Robert Marks: Two Years Later, Still No Answer


One characteristic of creationists is their unwillingness to follow the usual academic norms. To name just a few things:

  1. While a tiny fraction of them publish papers in legitimate peer-reviewed academic journals, they typically do not publish their creationist views or evidence for creationism and intelligent design in such journals. Instead, they invent their own bogus journals, which then struggle to stay afloat for lack of acceptable submissions. Do any of you remember Origins and Design? I think it died around 2000. Do you remember Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design? It died around 2005. Now the intelligent design crowd has Bio-Complexity, but it has published only one paper so far in all of 2016. It, too, is headed for death.
  2. They typically do not present their creationist views at legitimate peer-reviewed conferences. The few exceptions seem to be closed, invitation-only conferences devoted only to creationism or intelligent design. You do not see, for example, William Dembski (the supposed¬†“Isaac Newton of information theory”) presenting his work at the top¬†information theory conferences, such as the IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory.
  3. They inflate their credentials.
  4. They hold meetings at universities by renting space and then suggest or imply that the university somehow sponsored their meeting. The¬†2011 “biological information” meeting at Cornell¬†is an obvious example.
  5. They are prone to making public claims that they are not willing to justify.

The illustrious Robert J. Marks II, professor at Baylor University, is an example of this last characteristic. Back in 2014, he¬†made the following claim: “we all agree that a picture of Mount Rushmore with the busts of four US Presidents contains more information than a picture of Mount Fuji”. I wanted to see the details of the calculation justifying this claim, so I asked Professor Marks to supply it. He did not reply.

Nor did he reply when I asked three months later.

Nor did he reply when I asked six months later.

Nor did he reply when I asked a year later.

It’s now been two years. Academics are busy people, but this is pretty silly. Who thinks the illustrious Professor Marks will ever show me a calculation justifying his claim?

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