Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Birthday Wishes on UD’s 10th

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I’d like to follow-up on Barry Arrington’s announcement of UD’s 10th birthday. When I started UD 10 years ago to the day (April 15, 2005), I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. Blogging was fairly new at the time. Moreover, I had a strong preference that my best writing efforts should go into longer sustained arguments as appear in articles and books. Still, it was a time of ferment for ID. The Kitzmiller-Dover trial was gearing up. Interest in media for intelligent design was high. I had lots of speaking engagements. And I was curious how much influence a blog might have.

If I had to say the best thing that’s come out of UD, it’s the camaraderie of like-minded colleagues, many of whom would not know each other except for this blog. Indeed, UD has been a wonderfully fruitful meeting ground for the ID community. It was through UD that I first met Barry Arrington, who has since taken over UD, organized it as a non-profit 501(c)(3), and done a masterful job guiding it. Denyse O’Leary, whom I met in Toronto in 2002, became a close friend through UD and has been an endless source of energy for it, generating many of its most interesting posts. I could name many more. To all of you, a hearty THANK YOU for making UD a place where intelligent design could be forthrightly and fairly discussed.

Happy Birthday. NDavis
Happy birthday Bill. Lol. Seriously, thank you and all the staff for this great resource of irreducibly complex specified information. logically_speaking
Dr. Dembski, so where do you go after having met the challenge of formulating Conservation of Information, to use your word, more 'elegantly'? I have an idea for a new challenge for you: Selyna Bogino - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSR3jhRjzfk bornagain77
Dr D, I attended St. Viator HS at the same time you were in high school - maybe we crossed paths at an extra-curricular event. Maybe at a "rumble" grrrr. :) ppolish
Thanks, Dr. Dembski. You've done some amazingly innovative and good work - it's been a huge benefit to me and countless others. I can't resist this ... we'd love to see you posting here more frequently, but UD is a great resource even still. Thanks for your vision and efforts in starting and developing it. Silver Asiatic
Happy Birthday UD community! Dr. Dembski, Thanks for starting this blog 10 years ago and for elucidating the scientific foundation for ID (i.e. CSI and active information).
The Science of ID - The Design Inference - infographic http://visual.ly/science-id-biochemistry?utm_source=visually_embed Before They've Even Seen Stephen Meyer's New Book, Darwinists Waste No Time in Criticizing Darwin's Doubt - William A. Dembski - April 4, 2013 Excerpt: In the newer approach to conservation of information, the focus is not on drawing design inferences but on understanding search in general and how information facilitates successful search. The focus is therefore not so much on individual probabilities as on probability distributions and how they change as searches incorporate information. My universal probability bound of 1 in 10^150 (a perennial sticking point for Shallit and Felsenstein) therefore becomes irrelevant in the new form of conservation of information whereas in the earlier it was essential because there a certain probability threshold had to be attained before conservation of information could be said to apply. The new form is more powerful and conceptually elegant. Rather than lead to a design inference, it shows that accounting for the information required for successful search leads to a regress that only intensifies as one backtracks. It therefore suggests an ultimate source of information, which it can reasonably be argued is a designer. I explain all this in a nontechnical way in an article I posted at ENV a few months back titled "Conservation of Information Made Simple" (go here). ,,, ,,, Here are the two seminal papers on conservation of information that I've written with Robert Marks: "The Search for a Search: Measuring the Information Cost of Higher-Level Search," Journal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics 14(5) (2010): 475-486 "Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success," IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics A, Systems & Humans, 5(5) (September 2009): 1051-1061 For other papers that Marks, his students, and I have done to extend the results in these papers, visit the publications page at www.evoinfo.org http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/04/before_theyve_e070821.html Conservation of Information Made Simple - William A. Dembski - August, 2012 Excerpt: Biological configuration spaces of possible genes and proteins, for instance, are immense, and finding a functional gene or protein in such spaces via blind search can be vastly more improbable than finding an arbitrary electron in the known physical universe. ,,, ,,,Given this background discussion and motivation, we are now in a position to give a reasonably precise formulation of conservation of information, namely: raising the probability of success of a search does nothing to make attaining the target easier, and may in fact make it more difficult, once the informational costs involved in raising the probability of success are taken into account. Search is costly, and the cost must be paid in terms of information. Searches achieve success not by creating information but by taking advantage of existing information. The information that leads to successful search admits no bargains, only apparent bargains that must be paid in full elsewhere. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/08/conservation_of063671.html
"If I had to say the best thing that’s come out of UD, it’s the camaraderie of like-minded colleagues, many of whom would not know each other except for this blog." Entirely agreed. Most people I know in the ID movement came from first becoming a part of this blog. Thanks to DaveScot (if he is listening) for inviting me to be a part! johnnyb
Happy birthday, UD. I predict that the next 10 years will be very different. Mapou

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