Stranger Fruit

Over at Uncommon Descent, Dembski wonders how the NCSE will deal with "the growing number of non-religious ID proponents" and links to this blog which is something called ICON-RIDS "an international coalition of non-religious ID scientists & scholars." Let’s take a look at this "international coalition," shall we?

ICON-RIDS is a little underwhelming. It’s a blog with five entries going back to October 2006, the first of which proclaims that "Darwinism is a Hoax!" All entries are authored by William Brookfield who describes himself [pdf] as a "logician" and "conceptualist." A little more about Brookfield can be found here: he has been a "[p]rofessional solo musician and entertainer since 1974 [and an] Intelligent Design scientist since 1996."We are told that he published his Cosmological Physical Incompleteness Theorem [see part I of this pdf] in 1996 and has been a member of the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design – Dembski’s vanity organization – since 2002.

This is evidence for a "growing number of non-religious ID proponents"? A professional entertainer who is "presently working on a detailed model of the core of black hole singularities based on information instead of material" (source). Watch out, Stephen Hawking.

As for an "international coalition" … at least Brookfield lives in Canada, eh?

This shows how desperate Dembski and the ID movement have become. And the NCSE? I can’t imagine they’ll be losing any sleep.

Update: Make sure you scroll down through the comments to hear about Brookfield’s “ID Pleasurianism” – a mixture of Dembski and Hefner. (HT to Hermagoras).

Comments

  1. #1 qubit
    June 16, 2007

    “Non-religious”? When the subtitle of part I of that time-cube-lite (it’s like Time Cube, but without the charm) “Cosmological Physical Incompleteness Theorem” scrawling is “The heavens declare the glory of God”? That’s rich. I’m not going to bother reading this crap even to know what to expect from the IDiots — I lost enough brain cells just on the introduction.

  2. #2 Doc Bill
    June 16, 2007

    Word has it that William Brookfield, international non-religious ID “scientist” who spends his time proving the existance of God (of the bible, of course, not Shiva) has been slow to publish articles on his blog because his mom grounded him for violating curfew.

    No Moose Head and no Internet for a week.

    Poor William.

  3. #3 Hermagoras
    June 16, 2007

    I’ve found a little more about Brookfield. He’s an “ID Pleasurian,” which he claims to be “a non-religious amalgam of ID science and Hefnerian Playboy philosophy.”

    Ohhh yeaaahh.

    More pleasurian delights from Brookfield discussed at my blog, http://paralepsis.blogspot.com

  4. #4 ERV
    June 16, 2007

    Ever since Behes book came out Ive found myself drawn to UD (I used to ignore it completely).

    The ‘An international coalition of non-religious ID scientists & scholars’ literally made me laugh out loud. Poes law strikes again– I thought it was a joke by someone on our side.

  5. #5 John Lynch
    June 16, 2007

    From Brookfield’s site:

    On this day, Jan 10/2005, William Peter Brookfield and Steven Clark Saba do hereby initiate the process of founding — The Brookfield (Saba) Institute of Transparadigmic Science. The purpose of this institute is to support full scientific freedom of inquiry at a paradigmic level plus an education system free of mono-paradigmic dogma and subsequent ideological coersion [sic].

    While we support scientific exploration over the full range of paradigmic options (and establish this institute for the purpose of such exploration), we hereby also state our personal opinions (as of Jan 10/05) that;

    #1. The Intelligent Design (infodynamic) scientific paradigm (core hypothesis) is both scientifically and morally superior to the Materialist paradigm (core hypothesis),

    and,

    #2. The Pleasurian<1> socio-ethical paradigm (core hypothesis) is both scientifically and morally superior to the Judeo-Christian socio-ethical paradigm (core hypothesis) — and to religion based, socio-ethical paradigms in general.

    and that,

    #3. The free and comprehensive application of the scientific method to the preceding paradigmatic (core) hypotheses will establish the full validity of statements #1. and #2.
    ———

    Given that, in both cases, we personally support the minority position, we see ourselves as uniquely suited to the task of protecting crucial minority rights in passionately disputed fields of science and cultural ideologies.

    Here he states:

    I don’t hold any degrees from any university of any kind. My job as a citizen scientist is to represent science in general and the general public.

    He claims that Dembski personally invited him to join ISCID in 2002 (but not as a Fellow, obviously). Methinks Dembski is losing it once and for all.

  6. #6 Hermagoras
    June 16, 2007

    Isn’t Brookfield’s site fascinating? As a Pleasurian, he’s the only ID who needs a soundtrack — preferably soft-core soft jazz. Alas, if you click on the music link, you’ll see that he’s no better as a “composer” than as a “scientist.”

    Also check out the PDF “Five Minute Solutions to the evolution/creation controversy,” available from his site. Here he complains about “obfuscations”:

    #1. Use of the deceptively positive word “selection” instead of clear and accurate wording such as “natural selective destruction” or “natural selective decimation.” Like it or not, “natural selection” only “weeds out” (destroys), it never “weeds in”(creates).

    #2. Use of the deceptively positive word “evolution” in “micro-evolution” so as to conflate randomized reductive/destructive nichification (“micro-evolution”)
    with specified constructive speciation (“macro-evolution”). Reductive(-) Nichification is not a smaller (micro) version of Constructive(+) Speciation.

    #3. The deceptive labeling of residual system-level order (“monkey Shakespeare,” etc.) as “order by chance/randomness” so as to make it appear that randomness (the absence of order) can sometimes be creative (order producing). It is deceptive to use “order by chance/randomness” instead of correct wordings such as “order from residual system constraint” or “order at the system-level.” Such deceptive analogies are typically loaded with symbols or structures, habitually used by humans to convey high meanings or values (Shakespeare, jackpots, etc..). Such loading reinforces the illusion that randomness can create order. Randomness of
    course, can do no such thing. Randomness merely assures that all letter sequences, of any given length, are equally probable.

    “Monkey Shakespeare”? I guess he’d know.

  7. #7 Oleg Tchernyshyov
    June 16, 2007

    Brookfield is also the author of a delightfully silly paper In Search of a Cosmic Super-Law: The Supreme “Second law” of Devolution. One of the highlights of this work is a suggestion to replace the 2nd law of thermodynamics with Murphy’s law. I am not kidding.

    Incidentally, Brookfield’s paper appeared in Progress in Complexity, Information and Design, the now defunct ID journal edited by Dembski.

  8. #8 wad of id
    June 16, 2007

    This tactic is WAD’s way of humiliating Brookfield without having to do it himself. He announces WB and then quietly watches the attack without raising a finger to defend. It’s the same way he ‘popularized’ Christopher Langan (SuperIQ man who came up with a Theory of Everything) and then dropped him like a bad habit after Langan was thoroughly shredded on some pro-ID website (ARN) a few years back.

    Clever, but cold.

  9. #9 John Lynch
    June 16, 2007

    And just when you thought it couldn’t get any weirder, Afarensis notices that Brookfield is trying to start a company

    specializing in high quality sexual products, but capable of expanding into other fields — all related to pleasure. While vibrators and lingerie can indeed be “pleasuria” so can everything from lawn chairs to clothing to boats to recreational vehicles. Pleasuria.com is intended as both a profitable venture and a moral venture designed to increase the quality/pleasure of human life. Pleasuria.com is intended as an independent self sustaining vehicle for the promotion of pleasurian philosophy (and ID/pleasurian science).

    This. Is. Getting. Bizarre.

  10. #10 Siamang
    June 17, 2007

    Hawking.

    Fixed. Thanks -jml

  11. #11 rich
    June 17, 2007

    I went over to UD to check this out, I found a bunch of comments touting ICON-RIDS with a great deal of excitement.

    that friends, is really weird, they are totally unaware of the stupidity they proudly dsiplay. Being stupid is one thing, being proud of your stupidity is a whole different ballgame, to play it , go to UD or DI!!

  12. #12 PvM
    June 17, 2007

    They brought in the clowns? And people still wonder why ID is scientifically vacuous?

  13. #13 Nathan Parker
    June 17, 2007

    Rich wrote:

    that friends, is really weird, they are totally unaware of the stupidity they proudly dsiplay. Being stupid is one thing, being proud of your stupidity is a whole different ballgame, to play it , go to UD or DI!!

    I can’t help but suspect that some of the comments are intentionally making ID look ridiculous, since stating an explicit anti-ID position gets one kicked out.

  14. #14 PvM
    June 17, 2007

    This must be related to Dembski’s challenge

    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).

  15. #15 kim wipe
    June 17, 2007

    I’m sick of visiting scienceblogs and seeing articles about ID. It’s amazing that a theory of absolutely scientific value or consequence is still being talked about. All. The. TIme. ID has science bloggers and scientificists to thank for that, methinks, it’s as if ID gives your lives meaning. Because I don’t know any working biologists who have the luxury of time enough to give a damn what some musician with a Theory of Everything has to say on his blog, just because a bush-league rhetorician links to him.

    Give it a rest, already.

  16. #16 kim wipe
    June 17, 2007

    “…of absolutely NO scientific value”.

  17. #17 John Lynch
    June 17, 2007

    Kim,

    It’s probably because you haven’t (up in Canada) had to deal with – as I have – attempts by IDists to introduce anti-evolutionism into K-12 curricula.

    It’s not being talked about by us as scientists, it is being talked about by us who care about science education here in the US.

    Feel happy that others take care of this for you. You clearly don’t see a problem.

  18. #18 John Lynch
    June 17, 2007

    Pim,

    I don’t think so. The original “paper” by Brookfield pre-dates Dembski’s comments.

  19. #19 snaxalotl
    June 17, 2007

    Dembski is apparently never embarrassed by the company he keeps

  20. #20 grasshopper
    June 17, 2007

    Brookfield is a living fossil, it seems. The previous last known pleasurosaur was discovered in precambrian rocks, with its last meal, a playboy bunny, still in its mouth. Which is why there are no rabbits in precambrian strata.

  21. #21 Duae Quartunciae
    June 17, 2007

    Incredibly, it just keeps getting better. I’ve picked up the story at my Duae Quartunciae blog as well; and dig a bit deeper. And found pictures…

    Brookfield seems to have set up his websites with the help of one Steve Saba (photographer). And Steve has one devilish sense of humour. Steve (I think) is quoted as saying:

    As an Intelligent Design Scientist I naturally support the WEDGE :-)

    See amazon.com for more (mis)information on the “Wedge” :-)

    The Wedge is not what you might think… or perhaps it is, depending on which way your mind is bent. … and I have pictures.

    Thanks so much for the pointer. I haven’t stopped giggling for about the last two hours.

  22. #22 Frank J
    June 17, 2007

    Hmm. How do I say this without sounding like I’m defending ID or Brookfield?

    I have always seen ID as “pseudoscience first, fundamentalism (or reconstructionism) second.” In that light, there’s no reason that a “Hefnerian pleasurist” should not be attracted to ID and its “instant gratification.” It might just be the distase of being under the same big tent as the religious right that makes the majority of ultra-left types shy away from it – or conceal a private attraction. Nevertheless, a number of “unlikely” advocates of ID are pretty vocal about it on Talk.Origins and the Panda’s Thumb, e.g. Charlie Wagner, Dale Kelly.

    And don’t forget the whole Raelian gang.

  23. #23 Duae Quartunciae
    June 17, 2007

    Frank, I take your point and am not all that surprised to see ID being attractive to folks like Brookfield. I am just wondering to what extent that attraction will be returned. How will the other ID fellows react when they discover they are, uh, in bed with “Hefnerian Playboy philosophy”?

  24. #24 Frank J
    June 17, 2007

    Duae,

    They can afford to ignore it as long as (1) those who are vocal about it are few, (2) most critics imply that only those vocal about it are persuaded by it, and most importantly (3) most followers of ID, operating under Morton’s Demon, tune it out as neatly as they tune out Behe’s admission of common descent.

  25. #25 Frank J
    June 17, 2007

    Duae,

    Let me change “ignore it” to “spin it to their advantage.” On UD, Larry Fafarman is all giddy about it because there is no “separation of pseudoscience and state.” So I think that the DI will just hold its collective nose and try to spin it as a way out of the Dover ruling. Of course “cdesign proponentists” and other ID “breathtaking inanity” will continue to be a thorn in their collective side when it comes to the persuading courts, if not their target audience.

  26. #26 Ron Okimoto
    June 17, 2007

    Any growth past zero can probably be considered significant for ID. How many agnostics are known to be ID advocates. Since Berlinski came out and claimed that he had never bought into the ID claptrap who is left? It has always amused me to observe the Discovery Institute use Berlinski as an example of both a jew and an agnostic where the two would negate each other in their propaganda use of both terms: big religious tent and non religious nature of the ID scam.

    Anyone have a link to those Berlinski emails where he admits that he never bought the ID junk? They surfaced during the Dover fiasco, but probably dated after the Discovery Institute ran the bait and switch scam on the Ohio rubes. How much funding does Berlinski get so that the Discovery Institute can use him for propaganda purposes? He seems to still be listed as a fellow at the Discovery Institute.

  27. #27 Jim Wynne
    June 17, 2007

    I don’t see a trackback IRL here, so…

    I think this is just more street theater from Dembski.

  28. #28 divalent
    June 17, 2007

    PvM: “This must be related to Dembski’s challenge:”

    Dembski: “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).”

    Sokal’s paper mimicked the style of post-modernism/deconstructionism with obvious gibberish, and revealing the hoax exposed the vacuousness of field. The problem with the theory that this is just “Dembski street theater” is that the discussion here (and crossposted at PT) is not about what we think ID is, but about the credibility of Dembski and his associates.

    Thus, if it is a “Sokal-style hoax”, what is he going to say when he reveals it? “We have so little credibility that folks will believe anything about us?” It would be kind of like shooting yourself in the head just to splatter some cerebellum on your opponent.

  29. #29 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    June 17, 2007

    This must be related to Dembski’s challenge

    Interesting, entries on icon-rids supposedly go back to 2006, but there are no entries for it whatsoever in the wayback machine. Is this a real clue, or does he have spider-blocking code?

  30. #30 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    June 17, 2007

    Design? A look at the page source reveals this:

    /*
    ———————————————–
    Blogger Template Style
    Name: Harbor
    Designer: Douglas Bowman
    URL: www.stopdesign.com
    Date: 24 Feb 2004
    ———————————————– */

  31. #31 Jim Wynne
    June 17, 2007

    divalent said…

    Thus, if it is a “Sokal-style hoax”, what is he going to say when he reveals it? “We have so little credibility that folks will believe anything about us?” It would be kind of like shooting yourself in the head just to splatter some cerebellum on your opponent.

    Which is what happens almost every day at UD. Just consider Dembski’s ongoing sponsorship of the likes of DaveScot. Like I said in my blog post, this doesn’t have to make any sense to our side–all of the livestock in Dembski’s little corral will think it’s great fun, and that their master is a great genius. If time has shown us anything about Dembski it’s that all he cares about is impressing his own little band of worshipers.

  32. #32 Ron Okimoto
    June 17, 2007

    I just looked over at some other posts up at UD that were posted before and after Dembski’s and it almost looks like April 1st over there. The funny thing is that you can’t tell if they are joking or not. There are several posts that I would contend point to joke material, and Dembski’s post may be doing the same thing, but how can you tell? Maybe there is something in the airwaves over there that is affecting them.

  33. #33 Robert O'Brien
    June 17, 2007

    Stick a fork in UD; it’s done.

  34. #34 wad of id
    June 17, 2007

    It doesn’t matter if we believe it. It only matters if the fellow Christians over at La La land believe it. And since WAD is the one shelling out a couple hundred for this little inside joke, he is the only one to judge if he’s getting his money’s worth.

    This is now the low point of ID, becoming so disreputable that they can give themselves an out by pulling the just-kidding routine.

  35. #35 John Lynch
    June 17, 2007

    Over at UD, the drones have so swallowed the Koolade that they aren’t even bothering to discuss ICON-RIDS (beyond Larry Fafarman’s comment that “ICON-RIDS sounds like a good organization”). Instead, they’re discussing junk DNA. You’d think one of them would notice that Brookfield is a little off-kilter.

  36. #36 John Lynch
    June 17, 2007

    More on pleasurianism:

    • -“Pleasuria,” is the name of a proposed new country, new continent and new planet.(Pleasurian “states” or “provinces” are referred to as “Love-areas.” Pleasurians are also “Lovarians.”
    • “Planet Pleasuria” is the, post transformation, name for the planet Earth.
    • “Pleasurian-ism” is a pro-human philosophy based upon the civilizing influence of pleasure.
    • “Pleasurian-ism” is a spiritual (God based) philosophy that serves as a new model for a fully sensual, fully human society.
    • “Pleasurian-ism” works to enlarge upon the natural human capacity for kindness, love and orgasms — thereby reducing violence and transforming civilization.
    • “Pleasurian-ism” is a tantric movement for the re-integration of both God and sexuality (and thus human beings) into society as sacred positives.
    • “Pleasurian-ism” is spiritual and eco–sensitive form of hedonism. — With renewed respect for one’s natural self, comes a renewed respect for the natural world and restoration of the balance of nature.
    • “Sex” within pleasurian philosophy, is a completely innocent form of intimate cuddling/kissing. Thus, there are no conceivable laws against sex in pleasurian society. All pleasurian laws are against violence, abuse, degradation, endangerment, etc. For the Pleasurian, “sex” does not exist, there is only kindness/love and various levels of intimacy.
    • A “Pleasurian” is a fully integrated, fully orgasmic, spiritual human-animal.
  37. #37 steve s
    June 17, 2007

    Basically Dembski’s offering money to someone who’ll demonstrate that observers can’t tell ID from a hoax.

    Real smart, Bill.

  38. #38 hooligans
    June 17, 2007

    John Lynch said: “You’d think one of them would notice that Brookfield is a little off-kilter.”

    I posted over at UD this same thought, but WAD wouldn’t let my comment online. I think he realizes just what a horrific train wreack he has created and just can’t wait for the topic to die down on his thread. I’ll bet he won’t allow any more posts on that topic because each post will get him closer to being exposed as a fool.

  39. #39 John Lynch
    June 17, 2007

    I don’t really think this has anything to do with Dembski’s hoax posting. In that, he wanted to see what hoax anti-ID writings he could get Pandas Thumb to pick up on. What’s going on here is way different – pro-ID lunacy.

  40. #40 pough
    June 17, 2007

    Like it or not, “natural selection” only “weeds out” (destroys), it never “weeds in”(creates).

    Like it a little or like it a lot, that’s where the pleasure comes in. Which reminds me of a band name I heard about 15 years ago: Pro-Creation.

  41. #41 Hawks
    June 17, 2007

    There actually exists a method for discerning whether or not a piece of text is a pro-ID hoax. It’s a three-step process called the Imploratory Filter:

    1. Does the text advocate a pro-ID stance?
    2. Is it possible than someone could have written the text as a joke?
    3. Does it look as if the writer is trying to hide the fact the the writing is a hoax?

    Only if the answers to the first two questions are yes do we proceed to question three. This is important since we know that people do write pro-ID hoaxes. Pro-ID hoaxes just don’t materialize from writings about Goethe or Homer. The third stage of the Imploratory Filter presents us with a binary choice: attribute the thing we are trying to examine to deliberate deception if it appears joke-like; otherwise, attribute it to self-deception. In the first case, the writing we are trying to examine is not only pro-ID, but also appears joke-like. In the other, it is pro-ID, but appears deluded. It is the category of joke-like writings having a pro-ID stance that reliably signals a hoax. “Non-funny” writings advocating ID, on the other hand, are properly attributed to self-deception.

    The last thing we need to consider is the case of false positives and false negatives. This method can, unfortunately, yield false negatives. It is possible that some piece of writing might be labelled a non-hoax, when it in fact is a hoax. On the other hand, the method yields no false positives. I.e., when the filter claims that a writing really is a pro-ID hoax, it will will never turn out to be a non-hoax.

    The Imploratory Filter faithfully represents our ordinary practice of sorting through things we alternately attribute to self-deception or hoaxes. In particular, the Filter describes:
    * how Michael Egnor is still allowed to post for the DI.
    * how Casey Luskin can keep repeating that ID can make predictions.
    * how Dembski can claim that the explanatory filter yields no false positives even though it measures design via specified complexity of which irreducible complexity is a subclass. Irreducible complexity, in turn, allows for false positives.

  42. #42 Hermagoras
    June 18, 2007

    @hawks:

    best comment ever.

  43. #43 Hermagoras
    June 18, 2007

    The first parody comment seems to have slipped past the UD censors. Catch it while it’s still there. I’ve also blogged about it over at paralepsis.

  44. #44 Satoris
    June 18, 2007

    Other amusing notes from this guy’s website, which I call the Pleasure-based criticism of Darwin:

    “:My position on Darwinism:

    Darwin’s mechanism, purported to produce(+) new species, is composed of two destruction (-) functions.

    #1. “Random Mutation” (is a destruction function {R} applied to genetic information by {M}).

    and;

    #2. “Natural Selection” (is actually, Natural Selective Destruction {-})

    Now 1+1 = 2
    and
    -1 (plus) -1 = -2

    Thus

    R(-)m plus NS(-) equals a negative (-) not a positive.”

    I’m glad he cleared that up for us! Now it’s off to the Hefner mansion!

  45. #45 Tracy P. Hamilton
    June 18, 2007

    John,

    Not only have they swallowed the Koolade, but they are swimming in it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WxCEkhGbfM

  46. #46 Grady
    June 18, 2007

    Well, there are plenty mainstream evolutionists who are religiously inclined, Ken Miller being the most outspoken example, and plenty who are outright atheist fanatics (i.e. they try to misleadingly equate evolution with atheism) so why can’t we see the same phenomena with IDism?

  47. #47 Science Avenger
    June 18, 2007

    I’d say this is par for the course for the people who think 1% is “many”, as in “many scientists support ID”.

    So come on, of course the number of non-religious ID proponents is growing. It got bigger by one with the addition of Brookfield, right? If you are one bigger than you were, you are growing, right?

    Makes sense to me.

  48. #48 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    June 18, 2007

    This is now the low point of ID

    It’s a good thing you put in the qualifier “now.” They have a shovel and they will just keep digging.

  49. #49 Jeff
    June 18, 2007

    A non-religious ID proponent is still a non-science ID proponent, until they propose a testable hypothesis for ID. My longstanding challenge to the ID folk to propose a testable hypothesis has still gone unmet, unchallenged, and, well, understandable.
    JKM

  50. #50 John Phillips
    June 19, 2007

    Whenever I substitute Dumbski for Dembski when discussing him with his supporters I always get accused of an ad hominem. However, the longer he exists the more appropriate the substitution becomes and I think by now that it is long past time he changed his name by deed poll to match his name to his actions.

  51. #51 truth machine
    June 19, 2007

    ID has science bloggers and scientificists to thank for that, methinks, it’s as if ID gives your lives meaning. Because I don’t know any working biologists who have the luxury of time enough to give a damn what some musician with a Theory of Everything has to say on his blog, just because a bush-league rhetorician links to him.

    Many of those bloggers and “scientificists” are working scientists. Perhaps you don’t know any who give a damn because you don’t know any.

    Give it a rest, already.

    You can’t get much lower, in trollery or hypocrisy, than taking the time to post on someone’s blog for the sole purpose of complaining about their taking the time to write on the subject they chose.

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