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  1. William A. Dembski, Addicted to Caricatures: A Response to Brian Charlesworth.
    One prominent evolutionist I know confided in me that he sometimes spends only an hour perusing a book that he has to review. I doubt if Brian Charlesworth spent even that much time with my book No Free Lunch. Charlesworth is a bright guy and could have done better. But no doubt he is also a busy guy. To save time and effort, it's therefore easier to put these crazy intelligent design creationists in their place rather than actually engage the (...)
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  2. William A. Dembski, Becoming a Disciplined Science: Prospects, Pitfalls, and Reality Check for ID.
    Recently I asked a well-known ID sympathizer what shape he thought the ID movement was in. I raised the question because, after some initial enthusiasm on his part three years ago, his interest seemed to have flagged. Here is what he wrote: An enormous amount of energy has been expended on "proving" that ID is bogus, "stealth creationism," "not science," and so on. Much of this, ironically, violates the spirit of science. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. (...)
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  3. William A. Dembski, Books in Review.
    In Nonzero Robert Wright argues convincingly that certain patterns in biological and cultural evolution cannot properly be attributed to contingency or accident but rather point to an underlying teleology—for him, a fully naturalized teleology. Most teleologies of the past have looked to some entity or principle beyond the strictly material and physical. Bossuet’s universal history guided by providence, Hegel’s phenomenology of spirit, Bergson’s élan vital, and Teilhard de Chardin’s omega point —all invoked quasi–mystical elements. Wright wants none of this. (...)
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  4. William A. Dembski, By William A. Dembski.
    I have before me a letter dated January 5, 2000 from Bradford Wilson, the executive director of the NAS. It begins, “I really enjoyed your contribution to the recent symposium in the January issue of First Things, so much so that I’ve also decided to invite you to join the NAS. Many of your fellow contributors including Robert George, Jeffrey Satinover, and Father Neuhaus are among our current members, and I think you’d find it well worth your while if you (...)
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  5. William A. Dembski, Dealing with the Backlash Against Intelligent Design.
    Why is that? The stakes are now considerably higher. Darwinism: Science or Philosophy? is the proceedings of a symposium that took place at Southern Methodist University in the spring of 1992. The focus of that symposium was Phillip Johnson’s then recently published book Darwin on Trial. At the time, Johnson was a novelty -- a respected professor of criminal law at Cal Berkeley who was raising doubts about evolution. All harmless, good fun, no doubt. And Berkeley has an illustrious history (...)
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  6. William A. Dembski, Elliott Sober's Independent Evidence Requirement for Design.
    In his paper "The Design Argument," Elliott Sober predicts that "human beings will eventually build organisms from nonliving materials."[1] In that case, we could obtain clear evidence that certain organisms resulted from intelligent design whereas earlier we might have thought they were due to a Darwinian process. I consider a similar possibility in chapter 6 of No Free Lunch.
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  7. William A. Dembski, Naturalism's Argument From Invincible Ignorance: A Response to Howard Van Till.
    Howard Van Till's review of my book No Free Lunch exemplifies perfectly why theistic evolution remains intelligent design's most implacable foe. Not only does theistic evolution sign off on the naturalism that pervades so much of contemporary science, but it justifies that naturalism theologically -- as though it were unworthy of God to create by any means other than an evolutionary process that carefully conceals God's tracks.
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  8. William A. Dembski, Not Taking Information Seriously Enough By.
    In Pandemonium Tremendum, James Huchingson takes as his starting point that scientific theories and technologies supply crucial metaphors for theological inquiry. Moreover, since the defining theory and technology of our age is respectively information theory and the computer, Huchingson focuses here for theological inspiration. Specifically, Huchingson attempts to frame a theological metaphysics in information-theoretic terms.
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  9. William A. Dembski, Random Predicate Logic I: A Probabilistic Approach to Vagueness.
    Predicates are supposed to slice reality neatly in two halves, one for which the predicate holds, the other for which it fails. Yet far from being razors, predicates tend to be dull knives that mangle reality. If reality is a tomato and predicates are knives, then when these knives divide the tomato, plenty of mush remains unaccounted for. Of course some knives are sharper than others, just as some predicates are less vague than others. “x is water” is certainly sharper (...)
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  10. William A. Dembski, Science and Design.
    When the physics of Galileo and Newton displaced the physics of Aristotle, scientists tried to explain the world by discovering its deterministic natural laws. When the quantum physics of Bohr and Heisenberg in turn displaced the physics of Galileo and Newton, scientists realized they needed to supplement their deterministic natural laws by taking into account chance processes in their explanations of our universe. Chance and necessity, to use a phrase made famous by Jacques Monod, thus set the boundaries (...)
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  11. William A. Dembski, Skepticism's 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.
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  12. William A. Dembski, The Act of Creation: Bridging Transcendence and Immanence.
    "Sing, O Goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans." In these opening lines of the Iliad, Homer invokes the Muse. For Homer the act of creating poetry is a divine gift, one that derives from an otherworldly source and is not ultimately reducible to this world. This conception of human creativity as a divine gift pervaded the ancient world, and was also evident among the Hebrews. In Exodus, for instance, we read that (...)
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  13. William A. Dembski, Three Frequently Asked Questions About Intelligent Design.
    Intelligent design is the science that studies how to detect intelligence. Recall astronomer Carl Sagan’s novel Contact about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (or SETI). Sagan based the SETI researchers’ methods of design detection on scientific practice. Real-life SETI researchers have thus far failed to detect designed signals from distant space. But if they encountered such a signal, as the astronomers in Sagan’s novel did, they too would infer design. Intelligent design research currently focuses on developing reliable methods of design (...)
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  14. William A. Dembski, The Gift of Purpose.
    No one lives in a cocoon. Instead, the world constantly invades our lives. In response, we give purpose to these invasions. The image, here, is that of a pearl. What is the purpose of a pearl? The pearl is the oyster’s gift to a grain of sand that gets inside the oyster and disturbs it. Of all the gifts we can give, the greatest is the gift of purpose. It is the pearl of great price. All other gifts are ornaments (...)
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  15. William A. Dembski, The Intelligent Design Movement.
    According to Darwinism, undirected natural causes are solely responsible for the origin and development of life. In particular, Darwinism rules out the possibility of God or any guiding intelligence playing a role in life's origin and development. Within western culture Darwinism's ascent has been truly meteoric. And yet throughout its ascent there have always been dissenters who regarded as inadequate the Darwinian vision that undirected natural causes could produce the full diversity and complexity of life.
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  16. William A. Dembski, The Rise and Fall of Baylor University’s Michael Polanyi Center.
    letter by Antony Flew indicating his willingness to defend the center’s academic freedom). There is also material presented here that was not made public during the height of the controversy surrounding the center, including the original planning..
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  17. William A. Dembski, The Reach of the Cross.
    I want this morning to reflect with you on the Cross of Jesus. In first Corinthians, the Apostle Paul makes a remarkable claim about the Cross. He writes: I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Cor 2:1-2 (KJV) Why did the Apostle Paul, in coming to the Corinthians, (...)
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  18. William A. Dembski, Why President Bush Got It Right About Intelligent Design By.
    Wisdom -- because he understands that ideas are best taught not by giving them a monopoly (which is how evolutionary theory is currently presented in all high school biology textbooks) but by being played off against well-supported competing ideas.
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  19. William A. Dembski, God's Use of Chance.
    In God, Chance and Purpose, statistician David Bartholomew chides Christians who cling to, in his words, a “naive orthodoxy.” Such Christians view God as exhibiting a set of perfections (especially omniscience and omnipotence) and as satisfying a set of propositions (a creed). Such a view is, according to Bartholomew, unworthy of God. In place of a “naive orthodoxy,” he therefore proposes a “critical orthodoxy.” At the center of his “critical orthodoxy” is the skeptical claim that “all knowledge is uncertain, in (...)
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  20. William A. Dembski, The Search for a Search: Measuring the Information Cost of Higher Level Search.
    Many searches are needle-in-the-haystack problems, looking for small targets in large spaces. In such cases, blind search stands no hope of success. Success, instead, requires an assisted search. But whence the assistance required for a search to be successful? To pose the question this way suggests that successful searches do not emerge spontaneously but need themselves to be discovered via a search. The question then naturally arises whether such a higher-level “search for a search” is any easier than the original (...)
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  21. Bruce Gordon & William A. Dembski (eds.) (2010). The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science. Isi Books.
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  22. William A. Dembski (1999). Are We Spiritual Machines? First Things 96:25-31.
    For two hundred years materialist philosophers have argued that man is some sort of machine. The claim began with French materialists of the Enlightenment such as Pierre Cabanis, Julien La Mettrie, and Baron d’Holbach (La Mettrie even wrote a book titled Man the Machine). Likewise contemporary materialists like Marvin Minsky, Daniel Dennett, and Patricia Churchland claim that the motions and modifications of matter are sufficient to account for all human experiences, even our interior and cognitive ones. Whereas the Enlightenment philosophes (...)
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  23. William A. Dembski & Stephen C. Meyer (1998). Fruitful Interchange or Polite Chitchat? The Dialogue Between Science and Theology. Zygon 33 (3):415-430.
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  24. William A. Dembski (1991). Randomness by Design. Noûs 25 (1):75-106.
    “Anyone who considers arithmetical methods of producing random digits is, of course, in a state of sin.”1 John von Neumann’s famous dictum points an accusing finger at all who set their ordered minds to engender disorder. Much as in times past thieves, pimps, and actors carried on their profession with an uneasy conscience, so in this day scientists who devise random number generators suffer pangs of guilt. George Marsaglia, perhaps the preeminent worker in the field, quips when he asks his (...)
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