Monday, August 14, 2006

Unanswered Challenge on Evolution-Creation

The liberal Arktimes posted a thread called "How Low Can He Go" in which they reported that Democratic Governor Candidate Mike Beebe said that he would be in favor of allowing schools to teach Intelligent Design. ID is the hypothesis that the complexity and order that we see in the universe, especially in living systems, is best explained by life and the universe being the result of an Intelligent Designer rather than chance alone.

The readers at the Arktimes blog went into their usual hysterics that Beebe was selling them out, and that this could not be science, and that the bible-thumpers were going to wipe out 100 years of progress and all the rest. They need not have worried. It was just Beebe being Beebe. He is already pointing out the loopholes and escape clauses he left himself- as in ID does not necessarily contradict evolution, and that the Supreme Court has banned ID being taught. The man tries to please everybody but winds up making both sides uneasy. At the end of the day, like on so many other issues, we still don't know exactly what to make of Mike Beebe's position, except that we can't trust it.

Nevertheless, I got tired of listening to the bigotry over there, so I issued the guys who run the place a little challenge. A challenge that they have yet to answer, and I don't expect them to.

(continued- click MONDAY below and scroll down for rest of article, or if sent straight here just scroll down).


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...


I taught science for 13 years. I am not voting for Beebe, but he is technically correct. ID is a broad category and Beebe is correct when he maintains that (though he does not use this term) Theistic Evolution can fall within the purview of ID. Theistic Evolution is different from Creationism, Young or Old Earth, in that intervention from the Creator does not occur or is not needed to explain the diversity of Earth's biota after the initial creation event.

I am an Old Earth Creationist myself. I would be willing to debate Max and Warwick together, or any champion they care to name, on any medial format (though I'd want it do be Arkansas Watch if it is just on a blog) on this proposition: "Known evolutionary mechanisms are sufficient to explain the diversity of Earth's biota" with them defending. Or the reservse proposition with me defending.

For no extra charge, I will also debate on the proposition "science cannot consider the possiblity of Divine intervention, it is not science if it does".

Name your time and forum if you are willing to defend your dogma with fact and reason.

11:23 AM, August 14, 2006  
Blogger political_sniper said...

I would buy a ticket to this. Keep us updated IF they decide to accept the challenge.

1:50 PM, August 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd buy a ticket as well. Honestly, what is it with liberals and their abject fear and hostility to anything associated with God and, in this case, something else besides evolution being taught in school?? They're the ones who claim they're so open minded, it would only make sense that they'd welcome another viewpoint. I guess as long as it doesn't have to do with God, Christianity, or anything associated with those 2 topics, it's okay. But if it does, it gives them all hives!

3:42 PM, August 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark --

It is rather hypocritical to trumpet the challenges you make if you are going to ignore the challenges of others:


5:27 PM, August 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Link to article:§ion=News&storyid=163336

8:37 PM, August 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try again:


8:52 PM, August 14, 2006  
Anonymous Mark Moore said...

Hypocritical of me? Put your real name on it and I will think about it.

9:45 PM, August 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“I’m not running to be the state’s science officer.” -Mike Beebe


4:50 AM, August 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like Mark Moore is afraid to answer the challenge. Could it be that his extensive teaching experience was at a place that requires no credentials?

I guess we don't know, because it's a classic case of an unanswered challenge directed at Mark Moore.

10:33 AM, August 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I'm glad Beebe has ads up now so he can communicate directly with the voters. I saw the ads on raising the minimum wage, eliminating the food tax and I am glad someone is finally talking about something IMPORTANT to Arkansas familes in this race.

11:02 AM

11:03 AM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

It looks like anoymous slimer is afraid to even give his real name. It is a classic case of hubris to think anonymous challenges are worth answering. Give you real name, then I will have enough respect to take your challenge seriously.

I on the other hand, fear nothing from radical secularists on this issue. I have already told Brantley and Sabin that I would debate them both on the positions named, or their designated champion- and that is not you!

12:26 PM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger rob_star said...

I would be up for a debate of the topic: "Why Intelligent Design is or is not a scientific theory."
I can tell you now that there would not be many fireworks because the debate would only last about 1 minute. ID cannot be replicated, measured, or tested so it is not a theory at all. Since ID is not a scientific theory, then it should not be taught in science classes, however, I would have no problem with it being a portion of a philosophy elective.

12:30 PM, August 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"ID cannot be replicated, measured, or tested so it is not a theory at all"

the same could be said for macroevolution. Replicate birds and mammals evolving from a common ancestor- or even birds and dinos. Test that in the lab. You can't do it. You can't measure it. So should macroevolution be taught in a science class?

2:32 PM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Rob I admire your grit, but you are not "bonified" in the eyes of the Arktimes. They are arrogantly pretending we don't have a case, and if I debate you, even if you wind up admitting I have a point, they will just write it off as meaningless.

That is why I need to debate someone whose crendentials on the issue are equal to or greater than mine- but I am beginning to think that their arrogance is either too great for them to acknowledge that the other side has a view that is respectable enough to at least be debated or that they realize in their heart that the house of cards they have built could not withstand the pressure of a real debate. They want to keep their monopoly of the public school platform.

3:37 PM, August 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said, Mark. Liberals don't want any mention of anything close to being religious in public schools. They'd rather the kids being "taught" there be mind-numbed liberals so they can better manipulate them and their thinking. Much like what Hitler did during his dictatorship.

3:42 PM, August 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm glad Beebe has ads up now so he can communicate directly with the voters. I saw the ads on raising the minimum wage, eliminating the food tax and I am glad someone is finally talking about something IMPORTANT to Arkansas familes in this race."

Idiot, Asa is the ONLY person that HAS been talking about issues important to Arkansans. All BB has been doing is lying and spinning everything Asa says. Now all of a sudden after 20 years in the state Senate voting for tax INCREASES he's all of a sudden against them and wants to repeal the tax on groceries? Nice try, but that dog won't hunt. A leopard can't change it's spots. Beebe is nothing but a liar and a fake and doesn't know the meaning of the word leadership.

3:45 PM, August 15, 2006  
Blogger DeathRowBodine said...

Step up then, Rob Star, and make a date for the debate. Your assertion... "ID cannot be replicated, measured, or tested so it is not a theory at all" tells me that you are either dishonest or ignorant (or both). Either of which means even Mark Moore would toast your hide in a debate. Giddy Up! Ol' Boy. Just be prepared for your shaming in front of all your friends.

Good to see that there is one more person out there demonstrating what a group of freak extremists the Democrat party has become. Would all the extremist step forward please? We would like to present you to the Arkansas public.

Go sit down Jim, as much as you would like to be considered an extremist... you just don't qualify. These ATHEISTOFASCISTS make you look like John McCain.

Go get'em Mark. Let me know if you need me to call in the hounds.


Deathrow Bodine

3:57 PM, August 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Warwick "The Saber" Sabin and Max "Maximus" Brantly vs. Double M and Deathrow Bodine

Sounds like a WWE match. Too bad won't go for it.

5:48 AM, August 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why won't Mark Moore answer the challenge of what his credentials are to debate, rather than insisting that people don't have the credentials to challenge him? I guess Mark will continue to sneak in new conditions to debate -- that way, he'll never have to debate. Mark still refuses to say what his teaching credentials are -- and now he's refused a debate challenge from someone else who for all I know is better schooled in science and thus more "bonified" (snark) than Mark Moore. (The phrase is "bona fide", Mark; "Bonified" is what Tyson chicken patties look like after they are eviscerated by those Hispanic workers you are so concerned about.)

5:49 AM, August 16, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Why won't the person who is asking do so in their own name? You need to get "bonified" yourself, in the sense of getting backbone enough to tell us who you are.

I have not changed the conditions one time since I issued the unanswered challenge. I did not agree to debate ANYONE, for then I should have to deal with an endless stream of challegers repeating the same, already-refuted arguements at me. I want to debate the ONE GUY Sabin and Brantley say is their rep, or Sabin and Brantley themselves.

2:00 PM, August 16, 2006  
Blogger rob_star said...

Alright, Jethro, I'll bite. How about we debate the topic of your choice right here on the ArkFam site on Friday, the 25th of August @6:00 p.m. CST. Maybe after I have dispatched your best and brightest, we could have an old-fashioned spelling bee or something of the sort. Mark won't go for this though, since it is not a sanctioned bout.

12:18 PM, August 17, 2006  
Blogger rob_star said...

I'm sorry, I said ArkFam, didn't I? I meant Arkansaswatch, of course. Sometimes it's hard to tell one sheep from another.

12:21 PM, August 17, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...


Give me a reminder and I will set up a thread on the 25th for you vs. Deathrow, if you are sure you want to tangle with someone whose handle is "Deathrow" and the guy waiting for the chair agrees.

8:19 PM, August 17, 2006  
Blogger DeathRowBodine said...

I will be happy to have a online debate, however, I think that we need to discuss a set of ground rules in advance. I am not familiar with normal debate practices, so I will need some suggestions. I have noticed that with most online debates the debate spirals off-topic or the debaters talk past each other without ever addressing the pointed and relevent questions posed by the other side. Let's establish some guidelines/rules, then we can establish a date.

8:12 AM, August 19, 2006  
Anonymous Mark Moore said...

Well, the first thing to decide on is what you are debating. In this case, I suggest the original challenge made to Sabin and Brantley-

"Known evolutionary mechanisms are sufficient to explain the diversity of Earth's biota" with Rob Star defending

and "science cannot consider the possiblity of Divine intervention, it is not science if it does". with Rob Star also defending. That means you go first Deathrow, at throwing out an attack on both of those positions. Rob Star's job will be to rebut your efforts.

I, your humble moderator, will help keep it on track as referee, but I mean to have a light hand. If an occaisional fan wants to throw a chair in the ring, I won't delete the post, unless it becomes more than occasional. Go easy on personal attacks and focus on facts and arguments. If your opponent repeatedly fails to address a point you have made, call them out on it and I will ask them to address it on the next post or concede a point.

4:40 PM, August 19, 2006  
Blogger DeathRowBodine said...


rob_star has suggested the topic, “"Why Intelligent Design is or is not a scientific theory.” You have suggested the topic, "Known evolutionary mechanisms are sufficient to explain the diversity of Earth's biota"

This has gotten me to thinking about the topic. Thinking makes me unhappy since I am just a dumb moronic Christian mythology believer. (I am desperately trying to live up to rob_star’s stereotype in that last sentence.) What I am thinking is that perhaps we might better have a series of debates, or mini-debates (if you will) on several well defined topics. “Well defined” being the key word. Here is why:

Consider the following: If a premise is not well defined, the debate participants will end up arguing about two totally different topics. For example, let’s say that the topic for debate is “Why Theory A is or is not a scientific theory.” I, Deathrow, would be arguing that Theory A “is a scientific theory” and rob_star would be arguing that Theory A "is not a scientific theory.” Now suppose that I believe that Theory A is defined as “Some monkeys are brown,” but rob_star believes that Theory A is defined as “Some monkeys are magical.” The end result is that rob_star will be expecting me to produce evidence of a magical monkey, something that I wasn't debating in the first place.

Therefore, before we can debate “Why Theory A is or is not a scientific theory.” We need to agree on a definition of what Theory A is. (Hopefully we will agree on what the meaning of “is” is, but if not… why even chase after the wind?). Furthermore, we will need to agree on a definition of what constitutes a “Scientific Theory.”

Furthermore, I contend that there are no good reasons to suppose that natural selection is truth-conducive, that is, generally successful in producing cognitive faculties with the ability to reliably perceive the external world — let alone to construct accurate cosmologies.

Patricia Churchland, a noted Atheist scholar, insists that the most important thing about the human brain is that it has evolved; this means, she says, that its principal function is to enable the organism to move appropriately: Boiled down to essentials, a nervous system enables the organism to succeed in the four F's: feeding, fleeing, fighting and reproducing {vulgarity removed}. The principle chore of nervous systems is to get the body parts where they should be in order that the organism may survive... Improvements in sensorimotor control confer an evolutionary advantage: a fancier style of representing is advantageous so long as it is geared to the organism's way of life and enhances the organism's chances of survival [Churchland's emphasis]. Truth, whatever that is, definitely takes the hindmost.

I contend that if philosophical naturalism denies that reality is guided or directed somehow (say, toward the creation of humans with reliable cognitive faculties) and if evolution selects only for survival value, it is highly unlikely that evolutionary naturalism would yield cognitive faculties that accurately perceive reality. I will not contend {at least for now} that evolutionary naturalism could not have produced reliable cognitive faculties; I will simply argue that they provide no reason for believing that we have reliable cognitive faculties. Thus, by rob_star asserting that naturalistic evolution is true, he is also asserting that he has a low probability of being right in any of his assertions. Thus, I would argue that ascribing truth to naturalism and evolution becomes self-referentially incoherent.

Therefore, I would submit to you that perhaps a good “warm-up” debate might involve rob_star defending the premise that “Evolution has produced cognitive faculties that accurately perceive reality” without PRESUPPOSING the thesis. Frankly, a logical absurdity… but one that I will concede so that the debate can move forward ONLY after have he has twisted in the wind trying to do so. Only after he has planted his feet firmly on that shifting sand, I will be happy to move forward conceding the point regardless of whether he is logically successful in proving a logical absurdity.

While I may concede premises from time to time for the sake of debate, I am loath do so without demonstrating the illogic of the premise. As I have said in a blog post called No Dots, No Dice, No Sense, No Chance :

Why have we [Christians] allowed the world to push us to such absurd limits? Why have Christians allowed the world, modern science, to bully us into such absurd leaps of illogic and abandonment of common sense? It all makes about as much sense as throwing dice without dots and expecting to get seven dots showing.

What is the point of me making all these points? Well, to start with, I will not allow my opponent to set up the chess board such that I am in check before either of us has moved a single piece on the board. Secondly, I …perhaps naively… hope that we can have an honest, logical, and intellectual debate.

Flying Spaghetti Monster Blessings,

Deathrow Bodine

11:28 PM, August 19, 2006  
Anonymous Mark Moore said...

Deathrow 1) you are using too many big words for me and 2) SHUT UP before Rob Star realizes he is outclassed and decides to watch SURVIOR that night instead.

Seriously though, we will be lucky if we pull our scheduled bout off without a hitch.

So my desire is that you fold you cognitive improbablity ideas into the second topic of the debate: “"Why Intelligent Design is or is not a scientific theory.” and "Known evolutionary mechanisms are sufficient to explain the diversity of Earth's biota". It is a natural part of that latter topic, eh?

Agreeing on what terms mean is important, but in regards to the first question it is too much a part of what the debate is about to do so in advance. For example, he could come up with a definition for "science" that would automatically rule out any supernatural influence- I suspect that is just the position he will advance. The definition of SCIENCE is going to dominate debate on that first question, IMHO. Win that sub-argument, and the rest is easy.

8:17 AM, August 20, 2006  
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5:38 AM, March 17, 2007  

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