Intelligent design and "design detection"

What you call a “flaw” maybe simply that the analogy is not exactly the same as the original claim. If it was exactly like the original claim would it be an analogy?

What would be your argument that it is “flawed” or a poor analogy?

In one case we know the existence of the designer in the other we need to infer existence. While direct evidence of the designer would be preferred does lack of direct evidence really nullify the inference?

Exactly that.

While direct evidence of the designer would be preferred does lack of direct evidence really nullify the inference?


Some people may disagree with this as it would disqualify the use of abductive and inductive reasoning :wink:

I was one of many who participated in the long and very tedious discussion of gpuccio’s functional information criterion. In fact I wrote two posts at TSZ (here and here) that led to discussion on that. In the end we found that unlike Szostak he was assuming that all sequences that had less functionality than the one which we saw, were so much less functional that there was no evolutionary path to the observed sequence. This is way different from Szostak and Hazen’s FI. They were not even attempting to use FI to discuss whether evolution could reach that sequence.

BTW, I am failing to access TSZ, there is some 404 problem.


The links work fine for me right now.

1 Like

You will find such a graph at post 78 of this thread

Best read the posts that follow that one.

The comparison Gpuccio is interested in is between species whose common ancestor lived a long time ago because in that case, the similarities denote conservation throughout long evolutionary time.

Already done

Then why did you make the blatantly false claim that @gpuccio used Szostak’s definition?

FI=-log2(target space /search space).
This is the definition Gpuccio uses, which is also Szostak’s definition.

Utterly false. @gpuccio has done nothing to measure either space. Looking only at existing sequences, particularly only consensus ones, tells you nothing.

1 Like

That isn’t what the graph shows, though. He may be interested in it, but the graph just shows that (with an exception or two), the longer ago that a taxon split from humans, the less genetic similarity it has. That’s not about conservation. And the big lesson supposedly in that graph, of a sudden leap in genetic information, is spurious.

But that’s not what he presents in the graph. He shows BLAST results. Neither the target space nor the search space is the same thing Szostak is talking about.


Gpuccio uses BLAST results as a proxy for FI as defined by Szostak.

It’s a laughably bad proxy, so claiming that he’s using Szostak’s definition is objectively false. Why do you insist on repeating this falsehood?

You’re correct. This is why Dembsky wrote a book titled « the design inference » rather than « design detection ».

That’s like equating longitudinal minutes with the minutes on a clock.


As pointed out already by many, it’s a ridiculous and invalid proxy. All your little one-line non sequiturs here put you in danger of going down @colewd’s road. Are you sure you want that kind of image?

1 Like

The fact that someone use a spurious proxy for some entity doesn’t mean that he uses an incorrect definition of that entity.

The spurious proxy is an integral part of gpuccio’s definition. Thanks for admitting that you know it is worthless, though.