This week I had the honor of debating against the venerable Michael Ruse, philosopher and evolution superstar. The occasion was an intelligent design versus evolution debate sponsored by the Socratic Club at Oregon State University in Corvallis. When experts simply point fingers and disagree the audience learns nothing, but in this encounter Ruse and I found much to agree on. The result was an illuminating discussion where, at least for a moment, the underlying motivations in this on-going debate were clear.
I began the debate with a sampling of what science is telling us and I explained that in spite of these empirical scientific evidences, evolutionists not only stick to their theory but remarkably they mandate that Darwin's idea must be a fact. It is not that evolutionists are ignorant or misguided, I explained, but rather that evolution is assumed to be a fact for non scientific reasons. Evolution has to be a fact, and one way or another all scientific observations must fit the evolution framework, no matter how awkward the fit.
Evolutionists make the bizarre claim that all evidence in biology supports evolution. They are unable to make a theory-neutral evaluation of the scientific evidence. It doesn't matter how long is the list of mind-boggling complexities and other problems with evolution, evolutionists are committed to their idea. And not surprisingly they often have difficulty making a fair and objective assessment of design theory.
When Ruse's turn came, he did not so much refute my points as he did demonstrate them. He used a powerful argument from the problem of evil which, for evolutionists, falsifies design. And of course, given this theological mandate then evolution, in one form or another, must be a fact. There is no other option.
And since evolution is a fact, then for Ruse and the evolutionists all of biology must provide supporting evidence, no matter that we can't see how this could be possible. My scientific examples, explained Ruse, were actually evidences for evolution, even if they don't seem to be. Ruse also characterized intelligent design as an attack on science.
For the most part Ruse's position perfectly fit my description of evolutionary thinking, and for a moment the debate became clear.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
The Theory Rests On Very Solid Fundamental Theological Arguments
Cornlius Hunter at ID The Future: