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Meyer vs. Ward Debate MP3 Audio

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I listened to the debate and like the rest of you found Ward severely lacking. I found it pathetic how he refused to address the issues that Meyer was raising. Every time Meyer would put forth a strong argument which Ward had no response to, he would simply say "Well Steve I would like to know who that designer is." Utterly pathetic, any archaeologist could tell you that it is completely unneccesary to know the identity of a designer in order to know that some entity was designed. Another habit Ward had which really bothered me (Besides is rude interuptions) was his constant appeal to people outside of the immediate debate (i.e. fellow darwinist audience members). If he can't handle Meyer by himself maybe he shouldnt be debating him in the first place. I can't recall Ward making a single solid argument throughout the entire duration of the "discussion", only statements like "Trust me on this one Steve, trust me". Lame. I prefer my darwinists with more teeth. Falco
I just finished reading the Seattle Times editorial piece which covered the debate. It was nearly as incredible as the debate itself in terms of the meticulous dishonesty of the way in which ID is presented. The columnist absolutely could not hold back from casually misdefining ID once again, in spite of the long introductory segment of the debate in which Meyer made clear that ID is NOT an argument from ignorance. You would think that if only for the sake of journalistic integrity he could have CORRECTLY defined ID and then felt free to go on and disagree with it. But no... tinabrewer
I agree with Ward that every American should read Judge Jone's decision to get a sense of the "breathtaking inanity" of it. Why alienate what is by any poll a large section of US population by calling them stupid and why isn't that politically incorrect? samohth
Just to point out -- At least according to this paper, extinction estimates are based on monophyly and Darwinism. In other words, they are assuming that all of the intermediates existed, and use them as "extinct" species even though they may never have existed. Also, species often get different names depending on where they are found in the geologic column. johnnyb
What I got from the entire debate was that Ward wasn't listening lots of times. He gave me the feeling that he was so superior and that ID was utter crap. At the end he only tried to make fun of Meyers arguments, and what was that all about getting help from his colleagues in the audience. "UUHHMMM I think I cannot answer that question can Dr. such and such please come on stage and help me out here?" "ID IS NOT A THEORY!" "UHHHM I can't answer to that can someone help me please, one of my students in the back row maybe?" "I SAID ITS NOT A THEORY!" Seriously, this was not a serious debate from Wards side, it was a joke. tb
Tina, I'll accept your critique of my comments. Perhaps I've been too generous. GilDodgen
Ward was not "forced" to focus on impugning of motives and hyperbolic predictions, GilDodgen! He chhhoooossseeesss to impugn and dodge and whine. He is a self-conscious, free human being who adheres to an indefensible theory because it pleases him philosophically. I found him anything but congenial, and was in fact very saddened by the tenor he set at the beginning of the debate. I actually look forward, in these things , to hearing the other side STRONGLY and HONORABLY defended, because then I can say to myself that I really understand the issues and am not just doing what I accused him of doing, namely adhering to an indefensible theory because it pleases me philosophically. Unfortunately, this was not possible from this debate. tinabrewer

Obviously I am prejudiced since I'm an ID proponent (although I was once thoroughly ensconced in the other camp until Michael Denton's first book set in motion a journey down the path to apostasy, from which I have never recovered), but it seems to me that the debate was very lopsided.

Meyer is a superb intellect, remarkably articulate and quick on his feet, and extremely knowledgeable in a wide variety of academic and technical disciplines. This is why Ward would like him to "come over to the evolution side." Unfortunately, if Meyer were to defect to the evolution side, he wouldn't have the evidential and logical debating ammunition that he has on the ID side.

Ward strikes me as fundamentally a very congenial guy, who is probably a lot of fun to be around (in a pub after a debate, for instance), but he's totally outclassed by Meyer in almost every way.

Meyer kept the focus on evidence and logical inference. Ward was forced to focus on the impugning of motives and hyperbolic predictions about the death of science and science education.

Very sad, but also very illuminating, indeed.

I thought he was rude, condescending, stupid, dishonest, and basically someone worth avoiding. -ds GilDodgen
There were a lot of errors in that guy's thinking. But nothing unexpected. Beyond that, it is interesting to note the presuppositions Ward carried. Both theological and philosophical. My guess is Dr. Ward is still serving penance for giving aid and comfort to the enemy by writing Rare Earth. geoffrobinson
I've finally listened to the audio. Downloading was FRUSTRATING!! Dr. Ward basically says that the design argument is anathema to the scientist because that which "was designed by an intelligence" cannot be studied. Ie, science cannot consider that something is beyond the grasp of scientific study. As I listen to this, I ponder two realities. First is the big bang. Science seems to think that we may never be able to know anything prior to the plank constant. There is a lot that preexisted the plank constant -- the entire universe. There have been conjectures suchs as multiverses etc. Yet real scientific study prior to planc may be impossible. Secondly, the Heisenberg uncertainty principal seems to say, "there's stuff we just can't know". I, therefore, presume that Dr. Ward would reject both the big bang and the Heisenberg uncertainty principal as non-science. bFast
Farshad: "Ha.. ha..! Ward is just exposing his deep ignorance regarding the way design works! If something is not perfect then it can’t be designed! By applying this silly logic to computer history we can easily conclude since all those lines of 386 and 486 PCs are now extinct it becomes evident that computers are evolved out of silicon sand spontaneously!" Good one! bFast
I love some of Ward's answers: Meyer: The prb is not in creating ribose, but getting it to confer information specificity and encode for proteins: Ward: Harvard is spending 100 million bucks to solve the prb! - - - - - - Meyer: ID is a theory that says certain paterns in nature can be attributed to design, such as molecular machines and the information stored in DNA. Ward: ID is a political agenda!! - - - - - - Meyer: I disagree, the fossils may support transitions among lower taxa, but the Cambrian explosion w/ the abrupt appearance of 40 new phyla, other things like the mammilian radiaton, and higher taxa in general are a prb for Darwinism. Ward: No, b/c I'm a paleontologist and I say so. What is a Darwinist? ---- Isn't interesting that Dr. Ward accused Meyer of Strawmaning Evolution as Darwinists??? The irony... jpark320

Ward: "If that designer is so damned good why is that %99 of species ever produced are extinct. I mean that's really crappy design!"

Ha.. ha..! Ward is just exposing his deep ignorance regarding the way design works! If something is not perfect then it can't be designed! By applying this silly logic to computer history we can easily conclude since all those lines of 386 and 486 PCs are now extinct it becomes evident that computers are evolved out of silicon sand spontaneously!

Actually it's 99.9% and they are extinct because there's no such thing as a beneficial random mutation for natural selection to act upon. Random mutation effects range from fatal to little effect. The ones that have little effect accumulate until the species becomes extinct. It's possible of course that a random mutation could be beneficial but it's so rare that the nearly neutral mutations accumulate faster and eventually, inevitably lead to extinction. Natural selection only serves to preserve the species for as long as possible by culling the more detrimental modfications before they can fix in a population. -ds Farshad
Jerry, I had tremendous problems downloading it. Hitting the link itself didn't work at all. I had to past the url into Quicktime, and then I was stalling repeatedly as well. But I did enjoy the debate a great deal. Ward seems like a friendly guy who was badly overmatched and exhausted by the end. Charlie
Is there something wrong with the server? I have a fast connection that usually downloads a meg a second and it took 10 minutes to get 4 mb and then it stalled. After 20 minutes on the second try it is only up to 7.5 megs. It was giving me a rate of 5-6 kb per second. My third try is averaging 16 kb per second. This will inhibit anyone from downloading thiis file. Is anyone else having this problem? I downloaded an mp3 from another server just now and 3.5 mb came down in a few seconds. jerry
It was absolutely incredible to hear the difference in "spirit" between the two speakers. For at least the first 20 minutes (all I could squeeze in last night) the only comments made by Ward were either outright insults, niggling, snide, or otherwise attempts to humiliate personally his opponent. I actually went to bed mildly depressed by the low quality of his approach, and the ridiculous things he would say which would provoke audience applause "Its not a theory". The whole line about Darwinian evolution getting millions of hits on the internet vs. only a few for ID was frankly an embarassing display of playground bragging...could they find someone qualified for the next debate? tinabrewer
I couldnt get it to work, however the fault may be with my pc. Why is an audio file 90 MB? Seems like a waste of bandwidth. bevets
OT AGAIN- Asking about Coyne reminded me that no one in the "scientific community" calls it Darwinian evolution or Darwinism http://pondside.uchicago.edu/darwin/ late_model
OT - Did anyone hear any follow up from Jerry Coyne & Hugh Ross's debate in Alaska? late_model
Gosh Peter Ward, if I was an evolutionist, I would be a little embarrassed right now... It's funny, he said he wasn't being paid a few times. Ward, perhaps stop to consider why... :) Gods iPod

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