The Instigator
Illegalcombatant
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
DakotaKrafick
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Is Intelligent Design a Rational or Irrational belief (5)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
DakotaKrafick
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/28/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,268 times Debate No: 16749
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)

 

Illegalcombatant

Pro

NOTE if you have a problem with definitions or rules or anything, please post in the comment section first, to see whether we can both agree to amended rules or descriptions before starting.

I will be the PRO, which means I claim that intelligent design is a rational belief.

My opponent will be the CON, so will be arguing that intelligent design is an irrational belief.

(PLEASE NOTE, their is no win by default here, both sides have to justify their side)

In order to win I have to argue that Intelligent Design is a rational belief (I don't have convince anyone that its true, just that its a rational belief)

In order for my opponent to win they must argue that Intelligent Design is an irrational belief (they don't have to convince anyone that its false, just that its an irrational belief)

Definitions

Intelligent Design An intelligent designer, also referred to as an intelligent agent, is the willed and self-conscious entity that the intelligent design movement argues had some role in the origin and/or development of life

Intelligent design refers to the theory that intelligent causes are responsible for the origin of the universe and of life in all its diversity

Rational - agreeable to reason

Reason - the faculty or power of acquiring intellectual knowledge, either by direct understanding of first principles or by argument.
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Opening statements..............

A car has many parts, that not only work a certain way in of them selves but also work complimentary to other parts in the car. Even if we had no observations of the car actually being built and design, we could still make a reasonable judgement that the car was designed based on its different parts working complimentary to one another.

A Human has many parts, that not only work a certain way in of them selves but also work complimentary to other parts in the human. Even if we have no observations of the human being built and designed, we could still make a reasonable judgement that the human was designed based on its different parts working complimentary to one another.

1) If something has multiple parts working complimentary to each other, its more probable that its designed than not designed
2) Humans have multiple working parts working complimentary to each other
3) Therefore its more probable that Humans are the result of design

It could be argued that humans came into being by non design, for example a combination of chance and natural laws. But why accept this alternative as more probable than humans existing by design ? Sure its possible, but is it more probable ?

Even in this alternative of humans existing absent any design, it would still have to happen in a world/universe that is life permitting. But a life permitting universe can only happen within a small range of constants as William Craig explains......."This fine-tuning is of two sorts. First, when the laws of nature are expressed as mathematical equations, you find appearing in them certain constants, like the gravitational constant. These constants are not determined by the laws of nature. The laws of nature are consistent with a wide range of values for these constants. Second, in addition to these constants there are certain arbitrary quantities which are just put in as initial conditions on which the laws of nature operate, for example, the amount of entropy or the balance between matter and anti-matter in the universe. Now all of these constants and quantities fall into an extraordinarily narrow range of life-permitting values. Were these constants or quantities to be altered by a hair's breadth, the life-permitting balance would be destroyed and life would not exist."

Now there are three possibilities for explaining the presence of this fine-tuning of the universe.....

1) physical necessity
2) chance
3) design

There is no reason to think the laws and or the constants of the universe are necessary, they could of been different.

What about chance ? Consider the example of playing poker with some one, who on every hand gets a royal flush. You ask for an explanation, the person merely retorts... "just lucky I guess, happened by chance". In theory the person is correct, but no one would ever accept such an explanation.

Which leaves us with design as the most plausible answer, that the constants are that way because some one choose it to be that way, and thus don't exist by necessity or by chance.

I look forward to Cons reply.
DakotaKrafick

Con

I would like to first take the time to thank my opponent for allowing me to debate this interesting topic with him. I look forward to the upcoming rounds.

I will be taking the position that Intelligent Design is an irrational belief and for one simple reason: there is no evidence to believe an Intelligent Designer exists or has ever existed in the past. You and I could, hypothetically, sit around and attempt to fathom all sorts of imaginative theories for the origin of the cosmos or life. They could involve fairies, aliens, time travel, angels and demons, etc. etc. But what makes these theories, along with Intelligent Design, unable to be taken seriously by any rational person is their severe absence of evidence (and, of course, the burden of evidence does lie on the shoulders of the ones asserting a claim).

You mentioned the complexities of the human body as evidence for an Intelligent Designer. This would be the classic Watchmaker analogy, the same 19th century argument which was refuted relatively shortly after its publication. As the analogy goes, if a person were to trail the sands of a beach and come across a golden pocket watch, he or she should easily be able to deduce that it had an intelligent designer (the watchmaker) because of its intricate, purposeful parts. And by that same token, one should be able to look at the complexities of the cosmos and life and deduce there is an intelligent, sentient entity who created the universe (i.e., a deity, the ultimate watchmaker).

You decided to use a vehicle instead of a pocket watch, but the argument is still unchanged. There are many fallacies involved in the analogy. For starters, it is not because a car or a pocket watch has purposeful, complimenting parts that we believe it was intelligently designed. It is because of the one simple thing I mentioned before, the one thing that makes an argument viable: evidence. All of the evidence we have ever seen surrounding vehicles and pocket watches points toward a human creator of these things (company logos, factories, etc. Not to mention we can actually track down the designer and have a conversation with him or her if we so wished. We don't seem to have that same luxury with the Intelligent Designer you are asserting.). We never see cars coming into existence by means other than human design. On the contrary, we do see organisms and galaxies forming by means other than intelligent design. We can observe the natural births of animals and the natural formation of solar systems. Every piece of evidence ever collected surrounding life points to a completely natural origin.

You also stated "If something has multiple parts working complimentary to each other, its more probable that its designed than not designed" but this simply is not true. By that logic, it would be very probable to assume something as simple as a sheet of paper was not at all intelligently designed, but of course we know it takes an intelligent and sentient being to produce paper.

As your next point, you mentioned the constants of the universe and the natural laws, asserting that "were these constants or quantities to be altered by a hair's breadth, the life-permitting balance would be destroyed and life would not exist", as if we lucked out on them having the values they do, and perhaps we did. But adding an Intelligent Designer to the equation in no way satisfies this supposed enigma, for that Intelligent Designer would also have its characteristics purely by chance. You stated that "there is no reason to think the laws and or the constants of the universe are necessary, they could of been different". The same scrutiny must apply to your Intelligent Designer. So far, you have given this Intelligent Designer a few distinct characteristics, and there is no reason to believe they couldn't have been very different without being detrimental to its physical (or metaphysical) existence:

1) It is highly intelligent.
2) It is capable of creating everything in the universe.
3) It, for one reason or another, wanted to create the universe and life.

If you believe this Intelligent Designer has always existed (as I believe the universe has always existed), then it would have always had these characteristics and not because it wanted them, but because it simply always had them by chance. As you can see, this only adds an unnecessary and unsatisfactory step.

In closing, I would like to thank you again for taking the time to debate this and I look forward to your response.
Debate Round No. 1
Illegalcombatant

Pro

I thank Con for their reply.

Evidence and explanations of the evidence

Con says "They could involve fairies, aliens, time travel, angels and demons, etc. etc. But what makes these theories, along with Intelligent Design, unable to be taken seriously by any rational person is their severe absence of evidence"

Its just not about lack of evidence, it also about what we should or reasonably infer from the evidence. I assume that Con is talking about "evidence" within a scientific context.

"In scientific research evidence is accumulated through observations of phenomena that occur in the natural world, or which are created as experiments in a laboratory or other controlled conditions. Scientific evidence usually goes towards supporting or rejecting a hypothesis." [1]

Do we need to "observe" the thing in question, in order to be justified in order to believe it ? The answer is no, consider the example of gravity. We can observe all day long the motion of objects, but we can't actually observe gravity its self. The evidence is the motion of the objects (what we can see), the explanation of the evidence is the theory of gravity. (something we can't see).

This shows that we don't need to see something in order to be justified in believing in it.

Cars, Paleys clock and the design inference.

Con says "You decided to use a vehicle instead of a pocket watch, but the argument is still unchanged. There are many fallacies involved in the analogy. For starters, it is not because a car or a pocket watch has purposeful, complimenting parts that we believe it was intelligently designed. It is because of the one simple thing I mentioned before, the one thing that makes an argument viable: evidence. All of the evidence we have ever seen surrounding vehicles and pocket watches points toward a human creator of these things (company logos, factories, etc."

Con correctly points out that their is no direct observation of a universe been built, unlike a car (for example a car factory), or that we can't have a chat with the universe designer unlike a car designer. But I didn't equate the design inference of the car and the universe based on the observation of such things been built or that we could have a chat to the designers. As I said before... "Even if we had no observations of the car actually being built and design, we could still make a reasonable judgement that the car was designed based on its different parts working complimentary to one another." & "Even if we have no observations of the human being built and designed, we could still make a reasonable judgement that the human was designed based on its different parts working complimentary to one another."

Con says "We never see cars coming into existence by means other than human design. On the contrary, we do see organisms and galaxies forming by means other than intelligent design. We can observe the natural births of animals and the natural formation of solar systems. Every piece of evidence ever collected surrounding life points to a completely natural origin."

Sure these things are "natural", but the question is whether intelligent design is involved. The fact that there are things that are "natural" doesn't tell us one way or another whether intelligent design is involved or if the natural thing is totally absent any design.

Con says "You also stated "If something has multiple parts working complimentary to each other, its more probable that its designed than not designed" but this simply is not true. By that logic, it would be very probable to assume something as simple as a sheet of paper was not at all intelligently designed,"

I would have to reject the claim that a sheet of paper is "simple". By complex I mean something which has multiple parts.

Fine Tuning and the Designer

Con says "If you believe this Intelligent Designer has always existed (as I believe the universe has always existed)"

The best science to date says that the universe began to exist and has not always existed.

Con says "You stated that "there is no reason to think the laws and or the constants of the universe are necessary, they could of been different". The same scrutiny must apply to your Intelligent Designer."

Indeed it should.

Con says about the intelligent designer "it would have always had these characteristics and not because it wanted them, but because it simply always had them by chance. As you can see, this only adds an unnecessary and unsatisfactory step."

I don't believe its an unnecessary step for two reasons........

1) Something must exist which is uncased.
2) Something that exists which is uncased exists be necessity and not by chance.

If everything that exists has a cause, this results in an infinite regress. Either everything that exists has a cause or there is something that exists that doesn't have a cause.

The designer of the universe could be a necessary being/something that exists without a cause and as such exists by necessity and not chance. This resolves the objection that if we reject a universe existing just by chance, we should also reject an intelligent designer that exists by chance.

I look forward to Cons reply.

Sources

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

DakotaKrafick

Con

Thank you, Pro, for your in-depth response.

*Regarding Scientific Evidence*

My opponent states: "Do we need to "observe" the thing in question, in order to be justified in order to believe it ? The answer is no, consider the example of gravity. We can observe all day long the motion of objects, but we can't actually observe gravity its self. The evidence is the motion of the objects (what we can see), the explanation of the evidence is the theory of gravity. (something we can't see)."

When we view such things as objects falling to the surface of the earth and the celestial orbits of planets and other satellites, we are indeed observing gravity in action. To say otherwise would be trapping yourself in a freakish and unscientific realm where viewing pinwheels rotating is not observing wind, and where viewing the light of a desk lamp is not observing electricity. Indeed, we can observe and record things which are invisible to the naked eye, including (but not limited to) gravity, electricity, air currents, sound waves, ultraviolet, heat, and radiation.

However, the Intelligent Designer that my opponent is proposing must rationally exist cannot, in any way, be observed. It not only eludes the human eye, but every other possible means we have to observe things in the universe. Perhaps the Intelligent Designer is simply very keen at hiding from us. Or perhaps it exists outside of our time and space. Either way, it is completely unobservable.

The question then becomes: is it rational to believe in something which has not been (and cannot possibly be) observed? My answer to that would be a resounding "no". It is totally illogical and irrational to believe in something which cannot be observed by any means possible, lest we believe in literally everything the human imagination can conceivably fathom. As I've said, there are many possible theories we can come up with regarding the origins of the cosmos and life, none of which would involve an Intelligent Designer, but we simply don't believe in any of them due to an absence of evidence.

*Watchmaker Argument Continued*

My opponent states this: "Even if we had no observations of the car actually being built and design, we could still make a reasonable judgement that the car was designed based on its different parts working complimentary to one another. & Even if we have no observations of the human being built and designed, we could still make a reasonable judgement that the human was designed based on its different parts working complimentary to one another."

My opponent is only partially correct. Even if we had not observed the car during the process in which it was constructed, we should be able to logically deduce it had a human creator. But (as I've said before) this is not because it contains complimentary parts. It is because everything we know about cars points to a human creator. If we could see cars roaming in the safari, performing mating rituals, and birthing newer model cars, then perhaps we wouldn't be so quick to come to the conclusion that they all have human makers. But this is not the case. Every car comes into existence through human creation, while every human comes into existence through natural means.

My opponent states: "Sure these things are "natural", but the question is whether intelligent design is involved. The fact that there are things that are "natural" doesn't tell us one way or another whether intelligent design is involved or if the natural thing is totally absent any design."

It is an illogical pattern of thinking to recognize that you had a completely natural birth, and that your parents had completely natural births, and that your parents' parents had completely natural births, so on and so forth, until generations and generations down the line you decide, "That one, though, could not possibly have been a natural birth. We need an Intelligent Designer to explain that one."

The fact that there are natural things doesn't tell us whether an Intelligent Designer was involved, or whether an Intelligent Designer wasn't involved. But when there is no zero evidence for the existence and nonexistence of something, the default position should be disbelief (to assume nonexistence).

My opponent then stated: "I would have to reject the claim that a sheet of paper is "simple". By complex I mean something which has multiple parts."

This seems like a blatant contradiction to me. If "complex" means something which has multiple parts, then "simple" means something which does not have multiple parts. A sheet of paper does not have multiple parts, and so by your logic, it should be assumed it was not intelligently designed, when of course, we know it was.

*Arguing My Stance, Not Someone Else's*

My opponent seems to object to my belief in an eternal universe, stating: "The best science to date says that the universe began to exist and has not always existed."

I wasn't going to mention this, but since you seem an avid fan of modern science, I must say: the best science to date says that the universe came about 13.7 billion years ago via the Big Bang (not an Intelligent Designer), that life originated on Earth around 3.5 billion years ago via abiogenesis (also not an Intelligent Designer), and that the complexities of life arose gradually over time via evolution and natural selection (again, not an Intelligent Designer). These scientific theories can explain the universe's origins and complexities without the use of an Intelligent Designer as easily as science can explain rain without an Intelligent Designer.

I will argue my stance (which admittedly contradicts some modern science) while you argue yours (which also contradicts some modern science). Having said that, I will continue to assert my belief that the universe is, in fact, eternal.

You stated: "I don't believe [the existence of an Intelligent Designer is] an unnecessary step for two reasons........
1) Something must exist which is uncaused.
2) Something that exists which is uncaused exists be necessity and not by chance."

But now, I must only reiterate what I have already said: That "something" you describe, I believe, is the universe. The universe is eternal, and so had no cause. Therefore, by your logic, it exists out of necessity (not by chance). Whichever method you use to justify your Intelligent Designer's eternal existence, you can also use to justify the universe's eternal existence (without adding an unnecessary and unsatisfactory step).

I thank you for your time and eagerly await the next round of debate.
Debate Round No. 2
Illegalcombatant

Pro

I thank Con for their reply.

Paper & Simplicity

I need to back track a bit here cause I made a mistake in something. I can go along with paper being "simple", but this doesn't mean that my argument says therefore the paper is probably not designed. My argument only makes the claim of complex things and things which have complimentary parts are more probable to be designed, it doesn't make the claim either way about whether simple things are more probable to be designed or not.

The current scientific theories

Con brings up the big bang, abiogeneis, evolution, the age of the universe and when life appeared.

My argument doesn't depend on the age of the universe nor does it depend on the age of the earth or when life appeared. Maybe Con is confusing intelligent design as creationism. The big bang doesn't rule out an intelligent cause nor does it explain why this universe works within life permitting constants. Evolution and natural selection describe process, and has nothing to say about how those process came to be.

Con says "I will argue my stance (which admittedly contradicts some modern science) while you argue yours (which also contradicts some modern science)"

How does my stance contradict some modern science ?

Evidence and explanations of the evidence

Con says "When we view such things as objects falling to the surface of the earth and the celestial orbits of planets and other satellites, we are indeed observing gravity in action."

Con is wrong if Con is suggesting that we are observing gravity. The motion of the objects is what is observed, gravity is the scientific theory that explains this observable phenomena. "A scientific theory comprises a collection of concepts, including abstractions of observable phenomena expressed as quantifiable properties, together with rules (called scientific laws) that express relationships between observations of such concepts. A scientific theory is constructed to conform to available empirical data about such observations, and is put forth as a principle or body of principles for explaining a class of phenomena" [1]

Once again no one has ever observed "gravity". As I said before, you don't need to see the thing in order to be justified to believe that it exists. This refutes Cons objection that the belief of an unseen intelligent design is irrational regardless of what argument and or evidence is provided in its favour.

Cars, Paleys clock and the design inference

Con says " Even if we had not observed the car during the process in which it was constructed, we should be able to logically deduce it had a human creator. But (as I've said before) this is not because it contains complimentary parts. It is because everything we know about cars points to a human creator."

The car is only used as an example to show the principles involved in the argument. The principle being that something with multiple parts working complimentary with other parts is more probable to be designed. With the principle explained we can ditch the car.

Natural & Design

I think Con misses the point here, to illustrate imagine a car factory that is totally automated. Some one could point out that the cars are not the result of design its all without design. In this context they are right as the "processes" of these cars being made are without intelligence, but that doesn't mean that these processes don't have their origin in an intelligent cause. Like wise the "natural" processes con refers too, don't in any way disprove an intelligent cause.

Con brings up "natural" process such as evolution. We can accept these processes which in of them selves are non intelligent, but it raises the question how did these natural process come about ?

1) Necessity
2) Chance
3) Design

There is no reason that both the fine tuning of the universe that allows for a life permitting universe, and evolution to happen in that life permitting universe exist out of necessity.

Maybe chance ? but once again no one would accept these odds just happening by chance in other area's of their life.

Which leaves us with design being the most probable option, that evolution happening in a life permitting universe happens cause some one choose too.

Fine Tuning and the Designer

Con brings up a new objection, the objection being that the universe is eternal and thus necessary. Trouble is Con even bought up the best science to date that says the universe is about 13.7 billion years old. A universe that is 13.7 billion years old is not an eternal universe.

This refutes Cons claim that "Therefore, by your logic, it exists out of necessity (not by chance). Whichever method you use to justify your Intelligent Designer's eternal existence, you can also use to justify the universe's eternal existence (without adding an unnecessary and unsatisfactory step)"

I look forward to Cons reply.

Sources

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

DakotaKrafick

Con

Thank you, Pro, for your reply.

*Paper*

Regarding my paper counter-argument, my opponent states: "My argument only makes the claim of complex things and things which have complimentary parts are more probable to be designed, it doesn't make the claim either way about whether simple things are more probable to be designed or not."

Your claim indirectly does make this claim, whether you intended it to or not. When you say "something with complimentary parts (the human body) is more likely to be designed" it should be logically inferred that, by contrast, "something with no complimentary parts (a sheet of paper) is less likely to be designed". For this reason alone, the entire Watchmaker argument should be scrapped.

*Science*

My opponent states: "My argument doesn't depend on the age of the universe nor does it depend on the age of the earth or when life appeared. Maybe Con is confusing intelligent design as creationism."

I didn't bring up these scientific theories merely for their large numbers (13.7 billion years, 3.5 billion years). I understand you are arguing for any Intelligent Designer, not a specific one which would be refuted by an old universe. The reason I mentioned these scientific theories is because they can demonstrate that the origins and continuations of the cosmos and life are completely natural. And when every observable thing in the universe is demonstrably natural and can be explained naturally, there is absolutely no reason to believe in a supernatural entity.

My opponent states: "Evolution and natural selection describe process, and has nothing to say about how those process came to be."

Your main evidences so far for your Intelligent Designer have been the complexities of the human body. Evolution and natural selection can explain how such complexities arose in the human body without the need of a supernatural force.

My opponent asks: "How does my stance contradict some modern science ?"

1) You will never find an Intelligent Designer in any modern science textbook. And if you were to publish this hypothesis in a peer-reviewed science journal, I fear it would be quickly refuted.

2) The Watchmaker argument was refuted only a short few decades after its publication by Charles Dawin's (later) theory of evolution and natural selection. Evolution and natural selection are modern science's explanation for the complexities and diversities of life on Earth, not an Intelligent Designer.

*Evidences*

My opponent states: "Con is wrong if Con is suggesting that we are observing gravity. The motion of the objects is what is observed, gravity is the scientific theory that explains this observable phenomena."

Measuring your current weight on a bathroom scale is observing gravity as much as measuring the voltage in a car battery is observing electricity. I never said you needed to see something to believe in it. But you should be able to observe it. And while we can't see gravity or electricity or radiation or ultraviolet, we can observe them.

The point I was originally trying to make was that we have no way to actually observe this Intelligent Designer, and therefore it is unscientific to assume its existence.

My opponent states: "The car is only used as an example to show the principles involved in the argument. The principle being that something with multiple parts working complimentary with other parts is more probable to be designed. With the principle explained we can ditch the car."

As I've said (from my sheet of paper argument), my opponent would do well to scrap this entire argument and start from scratch, as this hypothesis only works against his claim of an Intelligent Designer.

*Fine tuning of the universe*

My opponent states: "We can accept these processes which in of them selves are non intelligent, but it raises the question how did these natural process come about ?"

This is again posing the question, where did the physical properties of the universe originate (those which govern how abiogenesis, evolution, and other scientific principles operate) if not an Intelligent Designer? The answer is "I don't know, though it was probably chance", and I don't need to argue the rationality of a different theory. I only need to argue the irrationality of the Intelligent Designer theory (which, like the irrationality of any theory, resides in its lack of evidence).

My opponent objects to "chance" as a reasonable explanation for this universe's physical properties. He compares it to getting a Royal Flush on every hand in a game of Poker, as if that is the equivalent of a universe having the specific properties to birth the life we know today. Perhaps it is, but this only takes into account the life we know today.

My opponent seems to be assuming that the values of the physical properties of our universe (the force of gravity, electromagnetic force, etc.) are the only values suitable to contain life, but this is only a baseless speculation. If the values had been different, it would be reasonable to assume life would still exist, but in a different way in order to compensate the different universe's physical challenges.

For example, you could look at the Sahara desert (with all of its hyenas, jackals, shrubbery, etc.) and speculate "This is perfectly fine-tuned to be suitable for life." However, the speculator makes the backwards mistake of assuming the environment was fine-tuned for life, when (in reality) life is very resilient and evolves to suit its specific environment. In the same way, neither the universe nor the Earth were fine-tuned for life, but life fine-tuned itself for the Earth.

It may then be said that evolution itself is a product of Intelligent Design, but evolution's very purpose is to compensate for life's blatant weaknesses and imperfections in its "design".

*Occum's Razor*

My opponent states: "Con brings up a new objection, the objection being that the universe is eternal and thus necessary. Trouble is Con even bought up the best science to date that says the universe is about 13.7 billion years old. A universe that is 13.7 billion years old is not an eternal universe."

I wasn't going to debate under the premise of the Big Bang (as I don't believe in it), but since you won't argue the stance I do believe in, then let us both assume I believe in the Big Bang (no problem).

In the previous round, you stated: "I don't believe [the existence of an Intelligent Designer is] an unnecessary step for two reasons........
1) Something must exist which is uncaused.
2) Something that exists which is uncaused exists be necessity and not by chance."

The Big Bang was the first event in the history of our universe, and was therefore uncaused. Adding an Intelligent Designer, which would also be uncaused, to explain this uncaused event would be adding an unnecessary and unsatisfactory step.

I look forward to your response.
Debate Round No. 3
Illegalcombatant

Pro

Paper & Simplicity

Con says that my argument implies that if something is simple it is more probable that is not designed. I dis agree with this claim for example, although the paper is simple, it is the product of many complex causes. If the paper was the product absent these complex causes then yes my argument would say that its more probable that it is not designed.

As I said before, my argument only says complex things, things with complimentary parts are more likely to be designed.

Evidence and explanations of the evidence

Con says " I never said you needed to see something to believe in it. But you should be able to observe it. And while we can't see gravity or electricity or radiation or ultraviolet, we can observe them."

Once again, gravity is not observed, what is observed is such things as motion of objects, the number on the scale machine etc. I think its worth repeating again....... "A scientific theory comprises a collection of concepts, including abstractions of observable phenomena expressed as quantifiable properties, together with rules (called scientific laws) that express relationships between observations of such concepts. A scientific theory is constructed to conform to available empirical data about such observations, and is put forth as a principle or body of principles for explaining a class of phenomena"

A phenomenon (from Greek φαινόμενoν), plural phenomena or phenomenons, is any observable occurrence.

Fine Tuning and the Designer

Con says "if not an Intelligent Designer? The answer is "I don't know, though it was probably chance", and I don't need to argue the rationality of a different theory. I only need to argue the irrationality of the Intelligent Designer theory (which, like the irrationality of any theory, resides in its lack of evidence)."

Con is correct that as far as this debate is concerned they don't have to argue for the rationality of another theory. But Con does say it was probably by chance. Con is free to say that, but I would point out Con has not provided any argument to support this "chance" as being the most probable, that which can be asserted without proof can be rejected without proof.

Con says "My opponent seems to be assuming that the values of the physical properties of our universe (the force of gravity, electromagnetic force, etc.) are the only values suitable to contain life, but this is only a baseless speculation. If the values had been different, it would be reasonable to assume life would still exist, but in a different way in order to compensate the different universe's physical challenges."

The claim that had the values being different then its reasonable to assume life would still exists is baseless speculation.

Fine Tuning and Occum's Razor

Con says "I wasn't going to debate under the premise of the Big Bang (as I don't believe in it), but since you won't argue the stance I do believe in, then let us both assume I believe in the Big Bang (no problem)."

I will be arguing as if you do believe in the big bang and your arguments on it, as you say lets assume.

Con brings up a new objection and says "The Big Bang was the first event in the history of our universe, and was therefore uncaused. Adding an Intelligent Designer, which would also be uncaused, to explain this uncaused event would be adding an unnecessary and unsatisfactory step."

I don't think adding an uncased intelligent designer is an unnecessary step for the following reasons.....

1) You can't get something from nothing
2) That which begins to exist has a cause

Con is arguing that you can get something from nothing, as well as arguing that something happened which is not caused (the big bang).

According to Con the big bang is something that happened, without a cause either intelligent or non intelligent or natural or supernatural.

If something from nothing is a "rational' claim especially a life permitting universe having its origins in nothing, then I don't think Con has any grounds for affirming an uncaused intelligent designer as "irrational".

I ask the vote go the Pro.

I thank Con for participating in this debate.
DakotaKrafick

Con

Thank you, Pro, for your response.

*Paper*

My opponent states: "Con says that my argument implies that if something is simple it is more probable that is not designed. I dis agree with this claim for example, although the paper is simple, it is the product of many complex causes. If the paper was the product absent these complex causes then yes my argument would say that its more probable that it is not designed."

My opponent is rejecting his own argument's implication based solely on the fact that said implication has been revealed to be demonstrably false (ergo discrediting the entire argument). I am not a wicked grammar dictator who seeks to win debates by playing with semantics. I do, however, have a basic understanding of philosophy and the english language, and therefore I can logically deduce the statement "something WITH complimentary parts is MORE likely to be designed" implies "something with NO complimentary parts is LESS likely to be designed".

It would be like me claiming "a person with a high school diploma is more likely to get a well-paying job", which also implies that "a person withOUT a high school diploma is LESS likely to get a well-paying job". Or like me claiming "a person with money is more likely to be happy" which implies "a person with NO money is LESS likely to be happy".

Statements such as these which directly link the possession of something (complimentary parts, a high school diploma, money, etc.) with a quality of the thing possessing it (Intelligent Design, a well-paying job, happiness, etc.) always work both ways. Otherwise, the statements are incomparable to anything else we know of and so would serve no purpose at all.

*Evidences*

My opponent claims gravity is not scientifically observed when measuring your weight on a scale, but then goes to describe: "A scientific theory comprises a collection of concepts, including abstractions of observable phenomena expressed as quantifiable properties, together with rules (called scientific laws) that express relationships between observations of such concepts."

Note that in my case, gravity is the "observable phenomena" and the number on the measuring scale is the "quantifiable properties".

It would be pointless to continue asserting that we can, indeed, observe and measure gravity as I have had to do so many times already (as I'm sure most of the voters will already know we observe the force of gravity on a daily basis). To say otherwise would be as absurd as claiming we don't observe buoyancy when we watch a public pool goer float on the surface.

It seems my opponent is trying to twist gravity into being something as abstract and supernatural as his Intelligent Designer, when in reality, it is a very natural and physically-existing phenomena that can be observed and accurately measured infinitely more easily than any Intelligent Designer.

*Fine Tuning*

When I stated that the claim "this universe's physical properties are the only ones which could sustain life" is a baseless speculation and that life could probably exist under different conditions, my opponent pointed out that that, too, was a "baseless speculation". However, I must disagree with this accusation. My speculation of the resilience of life is anything but "baseless" and I apologize for not delving more deeply into this in the previous round.

Life can exist in the most remote, hostile environments, from the freezing tundra to the blistering desert to the competitive jungle. Of course, this still only shows life existing among the same physical constants, right? Actually, no.

There are only four natural forces governing the physical universe as we know it: weak force, strong force, gravitational force, and electromagnetic force [1]. Take, for example, my opponent's recent favorite of the four natural forces: gravity. The force of gravity attracts two objects to each other based on the distance between them and their masses (G=m1*m2/d^2) [2]. This means if the Earth was very, very large, the gravitational pull we would experience would flatten us like pancakes. And if the Earth was very, very small, the gravitational pull would be nearly nonexistent and we would just float around until we escaped the atmosphere (if it even had one, though it probably wouldn't).

Therefore, if the constant force of gravity in the universe had been stronger, then life would simply exist on smaller planets. And had the force of gravity been weaker, then life would exist on larger planets.

Take another of the four natural forces: weak force. Weak force is responsible for the creation and longevity of stars [1]. Now you might think "This is an important job for sustaining life. Life can't exist without the sun's heat and light energy." But you'd be wrong. If you dive deep enough into the ocean (about 20,000 feet) you will reach what is called the Hadal zone, where no sunlight can reach. Creatures in this zone (mainly tube worms and jellyfish) live completely void of any aid of any star [3].

In closing this argument on the "fine-tuning" of the universe, one of the four natural forces (gravity) could have virtually any value, while another (weak force) could not even exist, and life would still be able to exist.

*Occum's Razor*

My opponent states that adding an Intelligent Designer to explain the Big Bang isn't an unnecessary or unsatisfactory step for two reasons, which I will be discussing individually.

"1) You can't get something from nothing"

Firstly, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss would like to disagree with you: .

Secondly, why are you even trying to dispute this theory's validity? It is only an eternal universe which would directly contradict your need for an Intelligent Designer. And it is only a cosmogenesis theory like the Big Bang (which states the universe had a beginning) that your Intelligent Designer could have used to create the universe. If you are asserting that this Intelligent Designer created the cosmos and everything in the universe, then it must have made it all from NOTHING.

Now, it may start to seem like I'm arguing for your point, but I'm not (only against your objection to "something can't come from nothing" which is at the heart of both of our theories, not just mine). If there is such a weird (probably quantum) force which allows for a physical universe to come into existence from nothing, why not believe this force can govern itself without a third-party agent? After all, every other natural force we are aware of, which I have already shown to be very arbitrarily "fine-tuned", operates out of physical necessity and not by an outside controller.

"2) That which begins to exist has a cause"

Perhaps it is simply that the cause of the Big Bang is currently unknown. But it is not your prerogative to fill that unknown with any theory you like (in this case, "Intelligent Design"). It could have been a Dumb But Lucky Designer. Or it could be that the Big Bang never happened (as you seemed to say in your first point) and that the universe always existed. It could be any number of things. Your Intelligent Designer has no more evidence to support it than any of these other theories.

*Closing Remarks*

No new evidences were presented by my opponent in this final round and as I refuted the only other evidences previously provided (Watchmaker argument, speculations about the natural forces of the universe), I still hold strongly to the notion that a belief in an Intelligent Designer is irrational.

I encourage the voters to, of course, base their decisions on who they feel presented the most sound debates.

And again, I thank you, Pro, for rivaling me throughout this truly interesting debate. It's been a blast and I almost wish there could be a round five.

*Sources*

[1] http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...
[2] http://www.universetoday.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Phoenix_Reaper 3 years ago
Phoenix_Reaper
Wofl link source please.
Posted by wolfhaines 3 years ago
wolfhaines
The courts in the USA dismissed Intelligent Design as Creationism in disguise. The think tanks that support it are massive multi million dollar Christian organisations. To make the claim that things could be 'Intelligently Designed' then leaving the only option to be 'God' is STILL creationism. Don't lower your intellect in trying to fool people otherwise.
Posted by Illegalcombatant 3 years ago
Illegalcombatant
Yeah good fun.
Posted by DakotaKrafick 3 years ago
DakotaKrafick
Thank you, Pro, for a fun debate!

(Also, I'm not sure if it's just my weird computer acting up but I see the youtube video I posted near the top of my post in round four. It should appear directly after my statement under *Occum's Razor* "Firstly, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss would like to disagree with you: [youtube video]"
Posted by SamVega 3 years ago
SamVega
Would you consider it acceptable to challenge the basic premise of ID itself instead of merely arguing against its final assertion?
Posted by Illegalcombatant 3 years ago
Illegalcombatant
Intelligent Design is different than Creationism look it up. Then again maybe its pointless speaking to people who won't accept the difference between creationism and intelligent design eh.
Posted by Kinesis 3 years ago
Kinesis
@wolfhaines

See; http://www.debate.org...
Posted by wolfhaines 3 years ago
wolfhaines
I thought of taking this, but in the words of Richard Dawkins "You wouldn't debate someone on whether the world was flat or not, so why debate them on creationism?".

Evolution is a fact, so no debate to be had here, it is irrational to go against fact and believe in fairy tales.
Posted by Cody_Franklin 3 years ago
Cody_Franklin
I might take this.
Posted by medic0506 3 years ago
medic0506
This looks like a really interesting debate issue. I hope someone takes the challenge. Good luck.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 3 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
IllegalcombatantDakotaKrafickTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro can not carry the arguments forward past the first rebuttal. This debate also cycles after the second round and could have ended in the third. 3:2 Con.