Instigator / Pro
9
1363
rating
13
debates
3.85%
won
Topic

There is evidence of Intelligent Design In nature

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
0
15
Sources points
2
10
Spelling and grammar points
3
5
Conduct points
4
2

With 5 votes and 23 points ahead, the winner is ...

Sum1hugme
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Religion
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
10,000
Contender / Con
32
1635
rating
27
debates
72.22%
won
Description
~ 295 / 5,000

If something I say, likely trying to over explain or answer questions you didn't ask, and you have the patience, you'll never offend me to ask me to pump the brakes.

I recognize where im starting at and feel I have gotten better (with a long ways to go).

I only hope to set fair expectations.

Round 1
Pro
Ill start simple. 

I would claim, evidence for intelligent design is indeed in nature. 

We can deep dive and get specific, but I'd first cite the fine-tuning of the physical constants and solar system/Earth. Then some stuff relating to cells. 

My claim is there is evidence in these areas in which it's fair to conclude both reasonably describe either intelligent design or undersigned random laws of nature. 

Before going into the weeds, I wanted to simply pose the general stance and flow of my argument. 

Con
  Thank you UpholdingTheFaith for the debate topic. I'm excited to discuss this topic, that's very similar to our last topic [1]. 

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DEFINITIONS

  • Scientific Theory - a coherent group of propositions formulated to explain a group of facts or phenomena in the natural world and repeatedly confirmed through experiment or observation [2]
  • Fact - A point of data that is objectively verifiable [3][4][5]
  • Evidence - The available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or valid [6].
  • Real - having objective independent existence [7].
  • Nature - The phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations [8].
--------------------

  In order to demonstrate the resolve, my opponent must demonstrate that there are facts that indicate the following:

1. That there are things in nature that are are intentionally designed.
2. That the designer is intelligent.

--------------------

  Good Luck!






Round 2
Pro
I'll start with evidence at the largest and smallest scales in the Universe. 

British astrophysicist Fred Hoyle once said

A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.

This conclusion has only been strengthened as modern study has uncovered deeper workings of the Universe. While the Bible isn't a science textbook outlining the workings of the Universe, it tells us that it had a beginning. It was only in 1929 that Hubble made the discovery that let "modern" science catch up with what the Bible has said for thousands of years.
That said, there is significant evidence we can look at which support the fact that our Universe was designed, and fine tuned, by God.
A quick note regarding the form of some numbers below. You will see a number written as 10^##. This can be written out as a 1 with the ## number of 0's after it. For example, 10^5 is 100,000 and 10^10 is 10,000,000,000. So not double, but a much larger number. Keep that in mind.
If you would like an idea of just how unlikely some of the below odds are (like one in 10^55 for example), either leave a comment or check out my Prophecies of Jesus post.

Let's take a look at some of the fine tuned aspects of our Universe.

The Fundamental Forces

Strong Nuclear Force Constant
The strong nuclear force is the strongest of the fundamental forces. It acts on an incredibly small distance and is what holds neutrons and protons together in the nucleus of atoms. It's fine tuned in a way that holds nuclei together, but can't hold two protons together without a neutron present. The electromagnetic repulsive force from the two positive protons by themselves overwhelms the strong force.

If the strong force constant was larger, two protons could stay together by themselves. If this happened, all hydrogen would have been converted to helium in the big bang. No hydrogen, no water among other things. It would be impossible to sustain life.
If the strong force constant was smaller, it would affect the stability of the nucleus. All elements essential to life wouldn't be able to stay together. Even weaker, only hydrogen could exist. Again, it would be impossible to sustain life.

Weak Nuclear Force Constant
The weak nuclear force is responsible for radioactive decay of atoms. Like the strong force, it acts on small distances. It's fine tuned in a way that allows stars to gradually burn their hydrogen.

If the weak force constant was stronger, we would have the same over production of hydrogen into helium that we saw in the strong force section.
If the weak force constant was smaller, not enough helium would have formed. This would have made later, heavier element production impossible. Without these elements, life could not have formed.

The Electromagnetic Force Constant
The electromagnetic force is one of the two fundamental forces we have every day experience with. Maxwell's equations showed us this relationship and it transformed our entire world. It's also relevant to stellar fusion and chemistry.

If the electromagnetic force changed, its relationship with the strong force would be disrupted among other things.
If the electromagnetic force constant was higher, electrons would have too much energy and atom stability would be affected. Life would be impossible.
If the electromagnetic force constant was lower, the atomic bonds could not form. Thus, the complex molecules for life chemistry would not be possible.

The Gravitational Force Constant
The gravitational force is the other force we have every day experience with. Reconciling gravity at the quantum level is a current goal of modern physics. However, what we have learned about this force is how incredibly fine tuned it is for life. Incredibly, the gravitational constant, if moved by 1 part in 10^34 (1 with 34 zeroes after it), life would not be possible.

If the gravitational force constant was higher, stars would become too hot and burn out too quickly. Additionally, the force of gravity on any planet would be significantly too large to support life.

If the gravitational force was weaker, stars would not be able to fuse the heavier elements necessary for life.

Ratios

Number of Protons to Number of Electrons
The number of protons in the Universe is equal to the number of electrons to one part in 10^37!
This relationship is what yields our electrically neutral Universe. Not only that, but these particles with very different masses have exactly equal charges.

If this was imbalanced in either direction, electromagnetism would dominate gravity. Stars would then not be able to form and life would be impossible.

Electromagnetic Force Constant to the Gravitational Force Constant
This ratio is incredibly finely balanced. To within one part in 10^40! It is vital to star formation.

If increased even slightly, all stars would grow to be at least 40% more massive than our Sun. If that occured, stars would burn through their fuel supplies too quickly and irregularly for life to survive.
If decreased even slightly, stars would be at least 20% less massive than our Sun. The resulting end of life cycle for stars would be unable to produce the heavier elements for life.

Proton to Electron Mass
The relationship between proton and electron mass is perfect for forming molecules. If changed in either direction, chemical bonding would cease to be sufficient for life chemistry.


Neutron to Proton Mass
Physical systems in nature tend to seek out their lowest energy state when they're not being disturbed. The Jefferson Lab defines beta decay as

Beta decay is one process that unstable atoms can use to become more stable. There are two types of beta decay, beta-minus and beta-plus.

During beta-minus decay, a neutron in an atom's nucleus turns into a proton, an electron and an antineutrino.
If the neutron to proton mass were to favor the proton (by as little as 1% more) instead of the other way around and isolated protons would turn into neutrons. This would not allow hydrogen to form and stars would not be able to produce the complex elements necessary for life.

Furthermore, as the proton is the lightest baryon, it cannot decay when left alone. If they did, all elements would be unstable as the neutrons would still decay in the same way described.

Characteristics of the Universe

Expansion Rate of the Universe
If the expansion rate of the Universe was changed by one part in 10^55, life would not be here!

If increased, matter would expand too quickly to allow for star and galaxy formation. If decreased, the Universe would have collapsed back in on itself before stars formed.

Mass Density of the Universe
If the mass density of the Universe were to differ by one part in 10^59, life would not be here!

If increased, too much deuterium would have formed in the big bang. This would cause stars to burn too rapidly for life formation. If decreased, not enough helium would have been produced to allow for the necessary abundance of heavy elements needed for life.

Supernovae
When stars go supernova, it distributes all the heavy elements necessary for planet formation and life. These events are incredibly energetic and dangerous. If a supernova were to explode near a planet with life, there would be significant ramifications.


If too many supernovae occured, life would have likely been wiped out from the energetic explosions. If they were too infrequent, there would not be sufficient amounts of heavy elements for planet formation and life.

Particles and Molecules

Decay Rate of Beryllium-8
If the decay rate of Beryllium-8 all the elements for life would not be able to form.

If increased, when stars started fusing heavier elements they would catastrophically explode. If decreased, no element more massive than Beryllium would form. In either case, life would not be able to exist.

Polarity of the Water Molecule
Water is a polarized molecule. The University of Arizona explains this as

Water is a "polar" molecule, meaning that there is an uneven distribution of electron density. Water has a partial negative charge near the oxygen atom due the unshared pairs of electrons, and partial positive charges near the hydrogen atoms. An electrostatic attraction between the partial positive charge near the hydrogen atoms and the partial negative charge near the oxygen results in the formation of a hydrogen bond
...
The unique physical properties, including a high heat of vaporization, strong surface tension, high specific heat, and nearly universal solvent properties of water are also due to hydrogen bonding.

If this polarity were stronger, heat of vaporization and fusion would be too high for life. If weaker, the heat of vaporization and fusion would be too low for life.

Mass of the Down Quark
Quarks are particles that make up protons and neutrons. They come in multiple varieties. The proton has two up quarks and one down quark. If you were to decrease the mass of the down quark, protons would capture electrons near them. This would make the formation of life impossible.

As science continues to make discoveries of the inner workings of our Universe, we find them consistent with a pattern of unique and well placed "coincidences" again and again, at the smallest and largest scales. 

The volume of finely tuned parameters which support life and the degree of fine tuning, in my opinion, are more than enough to claim as evidence for design.

The sheer scale, specificity, and application of Laws which remain consistent all support for this design to be intelligent. 


Con
  Thank you for you response. Let's dive straight in.

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OBJECTIONS

-----------

0. Gish Gallop
 
  My opponent has opened with a flurry of points, fourteen in total, for us to discuss. Since the technical details of these aren't the most critical flaws if they happen to be incorrect, my arguments will focus on the problems with my opponents arguments as a whole, in order from weakest to strongest..


1. No Citations

  My opponent asserts that these constants must be the way they are, but gives no cited justification of why these are the case. While perhaps not necessary, it would be helpful to have some way of verifying my opponents claims are true.


2. Assuming what Nobody Knows

  My opponent is assuming with many of these arguments that life could not have arisen otherwise. The truth is, my opponent and myself have the same sample size of verified life bearing worlds at this time to study: one. It is unknowable and rather presumptuous to assert that if the universe were different in some way, that in every case, life could have not arisen naturally.


3. Arbitrarily Assigning Significance

  Consider a six-sided dice roll. In this hypothetical, there are ten dice. The chance of rolling all sixes is only a mere 0.0000016538% chance [1]. However, the chances are exactly the same for any dice combination that happens to land on the roll. My opponent is simply looking at a particular dice roll, life arising in this universe, and arbitrarily assigning significance to it and the conditions in which it arose, simply because it's the one that happened to happen.


4. Argument from Improbability

"The volume of finely tuned parameters which support life and the degree of fine tuning, in my opinion, are more than enough to claim as evidence for design.

The sheer scale, specificity, and application of Laws which remain consistent all support for this design to be intelligent. "
  Finally, my opponent has argued that simply because life arising naturally is improbable, then it must have been designed. This improbability is not, however, evidence of design simply because improbability does not imply intention.

--------------------

  CONCLUSION

  In conclusion, my opponent has not provided evidence that an intelligent designer "monkeyed with the physics," but instead provided evidence that life is improbable. Unfortunately, the appearance of fine-tuning is simply an illusion, as the idea of an intelligent designer is fundamentally flawed. The arguments presented by my opponent are uncited, assume the unknowable, arbitrarily assign significance to improbable events, and have failed to demonstrate how improbability implies intention. I look forward to UpholdingTheFaith's response.





Over to Pro!
Round 3
Pro
Thanks!! 

1. No Citations
I'm happy to take one and discuss it specifically in depth. I absolutely should have specified I didn't intend for you to respond to all. Im happy you didn't and that is my bad. Ill be clear in the future. I can find citations and we can discuss. One would suffice.

2. Assuming what Nobody Knows
I'm partially with you, but may I offer a thought for consideration. Astrobiologists are looking for life and specifically hoping to find life from different building blocks. I would offer that this might be irrelevant to our discussion. My justification for this claim is the premise of our discussion. Evidence for. Not evidence which "proves" the existence of. No burden of the relative weight towards likelihood this evidence offers. I would argue the burden here is for me to show there is evidence which, at any level of probability, suggests intelligent design. Thus satisfying the existence of evidence or "there is evidence of".

3. Arbitrarily Assigning Significance
My argument is not for some threshold of likelihood but a non zero chance. I believe the mathematically calculable variance for life's threshold in as many of these major building blocks of the universe supports fine tuning. I will submit that any in the list with a sufficiently wide variance, you're free to define that variance threshold, that you can exclude it from the list. But I think theres a case to be made that the probability of intelligent fine tuning given the degree of fine tuning across not just one or two constants, operating at a highly varied scale, is non zero. 

4. Argument from Improbability
And if it were just the hyper-tuned gravitational constant sure. But again, using probability theory allows for a statement which supports this fine tuning as being evidence, how ever weak, but evidence none the less. No qualifications were set for likelihood or strength. The simple existence. A non-zero chance.  

Incredibly engaging as usual. Thanks!



Con
Thank you for your response. These debates are always a blast. 

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REBUTTALS

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  • R1
"I'm happy to take one and discuss it specifically in depth. "
  I encourage my opponent to feel free to pick any of these apparent constants, and demonstrate how they are indicative of intent.

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  • R2
" I would argue the burden here is for me to show there is evidence which, at any level of probability, suggests intelligent design. Thus satisfying the existence of evidence or 'there is evidence of'."
  The problem with my opponent's argument here is that there has been provided evidence of the improbability of life existing as it does today, but there has been given no evidence to suggest that there is an intelligent designer. Therefore, the burden of proof has not been met.

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  • R3
"But I think theres a case to be made that the probability of intelligent fine tuning given the degree of fine tuning across not just one or two constants, operating at a highly varied scale, is non zero."
  This is simply an assertion, as there have not been any facts provided that indicate that there is an intelligent designer. Let alone that an intelligent designer is even possible.

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  • R4
"But again, using probability theory allows for a statement which supports this fine tuning as being evidence, how ever weak, but evidence none the less."
  Using probability theory speaks nothing to the existence of an intelligent designer. Evidence is a body of facts that indicate a specific conclusion. What has been provided is indicative of life arising being improbable, but no fact has indicated that an Intelligent Designer exists.

"No qualifications were set for likelihood or strength. The simple existence. A non-zero chance."
  A non-zero chance at existence is not the same as existence. The problem is that there has been established no precedent to indicate that an intelligent designer is even possible, let alone establishing that the probability of an intelligent designer's existence is non-zero. This is again, simply an assertion.

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CONCLUSION

  My opponent has failed to demonstrate intent. Instead demonstrating improbability. The causal relationship between the two has not been established, and my arguments stand unabated.

--------------------

Over to Pro!
Round 4
Pro
Agreed! Super fun conversation!

Quote
"R1
"I'm happy to take one and discuss it specifically in depth. "
  I encourage my opponent to feel free to pick any of these apparent constants, and demonstrate how they are indicative of intent.

  The problem with my opponent's argument here is that there has been provided evidence of the improbability of life existing as it does today, but there has been given no evidence to suggest that there is an intelligent designer. Therefore, the burden of proof has not been met."

----------
-- I actually want to change gears given the limited time left and well thought out arguments laid forth. I understand your point on the improbability of life argument. I agree but would suggest that the degree of fine tuning at all scales and in so many areas is indicativeof design (didn't have time without dumping way more examples). We have a frame of reference for an expectation for design. We expect order and fine tuning in something like a computer. Perhaps with parts that, in their disorder and chaos, function in an incredible way as a whole. A random universe we would not expect to find this beyond coincidence. The level and breadth of fine tuning directly conflict with expectations of a random universe. 

Quote 
"R3
""But I think theres a case to be made that the probability of intelligent fine tuning given the degree of fine tuning across not just one or two constants, operating at a highly varied scale, is non zero."
  This is simply an assertion, as there have not been any facts provided that indicate that there is an intelligent designer. Let alone that an intelligent designer is even possible.
-- I would argue that for an opposing view to be considered, there would have to be some form of facts suggesting it to be the more likely description of reality. Or, facts which directly contradict the intelligent design argument. Would you have any to offer?

----------
Quote

  • "R4
"But again, using probability theory allows for a statement which supports this fine tuning as being evidence, how ever weak, but evidence none the less."
  Using probability theory speaks nothing to the existence of an intelligent designer. Evidence is a body of facts that indicate a specific conclusion. What has been provided is indicative of life arising being improbable, but no fact has indicated that an Intelligent Designer exists."
- How would showing a likihood of design va random. The only thing truly preventing us from creating a even potentially realistic statement is, for any worldview, these are the how did nature start level questions which no world view has proved to be true.




Quote
  "A non-zero chance at existence is not the same as existence. "
-- For proof yes. How does a non zero chance of existence exist without evidence?


Quote
"The problem is that there has been established no precedent to indicate that an intelligent designer is even possible, let alone establishing that the probability of an intelligent designer's existence is non-zero. This is again, simply an assertion."
-- What would a standard be to judge the possibility of a being existing outside the Universe?




Con
  Thank you for your response. To be clear, I am not here to advocate for a particular "worldview." Instead, I am here to refute the claim that there is evidence of intelligent design in nature.

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  COUNTER-REBUTTALS

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  • CR1
" We expect order and fine tuning in something like a computer."
  This is a classic analogy for fine-tuning, but it fails on two points:
1. One can demonstrate the existence of humans and human computer-engineers. One cannot demonstrate the existence of the fine-tuner.
2. Just because two things share one quality, like being complex, doesn't necessarily mean they share another quality, like being designed.

  Consider this analogy. Suppose we lived in a universe where certain constants in reality were fundamentally different. Would you not call these constants "evidence of a fine tuned universe."? The point is, that calling these "fine-tuned" constants is rationalizing the assumed conclusion that there is an intelligent designer because no matter what the constants happen to be, they will be arbitrarily assigned significance as evidence in this regard.

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  • CR2
"I would argue that for an opposing view to be considered, there would have to be some form of facts suggesting it to be the more likely description of reality"
  I argue that the idea of an intelligent designer is the superfluous element to otherwise workable models of aspects of reality. Intelligent design is the idea that we should add this extra element to otherwise naturally explainable phenomena. It should have some facts to justify it. So far, we have experienced no evidence of and intelligent designer's existence.

"Or, facts which directly contradict the intelligent design argument. Would you have any to offer?"
  Although intelligent design is a hypothesis with no facts behind it, and therefore shouldn't be accepted as a provisionally true descriptor of any aspect of reality, I will provide an example that, if the universe was designed, it definitely wasn't done so intelligently or with life's survival in mind: The sun causes cancer [1]. I have given only one example of the many, since there is only a single round remaining. for further examples, in the trial of Kitzmiller v Dover, many, many arguments for intelligent design were all shown to have natural explanations [2]. The Intelligent Design argument is fundamentally a god of the gaps fallacy, or circularly rationalizing any perceived evidence of the assumption of design.

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  • CR3
"How would showing a likihood of design va random. The only thing truly preventing us from creating a even potentially realistic statement is, for any worldview, these are the how did nature start level questions which no world view has proved to be true."
  I apologize, but perhaps my opponent could clarify in his response the question being asked. However, for the rest, simply assuming that because the cause of the big bang hasn't been determined, therefore it is evidence of intelligent design, is no different than assuming that Zeus causes lightning bolts in the absence of an explanation. Arguing that an Intelligent Designer is an explanation for the origin of Nature, without being able to explain the mechanism by which it would do such a thing, renders it a non-explanation. 

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  • CR4
"For proof yes. How does a non zero chance of existence exist without evidence?"
  That seems to be the question I am posing to you. Without precedent or factual support, there has not been established a non-zero chance at existence. It seems an untestable, and unfalsifiable hypothesis.

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  • CR5
"What would a standard be to judge the possibility of a being existing outside the Universe?"
  Here my opponent has contradicted himself. The resolve is that there is evidence of Intelligent Design in Nature; contradicting himself later by special pleading that the designer is outside the universe. The contradiction is that he claims in the resolve that there is evidence in nature, but that the being is outside of nature. This means that the being cannot actually be evidenced by nature. It has not been evidenced so far, and seems fundamentally untestable once moved outside the realm of the natural world.

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CONCLUSION

  In conclusion, claims of intelligent design are all fundamentally fallacious, as has been demonstrated so far. My opponent has failed to provide evidence that an intelligent designer is even possible, let alone existent. He has heaped upon himself a heavier burden of proof by claiming now that the designer is outside of reality. This necessitates some precedent, but none have been provided. My points stand unbroken, as a causal relationship between improbability and intent has failed to have been established. The reason: because that connection cannot be established. There has been provided no evidence of a Designer, nor an intelligent one.




Over to Pro!

Round 5
Pro
First,  thanks again. Very engaging and thought provoking conversation. 


" We expect order and fine tuning in something like a computer."
You make a good argument. I had a bit of a different intention and implication in that quote. More so what if we started with a hypothesis and tried to forget all the science we know? We would seek to look for things like: structure at multiple levels, interconnected parts, perhaps even those which don't work on their own without other parts. We'd expect order over chaos and specific fine tuning. Although you called out  a really good point below.  And exposed another ingrained assumption so thanks again! You've seriously helpful in that kind of thing and I really do appreciate it. 

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----------
Quote
  • CR5
"What would a standard be to judge the possibility of a being existing outside the Universe?"
  Here my opponent has contradicted himself. The resolve is that there is evidence of Intelligent Design in Nature; contradicting himself later by special pleading that the designer is outside the universe.


-- You nailed it. I was arguing from a designer must exist outside of the Universe perspective. That was never stated or agreed upon. Awesome catch, I assure you, of unintentional special pleading. Special pleading none the less. I think my arguments hold some weight with that lens, but this is not what was set forth and you've been absolutely has been on point and with impressive rigor. 
You're actively making me better while crushing me in these debates haha. Good on you for the patience and tact. 
At this point I simply must conceed. I have no argument from design within nature to present further. 

Awesome job! And really, really good discussion! Well, schooling session perhaps. 






Con
Thank you for this debate. It was fun. 

"At this point I simply must conceed."

My opponent has kindly conceded the debate, so no point in adding more for the judges to read. I'm also on my phone, so please forgive my brevity. Vote Con!