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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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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.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Okay, I admit that I "google" Dembski a lot. But does anyone care to comment on this? Because it's news to me (and I thought I knew everything there was to know about him!).

Dr. Dembski has taught at Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Dallas. He has done postdoctoral work in mathematics at MIT [okay, I knew this], in physics at the University of Chicago, and in computer science at Princeton University. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago where he earned a B.A. in psychology, an M.S. in statistics, and a Ph.D. in philosophy, he also received a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Chicago in 1988 and a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1996. He has held National Science Foundation graduate and postdoctoral fellowships.


Blogger PiGuy said...

I guess that it wouldn't be too difficult to verify or refute but do you think that it's all true? It is on his own website (Design Inference). I think that I'll do a little research after the girlies go to bed.

Jason Rosenhouse (Evolution Blog) and Mark Chu-Carroll (Good Math, Bad Math), both of Science Blogs fame, have dismantled his mathematical arguments on several occasions and I've actally wondered if he is either (a) not as qualified or educated as he claims or (b) realizes that his target audience desires so desparately to have scientific, technical-sounding support for their beliefs that he he's just scamming them. It is most likely a little of both. There's a quote that I've heard attributed to several different people that says, "There are three kind of liars: Liars, god damned liars, and statisticians. And the third kind are the worst!" I've always tended to think that Demski fell into the third category.

I tend to trust Jason's and Mark's assessments of his math and they both seem to think that it's a bunch of BS. At any rate, I always marvel when a seemingly otherwise intelligent person is so fully enamored with something that is, IMO, nothing more than modern mythology and are so gullible as to be taken in by people like Wells, DaveTard, and your secret crush Billy Boy. They obviously have to want to believe such things in the first place.

October 16, 2006 6:40 PM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

I don't have the answers, and frankly I'm not interested enough to find out.

But would it really shock anyone to find out he was lying for Jesus?

See, look. This is my shocked face. Yes, I'm aware that it looks exactly like my bored and disinterested face, but still.


October 16, 2006 6:55 PM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

Oh, and anytime I want to know anything about biology, I go straight to the relevent experts:

Mathematicians, software designers, electrical engineers, and graphic artists.

I mean, after all, what the hell would a biologist know about biology????


October 16, 2006 6:58 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

but do you think that it's all true?

Good question. Some of it is stretched. On doing further research, I found that his National Science Foundation work was in mathematics. He is capable, should he want to, of continuing research into mathematics and publishing in peer-reviewed journals on the subject. So he wasn't doing any NSF work on biology, say. But physics? I'd like to hear more about that.

I agree that his ID math is utter crap. Mark is especially good in pointing this out.

your secret crush Billy Boy

Shhh! [Laughter] What will my boyfriend think? Oh, it's all in fun.

They obviously have to want to believe such things in the first place.

Absolutely. And that's the real mystery, isn't it?

That's right, JanieBelle, I forgot about your encounter with Dembski--no wonder you're not interested in what he thinks. Sometimes I wonder why I'm interested. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I do think he is an intelligent man, and certainly capable of knowing better than the crap he writes. I think that I am jealous that he has three Ph.D's and I'm just starting on a Master's. That, and his constant use of the term "unwashed masses" to refer to working joes and janes (in which he includes himself)--I'm sorry! Father, a biology professor, mother, an art dealer--he's no working joe! I put myself through college as a cocktail waitress--a humiliating job--and today was a particularly long (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.) and frustrating one for me (treats for the docents, what am I? A glorified waitress?) I admit that I resent Dembski's words--and his wealth--and his being published, while I'm still struggling. JK! (Jealous Kristine!)

It's weird that he rebelled against a father that I would have less of a problem with than my father's literal 6-day creation worldview. He and I both rebelled against our fathers, for different reasons.

Oh, and anytime I want to know anything about biology, I go straight to the relevent experts:
Mathematicians, software designers, electrical engineers, and graphic artists.
I mean, after all, what the hell would a biologist know about biology

Didn't DaveScot also post something on Uncommon Descent about information experts and computer scientists understanding biology better than biologists? I don't know what to make of that. Do you think that he is serious? You have a better handle on him than I do.

October 16, 2006 9:38 PM  
Blogger bigdumbchimp said...

Dembski likes to put his mug up on everything. The only thing bigger than his ego is his penchant for lying.

October 17, 2006 7:53 AM  
Blogger PiGuy said...

Sometimes I see his empire and get a little green as well. But, as you've said, he's obviously very smart and has worked very hard.

If only he'd used his powers for good.

I worked my way through college as a gymanstics coach so I can relate. It isn't easy to work full-time, go to school full-time or on the high end of part-time, and have a wife and daughter (I'd graduated before Mandy Loo was born). If I was independently wealthy, all I'd do is go to school. But I don't foresee that happening - I'm just an Unwashed Joe. WmAD must've put in some serious time as well to have gotten what he's got. I can at least respect that. But until one of those degrees is in something even remotely related to the life sciences, he can't expect people to buy into what he says, especially when his math - who supposed field of expertise - is so shoddy.

October 17, 2006 8:26 AM  
Blogger JanieBelle said...

Oh, Billy Boy knows his stuff is crap. He's well aware that his math is bogus. He's not a believer, he's a con-artist.

I agree with the Monkey. It's all about his ego.

As for Dave? I think Dave has a little voice in the back of his head telling him Billy's full of shit, but Dave's too invested at this point to bail. He can't admit he's wrong and his boss is full shit, so he does everything in his power to try to convince himself that Dembski wouldn't lie to him.

Davey might not be a True Believer, but he WANTS to be.

Just my tuppence worth.

October 17, 2006 12:14 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Oh, Billy Boy knows his stuff is crap. He's well aware that his math is bogus. He's not a believer, he's a con-artist.

I guess deep down I know that--I've been told that enough by people whose opinion I trust: you guys, Dan, PZ, etc. I guess my problem is, I just don't understand how someone could be like that. I'm a pretty rotten liar, for example. I tend to let it all hang out, and I can't understand people like him, esp. when they whip out the "Christian morals" pick-up line.

I guess at this point the only thing I can ask is, does Dembski care that people like him acting the way that they do only confirm atheism as the only alternative for me? He seems to want everyone to be a Christian, but the way he's going about it is not any way that works. (In my case there's no way that would work anyway, but a little honesty would make it all less weird.) It makes me wonder if he is a Christian himself, or if he isn't really a nihilist who doesn't believe in anything and who just wants power over other people.

It was reading Dembski's and Behe's quote-mining, and attending Behe's "lecture" at the U of M, that introduced me finally to the works of Richard Dawkins, for example. I mean, real great proselytizing there, Bill. What a collosal backfire! :)

October 17, 2006 2:21 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

BTW, isn't it weird, I keep thinking of DaveScot as Dembski's boss.

October 17, 2006 2:38 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

BTW, the real boss as far as I'm concerned will be on Stephen Colbert tonight!

Everyone knows that for every facetious crush-squeak I make about Billy Boy, I'm saying je vous adore fifty times to this man, right?

October 17, 2006 4:33 PM  

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