12 Replies to “Shermer vs. Dembski Radio Debate on Audiomartini

  1. 1
    DaveScot says:

    Hey, I found some common ground with Shermer. He said God is an engineer.

  2. 2
    atriversend says:

    Gotta love this: At around 21:30 in the Telcaster podcast Wood interrupts: “okay… okay… and fair enough… eh–eh–… okay… but-but… If we can Dr. Bayhe” Bayhe even!

    Equally ridiculous is Wood’s grating tendency to interrupt Dembski just as he’s getting to the punchline (e.g., just as Dembski is about to throw down the random-genetic-errors-produce-innovation-is-absurd gauntlet (32:25-ish), Wood quickly wants to “get this back to an area where we can all put our hands around,” asks some inane question, and changes the topic to “irreducible complex organism”

    I could go on, but we’d all need to get some coffee, because these things can get a little tedious.

  3. 3
    atriversend says:

    The best: Dembski is beating down Wood’s ID-can’t-make-predictions claim when GASP! Wood interrupts [44:11]:

    “Bill, I’m sorry… Go ahead Michael, I’m sorry…”

    Michel: “I wasn’t saying anything.” .
    Wood “…Oh, I’m sorry…”

    Whoops! Interruption failed! Better accuse Dembski of dishonesty [45:18], quick! Change topic!

  4. 4
    Charlie says:

    I am really enjoying this debate, but my feed keeps dying at about 45 min.
    Does anybody know of a transcript available?

  5. 5
    morpheusfaith says:

    Shermer attempted to focus on how intelligence effects material entities, claiming that such concepts are unscientific. However, couldn’t the same “criticism” be leveled at quantum physics? How, exactly, does quantum indeterminancy make one photon deflect one way and while making another photon deflect the other way (when aimed at a 45 degree prism)? We do not know. Does that make quantum physics unscientific?

  6. 6
    mmadigan says:

    Shermer is giving ground, but why discuss religion at all? Emphsize the science!

  7. 7
    DaveScot says:

    I thought Shermer gave up a lot of ground. He’s reduced to trying to say that biological machinery is a bottom up design while ID is a top down design. He’s brought the argument into the realm of engineering which is to say he’s discussing it in terms of intelligent design, which is what engineers do. Bottom up design still requires intelligence and is the rule in human engineering. Modern automobiles, for example, are a bottom up design traceable back to the invention of the wheel and axle thousands of years ago. Many separately designed components went into it but it required intelligence and planning to assemble the components into a working design at each stage along the way.

  8. 8
    jaredl says:

    Transcripts, anyone?

  9. 9
    taciturnus says:

    This is one of the best debates I’ve listened to in a long time. Not just because Dr. Dembski did well (and he did), but because it was a real debate. The participants actually listened to each other and engaged each other’s arguments, rather than merely trading speeches. It’s clear that both guys are gentlemen and were interested in arguing the merits rather than taking cheap shots that would “score points” with the audience. I was especially impressed when Shermer, given several opportunities by the moderator to define ID, deferred to Dembski for the definition rather than taking the opportunity to setup a strawman. That’s courtesy in debate it is refreshing to see… this debate is a keeper.

    Dave T.

  10. 10

    […] UPDATE: This is a much better, more informative, much rancorless debate. Listen up. […]

  11. 11
    GilDodgen says:

    I agree with Taciturnus. Shermer behaved in a remarkably civilized manner and I think he deserves a lot of credit for this. It was refreshing.

    However, there is one thing that always bugs me about ID opponents: They often present pure speculation, based on absolutely no hard evidence, as established fact. For example, you’ll hear, “The way evolution produces complex, functionally integrated biological machinery is through a process called co-option. Here’s how it works…” They should be honest and say, “Some biologists speculate that biological components that served other functions can be co-opted to assemble new machinery that performs a new function. However, there is no hard evidence that this process actually takes place, and no detailed, testable proposals for how random mutations could engineer such a process.”

    Of course, they also always leave out an explanation for the hard stuff. Where did the assembly instructions come from? They too must be irreducibly complex, since a partially assembled motor is of no use even if all the parts are available.

    I sometimes wonder if these people are actually aware of what they are doing. Perhaps — because they are convinced that such a process _must_ take place, because the underlying theory _has_ to be true — they have deluded themselves into thinking they are providing facts and explanations instead of unsubstantiated speculation.

  12. 12

    Who is the fella that Dr. Dembski said he’d put his money on? The fella who wrote a paper on the limitations of evolution…? Michael Saks?

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