The gloves came off Friday night at Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall between two prolific philosophers when each debated the validity of whether intelligence design is science or not. The debate allowed students and attendees to hear both sides of the argument.
The purpose of the debate was to present both principles and allow people to decide.The debate was between Michael Ruse, author and founder of the journal Biology and Philosophy, and William Dembski, professor of philosophy at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dembski took the side of intelligent design while Ruse argued against. The two philosophers were each given 20 minutes to argue their points. They were then each given a rebuttal and asked questions from a split audience. The tone between them were civil and professional. Each complemented the other, and added in playful jokes about the other's ideas.
The event was one of many events relevant to the theory of evolution on the University of Oklahoma in celebration of Charles Darwin 200th birthday. For the entire month of February, OU hosted many lectures on campus pertaining to the english naturalist. On Feb. 12, the University kicked off the celebration of Darwin at the Sam Nobel Oklahoma Museum of Natural History where multiple professors from an array of disciplines gave lectures on how evolution is relevant to their study. Stephen Olson, Energy Management junior, said he appreciates the university hosting these functions. Olson said bringing figures like Ruse and Dembski opens needed discussion.
"I think it is a good thing OU is inviting famous researches to hold a dialogue and debate," Olson said. "A lot of people that I know disagree with such figures like Michael Ruse and Richard Dawkins that it's good to for them to hear points-of-view different from their own."
Olson said he believed these forums will benefit OU students; however, he is concerned about how much the University is paying these figures during times of tuition increases. The celebration of Darwin will continue to Mar. 6 when Richard Dawkins, world-renowned zoologist and evolutionary biologist, will speak at OUs campus.
Listen to what Olson had to say about the university hosting the lectures.