Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Prediction, retrodiction, and malediction

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It’s not even six a.m. here in EST, and already 230 people have visited the Post-Darwinist (one of my two solo blogs), either to read my nine predictions if ID is true or hear whether it’s true that most Discovery Institute fellows are, like, fundies. Or else to read about the Pope vs. howler monkey stand-ins at an Italian U …

I notice where several Darwinists want me to understand that I am not much good at making predictions. Well, I have news for them. Back in 2001, I predicted that intelligent design would be BIG news by mid-decade, while some Darwinist or other was reshaping neo-Darwinism to fit the facts (retrodiction) or prophesying ID’s death every six months (malediction?). I, meanwhile,  sold a book on the basis of my prediction (By Design or by Chance? Augsburg 2004) and got named as co-author on another one (The Spiritual Brain, Harper One, 2007).  And who was right on the facts?

I am still getting royalties on the first book and still living off the advance on the second. Oh and yes, the same Darwinists* are still predicting the death of ID every, like, six months or so – about as often as royalty statements arrive, with a cheque thoughtfully attached.

No, I am NOT rich (!), but I know how to make predictions that are likely to come true. It’s half the secret of selling books. There is a name for it. It is called trendspotting.

(No, narc boy, NOT trainspotting, TRENDspotting. Go read a book, will you? Change your life.)

*But you know, Darwinists are not always as smart as they could be. The last time I had this much sudden traffic from that quarter, I seem to recall that some Darwinist was making a big deal of the fact that I have two blogs. Like why? WHY? I guess that individual doesn’t go in for reading blog hedders because the answer was right up there in the hedders. The Post-Darwinist supports By Design or by Chance? and Mindful Hack supports The Spiritual Brain. Usually a new story will fit better into one lineup than another. But I guess you’d have to be the sort of person who reads blog hedder copy to think of something like that.

Update: Meanwhile, I get an amazing number of comments, most of which I reject, from a type of person I can only describe as a young fogie. Self-important young fellows who want me to believe, quite often, that they are scientists. If so, they do not reflect well on their disciplines. They are pendantic, unimaginative, censorious and utterly lacking in curiosity. Quick to resort to threats, name calling, and bully pulpiteering. I can’t imagine what they will be like when they are old, but why would I want to know? They’re the main reason I think that Darwinism is doomed. It’s not attracting the sort of people who create new ideas. It is attracting the sort of people who fear that the world is passing them by, and they’re probably right.

Greetings! "But you know, Darwinists are not always as smart as they could be." You give them too much credit, how very generous of you. You much too kind. I would have put it the way they really are: SMRT, SMRT, SMRT... You know like the village idiot running half naked down the street screaming, "I am so SMRT listen to me, I am so SMRT, believe me." ID research has so much more potential than the any materialist explaination. Good job on your list. Unlettered and Ordinary
Jason obviously has some issues for picking on Denyse like that. However, I think it is unlikely that Dembski's list will be similar to hers. Predictions have to follow from the ID theory and they have to be specific. "Better health care as a result of ID" is not a prediction. "Bacteria X will not evolve resistance to drug Y because it requires Z many mutations which is too many for naturalistic processes to account for" would be. What about this: "ID would result in many new drugs that are immune to resistance and thus will save many lives." Not a scientific prediction but a reasonable expectation and a great story if true. ari-freedom
Jason Rosenhouse should watch out how he uses the phrase "cluelessness." While trying to be derogatory of Michael Behe and his book he said Behe was a fool because when asked on a TV show what would be good ID research, Behe replied that the type of research that Lenski is doing at Michigan State with bacteria reproduction represents good ID research. Rosenhouse thought this was stupid because he did not understand the arguments being made by Behe so ridiculed him, thus exposing his own ignorance. Maybe Jason Rosenhouse should look in the mirror when looking for exemplars of cluelessness. jerry
Predicted events either happen or they don't. So I only argue with publishers about predictions, as in "Is there a book in this? Who's the market?" If even a few of my predictions work out, there will be plenty of books in it. I never bother with the Thumbsmen because they aren't customers for my books or for those I usually edit, and it wouldn't be fair to book customers or editing clients to spend my time that way. O'Leary
Denyse - according to Jason Rosenhouse over at The Panda's Thumb blog:
"Denyse O'Leary has posted her very own list of nine “predictions” that follow from ID. Why do I put the word “predictions” in sneer quotes? Because with this post O'Leary has achieved a level of cluelessness to which most ID proponents can only aspire.
(see: http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2008/01/does-id-predict.html for Jason's full post) So someone who has two books challenging Darwinian assumptions to her credit, with all the attendant research necessary to write them, is "clueless". The Darwinian mantra seems pretty clear...if you really study evolution, you've simply GOT to accept it as being totally true. DonaldM

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