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# Biostatistician Makes “Own Goal” in Argument Against Dembski

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Recently a criticism was leveled against Dembski’s 2005 paper Specification: the pattern that signifies intelligence. As is often the case, if you read the criticism carefully, you will realize that, even though he says Dembski is wrong, it turns out that the more exacting answer would favor Dembski’s conclusion more strongly, not less.

In the blog The Dread Tomato Addiction, professional biostatistician Dan Eastwood claims that Dembski’s paper is fundamentally flawed.

Most people use the term “fundamentally flawed” to refer to flaws that are not merely minor mistakes or oversimplifications, but rather to things which are unrecoverable. In this case, it is not a mistake, and, if it is an oversimplification, it is certainly an oversimplification that Dembski made in favor of his critics.

Eastwood criticizes Dembski’s formula for estimating the chance occurrence of an event E adjusted for complexity and opportunity. The formula being criticized is here:

M * N * Phi(T) * P(T|H)

If I ever get the LaTeX plugin installed, the better typeset version will be:

$$M \cdot N \cdot \phi_S(T)\cdot\mathrm{P}(T\vert\mathrm{H})$$

In any case P(T|H) is the base probability of a target, Phi(T) is the descriptive complexity of the target, M is the number of attempters and N is the number of attempts each one makes.

The criticism of Eastwood is that multiplying Phi(T)*P(T|H) by these other factors doesn’t leave us with a probability, because they are merely positive integers, and it leaves open the possibility of a probability greater than one.

However, he seems to be not understanding how proofs are done. Dembski, here, is not giving the actual probability, instead he is giving an upper bound on the probability, which Dembski says explicitly in his paper, using the term “bounded above.” Strangely, Eastwood later realizes this, but continues to criticize despite the fact that his own criticism has been undercut!

In fact, not only is Dembski employing a simple upper bounding technique, it is one of the oldest upper bounding techniques in probability history – Boole’s inequality.

Boole’s inequality simply states that if you have a set of probabilities, the probability of the union of those probabilities is going to be less than their sum. This is exactly what Dembski is doing. Since each chance is Phi(T)*P(T|H), then making M*N attempts means that each of those attempts will be Phi(T)*P(T|H). Therefore, the sum of all of those probabilities will be M*N*P(T|H), which, according to Boole’s inequality, is greater than or equal to the actual probability.

As you can see, using one of the oldest statistics upper bounding methods in history is not an error, it is just statistics. If you were to calculate the probability exactly, I believe it would just be (1 – (1 – Phi(T)*P(T|H))^(M*N)). However, this is much harder to calculate and compare with. That is why Dembski chooses instead to upper bound it – it makes direct comparisons of other quantities much easier.

So, in short, by using an upper-bounding technique, Dembski is actually limiting the power of CSI. The case is actually stronger than what Dembski points out. Eastwood is complaining that Dembski’s paper is “fundamentally flawed” by doing this. However, for the “flaw” that Eastwood points out, the paper’s estimates are actually in Eastwood’s favor already, and if they were corrected they would flow in Dembski’s direction, not Eastwood’s.

I always find it amusing when Darwinists slam Intelligent Design for errors, but if you look at their corrections, the result is just as bad as before, and, in this case, worse. For instance, attempting to criticize Behe, Durrett and Schmidt point out that Behe was wrong, wrong, wrong about his probability estimates of mutations, while simultaneously pointing out that his conclusion (that such events are “very unlikely to occur on a reasonable timescale”) is 100% correct.

If one Darwinist gives an estimate, and another Darwinist later gives a more accurate estimate, that is considered a simple improvement. If an ID’er gives an estimate, and a Darwinist later gives a more accurate estimate, despite it pointing to the same conclusion, that is considered a rebuttal and a disproof.

Hey, if you can’t score goals against your opponent, I guess you can at least score own goals.

You were never arguing, EZ Jerad. All you do is proclaim and bluff. Virgil Cain
#61 VC
The point is you couldn’t try because you have nothing. And your posts prove that.
I'm not arguing with you so why do you keep bringing it up? ellazimm
I’m not trying anymore am I?
The point is you couldn't try because you have nothing. And your posts prove that. Thank you Virgil Cain
#56 Virg
Actually only one person has said that and he didn’t clarify what he meant by that. ID is not anti-evolution and even YECs are OK with a change in allele frequency over time, ie evolution.
But let's be honest, they all really believe that don't they? Sure the alleles change over time but the real question is how? Are the mutations really random?
So auto mechanics have to know the history of the automobile before they can become good mechanics? Sounds stupid to me.
If you knew a system was designed then you would look at it differently wouldn't you? You'd figure that every single bit and piece was put there for a reason instead of just left lying around as a leftover. C'mon, it would make a big difference. A mechanic dealing with a randomly derived system would tend to assume that there'd be lots of un-needed dross in the system. "If it doesn't look like it has a purpose then chuck it" as opposed to someone who could clearly see the system was designed. For a purpose.
But anyway I see you have once again failed to say how to test the claims of your position. You seem happy to bluff your way through this discussion, all the while exposing your ignorance of science.
I'm not trying anymore am I? I'm conceding.
An archer shooting at a target is part of the hypothesis. The skill of said archer is also factored in. The hypothesis is inherent in the actions.
Exactly! Because the probability depends on the skill of the archer. The conditions of wind and weight (of the arrow), etc are accounted for by the assumed ability of the archer. You don't need to state it.
Obviously you are just a confused jerk on an agenda to further distract from the fact that your position has nothing to offer.
Give 'em hell Joe!!
No one knows how ATP synthase could have arisen via stochastic processes and yet scientists have figured out what it looks like and how it works. Absolutely correct!! And they never will!! Because their base assumption is garbage. ATP synthase is clearly designed and that is done and dusted.
ellazimm
No one knows how ATP synthase could have arisen via stochastic processes and yet scientists have figured out what it looks like and how it works. Virgil Cain
Roy:
So the probability of an archer hitting a target if [non-existent hypothesis] is zero?
An archer shooting at a target is part of the hypothesis. The skill of said archer is also factored in. The hypothesis is inherent in the actions. Obviously you are just a confused jerk on an agenda to further distract from the fact that your position has nothing to offer. Nice flailure... Virgil Cain
velikovskys:
Then go ahead, specifically how did design produce those systems?
Non-sequitur Virgil Cain
But they keep saying: nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Actually only one person has said that and he didn't clarify what he meant by that. ID is not anti-evolution and even YECs are OK with a change in allele frequency over time, ie evolution.
How a thing or a system comes into being not only tells you something about it purpose but how it’s suppose to function yes?
So auto mechanics have to know the history of the automobile before they can become good mechanics? Sounds stupid to me. But anyway I see you have once again failed to say how to test the claims of your position. You seem happy to bluff your way through this discussion, all the while exposing your ignorance of science. Strange Virgil Cain
I would say the probability of hitting a target using a non-existent hypothesis is zero.
So the probability of an archer hitting a target if [non-existent hypothesis] is zero? The probability of rolling 7 on two dice if [non-existent hypothesis] is zero? The probability of the sun rising tomorrow if [non-existent hypothesis] is zero? And of course: The probability of the sun rising tomorrow if [non-existent hypothesis concerning the origin of ATP] is zero? You are not only wrong, but you are trivially so, and your inability to see this renders any similar opinion you hold irrelevant. Mathematics teacher: What is the probability of two dice rolling a total of seven? Anyone? Yes Virgil? Young Virgil: Do you have a hypothesis concerning the colour of the dice? Mathematics teacher: No Virgil, I don't. It doesn't matter what colour the dice are. Young Virgil: Then the answer is zero. If P(T) is the probability of two dice rolling 7, and P(H) is the probability of the dice being a certain colour, then P(T|H) is the probability of the dice rolling 7 if they are that colour. But you haven't defined H, so P(T|H) is zero, and so two dice of which the colour options are undefined never roll 7. ... Less young Virgil: But i can't have crapped out! You have refused to provide a hypothesis regarding the colour distribution of your dice, so these dice cannot roll 7! This crapshoot is crooked! Give me my money back! Pit-boss: Really? then the probability of you ever rolling your mark is also zero. [aside] Boys, eject this bum. Less young Virgil: D'oh! I didn't think of that... Roy
Voilà, a bacteria flagellum? That is just icky. velikovskys
velikovskys: Then go ahead, specifically how did design produce those systems? It starts like a baby does, with a twinkle in the eye. That's followed by some sort of mechanical action, then something something ... Voilà! Zachriel
Virgil: Also it seems that EZ Jerad is conflating the fact that biologists do understand biology and how systems and subsystems function with knowing how natural selection, drift and/ or neutral construction produced them. Then go ahead, specifically how did design produce those systems? velikovskys
#49 VC
What’s pretty funny is that no one can find such a thing pertaining to the evolution of ATP synthase via ns, drift and/ or neutral construction. What else is pretty funny, and predictable, is the way evos act when their nonsense is exposed.
Absolutely. Can't have the leaks in the dam exposed. People might start poking around, broadening the holes and then the whole shebang might come crashing down.
Also it seems that EZ Jerad is conflating the fact that biologists do understand biology and how systems and subsystems function with knowing how natural selection, drift and/ or neutral construction produced them. Yes EZJ, biologists write quite a few papers on how biological systems and subsystems function. Yes they understand biology very well. But unfortunately that is very different from knowing how those systems arose. You seem to confuse the two.
But they keep saying: nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. Evolution explains everything. How a thing or a system comes into being not only tells you something about it purpose but how it's suppose to function yes? A designed system will have tolerances and redundancies built into it whereas a system that arose through random, unguided mucking about is always right on the edge of breaking/failing. Yes? If the biologists really understood the systems then they would be able to tell how fragile or robust they are which would be an indication of design or not. Yes? When you design a complicated system you can plan for failures. If there ain't nobody in the driver seat you go over a cliff very easily. And you can see that in the system, surely. ellazimm
Also it seems that EZ Jerad is conflating the fact that biologists do understand biology and how systems and subsystems function with knowing how natural selection, drift and/ or neutral construction produced them. Yes EZJ, biologists write quite a few papers on how biological systems and subsystems function. Yes they understand biology very well. But unfortunately that is very different from knowing how those systems arose. You seem to confuse the two. Virgil Cain
Pretty funny when you think about all those scientists spending all those decades researching and publishing stuff about something that isn’t true.
What's pretty funny is that no one can find such a thing pertaining to the evolution of ATP synthase via ns, drift and/ or neutral construction. What else is pretty funny, and predictable, is the way evos act when their nonsense is exposed. Virgil Cain
Re #46: EZ, I think this type of sarcasm is completely lost on the crowd here. It simply describes relatively accurately their reality. hrun0815
#45 Mungus
Nope, don't need one now. I HAVE seen the light. I'm throwing off my shackles of Darwin and I'm basking in the amazing vast and deadly designed universe. I hope an asteroid doesn't hit before the revolution, that would be a real bummer. ellazimm
#44 Virg
Geez you would figure that with all of those resources Jerad/ EZ would be able to find some scientific support for the evolution of ATP synthase via natural selection, drift and/ or neutral construction. Yet he can’t. And that is very telling. Heck he can’t even find this alleged theory of evolution.
Of course I can't find those things because you were right all along! They don't exist!! Pretty funny when you think about all those scientists spending all those decades researching and publishing stuff about something that isn't true. Boy won't they feel stupid when the whole fake evo-ediface finally comes crashing down!! There's gonna be some explaining to do then eh? Good thing you've got your blog so all the evotards know where to go when the axe falls. Man that's gonna be good. People will be burning huge piles of Dawkins' books and textbooks and journals. Heck we're talking whole libraries filled with evil evo crap that'll have to be purged. People like you and Dr Berlinski and Dr Dembski and Spetner are gonna be rock and roll stars. And Dr Behe . . . he can run the whole show. He's got tenure and everything. Bring it on!! Get the tar and feathers boys! Time to kick some evo-butt. ellazimm
I see the court jester hasn’t abandoned us. I see you didn't really want an answer to your question. Mung
EZ Jerad the perpetual bluffer- Geez you would figure that with all of those resources Jerad/ EZ would be able to find some scientific support for the evolution of ATP synthase via natural selection, drift and/ or neutral construction. Yet he can't. And that is very telling. Heck he can't even find this alleged theory of evolution. Virgil Cain
In case people are not following FB, here's Dan's comment:
I understand Boole's inequality, but it's application here is unnecessary, because P[T|H] is already an upper bound. If you want to insist that Dembski is applying Boole's inequality here, fine, but then I get to call this another error because Dembski didn't use a "<=" symbol or state his methodology - which are perfectly reasonably requirement to ask of a PhD mathematician. smile emoticon Also, so you do not forget, please explain how D(T) is not the expectation of a binomial random variable
Me_Think
#40 Mung
What’s P(T|H)?
I see the court jester hasn't abandoned us. ellazimm
Greetings UD! If I'd known there was a party I would have brought some beer. :-) I will respond with some additional comments, but my time today and Saturday is very limited. Regards, Dan Eastwood Tomato Addict
Or can you calculate P(T|H) for ATP synthase Mung? Can you calculate P(T|H) for something else? What's P(T|H)? Mung
#38 Joe, science god
LoL! Not one biologist can tell us how to test the claim that ATP synthase evolved via natural selection, drift and/ or neutral construction. Not one knows what makes an organism what it is. All biologists are specialists, meaning they specialize in a specific part of biology.
True, true. They should all be taught how to do real science eh? Look at the 'big picture', put the pieces together and see it's all a sham.
There aren’t any results in peer-review that support the evolution of ATP synthase via natural selection, drift and/ or neutral construction. You are just a gullible chump who refuses to actually take a look at the evidence- not that you could understand the evidence…
I'm not a chump any more! I get it now! After swallowing lies upon lies upon lies, staring into a cloudy mirror, I know see clearly!! Hard to believe whole journals, university departments, textbooks, research funding agencies are all just playing the money game. Wow. My mind boggles at the thought. I bet that judge in Pennsylvania got paid off real well in 2005 eh? He just completely bought the evoTards' side and completely dissed the IDers. ellazimm
EZ bluffer:
All those biologists who have spent millions of hours over the last century and a half digging up fossils, studying heredity, doing experiments, observing evolutionary processes, refining their theories, arguing with each other and publishing their results in peer-reviewed journals are liars or cheats or delusional.
LoL! Not one biologist can tell us how to test the claim that ATP synthase evolved via natural selection, drift and/ or neutral construction. Not one knows what makes an organism what it is. All biologists are specialists, meaning they specialize in a specific part of biology. There aren't any results in peer-review that support the evolution of ATP synthase via natural selection, drift and/ or neutral construction. You are just a gullible chump who refuses to actually take a look at the evidence- not that you could understand the evidence... Virgil Cain
#35 Joe
And you have no idea how science works. You have proven that with every post. You don’t even grasp the fact that the only reason P(T|H) exists is that your position doesn’t have anything else- no experiments, no results, just bald proclamations. And it upsets you that it took an IDist to come up with a methodology to test your position’s nonsensical claims. No one on your side has even come up with that!
Yeah, you're right. All those biologists who have spent millions of hours over the last century and a half digging up fossils, studying heredity, doing experiments, observing evolutionary processes, refining their theories, arguing with each other and publishing their results in peer-reviewed journals are liars or cheats or delusional. As must be all the funding agencies and the people who take courses taught by those biologists and teachers and most of the populations of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, etc. Idiots every single one of them. Too afraid to rock the boat and think for themselves. But now I've seen the light and I can shuck off the mantle of oppression, an evoTard no longer!! I'm going to write Donald Trump and tell him when he's president he should pick you as his scientific advisor. I know, you might have to give up repairing toasters but just think of the greater good you'll do!! ellazimm
EZ:
Universal descent with modification has some ramifications which include
That is the problem- no one knows what the ramifications are and no one knows what to modify in order to get universal descent. If you say the DNA gets modified then it is up to you to demonstrate such a thing, ie that DNA getting modified can actually produce the transformations required. Good luck with that- as I keep telling you your position makes untestable claims. It isn't science. Virgil Cain
EZ:
how can you assign a conditional probability given a condition which you claim doesn’t exist?
Again: If a hypothesis doesn’t exist what value do you assign it? I would say the probability of hitting a target using a non-existent hypothesis is zero.
Take all of that and take out a guiding force.
Put in the form of a testable hypothesis. I dare you. I say that because you don't have any idea how to scientifically test the claim of universal common descent via natural selection, drift and neutral construction. Because T varies, duh.
Uh, no.
Yes, it does. In one scenario T pertains to ATP synthase. In another T is a bacterial flagellum. In yet another T is CIT transport. It changes.
The whole point is given a T what is the probability of T given H.
That is true and T changes depending on what you are talking about.
Well then perhaps you’d like to justify the inclusion of P(T|H), a term which you cannot compute except to claim it’s zero.
And, I notice, no one from UD is jumping to your defence.
So what? No one else wants to deal with a willfully ignorant troll. And you have no idea how science works. You have proven that with every post. You don't even grasp the fact that the only reason P(T|H) exists is that your position doesn't have anything else- no experiments, no results, just bald proclamations. And it upsets you that it took an IDist to come up with a methodology to test your position's nonsensical claims. No one on your side has even come up with that! And that is beyond pathetic. Virgil Cain
#33 Virgil Cain ins my name and I served on the Danville train
It would be zero, as explained.
Which still doesn't make sense. You don't explain things, you just assert them. Again: how can you assign a conditional probability given a condition which you claim doesn't exist? If the condition doesn't exist then it doesn't make sense to ask what is the probability of something based on that condition.
Universal design with modification has some ramifications which include: a genomic tree showing branches of similarities and differences (which we observe), morphological similarities within geographical limitation (bio-geographic data), lines of fossils which uphold the other lines of data, etc. Also you need an H pertaining to materialistic processes. You failed to provide one.
Take all of that and take out a guiding force.
Because T varies, duh.
Uh, no. The whole point is given a T what is the probability of T given H. You don't seem to understand the mathematics. Pick a T. Then figure out its probability.
No, that is only your nonsensical slant on what is going on.
Well then perhaps you'd like to justify the inclusion of P(T|H), a term which you cannot compute except to claim it's zero.