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Robert J. Marks II

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Robert Jackson Marks II (born August 25th, 1950)[citation needed] is a Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor University and proponent of intelligent design. From 1977 to 2003, he was on the faculty of the University of Washington in Seattle. He was the first president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Neural Networks Council (now the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society) and the editor-in-chief of the IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks. Marks has over 300 peer-reviewed technical publications, and is a fellow of the IEEE and the Optical Society of America.[1] A creationist,[2] he is a subject of the 2008 pro-intelligent design motion picture, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.[3][4]



[edit] The Evolutionary Informatics Lab website controversy

In 2007, Marks created on a Baylor University server a website for a cyberspace entity known as the Evolutionary Informatics Lab.[5][6] The site indicated that William A. Dembski, an intelligent design advocate and former Baylor employee, was an affiliate of the lab.[7] The university administration deleted the site, but later offered to allow it with certain modifications to disassociate the cyberspace entity and the institution.[8][9][10] Marks countered with an offer of less extreme changes, which the university declined.[11] The site now resides on a third-party server.[12]

Marks and Dembski disseminate unpublished work at the Evolutionary Informatics Lab website. Their point of departure is an informal notion that a search algorithm (a procedure that solves a problem by trying one possible solution after another) must exploit prior information about a problem to succeed more often than random trial and error (sometimes called blind search).[13] They mathematically define active information, and claim that it "measures the contribution of problem-specific information" to successful search for a solution to a problem.[14] Marks and Dembski argue that some reported successes in computational simulation of evolution are actually attributable to researchers' introduction of active information into their computer programs.

Marks has expressed agreement that "associating with [intelligent design] proponents can be harmful to your career" and sympathy for Guillermo Gonzalez and William Dembski, who feature with Marks in the controversial pro-intelligent design film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.[15] Interview footage with Marks was shot for Expelled following the deletion of the website.[3] The motion picture alleges persecution of intelligent design advocates by academic institutions and the scientific establishment.[4]

Mathematician Mark Perakh states that in a reply by Dembski and Marks,[16] to "an article critical of Dembski's concepts" by Swedish mathematician Olle Häggström:[17]

One of the main themes of this reply is the idea that evolutionary algorithms can succeed (in particular outperforming blind search) only if they are assisted by what the authors call "Active Information." (AI). As opposite to what they call "endogeneous" information, suggest Dembski and Marks, AI can only be either front-loaded into the search algorithm, or supplied by an outside source -- which, most importantly, can be a certain intelligent agent (which is just another rendition of Dembski's earlier vigorously promoted "Displacement problem.")

Perakh states that while he "agree[s] that the concept of AI as such may be construed as reasonable",[17]

...the question is not whether AI as a concept has contents, but rather whether or not evolutionary algorithms can only succeed if the AI is ether front-loaded or supplied from outside sources. This question is related not only to Dembski's "displacement problem" but also to the significance of the NFL theorems for biological evolution. To start with, Dembski and Marks offer no evidence that AI necessarily must be added to what they call "endogeneous information." They simply claim that this is so. (In the same categorical but unsubstantiated way Dembski pushed his "displacement problem," the term now replaced with "active information." There is a difference though. The very existence of AI is a reasonable idea; however its necessity for biological evolution, as it was asserted by the "displacement problem," was an unsupported surmise).

[edit] Technical contributions

With his colleagues at the University of Washington, he was the first[18] to apply an artificial neural network to forecast power demands for utilities, in 1991.[19] Six years later neural networks were being used by 32 major North American utilities.[18]

Marks and his colleagues developed algorithms for real time identification of placement of radioactive seeds in cancerous prostates.[20][21] For this work, he was a co-recipient of the Judith Stitt Best Abstract Award from the American Brachytherapy Society.[22]

Marks is also a co-recipient of a NASA Tech Brief for development of power efficient communication in wireless arrays.[23][24]

In the field of detection theory, Marks and his colleagues developed a closed form solution describing the performance of the Neyman-Pearson optimal detector in non-Gaussian noise.[25][26][broken citation]

[edit] Religious activities

Marks served as the faculty adviser to the University of Washington's chapter of Campus Crusade for Christ for seventeen years. He has presented his talk "What Does Calculus Have to Do with Christianity?" in Poland, Japan, Canada, Russia, and the United States.[1]

Marks has made science-oriented Christian apologetics presentations internationally.[27] Venues include Poland, Japan, Moscow, Canada, and Siberia.[22] His creationist view is highlights in his "Genesis and Science: Compatibility Extraordinaire."[2] There he says the God of Genesis as the creator of the universe, and indicate that the "sequence of events in Genesis is consistent with the sequence of events in science."

[edit] Books by Robert J. Marks II

  • R. D. Reed and R.J. Marks II, Neural Smithing: Supervised Learning in Feedforward Artificial Neural Networks, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, (1999).
  • M. Palaniswami, Y. Attikiouzel, R.J. Marks II, David Fogel and Toshio Fukuda; Editors, Computational Intelligence: A Dynamic System Perspective, IEEE Press, (1995).
  • R.J. Marks II, Editor, Fuzzy Logic Technology and Applications, IEEE Technical Activities Board, Piscataway, (1994).
  • J.Zurada, R.J. Marks II and C.J. Robinson; Editors, Computational Intelligence: Imitating Life, (IEEE Press, 1994).
  • R.J. Marks II, Introduction to Shannon Sampling and Interpolation Theory, Springer-Verlag, (1991).[4][broken citation]
  • M.A. El-Sharkawi and R. J. Marks II, Editors, Applications of Neural Networks to Power Systems, IEEE Press, Piscataway, (1991).

[edit] See also

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b Marks' 'expanded biography'
  2. ^ a b Genesis and Science: Compatibility Extraordinaire (slide presentation)
  3. ^ a b Jerry Pierce, "Baptist professors featured in new film," Southern Baptist Texan (January 28, 2008)
  4. ^ a b Lesley Burbridge-Bates (2007-08-22). Expelled Press Release. Premise Media. Retrieved on 2008-04-07.
  5. ^ Web site sparks new intelligent design battle at BU, Waco Tribune-Herald
  6. ^ Baylor forces professor to shut down site, The Daily Orange
  7. ^ Grace Maalouf, Brad Briggs "BU had role in Dembski return," Baylor Lariat, Nov. 16, 2007[1]
  8. ^ WORLD Magazine | Today's News, Christian Views
  9. ^ Crisis averted, Mark Bergin, World Magazine
  10. ^ Baylor U. Removes a Web Page Associated With Intelligent Design From Its Site by Elizabeth F. Farrell. Chronicle of Higher Education, Sept. 4, 2007. onlinesubscription access
  11. ^ Erin Roach, "I.D. rift hits Baylor again", Baptist Press, Sep 5, 2007, [2]
  12. ^ Evolutionary Informatics webpage
  13. ^ Wolpert, D.H., Macready, W.G. (1997), "No Free Lunch Theorems for Optimization," IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation 1, 67. http://ic.arc.nasa.gov/people/dhw/papers/78.pdf
  14. ^ Dembski, W.A., and Marks, R.J. (undated) "Conservation of information in search: measuring the cost of success." [3]
  15. ^ Well-Informed: Dr. Robert Marks and the Evolutionary Informatics Lab, Casey Luskin interviewer, "Intelligent Design the Future" podcast series of The Center for Science and Culture of the Discovery Institute.
  16. ^ William A. Dembski and R.J. Marks II, Active Information in Evolutionary Search, listed at:
  17. ^ a b Olle, Tom, and "Active Information", Mark Perakh, TalkReason
  18. ^ a b A. Khotanzad, R. Afkhami-Rohani, Lu Tsun-Liang, A. Abaye, M. Davis, D.J. Maratukulam, "ANNSTLF-a neural-network-based electric load forecasting system," IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, Volume 8, Issue 4, Jul 1997 pp. 835-846.
  19. ^ D.C. Park, M.A. El-Sharkawi, R.J. Marks II, L.E. Atlas & M.J. Damborg, "Electric load forecasting using an artificial neural network", IEEE Transactions on Power Engineering, vol.6, pp.442-449 (1991).
  20. ^ S. Narayanan, P.S. Cho and R.J. Marks II, "Fast Cross-Projection Algorithm for Reconstruction of Seeds in Prostate Brachytherapy", Med. Phys. 29 (7), July 2002, pp.1572-1579.
  21. ^ S. Narayanan, P.S. Cho and R.J. Marks II, "Three-dimensional seed reconstruction from an incomplete data set for prostate brachytherapy", Phys. Med. Biol., vol.49, pp.3483-3494 (2004).
  22. ^ a b Marks' curriculum vitae
  23. ^ NASA Recognizes Baylor Engineer For Innovative Technology
  24. ^ A.K. Das, R.J. Marks II, M.A. El-Sharkawi, Payman Arabshahi and Andrew Gray, "Minimum Power Broadcast Trees for Wireless Networks: Optimization Using the Viability Lemma", Proceedings of the NASA Earth Science Technology Conference, June 11-13, 2002, Pasadena, CA
  25. ^ S. A. Kassam Signal Detection in Non-Gaussian Noise. Springer Verlag, 1988.
  26. ^ Detection in Laplace noiseR.J. Marks II, G.L. Wise, D.G. Haldeman and J.L. Whited, IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems, vol. AES-14, pp.866-872 (1978).
  27. ^ Marks' former web page on apologetics presentations, accessed May 7, 2008 through Internet Archive: Wayback Machine