The biological reverse engineering analogy was part of the original definition, and had been present until the day that I linked to it in my post. Someone (perhaps a Darwinist?) went to work with an eraser.I wonder if it occurred to Dr. Egnor to wonder how that "original definition" got there in the first place? It's not present in the first version of the article, dating from 3 October, 2001. It remains absent until 17 December, 2005, when a user called Wernher (as part of a general expansion) adds the single sentence:
A telling analogy of RE is that the research of physical laws can be seen as reverse-engineering the world itself.I don't know what Wernher thinks the analogy "tells" us, but this early form does begin the theme that science is a type of reverse engineering -- over four years (and dozens of intervening edits) after the "original definition".
On 13 September, 2006, a transitional form (though close to the modern form) appears, from a user called 188.8.131.52, who replaces Wernher's version with:
Reverse engineering is essentially science, using the scientific method. (Conversely, engineering could be thought of as 'reverse science'). Sciences such as biology and physics can be seen as reverse engineering of biological 'machines' and the physical world respectively.This is getting close to the version Egnor liked so much. It only remains for user 184.108.40.206 (what's with all these users called by IP addresses, anyway?) to delete the text in red to reach the modern form
So: Egnor's "evidence" that science is a type of reverse engineering consists of the fact that someone called 220.127.116.11 thinks it does.
When this whole l'affaire Egnor started, I figured that, whatever goofy ideas he may entertain in his spare time, he's still probably a competent doctor. However, after witnessing the continuous torrent of fallacies and ignorance -- many IMHO completely inexcusable in an educated man -- I've decided that, should I ever require brain surgery, and am given the choice between Dr. Egnor and this, I'll choose the robot. At least I can expect it to behave logically.