The Instigator
Pro (for)
12 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
17 Points

The Teleological Argument is a sound argument for God's existence.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/21/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,174 times Debate No: 23040
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (52)
Votes (8)




I wish to issue this challenge to HonestDiscussioner. He has expressed his desire to debate this so I agreed to challenge him. As such, I will lead off with my argument and the debate will last three rounds, instead of my standard four with the first round for acceptance.

As previously stated, the Teleological Argument I will be defending is as follows:

P1 -- The universe resulted either from design or chance.
P2 -- It is highly improbable that it resulted from chance.
C -- Hence, it is highly probable that the universe was designed. [1]

Premise 1 -- The universe resulted either from design or chance.

This is self-explanatory and at present I see no need to justify it. If Con takes issue with it, I will address his concerns in the next round.

Premise 2 -- It is highly improbable that it resulted from chance.

Chance is a non-intelligent force. We see design in the universe all around us. There are many things which had to have occurred just perfectly in order for life to exist on this world. For example, if water had not been present, if our atmosphere produced methane instead of oxygen, if plant life was not here, and a host of other things. One cannot expect to get order from non-intelligence. One would expect to get chaos. The only plausible explanation for our existence is that the universe had a designer, God.

The high improbability of a chance happening is due to the fact that there is not an eternity of in which to realize the ordered arrangement in which things now find themselves, as some would speculate (such as David Hume). There are only so many billions of geological years for things to take their present arrangement. S.C. Hackett has said, "I conclude that the notion of chance simply does not provide any rationally plausible explanation of the significant order in the universe, and that therefore the principle of purposively directed activity provides an overwhelmingly more reasonable explanation." [2]

In fact, an arch-defender of Evolution, Julian Huxley, has estimated that at the known rate of helpful mutations over the known time scale, the odds against evolution happening by pure chance are 1 followed by 3 million zeros (fifteen hundred pages of zeros) to one. [3]

The odds of the universe coming into existence and producing just the right combination of elements for human life, and then that human life evolving from more primitive forms of life is so immense, that to seriously believe in it requires much more faith than any miraculous account from the Bible.

Seeing that the universe was designed is not so hard to believe. After all someone who is ignorant of art, after seeing the Mona Lisa, would still conclude that there was a painter. And someone who is ignorant of architecture, upon viewing the Eiffel Tower, would know there was a builder. If a painting requires a painter, and a building a builder, how much more would a complex and huge universe require a designer?

William Paley has postulated a case in which we can clearly conclude there is a designer. Paraphrasing, he says in crossing a heath suppose you trip over a stone. You might question how the stone got there, but as far as you know nothing to the contrary, it could have been there forever. However, suppose you find a watch on the ground. You might question how the watch got there, you wouldn't think of the same reason as before, that the watch might have always been there. Why is it admissible in the first case but not the second? For this reason alone: when you inspect the watch, you perceive -- what you could not discover in the stone -- is that its several parts are framed and put together for a purpose. [4]

Paley shows the contrivances in nature are more incredible than those in a watch. He is careful to root his argument in observation.

The reasoning is as follows: A watch shows that it was put together for an intelligent purpose (to keep time). It has a spring to give it motion. A series of wheels transmits this motion, made of brass so that they do not rust. The spring is made of resilient steel. The front cover is glass so that one can see through it. All this is evidence of intelligent design.

Theologian Norman Geisler adds, "But the world shows a much greater evidence of design than a watch. It has an endless variety of means adapted to ends. The human eye alone would suffice to demonstrate intelligent design in nature." [5]

By observing the universe around us, it seems much more plausible that the universe was designed and didn't arise by chance.

Conclusion -- Hence, it is highly probable that the universe was designed.

I believe the conclusion is supported well by the premises. I look forward to Con's rebuttal.

[1] Geisler, Norman L., The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, p. 718
[2] Hackett, S.C., The Reconstruction of the Christian Revelation Claim, p. 106.
[3] Huxley, Julian, Evolution in Action, p. 46.
[4] Paley, William, A View of the Evidences of Christianity, p. 3.
[5] Geisler, Norman L., The Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, p. 574.


I would like to thank KeytarHero for agreeing to challenge me to this debate, especially so soon after his previous one on the same issue. I look forward to a fruitful debate.

I know that it is customary to attempt to refute an opponent's points in the order they were given, however I believe in this case it would be prudent to save addressing P1 until near the end of my response. Thusly, I will begin by addressing Premise 2, that "It is highly improbable that it [the universe] resulted from chance."

My opponent defends this premise by arguing that there is design present in the universe, as there are a host of requirements for a planet to be life-permitting and ours seems finely tuned to those very specific requirements. This argument fails to consider two different issues, the lesser being that it relies on "Carbon Chauvinism" and the larger problem being that it ignores the immense size of the universe.

"Carbon Chauvinism" is the idea that the only form of life possible is the carbon based life we find on this planet. It is a false idea, for there are numerous types of life possible that would increase the range of life-permitting worlds considerably. For example, it is known that instead of carbon, silicone based life is also possible, as well as many other kinds. Unless my opponent can prove that carbon life is the only conceivable form of life, his range is not quite so exclusionary.

This, as I said, is a minor point. The greater problem consists of the fact that while there is a grain of truth to his argument, that while indeed it is unlikely that a singular planet would have the properties that would allow for life, it ignores that our universe alone consists of billions of galaxies each with billions of stars, the vast majority with multiple planets on it. To use an analogy, the chances of getting the Mega Millions jackpot is 1:175,611,536. It would seem unlikely that you'd win if you bought a ticket, but what if you bought 526,834,608 tickets? It then becomes likely that you'd win several times. Such is with the universe, given the range of CARBON life permitting properties, it is incredibly unlikely that no life would exist.

He then quotes apologist Stuart C. Hackett who concludes that there is no rationally plausible explanation for the order we see. I would argue that this is nothing more than an opinion that states "I personally cannot see an explanation" and in no way shows that there is no such explanation.

After Hackett, he quotes Julian Huxley as estimating very large odds against evolution occurring by pure chance. My opponent is absolutely right about this, but ignores the point that Huxley was making. The key phase here is "pure chance". Huxley was arguing that it would be almost impossible to produce a horse via random mutation without natural selection. If you were to begin reading from the last paragraph of the page previous to the one my opponent cites, this would be quite apparent. Evolution does not operate on random chance, but through random mutation filtered through natural selection. [1]

My opponent then goes on to make a mistake he seems to repeat throughout his argument. He calculates the probability of something happening after it has already happened, in this case, human life. To demonstrate why this is bad reasoning, I have thrown together a webpage with some simple javascript:

When you click on the link, your page will load a random number of almost one million digits. Please feel free to reload the page as many times as you'd like. Now, is each new random number a miracle? The chances of each individual result occurring is astronomical, and yet each time an astronomically unlikely result occurs. For a less tech-heavy example, wait until fall and sit under a tree. Wait for a leaf to fall to the ground. When it does, ask yourself, "is this a miracle"? The probability that that particular leaf would fall in whatever location it fell at the exact moment that it fell is astronomical.

If the metaphorical dice had rolled differently, and human beings specifically did not come into existence, then an equally unlikely species would have emerged in our place. Once life began, there were innumerable permutations that could have resulted in an immensely varied forms of life than we find today, but that in no way implies a there must have been an intelligent force guiding us to this location, any more than there must have been a guiding force for each leaf that falls and each number generated by my web page.

My opponent then goes into the "watchmaker" argument, which implies that anything designed must have a designer. This again is refuted by natural selection via random mutation. It is something that can produce things that appear designed without any designing force behind it. You see, the watchmaker analogy basically argues from intuition; since we know of no natural phenomenon that could produce watches, we then assume that it must have been designed. We do, however, know of a naturalistic phenomenon that can change the way life works to adapt to the environment. We can run simulations where various designs are created through this process without any human intervention, completely at random other than the influence of natural selection.

To respond more directly to the version of argument my opponent gives from Paley, who points out that a watch has a purpose (to tell time) and is designed for such, I merely have to describe the a very simple example from evolution. A giraffe's neck. Would my opponent argue that the length of the neck must be an intelligent design feature as the length of the neck is clearly designed to reach high branches for food? What if we had, many many MANY years ago, a creature that looks a lot like a giraffe only it did NOT have such a long neck? It still ate leaves from branches, but could not reach very high. It did survive, because food at the time was plentiful, it did not require to reach the taller leaves. Then a drought hits, and suddenly there is not enough food to feed the entire population. Like with anything, some of these short-necked giraffes had slightly longer necks than others, and thus could get at leaves that others could not. Conversely, the ones with even shorter necks could get at even fewer leaves. Which is more likely to survive and pass on its genes? Clearly, the one with the slightly longer neck. At some point, a mutation occurs creating an offspring with a neck slightly longer than any other giraffe, and this one can thusly get at even further leaves, thus increasing its chances of survival. Now extend this over a VERY long time and what is the result? The giraffes of today. This is an overly simplified explanation, but it shows how no intelligence is needed to produce systems that appear designed. Thus, Paley's argument is invalid.

Finally, I will go back and address my opponent's first premise, for it relies on an invisible assumption which, if unwarranted, would undercut nearly every point he has made. His first premise was as follows:

The universe resulted either from design or chance.

What is the invisible assumption here? My opponent assumes that this is the only universe that has ever existed. If there are more universes than this one, ones that have different properties than this one, then the entire basis for his probability argument goes out the window. Therefore, I would like to challenge my opponent to justify this assumption. If he cannot prove (which I doubt he can) that this is the only universe in existence, then there exists a third possibility where the universe did not arise by either chance or design, but rather an inevitability, or at very least, the chance of our universe coming into existence is much larger than my opponent would suggest.

[1] Huxley, Julian, Evolution in Action, p. 45-46.

Debate Round No. 1


I would once again like to thank HonestDiscussioner for debatint this with me.

Premise 2: It is highly improbable that [the universe] resulted from chance.

While there is currently speculation that life exists elsewhere in the universe, there is no proof of it. Of course, it would be a logical fallacy to assume there is no life simply because there is no evidence of it. But one might wonder that if other forms of intelligent life are possible, then why don't we see them in our own galaxy? If it's possible life can arise that breathes carbon dioxide instead of oxygen, then why isn't there life on Mars? While we can speculate that life once existed on Mars, there's no evidence that a civilization has ever existed there. In fact, it seems that the odds of life existing naturally on this planet are so astronomical, that if we ever did find life on other planets it should only prove to support Theism rather than Atheism.

It is not simply that I can't see an explanation so once doesn't exist. I don't see how a natural process can create order. I've posed this to many atheists and have never received a good answer. I've received a circular argument, that we see order in nature so we know nature produces order. I've never known a bomb that explodes and constructs a building. How can a non-intelligent process create order? It seems far more likely that an intelligent Creator is behind the universe.

We can even use Con's own webpage as an example. While it may be astronomical that all the numbers appear in that sequence, what naturalists would have us believe is that when you load up that webpage all the numbers will line up in order, from 0 to 9 and repeat from 0 to 9 each time. Or that if you're under a tree in California and the leaf falls, it will land in China. When you load up the page, one sequence of numbers will have to come up. Or if you're sitting under the tree and a leaf falls, it has to land somewhere. But life did not have to develop on Earth. In fact, as I mentioned, just one minor thing could have gone wrong and life would not have developed here. Can Con show that life had no choice but to develop on Earth? This is the essence of his argument from the random numbers or the leaf falling.

Con also mentions that another form of life would have arisen in our place if we hadn't developed here, but I don't think there's any evidence for that, either. Why did life have to arise at all? Why couldn't this have just been another barren world, and no intelligent life exist in the universe?

I would, of course, state that the giraffe is intelligently designed. Now, Con here gives a possible scenario of ancient giraffes who did not have such long necks and through the process of mutation grew longer necks out of necessity. Is there any proof that such giraffes like this used to exist, or is this just a "plausible theory" that fits in with the theory of evolution? Also, why wouldn't the giraffes have just died out instead of growing longer necks, a process that, presumably, takes thousands or millions or years? Also, why does necessity give us mutations? If the Earth were suddenly completely flooded and filled with water, do you think humanity would drown and die out or do you think humans would live long enough and develop gills?

Premise 1: The universe resulted either from design or chance.

While I am familiar with the assumption that other universes exist, I'm not sure this can ever be proven.

However, if there are other universes that exist, then why don't they ever collide with ours? You would think that if millions or billions of universes actually exist, that they'd be colliding with each other. This happens to galaxies within our universe.

Supposing the exist of other universes seems to be begging the question to me. In fact, arguments for or against the existence of God could also be used to argue the existence of universes. It seems that arguing for or against the exstence of other universes is putting the cart before the horse. If there is a God, then it's entirely possible that He created other universes as well. If there is no God, then the possibility of other universes seems even more unlikely.


I am quite glad to be able to continue this debate with my opponent.

My opponent is correct in stating we have no absolute proof of life on other planets. The reason why life doesn't exist on Mars today is because a very large asteroid hit the planet, which would have been absolutely catastrophic. This caused Mars to have the very thin atmosphere it has today. Pro asks why, if life in this universe is not so improbable, have we not run into it yet? There are many different reasons that we should not expect to see life just yet. Just a few:

1.Life has existed before, but it has destroyed itself, or was lost to meteor strike.

2. Life exists, but does not interfere with pre-star traveling cultures (like in Star Trek).

3. Our signals have not reached them yet, or they have an their response has not reached us yet (closest candidates are 80 light years away. A signal back and forth would take 160 years).

4. Life is so rare, it only occurs once or twice a galaxy. Since there are billions of galaxies, this leaves the known universe with billions of life producing planets, each entirely out of reach of the other.

As I said, there are many reasons that we have yet to contact other life, these are only a few.

I take issue with Pro's last sentence of his first major paragraph. In it he opines that should we find life on other planets, the low odds of life would make it a miracle. However if we DON'T find life, then we are so rare we must be a miracle. Pro cannot have it both ways. If life is plentiful in the universe, then perhaps the odds simply are not as low as Pro makes them out to be, as I've argued previously.

Next, my opponent argues that the idea of natural processes creating order seems impossible. Yet, so many natural processes create order. Look at a snowflake. Each one, for all intents and purposes, has a unique but ordered structure. Now which explains that better: Crystalization Dynamics, or an intelligent being taking the time to form each one themselves? Why would we assume the latter when we understand the forces behind the former? Look at chemicals and the way they interact. Constantly, and not just in organic chemistry, we see simple chemicals naturally bond with other simple chemicals to create long complex chemicals with entirely different properties.

Non-intelligent processes create order because the work through consistent causes and effects, and consistency creates patterns, and patterns create order.

Pro's assertion that atheists would have you believe that the numbers on my webpage example just happened to show up in a constant 0-9 pattern misses two facts. The first being that the order he suggests is no more or less likely than any other collection of numbers my webpage could produce. The second being that he assumes 0-9 is the only thing that would "get the job done" so to speak. My opponent is correct in stating that life did not have to develop on earth. This assertion is telling though, and it proves my point. He's looking at the current situation, and then determining the probability of that specific outcome.

To further illustrate my point, go load up my webpage again. Whatever numbers come up, let's pretend those are the numbers that produce human life as we see it today. My opponent would argue that any other set of numbers, then, would produce absolutely nothing. That combination, the human life producing one, is the only significant combination out of zillions. This is a misstep. In order for Pro's argument to make any sense or in any way be valid, he would have to go through every single possible result, then look at the outcome of that result, and mark whether it produced life, then show what percentage of the time it produced life. Now I admit, it will be very rare that the combinations would produce human life. Some of them, however, will produce a completely different intelligent life form. If they looked at the numbers that produced us and used my opponent's reasoning, they cross them off as it did not produce them, and the same with innumerable other possible intelligent species. That's only the intelligent ones too. How many would produce life that did not reach sentience?

The point here is, my opponent is playing with probabilities without knowing the vast majority of the factors, and therefore does not really know of all the various outcomes. He only looks at one possibility as the "correct" one, ignoring all the others that, if they were the case, would see us as the "incorrect" possibility.

When my opponent asks why this couldn't be just a barren world, my response is that it could have been. However when we are talking about "human life", there are a number of steps in the evolutionary process that could have gone differently that would have produced something other than human life. This goes along with my reasoning that there are many other combinations that would seem unlikely, but together all of the unlikely combinations means that it is likely that an unlikely combination would occur.

Next, Pro has a few misconceptions about evolution. My use of giraffes was only an example use to show how natural selection could work. The catalyst for giraffe evolution is still a hotly debated topic, with some arguing for my example but others contending it was sexual selection among males. The details may be challenging to discern, but I hope my opponent isn't arguing that they evolved. The fact that we evolved is about as controversial as whether some birds can fly. We've seen species evolve from one to the other, we see mutations accumulate, we see traits develop for defense and offensive (read: survival) purposes. As biologist and Russian Orthodox Christian Theodosius Dobzhansky writes "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution". It is the cornerstone of biology. If my opponent needs actual information in the subject, he can view horse evolution which has a host of transitional fossils demonstrating their development, or a species of we understand even better, human evolution. The attached video to this argument explains this quite nicely.

He asks why giraffes evolved and simply didn't "die out". Well that is what happens most of the time. Evolution is a slow processes, taking many thousands and sometimes millions of years. When environmental change happens too rapidly, many times life can't keep up. The vast majority of species that have lived on this planet, no longer do so for this very reason.

Pro then asks why other universes don't collide with ours if they exist. I would ask him why Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom never collide with Darth Vader and Tatooine. They may be fiction, but my point is that they might not even have the ability to collide with each other. Not to mention that it takes billions of years for galaxies to collide, why does my opponent assume that universes must collide more often than that? Perhaps one will collide with ours someday.

My opponent incorrectly claims that I am pre-supposing the existence of other universes. In fact, since it is he that is making the claim of improbability, it is he that is pre-supposing the non-existence of other universes. Unless he knows how expansive existence is, he cannot make an accurate calculation the probability of something occurring within existence. If he does not know how many times the dice have been thrown, he cannot calculate the probability of one of those throws being snake eyes. Without this information, the entirety of the teleological argument fails.

I again thank my opponent for his time and look forward to his response.

Debate Round No. 2


I would once again like to thank HonestDiscussion for having this debate with me.

Even if there was intelligent life on Mars, an asteroid hitting the planet might wipe out all life but it certainly wouldn't erase all evidence of their existence. There would surely be debris from structures that have existed, or something that would show an intelligent species once lived there.

Responding to Con's five points:

1. Again, this would not erase all evidence of the race's existence.

2. This is possible, of course, but if multiple alien races exist it is highly doubtful that all other alien races would refuse to interfere.

3. This is true as well. In fact, since our universe is expanding at an accelerating rate of speed, it's unlikely that we'll ever have visitors from another planet since we're moving away from them faster than they could reach us. However, since there are probably a million different combinations in which life could arise, this doesn't explain why we're the only race that has developed in our galaxy.

4. This is probable, but at present we only have speculation and no evidence that other races even exist.

I understand it looks like I'm leaving an impossible situation for Con. Let me rephrase: Evolution has been shown to be mathematically impossible (as I showed in my opening argument), that life developing here was a naturalistic miracle (if no God exists). Since life developing is so rare, if it should be found on other planets then it seems that it would only bolster the evidence for God's existence, due to how astronomical the odds are. Even if Con is right, and other forms of life are possible, one must wonder why only one race would develop in our galaxy instead of two, and why there would be no traces of any other races of beings if they once existed.

However, it's not just that we are alone in the universe, but the fact that we are alone and the world we live in, coupled with the universe around us, seems fine-tuned for our existence, that lends credibility for God's existence. If only one of a thousand things had not developed properly, life as we know it would not have existed. Obviously the universe around us is hostile to human life, but there are traits of it which help us (for example, the placement of Jupiter helps deflect meteroids from hitting us).

I don't believe that God has nothing better to do than to personally design each snowflake that falls. However, God most likely set Crystallization Dynamics in place. Con still has not offered a compelling argument for why a completely natural process can create order. The argument still boils down to a circular one: We know that nature produces order because we see order in nature. By why suppose naturalism rather than a Designer who created this with a purpose? A Designer seems more reasonable. To presuppose no Designer, yet not have an explanation for how nature alone can produce order, seems like begging the question to me.

Con did offer a suggestion, but here's the caveat: How does his explanation that non-intelligent processes create order by working through consistent causes and effects, consistency creating patterns, and patterns creating order explain the universe? During the Big Bang which created it all, it was a major explosion which is said to have created the universe, producing order. But there were no natural laws before that, no consistency to work through. So how did it create an ordered universe? Additionally, how did the first snowflake develop that led to the consistency of producing other snowflakes?
Let me expand on my explanation of Con's webpage. It's true that a constant stream of 0-9's are just as likely as any other, but believing in natural processes would be believing that not only is our state of affairs just as likely as any other, but that a natural process created the universe in just the right way for our continued survival. In essence, our webpage came up 0-9's all the way through.

To put it another way, if I destroyed a perfectly good Rolex watch, put it in a paper bag, and shook it up for billions of years, what are the chances I would pull out a fully-functioning Rolex watch, ticking and on time?

We have animals that are not sentient on our planet, and so far have not discovered any others on any other planets (save bacteria). So it is just as likely that no other planets have non-sentient life, as it is that planets have sentient life.

It is true that we're merely dealing in probability here, but isn't that all we can prove? We can't prove with 100% certainty whether God exists or doesn't exist. All we can show is whether God's existence is probable or not.

I confess I don't keep up on Evolutionary theory, and if I've misspoken then Con is free to correct me as I would enjoy learning more about it (Evolutionary theory is much different from when I learned it in school). I personally don't believe Evolution happened, but for the sake of this debate I will assume that it did. After all, there are Theistic Evolutionists.

Regarding colliding universes, and as much as I love the Mario games and Star Wars (though I'm a bigger Trekkie), the fact alone that they're fictional shows that Con's analogy doesn't hold up. The universes could collide (either in a crossover or in a catastrophic event) if an author so choose, or they wouldn't collide if an author so chose. However, in reality we would have no control over whether or not other universes, if they exist, would collide with ours. And if there are other universes, and have been billions of years in time, then why hasn't another universe collided with ours? It seems likely that they would. After all, our own Milky Way Galaxy is on a collision course for the Andromeda Galaxy. If it can happen in our own universe, why can't it happen with other universes?
The reality is we have no reason to suppose that other universes exist. It makes for great science fiction and it may help to explain certain scientific laws, but there is no proof. We have good solid reasons for believing in God's existence. Even if we can't prove it to within 100% accuracy, God has left clues for us to point to his existence. Without any evidence to the contrary, the existence of other universes is merely conjecture, nothing more.

Thank you again, HonestDiscussioner, for your time in debating this with me.


I appreciate the opportunity my opponent has given me in debating this topic, and thank him for it.

I must admit, I am a bit confused as to the arguments my opponent has made in his last response. It appears, to me at least, that he either missed or misunderstood a large portion of what I said.

For example, my opponent begins by pointing out how if intelligent life was ever present on Mars, we'd see structures. For one, this is inaccurate, as any structures would have been buried under debris from the asteroid and from natural forces over billions of years, but that's besides the point. I never argued for intelligent life on Mars. Both Earth and Mars formed at about the same time, and the asteroid impact was quite a long time ago. There would not have been an opportunity for intelligent life to come into existence and so we shouldn't expect to see it.

Then he responds to my reasons as to why we haven't seen other life in the galaxy yet, and again points out it would not erase all evidence of the race's existence. While this is true, we are talking about life in other solar systems, there would be no way to go see the evidence even if it was littered all over the planet. The point here is that there wouldn't be an intelligent species to contact us.

I disagree with his assertion that if multiple races existed, at least one would want to interfere. While they may wish to, they may also be enlightened enough (having survived long enough to master space travel) to know that letting civilizations grow on their own is preferable to giving them a boost, so that they earn it. This is exactly how it works in Star Trek.

His next point seems a bit contradictory. First he claims that if other species existed on other planets, we would not know it as we're moving too fast away from each other to contact the other. Then he says that doesn't explain why no other races exist. How does my opponent know they don't exist if he believes there is no way to honestly tell? Perhaps there are millions of other races in the galaxy and they have no way of reaching us.

Then he admits that it is probable, I believe he meant possible, that life rare enough that it only appears once or twice in every galaxy, but then argues this is only speculation. However, this line of thinking began when he asked why we don't see more life in the galaxy if it isn't so improbable for it to come into existence. Since he admits there are good explanations for not having contacted other species yet, he original point fails.

The next part of Pro's final argument I find the most confusing. He claims that he showed evolution to be mathemetically impossible in his opening argument, which he attempted to do using a quote from evolution proponent Julian Huxley. However I responded to this point, showing that Huxley was speaking of random mutation without natural selection, and that Huxley showed that by factoring in natural selection it was in no way improbable, but actually quite likely. My opponent had two separate opportunities to respond to my point about Huxley, and did not. He cannot argue that life developing here was a naturalistic miracle as his entire mathematical point about evolution rested upon Huxley.

Now while my opponet admits that God probably doesn't craft each individual snow flake, he probably set Crystallization Dynamics in place. My opponent makes an interesting shift here, claiming I never gave a single reason why a natural process could create order. His original question, however, was how a natural process could create order, not why. I did show how, pointing to how Crystallization Dynamics creates ordered structures, and how energy being added to a system could create order in areas like chemistry. To answer why, I need only point again to the fact that consistent laws will lead to patterns, whatever the laws are, so the answer is that natural processes must produce order as natural processes are themselves ordered. Change the natural laws, and there will be a noticable affect, to be sure, but the consistency of the laws will cause a different order to emerge. Pro does attempt to counter this by pointing to the Big Bang, and the fact that "before the big bang, there were no laws". However, there is no such thing as "before the big bang", as time began at the Big Bang, which was an expansion of space-time and not an "explosion" as my opponent suggests (the "explosion" reference is rather popular and permates our culture, so I do not blame him for using this). You will hear physicist claim that the laws of physics did not exist in the state of affairs in which the unverse as we know it did not exist, however they don't mean there were no laws. We don't know what existed in a state of affairs without the universe, it could very well have been a completely different set of laws. Our ignorance here does not help Pro's case, as his case relies on there being absolutely nothing, which we cannot verify.

I am quite confused at this question: "how did the first snowflake develop that led to the consistency of producing other snowflakes?" The first snowflake didn't lead to the consistency of other snowflakes. I'll just cite NOAA on this one:

"These ice crystals that make up snowflakes are symmetrical (or patterned) because they reflect the internal order of the crystal’s water molecules as they arrange themselves in predetermined spaces (known as “crystallization”) to form a six-sided snowflake.

Ultimately, it is the temperature at which a crystal forms — and to a lesser extent the humidity of the air — that determines the basic shape of the ice crystal. Thus, we see long needle-like crystals at 23 degrees F and very flat plate-like crystals at 5 degrees F. " [1]

Must everything be in perfect order to create snowflakes? As we know them, perhaps. Does that mean it was intelligently designed, or that Crystallization Dnyamics was designed? No. If water molecules were ordered differently, it would produce a different shape, no more or less special than the shape we know of. Had we lived in a universe with a different water molecule shape, we'd point out "if our water molecule wasn't so specifically designed, it could have wound up forming some weird six-sided snowflake instead of the perfect square one we know of".

My opponent's next point merely assumes that there must be something actively keeping the laws of physics from changing. There is no reason to think that this is the case, rather that there is a cause and effect, and in order to change the effect of the same cause, you'd have to actively go and change the nature of cause.

Then Pro uses the analogy of breaking a machine into peices and shaking the pieces up in a bag until they all come together to form the original watch. My opponent is again forgetting about natural selection. What if, as he shook the bag, if every time two peices that went together touched, they stayed together? It would be much easier to form that watch. This is very crude analogy to natural selection, but the closest one I can give for my opponent's example.

As far as colliding universes are concerned, my point was that Pro is under the assumption that these other universes must be in the same spacial plane as ours. That is not the case, and most theories on multiple universes would make it so that universes do not collide with wach other.

My opponent fiinishes by again asserting that we cannot prove multiple universes exist, but he has not addressed my point that in fact the burden of proof is on him to show that they can't exist. When doing probability, you must know how many "rolls" you get.

My opponent has failed to establish any solid point that would make life improbable. He cannot determine any probabilities as he does not know the scope of existence. His citations of evolution remove natural selection from the equation, and has (possibily unknowingly) conceded a number of his own points. I implore you to vote Con.

Debate Round No. 3
52 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by devient.genie 3 years ago
keyfartzero, "So for an Atheist to claim there is no God requires absolute knowledge of the universe.

So for a christian to claim there is no allah, requires absolute knowledge of the universe.
Stick to music, your intellectually inept :)

You cannot prove or disprove leprechauns are at the end of rainbows guarding a pot of gold, since you cant prove it, you must be agnostic?

Flying horses with horns called unicorns cannot be proven or disproven so I must be agnostic?

Cows with the ability to run 69 mph cannot be proven or disproven, are we agnostic towards fast running cows?

The list of things we could put up is literally endless, are we agnostic to all of them or do we act like big kids and not give it any consideration?

You keyfartzero are an atheist towards every single god ever written about except one. If there was z list of all the gods ever written about, and we were to check yes or no next to the ones we believe in, our lists would have the exact same check marks on thousands o fgods and then you would rear your delusional mind and check yes, next to the god that supposedly uses human sacrifice to show love and forgiveness.

Wow, I go one god further yet are a genius because you not only disagree with 99.9% of scientists, you claim the earth is less than 10,000 yrs old mr I take the holy binky literally.

You might want to do your research music man. The human genome was mapped for the first time within the last 10 yrs and we know homosapiens have been around for at least 100,000 yrs.

So for 90 some thousand yrs, your "god" sat around with indifference watching the carnage and 2000 yrs ago said, thats it Im going in.

And Im going to the most violent and illitertate parts of the world to make my grand entrance :)

Do you think much or does it hurt when you try, so you decided to suckle nutrition from the holy binky? :)
Posted by devient.genie 3 years ago
keyfartzero, your favorite quote boy Albert has something to say to you :)

Quotes 5:5--"The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can change this."-- Albert Einstein :)
Posted by devient.genie 3 years ago
keyfartzero, you obviously are not aware of true scirpture. Thats understandable. Lets lay down some more so you understand :)

AUTHENTIC 1:1--As always the extra puncuation in the colon and one of the parenthesis, will be displayed amongst any scripture. This is to clearly prove that the Genies scripture is the absolute fact, containing, not just the puncuation mark the colon surrounded by numbers, like other fairy tale scripture, but also, the necessary puncuation at the end with a colon and one of the parenthesis :)

Songs 7:4--When the Higgs hits your eye like a big-a Boson pie..... That's amore. When the Higgs seems to shine you can hear religious whine.....That's amore :)

Tolerance 12:16--Some men may have desires that attracts them to other men. This is to be encouraged, for the more men that attract to each other, the less competition for beautiful women :)

THINK 2:6--If every human ever born blindly followed ancient beliefs and refused to question authority or "rock the boat", we would still pull our women by their hair to our cave :)

CaptainObvious 8:5--No matter what you believe in, nothing is more ridiculous than thinking a jealous homophobic, sexist had anything to do with creating the beautiful and complex sub atomic world :)

ARROGANCE 12:13--If you think as though non belief in the pansy and the holy binky, is wrong or immoral or evil, its obvious that thinking is NOT your strong suit :)

Sponsors 4:1--The one who comes bearing a colon and one of the parenthesis at the end of their scripture, he should be the focus of your belief, for his wisdom is levels above the men of common society :)

Delusional 7:56--Is it really logical and likely in your mind 100%, that with the thousands of different sects, thousands of different interpretations of each, you have the absolute certainty, that your sect, and interpretation of that sect and the holy book or writings it subscribes too, describes the reason for everything, you are seriously de
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
Actually, Atheism is not intellectually honest. First, they try to usurp the definition of Agnostic, which is that we don't or can't know whether there is a God or not (but we should act as if there is or is not). Atheism has traditionally meant a disbelief in God or gods. Atheism has traditionally said "There is no god." Who has traditionally said "I don't know"? The Agnostics.

If we were in that bar and you made that claim, I would ask you what evidence you have for it. I would guess you have none. Therefore I can reject your claim because there is no reason to believe there is gold-plated elephant dung in my house. In fact, I have good reason to reject that claim. There are no elephants near my house, and certainly none inside my house. And you, being a stranger to me, would have no way of knowing what is in my house, especially something as outlandish as gold-plated elephant dung, which I certainly had no part in putting there.

However, we do have positive evidence for God's existence. So for an Atheist to claim there is no God requires absolute knowledge of the universe. So that's a second count of intellectual dishonesty. Conversely, we don't need absolute knowledge of the universe to discover that God exists, especially if he reveals himself to us (as he did through the person of Jesus Christ).
Posted by themanofearth 3 years ago
If we were in a bar and I were to ask you if the bathtub in your house is filled with gold plated elephant dung, the only honest answer that you could give is, "I don't know." We"re not at your house and however unlikely it is to even think about gold plated elephant let alone actually have a bathtub full of it, you can"t deny the possibility that your bathtub is filled with gold plated elephant dung. If I were to ask you in the same situation if you believed that your bathtub was filled with gold plated elephant dung, your only honest answer would have to be, "No." because you don"t know. This is the nature of belief, it is a claim to knowledge. If you don"t know, you can"t believe and if you believe you are claiming to know.
You don't have to be smart to be an atheist. All you have to do to be an atheist is say, "I don't know." You just have to be intellectually honest.
Posted by KeytarHero 3 years ago
Devient: Atheist is not a bogus word. "A" means no, not, and "Theist" means "one who believes in God. So "Atheist" means "someone who disbelieves in God or gods."

Second, Atheists are not sane and logical simply by virtue of being Atheists. There was nothing sane or logical about your entire post.
Posted by devient.genie 3 years ago
Bigotry 11:14--Atheist is a bogus word. There is No word for someone who does Not believe in astrology or horoscopes, there is Not a name for someone who doesnt believe leprechauns are at the end of rainbows, there is Not a name for a person who does not believe there is a tea pot orbiting the andromeda galaxy. Why is there a name for someone who does Not believe the reason for everything is a homophobe :)

GrowUp 16:1--The best words for "nonbelievers" in leprechauns at the end of rainbows, are sane and logical, the same words should be used for those who are nonbelievers that the reason for everything rested on the 7th day and can convict you of thought crimes :)

GAMEOVER 4:6--What about transitional fossils to show a link from water to land evolution millions of years ago? Tiktaalik, the discovery, made by Edward B. Daeschler of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Neil H. Shubin from the University of Chicago, and Harvard University Professor Farish A. Jenkins, Jr, was published in the April 6, 2006 issue of 'Nature' and quickly recognized as a classic example of a transitional form. Jennifer A. Clack, a Cambridge University expert on tetrapod evolution, said of Tiktaalik, "It's one of those things you can point to and say, 'I told you this would exist,' and there it is." :)
Posted by HonestDiscussioner 4 years ago
Thank you for your detailed explanation of your vote wiploc. It is appreciated.
Posted by wiploc 4 years ago
KeytarHero wrote:
- It was my understanding that validity and soundness referred to the state of a syllogism,

Meatros wrote:
- isn't the term 'sound' only relevant to deductive arguments?

I think you're both right. Soundness has to do with deduction, and syllogisms are deductive, and KeytarHero's argument is deductive:

- P1 -- The universe resulted either from design or chance.
- P2 -- It is highly improbable that it resulted from chance.
- C -- Hence, it is highly probable that the universe was designed.
Posted by wiploc 4 years ago
I request that dustpelt remove his counter.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: removing my vote because Wiploc revoted with good RFD.
Vote Placed by wiploc 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by XimenBao 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Most of the debate was Pro setting up old-hat ID arguments and Con knocking them down. The evolution by chance alone bit, the post-event odds deal, the watchmaker argument, etc. It's to the point I was surprised not to see a talkorigins link in the sources, because Con was doing such a thorough job. I thought Pro's formulation of teleology was a little idiosyncratic, as it functionally turned into an evolution debate with a bit of 'possibility of ET life' for flavor, but that was Pro's choice.
Vote Placed by Meatros 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Good debate - my Reason for giving it to Con is in the comments.
Vote Placed by THEBOMB 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: ohh WriterDave....
Vote Placed by WriterDave 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I can't think of a single point Pro made that Con did not obliterate. I'm also amused by the instances of burden shifting that Pro attempted to engage in. No-brainer.
Vote Placed by Gileandos 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: See comments for RFD.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: The debate came upon P2 and Ç, P1 wasn't any winner here I do not think. I believe PRO defended P2, and made it so he made it logical that a designer now is more likely to create the universe then a mere chance. So in this case we can assume he proved the argunment logical, which he did, I do not think CON was able to deem it illogical or middle of the road some questions begging. I think PRO won this debate.