Looking for an odd piece of information in the middle of the night (unrelated to controversies around design in nature), I stumbled across a claim from The Skeptical Zone back in June 2015:
Uncommon Descent is starving
I was naturally curious, as I don’t recall anyone starving at the time. Or anything in particular, really.
Post author Tom English seemed to think it odd that one of our authors, Eric Anderson, and Casey Luskin, then a podcaster with the Discovery Institute, had said nice things about UD. Building on that remarkable discovery, English announces,
Anderson lives up to Jeff Shallit’s characterization of him, revealing that he is laughably far behind the curve. He’s not worth my time. And there’s something wrong if you think that he’s worth yours. Then again, he was about the best choice Luskin had for the interview. More.
Um, … okay… It gets better:
UD degenerated into a madhouse long ago. Barry Arrington has done everyone a favor, having finally gone too far, and given us a clear reason to do what we should have done already. I know that some of you are itching for him to post something that permits you to rationalize a return to UD. Please work to kick your UD habit for good.
We had no idea we were that hard a habit to kick. Could we get rebranded as a social vice?
English probably overestimates how much time, money, and energy an almost completely horizontal organization like ours needs—a common mistake. Officially, we’re just a tax number somewhere in Colorado …
But now, one thing rang a bell; the name Tom English. Oh yes, of course, him:
Shoutout to Tom English: How much of the animus you display against Marks and Dembski is scholarly?
English appears to have more or less retracted his own paper since 1996, as this amended version at his Bounded Theoretics site shows. The Abstract is now heavily edited. A number of pages feature crossouts of the text (explanation appended at ).
That perhaps is the context for his comment at Salvo, “conservation of information” turns out to be nothing but obfuscation of statistical independence—a concept that undergraduates encounter early in introductory courses on probability and statistics.
But, whatever the fate of English’s paper, the sense in which Marks and Dembski have used the phrase conservation of information (COI)  is well supported by the work of others in the literature.
Okay, so that’s the guy who thought we were starving. English? Barbara Forrest? Must be Old Home Week.
So much water under the bridge.
Note: English’s post is a good example of fake news. There was nothing in it. But hey, it’s a free country. Please never ask the government to protect you from fake news. If good judgement won’t help you, neither will the government.
Actually, he’s been ranting about Marks, Dembski, and Ewert (Evolutionary Informatics) for years on end. As readers likely know, Marks, Dembski, and Ewert have a new book out, pictured, that’ll keep English blogging.
See also: Barbara Forrest, metaphysical naturalism, and the End of Science rent-a-riot There are over 18,000 posts here but I remember Forrest from the curious case of her wholly unjustified attack on fellow philosopher Frank Beckwith in a philosophy quarterly a few years back.
What is fake news? Do we believe it?
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