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Monday at Missouri State University, Nelson Will Debate Shermer on the Rationality of Design Reasoning


On Monday, April 21, at Missouri State University, Discovery Institute fellow Paul Nelson will debate Skeptic Society executive director Michael Shermer. The event is at 8 pm; find more information here. While their announced topic (incidentally, with a title neither chose) is "Evolution vs. Intelligent Design," their actual topic will be the rationality, or not, of inferences to intelligence as a cause within the physical universe. This would include such inferences in historical biology -- for events like the origin of life, the Cambrian explosion, or the origin of human consciousness -- and in other fields as well.

For example, is it irrational to infer that the arrangement of stones at Stonehenge reflects purposeful design when we admittedly cannot say exactly by what means the stones came together as they are?

The question "May we infer intelligence as a primary cause in natural science?" really ranges all across the scientific (indeed, human) map, into such topics as the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, detection of fraud in science, the free will debate, and the science-theology interface. In Shermer's words, the question is "far more important, reasonable, and rational" than other areas in the evolution debate.

This event, sponsored by the Student Activities Council at MSU, is free and open to the public.

Image source: Wikipedia.