Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Battle of Ideas — Debating Darwin

arroba Email

Simon Conway Morris and Steve Fuller start this debate (more).

< ![endif]-->

Charlie, Tb, yeah its amazing how one can proclaim so much bs in one breath of air, it's just unfortunate how blinded one can get when one has the TRUTH. sxussd13
Invasion of the Body Snatchers - Whether the book or the film, watching this was like finding an edited chapter / scene. They appear remarkably ignorant about ID. Give them a "critical appraisal about how science works?" All true believers. toc
Another thing I thought Fuller screwed up was his insistent support of empiricism on the one hand, while on the other hand claiming that this debate will not affect what's done in the laboratory. Obviously it won't affect the technical aspects of research, but it will affect the larger direction of research substantially. There's no reason to take his position on this because it practically makes the whole debate meaningless. His insistence that science is really not about dominant viewpoints is also worthless. Obviously Darwinism is dominant right now. Insisting that it ain't so won't fool anybody. But I can forgive him for this because he was the only one who said anything worth talking about the entire time. Nobody in the entire room came with an open mind. Usually you expect that of the panelists to some degree, but this was just ridiculous all across the board. tragicmishap
I should have said "Simon Conway Morris framed the conversation in terms of evolution and Fuller missed the golden opportunity to reprimand him that it was on Darwin and not evolution that the debate was about and that ID agreed with evolution just not the Darwinian mechanism for macro evolution. Also he should had said that ID has no problem with the Darwinian mechanism for micro evolution." jerry
StephenB, Thanks for your insight. I am a little obtuse to what everyone's agenda is on these things. It just became clear to me that Steve Fuller was not a good spokesperson for ID. I missed all the postmodernism in his comments. The title of the debate was "Debating Darwin" and it quickly got away from that when Simon Conway Morris framed the conversation in terms of evolution and Fuller missed the golden opportunity to reprimand him that it was on Darwin and not evolution that the debate was about and that ID agreed with evolution just not the Darwinian mechanism. Fuller also let slide the invalid comment by Perks about it is now the modern synthesis which is just a modified version of Darwin. Fuller may not be knowledgeable enough to get into such a debate. jerry
Jerry: I agree. While I think Steve Fuller is a good guy, his attempt to integrate social constructivism with intelligent design ia a bit bizarre. Social constructivists belive that we CREATE truth and knowledge, while common sense and experience teach us that truth is an objective reality that we must DISCOVER. What is the point of “following where the evidence leads” if the journery takes us back into oursevles? Granted, Steve does a good job of explaining that deisgn thinking was responsible the emergence of modern science. Still, I think that his subjectivist world view causes him to stop short of realizing that design is something outside of us that we really can “detect.” Under the circumstances, I think it compromises his ability to defend ID with sufficient force. StephenB
Steve Fuller was all over the lot and dug himself some holes that didn't let him describe or defend ID very well. No one got the point that it was different from creationism by the end. He made one good point and then it was abandoned, namely that the debate is over mechanism. However, he got no mileage from that assertion. He also admitted that he does not believe in ID when he ignored the direct question to him when asked. He came across as someone who was just trying to stir up the pot as opposed to an organized defender of ID. His main thesis was that science would be better no matter how it is practiced if ID is let into the discussion. A thesis refuted by making analogies to astrology or other nonsenses approaches (yes I know that astrology led to astronomy and that alchemy led to chemistry.) jerry
tb, I thought so as well. Especially since he had just likened belief in/teaching of ID to that of a moon made of green cheese. Fuller was right to bust him on his use of the word "evolution". He used it in its broadest scope in order to insist on its indisputable truth - which ID does not deny -, while simultaneously acting as though ID is YEC. I think once Conway-Morris got his sneering out of the way and assured the world he was not one of those evil creationists he made some good points. One of them definitely was not his claim that ID is bad theology - were you listening Jack Krebs and Ted Davis? Those are just ID strawmen, right? Charlie
Letterman noted a few days back that John McCain was on “The View.” And he thought, "Good Lord — hasn’t this man endured enough torture?" I thought the same thing about Steve Fuller. The number of wasteful baiting questions and straw man characterizations of ID must of been a real test of patience for him. I think he was entirely justified in interrupting and cutting short some of the more annoying and smarmy time wasters in the audience. steveO
What is truth? Is Evolution true? OF COURSE IT IS, no question about it!
Its so funny how the polemic of Simon Conway-Morris refutes himself a few sentences later when he describes "creationists" as people who think that all other people who think differently are dumb and evil. tb
Simon Conway-Morris is a great writer and an even greater researcher of the Cambrian life forms. I assumed he'd be an equally good speaker and fair minded debater. Wow, how wrong I was! StuartHarris
The number one thing about science is having an open mind to ask the right question. Why have a debate where complete ignoramuses are in charge of putting forth the questions? Its not profitable. JDH
anyone defending ID must take another tack.
D 1. Only the leader should defend. 2. Beware of any substantial threat. 3. Attack yourself to improve. O 1. Know the defended position. 2. Attack at the weakness inherent in strength. 3. Don't thin yourself. F 1. Move into uncontested territory. 2. The element of surprise. 3. Pursuit, pursuit, pursuit. G 1. Attack an area small enough to defend. 2. Stay lean and mobile. 3. Be prepared to bug out. .....that should about do it. Upright BiPed
I have listened to part of this and regret very much I need to get some sleep. Will return tomorrow to finish this. Very interesting so far. William Wallace
"Most of the time here was utterly wasted." I couldn't agree more. No one distinguished himself here and I cannot imagine anyone changing their mind because of this. A great opportunity was missed. If you want to, watch it but the only lesson here is that anyone defending ID must take another tack. jerry
Well, Rude, that's what happens when you appoint Richard Dawkins to the Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at one of your biggest universities. The audience had nothing whatsoever to contribute to the debate. No meaningful questions were asked. The guy in the middle was an idiot but at least he understood that his is a faith as well ("...erosion of our faith in science..."). Why, oh why didn't they just let Steve and Simon have it out? Most of the time here was utterly wasted. tragicmishap
Disgusting! Nobody that spoke seemed to have the foggiest idea of what he was talking about—let alone understand Steve Fuller. But they sound intelligent and have nice accents. Reminds one of Ronald Reagan, “Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.” I’m also reminded of Maimonides (broadly paraphrased): “Yes, they seek to kill us now—but they’re talking about the Torah (Bible). This will come to a good end.” Rude
Whales in the ark?!!! Goodnenss, with such knowledge of the Bible, no wonder that they conflate ID with YEC. Mats
There's nothing to debate, Bill. What are you on about? Evolution is as stablished as the fact that the Earth rotates around the sun! Mats
Great debate, though I admit to being a bit repulsed at the sort of sanctimonious dogmatism of Steve Fuller's critics. Prof. Dembski, I'm writing a law review article on the Kitzmiller decision, attacking it from an academic freedom perspective. If you have any tips for resources, I'd be much obliged. isaakios

Leave a Reply