Evolution Intelligent Design theistic evolution

The Behe vs Swamidass debate (quality vid)

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Remember this story? “At Texas & M Last Week: Theistic Evolutionist Joshua Swamidass Vs. ID Proponent Michael Behe”

If you liked the raw feed from the debate, you’ll love this cleaned-up version.

Veritas Forum 2020 – God and/or Evolution?

The scientific community seeks to give an account of the world around us in terms of mathematical laws and natural processes; this description even extends to the account of biological life’s origin and evolution. For Christians, this consensus has posed a number of challenges. Does evolution account for biological life? Was God involved in evolution? How? Is there evidence to tell us one way or another? We are happy to host a spirited discussion between Dr. Michael Behe (Lehigh University), one of the leading Intelligent Design advocates in the world, and Dr. Joshua Swamidass (Washington University at St. Louis), one of the rising stars at the intersection of faith and science. The Veritas Forum at Texas A&M is an occasion for students of all faiths and no faiths to come together and examine the big-picture questions of life. February 28, 2020

11 Replies to “The Behe vs Swamidass debate (quality vid)

  1. 1
    EricMH says:

    Swamidass’ molecular clock argument doesn’t make sense. Different rates of divergence would happen in the creation scenario as well.

    I think what Swamidass means is that if the animals were created only 6000 years ago, then we we wouldn’t expect as much divergence. But that’s orthogonal to the molecular clock idea.

    Also, Swamidass claims moral ground equivalent to Behe since he ‘risked his career too.’ But what is so risky about putting forward a theory that does not challenge the scientific consensus at all, and is essentially part of Gould’s NOMA concept? Behe actually directly challenges the scientific consensus. There is no comparison in ‘riskiness.’ And then Swamidass also inflates himself to be in Behe’s shoes: ‘maybe one of you will be onstage with me in 20 years.’ No one is going to remember Swamidass in 20 years. Such silly ego.

  2. 2
    ET says:

    Molecular clocks arguments in a designed to evolve scenario are a fool’s errand, anyway. And a YEC scenario is also a designed to evolve scenario. However, there isn’t any evidence that supports a 6,000 year old Earth, so there’s that problem.

  3. 3
    EricMH says:

    Swamidass also constantly appeals to his own personal incredulity to justify his position, “I think so because I think so (and I’m a scientist, so there).” Such a vacuous argument.

  4. 4
    EricMH says:

    If Swamidass believes that we cannot scientifically detect that God intervenes in nature, then that also means we cannot scientifically know that Jesus was raised from the dead. So, that relegates belief in the resurrection into the make believe realm, ‘we believe it because we want to.’ As opposed to the solid, verifiable account that the gospel writers (e.g. Luke) thought they were providing their audience. Thus, Swamidass is just part of the status quo intent on moving religion to the realm of make believe and out of the realm of hardcore knowledge.

    This also undermines the area he claims common ground with ID, believing in a global ID, even if we cannot know it in particular cases. Swamidass says he knows God designed the world because he knows God raised Jesus from the dead. But, by Swamidass’ epistemic criteria of being unable to detect particular intervention of God in history, Swamidass cannot know God raised Jesus from the dead. Thus, tracking the argument backwards, he cannot know that global ID is true either.

    In fact, possibly even more dangerous than the standard atheist approach, since his message is cloaked in Christianese, and thus seems more palatable to his religious audience. That’s probably why all the virulent anti-Christian atheists over at “Peaceful” Science do an inexplicable about turn when it comes to Swamidass’ work. They understand the GAE is another religion poison pill and want to help it go down. This is the real reason Swamidass does not get the sort of atheist pushback that ID receives.

  5. 5
    EricMH says:

    Eeesh, Swamidass completely sidesteps the hard scientific content that Behe presents, and redirects to anecdotes, ‘theology’ and his PS platform. What an abuse of the debate, he just uses it to advertise his own agenda avoids the debate.

    Then when Tour asks him about mechanism, Swamidass just says “too complex to say anything, I’m a biologist and you’re a chemist so you do not know what you’re talking about.” But be friendly so it doesn’t look like he’s shutting down Tour. Swamidass needs a much more hardball audience, he just takes advantage of Christian niceness.

    The hardball audience is the atheists, and they agree with Swamidass. The niceball audience is the Christian audience, and that is who Swamidass is going after. Like a wolf among sheep.

    Swamidass needs to go head to head with non-Christian ID proponents, like Berlinski, Nagel, Klinghoffer, etc. where he won’t have the Christian rhetorical crutch propping up his case.

  6. 6
    EricMH says:

    1:13:32 Ha Freudian slip! “I don’t mean this with any respect, but…” you got that right, Swamidass!

  7. 7
    EricMH says:

    1:14:48 “These are scientific details [on which I based my case], I don’t want to get into details.” No of course not, why get into scientific details in a *scientific debate*?

  8. 8
    EricMH says:

    1:22:50 “That’s just not how science works.” So, tell us how science works, Swamidass. Oh, too many details, but we can rely on your claim because you’re a scientist. Ok, but so is Behe. Hmm, who to trust then?

    I know! Maybe we should have the two scientists debate their respective views so the lay viewer can adjudicate!

  9. 9
    EricMH says:

    What an anticlimatic debate. Behe presents a bunch of good points. Swamidass avoids it all to promote his “peaceful” science forum and book. Lame.

    I award debate win to Behe. Swamidass concedes by avoidance.

  10. 10
    EricMH says:

    My question is why does the DI keep giving this guy free publicity? He is like the abusive “friend” at school whose friendly in private, but bullies you in public to win points with the popular crowd.

    Just ignore him. Swamidass has nothing substantial to say. His forum is entirely parasitic on ID. Bashing ID is the only thing that lights it up. No one cares about his book.

  11. 11
    ET says:

    From Peaceful Science- I offer you the most clueless quote ever. It was offered by an evoTARDic troll and directed towards IDists: WARNING- DO NOT HAVE ANY FOOD OR DRINK IN YOUR MOUTH

    All we ask is they acknowledge the evidence shown them and be honest enough to admit when they can’t explain it. (bold in original)

    Really. Haven’t we been saying that for millennia? Didn’t Plato, Aristotle and telic thinking win that war? Then came the great white hope in the form of Charles Darwin and people went ape. Then molecular biology was elucidated and the apes went apeshit to protect their ape-titude.

    People like Joshua Swamidass like to protect that ape-titude for reasons only known to them. Their published reasons don’t make any sense. Science can only be the search for the reality behind whatever is being investigated. There isn’t any other reason for science to exist but to find out what really happened. That is the only reason to conduct any investigation. Yet Joshua seems to deny that reality.

    Joshua, et al, will never acknowledge the evidence shown them and be honest enough to admit when they can’t explain it. Seriously, they look at any bacterial flagellum, find alleged homologs throughout the prokaryotic world and think the problem is solved. Pathetic, actually.

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