Saturday, September 09, 2006

The most fasinating thing about the whole ID debate for me is CSI, or the lack of it.

And that's what this blog is about.
Let's make a special place, and in it will go the best attempt i've found so far to give a value for the CSI of a given thing. Any thing. At all.

The best description i've read so far of CSI likens it to a definition of porn - You know it when you see it! Or something more subtle, like obcentity.

But the way they talk about it, you'd be forgiven for thinking it's an equation that can be solved or a number that can be assigned. Presumably 2 people (crack CSI calculators) would come up with the same value if asked to determine the CSI in any given thing. Or is that too much like science?

For example, in response to this comment over at UD from Tom English

“Even we earthlings, familiar as we are with natural processes on earth, do not know how to come up with a reasonable estimate of the probability.”

DaveScot says "Yes, we earthlings have. In the case of Mt. Rushmore forming by natural processes we do indeed know how to come up with a reasonable estimate of the probability. The reasonable estimate is zero and it’s arrived at by way of elimination. If you think of a reasonable reason it should be non-zero to a significant degree please give those reasons otherwise through the process of elimination you must agree that a reasonable estimate is zero. What we earthlings don’t know how to do is arrive at a precise probability. There is some exceedingly small chance Mt. Rushmore could be a natural phenomenon but it’s so small there’s no way to give a precise number. Duh."
  1. Comment by DaveScot — August 31, 2006 @ 3:00 am

Duh indeed. So the CSI of Rusmore must be a non-zero number then? Perhaps 1? 1.111? Or something else? I'm confused! Is it even expressed as a number?

Earlier in the same thread BarryA was trying to explain,

"why is it fair for you to make the same accusation against ID proponents when they are attempting to account for specified complexity several orders of magnitude greater than that seen at Mount Rushmore?"
Comment by BarryA — August 30, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

I'm still confused, but at least now we are getting somewhere - it's several orders of magnitude greater then 1 or 0 or some other number we've not determined yet. Where are these attempts to account for CSI much larger then in carvings of people happening? Is there a workshop i can go to? Perhaps peer through one-way glass windows at them hard at work?

The chair challenge:
So perhaps what is needed is a smaller target, perhaps a everyday object such as a chair
Please send in your guesstimates for the CSI of a chair, and bonus points are available for showing your working!

No doubt there will be an upper and lower
range on the values you'll give.
Or is there an
archetypal chair out there that can be assessed?

I look forwards to reading the best estimates you can manage of the CSI in anything at all!


Anonymous said...

I am almost finished with my calculations. If you could just supply me with the precise ontological depth of the chair you have in mind, I will have an answer forthwith.

C.Loach said...

any chair will do! pick one.
but, lets say 15? will that do ya? :)