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Support Us! By providing information which is nearly impossible to find elsewhere, the Secular Web has sought to level the playing field by offering arguments and evidence challenging supernatural beliefs. In an ocean of religious confusion, help us maintain a drop of sanity!

William Dembski

William Dembski, a mathematician and philosopher, is one of the leaders of intelligent design creationism.

Chance, Necessity, and the War Against Science (2000) (Off Site) by Massimo Pigliucci

A review of Dembski's Design Inference by biologist Massimo Pigliucci.

Response to Massimo Pigliucci's Review of The Design Inference (1999) by Mark Vuletic

Vuletic replies to Pigliucci's review. He writes, "Pigliucci's 'review' reads for the most part like an extended diatribe against the intelligent design (i.e., creationist) movement." Note: Pigliucci has revised his review since Vuletic published his reply.

Commentary on William A. Dembski's No Free Lunch (2002) (Off Site) by Wesley Elsberry

"Despite the promotional hype, No Free Lunch is not a work that will disestablish evolutionary biology. Its arguments, especially where they touch upon evolutionary algorithms and actual biology, betray a superficiality of acquaintance with those fields. It is an important book, however, in the sense that it represents the best that the 'Intelligent Design' movement has to offer. [Dembski] can be counted upon to make the most interesting errors of any of the current 'Intelligent Design' proponents. But for those who are looking for a 'magic bullet' to oppose evolution, the ammo of No Free Lunch is a dud."

Design? Yes. Intelligent? No. - A Critique of Intelligent Design Theory (2000) (Off Site) [ Index ] by Massimo Pigliucci

A presentation by evolutionary biologist Massimo Pigliucci on the flaws in the arguments of Michael Behe and William Dembski.

Does the information increase if there is no selection? (2002) (Off Site) by Elliott Sober

Dembski stated in his book No Free Lunch: "The No Free Lunch theorems show that evolutionary algorithms, apart from careful fine-tuning by a programmer, are no better than blind search and thus no better than pure chance." This control experiment shows that when the ev program is run without selection there is no information increase. Therefore we can attribute the information increases observed with selection entirely to that selection. In other words, an evolutionary algorithm does far better (almost 13 standard deviations!) than 'pure chance' which is the situation when there is no selection. This falsifies Dembski's statement about No Free Lunch Theorems.

How Not to Detect Design (1999) (Off Site) by Elliott Sober, Branden Fitelson, and Christopher Stephens

A review of Dembski's Design Inference. Note: In Acrobat PDF Format Only.

The No Free Lunch Theorems and Their Applications to Evolutionary Algorithms (2003) (Off Site) by Mark Perakh

Contrary to Dembski's assertions, the NFL theorems do not at all prohibit Darwinian evolution (or make evolutionary algorithms in general incapable of outperforming a random sampling).

Not a Free Lunch But a Box of Chocolates (2002) (Off Site) by Richard Wein

A critique of William Dembski's book No Free Lunch. The aim of Dr. William Dembski's book is to demonstrate that design (the action of a conscious agent) was involved in the process of biological evolution. Wein's critique shows that his arguments are deeply flawed and have little to contribute to science or mathematics.

Order and Design: Philosophical Issues by Wesley Elsberry (Off Site)

Ellsberry is a professional zoologist, and Christian, who has written numerous articles critiquing Dembski and his views (as well as Intelligent Design in general).

Rebuttal to William A. Dembski's Posting and to His Book No Free Lunch (2001) (Off Site) by Thomas D. Schneider

A post by Dembski, as well as a small portion of No Free Lunch, are reviewed. "Not surprisingly, Dembski's arguments fail time and time again."

Review of The Creation Hypothesis (1998) by Graham Oppy

Dembski contributed a chapter to this book on the possibility of intelligent design. In his detailed review of The Creation Hypothesis, Oppy assesses Dembski's thesis that it is logically possible that there be compelling evidence of intelligent and transcendent design.

William Dembski's Treatment of the No Free Lunch Theorems Is Written in Jello (Off Site) by David Wolpert

"It may well be that there is a major mystery underlying the performance of some search processes that one might impute to the historical transformations of ecosystems. But Dembski has not established this, not by a long shot."

The Wizards of ID (2000) (Off Site) by Robert T. Pennock

Published in Metaviews 089 (October 12, 2000), in this letter Pennock responds to William Dembski and criticises "Intelligent Design Creationism," arguing that Dembski is a young Earth Creationist in sheep's clothing and that Intelligent Design Theory is sectarian Christianity and bad science.