Sunday, December 21, 2008

Distinguishing Ditches

Telic Thoughts commenter Zachriel introduced the puddle-logic argument into one of the blog threads. From Zachriel's comment:

The CSI of the puddle's hole is huge. It's not that the shape of the hole is merely complex. It's that it matches so precisely the shape of the puddle. It's highly specified!

William Dembski dealt with this type of objection to CSI in his book Intelligent Design. Dembski used the example of an archer shooting an arrow at a wall. If the wall is large and the archer blindfolded he can shoot an arrow in the general direction of the wall and hit it. If the spot of impact is subsequently encircled someone who did not observe the event might conclude that the archer hit the bullseye. That's essentially the puddle CSI argument. The specification criteria is faulty for the puddle.

One might construct a legitimate specification criteria that distinguishes a puddle, formed by random ground and weather conditions, from water lining an irrigation ditch; thereby avoiding the blind archer problem. That was alluded to in a separate comment.



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