The Instigator
Biowza
Pro (for)
Winning
36 Points
The Contender
Dazza01
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Resolved: Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/19/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,978 times Debate No: 4737
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (12)

 

Biowza

Pro

I affirm that Intelligent design is not a scientific theory.

[Definitions]

Intelligent Design- Is the assertion that the universe and its features are explained by design by an omnipotent power (such as a god).

Scientific Theory- A logically self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of a related set of natural or social phenomena. It originates from or is supported by experimental evidence. In this sense, a theory is a systematic and formalized expression of all previous observations, and is predictive, logical, and testable.

[Burdens]
Affirmative- Show that Intelligent design is not a scientific theory.
Negative- Show that Intelligent design is a scientific theory.

I'll let my opponent make the first move.
Dazza01

Con

First of all, I will state that I agree that certain scientific theorem's are quite correct in regards to Terra's 4.6 Gya (Giga 'billion' years ago) history...

I will, however, disagree with one of the affirmatives definitions:

"Intelligent Design- Is the assertion that the universe and its features are explained by design by an omnipotent power (such as a god)."

- This definition is incorrect, as many religious people will put forth the dissertation that an omnipotent power did not create everything that exists; (the universe we live in) rather, they found Terra as a void sphere, & created life on that 'void sphere.'

I will now change the definition, so it reads as thus:

Intelligent Design- Is the assertion that the EARTH and its features are explained by design by an omnipotent power (such as a god).

(I would also like to advise my opponent that if you intend to 'borrow' a definition from the pages of Wikipedia, would you be so kind as to cite that it was intentionally borrowed from Wikipedia, in regards to the context of this very debate).

Now, I do not intend to try to bamboozle everyone reading this to think I know everything in regards to scientific theorems & so called 'intelligent design,' but I will begin my argument with thus:

If evolution is the main scientific theory my opponent will care to bring up and argue with, some religious branches of intelligent design actually comply & agree with the contexts of evolution.

Ladies & Gentlemen, may I draw your attention to a sub-theory of intelligent design, that is titled 'Theistic Evolution.'

Theistic Evolution - The belief that an omnipotent power, (a god or supernatural being) created life on Earth; but that scientific evolution is also correct, arguing that evolution is only aiding creation on Earth.

My opponent, when he created this debate, probably had in mind that his opponent would argue using another of the sub-theories of intelligent design known as 'Special Creation.'

Special Creation - The belief that all people were created, as they are today, by an omnipotent power; that the Earth is relatively young; (6000 years old approx.) that all fossils that have been used for scientific research were created by hydrologic sorting & liquefaction; and that evolution never took place within Terra's supposed '6000 year' history.

In relation to this debate, I will argue that Theistic Evolution is a scientific theory.

Theistic Evolution is just 'believing in an omnipotent power with evolution,' which is a proved scientific theory in today's society. Therefore, Theistic Evolution should be classed as a scientific theorem.

Evolution prides itself on fossil recordings, & the proof (through the use of DNA, mitochondria, facial, skeletal, muscular, & psychosocial characteristics). We all started somewhere though, didn't we? Tracing back through all of our Earth's history, we find the first bacterium living approximately 3.5 Gya... Where did that bacteria come from? Thin air? Supposed asteroid & comet impact theories? Or was it created by an omnipotent power?

The latter idea seems most logical; but other than that, Theistic Evolution agrees with the concept of evolution. The timeline of our origin, that we exist through natural selection & mutation, etc...

Just because Theistic Evolution disagrees with evolution, by saying that a deity created the bacteria & everything else along with it, then we evolved by Darwinians theory; instead of saying that we were created out of thin air, we should completely disregard it as a scientific theorem?

Ladies & gentlemen, that idea is ludicrous...
Debate Round No. 1
Biowza

Pro

Okay, from the beginning, there seems to already be some confusion about the definition of Intelligent Design. I honestly do not see how anything is changed from calling intelligent design 'theistic evolution' or vice versa. I haven't made a claim stating that theistic evolution is not intelligent design, so I don't really see what all the fuss is about. This isn't a debate about the substantiation of evolution, because frankly, the evidence for evolution is overwhelming. No, this is a debate about intelligent design being a scientific theory.

My opponent has essentially changed nothing in my definition of 'intelligent design'.

My definition- Intelligent Design- Is the assertion that the universe and its features are explained by design by an omnipotent power (such as a god).

My opponent's definition- Intelligent Design- Is the assertion that the EARTH and its features are explained by design by an omnipotent power (such as a god).

Ask yourself, what, exactly has been changed? The word 'universe' and the word 'earth'? Is that it? Put simply, intelligent design is the assertion that an omnipotent being created something. Be it the earth, or the universe. Nitpicking about these things changes nothing in the definition, and changes nothing about the debate.

Essentially giving up on defending intelligent design as a whole (which is not impossible, I could very well defend evolution as a whole just as well as I could defend it's many sub theories involving genetic drift, molecular evolution, and horizontal gene transfer). My opponent has decided to focus specifically on a self described 'sub-theory of intelligent design' in an attempt to prove his burden that 'Intelligent design (note, NOT just theistic evolution) is a scientific theory'. It should be clear to all, that even should my opponent succeed in thoroughly and decisively proving beyond any reasonable doubt that theistic evolution is a scientific theory, he would still lose the debate for the simple fact that this is not a debate about 'sub theories'.

But of course, thats assuming he can prove that theistic evolution is a scientific theory. Which he can't.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Moving onto my case, I remind those paying attention agreed upon definition of a scientific theory.

"A logically self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of a related set of natural or social phenomena. It originates from or is supported by experimental evidence. In this sense, a theory is a systematic and formalized expression of all previous observations, and is predictive, logical, and testable." -Wikipedia (thank you for pointing that out)

Let us apply these guidelines for the case of intelligent design as a scientific theory.

Supported by experimental evidence- Clearly this is an immediate fail for intelligent design. It is not supported by any evidence whatsoever. Even demonstrating beyond any doubt that a legitimate theory such as evolution is totally false (which would require extraordinary amounts of proof in its self), would not make intelligent design supported by experimental evidence. This is because of the scientific burden of proof, not only do you need to show why all other theories are wrong, but you must demonstrate why the theory you are presenting explains phenomena in a better way. Evidence to suggest that an omnipotent being created the universe/earth is currently non-existent.

Predictive- Not at all. The idea that we were created is an intellectual road block. What can possibly be predicted with any accuracy once we surrender the idea that 'God did it'. If we are to accept that things are as they are, or, if we are to accept that a god created the earth, what can be predicted? The idea that an omnipotent power created us either as we are, or created the earth and the first living cells is academic treason.

Testable- No. By definition, the supernatural (ie, omnipotent powers/gods) cannot be tested by the natural sciences. Even so, people have been trying to find scientific evidence of a god ever since the idea first came about. Everything from testing the effectiveness of prayer, to the bronze age idea of drilling holes into people's heads to find the soul, has failed.

It doesn't take a genius to go through the other aspects of the definition of a scientific theory, such as logic, previous knowledge, and self-consistent model and see that intelligent design doesn't turn out too pretty.

If this wasn't enough, my contention agrees with nearly every modern day scientist in the developed world.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Dazza01

Con

Okay, I see that proving just one sub-theory will not get me anywhere in this debate, so I will proceed to prove that intelligent design [AS A WHOLE] is a scientific theory, not just subsets of 'ID.'

My opponent goes on about how ID is not compatible with his theory & definition of what a 'scientific theorem' is. He went about it by this.

"Supported by experimental evidence- Clearly this is an immediate fail for intelligent design. Any evidence whatsoever does not support it. Even demonstrating beyond any doubt that a legitimate theory such as evolution is totally false (which would require extraordinary amounts of proof in its self), would not make intelligent design supported by experimental evidence. This is because of the scientific burden of proof, not only do you need to show why all other theories are wrong, but you must demonstrate why the theory you are presenting explains phenomena in a better way. Evidence to suggest that an omnipotent being created the universe/earth is currently non-existent."

This whole statement is false, via the use of mutual exclusion.

Mutual exclusion - When two (2) theorems are carefully defined, and are the only two theorems in dispute, making them the only factors in the equation they are trying to solve.

If I was able to prove the theorem of non-design, or evolution, wrong, I would, therefore, be able to confidently say the design is the only possible way we were created, due to mutual exclusion.

Now, since my opponent would simply flick away this argument of mutual exclusion if I had no arguments to support the theory that evolution is false, I will now demonstrate two (2) reasons why evolution is a false theorem in this round, and explain two (2) more in my next two rounds.

1. Birds prove that the natural selection chain is utter stupidity.

- The idea of natural selection sounds great when looking at it from a deer's perspective. A deer that can run the fastest & sense danger the quickest would be able to adapt more to it's surrounding environment, making the offspring more able than the last. However, if you look at the other examples of animals that evolved appendages to suit its surrounding environment, there are rather large flaws within it.

The most classic example of this is how a bird evolved a wing. Darwin & his predecessors never explained why this occurred. All the species of birds with wings too small for it to fly (all of them in the beginning stages, if what Darwin said was true) would be no more adaptable to its environment than other birds with nothing. A half-sized wing is useless to a bird, and is actually what caused a species of bird (the Dodo) to become extinct. If it were no more adaptable to its environment than birds with no wings at all, why would that particular appendage keep evolving? The theorem of natural selection & evolution is that the most adaptable of one's species will survive. If a bird with the stubby wing was actually at a DISADVANTAGE, it would, according to Darwinian theory, die out. That didn't happen, and evolutionist's like us to believe that birds sprouted wings over millions of years, even though they would have died out much before then...

2. Single cell complexity

- Scientists 100 years ago believed that a single cell life form was the simplest life form that there is. The theory developed was that certain conditions struck at the right time to get some molecules to combine, to create some sort of living cell, which then divided and split to create a higher life form, which then continued as a chain of events, thus causing evolution. This theory is incredibly immature, as modern day scientists, even with stunning, state of the art technology, cannot create a living cell... Scientist cannot even create a simple left-hand protein molecule. (Which is found in most to all animals).

And, in effect, you can perform tests to see that evolution is wrong, and ID is right.

For example:

Once upon a time there was a Polonium 218 element of the family of radioactive isotopes. Polonium 218 would be classified in elementary school as being "hyperactive." It can't sit still very long. In only three minutes, half of the atoms decay into a lighter element, and in only one day it is all changed.

Once upon a time there was granite rock. Granite is a very unique rock but at the same time is very common and plentiful. It can easily be found in mountain areas such as the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Granite is easily identified by its hard crystalline structure and light color. The crystals are large enough to be easily seen with the eye. It has an interesting structure with a mixture of light-colored quartz and feldspar crystals, and darker crystals of mica and hornblende. Granite is solid and hard without cracks or seams, and it is very strong.

Granite has another very unique property in that it cannot be created by scientists. It is considered to be an "original" material in the Earth. When melted and allowed to harden, it does not return to the original granite crystalline structure. The new smaller crystalline material is called rhyolite. Granite cannot be made by cooling the initial molten materials. This is very important, so remember this fact.

Granite never contains fossils such as are found in sedimentary rocks. All of these properties have led many scientists to refer to granite as a creation rock, since it could not have solidified from molten material according to the evolutionary theory.

Evolution cannot explain the presence of granite in its present structure. And where is this granite? Everywhere. Granite is the bedrock shell which encloses the entire Earth. Its exact thickness is unknown, but scientists have speculated that it forms a layer about 4.35 miles (7 km) thick, and in some areas possibly 20 miles (32 km) thick. It occurs on every continent.

These are the two friends from day one. We know they were friends because they lived together. The Polonium 218 lived only a very short time (3 minutes), but he left his mark on his friend, granite, in that short time. Polonium emitted alpha particles which left a very distinct mark in the granite. These marks are called Polonium halos. These halos are tiny colored concentric circles which must be viewed with a microscope. The concentric circles are actually concentric spherical marks which appear as circles after the rock is cut open. "How many halos are there?" you may ask. One trillion times 10 billion are present on every continent around the world. They are everywhere.

The Polonium 218 was the parent radioactive isotope because other distinct halos which are created by other isotopes are not present. The Polonium halos are not accompanied by Uranium 238 halos.

One minute there was nothing. The next minute there were parent Polonium 218 radioactive atoms locked in the center of solid granite. The granite rock could not have formed from cooling molten rock. Granite will not form that way. In fact, scientists cannot make granite by any method. They can make diamonds but not granite. Granite is solid. The Polonium could not penetrate existing granite because it is not porous or cracked. This was day one.

These friends are absolute scientific proof that evolution is dead. First, the granite could not have been produced by evolutionary theories, the Earth cooling, etc. Second, the Polonium locks the entire time period into an instantaneous event proved by nuclear chemistry. The time is not "millions and millions and millions" of years. The granite was produced as a solid with the Polonium parent elements inside at that instant. Within the first three minutes, half of the Polonium had decayed into a lower element. The Earth, granite and Polonium were created by God together in an instant.

It is the precursor of life, these two friends; and they disprove the theory of evolution...

I will further evaluate in my next two rounds...
Debate Round No. 2
Biowza

Pro

I was hoping this wouldn't turn into an evolution vs creationism debate, but you seem to be at a total loss in terms of trying to prove your burden. I generally try hard not to debate with creationists, but your crippling ignorance really needs to be highlighted. I beg you not to just copy and paste creationist propaganda from a christian website, everyone knows this does nothing but highlight your total lack of knowledge of the scientific method.

While your attempts to single handedly

---------------------------------------------
Your concept of mutual exclusion is dead wrong, where did you get this from? Your logic is honestly giving me a headache. Are you somehow suggesting that evolution is the only theory that needs evidence to support it? Somehow intelligent design can get away with having no evidence whatsoever and yet still remain a legitimate scientific theory? This is academic high treason. Proving one thing wrong does NOT, I repeat NOT make the other thing right. This has been common knowledge for the better part of a thousand years (rough age of the scientific method).

The very idea that you seriously think you can disprove evolution through one post or a set of posts on an internet forum is laughable. You realise that in order to legitimately present intelligent design as a scientific theory, you would have to demonstrate scientifically why the concept of gradual changes over an extended period of time cannot occur. Just to put this in perspective, somehow proving evolution wrong would mean you would have to come up with a reason for all of the phenomena that relies on evolution, just like planes rely on the theory of gravitation, the following

abiogenesis - adaptation - adaptive radiation - allele - allele frequency - allopatric speciation - anagenesis - Archaeopteryx - aquatic adaptation - artificial selection - atavism - Cambrian explosion - catagenesis - gene-centered view of evolution - cephalization - Chi square test - chronobiology - chronospecies - clade - cladistics - Climatic adaptation - coalescent theory - co-evolution - Co-operation (evolution) - coefficient of relationship - common descent - convergent evolution - cultivar - ecological genetics - ecological selection - endosymbiosis - error threshold (evolution) - evolutionary arms race - evolution of cetaceans - evolution of complexity - evolution of the horse - evolution of mammalian auditory ossicles - evolution of mammals - evolution of sex - evolution of sirenians - evolution of the eye - evolutionary developmental biology - evolutionary neuroscience - evolutionary psychology - evolutionary radiation - evolutionary stable strategy - evolutionary tree - experimental evolution - exaptation - extinction

all relies on the theory of evolution. (NB, this is taken from http://en.wikipedia.org..., and I haven't done much editing so it may not be 100% accurate).

I honestly have no problem with you trying to disprove evolution, if you want to do it, by all means go for it. I honestly wish you the best of luck. But what I have a major problem with is with your total ignorance of the scientific method and basic scientific concepts. If you want to contest the theory of evolution, do it in a scientific arena or not at all. Don't copy and paste stuff from a christian website and attempt to pass it off as the evidence which destroys evolution, because frankly this is insulting. It's insulting to every scientist in the world when people like you take intellectual shortcuts and undermine the work done by legitimate scientists in the academic arena.

But anyway, just to humour you... allow me to destroy your arguments in the vain hope that you don't spend the last round wasting my time by copying and pasting propaganda.

Birds
----
Of course, ignoring the innumerable examples of natural selection at cellular levels and at larger levels, let me talk of your birds. What you are referring to is easily explained by exaptation (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Of course, all the explanation for your little bird problem is there, but for fun, I'll explain it. Basically, poorly designed wings need not be poorly designed wings, they are generally well designed something elses. Like keeping heat in, or as an aid to running. Just like as Darwin said its like 'if a man were to make a machine for some special purpose, but were to use old wheels, springs, pulleys, only slightly altered, the whole machine, with all its parts, might be said to be specifically contrived for that purpose'.

For future reference, don't call something 'utter stupidity' just because you do not understand it.

Polonium 218
------------
Going past obvious errors, confusing evolution with the origin of life, and geology. It can be demonstrated that the occurrence of rings need not break any physical laws. The idea you posted was first introduced in the 1970's, a firm rebuttal was posted in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in 1989 and has still not been answered for nearly 20 years. Oh and the initial idea was not posted in a peer reviewed journal by the way, I bet the site you got that from failed to mention that. Here's some of the rebuttal to humour you. I'm sure you don't understand it, and I won't pretend that I am familiar with it 100%, but this just shows how easy it is to shoot down creationist arguments.

]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]
"Beginning with the assumptions that the smoky RICHs in quartz are caused by alpha particles radiating from the mineral inclusions and that these alphas are not due to some unknown nuclides or isomers, we have tried to develop an understanding of how such giant RICHs might form.

"Aluminum centers are common extrinsic defects in natural quartz. Trivalent Al can substitute for Si, which is tetrahedrally coordinated with o, up to at least several overall structural consequences… However, holes and electrons can be trapped at a variety of extrinsic and intrinsic defects in the bend gap in quartz…

"When an alpha decay in the inclusion occurs, the alpha particle starts out with a velocity that depends on its energy…" (Odom, L.A., and Rink, W.J. 1989. "Giant Radiation-Induced Color Halos in Quartz: Solution to a Riddle" Science 246: 107-109.)

"Thus a narrow zone at the outer limits of the range of alpha particles in quartz is a zone of excess hole production. The continuous production of holes during geologic time drives the electronic equilibrium of this microregime in the direction of stabilizing the Al color centers and producing a thin smoky halo. As hole-capturing centers such as Al defects become saturated, excess holes must migrate outward down a charge potential.

"If anomalous RICHs in other silicate minerals such as micas do not develop in fundamentally different ways (albeit the nature of the color centers can involve defects other than Al), then many of the special conditions and special alpha energies invoked to account for Po and giant halos in mica seem no longer necessary. Giant RICHs can grow by hole diffusion.

"…the sizes and structure of giant and Po RICHs in mica also are artifacts of radiation-induced conductivity and that their explanation requires neither unknown radioactivity nor an abandonment of current concepts of geologic time."
[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[

Well that was easy, and I have progressed nowhere. Let me remind those reading that my opponent has made no progress whatsoever towards his burden, while I have demonstrated clearly that intelligent design is not a scientific theory.

Extend all my points from round two in relation to the definition of a scientific theory and how intelligent design fails on every single count.

Damn that was a long post.
Dazza01

Con

Dazza01 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Biowza

Pro

I was hoping for, at the very least, a response from my opponent. I hope those reading weigh this up when assessing a victor. But several simple facts remains that I have presented, and my opponent has not even attempted to rebut. Namely;

The agreed upon definition of a scientific theory is not at all compatible with the 'theory' of intelligent design, summing up:

Supported by experimental evidence- No, it is common knowledge that intelligent design is supported by no empirical evidence whatsoever. Evidence 'against' evolution is not evidence for intelligent design.

Predictive- No, attributing our creation to a god is an intellectual roadblock. It does nothing to advance our knowledge.

Testable- No, the supernatural cannot be tested by the natural by definition. All attempts to find such things has so far failed.

My opponent has only come up with his own made up 'mutual exclusion' idea which is totally incompatible with the scientific method. I have demonstrated this very clearly and my opponent hasn't made much of an attempt to argue against any of my points. The best my opponent could muster were some brain numbingly flawed attempts to disprove evolution. Of which I have not only shown all of his arguments to be scientifically invalid, but I've also highlighted how ignorant it is to attempt to 'disprove evolution' through two pieces of copy-pasted propaganda. And even if he were to prove without a reasonable doubt that evolution is as flawed as a flat earth, essentially turning back the clock on 150 years of scientific progress, this would not win him the debate for the simple fact that he hasn't shown why intelligent design is a scientific theory. He hasn't met his burden, he hasn't even came close.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is, as they say...all she wrote.

Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory.

Q.E.D.
Dazza01

Con

Dazza01 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by NYOD 9 years ago
NYOD
CON(Dazza01),

So that you will understand your underlying error, I submit,

You made an assumption based on a notion that PRO's(Biowza's) resolution had any relationship to the science of evolution. Clearly PRO defined his terminology succinctly at the outset. The word "evolution" isn't used. He challenges the existence of SCIENCE calling itself "intelligent design."

You may alter the definition of "intelligent design," as you did, but you are left to counter his position -- truly a simple matter. For instance, if he had said, "I affirm that "Gravity" is not a scientific theory," one logical refutation would be, quite simply, to reference studies and scientific experiments within that area of science, called "gravity," the very existence of which would completely destroy his postulate.

You would not refute his position if you set out to attack and disprove the science of particle physics. The attack on subatomic particles is extraneous to the existence of "the science of gravity." A science is science because it has assembled a body of knowledge and rational projections based on scientific experimentation.

Therefore, an easy refutation for you would be to just reference the multitude of controlled scientific testing, experiments, studies AND subsequent theories that, by their very existence, disprove his resolution. Just go to any of what must be thousands of scientific publications in the field of "Intelligent Design" and cite a couple.

NYOD
:)

PS -- If you want to debate and refute "evolution," you should take a "PRO" position and offer it up.
Posted by simplex 9 years ago
simplex
I suppose it isn't entirely surprising that our ID debater is no more, they seem to enjoy bringing up arguments with such fire and brimstone, then vanish quietly into the night as soon as someone who disagrees dare speak up.

That said, if this is the best "science" they can muster, I'm quite frightened as to what passes for "scientific education" these days even at a grade school level.
Posted by Rezzealaux 9 years ago
Rezzealaux
Ditto to previous comment.
Posted by Puck 9 years ago
Puck
I was hoping for more than flawed geological creationist arguments and lack of education about evolutionary processes. Disappointing.
Posted by Dazza01 9 years ago
Dazza01
How was that Rezzealaux? Did the covering of ALL ID theorems make you happy?
Posted by Rezzealaux 9 years ago
Rezzealaux
Ahlet's see...

Your first comment said that ID "allows any theorem that believes in an omnipotent power to be part of it's classification". Your case says "[ID] Is the assertion that the EARTH and its features are explained by design by an omnipotent power". And then you go on to provide this Theistic Evolution argument, which is an EVEN MORE specific "theory".

Basically:

Theistic evolution is a subset of
Your case's definiton of ID which is a subset of
Your first comment's definition of ID.

Your first comment's definition is correct. Your case is wrong in the sense that you can't prove that ID as a whole is a scientific theory, as showing a subset is true does not mean that the set itself is also true.
Posted by Dazza01 9 years ago
Dazza01
Intelligent Design- Is the assertion that the EARTH and its features are explained by design by an omnipotent power (such as a god)."

Theistic Evolution believes in a deity making life on Earth...

If the definition fits the case, then how exactly is it wrong may I ask?
Posted by Rezzealaux 9 years ago
Rezzealaux
Then it's QUITE FUNNY how you defined in your R1 that "Intelligent Design- Is the assertion that the EARTH and its features are explained by design by an omnipotent power (such as a god)."

Your comment is right. Your case is wrong.
Posted by Dazza01 9 years ago
Dazza01
Actually, intelligent design is not a strigent guideline, like many people would like you to believe.

Intelligent design allows any theorem that believes in an omnipotent power to be part of it's classification...
Posted by Rezzealaux 9 years ago
Rezzealaux
Theistic Evolution is not Intelligent Design.

Nice try though.
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Vote Placed by s0m31john 9 years ago
s0m31john
BiowzaDazza01Tied
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