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Thread: The Skeptic vs Clive14--Irreducible Complexity

  1. #16
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    Just a quick note to update all readers:

    I'm unsure of the status of our final judge. He hasn't responded to PMs I've sent.

    I'm for exercising patience yet. No one is going anywhere I guess. I'll keep working with the involved parties to bring this debate to a conclusion.

    Thanks for your understanding.
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

  2. #17
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    Judge update

    Jskufan has contacted me by PM to say that he, like many of us, has not had a lot of time to ply the forum boards of late but is trying to find time to dedicate to rendering his verdict. It was welcome news to me and I'm hoping we can bring this debate to its conclusion soon.

    Thanks again for your patience.
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

  3. #18
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    Debate conclusion

    I have decided in the interest of successfully concluding this debate to relieve jskufan from his role as judge. He has privately expressed to me his concern that he is not feeling comfortable weighing in on a subject quite foreign to him. Hopefully, we can all appreciate that.

    Instead of trying to bring in another judge at this late date, and waiting through another delay while he/she studys the debate and then considers a verdict, I'm going to assume the role of the third judge.

    I considered briefly leaving the debate as it is--tied--but blanched at the thought.

    I trust the two contestants find this new and unexpected arrangement satisfactory. It is my wish to bring this debate to a conclusion without further delay. Therefore, I will reexamine the arguments tonight and render a conclusion Friday morning before leaving for the weekend.

    Thanks again to everyone for their patience.
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

  4. #19
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    First, I don’t agree with JPSartre12 or Waxy about either of the contestant's tone in this debate. I didn’t feel they crossed the line into personal attack. There were blows thrown, to be sure, but it was for the most part aimed at the issues, and also in challenging their opponent to improve or clarify certain aspects of their position.

    This was a well-defined resolution being debated. A congratulation to The Skeptic for proposing the wording, as it was crucial to understanding where both sides were coming from. I didn’t fully understand what it meant initially, but I think both showed a good degree of empathy by explaining matters to the viewers.

    As for the specifics:

    The Skeptic quotes Darwin as saying:

    “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory [evolution] would absolutely break down.”

    We were then informed that if IC can be shown, neo-Darwinism is false. This was the reason for the specific wording of the resolution then. But it does not follow, IMO. For example, could not Darwin simply have been mistaken in his assumption, yet neo-Darwinism remain a viable, vibrant theory? Is it wise to endow Darwin with infallibility before attempting to destroy him?

    Clive14 began poorly, his first post had an autopilot feel to it, with no attributions, and was promptly called on it. He recovered nicely and became fully engaged in his second post. This is where I felt he grabbed the ball and never gave it back.

    I was puzzled by the use of the term “neo-Darwinism”. I kept waiting to learn why The Skeptic chose that term in the wording of the resolution, but he never addressed it. Instead he used “evolution” throughout the debate. Clive14 defined it for us in his last post.

    An interesting sidebar developed over a thinking aloud comment by The Skeptic of his suspicion that Clive14 used his own web page writings to support a particular point. Clive14 has stated he is not the author, and it is well enough to leave it at that.

    The almost singular use of Behe by The Skeptic was disappointing, as both judges have already observed, and particularly damning to his case was when Clive14 pointed out Behe’s own words on the matter regarding “neo-Darwinism” as it relates to IC:

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive14
    The final nail though in the coffin of the claim that IC somehow threatens evolution is of course the vast mass of evidence in support of evolution that is unrelated to IC. Even Behe acknowledged this:

    [I]'For the record, I have no reason to doubt that the universe is the billions of years old that physicists say it is. Further, I find the idea of common descent (that all organisms share a common ancestor) fairly convincing, and have no particular reason to doubt it.'[/]

    "So the idea that life first appeared billions of years ago and has evolved, through common descent, into what we see today is seen as fitting alongside IC by the very man who proposed IC. My opponent however chooses to ignore this aspect of Behe's argument and claims that IC somehow "proves neo-Darwinism incorrect".
    “The vast mass of evidence in support of evolution that is unrelated to IC.” The resolution is doomed by this fact. It is a false bifurcation to declare that “if this, then that”.

    This is indeed a final nail—a fatal flaw--and cannot be reconciled to the unambiguous wording of the resolution.

    My vote goes to Clive14, and by a 2-1 margin, he is the winner of this debate.

    ------------------------------------------
    Thanks to both participants for their effort in making this an outstanding debate. It is a nice addition to the Debate Room in our forum. I hope their example will encourage others to try their hand at it.

    For those who would like to comment on this debate, please feel free to do so here.
    - Which is worse--ignorance or apathy? For my part, I don't know and I don't care. -

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