Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2 great sites for debates

You may have noticed that I enjoy a good debate. I have recently come across two very impressive compendia of debates and would like to share them with you.

Common Sense Atheism's 400+ Atheist Debates
Apologetics 315's The Ultimate Apologetics MP3 Audio Page

Enjoy!

28 comments:

zilch said...

Well, if I had eight hundred hours of free time this week... how's the throat?

Rhology said...

It's OK, there's always the next coupla weeks too. :-D

Throat's much better, thanks. Thank God for antibiotics. I'm in the middle of a reply to BEAR2 but don't know when I can post it.

Anonymous said...

must be first to piont this out

god did not create the antibiotics you are so thankful for.

that was the works of scientists who understand evolutionary theory.

so that those scientists

Rhology said...

Maybe the scientists understand ToE, but what relevance does that have to antibiotics?

And God created all the elements of the antibiotic pill and its container, and of the lab and petri dishes and syringes, and the bacteria themselves. And the scientists. That's alot, you know.

Modusoperandi said...

So whose side is He on?

NAL said...

Rho:
Maybe the scientists understand ToE, but what relevance does that have to antibiotics?

Calling evolution irrelevant is wrong

... the March edition of Scientific American magazine, in which the article “New Tactics Against Tuberculosis” describes progress against the spread of drug-resistant TB. The authors (medical researchers, not evolutionary biologists) explicitly mention the role and contributions of evolutionary science ...

Anonymous said...

Thanks Nal,

Was going to make the same points, but realised that it is futile to attempt to educate Rho....

zilch said...

So whose side is He on?

MO- what kind of question is that? God is an Equal Opportunity Employer when it comes to humans and other pathogens.

Rhology said...

NAL,

Do you know of someone who believes that bacteria can't evolve into...bacteria? I'm not aware of anyone who says that, but feel free to link to them.
If not, how is that relevant?


Modus,

Whose side is God on? I don't get it.
He's on His own side. Humans can either agree with it or not, and live in sin.

justfinethanks said...

"Do you know of someone who believes that bacteria can't evolve into...bacteria? I'm not aware of anyone who says that, but feel free to link to them.
If not, how is that relevant?"

Firstly, the "it's still a bacteria" complaint reveals a stunning ignorance of taxonomy. "Bacteria" occupies an entire domain in biology. So saying "who cares if bacteria can evolve into another classification of bacteria" is akin to saying "who cares that an animal can evolve into another classification of animal?" Saying that "bacteria can evolve into other bacteria" is admitting that "macroevolution" occurs.

But honestly, if you are admitting that evolution can happen within the domain of bacteria (which would include evolution between the KINGDOMS of Eubacteria and Archaeabacteria) that's fantastic news. Because it means that you went from denying that speciation occurs to accepting that indeed MASSIVE leaps in evolutionary development can happen, way, way beyond the species level.

Secondly, it's relevant, because it's our UNDERSTANDING of evolutionary biology that is in part allowing you to enjoy modern medicine. That's what NAL's point was I suspect.

Rhology said...

Taxonomy is flexible and in course of change even today, so let's not get all uppity here. Heard of cladistics?
And I think you know what I mean. But I'd be interested, actually - are you saying that occurrences of evolution from a eubacteria to an archaeabacteria or vice versa have been observed? I'd like to know that.

that's fantastic news

Easy, tiger. If naturalistic evolution is true, nothing is "fantastic"; it just IS. I know you can get all caught up in your froth-at-the-mouth evolution cheerleading, but settle down and think thru your position a little bit.

Finally, what specifically about evolutionary biology allows me to enjoy antibiotics that a theory of biology that doesn't include the idea of macroevol by unguided natsel wouldn't?

NAL said...

Rho:
If not, how is that relevant?

Because the ToE explains inter-species adaptations, and gives antibiotic developers the tools to create more effective drugs.

There's only one ToE. If it's an inaccurate model for intra-species modification, it's an inaccurate model for inter-species modification.

justfinethanks said...

"Taxonomy is flexible and in course of change even today, so let's not get all uppity here. Heard of cladistics?"

Cladistics is classification based upon evolutionary ancestry. It's DOUBLY wonderful if you accept that as well. Because you can't honestly accept cladistics as a valid form of classification without also accepting the truth of evolution.

"And I think you know what I mean."

No, I don't. Don't lay it on me to translate your biological ignorance into what you REALLY meant. If you use a word like "bacteria" at least take the trouble to know what the hell it means first.

"Easy, tiger. If naturalistic evolution is true, nothing is "fantastic"; it just IS. "

Waste your meaningless and false appeal to consequences elsewhere.

"I know you can get all caught up in your froth-at-the-mouth evolution cheerleading, but settle down and think thru your position a little bit."

I get pissed off because because morons like you make me worry about whether or not my daughter is going enjoy a well rounded science education, or if teachers will be bullied into hiding true science because a religious majority doesn't like its implications. See, this is why I like the Catholics, they at least can be science friendly. You, on the other hand, are making America dumber.

Rhology said...

And if I make America dumber, is that bad? How do you know?

justfinethanks said...

"And if I make America dumber, is that bad? How do you know?"

Oh, wow, I can't wait to answer this and then have you suck me into a rhetorical shell game where you declare any answer besides "God says so" insufficient.

Here's two books for you to read

"Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters" by Donald Prothero

and

"Why Evolution is True" by Jerry Coyne

Stop peddling lies and falsehoods. It's inconsistent with your professed worldview.

Rhology said...

Where precisely did I lie? A direct quote will suffice, thanks.

And how do your books answer my question?

Are you familiar with Henry Gee's _In Search of Deep Time_?

justfinethanks said...

"Where precisely did I lie? A direct quote will suffice, thanks."

You didn't lie. You sincerely believe your nonsense I suspect. What I accused you of is PEDDLING creationist lies regarding evolution.

"And how do your books answer my question?"

These books will merely put an end to your ignorance, I sincerely hope. But considering that you were only made aware of just what a broad category of organisms that the domain of "bacteria" encompasses a few moments ago, I suspect you have a long, long way to go.


"Are you familiar with Henry Gee's _In Search of Deep Time_?"

You mean the guy creationists lean on as a authority when he declares that fossils can't be shown to have connection to any other fossils, but reject as an authority when he believes macroevolution to be true? Yes, I'm familiar with Henry Gee.

Rhology said...

Given that the point of Gee's book is the former point and he mentions the latter as a sidenote, why should I care whether he is familiar enough with the other evidence?
Further, I don't rely on him as an authority - you're wrong again. I merely cite his argument, giving credit where it's due, since he thought of it.

You mentioned fossils. I'd like to hear you interact with Gee's argument.

Modusoperandi said...

Rhology "Whose side is God on? I don't get it."
There are more cells in your body that aren't you than are you. Some of them give you B.O. A bunch of them can harm or kill you. The same God that gave Man vision also made the nematode that causes river blindness. And, if memory serves, because beavers have the "wood nutrient gathering" part of their intestine (with the helpful symbiotes that do such things) before the "wood breaking down" part, they have to eat their own feces to get most of the nutrients. The same God that makes children gives children cancer.
Whose side is God on?

"He's on His own side. Humans can either agree with it or not, and live in sin."
See my second to last sentence in the previous section.

"And if I make America dumber, is that bad? How do you know?"
Because the rest of the world is sick and tired of Toby Kieth albums. We don't want more of them. We want less. Dumber America = More Toby Keith.

Rhology said...

Oh, OK, I see. You're not actually being serious here.
But I'll be serious anyway.
What precisely is wrong, on your worldview, about killing people? Isn't that the whole mechanism of ToE?
Peter Singer thinks killing children up to the age of a few months or even years is OK. Why don't you?
How do you know that these things are morally wrong?

Modusoperandi said...

Rhology "You're not actually being serious here."
Actually, I am.

"What precisely is wrong, on your worldview, about killing people?"
I am people, and as such, have found that being killed makes it hard to continue to do so. From that, and the common human experience, and empathy (thank you, mirror neurons) I assume that others feel the same way, and so I do them the favour of doing unto others as I would have them do unto me. I can't count the number of times that I've unto'd others. Ask anybody!

"Isn't that the whole mechanism of ToE?"
Killing people is the mechanism of ToE? Since when?

"Peter Singer thinks killing children up to the age of a few months or even years is OK. Why don't you?"
I'm not Peter Singer. I assume that he bases it on levels of self-awareness (he's pro-gorilla, if memory serves). He's also one of those "controversial", "boundary pushing" people. Y'know, philosophers. Rebels, every damn last one of them!

"How do you know that these things are morally wrong?"
Okay. Hold still. Let me poke you in the eye for no reason or for reasons that benefit me but harm you. If you can't understand that, then by all means keep your absolute (but, over time, remarkably malleable) morality, handed down by a guy whose only consistency is inconsistency.

justfinethanks said...

"Killing people is the mechanism of ToE? Since when?"

Yeah, lets count the number of ways Rho has embarrassed himself on this page alone regarding biology knowledge.

1)Unaware that bacteria a taxonomic domain.
2) Apparently also unaware that cladistics is based upon presuming the truth of evolution.
3)Declared that the mechanism of evolution is "killing people." (But perhaps he meant killing in general, which isn't a lick better.)

This is crap would get you a failing grade in 10th grade biology class, yet Rho presumes to know something that 99.99% of biologists don't. Honestly, if my understanding of biology was at Rho's level, I would probably reject evolution too.


Gee had it right when he said "Creationism is manifest rubbish and the creationists can go hang - no amount of reasoned argument will ever convince them."

But, I'm not leaning on him as an authority obviously, I'm just giving credit where its due.

neil said...

"What precisely is wrong, on your worldview, about killing people? Isn't that the whole mechanism of ToE?"

Eh!

Putting aside how oddly that's put.
ToE is a descriptive and explanatory framework for understanding the diversity, adapt ion, distribution etc of life on Earth.
That's it, no more.

Rhology said...

MO said:
I am people, and as such, have found that being killed makes it hard to continue to do so.

So what?


From that, and the common human experience, and empathy (thank you, mirror neurons) I assume that others feel the same way, and so I do them the favour of doing unto others as I would have them do unto me.

Great. You just told me what you do, but I don't remember asking you about your life.
Where's the prescriptive power? Why SHOULD I listen to you? Or anyone listen to you? Or anyone listen to anyone?
You'd benefit from reading this. Martin from the Atheist Experience did, but chose never to respond.


I assume that he bases it on levels of self-awareness (he's pro-gorilla, if memory serves). He's also one of those "controversial", "boundary pushing" people.

What makes pushing a boundary taboo? What, are you some moralistic Jesus figure or something?
Why not think of a gorilla as morally equal to a human? Got some divine book that tells you so? Did some angel appear to you? Or did you just make it up, or


Let me poke you in the eye for no reason or for reasons that benefit me but harm you.

OK, I experience pain. W/o a standard of comparison, how do I know that pain isn't morally the best thing that could occur?


a guy whose only consistency is inconsistency.

Where precisely is God inconsistent?


jft said:
1)Unaware that bacteria a taxonomic domain.

I'm a blogger, not a biologist. Make fun if you like; the question remains on the table.


2) Apparently also unaware that cladistics is based upon presuming the truth of evolution.

And where did I say it didn't?


3)Declared that the mechanism of evolution is "killing people." (But perhaps he meant killing in general, which isn't a lick better.)

Once again, as in the other thread, you're nitpicking. Natsel moves fwd in that unfit individuals tend to die more probably and sooner than more fit individuals.


Rho presumes to know something that 99.99% of biologists don't

They'd know it if they weren't so biased, or alternatively so afraid of losing their jobs at the hands of the evolutionary establishment.



neil said:
ToE is a descriptive and explanatory framework for understanding the diversity, adapt ion, distribution etc of life on Earth.

Many people use it for far more than that. Just look at the commenters on ERV, and Dick Dawk himself, who use it to leverage their theories on atheism. "Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist", and all that nonsense.
Don't kid yourself, neil. It goes much further than that.

justfinethanks said...

I'm a blogger, not a biologist.

That's wonderful. Now follow that line or reasoning to its inevitable conclusion: "... and I therefore have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to evolution."

And where did I say it didn't?

You offered up Caldistics as a valid form of taxonomy. Any creationist who is consistent should believe that caldistics is all bunk.

Once again, as in the other thread, you're nitpicking. Natsel moves fwd in that unfit individuals tend to die more probably and sooner than more fit individuals.

I'm not nitpicking, I'm keeping you honest and showing you just how much more education you require before you comment on this complicated and universally accepted theory amongst biologists.

Your definition of natsel is close, but it misses the most important element: reproduction. The most concise definition of natural selection is probably "differential reproductive success." That is, in the game of evolution, the organisms who reproduce most successfully wins. You can be in the top one percent in terms of longevity, and it won't mean a lick if you haven't reproduced successfully. Or, you can be in the bottom twenty percent in terms of longevity, and if you popped out a few kids, you win the evolution game. It's not about "killing," its about producing the most life. Being killed is often what keeps organisms from reproducing successfully, so its an understandable mistake.

So in summary

Octomom :14 kids = MASSIVE EVOLUTIONARY SUCCESS

Albert Einstein :3 Kids = Moderate evolutionary success.

They'd know it if they weren't so biased, or alternatively so afraid of losing their jobs at the hands of the evolutionary establishment.

And here come the tinfoil hats. You think that maybe, just maybe, they are "biased" towards the evidence? Scientists stopped thinking that the Earth is actually 6000 years old in the 19th century, before Darwin. And they were Christians and Creationists, so they came to that unavoidable conclusion kicking and screaming. An old Earth, and evolution, just makes sense of the evidence.

One last note: the stack of books on my nightstand is getting thin. If you could get a skeptic to read one book that advances your worldview, what would it be?

agnostiChicagOkie said...

Hey thanks for the link! Are you aware of the upcoming Hitchens v. Craig event this weekend at BIOLA?

Rhology said...

jft,

Now follow that line or reasoning to its inevitable conclusion: "... and I therefore have no idea what I'm talking about when it comes to evolution."

If that's true, it should be easy for you to destroy my arguments. When were you planning to start?


Any creationist who is consistent should believe that caldistics is all bunk.

You are apparently unfamiliar with the concept of the internal critique.


The most concise definition of natural selection is probably "differential reproductive success."

Fair enough.


You think that maybe, just maybe, they are "biased" towards the evidence?

If they were, there wouldn't be nearly so many who accept ToE. No, sthg else is going on.


Scientists stopped thinking that the Earth is actually 6000 years old in the 19th century, before Darwin.

I don't recall discussing the age of the Earth anywhere in this thread, actually. Red herring?


If you could get a skeptic to read one book that advances your worldview, what would it be?

The New Testament. No joke.
Romans, in particular.


agnostichicagokie,

My pleasure!
And yes, thank you, I am aware of it. Hitchens is a great public speaker and an atrocious debater. Craig is a pretty dang good debater and a fairly decent public speaker. Hitchens will deliver some witty one-liners and Craig will crush him like a bug in terms of actual debate. But I can't wait until the audio/video comes out! :-)

justfinethanks said...

If that's true, it should be easy for you to destroy my arguments. When were you planning to start?

Bluster is a sad substitute for substance. What exactly are your arguments? That if we can't observe something directly, we should assume it didn't happen? That we can't learn anything from the fossil record? I've already shown why these are unintelligable and false, and how you only hold onto the former very selectively, when it suits your needs.

You are apparently unfamiliar with the concept of the internal critique.

I think i gotcha. You DO think its bunk, but you are just entertaniing it for the sake of argument.

If they were, there wouldn't be nearly so many who accept ToE. No, sthg else is going on.

So, if a majority of the world's people are non-Christians, that is evidence that its true. But if a majority of biologists accept evolution, that's evidence that it is false?

I don't recall discussing the age of the Earth anywhere in this thread, actually. Red herring?

I was merely giving an example of when the scientific community was forced out of an old, comfortable view by the evidence. We have seen this repeatedly in the history of science, like through the acceptance of relativity, the big bang, and plate tectonics. The big bang is a particulalry good example, because it gave a lot of fuel to theists who believe that the universe had an absolute beginning. If they were such dedicated naturalists who want to cover up evidence of God in the natural world, why didn't they go against the evidence and stick with the steady state theory, which is a lot less God friendly?

But since were on the subject, even if there wasn't a lick of evidence for evolution, there still wouldn't be a good reason to believe in a literal exegesis of Genesis. Because of

1) Multiple methods of radiometric dating.

It's important to know that we don't just have a single method and hope it works. We have multiple methods, using different techniques that can be used to check one against the other. But lets pretend they are all bunk. There STILL isn't a good reason to believe in a totally literal Gensis.

2) Dendrochronology - Tree ring dating can take us back past 11,000 years, way past the 10,000 year breaking point of the most generous YEC.

3) Ice Core Dating - Just like rings on a tree, we can see how old an ice sheet is by th layers of ice. Ice core samples have taken us past 150,000 years old.

I only bring these up because even if you reject evolution, there is no basis to hold to your YEC position.

The New Testament. No joke.
Romans, in particular.


Well, hell, I have that book. You presuppers sure love Romans. Your open mindedness has been inspiring, so I figured it would only be fair for me to try and see things from your side of the aisle. Most conversaions with Bahnsen worshippers usually go more like.

1: ... and that's the evidence for evolution.
2: I see, and how does it provide the preconditions for logic and intelligibilty?
1: What? It's not an epistomology, it's an explanitory framework, like atomic theory or germ theory.
2: Then I guess evolution borrows intellectal capital from the truth of creation, then, doesn't it?
1: This has nothing to do with "competing worldviews," this is...
2: BEGGING THE QUESTION
1: I don't see...
2: DR. PEPPER FIZZ
1: Wait...
2: ONE AND THE MANY

You are honestly a little more willing to engage the question. (Incidentally, I'm living on the UC Irvine campus right now, where the Bahnsen-Stein debate took place)

Hitchens will deliver some witty one-liners and Craig will crush him like a bug in terms of actual debate.

Yeah, I'm not looking forward to this slaughter. Hitchens can tangle with a lightweight like Turek no problem, but you have to really be on the ball in order to even hope to fight Craig to draw. Hitchens has no clue what he is walking into.