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Author Topic:   Who won this evolution/ID debate?
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 6 of 29 (547583)
02-20-2010 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Taz
02-20-2010 11:32 AM


Taz writes:

How come IDists always sound better in person even though their arguments are BS?


Facts are mostly boring while theories, even wrong headed ones, can often be made to seem exciting.
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 Message 14 by greyseal, posted 02-22-2010 10:02 AM nwr has responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 8 of 29 (547639)
02-21-2010 12:05 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Percy
02-20-2010 9:27 AM


Percy writes:

Who won this debate?


Meyer and Sternberg won hands down. It wasn't even close. I listened at the "americanfreedomalliance.org" site.

If "Origins of Life" is taken as a reference to abiogenesis, then neither side satisfactorily addressed the question. If it means "life as we know it today" then that includes evolution leading to the current biosphere. That's how Meyer and Sternberg apparently took the question, and they concentrated on addressing whether the neo-Darwinian account is adequate.

Shermer and Prothero spent too much of their time attacking ID, which wasn't even part of the topic. This came across as evasive - an attempt to change the topic to one they could handle instead of addressing the actual question.

Shermer and Prothero debated as if addressing an audience of biologists. Meyer and Sternberg debated as if addressing an intelligent and knowledgable audience, but without assuming they are biologists. I would say that was a mistake by Shermer and Prothero.

But this meant that Shermer and Prothero prepared for the wrong debate, because except for Prothero's opening presentation on the the history and current status of origins of life research, the subject of what was supposedly the debate's topic was completely ignored.

I don't think that adequately accounts for the problems they had.
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nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 15 of 29 (547758)
02-22-2010 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by greyseal
02-22-2010 10:02 AM


Re: because one side writes technical papers, the other blasts from the pulpit...
greyseal writes:

because one side writes technical papers, the other blasts from the pulpit... seriously, that's the answer.


As far as I know, Meyer and Sternberg do write technical papers. I have no idea as to whether they preach from any pulpits.

So, no, seriously what you said is not the answer. For sure, it applies to many ID proponents. But it does not apply for this debate, where Meyer and Sternberg did make technical points for which Shermer and Prothero did not provide adequate responses.


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 Message 16 by hooah212002, posted 02-22-2010 9:49 PM nwr has responded

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 17 of 29 (547810)
02-22-2010 10:16 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by hooah212002
02-22-2010 9:49 PM


Re: because one side writes technical papers, the other blasts from the pulpit...
hooah212002 writes:

The only technical paper Meyer has written (at least that I can find) is one that *GASP* Sternberg erroniously published.


Okay, I'll take back my comment on Meyer. Looking at Meyer's Wiki page, I don't see anything there that I would value (except in the sense of giving a negative value).

I cannot find a paper written by Sternberg himself.

Sternberg's Wiki page describes him as a scientist, and cites his Curriculum vitae. That CV, in turn, lists a number of published technical papers. I think my comment about Sternberg was reasonably correct.
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nwr
Member
Posts: 5585
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


Message 27 of 29 (552254)
03-27-2010 7:30 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Percy
02-23-2010 8:32 AM


Re: In Search of Purpose
Percy writes:
But I wonder if there's a way that we can structure our scientific arguments so as to appear to have purpose.

We already do. Our language is rich in words that portray purpose, so it is hard to avoid them.

We can distinguish between extrinsic purpose and intrinsic purpose. Extrinsic purpose is as seen from outside the system: the purpose of my car is to get me from point A to point B.
Intrinsic purpose is as seen from inside, or perhaps as inferred from internal processes: the purpose of the heart and vascular system is to transport oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

Percy writes:
This might require describing evolution in terms like, "Species want to survive in changing environments, and so they are willing to morph themselves over time by producing a variety of offspring in the hope that some will have the necessary qualities required for survival."

That would be an example of ascribing conscious purpose. I would consider conscious purpose to be a special case of intrinsic purpose. But it comes across as inappropriate in cases such as the example you gave, where consciousness is seen as implausible.

So here are two examples of purposes already used by evolutionists:

  1. The purpose of natural selection is to serve as a filter that removes mal-adapted genes, thus increasing the fitness of the population;
  2. the purpose of reproductive processes is to copy genes.

You see these implied purposes throughout discussions of evolution. When people say that a mutation is caused by an error in copying, they are implying that there is an intrinsic purpose to copy exactly. And most of the talk of natural selection optimizing fitness is implying an extrinsic purpose.

So here we are with the Faith thread: The End of Evolution By Means of Natural Selection. And we see Faith arguing that, by virtue of carrying out those purposes, evolution must have a natural limit. And we see the evolutionists, myself included, arguing that evolution works very well thank you, and it works so well precisely because it fails to carry out those purposes.

It is this kind of inconsistent use of purpose language that people find confusing. The particular debate discussed in this thread is related to the same confusion. Fred Hoyle's argument was based on the same confusion.


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