Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Debate Proposition

I've been meaning to make this new post for a while now, but I've been lazy and sick; anyways here goes:

I've received a proposition for a fun little debate by R.C. Metcalf. His website can be seen here. Dr. Metcalf's credentials include a doctorate in health professions, a M.S. in Science Education, and a partially completed M.S. in Theology (taken from the back of his book, Letter to a Christian Nation: Counter Point, as seen on his site) Dr. Metcalf's original post and other related posts I will put in full here; let me know what you guys think about this debate idea? I am very interested in knowing what you think of it.

"Hi Robert,

I've listened to several (but not all, yet) of your podcasts and I must say I find your comments refreashing. Nevertheless, while refreshing in your approach, I would contend that you are mistaken about quite a few things. I was going to send you an e-mail, however I thought your other bloggers may wish to throw in their comments to my forthcoming suggestion.

Let me give you some background on me... I am a Christian and also a scientist (not to be confused with an oxymoronic "Christian Scientist"). I was raised in a completely atheist home, so I tend to buck the trend that folks like Harris and Dawkins like to proclaim, that most people become Christians because they are taught Christianity as children.

I recently finished a book entitled "Letter to a Christian Nation: Counter Point," which as you may have guessed, is a response to Sam Harris. It is one of three response books by different authors, each providing a unique perspective: a theologian (Doug Wilson) , a historian (Mike Leahy), and a scientist (yours truly).

I, too, have a podcast going, though mine is newer than yours with only 3 episodes thus far. It's entitles "Think Again with RC Metcalf." Now to my question...

What would you (and your listeners) think of the two of us producing a series of podcasts in something of a debate format? "Deuling Podcasts" if you will... We both try to air something weekly in response to the others most recent broadcast. Our responses wouldn't take up the entire half hour, so as to leave room for listeners' questions.

Let me know what you think... and please... everyone else on this blog, chime in, too!

All the best,
RC"

"Hello,

This sounds like just what my podcast needs; a little debate action.

I'll make a new thread on the blog for your post, and ask about the idea in the next show, which should come out sometime next week.

Is there anything specifically you want to debate on, or is it a sort of all-around religious debate?

Take care,
Robert"

"Robert,

Well, I'm happy to take suggestions from listeners, so we can entertain their ideas once we get some. In the meantime, we could begin with something that I hear questioned a lot. Where does morality come from? How do we account for moral behavior on Darwinian naturalism?

Or we could discuss Stephen Jay Gould's NOMA concept, which is one area where we differ. I agree with Dawkins (rarely, but on this one I do...) that if the God hypothesis has any hope of being validated it must be testable scientifically. Dawkins wrote in The God Delusion, "God's existence or non-existence is a scientific fact about the universe, discoverable in principle if not in practice." I believe that Dawkins is on the right track.

So, there are a couple of suggestions to get us started. Perhaps when you produce your next podcast you could put out those suggestions and one or two of your own and see what the listeners think. I'll keep a watch on the blog for responses.

(Go ahead and copy this to the new thread, if you like. I'll be away from the computer most of the day tomorrow, but I wanted to give you some feedback before I hit the sack.) Goodnight!" — R.C. Metcalf

Again, let me know what everyone thinks about this debate idea?

2 Comments:

Blogger Jeff said...

Debate? Really, I think these are a waste of time.

This guy wants to start with the "origin of morality" crap? Please. This is just another example of the "ad ignorantum" logical fallacy: "I don't know how Darwinian evolution would produce morality, therefore God exists."

They've moved on to this one, there's too much readily available ammo to destroy the "Watchmaker Argument."

Dawkins himself has said he opposes "debates" with the Creationists, because they use the fact that you are debating them to claim credibility for their nonsense.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Matias said...

Science could present new interpretations that challenge Creationism; but until can show a model that explain better the complexity of the nature and the significancy of the existence, his focus cannot satisfy some of the deepest questions. Science as searcher of knowledge should recognize more his limited esphere of application and accept the value of other disciplines, recognizing in his metodologic posture that other areas can do a contribution full of a authority in the search for the truth. Then, and just then, science could armonize significantly with the truth. That's what i think, i love science and miss those great man in history like Isaac Newton, faithful to God no matter the circumstances.
Greetings and sorry for my bad english!.

3:54 PM  

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