Cambrian explosion Intelligent Design News

Pop liberal theologian Karl Giberson on debate with Meyer

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Giberson is the author of Saving Darwin (how to be a Christian an believe in Darwin). Steve Meyer is the author of Darwin’s Doubt, on the problem the Cambrian explosion has always posed for Darwinian theory. Giberson writes that ID has no theory behind it, a point Steve Meyer disputes. In any event,

My presentation—crafted with consideration of my non-specialist audience—was dismissed as a “bunch of pictures—characters from The Simpsons (a cartoon of Homer evolving); a baby with a tail, webbed feet, a strange-looking whale creature with legs (ambulecetus, a well-established and very significant transitional fossil connecting sea mammals to their terrestrial ancestors); and a pretty picture taken at [my] vacation home.” In contrast, my debate partner’s presentation was “sleek, professional, and chock-full of evidence and data.” Like the sweat on Nixon’s brow, my homey images and simple questions apparently destroyed my argument.

Karl W. Giberson

And so we see why debates accomplish so little. The Virginia audience left that night having learned little about ID, as Meyer’s presentation was very technical, although anything but “chock full of evidence.” My rather serious claim that ID had no theory and thus no evidence at all was dismissed, not addressed. The ID folk are now assuring their readers that their guy won; my defense of evolution was apparently pitiful: “Where was the new evidence?” the reviewer asks. “Where were the cutting-edge studies supportive of [my] view?” Such questions seem profoundly irrelevant, given that evolution has been an established scientific theory for many decades. The theory is long past needing new evidence and new discoveries are never presented as offering new “evidence” for evolution, any more than new photographs of the earth from space provide “new evidence” for its shape.

It sounds as though Giberson didn’t want to debate Meyer’s actual argument in the debate titled “Should Christians embrace Darwin?” (the Cambrian period argues against the Darwinian theory of evolution).

Pictures of babies with tails and webbed feet, yeah, that’ll get attention, but…

I do the occasional debate to remind me what America’s troubled conversation over origins looks like from the “inside.” My debate partner in Virginia was articulate, educated, likable, and familiar with a vast range of relevant scientific research. If important scientific questions—like elections—turned on debate performances ID would fare much better—which is exactly why anti-evolutionists love debates.

Not to worry. Increasingly today, people tell us, “the time for debate is over.” Debates don’t matter, but de boots do.


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10 Replies to “Pop liberal theologian Karl Giberson on debate with Meyer

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    podcast – Theistic Evolution Is Nearly as Problematic as Atheistic Darwinism

  2. 2
    OldArmy94 says:

    Ah, the old settled science trump card. I guess we should all take our toys and go home because it’s now a matter of consensus.

  3. 3
    JoeCoder says:

    Apparently Stephen Meyer has a striking resemblance to Sarah Palin.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    as to Giberson’s claim for the only supposed evidence that he presented:

    (ambulecetus, a well-established and very significant transitional fossil connecting sea mammals to their terrestrial ancestors)

    It might interest Giberson to know that his ‘well established’ evidence, ambulecetus, is extremely problematic as to supporting the claim he makes for it. None other than Phil Gingerich himself, a leading expert in the area, admits at the 3:25 minute mark of this following video:

    Whale Evolution vs. The Actual Evidence – video – fraudulent fossils revealed

    In fact, the fossil evidence for supposed whale evolution is much more ‘imaginary’ than Giberson seems to realize:

    Making up missing links with plaster and body parts from other creatures – April 2014
    Excerpt: The two scientists who found the lion’s share of walking whale fossils essentially created the best fossil proof of evolution using plaster models and drawings and supplied these to museums and science magazines. In each case, they started with incomplete fossils of a land mammal. Whenever a fossil part was missing, they substituted a whale body part (blowholes, fins and flukes) on the skeletal model or skull that they distributed to museums. When these same scientists later found fossils negating their original interpretations, they did not recall the plaster models or drawings. Now museums are full of skulls and skeletons of ‘walking whales’ that are simply false.” Dr. Werner went on to say, “I suspect some curators are not aware of the significance of these substitutions nor are they aware of the updated fossils. Museums should now remove all of the altered skeletons, skulls and drawings since the most important parts of these ‘walking whales’ are admittedly made up. Museums will also have to delete these images from their websites as they are misleading the public.” –

    An that is not even getting into the technicalities of seeing if what Darwinists believe is true is actually true. Which, if Giberson were to bother with such trivialities as to actually seeing if what he believes is true actually is true, he would soon find that what he believes to be true is impossible:

    Whale Evolution Vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg PhD. in Evolutionary Biology – video

    Evolution And Probabilities: A Response to Jason Rosenhouse – August 2011
    Excerpt: The equations of population genetics predict that – assuming an effective population size of 100,000 individuals per generation, and a generation turnover time of 5 years – according to Richard Sternberg’s calculations and based on equations of population genetics applied in the Durrett and Schmidt paper, that one may reasonably expect two specific co-ordinated mutations to achieve fixation in the timeframe of around 43.3 million years. When one considers the magnitude of the engineering fete, such a scenario is found to be devoid of credibility.

    As to Giberson’s claim that ID is not science, it might also interest Giberson to know that Darwinian evolution is, due to its lack of a mathematically rigid falsification criteria, a non-falsifiable pseudo-science instead of a ‘real’ science:

    Darwinism is a Pseudo-Science – Part II

    Whereas ID does have a rigid falsification criteria:

    Evolutionary Informatics

    The Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity: David L. Abel – Null Hypothesis For Information Generation – 2009
    Excerpt of conclusion pg. 42: “To focus the scientific community’s attention on its own tendencies toward overzealous metaphysical imagination bordering on “wish-fulfillment,” we propose the following readily falsifiable null hypothesis, and invite rigorous experimental attempts to falsify it: “Physicodynamics cannot spontaneously traverse The Cybernetic Cut: physicodynamics alone cannot organize itself into formally functional systems requiring algorithmic optimization, computational halting, and circuit integration.” A single exception of non trivial, unaided spontaneous optimization of formal function by truly natural process would falsify this null hypothesis.”
    Can We Falsify Any Of The Following Null Hypothesis (For Information Generation)
    1) Mathematical Logic
    2) Algorithmic Optimization
    3) Cybernetic Programming
    4) Computational Halting
    5) Integrated Circuits
    6) Organization (e.g. homeostatic optimization far from equilibrium)
    7) Material Symbol Systems (e.g. genetics)
    8) Any Goal Oriented bona fide system
    9) Language
    10) Formal function of any kind
    11) Utilitarian work

    In fact if Darwinian processes were ever observed to generate a single molecular machine it would effectively falsify ID:

    Michael Behe on Falsifying Intelligent Design – video

  5. 5
    Axel says:

    ‘Liberal theologian’ is an oxymoron. They are always deplorable. Any orthodox Christian will be mocked and/or reviled by left and right.

  6. 6
    Axel says:

    In #5, for ‘Christian’, please read, ‘churchman’ or ‘theologian’.

  7. 7
    Jehu says:

    I was shocked that Giberson is showing pictures of children with webbed hands and tails as irrefutable evidence of evolution. What ancestor according to evolution exactly had webbed hands?

  8. 8
    News says:

    Jehu at 7, he might be thinking of frogs. But seriously, there are far more likely explanations for the deformities described than “a throwback to frogs.” A typical deformity will be a comparatively modern system not doing its job right.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    You Can Now Watch the Meyer-Giberson Debate on YouTube

  10. 10
    tjguy says:

    Giberson’s account of this debate is sad! I’m disappointed by it. In the debate he admitted that the mechanism of change / of information production is not well understood. Yet he believes it happened. That’s fine, but without knowing how information can be produced, his argument is severely weakened. Yet he criticizes Meyer for a slick presentation.

    My presentation—crafted with consideration of my non-specialist audience—was dismissed as a “bunch of pictures—

    A bit condescending, but true that it was not a professional audience. But it was his fault for not preparing a more professional presentation! Meyer backed up his side with quotes from evolutionists themselves and that was quite damaging to Giberson’s argument. He came across to me as a bit out of touch with what is happening in biology now. That may not be the case, but his presentation was not too convincing for a Christian audience. It was as if God had nothing at all to do with it. Kind of takes all the meaning out of the word Creator and makes praise of God for his creative work empty.

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