William Dembski and Robert Marks Publish (Another) Peer-Reviewed Scientific Paper Supporting No Free Lunch Theorems

A peer-reviewed scientific paper published in 2010 by William Dembski and Robert Marks of the Evolutionary Informatics Lab supports no free lunch theorems. Published in Journal of Advanced Computational Intelligence and Intelligent Informatics and titled “The Search for a Search: Measuring the Information Cost of Higher Level Search,” the paper’s abstract states that unless one has information about a target, search engines often fail: “Needle-in-the-haystack problems look for small targets in large spaces. In such cases, blind search stands no hope of success.” Their principle of Conservation of Information holds that “any search technique will work, on average, as well as blind search.” However, in such a case “[s]uccess requires an assisted search. But whence the assistance required for a Read More ›

William Dembski, Robert Marks, and the Evolutionary Informatics Lab Take on Dawkins’ “WEASEL” Simulation in New Peer-Reviewed Paper

A new peer-reviewed paper continues the work published by William Dembski, Robert Marks, and others affiliated with the Evolutionary Informatics Lab. (Check out their new revamped website at EvoInfo.org.) The authors argue that Richard Dawkins’ “METHINKSITISLIKEAWEASEL” evolutionary algorithm starts off with large amounts of active information–information intelligently inserted by the programmer to aid the search. This paper covers all of the known claims of operation of the WEASEL algorithm and shows that in all cases, active information is used. Dawkins’ algorithm can best be understood as using a “Hamming Oracle” as follows: “When a sequence of letters is presented to a Hamming oracle, the oracle responds with the Hamming distance equal to the number of letter mismatches in the sequence.” Read More ›

Winston Ewert, William Dembski, and Robert Marks Publish Mainstream Scientific Paper Exposing Flaws in Avida Evolution Simulation

In 2003, evolutionary biologist Richard Lenski, philosopher Robert Pennock and others co-published a Nature paper titled “The evolutionary origin of complex features” reporting results of a computer simulation of evolution dubbed “Avida.” Though publicly arguing that Avida refuted intelligent design by showing the evolution of irreducible complexity, their paper refused cite the work of Michael Behe or any other ID proponent. Now, Winston Ewert, William Dembski, and Robert Marks expose in a paper in Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics why Lenski and Pennock’s “Avida” simulation fails to accurately model Darwinian evolution. Darwinian evolution has no prior knowledge about the search target, but Avida’s programmers have intelligently designed Avida by smuggling in “active information” Read More ›

William Dembski and Robert Marks Publish Mainstream Scientific Paper on Conservation of Information

Is there a “magic bullet” mechanism by which blind and unguided search engines can find rare, isolated targets? This question may seem esoteric, but it’s the precise problem facing Darwinian evolution. In a new scientific paper published in Proceedings of the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Discovery Institute senior fellow William Dembski and Robert J. Marks explain why Bernoulli’s Principle of Insufficient Reason dictates that without prior knowledge about the search target or the search space, no search algorithm will ever increase the probability of finding the target. Any search that increases the probability of finding the target smuggles in “active information” about the target’s location or the search space. In other words, when it comes Read More ›