Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Ithaca Papers

William A. Dembski announces in his CV/Resumé on his web site Design Inference - Education in Culture and Worldview some books which are still in preparation. Top of the list is
Biological Information: New Perspectives (co-edited with Robert J. Marks II, John Sanford, Michael Behe, and Bruce Gordon). Under contract with Springer Verlag.
Well, rejoice, the electronic version of this book has been published (and is free for download!), and the hard copy is announced for August 2013. Albeit the publisher switched from Springer to World Scientific, the announcement hasn't changed:
In the spring of 2011, a diverse group of scientists gathered at Cornell University to discuss their research into the nature and origin of biological information. This symposium brought together experts in information theory, computer science, numerical simulation, thermodynamics, evolutionary theory, whole organism biology, developmental biology, molecular biology, genetics, physics, biophysics, mathematics, and linguistics. This volume presents new research by those invited to speak at the conference.
While the publication of Stephen C. Meyer's new book Darwin's Doubt is hailed with great fanfare at the Discovery Institute's news-outlet Evolution News, the appearance of this volume hasn't made their news yet - though Dembski and Meyer are both fellows of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture (granted, Meyer is its director). Only at Dembski's (former) blog, Uncommon Descent, there are two posts about the book: Instantly, there arose a discussion about Denyse O'Leary's (commenting under the nom de guerre "News") choice of title, where the usual combatants switched sides: the evolutionists claimed the title was designed to mislead the average reader to think that the Cornell University was somewhat involved in the conference, the apologists of Intelligent Design argued that this was just chance. Unfortunately, no one answered to my comment:
In the interest of discussing the data and the evidence, could we have posts on various articles of the book? I’d be quite interested in a thread on Chapter 1.1.2 “A General Theory of Information Cost Incurred by Successful Search” by William A. Dembski, Winston Ewert and Robert J. Marks II.
I hope that the authors are still reading this blog: this way, we could have a productive discussion, and perhaps some questions could be answered by the people involved!
And for the sake of a swift exchange of ideas: could someone please release me from the moderation queue?
Maybe there is no interest in such a discussion at Uncommon Descent. Maybe no one read the comment - it was hold in the moderation queue for five days, and when it appeared, the article wasn't any longer at the front page. Therefore I'll start a number of posts on “A General Theory of Information Cost Incurred by Successful Search” here at my blog: I just can't believe that this peer-edited article would have been successfully peer-reviewed by Springer....


  1. How could the article have been so much as peer-edited? Editors Sanford, Behe, and Gordon are totally unqualified. That leaves only editors Dembski and Marks, who authored the paper. To call a self-edited paper "peer-edited" is quite a stretch.

    1. I'm under the impression that no one of the editors will ever feel unqualified on any subject...