More on Mathematicians and Evolution

Mark Chu-Carroll joins the discussion with this interesting post.

But if you look at my writing on this blog, what I've mainly done is critiques of the IDists and creationists who attempt to argue against evolution. And here's the important thing: the math that they do - the kind of arguments coming from the people that Luskin claims are uniquely well suited to argue about evolution - are so utterly, appallingly horrible that it doesn't take a background in evolution to be able to tear them to ribbons.

To give an extreme example, remember the infamous Woodmorappe paper about Noah's ark? You don't need to be a statistician to know that using the median is wrong. It's such a shallow and obvious error that anyone who knows any math at all should be able to knock it right down. Every mathematical argument that I've seen from IDists and/or creationists has exactly that kind of problems: errors so fundamental and so obvious that even without having to get into the detailed study of evolution, anyone who takes the time to actually look at the math can see why it's wrong. It's not always as bad as Woodie, but just look at things like Dembski's specified complexity: anyone who knows information theory can see that it's a self-contradicting definition; you don't need to be an expert in mathematical biology to see the problem - the problem is obvious in the math itself.

Well said. See the original for links.


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If you would do me a favor, could you provide me a rendering of Dembski's equation and positions, and then pose to me his errors mathematically as to why you are disinclined to believe thier relevancy and standing.The math, the numbers not so much the explanation. It would be much appreciated and well observed as to your point against such findings of a colleage in your field and at your status, being at odds with your views and he with yours.

Thankyou for any time you dedicate to providing me such please send them respectfully to

By Patrick J. Bellaire (not verified) on 18 Mar 2009 #permalink