If the Universe is conscious and intentionally created mankind, then evolution is actually I.D.
Debate Rounds (5)
If the universe is sentient and intelligent, and intentionally constructed biological life (which includes mankind), then what is perceived to be evolution should in fact be intelligent design upon closer inspection.
I will be aruging this debate in support of the above claim from the perspective of a pantheist (someone who takes the position that the universe is conscious, intelligent, and is analogous to God). I want this to be a learning experience for both debaters, and for the audience, so I expect both debaters to concede points when no alternative way of reconciling a specific argument seems apparent; however, I do expect my opponent to be creative but logical - and to have a fairly firm understanding of the science involved.
In this debate I will be defining the universe as possessed of a natural rudimentary cosnciousness that arises from the mechanical fabric it consist of (generally regarded as "space-time" and the "quantum field"). God, therefore, will be limited by the mechanical laws of the underlying Field, much in the same way that conscious man, who is matter and fields of force, is still bounded to the laws of physics and chemistry. God is therefore omnipotent only in the sense that he can do what the universe is capable of doing and constructing. (I understand that if I treat God as the universe, then I am ultimately making God subject to an eventual heat death, where he will no longer be capable of constructing complex macromolecules. But this is several billions of years away . . . .)
First round is for acceptance only.
(Please, serious debaters only.)
My purpose in this Round (Round 2) is to demonstrate, using reliable scientific sources and data, authored by various, renown scientists in their fields, that the likelihood of biological life developing spontaneously on our planet would be improbably, statistically, absurdly low. I also want to present published assessments, by scientific experts in their respective fields, that reinforces the increasinly accepted notion that our universe is just right (fine-tuned) for complex biological life.
To demonstrate what I mean, imagine a fully-functional 747 jumbo jet, hundreds of feet long, laying upright on a grassy field somewhere in America, the grass gently being flailed by the wind. But there's a snag: no one knows how the jet got there, who (or what) constructed it. There's no markings on the jet to indicate it was constructed by a specific company (or even by humans), and airplane monitoring equipment doesn't show how it got there, or even a previous flight path. It's just there. Most rational people would assume that something (most definetely intelligent) constructed it, possibly even there on the grass over many years (this particular location hasn't had humans effect it in centuries). Some claim it was probably constructed by human hands, possibly even in another location. Others argue it was constructed by humans at this spot. Others claim it was constructed by intelligent extra-terrestrial life. Yet others propose that it was constructed spontaneously, by purely random natural processes. This last group are a particularly dedicated bunch. They argue that even though, statistically, the chances of the jet being constructed by purely unintelligent natural processes is ludicrously low - it's still possible, so we cannot eliminate this scenario. But others argue that other jets exist, created by human hands belonging to minds with intelligent, intentional thoughts. They argue that it makes far more sense that something intelligent created the mysterious 747 jumbo jet - it couldn't have been constructed by random acts of nature!
I will now use published information, written by scientific experts in their fields, to demonstrate how improbable, how statistically, absurdly unlikely it is for cellular life (the first protocells) to have formed on its own, by nothing more than spontaneous, unintelligent natural processes on Earth's surface 3.85 billion years ago. But first I will show how fine-tuned our universe is for the existence of complex biological life. In the Rounds that follow, I will present arguments to demonstrate not only that the universe is intelligent and conscious, but that it also intentionally created complex biological life to satisfy the existential need for intelligent companionship. Thus, like those investigating the origins of our mysterious 747 jumbo jet above, I will show that the most rational explanation, the most sensible explanation (the explanation most warranted by Occam's razor) on the origins of biological life is that it was constructed by an intelligent lifeform, for an intended outcome. Biological life, like the jumbo jet, was most probably created by an intelligent designer.
(Figure: jumbo jet [left], first protocell [right].)
The Finely-tuned universe (for biological life)
"If the initial explosion of the big bang had differed in strength by as little as 1 part in 10^60, the universe would have either quickly collapsed back on itself, or expanded too rapidly for stars to form. In either case, life would be impossible." from Paul Davies, world renown physicist .
"Calculations indicate that if the strong nuclear force, the force that binds protons and neutrons together in an atom, had been stronger or weaker by as little as 5%, life would be impossible." from cosmologist John Barrow and physicist Frank Tipler .
"Calculations by Brandon Carter show that if gravity had been stronger or weaker by 1 part in 10^40, then...stars like the sun could not exist. This would...make life impossible." from Davies .
"There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life." from Davies .
"The laws of science, as we know them...contain many fundamental numbers, like the size of the electric charge of the electron and the ratio of the masses of the proton and the electron....The remarkable fact is that the values of these numbers seem to have been very finely adjusted to make possible the development of life." from physicist Stephen Hawking .
The improbableness of the first lifeforms
"Almost all investigators in the field concede that the spontaneous manufacture of small molecules - amino acids, nitrogen bases, sugars - is not a major problem...they would have formed [in] primitive earth conditions. Putting these small molecules together into larger units does present a formidable problem, however....This is certainly the the most challenging problem in understanding the origin of life." from Russell Doolittle, Prof. Emeritus of Biochemistry at UC San Diego .
"How likely is it that a population of spontaneously replicating and mutating polynucleotides (single-stranded DNA) would generate an appropriate sequence for the formation of a polypeptide catalyst (enzymes essential to forming coded DNA templates that can produce viable, cell-sustaining proteins)?...let me respond with an anology based on another set of improbable events. How likely is it that a person playing bridge will be dealt a perfect hand of all thirteen spades? The chances of this happening can easily be calculated to be one in 635,013,559,600. Being dealt a perfect hand is obviously very improbable...but of course it [can happen]. from Doolittle .
"Many problems concerning the origin of life remain to be explored." from Doolittle .
     http://www.discovery.org...
   Probability and the Origin of Life. Scientists Confront Creationism.
PURPOSE: My purpose in this debate is to refute my honorable opponent's claim that evolution is intelligent and amounts to what is basically a God similar in many respects to modern religion. The core of his claim is that our world is so seemingly eready-made for life and the chance of life appearing is so phenomenally low that life on Earth had to be created. This argument is not all too difficult to defeat- a lottery win seems unlikely, until you consider all the millions of losers.
My adversary begins with an example of his case-a jet just appearing in the middle of nowhere, naturally come together by wind and erosion. Pro says that the best logical solution is that it was created. On this earth, Jumbo Jets are more or less physically impossible to have come to being simply by these desolate factors. But what about other planets, even other Universes? Out of the trillions and trillions of planets that make up our universe and beyond, don't you think that one of them has just the right conditions to put together a jumbo jet? Odds may still be unlikely, but far less impossible. Because when conditions are just right, even on one small pinpoint of one small land mass of one small planet of one small solar system of one small galaxy, something wonderful and complex can be created just like that.
And here, dear friends, is the crux of my point, so read carefully. The chance of life, even one tiny single-celled organism, being spontaneously created is so incredibly small that our minds cannot comprehend them; but there are so many planets out there, that our minds cannot even begin to comprehend them. 100-200 billion just in our own small galaxy, out of millions of others. (1) Don't you think that out of the incomprehensible number of planets in the universe, that at some point in history, at least one would have the perfect conditions to yield life? When you compare the two, I think you'll find that life being spontaneously created is not only possible, it's likely.
My honorable opponent says "In the Rounds that follow, I will present arguments to demonstrate not only that the universe is intelligent and conscious, but that it also intentionally created complex biological life to satisfy the existential need for intelligent companionship." So, readers, what my opponent has to prove is the following: the natural, proven processes of the universe came together, gravity binding us in perfect array to the sun, climate coming together, asteroids hitting the earth in just the right places, and the atmosphere intentionally being put perfectly together just so, over the course of billions of years, the intelligent human life form we are today could come into existence. All done intentionally. And just to top it off, this intelligent form decided to leave the trillions and trillions of other planets in the Universe barren and uninhabitable, and decided to put a black hole in the middle of our galaxy, and created atoms to only make up 4% of the Universe, just for us? (2) I don't think so, reader, and neither should you.
THE IMPROBABILITY OF THE FIRST LIFEFORMS?
My opponent cites several quotes for this argument, not seeming to realize that quotes are not automatically correct. He wishes to prove his earlier case, which I rebutted in the introduction. However, not only is life being spontaneously created possible, but it has been partially successfully done, in the Miller-Urey experiment. Recreating the conditions of Earth billions of years ago, scientists Stanley Miller and Harold Urey created, out of nothing, amino acids, a macromolecule, one of four required to make a living thing. (3)
Of course, that is not my opponent's argument. His rebuttal is that the processes of the Universe intentionally created our Earth and us. If that is what he honestly thinks, then I have some questions for him.
1. How do you know these forces are intelligent? Because life is too complex for them not to be? Then why did they make a sun which would eventually explode and kill us all? Or a black hole in the center of the galaxy which may eventually swallow us?
2. What are the physical dimensions of these beings? If they are just processes, then what gives them their intelligence? Is there a master brain somewhere? Can you prove it?
3. Do these beings want good for humanity and for the Earth, and can you prove either way?
I think you will find, readers, that my opponent can not answer, and much less support, claims about his own theory.
In conclusion, this debate boils down to one point, which I believe I have already clearly taken: while life is incredibly improbable to have been created spontaneously, the chances of one of the almost infinite number of planets in the Universe having just the right conditions to create intelligent life is the opposite, probable. Look at this way-your chance of winning a lottery with 1 billion entries is impossibly low, but someone will win, and everyone else loses. Just because you beat a billion to one odds does not mean the competition was rigged for you to win, it means everyone else lost.
Thank you, honorable opponent, for the opportunity to debate this, and I look forward to your next entry.
First I want to thank my opponent for his wonderful response.
On the probability of lifeforms, my opponent only states this:
"Not only is life being spontaneously created possible, but it has been partially successfully done in the Miller-Urey experiment. Recreating the conditions of Earth billions of years ago, scientists Stanley Miller and Harold Urey created amino acids...and molecule(s)...required to make a living thing." Yes. Their experiment and others showed that small essential molecules could have been created in primitive Earth conditions, using the material that was available at the time . However, their experiment has raised some questions because it is now believed that molecular ingredients introduced in the experiment were not as abundant as they indicated; secondly, the experiment required incredible amounts of electrical energy (lightning), which most scientists now agree was not supplied at the frequency that the Miller-Urey experiment required .
Nevertheless, as Prof. Emeritus Russell Doolittle of Biochemistry at UC San Diego points out, "Almost all investigators in the field concede that the spontaneous manufacture of small molecules - amino acids, nitrogen bases, sugars - is not a major problem...they would have formed in primitive earth conditions. Putting these small molecules together into larger units does present a formidable problem, however....This is certainly the the most challenging problem in understanding [life's origins] ". The small molecules necessary for life would have been easily created in primitive conditions; it's the larger biomacromolecules essential to DNA replication and protein construction that present a significant problem, as was shown in ROUND 2. Their creation in the first protocell(s) would have required hundreds of billions (if not trillions) of failed attempts just to get it right. Additionally, what I failed to post in ROUND 2 was that, not only do these amino acids have to fall in the right sequence to constitute a viable protein (which Doolittle's analogy showed to be "very improbable") but the first protocell(s) would have required the spontaneous creation of several hundreds of catalyst and proteins to read the polynucleotide template and to produce adequate concentrations of other proteins to sustain the cell and provide it with reproductive capacties. Doolittle's analogy now gets muliplied at the very least several hundred times over, all in the space of a few micrometers (the size of a cell). Furthermore Doolittle states this isn't counting more improbable odds that deal with "bioenergectics and the membrane encapusulation of systems" within the first cell(s) . But Doolittle remains a believer.
My opponent almost completely ignores the fine-tuning argument of the universe, mentioning it only once by referring to the possibility of other "universes", many of which apparently will not have the right conditions for biological life or even stars like our sun. Nevermind that most scientists now agree that our universe occupies a very narrow place, by having just the right conditions for life, where matter can congregate to form stars and planets, where the liquid medium of water is possible, and where molecular chemistry exist because the proton and electron are unique stable particles. My opponent obviously believes in universes without biological life - absent of consciousness!
I do not!
The reason I do not is because I believe consciousness is a fundamental property of any universe - just as fundamental as energy and space! Even more, not only do I believe that our universe is possessed of an all-pervading consciousness, but I believe its consciousness is so developed, so intricate and so possessed of tangible memories that it can be categorized as "super-intelligent".
The Sentient Universe
Often what humans overlook is that we are perfect examples of mind over matter. Our brains incase a conscious mind that can exert force over our bodies. At will we can manipulate our hands to effect the world around us. We can move our bodies wherever we please and do with them whatever we want, limited only by what is physically permitted, which is governed by the laws of physics and chemistry. We are little universes unto ourselves, interacting with the larger, external universe.
But what are we? We are matter interacting with a mechanical Field - a Field that gives rise to the forces of gravity, of electricity, of magnetism, and of the nuclear forces. We are the field - or more specifically, the forces - interacting with particulates of matter! Yet we are conscious.
We are aware. We are aware of the going-ons in our environment. When photons of light strike the retina at the back of our eye, it sends an electronic message to the brain, which provides but a few pixels to a larger image. When something touches our skin, or when the temperature noticeably shifts, a chemical signal is sent to our brain (an electronic signal really) which provides us with information about our environment, so that we can interact with it and take action if needed.
These messages which make us "aware" are associated with changes to the electronic (electric) force or with alterations to the underlying mechanical field.
What then is consciousness? Awareness provided through interaction with the environment. What then is interaction? The engagement of matter with physical forces.
The interaction of matter with forces is accompanied with awareness - or consciousness.
The two phenomena (forces and consciousness) always accompany each other. To be aware of something is to have that object exert a force on you. Implication: The magnitude of one should be proprotional to (some aspect) of the magnitude of the other, at any point in the universe. Additionally (and significantly) a conscious entity is the mechanical field adjusting to movement of matter.
 "Probability and the Origin of Life."
Also, I would request my opponent answer the three questions I posed to him in round two.
Beginning now, I immediately take issue with my opponent's first statement entering his argument. He says, "On the probability of lifeforms, my opponent only states this." My opponent then goes on to quote my section on the Miller-Urey experiment. Indeed, my entire round two argument was centered on the probability of lifeforms, stating that probability was high given the number of planets there are...a point I think you will agree my opponent did not address. It was my impression that my opponent's argument was not that it is impossible under perfect conditions for life to be spontaneously created, but instead that it was so unlikely that life had to have been intentionally created-an argument I statistically rebuked in round 2.
THE FINE TUNED UNIVERSE
My opponent claims, somewhat correctly, that I did not respond to the "fact" that our Universe is fine-tuned, somehow implicating a creator. Like my uninhabitable planet argument, the same applies to our Universe:
The Multiple Universes theory is interesting, and also well-supported. It was first theorized when a group of scientists were testing radiation in the wake of the Big Bang, which should be spread evenly throughout the Universe...but it wasn't. They picked up faint traces from different areas, indicating other sources of radiation. Other Universes. (1) The discovery on New Science Magazine says "There could be countless other Universes;billions of them." Now, out of such an incredible number of Universes, likely all with separate molecular mechanics and forces, why is it so hard to believe just one would out of billions would be stable enough to support life, and have one out of trillions of planets capable of creating life. Once again, it is not only possible, but probable that life would be created in at least one area. It in no way indicates a sentient creator.
A SENTIENT UNIVERSE
This is where our debate gets weird. My opponent claims that consciousness is as fundamental to a universe as energy and space, which is ironic, as neither is fundamental. It could be argued nothing is.
Lets start by defining consciousness:
Consciousness (N.) The state of being awake and aware of one's surroundings. (3)
Now, my adversary's entire premise of this debate is that the Universe itself is a sentient being. This is all too easily defeated by one simple fact: Sentiality requires variability. It requires change. What makes us living is our ability to vary in our action, interpretation, thoughts, emotion, and just about every other possible factor. But the Universe does not. Gravity does not suddenly suspend itself, much less to a living thing's benefit. Magnetism doesn't turn off or on. Every mechanic of our Universe stays the same. If the Universe was sentient, it would change. That is why the Universe cannot be conscious, sentient, or living. My opponent admits it himself, defining consciousness as "awareness provided through interaction with the environment." The universe is not conscious because it does not interact, it just is, like any inanimate object.
Now having completed the argument within the debate parameters, let's discuss.
The interesting thing about living things, especially humans, is that we seem special, endowed, when in cold reality, we are truly just machines. Every part of us is natural, and conforms to the mechanics of the Universe. Our emotions are simply chemicals from far-off supernovas exploding. The skin on our body is just a combination of molecules evolved from a common ancestor. Our brain is the same. There is nothing "special" or "created" about us. We are simply creatures evolved for the best chance of reproduction and survival of the species. There are no "changes" to the underlying mechanical field of the Universe in that we exist. We are subject, and created, by the forever steady, unchanging forces of the Universe.
Now, here my opponent seems to be slightly confused, comparing force and consciousness. He says, "To be aware of something is to have that object exert a force on you". A lamp is not aware of anything, and yet everything in the Universe and beyond exerts a force on it. The Universe and it's electrical, mechanical, and meta-physichal forces do not change for us, because we are "living".
In conclusion of this section, I would like my opponent to attempt to counter this: there is no part of our body, or any function of it, that is not simply the part of a crudely formed machine, just like every body in the Universe and beyond.
The statistical arguments for the likelihood of at least one spontaneous generation of life still stands, and the Universe is not sentient because it doesn't change or react. I look forward to my opponent's next argument. Good luck, Sir!
(1) (2) http://www.express.co.uk...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ObiWan 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Shame Pro forfeited, although Con was able to refute the majority of the argument put forward I was really enjoying reading the debate.
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