A curious email

I got a curious email from a Dr. Peter Calabria last week in response to one of my posts about scientific thinking. Since he did not use the comments system, I’m posting the message here.

Interesting piece on what a scientific explanation is. You give two variants, both incorrect. Science is actually a verbal encoding of what we see or experience non-verbally, the least unequivocal language for which is mathematics. That is, there is no reality other than as a succint and convenient expression of our sense of reality, which is not reality itself, other than assumed. This is not to deny that a reality exists. The first axiom of information theory is that a message received is a message necessarily transmitted from a source, the former what we sense, the latter the reality assumed. This screws up just about everybody, especially in the whacky intelligent design argument area. It also explains how God keeps getting back into the game even though Newton kicked him out of the solar system a few centuries back. Regards, P. Calabria. Nice blog. If you have any stomach for violent politically pointed mathematical science, el jefe, drop by and take a peek at our www.matrix-evolutions.com.

Some of this message veers toward philosophy, not one of my strong suits or favorite topics, so I am going to remain silent for now on what constitutes reality. And I’m not entirely clear how the first axiom of information theory, as quoted here, has to do with intelligent design, though I suspect the conclusion is that some folks (IDists, creationists) figure complex systems must be some kind of message (or proof) that God exists. No argument there.

My curiosity piqued, I checked into Dr. Calabria’s website and a little into his colorful history. He and his wife, Ruth, have combined their long, rambling autobiographical essays into one incredibly long website at the address given in his message to me. You know the kind I mean – you have to scroll and scroll and scroll down to read the whole site (which I confess I have not done yet). Calabria contends he has developed mathematical proof that evolution is correct. I have not analyzed his arguments yet, so I have no opinion one way or the other on whether he has something there.

Calabria has had run ins with the law and been in prison, and his wife, Ruth, has an equally colorful past as the daughter of an abusive minister father. If you can wade through their stylistically challenged website, you can learn more about their lives, or you can get a more condensed version of his at nypress.com, which reports that Ruth and Peter are forming a new political party for Ruth’s presidential bid.

OK …
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I also discovered after some googling that Calabria is a bit of a web troll, his commentary popping up on Usenet math and science forums and even on Salon.com’s comments system. So does his interest in my site mean I’m breaking into the big time, or what?

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