Monday, August 16, 2004

The Kantorovich/Wasserstein Metric

[Health advisory: this post is for serious math-freaks only.]

In the course of critiquing an argument made by indefatigable creationist William Dembski, Pim van Meurs provides a quick rundown of the Kantorovich/Wasserstein distance metric over on The Panda's Thumb. Very cool - I'm always happy whenever an excuse comes along to indulge my favorite subject. Now, if only I could work up some sort of connection between biology and number theory, algebraic geometry or algebraic topology, however far-fetched, so I too could inflict my passions on the PT readership!

Getting back to the central focus of van Meur's post, this much I will say: although Dembski is very definitely wrong in his opposition to evolutionary theory, he nonetheless displays a level of intellectual sophistication far above your run of the mill young-earth Bible thumper, which makes one wonder why it is he clings to such a nonsensical position. I suppose the explanation is much the same as why people who ought to know better insist on clinging to socialist fantasies: the beliefs under threat are so central to their existences that they will forgo everything else, even their reason, to keep those beliefs viable.