Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Darwin Bicentenary Part 4: Monkeys, War Zones and Bullet Proof Jackets

Shoot Out At OK Stromatolite
This post on Uncommon Descent publishes a video of Kirk Durston (Seen left) introducing a mathematical definition of functional information. One of the remarks in the comments thread refers to the recent debate between the respective champions of the evolution and ID communities, PZ Meyers vs. Durston, claiming that Durston wiped the floor with PZ. Another commentator jokingly asks if Kirk is wearing a bullet proof jacket (Yes it does look like that). These remarks typify the jingoism required in the war zone that the ID/evolution question has become.

However, listening to Kirk’s message it was clear to me that he is still harping on about spontaneous probabilities rather than the much more difficult (perhaps even impossible) to calculate conditional ‘ratchet’ probabilities of evolution. In the commentary thread of the post it takes a mathematics professor to point this out. In ID theory all roads seem eventually to lead to the concept of irreducible complexity. For theorists emotionally committed to the concept of ID so much hangs on the validity of one concept: irreducible complexity.


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