The Instigator
myrrh
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Illegalcombatant
Con (against)
Winning
2 Points

Intelligent Design is the most likely to be true hypothesis for the origin of life.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Illegalcombatant
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/28/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 693 times Debate No: 38229
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

myrrh

Pro

1. DNA is a type of code.
2. Codes have only ever been known to be formed either directly or indirectly from a source of intelligence, ie. people.
3. We have no scientific understanding of how functional DNA can arise by natural means.
4. Therefore it is logical to conclude that an ID explanation for the origin of life is the hypothesis most likely to be true.

Rule: Other arguments concerning Intelligent Design (and not Creationism) may be discussed, but Con's retort must include a counter to my main argument. To enter this debate means to accept this rule.

I welcome anyone who will assume the role of Con.
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Myrrh for instigating this debate.

Before I go into my counter argument I'd like to expand a bit on what we mean by saying something is the result of "intelligent design"

By intelligent design what is the crucial distinction that sets it apart is how an outcome was pre-conceived, that the outcome existed before as a goal in mind so too speak. I maintain by debating intelligent design what we are really debating is intentionality. For the sake of saving space I will now refer to intelligent design as ID.

Pro claims that DNA is "a type of code" and thus we should conclude that is the result of ID. But how did they make this jump from "a type of code" to therefore ID ? Well they did it with the following premises....

"3. We have no scientific understanding of how functional DNA can arise by natural means."
"4. Therefore it is logical to conclude that an ID explanation for the origin of life is the hypothesis most likely to be true.

This is an argument from ignorance. The fact that we are ignorant about something, such as how DNA could happen by natural means and/or happen absent ID does not justify the conclusion that therefore DNA is or more likely to be the product of ID.

Wikipedia explains the logical fallacy of argument from ignorance as such..."Argument from ignorance (Latin: argumentum ad ignorantiam), also known as appeal to ignorance (in which ignorance stands for "lack of evidence to the contrary"), is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false (or vice versa). This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes a third option, which is that there is insufficient investigation and therefore insufficient information to prove the proposition satisfactorily to be either true or false" [1]

Ignorance of how and why things are what they are in nature have being used to justify personal agency the most common being God of the gaps...."The term God-of-the-gaps fallacy can refer to a position that assumes an act of God as the explanation for an unknown phenomenon, which is a variant of an argument from ignorance fallacy.[13][14] Such an argument is sometimes reduced to the following form:

There is a gap in understanding of some aspect of the natural world.
Therefore the cause must be supernatural.

One example of such an argument, which uses God as an explanation of one of the current gaps in biological science, is as follows: "Because current science can't figure out exactly how life started, it must be God who caused life to start." Critics of intelligent design creationism, for example, have accused proponents of using this basic type of argument" [2]

I look forward to Pros reply.

Sources

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
myrrh

Pro

myrrh forfeited this round.
Illegalcombatant

Con

Have you ever noticed when some one says..."I am not a racist,but" chances are the very next thing said by them will be extremely racist ?
Debate Round No. 2
myrrh

Pro

Thank you Illegalcombatant for accepting the role of Con in this debate.

Con"s criticism of my argument is that it is committing the argument from ignorance fallacy. I will explain how this is not the case. To take from the definition Con provided- "It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false (or vice versa)." A well-known example of this kind of argument is: You can"t prove that God doesn"t exist, therefore He does exist. This is obviously illogical reasoning. If the argument I made this fallacy it would be of this general form:
"We do not have evidence proving that DNA"s origins weren"t intelligently designed. Therefore the ID hypothesis must be true."
This is clearly not how my argument was stated.

When Con quoted my argument he left out the 2nd point of my reasoning: "2. Codes have only ever been known to be formed either directly or indirectly from a source of intelligence, ie. people." This is positive evidence for the ID hypothesis. This kind of logic is commonly used by scientists when attempting to explain historical events. Often it is the case that there is more than one story that could possibly explain the occurrence of a past event. However if there is only one known cause that can produce the result in question, then that cause is considered the hypothesis most likely to be true.

For example, let"s say scientists discover a large crater on the ocean floor. They first suspect that the crater was either caused by a volcanic eruption or a meteorite. Upon closer inspection they observe that the crater floor is lower than the surrounding environment, that the crater rim is circular and that there is an ejecta blanket covering the surrounding area. Because the scientists know that this combination of features are caused primarily by meteorite impacts, and are not known to be formed by any other natural phenomenon, they logically assume that a meteor hypothesis is the hypothesis most likely to be true. The reasoning of the ID argument I proposed is analogous to the method of deduction used in this scenario.

I should have mentioned this earlier but the main body of my argument I got from Stephen Meyer"s book "Signature in the Cell".

I am not arguing that the origins of DNA were supernatural.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their reply.

I think it is worth repeating Pros stated premises that appeal to ignorance..........

""3. We have no scientific understanding of how functional DNA can arise by natural means."
"4. Therefore it is logical to conclude that an ID explanation for the origin of life is the hypothesis most likely to be true."

You don't get to justify intelligent design because we lack scientific understanding of something.

Pro tries to make it sound like their case is based upon what we do know, rather than what we don't, where they say...""2. Codes have only ever been known to be formed either directly or indirectly from a source of intelligence"

I suspect that the codes that Pro speaks of here are all human made. So of course they are intelligently designed. But does this fact mean that we can then infer that a "type of code" that is NOT MAN MADE is intelligently designed too ?

I think it would also be helpful if Pro told us what they have in mind when they say something is a "type of code".

I look forward to Pro's reply.
Debate Round No. 3
myrrh

Pro

myrrh forfeited this round.
Illegalcombatant

Con

Illegalcombatant forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
myrrh

Pro

"You don't get to justify intelligent design because we lack scientific understanding of something."

The type of reasoning I am using that you say is incorrect is used often in the historical sciences. Like in the scenario I described, the scientists made their conclusion based on the fact that they did not know of any other natural phenomenon that creates craters with those specific features. If you are to be consistent then you would criticize their deduction that a meteor impact hypothesis is the one most likely to be true. You would say that they cannot justify their hypothesis because they "lack scientific understanding of something"; the "something" being how craters of that type can form via other means.

"I think it would also be helpful if Pro told us what they have in mind when they say something is a "type of code"."

In this instance by code I mean a sequence of physical characters that chemically and/or physically interact with a system to cause it to perform a function. The specific order of the characters is significant, with different sequences producing different results. Also there is a level of abstractness or potential for interchangeability involved. What I mean by this is that, with the case of DNA, it is not physically necessary that the codon CAA signify glutamine. It would be possible for CAA to denote any other of the amino acids if its respective tRNAs were modified. This indicates that the association between the codon and the amino acid is to an extent an abstract one, not one that follows from physical necessity. DNA and computer programming both are of this type of code.
Human and other animal languages are of another type. They convey messages that flow from one intelligent source to another. The code is read, heard, seen, etc., and then the message is consciously interpreted. Such is not the case with DNA or computer programming, as neither cells nor computers are conscious entities. The code, via chemical and/or physical interactions, instead forces the system to respond in a certain way.

"But does this fact mean that we can then infer that a "type of code" that is NOT MAN MADE is intelligently designed too ?"

For reasons that I have already described in detail such an inference would be logical and follows current historical science methodology.

I thank Con for their participation in this debate and again apologize for an irresponsible number of forfeitures. Vote Pro!
Illegalcombatant

Con

I thank Pro for their reply.

At the core of my objection to their argument is that it appeals to ignorance. We don't know how (x)...............therefore intelligent design.

Once again I repeat Pros stated premises...........

"3. We have no scientific understanding of how functional DNA can arise by natural means."
"4. Therefore it is logical to conclude that an ID explanation for the origin of life is the hypothesis most likely to be true.""

As far as I am concerned this should end this line of reasoning. Never the less Pro maintains their argument is justified and uses a crater investigation as an example, and tells us that the line of reasoning is the same in both cases............it isn't. In the crater example the people are forming inferences upon what they do know about craters. When it comes to DNA, Pro is forming their intelligent design inference on what they/we don't know about DNA.

As I pointed out before, all human made things by the very nature of the case are intelligently designed. Pro's argument contains an element that is eerily similar to the more standard arguments for intelligent design, you have probably heard it before it goes something like this........cars, buildings, paintings are complex and intelligently designed a human being/or some aspect of the natural world is complex or even more complex, therefore they are intelligently designed too.

Quite simply Pro has not being able to show that DNA it's self requires intelligent design, Pro just creates the category of "type of code" put's in human made things which of course must be intelligently designed and hopes you transfer the intelligent design characteristic from the man made things to the non man made thing, in this case DNA.

I maintain that Pro has not being able to justify that DNA is more likely to be the result of intelligent design.

Vote Con
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by myrrh 3 years ago
myrrh
wow i really need to keep better track of my deadlines. im sorry :/
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Jakeross6 3 years ago
Jakeross6
myrrhIllegalcombatantTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeit first, but why were there forfeits at all?
Vote Placed by NiqashMotawadi3 3 years ago
NiqashMotawadi3
myrrhIllegalcombatantTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for Con as Pro was the first to forfeit.