First, my counterpart agreed to something not stipulated in the challenge. I didn't ask which was the better "Explanation". That very term brings with it an assumption. The evolutionist argument has been that we cannot invoke the divine and ID doesn't. Then the evolutionists says, "Well, there is no divine so we have to explain how things came about without it." By this they impose naturalism. Bait and switch. Secondly ID doesn't reject common ancestry, it merely asserts that we should not blindly accept chance plus time plus natural law. ID is the search for ways to detect and understand design in living systems. We seek to see if those things are present and if they can be demonstrated objectively. The argument is over whether we stick with naturalism: the insistence that we cannot consider any cause other than blind, undirected, processes; or if we can have a paradigm that states we follow the evidence where ever it leads. We seek to develop tools and methods that keep us from making the mistakes of the past such as god of the gaps arguments, final answers, and dogma. Intelligent design theory doesn't posit any particular designer. It only seeks to discover if there is design present. We are asked "Have you ever made predictions based on your paradigm?". We have actually. Years ago we were warning against calling the extra DNA in the genome "Junk". Evolutionist predicted that it was "Junk". In recent years more and more it is being shown that the so called "Junk" DNA has an active role in the genome. Our paradigm lead to the right conclusion theirs did not. http://www.junkdna.com...
The best criticism of evolution by undirected random processes and laws is the book "The Edge of Evolution" by Dr. Michael Behe. In my opinion this is one of the best refutations of the possibility of the standard mechanism for evolution ever written. I will use a sumation of that book as my argument. Dr. Behe describes the on going war between the malaria parasite and malaria drugs. Each time the pharmacutical companies come up with a new drug to protect us from the malaria parasite, the parasite comes up with a new way to beat it. Essentially what it does is genetically breaks one of it's proteins. The frustrated scientists are left to stomp off back to the lab to try and invent a better drug. Fortunately for the original inhabitants of malaria infested regions they have a mutation in their genetics which, if it doesn't kill you, offers you LIMITED protection from malaria. This mutation has left the frustrated malaria parasite to stomp back to the slow process of evolution and hope like hell they can evolve a way around it. If it could just mutate it's genes enough to break two proteins in a row it could hurdel right over that dang sickle cell mutation like Edwin Moses.
Behe explains that evolution is not really about lots of time. It's really about lots of generations. When we reflect on the number of times malaria has reproduced and brought forth a new generation compared to all other organisms; then it has had the same amount of time to evolve that any other biological organism has since the cambrian explosion.
Evolutionists claim that the current mechanism can produce man from microbes. That's billions of mutations. Malaria however hasn't been able to produce two mutations in a row that produce the necessary broken protiens to slip past the sickle cell mutation, this dispite the fact that the malaria parasite has had the same amount of generations to evolve those mutations as man has had to evolve from a microbe.
When given a real life emperical experiment the current mechanism for evolution completely fails. We have no scientific basis for our faith in the current theory.
I'm going to finish this debate with something I should have started with. I want to talk about what ID is. First let's talk about what Intelligent Design theory is not. It is not creationism. Creationism as it is popularly understood and as the word is almost always used means a research program that seeks to harmonize the geologic, fossil, and other biological information with the Holy Scriptures. There are two main schools. Old earth Creationism is the belief that the days spoken of in Genesis are long epochs of time. Young Earth Creationism is the belief that the days in Genesis are literal 24 hour periods and follow each other consecutively. Intelligent Design theory does not name, classify, restrict, or promote who the designer is. Intelligent Design is not the Wedge Project. The Wedge Project is a socio-political project with the objective of restoring a general consensus in government, business, education, science, and the public of the existence of a Creator and our obligation to Him and how that obligates us to respect the fundamental liberties of others and His expectations of us toward Him in morality and in how we care for ourselves. Intelligent Design is seen by Wedge as a potential source of data that might be able to be interpreted by people on the outside of ID as evidence of a Creator that could bolster the Wedge Project. It is dishonest to invent a conspiracy that pretends that the Wedge project is the source of ID.
Intelligent Design Theory is a research program that seeks to discover and establish means of objectively detecting design in natural systems and objectively distinguishing them from non-designed natural systems. Common methods already employed are statistical analysis, scientific observation and analysis, and combinations of the two.