Rational Response Squad vs Creationist - Intelligent Design

RationalResponseSquad's picture

Sometime after this debate (RRS Show #9) Bill Morgan took down his website promoting intelligent design.  How much did we play a role in that?  Listen to the "debate" and you be the judge.  Feel free to comment on and engage us in a discussion about this show in the comments below.


 On this episode you will hear Brian Sapient and Rook Hawkins interject from time to time, but the shows main speakers are Mike (Yellow#5) who is a molecular biologist, and Bob Spence who has an incredible scientific knowledge base.  The following is a timeline of events as transcribed by Brian37.

2:53 Bill Morgan gives intro, he believes in intelligent design, and the Adam and Eve story.

3:20 RRS Science geek Yellow#5 "What is the theory of creationism. What does it predict? How is it falsifiable?”

Bill responds "I predict bacteria make bacteria, fleas make fleas bees make bees"

3:53 Bill believes biogenesis is falsifiable, he talks about energy not being created or destroyed.

Yellow responds with link, see information on Laws of Thermodynamics:

Yellow quotes Bill's article on the "Big Bang"

Yellow explains difference between "secular explanation" and "scientific explanation" Hoyle's term of Big Bang.

8:10 Brian Sapient asks about expansion and contraction of the universe. Yellow responds talking about dark matter.

Yellow talks about theories in Quantum Physics. Quantum vacuum fluctuations.

Yellow says "Science must be falsifiable and testable"

12:15 Bob Spence explains that science does not have to directly "observe" but can indirectly observe.

Bill goes Kurt went bang all the way back to Seattle.

NOTE: His naked assertion that you can predict where a car has been is not even close to scientific. Stating the speed and direction of a car alone does not tell you where the car started from. Assuming it started from Seattle is a presupposition. A naked assertion. It is not the same "walking back" science does.

17:59 Yellow talks about "Cosmic background radiation" and "Hubble's law"

Bill tries to make the point that no one knows what happened before you saw the car.
NOTE: And again, still not an argument for a god because that is asserting a gap answer. We do have predictive observations that walk us back to the dense compact space... the entire universe was occupying at the time.

24:50 Bill claims observations are made in the present. Bob responds that knowing the speed of light and velocity of such we can and do look billions of years in the past at distant objects.

Yellow points out the difference between theistic beliefs leading Bill to different conclusions and not based on empirical knowledge.

28:36 Bill asks Yellow to discuss where energy and matter came from.

33:33 Yellow talks about Stephen Hawking's theory "The Boundary Condition Of The Universe" also collaborated with James Hartle. Quoted from his book "A Brief History Of Time".

35:56 Bill claims that matter and energy are not eternal and need a supernatural cause.
NOTE: He still suffers the problem of infinite regress. It would require a more complex watchmaker, and what created that watchmaker and what created that watchmaker, and so on and so on. Not to mention which god did all this because there are tons of god claims.

Bob responds to Bill about "General Relativity"

Bill asks hosts about entropy applying today but not before?

Bob talks about the "singularity" and that yes there is no prior "historical"(science) telling us what was before, but we can extrapolate backwards to have some good ideas of what we might expect to see. He also points to entropy in that it evens out and we also talk about the "heat death" of the universe.

45:00 Yellow explains he used to be a Catholic now an "apostate" and because of science he was lead to atheism. Yellow calls god claims an "unnecessary step"( to explaining anything) and violates "Occam's Razor".

Bill tries to argue that he was an atheist and science drove him to his position.
NOTE TAKER: “I don't buy it because he said he was raise a believer until 14 then when back to theism in his late 20s. So here he is trying to equate him and the hosts as both trying to make science fit there position. The difference is that theism comes from a position of bias, his religion is not the only one that tries to prop up their god claims and holy books. Science is label independent and works outside god claim labels.

53:15 Bob brings up the points from the notes above... Basically we could insert the Hinduism, Islam, or any other god etc... What we don't know doesn’t lead to the bible (or any man made god guess). Science is simply saying prior to big bang and singularity "we don't know". but it does not fill in the gaps with a god.

54:13 Yellow asks Bill how he infers the supernatural from the natural? Bill admits it doesn't prove the existence of the supernatural, but the laws of thermodynamics lead him to that conclusion.

55:27 Brian announces music by "Overman" song "Evolution Rocks". Folk song singing about Darwin's "Origin Of The Species" The Beagle and "Natural Selection". Brian introduces band member Aaron after the song. Brian talks to Aaron about being from Chicago, Aaron mentions his relationship to Micheal Shermer advocacy, they plug www.evolvefish.com.

1:03:00 Aaron plugs his page. Here is his current Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/OvermanMusic

1:04:20 Aaron mentions song about "Hypatia" the librarian from ancient Alexandria.

1:06:21 Brian introduces "God Of The Gaps" song, Aaron explains the song was inspired by "Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World"

After the song Bill agrees with "Natural selection" but argues the problem atheists have with natural selection uses "Survival Of The Fittest". Bill admits God created viruses. Brian uses the Noah story and viruses and bacteria to ask Bill if those things would have existed on the Ark. Bill responds that his problem is with abiogenesis in that living things cannot come from non living things.

1:14:05 Bill asks Yellow what he thinks the best natural theory of how life started. Yellow responds with "RNA Clays." Bill asks why there has to be a natural explanation. Yellow explains that the "probability" of it having a natural explanation is infinitely more likely than a supernatural explanation because we have abundant evidence of nature.

1:15:30 Rook asks Bill how he determines the focal point between the supernatural and natural. Bill argues laws of thermodynamics. Bill argues this highly suggests proof of the supernatural.

1:16:48 Bob argues that this is nothing more than the "God Of The Gaps" argument.

1:26:6 Bill ask Rook about pre big bang time. Back and forth over pre big bang entropy, time and laws of thermodynamics.

1:30:25 Bob restates his objections to using entropy and thermodynamics as an argument for a God. Admits that QM has lots we still don't know, but explains that inserting a God into those gaps explains nothing.

1:36:30 Bill uses goldfish in a fishbowl analogy that there has to be something outside the fishbowl feeding the goldfish.

Brian asks afterwords "Who created God and where did God come from?" Bill admits he does not know. (Summary, Bill is making the argument from complexity.) Bob points out the bad parts of that "complexity" pointing out cancer hosts point out the imperfect design, propensity for disease, and useless parts on men like nipples.

1:42:20 Rook asks Bill if God is so perfect in his "design" then why do we see all these imperfections? Gets into the scientific absurdity of men coming from dirt. Mentions the scientific absurdity of women coming from a man's rib. Bill explains the imperfections by asking Rook where suffering comes from in the bible. Brian answers that God is where suffering comes from as he points out Isiah 45:7: “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”

1:45:30 "Bill brings up the flood story" to demonstrate God being in control. Admits to babies dying in that story. Makes argument for our nature of "sin".

1:46:40 Bob once again asks how Bill gets from "a cause" to meaning it must have been the God of the bible. Repeating basically it amounts to gap filling. Rook asks why an all powerful being would want or need anything, if it is perfect what would be our purpose? Rook points out the idea of a god is really anthropomorphic.

1:49:00 Rook restates the contradiction of a perfect being and all powerful being of having "wants". Explains our emotions are a result of biochemical brain activity that science can actually measure.

1:53:58 Rook says plants can feel pain.

1:56:03 Brian offers Bill last comments in support of his arguments. Bill restates that he went from atheist to theist because of science. Restates first law and second law of thermodynamics, abiogenesis, fossil evidence all supports a creator God. Believes cells and photosynthesis are "designed". If something is designed that requires a designer. (Basic watchmaker argument), and then he incorrectly states that both sides of this 2 hour debate require faith.
NOTE: people of faith often try to feel more comfortable with using a concept as ludicrous as faith by accusing those without faith of having it.


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digitalbeachbum's picture

I'm finally getting a chance

I'm finally getting a chance to listen to this guy (Bill Morgan) you had on the program and I find his entire problem is that he lacks overall rational knowledge. He keeps trying to use terrible logic such as the car going south, the single point, 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics. He assumes much in order validate his beliefs.

He assumes 'pre-big bang' conditions and variables. He doesn't see the 'big bang' as a transitional event. He uses poor analogies. He assumes his god exists rather than any other god from any other religion.

He seems like a person who wants a god to exist because it is easier. He wants to use science to prove his god.

His logic is completely flawed. He keeps wanting 'super natural' but then says he wants to use 'science'. 

Brian37's picture

 You're telling me. Was

 You're telling me. Was pulling my hair out the entire time. 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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