Tag Archives: Origins

Upcoming debate with Stephen Meyer, Richard Sternberg and Michael Shermer

Story here. (H/T Manawatu Christian Apologetics via Apologetics 315)

Excerpt:

A public debate about the origins of life hosted by the American Freedom Alliance and featuring: Stephen Meyer, Rick Sternberg, Michael Shermer and Don Prothero

Admission: $20.00 Students: $10.00
RSVP: Saban Theater Box Office (323) 655-0111

Monday, November 30th, 7pm,

Saban Theater, Beverly Hills

Here’s a neat quote from Harvard paleontologist Richard Lewontin, courtesy of Apologetics 315:

“We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

I hope that Shermer and Prothero can be more open-minded with respect to the evidence compared to Richard Lewontin’s faith-based epistemology.

Craig-Ayala debate may be streamed live over the Internet

Check it out! (H/T Brian Auten of Apolgetics 315)

We are working on streaming the event live.

The event, assuming everything works at the Auditorium, will be from ustream.tv.

If the link does not work, here is the address: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/indiana-university—november-5-2009

UPDATE: The audio for the debate is posted here. (MP3)

You can read Craig’s post-debate comments here.

Related posts

William Lane Craig vs. Francisco Ayala November 5th at Indiana University

William Lane Craig is debating evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala in the November 5th, 2009, at Indiana University.

Here’s the skinny:

Intelligent Design: Is it Viable? A debate between Dr. Francisco J. Ayala and Dr. William Lane Craig. Moderated by Dr. Bradley Monton. The debate will occur on Thursday, November 5, 2009 at 7 p.m. EST at Indiana University Auditorium.

Bradley Monton is the atheist philosopher who thinks that intelligent design is a viable enterprise to investigate.

You can read more about William Lane Craig at his web site.

Here’s a bit more about his opponent, Francisco Ayala:

His research focusses on population and evolutionary genetics, including the origin of species, genetic diversity of populations, the origin of malaria, the population structure of parasitic protozoa, and the molecular clock of evolution. He also writes about the interface between religion and science, and on philosophical issues concerning epistemology, ethics, and the philosophy of biology.

He’s written 650 papers and 12 books. I think this is going to be a tough debate for Bill!

UPDATE: The debate is now finished!

Related posts

Does the new Ida fossil prove evolution?

Well, if it does, doesn’t that mean that evolution wasn’t proved before?

But I digress. Whenever you have questions about evolution and culture, there is only one blog that you really need to read, and that’s Denyse O’Leary’s Post-Darwinist. She has written no less than THREE stories on the Ida fossil, so let’s take a look at see what she’s found.

First, on May 19th, she noted that the lemur-like fossil contradicted the current best naturalistic theory of human origins.

[The] fossil doesn’t “explain” human evolution; it complicates the picture. The theory that was gaining ground was that humans were descended from tarsier-like creatures, but this fossil, touted as a primate ancestor, is a lemur-like creature.

Second, on May 21st, she added:

This recent Messil Pit find bolsters the case of the lemur supporters against the previously dominant tarsier supporters.

That only creates more confusion about origins, it seems to me, rather than resolving anything.

Where you have opposing histories, evidence that strengthens one history must weaken the other.

It does not necessarily add up to a gain in information.

What if the tarsier advocates find a fossil that bolsters their case in, say, 2012?

And who’s to say that won’t happen – as it has happened already?

Everything gets so complicated, once you look past the “missing link” sound-bites. But many people looking for validation for their atheist lifestyle will never bother – so long as the cultural authorities can offer them some Piltdown Man or Archaeoraptor or Haeckel’s embryos or Peppered Moths, etc., to justify their atheistic faith.

Denyse also points to a round-up of links from Access Research Network, as well as a New Scientist story that is skeptical of Ida’s status as *the* missing link.

Third, on May 25th, she linked to this story from the UK Times Online:

… in the research paper detailing the discovery, the scientists had painted a rather different picture. Ida, they said, “could represent a stem group from which later anthropoid primates (including humans) evolved but we are not advocating this here”.

And more:

Robert Foley, professor of human evolution at Cambridge University, believes many people misunderstand the huge timescales involved in assessing fossils.

“This animal lived around 47m years ago but human-like creatures only appeared in the last 2m years,” he said. “That’s a gap of around 45m years with many other species lying between us and that era. Any one of them could be called a missing link. Really, the term is meaningless.”

Now I know what my many atheist readers are saying: “we’re only skeptical of your beliefs! Not our beliefs!”. Well, I’m sorry, true believers, to throw cold water on you.