The Instigator
Jellon
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Envisage
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Intelligent design is a rational explanation for the origin of species

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/1/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,582 times Debate No: 60658
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (2)

 

Jellon

Pro

Intelligent design (ID) is the belief that life on earth arose from an intelligent source as opposed to natural causes (abiogenesis). As many confuse ID with Young Earth Creationism (YEC), I will explicitly state that ID includes but is not limited to YEC.

The BoP for Pro (myself) is to show that there are rational reasons to believe that life on earth was designed by an intelligent source using principles or methods that may be applied outside the scope of the origins of life.

The BoP for Con is to show that arguments in favor of ID are irrational and that abiogenesis is the most plausible explanation to the origins of life on earth.

For this debate, we shall define rational as "based on or in accordance with reason or logic."
Envisage

Con

I accept, good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
Jellon

Pro

Dean Kenyon is a prime example of how reasonable intelligent design is. Kenyon received a BS in physics from the University of Chicago in 1961 and a Ph.D. in biophysics from Stanford University in 1965. In 1965-1966 he was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemical Biodynamics at the University of California, Berkeley, a Research Associate at Ames Research Center. In 1966, he started as an Assistant Professor of Biology at San Francisco State University.
In 1968 he co-authored Biochemical Predestination where he and his colleagues argued that there were natural processes that lead to chemical evolution and ultimately to the creation of the first living cell. According to himself, he was a full fledged neodarwinist at the time [1]. In his own words,
"Then in 1976, a student gave me a book by A.E. Wilder-Smith, The Creation of Life: A Cybernetic Approach to Evolution. Many pages of that book deal with arguments against Biochemical Predestination, and I found myself hard-pressed to come up with a counter-rebuttal. Eventually, several other books and articles by neo-creationists came to my attention. I read some of Henry Morris' books, in particular, The Genesis Flood. I'm not a geologist, and I don't agree with everything in that book, but what stood out was that here was a scientific statement giving a very different view of earth history. Though the book doesn't deal with the subject of the origin of life per se, it had the effect of suggesting that it is possible to have a rational alternative explanation of the past."[2]
So here is an example of a very well educated man who literally wrote the text book on abiogenesis who was convinced by reason and logic that his beliefs in abiogenesis were misplaced. There are others who have also changed their belief to ID based on reason, but Kenyon is simply a prime example.

If Kenyon and other highly educated and rational people can be convinced by reason that the first life likely came from an intelligent source, than there must be rational arguments that changed their mind. I intend to present as much of this evidence as I can in the extremely limited space provided by this debate structure.

I would like to point out that the term abiogenesis were used in 1870 to describe life arising from non-life on scientific grounds. The study of abiogenesis is more than 140 years old. The modern state of the study is dis-unified, because there has yet to be a model proposed which is logical enough to gain acceptance by the scientific community at large. This is glossed over by an article written by Berkeley which states life most likely arose from deep sea vents [3]. This is favored because UV light from the sun is able to destroy chemicals as they are trying to form. The Miller-Urey experiment was forced to provide a heat source without UV rays because of this very fact [4].
But some chemists notice that the chemical reactions required to produce the organic chemicals for life require an easily reversible condensation (dehydration) reaction. In the presence of water and energy, peptide bonds are more likely to break than they are to form [5]. That leads some modern chemists to believe that, in spite of sunlight, life originated on the beach [6] or surface of the ocean but not in the ocean depths as some have suggested [7]. There is also the hypothesis that life originated in clay, because clay can absorb the water produced by the aforementioned dehydration reaction [7]. Because life arising on earth is so incredibly difficult to speculate, some have come up with the theory of panspermia which states that life arose rarely in the universe and has been spread among planets by bacteria on meteorites [8][9].
Notice that all of the given hypotheses, with the exception of panspermia, focus only on the formation of polypeptides which is only a smal part in chemical evolution. These have not addressed the hypercycle, protobiont, or bacteria phases of chemical evolution [10].
The point is that we've studied abiogenesis for more than 140 years and failed to produce a scenario under which life could arise so plausible it gains consensus. That is not to say that one does not exist. That is to say that one must have faith in future discoveries of science to say that life actually did arise by natural causes. Abiogenesis has not been shown to even be a possibility within the last 140+ years of research. This fact shows belief in abiogenesis to require no small amount of faith, but I have only scratched the surface of reasons why abiogenesis isn't proven to be within the scope of possibility.

As I transition into the topic of ID, I must give an introduction, because there is a lot of common misconception and prejudice against it. ID is not the same as Creationism and certainly not the same as Young Earth Creationism as is the popular opinion [11]. It doesn't help that the most active proponents of ID in the public arena are Young Earth Creationists. In fact, there is a branch of ID that embraces the Theory of Evolution [12], but heavily leans on ID as evidence for a creator. They agree with the Discovery Institute that ID makes falsifiable claims that can be shown true when tested [13]. The Discovery Institute is dedicated to ID and is lead by a secular board containing members of various faiths as well as agnostics [14][15].
So how would we identify sources of intelligence? To consult a source which is unbias on the subject of ID, we can look to the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project [16]. According to SETI, what they do first is determine what normally occurs in nature and then search for exceptions to that. The "WOW" signal is one such exception that was observed, but because nothing like it was ever seen again, it was discarded as unlikely to be of extraterrestrial origin. The same is true of many disciplines. For example, an archaeologist uses the same logic to differentiate between naturally occurring discoveries and man-made discoveries. If a stone carved in the shape of an animal is found, it is instantly considered to be man-made. It is not considered a possibility that it occurred by chance in nature. The way we identify intelligence has to do with semiotics. When we identify an object that appears to have meaningful symbology, we assume it came from an intelligent source. Pictures drawn on the wall of a cave (even if not distinguishable language) are another example of meaningful information identified as coming from an intelligent source. If we then look at even the most simplistic form of life considered to be extinct, we would still find volumes of chemical information required to produce a living organism. The search for naturalistic sources for such information have failed, which leads us to the natural conclusion that it arose from intelligence. Admittedly, both cases require an element of faith to believe, but ID is based on a common scientific method of identifying intelligence, and abiogenesis is based on faith that science will one day contain a plausible naturalistic solution. I will furthermore point out that possibility does not imply actuality. What I mean is, even if life could have arisen by natural causes, that does not mean that it did.
So far, the argument I have given for identifying intelligence in DNA has been so cursory it is easy to dismiss. So I will further expound upon it. One observation made by biologists is that there are a multitude of genetic constructs which are considered to be irreducibly complex. That means that the encoding for such a genetic construct must be complete and in perfect order for the organism to benefit. A classic example of this is the flagellar motor found on every modern bacteria and is the means by which they move from one place to another. The flagellar motor is composed of 30 specifically ordered proteins and is capable of 100,000 rotations per minute. If even one protein is missing or out of place, it doesn't work (tested in a lab). There is no known natural cause for such a motor to be constructed. Without ID, it must be taken on blind faith that it arose by chance via mutation. Again, we use the same principles of identifying intelligence to conclude that this was invented by intelligence, not random chance. I will have to expound further when I have more space to do so. A more complete argument for this may be found published by the Discovery Institude [17]. Notably, this sources lists several others who renounced abiogenesis in favor of ID, including Anthony Flew who is considered to be the Richard Dawkins of his time.

Looking forward to your rebuttal and defense of abiogenesis. Good luck. Let me know if one of my links is broken. It seems to go to home pages a lot instead of the full link when I give them.

1) http://www.evolutionnews.org...
2) p. 7 of: Kenyon, Dean, and Pearcey, Nancy (1989). "Up From Materialism: An Interview with Dean Kenyon." Bible-Science Newsletter, 27(9), 6-9. September 1989.
3) http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
4) http://www.livescience.com... (see #4 Chilly Start)
5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
7) http://www.sciencedaily.com...
8) http://www.panspermia-theory.com...
9) http://www.nature.com...
10) http://www.talkorigins.org...
11) http://rationalwiki.org...
12) http://biologos.org...
13) http://www.discovery.org...
14) http://www.discovery.org...
15) http://www.discovery.org...
16) http://www.seti.org...
17) http://www.discovery.org...
Envisage

Con

  1. I. What was intelligently designed?

We have two independent and leading scientific fields that look into the origin of all of today’s species, we have evolution which deals with the diversification of current life, and abiogenesis which deals with the origin of the very first lifeforms by which evolution can occur. That is the naturalistic position.

Pro appears to be advocating for Evolution but pushes Intelligent Design for the very first life-form. However that sets an ambiguous ‘goal-post’, for we do not have a strict definition of exactly what constitutes a lifeform. It isn’t black and white exactly what could classify as life:[1]

  1. 1. Reproduces
  2. 2. Metabolizes
  3. 3. Growth
  4. 4. Homeostasis

There are numerous other traits that would be regarded as living or dead, by far the most important feature of life is the ability to reproduce, and indeed reproduction is the central requirement for evolution to take place. Ubiquitous features such as protein synthesis, signalling pathways, protein structures, enzymes, lipid synthesis or the citric acid cycle are not strictly needed for a system that just reproduces.

As such, life very conceivably would have originated without many, or virtually all of the functions that even the simplest of cells have today and been quite viable to evolve into the diverse array of life we have today. The principle requirement for evolution via. natural selection is some mechanism by which replication with adaption can occur, and it is this type of system I will be supporting the naturalistic generation of in this round.[2]

  1. II. Life is driven to form

First, make an assumption that life never formed on Earth, what would the environment have been like? Especially considering the early Earth. The atmosphere was thick in cyanides, methane, carbon dioxide etc etc.[13] and bathed in concentrated UV and visible light these are all energy-dense, low entropy states, and hence under ‘thermodynamic stress’, it is favourable for the system to move to a higher-entropy state, for a UV light beam to be reemitted as multiple infrared light beams for example. This is essentially the driving force for every process that occurs in the universe, the entropy must overall tend to increase and hence states to achieve this are naturally explored as reported.[3-5]

Given this, the Earth without life is under significant ‘thermodynamic stress’, and this is exactly where life comes in. Life is very good at ‘relieving’ this thermodynamic stress, it is hence thermodynamically driven. Much like the pressure exerted by a lake behind a hydroelectric dam is a ‘system that wants to tend towards equilibrium’, such is the state of the chemistry and energy on Earth. Anything that provides a pathway for a system to run down to equilibrium will be rapidly exploited and utilized by the system, which in the dam example could be a crack within the walls of the dam, and on Earth a new pathway for these molecules and photons to reach higher entropic states.[6]

There are several types of chemical reactions in chemistry, and one of the most potent types of chemical reaction are of the catalytic type, which allows a small portion of catalytic compound to convert a much larger portion of low-entropy reagents to high-entropy products, and these are abundant. The more catalyst, the faster the chemical reactions will take place, generally.[7]


Life is a special case of this, where the product IS the catalyst, and as such becomes auto-catalytic. It’s a self-feeding and self-sustaining cycle, limited primarily by the availability of the reservoir of chemicals that it feeds off. To return to my dam analogy, if we imagine a crack in the dam is an example of a catalytic reaction, where a small hole will let through a large quantity of water. However this hole is easily plugged by debris etc, and larger holes will eventually be plugged too if the resivoir is large enough. However if the hole that allows the water through constantly spawns new holes for ever unit of water it allows through, then the equilibration will continue to accelerate at an exponential rate, and will be capable of overcoming negative-effects such as debris. [8]

In the case of life and catalysis, the chemical reaction eventually slows and halts as the catalyst itself degenerates and degrades, but with a system that constantly spawns new catalyst on every cycle, then the process becomes very sustainable. That is essentially the requirement for life to exist, for a self-sustaining auto-catalytic process that is persistent and adaptive, such a system would be a basis from which evolution would inevitably occur, and is thermodynamically driven process.

There are a number of hypothesis which could explain the origin of life, plus vast timescales (several billion years) as well we a vast number of planets that such chemistry is possible on, as well as a vast number of independent environments on Earth with a range of different possible chemistry. Pro alluded to some such environments in his first round, the Urey Miller experiment for example found that organic molecules (mostly amino acids) naturally form in the atmosphere of the early Earth, hydrothermal vents themselves have a large range of chemistry as well as surface conditions. There are a vast number of environments to be explored, and they need not be isolated environments either, for what forms in the atmosphere for example is very likely to concentrate elsewhere.

Several branches of abiotic hypothesis exist which can very potentially fulfil the conditions I have set out for life to occur, the most popular hypothesis of these is the RNA world hypothesis, but other potent solutions such as metabolism-first, and the lipid world hypothesis have their own fields of research with various positive results.[10]

Even these however need not be the start-point, for RNA could very plausibly have come from an even simpler ‘ancestor’ molecule, with RNA itself being a later evolution (as DNA would have been to RNA). To make preclusions on abiogenesis given this is just absurd. Self-reproducing ribozymes that are less than 200 base pairs in length are known to exist, systems much, much simpler than the simplest of living cells we have today.[9]

  1. III. Intelligent Design

I am struggling to find Pro’s positive arguments for intelligent design, which seems to be characteristic of most ID arguments.[11] Pro makes the argument that living organisms contain information that requires a sentient explanation, and that a natural explanation does not exist. However pro has left ‘information’ conveniently undefined in his arguments, which is bizarre given that the very definition ‘information’ is critical to the coherency of his argument.

Given information theory, EVERYTHING contains information, whether it be a human, a pile of mud or a snowflake. Specific information that tells about how it was formed, what it was formed from, its temperature etc. Moreover the state of maximal information is actual complete randomness, and the information in a system will increase as entropy increases, as such Pro’s assertions that natural processes don’t create information are just hogwash.[12]

If Pro is advocating for the DNA code, then he has already conceded this argument given he has already advocated for evolution, which by natural processes such as random mutations do generate raw genetic material which itself would be information. Moreover useless sequences would tend to become more useful with iterations of natural selection and further mutations, and hence become more ‘meaningful’. So on either front Pro’s argument is quite frankly just false.

Pro makes the argument for irreducible complexity, which again is an anti-evolution argument and has very little to do with the origin of life (which Pro made me argue for in abiogenesis) for which Pro commits the argument ad ignorantum fallacy by only appealing to ignorance of natural explanations in order to push his thesis of sentient origins. Pro actually needs to demonstrate there objectively is not a natural explanation, rather than there just *currently is* not a natural explanation, and moreover needs to rule out every other non-sentient explanation in order to support his thesis.

  1. IV. Problem of using negative arguments:

Most of Pro’s arguments for ID, as well as SETI are inherently arguments from ignorance, since they generally all depend on the ‘impossibility of the contrary’ types of arguments. The formal presentation of such is as follows:


P1) Life is either arose purely naturally, or designed intelligently
P2) Not purely naturally
C) Life was designed intelligently


This might seem fair, if we accept that #1 is a true dichotomy then we are left with P2, to which Pro simply can never prove given the level of ignorance we have in the field of abiotic chemistry. Considering that life only needs to originate once, and given the enormous opportunity it has to do so (the number of planets, timescales as well as number of environments on each planet) it’s quite frankly absurd to claim to know whether or not P2 is true.

Moreover an even bigger problem that it concedes that life could have existed before life did on Earth. In which case it self-refutes the notion that all life must be intelligently designed by virtue it is life.

  1. V. References
  2. 1. http://plato.stanford.edu...
  3. 2. http://evolution.berkeley.edu...
  4. 3. http://www.englandlab.com...
  5. 4. http://arxiv.org...
  6. 5. http://www.earth-syst-dynam.net...
  7. 6. http://en.wikipedia.org...
  8. 7. http://en.wikipedia.org...
  9. 8. http://www.mdpi.com...
  10. 9. http://www.pnas.org...
  11. 10. http://en.wikipedia.org...
  12. 11. http://nihrecord.nih.gov...
  13. 12. http://www.cmi.caltech.edu...
  14. 13. http://link.springer.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Jellon

Pro

Thank you for providing such an excellent response. You fairly pointed out a lack of definitions which I previously took for granted. Most of this response will be to clarify my opening arguments. To save space, I will not reference definitions quoted from Wikipedia. They are implied.

Abiogenesis - the original evolution of life or living organisms from inorganic or inanimate substances.
In this case, I will define life as the first viable cell. In the theory of evolution, the first viable cell would be the common ancestor of all taxa. To be explicitly clear, it is understood that the simplest cells observed in nature today are not considered to be that common ancestor.

Intelligence - the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.

Plausible - a likely reality given the available information.

Information - what is conveyed or represented by a particular arrangement or sequence of things

Although Con claims my argument breaks down in the absence of definition of information, the word only appeared three times in my opening argument, and only in two contexts. The first time I used the adjective "meaningful". In a naturalistic sense, nothing has meaning. Meaning is always given by an intelligent source. For example, the letters I am using to write this very argument have meaning, and so do the words. Someone who has no exposure to English or the English alphabet would not understand the meaning given to it by those who communicate using English. In my second use of the word information, I used the adjective "chemical" and further expounded, saying "chemical information required to produce a living organism." I have trouble seeing how Con requires a definition to the word information in either of these cases, but I hope this paragraph has been satisfactory.

Con falsely asserts that I, Pro, advocate for evolution. I would like to point out that Pro recognizes the difference between abiogenesis and evolution.
"Pro appears to be advocating for Evolution but pushes Intelligent Design for the very first life-form."
"If Pro is advocating for the DNA code, then he has already conceded this argument given he has already advocated for evolution..."
My statement was, "In fact, there is a branch of ID that embraces the Theory of Evolution [12]..." That is not to say that I am part of that group. It is to say that ID and macro-evolution are not mutually exclusive. The explicitly stated reason for my statement was to show that ID and macro-evolution are not mutually exclusive, which is a pre-conception many readers may have.

I would like to remind Con that, "The BoP for Pro (myself) is to show that there are rational reasons to believe that life on earth was designed by an intelligent source using principles or methods that may be applied outside the scope of the origins of life."
Con seem to believe that the BoP for Pro (myself) is to show that ID is more likely than abiogenesis. You can see this in his formal logic section:
"P1) Life is either arose purely naturally, or designed intelligently
P2) Not purely naturally
C) Life was designed intelligently"
It is clear from the quote above that the BoP for myself is not to show ID to clearly be the answer to the origins of life. My only BoP is to show that it is a reasonable stance to take. That is to say, that a well informed, rational, sane individual may conclude that life originated from an intelligence source based on observations independent of bias from religious or philosophical position.

Continuing on that thought, I alluded to a list of individuals who meet those qualifications and reached those conclusions. Due to length constraints, I did not provide detailed accounts for more than one of those individuals, an argument which Con completely ignored in his first rebuttal.

Also, "The BoP for Con is to show that arguments in favor of ID are irrational." Con attempted to meet this burden using formal logic.
"P1) Life is either arose purely naturally, or designed intelligently
P2) Not purely naturally
C) Life was designed intelligently"
Con then showed P2 to be an assumption. I would like to point out the double standard Con uses to support abiogenesis.
Additionally, "The BoP for Con is to show ... that abiogenesis is the most plausible explanation to the origins of life on earth." Con must use a similar formulation to reach the conclusion that abiogenesis is the most plausible solution.
P1) Life is either arose purely naturally, or designed intelligently
P2) It is possible life arose purely naturally
P3 ) A purely natural solution is more rational than designed intelligently via Occam's Razor
C) Life arose purely naturally

-----
To address these one at a time:
P1) Life is either arose purely naturally, or designed intelligently
We agree, this is an axiomatic statement which logically stands by itself.
P2) It is possible life arose purely naturally
This will be a long rebuttal. Con presented common theory that is the driving force behind the many theories of abiogenesis I stated in my opening arguments. Although I did not lend much space to it, I did mention, as I quoted from talkorigins, that there are several stages in the theory of chemical evolution that led to the creation of the first common ancestor which was also a cell.

What Con presented is mostly hypothetical. Con's presentation only addressed up to the replicating polymers stage of abiogenesis [1]. He likely ends the theory here, because the rest is still being worked out today. To quote the pro-evolution website, talkorigins:
[4]
"At the moment, since we have no idea how probable life is, it's virtually impossible to assign any meaningful probabilities to any of the steps to life except the first two (monomers to polymers p=1.0, formation of catalytic polymers p=1.0). For the replicating polymers to hypercycle transition, the probability may well be 1.0 if Kauffman is right about catalytic closure and his phase transition models, but this requires real chemistry and more detailed modelling to confirm. For the hypercycle->protobiont transition, the probability here is dependent on theoretical concepts still being developed, and is unknown. [1]"

I assert that modern chemistry does not provide a model by which to assert abiogenesis as possible, let alone probable.

P3 ) A purely natural solution is more rational than designed intelligently
To assert this statement, Con must also assert a bias which he has not yet supported. Ironically, the evidence used to support this argument is a negative argument which Con explicitly claims are weak.

C) Life arose purely naturally
Given that neither P2 nor P3 have been shown true, the conclusion has not been shown to be true.
-----

If logically rational is the ability to assert a claim without making a logical contradiction, then I agree that a belief in abiogenesis is logically rational. There is theory behind it. However, it is yet to be shown by modern science to be a possibility in practice. Con has the BoP to show abiogenesis to be the most plausible solution to the origin of the first life on earth. This argument is a rebuttal against that BoP that Con has as previously stated.

Con claims not to see the argument given for ID, and has provided an inaccurate formal logic presentation of it. I shall provide a new formulation of it. This is a modified version of the one presented by Steven Myer [2].
P1) Intelligence, as of now, is the only known cause of complex functionality
P2) It is possible to demonstrate that high volumes of functionally specific information can be produced by intelligent causes
P3) The simplest conceptual cell contains high volumes of functionally specific information
C) From the perspective of known cause-and-effect structure of the world, the intelligent design is the most causally adequate explanation for the origin of the functionally specific information present in a theoretical simple cell.

I am out of space to move forward with the reasonability of ID. I would like Con to give positive evidence that the first living cell was not the product of purely naturalistic causes and show ID to be illogical, which was stated as the BoP for Con before acceptance of the challenge.

1) http://www.talkorigins.org...
2) Stephen C. Meyer (2010). Signature in the Cell: DNA and the evidence for Intelligent Design. HarperOne. Retrieved on 2011-12-03. "But the argument"takes the following form..." --AK 21:39, 5 December 2011 (EST)
3) https://www.youtube.com...
4) http://www.talkorigins.org...
Envisage

Con

Thanks Pro.

  1. I. Rant

I am puzzled by the formatting of this debate, where Pro mandated that I affirm abiogenesis, yet his arguments for ID actually argue against evolution, and not abiogenesis. This debate seems to be a shared BoP debate as a result, where if I can more effectively demonstrate that abiogenesis is the most rational hypothesis, and Pro needs to demonstrate that ID is rational full stop.

Essentially, talk of abiogenesis seems to be a waste of time for the purposes of this resolution, as such I will spend most of this round tackling Pro’s arguments for the rationality of ID.

  1. II. Genetic Fallacy

Pro lists a number of scientists which affirm his position, and in his second round affirmed that the purposes of this was to demonstrate that ID is rational, since rational people accept it (which is a Genetic Fallacy).[1] However this simply does not hold, having generally rational people accept ID in no way demonstrates that ID itself is at all rational, that sort of reasoning is just absurd.

The claim is that qualified people hold a belief therefore the belief is rational, or something along those lines. To give a direct refutation, Pro listed qualified people who came to the conclusion that ID is true and rational, however over 1,300 scientists named ‘Steve’ in a tongue-in-cheek poll signed it acknowledging the following statement as true:

“It is scientifically inappropriate and pedagogically irresponsible for creationist pseudoscience, including but not limited to "ID," to be introduced into the science curricula of our nation's public schools.”

So Pro has cited a handful of scientists that assert ID as true and rational, and I have asserted more than a handful of scientists that assert essentially the opposite. The best that Pro can hope for in this argument is a stalemate, ergo his argument is bunk.[2]

  1. III. What Pro needs to demonstrate

Pro seems to object to my disjunctive formulation of his negative-arguments for ID, which essentially is what it has boiled down to so far. Pro has provided a number of structures/information arguments and only argued for ID on the virtue of the ‘impossibility of the contrary’ type of arguments. However Pro readily admits later in his round that there is significant ignorance in the field, especially abiogenesis. As such this is a formal argument ad ignorantum fallacy, since we have not addressed the search space adequately to make that conclusion.[3]

I never said that Pro needs to demonstrate that ID is clearly the answer, I would argue that arriving at a stance that ID is the most likely cause of life is sufficient to demonstrate that it is a rational explanation for the origin of species, as per the resolution request.

If it cannot be demonstrated with any confidence that ID is the most likely cause then it clearly cannot be a rational stance to take, since that would entail believing something to be true which objectively, and is known objectively to be most likely false. It would be more rational to remain agnostic on the explanation unless a better one exists.

In the case of ID vs non-intelligent (i.e. natural) we don’t even have the luxury of remaining agnostic on the question, as the philosophical issues are quite clear.

  1. IV. Philosophical Problems with ID.

There are two types of possibilities I will be discussing:

Objective Possibility: Also known as metaphysically possibility, is what is physically possible in this world/universe

Epistemic Possibility: What may or may not be possible in this world/universe

The two types of possibility are very distinct, the latter epistemic possibility deals with the ‘for all I know it might be possible’ type of questions. For example, it is epistemically possible there is broom in the cupboard, due to my ignorance of the contents of it. It is a fact that there is a broom in the cupboard or not, but knowledge of such can only be attributed epistemically.[4,5]

In the case of objective possibility, it is a possibility that we know is physically possible within this universe, for example it is physically possible for a dice to hit a ‘six’, or for a car to possibly break down. The difference here is we know the physical entities actually exist, and we have characterized their likelihoods.

Now this applies to ID vs naturalism - type arguments in a very important way, and I will list the positions for both sides:


ID:

Epistemically Possibly Objectively Possible


Naturalism:

Objectively possible

The problem with ID is simple, it can only be objectively possible IF an intelligent agent actually exists, where if such can be established then we can make some rough probabilistic comparisons. However the only way this can be meaningfully done is if an intelligent agent can actually be demonstrated to exist in the first place. It is impossible for someone to win a lottery ticket if the national lottery itself doesn’t exist, and hence this needs to be primarily established.[5]

Furthermore, the enormous advantage naturalism has is that the physical processes actually do exist. Basic chemistry exists, complex chemistry exists, catalysis exists and simple self-replicating systems have been demonstrated to exist. Despite Pro’s attempts to assert the contrary, there is no apparent ‘brick wall’ that prevents the processes that lead to something that would be called life that actually exists. Moreover I argued in the first round that the process is in fact thermodynamically favoured and driven. Therefore so far I argue we have excellent reasons to accept it’s highly objectively possible.

Without demonstrating an intelligent agent however, Pro’s argument can’t even get off the ground, since we cannot even say if the intelligent agent in question is capable of producing life, and how abundantly.

Moreover, just demonstrating the objective possibility essentially lends enormous reason to accept it as true, since according to Murphy’s Law, given enough time and enough attempts, anything that is objectively possible will happen. I argued in the first round the vastness of scale of the size of the universe (some 10^24 planets) and the general timescales involved would make even stupifyingly physically improbable events inevitable.[6]

  1. V. Arguments Against ID

For ID to be likely objectively possible, then we are left with physical entities, such as aliens. However there are a number of reasons why this is unlikely:

  1. 1. Lack of ulterior interest in seeding life

The effects of seeding life would have taken billions of years to occur, and as such any physical gains from doing such would take an unrealistic amount of time to yield. Given that we are talking about a significantly advanced intelligence here it seems stupifyingly unfeasible that other more effect methods for the physical ‘fruits of labor’ to have been produced.

  1. 2. Lack of non-reproducing ‘intelligent artifacts’

Judging by activity of humans, we know that humans make a significant number of artifacts, such as cars, engines, planes etc, of which we can expect there to be significant evidence of for billions of years. Yet we have come across zero such examples on the Earth that are not of human-origin, which counts against there being a physical entity.

I will present a horned dilemma to tie things off:

Either the Intelligent Agency is physical or non-physical

1. If physical, then it concedes that life is objectively possible

2. If non-physical, then the IA is not objectively possible

By physical, I mean entirely based within the rules of this universe, the first horn follows quite logically, since it concedes that life exists physically anyway, and as such there is absolutely no reason why we should expect the same would not be possible with Earth’s life naturally (such as via. abiogenesis). If the intelligent agency must be non-physical, then it simply cannot be on any level objectively possible, and very questionably epistemically possible, since it may not be logically possible for such an entity to exist, let alone interact with the universe.

  1. VI. Clearing Up Abiogenesis:

Pro quite frankly strawmans my arguments with horribly invalid syllogisms, although the points are plain to see. Yes proposing an additional intelligent agency does violate Occam’s Razor for instance, making additional assumptions when unnecessary is a bad philosophical principle. Moreover Pro attacks the steps involved in abiogenesis probabilistically, however Pro moves the goalposts here, since I am in no way demonstrating the formation of bacteria via. abiogenesis, but only that of a simple self-replicating system that is capable of evolution via. natural selection.

  1. VII. Meyer’s Syllogism

Pro presents Stephen Meyer’s syllogism which is not at all logically valid, what on earth is it supposed to be?!?! Until Pro can demonstrate this syllogism to be logically valid, then the conclusion cannot logically follow from the premises, and hence it can be ignored. Moreover even if Pro demonstrates the syllogism logically valid, then he also needs to demonstrate the premises logically sound, which he has also failed to do.


VIII. Information

Again Pro has provided the loosest of definitions of information, to which my earlier rebuttals still apply amply. Moreover Pro ignores that mutation mechanisms are capable of creating raw segments of genetic material (‘information’), and natural selection is capable of carving the gene pool to be more ‘meaningful’.[7]

This may seem unsatisfying as a naturalistic explanation, but I can only work with the vague definitions that Pro has provided…

IX. References

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...

2. http://ncse.com...

3. http://philosophy.lander.edu...

4. http://stephenlaw.blogspot.co.uk...

5. http://en.wikipedia.org...

6. http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_law

7. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 3
Jellon

Pro

Me: "Information - what is conveyed or represented by a particular arrangement or sequence of things"
Con: "Again Pro has provided the loosest of definitions of information"
http://lmgtfy.com...
As previously stated, I got my definitions from Wikipedia for sake of convenience. It just so happens that the definition which you are insulting comes from the Oxford English Dictionary.
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

You accused me of making a Genetic Fallacy. That is a Fallacy where the origin of information rather than its current context. To quote an example from Con's link:

"You're not going to wear a wedding ring, are you? Don't you know that the wedding ring originally symbolized ankle chains worn by women to prevent them from running away from their husbands? I would not have thought you would be a party to such a sexist practice."
There are numerous motives explaining why people choose to wear wedding rings, but it would be a logical fallacy to presume those who continue the tradition are doing so with the intent of promoting sexism.

Another example concerned the original meaning of a word as opposed to its modern meaning. It appears that the Genetic Fallacy, according to Con's link, doesn't apply to my argument at all. Also, Con simplified my argument. My argument was not just that rational people believe in ID, but rather, that rational people who were once well known strong proponents against ID were later persuaded by evidence given for ID. It is not the believing, but the persuasion that is used as evidence. Con then presented a list of individuals who signed a poll against ID, which does not show persuasion as I did. Even if Con used persuasion from ID to abiogenesis as evidence, that would only strengthen my argument by validating it.

Con: "I never said that Pro needs to demonstrate that ID is clearly the answer, I would argue that arriving at a stance that ID is the most likely cause of life is sufficient to demonstrate that it is a rational explanation for the origin of species, as per the resolution request."
This is not what was agreed to in round 1. It was clearly stated that the intent was not to show ID as the most likely. It was to show it to be rational, or reasonable. That is to say, that a rational person would believe it. One way to show it to be irrational would be to show that abiogenesis is by far more reasonable than ID. While Con maintains that it is thermodynamically possible in theory, he has not attempted to show that the theory hold true in reality, which I pointed out in previous rounds. It was explicitly stated in Round 1 that Con had the BoP to show abiogenesis is by far the most rational, which he claims is, "a waste of time for the purposes of this resolution."

Con: "Pro seems to object to my disjunctive formulation of his negative-arguments for ID, which essentially is what it has boiled down to so far. Pro has provided a number of structures/information arguments and only argued for ID on the virtue of the "impossibility of the contrary" type of arguments."
Con shows in his statement that he has completely missed my arguments in whole. None of the arguments I presented have alluded to the "impossibility to the contrary" and Con asserts. In fact, I explicitly stated that abiogenesis is a ration belief, because it is based on observable science. I also asserted that it is based on faith, because we have yet to demonstrate any realistic environment where the first cell could evolve. It is ironic that Con accuses me of negative arguments. Con's argument in favor of abiogenesis includes negating ID on lack of evidence. Yet, the reason he accuses me of using negative arguments is that I point out the lack of evidence for abiogenesis.

Con: "Moreover Pro attacks the steps involved in abiogenesis probabilistically, however Pro moves the goalposts here, since I am in no way demonstrating the formation of bacteria via. abiogenesis, but only that of a simple self-replicating system that is capable of evolution via. natural selection."
Con seems to be using his own definition of abiogenesis here. Every single reference I've made to abiogenesis defines it to include all the stages leading up to the first bacteria. The definition I got from Wikipedia includes the first bacteria and the lengthy article from talkorigins on abiogenesis also includes the first bacteria. The image I posted in my previous argument came from talkorigins. Con seems to be redefining abiogenesis to meet his own needs instead of using the concept that is accepted by every single source posted this entire debate!

Con: "However the only way this can be meaningfully done is if an intelligent agent can actually be demonstrated to exist in the first place."
ID is diverse, and there is no accepted source of intelligence. To require such would be to take a specific side of ID, Theistic Evolution for example. If I took the side of a theist, this would become a debate on the existence of a deity. If I took the side of those who believe it came from aliens, then it would be a debate on aliens. Either one would be a derailment from the topic at hand.

Con: "Pro presents Stephen Meyer"s syllogism which is not at all logically valid, what on earth is it supposed to be?!?! Until Pro can demonstrate this syllogism to be logically valid, then the conclusion cannot logically follow from the premises, and hence it can be ignored. Moreover even if Pro demonstrates the syllogism logically valid, then he also needs to demonstrate the premises logically sound, which he has also failed to do."
Con has failed to define the difference between logically valid and logically sound, so I tried doing a Google search.
http://lmgtfy.com...
http://lmgtfy.com...
Both searches return the same definition:
"In effect, an argument is valid if the truth of the premises logically guarantees the truth of the conclusion. The following argument is valid, because it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion to nevertheless be false."
Con has a problem here, because he is unable to refute the claim with any more certainty than I am able to substantiate the claim.
For reference, I shall repost the logical argument:
P1) Intelligence, as of now, is the only known cause of complex functionality
P2) It is possible to demonstrate that high volumes of functionally specific information can be produced by intelligent causes
P3) The simplest conceptual cell contains high volumes of functionally specific information
C) From the perspective of known cause-and-effect structure of the world, the intelligent design is the most causally adequate explanation for the origin of the functionally specific information present in a theoretical simple cell.

Con's contention with P1 is that random mutations and natural selection are able to give rise to complex functionality. The formal logic to assert that claim looks like a simple version of the above logic.
P1) All known causes for alterations in DNA are purely naturalistic
P2) It is possible to demonstrate that high volumes of functionality specific information can be produced by naturalistic causes
C1) The common ancestor of all species under the theory of evolution was produced by purely naturalistic causes.
It is the same argument but with reverse terminology. Con seems to hold this as a logically valid argument for abiogenesis, but he has not demonstrated the conclusion to be logically valid/sound; yet, he demands rigorous proof for the same construction in favor of ID. If Con holds the above to be logically reasonable, than he must hold the Meyer's construction to be reasonable as well, since they are the same, which by itself would meet my BoP as defined in round 1. If Con does not hold the above to be logically reasonable, he has not shown abiogenesis to be logically reasonable either. If he were to use the definition of abiogenesis as I gave in response to his request, the one that seems to fit all scientific sources including the diagram posted from talkorigins (and anti-ID site), then all of the evidence he has shown thus far it to show P2 to be logically possible. Although the E. Coli experiment is debatable, even if P1 and P2 were given as true, C would not be a logical conclusion, thus the construction wouldn't be logically sound.

I regret being side-tracked this debate and not having space to present more details in favor of ID. I admit I did not provide much evidence in favor of it. However, my BoP was to show that there exists evidence that would lead one to logically conclude that ID took place. I believe I have done this.
1) As intelligent beings, we use heuristics to determine what objects are of intelligence origin and which are not. These heuristics are used by multiple scientific disciplines which have nothing to do with the origin of life.
2) Applying these multidisciplinary heuristics to the hypothetical ancestor of the simplest known cell today, we would conclude that its origin came from intelligence.
3) Famed proponents of abiogenesis were swayed by the evidence (Dean Kenyon & Antony Flew) . This is evidence that ID has enough evidence to be considered reasonable by some skeptics of ID.
4) There is insufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that abiogenesis, not ID, is the factual origin of life. This is evidence that there isn't a more logically sound explanation which should reasonably be adopted instead.

As Con doesn't seem to understand the nature of this debate, I'd like to remind the voters that this is a vote on whether or not ID should be considered a rational possibility. It is NOT a vote on whether or not ID is more rational than abiogenesis. I think I have reiterated that in every single round thus far.

I'd like to thank Envisage for having this debate with me. It was interesting.
Envisage

Con

Thanks Pro. It’s been fun.

Information

It is clear from Pro’s loose definition of information that anything and everything has information, including ice crystals, gas clouds just by virtue of their shape, size, velocity, temperature etc.

Thus it is easy to object to Pro’s information arguments regarding ‘Chemical Information’ since all basic chemistry yields ‘chemical information’, hence why I asked for a more precise definition. It is also why I raised the general information rebuttals in my first round since information increases with entropy and randomness. Pro did not respond to those objections and drops this argument.

Genetic Fallacy

Even if Pro’s argument is not a genetic fallacy (it is), it commits a stretch of reason that is flimsy at best. The argument that people changed their minds because they claim they were swayed by the evidence, there is simply no logical progression from this to the statement ‘ID is a rational explanation for the origin of species’. They could well have changed their minds for irrational reasons, or have believed ID for entirely false, bad argumentations and fallacies, in which case ID still remains an irrational explanation.

How convincing an argument is does not in any way demonstrate that the conclusion is a rational one, and I have shown how virtually all of the arguments for ID are based on poor reasoning and poorly supported assumptions and logical jumps, as such is not rational.

A theory needs to be demonstrated to be more likely than not to be true in order to have belief in it be rational. A ‘best explanation yet’ is simply not adequate if all current explanations are poor explanations otherwise you would be in a position to hold beliefs that are most likely false. If there were no good naturalistic explanations for the origin of species, it in no way makes an intelligent explanation an explanation that is more likely than not to be true.

Negative Arguments

Pro performs at the very least a tu torque fallacy by turning the point about arguing from ignorance around on me, which even if true does not escape Pro from the fact that he is arguing from ignorance. Remember Pro needed to actually demonstrate that ID is a rational explanation, and hence attacking abiogenesis does not forward his case on this end.

Pro claims that none of his arguments are “Impossibility of the contrary” types of arguments, but this is just false. I will go through each of Pro’s R1 arguments and show exactly how this is the case.

SETI Argument

Pro attempts to show that the techniques used by SETI are also used by archaeologists to determine intelligent origins, which is performed by:

“According to SETI, what they do first is determine what normally occurs in nature and then search for exceptions to that.”

This argument is black and white ‘impossibility of the contrary’ type argument, and hence a negative argument, since it is formulated:

1. Either Naturally or Intelligently

2. Not naturally

C. Intelligently

Where 1 is the unidentified ‘exceptions’ that are being searched for. The problem is that for every ‘exception’ found there may still lie a natural explanation, and as such the argument for SETI fails especially in light of the anthropic principle and selection bias.

Information Argument

I already discussed this, Pro gave the following justification for the chemical information having an intelligent origin:

The search for naturalistic sources for such information have failed, which leads us to the natural conclusion that it arose from intelligence.”

Once again, is a negative proof, an impossibility of the contrary type of reasoning, and is problematic for reasons already given. Since the only justification for it arising from intelligence is that it could not have arisen naturally.

Irreducible complexity

The reasoning Pro gives for irreducible complexity requiring an intelligent designer is even worse (!)

There is no known natural cause for such a motor to be constructed. Without ID, it must be taken on blind faith that it arose by chance via mutation. Again, we use the same principles of identifying intelligence to conclude that this was invented by intelligence, not random chance.”

What’s worse is Pro strawmans natural explanations, as I explained in my opening round, where evolution via. natural selection is a potent explanation for these facts, which Dr. Miller strongly argues for in ‘Finding Darwin’s God’ and ‘The Collapse of “Irreducible Complexity”.[4] The only concrete ‘principles of identifying intelligence’ are those already given in SETI and information arguments, which I demonstrated already to be a negative-argument.

Therefore, all of Pro’s arguments are based on poor reasoning, as there are no positive reasons to accept that anything was intelligently designed, and relies on thoroughly addressing the search-space of natural explanations to forward it’s case. I am not stating that the argument is logically invalid, it is indeed valid disjunctive reasoning, just that it is next to impossible to demonstrate the minor premise of the disjunctive syllogism (not natural). It doesn’t even suffice to demonstrate natural explanations ‘highly improbable’, due to Murphy’s Law and the Anthropic Principle as already argued (to which Pro failed to respond).[1]

Abiogenesis

Pro never really attacked my arguments for abiogenesis, and essentially conceded them for the purposes of this debate. I gave several reasons why abiogenesis is the likely cause of life on Earth:

  1. 1. Thermodynamically driven/favoured
  2. 2. Comparable autocatalytic systems already exist in chemistry
  3. 3. Simple self-replicating systems already shown to exist
  4. 4. Long timescales & Large scales render even improbable events inevitable
  5. 5. The physical processes, chemistry etc. are actually known to exist
  6. 6. Multiple chemical hypothesis’ for abiogenesis (RNA World, Lipid World, Metabolism etc)

Pro made a number of objections of abiogenesis but none of them are general to abiogenesis, essentially all them attacked abiotic peptide synthesis, but none of the hypotheses I presented necessarily require the use of peptides. Moreover Pro conceded that environments for peptide synthesis do exist anyway (as his source #5 states). Also, take note of the difference between mine & Pro’s methodology as we affirm ID and abiogenesis, clearly none of my arguments do not depend on any ‘impossibility of the contrary’ type arguments, and stands on its own two feet regarding the evidence. I gave reasons to believe that abiogenesis is not only possible, but actually favoured and driven by natural processes. I also gave examples of self-replicating systems that have been produced that are capable of evolution via. natural selection, exactly what is minimally required for ‘life’. None of Pro’s arguments are anything like this.

As for the definition of abiogenesis, I actually searched the Wiki page and found 12 instances of ‘bacteria’ on the page, none state that abiogenesis is defined as leading to bacteria. Pro’s assertion that all our sources support his definition is a bare assertion, and I was explicit in what I was arguing for in abiogenesis in my opening (which would indeed be a system capable of evolving bacteria).

Meyer’s Argument

Pro seems to state that his argument actually means something because I am unable to refute it. On the contrary showing that the argument is logically invalid IS refuting the argument.[3] Take the following syllogism:

1. All humans are mammals

2. All mammals are animals

C. All animals are humans

In this argument, both premises are true, but the structure is invalid (and the conclusion is obviously false). The ONLY way to refute this argument is by showing the argument is invalid, since the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises.[3] The same applies to Stephen Meyer’s argument, which is logically invalid, and hence refuted. Pro needed to show that the argument is logically valid in the first place (the BoP is on him), yet he did not, despite me prompting him to.

Against Naturalism

I don’t hold Pro’s misrepresentation of my arguments in his syllogism (reformulation of Meyer’s) to be logically valid either. What is it supposed to be? Modus Tollens? Modus Ponens? As such that argument doesn’t demonstrate natural causation either. Fortunately I have not made my argument in that formulation. Moreover it’s doesn’t help Pro in this case since the debate is about Intelligent Design. Even if I completely fail to affirm natural causation, it does not mean Pro has affirmed ID as rational.

Inductive arguments are constructed differently, and the conclusion doesn’t necessarily follow from the premises even in logically valid inductive arguments.[5] However Pro’s arguments aren’t even logically valid…

Possibility

I demonstrated clear philosophical problems in failing to identify a intelligent designer, as it seriously calls into question whether or not such a designer is likely to exist in the first place. All of Pro’s arguments absolutely depend on a designer’s initial existence before he can make any probabilistic claims regarding something being intelligently designed. I demonstrated why physical intelligent design is highly unlikely and hence we are left with metaphysical designers that runs into serious epistemological hurdles. Can such a being actually exist?

We are left appealing to something that is beyond our experience, and left proposing an additional entity which heavily violates Occam’s Razor. Far from it being a derailment of the topic, it is one of the biggest problems for the ID side.

Conclusion

I have shown all of Pro’s arguments run into the same category of problems in that they entirely rely on the negation of natural causation, and not on positive argumentation (such as what I provided for abiogenesis. Pro has essentially ignored my arguments for abiogenesis too, and hence drops the debate on both fronts.

References

1. http://tinyurl.com...
2. http://tinyurl.com...
3. http://tinyurl.com...
4. http://tinyurl.com...
5. http://tinyurl.com...

Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
I already explained this in the tu torque fallacy. Even if we accept that ID is as rational as abiogenesis (it's not and I clearly showed it is not), it doesn't mean it's rational.
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
I should rephrase that. They are equally rational.
so in our specific case, abiogenesis would be equally rational as ID.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
Neither choice is rational*. And I gave that justification.
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
You made a case that logically shows abiogenesis? I must have missed it. The BoP you had as stayed was to show the abiogenesis is the only reasonable solution, but you denied that in your last round. I don't feel you understood this debate at all.
You still use a double standard. On the one hand, you can't prove abiogenesis is more than theoretically possible, because the science lacks evidence. But then you point to a lack of evidence for a designer as proof that it isn't logically sound.
when given an either or situation, if neither can be shown to be the case and you must choose one, then either choice is rational.
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
I wasn't too specific, even in my reply comment. Biologos is an organization dedicated to both ID and evolution. It is called either Theistic Evolution or Evolutionary Creationism. One of your previous debates pitted evolution vs ID when in fact they are not mutually exclusive.
Having now glossed over your debates, I notice one outstanding difference between this debate and the others. Your other opponents had the BoP to show that ID is either established or the most likely explanation for the origin of life. I am not naive enough to take on such a lofty challenge. Rather, I am arguing a simpler version which states that ID is a coherent position to take, irregardless of the likelihood of abiogenesis. I need not show that abiogenesis is impossible (which I wouldn't assert anyway) or even improbable. I do use the mystery shrouding abiogenesis as logical evidence that other positions may also be rational. I need not point out again that a naturalistic model proving abiogenesis as possible proves that it occurred, even when given the assumption that no deity exists. There are possible physical intelligent sources, such as aliens which can neither be supported or denied yet remain within the scope of logical possibility.
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
Have to admit, though, quoting SETI was really satisfying. How often do you get to bring up the search for extraterrestrial life in a debate that isn't directly associated with aliens? =D
Well, you debated Installgentoo as Pro on the topic, "Darwin's theory of evolution is a good explanation for the complexity of nature compared to ID." Installgentoo was the instigator, which just goes to show that he doesn't understand ID. Again, I haven't read content yet, but I'm guessing he's a Young Earth Creationist. I'm not. In fact, I'm sympathetic to belief in evolution. I was thinking of taking the challenge you have open, "ERV Evidence Alone Demonstrates Common Ancestry", but my knowledge of retroviruses doesn't extend much past 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution and their mention in some anti-evolution rebuttals.
http://www.talkorigins.org...
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
I don't see what biologos has to do with my arguments...

None of your first round has much to do with my arguments for abiogenesis, I take a more general and philosophical approach. But they are substantially better than Garret's or Ven3sl's.
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
Sweet. I was just in the process of looking up all your previous debates and seeing what you posted so far. I can't help but notice you won some of them with comments from voters such as, "Pro failed to acknowledge burden of proof." Haven't read content yet. So I'm interested in where this will end up going. I like a good challenge.
Some of your debates have been evolution vs ID. I have completely disarmed that already by quoting from BioLogos. Perhaps your usual tactics don't work here.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
Yes, I want to debate all the ID proponents on DDO on this topic of Intelligent Design, as it's one of the topics that I have most to say about.

I'm halfway done with my round, which should be a much more concise version of what I have presented before so should be good.
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
@Envisage
Noticed you've won most your debates. A lot of them on this topic. I didn't have space to make a strong argument for ID in the limited space of the first argument, but I think I've already done a better job than your previous opponents on this issue. Hope it's challenging enough for you to enjoy. :)
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by SNP1 2 years ago
SNP1
JellonEnvisageTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro committed a few fallacies, but I will let that slide. If we look only at the information that each side provided, Pro did not show ID to even be rational. Con was able to show the possibility of abiogenesis, and showed that Pro's arguments (most specifically, Pro's argument from Stephen Meyer) were invalid.
Vote Placed by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
JellonEnvisageTied
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Reasons for voting decision: PRO makes the argument that because we have studied abiogenesis for more than 140 years, and failed to produce a scenario under which life arises that is accepted by the scientific community, to accept abiogenesis requires an act of faith in the possibility of future scientific discovery. PRO distinguishes ID from YEC, and other pseudoscientific quackery. PRO states that the way we identify intelligence is through semiotics, and that "the search for naturalistic sources....have failed, which leads us to the natural conclusion that it arose from intelligence." CON makes great gains against this, arguing that "Pro made a number of objections....but....all them attacked abiotic peptide synthesis, [and] none of the hypotheses [he] presented necessarily require the use of peptides." CON showed that PRO's argument from Stephen Meyer is structurally invalid, and salutarily noted that "Even if I completely fail to affirm natural causation, it does not mean Pro has affirmed ID as rational."