Monday, November 1, 2010

“Dover II”: Forensic science is not engineering

It is no secret that William A. Dembski, who filed a brief before withdrawing as an expert witness for the defense in Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District, is looking ahead to “Dover II.” I just wrote the following in a response to “Conservation of Information in Search: Measuring the Cost of Success”:
The article is the first in a series of publications that makes no positive contribution to the design of search procedures, but instead develops and applies a formal approach to arguing that success in search evidences design. That is, Dembski and Marks have disguised as engineering what is actually an attempt at forensic science, appropriate to making cases in courts of law and public opinion.
I’d point out to anyone who might serve as an anti-IDC expert in Dover II that Dembski and Marks have not subjected their work to scrutiny as forensic science. They have done their damnedest to avoid calling attention to the fact that their engineering papers are really not about engineering. Thus they’ve evaded whatever appropriate scrutiny they might have gotten within an inappropriate community. You can count on it, nonetheless, that the defense will present their publications as peer-reviewed science when the next legal battle comes along.

My comments are also relevant to those of you who face in the court of public opinion the (few) IDC rhetoricians who have managed to write off complex specified information and move on to active information.

1 comment :

  1. While you suggest that there's no such thing as forensic engineers, the fact remains that these people are still needed in an investigation.