William A. Dembski


William A. Dembski : biography

July 18, 1960 –

In December 2007, Dembski told Focus on the Family that "The Designer of intelligent design is, ultimately, the Christian God."

Specified complexity

Specified complexity is an argument proposed by Dembski and used by him in his works promoting intelligent design. According to Dembski, the concept is intended to formalize a property that singles out patterns that are both specified and complex. Dembski states that specified complexity is a reliable marker of design by an intelligent agent, a central tenet to intelligent design and which Dembski argues for in opposition to modern evolutionary theory. Some regard specified complexity as mathematically unsound claiming that it has not been the basis for further independent work in information theory, complexity theory, or biology.Rich Baldwin, (2005). Mark Perakh, (2005). Jason Rosenhouse, (2001). The Mathematical Intelligencer, Vol. 23, No. 4, Fall 2001, pp. 3–8. Specified complexity is one of the two main arguments used by intelligent design proponents, the other being irreducible complexity.

Intelligent design and Christianity

Dembski’s position on intelligent design’s relationship with Christianity has been inconsistent. He has suggested that the "intelligent designer" was not necessarily synonymous with a god: "It could be space aliens. There are many possibilities"San Francisco Chronicle, March 17, 2002 but has on several occasions been explicit in labelling the designer as the Christian god and linking ID with a Christian revival through which Christianity can be restored to its formerly pre-eminent place in society, supplanting "materialist" science. In his book Intelligent Design; the Bridge Between Science and Theology he states "The conceptual soundings of the [intelligent design] theory can in the end only be located in Christ".Intelligent Design; the Bridge Between Science and Theology, p. 210, William Dembski On the pro-intelligent design website designinference.com Dembski said that intelligent design enables materialism to be replaced with Christianity., William Dembski, Designinference.com website, February 2005

Dembski has also spoken of his motivation for supporting intelligent design in a series of Sunday lectures in the Fellowship Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, the last of which took place on Sunday, March 7, 2004. Answering a question, Dembski said it was to enable Yahweh to receive credit for creation., Mark Perakh, TalkReason.org 2004

Intelligent design movement

Dembski sees intelligent design as being a popular movement as well as a scientific hypothesis and claims that it is in the process of dislodging evolution from the public imagination. At the Fourth World Skeptics Conference, held on June 20–23, 2002 in Burbank, California, he told the audience that "over the next twenty-five years ID will provide the greatest challenge to skepticism". He asserted that "ID is threatening to be mainstream", and that polls show 90 percent support for the hypothesis, indicating that it has "already becom[e] mainstream within the public themselves". "The usual skeptical retorts are not going to work against ID" and ID "turns the tables on skepticism". Evolution, in his view, "is the ultimate status quo" and "squelches dissent". Young people, who "love rebellion" see that and are attracted to ID as a result. "The public supports intelligent design. The public is tired of being bullied by an intellectual elite". He contends that skeptics resort to rhetoric and "artificially define ID out of science," allowing in only material matters. ID "paints the more appealing world picture", whereas skepticism works by being negative, which "doesn’t set well with the public… To most people evolution doesn’t provide a compelling view".Skeptical Inquirer, September 1, 2002

Bible code

Dembski has also indicated an interest in the Bible code. In a favorable book review of Jeffrey Satinover’s Cracking the Bible Code, Dembski wrote that "The philosopher Bertrand Russell was once asked why he didn’t believe in God. He replied, ‘Not enough evidence.’ Satinover’s fascination with the Bible Code is that it may provide evidence for God’s existence that would have convinced even a Bertrand Russell."

Faith healing

Dembski once took his family to a meeting conducted by Todd Bentley, a faith healer, in hopes of receiving a "miraculous healing" for his son, who is autistic. In an article for the Baptist Press he recalled disappointment with the nature of the meeting and with the prevention of his son and other attendees from joining those in wheelchairs who were selected to receive prayer. He then concluded, "Minimal time was given to healing, though plenty was devoted to assaulting our senses with blaring insipid music and even to Bentley promoting and selling his own products (books and CDs)." He wrote that he did not regret the trip and called it an "education," which showed "how easily religion can be abused, in this case to exploit our family."