Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ronald Numbers vs Paul Nelson on BHTV

An historian of science and creationist pseudo-scientist walk into a dialog. Cordial and informative chat ensues. Mostly they talk about how to approach finding the truth rather than what we should think is true, which is a bit too meta for my tastes. I'm more interested in arguing for or against metaphysical naturalism than hearing arguments about methodological naturalism versus fideism. Nevertheless, I've got to credit both speakers for being gentlemanly and seemingly well-informed.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thunderf00t vs. Comfort

Seriously, now, who the f*ck is this guy? I mean the guy on the left. Who is he, really? He is obviously intelligent and well-read and well-spoken, but I've no idea who he really is. I assume he is a grad student in biochem or something like that.

At any rate, this debate outright sucked as far as debates go, but totally rocked for sheer entertainment value. The preacher guy kept changing the subject and making seemingly random off-topic assertions (possibly engaging his magical powers of metaphyically libertarian free will) while the other guy kept trying to get him to back up, calm down, and carefully examine the meaning of his words. It was sort of like a philosophical comedy routine dialog, with a wacky clown playing off a straight guy. Worth watching while sharing a bong and a laugh, but don't expect too much depth.

Overall rating: 2.5
Believer rating: 1.0
Unbeliever rating: 4.0

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hearty vs Williams on the radio (UK)

In this episode of Unbelievable, Peter S. Williams debates Peter Hearty on the subject of intelligent design. The first quarter hour or so provides a reasonably accurate and concise summary of the ideas usually put forth by cdesign proponentsists intelligent design theorists. Hearty counters at first by reducing ID down to its core, saying that you cannot so blithely make the jump from "we don't know how this happened" to "God must have done it." I'm afraid, however, that Behe's core argument is never fully outlined and analysed here, as has been well done elsewhere. They get down into the weeds pretty quickly, but are often sidetracked by phone calls and e-mails which generally don't help them dig into the core of the argument. There are a couple exceptions, notably the caller from around one half hour into the show. There is also a doozy of a call in almost an hour into the show which makes me feel just a bit better about being American instead of British. She says that the show needs a Ken Ham to keep things balanced, since both debaters are old-Earthers who accept common descent. That actually sounds like a fun idea for a reality show. A young earth creationist, an intelligent design theorist, and a scientist walk into a studio... At any rate, it was a decent conversation. They manage to cover a good deal of ground and provide the listener with a pretty good sense of the scope and depth of intelligent design theory. This one is worth hearing.