Drunken Walks (But Not the Pubcrawl Variety)

Imagine a drunk standing in the middle of a field. Every time he tries to walk a step, he winds up staggering in a random direction: north, south, east, or west. How long will it take him to get to the edge of the field?

We can look at it intuitively, and say that he’s as likely to stagger north as south, as likely to go east as west. So after 100 steps, he will most likely have made 25 steps north and 25 steps south, which cancel out; and 25 steps east and 25 west, which also cancel out. So he’ll just keep staggering around his spot in the middle of the field until he sobers up.
Continue reading “Drunken Walks (But Not the Pubcrawl Variety)”

Google vs. Creationism

One of the claims made by young-earth creationists (YECs) is that the Grand Canyon was formed when the waters of Noah’s flood subsided; a whole lot of water drained off and carved a channel in the rock.

Geologists have known for a long time that this idea is ridiculous. For regular folks like me, though, Google Maps can help illustrate why it’s nonsense. Continue reading “Google vs. Creationism”

The ID Job Market Sucks

In his latest entry at Uncommon Descent, Dembski laments the state of the job market for ID supporters, as well as the fact that people who criticize ID can get promoted:

It’s gratifying to see that ID is helping people make careers and bring home the bacon. Robert Pennock is happily ensconced at Michigan State University for criticizing ID. Barbara Forrest was promoted to full professor at South Eastern Louisiana State University for her work debunking ID. And most recently Niall Shanks moved from East Tennessee State University to an endowed chair at Wichita State University so that he can provide a counterblast to ID in Kansas (go here for the announcement of Shanks’s appointment — I understand that this appointment involved a hefty pay increase). Meanwhile, ID supporters are not just having a hard time getting academic jobs but even getting their PhDs (e.g., the case of Bryan Leonard).

From the article, and from the comments that haven’t been deleted, we learn that this is because the scientific establishment feels threatened by ID; the good old boy network rewards those who criticize ID.

It has nothing — nothing! — to do with the fact that ID isn’t a theory or even a coherent hypothesis, makes no testable predictions, is based on misinformation, obfuscation, and the notion that “somewhere, somehow, there’s something wrong with evolution”, or that ID proponents aren’t submitting ID-related papers to peer-reviewed journals.

That obviously couldn’t be it. Obviously it’s that they’re being persecuted.

ID Falling Apart?

William Dembski has an article on his weblog about what to do if the courts rule against intelligent design.

But first, allow me to laugh out loud at this part:

Don’t be distracted by the “thousands” of articles being published in the research journals that purport to support evolutionary theory — this is an artifact of overfunding an underachieving theory.

He then continues:

I therefore offer the following proposal if ID gets outlawed from our public schools: retitle it Intelligent Evolution (IE).

Continue reading “ID Falling Apart?”