Round 1: nefermore vs orange_light: The Dumbing Down Of Science?

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posted on Feb, 15 2009 @ 09:17 PM
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The topic for this debate is “Intelligent Design Should Be Taught In Schools.”

nefermore will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
orange_light will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

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posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 11:36 AM
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Thank you Memoryshock for taking the time to set up this debate, and thank you to my opponent, Orangelight for taking the time to participate in what, I'm hoping, will be a lively and entertaining discussion of our assigned subject - "Intelligent Design should be taught in schools"

As an aside, I would also like to thank the readers of this topic, and the assigned judges for their time and input into evaluating the debate, and delivering their verdicts.

Opening Statement

Intelligent Design.

Two words that are - apparently - enough to draw up stern battle lines between the religious and scientific communities, and leave the rest of us sat in a no-mans land trying to duck the pot-shots that are being thrown between the two.

And lets face it, its a sticky subject. Did we arrive here by randomness and natural selection, or did we get to where we are through the machinations of a designer, who had an idea and worked on it?

Regardless of your particular belief, its an intriguing question. One that tugs at very essence of mankind, and one of what I consider to be the five fundamental questions of humanity - "Who are we?" "What are we?" "Why are we here?" "How did we get here?" and "Are we alone?"

If you sit down and really think about it, there are probably three ways you can go with the subject of "how did we get here?"

The first way is mad. That's because its an incredibly complex and difficult subject that gets harder the more you look at it, and once you start digging into the workings of how we came to be the hole rapidly gets bigger and bigger and finding a way out gets increasingly more difficult. Many a poor soul has gone a little bit crazy pondering life the universe and everything

However, we humans are a resourceful bunch, and over time - to stop us all from going mad when it comes to incredibly difficult subjects - the human race has devised two apparently complex, contrasting and diverse systems.

One of them is what we call science, and the other is religion. Both are wonderful concepts.

Science panders to our belief in the rational, and allows us to feel comfortable and "in control" of our immediate surroundings and the universe around us, because it gives us the tools to explain them from our own observations.

Religion panders to our need to feel part of something bigger, and affords us comfort in the knowledge that the universe is run by a deity that has put us here for a reason and whom, if suitably satiated in the form of platitudes, worship and rule following, will protect and guide us in our daily lives.

Science provides us with the idea of evolution, and natural selection. The premise of trial and error on a global scale, with the most successful endeavours succeeding while the others fail and are replaced.

Religion gives us the idea that God created the Universe, and all its various wonders, making a place for everything and ensuring everything has its place.

So when the concept of Intelligent Design was put forward, the obvious assumption was made that it implied the hand of the divine in its machinations, and that God was at work.

"Poppycock!" cried those of a scientific bent "God has nothing to do with science!" (they would have shouted "blasphemy", but that has something of a religious connotation!).

Not only did the scientists jump and shout, those responsible for education also stood up and made themselves heard, citing that such overt religious teachings have no place in mainstream education - indeed this has lead to the invoking the Establishment Clause in the US Constitution - even going so far as to having Intelligent Design barred from being taught in Pennsylvania following a high court ruling that it was unconstitutional. Elsewhere around the world there has also been a mocking of the principles of Intelligent Design from Educational authorities - all of whom claim that it is a form of creationism, and has no place in science.

Or does it?

In the course of this debate, I will attempt to explain how Intelligent Design (I will be abbreviating it to ID from now on posts) does indeed have a place in science, and also explaining how and why, regardless of its "status" in the science community, ID should be taught in schools.

In the process of doing so I will be challenging some long held ideas and principles from both sides of what I will term "The ID Divide", and attempt to provide a slightly different way of thinking on this contentious issue.

And so I look forward to my opponents opening statement in due course, and thank you all for reading so far.



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 02:26 AM
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As a good tradition in debating I would like to start this very first debate of mine in the first tournament of 2009 to thank both MemoryShock and Semperfortis for they great work to make this tournament and this debate possible. Thanks MemoryShock for hosting this debate. I also appreciate the support of our fellow fighters, readers and judges throughout the tournament. And finally a very special thank you to my esteemed opponent neformore for participating in this argumentation. I am sure this will be really entertaining and a great debate.

Opening Statement



"Intelligent Design should be taught in schools" – should it?

As my opponent mentioned it in his opening this is a very sticky subject and it is indeed a subject, which makes people fight to the finish. A very charged topic for sure.

What is the origin of Intelligent Design?


1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis Chapter 1:1


In other words Intelligent Design is a new phrase for Creationism. The advocates of Intelligent Design claim that it is a scientific theory and therefore it should be taught in our schools. But Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory at all, no matter what the creators of this theory might claim. It is a throughout religious based concept. Therefore it should not be taught in schools, not for the sake of a wider variety of opinions and not for the sake of freedom of thoughts.

Intelligent Design is a theological concept, and as a theological concept it should be taught where theological concepts usually are taught: in Sunday school, in religious classes. Due to the first amendment of the US constitution church and state are separated; everybody got the right to practice his religion, and religious education is forbidden in public schools.

The German constitution guarantees the sanctity of freedom of faith, conscience and allows to practice ones own religion undisturbed.

If the constitution guarantees the right to practice religion freely, it for sure guarantees also the right not to practice religion, if somebody doesn’t want to practice it.

If we allow teachers to teach Intelligent Design in our schools, we could as well allow religious education in our public schools. It is nothing else! With Intelligent Design as a subject at school the separation of church and state is obsolete.

Socratic question to neformore:

1. Do you think the first amendment of the US constitution should be abandoned?

2. Do you think religion should be taught in public schools?

3. Do you think freedom of faith should be abandoned form any constitution?


 


It is quiet natural for mankind to research his origin. This desire to know about our “where from” “where to go” brought us great scientists like Charles Darwin, like Alexander von Humboldt, like Richard Leaky, like Stephen Hawkings and many other biologists, physicist, chemist, and anthropologists. They are all goaded by the questions neformore brought to our attention:


"Who are we?" "What are we?" "Why are we here?" "How did we get here?" and "Are we alone?"
.

Every scientist brought up a theory, which is definitely worthwhile to be taught in the classes of our schools. Our students shouldn’t just deal with one theory like evolution, but they should only deal with the academic theories. I don’t think we already found the philosopher’s stone regarding the origin of mankind, but teaching Intelligent Design among real academic theories and realizations is absolutely wrong.

We should raise our children to become independent human beings, who are able to think of their own, who are not brain washed by political, religious and other groups of society. If we stick to the concept of public schools than we should be very careful not to mix up church and state in this concept. It is up to schools and government to determine curricula of schools, but never should religious theories be taught in science classes. If parents want their children to learn about Intelligent Design they should teach it by themselves or should get the children educated in Sunday school.

In course of this debate we will figure out what Intelligent Design really means.
We will figure out, why it isn’t scientific at all.
And we also will show, who is behind the concept of Intelligent Design and the real purpose and attitude of this group.


And now I am eager to know what neformore got next for me.



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 12:35 PM
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Thank you Orange, for your opening statement. Before I proceed I'll dive straight into your questions, which I will answer as honestly as I can;

 


Replies to Questions raised by Orange_light

1. Do you think the first amendment of the US constitution should be abandoned?

Explicitly, no. Let me clarify;

The First Amendment of the US Constitution deals with the prevention of a state established religion, or allowing preferential treatment to one particular religion. I don't think either are relevant to this discussion, and will explain so later on during the debate.

2. Do you think religion should be taught in public schools?

I believe that - in the interests of preparing children for society as a whole - overviews of all the worlds major religions, their fundamental principles and their backgrounds should be give to children aged 11 and above. This education should not favour any particular religion, merely provide relevant information.

I also believe that Children younger than age 11 should receive no religious instruction of any kind as far as I am concerned, and no-one prior to their 18th birthday, when they are seen to be a responsible adult in the eyes of the general populace, should be forced by birth, or otherwise, to follow any particular religion, as they should have freedom of choice with all the relevant information to hand, before making such an important decision that could literally change their whole way of life.

3. Do you think freedom of faith should be abandoned from any constitution?

Absolutely not. Given the constraints I've listed in my answer to your second question, a person should - in my opinion - be able to believe whatever they wish provided they do not seek to impose that belief on anyone else. Religion, or lack thereof, is a personal choice that should be made by informed adults.

 


Now, with the questions out of the way, I ask for the judges, readers and my esteemed opponent to indulge me a little, as I use this time in my first post to draw some parallels to the ID subject in "pop culture", and then get a little more serious.

Let me introduce you all to Spore

Spore is a computer game, and a very interesting one at that. Spore allows the player to create a race of beings from cellular level, up to the point where their ensuing civilisation "escapes the nest" and becomes a spacefaring race.

Its an intruiging concept - unique amongst video games, as, at each stage, the player has a direct hand in the development of their chosen species. There are many so called "god sims" on the market, but as it stands spore is the only one that highlights the concept of what we are trying to discuss here. Bear in mind that at all stages of the game, someone - the player - has a direct influence over the evolution of the beings at their disposal.

Spore is interesting in a number of ways, as it implies design and evolution can work hand in hand. And yes, its a game BUT, later I'll explain how it could conceivably be more that a little bit later in my discussion here.

Keeping Spore in mind, lets now cast our parallel net a bit wider, and look at another pop culture reference.

We'll move on to Battlestar Galactica

Whats that got to do with the subject matter? Well, if you are - like me - a science fiction fan, then you will be aware that the "bad guys" in both the original and re-imagined series of the programme were the Cylons. The Cylons are a race of machines, originally created by humanity as slaves, who evolve from their programming and subsequently turn on humanity with devastating results.

There are many more examples of this kind of thing in pop culture. Terminator, AI, HAL from 2001, I Robot.....tt seems that we project our need to find a reason for our existence in every medium imaginable and, more interestingly, it turns out within the storylines of these things that humanity is the creator of its downfall.

Now isn't that an intriguing thought?

Lets look at that a little deeper, and this time we'll go into the relams of serious, real-world, current thinking.

What is the Singularity

Which is absolutely fascinating reading - particularly this part...



Smarter-than-human intelligence, faster-than-human intelligence, and self-improving intelligence are all interrelated. If you're smarter that makes it easier to figure out how to build fast brains or improve your own mind. In turn, being able to reshape your own mind isn't just a way of starting up a slope of recursive self-improvement; having full access to your own source code is, in itself, a kind of smartness that humans don't have. Self-improvement is far harder than optimizing code; nonetheless, a mind with the ability to rewrite its own source code can potentially make itself faster as well. And faster brains also relate to smarter minds; speeding up a whole mind doesn't make it smarter, but adding more processing power to the cognitive processes underlying intelligence is a different matter.


The implications of this are huge with regard to the subject of Intelligent Design if you think about them.

Why?

Well consider this - there will come a point in the future when "The Singularity" is reached (I don't believe its a question of "if" its reached), and we humans do develop artifical intelligence.

When, one day (and it will inevitably happen) that the created AI is sitting pondering its own existence, does it look to science as its creator or will it see us humans - the ones who built it - as akin to being Gods who designed it?

Did it evolve, or was it Intelligently Designed?

Or do both apply? Doesn't that make the lines blurry?

I'll leave it there for now. In my next post I will expand further on these concepts, and provide new ones before explaining exactly why Intelligent Design most certainly has a place being taught in schools.

 


Socratic Questions for Orange_Light

Question 1

In your opinion, are Religion and Science polar opposites?

Question 2

DO you believe in a divine entity?

Question 3

If the answer to Question 2 above is yes, how do you picture that entity in your minds eye?

 


I look forward to Orange_Lights response in due course.



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 10:48 AM
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Response #1




Socratic Questions by neformore


Question 1

In your opinion, are Religion and Science polar opposites?


Usually yes! I will deal with this subject in one of my next posts.



Question 2

DO you believe in a divine entity?


No.



Question 3

If the answer to Question 2 above is yes, how do you picture that entity in your minds eye?


Since I don’t believe in a divine entity I don’t have any picture of such a devine entity in my minds eye.


 


I am really glad that neformore and I agree that constitution articles like the first amendment of the US constitution are necessary. I am also quite happy about our agreement, that children shouldn’t receive religious instructions until a certain age. To my opinion no child should get religious instructions until they might choose it for themselves when coming to age. A short overview on religious groups and maybe philosophical concepts, which also includes the non-religious concepts would be ok, to help the person making up her mind.
And I am glad that neformore got the same opinion on personal and religious beliefs than I got myself. This helps a lot for further discussion.

Now lets take a closer look at the content of Intelligent Design and the first amendment of the US Constitution. The US Constitution is very important for our case, since to my knowledge only certain US groups demand Intelligent Design to be taught at schools.


Definition:




The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

/1/


The above definition with reference 1 is the definition you are provided by intelligentdesign.org, a directly linked sub domain of the discovery institute /2/, who are the primarily founders of this theory. Just click on Intelligent Design on their page.

The institute maintains that this theory is scientific and not the well-known theory of creationism. It is only a semantically hairsplitting. You can create something and you can design something. After finishing both processes you will got something in your own hands that you made by yourself, no matter how you call the process.

Discovery Institute likes to emphasize the “difference” between Intelligent Design and creationism to make people believe that:

a) their theory is a scientific theory

and

b) their theory is not at all a religious based theory.

Just a matter of selling the theory.


Digression



We learnt that Intelligent Design maintain that life on earth is based on the influence of a great designer. A designer, who can also be called God, the God of Christianity.

The basic origin of Intelligent Design can be found in the 18th century. It got revived by the end of the 20th century as an evangelically alternative draft of biological and scientifically explanations of the origin of life.

The beginning of the modern concept of Intelligent Design started after 1987 United States Supreme Court decision in case Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 /3/. The US Supreme Court adjudged that teaching of creationism in public schools – in this case the State of Louisiana, who was represented by Governor Edwards, is against US Constitution.
Shortly after this decision the creationism movement, mainly the Discovery Institute, started to use the term “Intelligent Design”, which was even used in books the Discovery Institute publishes for use in class.

It is very interesting that the prosecutor Aguillard got support by


72 Nobel prize-winning scientists,[1] 17 state academies of science, and 7 other scientific organizations filed amicus briefs which described creation science as being composed of religious tenets.

/3/


72 Nobel prize-winning scientists, who also described creation science as being based on religion!

WOW!


First Amendment of Constitution




Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

/4/


What does it mean?

There are many interpretations and decisions of the US Supreme Court to explain this amendment of the Constitution. Primarily in our case the separation of church and state is most important.

The establishment of religion or let us better call it: state religion is forbidden. It is also forbidden to prefer a religion to another religions or irreligion.

The interpretation concern public life, concern the government, concern legal life etc.
They usually don’t concern private life.


Interconnection



Now we are roping up the digression, definition and the first Amendment of the US Constitution.

Intelligent Design means that life was created by a superior force, most of the advocates of the Intelligent Design movement call this force God, and mean the God of Christianity.
The origin of Intelligent Design is the theory of creationism, which is indeed a theological concept.

US Supreme Court banned the teaching of creationism in public schools in Louisiana in 1987.

Many scientific organizations including the Nobel prize-winning scientist, who supportered Aguillard in 1987, maintain that Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory.

Based on the first amendment church and state have to be separated and no religious indoctrination should happen in public schools.

These are the major reasons why Intelligent Design shouldn’t be taught in public schools.

Due to my personal opinion it shouldn’t be taught in any school, but I know that the government can’t influence private schools or home schooling classes.


Rebuttal



My esteemed opponent neformore tries to lull the reader and judges by presenting movies and video games, which might back up the idea of Intelligent Design.

People, who are interested in the market of videogames, will be able to find many more games, in which you can create cities, lives, life forms or what ever.

Spore is just a game! Please keep that in mind. Everything is possible in games as well as in movies. This is no proof that concepts like Intelligent Design should be taught in classrooms.

We could also skip the teaching part and let the kids play spore. Afterwards, as a little challenge, we will let them write an essay to develop their own theory how everything began! That would be kind of funny and really creative.


 


To me it is quiet natural that many of the myths and legends, with which we grew up, like the Bible, or other myths of our origin strongly influence our culture, not only our well known western culture also all the other cultures of the world.

Our fantasy is enlightened by these myths and creates video games, computer games, books and movies based on these myths or going to elaborate these myths.

Since my esteemed opponent mentioned Battlestar Galactica as a movie, which seems to support his point of view, I would like to introduce Project Genesis /5/ t o you. You will figure out that it is taken from the original Star Trek series and movies. A scientific project which should transform a lifeless planet into a living area and ended up in destruction.


As Dr McCoy says


"According to myth, the Earth was created in 6 days. Now, watch out. Here comes Genesis. We'll do it for you in 6 minutes."

Project Genesis /5/


The moral of this story?

There is no possibility of designing life or nature.
Life and nature develops by itself. It follows the fundamental laws of biology, chemistry and physics. We are able to explain some of these processes. For those processes, which can’t be explained by now, human have to do what human usually does: being guided by ou natural curiosity we are researching.

We find explanations, sometimes even better explanations for things that we explained before.
We gain knowledge and with this knowledge we develop and we evolve.

That is what is about nature.


In my next post we will get more insight of the purpose of the Discovery Institute, which is the driving force behind the scene of Intelligent Design.

We will also take a closer look, why Intelligent Design is not scientific at all.


Socratic Questions to neformore:

SQ 1:

Do you think that the end justifies the means? And if yes, why?


SQ2:

Do you believe that mankind is creation’s crowning glory?



Now neformore the game is yours again.



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 04:31 PM
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In my previous post I took a sideways look at some parallel concepts, and I did it for a reason.

I don't claim that Spore, or Battlestar Galactica are proof of intelligent design - indeed as Orange claimed in her rebuttal, Spore is just a game, and Battlestar Galactica is fiction.

But Spore represents something more interesting than a passing couple of hours at the PC screen. What it gives is a very basic insight into how computer programmes can be used to simulate a biosphere, and uses basic tenets of scientific principles to allow a creature to evolve.

Battelstar Galactica also takes scientific principles into its inception, and comes up with an idea that - at some point in the future - humanity can create artificial intelligence which is anything but benign.

Now, at the end of my post I talked about the Singularity, and what we would currently call artificial intelligence.

Orange neatly avoided referring to that part of my post, and then proceeded to say this;



There is no possibility of designing life or nature.
Life and nature develops by itself. It follows the fundamental laws of biology, chemistry and physics.


But that's not quite true, is it?

Combine the very real science of Artifical Intelligence with the science of Robotics

In other words - take your artificial intelligence (created by man), and put it into an artifical shell (again, created by man)

Then apply the concept of a Self Replicating Machine

And what you have created is something - ostensibly in our own image (although it may not be) - that is self reproducing, mobile and capable of rational thought. Indeed, that intelligence may one day surpass us.

To Quote from the "What is the Singularity" site referenced in my previous post



Combine faster intelligence, smarter intelligence, and recursively self-improving intelligence, and the result is an event so huge that there are no metaphors left. There's nothing remaining to compare it to.


Indeed....

So that begs a question - when humanity finally creates this creature (robot, or person), what part of biology will have been involved?

The answer is none.

This then highlights an intriguing issue.

The Scientific Community shuns Intelligent Design as Creationism, and yet at the same time it is actively engaged in trying to Intelligently Design Artificial Intelligence, and Artificial Life.

The "Intelligent Design is all about creationism and God" argument is, therefore, pointless.

It is actually about science (and Orange will apparently be trying to prove me wrong in her next post!) - but its not about current science - its about what we are attempting as a race to develop.

Its akin to the old scientific proclamations that the earth is flat, that the sun revolves around the earth, that man will not be able to create heavier than air machines, or go into space etc.

Let me remind you about scientific Method.

Wikipedia - Scientific Method



Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses. These steps must be repeatable in order to dependably predict any future results. Theories that encompass wider domains of inquiry may bind many hypotheses together in a coherent structure. This in turn may help form new hypotheses or place groups of hypotheses into context.



The hypotheses is that we may ourselves be bio-mechanical machines, designed purposefully for our environment. The experimental studies are the research being undertaken into AI, robots and artificial life. By binding those concepts together we then form a new theory, akin to the theory of evolution that we were created intelligently, by someone else.

Yes, the God argument is used by some religious factions, because it can be seen to suit their beliefs.

And of course, the scientific community would rather everyone thought Intelligent Design was about God, because the other notion, that something had a hand in designing us is - to be frank - a particularly difficult and potentially scary concept to embrace.

But Intelligent Design is not all about God at all - in fact the God argument is the classic straw-man.

I'll take this a step further in my next post, after Orange will have tried to prove the science fact I've just presented, as being wrong.

 


Replies to Socratic Questions from Orange_Light

SQ 1:

Do you think that the end justifies the means? And if yes, why?

Not always, no. Killing someone for some peace and quiet is over the top. As is suppressing a theory because the potential results may be uncomfortable.

SQ2:

Do you believe that mankind is creation’s crowning glory?

No - most certainly not. We haven't seen anywhere near enough of creation to make such a proclamation.

 


Socratic Questions to Orange_Light

SQ1. Where does human consciousness come from?

 


I hand the floor back to my opponent...



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 06:29 PM
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taking my 24 hour extension

thanks



posted on Feb, 20 2009 @ 03:01 PM
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Response #2



As announced in my last post, I am going to examine how scientifically Intelligent Design is.
And in the same course we will take a closer look on “religion” versus “science”, since Intelligent Design is a theological concept.

You all know when approaching to a new subject it is very good to define the major topics of it.
So what does religion and what does science mean, in general. Usually everybody got her own interpretation, especially for the term religion.


Religion


1b (1): the service and worship of God or the supernatural

2: a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

4: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith

1

Aha, religion deals with beliefs, with practicing the beliefs, with faith, and God or supernatural is included.

We also know that religion deals a lot with symbols, like the cross in Christian belief, or the star of David, or the wheel in Buddhism.

In religion we usually find a certain code of moral and ethic and a way to look at the world. I know that religion is a very complex subject and I am only able to touch it very, very briefly.
But I guess we all got a concept what religion could mean.

You know that there are many faiths and religions on this planet. We got Buddhism, we got the Christian faith, Islam, Hinduism and many more, even pagan faiths. All faiths got certain stories and myths, which explain the origin of earth and mankind to the believers, as those of Christian origin will find it in the 1st book of Moses, which is also called Genesis. It deals with the assumed origin of mankind, as the Jews pre-Christian times imagined it.

Other cultures, other faiths got their own ideas about the beginning of the world, about the origin of mankind. Just remember the famous epic of Gilgamesh, which was also partial a base of the so-called Old Testament.

Most faiths got their roots in ancient times. And most faiths got similar myths about the origin of mankind, who are usually created by God or the boss of all Gods.

Why? Humans in ancient times didn’t know what we know today. They didn’t got the means, we got today, to explain the world. They had to belief in miracles, in supernatural powers, in myths.

This is not necessary anymore! Yeah folks, we got science. Still not perfect, but we can measure and verify what we see, what we experience.


Science


1: the state of knowing : knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding

3 a: knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b: such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : natural science

2 [emphasis mine]

Now dear neformore we are back to your Socratic question of reply #1 – yeah religion and science are polar opposites. As I stated above religion deals with the supernatural, with God, with miracles and myths. Science on the contrary means knowledge.
My dear opponent might claim, that religion might also contain a certain knowledge, but this knowledge can’t be measured, you just have to believe.

Socratic Question to neformore:

SQ 1: Can you tell me how the pretensions of Intelligent Design can be proven by means of the phyical world, measured and tested by scientific methods as we know them from physics, chemistry and biology?

SQ2: If it can be measured, are the results repeatable, and do we get every time the same result?


Science deals with researches, with systematic. Science wants to gain more knowledge, verify this knowledge, and let us understand how things work.

You observe; you phrase a theory, than you will be able to get a particular prediction. This is called the inductive understanding.


Intelligent Design: science or religious theory?

As we have seen before, Intelligent Design claims that we, the universe and everything else was created with the help of a designer. It can be clearly compared to an artist, who creates a statue.

But if everything was designed, it brings up another Socratic Question to neformore:

SQ3: If nature and mankind was designed by a supernatural power, or by God, why is it so imperfect?


When I am talking about imperfect humans, I am referring to people wearing glasses, to disease like cancer, to the fact that eating meat creates certain male functions in the human body, to vestigial organs. 3


SQ4: If everything was created, why does the human embryo, like embryos of other species, passes through different stages of evolution?

After all, there is no way to test the theories of Intelligent Design with scientific methods. But you can find many proves, which sustain the theory of evolution.


Originally posted by neformore
It is actually about science (and Orange will apparently be trying to prove me wrong in her next post!) - but its not about current science - its about what we are attempting as a race to develop.


I am still waiting for the proof that Intelligent Design is really science. Neformore tells us, it is not about current science. But about what science? Some mystic science? Some future science?
Maybe it is a miracle after all – which would prove for sure that it is about religion. How can you test miracles? How can you repeat them?


Maybe we should take a closer look at the Discovery Institute, whose members are behind the concept of Intelligent Design.


Discovery Institute and its Purpose concerning Intelligent Design

The Discovery Institute is a so-called think tank. It is regarded to be conservative. It was founded in 1990 and is based in Seattle, Washington, USA. The majority of the management can be called Christian-conste

Among other projects the Discovery Institute and its Center for Science and Culture support more than anything else the Intelligent Design movement. They are publishing books, which should be used in classrooms, they produce movies, and they even give legal advices to school districts, who wish to educate Intelligent Design, as it happened in the case Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District 4. This case as the case of Edwards_v._Aguillard, we have watched before, was decided in favor of the prosecutor, and the judge barred Intelligent Design from classrooms in the very Pennsylvanian School District as they had banned creationism in the Aguillard case from Louisianan schools.


So what is the real purpose of the Discovery Institute?

Actually they are performing what we call lobbying. The members of the Discovery Institute promote the idea of educating Intelligent Design at schools, in all schools in the USA.

The primarily and most important document, if you going to understand the aims of the Discovery Institute, is the so called “Wedge Strategy5

Lets see what kind of goals the wedge, which consists of 3 phases dealing with “scientific research, publicity and opinion making and cultural confrontation and renewal” promotes:



To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God

5 [emphasis mine]

They clearly aim to push a wedge between empirical science and naturalism, and to replace this with a so-called theistic realism.
Has it really nothing to do with God dear neformore? I really doubt that! It has everything to do with God and the way the bible claims earth was created.

The Wedge Document was published in 1999. In 2005 the Centers for the Renewal of Science and Culture (CRSC) which belongs to the Discovery Institute confirmed authorship.


Another goal of the wedge strategy should be achieved in 20 years:


To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.

5

Looks a bit as if they want to get rid of the First Amendment of the Constitution, and want to abandon separation from church and state. Not the best thing!


Finally I am going to reply to neformore’s Socratic Question:


SQ1. Where does human consciousness come from?


Interesting question.
I told you I don’t believe in God or a higher institution or a super natural power. Which is true.
In my opinion we are spiritual beings, who live forever. Our bodies die and we live on an reincarnate if we desire. So my consciousness is part of me as a spiritual being, not a part of my body! And my consciousness comes from me. I don’t know where your consciousness comes from; the answer to this question is up to you.



posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 10:31 AM
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Taking my 24 hours extension at this time. Will post by 16.30 GMT Tomorrow.

Nef



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 07:33 AM
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In this, my last post in the main part of the debate, I will continue to explore the concepts I've previously presented. First, however, I need to address some points raised by my opponent in her last post.

 


Rebuttal to points raised in Orange_Light's last post

Orange_Light wrote



This is not necessary anymore! Yeah folks, we got science.Still not perfect, but we can measure and verify what we see, what we

experience.


(I added the bold emphasis for effect)

For as long as scientific method and opinion has existed, people have been getting things wrong. Proclmations such as....

"The earth is flat"
"The earth is round, and the sun and stars move around it"
"Man will never travel faster than..." (insert your speed of choice here, be it faster than on horseback, 20mph, 50mph, 100mph, the sound

barrier)
"Man will never undertake powered flight"
"Computers will never be used in the home"

....say it all really.

Science is all about theories. But theories come and go over the years. Global Warming, for example, is a theory. Yes, it has some empirical evidene from records over the past 100 years but considering the lifespan of the earth the information presented is actually only a very very small observation. Not only that, but Global Warming is a current theory. Being a child of the 70's I can distinctly remember scientists debating that the earth might be heading into an ice age, which clearly contradicts the current claims that the polar caps are warming and meltings.

As much as scientists will argue that there is method, what they shy away from is the fact that there are also trends. Trends can last for a long time, or they can be brief and pass quickly. Usually a trend is broken by one stubborn proponent of a new theory who refuses to be shoved aside. Once their theory is embraced, it may become a new trend, or it may become part of the "established" science.

Its also worth noting that it is supremely, utterly arrogant to proclaim that current science is "right". We know so little about the universe outside of what we can observe from our little bubble in space, that we cannot ever make proclamations like that - its akin to the nay sayers who boldly say "we are the only intelligent life in the universe" when they cannot possibly know that for a fact. We may never ever encounter that other form of intelligence because of the distances involved, but when the number of observable galaxies in the universe exceeds 200 billion, the possibility cannot be counted out.

My point is that science is a metamorphic subject. It evolves - funninly enough - through intelligent design. Science has its dead ends, its junk, its bad understandings and its out and out utter rubbish, along with all of its benefits. What tends to happen is that science quickly sweeps the junk under the carpet. In some respects its a confidence trick, and if you don't believe me, then I refer you to the scientists who, prior to the first atomic bomb test were running a book as to whether they would set the atmosphere on fire and kill all life on earth in the process. They thought they wouldn't, but they didn't know for sure

Orange also said this;



I am still waiting for the proof that Intelligent Design is really science. Neformore tells us, it is not about current science. But about what science? Some mystic science? Some future science?


For the record I did already cover that in my previous post. I draw your attention again to the part where I discussed robotics and artificial intelligence, however, now my rebuttal is complete, let me introduce you to something even more interesting in the main body of my post.

 


I refer everyone to this;

Scientists Take New Step Toward Man-Made Life



Taking a significant step toward the creation of man-made forms of life, researchers reported Thursday that they had manufactured the entire genome of a bacteriumby painstakingly stitching together its chemical components.

While scientists had previously synthesized the complete DNA of viruses, this is the first time it has been done for bacteria, which are much more complex. The genome is more than 10 times as long as the longest piece of DNA ever previously synthesized.

The feat is a watershed for the emerging field called synthetic biology, which involves the design of organisms to perform particular tasks, such as making biofuels. Synthetic biologists envision being able one day to design an organism on a computer, press the “print” button to have the necessary DNA made, and then put that DNA into a cell to produce a custom-made creature.


Please re-read the part I have emphasised in bold. Remember I mentioned Spore earlier? Welcome to the real-life version of the game.

What then, is this? Is this not science Intelligently Designing Life? Whats God got to do with that?

If we can do this now, with simple bacteria, then given time, what will we be able to do in 50 years, 100 years, 1000 years...1,000,000 years?

This isn't mystic science. The very basics of this are happening now.

Heres another example

Synthetic DNA on the Brink of Yielding New Life Forms



The cobbling together of life from synthetic DNA, scientists and philosophers agree, will be a watershed event, blurring the line between biological and artificial -- and forcing a rethinking of what it means for a thing to be alive.

"This raises a range of big questions about what nature is and what it could be," said Paul Rabinow, an anthropologist at the Universityof California at Berkeley who studies science's effects on society. "Evolutionary processes are no longer seen as sacred or inviolable. People in labs are figuring them out so they can improve upon them for different purposes."


Paul Rabinow is an anthropologist, a scientist. He, along with other scientists are gradually, step by step, coming to terms with the concepts I referred to in my earlier posts.


This then is Intelligent Design. Its nothing to do with God, or creationism - unless you describe creationism as being by mankind's own hand.

So while its all too easy to focus on God and try and twist this subject into a religious one, it most certainly does not have to be, at all.

And while the main protaganists of Intelligent Design may well be religious people, did it ever occur to you that they may have, inadvertently, stumbled upon something so intriguing, so great, so....frightening that it really ought to be being discussed in mainstream science along with the subjects I have been drawing your attention to throughout these posts - a point where religion and science meet in a completely unique and new perspective?

In my closing post, I will put all of this together, in a clear and concise manner, and explain exactly why Intelligent Design should be taught in schools.

 


Answers to Socratic Questions from Orange_Light

SQ 1: Can you tell me how the pretensions of Intelligent Design can be proven by means of the phyical world, measured and tested byscientific methods as we know them from physics, chemistry and biology?

Yes - I have outlined all of this in my previous posts and in my writing above. Some of our finest minds in science are actually working on creating life themselves. They are laying the actual foundations, and experimenting with the rudimentary principles, of the subject itself.

SQ2: If it can be measured, are the results repeatable, and do we get every time the same result?

It would appear that in the cases of what we are creating ourselves, the science is repeatable, and the results are the same. Not only that but this is happening in two branches of science, computing/robotics and synthetic biology.

SQ3: If nature and mankind was designed by a supernatural power, or by God, why is it so imperfect?

For the same reason that computer codes are imperfect. Sometimes part of the legacy development is left in place unwittingly.

Alternatively, it may have been left so that future sequences, and alterations can be triggered.

SQ4: If everything was created, why does the human embryo, like embryos of other species, passes through different stages of evolution?

Did it ever occur to you that it may have been designed that way?
When you install a new computer programme, does it come fully formed? No. You have an installer. The installer interfaces between your PC and the new software, takes what it needs from it and then allows the installer to plant itself on your operating system, taking up space.

Take that concept from the flat 2D computer code and put it into all of the concepts I've outlined. Imagine the human embryo as a biological machine, with a programme that allows slow installation and replication of cells to ensure consistency and correct development. This then is the birthing process. It evoleves as it develops to suit its needs.

 


Socratic Questions to Orange_Light

1. Why does Intelligent Design *have* to be about God?

2. How would you describe a form of life created using the processes I've outlined above, as being conceived?

3. What part of the theory of evolution does not allow for the concept of Intelligent Design as a starting point?

 


I hand the floor back to my opponent.



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 02:29 PM
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Oh dear me! It really happened. My opponent and me are talking of completely different subjects, not only of different sides of one subject. This can be the only logical explanation of neformore’s post. Or does he just lost his track , got wrapped up in the versatile information of ATS?

Let me make it clear once more and hopefully finally, the topic of this debate is Intelligent Design Should Be Taught In Schools.

In this context we are talking about Intelligent Design as it is promoted by the Intelligent Design (ID) Movement, which is – as we mentioned it before – promoted the Discovery Institute.

So one more time – everybody is listening? neformore as well? – Good.
This is important!


Intelligent design is the assertion that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."[1][2] It is a modern form of the traditional teleological argument for the existence of God that avoids specifying the nature or identity of the designer.[3]

1-1


Intelligent design's leading proponents, all of whom are associated with the Discovery Institute, a politically conservative think tank,[7][8] believe the designer to be the God of Christianity.[9][10]

1-2

[emphasis mine]

So what are we dealing with?
An organization, which promotes a completely different way to explain the way, how our world and life on it started to exist.

What does my opponent?
He presents nice video games. I mentioned it before. Video game designers, as well as moviemakers, as well as book authors are free to design, to create, and to write what ever they got on their mind. There are no barriers at all. Sometimes – like it happened with some of the stories of Isaac Asimov – the ideas become common knowledge, find their way into science, and find their way into our life.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that authors like Isaac Asimov featuring Intelligent Design as it is meant by the Discovery Institute.

I am a designer by myself. I am doing Graphic Design. And I know that neformore creates also by him. If my information is right, he is a musician and creates music, and I also have seen some videos, he created and published on the new media portal of ATS. Very well done.
But do our ability to create new stuff make us able to create life.
No for sure, no!

And graphic design and video making isn’t scientifical at al, although we have to deal with the way to create, with technical means.
Our book covers, music pieces, videos, statues etc. might be all well and neatly done, but they are man made. Like the AI, like the robots, like self-replicating- machine to which neformore is referring, they are all man made.

Very interesting stuff for sure, but again: man made!
neformore tries to tell us, that this is the proof. If mankind is able to create statues, book covers, music, robots and AI, a supernatural power will be able to create the world.
WOW how easy it seems. Nothing to worry about!

“Mommy, why do we breathe?”
“I don’t know honey, but we are designed that way.”

“Daddy, why is a banana bent?”
“It was designed this way.”

Yeah, life might be much more easier.
You got a question? You don’t need to research, the answer is simple, it was designed that way! And all is fine, it was intelligently designed. Nothing to worry about!

 


neformore presents some pretty “interesting” ideas:


For as long as scientific method and opinion has existed, people have been getting things wrong. Proclmations such as....

"The earth is flat"
"The earth is round, and the sun and stars move around it"
"Man will never travel faster than..." (insert your speed of choice here, be it faster than on horseback, 20mph, 50mph, 100mph, the sound barrier)
"Man will never undertake powered flight"
"Computers will never be used in the home"


These statements he presents, were they presented by scientists or was it the opinion former of the very time, when people believed in these statements.

All statements have been rebutted by science and scientific researches. If science wouldn’t started to question all these statements, we would still believe that the earth is flat.
This was mainstream opinion by the Catholic Church in the 16th and 17th century. Galileo Galilei, who is also called “father of science” , supported clearly the heliocentric model of the solar system, which was established by Nicolas Copernicus, and not the so-called geocentric model, which got our earth in center of the universe. He really got into trouble with the Catholic Church, who accused him of heresy. He got imprisoned for his ideas, and later he was not allowed to leave his house. He slightly slipped away from being burned on the stake.

All Galieo Galilei taught was what is meanwhile proved. The earth moves around the sun! Nothing more! In the eyes of the Catholic Church in the 17th century it was a great sin. But science helped to prove that Galilei was right and the Church was wrong.
2

Yes my opponent is right; science picks up theories and tries to prove them.


 


My opponent asks:


Whats God got to do with that?


I will quote once more from the wedge strategy, a document published by the Discovery Institute, who is promoting Intelligent Design, as it should be taught in US-schools.



To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God

3 [emphasis mine]

The advocates of the ID movement say it quiet clearly:

"The Designer of intelligent design is, ultimately, the Christian God."[8]


4

The video games of neformore might have nothing to do with God, but the ideas of the Intelligent Design movement, the ideas of the guys from the Discovery Institute, who merely recruit from evangelical, conservative groups, have to do very much with God.

If we allow ideas like Intelligent Design come to our classrooms than we could as well promote ideas like “earth is flat and the sun is turning around the earth.”

It would be a step backwards to medieval times. Not the right step in these days, even if science isn’t that perfect as we would like it to be. We are all humans, and the deepest fault in everything usually is the human factor.

I have no doubt, that scientists are working hard to research, trying to explain what is going on in nature, in our universe. I have no doubt that we haven’t yet found all answers.
Scientists are human beings. They love to experiment.
Our kids love to do so, and so do the grown up people, who call themselves scientist.
I also have no doubt that they will create robots. I have no doubt that they will figure out the DNA of bacteria. I have no doubt that they will be able to create simple bacteria based life forms in the future.

This is one reason why the so-called Intelligent Design theory should NOT be taught in school.

Socratic Question to neformore:

SQ1: If ID has nothing to do with God and the bible, why do courts in the USA forbid the teaching of it in classrooms as we found it in trials like Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District?

SQ2: Why do the very courts claim that teaching ID in schools violates the First Amendment of the US Constitution?


 


Again we will take a brief look to the so-called science in the theory of ID.
There are several scientific organizations in the USA, which deny that ID is science at all!


  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the world’s largest scientific organization claims that ID uses the language of science, but not its methods.
  • American Association of University Professors moan that the initiatives of ID violate the freedom of public school teachers
  • American Astronomical Society states that ID is a religious idea
and so on


  • United States National Academy of Sciences

    Creationism, Intelligent Design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science

5

Probably my opponent thinks differently, but I guess scientist should know about their subject!


Socratic Questions by neformore

1. Why does Intelligent Design *have* to be about God?

As I stated above. The ID advocats say it, that is is about God. That God is the creator of life.

2. How would you describe a form of life created using the processes I've outlined above, as being conceived?

Man-made, but a potential source of danger. Since most stuff made by man tends to be dangerous: atom bomb, GMO, cloned animals etc.

3. What part of the theory of evolution does not allow for the concept of Intelligent Design as a starting point?

The whole part?

Actually I would claim the part of natural selection. If you want to design something you don’t have to allow it to select by nature: “Only the strong survives!”
Why needing such a concept if everything is designed?

Socratic Question to neformore:

SQ3: How do you explain extinctions of races like dinosaurs? And please don’t tell me that it might be the plan of a designer!


Yay neformore, almost done!



posted on Feb, 22 2009 @ 05:16 PM
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Answers to Socratic Questions by Orange_Light

SQ1: If ID has nothing to do with God and the bible, why do courts in the USA forbid the teaching of it in classrooms as we found it in trials like Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District?

Because the courts judged on the emotional arguments presented, playing on the separation of church and state, instead of the very real science that is being played out in labs across the world where synthesised life is being created.

SQ2: Why do the very courts claim that teaching ID in schools violates the First Amendment of the US Constitution?

Same answer as given for your first question.

SQ3: How do you explain extinctions of races like dinosaurs? And please don’t tell me that it might be the plan of a designer!

The dinosaurs were - according to common held theory - made extinct when a large asteroid impacted the planet, lowering ambient temperatures to a level that they could not sustain, and paving way for mammals to become dominant. Quite what that has to do with the subject matter we've been discussing is beyond me.

 


Closing statement

My opponent has ignored the concepts I have put forward, mocked and even ridiculed them, but no matter.

As she correctly stated, the topic for this debate is - “Intelligent Design Should Be Taught In Schools.”

She has attempted to pin the whole subject on religion, without actually endeavouring to look into the deeper aspects of the subject.

She asserts that Intelligent Design is to do with creationism, because it suits her argument to mock the concept, by praying on scientific ridicule of religion.

She refers to the Discovery Institute constantly, and their attempts to promote the subject.

In my posts have I spelt out, quite clearly, how we, as human beings are carrying out the Intelligent Design process ourselves.

If this is the case, how can we not teach the concept in science, in schools - regardless of what the Discovery Institute may or may not have as a motive?

Why?

Because what we are dealing with here transcends the "religious" aspect of the subject.

Frankly if we can create artificial life ourselves, then we cannot deny the possibility that we ourselves have been intelligently designed

Furthermore, what you call that designer is simply a matter of personal preference. Be it God, Scientist, passing alien traveller - whatever - the terminology is irrelevant, and the supposed supernatural aspect of the the terminology is also irrelevant.

What I have shown is not supernatural, it is science.

To not be teaching the concept, or idea, is the height of ignorance, because it is nothing to do with the separation of church and state, and the only reason it has been made to be that way is to suit the arguments of either religious people who dislike science, or scientists who dislike religion.

Intelligent Design is, paradoxically, both sides of the argument. To the person creating the life, it is science. To the life that has been created, the scientist is akin to God.

Had the theory of Intelligent Design been presented by a scientist, based on what I've outlined in my posts above, then I believe there is a very real possibility that the arguments over the issue would not be taking place.

I therefore conclude that Intelligent Design should be taught in schools, so that it can be thoroughly researched, discussed and debated as a concept

To close, I will ask you to consider this.

A million years from now, something..no..someone who's base genetic programming was designed by humanity, and who's body is made up of synthesized nano particles that may carry out remarkably similar functions to ours may actually have this very debate. And one side of the argument will be people claiming that we - the human race - their ultimate creator - was "God", and the other side will be claiming that God had nothing to do with it at all.

And yet we know it was all about the science.

Thank you for reading.



posted on Feb, 23 2009 @ 04:20 AM
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Rebutal

My esteemed opponent neformore replied to my Socratic question, why the courts of the USA forbid the teaching of Intelligent Design on behalf of the First Amendment of the US Constitution with:


Because the courts judged on the emotional arguments presented, playing on the separation of church and state, instead of the very real science that is being played out in labs across the world where synthesised life is being created.


Dear neformore, do you really think independent judges like those of the US-courts and especially those of the US Supreme court, who are not really to blame for a very liberal point of view on life, could be fooled by emotional arguments and would judge this way maybe to please society?

As far as I know are American citizens far more conservative than British or German citizens, especial in states like Louisiana (Edwards v. Aguillard) or Pennsylvania (Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District), so the majority of parents might be pleased if the judges would dismiss such cases.

neformore keeps denying that Intelligent Design has anything to do with God, and insists on science projects, which have nothing to do with Intelligent Design at all.
We have to distinguish very, very carefully between real sciences, the possibilities of science and movements, which want to abandon real science from our classrooms like Intelligent Design. The supporters of Intelligent Design classify modern science as materialistic.

And even if neformore doesn’t like it, because it doesn’t suit so well to the clinical scientific picture he tried to draw for us, built up on computer games, movies and ended in science labs, where scholars try to design new life forms.
I am glad that humans research and try to reach beyond the horizon, but this has really nothing to do with Intelligent Design.

Even one of the founders of Intellligent Design Phillip E. Johnson states that Intelligent Design is not science, but about religio:


"This isn't really, and never has been, a debate about science," says the conference's prime mover, law professor Phillip Johnson of the University of California at Berkeley. "It's about religion and philosophy."
Mr. Johnson also insists the real issue in the century-old debate isn't even about the early chapters of Genesis. "I turn instead to John 1," says the astute Presbyterian layman, "where we're told that 'In the beginning was the word.'"

1 [emphasis mine]

Dear opponent, dear readers and dear judges, I guess it is clear now! Who if not the founder of the Intelligent Design movement should know about it!

Intelligent Design is about religion, it is about the bible, and so it is not only about a supernatural, it is about God.


Closing Statement



What did we learn in this wonderful week of debating:


  • Intelligent Design claims to be science, but even its founders state that it is about religion.
  • Intelligent Design is contrary to standard science, contrary to evolution, contrary to mutation, contrary to recombination, and contrary to selection.
  • US-courts forbid teaching Intelligent Design in classrooms due to the First Amendment of the US Constitution
  • Nobel-prize winning scientists support lawsuits against Intelligent Design
  • Seattle based Discovery Institute supports Intelligent Design. The founders and supporters of the Institute are conservative Christians.
  • Primarily goals of Intelligent Design are published in the “Wedge Document”. Those goals got the main target to get more religion into the American culture and political life
  • US-science organizations declare that Intelligent Design is not science at all.
  • First Amendment of the US Constitution and Constitutions of other countries, like Germany sepreate state and church. People are free to believe, free to practice their religion and faith, but this is a private issue.



Thinking of all this and also thinking about the arguments of my opponent, I can only conclude that Intelligent Design should not be taught in schools. Not in American schools, not in british schools, not in German school, in no school of this world!

Parents might teach their children about religion, if they wish so, this is a private issue.
But theories like Intelligent Design don’t belong to the curricula of our schools.
I expect a public school to teach my child proper science, proper math, proper German and English and all other subjects, which are necessary to get a suitable degree from school.

Intelligent Design doesn’t belong to these subjects.
Teaching it at school would catapult us in pre-enlightened times. All the work and all the suffer of scientists like Galileo Galilei and Charles Darwin would have been in vain. And I doubt that scientists like Stephen Hawking would be allowed to teach!

Don’t allow the dark ages of non-science to come back!

 


Thanks again to neformore for this challenging debate. It was really a pleasure to do it with you, I have learnt quiet a bunch of new facts this week.

Thanks again to the readers for following us so far.



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 12:27 PM
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nefermore has won through split decision and will advance to the Second Round. The Judges comments:



The Dumbing Down of Science
Winner: Nefermore

I chose Nefermore as winner due to strict usage of the Socratic style to answer questions by OL.

OL presents a compelling case but fails to connect the final thread for me that 'intelligent design' = 'religion'.

It sounds like everyone agrees that 'religion' has no place in public schools (funded by the taxpayer), but Nefermore presents a believable case that simply presenting 'intelligent design' as a theory (or even hypothesis) it would open the student's mind to a broader exploration of the evidence, ironically through the scientific method.

This was a very compelling debate and both sides were excellent at presenting the arguments. For me it was very close but I hand it to Nefermore because OL never quite made it to proof that ID = religion.
Thank you!




First, can I say, orange-light, you have better mastery of the English language than half of the people who speak it natively.

Also, who picked this topic? Awesome job, both in picking the topic, and the debating done by these fighters. It was truly a pleasure investing time to read this. After reading the debate about the inability to judge impartially, I came into this worried that my decision might be biased, so I am taking every precaution possible to make sure I look at this objectively.
 


Round 1: Opening Statements
10-10 Draw

I have nothing to add. Both fighters kept their intros concise and blunt. Well done.

Round 2: Rebuttals and Support
10-9 orange-light

I almost erased that score and made round 2 another draw, but I think orange-light did argue a bit more effectively. I was a bit confused by neformore’s comparison to creation of AI to ID. It would only apply if the robots had no evidence we existed, and then, from that, used faith to infer that they were created.

Meanwhile, orange-light again kept her argument tight and to the point.

Round 3: Rebuttals and Support
9-9 Draw

Both fighters made great points, but neither has landed the coup de grace… yet.

Neformore’s argument that ID does not necessarily refer to religion was a surprising tactic, and a smart one at that. Meanwhile, orange-light countered with semperfortis-like Socratic Questions and was unrelenting at connecting ID to religion (Christianity).

Round 4: Rebuttals and Support
9-8 orange-light

I started off with a bad taste in my mouth when neformore listed all of sciences short comings, as if that was an excuse to say, “forget all our progress, and let’s just believe anything because science isn’t always correct”.

Round 5: Closing Statements
9-8 orange-light

It was a well fought battle by both fighters, but in the end, I had to go with orange-light. There are two reasons behind this:

1) Orange-light was thorough, on point, and constantly on the offensive.

2) I was not able to be swayed by neformore’s defense that ID is not about religion. The argument was well put together, and just as thorough, but I found orange-light’s argument to be more effective. I just was not convinced by neformore that ID is not a religious movement, especially in light of orange-light’s connection of ID to the Discovery Institute.

I cannot critique either argument much, because they were both well put together and strong. This was a close one for me, but my vote has to go orange-light. Congratulations to both fighters for a great debate that should be used as an example for future debaters as a guideline.
47-44 orange-light




I have to give the win to Neformore. He presented a much better argument and his rebuttals stayed on topic. I felt that Orange Light insisted on trying to keep the debate as more of a "Religion VS Science" debate than the actual concept of "Intelligent Design." Neformore presented some good examples of how the two concepts are not the same, yet Orange Light seemed to side step that to continue with the religious angle.



posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 12:39 PM
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Eeeek! Does that mean I have to do it all again???


I actually thought O_L had this hands down, because her side was much much easier to argue, and I'd like to thank her for a thoroughly entertaining and challenging battle.

Interestingly, during the course of the debate I learned more about the subject than I ever knew before - some of the stuff I've linked to makes for fascinating reading.

Also- a big thank you to the judges for taking the time to read and score



posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 09:22 AM
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yup nef you have to do it all over again



but that also means: all the fun and i will slip back to boreness!

well done honey and congratulations
it was a honor for me to fight you



btw; my son is buying sore soon ;lol:





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