosely that it could also encompass astrology and supernaturalism. No excuses, or the bet is off! ID has to be accepted by the organizations listed above and make specific predictions that are testable and falsifiable, that result in significant contributions to science and medicine as acknowledged by those organizations. No shell games with the Doug Axe mo bio paper, etc.--ID has to cough up real, incontrovertible results. That's what the advocates of intelligent design are promising, isn't it?

A thousand dollars means a thousand dollars in 15 years, not a thousand dollars today adjusted for inflation.

Those are my terms.

Myself, I have absolutely no intention of spending that $1000. As far as I'm concerned, it's tainted money [I'm still quoting what I sent to Dembski!], and this is not about money for me. Yes, it's a fun challenge in cyberspace, even a joke of sorts, but for me this is about nailing down a claim made at a specific point in time and holding someone to that claim even after most people have forgotten about it. It's about knowledge, and the process of knowing how we acquire knowledge. It's about pinning Dembski down and making him deliver, not money, but scientific results.

This is about scientific integrity, and it's also about little "unwashed" Jane Citizen educating herself, and being absolutely shocked at the doublespeak that is used against her relatives and other credulous, willing believers [I'm still quoting what I sent to him]. Americans have short memories and don't remember much about the "creation science" movement of the 1970s, but I do, and that hockum accomplished nothing, either. Evolutionary theory, though it undergoes refinement, is never going away. There simply is nothing else--no intelligent designer, no intelligent agent, and no irreducible complexity.

That's what this is about. I want results in 15 years. [I'm still quoting.] No more talk, interviews, publicity releases, websites, youth groups, church-sponsored lectures, polls, best-selling books, and perpetual redefinitions--evolution as defined above (random mutation and natural selection working over millions of years after life arose by abiogenesis) has to be absolutely rejected by the peer-reviewed, mainstream members of the scientific community listed above in 15 years, just as he said in his interview on Audiomartini, in favor of irreducible complexity through an intelligent agent or designer. [Close quote.]

4 Comments:

Anonymous Carl Buell (OGeorge) said...

Back in the late 1970s, there was a cult that hid in a Montana cave because the end of the world was coming. When it didn't happen they did an even stranger thing. They said that the world had indeed ended and that if the rest of us hadn't noticed it wasn't their fault.

Dembski thinks evolution is dead now. He also thinks a Jewish mystic rose from the dead 2000 years ago. He'll never admit he lost the bet regardless of evidence.

March 03, 2006 8:47 PM  
Blogger Kevin Scott said...

Kristine,

You've got balls...

Oh, uh, wait a minute...

You've got...uh...not balls...

Um...what female anatomy part implies brass balls...oh, nevermind, I'm not sure I want you to answer that one.

Anyway, you get the idea

January 02, 2007 3:52 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Dear Kevin, my friend, I'll let you in on a little secret--

female balls are all in our minds!

If you x-ray our brains, you can see them.

Just puttin' that out there.

As for Dembski and our bet, he disappeared. I thought maybe he had been kidnapped and started to worry. (But don't get me started on my sick fantasies.)

Dude hates my guts so much now, he won't fix that friggin' broken link at the bottom of his Submissive Baptist Tweety-Sweetie page, even after I told him about it. (I was doing him a favor!)

And he knows that broken linky is driving me nuts.

Just like he does. ;-)

January 02, 2007 11:19 PM  
Anonymous elliot thomas said...

Blog is quite interesting

February 21, 2017 1:44 AM  

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