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THE WRITINGS OF WILLIAM A.
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NEW AS OF 12 August 2004
as a Measure of Variation. [v. 3.0, posted 12Aug04; v. 2.0,
posted 23July04; originally posted 7July04] First installment in
a set of seven planned technical articles under the rubric
Mathematical Foundations of Intelligent Design.
> Reflections on
Human Origins. [version 2.0, posted 4Aug04; originally posted
21June04] Section from forthcoming book (i.e., The Design of
Design of Life. [6May04] Prefatory material and
epilogue of a forthcoming book, to appear this year, authored by
Michael Behe, Percival Davis, William Dembski, Dean Kenyon, and
Jonathan Wells, with William Dembski as academic editor.
<> Dealing with the
Backlash against Intelligent Design. [14Apr04] Dr.
Dembski's contribution to the forthcoming Phillip Johnson Festschrift
Volume, edited by William Dembski and Jed Macosko.
Questions Evolutionists Would Rather Dodge. [14Apr04] A
popular piece commissioned by Citizen Magazine.
Meltdown. [3Apr04] World Magazine commissioned
William Dembski to enlist several proponents of intelligent design to
speculate about the state of Darwinism at the 100th anniversary of
the Scopes trial in 2025. Phillip Johnson, Jonathan Wells, Jeffrey
Schwartz, and William Dembski each wrote articles.
<> Society for
the Advancement of Real Science Denounces Intelligent Design.
[26Feb04] Denunciations of Intelligent Design by the American
Association for the Advancement of Science (see here),
the American Institute of Physics (see here
and the Society for Neuroscience (see
here) have been far too tame. Finally, the Society for the
Advancement of Real Science has released a denunciation worthy of the
menace that is Intelligent Design. [[Please note: This
press release by the Society for the Advancement of Real Science is a
parody. No such organization exists. Unfortunately, because reality
is nearly as extreme as this parody, many readers initially think
that this "press release" is genuine. Hence this
Complexity Revisited. [14Jan04] Update on where the
debate over irreducible complexity is eight years after the
publication of Michael Behe's book Darwin's Black Box.
Questions to Ask Your Biology Teacher about Design.
to Paul Gross. [1Dec03] Paul Gross's September 2003
criticism of intelligent design in the National Association of
Scholar's Science Insights (see here)
garnered numerous responses from both friends and foes of intelligent
design in the November issue of Science Insights (see
The friends of intelligent design who responded to Gross included
David Berlinski, Phillip Johnson, Jonathan Wells, Michael Behe, John
West (on behalf of Discovery Institute), Robert Koons, Roland Hirsch,
and William Dembski. The latter's response is included here.
<> Biology in
the Subjunctive Mood: A Response to Nicholas Matzke.
[11Nov03] A response to Nicholas Matzke's article posted on
the Talk Reason website titled "Evolution in (Brownian) Space: A
Model for the Origin of the Bacterial Flagellum."
Intelligent Design's Success. [11Nov03] Talk presented at
the Ian Ramsey Centre, Oxford, October 30, 2003.
<> Response to
Eugenie Scott's Letter to Texas Board of Education.
[10Oct03] In her letter of September 30, 2003 to the Texas
Board of Education, Eugenie Scott claimed that intelligent design
research is not properly peer-reviewed and singled out William
Dembski's monograph The Design Inference as a case in point.
William Dembski's letter of October 10, 2003 to the Texas Board of
Education refutes her charges.
[6Oct03] Article entry for IVP's forthcoming New
Dictionary of Christian Apologetics.
for The Design Revolution. [27Sep03] The
endorsements for William Dembski's forthcoming book with InterVarsity
as they will be appearing on the book cover and the first few
Universe or Intelligent Design? [27Sep03] Paper delivered
at 2003 Accelerating Change Conference at Stanford University, 13
September 2003 <http://www.accelerating.org/acc2003/schedule.htm>.
<> Paul Gross's
Dilemma. [22Sep03] An open letter to the National
Association of Scholars in response to Paul Gross's article on
intelligent design in the NAS's September 2003 issue of Science
<> Testimony of
William Dembski before Texas State Board of Education.
[10Sep03] Point at issue was the accuracy of high school
biology textbooks in presenting evolutionary theory. Testimonies were
strictly limited to three minutes.
<> ID FAQ presented by
William Dembski to Texas State Board of Education.
[10Sep03] Three frequently asked questions: (1) What is ID?
(2) Is it peer reviewed? (3) What is its research program?
Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing.
[revised 4Sep03; originally posted 22July03] Table of
contents, introduction, and list of contributors to edited collection
by William Dembski, due out with Intercollegiate Studies Institute
early spring 2004. Revised in light of Andrea Bottaro's response at
<> The Design
Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions about Intelligent
Design. [30Aug03] Table of contents, preface, and
acknowledgments to book by William Dembski, due out with InterVarsity
Press January 2004. Includes foreword by Charles Colson and
endorsement by Senator Rick Santorum.
Design. [28Aug03] Entry to Lindsay Jones's
Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd edition, forthcoming with
<> Does the
Design Argument Show There Is a God? [28Aug03] Entry to
Ted Cabal's Apologetics Study Bible, forthcoming with Broadman
"Algorithmic Complexity," "Boundary Conditions," "Dissipative
Structures," and "Teleological Argument." [28Aug03] Five
entries in the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Science and Religion,
edited by Wentzel van Huyssteen, published spring 2003.
<> Making the
Task of Theodicy Impossible? Intelligent Design and the Problem of
Evil. [4Apr03] Paper delivered under the auspices of the
Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (CTNS) at the Graduate
Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, 1 April 2003.
Materialism's "Chokehold" on Neuroscience. [27Feb03] Book
review for First Things of The Mind and the Brain:
Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force, by Jeffrey
Schwartz and Sharon Begley. HarperCollins. 432 pp. Book available for
purchase online here.
in response to "The Virtue of Hate" by Meir Soloveichik.
[27Feb03] Soloveichik's article appeared in the February 2003
issue of First Things and is available here.
Spinning Just Fine: A Response to Ken Miller. [17Feb03]
William Dembski responds to Kenneth Miller's article "The Flagellum
Unspun: The Collapse of 'Irreducible Complexity'." This article,
which will be appearing in a collection that William Dembski is
editing with Michael Ruse, is available on the web here.
Logic of Credulity: An Unfettered Response to Allen Orr. The
Boston Review gave William Dembski 1000 words to respond to
Allen Orr's 6000-word book review of No Free Lunch (for
Dembski's 1000-word response see "Sheer vs. Real Possibilities"
below). A fuller response to Orr's review was required. Here it
a Disciplined Science: Prospects, Pitfalls, and Reality Check for
ID. Keynote address delivered at RAPID
Conference (Research and Progress in Intelligent
Design), Biola University, La Mirada, California, 25 October
Sober's Independent Evidence Requirement for Design. A brief
reply to Elliott Sober's main line of attack against the legitimacy
of design within biology. Dr. Dembski plans to extend this reply.
Logical Underpinnings of Intelligent Design. Dr. Dembski's
contribution to Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA (Cambridge
University Press, to appear 2003, co-edited with Michael Ruse).
Logic. This bit of frivolity adapts and extends Paul Dunmore's
"The Uses of Fallacy," New Zealand Mathematics Magazine, vol.
Argument from Invincible Ignorance: A Response to Howard Van
Till. Howard Van Till's review of Dr. Dembski's book No Free
Lunch is available at the AAAS Evolution Resources page --
The actual review is available as a pdf file at http://www.aaas.org/spp/dser/evolution/perspectives/vantillecoli.pdf.
Dr. Dembski responds to Van Till's review here.
<> If Only
Darwinists Scrutinized Their Own Work as Closely: A Response to
"Erik". An Internet persona and critic of intelligent design
known as "Erik" reviewed those aspects of Dr. Dembski's book No
Free Lunch dealing with the Law of Conservation of Information
and specificational resources. Erik's review is titled "On Dembski's
Law of Conservation of Information" and is available at http://www.talkreason.org/articles/dembski_LCI.pdf.
Dr. Dembski responds to the review here.
<> Sheer vs. Real
Possibilities: A Response to Allen Orr. Allen Orr reviewed Dr.
Dembski's book No Free Lunch in the Summer 2002 issue of the
Boston Review. Orr's review is available at http://bostonreview.mit.edu/BR27.3/orr.html.
The response below is at the request of the Boston Review and
will be appearing in a subsequent issue. Dembski was limited to 1000
words by the Boston Review and plans a more extensive response
to Orr in the future.
<> Addicted to
Caricatures: A Response to Brian Charlesworth. The journal
Nature had Brian Charlesworth review Dr. Dembski's book No
Free Lunch in its 11 July 2002 issue. The article is available at
http://www.nature.com to subscribers for free and to nonsubscribers
for a fee.
<> Then and Only
Then: A Response to Mike Gene. Mike Gene is the pseudonym of a
biologist known and respected for his work on intelligent design. Dr.
Dembski disagrees with him sharply, however, over his views whether
intelligent design may at this time properly be taught in the public
school science curriculum (for his views see here
and here). The
addendum to Dr. Dembski's response is by Jonathan Wells.
<> Random Predicate Logic
I: A Probabilistic Approach to Vagueness. Regarding this paper,
Dr. Dembski writes: "This is an old paper, written twelve years ago,
that's been in cold storage ever since. I had always intended to get
back to it and apply the formalism it develops, but other projects
kept getting in the way. I finally decided to clean it up and get it
into circulation, not only because it provides a more powerful and
ultimately, I believe, more fruitful formalism than fuzzy logic, but
also because I am eager to apply it to confirmation theory, logical
paradoxes, and, most importantly from my view, to design-theoretic
concepts. I want in particular to treat predicates that attribute
complexity, specified complexity, and design as random predicates and
see what fruit this reformulation will bear. Since Bart Kosko has
shown that fuzzy logic cannot be subsumed under Bayesian techniques,
and since fuzzy logic is strictly subsumable under random predicate
logic, I intend, as it were, to transcend Bayesian techniques by
moving to a completely different formalism. All of this, of course,
constitutes a promissory note and will have to await 'Random
Predicate Logic II: Applications and Interpretations'. The present
paper merely lays out the basic formalism."
by William Dembski on Eugenie Scott and Glenn Branch's "Guest
Viewpoint: 'Intelligent design' Not Accepted by Most Scientists"
-- their article appeared July 2nd on the website of the National
School Boards Association .
<> The Primacy
of the First Person: Reply to Ray Kurzweil. Reply to Ray
Kurzweil's criticism of Dr. Dembski's essay "Kurzweil's Impoverished
Spirituality" in the book Are We Spiritual Machines?, edited
by Jay Richards and available online here.
This reply was made in the context of an ISCID reading discussion on
that book organized by Micah Sparacio (see http://www.iscid.org/arewespiritualmachines.php).
Prospects for Unseating Intelligent Design. Talk delivered at
CSICOP's Fourth World Skeptics Conference in Burbank, California, 21
June 2002, at a discussion titled "Evolution and Intelligent Design."
The participants included ID proponents William Dembski and Paul
Nelson as well as evolutionists Wesley Elsberry and Kenneth Miller.
Massimo Pigliucci moderated the discussion.
<> The Fantasy
Life of Richard Wein. A further response to Richard Wein.
Criticized but Scarcely Refuted: A Response to Richard Wein. A
response to Richard Wein's overly long and ill-conceived review of
No Free Lunch. Wein expended 37,000 words in his initial
response and from comments on talk.origins apparently plans to expand
it still further.
<> Asking the
Tough Questions. A brief response to an exchange between Michael
Ruse and Jonathan Wells to appear in Research News in Science and
<> If Not
Natural Selection? A review of Steven Orzack and Elliott Sober's
Adaptationism and Optimality (CUP, 2001) to appear in Books
<> Does Evolution
Even Have a Mechanism? Talk delivered at the American Museum of
Natural History, 23 April 2002 at a discussion titled "Evolution or
Intelligent Design?" The participants included ID proponents William
A. Dembski and Michael J. Behe as well as evolutionists Kenneth R.
Miller and Robert T. Pennock. Eugenie C. Scott moderated the
Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists. Foreword by William A.
Dembski. Available at Amazon.com.
Predictable Defenders: A Response to Massimo Pigliucci. A
response to "Design Yes, Intelligent No: A Critique of Intelligent
Design Theory and Neocreationism," by Massimo Pigliucci, Skeptical
Inquirer (Sep/Oct 2001): 34-39. To appear in the Christian
<> MESA (Monotonic
Evolutionary Simulation Algorithm). A Java program by William
Dembski, John Bracht, and Micah Sparacio that models evolutionary
searches and employs monotonic smooth fitness gradients. Its aim is
to determine the degree to which fitness perturbation and variable
coupling impede evolutionary searches. The link here is to the ISCID
<> Response to
Walter Thorson. The March 2002 issue of Perspectives on
Science and Christian Faith was devoted to an extended article by
Walter Thorson titled "Legitimacy and Scope of 'Naturalism' in
Science." William Dembski was one of twelve respondents.
<> Edward Kennedy
-- Expert on Science? Statement by William Dembski on the
scientific status of intelligent design. Responds to Edward Kennedy's
claim that ID is not properly scientific.
Taking Information Seriously Enough. Review of James E.
Huchingson, Pandemonium Tremendum: Chaos and Mystery in the Life
of God (Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2001). Appeared in Princeton
Theological Seminary Bulletin.
<> Detecting Design
in the Natural Sciences. Article commissioned for POISK
(the magazine of the Russian Academy of Science) and currently being
translated into Russian.
Pennock's Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics.
William Dembski's press releases in response to the publication of
this book. Integrity is hard won and easily lost. For publishing
William Dembski's work without his knowledge or permission, Robert
Pennock and MIT Press compromised their integrity.
Yet Again! This article is written in response to Matt Young's
"How to Evolve Specified Complexity by Natural Means." Both pieces
appeared on Metanexus (http://www.metanexus.net).
<> No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity
Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligence. Jacket endorsements
for William Dembski's most important book to date. Available at
& Noble for $28.
<> ISCID. William
Dembski, John Bracht, and Micah Sparacio together founded the
International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design in
December of 2001.
<> What Have
Butterflies Got to Do with Darwin? Review of Bernard
dAbrera, The Concise Atlas of Butterflies of the World
(London: Hill House, 2001).
<> ID as a
Theory of Technological Evolution. William Dembski delivered this
paper as a lecture at the June 2001 AAAS conference at Haverford
College. The conference title was Interpreting Evolution. His
lecture was part of a session on intelligent design in which he was
paired with Wesley Elsberry (hence the reference to him in the
paper). The talk was reprinted on Metanexus
<> The Pragmatic
Nature of Mathematical Inquiry. This article appeared in
in a Postmodern Age (Eerdmans, 2001), edited by Rossell
Howell and James Bradley. It's approach is similar to the
experimental approach to mathematics outlined in Gregory Chaitin's
Limits of Mathematics.
Intelligent Design a Form of Natural Theology? Examines the
relation between ID and natural theology. First appeared on Metanexus
Blind Is the Watchmaker. William Dembski's foreword to Neil
Broom's book. Available at Amazon.com.
of Intelligence: Understanding Intelligent Design (Amazon.com
link). William Dembski's most accessible book. An expanded version of
a Touchstone Magazine special issue on intelligent design.
Apologetics: Meeting the Challenges of Theological Studies
(Amazon.com link). Co-edited with Jay Richards.
and Evidence for Design in the Universe (Amazon.com link).
Co-authored with Michael Behe and Stephen Meyer.
Design Coming Clean. Explains why intelligent design is a "big
tent." This article first appeared on Metanexus
Evidential Collapse of Darwinism [21Oct00] Amazon.com
review of Jonathan Wells's Icons of Evolution.
<> Who's Got
the Magic? A response to Robert Pennock's false dichotomy that ID
forces one to choose between mechanism and magic. This article first
appeared on Metanexus (http://www.metanexus.net). It was reprinted
without permission in Robert Pennock's Intelligent Design
Creationism and Its Critics.
<> The Limits of
Natural Teleology. Review of Robert Wright's Nonzero: The
Logic of Human Destiny. Appeared in August/September 2000 issue
of First Things.
Nature of Nature (Conference at Baylor, April 2000).
Description and schedule of historic conference. Organized by William
Dembski and Bruce Gordon through Baylor's erstwhile Michael Polanyi
Darwin--And Feeling No Shame! Why do people resist Darwin's
theory? Because it is deeply flawed or because they feel threatened?
This article first appeared on Metanexus
<> Because It
Works. That's Why! Review of The Concept of Probability in
Statistical Physics by Y.M. Guttmann (CUP, 1999). This article
first appeared in Books & Culture.
Design is not Optimal Design. Response to Francisco Ayala. This
article first appeared on Metanexus (http://www.metanexus.net).
Can We Reasonably Hope For? Invited contribution on the topic of
science and religion to First Things' Millennium Symposium,
January 2000 issue.
We Spiritual Machines? A response to Ray Kurzweil's Age of
Spiritual Machines. This article first appeared in First
<> The Last
Magic. A review of The Applicability of Mathematics as a
Philosophical Problem by Mark Steiner (Harvard University Press,
1999). This review first appeared in Books & Culture.
<> Intelligent Design: The Bridge
Between Science and Theology. Jacket endorsements for book.
Available at Amazon.com.
1998 and before
<> The Design Inference:
Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities. Endorsements
for book. Available at Amazon.com.
<> Mere Creation: Science, Faith
& Intelligent Design. Endorsements for book. Available at
and Design. Popular piece on design detection. This article first
appeared in First Things.
<> Act of
Creation: Bridging Transcendence and Immanence. Talk presented at
Millstatt Forum, Strasbourg, France, 10 August 1998.
<> The Intelligent
Design Movement. Overview of ID movement as things stood in
March of 1998. Appeared in Fred Heeren's periodical Cosmic
<> Simpson (not
G. G.) and Gould (not Harold or Elliot). An analysis of the
Simpsons episode featuring Stephen Jay Gould.
<> Alchemy, NK
Boolean Style. A review of At Home in the Universe: The Search
for the Laws of Self Organization and Complexity by Stuart
Kauffman (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995).
<> Randomness by
Design. Dr. Dembski's first significant contribution to
intelligent design. This article appeared in the spring of 1991 in
the philosophy journal Nous. It has appeared elsewhere on the
Internet, but in each case the formatting was garbled and some
content was lost. Dr. Dembski has therefore re-typeset the article in
TeX and made it available here. Many of the ideas about small
probability and specification are in this article in seminal
<> 16-17 January 2004, University of California, Davis
(contact Richard Spencer).
<> 30 October 2003, Ian Ramsey Center, Oxford.
<> 14-16 October 2003, Symposium: "Explaining Evolution:
Darwinian Descent or Detectable Design?" featuring Michael Ruse and
William Dembski, University of Central Arkansas Honors College --
Challenge Week 2003 [rescheduled from February 2003 because of
<> 12-14 September 2003, Stanford University, Accelerating
<> 9-10 April 2003, University of Maine (contact Doug
<> 1 April 2003, Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences,
Berkeley (contact Ted Peters).
<> 25 March 2003, Southern Methodist University (contact Steve
Sternberg with CLM).
<> 9-17 March 2003, New Zealand, promoting Unlocking the
Mystery of Life video through Focus on the Family.
<> 11-12 February 2003, Norton Lectures, Southern Baptist
Theological Seminary, Louisville (contact James Parker).
<> 6 February 2003, Southwest Texas State University (contact
<> 13 November 2003, Hillsdale College, Symposium: "The
Intelligent Design Debate." Featuring Michael Ruse, Larry Arnhart,
Michael Behe, Mano Singham, Niles Eldredge, Jonathan Wells, and
William Dembski. For details go here.
<> 8 November 2003, UT Austin (contact Marty Poenie)
<> 25 October 2002, RAPID
Conference (Research and Progress in Intelligent Design), Biola
University, La Mirada, California.
<> 24 October 2002, "Darwinism in Crisis" (panel w/ Paul
Nelson, John Bloom, Jonathan Wells, Fuz Rana, and Hugh Ross), Chase
Gymnasium, Biola University, La Mirada, California, 7:00-9:30PM.
<> International Society for
Complexity, Information, and Design.
<> Center for Science
and Culture. A program of Seattle's Discovery Institute.
<> ARN. Access Research
<> Teleologic. Mike Gene's
Intelligent Design Network.
<> IDEA Center.
Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center.
<> IDURC. Intelligent Design
Undergraduate Research Center.
Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in
Germany by Richard Weikhart.
<> The Privileged
Planet by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Wesley Richards.
<> Santa Fe
<> NECSI. New England Complex
<> ICAM. Institute for
Complex Adaptive Matter.
Flagellum Unspun: The Collapse of "Irreducible Complexity", Ken
of No Free Lunch, H. Allen Orr, Boston Review, Summer
Design Argument, Elliott Sober, in W. Mann, ed., The Blackwell
Guide to Philosophy of Religion, forthcoming.
Design and Probability Reasoning, Elliott Sober, International
Journal for the Philosophy of Religion 52 (2002): 65-80.
ABSTRACT: This paper defends two theses about probabilistic
reasoning. First, although modus ponens has a probabilistic analog,
modus tollens does not - the fact that a hypothesis says that an
observation is very improbable does not entail that the hypothesis is
improbable. Second, the evidence relation is essentially comparative;
with respect to hypotheses that confer probabilities on observation
statements but do not entail them, an observation O may favor one
hypothesis H1 over another hypothesis H2 , but O cannot be said to
confirm or disconfirm H1 without such relativization. These points
have serious consequences for the Intelligent Design movement. Even
if evolutionary theory entailed that various complex adaptations are
very improbable, that would neither disconfirm the theory nor support
the hypothesis of intelligent design. For either of these conclusions
to follow, an additional question must be answered: With respect to
the adaptive features that evolutionary theory allegedly says are
very improbable, what is their probability of arising if they were
produced by intelligent design? This crucial question has not been
addressed by the ID movement.
Elliott Sober, Proceedings and Addresses of the American
Philosophical Association 73 (1999): 47-76.
Not to Detect Design, Branden Fitelson, Christopher Stephens,
Elliott Sober. A review of William A. Dembskis The Design
Inference that appeared in Philosophy of Science 66
Diversity beyond Evolution: Debate over Intelligent Design, Carl
T. Hall, front page story, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 March
the Deity in the Details, Richard Monastersky, cover story,
Chronicle of Higher Education, 21 December 2001.
under Attack, Beth McMurtrie, cover story, Chronicle of Higher
Education, 21 December 2001.
Battle New Theory of Creation, James Glanz, front page story,
New York Times, 8 April 2001.
Science to Find Fingerprints of a Creator, Teresa Watanabe, front
page story, Los Angeles Times, 25 March 2001.