“Science is a philosophy of discovery; intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance.” - Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson - “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”
How much credence should we give a man who thinks that science is always true?
More than we should give a god for which no real evidence exists.
I found this explanation of why the original article was wrong:
David Gelernter’s article isn’t about abiogenesis.
Well, yes it is, I quote, “Could nature really have pulled out of its hat the invention of life, of increasingly sophisticated life-forms and, ultimately, the unique-in-the-cosmos (so far as we know) human mind—given no strategy but trial and error? The mindless accumulation of small changes?”
Abiogenisis is the “invention of life” from chemicals in a sort of trial and error. The process Gelernter describes, “Starting with 150 links of gibberish, what are the chances that we can mutate our way to a useful new shape of protein?” is abiogenisis. Abiogenisis is what Gelernter says couldn’t have happened because the probabilities are too low. But as the article I posted notes, Gelernter’s calculations are way off.
I’ll try to answer the original post at a higher level.
You can either spend 5 years and get a PhD on evolution and then re-read the article to decide whether it is something. Or else you are going to have to read somebody else who has done that heavy lifting that you trust, for some reason. Neither you nor I nor the author of that article are in a good position to evaluate the truth of that article. As you can see from the discussions on this article, plenty of people who did spend many more than 5 years learning this topic in detail have addressed various aspects of our comp sci guy’s claims and at some level, it is a horse race, there is disagreement among fairly well qualified people. But people like us coming in from the outside, we either have to spend years learning the background or we have to decide who to trust up front.
Science is filled with dissenters from the status quo. Science being science, we don’t get to burn them at the stake, or even generally do we get to deny them speaking spots at professional meetings. But as a “civilian” trying to think of what to think, which is more likely:
1) The tens of thousands of people who work in evolution professionally, do the experiments, the math and the analysis full time, have missed what comp-sci-guy figure out on his own and are just being pissy about admitting he is right -or-
2) Comp-sci-guy got caught up in some eddy-currents in the flow of knowledge, and if he bothered spending as much time and effort learning evolution as he spent learning comp-sci, he would likely abandon some or all of his mavericky positions.
The lemmings are usually right. Following the wisdom of the crowd is a BRILLIANT time saver. We get confused and think we have so much to gain by being all mavericky, that somehow the crowd is usually wrong and only precious few of us (who now constitute our own crowd, sort of the alt-crowd) have figured out that going against the crowd is infinitely more reliable than going with it.
There aint nothing in the world wrong with being interested in the alt-claims. Everyonce in a while they have some truth in them, and everything eventually changes when the rest of the crowd figures that out. But be humble (and you have been so far, this is for other readers more than you, and for some of those who answered you as if *they* qualified to have an opinion). Recognize that every alt-claim there deserves years of study to get to the point that you know enough to form your own opinion. Otherwise you have to be content to say “No way I’ll ever know myself, but the people I trust to know how to analyze this stuff don’t give it much credit.” Then decide what the nature of your interest in the topic is, if any remains, and pursue that.