Home » Intelligent Design » Shermer versus Nelson at Penn State, Thursday, September 20

Shermer versus Nelson at Penn State, Thursday, September 20

Michael Shermer Stucky the raccoon

That’s me on the right, trying to climb back up into the rafters of the Nelson house garage. (Photo credit: Hannah Nelson.)

Oh, you wanted information about the Shermer/Nelson debate at Penn State-Altoona? Go here.

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7 Responses to Shermer versus Nelson at Penn State, Thursday, September 20

  1. So when does your new book come out?

  2. Is this debate about the biological evidence for/against Darwinism or is this about the PHILOSOPHICAL presuppositions underlying methodological naturalism ?

  3. Biological evidence for Darwinism? You mean other than disease and degradation?

    Darwinism is all about philosophical presuppositions.

  4. For those outside the region, will it be recorded?

  5. Will someone please take notes and give us a full report?

  6. So, how did the debate go?

  7. Good turnout — the 400 seat auditorium was nearly full — and excellent Q & A, with questions being about evenly divided between Michael and me. Michael and I have been friends for many years, so the audience didn’t see much in the way of personal ridicule (although Michael does have a lot of cartoons mocking “creationism” in his talk, and I was unsparing in my condemnations of the incoherence of naturalism). Afterwards, we both talked with a large group of audience members in the foyer for some time.

    Michael’s main argument was that ID doesn’t tell science anything that it didn’t already know, and thus leads nowhere. I argued that, on the contrary, there is plenty of evidence (in biology) best explained by design, or at least for which design is a leading candidate, but that naturalism stands in the way of our further exploring design possibilities. The Q & A then ranged all over the field: fossils, testability of ID, our personal motivations, first cause arguments, you name it. Most of the audience was still there, with questions waiting, when the moderator called the evening to a close.

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