Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Reminder: ReMine’s Message Theory

Here is yet another line of inquiry in the evolution/ID debate: “Message Theory”. It is a post on Uncommon Descent by Walter ReMine, who claims that “Message Theory” is a testable alternative to “Darwinism”. But he rightly tells us that repeatability must be distinguished from testability. This, of course, is acknowledgment that different ontologies have differing levels of accessibility and complexity and this impacts epistemology perhaps even to the extent that an ontology is not even testable.

Complexity of ontology is an ascending scale and so in consequence is epistemic tractability. Complex objects under study may have so many adjustable variables that strong refutability/testability is impossible. It is then that strong testability, like repeatability, is left behind and we have to resort to fuzzier concepts like “explanatory potential”, “sense making power” and “elegance”. It is very difficult to index such vaguely sensed attributes and assessing the comparative merits of competing theories may be difficult.

However taking ReMine at his word; if “message theory” is as testable as he claims I had better keep tabs on it. I am also interested in the sense making power of Message Theory re common descent, cladistics, paleontology, embryology, etc

In the linked post ReMine, as per the robust debating style of the evolution vs. ID scene, comes in with all guns blazing accusing evolutionists of willfulness:

“.. their posturing is a tongue-in-cheek mockery – and they know it.”… “They know full well ….” “They are attempting to belittle Message Theory” … “They are attempting to fabricate an excuse for avoiding the challenge posed by Message Theory.”

Characters of the Wild Web Number 4: Message Theory in Action: Walter ReMine sends evolutionists a six-bit hand shake

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