William A. Dembski

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William A. Dembski : biography

July 18, 1960 –

Computer scientist and number theorist Jeffrey Shallit states in an expert report that despite common claims in the popular and religious press, Dembski is not a scientist by any reasonable standard, has not published any experimental or empirical tests of his claims, submitted his claims to the scrutiny of his peers or published in a scientific journal. In a footnote Shallit states that he does not consider mathematics to be science. Shallit describes Dembski’s published mathematical output as "extremely small" for a research mathematician, and remarks that "it is very unlikely that his meagre output would merit tenure at any major university". in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District

Since Shallit’s statement, as of May 2010, Dembski has published four peer reviewed papers in information theory venues associated with the IEEE professional society. The papers deal with active information in the context of search for solutions to problems. Quantified active information is introduced in "Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success."William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, "Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success," IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics A, Systems and Humans, vol.39, No. 5, September 2009, pp.1051–1061 A second paper,"Evolutionary Synthesis of Nand Logic: Dissecting a Digital Organism",Winston Ewert, William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, "Evolutionary Synthesis of Nand Logic: Dissecting a Digital Organism," Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics. San Antonio, TX, USA – October 2009, pp. 3047–3053. claims to deconstruct the evolution simulation Avida by uncovering the sources of active information in the program. A third paperWilliam A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II, "Bernoulli’s Principle of Insufficient Reason and Conservation of Information in Computer Search, Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics. San Antonio, TX, USA – October 2009, pp. 2647–2652. discusses the role of Jacob Bernoulli’s principle of indifference in the analysis of evolution. The most recent paper, "Efficient Per Query Information Extraction from a Hamming Oracle," Winston Ewert, George Montañez, William A. Dembski, Robert J. Marks II, "Efficient Per Query Information Extraction from a Hamming Oracle," Proceedings of the 42nd Meeting of the Southeastern Symposium on System Theory, IEEE, University of Texas at Tyler, March 7–9, 2010, pp.290–297. calculates the performance of various search algorithms which use the Hamming distance to search for a single string of a certain length in the set of all strings of this length.

Dembski states that his 1998 book The Design Inference has also been peer reviewed. Dembski says: "This book was published by Cambridge University Press and peer-reviewed as part of a distinguished monograph series, Cambridge Studies in Probability, Induction, and Decision Theory"., William Dembski, October 10, 2003 In his expert report, Shallit states, "I know that book manuscripts typically do not receive the same sort of scrutiny that research articles do. …it is not uncommon for a 10-page paper to receive 5 pages or more of comments whereas a book manuscript of 200 pages often receives about the same number…". In addition, Mark Isaak claims that Dembski’s book was reviewed by philosophers and not biologists. TalkOrigins.org

The Inner Life of the Cell copyright controversy

In November 2007, a graduate student named S. A. Smith brought an apparent case of wholesale academic misuse of unlicenced content to public attention. She noticed that a video used by Dembski in his lecture was identical to The Inner Life of the Cell animation created by Harvard University and a company called XVIVO. The audio track giving a scientific explanation was stripped off and the video was used with an alternative narration. The matter was brought to the attention of Harvard and XVIVO. David Bolinsky, creator of the video, wrote that Dembski was warned about using the video without permission. by David Bolinsky April 11, 2008