Research on Intelligent Design

To put together scientific advances from the perspective of Intelligent Design.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Audio File: Shermer vs. William A. Dembski Radio Debate

Is this
"one of the most important & controversial debates of our time"?
Click here to download the audio file of the Shermer vs. Dembski Radio Debate (in windows media audio, wma, 9,195 KB)

Some comments on it:
Shermer attempted to focus on how intelligence affects material entities, claiming that such concepts are unscientific. However, couldn’t the same “criticism” be leveled at quantum physics? How, exactly, does quantum indeterminancy make one photon deflect one way and while making another photon deflect the other way (when aimed at a 45 degree prism)? We do not know. Does that make quantum physics unscientific?

Comment by morpheusfaith — December 8, 2005
This is one of the best debates I’ve listened to in a long time. Not just because Dr. Dembski did well (and he did), but because it was a real debate. The participants actually listened to each other and engaged each other’s arguments, rather than merely trading speeches. It’s clear that both guys are gentlemen and were interested in arguing the merits rather than taking cheap shots that would “score points” with the audience. I was especially impressed when Shermer, given several opportunities by the moderator to define ID, deferred to Dembski for the definition rather than taking the opportunity to setup a strawman. That’s courtesy in debate it is refreshing to see… this debate is a keeper.

Dave T.

Comment by taciturnus — December 9, 2005
After acknowledging the same, Gil Dodgen declares in his posting "Speculation Presented As Fact":
"..there is one thing that always bugs me about ID opponents: They often present pure speculation, based on absolutely no hard evidence, as established fact. For example, you’ll hear [Shermer declaring], “The way evolution produces complex, functionally integrated biological machinery is through a process called co-option. Here’s how it works…” They should be honest and say, “Some biologists speculate that biological components that served other functions can be co-opted to assemble new machinery that performs a new function. However, there is no hard evidence that this process actually takes place, and no detailed, testable proposals for how random mutations could engineer such a process.”

Of course, they also always leave out an explanation for the hard stuff. Where did the assembly instructions come from? They too must be irreducibly complex, since a partially assembled motor is of no use even if all the parts are available.

I sometimes wonder if these people are actually aware of what they are doing. Perhaps — because they are convinced that such a process "must take place", because the underlying theory "has to be true" they have deluded themselves into thinking they are providing facts and explanations instead of unsubstantiated speculation.
Ochuk Says:
UPDATE: This is a much better, more informative, much rancorless debate. Listen up.
From the previous debate that Ochuk posted we read the next pertinent information:
FULLER: “ID people are mostly Christian”. [Fuller puts essential objections in quotes and then argues against them] So are most scientists of the modern era. In fact, the scientists these days who most loudly flaunt their anti-Christian, atheist colours can’t escape smuggling some kind of theistically inspired thought… The question to ask here is what value, if any, does atheism contribute to good science?

FULLER: “ID is just a front for the notorious Wedge document that would re-Christianise America”. So what? We don’t throw Darwin off the curriculum because many of his followers supported eugenics and even Nazism, and have been generally opposed to elaborate state-based welfare policies. If judged scientific theories by what we think of what motivates them, then we wouldn’t have much science left. This is why it’s important to distinguish the contexts of discovery and justification: ID can be as religiously motivated as you like. What matters is whether it can be developed, criticised and tested without having the motives. And the answer is yes.

FULLER: “Most competent scientists may be Christian in their private lives, but do not allow their religious beliefs to color their interpretation of their data”. Its statements like this that make me appreciate the value of the Protestant Reformation. In the next century, historians will marvel at the ease with which we assume that it’s psychologically credible to think that religious and scientific views can be so neatly separated from each other. This is just our old Catholic friend, the double truth doctrine, dressed up in political correctness… There is no sensible psychology to back this up… Either your religious influences your science (as well as everything else in your life) or you’re just not religious.


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