SPECIAL UPDATE: I was so impressed with Jonathan Vos Post's comment
on Good Math, Bad Math that I visited his site and came across this gem
, a dialogue on how to travel at superluminal speed without warp drive. Right up my alley. A must-read! (Vos Post was a protege of and coauthor with Richard Feynman!)
Mark C. Chu-Carroll has an excellent introduction
to Information Theory (which is not to be mistaken for Information Science
, the subject that I am pursuing).
This post makes a good life preserver so that the novice does not drown while swimming in (and probably getting a stomach cramp from) the unutterably foolish arguments
of Salvador Cordova. This has got to be a joke. If it isn't: Sal—let Momma make it very easy for you:
If I paint a picture of a rock, does that then prove that the original rock was designed
If you bake a cake (because I’m not going to do it), does it mean that there was “cakiness” front-loaded into the flour?
If I mix yellow and blue pigment, does that mean that “greeniness” somehow pre-existed in these pigments (and in which? The yellow? Or the blue?)?
And if you say “yes” to these questions (that is, you attest to their "truthiness"), then I
say that intelligent design has nothing going for it but a circular argument--in fact, it is
nothing but a big circle itself with no center, a frame around a void, a useless non-methodology that contributes nada
to our understanding of the world. (So "designs" of stones lead to stones, and to designs of stones, cakes to cakes, and to cake decorations, green to green, and to my green face/puke, etc.—so what? Where does that get us
? Nowhere. It's incoherent.)You
think that there is
a center, a portrait, bounded by your meaningless perimeter of words and disjointed thoughts, because you’re
nostalgic for the ultimate coach, a Daddy (or a Mommy?) about which to write this incessant, mawkish soap opera called intelligent design.
It is this sentimental, effeminate hankering for the ultimate cosmic cake decorator—and not any scientific evidence or mathematical proof—that drives grown men to look down through a circle of stones around an abyss and see their own reflection, and call it God. It’s neo-Platonism gone wild!
It reminds me of the other grown men who are still
penning "Star Trek" adventures, twenty years after the publishing industry finally announced, due to the volume of bad manuscripts they were receiving, it would not accept any more without a writer’s representation by an agent. It reminds me of the aging filmmaker wannabees I have encountered who are still making poor rip-offs of Excalibur
and Clash of the Titans
But I’m wasting my breath here, considering Sal thinks that rock cannot be a viscous putty (because it’s hard!) or that water cannot be trapped beneath rock (because it’s heavy!) or that the Tasmanian Wolf, which has a pouch, is really a canine (because it looks like a puppy dog!).
It’s jaw-droppingly embarrassing. I think I have a cramp.
(I'm flailing toward Good Math, Bad Math
with the intention of shimmies, assuming I live.)
UPDATED: This awesome comment
by James Taylor at Dispatches from the Culture Wars
expresses my own thought about natural selection in computer programming. It also works for any human creative endeavor, including creative writing.
SECOND UPDATE: Portrait of Jesus obviously done by Picasso manifests
itself in tree. (The surrealists were masters at adding randomness and thus information to their works by the way, although Picasso was not truly a member of the movement.)
Labels: Cordova, information theory, intelligent design