Intelligent Design

1986 Huxley Memorial Debate

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The Huxley Memorial Debate held at Oxford Union on 2/14/86 pitted two creationists (Edgar Andrews and A.E. Wilder-Smith) against two evolutionists (Richard Dawkins and John Maynard-Smith). They debated whether “the doctrine of creation is more valid than the theory of evolution.” For further information and to order an MP3 CD of the debate (3 hrs. and 49 min.) see http://www.tonguesrevisited.com/oxford_union_debate.htm. See also http://www.creationresearch.org/creation_matters/pdf/2003/cm08_04_rp.PDF. I regard this debate as relevant to ID because A.E. Wilder-Smith employed information-theoretic ideas to argue that intelligence is required to originate biological complexity.

4 Replies to “1986 Huxley Memorial Debate

  1. 1
    keiths says:

    On another thread, johnnyb wrote:

    “If anyone wants to hear a good, classic creation/evolution debate, you should hear the Dawkins/Wilder-Smith debate at the Oxford Union. The evolutionists won, but not by the landslide they hoped. It was 115 to 198. This was _at_ Oxford. If anyone wants a copy, I have an agreement with the copyright holder to be able to provide it to you. Just send your mailing address to johnnyb@eskimo.com and I’ll pop one out to you.”

  2. 2
    johnnyb says:

    What’s also interesting is that after this debate, Dawkins refused to debate creationists. Whether that debate was the cause or not is up for debate.

    I thought that the creationists made one bad error. The creationists agreed that information could be “shuffled around”, and I think it was Maynard-Smith who objected that this is all you can do with information — shuffle it around. The creationists failed to state that in order for informational shuffling to occur, it has to be done according to the semantics that the information needs to follow. In other words, it can’t be random, it has to be a semantically-valid shuffling, and even better if it is a purposeful shuffling. Wilder-Smith failed to establish this restriction and I think that they would have gotten even more votes had he made that distinction.

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    Usurper says:

    The Darwinists have their backs against the wall. Not only do they have to surmount information, but also those millions of years of fossils that never or rarely show some form of transitional phase. At best they need to concoct how micro-evo can be extrapolated to macro-evo. From there, I think they lost the debate before they even entered it. They might as well just admit that not everything is known about the mechanism behind evo-devo. We have not the slightest clue. I think the only Darwinist unwilling to bargain is Dawkins-he has the most faith. How ironic!

  4. 4
    johnnyb says:

    FYI – This debate is now available for free on Richard Dawkin’s website:

    Go here

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