You’d think that ol’ Billy Dembski would learn to stop making these monetary offers and bets; they seem to backfire on him every time or turn out to be pointless. Remember when he offered cash for anyone who could send him Jeff Shallit’s deposition (or was it expert report?) in the Dover trial, which had in fact been available online for months? Or when he offered to pay anyone who could send him the emails between the NCSE and the Smithsonian in the Sternberg case, emails that had, again, been publicly available on the appendix of the Souder report for months? Or when he offered a bottle of single malt scotch if, when the question of whether ID could be taught in schools made it to court, it didn’t “clear all constitutional hurdles”? Despite such setbacks, he’s back with yet another cash offer:
Mark Chu-Carroll* goes after Behe’s new book here. Judge for yourself whether this deserves to be called a review (Chu-Carroll thinks it does). Nick Matzke endorses Chu-Carroll’s blog post against Behe here. Are there any anti-ID writings, no matter how ill-conceived or mean-spirited, that PT won’t endorse? It might be an interesting exercise to attempt a Sokal-style hoax to see what exactly PT is prepared to believe about ID. I herewith offer a prize, worth up to $200, to anyone who can pull this off and afterward reveal that it was all a hoax (the precise amount to be determined by how cleverly it is pulled off).
As someone who is, obviously, in on the discussions at PT when when someone outside the PT crew writes a critique of ID and we become aware of it, I can tell you that we have not linked to lots and lots of really bad anti-ID articles around the net. There are good criticisms of ID and there are bad criticisms of ID, and yes we can tell the difference. Unlike the folks who fell for the Sokal hoax, we begin with the assumption that truth and accuracy matters rather than embracing postmodernist relativism (ironically, it’s the ID crowd that embraces such nonsense, as when they put Steve Fuller on the stand in the Dover trial). Good luck on this one, Bill, but I doubt it will work.
But he’s not done yet. Here’s my favorite part:
*Chu-Carroll names his bog GOOD MATH, BAD MATH: FINDING THE FUN IN GOOD MATH, SQUASHING BAD MATH AND THE FOOLS THAT PROMOTE IT. Perhaps I’m missing something, but Chu-Carroll’s expertise is in computer programming, where he has a Ph.D. How much math does he actually know?
It’s quite common for Dembski to question the credentials of critics rather than engage their arguments; if you’ve ever read his responses to Elsberry and Shallit and his other academic critics, you’ll recognize the pattern. But what’s funny about this is that it’s coming from a guy with absolutely no training in biology telling virtually every biologist in the world that they’re wrong. That it also comes in defense of a biochemist who has based his entire critique of evolution on the use of absurd mathematical probability equations only adds to the irony.