Saturday, June 8, 2013

Lynn, Scott, Ruse and Miller v Johnson, Behe, Buckley and Berlinski BEST TOP TEN

This ( audio | video ) is an epic debate on a show that I was too young to know about and wish was still on: Firing Line. It was about Intelligent Design and Evolution and took place in 1997. It featured NCSE’s Eugenie Scott, Brown U Prof (and the best debater I know of against ID and Creation) Kenneth Miller, Good-Humored Philosopher Michael Ruse and Pastor-Lawyer Barry Lynn versus Cal Prof and Lawyer Phillip Johnson, Irreducible Complexity Promoter and Prof Michael Behe, the late William F. Buckley and douchey Philosopher and Mathematician David Berlinski. I know I was nice to about all those guys but Berlinski but I hate that guy, sorry.

5 stars. BEST TOP TEN

See how epic this debate was? I took a whole paragraph just on explaining who was in the debate. The debate format was also a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it, it emphasized cross-examination and short intros and conclusion speeches.

There are so many great things about this debate:

-Johnson is the biggest guy behind popularizing ID and I think is known for making the infamous “Wedge Document”. I don’t think he does these kinds of debates all that often, or I haven’t seen/heard them yet.*

-Barry Lynn is a great lawyer and definitely deflates the other side’s arguments about the atheistic implications associated with evolution by the fact that he’s a pastor albeit a super liberal one.

-Scott is a great promoter of science education, I suggest you all listen to her other debates on the issue. She’s pretty glib about things. She’s also an anthropologist so that makes her even more awesome.

-Ruse is a pretty interesting sounding guy, for a philosopher I was surprised how down-to-earth his portion of the debate was.

-Miller is my favorite opponent of ID/Creation. He’s been doing this since at least the 1980s against the likes of Henry Morris.

-Behe just isn’t good at debate, I think the best proponents for ID are Stephen Meyer and Steve Fuller.

-Berlinski is good at sounding smart but there isn’t really any substance to what he says a lot of the time. He also relies on a pretty lame tactic that he further keeps bringing up. Here’s a little spoiler: he focuses on the fossil record and Scott calls him out on using an article supporting his claim that the fossil record sucks that was written in the 1960s. He definitely does the classic creationist argument:

Creationist: There is a gap in the fossil record.
Scientist: Oh well, we just found that…after 1966…
Creationist: You just made it worse, now there are two gaps: what came before the thing you just found and what came after it? BAM.

Berlinski at one point even cites the fossil record of insects as being crappy. INSECTS. This is a guy who has a bunch of degrees, one in biology, and he brings up the fossil record of insects. When he brings it up Scott still addresses it and says that there is a well documented fossil record for asdfasdf (the wasp, which is like the template for a lot of insect species like ants and stuff)and that STILL wasn’t good enough for Berlinski and Lynn calls him out on it.

-Buckley…I’m not sure about the actual show Firingline but I think he is a regular on it and takes a side (I think usually the conservative side). He didn’t really bring too much to the debate, just sounded cool, which I can’t really fault him for if his role on the show is what I mentioned above. The other side he was against were all noted for arguing on this specific topic and thus were experts, he just chose the side that happened to have the crappy position.

This is the best evolution debate if not the best debate on this entire site.

Technical: Great AQ and there is a video but it is edited, the first 40 minutes(?) is cut out.

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