The Instigator
Biowza
Pro (for)
Winning
63 Points
The Contender
Tatarize
Con (against)
Losing
39 Points

Resolved: The idea of Intelligent Design is a product of religion, not science.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/25/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,471 times Debate No: 4795
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (31)
Votes (24)

 

Biowza

Pro

I affirm.

[Definitions]

Intelligent Design- A conjecture claiming that biological life on Earth, or more broadly, the universe as a whole, was created by an unspecified intelligent agent rather than being the result of undirected natural processes. (en.wiktionary.org/wiki/intelligent design)

Product- A consequence of someone's efforts or of a particular set of circumstances (wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn)

[Burdens]

Affirmative- Must show that Intelligent Design as defined is a product of religion and has no scientific basis.

Negative- Must show that Intelligent Design as defined is not a product of religion, but is strongly grounded in science and has strong scientific roots.

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I'll let whoever takes this debate make the first move.
Tatarize

Con

Intelligent design was for a large number of years the respected and the overwhelmingly accepted theory as to the origins of life. Even prior to Paley there were overwhelmingly compelling arguments as to why life should be seen as the product of an intelligence. This view persisted until about the 1860s when Darwin's explanation of the mechanism managed to unseat the previous, flawed, though ultimately scientific hypothesis.

In general science does not concern itself with the workings of the supernatural. This isn't because science is blind to such explanations but rather because science tests such explanations and to date has found them wanting. We almost always find a much better naturalistic explanation for anything initially attributed to the supernatural. This is simply a product of the truth of existence and the product of science. There is no supernatural forces and there are no ghosts, gods, aliens or ethereal creator intelligences. This doesn't make such explanations unscientific, it simply makes them wrong.

Paley argued quite well that the products of nature are far distinct from the products of simple forces like wind, erosion, gravity and time. If you look at the contrivances of nature you quickly surmise them more along the line of a pocket watch for engineering effort than a stone of natural design. When we look at the products of nature, the truly astounding natural productions we see the 'intelligence' that went into making them. We see that the products of nature and the products of the intelligence of man have similar causes, or that that hypothesis is at the very least a reasonable one accepted by reasonable scientists of the time. The core of intelligent design is that things really do look absolutely brilliant.

In science things tend to follow a standard line of understanding. First we have a mystery, then we have a problem, then we have a mechanism. We use to no idea how the universe began, it was a mystery. Now, with modern cosmology we have some good ideas, some good inklings as to how and when, it is a problem. We don't yet have the mechanism to make it all make sense and answer pretty much all of our questions... but we're getting there. In the world of biological science we are there. We have the mechanism. We understand evolution by natural selection is responsible for all the life on this planet. But that isn't to say that those grasps at truth back when we were turning what was once a mystery into a problem. Finding data, digging up fossils, figuring out that things became more complex as time went by, and yes noticing the amazingness of the designs of nature were not part of science.

The original intelligent design was very much the product and conclusion of scientific endeavors at the time. After creationism (pure religion) got knocked down by the supreme court the religious people pushing the claim quickly decided to fall back to the scientific understanding of the 1600-1850s as a way of slipping God into the debate and claiming originality. This is certainly dishonest. This is certainly wrong. The original arguments of Paley and the like were quite compelling and quite scientific. Even though many people noted that you couldn't conclude God as the conclusion is a non sequitur the conclusion of intelligence is almost inescapable. This was very much a boon for the religious at the time as it left the door wide open to conclude God though the conclusion itself was problematic. It was effectively destroyed by Darwin. I daresay the argument from design was the best argument for God to have every existed and Darwin made it moot. However, this is simply science and religion finding some brief synchronicity. The modern ID movement is pretty well a nostalgia trip down memory lane of disproven bits of speculation, it is dishonest and reprehensible.

Where does this leave our debate?

"Negative- Must show that Intelligent Design as defined is not a product of religion, but is strongly grounded in science and has strong scientific roots."

Intelligent Design as defined is not the product of religion it is the product of science with strong scientific roots. Admittedly it was promptly abandoned at the time of Darwin and the only people who currently attempt to bring the poor bastard back from the dead are religious, because at one time the science hadn't yet disregarded the incorrect.

Intelligent Design is scientific. Today it's stupid and anachronistic and religious. This is only because the real science of biology overshadows the old hypotheses, not because those hypothesis are completely devoid of scientific origin.
Debate Round No. 1
Biowza

Pro

Wow, I was expecting lines of copy-pasted creationist propaganda. How refreshing to see someone actually taking on the debate. Thank you.

Now, correct me if I am mistaken but it seems to me that at the core of your argument is the contention that initially, the concept of intelligent design was a legitimate way to view the universe given the knowledge at the time, and hence it was not an unreasonable view. You go on to state how things look designed and the people of the dark ages would be perfectly reasonable in concluding that they are designed by an intelligent designer.

This, I agree with. People such as Isaac Newton, Leonhard Euler, and Johannes Kepler were no doubt, religious. The greatest minds in the world at the time were presumably, intelligent design proponents. I have no problem with this, because the simple answer is that they did not know. They didn't know of any modern day biology brought on by Darwin's evolution, and they weren't aware of any modern theoretical physics which suggests an ever expanding universe of approximately 13.7 billion years. I'm not going to criticise them, or in fact anyone from that time who was religious. I'm sure from their point of view living in that time, it was a perfectly reasonable explanation for the world's phenomena. The fact that intelligent design has been obliterated by modern science doesn't make the views of Newton, Euler, and Kepler illogical, because they simply did not know.

I also agree that modern proponents of intelligent design are nothing but advocates of bronze age ideas which have been left for dead in the gutter by modern scientific inquiry. There is simply no reason in modern times to think in this dark age mentality, and it is absolutely insulting to legitimate scientists when ID (Intelligent Design) proponents attempt to discredit such an established theory as that of evolution. These people think that complaining to the supreme court, and making misguided posts on forums constitute as the proper way to challenge a theory. If any other theorist did this, they would be totally ostracised from the academic community. If you want to challenge a theory do it like everyone else, make studies and publish them in peer-reviewed scientific journals. But, that's just me going off on a bit of a tangent there.

So having said that I agree with essentially the bulk of your post, I do actually come to a different conclusion in terms of the relation this, to the debate at hand.

Through your discussions, you conclude that earlier times suggest that intelligent design is a product of science. However it is the other way around, in earlier times, science was the product of intelligent design. What I'm saying is that, as you say, intelligent design sparked all this interest in nature, it made people want to know how and it was only a matter of time until someone like Darwin came about. I'm presenting, that the very stupidity and lack of scientific basis of intelligent design, actually helped along the progress of science and the scientific revolution. The very dogmatism of attributing design and creation to a god, and ridiculing anyone who disagreed (Galileo for one) contributed to the scientific revolution.

Intelligent design being the 'product of' science would mean (if we are to adhere to the prior definition of 'product') that intelligent design would have to be a 'consequence of' science, I intend to show that intelligent design is in fact a 'consequence of' or 'product' of religion and not science.

The initial idea of intelligent design had no scientific basis. The current idea of intelligent design has no scientific basis. Actually according to the supreme court of the USA, intelligent design is nothing but 'sexed up' creationism. The term 'intelligent design' is in fact rather young, its first major use was in 1989. To talk of the 'original intelligent design' is to talk about modern intelligent design which you have said has no basis in science. Or if you are to concede that 'early intelligent design' is nothing but creationism, then you are saying that creationism has a scientific basis. Which I will now show that it doesn't, and never did.

Just because something is used in attempt to explain something scientific, it does not make that thing a product of science. For instance, dowsing (http://en.wikipedia.org...) is used in attempt to find hidden water. However it is not, in any way, a 'consequence of' or 'product' of science. The alternative to this, practices of geology and chemistry ARE products of science because they are strongly rooted in evidence, and the scientific method. Likewise, astrology is an attempt to understand the constellations (among other things) however it, has no scientific basis and is not the 'product of' science. Intelligent design/creationism is an attempt to understand life on earth (well, that's not true, its the assertion that we already understand life on earth), and much like dowsing or astrology it has no basis in science and is not a product of science. Something that is the product of science would be evolution, or Isaac Newton's "Philosophi´┐Ż Naturalis Principia Mathematica". These things are a consequence of science, and the scientific method, intelligent design is not.

It seems fair to say that, most, if not all proponents of intelligent design are religious. To say that it doesn't have its roots in religion seems to be almost trivial. The idea of intelligent design isn't a work of science, it's not a scientific theory and it is not even a scientific hypothesis. You can argue that this is the modern idea of intelligent design, but the fact remains that its basis was never in science, but in religion. Creationism (or, early intelligent design) is based almost entirely on creation according to genisis along with churches (who primarily controlled education and life in general in the dark ages) being the people who actually were the first. Taken from Wikipedia:

"From the days of the early Christian Church Fathers there were allegorical interpretations of Genesis as well as literal readings. The Protestant Reformation introduced lay people reading the Bible in translation and more literal understandings,[1] leading to a new belief that every biological species had been individually created by God."

Thanks again for taking the debate.
Tatarize

Con

The reason the idea of Intelligent Design was scientific is because it was a reasonable conclusion when the real answer was unknown. I don't know what caused the expansion of the universe but claiming it was goblins is unneeded and moreover completely worthless and doesn't give us a shred of insight. As far as I'm concerned this is the core purpose and effect of science. Those things which allow us to predict and determine things we otherwise would fail to about the universe.

There is a lot to science. There are hunches, hypotheses, theories, mechanisms, studies, conclusions, and models. And certainly much of scientific advance comes from the observation that things which are obviously true are non-obviously false. It really does seem as though the sun revolves around the Earth. The moon revolves around the Earth and seems to be a similar although darker body. The modern iteration of intelligent design tries to push a designer or more aptly a Designer. You don't see the bits of theory which fit the premise that life was created intelligently because we understand evolution to a good degree and see that it is even better at explaining not just the why but the how when and where. Why does the cheetah run fast? Certainly this is the evolution of a predator towards speed in order to better hunt its prey. The faster the organism the better its chances of properly occupying that niche. However, to say that they were designed to run fast to catch fast prey isn't a complete disaster. We don't see slow predators and fast prey. We see a remarkable congruency in such things. Where we declare that vestiges well disappear in an organism for which it is unneeded one could just as aptly note that they weren't designed with worthless parts. Every part of an organism does something. If we notice bird has a large strong beak we can conclude it was designed for some purpose that requires a large strong beak. When we observe that bird cracking large nuts, we shall not be surprised. -- With intelligent design we can make remarkable predictions about life and about organisms.

Evolution explains what we see here and more, but to declare that Intelligent Design was and is worthless is a completely farce. One could still make the most general of Panglossian conclusions that everything has a purpose for which it was "designed" or which allowed an organism an edge within it's niche. ID explains a great deal about the world. Evolution simply explains far more and gives us answers to questions we were too stupid to even ask.

As for your arguments that intelligent design is the product of religion and not science, I'll one up you: Religion is largely the product of intelligent design. It wasn't just decided that life was created by a designing intelligence and then we saw the clever designs of nature, rather it seems quite apparent that detecting the designs and qualities of nature is remarkably innate to humans in general. Since designs as such have only been seen as the contrivances of man and are far superior to those of men, clearly such designs must be the work of far better men than ourselves... and thus religion seems a rather remarkable and yet naive conclusion of simple human observation of the majesty of nature. The usefulness of this assumption is without question and far beyond the usefulness of anything in religion. In fact, I'm a bit offended that you're so ready to toss the hypothesis to the religious just because they are inclined to take it.

It is certainly fair to say that proponents of intelligent design are largely religious. If they were remotely scientific they would have switched over to evolution after the 1860s. However, by the same token pretty much every scientist in the world prior to the publication of Origin of the Species was a believer in intelligent design even those deists of few religious aspirations.

Furthermore, there's no divide between religion and irreligion at the time. Certainly the religious were quick to accept something which meshed well with their religious views. Just as the religious today are quick to cite the big bang a "religious creation of the universe".

---

I will now respond to some of the lesser points you made.

Intelligent design wasn't obliterated rather it was overshadowed by the mechanisms of evolution. The argument from design was never a complete failure but at it's core a fairly important insight. There is something different about life that doesn't just randomly happen. It has been hijacked from its origin as a good inkling and used as a stand-in replacement for creationism.

You say that "the very stupidity and lack of scientific basis of intelligent design, actually helped along the progress of science and the scientific revolution" -- this statement is completely objectionable. Science isn't helped by idiots standing in the way. The idea that being really really wrong is a boon to science is absurd. There were a large number of flaws with the argument from design, a number of them laid out by Hume and others. The answer of God doesn't work because it causes an infinite regress, the only conclusion one can draw from that logic is that life was made by intelligence rather than any god, the fossil record shows a progression from the less complex to the more complex, and large quantities of very new data was coming around all the time that simply didn't work for the hypothesis. Data which was aptly explained by Darwin rather succinctly. You want to claim that science was helped by how wrong the concept of design was when, in fact, it was helped by the concept. We knew there was a problem to be solved because of the apparent design in life.

Galileo wasn't ridiculed, he was arrested. Arresting great minds and burning others at the stake does not help a scientific revolution progress.

The Supreme Court hasn't ruled on ID. The Dover case was not appealed and isn't overly binding across the US. Although, I must admit that Judge Jones certainly made the right choice in the case. Certainly creationism got kicked in the butt in 1989 it quickly jumped ship to intelligent design in a completely indefensible and silly way. My argument isn't that the modern ID isn't a joke, but that the initial ID wasn't a joke in the least. The creationists simply jumped to the same intuitions from the religious sphere to the scientific sphere and skipped the general scientific step of paying attention to the actual science at the time.

>>Something that is the product of science would be evolution, or Isaac Newton's "Philosophi´┐Ż Naturalis Principia Mathematica". These things are a consequence of science, and the scientific method, intelligent design is not.

I suggest you read the last 25 words of Principia and try again on that front.
Debate Round No. 2
Biowza

Pro

Just because at a given point in time, a particular view was not unreasonable does not make that view scientific nor a product of science.

It was not unreasonable to assume, say 4-500 years ago, that the earth was the center of the solar system. Like you say, it certainly looks that way, if we suspend our current knowledge of cosmology, then it certainly is not unreasonable. But is this fairly reasonable idea a 'product of science'? Absolutely not. Much like intelligent design being a fairly reasonable guess does not make it a work of science. To understand, what is, and what isn't a 'product' of, or to use a different term a 'consequence of' science, it seems necessary at this point to define science.

"The collective discipline of study or learning acquired through the scientific method; the sum of knowledge gained from such methods and discipline." -Wiktionary

Now, let's compare for a second the idea intelligent design to scientific theory of evolution, with the parameters that each must be a product of science.

ID- is NOT learning acquired through the scientific method, nor the sum of knowledge gained from such methods. This is almost trivial to prove, and I'm assuming you won't disagree with me on this. Now is the idea the PRODUCT of 'acquired learning'? not at all. If anything it is a broad starting point, that has been essentially proven wrong. Something the product of bad science is still the product of science, for instance the idea of cold fusion is the product of science. It is the product of testing, the scientific method, and falsifiable claims. Now it turns out that the scientific community has essentially discarded cold fusion almost to the same degree as intelligent design, but this doesn't change the fact that cold fusion was the product of, albeit faulty science.

Much like cold fusion was the product of faulty, or bad science, intelligent design is the product of no science. It wasn't the consequence of a falsifiable hypothesis, or any applied or testable knowledge whatsoever. No, it was and is the consequence, or product of religion.

Evolution- I realise that this isn't an intelligent design vs evolution debate and am fully aware that you are a rational person and accept evolution. However, it cannot hurt to put things into context. Evolution, or more specifially, the theory of evolution is the product of science. It is the product of rigorous study, experimentation, documentation, debate, and most importantly, a convergance of evidence on an epic scale. It is totally the product of the strict adherance to the scientific method, the initial hypothesis, and following theory was falsifiable and fully testable. A quick comparison of evolution (or any scientfic theory for that matter) to intelligent design should yield the clear fact that intelligent design is not close to the product of science.

You are also leaving out a very key ingredient to the proverbial intelligent design cake. The idea of an omnipotent, designer, or god as it were. Intelligent design as defined for the purposes of this debate requires such a being (which is essentially unprovable). The idea that this unprovable, unfalsifiable being, which is apparently responsible for all things as they are supposedly is 'strongly grounded in science and has scientific roots' is laughable. I put it to you, how is an untestable claim, which offers no new knowledge, predicts nothing, and has no experimental evidence supporting it in any way scientific. More to the point, how can you tell me that this thing is the product of science? A claim that is not unreasonable at any given point in time, is not the product of science. A product of science is something produced by science, produced by the scientific method and produced by skeptical enquiry supported by strong empirical evidence. Of course, like cold fusion, the interpretation of this evidence is often difficult to get right. However the premise of the matter remains the same.

--

Let me just address some other of your points.

>>I'd like for you to explain to me why Principa Mathematica is not a work of science.

>>Sorry you're right, I got confused with the USA system, it wasn't the
supreme court. However, there have been many legal battles about the religiousity of intelligent design, with the baseline sentiment being that ID is not a work of science, but of religion.

>>In terms of Galileo, I see being arrested for a scientific work as a form of ridicule.

>>Science thrives on debate, nothing inspires a good debate more than an obviously faulty idea. A faulty idea being accepted by 99% of mankind only adds fuel to the flames.

>>Yes, intelligent design was actually obliterated. Pre-1989, intelligent design was called creationism, I personally see no greater destruction of an arguement by design than the theory of evolution. It's up to you to show me that intelligent design is at its core a fairly important insight.

Sorry for the faily crappy post this round, I'm fairly tired and decided to post this now rather than wait until tomorrow.
Tatarize

Con

My argument isn't that because such a view was acceptable at the time and therefore it is scientific. If this were my argument I should rightfully lose the debate. My argument is that the idea of intelligent design was specifically a scientific as well as a religious view. It was of real scientific value and produced valid scientific predictions about the world. The real difference between the religious view of the idea and the scientific view was the science itself. Even though it seemed to provide us good information as to what the thorns of a plant were to do (keep animals away) or the strong legs of a cheetah (run after prey) or the very impressive speed of a gazelle (run away from cheetah). These things are rightfully in a sort of harmony which the concept of design taps into. Darwin managed to show that this is the net effect of a mindless astounding process. Science filled in the general void of "design" with the actual process which was producing this harmony.

I'm saying that intelligent design is the product of the human mind. That we see the 'designs' in nature and this idea fed into the ideas of science and the ideas of religion at the time. Science has since moved after explaining those designs and religion has as religions do, made up more stuff and given a simple by wrong insight divine baggage. Intelligent Design is not the product of religion, it's the product of humanity. It was a valid and acceptable scientific institution and is still the fall back on questions of "why" about the products of evolution.

The modern iteration of intelligent design is nothing more than creationism with a cheap dress. Further, the extent of the power of intelligent design was the concept that if one sees something in nature they may clearly speculate that it has a use for the possessor: traits serve purposes (as they would in a designed system) or as Plato wrote in Politics "Nature does nothing uselessly." Though this seems a simple insight it's unquestionably valuable.

I am not leaving out any omnipotent designer gods from the concept of intelligent design, there was never an omnipotent designer god in the concept. These are the overarching stretches the religious were inclined to make. You could never get there. Embarrassing problems like "who made god?" and the completely non-sequitur nature of the conclusion popped up when such conclusions were fallaciously drawn. It didn't make scientists of the time any less likely accept the implications as both useful and remarkable. The roots of idea are scientific the tree, however, is imaginary.

And it does offer new knowledge: Why do rabbits have strong legs? Why do sharks have sharp teeth? -- they were designed to run, they were designed to eat. We had these answers in time immemorial long before Darwin came up with the "right" answers: they were evolved to run, they were evolved to eat. Although, admittedly there's no purpose to evolution in reality the answer is... that's what better fit that organism into that niche. In this sense, design actually gives us more useful information even though it has the downside of being incorrect.

However, being wrong doesn't make something useless it simply matters how wrong it might be.

http://chem.tufts.edu...

Intelligent design is certainly a broad starting point because it's quite intuitive. It's as obvious as the facts that the moon and sun revolve around the earth, that the stars are set in their places, dropped objects fall, if people bleed too much they die, and life begets life. These might not all be true, but they are all obvious and much of science is determining which bits of obvious right information are really non-obviously wrong. It's not just that they are wrong, but rather how wrong they might be. The sun does seem to move across the sky and in fact I can build a sun dial to tell time. Can you explain a sun-dial easily under the modern interpretation that the earth is just spinning and the sun is mostly staying there. You could, but at a certain point it gets a bit like trying to explain clicking a hyperlink by describing electron flow.

You said, "Now it turns out that the scientific community has essentially discarded cold fusion almost to the same degree as intelligent design, but this doesn't change the fact that cold fusion was the product of, albeit faulty science." -- I'm going to actually disagree with you. I think intelligent design is more useful. Even before we understood what caused this or that in organisms of nature we could surmise that they had a function useful to the organism which were designed with that organism in mind. Cold fusion produced nothing. No predictions at all. It was a dead end. Largely the errors and failures of the viewing life at designed helped to give rise to the theory of evolution. Daniel Dennett in his book Darwin's Dangerous Idea, wrote that "Darwin offered an explanatory path that actually honored Paley's insight: real work went into designing this watch, and work isn't free." Beyond providing some basic metrics by which we could surmise the purpose or organs or the traits of creatures it really was built upon in a real scientific fashion.

Further you've hit a remarkable bump in the road within this last round of debate. As it is my job, I'll go ahead and spell it out for you. You attempt to invoke the concept of falsifiability to show that ID isn't science. a quick comparison to evolution "should yield the clear fact that intelligent design is not close to the product of science". Allow me to drop the shoe, as you said in Round 2, "The fact that intelligent design has been obliterated by modern science doesn't make the views of Newton, Euler, and Kepler illogical, because they simply did not know." -- It has been falsified! It's wrong. Nature shows the handiwork of a blind tinkerer through the ages and not of a well-knowing designing intelligence. The designs of nature take real work and nature divided this up into tiny bits of non-genius gradual change pushing one organism above its brethren in the struggle to survive. The core idea as presented by Paley and others was insightful and wrong and shown by science to BE wrong, but not to be useless or non-scientific. You win nothing on these grounds.

--

Also, though it doesn't apply as directly to the debate you say that evolution was "totally the product of the strict adherance to the scientific method, the initial hypothesis, and following theory was falsifiable and fully testable." -- I'm going to have to disagree with you there. If you have read Origin of the Species (I recommend you do, it's a great read even today) it's more guess work and explaining how his theory could and even should do these things. How natural selection can do the heavy lifting and why we should believe it can. This is far from the hypothesis, theory, testing paradigm you suggest. He came up with a great idea (I daresay the best idea anybody ever had) and told people how it could work.
Debate Round No. 3
Biowza

Pro

The burden you are presented with is to show that 'Intelligent Design as defined is not a product of religion, but is strongly grounded in science and has strong scientific roots.' I'll show now, why you have not met your burden, and I will also demonstrate my burden that 'Intelligent Design as defined is a product of religion and has no scientific basis'.

The first of the two of my points as to how you haven't proven your burden is your incorrect definition of intelligent design which does not coincide with the pre-determined definition required to meet your burden. Now, just for clarification your burden is.

"Negative- Must show that Intelligent Design AS DEFINED is not a product of religion, but is strongly grounded in science and has strong scientific roots."

Now moving on quickly to the agreed upon definition, we find that the definition disagrees from the one you have been making and claiming has scientific roots the whole debate.

"Intelligent Design- A conjecture claiming that biological life on Earth, or more broadly, the universe as a whole, was created by an unspecified intelligent agent rather than being the result of undirected natural processes. (en.wiktionary.org/wiki/intelligent design)"

The part you have seemed to repeatedly omit is the reference to the unspecified intelligent agent. You even go as far as to say 'there was never an omnipotent designer god in the concept'. However a simple scroll upwards reveals that not only is this a direct contradiction to intelligent design AS DEFINED, but it is required of you to show that the definition used is the product of science and not religion. Which you have not made any steps towards since the beginning of the debate. What has essentially happened is you have made your own definition of intelligent design (inconsistent with the one of the debate) which as you say does not require a designer (the logical fallacy of this need not be addressed here) and you've attempted to use this new definition to prove that it is somehow scientific. So I hope that the people judging realise this, my opponent has not been consistent with the definition to reach his burden, even going as far as flat out denying the agreed upon definition.

Going by the actual definition of intelligent design which is used for the purposes of this debate, the definition that was agreed upon and the definition you need to adhere to in order to meet your burden, it is almost too easy to show how this is a work of religion and not science. As defined, Intelligent design is a conjecture claiming that the universe as a whole was created by an omnipotent power (whether this is a god, and whether it should be worshipped is essentially unimportant). Now, it is well documented that the beginnings of intelligent design/creationism are heavily set in that of the book of 'Genesis' as well as being core elements of the abrahamic religions. However even if we are to ignore all this evidence which is staring us right in the face, the unequivocal consensus in the scientific community is that intelligent design is pseudoscience. (http://en.wikipedia.org...) While you may be aware that it currently has no scientific basis, it is rather easy to show that it never did. It involves an unprovable and unfalsifiable claim of an intelligent agent that created all life on earth as it is. Now the idea of things all being created may certainly be falsified, but the idea of a creator which is a core element of both intelligent design and its religious past.

As I have stated before, for something to be the product of science, it must by definition be also a product of what science is defined as, which is essentially 'applied knowledge' and in a broader sense, the scientific method. Now, as I have demonstrated in previous debates, intelligent design (or creationism) is not a product of the scientific method and by logical extension is not the product of science. It is an idea based on religion, and based on the Abrahamic faiths. My opponent has failed to demonstrate how intelligent design, even his own definition, is a product of science. In reality, the designer-less intelligent design idea proposed by my opponent is essentially just that, an idea. No progress has been made in showing how it has its roots in science in the same way that Einstein's Annus Mirabilis papers, Newton's Principa Mathematica, and The Origin of species are. All these examples are a consequence of or the product of science. Intelligent Design is not.

To sum up, you must vote pro for reasons
------------------------

-My opponent's definition clearly varies from the definition required to meet his burden. Note that the definition given in round one is:

"Intelligent Design- A conjecture claiming that biological life on Earth, or more broadly, the universe as a whole, was created by an unspecified intelligent agent rather than being the result of undirected natural processes. (en.wiktionary.org/wiki/intelligent design)"

While the definition that my opponent gives is

"there was never an omnipotent designer god in the concept."

This fact essentially makes it impossible for him to achieve his burden, and thus makes myself the victor.

-Intelligent Design AS DEFINED, is not a product of science because:
- By definition, the unprovable and unfalsifiable (the creator) is a direct contradiction of both the scientific method and the concept of science as a whole.
- It is not the product of the scientific method, any testing, a provable hypothesis or an outcome of any debate, it was and is an essentially forced idea not open for discussion.
- To call it a product of science is to put it on par with the great works of scientific literature such as The Origin of Species, which is both ludicrous and insulting.

-Intelligent Design AS DEFINED, is a product of religion because:
- The idea of an omnipotent power is unprovable, yet believed in, this implies faith witch further implies religion.
- Close to all proponents of intelligent design are religious.
- The history of creationism (the early name for intelligent design) is credited to religion (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Please note that tests carried out on the idea of creationism does note make it the product of science, just in the same way that tests carried out on psychics doesn't make their predictions works of science.
- My opponent has stated that creationism is 'pure religion' while the fact is that creationism and intelligent design are one and the same. I've demonstrated that, by showing that intelligent design as a concept is only about 18 years old as well as showing US courts ruled in the Dover case that intelligent design was 'sexed up' creationism. Creationism, which my opponent refers to as 'pure religion' is initial stages of intelligent design which my opponent also calls a product of science. This is both highly contradictory and proves my burden for me.
Tatarize

Con

The basis of intelligent design is a human miscalculation due to the elegance of nature. It really does look designed and people saying that it was is a fairly natural step taken by both predarwinian biological science and the religiously the argument from design. Showing the topic is wrong and properly explaining how, even though it's wrong, the leap of design is both useful and scientific should suffice to meet any burden. I'll take your long winded banter about burdens to mean you know you've lost the debate or at the very least are on the ropes. Being con in the debate I should suffice to simply defend and defeat your claims, however thus far the debate has been completely dedicated to my arguments with simply an assumption on your part that you're right. Further you're trying to nitpick the definition (which is a perfectly acceptable definition) to surmise that I've failed in some way.

I am not as you accuse me omitting the "unspecified intelligent agent" but rather noting that it's unspecified. Observe. If one finds a rock in the grass one would be free to surmise that it had been there forever and find that conclusion satisfactory, however if one were to find a well-tuned well-designed pocket watch the same conclusion could not be found satisfactory. The same applies to life. There are more remarkable designs in nature than one could ever find in a pocket watch. Thusly just as there are teams of designers working tirelessly on the design of such watches there must be teams of designers working on nature. The designers must be fairies and those fairies must be plentiful!

See, the same argument Paley used applies quite readily to large quantities of fairies. There's a reason the "intelligent agent" is unspecified. Any specification is a non-sequitur. You honestly can't conclude anything other than "unspecified intelligent agent". There isn't an omnipotent designer god there unless you wrongly put an omnipotent designer god there. However, this isn't a deficit to the usefulness of the conjecture in a scientific sense. Long before Darwin we could make astounding predictions about the natural world just speculating that organisms and organs were "designed" for something. The superfluous and fallacious identification of what is rightfully defined "unspecified" in the aforementioned definition is a problem within your appraisal of the hypothesis not mine. My definition is very true to form and doesn't specify any designer because, rightfully, it isn't specified and the truth is long since scientifically known.

"As defined, Intelligent design is a conjecture claiming that the universe as a whole was created by an omnipotent power" -- No. Look at the definition!

"Intelligent Design- A conjecture claiming that biological life on Earth, or more broadly, the universe as a whole, was created by an unspecified intelligent agent rather than being the result of undirected natural processes. (en.wiktionary.org/wiki/intelligent design)"

I am being very true to form and not specifying, you're the one begging me to say that "god did it". Or petitioning to 'Genesis' or the core elements of Abrahamic religions. The modern iteration is certainly an attempt to give rise to a unneeded and unwanted theory and allow for such conclusions. I freely admit that. But to say that the theory firmly established in Darwin's head throughout his time on the Beagle, which provided faults and issues providing insight and yet at the same time was still remarkably powerful. The insights of which were honored by Darwin's theory, design takes work and this is something we *need* to explain. It has scientific utility even today even with Darwin's underlying explanation of all of the above.

The core take away from intelligent design are probably:
1) Everything in nature has a purpose.
2) The designs of nature take real work.

The first is a odd sort of false Panglossian idea which is completely wrong and yet absolutely invaluable. The second is a true insight which did and does feed science. Find something without a purpose in nature and you have yourself a falsified hypothesis. Vestiges meet this definition pretty well but are fairly rare. It also misses a number of real issues in nature like the constantly cooped functionality of parts for other uses. It works well enough to use and make predictions about the world. This is far beyond any actual pseudoscience although the modern practitioners have made that territory well-trodden.

Einstein would be nothing without Newton. Newton would be nothing without "the shoulders of giants". Darwin would be nothing without Paley and probably would have gone into the priesthood as his father wanted.

- By definition, the unprovable and unfalsifiable (the creator) is a direct contradiction of both the scientific method and the concept of science as a whole.

Science doesn't disprove gods or unspecified designers. It tests those concepts and they don't seem to pan out. My wisdom teeth are a horrifically bad design therefore there is no intelligent design. Panda's thumbs are simply cooped wrist bones and that's not the way any real designer would work. My eye has all the wiring backwards making for a large set of problems which any two year old would have designed differently. It isn't that it's untestable, rather it's just wrong.

- It is not the product of the scientific method, any testing, a provable hypothesis or an outcome of any debate, it was and is an essentially forced idea not open for discussion.

Seeing as the debate and arguments and hypotheses were common for for hundreds of years, this seems a remarkably narrow-sided comment. Read Paley's Natural Theology it was required reading at Cambridge for years (including those when Darwin attended) and is nothing but argument and debate on the subject. In fact, it was the failures of the predictions Darwin made by the light of Paley that puzzled him the most. Why should identical islands have different species, why should the differences of those species be progressive from the distance from the mainland?

- To call it a product of science is to put it on par with the great works of scientific literature such as The Origin of Species, which is both ludicrous and insulting.

One of the reasons I despise the modern creationist movement is because it demands such over-reactions. Give them a finch and their take a isle.

- The idea of an omnipotent power is unprovable, yet believed in, this implies faith witch further implies religion.

If I thing that angels pull things to the ground, is gravity religion?

- Close to all proponents of intelligent design are religious.

So are most politicians, is politics religion?

- Tests carried out on psychics doesn't make their predictions works of science.

Yes, but psychics are testable (thus far they are epic failures). My point isn't that ID is just flim-flam it actually make reliable predictions. That spikey ball (thagomizer) on the end of that dinosaur's tail must be for something perhaps protection. Further investigation says, yeah that's what it could do.

- My opponent has stated that creationism is 'pure religion' while the fact is that creationism and intelligent design are one and the same.

In the modern iteration, yes. Historically it was quite valid and a reasonable explanation. Dover found that it was pretty clearly revived from its scientifically valid origins for purely religious reasons and therefore was not acceptable in science classes. None of that damages any of my contentions.

----

Intelligent design isn't of religious origins or really of scientific origins. It's found in the places of nature where we say: hey now isn't that clever why is that like that? From where did such designs come? Prediction, testing, and inspiration makes it scientific. Today the truth makes the idea moot and the religious make it silly, but neither makes the above topic true.
Debate Round No. 4
31 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
Yeah, it's an uphill battle for sure. I just thought my performance was better than my end result.
Posted by Kleptin 8 years ago
Kleptin
This one I actually found semi evenly matched, though Tatarize shouldn't have lost by that much.

Biowza's specialty is slaying ID though, I'll need to read this a little more thoroughly later.
Posted by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
Yeah, ouch. I'm getting shredded even though I had an extremely nuanced view with good historical grounding and an astounding understanding of the subject matter. I honestly don't credit either religion or science with the idea that everything is designed, rather it seems as though everything IS designed and this was a point of interest for both for a while.
Posted by Dr_Harvey 8 years ago
Dr_Harvey
There was a reason I didn't take this debate and now I see why. You have to know when you're gonna get tore up, I would have gotten tore up in this debate. Great Job guys!
Posted by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
Xera, wow a careful voter. I use to do that. Now I just vote for the cute girls and the atheists.
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
gasp.

Tatarize spelled my name right.
First person on this site to do so.

IT MUST BE A SIGN! :O
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
You are both excellent debaters. I actually had to sit down with pencil and paper and figure out who had left a point unrefuted. I did not really find any. So I had to go on what makes sense to me.

Science is the act of making hypotheses and using the senses to test and determine the validity of those hypotheses. CON pointed out, in the earlier years the hypothesis was that some other being had created a system whereby all these things we have since attributed to evolution came into existence.

But it's much like the chicken and the egg. Did the idea that some being made the cheetah run fast come as a result of watching the cheetah run fast and seeing it was necessary for survival OR did the observers classify this as further evidence of an already upheld belief that some being created the cheetah?

In other words, what came first, the idea of ID or the observation that led to the idea of ID? really neither side could prove that as there are no documents that clearly spell out, "Hey I saw this cool thing and the only way it happened is if there is a being that made it so" dating back to a period of time before ANY religious theory existed.

Finally I had to look at the PRO case. He made one huge error that tipped the scales from center to CON.

He is the one that rewrote the definition of Intelligent
design.

"created by an unspecified intelligent agent" =/= "omnipotent designer god."

Considering how well thought out all the rest of the arguments were, this one HUGE error, to rewrite the phrase 'intelligent agent' to mean 'omnipotent designer god' was surprising. The glaring absence of the word omnipotent from the original definition made this argument null in my opinion, and Con called him on it. Had con not called him, I would not have been able to use it.

Therefor I voted CON.
Posted by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
http://www.debate.org...

Rereading that is classic. My debate as con on the question of ID.
Posted by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
I'm the best debater possible. I'm absolutely the best.

Judging from Rezzealaux's comment we've started to post self-aggrandizing complements in this thread.

:)
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......

Tatarize and I debate alike.
24 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
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