William A. Dembski

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William A. Dembski : biography

July 18, 1960 –

Public advocacy

In December 2001, Dembski launched the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design (ISCID), of which he is Executive Director. Dembski is also the editor-in-chief of ISCID’s journal, Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design (PCID), which appears to have ceased publication with its November 2005 issue. He has several more books in preparation as well as producing a string of Flash animations mocking his detractors. He is also a member of American Scientific Affiliation, the Evangelical Philosophical Society, and the American Mathematical Society, and is a senior fellow of the Wilberforce Forum.

Dembski frequently gives public talks, principally to religious, pro-ID groups, and creationists. Barbara Forrest and Paul R. Gross noted that Dembski has not been hesitant in associating with young Earth creationists, such as attending conferences with Carl Baugh. His lectures have been met with criticism: a presentation he made to the University of Oklahoma was funded by Trinity Baptist Church as a "gospel investment" but university faculty instructors criticised Dembski’s presentation as half-hearted, lackluster, containing numerous errors and distortions, lacking positive evidence for intelligent design, and for evading questions.

Dembski, along with fellow Discovery Institute associates Michael Behe and David Berlinski, tutored Ann Coulter on science and evolution for her book Godless: The Church of Liberalism. Approximately one-third of the book is devoted to polemical attacks on evolution, which Coulter, as Dembski often does, terms "Darwinism". Dembski. Uncommondescent.com, June 12, 2006

Dembski participated in the film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, released in 2008. Dembski told the Southern Baptist Texan that those who need to see the movie are the "parents of children in high school or college, as well as those children themselves, who may think that the biological sciences are a dispassionate search for truth about life but many of whose practitioners see biology, especially evolutionary biology, as an ideological weapon to destroy faith in God." Dembski has appeared on several television shows, including a 2005 interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show with Edward Larson and Ellie Crystal where he said he accepted religion before science.

Writing

In 1998, Dembski published his first book, The Design Inference: Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities, which became a Cambridge University Press bestselling philosophical monograph.

In 2002, Dembski published his book No Free Lunch: Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligence. Dembski’s work, however, was strongly criticized within the scientific community, which argued that there were a number of major logical inconsistencies and evidential gaps in Dembski’s hypothesis. David Wolpert, co-creator of the No free lunch theorem on which Dembski based his book, characterised his arguments as "fatally informal and imprecise," "written in jello," reminiscent of philosophical discussion "in art, music, and literature, as well as much of ethics" rather than of scientific debate., David H. Wolpert, Talk Reason

Mathematician Mark Perakh has stated he believes Dembski overemphasizes his own self-importance in his writing.

Peer-review controversy

One of the common objections to intelligent design being accepted as valid science is that ID proponents have published no scientific papers in the peer-reviewed scientific literature in support of their conjectures. The ruling in the 2005 Dover trial, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, found that intelligent design had not been tested by the process of being published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal and was not supported by any peer-reviewed research, data or publications.Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, p87, American Association for the Advancement of Science Despite the Dover trial ruling, the Discovery Institute lists Dembski’s 1998 book The Design Inference under the heading "Peer-Reviewed Scientific Books Supportive of Intelligent Design Published by Trade Presses or University Presses"., Discovery Institute The Discovery Institute describes Dembski as a mathematician and philosopher, who includes in his credentials postdoctoral work in physics and in computer science, and a B.A. in psychology.–>