The Instigator
rugbypro5
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
incredulous1972
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Does God Exist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
rugbypro5
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/14/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 738 times Debate No: 38863
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

rugbypro5

Pro

Hello everyone, this question of "Does God Exist?" has been of interest to the human race for ages, and I believe it will be for ages to come. Rules are: No rules. Profanity, though it's allowed, is frowned upon and will ruin the professional manner this debate is trying to maintain.

I will be pro, and advancing the belief that there are good reasons why God does exist, while the con will try to cut down my arguments and propose new ones to give reason why there is no God. Also, note that I put this topic in the "Science" category as opposed to "Religion", this is because no religious text or authority is going to be mentioned, only scientific, intellectual, and logical facts and reason. First round is for acceptance. Good luck.
incredulous1972

Con

Pro, I look forward to this debate based on "only scientific, intellectual, and logical facts and reason". I accept your challenge and bid you a good debate. I have but two rules for the sake of civility: No profanity of any kind, and no personal attacks. Good luck to you....
Debate Round No. 1
rugbypro5

Pro

Well to begin, I'd like to propose the teleological argument for the existence of a God. The teleological argument goes like this:
1. Every design has a designer
2. The universe has a highly complex design
3. Therefore, the universe must have a designer

Now there are over 100 constants that if only one were changed, life would not be possible, and each of the 100+ have almost infinitesimally narrow margins to stay in.

First, here on Earth, O2 is an extremely important part of our planet and its ability to sustain life. O2 makes up 21% of our atmosphere, but if it were changed, say 4% more, fires would erupt spontaneously, a little lower amount of O2, and we wouldn't be able to breath, and therefore we would suffocate. And O2 isn't the only anthropic constant, if the levels of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, or ozone were changed, life would not be sustainable here on Earth.

Gravity is also an extremely fragile piece of our universe. Mathematicians have calculated that if the force of gravity was altered by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent (I did not do that randomly, that's 38 digits after the decimal point), then our sun would not have been able to form, thus terminating the chance of our existence.

Going back to the very beginning of the universe, let's talk about the big bang. Physicists have determined that if the strength of that explosion had differed by as little as 10^60 (one part in a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion), the universe would have done one of two things: 1) If it was too weak, it would have collapsed back in on itself. 2) Would have expanded so swiftly that galaxies would not have been able to form. Neither of these instances would have resulted in life.

This list goes on and on, and the really fascinating part is that all of these parameters are independent of each other. Meaning, all of them except one could be fine-tuned for life to exist, but that one that was off would have prevented me from being here to write this, and you from being able to read it.

Paul Davies, one of the leading cosmologists of our time said this in light of all these facts, "I cannot believe that our existence in this universe is a mere quirk of fate... We are truly meant to be here." Please note that this guy does not believe in a personal God.

Back to our planet. Along with the necessity of our certain atmospheric conditions, we also have about a 2 dozen other characteristics of Earth that are necessary for life. We need to be orbited by a large moon compared to our planet size, we need to be orbiting a main sequence, G2 dwarf star, a magnetic field, and we need to be in a certain galactic hospitable zone.

Many scientists have been working hard to come up with theories and alternate explanations to these immensely improbable parameters. One is the mulit-verse theory. This basically says that there could be trillions of other universes out in space that we don't know of. And sure, most of these universes will have life prohibiting factors, but eventually, if there are enough universes, one will have the right mix. This might seem to hold water until you realize that there is no scientific evidence for there being multiple universes. And until there is evidence, it is much more reasonable to believe in a creator. People have also speculated that there could be an infinite amount of universes, but that is mathematically impossible. You see, the greatest minds have looked at infinity and realized you get self-contradictory answers when you use it. For example, what is infinity minus infinity? When this is computed you get self-contradictory answers. This is why infinity can only an idea in your mind, and it can not be anything in the real world.

So, with the infinitesimally small chance of all these requirements be fulfilled by chance, provides solid proof for a Grand Designer.

Sources:
-John Polkinghorne, "Quarks, Chaos, and Chrisitanity" ( New York: Crossroad, 1994), xii
-Chris Mooney, "Are Top Scientist Really So Athiestic? Look at the Data," Discover magazine blog article (April 13, 2010), http://blogs.discovermagazine.com...
- Richard Dawkins, "The Selfish Gene", 30th Anniversary Edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976, 2006), 1
-Carl Sagan, "Cosmos" (New York: A Ballantine Book, Random House, 1980), 179
-"Choosing Your Faith... In a World of Spiritual Options" (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale, 2008), 136-143
incredulous1972

Con

First of all, I have to be honest up-front, PRO: I am deeply disappointed in your deceptive tact for this debate.

(1) Creationism isn't science - it's religion. This is where you're going to tell everyone how ID isn't creationism, in spite of legal precedents saying so (Kitzmiller vs. Dover, 2004, plus at least 6 other federal and state cases since then), clear evidence to the contrary (see the ID websites and read their mission statements, and then tell everyone how they're not religion again), not to mention the history of ID and how it's been around since the 19th century. Almost every single argument made in ID traces its origins back to before Darwin's theory of natural selection and common ancestry, and usually ends up in a word-for-word diatribe taken directly from the Judeo-Christian-Muslim bible (I have yet to find a single Hindu creationist, for example).

(2) You clearly stated that you "put this topic in the "Science" category as opposed to "Religion", this is because no religious text or authority is going to be mentioned, only scientific, intellectual, and logical facts and reason". And then you pulled a "it's design, stupid!"

Case in point regarding the dishonesty of my opponent: He mentioned that Paul Davies "does not believe in a personal god...". Untrue. Paul Davies wrote the following books, and I'll let the titles of the books tell you the truth: "The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World", 1993; "God and the New Physics", 1984; "The FIFTH MIRACLE: The Search for the Origin and Meaning of Life", 2000, and "The Goldilocks Enigma: Why Is the Universe Just Right for Life", 2008. Paul Davies is a full blown creationist, who somehow manages to be a professional physicist/cosmologist and yet write books about biology?! He has drawn the ire of several well known scientists and evolutionists in his unscientific statements and presuppositional logic. Don't take my word for it - look it up yourself!

Anyway, let's continue on this track, then. But do remember, CON - you chose this debate and the direction it's about to take.

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Intelligent design isn't science. It never was. It is clearly a religious concept and makes a mockery of the scientific process. I will show how intelligent design isn't science by the following set of questions:

(1) Does it focus on the natural world?
(2) Does it aim to explain the natural world?
(3) Does it use testable ideas?
(4) Does it rely on evidence?
(5) Does it involve the scientific community?
(6) Does it lead to ongoing research?
(7) Have researchers in this "science" behaved scientifically?

PRO, even ID organizations like the Discovery Institute will openly admit that 1-4 are a resounding "NO". Their wedge strategy paper openly implied that they lacked any kind of peer reviewed science that has made it past the type-writer stage (and yes, I'm talking about the mechanical type here). Every single assertion made by ID, including every aspect of irreducible complexity, has been thoroughly debunked. Irreducible complexity, in particular, was such a running joke in the scientific community because it was graduate students, and not full fledged professors in biology and evolution, that exposed every single argument as the fraud that it was. Some of them earned their PhD's in part because of this work, even!

The next few question would require a bit more research on my part: It took me all of 5 minutes.

#5 - Creationism/Intelligent design is advocated by a whopping 0.04% of scientists and engineers. Just in case someone has trouble with that math, let me restate this as follows: 99.96% of scientists and engineers don't believe in ID.

#6 - There hasn't been any new research since Darwin. Even the nonsense of irreducible complexity goes back to Darwin; One of the first examples (the "irreducible complexity of compound eyes") began life as a creationist quote-mined article where they tried to make Darwin sound like a creationist. You know what I'm talking about, PRO: "To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree." Charles Darwin, Origin of Species. Unfortunately for all of creationism, Darwin then went on for five pages in that very same book, in that very same chapter, explaining how eyes did form naturally. Since then, we've found a single phylum of animals - invertebrea sea slugs - that fully explain the entire spectrum from complete blindness to compound eyes and every evolutionary step in between. And today, on college campuses across the country, they teach students how not to quote-mine using exactly this example. Apparently the Republican party and Sarah Palin never took that class...? I digress.

#7 - My personal favorite question. Pray tell, PRO - how many ID scientists do you know? How many of them are actually experts in the field they choose to write about? How many of them converse with the scientific community and revise their positions when their assertions are found wanting? How many of those can stand up to peer review by graduate students, even? I can tell you the exact number: ZERO.

Not one ID proponent fits the bill. Not one acts responsibly towards their own "science", but instead they all fervently stick their head in the sand and keep "believing" their own junk. Gee, where else does one find that kind of behaviour? O yes - that would be RELIGION.

Look at your own list of sources PRO, listed at the bottom of your "scientific" answer: At least 3 of them are clearly religious texts.

As to your "infitesimally small calculation", rather than just parrot some idiotic calculation that appears to land on a single digit significant figure of "1" in the 38th place after the decimal point (please show the math....if you can), why don't you actually do the calculation? Could it be because it would land squarely at a size much smaller than even the tiniest physical entity by a factor of several trillions, and consequently, even when multiplied by the ~20 billion years that the Universe existed, or the ~12 billion years that our solar system existed, or the ~8 billion years that our planet existed it would still do NOTHING other than shift the position of the moon by less then 1 inch from the current position it enjoys? Are you honestly going to suppose that we are all so intellectually deprived that we would all swing our arms up in the air in a wild and wanton fashion and decry our own existence because entire planets shifted by less than half the length of my middle finger?

I have to laugh when I read diatribes like yours that try to use lousy math (look up significant figures, please) and completely arbitrary, made-up pseudo science that started with a false presupposition written by 3,500 year old desert people, and completely untrue statements like "everything is designed".

Lastly, let me put this entire line of creationist reasoning to bed once and for all. You yourself stated that "everything is designed" (without offereing a single character as to how you arrived at this notion). It LOGICALLY follows then, that if this were true, that you still have to show how

#1 Your creator wasn't designed by another designer (if EVERYTHING is designed, so is the designer, and his designer, and so on).

#2 That your creator is GOD, and not some alien (naturalistic) entity.

#3 How your GOD is a naturalistic force/thing/etc. After all, you supposed to use SCIENTIFIC REASONING in this debate, and not voodoo magic and hokus pokus.

Debate Round No. 2
rugbypro5

Pro

I would like to first talk about the Kitzmiller vs. Dover case. That case was focused largely around the use of creationism in schools, and they voted it down because of "separation of church and state" along with the violation of the Establishment Law. It was simply speaking on whether creationism is permitted to be taught in schools. Now I still believe there's a reason why there are 2 names, ID and creationism. I believe there are two names because they are two different things. ID is a theory that empirically tests nature and concludes that it is most reasonably explained when there is an intelligent designer behind it. Creationism most often starts with a biblical text and then tries to press science into that mold. This is intelligent design I'm talking about.

Next, Paul Davies. I said he does not believe in a personal god, and he doesn't. He believes the universe is most reasonably explained by God, but he doesn't believe the god is personal. That was a very misleading statement.

Let's move on to the questions you provided.

(1) Does it focus on the natural world? - Yes: time, space, matter, energy. If you didn't notice, I only looked at our universe, I looked at the law of gravity (natural world), our atmosphere (natural world), our sun, our moon, magnetic fields, and galactic zones. These are all the "natural world."
(2) Does it aim to explain the natural world? - Yes, it looks to find the most logical and most reasonable way to explain the natural world. And after looking at the evidence, I've found it is most logical to assume that it came about by a designer.
(3) Does it use testable ideas? - Yes, we are testing the idea of ID. Just as other scientists test the idea of a big bang and other things you cannot exactly test in themselves. We create a theory to test because you cannot test the universe per say.
(4) Does it rely on evidence? - Yes, ID uses the evidence from: the universe's characteristics and biological life found on Earth. It definitely uses evidence.
(5) Does it involve the scientific community? - Yes, scientist who propose ID as a theory are scientist too.
(6) Does it lead to ongoing research? - Yes, people can keep researching to try and disprove the theory. If the theory breaks under pressure, then the theory will be thrown out. But it hasn't.
(7) Have researchers in this "science" behaved scientifically? - Yes, ID scientists research and dig deep just like everybody else.

Next you talk about the few scientists that believe in ID. You cite no sources for you statistics, and in my research I have found that a lot more than that believe in at least a god. (http://www.annarbor.com..., http://www.pewforum.org...)

Moving along to your favorite question. I just looked up ID scientists and found a few for you. Michael Behe,Scott Minnich and Wolf-Ekkehard Lanning.

And when I listed my sources, I'd first like to point out that... I listed my sources. Second, The mere fact that they were written by people affiliated with a religion and given a religious sounding title does not exclude them from having any credibility. When I said I wouldn't use religious texts, I'm sorry for not making this clearer, I meant I would not use any text that proclaimed itself true based on a divine authority. (The Bible, the Qua-ran, the Torah, etc.)

Next, quite simply, no. I cannot do the math. I don't know enough about physics and the universe to do so. But neither can you. Do you have any support for saying the moon will only shift an inch?

I did not use sig figs. to show the size more clearly. Many people don't grasp the immensity of 10^38 or the meagerness of 10^-38. Please remind me on why you call this pseudo science and that the calculations, that neither of us can compute, are made up. I am also not quoting anyone that lived 3500 years ago, and you have no evidence for saying everything is not designed. You have falsely made accusations that you yourself cannot stand to. I most definitely gave you reason why there is need for a designer, and you said "You yourself stated that "everything is designed" (without offereing a single character as to how you arrived at this notion)." I didn't say that, even though I do believe it.

Now your questions: 1. There is no need for me to prove my designer wasn't designed. The debate is about the existence of the designer, that's all.
2. The "alien" will have to be outside time, matter, space and energy in order to create all of it, and we call that "alien" God.
3. Science doesn't exclude the supernatural, it only wishes to explain the natural. Therefore, my God doesn't have to be of the natural world. If he was, it wouldn't make sense that he created the natural world.

You have given me no reason to believe that all those specific needs of our real world could have been produced by chance. Please do that.
incredulous1972

Con






Unfortunately for my opponent, he appears to not have researched the "Kitzmiller vs. Dover" trial very well. Please feel free to watch the youtube video provided for your viewing pleasure. I believe it is the complete PBS NOVA special (award winning, no less) on this particular subject. Kitzmiller wasn't about creationism. It was about Intelligent Design. Unfortunately for ID proponents (who apparently conveniently seem to forget their own history), ID was shown beyond the shadow of any doubt to be nothing more than "creationism repackaged". In the words of judge John E. Jones III, who before the trial had been chosen by President Bush (another known creationist) for this job; a judge well-known for his conservative position and his right leanings, not to mentioned favored by the defendants in this case (i.e. the creationists):

"The evidence at trial demonstrates that ID is nothing less than the progeny of creationism." P31

"The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory." P43

"After a searching review of the record and applicable caselaw, we find that while ID arguments may be true, a proposition on which the Court takes no position, ID is not science. We find that ID fails on three different levels, any one of which is sufficient to preclude a determination that ID is science. They are: (1) ID violates the centuries-old ground rules of science by invoking and permitting supernatural causation; (2) the argument of irreducible complexity, central to ID, employs the same flawed and illogical contrived dualism that doomed creation science in the 1980s; and (3) ID's negative attacks on evolution have been refuted by the scientific community. …It is additionally important to note that ID has failed to gain acceptance in the scientific community, it has not generated peer-reviewed publications, nor has it been the subject of testing and research. Expert testimony reveals that since the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, science has been limited to the search for natural causes to explain natural phenomena." (page 64)

His final statement in the conclusion of his ruling:

"Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board's decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources."

Again, as I usually do state: DO NOT TAKE MY WORD FOR IT. READ IT YOURSELF, DO YOUR HOMEWORK: http://ncse.com...

----------------------------

As to your "problem" with understanding simple calculations, I will illustrate the issue for you as thus. What follows is the heart of your statement, quoted from above:

"Gravity is also an extremely fragile piece of our universe. Mathematicians have calculated that if the force of gravity was altered by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000000001 percent (I did not do that randomly, that's 38 digits after the decimal point), then our sun would not have been able to form, thus terminating the chance of our existence."

I am beginning to understand from the statements you made in this round that you appear to not be as versed in science and mathematics as I am. I have completed several courses in upper level mathematics (calculus, differential equations, etc) and physics (engineering level) at a college level many years ago. I suspect that this is not the case for my opponent. I do not fault him for not knowing, but for failing to question the right question when given this drivel in the first place. PRO, here is the problem:

G, the universal gravitational constant, is known to only a few digits accuracy. In fact, the most accurate measurement I could find was 6.67384x10^-11 m^3/(kg x s^2).

You are literally stating that even though the error in such a measurement is someone on the order of 10^-12, you and your "Intelligent Design Calculator" have managed to extrapolate that a difference of 10^-38 is enough to unravel the universe!

This is the equivalent of someone saying that car parts won't fit together correctly if they are misaligned by a thickness of less than 1/1,000,000,000,000th of the width of an atom?!

There are literally 26 decimal points between what you report to be infallible mathematics, and what is the very best known measurement. An atom has a width of approx. 0.1 nm, which is 10^-9 m. Notice how G is also measured in meters? I did. You're still off by an order of 10^26 places, or even more than my example. Is it starting to sink in just how ridiculous your math is?

It's like someone coming up the NIST standards commitee and declaring that all maps are off by thousands of miles because the standard meter, kept in France for almost one hundred years behind protected glass is off by a trillionths of a nanometer. And then when an idiot like myself comes along and asks the obvious question: "HOW DID YOU FIGURE THAT OUT", you, PRO, only reply with a meek "I dunno but you dunno either". Unfortunately, PRO:

I DO KNOW.

I do know that the math is crap. I know that it's made up simply to make people like you believe in Intelligent Design and other pseudo-science. And all I had to do to prove it is look up the known (since Newton, for pete's sake) value of "G" and compare it to your assertion of "38" digits. Total nonsense. I hope you and your crazy ID mathematician never get near my tax preparation software. I would owe the US government $100,000,000 Trillion by your calculation!
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Lastly, look up any 5th grade definition of science. There is nothing about supernatural in science. At all. No superman, no ghosts, no magic forces. And yet, here is what you report:

"1. There is no need for me to prove my designer wasn't designed. The debate is about the existence of the designer, that's all.
2. The "alien" will have to be outside time, matter, space and energy in order to create all of it, and we call that "alien" God.
3. Science doesn't exclude the supernatural, it only wishes to explain the natural. Therefore, my God doesn't have to be of the natural world. If he was, it wouldn't make sense that he created the natural world."

Or in other words: In your worldview science is all about supernatural hokus pokus because you need that in order for your god magic to work. Unfortunately, you did the same thing Kirk Cameron did years ago: Promised not to invoke anything except logic and science, and then at the first sign of trouble retreated into everything OTHER THAN SCIENCE.

Science is about natural forces, physical things, things we can measure. Again - my 3 questions stand.

Thus far, you have utterly failed to stand up to your own presuppositons about this debate. I am deeply disappointed and ashamed to have let myself be pulled into such an infantile debate using nothing more than "magic gods" and "magical math".

Shame on PRO for not being honest upfront. Shame on PRO for not having the decency to check his own sources. Shame on PRO for not using "science and logic" as he promised.

On these grounds - the very rules set out by PRO, you, the reader, should vote for the CON position.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by incredulous1972 3 years ago
incredulous1972
Which one?
Posted by MysticEgg 3 years ago
MysticEgg
Hey there! I'd love to debate you on this topic! (Your profile is apparently off limits for comments).
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by MysticEgg 3 years ago
MysticEgg
rugbypro5incredulous1972Tied
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Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: *Sighs* This fell into shambles. My opinion on this long discussed matter was not changed, although that has nothing to do with Con's "counter-arguments." I would've awarded Pro the conduct for obvious reasons, save the fact that Pro states in round one that it was allowed. (Bad move, Pro D: ). Spelling and grammar were fine. Arguments tied, because Con didn't actually counter and just played semantics (the actual counter would've been to point out that Pro made the assumption that life is worth something or is "special" to the Universe), but I know the flaws with Pro's, so, regrettably, I cannot award Pro the point either. Sources to Pro because he gave more.
Vote Placed by Ameliamk1 3 years ago
Ameliamk1
rugbypro5incredulous1972Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: While both sides were argued reasonably effectively, Con was extremely rude to his opponent, and failed to site any sources for his claims. Additionally, as a high-level math student myself, I doubt the veracity of Con's final round "calculations".