Since I am going to start over, and it has been a year since the publication of The Design Matrix, I thought it a good idea to reflect on the book.
If you have read the book, and look closely, you might notice that The Design Matrix is actually two books in one. One book essentially revolves around Chapters 2, 6, 7, and part of 9. These together would amount to an introduction to the hypothesis of front-loading evolution. The other book revolves around Chapters 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, and 9. These together amount to effort to devise a methodology to assess a design inference. The two books are then synthesized in Chapter 10, where the method is outlined (and even calibrated) while considering front-loading at the same time.
During the year since the book has been published, new scientific evidence has come in that has actually strengthened the front-loading theme of the book. This is been very encouraging. I’ll be uploading some of those postings from the old blog and will continue to add more. But let me say something about the methodology aspect of the book.
The design matrix approach is not a method to prove or even detect design. You’ll notice that I said it was a method to assess a design inference. To assess is to evaluate. Since design arguments are thousands of years old and are deeply embedded in our Western culture, it is quite common to find people who will argue that X is designed and others who will argue that X is not designed. The design matrix allows you to survey those arguments and evaluate them in an open-ended and holistic manner. The main complaint about the method is that it is too subjective. But that complaint completely misses the point. So in the next blog, we ‘ll start to explore why this is.