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 ›

New Peer-Reviewed Scientific Article From William Dembski and Robert Marks Challenges the Creative Mechanism of Darwinian Evolution

A new article titled “Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success,” in the journal IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics A, Systems & Humans by William A. Dembski and Robert J. Marks II uses computer simulations and information theory to challenge the ability of Darwinian processes to create new functional genetic information. (For a PDF of the article, see here.) Darwinian evolution is, at its heart, a search algorithm that uses a trial and error process of random mutation and unguided natural selection to find genotypes (i.e. DNA sequences) that lead to phenotypes (i.e. biomolecules and body plans) that have high fitness (i.e. foster survival and reproduction). Dembski and Marks’ article explains that unless you start Read More ›

Banned Item of the Year: Dr. Robert Marks’ Evolutionary Informatics Website

Last year John West nominated Of Pandas and People as Banned Book of the Year after the ACLU tried to have it banned from Dover Science Classrooms. We are again celebrating Banned Books Week, and it is fitting to note that Baylor University is also observing Banned Book Week. Baylor’s Banned Books Week events page states, “What do authors Harper Lee, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck and J.K. Rowling have in common? They have all written books that were challenged and banned by libraries in the United States.” Although his work in question here is not a book, Dr. Robert Marks also has something in common with those authors: someone has banned his ideas. As we have recounted extensively here Read More ›

Credibility Gap: Baylor Denies Robert Marks’ Situation Has Anything to do with ID

The Waco Tribune reported that “Baylor vice president for marketing and communications John Barry … denied that the matter has been drawn out because the content is related to intelligent design.” Does Baylor University actually expect us to believe that this has nothing to do with ID? William Dembski reports that the initial e-mail sent from Baylor administrator, Dean Kelley, to Dr. Marks explicitly stated that people were complaining about Robert Marks’s website precisely because it dealt with ID! Here’s what Dean Kelley wrote: “I have received several concerned messages this week about an interview and web site dealing with evolutionary computing associated ID. Please disconnect this web site immediately and Cheryl will arrange a time for us to meet Read More ›